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Senate rejects Aviation Committee’s report •‘Shoddy job’ alleged

N382b subsidy ‘fraud’: EFCC grills 11 NEWS Page 46

•Trial of suspects likely next week

NEWS Page 6

www.thenationonlineng.net

VOL. 7, NO. 2302 WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

N150.00

Obama wins

President beats Romney with 274 electoral votes Obama: 40,022,078 (49%) Romney: 40,983,134 (50%)

•The crowd of supporters jubilating at Obama’s campaign headquarters in Chicago this morning

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•President Obama at a campaign office in Chicago...yesterday

ARACK Obama won the United States presidency for a second term this morning. The first African-American to claim the highest office in America won the keenly-contested poll, dusting the Repub-

From Olukorede Yishau, Chicago

lican candidate, former Governor Mitt Romney. The 51-year-old, one-term U.S. senator born of a Kenyan father and Kansan mother, is the first president elected from

Chicago and the first to rise from a career in Illinois politics since Abraham Lincoln, who emerged from obscurity to lead America through the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Obama’s victory over Romney ends months of bitter cam-

PHOTOS: AFP

paigns and rivalry. In 2008, Obama won a larger share of the popular vote than any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. He redrew the electoral map, sweeping nearly all the batContinued on page 2

•POLITCS P17 •SPORTS P23 •LIFE P25 •MONEY P20 •INVESTORS P32

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7 , 2012

NEWS JTF kills four terrorists in Yobe gun battle From Duku JOEL, Damaturu

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•Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (left), Adegboyega Awomolo (second left) and other Senior Advocates at a court session to mark commencement of the 2012-2013 Legal Year of FCT High Court in Abuja…yesterday

CPC rejects Buhari’s nomination by Boko Haram

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ORE dust is being raised over fundamentalist sect Boko Haram’s talks offer to end insurgency and killings. The nomination of Gen. Mohammed Buhari, among others, to moderate the sect’s talks, was yesterday rejected by his party, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). The Anglican Church of Nigeria, also yesterday, joined Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President Ayo Oritsejafor to fault the talks proposal. To Primate Nicholas Okoh, it is all a journey to nowhere. It will not be effective, he said. In President Goodluck Jonathan’s view, which was expressed also yesterday, the Boko Haram sect and its sponsors are primitive. Dr. Jonathan, who spoke in Dutse, Jigawa State, noted

From John Ofikhenua, Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja and Jide Orintunsin, Minna

that taking people’s lives, especially innocent ones, through terrorism is itself primitive; hence, perpetrators and sponsors of the sect are uncivilised. He urged Nigerians to totally condemn terrorism, killings by the group are unjustifiable. Besides, the President said, Nigerians should assist the authorities to check the trend which he described as inimical to development. The President praised the people of Jigawa State for maintaining peace, despite the violence within the Northeast geo-political zone. Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu cautioned the government against talking with a “faceless group”. Aliyu, who is Chairman of

the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), spoke in Minna, the state capital, when he received ‘’The Road map for Peace Unity and Development of Northern Nigeria’’, prepared by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF). Aliyu said: “We should know who we are talking to; we should not allow 419 people to hijack the process. ‘’We should confirm who we are dealing with; we should talk to them but we should talk only to genuine people.” The CPC advised Gen. Buhari to reject his nomination by the Boko Haram sect as a mediator in proposed negotiations. National Chairman Tony Momoh gave the advice in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Gen. Buhari contested the 2011 election on the

party’s ticket. “There is no need for any other person to attend a meeting between the Federal Government and Boko Haram for whatever grievances they say they have. “We in the CPC do not see where Buhari comes in; we are concerned by the way the name of Gen. Buhari is being dragged into this affair,” Momoh said, adding: “Another thing is that nobody reached out to Gen. Buhari to say they have been nominated or is being nominated along with others, to mediate or be witnesses to discussion between Boko Haram and the Federal Government.” Momoh said Buhari had not told anybody or the party that he was interested in the nomination. Besides, he said the CPC would not associate with issues that involved criminality.

