Sunday, October 11, 2015

KOGI-EAST SENATE: Aidoko floors Senator Abdulrahman at tribunal

The National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal handling petitions in Kogi state has ruled that Senator Abdulrahman Abubakar should vacate his seat for Senator Atai Aidoko, the PDP flag bearer in the March 28 National Assembly elections.  The Petition Tribunal stated that Senator Aidoko who came second in the results declared is the legitimate winner of the 2015 elections as the All Progressives Congress didn't present a validly nominated candidate for the Kogi East Senatorial elections.

It may be recalled Senator Aidoko became a Senator in a similar fashion in 2011 after the National Assembly elections tribunal sitting in the state quashed the victory of the then sitting senator, Dangana Ocheja of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over irregularities arising from the PDP primaries that nominated him.

Senator Abdulrahman has confirmed his lawyer's decision to appeal the tribunal's ruling at the appeal court.

UBA CFO and Finance Team Win Big at CFO Awards

Publisher, Instinct Business Akin Naphtal ;  Group CFOf, UBA Plc, Ugo Nwaghodoh;
and Group Editor, Instinct Business, Mrs. Kehinde Olesin

Pan-African financial services group, United Bank for Africa Plc had an excellent showing at the maiden edition of Nigeria CFO awards when its Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO) and the Finance Team emerged as double winners at the awards night held on October 2, 2015 at Four Points Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Lagos.

UBA CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh, beat other nominees in the banking category, including; Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan CFO, FirstBank,  Stanley Amuchie, CFO Zenith Bank, Oluseyi Kumapayi, CFO Access Bank, and Oyinkan Adewale, ED/ Chief Financial Officer, Union Bank to emerge as the CFO of the year.

The Finance team of the year was also given to finance division of UBA for their exceptional handling of the bank's finances in the last one year, which has resulted in the bank emerging as one of the top performers in the Nigerian banking industry. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Hoesung Lee of South Korea emerges new IPCC Chair

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) elected Hoesung Lee of the Republic of Korea as its new Chair on Tuesday.

Hoesung Lee was elected by 78 votes to 56 in a run-off with Jean-Pascal van Ypersele. 

A total of six candidates including Ogunlade Davidson (Sierra Leone), Hoesung Lee (Republic of Korea), Nebojsa Nakicenovic (Austria and Montenegro), Thomas Stocker (Switzerland), Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (Belgium) were nominated for the position. 

The election took place in Dubrovnik, Croatia, where the IPCC is holding its 42nd Session. Elections for other positions on the IPCC Bureau, including the Co-Chairs of the IPCC Working Groups, will take place over 6-8 October. 

The election of the new Bureau, which will have 34 members including the Chair, opens the way for work to start on the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, expected to be completed in 5-7 years. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

N11 billion refund is arrant nonsense - Prince Audu

Prince Abubakar Audu

Ex-Kogi State Governor and All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate Prince Abubakar Audu has dismissed reports credited to the state chairman of the party that he would return N11billion to the state’s coffers if elected.
A visibly angry Audu told reporters at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja after a closed meeting with the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state wrote the report to discredit him.
Reports in online media quoted Kogi State APC Chairman, Alhaji Hadi Ametuo, of assuring the people that Prince Audu would return the over N11 billion he allegedly stole while in office, if re-elected.
Audu, who was confident of winning the election, said: “That is arrant nonsense. It is the PDP in Kogi State that is spreading the rumour and it will not help the members.”
Media reports last week quoted the Kogi State APC Chairman, Alhaji Hadi Ametuo, assuring Kogi people that his party’s candidate in the forthcoming governorship poll, Prince Audu Abubakar, would return the over N11 billion he allegedly stole while in office.

