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Governor AbdulRazaq And Triumph Over Social Media Urchins By Bashir Adigun

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One former Military Head of State once doffed his hat for a senior of his who was also former President of Nigeria over his uncommon ingenuity at managing criticism from the press.

Reflecting on the role of the press in democracy over 300 years ago, a one-time President of America, Thomas Jefferson (1787) concludes:
“The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right ; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter ”
The two instances above are even better in climes and circumstances under conventional media which are guided by excellence in professionalism, laws, ethics, etiquette, best practices and patriotism.

Social Media Urchins

Unlike the dream of the founding fathers of Democracy and the Nigeria project, the media space today appear over dominated by what one may call social media urchins.
The media urchins are Tom, Dick and Harry taking over the social media space.
They are bereft of knowledge, Media laws, ethics and patriotism.
They are very unruly, indecent in diction, shamelessly violent and disorderly in communication.
One example that readily comes to mind are the opposition in Kwara State.
There is no length Kwara Opposition will not travel to discredit the Good works of ever performing Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, all in the desperate bid of the opposition to return to Power .
One such social media urchin is Abdulyekeen Mohd Bashir, a faceless fellow who claimed that the Governors were not committed to the negotiations of a new minimum wage and that Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq was absent from the negotiations.
It is our position that it is either Abdulyekeen is physically blind or blinded by his hatred for the personality and outstanding performance of our exemplary Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in the last five years.
Let the blinded and mischievous Abdulyekeen be informed that Governor AbdulRazaq, the NGF Chairman is not a member of the tripartite committee on the new minimum wage. Rather , the NGF is represented by six governors, one from each of the geopolitical zones. The Governors representing each geo-political zone at the negotiating table are Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State, Governor Umar Bago of Niger State, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State and Governor Dikko Umar Radda of Katsina State. They have been contributing brilliantly to the meeting since the beginning of the talks on the new minimum wage last year. It was in demonstration of his practical commitment to the resolution to the wage negotiation and a harmonious Government- Labour relations that Governor AbdulRazaq, who is the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum was only admitted into the meeting as an observer.
Comrade Isa Aremu, a former Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress also attended the meeting as an observer
In fact, at the conclusion of the tripartite committee meeting, when the agreement document was passed around for signatures, there was no space for the NGF Chairman to sign because he was not a member of the tripartite committee.
For the information of AbdulYekeen, Comrrade Joe Ajaero, the NLC president in his speech commended the NGF Chairman for attending the meeting and his commitment to the resolution of the wage dispute.
It is therefore warped and ridiculous of Abdulyekeen to think the NGF would be absent at such an important meeting that would affects the economy of all states and the Negotiation Committee would get to the stage it is.
We also like to inform the blinded fellow that Governor AbdulRazaq did not only attend the Committee’s meeting but has successfully balanced his duties as the best Kwara State Governor ever in the history of the State and the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum to the admiration of every indigene of Kwara State and Nigeria in general.
We also discovered that Abdulyekeen is either ignorant of the relationship between the Government and Labour in Kwara State.
At the risk of an obvious emphasis, Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq is today on record as the most Labour – friendly Governor in the history of Kwara State and one of the best three in Nigeria.
Unlike the tragic days of 16 years rule of PDP in Kwara , no civil servant or worker missed getting his or her salary on 25th of each month for the past 5 years of Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq’s leadership .
Same is the joy of all pensioners in the State getting their gratuity and pension every month.
In addition, all outstanding salaries owed civil servants in Kwara State , both at the State and at the local government levels , amounting to close to 16 billion Naira have been paid by Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq

All promotions arrears of workers at all levels have been paid.
There has not been any delay in the promotion of all civil servants.
In practical demonstration of Governor AbdulRazaq’s commitment to excellent government / Labour relationship, he inaugurated a standing committee under the Chairmanship of his Chief of Staff, Prince Mahe AbdulKadir ; a seasoned technocrat and one time Permanent Secretary to continuously engage with union leaders in the State in order to sustain mutual understanding , cordiality and cooperation between the government and the Labour leaders on all issues relating to workers in the State .
Abdulyekeen, the ghost writer should do his findings.
He should also stop distorting the facts about his pay masters in the opposition who left civil servants in the State unpaid for years before leaving office and left a mess of pension arrears and promotions for the present Government.

