Report:Finance, Insurance Coys  Aid  services Sector Growth

The Central Bank of Nigeria,says Nigeria’s  services sector recorded slight growth in the third quarter of 2021.
The development was due  to the improved performances of the finance and insurance sectors, the apex bank said in its 2021 third-quarter economic report.
It added:“The services and agriculture sectors grew, in real terms, in the third quarter of 2021, while the industry sector dipped, owing to the contraction of some of its activity sectors.
“The services sector recorded an improved growth of 8.41 per cent (year-on-year), in contrast to a contraction of 5.49 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2020. Finance and insurance, trade, and ICT subsectors drove the growth, which grew by 23.23 per cent, 11.90 per cent and 9.66 per cent, respectively. “
The report said the performance of the finance and insurance subsector was in response to the improvement in economic activities, which led to increases in the volume and value of credit disbursed to finance business and consumer expenditures.
According to the report,the agriculture sector recorded a slower growth of 1.22 per cent in Q3 2021, compared with 1.39 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2020.
It attributed the slower growth in the sector to the 3.97 per cent contraction in the fishing subsector caused by the seasonal rise in the water levels, it added.
It added  that crop production, livestock, and forestry subsectors grew by 1.36 per cent, 0.12 per cent, and 1.98 per cent, respectively.
It said the performance of the industrial sector improved in the third quarter of 2021, recording a lower contraction of 1.63 per cent, compared to 6.12 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2020.
It said the sector’s improvement was due largely to the performance of the manufacturing and mining and quarrying sub-sector.
Mede  To  Drive Oando Energy Renewable Business

Oando Appoints Clean Energy Expert into Board to Drive Renewable  BusinessTHISDAYLIVE
Oando Energy Resources, has appointed an environmentalist, Mrs. Nana Mede, into its board of directors.
The energy solutions provider said  Mede  would bring her expertise to ensuring the company’s clean energy ambitions were actualised.
The  company,in a statement described the appointment of the new clean energy driver of the company as crucial.
Mede had  served as a permanent secretary at the Federal Ministry of Environment, where she coordinated the formulation of the Nigerian Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) document on Greenhouse Gases (GHG) in relation to Climate Change.
The company   also announced the appointment of another seasoned female professional, Mrs Ronke Sokefu, into its board of directors, explaining that the appointment of women into its board showed its sensitivity to gender balance and gender inclusion in the Nigerian energy sector.
Sokefun has over 35 years of work experience, according to the statement.
She moved to the Oando Group in 2002, where within a few years, she rose to the position of Chief Legal Officer.
The statement added that during this period, Sokefu also sat on the board of the telecom’s giant – Celtel/Zain (now Airtel) as an alternate director.
“A review of Oando’s culture shows that it has been conscious of the imbalance within the sector and as such, has always prioritised two things: strengthening indigenous capacity and ensuring gender parity wherever possible,” Oando stated.
Tinubu Will Unify Nigeria-Shettima

