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Resolve staff issues before Friday – Saraki, Dogara direct NASS Mgt

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President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, have directed the National Assembly Management Committee headed by the Clerk, Alhaji Sani Omolori, to resolve all issues raised by protesting members of staff and report back by Friday.
The duo gave the directive at a meeting attended by the National Assembly’s Management and members of staff under the umbrella of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), following another protest at the NASS complex.
In a statement issued by Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to Saraki, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the presiding officers of both chambers of the National Assembly stressed that it was important for the workers to be well motivated.

Saraki and Dogara directed that the demands of the staff be properly addressed in order to create a conducive atmosphere for the legislature to perform its duties.
The Senate President and Speaker noted that the demands of the workers are part of the responsibilities of the National Assembly’s Management and that the grievances of the workers should not be allowed to linger.
“The leadership of the National Assembly made it clear to the staff that the issues raised by them were previously unknown to the legislators and that even if they were known to the Senate President and the Speaker, the leadership could do little to address them because they fall under the purview of the NASS’s Management.
“They added that the constitution of the National Assembly Service Commission which the workers demanded will be made before Friday.
“The workers demanded for the implementation of the CONLESS system in the payment of their salaries and allowances, approval of new condition of service for the workers, among other issues.
“However, Dr. Saraki and Rt. Hon. Dogara, as well as their colleagues also reassured the workers that they will personally supervise how the management will eventually resolve the issues and ensure that the workers are not shortchanged”, Olaniyonu stated.


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Parliament

No retreat, no surrender, Bago vows to contest Reps speakership

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Aspirant to the office of speaker, House of Representatives, Mohammed Bago, has vowed to continue the pursuit of his aspiration notwithstanding the adoption of Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila as candidate of the ruling party.

This followed Tuesday’s meeting of All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers with President Mohammadu Buhari at the villa where the party’s decision was announced.

In a statement by the Mohammed Bago Campaign Organisation on Wednesday, the Niger-born representative said the adoption of Mr. Gbajabiamila is a “poorly choreographed political orchestra aimed at using the hallowed precincts of the Presidential Villa to anoint a candidate from the South west geo-political zone.”

The statement contended that President Buhari was not part of the decision, saying “as attested by some members-elect who attended the late night dinner, and collaborated by newspaper reports of the event, President Muhammadu Buhari was smart enough to see through the charade, leading to his open reprimand of the APC National Chairman for discussing unnecessary details that were unknown to him, saying that his understanding of how to proceed was that all zones would meet and discuss zoning.”

According to the statement signed by Mr. Victor Ogene, Buhari, reportedly chided Oshiomhole: “I do not expect you to come into the open and say this much, Mr. Chairman.’’

The Bago camp therefore said: “For us, therefore, there is no retreat, no surrender, in our demand for equity and justice in the zoning arrangement, and the ultimate desire of many members-elect to be allowed to choose their own leaders.

“Indeed, our quest for inclusivity has rather than been stifled only gained further traction, especially against the realization that the template which our National Chairman relied upon in arriving at this curious choice remains hazy.

“Consequently, a flurry of posers are immediately thrown up, to wit: In arriving at this divisive decision, was the National caucus of the APC consisting of President Buhari, his deputy, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, APC Governors, Board of Trustees (BOT) members and party stalwarts, including contenders for the office of Speaker and other leading members of the legislature from the party carried along?

“If this question is answered in the affirmative, it would, therefore, be interesting to let Nigerians know on what date such a parley took place, who moved the motion for zoning and micro-zoning, who seconded it, and who voted for and against such proposal?

“As a matter of fact, what better indication of lack of amity among National Working Committee (NWC) members of the party in arriving at this torrid decision, than the position of the Deputy National Publicity of the APC, Hon. Yekini Nabena on the day the contrived decision was announced.

“Nabena, a member of the NWC had clearly ruled out the North west and the South west in the sharing of elective offices in both Senate and House of Representatives.

“Addressing journalists in Abuja, Nabena said: ‘’The Deputy Senate President should be zoned to the South south while the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives should be zoned to the North central and South east in any order agreed by the party’s leadership.

‘’The South west already has a slot filled by the Vice President. In any case, the South west does not necessarily translate to Lagos or Ogun state. This is sentiment widely shared by our members from the zone’’, Nabena said.

“Warning that our “actions and inactions will have serious implications on party unity’’, the APC deputy national publicity secretary urged the party to adhere to the principle of federal character which is a constitutional requirement, in determining the leadership of the national assembly.

