City Voice Newspaper - Lagos News, Nigeria News and world news Tue, 22 Oct 2019 11:41:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Carbon launches financial services platform for businesses Tue, 22 Oct 2019 11:41:21 +0000 Carbon, Nigeria’s foremost digital financial services company, has launched Carbon for Business, a digital financial services platform that provides startups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and FinTechs with the services and technology they need to build and scale their businesses.

With access to uncollateralized credit, secure online payments, reliable funds transfer and fast KYC (know your customer) compliance obligations, businesses can take advantage of Carbon’s infrastructure to achieve business objectives and strategic goals, boost their value offerings and get to market faster.

The platform will offer businesses the opportunity to access APIs and services such as:

Identity verification – CarbonIVS is an identity verification system that enables businesses perform KYC and anti-money laundering services on prospective staff or other parties. Carbon IVS is integrated with all major identity databases including passport, Bank Verification Number (BVN), driver’s license and voters registration.

Fund transfers and overdraft – The platform will also include Optimus, an affordable and reliable funds transfer platform that provides low cost transfers. For qualified businesses, Optimus also provide an overdraft facility that allows customers short-term funding needed to make critical payments during short-term cash shortages.

Online payments – Businesses will be able to accept online payments from Visa, Verve and Mastercard in over 40 currencies. All transactions are PCI DSS compliant, 3D Secure enabled, and processed through an SSL encrypted channel.

SME business loans – up to ₦20 million uncollateralized flexible repayment loans.

“As part of our goal of connecting businesses with the funds and services that will enable them to thrive and expand, we are aiming to provide robust infrastructure and a suite of services that will transform their processes. Carbon for Business will signal a new era of business growth and transformation, especially for businesses that have been overwhelmed by complexities and rigidity of mundane financial services technologies and traditional sources of financing“ said Chijioke Dozie, CEO of Carbon.

Since launching in 2016, Carbon has amassed more than 1 million users, initially providing consumers with access to credit, simple payments solutions, high-yield investment opportunities and easy-to-use tools for personal financial management. The company has disbursed more than $35.6 million in loans and in 2018 alone achieved revenues of $10.4 million. This expansion into business-focussed users represents the next step on the journey of becoming the most versatile digital finance platform, anywhere.

In today’s emerging markets, starting and running a business depends on a combination of having the right technology, payment infrastructure, legal obligation and access to affordable finance. Unfortunately, most SMEs do not have access to this fundamental framework for survival. According to the World Bank, in 2018, about 70 percent of businesses could not access finance from the banks. In Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania, the share of SME lending in the overall loan portfolios of banks varies between 5 to 20 percent with 45 percent of businesses in emerging markets lacking access to the right technology partners. These are some of the reasons why Carbon has decided to provide the Carbon for Business platform.

Carbon is inviting SMEs to take advantage of its infrastructure to access affordable finance in two ways: through the SME finance product and by offering overdrafts on the Optimus product. With agency banking and traditional e-payments, businesses regularly face challenges with liquidity, access to cash flow over weekends and long settlement cycles.
Carbon for Business, using Optimus, will give businesses quicker access to funds at a far lower rate than the banks while availing them the cash they need to meet business needs when they need it.

The Carbon for Business platform is also part of Carbon’s advocacy efforts in pushing the Nigerian banking and financial services industry towards adopting Open API standards, as signalled by their recent partnership with Open Banking Nigeria.

BAYELSA 2019: APC candidate, Lyon, promises rapid development for the state Tue, 22 Oct 2019 11:27:52 +0000 The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief David Lyon, has promised to work for the rapid economic development of Bayelsa State by reviving the gas turbine in Kolo Creek to ensure adequate power supply in the state within 12 months into office.

Speaking during the flag-off of the party’s campaign in Ogbia Local Government Council on Monday, Lyon explained that he is seeking office to right the wrongs of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government.

He said that his government would build and make good economic policies that will encourage investments in the state as well as provide jobs to the youths.

