The People Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday took a swipe on President Muhammadu Buhari, following the controversy surrounding the Martin Luther King award he received few days ago in Abuja. The Martin Luther King Centre has distanced itself or the family of the late activist from the said award after few days it was given.
Reacting to the controversy, Buhari’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, admitted that the award given to her principal was a “commemorative plaque.”However, the PDP described the announcement by the Presidency as a “national disgrace and embarrassment.”
In a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said the lie by Buhari’s handlers “smacks of desperation by the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC), to procure international endorsement, ahead of the 2019 general elections.” PDP said “this embarrassing act has again made our nation a laughing stock before the international community.”
The party said the nation was jolted when the King Centre distanced itself from the award and noted that, “the award given to President Buhari of Nigeria was not given by The King Center, at the request of The King Center or by the children of Martin Luther King jr”.
The statement reads, “It is now clear that this sinking, incompetent and deceptive APC administration, in their desperation, can fabricate and stage-manage anything, including name-dropping of international figures and agencies, in their desperate attempt to delude Nigerians, once again, now that the 2019 general election is fast approaching.
“Nigerians have discovered that having failed to gain any endorsement from reputable international figures such as Bill Gates, the APC and the Presidency have now cheapened the nation by resorting to this despicable act of name-dropping of world-renowned human right activist, Dr. Martin Luther King jr, further dragging down our once sterling image before the comity of Nations.
“The fact remains that not many Nigerians believed in the authenticity of the award in the first place, as the Buhari-led administration, by its undemocratic and anti-people proclivities, including records of violations of rights of citizens, is not deserving of any form of recognition by any human rights group, let alone the family of the world-acclaimed Martin Luther King jr.
“Today, the PDP has been vindicated in its stand that the APC government is not only hypocritical but overtly deceptive and must not be trusted.
It would be recalled that we had issued a statement, earlier this year, cautioning Nigerians and the international community to be wary of information and claims coming from the APC and the Presidency, particularly on endorsements and performances indices.
“While we urge the Presidency to shed its proclivity for lies, we demand the immediate arrest, investigation and prosecution of all the Presidency officials involved in this messy scandal and crime against our nation.
Moreover, the Presidency and the APC should save the nation further embarrassment by jettisoning other planned endorsement stunts and fabricated performance indices, as Nigerians are already rallying with the repositioned and rebranded PDP in their collective quest to end the misrule of the APC and restore a sincere, purposeful and people-oriented government come 2019.”
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Zimvest Economy Conversations: Financial Experts Call for Reorganization of Nigeria’s Market Architecture
Stakeholders in the Nigerian Capital market, Asset Management, and Banking Industries have called for a rethink of the nation’s economic philosophy and a reset of the financial market architecture. This was part of the major takeaways from the “Zimvest Economy Conversations”, a thought-leadership series of Digital Private Wealth and Investment Management Firm, Zimvest (Zedcrest Investment Managers) held on Saturday, June 20, 2020.
Giving the opening remark during the virtual event, Business Head of Zimvest, Gbenga Adigun, noted that investors are gravely concerned with investment returns in light of the current low yield environment while financial institutions are thinking of how their product development and service delivery should evolve with the changing needs of investors.
Bola Onadele Koko, CEO of FMDQ Group while delivering the keynote speech on the event theme “The Economic Landscape and Investor Preferences in Post-pandemic Africa”, talked about the toll the growing pandemic has had on African markets. He laid emphasis on the slow down in key segments of the economy including the financial markets, tourism, remittances, and foreign direct investments. He called for a rethink of Nigeria’s economic philosophy with clarity from the fiscal policymakers which will be critical for gaining investors’ confidence.
According to him, “Now is the time to develop new and ingenious ways to develop and drive the Nigerian financial market and in the continent at large. Private capital will especially be more essential as recent shocks have shown the limits of Governments’ abilities particularly in developing countries”, he said.
The capital market leader also stated that FX reforms will be critical for the Nigerian economy at this point; noting that trading activity in the Nigerian Fixed-Income and Interbank Currencies market is down by 55% due to economic slowdown linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.
All panelists in this first episode of the thought-leadership series pointed out that most investors were affected by the pandemic and are looking for further ways to diversify their portfolios that may end the year on a negative real return.
Speaking during the panel session, Abiola Adekoya, Wealth Expert and Ex-CEO at RMB Securities, stated that one of the key things that investors are concerned about in this era is the need for diversification, more liquidity, and higher investment returns.
In her words: “A lot of investors have been focused on one product and this pandemic has shown that that is not enough. The nascent interest in alternative assets has shown that there is strong liquidity in the overlooked retail space and Investment managers should pay keen attention and develop alternative assets products, and reduce the reliance on the traditional Fixed income, Money markets, and Equity offerings.
