In The Spotlight
The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) on Monday commenced distribution of 291,332 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) across Ebonyi, Cross River and Bayelsa state in preparation for the 2019 general elections.
No fewer than 100 students of Idogbo Secondary School, Benin, have been trafficked to Libya in the last four months.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged Nigerians to imbibe the principles of creativity, innovation and hard work for the development of the country.
Osinbajo made the call at the Sunday service of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Abuja, and said that character and integrity were also pillars for nation-building.
“The reality is that true success is line-by-line, precept-by-precept, building-block upon building-block, hard work, innovation and character that is the measure of true success.
“The scripture says that God made us in his own image; that creativity that He commanded us to perform in every way is what will change our nation.
“Our creativity, our innovation, our hard work, and it was a command; So, if we obey God, if we are creative, if we are innovative, if we are hardworking, our nation will change,” Osinbajo stated.
He added that there were many countries with “huge resources like ours, and there are many countries with no resources whatsoever but their creativity is the added value that makes a difference.
“So, it doesn’t matter whether you have resources or not. It doesn’t matter where you started from or how low, it is the value that you add by your creativity, by your hard work, by your innovation, by obeying God.
“Doing things differently is what we need to move the nation forward.”
The vice president, who also attended Pentecost Day Service/Rally of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, called on Nigerians to be agents of transformation in their environments.
He also urged the people to pray for their leaders.
The National Chairman of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Chief Peter Ameh, said National Assembly did no wrong in increasing 2018 Budget from N8.61 trillion to N9.12 trillion.
Ameh made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
The Appropriation Bill was increased by the legislature by N508 billion, from N8.61 trillion proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari when he presented it to the assembly in November, 2017.
…says goodwill can’t buy DisCo
CEC Africa Investments Limited (CECA), a major shareholder of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has blamed its partner, Xerxes Global Investment Limited for breaching a $41 million funding agreement for acquiring the DisCo in 2013.
In a statement by the company on Tuesday, CECA dismissed claims by the Chairman of Xerxes Limited, Amb. Shehu Malami in an interview in some newspapers, saying the investors’ crisis at AEDC is being fuelled by greed.
Malami in the interview claimed that CECA ought to pay him for his goodwill and name which facilitated the sale of AEDC to KANN Utility Company Limited, their consortium.
But CECA in the statement said goodwill could not have bought the DisCo. During the privatisation exercise, there were financial obligations the bidders were expected to meet which prompted CECA and Xerxes to agree on the financial arrangements, starting with the initial payment of $41m to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
It said Xerxes immediately failed to pay its contribution leaving all the payments to be done by CECA.
“Till date, Xerxes has not shown any capacity to repay its part of that obligation to CECA, six years after the privatisation. Yet it wants to claim major ownership of AEDC but has failed to fulfil any financial obligation and has left the business risk on CECA,” said Engr. Emmanuel Katepa, the Managing Director of CECA.
Engr. Katepa further challenged Malami and Xerxes to tell the public if it brought any fund in the acquisition of AEDC. “Ambassador Shehu Malami failed to address the central issue which remains that he and his organisation are claiming shares for which they have failed to pay and show no capacity to pay.
“In recognition of its failure to pay its share of the acquisition cost in 2013, Xerxes even pledged to CECA, as security, half of its equity share in KANN. At the time, the arrangement was expected to be cured within 120 days, during which time Xerxes was to source its contribution and pay its share. As we speak, Malami has not paid, yet is denying us the right to that majority equity stake,” Katepa noted.
He said it was on this basis that CECA and Xerxes went to the London Arbitration Court and secured judgement in favour of CECA. This award was further recognised in the High Court of Nigeria in February 2018. Not pleased with this, the statement said, Xerxes approached the Appeals Court sitting in Abuja, where the appeal is pending.
“We have the facts. We have managed power utilities in several African countries and are transforming AEDC but Xerxes is frustrating this effort, insisting on the removal of the very qualified and experienced officials who, working hand in hand with Nigerian personnel, are making the change at AEDC possible to be replaced by unknown people with no recorded experience of managing any power utility.”
CECA insisted that having goodwill does not translate to financing the acquisition of the power utility firm.
“We will not be driven into silence for exercising our rights in steering the affairs of AEDC to improving the power supply experience of our esteemed customers,” Engr. Katepa concluded.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on Monday received communication from President Muhammadu Buhari on his resumption to duty.
Speaking shortly after the letter was handed over to him by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters (House of Reps) Hon. Suleiman Abdurahman Kawu Sumaila, Dogara said he will read the letter to his colleague in plenary on Tuesday since the communication was meant for them.
“Tomorrow (Tuesday) I will read this to my colleagues on the floor of the House and thereafter make comments from there,” he said.
“However, permit me to thank you for working hard to ensure that there is hamonious working relationship between the Executive and the National Assembly.”
“In your own case I can say it was an appointment that we can truly say amounted to putting a round peg in a round hole or a square peg in a square hole.”
“So no wonder we have seen to some extend some form of understanding between the National Assembly and the presidency.”
“We promise that we will cooperate more than we fight like i said before we will always fight and that has been the practice in all climes and ours cannot an exception but we will cooperate more in the interest of our people rather than fight.”
While presenting the letter to the Speaker, Senior Special Assistant to the Prsident on National Assembly matters (House of Reps) Hon. Suleiman Abdurahman Kawu Sumaila commended him for supporting the president and the Executive arm of government.