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Okonjo-Iweala replies Oshiomhole, El-Rufai; denies spending oil money without approval

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The allegation by some governors that a former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, spent $2.1 billion out of the Excess Crude Account “without authorization” is false, malicious and totally without foundation, the minister’s spokesperson said Tuesday.

The governors of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole; Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, had said that the National Economic Council, at a meeting on Monday, found that $2.1 billion of the Excess Crude Account was spent without the approval of the council.

The former minister said no unauthorized expenditure from the ECA was made under her watch in the Finance Ministry, and that decisions on such expenditure were discussed at meetings of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) attended by finance commissioners from the 36 states.

“It is curious that in their desperation to use the esteemed National Economic Council for political and personal vendetta, the persons behind these allegations acted as if the constitutionally recognized FAAC, a potent expression of Nigeria’s fiscal federalism, does not exist,” a statement signed by the former minister’s spokesperson, Paul Nwabuikwu, said.

“But Nigerians know that collective revenues, allocations and expenditures of the three tiers of government are the concern of the monthly FAAC meetings.

“It is important to acknowledge the efforts of governors who are working hard to overcome the current revenue challenges facing their states without resorting to character assassination and blame games,” it said.

The former minister said she remained ready and willing to respond to legitimate enquiries about issues under her purview as Finance Minister.

“But it is clear that this is the latest chapter of a political witch-hunt by elements who are attempting to use the respected National Economic Council for ignoble purposes having failed abysmally in their previous attempts to tar the Okonjo-Iweala name.

“It will be recalled that one of such attempts took place in May when some of these governors, hiding under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum asked Okonjo-Iweala to explain $20 billion alleged to be missing from the same ECA.

“The Finance Ministry subsequently issued a news release and published an advertorial in national newspapers on May 25, 2015 giving details of what the Federal Government and states received from the ECA in the last four years. It also provided details of the use of the funds for payment of petrol subsidies for the Nigerian public and SURE-P allocations to the three tiers for development purposes.

“After the publication, the accusers lost their voice. But the latest allegations show that these persons are still in the business of throwing up wild, unsubstantiated figures to damage Okonjo-Iweala’s name. For instance, within the last few months, Governor Oshiomhole and his fellow travelers have asked Okonjo-Iweala to account for “missing” $30 billion, $20 billion and now $2.1 billion. What they don’t seem to understand is that the strategy has lost all credibility because the falsehood is clear for all to see.

“How can some governors who fought FG’s efforts to leave robust savings in the ECA and even took the Federal Government to court over the matter turn around to make such unfounded allegations?

“The world knows that it was Okonjo-Iweala who pioneered, during her first stint as Minister of Finance in the Obasanjo administration, the practice of publishing monthly updates of all allocations to different tiers of government in order to empower Nigerians with information and knowledge of government revenues and expenditure. This enabled the Nigerian public to ask questions about the utilization of these resources. Of course many elected and appointed public officials were not happy with this development.

“She continued this practice when she returned in 2011 and even added periodic updates on the Excess Crude Account, subsidy payments for verified claims by oil marketers for fuel imports as well as SURE-P payments to the three tiers of government.

“Against this background, the idea that she spent $2.1 billion “without authorization” is simply not credible given that details of government receipts and expenditure are public knowledge.

“We believe that Nigerians are too smart to be hoodwinked by this partisan desperation to tar the name of Okonjo-Iweala.

“In the interest of the country, we advise that public officials should avoid the temptation to politicize economic issues so that balanced analysis can lead to real solutions.”

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President Nguema of Gabon invites Dangote to invest in Cement, Fertilser production in country

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President Nguema of Gabon invites Dangote to invest in Cement, Fertilser production in country

President Nguema of Gabon invites Dangote to invest in Cement, Fertilizer production in country

 

President Brice Oligui Nguema of Gabon has invited the President and Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Aliko Dangote to invest in Cement and Fertiliser production in Gabon. The President urged Dangote to explore potential investment opportunities in the country’s cement and fertilizer sectors, specifically urea and phosphate production.

