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Swiss company urges court to wind up Advance International Merchant company over unpaid debt

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A swiss Company FOODIN SA registered in Geneva Switzerland, has filed a winding up petition against a Nigerian company Advanced International Merchants Limited, a Company registered under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and having its head office at Okoya Estate, 6 Fathai Doherty Close, Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja, Lagos.

The swiss company (the Petitioner) is praying the court to wind up the Nigerian company(the respondent). for being insolvent and unable to pay it’s debt to the petitioner,it is therefore just and equitable that the company should be wound up so as to realize its asset to satisfy it’s Creditors including the petitioner.
Foodin S.A.and the Advance International Merchant limited have been doing business since 2010.
The nature of the business relationship between the Petitioner and the Respondent is such that the Petitioner sends special food products, flavours, ingredients and formulation Products to the Respondent in Nigeria on credit. The Respondent in turn sells those Products to the target market in Nigeria.

Upon the sale of the Products in the Nigerian Market, the Respondent remitted an agreed sum and retains its earned commission for the marketing and sales of the Products.

Sometime in 2015, the Respondent began to withhold remittances due to the Petitioner, and for no justifiable reason. In some instances, partial remittances would be made on the invoices and in some instances, no remittances at all despite the fact that the purchasers have fully paid for the products.

Since 2015/2016, the Petitioner had pending final invoices awaiting the Respondent’s settlement.

Arising from withheld remittances referred to , the Respondent is at date indebted to the Petitioner as follows:

(a)The sum of USD 367 032.95 (Three Hundred and Sixty – Seven
Thousand, Thirty – Two Dollars, Ninety – Five cents;

(b)The sum of GBP 214 626.00 (Two Hundred and Fourteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty – Six Pound), and

(c)The sum of ? 317 276.86 (Three Hundred and Seventeen Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy – Six Euros, Eighty – Six cents

The Petitioner issued several demand emails, letters, follow ups and paid repeated visits to the Respondent’s offices with a view to getting the Respondent to honour the outstanding final invoices submitted, but all to no avail as demand letters addressed and delivered to the office of Respondent’s Managing Director could still not elicit the desired response or traction, as the final invoices were not paid.
Upon the Petitioner’s further follow up, the Respondent vide an undated letter received in January 2022 admitted its indebtedness to the Petitioner whilst attributing its cash flow and liquidity challenge to an alleged liquidity and economic crisis of 2015/2016 and some struggles with its bank and other suppliers.

The Petitioner has performed all of its own obligations under the existing business relationships but the respondent has woefully failed to discharge its own obligation by its refusal to honour invoices forwarded to it by the Petitioner.

Flowing from the refusal of the Respondent to make payments under the various invoices issued by it, the Petitioner mandated and authorized its Solicitors, to recover its debt from the Respondent.

By a letter dated 11th January, 2022, the Solicitors to the Petitioner, issued a demand to the Respondent to liquidate its lingering indebtedness to the Petitioner within 14 days as follows:

(a)The sum of USD 367 032.95 (Three Hundred and Sixty – Seven
Thousand, Thirty – Two Dollars, Ninety – Five cents;

(b) The sum of GBP 214 626.00 (Two Hundred and Fourteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty – Six Pound); and

(c) The sum of € 317 276.86 (Three Hundred and Seventeen Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy – Six Euros, Eighty – Six cents

Rather than liquidate the debt, the Respondent caused its Solicitors,to write the Petitioner’s Counsel admitting the USD 367,032.95 and GBP 214,626.00 debts but rather than pay requested for understanding from the Petitioner and also indicating that it is working on a repayment schedule.