Monday, October 5, 2015

20 UBA Customers Win All Expense Paid Trip To Dubai, 60 Win Other Prizes

             Mr. Idukpaye Iyke, Rep of National Lottery Commission, a Customer and Head, Marketing 
                              and Brand Communication, UBA Plc, Mr. Ikemefuna Mordi,  at the grand draw

As part of its commitment towards rewarding customer loyalty, Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa Plc has rewarded 80 of its customers in the first batch of the UBA Remittance Awoof Promo.

 The draws, which was well attended by customers of the bank, journalists and regulators from the National Lottery, is part of the bank's efforts to reward loyalty, give back to the society and impact the lives of individuals that carry out business with the bank.

 At the draws, which took place at the bank's Head Office on Friday, 20 winners, 10 each of Western Union and MoneyGram, were drawn and will be enjoying a 3-day all expenses paid trip to Dubai, sponsored by the bank.

The winners emerged from customers and non-customers that sent and received MoneyGram and Western Union money transfers at the bank within the period of January and August this year.

Kogi 2015: Audu condemns directive to brand government vehicles for campaign

Prince Audu and Gov Wada

The Prince Abubakar Audu Campaign Organization (PAACO) has vehemently condemned a directive by the incumbent governor of Kogi State and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship flag-bearer, Captain Idris Ichalla Wada to all the Senior Special Assistants 1 (SSA 1) in charge of the affairs of the twenty-one Local Government Areas of the State to brand two government-owned vehicles each to be used by the Captain Idris Ichalla Wada Campaign Organization for electioneering campaigns ahead of the 21st November gubernatorial election.
The Director of Social Media to the Prince Abubakar Audu Campaign Organization, Mr. Odaudu Joel Minister made this known while briefing journalists and and the PAACO Social Media Team in Lokoja today.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Iyano crises: police high-handedness and the silence of Kogi State Government

Idris Wada, Kogi state Governor

By Inaju Inaju

The ear splintering silence of the Kogi State Government following the communal crisis at Iyano makes one feel as if Kogi state has no government or Ibaji people, or should I say Iyano people, at best do not count as citizens of Kogi state or at wortst, are second-class citizens in Kogi State. 
This line of thought is occasioned by the recent communal crisis in Iyano and the reaction of the government. 
Aluaja in Iyano, Ibaji LGA, was raised to the ground through arson and its inhabitants completely sacked from their habitat following a communal crisis that has been reported on this forum in the past. This mail is to inform all that since that unfortunate crime of arson at Iyano, the Kogi State government have neither said a word on the matter or visited the scene of disaster.
It is almost 2 months since that unfortunate and unprecedented communal disaster that made Aluaja people destitute and internally displaced. In the face of such an unprecedented arson the sitting government in Lokoja, despite repeated appeal, has treated the matter and the people with a laissez-fair approach. Not even a word of condolence from the government, not even an acknowledgement of the communal disaster talk-less of a visit from anyone in government with some authority.  The foregoing, by any standard, is unacceptable of a sitting democratic government all over the world, especially in an election year.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Transcorp Hilton honoured at World Travel Awards 2015

Transcorp Hilton Abuja has been honoured with an unprecedented five awards by the voters of the 22nd World Travel Awards.

The hotel,  which  is  owned  by  Transcorp  Hotels  Plc,  the  hospitality  subsidiary  of Transnational  Corporation  of  Nigeria  Plc, emerged winner of the prestigious World Travel Awards for Africa's Leading Business Hotel,  Nigeria's Leading Business Hotel, Nigeria's Leading Hotel, Nigeria's Leading MICE Hotel and Nigeria's Leading Hotel Suite(the Presidential Suite) at the Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2015 which took place at the Kempinski Seychelles Resort in Baie Lazare, Seychelles.