Buttressing Abiola’s position on alternative assets, Esiri Agbeyi, Partner and Head Private Wealth Services, PwC Nigeria, emphasized the need for investors to take keen interest in private equity and other alternative assets investments. She shared a PWC survey on Family Offices. The survey revealed that 63% of family businesses leaned towards private equity as an investment portfolio. Local pools of private capital are important to drive economic development
Onome Komolafe, Divisional Head of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), stated the need for improved product development and differentiation, clear market segmentation, and smart communication as tools that financial services firms can deploy in evolving with the changing consumer behavior. She also pointed to premium service delivery and technological innovation as crucial to the democratization of investment opportunities in Africa.
The Group Executive, Treasury & Financial Institutions at First Bank, Ini Ebong, pointed out the present opportunity available for investors, regulators, institutions, market practitioners to reset Nigerian financial market architecture. He noted that this opportunity presents itself mostly around periods of crisis.
According to him, as markets develop, the investing public becomes more able to embrace risk and go for higher return instruments outside traditional bank-based deposits.
“If you want high returns on investment, you must be willing to take on more risky investment products”, said Adetoun Dosunmu, Treasurer at FBN Merchant Bank. “Giving the highly specialized nature of investing, working with a regulated fund manager will be most beneficial to the investor in the long run and would protect against fraud and sharp practices from the teeming number of platforms offering untested investment opportunities”.
During his closing remark, the Founder of the Zedcrest Group and the Chief Host of the event, Saheed Adedayo Amzat, CFA, called on the Nigerian capital market stakeholders to unite to further capital formation in the country. He sounded a note of warning to Nigerians on suspicious wealth generation platforms.
“Many unsuspecting investors over the last three decades have lost their funds to unregulated institutions that promised unbelievable returns. All stakeholders in the sector need to speak up and inform the unsuspecting public about investment platforms. Our regulators need to do more with the support of all players in the Investment management space”, he opined.
The much-anticipated event lived up to its billings as over 1,150 participants engaged the speakers on investment challenges and opportunities they can tap into post-COVID.
Zimvest, the newly launched Investment Management subsidiary of Zedcrest, plans to be at the nexus of a continuing conversation series around Investment management and economic policy landscapes. The second edition of the series is to be announced soon.
A poll conducted during the event also shows that over 60% of participants prioritized “Capital Preservation” when choosing an investment option. Over 72% were concerned about inflation and exchange rate fluctuations and over 81% were concerned about Proven Track Record, Regulatory Compliance, and Transparency when choosing an investment management partner. The session ended at exactly 1 pm on the day.
For more information, please email [email protected]
A replay of this session can be watched via:
PSHAN, Aig-Imoukhuede Kick off Design Phase of PHC Adoption Programme
Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, in collaboration with the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PSHAN) has unveiled a new initiative geared towards significantly improving Nigeria’s healthcare system at the grassroots level.
The innovative strategy, in furtherance of a vision from an earlier stakeholders’ roundtable, entails delivering one Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in each of Nigeria’s 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) at global standards.
Under this private sector driven initiative, universal health access will be provided for low-income citizens residing in rural and urban areas through the Adopt-a-Health Facility Programme (ADHFP).
ADHFP, according to a release issued by the CEO of PSHAN, Mr. Sonny Nwarisi, will be sponsored by a group of Angel Investors and other institutions. These “Angels” will each take responsibility for one or more PHCs – they will build and operate the PHCs for the period of adoption under strict rules and guidelines. The ADHFP is a multi-impact initiative with several benefits including Saving lives, Improvement in health outcomes, Job creation, and Gender empowerment
Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede and PSHAN recently initiated the ADHFP design phase which will be handled by Vesta Healthcare Partners, a global healthcare consultancy firm.
This consultancy engagement is expected to deliver key program components such as Legal and Regulatory Framework, PPP Framework, PHC facility and management standards, Financing Arrangements, Governance Arrangements, Supply Chain Management, and Technology & Systems.
The design phase will involve the active participation of notable development-focused organizations including Global Citizen, ABCHealth, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), MTN Nigeria Plc, Dangote Group, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Stanbic-IBTC Bank, PwC, Cisco, Ford Foundation, Nigerian Stock Exchange, and Flying Doctors Nigeria.
Others include Africa Practice, Cedar Advisory Partners, GBCHealth, Health Federation of Nigeria, Health Law, Eti-Osa Local Government, JNC International Ltd, Johnson & Johnson, Justice in Healthcare, Lagos State Government, MSD for Mothers, Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), ONE Campaign, PharmAccess Foundation, Women-At-Risk International Foundation as well as the Lagos State Government and the SSA to the President on Sustainable Development Goals among others.
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