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Datkem plaza: Saving lives is not politics By Yemi Oke

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CSOs Petition Senate, Accuse Gbenga Daniel Of Plot To Destabilize Ogun State

Datkem plaza: Saving lives is not politics

By Yemi Oke

 

 

Because Nigeria is a clime where almost everything is given a political coloration, the partial demolition of Datkem Plaza, Ijebu Ode, a structure owned by Mrs Olufunke Daniel, the wife of an ex-governor of the state and the senator representing Ogun Central in the National Assembly, Gbenga Daniel, was always going to be seen by many through the lens of politics.

 

 

 

 

They have been conditioned by experience to see things through that lens. However, it is crucially important to go beyond politics in unraveling the present development. This is because a careful consideration of the facts of the case will show that the demolition is about law and order and public safety, and nothing more. There is no way a partial demolition that took place after more than 12 months of unheeded warnings can be seen as playing politics simply because those contravening the law are highly placed political persons. Indeed, it is absurd to see ordinary citizens who have suffered such fate as fully deserving of it and politically exposed persons as not. The idea of citizens potentially suffering as a result of the actions of highly placed individuals in the society organizing pity parties for them (highly placed people) after they have serially broken the law is not only absurd; it in fact amounts to self-abnegation.

 

Datkem plaza: Saving lives is not politics
By Yemi Oke

 

 

 

It is an open secret that the collapse of buildings has claimed thousands of lives and caused incalculable damage over the years. In April this year, a seven-storey building collapsed in the Banana Island area of Lagos, with workers trapped under the rubble. There is no way Nigerians are going to forget the November 1, 2021 tragic episode in which a 21-storey building being developed by Fourscore Homes collapsed in the Ikoyi axis of the state. The gory incident claimed 46 lives, including that of Femi Osibona, the owner of Fourscore Homes, while 15 others were rescued. In February 2022, a three-storey building collapsed in the Onike area of Yaba, leading to several casualties. In May of the same year, the collapse of a three-storey building in the Ebute-Meta axis of the state claimed at least eight lives, while in September 2022, a seven-storey uncompleted building collapsed at Oba Idowu Oniru street, Lekki. There have been many such incidents across the country.

 

 

Indeed, in January this year, the Building Collapse Prevention Guild indicated that over 271 buildings collapsed in the last 10 years, while at least 531 persons have died as the menace of crumbling structures continues to plague Nigeria’s building industry. The incidents were linked with professional ineptitude. The houses collapsed because of excessive loading, the use of substandard materials, faulty design, poor workmanship and weak foundation. The most tragic of the incidents was the collapse of a part of a multiple-storey building inside the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), which left more than 80 worshipers dead, while several others were critically injured. One can go on and on, but the point is that the collapse of buildings is a potent threat to life and property that no reasonable government can afford to ignore because of personal friendship/relationship with people.

What are the facts of the present case? As revealed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Engr. Olayiwola Abiodun, Datkem Plaza, located in Ijebu Ode, is an illegal structure whose developers ignored all the efforts made by the state government to halt further development on the site. A commercial building of Datkem’s status must have a parking space to accommodate vehicular traffic within and outside the facility for workers and visitors. It must have stage certification, which is usually issued at every stage of construction. But the building did not, and the owners were served abatement, contravention, stop work and demolition notices between May and October 2022, which they ignored with relish.

Datkem Enterprises Limited submitted an application for an office building, located along Ibadan Road, Ijebu Ode in 2009 with registration number CB/05/299/2009, with a proposal was for five floors with airspace of 3 metres at the right, 5m at the left, 5metres at the rear and a setback of 32.5516 metres to the middle of Ijebu Ode/Ibadan road, Ijebu-Ode. However, the construction on site did not conform with the plan granted as there was a deviation from the airspaces and setback. That was not all: the building was enlarged with an additional storey building at the back, leading to over density. The government gave a contravention notice with serial no. 0106983 on May 24, 2022, and a stop work order with serial no. 000623 on May 24, 2022. Both were ignored, and so the government issued another stop work order with serial no. 001065 on July 22, 2022.

 

If the government stopped here, it would have been enough, but it actually went ahead to issue yet another demolition notice with serial no. 0007549 on October 11, 2022, while a notice to seal with serial no. 000815 was issued on October 4, 2022. Worst still, the re-sealing of the site on August, 1 this year did not stop work on the site. The developer wrote an appeal for unsealing, which was considered in order to evacuate the belongings on the premises and thereafter, quit notice with serial no. 0030750 was served on 31st august, 2023. Just where did the Ogun State government, which went over backwards to treat the developers with courtesy, go wrong in this matter?

