Connect with us

Boss Picks

World Exclusive: How Cabal, Corruption Stalled Mambilla Hydropower Project …The Abba Kyari, Fashola and Malami Connection Plus FG May Lose $2bn



By Michael Effiong

The Boss can now reveal exclusively that the reason the Mambilla HydroPower Project, has not taken off for years, laid idle and gathered dust, is because of high wire power play, selfishness and in some cases bare-faced corruption.

Our investigation has shown that government after government, Minister after Minister even President after President, all efforts to bring the project, which was conceived in 1972 to improve electricity supply in Nigeria, back to life and meet its set objectives of power generation and job creation, has always been frustrated by a myriad of forces.

Therefore, when in November 2017, the Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, announced that President Buhari has approved  $5.792 billion (About N1.1trillion) for the construction of the 3,050 megawatts Mambilla Hydro-Power Project at Gembu in Taraba, many heaved a sigh of relief. At last, they believed, Nigeria would finally break the jinx of perennial power failure.

According to Fashola: “Several efforts had been made to bring it to reality but I’m happy to announce that this government approved the contract today to joint ventures of Chinese Civil and Engineering company for the engineering and turn-key contract, including civil and electro-mechanical works for $5.792 billion.

He noted that the scope of works of the project will include construction of four dams and 700kilometres of transmission, adding that it will unleash the nation’s potentials in agriculture, tourism and energy.

Six months after that cheerful statement, it seems however, that it is not yet uhuru. The Federal Government is yet to pay its 15% counterpart funds to the Chinese Exim Bank, and nothing has so far happened.

Knowing full well the importance of this project to the Nigerian people and the overall economy, we were agitated by this state of inertia and that was when we began digging, and our investigation has now revealed that Mr. Fashola did not present the full story.

We gathered that one of the main reasons for the latest delay of the project is actually a long-standing dispute that may have been overlooked when the President and Members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) gave approval on August 30, 2017.

We also discovered an interesting twist where the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) gave sound legal advice which was ignored by the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari before the contract was awarded.

Furthermore, we discovered that after earlier aligning with the Attorney-General, curiously, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, backtracked, and switched to the advice of the COS, a move that would definitely do more harm than good to this project.

It is a riveting story of power play at the very highest level, the kind of intrigues that many thought would never occur in the Buhari Presidency.



To clearly understand this knotty matter, we have to take you through the whole gamut of hard facts spanning 18 years.

Documents in the possession of The Boss indicate that a Nigerian company, Sunrise Power Transmission Co. Limited had been in the forefront of promoting this Project from the outset. 

Prior to the official tender process, Sunrise started promoting the Mambilla Project as early as year 2000. It reportedly engaged the offices of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as well as the Nigerian Embassy in China.

Its successful promotion of the project led to the first state visit of then President Obasanjo to China in 2001 and Vice President Atiku in 2002.

It was thereafter, that a bidding process was opened for the project and the Ad-Hoc Inter-Ministerial Committee recommended Sunrise and its Chinese Partners. On April 7, 2003, the Committee wrote the President for approval to officially issue an award letter.

Therefore, on May 22, 2003, the then Federal Ministry of Power and Steel (Now Part of the new Ministry of Power, Works and Housing) issued a letter of Award to Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited in consortium with North China Power Group as Technical Partners. The contract was for the construction of a 3, 960MW Hydroelectric Power Project in Mambilla on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement for a provisional six billion dollars. Sunrise accepted the offer.

 In August 20, 2003, Sinohydro, which has its principal place of business at no.1 Ertao Biaguang Road, Xuanwu District, Beijing, PR China, North China Power Engineering Co. Ltd with its business address as 24a Huangsi District, Beijing and Sunrise located at Oluwa (Fowler) Road, Ikoyi, Lagos Nigeria, signed a contract to work together on what was then the 3, 960MW project.  Sunrise engaged Sinohydro to construct the project on an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis.

After it has begun work, it got a shocking letter on September 3, 2003 from the Ministry of Energy (FMOE) claiming that the Federal Executive Council did not approve the memo recommending Sunrise for the project and directing Sunrise to tender for the project when it is advertised.

Sunrise sought a resolution without success. Sunrise and North China engaged Chief Afe Babalola, (SAN) to demand compensation.

A letter written by Chief Babalola dated February 4, 2005, read in part: “Your ministry cannot seek to repudiate the contract as it has attempted to do in the Ministry’s letter ….not after our clients have incurred expenses on the preparation incidental to the execution of the project.

“Consequent upon the preliminary steps towards execution of the contract, our clients have incurred well over Three Million Pounds while there are commitments to several consultants local and international in excess of Thirty Million British Pounds.”

While the dispute was on, Sunrise and it partners were still at work. An indication of this was a letter of intent written on April 15, 2005 by Dai Chunning, General Manager, Banking Department oF China Export-Import Bank to Sinohydro Corporation indicating its interest to provide $5.5 Billion for the Mambilla Project; the bank further stated that “We perused the information provided on the issue and are pleased to show interest and support in the proposed project by way of this Letter of Interest”. 

Nothing was heard on the project until May 29, 2007 when, allegedly influenced by a Senior Government official, the Government awarded a part of the SUNRISE contract (Lot I, Civil/Hydraulic Steel Structures) of the (2,600MW Mambilla Hydroelectric) First Phase of the project to Messrs CGGC/CGC Ltd, in the sum of US$1.46billion.

