NAN, NTA, FRCN, others get New Chief Executives

1. Mr. Ishaq Modibo Kawu – Director-General, Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC
2. Mr. Mansur Liman – Director-General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN)
3. Mr. Yakubu Mohammed – Director-General, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA)
4. Dr. Garba Abari, Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA)
5. Mr. Bayo Onanuga – Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
6. Mr. Osita Okechukwu – Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON)
The new appointees replace the Chief Executives of the parastatals who were disengaged on Febraury 15, 2016.
The appointments take immediate effect, a statement on Wednesday said

Nigeria to host World Pension Summit in Abuja


Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, the Director-General, National Pencom Commission (PenCom), said on Friday that Nigeria was ready to host the second edition of the World Pension Summit-Africa Special in Abuja.

Anohu-Amazu said this in Lagos during an interactive session with newsmen on the upcoming event and the launch of a new logo for the commission. She said the event was scheduled for Oct. 5 and Oct. 6 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, with the theme “Building Sustainable Pension Systems in Africa’’.

The director-general explained that the successes recorded by Nigeria in pension administration since the inception of the new system gave the country the lead in Africa. “I am happy to say that the successes recorded so far in the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme, lends itself to be replicated in other jurisdictions across Africa. “It is with this in mind that the commission partnered with the` WorldPensionSummit, The Netherlands’, a global pension brand, to host the maiden edition of the WorldPensionSummit – Africa Special – in Abuja, Nigeria, last year, to discuss and share ideas on pension administration in Africa.

“The summit was adjudged a great success as over 400 delegates from 23 countries, including 15 African countries attended,’’ she said. According to her, the forthcoming summit would once more attract diverse experts from across the world in the areas of investment, infrastructure financing, real estate and other pension-related fields. Anohu-Amazu added that “reforms and developments in African pension systems (regional reports’’ and global developments in pension systems’’ would be part of issues to be addressed at the summit.

The other subjects include “The real deal: Structuring pension investments for sustainability’’ and “Expanding investment frontiers for pension funds’’. “It is expected that such exposure would provide milestones, against which Africa, as a continent, can benchmark its performance in the area of pension,’’ she said. However, she noted that not much had been achieved in Africa in the area of micro pension plans, and stressed the urgent need to redress the situation by emulating the advances in China and Kenya. She also announced the introduction of Africa Pension Awards in the upcoming event to appreciate innovation, excellence and commitment to the development of pensions in the continent.

On his part, the Co-founder of the “WorldPensionSummit, The Netherlands’’, Mr Eric Eden, underscored the need to build trust, transparency and accountability to alleviate poverty among retirees in the world. The event was also graced by the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Mr Femi Adesina, NLC and TUC representatives as well as other stakeholders in the pension industry. ---- NAN

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You are invited to flag off " Friends of Catholic Secretariat Nigeria" Tue 30TH June 2015, 5pm #Abuja




You are invited to a cocktail to FLAG OFF “FRIENDS OF CSN” which will take place As follows:

DATE: Tuesday 30TH June 2015 TIME: 5pm 

VENUE: Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Durumi Abuja

Special guest of honour: Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja




HOST: Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu Secretary General, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria RSVP: 08061233440

Soludo's Solution Of Anger And Innuendo By Nasir El Rufai

Long before the publication of The Accidental Public Servant, I had decided to resist joining issues with whatever commentators wrote in response to the book by way of either attacking the author or its contents. It is a narrative of my experiences and views, and   I would simply invite others to document theirs. Many of those that commented on, or 'reviewed' the book had not even read it in full. Others had decided long before it was published that they would attack El-Rufai and whatever he writes, while a few others were simply going to be unhappy with how they were presented in the book as being less than perfect. When one writes a 700-page book, one has to take a deep breath and allow others the slack to write a few pages in response, however disagreeable or abusive.


When I wrote The Accidental Public Servant, there were no illusions that its account would be uncontested. As I have said repeatedly, it is simply my account of the people and events that defined my years in public service. I took several precautions (such as double-checking from the copious notes and diaries of events that were taken after every major encounter - about forty seven note books in total) of ensuring that it is a truthful, balanced and fair account of my experience. I do not have a professorial memory, so kept daily journals of events including verbatim records of statements. I am delighted that I took the time to write it, and I once again encourage others who have been privileged to be in the public service to similarly record their experiences. Those who may choose not to write books can still contribute by responding to specific issues mentioned in my narrative on which they may have other information, however critical or contrary to my account.


