Fayose Hails Jonathan’s Appointment As Leader Of Tanzania’s Election Observers

fayoseEkiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has hailed the appointment of former President, Goodluck Jonathan as leader of a 33-nation observer mission to the general election to be held in Tanzania on Sunday, October 25.

Mr Fayose described the appointment as “a global recognition of the former president’s democratic credentials.”

He said, “Jonathan’s appointment to lead the Commonwealth observer team, comprising of 33 countries is in recognition of his remarkable role in the last presidential election, in which he conceded defeat, thereby saving Nigeria from catastrophe that even the international community thought would befall the country”.

Speaking through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said that; “Jonathan should be celebrated and I am happy that the world is beginning to give him the deserved recognition and celebration less than five months after he left office”.

He said, Dr Jonathan’s courage and spirit of sportsmanship in accepting the outcome of the presidential election despite the obvious shortcomings, saved the nation from political chaos and violence, adding that; “Jonathan provided the foundation on which democracy is standing in Nigeria today and one is not surprised that he is being asked to lead the Commonwealth election observer team from 33 nations to Tanzania.

“Even if those who benefited from his show of love and commitment to the peace and development of Nigeria are paying him back with persecution and victimisation, I am happy that the former President and those who worked with him are being celebrated globally.

“Today, four of those who worked with Jonathan, who were called thieves by our friends on the other side, are holding top positions in international organisations.

“Mrs Omobola Johnson, the immediate past Minister of Communication Technology is a Honorary Chairperson of the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), a United States based global coalition; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Finance Minister now chair the Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, (GAVI), as well as Senior Advisor to Lazard, a 167-year-old global investment firm; Mrs Arunma Oteh, former Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the Treasurer and Vice President of the World Bank and Dr Akinwumi Adesina, former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development is President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Mr Fayose added: “I therefore congratulate Dr Jonathan and urge those presently holding power in Abuja to emulate him by putting Nigeria and its interests first”.

Aliko Dangote Is Forbes Africa’s Person Of The Year 2014

Aliko DangoteBillionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote, was on Thursday named Forbes Africa’s Person of the Year 2014.

At the unveiling ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, Aliko Dangote, who has played key roles in Nigeria’s development, dedicated the award to Nigeria, noting he was proud to be African.

It was his fourth nomination for the position.

The panel of judges who decided Dangote fit the bill, said “Aliko Dangote is a lion of Africa in terms of business. He is second to none when it comes to investing in Africa, not just Nigeria. He is also a capitalist with a big heart. He puts his money where his mouth is and his foundation is a step forward for a man who wants to make a difference on the continent.”

Dangote clinched the award ahead of other finalists; South Africa’s Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela; Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Director-General of the Securities & Exchange Commission Nigeria, Arunma Oteh and President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka.

Capital Market Focus Is On Wealth Creation – Oteh

oteh2The Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh has said one of the roles of the capital market is to create wealth and allocate resources to the most competitive companies.

She says the stock market helps in addressing some of the income inequalities that Nigeria faces today, helps in creating jobs for the unemployed and facilitates an eco-system, starting from venture capital and private equity that can easily exist through the stock market.

On Channels Television’s business programme, Business Morning, Ms Oteh stated that inline with the theme of the World Economic Forum On Africa, “Forging Inclusive Growth and Creating Jobs”,  Nigerians could contribute to wealth creation and inclusive growth through investments in the Nigerian Capital Market.

Ms Oteh noted that financial responsible citizens were very critical to the Transformation Agenda that President Goodluck Jonathan was leading, explaining that “if we know how to spend, save and invest, we can plan for our retirement or for future health challenges” adding that the SEC was doing its best to ensure that the average Nigerian is very familiar with the workings of the capital market.

She further noted that the SEC had come up with a number of Financial Literacy Programmes, like partnering with Nollywood and the creation of mutual funds.

“The SEC has been emphasising the need for Nigerians to look at investing through mutual funds as an alternative to investing directly. It helps in diversifying your risk rather than investing your funds in one company,” she said.

