Planned Two-month Power Outage Unacceptable,Ekiti Govt Tells BEDC

Mohammed Shosanya

The Ekiti State Government,has rejected the planned outage of electricity for 23 days out of the two months of July and August by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC),stressing that it amounts to an unacceptable economic, financial and social price to be paid by the citizens of the state.

The BEDC,in a public notice aired on radio and other social media platforms, announced the planned outage for certain periods in July and August.

The state Commissioner for Public Utility, Mobolaji Aluko said no direct notification/communication was made to the state government.

He conveyed this in a letter addressed to the MD/CEO, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Abuja, the MD/CEO, Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Benin-City, and the Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Company (NERC), Abuja, dated 30 June, he said no direct notification/communication was made to the state government.

The letter, titled, Re: Notification of power disruption/outage in Ado-Ekiti and Akure for two months (July, August 2024) for nine hours each day (8.00am to 5.00pm), which was obtained by PREMIUM TIMES read: “Our attention has been called to public notifications, both in print and in jingles in English and in Yoruba, of the intention of BEDC under advice by TCN to disrupt power supply to the transmission stations in Akure and Ado-Ekiti and effect to adversely affect Ekiti and Ondo State areas – for nine hours each day (8.00am to 5.00 pm) from 1 July to 31 August, 2024.

“No direct notification/communication was made to the Ekiti State Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities (MIPU) on this matter, nor was approval sought and obtained from the Ekiti State Electricity Regulatory Bureau (EKSERB), saddled by law with the full authority to regulate the electricity industry in Ekiti State.

“The planned disruption of electricity for three-eighths of each day for sixty-two days, amounting to five hundred and fifty-eight hours (558) total and twenty-three days of outage in these two months amounts to an unacceptable economic, financial and social price to be paid by the citizens of Ekiti State, and we totally reject such a plan.”

The commissioner asked for an immediate suspension of the plan and called for an emergency meeting with the regional heads of TCN, BEDC and NERC.

The meeting is slated for Tuesday, 2 July, in the commissioner’s office at the Government Secretariat, Ado-Ekiti.

Mr Aluko said the meeting would help all stakeholders to devise an alternative and far less adverse plan to achieve the same stated aims.

The TCN had announced that it planned “to carry out critical maintenance work on the 132KV Akure Osogbo transmission line, and also install Optical Ground Wire (OPGW), among other activities.”

“We request prompt attention to this matter while we are eager to work collaboratively toward a sustainable solution that will benefit both citizens of

The state and the Ekiti State Electricity Supply Industry. In the time being, accept our highest regards,” the letter stated.

“Customers in the affected areas will experience service interruptions during the period of the planned outages. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this may cause and kindly solicit your patience and understanding,” the TCN’s notice read.

Egbin Power Unveils Innovation Hub To Equip Future Leaders

Mohammed Shosanya

Egbin Power, one of Nigeria’s power generation company, has commissioned an innovation centre designed to equip students with entrepreneurial, practical, and creative skills needed to thrive in the modern educational landscape.

Named the ‘Bright Gyimah Centre for Innovation,’ this state-of-the-art facility is located within the Powerfields Group of Schools in Ikorodu, owned by Egbin Power (a member of the Sahara Group).

The centre offers students the opportunity to develop skills in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and explore their creativity in arts, music, culinary, and hospitality fields.

Head of Corporate Communications & Branding at Egbin Power Plc, Felix Ofulue, explained that the initiative aims to create a dynamic learning environment that fosters creativity and innovation.

“The facility will open doors to exciting career opportunities for learners, serving as a beacon of hope for comprehensive, quality education and has the potential to revolutionize education in our society,” he said.

Ofulue emphasized the company’s commitment to nurturing future leaders who will drive progress and prosperity in Nigeria.

“This initiative demonstrates our dedication to advancing education and highlights our readiness to continuously groom future leaders. The skills acquired here will enable learners to become architects of their success, supporting socio-economic growth,” he added.