The source of funding envisaged at the time of award was a combination of an Exim Bank of China loan of US$1 billion and funds from the Excess Crude Savings Account.

Of course, Sunrise did not take this lying down. It took the matter to the Federal High Court, Abuja suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/384/2007. The defendants in the case were The Minister of Energy, The Attorney-General of the Federation, China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) and China Geo-Engineering Corporation (CGC).

Late President Umaru Musa Yar ‘Adua directed the Federal Ministry of Justice to investigate the Breach of Contract and USD 960 Million (Nine Hundred and Sixty Million United States Dollars) damage claim filed by Sunrise, and a Report (a copy of which is in our possession) from the Federal Ministry of Justice Indicted the Federal Ministry of Energy and CGGC/CGC of Gross Violation of Sunrise’s BOT Contract.

Furthermore, Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa noted that Sunrise was not duly disengaged as Contractor on the project before government went ahead in May 2007 to engage CGGC/CGC for the same project.

He therefore, opined that Sunrise was in strong legal position to pursue a successful claim against the Federal Government; stating that “The best interest of the country can only be served by an amicable settlement of the parties so as to avoid the embarrassment that litigation would bring (to) the image of the country.” He sought Presidential approval to explore efforts of settlement of the matter.

Abba Kyari


Following a Presidential Visit to China in 2008, word reached late President Yar’Adua about an alleged $15m bribery that led to the award of the $1.46 billion contract to CGGC/CGC on May 29, 2007.

Late President YarAdua, we gathered then invited Sunrise, then Minister of State, Power (Late Hajiya Fatima Balaraba Usman), Minister of State and the accused Presidential official for a meeting.

After the meeting, President Yar Adua instructed then Attorney-General, Mr. Michael Aondoaka, SAN, to cancel the CGGC/CGC contract and restore the BOT Contracts to Sunrise immediately which was done at the Vice President’s Conference room in the presence of all Directors and Permanent Secretaries of both the Ministry of Power and the Ministry of Justice.
After this unfortunate episode, Sunrise agreed to resolve its legal dispute against the Federal Government and CGGC/CGC Consortium amicably, by proposing that Sinohydro Corporation in partnership with Sunrise, on the one hand, should form a Consortium at a cost to be determined by the final project design to be undertaken.

In October 2012, the Federal Government decided it wanted to own the Mambilla HydroPower Project and wanted an urgent settlement. This led to the signing of the Settlement and General Project Execution Agreement (GPEA) between the Federal Ministry of Finance, then Honourable Minister of State, Power, Architect Darius Ishaku now Governor of Taraba State signed, and then Solicitor-General of Federation, Mr. Abduallahi Yola signed for the Federal Government. 

Sunrise and Sinohydro also signed but CGGC and CGC refused to sign because the Ministry of Power/Federal Government had allotted only 30% of Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) works to them.

Darius Ishaku


When the Federal Government filed the Settlement Agreement in Court at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the Court rejected it because CGGC/CGC did not sign the Settlement and GPEA Agreements.

Thereafter a Stakeholders’ Meeting was convened at the Ministry of Power on November 23, 2012 and over 40 Stakeholders reportedly attended.

It was at this meeting that Mrs. Zainab Kuchi, new Minister of Power and the Solicitor-General of the Federation signed a new Out of Court Settlement Agreement with Sunrise (Its Chairman, Mr. Leno Adesanya signed) and also a new GPEA with Sunrise and Sinohydro (Its Technical and Financial Partners) was affirmed with a mandate to execute 100% of the EPC Contract.

In 2013, then President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan during a State Visit to China was called upon by the Chinese President “To please consider both Sinohydro and CGHC as EPC Contractors.”

The new Minister, Professor Chinedu Nebo then appealed to Sunrise to vote CGGC (Not CGC) as Co-contractor, a position that was accepted by Sunrise so that the project will be up and running.

As a result  of that parley, On January 14,  2015,  the Federal Ministry of Power, issued an Award Letter (No FMP/6145/S.11.1.185 of January 14, 2015) to Messrs CGCC and Sinohydro, specifically informing both Chinese companies that “Please note that based on the General Project Execution Agreement and Terms of Settlement agreed on the 23rd November, 2012 between the Federal Government on one hand and Sunrise/Synohydro on the other hand, Sunrise Power and Transmission Co. Ltd will serve as  local content Partner on the Mambilla Project

The Present:

When President Muhammadu Buhari assumed Power, like all past Presidents, the issue of power was key on his agenda. In fact during one of his very first interviews on Channels Television in 2015, he stated that “The 3050MW Mambilla Hydropower Projectis stalled because FGN refused to pay 15% counterpart funds to Chinese Contractors; Just 15 per cent”.

It was not therefore, a surprise that on June 29, 2015, President Buhari reportedly hosted Alhaji Lawal Idris for over an hour at the Presidential Villa. He was in the company of Mr. Leno Adesanya, the Chairman/CEO of Sunrise.

We gathered that Adesanya presented a comprehensive briefing on the history of his company’s involvement with the Mambilla Power Project and how Sunrise, his company already has subsisting contractual agreements with the Federal Government as regards its execution.

There was an indication that since there was another Sheriff in town, the project will start revving again. When it didn’t, Sunrise wrote Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, (SAN)  on February 26, 2016, notifying him that it had held joint meetings with the two companies (SINOHYDRO and CGGC) in Beijing, and they have agreed to split the EPC Contract on a 50/50 basis; The Minister notified his Permanent Secretary, Mr. Louis Edozien in the letter.