Lyon also promised to work assiduously to provide security for all Bayelsa people, having employed and empowered thousand of youths across the state to join hands with him to protect the nation’s oil assets for the good of the people as a private man.

 He said: “I am a man of a few words. I promise the people of Bayelsa, I will not fail them. Bayelsa money will be used for the good of all. I am coming to serve Bayelsans and not for them to serve me as it is the case today.

 “There is insecurity in Bayelsa at the moment, we will handle it adequately. I will work for the development of our state, there will adequate power supply in Bayelsa under my administration, our gas turbine will be revived, we will enjoy 24 hours power supply in our state”, the candidate pledged.

Dignitaries who attended the rally include: Deputy President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege; National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; Governors Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano) and Simon Lalong (Plateau).

Speaking at the rally, Oshiomhole assured Governor Seriake Dickson that the party’s governorship candidate will not witch-hunt him when the he wins the November 16 governorship election.

He said, “my appeal to my dear friend, the outgoing governor of Bayelsa State, Dickson, because I understand the withdrawal syndrome facing any governor close to the end of his tenure.

 “But I want to assure him on behalf of David Lyon that he is not coming to witch-hunt him. He is only coming to correct some of his limitations. Under Lyon’s watch, Bayelsa shall witness life more abundant for the youths, women and the elderly.

 “I want to appeal to the PDP, we are coming for a contest, and not to chase away the outgoing governor the way Dickson chased and fought with barrel of guns to change the State Assembly Speaker last month.

“Can you imagine the amount of bullets that were fired at Bayelsa State House of Assembly just to change the speaker? That is why I said to him, this election is about the power of the ballot, not the power of the bullets.

“APC is coming to make a difference in Bayelsa as a party of change, Lyon will not betray those who stand by him. He will carry the youths along, he understands the language of poverty, he understands the deprivation which this state and people of the South South went through, and that is why he decided to fight for justice.”

Oshiomhole later presented the party’s flag to APC Bayelsa State Governorship Candidate, Chief David Lyon.

In his remarks, Director General of the Bayelsa APC 2019 Governorship Campaign Council and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, reassured Bayelsans that the candidate of the APC would provide jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the state when elected into office.

He said in the first 100 days in office, Lyon would engage the restive and jobless youths to help secure the state just as he secured the nation’s wealth through pipeline surveillance contract over the years.

According to Sylva, “what we in the APC are bringing to you is development, empowerment and security. Today in Bayelsa State, insecurity is the order of the day. Killing, armed robbery and kidnapping is the new normal.

“The unfortunate thing is that when armed robbers enter your house, what they are after is your pot of soup and not money. Dickson has impoverished Bayelsans.  All they think of now is only how to get food to eat. That will not be the portion of Bayelsans anymore. The man we are bringing to you is a security, empowerment and development expert”.

Before the rally commenced, Sylva led the dignitaries to the secretariat of the Ogbia Brotherhood, the apex socio-cultural organisation of Ogbia people, for a meeting with the leadership and members of the group.  At the meeting, Oshiomhole submitted that the continuous attack on APC’s governorship candidate, Chief David Lyon, by members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) confirms the fact that his party fielded a stronger and better candidate for the November 16 election.

He said, “Lyon stands as an example to young people that when you serve your community, your state and stand on the side of peace to protect national assets, time will come when you will be given the mandate to preside over affairs of state.

“I think that is the story of Lyon. The way the PDP has reacted to his nomination shows that we have made the right choice. I told somebody that if you appoint an Inspector General of Police and you begin to receive congratulatory messages from criminals, realise that you have made the wrong appointment.

“But if you appoint an Inspector General of Police and you begin to receive condemnation from criminals that the man is a bad man, know that you have made the right choice. That is the case of the PDP with the candidate of the APC in Bayelsa State.”

Giving his blessings to the governorship candidate of the APC and his running mate, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, the Deputy Chairman of Ogbia Brotherhood, High Chief Alfred Singer, thanked the APC led Federal Government for appointing some sons of Ogbia Kingdom into office but frowned at the fact that Ogbia is still backward in terms of infrastructural development.

He said, “Ogbia kingdom is the first place oil was first discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria. This kingdom has helped to build cities across Nigeria. This kingdom has developed people and helped to build universities but as you can see that in terms of infrastructural development our kingdom has suffered unspeakable neglect. So please, when you get into office, don’t forget Ogbia people by bringing development to our people.”

Lai Mohammed insists Boko Haram is ‘technically defeated’ Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:46:00 +0000 By Rotimi Ijikanmi
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says he stands by what he said in 2015, that the Boko Haram terrorists have been technically defeated.

The minister stated this on Monday when he paid a working visit to the new corporate headquarters of “The Sun” Newspaper in Lagos.

Fielding questions from the editorial board of the newspaper led by the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, Mr Onuoha Ukeh the minister said Nigeria is currently facing global terrorism that has no boundary nor frontier.

“I stand by what I said that Boko Haram is technically defeated.

“What we are having today is global terrorism where you have the ISIS, ISWAP, Al-qaeda all working together.

“Terrorism is a global issue. Between 2009 and 2015 we were fighting Boko Haram, but today we are fighting global terrorism where the remnants of the Army in Syria are now joining hands with the ISWAP and others,” he said.

Mohammed said his position in 2015 that Boko Haram had been technically defeated was based on what he saw on ground when he led a team of local and international journalists to the epicentre of insurgency.

“I was on ground in Bama, Konduga and Maiduguri and I know what I saw before I made that claim.

“We are fighting global terrorism and that is why we are appealing to our foreign partners, especially the UN and our neighbours.

“By the time we get more platforms and the new helicopters that are being expected there will be tremendous improvement.”

The minister, who said he was at the newspaper’s headquarter as part of his continuous engagement with the media, enjoined “the Sun” to continue to support the government in fighting fake news and hate speech.

“Fake news and hate speech pose imminent threat to the survival of the nation’s existence.

“The purveyors of siamese twins of evil must be checkmated and government will continue to engage to end the menace.

”We expect you to remain in the vanguard of the efforts to tackle fake news and hate speech.

“We expect you to educate our people on the efforts being made, especially by the government, in this regard. This Administration has no intention of muzzling the media or stifling free speech.

“Our campaign is against fake news and hate speech. And we will not rest until our media space has been rid of fake news and hate speech,” he said.

The minister said that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has delivered on the three mantra of fighting corruption, fighting insurgency and improving on the economy.

He assured Nigerians that the government would continue to work towards delivering on the mandate and lift Nigerians from poverty.

Speaking on the reform in the broadcast industry, Mohammed reiterated that no amount of attacks, would stop the implementation of approved recommendations on reform of broadcasting code.

He, however, assured that in implementing the recommendations, the government would not tamper with the freedom of the press or stifle the rights of people to air their opinions.

Examining COWLSO’s Unlearn, Learn And Re-Learn Strategy For Women Empowerment Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:41:23 +0000 By Bukola Nwonah

It’s about that time of the year again when women in Lagos State converge under the auspices of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) for the annual National Women’s Conference.

For the past 19 years, COWLSO, which is a community-based gender organisation established principally to complement the effort of the Lagos State Government in bringing about exponential development and growth at the grassroots, has been consistent in hosting the conference each year.

This year edition has its unique features. One, it is the first outing of the new Chairman of COWLSO, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, who assumed the leadership of the Committee, following the swearing-in of her husband, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as the 15th Governor of Lagos State. It is a common knowledge that Lagos is a major commercial hub not just in Nigeria, but in Africa.

The theme of the conference: “Unlearn, Learn And Relearn: 21st Century Women’s T.H.E.M.E.S Perspectives/Approach”, was said to have been chosen after several brainstorming sessions on how to ensure that women in Lagos and indeed in the country key into the emerging opportunities being provided by the present administration in the State.

According to plans, the conference is projected to feature 3,000 participants, and as such one can come to terms with the fact that any programme designed to impact such huge number of participants, will eventually make positive impacts across the nooks and crannies of the State.

Speaking at the pre-conference press briefing at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, Dr. Sanwo-Olu said outstanding professionals had been specifically lined up to discuss the main topic and sub-themes of the conference, which is scheduled to hold between October 22 and 24, 2019 at the Eko Hotels Convention Centre, Victoria Island.

She said: “As it is the tradition of the Conference to strategically empower women to contribute positively to the development of the State and Nigeria at large, this year’s theme was carefully selected in line with the vision and aspiration of the present administration in Lagos State to bring about greater Lagos of our dreams.

“We have lined up very eminent Nigerians and outstanding professionals to help our women come to terms with how best they can key into the emerging opportunities being provided by the government of the day in Lagos State.”

Justifying the theme, the First Lady said several brainstorming sessions came to play before the members eventually settled for the theme.

She added: “A lot of brainstorming had gone among the COWLSO, especially NWC members and some of the things we did considered when we were trying to agree on the topics was to have a feeler and do a survey of what is happening in our system. We sent out questionnaires and asked questions orally and we found out that there was a knowledge gap; there’s the need for massive reorientation in our State, and in the nation as a whole.

“The theme of the event is to trying to re-orientate our people that we have learnt some things before that we need to unlearn those things and learn the right way of doing things. A simple example is, a patient goes to a hospital and while she’s waiting at the reception watching television and eating a snack, she litters the floor with paper of the snack. Someone comes and ask Madam why are you throwing this on the floor, and she responded I thought there is a cleaner being paid to clean the floor and so if I don’t throw it on the floor, how would she get paid? You can see that she has learnt something before she needs to unlearn.

“The same thing applies to traffic. A lot of people are impatient and once there is traffic, they start driving on lanes dedicated to BRT buses and then if every road user decides to pass the BRT corridor, there will be congestion and nobody will go anywhere. That is what some people have learnt and so there is a need to unlearn those things and everyone of us has to be the ambassadors so that we can learn good things, and it is a total overhauling of our values.

“So, I think that topic is apt when COWLSO decided to take that topic to unlearn some things that have been learnt; learn new things and keep on relearning,” she said.

While emphasising that learning is a continuous process, the First Lady said: “You see, a lot of people have entered the plane and no matter the class you are – first class, middle class, economy class, each time you enter the plane, they will tell you to please put on your seat belt; they will tell you the emergency exit, among other things. They will not say because you have entered the plane five times you don’t need the information and so it shows that learning is continuous even if you know it.”

Giving further details, Dr. Sanwo-Olu said the First Lady of Nigeria, Dr. Aisha Buhari would declare the Conference Open, alongside Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State, while his counterpart from Nasarawa State, Governor Abdullahi Sule would serve as Special Guest of Honour at the closing ceremony.

She said aside the main theme, other sub-themes include: “The 21st Century Woman – Build Not Born To Influence The Society; Entertainment And Tourism: Prism Of Possibilities – Tourism and Entertainment; The Total Woman; Entrepreneurship: Making Money And More Money – Agric Entrepreneurship, Financing and General Trading; Mould A Child And Build A Greater Generation; Healthy Woman – A Healthier Nation: Maternal & Child Mortality; Development And A Healthy City – Creating A Balance – Waste To Wealth, and Obey Traffic Laws,” among others.

With the array of interesting topics lined up for the 2019 conference, one can only commend COWLSO and look forward to interesting times ahead as participants positively put the experience to practice to engender a better society for all, particularly in Lagos State and in the nation at large.

*Nwonah is the Head of Public Affairs, Office of the First Lady of Lagos State

NAFEST 2019 starts in Benin, as Runsewe urges Nigerians to embrace unity Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:14:24 +0000 By Peterson Ibi/Benin

The Director-General of National Council of Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe on Monday affirmed that Nigerians have no reason not to live together.

Runsewe made the remark in Benin, Edo State, during the opening ceremony of the 2019 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST).

The festival has as its theme: “Our Royalty, Our Pride.”

He noted that with the display at the opening ceremony, “there is no reason for us to disagree, we will all live together as one nation.

“If you look at this festival today, it brought all tribe in the country together to celebrate culture in unity. This portend that Nigeria will be great again.”

On his part, the Chief host of the event, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, described the festival as a “veritable tool for uniting the country as exemplified by the participating States.”

He added; “With this Festival, Edo is celebrating culture today because after 40 years the festival started, it has come to the home of culture.”

The Governor who assured the participating States of a memorable festival, called on the States to ensure that the festival is accorded priority.

Chairman, House Committee on Arts and Culture, Mr. Ogbeide Ihama, commended Governor Obaseki for supporting the hosting of NAFEST in the States​ after 40 years of its existence.

Ihama assured that the National Assembly is determined and committed to supporting arts, culture and tourism in its bid to foist unity in the country.

Also speaking, the State Commissioner for Arts and Culture, Osemwingie Ero, noted that the festival has given the State the opportunity to showcase its rich cultural heritage.

He said the Governor has made culture the cardinal principle of his administration, hence the reactivation of the cultural heritage in the State.

Earlier, the 36 participating states staged a march past to the delight of the spectators.

Music maestro, Prof. Victor Uwaifo and TuFace Idibia also thrilled their fans to melodious tunes.

Also present were the Nigerian Army Women Corps and the Presidential Guard who displayed calisthenics skills and martial art.

Highlights of the event was the opening of a native calabash as a sign of traditional and cultural way of declaring the festival open.

We are yet to commence charges on USSD – MTN Mon, 21 Oct 2019 18:47:04 +0000 MTN Nigeria has distanced itself from reports it has commenced the implementation of charges on Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) voice or text message customers who make banking transactions on its network.

There were reports the telecommunications giant would today (Monday) begin to charge customers for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) voice or text message which allows them to carry out banking transactions via their mobile phones.

But the company said it has not begun the implementation.

Speaking with DAILY INDEPENDENT, Mr Funso Aina, Senior Manager, External Relations, MTN Nigeria, said the service provider had yet to commence the implementation of USSD charges.

“We have not commenced the implementation of charges on our customers for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD),” he said.

Since the announced plan by the telecoms operators in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and many stakeholders have been expressing reservations over the planned charges for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) voice or text message development.

Assets seizure: Court was misled into granting forfeiture order, Says Saraki Mon, 21 Oct 2019 18:29:09 +0000 Former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has reacted to an order granted by a Federal High Court in Lagos for a temporary forfeiture of his property on 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, following an ex-parte application by the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki stated that the Federal  High Court in Lagos must have been misled into granting that order as neither him nor his lawyers were aware of any application by the EFCC for any forfeiture order.

He said there is a subsisting court order issued by the Federal High Court, Abuja, in which the same property was a subject matter and where the EFCC and the Federal Ministry of Justice were parties.

The court in that case gave an order restraining the EFCC from taking any further action until the matter is determined.

“We are sure the FHC judge in Lagos was not aware of all these facts and has therefore been misled into giving the temporary forfeiture order.  The affected property, House Number 17 A and 17B, was specifically  listed in the case against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal in which the EFCC was part of the prosecution and the case went up to the Supreme Court where the apex court in its July 6, 2018 judgement ruled in his favour.

“The Supreme Court has ruled that the source of funds for the purchase of the property was not illicit as claimed by the prosecution. On pages 12, 13 and 26 of the judgement of the highest court, this particular property on 17A McDonald Street, Ikoyi, was specifically referred to and the court upheld the no case submission of Dr. Saraki and therefore ruled in his favour.

“We know that any action which tends to mislead the court amounts to misrepresentation and it is a good ground for us to get the Court to throw away the order it issued today. We are sure the order will be reversed.