He said what was important was for the government to maintain “true democracy” by providing adequate security and welfare to the citizens. “We believe in one country, which must remain together and move together in the direction of peace, justice and fair play,” Momoh said. According to him, the abuse of the democratic system is the result of some challenges confronting the country. “Any abuse of this democracy is unjust,” he said, adding: “We have chosen a twolegged approach: democracy and social justice; and we want to achieve social justice by using a system of government called democracy. “All hands must be on Continued on page 58

Biafra: BZM is childish, says MASSOB

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HE Igbo separatist group which declared Biafra Republic on Monday has been dismissed by the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biarfa (MASSOB). MASSOB itself has been campaigning for the Southeast sovereignty. But yesterday, MASSOB faulted the Biafra Zionist Movement (BZM) which made the declaration in Enugu in the aftermath of which its leaders were remanded in prison and hundreds of its members arrested by the police. MASSOB described the dec-

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

laration of the Biafra Republic as “an empty declaration, childish and not well-guided”. It’s leader Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, who spoke through Director of Information Mr. Uchenna Madu, said leader of The Biafra Zionist Movement (BZM) Mr. Ben Onwuka took the action because of his antiMASSOB. The statement by Madu on behalf of Uwazuruike said: “Onwuka (Leader of BZM) was a a member of MASSOB in Lagos who was expelled

because of anti-MASSOB activities and rebellious tendencies. Samuel Edeson (National Chairman) who was once a regional administrator in Onitsha, he was also expelled because of his rebellious tendencies.” Madu added: “The said BZM has no office or Biafran structures as a platform for running Biafra affairs. The Biafra declaration was done by MASSOB leader, Chief Ralph Uwazurike on May 22, 2000 at Freedom Square, Faulks Road, Aba after sending Biafran Bill of Rights to the United Nations.”

He said MASSOB cannot be cowed into disclosing its diplomatic relationship with some foreign nations because of “an unguided and faceless group who wanted to capitalise on MASSOB’s struggle for Biafran actualisation to be relevant.” “MASSOB supports every genuine move by any group in this struggle for Biafra actualisation but we doubt the BZM leadership methodology on Biafra actualisation without resorting to violence. We fought all these years to maintain the Continued on page 58

•Uwazuruike

FTER a gun battle with Boko Haram, the Joint Task Force (JTF) yesterday killed four terrorists in Yobe town, Gashua. The JTF also arrested four members of the sect during a raid on their hideout in Abujan Amare area of Gashua, in Bade Local Government Area. Spokesman of the JTF Lazarus Eli in a statement in Damaturu, the state capital, said arms and ammunition were recovered in the raid which took place in the early hours of yesterday. The items recovered include three AK 47 rifles with 42 rounds of ammunition, three magazines, a Thuraya handset, two laptops, a blood pressure gauge, 21 wrist watches, 13 handsets, a CD player and 18 SIM cards. Gashua is 187 kilometres North-West of Damaturu, the Yobe state capital. Lt. Eli said: “During the JTF raid which was initially faced with resistance from the terrorists, our men overcome their resistance with superior fire power and killed four suspects with Continued on page 58

Bayelsa didn’t collect N17b, says Dickson

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AYELSA State has denied receiving N17billon from an escrow account in the Federation Account as alleged by Rivers State. The cash, according to Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, was kept in the account, pending the determination of the dispute over the Soku oil wells between the two states, but was “surreptitiously released to Bayelsa State”. But Bayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson, at the inauguration of the 14-man state Boundaries Committee yesterday, denied the claim. He said: “It is not true that Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) paid any amount of money to the government of Bayelsa State wrongly from an escrow account. That is wrong; that is not true. No N17bn was ever kept in any escrow account; no such money was ever paid to the Government of Bayelsa State. “That is deliberate falsehood that has been put out Continued on page 58

