Local News

Fayemi’s Second Coming, A Great Blessing to Ekiti People – Oba Adejuwon

The Onisan of Isan Ekiti and Chairman, Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM Oba Gabriel Ayodele Adejuwon, has described the second coming of Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi as a great blessing to the people of the state. 

Oba Adejuwon’s message was contained in a statement he personally signed in his Palace at Isan Ekiti, and released to journalists. He congratulated the Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi on the occasion of his third anniversary of his second term in office, praising him for all his beautiful accomplishments within the period.

While rejoicing with the Governor and the people of the state, Oba Adejuwon said Fayemi has placed Ekiti on the path of sustainable development through many of his laudable accomplishments within the last three years. He particularly praised the governor for the completion of the Ultra Modern Ekiti Civic Center and the successful hosting of the Ekiti Fountain Summit, which he simply described as outstanding. 

With specific reference to the accolades passed on Governor Fayemi by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and some Governors in Ado-Ekiti during the convocation of the Fountain Summit, Oba Adejuwon submitted that Ekiti had gotten it right at this point, in terms of good governance, and that what is needed at this point is the sustainability of all the good legacies of the governor into the future.

“I want to specially congratulate our amiable and hardworking Governor on behalf of myself and the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers,
for his giant strides in office within the last three years. Without any doubt, and with the gail of projects commissioned over the last two weeks across the state, I can attest to the fact that Ekiti has gotten it very right at this time.”

“It is no doubt an undeniable fact that Governor Kayode Fayemi is a man of his words, and he is doing everything at his disposal despite many challenges to place the state on the map of self sufficiency in terms of the economy and food production.”

“Mr Governor is not only attracting more foreign investors into the state but he is also evolving policies that would guarantee a sustainable economy through an improved and impressive Internally Generated Revenue, mass food production and jobs creation.  All that remains is for all of us to join hands with the Governor to finish well and good in all his promises to the people of the state.”

Oba Adejuwon however prayed that God will grant the state a good and committed successor who would continue the good work that the Governor has started. “He will finish well and good.”

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Ekiti 2022: “No position deserves anybody’s blood”-Fayemi to Governorship aspirants

Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has warned against violence during the governorship election expected to hold in the state in July 2022.

Speaking on Friday while delivering the State of the State Address at the hallowed chambers of the State House of Assembly as part of activities marking the third anniversary of his administration, Fayemi said he was satisfied that things are getting better in the state.

The Governor used the opportunity of the session, which was attended by top government functionaries, members of the State Executive Council and the State Assembly as well as traditional rulers, to appeal for peace ahead of the 2022 governorship election of his successor in office, stressing that “no position is worth the blood of anybody.”

The Ekiti helmsman also counselled politicians aspiring for the Office of the Governor in the run-up to next year’s polls to avoid politics of bitterness and be conscious of the fact that “God is the only one that can choose a leader.”

He said, “The temptation is to see a government in its final year as a lame-duck government. Let me assure that this government is determined to work for the people to the very last day of our mandate. The job is not yet done, even if a lot has been achieved. I enjoin you all to keep supporting us, the journey of the 4th year has just begun with the rendering of the account of stewardship of the 3rd year.

“The next one year will be used to complete everything we started three years ago. You will recall that I assured you that there would be no abandoned projects. God has helped us to keep and fulfil this promise so far, but there are still many rivers of development to cross.

“I am using this opportunity to reiterate to you Ekiti-Kete, that there will be no unfinished project under my watch. I know this is a huge task considering the ongoing massive projects across the state, nonetheless, we are determined to finish well! The fourth-year is also a year of elections, in which my successor in office will be elected.

“I urge you all to play by the rules and avoid politics of bitterness. No position is worth the blood of anybody. I therefore implore aspiring Governors to be conscious of the fact that God is the only one that can choose a leader. Therefore, we should put God first in whatever we do. May the wish of God prevail in our dear State and nation.”

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Business

Osinbajo, Finance Minister, Aig-Imoukhuede Launch EnterpriseNGR

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday joined hands some eminent Nigerians to launch the EnterpriseNGR, a professional and financial service advocacy group that he described as a game changer in Nigeria’s quest for economic development.

Osinbajo said the launch of the initiative would position Nigeria as the premier financial centre of Africa in the same way The CityUK transformed London to become the nerve centre of global financial service.

He said: “Today (yesterday) may pass quietly like other days but its significance in the years to come is bound to be huge. The reason is that we are formerly establishing the united and powerful voice of the Nigerian business and professional community the EnterpriseNGR, a professional policy advocacy group with the overarching vision to be a leading voice and champion for the development and transformation of the Nigeria economy and the mission to advance Nigeria’s transformation as Africa’s premier financial service centre.