A month later, on March 8, 2016, Engr. E.O. Ajayi, Director (Energy Resources) on behalf of the Minister, wrote to Mambilla project Consultants, Coyne et Bellier/Decrown, urging the company to send a reminder to Messrs Sinohydro and Messrs CGGC to submit the cooperation agreement detailing the division responsibility/section of works of the parties, noting that the consortium is jointly and severally responsible for the full implementation of the project. The Consortium was directed to submit the said agreement not later than March 31, 2016.

That was not all, many people involved in the project were now more enthusiastic when it was announced that President Buhari was preparing his first official visit to China.

He eventually embarked on the 4-day visit on April 10, 2016 but for some inexplicable reasons, this all important Mambilla project was not on the agenda.

We gathered from the delegation, that with pressure from Mr. Leno Adesanya, Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State, Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State and Chief Audu Ogbe, decided to bring the situation  to the attention of a very angry President Buhari, who was upset that the Taraba Governor was not invited on the trip by the Minister of Power Works and Housing. In any case, that was how Mambilla hit the front burner and became one of the key issues of the Presidential visit.

On his return later that month, President Buhari sent his Chief of Staff back to Beijing to conclude the negotiations, which resulted in the agreed price of $5.79 billion.

In addition, on April 25, 2016, Mr. President wrote through his Chief of Staff (Letter No. SH/COS/05/A/1847) to the Honourable  Attorney-General, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, copying the Minister of Power Works and Housing (HMOPWH), to propose a strategy for resolving all the legal issues and disputes relating to the Mambilla Power Project including the matter of the “warring parties”.

As per the directive given by Mr. President, The Boss learnt that the Attorney-General held series of meetings with the parties involved, and on May 20, 2016 in a letter addressed to Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, the Attorney-General made the following recommendations:

1)  Government should engage Sinohydro Corpration and CGGC jointly for the purpose of executing the Mambilla Project in line with the Spirit of the Letter of Award dated January 14, 2015, on a 50-50 basis or based on other technical parameters to be determined by the Project Consultants

2)  Engage the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria/Chinese Government to ensure the success of the plan to award the job to two companies

3)  Sunrise Power & Transmission Company Limited should be engaged as Local Content Partner on the Mambilla Project as a means of accommodating its prior contractual interests on the project

4)  A joint meeting of the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing for the purpose of streamlining the above positions and advising Mr. President through the Chief of Staff accordingly should be convened.

Curiously, six days after this legal advice, the Chief of Staff allegedly invited a Kaduna-based Chinese Company (CGC Nigeria Limited) to a meeting at the Presidency.

Present at the meeting were Sinohydro, CGC, CGGC, Mr. Fashola and some top Ministry officials. It was at this meeting that Mallam Kyari urged these three companies to cooperate and form a Joint Venture.

Despite being told by the Chairman of Sinohydro, and Fashola about the existing agreements with Sunrise, the CoS insisted that they should go ahead with the new arrangement, and instructed the Chinese to deal directly with the Presidency and the Ministry; not their local partners.

Not still satisfied with that move, on January 23, 2017, the Attorney General, wrote the Minister of Power, Works and Housing. The letter, HAGF/SH/2017/Vol.1/14 was titled: Request To Convene A Meeting On Procurement Process For The 3020MW Mambilla HydroElectric Power Project in Light of Outstanding Legal Issues.

Fashola replied three days later in a letter: FMP/6145/S.11/Vol.11/517, noting that his ministry welcomes the meeting requested that aims to resolve all issues raised.

The Minister also wrote a letter to Mr. Leno Adesanya on May 3, 2017 in response to a letter that the former had written him on March 31, 2017. He asked Mr. Adesanya to present his observations at a Stakeholders Meeting to be scheduled by the Chief of Staff to the President as proposed by the Attorney-General.

While everyone involved was looking forward to that meeting, Mallam Abba Kyari fired a letter he personally signed to The Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing on May 22, 2017 with the title: Re: Letter Referenced FMP/6145/S.II/569 In Respect of Mambilla HydroProject

The two paragraph letter stated:

 “Further to our discussion, kindly note that Messrs Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited is not party to the existing arrangements on this project.

“The Contractor engaged is Messrs CGGC-Sinohydro-CGCOC Joint Venture”.

Interestingly this letter was written when Mr. President was having his medical vacation abroad.

Messrs Sunrise must have been enraged by this unilateral decision of the Chief of Staff and consequently wrote the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who was Acting President at the time to intervene.

Mr. Leno Adesanya, who signed the letter as Chairman/CEO, updated the Acting President on the project, alerting him that it was the Chinese that informed them of the sad news.

He went on to make an appeal: “Your Excellency, permit me to say that over the years, we have pleaded with our financial partners to be patient with the FGN as various developments that delayed the project played out.

“We are however constrained to observe that the latest developments, if not rectified in line with the legal recommendations of the HAGF, prior to seeking FEC approval, shall leave us with no choice but seek legal redress where appropriate including against the Chinese government. We are however, confident that with your expected intervention, this reluctant prospect can be avoided.

“We trust your sense of justice and your commitment to the early realization of this project…”

The Attorney-General certainly was also unhappy with this development, little wonder that on July 24, 2017 he also wrote the Acting President.