By a letter dated 16th January, 2022, the Petitioner’s Counsel replied the Respondent’s letter of 15th January, 2022 requesting the Respondent to make payment of the admitted debt of USD 367 032.95 (Three Hundred and Sixty – Seven Thousand, Thirty – Two Dollars, Ninety – Five cents) and the sum of GBP 214 626.00 (Two Hundred and Fourteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty – Six Pound) within seven days, and also urged the Respondent to supply verifiable details of how much it believes it is owing the Petitioner in connection with the sum of €317 276.86 (Three Hundred and Seventeen Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy – Six Euros, Eighty – Six cents which the respondent had alleged was higher than its actual Euro debt.
Upon the Petitioner’s expiration of the 14 days’ notice given to the Respondent by the repeated failure of the Respondent its to honour its commitments, as a result to of
which the business of the Petitioner has suffered due to the withheld funds over the years, the Petitioner, in compliance with the provisions of sections 517(d) and 572 (a) of the Companies and Allied with Matters Act, 2020 issued a statutory demand notice on the Respondent on 8th February,2022 requesting the Respondent to pay the debt within three weeks from the date of receipt or face the consequence of winding up proceedings.

By a letter dated 2nd February, 2022, after receipt of the Winding up Notice the Respondent through its counsel cheekily informed the Petitioner that it has commissioned a firm of chartered accountants to study all the books of accounts touching on the Respondent’s business with the Petitioner which will take a period of six weeks after which a repayment plan and schedule for the admitted debt would be presented as well.

By another letter dated 22February, 2022, the Petitioner’s Counsel, in response to the Respondent’s letter of 2nd February, 2022, drew the attention of the Respondent’s counsel to the fact that the insinuation by the Respondent that the sum of €317 276.86 (Three Hundred and Seventeen Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy – Six Euros, Eighty – Six cents) does not represent what it believes it is owing the Petitioner is speculative as the Respondent had failed to state the amount of its alleged commission which it claimed were not deducted from the affected transactions leading up to the amount claimed. Further, that the allusion to the economic challenges in the country is an afterthought being that the debt in question were from 2015/2016.

Rather than pay its debt, the Respondent, by another letter dated 2nd March, 2022 addressed to the Petitioner’s Solicitors expressed its willingness to settle any undisputed invoices of the Petitioner but did not indicate any particular time line for the payment.

By a letter dated 7 March, 2022, the Petitioner’s Counsel replied the Respondent’s Counsel and expressed grave concern over its client’s cheeky attempt to use a procured audit exercise in 2022 as an excuse not to pay its debts of 2015/2016 especially the fact that it has admitted the USD Dollar and the Pound Sterling components of the debt which ought to have been
paid as a mark of good faith.

By a letter dated 29th March, 2022 which was sent via email of 3151 March, 2022, the Respondent’s Counsel sent a letter to the Petitioner’s Counsel informing him of the outcome of the unilateral reconciliation and audit exercise done on the books of the Respondent in relation to the debt owed to the Petitioner. The Respondent through its Solicitors further admitted the debt of the sum of USD 367 032.95 (Three Hundred and Sixty – Seven Thousand, Thirty – Two Dollars, Ninety – Five cents) and the sum of GBP 214 626.00 (Two Hundred and Fourteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty – Six Pound) as it had done previously on 15th January, 2022.

Furthermore, in relation to the outstanding debt in Euro, the Respondent admitted the sum of € 195. 320. 40 (One Hundred and Ninety – Five Thousand, Three Hundred and Twenty Euros, Forty cents) out of the debt of € 317 276.86 (Three Hundred and Seventeen Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy – Six Euros, Eighty – Six cents) alleging that its commissions were not deducted from the said sum of €317 276.86 (Three Hundred and Seventeen Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy – Six Euros, Eighty – Six cents.

The Respondent further indicated that the Petitioner is at liberty to request to see the ‘documentary evidence’ of the unilateral reconciliation done by the Respondent forming the basis of the Respondent’s reduction of the debt from
EURO 317, 276.80 to only EURO 195,320.40.

