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Red Carpet for Professor Ndubuizu as Ideato Nation Honours Him




By Ingram Osigwe

Eighty-two years on earth is a huge milestone. It is a no mean feat, albeit engineered by God and not earned by man. Longevity is a mark of God’s special grace in one’s life. Such rare grace calls for special celebration and thanksgiving to the Almighty.

The Ideato nation will exactly be doing that on January 5th 2020 when its sons and daughters will gather to celebration the life and time of Professor T.O.C Ndubuizu the pioneer Vice Chancellor of Imo State University Owerri as he turns 82.

A man who has seen it all and gave his best to Ideato, Professor Ndubuizu will be attracting  the crème la de crème of the ancient Ideato kingdom, its illustrious sons and daughters, including Chairman of the Orange  Group, Sir (Dr) Tony Ezenna, OFR,(Ijele Akokwa) as well as their friends round the world to the St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Ikpa, Uzoakolli, Urualla on the date above where the Catholic Bishop of Orlu Dioceses, Most Revd. Augustine Ukwuoma will celebrate a holy mass in honour of the erudite scholar.

Mass over, the train moves to Ideato North local government headquarters, Urualla for reception which will be chaired by Sir (Dr) Ezenna.

As a mark of honour for Professor Ndubuizu, and also to broaden intellectual discourse, cross- fertilize and ventilate  ideas, the Orange Drug boss will use the opportunity presented by the reception to declare open the first edition of the Sir Tony Ezenna Lecture series.

The maiden edition of the lecture series will be delivered by the Chief Guest of honour and President- General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo.

It is not by accident that Ezenna will be spicing Professor Ndubuizu’s 82nd birthday celebration with intellectual discourse. The Orange Drugs Chairman has over the years made huge philanthropist contributions to the advancement of education in Nigeria, particularly in the Orlu Zone.

He has awarded numerous scholarships, renovated avalanche of schools, built from scratch many more and donated teaching aids.

Sir Ezenna spares nothing in ensuring that education gets to his beloved Ideato. His desire is to see every Ideato child in school.

Consequently he has rebuilt many schools and class room blocks in Orlu Zone, including Akokwa High school, Bishop Shanahan College Orlu, National Ndizuogu secondary school, Ntueke, Cor Marie High School, Urualla among others.

One of the numerous new schools adorning Ideato will be commissioned on the 9th of January, 2019.

Friends and associates of Professor Ndubuizu are elated that not only is the Ideato nation celebrating via his birthday reception but a greater honour is being bestowed on him, as an accomplished academic, by Ezenna through the lecture series.

Essentially, come January 5th 2020, Professor Ndubuizu’s day with start with unreserved Thanksgiving to God for an impactful, unblemished and blessed 82 years on earth and ends with a knowledge- enriching intellectual discourse- a fitting and proper way to celebrate and honour an urbane and cerebral academic

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Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II has described the Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as a great icon of public service and epitome of loyalty that must always found worthy of celebrations.

Ooni Ogunwusi who doubles as the permanent chairman of Osun state council of Obas and Co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN) spoke in a press statement released by his Director of Media & Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare congratulating Ogbeni Aregbesola on his 63rd birthday.

“Congratulations from The Arole Oodua Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi to the Minister of Interior, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Ogbeni Adesoji Rauf Aregbesola on his 63rd Birthday Anniversary.

The statement reads; “Ogbeni Aregbesola as a comrade, you started with student’s right activism over four decades ago. As a proponent of democratic rule, you in the 90s participated in the several pro-June 12 struggles which led to the enthronement of civil rule in 1999.

“You have since 1999 lived for the people through your sterling public service performances, first as Commissioner For Works and Infrastructure in Lagos state from 1999 to 2006, followed by your emergence as Governor of the state Osun from 2010 to 2018 and your current position as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in charge of Interior through which you oversee very sensitive sections of Nigeria’s internal security like Immigration, Civil Defense, Fire service, Correctional service among other responsibilities.