Senator Kashim Shettima,  former governor of Borno State, has said that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,will unify Nigeria if he wins the presidential election next year.
He hinged his claim on the fact that the leader of the All Progressives Congress ,APC, has rich ideas and strategies to fix the nation’s battered economy and unite Nigerians.
He maintained  that Tinubu deserves  the huge support he enjoys because of the sacrifice the has made for democracy in Nigeria.
He spoke at  a conference of Supporters Group Management Council (SGMC), a coalition platform for groups rooting for the Jagaban Borgu, where he also  insisted that power must shift to the Southern part of the country in the interest of equity, fairness and justice.
He said Nigeria is at a critical junction in history, requiring patriots and  citizens to chose wisely who takes them beyond 2023.
“We are brought together by a forest of ideas, but what defines us and sets us apart from other political groups is this collective realisation that the future of this country rests on the choice of a unifying leader; a leader who panders to neither ethnic nor religious agenda, and one who isn’t bound by toxic regional solidarity and yet known for a track record of outstanding leadership.
” If you look round this country in search of such a noble character, the count easily falls on the subject of this gathering: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu”.
He also punctured critics who have focused on the age of the former Lagos State governor to dismiss his aspiration, stating that the race for the nation’s top seat is not an Olympic race.
According to him,Tinubu’s work ethics which stands him out among his contemporaries is what the country needs to come out of the woods.
“The mudslinging that has trailed Asiwaju since his presidential bid took the top spot in the country is a mere acknowledgment of his political track record and inimitable influence on our political scene. The attempts at weaving ridiculous fiction to override the history we’ve all witnessed demonstrate the detractors’ utter desperation and cowardice.
“One of such is the mischievous fixation on his age and the wild conclusions that he’s physically unsuitable for the Office of the President. This obsession characterizes the thinking of those who have no understanding of Asiwaju’s incredible work ethic..
Also speaking at the gathering, former Secretary to the Government, Pastor Babachir Lawal,bemoaned  the failure of  leadership witthin the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC),noting that the objective of building a cohesive and virile political party has eluded the leadership of the  party.
He said:”The incapacity of the party to even harmonize and synergize policy
direction of the federal government with that of states it controls especially in
key critical areas around which the campaigns were ran, speaks volumes about its incompetence” .
He criticized Governor Mai Mala Buni led APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC),describing it  as a cabal.
He disclosed that the CECPC has hijacked the party and compounded the entire organs of the party but failing to conduct common ward, LGA and state Congresses.
“Compounding these problems in the last one year is the apparent hijacking of
the party by a self-serving cabal who, driven by personal ambitions, have failed to organize even simple conflict-free Ward, Local Government, and State Congresses not to talk of a National Convention.As we speak, there are only a  handful of states in the country that do not have parallel state executives.
“This is the current state of our party and it is in this environment that we
gathered here must operate to deliver Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the party’s flag bearer at the 2023 presidential election. And this we will do be it through consensus, indirect or direct party primaries by the grace of God. We are neither offended or threatened by whichever method the party chooses to adapt for the emergence of its presidential candidate.”.
NLNG’s Cooking Gas Policy Excites FG

NLNG set to supply 100% of its cooking gas production to local market -  Nairametrics
Minister of State for the Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor has  hailed  the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited for its decision to suspend the export of cooking gas while approving 100 per cent domestic supply of the product.
Saghir el Mohammed, the Ministry’s Director Press, conveyed the Minister’s position in a statement.
She noted that such a bold initiative was a welcomed development and a step in the right direction that will not only bring down the price of the commodity but also bring relief to our forests and the ecosystems.
She stated:“The NLNG should be commended for its sensitivity and responsiveness to the plight of Nigerians. For us in the environment sector, this singular decision will not only help in restoring our forests and in addressing some of our climate challenges, but also facilitate the attainment of our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and other aspects of the Paris Agreement”.
She recalled that shortly after the increase in the prices of cooking gas in the country, millions of Nigerians could no longer afford the commodity and consequently resorted to firewood and charcoal as alternatives.
She said the unhealthy development has been so severe on the forest ecosystem that the reserves and even trees outside the forests were not spared.
Regretting that cutting the forests for fuel wood and charcoal has been a major cause of deforestation and other climate change challenges, the Minister  disclosed that wood and charcoal smokes contribute to air pollution and other pollutants that produce greenhouse gases.
“We in the environment sector strongly support and believe that by making gas available and affordable, being the cleanest of the fossil fuels, Nigeria is now set  towards cutting down on its carbon emissions drastically, thus play a prominent role during the current energy transition period”, she added.
Robbery:Ekiti Court Sentences Soldier  To Death

Court sentences dismissed ex-soldier to death for armed robbery
An Ekiti State High Court in Ado Ekiti has sentenced  an  Army officer who involved in armed robbery operation  in Ekiti and his partner  to death by hanging.
 Olasoji Damilola ,36,and Koiki Tunde Benson 32, bagged death sentence  for offence of armed robbery  while Ogbesetuyi Tunde (30) and the two defendants got  life imprisonment for offence of conspiracy and attempted robbery.
Justice Lekan Ogunmoye said, the prosecution has proved beyond  doubt the elements of offences of conspiracy, attempted robbery and armed robbery against the defendants.
According to the charge, the three defendants on  March 10th,2016,conspired and attempted to rob a Filling Station along Ikere Road, Ado Ekiti, also on 15/5/2016, Olasoji Damilola, an Army Officer who was Court Marshalled and dismissed during the pendency of the case alongside Koiki Tunde Benson conspired and robbed one Oluwadare Adebayo at a Filling Station in Odo-Ado, Ado Ekiti and carted a sum of N1,204,750.
They were armed with gun and other offensive weapons during the robbery operation
The offences run contrary to Sections 6(b) and 1 (2) (a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap. RII, Vol.14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
 The victim told the court that around 6:30pm, the defendants came to the filling station in pretence of buying fuel, they forced their way into the station’s bulk room, while begging them, one of them slapped him while the other one hit him with gun boot on the head and became unconscious.
 Koiki escaped with the money,while Olasoji Damilola was arrested at the scene.
The  prosecutor, Olawale Fapohunda, invited  two witnesses and tendered wallet, two passport photographs, Army Identity card and photocopy, statements of the defendants among others as exhibits.
Manslaughter:How Our Housemaid Died-Couple

Alleged Housemaid Manslaughter: Couple Narrates How Housemaid Died –  Independent Newspaper Nigeria
Fortune and Stephen Nwankwo, a couple accused of the murder of their housemaid, Joy Adole, told  a Lagos State High Court on Monday how their maid died by hanging herself.
The couple is facing a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy, involuntary manslaughter and accessory after the fact to murder.
They were accused of killing 19-year-old Adole on April 20, 2020, at their residence located at No. 18, Ogundola St., Bariga, Lagos.
They  denied the allegation, claiming that Adole committed suicide by hanging herself in her bedroom.
They  told the court that the lifeless body of their maid was discovery in her room on the morning of the incidence hung on the ceiling of the room with the aid of the adjustable strap of her traveling bag and  iron board beneath her.
At the resume of the matter on Monday, Fortune and Nwankwo while being led by their counsel,  Prof Paul Ananaba (SAN) to Fortune told the court that the day that preceded the incidence, Joy was caught with noodles and was beaten because she was fond of stealing foodstuffs at home.
She stated that the deceased denies stealing the foodstuffs but bought  them with her money.
Fortune also told the court that after the incident, she had a discussion with the Joy and she apologized and agreed not to do that again and when she asked what she will have for dinner, she said she was not eating till the next day.
She added:“The following morning, I called her while in the kitchen but there was no response, so I went into her room and when I opened the door, I saw her hanging on the ceiling. I screamed and called my husband and told him in our dialect that Joy has killed herself, he screamed too.
“ I called one of our neighbors to come see what happened and after then, my husband put a call to his father and he later went to the police station to report the incident. I was also asked to report at the station and give statements. The police detained me and while in the detention, my DNA, thumbprint and blood sample were taken.I was later remanded at Kirikiri prison.
During cross examination,  Mr. Yusuf Sule, the state prosecutor, Fortune told the court that she enters the deceased room around 7am and found her dead but she didn’t inform any  of the deceased family members of the incident
In his evidence, Steven Nwankwo , a Human Resources Personnel also corroborated what his wife said,saying he shocked when they discovered Joy’s lifeless body in her room.
“I did not call any member of her family because I was so shocked.
Under cross-examination, he said the first person that came to his mind was his father and that was why he called him instead of the deceased family member.
He  further told the court that he loves his wife and will not say anything she did not do in the court. He also said he believed that his wife will not also say anything he did not do in the court.
Presidency,NASS Get Jan.21 Deadline To Sign Electoral Act Amendment Bill

Electoral Act Amendment Bill: Buhari, NASS Playing Politics with Nigeria's Democracy
The  coalition of Civil Society Organisations have given President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly Friday, January 21, 2022 deadline to conclude the amendment of the  electoral bill processes and assent same.
The CSOs  were drawn from Yiaga Africa, International Press Centre, Centre for Citizens with Disability, The Albino Foundation, CLEEN Foundation, Institute for Media and Society, Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism among others.
They  implored  the National Assembly ensure proper scrutiny of the bill to correct draft errors and cross referencing gaps noticed in it.
At a joint press conference in Abuja,Lanre Arogundade of Imternational Press Centre and Ezenwa Nwagwu of Yiaga Africa also urged President Buhari to upon receipt of the re-transmitted bill provide his assent within a week.
They spoke on the debate over direct primaries, and emphasized the need to expunge  the clause  without delay so that the law can take effect especially with only 398 days left for the next general election to begin.
They urged the National Assembly to feature the electoral amendment as a priority issue on the order paper for Tuesday.
“In deference to the national and public interest, the Senate and the House of Representatives should upon resumption on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 take legislative action at its first sitting to conclude the process and re-transmit the bill to President Buhari by Friday, January 21, 2022,” they stated .
They  maintained that the  bill,when assented to will facilitate early release of funds for INEC, inclusion of over 31million people with disabilities in the electoral process, legalising electronic accreditation of voters, check incidence of overvoting, stop declaration of results under duress, electronic transmission of results among other benefits.
They added that further delay to the conclusion of the electoral amendment process would be inimical to the preparations for Ekiti, Osun elections as the opportunity to test the operability of the new legislation and its latent innovations would be lost if the amendment process remains inconclusive.
Gbajabiamila  Advocates Review Of Educational Qualifications For Presidency,  Public Offices 

 Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria has suggested to the National Assembly to review the provisions of the section 131 (d) of the 1999 constitution as it concerns minimum educational qualifications for public offices in the country.
He spoke while presenting the 52nd convocation lecture of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) titled: “Building Back Better: Creating a New Framework for Tertiary Education in Nigeria in the 21st Century.”
He said as the country is approaching another year of general elections, it has become imperative to increase the  minimum educational qualification for persons aspiring to be future Presidents of Nigeria or occupy other top offices.
He said:”As the country is faced with yet another election in 2023. Prior to
the 2019 elections, we succeeded in amending the Constitution to effect the ‘Not Too Young to Run’ request and ensure the eligibility of young people to aspire to high offices in the land by reducing the eligible age for political offices.
” I also sincerely believe
that the National Assembly needs to look into section 131 (d)
of the 1999 constitution with a view to increasing the minimum educational qualification for persons aspiring to be
future Presidents of Nigeria and other top offices including the National Assembly as against the current minimum requirement of a secondary school certificate or its equivalent.
He added: “As we have reduced the age for eligibility to contest those offices so also, we should increase the minimum educational requirement.”
He said this will be another step in reforming the country’s electoral system and provide strong leadership for the country.
Speaking on the controversial electoral reform bills, the Speaker expressed hope that a Direct
Primary election method will lead to increased and  greater participation in the leadership recruitment process.
He charged the leadership of the National Assembly and Nigerians in general to begin to move away  from considerations of small things to focus on the pursuit and achievement of grand ambitions that could save the future.
He advocated for a joint collaboration to raise a new but conscientious generation of Nigerians in whose hearts the light of understanding is lit and
cannot be put out.
Gbajabiamila decried the rot in the education sector, saying sexual harassement must be effectively tackled beyond media hypes and occasional sacks.
“We cannot aspire to build 21st century institutions capable of competing effectively in the global space when this issue remains a reoccurring cause for concern. And we will not solve this problem through occasional purges brought on by external denunciations in the press or on social media, but by reconsidering how our tertiary institutions operate as a matter by of course.”
He suggested the adoption across the board a system of zero tolerance for individuals, students or staff who are credibly
accused of harassment, intimidation, and any infringements of individual autonomy.
Gbajabiamila advocated the need  for the set up of an independent panel made up of persons of integrity and unquestionable
authority, to evaluate the credibility of complaints, taking only relevant variables into consideration and, after that propose a course of action to which the university must be bound.
He added:”Our universities must be places of learning and innovation where
people feel safe and where injustice in all its forms has no place.”
 Inflation Rises To 15. 63% As CPPE Offers Way Out

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS),has announced that Nigeria’s inflation rate for last December , increased by 15.63 per cent as against November’s 15.40 per cent.
The inflation rate in Nigeria has maintained a consecutive decline in the year-on-year headline inflation rate for a period of eight  months, from the month of April 2021 with an interesting trajectory as follows: April  (18.12 per cent), May  (17.93 per cent),  June (17.75 per cent),  July (17.38 per cent), August 17.01 per cent), September  (16.63 per cent), October (15.99 per cent), and  November (15.40 per cent).
Dr Simon Harry, the Statistician General of the Federation,  noted that  the  rate  broke the eight months trend of decline.
He said:”However, it may interest you to note that this trend has been broken by the slight change in the month of December, 2021 as the inflation rate for all items (headline inflation) for the month increased to 15.63 per cent, year-on-year. Although, this is a decline when compared to the corresponding month in 2020 which recorded 15.75 per cent. This trend clearly shows an increase from 15.40 per cent recorded in the month of November, 2021 to 15.63 per cent in December, 2021. This is 0.23 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in November, 2021″.
He said the change in the declining trend for about eight months might have been caused by the increase in prices of goods and services as a result of increase in their demand during the month under review.
 On month-on-month basis, he said  the headline index increased by 1.82 per cent in December 2021. This is 0.74 per cent rate higher than the rate recorded in November 2021, which was 1.08 per cent.
He added:”The urban inflation rate increased to 16.17 per cent (year-on-year) in December, 2021 from 16.33 per cent recorded in December 2020, down by 0.16 per cent points, while the rural inflation rate increased to 15.11 per cent in December, 2021 from 15.20 per cent in December 2020, which was lower by 0.09 per cent points. On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose to 1.87 per cent in December 2021, which was higher by 0.75 per cent points of the rate recorded in November 2021 which was 1.12 per cent, while the rural index  also rose to 1.77 per cent in December, 2021, higher by 0.73 per cent points of the rate that was recorded in November 2021, which was 1.04 per cent.
The corresponding twelve-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index was 17.52 per cent in December, 2021. This is lower than the rate reported in November of the same year which was 17.55 per cent, while the corresponding twelve-month (month-on-month) average percentage change for rural index inflation rate in December, 2021 stood at 16.40 per cent from 16.42 per cent in November, 2021.
“In  summary and in attempt to make comparison between the December and November, 2021 figures, it is important to note that headline Inflation for the month of December was 15.63 per cent, while that of November was 15.40 per cent” he said.
Commenting on the development,Dr.Muda Yussuf,Chief Executive Officer of Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise,CPPE,said although the economy witnessed an incremental deceleration in inflation over the past eight months before the reversal in December, high inflationary pressures remain a major concern to stakeholders in the Nigeria economy.
He said some of its  implications include escalation of production and operating costs for businesses, leading to erosion of profit margins, drop in sales, decline in turnover and weak manufacturing capacity utilization,high food prices which impacts adversely on citizens welfare and aggravates poverty.
He also said the development constitutes heavy tolls on weak purchasing power which poses significant risk to business sustainability and price volatility which undermines investors’ confidence.
To arrest the current inflationary pressure, he advised the government to reform the foreign exchange market to stabilize the exchange rate, reduce volatility,address forex liquidity issues through appropriate policy measures and the security concerns causing disruption to agricultural activities.
According to him,there was need for the government to address productivity issues in the real sector of the economy, the challenge of high transportation cost,reduce fiscal deficit financing by the CBN to minimize incidence of high-powered money in the economy as well as manage climate change consequences to reduce flooding and desertification.
He added that government should  ensure the restoration of normalcy and good order at the nations ports to reduce transaction costs,reduce import duty on intermediate products and raw materials for industries to reduce production costs, address concerns around high energy cost and reate an investment friendly tax environment.
IPMAN Moves Against  Inauguration Of  Illegal Parallel NEC Members

The Board of Trustees of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN),has  warned against a proposed illegal inauguration of parallel National Executive Committee (NEC)on 18th January, 2022  in Abuja.
The  IPMAN Board of Trustees Secretary, Mr Tunji Adeniji gave the warning  on Monday in a statement, on the heels of  purported invitation to inauguration of NEC members by Engineer Sanusi Abdul- Fari-led group  faction.
Adeniji said that the BoT chairman led by Alhaji Abdulkadri Aminu has notified the security agencies of the purported illegal inauguration of NEC by some group of individuals.
He said that the current Board of Trustees (BoT) of IPMAN has received information that  there are plans by some faction of IPMAN  to install another leadership for IPMAN on January 18.
He said the move was a flagrant violation of the judgment delivered by the Supreme Court in Abuja on Dec. 14, 2018.
Adeniji said the judgment read by
Justice Musa Muhammad in suit No. SC15/2015, recognised Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo and Alhaji Danladi Pasali, as President and Secretary of IPMAN, respectively with other elected executives.
He said the tenure of the executive would expire on Dec. 14, 2023 adding that IPMAN had already zoned the next president of the association to the North west.
He said:“Any attempt to install another set of persons as NEC of IPMAN is null and void because the matter has been settled by the Supreme Court which is the final arbiter of justice in Nigeria.The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, and the Inspector General of Police, Mr Usman Baba, has  already directed that the judgment must be complied with.
“We are , therefore, calling on the security agencies to t apprehend those behind the move to forestall breakdown of law and order.
It must be noted  that IPMAN as an association has only one registered  Board of Trustee (BOT)and registered constitution with corporate affairs commission”