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What Pope Francis told Christians @Easter - ITREALMS

ForTheRecords@ITREALMS : Full text of homily delivered by Pope Francis in celebration of the 2019 Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter's Ba...

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ICT4D Week 2018

Sunday, April 21, 2019

What Pope Francis told Christians @Easter - ITREALMS

Full text of homily delivered by Pope Francis in celebration of the 2019 Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. Excerpts:
1. The women bring spices to the tomb, but they fear that their journey is in vain, since a large stone bars the entrance to the sepulcher. The journey of those women is also our own journey; it resembles the journey of salvation that we have made this evening. At times, it seems that everything comes up against a stone: the beauty of creation against the tragedy of sin; liberation from slavery against infidelity to the covenant; the promises of the prophets against the listless indifference of the people. So too, in the history of the Church and in our own personal history. It seems that the steps we take never take us to the goal. We can be tempted to think that dashed hope is the bleak law of life.

Today however we see that our journey is not in vain; it does not come up against a tombstone. A single phrase astounds the woman and changes history: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Lk 24:5). Why do you think that everything is hopeless, that no one can take away your own tombstones? Why do you give into resignation and failure? Easter is the feast of tombstones taken away, rocks rolled aside. God takes away even the hardest stones against which our hopes and expectations crash: death, sin, fear, worldliness. Human history does not end before a tombstone, because today it encounters the “living stone” (cf. 1 Pet 2:4), the risen Jesus. We, as Church, are built on him, and, even when we grow disheartened and tempted to judge everything in the light of our failures, he comes to make all things new, tooverturn our every disappointment. Each of us is calledtonight to rediscover in the Risen Christ the one who rolls back from our heart the heaviest of stones. So let us first ask:What is the stone that I need to remove, what is its name?

Often what blocks hope is the stone of discouragement.Once we start thinking that everything is going badly and that things can’t get worse, we lose heart and come to believe that death is stronger than life. We become cynical, negative and despondent. Stone upon stone, we build within ourselves a monument to our own dissatisfaction:the sepulcher of hope. Life becomes a succession of complaints and we grow sick in spirit. A kind of tomb psychology takes over: everything ends there, with no hope of emerging alive. But at that moment, we hear once more the insistent question of Easter:Why do you seek the living among the dead?The Lord is not to be found in resignation. He is risen; he is not there. Don’t seek him where you will never find him: he is not the God of the dead but of the living (cf. Mk 22:32). Do not bury hope!

There is another stone that often seals the heart shut: the stone of sin. Sin seduces; it promises things easy and quick, prosperity and success, but then leaves behind only solitude and death. Sin is looking for life among the dead, for the meaning of life in things that pass away. Why do you seek the living among the dead? Why not make up your mind to abandon that sin which, like a stone before the entrance to your heart, keeps God’s light from entering in? Why not prefer Jesus, the true light (cf. Jn1:9), to the glitter of wealth, career, pride and pleasure? Why not tell the empty things of this world that you no longer live for them, but for the Lord of life?

2. Let us return to the women who went to Jesus’ tomb. They halted in amazement before the stone that was taken away. Seeing the angels, they stood there, the Gospel tells us, “frightened, and bowed their faces to the ground” (Lk 24:5). They did not have the courage to look up. How often do we do the same thing? We prefer to remain huddled within our shortcomings, cowering in our fears. It is odd, but why do we do this? Not infrequently because, glum and closed up within ourselves, we feel in control, for it is easier to remain alone in the darkness of our heart than to open ourselves to the Lord. Yet only he can raise us up. A poet once wrote: “We never know how high we are. Till we are called to rise” (E. Dickinson). The Lord calls us to get up, to rise at his word, to look up and to realize that we were made for heaven, not for earth, for the heights of life and not for the depths of death: Why do you seek the living among the dead?

God asks us to view life as he views it, for in each of us he never ceases to see an irrepressible kernel of beauty. In sin, he sees sons and daughters to be restored; in death, brothers and sisters to be reborn; in desolation, hearts to be revived. Do not fear, then: the Lord loves your life, even when you are afraid to look at it and take it in hand. In Easter he shows you how much he loves that life: even to the point of living it completely, experiencing anguish, abandonment, death and hell, in order to emerge triumphant to tell you: “You are not alone; put your trust in me!”.

Jesus is a specialist at turning our deaths into life, our mourning into dancing (cf. Ps 30:11). With him, we too can experience a Pasch, that is, a Passover– from self-centredness to communion, from desolation to consolation, from fear to confidence. Let us not keep our faces bowed to the ground in fear, but raise our eyes to the risen Jesus. His gaze fills us with hope, for it tells us that we are loved unfailingly, and that however much we make a mess of things, his love remains unchanged. This is the one, non-negotiable certitude we have in life: his love does not change. Let us ask ourselves:In my life, where am I looking?Am I gazing at graveyards, or looking for the Living One?

3. Why do you seek the living among the dead? The women hear the words of the angels, who go on to say: “Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee” (Lk 24:6). Those woman had lost hope, because they could not recall the words of Jesus, his call that took place in Galilee. Having lost the living memory of Jesus, they kept looking at the tomb. Faith always needs to go back to Galilee, to reawaken its first love for Jesus and his call: to remember him, to turn back to him with all our mind and all our heart. To return to a lively love of the Lord is essential. Otherwise, ours is a “museum” faith, not an Easter faith. Jesus is not a personage from the past; he is a person living today. We do not know him from history books; we encounter him in life. Today, let us remember how Jesus first called us, how he overcame our darkness, our resistance, our sins, and how he touched our hearts with his word.

The women, remembering Jesus, left the tomb. Easter teaches us that believers do not linger at graveyards, for they are called to go forth to meet the Living One. Let us ask ourselves:In my life, where am I going? Sometimes we go only in the direction of our problems, of which there are plenty, and go to the Lord only for help. But then, it is our own needs, not Jesus, to guide our steps. We keep seeking the Living One among the dead. Or again, how many times, once we have encountered the Lord, do we return to the dead, digging up regrets, reproaches, hurts and dissatisfactions, without letting the Risen One change us?

