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CBA Foundation Calls Out In-Laws Over Dehumanisation Of Widows

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CBA Foundation Calls Out In-Laws Over Dehumanisation Of Widows

AUTHOR: Ony Kachi

After Mrs kumbaya (name changed to protect her identity) lost her husband at work in 2005, she was accused of killing him. The accusation did not come from her husband’s brothers but from his sister, who had earlier lost her own husband.

It took the combined hard work of the brothers to get their sister off the back of her fellow widow. They told their sister pointedly that she too could face the same accusation she was leveling against their sister-in-law since her husband was deceased too.

This real incident underlines one of the greatest puzzles of the twenty-first century: How people who themselves or their mothers or children or relatives are victims or could be victims of the dehumanizing treatment of widows condone, live with, encourage and perpetuate the horrendous denigration inflicted on widows by their in-laws. The continued existence of this kind of situation of dog-eat-dog, or rather man’s inhumanity to man, makes one wonder if Aristotle also considered (Nigerian) in-laws when he asserted that man is a rational animal. There is absolutely nothing rational about the dehumanization widows are subjected to by their in-laws in this clime.

A man, who through marriage has become one with the woman he marries, dies, leaving behind his wife and five children (three boys and two girls – this fact is only being added to show that the gender of the children may not even be a factor in how the widow is treated). Almost immediately his siblings and other blood relatives swoop on whatever assets of his they can lay their hands on. If a family meeting is convened, it is not to discuss the welfare of their late brother’s wife and children, who all bear the family name as part of their extended family. No, that is an agenda item for meetings convened by angels, not in-laws of widows. What in-laws of widows convene family meetings for is to make sure they have not missed out on any of the assets their late brother could have had. That is how kind in-laws are to a widow.

If Mrs. Kumbaya thought her case was going to be different because her brothers-in-law defended and protected her from their sister, then she apparently may have ascribed angelic virtues to her husband’s brothers. For, as it turned out, that act of defense and protection from their sister was the only kindness the brothers of Mrs. Kumbaya’s late husband extended to her. They never helped or asked about her and her children’s welfare after that. Not even when things became so difficult that she could no longer pay her house rent and ended up on the street.

Maybe Mrs. Kumbaya should even count herself lucky. Stories abound of widows who had been abused, molested, raped, or “shared” by in-laws as part of the property left behind by their late brother. There are stories of widows, falsely accused of killing their husbands, being locked up by in-laws in police cells, and the keys thrown into the sea, as it were. What about widows forced to drink the water used to wash the corpse of their husband as proof that they had no hand in their husband’s death. Or the ones forced to spend days and nights in the same room with the corpse of their husband.

Nigeria is not exactly a safe haven for women. What with the prevalence of harmful cultural orientations and practices against the female gender, such as the preference of the male child for the female child, female circumcision, FGM (female genital mutilation), forced marriage and denial of inheritance, succession, and other rights the male gender takes for granted.

Generally, Nigeria is not a friendly environment for women, least of all widows considered to be a highly vulnerable group. In fact, Nigeria is said to be one of the least safe places for women in the world with a survey by the Thomson Reuters Foundation conducted in 2018 ranking Nigeria as the ninth most dangerous country in the world for women.

The dehumanizing treatment of widows is part of what the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, passed in 2015, was intended to stop. The Act, more commonly referred to as the VAPP Act or law, categorizes emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse as offenses and is considered by many legal experts and advocacy groups to be a comprehensive tool for addressing all forms of violence and abuse against all persons. The law seeks to do so by providing maximum protection from the violence of various forms against all persons irrespective of tribe, socioeconomic class, religion, and gender and offering effective remedies (financial compensation) for victims of violence and appropriate punishment (globally acceptable deterrents) for offenders.

It is not known how much of the general population, including in-laws who routinely dehumanize widows, is aware of the VAPP law. While ignorance of the law offers no excuse in a court of law, it is imperative that more enlightenment be created on the existence of the VAPP Act and all its provisions against many of the inimical practices that in-laws perpetrate against widows in the name of culture. Maybe, just maybe, some in-laws, who are themselves uncomfortable with those practices but take part because of family and community pressure, could be emboldened by knowledge of the Act to become advocates and campaigners against such practices.

