Frontline Digital Terrestrial Television service, GOtv, and SuperSport, the leading sports promoter and broadcaster on the DStv and GOtv platforms, have won big at the 25th anniversary celebration of the National Institute for Sports(NIS).
While GOtv emerged the Outstanding Grassroots Sports Programme Television Station 2019, SuperSport won in two categories as Outstanding Sports Promoting Television Station of the Decade (2019) and the Outstanding Television Sports Programme of the Decade. MultiChoice Nigeria also emerged the Outstanding Sports Promoting Company of the Decade.
While receiving the awards on behalf of MultiChoice Nigeria, Martin Mabutho, Chief Customer Officer, MultiChoice, said the awards are in recognition of MultiChoice’s effort in delivering the best content across its various platforms. He added that the company remains committed to providing quality services for its subscribers.
“MultiChoice will continue to make great entertainment more accessible to Nigerians by delivering quality sports and local content to its customers,” said Mabutho.
Speaking on youth development, Mabutho explained that MultiChoice has empowered thousands of Nigerian youth through the GOtv Sabimen initiative.
“GOtv Sabimen is a programme that trains participants on the rudiments of service activation, response to customer enquiries and resolution of GOtv service issues,” he explained.
The Chief Customer Officer further noted that participants receive practical training from both internal and external facilitators on how to handle various enquires by customers and eventually grow on to become their own bosses, which is the main objective of the programme. Today over 5000 Nigerian youth in various parts of the country have been employed through this initiative.
Prior to the awards presentation, the Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Solomon Dalung, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Olusade Adesola, commended corporate bodies supporting the development of youth and sports in Nigeria. He also appealed to other corporate bodies to emulate the kind gesture of companies like MultiChoice in youth and sports development.
Industrialists and experts have opposed the idea of increase in the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) in Nigeria.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) yesterday said Nigerians should brace up for an increase in VAT by between 35 per cent and 50 per cent from the current 6.75 per cent and 725 per cent.
Rejecting the idea yesterday, the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) said “Nigerians, particularly those in engaging in SMEs activities, are already overburdened with tax. It will further make doing business in Nigeria harsher and also increase cost of production and services.”
An economist, Dr. Chijioke Ekechukwu, told newsmen that what the FIRS needs is not to increase taxes.
“They need to be more efficient in the collection. Many Nigerians with very high income or savings are not paying Quantum Meruit taxes. They pay far less than their income. Many Artisans don’t pay taxes. Vulcanisers, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, etc. have never paid taxes before,” the expert said.
Dr. Ekechukwu, a former Director General of ACCI, said if taxes are increased, the inflation rate will jump again, adding that “Disposable income of workers and business men and women will be eroded.”
The Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said the proposed VAT hike is not fair because the wages and salaries in Nigeria are not reasonable to keep decent living.
“In a situation where social services are not working life and living conditions will get worse and poverty will increase,” he told Daily Trust.
He said the government can mobilise resources by cutting the cost of governance, minimizing waste and blocking stealing.
‘Govt must justify tax increase’
Commenting, Dr. Bongo Adi, lecturer at the Lagos Business School, said though VAT needs to increase, the government must justify the tax hike.
“We understand that Nigeria remains the lowest in the world when it comes to VAT. Some people have argued that it’s about time VAT is increased from the current 5 percent. You don’t find that anywhere in the world. Tunisia is about 30 percent.”
He said “We need to improve the welfare of consumers. The minimum wage increased by about 80 percent and if VAT rises by about 35 percent, the difference is still significant. That means about 50 percent welfare improvement which means the workers may still be better off.”
“However, tax payers are always sceptical because government doesn’t always apply the tax revenues judiciously. Over the years, people prefer not to pay tax. With an increased tax, we should expect improvement in the supply of public infrastructure,” he added.
Johnson Chukwu, the Managing Director of Cowrie Asset Management, said: “The economy is still fragile, so government cannot resort to increase to support the budget.
“The problem is that the middle class is non-existent and only a fraction of the elite are paying tax. So an increase will affect the poor and make them poorer.