Obama wins as Romney fails to cause upset in key states Continued from page 1

tleground states—including Ohio and Florida—and winning some longtime Republican strongholds, such as Virginia. He won more white voters than John Kerry or Al Gore, the two most recent Democratic nominees. He has experienced one of the most stunning rises in recent American political history, first emerging on the national political scene only eight years ago as a candidate for the U.S. Senate. Obama’s supporters, many of them holding flags, watched results roll in on giant television screens in Chicago and around the country and hollered each time another state was called for their candidate. Sounds of music, screaming and crying

floated in the air. Cheering crowds gathered at different points around the country cheering and chanting shortly after Obama won the required electoral votes. Voters turned out in extraordinary numbers. Lines to vote formed before sunrise in many states, and despite heavy use of early balloting this year, some voters waited for hours. The new administration comes into office committed to revitalising the auto industry, national health-care plan, a shift in the tax burden away from the middle class toward the wealthy and an alternativeenergy programme to counter global climate change. The Republican challenger, Romney, lost both his home

and birth states. Besides, he lost in key battleground states. The election went as expected after the roller-coaster ride of an election campaign that was buffeted by a superstorm and missteps on both sides. CNN projected that Republicans would retain their majority in the U.S. House, raising the prospect of another divided Congress with analysts expecting Democrats to hold onto their narrow control of the Senate. Obama and Romney ran dead even in final polls that hinted at a result rivaling some of the closest presidential elections in history, reflecting the deep political chasm in the country.

A heavy turnout was reported in much of the nation, and both campaigns expressed confidence that they would prevail in what was expected to be a long night awaiting results from the eight states still up for grabs that will determine the victor. Obama got 274 electoral votes to Romney’s 201 (as at 5.30am Nigeria time). He needed 270 electoral votes. Romney held a lead over Obama in Virginia, another vital swing state, according to the early returns. Obama won his home state of Illinois as well as Romney’ s home state of Massachusetts — where the Republican previously served as governor. He also won Pennsylvania, Rom-

ney’s birth state of Michigan, along with New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Maine, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia. Romney won Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Georgia. Voters also determined the makeup of a new Congress, choosing all 435 members of the House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 senators. Democrats and independents who caucused with them held a 53-47 advantage in the Senate heading into the election, and the unofficial returns indicated the party

was likely to retain its majority. According to early exit polls, 60% of voters said the economy was the most important issue, 59% thought abortion should be legal and 50% wanted Obama’s health care reform law repealed while 43% wanted it to remain in place or be expanded.

ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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NEWS US DECIDES

• House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal (second left); his Deputy , Emeka Ihedioha (left); Chairman, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), Mr. Abubakar Jijiwa and House Deputy Minority Whip, Garba Datti Moh'd after the House leadership meeting with BON on the forth coming public hearing on constitution review at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja...yesterday

It’s been a long, hard journey In the last two years, Americans have been distracted by issues around the presidential election. Now that the election is concluded, it is time to face day-to-day issue, writes OLUKOREDE YISHAU, in Chicago

T •Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (second right) displaying a plaque presented to him by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) at its 85th Annual National Conference in Abeokuta... yesterday. With him are PSN chair Kemi Agbajo (left); former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili; former National President of PSN, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi and PSN National President Azuibike Okwor

•Abia State Governor Theodore Orji flanked by his wife Mercy and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume after the dedication of their grand daughter Miss Viola Araraume at the Holy Trinity Church, Abuja.

