Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
Abdulmutallab jailed for life
•Judgment is unfair, says family
Supreme Court rejects PDP’s prayer on Wada NEWS – Page 7
•Refuses to declare him Kogi governor
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
VOL. 7, NO. 2038 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
•Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora and wife Olanlesi, cutting the Senator’s 59th birthday cake in Lagos ... yesterday. With them (from left) are: Oba Otudeko, Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Senate President David Mark; Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and Senator Oluremi Tinubu . STORY ON PAGE 6.
Boko Haram jail break: 93 escapees at large 15 rearrested Seven in our custody, says sect
INETY-three of the 115 inmates of Koton Karfe Prison, Kogi State, freed on Wednesday by Boko Haram members are still large, it was learnt yesterday. Fifteen have, however, been rearrested, while seven are
From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja and Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri
said to be in custody of Boko Haram. Boko Haram said yesterday that it invaded the prison to free the seven who are its members.
Comptroller-General (CG) of Prison Zakari Ohinoyi Ibrahim has visited the prison to assess the situation, the outfit’s spokesman, Kayode Odeyemi, told reporters in Lokoja. He said: “About 100 prisoners escaped during the Boko
Haram attack. Another 25 would have escaped but were prevented by security personnel. “The NPS Comptroller General (CG), Mr Zakari Ohinoyi Ibrahim has visited Kogi Prison. He expressed disappointment with the de-
velopment and vowed to do everything possible to get to the bottom of the situation. “As we speak 15 of the escaped inmates have been rearrested. “He will brief the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, and I think the minister will later brief the Continued on page 6
•SALAMI: ACN CONDEMNS ATTACKS IN JUDGES BY LITIGANTS P62
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
I‘ll tell the world whenever I fall ill, says Tinubu • Urges dialogue on Boko Haram threat
RESH from a brief rest in the United Kingdom (UK), the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, said he has no cause to hide his state of health. The former governor also spoke on other issues of national interest, including the Boko Haram insurgency. Tinubu arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, aboard a private jet Wednesday night to the warm embrace of friends and associates. In a chat with reporters, he affirmed that there is nothing to worry about his rumoured illhealth. Tinubu said: “Let me react to this question rather philosophically by first responding to issues that pertain to me. “It’s all lies and a figment of the imagination of those peddling the rumour. I think the people spreading the news of my ill-health, are the people that are suffering from paralysis of the mind. Why should they cook up such a story about any political leader? And unfortunately, some newspapers, regrettably, prominently feasted on the falsehood. “I am sorry to ask; is journalism going to the dogs? Must we publish without carrying out an indepth investigation to get all the facts on an issue? Must we speculate on rumours and misfortune? Or even if it is true that a person has a health challenge, must we celebrate the misfortune? “I am one person who will tell the whole world whenever I fall ill. I am one person who will definitely tell the world how I am feeling. I know my limitations. You will recall that in 2003, when I was running the re-election campaign as governor of Lagos State, I took ill. I told Nigerians that I had a very serious back pain then. I told everyone I was going for treatment and when I came back, we continued with the campaign. “We all are human beings. We could fall ill anytime and this could happen to anybody. But let us not celebrate lies. There is nothing to gain by promoting falsehood and evil. Doing so is elastic, and it bounces back. “The flipside of this rumour they have been spreading is the greatest joy I have. An avalanche of phone calls and prayers are what I get from the people. I do not feel terribly bad, anyway. So, they have succeeded in causing additional rains of prayers, from all over the country on me and I thank them. But they should quit telling lies. “I do not know the people spreading the rumours. In fact, why should I know them?” On the rising wave of insecurity across the country, which he noted has been heightened by the recurring activities of members of the Boko Haram sect, he said: “Well, it (insecurity) is a very, very damaging story for the image of the country, for our constitution, for our secularity and for our history as a nation. “Our founding fathers worked hard to build a united and secular society, which has tolerance,
Ex-governor bags title today
ORMER Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will today be turbaned the Agba-Akin Adinni of Ijesaland by the Ijesa Muslim Community. The occasion, billed to hold at Ilesa, Osun State, will be chaired by Alhaji Alao-Arisekola, the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland. Governor Rauf Aregbesola is the host governor. The organisers said Tinubu satisfied the criteria for the title, saying that an Agba-Akin Adinni must have demonstrated an untiring love for his people and defend them even at the risk of his own life; and he must play a unifying role, aside from being a counsellor and philanthropist. Formerly called Baba Isale Adinni, the last person who held the title was Papa Salami Animashaun of Okeola, Ilesa. By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor
progress and service, as the hallmarks. “But, today, we, as a nation, are faced with a very dangerous trend, dangerous in the sense that you have Boko Haram, saying different things with various interpretations. It is not equally fair to the North to be stigmatised as if they are the people sponsoring Boko Haram. “Equally, has this not affected our justice and the rule of law, because to every action, there is a reaction? As a country, we have done a very good job investigating the genesis of the Boko Haram, and when Yusuf, the then leader of the sect was killed in Maiduguri, Borno State, and one individual was apprehended, what happened thereafter? Who are those police officers who shot the Boko Haram leader? “Somebody is asking for justice on behalf of those people. May be if we have done that, maybe we will not be where we are today. We will not be facing the danger today. But where is our value? What happened to those policemen? Who shot them? They are human beings. “We should, as a very good government, go the whole hog to apprehend those people for interrogation. Why was the late Boko Haram leader (Mohammed Yusuf) doing what he was doing then? “By trying to silence him, we are injuring the entire country. That is the truth that nobody has been able to tell this government. Now, dialogue is the answer. “It is fine to do investigations. Today, the government is telling us they discovered this and that about Boko Haram members. That is okay. But it is not the only solution. The solution is honesty, fairness and justice and the rule of law.” On the appointment of his party’s presidential standard bearer in the last election, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, as head of a presidential task force, Tinubu said: “I do not want to take this issue from the point of view of the insult it
• Tinubu arriving at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja...Wednesday
has engendered for our party, the ACN. It is a great insult indeed. Rather, I want to see it as a deep insult. Nuhu Ribadu ran for the office of the president of Nigeria against President Goodluck Jonathan. So, I will not talk about their capacity, I will not talk about their reputation because Nigerians have chosen the president of their choice. They have chosen the one they want. “But I think the government should have written a letter to the ACN, that they need this individual (in this case Nuhu Ribadu) to serve in the administration, based upon his experience, kindly release him. That is the way to do things. If the government is going to talk to Ribadu too, government should have told the ACN, we have discussed with Ribadu. “Then, the first error of the PDP administration is to poach, using the minister of petroleum affairs to announce the appointment of Ribadu. It is very, very repulsive and insulting hiring the presidential candidate of another party. It shows the capacity of the PDP government because in Nigeria, our leadership is yet to attain that pedestal of intellectual inquisitive analysis. It is our intellectual inquisitiveness that is being challenged here. “Why should it be a female minister that would announce the appointment of Ribadu? There is currently an inquiry going on in the House of Representatives on the activities of the oil and gas sector. “So, the government wants to cover up and preempt any fallout of the probe and investigation and now package and brand her as if she is doing well by asking her to announce a committee that is presidential. “Haven’t you a legal department in the NNPC? Haven’t you the account department in the NNPC and the EFCC? If it is investigation that the government wants to carry out, what are they there to do? “We know what they want to achieve. We know what is going on. I suspect the PDP has collected political donations from the various oil ‘thieves’. They have collected political donations from all the companies, so they cannot now go and face them. They are now using a proxy committee.” He added: “I am very happy to be back home. There is no place like home, and I want to thank you all for your prayers in finding time to receive me here at the Lagos International Airport. I thank you all. It is very good to be back. “
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
NEWS STATE OF THE HEALTH SECTOR
Controversy as equipment for Federal Medical Centres rot Almost three years after the Ministry of Health promised to deliver Brilliance CT 16 Scanners and other equipment to five Federal Medical Centres, only the Federal Medical Centre, Gombe, has taken delivery of the equipment, OLUKAYODE THOMAS and JOKE KUJENYA report
HEN the Federal Ministry of Health announced on July 10, 2009 that Royal Philips Electronics and its local partner, PPC Philips, had been selected after a public tender to instal six stateof-the-art Brilliance CT 16 Scanners, Computed Tomography (CT) scanners, eight Digital Mammography systems and 17 Ultrasound systems at the Federal Medical Centres in Abakaliki, Gombe, Owo, Yenegoa, and Maiduguri, there was jubilation in these hospitals, the host community and the other neighbouring towns that the hospitals serve. A statement from the ministry added that it would ensure that all Teaching Hospitals in the country introduce the Philips Brilliance CT 16slice, “as the basic minimum standard of technology to meet the growing demands in the delivery of radiological care. Advanced imaging technology like CT scanners, Digital Mammography systems and state-of-theart Ultrasound technology will improve the hospital workflow by shortening examination time’’ said the statement from the Federal Ministry of Health.” But almost three years after, only the Federal Medical Gombe has taken delivery of the Brilliance 16 CT Scanner and other equipment. When they took the delivery, excited officials of the Federal Medical Centre told the media: “We are very excited to have the new Philips Brilliance CT 16-slice scanner at our facility, as the new technology will be used to detect and treat diseases with the greatest precision. With this new healthcare equipment, the quality of facilities we can offer in the hospital has improved greatly. The installation of the Brilliance CT 16-slice scanner will enable the delivery of crisp image clarity that our clinicians need to help make informed decisions possible for a wider range of clinical procedures” said Prof. Aliyu El Nafaty, a former Chief Medical Director at the Gombe Federal Medical Centre. The Federal Medical Centre, Gombe brought the equipment by air, while other Federal Medical Centres opted to ship theirs. Health officials at some of the hospitals that are yet to get their equipment told The Nation: “We were overjoyed because our hospitals lack these equipment, there had been cases of wrong diagnosis leading to death of many patients whose lives could have been saved with scanners that will do the right and correct diagnosis. “In some cases patients have to travel long distances to hospitals where scanners are available and be-
fore they get to their destinations, lives are either lost or their conditions take a turn for the worse.” The head of a Federal Medical Centre, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Nation: “For some, the cost of diagnosis in private hospitals or private establishment is beyond their reach.” Investigation by The Nation showed that the equipment were actually shipped to Nigeria, but on arrival at the port, the management of Phillips and a consultant to the project did not want to pay Customs duty. After months of delay, they applied for import waiver which sources said was granted. As soon as the waiver was granted, attempts were made to clear the equipment, but the Customs and other agencies at the port were said to have insisted that demurrage and other port charges must be paid before the equipment could be released.The equipment, according to sources, have been moved from the port to one of the Customs’ private terminal in Lagos. Both Phillips and the consultant were said to have passed the bill to the Federal Ministry of Health. The equipment are said to still be in the premises of the private terminal. When the Gombe equipment was delivered, the Federal Ministry of Health launched it with fanfare, its director of Hospital Services Cyril Okeke, told the media then that Nigerian women stand to benefit greatly from the new Philips digital mammography system, “as it offers improved ways to diagnose and screen breast cancer and greatly enhance the possibility of catching the disease at an early stage. He hoped the combination of the CT and mammography systems with the 17 ultrasound systems would considerably upgrade the imaging departments in Nigerian hospitals in which the equipment is installed.” Yet this same Ministry has abandoned its equipment at the ports. Efforts to get comments from the Federal Ministry of Health were not successful. The Nation was at the Health Minister’s office twice last week. The reporters waited for hours without seeing the Minister’s Special Assistant. When they met her the next day, she told The Nation that she is not aware of the abandoned equipment. She asked reporters to send a text message stating all the questions they needed answers to. At the Ministry’s Procurement Department, sources said: “We have
• THE EQUIPMENT NOT DELIVERED (Clockwise): Digital Mammography; Phillips Ultrasound system; Computed Tomography (CT) scanner; and Phillips CT 16 Scanners. ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
Without a good scanning machine, what doctors do is guess work. With the machine, the problem is detected within minutes. All the parties involved know the importance of the equipment, so we don’t need to emphasise it to them
not seen him (the consultant) in many months, he is just a consultant, you can try his number, and he is in better position to comment on the equipment abandoned at the ports.’’ All calls to the consultant’s number were not connected. At the Tin Can Port, the Public Relations Officer said the equipment were not shipped in through the port. Investigation showed that it came in through Apapa Port, but unlike the Tin Can Public Relations Officer, calls to the Public Relations Officer of Apapa were not picked; his phone just kept ringing without response. Also, The Nation could not get Mr. Biodun Disu, Chairman of Philips Electronics Nigeria to comment. The General Manager, Philips Healthcare Africa Roelof Assies told
the media when the equipment were being handed over to the Gombe Federal Medical that “the Nigerian government has been very proactive in recognising that health care expenditure is going to be a big burden on the economy and has placed a huge emphasis on health care development. This is a very encouraging sign. Philips wants to support Nigeria in upgrading the country’s health care system. Advanced imaging technologies like CT scanners, digital mammography systems and state-of-theart ultrasound technology could improve the hospital workflow by shortening examination time and leading to increased diagnostic confidence and a simpler patient and clinician experience overall.” Doctors and other health officials at the four affected hospitals are not only alleging sabotage, they are not ruling out the possibility of the equipment being sold. “The whole thing is strange, if billions or hundreds of millions of naira was used to import equipment, what is the cost of clearing it or paying port charges that it has taken two years and we are still waiting for the equipment. You know, my brother, this is Nigeria. The equipment may have been sold. I don’t have any evidence that it has been sold, but what I am saying is, what is the logic in buying a car for N10 million and you are saying you don’t have N1 million or even less to clear the car or pay port
charges. Remember duty waiver was granted when Phillips said it will not pay duty, so what is port charges that cannot be paid. I am suspecting foul play and if they feel that there is none, let them come out and take the media to where the equipment are kept and tell the world why it has taken two years to clear the equipment. Until they do that, I will strongly believe that the equipment have developed wings.’’ A medical engineer, who has undergone training in the use and maintenance of the equipment, said it is an irony that people in the healthcare industry that are fully aware of the benefits of the equipment are playing politics with human lives. He said: “Without a good scanning machine, what doctors do is guess work. With the machine, the problem is detected within minutes. All the parties involved know the importance of the equipment, so we don’t need to emphasise it to them. I don’t think the equipment have been sold; it is probably more likely that they want to use them to make more money or it is just another case of our I-don’t-care attitude when it comes to government property. I hope this story will spur them into action because many lives are being lost because of the lack of modern equipment in our hospital. Now, we refer people to Port Harcourt or abroad for a problem we can solve here. It is a shame.”
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
NEWS STATE OF THE HEALTH SECTOR
Waiting for health insurance to deliver When it was launched, it held a lot of promises. But years after, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has really not got off the ground, crawling rather than running, writes OLUKOREDE YISHAU
LIVERED raphy; Computed d Phillips CT ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
About Brilliance CT 16 Scanner A BRILLIANCE CT 16 Scanner is defined as a CT system you can trust to help you accomplish more for your patients, more efficiently. The Brilliance CT 16-slice configuration is a complete, high-performance system ideally suited to routine CT studies, CTA, and advanced motion-sensitive applications such as CT colonography and pulmonary studies. With fast reconstruction and a range of automated tools to set up patients and manage scans, Brilliance CT 16-slice can help you make the most of each day. The system also includes a range of thoughtful features to help maximize dose efficiency. The Brilliance CT 16-slice system offers: High-quality imaging, fast reconstruction, task automation, and evolved ways to minimise radiation dose.
HE corridors bear tell-tale signs of agony. Men in pain. Women in distress. Their eyes speak with tears. Their breath and footsteps leave no one in doubt that they need help. Even the looks of their relatives, who are with them, amplifies the distress in the air. Welcome to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Mushin, Lagos, where a lot of the time there are not enough beds to accommodate the surge of patients, making many hang out on the corridors and praying that a patient on admission will be discharged to create the bed space. It is not peculiar to LUTH, whose case has been worsened by epileptic power supply. In most public hospitals in the country, the space is never enough; the doctors are never enough; the equipment are begging for update; yet the patients keep surging. The private clinics, which are capable of offering succour, are unaffordable for the average Nigerian. Over 90 per cent of disease-burdens are in the rural areas, but less than 10 per cent of the facilities are in the rural areas. In the country’s public health institutions, getting attended to properly is akin to seeking a place in paradise. Those who have given up and cannot afford to go to the expensive private clinics leave their fate to either the marabouts or pastors who offer miracles at no price. Some simply rely on herbs, which have been known to fail and cause irreparable damage. Ask Goke Adeboye. The computer analyst recently got a call from his friend that his wife was in a tertiary health institution. There she was told there was no bed space to admit her. Yet she must be admitted. Adeboye had links with the hospital’s publicist. He made contact and pronto, a bed space was found. But it was too late. She died less than 24 hours later. The New York-based Centre for Reproductive Rights, in a report entitled ‘Broken Promises: Human Rights Accountability and Maternal Deaths’, said Nigeria has done little to address healthcare delivery. The World Bank 2012 World Development Report (WDR) on Gender and Equality released last September 17 does not score the country high in health care delivery. Codirector, WDR Sudhir Shetty said: “In the case of Nigeria, what is observed is that the maternal mortality is still quite high, which is also a big issue in almost all parts of Africa. There is a need for necessary improvement in health care delivery.” The United Nations Human Development Report (UNHDR) also offers scary details which have made experts rule out the possibility of being able to combat diseases effectively. The report put Nigeria’s life expectancy at birth at 48.4 years, a little rise from the 47.7 years recorded for the country last year. The 2010 report put the country’s Human Development Index (HDI) at 0.423; this makes the country 142 of 169 countries with comparable data. Nigeria is not within the high Human Development rank, neither did it make the High Human Development rating. It was not also ranked among the countries that made it to the Medium Human Development strata. Rather, it is in the lowest ranking nations in the Low Human Development category. It is on the 27th position, counting from the rear. The report puts under-five mortality at 186 of every 1,000 live births.
• UCH, Ibadan: teaching hospitals such as these get crowded because of a weak National Health Insurance policy
Low life expectancy impacts on the nation because it retards a country’s development. Since assuming office, Health Minister Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu has tried to prove that things would look up in the health sector. But not a few have dismissed his postulations as another lip service. No matter how hard he tries, the reaction may not change until verifiable changes are seen. There is a good reason for the scepticism. The reason: Nigeria, with all its fiscal might, has been unable to knock its health sector into shape. Many Nigerians, especially the rich and the middle class, run abroad for medical help, resulting in a huge capital flight. Sadly, the Federal Government’s average expenditure on health is about two per cent. State and local governments do not fare better. Annual budget for the health sector has always met with criticisms from observers who consider it too low to make any impact. African leaders over a decade ago agreed that 15 per cent of annual budgets of each country on the continent must be for health. Nigeria has not been able to meet this target. The sector gets less than 10 per cent of the annual budget. Enter the National Health Insurance Scheme, which Dr. Ogey Ukeka, the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Precious Health Care, a health insurance provider in Abuja, believes is the answer to lean health budget. The scheme, for now, covers only government workers. Less than 40 per cent of the population cannot access it, partly for legal reasons. The search for a comprehensive, cost-effective healthcare plan began in the 60s. Public health insurance was first considered an administrable policy in 1962 by the Halevi Committee. It was, however, not until 22 years later that government set up a committee on the desirability or otherwise of a National Health Insurance Scheme. Two more committees were set up in 1985 to further study the subject. An harmonisation committee was inaugurated to work out a feasible model in 1988. The National Council on Health deliberated on the recommendations of these committees. It convened a special meeting in July 2001, where the Council set up an Implementation Planning Committee. Though its enabling law indicate that it came into effect in 1999, it was in 2005 that it got off the ground. By its plan, it should almost end the medical woes of Nigerians. Not just in terms of cost, but availability and quality. The scheme comes in a package of six components and contributors are supposed to access a healthcare needs from approved public and private health service providers. Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs), which are limited liability companies licensed by the NHIS to facili-
tate the provision of healthcare benefits to contributors under the Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Programme to interface between eligible contributors, including voluntary contributors and the healthcare providers. The scheme, on paper, is mandatory for workers in the public and private sectors. They are to contribute five per cent of their basic salary to the scheme while their employers pay 10 per cent for each worker. The Nation gathered that six years after the scheme was officially launched, no federal worker is contributing the five per cent. But the government is making its 10 per cent contribution. In 2005, when the NHIS was officially launched, then President Olusegun Obasanjo said: “With the start of the National Health Insurance Scheme, (NHIS), we see a future of opportunity to improve our health indicators, which is related to our poverty index. The scheme will never go the way of other government programmes. The scheme will prove to Nigerians that our administration is serious and sincere about the reform agendas.” But it is only long on promises, but short on delivery. That is why former Commissioner of Health in Lagos State, Dr Leke Pitan, said the country must get it right. In his words: “It has become a shame to start sending the sick abroad. There is no health care abroad that is a miracle. Things should be done properly to get result. There are Nigerian experts who are super qualified, but the working environment must be conducive for them to work. If the country wants them back to contribute to the health care delivery system, it should put in place infrastructure. Inadequate infrastructure adversely affects the sector’s growth.” Only 5.3 million Nigerians (3.73 per cent of the population) are benefiting from the scheme. The beneficiaries are civil servants in federal employment and in a few states. 300,000 pregnant women and children under the Maternal and Child Health Project (MCHP) are also part of the beneficiaries. The Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) has described the NHIS as a monumental fraud. The association said the scheme is with good intentions, but the implementation has been faulty and fraudulent. Its National Chairman, Mrs Ejiro Foyibo, said the NHIS was meant to address the problems of healthcare funding in Nigeria. Foyibo said: “Today, the reverse is the case. I boldly say that NHIS is a fraud. The pharmacists, physiotherapists, laboratory technicians have all been sidelined in the operations of the scheme. “A situation where consultations, prescription, laboratory investigations, physiotherapy and dispensing of drugs are carried out by the same person is not in the best interest of the patient. It is unethical and exploitative. Nigerians, who are enrollees of the NHIS, should rise and ask questions on the functionality of the NHIS. We as phar-
macists say no to global capitation.” The management of the NHIS has had to suspend a number of HMOs and HCPs. Analysts have interpreted this to mean the scheme is not working. In the United States and United Kingdom, national health insurance schemes work. The British NHIS is so attractive that Nigerians, who are not resident in the UK, travel there and take advantage of it. A case in point is that of Bola Aiyelabola, who was delivered of quintuplets while on a visitor’s visa to London, all on the bill of the Health Insurance Scheme. Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON), Dr. Ben Anyene, believes the expected goal of universal coverage by the scheme still seems distant. He said: “Overall, because of low coverage, the potential of the scheme to impact positively on all the sectors of the economy remains unleashed.” But the Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer, NHIS, Dr Mohammed Dogo, feels much of the criticisms of the scheme are unfair. In a recent interview with this newspaper, he said a lot of the challenges facing the scheme are connected with its enabling law, which has to be amended. He said: “We know National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is a process, and it is not possible in a country like Nigeria to get everybody at the same time because people have their own trades, you can only invite somebody but you cannot force him to come. What we are interested in is for this Act to cover every Nigerian as much as possible and recognise the Nigerian that cannot contribute and for the government to take responsibility. If we can get that, then the covering is going to be wider.” Dogo said the scheme has a lot in stock this year for Nigerians. The scheme was some days back granted membership of the Joint Learning Network, which means it can access resources from the World Bank, Department for International Development and the Rockefeller Foundation. This, said Dogo, would help it achieve a 40 per cent coverage by next year and a 100 per cent coverage by 2015. The NHIS, which hopes to become an agency when the new bill is passed, plans to make the scheme mandatory and has set December 2015 deadline to get all Nigerians to be enrolled for the scheme. Perhaps by then the corridors of tertiary health institutions will no longer host patients who cannot get bed spaces.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
NEWS YOU, THE REPORTER Dear reader, here is an opportunity for you to join our team of reporters. You can send in stories and photographs, which you consider to be newsworthy. Our telephone number is 08082036515 (sms). The email is firstname.lastname@example.org – Editor
Abdulmutallab jailed for life
•President Goodluck Jonathan (right) watching as Interim President of Guinea Bissau, Dr. Raimundo Pereira shakes hands with President Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone. With them is Ivorian President, Alhassan Quattara during the 40th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government Summit in Abuja ... yesterday.
IGERIAN Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who tried to blow up a Detroit United States - bound airliner with explosives concealed in his underwear on Christmas Day in 2009 was sentenced yesterday to life in prison. United States federal judge Nancy G. Edmunds, who sentenced him, said his crime and subsequent lack of remorse demanded the maximum possible punishment. Abdulmutallab, who pleaded guilty in October and admitted to working on behalf of al Qaeda, shouted “Allah Akbar,” or “God is great,” five times during the sentencing hearing. He asserted that Muslims were “proud to kill in the name of God, that is what God told us to do in the Qur’an.” Five people on the flight with
Mr. Abdulmutallab, including a flight attendant who helped put out the fire that resulted from the explosives, spoke during the hearing about the nightmares and fear they had experienced since the incident. Judge Edmunds of Federal District Court ordered Mr. Abdulmutallab to serve the maximum sentence of four consecutive life sentences, plus an additional 50 years, on the charges, which included conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. The Judge denied a motion by Mr. Abdulmutallab, who represented himself during much of the case with the assistance of a standby lawyer, to declare life imprisonment as cruel and unusual punishment because his
Thoughts on people’s constitution at Mamora’s book launch
HE debate for a people’s constitution raged in Lagos yesterday among leading top politicians. Some spoke in support of a constitution with the people’s input, urging the National Assembly to initiate the process; others noted that only a Constituent Assembly and not the lawmakers can write a new constitution, if there is need for one. Yet, some argued for the retention of the 1999 Constitution. Senate President David Mark, however, promised that the National Assembly will produce a “people’s constitution”. It was all at the launch of a book. Mamora: Years of legislative activities (A memoir of Senator Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora, to mark the 59th birthday of the former lawmaker. Reacting to comments, Mark said the amendment of the 1999 Constitution had not commenced, adding that though the National Assembly cannot write a new constitution, it can amend the existing one. He was reacting to a call by
By Emmanuel Oladesu and Joseph Jibueze
Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi that Mark should ensure that the people are carried along in the process of amending the Constitution. The Senate President said: “We will follow due process in amending the Constitution. We will hold discussion, debate and consultation. The only section they are talking about now is section 54, that motions should have the force of law. The National Assembly has not started constitution amendment yet”. Mark said the National Assembly would not write a new constitution, but will amend the existing one in line with its mandate from the people. Amaechi said the review should deal with the “big issues now,” urging the lawmakers to “slow down” and let the people express their views so that the country can have a truly people’s document. “Going through the Second Reading will not be the solution. We must sit down and address these issues,” he said. Former Senate President Ken
Nnamani warned that care must be taken not to turn the Constitution to “a village minute-book” where changes are made on a whim. He said the National Assembly have no right or authority to rewrite the Constitution; only a Constituent Assembly can do so. Former Ogun State Governor Segun Osoba urged governors to push for specific amendments that could grant their states authority to generate and distribute power. The amendment, he said, should affect part of the Concurrent List. Mark said the National Assembly should be allowed to do its job, adding that if Nigerians feel the lawmakers are not performing, they should vote them out after four years. “The National Assembly has not started Constitution amendment. When we start, we will go round this country to give everybody opportunity to express himself. “But once you’re a minority, don’t insist that you must be right anytime you speak. Nobody has exclusive preserve of
knowledge as to what to do to move this country forward. “It is a collective responsibility for all of us, and those who feel that once they talk everybody must listen are making a mistake. It is not true. They must move with the majority of the people. “Nobody has amended the Constitution, but when we do, it will be the people’s Constitution. We were elected by the people, and we will do what the people want us to do, not what we want. “Sometimes what we want may not be in tune with what the majority of the people want. So, the people’s Constitution is what we will amend. “We are not going to re-write the Constitution. If we want to do that, we will get a different body to do it for us. There are procedures for that which we will follow.” National Chairman, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Chief Bisi Akande re-iterated Amaechi’s call, urging Mark to ensure that a Constitution of the people is produced under his watch. Lagos State Governor
Babatunde Fashola lauded Senator Mamora for his commitment to public service, saying the country’s First Eleven should be involved in politics and public administration, as the celebrator, a doctor, did. “If more of this happens, certainly the best will happen to Nigeria,” he said. Among those at the event were: Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas, who chaired the ceremony; Oba Otudeko, Fashola’s former deputy, Mrs Sarah Sosan, Senator Ayo Arise, Senator Ganiyu Solomon and Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly Adeyemi Ikuforiji and Mr Jimi Agbaje. Others are former Ekiti State Governor Niyi Adebayo, Mr Femi Gbajiabiamila, ACN National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Senator Muniru Muse, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, former Minister of State, Defence Chief Demola Seriki and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), who reviewed the book. Governors Rauf Aregbesola, Ibikunle Amosun and Kayode Fayemi sent representatives.
act did not kill or seriously injure anyone. “Defendant has never expressed doubt or regret or remorse,” she said. “This court can’t control defendant’s motivations, which appear to be unchanged, but it can control defendant’s opportunity to act on those intentions.” Prosecutors showed a video demonstrating the type of explosion that could have occurred on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, which originated in Amsterdam, but for a technical problem that resulted in Mr. Abdulmutallab only setting himself and a wall of the plane on fire. Cathleen Corken, an assistant United States attorney, called it ”a cold-blooded, calculated plan to kill everyone aboard the plane.” “It was sheer fortuity that numerous deaths were avoided, and he should not be given credit for that,” Ms. Corken said. She noted that increased airport security measures implemented since the attempted bombing had shown that “the American public at large was victimized by the defendant’s conduct.” Mr. Abdulmutallab, who wore a white T-shirt and tan pants, spoke for about three minutes. He claimed that Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders who have been killed “are alive and shall be victorious by God’s grace.” He also said terrorist attacks would continue “until the Jews are driven out of Palestine” Reacting to the judgment, AbdulMutallab’s family said the case brought them “tremendous shock.” Nine members of the family, who had travelled to Detroit did not attend yesterday’s hearing. In a statement, the family says anyone who knew Abdulmutallab would believe he would be the “last person” to try to blow up a plane for alQaida. According to the statement, the family is grateful that no one was seriously hurt. The family disagreed with the life sentence without parole.
Two days after Boko Haram jail break, 93 escapees still at large Continued from page 1
media on the unfortunate incident.” The prisoners broke jail on Wednesday following an attack on the prison by Boko Haram men, who blew up the gate with dynamite. A prison warder was shot dead. Many others were injured in the dusk attack. Claiming responsibility for the attack yesterday, a Boko Haram spokesman said: “We staged the operation to rescue seven of our members there and Allah made it possible for the operation to be successful,” a man who goes by the name Abul Qaqa, and claims to speak on behalf of Boko Haram, told reporters in a conference call. “They are safely in one of our camps,” Qaqa said. “The invaders came at about 7.15 pm (1815 GMT) on Wednesday and we suspected they used explosives to bring down the gate of the prison and the roof of the gate
Bomb found near police barracks in Kaduna
BOMB was found near a police station in Kaduna State last night, two days after a policeman was blown up by an explosive. There were also speculations that a bomb had been discovered near a Church in the area. Although details of the find were sketchy, spokesman of the Police Aminu Lawan, confirmed the discovery. He denied that the bomb was found near a church He also said the bomb had been detoand thereafter set free 119 inmates,” said prison authority spokesman Hadiza Aminu. Boko Haram, which has killed hundreds in bomb and gun attacks, was behind a prison break in Bauchi state in 2010, when about 700 prisoners were freed. Aminu said there were no Boko Haram members being held in the prison in Koton Karfi, which is about 100 kilometres Abuja. A visit to Kuje Medium
From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
nated. Lawan said: “a black polythene bag was discovered along old cemetery road in Kabala Doki this evening. The attention of the Police was called. Our anti-bomb squad promptly moved in. We saw the object. Our men then successfully detonated it. No one was hurt. “The explosive was not found near any Church, as people have started
Prison and the NPS National Headquarters in Abuja showed increased security. Even officers were subjected to security check before entering the premises. More armed prison officials have also been deployed in the Prison to forestall any untoward situation. Officers are now more vigilant, sources said. In Maiduguri, a gunman suspected to be a Boko Haram member was yester-
saying. It was near the cemetery. We want people to go about their business and alert the police of any suspicious thing”, he said. An eye witness told The Nation that when the bag was discovered, the attention of policemen was immediately drawn. A policeman shot at the bag, leading to its explosion. The substance was found close to a police barrack located in the area, a few metres away from the Kaduna Command of the Nigeria Custom Service.
day arrested inside the Baga fish market in Maiduguri. It was learnt that he came into the market about 1pm with the intention to kill. He was dressed in a flowing gown and was about drawing out his gun when he was wrestled down by some traders. Many gunshots were released as they battled to overpower him, leading people to scamper for safety. The gunshots drew the at-
tention of soldiers who came to the scene and took the man away. Four months ago at the same market, a goat-seller was killed by another suspected sect member in day
light. Spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Lt.-Col. Hassan Mohammed said: “The task force with the assistance of traders arrested a gun man suspected to be a member of Boko Haram who entered the market to kill innocent people.” He praised the effort and “gallantry” displayed by the people which led to the arrest of the gunman, adding that the people showed that security is a collective responsibility. “They (traders) have shown that security is a collective responsibility and that the sect members are not invisible as they now choose to operate in markets and highly concentrated areas,” Lt. Col. Mohammed added.
CORRECTION On page 7 of yesterday’s edition, Mr Ayo Opadokun’s name was listed among members of the Southwest and Southsouth delegation leaders that visited President Goodluck Jonathan at the Villa in Abuja on Tuesday. We have discovered that he was not there. The mix-up is regretted.
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THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
NEWS Senate confirms Abiola-Edewor as NDIC Director
Kogi: Supreme Court dismisses PDP’s request on Wada
HE Supreme Court yesterday dismissed an application by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), asking it for a consequential order based on its judgment on tenure elongation of five governors. A seven-member panel, chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Dahiru Musdapher said it has become functus officio and that the apex court lacked the power to make pronouncement on the case again. PDP’s counsel Chris Uche, (SAN), had asked the court to make a consequential order declaring that Captain Idris Wada was the governor-inwaiting as at the time the judgment on tenure elongation of five governors was delivered. In its judgment of January 27, the apex court had declared that the tenure of the governors expired since May 28, 2011. Affected by the judgment were Governors Ibrahim Idris (Kogi), Timipre Sylva (Bayel-
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
•Refuses to declare him governor From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
sa), Liyel Imoke (Cross-River), Aliyu Wamako (Sokoto) and Muritala Nyako (Adamawa). Shortly, after the ruling, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, (SAN), directed that the Speakers of the Houses of Assembly in the affected states should be sworn in as acting governors. Although the Kogi speaker was sworn in as acting governor by the Chief Judge, Wada was also on the same day sworn in by the President of the Customary Court of Appeal as governor. Following the intervention of the presidency, Wada was retained as the governor while the speaker was asked to quit as acting governor. In an unanimous ruling yesterday, the apex court said it
cannot grant any request for consequential order. Justice Musdapher who delivered the ruling said: “Any consequential order must be one giving effect to the judgment in its ordinary meaning. “A consequential order therefore made subsequently to a judgment which drags from the judgment or which contains extraneous matters is not order within its jurisdiction. “Having determined the rights of parties by giving judgment, the Judge becomes functus officio except for any act permitted by law or to support. “The power to grant consequential order must be exercised with great caution. The jurisdiction is not a backdoor for rearguing a case. It is not to be used for the purpose of reagitating argument already considered by a court or be-
cause a party has failed to present the argument. “It does not extend to correcting a previous decision or to make further orders on a point or points not an issue at the hearing. “There is no doubt this court has jurisdiction to give reliefs or make substantive order where justice of the case demands it and where this court must do substantial justice. “The motion is accordingly dismissed. Similarly all applications for joinder are dismissed,” Musdapher added.