Speaking on behalf of the Governing Council, Powerfields Group of Schools, the Director of Governance and Sustainability, Sahara Group, Ejiro Gray, highlighted the import of equipping students with skills for the future.

She said: “At Sahara Group, sustainability extends beyond organizational boundaries to include positive societal impact. We aim to position students to compete globally, providing them with the right platform to learn and apply their skills,” she said.

Gray further noted that the Innovation Centre is a transformative initiative offering in-demand 21st-century skills, empowering students to cultivate their entrepreneurial spirit and become innovators.

The Administrator of Powerfields group of Schools, Ngozi Emezue, noted that the facility will provide experiential learning, boost students’ confidence, and enable them to translate theoretical knowledge into practical applications.

“This Centre represents a significant investment in the future, playing a key role in nurturing the next generation of leaders and innovators. The Governing Council and the Management are excited to witness the impact of the innovation hub on students, teachers and the community around us”, she said.

“It will also enhance the continuous professional development of the teachers. It has added to our value proposition, giving us a competitive advantage, because not so many schools have such facilities. Therefore, we want to commend everyone who has made this possible,” Emezue noted.

Chairman of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), Matthew Amadi applauded the Governing Council for continuously elevating the standard and making it a one-stop learning institution that sets itself apart among others.

“The establishment of this Center for Innovation further positions Powerfields School as an exemplary learning institution where students receive quality education, practical skills and also expand their horizon beyond the textbook, thereby giving them an edge and making them outstandingly creative and competitive globally.

Chairman of the Governing Council, Powerfields Group of Schools, Tope Sonubi; and members including Olubunmi Olukoju; Tolulope Orojo; Muhtar Bakare and Akodu Kamardeen; were among those who graced the commissioning.

In her remarks, Caroline Uzoigwe, Bright Gyimah’s daughter commended the Board and Management of Egbin Power for naming the innovation centre after her late father, a former General Manager of the Plant.

She said: “Education has gone beyond just the classrooms and textbooks. it involves being able to practicalize and implement knowledge. That is why this Centre for Innovation is significant. It is laudable and meaningful. The management deserves commendation for this initiative because it shows commitment to the growth and development of the school, the students and the education sector.”

The innovation hub has an Artificial Intelligence Laboratory for students to learn, create and deploy applications. The well-equipped Cooking Lab and Hospitality Room will enable the students to acquire professional training and skills in catering and hospitality. Other facilities at the centre are the Music Lab, IT Lab, Art Studio, Auditorium, etc.

Egbin Power has consistently demonstrated its commitment to education through initiatives such as its yearly scholarship programme for students from public primary and secondary schools, donation of furniture, educational materials and solar-powered boreholes to schools in the host communities and celebrating special occasions with the students.

This initiative aligns with the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. By providing access to quality education and empowering future generations, Egbin Power contributes to building a more sustainable and prosperous future.

The programmes offered at the Centre for Innovation are tailored to meet the current demands of the education landscape, ensuring that students are well-prepared to excel academically and globally.

PPA 2007,Corruption And Unresolved Capacity Gaps

By Mohammed Bougei Attah

On the eve of Eid al-Adha celebration, and in line with the powers vested on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in sections 5(1), 148 and 171 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu relieved and directed Mr. Mamman Ahmadu, the erstwhile Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP to handover his position to the most senior Director at the Bureau.

Following this directive, the most senior Director in the Bureau, Barrister Olusegun Omotola took over as the Overseeing Director General of the BPP according to reports. This is in line with FGN Circular of July 4, 2017.

Recall that on March 18, 2011, in a similar circumstance, the then President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan sacked the acting Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Prof. Uriah Angulu from office via a letter signed by Abdullah Yola on behalf of the then Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, SAN.

The news of the sacking of Mr. Ahmadu as the Director General of BPP did not come as a surprise to many Nigerians, especially the stakeholders and practitioners in the procurement ecosystem. It was clear from his last outing, during his visit to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, that he has indeed come to the end of his ostracized tenure.

