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Infrastructure major challenge in King’s College — Apata

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King’s College Lagos

Last Updated on September 13, 2023 by Fellow Press

The Chairman, 2023 King’s Week Planning Committee, Mr Olumide Apata, says infrastructure has been a major challenge in Kings College.

Apata said this at a news conference in Lagos on Tuesday.

King’s College Lagos, an all boys dual campus secondary school, was established on Sept. 20, 1909, by an Act of British Parliament.

Apata said that the Old Boys Association of the college been doing all it could to intervene, in order to ensure that it remained relevant and afloat.

“We know that a holistic intervention will definitely be necessary because King’s College Lagos, does not belong to just us. It is a property of Nigeria.
“This 114-year-old institution belongs to Nigeria; it is therefore in our interest to keep it up and running and in great condition,” he said.

Apata, who spoke on activities to commemorate the 114th anniversary college, .disclosed that the Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi, would be hosted as part of the events, to afford him first hand information concerning the state of infrastructure in the school.

“On that day, we expect all the Old Boys across all the generations in attendance for us to have a big conversation,” he stated.

Apata said that Umahi would be hosted at a dinner on Sept. 23, as part of the events which would run from Sept. 18 to Sept. 24.

Speaking further, the chairman noted that Mr Tonye Cole, Rivers State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the 2023 election, would deliver the institution’s Founder’s Day lecture, scheduled for Sept. 20.

According to Apata, the theme of this year’s lecture is: Dismantling the Barriers; Creating a Pathway for the Emergence of Effective Leaders.

The chairman said that Funsho Doherty, the ADC governorship candidate for Lagos in the election, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, as well as Akin Rotimi, member of the House of Representatives, among others, were also expected to speak at the occasion.

He said that the session would be moderated by Tokunbo Shitta-Bey, Chief Medical Director, Duchess International Hospital Ikeja.

Speaking further on the week-long activities, Apata added that the association would, on Sept. 21, introduce a programme tagged ‘Careers Day for the younger Old Boys and the SS3 Students’.

He said that the aim was to provide guidance and prepare attendees for the future of work, especially with the emergence of unconventional professions.

“This will be followed by the a Jumat Service, on Friday, Sept. 22. On Saturday, we will have sporting activities, precisely a cricket match, where Old boys would relax with their families and have some fun.

“The cricket match is scheduled to take place between the Old Boys and Teams from the Nigerian Cricket Foundation. There will be a thanksgiving service on Sunday to mark the end of the celebration,” he said.

Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, President of the old boys association, reiterated the need for the Federal Government to consider handing over the college to the Old Boys for effective administration.

He noted that as a heritage site, the Old Boys would be bound to give all at their disposal, to make it greater than its current state, if given the opportunity.

The association president noted that over the years, the Old Boys of the college had taken turns, according to sets, to invest, especially in the area of infrastructure.

According to him, the association is of the belief that the college still has a lot to offer, when it comes to human capital development.

“The Federal Government has many issues seeking for its attention, going from security, economy, foreign affairs, defense and a lot more.

“It should hands off issues concerning secondary education and allow critical stakeholders such as our association to handle the running of our schools.

“With this current dispensation therefore, it is our prayer and hope that it will rethink its stand on this,” he said.

He lauded the association, the Principal of the College, Mr Andrew Agada and the School Based Management Committee (SBMC) for their efforts in ensuring that the college remained relevant in the development of the boy child.

He assured of the association’s commitment in ensuring that the college remained a force to reckon with, in the training of young minds.

On his part, the principal, Mr Agada, also commended the association for the show of love for their institution.

According to him, since assumption of office four years ago as principal, he has enjoyed unprecedented support from the Old Boys, under the leadership of Ibrahim-Imam.

“I want to congratulate the Old Boys on this occasion of the commemoration of the anniversary of their college.
“It gives me great joy to be a part of this celebration and to witness yet another celebration.

“This association has given me reason to be happy operating here as the principal of their college. The kind of support and collaboration I have been enjoying is something I will live to cherish for a very long time,” he said.

He pleaded with members of the association not to get tired of supporting their college, as they were only leaving their footprints in the sands of time.

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FG updates on UAE lifting visa ban on Nigeria

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The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, has revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government will soon announce the date for lifting the visa ban that has been imposed on Nigerian travellers.

This information was shared during an interview with Otega Ogra, Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu, which is available on the official YouTube page of the State House of Nigeria.

Keyamo acknowledged that while a resolution was reached between President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during President Tinubu’s working visit to the UAE in September 2023, additional processes were required before the ban could be officially lifted.

He said the processes have now been completed, paving the way for the imminent announcement from the UAE government.

“After that high-level meeting, Mr. President, credited to him, made things very easy for us all. We did our follow-ups as his ministers. We have done everything. We have resolved everything.