She also urged Nigerians to get involved in the Financial Literacy Programme of the government.

 

Jonathan,Obama Discuss War Against Terrorism

President Goodluck Jonathan has met with his United States counterpart, Barack Obama.

The meeting which took place in New York, ahead of the opening of the 68th session of the United Nations was centred on the need to tackle international terrorism.

President Jonathan who expressed appreciation over the U.S. support asked the international community to unite and deploy all resources to fight terrorism, with a recent attack on Kenya by the Somalian group Al-Shabaab.

“You experienced such recently and we still experience it in Nigeria, so I feel the pains of President Kenyatta, to get that level of attack, and that is why we maintain that “terror anywhere is terror on all of us”

“So we call on the global leaders to come together and fight terror”

President Barack Obama while welcoming President Jonathan described Nigeria as a critical partner of the United States in Africa.

“I’ve had the opportunity to speak with President Kenyatta directly, about the terrible tragedy that has happened in Nairobi

“We are providing all the cooperating we can, as we deal with the situation that has captivated the world, I want to express personally my condolences to Kenyans and President Kenyatta who lost two family members to the attack.

“But to the Kenyan people, we stand with them against this terrible outrage that occurred, we will provide them with whatever large enforcement support that is necessary and we are confident that Kenya, which has been a pillar of stability in Eastern Africa, will rebuild”.

After his meeting with President Obama, President Jonathan flanked by the Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala, Petroleum Minister Diezani Allission Madueke and Nigeria’s Stock Exchange Commission D.G, Arunma Oteh, proceeded to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) where he rang the closing bell for trading.

Farouk’s Removal Was For Performance Sake – House Spokesman

The House of Representatives has explained that the removal of Mr. Farouk Lawan as the chairman of the House committee on education was not to confirm his alleged involvement in a bribery scam but to allow the committee operate optimally while the case is being handled in the court.

Briefing correspondents, spokesman of the House, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, however, raised concerns that out of the two parties alleged to have participated in the bribery incident, only one has been arrested and charged to court while the other walks around free.

Mr. Lawan was allegedly nailed for bribery by the Chairman of Zenon Gas and Oil, Femi Otedola who claimed that he blew the whistle on the former chairman of the House Commitee on Fuel Subsidy Probe,  alleging that he requested the sum of $3 million to remove the name of his (Otedola’s) company from the list of indicted companies in the subsidy probe.

Mr. Otedola claimed it was a sting operation involving the State Security Service. He also claimed there was a video evidence to prove that Mr. Lawan collected part of the agreed sum.

 

Jonathan Must Sack Oteh, Reps Insist

The House of Representatives has insisted that President Goodluck Jonathan should implement the resolution of the House by removing the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh.

Coming under matters of urgent importance, the House adopted the resolution after considering a motion moved by  Garba Datti on the blatant disregard of resolutions by the House of Representatives.

House Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila said the motion is provoked by President Jonathan’s letter to the National Assembly.

He said President Jonathan in the letter reopened the issue by stating that the National Assembly went outside its mandate by not appropriating funds to sec.

The lower chamber directed the House Committee on Legislative Compliance to monitor and ensure that the resolution is implemented by the executive.

2013 Budget: Lawmaker Says Senate May Override Jonathan

An opposition federal lawmaker, Kabiru Gaya has threatened that the Senate would override President Goodluck Jonathan if he failed to sign the 2013 budget.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, Mr. Gaya said the Senate would this week take a final decision on its next action as regards the budget.

President Jonathan is said to be reluctant about assenting to the budget which was forwarded to him on January 14 following claims that the National Assembly increased the budget by moving allocations from Ministries, Departments and Agencies to fund constituency projects.

President Jonathan was alleged to have, based on the promptings of a senior minister, insisted that corrections on the budget be made in details before his assent.

Besides, the President had at a meeting with the National Assembly leadership raised the issue of the benchmark and the non- provision of funds for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on account of the retention of Arunma Oteh as Director-General. The National Assembly leadership had politely declined the request on Ms Oteh and the benchmark, saying that the two issues were non-negotiable but agreed to look again at the mistakes in the details of the budget.

