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The Nigerian-American Entrepreneurs Shaping the Future of Two Continents

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On the familiar black-box stage in front of a red velvet curtain, Stephen Ozoigbo begins his TEDx Talk with a story about his Nigerian roots, and ends with this climax: He had left Nigeria in troubled times, moving to the U.S. But a few years ago, Ozoigbo returned. He’s now a “re-pat,” his faith in Nigeria and the African continent renewed by a young generation driving a tech revolution.
Ozoigbo, 38, is the CEO of the Silicon Valley–based African Technology Foundation (ATF), offering mentorship and resource access to African entrepreneurs, in addition to running a venture fund. He’s part of a growing band of Nigerian-Americans who are founding tech companies, launching accelerator programs and running digital media organizations across the U.S., often with a sharp focus on solving problems and celebrating the achievements of Africa and its most populous country.
Traditionally, Nigerian immigrants to America laid out medicine, law and engineering as the three career options for their children. These professions provide stability, prestige and money — the most critical assets most first-generation immigrants seek. But exposed to a wider range of respected professions in the U.S., Nigerian-Americans are increasingly finding success in entrepreneurship.

While there’s no comprehensive ethnicity-based database on tech founders, there are more than 400 Nigerian-origin entrepreneurs in the U.S. today, compared to about 100 a decade back, says Ozoigbo. And of the first- and second-generation African-origin founders and venture capitalists in the U.S., about three quarters are of Nigerian ethnicity, estimates Steven Ferri of Voice of America’s Africa division, who recently produced the documentary Beyond the Unicorn, highlighting the growth of Silicon Valley’s African entrepreneurs. But the motivation for many of them extends beyond fame and profit to also impacting change 8,000 miles away in Africa.

Some focus on Africa’s often-ignored soft power: culture. Abiola Oke — who grew up in Nigeria and then the Bronx, New York — is the CEO of OkayAfrica, a media firm connecting a global audience to African culture. Others are working with a young generation of African creators to solve problems that could unleash the continent’s economic potential while catalyzing social shifts too. New York banker Anie Akpe’s 4-year-old startup, African Women in Technology (AWIT), hosts seminars and mentorship programs teaching African women how to become tech-industry leaders. In 2013, Akpe, 47, launched Innov8tiv Magazine to feature success stories of the African diaspora.
And Ozoigbo — now an American citizen — launched ATF in 2014 to harness the raw entrepreneurial talent he saw in Nigeria, use it to create jobs and to solve some of the country’s biggest challenges. Nigeria has struggled to develop a reliable payment infrastructure for decades. ATF has supported a program that mentored Paystack and Flutterwave, both focused on simplifying payments between Africa and the rest of the world, and changing the way small businesses transact in Nigeria.
“These entrepreneurs aren’t just solving technology problems,” Ozoigbo says of the Nigerian innovators he works with. “They’re creating impact and solving the billion problems of a billion-population economy.”
At its core, what these Nigerian-American founders, mentors and investors are doing is what smart investing is all about: identifying problems, finding those with effective and disruptive solutions, testing them and, once convinced, backing them. But they don’t hide that additional connect to the land they — or their parents — left.

Nigerian-born Iyin Aboyeji launched San Francisco–headquartered Flutterwave two years ago when he realized he couldn’t receive payments in the U.S. from Africa-based clients with local bank accounts. He saw “a real opportunity to create a new wave of prosperity,” Aboyeji says.
Ozoigbo grew up in Nigeria, emigrated to the U.S. and found his way to a banking career. For a while, he managed a portfolio of companies from Barcelona and was responsible for bringing Catalonian startups to Silicon Valley. But his African roots were always calling. So he took what he was doing in Europe and applied it to Africa.
He connects companies and founders with potential directly to Silicon Valley investors through ATF’s VenturePATH program. Ozoigbo often needs to prep African founders for American tech culture. “Cross-cultural mistakes happen,” he says. There’s a common misnomer that money is up for grabs here in Silicon Valley, but “you need to come here and struggle with the locals,” Ozoigbo says, to secure venture capital funding.
Teaching confidence and networking skills is critical to the mission of Akpe’s AWIT too. Born in Calabar, Nigeria, Akpe came to the U.S. at age 10, and is today vice president of mortgages at Municipal Credit Union in New York. But Akpe wants more. Innov8tiv magazine and AWIT help her influence change by showing young women they can succeed in Africa’s male-dominated culture. “I want to create programs that will get women interested in tech but also build up their self-esteem,” says Akpe.

