The Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has called on the Federal Government to intervene in the ownership dispute between HealthPlus, a pharmaceutical retail firm, and its equity investment partner, United Kingdom’s Alta Semper Capital.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Director-General of the group, Ifeanyi Oputa, on Monday. The group stated that there is a need for the Federal Government to promote and protect businesses founded by Nigerians who, in spite of the country’s difficult business environment, have created thriving concerns.
Oputa explained that a core part of NASSI’s mandate is to encourage and facilitate the growth & expansion of its MSME member businesses.
Oputa stated, “Today’s topic is centred on the story which hit the airwaves a week ago about the purported sacking of HealthPlus CEO, Mrs. Bukky George, a bonafide NASSI Ambassador and mentor; by the very people her firm invited to support its growth plans.”
While admitting that it was yet to have full details of the events leading to the announcement of the sack of George, NASSI said the Federal Government urgently needs to intervene in the HealthPlus matter and other controversial equity transactions involving Nigerian-owned businesses.
“We are not fully appraised of the facts and would thus not be drawn into aspects of this case, which Mrs. George is fully capable of defending. NASSI is, however, calling upon the Federal Government to wade into this matter and indeed other questionable PE (private equity) transactions across Nigeria as a matter of urgency,” it added.
It noted that governments around the world have always identified key business players on the local scene and provide appropriate support for them to grow into multinational corporations.
“Some countries have sent out gunboats and gone to war to protect the interests of its key business players because of what they represent to the people and the nation-state.
“Google, Apple Amazon, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Coca Cola and a host of others have been supported by the American Government to the point where the respective US embassies and agencies wade in to resolve commercial disputes in favour of their nationals,” stated NASSI.
It noted that while such firms do not exactly have unblemished track records, they get support because the government of their countries believe that supporting them is in the overriding interest of the nation.
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NASSI noted that HealthPlus has played a unique role in the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry and has the potential to become a leader on the continent, especially with the coming on stream of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Association recalled that the swift growth of Transcorp and the Dangote Group, among other Nigerian-founded businesses, is attributable to government support. It added that such companies are the country’s pride and can inspire young Nigerians into making something of their lives.
#EndSARS: No excuse for that amount of brutality on unarmed civilians – Raila Odinga
Raila Odinga has said that there can be no excuse for the amount of brutality met on unarmed #EndSARS protesters in Nigeria.
The Former Prime Minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga says there can be no excuse for the amount of brutality on unarmed #EndSARS protesters in Nigeria and urged the African Union and Nigerian government to investigate actors of state brutality.
Mr Odinga disclosed this in a statement on Thursday afternoon, he also passed his sincere condolences to the bereaved families and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
Statement on Police Brutality against protesters in Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/R2X8vor7oP
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) October 22, 2020
“The Police brutality and abuses that have gone on in Nigeria for the last couple of days, leading to multiple deaths and injuries of unarmed civilians are extremely worrying and unacceptable. There can be no excuse for that amount of brutality on unarmed civilians protesting misconduct on the part of the police,” Odinga said.
He added that the brutality that was meted out on the protesters is a reminder of “how precarious and threatened Africa’s march towards democratization, respect for rights and freedoms and the rule of law remains”.
He urged that the continent needs to disembark from the politics of confrontation and violence and engage issues to resolve differences. He also called on the African Union and Nigerian Authorities to “investigate the violence and murders that have gone on and hold the perpetrators to account.”
“Africa and its institutions must stand up for and condemn the brutalization of its citizens at home with the same energy and vigor it responds to the violations of its citizens abroad,” he said.
#EndSARS: Tinubu says he has no investment in LCC, collects no dime from Lekki Tollgate
Bola Tinubu has denied having any investment in the Lekki Concession Company.
Former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has denied having any kobo investment in the Lekki Concession Company (LCC), and as such has no dime in the funds generated at the Lekki Tollgate.
The rebuttal follows claims and allegations of his involvement in the shooting of unarmed protesters on Tuesday at the Lekki Tollgate. He was alleged to be livid from the losses made at the tollgate due to its shutdown by #EndSARS protesters; hence, the scheme to disperse protesters
Bola Tinubu debunked this rumor, in a telephone interview with Channels Television in the early hours of Wednesday.
In response to a question on his interest in the Lekki Tollgate, the APC leader said, “I have no dime, no kobo investment in the tollgate”.
He also denied having any investment in the Lekki Concession Company (LCC), the firm which manages the tollgate.
Going further, he stated that he was reported to the President and initially accused of being behind the protests going on across the country; an allegation he has since denied. He refuted claims of giving the orders for the shooting of protesters at the Lekki Tollgate and questioned the logic behind the use of live arms on protesters who were unarmed.
“I will never, never be part of any carnage. I will never be part of that.”
According to Tinubu, it was his intervention that that spurred Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to respond to the demands of the protesters.
He said, “That was why he (Sanwo-Olu) set up the Judicial Commission of Inquiry. The governor has gone to the home of one of the victims to appeal to them. He has put N200m together as part of restitution and compensation for those attacked.”
There has been reported vandalization of properties allegedly owned by the former Lagos State Governor, which was fuelled by rumors he had a hand in the shooting of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza.
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Hoodlums razed the Lekki Tollgate and there were also alleged attacks on Oriental hotel, Television Continental, amongst others.
#EndSARS: Ikoyi Prison on fire, as Army foils jailbreak attempt
Ikoyi Correctional Centre in the Ikoyi area of Lagos is currently on fire.
Some buildings on the premises of the Ikoyi Correctional Centre are currently on fire, as there was an alleged jailbreak attempt by inmates. The fire emanating from the facility and seen in a video posted by Arise TV led to speculations of a possible jailbreak.
📹: Scene at Ikoyi Prison in Lagos pic.twitter.com/FOgtr2OskZ
— ARISE News Feed (@ARISEtv) October 22, 2020
Senator Tokunbo Ogunbajo confirmed the incident in a telephone interview with Arise TV. He disclosed that the cause of the fire outbreak is still unknown as security operatives and other personnel at the facility have done their best to curtail the inferno and restore order.
He emphasized that soldiers and other security operatives have arrived at the correctional facility, and there is no record of any escaped inmate, neither was there an attack from hoodlums.
According to him, the gunshots heard by neighbors, were fired to bring order and stem down unrest amongst inmates, who might want to seize the situation to escape.