“RAUF, you are indeed a great descendant of Oduduwa and a Nigerian patriot with incorruptible Pan Africanism for which you are always worthy to be celebrated. You are an Omoluwabi per excellence, a down-to-earth grassroot politician with incredibly huge followership, a great promoter of our cultural values and heritage, an icon of people oriented public service and an epitome of loyalty.”

Ooni, the foremost African monarch and Yoruba’s Natural leader prayed for good heath and longevity for Aregbesola who is the immediate past of the state of Osun.

“My dear Ogbeni, may the Almighty Olodumare keep upholding your entire household as you gloriously clock 63 today.

“We also pray the rest of your journey on this earth shall be characterized by sound health, meaningful long life and immeasurable prosperity.

Igba odun odun kan

Afon a gbo ko to wo

Happy 63rd Birthday!!!” Ooni prayed.

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The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II has congratulated Muslims in Nigeria and across the world especially those of Yoruba origin as the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end with the annual Eid-el Fitri celebration.

In a statement by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare, the Ooni who is the Co-Chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers explained that there are reasons to celebrate and thank the Almighty Allah for His goodness and mercies in every situations.

“Celebration here is not the conventional merriment of social gathering as we all know that there is an order against that especially in this situation we are all face with globally. The Ooni says we should celebrate in our various homes with our families by remembering Allah and why we should not give up in our hope of a better tomorrow.

“God in His infinite mercy shall accept our fasting and prayers including those we said against the rampaging coronavirus and other enemies of humanity. We’ve been through a lot together and we can’t but be grateful to God for keeping us.

“Although it is regrettable to realize that we cannot gather like before especially for the annual congregational prayers but we must make the best out of what we have while we hope and pray to be part of the brighter future.” The Ooni said.

In the same vein, the Natural leader of the Oduduwa race worldwide urged Nigerians to keep supporting the government in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic by observing the laid down precautionary measures including maintenance of social distancing, personal hygiene, regular hand washing and others.

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African Guarantee Fund Announces Response to Economic Impact of COVID-19



African Guarantee Fund  for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (AGF), has today announced its COVID-19 response aimed at reducing the uncertainties facing financial institutions in Africa as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. AGF’s COVID-19 response is built on the imperative need for commercial solutions over and above the regulatory efforts already provided by the various central banks and governments in the continent.

African Guarantee Fund’s response sets the platform for economic stabilization, followed by an economic revival through AGF’s newly developed COVID-19 Guarantee Facility that will, firstly, provide more comfort to financial institutions to restructure facilities that become non-performing because of COVID-19 and, secondly, provide commercial stimulus to the financial sector with the aim of mitigating the deterioration of SMEs’ perceived risk.

Commenting on the announcement, AGF CEO, Mr. Felix Bikpo said, “The consequences of COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have escalating negative effects on SMEs in Africa both on the supply and demand sides. Consequently, we must assume that there follows a deterioration of these SMEs’ creditworthiness. This is likely to increase the cost of credit for the financial sector which will surely increase their reluctance to finance the SME sector if there is no external stimulus. It is because of this that we must develop a commercial response in addition to the regulatory responses given by the different central banks and governments in the continent. Therefore, in line with our mandate we have launched the COVID-19 Guarantee Facility.”

AGF will also continue to use its technical assistance support to increase the capacity of financial institutions in their risk assessment of SMEs during the crisis period. This will allow analyzing the impact of the pandemic on the financial institutions, so as to forge the best possible responses to adapt effectively.

The African Guarantee Fund recently received a third time AA- Rating by Fitch, which was first assigned in November 2017, a first for a guarantee fund in Africa.

“This exceptional rating is a sign of confidence and trust in AGF’s operational excellence, particularly now that financial institutions are in need of cushioning to continue lending to SMEs, who hold the key to the economic recovery of their respective countries,” concluded AGF CEO, Mr. Felix Bikpo.

Since inception, AGF has boosted SME lending in Africa by issuing guarantees to financial institutions thereby unlocking loans worth USD 2.5 Billion.

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