By a letter dated 5th April, 2022, the Petitioner’s Counsel in response to the Respondent’s Counsel letter of 29th March, 2022, requested that copies of the documentary evidence of their reconciliation and audit exercise be sent to the Petitioner’s Counsel by 5th April, 2022 for their review and comments along with a repayment plan of how the Respondent proposes to liquidate the admitted debts in USD, GBP, and the undisputed part of the EURO debts as a show of good faith.

The Respondent failed to respond to the said letter of 5th April, 2022, and also failed to send the documentary evidence of the Reconciliation and audit exercise it unilaterally and purportedly did on the debts it owes the Petitioner. It also failed to send in a repayment plan for the admitted debts as requested and also refused to make any form of payment.
By a letter t dated 25th April,2022,the Petitioner’s counsel send a reminder to the respondent Counsel expressing their displeasure over the respondent’s failure to respond to the Petitioner’s letter of 5th April, 2022 as well as send the documentary evidence of the Reconciliation exercise it unilaterally did on the debt it is owing the Petitioner and a repayment plan for the admitted debts. It further informed the Respondent’s Counsel that the Petitioner would be forced to proceed to seek redress in Court by the end of April, 2022 should the Respondent continue its recalcitrant attitude towards the matter.

Upon the receipt of the Petitioner’s Counsel letter of 25th April, 2022, the Respondent’s Counsel sent in a letter dated 29th April 2022 with an attachment titled “Summary of AIML’s position with FOODIN as at 3rd December 2021” in an attempt to justify its stance that only the sum of Euro 195, 320.40 was due from the Respondent to the Petitioner on the Euro portion of the debt instead of the sum of Euro 317, 276.86 claimed by the Petitioner.

The said “Summary Report” attached to the letter of 29th April, 2022 is undated. It is not authenticated by any identifiable person let alone by the “Chartered Accountant” and with no factual details or narration that led to the conclusion arrived as to lower the Euro sum it is owing the Petitioner.

The Petitioner’s Counsel, by a letter dated 16th May, 2022 informed the Respondent’s Counsel that a review of the letter by the Petitioner showed that the terse and unauthentic report is misleading, incorrect as it lacks empirical and credible basis on how the conclusive figures were arrived at. To put the matter in proper perspective and in further demonstration of transparency, the Petitioner attached its comprehensive reconciliation report of all Euro transactions between it and the Respondent covering the years 2013 December 2021 capturing inter alia the total amount of invoices unpaid by AIML, the total amount of Commission and Credit Note unpaid by Foodin to AIML as well as the reconciled total amount of Euro 317, 276.86 due and payable by AIML to Foodin so as to put to the rest the Respondent’s baseless contention.
The Respondent was given another seven days grace period to liquidate the entire outstanding debt comprising the admitted debt of USD 367,032.95 (Three Hundred and Sixty-Seven Thousand, Thirty-Two Dollars, Ninety-Five cents) the sum of GBP 214 626.00 (Two Hundred and Fourteen
Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty-Six Pound) and the sum of ?317 276.86 (Three Hundred and Seventeen Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy-Six Euros, Eighty-Six cents).

Over fifteen weeks have lapsed since the Petitioner issued and served the
Statutory Demand Notice on the Respondent on 8th February, 2022 but the Respondent has failed, refused, defaulted and/or neglected to pay or satisfy the said debts.

At this point in time, it is clear to the Petitioner that the Respondent is insolvent and/or unable to pay its debts to the Petitioner.

Despite repeated calls and demand the Respondent has serially failed, refused and is unable to liquidate its outstanding debt to date.
The Petitioner has suffered enormous business damage particularly with its funds withheld by the Respondent for about 6 years now which the Respondent has instead selfishly used for its own business thereby depriving the Petitioner of its legitimate use of the funds for its business over the years. The debts being of a commercial nature attracts interest at the applicable commercial rate of 21% per annum from 2016 till date.