“The economy today is not in the position to create jobs. The government does not have the revenue to build a larger budget, we must put the enabling laws in place to enable the private sector pilot infrastructure development,” he said.
The Gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos state, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Wednesday squashed canards making round that he has dumped his party.
￼In a statement disclosed by Felix Oboagwina, his Director of Media and Publicity, Agbaje opined that no one can ever force him to quit PDP.
He attributed insinuations that he had dumped PDP to mischief-makers determined to soil his reputation, provoke crisis within the party and dampen the spirit of party members and his supporters.
Agbaje therefore, denied jumping his party, saying, PDP remained his party.
“I have never discussed with anyone any plan to dump PDP, neither has such a prospect crossed my mind” he maintained. “There is no reason for it. It is uncalled for.”
He vowed to remain in the party, despite the campaign of calumny being waged against him in the media by a few leaders.
The PDP flag-bearer said he only on Monday released a message encouraging members to rise above the questionable defeats suffered in the last election and maintain faith in the party, and that it would be contradictory for him to suddenly turn tail and flee the same party.
“For a party that has twice accorded me the honour of running on its platform, I should be regarded as uncharitable to say I am abandoning PDP now,” Agbaje submitted.
According to him, recent vituperations in the Press and social media against his person and his role in the last election were the machinations of political featherweights and did not warrant any response.
Agbaje said: “Suffice to say that Chief Layi Ogunbambi’s claim of being denied funds as Director-General of Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council in Lagos State amounted to attempting to build something on nothing. For starters, the position he lays claim gives him no locus standi as no such formal position existed in the entire campaign structure of PDP in Lagos or any of the other 35 states.
Reacting to Ogunbanmbi’s angst, Agbaje pointed out that the man who paraded himself as the DG of the Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign Council, had his wife, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Ogunbambi, contesting as gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State against PDP on another party platform!!Serious Conflict of Interest.
“I, as the gubernatorial candidate of the party in Lagos, was Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign in Lagos. Mr. Leke Osikoya was the State Campaign Director. The national body recognised and related with us accordingly. The title of Director General was reserved for the national campaign council. If there was an Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign it would have, at best, been a Support Group.
“Dr. Ogunbanmbi also went to the extent of stating his contributions financially and policy wise to my campaign. This is news to me. May be he should tell the world his financial contributions to my campaigns. There is no time I have ever sat with Dr. Ogunbanmbi to discuss policy issues.”
Agbaje, also, shrugged off allegations he pilfered campaign funds.
“I was not given one kobo by the party or the PDP Presidential Candidate for the gubernatorial elections. We ran our campaign from beginning to end on a shoe-string budget. You cannot steal or divert what is not given,” he said.
According to him, resources sent for the Presidential and National Assembly elections were disbursed as per instructions received, and the source had shown satisfaction with the exercise.
All the fuss stems from the from the fact that, contrary to the Lagos PDP tradition of sharing money to leaders, Agbaje disbursed funds direct to candidates, as instructed.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar, its presidential candidate, have “slipped into severe depression”.
The APC said this in reaction to PDP’s claim that it won the presidential poll by 1.6 million votes.
The opposition party based its claims on the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It filed the claim in its petition before the presidential election tribunal.
But reacting in a statement, Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC spokesman, said the claim is ridiculous.
“While the APC is not oblivious of the PDP’s antics to discredit the credible presidential electoral process, acknowledged by local and international observers, we sympathise with Atiku for the crushing defeat handed him by President Buhari through the votes of Nigerians,” Issa-Onilu said.
“Judging by Atiku and PDP’s recent utterances and actions, it is now clear that they have slipped into severe depression and post-defeat hallucination that have left many Nigerians questioning their current state of mind.
“After weeks of dilly-dallying, the PDP has woken up to the stark reality of its electoral defeat and decided to follow the constitutional path of filing a petition at the election tribunal.
