PETER OBI LAMENTS EXIT OF MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES FROM NIGERIA I am compelled to address the alarming exodus of multinational companies from Nigeria, which has cost our nation a staggering N95 trillion in the past five years. According to The New Telegraph, in the last year alone, over ten multinational giants such as GlaxoSmithKline, Equinor, Sanofi-Aventis, Bolt Food, Procter & Gamble, Jumia Food, PZ Cussons, and Kimberly-Clark, Diageo and others, have exited Nigeria, citing eerily consistent reasons. According to The Punch, “Multinational firms exit Nigeria over harsh business climate.” The Guardian reports, “Insecurity, high energy costs force companies to leave Nigeria.” The Nation states, “Poor business environment, inconsistent policies drive companies out of Nigeria.” These companies have highlighted the same problems across the board. It is clear these issues are not coincidental but symptomatic of a larger governance problem. Why are we not facing and solving these problems head-on? The responsibility lies with our leadership, those we put in charge to urgently address these challenges. Tackling these issues requires creating a business-friendly environment that fosters investment, innovation, and growth. This includes prioritizing security, stabilizing our policies, and reducing energy costs. We must also cultivate a culture of transparency, accountability, and good governance. We can build an economy that benefits all Nigerians, not just a privileged few. Let us unite to transform Nigeria into a nation conducive to business, attractive to investment, safe and prosperous for all citizens. Together, we can make Nigeria a beacon of hope and progress in Africa and the world. A new business friendly Nigeria is possible. -POPeter Gregory Obi


NLC REJECTS DECENTRALIZATION OF MINIMUM WAGE NEGOTIATIONS Secretary of NLC in Oyo State, Adebayo Aribatise, has said that decentralising minimum wage negotiations would put workers in some states at a disadvantage. Aribatise in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Ibadan said that some politicians had, recently, called for decentralised minimum wage negotiations. One of them, Dr Kayode Fayemi, had stressed the need for allowing states to conduct wage negotiations with their labour unions, separate from that of the Federal Government. Fayemi, a former Governor of Ekiti, said that the position of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, of which he was once the chairman, was that states should be allowed to have negotiations with their labour unions, as ‘fingers are not equal’. Explaining the broader implications of a centralised minimum wage, the former governor noted that only a small percentage of the population benefits directly from minimum wage negotiations. However, Aribatise frowned at decentralising minimum wage negotiations, saying that it was not ideal for the country. He noted that some states in the country had not yet fully implemented the old ₦30,000 minimum wage despite the efforts put in place by NLC at the national and state levels. Besides, the labour leader said that some governors would abuse the privilege if they were allowed to negotiate minimum wage with their states’ workforce. “The fact remains that the law binds states to pay national minimum wage. It is expected that the federal government will continue to set the minimum wage. If not, some governors will continue to do as they like.“Some governors will bastardise the agreement if we allow it and junior workers will continue to earn nothing worthwhile,” he said.