Dear brothers and sisters: let us put the Living Oneat the centre of our lives. Let us ask for the grace not to be carried by the current, the sea of our problems;the grace not to run aground on the shoals of sin or crash on the reefs of discouragement and fear. Let us seek him in all things and above all things. With him, we will rise again.

*Courtesy: VaticanNews

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Fayemi sends Easter greets - ITREALMS

The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has felicitated with the people of the state and Nigerians in general for witnessing another Easter season, urging them to exhibit the spirit of love, tolerance, peaceful co-existence and sacrifice, which are the hallmark of the Easter celebration, in their daily activities.

Governor Fayemi, in his Easter message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, said Jesus exemplified the virtues of love, selflessness and tolerance during his earthy ministry. He urged Christians to use the season as a period to reflect on their individual and collective roles towards promoting love, peace and sacrifice which are necessary for development.

While congratulating Christians for the successful completion of the Lenten season, a period of 40 days of fasting and prayer which culminated in the Easter celebration, Governor Fayemi said the Easter period offers Christians and the entire people of Ekiti State another opportunity for sober reflection, while celebrating with one another the joy of the season.

Fayemi advised the people of the state to celebrate with moderation, noting that the period is not for eating and drinking alone but to reflect on the past and hope for a better future for themselves and the state.

Governor Fayemi said it is only through love and sacrifice toward the good of society that the people could uphold the legacy of Jesus Christ which is encapsulated in His selfless love and sacrifice on behalf of humanity.

According to him, “The greatest legacy of Jesus Christ is love, peace and sacrifice and the best way we can carry on that legacy is to play our part by living in love, peace and harmony with one another.”

“Our society”, he added, “requires more expression of love and peaceful lifestyle in order to improve the quality of life of the people.”

While wishing all Ekiti citizens a happy Easter celebration, Governor Fayemi also charged them to always ponder on how to contribute to the development of the state. “ Let us show more love and let us sacrifice,” he added.
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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Vigil @Lagos Third Mainland bridge - ITREALMS

Thursday, April 11, 2019 may have come and gone, but the incidents that made up that day for me cannot be forgotten in a hurry.

Waking up about 5am to prepare for the movement of the corpse of my late cousin, Mrs. Ogbonne Eucharia Akabueze (Nee Nweke) was top on the agenda for the day after she had stayed at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) morgue since Monday of the same week when she passed on after a protracted breast cancer battle.

Her husband could not call me to announce her passage but choose to send me a Short Message via his mobile. I was struggling to clear my desk having been off station the previous week only to return on Thursday and practically unable to be at the office but worked from the apartment on Friday. On Saturday, April 6, I had two visits that must be done.

One was to my long time pal, Ogbeni Goke who took ill while I was away of which I had promised to visit him soon on return even though we had talked on phone, but for the mere fact he was still hospitalised at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), it must be fulfilled, having missed his contributions and daily soft-jokes among other things we had in common.

The second item on my agenda for the weekend was to visit my cousin to get first hand update before our town’s meeting in Lagos in the next 24 hours, of which I am sure some questions will come up as to update and on behalf of the family, check on her.

Yes, it was obvious on my getting to LUTH that Saturday to visit Ogbonne as I used to call her even in our days in the village despite being a first cousin, I never knew her baptismal name, yet she was not looking well, but I was in strong hope God has all it takes to make reversal of any situation for good. So I did not show it. I prayed with her and family at the time including the husband and one of the daughters, Amara. I asked plenty questions especially as to the outline discussed earlier with the husband to get from the medics to enable us write some appeal letters outside the ongoing social media campaign on save “Ogbonne Eucharia Akabueze.”

Thereafter, we met with a matron on duty and I explained the purpose of the letter and we were advised to follow up via the husband on Monday. We went to her bedside to talk more, encouraged Ogbonne to take her medications and assured her that she is not going anywhere else except the medics say so let alone allow her husband to leave her at the hospital. It was a deal and we prayed.

On Sunday, being the first for the month was a hectic ritual and by the time I returned at night, my bed was the best mate. Little did I know that will be my last encounter with Ogbonne as she passed on, Monday afternoon, just a few minutes past 12noon according to SMS from the husband. “Remmy, my wife is gone by 12:20pm.”

That was how I aborted going to the office that day and called up the women leader of our town in Lagos, who also is my spouse to come and invariably pass the message to her colleagues in the Lagos branch of the Awba-Ofemili Development Union (ADU) Women, while I take to ADU Men assembly; all roads lead to LUTH.

Cutting the story short, between Monday and Tuesday, we where at LUTH trying to get clearance so that the town union can do their part of taking her corpse home at Awba-Ofemili in Awka-North Local Government Area of Anambra State. Wednesday was now fixed for a wake keep in her honour at her residence in Ijiru via Agbara-Ogun State, while Thursday of same week will be taking the corpse home with another wake and interment slated for same Thursday night, just as funeral was fixed for Friday.

Back to Thursday, April 11, 2019 after the corpse left LUTH with the delegates from both men and women wings of Lagos ADU, with the kind of headache I had earlier in the morning, I have been scheduled to have a bedrest as approved by madam.

By late afternoon, I woke up to a call that the delegates were approaching Niger bridge head amidst other missed calls, while the ambulance was already home. Then my task-alert showed up that I had “Its your Facebook” event at Artist Foundation in Victoria Island and itching to unwind after a hectic week, I headed to the Facebook evening event.

I had a long age philosophy that if I do not have a car to get me back on standby, I will not attend any late evening or night events. And it came to pass that after the event, my other colleagues advised that we wait till 8:30pm before hitting the roads and that was exactly what we did although I had no company in the car by the time we got to the road, everywhere were still knitted with cars finding their ways home, hence we did not run away from traffic as planned.

I succeeded in getting to Falomo only to envisage that due to the Third Mainland bridge go-slow, its better to add fuel to the car, so I decided to enter via Golden Gate Restaurant to Obalende to get additional fuel at Oando only for me to get there, ‘there was no fuel’. I headed to Obalende roundabout after the traffic along Radio Nigeria, there were a good number of vehicles on queue, and that was how I found myself at Awolowo Road and just before the Fire Service, I stumbled on a filling station, but there was a queue, that is how I decided to just queue and head home afterwards. So, I positioned the car and due to the long queue I put the engine off and that is the beginning of my vigil. The next thing I heard was sound of emptying water on the road, so I jumped out to see all the water in my radiator on the road.