Professor Charles (I have always called him Charles because that is how we were introduced. I have never gotten used to calling him Chukwuma) Soludo approached me at the end of the recent thanksgiving service for my sister, Oby Ezekwesili, to complain about some of the assertions in my book concerning him. He denied that he owed his consulting jobs with the World Bank and other institutions to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. He denied being mentored or taught by her father. He added that he had not read the entire book but would send me two pages of his initial observations. I encouraged him not only to do so, but publish it and work on a book documenting his experiences. Knowing Charles as I do, I had no doubt that he was already doing that and the first episode has now been published in his fortnightly column in Thisday.
Thus, his rebuttal did not come as a surprise; given  that I encouraged him to do so as I have nothing to hide. Even so, it is shocking that he chose to sensationalise his version of events by describing The Accidental Public Servant as intellectual fraud. There is a question mark in the title of his article, but the last sentence of Charles' diatribe restated his magisterial conclusion. He went further to provide his own definitions of fraud as "an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual" or "as course of deception, an intentional concealment, omission or perversion of truth"; only to stop there! Fraud has a technical and legal definition and if Charles had bothered to consult his lawyer, he would have gone beyond the 'online definition', but that is another matter for now.
It is illogical to contest someone’s CV with him in the absence of contrary and superior information. I therefore concede to Charles' account of his professional odyssey prior to his being introduced to us in 2000 by Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, long before joining the Obasanjo government in 2003. The logical question therefore is how any of the examples he gave of the errors in his resume would without more, rise to the level of fraud? Why would I intentionally deceive the world that Soludo's tenure as governor of CBN started in mid-2005 rather than May of 2004? This only occurred when one of the book's editors thought the 2004 date was wrong and 'corrected' it but that escaped subsequent editorial reviews. What is the personal gain to me in describing Soludo as a protégé of Professor Okonjo or how did the description damage him when he just referred to the same Professor Okonjo as "respected"? So, Charles needs to substantiate how any assertion, error or omission in the book amounts to "fraud" per his definition.  
After that, I do not see much that is significant to warrant a clarification from me. One friend on Twitter observed that Charles' polemic had so much anger and little substance that he truly sounded as angry as a woman scorned!  Much of Charles’ response is enlivened by innuendos. He repeats the frequent charge about my ambition for the presidency in 2007, a charge that is untrue but that is often echoed as if that ambition, if it existed, is akin to treason. Charles knows that I do not consider illegitimate his desire to be governor of his state or his current hopes to be a presidential running-mate. But he should know better than most that ambition for office is not the only reason for being active in politics. Since Charles has claimed that I 'schemed desperately' to succeed Obasanjo, he should please tell all - inform Nigerians what I did, who was involved and spill the beans! Virtually all the narratives in The Accidental Public Servant about Charles involved others that are still alive, and if he said I made them up, perhaps he should state his version and invite others mentioned to invalidate my claim instead of calling anyone a liar just because he did not like the way his conduct appeared in the book.