“There is no doubt that the Enterprise Nigeria is a game changer when the informed Nigerian professionals and business community speak with one voice to issues of domestic or international business policy.

“On behalf of Mr. President and the federal government I will like to commend the initiators for their farsightedness in establishing the EnterpriseNGR, the first in the African region. It is our hope and prayer that the EnterpriseNGR will achieve its transformative objectives.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, described the establishment of the EnterprseNGR as a testimony of coming of age of Nigeria’s financial industry and its realisation of the critical role of the private sector could play in ensuring a thriving economy.

She said: “I congratulate and salute the efforts of the founding members of this nobel organisation. I am confident that the EnterpriseNGR will go a long way to improve the business terrain in Nigeria. I hope that your work will aid the acceleration of the economic development of our country.”

The Founding Chairman of the EnterpriseNGR, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, said the non-profit advocacy group was established to collaborate with the public sector in championing the advancement of the Nigerian financial service sector.

Aig-Imoukhuede said: “We believe that the private sector and the government must work hand in hand to ensure that our nation takes off and reaches its full potentials. That is what Enterprise NGR is all about.”

He said the story of the EnterpriseNGR dated back to his years as the council president of the NSE when the council was introduced to The CityUK, a private sector advocacy organization that is renowned for its role as the key driver of the London’s current position as the global financial services power house.

“We were convinced then that Nigeria could achieve similar successes driven by Nigerian equivalent of The CityUK. We need to build a powerful coalition of financial services players who will work hand in hand with policy makers and regulators to transform Nigeria’s financial system.

“Similar to The CityUK, we aimed to engineer win-win positive results, such as GDP expansion, increased employment and of course national growth.

“We have lofty ambitions but we are confident that with right partners we can make this ambition a reality. I welcome you to a new era of opportunities to Nigeria’s financial services sector,” he said.

The Chairman and Managing Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners, Mr. Bayo Ogunlesi, charged the EnterpriseNGR to advocate for the emergence of strong financial system in Nigeria that could attract and match users and providers of capital.

Ogunlesi said: “Nigeria will never achieve its full potentials unless it raises a very strong financial system. It has to make it clear to the world that it is open to business. What the EnterpriseNGR will do is to be a powerful voice that makes sure that the country continues moving in the right direction.”

The CEO of the EnterpriseNGR, Ms. Obi Ibekwe, said it would require a strong strategic collaboration between the private and the public sectors for effective change that would help Nigeria to take its place in the world stage to occur.

Ibekwe added: “This is precisely the vision that informed the establishment of the EnterpriseNGR. Every country that has achieved economic development was powered by a strong financial system.

“Our goal is to promote a favourable environment where business sector advocate are able to effectively engage with policy makers by working closely with government authorities and other key stakeholders.”

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Politics

Presidency: PANDEF Advises North to Wait till 2031

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has advised politicians from the Northern part of the country seeking to contest for Nigeria’s presidency to wait till 2031, for the sake of national harmony and peace.

The forum in a statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ken Robinson, while agreeing that everyone has the right to take part in the governance of the country, stressed that it was equally fundamental to uphold the indispensable principles of fairness, equity, and justice for overall peace and progress.

It was also of the view that the federal character principle, now allegedly being brazenly infringed upon by the Buhari’s administration, was introduced to address the challenge of disproportionate and ethnicity-based domination of the country, by ensuring that the composition of every government, all over the federation, reflects all its different parts.

PANDEF described those saying that zoning was unconstitutional as barefaced mischief-makers, insisting that the north would have completed the statutory eight years by 2023. Therefore, it stressed that it would only be reasonable that power should rotate to the south, as has been the case for 22 years of the third republic.

The group averred that it should therefore be unthinkable that the north should contemplate clutching onto the presidential seat, in 2023, at the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s two tenures of eight years.

The statement reads: “We consider declarations, by some individuals and groups, now, suddenly opposing the extant practice of rotational zoning of political offices, particularly that of the Presidency, as unpatriotic and self-serving.

“Given the multi-faceted heterogeneity of our country, Nigerians should be critically concerned, not only about the credibility and competence of those aspiring to occupy the highest office, but also, where they come.

“We must conscientiously ensure that zoning, especially for the office of president and governors is very well maintained. Besides, PANDEF firmly affirms that no zone of the country is in want of men and women of noble character, acumen, competence, and integrity, to lead Nigeria at this crucial time.

“To say, suddenly, only in 2021, that the presidency should be open to all zones in 2023, amounts to moving the goalpost, in the 87th of a 90-minute game, implying that somebody from Daura, Katsina State, can, again, become President of Nigeria in 2023, within the present mood of the country.

