BY KAYODE TOKEDE, Lagos  Zenith Bank has been named best company in Sustainability Reporting in Africa at the 2017 Sustainability Enterprise Responsibility Awards (SERAS). With the new award held at the weekend, Zenith Bank has blazed the trail as the winner of the award for the second consecutive year. The bank had won the 2016 Sustainability Report titled “Creating Wealth Sustainably” being the first sustainability report in Nigeria and Africa financial services sector. The Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) instituted the award in October 2016. Zenith bank noted that it had raised the bar in sustainability reporting within and outside the financial services sector, while setting the pace in the adoption of global best standards in reporting. It said that the award had been widely acknowledged in the global sustainability arena with the GRI featuring it on the homepage of its official website: https://www.globalreporting.org. It continued: “The bank has not only supported the global climate action...
BY FRANCIS OKOYE, Maiduguri The Nigerian Army Council has yesterday approved the promotion of 45 Brigadier Generals to the rank of Major Generals and 92 Colonels to the rank of Brigadier Generals. According to statement issued to newsmen in Maiduguri by the director Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Sani Kukashekau Usman, some of those promoted to the rank of Two Star Generals (Major Generals) include ; Brigadier General HO Otiki, acting commander, Defence Headquarters Garrison, Brigadier General O. O. Soleye, acting director, Veteran Affairs, Defence Headquarters. Others that were promoted are the acting provost marshal, Brigadier General A. T. Hamman, the acting military secretary, Brigadier General F. Yahaya, the acting general officers commanding 3, 7 and 8 Divisions, Brigadier General B. A. Ahanotu, Brigadier General I. M. Yusuf and Brigadier General S. O. Olabanji, respectively. “Acting Commander Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps Brigadier General JI Unuigbe, Brigadier General AA Jidda, Acting Commander Nigerian Army...
By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, Michael Oche, Abuja and Chika Mefor, Abuja Nigeria’s first elected vice president, Chief Alex Ekwueme, is dead. He passed on at a London hospital on Sunday at the age of 85. A statement from his family signed by his brother and the traditional ruler of Oko in Anambra State, Igwe Laz Ekwueme, noted that Ekwueme died at 10:00 pm. “Ekwueme family regrets to announce the peaceful passing away of their patriarch, the former Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme GCON. The sad event occurred at the London Clinic at 10:00 pm on Sunday 19th November 2017”, the statement noted. Some weeks back, the former vice president in the second republic was said to have collapsed in his Enugu residence and was rushed to the Memfys Neurosurgery Hospital, Enugu, where he relapsed and went into a coma. News of his deteriorating health condition prompted President Muhammadu...
  ........Economy grows by 1.4% in Q3 By ZAKA KHALIQ, Lagos BY Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, MBAKAAN KWEN, Abuja and Kayode Tokede, Lagos The presidency yesterday expressed excitement over report that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased to N29.45 trillion, saying the country’s economy has improved further. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday disclosed that Nigeria’s GDP in nominal value hit N29.45 trillion in third quarter (Q3) of 2017 from N26.5 trillion in third quarter of 2016. According to the NBS, the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.40 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the 3rd quarter. A statement by the spokesman of the vice -president, Laolu Akande, noted that the Buhari administration welcomed the new growth figures and will continue to work diligently on a daily basis to ensure inclusive growth, to which it has always been committed to through the active pursuit of a raft of policy initiatives. He said such...
By OMONU NELSON, Abuja The federal government has expressed misgiving and shock over the sudden burial of the 26 African girls drowned on the Mediterranean Sea by Italian authorities nine days ahead of the slated date. The Italian Embassy in Nigeria had informed the DG, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons NAPTIP, Barr Julie Okah-Donli, that the deceased ladies would be buried in Salerno, Italy on November 26, 2017. Instead of the Italian Embassy to inform NAPTIP accordingly, it back-pedalled and hastily buried the bodies on November 17,  2017. This position was made known at a joint news conference by Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora alongside Mr Abdulrahim Shaibu, Director of Legal Services and Prosecution, who represented NAPTIP, Monday, in Abuja. The duo revealed that, in a bid to get to the root of the matter, a letter has been dispatched to...
BY MARK ITSIBOR, Abuja The Presidency yesterday said it is concluding plans, latest by December, with the Switzerland Government for the repatriation of $321m looted from Nigeria. The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Justice Reforms, Mrs Juliet Ibekaku, made the disclosure at the Conversation on Anti-corruption Campaign organised by the Centre for Democratic Development in Abuja. She said that before now, Nigeria had no agreement or Memoranda of Understanding with foreign countries for the return of looted money. The development she necessitated why it took Nigeria awhile to initiate the process of discussion and recovery at the international level. “So far, we have recovered part of the Malabu fund held by the UK courts. “We are also working to finalise the process for the return of $321m and by December, we are going to sign the MoU for the return of the money held in Switzerland. “I am happy to also note here...
In spite of the sanctions slammed on North Korea following its nuclear programme, the United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump announced Monday that his country will designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terror. Trump’s decision comes amid heightened nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula. According to Trump, the designation is long overdue step and part of the U.S. “maximum pressure campaign” against the North, as it will impose further penalties on the country. North Korea would join Iran, Sudan and Syria on the list of state sponsors of terror. “In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism including assassinations on foreign soil,” Trump said during a Cabinet meeting. U.S. officials cited the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother in a Malaysian airport earlier this year as an act of terrorism. The designation had been debated for months inside the...

Lawmaker Extol Ekweme’s Virtue

By ADEBIYI ADEDAPO, Abuja Chairman, House of Representatives committee on Capital Market and other institutions, Hon Tajudeen Yusuf Monday expressed shock over the death of former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme who reportedly died in far away London. The lawmaker who represents Kabba Bunnu/Ijummu Federal Constituency of Kogi state in a statement said that, "I am saddened, Nigeria has lost a great man, a legend whose shoe is too big to step in". According to him, "My prayers and heartfelt also goes the entire family, especially his son, Pastor Goodheart Ekwueme (a pastor with Revival House of Glory, ROHGIC, International Church), the family should continue to keep his legacies and good name. I pray God grant him and his family, fortitude to bear the irreparable loss" "For Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, we have lost a gentleman, a man whose character his worthy of emulation, a good man par excellence and a great politician...

Nasarawa APC, Undivided-Shekwo

By Danjuma Joseph, Lafia Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in Nasarawa State, Philip Tatatari Shekwo, has dispel rumours making the rounds that there is division in the party, which has led to its fictionalization. Shekwo, who dispelled the romour in his office in Lafia in the chart with journalist on Monday, described such rumours as baseless. There were speculations in recent times about sharp division among APC leaders in the state thereby tearing the party apart. But the APC chairman said it is not true as he blamed the opposition party in the state who are bent in creating division by spreading fake news. “ In Nasarawa State APC has remained one, it is still one and it will continue to be one by the grace of God, we don’t have any division in our party” “ All of us recognizes the structure of the party and we have a leader who...
By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah In furtherance of its goal to tackle poverty and hunger, and to create jobs for Nigerians in line with its inclusive growth plan, the Buhari administration’s National Home-Grown School Feeding (NHGSF) Programme is now in 19 states across the federation. The Presidency listed the states to include; Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Jigawa and Niger states. According to a statement by the spokesman of the vice president. Laolu Akande, said so far, over five million pupils (5,226,039) in 28,249 schools in these states are currently been fed under the programme, while Kano and Katsina states are expected to be added to the beneficiaries states in the coming weeks. Also,he noted that over 50,000 cooks are currently engaged under the programme. He stated that the school feeding programme, which is part of President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s N500...