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A viral video of Prophet TB Joshua prophesying a revolution in Nigeria seven years ago seems to have caught the attention of several Nigerian governors, who are quickly moving to apply the solutions the cleric gave to ‘carry the youth along’.

 

“I am seeing a revolution,” Joshua bluntly stated in a clip dated July 14th 2013. “I’m seeing people taking to the streets… You can stop protests but you cannot stop revolution. When it becomes a revolution, everybody is ready to die, so you can’t stop it,” he continued.

 

 

 

“It might be stopped at the beginning. Eventually, it will become so big that it cannot be stopped. This I see happen. Nigeria, pray,” he sombrely stated.

 

Joshua, however, proffered a solution, calling on the Nigerian government to actively engage its young people, recognising they are the “leaders of tomorrow”. “God has given us the way out. The way out – job creation for the youth and the creation of a new social value system,” he said.

 

“No matter the education the youth have, they feel they have no place in politics and there is no job to keep them busy,” he continued, calling for a “new orientation” especially in the political sphere.

 

“In politics, the youth should be considered for important positions such as assistants to elders. While the elders are ministers, the youth should be junior ministers,” he advised. “By doing this, we are training them to take over tomorrow.”

 

Joshua appealed to those in leadership to “carry your youth along” in “politics and administration, especially in ruling your country”, adding that Nigeria’s young people “want to see themselves represented in every area of life.”

 

The outbreak of the #EndSARS protests championed by disenchanted young people nationwide and the violent unrest following in its wake has led many to believe the cleric’s revelation is currently unfolding within Nigeria.

 

Sir Ben Ayade, the Governor of Cross River State, was among the first to call for immediate action among politicians in line with Joshua’s message.

 

 

 

“It is time for us to develop that consciousness, face reality and agree with the young people that something has gone wrong,” he acknowledged in a state address, adding that he recognises “job creation is the core essence of government”.

 

Explaining a plan to create 20,000 jobs in the political sector for young people, Ayade continued: “I have hereby directed all council chairmen to have an immediate recruitment of 1000 young people… We must ensure that those who benefit from these jobs are between the ages of 40 and below and it should not be for politicians; it should be for those young men and women who are struggling to earn a living.”

 

The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel, equally addressed the issues of job creation for young people in his state.

 

“Government is committed to continually engage our youths in our developmental plans through job creation and other employment opportunities,” he announced in a state address.

 

Emmanuel introduced a program tagged ‘Ibom 3000 Project’ “which will train Akwa Ibom youths, 3000 per quarter and 3000 per Senatorial Districts in the following sectors: Oil and Gas, ICT, Agriculture and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises”.

 

“The trainings will prepare our youths for thousands of jobs that will be created in the Oil and Gas Free Zone and other job opportunities in the ICT and e-commerce sector,” he explained.

 

Since the outbreak of #EndSARS protests, TB Joshua is yet to make a public comment but the video of his ‘revelation’ has gone viral on social media.

 

However, young people have faulted Nigeria’s leaders for not listening to the cleric’s message in 2013 and applying the solution he advised.

 

“Let leaders please bend their ears and follow the solution the Lord has revealed to Prophet T.B Joshua”, tweeted Oladapo Seyi.

 

“#EndSARS would have been avoided if had we listened only 7 years ago Prophet T.B. Joshua,” Chris Godwalk Onova also wrote on Twitter. “TB Joshua warned the world – but did our governments care to listen?”

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ZENITH BANK ENDS 2023 ON A HIGH WITH REMARKABLE TRIPLE-DIGIT TOPLINE AND BOTTOM-LINE GROWTH

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Zenith Bank Plc has announced its audited results for the year ended December 31, 2023, achieving a remarkable triple-digit growth of 125% in gross earnings from NGN945.6 billion reported in 2022 to NGN2.132 trillion in 2023. According to the audited financial results for the 2023 financial year presented to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX), this impressive triple-digit growth in gross earnings resulted in a Year-on-Year (YoY) increase of 180% in Profit Before Tax (PBT) from NGN284.7 billion in 2022 to NGN796 billion in 2023. Profit After Tax (PAT) also recorded triple-digit growth of 202% from NGN223.9 billion to NGN676.9 billion in the period ended December 31, 2023.

 

The increase in gross earnings is primarily due to growth in interest and non-interest income. Interest income increased by 112% from NGN540 billion in 2022 to NGN1.1 trillion in 2023. Non-interest income grew by 141% from NGN381 billion to NGN918.9 billion in the same period. The increase in interest income is attributed to the growth in the size of risk assets and their effective repricing, alongside the rise in the yield of other interest-bearing instruments over the year.