Initially, I did not want to worry about it only to find a place to park and ask the mechanic to pick the car tomorrow morning in my company of course. I thanked God it happened in front of the Fire Service station.

So, I went into the station, asked a young man to help push the car off the road and was told he does not have the authority. And I looked further to see some three probably senior officers on a roundtable. I approached them and introduced myself as a journalist followed by my request to park the car till tomorrow morning which was refused. After volunteering to even declare the car papers with them one of them volunteered to follow me to the car and beckoned on the earlier junior officer to join and push my car off the road and he insisted that it was a mere overheat. I was certain my car can’t do overheat as there is no basis for that sign; I checked it in the morning like every morning no matter how-hasty I needed to move from point A to B and everything was literally perfect in my view.

That is how I spent another 30 to 45 minutes at the Fire Station to enable the car radiator cool before we refiled it with water and it was not leaking, no belt cut, but a little oil spill which I noticed and agreed with the mechanic to pick the car the following day for clear up and change the leaking nozzle.

Whereas waiting for the cooling time to complete, we agreed to use five letter kegs to fetch some fuel and improvise funnel with a used-plastic bottled water, so that once the car starts, I will head home without stopping.

And so it came to pass that I started the engine and it answered affirmatively, I appreciated the young assistant who even had to go under to had a hit on the kick of the Pathfinder SUV before it will come alive.

By this time it was a few minutes past 11pm, while approaching Oworonshoki, I noticed the car acceleration failed and I put on the double pointer and allowed it to roll until it came to a stop. By then I had moved to the last right-lane. Efforts to stop other cars for help was not fruitful because there was no light at the Third Mainland Bridge except for the moving vehicles. So, I spent another 20 minutes there without any help outside praying within me; no Police in sight and no touts too. By the 25th minutes, I tried the start and it responded. I jumped out to close the bonnet and zoomed off and getting to Oworonshoki, it failed again. I managed to park just after the Bus stop. I called my mechanic who assured that it will start after cooling for a while. So I decided to wait for the cooling. Some 30 minutes later, the engine has cooled but could not start, then came this young man who has been parading himself around and who went under to inform that the kick was loose and he needed to tighten same. Done, workman fee was settled, so I sped off only to finish climbing the Oworonshoki-Oshodi link bridge for the accelerator to fail once again. I managed to roll the car with the velocity I took off with down to General Hospital link road to a filling station opposite Mobil.

In an attempt to park the car there, though at service lane saw me approaching those I met at the filling station, a number not less than 50 northern youths were having shelter without any official security in-charge anywhere.

All these while, I have not sighted any Police patrol and it was already past midnight. By this time I have decided to find a towing van or vehicle to just get home and rest but none in sight. As God will have it I tried the start and the car responded and so I zoomed off again but before CityPeople Magazine office or opposite Charley Boy Bus Stop, it failed yet again, this time I had entered the Expressway again.

It was at this point that I saw a taxi who decided to assist after a while, but then, one advanced lanky-youth approached with the longest spanner I have seen so far in his hand and he quickly dismissed the taxi man with the promise he will help. When I asked him where his towing van was, he assured “they” will bring it. He then placed some calls which did not get the driver of a supposed towing van. He also advised that we push the car down to a level where he can cross the road and call the towing van driver by himself who must have been fast asleep.

To this I agreed, but quickly advised that its much better if we can push it back to enter service lane than being on the Express way before he can go and get the supposed towing van. This was welcomed and so we pushed the car back and into the service lane. He picked his long spanner and crossed the road to get his towing van friend, by this time, we had another friend of his who joined.

Both left to get towing van and on a second thought I tried the vehicle and the engine came alive, that was how I sped off again and entered Redemption Street and rolled down to Zinox car park and parked. I went to identify with the security, introducing myself and handed my business card over with hope of picking the car in the morning so as to avoid raising any false alarm when eventually they spot the car.

My thought afterwards was to see if I can get those late night cabs or even Uber to get home, so I walked to the front of UPS Bus Stop. I stood there for over 20 minutes without any cab in view before I saw the lanky tout with his long spanner approaching again and I did a swift u-turn placing my phone on the right ear to depict answering a call until I got to the car, opened it and sat in. There and then only I decided to just sleep in the car despite the company of mosquitoes.

Laying down in the car, what came to mind was that my family has to be informed as I had promised earlier that I was returning before departing Victoria Island venue of the event and the phone line was off. Madam cannot be informed now since she is leading delegation at home in the East for late Ogbonne’s interment, so I sent an SMS to my two brothers, and a brother inlaw, to check on my household first time in the morning, intimating them of my location and situation; then called a neighbour just to inform my family I will see them in the morning without much ado.

After saying my night prayers, I remembered that madam used to leave Odomus, an anti-mosquitoes cream in the car and so, I applied the remain I found and tried to sleep.

Needless telling you how many times I woke up before 5:30am when I called the mechanic with a direction of my location to come and pick the car.

Above all, it was obvious I was actually in solidarity ‘vigil’ with my people at home for our dear cousin, late Ogbonne Eucharia Akabueze. May you rejoice with the Saints.

Good night my dear amiable cousin, Ogbonne!

*A tribute by Remmy Nweke.


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Pix: late Mrs Ogbonne Eucharia Akabueze

Friday, April 19, 2019

Siemens unveils Atlas for digital measurement of City 4.0 - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The Siemens has unveiled a new web-based application which reveals the readiness and potential of six major cities to embrace digitalization and develop new ways of living, working and interacting, reports ITREALMS.

The Atlas of Digitalization focuses on 3 interconnected themes - Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity – and assesses how the fourth industrial revolution has already augmented urban life around the world, and the potential impact it could have in the future.

