Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen Dies of Cancer Complications

Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft has died at 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s immune system.

His family made the obituary announcement in a statement on Monday through his sister Jody Allen.

“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level. While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend.

“Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern. For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends. At this time of loss and grief for us – and so many others – we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.”

Allen was also owner of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers

He announced on October 1st that the cancer he had defeated in 2009 had returned.

“I’ve begun treatment & my doctors are optimistic that I will see a good result,” Allen posted on Twitter.

“Appreciate the support I’ve received & count on it as I fight this challenge.”

Born in Seattle, Allen attended Washington State University for two years before dropping out to co-found Microsoft in 1975 with Bill Gates, a friend of his from high school.

Allen, who left Microsoft in 1983, set up investment firm Vulcan Inc in 1986 to manage his multibillion-dollar portfolio.

“Paul Allen’s contributions to our company, our industry and to our community are indispensable,” Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said in a statement.

“As co-founder of Microsoft, in his own quiet and persistent way, he created magical products, experiences and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world.”

Allen, who ranked 44th on Forbes magazine’s 2018 list of billionaires with a $20.5 billion fortune, was a major benefactor in Seattle, funding everything from libraries and universities to brain research.

His investments include ownership stakes in several professional sports teams, including the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer.

Lagos Targets 150,000 Participants For 2019 Marathon

…Increases Prize Money For Local, Physically-Challenged Athletes 

…To Set Up Marathon Village, Eyes IAAF Silver Label

No fewer than 150,000 athletes both locally and internationally are expected to participate in the 4th edition of Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode said on Monday.

Addressing a press conference at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja to officially announce commencement of preparations for the marathon which is billed to hold on February 2, 2019, Governor Ambode said the target of the State Government, was to use the forthcoming edition to take the tournament from the bronze label of International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) to silver, in partnership with the sponsors.

According to him, “The whole idea is to turn the competition from bronze to silver level. In the last three editions, we had between 100,000 and 120,000 participants. This time around, we want to make sure that come February 2019, we would have not less than 150,000 participants.

 “The reason why we want to take it to that level is to create a new record and create a new platform to allow the 2019 edition to herald what is going to happen in the next six years. We believe strongly that in another six years when we are marking the 10th anniversary, we should actually become a top class marathon, and that is our vision for this competition.  

“We believe that it is achievable. This is not necessarily about me; it is not even about the sponsors but about making Lagos to be on that top brand across the world and that is how cities are elevated to become global brand,” Governor Ambode said.

He said arrangement had equally been firmed up to encourage more local participation, as well as more physically-challenged athletes, a development he said necessitated the increase in prize monies for the two categories. 

“We think obviously that we should pay more attention to our physically-challenged athletes this time around and also to embrace more of local participation. This time around, we would push more money to the local races and we would push more money to also our physically-challenged athletes to encourage more people to come in, while the main prize remain the same,” he said.

Speaking further at the media briefing which was attended by Nigeria’s sports icons including Mary Onyali, Samson Siasia, Waheed Akanni, Seye Ogunlewe, among others, the Governor said the idea of the marathon was part of his administration’s initiatives to use sports, entertainment and hospitality to grow the economy and positively engage the bourgeoning youth population in the State.

“Looking at some of Nigeria’s sport legends here, it just summarizes everything that we have tried to do in the last three and half years. The idea is that it is possible to create a new set of jobs and services using sports, using hospitality, using entertainment to create a new level of creativity and innovation and then drive the Nigerian economy into different direction that creates positive energy, and when you come to this kind of gathering and you are able to now see the private sector, sports people, it means that there is still hope in this country,” Governor Ambode said.

Besides, the Governor commended all the sponsors, media and all those who have contributed to the success of the marathon in the last three years, saying the development was a dream come true.  

Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr. Kweku Tandor said the Lagos City Marathon, was the third of its kind after Brighton and Bournemouth Marathon in the United Kindgom to earn the prestigious IAAF Bronze Label only after its second edition, which held on February 10, 2018.

He said the Governor had already given approval for the setting up of a Lagos Marathon Village at the Teslim Balogun Stadium that would not only sustain the culture of the marathon but also serve as a rallying point in the quest by the present administration to stage mini-marathons in the five divisions of the State.

