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.