Yemi Osinbajo
Committed to achieving its objective of creating a conducive business environment in Nigeria, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) chaired by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN has approved a 60-day national action plan to push through short term reforms.

The Acting President, who addressed journalists after the Council’s meeting attended today by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara at the State House, said the Council will within the stipulated period focus on areas that will not only deliver tangible changes for SMEs but also help improve Nigeria’s entire business environment within the shortest possible time.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, ``we are trying to improve the business environment in three broad respects; the entry and exit of goods; entry and exit of persons into Nigeria, and then general government transparency- transparency and efficiency in government agencies, parastatals.

``The whole idea is that we are able to provide an environment for those who want to do business in Nigeria- local businesses and of course, foreign businesses.’’

The Acting President said the participation of National Assembly’s leadership at Tuesday’s meeting was to ``work together, trying to improve the business environment in Nigeria.’’

Prof. Osinbajo said the renewed synergy with the legislature was to ensure that all the necessary legislations relating to the reforms were passed by the National Assembly.

The Acting President said: ``There are pieces of legislations that we are also looking forward to seeing. We are working together with the National Assembly to ensure that these pieces of legislations are passed.``

He added that the expected outcome of the new plan will be noticeable in improvements in all the key areas of government that facilitate trade and commerce.

According to Acting President Osinbajo, ``there are improvements which we expect to see at our ports. Improvements at our airports, improvements at the seaports, improvements in immigration visas etc.

``So there are quite a few things that we have seen and which we will continue to look at.’’

Prof. Osinbajo however noted that ``the set timelines in the action plan were to ensure that we are not just speaking about these things without necessarily tying ourselves down to specific timelines.’’

In his own remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki stressed the importance of the executive/legislature collaboration in creating a conducive business environment for both local and foreign businesses in Nigeria.

The senate president, who commended the efforts of the executive, said the National Assembly would look into some of the issues that it could to improve the business environment in the country.

The Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives led the leadership of the National Assembly to the expanded meeting of the PEBEC.

Also present at the meeting were federal ministers who are members of the Council including the Attorney General &Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami, SAN; Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Dr Okey Enelamah; Power, Works and Housing Minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN; and the Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

Other members of the Council including the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd), the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammed Babandede and the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, attended the meeting.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, names Adeyinka Asekun as a new non-career ambassadorial nominee, it was gathered.

Asekun, a banker will join the list of 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees who will be screened by the Senate.

Senate President Bukola Saraki while addressing lawmakers, on Tuesday, announced the fresh addition to the list of nominee initially submitted to the Senate.

The addition of Asekun’s name was conveyed in a letter sent to the Senate by Osinbajo.

A list of the batch of nominees were submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, January 12, before leaving Nigeria to the United Kingdom.

Asekun, an indigene of Ogun State is currently the chairman of Wema Bank.

He graduate from the University of Wisconsin and bagged an MBA from the California State University.

He headed retail banking sections at the United Bank for Africa and now defunct Oceanic Bank.

Written By  Moses Olafare

Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II
The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II has said that the ancient city of Ile-Ife has devised cultural tourism revolution as veritable tool in battling recession reducing it's effects to a minimal lever for his people and Nigerians. 

He said this during the celebration of AJE festival (festival of wealth) in Ile-Ife on Monday attended by residents, guests and worshippers from different parts of the world who were seen praying for wealth and abundance.

Ooni said trade by barter remained one of the best trading systems in the world regretting that Nigeria and other African countries began to have economic challenges when they relegated traditional trading methods.

To revive Nigeria and Africa economy, the Spiritual leader of Yoruba race advised that the nature should be upheld in addition to massive involvement in agriculture.

When asked if non-celebration of a festival contributed to the economic hardship in Nigeria, the Ooni said in affirmative that "It is because we are not paying obeisance to what we should be paying it to. Before colonisation started, our forefathers did all these and they survived in abundance".  
He said, "We are paying obeisance  to the creation of God. Aje is something that everybody craves for. If we do what we are supposed to be doing, we will be a leading country in the world as it used to be at some point and things will turn around".

The well loved monarch added that "It is even turning around for us already in Ile-Ife. We don't have anything that we do than worship the Almighty God and paying high obeisance to nature as mysteries created by God in which nobody can do without, that is why everything is booming for us despite the recession. We are focusing on agriculture and youths empowerment too. This is one thing other race and nation can emulate." 