“PANDEF says a ‘big no’ to such an attempt to worsen the current bare threads of national cohesion, unity and all-around prosperity. Section 134 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that: A candidate for an election to the office of president shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being more than two candidates for the election; (a) he has the highest number of votes cast at the election; and (b) he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the states in the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“The framers of the constitution incorporated the cited and related provisions to check sectional preponderancy, and guarantee balanced spread, above all, a secure sense of inclusiveness, in the political governance of the country.

“The need for equitable sharing of political power in Nigeria, cannot be overstated. The basis for success in any viable democracy, especially in a diverse and complex country like Nigeria, is fair and even sharing of critical offices northerners who hunger to become president should wait till 2031.

“Political stakeholders need to demonstrate pristine, honourable, and patriotic etiquette of civility to whittle down the thick tensions, arising from the all-around dissensions and alleviate the pain, suffering and unpleasant conditions that the vast majority of citizens are facing.

“Reckless political machinations, to arrogate power to one part of the country will only worsen the ensuing debilitating state of affairs.”

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Politics

Ekiti Fountain Summit 2021: VP Osinbajo urges creativity by states on revenue generation

The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday charged the 36 states to think like sovereign states in the area of internally generated revenue to be able to survive.

Osinbajo appealed to the 36 state governors to start investing in areas where their states had comparative advantages to shore up their IGR with a view to stop their reliance on federal allocations.

He spoke in Ado Ekiti during the Fountain Summit 2021 (Economic Development and Investment Summit) with the theme, ‘Investment Attractiveness and Economic Development: Lessons for Sub-nationals,’ shortly after he inaugurated the Ekiti State Civic Center, Ado Ekiti, as part of activities for the three years anniversary of the Dr Kayode Fayemi administration.

The summit was attended by dignitaries, including governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Godwin Obaseki (Benin), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) represented by his deputy, Lucky Ayedatiwa; Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi; and the Chairman, Ekiti State Council of Obas, Oba Ayodele Adejuwon.

The vice president said, “There has to be a collective change of mindset. There is the need for the sub-national to think like a sovereign state.

“The question the policy makers should ask is what if we were a landlocked nation, how are we going to survive? There is a different mindset when you are sure of monthly allocation of cash at least enough to pay salaries. This is a challenge.”

He charged the governors to strive “to take responsibility for all of those who reside within your borders, pay all the salaries from only the IGR. Sometimes, a shock is what you need like what happened in Lagos.

Osinbajo pointed out that Lagos State was compelled to think like a sovereign state when former President Olusegun Obasanjo withheld its allocations, saying the state reengineered its tax office and Land Registry, with the result that “from IGR of N600m in 1999, 2000, Lagos today does about N45bn a month and is targeting N60bn.”

Fayemi said that the summit was targeted at putting the state on the path of sustainable economic growth.

While calling for review of the constitutional framework on security, the Nigerian Governor’s Forum chairman said, “We need multi-level police arrangement which includes state police. With that position, the governors are not proposing abrogation of central police.”

Suggesting how Ekiti could transform its IGR and break the challenge of sole reliance on federal allocation, Lagos State Governor, Sanwo-Olu, advised Ekiti to digitalise its revenue collection process and give staff in the state Internal Revenue Service incentives to do their jobs without perpetrating corruption.

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Politics

Breaking: Ayu Emerges Consensus PDP Chairmanship Candidate

Former Senate President, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, has been picked as the consensus national chairmanship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party by the party’s stakeholders in the North.

It was learnt Thursday that two other contenders from the North, where the position has been zoned to – former governor of Katsina state, Ibrahim Shema, and the incumbent deputy national chairman (North), Senator Nazif Suleiman – stepped down for Ayu.

At a press briefing on Thursday in Abuja, the Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, confirmed that Ayu was unanimously picked as the candidate for the office of the National Chairman by the Northern Caucus of the party.

Ayu had earlier emerged the consensus national chairmanship candidate for the North Central zone after other contenders from the zone withdrew from the race early this week.

The office of the PDP national chairman, currently occupied by the South, has been zoned to the North ahead of the next general election.

The party’s national convention holds in Abuja October 31.

Details later…

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Politics

Anambra poll: Supreme Court affirms Soludo as APGA’s gov candidate

There was jubilation on Thursday when the Supreme Court in Abuja cleared a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo as the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance in the Anambra State governorship election scheduled for November 6.

The apex court also returned Chief Victor Oye as the National Chairman of APGA.

The apex court in a judgment of a five-man panel of justices dismissed the appeal filed by one Jude Okeke was dismissed on the ground of being an abuse of the court process.