Charles was introduced to me by Ngozi, and that was the foundation of our professional relationship and friendship. As far as I know, it was also Ngozi who proposed his name for economic adviser and Oby (and her husband) took him to Obasanjo several times before he was appointed. If Charles is denying that this happened, that is fine. It does not change the facts, and those that did what they did know what they did or did not do! Why is Charles so hurt that others have helped him?  Is he suggesting that he had won the Nobel Prize in Economics and that is how Obasanjo got to meet and appoint him?
Charles presented his jaundiced interpretations of what I wrote in clear language as my views in his piece. For instance, there was nowhere in the book that I wrote that 'Ngozi was power hungry.' She was pragmatic and realistic about power relations. How does that equate to being power hungry? Charles is playing with words in a patently dishonest way, knowing that many that will read his piece have not read the book, but he is not the intellectual fraud! Charles also asserted that I forced myself on the economic team and “destroyed it”! Was it El-Rufai that composed the membership of the team? When and how was the team single-handedly destroyed by me? As far as I know, warts and all, the economic team kept on working till May 29, 2007. Again, I invite Charles to educate us all now, bearing in mind virtually all the team members are still alive and around, even after he stopped attending its weekly meetings.
In the book, I wrote that Charles did many things to ingratiate himself to Obasanjo, one of which was to attribute every good 'idea' to the latter; not actual achievements, since there were few in the early days. Charles' response was to misrepresent what was written, just as he knows that there is no weight to the claim that appointees under a presidential system cannot claim credit for their work. To acknowledge the opportunity President Obasanjo gave me to serve, and the support he provided to help us succeed at the FCT is very different from pretending that only the boss had any ideas on how to administer Abuja, or that he oozed perfection, presidential system or not.
Charles also came out guns blazing questioning my narratives of events involving his new mentor Atiku Abubakar, and Nuhu Ribadu and Obasanjo. In Charles' views, these three people made me tick in government and I should be eternally grateful. Charles has not read the book. If he did, he would have come across all the instances in which I gave each of them credit for what they did right and how they contributed to the work I did. Unlike Charles who makes people believe they are perfect when he needs them, I was consistent in and out of office in pointing to those I worked with where I believe they went wrong Just as I was self critical of my own shortcomings. In Charles' vocabulary, that is ingratitude. In mine, it is simply utilitarian sycophancy to attribute perfection to imperfect mortals because they are likely to help one's career next week!
Charles claimed that I pleaded with him to provide technical assistance to BPE. That is false. That conversation just never happened. Those familiar with BPE know that we hired people either as regular public servants, individual consultants called 'core team' members that work full time in the organization or investment bankers and consulting firms like lawyers and accountants that provided periodic transactional services as needed. Charles and his economic consulting firm did not fit into any of the three categories. I appointed him to the membership of two reform steering committees - Competition and Anti-Trust and the Industry and Manufacturing Reform Committees along with persons of the calibre of Pat Utomi, Oby Ezekwesili, and Aliko Dangote. I was the coordinator of both committees as DG of the BPE, with Ibrahim S. Njiddah, now a presidential assistant doing the day-to-day management. I am now learning from the Charles’ piece that he single-handedly did the work of the Competition Reform Committee for free. I did not realize that all the other notable members did nothing! Well, thanks Charles, but Steering Committee members got hotel accommodation and were paid sitting allowances by the BPE, so I do not quite understand what was meant by asserting that you did the work free of charge.
That leaves us with asking Charles to detail the fraud he alleges was attendant to the efforts we made to restore the Abuja master plan. He claimed that my ‘vindictiveness’ nearly ruined the exercise. Really? There is need to say more right on this away. I am challenging Charles to substantiate these innuendos with names and details of my alleged vindictiveness in his article since everybody knows that my service at the FCT is a matter of public record that has been investigated by several institutions unsympathetic to me, and all Abuja residents know about and still comment upon it.
The rest of Soludo’s article was spent blowing his trumpet of banking consolidation with his characteristic modesty! The dismissal of Charles' over-hyped banking consolidation in The Accidental Public Servant therefore appeared to upset him more than anything else. He is still under the illusion that his 'revolution' changed our lives the way GSM licensing did! No one needs a single 234Next to see through the hype and the disingenuous comparison. Banks like First Bank, UBA, Union, Zenith IBTC, and GTB needed no consolidation. They had sound business models and were doing well without it. Soludo’s consolidation abolished investment banks and regional banks, while creating a few ‘big’ banks with funny names many of which were either comatose by 2009 or had to be subsequently saved by the Sanusi Lamido Sanusi rescue exercise. It is pathetic to measure the success of consolidation by the number of banks in the top 1,000 banks in the world. Did that ranking translate into increased lending to the real sector, greater employment opportunities for our people and intensified mobilization of savings in the way the GSM revolution did? No way, only massive margin loans to create a stock market bubble, engender insider lending and incestuous relations between regulators and operators in the industry.

