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A plot may be afoot to damage Nigeria’s interests by attacking the integrity of certain institutions of government to discredit them for yet unknown reasons.

A recent report by the BBC Africa Eye on the pipeline explosion that occurred in Sabo, a Lagos suburb, on March 15, 2020 appear to fit a pattern of media blackmail of critical government institutions, especially the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

The report said the BBC Africa Eye had obtained new evidence which contradicted NNPC’s official explanation on the cause of the explosion which claimed 23 lives.

NNPC had claimed at the time that the explosion occurred as a result of a truck that hit gas cylinders around the petroleum pipeline, where people had turned into a residential and commercial area contrary to regulations and in blatant disregard for the pipelines right of way.

But the media house said its evidence – a five-minute video and three sources (said to be experts in petroleum pipeline safety) – showed that there was a leak of “vaporized liquid” from the point of explosion on the pipeline.

The media house then said the evidence indicated that there was inadequate protection of the pipeline from soil erosion and that the NNPC failed to maintain industry standard.

The BBC Africa Eye, in the tradition of true journalism, sent a questionnaire to the NNPC requesting for the Corporations response to the allegations, including claim that victims of the explosion were not compensated.

But the medium breached all rules of balance and objectivity when it published the report of its investigations without reflecting the position of NNPC to all the allegations raised.

The media house portrayed the report as premeditated when it sent it out to some local media in Nigeria, including this website, with a plea to help republish.   

But the NNPC response to the BBC Africa Eye questionnaire, dated August 28,  obtained by this website, contained details of its own investigations and conclusions which were ignored.

The Corporation responded to all the five allegations put to it in details, insisting on its initial explanation that the explosion was caused when a truck heavily laden with stones hit gas cylinders around the pipeline..

In a detailed response addressed to Marc Perkins, editor of the BBC Africa Eye, the Corporation insisted that a truck, heavily laden with stones,  was in the vicinity of the explosion, which clearly “indicated that it was instrumental to the explosion. A close look at the area would show that most of the people carrying out their businesses there were in breach of the Corporation’s Pipeline Right of Way which is 15 meters on either side of the pipeline.”

The NNPC stated further that residents of the area engaged in LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) vending, saw-milling, cement trading, auto repair, cooking, roasting  and  other activities inimical to a pipeline right of way.

“The eye-witness reports we got indicated that the explosion occurred when the above-mentioned truck hit cylinders at the LPG shop,” the document stated.

On the claim that there was a leakage on the pipeline which released vaporized liquid that caused the explosion, the Corporation stated that there was no leakage of PMS or any other vaporized liquid from its pipeline at the point of the explosion prior to the incident.

Instead, it said, “At about the time of the explosion (0852hrs to 08S7hrs), a pressure drop from 42 to 8 bar was observed during our pumping operations and the pipeline was immediately shutdown. Any leakage prior to the incident would have resulted in a drop in pressure. But that was not the case.

“It must also be noted that both Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) are petroleum products that essentially burn the same way. Since there was an LPG vending shop at the location, it is more likely that the incident was caused by LPG explosion. The incident was typical of gas explosion.”

But curiously, a report on the explosion circulated in the local media by BBC Africa Eye made little or no reference to the official response of the Corporation, but instead repeated claims made by its sources which were at variance with the official explanations it requested from NNPC.

Its only reference to Nigeria’s official explanation was to its third and fifth allegations that the pipelines were not well protected and that the Corporation did not pay compensation to victims of the explosion.

But even the NNPC’s responses to the allegations were largely ignored, and got only a passing mention.

The Corporation had described claims of inadequate protection of the pipeline against erosion as incorrect, and that the pipeline was not exposed at the vicinity of the explosion, but that “the pipeline was excavated to enable repair works after the incidence and the area has since been restored and the pipeline re-commissioned for operations.”

According to the document, the Corporation insisted that its pipelines were designed “operated and maintained in strict compliance with the safely and regulatory guidelines of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and API/ANSI/ASME standards,” maintaining there was no issue of negligence in terms of ensuring the integrity of the pipeline.

In conclusion, the Corporation stressed that despite the fact that the explosion was not caused by any  negligence on its part, it still worked “closely with the Lagos State Government in  providing a  N2billion relief  fund for the  victims,” contrary to the allegation made by the media house.

