Thursday, February 7, 2013
* Opposition floats mega party, APC ... ACN, ANPP, APGA, CPC conclude merger * Cabinet reshuffle imminent ... FEC meeting fails to hold * NNPC aircraft crash lands in Warri * NGCs MD, crew members escape death * Leadership failure, bane of Nigeria’s growth –Sultan, Anyaoku * Yoruba blast Jonathan over marginalisation of South-West * Lawan: Politicians throng Kuje Prison * ‘Plea bargain, necessary legal tool’ * Face Burkina Faso in Sunday’s fifi nal
Cabinet reshuffle imminent NNPC aircraft crash lands in Warri FEC meeting fails to hold ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA T he weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting failed to hold yesterday at the State House. Jonathan Vol. 3 N0. 552 Although President Goodluck Jonathan, who always preside over the meeting, is out of the country on official trip to London and France, Vice-President Namadi Sambo usually presides over the meeting in his absence. However, the meeting did not take place yesterday and there was no official statement from the Presidency why it failed to hold. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>> Alison-Madueke NGCs MD, crew members escape death P.52 Thursday, February 7, 2013 Opposition floats mega party, APC ...ACN, ANPP, APGA, CPC conclude merger AS NIGERIAN SOLDIERS KEEP WATCH OVER MALIAN CITIES: SUPER EAGLES TRASH MALI 4-1 Leadership failure, bane of Nigeria’s growth –Sultan, Anyaoku P.52 N150 OBIORA IFOH ABUJA S ome of the leading opposition parties in the country, including Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP; All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA and Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, have dissolved into a new party called All Progressives ConCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>> Abubakar Yoruba blast Jonathan over marginalisation of South-West P.8 Face Burkina Faso in Sunday’s final L-R: Mikel Obi, Onaze Ogenyi, Brown Ideye and Emmanuel Emenike celebrating Nigeria’s qualification for final, yesterday. More pictures and story on pages 2 and 3. PHOTO: EUROSPORTS Lawan: Politicians throng Kuje Prison ‘Plea bargain, necessary legal tool’ P.4,51 2 Nations Cup Celebration Brown Ideye of Nigeria (L) celebrating his goal with teammate, Victor Moses. Seydou Keita of Mali (L) battling with Kenneth Omeruo Thursday, hursday, February 7, 2013 Emmanuel Emenike after scoring a goal Sunday Mba jumping on first goal scorer, Elderson Echiejile Nigerian fans in joyous mood at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos Viewing Centre, PHOTO: FEMI AJASA last night. Below: another set of fans. Super Eaglesâ€™ coaches in celebration of goals. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Nations Cup Celebration Thursday, February 7, 2013 Keshi thanks Nigerians I KENWA N NABUOGOR N igeria and Burkina Faso will on Sunday, inside the 94,000 capacity National Stadium in Johannesburg, play the final of the 29th Africa Cup of Nations. Super Eagles had in the first semi-finals match in Durban, mauled the Malian Eagles 4-1, while the Stallions of Burkina Faso eliminated the Black Stars of Ghana 3-2 (penalties) after the regulation and extra time ended 1-1 in Mbombela. For the Super Eagles, it looked like a training match yesterday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban as Nigeria hammered Mali 4-1 to book a ticket to Sunday’s final of the 29th AFCON.. Nigeria triumphed in the battle of the Eagles, with the Super Eagles’ first goal coming from an unlikely source, Portugal-based left back, Elderson Echiejile, whose header from a Victor Moses’ pass beat Mali’s goalkeeper flat in the first half. Dynamo Kiev striker, Brown Ideye, scored the second goal for the Nigerian team, finishing a move initiated by John Obi Mikel, after getting to the end of an inviting cross from Emmanuel Emenike. Just like Emenike did in the quarter-finals against Cote d’ Ivoire, he grabbed the third goal and his fourth of the tournament when his shot was deflected by a defender from a spot kick near the goal area of the Malians. Substitute Ahmed Musa completed the rout in the 60th minute to make the game safe for Eagles and making the one goal Mali pulled back in the 77th minute count for nothing as the Eagles confidently EVEREST O NYEWUCHI M Prejuce Nakoulma of Burkina Faso (left) and Kwadwo Asamoah of Ghana during their AFCON semi-final clash in Durban, South Africa, last night. Burkina Faso won 3-2 (penalties) Super Eagles trash Mali 4-1 • Face Burkina Faso on Sunday cruised into the final. Chelsea’s winger, Moses, fired an early warning just few seconds after Gambian referee, Bakary Papa Gassama, got the game started, but his shot was understandably aimless. Again, the Eagles had perfect- Mark, Glo salute team GEORGE OJI ABUJA S enate President, Senator David Mark, last night saluted the victorious Super Eagles, saying the team has restored the pride and dignity of Nigerians in global sports. Mark enjoined the Eagles to remain focused ahead of the final on Sunday. “This victory is well deserved. You have brought pride to the nation and we shall do 3 our own part to honour you,” he said. “Do more to bring the trophy back home. We are anxiously waiting like an expectant mother, as I wish to reiterate that the National Assembly will adequately reward you.” Also, official sponsor of the national teams, Globacom, has congratulated the Super Eagles for qualifying for the final of the on-going Africa Cup of Nations after beating Mali 4-1 yesterday. ed a game plan to keep possession and keep things easy and rattle the Malians with counter attacks and it worked, leaving the disappointed Malian Eagles completed by tested legs led by China-based, Seydou Keita, chasing shadows. But the Malian Eagles would show some early flashes of purposeful play, forcing two corner kicks in quick succession and thereafter conceded to the Super Eagles, who dictated the pace in the first half. Mali left back, Adama Tamboura, had ran past Efe Ambrose and onrushing Godfrey Oboabana closed up to concede the game’s first corner kick and Keita’s brilliant kick was headed high. Mikel, who orchestrated the Nigerian midfield, let fly his trademark long ball which fell on the feet of free Ideye in Super Eagles’ line-up: Vincent Enyeama Efe Ambrose (Joseph Yobo 81’) Kenneth Omeruo Godfrey Oboabana Elderson Echiejile Sunday Mba Eddy Onazi John Obi Mikel Victor Moses (Ahmed Musa 53’) Emmanuel Emenike Brown Ideye (Ejike Uzoenyi 72’) the Mali six yard box. Few minutes later, another great chance fell on the feet of Emenike in search for his fourth goal of tournament but was denied by Mahamadou N’diaye whose timely block rolled onto the path of Mikel but his effort only went agonisingly wide. oments after last night’s qualification for the Championship Match, Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, dedicated the victory over Mali to God and igerians. At the post-match press conference, with his goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, the Nigerian coach said, “We dedicate this victory to God and to Nigerians because Nigerians missed the last edition of the AFCON. My goal and the goal of the players is to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians.” On the final match on Sunday, Keshi said the Super Eagles would prepare very well and accept whatever is the result. “Thank God, we are in the final. There was problem at home when I decided not take some of my big players, because Nigerians did not understand me. It’s not only big players that win matches, especially if you don’t have the mentality,” Keshi added. Speaking at the same venue, Mali’s coach, Frenchman, Patrice Carteron, said, “It is one of those times in football where nothing goes well for a team, despite all the efforts. We tried our very best to contain the Nigerians as you could see in the beginning.” Carteron said the early goal destabilised his team. “I thought the lads should have shrugged it off. I wouldn’t believe we were poor, anyway. Let me just say that Nigerians deserved their victory in this game. We are not finished yet. We will go and play our hearts out in the losers’ final on Saturday and see if we can redeem ourselves,” the Frenchman added. 4 Photo News Thursday, February 7, 2013 Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio (left) and the Polish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Przemyslaw Niesiolowski, during a visit by the ambassador in Uyo, yesterday. L-R: The best graduating trainees, UBA Academy Banking School, Mr. Ehihamen Ehimare; Group Managing Director, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza; Chisom Mbata; and Akintunde Oluwashina, during the convocation ceremony of the 3rd batch of the institute in Lagos, yesterday. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net L-R: Host, Prof. Pat Utomi; Chairman of the occasion, Elder Felix Ohiwerei; Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar; Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi and his counterpart from Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, at the 10th Centre for Values and Leadership Annual Lecture held in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI L-R: Vice-President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi; Chairman, Implementation Monitoring Committee between Federal Government and University Unions, Dr. Wale Babalakin; Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije; ASUU President, Dr. Issa Fagae and Secretary-General, Committee of Vice-Chancellors, Prof. Michael Faborode, at a meeting to resolve the unpaid allowances of university workers in Abuja, yesterday. National News $620, 000 bribe: Politicians, groups visit Lawan at Kuje prison OMEIZA A JAYI ABUJA M any interest groups and politicians yesterday visited a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Farouk Lawan, at Kuje Prison, where he was remanded by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja. Although about 24 members of the Kano State House of Assembly reportedly visited the prison the previous day, lawmakers from other states and some politicians from the North were seen trouping to the prison yesterday. Justice Madashiru Oniyangi had, last Friday, remanded the former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime, Farouk Lawan and the secretary of the committee, Boniface Emenalo, in prison custody till tomorrow when their bail application is expected to be determined. The duo are being tried for contravening the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Act by allegedly receiving a bribe of $620, 000 from Lagos businessman, Femi Otedola, to remove his company, Zenon Petroleum and Gas, from the list of companies indicted in the fuel subsidy scam. When National Mirror visited the prison yesterday at about noon, some members of the House of Representatives were seen sitting in a tent waiting for their turn to go into the facility to see their colleague. The tent, which is manned by the Nigeria Prisons Service officials, is a screening point for relations and friends who want to see an inmate. Although the officials did not allow our correspondent to check the visitors’ register, it was learnt that the register contained names of some lawmakers who had visited Mr. Lawan in custody. One of the lawmakers, who declined to make comments, said he was at the prison to see Mr. Lawan. Asked if he was representing the House leadership, he said: “No, I am here in my private capacity. I am here on behalf of myself and my family”. Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, who was sighted at the tent, also told our correspondent that he was at the prison in his personal capacity as a colleague and friend of Mr. Lawan. As at the time of filing this report, the leadership of the House of Representatives has not officially reacted to the travails of one of its old- est members, but it was learnt that some principal officers of the House might be considering visiting Lawan today before he appears in court tomorrow. The leadership is said to be treading with caution in order not to elicit a backlash from the public who might interpret their visit as a tacit ap- proval of what Mr Lawan is being accused of. “They are also wary of an eventual revolt of some lawmakers of northern extraction who are likely to accuse them (leadership) of abandoning their colleague in the face of trial,” said a former lawmaker, who is privy to some decisions of the House. Suleja bombing: Court to rule in suspects’ ‘no case submission’ Feb 11 EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA J ustice Bilkisu Aliyu of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday fixed February 11 to deliver in a “no case submission” entered by suspects standing trial over the 2011 bomb explosion that rocked Suleja, Niger State. The Federal Government is prosecuting Shuaibu Abubakar, Salisu Ahmed, Umar Babagana, Mohammed Ali, Musa Adamu and Umar Ibrahim, on a five-count charge of terrorism. The trial judge fixed the date after counsel to the six suspected bombers, Nuraini Sulaiman and Kevin Emeka Okoro, told the court that their collective resolve to file a “no case submission” stemmed from the failure of the prosecution to establish a prima facie case against the accused persons to warrant their trial. In their estimation, the Federal Government did not adduce sufficient evidence to link the accused persons to the alleged terrorist offence, hence they cannot stand trial. But the prosecuting counsel, Thompson Olatigbe, said that the proof of evidence before the court had successfully established a prima facie case against the accused persons. According to him, the fact that prosecution’s evidence adduced during cross-examination was not discredited was indicative of the fact that a prima facie case had been established. Olatigbe further told the court that evidence brought before it was reliable enough to necessitate conviction, hence the need for accused persons to enter their defence. It will be recalled that the State Security Service (SSS) tendered in evidence 200 pieces of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and a black Honda Civic with registration number AG 94 NMG. These were admitted in evidence. The accused persons allegedly caused the death of several persons as they were said to have detonated some Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at a political rally and at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Suleja and a village in Bwari respectively. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net News Thursday, February 7, 2013 5 FG secures N120bn for East-West Road –Orubebe T he Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs yesterday said it has secured N120bn for the East-West Road project in 2013. A statement by Mr. Osammor Fidelis, the Deputy Director of Press in the minis- try, in Abuja on Wednesday stated that the amount left a gap of N60bn to complete the road in December 2014. It stated that Mr. Godsday Orubebe, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, made the disclosure while meeting with the members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Niger Delta and contractors handling the East-West Road. Orubebe, who said that the ministry required five soldiers to guard one expatriate worker, recalled that even at that some six expatriates were kidnapped and many injured in the months of November/December 2012. The statement also quoted contractors as expressing the opinion that if the ministry had been supervising the East-West Road project since 2006, the road would have L-R: Former Secretary to Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae; Chairman, Yoruba Unity Forum, Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi and Senator Femi Okunrounmu at the stakeholders’ meeting of Yoruba Unity Forum in Ibadan, yesterday. been completed. In a related development, Orubebe commended the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, for undertaking an independent tour of the East-West Road. The minister, who made the commendation in a statement, told the visiting youths that if he had failed in his assignment as claimed by his critics he would not have remained in the cabinet as a minister. Orubebe said he had always advised his critics to tour the whole length of the road as they would be better placed to offer constructive advice. “It was a thing of shame that most Nigerians are more interested in listening to what will earn them material benefits rather than offering constructive advice that could move the nation forward,” he said. He stressed that were it not for the combined efforts of the late President Musa Yar’dua, President Goodluck Jonathan and himself the East-West Road would be in the doldrums. The minister recalled that the contract for the construction of the road was awarded for N234bn of which a paltry N1.2bn was released in 2006 “At that time there were no detailed drawings and designs for the road, which compelled former President Olusegun Obasanjo, to give direction for the production of the design for the road within two weeks,” he said. He said the initial Contracts’ Bill Engineering Measurement and Evaluation (BEME) for the four sections of the road were produced with tender drawing prepared, using the baseline designs due to exigencies of the region at that time to fulfil due process requirements. Opposition floats mega party, APC CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 gress, APC. In a statement signed by all the chairmen of merger committees of the parties, including Chief Tom Ikimi (ACN), Ibrahim Shekarau (ANPP), Garba Mohammed Gadi (CPC) and Senator Annie Okonkwo (APGA), the group said they resolved to form a political party committed to the principles of internal democracy, “focused on serious issues of concern to our people, determined to bring corruption and insecurity to an end, determined to grow our economy and create jobs in their millions through education, housing, agriculture, industrial growth etc, and stop the increasing mood of despair and hopelessness among our people. “The resolution of these issues, the restoration of hope, enthronement of true democratic values for peace, democracy and justice are those concerns which propel us.” Ikimi, who spoke on behalf of the committee members, said that “at no time in our national life has radical change become more urgent. And to meet the challenge of that change, we, the following progressive political parties, namely ACN, ANPP, APGA and CPC, have resolved to merge and become the All Progressives Congress and offer to our beleaguered people a recipe for peace and prosperity. “We believe that by these measures only shall we restore our dignity and position of pre-eminence in the committee of nations. This is our pledge.” Ikimi said that after today, the process of registration of the party with the Independent National Elec- S toral Commission, INEC, would commence and the emblem unfolded. Asked why Edo State Adams Oshiomhole was absent at the meeting and the Labour Party was not involved in the merger, Ikimi said Oshiomhole was absent because of flight problem and his colleagues had his confidence at the meeting. He also explained that the Labour Party was not included because the merger was for progressive parties. Among those present at the meeting were Chief Audu Ogbeh, Senators Chris Ngige, Sanni Yerima and Bukar Ibrahim, former governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa, Governor Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), his counterpart in Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Okonkwo, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Chief George Moghalu. The Independent Nation- al Electoral Commission, INEC, said the development is welcome. “Section 84 of the Electoral Law prescribes what the framework within which merger can be carried out. And once that is done within the dictates of the law, there is no issue with the merger. It is all well and good,” Kayode Idowu, spokesman of INEC chairman told National Mirror. But the inclusion of Conditions for successful merger ection 84 of the Electoral Act prescribes the conditions to be met for a successful merger of political parties. Below is the section: 84. -(1) Any two or more registered political parties may merge on approval by the Commission following a formal request presented to the Commission by thepolitical parties for that purpose. (2) Political Parties intending to merge shall each give to the Commission 90 days notice of their intention to do so before a general election. (3) The written request for merger shall be sent to the Chairman of the Commission and shall be signed jointly by the National Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer for the time being of the different political parties proposing the merger and shall be accompanied by:(a) a special resolution passed by the National Convention of each of the political parties proposing to merge, approving the merger; (b) the proposed full name and acronym, Constitution, manifesto, symbol or logo of the party together with the addresses of the National office of the party resulting from the merger; and (c) evidence of payment of administrative costs of N100,000 or as may be fixed from time to time by an Act of the National Assembly. (4) On receipt of the request for merger of political parties the Commission shall consider the request; and if the parties have fulfilled the requirements of the Constitution and this Act, approve the proposed merger and communicate its decision to the parties concerned before the expiration of thirty (30) days from the date of the receipt of the formal request. PROVIDED that if the Commission fails to communicate its decision with 30 days the merger shall be deemed to be effective. (5) Where the request for the proposed merger is approved, the Commission shall forthwith withdraw and cancel the certificates of registration of all the political parties opting for the merger and substitute therefore, a single certificate of registration in the name of the party resulting from the merger. (6) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) of this section no merger of Political Parties received by the Commission less than 90 days before any general election in the country shall be considered by the Commission. APGA has raised a serious controversy as both factions of the party have denied participation in the merger arrangement. The Secretary of the Umeh faction, Mohammed Shinkafi, told National Mirror that the party had not been consulted and could not have constituted a merger committee to represent it in the arrangement. He warned that whoever paraded the name of the party in the arrangement did so at his own risk. Shinkafi said: “APGA did not receive any invitation to partake in the merger talks and, therefore, unaware of any merger meeting going on. “As the National Secretary of APGA, I am not aware of any merger talks to which the party was invited.” Similarly, the Masalla faction of APGA in a statement yesterday disowned its participation in the purported merger of some opposition political parties, stressing that the issue of merger of political parties was a very serious matter that needed adequate consultation. In a statement by Dr. Ifedi Okwenna, the factional National Secretary, the party said it did not permit the Imo State Governor, CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>> 6 News Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Cabinet reshuffle imminent, FEC meeting fails to hold CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Our correspondent, however, gathered that since there was a possibility of cabinet reshuffle, President Jonathan would want to personally preside over the meeting where such decision would be announced. The President is due back in the country on Monday. Some ministers, including that of Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Okon Bassey Ewa and Minister of State for Niger Delta, Darius Ishaku, who were not aware that the meeting would not hold arrived the State House before the usual 10am but had to go back when they discovered that the meeting had been put off. Two new ministers were sworn in by the President on Monday to fill the vacant positions in the cabinet. They are former ViceChancellor, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, Prof. Chinebu Nebo from Enugu State and a lawyer, Mr. Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, SAN, from Kebbi State. The two new ministers filled the positions of Haliru Bello Mohammed, who was removed as Minister of Defence last June 22 and Prof. Barth Nnaji, who resigned his position as Power Minister on August 28 last year, citing conflict of interest as the major reason. Nebo has already been assigned to the Power Ministry; Turaki is Minister of Special Duties while the position of Minister of Defence is still vacant. However, informed source close to the Presidency said that the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Omoniyi Olubolade, might be moved to the Ministry of Defence in the impending cabinet reshuffle. On the insinuation that the FEC did not hold because of a rift between President Jonathan and Sambo over presidential ambition, a source close to the Office of the Vice-President denied any rift between them, saying that “they are working to- gether for the interest of the nation.” The source, who did not want his name mentioned, said that the meeting did not hold because most of the ministers, whose memos were to be treated, travelled with Jonathan on his official assignment to Lon- don and Paris. According to the source, it is the responsibility of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, whose office serves as the secretariat of the council to prepare memos for meetings, saying that the Vice-President cannot preside over council meeting if there are no memos. Another source in the Office of the SGF said that there is no law making it mandatory that the FEC meeting must hold every week, stressing that “sometimes if there are no memos Graduating students of the University of Lagos at the golden jubilee convocation of the institution in Lagos, yesterday. Opposition floats mega party, APC CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 Chief Rochas Okorocha, to be part of the merger talks. Ten governors from the opposition political parties had on Tuesday emerged from a private meeting in Lagos endorsing a merger of the opposition political parties ahead of 2015 general elections. APGA in the statement said that: “while we are not against the establishment of another arm of the Governors’ Forum or governors making statements after a private meeting, however, we believe that the issue of merger of political parties is a very serious matter that needs adequate consultation before a governor participates and makes public statement. “The secretariat has contacted Governor Peter Obi also of our party on his stand on the meeting, but he categorically denied being invited or having anything to do with the meeting in Lagos. “While we are not qualified to speak for other political parties and their governors, we do categorically state that the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, has never partici- pated in any merger talks with any other political party before now and is, therefore, not in the merger. “We were never consulted by anybody before such statement of our involvement was issued. We recall that a National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting of the party was held in July 2012 and the various stakeholders’ meetings have equally been held in the last one year. In all these meetings, the issue of merger was never discussed. “For one of our governors to participate in a meeting where the merger of opposition parties was “endorsed” is ridiculous and unfortunate,” Okwenna added. He noted that merger talks were such that political parties would lose their identities and, therefore, “is not an ad hoc arrangement.” “According to our constitution, the decision to initiate such discussion is vested in the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party and ratified by the national convention. It is not an executive action, but purely a party matter.” or issues to be discussed, meetings may not hold.” However, later in the afternoon, Sambo chaired the meeting of the Defence Corporation of Nigeria, DICON, in which Olubolade and the Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, were in attendance. Speaking to National Mirror, former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Sanni Yerima, said that some serving governors, National Assembly members and notable political figures from the Peoples Democratic Party had indicated intention to join APC. But in a reaction to the merger of the parties, National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, said that the party was not bothered about the new party, saying that even with the merger, “PDP is still well accepted and very popular amongst Nigerians.” “The more the merrier. There is no polling in the whole Nigeria where you do not have one member of PDP. It is the only party that fields candidate in every polling booth in the country. We are the only party that shows the acceptance. It is the party in government now that is in the majority. It does not mean that we want to be a party and there is no opposition, in fact opposition is a charge to action. “If they have the strength, why do they come together? If you go for a contest, you have the striker, you know Lionel Messi, PDP is Messi in that contest. They (opposition parties) are no threat at all; it is better, it inspires PDP to action. In that contest (merger) tell them Chairman said PDP is the Messi. “When we come to form PDP we did not ask anybody we want one party state, depending on Nigeria, Nigeria should really decide, it is the electorate; our party is a grassroots. “My job is to handover this party to the owners, they are there, they are the one to decide from the ward, local government to the state to the zone and to the centre. PDP is the party that is steering the nation governance.” Tukur also applauded the rate of work going on in the new PDP secretariat, saying that “by the grace of God, in January 2014, this building will be ready. What they told me they have done, I have come to see for myself that they have do it. The contractors have done what they promised to do. I said let me go and inspect with my NWC and see and I didn’t want them to know that I am coming today. It is a surprise visit because the best way to do things like that is to come without any influence.” Bamanga, who said that he is satisfied with the pace of work after the inspection of the new building, said “By the grace of God, the finance will be there. Many companies are waiting in the wings. Today, if I say Gucci, come and take, they will come and take and they will pay. That is why I didn’t want them (contractors) to put anything. Airlines want to put their profile. No. The question of finance is not a problem at all.” Ten governors had on Tuesday after a four-hour meeting in Lagos ratified the merger of the parties. Present at the meeting were Governors Babatunde Fashola (ACN-Lagos), Ibikunle Amosun (ACNOgun), Kayode Fayemi (ACN-Ekiti), Abiola Ajimobi (ACN-Oyo), Rauf Aregbesola (ACN-Osun), Rochas Okorocha (APGA-Imo), Umaru Tanko Almakura (CPC-Nasarawa) and Abdulaziz Yari (ANPP-Zamfara), Kashim Shettima (ANPPBorno) and Ibrahim Gaidam (ANPP-Yobe) who was represented by Senator Dejere Alkali. Shettima, who read the communiqué to journal- ists shortly after the meeting, said the governors reviewed the situation in the country and resolved to endorse the merger initiative with a primary intention to ‘fix Nigeria’. He said: “We, the Governors of Borno, Ekiti, Imo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Yobe and Zamfara, rose from a meeting at Lagos House, Marina, today, Tuesday, February 5, 2013. Having reviewed the situation in our country, we resolved to rescue Nigeria. This is a task that must be done. “As progressive and patriotic leaders of our people across party, religious and geopolitical zones, we are extremely concerned about the state of the nation and we put our heads together in the interest of our people to deliberate on what can be done to rescue our country. “As governors, we fully endorse the merger initiatives already commenced by our various political parties and we will put our full weight behind these efforts. “Nigeria is greater than all of us and we have a duty to make it work for our people and for the future of our children yet unborn.” National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net News Thursday, February 7, 2013 7 Okada riders protest death of members T The crashed Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation plane in the bush of Osubi Airport, yesterday. Falana blames judges, lawyers for rot in judiciary KENNY ODUNUKAN L agos Lawyer and human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, has blamed Nigerian judges and lawyers for the decline in the administration of justice and the rot in the country’s judiciary. Speaking yesterday at a lecture titled; “Nigeria, A Failing Nation?: Where Are the Lawyers,” organised by the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Ikorodu branch, he said lawyers in collaboration with some judges frustrate court trials by engaging in dilatory tactics. The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who spoke at the eighth Chief Olusola Babatunde Benson, SAN, annual public lecture organised as part of the programmes for the 2013 Law Week of the branch, said this act often leads to abuse of court process and travesty of justice. “Judges as well as lawyers oftentimes exploit the complexity in the Nigerian legal system to abuse court process thereby inhibiting justice. The situation has got to a level of anarchy and if nothing is done drastically to halt the decline, the country may collapse. “To get justice has been made to look like the ability to pay enough money to truncate court processes as well as bribe the judge. It is only in Nigeria that lawyers expressly demand money from clients to be paid to judges irrespective of the merit of their cases,” he said. He said part of the tactics used by lawyers to subvert the rule of law was the act of filing frivolous motions thereby making it nearly impossible for the court to hear the substantive case. He warned that not until Nigerian lawyers do what is right and the judges act responsibly, the nation’s quest for a better society, rule of law, good governance and justice might be a mirage. Falana also said companies and businesses were moving to other smaller African countries that appeared to guarantee justice in their system and that should be a concern for any citizen that desired national growth. “We cry of lack of jobs, lack of economic opportunities and general apathy, what the lawyers can do to make the situation better is just to stick to the rules of their profession. “Lawyers need to uphold the ethics of the legal profession because that is the only way the justice system can earn the trust that has evaded it. We have become a laughing stock in the comity of nations due to the precarious situation of our legal system and if we do not arrest the situation now, the country may collapse due to impunity. “What we see today is best described as shams in our courts where corrupt people walk in and out with ease. With impunity, lawyers abuse court pro- Kuku not involved in Boyloaf’s arrest –Amnesty Office T he Presidential Amnesty Office yesterday denied that last Saturday’s arrest and detention of one of the leaders of the former agitators in the Niger Delta, Ebikabowei VictorBen (aka Boyloaf) was masterminded by the its Chairman, Hon. Kingsley Kuku. In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by the Head, Media and Communications, Mr Daniel Alabrah, the Amnesty Office said the incident that led to the arrest and detention of Boyloaf was misrepresented in some reports that Hon. Kuku was involved in an altercation with him at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos. “The fact is that Hon. Kuku was nowhere near the airport at the time his Special Assistant, Mr. Henry Ugbolue, was attacked by Boyloaf and two others, which led to their arrest and detention by the police. “For purposes of clarity, the unprovoked assault on Mr. Ugbolue had nothing to do with Mr. Kuku or the amnesty programme. cesses to favour their clients without corresponding punishment for the offenders. “The laws have been manipulated to favour the rich who commit criminal offences but get light sentences while the common people that engage in petty stealing end up spending long years behind bars. “Many do not even get prosecuted as their lawyers have perfected many ways of evading justice through frivolous injunctions, some even go as far as getting “perpetual injunction” to prevent their clients from facing the law. These lawyers who have become some sort of “couriers” for ill gotten wealth have done all the unthinkable in law to frustrate the law from taking its course.” he death of two commercial motorcycle riders popularly called Okada yesterday sparked a clash between officials of the Edo State War Against Indiscipline, WAI, and the Edo State Traffic Management Agency, EDSTMA, on one side and the operators on the other. It was gathered that the two motorcycle riders were killed when a vehicle ran into them. The vehicle was allegedly trying to escape arrest by traffic officials after beating the traffic light when he killed the two Okada operators. This angered other operators who witnessed the gory sight and immediately mobilised and descended on officials of WAI and EDSTMA during which time they beat them mercilessly. The commercial motorcycle riders set- up bonfires and took to the street, protesting the killing of their members. Officials of WAI and EDSTMA were chased away from their duty posts in different parts of the state capital and some were beaten-up and temporarily abducted. The officials later regrouped to chase away some motorcyclists who were heading towards Ezoti Street to possibly set their office ablaze. Some motorcycles were destroyed at the Third Junction along Muritala Mohammed Way but the owners claimed they were not aware of the fracas when they were attacked from behind by officials of WAI. More than 15 motorcycles were destroyed in the fracas and the owners claimed that some dangerous weapons were used freely on them. ASUSS will not return to NUT, says Folarin T he Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools of Nigeria, ASUSS, yesterday declared that it was ready to partner with the Federal Government of Nigeria in revamping the educational sector and put an end to avoidable capital flight abroad under the guise of quest to acquire foreign education by well to do Nigerians. ASUSS President in Ogun State, Comrade Tunde Folarin, who spoke at the annual congress of the union in Abeokuta, also called on the Federal Government and other stakeholders to urgently address the debilitating challenges facing the nation’s education sector. Folarin, who described the nation’s educational system as dysfunctional, blamed the development on massive corruption by the leadership. This Day in African American History February 7: On this day in 1945—Irwin C. Mollison is confirmed as First, Black Federal Judge! Irwin C Mollison was appointed judge of the US Customs Court. With his appointment on November 3, 1945, Judge Mollison was the first African American appointed to a position in the federal judiciary that was posthumously converted into an Article III judgeship. Judge Mollison was also the first African American to serve on the United States Customs Court. He was appointed by President Truman. 8 South West Thursday, February 7, 2013 Yoruba blast Jonathan over marginalisation of South-West KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN T he people of the South-West under the aegis of Yoruba Unity Forum, YUF, yesterday lambasted the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan for the lopsidedness in appointments at the federal level. At a press conference addressed by former Secretary to the Federal Government, SFG, Chief Olu Falae, the forum said Jonathan had been unfair to the region in the sharing of federal offices. The conference was attended by prominent Yoruba leaders such as the YUF Chairman, Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi; Mrs. Kofo Bucknor-Akerele; Senator Bode Olajumoke; Chief Abiola Ogundokun; Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa; Chief Dipo Jimilehin; Prof. Adenike Grange; Chief Tony Adefuye; Dr. Kunle Olajide; Mr. Tokunbo Ajasin and Chief Akin Omojola. The forum tasked the President to consider the interest of the region in any other top federal appointments. The group said the Yoruba people were being sys- temically short-changed in the distribution of entitlements under the Jonathan administration and thus being deprived of their rights to equality of treatment. The YUF warned that the complaints about the systematic marginalisation of the Yoruba should not be equated by the President to the usual cries of marginalisation from all geopolitical zones. The forum regretted that no Yoruba man or woman •Suspect, four accomplices in police net IBADAN P olice in Oyo State yesterday arrested five people for allegedly killing a businesswoman, identified as Kafilat. Until her death, Kafilat was a trader at the popular Bodija market in Ibadan, the state capital. The deceased was said to have been lured to Oyo town by her lover, identified as Gbenga Taiwo. The suspects were taken to the house at Alhaja Sarat Street in Jare Emily area of Oyo town where the crime was committed. It was learnt that Taiwo had conspired with his friends, Ganiyu Lukman and Kareem Afeez, to kill Kafilat for ritual purpose. Taiwo also contacted Mohammed Saheed, an Alfa, for money ritual and decided to use Kafilat for the ritual. Yoruba in respect of appointments and job security throughout the Federal Service. “For example, the committee set up by the President in October 2011 to review and work on the appointments to board memberships of federal statutory corporations and agencies included no Yoruba person, because it was composed primarily of members from the above apex. “It should be noted that not all the 12 positions listed at the apex of the power hierarchy are elective, hence, the President could have filled at least one of the purely appointive ones with a Yoruba of his choice, to accommodate the federal character principle,” the forum said. The group reminded Jonathan that the Yoruba votes during the 2011 presidential poll, more than any other part of the country, gave the election credibility and universal acceptability. YUF added the region gave the President all the necessary support during his trying moments. It said: “In the dying days of the Yar’Adua administration when he was incapaci- L-R: Former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola; Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola and Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, during the Oyo State Day at the Grassroots Business and Investment Forum in Osogbo, yesterday. Man kills lover for money ritual KEMI OLAITAN is ranked in the 12 topmost positions that constitute the apex of the political power hierarchy in the country. “We list the 12 topmost positions that constitute the apex of the political power hierarchy in the country. No Yoruba person is included in that apex. These people constitute the source from which all other powers flow. “Thus, the absence of any Yoruba at the top of the political hierarchy has consequential effect on the National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net It was gathered that Taiwo invited the deceased and took her to the house where Lukman worked as a guard, fed and drugged her so that she could sleep off. Kafilat was reportedly murdered in her sleep. Her body was then cut into pieces and set ablaze to cover up the heinous crime. But while briefing journalists in Oyo town yesterday, the state Assistant Commissioner of Police, Janet Agbede, said the command started investigating the crime when one Mrs. Sekinat Lateeef, a relative of the deceased, made a report at the Central Police Station, Iyaganku, that Kafilat was missing. Agbede said the deceased had earlier contacted her relative on her mobile phone that she was in Oyo town with Taiwo. She said: “We immediately commenced our investigation. OJO OYEWAMIDE AND ADEOLU ADEYEMO O sun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo and Prince Bola Ajibola have said that regional integration would put Nigeria on the path of growth. They spoke in Osogbo at the South-West Expo, 2013 where all the region governors and leaders were present. According to Aregbesola, regional integration holds the key to the country’s rapid development. He said if regional meetings could be held regularly, the advancement to be recorded in the country would be inexplicable, adding that it was a must for all Yoruba. Aregbesola said regionalism would promote the well-being and qualities of the people living in the SouthWest and as well accelerate the growth of the region. He however suggested that tated by illness and there was a lot of reluctance to make Jonathan acting President, it is predominantly Yoruba activists who led the march on the National Assembly to force our lawmakers to pronounce Jonathan acting President. “When the then acting President Jonathan chose to run for President, he got the enthusiastic endorsement of many Yoruba progressives, especially the leadership of Yoruba Unity Forum; die-hard Awoists who pushed his acceptability to the Yoruba by portraying him as an Awolowo protégé, and as a fulfilment of an earlier Awolowo prophesy regarding the Ijaw and the Presidency. “Why, in spite of all the above, would President Goodluck Jonathan choose to turn against the Yoruba now? He is the President of all Nigerians, not just of his party men, nor even of those who voted for him or his party. And in any case Yoruba voted for him overwhelmingly. “We implore Mr. President to rise to the demands of his office and rule as the President of all Nigerians including the Yoruba people. “We are hopeful that President Goodluck Jonathan will make amends as quickly as possible and make the Yoruba feel once again as part of the Nigerian federation.” Regional integration, key to Nigeria’s growth – Aregbesola, Ajibola, Olunloyo if there could be a guided policy cum impeccable plans, the advancement of the region would remain unbeatable in the comity of states, adding that people should come together and embrace one another to ensure the region’s rapid growth. While arguing that politics and politicking should not be the basis for the coming together of Yoruba to actualise their dreams, Aregbesola called on Governor Mimiko of Ondo State not to isolate himself from the programme. He said: “The struggle for power has gone and this is the time to build our region together for the betterment of the living and the generation yet unborn.” The governor also advised people of the region to embrace agriculture, saying it was the backbone of any given country. Aregbesola, who affirmed that it was from agriculture that so many things that brought rapid development to the region were got during the time of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, appealed to all and sundry in the region not to jettison agriculture. Also speaking at the event, the former governor of the old Oyo State, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, charged leaders in the region to act like Awolowo in action, not only in word. He described Awolowo as the harbinger and embodiment of progress and development, saying what he did to the region would never be obliterated from the minds of those who appreciated the works of a genius. Olunloyo also said that regionalism should not be politicised for better result and appealed to Mimiko to get involved in the project, which he described as indispensable in the region. The former governor, who appealed to all leaders and statesmen in the region to do their best to bring all Yoruba together, saying “it was what we learnt for Awolowo that we are all using today”. Former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola, said agriculture must be regarded as important in human life. According to him, there are about seven billion inhabitants on Earth and that this is made possible because of farming and animal husbandry. Ajibola, who was the chairman of the event, described the agricultural workshop and exhibition as the beginning of “agrarian revolution” in the SouthWest, adding that the development was achievable with cooperation among the states in the region. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net South West Thursday, February 7, 2013 9 Lagos declares war on porno materials’ distributors MURITALA AYINLA W L-R: Director of Programmes, Technical Aid Corps (TAC), Mr. Yandam Auta; Director-General, Ambassador Mamman Daura; Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun and Special Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaja Kafilat Ogbara, during a courtesy visit by the TAC executives to the governor in Abeokuta, yesterday. Man arrested for raping own daughter MURITALA AYINLA O fficials of the Lagos State Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development have arrested a 39-year-old bricklayer for allegedly raping his 14-year-old daughter several times. The alleged rapistfather, Olanrewaju Wasiu, was arrested in his Awoyaya home in Ajah area of Lagos State by officials of the Youth and Social Development arm of the ministry. National Mirror gathered that the little girl told the authorities of her school about her plight, confessing that her father had been sleeping with her as well as maltreating her whenever she refuses. Hence, the school authorities reported the case to the state government, which led to Wasiu’s arrest while the little girl is currently being kept under government’s custody. Confirming the incident, the Chairman of the state Task-force on Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences, Bayo Sulaiman, said the 39-year-old would be arraigned in court for allegedly raping his daughter. The suspected rapist, however, confirmed committing the offence, but claimed that it happened only on two occasions. His words: “I did not know what came over me; it was not my fault, I don’t know how it happened. It was the devil at work. I only slept with her twice. “The reason why I beat her was that she stole my money.” The suspect was brought to the taskforce office by the officials of the state government to be kept in custody pending the time he would be arraigned. Court adjourns suit on missing corps member ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI A n Ikere Ekiti High Court has adjourned till February 20, hearing in the case of an abducted corps member, Miss Anthonia Okeke, who got missing in Ekiti State since December 19, 2008. The matter could not be heard yesterday due to the non-appearance of witnesses in court. The 21-year-old graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, was allegedly kidnapped by a motorcyclist and suspected ritualist, Mr. Theophilus Pius, at Ilawe Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti South-West Local Government Area of Ekiti State. Justice Adekunle Adeleye, who ordered that the accused person should be remanded in prison custody till the next adjourned date, said the prosecuting counsel should be allowed to produce his witnesses in court before proper hearing of the case. The judge said he was aware that some lawyers in the Department of Public Prosecution, DPP, of the Ekiti State Ministry of Justice had been transferred to another department, saying that might have caused the delay. Earlier, defence counsel, Miss Ekianinima Okoyin, had submitted that she had a pending bail application to move before the court. The judge said: “I am quite aware that people are waiting anxiously for the outcome of the case, but things must be done right. The DPP must be allowed to produce all his witnesses in court.” It will be recalled that the corps member participating in the compulsory one-year NYSC programme at the local government headquarters at Ilawe Ekiti, had engaged the services of the Okada rider who was to take her to the motor park at about 5.30am that fateful day. The corps member, a native of Umana Ndiuno in Ezeagu Local Government area of Enugu State, was to travel home that morning for Christmas and New Year celebrations. She has since then been missing. Pius, an Ibo man, was said to have been close to the corps member, her kinswoman, before the occurrence. The accused person had been in detention since 2009 and the other suspect identified as Alhaji Suleiman, was also arrested and whisked to Police Headquarters in Abuja, on the strength of the petition by the corps member’s octogenarian father, Mr. Raphael Okeke. Suleiman was later released based on police report that no evidence linked him with the crime. Sources said Pius made confessional statement that Suleiman procured the motorbike for him. orried by the flagrant display and showing of pornographic materials in public places, the Lagos State Task-force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit has declared war on distributors and sellers of obscene materials in major roads in the state. Speaking against the background of the four persons arrested for hawking and displaying of pornographic materials at the popular Cele Bus Stop, along the Oshodi Apapa Expressway, the Task-force Chairman, Bayo Sulaiman, said the renewed war against the distributors of the materials was borne out of the deluge of complaints received from members of the public over the brazen showing of the material in open places. The task-force boss, who said that such practices could negatively influence the younger ones, said the government had banned the hawking and public display of such materials in the past. His words: “We received complaints about resurfacing of pornographic materials in some parts of the state. We had cleared them off the streets before but they are back again. We have to arrest the situation again. We are going to charge those arrested to court to serve as deterrent to others,” he said. “Whenever you see pornographic materials being displayed, you always see children viewing them and it causes disorder in their minds. We have a culture in Yoruba land which we must abide with.” Harping on the position of the state government on the sales and distribution of pornographic materials, Sulaiman added the state government is not infringing on the rights of the distributors but stressed that the task-force owes it a duty to protect children from being exposed to such materials. He added: “There is a law against the distribution of pornographic materials in the state. We are not infringing on their rights to sell, but they are infringing on the rights of these children by exposing such obscene materials to them.” Ondo election petition: Parties agree to reduce number of witnesses HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE A ll the parties presenting petitions before the Ondo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal yesterday unanimously agreed to reduce the number of witnesses to be called to prove their case before the tribunal. Speaking on behalf of other counsel before the tribunal, Adebayo Adenipekun, SAN, who addressed the court, said this was to ensure speedy adjudication over the petitions. Earlier, the tribunal had asked the parties to deliberate on witnesses and documents to be admitted for the proper trial of the petitions while the panels went for a onehour recess to give room to deliberation for the parties involved to chart ways on how best to pursue the cases. This led to the meeting of the counsel and parties to the petitions after which Adenipekun addressed the court on their decision. Adenipekun, however, disclosed that the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, had agreed to reduce its witnesses from 1, 700 to 850, while Governor Olusegun Mimiko also reduced the number of his witnesses from 2, 023 to 600 and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, reduced theirs from 147 to 13. He also stated that the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olusola Oke, has also agreed to reduce his witnesses from 271 to 130, the Labour Party, LP, reduced from 2, 500 to 1, 200, while Mimiko slashed his witnesses from 2, 224 to 1, 000 and INEC from 160 to 130. Adenipekun informed the court that all the parties had agreed to sort the INEC’s documents to be used for the prosecution of the petitions before they were admitted by the registry of the tribunal. 10 South-East Thursday, February 7, 2013 Murdered student’s body to be exhumed GEORGE O PARA ABIA T he Abia State police command has ordered the exhumation of the body of a fourth year Law student of the Abia State University who was allegedly murdered and buried in a shallow grave by a cult group believed to be operating in the institution. The murdered student, Obinna Awa Obasi, whose father is said to be a legal practitioner in Umuahia, has been missing for some time. The Officer In-Charge of the state Criminal Investigation Department, CID, of the Abia State Police Command, Mr. Patrick Garba, an assistant commissioner of police, who confirmed the incident, said that a team of policemen have been dispatched to exhume the body somewhere in Uturu, the university town. According to Garba, the matter was initially reported as a case of missing person, but in the course of investigation, the police discovered that he may have been killed by a rivalry cult group. Also, another school of thought said he may have died from the rigorous process of cult initiation, especially from the wounds sustained. On account of this, he was reportedly buried in a shallow grave by members of the cult perhaps to cover track of their evil act. The CID boss said key suspects who confessed to have taken part in the act have been arrested and they would help the police in their investigation. He confirmed that his men have gone to exhume the body as investigation continues into the matter. Corroborating what the CID boss said, state Police Commissioner, Mr. Ambrose Aisabor, in a telephone interview, confirmed the incident. “My men have taken some people to the place. As I am talking to you, my men are there now (the location of the shallow grave), to exhume the body. They left about an hour ago. “My men have arrested some suspects to take them to where he was said to have been buried in a shallow grave”, the police commissioner said. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Imo govt takes over distribution of free education cheques CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI M any months after the Imo State government directed traditional rulers in the state to handle the distribution of Governor Rochas Okorocha’s free tertiary education programme cheques to students in their domains, many students have been denied the opportunity of receiving the cheques, National Mirror investigation reveals. As a result, the ministry of education has mandated the management of the institutions involved to assume the responsibility of distributing the cheques. This decision was reached after stakeholders in the education sector, top government functionaries and traditional rulers met at Heroes Square to address some of the problems encountered in the distribution of the cheques, which hitherto was handled by the traditional rulers. Under the free tertiary education programme, students of the state origin in Imo State University and Imo State Polytechnic are receiving N100, 000 and N80, 000 cheques respectively for onward payment of their tuition fees. Their counterparts in Imo State College of Health Science & Technology, Amaigbo, Nwangele LGA are receiving N60, 000. The state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Adaobi Obasi, told journalists that the sorting out of unclaimed cheques at Heroes Square continues and that the essence of the exercise is to identify students who are yet to collect their cheques from their various traditional rulers. Enugu Acting Gov hails Nebo’s appointment as Minister DENNIS AGBO ENUGU T he Acting Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi, has commended President Goodluck Jonathan on the recent appointment of Prof. Chinedu Nebo, as the Minister of Power. Onyebuchi described the appointment as astute and well thought. The acting governor in a message said that Nigeria and the power sector in particular, stand to gain tremendously from Prof. Nebo’s experience and track record in management of difficult public offices and assignments. He also thanked the President for the honour done to Enugu State in appointing two of her indigenes to head the power ministry in a row, saying that his confidence in the abilities of the state’s indigenes will not go unrewarded. New GOC 82 Division, Maj.-Gen. Adebayo Olaniyi (left), receiving handover notes from his predecessor, Maj.-Gen. Olayinka Oshinowo in Enugu, on Tuesday. PHOTO: NAN Igbo youths warn against extra-judicial killings NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA Y ouths in Igboland, under the auspices of the Association of Igbo Youths, AIYO yesterday warned against what they suspected to be extra-judicial killings going on in various parts of Igboland, saying that such killings could be responsible for the dumping of dead bodies into the Ezu River. They said although they had taken inventory of their members and discovered that none of them was among the dead bod- ies found in the river; they would not tolerate further killings of Ndigbo under any guise. In a press statement issued to journalists yesterday and signed by the Anambra State Chairman of AIYO, Emeka Ominyi Uga, the youths said they had commenced independent investigation into the matter, with a view to detecting those behind the mystery killings and prosecute them. “We don’t want extrajudicial killings in Igboland anymore, whether our members are among the victims or not and we want to know what happened in this Ezu River case so that we will prosecute anyone caught involved in the dastardly act. “It is better to pun- IGP, Mohammed Abubakar ish a criminal by lawful means than extra-judicial means.” They also warned criminals to leave Igboland alone or be prepared to face the consequences as Igbo youths have resolved to flush out criminals by arresting and handing them over to law enforcement agencies. They advised both the federal and state governments to continue with their youth empowerment programmes, aimed at creating employment opportunities for our teeming youths. Anambra commences hunt for tax evaders CHARLES OKEKE AWKA A nambra State government yesterday announced that it will commence massive hunt for tax evaders from February 11, 2013. The government has advised all taxable persons in any part of the state to ensure that they pay their taxes and collect the appropriate receipts, to be presented to enforcement agents on demand. Announcing this new revenue drive of the government during a postState Executive Council press briefing held yesterday, state Commissioner for Tourism, Information and Culture, Chief Joe Martins Uzodike, said the revenue drive was approved by the state government and that it will cover all parts of the state. He urged all those whose incomes are not taxable to go the tax office and obtain an exemption certificate. Chief Uzodike also announced that henceforth, only emblems owned by the state government are to be sold to motorists and other relevant bodies, just as the ones belonging to other state governments that are being sold in the state have been banned. He also announced other key decisions taken by the executive committee to include the award of Umueri to St. Monica Ogbunike Cave Road contract valued at N1.249 billion with a completion period of two years, from the date mobilisation fee was paid, and the Okpuno Road at the cost of N570 million. He further disclosed that the Enugwu-Ukwu town union election scheduled for February 9, has been postponed till August due to the lingering crisis in the town. “Exco decided that with effect from February 11, there will now be tax chasing and “Operation show your tax” in Anambra and commissioners, special advisers and other government officials will storm the various towns to enforce the collection of the income tax.” National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net South South Thursday, February 7, 2013 Abducted lawmaker’s mother released EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA A bducted mother of a member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mrs. Esther Akpe, has been released by her abductors. Mrs. Akpe was released at about 3:0pm on Tues- day at a village beside Bolou-Angiama in Delta State after much pressure on the abductors by security operatives. She was later conveyed to Yenagoa at about 6pm and has since reunited with her family. The 69-year victim was abducted last week Tuesday at Ebedebiri community in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Col. Bernard Kenebai (rtd), told journalists yesterday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, that a combined of team of Joint Military Task Force (JTF), the police and the State Security Service (SSS) officials put pressure on the kidnappers to release the victim. According to Kenebai, the effort by the security team resulted in the forceful release of the victim, who has been held by her abductors for a week. The kidnappers had earlier demanded a ransom of N80 million from the victim’s family to secure her release. It was, however, not confirmed if the family paid the ransom to the kidnappers before the victim secured her freedom. The governor’s aide on ‘Support effort to make Nigeria remain united’ security matters said no ransom was paid to secure the victim’s release as he warned kidnappers that government would not condone any act of criminality in the state. He said: “Bayelsa State is no longer a fertile land for kidnappers and perpetrators of other criminal acts.” Akwa Ibom, Poland to partner in business investment T TONY ANICHEBE UYO G overnor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has urged Nigerians to support efforts to make the country remain united. Akpabio spoke yesterday at the opening of the 12th National Biennial Conference of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) held at the Uyo Sports Stadium. The theme of the conference is “A people with a mandate”. The governor said: “Lord Lugard and his wife completed their mandate in 1914 by uniting the Northern and Southern Protectorat, which emerged into our country, Nigeria. So, our mandate as Nigerians is to seek peace at all times in order to keep the country together. I urge the servants of God to continue to intercede for the country through their prayers for peace to reign in the country. “With this conference held in Akwa Ibom State, peace will be spoken through the state to the nation and after the conference, every Akwa Ibom child will begin to prophesy peace to all Nigerians. God has chosen the state to be the Biblical Gilgal of the nation, where Christians come together to renew their covenant with God. “This year’s conference is very symbolic as the 12th national biennial conference because Jesus disciples were 12; the tribes of Israel were also 12. There were 12 stones from River Jordan; 12 gates in New Jerusalem and 12 stones from the breastplate of the priests. This proves that 12 is a majestic number of God’s presence and power. And if you flip 12, you have 21 and Akwa Ibom happens to be the 21st state in Nigeria ‘’. 11 L-R: Paramount Ruler of Eneka Obio-Akpor, King Rowland Woko; former Director, Community Affairs, Rivers State Ministry of Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Mr. Sunday Emeyi, and Executive General Manager of JVA Onshore Asset, Mr. Jean-Claude Vachet, during the signing of memorandum of understanding on the Northern Offshore Pipelines Project between Total E and P Nigeria Limited and Etche/Ikwere/Obio-Akpor/Owaza cluster communities in Port Harcourt, yesterday. Bayelsaawardsscholarshipsto437post-graduatestudents T he Bayelsa State Government says it has awarded scholarships to 437 post-graduate students, including 137 PhD and 300 masters degree scholarships. Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, the state governor, Seriake Dickson, gave the account of his stewardship in the last one year, saying the government had invested in education sector because of its commitment to developing the humancapacity of the state. According to him, the government made initial provision of N1 billion for the post-graduate scholarship scheme, but overshot the amount in view of the massive demand it got from applicants. Dickson said: “The sums involved are quite staggering, but we believe it is a good investment. Because of our passion for humancapacity development, we have since overshot the N1 billion marks we originally earmarked for the scheme. And I don’t regret it”. He said the government also cleared the huge backlog of unpaid fees for Bayelsa undergraduates in higher institutions across the world, in addition to the award of 250 post-primary school scholarships in the best secondary schools in the country. The governor expressed satisfaction with the investments made so far in the education sector, adding that another tranche of N500 million would be released next week to further underscore government’s commitment to the various scholarship programmes both within and outside the country. Dickson said: “By next week, we shall release another tranche of N500 million. It is a very robust programme of which we are proud of.” According to him, the government is motivated to invest massively in educa- tion because of the urgent need to prepare students, give them the required training and skills to be able to contribute meaningfully to an increasingly competitive globalised economy, noting that investing in human-capacity development had generally proved to become the most pressing challenge in the contemporary world. The governor said: “Don’t forget we have the Niger Delta University. We have a College of Education and other schools- including the secondary schools. We hope to use these to build up our human resource base. Journalists accuse school’s head of assault TONY ANICHEBE UYO T he spate of molestation of journalists in Akwa Ibom State took another dimension yesterday following the alleged assault of three correspondents of national newspapers by the principal of Federal Science and Technical College, Uyo. The journalists, who visited the principal’s office at about 11:am to investigate allegations of illegal levies on students, award of contracts without due process and general poor academic performance were, however, subjected to inhuman treatments by the principal. Mrs. Theresa. Nweke, the school principal, flew up in anger when the jour- nalists their mission after which he phoned someone, alleging that she was being harassed by the visitors. It was learnt that the journalists - Aniefiok Macauley of Daily Independent, Aniefiok Udonquak of BusinessDay and Patrick Odey of Daily Trust Newspapers - escaped being attacked by the whiskers. As the journalists drew the attention of the principal to the 2011 WAEC results of the school in which 39 of the 135 candidates that sat for the examination passed Biology at credit level and five others passed Chemistry at credit level, some people, who claimed to be policemen in mufti with horsewhip, stormed the principal’s office to arrest the journalists. he Akwa Ibom State Government has reiterated its commitment to co-operate with the Republic of Poland in business investments. Governor Godwill Akpabio stated this yesterday when the Polish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Prezemyslaw Niesiolowski, leading a 16-man delegation on trade mission to the state, visited him at the Governor’s Office in Uyo. Akpabio said: “We are committed to cooperate with the Republic of Poland in business relations to boost the economic hub of the country and for the future cooperation between Nigeria and Poland. “I am aware that Poland is skilled on manpower with a wide range of industries in the country. I am glad that the representatives of such business companies are in the state for the trade mission. “Akwa Ibom is a virgin state waiting for development. Your visit to the state signifies the fact that industrialization is becoming a reality in the state. So, we are determined to cooperate with Poland in business sector. Nigeria still remains the most attractive place for business investment in Africa where investors all over the world come into the country to invest with tonnes of profits. “Poland is known for its investment in the maritime sector. So, I call on you to look towards the direction of the maritime sector in the state, through the Ibaka Deep Seaport and the power sector through the Independent Power Plant (IPP) and in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry because we are in a hurry to catch up with the rest of the world”. 12 North Thursday, February 7, 2013 Kano by-election: Security agents’ role regrettable –INEC OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA T he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has described the role played by security agents during last weekend’s by-elections in Kano State as regrettable. INEC alleged that security agents’ inaction led to the violent harassment of electoral officials by hoodlums during the poll. INEC, which said it received reports on assault and intimidation of voters and electoral officials during the February 2, 2013 by-elections into Gaya and Garko state House of Assembly constituencies, accused security agents of looking the other way while “mobs of armed youths disrupted the process.” The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, said in a statement yesterday: “Field reports available to the commission revealed that mobs of armed youths disrupted the electoral process in some areas, harassing and intimidating innocent voters. Electoral officials were also intimidated, harassed and threatened, while some INEC supervisory officials were as- saulted.” Idowu said the commission was disappointed that the culture of violence, intolerance and unruly conduct still bedevil the country’s electoral process. The electoral body described as regrettable the role played by security operatives during the poll, adding that the scenario deprived voters of exhibiting their legitimate rights in a conducive atmosphere. INEC said: “Regrettably, reports also showed that despite the overwhelming show of force by armed youths during the Kano State by-election, security agents failed to intervene. “INEC is concerned that under the circumstance, the elections were conducted in an unwholesome atmosphere that interfered with voters’ exercise of their freedom of choice. “The commission hereby affirms that this sort of situation must not be allowed in our political process because it subverts the fundamental principle of free, fair and credible elections. “INEC therefore calls on security agencies to remain vigilant; and to promptly intervene, whenever necessary, against the use of thugs to intimidate or harass voters, thereby subverting the political process.” National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net January 20, 2012 violence taught us major lesson –CP AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO T he January 20, 2012 devastating multiple bomb explosions that rocked the commercial city of Kano was a big lesson to security agents, the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, said yesterday. It will be recalled that no fewer than 300 persons, including security agents, civilians and members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect were killed in the bomb explosions. Speaking with National Mirror in an interview yesterday, Idris said that security agents learnt some lessons from the LG exceeds 68,288 immunised children target in Gombe DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE T he Kwami Local Government Area of Gombe State has recorded success as it exceeded its target of 68, 288 immunised children. The local government recorded the feat following the appeals by monarchs to parents to embrace the immunization exercise. National Mirror correspondent, who monitored the exercise in the local government, noted that over 68, 288 children under five children targeted were immunized by the third day of the exercise. In most of the villages visited, it was learnt that the village heads warned household heads of dare consequences should they refuse to bring out their children for the polio immunisation. In Mallam Sidi, Zangomakiyari and Musagudi, vaccinators told National Mirror that a few households rejected the vaccines initially, but the incident was reported to the village heads who personally returned with vaccinators to the households and ensured that the children were immunised. The village head of Zangomakiyari, Alhaji Muhammadu Ali, said that he personally directed the vaccinators to report to him any household that refused the vaccination. New Kaduna State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Mr. Abubakar Haruna (left) taking the oath of office being administered by the party’s Legal Adviser, Mr. Emmanuel Kantiok, in Kaduna, yesterday. Judicial panel to probe Erin-Ile/Offa communal clash WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN G overnor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has decried the increasing use of violence to settle differences by the people who should be friendly neighbours, saying that violence has not been part of the culture in the state. Ahmed spoke yesterday at the Government House in Ilorin during the swearing-in of the Judicial Commission of Enquiry into the Erin-Ile/ Offa communal clash. He described the destruction of lives and property during the crisis between the two communities as alien to the way of life of the state, saying: “Our culture in Kwara State is peace”. The governor, however, promised that his administration would ensure that violence did not occur again in any part of the state. Governor Ahmed urged members of the judicial commission to identify the perpetrators of the violence acts and proffer solutions to the perennial clash. He said: “No more will our people live in fear because of a few elements who are bent on using violence to achieve selfish interests. We will not tolerate unlawful border disputes that result in violence and impair the welfare of our people”. The terms of reference of the commission, according to the governor, include the determination of the immediate and remote causes of the crisis; determination of the extent of damage to property, number of lives lost and identification of the culprits. The commission is to also review the previous reports of committee/ commission on Erin-Ile/ Offa crisis, making appropriate recommendations in respect of prosecution and punishment of culprits, lost lives, property destroyed and solutions to prevent recurrence. The commission, which has six weeks to complete its assignment, is headed by Justice Adeyinka Sikiru Oyinloye, who thanked the governor and the people for the trust reposed in them. violence. He said: “We in the Nigerian Police learnt so much from that incident, which has assisted us greatly in the policing of Kano and its environs against the activities of gunmen and other criminals.” According to the police boss, since the attack, there had been heavy deployment of security apparatus to restore peace and stability in the state and that the efforts enhanced robust commercial and social activities. Idris, however, admitted what he described as pockets of harassment of innocent citizens by suspected gunmen in the state, but noted that generally, Kano has been enjoying relative peace because of the determination of security agents to protect lives and property. He said that the relative peace enjoyed now in the state now could be traced to the adoption of community policing in which everyone is involved in the campaign against violent acts. The police boss said: “Under this arrangement, we have involved religious and traditional leaders, the vigilance group, as well as the nonindigenous community leaders, in addition to a series of seminars and workshops to sensitize the people on the dangers of accommodating undesirable elements in their midst and these efforts have paid off.” He commended the cooperation given to the security agents by members of the public, which he noted without which it would have been difficult for the security agents to effectively protect lives and property. Idris added that no fewer than 300 suspects had been arrested in connection with the January 20 attack. He commended the commitment of other security agencies in the campaign to rid Kano State of criminal activities. The police chief said: “They all made immeasurable sacrifices to rescue Kano State from the clutches of gunmen.” Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net 13 Politics PDP, worst thing to happen to Nigeria –Kio-Briggs NGF: A power bloc or the mafia? 15 14 PDP blasts Fashola over Jonathan’s performance OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU T he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-West has described the allegation of incompetence levelled against President Goodluck Jonathan by the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, as uncharitable, self-serving, and hypocritical. The party stated that “Governor Fashola and his party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) must first remove the logs in their eyes before attempting to remove the specks in other people’s eyes.” Fashola had declared that the Jonathan-led Federal Government lacked the requisite knowledge and capacity to tackle Nigeria’s problems, saying that there is the need to effect a change at the centre in 2015 for the country to achieve positive development. But in its reaction, the PDP, speaking through its zonal Publicity Secretary, Kayode Babade, in a statement issued yesterday described Lagos State under Fashola and Bola Tinubu, as monumental failure, adding that “they must first tell Nigerians what they have done with the over N40 billion that Lagos State gets as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) monthly.” The PDP said: “The first question Governor Fashola should be asked is whether he has done well in Lagos State with the huge resources at his disposal. “The fact is that after the country, Lagos is the num- ber two richest state in Africa. In the last five years, between the state and the local councils, an average of N50 billion is realised monthly in a month, making N600 billion annually. Yet, nothing is being done with the huge resources available to the state. “With the wealth of Lagos State, shouldn’t Fashola have turned the state into what Singapore, a country of less than six million people is; if he is a genius and development hungry as he wants Nigerians to believe? Why is Lagos the third worst city to live in the whole world? If Fashola and Tinubu could not fix Lagos in 14 years, what magic do they want to perform if Nigeria is put in their hands?” Babade added that it is a fact that Lagos State, second to the Federal Government, owes the highest external debt of $517.6 million, saying that instead of using this huge wealth to develop the state, Fashola and Tinubu have been using it to prosecute elections and electoral cases in other states of Nigeria and countries of Africa, adding that the result of this anomaly is the failure of governance in the state. He stated that the only time government presence is felt in Lagos was when it wants to collect taxes. He said: “Aside when government wants taxes, Lagos residents are on their own. They build their own houses, sink their own boreholes to get water, construct their own access roads, provide their own security by constructing street gates and employing vigilante to guard them, send their children to private schools and visit private hospitals or herbal homes when they are sick. “So, can Fashola tell Lagosians what he has done with their money?” Assembly passes law banning motorcycle operations in Kano L-R: Chairman, Merger Committee, Tom Ikimi; former Governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau; Leader, Action Congress of Nigeria, Olusegun Osoba and ANPP Leader, Sanni Yerima, during the merger meeting of opposition parties to form the All Progressive Congress (APC), in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA International community must raise fund for war in Mali –Obasanjo OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU F ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo has appealed to the international community to mobilise funds to help the international coalition forces in Mali. He said that the intervention was launched for the benefit of the global community. Obasanjo made the appeal to the international community in an interview monitored on the newly debuted international television station, Arise TV. The interview, which was monitored in Lagos, was recorded in London where the former president recently arrived for the launch of his Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation (OOF) scheduled for tomorrow. While commending the efforts of the international coalition forces in Mali, Obasanjo said the Malian troops must be bolstered through increased training to be able to handle the critical situation, which if not nipped in the bud, could affect the entire world. He added: “The point is that if we have a situation anywhere in the world that affects the whole world, the world must be able to raise the needed money in order to deal with the situation. If the will is there, it would be done.” When asked if he was not tired and when he would retire from the international stage, the former president replied: “There is no retirement in doing good in life and so long as you have breadth you should continue to do good.” Obasanjo pledged to continue doing good as long as he has the breadth in him and capacity to do so. The former president added that his efforts in good works, which he said were also being channelled through his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), were in the line of former presidents of the United States of America (USA), who he said set up presidential libraries after leaving office. T he Kano State House of Assembly yesterday passed the Motorcycling and Related Matters Regulation Bill into law. Speaker of the Assembly, Gambo Sallau, announced this after the bill sailed through the third reading. The Majority Leader, Hamisu Ibrahim, explained that the law was enacted to sanitise and NLC plans protest on LG autonomy T he Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Oyo State says it is planning a peaceful protest to press home the demand for autonomy for local governments. The Oyo State NLC Chairman, Bashiru Olarewaju, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan that the issue of autonomy for local councils must be addressed to justify the nation’s claim to federalism. The issue of autonomy and Joint Account Committee had been generating controversy between the second and third tiers of governments, with many state governments accused of diverting council funds. Olarewaju, who said that a date would soon be fixed for the protest, noted that the action became inevitable to re-focus atten- tion on the issue. “The National Assembly has deliberated on the issue of local government autonomy, but up till now state governments are working against the release of the report,” he said. He said the protest was being organised by the NLC in conjunction with the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees. modernise the transportation system for the wellbeing of the people. The law was sponsored by the state government to regulate the services of the commercial motorcycle operators, otherwise known as Achaba. According to the law, only one person is allowed to ride a motorcycle in the nine metropolitan local government areas of the state. The affected local governments are; Municipal, Dala, Nassarawa, Fagge, Tarauni, Kumbotso, Dawakin Kudu, Ungogo and Gwale. The law provides for a six months imprisonment or fines of N10, 000 or both for person who disregard its provision. Similarly, the law directed those wishing to engage in commercial motorcycle activities in the remaining 35 local government areas, to register in their respective wards and local governments. 14 Politics Ann Kio-Briggs, the 60-year-old, outspoken Rivers State native has been at the vanguard of the struggle for better lfe for the people of the Niger Delta. She speaks with SAM OLUWALANA on her disappointment with the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, among other national issues. Excerpts: The Federal Government is putting together an elaborate arrangement for the celebration of the centenary of Nigeria’s amalgamation. But you said recently that Nigeria is not worth celebrating, why did you say so? It is not that Nigeria is not worth celebrating. Nigeria does not have anything to celebrate. Although, Nigeria has had people to celebrate in the past, the list of these people that Nigeria can be proud of is limitless, but as a government, as a country rather, what have we achieved? We have achieved nothing as far as I am concerned and I said this with all sense of responsibility. I am 60 years old and I came to Nigeria from England when I was four years old in 1966 and I grew up in the creeks of the Niger Delta in Rivers State. Therefore, I speak with great experience and authority based on the background of being a Niger Delta person or coming from the creeks of the Niger Delta. Nigeria truly has nothing to celebrate. How would you react to the faceoff between the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe? For me, the issue between Orubebe and Amaechi goes beyond the East-West road. Amaechi brought the East-West road into the argument based on what Orubebe said about him which is that he is against the President. But these sentiments about Amaechi being against the President didn’t start today. It has existed since when they had the 2009 crisis of Yar’Adua’s ill health. Some people, who were governors before and who were governors at the time had been accused of having stood against Jonathan emerging as acting President when Yar’Adua was ill and also when Yar’Adua eventually died. Orubebe said what he said and Amaechi has responded. When I heard of it, when journalists approached me to know my take on it, I told them that it was a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) problem and I still insist that it is a PDP problem. It is not the people’s problem, it’s not the problem of the Niger Delta people and it is not the problem of the suffering masses of the Niger Delta. As for Orubebe, we are fighting with him because he has not done anything as far as we are concerned and then when you look at the government of Rivers State, we in Rivers State, made up of different ethnic groups have our own different beefs with Governor Amaechi. So, neither Orubebe nor Amaechi, as far as I am concerned is in the position to say or to show actually what they have done for their people. Recently, you said PDP is the problem of Nigeria. Do you still maintain that? The PDP is the worst thing that has happened to Nigeria. I maintain that PDP sees itself as the owner of Nigeria, but Nigeria owns PDP, not the other way round. You Thursday, February 7, 2013 PDP, worst thing to happen to Nigeria –Kio-Briggs HOW CAN A POLITICAL PARTY SAY THAT IT WILL RULE, NOT SERVE, NOT GOVERN, BUT THAT IT WILL RULE NIGERIA FOR 50 YEARS... PDP WILL NOT RULE ME FOR 50 YEARS AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED. I WILL SAY WHAT I WANT Kio-Briggs and I, the electorate, the people have allowed PDP to get away with what they have gotten away with. The day Nigerians wake up and say to themselves, PDP will no longer be the problem of Nigeria, PDP will no longer hold power that it holds. How can a political party say that it will rule, not serve, not govern, but that it will rule Nigeria for 50 years? I am speaking for myself and I want to believe that there are others that share my sentiments and my belief. PDP will not rule me for 50 years as far as I am concerned. I will say what I want to say about the PDP and I am saying that PDP is the problem of Nigeria. I also went further to say that Nigeria is the problem of the Niger Delta. Edwin Clark accused the Governors’ Forum of trying to take over the country. Do you share this sentiment? The governors of Nigeria that constitute the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) as far as I am concerned have acted illegally. At the time the NGF was formed, some of us said that we didn’t see why there should be a governors’ forum. The governors have created for themselves what does not exist in the constitution and Nigerians have allowed it and they will continue to be there, whether we like it or not until we say we don’t want them to be there and make sure that they are not there. Nigerians, have to recognise what their rights are. Why can’t we have the people’s forum for God’s sake? We should have the people’s forum in each state and with that I think the powers of the so-called NGF will be reduced. There is a section that is looking at the NGF as being problematic to President Goodluck Jonathan, but why didn’t we recognise it before, why are we now seeing it? I have been accused of agitating against things that are considered unnecessary. So, the fact that we have a Niger Delta person in power today is not what we agitated for, it was providence. It was circumstances beyond our control that brought about Jonathan. What we expect, what Nigerians expect, not to talk of Niger Delta, is that these circumstances should be used to our benefits and if they are not used to our benefits then we will complain. So, if today after the NGF has been so established and it is welding so much power that we are now recognising that the NGF was not unnecessary, then it is unfortunate. How would you rate the performance of the Goodluck Jonathan administration? I have said it before and when I look I still maintain this position. Jonathan is not worse than any President since 1960, whether military or otherwise and he is not better than any President since 1960 till date. So, as for the performance of Jonathan therefore, Nigerians have the right to expect him to live up to the promises that he made. He made promises; he said ‘we will hit the ground running’. The problem is that we hit the ground all right but we stood. We didn’t run but I am still saying today that there is still time and if Jonathan wants to exercise the powers that the people have vested on him, he still has enough time to turn things round. Nigerians are disappointed and I think even selfishly, we Niger Delta people are more disappointed because I think as someone coming from our region we expect him to understand, appreciate and act more on our behalf, but we also do appreciate and understand that he is not a president of Niger Delta, he is not president to do what we ask him to do at our whims and caprices. We have to fight along other people, the Igbo, the Hausa- Fulani, and the Yoruba, for him to do what we expect him to do for us. But I think it is wrong for Nigerians to expect that because he is from the Niger Delta that we no longer should agitate. What is your take on the amnesty programme? Amnesty was offered by the late Yar’Adua not because he loved Niger Delta more than Niger Delta people, but because he was the President of Nigeria and at the time, the output of oil had dropped to below 800,000 barrels per day. The oil companies were declaring force majeure and the Nigeria nation was going to be broke, that is just the reality of what brought about the amnesty that Yar’Adua offered. Now, when the amnesty was offered, we the people of Ijaw extraction had to very quickly consider what the alternative was. And knowing Nigeria as it was, people like myself, Kingsley Kuku, Timi Alaibe and so many others that will not want their names to be mentioned began to push for the accep- National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net tance of amnesty and we worked day and night to make sure that people like Tompolo, Ateke Tom, Farah, Boyloaf and so many of our sons that were in the creeks accepted the proposal and come out. Amnesty was offered and accepted on the understanding that at the acceptance of amnesty, there will be massive infrastructural and human capacity development, that the government will move in and develop the Niger Delta massively. As far as I am concerned, amnesty has not succeeded because we are not the beneficiaries of the success of amnesty. The Federal Government and the oil companies and other states that do not produce oil are the beneficiaries. How would you rate the performance of the Niger Delta governors? Again, I will repeat that Nigerians did not elect the governors of the various states, because elections were rigged. Now if we accept that, then we accept that we did not put the governors there. Now there are two ways I look at it, yes we agree that our governors have not done enough, not to talk of done anything for the money that they are getting. But you see, this is why I am different in the sense that what our governors are getting, that is, 13 per cent, is not what we should be getting. We should be able to own and control our resources and that is why I have this platform that I call “Occupy Niger Delta Resources”. It actually means that every state should occupy its resources so that every state will develop with that and that is what federalism is all about. So, to bring the Niger Delta governors into the argument of development, there is no argument about that. Whether they are getting enough or they are not getting enough, the fact is that the little or the much they are getting, they have not utilised it to our satisfaction. How should we share our revenue? Do you think the present sharing formula is perfect? If Nigeria is a federation, why are we sharing revenues? Is a federation supposed to share revenue? It should be we develop what we have in our state and we pay tax to the Federal Government. That is what federation is about. So, as a matter of fact, the revenue sharing is actually an illegality. How do you become part of sharing something that you are not contributing to? That is an injustice on its own. For instance, when cocoa was being grown, the growing of cocoa was not a Federal Government issue. Private people were growing cocoa and exporting it. I think that is my understanding of what took place. Groundnut too, was a private initiative. That is why I am calling for regionalism. We all know the great works that the West, the Yorubas of Nigeria were able to achieve for themselves with cocoa. We all know what the North was able to achieve for themselves with groundnut. Now people are taunting the Niger Delta and saying that when it was groundnut, we used groundnut. Where did you use groundnut? I want somebody from the North to show me a structure, a road, somebody who was educated with the money that came from groundnut. I want them to show me a bridge, a school that they built with the money from groundnut. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Politics Thursday, February 7, 2013 The Nigerian Governors’ Forum has become one of the most influential power blocs in the country since the return of democratic rule in 1999. However, the group has come under fire of late, over what some stakeholders described as its oppressive tendencies, writes FELIX NWANERI. NGF: A power bloc or the mafia? L ike the famous Kaduna Mafia that held sway during the Second Republic, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), which comprises of governors of the nation’s 36 states and registered under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990, is one group that cannot be ignored, politically. Many have not forgotten the role the NGF played when the country was embroiled in a succession crisis in 2010, following the death of the then president, Umaru Yar’Adua. Members of the Adamu Ciroma-led Northern Leaders Political Forum (NLPF) will also attest to the governors’ political dexterity, especially those of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which saw the choice of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan against former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the party’s presidential candidate and his subsequent victory at the poll in 2011. Though some analysts expressed discomfort then, over what they termed “absolute powers of a group unknown to the constitution,” a few others have persistently argued that the NGF deserves commendation for the unison with which it approaches national issues, despite the divergent political leanings of its members. Such belief was however faulted recently by elder statesman and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark and former Minister of Petroleum, Senator Jibril Aminu, who flayed the Forum for oppressing the Federal Government and the people and thereby posing a threat to the peace and stability of Nigeria. Clark, particularly, accused the NGF of acting in breach of the constitution and constituting an opposition party to the Federal Government. In an open letter to the Forum on how it has hijacked the ruling PDP and flagrantly breached the 1999 Constitution with impunity, the Ijaw leader berated the NGF for not prevailing on its members (serving and past) to do what is right in the governance of their various states. He also added that most of the current governors are more dictatorial than the military governors of the past. His words: “The governors made no comments about the former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori all through his trial and conviction based on corruption in Nigeria and in London; neither did they condemn their Sokoto State colleague who was accused of beating up a fellow Nigerian.” He said the PDP governors are using their structures to entrench corruption, lack of internal democracy, imposition of candidates within the structures of the party over the recognised structures as entrenched in the party’s constitution. These, the elder statesman noted, are weakening the PDP’s cohesion and harmony and unknowingly destroying its peace, unity, solidarity and the country’s democratic values at large. “The Forum has become a powerful tool 15 Amaechi Clark WE ARE THE ONES BEING OPPRESSED AND NOBODY IS COMING TO OUR RESCUE. MAYBE, WE HAVE NOT SUFFICIENTLY MADE IT CLEAR THAT THE STATES ARE THE ONES BEING OPPRESSED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT in the hands of the governors who now use it to pursue and promote their individual and collective interests with little or no regard to the letter and spirit of the party’s constitution and supremacy,” Clark said. Aminu, on his part said: “It is very strange. I worked in many countries and have not seen anything like such a forum. The Governors’ Forum is what is used to oppress everybody, including the president.” He further noted that the NGF always ensured that state governors had their way in everything, including nomination of ministers and ambassadors as well as election of members of the National Assembly. “I don’t know how the forum came about in this country. And if it is not checked, it will put the country in serious trouble,” Aminu said. Like both men rightly pointed out, the members of NGF had taken common stands on most critical issues that have so far cropped up in the Jonathan administration and could be said to have always had their way. Instances abound with the issues of Sovereign Wealth Fund, revenue sharing formula, new National Minimum Wage, fuel subsidy removal among others. While the Forum had always taken contrasting positions to that of the Federal Government in most cases, the fuel subsidy removal saw it on the same page with the Presidency (except governors elected on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria). The NGF even threatened a legal action against deductions from the Federation Account to offset the subsidy payment. It is against the backdrop of their position then on the subsidy removal, which many viewed as anti-people that has prompted some analysts to question the rationale for the outburst against the governors. Clark, in particular had described those opposed to the action then as plotting to pull down Jonathan’s government. To these analysts, if the Presidency and its loyalists enjoyed the support of the governors which really threatened the nation’s stability then, why the sudden twist now that they seem to differ on issues over the ongoing constitutional amendment such as autonomy for local governments, state police and more significant, the 2015 presidential election. Both men, the analysts, opined, are crying foul because their interests may have been affected by the recent actions of the governors. According to them, while Aminu is protesting against the intervention of the NGF in the crisis rocking the PDP in his state (Adamawa), Clark‘s interest lies in the second term ambition of President Jonathan, which some of the governors are out to rock. The National Secretary of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Chief Willy Ezugwu, who holds such view, however told National Mirror that “the NGF has never taken any decision that improved the lives of the people and that is why those of them who feel they were elected by their people always stick to their guns whenever national issues are discussed, others just hide under the forum to perpetuate their respective hidden agenda.” But, absolving itself of the various allegations, the NGF insists that it is not a threat to the stability of the country, as its members are more interested in policy review programmes for the overall development of the nation. The Forum’s Director General, Bayo Okauru, insists that the governors play a vital role in strengthening democracy as they have a secretariat where policies and issues are analysed to enable reasoned positions to be taken. The NGF chairman and governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, had earlier dismissed Aminu’s allegations, saying the forum cannot respond to every issue. “You want me to reply to all what people say on all subjects? No! The Governors’ Forum is too big to begin to reply everybody. If this person says this, we reply and another person says something else, we reply. We won’t dignify these people with responses,” he said in recent interview. The Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, who also spoke on the issue in a recent interview with National Mirror, asked: “Who is the NGF oppressing? To the best of my knowledge, the NGF is not written in any constitution. It is a voluntary body; funded voluntarily and meetings attended voluntarily by members. Its decisions are not binding on the country. Its resolutions are shared with the press from time to time. It is always driven not by politics. “If it is driven by politics, I will not be saying this. I am not a member of the political party that is in the majority in the NGF. It is only things that we agree that we push collectively. There are a lot of things that governors do that they don’t do together. “So, I don’t know how anyone will come to the conclusion that we are frustrating the country, oppressing the President and not allowing the constitution review process to progress.” Fayemi made reference to the United States, where the President cannot relate with the governors the way it is done in Nigeria. “No governor in this country can tell you how much this country earns on a daily basis. I am part of an entity. There should be accountability and transparency, and nobody gives me a full picture of what we earn? Governors have raised these issues at every forum. We have four cases in the Supreme Court. The Federal Government has been requesting for an out-of-court settlement in the cases. “Does someone who oppresses you go to the court to seek reprieve? We are the ones being oppressed and nobody is coming to our rescue. Maybe, we have not sufficiently made it clear that the states are the ones being oppressed by the Federal Government. That is actually what is happening. Some people are used to collecting money in an unaccountable manner. Let us render account to the Nigerian people,” he said. The Special Adviser to the National Chairman of the PDP on Governors and Governance, Osaro Onaiwu, who equally dismissed Clark’s position, described it as an attempt to pitch President Jonathan against the Forum. “There is no need to knock heads together. There is no problem within the PDP and its governors that cannot be resolved. The governors of PDP mobilised the delegates for the election of President Jonathan to emerge as the PDP presidential candidate in January 2011. “The President needs the governors to succeed in ensuring a peaceful governance of the states. The President and the PDP governors in the first place are in a symbiotic relationship that requires each other at all times,” he said, adding that it would be unfair to describe the PDP governors or the governors in general as agents of destabilisation or threats to democracy in Nigeria. Onaiwu further maintained that “instead of seeing the governors as threats, it is better to see them as partners in progress.” Will the governors’ have their way again in the unfolding political drama? The outcome of the constitution amendment in which some critical national issues have pitched them against the position of not only the Presidency, but the National Assembly, will tell. 16 Politics Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Keeping faith with Kogi’s transformation agenda RICHARD ELESHO S lowly but steadily, the wheel of governance gathers momentum in the Confluence State. For weeks on end, critics of the Kogi State governor, Idris Ichalla Wada have made a mince meat of his administration, condemning it for non performance. Operating under the aegis of Kogi Elders of the Peooples Democratiic Party (PDP), a selected group of notable party members traversed the nooks and crannies of Abuja accusing the governor and his immediate predecessor of literally milking the state dry. They alleged that in nearly one year of Wada’s governorship, not even a culvert has been constructed by him. The group sent petitions to President Jonathan and party chairman, Bamanga Tukur, urging them to call him to order. But, the governor seems not to have been distracted by his traducers. Indeed, while his critics were still throwing punches in Abuja, Wada was busy inaugurating projects and initiating new ones in Kogi. The list is impressive. The governor rekindled hope to the traumatised people of Qjapata/Ajodiun and Ihiame communities In Igalamela Odolu Local Government when he visited them and commissioned two blocks of school buildings. Each block consisted of three classrooms, furniture and a block of detached toilets, all at cost of N11.5 million. The project was handled under the direct supervision of Kogi State Agency for Social and Community Development. Until the new construction, the three communities, which the school serves had suffered untold deprivations. From time immemorial, they have been sending their wards to secondary schools in far away, Idah, Ejule or Ajaka until some years ago when through self effort, they established the Community Secondary School with dilapidated wooden walls and thatched roofs. James Odiba, General Manager of the agency that handled the project, explained that it was constructed in a record period of three months. But, there was still much work to be done. Leader and spokesperson of the community, Peter Atabo, requested that the state government should take over the school and turn it to a Government Day Secondary School. He also narrated the ordeals of the people each time they had to travel on the long neglected Ejule-Idah-Achokpa road, their only access road to the outside world. They also wanted portable water and electricity. And like a leader eager to assuage the yearnings of the electorate, Wada promptly promised to do all within his power to elevate their standard of living. He therefore pronounced on the construction of the road and water, while promising to set the necessary machinery in place for the school’s takeover. From Ojapata, the governor proceeded to Ajaka, headquarter of Igalamela Odolu Local Government, where he inspected on-going projects and inaugurated a water rehabilitation project. At Wada the ceremony, Governor Wada assured the people of his willingness and determination of his administration to improve their living conditions through the delivery of grassroots-oriented dividends of democracy. An occasion to demonstrate this resolve was early in coming. On December 4, the governor played host to hundreds of youths who were just being liberated from the twin stigma of joblessness and thuggery, which have for long sat on the social landscape like an onyx. The governor at a ceremony in Lugard House presented cheques of N250,000 each to the youths as mobilisation for the youth empowerment programme. N37.5 million was distributed to a batch comrising of 150 young men and women. Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth and Women Empowerment, Dr. (Mrs) Temitope Shinkaiye explained that her office has trained about 1,500 young persons in and outside the state under the Youth Advancement and Development for Kogi State (YAD4KOGI) The youths are being trained mainly in the agro-allied industry as a vehicle of revitalising the comatose industry and positively engaging the youths. Kogi State Agricultural Development Project provides technical training and extension or advisory services in fishery, poultry, cassava processing and food packaging. Already the initiative is paying off. A young lady from Ofu Local Government, Miss Daniel Ebulle Joy is one of the earliest products of the initiative. The lady runs a small food packaging enterprise, which she established from her savings in the camp. She was the cynosure of all eyes as she exhibited her products and presented them to the governor. Encouraged by Ebulle’s landmark record, the governor promised to assist her with more funds and the nec- THE GOVERNOR SEEMS NOT TO HAVE BEEN DISTRACTED BY HIS TRADUCERS... WHILE HIS CRITICS WERE STILL THROWING PUNCHES IN ABUJA, WADA WAS BUSY INAUGURATING PROJECTS AND INITIATING NEW ONES IN KOGI essary support that will ensure quick registration of her products by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC). The governor is not leaving any stones unturned in his efforts to revamp agriculture in the state. His latest effort is his commitment towards the resuscitation of Asharu Oil Mills in Dekina Local Government and other moribund agricultural companies in the Confluence State. During an inspection visit to the Oil Mills, Wada promised to inject funds that will be sufficient to get it back on its feet, Earlier, Wada displayed the determination of his government to reposition agriculture when he purchased nine tractors for the state branch of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria, NACOTAN. At the ceremony where the tractors were presented to the farmers, Wada noted that the gains of farming lies not in the production of food crops but also in the production of cash crops like cotton, cocoa and coffee. The diversification is hoped to lunch the state into a golden era in its search for self reliance in food production. Speaking on that occasion, President of Kogi State Cooperative Women Alliance, Deaconess H.A Odiba, urged the governor to increase the number of tractors available in the state. As it is in agriculture, so it is in the other sectors of the state economy. For instance in health, the administration lunched out by its provision of free medical treatment and services across the 21 council areas of the state. The Free Medical Treatment exercise in conjunction with a private concern, CEEDIO Group, saw a medical team visiting all parts of the state rendering surgical and medical services to the sick. The government has also stepped up its payment of counterpart funds to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other health institutions locally and globally. These have helped in ensuring the eradication of polio and some other diseases in that category. The Wada administration has been giving support to victims of AIDS/HIV in the state. Drugs and related support are regularly made available to the victims. In fact, since the creation of the state more than two decades ago, Wada became the first chief executive to participate in a walk against the disease. At the end of the long walk from Lugard House to the office of Kogi State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS on Mount Patti Road, the governor promised to continue to intensify support until the disease is wiped out in the state. The administration has shown strong passion for the development of education. In fact, the first official trip of the governor was a visit to Kogi State University (KSU), Anyigba; three days after he assumed office as governor in February 2011. He followed this up with a visit each to Kogi State Polytechnic (KSP), Lokoja, Kogi State College of Education, Technical, Kabba and Federal University, Lokoja. The governor has since began the construction of modern hostel blocks at KSU and KSP aside other projects in the institutions. He has also ensured accreditation of academic programmes in the institutions. Even more instructive is the administration’s policy not to abandon any of the projects it inherited from its predecessor. Thus, the Confluence Stadium is ready for inauguration. In the same vein, the 100 room Confluence Hotel Extension and the second phase of the state secretariat are almost ready for commissioning. But perhaps, nothing compares with the achievements in the rather intangible or non-physical sectors of the state’s economy. Civil servants and other government workers in the state get their salaries and other entitlements as and when due. There is also a culture of discipline which has clearly taken root among youths in the state. Many analysts in the state are eager to give the Wada administration kudos for its performance in its first year in office. They urge it to do more. Elesho is the Chief Press Secretary to the Kogi State Governor National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Views Thursday, January 7, 2013 17 Malfeasance in Nigeria’s judiciary sanctuary NIGERIANS HAVE BEEN EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM FRY NDUBUISI firstname.lastname@example.org (08023016709 SMS only) N igerian judiciary is in the eye of the storm. Nigerians have strong reasons to waver on their confidence in their judiciary. It is reasoned that the system is highly compromised. The recent conviction of a former assistant director in the Police Pension Office, Abuja by an Abuja Federal High Court has further eroded the respect for the judiciary. For many, sentencing a convict to two years imprisonment with the option of fine that is less than a million naira is a slap on the wrist for a state officer that pleaded guilty to conspiracy to embezzling N23 billion and accepting N3 billion as his own booty. Coming on the heel of this embarrassment was the sentence by an Ikare Magistrate’s Court in Ondo State of a 23 year old man to three years imprisonment for the theft of a made-in-China Blackberry phone valued N17, 000. Expectedly, Nigerians have been reacting differently to this mystery called justice system, in which A s efforts are being consolidated to review and amend the extant 1999 Constitution once again, the focus has all been on the ‘traditional’ controversial areas, specifically such issues as state creation, establishment of state policing and community policing framework, fiscal federalism, immunity clause, enforcement of socio-economic right, rotational presidency etc. Very few people have been concerned about the imperative of making the proposed new constitution gender-friendly. My concern in this piece is how to improve the gender issue that has been indifferently shunned under the extant 1999 Constitution. This is important because a good constitution should safeguard the interests of all the people in the country and leave no room for unfair discrimination against any person, institution or body either directly by incorporation of discriminatory provisions or indirectly by featuring gaps which may be exploited to deny some people their rights. The 1999 constitution is defective in many ways; one notable one is the explicit and implicit discrimination against women. The explicit discriminatory provisions may be gleaned from sections 26 and 29 on lopsided citizenship right and unfair prescription on renunciation of Nigerian citizenship respectively. Examples of implicit discrimination include the gender biased language of the constitution and fundamental omissions of some innovations in modern constitutions of the world which have been employed to eliminate discrimination against women. All these points are highlighted, albeit with differential emphases below. REACTING DIFFERENTLY TO THIS MYSTERY CALLED JUSTICE SYSTEM, IN WHICH THERE IS ONE FOR THE RICH AND ANOTHER FOR THE POOR there is one for the rich and another for the poor. The EFCCC was obviously scandalized by the light sentence handed JohnYakubu Yusufu by the Abuja court. In its reaction, the agency maintained that “the commission is of the view that the option of fine runs contrary to the understanding between the prosecution and the defence wherein the convict consented to the custodial sentence with the forfeiture of all assets and money that are proceed of the crime”. The commission’s prosecutor had also reasoned that the court was expected in this instance to send a strong signal that the era of stealing public money with impunity was gone. The NLC saw the situation as an aberration and an indication that the judiciary was unreliable in checking the monumental corruption crime rav- aging the country. However, the Nigerian Bar Association thought otherwise. To this noble body, Justice Abubakar Talba did the right thing as stipulated by law. The NBA National President, Okey Wali (SAN), insisted that the blame should be the nation’s weak law on corruption and not the judge. He advised the National Assembly to urgently review all the obsolete laws in the country, especially the criminal penal code that was enacted in 1914 by the colonial government. Within the ranks of the senior bar, some felt the judiciary missed a golden opportunity to send strong signals to Nigerians that the era of brazen looting of public funds was over. They saw the judgment as a celebration of the culture of impunity that has been the lot of this country, and a further erosion of the minimal progress made in the nation’s fight against corruption. I feel sad by this development which has created a dichotomy between the rich and the poor in the country. It is a big paradox and acquiescence to the thesis of Thrasamachus that ”might is right”. If you are powerful and well connected, you can cause the elephant to pass through the eye of a needle. Femi Falana (SAN) put it in perspective when he averred that the powerful and the mighty have hijacked the criminal justice system in the country. The James Ibori and Cecilia Ibru cases are instructive. It is for this and other reasons that the world community has little or no respect for our judiciary and all the noise about fight against corruption in this country. Take the case of the ongoing trial of the Capital Oil boss and the order made by a London court on January 23, 2013, which violates the existing order of a Federal High Court in Nigeria earlier made on November 12, 2012.The London court order says a lot about the international community’s perception of our judiciary. The reactions that have trailed the court’s conviction of Yusuf have thrown a lot of challenges to the judiciary and the legislature. There have been arguments about the hands of the judge being tied. This reasoning has thrown up the question of the so called sovereignty of the judges in their own courts. While judges are not being advised to be reckless, it is important for them to exercise discretion in the best interest and the health of the society. As an instrument of social engineering, law is meant to be used as a tool, not only to cure the ill of the society, but also to deter violent behavior in the society. And this cannot be accomplished amidst prostrate judiciary that is timid. The National Assembly should wake up to its responsibilities and repeal all the archaic laws inherited from the colonial era and the Criminal Procedure Act that has become viable instrument in the hands of the enemies of the society. Prof. Ndubuisi, an attorney at Law, is of the Dept of Philosophy, UNILAG Still on the issue of gender equality To start with, one may say the discrimination against women under the present constitution began from the process of making the constitution itself. An ideal constitution should have inputs of every shade of public opinion, every segment of the society and every sphere of distinct natural or convectional divides that constitute the eclectic mix of the country. This is because the process of making a constitution is as important as the final product. The 1999 constitution was made without the inputs of women who constitute about half the population of Nigeria. The Constitutional Debating Committee, comprising 25 members headed by Justice Niki Tobi, which was set up by General Abdusalami Abubakar on November 11 1998.The committee did not make adequate consultations with all segments of peoples and shades of opinions required in a country as complex as Nigeria. Section 26 of the extant constitution introduces what may be called dichotomy of a citizen’s spouse right to Nigerian citizenship. Under that section, a foreign woman married to a Nigerian man is eligible to Nigerian citizenship by registration, but the section fails to make the same right available to a foreign man who married a Nigerian woman. This is classical case of discrimination that is palpably at variance with Section 42 of the constitution which provides the right to freedom from discrimination on the bases of SEX, religion, ethnicity, political affiliation etc. There is also Section 29 of the constitution, which provides that for the purpose of renunciation of Nigerian citizenship, a married woman irrespective of her bio- THE 1999 CONSTITUTION WAS MADE WITHOUT THE INPUTS OF WOMEN KAYODE KETEFE WHO CONSTITUTE ABOUT HALF THE POPULATION OF NIGERIA logical age shall be deemed to be of full age, that is an adult. The implication of this will be realized when it is borne in mind that attainment of maturity of the mind is the legislative intention for making 18 years the minimum for eligibility to renounce citizenship. Now the provision that any woman that is married shall be deemed to be of full age for the purpose of the section is strange, especially in a country like Nigeria where girls as young as 10 years are given away in marriages. Under the implicit discrimination under the constitution, is the language of the constitution. There is inordinate use of male pronouns like “He” “His” and “Him” to the total exclusion of female pronouns. The male pronouns appear about 253 times in the constitution. While this may appear innocuous, especially in the light of the Interpretation Act, which makes all male pronouns used in statutes applicable to women as well, yet the fact still remains that most modern constitutions have moved away from the patriarchal mentality of using exclusive male email@example.com 08032147720 (SMS only) pronouns in the constitution to the gender neutral of using “ a person” instead of “he” or to the gender sensitive of using “He or She” instead of exclusive use of “he”. Furthermore, the 1999 constitution, apart from making a general provision forbidding discrimination against any person on the bases of sex and other factors, completely shies away from making gender-specific provisions to protect women from discrimination. This almost amounts to a criminal omission. Specific provisions are contained under Section 3  of the Ugandan constitution which provides “Women shall be accorded full and equal dignity of the person with men, and subsection 4 that provides: “Women shall have the right to equal treatment with men and that right shall include equal opportunities in political economic and social activities.” Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.netmirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such. 18 Editorial Thursday, January 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net All the Facts, All the Sides A PUBLICATION OF GLOBAL MEDIA MIRROR LTD BARRISTER JIMOH IBRAHIM, OFR PUBLISHER STEVE AYORINDE MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF YELE AKINROLABU ED OPERATIONS SEYI FASUGBA DAILY EDITOR BOLAJI TUNJI SUNDAY EDITOR GBEMI OLUJOBI SATURDAY EDITOR DOZIE OKEBALAMA COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD ADESOYE ADEKOYA CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION CALLISTUS OKE EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF KAYODE BALOGUN JNR SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT FRANK OBOH HEAD, GRAPHICS L Boko Haram’s ceasefire offer ast January 28 would represent a threshold in the search for solution to the insurgency challenge in northern Nigeria, a challenge that has further exposed the nation’s unpreparedness to face major security challenges in the country; the first being the rapacious kidnap saga to which no solution has yet been found. The militant Islamic sect, Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati walJihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram, announced a ceasefire after talks with officials of Borno State government. A top shot of the sect, Sheikh Mohammed Abdulazeez bn Idris, who before some journalists at a location in Maiduguri, unveiled the ceasefire offer, had said he was making the deal with the expressed authority of his supreme leader, Abubakar Shekau. The offer came with some conditions, which included the release of its members in detention, N26 billion compensation and rebuilding of mosques destroyed in parts of the North. Abdulazeez bn Idris said the ceasefire was prompted by prevailing situations and the sufferings of the populace. He deposed that criminals often use Boko Haram to advance their cause, but however, insisted that the major faction he presented had agreed to the ceasefire. Ordinarily a deal as this that offers the prospect for peace to a beleaguered nation, ought to excite all and sundry. However, with the failure of two previous attempts in March and November of 2012 to produce the desired positive results, we call on the Federal Government and discerning Nigerians to approach the current offer with circumspect. This is particularly so because the existence of several factions within the sect would most likely make a holistic peace deal problematic. It is to be recalled that over 3, 000 people had died since the outbreak of hostility in 2009; countless number of businesses destroyed; education services in parts of the North East disrupted; cohesion of the nation’s security agencies impaired; people’s freedom of worship abridged, and the economies of many states in the northern parts of the country dislocated. And so for many Nigerian families therefore, Boko Haram represents an evil group that should be crushed and its leaders prosecuted. Thus a ceasefire proposal that would offer the militants the leverage to escape prosecution would seem reprehensible. However, a time like this THE EXISTENCE OF SEVERAL FACTIONS WITHIN THE SECT WOULD MOST LIKELY MAKE A HOLISTIC PEACE DEAL PROBLEMATIC calls for sobriety and clear thinking, on the part of the political leadership and even Nigerians. We agree the offer raises several questions needing answers, the sincerity of the group, for instance; but we still believe that the coming of Boko Haram top leader into the open this time around to make the offer is a factor to be considered in assessing the sect’s genuine interest in ceasefire. Moreover, the nation had gone through this road before when the political leadership had to negotiate amnesty deal for Niger Delta militants. What is required at a time like this is for the nation’s political leaders to thread softly and cautiously, weigh available options and decide on an option that is in the best interest of the country. This is exactly what the federal authorities are currently doing. Both the Presidency and the military high command have by their statements, adopted a commendably cautious approach to the offer. We make bold to say that for whatever it is to be done, it is important for the Presidency to establish if all the 30 members of Boko Haram’s Shura Council support the deal. But the days ahead might prove testy for the country. There might be attempts to compromise the intention of the sect. Therefore, one or few incidents of violent conducts should not be misconstrued as evidence of bad faith on the part of Boko Haram. During this testy period, the Federal Government should restrain from acts capable of scuttling the peace process. All things considered, this might be the opportunity needed to put our sordid past behind us. The tide might be seen to be against Boko Haram, due to developments in Mali. This is a mute point. What is important to Nigerians is for the authorities to optimize the advantages created by the Malian crisis, since it is apparent that the resolve of the sect might have been weakened by the turn of events in that country. If this is an issue, the advantages therein must be optimized. ON THIS DAY February 7, 2008 The government of President Idriss Déby is saved as government forces are once again in full control of N’Djamena, the Chadian capital, after three days of fierce fighting with the rebels. The battle of N’Djamena began on February 2, 2008 when Chadian rebels, allegedly supported by the Sudan, stormed the Chadian capital. February 7, 1992 The Maastricht Treaty on European Union calling for greater economic integration, common foreign and security policies, and cooperation between police and other authorities on crime, terrorism, and immigration issues, is signed by ministers foreign and finance ministers of the European Community (EC) member states. It is to take force from November 1, 1993. February 7, 1945 Allied leaders in the Second World War – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Franklin D Roosevelt and Yugoslav Marshal Joseph Stalin - meet at a secret location in the Black Sea area to plan the final phase of the war and the future of Europe. Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net 19 Education Today University of Ibadan deserves special attention –VC 22 31-year-old Gombe school has only one teacher! ...and he is the principal The school premises. Established in 1982 by the community, Government Day Senior Secondary School is the only secondary school in the ancient Birin-Fulani village and the neighbouring communities in Gombe State. However, since it was taken over by the state government about eight years ago, the school has lost all its past glories and now has only one permanent teacher. DANJUMA WILLIAMS, in this report, gives account of the school’s quest for rescue. B y 2020, Nigeria hopes to be one of the 20 largest economies in the world with ability to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and establish itself as a significant player in the global economic and political arena. This desire, christened ‘Vision 2020,’ to many stakeholders seems unachievable as long as schools like the Government Day Senior Secondary School, Birin-Fulani in Nafada Local Government Area of Gombe State, where only one teacher is on government payroll, continues to exist. Birin-Fulani is a rural but ancient community with a population currently growing into tens of thousands. Its retarded growth is linked with the people’s lack of western education, and that informed the decision by its leadership to set up a secondary school in 1982. The development, which was described by Babawuro Biri Usman, one of the community leaders as a good boost to its social-economic activities, drew many people to the community as students also enrolled from neighbouring villages. “Our children also stopped trekking many kilometers to attend secondary school and many now work with the government having attended higher institutions.” However, in 2004, the Gombe State Government decided to take over the control of the school from the community to achieve, what it termed, better administration and academic excellence. But this was a mere wishful thinking, as the school that used to be the community’s pride has steeply degenerated to an eyesore. Apart from the dearth of teaching and learning tools, teachers, are also not available. With a current students’ population of 306, the school has only one permanent teacher, who is also its principal. All other teachers are either volunteers or youth corps members who are having their mandatory one-year prima- INVESTIGATIONS REVEALED THAT THE SCHOOL ALSO HAS ONLY THREE CLASSROOMS FOR THE ENTIRE STUDENTS FROM SS1 TO 3 ry assignment in the school. “Getting permanent teachers for the school has been a problem since the government took over from the community about eight years ago,” said the Principal, Mr. Maxwell Manga. Manga, who was posted to the school just last October, told National Mirror that because of the inability of the ministry of education to get teachers on permanent appointment, the local government controlling the area had to deploy four teachers to the school recently. Two of these teachers, according to the principal, are holders of Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate while the rest are NCE certificate holders. “We would have been two permanent teachers employed by the state’s ministry of education but the second person, Mr. Adamu Abubakar reported only twice. The first time was the day I assumed office as the principal. The second time was during the staff verifica- tion exercise, which was carried out by the ministry. Ever since then, I have not set my eyes on him again. What he told me on his last visit was that he was sick but he never disclosed the exact ailment and where he got the permission to stay away from work,” he explained. Piqued by the degeneration, the principal said he had to send a letter to the ministry requesting for more teachers, especially those who could take the core subjects like Mathematics and English Language, but “all I got since then was a promise.” Manga, however, disclosed that despite the fact that many students of the school were interested in learning; the inadequacy of teachers has continued to affect their performance in public examinations. According to him, those that sat for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations conducted by both West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) in the last two years, performed very poorly. “The best results the school recorded was by those who obtained credit in just about four subjects, including Mathematics in NECO exam while that of WASCE was generally poor,” he said, adding: “And expectedly with this kind of results, only a few of the students would be able to gain admission into tertiary inCONTINUED ON PAGE 23 20 Education Today Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Scientists advocate massive investment into space reseach The indispensability of space to human survival was further brought to fore on Monday at the Bells University of Technology (BELLSTECH), Ota, in Ogun State, when young researchers in the field of Space Science and Technology were assembled to interact with established professional colleagues. MOJEED ALABI reports the essence of the workshop. A ccording to space scientists, whatever activities man engages in on the planet earth are controlled by the power of the air space, that is, the portion of the atmosphere above a particular land area. They even claim that without the space, man’s existence is unthinkable “because his foods, communication, transportation, health, among several others, are sustained by the atmospheric air condition.” Today, like never before, research works into the space is dominating scientific and technological activities in the developed nations of the world. This development, scientists claim is yielding good fruits with new innovations and inventions emerging on daily basis. For instance, unlike those days when man had to go about carrying bagful of money, today man does not need to see money before he spends it because technology has brought many tools to the tip of his fingers. As part of efforts to ensure the realisation of Nigeria’s Vision 20: 2020, that is, her aspiration to be ranked among the best 20 economies in the world by year 2020, the Bells University of Technology, Ota, Ogun State in conjunction with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), is intensifying efforts to commit the country and its people to more researches into its space. Towards this end, the university recently hosted, for the second time, space researchers, geophysicists, among several others, who participated at a workshop that was themed; Space Weather and Space-Based Technologies. And like the first edition, which held last year, this year’s workshop gathered many university postgraduate students and their lecturers whose areas of concentration focus on space and other subjects around it. The workshop’s lead discussant and renowned Space Physicist from Université Pierre-etMarie- Curie (UPMC), Paris, France, Prof. Christine AmoryMazaudier, described the space weather as indispensable to human survival. She said with the control of the space man is guaranteed of great innovations and big assets to conquer To my best TEACHER Mr. Fawole’s initials could not be remembered by his former student but he was said to have taught Physical and Health Education (PHE) at the Wesley College (now Wesley College of Science), Elekuro, Ibadan, in the 1960s. His relationship with his students was reported to grow beyond the four walls of classrooms; teaching both moral values and his primary task of Health Education, with dedication and commitment. One of Fawole’s former students, now a great contributor to the Nigeria’s education sector is the Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the body that is responsible for the conduct of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde. Ojerinde, who grew from Wesley College to become Nigeria’s first Professor of Cross-section of partcipants at the event warfare, hunger and diseases. In his keynote address, Prof. Rabiu Babatunde of the National Space Research and Development Agency, stressed the importance of investing on research works into the space by countries like Nigeria considering her influence in the African region and her aspiration to be part of the global determinants in a not too far future. Babatunde said, though his agency is trying very hard to contribute greatly to the global efforts to study the space he urged both individuals and corporate organisations to support efforts towards sustaining the current tempo. He noted that by next week he shall join other experts in Australia to be part of the global drives to tame the space and derive more benefits from it. In his welcome address, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Adeyemi, who hint- BELLS UNIVERSITY’S CURRICULAR ARE DESIGNED TO ENHANCE UNIQUENESS LOCALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY; ENSURE THAT STRONG LINKAGES ARE PROMOTED BETWEEN THE UNIVERSITY AND INDUSTRIES ed that his institution has offered the duo of Babatunde and Amory-Mazaudie the status of visiting professors, said the partnership between the institution and the space agency is to achieve the university’s mission of discovering, disseminating and applying knowledge of science and engineering for human wellbeing and societal development. “Bells university’s curricular are designed to enhance uniqueness locally and internationally; Mr. FAWOLE manner that depict us as responsible people, and we prove that we know our onions there is obviously no need to rush in life. These are the kind of lessons I learnt from the late Mr. Fawole which have continued to motivate me till date. I wish his children success in life and pray for the repose of his gentle soul. He was not just a teacher but a mentor and role model. Former PHE teacher, Wesley College, Ibadan, Oyo State Test and Measurement, credited his inspiration to the encouragement he received from Mr. Fawole, especially the former teacher’s interest in his students’ success. About the former teacher, Ojerinde has this to say: “It is quite unfortunate that my best teacher died very recently. Mr. Fawole, who taught me Physical and Health Education at the Wesley College, Elekuro, in Ibadan, made a huge impact in my academic pursuit and career development. He taught us when we were in the first, second and third year. Though, it was a long time ago but I can still recall vividly that he was a very pleasant man, agile and hardworking. Whenever we were on football pitch in those days he would tell us not to run after the ball but to let the ball do the running. ensure that strong linkages are promoted between the university and industries; ensure contributions to economic enterprise development, and by extension, support technology transfer. Parts of these efforts are this ongoing workshop and the invitation extended to the two experts to be part of our pool of human resources ahead of our school of postgraduate studies which we hope will commence operation before the end of this year,” Adeyemi explained Ojerinde If you take this statement outside the context of sport you would understand how rich it is. Why do we have to rush for what belongs to us in life? If we do our homework very well and we conduct ourselves in a If you can read this, then you have a reason to be grateful. Show your appreciation to your best or favourite teacher in this column. Send us a ‘Thank You’ note, including your full names, current status and the years you were taught by your teacher. You can also send us your current picture plus that of your teacher where possible. Write to the Editor, To My best Teacher Column, National Mirror, P.M.B. 10001, Marina Lagos or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Education Today Thursday, February 7, 2013 Best Cambridge GCE candidate to become pastor He is cool, calm and unassuming; all three qualities that hide Adenuga Victor’s academic prowess. The Senior Class III student of Doregos Private Academy, Ipaja, Lagos, recently shot his school into limelight by recording excellent performance in the University of Cambridge International Examinations. However, the brilliant chap, who was nicknamed ‘antelope’ for his sprinting skills, only hopes to become a pastor, after he might have studied Medicine. MOJEED ALABI reports: W illiam Franklin “Billy” Graham, Jr. is an American Christian evangelist, who is notable for having been a spiritual adviser to several United States Presidents and was particularly close to Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. Today, at age 94, Billy Graham, as his followers are wont to call him, has successfully Cambridge best student, Master Victor Adenuga (middle) with parents, Pastor and Pastor (Mrs.) Adenuga. converted more than 3.2 million people to Christianity worldwide with an estimated lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, of 2.2 billion. This towering record of achievements is all that Victor Adenuga, 16-year-old son of the General Overseer of Faith Revival Apostolic Church, Idimu, Lagos, Pastor Taiwo Adenuga, only hopes to beat. The Senior Prefect of Doregos Private Academy, Ipaja, Lagos, described by the school’s Principal, Mr. Oluyemi Faleke, as a very rare genius, recently beat imagination with his performance in University of Cambridge International Examinations (GCE O level). In the last 23 years of the school’s history according to the principal, no student has ever recorded the kind of feats Katsina earmarks N400m for overseas scholarship JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA T he Katsina State Government has given overseas scholarship awards to the tune of N400 million to 42 students, who are indigenes of the state. The awardees would be studying different courses ranging from undergraduate to doctoral degrees in Jordan universities. Speaking at a farewell party organised on their behalf in Katsina recently, the state’s Deputy Governor, Abdullahi Faskari said all the beneficiaries would study science-based subjects that would include doctorate in Pharmacy (four students), BSc Pharmacy (9), BSc Nursing (20) and Physiotherapy (nine students). He said each of the students would be given a sum of $US300 maintenance allowance monthly, another $200 for settlement and $300 as resident permit. He said the state had sent hundreds of students abroad to study various courses and that the present effort was the fifth since it began in 2008. Faskari said the aim of the programme was to enable the students come back to the state to help with furthering its growth and development. He urged the students to be good ambassadors while in Jordan and to eschew anything that may affect successful completion of their studies. The state’s Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kado Kurfi, said students were initially being sent to Sudan but the political crisis there led to opting for another country. Victor has recorded either in academic performance, sport or even leadership ability. “Cambridge GCE is written in almost 150 countries around the world and in Nigeria, it is an examination that attracted only the brilliant students. Conducted by the British Council , this year the school presented 10 candidates with Victor scoring between 80 and above 90 in the six subjects. “The other nine candidates we presented also performed very well but Victor’s own is amazing. We are even waiting for Cambridge to get the breakdown of this year’s results but I can easily guess that hardly could anyone in Nigeria record this kind of intimidating success,” Faleke proudly disclosed. When Faleke was asked to describe Victor, he simply responded; “The boy is indescribable. His calmness usually hides his qualities because whether in classroom or outside, Victor always has something extra to score. When I saw him during one of our inter-house sports games and he was running like an antelope I was amazed. He has won us many trophies and he is the school’s senior prefect. I wonder where his inspiration comes from.” Victor, a lover of soccer and fan of Manchester United of England, was once prodded to consider sprinting or any other game of his choice as a career, as his father was ready to support him, but simply said; “Never!” Instead, he responded that his mission in the world is to support his father’s ministry and take the work of God to the world stage. With the grades of A*(a*) in English Language, Physics, Chemistry and Biology and A in Mathematics and Additional Mathematics, why would Victor only dream to become a pastor leaving other suggestions like Medicine or Engineering? Victor’s response was very apt; “I am made for God and if I do any other thing it will be for a very short time. I may study Medicine but my ultimate goal is to become a globally recognised true man of God by sustaining my father’s legacy. My role model is Billy Graham of America who is so much respected globally as a man of God. I follow him diligently by listening to his preaching and I read a lot about him on the internet.” However, Victor’s mother, Pastor Mrs. Elizabeth Adenuga was not surprised about Victor’s decision. She said right from his childhood he had been a servant of God. L-R: Trustee, King’s College Old Boys’ Association (KCOBA), Captain Femi Adegoke; Prof. Osato Giwa-Osagie; Past Vice-President of the association, Mr. Busuyi Onabolu and Apostle Olasunkanmi Akande during the reunion /presentation of award to Olasunkanmi Akande on behalf of the association in Lagos. Comprehensive High School, Aiyetoro, marks 50th anniversary T he National Executives, Alumni, students and staff of Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro, Ogun State, the first truly comprehensive high school of its kind in Africa, will from Wednesday February 13, 2013, roll out the drums in celebration of the school’s 50th Founders’ Day anniversary. The golden jubilee celebration, which will take place at Ayetoro, will feature various educational, cultural and sporting events. The grand finale will be a gala night in Abeokuta, the state capital, where distinguished alumni will be honoured with deserving awards of excellence for their outstanding and immense contributions to the development of the school and for championing the aspirations of the alumni association. According to the National President of the association, Otunba ‘Deji Osibogun, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the governor of the state, and other distinguished members of his cabinet, are expected to grace the occasion, which the alumni will also use to intensify and reiterate their efforts at returning Compro to its past glory through their “Take back the school” campaign. 