CHINA TO INCREASE AGRIC IMPORT FROM NIGERIA The Chinese government has promised to increase agricultural product imports from Nigeria going forward. This was disclosed in a joint statement between Wang Yi, China’s foreign affairs Minister and his Nigerian counterpart, Yusuf Tuggar, at the first plenary meeting of the China-Nigeria Intergovernmental Committee held in Beijing. This is after Nigeria exported N572.58 billion worth of agricultural products to the Asian market including China, according to data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The two sides seized the moment to review the positive achievements in the development of China-Nigeria relations over the past 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations. Strengthening Cooperation According to the joint statement published on China’s foreign affairs website on Saturday, the two countries agreed to strengthen cooperation in infrastructure, electricity, telecommunications, finance, agriculture, industry, mining, free trade zones and other fields. The Chinese side assured of improving agriculture imports from Nigeria among other things. “China is willing to further increase imports of high-quality agricultural products from Nigeria. Nigeria is willing to strengthen its partnership with China in mining and solid mineral development and is willing to cooperate with Chinese companies to build factories locally to meet local consumption and export needs. “The two sides are willing to create an open, transparent, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for cooperation between enterprises of the two countries, support the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core, oppose trade protectionism, and promote the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment.” the joint statement partly reads. Furthermore, China said supported Nigeria in improving its capacity building in military security technology, equipment and intelligence to more effectively respond to traditional and non-traditional security challenges at home and abroad, in the region and internationally, and in maintaining national peace and stability. What the Nigerian government is saying In his X page on Saturday, Tuggar confirmed the deliberations in the meeting with the Chinese government. He stated that their discussions reviewed over 50 years of robust Nigeria-China relations, emphasizing mutual support in international fora like the UN, and exploring new avenues of cooperation in infrastructure, agriculture, and digital economies. “Both sides agreed to enhance partnership across various sectors and create a business-friendly environment. They also reaffirmed commitments to good governance, regional stability, and economic development, including a currency swap agreement to facilitate trade,” Tuggar tweeted. What you should know China is well grounded in commercial relations with Nigeria over the years. In the first quarter of 2024, China ranked highest among the top trading partners on the import side, followed by India, the United States of America, Belgium, and The Netherlands. Analysis by trading partners reveals that imports originated mainly from China and were valued at N2,930.10 billion, representing 23.18% of total imports “The data showed that most of the agricultural products were exported to Asia, valued at N572.58 billion, this was followed by exports to Europe with N366.11 billion,” the NBS for Q1, 2024 showed. The NBS added that further analysis showed that ‘Sesamum seeds’ worth N83.29 billion and N58.04 billion were exported to China and Japan in the period under review.


LP INSISTS ON PETER OBI AS 2027 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE Labour Party (LP) Directorate on Mobilisation and Integration has denied any plan to dump Peter Obi as the party’s candidate ahead of the 2027 presidential election. The directorate was reacting to a report, which hinted that they had reconciled with the Lamidi Apapa-led faction of the party and agreed to field another candidate in 2027. According to the report, camps of the incumbent National Chairman, Julius Abure, and Apapa faction laying claim to the mantle of leadership have agreed to sheathe their swords and work together. Spokesman of the Apapa faction, Abayomi Arabambi, also hinted that there was nothing like Obi-Datti presidential campaign at the party anymore, saying it had been dissolved and everybody “reverted to former governorship and presidential candidate”. But in a statement signed by the Director General of the Directorate, Marcel Ngogbehei; Deputy Director of Media and Communications, Aju Elumelu and the Deputy Director, Strategic Engagement, Rufai Al-Saddiq, yesterday, the directorate acknowledged efforts to reconcile aggrieved groups in the party, but no agreement ahead of the 2027 election with the groups. LP, through a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, announced the creation of a directorate to see to the affairs of the Obidient Movement and encourage their participation in the party and the governance in Nigeria. The statement reads, “The leadership and members of our great party recognises the importance of this great admonition based on our African culture of ensuring peaceful coexistent among brothers and acknowledging a bigger target – liberating Nigeria from the shackles of greedy politicians and building a nation that protects the interest of its citizens. “The party has decided to follow a peaceful approach to resolving the internal misunderstanding. This effort within LP and its successes has elicited different reactions. Also, we have seen an attempt by the opposition to make a false spin for their selfish interest, misinforming the general public to cause more crises in our party.” It added that the party leadership recognised the need for unity and cohesion within the party as a requirement for internal party stability and for improving Obi’s winning chances in 2027.“But to set the records straight, Peter Obi remains our presidential candidate for 2027 as ratified and all the party leadership is behind him and committed to his message of a new Nigeria.”