Oke, 36, also began his career in banking, but resigned the day the opportunity to lead OkayAfrica came along. “There is no shortage of motivated, young African creators,” he says. “We want a seat at the table.”
For Black founders, building a dream company isn’t easy, given America’s systemic racism. The Kauffman Foundation found in 2016 that Black entrepreneurs in America are three times likelier than whites to have their earnings negatively impacted because of limited access to capital. And women of color get a measly 0.2 percent of all venture funding, according to a First Round Capital study. Launching an app in Nigeria can also prove a legal and logistical nightmare. Some VCs invest only in U.S.-based firms, forcing Nigerian founders to set up corporations in Delaware, which has America’s most flexible business laws. Without these details in place, companies can’t make the money important for most Nigerian-Americans, not just as a status symbol, but for supporting their community. “Given the challenges of being a Black person in the world, you’re never far removed from family or friends that need help,” says Oke.
But the Nigerian-American community hasn’t gotten where it has without staring down challenges. They’re no longer waiting for Western technology to filter through to Africa — they’re leading Africa’s technology revolution by addressing problems specific to the continent. And they’re utilizing the wealth of Silicon Valley to do it.


Molly Fosco, Reporter

 

 

 

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In Brief :Obiano Condoles with Nze Emeka Olisah.

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Governor Obiano Condoles with Nzeh Emeka Olisah, Chairman Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB) on the recent demise of his wife, Mrs Chinwe Olisah who passed on at 63.
The Governor visited the Olisahs in their Ngozika Estate home in Awka earlier today.
Pix shows Governor Obiano signing the Condolence Register, in a photo-up with Nze Olisah and his children and finally the bereaved family, the Governor and Chief Maja Umeh, former Commissioner for Information, Anambra State.

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News Pictures Of The Day : APGA Finally Unveils Presidential Aspirant, Running Mate – Ready for 2019

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After years of absence in the presidential elections in the country, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has said that it will present to Nigerians a presidential candidate during its non-elective convention scheduled for October 7.
Addressing journalists yesterday at the end of the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, the National Chairman, Victor Oye said a presidential aspirant, Maj. Gen. John Gbor (rtd) who hails from Benue State as well as a vice presidential aspirant, Jerry Chukwueke from Imo State have purchased APGA’s nomination forms.

Maj. Gen. Gbor

He said that he and the members of NWC are working hard to reposition the affairs in order to improve the fortunes of the party.
Oye hinted that the leadership of the party is making arrangement to organise a transparent primary election that will be a model in the country.
Speaking about preparations for the 2019 general elections,, Oye said that APGA has witnessed remarkable rise in the number of aspirants that purchased its expression of interest and nomination forms, adding that the party has sold its nomination forms in the whole of the South West, Zamfara, Niger, Gombe, Plateau and Taraba states.
“ People have been coming to buy our forms and for the first time in the history of this country, APGA can match the top political parties in the sale of forms.
“APGA manifesto is ranked the best in the country. So what does that tell, it tells you that if APGA is given the opportunity to manage the affairs of Nigeria, we will do very well,” he said.
When asked to disclose the amount of money the party has generated from sale of forms, Oye said that the figures are not yet ready but that the party has harvested more aspirants than in the past.
On the chances of APGA in the forthcoming general elections, Oye said the party has very bright chances of upstaging other contenders.
According to Oye, the performance of APGA in Anambra State is a case study, noting that governance in the state has become like what obtains in other climes, abroad.
Also the APGA boss said that the party has been receiving notable defectors from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The party is structured in such a way that it will always deliver good governance wherever it governs. With the support of all patriotic Nigerians, APGA will take this nation to desirable level.
“Nigeria can no longer continue to work in a slow pace as we are currently doing. We need to work at a faster rate if we need to get to the eldorado of our dream,” he said.