“It is going to serve as the headquarters for marathon races in Lagos. What we have in mind is to have sectoral marathons, Lagos Women Run is coming up next month, we have SWAN Marathon coming up in December and we also envisage that we are going to be having Epe Marathon, Ikorodu Marathon and so on.

“So we need a coordinating office under the direction of the Lagos State Sports Commission and that is the vision that led to the construction of that facility within Teslim Balogun to serve as the Lagos Marathon Village. Construction work will commence anytime from now,” Tandoh said.

He said the Governor had also approved the constitution of a Marathon Council that would be responsible for the supervision of the 2019 Marathon and going forward.

On his part, Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe said the commitment of the State Government under the leadership of Governor Ambode has ensured that the Lagos Marathon had become an annual event on the international athletics map.

He assured that Access Bank, the major sponsors of the Lagos Marathon would continue to give its full support to the event, adding that the 2019 edition will take the event a notch higher so as to receive an IAAF Silver Label for the marathon.

In his brief remarks, President of the Athletics federation of Nigeria (AFN), Engr. Ibrahim Gusau commended Governor Ambode for setting the pace for others to follow for others to follow in sports development, saying that the 2018 edition of the Lagos Marathon was highly rated amongst top competitions on the international calendar.



Celebrating Hajia Bola Shagaya, The Business Amazon At 59

The Many Occasions The Billionaire Magnate Proves She Is The Ultimate Style Maven (A PICTORIAL TOUR) 

On Wednesday, 10 October, 2018, Hajia Bola Muinat Shagaya, the prominent business magnate and celebrity matriarch clocks 59. Considering the fact that her life has been characterised by lofty accomplishment, attaining the age of 59 carries much significance for Shagaya. Her life itself is a milestone, in the sense that at the age of 59, she has achieved so much by dint of hard-work, dedication, determination and a belief in herself. She was ready to dare and she dared to fly.

Shagaya does not hesitate in admitting to the fact that she feels ecstatic at turning 59. And she always attributes all of the credits to God for endowing her with a strong sense of humility and perseverance, which have seen her through the vagaries of life.

Shagaya strongly believes that it takes the grace of God to succeed.

Shagaya is arguably, one of the most formidable businesswomen in Nigeria. Her tentacle spreads across oil and gas, photography, banking and real estate.

Born into the prominent Salman’s family of Ilorin, Kwara State, Shagaya attended Queens’ School, Ilorin and Ahmadu Bello University, from where she bagged a degree in Economics. Later, she bagged a second degree in Economics and Accountancy from Armstrong College, California. Consumed by a quest to enhance her knowledge of Management Technology, Shagaya also attended Harvard Business School, United States. Shagaya has participated in many local and international seminars and workshop

Before she ventured into the business world in 1983, Shagaya had worked at the Audit Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria. She started by importing and distributing photographic materials such as roll papers, films and chemicals and operated under the trading name, Bolmus International Nigeria Limited. Shagaya introduced the Konica brand into the Nigeria market and other countries in West Africa. In 1997, she set up Fotofair Limited and opened a photo laboratory service centre in Victoria Island, Lagos, using a 100% Japanese technology under the Konica brand name. Like an octopus, Fotofair has grown with many tentacles of over 40 laboratories spread across the country. Clearly, this places the company in the league of the largest photo laboratory companies in Nigeria.

A leading importer of base oil into the country, Shagaya is the Managing Director of Practoil Nigeria Limited. This is set up to meet the needs of some of the local lubricant blending plants in the country. Presently, Practoil has structured a lubricating plant in Lagos, which is expected to produce multi-grade oils and lubricants. Shagaya, who is one of the directors in Unity Bank, also looms large within the real estate sector. She owns a sprawling estate in Abuja and many commercial properties and real estates in Lagos.

Shagaya is a professed Polo enthusiast. And over the years, she has been supportive of the Polo Tournaments in Nigeria. A mother of five boys, and a grandmother many times over, Shagaya is regarded as one of the most stylish women in Nigeria. She also invests so much in building friendship with many women from various tribes and class within the society.

How Lagos Can Realise Its Smart City Dream – Ambode

Awards 889 civil servants

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday said that efficient public service and positive attitude to work is crucial to realizing the smart city dream of the state government.

Ambode, therefore, charged civil servants in the state public service to continue to make difference in the area of mentoring upcoming generation of civil servants to imbibe the timeless values of hard work, discipline, professionalism and high standard of work ethics, noting that these values were essential ingredients that would determine the level of productivity and quality service delivery required for a Smart- City.

The governor, who made the remarks at the year 2018 Long Service Merit Award called on the civil servants to always reflect on the past, the present and make a projection for the future of the service so as to make the implementation of government policies for development easily possible.

Represented by his deputy, Dr Oluranti Adebule, the governor noted that the 889 recipients of the meritorious service awards had not only spent reasonable number of years to uphold the good ethics of the service, but had equally demonstrated high sense of responsibility, commitment and dedication to the culture of hard work and extreme loyalty to the service

A total of 889 civil servants were recognized and rewarded for their outstanding contributions to the growth of the service

The governor said his administration, right from the inception recognized the importance of efficient public service in realizing the smart city dream of the state government and had therefore continued to build capacity of the civil servants and improve their welfare to increase their productivity and enable them to add more value to the service.

“It is instructive to note that within the context of bringing about a continuous improvement in the capacity of public servants to diligently discharge their expected responsibilities, staff welfare and well- being has continued to receive the priority attention of our administration, this is evident in various welfare programmes that are meant to enhance the socio- economic conditions of workers and our administration will continue to make provision for facilities that will make the work environment to be safe and more conducive,”  Ambode pledged.

He said over the years, his government had taken a proactive measure that had distinguished the Lagos state Public Service from other ones in the country with the application of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in every aspect of the service activities , noting that the effort has helped to bring about a more efficient, effective and productive public service that is focused, relevant and globally competitive, charging civil servants to continue to strive for excellence in the overall interest of the public.

Earlier, Lagos State Head of Service, Mrs Folasade Adesoye, explained that the annual Long Service Merit Award Policy of the state government was aimed at recognizing and rewarding diligence , commitment and loyalty, among public servants in the Lagos State Public Service with the belief that the periodic exercise would encourage awardees to do more while other public servants would be motivated to be more committed in the discharge of their duties.

She added that the programme also provided an opportunity to celebrate public servants who have served the state public service conscientiously in the last thirty years.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of certificate of merit by the deputy governor to 889 awardees including the state Head of Service, Mrs Folashade Adesoye

ANEC: Osinbajo Tasks Editors On Values, Ethics of Journalism

As Guild of Editors’ Conference Kicks Off In Asaba Today

The 14th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC) has kicked off in Asaba, the Delta capital, with Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, and the host Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa in attendance.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo tasked the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) to save the journalism from total collapse by enforcing the rules and values of the profession.

Osinbajo gave the advice in a goodwill message at the opening of the 14th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC) in Asaba, the Delta capital.

He noted that most professions, particularly journalism, had been threatened by artificial technologies, adding that social media had virtually taken over the conventional media in terms of readership and followership.

Osinbajo titled the goodwill message: “The end of Professions, the end of Journalism.”

According to him, the burden is on the guild to set the agenda and the rules as well as enforce and keep them.

“For journalism, are we at the end of the profession? Today, social media has totally become the choice of everybody and read by many people than the newspapers”.

He noted that apart from the challenges of technology, the professionals remain a challenge to themselves, such that people had lost confidence because most information lacked objectivity and accuracy.

He said that the journalism profession had today become partisans and were being influenced by politicians and nonprofessionals.

He charged the media to fight corruption in the system, adding that corruption, like cancer, could eat up the fabrics and eventually kill the victim if not checked.

“The guild must make personal sacrifice that will save the profession by removing the bad eggs,” the VP said.

Union Bank Unveils Edu360

Union Bank has announced the first edition of an annual education fair – Edu360, as part of its efforts to support education as a critical sector for Nigeria’s growth and development.

The 2-day event themed ‘Investing in the Future’ according to a statement from the lender, has been designed to attract audiences across the education ecosystem including investors, parents, school owners, teachers and students who will benefit from robust discussions covering investments, school choice and financing options for parents.

Edu360 will also feature an exhibition where service providers in the education sector will showcase their products and services, facilitate fun learning workshops for students, as well as extensive training sessions to equip the 21st century teacher.

Speaking on the Edu360 initiative, the Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, Emeka Emuwa said: “Union Bank recognizes the critical role of the education sector in our economy. Edu360 is a platform to facilitate much needed investments in the sector, capacity building for teachers and collaboration of parents and educators on child development and curriculum.”

The event according to the statement, is scheduled to take place on the 23rd and 24th of October at Harbour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos.

In 2017, Union Bank made a commitment to drive private sector engagement to deliver Nigeria’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Next100 initiative; highlighting SDG 4 – Quality Education as one of the areas in which it intends to drive impact.

Entry to the event is free and open to members of the public. Registration is currently ongoing at

The Bank recently organised the Campus Innovation Challenge to encourage innovation among students of Nigerian tertiary institutions. Following a rigorous selection process, the top three winning ideas received cash prizes worth Three Million Naira (N3, 000,000) as well as access to a 6-month incubation programme with Co-creation Hub where they will receive the necessary support to grow their innovative ideas. Union Bank remains committed to supporting Nigeria’s growth by identifying and investing in sectors that are vital to shaping a better, more sustainable future for generations to come.

We Are Coming For You – EFCC Warns Innoson Motors Boss

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has vowed to ensure that the Chairman, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, Innocent Chukwuma is arrested to face a fraud charge in court.

The Commission made the vow Wednesday, after Justice Olusola Williams of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, struck out the case of fraud it instituted against Chukwuma.

The Judge struck out the case after the EFCC failed to produce Chukwuma in court to face trial.

Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, were to be arraigned on a four-count charge of conspiracy to obtain by false pretences, obtaining by false pretence, stealing and forgery.

The defendants allegedly committed the offences between 2009 and July 2011 in Lagos.

The defendants were alleged to have conspired to obtain, by false pretences, containers of motorcycles, spare parts and raw materials, property of Guaranty Trust Bank, from Mitsui OSK Lines Limited, Apapa, Lagos.

They were also alleged to have fraudulently induced staff of Mitsui OSK and Maersk Line to deliver to them, via their clearing agents, the goods that were imported from China in the name of GTB by falsely pretending that they were authorized by the bank to clear the goods.

The defendants were said to have forged a bill of lading numbered 598286020 of Maersk Line Limited and 11007950841 of Mutsui O.S.K. Line by knowingly putting a false GTB stamp and signature of the bank staff.

The alleged fraud was to enable the forged documents to be used or acted upon as genuine to the prejudice of any person within Lagos or elsewhere.

However, since the suit was instituted, first before Justice Mojisola Dada of the same court, the defendant has refused to appear in court to face his trial.

In a short ruling today, Justice Williams held that it was the responsibility of the EFCC to produce him in court.

“This court is not an investigator or a prosecutor. This court cannot waste precious judicial time prosecuting a matter that is going nowhere.

“This is a criminal matter that can be instituted anytime the prosecution is ready. The court hereby strikes out the matter,” the Judge held.

Justice Dada on June 22, 2018, stepped down from presiding over the matter on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC).

All efforts by the EFCC to arraign the defendant before Justice Dada on five consecutive occasions failed despite being declared wanted on May 23, 2018 and also procuring a bench warrant for his arrest.