 

Wednesday, 23 September 2020 00:00

Why I’m Advocating For Senior Citizens -Felix Amadi

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The Chairman of Crown Insurance Brokers, Chief Felix Ohiri Amadi has enjoyed a successful career spanning over three decades in the insurance sector of the economy, having worked closely in chatting lasting solutions towards pension management, he knew exactly what the senior citizens go through after their active service years in accessing their pension benefits, the challenges of retirement age and reasons why people fail to plan for their old age.  In his new book, Retirement in Nigeria, Amadi sought to highlight the need to build a robust retirement sector, where professionals would be trained on the intricacies of managing and caring for the aged.  He recently engaged the media on why he embarked on the project, “Retirement in Nigeria”, his insurance career, amongst other sundry issues.   Enjoy the excerpt

How has it been with Crown Insurance Company during this time of the pandemic?

Crown Insurance Brokers Limited is a company that has been in existence for over three decades.  We have had very good times and difficult times such as this season and it has caused us to scale down our operations at the moment in other to cope effectively during this challenging period.

How well has Crown Insurance been able to fair in the insurance sector of Nigeria since its birth?

There is no Federal Government Institution that Crown Insurance hasn’t managed either full or in parts from MPC, MPA, Police, Custom, DSS and much more.  We have been part of their management over time and we have also managed some private institutions like Shipping companies, Oil and Gas companies, too numerous to mention.  So, Crown Insurance Brokers Limited can be taken as one of the elite insurance companies in Nigeria.  Our records are intact and the reference about us can be obtained from the Nigeria Corporation of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB).

With all the successes you’ve enumerated, it shows you’ve done well in the sector; what defines a good insurance company?

Insurance is a major aspect of risk management, whether it affects an individual or organization. Every insurance organization that cannot define the risk of an individual or the organization in a long term may not succeed because risk, if not properly managed to a long term can lead to a major hazard for either the individual or organization involved.  Anybody that is managing another person’s risk and fails to define it well cannot have a lasting relationship and if an organization can’t keep a relationship then it will fail when its backups disengage.  For the insurance companies that have succeeded, it means they’ve been able to define their client’s risks in a long term and have followed the procedures religiously.

What are the challenges of running an insurance company in Nigeria?

The challenges here aren’t different from the challenges of most other organizations.  Economy is looking south and it’s been like this for some time that makes every organization that wants to remain in place to indulge in difficult management.  Insurance as an area of endeavor is not considered most of the time as important as health and stomach care, so issues of risk management is put after the Medicare which is basic because people cannot combine them, even when they are aware they need it, the basics comes first. Historically, insurance in Nigeria hasn’t enjoyed deep penetration even with our efforts to create awareness and cause people to accept it.

What is the high point of your career as an insurance broker?

Well, over the years I have managed many public and private accounts and I have managed them veritably, it is difficult for me to single out one as the high point.  When I was called by the Federal Ministry of Defense to review Military Pension as it was in serious crises; a lot of destitute were hanging round Ikoyi, claiming they were ex-soldiers who were waiting for their benefits so T. Y. Damjuma and Mrs. Delaja felt there was need to look critically into the reason the soldiers who claimed to be retirees were not being paid.  That was where I was called to improve the management of retired soldiers in Nigeria.  In 2015, Crown instituted what may have become the biggest Group Life Insurance Scheme other than the Omnibus scheme that is managed by the Head of Service in the Department of Security Services (DSS).  That scheme has the signature Crown Insurance and it is one of the finest insurance schemes running now in the country.  There are much more achievements to count regarding my high points in service. 

If you weren’t an insurance broker what other business or career would you have ventured into?

I would have loved to retire as a professor; I would have functioned well as an intellectual.  When I graduated from the University of Lagos, Akoka at the age of 23 the University enlisted me for post graduate studies in Colombian University, somehow I preferred going to work in other to support my younger ones, that was how I diverted my career in the world of academics.  Before I decided to quite my dreams, I had calculated that at the age of 27 I would’ve gained my PH.D and if I kept working hard as I did at that time, I foresaw myself as a Professor at the age of 35/36 but all that didn’t happen because I diverted from it.