Legislators from the opposition parties had given their intention to initiate moves to override a veto should the president refuses to give his assent to the budget by February 13 which made it 30 days after the budget was forwarded to him.

SEC workers stage another protest; insist Oteh must go

Workers at the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday protested the issuance of query to its leaders for “gross insubordination, disrespect for constituted authority” by the director general of the Commission, Arunma Oteh.

The staff of the commission staged the protest within the premises of the SEC building chanting “Oteh must go!!!” with some of their placards reading “no to sole administrator-ship”, “no to tyranny and highhandedness.”

They gave Ms Oteh two weeks ultimatum to give in to their demands which they said is just for her to do the right thing.

The headquarters of the commission had been besieged by security operatives from Monday, 10th of September 2012 over rumour that the staff of the commission had decided in the congress they held the Friday before that day to stage a protest.

Though no protest was held that day, a letter addressed to Ms Oteh same day by SEC’s branch of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) had advised the “DG to use her good office to address the issues” of her employment of contract staff against the directive of the former Board of the commission.

A report on the periodic check of SEC from the office of Auditor General of the Federation indicated that the rules for engagement of contract staff were not adhered to in the commission’s engagement of 15 contract staff.

The document dated 20th April 2012, “recommended that appointments of these fifteen (15) purportedly engaged staff be reverted as the engagements were not done in accordance with the Public Service Rules.”

In the letter, the union also sought to know the reason for the deployment of security operatives to the headquarters of the commission.

“It is on record that the Board extract of 56 Board meeting directed that if by 31st July, 2012 the contract staff of the commission was not regularized, their appointment should be terminated. This directive has not been complied with, rather a counter directive was given by the DG to the finance and account department to pay up their remuneration up to August 2012 without any directive suppressing the earlier directive of the board,” the letter with the heading “issues of urgent attention” read in part.

The letter signed by Muhammad Salihu, chairman of SEC branch of AUPCTRE and John Briggs, Secretary General of SEC branch of AUPCTRE read in part: “Mr Omotayo who is one of the unregularized staff who once served as a technical adviser to the DG was redeployed to head the Internal Control Department. This in our opinion creates a moral issue as Mr Omotayo by virtue of his former position would not constitute a sufficient check to executive or administrative excesses. His redeployment should therefore be checked.”

Two days later, 12th September 2012 precisely, the DG responded by issuing query to the chairman of the union, Muhammd Salihu and his Secretary John Briggs, according to the unionists.

A copy of the query issued to Muhammad Salihu said his participation in the union’s letter “is tantamount to unbridled insubordination to the constituted authority within the commission.”

The Internal memo signed by the Head of Department, Human Resources in the commission, Husseini Dauda, added that “the correspondence is riddled with discourteous language and contains outright lies, threats and falsification which are unbecoming of staff of the SEC.

“It has also come to the management’s attention that you invited and interacted with media practitioners, encouraging them to report false information that could undermine the commission and sabotage the capital markets and Nigerian economy.”

The memo then asked the union leaders to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against them within 48 hours.

IG of Police reads riot act to fraudsters in capital market

The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, on Wednesday vowed to rid the Nigerian capital market of fraudsters saying the options open to fraudulent market operators is to either stop criminal activities or face the full wrath of the law.

Brokers work on the trading floor of the Nigerian stock exchange in the commercial capital Lagos

Mr Abubakar, who gave this warning in Abuja at the formal inauguration of police seconded to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), explained that the police would do all it takes to ensure that the economy of the nation is protected by ensuring that the capital market is given all the support it requires to function effectively.

“Without safety and security, Nigeria cannot be developed in whatever way. We will therefore not fold our arms and allow criminals to do whatever they want to in this country. They should either desist from their criminal ways or get caught and face the consequences,” the police boss said.

He charged the newly inaugurated officers to be good ambassadors of the Nigeria Police, urging them to be dedicated, honest and fair in the discharge of their responsibilities to the Commission.