GTBank Leading The Digital Banking Race In Africa — The Economist

Leading African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) is atop a new generation of multinationals in developing markets with the competitive strength and capacity to become a major player in the global scene, says the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research and analysis division of the world-leading business media platform, The Economist.
The Bank, which operates out of 10 African countries and the United Kingdom, is one of twelve companies, selected from four continents and spanning six industries, that the EIU believes has the strategy and potential to dominate domestic markets and expand its business outlays internationally.
In its report, “Going Global: 12 Companies to Watch in Developing Markets,” the EIU said Guaranty Trust Bank is leading the digital banking race in Sub-Saharan Africa by getting more customers to bank online, reducing the communication gap with its customers and allowing customers to conduct 90% of their banking transactions from home.
“The lender’s digital services extend beyond banking to online payments for services such as applying for passports,” the EIU report added, whilst also stating that, “in traditional banking, GTBank has held its ground despite falling interest income and assets.”
Regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run African financial institutions, GTBank has been the major driver of digital banking in Africa. The Bank is renowned for constantly delivering innovative financial products and services, such as its full-service USSD banking product, 737, which enables customers and non-customers access financial services on their phones, by simply dialing *737#, and the SMEMarkethub, a free online marketplace for people to buy and sell at no extra cost, amongst several others. Recently, the bank achieved another first in digital services in Africa when it announced that it will be leveraging the WhatsApp Business Solution to enable customers bank as easy and swiftly as they chat.
By being at the forefront of Africa’s digital banking market and maintaining its leadership in traditional banking, the EIU said GTBank and all of the companies profiled in its report are well positioned and have the ambition, business acumen and capacity to go big, globally. The report also notes that GTBank and the others have their work cut out for them.
“They will have to counter ongoing global trade disputes and a rise in protectionism. With the tightening of global monetary conditions, there will also be considerable economic and competitive risks involved in investing in some markets.”
Despite these challenges, the Economist Intelligence Unit says it will be closely tracking GTBank’s impressive run for leadership in the global business scene.
“We will be examining their financial results, their new product launches, their marketing plans and the careers of their senior executives as they aim for the top.”


FirstBank Promotes Financial Inclusion Launches Xplorefirst Savings Promo Savings Promo For Students  

In alignment with its financial inclusion drive, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced a promotional campaign aimed at rewarding its youth segment customers for using their FirstBank XploreFirst Savings accounts whilst also encouraging healthy savings habit. The promo which kicked off on October 1, 2018 is scheduled to run for 6 months to March 30, 2019.

XploreFirst is a FirstBank savings account variant designed specifically for students between the age range of 18 – 29 years.  A minimum amount of N1, 000 is required to open the account and account holders are to maintain a minimum balance of N200 to run the account.

To participate in the promo, XploreFirst customers are encouraged to save or maintain a minimum amount of N10, 000 in their accounts during the promo period to be eligible for the scholarship raffle draw. Incremental deposits of N10,000 in the account entitles the account holder to multiple tickets for the raffle draw.

A total of 198 winners would emerge from the promo with 18 account holders (3 from each of the six geopolitical zones) being rewarded with scholarships of N150, 000 in a grand finale raffle draw and N5,000 airtime as consolation prizes to 180 account holders (5 from each of the six geopolitical zones).

According to the Group Head, Products & Marketing Support, Mr.Abiodun Famuyiwa, “FirstBank recognises the impact of a healthy savings culture in promoting financial inclusion amongst individuals, especially the youth. And with the saying, the youth are the leaders of tomorrow, we believe that with XploreFirst account, the youths are well positioned to take the lead in their financial activities through the exciting benefits the account offers.”

So, if you are a student between the ages of 18 – 29 years, take a walk into any FirstBank branch near you to open an XploreFirst account. Start your journey to financial freedom today with Firstbank”.

Nigeria’s Largest Ready To Wear Ankara Boutique – I.Rasa Clothing Opens In Ibadan

Penultimate week, Nigeria’s first and largest Ankara ready to wear brand – I.Rasa opened its flagship store in Ibadan .

Located in the ever busy hub of Shoprite – Ring Road , the opening of I.Rasa was very much celebrated as they had earlier in the year opened 2 brancjhes in Lagos .

The first of its kind boutique in nigeria was declared open by the wife of the honourable commisioner of Local Government and Chieftancy – Mrs Bimbo Kolade .

Others in attendance were – Mr Harrison – Head of Programmes Jamz FM, Tosin Odita – CEO Beatpluz , Honourable Dieko Owonikoko, Tolu Oluwo ,  Moriam Musa , Damilola Oladehin , Fola Fakol , (SA to the executive governor of Oyo State on Legislative Matters ) Emeka Alfred ( Procter & Gamble ) Lady Gwen, and others

According to the CEO – Mr Ayo Alayande , I.Rasa intends to establish the Ankara Ready to Wear culture with the most fashion forward designs at very competitive prices .

I.Rasa also has stores in Lagos – Lekki on Admiralty way and on Allen Avenue in Ikeja .