The Petitioner expressed shock at the level of contractual breaches with impunity, insensitivity and bad faith characterizing the Respondent’s business conduct, predatory nature, and attitude with no regard for sanctity of contracts which is a measure of bad faith and lack of conscience.

By obtaining Products from the Petitioner and for over 5 years failing and being unable to pay the debts, and instead giving all manner of excuses including illiquidity, the Respondent is insolvent and ought to be wound up under the law with a view to realizing its assets and liquidating its debt to the Respondent and other unsuspecting creditors in the interest of justice.

By all indications, the Respondent is insolvent and/or unable to pay its debt.

The commercial interest rate in Nigeria for borrowing hovers about 21% presently in the banking industry which represents the losses suffered by the Petitioner over the withheld funds.

The Respondent is insolvent and unable to pay its debt to the Petitioner, and it is therefore just and equitable that it be wound up so as to realize its asset to satisfy its Creditors including the Petitioner.

The Petitioner therefore humbly prays as follows:

That the Respondent, Advanced International Merchants Limited, be wound up by the Court under the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020.

Alternatively an Order entering judgment in the aforesaid sums of:

USD 367 032.95 (Three Hundred and Sixty-Seven Thousand, Thirty-Two Dollars, Ninety-Five cents).

GBP 214,626.00 (Two Hundred and Fourteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty – Six Pound); and

€317,276.86 (Three Hundred and Seventeen Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy-Six Euros, Eighty-Six cents;

(d) Interest in the above sums at the rate of 21% per annum from 30th June 2016 to date of judgment and final liquidation of the entire judgment debts, and the entire judgment debts be fully paid within 14 days from the date of judgment.

And for such other or further order (s) as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.

Meanwhile,based on an application filed before the court,the presiding Judge Daniel Osiagor has granted an order to the petitioner to advertise it’s petition for winding up against the respondent in two National Daily Newspapers.Thereafter the case was adjourned to the 3rd of October,2023 for hearing.

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Society

Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo: Simplifying Public Service With Quality Delivery

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By: Oladapo Sofowora

Like the proverbial Swizz knife; Hon. Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo is by default a versatile and proactive member of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration because of his incredible approach to work and his burning passion for results even at the tightest corner. Representing the youth demography; Olubunmi cut his teeth first as a public servant representing Akoko North East/ North West Federal Constituency at the hallowed green chambers at the 9th assembly that’s where as a first-term Representative member, he displayed the stuff he was made off as chairman of first term lawmakers who galvanized support for the speakership election of former speaker Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila in 2019.

Like the proverbial goldfish that has no hiding place in the water; his distinctiveness and magic wand were easy to spot by the leadership of the house who bestowed on him the House committee chairman on Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC. As Chairman; BTO led several campaign against misappropriation within the NDDC. He knows the legislative business like the back of his hand. Anytime he shows an intention to speak on the floor of the house; he speaks sense and everyone is willing to tap from his repertoire of knowledge. Despite being young; he wears intelligence like a badge of honour. Anytime he is addressing the parliament, you should be sure it’s proffering pragmatic solutions to issues of National interest. While as a member of the house, he sponsored several bills deviating from his colleagues who were at the green hallowed chamber to ‘Siddon Look’.

The Ondo-born lawmaker and minister for interior played his part actively and showed the world that he is indeed not to be shoved aside with the wave of a hand. When the current administration came into power; BTO was nominated and during his screening on the Senate floor he didn’t waste time to emphasize how he intends to contribute his quota to the growth of the country. He never failed to dazzle as he answered questions convincingly. When many are told to take a bow and go; BTO remained fierce with the truth, by systematically and synchronously laying down his point with workable plans on how to use his lofty ideas to move the country forward. Again he shined like a glittering star that he is.

