Again, Otedola Pays Majek Fashek’s Medical Expenses In London Hospital

Magnanimity is seldom a strong suit of Nigerian billionaires. But nature does not use a one-size fits all approach which is why billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, is widely perceived as one of the rarest and kindest of money men.

Giving, without looking back, is a second skin to him. Whilst he would rather do this without making a song and a dance of it, many a beneficiary, out of sheer happiness and relief, has always rushed to the media. And he has done it again.

The benevolent billionaire has taken up the medical expenses of the famous reggae icon, Majek Fashek, who is terribly sick and stranded in London.

Confirming the story and sounding the alarm of the critical state of the ‘Rainmaker’, who is currently receiving treatment in a London hospital, his manager, Uzoma Day Omenka, painted a pathetic picture of the dire situation the musician is in.

Thankfully, Mr Otedola is taking care of the hospital bill fully and this has thrown Nigerians across the world into fits of joy.

Apparently, they have not forgotten so soon how the businessman extraordinaire spent N36,635,000 for the medical bills of former captain and coach of the Super Eagles, Christian Chukwu.
Chukwu had a major surgery and treatment at the Wellington Hospital, London, courtesy Otedola

In May, Otedola also came to the aid of Peter Fregene, a former Green Eagles goalkeeper, who had been bedridden since 2001, after a SUNDAY PUNCH report last May.

He is currently also footing the medical bills of popular actor, Victor Olaotan, a lead character in the popular TV soap opera series, Tinsel, in a Turkish hospital.
Otedola has also reportedly taken up the medical expenses of ailing Nollywood actor, Sadiq Daba.

In 2017, Sadiq Daba, who had been battling leukaemia and prostate cancer for the past few years, returned to Nigeria from the UK where he went for medical treatment. The ace broadcaster also revealed that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November 2017. This was barely months after he was hospitalised due to leukaemia.

Umar Ardo Confirms $15,000 Ransom For Daughter, Aisha

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr Umar Ardo, whose daughter, Aisha, was kidnapped by gunmen on Saturday, has confirmed he paid $15,000 to secure her release.

Ardo said he was contacted by one of the kidnappers on Sunday at about 9:56 am who said his daughter would return to him safely if he cooperated with them, Daily Trust reported.

“I then said okay I will cooperate and negotiate with you on one condition; that is if you give me two promises. One, that you will not harm my daughter, by which I meant you won’t kill her. Secondly you will not molest my daughter by which I meant you won’t rape her.

“But if you cannot promise me these two then you can as well do what you want to do with her. The caller then said Dr I see you are a gentleman and I am also a gentleman. I give you these two promises; we will not touch your daughter.

“I then asked what would you want me to do in order to get back my daughter? He said you are going to pay us $15,000. If you cooperate with us your daughter would return to you but if you don’t cooperate with us you will never see her again alive.”

Describing the kidnappers as gentlemen who kept their promise, Ardo said they later called him around 3 pm to say they wanted him to make the payment by bit coin .

“I told them I don’t know how to do this bit payment but the caller insisted I must learn. I will text you our address through which you will go and make the payment; it is up to you to do that; don’t forget the life of your daughter is on the line.

“Thank God I had the money in my domiciliary account. I got somebody who paid the money through the wallet account.

“Within an hour we sent the money and it generated payment evidence which I texted to him. I was waiting for his response but he didn’t but by 10 pm a call came. I picked and it was my daughter. She said she was at Drumstick at Gwarimpa where I went with family members and picked her.” Ardo said.

The New iPhone 11 Is Cheaper and Does More

By not buying as much as they used to, consumers spoke to Apple, and it seems Apple is listening. The latest version of the iPhone line was released last week Tuesday, and the price of the basic model has dropped by $50, even though the new device can do more. Three models were released: iPhone 11, iPhone Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The new phones will be available in US stores this Friday, or 20 September 2019. These are the prices of the smartphones:  iPhone 11 (64GB, 128GB, and 256GB) for $699, $749, and $849 respectively; iPhone 11 Pro (64GB, 256GB, and 512GB) for $999, $1,149, and $ 1,349, respectively; and iPhone 11 Pro Max (64GB, 256GB, and 512GB) for $1,099, $1,249, and $1,449, respectively. By way of comparison, Apple’s entry-level device for last year – the iPhone XR – cost $750 and it sold the most. As noted by New York Times, Apple might have hit the ceiling this past year, as sales of the two models that began at $1,000 or more in last year’s release lagged expectations. The falling price suggests Apple sees that trend and is trying to entice more people to upgrade.”