Data from 21 indicators has been analyzed in Dubai, Los Angeles, London, Buenos Aires, Taipei and Johannesburg to produce a Digital Readiness Score, considering areas such as smart electricity and transport systems, internet connections and digital governance services. The score reveals the current level of maturity of each city’s digital infrastructure, and its preparedness for a connected future.

“Each city must address its own unique mix of challenges and opportunities by combining the physical and digital worlds; we believe embracing digitalization is the key to sustainable, livable future cities,” said Sabine Dall’Omo, Siemens CEO for Southern and Eastern Africa. “The Atlas of Digitalization gives us an all-important understanding of the current status of digitalization in key cities, and we hope it will inspire new ways of thinking to realize the full global potential of City 4.0. With intelligently applied technology and data analytics, we aim to shape the smart cities of tomorrow.”

The analysis also considers areas such as innovation, greenhouse gas emissions and time spent in traffic to give the cities a Digital Potential Score, indicating where there is opportunity to grow digital capabilities to transform society and economy. Together, the Readiness and Potential scores illustrate the different capacities each city already has, and where they can develop to effect change and growth.

While each city is unique, they all share one characteristic - their ingenuity in using digital technologies to make infrastructure more efficient and productive, and to address challenges such as air pollution, congestion, population growth and natural hazards.

With the integration of data gathered and analyzed by the Internet of Things, a city’s underlying infrastructure can be monitored, managed and improved; a transformation referred to as City 4.0.

Johannesburg’s low digitalization readiness score of 2/10 indicates that there is room for improvement, even though programs like smart metering are already in place. The digitalization potential score of 6/10 reveals that digitalization within Mobility and Sustainability could have a significant impact on Johannesburg. The city is investing heavily to increase overall public transport capacity and has begun the process of including renewables in the energy mix, this could impact the environment and jobs positively.

“Although our progress is lagging compared to our European counterparts for example, we’re still making great strides towards becoming a digitally inclined city. Our Siemens FABRIC initiative is the perfect example of how data can be used to identify the needs of a city and ensure smart decision-making to advance it and make it more efficient for a growing population. For us to succeed as a city in this age of digitalization we need to embrace the possibilities and changes that it brings. Siemens is ready to contribute to the advancements of this city.” Sabine Dall’Omo

Data from the 21 indicators has been mapped across three themes: Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity, creating unique visualization of each city’s digitalization landscape. Visitors to the Atlas of Digitalization can interact with each city and explore its data, taking an in-depth look into how each is addressing its own challenges and opportunities, and how it will impact work and life in future cities.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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BOS: Sanwo-Olu not aware of 'Appreciation Dinner' - ITREALMS



The media arm of Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (BOS) campaign organisation has distanced itself of any knowledge of the news making round for a special appreciation dinner on behalf of the governor-elect of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, describing it as false, reports ITREALMS.

Source close to the duo has confirmed to ITREALMS warning that members of the public to be wary of the unscrupulous elements who may want to use the governor-elect's good name and that of his deputy to extort money through some fraudulent activities.

A press statement to this effect made available to ITREALMS, also noted that apparently to effectively hoodwink and attract the innocent supporters and fans of the newly elected public officials to the occasion, the unidentified hands behind the invitation not only included the names of influential politicians in Lagos state in the invitation, but also ascribed functions to the respective individuals.

"Aside the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who was named the father of the day on the invitation, there are immediate past governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who were announced as special guests of honour; and former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos State, Mr. Dele Alake, who was named as the Chief Host of the day amongst other notable figures in Lagos State.

"However, our source, who told us he had spoken with the notable personalities used to headline the suspicious event, said that the said individuals have no knowledge of any appreciation dinner being put together for Sanwo-Olu. He added that they have condemned those using their names for any possible despicable acts.

“I can tell you unequivocally that the respectable names on that dubious invitation have completely denied and condemned the intention of the faceless hands behind the tricky event for using their names apparently to hoodwink unsuspecting supporters, fans and friends of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat. And they have also admonished the public to be cautious of fake news and fraudulent people in this era of digital media”.

Remmy Nweke/Editor

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Paying for development – Governments are sitting on a ‘goldmine’ - ITREALMS

Four years have passed since the launch of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Mobilizing the necessary resources remains central to its success. Investments in human, social, and physical capital are at the core of sustainable and inclusive growth – and represent an important share of national budgets.

At the World Bank Group we have been at the forefront of the so-called Financing for Development (FfD) agenda to leverage public, private, international, and domestic sources of capital to help reach the global goals. A short primer on our efforts--which builds on the 2015 Development Committee paper Billions to Trillions - Transforming Development Finance--can be found in the brochure entitled Financing for Development at the World Bank Group.

Ultimately, countries own the responsibility for achieving the SDGs: raising more domestic revenue (and doing so more efficiently), addressing spending inefficiencies, and mobilizing private capital (as the world economy is facing potentially slower growth and political friction). These will not be easy challenges.

There is another source of public funding which is often overlooked in the FfD context, but which may hold much promise if better understood by policy makers. While many countries around the world scramble to find new revenue streams, most governments are actually sitting on a virtual ‘gold mine’ - the public wealth which they don’t even know they own. The IMF Fiscal Monitor on Public Wealth estimates public assets are worth at least twice gross domestic product. Nevertheless, most governments largely ignore these assets, and the value that could be generated from them. In fact, estimates indicate that professional management of public assets could, generate annually more revenues than developed economies receive in corporate tax collections, and multiply the amount of funding available for infrastructure investments, as well as pay for the SDGs.

Take the case of Singapore. In the late 1960’s when Singapore achieved independence it was hard to consider it a viable economy. The small island state was the size of the City of Lagos in Nigeria but with only a fraction of its population. Against all odds, it has thrived. Among many other things, it decided to unlock its public wealth by clearly separating economic policy making and the management of public assets. The government incorporated portfolios of assets inside public wealth funds, delegating the responsibility of public commercial assets to professional managers inside holding companies that used appropriate governance tools borrowed from the private sector. Temasek and GIC, the two holding companies, have helped fund the economic development of the city-state, while HDB, its fund for housing, has provided almost 80 percent of citizens with public housing.