21 ‘Poor policy implementation, bane of education development’ OLADELE LUQMON P oor implementation and monitoring of policies and programmes have been identified as the major problems inhibiting the development of education sector in the country. Oba Abdulrazak Afolabi, the Olojoku of Ojoku, Kwara State, made this observation in Lagos at the inauguration ceremony of Board of Trustees of Al Fathiu Qareeb Muslim Society recently. The monarch blamed government, parents, students and the society for the backwardness, saying to reverse the trend would also require all hands to be on deck. While he urged governments at various levels to take the sector more seriously by embarking on policies and programmes that can boost the sector, Oba Afolabi advised the parents to expose their wards to things that cannot aid their studies and add values to their lives. He added that for meaningful development to take place in the country, it would require that sound education be provided to the citizenry. Provost promises academic excellence TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE T he Provost of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Otto/Ijanikin, Lagos State, Mr. Bashorun Wasiu has reiterated the determination of the college to offer quality education that would lead to allrounded teachers’ graduates. He also said the leadership of the institution would ensure transparency and accountability in the utilisation of funds meant for the development of the college. The provost made this comment recently when he received a letter of fund allocation from the Tertiary Trust Fund (TETFund) from Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who represents the Lagos Central Senatorial District at the upper chamber. The fund from the agency is expected to be used by the college to construct a lecture theatre. Expressing appreciation to Mrs. Tinubu for facilitating the release of the letter of allocation from TETFUND, Bashorun equally praised the Governor of the State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola as a moderator of the college for his administration’s continued support to the college, adding that the college would not compromise standard in its services. 22 Education Today Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net University of Ibadan deserves special attention –VC Prof. Isaac Adewole, Vice- Chancellor, University of Ibadan (UI), Nigeria, is formerly a Provost of the College of Medicine of the institution. A professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Adewole, in this interview with TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE, speaks on the controversies surrounding the recent ban placed on cooking in the students’ hostels, why the university should be treated specially and will not also make issuance of certificates to graduates from affiliated institutions automatic, among other issues. Excerpts: Sir, how will UI justify the ban placed on cooking by the students living on campus? The issue of banning on cooking in the rooms by students living on campus ordinarily should not have generated any opposition because it is not a new law. UI over the years has an extant regulation that prohibits cooking in the rooms. So, what we have done, as an institution, is to warn our students that this administration will not toy with the existing rules and regulations as regards cooking in the hostels. But as a caring administration, we move a step further by providing two alternatives. One of these is by reactivating the cafeteria system but with a difference. The students themselves are made to be part of the selection of caterers, who will run these cafeterias. Secondly, we are also reactivating the kitchenettes. While we are rehabilitating the existing kitchenettes, we will open up new ones where they are not available. Some halls have no kitchenettes. Kuti, Malambi, Sultan Bello, for instance, have no kitchenettes. What we are doing as an administration is to provide kitchenettes in those halls. Those with kitchenettes such as Independence, Indian, Queen, Azikwe Halls are having their kitchenettes being reactivated to meet the standard. We are putting the kitchenettes in place for students, who for one reason or the other, may not want to eat in the cafeterias but to do some light cooking. Our disposition is that a serious student cannot afford to spend all his or her time cooking. We expect a serious student to dash into a cafeteria, eat for about 20 to 30 minutes and go back for his or her lecture and other important things. And honestly, we do not see reason the placing of ban on cooking in the hostels should become an issue. We have taken time to educate our students that our vision for UI is to be progressing, to elevate the institution to a 21st Century institution and not a local champion or village institution, where each room is converted to a kitchen. What then do you think is responsible for students to have opposed the idea? I think the real issue lies on poor communication. At the time we were discussing this good initiative, the leadership might not correctly and on time, communicate with the followership in a language they would have understood. So, the problem could be that of communication gap. Also, all what students heard was that there would not be cooking again in the halls of residence, which is not the actual position. What we said was that, there would not be cooking in the rooms again. There is difference between no cooking in the room and no cooking in the hostels. As the case may be, we discovered that majority of students are not used to the concept of cafeteria system. To a quite significant number of them, the system is strange. Some even consider it to be primi- XXXX Adewale I HAVE SEEN AND HEARD PEOPLE MAKING FRIVOLOUS AND UNSUBSTANTIATED COMMENT ABOUT THE QUALITY OF NIGERIAN GRADUATES. I THINK IT IS UNFAIR TO THIS COUNTRY AND TO THOSE OF US IN THE EDUCATION INDUSTRY tive. But we told them that we needed to experiment with the system first and see how we can improve on it, as well as their living conditions in the hostels. A room being used for cooking is a kitchen and cannot be a living room. And we want our students to stay in very healthy rooms and not inside kitchens. The foods to be served at the cafeterias will also be prepared in hygienic environment and sold at affordable prices. So essentially, the problem is largely that of communication gap. The students also requested to be cooking with kerosene stoves but we said no. All that we want to do is to guide jealously this legacy called UI. We would not want students to burn it either through carelessness or inadvertently purchasing of adulterated kerosene. So, cooking in our hostels remains banned as far as UI is concerned and is for the good of all. What is the relationship between cooking and the huge electricity consumption in the university? There is a great correlation between the two. UI is spending a huge amount of money on electricity and only the students in the halls of residence consume about 60 per cent of the total electricity consumption in UI. The school spends between 30 and 40 million naira on electricity monthly and that is on a very high side. We cannot continue like that and still have money to do some other important things for the university. So, UI does not consider this huge electricity bill sustainable as the entire allocation for electricity in 2012 was only N19.2m. Where do we get the balance from? That is the position we are in UI. So, in other words, every month, we spend more than the entire yearly allocation on electricity. And as an institution that is keen on surviving, we investigated what could really be consuming electricity and discovered that the higher percentage of it is being consumed in the hostels. On further investigations, we discovered that the major consumption was from cooking. Students use electric stoves and other kinds of electric gadgets indiscriminately. They don’t care what they cook and for how long in as much as they are not the ones paying for electricity. Aside, they do also burn sockets and damage cables and we cannot continue tolerating all that as we cannot also afford fire outbreak in any part of the university community. Prevention is better than cure. So, how has the issue been resolved? The students, who want to stay in hostels, just about 30 per cent of their entire population, know that they have to comply with the law and I believe before we run the cafeteria and kitchenette systems for a year, they will be the ones thanking the university management for introducing the systems. In the past, UI was famous as an institution with many international students, what is the situation now and what do you think is responsible for many more Nigerians going overseas to study? To start from the last part of the question, there are many factors responsible for Nigerians going abroad to study. Number one is lack of access to the university education in the country. For instance, 41,000 students applied to UI last year and we could only admit about 3,000 of them. That is about six per cent; the remaining 94 per cent will have to go elsewhere they are qualified. So, whether we like it or not, they will go out. But what we need to look into is how many people are really going out for reasons other than access. And that is why the issue of irregularity of the calendar, policies, framework, incessant strikes by various trade unions, and what one can also consider to be poor management skills at many levels, comes into play. We need to ensure that the facilities in our institutions are upgraded. And this is where we got it wrong but gradually, government is looking into the issue by establishing more universities, which will increase access. We will also require marshal plans for the existing tertiary institutions by massively injecting enough funds to upgrade their facilities. For example, the University of Ibadan will be 65 years old this November. Let’s be honest with ourselves, a 65-year-old man will require a lot of medical checks-up and attentions to stay healthy. So, UI as a 65-year-old establishment needs fund to constantly upgrade its facilities. And that is also why the University of Ibadan should be treated separately from other universities in the country. UI requires a special attention because of its age, infrastructure, and also because of its potentials. We also recognise the fact that as an institution carrying out lots of researches of public importance, we have a leadership role to play in terms of providing the resources for other institutions. Our vision is to be a post graduate university and as a post graduate institution, we will be the institution that will provide teachers and other core skilled workers for other universities. So, if we are to do all these, why can’t we be treated differently so that we can fulfill the mandate in a manner that will be fully supportive of the national agenda? About the international students, UI is not short of them. We are bringing back this culture and we are not only bringing in back the culture, we are also bringing CONTINUED ON PAGE 24 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Education Today Thursday, February 7, 2013 23 Mark makes case for teachers’ welfare GEORGE OJI ABUJA T he Senate President, David Mark, has lamented the deplorable treatment teachers in Nigeria face and blamed the falling standard of education in the country on this neglect. Mark said unless teachers were encouraged, the nation should expect higher institutions to continue churning out half- baked students from our institutions of higher learning. In a short remark after a bill seeking to formally establish the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) College of Education scaled the second reading on the floor of the Senate recently. He said, “All of us here passed through a teacher at one stage or the other in our lives. But we tend to relegate teachers to the background without improving their welfare. We’ll need to do a lot more for the teachers. We need to encourage the people who teach our young boys and girls. If we don’t encourage them, we’ll be produc- ing the type of Nigerians that won’t be able to impact the society because if we don’t give young ones the right foundation, they may never catch up. At the moment, I don’t think we are satisfied with the type of graduates that are coming out of our universities. This is because they never had a good foundation.” The bill on the FCT College of Education which was sponsored by the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba and first read in the chamber last November sought to provide legal backing, as well as regulatory framework for the college located in Zuba. However, the institution has been in existence since 1996. Ex-ASSU boss tasks govt, others on technology education •As ABC Transport donates buses to varsities TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE T he Vice-Chancellor, Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri, Prof. Ukachukwu Anwuzie, has called on the governments at all levels, corporate organisations and well meaning individuals in the country to invest in technology education. He made this call on Tuesday in Lagos at the official presentation of three luxury busses donated by ABC Transport to three institutions of higher learning, namely: Lagos State University, Ojo; Imo State University and Federal Polytechnic, Nekede. The 52-seater buses were presented by the foremost transport company in commemoration of its 20th years of unbroken transport business in Sub- Sahara Africa. Speaking further, Anwuzie, who is the immediate past National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), said it was time Nigeria took the development of technology education very seriously. According to him, Nigeria should by now, be assembling vehicles locally and not relying on importation. While Anwuzie commended ABC Transport for donating the buses, he promised that the respective schools would make good use of them. Earlier, the Managing Director and CEO of ABC Transport, Mr. Frank Nneji, said the buses were strictly for the use of automobile and mechanical engineering departments of the three institutions and not for transportation. He noted that the gesture was part of the company’s social responsibilities’ efforts to boost education in the country, stressing that the students that would pass through those departments would use them for demonstrations and practical works. He said: “An automobile or mechanical engineering graduate should be able to know and understand the components of vehicles and how they work and being serviced while they are still in school. But many of them in the country do not know these just because they are not exposed to such practical works.” Many universities don’t even have equipped workshops not to talk of carrying out practical and demonstrations and that is why we have donated the buses with the belief that it would go a long way for each of the univer- L-R, Permanent Secrtetary, Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Alhaji Ambali Ishola; Commissioner, Mr. Segun Odubela and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Dr. Tunji Abimbola at a press conference in Abeokuta on Tuesday. Ogun to streamline private schools’ taxation FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA O gun State Government says it is considering sponsoring a bill in the State House of Assembly to streamline the various tax payable by proprietors of private primary and secondary schools in the state. The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Segun Odubela, who dropped this hint during an interaction with newsmen in Abeokuta on Tuesday denied allegation that they were been charged multiple taxes. Odubela identified some of the fees required to be paid by the proprietors to include: registration, upgrading, renewable fees, signage commercial premises and Personal Income Tax. He appealed to people in the state to endeavour to meet all conditions for the establishment of schools before operating them and seeking approval and registrations from relevant bodies. Explaining further, the Director of Primary, Special and Higher Education, Elder Adekunle Adegbesan listed the fees expected to be paid by proprietors of primary schools in the state to include accreditation fee ( N30,000), inspection fee (N30,000) and approval fee N50,000. Elder Adegbesan explained that approval fees depends on the number of pupils in the school as 1.5 per cent of the tuition fees of each pupils is expected to be paid. Also, the Director of Secondary School, Sunday Sokeye urged present and prospective proprietors of private secondary schools in the state to obtain 31-year-old Gombe school has one teacher! CONTINUED FROM 19 stitutions. I know the few, who are really the best among them, they are currently studying at the Federal College of Education, Gombe and the School of Health Technology, in Kaltungo,” he said. Just like the principal, the youth corps members, who are currently serving in the school, also expressed their disappointment over the distasteful condition the school has found itself over the years. They clamoured for more teachers; better infrastructural facilities, as well as the provision of teaching aids that can enhance the quality of teaching in the school. Investigations revealed that the school also has only three classrooms for the entire students from SS1 to 3 in the following arrangements: SS1 (104), SS2 (98) and SS3 (104). An overcrowded classroom, that runs afoul of the UNESCO’s recommendation of maximum of 40 students per classroom, makes the teachers’ work more tedious and unenviable. One of the corps members, Mr. Godwin Adey, said he uses his personal textbooks to teach the students, saying they also had to condone a lot of excesses from the students just to ensure they learn something. Babawuro Biri Usman explained that the indigenes of the area in 2011/2012 academic session pooled resources together, through which they built one of the three classrooms and one hall which is now dedicated for exams. “We love education in our community. We want our children to go to school and that is why we are doing everything possible to assist the school since inception,” he said. “And our next plan now is to build a science laboratory and equip it very well so that we can be able to encourage students to develop interest in science subjects,” Babawuro disclosed. However, as terrible as the condition of this school is, it is noteworthy that it still ranks better among the schools in the neighbourhood. On the effect of lack of teachers on learning in the school, one of the students, Isah Adamu, praised the youth corps members, who he said have been teaching them tirelessly. “These corps members are very won- registration booklet to get themselves acquainted with the registration and renewal procedure and requirements. Sokeye added that the Ministry of Education had put measures in place to ensure cashless process in the payment of the fees. Meanwhile, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology says it will soon commence the recruitment of more teachers to address the challenges of shortage of teachers across the state public primary and secondary schools. Odubela, who is the commissioner of the ministry said the focus of the present administration was to reduce to the barest minimum the over population of students in the classrooms as well as improve the students performance in external exams, among others. derful. Apart from teaching us, they also give us moral support,” he said. While expressing the wish of the students in having permanent teachers that could stay with them for a longer time, he said over 75 per cent of children in the area were interested in going to school. However, efforts to get the reaction of the state’s Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Aishatu Ahmed, on the efforts of the government to address the challenges were unsuccessful. All other senior staff refused comments. But about a month ago when Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, while touring the Nafida Constituency, visited the school, promised to look into its deplorable condition by fixing the necessary facilities that, would make the teaching and learning friendly to the teachers and to students. 24 Education Today Thursday, February 7, 2013 ‘Issuance of certificates to graduates from UI’s affiliates not automatic’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 22 in international stars. Only this month, 43 students from Africa are to be admitted by UI under the auspices of Pan African University. This is a new initiative of African Union (AU) to train the 21st Century manpower needed in Africa by Africa. Some graduates of Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, who studied degree courses when the institution was still a college of education and affiliated with the University of Ibadan are yet to be issued certificates several years after graduation and TASUED blames UI for the delay. What exactly is the UI position on the issue? I cannot say I am not aware of this as a challenge but of late. I am preparing to look into the issue, to find out why UI is holding back on those certificates. If there are no conditions warranting such and the results have been certified by the UI Senate, I assure you, we will release those certificates. But their results must have the approval of UI Senate before it becomes valid. Issuance of certificates isn’t automatic. As a Vice-Chancellor, I will not treat results that have not been approved by the senate. Now, I am assuring you that I will call on all relevant organs to find out what went wrong so as to rectify it. We have similar problem with the University of Education in Port Harcourt sometime ago. You know, the institution used to be a college of education before. There was a time they burgled some students that were not matriculated by the University of Ibadan into the programme. When we discovered that, we pruned down the list and came up with authentic students, who we eventually issued UI certificates. We also went there to conduct their convocation. So, UI will not hold back on certificates without a reason. The recent report by the Needs Assessment Committee on Nigeria’s public universities revealed the parlous state of our universities. How did we get to that level and what is the UI situation? I must point out that those identified problems in the report have no bearing with UI. That report documented the state of human resources, the number of professors, the type of infrastructural facilities, and so on. UI is not in those categories. UI is the number one university in the country in terms of research and quality of services, which are really being used to measure standard of a university. It is not the building, not the website. In terms of quality of research, we are number one in Nigeria and number six in Africa. UI has over 300 professors and the minimum ratio by National University Commission (NUC) is 20 per cent while UI has 27 per cent of academic staff as professors. So, we are just not part of it. In fact, if we are not in a position where we give some of our professors on loan to other universities, we would have been more than that number. As at the last count, I think over 40 per cent of VCs in other institutions were trained in UI. >?<M Sir, your institution is the first university in the country, which has also produced several thousands of graduates so far. And of recent, the Director-General of NYSC, Brigadier-Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia accused some Nigeria’s NO VC IN UK OR AMERICA WILL TALK ABOUT ELECTRICITY, WATER OR INFRASTRUCTURE AS A CHALLENGE university graduates of not being able to read or write, how will you react to this? I have never read that report. But I have seen and heard people making frivolous and unsubstantiated comment about the quality of Nigerian graduates. I think it is unfair to this country and to those of us in the education industry. I do not want to speak for all but I can speak for UI. I can vow for the quality of graduates from UI. They will match any other graduate from elsewhere around the world. So, until you can produce a UI graduate, who can neither read nor write, that, I will believe such comment but certainly, such a graduate can never be from UI because you need to sit for our post UTME before admission and if you can neither read nor write, I wonder how you will be able to do the exam. There was flooding on this campus two years ago, which destroyed many facilities including the Zoological Gardens, what is the state of these facilities now? We have put the issue of the flood behind us. We lost quite a fortune and we did not get what to call a commensurate support. The only amount we got from the Federal Government was N30 million, which was grossly inadequate. We don’t allow that to distract us. As an institution, we cannot afford to keep on crying, so we have decided to take our destiny in our own hands and move on. So, as for the Zoological Gardens, the facility is now better than what it used to be before the flood. Although, the flood wreaked great havoc on the garden, we are now undertaking a massive restructuring and expansion of the garden. And by the time we complete the process, the garden will become a tourist attraction, study site, recreation centre, as well as revenue generation venture for the university. So, in essence, it is like saying the flood is a blessing in disguise to the gardens. What are the major challenges facing UI? Our major challenge revolves around age. Unfortunately, no VC in UK or America will talk about electricity, water or infrastructure as a challenge. These are things people take for granted in those countries, while here, they are big challenges just because our universities are also part of the society. But when you remove infrastructure, for instance, UI can then be talking about inadequate funding and all that. The office of VC seems to be very demanding, how do you combine the job with the responsibilities expected of you in the family and other engagements? It is simply by planning and the strength from God. I don’t allow one to affect the other. As a VC, I have competent deputies, who are also committed and will not wait for vacuum to be created before they move into action. And my family members too quite understand my duties as a VC and all that. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net FG re-orientates teachers over mass failure IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA W orried by the constant failures of students in national examination, the Federal Government held a capacity building workshop for teachers in the government science schools in the Federal Capital Territor, Abuja, aimed at identifying the need to have a curriculum that will be delivered in accordance with best global practices. The Director of the FCT Agency for Science and Technology, Mrs. Rosemary Umana, while declaring the workshop open said all the external examination bodies driven their question based on the national curriculum. She noted that the workshop would be an eye opener for teachers so that what- ever they are doing in the classrooms, their reference point would fall within the national objective. Mrs. Umana said FCT had surmounted many obstacles most states have found difficult to solve and they are going to elaborate the methodology through which all the teachers will have the capacity to cover the syllabus. She said: “The scheme that the teachers are using in the school should be the focal point; we are going to look at the performance of the students, look at the causes of failures in exams. Why they are happening, we will also see the curriculum the teachers are using and what they are doing in the school, to know whether it actually falls within the national objective curriculum.” L-R: Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Omolara Erogbogbo; Director- General, National Mathematics Centre (NMC), Abuja, Prof. Adewale Solarin and the Managing Director/ CEO, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Chief Keith Richards at a press conference on 2013 Cowbell National Secondary Schools Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC) in Lagos on Tuesday. 2013 Cowbell Maths contest begins TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE P romasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell Milk, has inaugurated the 2013 edition of the Cowbell National Secondary Schools Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC). Currently in its 13th edition, NASSMAC is a competition aimed at demystifying mathematics as a subject and awakening the consciousness and interest of secondary school students in the country in in the subject. Addressing journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Promasidor Nigeria, Chief Keith Richards said through the competition, the company had been able to inspire students on the study of mathematics. According to him, Promasidor’s commitment over the years to NASSMAC has seen the initiative grows from a small school competition in Lagos in 1998 to a national competition with great reputation in the education industry. While he disclosed that this year’s competition would also mark the 20th anniversary of Promasidor’s operation in Nigeria, Keth said there were bumper rewards awaiting this year’s winners and maths teachers who have stayed committed to the course of the competition. “We have also increased the number of entries to three students at both junior and senior secondary school categories,” he added. Stating the requirements for participation, the company’s Commercial Director, Mr. Kachi Onubogu said the competition was open to all students between 10 and 18 years of age in JSS3 and SS2, in any government approved schools in the country. He added that the competition would be in stages and the best three students in both categories would be required to represent respective schools. He noted that forms for participation was free and could be assessed on either the company’s website or headquarters’ office, stressing that the forms have to be properly filled, stamped and signed by the school principal but presented by the participating students to the officials at the examination centre at every stage of the competition. While the best three students in each category at the state level will receive N25, 000, N20, 000 and N15, 000 respectively, aside certificates of recognition and other branded gift items, Onubogu said rewards for the best three at the national level would be more. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net with Mojeed Alabi email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Varsity adopts counseling to quell students’ unrest DHIKRULLAH AKINOLA AND HAMMED HAMZAT T hat the proverbial rope and birds were recently not at peace at the University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo State, is incontrovertible. The university management and the students were at loggerheads over the implementation of the rules guiding against cooking in the students’ hostels. It took the university’s sense of maturity to curtail what it described as the students’ excesses as they were said to be bent on taking to the streets and once again truncate the institution’s academic calendar year. Having scaled through the hurdles, the management has resolved to adopt constant counseling of the students as the potent means of ensuring lasting peace on the campus. This informed the recent matriculation lecture aimed at guiding the newly admitted students from being involved in violent protests. The lecture, titled: Balancing the Protest Culture among Undergraduate Students with Making the Best Use of the Golden Opportunity for Academic Excellence, was delivered by Prof. Innocent Modo, of the University of Uyo, who called on private and individual organisations to contribute handsomely toward the education tax fund. Modo, who traced the origin of students’ unionism to the days of West African Students Union (WASU), said students’ organisations are veritable tools to achieving desired change. He identified African students’ contributions to the introduction of substantial reforms to colonial governance in the region and the eventual declaration of independence. He said in the ‘60s, Nigerians were happy when they saw students criticizing government’s positions on national issues. He also noted that these set of students were usually the best in their academic works and that employers were full of 25 Thursday, February 7, 2013 respect for the university curricula and the relevance of the curricula to the manpower needs in the larger society. However, Modo posited that the over three decades of military interference in the affairs of Nigerian universities created major problems both for university administration and the students, in terms of financing, provision of facilities and motivation of staff and students. In 1985, he confirmed, a major blow was dealt on the system when the then Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Major General Tunde Idiagbon announced the government’s decision to stop university authorities from operating cafeteria services for the students. He bemoaned government’s underfunding of education, saying that students will be required to pay sundry fees to school authorities for the common things they enjoyed free of charge in the early seventies and eighties. “I know that University authorities struggle from year to year to increase their internally generated revenue but some groups within the university are bound to suffer for this to be achieved.” He suggested that the culture of protest, which he said is currently being abused, should not replace the culture of dialogue and intellectual engagements. Earlier, the VChancellor of the foremost university, Prof. Isaac Adewole, in his welcome address, said the university will continue to invest resources in facilities that will improve the teaching and learning environment on its campus.. Saying that cultism is evil, the VC advised the newly matriculated students totaling 2,671, not to go into any relationship without thorough investigation. “You have to be wary before you honour any invitation to a social or religious gathering. Let me assure you assure you that the university has a Sexual Harassment Policy and a Gender policy.” OAU female students mentored on future challenge DHIKRULLAH AKINOLA T he female students of Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU), IleIfe were recently mentored by some eminent Nigerians, who included Mr. Fela Durotoye, a motivational speaker and the wife of Governor of Oyo State, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi. The students, majority of whom are from financially backward homes, were tutored at a women empowerment campaign programme organised by the institution’s Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies (CGSPS) in Ile-Ife. The centre, according to its Director, Prof. Funmi Soetan, is created to consolidate and expand the university’s academic interests in development studies, especially as it relates to women, children and other vulnerable groups. Its also aimed at developing relevant social and economic strategies to help the nation overcoming poverty. Themed: “The gender agenda: Gaining momentum in higher education through female scholarships, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. ‘Tale Omole, who was represented by his deputy in charge of academics, Prof. Ayobami Salami, in his welcome address, observed that the theme for this year’s programme was fit in with the national development’s aspirations which recognises the equal rights of men and women as they are enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution. On her part, Mrs. Ajimobi, who was the guest of honour at the event, noted that today’s women were more conscious of their rights and were doing everything possible to protect them. She told participants that, “the surest way they could be free the shackles that society and circumstances have caged them lied more on education. Promising to assist the centre in the empowerment of women, Mrs. Ajimobi called on wellmeaning Nigerians to contribute generously towards empowering feminine gender. The motivational speaker, Fela Durotoye, on his part, advised participants to make good use of their time, saying a time lost may never be regained. He told them that they should strive to make a difference even in their poor financial state. “Look at what your colleagues in other institutions are doing and invest in the areas they fail to venture,” he advised further. At the event, Mrs. Ajimobi, for her contribution to gender issues in the country, was honoured with the Gender equality and women empowerment in education award. And tle students were rewarded with cash gifts to enable them complete their academic programmes. L-R: Director, Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies, OAU, Prof. Funmi Soetan; Oyo State Governor’s wife, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi and the university’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ayo Salami, at the event . FCE won’t condone vices, provost tells new students Olusanya T he Provost, Federal College of Education (FCE), Technical, Akoka, Dr. Sijibomi Olusanya, has warned the newly admitted students of the college to take their education seriously and desist from any vices that could make the institution withdraw their admission. He stated this during the matriculation ceremony of the new 1,200 students, who he described as the “few lucky ones out of the hundreds of thousands that sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.” He, therefore, urged them to make use of the available facilities in the college to achieve academic excellence. Olusanya also informed the gathering that the college now runs degree programme in partnership with the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State and enjoined the students to enroll for degree programmes as soon as they are through with their NCE programme in the college. N100,000 reward for EKSU, ABUAD best female Law students B eginning from this session, the best female student of the Faculty of Law at the Ekiti State University (EKSU), and Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), both located in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State will be entitled to the benefits of the sum of N100,000 and a laptop each, as part of efforts to enhance female education and reward excellence. The award, recently announced by Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, was instituted as an endowment award by the government in honour of a retired justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olufunmilola Adekeye. Adekeye retired last October having clocked the mandatory age of 70 years. She became a High Court Judge in June 1987 and was elevated to the Court of Appeal Bench in November, 1998. She was the Presiding Justice in the Ilorin Division of Court of Appeal between 2008 and 2009; and was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court on March 12, 2009. Governor Fayemi, while announcing this in his office recently, said that nothing could be more re- warding than to honour the retired Supreme Court Judge, Adekeye, whose grandparents are of Ekiti extract and is married to an Ekiti because she stood for the values for which Ekiti people are known. He enjoined the female law students to emulate the virtues of Retired Justice Olufunmilola Adekeye. Speaking at the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor of Ekiti State University, Prof. Oladipo Aina said the award would definitely bring out the best from EKSU female law students and encourage them to be one of the best in the coun- try while his ABUAD counterpart, Prof. Sidi Osho also praised the initiative pledging that merit would determine the beneficiaries. The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, who was represented by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, lauded the Ekiti State Government for instituting the award in honour of their colleague saying the gesture is the first in Nigeria for serving the nation’s judiciary and retiring without blemish. In her remarks, Justice Adekeye appreciated the State Government for the honour. 