•Head of Division, West Africa, Sahel, Caribbean, European Investment Bank (EIB), Mr Guus Heim(left); Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza; Divisional Head, Correspondent & International Financial Organisations, UBA Plc, Ms Sola Yomi-Ajayi and Executive Director, Risk Management, Mr. Emmanuel Nnorom at the signing of Eur50 million Regional Funding Initiative for Small Scale Enterprises in Africa at UBA House, Marina, Lagos...yesterday

HE race for the White House has been one hell of a journey. It started technically two years ago. For President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, who voted about 3pm Nigerian time in Boston yesterday, they will never forget this battle of their life. The race has shown that America remains divided down the middle, with small-government, taxcutting, pro-life, pro-gun Red-State Americans opposed to biggovernment, tax-and-spend, prochoice, anti-gun and so on. The race reflects a plummeting faith in politics, and a diminishing commitment to one’s candidate of choice. It also showed that Americans struggle with high unemployment, diminished purchasing power, trillion-dollar budget deficits and growing despair. It was a race, which saw Obama and Romney taking advantage of every available method to boost their chances. It forced them to knock doors and call up voters. They also used text messages. They spent billions on television advertisements in swing states such as Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin and Iowa. Even on election day , they still campaigned. In the freezing weather and with hunger biting at their tummies, their volunteers knocked on doors of neigbours pleading their candidates’ case. From Milwaukee to Washington, Chicago, Janesville and Madison, volunteers for both candidates knocked at the doors or voters or called them up at phone banks. Many of the volunteers have done that for months. Some said they did it for years. They had to pay the price of getting late to bed and rising early. Some took coffee to get going again in the morning. In Milwaukee, a group known as Black Ambassadors knocked from door to door convincing voters to get out and vote. A volunteer said she had to combine the task with her regular job as a teacher. “I just love doing this for our country. The important thing is to get them out to vote, though I ask them to vote for President Obama,” she said. At a phone bank located inside the Auto Workers’ Union building

AMERICA DECIDES 2012

Olukorede Yishau Reporting from

UNITED ST ATES STA

in Janesville, the home town of Republican presidential running mate, Ryan Paul, Democrat volunteers, called up voters begging them desperately to go out and vote. Republican volunteers got rewards (souvenirs) for calling certain number of voters. Obama’s aides said 5,117 staging areas were set up in homes, garages and community halls for volunteers to work from in swing states. Romney had less. Republicans claimed to have made five million voter contacts. Many voters stopped picking up their phones after some time. Obama and Romney practically lived in the air. They visited some states, especially the swing states up to 10 times campaigning in different areas. Their running mates also had hectic time. Musicians, such as Jay Z, also were heavily involved. Top campaign principals, including First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, Dr. Jill Biden and former President Clinton, had busy times talking directly to voters in battleground states about the President’s plan to develop America and strengthen the middle class. Obama’s campaign organ said: “The President and First Lady, the Vice President and Dr. Biden, President Clinton, and countless surrogates are not going to rest in the next 72 hours, because neither are our supporters. Across the country, volunteers are knocking on doors, making calls and voting early. From now until Election Day, volunteer leaders are running 5,117 local staging locations with more than 660,000 volunteer shifts already scheduled. No one is resting, because across the country Americans know we’ve come too far to turn back now.” For American, it is time to get back their lives and face issues of high unemployment, diminished purchasing power, trillion-dollar budget deficits and growing despair

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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NEWS US DECIDES

Short takes Campaigning on Election Day The system in the United States is a different ball game from what obtains in Nigeria. Here, candidates are not restricted from campaigning even on the day of election. Campaigning really ends after voting. Television adverts, e-mail appeals and phone calls were still made by both to voters yesterday. President Barack Obama, on CNN yesterday morning while voting was comparing his plans with Mitt Romney’s and asking the voters to decide which was better for them. The two candidates even held rallies yesterday. Romney held two in Ohio. The Chairman of the Chicago Board of Election, Langdon Neal, said campaigning is even allowed at voting centre. He explained to reporters that a campaign-free zone is usually marked out and aides of candidates were free to canvass for their supporters. He said: “Our law allows it. We just mark out an area for that so that voters will not be disturbed or intimidated.”