HE Senate yesterday approved the nomination of Mrs. Omolola Abiola-Edewor as the Executive Director (Corporate Services) of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). Mrs. Abiola-Edewor is the daughter of the presumed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, the late MKO Abiola. She was a member of the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2007. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over yesterday’s session, said Mrs. Abiola-Edewor’s appointment would help in increasing the visibility of the corporation, adding that her experience as a former member of the legislature would come in handy. In the same vein, the senate has endorsed the appointment of five Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) into the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The RECs include; Prof Jacob Shekwonudu Jatau (Nasarawa), Baba Abba Yusuf (Bornu), Segun Agbaje (Ekiti), Nasir Ayilara (Kwara) and Austine Okojie (Edo). Almost all the new RECs are from states controlled by opposition parties, save for Kwara which is a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state. Ekweremadu urged the new RECs to contribute in addressing the grey areas arising from the 2011 general election. “We had a very successful outing in the last election. We believe that these ones (new RECs) will join forces with their colleagues already in the commission on the good work they have already started.”
Auchi Poly Rector re-appointed
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has approved the re-appointment of Dr. Philla Idogho as the Rector of The Polytechnic, Auchi, for another term of four years. Dr. Idogho was first appointed in 2008 and her tenure is due for expiration on March 15. The institution’s spokesman, Mustapha Oshiobugie dropped the hint yesterday. Dr. Idogho holds the
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
Higher National Degree (HND) in Secretarial Studies of the Auchi Polytechnic, a post graduate diploma in Technical Education of the University of Benin and a masters degree in Educational Administration, also of the University of Benin. She holds a Doctorate degree in Educational Management of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.
Three years after, Fani-Kayode’s trial begins afresh By Eric Ikhilae
D •Temitope flanked by her parents...yesterday
PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES
LASUCOM inducts Bello’s daughter, 27 others
HE daughter of the Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, Temitope, was among the 28 doctors inducted yesterday by the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM). The induction took place at the college’s Medical Research Centre (MRC) auditorium. In a keynote address, Prof Julius Esho, advised the new doctors to practice what he termed defensive medicine, pointing out the need for proper documentation to avoid libels by patients. Esho urged the doctors to note that provisional registration, excellent performance in activities, acquisition of skills, proper dressing to inspire respect and confidence of patients, empathy with patients and families and update on latest information are the hallmarks of a good medical doctor. He
By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha
enjoined them to embrace these in order to be fulfilled as a physician. He advised the young doctors to avoid all forms of sharp practices and patiently choose a field of specialty that they love and enjoy, advising them to shun the syndrome of ‘practice with tongue’ but practice with the brain as more patients are now litigation conscious. Provost of the College, Prof. Bandele Osinusi congratulated the graduating doctors, reminding them to continue to reflect on the ethical standards of the profession against all odds while also urging the new doctors to continue to refresh and update their knowledge in medicine as this is the only guarantee to be relevant in the medical world.
Boko Haram: NTDC gives hotel owners 30-day ultimatum
ORRIED by security threats by Boko Haram, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has given hotel owners a 30-day ultimatum to register or be shut down. It also said the corporation will no longer accept the current trend whereby most hotels give preference to expatriates above Nigerians. The Director-General of NTDC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, who gave the ultimatum in a statement in Abuja , cited security breaches from the Boko Haram sect for the
From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
ultimatum. Runsewe said: “Following security threats by Boko Haram in some parts of the country, the NTDC has decided to take proactive measures to provide safety for Nigerians, foreigners and tourists. “The NTDC is giving an ultimatum of 30 days to owners of hotels, motels, guest houses, night clubs, eateries and others to register with the corporation or be shut down. “In addition, they should also give details of the profile
of their employees including their nationalities for necessary checks by the security agencies. “The directive has a nationwide application. It is a punishable offence to run a hotel or other hospitality enterprises without a signboard. “We are aware that those involved in these illegal activities are the people that are not ready to comply with the law of the land. “The identity of every worker in the industry is required. There are reasons to suspect that many illegal aliens are engaged in the hospitality busi-
ness in Nigeria to the detriment of qualified Nigerians. “As a result of the importance of the tourism industry, there is the need for security agencies to have an inventory of all tourism enterprises in the country for effective monitoring in the interest of security and stability. “We cannot afford to allow our hospitality enterprises to be used as dens for crime and criminalities. “The corporation is by law empowered to register all hotels and other hospitality enterprises to provide a comprehensive database for effecting the necessary regulation in the industry.”
ESPITE stiff protest by his lawyer, the former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani Kayode was yesterday recommenced for trial by a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos. He was re-arraigned before Justice Fatimat Nyako on a 47-count charge on which he was first arraigned on December 23, 2008 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Ahmed Mohammed. The decision to re-arraign the ex-minister was informed by the reassignment of the case to Justice Nyako, a development which arose from a judgment of the Court of Appeal last year. The court held that electronically generated account statement was admissible in evidence and directed a continuation of the trial. Fani-Kayode pleaded not guilty to the charge yesterday. He is charged with money laundering offences including transacting in funds exceeding N500, 000 without using a financial institution; accepting cash payment of about N230 million; collaboration to conceal and concealment. His counsel, Chief Ladi Williams, (SAN), had in a bid to prevent his re-arraignment, argued against the planned recommencement of his client’s trial on the ground that he was still before the Supreme Court, challenging the Appeal Court’s judgment of 2010. He urged the court to adjourn the case beyond May 21, a day, he said, the Supreme Court has scheduled for the hearing of a motion seeking to stay proceedings in the case at the lower court. Williams told the court that an interlocutory appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal in Lagos, which admitted the statement of account of the accused person as evidence, has been entered at the Supreme Court. He also premised his opposition to the re-arraignment of his client on the ground that the Appeal Court’s judgment did not order for a fresh trial. EFCC counsel Festus Afeiyodian countered Williams’ argument, stressing that the re-assignment of the case has rendered the interlocutory appeal lodged at the apex court was an academic exercise. He argued that there is no proof that the said interlocutory appeal has been entered at the Supreme Court. After the parties’ argument, the court ruled in favour of the prosecution and directed that Fani-Kayode’s plea be taken afresh; following which he was granted bail, having pleaded not guilty. He is to remain on bail on the conditions attached to the earlier bail. Nyako ordered Fani-Kayode not to travel out of the country pending the final determination of the case. She also directed his lawyers to ensure that all necessary processes regarding the interlocutory appeal were filed and adjourned the case to April 24 for mention.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
NEWS Fuel scarcity hits Edo From Osagie Otabor, Benin
TRANSPORT fares soared yesterday in Benin, the Edo State capital, following scarcity of fuel. In many filling stations visited, long queues of vehicles were seen as motorists struggled to buy fuel. The price of fuel was still sold at N97 per litre at the stations but the black market price was between N150 and N250 per litre. It was gathered that the scarcity was due to the strike by the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD). The drivers are complaining of harassment by the State Anti-Pipeline Vandalisation Team. Some motorists and cyclists accused marketers of hoarding fuel.
Students for Oshiomhole STUDENTS from Edo Stateowned tertiary institutions and the University of Benin, yesterday endorsed Governor Adams Oshiomhole for a second term. The union leaders said: “We want to openly disclaim the views of critics, who claimed to be students, saying we are not happy with the governor. “It is on record that no other administration has been more student friendly than the Oshiomhole-led administration. “Within the first year of his administration, he donated buses to all the student union governments. “Outside the on-going capital projects, which include the construction of hostel accommodation and office complex at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Oshiomhole recently reduced the fees of students. “This is a welcome development and students are pleased with the governor.” Among those who signed the endorsement are the union presidents of Ambrose Alli University, Federal Polytechnic Auchi, College of Education, Ekiadolor, College of Education, Igueben, Institute of Management and Technology, College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, College of Physical and Health Education, School of Health Technology and University of Benin Secretary General.
CJ begs judicial workers From Osagie Otabor, Benin
THE Chief Judge of Edo State, Cromwell Idahosa, has pleaded with striking Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria workers to return to work. The Chief Judge met with representatives of the workers yesterday morning and pleaded with them to call off the seven-day strike and return to dialogue with the government. State Chairman of JUSUN Kayode Igbarago said they told the Chief Judge that they cannot call off the strike without assurances from the government. He said: “We have told the CJ we don’t have the mandate of congress to suspend an action when government has not yielded to the demand of the workers.”
18 killed in Anambra truck accident
IGHTEEN people were crushed to death yesterday at the foot of the Niger Bridge in Onitsha, Anambra State. A truck loaded with two 40 feet containers lost control and fell on passersby. According to eyewitnesses, the accident occurred at about 6am, when some officials allegedly collecting emblem fees for the government attempted to forcefully stop the truck coming from Asaba. The driver reportedly lost control and ran into other oncoming vehicles. The activities of the emblem officials, who work throughout the night, had resulted in several accidents around the bridge. The accident involved seven vehicles. Four were commercial buses and three private vehicles.
Robbery suspect killed in Rivers From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
OLICEMEN in Rivers State yesterday killed a robbery suspect and foiled a robbery in Port Harcourt, the state capital. Police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam said efforts are on to arrest the fleeing suspects. Ugwuegbulam said: “Armed robbers operating in a black Toyota Camry trailed a customer from a bank in TransAmadi Industrial Estate to Oginigba. “The robbers attempted to rob him the customer but the robbery was foiled by policemen who engaged the robbers in a gun battle. “One suspect was killed while the rest fled.”
From Okodili Ndidi, Onitsha
The four buses with registration numbers, XA 556 BUR, XD 566 ABN, XA 893 ACA and AWK 526 XA, were destroyed with many passengers crushed. A survivor, Mrs. Rose Iwuno, said the accident was avoidable.
Mrs. Iwuno said if the officials had not accosted the truck driver, the accident would not have happened. She said: “We were going to Asaba through the other lane but suddenly our driver noticed that the driver of the truck had lost control. “Our driver tried to escape
but it was late, other vehicles were on both sides and even behind us. “I passed out but what I could remember was a heavy sound which was when one of the containers from the truck fell off and crushed a bus in front of us before rolling towards our bus. “The truck skidded off the road, rammed into one of the heavy pillars at the bridgehead and somersaulted. “The number of casualties I cannot count but all I can tell you is that you see that bus that was smashed, I don’t think that anybody will come out of it alive. “The containers were heavy and there were no Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) officials to help. “The casualties will be up to 20,” she said. It was gathered that though
the accident took place in front of the FRSC Onitsha Unit Command, there was no respite for the victims as there was no equipment to lift the containers off. The incident took another dimension when an angry mob went on the rampage and set ablaze the make-shift office of the emblem collectors. It took the intervention of sympathisers and workers of the Consolidated Construction Company (CCC) who brought their heavy equipment to lift the container. The dismembered bodies were evacuated to an undisclosed mortuary; the injured were rushed to various hospitals. FRSC Unit Commander Fredrick Oko said he was still collating the number of casualties. He said the number of casualties may not be more than two.
•Amaechi (middle) with the judges after their inauguration at the Government House, Port Harcourt...yesterday.
Amaechi swears in judges
IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi yesterday told the newly sworn high court judges to be fair and just. He gave the advice at the swearing-in of six judges at
the Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday. Amaechi said: “I know that the process of your selection was thorough and I
want to believe that because you were selected on merit. “ You have the capacity to decipher between right and wrong, and if you continue to do that without fear or favour, you will avoid mis-
takes.” The judges, two men, four women, were selected and appointed by the State Judicial Service Commission. They include Biambo Sobere, Paul Chigozi Igwe,
Omehia, APGA close case at tribunal
HE governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Rivers State, Celestine Omehia and his party have closed their case at the Election Petition Tribunal. Omehia is challenging the declaration of Governor Rotimi Amaechi and Deputy Governor Tele Ikuru as winners of lastApril 26 election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The Chairman of the threemember tribunal, Justice Abdulahi Mohammed Liman,
• It’s an anti-climax, says tribunal chair From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
described the development as an anti-climax. Omehia’s and APGA’s lead counsel James Ezike, however, said: “The drama is yet to start.” Hearing was adjourned till Tuesday. Amaechi’s and Ikuru’s lead counsel Oluseye Diyan expressed shock that the petitioners closed their case sud-
denly, thereby requesting adjournment till next week. Diyan said since four sittings were earlier approved by the tribunal for the petitioners to present their witnesses for cross-examination, his clients’ witnesses would not be available immediately. The counsel said he was surprised that the petitioners’ lead counsel called only Omehia at Wednesday’s sitting after promising to call 13 wit-
nesses. The lead counsel to the third respondent, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ighodalo Imapegbelo, and his counterpart for the fourth respondent, INEC, Emmanuel Ukala did not object to the adjournment. The tribunal’s chairman said each counsel would be allowed only 15 minutes to cross-examine witnesses in order to round off quickly. He said the tribunal has just one month in line with the Electoral Act (2010).
Senator reviews Indigenous Language Bill
BILL seeking to establish the National Agency for the Promotion and Preservation of Local Languages is being reworked by its sponsor, Senator Gbenga Ashafa. The senator has a plan to represent it due course. The Bill was stood down at the First Reading on February 14, based on the point of order raised by Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe.
Abaribe reminded his colleagues of the existence of the National Institute for Nigerian Languages, established by Decree No. 117 of 1993 in Aba, Abia State and affiliated to the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka. Ashafa argued that intention of the Bill is to ensure that the agency cut across the 774 local government areas, adding that the Bill, if passed into
law, has the capacity to promote indigenous languages. He said: “The central aim of this bill is not to replace English as our lingua franca but to preserve our collective heritage and not to be accused of indirectly assassinating our cultural inheritance. “It is simply a Bill that seeks to establish an agency for the preservation and promotion of our indigenous languages
in order to implement and harmonise the overall educational and cultural policies of the Nigerian state.” According to him, the Bill, when passed, will encourage the use of indigenous languages, stimulate the publication of books, production of films, documentaries and educational materials in those languages and put in the front burner the need to respect our cultural heritage.
Mrs. Ibiwengi Roseline Minakiri, Mrs. Ariba Judith Dagogo-Jack. Others are Mrs. Crescent Kiri Dappa-Ado and Mrs. Ibeneche Wike.
Lagos seals fake Malt plant
VER alleged production of adulterated malt drink, a plant, operating at 29, Aina Street, off Olatunji Street, in Ogudu area of Ojota, was yesterday sealed off by the Lagos State Government. A team of government officials, led by the Special Adviser to the Governor on the Environment, Dr Taofeek Folami, arrested Mr. Olaghere Gregory, suspected to be the bottler of the fake product. Officials of the ministry of the environment and the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), who were in the squad, seized more than 356 barrels of malt extract at the illegal bottling company. The barrels have the capacity to produce over 400 cartons of fake malt. The special adviser further disclosed that the information given by the suspected bottler, led to the closure of another company, located at Ikeja, where several bottles intended to be used for the product were discovered.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
BUSINESS THE NATION
The 2012 fiscal framework earlier submitted to NASS assumed 100 per cent subsidy removal and only N155 billion was provided for carryover of 2011 subsidy payments. The estemated figure for 2012 is now N888 billion. - Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala, Minister of Finance
CBN to auction N150b Treasury Bills
ENTRAL Bank OF Ni geria (CBN) said it would auction treasury bills worth N149.65 billion ($944.88 million) at its bi-monthly debt auction next week, it said yesterday. The CBN said it would sell N49.65 billion in 91-day paper and N50 billion each in 182day treasury bills and 364-day bills next Wednesday, using the Dutch auction system. “Each bid must be in multiples of N1,000 subject to a minimum of 10,000,” the CBN said in a public notice. Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy after South Africa, issues treasury bills regularly to reduce money supply, curb inflation and help lenders manage their liquidity. Yields on the papers were generally lower at the last treasury bill auction because of a surge in demand from offshore interest in local debt.
Debt Office to sell N70b bonds
HE Federal Govern ment said it will issue N70 billion ($442 million) in sovereign bonds maturing in 2019 and 2022 on February 29, its second monthly debt auction this year, the Debt Management Office (DMO) said yesterday. The debt office according to Reuters news, said it would sell N35 billion of each bond. These are re-openings of previous issues with the auction result expected to be released the following day. “The DMO reserves the right to alter the amount allotted in response to market conditions,” it said in a public notice. Nigeria, Africa’s secondbiggest economy after south Africa, issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.5% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $33.01b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 242.1 $ 156 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 238 RIYAL 40.472
• Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Bisi Onasanya, flanked by the CEO/MD of Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Rajan Swaroop (left) and Chief Risk Officer of FirstBank, Mrs. Remi Odunlami at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two firms on mobile money services at Randisson Blu, Victoria Island, Lagos ... yesterday.
‘Nigeria has most internet users in Africa’
Unbundled power firms for listing on NSE T L HE Federal Govern ment would list shares of unbundled power generation and distribution companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as part of the purchase agreements to give fillip to public ownership, The Nation has learnt. The purchase agreements, according to sources close to the initial discussions and drafts on the privatisation of power companies, would include sale of at least 18 per cent of the total equity of each of the power companies to the investing public while some 10 per cent equity stake will also be sold to the state government where a power company is located. The public offer and share placement to the state gov-
By Taofik Salako
ernment will translate to nearly 30 per cent equity stake in the investing public as the state government may also decide to offer its stakes to the citizens. While the share placement to the government and the offering of the 70 per cent majority stake might be concurrent, the public offering may be delayed to enable the company present valuable documents on operations and also attract investors. Core investors that were initially short-listed by the Bureau of Public Enterprises
(BPE) include a range of companies from global utilities to private equity investors and infrastructure funds. Bidders include Dangote Industries Limited, China’s Southern Power Grid, India conglomerate Essar and Tata, private equity firm Actis, Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KENGEN) and Oando. Chief executive officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema, confirmed that stakeholders have reached a deal that the unbundled power companies will be listed on the NSE “within a given time frame.” Onyema said the listing of
the power sector would deepen the Nigerian stock market and allow Nigerians to benefit from the wealth creation that could result from the privatisation. He said the NSE has also been actively engaging companies in the upstream oil sector, expressing optimism that some oil-production companies would undertake initial public offerings and list their shares on the NSE this year. Onyema said there was social justification for the telecommunications companies and other multinationals to offer shares to Nigerians and list on the NSE since they have accumulated wealth from Nigerian consumers.
Reps to probe Customs, CBN over ‘undeclared’ N200b revenue T HE House of Repre sentatives yesterday, queried the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over undeclared N200 billion revenue. The revenue, which accumulated from the 0.5per cent of the total revenue/tariff collected by the Nigerian customs Service (NCS) and which ought to have been paid into the Federation Account is being paid into an account known as Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) Account domiciled in the CBN. But Abubakar Momoh (ACN Edo)the lawmaker who brought the motion before the House, revealed that “the total amount paid into the account is never remitted to the ECOWAS Commission and the balance standing in the account is never declared as fund for appropriation by the Parliament.” Momoh, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Co-operation and In-
From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
tegration in Africa, said the non-remittance of the funds runs contrary to the purpose for which the scheme was introduced. The lawmaker said the money lying idle in the
bank is sufficient to fund fuel subsidy, which has stirred a lot of heated debates in the country. The committee chair wondered that in the midst of regional problems confronting Nigeria today, such as Boko Haram insurgence, a huge sum of money is being held
back in the said account with no defined accountability. Members overwhelmingly supported the motion and the committees on Cooperation and Integration in Africa, and Finance have been mandated to conduct an investigative hearing into the said account with a view to determining how much has gone into the account since inception.
ATEST research shows that Nigeria is leading Africa in terms internet connectivity. South Africa, Africa’s largest economy, is falling behind other countries on the continent when it comes to the number of people who have access to the Internet. That is according to the latest Internet World Stats figures on connectivity rates in Africa. Internet World Stats’ research, which was completed in December, says Nigeria tops Africa at 45 million internet users, while Egypt, Morocco and Kenya, respectively, follow Nigeria with 21.7 million, 15.7 million and 10.6 million people being connected. South Africa ranks fifth, with 6.8 million people with access to the internet, ahead of Tanzania, which has 4.9 million Internet users. World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck says South Africa’s low internet connectivity rate, as compared to Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco and Kenya, is as a result of the country’s smaller population size of 50 million people.
IPMAN mulls strike over products distribution
HE Independent Petro leum Marketers Asso ciation of Nigeria (IPMAN) yesterday threatened to embark on industrial action should the Federal Government refuse to tackle the inequitable distribution of petroleum products among stakeholders next week. The IPMAN President, Alhaji Aminu Abdulkadir, who spoke in Abuja yesterday, said if the concerned authorities fail to address the problems associated with the distribu-
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
tions of kerosene and diesel, HIS members would shutdown their retail outlets nationwide. He SAID that all his members from the 22 depots in the country have endorsed the strike. IPMAN members had resolved to begin the strike Wednesday last week when the National Assembly members prevailed on them and pledged to meet with the appropriate authorities to address the
complaints. But the members have resolved to stop business if the government turns deaf ears to their demand for supply of other petroleum products, said Abdulkadir. The IPMAN’s National Executive Council (NEC) and Central Working Committee, which comprise six zonal chairmen, zonal secretaries, ex-officials and elders of the associations were at a meeting on Wednesday where they endorsed the strike.
Among the zonal chairmen in attendance at the meeting were Barrister Chukwuka Otazi, representing the South east; Chief Solomon Ogbewe from the Midwest; Alhaji Umaru Gazama from North East; Alhaji Sidi Ibrahim North West and the Dibu Aderibigbe representing South west delegation. The President said IPMAN has over 12,000 filling stations with over N5.3 trillion investments in the downstream oil sector.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule
Ecobank cuts 700 jobs
MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.
LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15
LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10
12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20
LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30
08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55
09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15
08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55
LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30
08.30 15.10 17.40
LAGOS – UYO 10.35
LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30
is what any right thinking institution would have done. He confirmed that both former Oceanic Bank and Ecobank staff were affected. Anyanwu said the bank paid off the affected staff very well and such funds will enable them start a new life. Ecobank had on Wednesday, hinted that there will be job cuts, but declined to say when it will take place. The bank said in a statement that it was giving opportunity to 600 of its non-core staff to become permanent employees. The bank said it has also recognised after careful review, the need to disengage staff and provided severance pay to those affected in
agreement with the respective employee unions. The Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Jibril Aku said: “Our focus in the new enlarged Ecobank is to ensure a smooth integration of the two banks as soon as possible whilst working to improve the quality of service to our customers and our operational efficiency”. According to him, the bank understands that people are its key asset, and therefore have emphasised the need to reward its best performers, and open up new opportunities for talented, committed people to join it as permanent employees. He added that the lender is taking steps to ensure that all disengaged staff are treated fairly and in line with industry practice.
08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
By Collins Nweze
08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40
LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30
1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik
COBANK Nigeria Plc yester day sacked 700 of its workforce. Majority of the disengaged staff, The Nation learnt, are those that joined the bank after its took over the defunct Oceanic International Bank. Although this newspaper learnt that 1,000 workers were affected in the retrenchment exercise effected yesterday, a staff of Ecobank, who spoke anonymously, confirmed that over 700 were axed. Speaking with The Nation, Gogo Anyanwu, Chairman, Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Ecobank Unit, said the rationalisation was inevitable. He said downsizing is a common practice in mergers and acquisitions and what Ecobank Nigeria has done,
LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30
Lagos targets 500,000 jobs in fishery By Daniel Essiet
HE Lagos State Government is targeting 500,000 jobs in the fisheries sector in the next five years. This will be actualised through aquaculture, an area the government intends to increase fish production to one million metric tonnes within the same period. Governor Babatunde Fashola said this at the 25th anniversary of the annual South West zonal Research Extension Farmers Input Linkage System(REFILS) workshop in Ibadan on Tuesday. Fashola, who spoke through the Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, said the state has done a lot to make the agric transformation agenda a success. He said the state has built a threetonne per hour rice milling plant to boost local rice production and increase the lands available for cultivation from 30 to 250 hectares. He said the government is planning to increase it to 1000 hectares. On cassava ,Fashola said some areas have been delineated around Ikorodu, Epe and Ibeju/Lekki axis as Cassava Production and Processing Belt (CPPB).This, he said would promote employment and reduce poverty through the cultivation of cassava. According to him, a modern cassava processing plant to produce high quality cassava flour is in the process of being built in the CPPB. He called for massive food production to curtail rising prices, adding that failure to achieve this could lead to global food crises. The scourge of climate change, he said, has had effects on food production. To this end, Fashola said the state has put measures to arrest the drift occasioned by climate change including the establishment of climate desk to share information among stakeholders.
NAMA gets more responsibilities • Mrs. Funke Osibodu, GMD/CE, Union Bank of Nigerian Plc receiving her award plaque from former President Bill Clinton of the USA; she is flanked Mrs.Cherie Blair, wife of the former British Prime Minister and Mr. Victor Osibodu, husband of the honouree the Thisday newspaper awards in Lagos on Monday.
Why Chevron fire won’t be quenched, by NOSDRA T
HE National Oil Spill Detec tion and Response Agency (NOSDRA) yesterday gave reasons why the fire at the Chevron explosion at Funiwa oil field would not be stopped. The agency said until the source of the leaking raw gas is found and plugged; the fire wouldn’t be stopped for health and environmental reasons. The explosion had occurred January 16 during an exploratory gas well drilling by Chevron Nigeria Limited, the operator of the field owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) / Chevron Nigeria Limited Joint Venture. While 152 out of the 154 personnel on board the drilling rig at the time of the explosion were rescued, the remaining two persons, French and Indian nationals have been declared missing. Chevron also engaged international fire service, which was unable to put out the fire.
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
Addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday, the Director General of NOSDRA, Peter Idabor, said that putting out the fire completely will make the raw gas emission to be more harmful to the nearby communities and the fishes in the water. He also disclosed that the present law in the sector is hampering the Agency from imposing harder sanctions against offending companies. He said: “We are fully in touch with Chevron, we are following the matter. It is better for the fire to be burning than for the raw gas to be smelling and affecting the communities there. Sometimes, it is a technical thing. It will cause more harm if the light is put out. It will affect more lives. It will kill more fishes in the water. “All these were happening as a
result of equipment failure. But what is more important is to have in place measures to mitigate the impact.” On the weak laws, he said: “We have enabling laws, which give teeth to regulatory agencies like us. But what we want now is to go to the National Assembly to help us pass the amendments before them so that we can come hard on these companies. “When the laws are amended and strengthened, we would be able to penalise the offenders. I assure you, it will never be too late to sanction these companies. The companies have not claimed that the accident was not caused by them.” He said that the nearest communities (Koluama and Fish town) to the incident is about 20 kilometres away, adding that the agency had already taken both water and sediment samples for laboratory analysis.
• To manage airfield lighting, others By Kelvin Osa- Okunbor
IGERIAN Airspace Man agement Agency (NAMA), has been given additional responsibilities to effectively manage the nation’s airspace. The Federal Government has directed the agency to oversee airfield lighting at all airports and also be in charge of bird harzard control. Similarly, the agency under the new dispensation will take over the calibration unit otherwise known as Navigational Aids Flight Inspection and Surveillance (NAFIS) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority [NCAA]. These directives, which were given to the affected agencies by the Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah, takes immediate. The new struture according to the minister, ’’is in line with the federal government’s transformation agenda for the industry’’. All the Chief Executives of the affected agencies have been directed to work out modalities for the take over and complete the details for same.
NSE moves to increase retail investors’ participation
HE Nigerian Stock Ex change, (NSE) yester day said it was ready to improve the low turnout of the retail investors from the N704.23 billion or 11 per cent of the total market value to a more promising level. The current market capitalisation of the NSE was N6.402 trillion as at close of business yesterday. Also, the NSE said that about 500
By Tonia Osundolire
companies have indicated interest to list on the NSE in the next one year. Retail or small investors are individual investors who buy and sell shares or other securities for their personal accounts, and not for another company or organisation. Speaking at an interactive session with the media, Head, corporate di-
vision, NSE, Mr. Bola Adeeko said 500 new companies comprising indigenous and foreign are expected to list in the market. He affirmed that the Nigerian capital market is not an elitist market and that the NSE is working with the government and other stakeholders in the market to renew the interest and confidence of investors, which in the long run will increase their patron-
age. He said the NSE has flagged off its investors’ education and enlightenment campaign, tagged ‘investors’ clinic’, which was designed to ensure that the average investor is well informed to make the right investment decision, ranging from proper asset diversification to their interaction with other stakeholders in the market.
13 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
Vol 3 No. 161
One of the world’s leading printing technology brands, Konica Minolta, has signed an agreement with Skysat Technologies, an indigeneous firm, as its sole representative in Nigeria. Mr Izzat Debs, Managing Director, Skysat Technologies Limited, speaks on the benefits of the new deal to his firm and the country. WALE ALABI reports.
From left: Mr Robert Misfud, Business Development Manager, Konica Minolta; Mr Izzat Debs, Managing Director, Skysat Technologies and Mr Michael Hans Mier, Business Solutions Manager, Konica Minolta at the launch of the latest digital printing technology in Nigeria.
‘Digital printing will reduce unemployment’ In the beginning
KYSAT Technologies Nigeria Limited started as distributors for two brands of digital photographic printing machinery in the country: DOLI & KIS. It offers investors and entrepreneurs the opportunity to set up their own fully equipped digital photo printing studio and laboratory. The customer base has grown by two to three new labs monthly to about 140 locations nationwide in the last five years. Its presence is also felt in Benin Republic and Ghana. It is the leading suppliers of new photographic equipment in the country, with excellent technical support and constant training of operators and technicians. Recently, Skysat became the only authorised distributor of Konica Minolta’s range of production printers in Nigeria, thereby expanding its range of products to the general digital printing market, or what they call in Nigeria, “DI” (Direct Imaging). It is using this opprtunity to announce this important partnership.
Printing metamorphosis Printing has gone through several stages of development, right from the time that lithography was invented. Today, printing technology mainly involves the process of preparing impression plates (through CTP or CTF) and running them on offset printers in several runs, depending on the number of colours. Digital printing has eliminated the use of impression plates. It is the latest printing technology that uses LASER signals to directly create the impressions and transfer a full colour (four-impresssion) image to the media in a single run. It is neater, more environmentally friendly, less cumbersome, less tedious, and faster, delivering full colour offset quality images in a simple process. The printing is also much more durable and lasts longer than traditional offset because it is toner-based as opposed to ink. For example, if water pours on a digital print job, it does not smear like ink, you simply dry it and you have your document back.
Capacity and capability of digital printers Digital printers can do everything that is done by the offset printers of today, up to A3+ size and more. Magazines, flyers, complimentary cards, invitation cards, catalogues, newspaper inserts, labels, photo books, advertising brochures, corporate reports, and other financial printing, training manuals, promotional materials, and business forms. And even more: because it can handle industrial-scale copying and scanning in addition to printing. In fact, the digital commercial print shop offers today four distinct services: Design and other pre-press services, actual printing, finishing which includes folding, cutting and binding, and fulfillment which includes packing, storing and shipping. The number of in line finishing options such as saddlestitching, trimming, folding, hole-punching and perfectbinding makes your printing facility a one-stop place for the total print process, from pre-press to press and postpress.
Between digital printers and suitcase printers In America and Western Europe today, 70 per cent of the $90 billion per year printing business is dominated by small and medium-size digital print shops. The trend of demand for printing has shifted significantly to small, local digital print shops that can deliver jobs “almost whilst you wait”, just like what we have successfully done in the digital photo business. Today, the so called “Suitcase printers” come to offices to collect jobs and go back and forth several times and several days until the final proofs are approved by clients. Skysat offes a solution whereby even the client can work in the shop using Konica Minolta production printers and get his job printed while he waits, be they letter heads, invitation cards, magazine, brochures or catalogues, thereby eliminating a lot of wasted time and money in
the process. This will empower graphic designs to use their IT skills and sell their services to major organisations and the general public. For example, one application that is widely used by small businesses that want to launch a small magazine but have no capital, is to start by printing a minimum of tens of thousands of copies by traditional offset printing. In one digital print shop, they will be able to launch their magazines by starting with only a few copies. Another example is the urgent conference or event happening in a particular day, and the customer walks in at 5:00pm and needs the job by 8:00 the next morning: It is only in the digital print shop that such a job can be done.
Synergy of technologies The firm offers to Nigeria one of the most reliable digital printing technologies. This is a synergy of both German and Japanese technology. The equipment runs practically error-free. Even ordinary paper jams are almost non-existent. It offers world-class service back-up by our team of German-trained engineers. The most important point is that we offer customer training in our classrooms and provide all necessary spares and consumable for smooth running. Another major advantage for Konica Minolta users is that we will grant them access to a World class, web-based training programme, called N-Plan.
Economic empowerment initiative Today, the firm brings together aspiring entrepreneurs in digital printing to train and equip them with the skills to successfully run a digital commercial print shop. This initiative is its contribution to reduce employment rate and empower youths across the country, thereby helping them contribute our quota to the nation’s economic growth. It is convinced that it is going to be a profitable business for them because of the high success rate the business has recorded in other countries and the superior technology that the Konica Minolta digital printing machine offers.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
Etisalat hosts CSR forum E
TISALAT Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Centre of the Lagos Business School, Pan-African University, is organising a two-day international CSR conference between February 21 and 22. The conference is entitled: CSR contributions towards sustainable development and organisational competitiveness in Nigeria, is aimed at reinforcing the message that CSR will enhance competitive advantage of corporations as well as create sustainable development
for Nigeria. Speakers expected at the conference include Dr. Christopher Kolade, the Pro-Chancellor/ Chairman, Governing Council, Pan-African University; guest speakers, Mr Jayaseelan Naidoo, Chairman, GAIN Board Johannesburg, South Africa; Jedrzej George Frynas, a professor of Corporate Social Responsibility and Strategic Management at Middlesex University Business School, London; Dr Ernest Ndukwe, former Executive Vice-
Chairman Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC); and Kenneth Amaeshi, an experienced management development consultant and academic, among others. According to the Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Steven Evans, “the conference is a demonstration of our commitment to worthy courses channelled towards promoting the frontier of knowledge on CSR in tandem with international best practice. “
Samsung unveils world’s thinnest notebook
AMSUNG Electronics West Africa has launched the Samsung Notebook Series 9 regarded as the world’s thinnest laptop. It represents Samsung’s advanced innovative craftsmanship in the premium notebook sector. According to Mrs Chioma Iwuchukwu-Nweke, Director IT, Samsung Electronics West Africa, the Series 9 notebook is customised for consumers striving for top quality items with great design, built with aerospatiale materials for durability and boasts the world’s thinnest and most compact chasis. Its unique design and innovative engineering breaks all common perceptions of premium notebook. “The Samsung Series 9 Notebook is a premium notebook for the user that wants outstanding design and performance. Power and performance are assured with the powerful Intel Core i7 processor, 6GB memory and 256GSSD. Thanks to Samsung Fast Solutions, the
Series 9 boots in 15 seconds, Fast Start ensures a three-seconds wakeup. It has a Wifi Auto Connection with battery lasting up to 7.7 hours. It comes with 13.3’’ Bright HD screen”, explains IwuchukwuNweke. The auto-sensing screen and backlit keyboard adjusts itself to match the surrounding lighting conditions, providing optimum brightness for maximum ease of use, even in particularly dark or bright environments. Folasade Oyetayo, Channel Manager IT, Samsung Electronics West Africa, the new notebook is available at Samsung brandshops in the country. “And as part of the Valentine celebration, it will be available to our exclusive customers. We will be giving away a bottle of the finest champagne with champagne flutes for every Series 9 Notebook purchased during this promotion. The promotion runs till the end of February 2012”, she added.