POLICE TAKE CHARGE OF KANO EMIR’S PALACE, SACK LOCAL HUNTERS The Police have taken charge of the security of Kano Emir’s main palace previously guarded by local hunters after Lamido Sanusi was reinstated. These hunters, called ‘Yan Tauri’, had come from various parts of the state to secure the palace following rumours that federal authorities intended to move Aminu Ado-Bayero amid the ongoing emirship dispute. Ado-Bayero, who was recently removed from his position by the state government, is now under the protection of federal security agents at the Nasarawa mini palace. According to Premium Times, security agents took control of the main emir’s palace, Gidan Rumfa, on Sunday evening, where the hunters had been engaged in activities like playing card games. A security source confirmed that the hunters had been sacked. “You can see for yourself that the hunters are no longer here,” a police officer at the palace noted. Residents said that the hunters left the palace between Saturday and Sunday morning after a court ruling on Thursday declared Sanusi’s reappointment invalid. Some residents mentioned that the hunters left their machetes behind to avoid identification after being ordered to leave the palace or face the security agents’ consequences. “Some of them left behind their machetes to conceal their identity after they were asked to vacate the palace or face the wrath of the security agents”, one of the residents said. The court decision nullified Sanusi’s reappointment and directed the state government to stop implementing the Kano Emirate Council (Repeal) Law, 2024.Judge Abdullahi Liman ruled the reappointment void due to the government’s failure to comply with a previous court order prohibiting further action on the new emirate council law.


WHY WE CAN’T GO BACK TO FARMING – NIGERIANS REPLIES TINUBU Nigerians have expressed resistance to the presidency’s suggestion that they should return to farming as a solution to economic hardship and hunger. Recall that The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, during a meeting with a group of online editors, urged Nigerians to embrace subsistence farming to combat the rising cost of food. In response, Nigerians cited numerous reasons for their reluctance, including the high level of insecurity in rural areas, particularly threats from armed herdsmen, which make farming dangerous. Additionally, Nigerians pointed out that the cost of living, deepened by the removal of fuel subsidies, has driven up prices of goods and services, making it difficult for people to afford the initial investment required for farming. An Instagram user @dellinpc wrote, “ Go farming without security in the land.” Another user, @ridwandaud2 reacted, “when you can provide security. Do you know how many people left farming as a result of government failure due to insecurity….?” Lamenting the high cost of agricultural tools, @ sulaimanansar72 wrote, “ With fertilizer at 40k pesticides, 8k. Shame on this government.” @adema opined, “Nigerians really want to go back to farming but they are scared of the smallmighty keelers.” “And get mustered by the bandits. Secure Nigeria, then farmers will return to their land”, @enofele wrote. Still reacting on Instagram, @liquid_auyo said, “……how do you expect people to with the bandits and BH everywhere?.” Stating insecurity as a reason farming can’t be possible, a Facebook user, Abubakar Sadiq Bala said “When insecurity is ravaging everywhere and farmers can not farm anymore.” Another Facebook user, Muraina Akeem Olatunji also wrote, “For notorious herdsmen to graze on or to be kidnapped on the farm ?!” Users on X (formerly Twitter) echoed these concerns, highlighting insecurity as the main issue. They urged the Federal Government to provide soft loans for farming and improve security to protect farmers. @StephenOkpo tweeted, “Our bushes are not secured to begin with, no incentive provided for any farmers, is that how to command people to go into farming? Nawao” Our bushes are not secured to begin with, no incentive provided for any farmers, is that how to command people to go into farming? Nawao — Odukpani son (@StephenOkpo) June 23, 2024 @Mustapha75687718 wrote, “If you really mean it, please provide fertilizer at a subsidized rate and avoid giving loans to farmers.” If you really mean it, please provide fertilizer at a subsidized rate and avoid giving loans to farmers. — Mustapha Hussaini Hassan (@Mustaph75687718) June 23, 2024 “Only Northerners are given agricultural loans while Southerners suffered bcoz no ministry offer loans 2 Southern farmers. Then I will urge FG 2 open Benin Republic border with adequate security 2 ensure terrorists doesn’t troop in bt on farm produces”, @AdeyanjuKolade lamented. Only Northerners are given agricultural loans while Southerners suffered bcoz no ministry offer loans 2 Southern farmers. Then I will urge FG 2 open Benin Republic border with adequate security 2 ensure terrorists doesn’t troop in bt on farm produces. @NGRPresident @officialABAT