"It is a great privilege and honour to be recognised for what we do by our discerning guests," said Etienne Gailliez, general manager, Transcorp Hilton Abuja. “To win the World Travel  Awards in five categories is unprecedented in Nigeria and we are delighted that  our efforts  at delivering world class experiences consistently to our Guests are recognised and appreciated. It is a fitting reward for the hard work and dedication of our Team Members especially in the past year. The awards are, therefore, dedicated to all our Team Members," Etienne concluded.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tony Elumelu Joins President Obama at the White House to Champion an Entrepreneur-led Development Model for Africa

    Penny Pritzker, US Commerce Secretary, Tony Elumelu, Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation,
Antonio Gracias, Founder and CEO, Valor Equity and Julie Hanna, Founder and CEO, Kiva during the  event 

African businessman and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu has proposed a new entrepreneur-led development model for Africa at two high profile events in Washington DC. 
Mr. Elumelu, who is Chairman of United Bank for Africa, and Founder, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, spoke at a White House event hosted by United States President Barack Obama on May 11 to celebrate emerging entrepreneurs around the globe. The  event was a prelude to Obama’s scheduled trip to Kenya this summer for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. 
During remarks to announce the Summit and his plans to participate, President Obama thanked the global coalition of entrepreneurship organizations that collaborated with his administration to launch the Spark campaign for global entrepreneurship, a campaign in which the Tony Elumelu Foundation is a founding member.   The President went on to say to the entrepreneurs present, "Entrepreneurship empowers people to no longer be subject to aid agencies, but to be part of something to pursue their dreams.  Entrepreneurs like you can change the world one idea at a time."

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dismissed Transcorp staff recants, commends management for swift intervention

An ex-staff of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Mohammed Khalid Yakubu, who last Wednesday accused the Management of the hotel of wrongful termination of his appointment based on his political affiliation, has withdrawn the accusation.

Yakubu has, instead, commended the Management of the hotel for the steps taken to address his issue, saying he has discovered that contrary to his earlier view, the termination of his appointment had nothing to do with his political views or affiliation.

A statement, signed and issued by Mohammed Khalid Yakubu on Friday, particularly commended the chairman of Transnational Corporation, Mr Tony Elumelu for his prompt intervention.

Mr Elumelu, had upon hearing of the matter on Wednesday, demanded that Yakubu be reinstated immediately and his termination reviewed.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Kogi People Are Begging Me to Return as Governor – Prince Audu

Former Kogi State governor, Prince Abubakar Audu, has reiterated his commitment to develop the state amidst calls for his return as governor in next year’s governorship election in the state.
He expressed his willingness to heed to the calls for him to contest the governorship election in an interview in Abuja, weekend.
“This time the electorates said it is time we bring Audu back. If one is a regular visitor to Kogi at the Koton Karfe Bridge, he will see a billboard where the masses are crying, saying: ‘Where is Audu?’ So as far, as I am concerned, it is the first step to bring me back and convincing me to come back.”

5 held over kidnap in Kogi

A Chief Magistrate’s Court in Lokoja, Kogi State, has remanded five persons  in prison custody for allegedly kidnapping one Paulina Audu.
The accused persons, Ibrahim Sunday, Idowu Idah, Karimu Ganiyu, Jamiu Isah, and Isah Ibrahimo, were charged with criminal conspiracy and kidnapping, offences that are contrary to Sections 97(1) of the Penal Code and Section 3 of the Kogi State Kidnapping, Thuggery and Other Related Offences (Prohibition) Law, 2010.
The prosecuting counsel, Mohammed Abaji, said the five accused persons and others now at large committed the offence on February 26.
He said the accused, armed with guns and other dangerous weapons, kidnapped Paulina from Okene and that they took her to a farm belonging to Isah Ibrahimo (5th accused person).
Abaji said the suspect demanded a N20 million ransom for their victim’s release, but that they were paid N1 million. He opposed the suspects bail application. In his ruling, Chief Magistrate Alhassan Hussain ordered that the five accused persons be remanded at the Federal Prisons, Koton-Karfe and adjourned the case to May 25.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Prince Abubakar Audu returns to court April 15 over N11 billion fraud