Some time ago you had a stint in politics, what was your intention when you delve into it then and currently are you still nursing political ambitions?

My sojourn in politics is still work in progress.  When you see some people in the corridor of power in Nigeria, you’ll feel that they don’t have the indebt of love that is required from the leaders in a nation. Unlike some serious minded professionals that have attempted politics who go there to assist because they’ve seen some loopholes they think they can fill-in in order to move the country to a better place that was the motive that made me become a politician.  I joined a political party, I was an active member of the party and secured a ticket to run for the senatorial seat of Imo East where I come from; I didn’t win but everybody says I made a very huge impact.  You know that once you attempt a political position in Nigeria you are likely to sacrifice a lot of your personal savings so it’s not that I have quit politics but I am waiting to see my like minds come together to form a critical movement so that the country can be safe.  If you are a reasonable human being in Nigerian politics and you have to go against fifty rascals out there, you cannot maneuver them; they’ll deal with you and make you seem useless. Our prayer is that more mature minds, more professionals and more of the ones that has the good of the country at heart should come up and work together to make this country a better place. 

As 2023 approaches, do you have any intention of coming out for an elective position and are you one of the people clamoring for Igbo presidency?

I have no such plans now and it is too early for one to come out and start telling what will happen in three years’ time.  Instead of clamoring for either Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba president pray that only a person suitable for the position will come and let’s advice those in government starting from the local government that politics isn’t about getting rich in government and gaining firm and power.  Let them understand that politics is about governing the people with good will. All the people that think about how to win the next elections at all costs are the traditional politicians who have nothing to offer and I am not one of them. 

Talking about groups like minds and professionals, few months ago, Pat Utomi, Olisa Agbakoba and others came together to form a coalition for 2023, what’s your take about such moves and would you embrace their idea?

Of course their ideas are good, more people should join them. They aren’t forming a political party; they are uniting to realize what’s in the best interest of the people, people like them are good people. Anybody who has intention in just willing and dealing is making a mistake because at the end of the day there might not be a country for them to continue to deal if they don’t protect the one at stake now.

Generally speaking Sir, what’s your assessment of the Nigerian political space?

A lot of improvement is needed.  There are good people but I would say that they are in the minority, the job is to bring more people that are ready to save Nigeria and impact the people in a way that will benefit the country’s future; people have to forget about the old ways of becoming a billionaire without lifting a finger.  Let them bring in people that will make impact in a way that the future generation will look back and say “but for this people”, that’s the way forward.

You’ve done well with your new book, Retirement in Nigeria; can you talk about it?

Retirement is one of those areas that are still lagging behind particularly from the point of view of those that are retired and aged.  You don’t need to stretch your neck to have a view of those who are suffering because they have not received their retirement funds from either the state or local government.  So there is need for our government to champion the cause of these suffering senior citizens, they say little or nothing about it and it’s bad.  I embarked on retirement management research for the reason of the suffering retirees; the same thing I realized when I was called to manage the military retirement.  If you go through the whole of Nigeria you’ll see that there is no solid literature that can be used as reference or capacity building in terms of retirement so I decided to write about it.  

No one talks about retirement till death and for one to be able to manage retirement in order for old people not to suffer it has to be well planned; between retirement planning and retirement management the time has come for further research for people both in the higher institutions and professional institutions to be trained for proper clarification so that when they are confronted by retirees or workers either as consultant or employees of Retirement Management organization, they would be adequately prepared. 

Federal Government has done well through the Obasanjo regime that saw the decay in pension management and they put together in a reform act in 2004, now successive governments have been managing pensions based on the reform principles yet no refunds are needed, the states and local governments have to look into the affairs of pensioners in their areas.  What affects a part of the country affects everywhere so they have to begin to take issues that concerns pensions seriously. 

I do not want to review my book, let others do it for me but it covers a lot.  The Retirement Management Industry has come, research is seriously needed in this area; we have Pediatricians everywhere who take care of babies but a lot of old people need care, they need a special hospital not General Hospital. 

Look carefully, you’ll discover that the traditional system of children taking care of their parents has collapsed.  The reason is the world is now a global village and your child can decide to go and live in another country; while you as the parent is here in Nigeria.  All the child can do is send money to you and money can’t take care of an old parent but if there is a professional who has passion and ethics governed by the profession will take care of you and get paid. 