Bacchus bonds with marriage registries
• From left: Chief Executive Officer, Mr Steven Evans, Etisalat Nigeria; Public Relations Manager, Ms Chineze Amanfo and Head, CSR & Internal Communication, Mr Ismail Omamegbe, during the easylife revamp in Lagos.
Longman is now Learn Africa
ONGMAN Nigeria Plc, the foremost book publishing firm in Nigeria, has changed its name to Learn Africa Plc. Its Chairman, Chief Emeke Iwerebon, said: “The company is now poised to commence its branding and business repositioning exercise, which will transform it into a learning resource company and expand the scope of its business. Speaking on the business plans of Learn Africa Plc, the Managing Director, Fred Ijewere, said the
firm will launch the Learn Africa Foundation, which will provide support in developing human capital and expanding educational opportunities for the under-privileged. “We are committed to facilitating access to educational materials thattransform individuals and communities,” he said. Ijewere stated that the event will also afford the company the opportunity to present new Learn Africa’s titles in Mathematics and creative writing. Other plans of the
Oracle Experience bags award
RACLE Experience has emerged the winner of the Institute of Direct Marketing of Nigeria (IDMN) West Africa’s World Class Experiential Marketing Services Consultant for 2011. The award ceremony held at Sheraton Hotel, Lagos. According to Daniel Bamidele Aloba, chairman, Award Research and Technical Committee, “Oracle Experience is considered the best in it field for last year not because of numbers of activations but because most of the activations from planning to execution were found to be seamless, thorough and impacting on the brands.” Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of firm, Mr Felix King Eiremiokhae said: “When we started Oracle seven years ago, our vision was
to be number one and our mission was to ensure that any brand we work on achieve it set objectives. ‘’Helping brands achieve their set goals has become my life and this is what I have lived for in the past 13 years. If I look back to my first five years of industry experience and the things I did and how it all ended, I was encouraged to do the things industry watchers think are magical today and it just kept expanding my horizon and approach in activating brand specifics.” He said further: “My desire to be the best has been incredible. I literally sleep, eat and wake up creating and executing breath taking activations. In those early years I did not see what I was doing as a means to earn a living, but as an opportunity to make a huge impact and be part of an evolution.
company are: the introduction of an online portal where Learn Africa books could be accessed and read online, as well as a platform for online purchases to reduce the risk of carrying cash around. In 2011, Pearson Plc and its Nigerian subsidiary, Longman Nigeria Plc, had agreed to pursue the opportunities in the country’s education sector as separate organisations, a decision that led to Pearson’s divestment from the company, a process that is still on.
ACCUS, premium wine brand from the stable of Grand Oak Limited, has started its wedding registry project. The initiative tagged, Bacchus Registry Alliance, has started in Lagos. It is designed to impact on intending and new couples to establish the brand as an enabler of nuptial relationship and other occasions worthy of celebrations and toasts. In line with the initiative, the Bacchus marketing team selected 20 local government marriage registries in Lagos State as pilot scheme for the project which would elevate the wedding registries’ environment to make them more befitting celebration. In the selected marriage registries, the brand has repainted the halls and provided befitting bridal chairs for the couples’ use while they take their nuptial vows. The brand’s logo motif also adorned the well-painted halls while a banner displays a goodwill message for the newly weds. Category Manager, Grand Oak Limited, Charles Nnochiri,said: “Bacchus Tonic Wine has spontaneous emotional connection with the theme ‘love’,” adding that “the brand is highly associated with nuptial ties.”
He further said Bacchus has been associated with love relationship, marriage and toast that goes with it. The essence of the banner, according to Charles,“is to make the brand the first to felicitate with the couple on their new union.” On the choice for the logo design, he explains that the logo stands for man and woman bonded together in love forever. At Alimosho Local Government, the Marriage Registrar, Mrs. Olaleye Abiodun, explained that the brand has created a neat environment at the registry. “The registry has been given a facelift through repainting. The bridal chairs they supplied are marvelous. We are very pleased with this act of benevolence,” she said. The story is not different at the Iba Local Council Development Area (LCDA). The Marriage Registrar, Iba LCDA, Mrs. Shonibare Iretiola, said: “We are excited because Bacchus Registry Alliance project has improved the ambience of our registry. “It has in turn increased the attraction for intending couples who are fascinated by the improvement in the environment. It is a welcome development to workers here and intending couples. We are all happy to be associated with the brand.”
Seaman’s Ayo Championship on TV
EAMAN’S Schnapps and the Traditional Sports Federation of Nigeria are lighting up the television scene with Seaman’s National Ayo Championship billed to start on select terrestrial and satellite television stations in the country this weekend. This year’s championship was held in the ancient city of Oyo. The programme, expected to run for a quarter, would be anchored by Mr Anthony Odey, of the Danz Odey Dance Group in Nigeria. It would be aired on Realstar TV on Startimes, (Sundays 10pm), NTA Awka (Saturdays 10 PM), LTV Lagos (Thursday 10:10 pm) BCOS Idadan (Saturdays 11:00PM) OSBC Osogbo (Tuesdays, 10:30 PM and Independent Television, Benin (Wednesday 10:30 PM).
Aare Fatai Odesile, the Marketing Director, Grand Oak Limited, said Seaman’s Schnapps is a drink that is synonymous with culture and tradition. It is only right for the brand to support the Traditional Sports Federation of Nigeria in promoting the indigenous Ayo competition. “It is of common knowledge that today in many of Nigerian cities and even remote areas many of the youth tend to prefer the foreign games which have no direct value to their lives. In as much as we are not totally against the western games, we feel that there is a need to balance the trend with our local games so that our cultural identity would not be totally lost”. He added that Seaman’s National Ayo Championship Season would
help to redress the erosion of the value of the Ayo game. “What we are saying is that Nigerians should learn how to play some of our local games because they have a direct link with the way we live and think.They should not relegate Ayo game to the background. The elderly ones too who are very familiar with it would also have the opportunity to further sharpen their skills of the game,” Odesile said. To create excitement around the competition, and showcase the Nigerian tradition, the programme is spiced with cultural dances and facts about our culture and tradition. The programme has three exciting segments: Our Game, Our Culture and Our Heritage.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
Chinese experts to train farmers on food production N O fewer than 56 Chinese experts and technicians have arrived in Nigeria to train peasant farmers on how to improve local food production. The programme is part of the South-South Co-operation’s (SSC’s) United Nations strategy to strengthen co-operation among developing countries. In the past three years, three batches of Chinese experts and technicians have been sent to Nigeria, where they are promoting practical agricultural techniques. The fourth batch of the experts, who arrived on Sunday, are to introduce Chinese technologies on bee-keeping, honey production, fish farming, rice production, vegetable production, drip irrigation, simple farm tools fabrication, poultry farming, provision of rural wa-
From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja
ter supply using simple hand operated borehole drilling technology, rural energy development, extension services support, and training/ capacity building of farmers and project staff nation-wide. While addressing the experts, who are undergoing orientation in Abuja, the National Co-ordinator, National Programme for Food Security (NPFS), Mr Daniel Daudu, said their coming to the country is to contribute to the development of country’s agriculture and create jobs and wealth in the agricultural sector. In his words: “It is important to let you know that you have come to Nigeria at a time when the Ministry is embarking on an Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), aimed at developing the agricultural sector along the value
chain to attain food security, generate employment and create wealth.” While assuring the Chinese experts of provision of enabling environment to their work, their security and comfort, Daudu enjoined them to assist the ministry to meet the current ATA. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO)’s country representative in Nigeria, Louise Setshwaelo, said the SSC is part of the UN’s objective to increase development co-operation between developing countries. This development, according to the country representative, has provided facilitation of about 47 cooperation agreements between countries with commitments to provide up to 2,600 experts and technicians to other developing countries.
Expert seeks support for small farmers GOVERNMENT will record success in tackling food security by working with farmers at the grassroots, an expert has said . Speaking with The Nation the Programme Co-ordinator, Farmers Development Union (FADU), Mr Victor Olowe, said if the government is seeking a catalyst to improve the local economy, provide long-term stable nutrition, then focusing on small farmers is the productive way to achieve it. Though efforts to link subsistence farmers to markets may be driven at the highest levels of the government, he maintained that involving the local smallholders at the local government will help them to develop their capacities to learn and become responsible entrepreneurial farmers. He said concerted effort at the grassroots would create remarkable results. According to Olowe, an appropriate institutional setting is crucial in respect of supporting small-scale farming so as to increase agricultural investment and productivity. He said this will require putting in place the necessary investment in infrastructure. The government, he added, has an important role to play in building rural infrastructure, including roads, storage facilities and irrigation systems. Olowe said integrating small farmers is crucial if the campaign
to boost food production will to endure. Understanding small farmers’ long-term needs, and tackling them more effectively within the process, he noted will do much to help them. According to him, involving small farmers will strengthen local capacity. The strategy, he noted is to focus on specific agricultural growth corridors and centred around farm hubs to develop the entire value chain, including the end markets. He called on the government to take specific steps to improve agricultural productivity. Olowe urged the government to reorient the agriculture transformation agenda to address the existing gaps and challenges of sustainable development and livelihood of small farmers. On cassava transformation agenda, he said the government needs a pragmatic arrangement to develop the ector through a partnership with small farmers. Working with a wide range of stakeholders, he noted will drive the programme in line with national food security needs and poverty alleviation. Through an integrated small and medium farmers approach, Olowe said there is a significant potential to improve food security, increase rural incomes and increase productivity of this critical crop.
Tax holiday for food processors
•Dr Sanginga (left) and Ambassador Shoji, during the envoy’s visit in Ibadan.
Japan calls for increased food production
HE Japanese government has called for massive efforts to increase food production amid rising population. Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Ryuichi Shoji, made the appeal while paying a courtesy call on the Director-General, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Nteranya Sanginga in Ibadan. With Africa’s population currently more than a billion and being estimated to double by 2050, Shoji said the challenge was not just meeting the food demands of the population but also providing jobs for the youth. “There are more and more people in Africa. More people to feed and more in need of jobs and we have to tackle these two problems,” he said. He expressed confidence that agricultural research holds prom-
ise in tackling the challenges facing Africa and reiterated Japan’s commitment to support agricultural development in Africa in general and Nigeria in particular. He said: “IITA’s research is producing good results and the achievements are contributing to the development of agriculture in Africa.” Citing IITA’s work on cowpea and yam which led to the development of improved varieties and management techniques, the ambassador said research on those crops was contributing to food security in sub-Saharan Africa. He said Japan was proud to be associated with the work in IITA and called for greater collaboration between the institute and the Japanese government to help tackle the challenge of feeding the rising number of people in Africa. Shoji
also commended the efforts of the Nigerian government in agricultural development under the leadership of Dr Akin Adesina, stressing that his government was in support of the steps taken by the country. Sanginga reassured the ambassador that the institute would continue to foster greater partnership with the people of Japan. He said IITA remained committed to the goal of improving agricultural productivity to fight hunger and poverty in Africa. While calling for more collaboration, the IITA chief commended Japan for supporting research in Africa, especially the exchange programs between IITA and Japanese institutions. He said such programmes were necessary for capacity development and the building of synergies among researchers.
Fishmeal producer appoints Nigerian representative
GLOBAL fishmeal producer, TripleNine Fish Protein, has appointed a local concern, Jejenuwa Company Limited, as its representative in Nigeria to market and sell its flagship brand, 999 Fishmeal. Mr Hakeem Oyeneyin, Chief Executive Officer, Jejenuwa Company Limited, the appointment of the company as representative of the Denmark-based fish meal producer, is a further demonstration of its confidence in Nigeria as the commercial hub of sub-Saharan Africa and also in the capability of his company to fully represent the premium fishmeal product in the
country.With this development, Oyeneyin said consumers of the product in the country can buy quality 999 Fishmeal known for highest protein level and other nutritional benefits. “With Jejenuwa Company Limited as the representative of the company in Nigeria, adulteration is defeated. ‘’You can only get to buy the best from the manufacturer or its representative and the unwholesome activities of some unscrupulous people in our society will therefore be checkmated. The good news now is that consumers can get the
best quality at the right price without the risk of being shortchanged,” Oyeneyin said. According to him, TripleNine Fish Protein is “the only company that produces fishmeal with guaranteed 72 per cent and above protein content which makes the brand number one in the world. The company has been in business for over two decades and is reputed for quality worldwide.” He explained that the end product for which fishmeal is used would be very rich in protein with numerous health benefits to consumers.
THE Chief Technical Adviser, National Programme for Food Security, Dr Oyesola Oyebanji, said the government is providing tax holidays for investors building processing plants in staple crop processing zones. Oyebanji was speaking at the 25th anniversary of the Southwest Zonal Research Extension Farmers Input Linkage System (REFILS) workshop in Ibadan. Faced with rising food prices and the large amounts of foreign exchange leaving the country to pay for imported food, Oyebanji, who spoke through Prince Adepola Olusi, an official of the event said the government has introduced several initiatives meant to revive and exploit the potential of agriculture. These include financial incentives for companies processing food, zero tariff for farming equipment and financing support. He called for a conscious and concerted effort to improve knowledge and involvement of extension
workers. According to him, the nation was moving forward with the agricultural transformation agenda. Director, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Prof Benjamin Ogunbodede, who also spoke at the workshop said adequate funding of Agricultural Development Programme (ADPs) is crucial to addressing the problem of food insecurity. Meeting the challenge of expanding food production, he noted, required reviving and funding the ADPs which in the past had helped to boost agricultural productivity and impacted positively on the development of rural farmers. With changing agricultural technologies and practices, the director said the role of extension service is vital in educating farmers. He emphasised the importance of agricultural extension to the goal attainment of the agricultural sector.
Govt wants more investment on fish production LAGOS State Government has called on all the 37 Local Government Council and 20 Local Council Development Areas to invest in fish production in the state. Making a presentation to the council chairmen in Ikeja, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Co-operatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, said the state is producing less than 10 per cent of what it is consuming and the government is determined to scale up production to 25 per cent. He said the Ketu-Ereyun Fish Farm Estate located in Epe is intended to have 5,000 ponds to complement over 200 ponds at the Odogunyan Fish Farm Estate in Ikorodu which is producing at over 70 per cent capacity. He further stated that the Import Substitution Strategy that the Federal Government is initiating, Lagos State is known as a fish producing state and the Fish Industry is already zoned to Lagos, adding that with this
what is produced in the state will be subsidised. He disclosed that the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has put in place a lot of initiatives, such as the Poultry Estate at Erikorodo, Piggery Eastate, Gberigbe Ikorodu, Fish Farm Estate in Odogunyan and Ketu-Ereyun, Epe and Arable Crops Estate at Agbowa. “This is by way of focusing on where the state has competitive and comparative advantage,” Lawal said. He, therefore, called on the 57 members of the third tier of government to embrace the initiative and assist the state government and the 20million Lagosians in producing enough food, especially now that the state is looking beyond its borders in food production. He reiterated that the government has over100 hectares of land in Osogbo, Osun State while negotiation is still going on with some other states, especially Ekiti.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
AGRO-BUSINESS STATE FOCUS
Boosting food production in Benue ENUE State agricultural sector is one of the top performers in the country. Agriculture in Benue comprised plant crops, raising of livestock and livestock products. Diversification and growth in types of plant crops and livestock breeding has increased over time. Methods of cultivation have also improved. It supplies the country’s most important cash crops along with rising yields in staple crops such as cassava, yams, rice, beans, cassava, potatoes, maize, soya beans, sorghum, millet and coco-yam. Agriculture is still of major importance and provides almost the sole means of livelihood. The state also accounts for over 70 per cent of the country’s soya beans production. It has the potential to be the breadbasket of the nation. Tree Crop farming is very popular in Benue and plays a very important role in its economy. The state has a great potential for the production the major tree crops such as oil palm, citrus, mani cashew, banana, plantain and guava. Benue has made significant progress in reducing hunger through agricultural development. The impact of these achievements has been felt across the country. Increased food production in the state has made food more affordable for the nation’s citizens, spurring economic development in other areas. The government has poured resources into efforts to help its farmers be more productive. It believes promotion of efficient agriculture is one of themost effective tools to ensure economic, social and political well-being. The state Ministry of Agriculture provided technical advice. It assured that seedlings and fertiliser got to the farmers. It provided spraying to ward off insects and disease and it found markets. It also boasts of one of the longest stretches of river systems in the country with potential for a viable fishing industry, dry season farming through irrigation and for an inland water way through irrigation and for an inland water way. The government is encouraging appropriate, sustainable and equitable private sector investment in agriculture. The government wants business to help transform agriculture. Last year, the state government has invited a team of agriculturalists from Iowa State University in the United States to assist her in the establishment of demonstration farms in four locations in the state. Governor Gabriel Suswam maintained that some officers have been trained and others are undergoing training at the university on how to manage these demonstration farms. Under this programme, he said, efficient extension services would be rendered to Benue farmers for increased productivity. A variety of equipment for tilling, sowing, planting, harvesting, collecting, sorting and packing are encouraged. Agriculture has benefited from a broad range of general research including insecticides,
•A USAID-assisted farm in Aguata, Benue State
N37b coming for agric SMEs A ONSULTANT to African Development Bank (AfDB), Prof Biyi Daramola, has said the Federal Government is making available N37 billion to finance agricultural projects of small and medium enterprises this year. Speaking with The Nation, Daramola said one billion naira is for each state of the
By Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent
federation. He said the loan is financed through the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Management System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) established by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). NIRSAL is targeted at de-risking lending to the agricultural sector.
Daramola said the loan, which will be disbursed through commercial banks, will provide appropriate financial support necessary to SMEs in the agric sector to strengthen their enterprises. According to him, the loan was an answer to lack of access to finance, by agric SMEs across Nigeria, which has continued to inhibit
economic growth and development. He, however, called on the government to boost the Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to serve SMEs in the agric sector. According to him, MFIs are essential tools for promoting Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) and that channelling agric funding through them will financially empower small operators working in the rural areas. On the whole, he said MFIs will promote entrepreneurial capabilities of farmers. Meanwhile, banks have started the sensitisation and enlightenment of stakeholders in the finance and agriculture sectors on the method and mechanism for the disbursement of the N30 billion fund set aside for agricultural financing in the country. Speaking at the workshop on financing agricultural input supply scheme — 2012 farming season, Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, chairman, Bankers’ Committee Sub-Committee on Economic Development and Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, said the decision to undertake the sensitisation and enlightenment programme was borne out of an agreement by the banks prior to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). According to him, the document on the financing scheme was initially drawn up by six banks, who later presented it to the other banks in the country on the platform of the Bankers’ Committee for inputs and comments. He said the comments and input of the remaining banks were incorporated into the final document and in the preparation of the MoU, with a decision that workshops be convened to educate and sensitise stakeholders on ways to benefit from the scheme, especially as it is less than 30 days to ensure that the fund gets to people in need of it.
disease-resistant strains and biological fertilisation. Research relating to improve animal health and crop yields is also producing promising results. The governor also said the state government has started the move to enhance agricultural production, which will further encourage farmers in the state to go into commercial agriculture. He said the agricultural sector in the state had recorded tremendous transformation and stressed that the programmes and projects executed to attain the epoch-making achievements were results of the special attention his government was giving agriculture. To further assist farmers in the state, the governor said that his administration has put in place the expanded fertiliser sales and distribution committees both at the state and local government areas. This, he stressed, was to accommodate all interest groups and to ensure that all the segments of the state were carried along in the sales and distribution of the commodity. Practically, the government offers its farmers: training and high quality seeds. A combination of applied science, determination and government support have helped farmers to modernise and adapt to changing market and climatic conditions, creating a strong base from which to proceed in the coming decades. Benue ‘s agriculture continues to thrive, and supplies most of the country’s food needs. The state presents a great prospect for food export. The state is experiencing a steady increase in agricultural production and investment due to gradual efforts in its agri-business sector. There is growing potential for profits, as general distributors, such as hotels, restaurants and supermarkets are increasing in number. Private agric businesses are increasing materials for the local processing industry with a focus on dairy, bakery, soybean products, snacks and beverages. Local businesses are looking to integrate snacks and semi-processed foods along with other products. entrepreneurs are also looking to expand thefood market and are seeking collaboration to improve the sector; opportunities exist in export of agric produce in private supermarkets.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
A tale of two fathers • Between a lawless Customs officer and a bestial father lies a measure of the state of the society
E can call this a tale of two ugly fathers. The one, a ranking Customs officer was an example of lawlessness to his spoilt and untutored son while the other, a menial ambulance driver, abused his family to the point of death to his five-year-old daughter. These two cases, which are bad in themselves, are made worse by the fact that the authorities concerned have not been jolted enough to move quickly and initiate actions to mitigate their recurrence. As the report goes, a 19-year-old senior secondary school (SSS3) student of United Senior Secondary School, Ijokoda, Ibadan, Oyo State, had resisted punishment from his teacher, prompting his teacher to apply force. The student had reported the incident to his father, a Customs officer, who allegedly invaded the school with armed Customs men under his command, brutalised the teacher and humiliated him thoroughly under the watch of the officer and his wife. When students and staff of the school tried to rescue the teacher from his tormentors, gunshots reportedly rang to scare them off. Following a petition to the Oyo State House of Assembly and protests by the state branch of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), the Nigerian Customs Service responded via a press briefing called by the deputy comptroller of Customs in-charge of administration, Oyo/ Osun Command, Mr Usman Bumba. Rallying to the defence of the officer and his son, he told journalists that upon a thorough investigation of the matter, his command had found that it was the teacher who brutalised the 19-year-old student and inflicted injuries on him while punishing him and the other stu-
dents. He alleged that the school authorities even offered the student the sum of N5,000 to placate him and obtain medical treatment. Bumba was quoted to have said that, the teacher who brutalised the 19-yearold student, in a bid to cover up the mess, petitioned the NUT and the House of Assembly, while the Customs, whose officers were alleged to have beaten up the teacher, are yet to receive any official report against the officers. What is clear from the foregoing is a case of impunity and lawlessness. The issue of discipline of students has always been with us. In our opinion, no punishment meted out to a pupil by a teacher would warrant parents marching to their ward’s school to take the law into their hands by seeking to extract revenge. What would become of the school system if every parent descended on teachers at the crack of every stroke of the cane? By moving armed men of the Customs Service under his charge to his son’s school to assault a teacher and humiliate him before his student, the ranking Customs officer abused his uniform, office and position and showed clearly that he is undeserving of the exalted office he occupies. If truly his son were a gentle, obedient and a well brought up child who had been unjustly brutalised as claimed, could he not have taken his case through the appropriate authorities to ensure that the teacher was punished instead of setting a bad example for his son? He and his spouse who also witnessed this demeaning incident need be reminded that they have done more harm to their apparently spoilt brat than whatever punishment his teacher might have meted
out to him. We urge the high command of the NCS to investigate this matter thoroughly and ensure that the officer is appropriately sanctioned, if only to maintain the sanctity of our institutions. In like manner, we urge the authorities concerned to review in detail, the matter of the 34-year-old ambulance driver of Warri Central Hospital, Delta State. He is reportedly afflicted with sadism which led to his separation from his wife as a result of serial battering. With his spouse far away from him, he allegedly picked on his five-year-old daughter and beat her until she died. What unpardonable bestiality! We conclude by noting that society must never give an inch of room to people with behaviours such as described above. At any time they manifest, they must be investigated, prosecuted and put where they belong – far away from normal people. They must at all times, be used as deterrent to their ilk.
‘We urge the high command of the NCS to investigate this matter thoroughly and ensure that the officer is appropriately sanctioned, if only to maintain the sanctity of our institutions. In like manner, we urge the authorities concerned to review in detail, the matter of the 34-yearold ambulance driver of Warri Central Hospital, Delta State’
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (1963-2012) • A musical icon dies
HE spectacular rise, hugely successful career and tragically sudden death of the American female rhythm and blues singer Whitney Houston testify to the great possibilities and palpable pitfalls of showbusiness. Born in 1963 in New Jersey, Houston’s singing talent first manifested itself in the choir of her local church. As a teenager, she provided musical accompaniment to her mother during performances at nightclubs. Blessed with startling good looks, Houston seriously contemplated a modelling career, especially after becoming one of the first African American women to grace the cover of a national magazine. However, her musical talent came to the fore when she was signed on at Arista Records in 1983, and thus embarked on a musical career which was to shatter many records. Her debut album Whitney Houston was the best-selling debut album by a female when it was released in 1985. Her second album Whitney was the first
‘Such astounding musical successes came with the usual accompaniment of immense wealth, fame and a devoted global fanbase. At the height of her career, Whitney Houston was the virtual embodiment of the successful 20th century woman: beautiful, talented, self-confident and seemingly at ease with herself and her surroundings. Unfortunately, achievement also came with its own challenges’
album of a female artiste to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Individual songs achieved recordbreaking success as well. “I Will Always Love You,” the lead single on the soundtrack for The Bodyguard has gone down as the best-selling single by a female artiste in history. Songs like “Saving All My Love for You,” “How Will I Know,” “Greatest Love of All,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” combined to make her the only artiste ever to have seven consecutive number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Such astounding musical successes came with the usual accompaniment of immense wealth, fame and a devoted global fanbase. At the height of her career, Whitney Houston was the virtual embodiment of the successful 20th century woman: beautiful, talented, selfconfident and seemingly at ease with herself and her surroundings. Unfortunately, achievement also came with its own challenges. Her marriage in 1992 to fellow musical star Bobby Brown surprised many people who doubted that they were a good match. Those suspicions appeared to have been given justification by rumours that the couple indulged in illegal drug use and tales of spousal abuse. For a long time, such stories remained in the realm of conjecture until a series of court cases and indictments established their veracity. Their impact on Houston as a performer and as a person was devastating. Musical appearances began to be characterised by inexplicable
breakdowns; contractual obligations were no longer being observed; her very physical appearance changed to the extent that she became almost unrecognisable. She divorced Brown in 2007. Houston’s downfall was just as spectacular as her meteoric rise, and appears to mirror similar falls from grace by many other recording artistes, particularly those of African American origin. Such apparent selfdestructiveness appears to be rooted in an inability to properly manage the wealth and fame that accompany success. With increasing sadness, fans followed every turn in Houston’s decline. Rumours of mental breakdown followed those of physical decline; her imminent death was incorrectly reported a number of times. In 2009, after repeated efforts at drug rehabilitation, Houston released a new album I Look to You. Its debut at number one, as well as its patently religious overtones persuaded many that she had finally conquered her demons. However, the songs and concert performances did not do as well as expected; ironically, she appeared to fall short of her own very high standards. The tributes that have been paid to her in the wake of her demise testify to the great love, admiration and esteem in which she was held. Her musical ability inspired millions of individuals across the world to pursue their own dreams of self-fulfilment. Her songs provided welcome succour from the often-harsh realities of daily living. May her soul rest in perfect peace.
HINA, Russia and India see themselves as global leaders. So why have they been enabling two dangerous regimes, Syria and Iran, to continue on destructive paths? On Tuesday, President Bashar al-Assad showed again his willingness to use brutal force to crush the pro-democracy opposition. He brushed aside stinging criticism by Navi Pillay, the top United Nations human rights official, and resumed the shelling of the city of Homs. The government has barred independent reporting for most of the yearlong unrest, but activists said rockets and tank shells had pummeled the city. The violence has gotten worse in the 11 days since Russia and China vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution, sponsored by the Arab League, calling for a peaceful transfer of power. India was on the right side that day, voting for the resolution. But, for months, it had worked to block action. The resolution was no panacea, but, if it had passed, it would have sent a compelling message of international solidarity against Mr. Assad and the elites who keep him in power. Many Syrian deaths later, China may be reconsidering its stance. As an oil-hungry nation, it could not have failed to hear the rebuke issued to China and Russia on Friday by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia for opposing the resolution. “We are going through scary days and unfortunately what happened at the United Nations is absolutely regrettable,” he said. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China, speaking at a European-China summit meeting in Beijing, said, “What is most urgent and pressing now is to prevent war and chaos” in Syria. There is no evidence Russia has had similar second thoughts, but China is showing renewed interest in working with the Arab League. Beijing’s shift could shame Moscow into reconsidering its support for Mr. Assad, and approving United Nations action, including sanctions. China and India are also hampering the effort to ratchet up sanctions on Iran even as penalties imposed by the Security Council, the United States and the European Union appear to be affecting Iran’s economy and politics. (The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is expected to announce on Wednesday that a new uranium enrichment plant is fully operational.) China cut its purchases of Iranian oil this year and secured alternative supplies from Russia and Saudi Arabia. But it is still a major purchaser. India is also still buying and is now Iran’s biggest oil customer. Because of American sanctions, these deals are not as lucrative as they could be for Iran. The two countries’ need for oil is real, but they should take full advantage of Saudi Arabia’s offer to ramp up production to offset any losses from Iran. The International Energy Agency says there is enough oil supply worldwide to prevent a price shock from an embargo. We do not know if sanctions can force Iran to give up its nuclear program or force it to negotiate a compromise deal. But the international community is finally at a moment when serious sanctions are in place and beginning to bite. Iran is finding it hard to pay for food imports and has resorted to bartering. It’s time for Russia, China and India (which desperately wants a Security Council seat) to meet the test of leadership. That means all three need to work to find ways to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions. For Russia and China, it means standing against Mr. Assad’s siege on his people. – New York Times
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THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
IR: Today, it has become fashionable to argue that a ‘‘Sovereign National Conference’’ (SNC) should be held to resolve the country’s constitutional problems. Many do not realize that Nigeria has already had half a dozen constitutional debates, none of which has ever resolved the nagging problems which have dogged Nigeria from independence till date. Nigeria has wasted billions of Naira on constitutional debates and constitutions that are no longer in use, and a future SNC is unlikely to discuss anything that has not already been covered. Ironically, the best recorded of these constitutional debates, the Aburi conference of 1967 was never implemented, and Nigeria has been paying the price since. Virtually everything discussed at the Aburi conference is relevant till today. So much that a reader would be tempted to believe that the discussion was on Nigeria’s current
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Aburi, lost opportunity for federalism problems, rather than over 45 years earlier, in 1967. It is probably the best recorded constitutional debate in history. On the Nigerian federal military Government (FMG) side were: LtColonel Yakubu Gowon, Head of State, Commodore Joseph Akinwale Wey Head of the Nigerian Navy, Colonel Robert Adeyinka Adebayo Military Governor of the western region, Lt- Colonel Hassan Usman Kastina Military Governor of the northern region, Lt- Colonel David Akpode Ejoor Military Governor of midwest region, Major Mobolaji Johnson Military Governor of
Lagos, Alhaji Kam Selem Inspector General of Police. Only Ojukwu and his secretaries were in attendance on the eastern delegate side. The federal delegation arrived ‘‘wreathed in smiles’’ and anxious to mollify their former brother-inarms Ojukwu. Colonels Adebayo and Gowon even offered to embrace Ojukwu. While the federal delegation behaved as if the Aburi conference was a social gathering to reunite former friend who had fallen out in a social tiff, Ojukwu saw the conference as a historic constitutional debate that would determine Nigeria’s future and political structure. Ojukwu showed
from the beginning that he was prepared for serious business. The extent of Ojukwu’s pre-preparation is shown by the fact that he gave the other debaters copies of documents he had prepared in advance. The other debaters should have realized at this point, that something serious was going to occur. Using his ‘‘skilful histrionics and intellectual adroitness’’, Ojukwu managed to get the other Colonels to understand and share his reasoning: that in order to keep Nigeria together as one nation, its constituent regions first had to move a little further apart from the
Alternative to workers’ strike
IR: The issue of alternative to workers’ strike has been recurrent in Nigeria. Within the university academia, there appears a raging contention between pros and cons with particular reference to what is perceived as constant strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). I read of “a non-disruptive approach to solving problems” in relation to the ASUU strikes. The proponent’s suggestion was that “instead of perennial strike actions for salary increment”, ASUU could “insist that professors, hypothetically speaking, should have 50% of what a Senator earns and Senior lecturers get 45% of what federal lawmakers receive. It would go a long way in addressing the need because as soon as these lawmakers increase their remunerations, which they have the power to do, ASUU members’ salaries also get increased.” I have always been an advocate of equitable distribution of salaries and allowances, but that suggestion seems fraught with some difficulties in my view. Firstly, very many ordinary Nigerians are unhappy with the greed of our rulers, the legislators inclusive. For instance, the Senate is said to have approved a jeep of about N16m, for each Senator (109 persons, totaling N1.7billion). And that is just a tip of the ice berg of the self-aggrandisement at the presidential, legislative, and other
high governmental levels. According to the report, the preceding Senators went away with a N9 million car each. There can be no graver disaster than our university dons should encourage the looting spree by asking for a certain percentage of the figures. And who said the rulers will assent to such a proposal? Will they ever acquiesce to such a demand? I have another concern. Apparently, most persons blaming the ASUU for their strikes are government accomplices and others that are associated with them as beneficiaries one way or another. For instance, children and dependants of ordinary lecturers are not likely to oppose a strike that may force the government to give the lecturers
their entitlements or improved conditions of service. And so, at the subjective level, one may ask an opponent or supporter: Whose interest do you represent? One may, on the other hand, argue objectively that injustice and peace are antonyms to each other, as a natural law. If those in government do not give workers their rights and entitlements, they will go on strike, under normal circumstances. Liberation theology teaches that protest and boycott are sometimes necessary to humanize oppressors and exploiters alike. Many developed nations have attained a level of stability after trials and errors, constant strikes and eventual revolutions. Those who cite Ghana as an example for Nigerian
workers to follow don’t know enough about the history of that country, the revolution of Jerry Rawlings, basically. Why are Nigerian rulers said to be among the most corrupt in the world, and how can complacency help ordinary Nigerians? I believe government must take pro-active measures against workers’ strikes. Most importantly, they should subdue their own greed, and maintain equity within the polity. Their transparent sense of balance and consideration for the general populace are obligatory preconditions for antidote to workers’ strikes, generally speaking. • Pius Oyeniran Abioje, Ph. D, University of Ilorin.