Most governments own airports, harbours, metro systems, utilities and prime real estate. Boston’s financial statements indicate the City has a negative net worth. Thus, if Boston was a private entity it would be bankrupt -- because it underestimates the true value of its assets. An indicative value of the real estate portfolio alone would show that these assets are worth almost 40 times their book value, because they are reported at their historic cost. In other words, the city is operating without maximizing the value of its hidden wealth.

As a rule of thumb, the value of public real estate alone is often equivalent to the GDP of the jurisdiction in question and representing of a quarter of the value of the total real estate market. When governments do not explicitly estimate the real value of these assets then they are often under-utilized, and they lose the potential benefits of developing and managing these assets more astutely. A reasonable assumption is that a city could earn a 3 percent yield on its commercial assets if it had more professional and politically independent management. This would yield revenue many times greater than Boston’s current capital plan.

Several other governments have survived periods of financial distress by understanding the benefits to be gained from managing public assets more professionally in an independent public wealth fund, at arms-length from short-term political influence, with a clear objective to maximize value and a transparency as if a listed company. This is the start of unlocking public wealth to strengthen public finances.

The momentum to undertake these steps is usually sparked by a crisis, or an acute awareness of limited resources such as when Hong Kong and its Mass Transit Railiway managed to build a subway and railway system the size of New York City without using one single tax dollar, by developing the real estate adjacent to its stations. Or, when The Copenhagen Public Wealth Fund in the time of an economic slump and unprecedented unemployment, decided to turn its old harbour and a military garrison into what is now some of the most desirable parts of the city—all without using taxes. Instead, the project returned funds that paid for the extension of the subway.

At the World Bank we are discussing with a number of countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan and Argentina regarding improving fiscal sustainability and increasing fiscal space by mobilizing revenues and strengthening their balance sheets through professional management of public assets. There are many more countries that could potentially benefit from this tool in order to fund the SDGs. Indeed, the World Bank Group could offer more support on asset management to clients through ongoing public financial management (PFM) reform programs. Unfortunately, asset management and related functions had in some ways been the ‘orphan child’ of PFM reform. More recently, however, the World Bank is starting to build significant asset management support into its PFM programs and projects.

Adding an independent and home-grown source of funding, can strengthen fiscal sustainability and credit worthiness, and unlocking public wealth in the context of the FfD Agenda could help support the achievement of the SDGs. It’s time to include this important subset of funding into country SDGs costing strategies and integrated financing frameworks.
*Contributed by Marco Scuriatti, he has over 23 years of experience across the WBG group. He has held operational assignments across regions and countries, both at HQ and on the field, supporting country engagement programs.

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Fayemi: States must synergise for inclusive economic growth - ITREALMS

The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, has call on the 36 states to synergise for an inclusive and robust economy to exist in the country, reports ITREALMS.

Fayemi made this call while speaking at the second annual lecture of the Freedom Online held in Lagos, Thursday at Radisson Blu Ikeja under the chairmanship of Senator-elect, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.

Gov. Fayemi who was represented by Akin Oyebode Jr, Special Adviser on Trade and Investment, dwelt on “Fixing the Economy: Less Politics, More Substance” in his keynote.

“While the Federal Government performs a very necessary role in developing our economy, the real federating units of economic activity are the states,” he declared.

Therefore, he urged the states as subnational to synergise and provide the support required to build an inclusive and robust economy exists.

“All these requirements will not deliver the required outcomes, if we cannot guarantee the security of lives and property,” he said.

Stressing that the task of securing the country completely is not done, “it is important to ensure we continue to place the required focus on this very necessary issue.”

He pointed out an often overlooked requirement, especially as the world enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is broadband, noting that Internet connectivity is now a necessity, not just for economic development, but also the delivery of governance.

“Therefore, we must improve our broadband penetration, from just over 30 per cent to at least 70 per cent, within the shortest possible time, because various studies have shown that a 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration leads to 1.5 per cent increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he declared.

As a Governor, one of the areas I am interested in improving, is how we can lower the cost for providers of the required infrastructure in this area.

Additionally, he said, to achieve the desired economic development in the State, they need to focus on education and healthcare.

“By improving the quality of education and health of our people, we are giving them an opportunity to compete in what has become a global marketplace for skills. We are also exploring practical ways of ensuring our students are also provided with the relevant digital skills to make them ready for the future of work,” he said.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Technology: SMEs in healthcare get boost, access medical loans - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The Kenyan small and medium private healthcare providers can now access loans for the purchase of medical equipment by providing their MPESA /MTIBA statements, reports ITREALMS.

The GE Healthcare and Medical Credit Fund (MCF)-part of the PharmAccess group have entered into a partnership to enable small and medium private healthcare providers to access loans for the purchase of GE Healthcare manufactured medical equipment. The announcement was made during a Radiology Clinical Day organized by GE Healthcare and the Kenya Association of Radiologists (KAR).

The partnership aims to improve access to better quality healthcare for patients living in underserved areas by financing the purchase of various diagnostic equipment. Under the partnership, the MCF will provide access to mobile-based lending and business improvement programmes to eligible healthcare providers, while GE Healthcare will support the program through provision of GE equipment and technical support.

Borrowers which qualify for loans include eligible healthcare facilities in the private sector offering a broad array of primary care services and especially with an explicit focus on family and mother-child care. Under the partnership, borrowers will be able to secure loans of up to $100,000, by providing limited information notably their MPESA /MTIBA statements, with a 24 months repayment plan.

“There is a case for innovative financing models and technical support to healthcare SMEs to support them to grow and improve the quality of healthcare services they deliver to underserved populations. Together with GE Healthcare, we are looking at social entrepreneurship in the healthcare space as an entry point to strengthen the healthcare system and to support the achievement of UHC goals.” said Mr. Isaiah Okoth, Country Director Kenya, PharmAccess Foundation.

On his part, Mr. Andrew Waititu, General Manager for GE Healthcare East Africa said, “We are committed to developing new delivery models that improve access, clinical quality and patient outcomes as we progress towards Universal Healthcare Coverage. Our collaboration with Medical Credit Fund is a significant step towards attainment of this goal”.

The interest rate cap regulation has further reduced lending to SMEs, with banks preferring to lend to larger, well established and less risky customers.