ThisDay 

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WAEC Clears Adeleke Of Certificate Forgery

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The West African Examinations Council, WAEC, has cleared Senator Ademola Adeleke, a governorship candidate of certificate forgery brought against him by two chieftains of the All Progressive Congress, APC.

The council in an affidavit deposed to by one Osindeinde Adewumi and filed at the registry of the FCT high court, Senator Adeleke was confirmed to have sat for the senior secondary certificate examination in May/June, 1981.
The affidavit was filed in compliance with the order of Justice Othman Musa asking WAEC to supply the court with the result. WAEC confirmed that Senator Adeleke with candidate number 149 and center no 19645 sat for the exam at Ede Muslim high school, situated at Yidi road, Ede in Osun state .

The ledger containing the result of all the candidates
And the certified true copy of the ledger indicated that senator Adeleke who is currently representing Osun west senatorial district in the senate sat for only English language in the examination.
Wahaab Raheem and Adam Habeeb of Apc had approached an Abuja high court asking it to disqualify Adeleke from participating in the September 22 governorship election in Osun state on the ground that he does not have the required qualification.
The two in their application claimed that the PDP candidate did not sit for the WAEC examination in 1981 because the senior secondary school certificate had not been introduced by 1981.

They also argued that the National Examination Council, NECO examination Adeleke claimed he sat for could not be genuine because NECO was not in existence when he claimed he sat for the exam.
Justice Othman Musa in his previous ruling ordered Adeleke to appear before the court to show cause why he should not be disqualified in the forthcoming election.
The judge also ordered the WAEC to make available the exam ledger and also swear to an affidavit to confirm or deny the participation of Adeleke in the 1981 WAEC examination.
Although the case was to be heard on Tuesday, Justice Musa was said to have gone on official assignment making it impossible for the court to make pronouncement on the matter.

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Osodieme Condoles with Nzeh Emeka Olisah

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The wife of the Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) has condoled with the Chairman, Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board, (ASUBEB) Nze Emeka Olisah and family over the death of his wife, Mrs. Chinwe Olisah, who passed away earlier this month.

Wife of the Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) signing the condolence register at the residence of Nzeh Emeka Olisah in Awka.

Osodieme visited the bereaved family Tuesday evening in Awka to commiserate with them over the painful loss.
In her message, the widower, Nzeh Olisah, Osodieme prayed for the peaceful repose of the soul of late wife, and urged the family to remain steadfast, especially during this period of grief and seek solace in God, the ultimate consoler.

(L-R): Chairman, Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board, (ASUBEB) Nze Emeka Olisah and wife of the Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) during the condolence visit in Awka.

Said she:
“As you mourn her demise, be consoled that she did not labour in vain. My prayer is that God will grant her eternal rest and grant you and your family the fortitude to bear the loss.”

Osodieme’s condolence message in the register.

Signing the condolence register, Osodieme expressed sadness at the demise of Mrs. Chinwe Olisah who passed away after failed health and wrote: “May her gentle soul and souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.”
The late Mrs. Olisah was aged, sixty-three.

Chairman, Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board, (ASUBEB) Nze Emeka Olisah and wife of the Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) during the condolence visit in Awka.