Here are the differences between iPhone 11 (and iPhone 11 Pro), as reported by MacRumors: 6.1-inch LCD display (5.8/6.5-inch OLED HDR displays), 1792×828 display with 326 pixels per inch (ppi) (2436×1125/2688×1242 display with 458ppi), Dual 12-megapixel cameras (wide and ultra-wide) (Triple 12-megapixel cameras (wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto)), Optical Image Stabilization (Dual Optical Image Stabilization), Aluminum frame (Stainless steel frame), Six colors (Four colors), Glass body (Matte glass body), 1 hour longer battery than XR (4/5 hour longer battery than XS/XS Max), IP68 water resistance at two feet (IP68 water resistance at four feet), Up to 256 GB storage (Up to 512 GB storage), Gigabit LTE 2×2 MIMO (Gigabit LTE 4×4 MIMO), Ships with 5Watts charger (Ships with 18Watts charger). (MIMO stands for “Multiple-Input Multiple-Output,” which is a wireless technology that uses multiple transmitters and receivers to move more data at the same time. LTE means “Long-Term Evolution,” or 4G. ) 

The following features are common to the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro: Haptic Touch, True Tone display support, Wide color display,12-megapixel TrueDepth front-facing camera, Front-facing slow-motion video support, Face ID support, Animoji/Memoji, A13 Bionic chip with third-gen Neural Engine, Wireless charging, Fast charging capable, Portrait Mode (front and rear), Night Mode, Depth Control (front and rear), Next-Gen Smart HDR (front and rear), Portrait Lighting, 4K 60 frames per second video recording, QuickTake video recording button, Quad-LED True Tone Flash, Dolby Atmos sound, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 6 with 2×2 MIMO, Lightning Connector, Dual-SIM support, and U1 chip for spatial awareness. (The U1 will enable what Apples refers to as ultra-wideband positioning powers, giving phones the ability to determine each other’s location when they’re in close proximity.) 

Bluetooth 5.0, which is supported by iPhone 11, gives longer range, faster speeds, larger message capacity, and better interoperability compared to other wireless technologies. Compared to its predecessor – Bluetooth 4.2 – Bluetooth 5 could give four times the range, two times the speed, and eight times the message capacity. The WiFi 6 in iPhone 11 is the latest WiFi protocol, which allows you to download up to 38 percent faster than WiFi 5. The top-of-the-line models iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max are intended for consumers with a taste for advanced technology. For example, they feature OLED displays that are superior to the LCD display used in the iPhone 11, with HDR and a much greater contrast ratio for brighter, more vivid colors. The new higher-end iPhones use a stainless steel frame rather than an aluminum frame, and have a better water resistance rating (IP68 at 4 feet rather than IP68 at 2 feet). (HDR stands for high-dynamic-range, which is an advanced imaging technique, used in photography to reproduce a greater dynamic range of luminosity than what is normally possible with digital imaging or photographic techniques.) The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max feature a triple-lens camera system with telephoto, wide-angle, and super wide-angle lenses, while the iPhone 11 has a dual-lens camera with wide-angle and super wide-angle lenses. Note that no mention of 5G wireless technology is made in this article. This is because the newly released iPhone products apparently do not support it, unlike the recently released Galaxy products from Samsung. At the event of last Tuesday, Apple also released a new version of its entry-level iPad, also the best-selling iPad. It goes for $330. The screen size for the new model has increased from 9.7 inches to10.2 inches. The new iPad is compatible with Apple’s Smart Keyboard. A new version of Apple Watch was also released. The watch is now “always-on,” as opposed to the previous versions in which the screen would come on only when you tilted your wrist to check the time. When you are not checking time, the new watch selectively illuminates pixels to save battery life, but comes fully illuminated otherwise. The watch retails for $400 and higher, depending on the features.

HBO Max To Air Lupita Nyong’o’s Adaptation of “Americanah”

Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira’s planned adaptation of Chimamanda Adichie’s novel “Americanah” has received a straight-to-series order at HBO Max.

Variety reports that HBO Max has given the limited series a 10-episode order. Nyong’o will star in the series, with Gurira writing the pilot and serving as showrunner.

The best-selling novel, “Americanah” tells the story of Ifemelu (Nyong’o), a young, beautiful, self-assured woman raised in Nigeria, who as a teenager falls in love with her classmate Obinze.

Living in a military-ruled country, they each depart for the west, with Ifemelu heading for America, where, despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple for the first time with what it means to be black. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous undocumented life in London.

“‘Americanah’ has been a passion project for me since I read Chimamanda’s beautiful novel in 2013,” Nyong’o said.