Romney’s last e-mail appeal to voters

Voters cast their ballots at the Bishop Leo O’Neil Youth Center in Manchester, New Hampshire...yesterday

People wait in line to vote at Caroline High School in Milford, Virginia... yesterday

The Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in his last e-mail appeal to voters yesterday, was very persuasive. He urged them to choose him because he would do right for America. He said: “Friend, Tomorrow is Election Day. These last few months, I’ve watched our campaign become a nationwide movement. “It’s not just the size of the crowds — it’s the depth of our shared conviction, the readiness for new possibilities, and the belief that we can do better than we’ve done these past four years. “I am asking for your vote tomorrow — because it matters for your family and our country’s future. “Throughout my life, I’ve led turnarounds of every kind. I pledge that Paul Ryan and I will bring real change to America from Day One. We have a plan that will deliver a real recovery. “Our children will graduate into exciting careers that are worthy of their qualifications. Our seniors will be confident that their retirement is secure. Americans will have good jobs, good pay, and good benefits. Our veterans will come home to a bright future. We will have confidence that our lives are safe and our livelihoods are secure. “If you are ready for that kind of change — if you want this to be a turning point in America’s course — join us and vote Tuesday for the kind of leadership that these times demand. “This is the most important election of our lifetime — and every vote counts. If you have any questions about where to vote, please visit our website. “Friend, we have to win this for America — and with your vote, we will. We are hours away from the better future America deserves. ‘’Thank you, Mitt Romney.” There is also another mail by Romney targeted at voters in swing states. It reads: “Friend, Election Day is hours away. “One vote in one battleground state could make the difference this election. I’m counting on your intensity to help us win. “We have a strong ground game and a clear message that voters are rallying behind. But your enthusiasm’s driving voter turnout. “The Obama campaign wants you to believe they’re outperforming us — but the reality is they aren’t. We have the momentum. “Over 120,000 steadfast volunteers have made 51 million voter contacts, knocked on nearly 10 million doors, and identified over 5 million voters in key battleground states. “Whether you’ve donated your time or money — you’ve already made a big impact. But we need your intensity to propel us to victory.”

Obama for Africa’s e-mail appeal

A voter prepares to cast her vote in Chicago, Illinois...yesterday

Obama for Africa, the campaign organisation of President Barack Obama, also took advantage of the freedom to campaign on Election Day to make its case via electronic means. It sent out mails to voters and asked them to forward to as much people as possible. It listed 25 reasons from 25 people who are voting Obama. Samplers: “Obama is for the vets. He helped us wind down in Iraq, he’s improved mental health policy with VA benefits…Obama stuck his neck out for us, the auto industry. He wasn’t going to let it just die, and I’m driving in this morning because of that, because of him… When Obama came into office, he successfully renewed our country’s place in the community of nations, making cooperation in tackling the world’s challenges possible… I was really very grateful to him for standing up for those kids who are having a really rough time out there because of their orientation…For me, President Obama is our best choice because he has a vision of the United States as a place where we are all in this together.” It also included what New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said: “I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.” It also sent out another mail on how voters can get their polling place and so on. It reads: “Friend. “We know what we believe. We know the stakes. Now, we need to win. Here are two things you should do right away: “First: If you haven’t voted already, make a plan for when you’re going to the polls — and confirm your polling place and hours. And know that as long as you’re at your polling place before it closes, you’ll be able to vote. Make sure everyone you know has this link to confirm their polling place, too.”

Joe Biden too Vice President Joe Biden also sent appeals out via e-mail yesterday. This is what he said: “Friend — I’ve been through many Election Days — every one is a rush of nerves, excitement, anxiety, and exhaustion all at once. “The secret to getting through: Always be doing something. “So here’s a resource you can keep coming back to until the polls close. Obviously, the most important thing you need to do is vote. Confirm your polling location and hours. “Make sure you ask some neighbors to go with you when you head over. “But when you’re done with that, don’t wait around for the news. Make the news — do something: You don’t even have to wait for Election Day to start. You can do something right now. See you when it’s all over.