other. Ojukwu used a metaphor to explain his reasoning; ‘‘It is better that we move slightly apart and survive, it is much worse that we move closer and perish in the collision’’. The fulcrum of the agreement at Aburi was that each region would be responsible for its own affairs, and that the FMG would be responsible for matters that affected the entire country. Afterward the officers toasted their reconciliation with champagne. T By failing to implement the Aburi decisions, Nigeria missed a golden opportunity to find a constitutional arraignment acceptable to all of its constitutional parts. Had even half of the Aburi accords been ratified, Nigeria may have saved itself a substantial amount of the subsequent bloodshed that ensued over the next five decades and in this recent time. It is a sad commentary on the lack of progress that Nigeria has made since Aburi that the issues discussed then (over 45 years ago) are still being argued over today. Across Nigeria, there are groups agitating for greater devolvement of federal power to the regions. Although the mantra of these groups is ‘‘restructuring’’ of Nigerian federation. What they really intend is what Ojukwu wanted to achieve at the Aburi conference in 1976. Rather than engaging in another constitutional drafting/conference exercise at which will waste more taxpayer’s money, and serve as a means for corrupt ‘‘big men’’ to get even richer, Nigeria would do well to dip into its archives and review the transcript of the debate at Aburi. The debate transcript is sufficiently detailed to serve as a constitution in waiting. • Irabor Peter Odion Lagos
Uduaghan, save Umuti community now
IR: It is regrettable that Umuti community in Ndokwa East Local Government Area in Delta State has been totally abandoned by government despite the community’s efforts to bring economic development to the area. Umuti community was carved out from Isoko region to Ndokwa East because of its riverine location. Ever since the community was separated from Isoko region, there has been no viable infrastructural development despite regular petitions being written to the Delta
State government by Umuti community leaders. Umuti community is Isoko speaking located along the coast of Agbor community which is the Ukuwani speaking. Umute or Umutu is quiet difference from Umuti. The former belongs to Ukuwani while the latter is Isoko.Umuti community has suffered unprecedented marginalization without the government making efforts to change the situation. All political developments end only in Agbor while Umuti people are living at
the mercy of God. Umuti people are peace-loving to the core. The region is blessed with crude oil and gas and plantation farming in all ramifications, yet no government presence is felt by the people. During rainy season, Umuti community road linking Agbor community is unmotorable while in dry season the dust is unbearable and unhygienic to human beings. The transport fare is high as a result of the nature of Umuti road and others. These communities lack accessible roads, electricity, health care delivery system, water system
and telecommunication. The governor of Delta State needs to pay a courtesy visit to Umuti community and see the plight of the people by himself. Ndokwa East local government authorities needs to be called for questioning on while development is not felt in Isoko speaking riverine areas. Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan must take action.now. DESOPADEC must remember to visit Umuti community too. • Godday Odidi, Ajegunle Apapa Lagos.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012 16
Reality Bites T
HE roving youth who abandons his farm to seek greener pastures on his neighbour’s land is never as manly as the starving cow which kicks over its empty food bucket, leaps over the barnyard fence, and runs after its calf in milking time. Even the maternal cow begets greater respect than the Nigerian youth. Even a ploughwearied bullock commands greater dignity than a Nigerian youth and journalist who passionately badmouths Nassarawa United and Gateway FC to elevate A.C Milan, Manchester United et al. To all those who would rave that I have made another sweeping statement; they have never been more close to the truth. For the Nigerian youth I speak of comprises the heart and kernel of citizenry undeserving of our black, chocolate and beautiful complexions. The Nigerian youth I speak of comprise the dim and misty in personality and worth; like spent shadows, they epitomize an insensible perspiration towards the sun. Their contempt for their fatherland extends beyond their disdain
‘Thus is the tragedy of the Nigerian youth; he excitedly perfects the parable of a man who looks around for a coffin, every time he smells flowers. Sad, isn’t it?’
for Nigerian soccer and the local football league. Like the beautifully dull and half-witted, this generation of youth encapsulates an inordinate contempt for everything Nigerian. Unhesitatingly, they would dump the Nigerian dream for scraps and crusts of the American dream, the English dream, the South African dream, the Malaysian dream, the Ghanaian dream and even the Antarctic dream to mention a few. I cannot pontificate enough – despite my unrelenting self-righteousness –to lay a foundation of true understanding and compassion for their plight. I speak of the unrepentant critic forever mounting the soapbox in his living room, courtyard or public bar to curse our leadership and curse the times, even as he does nothing to improve the times. I speak of the Nigerian youth and journalist who would play muscle and press urchin to the most hideous politician for the paltriest fee – and turn around to blame the latter for everything that is wrong with Nigeria and his life. This young Nigerian journalist that I speak of espouses more bleakness and disdain for the Nigerian dream than his contemporaries across every other sector. By his contemporaries, I speak of children of the rich acquiring the best of Ivy League education abroad with stolen funds that they may come back to lord it over us. I speak of self-styled Nigerian youths and intellectuals washing the anuses of the senile in geriatric homes and hospices abroad, even as they come
STABLISHING a university is not as simple as an Englishman finding a coffee on his table and sipping it with pleasure. It is a capital intensive project. Gbenga Daniel got it completely wrong by establishing his so-called first University of Education in Nigeria which is funded like a primary school project. I think Nigerian politicians should find another way of making names for themselves and not toy with the education of our children. Quite unknown to many, Tai Solarin College of Education, Ijagun (TASCE) was a degree awarding institution (in education courses) just like Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo before it was changed to Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) in 2005 by the government of Gbenga Daniel. While the latter was doing so in conjunction with the University of Ife, the former was affiliated to the University of Ibadan. TASCE was of course running its National Certificate of Education (NCE) programme like Adeyemi College of Education until the 2005 change when it was moved from its Ijagun campus to Omu and TASUED supplanted it at Ijagun. Upon the change of the name from TASCE to TASUED in 2005, the degree students then in Year 2 continued their programme an left as graduates of ‘Tai Solarin College of Education in affiliation with the University of Ibadan’ while the new school, TASUED, began to admit fresh students in its name. What this implies is that the present students of TASUED will graduate as TASUED products even though the name of the school is now Institute of Education, Olabisi Onabanjo University. Therefore, there is no cause for any alarm on the part of the students. As a stakeholder in Ogun State, I have followed meticulously the activities of the new governor in the education sector. The following facts are incontrovertible about the administration. Senator Ibikunle Amosun (a) cancelled all forms of school
Metaphor of the round leather (5) (Portrait of a journalist in his youth) back home to belittle the impoverished teacher and farmer burning out under the worst living conditions, with dignity. I speak of postgraduate alumni from Nigeria driving cabs, pimping hookers, prostituting, cleaning public and private toilets, robbing, scamming and trafficking their sisters and mothers to foreign brothels for a fee. Then I speak of the very successful living abroad and yet propagating as much venom as impracticable solutions to every problem in our fatherland. Lest I forget the maddening horde of Nigerian youths whose clamours for change are meticulously smothered no sooner than they gain access to vulgar privileges they whole-heartedly condemn as the excesses of the ruling class. With this shameful lot, the Nigerian journalist in his youth brazenly casts his lot every time he incites cheerlessness and contempt for everything Nigerian. What pleasure is there to be derived from ridiculing one’s heritage just for the pleasure of doing so? The one who derives his thrill from doing so, himself becomes an everlasting jest, oftentimes to his great loss. The Nigerian youth who does so besmirches the essence of true citizenship and grace. But aren’t we all identifiable with such character? To this, many would vehemently object but it still doesn’t belie the fact that left to our own devices, we shamelessly abide with vile and degeneracy. Little wonder, the hue and cry over the removal of fuel subsidy has abated to a burp. Little wonder the profligacy and sleaze of the Nigerian ruling class became acceptable to the hordes of cowardly revolutionaries that threatened to “Occupy Nigeria.” The infinite cowardice in our
hearts shall continue to betray the riotous duplicity of our battle cries. The Nigerian youth is undoubtedly a researcher’s delight; every hour he substantiates the fraudulence of grief and revolutionary marches this side of the divide. Why were we in desperate haste to protest the profligacy and wanton looting of our public coffers by the ruling class only to cower at decision time? Why do we demean the electoral process despite its worth as the most powerful revolutionary tool yet? The biggest challenge facing the Nigerian youth is the Nigerian youth. Our persistent struggle against aristocratic tyranny is quite sufficient to keep us busy and enthusiastic but our fervor for the struggle is always half-hearted and uncoordinated. Having experienced more hardship than necessary in the formation of our character, we imagine a dark pall after every dark cloud and thus react with unforgivable cynicism to anything and everything. There is no special reason for this circumstance; the ones that were, have been rendered unjustifiable by our immoderate lust to circumvent the universe’s carefully ordered path to the good life. Not only is the Nigerian youth unable to believe the benefits in honest labour and patriotism, we are unable to believe in anything else. This reveals a worrisome state of affairs that emphasizes the loss and irredeemable corruption of old loyalties. Today, every lofty ideal of nationhood, honesty, justice and truth are ultimately far-fetched in our eyes. That is why we are reduced to a cesspool of nonstop tragedies. That is why we have Nigerian terrorists playing with bombs and snuffing
TASUED: Between facts and fiction By Olusegun Adebayo fees in all public primary and secondary schools, (b) distributed free textbooks and all learning materials to pupils of these schools, (c) reduced tuition fees payable in all state owned higher institutions of learning, (d) devoted 22 percent of the 2012 budget to education, (e) stopped the policy of the former administration that would have seen over 23,000 pupils out of school when the new session began in September, 2011, (f) began payment of subventions and running costs to all state owned educational institutions, (g) began regular payment of teachers or workers salaries and allowances despite inheriting a heavily indebted state, and (h) paid the Universal Basic Education counterpart fund for 2008 and 2009 (he became governor in 2011!). Is it then possible for the same man, who when he was not a governor was reportedly giving scholarships to hundreds of students, to now embark on a policy that will jeopardize the ambition of the same students? Even as Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE) under the ex-governor, the institution was poorly funded. Why then did ex-Governor Gbenga Daniel change the institution to a full-fledged university when it did not have the financial wherewithal to make it one? Some of us warned against proliferation of institutions then but our voices were drowned by those sycophants and hypocrites. I think what the new governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has done is simple and straightforward. Let TASCE return to its original campus and go on awarding its NCE programme, the primary reason it
was set up while the so-called university, TASUED, should become Institute of Education under Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) and have its campus at Omu. In effect, the Institute of Education is just like one of the campuses of OOU. Ideally, there was no need for proliferation of institutions in Ogun State. Attempting to be seen as the first to have a University of Education in Nigeria is cheap and needless propaganda when the products of the malnourished institution will not do more than be able to write their names after graduation! At any rate, does Ogun State need another public state university apart from OOU? Rather than struggle to revive the institution that was once a citadel of learning, the former governor left it on a life support and went on a wild goose chase by attempting to make a name for himself through TASUED project. I advise politicians of Yoruba extraction to study how Awolowo became a legend. Again, Daniel did the unthinkable by establishing four polytechnics in one fell swoop! And when you consider the fact that Ogun State has the highest number of higher institutions in Nigeria, you wonder the need to establish mushroom institutions. Lagos State, with a staggering monthly Internally Generated Revenue, has five state owned institutions, Oyo State has four, Osun five, Ondo and Ekiti have seven while Edo State has two. Yet, Ogun has 10 state owned institutions, in addition to the eight private higher institutions, four federal higher institutions, thus making a total of 22 in the state. What wisdom then informed the establishment of the so-
our lives like unstable candlelight in a storm. That is why we have very lazy and jobless youths threatening war if anything should happen to “their son,” Mr. President. That is why we suffer incessant cases of armed robbery, advance fee fraud and hooliganism. That is why we have more youths picking up charms, bullets and machine guns than a stethoscope, midget and chalk. It is the Nigerian youth that is blowing up Churches, Mosques and killing people in the north. It is the Nigerian youth that is passionately serving as assassins and political thugs. It is the Nigerian youth that is tirelessly totting guns and machete to rob and decapitate poor, helpless citizenry on our highways. It is the Nigerian youth blaming his lot on the ruling class even as he unquestioningly agrees to serve as canonfodder in the ruling class’ inhuman designs. It is also the Nigerian youth that passionately attempts to propagate the Nigerian dream against all odds but the efforts of such human elements are wholly inconsequential amidst the psychosis of the unbelieving and rampaging hordes. Goaded by such abject reality, the Nigerian youth, particularly the journalist, submits to the decadent and tirelessly projects it, arguing as he does that since he can neither beat nor correct the system, it is better he serves it. He conveniently forgets that it is by the honest fervor and citizenship of human elements like him that the foundations of the most powerful nations are built. Thus is the tragedy of the Nigerian youth; he excitedly perfects the parable of a man who looks around for a coffin, every time he smells flowers. Sad, isn’t it? • To be continued… For SMS only 08038551123
called University of Education? To add to the number of struggling institutions whose workers could not be paid salaries and allowances as at when due? Were there no reports in the media that Daniel was owing workers in some of these institutions salaries of between seven and 12 months? Even TASUED was borrowing money, up to five hundred million naira (N500m), to pay salaries when the Daniel administration was not paying, yet the institution was still owing workers months of outstanding salaries. Is that not a disservice to the future of our children? To expect hungry and famished staff to nurture a future for Ogun must have been wishful thinking on the part of the former governor. Resources saved from administrative costs in running TASUED and those ICT Polytechnics, in addition to the enhanced budgets for the institutions, should now be deployed to raise the standard of OOU and the other institutions in the state. • Chief Adebayo, a retired civil servant, writes from Iperu, Ogun State.
‘Lagos State, with a staggering monthly Internally Generated Revenue, has five state owned institutions, Oyo State has four, Osun five, Ondo and Ekiti have seven while Edo State has two. Yet, Ogun has 10 state owned institutions, in addition to the eight private higher institutions, four federal higher institutions, thus making a total of 22 in the state.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
EDITORIAL/OPINION ‘We have modified our environment so radically that we must now modify ourselves to exist in this new environment.’ ———Norbert Wiener UT for the sake of bonding, the title of the continuing piece of today from last week ought to read: February 13 and the Lagos environment. This is because on Monday, February 13, 2012, Lagos experienced another early in its morning 15 minutes wind/ rain devastation that Abayomi Oyegoke, Chief Meteorologist, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) described as ‘hurricane and the rain, an isolated case signalling to the people of Lagos to prepare for more of such rainfalls that travelled at a speed of about 65 kilometres per hour.’ Sadly too, the promise of Oyegoke sometimes last year that NIMET “can give up to 72 hours notice to people so that they can prepare’’ was not fulfilled prior to the Monday freak storm and lightening speed rains. Even if the Lagos government had prepared for the rains through desilting of drains and other preventive measures which it actually had done as would be shown subsequently in this piece, NIMET should have told Lagosians ahead what can be done to stop or contain ruinous winds. From Jakande Housing Estate, Oke-Afa, Isolo, Ikoyi, Okokomaiko, Sabo, Ebute-Metta, Yaba, Ijesha, Okota, Lekki Phase One, Festac Town, Surulere, Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Osborne Road, Adeola Odeku and Obalende among others, the devastations were uncontrollable. Roofs of houses were blown off, streetlights and telecommunication masts were pulled down crushing cars and people in the process. On the ever busy Third Mainland Bridge, over 35 street lights and electric poles were reportedly pulled down. This once again brings to the fore the pertinent question as to the preparedness of the Lagos State Government to combat the coming rains and the accompanying flood. Before the Monday incident, the Ministry of the Environment has visibly taken more than a casual approach to its efforts geared towards a flood free raining season this year. On a deeper reflection, this underscores the special attention accorded the environment by the high performing Governor Babatunde Fashola. The governor’s policy on Zero Tolerance targets especially in markets across the state is shown in the reported closure of the Mile-12 Market
EADERS without vision do not care about history. They are too dim and too enamored with the trappings of this fleeting moment to spare a thought for tomorrow. They bury themselves in the inane perquisites of today’s office and position; they deny the reality of tomorrow and ignore the power of history. But surely there will be tomorrow and history will be told as long as there is life on earth. If only leaders in positions would stop awhile and pop the question at themselves: how will history judge me? How will history judge the current Senate President, David Bonaventure Mark? I have elected to ask this question on this page for many reasons. First it was triggered by the news recently that each Senator will get a N16 million state-of-the-art jeep as official car and second, at the end of this tenure, he would have been in the Senate for a total of 16 years, eight of which would have been at the helm of the National Assembly as Senate President. This position makes him the de facto number two man in the land. But most important, providence has hoisted him onto a position to tinker with history, to shape history, to direct history and in deed to make history. So we ask today, what has he done (will he do in the remaining period) with this gavel of history handed to him. But sorry to say that so far, he has bungled his moments in history and here are some reasons why: Poor personal leadership example: As has been mentioned above, the senate presidency is the second most powerful and influential position in the land and Mark would have done eight years by 2015. Under a more perspicacious and insightful personage, that position has the capacity to bring about farreaching changes in Nigeria. By sheer effusion of personal examples from the man at the helm, the legislative arm (down to the State assemblies) would have been the unblinking moral compass of the various governments. We saw a glimmer of this leadership precept in the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He said he would uphold the rule of law, he showed practical examples at the critical time and soon the judiciary caught on to it and this was reflected in the court rulings of that time. He declared his assets and made it public for the whole world to see; the first time any president would do that in our recent
July 10 and the Lagos environment-2 by the state government because operators of the market failed to meet set environmental sanitation standards despite several official admonitions. Just yesterday too, the Oja-Oba market in Abule-Egba area was closed down for similar reason. To curb flood this season, the Lagos State Government is concertedly working to ensure the completion of all ongoing construction, dredging and maintenance of drainage projects scattered across the 57 local government councils in the state. Flood prone areas in the state including Ogba Mobile Filling Station, IkosiKetu, Mile 12, Agiliti, Thomas Laniyan Estate, Owode-Onirin, Agboyi, Owode Elede, Maidan and Isheri North Scheme have received deserving official intervention that would make life bearable for people living around or plying those areas and others in the state. Furthermore, the ongoing school deflooding programmes is commendable because it has seen to the deflooding (so as to guarantee conducive academic environment) of virtually all the identified 300 schools reportedly affected by flood in the state. One critical means of controlling flood and erosion is beautification of the environment. The Lagos Government is ingrained in this and it has led to the beautification and dredging in places such as Costain, Coker/Aguda, Ijeshatedo, Apapa/Iganmu, Ikeja, Pen Cinema, Ojota, Falomo, Surulere and other areas of the State. For example, the Elere area collector drain
has been upgraded to accommodate the flow of high volume of water that usually discharged on old Abeokuta express road by ensuring that 1.5 by 1.5 concrete channel would take water from Elere to Afa-Nla. This commendable move that is to bring big relief to people living around Agege and Oko-Oba this rainy season is being replicated in other flood prone areas in Lagos. Environmental degradation has become a global problem that does not stop at a nation’s borders. But the government of Lagos is saying no to slums, it is saying no to illegal building on canals. The Fashola government is saying no to bad disposable habits, to patronage of domestic waste disposal truck pushers and it has empirically moved into action by putting in place a policy action to curb these. The most populous state in the federation with high concentration of people from various ethnic groups in the country deserves a special consideration on ecological funding. President Jonathan will do well by making good his promise to assist the state the last time he visited. If he had money to give to spare parts’ sellers and hairdressers in Lagos in the days preceding the last Presidential election, just to induce then to vote for him, he should spare the state government some funds to spend on the environment. It is even a fact that most of the streetlights that collapsed, especially on the Third Mainland bridge, belong to the Federal Government that has refused to maintain them. Most of those built by the state on Eko
EXPRESSO STEVE OSUJI
SMS O8055001684 email:firstname.lastname@example.org
David Mark in the vortex of history history. Without being prompted, his vice and other governors followed suit. In less than three years, Yar’Adua made more salutary impact on the psyche of Nigerians and had more positive influence on our system than President Olusegun Obasanjo did in eight years. Today, the bonfire billowing in the upper chamber can be seen burning most assuredly in all the houses of assembly across the land. Just like the Senate, they have all become hollow chambers of mercantilism and debauchery. Lack of probity and transparency: All of a sudden Nigerians can’t tell anymore, how much their legislators earn. All we know now is that being a legislator in Nigeria (at any level) is the best job in the world. It must be the highest paying and most risk-free job known anywhere. Never a headache from any graft agency as other government officials suffer; in spite of the cries and clamour by the populace the legislature insist on creating a fiscal haven of its own that defies appropriation acts and revenue guidelines. The hallowed chamber of the National Assembly (NASS) seems ensconced in the bosom of mammon and held spell bound by its self-awarded boundless perquisites of office. NASS is certainly the new honey pot of a rotten Republic. Legislators have become so licentious that they would corral banks into granting them billions of naira in loans to share. At what interest rates and costs to the taxpayer? It is on this framework that the
current Senators would award themselves a N16 million official car in a time of severe austerity in the land. At a period the populace has been badgered into relinquishing the only ‘subsidy’ they enjoy; at a time that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has determined that 100 million Nigerians are dirt poor earning less the$1 a day. It is doubtful if any other senator anywhere in the world rides such an exotic machine at tax payers’ expense. Oversight function, oversight extortion: This is the most critical function of the legislature apart from passing bills. But this key instrument of check and balance has been bastardised and debased. It has become an instrument for self-aggrandisement and extortion. MDAs across the country are comatose and non-functioning because oversight function on them is weak or nonexistent. If the legislature is compromised by the MDAs where would it find the moral authority to exercise oversight? Any wonder things like turnaround maintenance (TAM) on our refineries are mired, a road project right under the nose of the Senate in Abuja is overpriced to the tune of N38 billion; corruption grows organic and cancerous in the land eating up the entire fabric of the society yet nobody seems to know what to do. What about the probe panels in various legislative assemblies? Mum is the word on this cash cow. People alienated and unrepresented: May we urge the Senate President to do an unscheduled tour of the constituency offices
Bridge survived the storm and lightening rains. This is however not to say that agencies of state government like the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) should not be better focussed and positioned to ensure that bill boards are safely erected in the interest of public safety. That should be given due consideration now by the agency’s leadership. One cannot but remember the words of Norbert Wiener when he said: ‘We have modified our environment so radically that we must now modify ourselves to exist in this new environment.’ The Lagos government has done so well to ensure that environmental hazards are reduced to the barest minimum in the approaching rainy season. But government efforts alone will not suffice because flooding is not caused in most cases by natural causes. Bad disposable habits on the part of the people play a major role. The grimy attitudes of people quite naturally lead to blockages of canals and man-holes resulting in the type of floods that occurred on Monday and even on July 10 last year. The Lagos government has modified the environment so radically that it is now left for the people to modify themselves to the environment. The Emergency Flood Abatement Gang (EFAG) in the Ministry of the Environment acts as a quick response squad to provide emergency services of flood-related distress in Lagos State. EFAG undertakes the construction, re-construction or rehabilitation of drains, culverts, manholes including covers, inspection of chambers and conduit drains where necessary. And the Gang has done a lot in the last few weeks especially in desilting drains to ensure free flow of water during this rainy season. Its job can only be meaningful if the people compliment this with civilised disposable habits. One is not unduly being an alarmist but it is very important to be alarmed at the bad environmental habits of our people. The able hands in the Ministry of the Environment comprising Commissioner Tunji Bello and ably supported by Engr. Muyideen Akinsanya and Dr. Titilayo Anibaba, (both committed Permanent Secretaries in the Office of Drainage Services and that of the Office of Environmental Services respectively), have done so well to prepare the state for the challenges of this coming rainy season. Let us now prepare ourselves as a people by complying with physical planning and environmental sanitation laws. of his members and while at it, inspect the constituency projects for which huge funds are allotted to his members. It is a stark fact that most Nigerians do not know their legislators; there is hardly any functional constituency office anywhere, no projects for monies allotted and no town hall meetings. No country will grow one inch with legislators of this ilk. In conclusion, the NASS has become very toxic to this country, unbeknown to the members. The onus is on David Mark to resolve to pick his spot in history. Let’s note that history is not about the wealthiest man or the most powerful of his time but about he who brings the most positive change to his people and society. Fortunately he still has a bit of time. Few quick things he can do quietly with his colleagues include fashioning out a simple, workable out a code of conduct,; making sure that all members have standard and functional constituency offices, ensure town hall meetings are held regularly by members, ensure that the auditor-general of the federation does his work and releases his annual report promptly, and ensure probity, accountability and transparency in the finances of the Senate. The Senate can rescue the country from the current slide down the slope if it resolves to have a fresh start. Last mug: One word for IGP M.D. Abubakar: from what we have read, there is a small comma to the new IGP’s education and his stint as CP in Jos. But here is his chance to redeem himself. He has asked that road blocks be dismantled in some parts of the country. I say kudos to him for this. Our police road blocks, especially on our highways are the most confounding if not stupid sights I have ever beheld. They served only to help policemen delay and extort commuters. Let’s have a lot more intelligence; deploy the police budget as appropriated; Boko Haram has consumed two IGPs and it is still counting… Goodluck.
‘It is doubtful if any other senator anywhere in the world rides such an exotic machine at tax payers’ expense’
HEALTH Aregbesola pledges healthcare to people Osun
CAPACITY Okorocha gives free education
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
HAVOC Residents bemoan losses Lagos
OR the Okori people in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State, the end-of-theyear celebration is one event that everyone who is indigenous to the area looks forward to every year. This is so because it provides them the opportunity not only to unite in love but also to show appreciation to their visionary leader. This year’s annual end-of-the year celebration, which took place, recently featured cultural dances, some of which celebrate some unique aspect of the community. The Dede Masquerade group and Mgbede Cultural Dance group performed to the delight of the crowd that trouped out to the arena. The cultural event put together by the paramount ruler of Okori, His Royal Highness Chief Appolus Chu was one of the biggest in recent years. The people, being appreciative of monarch’s commitment to uplift the area described the event as part of strategies through which their paramount ruler develops the place. The people displayed various cultural dances and costumes. While the women were dressed in same attire – pink blouses, blue wrapper and pink headgear to match, the men wore long robes and wrappers with hats to match as traditional to the South-South region. The youth were not left out as they also trooped in T-shirts and pants – all with the intention to unite and celebrate one another for the great achievement brought about by their visionary leader. The event is not all about festivity, but was much more about celebrating one another and thanking God for His mercy throughout the year. High point of the celebration was the inauguration of Chief Appolus Chu Foundation in partnership with the community women. The foundation is to cater for the lessprivileged people in the society as well as those in dire need of medical help. More than this, the Appolus Chu Foundation also has a programme that would provide education for the youth of the Okori community and its environs. “In this place, we have not really had the impact of government. We
HE Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke has emphasised that most of the challenges confronting the country are as a result of the breakdown of our cherished cultural values. Chief Duke disclosed this while presenting an address at the 2nd National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) management retreat which theme was “Consolidating the Gains of the Past.” The
•From right: Ruler, Okori, Eleme, HRH, Chief Appolus Chu; King of Eleme Kingdom, HRM Dr. Samuel Oluka Ejire and ruler, Aleto Clan, HRH Chief Phili Osaro Obele at the inauguration of Chief Appolus Chu Foundation and commissioning of the Foundation bus
Cultural splendour as community celebrates Event as showcase for unity Monarch floats foundation By Kehinde Falode
lag behind in terms of education and skills acquisition. So, this foundation will provide education and skill to
the people of this community, particularly youths and women,” Chu said. The paramount ruler said over 1, 000 students would be trained in
various fields of education and skills before his next birthday which would be marked this year. He, therefore, called on members of the community to take advantage
of the opportunity available to them at all time by being determined, hardworking and serious in educating and empowering themselves for their future and that of the community. “The whole world is being computerised and so we do not want our people to be left behind. So, this necessitated the scholarship scheme on computer training for the youth,” Chu said. One of the community leaders, Chief Isaac Osaro Laka Chindo said he was solidly behind Chu for sustaining the rich cultural heritage of the Okori people through the annual fiesta. He further said the •Continued on Page 27
Minister decries loss of cultural values From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri
event held at City Global Hotel Owerri, the Imo State capital. According to the minister, a lot still needed to be done so as to change the mental attitude of the people, especially the youth, even as he stated that there is every need to restrategise our re-orientation programmes.
The minister, who was represented by his Special Assistant, Dr. Paul Adamiku urged the institute to fashion out orientation programmes for youth, explaining that the task is on the society to instil in the youth, the value of work and good behavioural attitude. His words; “The onus is on us to instil in them the values of patriotism, hard work and respect for constituted authority. It is also our duty to dis-
courage them from the get-richquick syndrome which has become the bane of our developmental efforts.” High Chief Duke further explained that the management retreat would provide opportunity for strategic planning by key stakeholders in the organisation and the platform for the executive secretary and the directors of the institute to carry out a critical re-appraisal of its mandate, vision, mission
and past performance. This, he said, is with a view to eliciting an action plan for improved performance in the future. He pointed out that they were expected to use the forum to deliberate extensively and analyze their strength, weakness and challenges and come up with cutting edge programmes. The outcome, he stated, •Continued on Page 27
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
Enugu plans face-lift of cities, urban centres
HE Enugu State Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, Mr John Egbo, says the state government plans to beautify its capital city and other urban centres to make them models. In an interview with journalists in Enugu, Egbo said the state governor, in its four-point agenda, undertook this to ensure that its infrastructure became number one in the country. He said the provision of infrastructure and a concerted effort to beautify Enugu, them would engender job creation, expansion of the economy in the areas of rural
Govt to tackle environmental pollution in Niger Delta
INISTER of Petroleum Resources,Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke says the Federal Government is committed to tackling environmental pollution in the Niger Delta. This assurance was contained in a statement issued by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Mr Levi Ajuonuma, in Abuja. The statement said the minister would tommorow embark on an assessment tour of the site of a recent fire from a gas well leak in Bayelsa. It said there was fire from an explosion from a new gas well head at a gas platform operated by Chevron along Koluama River in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State The statement said the visit would enable the minister to have an on-the-spot
Delta assessment of the situation. “In view of the likely environmental impact that may arise from the continuing fire, the minister has invited the management of Chevron Nigeria Limited to be part of the visit,’’ it said. It said the visit would also afford the minister the opportunity to appraise the impact of the incident on the adjoining communities and how the problem could be rectified. The statement said the Federal Government would continue to engage all stakeholders and host communities in tackling pollution in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country.
development, service delivery and good governance. Egbo said that while the infrastructure needed to be maintained, there would also be the need to beautify them. “The problem is a normal one; trying to change the habit of the people who are used to throwing trash, who are used to dropping waste everywhere. “We are trying to change it so that people can really understand that good health is wealth, you need to keep your environment clean and that will make you a healthier person.” The commissioner urged residents of Enugu to try and put their waste products inside nylon bags and dump them at ESWAMA stands near them.
•Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State inspecting the channel connecting the five Junction Canal and the Traditional Ground along the New Lagos Road in Benin City
Ebonyi: Fresh cases of polio worry govt
HE Ebonyi State Governor Chief Martin Elechi has expressed worry over new cases of transmission of wild polio virus in the country and solicited the involvement of traditional rulers in the area of immunisation to prevent the disease. Chief Elechi, who was represented by his Deputy Chief Dave Umahi, made the disclosure during the third nationwide quarterly sensitisation campaign on polio
Ebonyi From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki
eradication launched at the Women Development Centre, (WDC) Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital with the theme:“Community Leaders Against Polio”. According to the governor, “The new cases of transmission of wild polio virus in the country
Rainstorm: Council chief inspects damaged schools T
HE Executive Chairman of Mushin Local Government Hon. Olatunde Adepitan has embarked on the inspection of public schools affected by the recent early morning rainstorm in Mushin Local Government Area. Adepitan was visibly moved by the level of destruction to school buildings, fences, roofs and classrooms during the inspection At Igbo-Owu Junior Secondary School, Mushin, classrooms, offices, trees electric poles among at other things were destroyed in the Monday morning downpour. At Ilasamaja Road Primary School, also in Mushin, several blocks of classrooms and other buidings the school were affected by the rainstorm In the same vein, a school building under construction at Barawa Nursery and Primary School was affected. The roof of the building was blown-off, affecting the nearby Home Economics building within the school complex. The chairman, who was accompanied by members of the executive, legislative management and school board officials assured the teachers and pupils that appropriate steps will be taken to ameliorate the in sufferings. Mr. Sunday Akinola, the zonal Director,
Schools Inspectorate, appealed to the council chairman to come to the aid of the effected schools without any delay. Mr Rafiu Olokodana, the Executive Secretary, Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) pleaded with the council to help the schools, the teachers and the pupils.
Vehicle owners warned THE Lagos Police Command has warned owners of vehicles parked at its Iponri Division to remove them immediately or lose them through auction. They are: 1. Volkswagen LT28 bus XY941KJA 2. Mitsubishi Saporo AY941EKY 3. Peugeot 505 unregistered 4. Mercedes Benze car – LA4747MK 5. Volkswagen bus – XJ785FKJ 6. Mercedes Benz Faka bus unregistered 7. Volkswagen bus – XD404NRA 8. Ford car EP 948AAA
•Hon Adepitan (middle) with some council officials during the inspection
• From right: Chief Whip, Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) Hon Rasaq Balogun; Chairman, Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area Hon Hakeem Bamgbola and Chairman, LAHA Committee on Local Government Hon Olanrewaju Oshun during the committee’s visit to the council at Baruwa, Lagos.
‘Support govt for development’
HE newly installed Onisemo of Lagos, Ibejusi 1, Chief Akintola Olalekan has urged residents of Lagos to support government programme in order to achieve the transformation of the state. Speaking to reporters in Lagos during his inauguration as one of the white cap chiefs in Lagos, Olalekan observed that the state had continued to transform under the current administration making it to compete with other better cities in the world. He stressed that except the people cooperate with government it would be difficult to give the mega-city the befitting devlopment rrequired. He said: “You see if people pay their taxes promptly, it is the responsibility of government to respond promptly to their needs. When you deny government the means of raising fund for its transformational agenda then it becomes very difficult to achieve success.” The Onisemo maintained that he would play the fatherly role which tradition demands of him in his domain and pledged that both indigenes and non-indigenes lawful rights to business would be protected. “This is possible when you don’t engage in shady deals and obey the laws of the land, we in our capacity as royal fathers, will make sure that the people receive useful advice that will be of huge benefit to them on daily basis.”
By Musa Odoshimokhe
According to him, his race to the position of Onisemo which was contested with others when the stool became vacant since 2006 came at a good time when Lagos actually needed the support of traditional title holders to carry the grassroots along as tradition and transformation could not be separated. Onisemo, who particularly thanked the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu for the fatherly role he played during the contest for the title, maintained that his wise counsel and unbiased disposition to the affairs was the icing on the cake. “I have a cordial relationship with the Oba, he is my royal father. When we contested the title, a letter was written to him trying to subvert my access to the throne but he looked into the matter dispassionately and allowed wisdom to prevail.” He promised to carry everybody along since in any contest there are bound to be winners and losers. Again, as a royal representative of the people in his domain, he said he was not in any position to be partisan but embrace everybody. •Bamgbola
has become a source of concern to us, the disease often leads to permanent disabilities in children. We, therefore,call on traditional rulers and stakeholders at the grassroots to join hands with government to ensure total eradication of the disease in the country”. The campaign is third in the series of coordinated approach adopted by the Governor’s Forum in conjunction with development partners to stop further transmission of wild polio virus which has made Nigeria to remain in the list of four countries where the disease is endemic. While appreciating the level of commitment shown by government in the fight against the disease, the DeputyGovernor observed that more still need to be done in sensitization at the grassroots to curb the menace of the disease. The Commissioner for Health, Dr Sunday Nwangele in a presentation, noted that Ebonyi State had remained polio free since 2009 but pointed out the transmission of the virus in neighbouring states could pose a threat to the state and urged parents to ensure that their children were fully immunised. Dr Nwangele advised the traditional rulers to report to the ministry if immunisation officers failed to visit their communities during immunisation programmes provided free to protect children from polio and other child killer diseases.
Imo gives free education
MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha, has awarded scholarships to students of Imo origin in the state polytechnic and university in fulfillment of his commitment to free and qualitative education. He said this would also extend to secondary school students in the state aside the free education currently enjoyed by pupils in primary schools. Okorocha made this known in his “State of Imo Address” held at the Heroes Square, Owerri. He said students of Imo origin in the state university were each entitled to a scholarship of N100,000 annually as against the subsisting payment of not more than N50,000 as fees by the students. He said his government had also approved the payment of N60,000 per annum to all OND students in the polytechnic and N80,000 per annum to HND students who are indigenes. The governor, however, said that N30,000 and N20,000 of the money for the
Cleric urges prayers AS the country faces security, economic and religious challenges in recent times, a Christian cleric, Rev Gbenga Adekoya has enjoined Nigerians to pray fervently for God’s intervention in the affairs of the country. Rev Adekoya, who is the Senior Pastor, City of Refuge, Anthony Village Foursquare Gospel Church, gave the admonition during a special message tagged: “Why we need to pray for Nigeria”. The cleric called on Nigerians to be united in prayers as the problem of the country is spiritual, saying that issues concerning our economy and security call for closed scrutiny. “They are beyond theories and empirical analyses as presently done”. According to him, “For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood but against the powers, against world rulers of this present darkness”. He recalled how former American President Abraham Lincoln emphasised the need for the state and citizens to depend on the overruling power of God .
university and polytechnic students respectively, shall be treated as loans. “The disbursement of the proceeds of the scholarship shall be made directly to the institutions. “With this development, those tertiary institutions shall be treated as autonomous entities, thus satisfying their age-long call for university autonomy,” he said. To douse the controversy surrounding the relocation of Imo University, the governor said his administration planned to establish three universities in the three senatorial zones of the state. “It is also the desire of this administration to establish three universities in the three senatorial zones and I believe this would bring the needless controversy over the relocation of the university to a close,” he said. Okorocha explained that his administration, within eight months, had put more than 600 kilometres of roads, across the state, under
200 libraries coming
• Okorocha construction, adding that completion of the urban and rural roads would ease the flow of vehicular and human traffic. He said that the government had also embarked on the construction of new general hospitals in the 27 local government areas to enhance quality healthcare for the people.
