Saturday, 24 February 2018


Items filtered by date: August 2016
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 02:30

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is in Lagos

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is in Lagos on his first trip to Africa, using his time in the country to visit the Yaba technology hub in Lagos, meet with developers and partners, and explore Nollywood.

Zuckerberg is in Nigeria to listen and learn and take ideas back to California on how Facebook can better support tech development and entrepreneurship across Africa.

One of his first stops on the trip was to visit a ‘Summer of Code Camp’ at the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) in Yaba, known as the Silicon Valley of Nigeria.

CcHub opened in 2011 and at the time didn’t even have an office. Five years later they fill three floors and the roof of a building. At CcHub people can learn how to code, developers can get help launching their first products, and find mentors and funding.

At CcHub Zuckerberg met with developers like Temi Giwa, who runs a platform called Life Bank ( that makes blood available when and where it is needed in Nigeria. Life Bank saves lives by mobilizing blood donations, taking inventory of all blood available in the country, and delivering blood in the right condition to where it is needed.

Mark Zuckerberg in Lagos

Mark Zuckerberg in Lagos

After visiting CcHub Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said:

“This is my first trip to sub-Saharan Africa. I’ll be meeting with developers and entrepreneurs, and learning about the startup ecosystem in Nigeria. The energy here is amazing and I’m excited to learn as much as I can.

“The first place I got to visit was the Co-creation Hub Nigeria (CcHUB) in Yaba. I got to talk to kids at a summer coding camp and entrepreneurs who come to CcHub to build and launch their apps. I’m looking forward to meeting more people in Nigeria.”

Mark then went to Andela, an engineering organization that is building the next generation of technical leaders in Africa.

Andela is a business that recruits the most talented technologists in Africa and shapes them into world-class developers through a four-year technical leadership program. In the two years since it was founded, Andela has accepted just over 200 engineers from a pool of more than 40,000 applicants. Andela developers spend six months mastering a technical stack and contributing to open source projects before being placed with global technology companies as full-time, distributed teammates, working out of Andela headquarters in Lagos and Nairobi.

Earlier this year, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative invested in Andela after being impressed by the company’s innovative model of learning and its drive to connect the global technology ecosystem with the most talented developers in Africa.

Seni Sulyman, Director, Andela Lagos, said: “We are excited and honored to welcome Mark Zuckerberg to Lagos. His visit reinforces not only his support of Andela’s mission, but his belief that indeed the next generation of great technology leaders will come out of Lagos, Nigeria and cities across Africa. Andela has created a platform for passionate, driven software developers and engineers to break into the global tech ecosystem, but the barriers to entry are still very high. Mark’s visit demonstrates to all Nigerian developers and entrepreneurs that they’ve caught the attention of the tech world, and they are capable of succeeding on a truly global level.”

Mark Zuckerberg watching children displaying their expertise on Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg watching children displaying their expertise on Facebook

At the end of the day Zuckerberg stopped by an Express WiFi stand in Lagos owned by Rosemary Njoku. Facebook’s Express WiFi lets entrepreneurs like Rosemary set up a hot spot to help their community access apps and services built by local developers.

Published in Headliners


Self-acclaimed Lover Boy, Felix Lebarty, who shot into national prominence  in the 80s, with   his debut album  titled, “Lover Boy”, is  a living testimony of how not to live a life of celebrity. While he was the man of the moment, he fathered 17 children from different women. But since realizing his past mistakes after he embraced Christ and dumped his old lifestyle few years ago,  Lebarty is currently enjoying his marriage with the mother of his first-four children (two boys and two girls),  Rosemary. A remorseful Lebarty, in this engaging telephone conversation, recounts how his reckless lifestyle as a superstar destroyed his home as it instigated distrust between his wife and himself. He, however, warned his children not to follow his footsteps. Meanwhile, Rosemary, who spoke from London, confessed that despite the marital challenges they were having then, following the many women in his life, she still loved her husband and was ready to sustain her marriage.

‘Have I enjoyed my marriage?’

I would  say my marriage has been on and off for the past 17 years.  But  I started enjoying it recently when I started understanding what marriage stands for. For some of us, when we get married, we don’t understand the meaning of marriage and the kind of institution we are getting into. So, a lot of us go into marriage out of lust. But when you  now understand the spiritual value of marriage, it’s something that  is so beautiful. When you are involved in it, it means that you are complete as a man. Marriage is a beautiful thing to experience by everyone. God cannot bless you when you are not complete.

