Category Archives: News

‘Buhari Has Done Very Well’ Senator Akpabio

The National Coordinator, Presidential Support Committee, Senator Godswill Akpabio has insisted that considering the achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari -led administration in office, Nigeria has no other better alternative than to give him another term.

Akpabio, who spoke with Journalists in Abuja, urged the South South people to reconsider their stand in planning to vote for the party that wants to sell the Nigeria National Petroleum Coporation(NNPC), and its other assets.

Atiku Abubakar, the PDP Presidential Candidate, has vowed to sell the NNPC, if voted into power, to break what he called ‘mafia’ in the corporation.

But Senator Akpabio said it will not be in the interest of the Niger Delta people for NNPC to be sold.

“Yes I believe Nigerians can compare the difference between apple and orange. The reality is that this president has done very well considering the fact that he was able to take Nigeria out of recession.

“He met ongoing projects on ground, such as the airports and the railways. He completed and put them to use. Nigerians are clamoring for change, better health care, better educational facilities and all those things cannot happen when you spend almost 80 percent of resources on recurring expenses like pension, salary arrears.

“So we must commend the President and of course, if you take a look at what is happening on the Lagos-Ibadan railway, you will be very impressed. Take a look at the Abuja-Kano railway, some people now travel with rail to the North.

“The power sector has improved from 2,500MW to 7000MW. So many things are visible and the enabling environment is there in terms of law and order. The fight against corruption has really been intensified and the good thing is that it has now become a deterrent to any public official that yes…, if you go out of your way to move your pocket forward instead of your country or state, you will be held accountable.

“We in the Niger Delta are very apprehensive. I don’t think that there is any person in the South South who will go and vote for PDP. Even some of them are trying to purchase votes because when you look at the major policy document of the PDP today, they are talking about selling the NNPC.

“What does the NNPC have? Is it the building? What NNPC controls is the oil of the Niger Delta, oil wells, oil fields and all those things come together with the land. I don’t see anybody from the South South or any Niger Deltan, who will agree that the same way we sold out Nigeria Airways and we became a laughing stock in the comity of states in Africa is the same way NNPC should be sold.

“Look at Kenya Airways, Ethopia Airline, Ghana Airline, South African Airways and Nigeria has no single plane now called its own. We sold out our Aluminium Smelter Company in Ikot Abasi, that provided thousands of jobs and today that place is totally bare with over 690MW of electricity.

“We sold out Oku Iboku Paper Mill in Akwa Ibom and our people are there jobless. That massive structure is a waste. All those things combined are things that frighten us when somebody talks about the sale of NNPC. The sale of NNPC on its own simply means that the Niger Deltans are going to be divested of not just their properties, not just the water that they fish in, but the fact that they will become tenants in their lands for the next 50 to 100 years. And people will come from outside, maybe friends of the government, and possess their land.

“The election also is between integrity and others. The President has shown that he can give what belongs to Niger Delta to Niger Delta. He is even refunding monies that were used during my tenure to repair Federal roads and what we use to call Paris Club refund.

“We tried everything under the PDP. We never had that money and I was a Governor and the FG was owing my state over 145 Billion on federal roads and the building of prisons and other things I had to intervene. I dualized federal roads, built airport and today, federal government is refunding those monies to the state.

“If you see a government that has shown sincerity, it simply means that we are now talking about a question of integrity and a question of postulation. We are postulating that if you bring in a government that will sell your father’s land, that will sell your oil wells and sell the waters that you use in fishing, then I can conclude that there is no alternative to President Buhari.”

‘Gov Yahaya Bello’s Aide Is Behind The Attack On My Supporters’ Kogi Senatorial Candidate, Victor Adoji

Supporters of Kogi East Senatorial candidate Victor Adoji are having it very tough ahead of the shifted general election.

Information filtering in has it that African Democratic Congress candidate’s supporters are being hounded out of town ahead of the Saturday, February 23, 2019 poll.

‘’They are being arrested and attacked under different facades’’ a source stated.

Details available alleged Edward Onoja, the Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello as masterminding the intimidation of Adoji’s supporters.

Senatorial candidate Adoji confirmed the information.

He disclosed that his supporters are currently moving out of town to avoid attacks and related intimidation tactics being deployed by the Governor’s Chief of Staff.

Governor Bello, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress had boasted to President Buhari that he would deliver Kogi state ‘’100%’’ to the President.

It is believed that Onoja is acting out a part of the script to help the Governor deliver on the promise with the hounding of Adoji’s supporters.

The election for the President, Senator and Federal House of Assembly Members hold on the same day.