HE Anambra State government will construct libraries in 200 secondary schools to enhance learning in the state, Governor Peter Obi has said. Speaking at a workshop for principals of schools in the South-East zone in Awka, Obi said that money for the libraries would be sent to principals of the schools within 90 days. Obi expressed regrets that money sent to various schools for project execution through the ministry of education in the past was not properly accounted for. He warned the principals that the state government would not condone any lapses in its efforts to develop the education subsector, saying that principals who failed to use the money for the purpose it was meant would be severely punished. In her remarks, the first National Vice President of All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Mrs Ngozi Njoku, urged the participants to impart the knowledge acquired during the training to their students. Earlier, the President of ANCOPSS in the state, Mrs Joy Ulasi, said the workshop was a mandatory professional training for principals in the zone for improved managerial skills and academic excellence.
Bayelsa to enjoy free primary, secondary education OVERNOR Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has declared a state of emergency in education and the immediate take-off of free and compulsory education in primary and secondary schools. Dickson made the declaration in Yenagoa when he took the oath of office at the Isaac Boro Peace Park. He also promised to rebuild educational
Bayelsa infrastructure and ensure the completion of the three senatorial roads in the state. The governor promised that his administration would not tolerate corruption and vowed to plug all leakages and sources of corruption. He stressed that the days of enrichment without labour, and funding the greed and avarice of a few at the expense of the development of the people, were over. “I will rather use our common wealth to fund the construction of roads, education, tourism, wealth creation and agriculture.” He urged the people to be prepared for a fundamental paradigm shift in the governance culture, values and lifestyle of public officials. “I am aware that we will face resistance. We may be misunderstood, but we shall always do what is right in the interest of the people. “To do nothing now about the corrupt, decadent and self-serving status quo poses a clear and present danger to the very existence of our state and will be the greatest disservice to our aspirations as Ijaw people.” Dignitaries at the occasion included his Deputy, John Jonah, former Governor Diepreye Alamiyeseigha and former Deputy Governor Peremobowei Ebebi. Others were former military Administrator of Delta and Ebonyi, Walter Feghabor, former Managing Director of NDDC, Chief Timi Alaibe and King Johnny Turner, among others.
•From left: Convener, Yoruba for Democratic Value (YDV) Debo Adeniran flanked Mr Kunle Adesokan (left) and Mr Kola Are during a briefing by YDV at Ogba, Lagos
Commission holds workshop
HE Lagos State Local Government Service Commission has held a one-day interactive session with local government top functionaries in the state. In his opening address, the chairman of the commission, Alhaji Moshood. O. Ojikutu said the purpose was to discuss personnel problems in the councils with a view to repositioning them for effective grassroots administration and development. The initiative, according to him, was informed by complaints received at a recent forum for local government chairmen in the state. The complaints bordered on attitude of workers as they relate to their dedication to work, honesty and transparency. Aside, he said the recent tour of the 57 councils “opened eyes to irregularities and disturbing revelations in job performance and attitude to work of the very bureaucracy of the service”. On staff general attitude to work, the major complaint, it was noted that “staff are not punctual at work while those who come resume and close at their own time” . He placed this laxity at the doorsteps of the council managers who should show examples, saying that local government service is not inferior to services at the state and federal levels. He added that workers should not look shabby but corporate.
By Bode Monogbe
He said further that political leadership in the councils “doubted the loyalty of the council manager and treasurers”. He enjoined the affected officers to give serious consideration to achievement of goals while complying with rules. Ojikutu noted that the tour of councils revealed a deplorable state of office accomodation, saintary facilities and other welfare facilities for staff in some councils . According to him, “it is a pointer to the little attention council managers pay to their staff”. He demanded improvement. He equally complained about the response time to issues and questions sent to local government. Commissioners from the commission relived their experiences during the tour and advised the concerned officials to turn a new leaf. Speaking with the Permanent Secretary, Local Government, Establishment and Pension Office, Mrs R.I. Obasa, she said the interactive session became necessary because of the findings that emanated from the tour of the 57 councils. According to her, this will rub off on the masses in form of good administration and effective delivery of dividends of democracy. In a similar vein, the Director of Training, Mrs M.O. Akin-Aderibigbe said such workshop will be held periodically to achieve the best in grassroots administration.
•From left:Mrs Akin-Aderibigbe; Dr Erinosho,Secretary, Primary Health care Board and Mrs Bello,Director of Finance and Administration, at the event
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
Cultural splendour as community celebrates •Continued from Page 25 celebration was so significant that it enables the sons and daughters of Eleme to enjoy the great association that exists in the different communities that make up Eleme. This, he said, was made possible only by Chu who has been led by God to bring the people together in love and unity. “You can see how every one is rallying round him because we all appreciate all the help he has rendered to the community. He is now regarded as a champion of leadership in Eleme,” said Chindo. He said that with formal launch of the Appolus Chu Foundation, it is hoped that others would be informed about its existence and then contribute their quota for the benefit of the community. “Chief Appolus Chu is the only man in Eleme that unites the whole community in love and togetherness. No one has been able to do what Chu has done in this community. We have not seen any of his kind yet,” said
another community leader, Chief Sunday who noted that the end-ofthe-year celebration served as a unifying factor for the entire members of the Eleme community. He said the newly inaugurated Foundation would bring more progress and development to the youth in the community. A son of Okori and one of the beneficiaries of the Computer training being offered by the Foundation, Olaka Osaro Olaka, is currently taking a course on Auto Card. “Several sons and daughters of Okori are doing well and have been very appreciative since this initiative came on board. Many people who had little or no idea about computer are now computer literate and are doing well. Chief Chu has equally promised to do more by extending the gesture to other communities in Eleme,” he said. As a graduate of the University of Calabar, young Osaro who studied System Analysis said he is not done yet. “The world is moving by the day
•Cultural Dancer at the event
and when you see an opportunity to update yourself, if you do not seize the opportunity, you become obsolete. So, for the opportunity that Chu
has provided, I wouldn’t say that I am done because I have to update myself. Again, I get inspiration from him because I am currently sponsoring trainings and as I see him do this, I am inspired to do more. Even if I have not gotten to the stage that he has today, I am consoled by the fact that he started somewhere,” Osaro said. He used the opportunity to express his gratitude to Chu on behalf of every youth that had benefited from the training, even as he called on other members of the community who are public-spirited to complement Chief Chu’s efforts. For the youth of Okori therefore, this year promises to be more productive. The President, Okori Youth Council, Noble Nwolu said the youth of Eleme have benefited tremendously from Chu because, in the recent time, he has given some of the youth schol-
arships to study Computer Science. Apart from the computer training for the youth, Chu, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Anasami Construction (Nig) Limited, Port Harcourt, a major contractor with Shell Plc, has been instrumental to the employment of over 100 youths in Eleme and its environs, both in Shell and in his firm. This gesture of his alone, the youth say is more than what a local government can do for its youths. Not just that, the monarch they said, single-handedly built a town hall in the community where, at various times, the youth have held their meetings and other activities. He has even gone a step further to launch a Foundation called the Chief Appolus Chu Foundation for the less-privileged in the community so that all the welfare activities for the community and the youth would be channelled through the foundation.
The whole world is being computerised and so we do not want our people to be left behind. So, this necessitated the scholarship scheme on computer training for the youth •Another cultural dancer
•Continued from Page 25
would go along way in addressing the challenges confronting the culture sector and the nation in general. The minister revealed that the institute has a good number of programmes, which are designed to promote and project our cultural heritage
Minister decries loss of cultural values and give the people, especially the youth, a sense of cultural direction. He commended the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma and management of the institute for this initiative, which he said is designed
The onus is on us to instil in them the values of patriotism, hard work and respect for constituted authority. It is also our duty to discourage them from the get-rich-quick syndrome which has become the bane of our developmental efforts
to provide opportunities for management to review performance and trends, as well as deliberate on action plan for improved performance. Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary, NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma disclosed that there is no gainsaying the fact that our inability to keep pace with the development strides of other countries is traceable to the erosion of our cultural norms. He highlighted that the security challenges and most of the contradictions we are experiencing as a people today are as a result of the belief in money over good name, patriotism and intellect. Dr. Ayakoroma stated that in the past couple of years, the institute had engaged various stakeholders and governments
in various cultural content initiatives in the pursuit of their mandate, such as quarterly media workshop for art writers. This, he said, was with a view to aligning the reporters with cultural matters that are essential for national integration and cultural diplomacy.
He stated that their past cannot be glossed over without mentioning the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programmes, which, according to him, they intend to re-energise and revitalise beyond the current educational policy level on languages.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
Lawyers endorse petroleum sector reform
HEN the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke announced the setting up of a National Refineries Special Task Force to look into how the refineries in the country can work effectively, many see it as a welcome development. Some eminent lawyers see the development as a good one. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, observed that the step taken so far by the petroleum ministry shows that government is responsive to the yearnings of the people. He said: “It is a right step in the right direction and it is also important to note that, but for the public protest by the people of Nigeria to whom sovereignty belongs, no one would have thought that all that the government is doing now are necessary. “What it has shown is that people’s power and sovereignty should be respected. I see what the government is doing now as a sign of sincerity on their part. There is much sincerity in it and it will surely succeed.” Another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Joe Gadzama also described the development as a right step in the right direction. To him, reform is an on-going process which will take sacrifice on the part of the people to benefit from. “It is a good thing that govern-
By Tajudeen Adebanjo
ment has done because reforms are part of life and they must be ongoing. In fact, let me say that the reform should have even come before now. Another advantage of the reform is that they serve as checks and balances because even the Bible says that man’s heart, from inception, is tended towards mischief. You need the grace of God to change the heart of man. “We want good governance, accountability and transparency. If we really want to fight corruption, we must have a system that serves as check on everybody. The President is being checked by the National Assembly, the Judiciary also has a system through which it is being checked. So, the committee put in place to look into reforms in the petroleum sector is a welcome development. “We must embrace the committee, we must encourage it and I call on Nigerians to give them the useful information that could lead to the much-desired transformation in the petroleum sector. The committee set up by the Minister of Petroleum Resources is in order and it is highly commendable. “I want to see what the govern-
ment is doing in the petroleum sector as the confirmation of what the government promised before the fuel subsidy protest. “If you look at the calibre of people that were appointed into the committee, you will see some level of seriousness and sincerity. They are respected and prominent Nigerians who will not take decisions to please anybody. They are people with genuine interest of Nigerians at heart. These are some of the best Nigerians we have. If they cannot do it, so, who can do it? We can’t go and bring outsiders to do it for us. I think it is a right step government has taken this time
round.” The task force, chaired by former Finance Minister, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, is to produce a diagnostic report on the operations, finances and efficiency of Nigeria’s four main refineries. The committee set up by the minister is expected to: • Conduct a high-level assessment of Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries; • Review all past reports and assessments and produce a diagnostic report complete with a change journey map; • Review the operations of Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries with a view to improving
We want good governance, accountability and transparency. If we really want to fight corruption, we must have a system that serves as check on everybody. The President is being checked by the National Assembly, the Judiciary also has a system through which it is being checked
efficiency and commercial viability. The findings of this review would form part of the diagnostic report; • Work with a world-class firm to audit the finances of Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries and produce audited accounts for the companies over the past two years ending December 31, 2011; • Design a template for key production/management-critical performance indicators to be tracked on a periodic basis for ministerial review; • Design an automated information work bench to monitor the performance of Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries on an online basis; and • Review all licenses issued for new refineries in Nigeria and assess their operational, technical, and financial readiness. The panel will also seek new ideas and design financial models across the value chain for the building of adequate capacity to meet local demand for petroleum production, design a blueprint for public and private partnerships to build small, medium to largescale Greenfield refineries across Nigeria, as well as investment models and a road map to selfsufficiency in local production of petroleum products in Nigeria.
Lagos registers conductors’ union T HE Lagos State Ministry of Commerce and Industry has registered the Bus Conductors’ Association of Nigeria (B.C.A.) to operate in the state, saying it is to legitimise their business activities. Mr Adebayo Ademola, Principal Field Officer to ministry said the registration of B.C.A was part of the series of programmes laid down by the government for artisans in the state. The Lagos State Government, in its series of programmes for the artisans, has made it possible for this association to have a good foundation in the process of making our dear state a mega city. There is a need to give guideline for the bus conductors’ activities as viable business. The association will monitor the
The association is determined to restore public confidence in the public transportation as a safe and convinent means of transit from one destination to another
•Mrs Laoye-Tomori immunising a child
Osun pledges commitment to people’s healthcare
ITH pump and ceremony, women in their numbers rolled out drums to welcome the Deputy Governor of the State of Osun, Otunba Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, at the occasion of the third edition of the Polio-Eradication campaign in Osogbo on Saturday February 11, 2012. The Deputy Governor responded to the sonorous traditional beats provided by the standing musicians to the delight and thunderous applause
of the waiting crowd. In her speech, Chief Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori reiterated the unflinching commitment of the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to the health and wellbeing of children in the State of Osun. For her, children represents the foreseeable future of any given society, and indeed, the quaint essential of human existence. Nonetheless, a deformed child is a liability to the society and she/he
will carry a social stigma for life. Parents, guardians, legal custodians of children in the State should endeavour to bring their wards out for immunisation as at when due. As the State of Osun joined other States of the federation in the renewed efforts to fight the scourge of poliomyelitis among the children of this country, the Deputy Governor appealed to community leaders to assist government mobilise the people at the grassroots.
conductors and will set the rules and regulations and to ensure that they adhere to the rules. We will administer the association like all other accredited associations in Lagos State. The B.C.A National President Comrade Israel Adeshola stressed that the association will provide a platform where the voice of the conductors would be heard. He also said that registered conductors stand to gain and enjoy numerous benefits and privileges from the association. “The association will take responsibility of the medical bills of a member involved in an accident while on duty, credit scheme and legal representation to members.” He further stated that the conductors will have a particular uniform and identity card which removes the notion that conductors were irresponsible elements in the society. On its mode of operation, Adeshola noted that it will no longer be possible for any bus owner to pick up miscreants on the road and turn them to bus conductors and drop them at the end of the day. The association is determined to restore public confidence in the public transportation as a safe and convinent means of transit from one destination to another. Our association will monitor the activities of conductors throughout Lagos State. Also, the Lagos State chairman of the association, Comrade Martins Akinsuyi thanked the officials of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for their support and urges the conductors operating in the state to register with the association.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
PEOPLE THE NATION
A SEVEN-PAGE SECTION ON SOCIETY
Doctor-politician, Oluyomi Finnih, turned 70 last Friday. Family and friends gathered in Lagos to celebrate with the latest entrant into the club of septuagenerians. NNEKA NWANERI was there.
•From left: The celebrator Dr. Finnih; Chief Obasanjo and Mrs Olusola Shogbola
Finnih marks 70 with Treasures T
HEIR dresses bespoke their affluence and influence in the society. They are the crème de la crème of society. They glowed in their flowing Agbada as they trooped into the hall of the Metropolitan Club, Victoria Island, Lagos to celebrate with one of their own, Dr Oluyomi Finnih, who turned 70 last Friday. For them, it was an honour coming to celebrate with the doctor-politician. The celebrator saw the event as an opportunity to thank God for making him to witness the day. Not only this, it was an auspicious moment to launch his memoirs entitled: Treasures. Leading the battery of friends and wellwishers was the former Head, Interim National Government (ING), Chief Ernest Shonekan, who chaired the occasion. He was joined by former President Olusegun Obasanjo; life member, Body of Benchers, Mrs Hairat Balogun; Senator Ike Nwachukwu; Lagos State governor, who was represented by his Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Oyinlomo Danmole; Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Segun Aganga; former Federal Commisioner for Works, Chief Femi Okunnu (SAN); former Minister of External Affairs, Prof Bolaji Akinyemi; former Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe; former Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof Wale Omole; Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN); Bashorun Jaiye K. Randle; Dr Wahab Dosumu; Chairman, HFP Engineering, Dele Martins; former Ambassador to Jamaica, Modupe Akintola; Dr Ayotunde Soleye;
‘The book is a challenge to many of our senior citizens to leave endearing legacies for those coming behind. Generations yet unborn will see, read, and appreciate the life and times of past heroes and learn from their successes and mistakes’ Chief Obafemi Olopade; a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Executive Council, Chief Tunde Daramola and Mrs Modupe Sasore, among others. With this array of dignitaries in the hall, no one was in doubt that Dr Finnih is by no means a fellow loved by all. The premises of the club also had a feel of what happened within the hall. Exotic cars of various brands filled the premises, indicating the calibre of the owners or persons that brought them. Chief Shonekan said he has known Dr Finnih for decades as a committed medical practitioner and a very active member of the Christ Church Cathedral, Marina, Lagos, where they both worship. “Besides his medical practice, he has pulled his weight as a distinguished Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Chairman and Chief Medical Director of Finnih Medical Centre and former President of the Society of Gynaecologists and Obstet-
rics of Nigeria (SOGON),” he noted. Shonekan described Dr Finnih as a man of quiet disposition, simple, unassuming and firm on issues he believes so much in. He also painted him as a very meticulous fellow, who pays attention to little details. These qualities, Shonekan noted, had made Finnih successful and endeared him to many Nigerians. On Finnih’s book, Shonekan noted that it has added another feather to his cap and put his footsteps in the sands of time. “The book is a challenge to many of our senior citizens to leave endearing legacies for those coming behind. Generations yet unborn will see, read, and appreciate the life and times of past heroes and learn from their successes and mistakes. I pray that the book will spur many of our senior citizens to take the challenge of writing their memoirs to enable them leave indelible marks in the sands of time,” he re-
marked. Encomiums poured in for the ‘birthday boy’ who was clad in a cream flowing Agbada. He couldn’t contain his delight as he laughed and laughed. The special guest of honour, Chief Obasanjo, said: “Yomi, happy birthday to you and many happy returns.” Aganga charged guests: “It is not how long but how well. On page 47 of the book, the author said it himself that he is fulfilled… So, this occasion is a double celebration.” Akinyemi said: “He is my aburo by a month and five days. He is also my friend too, and I just want to congratulate him.” Babalakin, who was a student at Cambridge University when the celebrator was a lecturer, described Finnih as a dashing young lecturer then in his mid- 40s. Chief Jibade Fashina-Thomas, while reviewing Finnih’s book likened it to the biblical book of Hebrew, whose authors were unknown. In his response, the ‘birthday boy’ was short of words as most of what he intended to say were already written in the book. He thanked his childhood friend, Gen Ike Nwachukwu, with whom he said he did “little naughty things.” He recalled one of their escapades with his sassy Calabar teacher. He asked everyone not to lose hope for the country. The celebration was later shifted to the Yoruba Tennis Club which many described as Finnih’s second home. •Continued on page 30
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
PEOPLE •Continued from page 29
•Chief Shonekan (right) and Dr Babalakin
•From left: Prof Akinyemi; Gen Nwachukwu and Mr Danmole
•Chief Femi Olopade (left) and Dr Aganga
•Prof Omole (left) and Chief Fashina-Thomas
•Mr Funmi Coker-Onita (right) and Senator Ogunlewe
•Otunba Tokunbo Samson (left) and Bashorun Yomi Akintola
•Mrs Bimbo Akintola (left) and Ambassador Modupe Akintola
•Chief Adeniyi Williams
•Bashorun Randle (left) and Chief Supo Shonibare
•Chief and Mrs Tunde Daramola
PHOTOS: SOLOMON ADEOLA
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
•From left: The celebrator Dr Enikuomehin; Ondo State Deputy Governor Alhaji Alli Olanusi; Mrs Bosede Enikuomehin and Hon Nomiye
•Justice Chris Ajama
•From left: Alagho of Odo-Nla Oba Elia Ikuomola; Deji of Akure Oba Adebisi Adesida and Aboji of Ikale Oba Babatunde Fajuyile
•From left: Head of PDP National Legal Unit Ibrahim Garba; Hon Uche Igwe and son of former PDP National Chairman Obioma Ogbulafor
•Former NDDC Chief representing Imo State Mr Joseph Akeru
•Regent, Kalasuwe of Apoiland Princess Adesola Ebiseni and Ondo State Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources Sola Ebiseni
Honour for ex-NDDC chief I
T was a gathering of the well-heeled. They came from different parts of the country to Igbokoda, a riverine community in Ondo State. Songs of praise wafted in the air. Even, passersby could hear the melodious rhythms by the choir. It was at the thanksgiving service for Dr Benson Enikuomehim, the immediate past representative of Ondo State on the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) last Sunday. The Civic Centre, Igbokoda, Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State hosted eminent personalities from within and outside the Sunshine State. For some of the dignitaries, their dressing showed where they hailed from. Decked in white flowing Agbada, Enikuomehin alongside his wife, Bosede, were the cynosure of all eyes. They mesmerised the guests with beautiful
Igbokoda, a riverine community in Ondo State, came alive last Sunday when one of its prominent sons, Dr Benson Enikuomehim, the state’s former representative on the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) held a thanksgiving service. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO was there.
dance steps. In his testimony, Enikuomehin thanked the Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, for giving him the opportunity to serve on the board of NDDC despite being from another party. He described Mimiko as a man with a kind heart whose desire to give Ondo people the best is unquestionable. “We were discussing on who will represent the state on NDDC board, I suggested some names to him and His Excellency asked. ‘What about you?’ I told him, we were not in the same party, he replied that he needed somebody who will represent the state well and said ‘I’m nominating you,’” he recounted. The celebrator expressed sadness over the way people went about trying to malign his personality when the Presidency sent his name alongside other nominees from other states to the National Assembly for confirmation. “You can imagine the trauma of swearing-in your colleagues from other states, but at the end of the day the good Lord won the battle for us,” he said. Enikuomehin reeled out some of the projects he embarked on in a year and eight months in office before the dissolution of the board by President Goodluck Jonathan.
He thanked God that the 20-month journey has been a success going by the projects carried out. He hailed the monarchs, his ‘think tank’ team and the people of the state for their support. The church service featured praise and worship, opening hymn, Bible reading, special prayers for the celebrator, offerings and choir ministration. Bishop Olu Lawrence, who delivered the sermon, thanked God for bequeathing a personality like Enikuomehin to the people of Ondo. Bishop Lawrence prayed God to accept the offering of the celebrator. The cleric expressed satisfaction with the performance of Governor Mimiko and Dr Enikuomehin. The ceremony train moved to the Naval Officers’ Mess, Igbokoda for the reception. Guests were entertained by the an entertaining troupe from Ondo State Cultural Centre. The lavish reception was emceed by the celebrator’s Personal Assistant, Alex Kalejaye and one Goodluck Akinyemi. Mouthwatering local and foreign cuisines were served to everyone. A member of the House of Representatives,
Hon Raphael Nomiye, described the celebrator as a fantastic man. “During his tenure on NDDC Board, he performed well. His tenure witnessed a lot of developmental projects in Ilaje land and we are so proud of him,” he said. Hon Nomiye who represents Ilaje Federal Constituency at the lower chamber wished Enikuomehin long life and prayed God to give him more powerful position to be able touch more lives. Enikuomehin’s counterpart from Bayelsa State, Elder Anthony Orubo, described him as a true friend. “I left Bayelsa on an election day because of his kind-heartedness. He is always ready to help people solve their problems. Ondo is lucky to have him as a son. I believe the sky is your limit,” he said. Chairman, Ilaje Local Government Area, Prince Banji Okunomo, described the celebrator as his leader. Okunomo noted that he was instrumental to various Federal Government projects in the area. He wished him well in his future endeavours. The celebrator thanked God, Governor Mimiko and the people of the state for giving him the opportunity to serve. He described his stay on the board as eventful, challenging and full of success stories.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
Adieu, music director Elder Akintunde Abidemi Oyesanya, a senior partner at the Bankole-Oki Law Firm, buried his late father, Pastor Caleb Oluwayimika Oyesanya. The week-long funeral, which ended with an outing service at the Christ Apostolic Church, Lagos Street, Ebute Metta East, drew dignitaries from far and wide. SEYI ODEWALE writes.
VERYBODY at the funeral service showered encomimus on him. They spoke glowingly about the late Pastor Caleb Oluwayimika Oyesanya, Director of Music (Emeritus) at his funeral at the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Ebute Metta West, Lagos, last Friday. The calibre of dignitaries in attendance underscored what he meant to all. To them, he was the quintessential man of God who served Him and humanity with all his power. Little wonder the auditorium of the church was filled to the brim with both the clergy and the laity, whose lives the late man of God had touched. And they paid glowing tribute to the departed. That he died a fulfilled man at 79 made his children to roll out the drums inviting everyone to celebrate with them at their father’s transition. With everyone decked in gorgeous dresses indicating their joyful mood, family, friends and friends of the children and grandchildren of the late Pastor Oyesanya filed out in style to celebrate the day. The service took off with a processional hymn: ‘Hark! Creations Alleluia ...” and was followed by an opening hymn, a short prayer, a chant from Psalm 23, reading of the lesson from the Bible and another hymn: “For all the saints ...” There were other service ‘rituals’ such as two solo anthems, one of which was ‘Awamaridi,’ a special composition by the General Overseer, Mountain of Fire and Miracles (MFM), Dr Daniel Olukoya and performed at his request as a tribute to the late pastor, his musical mentor. In his sermon, Pastor Amos W. Odunaiya, a bosom friend of the late pastor, described death as a transformation and that a Christian who died in the Lord shall resurrect with him at the resurrection of the saints. Pastor Odunaiya quoted copiously from Bible passages such as Revelation 14:33; Psalm 116:15; John 14:1-2; Luke 12:16-21 and some others to buttress his points “Heaven is the abode of God. When we die, we shall go to heaven where there is no pain and no unhappiness,” he noted. Odunaiya talked about the parable of the foolish wealthy man and urged the congregation to always prepare for their final abode. “We shall prepare for our final abode. One day we all would die. W e should be prepared for that day. It is the desire of everyone to die righteously. I, therefore, implore you to strive to live a righteous life before it is too late,” he said. He quoted some verses from the church’s hymnal book: “Choose this day who you would serve; as for me, I will serve the Lord,” and the congregation sang it along with him. He then congratulated the widow, Deaconess Abeke, for her supportive role in the life of the late man of God. He also commiserated with all the children and prayed that they would be honoured by their children as they have honoured their father. He then praised the younger sibling of the late pastor and prayed that God should give her the courage and wisdom to fill the vacuum created by her brother’s death in the family. Dignitaries at the service included the wife of Akwa Ibom governor, Mrs Ekaette Akpabio; Senator Remi Okurinboye; Jide Oki; Folashade Bankole-Oki; Hon Justice
Atinuke Oluyemi and many others. Officiating ministers included: Pastor Ehnmode, Chairman, Ebute-Metta Zone of the church; Pastor Odunaiya; Pastor Toyin Oshun; Pastor Segun Ojo and a host of other clerics. In her remark, Mrs Akpabio described Adekunle, the eldest son of the late pastor, who she called a close friend of her husband, as a chip of the old block. “From what I have heard now, I can only say that you turned out like your father; very honest, very unassuming and God fearing. When I heard about your father, one of the things I copied from him was that when you were in school, he always told you to hold on to your God and that the only way He would get close to you was to prepare all your heart for Him. “Pastor Oyesanya has finished his race and he is with God and he is already wearing the crown. No matter what you are in life, no matter how long you want to live, you will die one day. Some of us forget that we will die one day, whether we die at age of 10, 20 or 50, it is the appointed time for one to die. Some of us do not want to die young, but what we do not realise is that not how long but how well,” she explained. Speaking further Mrs Akpabio noted that the only thing a Christian must aspire to have is “peace in our hearts.” To her, peace has deluded the nation starting from the family to the church and the nation. “Even inside the church there is quarrel, even among the clergy, there is quarrel. There is quarrel among the women and if we have quarrel everywhere, how do we expect to have peace in Nigeria?” she asked. She continued: “I want to implore our men of God as they are praying for us that they should pray for peace in our families, churches and the nation, because if we do not have peace in our houses and families we can not expect peace in the nation.” At the social reception held at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Multi-Purpose Halls A and B, guests were treated to the finest cuisine as assorted foods and drinks were served. Pink was the colour of the day as almost everyone in the hall, wore shades of pink. It was not a gathering for speeches as music wafted from the band of Demola Olota on the band stand, while the hilarious stand up comedian, Seyi Law, who anchored the event, treated guests to some of his jokes. About 7pm Akwa Ibom Governor, Godswill Akpabio, breezed into the hall accompanied by his aides. He was welcomed by his friend, Adekunle, the eldest son of the late pastor. The governor, like every other guest, enjoyed the ambience created at the venue and relished the evening together with his friend. The late Pastor Oyesanya’s children (nine in all) extolled the virtues of their father. In a tribute by the eldest son, Adekunle wrote: “And I came to terms with the fact that there goes my hero, the one in whose steps I had trodden all these years; the one who taught me all I have come to know, the one whose name was written in my heart. The one whose name will live forever, Good bye Papa mi.”
•The eldest son Mr Oyesanya with his mother and widow of the late Pastor Oyesanya
•Children and grand children of the deceased
•Chief Babatude Okusanya (left) and Hon Abayomi Lapite
‘Even inside the church there is quarrel, even among the clergy, there is quarrel. There is quarrel among the women and if we have quarrel everywhere, how do we expect to have peace in Nigeria?’ •Kunle Adeyemi (left) and Dr Wale Ahmed
•More pictures on page 36
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
Exit of a dutiful wife Eminent personalities led by the National Publicity Secretary of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Alhaji Lai Muhammed, last Friday thronged Alaka Estate, Lagos for the Fidau of the Managing Director, Mubad Hair Venture and wife of Chairman, AjeromiIfelodun Local Government, the late Mrs Muhibat Arike Bayewu who died in an Indian hospital. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO reports.
•From right: Hon Bayewu; Alhaji Muhammed; Hon Kuye and Bamgbola
HE faces under the state-of-art canopy at Alaka Estate, Alaka, Lagos, last Friday were not cheerful. Mourning was boldly written all over them. Even the political praise singers kept a distant silence. Condolence greetings dominated the atmosphere as guests one after another took turns to condole with the Chairman, Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government, Hon Kamal Bayewu, who lost his second wife, Muhibat Arike on February 3. The deceased, aged 29, passed on at Fortis Hospital, New Delhi, India after a brief illness. Muhibat, an Industrial Relations graduate of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) was, until her death, the Managing Director, Mubad Hair Venture, Tejuoso, Lagos. Interestingly, the late Muhibat was born in February, gave birth to her only child – Jamal in February, died and committed to mother earth in February. Prominent among the guests were Deputy Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Kolawole Taiwo; his predecessor, now ACN Women state’s leader, Toun Adeniran; Sasi of Lagos, Chief Seni Lamina; National Publicity Secretary of Action Congress of Nigeria Alhaji Lai Muhammed; Member, House of Representatives, Hon Aliu Kazeem; Member, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Abdoulbaq LadiBalogun; Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon Ademorin Kuye; council Chairman, Lagos Mainland, Oladele Adekanye; his counterparts from Yaba, Jide Jimoh; Eti-Osa East, Owolabi Yisa; Iru/Victoria Island, Abayomi Daramola; Ikoyi/ Obalende, Wale Adeniji and ItireIkate, Hakeem Bamgbola, who was accompanied by his wife, Alhaja Ashabi; elder sister, Alhaja Shukurat Amoda and cabinet members. Clerics from various mosques converged to offer prayer for the deceased. They were led by the trio of Chief Imam of Ajegunle, Alhaji Nurudeen Erusope; his Araromi Apapa counterpart, Alhaji Saadu Abdussalam and Sheikh Musa Yahya Agboola. In his sermon, the Provost, School of Islamic Studies, Skeikh Agboola, urged the gathering to always be God-conscious.
•From left: Hons Kolawole; Adeniran and Ladi-Balogun
•From left: Prince Daramola; Alhaji Adeniji and Hon Adekanye
Their activities, he said, should be guided by the dictates of Allah. He urged politicians to be mindful of their dealings with the electorate. Political office, the cleric said, is an easy way to paradise as well as hell depending on how “you make use of the office.” Alhaji Muhammed said death has shown that man is nothing before Allah. “Death reminds us of the superiority of Allah; it means that we are on earth for a purpose and we are going to render accounts of our deeds. We can only pray not only for the deceased, but for her husband and family to have the fortitude to bear the loss,” he said. He said everything on earth is uncertain except death and we must prepare for it. Hon Kuye described the deceased as a very wonderful woman, beautiful, humble and hospitable. He prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest, help strengthen Hon Bayewu to bear the irreparable loss and give him power and wisdom to train the children. “She was a religious person who prayed a lot. She was very nice to her neighbours and community as a
whole. The husband should take solace in the fact that from God we all came and unto Him, we will all return one day. She has completed her assignment, she is now returned to her Lord. That leaves a message to all of us that for the few time we have on the surface of this earth, we should strive to serve God and be good to other people,” the commissioner said. Hon Bamgbola said the loss was shocking to every one who knew the woman. “She was young, respectful and full of life. She had a special care for her family; a woman who always wanted to know how her husband was faring,” the Itire-Ikate council boss said. He wished the family sincere condolence. “They should take her loss in good faith because it is the wish of Allah who gives and takes. May Allah continue to be with the family,” he added. Chairman, Igbo Community in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government, Chief Luke Ezenwa, said simplicity of the deceased reflected in the humble nature of the council boss. Ezenwa prayed God to grant the
•From left: Hon Kazeem; Alhaji Yisa and Hon Jimoh
•From left: Sheikh Agboola; Alhaji Erusope and Alhaji Abdussalam
•Chief Ezenwa flanked by Chief Godwin Igboechi (left) and Chief Uzodunwa Emelone PHOTOS: TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO
Bayewu’s family the fortitude to bear the loss. The husband of the deceased, Bayewu, said she was an open person who accepted people irrespective of their class and affiliations. “That is why she was dearly missed by family and neighbours. Her openness, ability to adapt and
make out the best of any situation she found herself stood her out. It is an irreparable loss. Someone who cannot be easily forgotten because of the way she planted herself in the minds of people. She was highly industrious, always looking for the best for herself and everybody. She will be greatly missed by the family,” he said.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
PEOPLE •Continued from page 34
•From left: Mrs Bosun Oloyede; Mr Shola Oloyede and Mrs Tunde Adeoye
From left: Mrs Iyabo Tobun; Mrs Subu Owokoniran and Mrs Shade Bankole-Oki
•Mr Jide Sawyer and Mrs Ronke Odumoye
•Mrs Nike Makinde (left) and Mrs Folashade Taiwo
•From left: Alariwo; Ebby Dickson and Miss Lola Raji
•Wale Akoni (SAN) and Mrs Ogunlade Ademakinwa
•From right: Pastor Dolu Segun; wife of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) General Overseer Mrs Folu Adeboye; Pastor Ephraim Osunde and Mrs Erica Ogunsanwo, during the dedication of RCCG’s The Kings Court Parish, Ikeja.