When the appointment was announced and he was allocated the newly created ministry of Marine and Blue economy; Bunmi didn’t waste any time as he immediately swerved into action by engaging stakeholders and holding a series of meetings on how to make a loud impact in the nation money money-spinning economy sector. He was proactive and robust with his idea of repositioning the nation’s water asset and how it will increase the IGR monthly to surpass the imagination of all sundry. In the prerogative of Mr President; before their swearing-in, he was redeployed to the Ministry of Interior and that was regarded as one of the biggest moves in the renewed Hope administration. This was tagged one of the biggest calculative chess moves by the administration putting a fitting peg in the right hole.

Like the Boy Scout slogan which says; ‘Be Prepared’ BTO in his usual element didn’t wait for the whistle before he hit the ground running. From the first day of his wearing in; he read the riot act to all the agencies under him and stated that he was ready to work and one of his goals is to leave a lasting legacy and also do what is right to the glory of Nigeria. Immediately after that, he didn’t waste any time meeting with staff and familiarising himself with them and also visited several agencies to do an on-the-spot assessment and how he can further bring more efficiency in discharging their duties.

While receiving all necessary briefs; BTO acknowledged his predecessor and all the work and template he left behind and not only built on it; he also added his twerk putting more firepower and also infusing dedication. All these provided a pathway to him being the ‘StarBoy Minister’ of this administration. BTO have said that success in public service is not rocket science but only takes dedication and the ability to bring prosperity out of every misfortune and that is what has stood him out and put him in the cynosure of all eyes.

Like the speed of light, the interior ministry became a leading light with solutions created to clear backlogs of over 250,000 passports he inherited in three weeks under the Nigerian Immigration Service. To ensure effectiveness in job delivery, he commissioned thirty (30) operational vehicles dedicated to the surveillance and patrol of Nigeria’s border. While many pondered what must have caused the delay of such a passport; BTO tacked the root cause putting strategies in place leveraging technology advancement to make it easier. For the very first time; passport papers were more than sufficient. He didn’t stop at that in a bid to sanitize the system of corrupt heads who are known to milk and beat the system to their advantage; he reduced human contact when applying for a passport which has cut short middlemen who love to extort Nigerians. He is also working vehemently to localize passport production.

This also gave an easy modality for passport application without help from a third party which has been tagged seamless and hassle-free. In other to make Nigerians in the diaspora regain their confidence in their country, he Unveiled Enhanced e-passport Facilities in Nigerian embassies across Europe and also moved abroad to tackle the issues of passport shortage by putting in place channels of easy registration, capture and collection. This led to restored confidence when many were getting their newly minted passport at their doorstep. This further gathered accolades from many corners as many more people rejig their faith in the process of rebranding Nigeria’s shattered image. BTO became a household name within a few months.

While he got a commendation from Mr President for his outstanding blistering performance on delivery of his KPI he didn’t let that into his head rather he went back to the fearing board to tackle the issues of the queue at the immigration points by installing electronic biometric gates for immigration clearance in all Nigeria’s international airports when Nigerian passengers entering and exiting Nigeria. While many said it would take a long while to achieve such a humongous project BTO made it look like a piece of cake as he showed his colleagues that he is serious about making a difference.

He quickly acquired the technology instrument needed and ordered its installation at the international airports. Mock trials were done and it was certified OK for public use. With his innovative ideas, Nigeria is fast becoming a developing country that is embracing technology to its advantage. The Minister also disclosed that similar facilities will be installed in other international airports including Lagos, Kano, Enugu, and Port Harcourt airports. With also partner with another sister ministry to ensure we witness the much-needed change we crave for as Nigerian.

While it’s important to note his quest to guard national assets against vandals and economic saboteurs, the Minister is holding a presentation and demonstration session on a proposed 24-hour surveillance security technology project designed to monitor activities around critical national assets to curb vandals and saboteurs. To promote medical tourism and other means to attract foreign direct investment FDI to Nigeria easing visa restrictions for people who intend to do business in Nigeria and also benefit from our booking medical tourism in Nigeria He reviewed the visa application process, particularly for short-stay visitors such as entertainers, sports athletes, and tourists among others.