“Flowing from the above, it is our contention that our party is being goaded towards the same ignoble path which led to the 2015 fiasco, which the National Assembly leadership tussle turned out to be. Lawmakers cannot be coerced into being lawbreakers, as the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, states in section 14 (3) that “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the Federal Character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few state or from a few ethnic or sectional groups in that Government or any of its agencies”.

“We, therefore, condemn this obvious attempt to drag our party through the same tortuous path of 2015, all in a bid to sustain a legacy of imposition aimed at entrenching one man’s imperious dynasty.

“Until – and unless – the right thing is done, we reiterate our commitment to the pursuit of equity, justice and the independence of the legislature”.

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Parliament

Nigerian Senate passes re-drafted PIGB, Electoral Act, Other Bills

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In its determination to reform the nation’s political process, as well as the operations of the petroleum industry, the Nigerian Senate on wednesday, passed a re-drafted version of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Petroleum Industry Governance) Bill, 2019, and five other Bills to which President Muhammadu Buhari earlier declined assent.
Senate also passed the much-awaited Police Reform Bill, which is expected to radically change the operations and effectiveness of the Nigerian Police in the performance of its law enforcement duties, in addition to the National Health Insurance Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill.
Other redrafted Bills passed during wednesdsy’s plebary are: The National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Bill, 2019; the National Research and Innovation Council Bill, 2019; the Stamp Duties Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the National Agricultural Seed Council Bill, 2019; and the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
It should be noted, that following the President’s refusal to assent to the afore-listed Bills, the Senate set-up a 7-member technical committee headed by Senator David Umaru, chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Legal Matters to look into the Constitutional and legal implications of withholding of assent to the Bills by the President and to make appropriate recommendations on the way forward. The Committee reviewed 6 constitutional amendment Bills and 11 private member Bills.
In its 34-page report, the Committee recommended that the Senate should re-consider and pass again 11 Bills, including the five Constitutional Amendment Bills; it should override the President’s veto on a Constitutional Amendment Bill, and the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Amendment Bill, 2018; and that the Senate should entirely withdraw four other Bills.
At its unusually extended plenary, the Senate, voting on a Motion moved by the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, in which he noted that the technical committee worked on President Buhari’s observations and re-drafted the affected clauses, thereby addressing the rationale for withholding of the presidential assent.
The Senate, then unanimously, passed the seven re-drafted Bills at the Committee of the whole, Chaired by the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
NIGERIA POLICE REFORM
Also, in fulfilment of its promise to address the issues affecting the performance of the Nigeria Police in effectively serving the Nigerian public, the Senate considered and passed the Report of its Committee on Police Affairs and passed the Police Reform Bill.
Speaking on the passage of the Police Reform Bill, Senator Saraki stated that the Reform Bill would go a long way to show the responsiveness of the 8th Senate.
EXCERPT: SARAKI ON POLICE REFORM BILL 17-04-2019.
“This Bill will go a long way to show that we are a listening Parliament and a listening Senate. There is nothing better we can do in honour of those who have lost their lives along the way due to the fact that our laws at that time were not in line,” Saraki said.
The passed Bills, will now be sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence before it is re-transmitted to the President for his assent.
BUDGET BILL/ AUTOMATED CARS
Meanwhile, the Senate, received the report of its committee on Appropriations, on the 2019 Appropriations Bill but it rejected a Bill for an Act to phase out petrol vehicles in 2035 and introduce electric cars.
Similarly, it turned down a Bill for an Act to amend the 1999 Constitution to allow persons of African origin to acquire Nigerian citizenship for the purpose of re-integration and development.
The two bills were sponsored by Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, PDP-Bayelsa East, but unanimously rejected by his colleagues during plenary.

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Parliament

Speakership: Rep woos colleagues with tenure elongation

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Mr. John Dyegh (APC, Benue), has promised to work towards extending the tenure of lawmakers from 4 years to 6 years.
The lawmaker who today declared to contest for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives despite the fact that his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has already zoned the position to South-west and specifically Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila as its candidate for the plum job.

Mr. Dyegh who anchored his candidacy on path of Justice and fairness, joined other candidates from North central, such as Umar Bago (APC, Niger) and Ahmed Wase (APC, Plateau) in contention for the top post.
He released a 7 point agenda if elected.

Other things on his agenda aside the constitutional amendment bid to elongate the terms of lawmakers include:
To ensure enhance capacity or legislators and legislative support services through training and retraining to enable the 9th Assembly pass national priority law;
To deepen oversight processes of the National Assembly to ensure value for money and project performance by MDAs;
To ensure openness in financial operations of the National Assembly;
To promote legislative measures and laws that will promote and engender national unity;
To create effective collaboration with non governmental organisations (NGOs), Civil Society Groups and Development partners; and
To ensure independence of the National Assembly while encouraging harmonious interdependent working relationship with the executive arm.