“It’s a tale that is simultaneously timely and timeless. HBO Max is the perfect partner to bring this profound and celebrated story to life, and I’m thrilled that Danai will bring to the project her intelligence, wit, and understanding of the stories and the worlds of ‘Americanah.’”

Gurira and Nyong’o will both executive produce, with Nyong’o producing under her Eba Productions banner. Plan B Entertainment will also produce, with Andrea Calderwood of Potboiler Television, Didi Rea and Danielle Del of D2 Productions, and Nancy Won executive producing as well.

Tiwa Savage Walks The Runway At Naomi Campbell’s “Fashion For Relief” Event

Afro-pop star, Tiwa Savage strutted the runway for supermodel, Naomi Campbell’s 2019 Fashion for Relief show.

Fashion for Relief is a charitable organization founded in 2005 that has raised funds for various environmental and humanitarian causes. It holds events in association with the London-based non-profit organization CARE

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ’49-29’ singer showcased her modelling prowess at the British Museum where the event held on Saturday.

An excited Tiwa shared the news on her Instagram page @tiwasavage hailing Naomi for the chance to walk for a good cause. She said, “Thank you, Queen.”

Speaking with British Vogue about her experience, Tiwa noted that modelling was harder than it looked and she would only walk the runway for Naomi.

She said, “If she asks me, yes. Naomi is the only person I would do it for.”

“You prepare for so many hours and then in a few seconds, it’s done. It is definitely a different experience from singing.

“It was very quick, and it’s not as easy as it looks… I just found out.” On the experience working with Naomi, Tiwa said, “I still look up to her.

“I catch myself just staring at her and wondering how her skin glows like that. Naomi is a perfectionist, she knows what she wants and she gets it done.

“I admire that about her, she just works so, so hard… and she is so down to earth.”

Tiwa had also been part of Maki Oh’s show during the New York Fashion Week. The brand is owned by Nigerian designer, Amaka Osakwe.

The singer recently attended shows like Laquan Smith and Pyer Moss and performed at basketball player, Carmelo Anthony’s second collaborative collection, called Melo Made. 

S’Africa Apologises To Nigeria Over Xenophobic Attacks

South African President,Cyril Ramaphosa, has formally apologised to the federal government over the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in his country.

Ramaphosa’s apology was tendered to President Muhammadu Buhari in the State House, Abuja, yesterday, by two special envoys he sent to meet with the Nigerian leader over the incidents, where other nationals living in South Africa were not spared.

The leader of the delegation, Jeffrey Radebe, told State House Correspondents that, “we met with President Buhari to convey our president’s sincere and unreserved apologies over the unfortunate incidents that happened to your citizens in our country.

“Those incidents did not represent democratic environment in Africa and President Ramaphosa has asked the security agents to take charge of the situation.” He said.

Radebe recalled that during the dark days of apartheid, “we leaned on Nigeria for support to end it and Murtala Mohammed, Nnamdi Azikiwe played critical roles, even students in Nigeria contributed money for the support of South Africa.

“Obviously, there is an impact of this event on the economy and that is why the president at his level deemed it necessary to send us as special envoys, so that we record appropriately what steps and measures South Africa has taken to deal with these problems.

“At the end of the day, we believe that the agenda 2063 of the Africa we want is one that will help not only South Africa but the whole of Africa to unite around that common agenda of ensuring that our people, especially young people must believe that the future of Africa is bright.

“So, it is the responsibility, therefore, not only of governments of Nigeria and South Africa but of ordinary citizens to play their part in ensuring that these incidents do not recur,” Radebe said.

Radebe apologised on behalf of his resident for what he called “acts of criminality and violence” that recently occurred in his country, adding that “such do not represent our value system, nor those of the larger number of South Africans.”

He said that South Africa was an integral part of Africa and was fully committed to the peace and integration of the continent.

The special envoy disclosed that 10 people died during the attacks – two Zimbabweans and eight South Africans – adding that there was no Nigerian casualty.

In his response to Ramaphosa’s apologies, Buhari assured his guests that the relationship between the two countries “will be solidified,” but described the xenophobic attacks as “very unfortunate.”

Adesina said that Buhari went down memory lane by recalling the roles played by Nigeria in engendering majority rule in South Africa and ending the apartheid segregationist policy.

He said that the president recounted that he was a junior military officer to Generals Murtala Mohammed and Olusegun Obasanjo, who were military heads of state at different times in the mid to late 1970s.

According to Buhari, “going back to historical antecedents, we made great sacrifices for South Africa to become a free state. I was a junior officer to Gen. Murtala Mohammad and Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. They were not operating in a democracy, but they got Nigerians to support them in the bid to see a free South Africa.