‘What happened in the 17 years of my marriage?’

During the first few years of my marriage, I was walking in the flesh. Perhaps,  I was not a reliable person. When you are walking in the flesh, you see your wife as a hindrance or somebody that has come to disturb your life.   You don’t actually like it. But by the time you begin to appreciate the spiritual value of marriage, you now begin to see  her as your better half. You will appreciate the fact that she has come to fulfill your destiny. But why I said we have been off and on is because when we got married, we started raising children immediately. And it was  myriad of  problems all through. Problems because of lack of trust, seeing her as one’s  slave, maltreating her because of the African setting. That was the ugly experience I had then. When I travelled with her to the United States, it  was a whole lot of problems and I left her for almost  five years. After five years, we came together  again and that was when we had our last child . Thereafter, we separated again for about four years before we finally reconciled now.  But this time, we had to do court marriage and, after that, I started  enjoying my marriage. Though she’s based abroad, I am enjoying every bit of it now. Marriage is not a bed of roses, but it’s something that you really need God’s guidance and direction to sustain.

‘When I was ruling the airwaves in the 80s’

Marriage to me then was like a hindrance. It was like a  burden to me. There was lack of understanding and  respect for one’s partner.  Though you are married, you are not faithful to your wife. That’s a dangerous practice  that can destroy any marriage, it’s spiritual blindness.

‘What has changed about me’

What has changed about me now is that I have the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.If you believe in the word of God there is no way, you will deviate from what the Lord is saying about marriage. So, at the end of the day, I understand that your wife is your missing ribs that you have regained. When you regain your missing  ribs, you become a complete man.

‘Was she my  first love?’

She’s the woman I started out with. But because of my misbehavior those days, she could not stand the pressure. She’s a very quiet person. I was always picking on her because I saw her as a thorn on my flesh. Fortunately, she’s not a violent person. That resulted in our separation several times. But when God called me, I started understanding the things of the spirit. And the Lord now opened my eyes to behold my wife. Among all the women that had children for me, the Lord told me that the one that had my first four children is my wife. That’s why I had to reconcile with her despite the odds.

‘Other women in my life’

I talk with them most of the time because of the children. I try as much as possible to make  them understand that we are living in this world not by our power or our might, but by the grace of God. Most of my children are in the university now. And I always advice them not to make the same mistake that I made during my time.

His old lifestyle was scary  — wife, Rosemary  

His first love

I am the very first woman in his life. We started dating very young. Along the line, we relocated to America and, suddenly, he started involving himself with different women. I couldn’t cope with the situation, so I walked out of the marriage several times and returned to him thereafter.

Off and on marriage

We have been off and on for almost 33 years now. But this last time, we are back together for good. Nothing can come between us again. He has found Christ, and I am in the Lord too. So, we are both Christians now, and we know better now than before. As you know, he’s  a pastor, and I don’t believe he would want to go back to his old lifestyle. For now, I believe it is for good. God has ordained us to be together. That’s why we have been off and on for almost 33 years. It has been a long journey for us.

Coping with too many women around him

I tried as much as I could, but the pressure was overwhelming. He’s the only man I have ever been involved with, and he’s the father of my four children. I didn’t marry another man. My children are all for him, and not for any other man. At a point, I couldn’t stand the pressure any more. God knows I did my best to sustain our relationship especially the first time. Apart from the women around him, other issues such as domestic violence contributed to our separation. I had to run for my dear life, but I later returned to him for the second time. Unfortunately, he went back to his old lifestyle and I walked out of the marriage again to look for a conducive environment where I could focus on my children and take good care of them.

‘We loved each other’

Despite the marital challenges we were facing then, we loved each other. I am the only woman in his life, whom he usually ran to when the chips were down. He would apologize to me, promising never to go back to his old lifestyle again. And on my own part, I really loved him but I vowed that I wouldn’t go through those marital challenges again. I believe in one man’s woman. I don’t believe in polygamy. I know that at the end of it all, he would still come back to me. I am his very first love. I was very young when I met him. In fact, the very first day he saw me, he confessed that his spirit ministered to him that I was going to be his wife. Despite everything, I must tell you that he loves me. I am glad that, at the end of it all, he found Christ . We are back together for good. And since it happened, we have been so wonderful. Sometimes, I begin to wonder if this is the real love that eluded me for years. I am prepared to give him my all now.