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Police declare Adeleke PDP candidate wanted for Exam malpractice

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Senator Ademola Adeleke, the PDP governorship candidate in the Osun election on Saturday may not be qualified to run for the office and his attempt to make things up, has landed him in Police trouble.
The police asked him and four others to report today to their Special Investigation Panel at the Abuja headquarters for arraignment in court.
He and the other suspects will face a charge of examination malpractice, criminal conspiracy, impersonation.
The police named the other suspects as
MR Sikiru Adeleke, Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau (Principal of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School , Egbedore LGA, Osun State), Mr Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo (School Staff responsible for the registration of candidates for NECO), Mr Dare Olutope (School Teacher who facilitated the commission of the crime).
Here is the police statement:
On 21st July 2017, the Osun State Police Intelligence Bureau (SIB) received and acted on an actionable intelligence about an ongoing examination malpractice involving Senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke at OJO/Aro Community Grammar School in Osun state.
“When the Police operative arrived at the school, only Sikiru Adeleke was found seated for the examination while Senator Ademola Adeleke seat was vacant and was suspected to have escaped before the arrival of the Police operatives.
“Further investigation revealed that both Senator Ademola Adeleke and his brother Sikiru Adeleke registered and were sitting for the National Examination Council Examination (NECO) 2017 as internal candidates impersonating students of the School at the ages of 57years and 42years respectively. This crime was facilitated by the principal of the school, and two other members of staff of the school for which they are under investigation and being charged to court.
“The Principal of the school, Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau, the staff responsible for registration, Mr Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo and a teacher Mr Dare Olutope were arrested on 21 July 2017.
“Senator Ademola Adeleke was arrested on 27 July 2017 and Sikiru Adeleke was arrested on 8 August 2017.
“Senator Ademola Adeleke made cautionary statement and admitted that he registered for the 2017 NECO examinations as an internal student in the said school but he didn’t sit for the examination.
“However, Police investigation revealed the following primafacial and culpability facts against Senator Ademola Adeleke andfour (4) others.
“Senator Ademola Adeleke made cautionary statement and admitted that he registered for the 2017 NECO examinations as an internal student in the said school and did not sit for the examination but have a result from NECO with Seven (7) Credit and One (1) Pass, a copy of which was obtained from NECO by the Police.
“The Ojo/Aro 2017 NECO, SSCE school photo album (School’s copy), with Senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke Photographs in school uniform in the said album. Senator Ademola Adeleke in the NECO 2017 Result obtained by the claimed that he was born on 12th June 1997 but in his statement to the Police, senator Ademola Adeleke wrote 13th May 1960 as his Date of Birth.
“The photographs of both Senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke appearing side by side in the photo album have no NECO stamps on them.
“ Senator Ademola Adeleke and four others were arrested, investigated, granted bail and being charged to court. Charges of Examination Malpractice, Criminal Conspiracy, Personation, Breach of Duty, Aiding and Abetting against Senator Ademola Adeleke (PDP Governorship Aspirant in the 22nd September, 2018 Gubernatorial Election in Osun State) and four (4) others namely; MR Sikiru Adeleke, Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau (Principal of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Egbedore LGA, Osun State), Mr Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo (School Staff responsible for the registration of candidates for NECO), Mr Dare Olutope (School Teacher who facilitated the commission of the crime) have been filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja under the Examination Malpractice Act, CAP E15, 2004 today, Wednesday, 19th September, 2018.
“Consequently, Senator Ademola Adeleke (PDP Governorship Aspirant in the 22nd September, 2018 Gubernatorial Election in Osun State) and four (4) others namely; MR Sikiru Adeleke, Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau (Principal of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Egbedore LGA, Osun State), Mr Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo (School Staff responsible for the registration of candidates for NECO), Mr Dare Olutope (School Teacher who facilitated the commission of the crime) are hereby advised in their own interest to report to the Special Investigation Panel, Force Headquarters, Abuja immediately for arraignment in court.


NAN

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Flooding: NEMA puts 12 states on watch list