An aged person doesn’t need money but care, but such things are lacking in this country and it’s in this book I’ve written.  If you look around the entire world, countries that have the size and economic capacity of Nigeria all have elderly people whether they have worked or not, they collect a certain amount of money for their care but we don’t have that here and advocacy is needed.  We don’t have so many elderly people in Nigeria who live beyond 70 and 80 years because of suffering, let this people live and be happy; let them not die cursing the government and the system.  This book will help those that are making laws on social securities to begin to re-examine current positions to make amends where necessary so that those who will be managing pensions will manage better and those who will receive pensions will be happy and be thankful to the government.

What challenges did you face in putting up this massive volume of write-up “Retirement in Nigeria”?

Writing a book first of all needs a clear motivation.  It is the motivation that guides and being that I’ve encountered a lot of retired people both as a consultant and individually, I know a lot of what they go through.  Once you have motivation and you decide to do a thing out of your busy schedule you’ll create your time for passion because it is what you want to do properly not because of money but for impact and education; though it cost me time and money but for the sake that I wanted to do it and here it is ready to be presented to the world.

How soon should we expect the book on the shelves?

We delayed the public presentation because of the Covid-19 challenges but now we know that social distancing is the new order for safety so we’ll soon with safety measures adequately put in place present it to the general public.

TIME has named Tony O. Elumelu, one of Africa’s leading investors and philanthropists, in the 2020 TIME100, the annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The list, now in its seventeenth year, recognises the activism, innovation, and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals. Mr Elumelu, who is one of only four Africans on the 2020 list, is recognised for his track record of business turnaround and value creation, and economic empowerment of young Africans.

Tony Elumelu is the Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, his family owned investment company, committed to improving lives and transforming Africa, through long-term investments in strategic sectors of the African economy, including financial services, hospitality, power, energy and healthcare. He is  the Chairman of top pan-African financial services group, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), which  operates in 20 countries in Africa, the United Kingdom, France, and is the only African bank with a commercial deposit taking licence in the United States. The bank provides corporate, commercial, SME and consumer banking services to more than 21 million customers globally.  Elumelu also chairs Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp,  whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the leading generators of electricity in Nigeria and Transcorp Hotels Plc, Nigeria’s foremost hospitality brand.

Mr Elumelu is the most prominent champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. In 2010, he created The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF),the philanthropy empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation across all 54 African countries. Since inception, the Foundation has funded just under 10,000 entrepreneurs and created a digital ecosystem of over one million as part of its ten year, US$100m commitment through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.  Self-funded, the Foundation is increasingly sharing its unique ability to identify, train, mentor and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa, with institutions such as the UNDP, the ICRC and leading European development agencies.

Heirs Holdings, which serves as a corporate role model for African businesses, and the Tony Elumelu Foundation will both celebrate 10 years of impact in November. Their mission continues to be inspired by Mr Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent. 

 

The leader of INRI Evangelical spiritual church, Primate Ayodele has given more clarifications on his most recent prophecy about the outcome of Ondo state election which will be holding on October 10, 2020.

Primate Ayodele had said in his last prophecy about Ondo election that Rotimi Akeredolu will not win the election except through manipulations.

In his words, ‘Rotimi Akeredolu will not win Ondo election except through manipulations and technicality, He must not underrate anybody, the candidate of the PDP, Eyitayo Jegede and ZLP, Agboola Ajayi are out to beat him. He needs to be careful because he will be betrayed, there are moles in his camp.

The people of Ondo state have rejected Akeredolu, no matter the crowd he has now, they won’t give him victory except he manipulate.

He should wake up, strategize and right his wrongs if he wants to win or else, He will lose gallantly except through manipulations’’

However, during a follow up telephone interview session on the prophecy that has gone viral, Primate Ayodele explained that what he meant with the prophecy is that the candidate of the APC will not win the election through the mandate of the people but the system that will get him back as Governor is manipulation, coalition, money and incumbency.

He further explained that if election is conducted free and fair, Rotimi Akeredolu will lose gallantly because he won’t have the mandate of the people.