The declaration by the Chairman of EFCC, Barrister Ola Olukoyede during the visit that the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2007 is not helping the Commission in the fight against corruption was a rude shock to the operators in the procurement circle.

It is also not a surprise that the Council for the Ease of Doing Business under the Chairmanship of the Vice President, Kashim Shettima scored BPP zero percent (0%) in the last review because it is clear that BPP is a quasi-judicial body, a regulatory agency that must be constituted properly for effective, efficient and statutory performances.

As one of the sunshine laws promulgated by the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration under the recommendations of the World Bank Country Procurement Assessment Report (WB-CPAR) 2000, as well as the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria, CIPSMN Act concurrently in 2007, it is shocking that a lawyer and head of anti-corruption agency like EFCC could make such statement before the Director General of BPP without a counter response.

This many viewed as a demonstration of lack of adequate knowledge of the matter. Some of us that have had good working relationship with the EFCC and ICPC decided to remain silent as it is evident that both leaders, BPP and EFCC are simply ignorant of the provisions of the PPA 2007.

For the above reasons and to discuss the main topic of this write-up, it is healthy to leave that undeserved expression of “error” for now.

Now, after the June 15 pronouncement by the President, major newspapers and other media outlets across the country reported the removal of Mr. Ahmadu but little was reported about the new “Acting DG” of the Bureau. A visit to the website of BPP however gave more information about him.

By virtue of the Federal Government, FGN Circular of July 4, 2017, the most senior Director in any Agencies of government takes over from any Director General that may be removed from office by whatever circumstances. In this sense, the Director is termed to be ‘overseeing’ the Agency until a substantive Director General is appointed.

So,what are the implications of the failure of government to observe rule of law as contained in the Public Procurement Act 2007, applied together with CIPSMN Act 2007, for the growth and development of the economy?

The answers are many, and the facts are glaring. Ironically, all governments from the Musa Yar’Adua era to Muhammadu Buhari have observed the law in disobedience. Instead of fighting corruption, the cankerworm is on the increase daily, and we all pretend not to see it or playing lip service to the fight against corruption.

Research has shown that procurement corruption accounts for over 70% of total corruption cases in the system (See NGO Network Report on Corruption in the Public Sector 2010). While the anti-corruption bodies are daily fighting corruptions related concerns, procurement corruption appears to have defied all forms of logics, but the answer is simple but ignored.

Lack of capacity to interpret the laws, apply them and interrogate defaulters have been the bane of our large-scale corruption in public procurement.

For example, there is no Procurement Audit Report that has been submitted to the National Assembly as required by law in Section 5(P) of PPA since 2007 because the BPP does not as at today have any competent and qualified person, as required by law, to sign a Public Procurement Audit report and lay same on the table of the National Assembly bi-annually as required in the above section of the law.

It is exactly thirteen (13) years since this law was enacted and we are yet to address the huge gap in our quest to fight corruption.

To worsen the above situation is the absence of a National Council for Public Procurement, NCPP, as required in Part 1, Section 1 of PPA, to approve same Audit Report before it is submitted to the NASS. Yet year-in, year-out, we have Financial Audit Reports submitted by competent financial professional as the Auditor General of the Federation which serves as the reference point for financial and economic evaluation.

Of the three basic audits reports required for economic reforms, financial, physical and procurement reports, the last has not seen the light of the day.

Yet, procurement alone accounts for the bulk of the corruption recorded in the system daily. Section 5(a), 5(p) and 2 (a) of PPA 2007 as well as Sections 16(1), 16(2) to (4) are very clear on the implications of functioning without these authenticated documents by the Council.

The law (PPA 2007) that provides for the establishment of NCPP was passed in 2007 by the National Assembly, 13 years ago, but the previous Presidents, pursuant to Sections 5(1), 148(1) 4(2) and 4(3) as well as S.171 of the 1999 Constitution failed to inaugurate the Council till date.

