City Voice Newspaper Just another WordPress site Tue, 19 Mar 2019 15:46:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 IREP honours Mrs Bolanle Austin-Peters, to showcase over over 50 films Tue, 19 Mar 2019 15:45:12 +0000 The final countdown to the ninth edition of the annual iREPRESENT International Documentary Film Festival holding Thursday March 21 to Sunday March 24 2019, at its traditional home, Freedom Park, by Broad Street, Lagos, and the Nigerian Film Corporation, Ikoyi, Lagos, began this weekend.

Though the festival is conceptually framed around the iREP generic theme of AFRICA IN SELF-CONVERSATION, the theme for this year is STORYLINES, and it will explore the various dynamics of storytelling with a view to tracing the importance of stories to human and social developments, especially as it concerns nation-building in Africa.

Over 50 films collected from 22 countries, and three continents – Africa, Europe and the Americas — are expected to feature in the festival.Also eight presentations and panel discussions on various dimensions of the theme have been designed to elucidate on the theme, while the various filmmakers in attendance will also interface with the audience on the content, form and techniques of realising their work in an educational exchange manner.

Some of the Nigerian filmmakers showcasing in iREP this year are:

  • Tam Fiofori, the septuagenarian photographer and filmmaker, who has been very consistent in past few years in the festival list: His film is titled, Ogbu-OjaEze, reflects in the career of an Igbo flutist.
  • Tunde Kelani, also another consistent contributors and supporters of the festival, is screening his latest work, Yoruba Beyond Borders, which he directed and produced with long-time sideman and collaborator, Bola Bello.
  • Afolabi Adesanya, filmmaker and former Director General of the Nigeria Film Corporation, NFC, is also presenting his bio-pic Gbenga Sonuga: Artist, Activist, Administrator, former director of Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, and now traditional ruler, Fadeseewa of Simawa Autonomous kingdom, near Sagamu.
  • Beverly Naya, the Nollywood actress, explores through identity the meaning of beauty in all the different shades of black.
  • James Amuta, showing Nightfall in Lagos, whichexplores the not-so-underground world of transactional sex in a country where prostitution is illegal.
  • Aderonke Adeola, showing Awani, which examines the evolution of the role of Nigerian women, starting from pre-colonial Nigeria to the present day.
  • Adeola Osunkojo, showing 76: Story Behind the Story on the experiences of the families of the military officers executed in the aftermath of the 1976 coup.
  • Tolulope Itegboje, showing Awon Boyz, documenting lives of street boys from three hoods telling stories about coming up, ambition and hope.
  • Ronke Macaulay, showing Green Passport at France 98 – The third in the Green Passport series by the filmmaker on experiences of Nigerians when they travel abroad.
  • Toyin Ibrahim Adekeye, showing Bigger Than Africa, which follows the journey of hundreds of Africans (slaves) from the point of no returns in West Africa to the final destinations In the slave.
  • Gbenga Salu, showing Little Heroes, on street kids and their soccer exploits

The prestigious iREP HONOURS this year will be given to Mrs. Bolanle Austin-Peters, the CEO of Terra Kulture, who has emerged a frontline promoter of arts and culture in the country.

According to the iREP directorate, Mrs. Austin-Peters is being honored this year, on occasion of her 50th birthday anniversary, because “essentially, she represents the spirit of progress and possibilities in our culture producing community; a major inspiration to many young people. More so because, at the inception of the festival, Mrs. Austin-Peters was the first supporter we had. She gave us the Terra Kulture facilities free of charge and even donated lunch to some of our guests. She repeated the feat on the second edition before the festival relocated to Freedom Park. That is an uncommon gesture of philanthropy, especially in our clime.  For this kindness of spirit, iREP Directorate has decided to honour the one fondly called “Mama Terra,” a true Amazon of Art Promotion in Nigeria.”

The honour will be presented to her at the Festival opening Cocktail event on Wednesday, March 20 at the amphitheatre of Freedom Park.


The iREPRESENT International Documentary Film Festival was initiated with the objective of promoting independent documentary filmmaking in Nigeria and on the continent of Africa. Based on the Conceptual framework — AFRICA IN SELF-CONVERSATION — iREP is designed to promote awareness about the power of documentary to deepen social and cultural education as well as encouraging participatory democracy in our societies. Though exploring the generic conceptual framework, the theme for every edition varies every year, and embraces issues pertaining to Africa’s social, political, cultural, spiritual and economic realities. It is conceptualized to also create a platform of awareness and expression for filmmakers who are creating socially relevant films to positively impact our world. The festival features hands-on training and skills development workshops facilitated by an array of the most experienced practitioners in the field of documentary film making across Africa.

Zenith Bank Plc announces profit before tax of N232 billion, to pay dividend to N2.80 per share Tue, 19 Mar 2019 15:26:16 +0000 Zenith Bank Plc has announced a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N232 billion for the 12 months ended December 31, 2018, representing an increase of 16.6 per cent over the N199 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2017.

The bank’s audited financial results for 2018 showed that profit after tax (PAT) witnessed an impressive growth of 11 per cent year-on-year to N193 billion from N174 billion.

Also, in demonstration of its commitment to its shareholders, the bank has proposed final dividend payout of N2.50 per share, bringing the total dividend to N2.80 per share, representing a yield of 11.2 per cent.

According to a statement by the bank yesterday, the pre-tax profit was achieved through the group’s optimisation of its cost of funds, cost-to-income ratio and cost of risk, ensuring that earnings per share strengthened by 11 per cent to ₦6.15.

“Despite the challenging macro-environment, the Group mitigated the knock-on effects through growth of its net interest income and operating income by 15 per cent and eight per cent respectively, as it was able to ensure improved cost efficiencies across the business. This focus on cost efficiencies is yielding tangible benefits as the Group recorded its lowest ever cost-to-income ratio at 49.3 per cent from 52.8 per cent in 2017.

“The bank’s balance sheet remains shockproof as loan to deposit ratio, liquidity ratio and capital adequacy ratio were 44.2 per cent, 72.0 per cent and 25.0 per cent respectively and all above the regulatory threshold. Our risk-centric approach also ensured that cost of risk reduced significantly by 79 per cent from 4.3 per cent in the prior year to 0.9 per cent in 2018.

“This was reflected through the drop-off in impairment charges by 81 per cent (₦80 billion) compared to 2017, re-affirming the Group’s enhanced asset quality. In the same breadth, coverage ratio increased by 34.2 per cent from 143.4 per cent to 192.4 per cent over the same period, reflecting a prudent disposition to credit risk management.

“Cost of funds also moved in the positive direction, declining by 41 per cent from 5.2 per cent in 2017 to 3.1 per cent for the year, supported by a 33 per cent decrease in interest expense (₦72 billion) over the same period, demonstrating a robust treasury and liquidity management.”

The bank noted that the group’s efforts to deepen its roots in the retail segment have started yielding benefits.
According to the bank, this has resulted in a remarkable increase in the volume of transactions across various electronic platforms as well as significant customer acquisitions.

“This growth in transactions on its digital channels continues to support its retail push as fees from e-products increased by 44 per cent over 2017, with retail deposit balances also growing by 25 per cent. Consistent with this superlative performance and in recognition of its track record of excellent performance, the bank was recently ranked as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in 2018 by The Banker Magazine.”

India hosts first-of-its-kind military drills with Nigeria, 16 other African nations Tue, 19 Mar 2019 15:19:39 +0000 Troops from 17 African nations are gathered in Pune, India, for 10 days of military drills with the Indian Army, aimed at boosting ties between the South Asian powerhouse and emerging economies in the resource-rich continent.

Dubbed the Africa-India field training exercise-2019 (AFINDEX-19), organisers say the drills will tap into India’s decades of experience on UN peacekeeping missions, with troops undergoing synchronized operational and tactical-level training, such as learning how to protect a convoy during a mission and without hurting civilians. Other exercises include learning how to properly deactivate landmines and other types of explosives.

Nations attending AFINDEX-19 include  Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal and South Africa .

Speaking at its opening ceremony on Monday, the commanding officer of the Indian Army’s Pune HQ, Major General Sanjeev Sharma, expressed his confidence in the operational success of the exercises.

He also spoke of the hope for “enhanced diplomatic and the cultural bonds” between India and the participating nations, and that troops make “new friends and comrades in arms.”

India’s push for deeper military ties in Africa follows similar moves by neighboring China to strengthen its military presence in the region.

In 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged $100 million in free military assistance to the African Union to help beef up its peacekeeping capabilities. While last summer, delegations from 50 African armies attended the first ever China-Africa Defense and Security Forum. The three-week symposium discussed roadmaps for defending China’s multi-billion dollar investments in African economies, and helping African nations improve their responses to crisis situations.

Taking into account the extent of Chinese investment and decades-old history of diplomatic relations and arms exports to the region, India’s response is currently focused on “soft skills” and is mostly “symbolic,” Iftikhar Lodhi, assistant professor at Nazarbayev University’s Graduate School of Public Policy told RT.

“As the success of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and other ventures into Africa grows, India along with other powers is bound to respond in various shapes and forms across these regions.”

In addition to creating a “nuisance value” for China with help from allies in the West, Lodhi said the exercises could have positive long term effects.

“Such military exercises and consequent networking along with old diplomatic contacts could be of some value for India in the long run,” he concluded.

Breaking: Senate passes N30,000 minimum wage bill Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:52:17 +0000 The Senate has passed the National Minimum Wage Bill, approving N30,000 minimum monthly wage for Federal and State workers.

Key steps to get your social media page certified Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:45:26 +0000 Kenya’s newspaper, the Standard has put together a handy guide about how one can get his/her account verified on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

It is however worthy noting that fulfilling the conditions does not offer any guarantee that one’s page will get that blue tick, which means verified, as the final decision belong to the social media platform.

To request a verified badge on Instagram, firstly, you need to have a Business Account, indicating that you’re a public figure, celebrity or brand.
You also need to make sure your profile is public and complete. This means you need to have a bio, profile photo and at least one post.

Instagram explained: “We look at a number of factors when evaluating Instagram accounts to determine if they’re in the public interest and meet our verification criteria.”
Once you’ve set up a Business Profile, you can request verification using the following steps:
1. Make sure you’re logged in to the account you’re requesting a verified badge for.
2. Go to your profile and tap the three horizontal lines in the top right corner of the screen
3. Tap Settings, then Account, then Request Verification
4. Enter your full name, and choose which Category you fit into (News/Media, Sports, Government/Politics, Music, Fashion, Entertainment, Blogger/Influence, Business/Brand/Organisation, or Other)
5. Attach a photo of your ID. This includes a driver’s license, passport or national ID card, or official business documents
6. Click Send
Instagram added: “Once we review your request, you’ll receive a notification letting you know if your account has been verified or not.”
If your request is denied, you can submit a new request after 30 days.

On Twitter, an account may be verified if Twitter decides it’s of public interest.
Twitter explained: “Typically this includes accounts maintained by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas.

Twitter’s verification process is currently on hold, and the platform isn’t accepting any new requests.

It remains unclear when the process will be back up and running

Finally, Facebook will add a blue tick to Pages or profiles that it deems of ‘public interest.’
Facebook explained: “We apply the blue verification badge to eligible brands, media organisations and public figures. Eligibility for the blue verification badge is based on a variety of factors, such as account completeness, policy compliance and public interest.”

To request a verification badge, your Page or profile must also have the following:
– A cover photo
– A profile photo
– A name that follows Facebook’s guidelines
– Content posted to the account
‘Follow’ enabled
If you’ve ticked all those off your list, you can apply for verification by filing out this form.