RANGERS CROWNED LEAGUE CHAMPIONS, FINISHED SEASON WITH 70 POINTS Rangers International of Enugu have been crowned champions of the Nigerian Premier Football League (NPFL) after beating Gombe United 2-1 in their final game of the season in Jos, the Plateau State capital, on Sunday. The dramatic final day of the season saw Remo Stars finished second behind champions Rangers with 65 points ahead of third place Enyimba of Aba on 63 points. Rangers won the league title with 70 points. Remo Stars secured a hard-fought 2-1 win over Katsina United on final day of the season and will compete in the CAF Champions League next season. Sporting Lagos and Doma United were relegated from the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL.) The two clubs suffered defeats on the final day of the season. Sporting Lagos also fell to a 1-0 defeat against Shooting Stars in Ibadan. Doma United were also relegated after a 1-1 home draw with Abia Warriors. Sporting Lagos thus finished 17th on the table with 46 points from 38 matches, while Doma United were 18th with 44 points. Also relegated from the topflight league were Heartland of Owerri and Gombe United of Gombe. – CAF Champions League: 1. Enugu Rangers (Champions) 2. Remo Stars – CAF Confederation Cup: 3. Enyimba 4. FA Cup winner (Abia Warriors vs. El-Kanemi Warriors) Relegated from NPFL: 1. Sporting Lagos 2. Doma United 3. Gombe United4. Heartland FC


GO BACK TO FARMING – PRESIDENCY TELLS NIGERIAN The Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, has confirmed the presidency’s commitment to alleviating the suffering of Nigerians. He also stressed that all well-meaning Nigerians should play prominent roles in leading the country, especially the media. Onanuga made this statement over the weekend in Abuja while receiving the Association of Corporate Online Publishers (ACOE). He confirmed that all Nigerians would need to embrace agriculture to combat hunger. Onanuga said, “On the part of the government, I want to tell you that I cherished this meeting; we will do our best. Once I have your contacts, anything we want to send to this group in terms of government information, we will use that contact to pass information to the group. Also, when we get to the festive period, we would know who to approach in terms of talking to the entire group. “That is the spirit. “I am here to assist the president. When he started, I wasn’t part of the media team; I was the publicity secretary for the campaign. Later, the president realised something was missing, and that’s when I came on board. “I will do my best, drawing from over forty years of experience, to help the government communicate its message effectively. “Currently, things are not working as the president wants, but I can assure you that in the next twelve months, Nigerians will begin to see the results of the government’s efforts for the country’s benefit. “Though people complain about hardship, I told the BBC that the cost of living crises exists globally. Maybe what is happening in the world is a cycle, and countries will have to go through certain difficulties. We are going through it, but this government is making serious efforts to reduce the hardships faced by our people. “For example, a lady showed us a basket of tomatoes being sold for ₦4,000, and in Lagos, it is ₦10,000, and in Abuja, it is ₦8,000. I bought a basket of mangoes for ₦1,000 in Ogbomoso, but in Lagos, only three mangoes were sold for ₦1,000. “There might be sabotage or profiteering by traders, but the solution is for all of us to engage in agriculture. Let’s start planting something in our yards. “In 1976, Obasanjo introduced ‘Operation Feed the Nation’, promoting farming. In 1984, when Buhari came in, there were shortages of rice, milk, and sugar, and the government had to open warehouses to make these items available to people. “This is not the first time we are going through this kind of crisis. The government is investing in agriculture to make things available and affordable, and as individuals, we also have a role to play.“I will be starting my farm very soon. Everyone should farm. We don’t need to depend on greedy traders who are making us suffer. This is why I am welcoming all of you to my office at the Villa for collaboration. Thank you.”


