AfDB Partners Google On Digital Transformation In Africa

Mohammed Shosanya

The African Development Bank and Google have formalized cooperation aimed at advancing digital transformation in Africa.

The parties signed a Letter of Intent during the Global Africa Business Initiative at the United Nations General Assembly in New York,a statement said on Thursday.

The partnership underscores a shared commitment to harness emerging technologies, extend and improve infrastructure, and refine talent and skills in the continent.

Both parties have a history of fostering digital evolution. Over the past decade, the African Development Bank has invested $1.9 billion in projects emphasizing the development of broadband infrastructure, conducive policy and regulatory environments, digital skills, and innovative technology startups.

“Our journey from a 2% telephony penetration in 1998 to today’s era of 4G, 5G, and AI signifies immense progress. With 70% of sub-Saharan Africans under 30, our focus is on catalyzing businesses to create jobs and offer innovative solutions,” said Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.

Google has been a longtime partner in Africa’s economic growth and digital transformation. In 2005 Google invested in a major submarine telecommunications cable – the Seacom cable. Since then, Google has been committed to digital transformation by supporting talent development, innovation, infrastructure, and regulatory advancements across the continent.

Dr. James Manyika, Google’s Senior Vice President of Research, Technology & Society, said: “With advanced technologies like AI, the most profound transformation is yet to come.

“Collaboration will be essential if Africa is to realize this opportunity, building for everyone and ensuring no-one is left behind. We are excited to collaborate with the African Development Bank to work towards this shared commitment.”

Fish Out Killers Of My Son,MohBad’s Mother Begs FG

Promise Aloba, the mother of the late Nigerian singer, Mohbad, has begged the Federal Government and Nigerians in general to help uncover the truth behind her son’s untimely demise.

She conveyed tthe call when Sen. Elisha Abbo, Chairman, House Committee on Committee on Entertainment Economy, and Nollywood actresses,Tonto Dikeh and Iyabo Ojo, paid the family a condolence visit in Lagos on Thursday.

She alleged that Naira Marley, the owner of Marlian Record label, is connected to her son’s death.

She also called for assistance in investigating the matter further.

She said that her late son had always complained about serious threat to his life by Naira Marley and some other individuals.

She said:“I know my son, he told me that Naira Marley usually threatened him. Please Nigerians help me to look for him; please have mercy on me; that is all you can do for me.

“I cannot singlehandedly fish him out. Also, he told me the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) gave him some water in a bottle to drink sometimes ago. Help me please.

“My son was always beaten. Even he was mentioning Sam Larry, l don’t know them. They enslaved my son.He was always telling me to guide him so he would not be killed, these were all he was saying until they finally killed him. Please help me.”

Speaking, Abbo assured Mohbad’s mother of protection and an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his demise.

Wike Revokes 165 Plots Of Land In Abuja

Mohammed Shosanya

Barr. Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has approved the revocation of 165 plots of Land in serviced Districts of the Federal Capital City (FCC) over non-development.

The notice for the revocation as compiled by the Land Department was approved by the Minister who revoked the plots due to continuous contravention of the terms of agreement as contained in the 1978 Land Use Act.

The revoked plots belong to individuals and corporate organizations, who have continually failed to keep to the terms of agreement as contained in Section 28(5) (a) & (b) of the Land Use Act,according to the notice.

The plots are situated within some districts in the FCC namely: Central Business District, Maitama (A05); Maitama (A06); Wuse II (A08); Gudu (B01) and Wuye (B03).

Others are :Jabi (B04); Utako (B05); Katampe Extension (B19); Idu Industrial Area (C16) and Asokoro (A04) Districts respectively.

The revocation of the affected plots was approved by the Minister following the violation of the terms of Rights of Occupancy.

“The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory has, in the exercise of the powers conferred on him under Section 28(5)(a) & (b) of the Land Use Act 1978 revoked the affected titles for continued contravention of the terms of development of the Right of Occupancy to wit non-development,”the notice added.