The foremost African monarch concluded his speech with a brief history of AJE and Ejigbomekun MARKET explaining that "Aje(deity of wealth) is a mother and goddess created at the dawn of time sent to the earth alongside Olokun(goddess of oceans) just like God also sent the duo of Obatala as Olofin owuro kutukutu and Oranfe Onile ina. 

While Aje and Olokun served and have since become the supernatural benefactors of earthly wealth for mankind, Obatala Olofin owuro  kutukutu and Oranfe(Sango) Osangangan were and still remain the custodians of morning and afternoon respectively who combined efforts to build EJIGBOMEKUN market(EJI in Yoruba means TWO) with courses used as means of    exchange after trade by barter. 

All race of the world spent the first currency in the world created by nature from beneath the sea. It was first spent and discovered at Ejigbomekun market in Ile-Ife under the administration of AJE". Ooni Ogunwusi explained. 

Iyaloja General of Nigeria, Folashade Tinubu-Ojo who led hundreds of leaders of markets from across Nigeria urged leaders in the country to use the opportunity of Aje festival to intensify efforts in ending recession in the country.

"Today is about our tradition, culture. Aje is a very important festival to boost our economy. I hope government will provide the enabling environment to keep this up. All countries have their tradition and ways of getting things resolved. Our leaders should work tirelessly to ensure that recession is not allowed to stay." Iyaloja General said. 

Popular Musician, Wasiu Ayinde (Kwam 1), saluted the determination of the Ooni Ogunwusi for ensuring that culture of the yoruba race does not perish.

"I am here to celebrate Aje which symbolises wealth. I congratulate Ooni for being the custodian of tradition. It furthers shows the richness of yoruba culture and this should continue," he added.

Owa eredunmi of Ife, Oba Olaoluwa Omiwenu said by celebrating Aje always, the deity would make the economy flourish.

Obalara of Ile-Ife, Chief oluwagbemiga Adebayo, said the festival was used to appeal to God for the provision of wealth for Nigerians.

"When we discovered that everywhere is tight and poverty was much. We we talk to the Almighty Olodumare through Ifa Oracle and we were told to celebrate AJE . This has solution to economic recession. The shortage of fund won't make traders sell well and every gets to suffer". Obalara said.

Lowa Ate of Ife, High Chief Adebowale Olafare speaking on behalf of the Kingmakers described Ooni Ogunwusi as the messiah sent by God to free Yoruba from economic hardship through culture and tourism. He said the Ooni has undoubtedly within a year recorded colossal success in his revolution of culture and tourism. 

"Baba is God sent, he is the messiah of our time,  he has come to liberate the black race the neglect of culture and tradition which is responsible for economic. suffering. His passion to make life abundantly enjoyable for us in Ife Kingdom and Yorubaland is unrivaled". High Chief Lowa Ate stated. 

As a key promoter of AJE festival, Chief Mrs Toyin Kolade, the Iyalaje of Apapa, in Lagos and very close ally of  Ooni Ogunwusi expressed satisfaction at the success of 2017 AJE festival which she said is a catalyst for the economic and commercial greater thing to happen in Nigeria. The erudite international biz woman added that "To live long, good health, you need to pay for something. The importance of Aje is beyond a mere celebration, it is a collection of all form of trading to build the economy of the nation. It is a uniting factor to wealth and an element that no one dislikes". Toyin Kolade added. 

AJE fondly called "Oguguluso Onisooboji" formed Oja Ejigbomekun as the first market in the world with the joint efforts of Oranfe Onile ina and Obatala owuro kutukutu. 

OJA IFE(Ejigbomekun) became the birthplace for profit, wealth, business, trade, advancement and economic development. Eledumare(God) gave AJE, mother of 2 children ERE(profit) and ESU ERE(anxiety of profit) some cowries from Olokun's pot as the first currency to trade at the market.

The immigrants later to these cowries as symbol of AJE to invoke her spirit and establish her model of trade and commerce in various markets around the world. 

The descendants of Oranfe Onile ina still till today gather at the spot of AJE's shop within Ejigbomekun market where she served as Iyaloja.

AJE is a deity associated with festivities like Olojo festival. Mankind still works for to earn a living and we toil lifetime for her in OJA IFE in Ile-Ife and globally as her spirit still answers the call of those who seek her sincerely. 

