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The declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day by President Muhammadu Buhari should be taken with a pinch of salt, according to the pan-Yoruba socio-political group Afenifere.

Buhari had on Wednesday moved the date for the event from May 29th to June 12 and also handed a posthumous award to the late Moshood Abiola.

Abiola was the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election which was cancelled by then Military Head of State Sani Abacha.

However, in a statement, the Afenifere said, “We are not unaware that we are now in the election season and every attempt will be made to woo voters with issues that are popular.

“But be that as it may, we have canvassed for the honour of Chief Moshood Abiola since the annulment of June 12 and for June 12 to be declared democracy day for over two decades now. Therefore we accept the declarations and commend them.

“If we are able to hold free and fair elections, if we allow Nigerians to elect their leaders without hindrance, if the will of voters is acknowledged, if the ballot is allowed to reign supreme in the next Nigerian elections, then this would have celebrated our true belief in the spirit of June 12 and the proper honour of Abiola, who died on principle, insisting that the rights of Nigerians and their votes must be respected.

In addition, the body noted that, “fairness consist in giving even the devil his due. Like I said the true test of the motive and intention will come out in January, in fact right from Ekiti on July 14, we will know whether this is just a mere gimmick or a true spirit of democracy in the land. So it is not far for us to know the motive behind this.”

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BEDC Explains Constraints On Power Distribution To Ondo South

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The management of BEDC Electricity Plc. (BEDC) has assured residents of Ondo South that it is committed to providing power to their various communities provided the Federal Government through the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) addresses the present technical constraints that impede power distribution to the areas.

BEDC in its reaction to complaints by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State over lack of power supply to some parts of Ondo South appealed to the Governor to put pressures on TCN and other federal government- related institutions to create an enabling environment for BEDC to serve its customers better by addressing these technical constraints.

These constraints according to BEDC includes; the repair of the faulty breaker on the 30MVA TCN transformer which affected voltage to Ondo South axis causing very poor and none useful power ‘candlelight’.

BEDC also called for the replacement of the unstable Ife/Oshogbo 132KV undersized line and the recommencing/completion of the proposed 132/33KV, 2x 60MVA at Erinje in Okitipupa which will provide capacity for up to 90megawatts of power when completed.

“In order to have a lasting and complete solution to Ondo South electricity need as well as have a lasting solution to Ondo state general power limitations, the permanent solution is for TCN to complete the proposed 132/33KV, 2x60MVA at Erinje in Okitipupa project which has been awarded by NDDC and abandoned as well as replace the unstable Ife/Oshogbo 132KV undersized line” BEDC said.

When this is completed, BEDC said it will be able to take the transmitted power and distribute same to customers in other parts of Ondo South, but noted “this will only serve an additional 25% of the power needs in this area. This is because the estimated total power supply needed is 47.6MW and only additional 11MW will be available from this TCN source, hence there would still be a shortfall of about 36.6MW”.

BEDC said that in January it collaborated with Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) using National Independent Power Project (NIPP) to restore power supply to Ode-Aye town in Okitipupa and Igbokoda in Ilaje local government area of Ondo South by rehabilitating the distribution network in a phased manner and by bypassing major load using centers.

“This was done to demonstrate to customers in Ondo South axis that the network was ready to receive and distribute power when TCN makes same available” the company added.

BEDC says since 2015, it has escalated to Ondo State Government, Federal Ministry of Power and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) that the issue of power supply to major parts of Ondo South is largely and principally affected by TCN constraint.

It added: “TCN has not been able to transmit adequate power to BEDC in Ondo State and especially in part of Ondo South due to its technical constraints which have led to its existing problem of none availability of power in these locations.”

“We wish to state categorically that as a service provider, BEDC is not comfortable watching a large proportion of its customers located in Ondo state and most especially in several locations in Ondo South without supply for so many years.

The reality, however, is that in line with the existing methodology of buying and transmitting bulk power from TCN grid, such power which is purchased by BEDC is what is distributed to our customers in all areas.” BEDC stated.  

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UBA Boss Advocates Curriculum Overhaul To Equip Graduates For Technology Advancement

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The Group Executive Director of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Liadi Ayoku, has called for the overhaul of the training curriculum in financial institutions across Africa to reflect current technological realities, which according to him will reflect the modern business expectations and ensure the relevance of graduates to the continent’s economic growth and aspiration.