Published in Entertainment

Sen. Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment has called on unemployed Nigerians to register at the online job portal of the Social Intervention Scheme of the Federal Government.

In a statement issued by Mr Samuel Olowookere, the Deputy Director, Press in the ministry on Sunday in Abuja, the minister made the call over the weekend, while inaugurating the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) School-to-Work Programme in Calabar.

He said that it was imperative for all unemployed Nigerians to register at the online job portal in order to benefit from different categories of programmes which government was offering.

“You must register to benefit from the Social Intervention Scheme. Unfortunately, as we speak, by last week, the portal has only recorded about 1.2 million persons.

“We expect more persons to have been registered in the portal before our screening exercise; the registration on the portal is The portal closes Aug. 31, which is just few days away.

“For those who are not computer literate, we advise state governments to encourage them by using local government chairmen to move into local government areas to register the unemployed persons there.

“So that they can qualify to be considered for the scheme. Each state of the federation is expected to recruit about 1, 500 persons,’’ he said.

Ngige, however, said that the School-To-Work programme was a renewed vigour by the ministry to catch them young.

The minister said it was also a bold attempt to build a future Nigeria where white-collar jobs would be unattractive.

“We are building a generation of Nigerians where creative thinking, self-confidence and dignity of labour will challenge the prevailing unemployment scourge.

“We are building a generation of Nigerians who will not only create wealth with their hands, but are proud employers with skills from hands that God has given them, ‘’he added.

Ngige said that the programme which was a two-month vacation creative job learning scheme, was organised for students in JSS 1 to SSS 2 classes in order to provide them with early skills.

He added that this set of students would graduate to higher skills training during the next vacation, while others succeed them.

Published in Headliners

Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to deal with Niger Delta militants responsible for the destruction of the country’s petroleum infrastructure the same way he dealt with Boko Haram in the Northeast.

The Nigerian president stated this at a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, on the sidelines of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Nairobi.

According to a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, the president told the Japanese leader that “with the defeat of the Boko Haram terrorists by the military, attention of my administration is now focused on stopping the destruction of the country’s economic assets by militants in the Niger Delta’’.

He said that the militants must dialogue with the Federal government or be dealt with in the same way like Boko Haram.

“We are talking to some of their leaders; we will deal with them as we dealt with Boko Haram if they refuse to talk to us.

“As a government, we know our responsibility, which is to secure the environment.

“It is clear to us that lenders won’t fund projects in insecure environments.

“We realize that we have to secure the country before we can efficiently manage it,’’ Buhari said.

According to him, the security in the Gulf of Guinea, which is greatly affected by piracy and armed robbery at sea, is a priority for the Nigerian government.

“We have provided funds to our Navy to buy new platforms, train and effectively organize the personnel to protect the area.

“We are looking forward to support from developed nations for satellite surveillance covering the Gulf.’’

The President also reassured existing and prospective foreign investors that their investments in Nigeria were secured and would be fully protected.

The president outlined several steps taken by his administration to secure the country and ease of doing business in Nigeria.

Buhari recalled his audience with G7 leaders in Germany, and thanked Japan for responding positively to Nigeria’s requests for the rehabilitation of victims of Boko Haram and rebuilding of infrastructure in the North-East of the country.

He, however, stated that there was still more to do on education, health and other infrastructure to ensure quick and voluntary return of displaced persons to their communities.

On the United Nations Security Council reform, the president agreed to work with Japan for the reforms, stressing that the case for a permanent seat for Africa on the council was a moral one.

He also expressed Nigeria’s support for Japan in its bid for a UN resolution on the problems in East China and South China as well as the “uncontrolled nuclear tests by North Korea.’’

According to him, the UN system is sufficient for the resolutions of all disputes and no nation should be above the United Nations.

“This has to be made absolutely clear and I assure the prime minister that I will meet as many leaders as possible at the forthcoming UN General Assembly concerning the issues,’’ he added.

In his remarks, Abe congratulated Buhari “for courageously tackling Boko Haram terrorism”.