Justice A.O Adeniyi of a Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed Wednesday April 15 for further hearing in the on going trial of a former governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu. 
Audu and one Alfa Ibn Mustapha, a former Director General of the Directorate of Rural Development, Kogi State, are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for offences bordering on criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N10, 965,837,040 (Ten billion, Nine Hundred and Sixty five Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty Seven Thousand, Forty Naira) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

On Thursday, April 2, 2015 when the case came up for hearing, Jabaru Olatunji, a prosecution witness told the court that several documents on the award of contracts to major contractors between 2000 and 2003 during Audu’s tenure as governor, were forged.  
Olatunji, a staff of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, who is also the eighth prosecution witness, Pw8, while being led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told the court that he was part of a joint task force involving five security agencies that investigated the petition against Audu, alleging that he used his office to siphon Kogi State government funds. He said his team visited Kogi State in the course of the investigation.
When asked about their findings during the said visit, Olatunji told the court that, at the office of the Accountant General of the State, they met one Dr. Shuaibu who made available documents detailing all the allocations to the State Government from May 2000 to April 2003.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Gov Wada's Aide resigns amidst death threats and anti-party allegations

Gov Idris Wada and Mallam Abdul Adama
Following allegations of anti-party activities and death threats received over his open display of support for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the March 28 polls, Special Adviser to Kogi State Governor on PPP and Chairman of Kogi State Football Clubs, Kogi United FC and Confluence Queens, Mallam Abdul Adama has tendered his resignation.
Appointed in September 2013 by the Executive Governor of Kogi state, Capt Idris Wada as Special Adviser on Private-Public-Partnerships, Mallam Adama was also saddled with the responsibility of administering the states's  football teams in view of his experience with the ABS FC of Ilorin.
Adama said the decision to leave the club-sides, which are close to his heart, was difficult as he enjoyed a good working relationship throughout his stay adding that he would remain grateful for the chance to serve and contribute to the development of sports in Kogi State.

Les enfants africains sensibilisent le monde sur les effets du climat

Par Hubert Didier Madafime
« We, the children of Africa » (Nous,  ) est un appel qui va résonner dans le ciel africain en juin 2015, lors du sommet  de l’Union africaine. Le même écho sera entendu à Paris six mois plus tard, au cours des négociations sur le climat. Il s’agit bien d’une manière spéciale pour les enfants du continent africain d’interpeller les décideurs, à travers le monde, sur les dangers imminents et presque irréversibles que les changements climatiques font peser sur leurs conditions de vie. C’est un concept développé par  l’ANEJ, African Network Environmental Journalist, le Réseau Africain des Journalistes pour l’Environnement qui entend ainsi attirer l’attention de la planète pour un meilleur accord à la COP 21.  

54 enfants de 12 à 15 ans, garçons et filles, habillé chacun dans sa tenue nationale, représentant les  54  pays  d’Afrique,  viendront  délivrer  devant  les  Chefs  d’Etats  Africains  début  juin  2015  en Afrique  du Sud, au cours du sommet ordinaire de l’Union africaine, un discours-message destiné à la COP 21 de Paris.  Identifiés  parmi  les  enfants  des  réfugiés  climatiques  et  de  peuples  indigènes,  les enfants viendraient de contrées particulièrement affectées par les changements climatiques. Par exemple les enfants Touaregs des régions désertiques ou les jeunes Fulanis de la RCA ou du Nord Nigeria (filles victimes entres autres de Boko Haram) ou encore les jeunes filles de Somalie, des tribus de pêcheurs du Golfe d’Aden. Sans oublier bien sûr les enfants des zones forestières du Bassin du Congo.

Tackling the “Perfect Storm” in Africa for a Sustainable and Resilient Future

Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO

By Sidi Moctar El-Cheiguer

Last week in Cairo, African Environment Ministers convened to discuss African’s Climate Change Challenge. On March 6 they agreed on a final declaration officially called “Cairo Declaration on Managing Africa’s Natural Capital for Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication.” Recognizing the nexus between land productivity, food security and poverty eradication in Africa, they agreed to increase productivity in the use of natural resources in enhancing economic and social benefits for poverty reduction, job creation and sustainable development.  