One of the first beneficiaries of the program, James Ndaba Head of Administration at Trinity Care Centre said, “We always wanted to upgrade to the latest Ultrasound machine, but financing was a challenge. Through the MCF and GE Healthcare financing program, we were able to easily acquire an ultra-modern Ultrasound machine which our patients like and hence prefer our facility over others nearby. We have also seen the number of our patients per month increase by over 40%.

According to Kenya Master Facility List (http://bit.ly/2GiYaXe), Kenya’s healthcare landscape is 50% public and 50% private. The public sector struggles to meet the dual demands of growing populations and limited resources. As a result, over 50 percent of Kenyans are using private healthcare facilities. But the private-sector also faces an uphill struggle in delivering quality, affordable healthcare. The small and medium enterprises (SME’s) that serve lower income groups often function with sub-standard infrastructure and equipment and a scarcity of skilled medical staff. Despite demand and an obvious need, health SMEs have difficulty accessing capital to improve this situation. This is because of the perceived high investment risk due to a lack of banking history and limited collateral.

Admin/Editor

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Nigeria's democracy faulty says Gbenga Daniel - ITREALMS



The former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel has faulted the kind of democracy practised in Nigeria as a system that cannot bring about the best in all spheres of our national interest, ITREALMS.

Speaking as the Special Guest of Honour at the 2nd Annual Lecture of a media outfit, Freedom Online, held at the Alvan Ikoku Hall, Radisson Blu, Ikeja on Thursday, Daniel lamented that Nigeria is still operating a system that has been practiced since 1960 without a change which, he opined,
cannot bring about any meaningful development.

As said by him, no nation can thrive on a static ideology especially in this modern age with its attendant global evolution in all indices of development. That is why our democratic system has to be reviewed by way of restructuring or else it will give more room for constitutional crisis, inequity, mediocrity, injustice and corruption.

With the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the dropping of the Iron Curtain, the former governor said, doors were closed against Communism and Socialism as political ideologies opening a new vista in the socio-political economy of the respective countries which paid off as their economies rose tremendously. Even China, he stated, has joined the fray and is now about the biggest economy in the world.

"What I am saying in essence is that if we continue to practise democracy without a drastic change, it cannot work. It will only make people poorer and hopeless. This is why the progressive minded politicians like myself and political pundits are clamouring for restructuring which will address the challenges facing us as a nation and proffer meaningful solutions for the betterment of the people.

On his retirement from partisan politics, he stressed that he thought it is better to leave the stage early enough for the younger generation to come up with fresh ideas and contribute their own quota towards developing the nation instead of the older ones sitting tight and counting years which most African leaders have been accused. He however quipped that he thought he should be praised for this bold step but was surprised when people reacted saying he shouldn't go into retirement that soon.

The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who was represented by Akin Oyebode (Jnr.) delivered the lecture titled; Fixing The Economy, Less Politics More Substance which had former Governor of Abia State and Senator-elect Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu as the Chairman.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, was the Guest of Honour while a University don, Professor Akin Onigbinde delivered the keynote address.

Dignitaries at the event which was hosted by the publisher of Freedom Online, Mr. Gabriel Akinadewo included the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Oloye Gani Adams; former Minister of Special Duties, retired Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade; Mr. Dotun Oladipo and Nollywood actor, Bolaji Amusan among others.

*Ayo Midele/Editor

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Nigeria's economic outlook positive says Lai Mohammed - ITREALMS

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Buhari Administration has laid the necessary groundwork for the growth of the nation's economy, and urged investors to take advantage of the government's efforts by investing massively in Nigeria, reports ITREALMS.

The Minister, who made the call in London on Thursday, at a breakfast meeting with investors, lawyers, the business community and diplomats with ties to Nigeria, said the country - as the largest economy and a political powerhouse in Africa - represents a highly attractive market and investment partner.

''Not only is our administration positive about our economy's outlook, but the $5 billion in foreign investment that we have secured after the recent elections signals that you, the international community, share our positive outlook and confidence in the administration's policy,'' he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said in the past four years, President Muhammadu Buhari has led the nation's economy from recession to growth through his Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), in addition to diversifying the economy.

''While there is no denying that oil remains an important part of the economy, we have diversified, with real GDP growth being driven by the expansion of non-oil activities,'' he said, adding that the service sector, for example, is responsible for 54% of GDP and has become the primary driver of growth for the economy.

The Minister said Nigeria's successful battle against insecurity and corruption has made the country an advocate for transparency and accountability in Africa, while further strengthening its economy.

On the recent general elections, he said the re-election of President Buhari is a validation of the fact that Nigerians recognized the change and transformation that the administration has brought to the country.

He however described as disappointing and deeply irresponsible the attempts by the opposition to discredit the election and undermine the democratic choice of the Nigerian people, saying local and international observers have described the elections as credible.

''We will not be distracted from our vision and we hope that the opposition will join us in shaping a better future for Nigeria, for the benefit not only of the people of Nigeria but the region and the continent,'' Alhaji Mohammed said.

The event is part of the ongoing visit of the Minister to the US and the UK to meet with the international media, opinion molders and think tanks.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Pix: The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (left) and Nigeria's High Commissioner to the UK, Ambassador George Oguntade (middle), at the venue of the Breakfast Meeting with investors, business community, lawyers and diplomats with ties to Nigeria in London on Thursday.

Onnoghen: CCT says you're guilty as charged - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
Finally, the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja, the Federal Capital, has pronounced that  the embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen is guilty as charged, reports ITREALMS.

This follows trials over false assets declaration which has generated lots of controversies. 

ITREALMS also reports that the tribunal headed by Danladi Umar, had Thursday, April 18, 2019, ruled that Mr Onnoghen should forfeit the funds in the five accounts which he was accused of not disclosing.

Also, the tribunal said Mr Onnoghen evidently acquired the funds fraudulently since he failed to show how the huge amount was acquired.

However, there are indications Mr. Onnoghen will appeal the judgement, ITREALMS gathered.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Genocide: AfDB marks 25th commemoration - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
With poems, videos and a riveting testimony from a former Prosecutor General of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org), in collaboration with the Rwandan Embassy and the Rwandan community in Côte d’Ivoire, observed the 25th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda under the theme “Remember-Unite-Renew”.

