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Opinion: Celebrating The Enigmatic Guru, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. At 68



By Michael Effiong

I was rummaging through my old files earlier this week and stumbled on this card-and today, the angel of mercy who sent this simple but classy white and gold card is adding another year.

In case you have not seen the crest or the name, this was sent many years back by none other than the man we used to fondly called “The Bull” and much later “The Great Guru”, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr.

I have known Dr. Mike Adenuga long before Globacom, in fact back in the day, you only knew him by name and reputation and hardly ever saw him or his picture. He was and still is mysterious.

But later on, I have had a few personal encounters with this great son of Africa and they are fond memories. He always makes an impression any time you meet him one on one. No encounter is the same, and one thing is guaranteed, you will never leave the same way you came.

Trust me, Dr Adenuga Jnr. epitomizes the word enigma. In fact, like Chief Dele Momodu often says, he is a spirit. He is one of the few people you dream over, someone you need not see but feel. And when you feel him, it is usually not a gentle breeze, his, is often a very heavy wind, sometimes so shocking that it hits you like a tsunami.

The business titan has wowed many with his act of generosity and any one who has received one of these personalized cards or a call from his Executive Office will attest to the fact that the “Chairman of Chairmen” never calls or asks someone to call, except it is a Big Deal!

Personally, anytime we met, he often begins with the greeting “Edemfo”, that is “how are you” in Ibibio, of course, I will beam with a smile, and respond, Asong-and then we will go on to speak or he just moves along if it is a public function.

Left for Dr. MA Jnr, he would have loved to enjoy his life under the radar, but after Globacom, all that changed. It was not because of anything he did personally, but the impact that Globacom has had on the Nigerian and African economy.

With Globacom, Adenuga showed his strength of character, tenacity and his penchant for daring to tread where others dread. The whole country is aware of how he devastatingly lost the first bid for a telecoms licence through his company, Communications Investment Limited (CIL) in 2001.

During that bid, he lost a fortune ($20 million) but never lost focus nor give up hope. Thus, when he rebounded with Globacom and introduced many unique services, especially the per second billing, which the foreign-owned operators had stubbornly insisted was impossible, Adenuga and in deed his wholly-owned company, GLOwed with Pride! The company has since gone on to Rule The World.

Many years after this card, Adenuga on account of his business acumen, doggedness, determination and sheer guts has since won the highest national honours in Nigeria (Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON), Ghana (Companion of the Star of Ghana) and France (Chevalier de la Legion d Honneur)

Described as a typical Taurean, bold and bullish, Dr Adenuga is a perfectionist who is passionate and compassionate as well as someone who never settles for anything but the very best. He has zero tolerance for indolence.

Many people say he is the richest black man alive, and I cannot doubt their assessment going by his humongous investment in telecoms, oil & gas, real estate, construction, banking and more.

The joke in town is that Adenuga is so loaded that Forbes has been too scared to announce his actual worth!

God has indeed blessed this man of means immensely, maybe that is the main reason he has built a chapel in his Ikoyi, Lagos mansion to enable him thank God daily for His mercies.

Please join me today as I raise a toast to wish this great son of Nigeria and Africa’s gift to the world happy 68th birthday. May God grant him UNLIMITED grace and excellent health. Amen!

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Fuel Subsidy Removal: FG, Labour Meeting Ends in Deadlock




Talks between the Federal Government and organised labour over the removal of fuel subsidy ended in a deadlock on Wednesday as they failed to reach a consensus following the hike in petrol pump prices to over N700 from N195 per litre by oil marketers.

The hours-long meeting which was held at the Presidential Villa was to, among other things, prevent a labour crisis following the recent increase in the petrol pump price occasioned by the discontinuance of petroleum subsidy.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited said it had adjusted the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit to reflect the market realities. The agency, however, failed to state the new prices of petrol.

However, several retails outlets sold the product between 600 and N800 in Lagos, Abuja , Ogun and some other states.

The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, pointed out that the hike in the cost of PMS would trigger galloping inflation in the country, stressing that some outlets in the South-East were currently dispensing the product at N1,200/l.

Ukadike stated, “Once NNPCL retail stations have adjusted their pumps to reflect the new price, there is nothing you can do about it; that is the new price. As I speak with you, all of them are now selling at the new prices. The situation is so bad, that somewhere in Ebonyi State our members informed us that it is now N1,200/litre.

“We thought the President would remove the subsidy through a seamless means because the source of this petrol is the NNPCL. They are the ones subsidising petroleum products, they are the people who use their revenue to subsidise this product.’’

The IPMAN spokesperson expressed worry over the rate of increase in inflation and hardship that would come as a result of the latest hike in petrol price.