“However, of all the prayers of Atiku before the election tribunal, which are at best hollow, the most ridiculous is his claim that the server of the INEC indicated he won the presidential election by 1.6million votes.
“A few questions would suffice – is this phantom figure of 1.6 million votes Dubai-invented? Was the result sold to Atiku by his numerous marabouts, who we understand, had assured him that the last election was a done deal for him?”
Issa-Onilu said the PDP’s “consistent reference” to INEC server should be a cause for concern.
He said it is possible that the opposition party has plans to jeopardise INEC’s database, calling on security agencies to foil the “evil plan”.
“Most importantly, we note Atiku’s consistent reference to the INEC server as if he is the custodian of that platform. Indeed, Atiku’s constant reference to the INEC server should raise concerns as it is becoming apparent that he and the PDP are up for some dastard activities that are targeted at jeopardising the INEC database and internal storage system,” he said.
“We recall the widespread reported cases of several programmed card readers that were retrieved from some PDP agents and their failed attempt to hack the INEC database in the leadup to the then postponed presidential election.
“We remind the Atiku and PDP that Nigerians saw through the devious schemes aimed at thwarting their will. Consequently, majority of the voters handed them a harsh verdict — that verdict remains sacrosanct.” (The Cable)
Some details of the petition filed on Monday by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate in the February 23 election, Atiku Abubakar, to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress, emerged on Tuesday.
The petition, which sought to rely on 50 sets of documents, was filed at the Election Tribunal in Abuja against INEC, Buhari and the APC as the first to the third respondents, respectively.
What is the crux of the matter and why is Atiku confident to win?
INEC had on February 27, 2019 declared that Buhari won the election with 15,191,847 votes to defeat Atiku, whom it said polled 11,262,978 votes.
But the petitioners stated in their 139-page petition that “from the data in the 1st respondent’s (INEC’s) server… the true, actual and correct results” from “state to state computation” showed that Atiku polled 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari who scored 16,741,430 votes.
They said the results were the total votes scored by the candidates in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, as there was “no report on sever” about the results from Rivers State as of February 25, 2019.
By this, Atiku defeated Buhari with 1,615,302 votes.
The five grounds of the petition read, “The 2nd respondent (Buhari) was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast at the election.
“The election of the 2nd respondent is invalid by reason of corrupt practices.
“The election of the 2nd Respondent is invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
“The 2nd respondent was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the said election.
“The 2nd respondent submitted to the 1st Respondent an affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election.”
Arguing that Buhari was not qualified to run for the office of the President, the petitioners argued in part, “The petitioners state that the 2nd respondent (Buhari) does not possess the educational qualification to contest the election to the office of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The petitioners state that by Section 31 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), every political party shall not later than 60 days before the date appointed for a general election submit to the Commission in the prescribed form the list of the candidates the party proposes to sponsor at the elections.
“Further, by Section 31(2) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), the list or information submitted by each candidate shall be accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the candidate at the Federal High Court, High Court of a State or Federal Capital Territory indicating that he has fulfilled all the constitutional requirements for election into that office.
“The 2nd respondent filled and submitted Form CF001 to the 1st Respondent, which was declared before the Commissioner for Oaths at the Registry of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on the 8th day of October, 2018. The said Form CF001 is accompanied by an ACKNOWLEDGEMENT indicating that the 1st Respondent received same.
“The petitioners aver that the said Form CF001 filled by the 2nd Respondent and submitted to the 1st Respondent for the Office of President was also accompanied by the Curriculum Vitae of the 2nd Respondent as well as GENERAL FORM OF AFFIDAVIT duly sworn to by the 2nd respondent at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, along with copies of his Membership Card of the 3rd Respondent and Voter Card.
“The information submitted to the 1st respondent (INEC) by the 2nd respondent (Buhari) is false and of a fundamental nature in aid of his education qualification, notwithstanding that he had declared in the said sworn affidavit as follows: ‘I hereby declare that all the answers, facts and particulars I have given in this Form, are true and correct and I have to the best of my knowledge, fulfilled all the requirements for qualifications for the office I am seeking to be elected’.”
