Ballard Partners, an international governmental affairs firm has appointed Alhaji Lai Mohammed, immediate past Minister of Information and Culture, as Managing Partner of its first office in Africa.
In a statement issued by the firm and made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, Mohammed is to serve as Managing Partner of its newly opened Abuja office and its satellite office in Lagos.
With its headquarters in Washington, Ballard Partners specialises in all aspects of governmental and public affairs, including legislative and executive agency advocacy.
In the statement, Brian Ballard, the firm’s President and founder said they were opening their first African office in Nigeria to expand the firm’s international footprint to three continents.
He said the opening of the office, would also help in building upon the important work they had done on behalf of African nations and companies in Africa and the U.S.
On the choice of the former minister, Ballard said that Mohammed “has a long record of public service and is one of the most respected officials in the country.
Adding that “his outstanding reputation and exceptional experience will be invaluable to our firm”.
Ballard recalled that since the advent of Nigeria’s fourth republic in 1999, Mohammed played key roles in the political life of his country as Chief of Staff to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Governor of Lagos.
He added that Mohammed was also the National Spokesperson for the Opposition for over a decade (2005-2015) and a candidate for the Governorship of Kwara State in the 2003 General Elections.
The statement also reflected the former Minister’s happiness in accepting the international job.
“I am very pleased to join Ballard Partners and to open the firm’s first office in Africa,”
“Ballard Partners has an impeccable reputation internationally and is well known for its success representing African countries and American firms in Africa.
The opportunities in Nigeria are substantial and I look forward to helping the firm’s clients achieve their objectives,” Mohammed was quoted as saying.
Born in Oro, Kwara state, Mohammed graduated with second class upper honors with dual degrees in modern European languages (majoring in French) and law.
He was called to the Nigerian bar in 1986.
The former Minister has also been awarded several diplomas in different parts of the world including Diplomes d’Etudes Francaise 3ieme Degree in both Dakar, Senegal and Vichy France
Osun Pensioners: Governor Adeleke is Committed to Payment of Pensions, Entitlements
The government of Governor Ademola Adeleke has reacted to the rumor of accrued pensions not paid by his government as alleged by opposition in the state, upon which some unscrupulous elements are allegedly planning a protest march.
We want the public to note that the current government has been consistent in paying some of the accrued pensions, owed by previous governments, from inception of his administration
While we have ascertained and confirmed that the rumour of a planned protest is not true,we alert the public to the spreading of the fake news designed to offend and confuse the contributory pensioners who are strong supporters of Governor Adeleke.
We assert that the pensioners and other stakeholders are aware of sustained efforts of the current government to pay up the inherited pensions.
It may also interest stakeholders to note that the Governor has 48 hours ago directed the hosting of an emergency consultative meeting with contributory pensioners to table full data before them and agree on a path to further payments.
Details of the meeting are to be communicated to relevant stakeholders.
Ahead of the meeting, we take liberty to release part of the records with renewed commitment of the administration to accelerate the payment process.
The records according to the Local Government Staff Pension Bureau in the state, shows that the government of Ademola Adeleke has made payment to both the contributory pensioners and old pensioners in the state, with effect from 28th November, 2022 till date.
The breakdown is as follows:
MONTHLY PENSION (Old Pension Scheme) – Three billion naira (N3 billion).
PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS – Two billion, nine hundred and sixteen million, two hundred and twenty-four thousand, three hundred and forty-one naira and thirty kobo (N2,916,224,341: 30).
LOCAL GOVERNMENT STAFF PENSIONERS – One billion, Sixty-two million, Four Hundred and Sixty-nine thousand, Seven hundred and Forty-three naira, Eighty-six Kobo (N1,062,469,743 : 86).
Regarding Death Benefits:
PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS – Three hundred and Twenty-four million, Two hundred and Eighty-nine thousand, Five hundred and Ninety naira, Sixty-two Kobo (N324,289,590: 62).
LOCAL GOVERNMENT STAFF PENSIONERS – Nine-six million, One hundred and Eighty-one thousand, Thirty-two naira, Ninety-two Kobo (N96,181,032: 92).
