Due to the moribund state of the three existing paper mills in the country, Nigeria loses over N400 billion annually to importation of paper products, LEADERSHIP checks have revealed. It was gathered that despite the much touted privatisation process of previous administrations, the three paper mills are not functional. They are Nigeria Paper Mill (NPM) Limited located in Jebba, Kwara State; Nigerian Newsprint Manufacturing Company (NNMC) Ltd. in Oku-Iboku, Akwa Ibom State and Nigerian National Paper Manufacturing Company (NNPMC) Ltd., Iwopin, in Ogun State. Managing Director/CEO of NNPMC, Ebun Braithwaite, who spoke with LEADERSHIP on phone, however, assured that the company is tackling the challenges head-on. She said she was confident that with reversal at the company, activities which would impact positively on the host community and indeed the state will commence fully. She noted that the problem of Iwopin Pulp and Paper Company has to be looked at within the larger context of...
The minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has said the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) will become the largest bank in the country after its restructuring by the federal government. “We have begun the process of restructuring the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and by the time we finish, it will become the largest bank in this country, with probably anything between 25 and 30 million depositors and shareholders”, he stated. In an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP, Ogbeh reeled out other achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration including bringing back the universities of agriculture under the ministry of Agriculture after 16 years in the wilderness. He said the present administration has succeeded in heavily cutting down food importation, particularly rice since its assumption of office two years ago. The minister noted that against 2015 when Nigeria imported 580,000 metric tonnes of rice, the federal government was able to cut down importation...
Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France on Sunday with a business-friendly vision of European integration, defeating Marine Le Pen, a far-right nationalist who threatened to take France out of the European Union, early projections showed. The centrist’s emphatic victory, which also smashed the dominance of France’s mainstream parties, will bring huge relief to European allies who had feared another populist upheaval to follow Britain’s vote to quit the EU and Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president. Five projections, issued within minutes of polling stations closing at 8 p.m. (2 p.m. ET), showed Macron beating Le Pen by around 65 percent to 35 – a gap wider than the 20 or so percentage points that pre-election surveys had pointed to. Even so, it was a record performance for the National Front, a party whose anti-immigrant policies until recently made it a pariah in French politics, and underlined the scale of the divisions that Macron...
  The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations for Good Governance has claimed that some prominent Nigerians are currently plotting what it termed ‘civilian coup’ against President Muhammadu Buhari. The group, at a two day Consultative General Assembly held in Abuja during the week stated that since the president has not told anybody he is unfit to lead, no one should force him out of power. Representatives of 40 CSOs, which included the New Initiative for Credible Leadership, the Advocates of Social Justice for All, Lawyers of Mercy, Media Without Border, Beyond Leadership Legacy Foundation, described the calls for Buhari’s resignation as distraction to the current government. The groups in a statement jointly signed by its Secretary, Joyce AdamuSecretary and Rev Steven Onwu Chairman, Communique Drafting Committee passed a vote of confidence on the president to continue to oversee the nation’s political affairs. The statement said, “In the past days, several notable persons have breached...

BY ZAKA KHALIQ With the Risk Based Supervision(RBS) set to commence in the insurance industry before year end and subsequently lead the sector to another round of recapitalisation, 10 years after the previous one, the aim of this exercise is to see stronger insurance firms emerged thereafter. ZAKA KHALIQ writes. In United States, U.K and other developed economies, insurance companies are strong enough to own banks. But in Nigeria, the story is different as banks have insurance firms as subsidiaries instead. The business of insurance, by nature, requires huge liquidity to absorb large risks. But it is more worrisome in the country that major risks in the aviation, oil and gas and maritime industries are still dominated by foreign insurers, because the local insurers have low capital level to acquire large risks, although, there are few local underwriters who had performed fantastically well in the aforementioned sectors. Another pathetic scenario is that some...
BY CHIKA IZUORA The importance of energy to the growth of businesses cannot be over-emphasised. The Managing Director, FTI Consulting, Mr Joel Kibazo, in this interview with CHIKA IZUORA, says small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will help stabilise Nigeria’s economy What does this publication ‘Companies to Inspire Africa,’ mean for Nigerian businesses? Nigeria has been going through a difficult economic situation over the last two to three years. It looks as if the country is now coming out of it. But what this publication really shows is the strength of companies across the African continent, particularly the biggest contingent coming from Nigeria. It shows that there is hope and it shows that there are companies that are doing good work. It shows that there are companies that are managing to succeed in spite of all the challenges that you find in Africa. These are audited companies, these are companies that have been scrutinized,...
BY WINIFRED OGBEBO Drug abuse is a dangerous and costly venture which is fast becoming a trend in our society. The need for it to be halted cannot be over-emphasised because of its harmful effects not just on the body and brain, but also the finances. WINIFRED OGBEBO writes on the efforts of the wives of the northern governors to break the culture of silence over drug abuse in the north and rescue those already in its grip. addam Saidu, 21, is one of the strong voices against drug use and abuse in the northern part of the country. At the age of 13, he was already using marijuana, and by 15, he had graduated to using cocaine. He had been to rehabilitation centres on more than three occasions and after each visit, he always had a relapse. But with the support of his parents, especially his mother, he was able...
BY ACHOR ABIMAJE The battle for Little Rayfield, Plateau State’s seat of power, has begun. In this report,  ACHOR ABIMAJE captures the intrigues and the unfolding drama as political parties and contenders engage in serious consultations and consolidation efforts to actualise their ambitions. ess than two years to the 2019 general election, aspirants jostling for Plateau State gubernatorial electionare emerging. Some of the governorship aspirants have openly declared their intention to anybody that cares to listen. For others who are yet to publicly declare their ambition, their body language speaks volumes. Following this development,   analysts are of the opinion that the Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong will brace for intense battle as several aspirants, on different platforms, are poised to unseat him. However, the two major political parties, ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have all agreed that Plateau South should produce a candidate for the gubernatorial...
LEADERSHIP EDITORS A young man has been killed in violence in the Venezuelan city of Valencia, amid protests against the rule of President Nicolas Maduro. Hecder Lugo, in his early 20s, died from a head wound. Officials said he had been shot. Youths looted shops in several cities. In Caracas an armoured vehicle was filmed ploughing into protesters. At least 36 people have died and hundreds have been injured in weeks of protests. Demonstrators are angry over what they describe as Mr Maduro’s plans to amass power in his own hands. They were particularly incensed by a recent decree that creates a 500-member constituent body to rewrite the constitution, a step that would bypass the opposition-controlled National Assembly. A women’s march took place on Saturday. An AFP correspondent in the northwestern city of Valencia said it looked like a disaster zone. The looting, which broke out earlier in the week, has angered local shop staff. “There was a...
LEADERSHIP EDITORS French presidential candidate, Emmanuel Macron has been the victim of a “massive and coordinated hacking operation,” his campaign team said, slamming the attack as a last-ditch attempt to undermine him before Sunday’s election. The document dump happened on Friday night, less than 48 hours before the country votes in the final round of the presidential election, which pits the independent centrist Macron against the far-right Marine Le Pen. The files were released just before 2 p.m. ET Friday, around four hours before the election campaign period officially closed with its restrictions on campaigning, reporting and polling. These restrictions are aimed at preventing last-minute scandals from emerging and influencing the election’s outcome. Around 14.5 gigabytes of emails, personal and business documents were posted to the text-sharing site Pastebin through links to more than 70,000 files, a CNN look at the data shows. Officials from Macron’s En Marche! Party said in a statement that...