Back to Mrs. Kumbaya, for those concerned about her and what must have happened to her after she ended up on the street. They can heave a sigh of relief that the good Lord sent his angel in the form of the Chinwe Bode-Akinwande Foundation (CBA Foundation) and they took her off the street. Mrs. Kumbaya now lives in an apartment rented for her by the Foundation, which also supplied her with a mattress, other household items, and foodstuff.

The CBA Foundation, founded in 2015, the same year the VAPP Act was enacted, is a strong advocate for the enforcement of the Act. Along with other civil society groups, it is pushing for the domestication of the Act in states of the federation that are yet to enact a similar act. Rigorous enforcement of the VAPP law across the federation will undoubtedly accelerate the mission of the Foundation, which is to promote “(the protection of underprivileged) widows and their vulnerable children in Nigeria, to promote immediate and lasting hope, confidence, and courage in their lives.” The Foundation pursues its mission under its 5-point agenda of women empowerment/capacity building, health intervention, nutrition, quality basic education, and a self-employment scheme.

This piece is not intended to demonize in-laws. The writer is himself an in-law by multiples. It is to call for a change of heart and attitude in society, particularly among in-laws, towards widows, knowing that we, our mothers, daughters, neighbors, and friends are or could become widows. In-laws should join public-spirited people across the country in supporting the CBA Foundation in its advocacy for enforcement of the VAPP law and in providing succor for underprivileged widows and their vulnerable children.

There are many Mrs. Kumbayas out there but the resources and reach of angels such as the CBA Foundation are limited. Men and women of goodwill, including in-laws who have now seen the light, can extend the Foundation’s resources and reach by supporting it in its mission.

Contact the Foundation today by sending an email to them at: cbafoundationng@gmail.com.

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Bukka Hut Mourns Co-Owner, Late Olaolu Martins

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Martins, who was a banker with over 21 years of experience in investment banking, corporate banking, stockbroking, asset and pension fund management, died on Tuesday night.

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Board, Management, and Staff of Bukka Hut have continued to mourn the unfortunate passing of Mr. Olaolu Martins, who was a key stakeholder and a minority shareholder in Bukka Hut.

Mr. Olaolu Martins, who was a banker with over 21 years of experience in investment banking, corporate banking, stockbroking, asset, and pension fund management, died on Tuesday night.

Bukka Hut in its statement said: “We pray that Almighty God continues to provide us the strength and fortitude to bear this loss.

“Unfortunately, we are shockingly observing some unscrupulous elements in the society who are capitalising on this recent unfortunate incident to maliciously misrepresent verifiable facts on various social media platforms, thus, causing significant distress to families, staff, customers, and other stakeholders of Bukka Hut.