He made it known that Akeredolu will use the power of incumbency, money, security, manipulation, technicality and coalition to win the election, and not the mandate of the people.

Also, He made it known that as a prophet, prophecies are only valid if it comes with a solution, noting that His prophecy is a warning to Akeredolu to right his wrongs, and re-organize his people or else, he will lose gallantly.

‘With my last prophecy, what I meant is Rotimi Akeredolu will use power of incumbency, money, security, manipulation, technicality, coalition win the election, not people’s mandate.

Rotimi Akeredolu will not get people’s mandate in Ondo, politicians in Ondo don’t want Akeredolu and a larger part of Ondo don’t want him.

The other two candidates don’t have the system Rotimi Akeredolu will deploy to ensure victory in the election but for Akeredolu to win, he will use these steps to win and not people’s mandate.

If Akeredolu emerges winner, no supreme court will be able to sack him as governor except the other candidates wants to waste their money.

I still maintain that he has fake people and moles in his caucus who will betray him. I am warning Akeredolu, not for money or fame or appreciation, I am just giving clarifications on my last prophecy.

A prophecy about an issue isn’t a prophecy if there is no solution attached to it, if Akeredolu doesn’t want to lose, he should re-organize his people because there are fake people working with him, that are also with the opponent, however, what will give Akeredolu victory is power of incumbency, money, manipulation, coalition, He will not get people’s mandate.

I stand by my prophecy that Rotimi Akeredolu will not win through the people’s mandate. The only way He can win is through power of incumbency, money, security, manipulation, technicality, coalition’’

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, today announced the appointment of Mrs. Oluwande Muoyo as a Non-Executive Director. Mrs. Muoyo joined the board of FirstBank from FBN Holdings Plc., the parent company of First Bank of Nigeria Limited.  

Speaking on her appointment, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank said, “We are excited to welcome Mrs. Oluwande Muoyo to the FirstBank Board. She brings to the Board her depth of experience which spans over three decades in various leadership and strategic positions across the private and public sectors. I am assured that these rich experiences will have an immediate impact in the board which will transcend the activities of the Bank as a whole.” 

“On behalf of the board, management and staff of FirstBank, I congratulate Mrs Muoyo and look forward to working with her,” he concluded.

Oluwande Muoyo was appointed to the Board of First Bank of Nigeria Limited in 2020.  She is a Chartered Accountant, Banker and former Honourable Commissioner for Budget and Planning in Ogun State. 

Prior to being appointed an Honourable Commissioner, Oluwande worked with Stanbic IBTC Bank for over 22 years in various parts of the bank, including Financial Control, Treasury and Financial Services, Trade Finance and Corporate Banking. She holds a BSc degree in Accounting from the University of Lagos. She started her professional career with the international firm Price Waterhouse (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers). A Fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Oluwande has, over the years, acquired competencies and skills in public financial management, policy formulation, business development, banking, budgeting, planning, auditing and taxation.

Her past Directorships include the Governing Board of the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and FBN Holdings Plc. Oluwande has attended many training programmes including Strategic Marketing Management at Harvard Business School, Advanced Strategy at INSEAD and Advanced Management Programme at the Lagos Business School. Oluwande is married with children and enjoys reading and swimming. 

About FirstBank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 125 years. 

With over 750 business locations and over 57,000 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 15 million customers. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, 

The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing. 

The Bank has been nimble at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10million cards, the first bank to achieve such milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 9million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 3 million people on FirstMobile platform.

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.  

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is to always put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is to always deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

 

 

 
The Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of Lilvera Group, Mr. Buchi Johnson, has urged clients and corporate organisations to review their marketing plans and budgets as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that has redefined the dynamics of the Nigerian marketing environment.

 

The London Business School alumnus, who spoke to journalists in his Lekki office, said that there will be new opportunities post pandemic that brands can pivot to be a part of. Technology is making it very easy for us to get a lot of things done and presently, any business that wants to make it has to create strategies using technology to achieve success online.

“Going forward, a serious minded organisation that wants to achieve great success for its brand and products must adopt an 80% to 20% budget planning for its marketing activities. This is as a result of the COVID-19 impact on bottomline as well as government regulations,” Johnson said.