President Umaru Musa Yaradua made an attempt in September 2007 to inaugurate this Council but this was cancelled when the members of the Council were seated because a report by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management, CIPSMN to the President in writing that BPP, submitted the name of a student member of the Institute to the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF without consultation with the Institute to confirm who is a member of the yet-to-be-inaugurated Council by the law.

By virtue of the provisions of section 5(1) and 148(1) of the 1999 Constitution as well as the Finance (Management Control) Act of 1958, only a National Council on Public Procurement with the Hon Minister of Finance as Chairman can consider, approve and amend the Monetary and Prior Review thresholds for the application of the provisions of Public Procurement Act 2007 by procuring entitles.

So, by implications, the threshold presently in use without Council’s approval is illegal and not correct. The Council is required to approve contracts and Associations of partnership with the BPP which will facilitate the discharge of its functions and to go into liaison with relevant bodies or institutions at national and international levels for effective performance of its functions under the Act.

By these provisions, the law envisages a Council before the Bureau (to serve as its Secretariat), but in the present circumstances, it is the Bureau without the Council. A case of a child without a father.

Flowing from the above and to bring this back to the main issue, though they are all related, let it be noted that the Director General of BPP recognized by law is expected to emerge after the Council is put in place to serve as the Secretary of the Council and not before.

By implications, all the “Director Generals” appointed in the past for BPP can be described to have illegal occupied the office, since they were appointed in line with “Due process” of the law, also none of the appointees is a registered professional in Procurement and Supply Chain Management in compliance with the provisions of the CIPSMN and PPA Acts 2007, and now most recently, in compliance with the Presidential Executive Order No 5 of 2018 that requires all professionals operating in Nigeria to “be registered with their respective professional bodies before providing professional services, either in the public, private or the non-profit sector”.

The powers of the Bureau as shown in Section 6 of PPA 2007 makes the DG of BPP the Chief Security Officer of the public procurement system of Nigeria.

The responsibility is not only about procurement but is directly related to National Security, therefore the competence and qualifications of the Director General and other directors of the BPP is of vital and essential importance to Nigeria.

The powers invested in the BPP as a quasi-judicial body saddled with administrative authority or powers to adjudicate on procurement disputes subject to appeal at the Federal High court, is very important to Nigeria as a whole.

It is instructive to note that the actions of BPP is amenable to judicial remedy. See Hartv Military Governor of Rivers State(W6) 11 SC 211 at 240 where the Supreme Court observed that; “Although the Military Governor was not sitting as a court “stricto sensu” , he was under a duty to ACT JUDICIALLY AND FAIRLY” and by the same principles laid down in the case of Gabriel Madukolu & Ors Vs Jonathan Nkemdilim (1962 1 ALL NLR 1 as restated in the case of Babale Vs Abdulkadir (1993) 3 NWLR (Part 281) Page 253 the BPP will only be competent to exercise jurisdiction on the powers vested in the body only when the BPP is properly constituted through a competitive selection process, and its composition and the qualification of its Director General and other Directors are in accordance with sections 7, 8, and 16(1)(b) of PPA and sections 11(9), 16(2) and 18 of CIPSMN Act 2007 and there is no other extrinsic factor affecting its jurisdiction.

It is also a fact of law reading the content of the provisions of section 5(1) and 148(1) of the 1999 Constitution as well as the Finance (Management Control) Act of 1958, only a National Council on Public Procurement with the Hon Minister of Finance as Chairman can legally receive and consider, for approval, the audited accounts of the Bureau of Public Procurement.

The legal implication of this is that a Director General that is appointed by the President without the recommendation of the Council after competitive selection – as was the case in the last 13 years – is unhealthy for the nation. A person who lacks the adequate and relevant qualifications required by law should not hold office as head of a procuring entity if we follow the letters and content of Section 11(9) of the CIPSMN Act 2007.

It states unequivocally thus: “A person shall not be entitled or engaged as the head of any Supply Chain Management of any organization unless he is a member of Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria, qualified by examination”.