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has placed 12 states on a watch list of state that could face devastating consequences of increased flooding.
The states are: Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Edo, Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Benue, Adamawa, Taraba, Rivers and Bayelsa.
NEMA Director-General Mustapha Maihaja said the peculiarity of the listed states placed them on the list of those that require close watch and other emergency management agencies.
He added that stakeholders have agreed that NEMA could activate its National Contingency Plan; which allows it to establish structures that will respond to emergencies.
The Plan gave NEMA the legal backing to activate five Emergency Operational Centers (EOCs), across Nigeria to professionally handle issues that, expectedly, would arise from the natural disaster.
“EOC A will handle operations in Kebbi, Niger and Kwara States. EOC B will be in charge of Edo and Kogi States, and the EOC C will oversee operations in Anambra and Delta States.
“EOC D will also oversee operations in Benue, Adamawa and Taraba States, while EOC E has been mandated to take care of operations in Rivers and Bayelsa States. NEMA headquarters will coordinate the entire operations,” Maihaja said.
Last week, NEMA raised the alarm that water level at Confluence of River Niger and Benue, at Lokoja, had risen to significant 10.98 meters which were one of the signals that heralded the 2012 devastating flood across Nigeria.
It also confirmed that the flood situation might get worst in some states in few days time with all indications and signals that Lagdo dam in Cameroon would be discharged soon.

Nigeria
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Anambra Flooding: LG Primary, Tertiary Schools Shut in Ogbaru

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All primary, post primary and tertiary schools in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State have been temporarily closed down in reaction to the flood disaster in the area.
The council Chairman, Mr Arinze Awogu, disclosed this while inaugurating the distribution of relief materials at the council headquarters, Atani, on Tuesday.
Awogu said the closure of the schools was in line with the directive of Governor Willie Obiano who said schools in the affected areas should close down to avert loss of life.

“We are in an emergency situation and for us, safety of life is paramount, people will not have need for education when they are dead.
“So in line with the directive of the governor, we have asked that all the schools in Ogbaru be temporarily shut down,” he said.
He said that a 12-man Local Emergency Management Committee had been set up to ensure effective rescue and coordination of victims as well as distribution of relief materials to those in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
The council boss said Ogbaru had taken delivery of buckets, mattresses, mats, mosquito nets and blankets from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) but noted that it was still a far cry from what was required.
According to Awogu, about 190 households comprising of no less than 1,100 persons are presently at the three Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) camp located at the council secretariat, Community Primary School, Odoekpe and St. James Anglican Church, Iyiowa.
He noted that 13 out of the 16 villages were on the coastal bank of River Niger and all had been critically affected by flood, adding that the remaining three were also highly exposed to the menace.
The chairman, who had also been sacked from his house, said no life had been lost to the flood in Ogbaru at the moment, stressing that destruction of property, farm, farm produce and livelihood of the people was massive.
He urged people to move to the camps and decried their reluctance to leave their ancestral homes.
“We are close to where we found ourselves on 2012, when the water’s height was 12.84 metres and as at yesterday it stands at 11.80 metres, so you can see how close we are to it.
“There are 16 communities in Ogbaru and 13 of them are along the river bank; all these towns are terribly submerged.
“These are Odoekpe, Atani, Akiri, Ochuche, Mputu, Osamala, Oguikpele, Obaogume and Ummunankwo and they are all gone.
“Others are Obagu, Umuzu, Obaogume, Ogbakuma. All these towns are submerged, no place is safer than the other.
“It is a humanitarian challenge here, we need the best help we can get. It is good that the federal government has declared Anambra flood a disaster. We want to see massive deployment of relief materials here.
“We need effective medical assistance because of the looming epidemic; we need food, disinfectants, toiletries and other emergency items.
“What we are distributing is what we got from SEMA. We want NEMA to react to their declaration by massively deploying relief materials here,” he pleaded.
He thanked Obiano and the people of Ogbaru who had helped to draw attention to the disaster and also rendered assistance.

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APC must retain Osun, Buhari advises

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday attended the grand rally of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oshogbo, where he said the state must be retained by the party.
He appealed to the people not to allow darkness to take over the state of Osun.
Buhari said that the people should come out massively to vote for APC and not allow corrupt people to have their way in the state.

The President restated that APC had zero tolerance for corruption and that Nigerians would continue to kick corrupt leaders out of the polity.
“Nigeria must be free of corrupt leaders,’’ he said as he assured the people of the government’s commitment to completing all projects abandoned by previous administration in the state.
Aside the continuation of road projects in the state, he said that the federal government was constructing a transmission line and sub-station to boost electricity supply in the state.
Praising Governor Rauf Aregbesola for the strides made in infrastructure development, especially in the area of education, healthcare, security and housing, Buhari assured the people that a vote for APC candidate, Mr Gboyega Oyetala is a vote for sustenance of development.