Titled “Re: Correspondence In Respect Of The Procurement Process For The 3050MW Mambilla Hydro-Electric Power Project In Light Of Outstanding Issues”, he noted that following Mr. President’s directive of April 2016, he had developed a legal opinion, and had forwarded same to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing.

He re-affirmed his recommendation insisting that he informed the Chief of Staff to the President and Minister about this and he wanted the Acting President to give appropriate directive.

Well, it seemed the letters from these two men did not carry much weight because just like he had promised in the meeting in 2016, and his letter of 2017, Mallam Abba Kyari had his way and the Nigerian Company was kicked out. There was no word from the Vice President or his office on the matter.
We were told that many moves were made for a meeting, even President Buhari’s main man, Alhaji Mamman Daura, reportedly tried to arrange one of such meetings on September 30, 2017, but the Chief of Staff will have none of it.

He advised Mr. Leno Adesanya, whose company, Sunrise, had been short-changed to “go to court”.

Of course following the November announcement by Fashola, there was a chain reaction. Sunrise activated the Arbitration Clause of its November 23, 2012 GPEA Agreement, and approached the International Chambers of Commerce, International Court of Arbitration in Paris, France to take charge; and it is claiming $2.3 billion in damages and profit loss.

The ICC Case No. 23211/TO is between Sunrise, Federal Government of Nigeria and Sinohydro Corporation Limited.

Already the legal fireworks have begun: While Mr. Jeremie Chouraqui is lead Counsel for Sunrise, Mr. Richard Smellie is representing Sinohydro while Supo Shashore, SAN is representing the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Despite this move at arbitration, Sunrise, through its Lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN has written to the Attorney-General (copied to Minister of Power, Works and Housing and Presidency) still seeking ways of an amicable settlement; because Sunrise wants to execute the EPC contract based on the full compliance of the July 24, 2017 recommendations of the learned Attorney-General, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, to the Federal Government.

The February 2018 letter was a last ditch request and appeal to the nation’s Chief Law Officer to intervene and midwife the resolution in line with his earlier recommendations which will save Nigeria over $2 billion, as well as stem the negative publicity that the trial will generate, especially now that Nigeria is trying to project itself as an investment-friendly destination.

In a bid to get a clearer picture of this drama, we decided to speak directly to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo  (Through his Senior Special Assistant, Media, Laolu Akande), Mallam Abba Kyari, Mr. Louis Edozien, the Permanent Secretary as well as Mr. Leno Adesanya.

We wanted to know exactly why Sunrise was disqualified, which company has taken its place as Local Content Partner, and since the Chinese had committed to paying $millions of dollars to Sunrise, who will be receiving this payment? We also wanted to enquire if there was a tender and under which circumstances did Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) issue these Chinese firms Due Process Certificates?

As at the time of filing this report, only the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has reached out to us. He said he was not authorised to discuss Federal Executive Council meetings and decisions with the media.

He spoke three times informally to our Publisher, but declined to comment specifically on the issues raised. He stated that if there were any clarifications or observations to our story, they will be conveyed to us through the official channel.

The other dramatis personae have not responded. For sure, we have not heard the last of this extremely complicated saga.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Boss Picks

Meet Olayemi Cardoso, Tinubu’s Nominee for Central Bank Governor




By Eric Elezuo

On Friday, President Bola Tinubu approved the nomination of Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to replace suspended Godwin Emefiele.

According to a press statement by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, Cardoso will serve for a term of five (5) years at the first instance, pending his confirmation by the Nigerian Senate.

A deputy governor of the Bank, Faloshodun Shonubi, has been the acting Governor of the apex bank since the suspension of Emefiele in June this year,

Popularly Cardoso, known as Yemi Cardoso, the nominee is a pioneer Commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos State in 1999 upon return to democratic rule under the government of Tinubu as governor of Lagos State.

In this capacity, he is reported to have written and monitored the implementation of the blueprint which catalysed economic development in the Lagos, better known as world’s sixth largest megacity, including leading to the state’s development of independent tax revenues.

His private sector experience includes an illustrious career with Citibank, Chase and Citizens International Bank.

He has served on the board of several leading companies, including Texaco and Chevron Oil Plc. He is a member of the Belgian-based Cities Alliance Think Tank which aims to shape and influence policy and decision making on urban development in Africa and has strong relationships with key international donor agencies.

Cardoso’s first degree is from the University of Aston, United Kingdom and his second degree from Harvard University, USA.

In 2017, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in business administration by his alma mater, Aston University, in recognition of “his outstanding contributions to business and society”.

Hereunder are four other unique things about the next CBN Governor:

* Dr. Cardoso is a financial and development expert with over 30 years’ experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

* He is a Nigerian banker, chartered stockbroker and public policy maker.

* He is the first Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos State in 1999.

* Cardoso is the founding chairman and co-chair of Ehingbeti Summit, the Lagos State annual economic summit.