26 Education Today “ NATIONAL Mirror of January 10 showed its characteristic language indiscipline: “Two arrested over (for) murder of 50-year-old woman” “Traffic law: Driver bags three months (months’) imprisonment” “...he told the nation the unemployment problem was grave.” My own view: he told the nation unemployment was grave. ‘Unemployment’ is clearly a problem! Avoid pleonasm. Now to National Mirror Editorial of the above edition: “Worrisome reports about rampant fire outbreaks nationwide….” All the Facts, All the Sides: rampant fires nationwide “…and there was a minor fire outbreak (fire) at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos (another comma) few (a few) days to the last Christmas “Which will help explain why General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) (retd)….” “This seems imperative, given the fact that the country is currently witnessing the harmattan season….” What is ‘currently’ doing here? “…they are found at (on) the scene of fire incidents.” “…the arrival of fire fighting (fire-fighting) agencies….” The next two blunders are from the Back Page of NATIONAL MIRROR under review: “Traditionally, the expensive past time (pastime) of our rulers has always been how to perpetuate themselves in power by hook or by crook.” THE GUARDIAN of January 8 laboured in vain five times: “Ogun councillors seek payment of salaries arrears” Conscience, Nurtured by Truth: salary ar- Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Language indiscipline rears. “There was review (a review) of our salaries after we had been sworn-in (sworn in)….” “The report said the country lacks (lacked) Aircraft Hanger Maintenance facilities, to take charge of the maintenance of aircrafts.” First: ‘aircraft’ is noncount. Second: The Guardian thinks that its readers are daft by the unnecessary inclusion of the phrase ‘to take charge of the maintenance of aircrafts’! What else would the facilities be doing? The sentence should have ended at ‘facilities’! THE NATION ON SUNDAY of January 6 entertained readers with errors: “When a white woman is displeased with her marriage, she calls it quit (quits).” “Mike Adenuga coughs out (up) N8b for new office building” Beyond coughing up (not out!), the expression is contextually wrong because the billionaire Grand Commander of the Order of The Niger is doing it willingly! Going by the principles of sociolinguistics, this medium should apologise to The Bull because he has superfluous fiscal capacity to dole out billions of local currency for his fantasies. In the circumstance, ‘coughing up’ diminishes Uncle ‘Niyi immeasurably. The only time the idiomatic expression will be right is if the government or any of its agencies compels the entrepreneurial quintessential icon to pay a fine. Social Circuit: Adenuga spends/ splashes N8b on…. “As the year draws to a close….” The year that has just started? Obviously last year’s copy sloppily carried into the New Year without an update by this medium! “…a process that would required (require) the go-ahead of at least two non-regional member (members).” “…but it is also important to ensure that these workers are not unduely exposed to temptations.” Get it right: unduly. “Nevertheless, since the world at large now gravitates towards the engaging concept of a global village, Africa as part of the human race, can just not be obliterated or be immune against this gale….” A re-awakening desire for Africa: immune to (or from); not against. “As at press time, several aspirants have (had) emerged, and more are being expected to join in the race….” “…those who were nurtured on cassava and its allied products, children from the grassroot (grassroots).” “This is the reason we see the oil industry as the life wire of the Nigerian nation.” Limits of capital investment: livewire. “This was at the launching (launch) of the N20 million education appeal fund of the Federal Girls’ College in Yola.” “When we noticed this oversight, we quickly mobilized ourselves (one another) and drew attention of the local and the state governments.” “The starting point of new outlook is to jettison our selfish individualism and foster voluntary groups and ethic upon which the vitality of nationhood rest (rests.)” “A stage was reached in 1975/76 when excessive importation created severe port congestion due to proliferation of items arriving at (on) our shores.” “Indeed, the death of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola was that of a great democrat whose political activism in life brought her at loggerhead (loggerheads) with the might of gun trotters (guntotters).” “N’ Assembly suspends new number plates” This cannot be true! Our so-called lawmakers suspended the issuance/policy/ exercise—and not the plates! “Alumni awards (award) pioneers” “Obi mourns Gringory’s death” The Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, mourned the man—not his death! “This is unlike before when elections are (were) held every four years” “…series (a series) of public hearings and probes of federal agencies’ activities….” “This time around (round), the government should be well equipped to call….” Americanism accepts the extract. The choice is yours! “The absence of such emergency agencies often contribute to the high casualty figures….” Death and the waterways: The absence…contributes “Kalu commends Jonathan over (on/for) honour done to Ojukwu” “Gunmen kill vigilante (vigilance) group leader in Potiskum” “Air passengers stranded at Port Harcourt airport” Why not ‘Passengers stranded at Port Harcourt airport’? They could not have been sea passengers! “It has been more than three weeks now and they said they are (were) investigating him.” “In the past two decades, the government has (had) not made tremendous effort to develop….” “FG to handover Almajiri schools by June” A rewrite: FG to hand over (take note) Almajiri schools in (not by) June—except if the government is unsure of the handover date. “Seven years jail term await exam cheats” Another rewrite: 7 years’ jail term awaits (not await!) exam cheats. “Kogi: Post election blues” Towards a better life for the people: post-election blues. “Mandela released from hospital after treatment” The most eminent African was discharged—not released! But for environmental issues in language usage, this would have been acceptable even in Nigeria. “As soon as the negotiated settlement with labour was achieved in January thereby ending the strike action, the government should have clarified the position.” Please, expunge ‘action’. “The manner of the clarification by the President himself bothered on the farcical.” ‘Bother’ for ‘border’ in an editorial? Could this malapropism be a function of half-literacy or sheer carelessness? “Abia, Anambra take step to combat Lassa fever” Fixed expression: take steps. Ekiti Catholic schools ordered to hoist national flag NGO offers 50 less privileged kids scholarship CHIDI UGWU ABUJA F ollowing the submission of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the Catholic Church in Ekiti was on Tuesday ordered its schools to immediately hoist the national flag and recite the national anthem at the beginning of any school day. The church similarly ordered all these institutions to replace worn out and torn flags currently flying over their premises as a mark of loyalty to the vital symbols of the nation. Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese Rt. Reverend Felix Ajakaye told the Director General of NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri, who paid him a visit in his office in Ado Ekiti that the church teaches respect for the national symbols as a way of promoting national identity. According to him, no matter individual and various inclinations, all Nigerians must uphold our national identity “because we must first be Nigerians before we become other things which we believe in, whether as Muslim, Christian, or other religions, ethnic or tribal divide. The bishop, who said government has a duty to all citizens to implement policies that promote good governance as a way galvanize patriotic instincts within the populace. Earlier, the DG of NOA said the agency had designed programmes that would promote respect for the national symbols to help achieve national cohesion, inspire national pride in the younger ones who did not witness struggle for national independence. He said his visit to the Bishop is to enlist his support for the promotion of the symbols, especially when some states have begun to return schools to their original owners. He said divisions within the Nigerian society were inspired by elite struggle for power and opportunity and not real because the living conditions of the average man in the country remain the same across the country. MOJEED ALABI F ifty pupils were yesterday reenrolled into five different primary schools in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State as the sum of N300,000 and school items including uniforms, bags, sandals, among others were distributed to them by a non-governmental organisation, StayInSchoolng Initiative. The initiative according to the organiser is aimed at creating a pathway out of poverty for disadvantaged kids through education. The money, which was handed over to head teachers of the five schools was said to take care of the pupil’s meal till the end of the session. At the enrolment ceremony held in the Ejigbo Schools Complex, Cocoordinator of the StayInSchoolng Initiative, Miss Tricia Ikponmwonba, said the project was borne out of the need to ensure that the less privileged have equal opportunity to get basic primary education. According to Ikponmwonba, this was the first phase of the project while another is being planned to take place in Kuruduma village, Abuja. She advised the parents to allow the kids come to school daily as all the basics have been provided including their feeding in school. “Parents, your duty is to ensure the children come to school and we will take it from there.” The Five schools where the children were enrolled are: Ejigbo Model Primary School, Imakiyo Primary School, Ayo Adegboyega Primary School, Fadu Memorial Primary School and Ageke Primary School. Education Secretary, Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Education Authority, Hon Alausa Adekoya, who was at the event to hand over some of the materials to the pupils, described it as a selfless act. Thursday, February 7, 2013 Sport National Mirror Miirror www.nationalmirroronline.net www.nationalmirroronline.net 227 D’Tigers NBBF N yet to dec decide cide on D’Tigers –Kaleh – 2 29 I can’t respect mediocre European coaches – Keshi Blatter begins 6-day African tour P resident of the w o rl d football governing body (FIFA), Mr. Sepp Blatter, yesterday, began a six-day trip to Africa that will take him to Mauritania, Guinea, Botswana and South Africa. He would be expected to round off the tour by gracing the final of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, official sources told PANA on Tuesday in Paris. In Mauritania where he is due to spend two days, Blatter will hold talks with the chairman of the Mauritanian Football Federation, Ahmed Ould Yahya, on various areas of cooperation. He will inaugurate the new head office and technical centre of the federation and two synthetic parks. The FIFA boss and his delegation will then travel to the Guinean capital, Conakry, to inspect work on the new headquarters of the Guinean football federation. Blatter will also inspect the technical centre at Nongo, where a synthetic park will be laid under the framework of the FIFA Goal Project. The visit to Botswana will be marked by talks with the Botswana minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Shaw Kgathi and the chairman of the national nattional football footba all federation, federation Tebogo Blatter og g Sebego. B go latter will inaugurate technical ug g gurate the te echnical centre en nttre of Lekidi Lekiidi and launch au un nch the laying la aying of an n artificial iciia al field at the th he site. In South A Africa, frica, the off the he e last leg o tour, ou urr, Blatter will will on February 10, attend Feb b bruary the he e final of the the 2013 AF0133 CON. CO ON. N Blatter S Keshi uper Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, has revived the debate over African teams choosing Europeans over local coaches. Speaking at a news conference ahead of yesterday’s semi-final match in which Nigeria thrashed Mali 4-1 in the ongoing 29th Africa Cup of Nations, Keshi said, “Do not bring a mediocre coach from Europe and tell me he’s better than me - I will not accept that.” Keshi had strongly criticised the role of some white coaches in Africa just weeks before the finals. “The white guys are coming to Africa just for the money,” he said in early January. “They are not doing anything that we cannot do. I am not racist but that’s just the way it is.”. Keshi added, “I am never against a white coach in Africa, because I’ve always worked with white coaches. If you want to bring in a classic, an experienced coach from Europe, I am ready to learn from that coach, because he’s better than me, he has more knowledge than me. “Meanwhile, we have quality African players, or ex-African players, (who are) coaches now that can do the same thing, but they’re not given the opportunity because they’re just black dudes. I don’t like it.” Of the 16 coaches who led out sides at the 2013 Nations Cup, nine hail from either Europe or South America, while seven are from Africa. The semi-finals saw Keshi’s Super Eagles trounced a Malian side coached by Frenchman Patrice Carteron, while Belgian Paul Put led out Burkina Faso against former Ghana captain Kwesi Appiah’s Black Stars. Appiah also commented on the issue ahead of his side’s last-four clash with the Stallions in Nelspruit, saying he had “total respect” for foreign white coaches in Africa but that black managers “can do the same as anybody”. “The most important thing is the black coach being strong and not allowing people to tell you what to do,” he said. Foreign, mainly European, coaches have long had an influence on African football. A Hungarian coach - Pal Titkos - led Egypt to Nations Cup glory in only the second edition of the tournament in 1959. In all, Africa’s premier football event has been won by a local coach on 13 occasions, with foreign coaches triumphing 15 times Siasia tips Emenike to rule the world F ormer Nigeria coach, Samson Siasia, has backed Emmanuel Emenike to be among the top strikers in the world very soon. Siasia first capped the Spartak Moscow star two years ago and added that the big centre-forward will soon have the football world under his feet. “He is a complete striker, getting the goals and creating chances for others to score. He has all it takes to be among the best strikers in the world, he will certainly go places,” Siaisa told MTNFootball.com. Siasia added, “I know his qualities as a striker and that was why I went ahead to cap him in the Eagles. I am very happy with his performance so far at the Nations Cup. I love his commitment. He is using his strength and speed very well.” The 25-year-old Emenike made his long-awaited international debut against Sierra Leone in Lagos in 2011, but it was shortlived as he lasted less than 20 minutes after he suffered an injury. He scored his first Eagles goal against Argentina in a friendly in June 2011 and he has now netted four goals to propel Nigeria to Sunday’s final of the AFCON. 28 Sport Thursday, February 7, 2013 Rashidi Yekini’s estate remains unmanaged –Lawyer KEMI OLAITAN AITAN IBADAN Ferguson hails Devils’ N title resolve M anchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, admits that his squad is showing a great appetite to reclaim the Premier League title this season. The Red Devils are currently sitting a healthy nine points clear of their neighbour and reigning champions Manchester City. But with 13 games remaining, the Scot feels his players are in the right shape to deliver a landmark 20th league title. “You hope that the players realise that the league is there for them to win,” Ferguson said yesterday. Meanwhile, United’s winger, Ryan Giggs, has said that uture generations of the club players will not be allowed to forget the Munich air disaster of February 6, 1958 whose 55 years anniversary was commemorated yesterday. Eight United players and three of the club’s staff were among 23 killed when a flight from Belgrade crashed on the runway after a refuelling stop in Germany. “New players, especially the foreign players, are joining a club which they think is great and offers them everything that comes from United being successful over the last 10 to 15 years,” Giggs said, adding, “There are so many things that are relevant to us today and we need to carry on their legacy.” Balotelli in race row A C Milan striker, Mario Balotelli, is at the centre of a race controversy following comments made by the club’s Vice President Paolo Berlusconi. The 22-year-old Italian completed a £19m move to the Serie A side on January 31 from Manchester City and made an immediate impact with two goals on his debut against Udinese. But Balotelli, rarely out of the headlines during a two-year spell at City, has been subjected to racist remarks from the brother of the former Italian prime minister and Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi. The incident took place over the weekend just hours ahead of Balotelli’s Milan debut. “He’s a madhead,” Berlusconi said. The comment come just a month after AC Milan players walked off during a friendly match in protest to racial abuse from the crowd directed at Kevin Prince Boateng. Tit bits... Wenger Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, is Real Madrid President Florentino Perez’s top choice to replace Jose Mourinho at the end of this season. Mourinho is expected to leave Real in the summer after railing against senior players and also the local press. Wenger has also been linked with Ancelotti’s job at PSG and is now inside the final 18 months of his current Arsenal deal. Xavi Reo-Coker Barcelona midfielder, Xavi Hernandez, admits he would like to play out his career with the club. The playmaker missed yesterday’s friendly with Uruguay to injury. “I’ve always said, my hope and my dream is to retire at Barcelona. Time will tell how far I can get,” Xavi said. Free agent is hoping to land a deal at West Bromwich Albion. Reports yesterday said Reo-Coker has apparently rejected a move to Major League Soccer with Portland Timbers in the hope of attracting a contract offer from West Brom. Reo-Coker, Sierra Leoneanborn, has previously played for Aston Villa and West Ham. ine e months after the e death of the gangling angling Super Eagles’ striker, triker, Rashidi Yekini, the he estate and propertiess he left behind are yet to be managed. His lawyer, Mr. Moohammed Jubril, disclosed d this while le speaking with the National Mirror rrorr in an exclusive interview in n Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. According rding to him, the estate cannot be e managed because the Letter of Administration of those to manage e the estate is still being processed d at the Probate Registry of Oyo State.. He said d processing of the letter of administration ration did not start until last Novemberr due to the fact that Yekini’s Yekinii’s family did d not release his Death CertifiCertiifi fcate on time. me. Jubril il stated that it was six months after fter Yekini’s death that his younger brother brought the death certificate e to him in his Ibadan office, adding ng that it was after this that the e process off the letter of administration began. He revealed that one of the two wiv wives that would manage the estate had sign signed the form while the other one was yet to t sign because she was not in the country, stating s that one of the two witnesses ha had also signed s gned the form. si The lawyer said after the necessary processes have been bee completed Yekini’s accoun account with the First Bank that has ha been declared dormant would be wo reactivated by the managm ers of the estate. But presently, there are no tenants living in liv Yekini’s Ibadan ho house as the late footballer footballe was living there alone before his death. According to Jubril, the two twin duplexes du and a duplex boys quarter will remain vacant until everything iis normalised, while proceeds pr from his other building in build Ijagbo, Kwara State, State comprising of six flats and an two bedroom boys quarter, are quart used take care of his mother. m He said that Yekini’s Y mother and other family members had been living in liv two flats and one other used d as a shop, while the the rent r nt of the others re was wa collected by the mother before his befo death h and an that the th he situation st si has not ha ch c anged since his sin si death. d Games ‘ll produce ‘new Ajunwas’–AIG A Late Lat Lat ate R Rashidi Rash ash hidi di Yekini Y k Ye kiiin ni Cricket: ICC picks T20 officials S YEMI OLUS ssistant Inspector General of Police in Charge of Zone II, AIG Mamman Tsafe, has said that the 10th Biennial Police Games scheduled to take place in Rivers State will help discover many athletes for the nation. “I want to invite sport administrators and coaches to the games and I am sure they will discover a lot of talents,” Tsafe, who gave the remark yesterday at the Zone II Police Headquarters, Onikan Lagos. Chairman, Technical Committee, Police Games 2013, CP Kola Sodipo, who was at the occasion, reiterated that the games’ signifi- National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Police IG, Abubakar cance while highlighting the past contribution of Nigeria Police to athletes’ discovery. The torch relay will move from Zone II, Lagos to Force Headquarters Abuja and will be received by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, who will direct the torch to other zones until he arrives in Calabar. Lagos, which hosted the last edition of the games in 2008, is the defending champion and about 5, 000 officers are expected to take part in the event. ix umpires have been appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC), Africa Division, as match officials for the forthcoming Pepsi ICC Africa T20 qualifiers Division 1 tournament billed for Uganda. The tournament will hold from February 23 to March 1 with Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Botswana and Kenya participating. General Manager, Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), George Wiltshire, said the match fixtures had also been released. “The match officials are Johnny Gomez (The Gambia), Munir Khan (Kenya), Claude Thornburn (Namibia) and Rocky De Mellow (Kenya),” he said. “Others are David Odhiambo (Kenya) and Wynand Louw (Namibia), who were included in the International Panel of ICC Associate Umpires while Devas Govinjee, who is part of the ICC panel of match referees and represents Africa, will act as the match referee for the tournament.” Winner of the competition would alongside Namibia also represent Africa at the ICC penultimate round in the United Arab Emirates. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Sport Thursday, February 7, 2013 29 SLAMMING AND E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 08027536696 DUNKING With SAYO OGUNDEJI D’Tigers: NBBF yet to decide on Bakare –Kaleh C Efevberha Spartak Primorie signs Efevberha S partak Primorie Vladivostok (PBL) of Russia has added to their roster the 29-year-old Nigerian ex-international guard Michael Efevberha. Efevberha who has also played at CEZ Nymburk in NBL league in Czech Republic is making a comeback to Vladivostok having future for the Russian outfit before. He managed to play in four leagues in two countries last year and has also featured in two games in Eurocup where he averaged only 1.0ppg. Efevberha who represented Nigeria at the African Championships in Libya four years ago attended Cal State - Northridge and it will be his seventh season in pro basketball. The experienced guard has played professionally in France (Cholet), New Zealand (Wellington Exodus Saints), DLeague (Springfield Armor and Rio Grande Valley Vipers) and WCBL (Santa Barbara). ontrary to reports in some sections of the media claiming the Nigeria Basketball Federation, (NBBF), has decided to keep faith with Ayo Bakare as Coach of the men’s senior basketball team otherwise known as D’Tigers, the body has come out to dispel the rumour, saying a decision was yet to be taken. Bakare made history last year as he became the first coach to lead the country to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games but his contract with the federation ended shortly after the quadrennial event. While some stakeholders favour the retention of Bakare with focus on continuity, there has been an air of uncertainty over the federation’s decision as regard the issue. While there have been various reports indicating that the body has finally given its blessing to the choice of Bakare, first Vice President of the NBBF, Muktar Kaleh, says the body has not ratified the appointment. According to Kaleh, the federation at the moment is concerned on how to ensure both the Dstv Premier league and the Zenith Bank Women Basketball League dunk-off as scheduled, adding that the body will make decision regarding not only the D’Tigers’ team but the rest of the various national teams. “There is no iota of truth in the reports stating the NBBF has retained the services of Coach Bakare as the body is yet Chamberlain Oguchi of Nigeria (R) bringing the ball up court against Nando de Colo of France during a men’s basketball preliminary round match of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 6, 2012. to decide on that issue because we have some other pressing issues to attend to at the moment. “Bakare has proved how good a coach he is by qualifying the country for the Olympics and not only the NBBF should be greatful for his services but the entire Nigerians and whether he will continue as coach or not will be decided alongside other various teams both male and female. “After the glorious outing of the D’Tigers last year, the only way to prove their success was no fluke is to rule the continent this year and I want to assure you that the federation is committed to ensuring we become champions of Africa”. Kaleh said. Kaleh however added that the mandate of the present board of the federation would soon elapse hence their reslove not to rush into making the decision as the incoming board might not be favourable to that decision. “It is not proper rushing into a decision that the incoming board may not find suitable because the current board’s tenure will soon come to an end but Nigeria can be rest assured that all our intention is to see on how the game of basketball can be improved in the country.” He however stated the federation’s resolve at making sure both the male and female league improve compared to last year. “Both the male and female leagues will dunk off this month and all we want is to ensure there is much improvement compared to what we had during the last season in terms of teams’ welfare and standard officiating. “The leagues have improved greatly in the last couple of seasons and the retention of our corporate sponsorship is a fact to our efforts at repositioning our league and but we are also mapping out strategies to make sure teams representing us on the continent perform creditably well,” the first Vice President of the body added. Del camp gets February date D Participants during the first edition of the programme held in December, 2012. el Basketball Academy in conjunction with 43Basketball of Germany has revealed that the second edition of the programme will hold between 13th and 15th February at the Oworonshoki Basketball Court with focus on kids between ages 12-17. The first edition of the programme was a success as more than 70 kids, both male and female from different parts of the country participated with focus on not only discovering new talent but also giving hope and guidance to the kids during the exercise. According to the organiser, Coach Oladele Awonuga, the urge to give youths a sense of direction plays a vital role in his decision to organise the second edition which is tagged “Against Drug Abuse”, he says keeping the young ones busy will prevent them from engaging in unwanted ac- tivities capable of ruining their future. “We were encouraged with the turnout of the first edition which explains why this programme is scheduled to hold around this time and we believe many kids will benefit immensely this time around. Gbade Olatona, the Technical Director, Lagos State Basketball Association (LSBA) will be on hand to talk to the kids while Chris Peerless, who is flying in from Canada will also be on hand to drill the players on the nittygritty of the game. The programme, which enjoys international support from a sports kitting company from Germany, according to the coach, has discovered quite a number of talented players who are playing for some of the professional clubs in the country. 30 Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net 31 Business & Finance “I have a list of 27 marketers for the remainder of the money, but some of them have already featured under this 23 and they may have to come back.” Pension fund, unclaimed dividends should be invested in secondary mortgage market PRINCIPAL PARTNER, AKIN OLAWORE AND COMPANY, AKIN OLAWORE Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. N20bn debt: Telecoms subscribers face tough time KUNLE A ZEEZ S ubscribers on telecoms debtor networks, owing payment of interconnection bills, may soon be facing service hiccups connecting with other networks, in a bid to make off-net calls. This is coming on the heels of guidelines on procedure for granting approval to disconnect telecommunications operators released by the Nigerian Communications Commission. The release of the disconnection guidelines, obtained by National Mirror yesterday, followed the rising profile of interconnection indebtedness among telecoms operators rising to over N20billion as at the last estimate. It was gathered that creditor operators have always threatened to disconnect their debtor for failing to pay them interconnect termination bills as and when due. As a result of their current poor performance in the nation’s telecoms sector, operators in the Code Division Multiple Access segment of the market are mostly indebted to the bigger operators and any disconnection may cut off their slightly over 3 mil- lion subscribers from making some off-net calls. The NCC, had, on December 13, 2012 held a stakeholders’ forum in Lagos to discuss how the issue of rising interconnect indebtedness can be curtailed without much negative impact on the subscribers’ service quality experience. This was followed on February 1, 2012 by another stakeholders’ forum designed to specifically examine interconnect rate determinations for voice services, following the expiration of the subsisting interconnect rate regime by the end of 2012. Meanwhile, analysts have observed that if approvals for disconnection of telecoms networks are being granted by the regulator, subscribers on the affected network are bound to face hiccups in connecting with other networks. In an introductory note to the guidelines, the NCC said it has been given powers under the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 to, inter-alia, grant approvals for applications made under any circumstance to disconnect a licensee; make and publish guidelines on any matter for the due administration of provisions of the Act. The commission noted that the essence of the guideline was to ensure that the procedure for granting approval by the Commission for the disconnection of a licensee is founded on a predetermined framework to engender transparency, certainty and fairness. It said, “Tariffs paid by consumers to operators are inclusive of the interconnection charge, and an operator shall upon receipt of such tariffs ensure that it deducts and sets aside the interconnection fees payable to its interconnect partners, and effect payment thereof in accordance with the terms of duly executed interconnection.” A s part of measures to enhance efficiency through capacity maximisation, AP Moller-Maersk Group has commenced the ADVERT HOTLINES: For advert bookings and information, please contact the following: LAGOS: 01-8446073, 08094331171, 08023133084, 08034019884 ABUJA: 08033020395, 08036321014 Lag-Abj:07.15, 09.15, 10.20, 13.05, 15.20, 16.20, 16.50,18.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun). Abj-Lag: 07:15, 09.40,10.20, 12.15, 15.15, 16.15,17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun); 12.15, 15.15, 16.15 (Sun)Lag-PH: 07:15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.10, 17.15 (Mon-Fri) 07.30, 11.40, 15.50 (Sat) 11.50, 3.50, 17.05 Sun) Abj-PH: 07.15, 11.20, 15.30 (Mon-Fri) 07.15, 16.00 (Sat) 13.10, 16.00 Sun) PH-Abj: 08.45, 12.50, 17.00 (Mon-Fri) 08.45, 17.30 (Sat) 14.40, 17.30 (Sun) AbvBeni:08.00, 12.10 (Mon-Fri/ Sat)08.56, 12.10(Sun) Aero Contractors Lag-Abj: 06.50, 13.30, 16.30, 19.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun), 12.30 (Sun) 16.45 (Sat) Abj-Los: 07.30, 13.00, 19.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat, 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 (Sun, 18.30 Sat) LagBenin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (MonFri/Sat/Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat) IRS L-R: Finance Director, Schneider Electric Nigeria, Mr Jean-Pierre Breton; Human Resources Director, Mrs Chinwe Udo-Daris; Communications Manager, Mrs. Anne Ezeh and Country President, Mr Marcel Hochet at the first nationwide company meeting in Lagos yesterday. AP Moller-Maersk invests fresh N22bn on facility expansion FRANCIS EZEM Arik Air third phase of expansion project at its terminal at the Lagos Ports Complex, Apapa on which it plans to invest additional $135million (N21.6bn). This brings to a total of $330 million (N52.8bn) capital investment since it took over the former Container Terminal, Apapa from the Nigerian Ports Authority in 2006 following the conclusion of the port concession programme. The project, which will include the development of new contain- er stacking areas such as the old Sunshine Oil and Dangote Cement areas, which were parts of the original Apapa concession but were not handed over to it until recently, marks final phase of the development and capacity maximisation of the Apapa Container Terminal. Chief executive officer of the group, Mr. Nils Andersen, who performed the groundbreaking ceremony for terminal yard redevelopment and expansion, said Microsoft to invest $12bn in Nigeria, others 32 Lagos-Abuja 7.30 8.30 7.45 8.45 09.30 10.30 10.30 11.30 12.30 13.30 14.30 15.30 16.30 17.30 Lagos-Kano 08.00 09.15 10.30 11.45 14.30 15.40 18.15 19.30 Los-Maid&Yola (Mon-Thur) 09.30 11.30 Fri- Sun 10.30 12.30 Kano-Lagos 07.30 08.45 14.00 15.15 17.30 18.45 Kano-Abj 10.45 11.30 Abj-Lagos 09.00 10.30 11.00 12.00 12.00 13.00 the APM Terminals Apapa facility remains the largest container terminal in West Africa. “This investment had become necessary in order to ensure there is sufficient port capacity for container operations in Lagos at least until 2017”, he assured. He also assured that this fresh injection of funds will make the Apapa Terminal the largest and most modern in West Africa with an annual capacity of 1.2 million TEUs. Retailers hopeful of Fast-tracking delivery of national recovery from New Year sales slump emergency number 35 37 32 Business & Finance Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net FG introduces new fiscal policy, removes duty on aircraft, others JOHNSON OKANLAWON T he Federal Government in order to boost the economy has said that all commercial aircraft and aircraft spare parts imported for use in the country shall attract import duty rate of zero per cent and import Value Added Tax(VAT) from January 1, this year. Also, machinery and spare parts imported for the establishment of local sugar manufacturing industries shall attract zero per cent import duty. The notice entitled, ``2013 Fiscal Policy Measures’’, listed other presidential approvals on new import duty rates for sugar, rice, aircraft, solid minerals, polymers of polyethylene and polypropylene. The notice posted at the Central Bank of Nigeria website yesterday, said that sugar cane to sugar value chain investors shall enjoy a fiveyear tax holiday. According to the CBN’s Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Mr. W.D. Gotring, explained that raw sugar shall attract an import duty rate of 10 per cent plus levy of 50 per cent, while refined sugar shall attract an import duty rate of 20 per cent plus a levy of 60 per cent. Husked brown rice, semimilled or wholly millwed rice, whether or not polished or glazed shall attract an import duty rate of 10 per cent plus a levy of 100 per cent. A final levy increase of 100 per cent for rice import came into effect on Dec. 31, 2012 “All machinery and equipment imported for the development of the solid minerals sector shall attract an import duty rate of zero per cent and zero per cent import VAT,” the notice read in part. It added that import duty rate on Completely Knocked Down(KDK) components for mass transit buses of at least 40-seater capacity have been reduced from five per cent to zero per cent to encourage the production of mass transit vehicles in Nigeria. Before the removal, five per cent import duty rate was charged on CKD for mass transit buses. “Polymers of polyethylene and polypropylene shall attract an import duty rate of five per cent and a levy to encourage import substitution,” the notice said. It added that amorphous polyethylene terephthalate chips which is a raw material shall attract an import duty rate of zero per cent and zero per cent import VAT and should be re-classified by the Nigerian Custom Service to differentiate it from PET resin. SON to review standards of LPG products STANELY IHEDIGBO T L-R: Anti-Piracy Manager, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. Gozie Onumonu; Musician, Azeezat Allen; Chairman, COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji and Head of Public Relations, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. Segun Fayose, during the unveiling of COSON Week sponsored by MultiChoice Nigeria, in Lagos yesterday. Microsoft to invest $12bn in Nigeria KUNLE A ZEEZ U nited States of America technology giant, Microsoft Corporation has disclosed its plan to invest $12 billion in Nigeria and other African countries to accelerate the development of the continent. Specifically, the investment will be targeted at empowering the youths on the continent over the next three years. Speaking in Lagos during the launch of Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, Country Manager, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeje, said the firm has launched the initiative through which it will actively engage in Africa’s economic development to improve its global competitiveness. Onyeje said the firm’s efforts will focus on accelerating adoption of smart devices, empowering small and medium businesses, and up-leveling skills development to ignite African innovation for the continent and for the world. He said by 2016, Microsoft projected to help place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youths, bring one million African Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) online, up-skill 100,000 members of Africa’s existing workforce, and help an additional 100,000 recent graduates develop skills for employability, 75 per cent of which Microsoft will help place in jobs. “Microsoft watnts to invest in that promise which recognises Africa’s promise. We want to empower African youths, entrepreneurs, developers and business and civic leaders to turn great ideas into reality that can help community, their country, the continent and beyond. “The initiative is built on the dual beliefs that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world,” he said. He also noted that Microsoft was motivated to embark on the projects as part of its contribu- tions to Africa’s transformation initiatives, announcing that Microsoft has developed a new online hub through which Africa SMEs will have access to free, relevant products and services from Microsoft and other partners. The hub, he said, will aggregate the available services which can help them expand their business locally, find new business opportunities outside their immediate geography and help increase their overall competitiveness. As a welcome offer, Onyeje said Microsoft will provide free domain registration for the period of one year and free tools for qualifying SMEs interested in creating a professional web presence. According to him, as a first step towards the adoption of smart devices, Microsoft has partnered with Huawei to introduce the Huawei 4Afrika, a full functionality Windows Phone 8 which will come pre-loaded with select applications designed for Africa. he Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has declared its plan to carry out a comprehensive review of standards in the production, sale and importation of sub-standard Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders and other associated equipments. According to a statement made available to National Mirror and signed by the Director General of SON, Mr. Joseph Odumodu, the move was sequel to requests from operators for a review of requisite standards in the operation of the sector. He said that LPG is a product of popular use in the country with high volatility when compromised and developments have influenced calls from operators for a total overhaul of the sub sector. “The SON intervention would come in form of a review of stan- dards for LPG, given that there are variants of LPG products in the Nigerian market with allegations and counter allegations of the imported brands having high bromine content.” Odumodu, pointed out that Act No.56 of 1971 establishing SON spells out its functions with reference to enforcing standards. “The Act authorises the agency to organise tests and do everything necessary to ensure compliance, and in the case of establishing industrial standards, section 12 requires that it convokes a stakeholders’ forum as well as constitute a committee to inquire into all the relevant aspect of the matter and make a report, “he said. He added that the Act empowers SON to certify all LPG tanks produced in Nigeria or imported from other countries before the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) issues licenses to the owners. NIMC upgrades system to 100m capacity KUNLE A ZEEZ T he National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), charged with providing Nigerians state-ofthe-art identity card system and database system has upgraded its Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) first deployed in 2010 to 100 million capacity. In a statement issued by the Director, Corporate Communications, NIMC, Mr. Anthony Okwudiafor, the ABIS when it was first deployed had only two bimodal functionalities, fingerprint and face, but a third functionality has been added which is ‘Iris’. He said, “Government had approved the upgrade to 70 million database record size on the two modal functionalities as part of the N30.066billion three year funding approved for the accelerated implementation of the back end component of the National Identity Management System (NIMS) in 2011. “But the management of NIMC had been able to utilise the same funding to achieve a higher upgrade due to its cordial relationship with the service providers L1 identity Solutions, United States of America”. He said this means that the NIMC will be able to process volume databases from institutions like INEC and NCC, since the ‘de-duplication’ system, the ABIS, now has a larger record size capacity capable of taking all the records. The ABIS is what enables the determination of unique identities in the database before the National Identification Number (NIN) is issued to an individual. Okwudiafor further noted that the deployment plan includes an upscaling in a matter of hours to 200million whenever the commission desires. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Thursday, February 7, 2013 33 34 Business & Finance Thursday, February 7, 2013 N30bn bond proceeds to boost devt in Osun JOHNSON OKANLAWON T he Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has said that proceeds from the N30bn bond will be in the coffers of the state government within the next few weeks. The funds, he said, when available will enable the government to execute the various projects encapsulated in the 2013 budget. According to him, the bond had been issued and oversubscribed, adding, “We have set our targets for the next fiscal year and we are irrevocably committed to those targets.” Analysis of the N183bn draft budget presented by the Governor showed N64.03bn or 34.9 per cent for recurrent expenditure and N119.1bn or 65.03 per cent for capital expenditure. Total recurrent revenue stood at N98.9bn or 54.1 per cent, while capital receipts stood at N84.1bn or 45.9 per cent of the draft total budget. Further analysis of the budget revealed that the government will expend N30.2bn or 25.4 per cent on transportation, N20, 4bn or 17.2 per cent on general administration and N16.3bn or 13.7 per cent on education. Water resources will gulp N11.7bn or 9.9 per cent, agriculture and rural development N7.04bn or 5.9 per cent, while social development, youth and sports is expected to gulp N5.6bn or 4.67 per cent of the total budget. The government also budget N297m or 0.24 per cent for livestock, N731.8m or 0.62 per cent for forestry and N52m or 0.04 per cent on fisheries. Speaking on the budget, the governor said that the ultimate goal for the 2013 Budget is to ensure a great improvement in the welfare and standard of living of the people. “Thus, the 2013 budget has been carefully packaged to ensure the effective realisation of our vision as encapsulated in our six-point integral action plan. Relevant inputs were sourced and received from various stakeholders across the state in order to enhance the quality of the Budget,” he added. The governor stressed that the government is going to do a complete turn around of agriculture such that it will be revolutionarized, made attractive and profitable with a view to improving the welfare of the people and the economy of the State; He said that the government will provide necessary and durable infrastructure like road, electrification, information communication technology among others that will ensure development of the economy. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net CIPM to clamp down on unregistered human resources practitioners MESHACK IDEHEN T he Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) said it will soon commence clamping down of practitioners of human resource management who are not registered or certified with the institute. In the same vein, the institute said also that the clamp down should not come as a surprise to those that will be affected, considering that the institute had offered previous warnings and provided window of opportunities for amendments to be made by those to be affected by the institute’s action. Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the CIPM, Mr Sunday Adeyemi,said on Wednesday that the institute with its world class status can- not afford to be left behind when it comes to modern and globally accepted human resource management practices. Adeyemi explained that the employees must be given the best of management by trained managers in order for them to be continually productive within and outside the workplace. According to the CIPM registrar, employees remain the best assets and resource that any organisation can posses, thus it behoves in the institute as the highest professional human resource development in the country, to ensure the nations workers are provided the best of management by well trained experts. He added that those found not certified for human resource practice and management after the clampdown will be provided with several options with which to rectify the deficiencies 17 fuel-laden ships to discharge at Lagos Ports S eventeen ships are waiting to discharge petroleum products at various oil terminals within Lagos Ports, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said. The Shipping Position, a daily publication of the NPA, made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos, indicated that nine of the ships would discharge petrol. It reported that two ships would discharge diesel while three others would discharge kerosene. NPA said that a ship would L-R: Project Manager NYSC Lagos, Mr. Toni Oviosun; Business Development Manager, NYSC Lagos, Mrs. discharge aviation fuel; one Angela Okoh, and the Corporate Affairs Manager, Intel Corporation, Mr. Osagie Ogunbor at the ongoing would discharge ethanol while Intel-sponsored Technology and Entrepreneurship Training in Lagos yesterday. another ship would discharge Chanchangi Airlines laments high cost of aviation fuel OLUSEGUN KOIKI T he management of Chanchangi Airlines has lamented the high cost of Jet A1 otherwise known as aviation fuel in the country, describing it as a major setback for domestic airline operations in Nigeria. The Lagos Station Manager of the airline, Mr. Babadiyia Ahmed, who made this known to aviation correspondents in Lagos during the week, said about 50 per cent of the operational cost of airlines in the country is being expended on purchase of aviation fuel. According to Ahmed, Jet A1 oscillates between N160 and N180 per litre, which he said has greatly affected operations in the country’s local routes, noting that the government in the past had tried to find a lasting solution to the skyrocketing aviation fuel price, but without success. Ahmed urged the government to look into the challenges of aviation fuel and other challenges crippling aviation activities in the sector, saying that this would be to the advantage of both the airlines and the travelling public. Ahmed noted that airline business was always dull in the first quarter of every year as low passengers’ traffic were recorded during the period. “The period we are in January and March is a bad season for airlines and business in general because of budget implementation but it is bad in the aviation industry and we are really bearing the brunch.” He said Chanchangi airlines was overcoming its problems with arrangement already concluded for the arrival of its own aircraft, stressing that Owerri and Port Harcourt routes, which the airline has been operating before the suspension of its operations recently would be added as soon as the aircraft arrived. “The plans are there and they are our routes, we planned to fly, but those five key routes, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Kaduna, Lagos and Abuja; these routes we intend to build and build it well.” According to Ahmed the airline was being repositioned for the best, stressing that so many innovations have been introduced for customers’ delight. bulk gas. According to the document, three ships are also waiting to discharge rice and bulk wheat. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 89 other ships, carrying different cargoes would sail into the ports between Feb. 6 and Feb. 28. NPA said that 14 of the ships would arrive with petroleum products. It said that the remaining ships would arrive with containers, sugar, general cargoes, bulk wheat, tugboats, new and used vehicles, fish, bulk malt, steel products and truck heads. Nigerian girls advised to build career in ICT KUNLE A ZEEZ A s Nigeria prepares to join other countries of the world in celebrating this year’s edition of the ‘Celebration of Girls In ICT Day’ the Federal Government has stressed the need for Nigerian girls to develop interest in the taking up career in Information and Communication Technology sector. Second in the series,the Nigerian version of the even t is organised annually by eBusiness Life Communication Limited, publishers of eBusiness Life Magazine. This year’s edition is theme ““Tech Needs Girls to Invent the Future,” and it is scheduled to hold in Lagos on April, 225, 2013. The event is a brainchild of the International Telecommunications Union and was borne out of the need to encourage young girls to delve into the ICT profession as a means of contributing their quota to the development of the industry in their local environment and internationally. In a mail to the organiser, Nigeria’s Minister of Communication technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson congratulated the organisers while assuring them of ministry’s support for the initiative. The minister had earlier highlighted on the need to encourage young girls to aspire to co-exist with their male counterparts in the field of ICT, noting that the profession also needs the feminine gender in development. “It is a known fact that girls are more brilliant at very young ages and evidence abound from nursery and primary schools globally to verify this claim. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Info Tech Thursday, February 7, 2013 35 Fast-tracking delivery of national emergency number Eight years after beginning its Emergency Communication Centres (ECC) project, which is aimed at providing dedicated toll-free numbers to Nigerians for effective handling of emergency situations by relevant government agencies, the project is yet to fly. However, a government audit report of the project has indicated the platform may finally come on stream this year, writes KUNLE AZEEZ. T he idea of building Emergency Communications Centres each in the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory began in 2005, and eight years after, the project is yet to be completed. The ECC project is the outcome of a Special InterAgency Committee set up in June 2005 to work out modalities for facilities to enhance security in the country comprising the Ministry of Communications, the security agencies, National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), among others. The Federal Government had approved the committee’s recommendations that ECCs be established Juwah across all 36 states and the FCT; adoption of either T COMPLETION OF 112 or 199 as the 3-digit emergency number and implementation of Public Safety Answering Points THE MERGENCY (PSAPs), expect to answer emergency calls and route them to the nearest agency for speedy response. OMMUNICATIONS ENTERS IN However, while the Federal Government is battling ALL THE STATES AND with the implementation of the 112 or 199 emergency system through the ECC, Lagos State has singleEMERGENCY RESPONSE WILL handedly made significant strides in the operations of its 767 and 112 free tool emergency numbers. BE QUICKER AS THE SYSTEM The Commission for Science and Technology, LaWILL MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR gos, State recently confirmed to National Mirror that the state’s emergency number control centre currentIGERIANS IRRESPECTIVE ly handles about five million calls monthly. Explaining the operations of the centre, the Chief OF LOCATION TO CALL FOR Executive Officer of Consol Limited, the company ASSISTANCE AND RECEIVE managing the centre on behalf of Lagos State government, Mr. Biodun Adeoye, said since the launch SAME IN RECORD TIME of the centre, the crime graphs in the state had started descending, noting that as more and more people The Executive Vice Chairman of the commisbegin to be aware of the services, the call rate continsion, Dr Eugene Juwah, recently said the emerues to soar. “The service is run 24.7 and with 49 call centre gency call centres would help in tackling some seats activated, and we run three shifts. We have a of the security challenges currently facing the programme in which we run three shifts and we em- nation. The project, he said, is a Federal Governploy about 135 agents working on the project,” With ment’s initiative aimed at producing a three-digit the control centre channeling information receive d emergency code numbers. Juwah said at completion of the Emergency Comfrom Lagos residents through the emergency numbers to appropriate quarters for quick response, the munications Centers in all the 36 states and emergenstate agencies such as Lagos State Ambulance Bus, cy response will be quicker, as the system will make LASAMBUS; Lagos State Traffic Management Au- it possible for Nigerians, irrespective of location, to thority, LASMA and Lagos State Emergency Man- call for assistance and receive same in record time. Huawei was awarded a $13.572million contract for agement Agency, LASEMA as well as other law enforcement agencies in the state can now manage the Communications Infrastructure Project part of the deal under which the Chinese equipment suppliemergencies casers more swiftly and effectively. However, while Lagos State is reaping the benefit er will equip the bungalow-like structures with the of having the emergency number infrastructure run- required gadgets for exchanging information with ning in the state, the national emergency numbers designated response agencies, the audit shows. Under the project, Huawei will equip the ECCs which is supposed to assist federal agencies to handle emergency situations is still expecting the NCC to de- across the 36 states and FCT with the following: 11 workstations for call takers in each State; System liver the ECC project across the country. Already, a government audit of the project imple- Servers and Switches for each State; UPS Battery mentation has revealed that the ECC project aimed Bank for each State; Universal Access Platform; Arat ensuring adequate security in Nigeria has so far ray Storage Systems and Raised Platforms, according gulped over N4 billion with varying degree of com- to the project audit report seen by Technology Times. On the other hand, Civil Works Project contracts pletion stages in about 23 states. The situation pictured by the government audit re- involving the construction of bungalows housing the port also showing that ECC project executions have communication infrastructure across the 36 states of the Federation and Abuja were awarded at the cost of recorded varying degree of progress across states of the Federation, even as the NCC has confirmed com- N2.44 billion to 22 companies with the audit showing that number of states allotted per contract beneficiapletion of ECC in about 22 states. A C E C 36 , N , , FCT, Johnson ry ranged from one to a maximum of three. Additionally, the audit showed that the ECC projects have witnessed varying degrees of progress as with civil works so far completed in 23 states including Niger, Anambra, Gombe, Bauchi, Katsina, Zamfara, Osun and Benue. Other states where civil works have so far been cited as completed include; Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, Borno, Enugu, Ekiti, Edo, Yobe, Kano and Imo, Akwa Ibom, Jigawa, Taraba, Kogi and Ondo. However, nine states that have also recorded specified levels of progress as evaluated by the audit include Nassarawa, 90 per cent; Oyo, 85 per cent; Cross River, 95 per cent; Adamawa, 50 per cent; Plateau, 90 per cent; Ogun, 75 per cent; Delta, 40 per cent; Abia, 50 per cent and Kwara, 50 per cent. However, the audit reveals that little progress have so far been made in five states that include the FCT, where land for the construction of the ECC has just been obtained. It is the same in Lagos State, where land for the construction of the centre has just been obtained while an alternative land was said to have been allocated in Bayelsa State, according to the audit which was silent on the state of implementations of ECCs in Ebonyi and Rivers states. Also, three GSM networks, MTN Nigeria, Glo and Airtel have been chosen to serve as 112 carriers for the assigned emergency code and will also provide interconnect facilities for the seamless running of the ECCs, according to the audit report citing that other phone networks will also be required to route all calls on the emergency numbers to the designated carrier at the respective centers. So far, MTN Nigeria has provided interconnection at Minna, while Glo has provided interconnection at Akwa, Oshogbo, Makurdi, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina and Gusau. According to the audit report, plans are underway for the development of a coordinated strategy for effective response to the ECCs by the designated Response Agencies including Fire Departments, Federal Road Safety Corps, National Ambulance Service, NEMA Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Police, among others. Meanwhile, stakeholders who spoke with National Mirror on the project said efforts should be made to fast-track the completion of the project, given its significance to effectively handling emergency situations irrespective of locations in the country. 36 Info Tech Thursday, February 7, 2013 Broadband: FG to support green power solution KUNLE A ZEEZ T he Federal Government said it would help operators to develop green power solutions to tackle the perennial energy challenges facing their operations in the country’s Information and Communication Technology market. The government expressed the commitment at a recent GSM/IFC Green Mobile Forum co-hosted by Airtel, GSMA and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Lagos, where the need to adopt the green power solution against the challenges posed by power generation to Nigeria’s telecoms industry formed the fulcrum of discussion. Giving the assurance at the forum, featuring an exchange of professional and technical notes among key industry stakeholders, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said government, through the NCC, would give preference and the most subsidies to companies proposing green power when it opens bidding for broadband penetration into underserved and unserved communities or locations in the country. Juwah, who was represented by the Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Alhaji Abdulahi Maikano said, “During the bidding for the clusters, companies proposing green power would be given preference and the most subsidies.” This, he said, was because aside from the need to protect the planet, the use of traditional power will make deployment in these areas uneconomic as the operational cost will outstrip the revenues that may be generated from these areas. “The low operational cost of green power such as Solar or wind power makes it viable to deploy in these areas over the long term.” Speaking at the forum, Airtel’s Chief Technical Officer, Awadhesh Kalia called for increased investment in green power generation initiatives as a sure-footed solution to the nation’s energy supply challenges. Kalia, in a paper titled: “Green- ing the Network: strategy and initiative”, noted that an aggressive approach would be required by GSM operators in Nigeria to improve the current level of energy efficiency if the dream of realising the long-term gains of green power supply would be achieved. According to him, “Significant investment in green initiative is vital to maximising business in a responsible manner. There must be field competence, EOM support; institutionalisation of the curriculum on telecom power technologies and development of local competence by upgrading skills-set through training and development.” Awadhesh also highlighted some of the initiatives undertaken by Airtel Nigeria in its efforts to provide green solutions to its power needs. These, according to him, include varying combination of solar powered solutions, hybrid, grid and colocation, all of which have been effectively deployed to reduce energy consumption, burning of fossil fuel and carbon footprint. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Tech Box LG Nexus 4: Redefining sophistication, style and functionality N igerian smartphone users are in for a swell time with the introduction of the LG Nexus 4 smartphone into the Nigerian market by LG Electronics, a global leader in mobile communications. The Nexus 4 Smartphone which comes with exciting features such as the Android Jelly Bean Operating System (OS), an 8 Mega Pixel camera 16GB internal memory, a 2GB of RAM as well as a 2,100 mAh Li-polymer battery has been highly rated by phone pundits. The device in a massive way solidifies LG’s position as a brand to be reckoned with in the global smartphone market. Weighing a mere 139g, the LG Nexus 4 employs LCD display technology with a screen resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels, 320 ppi; and a16M colours display with dimensions of 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1mm. With the uniquely designed display photos and videos come to life with stunning clarity and crisp, natural colour. The gently-curved glass edges allow user’s finger to slide smoothly on and off the 4.7-inch screen, while Zerogap Touch technology allows the user to practically touch the pixels- with the scratchresistant corning Gorilla glass2 providing the needed p r o t e c tion. The thoughtfully designed hardware displays a quality of finish that can compete with the best rival smartphones. For camera, there is an 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.3-megapixel front camera. Users are going to find this feature very interesting as it is so easy to create a panorama with the device. Users will be able to capture 360-degree Panorama directly from their camera app. Once they have a photo to share, they can opt to share their Panorama on Google maps and Google +. LG E960 which has proven to be a global hit since its introduction in other climes features a cuttingedge 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 processor to give users the power speed they require to stay ahead. BlackBerry 10: Innovative platform for new Blackberry devices B L-R: General Manager, Network Operating Centre, Globacom, Mr. Aremu Olajide; Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, Nigerian Communications Commission, Ms. Josephine Amuwa and Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund, Mr. Abdulahi Maikano during an interconnect rate determination forum hosted by the NCC in Lagos recently. CWG to bring ‘Lean Launch Pad’ concept to Nigeria KUNLE A ZEEZ T he Chief Executive Officer of Computer Warehouse Group, Nigeria’s leading Information and Communication Technology conglomerate, Mr. Austin Okere has said he was planning to introduce into the Nigerian business environment, the “Lean Launch Pad” model of building successful entrepreneurs. He said this following his return from Columbia Business School, New York, where he participated as an instructor at the Steve Blank Class “Lean Launch Pad”. The course provides a comprehensive step-by-step guide to getting startups right. It walks entrepreneurs through the customer development process that gets them out of the building to develop wining products that customers will buy. The Lean Launch Pad scheme is joining forces with Startup Weekend, Udacity, TechStars and Startup America to offer some of the world’s most effective experiential entrepreneurship education. By combining content from the world’s leading expert in customer development with local mentors and leaders in an intensive flipped-classroom style course, Lean Launch Pad has been able to create a unique, effective experience for teams of entrepreneurs that are serious about growing a customer-driven startup. The programme is already be- ing offered in 15 cities around the world, with another 25 programmes launching in February, 2013 with a goal to expand the programme to more than 100 cities in 2013. Thus far, seasoned entrepreneurs such as Steve Blank are teaching NEXT in Silicon Valley, Andy Sack (TechStars Seattle founder) in Seattle, Alex Farcet (founder of Startupbootcamp) in multiple European cities, Eric Koester (founder of Zaarly) in Washington, DC with countless others joining. In its invitation, the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurial Center at CBS, where Okere has been a guest lecturer since 2009, conveyed its belief that his experience and contribution to entrepreneurial ship in emerging markets will provide unparalleled contribution to the class of aspiring entrepreneurs. lackBerry 10, the re-designed, re-engineered, and re-invented BlackBerry platform that creates a new and unique mobile computing experience has been launched by Blackberry. Already, two new LTE-enabled smartphones, the BlackBerry Z10 (all-touch) and BlackBerry Q10 (touch with physical keyboard) smartphones powered by BlackBerry 10 have been launched on the platform, offering device users a faster, smarter and smoother experience than any other BlackBerry ever manufactured. BlackBerry unveiled the new BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones at events held simultaneously in New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Dubai, and Johannesburg recently. Speaking on the launch of the two devices on Blackberry 10 platform, the President and Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry, Thorsten Heins, said, “Today sees a re-invented BlackBerry launching an entirely new mobile experience.” “We are thrilled to be introducing BlackBerry 10 on the new BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones, to deliver a faster, smarter experience that continuously adapts to your needs. Every feature, every gesture, and every detail in BlackBerry 10 is designed to keep you moving.” He also highlighted a number features that make the Blackberry 10 platform unique. According to him, BlackBerry 10 is a robust and reliable platform that is smooth and responsive. It has a modern design and a gesture-based interface that is highly discoverable. Designed to support, learn, and adapt to the way you work and share with features like the ever present BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Flow, BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry Balance technology, TimeShift, The new BlackBerry 10 browser, BlackBerry Remember, The BlackBerry® World™ storefront and Built-in support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Thursday, February 7, 2013 Brands & Marketing 37 Retailers hopeful of recovery from New Year sales slump Food market. Shoprite, Ikeja. Retailers are still feeling the effects of the traditional lull in business following the frenzy of the festive season. They are, however, hopeful that sales will pick up in March. ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI reports. T he sales desk personnel at various retail chains inside Ikeja City Mall looked less busy and forlorn on Tuesday, February 5. The customers are coming only in trickles unlike last October to December when sales soared to new highs as people flocked shops for the traditional Christmas shopping spree. National Mirror survey showed that retailers are complaining about slow economic activities in their shops though they admitted that they feel happier this January than the last, which was marred by fuel subsidy protest that forces businesses to close for at least a week. From retail chains at Ikeja City Mall, shop owners at Computer Village and at the food and commodities market at Ketu, Mile 12, there are mixed feelings over patronage as shoppers have followed nearly the same trends of buying only products that are essential to them than ostentatious and luxury goods which they engaged in festive periods. In a Da Viva fabric shop at Ikeja, sales personnel, Jessica Odogwu told National Mirror that the store recorded impressive sales during the festive period. Considering that the renowned fabric shop offers top quality fabrics that buyers ordinary need for their parties any season, only few customers are found in the shop and it has been so, according to her since the shop opened for the year on January 2. “We made impressive sales from November to December, but January has been so dull and sales have really gone down,” she said. The same feelings was expressed by sales reps at Markhan, a fashion and clothes shop; Esscenza, a perfume retailer; Ruff ‘n’ Tumble and Twice As Nice, a shirt and accessories shop, Kings & Queens Jewelry shop and Mr. Price. Also, there were few queues at the Shoprite inside Ikeja City Mall unlike when customers can look elsewhere because of endless queue of buyers who are making payments for purchases at WE MADE IMPRESSIVE SALES FROM NOVEMBER TO DECEMBER. BUT JANUARY HAS BEEN SO DULL AND SALES HAS REALLY GONE DOWN the check-out counter. According to a manager at the retail chain, this is the best time to offer price clash and promo. Although the computer and accessories market follows a different trend in January sales, but there is hope for the market category as most corporate and individual customers who want to improve their business by bringing innovation are already making enquiries, demanding for price list of computers and accessories needed to upgrade in 2013. A manager at I-Store, Apple authorised dealer, at Ikeja City Mall who preferred anonymity told National Mirror that, “Although we have been less busy but our corporate and individual customers are already talking to us, asking for order, our price lists. Some individual prospect told us they are waiting for their proposals to be approved. We have having impressive sales while many are being awaited,” she said. Most of the computer retailers at Computer Village at Ikeja also looked hopeful. According to Emeka Ikem and Sobu Ololade, retailers, most prospective buyers have been making pre-purchase enquiries and many of them appeared serious. But they affirmed that, “the market will fully pick up from March. For quick service restaurants, there is no better way to describe January and first week of February sales than sluggish. But a smart sales manager is expected to know that this is the best time to be prudent with supply to avoid huge leftovers. A visit to some restaurants owned KFC, Mr. Biggs, Tantalizer, Candy and Sweet Sensation revealed that the restaurants are not encouraged by the low turnout of consumers. As a result, a manager at one of the KFC shops said they have cut down stocks to reduce loss. As many consumers shunned quick food restaurant, food vendors on the streets and food market at Ketu, Ile Epo and Oja Oba at Abule Egba have little to bother about sales decline. As far as they are concerned, raw food is an essential commodity for the households. A vegetable retailer at Oja Oba, Mrs Fatima Badru, told National Mirror that although, sales cannot be compared to what the market experienced during festive period, they have not been short of sales. She said despite cash scarcity people often experience in the beginning of the year, the sales have not declined much. As retailers look towards March for improved sales, experts, however, expect this year to be better than last year, which was characterised by monetary tightening and difficulties in accessing credit by small businesses. But market observers expect some easing this year. A Financial Derivatives Company report stated that Nigeria’s economic growth is likely to rebound in 2013 to an average of seven percent that was last witnessed in 2011. The anticipated growth is expected to be driven by the major sectors of the economy resulting from improved power supply. Consequently, it is expected that there would be an increase in employment, decline in unemployment rate and increase in output levels in 2013, which may help support purchasing power. Afliation franchise fee could be burdensome, but good –Ufot ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI T he Group Managing Director, SO&U Saatchi & Saatchi, Mr. Udeme Ufot, has said that affiliation franchise fees could be a burden if the local agency is not able to maximize the benefits of the relationship but he maintained that yet foreign ad agencies global network have contributed immensely to the growth of advertising business and practitioners in Nigeria beyond its shortcomings. While recounting the pains and gains of affiliation to National Mirror in an interview, Ufot said through affiliation, local ad agencies have benefitted from training and exposure opportunities offered by their global networks. “Local agencies have access to training and exposure opportunities for top management and staff. This could be by way of network conferences in regional head offices, special in-market programmes facilitated by visiting network executives, or special training programmes run at regional level. Special regional conferences (whether for CEOs or Creative Directors) are also platforms for sharing ideas and experiences at global level. Such access enables local agencies think global while playing a local role,” said Udeme. Besides these, Ufot, a former President of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, (AAAN), said as representative of the international network, the local agency has access to the international clients of the network through referrals. “This helps business development and growth,” He added: “In special cases, local agencies can secure the involvement of their affiliate partners in major projects. Top personnel can be “parachuted” from regional offices to support local projects. This elevates the capacity of the local agency to deliver world class solutions to local clients who can afford such service.” 38 Brands & Marketing Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Promasidor ags off new Loya Milk promo ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI L L-R: Ace Music Producer, Edi Lawani, Brand Manager, Chelsea Dry Gin, Kingsley Anuebunwa, Head of Marketing, Intercontinental Distillers Limited, Innocent Oboh, Brand Manger, Tezeers, Akintayo Akinseloyin and Musician Tuface Idibia at Playa’s Ball sponsored by Intercontinental Distillers Limited in honour of Lawani in Lagos recently. TV ads entertaining, but not truthful –Survey ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI WITH AGENCY REPORT T elevision advertising has be found to be entertaining but not truthful, a recent survey by consumer insights company, Pondering Panda, which polled the opinion of 1924 respondents among South African Youth between age 15 and 34, on the topic of advertising on television revealed. The survey said young South Africans find television ads entertaining, but don’t see them as necessarily showcasing products and brands honestly. In a country where Nigeria ad agencies often rely on for creative input, the survey found that while 71 per cent said they enjoyed watching TV ads, almost two-thirds (64 percent) believed most ads were not truthful about what was being advertised. But, only 32 per cent believed adverts were honest in what they portrayed. On the question of enjoyment, the survey revealed that black respondents were more likely than other race groups to say they enjoyed watching TV ads. “Eighty percent of blacks felt this way, compared to 71 percent of coloureds, 50 percent of whites, and 47 percent of Indians. There were no significant differences according to age or gender,” Pondering Panda affirmed quoting the respondent as saying, “‘we don’t believe much of what you say, but we don’t want you banned’ In terms of persuasiveness of advertising, 32 percent of respondents reportedly claimed to buy things quite often as a result of seeing ads. 55 percent said that they seldom bought anything as a result of advertising, while 13 per cent of respondents claimed that advertising had no affect whatsoever on their buying habits. The survey also found that, given a choice, “SA youth would rather watch TV with ads than having advertising banned. 56 percent said they liked ads, and would keep them as part of their television experience, given a choice. In contrast, 35 percent said they would eliminate ads entirely from television, if they were able to. Young blacks were significantly more likely than other race groups to want to keep ads on TV. 69 percent of blacks said they would prefer to retain ads on television, compared to 50 per cent of coloureds, 31perent of Indians and 28 per cent of whites. “Too many campaigns that are poorly branded”, the respondent told Pondering Panda. The co-founder of Pondering Panda Butch Rice, said: “Most young South Africans are clearly receptive to television advertising. However, their lack of trust in the honesty of advertising is a challenge to marketers - but it’s not the only one. Our ad testing studies have shown that major brands face significant challenges when it comes to correct brand linkage among young people, when recalling specific ads on television. There are too many campaigns out there that are poorly branded, leading to a serious wastage of advertising budgets, in terms of their effectiveness. Viewers often recall the ad, but can’t say whom it was for. Worse, they also often think it was for a competitor.” Interviews were carried out on cell phones between the 11th and 12th of December, 2012, across South Africa. Results were weighted to be nationally representative. Pondering Panda, is a market research and consumer Insights Company that specialises in mobile research. It has completed over 2 million interviews in its first year of operation. Its commercial success is attributed to the fact that interviews are conducted via cell phones. People have their phones with them at all times, ensuring a high response rate. Because respondents feel relatively anonymous, their answers are more candid than they would be in traditional interviews conducted by a fieldworker. As all information is input digitally, a rapid assembly and analysis of the data can be completed, allowing for a fast turnaround. Miami Ad School competition opens F or the third consecutive year, CHINI Productions has announced the commencement of registration into the Nigerian creatives competition with an opportunity to study on scholarship at any Miami Ad School campus in the world. In a release, the Managing Director, CHINI Productions, Mr. Nnamdi Ndu said the scholarship is for a two-year study in Art Direction, Copywriting, Digital Design and Digital Photography and Video. He said further that the competition encourages everybody irrespective of their age. “There is no age limit or special academic qualifications required for par- ticipation in the competition,” he said adding that the creative competition is meant for those who intend to work or are currently working as creatives person in the marketing communications industry. The competition is expected to produce top ten finalists who will be decided in Lagos and immediately qualify for half-tuition scholarship, while the top three finalists will be decided in Frankfurt at the Miami Ad School Europe and the overall winner, entitled to a full-tuition scholarship, will be decided in Miami, Florida by the President of the Miami Ad School. oya Milk, a brand from the stable of Promasidor Nigeria Limited has launched a new consumers’ promo tagged, ‘It’s What’s Inside That Matters.’ The new promo which will run from February to May 31t was unveiled at a press briefing in Lagos which was attended by many dignitaries including Loya Milk brand Ambassador, Don Jazzy. Speaking at the event, Commercial Director of Promasidor Nigeria, Mr Kachi Onubogu stated that the promo was a way of rewarding loyal consumers of the brand. “The Loya It’s What’s Inside That Matters promo has been designed to reward our loyal consumers who have brought us thus far. Today, we are unveiling another fantastic activity to reward and excite our consumers all over Nigeria as we give out millions of cash and 12 brand new cars over the space of four months from 1st February to 31st May,” he said. Explaining the promo mechanics, Onubogu said there will be no draws; all the prizes will be won instantly. “Our Lucky consumers have to look inside any Loya 400g or 900g promotional pack to find their coupon or stick- er with a unique code. It could be an instant cash prize of N1,000; N2,000; N10,000; or N20,000 which can be redeemed at any branch of Zenith Bank nationwide . It could also be the star prize of a brand new car. We will be giving out three brand new cars (Hyundai i10AT) every month to lucky consumers redeemable here in our office.” The Managing Director, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Chief Keith Richards said Loya Milk has risen to be Nigeria’s fastest growing brand. “Since its re-launch in 2010, Loya Milk has gained the hearts of its target audience and has risen to be Nigeria’s fastest growing brand. This has been made possible by the immense support we receive from our media and trade partners. For this, I extend our unreserved gratitude. Our story of success cannot be complete without mentioning our passionate and loyal consumers who have stayed with the Loya Milk Brand despite choices available to them. That is why in Promasidor Nigeria, we always find a creative way to reward our customers and consumers for their patronage and loyalty. ” It would be recalled that Don Jazzy whose real name is Michael Collins Ajereh was recently named the brand ambassador of Loya Milk. Guinness sponsors 10 youths to IIT ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI G uinness Nigeria Plc, the leading producer of beverage products recently reinforced its commitment to its host communities as it sponsored 10 youths to the Institute of Industrial Technology (I.I.T.). The programme, which is focused on technical training, was designed to bridge the gap that exists in the Nigerian educational system as well as to give the individuals the knowledge and skills that would help them to stand on their own feet and become responsible citizens of the nation. Speaking on behalf of Guinness Nigeria, Mr. Sesan Sobowale, Corporate Relations Director, represented by Mrs. Nkiruka Ogboruche, said Guinness Nigeria is always committed to supporting the dreams and aspirations of youths and assisting them in becoming useful members of society. “At Guinness Nigeria, we are always happy to be involved with worthy projects such as these that can add such tremendous value to the lives on Nigerians. This sort of support forms a core part of our community investment agenda and we will continue to support Nigeria and Nigerians through initiatives and activities that uplift them.” Speaking during the orientation programme for the new inductees, the Director of the Institute Mr. Olumide Akinjo said, “The purpose of this programme is to use technical and vocational training to close the gap in educational development and we are happy to have an able supporter such as Guinness Nigeria Plc that have supported some our students towards achieving their dreams”. Akinjo also stated that the programme which started thirteen years ago has been kept alive by socially responsible corporate citizens like Guinness Nigeria. The 10 individuals were carefully selected from states where Guinness factories are located and were chosen after a series of evaluation and screening sessions from a large number of applicants who put in for the scholarship. Students from Benin, Aba and Lagos state were eventually selected for the programme. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Brands & Marketing Thursday, February 7, 2013 AMPS rates TVC entertainment high ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI T he 2012 All Product and Media Survey (AMPS) has rated Television Continental Entertainment (TVCE) as one of the top three most watched TV stations in Lagos. The station was rated number two among the top seven most watched TV stations in Lagos recording a significant growth rate and controlling 13 per cent of the total TV viewers in Lagos, as against 6 per cent in 2011. While commenting on the survey, the Public Relations Manager of Continental Broadcasting Service Ltd, Mr. Celestine Umeibe, said that: “the progress made so far can only be attributed to professionalism. We have improved on the way we do things internally, we work more professionally and that has con- tributed to the improved quality programmes, increased our audience base and the rating of our TV station”. Some members of the public also confirmed that in recent times, the picture quality, signal coverage and the programmes on TVC E have improved tremendously. Consequently, the Deputy Director of Programmes, Morayo Afolabi – Brown stated that the organisation is investing heavily in content/programmes development and acquisition. Adding that as priority for the 24-hour entertainment TV station is to constantly improve on existing programmes and develop more exciting programmes to meet audience needs and drive more eyeballs to the station. Some notable and highly rated programmes/peak-period on TVC E includes Entertainment Splash, the Art Express, Event Dairy, This Morning; the Children cartoon belt, the Nollywood movies and recently introduced Boombox, a musical youth programme. Meanwhile, the station’s TVC news channel is set be launched by Continental Broadcasting Services as the continent’s first 24-hour panAfrican news channel. The TVC News channel which will begin transmission this month will look at the world through African eyes. The 24-hour pan-African News channel according to a statement is expected to position itself as channel that offers a fresh perspective on African and world events and will deliver to viewers the latest news 24 hours a day, telling the news as it is, with reporting that is as fearless as it is informative, and all with an African twist. L-R: Managing Director, Ideas House, Mr. Kehinde Salami; Chief Executive Officer, Ropeways, Capt. Dapo Olumide and Relationship Manager, Ropeways, Mr. Archie Duke, at the Ropeways Transport Limited Media Roundtable, held at Ikeja, Lagos recently. ad VA NT AG E icon IT IS A DELIGHT TO HAVE ENITAN ON-BOARD AND WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT HIS WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE WILL GREATLY IMPART ON OUR BRAND Denloye E nitan Denloye, Director, Brands and Communications, is a brand strategist with power to turn a fourthrated brand to big threat to leading brands. It was, however, not surprising when Chief Executive Officer, Steven Evans of Etisalat Nigeria and the board of the telecoms giant appointed him as Etisalat’s Brands and Communication Director on March 1, 2011 to drive the Etisalat brand into competition with market leaders in the telecom sector and to also articulate the strategic direction and implementation of the Etisalat brand in Nigeria. With an MBA from the prestigious Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Illinois, U.S.A, Denloye has garnered Lagos State government and its information ow T he recent restriction order placed on government officials from speaking on key government issues has generated huge criticism. The Lagos State government authorised the Information Ministry to be the only source of government information. This is in a bid to manage information effectively and reducing misconceptions about government programmes to the barest minimum. The basic issue is to focus on the merits of the government policy and not castigate the government as running a secret government. It is better to have sound and effective government information machinery than a haphazard information management. This has been a critical issue that has been overlooked by all tiers of government especially the Federal Government. There have been several instances where government officials spoke at variance on the same issue. A good case in point was when a presidential aide castigated the National Assembly for their uncooperative attitude towards the executive arm of government. Another top official who upbraided the aide publicly for delivering a message he was not authorized to deliver. The truth is that information management is still not properly handled effectively in Nigeria and it has remained a mirage. The need to improve information management practices should be a key focus for organizations in both public and private sectors. Information management is driven by several factors and the need to improve the efficiency of information is major task that should be accomplished. The stance of Lagos State government is intended to centralise information management to reduce dissonances. The government realises that information management is not an easy task Brand X-Ray with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org hence the need to integrate the huge government business in a structured manner. It has become pertinent for government to review its information machinery for optimum performance. The current approach to information management is not the best as a lot needs to be done to retool and reposition it to achieve desired objectives. The process and practices that underpin the creation and use of information should also be given utmost priority. It is appropriate for the Lagos State government to adopt best practices for its information management. This as- 39 sists the government to a large extent to operate cohesive and well structured information machinery. This removes the issue of improper and uncoordinated approach that generates negative publicity for the government. The people, process and content are fundamental ingredients of information management. Each of these key elements should be focused on for desired objectives to be achieved. The government should have been confronted with several information management challenges before its recent decision. extensive experience at home and abroad in Sales, Brand Management, Marketing Communications and Management Consultancy, having worked at Procter & Gamble, the Coca-Cola Company, McKinsey & Co, and British American Tobacco (BAT), South Africa. This, perhaps made Evans said that as a major player in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, Etisalat is delighted to have Denloye bring his wealth of experience on-board the Etisalat team even as it pursues its resolve to provide excellent services to its ever-growing subscribers. “It is a delight to have Enitan on-board and we are confident that his wealth of experience will greatly impart on our brand promise of providing excellent service delivery to our customers.” This could have arisen from lack of strategic direction, improper coordination and inability to integrate the entire components of the information machinery. Methinks the restriction on information flow will enable the government manage the complex nature of information evolving out of myriad of issues in governance. It also helps government to deliver a seamless communication flow to the citizenry. Information dissemination achieve stipulated objectives when it is planned in a dynamic and vibrant manner. Though several issues were raised against the restriction order on information flow, they should not in any way portray the government as secretive but the merit outweighs the demerits. The Lagos State government can further domesticate the freedom of information Act to enable citizens have access to key information. Having said all these, it is essential for government information machinery to be sound, strategic and cohesive in all it ramifications. 40 Global Business Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Bank risk tumbling as liquidity rule loosened T Bank of America BofA to pay Fannie Mae $3.6bn in mortgage deal B ank of America Corporation, the second- biggest United States lender by assets, agreed to pay Fannie Mae $3.6 billion to resolve homeloan repurchase claims. The lender will also pay $6.75 billion to repurchase residential mortgages sold to Fannie Mae, Charlotte, North Carolinabased Bank of America said yesterday in a statement. The deal will substantially resolve outstanding claims for compensatory fees between the two companies, according to the statement. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other buyers of mortgages have demanded compensation for loans created by Countrywide Financial Corporation, which Bank of America acquired in 2008, claiming the loans were based on flawed data about the properties and borrowers. Losses from Countrywide, the largest US mortgage lender as recently as 2007 before billions of dollars in soured loans prompted its sale to Bank of America, have continued to plague the lender, leading to more than $40 billion in costs. “These agreements are a significant step in resolving our remaining legacy mortgage issues, further streamlining and simplifying the company and reducing expenses over time,” Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said in the statement. The agreement covers $300 billion in outstanding principal on loans sold to Fannie Mae between 2000 and 2008. The lender also agreed to sell servicing rights on $306 billion in home loans in separate deals. Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Incorporation said in a separate statement that it signed an agreement to acquire $215 billion in residential mortgage servicing rights from Bank of America for about $1.3 billion. Global central bank chiefs gave lenders four more years to meet international liquidity requirements and watered down the measures in a bid to stave off another credit crunch. Banks won the delay to fully meet the so-called liquidity coverage ratio, or LCR, following a deal struck by regulatory chiefs meeting yesterday in Basel, Switzerland. They’ll be able to pick from a longer list of approved assets including equities and securitized mortgage debt as they seek to build up buffers of liquidity for use in a financial crisis. “This was a compromise between competing views from around the world,” Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said at a briefing following yesterday’s meeting. King chairs the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision, or GHOS, which decides on global bank rules. “For the first time in regulatory history we have a truly global minimum standard for bank liquidity.” he cost of protecting bank bonds from default has fallen to the lowest level in as much as 20 months, pushed down at the same time regulators are loosening reserve rules and measures aimed at staving off another credit seizure. Credit-default swaps tied to six U.S. lenders from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) to Wells Fargo & Co. have plummeted to an average 110.2 basis points through yesterday from as high as 360 basis points in November 2011, when concern mounted that Europe’s fiscal woes would spread to a contagion. The gap in relative yields between $2.2 trillion of bank bonds and debt of industrial companies is at the narrowest since December 2008, Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data show. Credit-default swaps tied to six U.S. lenders from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to Wells Fargo & Co. have plummeted to an average 110.2 basis points through yesterday from as high as 360 basis points in November 2011, when concern mounted that Europe’s fiscal woes would spread to a contagion. Obama Tokyo shares close 0.86% lower T okyo shares closed 0.86% lower Tuesday, owing to a strengthening yen and profit taking, and following losses on Wall Street and in Europe. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index shed 90.95 points to 10,508.06, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares was off 1.04%, or 9.18 points, at 871.88. The Nikkei jumped 2.82% Friday, the first trading day of 2013, after ending last year at its highest level since the 2011 Hiroshi Komiyama quake-tsunami disasters. “Players who had bought through Christmas have taken some more cash off the table pro-actively as the yen’s slide has slowed and U.S. earnings reporting season is about to start,” an equity trading director at a foreign brokerage told Dow Jones Newswires. SMBC Nikko Securities’ general manager of equities, Hiroichi Nishi, said: “The market remains overheated after running up so much over the past several weeks, making it vulnerable to more selling.” But the yen’s relative weakness may prevent the market from plunging, Nishi told Dow Jones Newswires. “Currency levels remain somewhat supportive… so this should hold any sharp sell-offs in check.” A weaker yen helps Japan’s many exporters by making their products cheaper abroad. The dollar slipped to 87.35 yen in Tokyo trade from 87.89 yen in New York late Monday, while the euro bought 114.60 yen, from 115.09 yen. The European single currency bought $1.3118 against $1.3115 ahead of a closely watched European Central Bank meeting later this week. AIG, may sue America E Maurice Greenberg ven as it runs ads thanking America for a $182 billion bailout, insurer AIG might join a lawsuit claiming that shareholders were unfairly hurt by the terms of the federal rescue that kept it out of bankruptcy four years ago. The suit was brought in 2011 by shareholders led by former AIG CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg. It claims that the high interest rates and 92% equity stake that AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) was forced to give to the federal government in return for the bailout was unfair to shareholders. According to a court statement by an AIG attorney in the case, the company’s board will hear a presentation Wednesday from the attorneys for the suing shareholders. The board will also hear from attorneys for the Treasury Department and New York Federal Reserve, which together pumped the money into the insurance firm to keep it alive. A federal judge has already ruled against the suit, saying that the federal government was the “one and only rescuer that stood between it and imminent bankruptcy.” A bankruptcy would have left shareholders with close to nothing. But the shareholders are appealing that court loss and want AIG to join the case. Henry Hu, a former regulator who is now a law professor at the University of Texas, said that the board had little choice but to consider joining the suit. “It’s part of their fiduciary duty to look carefully at the benefits and costs of proceeding with the case,” he said. But he said there are other factors that could keep AIG from joining the suit, even though Treasury sold its remaining stake in the firm last month. “To join the suit would be completely contrary to the ‘Thank you’ campaign they’re running,” he said. “And the board has to take into account not only the image with the general public, but also this vital relationship with federal regulators. I don’t mean the government will retaliate if they join, but you do have an interest in maintaining a good relationship with the regulators.” National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Thursday, February 7, 2013 41 42 Capital Market National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Thursday, February 7, 2013 Index rises 1.2% as Fidson leads 55 gainers JOHNSON OKANLAWON T he benchmark index of equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange has assumed an upward trend since the beginning of the year 2013, as investors continue to take increasing positions in many companies. Specifically, out of the total 25 trading days this year, the bourse recorded its 20th gain yesterday with the index notching 1.24 per cent, putting year-to-date to 19.2 per cent. The trading activities were dominated by the banking stocks as they controlled 50.6 per cent and 58.6 per cent of the total volume and value of transactions respectively. “Our outlook for the remaining trading days of the week remains on the upside in line with our earlier projection,” analysts at Meristem Securities Limited, an investment firm, said in a note told investors yesterday. Another research and investment firm, DLM Limited, said, “We believe it is a pour-in from domestic interest. Our estimates on fundamental drivers of stock returns confirm a tilt from depressed valuations towards preferences for revenue, earnings and dividend announcements and yields.” The All-Share Index rose by 1.20 per cent to close at 33,460.14 points, compared to the increase of 1.16 per cent recorded the preced- ing day to close at 33,064.37 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N126.6bn to close at N10.7trn, higher than the rise of N121.4bn recorded the preceding day to close at N10.6trn. Fidson Healthcare Plc led the gainers’ table with 14 kobo or 10 per cent to close at N1.54 per share, followed by Ashaka Cement Plc with N2.21 or 9.98 per cent to close at N24.35 per share. Wema Bank Plc gained 11 kobo or 9.91 per cent to close at N1.22 per share, while AIICO Insurance Plc rose by 10 kobo or 9.90 per cent to close at N1.11 per share. Transcorp Plc increased by 17 kobo or 9.88 per cent to close at N1.89 per share. On the flip side, Eterna Oil Plc dropped by 22 kobo or five per cent to close at N4.18 per share, while Premier Breweries Plc dipped by four kobo or 4.71 per cent to close at 81 kobo per share. University Press Limited lost 22 kobo or 4.61 per cent to close at N4.55 per share, while John Holt Plc shed seven kobo or 4.55 per cent to close at N1.47 per share. Presco Plc declined by 99 kobo or 3.64 per cent to close at N26.21 per share. Transaction volume in equities dropped by 31.1 per cent, as a total of 944.10 million shares worth N6.52bn were exchanged in 8,485 deals, compared to 720.04 million shares valued at N6.55bn traded in 8,396 deals the preceding day. T he Federal Government in order to boost the economy has said that all commercial aircraft and aircraft spare parts imported for use in the country shall attract import duty rate of zero per cent and import Value Added Tax(VAT) from January 1, this year. Also, machinery and spare parts imported for the establishment of local sugar manufacturing industries shall attract zero per cent import duty. The notice entitled, ``2013 Fiscal Policy Measures’’, listed other presidential approvals on new import duty rates for sugar, rice, aircraft, solid minerals, polymers of polyethylene and polypropylene. The notice posted at the Central Bank of Nigeria website yesterday, said that sugar cane to sugar value chain investors shall enjoy a five-year tax holiday. According to the CBN’s Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Mr. W.D. Gotring, explained that raw sugar shall attract an import duty rate of 10 per cent plus levy of 50 per cent, while refined sugar shall attract an import duty rate of 20 per cent plus a levy of 60 per cent. Husked brown rice, semi-milled or wholly millwed rice, whether or not polished or glazed shall attract an import duty rate of 10 per cent plus a levy of 100 per cent. A final levy increase of 100 per cent for rice import came into effect on Dec. 31, 2012 “All machinery and equipment imported for the development of the solid minerals sector shall attract an import duty rate of zero per cent and zero per cent import VAT,” the notice read in part. It added that import duty rate on Completely Knocked Down (KDK) components for mass transit buses of at least 40-seater capacity have been reduced from five per cent to zero per cent to encourage T 2018, were sold with a 10.2 per cent coupon, he said. Nigeria’s bond yields have dropped to record lows as JPMorgan Chase and Company, the world’s biggest underwriter of emerging-market debt, added the securities to its benchmark GBI- EM index in October. Barclays Plc will add Nigerian debt to its localcurrency government bond index next month. “Nigeria has seen a lot of interest,” Stuart Culverhouse, chief economist at London-based brokerage Exotix Limited, said. According to him, a lot of investors can’t do local currency and because it’s an international issuer it would reduce some investor concerns about accessing the local market directly and gives them another way of getting exposure. The bond will pave the way for international issuers to sell in Nigerian currency, adding, “The market is feeling hot because it’s being included in the JPMorgan and Barclays indexes.” Yields on Nigerian government bonds maturing January 2022 have fallen 97 basis points, or 0.97 per cent, this year to 11.01 per cent, according to Tuesday’s data compiled on the 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00 5 -Fe b -1 3 6 -Fe b -1 3 Source: Afrinvest Market indicators Market capitalisation 33.5 trillion the production of mass transit vehicles in Nigeria. Before the removal, five per cent import duty rate was charged on CKD for mass transit buses. “Polymers of polyethylene and polypropylene shall attract an import duty rate of five per cent and a levy to encourage import substitution,” the notice said. It added that amorphous polyethylene terephthalate chips which is a raw material shall attract an import duty rate of zero per cent and zero per cent import VAT and should be re-classified by the Nigerian Custom Service to differentiate it from PET resin. IFC raises Nigerian bond sale to N12bn he International Finance Corporation raised the size of its debut Nigerian local-currency bond sale to N12bn ($76.3m) after investors sought more than twice the amount initially offered amid pent-up demand for debt of Africa’s biggest oil producer. The World Bank unit planned to issue N8bn and increased the amount after orders came in at N20bn, Jingdong Hua, vice-president and treasurer at the IFC, said on Tuesday. The “Naija” bonds, which will be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and mature in February NIBOR QUOTES 05 FEBRUARY 2013 & 06 FEBRUARY 2013 20.00 All-Share Index 10,705.5 points FG removes duty on aircraft, others JOHNSON OKANLAWON Source: NSE Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY OPENING CLOSING CHANGE % CHANGE FIDSON 1.40 1.54 0.14 10.00 ASHAKACEM 22.14 24.35 2.21 9.98 WEMABANK 1.11 1.22 0.11 9.91 AIICO 1.01 1.11 0.10 9.90 TRANSCORP 1.72 1.89 0.17 9.88 ROYALEX 0.71 0.78 0.07 9.86 PRESTIGE 0.85 0.93 0.08 9.41 UNITYBNK 0.79 0.86 0.07 8.86 UBN 9.57 10.40 0.83 8.67 REDSTAREX 3.55 3.83 0.28 7.89 LOSERS COMPANY OPENING CHANGE % CHANGE ETERNA 4.40 CLOSING 4.18 0.22 -5.00 PREMBREW 0.85 0.81 0.04 -4.71 UPL 4.77 4.55 0.22 -4.61 JOHNHOLT 1.54 1.47 0.07 -4.55 PRESCO 27.20 26.21 0.99 -3.64 MCNICHOLS 0.77 0.75 0.02 -2.60 UBA 7.59 7.50 0.09 -1.19 IKEJAHOTEL 1.06 1.05 0.01 -0.94 LIVESTOCK 2.37 2.35 0.02 -0.84 STERLNBANK 2.95 2.93 0.02 -0.68 Primary Market Auction Financial Markets Dealers Association website. The extra yield investors receive for holding Nigerian dollar bonds maturing in January 2021 rather than similar-maturity South African dollar debt has narrowed 60 basis points this year to 48. The Central Bank of Nigeria led by Governor Lamido Sanusi left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record-high 12 per cent for an eighth consecutive meeting on January 21. While inflation eased to 12 per cent in December, it’s still above the bank’s goal of below 10 per cent. TENOR AMOUNT (N’mn) RATE (%) DATE 73-Days 112,862.21 13.46 7-Feb-13 344-Days 16,905.50 15.55 7-Feb-13 364 -Days 48,338.08 15.55 7-Feb-13 Open Market Operations TENOR AMOUNT (N’mn) RATE (%) DATE 91-Days 39,057.21 12.75 7-Feb-13 182-Days 50,000.00 15.30 7-Feb-13 Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED MARKET DEMAND AMOUNT SOLD DATE $120m N/A $112m 6-Feb-13 $150m N/A $150m 4-Feb-13 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Capital Market Thursday, February 7, 2013 43 Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at February 6, 2013 1st Tier Securities Sector Company name 1st Tier Securities No Of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares(N) Sector Company name No Of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares(N) 44 Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Stakeholders urge children's participation in sports LEONARD OKACHIE P articipation in sports is said to be an integral part of child development and teaches youth to lead active, healthy lives while developing many of the fundamental skills necessary for a child to succeed. The benefits reach beyond the impact on physical well-being and the value of the educational benefits cannot be under-estimated. It is on this note that the staff and students of Atlantic Hall, a coeducational secondary school in Poka, Epe, Lagos invited eminent personalities, parents and students from various schools to the 19th edition of her annual inter-house sports competition held at the school’s playground last weekend. The programme which started by 10.30am was attended by dignitaries including the Pricincipal/CEO of Atlantic Hall, Mr. Andrew Jedras; Chairman, Atlantic Hall Education Trust Committee (A.H.E.T.C), Mrs.O. Towry-Coker; General Manager, Cards &E-Channels Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Mr. Tunde Kuponiyi; Chairman, Tricontinent Group, Chief Olabinatan Famutimi; former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammed Uwais and wife, Jimi Agbaje among numerous others. Winners of the inter-house sports jubilating Chariman A.H.E.T.C, Mrs. Towry-Coker in her address of welcome noted that sports has come to be valued not just for its entertainment and improvement of physical well-being, but for the exposure it gives and the enormous wealth it brings. She implored parents to encourage why they always come first in any world their children to take active part in country race.. So I am imploring all the sporting activities, stressing that their parents to emulate Atlantic Hall so that concern for growth and development the children will be strong and healthy. should not be limited to academics only. They say “ Charity begins from home.”Let Mrs. Towry-Coker explained that the us start from the scratch so that we shall school has continually committed huge be able to know our talented children.” resources on sporting facilities developThe Special Guest of Honour, Chief ment in the school, adding, “ The sports Famutimi in his address emphasised complex comprising a swimming pool, the importance of sports in the developtwo basketball courts, spectator’s pavilment of the youth, but regretted that it ion, change-rooms, flood light, perimeter has receded from what it used to be in fence and landscape, was executed at a Nigerian schools. total cost of about 100million. It was reCiting Linel Messi, Tiger Woods, Uscently commissioned.” ain Bolt as some of the world renowned The Royal Father of the Day, His Roy- sports personalities, he pointed that al Majesty, Oba Mufutau Muhammed sports has become a big business worldGbadamosi, Olafa of Offa, who was rep- wide and wondered how many profesresented by High Chief Oyewale Bukoye sions that are as lucrative as sports. (Essa of Offa), commended the school f It was a colourful event to behold as or investing so much in the development the houses: Emerald, Topaz, Garnet and of the youth through sports . Sapphire thrilled the audience with a He said: “The inter-house sport is very spectacular performance during the interesting and lucrative. It gives us an in- march past. The Boy Scouts, Girl Guides sight so that if we continue to do like this it and the Red Cross clubs of the school will not be problem in future for Nigerians were equally amazing in their parade. to get a good selected athletes to represent Interestingly, the event started with the country. I want all schools in Nigeria to the junior boys/girls taking on the 100m emulate Atlantic Hall so that Nigeria will race as the announcer and sports analyst be greater. Since sport is the cohesive force Seun Ajidagba entertained everyone with among tribes, nations and states, some- his rib-cracking jokes.Events include the thing like this should be encouraged. 100m sprint, long jump and other track “I want the Nigerian parents to learn and field events for both the junior and from the Kenyans. At the age of 6 or 8, the senior students of the school. Kenyans will be running every day, that is It was a festival of talents as other The school cheerleaders performing boys and girls from about 40 invited schools who participated in the invitational relay also proved their mettle in the field of sports. For instance, Queens College, Yaba came first in the girls’ category while Lifeforte Int. High School, Ibadan took the second position. However, it was a comic scene when the parents and teachers were called out for the race. That gave the students the opportunity to see how their parents could fare in sports. It excitement, fun and laughter galore as some of the parents fell while racing to the finishing line. Eventually, the atmosphere was filled with anxiety as the announcer set to call the result of the four houses. Topaz which was the defending champion proved that its feat in the previous edition was no fluke as it emerged the overall winner of the competition with 26 gold, 20 silver and 16 bronze. Emerald came second with 19 gold, 21 silver and 22 bronze while Sapphire was third with 15 gold, eight silver and 13 bronze. Garnet occupied the 4th position with three gold, 14 silver and 12 bronze. Shortly after the event, the Principal, Mr. Jedras told Young &Next that this year’s event was probably the biggest in 19 years that the competition, stressing,“ Sports is critical in developing the whole person. Here in Atlantic Hall we have got an outstanding track record for academics but we also recognise that development of a young person is not simply about academics; it’s about developing the whole person. Sports can absolutely help in the development of Nigerian youth.” Chairman, Parent Teacher Association, Mrs. Maurine Apofure said she was really impressed by the performance of both the students and the visiting schools. “I think parents should encourage their children to engage more in sports. Sports doesn’t only build the body, it also builds the mind. If you look at the schools abroad and even the time I was in school, the students who do well academically are usually the same children who are doing well in sports. Nigerian youth should stop watching TV, stop playing video game and get on the sports field,” she said. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Young & Next Generation Thursday, February 7, 2013 45 Minister harps on sports, culture in development TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA T he Minister of Youth Development, Inuwa Abdul-Kadir, has urged governments and other stakeholders in the Nigerian project to continue to commit adequate resources and efforts towards the development of sports and culture as a desirable towards achieving the goals of the current national re-building agenda. Giving the advice at Opening Ceremony of the 2012 NYSC Sports/Cultural Festival finals in Abuja recently, the Minister while commending the NYSC management for successfully holding the event, pointed out that sports remained for rallying the youth population in the country towards contributing their own quota to national development that must be explored to the fullest. Abdul-Kadir, who took a cursory look into the nation’s history and the impact of the NYSC scheme on bonds of unity, explained that the achievements recorded in the last 40 years of the scheme’s ex- istence have served greatly in fostering cultural diffusion, social cohesion and other enduring legacies that border on unity and faith in Nigeria in line with its founding ideals and objectives. The Minister said: “It is pertinent to emphasize that the theme of this festival; ‘Sports and Culture: Tools for National Integration and Development’ justifiably underscores the crucial role that sports and culture can play in the task of mobilizing the citizenry as the most potent force for national integration and development. “It is in upholding this lofty ideal that the present administration under the dynamic leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan has been committing huge resources since 2011 for the development of the youth, sports and culture sectors. Government at all levels must key into this strategy as a fulcrum for exploiting the diverse talents of our teeming youth as we battle with the twin challenges of unemployment and criminality. “I wish to state that though Government is not unaware of the enormous challenges confronting the youth, but the vehicles of sports and culture remain complementary strategies to other functional economic based programmes and interventions meant to create jobs, reduce poverty which will ultimately reduce the socio-economic pressure on the nation’s army of unemployed young men and women”, he added. Citing the ‘YouWin’ Entrepreneurial Scheme, the SURE-P initiative, Youths in Agriculture programme, MDG based interventions and other different skill acquisition training projects in other sectors as amongst the few of the mechanisms put in place by the Federal Government to reduce youth unemployment, the Abdul-Kadir called on all the youth to keep faith with on-going Government’s efforts at addressing current challenges. According to him, government expects the youths to show strong positive character and leadership attributes as future leaders to partner with Governments at all levels for the benefits to reach all youths across the country, adding that corps members, as participants in the Partnership with youth ‘ll foster growth –President’s aide JOEL AJAYI ABUJA T he Senior Special Assistant to the President on Students and Youth Matters, Comrade Jude Imagwe, has disclosed that strong interaction between the government and the youth in the country remained one of the key strategies that will promote understanding in the task of nation building, entrenching and sustaining democracy. Comrade Jude made the submission at a recent meeting with State Chairmen of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) in Abuja. He said that the forum will avail ample opportunity to x-ray the critical issues, concerns, challenges and expectations with way forward in the leadership of the youth in general. The President’s aide, who revealed that Nigeria belongs to all citizens and that there is no other country to go, pointed out that the people at the helm of affairs should try as much as they can to cater for the young people that give them the mandate. According to him, the aspiration of the present administration was to redirect and re-focus Nigerian youth adding that the past leaders of this country have taken Nigerian’s youth not to be vibrant, not to be useful, that brought about the persistent insecurity in the country. "Mr President appreciates and recognizes the youth as critical assets that must be harnessed and positively channelled towards national development. "And he has demonstrated this believe by institutionalizing the Transformation Agenda which is aimed at building a glorious future for the Nigerian youth," Jude explained. In his own remarks the Chairman of the forum of National Youth Council of Nigeria, (NYCN), Comrade Ibukunoluwa Oluwole, noted that since the establishment of the Youth Council in 1964, it has been one of its core objectives to interpret and educate the youth about government policies and programme. NYSC members on parade Educationist advocates 2-year service for NYSC A n educationist, Dr. Toyin Akanbi, has advocated a twoyear compulsory service for members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Akanbi, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Ilorin, suggested that rather than scrapping the scheme, the act establishing it should be reviewed. According to him, the Federal Government should refocus the scheme towards solving some of the challenges facing the nation like insecurity and unemployment. He said that the first year should be for military exercise, while the second year should be an interaction with the people and service to the community through primary assignment. He said the NYSC scheme had lost focus of its purpose, adding that there was the need for a proper restructuring to meet up with the need of the nation. Akanbi, however, added that in the alternative, after the one year national service, graduates could also be engaged in another one year service at their various states. According to him, the years will be a kind of planning period for the young graduates to look into how they will be able to stabilise themselves. “The NYSC is meant for bringing in unity among the youth in the country. But, if you have to look into the thing sociologically, how have we been able to achieve such unity.? “You have these people causing restlessness here and there. Parents are now going to the NYSC secretariat and begging not to allow their children to go into certain areas. “People are afraid of the insecurity in the country. So, this is the problem. But left to me, I will suggest restructuring rather than an outright scrapping." He said that the review he proffered was practised in the old socialist countries of the world. “The restructuring I look at: one, going back to the state government after the one year national service or in the alternative, a two-year of national service instead of one,” he suggested. grand finale must demonstrate candour, resilience and good spirit of sportsmanship and uphold the rules and exhibit good conducts in line with the objectives of the festival. The Minister therefore appealed to all established sports associations, cultural groups and performing Arts societies to partner with NYSC in nurturing the talents which will be discovered at the festival to identify future potential stars that would do the nation proud in all areas of sports and games in the near future. SCIENCE FOR KIDS Why is rice white? R ice is one of the most popular staple food in the world especially in Asian countries.Rice may be brown or white. When we harvest grains, there are still different processes involved before we cook the rice. If there is still more processes to undergo, the brown rice would become white. How? Here is the explanation. Before we eat the rice, it undergoes a lot of processes such as planting, harvesting, drying, hulling, milling and polishing, enriching. Rice becomes white because of special processes and additional steps. These additional processes are milling and polishing. The inner husk of the grain (which is brown) is removed, and polished with talc or glucose. This is the reason why the rice becomes shiny white and rich in carbohydrates. Rice is milled to make the rice look more appealing and to increase its storage life. White because of the processes involved, white rice takes longer to spoil than brown rice. The milling and polishing extend the storage life of the grain. However, these processes also remove important nutrient of the rice such Vitamin E, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, and other nutrient. White rice has also less fibre compared to brown rice that’s why health-conscious people prefer to eat brown rice than white rice. Because of the lesser nutrients of white rice, there is now what we call fortified white rice where important nutrients that were stripped away during the process are added to the rice, thus giving a healthier nutrient content to what we eat. This is now the process of enriching. The rice becomes converted or fortified because the nutrients are restored. Usually, what we now buy in the market is fortified white rice. With the emergence of technology, there are still more researches done to improve the rice that we eat. For now, we will settle to the idea that white rice is still an important part of our diet. Source: knowswhy.com Bowls of white rice 46 Media Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Women have contributed to media growth in Nigeria –Okoro Clara Chinwe Okoro is the Executive Producer of Brandworld Media, the first brand-focused television show, which has been running for a decade on two local stations. She is also the Publisher of ICE, a youth and brands magazine. In this interview with LEONARD OKACHIE, she speaks on her activities and lots more: How would you describe your television programme so far? It has been very challenging; herculean task in the Nigerian environment, but it has not been a different story from every other person who has worked in the same environment of the market. The most important thing was that we were very focused on the core area that we wanted to do, which was branding. It is a platform that we have used to re-engineer the way things are done in the advertising sector. It’s a lot broader than people thought. So, while we still have the template of branding, people now recognise that aside of advertising, marketing has a lot more to do with branding. It was a very expansive thing. We have been doing it over nine years and we have not run out of ideas. That tells you that in a country like ours, branding has so much to achieve. operating in that market in search for extreme success will know how to do it. Youth don’t have the responsibilities that their parents or older people have in terms of spending. So they use their money to buy anything at any time without thinking of the consequences. What happens in that market sector is very interesting and we needed to bring forth a platform which was where I came in, to begin to document how the youth market classify, very vibrant, huge and where you have billions being spent continually. We just felt their story needed to be told and that was what gave rise to ICE, which stands for Intelligence, Culture, Evolution. Has it met your target? It took off very well. It took off in a way that a lot of our surprises were justified because for a magazine to be accepted immediately within a year or two of its existence meant that there was actually a How have you been able to sustain it? I think the most element business is: Is there a value? If there is a value, people will be willing to make sure they continue that business with you. We offer our clients the opportunity to tell their stories beyond their 60 seconds commercial. So, there was need for my platform to continue for them to continue telling their story. So, they will be willing to make sure that your programme is consistent so that they have that opportunity to continually tell their story. And that is probably because of the relevance of what my platform offers, that why we have been able even financially, to cope. How are you sustaining the magazine in the face of enormous challenges? Unfortunately, that is the challenge in an environment like this. We still haven’t gotten it right, but where we know we rarely give people the opportunity to have relationship with ICE is that we make sure that it is in the hands of people. So, when we focus more on people in trying to get adverts to make sure that we continue printing the magazine. If we were to rely on sales, it could be very challenging thing. People tend to buy more of newspapers than magazines, but young people prefer magazines. They don’t read newspapers most of the time. They prefer magazine and since we are serving their market and we need the strategy that will work for them, we make sure that we reach with the magazine every place they are gathered, whether paid for or not, we just want it in their hands so that we get the benefit. What is your impression of women in the Nigerian media? Well it’s been a challenging one for them, but it very is apparent that they have contributed quite a lot to the growth of the media in Nigeria. You have the likes of Comfort Obi at Source magazine, TV presenters and TV newscasters etc. Women have been part and parcel of media in Nigeria for a long time and the most innovative aspect of it is because women are empathic than men, they tend to use their position in the media to engender change. For instance, like Brandworld Media, I wanted values to my country, my economy, people, to empower them. . Women think in those far reaching terms other than a man who just thinks of the pecuniary gains he wants to get. We have used our position to get far-reaching decision making arenas and engender change with our position in the media. Does branding apply only to products? No, it does not. We have what is called personality branding. An individual can decide to mould a persona of his or herself and different his or herself from the public. And in doing this, they are able to create that personality that looks larger than life. And in doing that, people now differentiate that individual because of those core personality traits. Sometimes, they help them cross over hurdles that a lot of people might not be able to cross simply because they branded themselves. People know what they stand for and what they do not. A very good example is Prof. Wole Soyinka- with his white hair, his intelligence, his cerebral prowess, people know that that is a branded personality anywhere. What is the relationship between media and branding? There is a strong relationship between the media and branding because without the media platform, you can’t tell your story. The brands need media just like human beings need oxygen to breathe. It is the media that will expand, explode, recreate and renovate your brand. It can be the bridge between you and the consumers, between the brand and the consumers. Why did you go into publishing? I started publishing ICE magazine because I felt the biggest market globally was the youth market and anybody who has a brand need for it. A lot of young people had ideas, they had brands they wanted to build, they needed to tell their stories and we brought a platform to them to say that in the whole of Middle East and Africa, we are going to represent a voice for you to say “We with our energy and our focus we want to be the one to turn around the continent of Africa as youth brand.”And that was why we say where youth and brand connect with ICE. Okoro Describe the state of media in Nigeria. It is not very encouraging what we use the media to do today. In the past, it was a lot more enigmatic; it was a lot more respectable, but now you see what a lot of journalists do. They just set up a platform as political tool, as areas here they can victimise their ‘imaginary enemy’ and I think it is a very deceptive way of looking at life. The media is supposed to be larger than life. The media is supposed to make a report that would engender change in the society because they are the mouthpiece of millions of timing public who cannot read or who do not have the opportunity to read. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net NUJ expresses worry on closure of Newsday IGBAWASE UKUMBA N orth Central Zonal Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ has expressed concern over the continued closure of Nigerian Newsday newspaper owned by the Nasarawa State government, calling on Governor Tanko Al-Makura to, as a matter of urgency, release government’s findings on the print medium to enable it recommence publication. Zonal Secretary of the Union, Chief Wilson made the call in Lafia, the state capital, when speaking with journalists, Garba regretting that the newspaper which paraded intelligent journalists during its days thereby making it a source of pride for the entire North Central geo-political zone of the country, has remained closed for several months. “The Union is worried by this development because it has denied the people of the state, particularly the people of Nasarawa State, access to information and therefore we cannot fold our arms and watch this promising newspaper in the zone die an unnatural death,” he maintained. Chief Bako condemned the negative attitudes of some management staff of the organisation, alleging that such actions have contributed to the present calamity the newspaper found itself and urged the state government to deal decisively with all those found wanting so as to serve as deterrent to others. The zonal secretary commended the state government for the prompt payment of salaries and other financial benefits to staff of the organisation, but however, expressed fears that the state government might lose the services of journalists in the organisation to other newspaper organisations in the country due to their long stay without work. It would be recalled that Governor Tanko Al-Makura had, early last year, ordered the closure of the state-owned newspaper over alleged mismanagement of the organisation. Minister wants media attention on youth-related issues T Media Thursday, February 7, 2013 he Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, has called on the mass media to devote more time to youth-oriented stories to spur development in the country. Abdulkadir made the call Tuesday in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mrs Oluremi Oyo. ``The youth sector is a very critical sector because of its population; there are about 80 million young people in this country. Whatever the media is doing, it should put the youth into consideration,’’ he said. The minister indicated the ministry’s interest to partner with NAN on youth development issues and information dissemination. He also commended the management of the agency for maintaining a highlevel of objectivity in its news reportage. ``I am highly delighted with what I saw and must commend the management of NAN for good leadership quality. Initially, I thought NAN was all about just news gathering, not knowing there are more to what the agency does. An institution is not about funding alone, but management, I am impressed by the degree of professionalism in NAN, this agency should be supported by all and sundry,’’ he said. Earlier, Oyo told the minister that NAN had offices in all the 36 states of the federation and five foreign offices in Abidjan, Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, London and New York. She said that the agency boasted of the highest number of journalists in any media organisation in Nigeria. She said that NAN also generated revenue through subscription of its products and services. The managing director said that the agency had a total of 47 radio stations on its clientele and said that no fewer than 250 stories were published daily. She said that NAN had different services such as SMS alert and other multimedia services. Abdulkadir Media Abroad 47 Fellowships ...Freelance journalists T NUJ general secretary, Michelle Stanistreet BBC's industrial action to be extended across corporation I ndustrial action, including possible strikes, is to be extended from BBC Scotland across the corporation nationally as the National Union of Journalists steps up its opposition to compulsory redundancies. BBC NUJ members in Scotland have been on a work to rule since Friday over nine proposed compulsory redundancies. Now a meeting of NUJ mothers and fathers of chapel has agreed to extend the work to rule across the BBC and to take strike action unless management redeploys staff threatened with compulsory redundancy under the corporation's Delivering Quality First cost savings programme. The NUJ said the action was also in response to proposed compulsory redundancies at BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat, Radio 5 Live, staff work on Big Screens, Asian Network and the World Service. Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: "Our members are being forced to escalate action against these compulsory redundancies because of the lack of movement from management to properly use the redeployment system – this lack of engagement is particularly entrenched in BBC Scotland where nine members face losing their job at the end of March. "If the BBC wants to resolve this dispute, they need to engage meaningfully with the NUJ and find opportunities for these talented experienced journalists at risk – rather than waste public money on needless compulsory redundancies." Paul Holleran, NUJ Scottish organiser, said: "A major concern among members in Scotland is the loss of specialist reporters and correspondents. This will result in a serious dumbing down of output. In the lead up to the independence referendum we need experts in education, business and politics – three areas where cuts are being made. Source: guardian.co.uk he University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs invites specialised freelancers to apply for one of 15 Fellowships in Global Journalism. The university is seeking top individuals with advanced knowledge of a specialty, who wish to cover that specialty as fulltime or part-time reporters for media around the world.Freelance journalists worldwide can apply. Fellows will spend September 2013 to April 2014 reporting on their respective beats as stringers for major media around the world, while being mentored by leading journalists. Participants will learn editorial disciplines and freelance tradecraft to become full-time specialty reporters. Curriculum topics include broadcast and mobile journalism, investigative journalism, global dynamics and new media platforms. Fellows will also participate in a one-month bootcamp that will aid in the transition from freelancing to full-time reporting. The application deadline is February 11. ...Religion reporting J ournalists who reside outside the United States and cover religion-related topics can apply for a fellowship. The International Reporting Project (IRP) will grant up to five reporting fellowships for international journalists. The fellowships will support nine-month-long religion reporting projects from April 1 to December 31. Journalists who reside outside the United States and cover religion-related topics can apply. Fellows can propose both long- and shortform projects in a variety of media, such as indepth stories that will appear in print, online, radio or television media, as well as blog posts, tweets, slideshows and video documentaries. A stipend of US$12,000 will be provided to each of the five international journalists selected for these reporting fellowships. Fellows may use part of their annual stipend to travel, but in general these fellowships are intended for fellows to report on religion from their country of residence in 2013. The application deadline is March 8. Religion reporting grants will be offered to journalists in the United States at a later time. ...Business journalism B usiness and economics journalists worldwide with at least four years of experience can apply for a fellowship in New York. The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism is accepting applications for its Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism, which aims to enhance journalists' understanding of business, economics and finance. Business and economics journalists worldwide with at least four years of experience can apply. Fellows will take courses at Columbia's schools of journalism, business, law and international affairs; participate in off-the-record seminars and dinner meetings with corporate executives, economists and academics; and attend briefings and field trips to New York-based media companies and financial institutions. Conducted during Columbia’s academic year from August through May, the fellowship accepts up to 10 fellows each year. Fellows receive free tuition plus a stipend to offset living expenses. For the 2014 academic year, a stipend of US$55,000 will be granted to each fellow. Housing is available in a Columbia-affiliated facility. All materials, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, must arrive by March 1. Source: ijnet 48 Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net 49 World News “President Mohammed Hosni” –PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT, MAHMOUD ABBAS MISTAKES EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT MOHAMMED MORSI’S NAME Hidden explosives found in Malian city PAUL ARHEWE, WITH AGENCY REPORTS Malian soldiers inspecting a stick of Nitram 5 explosive they found yesterday, after residents notified authorities of suspicious bags left by Mujao radicals when they fled Gao, northern Mali. are meant to take over the international effort to secure Mali and help its weak army keep the peace. The U.N. Security Council is scheduled to hold private consultations on Mali yesterday. The Security Council is likely to wait until the end of February to adopt a new resolution authorizing a U.N. peacekeeping force for Mali, a well-informed U.N. diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. France is expected to keep a rapid reaction force in Mali to back up the U.N. force, two U.N. diplomats said. The stash of NITRAM 5 explosives was hidden inside rice bags that were left in a com- munal trash area amid used tin cans of meat and empty plastic bottles. The Malian soldiers urged crowds of civilians who gathered nearby to stay away. Groups of Malian soldiers on foot were called out to several sites yesterday, including one building where they found grenades alongside a large suitcase and reading material in Arabic script about Shariah law. At another site, they called in a bomb team after finding what appeared to be a booby-trapped vehicle. Gao has been held by Frenchled forces since late January, and there have been concerns of a counterinsurgency by remnants of the Islamic radicals belonging to the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, or MUJAO. France’s defense minister said hundreds of Islamist fighters have been killed, speaking Tuesday night on France BFM TV. French troops also have suffered casualties, but only some light wounds, he said yesterday on Europe-1 radio. It is the first report of French casualties since a helicopter pilot was killed Jan. 11. Le Drian said French aircraft are continuing airstrikes every night on suspected militant arms depots and mine-making sites. On the ground, troops have found war materiel, weapons manuals and makeshift laboratories for constructing improvised explosive devices. Top Tunisian opposition leader murdered T housands of people took to Tunisia’s streets yesterday to protest the shooting to death of a leading opposition figure, amid fears Belaid giving a speech in 2010. Congo, M23 rebels sign preliminary agreement Representatives of the Congolese government and the M23 rebels have signed a preliminary agreement in which both parties accept responsibility for the failure of an earlier peace deal. Crispus Kiyonga, the Ugandan minister mediating the talks in Kampala, told reporters that the agreement Wednesday was a breakthrough. Kiyonga said the agreement was signed “in the spirit of reconciliation” and that each camp was aware of its contribution to the failure of the March 23, 2009 agreement between the Congolese government and CNDP, a precursor to M23. M23, which is believed to be backed by Rwanda, accuses the Congolese government of violating the agreement. M alian soldiers patrolling a city recently abandoned by Islamic insurgents uncovered a stash of industrial-strength explosives yesterday. They found grenades at another site and a possible booby-trapped vehicle, underscoring the risk of urban terrorstyle attacks. The discoveries came a day after one rocket fired by suspected militants landed in a dusty residential neighbourhood of Gao and French soldiers clashed with militants outside the town. The developments highlight the complications for the military intervention by France and the risks of a looming French troop drawdown. “It’s a real war ... when we go outside of the center of cities that have been taken, we meet residual jihadists,” France’s defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said yesterday on Europe-1 radio. French troops clashed Tuesday with Islamic extremists firing rocket launchers outside Gao, he said. French President Francois Hollande said France may start pulling out of this vast nation in northwest Africa at the end of March. Government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said in Paris yesterday that the withdrawal will depend on an increase in the deployment of African forces, which WORLD BULLETIN that radicals are threatening to derail the country’s democratic transition. News reports say protesters jammed the main Habib Bour- PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES guiba boulevard in downtown Tunis, yelling “shame, shame” as they denounced the killing of leftist politician, Chokri Belaid. Other demonstrations are being staged in towns around Tunisia, in scenes reminiscent of the country’s largely peaceful revolution two years ago. One of the leaders of the opposition Popular Front, Belaid was shot dead outside his Tunis home just hours before. His killing has sparked shock and outrage - and fears that religious extremists are trying to hijack Tunisia’s transition to democracy. Speaking before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Tunisian President Moncef Mar- zouki said his country has many enemies who want the revolution to fail. He denounced the “odious assassination” of Belaid, who he described as an old friend. He said Tunisia would reject the message sent by what he called the “enemies of the revolution.” An array of politicians have similarly denounced Belaid’s death, including the ruling Islamist Ennahda Party. The party chief, Rached Ghannouchi, condemned the murder, saying the killers wanted a “bloodbath” in Tunisia. But some critics, including members of his family, are openly accusing Ennahda of being responsible for his death. Zimbabwe’s parliament considers constitutional reforms Zimbabwe’s parliament yesterday began discussing a new constitution that reduces some of the president’s powers, demands political impartiality from his long time loyalists in the police and military and paves the way for a peace and reconciliation commission to investigate a decade of human rights and electoral abuses. The 160-page draft, completed after three years of bickering between hardliners and reformists during often bitter and violent nationwide canvassing, will be voted on in a national referendum slated for April, ahead of elections to end a shaky coalition formed after the last disputed, violent polls in 2008. Regional mediators made a new constitution a key condition for fresh elections. Lawmakers will not be able to change the draft unless there is a last minute revolt against it in the legislature, Veritas, an independent legal monitoring group, said yesterday. US secret drone base in Saudi Arabia revealed The US Central Intelligence Agency has been operating a secret airbase for unmanned drones in Saudi Arabia for the past two years. The facility was established to hunt for members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen. A drone flown from there was used in September 2011 to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born cleric who was alleged to be AQAP’s external operations chief. US media have known of its existence since then, but have not reported it. Senior government officials had said they were concerned that disclosure would undermine operations against AQAP, as well as potentially damage counterterrorism collaboration with Saudi Arabia. 