Thus, he or she cannot sign the Public Procurement Audit report statutorily required to be submitted to the National Assembly as carried out on all MDAs every 6 months by the BPP. Again, none of the Audit Reports has been submitted since 2007 (13 years after) that the law came in force.

For the records, it is instructive to note again here that the ‘No Objection Certificate’ one of the mandates of the BPP is a document to be issued to procuring entities upon application, “…evidencing and authenticating that due process and the letters of the Public Procurement Act 2007 (with specific reference to Sections 16, 18 and 19, and other relevant laws and regulations) have been followed in the conduct of Procurement Proceedings and allowing for the Procuring entity to enter into contract or effect payment to a contractor or supplier from the Government Treasury” In other words, from the Federation or Consolidated Revenue Account.

While this article is not meant to undermine any person or professional bodies in Nigeria, the effort rather is to support them and the federal government in this trying period of uncontrolled procurement corruption cases in the public sector.

Also with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, he will be the first President to have acted swiftly by sacking the former ‘Director General in the middle of his tenure and authorizing that the most senior Director oversee the affairs of the Bureau pending the appointment of an Acting Director General or substantive Director General.

This report,it is believed,will also be valuable to the anti-corruption bodies, such as ICPC and the EFCC. It will in particular provide deeper understanding of the challenges faced by the bodies in tackling procurement corruption cases by understanding the extant laws and the applications. It is hoped therefore that President will follow this advice judiciously to avoid the pitfalls of his predecessors

Mohammed B. Attah is a procurement professional and the National Coordinator of Procurement Observation and Advocacy Initiative, PRADIN, a select group of non-state actors trained under the World Bank-Federal Republic of Nigeria Economic Reforms and Governance Project 2010.

Oyo Holds Maiden World Egungun-Amala-Fuji Festival July 11

Mohammed Shosanya

The maiden Egungun-Amala-Fuji Festival, will hold in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State.

The state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, gave the hint during the celebration of Asa Day organized by Ibadan Grammar School, Molete, Ibadan.

He disclosed that the festival is aimed at revitalizing and promoting the rich masquerade traditions of the state.

According to him, the festival, scheduled for July 11 at Race Course Amphitheater, Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, promises to be a unique blend of traditional masquerade performances, indigenous cuisine and sterling presentations by several Fuji artistes.

He noted that the festival, which is the first of its kind, would showcase the vibrancy of Yoruba culture while bridging traditional practices with modern entertainment.

He emphasised the commitment of the Seyi Makinde administration to changing the negative perceptions surrounding masquerade culture, which have been influenced by safety concerns.

He said, “Oyo State is the father of culture, we need to promote our culture and change the negative colouration given to our traditions by foreigners.”

Dr. Olatunbosun urged widespread participation, encouraging residents to bring their children to witness the celebration of Yoruba cultural heritage, adding that the event would attract international attention.

The Commissioner commended Ibadan Grammar School for organising the Asa Day event, calling on other schools to follow suit in preserving Yoruba culture.

He advised parents and teachers, particularly Yoruba language instructors, to uphold cultural practices through their dress and language use.

The Asa Day celebration featured various cultural performances by students, including drama, dance, and traditional songs.

Nigeria Needs Fiscal Policy Protection Of Energy Sector-Yussuf

Mohammed Shosanya

The Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE),Dr. Muda Yussuf,has advised the Federal Government to consider fiscal policy protection of the nation’s energy sector.

Yussuf,in a statement made available to Premium News on Sunday, said the development was necessary to promote energy security and incentivize private investments in the sector.

He also emphasized the need for fiscal policy protection to support domestic investments in petroleum refineries to conserve foreign exchange, create jobs, and deepen backward integration.

According to him,the country needs executive orders for agriculture, agrochemicals and Agro-allied industries to curb the surging food inflation, adding that the Iron and steel sector needs the fiscal protection to aid the construction industry and reduce construction costs for housing and infrastructure.

He commended the recent executive order removing import duties , VAT, Excise duty on pharmaceutical raw materials, intermediate products, medical diagnostic equipment and machineries.

