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Leading businessman and Chairman of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has challenged the government to muster the will to provide critical infrastructure that will make the nation’s environment conducive to commerce and industry.

Dangote made this appeal while delivering the third Eminent Persons Business lecture and inauguration of the Aliko Dangote Complex, a N300 million naira ultra-modern building donated to the University of Ibadan, School of Business, at the Ajibode University extension, Ibadan.

Oyo State Commissioner of Education, Prof. Joseph Adeniyi Olowofela, who represents the State governor, Pro-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Waklek Joshua Mutka, Member of Board of Trustees, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Halima Aliko Dangote, Eng Ahmed Mansur, Executive director, Stakeholder, Management and Corporate Communications, Dangote Industries Limited, who represents the Chairman/Founder of Aliko Dangote Foundation, MD/CEO, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou, Director, Univeristy of Ibadan school of Business, Prof. Adenike Osofisan at the unveiling ceremony of the N.3bn Aliko Dangote Business school, donated to the University of Ibadan Business school

He said his foundation will continue to prioritize education as a means of raising entrepreneurs that will change the face of the nation’s economy and lead to real growth and development.

He told his audience comprising of academia, students, royal fathers and businessmen that Nigeria has got the potential s to be among the most industrialized countries in the world and required only the right policies to propel the investors into taking the lead in industrialization efforts.

Delivering his paper titled “Industrialization – Backward Integration as a strategy for National Development: The Story of the Dangote Group”, Dangote whose lecture was delivered by Engr. Ahmed Mansur, the Group Executive Director of the Dangote Industries Limited, stated that for the nation to breakthrough industrially, the leadership and the people must have the political will, the courage and perseverance to succeed.

Dangote was of the opinion that backward integration is one of the fine policies of the government that has helped Nigeria’s economy and that he had led in this regard as a private sector operator, advising that the policy could be replicated in other sectors of the economy.

Highlighting the advantages of the backward integration, the business mogul stated that there would be increased control and efficiency as companies are better able to control quality and coordinate the delivery of raw materials or other supplies.

According to him, this level of control allows companies to increase their supply chain efficiency. Stock outs and over-stocking are better avoided, raw material supply is better managed, and delivery schedules can be better guaranteed.

He pointed out that going by his own experience as leading cement producer using backward integration, there will be cost control as costs can be better managed all along the production process.

Citing instances of countries that have used backward integration to climb the industrial ladder key sectors, Dangote said “Several countries have involved backward integration in some of their industries. Examples include Brazil, Ghana, Malaysia, Norway, and Russia. China and the United States of America probably have the most vertically integrated firms given their size and industrialization focus. This typically start with local content requirements for extractive industries and then includes consolidation across product value chains.

“Norway successfully managed the transition from a country with no direct capabilities in the oil and gas sector on the discovery of oil in the late 1960s to become a competitive producer of a variety of oil field services and equipment. Today, more than half of the capital inputs used in the sector are sourced locally, along with 80% of the sector’s operational and maintenance inputs..

“Similarly, oil and gas firms operating in Brazil were awarded more points when tendering for contracts if they demonstrated commitment to purchasing higher shares of goods and services from local Brazilian suppliers. Specific local content targets were set for onshore projects (70%) and offshore projects in shallow (51%) or deep (37%) water.”

For Nigeria, Dangote stated that using backward integration was not just full of bed of roses as Nigerian businesses face major challenges in developing backward integration.

These according to him include difficulties in obtaining adequate and reliable energy and power supply; lengthy, costly and politically sensitive processes of gaining access to land; poor-quality transportation infrastructure; the high cost of capital; long lead times before backward integration efforts yield rewards; sensitivity to external shocks and unforeseen costs;

“Inconsistency of policy implementation; lack of inter-sectoral policy coordination; inadequacy of knowledge and skills in the workforce; and lack of foreign exchange. Most of these challenges relate to the poor quality of the overall business enabling environment, rather than due to local content policies.”