They stated that the educational institutions Buhari “claimed to have attended and the certificates presented by him namely, Elementary School Daura and Mai Aduaa between 1948 and 1952, Middle School Katsina between 1953 and 1956 and Katsina Provincial College (now Government College, Katsina) between 1956 to 1961 and mentioned by the 2nd respondent in his curriculum vitae attached to Form CF 001, were not in existence as of those mentioned dates.”
They added, “The 2nd respondent in Form CF 001 filled and submitted by him to the 1st Respondent at Paragraph C, Column 2, Page 3, under SECONDARY, wrote “WASC,” thereby falsely claiming that qualification whereas there was no qualification known as WASC as of 1961.
“The petitioners contend that the 2nd Respondent was, at the material time, not qualified to contest election for the exalted office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The petitioners further aver that all votes purportedly cast for the 2nd and 3rd Respondents on 23rd February, 2019 during the Presidential Election and as subsequently declared by the 1st Respondent on February 27, 2019 are wasted votes in that the 2nd Respondent was not qualified to contest the said election in the first place or at all.”
Names of 21 Senior Advocates of Nigeria and 18 other lawyers appeared on the petition. The legal team is led by Mr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), The Punch reports.
They sought among their five main prayers, that the tribunal should determine that Buhari “was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast in the said election” and therefore his declaration and return by INEC “as the President of Nigeria is unlawful, undue, null, void and of no effect”.
They also prayed that Atiku having been “duly and validly elected” ought to be “returned as President of Nigeria, having polled the highest number of lawful votes cast at the election to the office of the President of Nigeria held on February 23, 2019 and having satisfied the constitutional requirements for the said election.
They sought “an order directing the 1st respondent (INEC) to issue a Certificate of Return to the 1st petitioner (Atiku) as the duly elected President of Nigeria”.
They also asked the tribunal to rule that Buhari “was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the said election”, and that he “submitted to the Commission affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election”.
However, they sought as their alternative prayer, “that the election to the office of the President of Nigeria held on February 23, 2019 be nullified and a fresh election ordered.”
The petitioners are relying on 50 sets of documents which they, in the petition, gave INEC the notice to produce the original copies of those in its custody.
Some of the documents are, “INEC Nomination Form CF001 of the 2nd respondent (Buhari); all INEC result sheets;(Form EC8 Series), EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D and EC8E – Certificate of Return; PDP Party Membership Cards; INEC Voter Cards; all witnesses’ party membership cards; and all Witnesses’ Voter Cards.”
The petitioners also sought to rely on, “the circulars/corrigenda/manuals issued by INEC for the conduct of the Presidential Election held on 23/2/2019; Polling Unit materials checklist; summary of total registered voters on units’ basis; summary of PVCs collected on units’ basis; Voter Registers and letters of complaints over irregularities and malpractices during the election addressed to the INEC/Police/other relevant agencies/institutions.”
They also sought to rely on “security reports relating to the election video/audio recordings/DVD/CD relating to the Election; Election Observers’ or Observers’ Reports; Newspaper/Television/ Radio reports and news; appointment letters and tags of PDP agents; expert reports and analysis; and photographs and GSM and other phone outputs”.
A tomato-paste factory owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, resumed production in Nigeria’s northern state of Kano after staying idle for more than two years over a supply disruption partly caused by a price dispute with farmers.
The factory, with a capacity for 1,200 metric tons of tomato paste daily and targeted at meeting domestic demand, restarted production last week processing about 100 tons a day. It will ramp up output as tomato supply improves, according to Abdulkareem Kaita, the managing director of Dangote Farms Ltd, which owns the factory.
“Our major challenge is the scarcity of the tomato,” Kaita said in an interview at the factory in Kadawa, outside the northern city of Kano. “The local tomato growers could not meet our production demand, we also could not agree with the farmers on the price of tomato per basket.”
Under a new deal with the farmers, the factory will buy tomatoes at prices pegged to what local markets are selling.