The kind of targeted interventions needed to fill the gaps sustained by some of such policies were opposed by Soludo unless the ideas originated from him. As CBN governor, Charles did all he could to frustrate the attempts to establish a national mortgage system and was openly critical of Ngozi's drive and contributions in getting the Paris Club debts written off for the simple reason that the the credit might go to others not Soludo!
Charles is free to beat his chest and claim that the deformed baby called consolidation was a revolution, but today many of the the poster-children of the policy like Intercontinental, Oceanic, Finbank and Spring Bank are history, the banking-stockbroking rock stars are facing prosecution, and with N4 trillion spent to prevent the collapse of his revolution. When Charles’ memoirs are published, those that either witnessed it or had to clean up ‘the world’s fastest growing financial system’ will have their own views. And it will be good for the country. After all, it has been said that every story has at least three sides, my version, your version and the truth which lies

somewhere in between the two. If one refers to a book one finds disagreeable as intellectual fraud while insisting that a cancer one created that has cost nearly the annual budget of the federal government to treat, so far, as a resounding success, then what more is there to say? It simply points to the moral and psychological mind-set of such a person.


 originally published in 2013

24th World Economic Forum on Africa will take place in #Abuja, Nigeria, on 7-9 May 2014 #WEFA2014



For the 1st time in Abuja, Nigeria  the World Economic Forum on Africa will take place.  the theme this year is "Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs". More than 900 leaders from business, government, civil society and academia will participate in the meeting on 7-9 May.

Click here for the programme of events 

Nigeria Police Officer hands over huge sum recovered in robbery chase #Abuja


By Nigeria Police Watch

A Nigerian Police officer recovered huge sums from robbers on Friday in Abuja after a spontaneous chase on his power bike in a rare display of exemplary policing. The robbers, riding on a lower engine motor-bike snatched a money bag containing N150,000 from the victim as he walked out of a bank in heart of the Area 3 part of town.

The victim’s call for help drew the attention of the police officer, Abu Tanko, a Police motorcycle rider attached to the Force Headquarters Abuja. Mr Tanko swiftly chased the robbers as they fled off with the cash. After few kilometers, at a point around the neighbouring Area 8, he caught with the robbers.

The the robbers flung the money bag and ran away as he slowed down to pick up the bag. Heroic Mr. Tanko returned to the scene about 15 minutes later with the whole sum of money intact and handed it in the bewildered owner before a cheering crowd.

Nigerian police officers are notorious for corruption and instability around money, forcing most Nigerians to rely on self-help or alternative security. “It is an indication that there are still a few ones out there,” the force said in a Facebook post it made about the heroic officer. “All hope is not yet lost!” The police advised distressed citizens to always call its officers because they institutionally required to respond to all distress calls.

The Abuja Food Expo - Dont Miss the Celebrity Cook out, Eagle SQ #Abuja


The Food Expo is coming to the nation’s capital  today. A 3-day community based event, creating awareness about food and use involvement within the agricultural sector. An event aiming to create excitement about agricultural opportunities amongst the Nigerian Youth, possibly leading to increased participation within the industry, an essential measure to ensure the long-term sustainability of expansion of Nigerian agricultural production and process capacity.

With a proposed variety of avenues and platforms, the Food Expo plans to relate with young people by engaging them in creative conversations centered on agriculture, helping them make well informed decisions about getting involved in the agricultural sector. Different activities shall be incorporated into the program to entertain yet educate the youth, such as workshops, a “Young Entrepreneur Challenge” and a “Celebrity Cookout” with confirmed celebrities such as Stella Damasus, Timi Dakolo, Nse Ikpe-Etim and Chigurl and confirmed participating radio stations. Alongside the education and entertainment aspect, food companies and other famous brands such as Dangote, Nestle, Heinz, Maggi, Grand Cereals, Vita Milk, Tropica, Scanfrost, Frutta, Pringles, Snickers Chocolate, 7Days Croissants, and so much more to show case and sell their products to Expo participants at extreme discounted prices with even Special Royal Farms with their knock-off prices on fresh produce of food, fruits and vegetables.

This is the ultimate Christmas bargain exhibition not to be missed. From Christmas hampers, tomatoes, yam, even ugu, it is definitely the Christmas shopper’s paradise!

This jam-packed festival, celebrating local farmers, chefs, companies and organizations who work to better our food system and encourage the youth to participate in Agriculture, will be held December 7th to the 9th at Eagle Square, Abuja.

An event not to be missed! For more information, please visit: Twitter @FoodExpo or call 08088017995