The event, held Thursday, April 11, was attended by the Ambassador of Rwanda in Côte d’Ivoire, Stanislas Kamanzi, and the Rwandan community; a delegation of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire led by Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani, Minister of Animal and Fishery Resources; members of the diplomatic corps and Bank employees. The ceremony also included the lighting of candles to commemorate the occasion.

Ousman Jammeh shared that, through his work with the ICTR, he had the opportunity to see first-hand the courage and resilience of genocide survivors in their difficult testimonies. He also drew attention to the crucial role that the media played in enticing hate and division and called for Africans to closely learn from this tragedy.

The commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda is an opportunity to remember and honour the one million lives lost within three months in 1994. In Rwanda and across the world, the commemoration is a moment of reflection on the past and a time to recommit to the pledge of “Never Again”.

Oley Dibba-Wadda, the Bank’s Director of Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development, speaking on behalf of President Akinwumi A. Adesina, stated that the 1994 genocide remains “a deep scar on humanity’s conscience.” She expressed her solidarity with the people of Rwanda during this period of commemoration and saluted the bravery and sacrifice of helpers who risked their lives to save others.

Dibba-Wadda also commended the resilience and determination of the Rwandan people, especially Rwandan youth, whose dynamism and sense of purpose are already shaping country’s future for the better. She concluded by reaffirming the African Development Bank’s commitment to continue its strong partnership with Rwanda on its journey of transformation.

In his remarks, Minister Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani, representing the Prime Minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, stated that the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda reminds Africa and the world of the dramatic consequences of policies based on hatred, communitarianism and any other form of divisionism. He underlined the importance of educating African youth to equip them with the tools to systematically reject genocide ideology and protect unity.

Addressing the participants, Pacifique Kayihura, President of the Rwandan Diaspora in Côte d’Ivoire, highlighted that the progress made in Rwandan over the last 25 years in the areas of unity, justice, reconciliation and development, demonstrate that no country is doomed to failure and that our strength lies in unity. He further urged the participants not to be indifferent to impunity and the suffering of others.

In closing, Ambassador Stanislas Kamanzi thanked the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and the African Development Bank for the solidarity shown during this period of commemoration. He reiterated that over the past 25 years while we mourn the loss of our loved ones “we do not let despair bring us down. Rwanda has instead embarked on a challenge of rebirth...for an inclusive, equitable, dignified and prosperous society.”


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Zenith Bank sustains market dominance - ITREALMS

Leading financial institution in the country, Zenith Bank Plc has sustained its market dominance for improved profitability, reports ITREALMS.

In the first quarter ended 31 March 2019, Zenith Bank Group recorded improved numbers across key metrics, driven by a solid performance in all business segments. 

This, ITREALMS gathered, resulted in a Profit before Tax (PBT) of ₦57 billion, representing a 6% growth over the ₦54 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2018. The Group’s on-going commitment to cost optimisation on the income statement and statement of financial position ensured earnings per share increased by 7% to ₦1.60 compared to Q1 2018.

Also Read: Zenith Bank reiterates commitment to sport development


The growth in net interest income and operating income by 23% and 1% respectively mitigated the decline in gross earnings. The effective management of cost-to-income ratio, cost of funds and cost of risk offset top-line declines to deliver an enhanced operating income in the period.

Our risk and asset quality continues to improve as cost of risk dropped significantly by 52% from 0.9% in the prior year to 0.4% for the period. This was achieved as impairment charges declined by 54% (₦2.5 billion year on year reduction). Our cost of funds also improved, declining by 25% from 4% in Q1 2018 to 3% at quarter-end. This was supported by a 22% decrease in interest expense of ₦10 billion over the same period, affirming the Group’s robust treasury and liquidity management. Our prudent cost management led to a 5% decline in our cost-to-income ratio by 5% from 53.3% in 2018 to 50.9% in the period with an absolute reduction in operating expenses by ₦2.3 billion year-on-year.

The Group’s retail franchise continues to increase as retail deposits grew by N80bn between December 2018 and March 2019 representing a 9% growth notwithstanding the fact that total customer deposits dropped marginally by 3%. The drop in customer deposits was as a result of rebalancing of the deposit mix as expensive purchased deposits were forgone in favour of cheaper and stickier retail deposits.

The volume and value of transactions across our electronic and digital platforms continue to grow as new customers are being acquired. Our balance sheet continues to strengthen as liquidity ratio is at 66.7%, loan to deposit ratio closed at 43%, and capital adequacy ratio ended the period at 25% respectively and remain above the relevant regulatory thresholds as at 31 March 2019.

Going into the rest of the year and with improving economic fundamentals, we are confident of delivering value to all our stakeholders on our commitments even as we create more opportunities for businesses by supporting them through selective risk asset creation. We shall continue our investments in the retail segment of the market as we consolidate our leadership position in the corporate segment while maintaining a strong balance sheet.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Amid growing outbreaks UNICEF launches #VaccinesWork campaign - ITREALMS

 
UNICEF is launching a new global campaign on 24 April to emphasize the power and safety of vaccines among parents and wider social media users.

The campaign will run alongside World Immunization Week from 24 to 30 April to spread the message that together communities, including parents, can protect everyone through vaccines.

#VaccinesWork has long been used to bring together immunization advocates online. This year, UNICEF is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization (WHO), and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to encourage even greater reach. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will contribute USD$ 1 to UNICEF for every like or share of social media posts using the hashtag #VaccinesWork in April, up to USD$1 million, to ensure all children get the life-saving vaccines they need.

Vaccines save up to 3 million lives yearly, protecting children from potentially deadly, highly infectious diseases such as measles, pneumonia, cholera, and diphtheria. Thanks to vaccines, fewer people died from measles between 2000 and 2017 and polio is on the verge of being eradicated. Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective health tool ever invented – every USD$1 spent on childhood immunization returns up to USD$44 in benefits.