These fiscal policy measures,he said,would boost domestic production of pharmaceutical products, reduce the cost of medications, improve access to healthcare and impact positively on the well-being of citizens.

He said,it would also revitalize our pharmaceutical industries and create more jobs.

He also said,fiscal policy measures have much better prospects of addressing supply side challenges in the economy, if well targeted.

Boosting production is very vital to fixing the current inflationary pressures, driven largely by supply side challenges in the economy,adding that fiscal policy measures are potent tools for the realization of this objective.

He said:”There is a groundswell of economic nationalism globally and we should respond by strengthening our domestic production capabilities across all sectors. Fiscal policy measures have proven to be more impactful on real sector performance than monetary policy. The real sector of the economy deserves to be effectively protected and incentivized to improve production and ensure sustainability investments in that space.

“The Nigeria economy cannot afford to submit to a regime of complete trade liberalization in the light of the challenges faced by domestic manufacturers. We need to stem the tide of deindustrialization of the Nigerian economy, the exit of foreign direct investors and the rising mortality rate of domestic industries.

” We believe that stepping up fiscal policy interventions would facilitate the realization of this objective. But we must be ready to trade off some revenue in the short term. The economy would be better off in the medium to long term, with regard to growth in domestic production, less import dependence, heightened prospects of disinflation, higher job creation and better economic resilience”.

Commending the Central Bank of Nigeria for scrapping of its Price Verification System Portal, Yussuf urged the CBN to sustain its engagement with the private sector for quality, evidence-based feedback on monetary policy outcomes.

He emphasized the need to identify other overlapping regulatory functions which had continued to constitute impediments to domestic and foreign investments.

He said it was imperative to ensure effective implementation of Executive order 003 which prescribes that preferences must be given to local manufacturers of goods and service providers in the public procurement of goods and services by the MDAs.

He appeals to the presidency to ensure compliance by the MDAs with these executive orders in the spirit of current efforts to boost domestic production, grow domestic talents and reform the economy.

NNPC Retail Probes Lubricants-For-Petrol Claims,Vows Action Against Culprits

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company NNPC Limited, has launched an investigation into a viral video where a fuel attendant where allegedly coercing customers to purchase lubricants or engine oil as a prerequisite for purchasing or dispensing Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.

The company assured that appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against the culprit (s).

Denying the allegation,Olufemi Soneye, Chief Corporate Communications Officer, in a statement, stated that it’s entirely false and does not represent the Company’s Customer Service Charter.

The statement said: “The attention of NNPC Retail Limited has been drawn to a recent video clip making rounds on social media (X to be precise) concerning a fuel pump attendant in one of NNPC filling stations.

“NNPC Ltd. said video, customers were coerced to purchase lubricants or engine oil as a prerequisite for purchasing or dispensing Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol. Still in the video, the attendant alleged that this was a directive from NNPC Retail Management.

“NNPC Retail wishes to state unequivocally that the allegation is entirely false and does not represent the Company’s Customer Service Charter. At all NNPC Retail filling stations,customers are not obligated to purchase lubricants or engine oil or other products as a precursor to buying PMS (petrol)”.

Speaking further on the incident, Managing Director of NNPC Retail Ltd, Mr. Huub Stokman said: “We are dedicated to providing clear, transparent and quality service to all our customers, guaranteeing that their needs are met without any recourse to unnecessary and unscrupulous conditionalities.”

The company cautioned the public to disregard the information in its entirety and report any such occurrences to the appropriate authority.

Give Epe More Priority,Group Begs Sanwo-Olu

Mohammed Shosanya

A non profitable social group, Club Seventies Epe says that Epe Division in Lagos State deserved more attention from the administration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the state.

Its new President,Mr Yusuf Yunus,who made the plea in his inaugural address after taking oath of office in Epe,said
his team would hit the ground running to facilitate development to Epe and its environ and to bring succour to the ordinary people

Yunus took over from Adelaja Najeem-Hassan as president of the group.