“This hike in petrol price will definitely lead to galloping inflation and will worsen the hardship already being faced by the Nigerian masses. It is not something to cheer about. It came as a surprise and in the coming days, we will see the very harsh ripple effects,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Ukadike has called on the Federal Government and the NNPCL to give other marketers the opportunity to start importing petrol in order to create competition in the sector.

“The NNPCL is importing and has not given people the opportunity to join them in importing so as to see whether private sector operators can import the product cheaper or not. So there is no competition. In a deregulated regime, there must be competition, everyone with capacity should be allowed to import,” the IPMAN official stated.

When asked whether other marketers could resume imports since the government had finally deregulated petrol prices, Ukadike replied, “Marketers can import, but let me tell you some of the factors militating against this. The first is that there won’t be availability of dollars.

“You will source your dollar from the parallel market and if you are not careful in doing this, and you go into the importation of petroleum products, you might not ‘come out of it alive’ at the end of the day.

“So what we are saying is that those advantages that NNPCL has, should be shared with other major importers of petroleum products. If it is through crude buy-back, they should let us know so that independent players such as IPMAN members can come together and be able to use it in the buy-back model.’’

He added, “For independent marketers, the most important thing is that there should be availability of petroleum products, and the government should open up the space for importers and investors to come in.”

NNPCL, the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria for several years running, confirmed the hike in petrol price in a statement and a new pricing template released to marketers nationwide.

But the move has sparked a groundswell of anger across the nation with the Nigeria Labour Congress demanding an immediate reversal of the decision.

The union also said it would hold an emergency meeting on Friday on the fuel price increase which had triggered hoarding and scarcity across the country with attendant rise in transport fares, goods and services.

The fuel price hike by the oil firm is coming 72 hours after President Bola Tinubu declared in his inaugural address on Monday that the subsidy regime had ended.

To pacify the growing anger over the situation, the FG hastily summoned some labour leaders to a meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday evening.

The meeting had in attendance the NLC President, Joe Ajaero and his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Festus Osifo, former NLC President and immediate past governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan, Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari, and others, however, ended in a deadlock as the labour and government teams failed to reach a consensus.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Joe Ajaero, said “As far as labour is concerned, we didn’t have a consensus in this meeting.”

He faulted the NNPCL over an official release published hours earlier reviewing the petrol pump price in its filling stations nationwide.

He said the move puts the labour unions in a difficult position on the negational table.

“That’s the principle of negotiation. You don’t put the partner, ask them to negotiate under gunpoint. The prayer of the NLC is that we go back to the status quo, negotiate, think of alternatives and all the effects and how to manage the effects this action is going to have on the people. If it is an action that must take off.

“The subsidy provision has been made up to the end of June. And before then, conscious people, labour management, and the government should be able to think of what will happen at the end of June. You don’t start it before the time,” Ajaero said.

The Punch

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Breaking: Founder, DAAR Communications, Raymond Dokpesi is Dead




By Eric Elezuo

The Founder of DAAR Communications, owners of the foremost radio and television stations in Nigeria, Raypower and African Independent Television (AIT), High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, is dead.

Reliable sources said the High Chief died while exercising on a treadmill on Monday afternoon.

The source said Dopkesi suffered a stroke some weeks ago.

Details soon…

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I Stand on Rule of Law, with Our Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, PDP, Says Dele Momodu




By Eric Elezuo

Frontline journalist and Director of Strategic Communications of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Council in the just concluded Presidential election, Chief Dele Momodu, had said that he remains a loyal member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and will always stand on the side of rule of law, and with the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Momodu made the revelations in a statement he signed himself, noting that the last election, which brought Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to power, was savagely manipulated by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He praised the steps Atiku, and the presidential candidate of the Labour candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, have taken in seeking legal redress.

The statement in details:


My position on the state of our country NIGERIA is simple and straightforward. I’m a loyal member of PDP who owes absolute allegiance to Nigeria and its Rule of Law. My political party PDP and others passionately hold the view that the last Presidential election was savagely manipulated by the ruling party APC and the cases are already in courts. Nothing will make me abandon my party on the altar of convenience and profit. Win or lose, I will continue to stand on this principle without any malice or prejudice against those who think otherwise. Democracy is a game of choice and I’m resolutely standing by our candidate, the former Vice President ALHAJI ATIKU ABUBAKAR (GCON) who has taken the honorable and peaceful step of going to court to seek redress. This is the only way we can deepen our hard earned Democracy. Sacrifice is not always convenient but painful.

I salute and respect The Wazirin Adamawa and others like my dear friend and Brother, former Governor Peter Obi, the Labor Party Presidential candidate, for promoting the best tenets of Democracy in Nigeria and I’m willing to encourage them rather than discourage their onerous quests…


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