He said Nigeria and Japan must work together to improve the investment climate in view of the many Japanese companies wishing to invest in Nigeria.

Abe reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to rapid development in Nigeria through quality delivery of ongoing projects in the country, including Jebba hydro power scheme and the Lagos railway project.

Published in Business and Economy

A 28-year-old man, Ikechukwu Daniel, suspected to be a member of a notorious kidnapping gang terrorizing the South Western part of the country, has been arrested by operatives of the Inspector- General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, for allegedly masterminding the April 27, 2016, abduction of Senator Iyabo Anisulowo in Ogun State.

The 70-year-old senator, who represented Ogun West Senatorial District, between 2003 and 2007, was abducted alongside her security guard on her way home from her farm   along Igbogilad Road, in Yewa Local Government area of Ogun State. Senator Iyabo who was also a former Minister of State for Education, was released after 10 days in captivity following pressure by the police on relatives and friends of members of the kidnap gang who were mainly Fulani natives. Crime Guard gathered during the week that IRT operatives who were acting on a directive by the Acting IGP, Ibrahim Idris, arrested one Mohammed Babuga, who provided information that aided the operatives in trailing Daniel, popularly known as ‘Ike’,  to his hideout in Festac Area of Lagos State. He was subsequently apprehended while negotiating a N4m ransom from relatives of another victim in his gang’s custody. 

Sources at the IRT led by CSP Abba Kyari, disclosed that Daniel is an I-tech expert coaching Fulani kidnappers on the use the ICT in evading arrest. Daniel, who is a native of Imo State but was born and raised in Kaduna State, told Crime Guard during an interview in Lagos , that he and members of his gang were perfecting plans  to abduct billionaire  businessman, Femi Otedola, before he was arrested.  He narrated that they missed him once when he attended a function at Ibadan Oyo State, due to heavy presence of security operatives, but they decided to take a little time and prepare properly for the operation.

Expert in ransom negotiation

During his interview, Daniel confessed that he joined the kidnap gang in 2014, after he was released from Oyo State Prison.   He explained that he was arrested in 2012 for hijacking a petroleum tanker truck on the Lagos-Ibadan express way and during his stay in prison; he met one Mohammed Babuga, a Fulani who eventually led him into kidnapping. He added that he usually negotiated for the gang after the kidnap of their victims because of his expertise in ensuring that the ransoms are collected successfully. Dainel, further explained that after Senator Iyabo was kidnapped, he was the one who ensured that the woman’s life was spared as her family refused to pay ransom for her release.

No reformation in prison

His story: “I spent one year in prison and my case was later struck out from court over want of evidence.  When I returned, I could not go back to school.   I was born and bred in Kaduna State and I speak Hausa Language fluently.  While I was in prison, I made friend with Mohammed who is a Fulani, we were in the same cell.  After my one year in prison, I realized that prison wasn’t a place for reformation and I that inmates were arranging jobs from the prison.   Mohammed came out of prison before me, but when I came out, he told me that he had joined a kidnapping gang.

Kidnap operations out of prison

“ In 2014, I joined Mohammed’s gang and we kidnapped a man. I don’t know the man’s name and we kept him in a forest in Ilorin. We were paid N5million.   The second job was the kidnap of an Alhaji and  I did the negotiation in that case. We got N15million from the man’s family. I got N2million as my share; I bought a car with my share.  The third operation was in Kwara State and we kidnapped a man who identified himself as Akintola.  We received N3million as ransom from the family.  During the fourth operation, we kidnapped a man and N5million was paid as ransom.

How I saved Senator Iyabo’s life

“After that operation, my gang members kidnapped Senator Iyabo Anisulowo, but I wasn’t carried along.  I was in my house in Festac when I saw the news on the television and I called Mohammed to confirm the incident.   He told me that it was Maman and his   gang that carried out the job. They told me that they were expecting to get nothing less N50million. But, after the family of the senator refused to pay the money and there was police raid all over the place as most of Maman’s relatives and friends were arrested and, there were also police helicopters hovering all over the place, they called me threatening to kill the woman to serve as a deterrent to other would be victims.   I begged them for two days because they respect and listen to me.  Luckily for the woman, she was released and they all absconded.   That single effort I did saved the life of the Senator. If not, the Fulani boys would have hacked her to death.”