50 Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Community Mirror “Nigeria is one country and so there is no question of anybody asking about whether we need to stay together or apart.” PDP NATIONAL CHAIRMAN, DR. BAMANGA TUKUR Strange creature found inside sheep P RISCILL A D ENNIS MINNA T raders at the Livestock Market in Minna, the Niger State capital were recently shocked when a an object that looks like human foetus was found inside a sheep, that was slaughtered for sale at the public market. In the process of bringing out the entrails, the owner Mallam Alidu Maiyanka, discovered the human- like looking creature. It was learnt the sheep was bought by Mallam Alidu Mai- yanka from Kuta market. An eye witness, Mallam Gombo Abubakar, said when the sheep was bought, there was no indication that it was pregnant, hence the owner slaughtered it for sale. According to him, Alidu, only saw the human like creature af- ter slaughtering the sheep. When contacted, a veterinary surgeon and clinician with Niger State Ministry of Livestock and Fishery, Dr. Samuel Joseph, noted that such defects occur in animals which could be due to exposure to agro chemicals. He explained that exposure to such chemicals, could affect animals fetuses, even as he debunked insinuations that the strange looking creature is descended from the spiritual world , adding that scientifically, the root cause of the defect can be determined. LG plans to immunise 115,000 children A ZA MSUE KADUNA T A cross section of people waiting to receive the Federal Capital Territory MDGS financial assistance to the less-privileged at Gbaukuchi Village in Kuje Area Council, Abuja. NURTW to build toilets at motor parks FRANCIS SUBERU T he Lagos State council of the National Union of Road Transport Union Workers (NURTW) has started providing public toilets in all major motor parks, as part of activities to make traveling convenient for commuters. The project which has been approved by the state Ministry of the Environment and that of transportation, will serve as emergency convenience for travellers, workers and traders at the various motor parks in the state. The project has been inaugurated with the provision of two ultra modern mobile toilets at the Agege Inter State motor park,even as efforts are on to provide same other parks. While confirming the development, chairman of the Lagos State council of NURTW, Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, said all motor parks in the state would enjoy such facilities. “What we are doing is to make travelling easier and comfortable, as this will put an end to situations where travellers and drivers stop buses during transit,” Alhaji Agbede stated. Agbede, also stated that the council has provided the necessary sanitary wares to make the toilets user-friendly for the public. Meanwhile, commuters have commended the initiative by the Lagos NURTW and advised that the toilets be maintained adequately. A driver, who identified himself as Igboho , said the facilities will not only provide convenience for drivers and travellers but will check delay and reduce road accidents, especially during interstate journeys. “Yes it will add value to travelling because many passengers stop our jour- ney to ease themselves but if they can do that before commencement there will not be need for delays. A trader, Bose, told Community Mirror that the toilets will help in ridding the motor parks of human wastes. he wife of Ikara Local Government Area Chairman of Kaduna State, Hajiya HalimaAlhassan Datti, has disclosed that the council plans to immunise 115, 000 children against polio, as part of efforts to eradicate the killer disease in the area. Hajiya Halima, who said this at the inauguration of the first round of polio immunisation at Malikanchi village, called on parents to bring their children for immunisation against polio as 132,000 doses of the vaccine have already been made available for the exercise. She added that the vaccines are available at all public primary health care centres in the council area. “We must eradicate polio in our society for the future of our children. They must be free from polio now and forever. People should bring their children for vaccination against the menace” The wife of council boss, further lashed out at those using baseless reasons to oppose the exercise to desist for the benefit of children yet unborn. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net North Thursday, February 7, 2013 Bauchi teachers begin strike EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI T eachers in Bauchi State public primary and secondary schools have decided to embark on an indefinite strike over deductions from their salaries. The state Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, ASSUS, Comrade Abdullahi Mohammed Tanko Ningi, made this known while briefing journalists at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Secretariat yesterday. He said the measure was to protect the education sector from being plundered. Tanko added that the teachers were not happy with deductions from their salaries through a letter from the office of the head of service addressed to the finance commissioner. The union demanded the immediate refund of all monies deducted by the government from its members; including the five per cent deducted from leave grant of officers on grade level 14. It also called for the immediate stoppage of further deductions. The ASSUS chairman directed all the local branches to ensure the strike was monitored strictly in their respective jurisdictions. ASSUS bemoaned the differences in the salaries of teachers in Bauchi State compared to states like Borno, Plateau, Taraba, Nasarawa and Taraba. Tanko said teachers in the state would not accept deductions in their allowances and urged Governor Isa Yuguda to immediately direct the appropriate agency to begin the negotiation of N18,000 national minimum wage. Tanko urged members to be focused and resolute irrespective of threat, intimidation and insinuations from any part of the state, saying further directives would be communicated to them in due course. Members of Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, Bauchi State chapter, protesting the 10 per cent deduction from workers’ salaries in the state, yesterday. Plea bargain, necessary legal tool, says Ekiti ex-AG WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN F ormer Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Ekiti State, Mr. Dayo Akinlaja (SAN), has said the controversial plea bargaining in Nigeria’s legal system was not meant to encourage corruption. He said what matters most was a strong legal framework that would ensure recovery of stolen public fund and properties through a very short process. Akinlaja spoke on: “Repositioning the Judiciary and Deepening Democratic Culture in Nigeria,” at a media forum organised by the Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Ilorin on Wednesday. He said without plea bargaining, court process could be frustrated for many years. This, according to him, may not recoup the stolen money because of the conviction of the accused at the end of it all. Akinlaja, however, con- demned the judgement that gave the convicted director of police pension fund, John Yusufu, an option of fine. He said given the sum of money involved in the matter, the judge ought not to have allowed the convict an option of fine. The former AttorneyGeneral said plea bargaining ensured speedy dispensation of corruption cases. According to him, what the country’s judicial system makes of the mechanism of plea bargaining matters and not the plea bargaining itself. Akinlaja also said corruption was the bane of Nigeria as a nation. He, however, said the judiciary should be immune to corruption to enable it perform its constitutional roles and functions. The former commissioner for justice said it was a delusion to say the judiciary was at its finest level, adding that democracy could not survive without strong judiciary that would perform constitutional roles and functions assigned to it. Land sales: Clear your wife’s name in court, elders reply Saraki I lorin elders have told Senator Bukola Saraki to clear the name of his wife, Toyin, over the purported sale of the Old Ilorin Praying Ground (Yidi) in court and not on the pages of newspapers. The elders also described as misplaced an attempt to “deceive the public” Saraki’s claim that his wife was “wrongfully and mischievously” joined as a defendant in the suit challenging the sale of the land. They said through his comment, Saraki had arrogated to himself the powers of a judge who should determine whether or not his wife was genuinely joined. The elders, including Dr. Saliu Ajibola Ajia, Dr. Saad Omoiya and Alhaji Saleh Duro Garba, spoke in a joint statement issued in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. They are the plaintiffs in the suit recently filed before an Ilorin High Court in which Mrs. Saraki, among others, is alleged to have benefitted from the sale of the land. The statement reads in part: “We wish to make clear to Saraki that the only place to exonerate his wife is in the law court and not on the pages of newspapers. “Besides, we believe that Mrs. Saraki should speak for herself as an individual who can sue and be sued, instead of Mr. Saraki becoming her spokesman. “As law-abiding citizens, we have submitted our grievances for the court to determine. By saying his wife was wrongfully joined as a defendant in the suit, Mr. Saraki was arrogating to himself the powers of a judge who would determine whether somebody was rightfully joined in a suit or not. 51 Kogi LG polls: 800 PDP members obtain nomination forms OYEWALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA A bout 600 aspirants are jostling to contest for 21 chairmanship seats and 239 councillorship posts on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, ahead of local government polls in Kogi State. The PDP Administrative Secretary, Mallam Yusuf Isah Balarabe, who disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent in Lokoja yesterday, said the party was ready for the polls. Balarabe explained that over 70 chairmanship aspirants had already signified their intention to contest the 21 council chairmanship seats. He disclosed that almost all the present heads of Management Team of the councils and their assistants were eyeing the seats in the various local government areas. The administrative secretary pointed out that at least 530 aspirants were battling to contest for councillorship seats in the 239 wards in the state, adding that all of them had obtained nomination forms, waiting for party primaries coming soon. Balarabe noted that the party hierarchy in the state would soon fix a date for the primaries, which would not be earlier than March, adding that it was then all political office holders, including the liaison officers in all the 21 councils would resign their appointments. Meanwhile, the three visible opposition parties in the state, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, are not leaving any stone unturned in their preparations for the elections. Speaking in a telephone interview with our correspondent yesterday, an ANPP Board of Trustees member, Otunba Babalola Fabunmi, said the party would actively participate in the council polls provided the Kogi State Independent Electoral Commission would conduct free and fair elections. On his part, the state Chairman of ACN, Alhaji Haddy Ametuo, said his party was aiming to capture as many as possible councils. Kwankwaso inaugurates 44 craft institutes to boost self-reliance AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO K ano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, said his government wass determined to encourage technical education to promote self-reliance. To achieve this, Kwankwaso yesterday launched 44 new craft schools to actualise his administration’s desire in that direction. The schools offer metalwork, woodwork, refrigeration and air conditioning, auto mechanics, welding and fabrication, weaving, electronics installation, plumbing, tailoring, fashion design and interior decoration. Speaking at the launch, Kwankwaso disclosed that with the new institutes, there are 50 technical schools now located in almost all the 44 local government areas of the state, which he explained would consolidate efforts, aimed at ensuring self-reliance among youths. He said: “We want youths to possess technical skills, and the vision is that some graduates of these schools will become industrialists and while others will graduate into the polytechnics in furtherance of their education.” The governor added that the initiative was to foster productivity and reduce poverty. Kwankwaso said that at the moment, the state was facing severe dearth of technical manpower in key areas of development in both public and private sectors hence the need for the establishment of the technical colleges across the state. He said with the establishment of the 44 schools, the government had created 1,320 jobs, including the principals and other supporting staff who received offers of employment at the launch. 52 News Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Corporate manslaughter bill divides senators GEORGE OJI ABUJA S President Goodluck Jonathan (left) being received by President Mohamad Morsi of Egypt on his arrival for the 12th session of the Organisation of Islamic Conference in Egypt, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN NNPC plane crash lands in Warri SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI T he Managing Director of the Nigerian Gas Company, NGC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Sheidu Mohammed, and three crew members of a plane in the fleet of the corporation escaped death by the whiskers yesterday as the aircraft crash landed at Osubi Airport, Warri, Delta State. It was gathered that the aircraft, which was badly damaged, was conveying Mohammed to Warri, when the incident occurred. Findings showed that the plane was detailed to convey Mohammed from Abuja to Warri before it crash landed at 11am. Although the authori- •NGC MD, others escape death ties of the airport operated by the Anglo-Dutch oil firm, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and other stakeholders at the airport made futile attempts to conceal the incident from the public, our correspondent learnt that the plane crash landed, shortly after securing a nod to torch down at the airport. But acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Tumini Green, said in a statement in Abuja yesterday that the aircraft, 5NNOC, operated by Aero Contractors, overshot the runway on landing at the Osubi Airport. However, eyewitness accounts revealed that the plane was badly damaged as it dropped dangerously at a location at the airport. It was learnt that quick response to the distress calls by the pilot of the illfated aircraft by the fire fighters and other emergency agencies, saved the day. The aircraft and the scene were quickly cordoned-off by security operatives, immediately after the incident. Visitors to the airport were barred from the scene. Mohammed and some crew members, who were reported to have sustained slight injuries, were rushed to an undisclosed hospital for an urgent medical attention. SPDC and other stakeholders, including helmsmen of the federal agencies in the aviation industry operating at the airport, kept mute over the incident. No one was ready to volunteer information about the incident, particularly its circumstance, when our correspondent visited the scene. Neither the management of NNPC nor NGC agreed to talk to our correspondent. But sources confirmed that Mohammed and the crew members were stable at the hospital. However, a source said relevant federal agencies had commenced investigations into the incident. Meanwhile, Osubi Airport has been shut. All flights into and out of the airport were cancelled. Passengers, who were heading for various destinations, especially Lagos and Abuja, were stranded. enators were sharply divided yesterday over the propriety or otherwise of a bill seeking to make provisions creating the offence of corporate manslaughter. The bill, which was sponsored by Senator Pius Ewherido, seeks to create offences of corporate manslaughter to make corporate bodies, entities and agencies culpable for their wilful acts of negligence, dereliction of duty and or gross incompetence, which causes the death of a person or persons. In his lead presentation, Ewherido said he was motivated to initiate the bill because of what happened in the Dana airline crash of June last year whereby, despite the advice of the technical crew that the illfated aircraft was not safe for the flight, the management went ahead to give a go ahead for the flight to be undertaken. He added that at the end of the day, the airline was not punished for its criminal negligence apart from the compensation to individual victims. According to the lawmaker, the provisions of the bill fall within the definition of killing in Section 308 of the criminal code but that the provisions of Sections 316 and 317, which create the offences of murder and manslaughter relevant to Section 308 only address one arm of the definition of killing. Ewherido said while Section 308 emphasised that killing could be brought about by either direct or indirect means, Sections 316 and 317 nevertheless in their ingredients failed to cover activities of persons who indirectly and or remotely caused the death of another person, which was the lacuna the bill sought to fill. The legislator cited the case of the United Kingdom and Hong Kong which had both enacted similar laws to check the abuses of corporate entities in their operations. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who praised Ewherido’s ingenuity in coming up with the bill, however, said in terms of content he had not seen the corporate manslaughter laws of the two countries referred to by the lawmaker. According to him, in the case of manslaughter involving individuals, the affected persons, if found guilty, usually goes to jail. He, however, wondered what would be the punishment for a corporate person. Ekweremadu described the bill as merely hypothetical, adding that given to the level of the country’s development; the bill was, at best, meant for the future. Senator Solomon Ewuga (Nasarawa Central), who spoke afterwards, supported the bill. He regretted that corporate responsibility was currently excluded in the country’s laws and that the time had come for the laws to be proactive. Ewuga cited the issue of electronic evidence, now being accepted in other jurisprudence in criminal evidence, adding that the time had come for Nigerian laws to be proactive in nature. He disagreed with Ekweremadu that the bill was for the future and urged his colleagues to support the bill. Leadership failure, bane of Nigeria’s growth –Sultan, Anyaoku, others R eligious and political leaders met in Lagos yesterday and canvassed the need to urgently fix the country and raise a successor generation that would put it back on the path of progress. This was the position of speakers at the 10th annual lecture of the Centre for Values in Leadership, CVL, at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, Victoria Island. The speakers include Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi; his Anambra State counterpart, Peter Obi; former Secretary-Gen- eral of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar and former Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat, Rev. Father George Ehusani. They all agreed that Nigeria’s worrisome situation was not unconnected to leadership failure which had impacted negatively on the country. Fayemi said the country needed a collective rescue mission that went beyond political or ethno-religious divides. The governor, who said that politicians, in times like this, should shift attention from just winning elections to being statesmen concerned with raising a successor generation from the present younger generation. Noting that leadership should be about competence and search for a society, Fayemi said power was the bane of good governance in Nigeria. According to him, many politicians seek power without knowing how to use it properly. On the high cost of running government, the governor said he maintained the lowest number of vehicles in his convoy and as well did not fancy the pomp and honorific which people attached to power. He said some of the money expended on trivia things could as well be channelled into funding the social security for the elderly citizens. In his remarks, Obi blamed the state of the nation on all Nigerians; saying that all have contributed in different ways to the decay now in sections of the country. Obi, who bemoaned the high cost of governance and the nonchalance of people to the country’s transformation, said corruption had bedevilled the country. The governor made several references to his impeachment twice; saying that each of the times he was impeached; it was on grounds of doing the right thing. Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto affirmed that the nation was blessed with human and material resources but corruption and failed leadership had contributed to the stagnation being witnessed. Querying reasons for a candidate to spend huge money to win election and even maim those who don’t vote for him, Abubakar said the wealth of a leader was the welfare of the citizens. The Sultan, however, charged all and sundry to stand together regardless of religious or political affiliation and rescue the country from the direction it was headed and prevent efforts of the founding fathers from being wasted. Also, Anyaoku affirmed that the country was not making any progress and all efforts must be geared towards rescuing and fixing it. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net x FOR YOUR SUCCESS WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Today's Tonic (92) I will be liken to the rain drop which washes away the mountain; the ant who devour a tiger; the star which brightens the earth. I will build my castle one brick at a time for I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking. –Og Mandino * * * MY NOTE: Little positive efforts over a long period of time can turn out something great and life changing. Let us do something daily no matter how small in working towards our dreams and goals in life. Believe me, this will be a powerful habit for you. TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL email@example.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE Pakistan to build amusement park in Bin Laden’s town P akistan plans to build a $30 million amusement park and outdoor activity centre on the edge of the north-western town of Abbottabad, where U.S. special forces killed Osama bin Laden, an official said on Monday. The private venture in the foothills of the Himalayas will include a zoo, water sports, a mini-golf course, rock climbing and paragliding, said Jamaluddin Khan, the deputy provincial minister for tourism. Cocktail Thursday, February 7, 2013 “The project will take five years to complete,” he told Reuters. U.S. Navy SEALs killed the al Qaeda leader in 2011 in a secret raid that humiliated Pakistan’s military - which has an academy nearby and heavily strained ties between strategic allies Washington and Islamabad. Some U.S. officials suspected that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies had sheltered bin Laden. Pakistan dismissed the idea. 53 Oddities Library offers free pole dancing class to attract visitors L ibraries always look for new ways to engage readers through cultural enrichment. But one branch in Scotland took an unconventional approach by hosting a pole dancing class—at the library. STV reports that pole dancing teacher Nikki Clark hosted the class at the Mayfield Library in Dalkeith, Midlothian, as part of “Love Your Library Day.” The event reportedly drew in a number of attendees and participants, including local police Officer Lindsey Hughson and a few men. “The pole fitness session is a fun and interesting way of encouraging more people into our libraries, trying out all the services on offer and ultimately borrowing more books,” Midlothian Council member Bob Constable told the TV station. Pole dancing has become more mainstream in recent years as a fitness routine. In 2010, the Cambridge Union Society at Cambridge University even offered pole dancing classes to its female members. Still, its transition into the broader culture has not been entirely smooth. For example, in 2012, a Canadian dance studio raised eyebrows when it began offering pole dancing classes to children. The library also offered “booky table tennis” games to visitors, in which used books were used as paddles and nets in the game. Police Officer Lindsey Hughson participates in her library’s pole dancing class. PHOTO: STV EDINBURGH 54 Insight Thursday, February 7, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Revealed: How Marriages are collapsing Front view of the Ikoyi Marriage Registry building in Lagos. Couples exchanging ring. The increasing rate of failed marriages and attendant divorce cases, recently forced the Kano State Government to organise mass weddings in the state. But AZA MSUE writes that loss of moral values and excessive materialism are some of the factors making couples to renege on their marital vows. J ohn Elumeze left Nigeria for the United States of America (USA) in September 1948 for further studies. His wife, Ezenwa joined him in October 1950 and gave birth to a child, Pearl, on February 21, 1951. Elumeze alleged in a petition he filed before the Lagos High Court that the birth of the child five months after his spouse’s arrival in the US was evidence that she committed adultery. This real life story reported in the Federal Nigeria Law Reports 1967 showed that in a judgment delivered by Justice J.I.C Taylor on April 11, 1967, the marital relationship between the couple was dissolved under the enabling law at the time. Part of the judgment reads, “The case is a little complicated by the fact that the inference that can be drawn from the evidence before me is that sexual intercourse took place between husband and wife on the latter’s arrival in the United States, and depending on what day she arrived in October the birth of the child was approximately five months later. There is no medical evidence adduced before me as to the prospects of a child born prematurely.’’ Justice Taylor further declared that, “I have not seen the child in question in the case nor has any medical evidence been led in proof or disproof of a premature birth. Common sense would dictate that a child born within five months of the first act of sexual intercourse between a man and his wife would have little or no chance of survival, but can I on my belief alone without medical evidence say that the child in issue was not premature or in the words of the Act that there was no access ‘’at any time when the child could have begotten?” The then Chief Justice of Lagos said Elumeze had not proved that his wife committed adultery but he declared that there was no doubt that the marriage had broken down completely and irretrievably. The judge said the object of Section 147 of the Evidence Act that excluded the husband and wife from giving evidence on whether or not that had sexual intercourse with each other where the legitimacy of the child is in issue was to protect children born during the continuance of valid marriage from being labelled illegitimate even where the mother had been guilty of adultery. Forty six years after this verdict, thousands of marriages have collapsed while KANO STATE HOSTED A MASS WEDDING CEREMONY FOR 250 DIVORCEES, WIDOWS AND UNMARRIED LADIES, WITH THE AIM OF ENCOURAGING MARRIAGE, REDUCING THE NUMBER OF DI- VORCEES AND WIDOWS IN THE COMMUNITY hundreds of marriages contacted under the Marriage Act and Customary Law and practices have been dissolved by courts in various jurisdictions in the country. Prominent among them was the famous case of Sodipo vs Sodipo in which a Lagos High Court in 1990 dissolved 43 years old marriage, between a popular Egba Chief, Harold Sodipo, and his wife. In another instance, in July 2009, Justice Elfrida Williams-Dawodu of an Ikeja High Court dissolved the marriage between the son of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gbenga, and his wife, Moji, on the ground that the marriage had broken down irretrievably and they could no longer live together as husband and wife. Indeed, the divorce rate in Nigeria seems to be on the increase, a development blamed on incompatibility and intolerance of couples. The Matrimonial Causes Act (MCA) Cap 220, Laws of the Federation (LFN), 2004 provides at least, two years before a marriage can be dissolved. The law also provides for judicial separation between the couple in the first instance to give room for reconciliation. But in most cases, couples seek dissolution of their marriage which is less than one year old. Section 15(1) of the MCA states that besides the complaint of adultery, other grounds for the dissolution of marriage in the country are, the willful and persistent refusal of either party to consummate the marriage, desertion for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding the pre- A signpost of the Ikoyi Marriage Registry. sentation of the petition, refusal to resume cohabitation, presumption of death of either party and habitual misbehaviour. A survey of the rate of divorce cases conducted by the National Mirror in some states of the federation revealed that Lagos appeared to top other states going by the figure of matrimonial cases it handled in the last one year. Our correspondent gathered from a source in Ikeja Judicial Division of Lagos State Judiciary that a total of 644 divorce cases were filed in the Lagos State High Court between January 2012 and January this year. Investigation also showed that an average of 50 petitions for dissolution of marriages were filed in the court monthly while about 40 of the petitions were eventually determined by the court. An average of four or five petitions were often settled out of court. It was also learnt that about 70 per cent of these cases were marriages contracted between two months to seven years. The source disclosed that these petitions National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Insight Thursday, February 7, 2013 as fast as couples say ‘I do’ . PHOTOS: OLUFEMI AJASA were usually premised on the grounds of irreconcilable differences arising from allegations of marital infidelity, financial inadequacy, religious differences, poverty, lack of love and sexual impotency. Kano State is also reported to have a high rate of divorce cases. Although the statistics of divorce cases in the state was not available as at press time, the state government had last October readily admitted that it had high rate of divorce cases. Worried by the widespread divorce cases in Kano, the state government had set up a committee comprising eminent Islamic scholars to come up with lasting solution that will address the incidence of high rate of divorce in the state. The state deputy governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, had said the widespread of divorce in the state had become a source of concern to the state government. To deal with the issue, the government embarked on a mission to shed the image of its state being home to the largest number of divorcees in Nigeria. As a result, it hosted a mass wedding ceremony for 250 divorcees, widows and unmarried ladies, with the aim of encouraging marriage, reducing the number of divorcees and widows in the community, and helping those who could not afford it. Divorce rates in northern Nigeria are among the highest in West Africa. Although there are no definitive figures, it is believed that one in three marriages fail within three years. The mass wedding was held to among other things try to reduce the high number of divorce cases in Kano, where it is not uncommon for divorced women to be left fending for themselves and their children, sometimes on the streets. There are an estimated one million divorcees in Kano State alone. At the Kano Central Mosque some of the 250 grooms gathered for the marriage ceremony. Most of them were men who might never have been married, were it not for the intervention of the state government that footed their entire marriage expenses. The marriages were arranged by the Hisbah Board, the main Islamic authority in this predominantly Muslim state that also helped with the matchmaking. The board’s director-general, Aba Sufi, explained how they brought the couples together: “We asked them to come to the Hisbah Board, fill out a form and say what type of man or woman they wanted. Short or tall woman, slim or fat one? Everyone got his preferred partner.” After the campaign calling for prospective suitors, the board screened the applicants, including testing them for HIV. One of the couples is living with HIV. National Mirror learnt in Kaduna North and Kaduna South Local Government Areas of the state that about 38 marriages were dissolved while hundreds of others are awaiting the court’s ruling. At the Sharia Court along the popular Line Kose in Tudun Wada, Kaduna South Local Government Area, the Registrar, Mallam Idris Abdulmalik, told our correspondent that from March to December last year, 15 cases for dissolution of marriages were filed by aggrieved parties. He further disclosed that 12 of these marriages had been dissolved, with reasons given by the petitioners to support their requests to include lack of affection, inability of the husbands to care for their wives and children, constant quarrelling or fighting between wives and husbands, insubordination and non-satisfaction of sexual desire. Surprisingly, most of the divorce petitions are filed by the female parties in the marriage. A trader at Kasur Baichi Market in Tudun Wada, Hajia Aisha Mijinyawa, told our correspondent that she brought a petition for dissolution of her marriage to Alhaji Bello Makama on the ground of non-affection and inability of her former husband to live to his responsibility relating to her care and care of her children. She said due to these, she was compelled to seek the dissolution of the marriage. Maimuna Musa, who said her ex-husband is a tanker driver plying Kano – Lagos route told National Mirror that she was fed up with the marriage that was contracted some eight years back and blessed with two children, hence she opted for its dissolution. At the Badarawa Kwaru Sharia Court, the Registrar, Mallam Abdullahi Binchi said eight COURT MARRIAGE ALSO MAKES DIVORCE DIFFICULT SINCE THE COURT PROCESSES MUST BE EXHAUSTED BEFORE THE UNION CAN BE DISSOLVED marriages were dissolved by the court from June to December last year. Mallam Binchi explained that in Islamic law, the two parties are allowed to seek for dissolution of any marriage. According to him, “In this court we have seen men asking for the dissolution of their marriage based on their wives’ infertility, unfaithfullness and insubordination. In fact, I have a case of a family that the husband has to ask the court to dissolve the marriage because the woman stood her ground that no other woman would be brought into the home as second wife. After much persuasion the husband was left with no option but to come to the court to ask for dissolution of the marriage.” National Mirror found out in Maiduguri, Borno State that most of the divorce cases in the state high court were often settled out of court. It was learnt that most of divorce cases in the state involved forced and early marriage which is common in northern Borno. Forced marriage is one of the factors leading to breakdown or dissolution of marriages as the ‘wives’ may not be interested in their ‘husband’ in the first place, but due to the influence from the parents, they will end up not spending up to one year before the marriage is dissolved. At the State High Court, a top official, Hajiya Hadiza Magaji, said most of the divorce cases filed in were petitions from husbands who felt dissatisfied with the Area/Lower court judgment. She said that due to settlement of divorce cases out of court, the state judiciary had only two cases in the whole of last year. At the Sharia Court of Appeal, the Principal Registrar, Bukar Ibrahim, told our correspondent that the court only received 53 petition cases from various local government areas in the state. The state has 27 councils, and it was gathered that most of the divorce cases were from the northern part of the state, which comprise 99 percent Muslims. In Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, National Mirror gathered that 63 divorce petitions were filed in the last few years, a situation attributed to infidelity, lack of care, love, insincerity, poverty and other factors. It was learnt that the situation has been worrisome owing to lost values in society. Contrary to expectation, the Assistant Chief Registrar of Owerri High Court, Imo State , Mr. Imirigwe, said that only two divorce cases were recorded in the state last year. According to him, the first one was in March while the second one was decided on December 15, 2012. He said, “I asked the lawyer handling the second case why the couple would want their marriage dissolved and he replied that the marriage had almost crumbled. He said it 55 would be better to dissolve it to save the couple from killing themselves.” At the Ondo State Judiciary about 13 divorce matters were filed in the various courts in the state. Some of the cases were said to be carry-overs from the previous years. Worried by the increasing divorce rates in Nigeria, some lawyers and marriage counsellors have called on couples to show mutual understanding and tolerance to each other. A Lagos lawyer, Mr. Adebayo Jones, identified inability of prospective couples to determine their compatibility before marriage as one of the factors responsible for the alarming rate of divorce. Experts say that religious organisations also have roles to play especially in managing post divorce situations. Some religious bodies organise marriage counselling up to three years for intending couples. This is necessary to halt the increasing divorce rate and also ensure that the women have something to fall back on, in the event that the marriage collapses.There have been cases of divorce where the man goes away with all the property including the one jointly owned with the woman. Court marriage also makes divorce difficult since the court processes must be exhausted before the union can be dissolved. Evidence of this abound in a number of decided cases, notably Olu-Ibukun vs Olu-Ibukun (1974) 1 All NLR; Akpabot vs Akpabot (1973 6 CCHCJ); Segun vs Segun (1973 3 CCHCJ 65); and Adesida vs Adesida (1978 8 CCCHJ 1979). Most people believe that one of the ways to reduce divorce is for couples to avoid suspicion, find time to confirm any allegations by their spouses and should not allow intrusion in their marriage. A study conducted by a scholar in the USA sometimes ago showed the increasing number of Nigerian names on divorce records. According to him: “There were cases where some pages had over 50 percent Nigerian names making it relatively alarming. Factoring in the fact that some Nigerians from Edo, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, and some part of Lagos states may have names that do not clearly reflect their country of origin, there may be more that I couldn’t easily identify. Also, there are Nigerians who find it necessary to change their names for obvious reasons, making it difficult to identify them.” For instance, in September 2011, Mrs. Aisha Audu, wife to the former governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, had lost a divorce battle between her and her husband. Aisha had filed for divorce, alimony and property distribution, child custody, child support and visitation at a Montgomery Circuit Court in US. During the trial they both agreed that the marriage was valid under Nigerian law. But Prince Audu challenged the petition on the ground that it was polygamous. He said that Aisha was his second wife and indirectly called on the court to reject the petition on the ground that it would be against the public policy of Maryland State in US to give any validity to a polygamous marriage. Judge Michael Mason ruled that while the marriage was valid in Nigeria, for court purposes in the US the Maryland court did not recognise polygamous marriage. Additional reports from: Inusa Ndashi (Maiduguri), Kenny Odunukan (Lagos), Emma Gbemudu (Yenagoa) and Chris Njoku (Owerri). WORLD RECORD Most landmarks illuminated in 24 hours Vol. 03 No. 552 F Thursday, February 7, 2013 Is Demuren a villain or victim? or the past four weeks or so, both chambers of the National Assembly have been taking on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the apex aviation regulatory agency and its officials. What is happening borders on undue interference in the administration of air safety regulations in clear breach of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act of 2006, a law which former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the National Assembly itself brought into being. At times like these, the executive arm of government, which has done well to improve air safety in the country and possesses sufficient data on such, has a duty to reassure the travelling public and international community. That is not the case now; it appears possibly intimidated by the legislature. As the situation gets messier by the day, the silence from the executive becomes more deafening, save some stakeholders who have summoned courage to condemn the House and the Sen- T N150 The most landmarks illuminated in 24 hours is 38 and was achieved by The Estée Lauder Companies as recognised in New York, New York, USA, on 1 October 2010. he full testing Mercedes debut for top racer, Lewis Hamilton, suffered a significant setback on yesterday at Jerez after the Briton crashed into a tyre barrier. Having just come off the secondfastest lap of the day to that point in Spain, Hamilton’s W04 went straight on at the Dry Sack hairpin and Guest Columnist Adeola Fadairo ate. We are not talking; we are wishing that the situation doesn’t get to us, unmindful that it was Ms. Arunma Oteh yesterday, it is Dr. Harold Demuren today, it could be the other way round tomorrow. But how did we come to this denouement? Let’s take a few steps back to seven years ago. When the ratification of Dr. Demuren as the Director-General of the NCAA was before the Senate on February 6th, 2007, both Senators Isa Mohammed and Tokunbo Ogunbanjo, for example, made glowing statements of overwhelming endorsement that made the man a shoo-in for NCAA’s top job. Isa referred to him as an “asset to the industry”, while for Ogunbanjo, “his CV has spoken for him”. And the current reality? On January 29, 2013 on the same floor of the Senate, Senator Victor Lar would cry out: “How can one explain that in this age, a regulatory agency is headed by someone (Dr. Demuren) who is not qualified?” Here is Senator Attai Ali on the same subject, referring specifically to the Dana Air crash Report produced by the Joint Committee of both houses of NASS: “Those indicted in the report should also be charged to court and tried for manslaughter.” After even more damning remarks from the floor, the Senate joined the House in adopting the report recommending Demuren for sack and prosecution for criminal negligence and manslaughter. Addressing newsmen later, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator IN 2010, DR. DEMUREN MADE HISTORY AS THE FIRST AFRICAN TO BE APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF THE ICAO ASSEMBLY Hope Uzodinma said the recommendations were aimed at transforming the aviation sector and moving it forward. He was unhappy with NCAA inspectors, charging that most of them were not licensed. “It is not personally about the NCAA DG, but the entire aircraft inspectors... We have Civil Aviation College in Zaria. These young graduates should be recruited and trained so as to fill up vacancies created by the old and retired personnel”, he declared. What has really gone wrong? Why are lawmakers parroting the view that by far the most respected air safety administrator in Africa is not qualified to run our CAA? Are these people talking about the same Dr. Demuren? Are they from Mars? What went wrong? Are they really talking about Dr. Demuren, an accomplished public servant who rose to the post of Director of Safety Services in the defunct Federal Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA) in the early 90s before he was prematurely retired in 1995 along with some of the finest in the industry? Is this the man that the Senator Hope Uzodinma-led Committee says is “not qualified” to lead the NCAA? Following the tragic crashes of 2005 and 2006, it was clear that the sector needed a “Moses.” It was Dr. Demuren the nation turned to, and it took a lot of convincing to get him to accept the job. It took “blackmail” and arm-twisting to get him on board. Here is Professor Babalola Borishade, the then Minister of Aviation and the man who headhunted Dr. Demuren. “We needed to form a ring around him as it was cleared to me that this is the man who could help the country to solve the incessant problems facing the industry.” At that time, Nigeria was the butt of all jokes in the global aviation community. Dr. Demuren not only worked to reverse all that, but also restored full confidence in the travelling public. He provided the leadership for Nigeria to successfully complete the ICAO Universal Safety Audit of 2006. By taking Nigeria to Cape Town Convention, he made it easier for Nigerian carriers not only to acquire aircraft, but to also lose those aircraft if they failed to meet their financial obligations (Before now repossessions were bogged down in protracted legal battles). These steps restored confidence in our system so much that insurance premiums paid by local airlines crashed dramatically. In 2010, Dr. Demuren made history as the first African to be appointed President of the ICAO Assembly. His deft management of the 37th Assembly resulted in the historic adoption of a climate change policy by the global aviation industry. This happened in Montreal Canada in the presence of 159 Ministers of Civil Aviation, including former Nigeria Minister of Aviation Fidelia Akuabata Njeze, and 189 Director-Generals of CAAs. Fadairo, adeola_fadairo@yahoo. com, a journalist and media consultant, wrote from Lagos Sport Extra F1: Hamilton crashes on Mercedes debut ploughed straight through the gravel and into a nose-first impact with the tyre wall. He clambered out of the stricken car without assistance but the impact broke the front wing on the new W04, which was promptly put on a rescue truck and taken back to the pitlane. After carrying out some initial investigations on the car, Mercedes duly confirmed that Hamilton had suffered a loss of rear brake pressure, the front brakes enabled him to slow the car. “We have traced the problem to the hydraulic brake line connecting to the right-rear caliper,” the sponsor said, as Hamilton described himself as a “passenger”. Cristiano Ronaldo Printed and Published by Global Media Mirror Ltd: Head Office: Mirror House, 155/161 Broad Street, Lagos Tel: 07027107407, Abuja Office: NICON Insurance House, Second Floor, Central Business District Area, Abuja Tel: 08070428249, Advert hotline: 01-8446073, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Editor: SEYI FASUGBA. All correspondence to PMB 10001, Marina, Lagos.