 

Growth in non-interest income was driven by significant trading gains and an increase in gains from the revaluation of foreign currencies.The cost of funds grew from 1.9% in 2022 to 3.0% in 2023 due to the high interest rate environment while interest expense increased by 135% from NGN173.5 billion in 2022 to NGN408.5 billion in 2023. Notwithstanding the 32% growth in operating expenses in 2023, the Group’s cost-to-income ratio improved significantly from 54.4% in 2022 to 36.1% in 2023 due to improved top-line performance. Return on Average Equity (ROAE) increased by 118% from 16.8% in 2022 to 36.6% in 2023, underpinned by improved gross earnings, as the Group sought to deliver better shareholder returns. Return on Average Assets (ROAA) also grew by 95% from 2.1% to 4.1% in the same period.

 

The Group has continued to deepen its market leadership in key corporate and retail deposit segments as customer deposits increased by 69% from NGN9.0 trillion to NGN15.2 trillion in 2023. Its retail drive continues to yield dividends as retail deposits now constitute 46% of total deposits (compared to 44% in 2022) and grew by 77% from NGN3.97 trillion in 2022 to NGN7.04 trillion in 2023, also reinforcing increased customer confidence in the Zenith brand.Total assets increased by 66% from NGN12.3 trillion in 2022 to NGN20.4 trillion in 2023, largely due to growth in total deposits and the revaluation of foreign currency deposits. Gross loans grew by 71% from NGN4.1 trillion in 2022 to NGN7.1 trillion in 2023 due to the revaluation of foreign currency loans and the growth in local currency risk assets. As a result of the disciplined and diligent approach to risk assets creation and management, the loan growth did not significantly impact the Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio, which increased marginally from 4.3% to 4.4% despite the heightened risk environment and challenging operating environment, an attestation to the Group’s resilience despite headwinds and a challenging macroeconomic environment. Also, the prudential ratios remain within regulatory thresholds, with the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and liquidity ratio at 21.7% and 71.0%, respectively, at the close of 2023. As a demonstration of its commitment to shareholders, the bank has announced a proposed final dividend payout of NGN3.50 per share, bringing the total dividend to NGN4.00 per share.In 2024, the Group will complete the transition to a holding company structure, which is anticipated to position it advantageously for exploring emerging opportunities in the Fintech space while bolstering its digital and retail banking initiatives. Furthermore, the Group is undertaking urgent necessary actions to meet the new minimum NGN500 billion equity capital requirement to maintain its international authorisation within the timeframe stipulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

 

This will strengthen its presence in key markets to continue positioning for sustainable growth and value addition for stakeholders.Zenith Bank’s track record of excellent performance has continued to earn the brand numerous awards, including being recognised as Best Bank in Nigeria, for the fourth time in five years, from 2020 to 2022 and in 2024, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards; the Best Bank for Digital Solutions in Nigeria in the Euromoney Awards 2023, being listed in the World Finance Top 100 Global Companies in 2023; being recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital, for the 14th consecutive year, in the 2023 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2021 to 2023, in the World Finance Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance Bank,

 

Nigeria in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022 and 2023; Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020 and 2022; Best in Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa, for four successive years from 2020 to 2023, by the Ethical Boardroom; Most Sustainable Bank, Nigeria in the International Banker 2023 Banking Awards; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation in Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards.Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021; Bank of the Year 2023 and Retail Bank of the Year for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. Similarly, Zenith Bank was named Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Bank of the Year 2021 by Champion Newspaper, Bank of the Year 2022 by New Telegraph Newspaper, and Most Responsible Organisation in Africa 2021 by SERAS Awards.

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How Gov. Fubara Can Survive The Wike Threat 

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The leader of the INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Primate Elijah Babatunde Ayodele has said if only Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers can manage the political crisis in the state wisely, he will survive the hostility.

 

According to him, Nyesom Wike, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), will want to create a problem between Fubara and his deputy, Ngozi Odu.

 

Primate Ayodele stated this in a clip recently posted on his official X (formerly Twitter) handle, saying Fubara should expect more antagonism in Rivers State.

 

He stated: “The governor of Rivers state and Wike: Fubara is going to be entangled in a battle till the end of his term.

 

“He should be ready for a serious battle. His predecessor (Wike) will frustrate him, he will not forgive him, he will deny him of so many things, and he will use his party against him.”

 

Ayodele added: “The governor has just started his problem. It is a very serious crisis that he will face, honestly. And there is nothing the governor will do that will be appreciative.

 

Recall that Wike had anointed and worked for Fubara to succeed him as state governor. However, barely six months after Fubara got into office, he fell apart with his known political godfather.

 

The crisis took a new turn when some lawmakers loyal to Wike attempted to impeach Fubara, a situation that led to the bombing of a section of the assembly complex.

 

 

The 27 pro-Wike lawmakers, however, defected to the APC, a development that prompted Fubara-backed lawmakers led by Edison Ehie to declare their seats vacant after securing a court order to continue legislative business without interference.

 

President Tinubu in an attempt to solve the political crisis invited both factions to Abuja where an 8-point peace deal was signed.

 

However, since then, Wike and Governor Fubara have been at odds with each other, causing significant political tension in Rivers State

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