Adoji had stirred up a whirlwind of support that has thrown up intimidating popularity ahead of the election.

The ADC’s Senatorial candidate’s formidable political presence had attracted the attention of the ruling party chieftains, especially Governor Yahaya.

ZENITH BANK’S IMPROVED PBT OF N232 BILLIONEXCITES SHAREHOLDERS, WITH DIVIDENDOFFER OF N2.80 PER SHARE

In a clear show of its resilience and strong market share, Zenith Bank has announced an impressive result for the year ended December 31, 2018 with profit before tax (PBT) rising to N232 billion for the 12 months ended December 31, 2018.

Also, in demonstration of its commitment to its shareholders, the bank has announced a proposed final dividend pay-out of N2.50 per share, bringing the total dividend to N2.80 per share, representing a yield of 11.2 per cent.

According to the bank’s audited financial results for the 2018 financial year released in Lagos on Tuesday, this represents an increase of 16.6 percent over the N199 billion recorded for the same period in 2017. It is the highest so far published by any bank in the Nigerian Banking Industry in the current reporting period. Also, the results showed that profit after tax (PAT) witnessed an impressive growth of 11 per cent year-on-year to N193 billion from N174 billion.

This record profit before tax (PBT) was achieved through the Group’s optimisation of its cost of funds, cost-to-income ratio and cost of risk, ensuring that earnings per share strengthened by 11% to ₦6.15.

Despite the challenging macro-environment, the Group mitigated the knock-on effects through growth of its net interest income and operating income by 15% and 8% respectively as it was able to ensure improved cost efficiencies across the business. This focus on cost efficiencies is yielding tangible benefits as the Group recorded its lowest ever cost-to-income ratio at 49.3% from 52.8% in 2017.

The bank’s balance sheet remains shockproof as loan to deposit ratio, liquidity ratio and capital adequacy ratio were 44.2%, 72.0% and 25.0% respectively and all above the regulatory threshold.

Our risk-centric approach also ensured that cost of risk reduced significantly by 79% from 4.3% in the prior year to 0.9% in 2018. This was reflected through the drop-off in impairment charges by 81% (₦80 billion) compared to 2017, re-affirming the Group’s enhanced asset quality. In the same breadth, coverage ratio increased by 34.2% from 143.4% to 192.4% over the same period, reflecting a prudent disposition to credit risk management. Cost of funds also moved in the positive direction, declining by 41% from 5.2% in 2017 to 3.1% for the year, supported by a 33% decrease in interest expense (₦72 billion) over the same period, demonstrating a robust treasury and liquidity management.

The Group’s efforts to deepen its roots in the retail segment have started yielding benefits. This has resulted in a remarkable increase in the volume of transactions across various electronic platforms as well as significant customer acquisitions. This growth in transactions on its digital channels continues to support its retail push as fees from e-products increased by 44% over 2017 with retail deposit balances also growing by 25%.

Consistent with this superlative performance and in recognition of its track record of excellent performance,the bank was recently ranked as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in 2018 by The Banker Magazine. In similar fashion, Zenith Bank was recognized as the Best Corporate Governance Bank in Nigeria by The World Finance for the sixth time just as Ethical Boardroom, a Europe based Boardroom watchdog reaffirmed this recognition by naming the bank as the Best Bank in Corporate Governance in 2018.Recognition has also come the way of the bank as it was recently named as the Best Institution in Sustainability Reporting in Africa 2018 (SERAS Awards) and the Bank of the Year 2018 (BusinessDay).

‘I Did Not Write Any Letter To The COS, My Enemies At Work’ -Akpabio

Former Senate Minority Leader and Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District, Senator Godswill Akpabio,CON, has described a letter making the rounds in the social media, entitled, “Gratitude for your marvelous support to Akwa Ibom APC”, purportedly written by him as fake.
Akpabio asked the general public to disregard the letter as it did not emanate from him.
In a statement, signed by Anietie Ekong, Special Assistant (Media) to
Senator Godswill Akpabio, said the letter was written by the Senator’s enemies as no time did he write such a letter.
The statement said: “My attention has been drawn to a forged letter purportedly written by him to the Chief of Staff to the President titled: “Gratitude for your marvelous support to Akwa Ibom APC” and making the rounds in the social media.
“We wish to state categorically that the letter never emanated from the Distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio. It is a poorly crafted piece of forgery and the figment of the imagination of the authors.
“A cursory look at the letter reveals the fakeness of the contents. For instance, the complimentary closing line reads, “Yours sincerely” and “Yours faithfully” in one letter!
“With an imminent defeat in the coming polls, we have always known that desperate politicians will be up to some tricks to gain some political mileage, but we never imagined they could go to the extent of committing forgery just to malign an opponent.
“Fortunately, the perpetrators are not ghosts. We have alerted security agencies to be on the look out for those who have either published or shared the sham document for an invitation to shed more light on its source.
“Once again, we wish to assure the teeming supporters of Senator Godswill Akpabio and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State and beyond to remain focused, steadfast and unshaken in their commitment to resoundingly vote for President Muhammadu Buhari and all candidates of the party in the coming elections.
“According to the immortal words of the great Spanish writer, Miguel de Cervantes, “truth will rise above falsehood as oil above water.”