 

 

President Nguema of Gabon invites Dangote to invest in Cement, Fertilser production in country

During the visit, Dangote engaged in discussions with President Nguema and other top government officials. The talks focused on how Dangote Industries could contribute to Gabon’s economic growth by establishing cement and fertilizer plants, which are vital for the country’s infrastructure development and agricultural productivity.

President Nguema expressed enthusiasm about the potential partnership, highlighting Gabon’s commitment to creating a conducive environment for foreign investments. He noted that the collaboration with Dangote Industries would bring significant benefits, including job creation, technology transfer, and enhanced industrial capacity.

Dangote, renowned for his successful business ventures across Africa, underscored his company’s dedication to fostering economic development in the continent. He emphasized that investing in Gabon’s cement and fertilizer sectors aligns with Dangote Industries’ strategic vision of expanding its footprint and supporting sustainable development across Africa.

“We are excited about the opportunity to invest in Gabon. Our goal is to contribute to the country’s economic diversification and industrialization efforts. By leveraging our expertise in cement and fertilizer production, we aim to support Gabon’s infrastructure and agricultural sectors,” Dangote stated.

The visit marks a significant step towards strengthening economic ties between Nigeria and Gabon. As Dangote Industries continues to explore and finalize investment opportunities, both nations anticipate mutual benefits that will drive economic progress and regional integration.

The potential investment by Dangote Industries in Gabon is expected to bolster the country’s industrial landscape, ensuring a steady supply of essential materials for construction and agriculture. This development aligns with President Nguema’s vision of transforming Gabon into a diversified and self-sustaining economy.

In the coming months, further discussions and assessments will be conducted to finalize the investment plans. The collaboration between Dangote Industries and the Gabonese government holds promise for a robust partnership that will significantly impact Gabon’s economic landscape.

 

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Q2 Media Performance Review: Banking, Insurance, and Telecom CEOs in Focus

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Q2 Media Performance Review: Banking, Insurance, and Telecom CEOs in Focus

Q2 Media Performance Review: Banking, Insurance, and Telecom CEOs in Focus

In spite of the challenging economic conditions and their adverse effects on businesses nationwide, Nigeria’s commercial banking, insurance, and telecommunications sectors have consistently maintained robust media relations, marketing strategies, and public awareness initiatives. Their success has been bolstered by the impressive data shared with the media in the second quarter, which has helped sustain positive public perception and confidence in these industries. An independent analysis of the media performance and prominence of the CEOs of Nigerian Commercial Banks, Insurance Companies and Telecommunication Providers for the second quarter was conducted by the leading Media Intelligence and Public relations audit agency, P+ Measurement Services. 

Q2 Media Performance Review: Banking, Insurance, and Telecom CEOs in Focus

This media analysis monitored more than 1.3 million online publications from blogs, news sites, broadcasts, forums, and digital media in the local and global media space, as well as about 5,115 print publications (including daily, weekly, and monthly publications), from which different metadata was extracted, including the sentiment of reporters, editors, publishers, and opinion writers from various online and print publications, spokesperson analysis, CEOs performances, and other topics.

Through detailed media data gathering, analysis, and audit of salient valid PR metrics of 27 Commercial Banks, top 10 leading Insurance companies, and top 4 Telecommunications Providers. The reports ranked the top CEOs (Commercial Banks, Telecommunication, and Insurance) prominent in the Online and Print media.


According to the analysis, Yemisi Edun of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), led the leaderboard with a 23% share of media coverage, indicating a strong media presence and influence in the banking sector. Closely behind were Oliver Alawuba of United Bank for Africa (UBA) with 22% and Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe of Fidelity Bank capturing 22% of media coverage, demonstrating significant visibility and engagement within the industry. Moruf Oseni of Wema Bank came in next with 18% and Wole Adeniyi of Stanbic IBTC Bank rounded out the chart with 16%, showing a notable but comparatively lower media presence. This distribution of media coverage highlights the competitive landscape and varying levels of media engagement among top banking executives.