PHOTOS: SOLOMON ADEOLA
From left:Acting Director, Operations, Federal Airports Authority of Nigerian (FAAN) Mr Taiwo Tobi assisted by Regional Manager, Southwest, Mr Edward Olarerin, to present 42" flat screen TV to Mrs Dele Lusy during the 2011 End-of-the year party in Lagos PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
PEOPLE 70TH BIRTHDAY OF A SURGEON AND CEO ROGBA MEDICAL CENTRE, LAGOS DR TIMOTHY IBIROGBA
•The celebrator Dr Ibirogba (second right) his wife Adetutu (right); Chief Duro Onabule and his wife Bolaji
•From right:President Foundation of Hope Chief Ebenezer Akinbolade; Ex-financial Secretary Mr Dapo Olawoye and Former President Mr Ade Boledeoku
•Chief Kingsley Olufeko (right) and Chief Muyideen Agaba
•Younger brother of the celebrator cum Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy Hon Lateef Ibirogba
From left:Dr Segun Aranmolate; Mr Supo Ogunyemi and Dr Seni Ashiru
•Chairman Agege Local Government Alhaji Jubreel AbdulKareem (left) and his Mosan-Okunola counterpart Hon Abiodun Mafe
•Alaafin of Oyo Oba Lamidi Adeyemi with Iyalode of Yorubaland Chief Alaba Lawson after her installation in Oyo
From left: Managing Director, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Chief Keith Richards, Marketing Director, Mr Kachi Onubogu, and General Manager (Human Resources), Vitus Ezenwa, at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
FEMI ABBAS ON
NSTITUTIONS are worth no more than the men who work them’’Professor O. O. Akinkugbe, first Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin. In this column last Friday, ‘The Message’ briefly showcased some achievements of the University of Ilorin as a way of encouraging the Nigerian youths of today on the pleasant possibilities of tomorrow. At a time when anything news in Nigeria is a sad reminder of the flight of hope and its replacement by with, it only behoves some die hard optimists like ‘The Message’ to sound a positive tune indicating that all is not lost after all. If the University of Ilorin could rise so loftily from such a modest foundation and tower above many other Universities that preceded it in Nigeria then the hope that a new Nigeria can still emerge from the debris of the old should not remain a mere dream. The above quoted axiom of Professor Akinkugbe which is partially in tandem with Qur’an 13: 11 that “Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in their hearts” exemplifies the foundation of that University which he as the first Vice-Chancellor laid in 1976. It is also a drawer of attention to the gargantuan intellectual citadel which came to be erected on that foundation to the benefit of mankind. The men described in that quote are not by any means ordinary. And the soils from which they sprang are not by any standard restricted to any particular area of life. Since the tree of life has many branches and roots no topmost twig should presume to think that it alone has sprung from the mother earth. There is no restriction of the signpost of life to any particular sphere or time. Greatness is like a magnet which attracts only the relevant elements to itself. Unmindful of the above analytical assertion however, an India-born British writer and poet, Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), who won Nobel Laurel in 1907, once concluded one of his popular poems thus: ‘’Oh! East is East and West is West; never the Twain shall meet...’’ (Kipling was the first British author to win such honour). That poem came to intensify the perennial hostility between the East and the West which the latter has adopted as a permanent tradition to the detriment of what ought to have ventilated a cordial relationship between the two sides. But what neither Kipling nor the West seemed to know then about the seeming natural divide in the word is the existence of an abstract confluence similar to a knuckle that holds the blades of a pair of scissors together. Just as the scissors cannot operate with one blade successfully so can no man with one sided education correctly claim to be the main signpost in any field of human endeavour. Thus, the confluence that is supposed to keep the East and the West in harmony is like a deep fountain of knowledge eagerly looking for men and women of substance to sip from its nourishing water and use same to water the sprouting plants around. But only a few have responded to that alltime challenge. However, today, the men and women who responded, though few, conspicuously stand out vertically amidst their horizontal colleagues. One of them is a Nigerian don who, by the grace of Allah, is a frontline Vice- Chancellor of a foremost Nigerian University. Professor Ishaq Olanrewaju Oloyede is a household name in the academia not only in Nigeria or Africa but in the entire world just like the University he is privileged to head. What qualifies him for such a vertical position is an interesting question for which most inquisitive minds may earnestly seek an answer. And the answer is not far-fetched. Like most people of letters and knowledge, Professor Oloyede wears a binocular with which he sees life from a bird’s eye view. And this is evident not just in his management of the University of Ilorin in the past five years but also in the humility, selflessness and patriotism with which he demonstrates civility in his exhibition of knowledge. The difference between a man of letters and that of knowledge is quite clear. While the one sees life through the common eye, the other sees it through an uncommon binocular. In the days of Socrates, Aristotle and Herodotus, when education was an adorned virtue used as a yardstick for measuring civility and value, no one cared about the material gains accruing from it. Bastardisation of education only set in when certificate was introduced as a means of valuing its material worth. Thus, with certificate, mere literacy began to be miscon-
A confluence for progress
Looking at those powerful and determinant statements by a leader and judging them by the actions that catapulted Unilorin to the very first and best University in Nigeria one will be reassured that given the right atmosphere and with the round peg in the round hole, Nigeria still has great potential to be great despite all the odds • Oloyede ceived as education. Whereas literacy is just an added value to education the modern day man has ignorantly but arrogantly interpolated the one for the other. This is what Professor Oloyede resented in his academic odyssey when he chose to combine eastern education with that of the West with a determination to use the advantage of both as a fertiliser for the academic soil of Nigeria’s future which was why he specialised in Islamic Studies even at the professorial level. Professor Oloyede’s philosophy of life seems to tally with that of Daniel Webster who in a memorable poem stated as follows: ‘’If we work marble it will perish; if we work upon brass time will efface it; if we rear temples they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds and instil in them just principles; we are then engraving that upon tablets which no time can efface but will brighten to all eternity’’. This is the philosophy that compelled him to adopt contentment as a principle right from the early age. Why relating his reason for contesting for the office of the ViceChancellor, he once told some medical students of his University who went to congratulate him on assumption of office that he never intended to contest for that office. But when an academic charlatan with an ulterior motive threatened to expose him if he dared to contest, he (Oloyede) saw it as a challenge to put his privacy on a public table. His intention was not to contest but to see what would be exposed in his privacy. And as God would have it he emerged as the Vice-Chancellor without an iota of blemish. Before contesting for that post he had served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor twice. First he was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and later Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration in the same University of Ilorin where he had spent his academic life as a student, as an alumnus lecturer, as s Director in several areas and as a Professor. Thus, he had seen that University inside out and that was enough to propel an ambition in him to target the highest office in the Citadel for which he was eminently qualified but it did not. Professor Oloyede relayed the story of his unintended contest for the highest office to his students not as a show off but as an admonition to those students that nothing in life is comparable to conscientious service to humanity with humility and patriotism. When he noticed that the position of the Executive Secretary of the Association of African Universities was more important and more beneficent to Nigeria than that of the President which
he held, Professor Oloyede encouraged some of his Nigerian colleagues to apply for that post promising that he would resign his Presidential position in that Association to enable a Nigerian to emerge. Most of his colleagues did not believe him. But when the time came and one of them applied, Oloyede surprisingly resigned just after two years in an office where he was supposed to spend four years in the first instance. Today Nigeria is benefitting greatly from the post of Executive Secretary now held by Professor Jegede, a former Vice Chancellor of National Open University. And to show appreciation to Professor Oloyede over his large heart and patriotism, the AAU appointed him as a Board Member of that Association. Only a few Nigerians in the academic field can surpass this humble man’s record when it comes to the ‘nitty gritty’ of academic prowess. Yet you can hardly notice it in his demeanour. He was not only the first ‘FIRST CLASS’ graduate of the Faculty of Arts in the University of Ilorin and the very first alumnus of that University to obtain a PhD in that University, he was also the first Academic Director of Academic Planning and first alumni President to be a member of the Governing Council of the University. Professor Oloyede is the first Unilorin alumnus to become a Deputy Vice-Chancellor and subsequently the first alumnus to become the Vice-Chancellor of the University. Not only that, he is the first Vice-Chancellor in Nigeria to introduce ComputerBased Testing (CBT) method of screening applicants in the country just as he is the first Vice-Chancellor to lead a second generation University to the number one position in Nigeria based on external ranking. He also became the first Nigerian Vice-Chancellor to emerge as President of the Association of African Universities (AAU) and at the same time the Chairman of Association of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU). Still not done, he is the first Nigerian Vice-Chancellor to combine the Board membership of International Association of Universities (IAU) with those of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and Association of African Universities (AAU). With the above listed ‘FIRSTS’ he has been able to make Unilorin the first Federal University in Nigeria to run a decade of uninterrupted academic calendar and to be internationally ranked as one of the very best 20 Universities in Africa. Also, through his astute academic administration, the University of Ilorin has been able
to maintain the first position for three consecutive years (2009, 2010 and 2011). Realising that to embark on a long and tortuous journey, a clever person needs to prepare adequately for eventuality, Professor Oloyede organised his administrative sojourn with in such a way as to coincide with his determination to shoot through the iron gate of life. While giving his annual report entitled ‘I BELIEVE’ barely one year after he became the ViceChancellor, he on reflected that determination thus: “History tells us that Julius Caesar with his legions sailed over the channels from gaol and arrived in today’s England. He did a very clever yet incongruous thing to ensure the success of his army. Halting the soldiers on the chalk cliffs of Dover, he burnt every ship by which they crossed, living them with nothing but determination to succeed or perish, with the only means of retreat consumed by the red tongues of fire. It was that determination, powered by courage that made the legions to advance and conquer. They did not look back and the rest is history”. “I believe that with the caesarean determination of avoiding destruction and being focused on the set goals, the University of Ilorin, by all standards a great University can be greater. Our goals are to fulfil our mission, attain our vision and engrave the name of the University on the psyche of global reckoning through the adoption of best practices. I believe that this is possible along the dictum that says “whatever human mind can conceive and believe man can achieve. I believe that we can do it if we are determined”. And in his second year annual report entitled ‘IT IS POSSIBLE’ he had the following to say as a preamble: “It is really amazing how people are resistant to change or sceptical about it. But the truth of the matter is that the only permanent thing in life is change and change is inevitable....Our desire is to make the University second to none”. Yet in the opening of his third year annual report entitled ‘LET US MARCH ON’ he had this to say: “It is not presumptuous to say that the brightness of the University of Ilorin is self-evident. In the past few years, the University has remained the prime choice of several thousands of University education applicants in Nigeria....Under my humble leadership the University of Ilorin remains on the march. Let us march on till victory is won and the University becomes the best in Africa and launch itself into more global attention...”. While giving his 2010/2011 annual report entitled ‘CHANGE THE WORLD’, the Unilorin Vice-Chancellor opined thus: ‘’...That the dream of a first rate University has morphed to reality just 36 years after cannot be contested today by anyone who is familiar with the Nigerian University terrain. By producing high quality graduates and by undertaking ground-breaking research efforts that are shaping the course of humanity, the University continues to contribute to the development of human resources that are significant to making the world better.... When the pioneer head of our Department of Medicine, now an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of New Castle, Australia, John Hamilton, visited me on December 13, 2010, part of the period under review, he said that anywhere he goes all over the world, he is always impressed to note and be told that graduates of our University, especially the Medical School are very good on the field... ’’ Looking at those powerful and determinant statements by a leader and judging them by the actions that catapulted Unilorin to the very first and best University in Nigeria one will be reassured that given the right atmosphere and with the round peg in the round hole, Nigeria still has great potential to be great despite all the odds. In Professor Oloyede is a great example for those who aspire to be great in a world where greatness is a slippery land. “Who shares his life’s pure pleasure and walks the honest road; who trades with heaping measure and lifts his brother’s load; who turns the wrong down bluntly and lends the right a hand; he dwells in God’s own country and tills the holy land”. Professor Oloyede has done precisely that and Nigeria is a witness. It is now left for the present days to raise up voices in prayer saying GOD BLESS YOU so that the future days can chorus AMEN in response. Please use this number to reach out to ‘THE MESSAGE’: 08122697498
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
Though it will cost me much to re-erect the collapsed wall, my joy is that no life was lost in the process. That is one reason for which I should be grateful to God
Rainstorm: Ijegun residents bemoan losses
EQUEL to the heavy rainstorm in the early hours of Monday, some residents of Ijegun, Ikotun are still counting their losses. They are still bemoaning about their properties worth millions of Naira that were destroyed by the windstorm. The rain, which started at about 7: 15 in the morning, pounded heavily that some described it as a rain of stone. Not only was the rain heavy, it also came with heavy storm that that swept like a tornado, pulling houses, electricity poles and walls in the process. Almost every part of Lagos was affected. In Ijegun Ikotun in Igando/Ikotun Local Council Development Area for instance, residents are still bemoaning the destruction of their properties by the rainstorm. Most of them had the entire roof of their house blown off, even as some houses and walls cave in. One of the affected residents, Mr Fabian E. Ewendu (KSM) who lives at No. 18, Pipeline Street, Ijegun, Ikotun expressed shock at the extent of damage the gale cost his house hold. His fence caved in and destroyed his Peugeot 304 saloon car completely. In a chat with Newsextra, he said: “I had left for my office in Lekki before the rain started. But when the rain began on my way to the
By Chinaka Okoro
office, I noticed that the rain drops were pounding on my vehicle like stone. I took it to be one of the usual rainfalls that Lagos usually experienced. “My thinking was invalidated when I received a call at Oworo. The caller just said that my fence had caved in. I told him that I will come to see what happened after I had closed for the day’s work; because I didn’t imagine that it was something too serious that would disrupt the day’s work. “The caller insisted that I must come back immediately. I had to make a u-turn and started heading home. Along the way, I had to go and pick my wife and we started rushing down home. “Though it will cost me much to re-erect the collapsed wall, my joy is that no life was lost in the process. That is one reason for which I should be grateful to God.” Mr Ewendu is not alone in this unsavoury experience. Before his house, the wall of one of the giant houses on the street also fell. A building within Bina Estate where they used to produce Bina sachet water also caved in completely, according to an eyewitness. The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Ijegun sub-station was not spared as one of its office
• blocks was affected. But the windstorm pulled down most of its electricity poles, creating the fear in most residents that the area would be in total darkness for weeks considering the extent of damage. An elderly woman who pleaded
anonymity told Newsextra that the storm affected their home adversely. Narrating her experience, she said: “We were still in bed when the rain started. We came to a start when we noticed that our bed had been drenched. As we got off the
bed, the ceiling caved in and that was when we realised that the storm had blown off our roof. We started scampering trying to save some of our belongings from being damaged by the rain.”
Youths raise alarm over 100-year-old land crisis
OUTHS of Ishinkwo Community in Ebonyi State have urged the Federal Government and Governor Martin Elechi to intervene and prevent a potential clash between their community and their neighbour, Abaomege, over a 100-year-old land dispute. They said though the government has made efforts in the past to resolve the crisis, there were individuals who do not want the matter resolved. But it was learnt that leaders of the two communities were invited to the Ebonyi State Government House where they were made to sign an undertaking to keep the peace. President, Ishinkwo Youth Assembly, Mr Innocent Elum, said in a statement that his community has been living in fear over possible attacks, the likes of which, he said, has claimed
By Joseph Jibueze
several lives in the state. He claimed that when the government sent a delegate to survey the land with a view to making peace, representatives of Abaomege allegedly did not turn up. According to Elum, who is VicePresident of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (ARFFN), Ishinkwo residents have cause to believe that a clash is brewing. He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to deploy soldiers to the area to forestall bloodshed. His words: “The world knows that the state is in the news now for the wrong reasons–killings and killings on a daily basis; community clashes here and there; hundreds killed almost
•From left: Chairman Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Local Government, Hon. Moshood Oshun; Chairman, Coker-Aguda Local Council Development Area, Hon. Omobolanle Akinyemi-Obe and Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh during a visit to the council
everyday. And it is giving everybody a very serious cause for concern. “I am from Ebonyi; I should be very concerned. We have seen Eziulo and other places where people have been killed in their hundreds and thousands. “Now, we have Ishinkwo and Abaomege in Onitsha Local Government Area of the state. There are ominous signs that very soon; we are going to have the same carnage in these communities. They have been embroiled in a land dispute since the African National Congress (ANC) was formed in 1912 in South Africa. “This is the 100th year the dispute has lasted. For 100 years, people have been dying for one or two pieces of land. Successive governments have been unsuccessful in solving the problem. At one point, the two communities were in Imo, later Abia, and now Ebonyi, and there seems to be no end to this problem. “Recently, we took serious interest and made representations to the government, which did show interest in solving the problem. The state government has been making serious effort to see that there is an end to this. I commend the governor for that. “But the problem is that there are characters in these two communities who don’t want this problem resolved, and it is disappointing. These are people who hold very important positions in government. “On February 7, we were expecting the government officials, because they said they would come to survey the land and see how to divide it between the two communities. The government delegation actually came. “When the Ishinkwo people came out for the exercise, Abaomege representatives did not show up. You wonder what could have been the reason. And these are the very people that the government had all trusted to be in the vanguard for this problem to be settled. “I have a suspicion that this people
in key positions of government are responsible for the continuation of this problem. “We are calling on government to do something before it is too late. Last two weeks, there was a very big scare. There were gunshots, and many Ishinkwo people started packing away because they feared Abaomege people were coming to attack them. “There are threats everyday that these people are coming to attack Ishinkwo people. Government has to do something before we have carnage in Ebonyi between Ishinkwo and Abaomege.” Elum said it is sad that Ishinkwo and Abaomege have been unable to sort things out amicably all these years. “It is sad that I have to continue talking about this matter from where Ngmgbo Elum, my grandfather of blessed memory, stopped. I am even more concerned and seriously pained that we cannot resolve this issue as one big family because the Elum family has an extension in Abaomege. My sister is married to an Abaomege man. I have friends there. “So, I call on the Federal Government – if it is beyond the state government – if it is possible, let them send soldiers to that place, because there could be bloodshed again in Ebonyi State.” It was learnt that Abaomege’s representatives did not show up due to divisions in the community. A group is alleged not to be disposed to the peace process, in opposition to another group of ‘progressives’ who want the matter resolved. When contacted, Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State Police Command, Mr Adeola Adeniji said there was no cause for alarm. He said he knew about the two communities, but that he was not aware of any threats of attacks. “I am not aware,” he said when told about the alarm raised by the youth leader. “Tell him to come and see me,” the police boss added.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
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Mile 12 market neater, better after closure
• Inside Mile 12 market
About two weeks ago, the Lagos State government reopened Mile 12 market, which was shut for breaking sanitation and traffic rules. JANICE NKOLI IFEME, who was at the market to ascertain the level of compliance, reports. •STORY ON PAGE 42
Flower vase: decorative, stylish
A show for cake lovers Page 44
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
F you are looking for where to buy all kinds of foodstuff at the cheapest price, the place to be is Mile 12 market on Ikorodu Road, Lagos. Being a vast market, it contains traders who buy from there and sell to buyers who do not have the time to move further inside. One can only appreciate its vastness on entering the market. As soon as you enter, you are confronted by traders beckoning on you to buy the different wares on display. You will find pepper, tomatoes, onions, salad ingredients, yam, Irish and sweet potatoes, among others. Further inside, there are stores dealing in food items like rice, beans, garri, cassava, cooking oil, food seasoning, canned food, noodles, meat, provisions and actually, everything edible and perishable. You can find them on retail and wholesale. There is a point where several trucks offload their goods, from where they are distributed to suppliers who flock the market daily. As the goods are being offloaded, there are carriers ready to convey them to various locations. Some carry the loads on their heads; others use barrows to wheel theirs. Mile 12 is renowned as the biggest and cheapest food stuff market around and it attracts buyers from Lagos and other states as well as African countries such as Benin, Togo and Ghana. About 200 trucks offload goods daily in the market. Most of them convey the goods from the northern part of the country. It came into existence 35 years ago, long before the Ikorodu express way linking Ikorodu to other parts of Lagos was constructed. A shopper, Mrs Jumoke Abayomi, said: “The market has been there for over 30 years. It used to be a bush market. They brought people from Iddo. But I am surprised how much it has expanded to the extent of being close to the major road. In corroboration, the Financial Secretary of the market management,Alhaji Shehu Usman, said: “When the market was established, there was no expressway. There were not more than five houses in this entire community. But as you can see now, this area is overcrowded. It is because people are now many in Lagos. The market attracts many people daily. People from other states and countries come to purchase goods from here.” Two weeks ago, the state government shut the market for breach of environmental and traffic rules but was reopened three days later. The market attracted huge human and vehicular traffic, causing traffic snarl on the road. The sealing of the market was a last resort to sanitise it. On the closure, the state Commissioner for The Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, decried the untidiness of the market, which he attributed to failure of the traders to observe the weekly environmental exercise instituted by the government to ensure its adequate cleanliness. In addition, he said indiscriminate display of wares and parking of vehicles greatly contributed to the traffic gridlock, which hitherto, bedeviled the area. Prior to the closure, the task force on the environment had warned the traders to desist from the menace of littering their surroundings. The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LATSMA) found it difficult containing traffic on the route due to attitude of the marketers. Soon after the closure, the management of the market rallied round to rectify the situation. Said Alhaji Usman: “This is the second time the government would shut down the market. The first was five years ago by this same commissioner. It is a major challenge, but we are able to surmount it by the grace of God. We have a committee for environment headed by Adamu Danhadiya. It was constituted by the marketers. As you can see, every
Mile 12 market neater, better after closure ‘As you can see, every where is clean. The new system is that you clean your environment before you open in the morning and also clean up when leaving. We also observe the Thursday weekly environmental exercise as well as the monthly one’ where is clean. The new system is that you clean your environment before you open in the morning and also clean up when leaving. We also observe the Thursday weekly environmental exercise as well as the monthly one. The Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) is also doing a good job. On the control of vehicular traffic, he said: “Actually, it was a misconception. The trucks causing the traffic were not for us. But we have put every thing in check. Both the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the market management join hands to ensure free traffic flow. Where we are concerned is the service lane. We have 50 people who monitor the traffic daily to ensure that there is no indiscriminate packing of vehicles or traffic logjam. If you go outside now, you will not see any impediment of movement on the service lane because I am sure our men are on duty. Government has promised to expand the road to seven lanes. We are happy for that.” In confirmation, the Chairman-General of the market, Alhaji Haruna Mohammed, beaming with smiles, said: “It is the agreement between the market authority and the Lagos State Government. We make sure we abide by the traffic and environmental laws of the state. We close the front gates by 6pm, while people are allowed to tidy up through the back.” Prior to the closure of the market, Ikorodu Road, the only route that leads to Ikorodu, a suburb of Lagos, has been faced with uncontrollable traffic gridlock, which posed a major challenge to government and road users. It was mainly attributed to the menace of the Mile 12 market, but since its resumption from the closure, there is noticeable difference with freer flow of traffic. Those who spoke with The Nation Shopping applauded the efforts of the state government to restore free flow of traffic along the route. They called on it to expedite action on its proposed expansion of the road. A road user, Mr Olu Babajide, said: “Surprisingly, the traffic seems to have reduced. Apparently, the sealing of the market worked because the marketers are now more law abiding. Before now, the traffic along this Ikorodu Road used to be frustrating. Even when I left my house at Ikorodu by 5am, I barely made it to my office at Victoria Island for 9am. Right now, the traffic has reduced but expansion of the road will bring permanent solution.” A commuter bus driver and a graduate, Mr Olatunde Oyan, who plies the route daily, noted that though sanity has returned to the Mile 12 – axis, the government still needs to facilitate action on the expansion of the road. “It has become too narrow for the numerous vehicles that ply the route,” he said.
• Load carriers crossing the road
• Women and their wares
• Onions being offloaded at the market.
Flower vase: decorative, stylish
OST people admire flowers and their magic increase when they are placed in beautiful vases. These vases leave a long-lasting impression on every one. Bring life to a room with flower vases that are decorative and stylish. Choose accenting pieces in crackle styles and mosaics for windowsills, counters, and tabletops. Hanging globes will let you display developing plants. Choose from a variety of colours, shapes and themes that will complement and protect delicate stems and are sure to add the perfect accent to any space. Attractive vases never fail to bring elegance and style to any decor. These decorative vases carry a lot of enigmatic grace that adds more style to your surroundings. Vases add a very classy and refreshing appearance to any space which you inhabit. There are several contemporary designs in vases that change the way your home or of-
By Bisola Saba
fice looks. There are various types of vases such as a glass vase, a crystal vase and other types of flower vases in ceramic and clay. Bring life to a room with flower vases that are decorative, stylish, and fun. Choose accenting pieces in crackle styles and mosaics for windowsills, counters and tabletops. Hanging globes will let you display developing plants. Choose from a variety of colours, shapes and themes that will complement and protect delicate stems and are sure to add the perfect accent to any space. Flower with vase has different sizes. There is one for the floor and another for the table. There are wooden vase, plastic vase and glass vase, glass vase with flower costs from N1, 000 to N8, 000 while the wooden vase with flower goes for N500 to N3,000 and the plastic vase with flower goes for N600 to N3,000.
• Glass flower vase • Ceramic vase
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
Want a perfume? Your perfume tells a lot about you. To choose the right one, all you need do is know your natural body scent, writes TONIA’DIYAN.
LMOST everyone likes perfume. There are fragrances for different occasions and moods. In the dry season, light perfumes are preferable. But perfumes should not be used on fabrics but on the skin; just spray and leave on the spot. It lasts longer that way and will not damage or hurt the skin. The body produces natural scents that are called pheromones, which attracts the opposite sex. You can know your natural body scent when you have no other type of fragrances from soaps, perfumes, shampoos and lotions. It is important to know your natural scent so that you can know what perfume best blends with you. They can be classified according to their level of concentration and scent. Makers assign different concentration level to the same perfume category. Eau de perfume is a nice fragrance that lasts long and tends to be cheaper than other perfumes. It consists of oil and used by men and women. Eau de toilet is preferred by celebrities and the affluent to make the right impression. Looking fantastic in their bottles, their fragrances are very personal because of the different natural scent each individual possesses. What suits one person may not suit another. It has a perfect range of scents that are well balanced between bass, mid and high notes; leaving the wearer fresh all day. Here are some ranges in their different sizes you might like; Boss Orange Spa set which con-
tains everything for total indulgence – Boss orange eau de toilette 50ml, perfumed body lotion and shower gel, both 50ml, plus Hugo Boss fabric spa slippers (!00 per cent cotton insole and binding and outer PE foam/EVA) and a Boss Orange scented candle, all in a neat carry case. Lacoste Touch of pink gift set which includes eau de toilette 30ml, body lotion and shower gel – both 50ml ,Calvin Klein euphoria for women, gift set feature eau de perfume 30ml and 100ml shower gel, Calvin Klein Beauty gift set which has the gorgeous new fragrance in eau de perfume 30ml and bath and shower cream 100ml; Beyonce‘ Heat gift set which captures her fabulous diva spirit in an eau de toilette 30ml, perfumed body lotion and shower gel, both 75ml , Britney Radiance gift set which contains eau de perfume 50ml and body soufflé‘ 50ml , DKNY Delicious Holiday set contains eau de perfume 30ml and body lotion 100ml, Gucci Guilty Gift set is the latest hot fragrance from Gucci. It is the ultimate lavish gift with eau de toilette 50ml and beautiful perfumed body lotion 100ml.You can get assorted perfumes from places like delightsome gift shop, Elphina plaza, Shop rite and the likes. Smelling good is simply finding what suits you. Try a fragrance before buying it as your body chemistry will have an effect on the scent it gives. Be adventurous and try new scents so as to pick the one that best suits you. Be sure of how much you want to spend before trying out different scents.
A show for cake lovers
N February 28 and 29, sugar crafters from different parts of the country will converge on the Ogudu GRA Recreational Centre, Lagos for the Honeysuckle national cake and sugar art show. At a press conference at the Honey Suckle Lagos office at Ogudu GRA, its Managing Director, Mrs Chineze Ibuoka, said the show will parade the best sugar artists from different parts of the country. They will exhibit their crafts and take participants through hands-on-workshops and demonstrations on skills namely: cup cake magic and airbrushing technique; high street fashion in sugar, three dimensional hand sculpted dress; the lady cake in a fabulously embroidered clothing and trendy couture wedding designs. Others are Marina moulds and earlene’s enhanced moulds-delicate and exquisite royal icing lace works, easy and magnificent sugar flowers; life size magnolia and cabbage peony; sugar veil magic-air pen, draping voil, fabric effects and other new trends. They will also show off amazing three dimensional children on sculptured cake with figurine modelling, fantasy flowers, pastillage works and a play pen effect as well as desserts extravaganza and state-of-theart construction techniques. The event will also feature free back to the basics demonstrations by renowned cake makers; latest ingredients, tools and products; funfair- cake based games, discount sales, giveaway gifts and raffle draws with the star prize of an industrial mixer worth N150, 000. The Honeysuckle cakes and sugar art magazine will also be launched at the event.
By Janice Nkoli Ifeme
There will be free cakes for all visitors. Gate fee is N1,000 daily. Discount ticket will be on sale at N500 till February 24. Speaking on the exhibition, the Managing Director, Brian Munro Limited, Mr Paul Wilson, said: “Almost everyone likes cake, but the sugar craft makes a cake into more than a tasty confection. It makes that cake into a celebration. “Whether it is a birthday cake, Christmas cake, wedding cake or a Christening cake, your expertise is all about making an ordinary cake into a beautiful symbol of celebration and happiness. What a wonderful thing to do. And, therefore, how could our company not want to partner with an organisation as Honeysuckle? “This event is a national cake exhibition by top confectioners and we are proud to say that most of them use Munro icing sugar. We are committed to supporting crafts like this that can provide gainful employment, promote entrepreneurial development and economic growth. We regard events as this as a way of making contribution towards human capital development in Nigeria”. Brian Munro, he said, has been supplying quality products to the market for 60 years. Its brand of icing sugar has grown to become a household name. He praised Honeysuckle Company for organising the event and being part of the development of the sugar craft industry. Other sponsors are Synchro –Elson International Limited, Amsel, Kogsy Sugarcrft Centre, Baker’s Choice and Nutrichen. The event is powered by Esther Vaughn Consulting.
• Industrial mixer, star prize for the raffle draw
Shopping Right with
PLACE for everything and everything in its place is always a good organisational rule to live by. If you know that you are not naturally inclined to being organised, you can change that by starting with one small area of your living space and focusing on keeping that small area organised. Keeping a small area organised over time is easier to do, and it will help you build a new habit. After about two to three months of keeping one corner organised, you will naturally tend to expand your new-found orderly instincts to other areas. Remember, organised minds make successful people. Organise your space. Whether it is your home, bedroom, kitchen, office, computer, closet, desk, or locker, you need to see what is in there, throw away JANICE NKOLI IFEME anything you do not often use (or put it efficiently in storage) and give everything else a convenient and clearly designated space. Clean out your belongings before you later. That’s a big no-no. think about organising Always put your keys in the same place. Do not do it the other way round. You can Always put your cell phone in the same accurately know what space you have when place. Have a cell phone charging station set you have cleaned up. If you do not take a up. hard look at what you are stuffing in your There are many possible ways to organise spaces, you will waste time and money something, all valid. One person might orputting together stuff you do not need. ganise a sock drawer by colour. Another Observe how you use your things and might simply fold pairs of socks together work out how to use your space efficiently. and dump them in. Yet another might buy a If it is inconvenient to get to things (or to whole bale of socks all alike and not sort them at all. Regardput them away), less of what you are your organisation system is more ‘Remember, organised minds organising, choose system that likely to fail. Make make successful people. Or- the makes most sense to it easy to assess and put away the things ganise your space. Whether it you. Keep your suryou need most ofis your home, bedroom, faces clear. Reducten. In that vein, put visual clutter things where you kitchen, office, computer, ing helps reduce mental use them most. closet, desk, or locker, you clutter, over stimuPots get stored and the feelnear the stove, enneed to see what is in there, lation ing of overwhelm. velopes and stamps are stored in the throw away anything you do Get rid of stuff you do not need - so that desk, stain remover not often use...’ you can put the and bleach goes in things you need the laundry room or linen closet. (It sounds obvious, but you away and out of everyday sight. You would would be surprised how many people just feel instantly calmer. put things “wherever” and then are surprised Equipment - whether it be paper and pen when doing anything is tremendously into plan how you want things to be organconvenient.) ised, or boxes, files and labels to organising Do you have items in your house that just things practically in your physical environtake up space? Be sure to de-clutter regument. larly. Good questions to ask yourself in deDiscipline - getting organised might feel ciding: Do I need this? Will I need this in a like a struggle, or it might just require getyear? Have I used this in the last year? Do I ting into a new routine habit of keeping really love it? Is there someone else who things in their place could use this more? Do I have more than I Objectives - like the Cheshire cat says in could reasonably use in foreseeable future? Alice in Wonderland “if you don’t know Will I miss this if I do not have it? where you want to go: then it doesn’t matter Know what ‘organised’ looks and feels like. which route you take”. Getting organised Organised spaces are simple to use. They requires having clear objectives for why you have enough room for the items there. It want to get organised, and what being ormakes sense. Every item in your home has a ganised would actually look like and be like location. Organised spaces also feel calm, to you. open, and welcoming. Ziplock bags are your friends. Store away Use timers. Set a timer for how long you items in plastic zip lock bags. This way, the think a cleaning organising task should take items will be compact, clean, and dust-free. then work like crazy to get it done in the But they will also be all over the place if you allotted time. do not have a storage system. Place the bags Have a spot for all bills. Open all mails in closets, desk drawers, cabinets, and other immediately and dispose of the outer enveplaces. Zip lock bags are convenient, useful, lope with the junk mail. Keep only the bill and cheap, so use them. in a prominent location. Try drawer organisers for drawers that are Once you establish where everything beenclosed. You can purchase a wide selection longs, you need to get in the habit of putting or make your own by slicing off the tops of it back there as soon as you finish using it. empty plastic bottles of various sizes. Milk Do not put it on the kitchen table or on the jugs are handy because they are fairly square, couch and move onto something else, thinkbut any bottle or jar will do if you can trim ing to yourself that you will put it away it so it fits in the drawer.
Write to us, express your views, observations and experiences. Let’s have your comments about shopping. Your comments, questions and answers will be published first Friday of every month. With your full name and occupation, send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org SMS - 08033349992
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
POLITICS THE NATION
The outcome of the April 2011 National Assembly poll in Anambra State has been taken to the election petition tribunal for contest. Correspondent NWANOSIKE ONU examines the unfolding development.