  1. Olayemi Cardoso, a Lagosian, grew up in Lagos and attended Corona School Ikoyi and St. Gregory’s College all in Lagos for his primary and secondary education, respectively.
  2. His father, Felix Bankole Cardoso, was the first indigenous Accountant-General of the Federation of Nigeria in 1963; and, the first indigenous Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Barclays Bank of Nigeria shortly after joining the bank in 1972. Under his leadership, Barclays successfully transformed into Union Bank of Nigeria, a wholly-owned Nigerian entity
  3. Yemi Cardoso completed his undergraduate studies upon obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Managerial and Administrative Studies from Aston University in 1980.
  4. He later furthered his education at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, earning a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2005 as a Mason Fellow.
  5. In recognition of his outstanding achievements in the private and public sectors, Cardoso was granted a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) (honoris causa) by Aston University in 2017. He is also esteemed as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers.
  6. Olayemi Michael Cardoso is a Nigerian banker, chartered stockbroker and public policy expert.
  7. He has served for over four decades in the public, private and development sectors as a leader and innovator.
  8. Among his most impactful roles are: Commissioner in the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget; Chairman of the board of the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance and, most recently, Chairman of Citibank Nigeria Ltd for 12 years, until his resignation in 2022.
  9. Cardoso is a dedicated family man. He is married with five children and three grandchildren. His parents were descendants of Brazilian returnees and came from prominent families from Popo Aguda.


Mr Cardoso was the former chairman of Citibank Nigeria, and a distinguished leader in the financial and development sectors with over 30 years’ experience in the private, public and not-for-profit organisations.

With diverse corporate governance experience, Cardoso has also sat on the boards of Nigerian subsidiaries of Texaco and Chevron and chaired the board of EFInA, a financial sector development organisation supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

He served in government as Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget for Lagos State, where he championed the financial reform process which led to the state’s development of independent tax revenues.

In his capacity as a consultant and policy expert, Mr Cardoso has advised and collaborated with major international development organisations including the World Bank, Ford Foundation, UN Habitat, World Health Organisation and the Swedish Development Foundation.

He is the recipient of several awards including an honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration from Aston University, his alma mater, and the Global Distinguished Alumni award from Citi.

Mr Cardoso obtained a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School where he was a Fellow.

Though many has seen the appointment as Mr President’s sustaining trend in rewarding his loyalists, others has however, said that the nominee is a right choice.

Cardoso, who also will be assisted to perform by four nominated deputy governors, will assume full responsibility of the apex bank on confirmation by the Senate.

Continue Reading

Boss Picks

Princess Adetutu Kasali Celebrates 50 Years of Remarkable Journey




On 10th September 1973 , in Kainji, Niger State in Nigeria, the world was graced with the arrival of a remarkable individual, Adetutu Omobolanle Kasali.

Today, as we celebrate Princess Adetutu’s 50th birthday, we reflect upon five decades of a life well-lived, filled with incredible experiences, achievements, and enduring relationships.

Early Years and Family

Born into the loving embrace of parents, Queen Adetoro Olufumilayo and *HRM Oba (Engr.) Mufutau Adesanya Kasali, The Moyegeso of Itele Kingdom, Ogun State . Adetutu displayed an inherent curiosity and zest for life from an early age. Growing up in Ikoyi, Lagos, Adetutu was nurtured in an environment that instilled values of resilience, kindness, and determination.

Educational Pursuits and Career

Adetutu’s insatiable thirst for knowledge led her to pursue higher education at University of Lagos, and further obtained a masters degree in Information Science at the University College of London, United Kingdom. This solid foundation paved the way for an illustrious career in Information Technology.

Family and Personal Life

At the heart of Adetutu’s journey is her loving family. She is a devoted mother to her wonderful son Oluwaseyifumitan Moses.

50 Years of Impact

As Adetutu reaches this incredible milestone, we celebrate not only her personal achievements, but also her impact on the lives of those around her. Adetutu is a true sister, friend, mentor, and inspiration to many, always ready with a kind word, a helping hand, or a word of wisdom.

Princess Adetutu’s 50th birthday marks a milestone of wisdom, experience, and continued growth.

So, here’s to Adetutu Omobolanle Kasali, a shining example of a life well-lived, and to many more years of joy, love, and success.

Happy 50th Birthday Slim, as we fundly call her!

Continue Reading

Boss Picks

GLOBACOM: Celebrating 20 Years of Market Leadership, Impact




By Eric Elezuo

Hurray! Globacom is 20!

The story of Nigeria’s thriving indigenous telecommunication network, Glo, is a story of doggedness, commitment, dedication and unbroken focus. This is considering the fact that the originator of the brand ventured into a terrain hitherto unknown to Nigerian business, overcoming the harsh business environment, familiar intimidation and huge financial involvement.

It is worthy of note that the first step towards hoisting the Glo network was a herculean task on its own as the overriding fame of Econet and MTN, was already on the ground with experience and huge financial muscle, taking the available space and thriving in all ramifications. It therefore, only required a tough and out of the box business acumen to bring Glo to existence. And this was what the man known by many names including the Bull and Spirit of Africa, Dr. Michael Adenuga, did. He practically crashed the network ego, raising the customer to the kingship level and made him the sole concern of telecom business. This he did by bringing on board the famed per second billing; something nobody believed was possible.

The fact that the brand lost its initial $20 million after emerging as one of the four winners in the bid auction process to operate the just introduced Global System of Mobile telecommunications (GSM) in Nigeria, did not deter it from following the dream to give Nigerians equitable telecom service. The colossal loss may have been a blessing in disguise as it gave the team a leverage to come back smoking with ideas that changed the entire telecom world for good.

The brand is 20 years now, having waded through the murky waters of competition and churning out one great after another to the applaud of global citizens.

In a press statement celebrating the 20 years of impactful existence, and appreciation to Nigerians, the telecom giant lauded the government and people for their support.