I would have kidnapped Otedola in November

Narrating how he and his gang had planned to kidnap oil magnet, Femi Otedola, Daniel said; “There was someone working with Otedola who brought the kidnapping job to us and the person told us that he was going to be in Ibadan. When we went, we saw that there was heavy security presence around him and I told my gang members that we must wait and plan very well before carrying out the operation. I told them that the first thing I would do to ensure the success of the operation was to do spiritual sacrifice to the gods and ensure that I defeat them spiritually before going for him.  You know a man like Otedola, is powerful spiritually.  Then, the next step was to ensure that we get army, DSS and police uniforms. I realized without impersonation, there was no way I would be able to go close to a man of such statute.  Our last plan was to ensure that we monitor his movements regularly through our contact which is that person close to him and we would strike on a day that he has very little security men around me.  I would have achieved all this by November and if we had succeeded, it was going to be my last job as I would have demanded N2billion and I was hopeful he will pay me nothing less than N500 million.”

I was always ahead of security operatives

Daniel also disclosed that he made sure that he was always two steps ahead of security operatives by ensuring that he was acquainted with strategies of the DSS and the police in tackling kidnapping and other violent crimes.  “I have a friend who is into hacking and he helped me hack into DSS and police websites and through that process, I normally monitor their new tracking methods. Before I was arrested, I knew the police were looking for me but I believed in my knowledge of Nigeria security apparatus. But it failed me. “

Accomplice, Mohammed speaks

When Crime Guard Interviewed his accomplice, Mohammed Babuga, 32, a native of Kebbi State,  who is married with two children ,  he confessed that he was first arrested in  2011  when he went for a robbery operation with Maman on the  Kaduna Road in Kwara State. “I used to take them to the scene and they paid me N156, 000 in three operations. During the third operation while taken them back to Ilroin, some vigilante men arrested us and took us to the police where we were charged to court and I was remanded in Prison. While in Prison, I met Ike, but when I left Prison, I joined a kidnap gang led by Boeyi and Bubah Bube and we kidnapped a Fulani man. We got N4million and I was given N700, 000. We did our second job at Rejob, a boundary between Kebbi State and Niger.  We collected N2million and I got N250, 000. After that operation, I left Kebbi and relocated to Oyo State because there were no good roads. Boeyi later called me and said he wanted to join me and he had gotten an Ak47 rifle and one Abubakar, a headsman also had a pump action gun.   We contributed money and bought a Honda Bullet.   Boeyi brought a job which was to kidnap a man, but before we went for the job,  Ike came and joined us and we did four jobs together before I was arrested. “

Published in Headliners
Friday, 26 August 2016 01:20

Soludo flays Buhari’s economic policies

President Muhammadu Buhari has not come to terms with the economic realities of the day, as he has failed to combat economic challenges confronting the nation. This was the assertion of the former Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Professor Charles Soludo, who said the President’s economic policies, since he took over last year, were still based on campaign promises.

Soludo spoke, Thursday, in Kaduna at the Progressive Governors Forum’s 4th Progressive Governance Lecture series with the theme Building the Economy of States: Challenges of Developing Inclusively-Sustainable Growth. According to him, the country was dealing with political, economic and social shocks. He said: “Nigeria is facing unprecedented and tremendous political and economical challenges with global and local dynamics. “Regardless of these challenges, opportunities and possibilities abound if we address some fundamental issues. The key to achieving this is to have a development plan that is anchored on realising inclusive and sustainable growth. “Inclusive and sustainable growth cannot be achieved without conscious efforts to deconstruct the dynasties of poverty and maximise states and Nigeria’s comparative and competitive advantage. “Nigeria is not secured and can be made politically sustainable through the de-strangulation of the hold of the Federal Government over states. “I, therefore, recommend the restructuring of the economy from consumption-driven to production-based and consistency in micro-economic policies.

“Encouraging fiscal federalism in ways that allow states to have greater control of their resources, evolution of a master plan for mass export-oriented industrialisation that answers the economic questions and realities of today. He called on “APC states to develop a peer review mechanism to track, measure and share knowledge, which will distinguish APC states from non-APC states.”