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Parliament

9th Assembly leadership-President Buhari encourages APC legislators selected

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged members-elect of the House of Representatives, elected under the platform of the governing All Progressives Congress APC to stand firm in the battle for the 9th Assembly’s leadership.
He made the call at a dinner for the recently elected legislators, which held at the banquet hall of the State House on Tuesday night.
The President’s call is to ensure unity among the newly elected members of the National Assembly ahead of the election of their leaders.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the APC has maintained that its candidates must lead the National Assembly.
Speaking to Journalists after the dinner, the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, said that as the party with the majority, they must produce the leadership of both houses.
He said: “The NWC had a meeting with reps elect, three weeks ago and it was very revealing, their interventions is a clear confirmation that Nigerians did not make mistake by elected them. The deep knowledge of the constitution would confused many that they were not first timers but seasoned lawmakers. They all on their own speaker after speaker, across the zone, pledged to work together for PMB to leave him, landmark foundation for a new Nigeria. I am confident that this time around, they are very hungry Nigerians ready to deliver on the mandates at the campaigns.
“In life mistakes are permitted but it becomes a problem if the mistake is repeated twice. We are determined not to repeat the mistakes of 2015 in 2019, we have learnt our lesson. Out of 223 APC elected members, about 67 were re-elected, the rest are new members.
“In other climes, you don’t go into coalition when you are in the majority; you do so when you don’t have the numbers. We have the numbers, out of 306, Nigerians elected 223 APC members because they don’t want our President to face the trauma of 2015.
Most of those who decamped were rejected and even those who led it were uprooted. We cannot as a party which has a comfortable majority, entrust critical committees in the hands of the PDP or opposition. If Nigerians wanted them, they could have voted them. In the days of PDP, every committee were chaired by PDP members.”
Oshiomhole said the party has nominated Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for Senate President and Speaker.
On his part, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, told State House Correspondents that President Buhari called for unity among party members.
“90-95 percent of them are in unison, seem to agree on the position of the party. Unanimity ran through the meeting. We cannot speak for five per cent. The President urged them to maintain the unity referring to what transpired in 2015 if there is disunity in their ranks, then anything can happen,” Adesina said.

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Parliament

Acting Inspector General of Police commends NASS leadership

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The Acting Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu has hailed the leadership and members of the National Assembly on the passage of the Police Trust Fund Bill, yesterday, 9th March, 2019.
The assertion came in a statement signed by the Force Public Relation Officer Deputy Commissioner of Police DCP Frank Mbah.
The statement said Police Trust Fund Bill, when signed into law by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR will be pivotal to providing a legal framework for the management and control of the Special Intervention Fund for the training of personnel of the Force, procurement of operational equipment, infrastructures and maintenance of Police Stations across the Country.
The Acting Police chief notes that with the passage of the Bill, and hopefully, the eventual signing into law by the President, the Federal Government will be laying a solid foundation for the future of an effective and efficient structure for policing the Country.
He further observes that the passing of the Bill couldn’t have come at a better time than now when concerted efforts are being made at all levels to overcome issues of armed banditry, kidnapping and other heinous crimes across the Country.
He therefore thanks all stakeholders that helped in mobilizing supports for the passage of the Bill, especially, the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Human Rights Groups, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the Media, the Traditional Rulers Council of Nigeria among others.

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Parliament

All Kano Representative Members Endorses Gbajabiamila

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All the 24 House of Representatives members – elect from Kano state have endorsed the candidature of Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila as the speaker of the 9th National Assembly.
The decision was reached at a meeting with the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on Friday night, which lasted about two hours, at the Governor’s lodge, Aminu Kano House, Asokoro Abuja.
In an address on behalf of the members – elect, the Chief Whip, House of Representatives and member elect, Tudun Wada/Doguwa Federal constituency, Alhasan Ado Doguwa explained that “the decision is to respect the decision of the national working committee of the APC on the zoning of the position of the Speaker of the House, to the Southwest”.
“All the 24 of us discussed freely, as elected representatives of the people and agreed to endorse the candidature of Femi Gbajabiamila, for the Speakership, under the watch of our governor, Dr. Ganduje and the state chairman of our party”, he stressed.
Doguwa, who was flanked by his colleagues, added that the meeting also deliberated extensively on other issues relating to our party and some critical issues affecting the development of Kano state.
The motion to adopt Gbajabiamila was seconded by the Speaker, Kano state House of Assembly and member – elect for Rano/Kibiya/Bunkure Federal constituency, Kabiru Alhasan Rurum.
In his brief remarks, Gov. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje thanked the members elect for their contributions during the meeting and for aligning with the decision of the APC leadership, regarding the Speakership.

