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Pipeline vandals hurt most communities more than government – President Buhari

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President Buhari today said the destruction of oil facilities by vandals was hurting the host communities, the majority of the people and the environment more than the government.

Receiving South-South Monarchs Forum (SSMF) led by King Edmund Daukoru, Mingi XII, Amanyanabo of Nembe Kingdom, at State House, President Buhari appealed to South-South elders to do more to end pipeline vandalism in their communities.

The President told the traditional rulers who came to congratulate him on his re-election and discuss issues of specific relevance to the zone, that they were culturally and traditionally positioned to complement government efforts on enhancing security in the Niger Delta.

He, therefore, charged them to educate the youths on the dangers such nefarious activities posed to the environment and the economy. ‘‘You need to educate the people that the destruction of installations is hurting the majority of the people.

If pipelines are blown and the waters are polluted, it affects both the fishermen and farmers. Even the fishes in the sea are affected. These people who blow up the installations are hurting the people more than they are hurting the government,’’ the President said.

President Buhari also decried the spate of kidnapping in the area, urging the royal fathers not to relent in their support to security agencies to effectively contain the negative trend.

Responding to an inquiry by the group on 10 per cent equity participation for host communities in solid minerals and whether the same is applicable to the oil sector, President Buhari said:

‘‘The constitution is very mindful of the way resources are shared. The 13 per cent derivation means that relative to whatever you are producing, 13 per cent is given to your States.

‘‘Then, whatever is offshore in the continental shelf belongs to the nation. Again your States get their own shares. This means your constituencies get two shares, the 13 per cent derivation and the balance in the continental shelf, which is shared among the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

‘‘If the 13 per cent or what is in the continental shelf is not getting to you then I think by now you ought to have known because you have qualitative leaders with great antecedents.

‘‘For example, when I was a junior officer, one of the royal fathers here was Governor of a State.

‘‘Everybody knows him and he has continuously been in the limelight of the politics of the country, and if the Federal Government is cheating you by denying you part of the 13 per cent derivation or the balance from the continental shelf, you as the leadership ought to have seen it by now and brought it out.’’

On Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the President told the Forum that his administration was mindful of the core mandate of the commission.

‘‘We are concerned about the leadership of NDDC and we hope that money which is constitutionally allocated to it is properly utilised for infrastructure in the area.

‘‘Be assured that we are very mindful of the conditions in your area and how strategic your geopolitical zone is to the economy and stability of the country,’’ the President said.

Congratulating the President on his re-election, Daukoru said: ‘‘In exercise of our role as traditional rulers, we plead with all those who are unhappy with the imperfections of our electoral process to graciously transcend their grievances and to join the immense task we all face of building a secure and prosperous Nigeria.’’

A prepared text presented by the Royal Father on behalf of the Forum raised the issue of Niger Delta security, economic development, infrastructure, environment and oil sector matters.

On oil sector matters, King Daukoru said: ‘‘Mr President, we think it is time to hold operators accountable for their lack of transparency in community development programmes.’’

The traditional ruler accused the operators, among others, of ‘‘polarising communities and by-passing traditional authority by pandering to the interest of bully boys and their local militia.’’

Speaking on behalf of Bayelsa Elders’ Council, HRM Alfred Diete-Spiff (former military governor, old Rivers State), the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass Kingdom, appealed for more tangible Federal presence in Bayelsa.

He urged the Federal Government to give priority attention and award contracts for Ogbia-Nembe-Brass Road, Yenegoa-Oporoma-Ukubie-Koluama Road and Sagbama-Ekeremor-Agge-Road.

According to the Royal Father, the contracts for the construction of these roads were awarded by him 50 years ago as military governor, but nothing much had happened.

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Titan Trust Bank set for grand entry into Nigeria

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Barring any last-minute changes, one of the five new banks licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Titan Trust Bank Limited is set for entry into the Nigerian banking industry in grand style, in a matter of weeks, The Witness can authoritatively reveal.

This newspaper had reported that the CBN recently approved licenses for five new banks to operate in the country.

While others are still recruiting and putting things in place, inside sources say Titan Trust, a national financial institution, has completed its processes and is set for take-off soon.

Led by seasoned banker and former deputy governor of the CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo as chairman, the new commercial bank, sources informed The Witness is starting operation with a solid post capitalization financial base in real cash.