“We want the awareness that #VaccinesWork to go viral,” said Robin Nandy, UNICEF’s Chief of Immunization. “Vaccines are safe, and they save lives. This campaign is an opportunity to show the world that social media can be a powerful force for change and provide parents with trustworthy information on vaccines.”

The campaign is part of a global, week-long celebration under the theme, Protected Together: Vaccines Work, to honour Vaccine Heroes – from parents and community members to health workers and innovators.

“More children than ever before are being reached with vaccines today,” said Violaine Mitchell, Interim Director of Vaccine Delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We are delighted to work with UNICEF and all the global and country partners around the world who are working tirelessly to ensure all children, especially those in the world’s poorest countries, can be protected from life-threatening infectious diseases.”

Despite the benefits of vaccines, an estimated 1.5 million children died of vaccine-preventable diseases in 2017. While this is often due to lack of access to vaccines, in some countries, families are delaying or refusing to vaccinate their children because of complacency or skepticism about vaccines. This has resulted in several outbreaks, including an alarming surge in measles, especially in higher-income countries. Uncertainty about vaccines on digital and social media platforms is one of the factors driving this trend.

That is why the centerpiece of this UNICEF campaign is a 60-second animated film, “Dangers,” which, along with illustrated animations for social media posts and posters, is based on the relatable insight that kids, by their very nature, are little daredevils who are constantly putting themselves in danger. The video explains that while parents can’t prevent all the dangers their kids get themselves into, they can use vaccination to help prevent the dangers that get into their kids.

Immunization coverage in Nigeria was only 57.2% in 2018.  This is far below the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) target of 90 percent.

However, the clear benefit of vaccines can be seen in the case of polio, where vaccines have been crucial in eradication efforts. The country has been free of any case of wild polio virus since September 2016 and is on track for being declared polio-free by the end of this year. The success of polio vaccines in eliminating polio has, among other factors, been linked to the low cost and oral administration route of vaccines, enabling mass delivery.

Angélique Kidjo, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Grammy Award-Winning Singer:

“Today nine in ten children receive immunizations, but we cannot leave anyone behind. We must reach every child with life-saving vaccines.”

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Oluleye, PPPRA ex-boss buried @Ekiti - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The remains of  the former Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), and later Petroleum Trust Development Fund, late Dr Oluwole Oluleye, has been laid to rest in his country home, Efon Alaaye, Ekiti State, reports ITREALMS.

Late Oluleye was laid to rest on Wednesday with eulogies from friends and well wishers including the governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who described him as a leader who, not only shunned politics of bitterness but engaged in politics for development of both the masses and society.

Speaking at the funeral service held for the late Dr Oluleye, Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said the late Dr Oluleye, was an exemplary and quintessential leader who inspired many with his selflessness, humility, simplicity and sincerity in all that he did.

The funeral was attended by an array of dignitaries including the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, a former Deputy governor of Ekiti State, Prof. Modupe Adelabu and many top government functionaries.

“Every death diminishes us especially if it is the death of someone who is an exemplar in all its best, Dr Oluleye was an exemplar. He was a quintessential Ekiti leader and he was always very warm to everyone, as many here may know. he was a co-contestant in our recent gubernatorial election in Ekiti state and all through the process, I’m sure all of us who were in the contest with him will see one thing that his politics was without bitterness, his politics was for development and he consistently engaged me in the course of that race in a wide range of discussions that we really have to transform our state and he has served with distinction all over.

"I think his last official assignment was when he came to see me in 2013, I was still governor and he was the secretary of a project monitoring committee that President Jonathan set up to look at all the abandoned projects round the country. So, apart from coming from a distinguished family, he distinguished himself in every assignment that he was given, and for us this is a great loss to Ekiti,” he said.

Governor Fayemi urged members of Oluleye family, friends and well-wishers to take solace in the worthy legacies and examples that he left behind adding that the government and people of Ekiti state will always remember his works and his contributions to the development of the larger society.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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L-R: Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; flanked by children of the deceased, Tokunbo Oluleye (left) Temidayo Oluleye (second left) and Tinuke Oluleye (right) , during the burial of the former PPPRA Executive secretary, Dr Oluwole Oluleye at St Paul's Anglican Church Efon Alaaye- Ekiti.... On Wednesday

'Supreme court verdict: Oni not my enemy' - ITREALMS

The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has said that the decision of Engr Segun Oni to seek redress in court after his defeat in the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) last year has declared it does not make the former governor his enemy, reports ITREALMS.

Reacting to his victory at the Supreme Court during a chat with journalists in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday, Governor Fayemi said though it was within Oni’s right to seek redress in court, the exercise, according to him, was needless because it was clear that he resigned his appointment as a minister in line with the laws of the country.

The Governor said he is of the view that Oni would see the Wednesday’s verdict of the Supreme Court as the end of the matter and as wake up call on him to begin to play active roles as a leader in the APC.

Fayemi said: “Going to court does not necessarily translate to being enemies. He felt strongly about a position and I believe that is why he went to court. Now that the highest court in the land has pronounced definitively on it, I hope he will see it as a cue to play active roles in the party.

“To the best of my knowledge Engr Oni remains a member of APC and I don’t believe he has decided to remove himself from the party. I hope this will not lead to another round of recriminations and attack because I have said it in the past that it is within his right to pursue anything he felt strongly about in the law court”, the governor said.

While calling on Oni to support his administration in moving the State forward, Fayemi said distractions and recriminations should end.

On the party’s call for the withdrawal of lawsuits against fellow party members, Fayemi said it was the party’s duty to take actions on any member who disobeys it.

“However Ekiti must move forward. Enough of this distractions and recriminations over matters that need not go to court because it is very clear that one, I resigned in accordance with law of the land. Two, that the shenanigans that culminated in the White Paper that said Fayemi could not serve in a political position has been dealt with by an appropriate law court and the trash that it was, and finally that the primary that took place in Ekiti was to anyone who is objective enough, one of the cleanest, fairest, most credible primaries that have ever taken place in the history of politics in Nigeria.

“If all of these have not convinced those who want to contend with the party, if the party chooses to take a decision on their continued membership of the party, that will not be about Fayemi and it will not be my decision. It will be the party’s decision”, Fayemi said.




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