“We therefore call on all the friends, associates and supporters of Dr. Saraki to remain calm because we know this action will not stand when the court gets to hear the side of the former Senate President”, Saraki stated.

FG pledges support for AFRIMA as Nigeria hosts 2019 edition Mon, 21 Oct 2019 18:22:26 +0000 The Federal Government has promised its full support for the successful hosting of the 2019 All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), as the country prepares to host the glamorous event in Lagos from 20-23 November 2019, with the theme: ”Feel Africa”.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the promise in a statement in Lagos on Sunday.

”When you look at the All Africa Music Awards, it’s one of the biggest awards for the music industry in Africa, and what government has done in the past is to provide the enabling environment for the awards to take place.

”We provided support services for AFRIMA, we gave them the backing they need and I think it’s on record that the AFRIMA editions that have been held in Nigeria have been among the most successful.

”This year again, we are ready to partner AFRIMA professionally, give them the maximum support such as effective media coverage and also help them in reaching out to other critical stakeholders,” the Minister said.

He said part of the reasons why Nigeria has successfully hosted the music awards is because the country has relaxed its visa regime, with the visa on arrival policy, thus making it easier for people to come in.

AFRIMA, which was first held in 2014, was established in collaboration with the African Union (AU) to reward and celebrate musical talents and creativity in Africa as well as to promote African Cultural Heritage.

Kogi chief judge swears in Onoja as Yahaya Bello’s new deputy Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:53:19 +0000 Edward Onoja, running mate of Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi, in the November 16 gubernatorial election, has been sworn in as the deputy governor of the state by the Chief Judge of the state.

The swearing-in ceremony held at the Kogi government house on Monday.

The ceremony followed his confirmation by the Kogi state house of assembly.

Bello had sent the name of Onoja, his former chief of staff, to the assembly following the controversial announcement of the removal of Simon Achuba, his former deputy.

The speaker of the state Assembly announced the impeachment of Achuba last Friday, even though a panel to probe the man returned a verdict of not guilty.

Wizkid, Quavo congratulate Davido, Chioma over birth of son Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:51:17 +0000 By Anita Eboigbe

Celebrities and fans alike have continued to congratulate musician, David Adeleke known as ‘Davido’ and his fiancée, Chioma Avril on the birth of their son.

News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that superstar, Wizkid and Migos singer, Quavo were among fans and celebrities who congratulated the new parents.

Davido and Chioma welcomed their son, David Adedeji Ifeanyi Adeleke Jr on Oct. 20, which was announced on social media by an excited Davido.

He wrote on Twitter @iam_davido, “Omoba ti de. David Adedeji Adeleke JrI. The prince is here. 20 – 10 – 2019 !!! Love you my strong wife!!! I love you!!!”

He went on to post that Wizkid congratulated him as the latter was performing at Starboybest in London.

Davido tweeted, “Congrats my brother @wizkidayo on your show … I Dey wait my Son since … as God bless you today him come bless me too !!! More to come Blood!!!! I see your Message. My guy!!”

Commenting on Davido’s birth post, Quavo wrote, “Congrats my boy.”

Rapper, Vector the Viper said, “Congratulations champ. May your kids grow in love and light.”

@Estanola wrote, “Congratulations Davido and Chef Chi, God bless your baby boy.”

@Chinyere wrote, “A big Congratulations to this beautiful and blessed couple on the birth of your son!!! @Chioma, well done girl. I love you nne.”

Israel Omoniyi said, “I’ve been sleeping on Davido’s page since 11pm. I’m even happier than David and Chioma right now. Congrats to the both of you. OBO Jr, welcome to the 30BG family!”

Davido is reported to have met Chioma, 24, at Babcock University, with Davido dedicating his 2018 song, ‘Assurance’ to Chioma.

In a recent interview, Davido revealed that their wedding would take place in 2020, adding that Chris Brown, US singer, has indicated interest to be on his groomsmen train.