Some of those already on board the new bank are experienced financial gurus, giving the signal that the bank is ready the compete with the long-standing and well-rooted Nigerian banks.

According to the lender, the bank was formed to take advantage of the identified gaps in the banking sector and address the unmet needs of the retail mass market, SMEs and corporates.

The new bank headquartered at Plot 1680, Sanusi Fafunwa Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria has the following facilities: Commercial Banking, SME Banking, Digital Banking amongst others. On its commercial banking services, the lender said on its website: “As a national commercial bank, we are committed to supporting businesses, giving them the power to build a better future. Each day, companies are working together to create sustainable economic value.

“We are committed to that vision by ensuring we provide business capital and resources, primed to support these visions, as we continue to tell Africa’s story.”

Titan Trust Bank believes there is nothing like a small business. “All businesses are exactly that; businesses! Our team is made of professionals with an entrepreneurial mindset, working to help you and your business take advantage of the many benefits of banking with Titan, and give your competition a run for their money,” it said.

Titan Trust further posited that it will leverage on digital platforms to empower the emerging pan-African economy, whilst showcasing the industry pioneering solutions, expertise and professionalism.

Established on the 12th of December 2018, the bank obtained its national banking license on the 26th of April 2019, to operate as a commercial bank with national authorization.

OTHERS IN THE TITAN TEAM

Mr. Andrew Ojei

Mr. Andy Ojei is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria as well as a Fellow and Council Member of The Institute of Credit Administration of Nigeria.

He was the pioneer managing director of Zenith Bank, Ghana. He left Zenith Bank Plc in June 2013 as an executive director after 21 years of service. He is a seasoned businessman with interests in real estate and information technology.

Ojei, an alumnus of the University of Lagos, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, INSEAD (France), Stanford (Singapore) and Wharton (Philadelphia) currently serves as a member of the Governing Council of Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State.

Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed

Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience managing and leading businesses across the country.

He is the managing director of Syndicated Investment Limited, a construction firm. He has held this post for over 33 years.

He has also been the chairman/CEO of Impex Limited, a security, contracting and trading company since 1993.

Alhaji Aminu Bashari

Alhaji Bashari Aminu (Iyan Zazzau), is the chairman of the Board of Directors of Vital Products Limited.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Accountants (UK) and a Fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria. He is a senior title holder in the Emirate of Zazzau and was a Senior District Head of Sabon-Gari, Zaria in Kaduna State from 1979 to 2018.

He is currently on the board of several companies.

Mudassir Amray – MD/CEO

Mudassir Amray is a banker with over 25 years of global exposure across six geographies (US, Nigeria, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Pakistan).

He has held senior positions in global banks such as: Citi New York – Managing Director & Head of Global Capital Management (LATAM), Citi Nigeria – Managing Director & Head of Corporate & Investment Banking, Nigeria and Ghana, Al Rajhi Malaysia – Country Business Head, Citi HK – Head of Capital Management, Asia Pacific, Citi Singapore – Head of Islamic Banking, Asia Pacific, Citi Pakistan, Country Business Head.

Adaeze Udensi – Executive Director

Adaeze has over 23 years’ banking experience, and was until recently, an Executive Director in Heritage Bank.

In her four years as executive director, she supervised the South businesses; oversaw Retail, Private Wealth, Collections, E-Business, Customer Experience and IT functions; and served as Executive Compliance Officer.

Adaeze also acted as managing director of Heritage Bank in 2017. Prior to this, she spent 16 years in Zenith Bank growing its Oil & Gas, Public Sector, Commercial and Retail businesses into the 2nd largest portfolio in the Bank, leaving as a general manager.

Adaeze has a first degree in banking, and MBA’s from Rivers State University of Science & Technology, and the University of Bangor, Wales.

She has also attended several Executive Management Programmes in Wharton Business School, Kellogg School of Management, Harvard Business School, and INSEAD.

Stella Nwihim – Head of HR

Stella is a seasoned professional with over 21 years’ experience spanning Human Resources, Sales and Banking Operations.

She has held key HR positions in Zenith Bank Plc and UBA Plc including Head Workforce Planning, Head Shared Services and Head Business Partnering, where she made significant contributions in organizational development, performance and change management and business strategy.

She holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. (Biology) and an MBA (Management) and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Mark Oguh – CFO

Mark has 22 years’ experience in the banking industry covering Operations, Audit and Financial Control.

He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in accountancy and business administration and an MBA in banking and finance. He was the financial controller at Diamond Bank from 2015 to March 31, 2019.

Ademola Ajayi – Chief Compliance Officer

Ademola Ajayi is the chief compliance officer of Titan Trust Bank Limited. He holds Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting (First Class Honours) from Babcock University, Ilishan Ogun State. He also holds Higher National Diploma in accounting with Upper credits class from the Polytechnic, Ibadan. He is a fellow (FCA) of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN). He is also an Associate of Compliance Institute of Nigeria (CIN). He is a Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered Compliance Officer and a registered professional of Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN). Internationally, he is a Certified Compliance Officer (CCO) and Certified Fraud and Crime; Investigation and Prevention by GAFM USA. He is also a fellow of GAFM USA.

He has been in the Nigerian Banking Sector since 1996, well over 2 decades, with experience cutting across financial control, credit review and monitoring, business development, banking operations, internal controls, internal audit, inspection and compliance functions. His career in banking started in NAL Merchant Bank, where he did the mandatory one year national youth service. Immediately after his service year, he was recruited by Zenith Bank, where he performed creditably well in banking operations generally, controls and risk management related functions, and later with specific focus on compliance risk management role. He played a key role in setting up compliance department in Zenith Bank and took same to an enviable height. Ademola AJAYI is a team player, and will positively impact any team he finds himself. He has attended compliance trainings, locally and internationally. He is also a competent trainer on compliance matters.

George Aiyudu – Head of IT

George is a certified COBIT implementer with over 21 years banking experience covering Banking Operations, International Operations and Information Technology.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and also holds a Masters Degree in Business Information Systems. He was the Group Head, IT Change and Transformation at Diamond Bank.

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Ibom Air begins commercial operations on Friday

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Ibom Air, the first commercial airline to be owned and operated by a state government in Nigeria and Africa, will begin full commercial operations on June 7, an official said.

Ekerete Udoh, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Udom Emmanuel, made this known in a statement on Thursday.

Mr Udoh said that the airline, having fulfilled all the regulatory conditions and requirements, was certified fit to commence commercial operations, leading to the maiden flight billed for tomorrow, June 7th.

“It will maintain regular daily flights to both Lagos (MMA2) and Abuja respectively.

“The aircrafts in its fleet (Bombardier CRJ 900) have the distinction of being relatively new, all three, under 10 years old,” Mr Udoh said.

He said the commencement of the commercial operations by Ibom Air had been celebrated by Akwa Ibomites and other Nigerians as a testament to the visionary leadership of Mr Emmanuel.

“The governor who seems determined to break conventional wisdom concerning things long thought to be impossible to achieve,” he said.

He noted that the development was Gov. Emmanuel’s avowed determination to open the three gateways to industrialisation-land, sea and air appears to be on course.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that Ibom Airline which represents one of the signature projects Mr Emmanuel’s First Term.

The Ibom Air was launched on February 20 with three aircrafts by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

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Peterside: Nigeria will soon export crude with its national fleet

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Dakuku Peterside, director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), says the country will be able to lift its own crude for export immediately the national fleet begins operation.

Speaking at a media breakfast meeting on the sidelines of the ongoing Nor-Shipping Conference and Exhibition in Oslo, Norway, Dakuku said this move will bring an end to the present arrangement where Nigeria sells its oil on free on board basis to customers.

A statement by Isichei Osamgbi, NIMASA’s head of corporate communications, quoted the DG to have said that the new national fleet will be owned 49% by a technical partner and the balance of 51% by Nigerian investors.

According to the plan, the Nigerian investors will hold equity in lots, so there will be no domineering shareholder.

The former lawmaker said the government has also acquired security assets to boost the policing of its waters.

These assets, which include patrol boats, helicopter, unmanned air vessels and naval ships, were acquired under the ‘Deep Blue Project’ that will be operational by September.

Peterside urged investors to tap into the potentials of the maritime sector in Nigeria saying the government has incentivised the sector with offers of tax holidays and institutional support.

He said Nigeria accounts for 70% of seaborne trade into West Africa and is endowed with the world’s ninth largest hydrocarbon deposits.

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