Dangote is also developing its own farms with a special tomato strain that could yield 60 tons per hectare, compared with the yield of 10 tons per hectare being recorded by the local farmers, Kaita said. The company plans to distribute the seedlings to growers to boost their output.
The plant, which started production in 2015, was to help Africa’s most populous nation cut paste imports of 300,000 tons a year from China by using an estimated 900,000 tons of tomatoes lost after harvest every year for lack of storage and processing facilities.
Dangote Farms is part of Aliko Dangote’s diversified group of businesses, of which cement manufacturing is the main one. The 61-year-old tycoon, who is currently building a vast $12 billion oil refinery close to the commercial hub of Lagos, is also invested in sugar and flour. (NAN)
Oyo State Governor-elect Seyi Makinde has assured the people of the state that he will bring simplicity to governance. He also pledged to do everything within his power to prevent violence from commercial drivers, when he eventually takes the reins of power on May 29.
The governor-elect said the most important value that would mark out his administration is simplicity, and that he would use everything he has to make the state better.
“I will keep the business of governance very simple; without any complication.
The governor-elect, who won on the platform of the PDP, gave the assurance on Southwest Political Circuit, a live interview programme on Ibadan-based Fresh FM radio.
I was born in Ijebu-Ode. I can’t deny that I am from a notable family in Ijebu. I happen to be a primus inter pares among royalties. I’m a direct descendant of the Awujale (king of Ijebuland) who had the courtesy of receiving representatives of the British Queen in 1892. And he allowed them to preach Christianity, which was unheard of then. Anyone, who tried to preach Christianity before 1892, was driven away with Oro (a Yoruba deity). But my own progenitor allowed that to be done. He even allowed some of his children to be christened and gave them the land on which the first church in Ijebuland was built. Only he wasn’t partial. He also gave the Muslims the site on which the first mosque was built. It was in commemoration of going to thank the Awujale that the idea of the Ojude Oba festival started. They were all going to the Oba’s palace to show appreciation for what he had done.
Talking about God
I’m extremely grateful to my maker for making me very agile, very meticulous, and very articulate. I am still behaving like a 60-year- old. I want to thank my maker for his benevolence to me. The whole essence of my celebration is to give thanks to my maker. In all humility, I’m using this opportunity to let people know how appreciative I am for what the good Lord has done for me. I marvel at every occasion and ask why God has been so kind to me? It’s the amazing grace of God. I attribute everything to the awesomeness of God. His love for little me is awesome.
Even at 85, I’m amazed. I have many friends who are 85 but they have one problem or the other. I went with my wife on my boat. And we went as far as Ilashe. People were wondering how I could still be walking around the boat in slacks. I don’t know what I have done to deserve this grace from God.
I spend most of my time talking about God as a measure of my appreciation. I will spend the rest of my life just thanking him.
Things of the past
However, these are things of the past. That doesn’t immediately make me whatever I am today. Maybe it is because my parents had the opportunity of putting me on the right track. I had good education. I went to one of the most illustrious secondary schools in Nigeria, Igbobi College. I came out with a very good grade. Then I went to Britain and studied law. I qualified at a very young age. At 25, I was one of the youngest lawyers in the Western Region. Then I tried to be very close to my God, always seeking His guidance, and it is the answer to such prayers that brought me to where I am today. The then government of Western Region trained me as the first Parliamentary draftsman. When the British were passing the Nigerian Independence Act, I was the first black face to be seen in the official box.
My parents were affluent
If I see someone doing something good, I would rather emulate the person than criticise him. At a point in life, I said the purest thing I want is to be close to my God and God has allowed me to do that.
Even though my parents were affluent, they had a common touch. We didn’t put on airs. Two things I like and have a weakness for are my white dress and my white cars. When I started First City Monument Bank, FCMB, I wanted it to have a solid character and intergrity.
I would be praying for 100
I still do certain things people won’t expect me to do. I still go swimming. I still wear shorts. I am a child of God. It would be wrong for me to conclude that God has concluded his work in my life. I’m throwing myself as a free agent for him to use me till the very end. And I am also praying for something very interesting.