The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who was also in attendance, said: “One of the major problems is with our ability to do things. Nigeria is not a place where there is a shortage of ideas or shortage of intentions. The issue really is getting things done.” The Vice President said some of the problems may not be resolved within months or a few years, “but we are called upon at this time in history to make a difference. And I believe that the times call for creativity, innovation, but more importantly these times call for depending on each other and looking to each other for solution. “We cannot operate in silos; we must be able to look to each other for development. I think the solution lies in what is going on in several different states.”


Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, in his remarks, said: “Nigeria is facing an unprecedented economic crisis, most of it arising from circumstances of the present and of the past. “The worst job in Nigeria today is to be a state governor because we have to deal with inherited problems, which we have a duty to solve. We need a fundamental shift from the ways things were being done in the past.”

Published in Headliners

Some banks on Wednesday clarified their positions on the alleged suspension from the foreign exchange market transaction by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over alleged non-remittance of the NNPC dollar deposits.

The affected banks expressed their stance in statements and e-mails to customers on Wednesday in Lagos.

The banks include the FirstBank Ltd., Fidelity, Keystone and Heritage.

FirstBank in a statement, said that the referenced NNPC dollar accounts were fully disclosed to the CBN.

It said that accounts were being operated in line with the regulatory requirements.

The bank also said that tripartite documented discussions had been ongoing between the CBN, NNPC and the bank on the need for domestic retention of those balances.

It said that was as part of measures to ameliorate challenges posed by the lack of FX availability, and customers’ inability to source FX to fund their trade finance obligations to the bank.

The bank reassured all its stakeholders that the issue was not a function of concealment or willful non-compliance by the bank.

“We are confident in our ability to meet and honour all our obligations as at when due and are currently in talks with the CBN and other relevant bodies and are positive of an amicable resolution soonest,” said the bank.

Also, Fidelity Bank said it had repaid over 288 million dollars of those funds in line with the advised repayment schedule.

“We will like to clarify that these deposits were duly reported to the CBN by Fidelity Bank in line with the extant TSA requirements contrary to the erroneous view in certain media reports that the funds were concealed from the regulators.

“At the commencement of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in 2015, Fidelity bank advised NNPC and the regulators with a schedule of repayment for the NNPC/NLNG dividend dollar deposits.

“Please note that you can continue to operate your domiciliary account with Fidelity and this development will not affect your deposits/loans (local and foreign currency), remittances, transactional services and electronic banking services.

“Although the market condition remains quite challenging, we will continue to honour our obligations and operate with the highest level of corporate governance,’’ the bank said.

The bank said in the interim that it was engaging with the other eight banks involved, stakeholders and the regulators to resolve the issue quickly and ensure its return to the FX market.

Keystone Bank, also in a statement signed by the management, said it had engaged in efforts that were geared towards very timely resolution.

It said the bank understood the importance of sourcing foreign exchange for its customers’ needs to support economic growth.

The bank said that the development did not adversely affect customers’ existing transactions with it except that there would be constraints in establishing new letters of credit until the issue was resolved.

Meanwhile, Heritage Bank said that the CBN’s announcement of temporary suspension was a systemic challenge to the banking industry that cut across most banks.

It said that the bank would continue to treat forex transfer, remittance from domiciliary accounts, establishment of non-valid for FX form Ms and establishment of Letter of Credit (LoC) on the bank’s offshore lines.

On August 23, the CBN barred the banks from the foreign exchange market.

The banks were United Bank for Africa (UBA), 530 million dollars and First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), 469 million dollars.

Others are Diamond Bank Plc, 287 million dollars; Sterling Bank Plc, 269 million dollars; Sky Bank Plc, 221 million dollars; Fidelity Bank 209 million dollars; Keystone Bank, 139 million dollars; First City Monument Bank (FCMB), 125 million dollars and Heritage Bank, 85 million dollars.

Published in Business and Economy
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 22:13

Avoid the Jonathan error, Sanusi warns Buhari

The current Buhari-led administration may end like the Jonathan administration if it fails to retrace its footsteps, the Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi II, has warned.

Sanusi, who was the chairman, Special Session at the 15th Joint Planning Board and National Council on Development Planning, said if the Federal Government toed the way of the last administration, it would end up like it.

He said the economy created terrorism, following the government’s inability to create employment opportunities for the over 80 million youths in the country.