Unlike his idol who he eulogized in his write up, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has made the State stand out with huge investment in education, health, Agriculture, Road and public infrastructure, Empowerment of the poor, youths inclusiveness and gender balance in government among others.

Rather than distractions by the like of AbdulYekeen , majority of Kwara’s patriots remain grateful to Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq for his success at rescuing the State from the precipice of collapse left by the displaced Saraki’s dynasty and Kwara youths , women , elders and all stakeholders are currently celebrating Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq for endless list of his transformational projects such as innovation hub , visual arts studios, Eyenkorin Industrial park , Kiama Shea butter factory , ongoing efforts at resuscitating Bacita Sugar factory , establishment of Garment factory , Smart City initiative and other signature projects aimed at attracting investors and transforming Kwara State to a digital economy with unlimited job opportunities and wealth creation to address the monster of unemployment confronting youths all over Nigeria .

We urge Abdulyekeen to visit the State, if truly he is outside Kwara as he claims, to know that Governor AbdulRazaq is on ground and he will see first-hand, his Good works for the people of Kwara State. He should stop misleading the public about the important role Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq played at the wage negotiation.

Adigun is the Special Adviser Media to the Kwara State Governor

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Opinion

Fidelity Bank: Here’s the perfect opportunity to grab your slice

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By Iheanyi Nwachukwu

On Thursday June 20, Nigeria’s 6th largest bank, Fidelity Bank Plc will open its public offer and Rights Issue.

According to an article on the Businessday website and authored by Iheanyi Nwachukwu, the bank is raising a total of up to N127.100billion by way of a Rights Issue to existing shareholders and a Public Offer (the Combined Offer).

Under the Rights Issue, 3.2 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each will be offered in the ratio of 1 new ordinary share for every 10 ordinary shares held as of January 5, 2024, at N9.25 per share.

For the Public Offer, 10 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each will be offered to the general investing public at N9.75 per share.

The acceptance and application lists for the Rights Issue and Public Offer which will open on Thursday, June 20 will close on Monday July 29, 2024.

The Combined Offer is a part of the bank’s strategy to increase its share capital base in compliance with the revised minimum capital requirements for Nigerian commercial banks introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on March 28, 2024.

Stanbic IBTC Capital is the Lead Issuing House to the Combined Offer, while the Joint Issuing Houses include Iron Global Markets Limited, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Afrinvest Capital Limited, FSL Securities Limited, Futureview Financial Services Limited, Iroko Capital Market Advisory Limited, Kairos Capital Limited and Planet Capital Limited.

As part of the capital raising process, Fidelity Bank will this same Thursday June 20 at the

Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) hold a Facts Behind the Offer presentation.

Overall, the bank expects that the capital raised would support its efforts to drive sustained growth and diversification of its earnings base.

The bank’s shareholders had approved the Rights Issue and Public Offer at the Extra-Ordinary General Meeting held on Friday August 11, 2023.

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc said at the Combined Offer signing ceremony that the proceeds will be applied towards investment in IT infrastructure, business and regional expansion, and investment in product distribution channels.

Oladele Sotubo, Chief Executive Office, Stanbic IBTC Capital who commended Fidelity Bank’s management team for their commitment towards executing the Combined Offer also lauded their efforts for being at the forefront of achieving the CBN’s revised minimum capital requirements for Nigerian commercial banks.

Sotubo expressed confidence that the deal would encourage other corporates to tap into the equity capital markets to raise funding to meet their strategic business needs.

Fidelity Banks share price, which closed May 31, 2019 at N1.68 per share, rose successively to N10.20 per share by the end of May 2024.

The ASI had, during the period, rose from its opening index of 31,069.37 points to close weekend at 99,300.38 points. The NGX Banking Index rose from 361.57 points to 797.37 points.

The NGX 30 Index, which opened the period at 1,286.68 points, closed the period at 3,676.44 points. The NGX Main Board Index appreciated from 1,267.54 points to close weekend at 4,634.31 points.

David Adonri, Managing Director, HighCap Securities Limited said the price of any stock in the market is a correct reflection of the market value for the stock.