PASTOR CHRIS SPEAKS ON FIRE AT CHRIST EMBASSY, SAYS ‘LET DEVIL LICK HIS WOUNDS, WE’LL BUILD A BEAUTIFUL ONE’ The General Overseer of Christ Embassy Church, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, has spoken out about the fire outbreak that gutted the church’s building in Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos. The Loveworld Convocation Arena (LCA), formerly the headquarters of Christ Embassy Church, was gutted by fire on Sunday morning. In a message to his congregation, Pastor Chris, President of the Loveworld Nation disclosed at the ongoing International Cell Leaders Conference (ICLC) Sunday Service at the Church Camp Grounds in Asese, along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, that the building is one of the best worship facilities. “That’s the best worship facility, frankly, in this part of the world. It’s worth multiple millions of dollars,” he said. Pastor Chris called on the Secretary General of Loveworld, Kay Adesina, to share his eyewitness account of the incident. Adesina said: “It’s really, really messed up. We were not able to enter, but we could see from outside. I took some of the pictures. The whole of the interior was coated in fire. And everywhere inside actually collapsed, including the offices.” He also noted that the fire services tried to put out the fire from outside, as they couldn’t enter the building. “The fire services that were there, they saw that they couldn’t go in. So they tried to put out the fire from outside. But all, including the external wall, you see, all the walls are compromised. “But the only reason why the whole structure is not compromised is because they are steel structures. Otherwise, you would think that the whole building would collapse. So it’s really in a bad state,” the Secretary said. Pastor Chris however emphasized that the church is not defeated and will build an even more beautiful structure. “We will build a beautiful one, let the devil licks his wounds. We must look at life from the spiritual. “It is painful to watch such a thing happen. The place is filled with fire and smoke, they can’t even go inside. “When a thing like that happens, you can say, oh Lord, why? You say, Lord, Thank you for your Grace from those very grounds,” he said. The general overseer also referenced a past experience where the church faced a similar challenge, the Ikebukuro attack, and how they overcame it. “I’ll never forget, when the supposed bombings took place at the Ikebukuro attack, they thought it was war. “There were explosions at Ikebukuro, atomic. The sounds were so loud, the explosions were so loud. Many thought there was war. And they began to flee from all that area,” he recounted. When asked if he was surprised by the fire outbreak, Pastor Chris said, “Not, not even the slightest surprise, not even the slightest surprise. But that’s another day’s talk. “When something like this happens, we have to remember that we are not of this world. “What do I mean by that? Every single day, God protects us. He protects us, He protects everything that He gives us, with His glory and His grace, every single day. He protects us.”The cause of the fire remains unknown, but officials from the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service are currently investigating the incident. Despite the physical damage, Pastor Chris and the Christ Embassy Church are determined to rebuild and continue their mission.


50 FEDERAL LAWMAKERS WRITE TINUBU WANT NNAMDI KANU RELEASED A group of 50 members of the House of Representatives, known as Concerned Federal Lawmakers for Peace and Security in the South-East, have appealed to President Bola Tinubu to invoke Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Section 107(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, to facilitate the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The lawmakers believe this move is crucial for the restoration of peace in the South-East region. In a three-page letter dated 19th June 2024 and addressed to President Tinubu, the lawmakers urged the President to initiate a presidential peace initiative to address the ongoing challenges in the South-East. Among the signatories are Hon. Obi Aguocha (Abia), Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere (Imo), Hon. Aliyu Mustapha (Kaduna), Hon. Midala Balami (Borno), and Hon. Afam Ogene (Anambra), among others. The letter stated, “The Minority Leadership of the House of Representatives is deeply concerned by the alarming rise in cholera cases across thirty states in Nigeria, as reported by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). This outbreak highlights critical deficiencies in public health safety measures and underscores the urgent need for immediate action.” Reflecting on past actions, the lawmakers noted that the President had previously extended a similar gesture through the Attorney General in cases involving Omoyele Sowore and Sunday Igboho. They argued that a similar approach for Nnamdi Kanu could pave the way for peace initiatives, economic revitalisation, and a renewed sense of belonging among South-East citizens. The letter concluded with an appeal to President Tinubu to adopt this approach, emphasising that facilitating Kanu’s release would demonstrate a commitment to justice and fairness, and could significantly alter the current narrative, showcasing the President’s dedication to national unity and progress. “Your Excellency, we resolutely believe that this singular act can serve as a pivotal gesture towards national unity as it would address some of the political, security, and economic concerns in the region,” the letter read. “It would encourage stakeholders from the Southeast to engage more actively in the national discussions on the Renewed Hope Agenda, thereby promoting inclusivity and addressing long-standing grievances.”The lawmakers expressed optimism that President Tinubu would consider their request with the gravity it deserves, taking necessary steps to usher in a new era of peace and inclusivity in Nigeria.