Also speaking at the inauguration, the Director General of SEC, Arunma Oteh, said the commission has the responsibility of regulating and developing the Nigerian Capital markets to ensure investor protection, enhance efficiency and support private sector growth, job creation and economic development, adding that the support of the security agencies in fulfilling the Commission’s mandate is indispensable.

According to her, the Commission’s activities are guided by the Investments and Securities Act of 2007, section 304 of which requires the capital market regulatory institution to refer matters of criminal nature to the appropriate crime prevention and prosecuting authorities, including the Nigeria police.

“Some of these infractions include fraudulent disposal of investor assets, illegal fund management, wonder banks, insider dealing, and corporate accounting fraud and share price manipulation.

“In addition to the global financial crisis, the unprecedented decline in the Nigerian stock market between 2008 and 2009 was caused by excessive risk taking and various market abuses. In light of this, and to ensure the speedier resolution of cases, the commission approached the Inspector General of Police for the deployment of officers to jointly work with our staff in investigating criminal issues in the capital market”.

Ms Oteh commended the IG of Police on his commitment to crime prevention generally but particularly, criminality in the capital market where, she said, he has demonstrated through the on-going reforms in the Force and the deployment of some of the best and highly specialized personnel to the commission.

Capital Market Probe: Resolutions will restore investors’ confidence – El Sudi

Sunrise Daily crew had in the house yesterday a Lawyer and Capital Market analyst who gave his own opinion on the report of the capital market probe which was headed and completed not by the former head of the probe in the person of Honourable Herman Hembe who was alleged to have had financial issues with the D.G. SEC Arunmah Oteh who was also on the hot seat for questioning in the public hearing.

Joining the crew this morning the 24th of July 2012, the man at the centre of the outcome of the Capital Market probe, Honourable Ibrahim El Sudi who replace Herman Hembe after he was accused of high-handedness by the D.G. SEC. Ibrahim El Sudi came to honour the invite to defend the capital market that after all it can survive its harshest time.

Ibrahim said when asked what brought about the outcome of the probe panel and have they been able to restore the confidence of investor in the Capital Market with their report, he responded saying the basic duty on the panel was find out what led to the near collapse of the Capital Market and bring about a solution the restore the confidence back there.

Capital Market Probe: House of Reps. were on a mission for vengeance – Analyst

Looking back at the Capital Market Probe that was held some time ago in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to deal with issues surrounding the near collapse of the NSE/SEC.It was full of drama and one which took the center stage was the allegation levelled against the former Chairman of the probe panel, Herman Hembe by the D.G. SEC, Arunma Oteh which led to the removal and prosecution of the former chairman of the panel, now the issue is that can the probe panel chairman who took over from Hembe deliver?

A lawyer and Capital Market analyst; Zik Obi on the Capital Market said the report released by the probe panel on Capital Market was greeted with mixed reactions, in that some people were disappointed while some were not but in his own view, the House of Representatives did not do a good job as it was as if they were on vengeance mission, that is to deal with the SEC D.G., Arunma Oteh.

 

Enjoy as you Watch.

Oteh resumes at SEC

Despite the controversies surrounding her re-call, the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh has resumed SEC today.

Ms Oteh’s resumption was confirmed to Channels Television on the telephone by the commission’s Public Relations Officer.

The embattled SEC DG was, last week,  recalled from a compulsory leave slammed on her following allegations of financial recklessness. A firm of external auditors was subsequently engaged to examine SEC’s books.

The auditors, however, were said to have found nothing against Ms Oteh which prompted the federal government to recall her last week.

But this did not go down well with some members of staff as they staged a protest against  her recall.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister for the economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was said to have met with the commission’s staff on Friday where she told them to sheathe their swords as Ms Oteh has been found to be innocent of allegations against her. It was also gathered that Ms Okonjo-Iweala told the protesting staff that it was illegal for them to form unions at the commission.

The SEC boss, a former top official of the African Development Bank was seen as an outsider by some interests who also were not comfortable with  her hard decisions in the efforts to restore sanity and investor’s confidence in the nation’s battered capital market.