In the insurance sector, the media performance audit report revealed that Akinjide Orimolade of Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited had the most media exposure at 73%. Lesi Gboyega of Leadway Assurance with 15% and Kunle Ahmed of AXA Mansard Insurance followed closely with 9%. Eddie Efekoha of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance with 2% and Andrew Ikehua of NEM Insurance with 1% media exposure. This distribution highlights a competitive media landscape among insurance executives, with varying levels of visibility and engagement reflecting their influence and presence in the sector. Comparing both sectors, it is evident that top executives in banking and insurance are actively working to maintain significant media profiles to enhance their brands’ visibility and market influence.

In the telecommunications sector, Karl Toriola of MTN Nigeria led the media performance with 67% share of media coverage, highlighting MTN’s dominant presence and influence in the industry. Carl Cruz of Airtel Nigeria followed with 31%, indicating substantial visibility and engagement. In contrast, Mike Adenuga of Globacom had lower exposure, with only 2% media coverage.

This distribution underscores the disparity in media engagement among telecommunications executives, with MTN and Airtel maintaining strong media profiles. Comparing the telecommunications sector to the banking and insurance sectors reveals that media coverage is highly concentrated among a few key players, highlighting the varying strategies and successes in maintaining media presence across different industries.

Overall, the analysis reveals significant disparities in media engagement across the banking, insurance, and telecommunications sectors. Key executives like Yemisi Edun, Akinjide Orimolade, and Karl Toriola have successfully maintained strong media profiles, highlighting their influence within their respective industries. This highlights the importance of strategic media engagement for maintaining visibility and influence in a competitive landscape.

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UN, Columbia University, New York To Headline ASIS 2024

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UN, Columbia University, New York To Headline ASIS 2024

 

UN, Columbia University, New York To Headline ASIS 2024

 

 

The Africa Social Impact Summit (ASIS) 2024 is set to be an extraordinary gathering of influential leaders, Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, and Jeffrey Sachs, of the world-acclaimed Columbia University, New York, are set to headline the event.

 

 

UN, Columbia University, New York To Headline ASIS 2024

The summit, co-convened by the Sterling One Foundation and the United Nations, is scheduled for July 25th and 26th at the Eko Convention Centre, Lagos. It promises to be a pivotal platform for addressing Africa’s critical social and economic challenges under the theme “Reimagining Progress: A New Blueprint for Sustainable Growth in Africa.”

Jeffrey Sachs, renowned economist and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, is known for his extensive work in global economic development and poverty alleviation. His expertise in sustainable development will provide a vital framework for the summit’s discussions on creating economic opportunities and reducing inequalities.

Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, has a rich history of leadership in international development and environmental sustainability. Her participation is expected to drive crucial conversations on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across Africa, focusing on inclusive growth and environmental stewardship.

Abubakar Suleiman, CEO of Sterling Bank, is celebrated for his innovative approaches to banking and his strong commitment to corporate social responsibility. His insights into sustainable business practices and economic development will be instrumental in shaping the summit’s agenda.

Olapeju Ibekwe, CEO of the Sterling One Foundation, expressed her excitement for the event: “ASIS 2024 represents a unique opportunity for global leaders and innovators to converge and create sustainable solutions for Africa’s most pressing challenges. We are honored to have such distinguished speakers and partners joining us in this transformative journey.”

ASIS 2024 will bring together leaders from the private sector, public sector, tech ecosystem, non-profit organizations, and government to collaborate on initiatives that drive social impact. The summit will focus on key areas such as universal health access, education, equality, food security, and climate action.

Interested participants can register for the summit at  www.theimpactsummit.org.

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