Customs Deepens War Against Smuggling

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Customs Service will implement every necessary action against saboteurs of Nigeria’s economy,Acting Comptroller-General Adewale Adeniyi,has said

The Service would cripple the illegitimate business of smuggling in the country also declared this when he received Ambassadors of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN—Habitat, led by Dr. Raymond Edoh, at the Customs Headquarters, Abuja.

“On behalf of the entire management team of the Nigeria Customs Service, I wish to inform you that we will partner with you in this campaign, and we will grant you all forms of support you may need to carry out this campaign and I want to assign one of our amiable DCGs, Abba Kura, to work with you closely,”he told his visitors.

He also welcomed Dr Raymond’s offer to engage officers and men of the Service in capacity—building to enhance their understanding of digital literacy skills, adding that the Service had already started embracing technology to advance its work by introducing related courses to officers.

He appreciated the partnership between the Nigeria Customs Service and UN—Habitat and believes that the collaboration signifies a commitment to tackling smuggling and enhancing trade facilitation in the nation, setting the stage for a more prosperous future.

He said:“What we’re trying to do is to raise a modern Customs Service through partnering with stakeholders to achieve our goals because we value partnership, and I am happy that you extended your hands of collaboration to work with us.”

He also acknowleged their pledge to train officers and men of the Service in digital literacy skills, assuring that the Service will continue to prioritize proficiency in the fight against smuggling through technological approach.

He underscored the import of digital skills, promising that the relevant Service department will enhance trade facilitation.

The Director of UN—Habitat, Dr. Raymond Edoh, commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for reposing the responsibility of heading the Nigeria Customs Service on the Acting Comptroller-General, describing him as “a competent Customs officer who knows the terrain and masters the job.”

They visited the Ag. CGC at the Customs Headquarters to express their interest in partnering with the Service,he said.

He appreciated the Service for being a “gatekeeper of the country” that protects citizens against border threats, stressing that his organization will collaborate with NCS to mitigate the smuggling of illicit goods and train officers and men of Customs on digital literacy skills and certification.

Insecurity In Kwara:Effective Leadership To The Rescue

By Bashir Ashura.

As Kwara state grapples with an unprecedented surge in insecurity,our governor,Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, seems to be more interested in rubbing shoulders with the power brokers in Abuja than addressing the pressing issues in his home state. This trend has sparked outrage amongst Kwarans who, feeling abandoned, are now clamoring for change.

Abdulrazaq was duly elected to serve the people of Kwara, but his frequent absence and seeming preoccupation with federal politics have left many wondering: who is really in charge of kwara?

The high rate of insecurity, marked by a disturbing increase in banditry, theft, and cultism, is unlike anything the state has faced in the past two decades. Yet, news of the Governor being in town has become a rarity.

These circumstances raise a critically important question. should the Kwara State House of Assembly declare Deputy Governor, Mr. Kayode Alabi, as the Acting Governor? This proposition is not borne out of mere politicking but out of an urgent need for effective leadership. The worsening situation in Kwara requires an on-ground, dedicated, and responsive leader.

The role of a governor extends beyond the ceremonial. It is about service, leadership, and most importantly, presence. The state executive council meetings, for instance, is a very important platforms for discussing and formulating strategic responses to the state’s challenges. Yet, these cannot be adequately executed with a governor who seems to have made Abuja his primary residence.

The people of Kwara are not just demanding the physical presence of the governor. We are calling for a leader who can restore peace and harmony to the state. The acute hardship, irregularities, and security challenges Kwara is currently facing need immediate attention and strategic solutions, not a leader who appears detached from the reality on the ground.

The Speaker Kwara State House of Assembly Rt Hon Yakub Danladi should, therefore, consider the people’s plea. If the Governor will not prioritize the people’s well-being, then perhaps it’s time to allow the Deputy Governor to step into the role. This decisive move could pave way for more effective leadership and offer a glimmer of hope to the distraught citizens of Kwara.

Kwara State, known as the State of Harmony, is currently far from harmonious. Its people are crying out for change, for leadership, and for peace. The question now is whether those in power will listen to our calls and act accordingly. Because, indeed, Kwara deserves better than this.