He lamented that the country had not been able to attract investments, saying that the example of Lagos State typified what Nigeria can achieve.

He warned those he described as “clamouring to break up the country because of oil” to stop the agitation, stressing that oil would soon become insignificant globally.

The emir said, “There is nothing we are facing today that we did not know would happen. We made mistakes, many of them deliberate. We ignored every single warning.

”We should not continue to blame the previous administration, as we have also made some mistakes in the current administration.

“We must retrace our steps; otherwise we may fall into the same trap we fell the last time when the government was always right.

“The bottom line is that if your policy is wrong, it is you that must change.”

Published in Headliners

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to arraign a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, for allegedly receiving N100m from the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation during the 2015 General Elections.

The N100m, which was given to Falae on the instruction of a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, was said to have emanated from the imprest account of the Office of the National Security Adviser in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

A document sighted by our correspondent indicated that the commission would charge the ex-SGF and one-time Minister of Finance with conspiracy to indirectly retain the sum of N100m “which he ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: stealing, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 15(3) and 4 of the same Act.”

Falae had, in a statement in February, admitted collecting the N100m, but said he did not know that the money emanated from the account of ONSA.

A detective at the anti-graft agency told The Punch that 78-year-old Falae had been frequenting the EFCC office in Lagos in the last couple of weeks.

“Chief Falae has been reporting to our office every week to answer questions on the N100m he received from the Jonathan campaign organisation. We have told him to refund the money.

“But he said he received the money through Anenih and it was meant for campaign. However, investigations revealed that he deposited N60m into SDP’s account while he kept N40m.

“We told him that he should return the N40m, but he has not been forthcoming. We have no other option but to charge him to court.”

The EFCC had alleged in March that about N3.145bn was mysteriously transferred from the account of ONSA to the account of  the Joint Trust Dimensions Limited, a company allegedly owned by the Director of Finance, Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman.

Usman was said to have transferred N840m to the account of the Director of Publicity of the organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, in Zenith Bank, Maitama branch, with account number, 1004735721, on February 19, 2015.

Falae, who is the National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, allegedly received N100m through a company, Marreco Limited, where he is chairman. The fund was credited into the company’s United Bank for Africa Plc account, 1000627022, on March 25, 2014.

According to the document, N320m was also paid into the bank account of the Goodluck Support Group, an association which played a major role in Jonathan’s campaign.

A former Governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa, and a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri, also got N350m in two tranches. The first tranche of N150m was paid into their joint account with Zenith Bank on January 13, 2015. The second tranche of N200m was credited into their account with Diamond Bank.

Usman and Fani-Kayode had been arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos and their accounts frozen, while Udenwa is expected to be arraigned this week.

The source at the EFCC told our correspondent that since all the others were facing prosecution, it would only be fair for Falae to be charged.

Published in Business and Economy
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 12:06

Patrick Iyamabo emerges as FirstBank new CFO


First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. on Tuesday announced the appointment of Mr Patrick Iyamabo as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

The bank said in a statement issued in Lagos that the appointment followed the elevation of the former CFO, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, to the position of Managing Director of the bank.

According to the bank, Iyamabo’s appointment, still subject to approval by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is consistent with FirstBank’s focus on corporate governance best practice.

It said the appointment was aimed at ensuring a balance of knowledge, judgment and experience at the highest decision-making level in the bank.

FirstBank said that its corporate governance focus had earned it much respect and recognition both locally and internationally.

Iyamabo, until his appointment, was the CFO of FCMB Group Plc, with oversight responsibility for accounting and finance.

He was also responsible for capital and liquidity management, mergers and acquisition, portfolio management and investor relations at FCMB.

Iyamabo started his career with Arthur Andersen, now KPMG Professional Services, as an auditor in the banking and finance practice.

He rose to the position of manager in the assurance and risk consulting practice before he left the country for further studies abroad.

In his comment on the appointment, the bank’s Managing Director, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, said Iyamabo possessed the qualities that would drive the bank’s focus.

Adeduntan while welcoming Iyamabo to the FirstBank Board, commented: “Patrick’s track record typifies our bank’s value system hinged on passion, partnership, innovation, creativity and dynamism.

“I am confident that he will help drive sustainable growth, development and value creation in FirstBank.”

Published in Headliners
Page 1 of 6


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