Nevertheless, he argued that the policy had helped Nigeria in the cement sector pointing out that as at 2002 before the backward integration policy “local installed cement production capacity was about 3 million metric tons per annum (while actual production was under 2 million metric tons). Cement demand was approximately 9 million metric tonnes per annum and the supply gap was filled by cement imports. Imported cement accounted for over 70% of local cement consumption.

“Conservative estimates of the cement import bill as at 2002 placed it at between US$500 – US$600 million annually. More importantly, it essentially exported jobs to other countries and exposed the national economy to risk. Nigeria was one of the largest importers of cement in the world despite its huge limestone deposits. To build the nation’s capacity in the cement sector.”

However, with government introducing the policy in 2002. “It restricted cement imports into Nigeria while the issuance of cement import licenses were tied to investments in local cement production capacity with strict monitoring to ensure compliance. Sector specific incentives for the cement industry, in addition to other more general incentives e.g. tax holidays, capital allowance etc. were also an important part of the policy.”

According to him, “the impact of the policy was felt within the first decade of its implementation as Nigeria became self-sufficient in cement production. Installed cement production capacity that has now grown from 3 million metric tons in 2002 to 44 million metric tons as at December 2017. The country has successfully transitioned from being a net importer to self-sufficiency and then to a net exporter since 2017.”

In his remark earlier, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka thanked Alhaji Dangote for the building describing it as a legacy that would forever be cherished generation yet unborn and by the donation, Dangote has become the first largest individual donor to the university.

He explained that Dangote was to donate N250 million to the university but they prevailed on him to build the complex rather than giving money and that the decision has paid off for the university.

Governor Isiaka Ajimobi of Oyo state, who is the Guest of Honour on the occasion urged Nigerian youths to learn a big lesson from Dangote’s humble beginning but with hard work has become one of the greatest entrepreneur in Africa.

The Governor who was represented by the state Commissioner of Education, Prof. Joseph Adeniyi Olowofela, lamented that most youths of today do not cherish hard work but want to get rich quick which explained the increase in social vices in the country

“We need to shift the paradigm shift from the get rich quickly at all cost to hard work that leads to wealth”, he stated.

The Director of the University of Ibadan, School of Business, Prof. Nike Osofisan said the institution owed Alhaji Dangote a huge debt because the complex was more than a building.

She explained “the fully air conditioned complex has 9 lecture theatres, 10 lecturer offices, four Executive Director Offices, One Canteen, 250 KVA dedicated Transformer, and male and female conveniences”

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GTBank Holds 9th Annual Autism Conference July 30th – 31st

Gbemileke Ajayi

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For the ninth year in a row, Africa’s foremost financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, will bring together some of the world’s leading experts in Autism for two days of critical discourse on supporting children and adults living with Autism in Africa.

Organized as part of the GTBank’s Orange Ribbon Initiative, the Annual Autism Conference will hold on the 30th and 31st of July 2019 at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

Themed, “Autism: Transitions, Vocational skills and The Role of Technology,” the Annual Autism Conference will bring to the fore the challenges facing children living with Autism as they grow into adulthood. The conference will feature presentations and keynote addresses on how to empower children and adults living with Autism to reach their full potential. Some of the facilitators include Dr. Loretta Burns, a leading expert in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders and the founder of ABE International Clinic; Dr. Tisa Hooper-Johnson, the Medical Director of the HFHS Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (CADD), USA;  Janette Washington, a speech-language pathologist with nearly a decade of experience working with children living with autism and other special needs; and Ivie Emokpae, a qualified special needs coordinator from the Institute of Education London.

Following the Autism conference will be free one-on-one consultations for children with Autism and other developmental challenges, as well as counseling for parents and guardians. There will also be sessions for Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Behaviour Analysis, Audiology, Clinical Psychology, Developmental Psychiatry, Physiotherapy, and Occupational Therapy. These sessions will hold from Thursday, August 1st to Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 at Digital Village, Alausa, Lagos.

Commenting on the 9th Annual Autism Awareness Conference, Segun Agbaje, the Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “Children and adults living with autism often lack the support and vocational training that they need to develop critical life skills for leading independent and productive lives. As an organization that is passionate about uplifting the most vulnerable in our society, we will continue to empower people living with autism with all the support and resources that they need to reach their full potential.”