He said he was in the state of Osun for the good of the people.
President Buhari said Oyetola was ready to work and thanked the people for their hospitality, warmth, friendliness and respect they accorded to the leaders of the party.
Earlier in his speech, the National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, expressed gratitude to Buhari for assisting to mobilise the people to vote for the party.
“President Buhari’s presence in Oshogbo is not to retain what APC already had but to assure Osun people of the readiness to consolidate and build more on what the people already have,’’ he explained.
Oshiomhole explained that the eight years of APC’s administration had brought many changes and changed the face of Oshogbo and the state of Osun.

Giving the assurance that APC’s candidate, Oyetola was ready to work, he said: “Governorship is not for apprentices but for those who want and ready to work.’’
“This is not the era for those who will want to engage in familiarisation tours but somebody who knows the terrain and ready to work.
“The contest is not for those who will turn the government house to disco house, but for those who are ready to serve and work; we need people who have the passion, people with character, and people with conviction.
“These are trying times, we need people who are competent, people who can manage finances, and those who can also generate revenue.’’


Describing Oyetola as more suitable for the job, Oshiomhole said the candidate would continue with the people-oriented, people-driven and people-support programmes of Aregbesola.
He said that APC was celebrating Osun state where a level playing group had been created for children of all classes.
He said the one-day –a-meal programme for children in schools adopted by Osun state has benefitted the children of the “poorest workers and poorest farmers’’.
Many governors as well as the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Mr. Lasun attended the rally.

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Flood: Obiano Holds Emergency Meeting With Stakeholders, Urges Residents Of Riverine Communities To Relocate

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BY KENECHUKWU OFOMAH

Ahead of the imminent flooding , Governor Willie Obiano has met with Heads of Agencies with responsibilities to participate in emergencies in the event of the deluge.
Present at the emergency meeting held at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia at the instance of the Governor were Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke, Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA,
Chief Paul Odenigbo and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Primus Odili.
The meeting also had in attendance, members of the State Security Council and Heads of Agencies involved in emergency response activities among others.
Addressing the meeting, Governor Obiano said with emerging information indicating very worrisome signals concerning the rising flood level in some parts of the State and the latest information about Cameroun opening its dams, the meeting has become imperative to reappraise the initial strategies developed by the State Government to check the flooding.

The Governor, who noted that the State had commenced preparations for the event about five months ago, revealed that Holding Centers have been established across the affected Council areas and equipped with facilities to cater for displaced persons.
He appealed to residents of the affected areas to heed the warning by relevant agencies and vacate the flood-prone areas on time, assuring that his government is committed to their welfare.
The Deputy Governor, Dr Okeke in his remarks, acknowledged that all the agencies with responsibility during the flood have been designated to their various tasks and now await mobilization and deployment.
Briefing the meeting, the Executive Secretary of SEMA, Chief Odenigbo, said having finished with the Holding centers at Ogbaru, they have activated the nine Holding Centers in Anambra East Council Area and are now moving materials to them.
He noted that the water level is presently at eleven point eighty as against that of 2012 which was at twelve point eighty-four at its worst, adding that the signs are real of a devastating flood ahead.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Akabuike said the Ministry has worked out measures to establish sick bays at the holding centers with doctors designated to handle health emergencies that may arise.

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Nigeria Fires Back at HSBC After Bank Criticizes President

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  • Government says bank laundered more than $100m for Sani Abacha
  • Lender had said second term for Buhari raised economic risks

Nigeria accused HSBC Holdings Plc of money laundering after an analyst working for the lender said that a second term for President Muhammadu Buhari may stall economic recovery in Africa’s biggest oil producer.