Saraki osinbajo dogara
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is currently meeting behind-close-doors with Senate President Bukola Saraki, House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara and other top government officials.

It is an extended meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council.

The meeting, taking place at the Vice President's Wing of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja, is being attended by Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami as well as the Ministers of Information, Trade and Investment, Power, Works and Housing.

Comptroller-Generals of the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Immigration Service are also in attendance.

This is coming as more uncertainty brewed on President Muhammadu Buhari's Health status. The President Today through his media aide, Femi Adesina have told Nigerian to expect him not so soon as test result from his Uk doctor required that he must have adequate rest. 

He, however, thanked all who have been praying over his poor health.

Details later...

The French Invasion of Nigeria by Proxy, By Richards Murphy
Nigeria has indeed seen tough times, tough times that have lasted over six years, with accompanying wanton destruction of lives and properties running into billions of naira. While it is argued in some quarters that the Boko Haram crisis has some international sponsors, I nonetheless think there is more than just foreign sponsorship of the activities of the sect.

In my opinion, there is an international conspiracy to either destroy the economy of Nigeria, or payback for constituting a hindrance to a grand plot. 

As a first, Nigeria is surrounded by former French colonies, called francophone countries. These countries share borders with Nigeria, especially the Northeast, where the activities of the Boko Haram sect is domiciled. But curiously, it was observed that Boko Haram terrorist often get their supplies from these countries especially Chad and Mali. That is not the catch. The catch is that there is a strong presence of French troops stationed in these countries.

For instance, in Mali, there are over 3,000 French soldiers under the auspices of Operation Barkhane, a task force, dedicated to tracking Islamist rebels against the wider sub-Saharan area. 

But this is the same Mali that hundreds of Boko Haram members stayed at training camps with Malian militants for months in Timbuktu, learning to fix Kalashnikovs and launch shoulder-fired weapons, under the full glare of Operation Barkhane. It didn’t stop there, in Chad, Operation Barkhane has 1,200 troops stationed in that country. Yet, activities of Boko Haram terrorists and roving bands of Chadian deserters and former rebels who have made the region south of Chad their base of operations continued, all in the full glare of Operation Barkhane. 

Let me digress to give some foundation for the continuous presence of French troops in its former colonies. In some quarters, it is stated that the francophone countries entered into an agreement with France to provide security against a coup. So mainly the presence of French troops in these countries is to provide cover for their various business interests somewhat. And part of these activities is ensuring a steady supply of crude oil. But the usual cover story they would tell you is that the presence of French troops in Africa is part of a global mission to tackle militancy across Africa. 

However, there have been some reactions to France's deepening engagement in West Africa. Some people say that rather than preventing terrorists from coming to this part of the world, they attract them. According to a Chatham House expert, Paul Melly, France wields a level of influence in sub-Saharan Africa that it cannot command anywhere else in the world. Analysts used to refer to the "vested interests" that France had in West Africa in the post-colonial period, and how Nigeria constituted a stumbling block in its quest for outright dominance in Africa.

However, the odd angle to the whole counter-terrorism narrative as propagated by France is suspect. Suspect in the sense that on three occasions, France has called for a Boko Haram summit. The first was in 2014, tagged the Paris Security Summit, which saw leaders from Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, and Benin agree to share their technical know-how with Western allies France, as well as the U.S and Britain to defeat Boko Haram. Did anything come out of the summit? The answer is a huge no. Instead, Boko Haram activities thrived, they acquired more and more sophisticated weapons that are suspected to have been moved through intermediaries from some of the neighboring countries. 

In 2015, French President François Hollande offered to host a summit of countries fighting Nigeria's Boko Haram armed Islamists on a visit to Cameroon, as a follow-up to the 2014 summit. This again didn’t yield anything tangible. In 2016, there was another summit, where leaders of Lake Chad countries along with French President Francois Hollande, US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond gathered in Abuja to discuss a way of defeating Boko Haram. Nothing tangible was achieved. 

This is what happens when you follow the story, only to find the most cynical of intentions from every player involved, and indeed the regional politics and geopolitics of West Africa as a whole. Second is the political and economic chessboard in West Africa, where a few interested parties stand to gain from Boko Haram’s ongoing attacks and destabilization of the entire Nigerian state. For example, Chad sees in Nigeria potential oil profits as it expands its oil extraction capabilities throughout the Chad Basin. Of course, major oil companies, not to mention powerful western nations such as France, have a vested interest in maintaining their profits from West African oil. 