The Lilvera Group boss, who believes that brands must make a conscious effort to understand their consumers’ online needs, said, “Understanding your consumers’ online behaviors will help any brand align with their needs. To achieve this, brands must ensure their teams are social media savvy to meet consumers' needs.”

“Their understanding of tech tools will help manage sales channels and consumer conversations. They will also be able to understand what influences consumer decisions in the present situation as well as what influence new business and partnership,” he said.

Buchi Johnson advised that it is important businesses begin to take crisis communication and management seriously as pandemic continues to bite harder.

“It is also important that businesses should have a crisis management plan on hand, the pandemic is a huge crisis that a lot of businesses did not envisage and could not manage. This caused a lot of businesses to shut down or lay off workers. It is important now more than ever to have a crisis management plan,” Johnson stated.

As a marketing communications expert with over 12 years experience, Buchi said, “I have come to understand that change is permanent and to stay relevant, one most understand the trends and stay steps ahead of uncertainty.”

Speaking on the impact of pandemic on retail marketing space, the CEO of Lilvera Group said, “the retail sphere would be impacted no doubt but brands that adopt digital marketing would conquer this space and make greater success out of it despite the effect of the pandemic.”

“I am an early adopter of technology and an advocate of it as well, I think up ways to use technology to build my business and it has been the best strategy so far during the COVID-19 issue. We literally kept working during the lockdown, found new ways of doing things and offering our clients new ideas, which saw us grow through the lockdown to this present time.”

A unifying body of nonprofit organizations based in the United States, National Association of Non-profit Organizations and Executives (NANOE) has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting a hitch free off season gubernatorial election in Edo state.

The West Africa Regional Governor of the international organization, Mr. John Thompson stated this while addressing newsmen in Abuja.

He said the general consensus of relative free and fair “atmosphere that characterized the election on Saturday 19 September, 2020 is attributable to the pre- election processes INEC adopted to ensure transparent outcomes”.

He however, frowned at reported cases of vote buying and non compliant to COVID-19 safety guidelines and asked INEC to adopt more pragmatic measures to ensure adherence.

While calling on all the candidates that participated in the election to accept the result with utmost magnanimity, he maintained that the ultimate victory in the election belongs to Edo electorates whose franchise remains sacrosanct under a democratic space.

Thompson who doubles as the president of Institute of Non-profit Organizations for West Africa also hailed the security agencies for their exceptional dedication and professionalism, before, during and after the election.

The NANOE governor who praised Nigerian media for “vigilance and vibrancy”, further charged the electoral umpire, candidates, security agencies and Ondo electorates in the forthcoming governorship election to use the Edo election as benchmark for more improved electioneering process towards election global best practice.

NANOE is “the only unifying legislative body comprised of Governors nominated from all 50 United States who oversee the codification of guidelines that govern sound charitable practice” in US.

The leader of INRI Evangelical spiritual church, Primate Ayodele has released a shocker and a warning to the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu ahead of the Ondo gubernatorial election set to take place on October 10, 2020.

Primate Ayodele, whose prophecies on affairs on nations and states have always come to pass has said that Rotimi Akeredolu will not win the election except through manipulations and technicality.

He made it known that He sees that the People of Ondo state have rejected Rotimi Akeredolu and his opponents in the coming election are out to beat him.

‘‘Rotimi Akeredolu will not win Ondo election except through manipulations and technicality, He must not underrate anybody, the candidate of the PDP, Eyitayo Jegede and ZLP, Agboola Ajayi are out to beat him. He needs to be careful because he will be betrayed, there are moles in his camp.

The people of Ondo state have rejected Akeredolu, no matter the crowd he has now, they won’t give him victory except he manipulate.

He should wake up, strategize and right his wrongs if he wants to win or else, He will lose gallantly except through manipulations’’

Primate Elijah Ayodele’s prophecies on the outcome of Edo election has just been fulfilled with the victory of Godwin Obaseki and PDP, hence, this new prophecy on the outcome of Ondo election should be taken seriously.

Meanwhile, now that the Oracle Of God has spoken on the fate of Rotimi Akeredolu, Who will finally emerge the winner?

Without mincing words, Apostle Johnson Suleman is a man whose level of consistency reflects his values and standards. Obviously, this is one feature that builds him a high level of trust among people that surround him.