“Our leadership was quite committed to the cause. We made sacrifices, which younger people of today may not know. During my last visit to South Africa with the late President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, it was very emotional, as Mugabe spoke about Nigeria’s contribution to free South Africa,” he noted.

Buhari extended appreciation to Ramaphosa for sending the envoys “to explain to us what happened in South Africa recently, leading to the killing and displacement of foreigners.”

On his part, Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, who spoke on the status of the Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, declared that “he has not been recalled but he has been asked to come home to help in giving a comprehensive picture of events there as possible to Mr. President.”

He, however, said that both countries must address the challenges of unemployment and poverty in order to attain peace in Africa.

Onyeama added that South Africa remains eternally grateful for the role Nigeria played in ending apartheid and hoped that the coming visit of the Nigerian President would solidify the relationship between the two countries.

FBNQuest Trustees Marks 40th Anniversary of Preserving Legacies In Nigeria

FBNQuest Trustees Limited, an FBN Holdings company has announced the celebration of its 40th anniversary as a leading provider of world-class trust and estate planning services in Nigeria. The event themed “A Legacy that Preserves Legacies” was held on Friday, 13 September 2019 at Landmark Event Centre in Lagos

The event presented an opportunity for FBNQuest Trustees to share key insights on the importance of Corporate Trust Management, Estate Planning, and Wealth Transfer, which are crucial elements to ensuring the preservation of legacies. Dr. Omobola Johnson, Senior Partner at TLcom Capital LLP and former Minister for Communication Technology, delivered the keynote address at the event.

FBNQuest Trustees was incorporated as Standard Trustees Nigeria Limited on August 8, 1979. The company at the time was a wholly owned subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, which was known as Standard Bank of Nigeria Limited. The name Standard Trustees Nigeria Limited was changed to First Trustees Nigeria Limited in March 1980; and in April 2014 it was renamed FBN Trustees Limited to align with the FBNHoldings group naming convention. In November, 2017 it was again re-named FBNQuest Trustees Limited to signal its membership of the FBNQuest family, and its commitment to partnering with its clients on their quest to define and achieve financial success.

FBNQuest Trustees is modelled as a representation of the forward thinking culture of the FBN Holdings Plc, to improve and develop specialised capabilities within the trusteeship, asset and fund management services of the Nigerian financial system. Today, the company specialises in providing Investment Advisory Services, Corporate, Public and Private Trust Management; and as a part of FBNQuest draws on the trailblazing spirit, and a consistent focus on excellence to deliver exceptional services to clients.

Over the past 40 years, FBNQuest Trustees has not only become a leading trust company in Nigeria, but also a key pillar in the business of trusteeship. To highlight some of its key achievements over the years, the company continues to be the preferred local partner for international and multilateral entities looking to have businesses in Nigeria, and in 2013 served as the sole bond trustee on the very first bond issued by a multilateral institution in Nigeria (International Finance Corporation (IFC) $50,000,000 fixed rate senior unsecured bond).

FBNQuest Trustees is the first trust company to publish an educative compendium on estate planning to actively engage, and educate stakeholders, on the importance of Estate Planning in Nigeria, through its Legacy Series; and is a pioneer for Islamic finance in Nigeria, which led to its co-management of the first government issued Sukuk instrument launched by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2017. The company also partnered and organised a stakeholder engagement on Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) and its implications for estate planning.

Speaking about the milestone celebration, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FBNQuest Trustees, Mr. Adekunle Awojobi, emphasised the firm’s impact on trusteeship business in Nigeria, and by extension, the economy. He said, “From when we began our journey in 1979, FBNQuest Trustees has delivered impeccable solutions for the safekeeping of our clients’ assets, the transfer of generational wealth, and the preservation of their legacies. We are extremely proud to be a part of the 125 year old legacy of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, and the rich heritage of FBNHoldings as we celebrate a 40 year track record of distinction, dependability and professionalism in the trustee business.”

“We want to thank everyone who has contributed to the growth of the company over the years, as we continue to provide excellent services to our clients. We also take this opportunity to recommit to excellently serving our clients across diverse sectors to ensure that their legacies are preserved.” He added.

In terms of growth and financial performance, the company has continuously delivered shareholder value in alignment with the mandate of the Group. From a share capital of about N30 million in 90s, the company has increased to a share capital of N3billion in 2019; and has grown its profit after tax (PAT) year on year consistently, with liquid trust assets under management in excess of N40 billion as at June 30 2019.