Mohbad:You Can’t Escape Justice,Tonto Dikeh Tells Sam Larry

Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh has said that Lagos socialite,Samson Erinfolabi Balogun,popularly known as Sam Larry will not escape the wrath of the law over his alleged role in the death of Late Nigerian singer,Ilerioluwa Aloba,popularly known as Mohbad.

This is coming after Sam Larry came under heavy fire on the internet after a video of him and his men were seen disrupting and bullying Mohbad in a video shoot with Zlatan Ibile.

She disclosed this on her Instagram page on Thursday.

She wrote:”Now listen up,we will get you.Whether you run from Kenya to kafanchan or run up an anus you will be brought to justice.

“We are not a lawless country like you and yours think. We have woken up, You have not only hurt Mohbad and his family, you have hurt us all..

“I need you to seat down alone in front of the mirror and take a good look at yourself and re evaluate your life.

“You said you love him like your own right?. Oya come now let’s do the Candle Night together (show face abeg).

“A grown man B@llying a 27year old child, nahhh You are A Weak Azz cow@rd Sam Larry .You couldnt look for your peers? I bet you can’t

She warned Sam Larry to stop following her on Instagram.

She said:”Hhh, It’s the Audacity that Sam Larry started following me. Like I get “keep thy en@my close”

NNPC Joins United Nations Global Compact

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd. has signed up as a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, thereby becoming the first state-owned oil company to join the global initiative.

Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd., Mr. Mele Kyari signed the Letter of Commitment, signifying NNPC Ltd’s participation in the UN Global Compact in a short ceremony on the sidelines of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s session during the Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI) at the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York,a statement said.

Speaking after signing ceremony, Kyari said that as a dynamic global energy company with businesses and operations across the entire spectrum of the energy value chain, NNPC Ltd.’s participation in the UN Global Compact is a further testimony to Nigeria’s commitment to work with global partners towards attaining a just Energy Transition.

He added that with this development, NNPC Ltd. supports the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption.

“We are committed to making the UN Global Compact and its principles part of our strategy, culture and day-to-day operations of our Company, and to engage in collaborative projects which advance the broader development of goals of the United Nations, particularly the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Kyari added.

Earlier in her remarks shortly after signing on behalf of the UN Global Compact, the Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network Nigeria, Ms. Naomi Nwokolo described NNPC Ltd.’s move to become a participant of the UN Global Compact as a pivotal step in fostering a culture of ethical business conduct, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility.

With Nigeria being one of the largest producers of crude oil in Africa, a transition from an energy system driven by fossil fuels to one based on renewable energy will have far reaching positive impact, serving as a catalyst for sustainability in-country, on the continent and the world at large.

Seplat Energy Empowers 350 Teachers In Edo

Mohammed Shosanya

The Seplat Energy/NNPC E&P Limited Joint Venture (JV) has kicked off the 2023 edition of its Seplat Teachers’ Empowerment Programme (STEP) for teachers in Edo and Delta states. The programme is hinged on the JV’s continued quest to contribute towards the improvement of quality education in host communities and states, and by extension Nigeria.

STEP is designed to promote teacher’s creative thinking, provide training on teaching applications for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), provide leadership and self-improvement training, allow for higher student’s engagement, and offer a well-rounded education for recipients of the programme. For this edition, 350 teachers have been listed for the programme.

The programme is targeted at secondary school teachers in public and private schools in Delta & Edo states, including the company’s host communities. During the programme, the teachers undergo 5 months of training, facilitated by a technology-based platform and gadgets provided by Seplat Energy.

In her opening remark, the Director of External Affairs & Sustainability, Seplat Energy Plc, Chioma Afe, noted that, “It is interesting that we are not just doing something for students, we are also doing something for schools and for the teachers. We are looking at the entire education ecosystem, working with the relevant state ministries and with our partners, the NEPL, to see how we can really impact every single part of that ecosystem and I think that’s an amazing thing.”

The Edo State Commissioner for Education Dr. Joan Oviawe, represented by the Functioning Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Ero Ugiagbe, expressed her heartfelt appreciation to Seplat Energy and its partners for their exceptional dedication to education, exemplified, not only through the Seplat Teachers’ Empowerment Programme, but also through their remarkable commitment to the development of schools in the states.

The Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Delta State, Mrs. Rose Ezewu, represented by the Director (Schools) Delta State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Winifred Ighavbota, commended the efforts of the NEPL/Seplat JV, saying “For several years, the JV had upheld this Corporate Social Responsibility in the education sector in Edo and Delta states, being their host states. There is no doubt that these efforts and commitment to this noble project have contributed immensely in enhancing and sustaining the quality of education in both states.”

Expressing joy and fulfilment, one of the participants, Atsenuwa Beauty noted that “As teachers, we have been empowered and enlightened to see new innovative ways of doing the business of building destinies. I want to appreciate Seplat JV because it is one thing to have an idea and another thing to execute it and execute it well. That’s why we are seeing the magnitude of success being experienced here today and so, we are thankful.

Another participant, Awaritakpor Precious, also noted that, “Growing up, we were meant to understand that the teachers’ reward is in heaven. But Seplat is saying ‘No’, that the heaven is here. This is teachers’ heaven, courtesy of Seplat.”

Mr. Owunari Levi, Community Adviser, Western Asset who represented the Managing Director NEPL said, “To our wonderful partners in this journey of giving back to society (Seplat Energy), I want to say what you are doing has given us opportunity to operate better, reason being that we have just got another freedom to operate in Delta and Edo States.”

The STEP programme is designed to train secondary school teachers on skills, innovations, and technologies for deploying STEAM to deliver tutelage better to the students; provide and connect teachers to a collection of STEAM resources to enable them to understand, apply and innovate, as well as provide schools with resources to enable them to provide the right environment for STEAM implementation to enable students engage in the interdisciplinary nature of STEAM.

CBN Shifts September MPC Meeting, Launches Digital Portal For Microfinance Bank Licence Applications

Mohammed Shosanya

The Central Bank of Nigeria has postponed the Monetary Policy Committee’s 293rd meeting, which was billed to hold between September 25 and 26, 2023.

The bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Dr Isa AbdulMumin,confirmed the shift in a statement on Thursday.

It read: “The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria has deferred its 293rd meeting scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, September 25 and 26, 2023, respectively.

“A new date will be communicated in due course. We regret any inconvenience this change may cause our stakeholders and the general public.”

Meanwhile,the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),has unveiled a digital platform for the submission of Microfinance Bank (MFB) licence applications.

The apex bank disclosed this in a statement signed by Isa AbdulMumin, CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is pleased to announce the unveiling of a new online platform for submission of microfinance bank (MFB) licence applications,” the statement said.

According to the statement, the new online platform is called the “CBN Licensing, Approval and Other Requests Portal (CBN LARP)” and it will eventually replace the current manual process wherein prospective applicants for MFB licence physically submit their applications to the CBN.

It said, the bank will extend the platform to other categories of licences.

The bank noted that the online application system offers numerous benefits, including a simplified process, time savings, enhanced communication, and robust security measures.

The CBN said the aim of the digitization is to improve accessibility, reduce paperwork, and expedite licence approvals, benefiting both applicants and the economy.

It added that,with effect from 25 September, MFB licence applicants are required to submit both hardcopy and online applications (via the CBN LARP) as part of a parallel run.

The statement said the cover letter submitting the hardcopy application must have a valid application reference number from the online submission for the application to be accepted.

According to the statement, the parallel run will end on 31 December and the manual submissions of hardcopy MFB licence applications will no longer be required and accepted.

“From September 25, 2023, prospective MFB applicants are urged to log on to to submit their respective MFB licence applications,” the CBN said.

It said help and detailed guidance are available within “CBN LARP” to assist users in navigating the new platform and that a user guide can also be downloaded from the platform.

“Applicants may contact the dedicated helpdesk via email at for further information. Meanwhile, please note that the Bank shall continue to accept manual applications for all other licence types until further notice,” the statement added.

Tony Elumelu Gets Presidential Commendation For  S100m SMEs’ Support

Mohammed Shosanya

President Bola Tinubu has lauded Tony Elumelu for the impact his foundation, Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has had on young people and SMEs in Nigeria and beyond since its inception in 2010.

He also implored Africans, including its political and business leaders, to look inwards instead of undue reliance on international donor funds.