Aruna Kebira, Managing Director, Globalview Capital Limited said that the market price of a stock represents the disposition of the investing public to the stock at a given period, noting that there should be consideration for both the market value and the book value or fundamentals of a stock.

“It could be summarised that the market price of a stock is premised on the psychology of the market, the markets mood as well as market sentiments,” Kebira said.

Sola Oni, Chief Executive Officer, Sofunix Investment and Communications said the stock market shows both the current and future prospects of shares.

“Share price reflects the current value of a company but also reveals the future prospects”, Oni said, noting that investment analysts traditionally combine market price and book values to determine the possible outlook of a stock.

For many independent investment research reports, Fidelity Bank was assigned BUY ticker, a recommendation to investors to consider the potential attractive returns of the bank.

The research reports were based on the historical and current operational performances of the bank as well as the clear-sighted implementation of the bank’s growth plan. The reports also considered the quality of board and management and the general human capital and resources of the bank.

For instance, the investment advisory reports included those of Afrinvest Group, FSDH Capital and CardinalStone among others.

Analysts were unanimous that Fidelity Banks share price could double in the period ahead given professional assessment of top traditional performance parameters including the company’s operational reports, investors preference and projections.

Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged customer commercial bank with over 8.3 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.

Just recently, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) disbursed $40-million Intra-African Investment Facility to Fidelity Bank Nigeria Plc to support the bank’s acquisition and recapitalisation of Union Bank UK as part of its international expansion programme. Provided in two tranches of $20 million each, the first tranche of the facility enabled Fidelity to part-refinance the acquisition of 100 percent equity stake in Union Bank UK, while the second tranche was used to support its recapitalisation via the injection of additional equity into the acquired bank, as approved by the United Kingdom’s regulator.

With this acquisition, Fidelity Bank is able to birth a new pan-African financial institution capable of providing correspondent banking and offshore banking services to banks in Africa and servicing the banking needs of Africans in the diaspora.

The average annual return of 101.43 per cent underlines that Fidelity Bank provides substantial return for investors, even where such investors had borrowed money at the ruling interest rate and the invested fund was adjusted for impact of inflation rate.

Investors in Fidelity Bank Plc have earned more than 507 percent in capital gains over the past five years, ranking above all other major return benchmarks at the Nigerian stock market and the entire banking sector.

Trading reports at the Nigerian stock market for the five-year period between May 31, 2019 and May 31, 2024 showed that Fidelity Bank outperformed all key indices at the stock market. Fidelity Banks share price rose by 507.14 percent over the period, representing average annual capital gain of 101.43 percent.

These returns underscore Fidelity Banks immense value as a stock for all times, helping investors to hedge against inflation while preserving significant long-term value.

With 507 percent capital gain in five years and average annual gain of more than 100 percent, the return analysis implies that investment in Fidelity Bank is more attractive than other class of assets, including fixed-income securities such as government and corporate bonds; real estate investment and mutual funds among others.

The high divisible nature of shares investment and high free float of Fidelity Bank, which makes the bank’s shares easily available, underline it as a most attractive investment option for all cadres of investors- small, medium and high networth; retail and institutional investors.

Comparative analysis showed that Fidelity Bank outperformed all other major market indices with the banks average annual return for the period twice the average return by the overall market and almost four times of average return in the banking sector.

Nigeria’s inflation rate peaked at a high of 33.69 per cent in April 2024 while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) recently increased the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), otherwise known as benchmark interest rate, to 26.25 per cent.

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Opinion

Bukola Saraki and his thugs’ perennial disrespect for the Emir of Ilorin

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By Farook Kamaldeen

When last year, the former senate president, Bukola Saraki, and his strategically positioned thugs turned Ilorin’s central Eid into a ground for a campaign of vilification and subsequently halted the Emir from delivering his annual speech, I thought he would withdraw those sponsored cheerers in this year’s Eid, given the backlash that followed the apparent disrespect. But no, he watched them disturb and disrupt the longstanding tradition and revel in the Emir’s almost fruitless struggle to give his speech.

Given the positions the former Senate President has held within and outside the State, one would expect him to accord properly traditional rulers deserved respect and know when and where to play politics. But the ex-governor of Kwara State seems to be living in a fool’s paradise where he is made to believe he can do anything and get away with it. If not so, Saraki wouldn’t turn the Ilorin central Eid into a place where he would serially disrespect the exalted throne of the Emir of Ilorin.

What the heir of the banished Saraki dynasty and his thugs have repeatedly done for Alhaji (Dr.) Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, CFR, they can’t try it with the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty Oba Ewuare II, and the late Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi III. The duo have a history of giving Saraki’s ilk their size: Reproach. But because the Emir has chosen to be a father to all, Mr. Bukola Saraki thinks he can continue to disrespect him as he did to other traditional rulers in the state when he was in the saddle.

Or what could have made Saraki organised and watch some uncouth elements in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to prevent the Emir from delivering his annual speech if not for politics? He had the power to prevent the sacrilege but didn’t because the nonpartisan Emir refused to join him in his struggle to reclaim the State from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. Some observers have also said he mobilised those thugs to show Abdulrazaq that he has more political influence than him in the state.

Isn’t that a campaign after an election, as my people will call it? You wanted to prove that you have more political influence than a man whose party defeated you and other candidates your steamless party presented in the 2019 and 2023 elections? Let’s assume Saraki has more political influence than Abdulrazaq in the state, which cannot be proven. Is the central Ilorin Eid the best place to prove such? As a Muslim, Saraki can do better and take his politics somewhere else.

It’s high time the Emirate and other concerned authorities called Saraki to order. This madness must stop before it snowballs into something else. I fear that in subsequent years, some genuine and well-meaning sons and daughters of Ilorin might not have the patience to watch the former Senate President and his blind followers disrespect the Emir at the central Eid ground as they have obviously made it a habit. To avoid this impending crisis, the elders in the state must act now.

And for Saraki’s followers, particularly the youths who are being used to make a mess of our tradition. Don’t let your overly likeness for him and the peanut you receive from him to act unreasonably and outlandishly scuttle your future. Do Not Die In Their War is an instructive book by a human rights lawyer, Dele Farotimi. No politician is worth acting unreasonably or dying for. Think! Think!! Think!!!

Kamaldeen, a public affairs analyst, writes from Ilorin.

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Opinion

Impact, blackmail or noise-making: ENetSuD must make a choice

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Rafiu Ajakaye

There are three types of conversations: ‘what is this really about?’ conversation; ‘how we feel?’ conversation; and ‘who are we?’ conversation.

While the last two are not useless as they serve different purposes, anyone interested in impactful talks around governance should only focus on the ‘what’s this really about’ conversation.

Enetsud has become overwhelmed by some social media praise-singing that I’m afraid it has now lost focus. All it does now are ‘who we are’ and ‘how we feel’ conversations. Its engagements are becoming puerile! It is feeling good with social media dragging with no impacts with resultant waning respect among serious minded people. Forget the back-patting here and there. The reality is different.

You ask yourself: why is a civic group that wants to make impacts or influence public policy engaged in the use of foul language or social media dragging? To what end? Words are too expensive to be wasted on unproductive conversation, which is what its engagements are turning out to be. Sad.

In its craze for clouts, in place of impacts, Enetsud is becoming uncouth, disrespectful, and political in language. That calls to question its sincerity and apolitical stance. I read the statements issued by the PDP and ENETSUD, and I struggled to distinguish their languages. It is fine and legitimate for a civic group to state its points without getting petty and overtly theatrical. But baseless name-calling, as Dr Abdullateef Alagbonsi and Lanrey Osho⁩ are now doing? Tah!

There is a limit to sanctimonious attitude, which is becoming its trademark.

I don’t think any civic group should enjoy such the reputation it is giving itself. The group, without knowing it, is already having perception crises within important circles. Whoever governs Kwara in the future will be careful with them. And my fear about the future of the group remains. Time will tell.

It is one thing to come across as wanting a partnership for progress or making sure that govts do not derail, which is fine and necessary; it is another to want to be seen as a band of all-correct saints and champions with the silver bullets to whatever issues it raises. It is a case of an afi fila p’erin….Of course, the ‘road to hellfire is paved with good intentions’.

May God guide them and all of us. No one is perfect after all.

Ajakaye is the chief press secretary to Kwara Governor

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