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Parliament

Reps reject ‘copy & paste’ budget of works & housing ministry

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The House of Representatives Committee on Regional Planning and Urban Development on Thursday rejected the 2019 budget proposal of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing brought by the Minister of State, Baba Mustapha Shehuri and the Permanent Secretary, Muhammad Bukar.

The committee said the proposal was riddled with lots of “copy and paste” items referring to repetitions of previous expenditures and ambiguous classifications in the recurrent budget.

The lawmakers who frowned at the lack of details of expenditure for the 2018 appropriation also demanded the inclusion of overhead column on the document with accurate accounts of releases and how they were spent before the 2019 proposal could be considered.

A question from a member of the committee, Mr. Ossai Nichola Ossai (PDP, Delta) regarding details of personnel spending as it relates to unit-by-unit allocations threw the ministry’s representatives off balance.

A demand by the committee for details of staff who traveled for a certain African Union event and how much was spent per head, could not be provided. The committee in similar move, called for details of another trip relating to a UN Habitat event which coincided with the General Assembly in 2018.

The Permanent Secretary, Mr. Bukar, while responding to questions told lawmakers that personnel cost is not being managed by the Ministry but the new Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). He therefore craved for the panel’s indulgence for time to enable him get the details before the end of Thursday.

On why the 2019 document was a ‘photocopy’ of 2018, a director in charge of Finance in the Urban and Regional Development Department struggled with words to respond.


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Parliament

House Suspend Plenary till 2nd April for 2019 Budget Defence by MDAs

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday 19th February 2019 suspended plenary till 2nd April 2019, to allow the committees organise budget defence sessions for ‎Federal Government’s ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had formally presented the 2019 budget proposal of N8.83 trillion at a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday 19, December 2018. Despite the House’s referral of the budget to its committee on Appropriations and all standing committees on Tuesday, 29th January 2019 thorough scrutiny on the bill had been ignored due to the February 23rd and March 9th 2019 General Elections.

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Parliament

2019 Budget passes second reading in the Senate

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The Nigerian Senate has passed for second reading, the 2019 appropriation bill of N8.82 trillion at the resumed plenary on Tuesday.
Senate also concluded debate on the general principles of the N8.83 trillion 2019 budget proposals and referred same to its committee on Appropriation.
It directed the Appropriation Committee to submit report on the budget Bill for final approval by Senate within two weeks.
The Senate also urged all ministries and government agencies to honour invitations of its various panels at the National Assembly to defend the proposed budget for their agencies.
Speaking on the general principles of the budget, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe noted that Nigeria was still paying more debt with a total debt service of 25.7 per cent and capital budget at 23 per cent.
He said, “This is a budget of impossibilities. Out of every one naira, 68 kobo is paid out. The Federal Government needs to go back to the drawing board.”
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa said, “We are consolidating poverty. We need to really look at this budget. Instead of reducing, we should ‘jack up’ the budget by 10 trillion. What can two trillion do when we have ongoing projects? We need to block leakages and ensure taxes are collected.”
Senator Ben Murray-Bruce said, “The budget is not different from what we have been presented in the last four years. Recurrent expenditure of 4 trillion is too high. There are government agencies set up that have no value. These agencies must be scrapped.”
Senator Matthew Urhoghide called for a faithful implementation of the budget, as well as revenue plans to meet capital expenditure.
He said, “We need to ensure the common wealth of Nigerians is taken seriously. If we must pass this budget, let us be born again in implementing this budget.”
Speaking at the end of deliberations, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki said, “There is still a lot of work that needs to be done concerning the issue of the actual capital expenditure.
“There is a need for us to continue to plug the leakages and independent revenue. The most important issue now is for us to see how we can complete the process,” he added.
The budget has been referred to the Committee on Appropriation which is expected to report back in two weeks.

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Parliament

Drama as APC Senators protest resolution to debate 2019 elections

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The Senate has resolved to debate the 2019 elections which took place on the 23rd of February and 9th of March 2019.

In a point of order raised by Senator Dino Melaye (PDP, Kogi) on Wednesday, he urged his colleagues not to close their eyes to the happenings around the two elections.

