The Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) and the Aig-Imoukhuede Institute are pleased to announce the commencement of its AIG Public Leaders Programme in partnership with the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government.
The AIG Public Leaders Programme affords 50 high potential men and women working in the Nigerian public service a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in a seven-week world-class leadership programme, run by an accomplished faculty of expert facilitators and teachers from the University of Oxford.
According to a statement, through blended classes hosted online and in Abuja, programme participants would acquire a range of vital leadership skills, conceptual frameworks and practical tools that would empower them to be more effective as they lead their departments and organisation through the challenges of an increasingly complex and dynamic world.
Introducing the programme, the Founder and Chairman of the Aig-Imoukhuede Institute, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede said: “As part of our objectives to drive public sector transformation, we have been working with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) to build capacity in the Nigerian public sector.
“Accordingly, we have leveraged our long-standing relationship with one of the world’s leading schools of government, the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government and are bringing their expertise to Nigeria so they can impart vital skills and knowledge to our next generation of public sector leaders.
“We are pleased to offer 50 academic scholarships worth 11,500 GBP per participant for all Nigerian public servants who are successful in the application process.”
Also commenting on the programme, the Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government, Prof. Ngaire Woods, stated: “We are delighted to extend our long-standing partnership with the Africa Initiative for Governance by bringing our Public Leaders Programme to Nigeria.
“We design our executive programmes for public leaders so that participants learn from world-renowned scholars, outstanding practitioners, and one another; we also take into account the current context for public sector leadership – in 2021, this means supporting heads of public organisations in renewing their leadership for the post-pandemic world.”
Also, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, said she was excited that AIG in partnership with the University of Oxford, was offering the unique opportunity for Nigerian public servants to participate in the programme.
“We look forward to the positive impact that it will have on the overall performance of the public sector,” she added.
According to the statement, entry to the AIG Public Leaders Programme is very competitive, and the final admission decision rests with the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government.
It revealed that applications would close on March 18, 2021, just as it urged interested applicants to visit the institute’s website to download the programme brochure.
Police Nab Fake CBN Agents
The Police in Lagos, in a joint operation with the Edo State Command, have nabbed the mastermind behind the syndicate group, comprising over 10 fraud groups impersonating the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), under the name “CBN Helping Hands Investment Scheme,” to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
According to a statement, the recent arrest of the head of the syndicate, Solomon Osiga Ezemede (operating with aliases: Musa Mukarat and Solomon Musa) along with his cohorts, in Auchi, Edo State, followed a formal report to the police by the CBN, stating that the group had severally impersonated management and staff of the Bank and deceived some members of the public to invest money with the CBN, with a promise to double the amount invested within 24 hours.
The syndicate reportedly carried out its fraudulent acts on fake CBN Facebook accounts, fictitious mobile numbers, fake online profiles and paid testimonials to induce unsuspecting members of the public into paying money into numerous banks accounts.
Police sources disclosed that many digital assets seized from the syndicates are currently being subjected to forensic analysis by the cyber intelligence units of the Nigeria Police and the CBN.
Meanwhile, the suspect, Ezemede, who was charged to the Magistrate’s Court in Ebute Metta, Lagos, on a four—count charge of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretense, fraudulent act and stealing, on December 30, 2020, has been remanded in prison. The case is billed for trial on March 3, 2021.
Confirming the report made by the CBN to the police, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, said the move was necessary because the syndicate had succeeded in defrauding many victims, using the logo, seal, general signage and brand of the CBN.
According to him, complaints received by the Bank bordered largely on funds lost to fraudsters who claimed to be agents of the CBN seeking to assist them obtain loans from the CBN.
While emphasising that the CBN does not engage individuals to act as agents on its behalf for the coordination of its intervention programmes, Nwanisobi cautioned members of the public to be wary of fraudsters, who parade themselves as staff or agents of the Bank to swindle them.
He also advised members of the public to report suspected cases of fraud to the nearest police station in order to checkmate the activities of fraudsters.
He further warned those engaged in perpetrating fraud in the name of the Bank to desist from such nefarious acts as security agencies had been adequately briefed to checkmate such fraudulent activities.