Martins, who was a banker with over 21 years of experience in investment banking, corporate banking, stockbroking, asset and pension fund management, died on Tuesday night.
Late Olaolu Martins.
In 2019, the Southern Swamp Associated Gas Solutions project was commissioned, and the SPDC JV is planning to reduce associated gas flaring further through its Forcados Yokri gas-gathering project, of which large parts are set to be completed in 2022. Despite such efforts to reduce continuous flaring, unfortunately flaring intensity (the amount of gas flared for every tonne of oil and gas produced) at both SPDC- and SNEPCo-operated facilities increased in 2021 owing to short-term operational issues. Flaring from SPDC-operated facilities increased by around 5% in 2021 compared with 2020. The increase was primarily because of the extended outage of the gas compression system in SPDC’s shallow-water operations. The system was restored and became operational from January 2022. Flaring at SNEPCo-operated facilities rose by around 160% in 2021 compared with 2020. This was mainly because of an increase in flaring on the Bonga floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. Repairs to a flex-joint on the Bonga FPSO’s gas export riser in the second quarter took longer than expected, in part because of weather conditions. While repairs were under way, the FPSO continued to produce oil and therefore flaring was necessary for safety reasons. The repairs were safely concluded in July 2021. Although flaring intensity levels rose in 2021, SPDC and SNEPCo over the last 10 years have almost halved the combined amount of hydrocarbons they flare from 1.5 million tonnes in 2012 to 0.8 million tonnes in 2021. This reduction is the result of a strict flaring reduction management process and both SPDC and SNEPCo will continue to work in close collaboration with joint-venture partners and the government to make progress towards ending routine flaring of associated gas. NIGERIA LNG EXPANSION UNDERWAY Global demand for LNG continues to grow as the world increasingly seeks reliable supplies of lowercarbon energy. Shell’s investment in Nigeria’s gas infrastructure for export is expected to help 6 This is according to a data provided by global research and consultancy business Wood Mackenzie. the country benefit further from revenues. Shell Gas B.V. and its partners took a final investment decision in 2020 on a new LNG processing unit – known as Train 7 -- at NLNG. The expansion is expected to create around 12,000 jobs for Nigerians during construction and stimulate growth of the local oil and gas service sector, with 55% of engineering and procurement of goods and services being sourced in-country. Train 7 is expected to ensure Nigeria’s continued place as a global player in a lower-carbon energy source. Once operational, Train 7 will add around 8 million tonnes per annum of capacity to the Bonny Island LNG facility, taking the total production to around 30 million tonnes per annum. In 2021, NLNG began awarding procurement and construction contracts. Early works started at the site. The first phase of the worker village is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2022 and the new material offloading facility ready for use by the end of 2022. NLNG’s Train 7 is expected to come onstream in the middle of the 2020s. KEY LICENCE RENEWED FOR DEEP-WATER SNEPCo has interests in four deep-water blocks in the Gulf of Guinea, two of which it operates. Today, nearly one-third of Nigeria’s deep-water oil and gas production comes from the Bonga and the nonoperated Erha fields.6 Since production began in 2005, Bonga alone has produced more than 950 million barrels of oil with the 2021 average oil production per day at 105,000 barrels. The Bonga FPSO vessel has a total production capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil per day and 150 standard cubic feet of gas export per day. In 2021, the availability of the FPSO vessel increased to 80% from 70% in 2020. In addition to Bonga, SNEPCo’s exploration activities have led to several significant discoveries of oil and gas over the last two decades, including the Bolia and Doro fields (Shell interest 55%). Nigeria Briefing Notes Helping to power Nigeria’s economy 13 In the right investment climate, SNEPCo believes that there are opportunities to expand. In 2021 the OML 118 (Bonga) production sharing contract was renewed and the lease extended for 20 years. Bonga North and Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) oil fields are two such potential opportunities. Bonga North is a proposed tie-back project to the existing Bonga FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 14 wells. BSWA is a development of a new FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 23 wells. SUPPORTING RENEWABLE ENERGY STARTUPS Millions of Nigerians are excluded from the country’s power grid and Shell Companies in Nigeria have established and provided substantial funding for a not-for-profit, impact-investing company called All On. Operating as an independent company, All On works to bring reliable electricity – often from renewable energy sources -- to off-grid urban and rural customers. This support aims to build a solid pipeline of viable businesses that can create the scale required to address Nigeria’s access to energy gap. In December 2019, SPDC and SNEPCo made a significant additional 10-year financing commitment of $160 million in All On, bringing the total commitment to $200 million. By the end of 2021, All On had provided investment capital to over 40 renewable energy start-ups in its portfolio – an increase of more than 30% from 2020. One such company is Infibranches Technologies Limited, to which All On has committed $2 million, which is expected to enable the indigenous technology company to expand sales of solar home systems via its more than 13,000 agent banking partners across Nigeria. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the All On Hub was established in 2020 to provide nonfinancial support and build the capabilities of off-grid energy entrepreneurs. In 2021, the hub supported 81 ventures – nearly double the 41 supported in 2020. Also in 2021, All On, Odyssey Energy Solutions and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet launched a $10 million equipment financing facility as part of the DART pilot programme in Nigeria. 7 Hydraulic flying leads support the delivery of hydraulic fluid and/or chemicals between subsea equipment. 8 Subsea trees are an assembly of valves and other components used to monitor and control the production of a subsea well. DART will combine demand pooling, aggregated purchasing of solar equipment, and access to affordable finance to unlock economies of scale for solar companies, achieve cost savings for end-users, and accelerate the growth of the renewable energy sector in Nigeria and beyond. DEVELOPING LOCAL CONTENT AND SKILLS Shell Companies in Nigeria contribute to the growth of Nigerian businesses that can provide technical and support services to the industry. This includes the manufacture of tools and technical kits, the operation of helicopter flights in the Niger Delta, and strategic partnerships between foreign and local companies to stimulate technology transfer and capacity development. While there are government-required programmes in some areas, such as the Nigerian and Community Content Strategy embedded in the Assa North/Ohaji South gas development project, Shell Companies in Nigeria deliberately seek to contract local businesses wherever possible. In 2021, Shell Companies in Nigeria awarded $800 million worth of contracts to Nigerian-registered companies. Of these, 92% were companies with at least 51% Nigerian ownership. SNEPCo has awarded major engineering and construction contracts to companies that are indigenous, have local staff, or possess domestic capabilities in the country. At present, the manufacture and rebuild of hydraulic flying leads7 (HFLs) is being carried out in-country by wholly indigenous companies. Pressure Controls Systems Nigeria Limited, another Nigerian company, continues to refurbish old subsea trees.8 Sometimes, a lack of access to capital hinders Nigerian companies from competing for and executing contracts effectively. Shell Companies in Nigeria have provided access to nearly $1.6 billion in loans to 901 Nigerian vendors under the Shell Contractor Support Fund since 2012. These loans help improve their tendering opportunities.

Rasheed Jaiyeola is the Founder/C.E.O of Bukka Hut, a proudly Nigerian brand he built from inception in August 2011 from one outlet to 24 outlets comprising restaurants, lounges and suya, and grill spots, and a learning facility, BH Academy, as at today. He jointly owns the majority of shares of the company with his wife and sister.

Bukka Hut is not a one-man business as there are two other shareholders/directors but they are not involved in the daily management of the business.

Rasheed and the late Olaolu Martins were co-owners of Nigerian International Securities Ltd (NISL) and naturally, Laolu was one of the three people he invited to invest in Bukka Hut when he founded it in 2011.

Rasheed resigned from NISL as a Director in 2016 to focus solely on building Bukka Hut while Olaolu remained the MD/C.E.O of NISL and its related businesses.

The family of the late Olaolu Martins has released a statement to clarify the news regarding his untimely demise and it is our hope that their wishes are respected at this very difficult time.

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Dr. Segun Aina, Bovas MD Bag UNIOSUN Honorary Doctor of Business Administration Degree

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Dr. (Mrs) Victoria Samson, Managing Director BOVAS also received an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).

…Another milestone of greatness for Dr. Segun Aina OFR

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Dr. Olusegun Lawrence Aina OFR, Chairman of Opolo Global Innovation on Wednesday bagged an Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa) in Business Administration from Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria.

This recognition from Osun State University (Uniosun) Degree is the 4th Honoris Causa for Dr. Olusegun Aina in the last nine 9 years.

Dr. (Mrs) Victoria Samson, Managing Director BOVAS also received an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).

In his acceptance speech, Dr. Olusegun Lawrence Aina stated that “On a personal level, I have been privileged to receive Honorary Doctorate Degrees in the past from a number of highly acclaimed universities, but for me, this award and recognition from my home state university – the Osun State University – is very unique and significant, and I remain eternally grateful for it.

The two awardees according to the management of the institution are industrious and highly philanthropic indigenes of Osun State who deserved the degree due to their contributions towards the development of Osun State and Nigeria at large.

Dr. Lawrence Olusegun Aina current African President of FINTECH was the former President and Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, and Mrs. Victoria Adunola is the Managing Director of BOVAS Group,

Dr. (Mrs) Victoria Samson, Managing Director BOVAS also received an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).
Dr. Olusegun Aina received certificate received of honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).
Dr. (Mrs) Victoria Samson, Managing Director BOVAS also received an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).
Left-Right: Chief of Staff Dr. Charles ‘Diji representing Osun State Governor Gboyega Oyetola, Past President Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria ( CIBN) Dr. Segun Aina ( D.BA recipient), Managing Director Bovas Group Dr (Mrs) Victoria Adunola Samson ( D.BA recipient) and Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of Council Osun State University, Mallam Yusuf Ali during the conferment of an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration on Dr. Segun Aina and Dr ( Mrs) Victoria Samson by Council of the Varsity in Osogbo on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

Speaking, at the grand finale of the 11th Convocation ceremony for the conferment of the Diploma, Postgraduate, and Honorary Degree of the institution, Vice Chancellor Professor Clement Adebooye said that the awardees are exceptionally patriotic Nigerians who have made landmark achievements in their academic and professional callings.

He commended the University’s Senate, Honorary Degree Committee, and Governing Council for unanimously approving the nominations of the two worthy Nigerians for the awards.

Prof. Adeboye said, “Dr. Lawrence Olusegun Aina, OFR, is a household name in the Nigerian banking industry and financial institutions. He has made tremendous contributions to general educational and professional accounting development in Nigeria.

“He ‘Olusegun Aina’ is also a great philanthropist, who has impacted the corporate lives of quite a number of educational and banking institutions in Nigeria. He is reputed for his very rich academic background and diverse professional experience.

“Our Mama Dr. (Mrs.) Victoria Adunola Samson (Mama BOVAS) is equally a household name in the nation’s oil and gas marketing sector. She is highly educated and a lover of peace and educational development.

“Mama BOVAS, as fondly called, has touched the lives of each and every one of us seated here today. Do you remember that time when all filling stations were selling at two hundred and two fifty naira (N250) per litre of fuel there was only one filing station called BOVAS selling at an official price of one hundred and sixty-five naira (N165).”

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Sanwo-Olu Celebrates Senator Oluremi Tinubu At 62 

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Sanwo-Olu Celebrates Senator Oluremi Tinubu @62 

Olushola Okunlade Writes 

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has congratulated Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District and former First Lady of Lagos State, on the occasion of her 62nd birthday.

Governor Sanwo-Olu in a statement issued on Tuesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said Senator Tinubu over the years, has emblazoned her name as an advocate of social justice, a philanthropist and a voice of the voiceless.

Senator Tinubu, who was Lagos State First Lady between May 29, 1999, and May 29, 2007, and is currently representing Lagos Central Senatorial District since 2011 in the Senate, will clock 62 years tomorrow, Wednesday, September 21. 

Governor Sanwo-Olu described the wife of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader and presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as a great asset to Lagos State and Nigeria, noting that she has contributed immeasurably towards nation-building.

Senator Tinubu, Sanwo-Olu said, is a strong supporter, reliable partner, and pillar of support to Asiwaju Tinubu, noting that the former Lagos State First Lady through her pet projects, Spelling Bee and the New Era Foundation, became a reference point in women and youth development in the country.

The Governor said the three-term senator has contributed immensely to humanity, governance, and the ruling party’s success, growth, and development with her laudable programs and achievements both as former First Lady and now as a lawmaker.

He said: “On behalf of my wife, Ibijoke, and the good people of Lagos State, I heartily congratulate the distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu on the occasion of her 62nd birthday.

“Over the years, you have written your name in gold as an advocate of social justice, a philanthropist, and a voice of the voiceless. And through your pet projects, Spelling Bee and the New Era Foundation, you’ve become a reference point in women and youth development in the country.

“You have played critical roles in the growth and development of Lagos State and Nigeria, thereby setting examples for other women in leadership and governance. Your input in national growth as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a pragmatic testament to visionary leadership.

“You are a good ambassador of Lagos State and we are proud of your achievements in the Senate as one of the most active, visible, and vocal legislators in the Red Chamber. 

“On this 62nd birthday, I pray for continued God’s guidance, good health, and more of your service to humanity, Lagos, and our country.”

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