Guaranty Trust Bank plc is a Nigerian financial institution that has maintained a defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy since its inception in 1990. The Bank actively supports numerous programmes across Africa that positively affect Infant and Maternal Healthcare, Education, the Arts, Community Development and the Environment.

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James Hope College Celebrates Its First Graduation Ceremony

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The James Hope College (JHC) recently marked a milestone in its history. From the Founders’ Dinner on Friday, 28 June 2019 to the Graduation Ceremony on Saturday, 29 June 2019, the college celebrated its pioneer graduating set.

The Founder/Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia who is also, the Founder/Chairman of James Hope College, while giving the Founder’s Address, described the graduating set as one that has spurred growth in academics and co-curricular activities for the College. According to him, from their impressive 100% score (A* – C) recorded in 14 subjects of the IGCSE to the Duke of Edinburgh award, the graduates have set the bar for other students to scale.

Mr. Ovia also awarded full scholarships to the outgoing Head Boy and Head Girl to the University they have gained admission into, as well as scholarships to all graduates to study in government and state-owned tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Co-Founder of the College, Mrs. Kay Ovia, encouraged the students to uphold the ethos they inculcated while in school and continually strive to be better versions of themselves.

The Principal of the College, Mr. Abraham Swart, also commended the tremendous contribution of the Founders to the development of the college, adding that the students have been given the right foundation to soar.

Other notable personalities in attendance were Former VC of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe and Former Visiting Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, Prof. L. F. O. Obika. The graduation dinner was graced with performances from celebrities like Folarin Falana (aka FalzTheBahdGuy), Otolorin Kehinde Peter (aka Kenny Blaq) and BisolaAiyeola.

James Hope College is one of the educational initiatives of the Jim Ovia Foundation, which offers its students world-class education at a subsidized rate. James Hope College is supported by an endowment fund and currently has 40% of its students on a full scholarship. It is located in the serene environment of Agbor, Delta State. Visit JHC online to learn more.

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I Slept With My Brother-In-Law Thinking It Was My Husband —- Woman Tells Court

Gbemileke Ajayi

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A trader, Mrs Kuditat Ajayi, 52, told an Igando Customary Court that she slept with her brother-in-law because she thought he was her husband.

Ajayi’s husband, Akande is seeking the dissolution of their 35-year-old marriage, accusing her of infidelity, NAN reports.

”I was in bed in the night when my husband’s younger brother came to the house my husband rented for me.

“I thought it was my husband who normally comes to the house at that particular time between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. to play and sleep with me.

“It was after he finished making love to me that I realized that he was not my husband.

“When I queried him, he claimed that my husband had traveled that was why he came to have sex with me.

“I reported the case to my brother’s wife, who advised me not to tell my brother so that peace can reign in the family.”

The respondent said that her husband treats the children of the other wives better than hers.

The mother of four denied being fetish as claimed by husband.

Ajayi prayed the court not to grant her husband’s wish for the dissolution of their marriage that she still love him.

The petitioner, Akande approached the court to terminate his 35-year-old marriage accusing wife of infidelity.

He said that his wife was wayward and adulterous that her man friend was claiming paternity of one of their children.

“When I married her, I rented an apartment for her because I have other wives and I don’t want them to live together.

“I started hearing from people in the area that my wife was having affair with a man, initially I ignored it until her lover came claiming ownership of one of my children.

“The man eventually came to the house but I refused to open the door for him.

“When I questioned my wife, she confessed that the man slept with her but it did not result in pregnancy.”

The 71-year-old businessman said that his wife was fetish.

“I once caught her burying something in my compound, I accosted her and tried to remove what she buried there but I could not.

“I went out before I returned, she had cemented the place.”

He begged the court to end the marriage that he was no longer interested that the love he once had for her husband had faded.

The president of the court, Mr Adeniyi Koledoye, urged the two parties to maintain peace and adjourned the case until August 22 for judgment.

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