Top military officials in different barracks in Lagos State that were massively exposed to the Nigerian stock market through margin facility secured at their banks, are said to be thinking of a showdown with the banks’ officials.

Some of the military top brass were said to have secured more than a hundred million naira margin loan through banks’ officials.

“The fact is that these officials from different banks persuaded us to buy the shares of their banks. This proposition they made even more tempting by making commitment to help us with shares purchase loans from the same bank to acquire the shares,” one of the embittered military men said.

“What we found rather sly in all these is that the banks’ officials assured us that we would make more than two folds our investment in the shares of the particular banks they told us to buy. Since they gave us such assurance we were willing to even use our property and other forms of collateral to secure the loans, now, they are threatening to take actions against us because prices had crashed and they cannot recoup the loan they gave us. They have given us up till March 2009 to pay up, but I don’t think we are up to it. Besides, we are aware that the Central Bank of Nigeria had instructed the banks to extend the tenure of loans secured for shares acquisition, and we hope before the new date is due the market would have rebounded. But what bothers us is that these officials convinced us that they were sure of a windfall if we bought their shares, it is of recent that we realize that by helping us to secure loan from their banks to buy their shares was illegal. Well, we wait for them to come and do whatever they want to do,” the concerned military official said.


After a series of frustrating efforts to join Nigeria’s mainstream banking industry’s ATM revolution through the Quickcash platform, the management of Afribank Plc has made a turn around to embrace the Interswitch platform.

Banking industry observers opined that it took Afribank a while to conclude arrangement to start offering its customers the convenience of banking through Automated Teller Machine (ATM) but when it eventually decided to issue customers access to banking services through ATM cards, it became a naughty and frustrating experience.

“Most often, we could not access our accounts through the bank’s ATM. It was really frustrating especially during the Christmas period when, I am very sure, all customers could not withdraw money from their accounts through ATMs even in those installed in Afribank branches.

Fortune&Class cross checks in the bank, however, revealed that the frustration arising from the use of the bank’s ATM card was directly attributable to the QuickCash ATM protocol platform that they opted for as against the Interswitch platform that most banks are connected to.

“Now, we are the wiser,” source in the bank said. “The bank has officially moved from the QuickCash platform to InterSwitch which seems to be more effective. Cards are being issued to staffers of the bank to test run the migration, I am very sure that in the next few weeks new cards may be reissued to customers,” the source explained.

‘Shit Business is Truly a Serious Business’

By ol’Victor Ojelabi

Being compelled to write this story, I was trying to find the link. Yes, the link. Because I would have to convince you that mobile toilet and automobiles could be compatible. “It is a sheer display of writing skill, he is just trying to earn his pay,” you may say. Well, maybe, maybe not. But before one jumps into any conclusion, it is important to consider that aside from writing reviews about general maintenance of automobiles and giving tips on those things needed to have a successful motoring life, it is quite important too to consider the comfort of the occupants too, especially on a long journey. I am neither a medical adviser nor a practitioner, but there are other external mobile accessories besides MP3 player and leather seats that add to the comfort and confidence of any traveller. And one of such is a mobile toilet.

In the 70’s or 80’s, I can’t remember precisely, the Queen of England went on a state visit to Australia, and the government had to build toilets (no, ladies’, the Queen can’t possibly sh.t) for the Queen alone at strategic places in case the thing just comes up suddenly; you know, you can’t just trust human gastro-intestinal stability.

Mobile toilet, just as the name signifies, is a kind of moveable toilet that could ease the fear of finding a place to defaecate especially on a long journey. It comes also handy in an event, schools, and social functions, to mention a few.

In the provision of this necessary comfort, a company here in Nigeria has been on the forefront of rendering such a service to majority of Nigerians since 1996. Although it started as an idea in 1992, the first plastic toilets were imported in 1999, before the dream of producing a plastic toilet became a reality in 2002.

According to the initiator of the idea, Mr. Isaac Durojaiye, a former security outfit head, the word mobile toilet came into being when asked to provide security for 10, 000 guests at an outdoor event. Conscious of the fact that mass defecation could pose a serious threat, hence the need for toilets, moveable toilets at that.

And since then, the company has never looked back in easing the menace human faecal waste in our society. In addition to this stride, DMT Mobile Toilet, the foremost mobile sanitation company has effected a 15 per cent reduction in the price of its products from the 1st of January 2009 in keeping with its corporate mission of maintaining and sustaining a cleaner and healthier environment through providing affordable top quality mobile toilet, which is novel and scarce to obtain from other corporate bodies whose prices do not obey law of gravity (You know, the ‘what goes up must come down’ thing.

Since all things came into existence through necessities, the company also established a bio-gas plant designed to process and convert sanitation wastes into cooking gas and gases that can be used to generate electricity, among other uses, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The plant which was developed out of necessity to take care of the wastes by the company and turn into something useful as against giving to the state government to just dump somewhere. And the project, which is also made possible with the technical assistance of its foreign partner, the Environmental Resource Management Foundation, will commence production this year thereby scoring another first in being the first private company to produce bio gas in Nigeria.

As part of its social responsibility, the company has initiated a special scheme called Basic Toilet For Schools Scheme (BTFS), among others, to sell to the public at an affordable price in getting the toilet to the nooks and crannies of the nation. For instance, at the University of Lagos, you can’t urinate on the road. It is prohibited. It is also ungentlemanly, unlady-like; and DMT toilets are strategically placed to help you do your thing in secret, gracefully.

Lagosians will especially benefit from this shit business as it would save them the embarrassment of being caught, embarrassed, arrested, even prosecuted by KAI, Kick Against Indiscipline, for urinating or sh.tting (yagbeing) on the road.

The company armed with the overall objective of proving to the world that Nigeria is doing its best in building a healthy nation, and to continue working assiduously towards achieving the goals enumerated by the United Nations in declaring 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation.

The DMT Mobile Toilet, as the only mobile toilet manufacturers in West Africa and the second largest in Africa, is already contributing its own quota in this regard. Commanding the participation of people like Mr. Isaac Durojaiye, Otunba Gadafi, as the Managing Director/Chief Executive, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi as Chairman, Fes Eze Eke, Legal Adviser, with a host of foreign partners, among others, this should be telling you that the company is really prepared to tackle Nigerian wastes, through shit business; a serious business indeed!


ULD by ol’Victor Ojelabi

There had been no indication of a freeze in relationship between the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola and the legislative arm of the government of Lagos State, at least, not until this past Friday, 2 January, 2009.

The signing ceremony into law of the state’s 2009 Appropriation Bill had been scheduled for the State House on the date and as at 10.00a.m; in the audience waiting for the Governor were the state Deputy Speaker, Mrs. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, the House Chief-Whip, Mr. Abdul-Rasaq Balogun, the House Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Mr. Kolapo Korede Oshunsanya and Mr. Onibiyo Adelabu, a member of the State House of Assembly. Also present were some members of the State Executive Council; the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Sarah Sosan, Commissioner for Transport, Prof. Bamidele Badejo, Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire and the Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperative, Chief Enoch Ajiboso. The state Head of Service, Mr. Yakubu Balogun and the Special Adviser on Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, were also in the audience that had a heavy presence of members of the media that were invited to cover the signing ceremony of the N405billion Appropriation Bill into law as passed by the State House of Assembly.

Fashola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has a reputation for time consciousness, so when it was more than one hour past the scheduled time for the signing ceremony and the Governor had not emerged from his office in the State House to the venue of the signing ceremony in the same State House, it emerged that a stand-off between the Governor and the State House of Assembly was in the offing. At about 11.30 a.m; the Governor’s Special Adviser on Legislative and Political Matters, Mr. AbdulLateef AbdulHakeem, informed the audience that Mr. Fashola would not be available to sign the appropriation bill because his attention was urgently required at another function.

Immediately after the announcement, the tension in the State House became palpable as traffic of government officials in and out of the Governor’s Office became frantic but it was to the office of the Speaker of the State’s House of Assembly that the frenzy of the underlining tension in the assembly became noticeable. The absence of the Speaker at the venue of the signing ceremony even when it was obvious he was at his office, a stone throw from the Governor’s office, had raised silent concerns among those that understand the nature of political alignment in the state.

Even more curious was the fact that just a few cabinet members of the Governor’s Executive Council were present at the aborted signing ceremony, of significant concern was the fact that State Commissioner for Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze and the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, were not present at the venue.

Meanwhile, as the event of the signing ceremony of the appropriation bill was suddenly called off with the announcement of the Special Adviser on Legislative and Political Matters to the audience, it became obvious the contents of the appropriation bill as approved by the State Assembly must have roused the resentment of the Governor.

Mr. Fashola had, on Monday, 10 November, 2008 presented the year’s budget of N405 billion to the State House of Assembly for the mandatory legislative debate and review. On Tuesday, 30 December, 2009, the Chairman of the House Appropriation Committee presented the report of the committee on the budget. The report recommended that the sum of N405 billion be approved as presented by the Governor even as the sum of N159.284 billion was recommended for approval by the Appropriation Committee as proposed by the Governor and the sum of N245.716 billion be approved as total capital expenditure also as proposed by the Governor. The State House of Assembly allowed the recommendations of the Appropriation Committee and passed the bill at the same sitting.

If the House had approved the budget proposal as presented by the Governor, what then could be responsible for obvious act of refusal by the Governor to sign the bill into law? Source close to the State House informed that the House imputed a self-accounting procedure into the bill.

“The House decided to create its own funding sub-head and required that the State Assembly funding should be independent of Executive influence under a self-accounting procedure that is alien to the Governor. I think this is one of the reasons the Governor’s refused to sign the bill,” the source explained. “Besides, the House Appropriation Committee moved figures around within heads and sub-heads of the budget. Though the final figure tallies with the figure the Governor proposed to the Assembly, the Committee removed funds budgeted by the Governor for some ministries and agencies and moved them to other ministries and agencies that they considered more needful of funding. This, of course, did not go down well with the Governor who felt that he understands the needs of each ministry and agency as they affect service delivery to Lagosians.”

The House has its own axe to grind with the executive arm of government in the State. The Assembly Appropriation Committee had, as part of its recommendations, canvassed the House to sanction the ministries of Home Affairs and Culture and the Environment for failing to appear before the House to defend their budget proposal. The Liaison Office, Political and Legislative Powers Bureau, Lagos State Building Investment Corporation, Lagos State Property Development Corporation, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency and office of Mineral Resources, were also recommended for sanction for refusal to defend their budget proposals.

As published in the January 12, 49th Edition, of Fortune&Class Weekly Magazine.