In this country, developers routinely circumvent the law in erecting buildings and the cost of contravention is huge. If, on completion, Datkem plaza had collapsed and claimed many precious lives, the same people complaining now would have taken the Ogun State Government to the cleaners, blaming it for failing to act to save lives because of the status of its owners. The time has come for us to determine what we really want in this country. It is a fact that over the years, many buildings have collapsed because some people believed that they knew the people in government and could circumvent due process. A government cannot afford to play politics with the lives of the people. A structure such as Datkem must have structural integrity, escape routes and safety nets. Surely, Senator Daniel, an engineer himself, knows that. The owners of Datkem cannot produce any evidence of government approval in their possession simply because there is none. The Ogun State government merely acted to save lives.

Yemi Oke wrote this through yemioke@gmail.com

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2023: Dangote Cement increases shareholder’s dividend by 50%, to N30 per share

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Dangote Cement Trucks Wrongfully Intercepted In Adamawa

2023: Dangote Cement increases shareholder’s dividend by 50%, to N30 per share

sales from African subsidiaries rose by 12.7%

 

 

 

In line with the promise of Chairman, Dangote Cement, Aliko Dangote at the company’s 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM), of an enhanced return on Investments to all the shareholders and other stakeholders in Dangote Cement, Plc, the company’s Management for the year ended December 31, 2023, has proposed an increase in the dividend payout to the shareholders, by 50 percent, to N30 per share.

The proposed increase in dividend is subject to ratification by the shareholders at the forthcoming, AGM. Proposing a dividend of N30 per share at a period when many firms are declaring losses is an indication of the resilience of Dangote Cement and the prospects it holds for investors.

A breakdown of the results indicated that Africa’s largest cement manufacturer recorded improvement in all performance measurement indicators with group revenue rising by 36.4 percent to ₦2,208.1 billion while Profit after tax (PAT) was up by 19.2 percent to ₦455.6 billion. Earnings per share went up by 18.8 percent at ₦26.47.

Dangote Cement is garnering more market share across the continent with pan-Africa volumes going up by 12.7 percent to 11.3Mt.

Group Managing Director, Dangote Cement, Arvind Pathak speaking on the results said “This positive full-year outcome is a combination of the strength in the diversity of our operations across Africa and our sustained drive to contain cost amidst an accelerating inflationary environment. The Group achieved double-digit growth in revenue at ₦2,208.1 billion, while Group EBITDA reached a record high, increasing 25.1 percent to ₦886.0 billion.

Despite the challenging macroeconomic conditions, 2023 was yet another testament to the effectiveness of our diversification strategy. Our diverse operations acted as a cushion, providing resilience to country-specific risks. Pan-African volumes were up 12.7 percent and now account for 41.2 percent of Group volume. Consequently, pan-African revenue increased by a record 123.2 percent to ₦925.9 billion, while EBITDA surged by over four-fold to ₦263.7 billion.”

He added, “In response to the heightened inflationary environment, we implemented new and innovative business strategies that helped to drive up revenues, contain costs, and protect margins. These initiatives included fuel mix optimisation, propelling the use of alternative fuels to replace more expensive fossil fuels. We also began the phased transition from diesel power trucks to full Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) trucks.

Looking ahead, following the commissioning of our 0.45Mta grinding plant in Takoradi, we are focusing on our “export to import” strategy in West and Central Africa, while concurrently optimising assets in Eastern Africa. Our strategy remains centered on enhancing our value proposition through the production of high-quality cement and delivering sustainable value to our stakeholders.”

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Harvard Business School Launches Tony Elumelu Foundation Case Study

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Tony Elumelu in Global Academic Limelight as the Tony Elumelu Foundation Case Study becomes part of Harvard’s Curriculum 

Harvard Business School Launches Tony Elumelu Foundation Case Study

 

 

 

Spotlights Role of African Philanthropy in Transforming the Development Agenda in Africa

 

 

At a time of renewed geopolitical interest in Africa, and an increasing questioning of traditional development finance models, Harvard Business School today released a case study examining the role and impact of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), and its unique approach to catalysing entrepreneurship in Africa.

 

 

Harvard Business School Launches Tony Elumelu Foundation Case Study

The Foundation, Africa’s leading funder of young entrepreneurs, has pioneered an innovative approach to seeding, capacitising and networking young entrepreneurs across Africa. Drawing directly from Tony Elumelu’s entrepreneurial journey, his acknowledgement that luck and chance played an important role in his success, the Foundation democratises luck, spreads opportunity, in a sector agnostic approach, and has developed a bespoke infrastructure that reaches every country in Africa. The Foundation is a direct expression of Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, that the private sector must play a pivotal role in Africa’s development, and that investment must seek social, as well as economic returns.

