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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed doors with the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara. The meeting was held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly after Buhari returned from his weekend trip to his hometown, Daura in Katsina State.

At the end of the meeting, Saraki and Dogara told State House reporters that they reported the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to the President over his handling of the case involving Senator Dino Melaye and his alleged disdain for the National Assembly.

They also said the meeting, which was at the instance of the President, discussed the issue of the 2018 Appropriation Bill still before the National Assembly, the recent invasion of the Senate during which the mace was taken away and the outcome of Buhari”s recent visit to the United States of America during which he met the US President, Donald Trump.

They however said the issue of the impeachment process being contemplated in the National Assembly over Buhari’s payment of $ 496 m for fighter jets before he sought the approval of the Federal lawmakers was not discussed at the meeting. “We came on the invitation of Mr. President. He wanted to brief us on his trip to the United States and also on the issue of the budget

“We also talked on the issue of concerns to us: the invasion of the National Assembly, which he showed great concern and he said action will be taken to investigate that,” Saraki said. When asked when the budget would be ready, Saraki said,“Hopefully, it should be laid this week and if it can be laid this week, it can be passed early next week. We are hoping it will be laid this week.”

Saraki said the President saw the invasion of the Senate as an embarrassment to the country and promised that the incident would be properly investigated because it was not just about the National Assembly but about the country. When asked what was being done to improve the relationship between the executive and the legislature, Saraki said the National Assembly had always been ready to support the Executive.

“Our being here was the initiative of Mr . President to brief us on his visit to America and to engage on discussions and I think that is a good sign. “We, at the National Assembly, have always been ready to give all our support to the Executive and we will continue to work along those lines. “As I said, the presidential system that we operate, we sometimes have the responsibility to check the excesses of the executive.

So, there will always be times we will disagree but by and large, we will always work for the interest of Nigerians and always keep on moving on” he said. Dogara on his part said Melaye’s travails formed part of the discussion at the meeting. He said, “On the issue of Senator Dino, of course anything that happens to one of our members or any member of the National Assembly is of concern to us and there is no way we can have this kind of meeting without raising that.

“This is a civilian administration, it is democracy and it is imperative and very very important that all institutions of democracy operate within the ambit of the rule of law. “There is nowhere, I have said it before, that police will behave in a democracy like a clan of tribesmen, like upgraded barbarians sort of. So, there is a need for us to act with civility.

“We are not saying that anybody should be protected and defended. Once you have committed an offence, our law says you should answer it but you just have to utilise the provision of the constitution, the rule of law and this administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has overemphasised it in order to bring people to book.

“But a situation where people are wheeled to court, that doesn’t give good image of our democracy. I have not seen a democracy where people are wheeled to court, they are not in the proper frame of mind and they are forced to undergo trial. “Whatever it is, even if Dino is pretending as some have said in some sections of the media, he cannot pretend forever. He is there, he will not run away, he is a senator and he can be tried any time he is in proper frame of mind.

“As a lawyer, I can tell you, any judge that assesses an accused person not to be in a proper frame of mind, even if the accused person pleaded guilty, he is duty bound by law to record a plea of guilty if he is not satisfied as to the soundness of the mind of the accused person.

“So, the emphasis is there and I believe the President, being a listening President, will definitely take steps and do something about it.” When asked if the leaders of the National Assembly raised the issue of the planned impeachment process, Dogara said, “I don’t think we have the authority to discuss issues of impeachment. Impeachment is a political offence and I don’t think we are there yet.”

When asked if the President raised the issue, he said, “No, never. It wasn’t part of the agenda.”Saraki also corroborated Dogara’ s statement on the Inspector General of Police. “Just talking about the issue of the police, we also raised the issue of the non appearance of the IG at the Senate and felt that they must continue to ensure that he continues to apply obedience to the issue of constituted authority.

“We are of great concern that this is the first time this is happening and that, that matter needs to be addressed considering the importance of the constitution that gives us investigative powers and that there is need for the police to accept that they too are under the constitution and they must obey that. We raised that concern,” Saraki said. In all, he described the meeting as a successful one. “I think it is good that we touched on some of the important issues, as I said, it is a continuous process$ Saraki added.

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James Hope College Honored At The Fourth Edition Of British Council Recognition And Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards

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This year, to recognize scholarly excellence, James Hope College received multiple prizes including,

  • Best in the World Category for English as a Second Language – Two awards
  • Best Across Eight Subjects in Nigeria – One award
  • Best in Nigeria Category – Eight awards
  • High Achievement Category – Two awards

These awards acknowledge exceptional Nigerian-based learners’ achievements in Cambridge examinations taken by students around the world. The primary purpose of these awards is to celebrate and recognize the success of high-performing Cambridge learners and the partner schools that have exemplified Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and Child Protection policies.

Elated at this laudable feat, the Founder/Chairman of James Hope College, Mr. Jim Ovia congratulated the awardees and commended the management of the College. According to Mr. Ovia, the College would continually offer “world-class education that would enable our students to compete favourably on a global scale.”

James Hope College is an educational initiative of the Jim Ovia Foundation. Since its inception, the College has consistently maintained an outstanding academic pace within and beyond Nigeria. Some of its accolades include (but not limited to):

  1. 100% A* – C in all 13 subjects registered for the 2019 November IGCSE Examinations
  2. The 2019 Cambridge Summer School Scholarship awarded to a James Hope College student
  3. British Council Awards for Best In Nigeria in Biology, Chemistry and Geography for the 2018 November IGCSE Examinations
  4. British Council Award for High Achievement in Nigeria in Design and Technology for the 2018 November IGCSE Examinations
  5. 100% perfect score in the 2018 Cambridge Checkpoint Examination
  6. Best 2016/2017 BECE result in Delta State
  7. Overall Best Student for the 2016/2017 BECE in Delta State

The Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards recognizes the exceptional performance of learners around the world in Cambridge examinations. The awards reflect the talent and hard work of learners and acknowledge the dedication and commitment of both teachers and parents.

Indeed, James Hope College is making its mark in the academic landscape within and outside Nigeria.

See photo excerpt below:

 

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Adeboye, AJ Boxer, Ajanaku, Tonto Dikeh Others Hailed As ‘COVID-19 Celebrity Champions’ In July Issue of Apple’s Bite International Magazine

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The midsummer issue of Apple’s Bite International Magazine identifies certain distinguished Nigerians across multiple sectors, who have lent various support in the fight against the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
These individuals are Pastor E. A. Adeboye, David Adeleke (Davido), Asiwaju Rotimi Ajanaku, Tonto Dikeh, Archbishop Designate Isaac Idahosa, Anthony Joshua.
Others are Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome (Ali Baba), Bankole Wellington, Otunba Femi Davies, Prophet Emmanuel Omale, and Williams Uchemba.
These individuals are hailed as Covid-19 Celebrity Champions on the merit of their various contributions from donating health facilities to the government as isolation centers, making monetary donations to support the fight, championing awareness campaigns, sponsoring researches to find a cure for the virus and supporting thousands of indigent Nigerians who have suffered economic hardship as a result of the lockdown.
Get a copy of the July Issue of Apple’s Bite International Magazine to scoop all the details and visit www.applesbite.com for commentaries and news.
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Zimvest Economy Conversations: Financial Experts Call for Reorganization of Nigeria’s Market Architecture

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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:

https://zoom.us/rec/play/upcscbr–z83GtOSuQSDBqcvW9W0e6KsgCVI__dYy0yyWiNQNlShYbAaMLScQgqeV7fIjyl2RsrXPBOZ

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