“Just wait for the announcement from the UAE government, and that announcement is imminent,” Keyamo stated.

The Minister further mentioned that he is aware of the specific date when the travel restriction will be lifted, but he emphasized that it is up to the UAE government to make the official announcement.

The lifting of the ban is expected to restore ease of travel for Nigerian citizens to the UAE, thereby enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

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Otedola, Zenith Bank settle out-of-court

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The Federal High Court of Nigeria, Lagos Division, dismissed the case on Thursday on receiving a notice of discontinuance from the plaintiffs.

Femi Otedola, the chairman of FBN Holdings and majority shareholder of Geregu Plc, and some of his companies have opted for an out-of-court settlement with Zenith Bank Plc.

Otedola was involved in a legal dispute with the bank over alleged “fraudulent transactions” on his company’s accounts.

Court papers obtained by PREMIUM TIMES showed the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Lagos Division, where Mr Otedola and his companies filed the suit against the lender on 12 March, dismissed the case on Thursday, 13 June, on receiving a notice of discontinuance from the plaintiffs.

Zenon Petroleum & Gas Limited, Seaforce Shipping Co. Limited, Luzon Oil & Gas Limited, Garment Care and Mr Otedola were the plaintiffs, while Zenith Bank, Quantum Zenith Securities & Investment Limited, Veritas Registrars Limited and Central Securities Clearing System Plc were the defendants.

According to a court document, Justice A.O. Faji discontinued the lawsuit after the counsel for the first to third defendants and the counsel for the plaintiffs asked for the matter to be dismissed, with the “counsel for the fourth defendant not objecting.”

Details

Mr Otedola and his companies initiated legal action against Zenith Bank and the other defendants in March, claiming that the lender disposed of his shares in the bank without authorisation, manipulated the companies’ bank accounts and fabricated some documents to conceal the alleged crimes.

He accused the lender of wrongfully calculating his debts before selling them to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), which the bank set up to buy the non-performing loans in the books of banks with the intention of recovering them thereafter.

Zenon had claimed that the letters of credit that led to the bad loans AMCON acquired were opened before the corporation took over the debt in December 2011. The company stopped operating the account after AMCON’s intervention.

According to a document seen by PREMIUM TIMES, the overdue on Zenon’s account at the point AMCON took over the liabilities was N39 billion. Zenon said Zenith Bank offered the debt to the corporation at N49 billion. AMCON ended up paying the bank N44.1 billion for the debt.

Sources with knowledge of the matter told PREMIUM TIMES in May that Mr Otedola chose to take legal action against the bank after several failed reconciliation attempts. During the month, both parties held three meetings, none yielding the desired results.

“It is clear that Zenith Bank Plc is not sincere in resolving this issue out of court and as such a time-wasting exercise,” one of the sources said.

“At this juncture, we have resolved to pursue our claims via the judiciary, law enforcement, the CBN and the court of public opinion as we know that our claims are very genuine.”

According to a document detailing the deliberations of both parties at a meeting held on 20 May, Zenith Bank agreed to refund the N205 million it wrongfully debited to Zenon’s account with compounded accrued interest using a bankdraft.

Seaforce Shipping Company Limited, owned by the billionaire tycoon, said Zenith Bank presented some statements of account claiming that it owed the bank N5.9 billion as of February 2024. It added that Zenith Bank abandoned the claim after the company showed proof that Seaforce’s account was in credit as of 2018.

A source said Zenith Bank sold the 415 million shares that Zenon held in Zenith Bank for N4.9 billion in December 2010, noting that the shares were repurchased in the following month for N5.4 billion, triggering a net loss of N142.9 million.

He further disclosed that related transactions were carried out on Mr Otedola’s account, causing a net loss of N61.5 million and a combined loss of N205.4 million in both cases.

Isyaku Mohammed, the commissioner of police in charge of administration at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, summoned the managing director of Zenith Bank on 16 May over what he described as an alleged unauthorised debit to Zenon’s account.

“This office is investigating an alleged case of fraudulent misrepresentation, wrongful debit and unauthorised transactions referred from the assistant inspector general of police, FCID Annex, Alagbon Close, Ikoyi, Lagos, involving your financial institution,” the letter, a copy obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, read.

“A precis of the petition at disposal reveals that sometime in 2011, an unauthorised withdrawal was carried out on the account of Zenon Petroleum Gas Limited with number 10110385211 to the tune of Two Hundred and Five Million, Three Hundred and Forty-six Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy-Three Naira (N205,346,573.00) without justification.”

The letter stated that Zenith Bank wrongfully opened some letters of credit after AMCON acquired the debt in 2011, which led to unsolicited loan disbursement that further plunged Zenon into indebtedness.

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