The case study, the first of its kind focused on African philanthropy, was launched today, Thursday, February 29, 2024, before a class of graduate students at Harvard Business School and explored the Foundation’s unique approaches and transformative initiatives, showcasing how the strategic philanthropy offered by TEF, is driving positive change and elevating countries and communities.

The case study recognises challenges the Foundation faces, and its responses, as it developed its mission, since founding in 2010. The track record is impressive, with over 20,000 entrepreneurs funded, over a million connected digitally and the development of an impact assessment capacity. TEF has disbursed over USD$100 million, reaching every African country. The Foundation is increasingly developing a partnership-based approach, working with institutions such as the EU, US agencies, the UNDP, the ICRC, the Ikea Foundation, and others to develop bespoke programmes focused on fragile states, female entrepreneurs and sustainability initiatives.

Tony Elumelu, who spoke at Harvard said, “TEF is creating economic hope and opportunity for African entrepreneurs. We know that entrepreneurship is the solution to youth unemployment and insecurity. Through the intervention of the Foundation, we are transforming our young people, giving them hope. Collectively, all of us can resolve the challenges that we have on the continent.

It is wonderful to have had the opportunity to work with HBS, to spotlight our successes, acknowledge the challenges that we have at times faced, and provide the opportunity to spread our experience, for the benefit of others.”

The Harvard Business School session provided an opportunity to engage in a meaningful discussion on the role of philanthropy in shaping sustainable and inclusive economies. As the world grapples with complex challenges around demographics, climate and sustainability, the Tony Elumelu Foundation model offers a fascinating model of how strategic philanthropy can be a driving force for positive change.

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Tony Elumelu in Global Academic Limelight as the Tony Elumelu Foundation Case Study becomes part of Harvard’s Curriculum

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Tony Elumelu in Global Academic Limelight as the Tony Elumelu Foundation Case Study becomes part of Harvard’s Curriculum 

Tony Elumelu in Global Academic Limelight as the Tony Elumelu Foundation Case Study becomes part of Harvard’s Curriculum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That In an unprecedented move, the Harvard Business School, the graduate business school of Harvard University, is set to cast the spotlight on the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), recognising the Foundation’s extraordinary philanthropic achievement in a ground-breaking case study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Elumelu in Global Academic Limelight as the Tony Elumelu Foundation Case Study becomes part of Harvard’s Curriculum 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The case study, first of its kind on any philanthropic organisation in Africa, is to be launched on Thursday, February 29, 2024, before a class of graduate students in Boston, Massachusetts and will explore the Foundation’s unique approaches and transformative initiatives, showcasing how strategic philanthropy offered by TEF is driving positive change and elevating countries and communities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This move by Harvard underscores the Foundation’s pivotal role in empowering young African entrepreneurs across all 54 African countries and places the Foundation at the forefront of global discussions on transformative and catalytic philanthropy, acknowledging its significant contributions towards fostering entrepreneurship in Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to delving into the foundation’s innovative approaches and the resultant impact it has garnered over the years, the event will also feature an exclusive acknowledgment of the Founder of TEF, Tony Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the African continent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the leading philanthropy, empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, driving poverty eradication, catalysing job creation across all 54 African countries, and increasing inclusive economic empowerment.

 

Since the launch of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in 2015, the Foundation has trained over 1.5 million young Africans on its digital hub, TEFConnect, and disbursed over USD$100 million in direct funding to 20,000 young African women and men, who have collectively created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.

 

Tony Elumelu who spoke on the impact of TEF on the African youth said, “TEF is creating economic hope and opportunity for African Entrepreneurs. We know that entrepreneurship is the antidote to poverty, youth unemployment and insecurity. Through the intervention of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we are encouraging our young people, giving them hope through the seed capital we provide, capacitising them through the training and mentoring we provide and setting them up to create businesses that will succeed and create even more jobs. Collectively we are fixing the challenges that we have on the continent.

 

Continuing, he said, “the Tony Elumelu Foundation was set up to create more successful African business leaders. We want to replicate our own success and create entrepreneurs who will build more prosperity on the continent and for the continent. It’s all about transforming our society and making sure that we leave the society better than we met it. It is not about the money that we have in our bank accounts, it is about the legacy that we make and the impact we create. Prosperity for all is what will create the security, harmony and peace that we need.”

 

The Harvard Business School session will provide a platform for thought leaders, scholars, and business enthusiasts to engage in a meaningful discussion on the role of philanthropy in shaping sustainable and inclusive economies. As the world grapples with complex challenges, the Tony Elumelu Foundation stands as a beacon of hope, showcasing how strategic philanthropy can be a driving force for positive change.

 

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