He spoke at the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Generation Unlimited (GENU) Breakfast Roundtable meeting, a side event at the ongoing 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York,on Tuesday.

The event also served as a forum for the launch of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Impact Report titled “The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship
Programme: A Decade of Impact.”

Tinubu,who was represented by the Minister for Trade and Industry, Doris Uzoka-Anite, also emphasized the need for local solutions to economic growth and unemployment, while offering incentives to willing investors

He lamented over reliance by Africans on foreign donors, calling for an end to that mindset.

He said: “I don’t think we are doing enough as Africans for Africa. We need to do a lot more. Tony Elumelu has been the major person driving investments in supporting the youths and start-ups.

“We need to challenge ourselves a bit more further. Africa has some of the richest people on the planet. We have a resource-rich continent with huge population of young people.

“We need to take up the challenge upon ourselves as Africans to support one another. It is about time we stopped looking for international organisations for donor funding. We need to go out of that mentality.

“We will rather have donor funds coming in to support what we have on ground already and not then coming to give us a seed or showing us the way. We actually know how to do things. In Africa, we have a rich culture and if we go back to our tradition, there is a whole lot we can learn from each other.”

Speaking on the import of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs),he said they were the engines of Nigerian and African economic growth, adding that they contributed almost half of national GDP, and more than 80 percent of employment.

Wooing potential investors with promises of right infrastructure provision such as regulations, property rights, access to justice, protection from unfair competition, power, as well as roads to market and ports,Tinubu said: “We must organise the disorganised SME market, and enable greater organisation and formalization.

“We must invest in SMEs. Governments and the private sector have important roles to play in this regard. Our investing must be coordinated, targeted, and generous. This is where the example of the Tony Elumelu Foundation is a worthy role model for all.

“We must create and expand pathways for our SMEs to export their products and services and integrate into global value chains.”

Speaking,Founder TEF, Tony
Elumelu said this highlights the significant contribution of the TEF’s flagship 100 million dollars Entrepreneurship Programme in advancing Africa’s socio-economic development.

He noted that 13 years ago, the foundation took a bold step to rewrite and change Africa by enhancing entrepreneurship development to galvanize African solutions.

He spoke on the seed capital, training and mentoring and networking provided by TEF, adding that: “We have lit a beacon, and we need the beacon to shine brighter and better. To do this, we need the support and collaboration of everyone.

“100 million dollars is a drop of water in the ocean compared to what we need in Africa. Young Africans need economic support. We’ve seen the devastating effect of climate change, how our young ones due to hopelessness are migrating and living in difficult situations. We want to put a stop to that.”

Elumelu emphasized the need for collaboration to prioritize young Africans, bring more women to economic activities and alleviate poverty, adding that “poverty anywhere is a threat to all of us everywhere”.

Sharing the Lagos experience at the gathering, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that TEF’s work aligns with Lagos State programmes on economic empowerment and poverty reduction.

Sanwo-Olu said that collaborative efforts must be evolved to enhance the scale of impact to deepen inclusion, equity and fairness.

Also speaking, Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa (UNDP) said they partnered TEF due to similar belief in galvanising development across Africa and globally, adding that Africa’s wealth was its population, which constitutes 70 per cent of young, vibrant and innovative Africans.

“It is our loss if we don’t invest in them because that is the future of prosperity,” she said, just as she called for enhanced collaboration and investment to strengthen economic development of African youths.

In her address,TEF’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Somachi Chris-Asoluka, said the organisation is the partner of choice for all development agencies across the world who want to transform the way they give to Africa, who want to have a more catalytic, impactful partnership with the African continent.

She said: “The Tony Elumelu foundation is a leading philanthropy in Africa empowering young African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries.

“We launched our flagship program, the Tony Elumelu foundation Entrepreneurship programme in 2015 with a $100 million commitment by Mr Elumelu and his family.

“His goal was to see 10,000 African entrepreneurs over 10 years, in only eight years, we have more than surpassed that target so date.

“We have funded 18,000 entrepreneurs, disbursing over a 100 million dollars directly as seed capital to these entrepreneurs and they have gone on to create over 400 thousand jobs across all African countries.”