Not leaving all stone unrolled BTO also ensured our correctional centers were well decongested. He also worked to secure the release of over 4,000 inmates from correctional facilities nationwide. This has helped people with minor sentences regain their freedom in a bid to bring more sanity to correctional centres across the country. In a bid to curb the constant jailbreak; he ordered more security tightening around the Centres to curb the constant jailbreak we have witnessed in the past. Despite all the measures put in place to curb jailbreaks; the Suleja Correctional facility was damaged recently by the wind which caused many inmates to escape but with the help of forensic documentation, the correctional centres have been able to apprehend some substantial amount of those who escaped while a search is still ongoing. This has also galvanized the need to ensure more safety and reconstruction of all correctional facilities to avert such disasters from happening.

In a bid to foster a more healthy civil service, BTO also approved the promotion of over 32,000 personnel of the agencies under the ministry which has ensured a substantial amount of staff climb the ladder in the civil service. While he has done many more things within a short while, many are still wondering what he has in plan for the country but for BTO; he said he is yet to unveil his best and he will keep working around for clock to restore the confidence Nigerians have lost in the country.

In appreciation for a job well done; he has bagged several Laurel as he was named Leadership Newspaper ‘Public Service of the Year’ 2023, New Telegraph ‘Minister of the Year’ 2023 and also Vanguard Newspaper will this month bestow him with ‘Vanguard Personality of the Year’ 2023; among many more Laurel. While Dr Olubunmi is living up to the hype; he has said he will not let down all those who believe in him as he will continue to do things that will place the country on a high pedestal with #TheBTOEffect

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Business

ACCESS BANK (SL) LTD STRENGTHENS LEADERSHIP TEAM WITH KEYBOARD APPOINTMENTS, NAMES NEW CHAIRMAN

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Access Bank Sierra Leone Ltd (‘Access Bank (SL) Ltd’) has announced the appointment of new executives to its Board of Directors (‘the Board’), further strengthening its leadership team and advancing the implementation of its growth and transformation strategy. These appointments also reflect the Bank’s commitment to fostering growth and development while maintaining the highest standards of governance and stewardship.

Joining the Board as Non-Executive Directors are Maurice Nathaniel Cole, Nsikak N. Usoro, Michala Mackay, Ibrahim Khalil Lamin, and Kolawole Augustine Ajimoko. The appointees boast a wealth of expertise from diverse sectors, including banking, telecommunications, corporate governance, compliance, and finance. Their combined
experience and vision will contribute to shaping the future trajectory of Access Bank (SL) Ltd. Cole will serve as Chairman, following the exit of Alice Marie Onomake and will bring his experience to the fore as Access Bank (SL) Ltd works to consolidate its market position and deliver value for all its stakeholders.

 

“We are thrilled to welcome our new executives to Access Bank (SL) Ltd,” said Ganiyu Sanni, Country Managing Director, Access Bank Sierra Leone Ltd. “Their leadership and vision will be invaluable as we navigate through challenges and pursue sustained success. We extend our gratitude to the outgoing Chairman, Alice Marie
Onomake, and Non-Executive Director, Aminata B. Dumbuya, for their dedicated service and contributions to the Bank.” Access Bank (SL) Ltd remains committed to excellence, transparency, and accountability as it embarks on this exciting new chapter. The Bank looks forward to leveraging the collective expertise of its leadership team to drive innovation, foster growth, and create lasting impact for its customers and communities.

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Entertainment

AFRIMA: Beat S’Africa to hosting rights, stakeholders tell Tinubu, Musawa

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…insists one edition must be held in Abuja, Jos, Kaduna

A culture and creative industry advocacy group, Arewa Creative Industry Heritage Vanguard, has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Minister of Art, Culture, and Creative Economy, Hanatu Musawa, to lead efforts in securing the hosting rights for the next two editions of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA)offered by the African Union Commission to Nigeria and South Africa as reported in the media recently. They want to ensure that at least one edition of the prestigious event takes place in the northern region of Nigeria of Kaduna, Jos or Abuja due to years of deliberate marginalization and deprivation of international events of this nature.