Ekwunife: The cat with nine lives T HE battle for the soul of Anaocha, Njikoka, Dunukofia Federal Constituency in Anambra State between the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and indeed, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was fierce. The first phase of the battle was fought last year. Thereafter, the combatants moved to the election petitions tribunal. The second phase was held on Wednesday. The Returning Officer, Prof Emeka Ezeonu, early yesterday morning, declared that Ekwunife won the election by polling 29,005 votes to ACN Nwankwo’s 21,948. Though, the PDP contested the election and was represented by Mary Eze-Ekwue, a princess of Ukpo kingdom, but the real battle was between APGA and ACN. The incumbent member representing the zone, Chief Uche Ekwunife was the flag bearer of APGA, having dumped PDP because of the crisis ravaging it in the state, while Dozie Nwankwo pitched his tent with ACN. With the popularity of Senator Chris Ngige who is the moving force behind the ACN and the position of Mr. Peter Obi as incumbent governor of the state, the battle became fiercer. Besides, both Nwankwo and Ekwunife had before the election been involved in philanthropic activities, which made the contest more interesting. Many people in the state, not only in the federal constituency, have continued to sing praises of Ekwunife for good representation, but Nwankwo,
who worked through his foundation (Dozie Nwankwo Foundation) has declared that the election is an opportunity to step up his service to the people. For years, he has been involved in helping the indigent, including provision of free eye medical services to about 17 communities in the three local government areas. However, during the election, it became obvious that other political parties were wasting their time, energy and resources when it was clear that the contest was between Ekwunife APGA and Nwankwo ACN. Last year, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Ekwunife winner of the Federal Constituency poll. She went back to the House of Representatives for a second term. Not satisfied with the outcome, ACN went to the tribunal to seek redress, alleging manipulations, intimidation of its supporters and all forms of irregularities. Nwankwo further prayed the tribunal to declare that Ekwunife was not elected as there were irregularities and falsification of results. He prayed the tribunal for cancellation. The result of the election as declared by INEC, gave APGA over 12,000 votes to lead ACN. Last year when the election was originally held, APGA was credited with 32,755 votes to ACN’s 20,213. The PDP candidate was a distant third with 10,219. However, after legal fire works, the Justice Onajite Kuejubola-led panel on October 26, 2011, declared that the election held in some wards in the
•Senator Chris Ngige
‘Last year when the election was originally held, APGA was credited with 32,755 votes to ACN’s 20,213. The PDP candidate was a distant third with 10,219. However, after legal fireworks, the Justice Onajite Kuejubola-led panel on October 26, 2011, declared that the election held in some wards in the zone were inconclusive’ zone were inconclusive. The wards, according to the tribunal, were Enugwu Ukwu Ward I, Nimo Wards I and II, Umunachi Ward I and a polling unit at Ezumezu Odiodo Square III. Yet, the ACN was not satisfied with the out judgment as counsel to the petitioner, Arthur Obi Okafor (SAN), proceeded to the Appeal Court arguing that, “some areas we prayed for in our petition were not touched, especially in Anaocha. At the Appeal Court, the court, led by Hon. Justice Helen Moronkeji
Ogunwumiji, on the 22nd of December, 2011 ruled that re-run election should be held in about five communities in Anaocha council area. The five communities in Anaocha, the strong hold of APGA, are Agulu, Obeledu, Aguluzigbo, Nri and Akwaeze. The re-run election was scheduled by INEC for 15th February, 2012 in those areas of which the bell ringers had done their home works adequately. However, before the election, Nwankwo alleged intimidation of
his supporters in the area, while the chairman of the party in the area, Chief Raphael Egbobe, was brutally attacked by unknown gunmen, who burnt two CAN campaign vehicles belonging to ACN. Though, accusing fingers were pointed at APGA members, one of the chieftains of the party, Chief Silas Ojimma, told The Nation that APGA is not a violent party and could not have ventured. The atmosphere was charged but while the political scene in Anambra is wild, widespread violence is strange unlike in some other states.
...Controversies trail her rerun election victory The Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC’s) primary duty of conducting credible election has come under scrutiny again in the Anambra State rerun election. Although INEC provided the logistics, the question of security of voters remained unanswered. WALE ADEPOJU reports
HE rerun election in Anaocha, Njikoka, Dunukofia and Idemili South Federal Constituency of Anambra State election was characterized by intrigues Wednesday night. The usual machinations during elections in the country were manifest again, reminding the people of politics of bitterness.
Although movement was restricted by the security operatives as directed by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), their presence in some areas left much to be desired. There were reported cases of fake uniform men parading themselves about and driving away ACN agents from the polling centres.
At Anaocha Local Governmennt Area which has eleven polling units at Adazi Nnukwu, Agulu, Aguluzoigbo, Akwaeze, Nri and Obeledu had security agencies present at the centre. The story was not different at Dukukofia and Njikoka LGAs which have polling units at Umunachi, Enugu Ukwu and Nimo respectively. But some
•President Goodluck Jonathan (right), Vice-President Namadi Sambo (second left) and Secretary to the Government of the Federation Senator Pius Anyim (left) at the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja ... Wednesday
of the security agents demonstrated that they were in support of the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate in the House of Representatives, Mrs Uche Ekwunife. There was also huge presence of government functionaries, especially serving commissioners in Anambra State, at the polling units. Operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) were all around Ekwunife, giving her an edge. When journalists visited Nri, regarded as the stronghold of the APGA candidate, a cameraman of the Africa Independent Television was manhandled. When the news filtered in, the Action Congress of Nigeria Candidate, Mr Ferdinand Nwankwo reacted, he said: “We have heard that there are some security threats and we have lodged complaints with the security agencies. We have, however, put in some measures to secure the lives of our people. There are so many things that we cannot imagine and they are happening in the constituency. Our opponents have brought in thugs and tried to be violent. “I appealed to the Federal Government to always take the issue of insecurity during elections very
seriously. We are aware that in some areas in Nri, all our agents were chased away. I wrote to the security agencies before the polls to watch out for violence in those hot spots, but I’m surprised that this is still happening. What I heard was not what I expected.” Nwankwo who was accredited at about 11:25am remained calm despite the alarming report making the round as he went back to his car only to return at 2:15pm to cast his vote. Meanwhile, the winner, Mrs Uche Ekwunife who was accredited at about 10:35am, said shortly before she voted that materials arrived on time and accreditation started at 10:00am prompt in most of the units. Some ACN supporters, who witnessed the proceeding at Nri where Mrs Ekwunife voted questioned the closeness of Mrs Ekwunife to polling units, and how she was also going about exchanging pleasantries and pleading with voters while voting was on. Ekwunife, however, dispelled the rumour that she hired thugs to disrupt the election process. She said the election was peaceful and as such credible.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
POLITICS Prof Robert Boroffice is a Senator representing Ondo North in the Senate. Recently, he defected from the Labour Party (LP) to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He spoke with Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU in Lagos on his defection and other issues.
ONTROVERSY has trailed your change of party. How would you defend your defection from Labour Party (LP) to ACN? Nothing is done in bad faith. There are many things you take into consideration before you remain or leave a political party. You have to be responsive to the aspirations of your people because, in the first instance, they elected you on the platform of a party. They may change their interest and mind about what they want and as long as you want to be their representative, you have to respond. My defection was not in bad faith; it is in good faith. I have responded to the aspiration of my people. In any case, there is a constitutional provision for an elected senator to move from one party to another. Those provisions, I believe, were met. There is factionalisation in the Labour Party. As a result of this factionalisation, my people believe I cannot deliver the dividends of democracy, using Labour Party as a vehicle. In consultation with them, I decided to go to the ACN. To prove me right, another member of House of Representatives Hon. Abegunde, popularly known as “Abena”, has defected from LP to ACN. The interesting thing is that the Vice-Chairman of ‘Iroko Platform 2013’ in Akure also defected. Also, a chairman of local government area also defected from LP to ACN. The whole of Hausa community in Akure and some parts of Ile-Oluji also defected from LP to ACN. That shows that LP has problem. Those at the leadership of LP may be deceiving people, but insiders know there is problem. There is mass defection from the party. Why didn’t you stay on in the LP to solve the problem there? You can only solve the problem there, if you are in a position to do that. That is if you are considered a major factor in solving the problem. That is if the party itself believes that it has a problem. If you are sick and you appreciate that you are sick you can start looking for medication. But if you are sick and you don’t believe you are sick it is a major problem. Up till now, the leaders of LP are saying in the newspapers that there is no faction and that LP is one. Yet, there are two factions and one faction has gone to court. People are defecting everyday. Cabinet members, board members, local government functionaries are defecting everyday. So, if you say there is no problem, it becomes very difficult to help you. Mimiko’s men have accused you of betrayal. How do you react to that? Actually, I do not want to over-flog this issue of betrayal. In what sense? That I left LP for ACN? How is that a betrayal? I don’t think it is a betrayal. He himself had done it several times. He left AD for PDP. Then, he left PDP for LP. At critical times in the life of those parties, he left and it led to paralysis in those parties. How do you say that what I have done is a betrayal? Who is betraying who? I think it is the lack of rational assessment of the situation. There is no betrayal at all. The argument is that the governor supported you during the hot battle between you and your kinsman, Dr Olu Agunloye,
Why I left LP, by Boroffice ‘My defection was not in bad faith; it is in good faith. I have responded to the aspiration of my people. In any case, there is a constitutional provision for an elected senator to move from one party to another. Those provisions, I believe, were met. There is factionalisation in the Labour Party. As a result of the factionalisation, my people believe I cannot deliver the dividends of democracy, using Labour Party as a vehicle’ for the senate... There was no battle between me and Dr. Olu Agunloye. He contested on the platform of ACN and I contested on the platform of LP. We both went to the field. I was able to convince the people. Majority of those who voted were not even registered members of LP and ACN. So, I assisted the governor, too, to become governor. If he did anything that was significant, he was only reciprocating what I did for him when he was running for the governorship of Ondo State. If I am not popular, what can he do? Did he rig election for me? What does he mean that he assisted me? Did he pay my election bills? He did not pay my bills and he did not rig election for me. I went out to campaign and I was able to convince the people to vote for me. And that is what they did. So, in what sense did he help me? How do you now react to plans by some LP elements to engineer your recall from the senate? I don’t want to comment on that because there is a constitutional provision that determines whether a man can vacate his seat or not. And I think the senate is handling this issue. So, I will not want to comment on it. Let us wait for the outcome. It is being said that you are also interested in the governorship of Ondo State.
I have not declared my intention to run. There are speculations. Very soon, I will let the people know. Nobody has been given a ticket, anyway. If it is the peoples’ wish in Ondo State and it is acceptable to the party, of course, I will like to run and challenge my friend and brother, Mimiko, in the next gubernatorial election. What is this issue of “one governor, one term” formula all about in Ondo State? I don’t know. I learnt from the people of Ondo State that, when Pa Adekunle Ajasin wanted a second term, he was opposed. The information was that Mimiko was a supporter of Omoboriowo then, who wanted to oust Pa Adekunle Ajasin. Mimiko was in AD. Adefarati wanted to do second term. Mimiko was a commissioner. Publicly, he swore that he was not challenging Adefarati. The last meeting they had lasted till 2 am in the morning. By 10 am, he had tendered his resignation and decamped to the PDP because Adefarati would not give him a chance to run for the governorship, that he believed in one term. So, he went to the PDP and when Agagu insisted that he wanted to run for a second term, he was dissatisfied and he went to form the LP. He is an apostle of one governor, one term. Because of that, people believe, morally, that he should not even think of a sec-
ond term. if you have opposed three people in the past who wanted to go for a second term, you should not think of second term. Historically, is there anything about zoning formula in your state? Zoning formula may not be written, but it becomes the norm when it is strong and it brings peace and stability. Virtually, everybody has a zoning formula. Even, the PDP has zoning formula. It is by rotation. we have three senatorial districts; North, South, Central. We have had two governors from the South; Admiral Aduwo and Agagu. In the Central, we had Otiko, a military man and Mimiko now. In the North, we had Pa Adekunle Ajasin and Adefarati. So, it is starting all over again now. It has to go back to the North. It was a gentleman agreement in the state. So, Ondo North is expected to produce the next governor. There is this feeling that the leadership of your party is weak and the party is not firmly implanted at the grassroots. How strong is your party in Ondo State? Well, that was before. I can tell you that ACN is a very strong party now. The injection of people from LP, PDP has had an impact. Don’t forget, LP was formed three months before the governorship election and it won the election. The governorship election in Ondo State is November. So, we still have about nine months. If LP could win elections within three months of its formation, I think ACN that has been existing for years will have no difficulty in re-engineering the party to take over the affairs of Ondo State from Mimiko. I can assure you, you will see what is going to happen in the next three months. So, ACN is not threatened by the power of incumbency wielded by the governor? Governor Adefarati was incumbent governor when Agagu defeated him. Agagu was incumbent governor when Mimiko defeated him. So, Mimiko will an incumbent governor and another person will defeat him. It is a pattern. There is nothing strange about the power of incumbency. But it is being said that this is an incumbency with a difference? What makes it different? In fact, the difference is that this one is so exposed, so weak. Very weak. Very vulnerable. What is happening now in Ondo State is phenomenon. It was not as bad as this during the time of either Adefarati or Agagu. So, that may be the only thing that is different about this incumbency. But various people, international agencies and media adverts are hailing the achievements of the governor. How do you reconcile that with this your opinion? That is part of the propaganda machinery. Those of us in the academia know what this means. If you want a number of awards and you pay for it, you get it. So, it is nothing strange. While in the academia, I refused to join some organisations or put down my name for some awards because you pay, you buy it. It is nothing strange. You should not be carried away by it. But you don’t rule a state by award. You don’t rule a state by the number of awards you receive.
Fayemi, Assembly to monitor 2012 budget
KITI State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi and the leadership of the State House of Assembly have pledged to ensure proper implementation of the 2012 budget, signed into law by the governor last Friday. Governor Fayemi signed the 2012 appropriation bill of N88,828,351,795.25k following its passage by the Assembly. According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode, Dr Fayemi said that the budget, which was dubbed “Budget of Delivery”, takes into cognizance the economic reality of the new year, adding that his administration was committed to making the budget a realistic framework for the rapid development of the state in line with his promise to
the people. Fayemi said his administration was on a threshold of history and would not renege on the promise it has made to the people of the state that the budget would be that of delivery; adding that he was aware that all eyes were on his administration and would not leave any stone unturned to ensure effective implementation of the budget. He also lauded the decision of the state Assembly to monitor its implementation. Commending the state Assembly for the timely passage of the budget and for putting in place a tracking system for its implementation, the governor said that this would save the executive arm of government from implementation problems.
•Govervor Rocha Okorocha discussing with National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) Chief Victor Umeh in Owerri at Okorocha’s presentation of the State of Imo Address ... Tuesday
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
Investors scramble for bank stocks in bearish market
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 16-2-12
OR the third consecutive day, most banking stocks rode on the back of a surge in demand to close at higher prices, a trend divergent to developments in the market that had remianed bearish. The NSE Banking Index appreciated to 280.16 points yesterday as against its opening index of 277.07 points. It had risen from 270.83 points on Monday to 275.56 points on Tuesday and trended upward to 277.07 points on Wednesday. However, the benchmark index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), slipped from the opening index of 20,329.62 points to a low of 20,314.08 points yesterday. It had opened the week at 20,623.63 points. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities also dropped from N6.407 trillion to N6.402 trillion. It had opened the week at N6.500 trillion. Banks made up nearly half of the gainers yesterday as Access Bank led seven other banks on the bullish rally. There are 14 deposit-money banks quoted on the NSE and nearly all the major banking stocks advanced during the trading session. Access Bank gained 30 kobo to close at N6.43. Skye Bank chalked up 16 kobo to close at N3.51. Guaranty Trust Bank rallied 13 kobo to close at N14.18. First Bank of Nigeria added 10 kobo to close at N10.61. United Bank for Africa rose by 8.0 kobo to close at N1.80. Stanbic
• Honeywell profit rises 23% Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire
IBTC Bank gathered 6.0 kobo to close at N7.06. Sterling Bank added 4.0 kobo to close at 88 kobo while Zenith Bank gained 3.0 kobo to close at N12.26 per share. Banks are expected to announce their audited reports and accounts for the 2011 business year in the weeks ahead. Interim reports and accounts of nearly all banks had showed growths in incomes and profitability during the nine-month operational period ended September 30, 2011, which analysts said could increase dividends and boost the secondary market valuations of banking stocks. At third quarter earnings and current market considerations, most banking stocks carried double-digit earnings yields with yields as high as 21 per cent. Average industry yield stands at 11.4 per cent. Banks are known to be investors-friendly and generous in dividend policy. Average dividend payment policy ranged from 50 to 60 per cent but several banks may do better given their trimmed, fit and proper shapes, which require relatively lesser capital retention. With the third quarter 2011 reports, earnings per share within the banking industry was as high as 137
kobo with industry average of 53 kobo per share. Turnover at the NSE stood at 700.830 million shares valued at N2.28 billion in 3,513 deals. United Bank for Africa remained the most actively traded stock with 332.49 million shares valued at N593.56 million in 416 deals. Meanwhile, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc has released its third quarter report with a turnover of N27.9 billion for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2011. The company indicated that net profit rose by 23 per cent from to N1.7 billion. On the balance sheet side, total assets of Honeywell Flour grew by N7 billion in the last quarter as it reached advanced stages in the completion of its capacity expansion project. Total assets stood at N44.3 billion, a 33 per cent increase from N33.3 billion recorded in 2010. The twin mill facility of 500MT each, dubbed ‘Mills E & F’, being constructed at its Tincan Port, Apapa site will raise the Company’s daily milling capacity from 1,610Mt to 2,610 MT by September this year. Chief Executive Officer, Honeywell Flour Mills, Mr.Babatunde Odunayo stated that the new facilities being constructed as well as the equipment being installed would help to improve operational efficiency, ensuring that the company produces only high quality food products for its customers. He said the company expected the improving trend to continue well to the end of and beyond the financial year ending March 2012.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 16-2-12
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
MONEY LINK US to nominate new World Bank President
CBN disburses N151b agric funds to states
HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disbursed a cumu lative N151.016 billion out of the N200 billion allocated to the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS). The funds were given to 27 out of the 36 states of the federation. A statement released by the CBN yesterday said N14 billion was released to nine banks with respect to 14 CACS projects in December, bringing total spending since inception in 2009 to current figure. According to the CBN report, the
By Collins Nweze
number of State Governments participating in the Scheme has grown from 24 to 27 as at December. These state governments accessed funds for on-lending to farmers’ unions, co-operatives and financing of other areas of agricultural interventions in their various States. From inception to date, 16 banks, namely, Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, Oceanic Bank Plc, Skye Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Union
while processing accounted for 41.1 per cent. These activities were distantly followed by marketing and storage which registered eight per cent and 6.75 per cent respectively. With regards to the value of funds released, processing accounted for 55.6 per cent followed by production, which accounted for 29.1 per cent of the value of enterprises financed. These were followed by marketing and storage, which registered 10.4 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively,” the statement said.
Bank of Nigeria among others participated in the scheme. The 190 beneficiaries are made up of 163 private promoters and 27 state governments that accessed N1.0 billion each apart from the Federal Capital Territory, which accessed N16 million. The analysis of number of projects financed under CACS by value chain showed that out of the 163 CACS private sector sponsored projects, production accounted for 44 per cent and dominated the activities funded
Mobile money: FirstBank signs MoU with Glo, Airtel, Etisalat
IRST Bank of Nigeria PLC has signed a Memorandum of Un derstanding (MoU) with Globacom Limited, Airtel and Etisalat, to provide mobile money services in the country. Speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the First Bank and Globacom yesterday in Lagos, the duo promised to combine their strengths to provide secure, convenient and user-friendly mobile banking services to the unbanked through the use of mobile phones. Mobile banking is the use of mobile phones to remotely access bank accounts, primarily for account inquiry,
By Adline Atili
mobile transfer, retail payments, micro insurance, savings remittances, mobile top-up, utility bill payments and government collections, among others. In his speech, Globacom’s Executive Director, Adewale Sangowawa, said that the network is proud to place its extensive reach, enormous power and strength behind this product, which will ensure quick, efficient and seamless transactions. Commenting on the initiative, FirstBank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Bisi Onasanya,
said mobile banking is hinged on three planks, which are defined in terms of financial inclusion for the unbanked and the underbanked, person to person transaction in terms of sending and receiving money as well as retail payment for the purchase of goods and services. He added that “With over 600 branches and thousands of business partner outlets in strategic proximity to the people, coupled with over 1,500 ATMs including cash deposit ATMs, cardless and biometric ATMs, over 5million active accounts and more than 1,200 Point of Sale terminals, FirstBank has always been at the forefront of innovative fi-
nancial services solutions. In a related development, First Bank and Airtel, at their MoU signing ceremony in Lagos, assured they would provide secure, convenient and user-friendly mobile banking services to un-banked Nigerians via the mobile. Airtel’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Rajan Swaroop, said: “This partnership with First Bank to bring mobile financial services to all Nigerians demonstrates Airtel’s commitment to Nigeria and supports the concept of border-less mobile telecommunications services across Nigeria.
Expert tasks FG, states on accountability
AX expert, Mr Semiu ShittaBey, has urged the Federal and State governments to emulate the Lagos State government’s tax collection strategy. He said state’s policy has resulted in increase in monthly tax revenues from N600 million to over N16 billion monthly within the last 12 years. Shitta-Bey, Principal Consultant of
By Adline Atili
Ssbey Consulting, a tax consultancy firm, said through proper enforcement, Lagos State government has been able to broaden its tax base by bringing more people, who have been evading paying taxes, into the tax net. In an interview in Lagos, he said tax administration in Nigeria has not measured up to expectations in terms of
rians to be alert to their fiscal responsibilities and rid the tax system of corruption. According to him, everybody keeps reading about corruption. Yet, it looks as if we are just paying lip service to this thing. If government shows sincerity, honesty and accountability to funds they are meant to use for the general populace, people would be more favourably disposed to paying taxes.
putting in place an effective tax system that ensures nobody evades taxes payable to the government, describing Lagos as a model for other states. He attributed prevalent tax evasion to lack of effective enforcement from tax regulators at all levels of government. He called on the governments at all levels to be more accountable, adding that being accountable to tax payers would encourage more Nige-
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount
Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
OBB Rate Call Rate
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011
ETERNAOIL UPL ACCESS SKYEBANK STERLNBANK LIVESTOCK UBA CONTINSURE JAPAULOIL WAPIC ASHAKACEM GTASSURE
3.41 3.06 6.13 3.35 0.84 0.85 1.72 0.66 0.75 0.50 10.50 1.06
3.58 3.21 6.43 3.51 0.88 0.89 1.80 0.69 0.78 0.52 10.70 1.08
(S/N) Bureau de Change 152.0000
NSE CAP Index
180.50 12.18 3.89 1.45 0.63 2.75 0.64 2.58 1.20 0.76 3.99
171.48 11.58 3.70 1.38 0.60 2.62 0.61 2.47 1.15 0.73 3.85
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 9.4%
9.17 1.00 118.85 98.43 0.76 1.04 0.88 1,642.73 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,351.90 193.00
9.08 1.00 118.69 97.65 0.73 1.04 0.87 1,635.25 7.84 1.33 1.80 7,149.37 191.08
ARM AGGRESSIVE KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND THE LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY THE DISCOVERY FUND • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE
9.02 0.60 0.19 0.07 0.03 0.13 0.03 0.11 0.05 0.03 0.14
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
LOSER AS AT 16-2-12
TOTAL FO DANGSUGAR AGLEVENT GOLDINSURE MAYBAKER FIDSON HONYFLOUR RTBRISCOE PRESTIGE DANGFLOUR
0.17 0.15 0.30 0.16 0.04 0.04 0.08 0.03 0.03 0.02 0.20 0.02
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
Parallel Market SYMBOL
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer
GAINERS AS AT 16-2-12
EXHANGE RATE 26-08-11 Currency
Offered ($) Demanded ($)
HE Obama administration plans to nominate within weeks a candidate to replace World Bank President Robert Zoellick, who says he will leave the institution when his five-year term ends June 30. “It is very important that we continue to have a strong, effective leadership in this important institution,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Reuters in a statement. The announced departure of Zoellick, who was chosen by President George W. Bush in 2007, opened the competition for a job that has always been held by a United States national under an informal agreement that also has a European head the International Monetary Fund. Christine Lagarde, then France’s finance minister, was picked over Mexican central bank Governor Agustin Carstens for the IMF job with US support last year. Under Zoellick’s presidency, shareholders approved the first capital increase in more than 20 years to meet demand from countries hit by the global slump that followed the 2008 financial crisis. Analysts said his successor may face another surge in loan requests as the European debt crisis threatens to trigger more global turmoil. President Barack Obama may nominate Lawrence Summers, his former National Economic Council adviser, to replace Zoellick. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also being considered, one of the people said. Clinton has said she does not plan to stay in her post if Obama wins a second term and plans to leave government. Zoellick “brought calm and a return of a sense of mission when he went to the bank,” said Nancy Birdsall, president of the Washington-based Center for Global Development, an aid research group, in a phone interview.
• AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
Rate (Previous) 24 Aug, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 26, Aug, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
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04 July, 2011
07, Aug, 2011
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
NEWS Boko Haram kills three policemen in Niger
NKNOWN gunmen beleived to be members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect yesterday night struck in Minna, Niger state capital, killing two Policemen attached to Wushishi Housing Estate Police post. The gunmen rain bullets at the unsuspecting Policemen at the gate of the estate at about 8pm leaving an Inspector and a Sergeant lifeless while a Corporal was critically injured. The attack in Minna came barely 24 hours after a Corporal was similarly killed by unknown gunmen who attacked Maje Police station, Maje, Suleja local government area of the state. Residents of Wushishi estate who were outside of their houses ran inside when the
Jide Orintunsin, Minna
gunmen attacked the Policemen, while the sporadic shooting of the gunmen sent fears to residents of neighboring Kafintela area. Confirming the attack, the Police Public Relations Officer for the state, Mr. Richard Oguche said that the command was yet to ascertain whether the attacks, both at Minna and Maje were carried out by members of the dread Boko Haram sect. ‘’We are yet to get details of how the gunmen attacked our men. Nobody is offering any information now. We pray that the injured corporal, who is now in a critical condition will survive to give us details of the attack,’’ Oguche stated.”
ACN gets sixth seat in Anambra
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday won its sixth seat in the Anambra State House of Assembly, following the declaration of Ebele Obi as the winner of the Idemili South Constituency rerun election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The Returning Officer, C. Nwankwo, said Obi polled 3,235 votes to beat his closest rival, Tony Ezekwelu, of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), who scored 3,177. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ifeanyi Igwe, scored 2, 805 to come third; Ibekwute Boniface of Accord , Owgho Magdalene of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and Nnamdi Ozokwelu of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) scored 16, 15 and 14 votes to come fourth, fifth and sixth. Also, the member representing Anaocha/Njikoka/ Dunukofia Federal constituen-
•Ekwunife wins From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
cy in the House of Representatives, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, was yesterday declared the winner of the rerun in 15 wards. The Court of Appeal in Enugu, had in December, ordered INEC to conduct a rerun within 90 days in the wards among the parties that contested last April 9 National Assembly election. The Returning Officer, Prof Emeka Ezeonu, said Mrs. Ekwunife scored 29,005 votes to beat ACN candidate Dozie Nwankwo, who polled 21, 948 votes to come second Others are Emeka Eze of the PDP who scored 9,198, Obiora Igwedibia, Accord 2,624; Ikenna Anekwe ADC (334); Mike Igwilo All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) 250; Ezeaku Nnaemeka CDC 121; Kingsley Uguome CPC 228; Kingsley OKafor, LP 78; Aniefo Sonny NMDP 18 and Rebecca Njilika PPA 121 votes .
Imo: Court delivers judgment HE Supreme Court has March 2 fixed March 2 for judg-
ment in an appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the electoral victory of Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha. The apex court fixed the date after parties adopted their brief of argument yesterday before Justice Walter Onnoghen-led five member panel. Okorocha won the election on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). But the PDP candidate and former governor Ikedi Ohakim is not a party to the suit.
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
The appellant counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) urged the court to set aside the judgment of the Appeal Court, which affirmed the decision of the Governorship Election Petition that declared Okorocha as governor. According to him, Ohakim won the lawful majority vote. But counsel to Okorocha, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) urged the court to discountenance him.
WO-time member of the House of Representatives Patrick Gbinije is dead. Gbinije died in his home in Warri, Delta State. He was 94. Until his death, he was the most senior Okakuro of Okpe Kingdom and held the title of Okpagha of the Kingdom. He was elected into the House of Representatives during the Second Republic for the first time in 1979 and then
in 1983. He was the Chairman of the House Committee on Mines and Power. Gbinije was a member of the Midwest House of Assembly between 1962 and 1964. He was an old student of St. Gregory’s College, Obalende, Lagos and served with the United African Company, UAC, before he left to start his own business. Funeral details will be announced by his family.
Funeral for man
ZE Basil Nwokorie is dead. He was 86. Until his death, he was a community leader , a devout Christian. According to the funeral rites as announced by his son, Kevin Ogoke, his remains would be interred in his hometown,
Umuakunaba, in Umuezeala, Ehime Mbano Local Government of Imo State today after a requiem mass at the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Umuezeala Owerre, at 11am. He is survived by his wife, 12 children and 14 grandchildren .
Anglican bishops condemn A Boko Haram NGLICAN bishops yesterday rose from a meeting in Awka, the Anambra State capital, condemning the activities of the terrorist group, Boko Haram. They said Nigeria’s break up would have consequences on every citizen whether Christian or Muslim. The over 170 Anglican bishops were in Awka for a standing committee meeting. The Primate, Rev Nicholas Okoh, addressed the bishops yesterday at the Cathedral Church of Saint Faith, saying the issue of Boko Haram was a foregone conclusion. He advised northern and southern indigenes not to relocate as, according to him, “we are all one”. Also, the Bishop of Dutse, Jigawa State, Rev Yusuf Lumu, said the sect had reached its crescendo and would die a natural death with prayers. His words: “Look at what
•’Sect hijacked by politicians’ •Obi: why I supported subsidy removal am would soon become hisFrom Nwanosike Onu, Awka
happened in Kano after the attack, over 85 per cent of the people affected were Muslims and you can imagine what that means. “Can you still say that Boko Haram is against Christians? It has been hijacked by politicians. “Initially, it was a religious sect with its motive probably to Islamise every community in the country but with the hijacking of the sect by politicians, it turned as if they are portraying Islam in bad light.” He said with the prayers of the churches, Boko Har-
tory. Lumu appealed to other northern governors to emulate their Jigawa State counterpart, Sule Lamido, by ensuring there were no security threats in their states. The Bishop of Oleh Diocese, Rev Jonathan Edewor, called for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) to discuss the nation’s problems. He attributed most of the country’s problems to lack of focus among the leaders. Edewor frowned at what he called ‘enormous powers concentrated at the centre’ at the expense of the states. The bishop said such pow-
ers should be transferred to the states. Host Governor Peter Obi hailed the bishops for being vocal on the issues affecting Nigeria. He said if the churches do not change Nigeria but allow the nation change them, the country would be ‘finished’. The governor gave reasons why he supported the removal of oil subsidy. “It was a difficult decision by the President, the governors and some stakeholders but we cannot help it, the cost of running government is high,” Obi said. The standing committee was also addressed by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha. The Bishop of Awka, Rev Alex Ibezim, praised the standing committee for choosing “Pressing towards the mark” as the topic for the meeting.
•Niger State Governor Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu (left) with the Emir of Agaie, His Royal Highness Alhaji Muhammadu Kudu Abubakar III displaying an award presented to Aliyu for his support for peace and security during the launch of Election Management Practice Guide in Accra, Ghana...on Tuesday
26-year olds shine at UNILAG convocation
WO graduands, both 26, stood out during the convocation of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) yesterday. They were celebrated for their achievements. Iziren Josiah Akhigbe has gone into the record books as the graduate with the highest Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) ever. He finished with a CGPA of 4.98, and led, not only the 37 first class graduates from the engineering faculty, but the 118 that the university recorded for the 2010/2011 academic session. Temitope Olabisi Adeyemi, is the youngest PhD graduate the university has produced. She also won the
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie and Medinat Kanabe
best PhD thesis award for her research on: “Molecular Systematics and DNA barcoding of African Sapindaceae” in the field of Botany. Iziren Josiah Akhigbe is a star student two times over. He graduated as the best Engineering student (HND) at the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) in 2007 with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.58. The Edo born engineer thanked his mother, a teacher at Ikeja Senior High School, and some friends for motivating him to be the best. He told The Nation in an in-
terview that he would have been satisfied with a second class upper but for their influence. He said: “In the beginning, I just thought that I was in UNILAG, where it happens so let me just come and make it happen – not to play but just to have fun. I had a distinction from another school so a 2.1 would be okay. However, I had people around me who motivated me. My Mum told me that since I had always wanted to go to UNILAG and finally got it, I should work hard to get a first class and make the family proud. “Chris Ogbunuzor was another great influence. He started with a GPA of 3.8
and told me the story of a student who made 5.00 each semester from his 300-Level. So we decided to work towards that. “Another influence was Titi Oluyide. I think that if I hadn’t started from 300-Level, she probably would have been the best graduating student. She has a 4.94.” Adeyemi advised the graduates to be job creators and not job seekers. For their outstanding contribution to knowledge, teaching, research supervision two professors, Prof Olukemi Abiodun Odukoya and Prof John Taiwo Darocha were also given Gold Medal of the University of Lagos.
‘Belgore’s committee won’t stop agitation for national dialogue’
ROM some Yoruba elders came a quick response to President Goodluck Jonathan’s seeming reliance on the Justice Alfa Belgore committee to resolve issues to be raised at a constitutional conference: the committee’s report cannot replace a proper forum for national dialogue. The Yoruba elders, who visited Jonathan on Wednesday under the aegis of the Yoruba Unity Forum, insist-
From Yomi Odunuga, Abuja Bureau Chief
ed that only a national conference would resolve the evident imbalance in the socio-economic and political construct of Nigeria as a nation. Addressing reporters, the elders said though the President should be commended for expressing his desire to yield to the sincere demands of Nigerians the problems confronting the country are
beyond what a committee can handle. According to Senator Femi Okunrounmu, who spoke on behalf of the elders, the Justice Belgore Committee would, at best, work on only the constitutional issues that were discussed in previous national conferences, claiming that the which terms of reference of such conferences were gagged by the governments that set them up.
He said: “Some of the problems confronting us as a nation are traceable to a much more fundamental malady. There seems to be that inability to practise true federalism. Again, what we have is not a constitution but a military decree. That is why many people from the different geo-political zones are advocating for a national conference and until we do that, we cannot have a constitution.”
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
NEWS Asiwaju hale and hearty, says Lagos ACN
HE Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has warned peddlers of false rumours about former Governor Bola Tinubu’s health to desist from such acts or incur the wrath of God. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, ACN said: “It is immoral, unholy and wicked for people created by God to wish other people death, while they want to continue to live and be happy. “When the leader of our great party travelled last week to the United Kingdom for leadership engagements with Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the idle minds went on the internet to deceive the world that he is down with stroke. “We ignored these wicked ambassadors and harbingers of falsehood and waited for Asiwaju’s return, so as to consign their antics to the dustbin of history. Asiwaju returned last night (Wednesday) hale and hearty, and the peddlers of falsehood became deaf and dumb. “The same people went after Aregbesola last year, telling the world that the governor had a terminal disease. But Aregbesola answered them by appearing at his place of work the next day to continue the good work he is doing for the people of Osun State. “Our party condemns this organised and well-planned project to bring ACN leaders down by all means. Those who seek to bring others down will be the first to go down. “Our leaders are human beings like us. They eat the same food we eat, drink the same water we drink and breathe the same air. They have headache, running stomach, fever, malaria, catarrh, ulcer, dysentery, high blood pressure etc. “Sometimes they are hospitalised like every one of us. Decent human beings do not celebrate when other people are troubled or sick. It is only renegades and reprobates that celebrate when fellow beings are in trouble. “Tinubu represents to us what Indians call Kohinoor (jewel of mankind) and those who wish him dead will be the first to go beyond. The God Almighty that we serve will not allow people like him to be away so soon, otherwise millions of his people will suffer. We are what we are because of other people. Asiwaju lives for humanity.”