Melaye said: “I want to bring a motion on the next legislative day so that the militarisation of the process and abuse will not go undiscussed in this parliament for posterity sake, solutions given and the President can be equally advised and electoral act signed into law as we begin to prepare for future elections.”

His point of order was put to a voice vote and the “Nays” overshadowed the “Ayes” but Saraki ruled that the motion be taken in the next legislative day.

Dissatisfied, the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan queried Saraki’s ruling and asked that the decision be authenticated.

Lawan said: Mr. President, you ruled but we did not hear the ruling. What is your ruling.”

Saraki responded saying, “according to the rules, we need only one fifth to take the motion. From the voice vote, one fifth supported for it to be on the next legislative day.”

The Deputy Majority leader, Ibn Na’allah argued that the sponsor of the motion, Senator Melaye presented himself as senator-elect of Kogi west senatorial district and not as a serving senator, hence the motion should not be taken.

Saraki’s concluded the matter by saying “whenever the motion comes up for discussion, I am sure we will all be guided that it will be done in a manner within the confines of what is acceptable.”

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Aguleri , The Citadel Of Igbo Civilisation

 

Five years after Boko Haram kidnap, 112 Nigerian girls still missing

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Driving Job Creation for Africa’s Youth:  Mentor to Watch.

Ada Osakwe, CEO of Agrolay Ventures

Ada is an award-winning food entrepreneur and investor. She was also a lead in the launch of the Youth Employment in Agriculture Program (YEAP) that supported the rise of a new cadre of food-entrepreneurs in Nigeria through training, mentorship and financing. Ada is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow.

In 2016, she was Entrepreneur of the Year and featured on Choiseul 100 Africa list consecutively from 2016 to 2018. She received the ‘Achiever in Agriculture’ Award and was on the 2014 Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa list. She is also a mentor on the Future Global Leaders Fellowship.

People

Uzodinma Iweala : CEO of The Africa Center in New York.

Uzodinma is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and medical doctor. He is the CEO of The Africa Center in New York, promoting a new narrative about Africa and its diaspora through a focus on culture, policy and business. He is the author of three books: Beasts of No Nation (2005), a novel also adapted into a major motion picture; Our Kind of People (2012), a non-fiction account of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria; and Speak No Evil (2018), a novel about coming-of-age in Washington, D.C. His books have been mentioned by Time Magazine, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Times and Rolling Stone. ‘Uzodinma Iweala completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard University and he earned a medical degree at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.’

 

 

ENTER NIGERIA Winning Sunday with The Young Netpreneur for the Week :Ken Nwadiogbu @kennwadio

 

Ken Nwadiogbu (b. 1994) is a Nigerian born Multidisciplinary Artist, popularly known as KenArt, whose practice is primarily centered around hyper-realistic drawings and works on paper.
Nwadiogbu believes that the society speaks- This voice inspires his art, which evaluates, interrogates and challenges socio-political structures and issues within the society. In his reply to this society, he is able to inspire one or two people to also re-valuate their socio-political structures as we know it. The desire to change his society and the way people think is what drives him to create art every day. Gender equality, African cultures, and Black power are a few aspects of his current research and artistic practice.
Nwadiogbu was born in Lagos, Nigeria and holds a B.Sc in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. His art career started in the university, and with no formal training, has pushed him to become one of the most interesting young contemporary artists from Nigeria, creating works that question life- calling out some of the problems and becoming very grounded in human consciousness..
Nwadiogbu has been featured in lots of local and international group exhibitions and fairs, including the Insanity exhibition, sponsored by Frot Foundation, in Omenka Gallery, Nigeria; the TMC’s It’s Not Furniture, curated by Winifred Okpapi; the Artyrama’s group exhibition curated by Mr Jess Castellote; Art X Lagos, sponsored by Artyrama Gallery, in Lagos, Nigeria; the Moniker Art Fair, sponsored by Creative Debuts, in Brooklyn, NYC; the Anti-Trump show organised in UK; the Afriuture Exhibition by Ramati Art Africa in association with Commonwealth Africa Summit, in Toronto, Canada; amongst many others. He has been televised and publicized on different platforms like Guardian Life, Tush Magazine, WIRED Magazine, Candid Magazine, Bored Panda, BBC, CNN, and more as well as inspiring and encouraging young creatives through public speaking appearances like TEDx. He co-founded Artists Connect NG, the largest Nigerian artist gathering that took place at Lekki Leisure Lake, in Lagos, Nigeria.
To Nwadiogbu, Art is indeed timeless, it is his solace and hiding place, a safe haven he has found to be devoid of restrictions, boxes and boundaries.

 


 

 

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