According to Dr Shehu Samadi, the President of the Vanguard, speaking from Kaduna, they have learned that the African Union (AU) invited the governments of Nigeria and South Africa to submit bids for the hosting rights for the next editions of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA). As such, they are imploring and advising President Tinubu not to allow South Africa to beat Nigeria to the hosting rights as this will have implications on the national psyche of Nigerians and the development of the music industry. It called on the Honorable Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Hanatu Musawa to update Nigerians on the progress made thus far in securing the AFRIMA hosting rights, for Nigerians to know how and where to assist in achieving this common objective.

The group, which comprises cultural enthusiasts, music industry stakeholders, and advocates for Northern Nigeria’s music heritage, recognizes the significance of AFRIMA in promoting African music and fostering cultural exchange across the continent and with the rest of the world. Therefore, they believe it is essential for Nigeria, especially the Northern region, to play a central role in hosting the event and showcasing the country’s rich creativity and cultural diversity from its point of expertise and cultural expression.

Samadi emphasized three significant reasons why President Tinubu should champion the course of securing the hosting rights. The group recalls with nostalgia how President Tinubu in 2015, in person received a 23.9 karat gold plated AFRIMA trophy as the pillar of Art and Culture in Africa presented by the African Union commission.” This should motivate the President to intensify efforts to secure the hosting rightshaving experience the creative power and the global influence of AFRIMA personally.

The second reason is that as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, President Tinubu can utilize the opportunity of hosting a large-scale event like this to further his commitment towards promoting unity, economic development, and cultural diversity in the region and on the continent. Although an event of AFRIMA’s scale can cause significant ripples across the continent and around the world, Nigeria stands a chance of benefiting the most, and we in the North hope to tap into the inherent benefits as against the past practice of marginalization where such international events are preserved for the exclusive experience of the southern part of Nigeria..”

Thirdly, the Nigerian Music industry has witnessed astronomical global growth with little or no input from successive governments. Hosting an AFRIMA by this government provides an appropriate platform for the Tinubu Administration to establish itself as a creative industry supporting the government as well as engendering a positive perception and image for Nigeria to attract tourism and foreign direct investment.

“Fourth, we believe that Northern Nigeria has the potential to become a tourism hub, and hosting events like this can help mitigate the effect of insecurity in our region. We are eager to host an event like this because we strongly believe that it could be used to address the issues that have plagued our region, including terrorism and banditry. By promoting peace and tranquillity, our youth can embrace hope and prosperity as well promote the budding music talents in the region who require inspiration and pragmatic motivation” he said.

The group is advocating for the cities of Abuja, Jos and Kaduna to be considered as host cities for at least one of the two editions of AFRIMA. The group believes that these cities are strategically located, culturally significant, and have vibrant music scenes, making them ideal venues for the event.

The group expresses concern over what they perceive as a pattern of neglect in the hosting of key musical events, and they call for greater inclusivity and representation for the Northern region. They note that in recent years, there has been a growing sentiment among stakeholders in the Northern music industry that the region is often overlooked when it comes to hosting major international events.

Samadi said: “Despite boasting a wealth of cultural heritage and a thriving music industry, Northern Nigeria has frequently found itself sidelined in favour of other regions when it comes to hosting events of national and international significance. This is unfortunate.

“We strongly believe that hosting AFRIMA in Abuja, Jos and Kaduna would not only stimulate economic growth and promote tourism in the region but address this feeling of discrimination against us.

“In addition to the big music superstars from this part of the country, Abuja, Jos and Kaduna have the infrastructure, capacity, and cultural significance to host AFRIMA successfully. It is time for Northern Nigeria to be given the recognition it deserves on the continental stage.”

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