The statement recalled that it had been two decades of transforming the telecommunications landscape, fulfilling dreams, and positively affecting the lives of millions of Nigerians.

“Since inception in 2003, Globacom has been true to  its resolve to provide world-class communications and digital services through constant deployment of latest technologies in line with the corporate promise to build a robust ICT network infrastructure that would consistently deliver value to its esteemed customers.

“Glo has been at the forefront of revolutionary changes in the telecommunication sector in Nigeria. It crashed the cost of acquiring SIM cards in the country from about N25,000 to just about N200. The network also disappointed bookmakers as it launched operations on a Per Second Billing platform, a feat others had described as impossible to achieve until another five years.

“Prominent among the innovations Glo pioneered in Nigeria are Blackberry, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), Magic Plus, Glo Direct, Glo Fonepals, Africhat, Glo Mobile Internet, GloFleetmanager, M-Banking and Glo Mobile Office. Glo was also the first to launch 2.5G, 3G and 4G LTE networks. It also singlehandedly built an international submarine cable, Glo 1 to connect West Africa directly to the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. It also connects 12 nations in the West African sub region, including some of them that are landlocked.

“Glo1 is credited with crashing the cost of internet services and is today the preferred cable system by global OTT providers. It connects thousands of kilometres of national fibre to all parts of Nigeria.

“As we celebrate our achievements these past twenty years, we wish to acknowledge that Globacom’s huge success is a result of the support of millions of Nigerians. We wish to thank them for their love and patronage and for the unprecedented confidence they have consistently shown in the company,” the company said.

“While restating its commitment to the provision of world-class communications and digital services in line with its corporate resolve to build a robust communications and technology infrastructure that would consistently deliver value to its esteemed customers at launch, Globacom noted, We will remain a catalyst for socio-economic empowerment not only in Nigeria but also in Africa. We will continue to invest massively in new technologies to exceed customer.”

In a nutshell, the story of the phenomenal impact and market leadership of Glo is better told by Glo itself as captured below:

The story of the rise of indigenous telecommunications company, Globacom, is like a fairytale.

It would be “remember clearly, as if it was yesterday, when its promoter and self-effacing billionaire, Dr Mike Adenuga, appeared to have hit a blank in his attempt to venture into the telecommunications business in 2000.

His company, Communications Investment Limited (CIL), was first issued a conditional licence in 1999 to operate the Global System of Mobile telecommunications (GSM). This followed its emergence as one of four winners of the bid auction process. Adenuga paid the $20 million mandatory deposit. However, in the process of effecting the release of the balance payment of $265 million, the licence was unfairly revoked and he lost the $20 million deposit. It was a colossal loss, but the bullish businessman who is renowned for his tenacity was undeterred. The other three winners, MTN, Airtel (then known as Econet) and M-tel proceeded to roll out services.

Two years later, Adenuga went on to bid for the Second National Operator (SNO) license, and deposited another $20 million. This time, he was lucky. He won the bid in August, 2002, through Globacom Limited. Incidentally, the SNO has a wider range of operations as it gave Globacom the right to operate as a national carrier, operate digital mobile service, serve as international gateway for telecommunications in the country, and operate fixed wireless service.

Globacom was to roll out services a year later, precisely on August 29, 2003. The odds were heavily stacked against Adenuga because by then, the other operators already had a two-year head start over Adenuga’s Glo. Secondly, he was venturing into a completely new terrain. Considering that MTN and Econet both had years of experience in the business in other countries, many expected Globacom to stutter.

However, the doubts soon evaporated. Not only did Globacom stun the industry by launching on per second billing, it also crashed the cost of acquiring a GSM line from N30,000 to N6,999 and later to N200. The older operators who, for two years boasted that it was not possible to launch operations on the billing platform as no operator in the world had done this before, were left playing catch up. Like a rampaging bull (which incidentally is Adenuga’s totem), Globacom embarked on a massive rollout of facilities and operations in several towns and cities across the country, and within nine months amassed over one million subscribers. Consequently, it established a reputation as the fastest growing GSM network in Africa.

Since that remarkable feat by Globacom, it has been one endearing success after another for the Nigerian company. In an industry where it was expected to lag behind the established multinational operators, Glo is not just rubbing shoulders with them, it has, indeed, been the pacesetter. It has come to be regarded as a behemoth in Nigeria’s telecom space.

It was the first operator to launch the 2.5 Generation technology, making the convergence of voice, data and multimedia technologies possible. Hence, Glo was able to launch such value added services as vehicle tracking, mobile internet, mobile banking, multimedia messaging service (MMS), voice SMS, and Text2email before the multinationals who were still running on 2G then.

Globacom also pioneered Blackberry Services in Nigeria, and the device was for a long time the rage among business executives and in social circles.

The introduction of the 3G Plus technology marked the second time that Globacom has been in the forefront of pioneering the latest transmission network in Nigeria. With this technology, Glo was able to carry out a much faster transmission of data, voice, broadband internet and multimedia services over a range of frequencies. It also allowed customers to do video call, video streaming and high-speed mobile internet access, amongst others, from their 3G mobile handsets.

Globacom was not done yet in setting the pace yet as it also become the first network to launch a nationwide 4G-LTE network in Nigeria. The technology offers efficient broadband internet to millions of Nigerians at speeds that are several times faster than the 3G network. Subscribers on the network are able to download ultra-high definition videos in seconds.

