Gwarzo’s Milestones In AMERC

BY James Ume The Director General of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr Mounir Gwarzo, in the year 2015, assumed the leadership of the Africa Middle East Regional Committee (AMERC) of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). Relying on his wealth of experience acquired over the years in the art and science of securities management, he has proved by his performance that he is an innovative thinker that has the dexterity to provide solutions to challenges. And this has continued to achieve milestones that have further put in bright lights the image of the Commission and indeed Nigeria, as a leading light in the global securities regulatory firmament. In his capacity as the current chairman of the Regional Committee, SEC Nigeria has been at the vanguard of expanding the frontiers of the African and Middle Eastern capital markets while also boosting the standing of the regional bloc in the...
By Abimbola Johnson It is time again for Nigerians living abroad to think home. In the age of globalisation, Nigerians in the Diaspora do not have to return home to contribute to the development of their country. They can do so through several ways and means. And one of these is to subscribe to the Diaspora Bond issued by Nigeria’s Debt Management Office, DMO. The Federal Government, on June 13, 2017, through the DMO, commenced road shows in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland, for the country’s first Diaspora Bond of 300 million dollars. The Director-General of the DMO, Dr Abraham Nwankwo, is leading the government delegation comprising representatives from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance to the roadshow. The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun is currently engaged with working details of the newly signed 2017 budget – hence her inability to lead the roadshow. The nation’s...

Avoid Government By Commission

The recent rejection by the House of Representatives of the Bill seeking to establish a South East Development Commission is a vindication of what this column wrote on Thursday 2nd June, 2016. Under the title: DO NOT CREATE THE PROPOSED NEDC. That column opposed the so-called Northeast Development Commission or any other development commission at all except that of Niger Delta which is justifiable. It is hereby reproduced because of its relevance and timeliness: The National Assembly, particularly the House of Representatives has been very persistent in a call for the establishment of a North East Development Commission (NEDC). A Bill has already started going through the legislative mills for the creation of the NEDC. There is no doubt about the fact that many places and people have been devastated by the Boko Haram insurgency. It is equally true that there is need for a quick government intervention to bring...
BY Oyetunji Isiaka Mr Godwin Emefiele marked three years in office on June 3, 2017, as the helmsman of the nation’s apex bank. Prior to his appointment, there were squabbles between the Bank and the fiscal authority, which led to the suspension of his predecessor. It was thus a troubled time to be appointed as the governor of the Bank, more so that, the economy had started showing signs of distress. But he came with a mission. To appreciate how Emefiele has fared so far, a brief background of how we got to the present economic quagmire will suffice. Prior to the advent of petro-dollar (oil boom) years of the 1970s, the Nigerian economy was basically agriculture- based. Agriculture contributed about 65 per cent to the GDP and represented 70 per cent of total exports. The sector was marked with high labour-absorptive ratio and provided the scarce foreign exchange needed for...
Jonathan Nda- Isaiah The three most popular words in the country right now are restructuring, Biafra and Secession. The country is tethering on an edge and the gun has been loaded, the safety pin has been released, it’s just a matter of time before the bullets go off. The call for restructuring has grown louder in the last two years mainly by people who have lost out in the power game and some as a campaign tool for 2019. Most of the proponents of restructuring are telling us that’s the magic wand that will solve our problems. Restructure and all our problems will be over, we will be competing with UAE and America and to them, it’s that simple and without restructuring, the country is headed to Armageddon. They argue that when we restructure, we will start producing leaders like Barack Obama, Lee Kuan Yew and Wiston Churchill- it’s that simple. While...
By Azu Ishiekwene The government of President Muhammadu Buhari just boxed itself into a corner and the National Judicial Council (NJC) is very pleased to beat the government with a big stick. After last year’s dramatic arrest of nine judges on suspicion of corruption and the sense of relief that Buhari had, at last, taken the fight to the fallen temple of justice (aptly described by Femi Falana as the new supermarket), the government has been caught on the back foot. Days after the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) made the ridiculous call for the judges to be recalled, the NJC recalled them without wasting time. What is left to complete the government’s humiliation is a ceremony for the government to convey its profound apologies to the judges for the inconveniences they may have suffered in the last eight months. It’s a sad moment. Of course, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of...

19 Years After General Abacha

Abba Mahmood Today, it is exactly nineteen year since Nigeria’s Head of State, General SaniAbacha died in office, the first Nigerian leader to do so not through a military coup. He took over power on 17th November 1993 when a Lagos High Court declared the Shonekan-led Interim National Government (ING) illegal. There was a power vacuum and Gen. Abacha was practically begged to intervene and save the situation and indeed the nation. He served as Head of State, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for four years and seven months in one of the most eventful era in the nation’s history. General Abacha came to power well prepared. He was the first Nigerian four-star General who never jumped any rank from second lieutenant till he attained the rank of 4-star General. He was also the first four-star General who never promoted himself but was promoted by successive governments till he attained that rank....
By Osita Chidoka mbassador Baba Gana Kingibe, then Secretary to Government of the federation called me and inquired about a meeting I had in London with then EFCC Chairman Nuhu Ribadu and Mallam Nasir El-Rufai to launch an international media campaign to discredit President Umaru Yar’Adua as part of plans by the Obasanjo boys to remove President Yar’Adua from office. I was alarmed. Shortly after that discussion another senior friend of mine Chief Mike Nwakalor frantically called me and said I should thank Amb. Kingibe for standing up for me and insisting that the Osita he knows would not be part of a plan to discredit a government he is serving as a Chief Executive. Chief Nwakalor had also told some of those peddling the story that unless Ojo Maduekwe was part of the plot he does not see how Osita would plan such. The truth was that I had come...
By Kayode Tokede, Lagos This year marks 12 years Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country to have a minimum capital base of N25 billion. This led to a lot of consolidation in the banking sector as some banks failed the re-capitalisation exercise introduced by the former CBN’s Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo. According to him, “consolidations of banking institutions are through mergers and acquisitions. Banks that do not meet the minimum paid up capital by end of December 2005 or which remains un-sound/marginal would be liquidated by January 2006.” Following Soludo reforms, Nigeria banks shrank from 89 banks to 25 banks but later reduced further to 23 banks with the merger of some banks like First Atlantic Bank Plc and Inland Bank to form Fin Bank Plc, Stanbic Bank Limited and IBTC chartered Bank Plc to form Stanbic-IBTC bank Plc. The number of operating banks later...
BY Osita Chidoka My In-law Nnamdi Kalu-Ezera, last week averted my mind to the growing dichotomy between Nigeria the country and Naija the creative outgrowth of our country. Nnamdi is my wife’s cousin and lives in the United States where he has been since after the Biafran war. His father Professor Kalu Ezera was an exceptional man who was a Parliamentarian and Minister in the first republic and also a lecturer at the nascent University of Nigeria, Nsukka.  After the war, on his way back to Nsukka, he was killed and his body was never found. Stories of what happened to him are still subject of animated debate. His family, wife and four sons including Nnamdi emigrated to the United States during the war and heard of their father’s demise while in exile. So, like many families from the eastern part of the country, the trauma of the war remains...