He said:”We deserve more economically, politically and in terms of infrastructure. We shall use this opportunity to facilitate more development to our people.

“We shall not let the people down. We shall lobby Governot Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to look at Epe direction We shall fulfill our mandate of making life better for the people of the division”

Yunus,who appreciated God for the privilege to serve, described the task of reinventing, rejuvenating and promoting Epe as a collective responsibility of all members.

He said that his primary focus was to enhance the welfare of members and the downtrodden in the community.

Yunus pledged not to pursue any personal agenda but only that of the Club.

“Our agenda shall be of collective tesponsibility” to enhance members’ welfare and follow up on members during and after meetings, and we will strongly encourage participation via committees and Club events.

“We can do it, we will do it, and together, we can make lasting impacts in the lives of the people,” he said.

He stated that the club would continue to have footprints on different areas such as community service, projects, opportunities, and youth empowerment, among others.

Yunus commended the immediate-former president for his honesty, commitment and patriotism, saying he performed well when he was at the driver’s seat of the Club.

He said that every member must join hands to actualise the dream of the founding fathers of the Club.

He said: “As I take over the mantle of leadership effective today, I promise not to let you down nor disappoint the trust bestowed in me.

“I stand before this noble House to assume the sacred mandate you have given me. My love for this club is abiding. My confidence in our members is unwavering and my faith in God Almighty is absolute.

“I know that His hand shall provide the needed strength to forge ahead as a people with common goal and vision. This day is bold and majestic yet bright and full of spirit, as is our precious Club.”

Yunus,who expressed his resolve to lead and not to rule over members,said his team would consult and dialogue with the people always.

He added:”We shall reach out to all but never put down a single person for holding views contrary to our own.We are here to further mend and heal this club, not to tear and injure it.

“I will float committees to expand our Club’s involvement in all areas and continue the path of having all members included in at least one of the committees.”

He vowed to prioritise members’ welfare,adding that he would encourage participation through committees and club events.

Yunus said that he would continue to work with all past presidents and elders of the Club to accomplish great projects.

“We can do it, we will do it, and together, we can make lasting impacts in the lives of the people,” he added.

He challenged the club’s leadership, elders and members to place the interest of the Club in their hearts “as the indispensable home for every one of us regardless of creed, religion, or place of birth.”

The former President of Club, Adelaja, appreciated members for their unflinching support and overwhelming contributions towards the growth and successful development of the club during his tenure.

“I must admit that being the President of this Club has been a challenging task, and I have spent quite some of my valuable hours in ensuring that the Club maintained its brand and achieves its objective in Epe Division,” Adelaja said.

He said that the Club under his watch recorded a very huge success in member’s welfares, website administration, Club’s united centre “Secretariat’’,and ensuring stronger ties among members.

“We are very pleased with what we as a team players accomplished as set goals in the last two years.

“Almost all of what we set out to do was looked after. I salute the courage of my formidable team for being the best team.

“I am indeed convinced that with the template we (Exco) have put in place, I am certain that the incoming executives shall even do much better than what we have done, because I have faith in this Club and the incoming team,” he said.

He said that the job of building the club should not be left in the leaders alone.

Adelaja said:”It is through your support, critics and encouragements that they shall have something to do together because together we shall continue to make it.Togetherness we Stand, Divided we Fall” let’s build CSE (Club Seventies Epe) of our dream”,he said.

Speaking,Chief Wale Mogaji, the Ottun- Balogun of Epe kingdom urged the new inaugurated executive members to be steadfastness in steering the ship of the club to the greater heights the more.

Mogaji assured the club of his total support and urged members to re-dedicate themselves towards deepening community development.

Premium News reports that other newly sworn-in executives of the Club included Alagabi Gabusiu (Vice President), Sikiru Taoreed (Secretary), Gbajumo Olalekan (Assistant Social Secretary), Kadiri Rahmon (Treasurer), Moruf Shittu (Financial Secretary), Olabode Taiwo (Chief Whip), and Shonibare Olalekan (Welfare Officer).