But perhaps one of the most audacious projects undertaken by Globacom was the construction of an international submarine cable, Glo 1. Launched in 2010, the project was said to have cost over $800 million. It was the first time a gigantic project of this nature had been undertaken by a single company.

The facility which has brought unprecedented bandwidth from Europe to Nigeria and other West African countries marked the beginning of the crashing of bandwidth costs in Nigeria and the rest of West Africa, thereby facilitating more access to broadband internet. With this intervention by Globacom, almost everyone who can afford a smartphone is able to use data. Also, according to industry sources, Glo 1 is currently providing the much needed connectivity to critical sectors of the economy. Companies in the Oil and gas, manufacturing, banking, commerce, education and health sectors as well as several multinational companies, including telecom operators and internet service providers (ISPs), are said to benefit from Glo 1.

Glo 1 has also played a major role in Nigeria’s broadband penetration which currently stands at 44.5 per cent. The penetration is principally driven by major players in the telecom sector, such as Glo 1. Globacom has also invested generously in the infrastructure to deliver the last mile to end-users, while also breaking the cost barrier by introducing affordable tariffs.

While commenting on the impact of Glo 1, Globacom sources said, “With the 4G expansion to tier 2 and 3 cities, Glo1 acts as the catalyst in propagating broadband penetration in Nigeria and acts as an enabler for enterprise customers to provide world class connectivity to all their offices and factories across Nigeria. Many cloud computing companies who cater to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES) are setting up shop within the Glo partnered data centers. Using Globacom’s robust terrestrial infrastructure, Glo1 has seized this opportunity to backhaul their traffic to other data centers across the world.”

It is remarkable that it is a Nigerian company that has pulled off this ambitious project. One of Adenuga’s close associates said the idea of building a submarine cable berthed when the entrepreneur went on a business trip to Paris, the French capital, sometime around 2008. While there, he found out that telephone calls to Nigeria were epileptic unlike the connection between France and other parts of Europe. When he made enquiries about what could be done to solve the problem, he was told it was to have an international submarine cable. There and then, Dr Adenuga decided to build Glo 1, and the rest is now history. The project is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and foresight of the man behind Globacom.

For those who know Adenuga well, it was not surprising that Glo was able to quickly established itself as the pacesetter in the industry, despite commencing business two years after MTN and Airtel (then called Econet).

Other areas Globacom has effectively set itself apart are customer-empowerment, sustainability and promotion of Nigeria’s arts and cultural heritage.  From 2003 when it commenced operations to date, no company has affected the lives of its subscribers and, indeed, the Nigerian people the way the telecommunications company has done.

Over the years, the company has launched series of promos through which different types of empowerment prizes including millions of naira in cash prizes, luxury cars, tricycles, sewing machines, generators, television sets and grinding machines have been won by Nigerians across the country.

For so many years, it supported the development of Nigerian sports through the sponsorship of the Nigerian Premier League and the national football teams of Nigeria when no other corporate organisation wanted to touch the assets. The company spent billions of naira in developing the Nigerian league and national teams, and this culminated in Enyimba Football Club winning the prestigious Champions League twice in a row, while the Super Eagles won the Nations Cup in 2013. 

Nigeria’s entertainment industry has also received a massive boost from the telecom operator. It has so far brought two of the world’s biggest reality television shows to the country. They are X-Factor, which produced DJ Switch as winner, and the Battle of the Year which was held between October last year and April, this year.

In addition to this, Globacom has over the years also held its own music and comedy shows across different cities and campuses across the country. The shows, including Rock ‘n’ Rule, GloNaija Sings, Laffta Fest, Slide and Bounce concert, and Glo mega Music, were some of the platforms through which Globacom entertained and delighted Nigerians. But more importantly they helped deepen the entertainment industry by giving budding talents in music and comedy and platform to showcase their abilities.

Similarly, the nation’s art and culture have also been positively touched by Globacom. From Ojude Oba in Ijebu-Ode, Ofala in Onitsha, Lisabi in Abeokuta, Imeori in Abriba, Oru – Owerri in Imo state, amongst others, the company has through sponsoring the festivals not only brought theme to international limelight, but has also turned them into major tourist attractions.

There is hardly any aspect of life that has not been positively touched by the telecommunications company.

Looking back at the gigantic milestones it has recorded, one would find it difficult to believe that it is just 19 years old. But would any less be expected from a company founded by Dr Mike Adenuga? He made clear his intention from the beginning with a very bold vision statement, “Building Africa’s biggest and best telecommunications network”. He is known to think and dream big – a very tenacious and dogged entrepreneur who likes to grow his businesses to dominate the sectors he operates in. Globacom has not only matched the multinational operators pound for pound, but it has, indeed, dominated Nigeria’s telecommunications sector these past 19 years.

Glo, As Nigeria’s Empowerment Champion

Globacom has not only transformed the telecoms sector with its technological infrastructure, product innovations and quality service delivery, but it has also shown unparalleled commitment  to improving the lives of its customers. Its empowerment  initiatives cut across Innovation and Affordability, which have given millions of Nigerians access to telephony and allied services, Entertainment, Sports and Promotions, Festivals, among others.

Innovation and Affordability

Glo was the only operator in Africa to launch its operations on the superior 2.5G network which enabled the convergence of voice, data and multimedia technologies.