Ekiti to turn old prison to tourist centre
KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has said his administration will turn the old Ado-Ekiti Prison into a tourist centre. Fayemi spoke yesterday when he visited the old prison complex in Fajuyi. He said his administration contributed immensely to the relocation of the prison to a more conducive location. The governor said when the old prison is completely vacated, the government would build a civic centre, with a museum, an amphitheatre, cinemas, a shopping mall and an events centre. He said the civic centre would beautify Ado-Ekiti and boost economic activities. Fayemi said: “Even though the prison has been relocated, there are artefacts relating to this (old) prison that must be kept for generations yet unborn, so that they would know that at some point in history, the colonial prison was set up right here. “If you go to any place, you will always see the prison near the divisional office of the colonial police. It is a symbol of control over the security and safety of its people. “We believe that the best
thing we can put here in order to realise our objectives of building a large community is a civic centre that incorporates some historical links and lots of mementoes about Ekiti people. “Once the place is fully evacuated, government will start building a civic centre that will have a shopping mall, cinemas, an amphitheatre, a museum as well as an events centre in this location that has become the central business district of our distinguished capital city.” The Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe, praised Fayemi for his role in the relocation of the prison. He said the governor committed enormous resources to the project. The monarch hailed the plan of the prison authorities to establish an agric farm at the new prison, so as to positively engage the inmates and put the large expanse of land into use. The Assistant ControllerGeneral of Prisons in charge of Zone F, Mr. Benjamin Bogunjoko, thanked the state government for its effort to make the prisons corrective and not a punitive place.
Traders protest closure of Ladipo market By Oziegbe Okoeki
RADERS from the Aguiyi-Ironsi Auto Market in Ladipo, Mushin, yesterday protested the closure of the market by the Ministry of the Environment. They stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly, bearing placards with inscriptions, such as: “Respect Our Rights, Respect Our Agreement”, “Don’t Impose Leadership on Us”, “Jonathan C. Okolie is Our Leader”, “Lagos House of Assembly, Help Us! You Are Our Last Hope”, “Re-open Aguiyi Auto Market, Our survival, Our Strength”, “An Idle Mind is the Devil’s Workshop” and “Open Our Market for God’s Sake!”, among others. President of the Auto Part Association of Nigeria, Ladipo Market, Mr. Jonathan Okoli said the market has been closed for over three months. Okolie said the market was first closed on December 8, 2011, due to environmental issues and was re-opened after a week. He said: “On December 23, officials of the ministry came again and closed the market. They claimed that the order was from above. That was the same day I was granted bail after the same people who want the leadership of the market wrote a petition against me, alleging that I kept thugs and guns. “They closed the market and said they wanted to place someone who is not a trader as the market leader.” Okolie alleged that some officials of the ministry are working for people who want to take over the leadership of the market. Deputy Speaker Taiwo Kolawole assured the traders that the matter would be investigated.
Widow petitions IG over husband’s death in police custody A WIDOW, Mrs. Cecilia Adedeji, has petitioned the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, over her husband’s death in police custody. Her husband, Lawrence (39), was a distributor of the products of Rite Foods Limited. Speaking with reporters on the circumstances that led to Lawrence’s death, Mrs. Adedeji said her husband left home on February 9 with a Rite Foods branded Hilux van to make purchases at the company’s office at Adebola House, Opebi Road, Lagos, but was arrested for alleged fraud. She said he died at Ikeja Police Division, Area F, within 24 hours. Noting that her husband was not sick before he was arrested, the widow said the police are yet to release his body to the family. She said: “I received a phone call from my husband in the afternoon that he had been arrested by plain-clothed policemen on the instructions of the Managing Director, under the supervision of the General Manager and the Chief Security Officer of the company in Adebola House. On my way to the company, my husband’s friend phoned and told me to come to Ikeja Police Division, Area “F”. “At the police station, my husband told me that after he made purchases at the company, he was accused of issuing dud cheques and was arrest-
•Mrs Adedeji By Jude Isiguzo
ed. He said he did not write any statement, but the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), one Dave, compelled him to make a few statements and wrote them down. “My husband told two of his friends to move his vehicle from the company’s premises to our house, but they returned an hour later and said the CSO denied them access to the vehicle. “I applied to have my husband released on bail, but the
•The late Lawrence
IPO said my application would only be considered if the company’s CSO permits it. The CSO finally showed up after 7pm. After discussing with the IPO, the CSO said my husband would only be released if we deposit N1 million that night. My husband’s friend offered to deposit his brand new car, but they refused. “We left the place around 8:30pm and when we got back the following day; they said my husband was dead. As I speak with you, no member
of our family has seen his body. “My three children are now fatherless. We demand a thorough and prompt investigation of the matter and an open prosecution of all those connected directly and otherwise with the cruel and brutal demise of my husband.” Mrs. Adedeji’s lawyer, Chief Lanre Adeniyi, said: Our client informed us that her husband had been a major distributor of the company’s products since 2008. She said he distributes and sells only the company’s products in Lagos and Ogun states, Ghana and Benin Republic. “She said her husband has earned many awards and items from the company in appreciation of his efficient distribution and sale of the company’s products.” Police spokesman Mr. Jayieoba Joseph, who confirmed the incident, said the suspect became sick in custody and was taken to the General Hospital, where he died. At the office of Rite Foods Limited, our correspondent spoke with a lady, who said the deceased was not a staff of the company and that there was nobody who could comment on the incident. She denied this reporter access to the company’s spokesman and CSO.
Ogun Assembly urges Amosun to stay action on TASUED
HE Ogun State House of Assembly yesterday urged Governor Ibikunle Amosun to stay action on the proposed merger of the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, with the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago– Iwoye, until the law that established TASUED is repealed. The House also urged the governor to stay action on the merger of the four Information Communications Technology (ICT) polytechnics into Ogun State Institute of Technology (OSITECH), Igbese, until all necessary steps are taken. The polytechnics are Abraham Adesanya ICT Polytechnic, Ijebu–Igbo; D.S. Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic, Itori; Kenssington Adebutu ICT Polytechnic, Saapade; and Ayo Otegbola ICT
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
Polytechnic, Igbesa. The government, on February 8, announced the scrapping of TASUEDand re – named it Institute of Education, adding that it would operate in affiliation with the Education Faculty of OOU. The government said the changes were recommended by a Special Committee set up to look into the reports of a Visitation Panel set up to examine the condition of state –owned tertiary institutions. It said the decision would ensure qualitative and affordable tertiary education. Addressing the Commissioner for Education Mr. Segun Odubela and his Information and Strategy counterpart, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, who were summoned
by the House to shed more light on the matter yesterday, Speaker Suraju Adekunbi said though the decisions were taken in good faith, they would have to pass through public hearing. “Do your consultations, so that the people will know that the decision was not taken to hurt anybody. I urge the students to patiently wait for the outcome of our deliberations. “We have not done anything regarding the extant laws. Please stay action on the decision. The mandate we enjoy today was given to us by the students. We appeal for a stay of action.” The House berated the Executive for announcing the mergers without consulting it. Odubela said the decision was necessitated by the
need to manage the state’s limited funds. He said: “TASUED is being owed N6.31 billion, while the monthly salary of the staff of the 10 tertiary institutions in the state stands at N10 billion. Where would the state get the money for capital expenditure from, if such huge amount is sunk monthly into salary?”
Vocational training’ll end unemployment, says VC
NTREPRENEURIAL/ vocational training will curb graduate unemployment, the Vice-Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Prof. Sidi Osho, has said. Prof. Osho said this while speaking with reporters on activities lined up for the Founder’s Week and the visit of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) accreditation team to the school. She said ABUAD has made entrepreneurship education compulsory for students, irrespective of primary courses of study, to prepare them for the life after school. Prof. Osho said: “All students, irrespective of their
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
main courses, must undergo practical, hands-on training in a vocation or an enterprise. “Some of our students have farms and are provided with the necessary farming raw materials. At harvest time, the students are allowed to either sell the products to outsiders or the school buys the whole thing off them. “All this is to enable them have alternative means of livelihood, apart from their main courses, after graduation.” On the Founder’s Week, she said: “The week is to honour the founder of the university, Aare Afe Babalola, whose vision has brought into being the best private university in Af-
rica.” The VC said the week would start on Monday with the inauguration of the multimillion naira ultra-modern College of Law building by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher. Other buildings to be inaugurated include the Law Library, named after the late Justice Olu Ayoola; the Law Lecture Theatre, named after Justice Kayode Eso; the Law Clinic, named after the Director-General of the Nigeria Law School, Dr. Tahir Maman; the Law Gardens, named after Justice Yinka Ayoola; and the Moot Court. The Multipurpose Hall will also be inaugurated by Prof. Julius Okojie.
The Third Founder’s Day Lecture will be given by the President, European Business Assembly, Oxford, Prof. Wil Goodheer. Prof. Osho said over 1,200 students would be matriculated and scholarships and awards would be given to students. She said: “Students who have a 4.5 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) and above would be considered for awards and scholarships.” Former Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Alfa Belgore is expected at the event. The week long celebration will end on Sunday with a thanksgiving church service.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
NEWS Kaduna closes ‘refugee camps’ ADUNA State Government yesterday announced the closure of camps where internally-displaced persons have been accommodated since the April 2011 postelection crisis, saying those still left in the camps are there illegally. The government regretted that after collecting about N564 million in addition to foodstuffs and other relief materials, some of them have refused to leave the Hajj Camp in Kawo, Kaduna. The government said some people were using the issue of the internally-displaced persons to blackmail the government. Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Ishaku Dogo Makama, supported by
•From left: Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Ewi of AdoEkiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, Assistant Comptroller- General Zone F, Mr. Benjamin Bogunjoko, Comptroller of Prisons Ekiti State, Mrs. Patriciah Omene during an inspection of the Ado Ekiti Prison, shortly after its relocation...yesterday
JNI seeks probe of Christians disguising as Muslims to burn churches
HE Muslim umbrella body in the North, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), yesterday alleged that some Christians were disguising as Muslims to burn churches, to create disharmony in the country. It urged the Federal Government and security agents to commence investigations into such act of terrorism. In a communiqué at the end of its three-day retreat in Kaduna, signed by its Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the JNI also accused the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, of making unguarded statements capable of eroding the cordial relationship between Muslims and Christians. The communiqué enjoined the CAN President to ask Christians to stop mischievously disguising as Muslims to perpetrate acts of terrorism, adding that “the JNI can no longer tolerate this double face attitude.” The communiqué said “participants noted with dismay the current state of insecurity and panic in the country demonstrated by incessant violence and high spate of bombings, which have led to loss of lives and property. “The President of CAN, Pastor Oritsejafor, instead of contributing positively towards achieving national co-
•It’s a baseless allegation, says CAN From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
hesion has rather chosen the path of insinuation and therefore heating up the polity. “Education, which is supposed to be the basic locomotive of development has unfortunately been given a secondary importance by all segments of the government. Concerned authorities have in many cases failed to give convincing answers to many of the grievances of Muslims in Nigeria. “There are so many contradictions and confusion in the way the issue of Boko Haram is handled by security agents and the media. The majority of the media establishment in the country, especially the Christian dominated southern media, have always demonstrated bias against Islam and Muslims. “Participants condemn in totality the ongoing spate of bombings and killings of guiltless Nigerians irrespective of their regional, religious or ethnic inclinations. JNI calls on Nigerians to shun violence and embrace peaceful means of settling their grievances. “JNI urges the Federal Government to call the president of CAN to order before he
causes religious crisis in the country, through his unguided utterances which has started eroding the long built mutual respect between Muslims and Christians. CAN president must tell his people to stop mischievously disguising as Muslims to carry out acts of terrorism. “The meeting calls on federal and affected state governments as well as security agents to, as a matter of urgency, investigate the several reported cases of Christians who disguise as Muslims to burn churches. JNI can no longer tolerate this double face attitude. Thorough investigations must also be made to unveil the sponsors of these Christian terrorists. “JNI calls on Muslims to be vigilant and always report to the authorities any case of injustice and maltreatment meted out to any Muslim either by Christian extremists or bad elements among the security agents. Copies of the complaints should be sent to the state offices of JNI attached with a comprehensive report of the incidents.” Reacting to the JNI allegation, the Christian Association of Nigeria in the 19 Northern states and the FCT said no right thinking person can insinuate that Christians disguise as Muslims to
bomb churches and kill innocent people. Spokesman of CAN in the North, Mr. Sunday Oibe, described the allegation as baseless, senseless and a calculated attempt to divert attention from the real issue posing serious problem to the nation. Oibe said: “They are trying to divert attention. Look at what is even happening in West Africa. It is very irrational for any right thinking person to say that a Christian could disguise as a Muslim and throw bombs at churches, killing people in places like Madalla, Jos, Maiduguri, Adamawa, Damaturu and others. “If they don’t know, let them be aware that the President of CAN speaks the mind of Nigerian Christians, particularly Christians in the North and we are solidly behind him. “The Boko Haram sect and their sponsors are those heating up the polity and not the President of CAN. JNI should be ashamed of making this baseless accusation. “We urge JNI to call the Boko Haram sect to order rather than trying to divert attention on the real issues. Their allegation that Christians disguise as Muslims to bomb churches is baseless and senseless.”
Jonathan’s wife urges women to defend peace of Nigeria
IRST Lady Patience Jonathan yesterday urged women to rise up and defend the nation’s peace. The First Lady spoke in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, at the first national retreat on women development, peace and national transformation. She said the nation’s existence is being threatened by terrorism. Mrs. Jonathan said Nigerian women are committed to a united nation where equity, justice and fair play reign. She stated that the retreat would explore a common platform where women can engage in dialogue, seek common grounds, build consensus, make commitments and promote identified solutions
From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
for the betterment of the country. Her words: “No matter how we look at it, we as women are the true champions of national peace, development and transformation. It is important to stress that our very existence as a nation is being threatened by recent acts of terrorism. “As Nigerian women, we are under obligation to rise up and defend the peace of our nation, as well as play other strategic roles in the constant commitment of the Jonathan/ Sambo administration to the nation’s transformation. “Furthermore, the exposure of women to risks and their
central position in the family justifies why they must always remain in the frontline of peace advocacy.” Mrs. Jonathan said women are known to bear the greatest burdens of violent conflicts. She said: “They are usually defenceless, left as widows, some as orphans, made slaves in war zones, often at the mercy of wild soldiers and frequently left to nurse the wounded.” She urged wives of governors, local government authorities, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other stakeholders to take peace advocacy campaigns to the grassroots. The Minister of Women Af-
fairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, described the First Lady as a leading light. The minister said Mrs. Jonathan has delivered her promise on the 35 per cent affirmation action for women with the support of her husband. She said what women have been striving to achieve in nearly two decades was achieved by Mrs. Jonathan in less than a year. Her words: “We appreciate this gesture and collectively salute this woman of rare quality, vision and foresight. This gathering is purely a means to find a common ground as one people with common purpose and destiny.”
From Tony Akowe, kaduna
the Special Advisers to the Governor on Religious Affairs, Christian and Islamic Maters, Rev. Joseph Hayab and Alhaji Haliru Maraya said at a news conference yesterday that the government has done its best by reintegrating the displaced persons into the society. Makama said the camps were not meant to be permanent, but to serve as a temporary home which ought to have been vacated after “relief” and “succour” had been dispensed to the victims. He noted that among the steps taken by the government was to give between N15.000 and N25,000 to the displaced families.
Court strikes out expelled members’ suit WARA State High
Court, sitting in Ilorin, has struck out a suit brought before it by seven expelled members of the Mobile Adverts/Loading and Offloading Agency Limited (MOAN/LOLAN) for the control and management of the agency. The respondents, including Messrs Nnamdi Ogbogbo, Ganiyu Adewunmi, Richard Osakwe, Billy Onyemolan, Chike Nwaiwu, Nicholas Ekwo and Igwe Omotojie had sued the President and Executive Director of MOAN/LOAN,
Otunba Mike Eboziegbe and Chief Richard Obeto, praying the court to allow them control and manage the agency. But, in a notice of preliminary objection filed by the defendants in pursuant to Section 6 (6) and Section 251 of the Constitution, they prayed the court to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction. Besides, the respondents said the cause of the action arose from Lagos State and they are based in Lagos.
Kwara Assembly passes N91b Appropriation Bill From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
HE Kwara State House of Assembly has passed the 2012 Appropriation Bill into law. It reviewed the budget from N91,007,124,869 to N91,329,609,007. The lawmakers increased the budget estimates by N322, 484, 144 as earlier presented to the Assembly by Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed. The governor had on December 19, presented the 2012 Appropriation Bill to the Assembly for consideration and approval. The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Razak Atunwa, who announced the budget estimate, said “the total budget size for this year is now N91, 329, 609, 007 as against N91, 007, 124, 863 presented to the House, which represents an increase of N322, 484, 144.” Atunwa, who read out the resolutions of the House, ordered the Clerk of the House to prepare a neat copy for the assent of the governor. He added that “it will be observed that some adjustments were made on some votes. Some adjustments were carried out in critical areas in the overall interest of the state.”
ACN chieftain is 80
CHIEFTAIN of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and community leader, Alhaji Mugisu Azee, will be 80 on Sunday, To celebrate the occasion, an Islamic prayer will be held in his honour on the day at 11am in his residence, 45, Irone Avenue, Off Adetola Street, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos.
THE NATION ON FEBRUARY,
FRIDAY 17, 2012
Keshi not worried about N FIFA ranking IGERIA’S coach Stephen Keshi has targeted a FIFA top-10 place and as such the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is not disturbed by the team’s crash in the latest rankings, officials said. The latest FIFA rankings
have seen Nigeria plunge 11 places to 56th in the world, the country’s worst rating since late 2000. Nigeria are now
LAGOS MOCK WORLD CUP
JAGO splashes N1m •Sponsor, Logo unveiled
HE much expected 2012 Lagos Mock World Cup organised by Paddysco Sports Limited got a boost from the sponsor, Sosaco Nigeria Limited, maker of JAGO Milk, on Thursday with N1 million for eventual winners at the tournament. According to the organizser, the winners will go home with Five Hundred Thousand (N500, 000), while the first and second runnersup will get Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N250, 000) and Hundred Thousand
By Wasiu Adeyemi Naira (N100, 000.) respectively. Also, there will be prizes for Most Disciplined Team, Most Valuable Player, Highest Goal Scorer, Best Goalkeeper and Best Supporters Club. Speaking at the event of Sponsor and Logo unveiling, the Managing Director of Sosaco, Dr. Satish Nair, said the company is creating a platform to produce and nurture future champions that will take Nigerian football to the pinnacle of success.
eighth in Africa behind the likes of Mali, Gabon and Zambia. Cote d’Ivoire despite losing the AFCON final to Zambia are the top African football nation. However, General Secretary of the NFF Musa Amadu has told MTNFootball.com that the federation are not shocked at the ranking and are more preoccupied about improving on their standing as promised by new Eagles coach Stephen Keshi. “I know that coach Stephen Keshi in qualifying the country (for both the 2013 Nations Cup and 2014 World Cup) and is also eyeing a top 10 spot in the world, but right now the ranking is not our primary concern," said Amadu. "We are not surprised at the ranking. It was expected since we did not feature at
the Nations Cup finals" “We knew that we would drop in the ranking because we did not go to the African Cup of Nations. You can see that we were even placed ahead of some countries that were at the Nations Cup finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. “Having said that, the Nigeria Football Federation wishes to assure Nigerians that from now on, our country would only move upwards on the FIFA Ranking, and in leaps and bounds”. He added: "But in any case the FIFA ranking is the least of our worries. We are focused at qualifying for AFCON 2013 and the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.”
RESULTS Europa Cup League Locomotive 2-1 Bilbao Ajax 0-2 Man Utd Alkmaar 1-0 Anderlecht Lazio 1-3 Athletico Legia 2-2 Sporting Selzburg 0-4 Metalist Plzen 1-1 Schalke
HotSports Squash Tourney serves off
HE annual HotSports Ladder Challenge, a squash competition
sponsored by HotSports Nigeria Limited, served off at the squash section of the Lagos Country Club yesterday with high turnout of squash players eager to take on one another to clinch the ultimate prize. Fourth in the series, the championship pitches veteran squash players against one another in top rated duels for 10 days consecutively. The player with the highest points emerges the overall winner. Declaring the tournament open, Wale Osomo, President of the Lagos Country Club, commended HotSports for sustaining the sponsorship of what has become the foremost championship in the club. “We are beginning to set the pace in the country as a result of the support of corporate organisations like HotSports who bankroll our competitions. HotSports’ effort is commendable,” Osomo said. He
urged participants to imbibe the spirit of competition. Taye Ige, CEO of HotSports, who is also the chairman of the squash section of the club, said the championship was conceived as a platform to promote the game and also engender bonding among members. According to him, this year’s edition of the tournament “is coming with an innovation which will make the ranking ladder active throughout the year. After two weeks in a position on the ladder, a player is expected to challenge the person ahead of him. This implies that if a player is not active in the squash court, he will lose points and drop on the ladder.” The championship has created a platform for the ranking of squash players of the section into the different categories on the ladder – gold, silver, bronze and veteran. It has also produced players who have won laurels at different invitational tournaments. This year’s tournament will end on February 25.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
ACN warns against attacks on judges T HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday warned against what it called the growing attacks on judges by litigants dissatisfied with their rulings. It said the developmennt may cow the judges and destroy the judiciary, if unchecked. In a statement in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said danger looms the moment a judge can no longer feel safe enough to perform his duty because of the fear of being attacked by litigants. It said a classical example of such attacks is the one that has been mounted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with the backing of the Presidency, against Justice Ayo Salami, simply because he courageously adjudicated in the election appeal cases involving the Ekiti and Osun states. ‘’The latest of such attacks is the move initiated by ousted Ekiti State Governor Segun Oni to compel the prosecution of Justice Ayo Salami for alleged perjury, which has led an Abuja High Court in Bwari to grant Oni leave to apply for an order of mandamus compelling the Attorney-General to commence criminal proceedings against Justice Salami. ‘’The move by Oni is nothing but a continuation of the persecution of Justice Salami and, coming after a panel set up by the Chief Justice of Nigeria recommended his reinstatement because he was unjustly removed, is aimed at frustrating the rec-
ommendation of the panel. The truth is that while Oni may be the front, he is actively backed by the PDP and the presidency in ensuring that Justice Salami is not reinstated. ‘’Otherwise what is the locus of Oni in bringing the case? Is the so-called perjury related to the election appeal case in Ekiti? Is it related to the person of the ousted Governor? Who is Oni, as far as this case is concerned, if not a puppet of the PDP and the presidency, both of whom are bent on getting at Justice Salami for daring to overturn their stolen mandate? The message being sent to the judiciary is simple: If you dare to rule against us, you will go the way of Salami. This may signal the death knell for the judiciary if not checked,’’ ACN warned. The party said it is concerned about the issue because of its strong belief in democracy and the rule of law, and because it is aware that the persecution of Justice Salami is simply because he dared to rule against the PDP in elections the party was found to have rigged, in its usual brazen style. ‘’We are concerned because the PDP’s mortal fear of a courageous judge is pushing it to destroy an innocent man, and in the process bring down the judiciary that many agree has generally availed itself creditably since our country’s
return to democratic governance in 1999,’’ it said. ACN wondered why heavens must fall because the PDP lost governorship election appeals in two states, when since inception the same party has won over 80 per cent of its cases at the election tribunals, compared to a mere 20 per cent by the ACN. ‘’Our party lost governorship election petitions in several states, and heavens did not fall and we did not drag down the judiciary. Why must the heavens fall now because the PDP lost in two states, Ekiti and Osun states? Why must that mean the end of the judiciary? ‘’Is it not a truism that because of the loss of Ekiti and Osun states by the PDP, and the mortal fear of Justice Salami, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has been changed to now allow governorship election appeals to go all the way to the Supreme Court? Why must the PDP destroy the judiciary and the country simply because it rigged an election and a courageous judge said so?’’ the party queried. It called on all Nigerians to be vigilant because once the PDP and its cohorts succeed in destroying the judiciary, their next target will be to bring down the country, if that is what it will take for the party to rule for 100 years.
Only ACN can solve our problems, says Boroffice •Senator declares for Ondo governorship
HE Senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice has officially joined the governorship race under the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN). The election is due in the November this year. Boroffice defected from the Labour Party (LP) for the ACN late last year. He hinged his decision on the alleged intra-party crisis rocking the ruling LP Speaking at his campaign headquarters on Champion Junction, in Akure, the state capital, Boroffice said the overwhelming victory of the ACN in the Southwest during the last general elections, had showed the irrepressible passion of the electorate for positive change. He said: “It is with nostalgic feeling that we recall the feats achieved in the Southwest region during the First Republic under the premiership of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, which offered our people a very robust government. “Indeed, the hope of that era is now becoming the platform of the ACN with the massive transformation going on in Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Edo, Ekiti and Lagos states,” he stressed. The Asiwaju of Akokoland said the ACN government in the Southwest has set the ball rolling to surpass the achievement of that era. Boroffice said: “It is against this background that the fi-
From Damisi Ojo,Akure
nancial recklessness of the Ondo State government, contained in the auditorgenerals report as published in the latest edition of the Newswatch Magazine is not only sad but embarrassing. The aspirant noted that the immediate challenge before the citizenry is to start thinking inwardly and devise time-tested strategies capable of helping to assuage the problems facing the people to turn their misery to hope and despair to courage. His words:”Our task is to ensure that the political gains hitherto realised are managed sustainable and devoid of bickering and pettiness. “For us in Ondo State, to sail afloat in the murky waters of political victory over reactionary forces, we must commit ourselves to the pursuit of good governance, economic progress and sustainable development by joining the ACN.” Boroffice promised an all inclusive and transparent government, administration based on the fear of God and respect for human dignity, qualitative education, industriasation and job creation, qualitative healthcare delivery and social welfare for the elderly among others, if voted into power. According to him, only the ACN has solutions to
the problem confronting the citizenry in the state. At the event were: the son of former Governor Adebayo Adefarati, Gboyega, immediate past Commissioner for Technical,Vocational and Adult Education, Mr. Solagbade Amodeni, Dr. Paul Akintelure, Tolu Babaleye and Mr. Adeolu Akinwunmi, a former Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the governor on administration. Juju maestro, Shina Peters was on standby to entertain guests at the well-attended rally. Also in attendance were representatives of the Asiwaju Assembly (AA) from the 18 local government areas, student leaders from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo and Adekunle Ajasin University (AAU) Akungba Akoko. They urged the citizenry to mobilise for the ACN.
WHO SAID WHAT
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
‘The exposure of women to risks and their central position in the family justifies why they must always remain in the frontline of peace advocacy’ VOL. 7 NO.2038
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
HE quest for development has always been constant in the effort to transform backward areas of the world to a level where they can assume long-dreamt of positions among the modern, industrialised members of the international community. Even if there is considerable diversity of opinion regarding the classification of countries into developed and developing, the fact of the situation is that we inhabit an unequal world where what some expend on their cats and dogs is markedly larger than what is available to the vast majority of humanity to meet basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, health, education, etc. Indeed, the widening gap between the rich and poor today constitutes a time bomb in many societies, such that peace, stability and trust remain elusive in a situation bereft of justice, good neighbourliness and mutual affection. Hence the observation by the celebrated British economist, Dame Barbara Ward, in 1962 that if the rich fail to attend to the needs of the poor, then, the cries of the poor would rob them of their sleep at night. As the quintessential instrument for ordering society, law has exerted a firm hold on the consciousness of the ruling class, even if to the subordinate classes it remains an instrument of hegemony and oppression. The effectiveness of law as the means of achieving the goals of society is, more often than not, a function of its acceptability and legitimacy. While the coercive apparatus of the state in the form of the police, courts, prisons and also military and para-military forces constitute the ultimate law enforcement agencies, the ruling class normally relies on the consent, acquiescence and understanding of the generality of the population in the execution of its policies and programmes. It is only when there exists a clear and present danger to law and order in the society that the ruling class would bare its fangs and resort to bare knuckles in a bid to enforce its will. While Nigeria has had more than half-acentury existence as a formally independent entity, its experience as a law-ordered polity has been a mixed bag. With the military overhang on its political history, Nigeria cannot, seriously speaking, be considered a veritable example of democratic use of law as an instrument of social change. Civilian rulers under the present dispensation are in reality still learning the ropes, and ensuring that democratic gains reach the people has not altogether been successful. Corruption, which became de rigeur in the years of the locust, has now deepened in the consciousness of the generality of the population so much so that efforts to raise the ante of political praxis in the country has been an uphill task. It is in this conjuncture that governments in the Southwest and Edo State felt the need to harmonise their policies and programmes in a bid to take advantage of economies of scale and the superior education and political sophistication of the inhabitants and, most especially, make a statement to the rest of the
Law as tool for regional integration
country in terms of what can be done to restore and re-create the glory of the old West. It is against this background that this presentation would examine what use can be made of law as an instrument for achieving socio-economic development and integration within the enclave. Pursuant thereto, it is intended to begin by drawing the contours of the rule of law in society generally and then explore the limits of what is doable regionally within the current constitutional dispensation and, finally, proffer suggestions regarding de-construction of the present arrangement in order to give vent to subnationalism and a semblance of selfdetermination.
The role of law in the scheme of things generally
n simple language, law is the totality of rules which regulate human conduct. More important, these rules emanate from an authority which monopolises the instruments of force and coercion in society and with which it enforces compliance. However, law does not consist only of prohibitive orders. It also contains
law in the scheme of things, therefore, underscores the necessity to come to grips with its character and scope in order to achieve optimality in the formulation and implementation of government policies and programmes.
The law and development paradigm
PROF AKIN OYEBODE
•The Map of Nigeria
DAME PATIENCE JONATHAN
permissive orders with which persons are empowered to effect changes in their status or circumstance. Which law issues from an “uncommander” and is addressed to people who evince a habit of obedience because of fear of punishment, its efficacy is greatly enhanced where and when it is premised on the morality of the preponderant majority of members of society. In other words, law is in actuality a dual carriage way, such that it regulates the actions of both law-giver and its addressees. Besides, law must be general in scope, should be promulgated, clear, unambiguous nor embody contradictions and should not demand the impossible if it is to become “an enterprise of subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules.” The law embodies the secrets of what holds society together and, therefore, law-makers must be sensitised and actuated by the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people in the society. Where and when this is not the case, there is invariably a disconnect between government and the people, and governance becomes no longer founded on a covenant or social contract, without which legitimacy of government is irretrievably lost. The fact of the situation is that modern society is premised on ascertainable laws, which order inter-personal relations and guarantee stability of social expectations. Not only does it prohibit anti-social acts, which threaten peace and social well-being, law ensures that reasonable expectations of members of the society are not put in disarray and are fully realised. Furthermore, relations between members of the international community are governed by law, such that threats to international peace and security are prevented. In view of the foregoing, the overarching role of law in society is self-evident. In fact, law is almost coterminous with society itself and where and when this is in jeopardy, one can safely assume that such a society is on the road to perdition. The inevitability of
The emergence of the so-called developing countries called into question old assumptions regarding the nature and purport of law within the matrix of societal transformation. While law had been conceived simply in terms of maintaining order and social control, the needs of new, post-colonial societies warranted a reconsideration of the role of law as an instrument of domination and hegemony. While law and order constitute a desideratum of every society, sight should not be lost of the basic needs of the people. This is particularly acute in underdeveloped economies where the preponderant majority of the population are compelled to eke out an existence in a situation of grinding poverty. Accordingly, the raison d’etre of law lies in the extent to which it is harnessed in the service of ensuring the wherewithal for human existence. Even in so-called developed societies, jurisprudence in the 20th century felt the need to articulate concepts of jural postulates and interests, which enable analysis of the social goals and purposes of law. A fortiori, in a situation of mass poverty, ignorance, squalor and wretchedness, the law has to play a decisive role in re-ordering society towards achieving justice, peace, good neighbourliness and amity. However, the dispute as to whether law should be perceived as an instrument of social change or a mere mirror of fait accopli is, to a large extent, a red herring in view of the fact that law can function equally in both capacities. On one hand, law can anticipate change and, in fact, provide the necessary environment for preferred changes in human behaviour and in both form and content within the polity, while also being able to reflect and consolidate changes that had already taken place on the other. Furthermore, the use to which law can be put largely depends on the attitudinal chemistry and world-view of the law-maker. Accordingly, the law is like a sharp knife: In the hands of a recidivist murderer, it is a most lethal weapon, while in the hands of a skilled surgeon, it could prove a life-saver. Accordingly, the ontological aspects of law need to be distinguished from its teleological and heuristic dimensions. In other words, the nature or character of law must not be confused with the use(s) to which it is put. However, in line with the theme of this conference, it is suggested that emphasis should be placed on the extent to which law can be used to achieve societal goals, particularly regional integration within a skewed federal set-up. This is of utmost importance since, in the language of William Twinling, law is, essentially, doing things with rules. •To be continued
T is hard not to wince as the Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji, talked glibly at a forum on Nigeria’s energy crisis and planned increase in electricity consumption charges. There would be about 80 per cent increase in electricity tariff, he said sanguinely, and it would not hurt the poor. He gave two reasons for his cheerful conclusion, in the same cheery manner top Federal Government officials told a bewildered country that the fuel price hike would benefit the poor and not hurt the rich. According to the minister, a N60 billion subsidy fund is available to help the poor overcome the harm of rising electricity charges. In addition, he prevaricated, even if subsidy was removed, there was something he described as cross-subsidy to help low income earners. Nigerians thought that after a season of protests against fuel price hike, which was put down violently or at least antidemocratically by President Goodluck Jonathan, we would be spared the agony of subsidy talks so soon. This was not to be. There is a N60 billion electricity subsidy fund to help the poor, the minister says. But why
Fuel and electricity subsidy parallels bother to take from the poor only to give back to the poor? However, what agitates this column today is not the back and forth argument on subsidy. What ails it is government talking of subsidy as if it did not recently abuse and undermine the constitution and the law as it raised fuel price. And what on earth does cross-subsidy mean anyway? What is evident now is that the government has prepared a convoluted plan to raise electricity tariff, the same sort of abracadabra it enunciated over fuel subsidy removal. But before planning to increase the tariff, did the government investigate the scope of the subsidy in the power sector? In the case of petroleum products, we finally saw how labyrinthine their bookkeeping in that sector remained for a very long time. We also recall
that before fuel subsidy was removed, there was no agreement on the extent of the subsidy or whether the subsidy did in fact get to the target consumer, rather than the so-called ‘fat cat’ middle man. Now, we are told matter of fact that a subsidy regime is in place in the electricity sector, and it is worth N60 billion. How can we be sure of this in a country where statistics is either notorious on its own or is deployed notoriously by the magicians in government? We need to find out where Federal Government economists get their logic. You know very well that the subsidy said to exist for (poor) consumers of electricity in Nigeria is a ruse. Once the tariff is increased, the poor will suffer as much as, if not worse than, the rich. Recall that the government also made
nonsensically similar arguments when it piled the burden of fuel subsidy removal on the country on January 1. The worst abuse government economists perpetrate is to isolate one issue or commodity in a foreign country and make silly comparisons with the situation in Nigeria. In the case of electricity tariff increase, the government has chosen to compare us with Zambia, which they say is the only country paying cheaper tariff on electricity than Nigeria. Always take their comparisons with a pinch of salt. It seems a waste of time talking to the government. Since the First Republic, they not only took leave of logic, they have also taken leave of their study of political economy. It is no surprise that every succeeding government since Gen Yakubu Gowon has left the country worse than it met it. Now, combine tariff increase in electricity with fuel price hike, and with tuition fee increase, soaring house rents and other crippling price hikes, and you will understand that we have magicians, not economists, in government. They are too used to illusion to feel reality, and their vision too blurred with inconsequential details to see the wood for the trees.
Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: email@example.com Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO