Ministers, top military brass pay last respect as former CNS laid to rest



  Some members of the Federal Executive Council,  top military brass and other distinguished Nigerians  on Thursday bid farewell to a former Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Patrick Koshoni.


They did it as the  late Koshoni was  laid to rest at the Ebony Vaults after a requiem Mass held at the Holy Cross Cathedral,Lagos.


Among the dignitaries are: Mr Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, the First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs Ibironke Sanwoolu, and Sen. Olorunibe Mamora who represented the Minister of Health.


Others are former Chiefs of Naval Staff, the representatives of the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshall Alao Lawals, and the representative of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Maj.-Gen. Olubunmi Irefin.


The late Koshoni was born on April 17, 1943, and  died on Jan. 25, 2020.


NAN also reports that the  casket bearing the remains of the late CNS  was adorned with the national flag and his cap as a  naval officer flanked his casket in the tradition of the military.


The requiem mass at the Holy Cross Catholic Cathedral  started at 10a.m. with the entrance hymn ‘Help, Lord, The Souls’, after which the funeral rite, a scenario the priest goes in procession with other ministers carrying the cross, candles .


The officiating priests were Rev. Fr. Marcellinus Teko (Administrator) and Rev.Fr Raymond Emedo (Associate priest).

In the condolences register, Mr.  Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SSG) , said that the late CNS would be missed for his moral forthrightness, selfless service to his family and fatherland.


Mrs Nuratu Batagarawa, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence,said that the late Koshoni was a colossus in the Nigerian Navy which he loved with passion.


She said  that the late CNS lived a fulfilled life in which he served humanity with finest intellect.


The condolence message from the office of the Chief of Defence Staff read that the late CNS would be greatly missed by the Nigerian Armed Forces for his exemplary leadership and tremendous contributions to the Navy and the  nation.


Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment,  said that  the late Koshoni played a significant role in the development of maritime labour laws.


“He played a significant role in the development of maritime labour laws, an act buoyed by his earlier experience as the Chief of Naval personnel.”


The current CNS, Vice Adm. Ibok Ete-Ibas,said that the late Koshoni’s death was a great loss, not to his family  alone but the Nigerian Navy and the nation in general.


“He was a brave, professional, loyal and a patriotic citizen,” he said.


After  the mass, the remains  of the late Koshoni in a casket was then taking  to the Ebony Vaults in Ikoyi, where quarter guards also performed the final salutations with a slow march.


NAN reports that top military personnel carried  the remains of Koshoni to the Ebony Vaults  where it was buried.


NAN also reports that as a sign of final and last respect, officers and none officers removed their caps , all saluted  the body of the deceased.


The grand firing exercise was also conducted thrice after his casket had been lowered into the tomb.


The CNS and Cdr Robert Oparaji, the Director, Chaplain Service, Nigeria Navy  led others  including family members of the deceased and Course 28 to perform the dust-to-dust rites on Koshonis casket after it had been lowered into  the grave.


The late Koshoni  was the  Minister of Health from December 1983 to August 1985, he was also the Minister of Employment, Labour and Productivity from 1985 to 1986.


He also  served as the CNS from October 1986 to January 1990.

Edited By: Peter Dada


Runsewe urges youths to uphold cultural values



Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, the Director-General, National Council for Art and Culture, on Tuesday called on Nigerian youths to uphold cultural values to reduce social vices.

Runsewe made the call in Abuja during a cultural roundtable on social values with the theme: “Morality, Culture and the Nigerian Youths’’.

He said that the programme was aimed at reawakening the consciousness of Nigerian youths on those cultural and social values that had gone into extinction.

Runsewe described social values as admirable attitudes such as hope, sense of duty, acceptable standards of right and wrong, hard work, accountability and other humane qualities.

He said that these values were acquired through cultural traditions and transmitted from one generation to another.

Runsewe said that these cultural values guaranteed peace, orderliness and harmonious society, however, expressed worry that these values had been truncated by present generation.

“The high rate of immorality and moral decadence posed a palpable threat to the peace, social cohesion, mutual trust and respect for which our society is build.

“We have the patriotic duty of probing deeper into these challenges that so brazenly threaten our peaceful co-existence and begin to fashion out modalities to solve them,” he said.

The director noted that the forum would provide a veritable platform to collectively direct the reproductive efforts toward using cultural norms and values in solving the current national challenges such as insecurity, poverty and moral decadence.

The Chairperson of the occasion, Mrs Hajo Sani, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Women Affairs and Administration, said that the social vices had eaten deep into the society, especially among our youths.

Sani said that the society had become bad as “we try to overlook the cultural heritage that binds us.’’

“Culture is the people’s way of life and we have to cherish and judiciously guide our cultural values, transmit same to young people to ensure sound moral in them.

“Women are the agent of socialisation and they should inculcate the moral upbringing to their children,” she said.

Sani, therefore, urged the director to ensure that the initiative was taken to the grassroots, schools, churches and mosques to sensitise them on cultural values.

The Managing Director, African Independent Television, Mrs Tosin Dokpesi, described morality and cultural norms as the principles of good behaviour, acceptable manner and conduct “which are opposite of what we see today’’.

Dokpesi said that this was a time when national life was at risk, when citizens pursue wealth without knowledge, without character, pleasure without conscience, commerce without morality and polity without principles.

“Today some Nigerians have cultivated the culture of immorality and we see where we are today.

”In the past, it was wrong to see a young person wear tattoos without sending ill signal to the society but today it is common without anyone frowning at it,” she said.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/ Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN
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Mixed reactions trail CBN‘s MPR cut



ical experts on Tuesday expressed mixed reactions to the 100 basis points slash in the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The financial experts spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on the outcome of the two-day meeting.

NAN reports that MPC, at the end of its two-day meeting, slashed monetary policy rate by 100 basis points to 11.5 per cent from 12.5 per cent.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, said the committee retained the cash reserve ratio at 27.5 per cent due to inflationary pressures driven by structural policies.

Emefiele said MPR reduction would put pressure on the deposit money banks to lower cost of credit.

Uche Uwaleke, Professor of Capital Market, told NAN that he expected status quo to be maintained against the backdrop of rising inflation and pressure in the foreign market.

“By lowering the MPR by 100 basis points, the real rate of return has been dragged further into the negative territory, which is likely to affect capital inflows adversely.

“In reducing the MPR, the MPC must have been emboldened by the recent marginal accretion to reserves as well as the approaching harvest season which is expected to rein-in food inflation.

“But the reality is that with foreign investors exiting the country following COVID-19, except crude oil price recovers substantially, I see further pressure in the foreign exchange market,” Uwaleke said.

He said that the gap between the AFEX rate and the parallel market had begun to widen due to increasing demand on the back of resumption in international flights.

Uwaleke said that inflation rate would worsen due to  cost-push factors such as increase in Value Added Tax as well as hike in electricity tariffs and pump price of fuel.

“From experience, a reduction in MPR has little or no impact on economic growth due to poor transmission mechanism.

“Deposit Money Banks hardly reciprocate this gesture through a commensurate reduction in interest rate due to several other costs borne by financial  institutions arising from infrastructure deficit, especially power and insecurity.

“So, empirical studies in Nigeria have shown that a cut in MPR hardly translates to a reduction in lending rates.

“I recognise that a number of Central Banks have cut rates in response to the pandemic.  But most of them have done so because inflation rate was within the target range.

“In the case of Nigeria where inflation rate of 13.2 per cent is well above the CBN’s upper band of  nine per cent, cutting the MPR in a season of rising inflation and foreign exchange market pressure may not be a wise decision.

“The CBN has been supporting economic growth in the last few years using more of unconventional measures in line with its developmental function,” he said.

Uwaleke, also President, Capital Market Academics of Nigeria, said that MPC should have advised CBN to strengthen and scale up its interventions in the various sectors to stimulate the economy instead of rate cut.

Analysts at Cordros Research said that lower rates were intended to compel banks to extend more credit to the real sector.

They noted that banks’ concerns would still depend on asset quality and systemic risk.

“Though lower rates are intended to compel banks to extend more credit to the real sector, we note that banks’ concerns will still lie around asset quality and systemic risk.

“Consequently, we do not expect any significant growth in domestic credit or aggregate demand, especially given the historical ineffectiveness of the MPR in stimulating output and also the negative impact of the pandemic on household income.

“We also note that the CBN did not address the issue of the exchange rate and foreign exchange illiquidity, which in our view, are major hindrances to any meaningful economic recovery,” they said.

On market impact, they said that the fixed income market would likely witness a downward adjustment in yields as a consequence, making the equities market even more attractive and worth a second look.

However, Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., commended the apex bank for the interest rate cut.

Omordion said that it would encourage banks to lend to the real sector, adding that the economy would bounce back if well implemented.

He said that many retail and institutional investors would increase their participation in the equities market due to anticipated low yield in the fixed income securities due to the rate cut.


Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle
Source: NAN
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Minister urges fertilizer dealers to work in line with Fertilizer Act



Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has called on fertilizer dealers to do their business in line with the provisions of the National Fertilizer Quality Control (NFQC) Act and the Fertilizer Regulations.

Nanono made the call on Tuesday in Abuja during a three – day workshop for fertilizer dealers on the operationalization of the Act and the Regulations.

The NFQC Act was enacted to control and regulate the manufacture, production, blending, importation and sales as well as distribution of fertilizer in Nigeria.

The Minister assured operators of the business that the Ministry would provide all necessary support and assistance needed to carry on their legitimate business unhindered.

He said that productivity for national food security “could only be achieved through the provision of quality fertilizer and other key farm inputs”.

Nanono said the regulations provided a step -by -step process, procedures and implementation guidelines to be followed for effective enforcement of the Fertilizer Act.

He said the Act stipulated that fertilizer operators would be expected to obtain certificate of registration or sales permit upon payment of some prescribed charges before being allowed to operate any fertilizer business in the country.

Speaking, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, represented by Mr Okigbe Sunday, said the fertilizer law was for the interest of farmers and other stakeholders.

Monguno noted that agriculture played an important role in food security saying that the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) would ensure the security of the product to farmers.

Monguno said that ONSA frowned at the issue of diversion of fertilizer to unathorised persons or places.

“Regulation of the environment is very critical for the product, to protect and safeguard the interest of farmers,” he said.

Monguno said the Federal Government had made good attempts at making the fertilizer industry more private sector driven through various programmes aimed at improving fertilzer supply.

Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George, in his presentation of the Fertilizer Act and the Draft Regulations said that proper environment was very important to regulate the fertilizer product.

Akinseye-George, enumerated some prohibited activities such as operating with an expired permit or certificate, as well as the use of destructive ingredients or harmful properties.

He said there were stiff penalties with minimum of five years imprisonment without an option of fine for violators of the Act.

Edited By: Razak Owolabi.
Source: NAN
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NAICOM urges state govts to domesticate compulsory life insurance, others for citizens



The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has appealed to state governments to domesticate compulsory group life insurance and other insurances in their states.

Mr Sunday Thomas, the Commissioner for Insurance of NAICOM, made the appeal on Tuesday when he visited Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.

The commissioner in a statement in Abuja, also appealed to state governments to create a structure for the enforcement of the compulsory insurances.

Thomas said the structure which would be created by the government would be supported by the commission.

He listed some of the relevant mandatory insurance to include group life insurance for all employees of both public and private sectors and insurance for all buildings under construction more than two floors – builders’ liability.

Others are all public buildings including schools, offices, hotels, hospitals, markets (occupiers’ liability), professional indemnity for all medical practitioners and third party motor vehicle insurance.

“Over the years, the commission has embarked on series of programmes aimed at a nationwide massive public enlightenment with respect to compliance with the laws on compulsory insurances.

“In consequence of the losses, the victims are prone to sufferings which in many cases may lead to total impoverishment.

“The objectives of protecting third parties and relieving the government of the avoidable burden of compensation from the meagre wallet of the government led to the enactment of various laws on compulsory insurance products.

“It is on the strength of the above that the commission is seeking collaboration with the state government in the enforcement of the above mentioned compulsory insurances in the state.

“As the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, there is no better place to start the campaign than Ekiti State.’’

In his response, Fayemi advised the insurance sector to be flexible in creating new products that would align more to the country’s environment.

He said the state was taking insurance seriously but could still do more, while assuring the commission that the state would work with it.

“We may need to invite you to meet with the 36 state governors to apprise them of your initiatives.

“We have taken note of the benefits inherent in these compulsory insurances and we are always desirous to collaborate,’’ Fayemi said.

Edited By: Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN
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