But more importantly, it launched operations on Per Second Billing, thus ensuring subscribers only pay for actual time spent on a call instead of the practice of billing customers N50 per minute event when the call cuts off at just 2 seconds.  It also crashed the cost of SIM card from N30,000 to N6,999 and later N100, thereby making it possible for low income earners, students and artisans are able to own a GSM line today.

With its massive investments in building over 20,000 kilometres of fibre optic backbone across the country, 4G technology  and Glo1, the first ever individually owned international submarine cable from the United Kingdom to Nigeria, Globacom has availed its subscribers the much needed internet bandwidth. This has led to what is called the democratization of data. For instance, with just N500, a Glo subscriber will get 2GB data, with N50 the customer gets 50MB, N100 gives 150MB. For big users on the network, they can get 675GB for N75,000 and 1Tera Byte (TB) for N100,000. The company also gives double data bonus to Glo subscribers. No wonder it is called the grandmasters of data by admirers!

Apart from boosting internet service to end users, Glo 1 is also providing connectivity to essential sectors of the economy such as oil and gas, manufacturing, banking, commerce, education and health, among others.


Globacom has always been associated with the development of the Nigerian music industry, since its inception, from its involvement with Nollywood and leading Nigerian music talents to the sponsorship of music shows such as Rock ‘n’ RuleGloNaija Sings, Laffta Fest, and  the world’s number one music singing talent reality TV show, X Factor. Others are Slide and Bounce concert, an entertainment tour which went round all the Geo-political zones of the country as well as Glo mega Music show, another platform through which Globacom entertains and delights Nigerians.

These programmes are meant to discover and help nurture budding talents. The company also supports the movie industry in Nigeria (Nollywood) and in Ghana (Ghollywood). Many of the actors and actresses in both countries have been chosen as Glo Ambassadors, thus projecting the continent in a refreshing light through African movies.

Globacom brought the world’s biggest dance reality show, Battle of the Year, to Nigeria. The winners in seven different categories went home with mega millions in cash, space wagon , and also bagged an opportunity to represent at the global edition of the competition.

Indeed, no corporate organization has had the kind of assemblage of entertainment heavyweights as it brand ambassadors as Globacom. All through the years, the cream of the country’s musicians, footballers, actors and comedians have either been signed on as brand ambassadors or featured in the company’s television commercials. The long list includes veterans such as late Osita Osadebe, late Oliver d’Coque, King Sunny Ade, Ebenezar Obey, Nelly Uchendu, Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Osaze Odemwingie  and Emmanuel Emenike. Others are MI Abaga, D’Banj, PSquare, Rita Dominic, Ini Edo, Flavour, Wizkid, Davido, Basketmouth, Gordons, I go Dye, Juliet Ibrahim, Matter Ankomah, Joselyn Dumas, Michael Essien, former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Anthony Joshua and track queen, Tobi Amusan

Life-changing Promotions:

One area where Globacom has connected with its subscribers and Nigerians generally is loyalty-reward Promos. Over the years, the company has launched series of promos through which different types of empowerment prizes have been won by Nigerians across the country. From Glo Overload to Glo Allawee, Text4Millions, Made for Life, Recharge to Stardom, 180 cars in 180 days, Glo CAF Award promo, Recharge and Win Big popularly known as My Own Don Beta, Everyday Bonanza, and Joy Unlimited Extravaganza, Nigerians have benefitted massively from Globacom and many have been empowered through the Glo promos.

Between October, 2021, and January, 2022, Globacom held a life-changing promotion called Joy Unlimited Extravaganza. Thousands of Glo subscribers won brand new Kia Rio cars, refrigerators, television sets and generators across the country. Altogether, 500,000 prizes were given out.

Promotion of Nigeria’s Cultural Heritage

Over the years, Glo has partnered with several communities across the country on the sponsorship of major festivals and promotion of culture and traditions.  These include Ojude Oba in Ijebu-Ode, Ofala in Onitsha, Lisabi in Abeokuta, Imeori in Abiriba, Oru – Owerri in Imo state, Afia- Orlu In Nnewi  and Abia –Ugwa in Isialangwa in Abia State. Through these sponsorships, Glo is giving a new lease of life to the festivals as well as empowering some lucky individuals in the communities through various prizes won at special promotions held during the festivals. The company has not only brought these festivals to international limelight, but has also turned them into major tourist attractions. This association has helped build up Globacom as an enviable brand.”

Glo’s phenomenal impact extends to hosting of comedy shows and encouragement of footballers to further their careers, not only in Nigeria, but across the West African suburb

In 2019, the brand’s sponsored comedy show, Bovi Man on Fire, was held in Warri, Delta State. The show was described by many as a perfect way to celebrate Easter. Not only that, the company delighted its subscribers with free tickets to attend the fun-filled event anchored by ace comedian, Bovi Ugboma. Other humour merchants that graced the show were Kelvin Sapp, Young Chief Odogwu, MC Shakara and Mr. Flexy.

In 2023 alone, Glo launched Glo Green Lotto, a service aimed at enhancing the opportunities for its gaming subscribers to play and win; partnered with PalmPay, to launch a new marketing initiative tagged: “PalmPay Bonanza – Recharge Glo and Win,” which offers Nigerians who buy Glo data and airtime bundles via the PalmPay platform, the chance to win fantastic prizes, and sponsored the African Voices Changemakers.

In 20 impactful years, Glo has become a symbol of glory, and epitomizes growth and development.

The company is gearing up to sponsor once again the Ofala Festival in Anambra State.

Continue Reading


%d bloggers like this: