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INTELS Grants Scholarships To 66 Persons Living With Disability

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Society
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Read more: INTELS Grants Scholarships To 66 Persons Living With DisabilityINTELS Nigeria Limited, an oil and gas logistics firm, on Friday said it offered scholarships to 66 persons living with disability.

In a statement issued in Lagos by the General Manager, Human Resources of the company, Michael Ndon, NTELS said the scholarship scheme was set up in 2003 to assist persons with physical disabilities.

Ndon said the scholarship covered primary, secondary and tertiary education.

He said: “Some of the beneficiaries of the scheme have attained professional qualifications in various fields such as Economics and Law, among others.

“The beneficiaries also have the opportunity of working at INTELS after completing their education if they so desire.

“One of the beneficiaries, Angela Goni, who is an Economics graduate of the University of Port Harcourt, said words cannot capture the good works INTELS is doing.

“INTELS has changed my life for good and what the company is doing cannot be quantified.”Philip Brown, another beneficiary, said INTELS had given the beneficiaries hope, adding: “Today, I am married and happy because of the support, hope and empowerment given to me and others by INTELS.”

INTELS had won several awards and commendation for its exemplary community development and empowerment programmes.

Recently, the company was honoured by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, an agency of government under the Federal Ministry of Transportation, for its outstanding contribution to the development of its host communities.

NSC conferred the “Most Outstanding Terminal Operator in Corporate Social Responsibility” award on INTELS.

Also, the Paramount Ruler of Onne Clan in Rivers State, King John Osaronu, recently commended the company, describing it as “a company Nigerians must be proud of”.

INTELS developed the Oil and Gas Free Zone in Onne, Rivers State.

The company is also a concessionaire to the Nigerian Ports Authority operating dedicated oil and gas terminals in Onne, Calabar and Warri.

Segun Agbaje: Using Fairs To Redefine Retail Banking

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Society
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Read more: Segun Agbaje: Using Fairs To Redefine Retail BankingSegun Agbaje, the managing director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), is not a popular man. To many, he is aloof, too strait-laced, not your typical run-of-the-mill Nigerian. As one of Nigeria’s foremost bankers, he has a reputation for running a tight and efficient ship, is unflinching in his pursuit and recovery of loans from the country’s systemically chronic debtors who have a sense of entitlement believing that they can borrow depositors’ funds without paying back, and does not give a hoot about those critical of his take-no-prisoners approach to banking.

In the media space, he does not seek publicity, he lets his work speak for itself, could not care less if his story or photograph makes the front page of the newspapers, limits his bank’s advertising spend to what he believes is necessary to market and promote GTBank to a wider audience, and through NdaniTV and Ndani Blog understands the power of the social media in reaching out to youths that make a larger percentage of Nigeria’s and regional demographic where the bank operates.

To me, Agbaje is the ideal banker. He is not my friend and we only interact sparingly and strictly professionally as the need arises. Yet, I cannot help but wish that we had more bankers like him in this country. If we did, fewer Nigerian lenders would have to make provisions for unpardonable impairment charges on bad loans given to delinquent debtors, fewer banks would engage in reckless insider lending that threaten their capital adequacy and liquidity ratios, more banks would recognise that they have a fiduciary responsibility to manage their customers’ deposits with care, and more banks would know how to sweat their assets in the most cost-efficient manner to make the most attractive returns to their shareholders.

In all the key parameters used in defining the size of banks, GTBank, among the five Tier 1 banks in the country, is not by any stretch of imagination the biggest. In terms of total assets, loans and advances, customer deposits, number of branches, and presence on the African continent and beyond, FirstBank, Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa (UBA) stand head and shoulders above GTBank. By Nigerian standards, the “big three” could be called banking behemoths and are very difficult to supplant. Still, GTBank, with its cost optimisation strategy, asset quality and stability ratios, among others, has over time proved to be the most profitable bank in the country. Its stock has remained the bellwether in the banking segment of the Nigerian bourse for years, signposting the confidence institutional and individual investors have in the bank.

But this article is not about GTBank’s financial performance. Its annual and quarterly reports, including those of its peers, are public documents that can be readily accessed for in-depth comparative assessment. What I have found more interesting about the bank is its focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and interventions in key economic sectors targeted at strengthening small businesses through not-for-profit fairs and capacity building initiatives. For two years in a row, GTBank has solely funded and hosted its Food and Drink Fair and Fashion Weekends, making them social and tourist events that feature prominently on Nigeria’s social calendar.

That is not to say that the bank has not focused on other areas of CSR. Its 2016 annual report showed that GTBank spent about 58 per cent of the N449.62 million of its CSR funds on education alone while community development accounted for another 30.8 per cent.

But it is GTBank’s focus on food, drink and fashion that have been the most impactful publicly, bringing together scores of promising, talented and recognised local and international chefs and food vendors, drinks makers and merchants, fashion houses, milliners, fashion accessory designers and leather goods makers in a dizzying, well-put together and well-thought out extravaganza that leaves the public yearning for more.

Both events, which are open to the public, have been attended by several thousands of people, including children, for two years running that have left attendees breathless and wondering how the bank manages to package the two fairs in areas where it has no competencies.

The trick, says Agbaje, whom I had to hound to open up on the success behind both fairs, is getting and attracting the best participants and controlling costs by getting the bank to work directly with the contractors who have to build the stalls, decorate the venue, create play areas and cooking classes exclusively for children, and provide the music, etc., during both fairs; no middlemen or consultants are used by the bank. For him, the fairs present an opportunity for GTBank to deepen its footprint in the retail banking space and increase its SME lending from 2 per cent of the bank’s loan book to 10 per cent over the next five years.

With time, he would also rather extend more loans to small and medium-sized businesses that are more impactful on the economy and achieve a loan recovery rate of 70-80 per cent, than pursue Nigeria’s so-called “big men” with woeful credit track records. Although he was demur about what it costs his bank to host both events, he was emphatic that making money at this juncture is not the overdriving objective, at least not in the short-term, but recognises the long-term benefits not just for GTBank but other Nigerian lenders.

Beyond this objective and given the magnitude of both fairs and their potential to grow into annual events that could attract millions from across the global, Agbaje’s vision is not one to be trifled with. Already, the GTBank Food and Drink Fair and the GTBank Fashion Weekend create thousands of direct and indirect jobs and referrals for hundreds of young Nigerians who have to build the stalls, decorate the venue, and provide the music, entertainment, security and other support services to make them a resounding success. And they have the potential to create even more.

Aside the suppliers, vendors and designers that make brisk business and achieve record sales during the fairs, the Master Classes included in both events are helping to build capacity and drive innovation in the creative industry that has proved to be a major magnate for Nigerian and African youths. By bringing them under one roof, GTBank has also provided a platform for shared services and given them the exposure that help these small businesses to grow and create more employment opportunities.

Without doubt, both fairs are worthy initiatives. But they could be better. In the last two years, GTBank has handled both fairs singlehandedly without support from other institutions and/or the Lagos State government, a direct beneficiary of the events and their spin-offs. In 2016, the food and drink fair alone attracted 25,000 people; this year, it attracted 75,000 people. I do not have the numbers for the bank’s fashion weekends, but I can imagine that the number of visitors will not be far off from those who attended the food and drink fairs.

Given the swelling numbers, both fairs have already started to cause traffic gridlocks on the days they are held. They are also attracting touts and hoodlums who mill around the roads leading to the venue and try to pounce on unsuspecting visitors as they alight from their cars or walk to the venue. On a positive note, big and boutique hotels, restaurants and food caterers on the Lagos Island experience an upsurge in occupancy rates and patronage by participants and the international media who have flown in to take part or cover the events. All these translate to more tourist dollars, taxes and revenue generation for the federal and Lagos State governments.

The import of this should not be lost on the federal and Lagos State governments.

They have to do more than just show a passing interest in what GTBank has started.

Given the potential for both fairs to become global destinations for tourists and visitors on the African continent, Lagos State in particular needs to improve on its infrastructure in and around the venue where both fairs are held. It must improve on traffic management and security to ensure that visitors can move about with ease and feel secure. According to Agbaje, in terms of support, the state government has not yet stepped up to the plate, nor has his bank sought for any. But he does acknowledge that with time, GTBank will have to reach out to Lagos State because of the interest both fairs are generating in terms of attendance and participation.

Right now, Agbaje appears to be satisfied with what his bank has accomplished in terms of bringing both fairs to the public’s consciousness. But do the federal and state governments understand the roles that they have to play in institutionalising them and ensuring that they outlast his stewardship in GTBank? Cities like Rio de Janeiro, London, Paris, New York and Melbourne that host major sporting, fashion, carnivals, music and film festivals every year, attracting thousands of visitors do not owe their success just to corporate sponsors but to the municipalities, state and federal governments that understand their roles and lend the required support to the private sector. As such, Lagos State needs to buy into the GTBank fairs as a public-private partnership that can and should work.

RRS ARRESTS CABLE THIEF SYNDICATE, RECOVERS 168 METRE LONG CABLE

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Society
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Read more: RRS ARRESTS CABLE THIEF SYNDICATE, RECOVERS 168 METRE LONG CABLEOperatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested a cable thief syndicate who specialise in vandalising government and private company’s cable in different parts of the metropolis.

The officers also recovered 168 meter long cable which the suspects stole at the same point in the previous weeks as well as two sledge hammers and a green Volkswagen wagon Passat with the registration number LSR 664 CW.

The six suspects were arrested on Friday when men of the Decoy Team of Rapid Response Squad acting on a tip off ambushed the suspects on Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos where they were billed to operate around midnight.

The syndicate, in the absence of its ring leader, identified as Kingsley, an ex-convict, was led by a 29 year old Henry Akpan, a security guard manning the cable.

According to Akpan, he was invited to join the syndicate by Kingsley after returning from the prison.

“I am the one that arrested Kingsley and handed him over to the police, which led to his conviction and imprisonment. When he came back from Kirikiri Prison, he came to see me. He told me that can he come back and work in the place?

“By this time, the company I was working for had disengaged me. Out of the four years I worked for them, they only paid me for four months. Eventually, they said thieves were still stealing cable and because of this, they laid me off.”

He went further, “I colluded with him. I offered to provide him with security while he breaks into the tunnel of the Third Mainland Bridge median to cut the cables.

“We normally operate late in the night. I do the surveillance while he cut the cable and roll it out. Once the deed is done, and he is out. I collect my money and walk away from the scene.

“For the first operation, Kingsley paid me N40,000. For the second, I got N15,000. The third, N20,000 and so on. I don’t know the length of cables involved in every operation’, he added.

While Kingsley is on the run, other members of the syndicate arrested include: Sunday Joseph, Obinna Nnabuenyi, Henry Owuama, John Chinedu and Francis Fidelis.

Also arrested were Sunday Francis and Simeon Ezeh, two regular buyers of the stolen cable, while 168 meter long cable stolen in the previous week before the arrest were recovered from the duo.

According to Simeon Eze, a 57 year old cable dealer in Alaba International from whom 30 and 40 metre long cable were recovered, "I bought the two separate cable a week and previous week ago from the syndicate at the rate of N50,000 and N60,000 respectively. The cable is 25mm aluminum and I bought them at N700 per yard from them.

Meanwhile, the State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Imohimi Edgal has directed all those involved in cable theft around the state be arrested and the case transferred immediately for thorough investigation and prosecution just as he vowed to go all out to arrests vandals and dealers still involved in the act. 

The suspects along with exhibits recovered from them have been transferred to the SCID for further investigation and arrests.

Mogajis warn 21 new obas for threatening Olubadan

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Society
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Read more: Mogajis warn 21 new obas for threatening OlubadanIbadan Authentic Mogajis (family heads) have told the city’s 21 new obas to withdraw their 21-day dethronement threat against the Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji.

They issued a seven-day ultimatum against the new obas to withdraw their threat against the Imperial Majesty or be sanctioned for their disloyalty to the frontline monarch.

The new obas had issued a 21-day ultimatum to Oba Adetunji to abide by the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration law review or face dethronement.

The mogajis advised the new obas to immediately withdraw their ultimatum or face the wrath of Ibadan sons and daughters.According to them, the new obas risk losing their crowns should they recommend the Olubadan for removal because of what they called “phantom charges” against His Imperial Majesty.

 

The mogajis, after their meeting at the Oja’ba palace, which was reportedly attended by Alhaji Abass Oloko (Mogaji Oloko), Chief Abduljelyl Karheem (Mogaji Adanla), Alhaji Moshud Gbolagade (Mogaji Akere), Alhaji Waheed Kosoko (Mogaji Onilabu), Alhaji Ademola Oladosu (Mogaji Olasomi) and Chief Wale Oladoja (Mogaji Akinsola), said they would not allow the city to disintegrate.

 

A statement yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, by their spokesman Wale Oladoja, said: “We can’t continue to fold our arms and watch while some people rain abuses and insults on our revered kabiyesi. It is a big slap on the real Ibadan sons and daughters and we have decided to appeal to the eight high chiefs to withdraw their statement within the next seven days or face the consequences of their disloyalty to the Olubadan, who, by law and tradition of the city, remains the paramount ruler of the land.

 

“These eight high chiefs are members of the Olubadan-in-Council and they should stop parading themselves as constitutional obas in Ibadan; failure to do so may lead to anarchy. We know quite alright that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari will not tolerate anything that will jeopardise the security of any part of the country and the governor, as the Chief Security Officer of the state, should caution all these-so-called vassal obas. They should allow court to decide the cases on merit and stop cutting corners.

“We, the authentic mogajis, begin to wonder if these people are already feeling guilty before the court pronouncements. Why should anybody not allow the status quo to remain pending the judgment of several cases on the matter?

“We hold dear the Nigerian Judiciary as bastion and hope of all. Therefore, they should allow the Judiciary to do its job. Otherwise, we will go after them and subject them to public ridicule too.“They are our fathers and they should know that an injury to one is an injury to all. They risk losing their crowns should they go ahead to recommend the Olubadan for removal over phantom charges.”

Ojudu, Ayodele Subair, Shina Peller, others train 5000+ Job seekers at 2017 National Career Fair

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Society
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Read more: Ojudu, Ayodele Subair, Shina Peller, others train 5000+ Job seekers at 2017 National Career FairMassive turnout has been recorded at this year’s edition National career fair annual symposium on career information, business development, employment and economic opportunities for students, young professionals and SMEs, as it witnessed the attendance of over 5000 jobseekers, CEO, and Professionals

Returning for its 6th succession, the capacity building program which is designed to reduce the growing unemployment rate in Nigeria assembled top HR executives, various captains of industries, top organizations, and entrepreneurs, to coach prospective employees on ;thereby breaching the gap between employers, employees, and jobseekers; and providing invaluable growth opportunities, mentorship for students, youths, and jobs (white and blue collar) on the spot.

The audience who were coached in segments on different employability skills and HR antics were also thrilled to a series of panel sessions ranging from 'The Bold move for harnessing and enhancing new business opportunities' to 'The Bold move for Corporate Governance and Leadership' and 'The Bold move for Women in Business'

Amongst the Career coaches were, Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu; Chairman, Lagos Internal Revenue AyodeleSubair; Chairman/CEO, Aquila Group & Quilox Chief Shina Peller; CEO, NairaBet, Otunba Akin Alabi; Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Toyin Ogundipe and many more

 HR organizations and employers that also participated include: Nestle Nigeria, Access Bank Gr8jobsng, LIRS, Ifix.ng, Jobberman,  JOBRED, Ascentech Services, Hybrid Group, Proten International, Jobred, Stutern, Jetvan Automobiles, and several others.

 The Convener, Oluwaseun Shogbamu however announce the kick of the Nationwide tour of the National Career Fair and #EmployAnIntern campaign which will be held in five other Nigerian states. He also urged youths to take advantage of the platform for personal building and enjoined new and old corporate organizations to support the nationwide tour and employ an intern campaign.

Skye Bank, six others awarded platinum prize as top donors of Lagos security trust fund

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Society
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Read more: Skye Bank, six others awarded platinum prize as top donors of Lagos security trust fundSkye Bank Plc., one of Nigeria’s leading retail commercial banks and six other companies have been commended and awarded platinum prize for committing huge resources in support of securing lives and property in Lagos State.

The top donor awards to Skye Bank and six organisations were part of the activities at the 11th Town Hall Meeting on Security with the Governor of Lagos which coincided with the 10th anniversary of Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) which took place on Wednesday in the new Banquet Hall at the Governor’s Office in Ikeja, Lagos.

Handing over the award to the ‘Platinum 7’, at the well-attended meeting which had all stakeholders in security circles present, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, commended the companies for partnering with the state government through LSSTF to secure lives and property in the state by committing huge resources to the fight against criminality in the megacity.

Ambode noted that “Security is the most expensive venture of government and the most important responsibility of government. Insecurity is capable of disrupting any worthwhile activity. It can reduce successes into ruins. We as a government and good citizens of our country understand that security is the bedrock of peaceful coexistence and we should be proud of what we are and what we have achieved together in the last decade”.

While pledging to commit more to the security of the state, Governor Ambode promised to acquire 30 brand new BMW power bikes before Christmas meant to scan and comb the metropolis and report to relevant agencies any development for swift action, among other far-reaching decisions that were the outcome of the meeting, among which is a planned security summit to hold in quarter 1 of 2018.

Commenting on the award, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Skye Bank, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, thanked the State Governor, LSSTF and other stakeholders for recognizing the efforts of the bank in combating crime in the state.

Abiru noted that, there can be no meaningful progress where the peace of the state is under security threat. He used the opportunity to reach out to well-meaning Lagosians and residents in the state, especially the business community, to join hands with “the rest of us who have demonstrated corporate citizenship by supporting the state to combat crime.”

The Skye Bank boss was ably represented by the directorate head, Lagos Business, Segun Opeke, who received the award from the state Governor.

Earlier, Chairman of the LSSTF, Mr. Hassan Oye-Odukale traced the history of the fund and commended the initiative and the transformation that it has had on crime fighting which according to him has become a model being copied by the federal, states and even other countries.

“Over the 10 year period, the Fund, which was the first of its kind, has become a source of succor to Lagosians and a shining example of an endearing Public Private Partnership in the country as a whole such that state Governments and even the federal government have sought to understudy the Fund to replicate it”

Executive Secretary and CEO of LSSTF, Dr. Abdul Razaq Balogun and the State Commissioner of Police, Edgar Imohimi in their address, took participants down memory lane of how Lagos was before the establishment of the Fund, and current security situation in the state while commending personalities who ensured the success of the initiative, including erstwhile Skye Bank CEO, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti and the Directorate Head, South, Dr. Ayodele Abina

LSSTF was established a decade ago to mobilise private sector funds to provide the needed financial muscle in the fight against robbery and other violent crimes in the state.

The six other companies are; Zenith Bank Plc; First Bank Plc; United Bank for Africa (UBA); Access Bank Plc; Dangote Group and MTN Foundation.

Skye Bank and the six other organisations honoured at the meeting are said to have committed over a quarter of a billion each over the last decade to the security trust fund.

 

 

Skye Bank Plc, six others awarded platinum prize as top donors of Lagos security trust fund

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Society
  • Hits: 70

Read more: Skye Bank Plc, six others awarded platinum prize as top donors of Lagos security trust fundSkye Bank Plc., one of Nigeria’s leading retail commercial banks and six other companies have been commended and awarded platinum prize for committing huge resources in support of securing lives and property in Lagos State.

The top donor awards to Skye Bank and six organisations were part of the activities at the 11th Town Hall Meeting on Security with the Governor of Lagos which coincided with the 10th anniversary of Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) which took place on Wednesday in the new Banquet Hall at the Governor’s Office in Ikeja, Lagos.

Handing over the award to the ‘Platinum 7’, at the well-attended meeting which had all stakeholders in security circles present, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, commended the companies for partnering with the state government through LSSTF to secure lives and property in the state by committing huge resources to the fight against criminality in the megacity.

Ambode noted that “Security is the most expensive venture of government and the most important responsibility of government. Insecurity is capable of disrupting any worthwhile activity. It can reduce successes into ruins. We as a government and good citizens of our country understand that security is the bedrock of peaceful coexistence and we should be proud of what we are and what we have achieved together in the last decade”.

While pledging to commit more to the security of the state, Governor Ambode promised to acquire 30 brand new BMW power bikes before Christmas meant to scan and comb the metropolis and report to relevant agencies any development for swift action, among other far-reaching decisions that were the outcome of the meeting, among which is a planned security summit to hold in quarter 1 of 2018.

Commenting on the award, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Skye Bank, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, thanked the State Governor, LSSTF and other stakeholders for recognizing the efforts of the bank in combating crime in the state.

Abiru noted that, there can be no meaningful progress where the peace of the state is under security threat. He used the opportunity to reach out to well-meaning Lagosians and residents in the state, especially the business community, to join hands with “the rest of us who have demonstrated corporate citizenship by supporting the state to combat crime.”

The Skye Bank boss was ably represented by the directorate head, Lagos Business, Segun Opeke, who received the award from the state Governor.

Earlier, Chairman of the LSSTF, Mr. Hassan Oye-Odukale traced the history of the fund and commended the initiative and the transformation that it has had on crime fighting which according to him has become a model being copied by the federal, states and even other countries.

“Over the 10 year period, the Fund, which was the first of its kind, has become a source of succor to Lagosians and a shining example of an endearing Public Private Partnership in the country as a whole such that state Governments and even the federal government have sought to understudy the Fund to replicate it”

Executive Secretary and CEO of LSSTF, Dr. Abdul Razaq Balogun and the State Commissioner of Police, Edgar Imohimi in their address, took participants down memory lane of how Lagos was before the establishment of the Fund, and current security situation in the state while commending personalities who ensured the success of the initiative, including erstwhile Skye Bank CEO, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti and the Directorate Head, South, Dr. Ayodele Abina

LSSTF was established a decade ago to mobilise private sector funds to provide the needed financial muscle in the fight against robbery and other violent crimes in the state.

The six other companies are; Zenith Bank Plc; First Bank Plc; United Bank for Africa (UBA); Access Bank Plc; Dangote Group and MTN Foundation.

Skye Bank and the six other organisations honoured at the meeting are said to have committed over a quarter of a billion each over the last decade to the security trust fund.

 

 

George Weah Confident As Liberia Announces Date For Run-Off Election

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Society
  • Hits: 65

Read more: George Weah Confident As Liberia Announces Date For Run-Off ElectionFormer soccer star George Weah faces Vice-President Joseph Boakai as Liberia holds a delayed presidential run-off vote on December 26, the electoral commission chief, Jerome Korkoya, says.

The poll was held up for several weeks by a court challenge by Charles Brumskine, who came third in round one.

The winner replaces Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as president in what will be, if it goes smoothly, Liberia’s first peaceful handover of power in 70 years.

The Supreme Court on December 7 dismissed a complaint from third-place finisher Brumskine’s Liberty Party, which had said fraud had undermined the first round in October.

Electoral Commission Chairman Korkoya said campaigning could start immediately but must end by December 24.

Liberians are eager for change after Nobel Peace Prize winning Johnson-Sirleaf’s 12-year rule, which sealed a lasting peace in a country that for decades had only known war, but which has failed to tackle corruption or much improve the lot of the poorest.

 

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