Former Women Affairs Minister, Alhassan “Mama Taraba” Returns To PDP

Former women affairs minister Aisha Alhassan popularly known as “mama Taraba” who suffered massive defeat in the 2019 Governorship election in Taraba, says she has completed arrangements to return to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Alhassan was the gubernatorial flag bearer of United Democratic Party (UDP) in the 2019 elections in which she scored only 14, 651 votes.

She joined the UDP on the eve of the polls after she failed  to secure the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket, a party she contested under in 2015 and was able to secure 275,966 votes to come second in the governorship polls.

Alhassan was subsequently made the minister of women affairs and social development by President Muhammadu Buhari, but had to resign amidst doubts over her political loyalty.

Alhassan told Journalists on Sunday after a UDP stakeholders meeting in Jalingo that majority of her supporters in the 168 wards of Taraba had encouraged her to shift base to the PDP.

She said that the stakeholders meeting, which lasted till midnight on Saturday, drew participation from all those who contested for various political offices under the platform of the UDP, executive members of the party from the ward to state levels and other respected elders.

Alhassan added that more than 80 per cent of respondents in an opinion poll conducted by a committee headed Alhaji Abdulmumini Vaki, a former PDP chairman in the state, which covered the 16 LGAs, suggested that she should move to PDP.

The former minister said, based on the outcome of the opinion poll, she had no option than to go  by the decision of majority members of the UDP.

According to the former minister,  “I cannot go against the decision of the popular opinions of my supporters”,  adding that she was glad that the committee did not suggest the APC as an option.

A communiqué issued at the end of the stakeholders meeting, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jalingo on Saturday night, recommended that two committees be set up immediately to fast track the defection process.

According the communiqué which was signed by the state UDP Chairman, Alhaji Hassan Chul, the first committee is to visit the national leadership of the UDP in Abuja to express the appreciation of supporters of the former minister for providing her the platform to run for the 2019 governorship election.

The communique added that the second committee is to arrange a meeting with PDP leadership in Taraba to work out modalities for the former minister’s official return to the PDP.

NAN reports that Alhassan contested and won the election for the senatorial seat of Taraba North in 2011 under the PDP before defecting to APC in 2015. (NAN)

Nigeria’s Muhammad-Bande Sworn in As 74th UNGA President (PHOTOS)

History was made at the United Nations in New York on Monday as Nigeria’s permanent representative, Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad-Bande was sworn in as president of the 74th UN General Assembly.

Bande was elected in June by acclamation. He succeeded Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, the 54 year-old Ecuadorian diplomat and politician.
Bande’s first task will be to preside over UNGA, which kicks off in New York in just over a week.

The handing over was witnessed by UN Secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, his deputy, Amina Mohammed and a delegation from Nigeria.

Bande has had an outstanding academic career in Nigeria, before he was appointed Nigeria’s ambassador by President Buhari.

He studied political science at Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria, where he obtained his first bachelors degree.
Then he got an MA from Boston University in the United States, and a Ph.D from the University of Toronto, Canada.
He has been the recipient of many awards and honours, most notably, Nigeria’s Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).
In a recent interview with UN News, Bande highlighted poverty eradication, quality education, and inclusion as his top priorities.

Photo Credit: Sunday Aghaeze

Buhari Appoints New Economic Management Team

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has constituted an Economic Advisory Council (EAC).
The Chairman of the Council, according to a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, is Prof. Doyin Salami.
Dr. Mohammed Sagagi is the Vice Chairman of the Council.
Other members are: Prof. Ode Ojowu, Dr. Shehu Yahaya, Dr. Iyabo Masha, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Mr. Bismark Rewane, while Dr. Mohammed Adaya Salisu is Secretary (Senior Special Assistant to the President, Development Policy).

This advisory council, according to the statement, will replace the current Economic Management Team (EMT) and will be reporting directly to the President.
“The Economic Advisory Council (EAC) will advise the President on economic policy matters, including fiscal analysis, economic growth and a range of internal and global economic issues working with the relevant cabinet members and heads of monetary and fiscal agencies.
“The EAC will have monthly technical sessions as well as scheduled quarterly meetings with the President.  The Chairman may, however, request for unscheduled meetings if the need arises.”
Expert are of the opinion that it will be difficult for the Economic Team to interfere with the statutory agencies of the government that make up the National Economic Council (NEC) headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

“All these people are intruders. How will they relate with the members of the NEC who are statutory government officials like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, the Customs Comptroller-General, the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), among others on the NEC?”
Already, political reasons are being read to the developmentas an attempt to whittle down the powers and influence of the Vice President in the government.
“It is an attempt at power grab. They are saying the Economic Management Team should report to the President whereas the Constitution vests the power over the economy in the Vice President who is to report to the President,” an expert said last night