Today, France’s dominant role continues as its port of Le Havre is the final destination for the unrefined oil extracted from under the feet of West Africans. Are we getting somewhere? Is it now clear why French troops stationed in these francophone countries have continued to turn blind eyes while Boko Haram fighters continue to set up camps, train and launch attacks in Nigeria? Your guess is as good as mine. Like I mentioned earlier, the interest of France is the business. For them, since Chad is drilling oil from the Lake Chad basin and the final destination is Le Havre, the insurgency has to continue so the oil can continue to flow. But for how long the French deceit will last is left to be imagined.

Murphy is a forensic psychologist and contributed this piece from Calabar, Cross River State.

A Lagos driver, Shakiru Bello, who was arrested for allegedly killing his wife, Sherifat, said he cut her remains into pieces to escape the wrath of her father, Akeem Atanda, and to avoid being prosecuted for her death.

Shakiru added that after hiding her remains in different uncompleted buildings in Lagos, he fled to Ibadan, Oyo State.

A team from the Ijora Badia Police Division, led by the Operations Officer, ASP Talabi Segun, recovered Sherifat’s head and neck in Morocco, Yaba, while other parts of her body were recovered in another uncompleted building on Moshalashi Street, Somolu.

Our correspondent gathered that Sherifat and Shakiru, who were married for over nine years, were separated in July 2016.

The victim, who lived on Daramola Street in the Ijora Badia area, had, however, last Monday reportedly demanded money for the upkeep of their three children.

Shakiru was said to have invited her to a location where they allegedly met. She never returned home.

The victim’s father, Akeem, on Tuesday reported a case of missing person to the police, leading to a search for the suspect.

A source said Akeem told policemen that an unidentified number called him that his daughter fell into a lagoon.

The source said, “The police tracked the number, and discovered that the caller was in Ibadan. He (Shakiru) was arrested and brought down to Lagos around 1am on Saturday.”

The suspect was said to have led the police to the two uncompleted buildings where the remains of the late Sherifat were recovered.

Shakiru said, “After we separated, I secretly reconciled with her and we started meeting. On the average, I gave her N15,000 in a week. On that Monday, she called me that she needed money and we agreed to meet.

“I gave her N10,000 that evening. She later begged me to accompany her to Lagos Island where her niece was admitted in a hospital. We took a motorcycle and were on the Third Mainland Bridge when a truck hit us from behind.

“I took her to my house on Olaleye Street, Somolu, around 12am. I went out to get her balm and some drugs. Unfortunately, she died. I was afraid of her father, who didn’t want to see us together. Also, I couldn’t report to the police, so I decided to put her body in a sack and dispose of it. When it was not going into the sack, I cut off her arms, head, legs and other parts.”

A police source, however, told our correspondent that the private parts of the victim were missing, saying the suspect might not be acting alone.

Our correspondent visited Akorede Street, Ijora Badia, where scores of sympathisers besieged the victim’s parents’ house.

Sherifat’s younger sister, Shakirat Kareem, said her sister was separated from the husband sometime in July 2016.

She said, “He told her that he was given a medicine which both of them must rub on their bodies before making love.  My sister tricked him and secretly told another relative, who informed my father. My father ordered us to go and pack her luggage. That was how they separated.

“But four weeks ago, he called her on the telephone and said he wanted to see her, but my sister refused. I grabbed the phone from her and told him never to call her again.”

The victim’s father, Akeem, said he was informed that his daughter was missing lastTuesday, adding that when he called the suspect, he denied knowing her whereabouts.

He said, “He told us he was at a traditional healing home in Ibadan where he was receiving treatment for an accident. When we got there, the owner of the home denied seeing him.

“We went to his mother’s house and she said she was coming out to see us. We later noticed she had sneaked out through the back door and escaped.

“The police in Lagos later asked us to come down; that they had arrested him. The Area Commander, Area B, told me that my daughter had been killed and her corpse cut into pieces.

“The police should arrest all those involved in the killing. I want justice for her. It is unfortunate that my daughter has three children for him.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said investigations were ongoing.

 “The state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, has directed that the suspect be prosecuted in a law court at the end of investigations,” she added.


Text Culled from Punch Newspaper
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