By the time I am 90, I would be praying to be 100 and I would still want to be articulate and maintain my cerebral gifts.
I always believe there is something more. My name, Olaotan and Olaonipekun mean wealth has no end. I’m throwing myself to God for him to make me whatever he wants. And I am enjoying it.
A friend of mine once visited and asked why I still use a staircase when there is an elevator. I said I still want to be walking like a sprinter. These are my prayers and my approach to God. I talk about it as the culture of excellence in my bank. I always want the best but I’m not arrogant about it. Rather, I am consumed with my appreciation to my God.
On mother’s burial
Since I’m Otunba Tunwase, I decided to bring her body from Lagos to Ijebu in a motorcade of over 100 vehicles. My royal father arranged that all the kings in Ijebu send their staff of office.
People were praying that they should have a Subomi as a child. But, I was only honouring my mother.
When people approach me for something, even though I’m not Father Christmas, I will at least do something. I won’t send anybody away.
During the opening of a children ‘s ward in honour of my mother with many top dignitaries present we saw a taxi driver screech to a stop in front of us. A woman, who was about to get down from the taxi delivered a baby. I decided to adopt that child and he was named Subomi. He has just left university. He even added my name to his surname.
I don’t know why I do these things. God pushes me to do it. It is not that I have an ostentatious lifestyle. I am even scared to tell you because they amaze me. I regard myself as a special agent sent by my God to do all these.”I am doing a lot which I don’t like people to know. When God gave me this endowment, he didn’t want me to spend it on myself. He wants me to use it for the upliftment of my neighbours. And my neighbours are not just my family or domestic staff. Everyone is my neighbour. I will pass through this world but once. Any good I can do, let me do it now. That’s what drives me
Succeed in life
Anybody who listens to critics won’t be able to do the work of God.
It is not easy for somebody who is successful not to be criticised. The mere fact that someone succeeded in life would make some people not to like the person. People should humbly do what they are doing and leave the rest to God because our God sees the mind and he will continue to provide to enable us to do what we are doing for his cause.
At the time we created FCMB something was pushing me to do it. The reason was that I helped to set up another bank, which is now dead. And I thought I deserved being made the head. They didn’t want me. They said I was only a lawyer. I prayed to God. My nine-year-old boy, who is now almost 50 went to his mother and said, ‘why is daddy praying to be head of another person’s bank? Why doesn’t he start his own?’ The story is in my book.
I went to the chapel and prayed, singing songs of praise. From my chapel, I walked into my study. I prepared all the papers. A few weeks later, I set up City Securities. Luckily, the indigenisation programme came up during the military era and foreigners had to sell their shares. I was the numero uno in this country. Everybody who wanted to sell shares came to me. After that, I decided to start my own bank.
People thought it was impossible. Someone said I would either end up as a multi-billionaire or go to jail. I applied. I didn’t have any foreign partner. My God was my only partner. They didn’t give me a licence initially. I went to church. I saw Alex Ekwueme. I asked my wife to grab his wife’s garment. I asked him, ‘Mr. Vice-President, what is happening to my licence?’
He said I should come and see him and assured me that the he will give me a licence. That was how I got it. And no Nigerian before then had single-handedly set up that type of bank.
On Daily Routine
When I wake up first thing in the morning, my wife comes in and we have a family prayer. I open up as if I’m communicating with my earthly father.
I will pour out my mind. I will pray for my wife and me, then I will pray for my children, then my neighbours, my friends and then the people who work with me.
I do the same thing the last thing in the evening when I go to bed. Unless there is something extraordinary, by 9:30, I’m in my bed. After praying, I don’t communicate again. If you telephone me when I’m in bed, I don’t pick. I may respond in the morning.
I attend church regularly every Sunday. If I am not in the church, I would probably be worshipping somewhere.
*Anybody who listens to critics won’t be able to work for God.
*Somen can’t be successful without being criticised
*I have a culture of excellence