The GEF CEO Naoko Ishii joined this high level meeting to present the GEF’s Integrated Approach Pilot program on Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub Saharan Africa. With a growing population that will demand major increases in food production, the African continent is faced with increasing pressure on already fragile and stressed lands, and increase vulnerability of millions of smallholder farmers. 

“In a sense Africa is facing a perfect storm with food deficit, climate change impacts and rapid population growth”, Ishii said. “The key is to help small holders manage their natural capital in a sustainable manner—the land, soil, water, vegetation and genetic resources that are vital for continued and increased agricultural productivity.”  

Monday, March 23, 2015

West Africa's 1st online newspaper on climate change launched

By Theophilus Ikpome

West Africa's first online newspaper dedicated to opening new vistas in the coverage and reportage of climate change and the region's environment has been launched. The online newspaper (, which was launched over the weekend In Republic of Benin, Cote d'Ívoire and Nigeria simultaneously in commemoration of the 2015 International Francophonie Day envisions an informed, environment-friendly and climate-conscious citizenry living in a safe and serene West African environment, free from climate disasters and environmental despoliation.

Speaking at the launch, the medium's Editor-in-Chief, Atâyi Babs revealed that the newspaper is "dedicated to bringing fresh, crisp and engaging climate reports from all over the world to West Africa, using the region's finest blend of climate story tellers to enhance understanding and engender climate action across the region." 

"We are change catalysts, bringing international climate reports to every doorstep in West Africa at the same time taking the West African climate story to the world,"Atayi added. 

1,000 Africans shortlisted for Tony Elumelu entrepreneuship programme

By John Agbala

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is pleased to announce the selection of the first 1,000 African entrepreneurs for the Tony Elumelu  Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP).  TEEP is a $100 million initiative to discover and support 10,000 African entrepreneurs over the next decade, with a target of creating one million new jobs and $10 billion in additional revenues in the process.

Over 20,000 African entrepreneurs from 52 countries applied to the programme, representing the creativity and potential on display across the continent.  The initial 1,000 selected for the 2015 class are a remarkable group of entrepreneurs who are a testament to the ability of Africa’s own entrepreneurs to drive Africa’s growth and development.

Speaking on the desired impact of the programme, Founder, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, CON, commented: “The selection of these 1000 entrepreneurs brings us closer to our ultimate goal - to drive Africa’s economic and social transformation from within and to radically intensify job creation in Africa.  Though I have never met or spoken to any of the winners, I am confident that due to the rigorous criteria and selection process, these entrepreneurs are Africa’s hope for the future.  I will continue to invest my experience, time, influence, and resources to see them succeed.  I am embarking on this journey with these entrepreneurs hopeful and inspired.”

Monday, March 9, 2015

How ex-Gov Audu looted N11 billion from Kogi - Witness

Ex-Gov Audu and his lawyer in court

A witness in the ongoing trial of former governor of Kogi state, Prince Abubakar Audu, Uchenna Agagara on Friday, March 6, 2015 told Justice Adegbola O. Adeniyi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Abuja, that several millions of naira totalling about N926m were lodged into Diamond bank account of Bulkom Nigeria Ltd, between May 29, 2001 and July 23, 2003 when Audu held sway as the governor of the State.

The prosecuting counsel tendered a statement of account from Diamond Bank showing the transactions of the lodgements which was admitted in evidence by the court and marked exhibit P1 54a-b.

Africa needs $1 trillion for climate action, CSOs insist

Augustine Njamshi

By Arison TAMFU
The African Civil Society under the auspices of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, bringing together diverse groups from the youth, Indigenous Peoples, farmers, faiths, NGOs and networks has told the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) that climate change negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have so far delivered no concrete results as growing impacts  of climate change continue to stand in the way of African development aspirations.
`The last two decades have been characterised by unfulfilled promises and commitments by developed countries but still we feel that the multilateral process under UNFCCC is the only sure way to deliver fairness and justice for poor countries and communities` a statement by PACJA said. The statement was read by Augustine Njamnshi, member of PACJA before AMCEN conference in Egypt.

