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A F.C.T High Court on Wednesday granted bail to former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) during his re-arraignment on allegation of $2.1bn arms fund diversion. The former security chief was docked on 32 counts amended charges along with Aminu Baba Kusa, Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital.

The four defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to all the 32-count charge.  Apart from the dropping of former Director of Finance and Supply in the Office of the NSA, Salisu Shuaib from the amended charge list, the charges were almost the same with the old 18 count charges brought against the defendants by the federal government in 2015.

Shortly after taking the plea of the defendants, the issue of bail was raised and Counsel to Dasuki, Adeola Adedekpe, pleaded with the court to grant the defendants bail in liberal terms in view of the fact that the defendants have been attending trial since 2015.

Counsel to the federal government, Oluwaleke Atolagbe did not oppose the bail application.

The trial Judge, Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf, however, ordered that Dasuki and other defendants be allowed to continue to enjoy the bail he granted them in 2015 when they were first arraigned before his court.

It will be recalled that, although other defendants were allowed to enjoy the earlier bail, Col. Dasuki, was however, re-arrested in 2015 at the Kuje Prison shortly after perfecting his bail conditions and has since been kept in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Meanwhile, Justice Baba Yusuf has fixed July 3 and 5 for the trial of the defendants in the new charges.

The federal government had on April 30, filled the new 32 amended count charges to replace the initial 18 count charges brought against 5 defendants in 2015 before the same court.

Among top Nigerians alleged by the federal government to have collected money from the former NSA are the current National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, former Chairman Board of Trustee PDP, Chief Tony Anenih; former PDP Spokesperson, Chief Olisa Metuh; Publisher of Thisday, Nduka Obaigbena, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, Chairman AIT Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, Mouftah Baba-Ahmed, Bello Abba Mohammed, Dr. Bello Mohammed, AVM M. N Umar, Otunba Jonah Ogunniyi among others.

Apart from individuals, corporate organizations were also named as beneficiaries in the new charges and they include AMP Solar Service, Afro-Arab Investment, Bam Project and Projecties Limited, Bob Oshodin Organization Limited, WEHSAC Farms Limited, Wehsac Limited, Dimaris Mode Coolture Limited, First ARALAC Global Limited, Stellavera Development Limited, Jawaz Multi-purpose Venture Limited, Little Italy Global Services Limited, Belsha Nigeria Ltd and Syvan McNamara Limited among others.

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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

Peter Okunoren

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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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PSHAN, Aig-Imoukhuede Kick off Design Phase of PHC Adoption Programme

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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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