Ayoku, said this while delivering a keynote address during the annual lecture of the Faculty of Management Sciences, Lagos State University (LASU) titled: “The Future of Finance – Technology at Play” on Wednesday. He explained that finance graduates and professionals must be aware that it was no longer business as usual following the fast-changing technological landscape.

He said, “I am not certain if the finance and accounting graduates of today are familiar with modern financial softwares packages, including global accounting and financial reporting standards.

“Have they been imbibed with the ready-to-market soft skills like leadership, communication, commercial acumen, flexibility/openness to change and strategic vision? “If not, I will like to propose an overhaul of the curriculum to accommodate these,” he noted.

Ayoku further explained that with technology replacing basic financing, the finance professional that would excel in the future must be quick to retool and adapt to changes.

“Traditional knowledge of finance is getting stale in today’s business world and indeed there is dire need for retooling our skills if we must remain relevant n tomorrow’s financial world. Technology is fast replacing the basics of finance,” he surmised.

According to Ayoku, financial reporting is increasingly being automated, just as data analytics is demystifying performance analysis. Tomorrow’s finance professionals must have capabilities for business intelligence and cognitive analysis. “We must apprise ourselves of the most recent technology and continue to retool our skills to remain relevant today and into the future,” Ayoku said.

The Chairman of the occasion, Dr Rotimi Oladele, the Executive Secretary, Institute of Entrepreneurship, commended Ayoku for delivering a profound paper worthy of equipping account graduates for a future driven by technology while also praising the Chairman of UBA, Mr Tony Elumelu for his contribution to entrepreneurship in Africa, describing him as a ‘global brand of the rarest value’.  He said LASU would benefit from its collaboration with the entrepreneur.

“No doubt Tony Elumelu is not just a Nigerian of rare value to Nigeria but a Premium African of rarer value and of course a Global Brand of rarest value. Tony Elumelu today as an ultrapreneur is known all over for breeding entrepreneurs and start-ups in thousands and with millions of dollars ceaselessly in support for sustainability.

“We believe LASU partnering with Elumelu could be the best testimonial of a befitting support to the most multi-cultural and multi-tribal university in Nigeria. The profile of LASU Staff and studentship speak for this fact,” he said.

The LASU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Lanre Fagbohun, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof Oyedamola Oke, thanked UBA for its support and sponsorship noting that a bank that believes in the support of education is indeed a special institution.

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Jim Ovia Foundation Funds Over 100 Students In Computer Education

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The Jim Ovia Foundation has funded the education needs of over 100 students in computer science and other related courses under the NCS-Jim Ovia Scholarship scheme. The scholarship scheme is a collaboration between the Jim Ovia Foundation and the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS).

Since the inception of the NCS-Jim Ovia Scholarship Award in 2015, Jim Ovia Foundation has continuously renewed its annual commitment of ₦ 15.75 million to fund 35 new beneficiaries under the scholarship,providingfor their studies and research in Computer and Information Science, Computer Engineering, Information Architecture, Information and Systems Technology and Information Technology and Systems Practice.

These 35 beneficiaries include 20 undergraduates, 10 Master’s degree students and 5 Ph.D students studying computer-related courses in tertiary institutions across Nigeria.

According to Mr. Jim Ovia, Founder/Chairman of Jim Ovia Foundation, “In this age of digitization and the use of the Internet for inclusive growth in the world economy, the Jim Ovia Foundation looks to maximize opportunities to provide education and technical know-how to empower youths in Africa to position themselves at the forefront of world-class information technology development.”

To apply for the scholarship, visit NCS at www.ncs.org.ng for details.

The Jim Ovia Foundation was founded in 2004 and is dedicated to investing in African youths’ unlimited and untapped potential as the key to their socioeconomic growth and improved standard of living. The Jim Ovia Foundation through its various programmes, including the James Hope College Foundation, Jim Ovia Foundation Leaders Scholarship (JOFLS) and Mankind United To Support Total Education (MUSTE), has supported over 3,500 young persons in education and entrepreneurial endowments all overAfrica.

Visit www.jimoviafoundation.org to learn more.

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