Justice Mary Peter Odili, who delivered the lead judgment, awarded a sum of N1 million to be paid by Jude Okeke to APGA and Victor Oye.

She also upheld the judgment of the Court of Appeal (Kano Division), which had earlier dismissed Okeke’s suit.

Details later…

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Politics

Moghalu announces six-party planned merger, hails e-transmission of results

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, seven political parties have indicated interest to collapse their structures in order to form a mega party.

A former presidential candidate in the 2019 elections, Prof Kingsley Moghalu, dropped the hint when he hosted the candidate of the African Democratic Party, in the Anambra State governorship election scheduled for November 6, Nzeh Akachukwu.

Moghalu, who was also a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said the sudden U-turn by the Senate on the electronic transmission of results, was a positive signal that the 2023 general elections would be transparent.

He said, “I believe that in the 2023 elections, the citizens of Nigeria should not allow it to be a contest between two sides of the same coin because there is no difference.

“It should be a battle between the old and the new – between the old Nigerian and the possibilities for a new Nigeria. That is what 2023 should be.

“I am calling on the young people of this country, the youths, to register, vote and colonize the future that rightfully belongs to them.

“Speaking about 2023, I am very pleased with the news coming out of the National Assembly that the Senate has caved in to the pressure of Nigerian people and has decided to allow INEC to conduct elections as it sees fit, which means the inclusion of electronic transmission of results.

“This is a massive victory for democracy and I believe that it shows what I have been saying that we cannot all go and sit down and become part of a surrendered brigade.

Speaking on the security situation in Anambra State, he said, “I am extremely concerned about the insecurity in the South-East.

 “The primary thing is the security of lives and property. I believe that whatever the government needs to do, that is reasonable to do, I would welcome it.”

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Politics

2,525,471 to vote in Anambra Guber election, says INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said that a total of 2,525,471 people cut across the 5,720 polling units, 326 political wards, and 21 Local Government Areas of the state are eligible to vote during the forthcoming governorship election.

The Director, Voter Registry of the commission in the state, Iro Gambo, gave the hint recently in Awka, the state capital, during the official presentation of register of voters for the election to political parties.

Gambo said a total of 77,475 people registered during the 2021 Continuous Voters Registration Exercise (CVR), adding that the 2021 figure represents 3.16 per cent increase in the 2019 figure of  2,447, 996.

“The Commission resumed the conduct of Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) nationwide on the 26th June, 2021, with online pre-registration. Physical in-person commenced on 26th July, 2021, and the exercise was further devolved to Registration Area (RA) levels in Anambra State, from 30th August to 5th September, 2021.

“The data for those who completed the online registration and physical in-person registration at the state, LGA and RA levels was consolidated. This data was processed using de-duplication via the ABIS and application of business rules. The final data was merged with the Register of voters that was published and used for the 2019 General Elections,” he said.

According to him, female voters are 1,272,293, representing 50.38 per cent while 1,253,178 represent 49.62 percent of the total figure. In terms of age distribution of voters, he said middle age group has the highest  with 898,679 representing 34.96 of the total voters; while the aged group (70+) has the lowest figure of 205,052) representing 8.12 per cent of the total voters.

In terms of geographical spread, he said a total of 885,274 representing 35.1 percent of the figure registered in Anambra Central District; a total of 845,994 representing 33.5 percent in Anambra North, while a total of 794,203 representing 31.4 percent registered in Anambra South Senatorial District.

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Politics

Senate probes Budget Office over N19bn payment without approval

The Senate on Tuesday commenced investigation into alleged illegal payment of N19bn to four federal agencies, by the Budget Office.

Officials of the Budget Office did not appear before the Senate Public Accounts Committee.

SPAC, relying on the 2016 report of the Auditor General for the Federation, alleged that the N19bn was paid to four agencies through verbal directive by the Director General of the Budget Office in 2015.

The Chairman of the Senate panel, Matthew Urhoghide, explained that the Budget Office was supposed to be number one on the list of the agencies expected to respond to the Auditor General’s query, but failed to appear on Tuesday.

However, the Budget Office, in a written response to the query of the auditor-general, said, “The details of the MDAs under reference have not been provided to enable us to respond appropriately.”

The AuGF in the 2016 report said, “Four MDAs were paid the sum of N19bn from the service wide vote without the approval of the Honorable Minister of Finance.

“Some of the payment were made on a purported verbal directive from the director-general.

“This act is against Financial Regulations 301 and 302 which states that ‘recurrent expenditure is paid from CRF and no expenditure may be incurred except on the authority of a warrant issued by the Minister of Finance’.”

It added that the director-general should provide evidence of approval from the Ministry of Finance for the expenditures or recover N19bn from benefiting MDAs.

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