Questions for Gov Wada over Kogi's half-salary syndrome

Gov Idris Wada of Kogi state

By Hilary Amodu

Arbitrary seizure of local government funds by Gov Wada. In contrast to the clamour for LG autonomy and the constitutional recognition of LGs as the third tier of govt. What is obtainable in kogi state is a total aberration from what ought to be. 

The state govt in Oct 2014 announced the seizure of statutory allocation of the 21 LGs reasons being that the elected councils could not pay full salaries to staff. They went further to freeze all local government account. What is obtainable now is that all local government fund is being administered by the ministry of local government and chieftaincy affairs under the supervision of the commissioner. 

With the dissolution of elected councils sequel to a judgement, directors of LGs who administers the various LGs are completely handicapped, they just attend joint account allocation committee meetings only to rubber-stamp the illegality by the state government. 

Africa threatens to dump any unfavourable Paris climate change Deal

Africa threatens to dump any unfavourable Paris climate change Deal
By Arison TAMFU in Cairo, Egypt

As negotiations intensify for a universally accepted climate change agreement that is expected to be signed in French capital, Paris this year, the African Group of Negotiators has made it clear that it is not going in for any deal that disfavours the continent. 

`Paris is similar to Copenhagen in terms of the expectations. This is the time that we close the ambition gap in terms of emission reduction and provision of means of limitation that supports the need of developing countries for adaptation. Unless we have sufficient support, means of implementation, Africa will face a lot of challenges in terms of its development because development is what makes the basis for the African group of Negotiators. That is why Africa will not sign any Paris agreement that will not include its demands` said Nagmeldin Goutbi Elhassan, Chairman of the African Group of Negotiators under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC).

African Group Chair restates African position ahead of Paris 2015

By Arisson Tamfu, Cairo

Stakeholders outline expectations ahead of AMCEN

Dignitaries at the Stakeholders meeting

By Arison TAMFU in Cairo, Egypt

Stakes are high for the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) that begins tomorrow March 2 in Egyptian capital, Cairo. AMCEN and African Civil society Group expect that the conference will define a concrete blueprint that will guide the continent to discussions on the Sustainable development Goals to be concluded in New York and Paris climate change conference that is likely to agree on a new climate change agreement, which will come into effect by 2020.

"We want to crystalize a strong position when it comes to climate change and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We want to link environment with economy. We want to work on poverty eradication and job creation for our young population" said Dr. Khaled Mohamed Fahmy Abdel Aal, Egyptian Minister of Environment. The minister was speaking Sunday March 1 at a pre-AMCEN major group and stakeholders` forum.

United Capital Plc. releases its Nigerian Economy and Financial Markets 2015 Report

Bismarck Rewane, Toyin Sanni & Mr. Jude Chiemeka

United Capital Plc. has released its authoritative and eagerly anticipated Nigerian Economy and Financial Markets 2015 report. The report provides a detailed review of the Nigerian market in 2014 with projections for 2015, commencing with a Global perspective and review of key African markets. It discusses the outlook for different sectors, inherent opportunities as well as strategies for navigating the financial market. 

The very comprehensive report is an invaluable tool for investors covering Global economic review and outlook, Africa update and outlook, oil price dynamics and Nigeria 2015 outlook, domestic macro-economic trends and outlook, capital market review and outlook as well as specific sector reviews and recommendations.

“We are pleased to release the Nigerian Economy and Financial Markets 2015 report at United Capital. The report contains extensive research on capital markets, providing an in-depth analysis of various market groupings and industry trends that have shaped our predictions,”stated Toyin Sanni, Group CEO of United Capital Plc.