 

Habitually, this value also stands him out to be noticed more among fellow God’s ministers.

 

A charismatic and outspoken pastor with a national following, Suleman has been ever consistent in speaking truth to oppressive political leadership both locally and elsewhere.  Come what may, he is adamantly against rules that admit tyranny. His steady outbursts against government’s perceived anti-masses policies, as well as calls for vigilance especially while the covid-19 pandemic saga lasted, are concrete examples.

 

What further emphasizes this character trait that is most valued by those following Apostle Suleman are his unwavering support for his friends. It is general knowledge that Suleman and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State are close. The relationship transcends politics; it is somewhat filial and the cleric is believed to be the governor’s family’s spiritual father.  

 

Thus, when the crack between Obaseki and his erstwhile political godfather, Adams Oshiomhole, widened and the later was bent on ending the governor’s political career at the last governorship election, Apostle Suleman reportedly urged Obaseki not to forfeit his faith under the feet of dominance by the those after his ambition. Although, it requires creativity to solve a difficult problem, doing what else is right too helps to defeat a difficult challenge, the servant of God was said to have warned Obaseki as the election approached and hope was further fading.

 

“Let troubles know that you are equally troublesome. Fight on till you win. No quitting here,” the man called ‘Oracle of God’ had pressed the governor on the election eve.

 

The weeks that heralded the 19th of September, 2020 governorship election saw about 42 of Governor Obaseki’s aides abandoning him to the mercy of the rioting godfathers. Although, the governor appeared dejected at the unfolding developments, Suleman admonished him not to be defeated by his own vulnerability. He told him; “don’t worry about the bad people God took from you. Thank Him for the good ones he sent, for elevation requires separation.”

 

Known for always moving out of his comfort zone to tackle challenges and promote ideas like social justice as well as getting critical of the government’s grip on society, Apostle Suleman had earlier described openly as ‘absurd’ the show of force displayed in the streets of Benin City, Edo State capital two days to the election.

“The overloaded influx of security into Edo State is out of sync with sane electoral process. Its sound bites make fear palpable in the air and could portend poor turn-out. Election should be a contest of ideologies not exchange of bullets. We are praying but we are watching.”

 

“Don’t beat around the bush. If you are having an issue, do something about it. Only you can change your circumstances.” The message, indeed, sunk into the governor. He won another term.

 

For Apostle Suleman, loyalty comes with integrity and truly is an essential quality in any close relationship.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020 00:00

ALAT BY WEMA BANK UPGRADES MOBILE BANKING APP

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As an innovative financial institution, ALAT by Wema Bank has introduced its upgraded mobile app - ALAT 4.0 to enable customers remain connected to do much more. A unique app that provides seamless access to an array of exciting features serves as a platform where customers can personalize offerings to meets their frequent financial  and lifestyle needs.

Being a customer-centric financial institution, the upgraded app serves as a one-stop platform that gives customers the option to create unique experiences for themselves; this includes dashboard personalization where customers can decide to hide and unhide their account balance as well as to display most frequently used feature on their dashboard.

Deputy Managing Director, Mr Moruf Oseni, speaking on the new upgrade expressed his delight, he said “we made a promise earlier this year to improve customer experience by introducing improved unique features to the app. Based on feedback from customers, a lot of effort was put together to ensure we deliver on our promise to ensure this upgrade affords customers a delightful and memorable service experience”.

As part of the new features is the card control option which enables customers to put a limit on their spending habit and the reintroduction of the virtual dollar card which gives customers the ability to make international payments irrespective of the currency. ALAT has also expanded loan offerings to goal based loans, salary-based lending and device loan. Customers can also top up existing loan amount, make part payment during the loan cycle at anytime and liquidate the loan before the end of the loan cycle at any given time. 

Mr. Moruf Oseni further added, “For us, it is imperative that customers have access to a flexible and seamless user experience on our platform.  In introducing exciting features to the app, we ensured that major lifestyle and financial needs can be met through ALAT 4.0. As a bank, we will continue to create innovative solutions for our customers and solidify our lead in digital Banking"

The newly upgraded ALAT app can be downloaded on Google Play store and on the iOS or Apple App Store