Like Instagram, Facebook also requires you to attach a photo of your ID.

NASS Election: Ex Obaseki’s Commissioner, five others file petition Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:40:38 +0000 By Peterson Ibi/Benin

A former Commissioner of Finance in Edo State and five other candidates in the February 23 National Assembly election have filed petitions at the State Election Petitions Tribunal.

The six candidates comprise of three each from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

John Inegbedion, a former Commissioner for Finance under Governor Godwin Obaseki, is among the three candidates of the APC.

The aggrieved APC candidates who filed petitions for the House of Representatives election are Ehiozuwa Agbonyinma and Idiake Patrick.

Barr. Omosede Igbinedion and Blessing Agbomhere of the PDP have also filled their petitions.

They petitioners who alleged to have polled majority of lawful votes cast, are asking the tribunal to declare them winner of their various elections.

Those who filed petition for the senatorial election are Engr. Abubakar Momoh (PDP), for Edo North and Mr. John Inegbedion (APC), for Edo Central.

Agbonyinma who filled petition against Jude Ise-Idehen of the PDP, (Ikpoba-Okha/Egor federal Constituency), urged the tribunal to declare him winner of the election.

He said he wants to reclaim his mandate “that was stolen by some dubious characters in INEC in collaboration with some PDP leaders and security men and women.”

According to him, “I have always said the APC won the Presidential election for Mr. President and I won the election for Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Constituency which I contested for,” he said.

In his own petition, Agbomhere alleged that nobody in Estako Constituency voted for the APC in the elections.

He said he scored the highest votes cast.

“There was massive corrupt practices and thump printing of ballot papers by leadership of the APC. Nobody in Estako voted for the APC.

“I am asking the tribunal to declare me winner of the election,” Agbomhere said.

On his part, Engr. Momoh who contested against incumbent Senator Francis Alimikhena, insisted that he won the election.

He said he scored over 80,000 votes which has been the required numbers to win election in Edo North since 1999.

“I have the required votes anybody has gotten since 1999. I am asking the tribunal to expunge all the votes the APC allocated to themselves.

“Once you have votes up to 80,000 in Edo North, you have won. Whatever’s they have is a product of manipulation,” Momoh said.

Inegbedion who is challenging the election of Senator Clifford Ordia of the PDP in Edo Central, said he would prove malpractices and thump printing of ballot papers during the election.

Alake to unveil new 28ft Lisabi statue, charges parents on girl-child education Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:36:58 +0000 By Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta
The Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo on Monday urged parents and guardians to ensure that their wards are educated, insisting that girl child education is important.
The Alake, who lamented the low level of education among the girls, stressed that there was urgent need for parents to reverse the trend.
He spoke at his Ake Place during a press conference held to kick-start the 2019 Lisabi  festival.
Alake emphasised that the committee have addressed girl child education before but were forced to address the issue based on the increase in out of school girls.
His words: “Education is very paramount for our girls, we must encourage girl child education. The population of the girls are more than the boys so we must ensure they are educated.”
Alake stressed that girls must also be encouraged to take up science courses in order to increase numbers of scientists in the country.
The Egba Monarch described street hawking of girls as child abuse, urging those in concern to address the ugly trend.
Alake said that Lisabi was not just about dancing and merry but an avenue to discuss how egbaland would develop.
“We don’t just dance and sing during the lisabi festival, we address issues that will take our people to the next level”, he said
He said there is nothing stopping parents naming their child Lisabi, saying Lisabi was a hero for the Egba people
He stressed, “If our children no longer have Oriiki is our fault (parents) because when you use them they remain alive.”
The Alake also advised the Egba people to imbibe the culture of the land by embracing the Adire fabric, eat the local Ofada rice and many other things.
Oba Gbadebo disclosed that this year’s festival would witness seminar on girl child education, local wrestling competition among others.
He also disclosed that as part of activities lined up for the festival, a 28 feet Lisabi Statue would be unveiled at Adatan roundabout area of Abeokuta.
On pre- governorship election process, Alake revealed that teh Egba Traditional council was neutral, saying “a good father does not show preference to one child “
The chairman committee of the festival, Chief Raji Rasheed earlier on his address said there is no amount of money spent on children education that is wasteful, urging the parents to take their wards education seriously.
The theme for the festival is “Girl-Child Education: A tool for Positive Change in Egbaland”.
The grand finale of the festival comes up on Saturday, March 30th with Governor Ibikunle Amosun as the Special Guest of honour.
Edo APC suspends Gen. Arhiavbere for alleged anti party activities Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:29:06 +0000 By Peterson Ibi/Benin

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State has suspended Gen. Charles Arhiavbere (rtd), over alleged anti party activities.

The party announced his suspension a press statement signed by Felix Ehigiegba and Edward Oviawe, Chairman and Secretary of Oredo Ward 1 respectively and 20 others, and addressed to the party hierarchy.

Arhiavbere was a former PDP governorship candidate who contested against Adams Oshiomhole of APC in 2012 and a governorship aspirant on the platform of APC in 2016.

According to the party, the retired general worked against the reelection of President  Muhammadu Buhari and other candidates of the party in the just concluded presidential and national assembly elections.

The statement said in part; “We wish to bring to the notice of the party hierarchy anti-party acts/actions carried out by one of the leaders of Oredo ward one APC- General Charles Airhiavbere  during the last general elections held on the 23 February, 2019 (Presidential and National Assembly).

“Sir, it will interest you to note that on the 3rd of March, an enlarged APC leadership meeting was held, in that meeting, one of the leaders from ward one, Hon. Samson Abu openly revealed how Gen. Airhiavbere  was involved in anti-party activities against the APC.

“Though Gen. Airhiavbere was unavoidably absent in that meeting. Based on series of complaints from different quarters abut Gen. Charles Airhiavbere’s actions of late towards the party, an investigative panel was set up to find out the true picture.

“The panel having sat and carefully investigated the allegations, came up with these findings and recommendations:

“General Charles Airhiavbere  on the day of election deliberately withheld tags and other party tools meant for agents and APC faithful thereby hindering their work on the field.

“That Gen. Charles Airhiavbere  openly canvassed for votes for the opposition PDP and thereby worked against our candidates- The President and our National Assemblies candidates.

“That Gen. Charles Airhiavbere  openly told our party agents and loyalists that they should make sure APC did not win.

The statement added that based on Airhiavbere’s “unpardonable actions against the APC and coupled with hard evidence against him,” the ward members passed a vote of no confidence on him and he is suspended indefinitely from the party.

Responding to inquiry from our correspondent on phone, Arhiavbere described his alleged suspension as a gang-up to discourage him from contesting the next governorship election in the State.

Airhiavbere said there has never been a time he worked against the interest of the party stressing that the allegations are the handiwork of his political enemies.

He noted that Governor Godwin Obaseki also lost his ward during the presidential and national assembly elections, hence, he couldn’t have been suspended for not winning his ward.

He said: “Am not aware of that, I don’t know what could have led to that. There are laid down procedure in APC constitution. If that has not been followed, then there must be a gang up or coup to discourage those they see as threat.

“Definitely, it has to do with the 2019 governorship election in the State. That must be a sinister movement against those perceived to be a threat. It is a case of let us take down the heavyweights, let us take them down now. That is politics, but that is not democracy. But, if we are practicing democracy, let us practice it right.

“There are laid down procedures. [Learning about my suspension] is not even supposed to be in the press, it is supposed to be from the ward. Nobody has invited me, nobody has discussed anything with me or that I failed to show up.

When asked if he truly campaigned for the opposition, Arhiavbere asked; “Where’s the evidence? I spent my money to host people in my house, all the youths that came to vote. I am the only person who has an active campaign office, right behind the voting unit at Oredo. That’s the rallying point.

“It is a case of calling the dog a bad name to hang it. I didn’t contest, so, why should I be singled out. I was not funded to lead any campaign, neither did I hold back any campaign money. There must be a strategic calumny to discourage me from contesting, that is where is coming from.”

Ogun APC warns banks against last minute loans to Amosun’s govt Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:20:34 +0000 By Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta
The Ogun State Chapter of All Progressives Congress ( APC ) on Monday  warned banks and other financial institutions not to yield to threats and pressures from the out – going Governor Ibikunle Amosun led administration to obtain last-minute loans, overdrafts and other financial instruments.
The out-going government only has less than two months to the end of the tenure.
According to a statement issued and signed in Abeokuta on Monday by its publicity secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye, the party warned that any institution that grants such requests “does so at its own risk”.
The statement reads: “It has come to our notice that the outgoing governor has been exerting pressures on banks and financial institutions to grant frivolous loans, overdrafts and other instruments immediately Prince Dapo Abiodun was declared Governor-Elect.”
“We are equally aware that files and other sensitive governments’ documents are being moved out of government offices on the order of the outgoing Governor, His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.”
“It is therefore important to let it be known to the concerned public officers that it is part of their duties to protect public properties, including files, documents and information at their disposal.
“As anything contrary to this will be running foul of the laws and their oath of office. The allegiance of the civil servants is to Ogun State and not to any individual, no matter who.
“As for the banks, we want to state categorically that the incoming administration believes so much in the rule of law and due process. Therefore, the administration will not honour any obligation that did not follow due process or any loans that did not receive the prior approval of the State House of Assembly.
“According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, Ogun State’s Internally Generated Revenue has increased by 590 per cent in eight years totaling N74, 835, 979, 000.51 (seventy four billion, eight hundred and thirty five million, nine hundred seventy nine thousand naira and fifty one kobo).
“Why the outgoing administration still wants “injury-time” loans despite those already incurred, beats one’s imagination and leaves much to be desired. The incoming administration will not honour such shady loans.”
Court voids participation of Ogboru, Omo Agege in 2019 election Tue, 19 Mar 2019 09:55:07 +0000 By Edeki Igafe

A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba on Monday voided the participation of Chief Great Ogboru as the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate in the 2019 governorship election in Delta.

The court presided over by Justice Toyin Adegoke also sacked the Mr Jones Erue-led executive of the party in the state, thereby worsening the leadership crises that has rocked the party in Delta since last year.

The court’s decision followed the case filed by the Chief Cyril Ogodo-led faction of the party, urging the court to recognise it as the authentic APC executive.

The Ogodo-led faction had also urged the court to sack the Erue-led executive which produced Chief Great Ogboru and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as the party’s governorship and Senatorial candidates respectively.

The judgment also affected the election of a member of the House of Representatives, Mr Francis Waiva and the election of three members of the state House of Assembly, having emerged from the primaries conducted by the Erue-led state executives.

Also affected are the nomination of the immediate past governor of the state and senatorial candidate for Delta South, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta north senatorial candidate, Doris Uboh among others.

The court similarly upheld the full template of the Ogodo faction’s candidates, including Prof. Pat Utomi, Olorogun Otega Emerhor, Olorogun Ima Niboro as the party’s authentic candidates in the just concluded elections.

The Ogodo faction fielded Emerhor for the Delta Central Senatorial District election and Niboro for the Ughelli North/South/Udu Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives.

In his swift reaction, counsel to the defendants, Dr. Okubor Nwachukwu, said the judgment would be tested at the Court of Appeal, expressing confidence that it would be upturned at the appellate court.

On his part, counsel to the plaintiffs, Roland Ekpe said the judgment did not fall short of their expectations, noting that by implication, the nomination of candidates who flew the flag of the party in the 2019 general elections is null and void having emerged from the primaries conducted by the Erue-led executive.