Nigerian Artist Advocates Action On Climate Crisis With Captivating Exhibition

Mohammed Shosanya

Chinze Ojobo,a contemporary Nigerian artist has used her thought provoking work to call for action against climate change crisis.

She captivated art enthusiasts and collectors with her groundbreaking exhibition at the prestigious Thames Side Studios in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, London.

Chinze,a Fine and Applied Arts graduate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka,exhibited her profound artistic talent through various mediums, including acrylic on carved wood, acrylic on canvas, acrylic on Ankara cloth, and found objects.

Her diverse range of works showcased her versatility and creativity as an artist.

The exhibition,which held recently was a resounding success, drawing art lovers from all walks of life. Chinze’s open studio allowed visitors to witness her latest creations firsthand, providing an immersive experience that left a lasting impression.

Under the theme “Melting Boundaries,” Chinze’s exhibition emphasized the pressing challenges of climate change, particularly the alarming rise in displaced populations in Africa and around the world due to desert encroachment, flooding, and the hazardous effects of global carbon emissions.

She advised society to unite and address these urgent environmental issues through her art.

Her thought-provoking paintings served as a visual narrative, capturing the devastating consequences of climate change and the human struggle against its relentless force.

With a deep understanding of the power of art to convey messages, Chinze’s creations evoked emotions, pushing viewers to contemplate the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for immediate action.

She emphasised the import of raising awareness about climate change and its impact on vulnerable communities, calling for a concerted effort from individuals, governments and organisations to address the pressing issues of global warming, deforestation and carbon emissions.

Art critics commended the exhibition and commended Chinze’s ability to merge artistic expression with social commentary.

Her work was a catalyst for change, encouraging viewers to reflect on their role in preserving the environment and taking steps towards a sustainable future.

As Ojobo’s exhibition came to a close, it left an indelible mark on the art world and the collective consciousness of those who had the privilege of experiencing it.

Through her poignant and evocative creations, Chinze Ojobo succeeded in reminding us of our responsibility to protect our planet and create a better world for future generations.

Chinze has showcased her works in various cities worldwide, including the New York Art Expo, London, Paris, Jo’burg, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Lagos and Abuja.

Heritage Bank: NDIC Commences Sales Of Assets,Moves To Recover Bank’s Loans

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation,says it already commenced the process of disposing of the physical buildings of the liquidated Heritage Bank Limited.

It disclosed that it also set the process in motion to make sure that it recovers the loans and advances that were granted the bank.

Bello Hassan, the Managing Director of NDIC,who disclosed this on Sunday in Abuja,also said account name discrepancies in Bank Verification Number (BVN) linked alternate accounts of some defunct Heritage Bank customers is delaying the payment of their insured deposits.

He said the corporation had paid substantial amounts to depositors of the defunct bank without BVN account linked issues.

He advised depositors of the bank who were yet to receive their insured deposit credit alert to visit the NDIC’s website and complete their verification forms for their payment.

He said the verification would also include depositors without BVN alternate account.

NDIC,he noted,has already commenced the payment of customers since June 6.

”We have paid a substantial amount to the customers.What we leverage in making the payment is BVN of customers. We trace alternate accounts in other banks and pay them their insured amounts.

”There are some that we have challenges linking up because of some discrepancies between the names and others.We are calling on customers that have not received their alerts in their alternate accounts to come forward and complete their verification forms so that we can pay them,” he said.

Speaking on payment of depositors with more than five million naira with the bank, Hassan said they would be paid liquidation dividend.

He added:”That is what we use in paying those liquidation dividends.We are not going to wait until we recover everything.

”As we recover, we will also advertise to say that we will pay liquidation dividends so that concerned depositors will be on the lookout for alerts in their accounts,” Hassan said.

The Central Bank of Nigeria on June 3 revoked the banking licence of Heritage Bank Plc.

The apex bank explained that the decision was made due to the bank’s failure to improve its financial performance, posing a threat to financial stability.