MONTHLY PENSION (Contributory Pension) Remittances:
PRIMARY SCHOOL – One billion, Eighty-three million,One hundred and Ninety-seven thousand,two hundred and Sixty-five naira, Thirty-six Kobo (N1,083,197,265:36).
LOCAL GOVERNMENT STAFF PENSIONERS – Six hundred and One million, Seven hundred and Seventy-four thousand, Thirty-two naira, Thirty-two kobo (N601,774,032:32).
PRESENTATION OF BOND CERTIFICATES:
PRIMARY SCHOOL – One billion, Nine hundred and Eleven million, Three hundred and Seventy thousand, Two hundred and Eleven naira, Forty-four Kobo (N1,911,370,211:44).
LOCAL GOVT STAFF PENSIONERS – Seven hundred and Eight million, Forty-one thousand, Three hundred and Seventy-eight naira, Ninety-seven Kobo (N708,041,378:97).
The government appreciates the Pensioners and especially the contributory pensioners for their understanding, resilience and appreciation of the high level of commitment already shown by the government and urge them to distance themselves from evil operatives of the previous regime who were responsible for the pension debt in the first place.
As we remind the public and pensioners that Governor Adeleke has workers welfare as a number on his agenda, we affirm that the Governor has the best interest of workers, pensioners and the public at heart and his government will therefore not under any circumstances deny retirees their due rights and privileges.
The government reiterates its commitment to the good people of Osun state, and asked that the lying opposition party be shunned, as they are mischief makers.
Oluomo Kolapo Alimi
Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment
Mohbad: I Disguised To Candlelight, Shameful Things People Did – FPRO
The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, has said that he was one of those who attended the candlelight and night of tribe held for Ilerioluwa Aloba, aka Mohbad, in Lagos.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police, however, said the conduct of some of those there did not serve the purpose.
In a tweet on his X handle, Adejobi said inasmuch as candlelight processions are a right, it should be done with decorum.
He tweeted: “None could recognise me, I disguised.
“But I intentionally attended to see things for myself and have an opinion about the whole thing.
“I gathered some intelligence there yesterday.
“Sincerely, many guys are our problem.
“You dey mourn, u con dey smoke, dey hit or attack people, dey drive reckless, etc.
“May his soul rest in peace.
“While I commend the organisers of the lagos procession for their steadfastness and understanding.
“I hope others will emulate them.
“It’s reasonable to end all processions at the latest 7pm.
“Candle light procession is a rite and must be purposeful.”
Ramsdale’s Time At Arsenal Coming To An End —Premier League Legend
Premier League legendary American goalkeeper Brad Friedel has said he is certain that Aaron Ramsdale’s time at Arsenal is coming to an end.
Ramsdale has been overlooked for selection in past two games, with summer signing David Raya getting the nod.
The Spanish goalkeeper joined Arsenal from Brentford on a £3million loan deal with a purchase option of £27m.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has insisted to the media that he will pick his goalkeeper based on tactical reasons.
But the fact that Raya has started in both the Premier League and now Champions League has many questioning his statements.
One of those is Friedel, who has the third-most appearances of any goalkeeper in Premier League history.
When asked if it’s over for Ramsdale if Raya starts this weekend’s north London derby against Tottenham, the American replied on talkSPORT: “Absolutely.”
“I thought from the second they signed him they signed him to be the new no.1, I don’t think you pay that much money for someone with one year left on their contract, I know he signed an extra contract and went on loan, but that was for other reasons.
“I think they really liked Raya so when he became available they pushed for him.”
“It’s very harsh on Ramsdale but it’s the coach’s decision,” the former Liverpool and Tottenham keeper said.
“I’m assuming Ramsdale at the end of this season will end up having to do what Matt Turner did at the end of the previous season and find another place to play.
“I know it’s early and people will say you have to see what he does, but I think Raya was brought in as the no.1, you thought maybe they could be swapping if they’d played Ramsdale in the Champions League, but that didn’t happen.
“I think we’ll see Raya in goal and he’ll be the incumbent no.1 this season.”
Ramsdale joined Arsenal in the summer of 2021, leaving Sheffield United in a £30m deal.
Last season the 25-year-old almost helped the Gunners to a first league title in almost two decades, which Friedel thinks will see him join another top club where he can play every match
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