‘We Can Have A Violence Free Election’ Papas Foundation Boss, Frank Okamigbo Advocates For The Youth

Frank Okamigbo, the CEO, Papas Group has joined his voice to the voices of the noble men and women of the great nation calling for a peaceful, free, fair and a violence free election.

Speaking with newsmen in his office, the UN Youth Ambassador for Peace expressed an immeasurable concern on how deep violence has eaten into the electoral process of this nation and youths being in the center of these violence breaks his heart more. He further said “We cannot all belong to the same political parties just as we cannot all come from the same families and it is very normal if we have different preferences of political candidates but we don’t have to kill ourselves”.

On the issues of youths participation in the electoral processes and being the tools for election violence he said, “Young people are the leaders of today and constitute a majority of voters in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. It will be very wrong to think of preventing them from participating in the election process but we must encourage and guide them to channel their raw energy towards significant and productive endeavors rather than ungodly activities. “it is a sad irony that young people who should have the most incentives to envision the long term and interest in the future are the mostly likely to be manipulated to sacrifices their own long term interests and sometimes their live for the sake of the older generation in power.” He then added.

Frank who is a successful businessman and a Master’s Degree holder in Philosophy from the University of Lagos advised the different political candidate contesting for electoral seats to allow the supremacy of development ideals, peace, love and unity be the focus and cease from endangering and destroying the bright and brilliant future of this great nation by reducing our youths to mere political thugs and tools of vendetta against their political opponents and enemies.

He then admonished the general public to go get their permanent voters card (PVC), come out on the day of the elections and vote wisely to save the future of our children, our youth and the future of our beloved nation, Nigeria.

Akwa Ibom Lawmaker Risks Disqualification Over Alleged Criminal Records

The member representing Uyo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Michael O. Enyong, (aka Baba Ntan) risks being disqualified from seeking re-election for failure to disclose his past criminal records and convictions in his affidavit filed in support of his personal particulars of persons seeking election to the office/membership of the House of Representatives.

Certified true copies of the case information from Fort Bend County, Texas, USA, shows Michael O. Enyong had pleaded guilty to a case of theft and accordingly sentenced. He failed to disclose this in INEC form sworn on oath. It is averred that Hon Michael Enyong had knowingly concealed the fact of his conviction from his constituents to circumvent the law which conviction occurred less than 10 years to the time he sought for and got elected into the Federal House of Representatives.

In Suit No: CV/1017/19 filed at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, his challenger Hon. Ekerete Ekpenyong is seeking the disqualification of Hon Enyong on the grounds of being an ex-convict and that he lied on oath having been sentenced in a criminal case of theft which he had been charged and pleaded guilty by a court in Ford Bend County, Texas, USA.

The Claimant is seeking a declaration that Hon Michael Enyong is not qualified to contest the 2019 election into the House of Representatives seat having circumvented the law by lying on oath and failing to disclose his past criminal records and convictions.

Hon Ekerete Ekpenyong is also seeking a declaration of the Court declaring vacant the Federal House of Representatives representing Uyo/Uruan/Nsit Atai/Ibesikpo Asutan Federal Constituency currently being occupied by Hon Michael Enyong and also an order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Hon Michael Enyong in 2015, and withdraw his candidature for the 2019 elections.

The claimant is also seeking an order of the court directing that Hon Michael Enyong immediately after delivery of judgment in the suit repay back to the coffers of the Federal Government of Nigeria all salaries and allowances he has received as a Member of the House of Representatives between 2015 – 2019.

Hon Michael Enyong was also alleged to have committed perjury by lying on oath about his age and academic qualifications. For instance, according to information he provided on his Form CF001 he gave his date of birth as 31 August 1969 in his affidavit sworn to at the High Court Registry, Abuja dated 15th August, 2018, when indeed, he was reportedly born on December 25, 1961.

The lawmaker also claimed that he has a PhD in Environmental Engineering from Warren National University without any record of having done a Masters Degree anywhere having acquired a Bachelor of Science degree, Second Class Hons) Lower Division in Applied Chemistry from the University of Uyo in 1999.

According to legal analysts, the case against Hon Michel Enyong is water tight and PDP in Uyo Federal Constituency may be without a candidate in the forth coming National Assembly elections if the Court upholds the arguments of the claimant to disqualify Hon Enyong on the grounds of being an ex-convict and that he lied on oath having been sentenced in a criminal case of theft which he had been charged and pleaded guilty by a court in Ford Bend County, Texas, USA. Additionally, the contradictions in his birth certificates and sworn affidavits and his questionable educational qualifications may further lead to his disqualification.

‘I Don’t Believe In Vote Buying’ -Oyo ADP House of Reps Candidate, Kunle Busari

Olakunle Busari ‘Goodu Goodu’ is the Action Democratic Party’s House of Representatives candidate in Ibadan North West/South West Federal constituency. The businessman, Chairman of Bopoy Investment Limited tells Ibrahim Salawu his plans, why he wants to go to the National Assembly and why he doesn’t believe in vote buying…

Joining the ADP, did you have any prior relationship with Otunba Alao Akala or did you just join the party because you feel that is where you can actualize your ambition?

I never thought I was going to ADP. I think my going to ADP was destiny because by that time I was totally fed up, in fact I was thinking I should quit politics, but some leaders in my local government tried to encourage me and they invited me to Otunba Adebayo Alao’s house and when I got there I met some good politicians that actually know me very well and they encouraged me. I met people like Dr. Alimi, Alhaji Adanla, Chief Wale Owu, Akeem Olatunji and many others, they encouraged me to stay in ADP. You know it is a new platform, people were just coming together, so, within two and three weeks everything just flowed naturally and it is something I cannot explain.

Why do you want to go the House of Representatives? What is your mission?

Going to the House of Representatives has always been my ambition from my days in the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria because I used to be the Public Relations Officer of IPMAN for Oyo and Osun States between year 2000 and 2004. During that period, I was privileged to attend a number of public hearings at the National Assembly, most especially everything that has to do with oil and gas and on every occasion, they found my contributions very worthy and I just felt this is a place for me, this is where we can change the rhetoric, this is where we can change so many things. I was coming from the point of view of an oil marketer because I know there are so many things in the oil industry that are wrong as we speak today.

So, my mission in that place will go a long way in improving the economy of the country, improving the oil and gas sector as well as improving the lives of the people of my constituency. There are lot of things I can offer, I have always kept my eyes on the ball, I have always kept my belief in going to the National Assembly first before venturing to any other executive position because I know that is a place I can call the shot, I know the wherewithal to actually make so many amends in our laws as related to oil and gas in Nigeria and the economy in general. So, since that time, my ambition has been to go to the National Assembly, therefore, I am thanking God that today I am a candidate of a strong political party and I pray to God that I will be able to get the nomination of my constituents. I am praying that I win this election so that I can prove a point that yes; I will be a representative that will not be too far away from his people and will be able to make the difference.

The incumbent in your constituency is running for the third time, what are the things he is doing that you feel you can do better?

I actually do not like to criticize my opponent. Obviously, he has done his best but I know in some areas I could do better in terms of lawmaking. It is important for you in life to be above board in terms of experience. I have been a graduate for over 30 years and apart from that I have been into many industries. I have been into construction, quantity surveying, oil and gas to the better part of the period and along the line I have worked with expatriates, I have worked with indigenous companies, I have worked as an entrepreneur, I have run a business for more than 20 years, the business has thrived, it has failed and it has come back again to life.

So, what I am trying to say is that I have a wealthy experience of life and I have always been in this country, it is not as if I am a resident of the United States of America and I want to come back to bring whatever I have learnt from the United States, no, I have been in this country all this while and I know where the shoe pinches. I know my experience from construction to quantity surveying to oil and gas will bring the needed change to the Nigeria’s economy. And apart from that, it is going to bring a lot of succor to the people of my constituency. That is where the difference lies; checking my antecedents you will see that I am a little bit better placed to represent the people of Ibadan South West/North West Federal constituency.

The ‘change’ mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari changed the game plan in the political arena in the2015 election, where it was believed the people were not well sensitized on the voting arrangements. What are you doing personally to ensure that the situation will not re-occur?

You and I know that the rhetoric has changed, in 2015 everybody said they did not want PDP again, it was a matter of Buhari or nobody. So, when people started voting they got carried away and the Buhari tsunami swept all other candidates. However, if you look at what is going on in the country today, my constituency for instance, I can say categorically that a lot of people will tell you that this elections in 2019 is not about political party; rather it is about the candidate, what everybody is looking for is a credible candidate to vote. You will be amazed that this time around in a constituency you will see people voting for the president in one party, a senator in a different party and honourable in another party. So, this time around there is not going to be a tsunami because people are aware now, everybody wants good representation, they want the people they can feel, they want the people they know to go and represent them. You can’t say you are in a big political party and you are not known to your constituents and you feel you will win election like you did in 2015; no, it can never happen again.

Political thuggery in Oyo State at the moment is taking a new dimension, what is your take on this?

It is very disturbing because yesterday the PDP had their rallies around Oke Ado area and my office is situated very close to where they were supposed to have their rallies and I wouldn’t know why all of a sudden we started hearing gun shots. I am an eyewitness; I didn’t know where the gunshots were coming from. Political parties have the right to campaign, they must have gotten the clearance from the police, the DSS and all other security agencies, they have a right to do their rallies, every political party is doing its rally, why must some people come and disrupt other peoples’ rallies? When you are driving round town and you are with convoy of branded vehicles you will be looking round because you are afraid that you could be attacked. This portends great danger to democracy and our politics, politics is not a do or die affair, canvass votes for yourself, tell people what you want to do for them, let your campaign be issue based, don’t attack personalities, you don’t need thugs because they are not going to vote on election day. I don’t know why people will resort to thuggery, it is very dangerous. I just hope the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of DSS and everyone concerned will do the needful to ensure we have peaceful elections in this country. This 2019 election is very important, it is important to the coexistence of this nation. If anybody believes he wants do or die and he must take power by force I hope it will not cause great havoc in the country.

I am appealing to all politicians, campaign to your people, teach them what they need to know and what you want to do for them, let them see in you that you have integrity, let them see in you that you mean what you are saying and so they will determine who they are going to vote for. I wonder what is going to happen on election days, I am just appealing to all our security agencies to buckle up. We keep hearing stories on different platforms of numbers of people killed, vehicles burnt during the campaign of a certain political party, this is not what we want, this is not 1983 for God’s sake, I am just appealing to everybody.

How much have you earmarked for vote-buying during the election?

I thank God because I have never been a public office holder, I’ve never had a chance to contest an election of this manner and again I have never been appointed to any public office, I wonder where I will get the fund or finance to buy votes. And to confirm to you, politics in Nigeria is very expensive, yes, all the money that I’ve been spending came from my friends, family, colleagues and associates, I have records, yes, I have a business but then the kind of money you get from business cannot carry the kind of expenses in politics. So, how much do I have to offer? I was in a place last week for campaign, I told them my programmes, some of them bought into my programmes, they applauded and at the end of the day some younger ones said that I should give them something and I said okay I don’t have much but I can buy you drinks and water. Another one said if I don’t have much then I should come and tar or grade their road and I wonder how or where I am going to get that kind of money to tar a whole street and I told them I don’t have the financial muscle to do that.

The other street I went , I spoke to one of their leaders, I asked him to canvass for me from the youths in the area that I want to come and talk to them, they told him that they don’t want to see me and if I am coming I should be ready to give each of them N 5000 if I want them to vote for me, I am not lying , I swear to God and I told them they should keep their votes, that if it is what God has ordained, nobody can change it. And I mean it, even I don’t have N1000 to buy a vote, you know the number of people that are registered in my constituency and I am sure if 50% of them come out on election day, you know how much it is going to be.

So, I am not buying votes and I want to discourage anybody from buying votes, you don’t need to buy votes if you know genuinely you have something you want to offer to the people and you have integrity. Canvass for votes, use your integrity, use your good name and let them vote for you, so that when they vote for you they will not say you have paid for the votes. I don’t have any money to buy votes.

Tell us about your background, where you were born and schools you attended?

I was born into the family of Chief S. G. M. Busari of Popoyemoja, Ile Baba Ijaye’s Compound over 50 years ago; I am number 19 and the last born of the family. I attended St. Luke’s Demonstration School, Molete as my primary school. I attended Community Grammar School, Elewura at Challenge, after which I preceded to the Polytechnic, Ibadan. I studied Quantity Surveying and graduated as the overall best student in my set. I am a Chattered Quantity Surveyor. I joined an Italian construction firm; which I joined from Katsina, where I served as a youth corp member. I joined Law Gas Oil Venture and Industries Limited. I left Law Gas and founded my own company, Bopoy Investment Limited. I am into construction and oil & gas. I am married with three children. I am a member of Action Democratic Party (ADP) and a candidate for the House of Representatives in Ibadan North West/South West Federal constituency.