“What killed Nigeria’s economy in the past was the unbridled looting of state resources by leaders, the type which was actively supported by HSBC,” presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement late Saturday. A bank that “continued until a few months ago to shield the stolen funds of one of the leaders of the Nigerian Senate has no moral right whatsoever” to criticize Buhari, he said.

Nigerian investigations revealed that HSBC had laundered more than $100 million for Sani Abacha — a military dictator who died in 1998 — in Jersey, Paris, London and Geneva, Shehu said. A spokesman for HSBC declined to comment.

Nigeria’s allegations against the London-based lender come almost two months after it published a research note saying that a win for Buhari in February’s elections “raises the risk of limited economic progress and further fiscal deterioration, prolonging the stagnation of his first term.” The note was written by David Faulkner, a Johannesburg-based economist, on July 18, but was only widely publicized in Nigeria last week.

‘50 Other Nigerians’
“With the coming of President Buhari, it is not a secret that corruption, corrupt individuals, banks and other corporate entities that aided corrupt practices are under investigation for various offenses,” Shehu said in the statement. HSBC “is also suspected in the laundering of proceeds of corruption involving more than 50 other Nigerians.”
The Nigerian government is facing intense criticism of its economic management in the run up to the elections and several ruling-party lawmakers have defected to the opposition. Nigeria was battered by the 2014 slump in crude prices and its economy is still struggling.

The main opposition People’s Democratic Party said on Sept. 12 that HSBC’s research showed a Buhari victory “portends grave danger” for the country.

‘On Edge’
“With the incoming election everybody is on edge and any analysis that is used to sway negative public opinion will be squashed as quickly as possible,” said Michael Famoroti, an economist at Lagos-based Vetiva Capital Management Ltd. “It’s possible the government is right in its claim but it completely missed the point because the issue HSBC raised had nothing to do with criminal or non-criminal activity. What is seen from their comments is that they don’t have the answers to the criticisms raised by HSBC.”

Regulators have long accused the world’s biggest banks of helping manage the illicit fortune amassed by Abacha, who ruled Nigeria from 1993 until his death. In 2001, a U.K. financial watchdog said 15 lenders showed “significant control weaknesses” in handling $1.3 billion linked to him and his associates. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice froze more than $458 million in funds allegedly generated through corruption hidden in bank accounts — including at HSBC, Citigroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG — in what it described as the “largest kleptocracy forfeiture action” in its history.

HSBC has a representative office in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos, but doesn’t operate a full banking unit in the country, unlike rivals such as Citigroup and Standard Chartered Plc.


Paul Wallace , Emele Onu , and Donal Griffin
— With assistance by Elisha Bala-Gbogbo, and Stefania Spezzati

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Book Review : The Morning Sunset By Joy Chinwe Aguguo Duru

 

By Joy Chinwe Aguguo Duru
The Morning Sunset is a book written to sensitize our people over the issue of engaging in a perilous journey to Europe via Libya. It is a story written for everyone: the youths; kids; fathers and mothers. The continuing migration of people into Europe across the Mediterranean is unnecessary. People are not born to waste their future that way.
The Morning Sunset is simply passing a message to people in Africa. Those that have not been opportuned to visit western world think that it is a bed of roses. In fact a paradise . Where as it is not like that. Many chose to come in search of greener pastures. They believe that Europe is the only place they will have the opportunity to get a better life for themselves and that of their families.

My messages to Nigerians and Africans are that our people should not abandon any tangible thing they have or their education just to embark on this long and dangerous journey through road and desert because the life in Europe does not worth such risk . Also let some parents and relatives be aware especially those that are anxiously waiting for the day their beloved children will come back from Europe but they never knew that the bones of their children have been rotten in Sahara deserts and in the seas of foreign land.

 


Joy Chinwe Aguguo Duru is originally from Nigeria but lived in Italy for several years before moving to Leicester , UK.

Can’t get on ANSSID?
If you have been having challenges getting your Anambra State Social Service number, here is what to do:
• send an email and ANSSID login details to: info@airs.an.gov.ng for immediate assistance.
• Visit the ANSSID HELPDESK or call HELPLINES: 07066727750 or 07033822851

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