Chicago residents vote in bars, salons

Voters waiting for their addresses to be checked at the polling station at Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, DC...yesterday

Unlike the system in Nigeria where polling booths are usually in schools and streets, residents of Chicago yesterday voted in some more unexpected establishments across the city. They voted in bars, empty storefronts, retail shops, a funeral home and even an Illinois Department of Transportation truck yard. According to Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, these voting in places best fit the board’s criteria.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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NEWS ‘Aged Nigerians most neglected’ From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

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HE Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Social Development and Special Duties, Mrs. Sarah Pane, has decried the neglect of the aged. She lamented the emergence of globalisation, saying it has devalued the significant roles played by the group towards socio-cultural development. Mrs. Pane spoke yesterday in Abuja at a media dialogue on Environment and Longevity, organised by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA). She said: “It may not be an exaggeration to say that the elderly today constitute the most disadvantaged group in the country.

‘We’re committed to affordable housing’

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HE Chairman of the Resort Savings and Loans (RSL) Plc, Chief Babatunde Adefarati, has assured customers that the bank is committed to providing affordable housing for all. He spoke at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company held recently at the Eko Tourist Beach Resort, Akodo, Lagos. Said he: “Our signature is affordable housing for all. We have collaborated with state governments and government agencies to provide affordable housing and we will continue with this ethos.” Adefarati urged the Federal Government to fulfil its promise by fixing the infrastructures in the country, especially in the power sector. He said: “It is our hope that the insecurity and threat to life and property in some parts of the country will end soon. This will reduce the cost of doing business in the country and engender economic growth, resulting in wealth creation on which mortgage creation rests.” The RSL Chairman told the shareholders that the bank has overcome its teething challenges, adding that “the bank will be profitable in future given the recent changes that have taken place, particularly in risk management, operational efficiency and value for money activities. We are on the right path to recovering the lost position.”

Anatomical Society holds conference

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HE Anatomical Society of Nigeria will hold its 10th Annual Conference in Port Harcourt, Rivers State from November 7 to 11. The venue is the Ebimi Banigo Hall, University of Port Harcourt. It has the theme: Anatomy and the Millennium Development Goals. Sub-themes are: Anatomy curriculum review –trends in medical education and Quality and Content in academic research. Participants are expected to register.

Changes at The Guardian

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OME changes are on the way at The Guardian, it was learnt yesterday. The changes, which “will be announced any moment from now”, will see the newspaper having a new editor. Former Abuja Bureau Chief, Mr. Martins Oloja, who has been the Acting Editor since October, will become the Editor. Erstwhile Editor Mr. Debo Adesina will be the Editor-inChief, according to sources who pleaded not to be named because they are not allowed to speak officially. Mr. Emeka Eluem Iseze is to

‘True religion guarantees peace’

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•Izeze By Yinka Aderibigbe

retain his position as the Managing Director. Hitherto, Izeze combined the functions and responsibilities of the Editor-inChief. The Guardian, which in its prime called itself the “flagship of the Nigerian press”, will turn 30 next February. The appointment, which was said to have caught all members of staff unawares,

•Adesina

•Oloja

ended Adesina’s tenure as the longest serving editor. He became editor of the title in 1999. Before then, Adesina, 47, was the editor of the rested African Guardian magazine. Two years after he took over the title in 1992, it was rested. He was made Deputy Editor (News/ Features) of the newspaper, following its de-proscription in 1995. In 1996, he was appointed the first editor of the Saturday title.

Under him, The Guardian maintained its stature as the policy makers’ favourite. Mr. Oloja was, until his appointment, a Deputy Editor and Head of the Abuja Bureau. Oloja is a product of the University of Lagos. He hails from Ondo State. Izeze has held office as the Managing Director/Editor-inChief for 13 years. Prior to that, he was Editor of The Guardian.

Senate rejects Aviation Committee report •British Airways, others exploiting Nigerians, says Mark

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HE Senate yesterday rejected the recommendations of its Committee on Aviation on the alleged violation of the aviation laws and practice by foreign airlines and lapses in the operation of regulatory agencies. The report was thrown back at the committee for more legislative input following a motion by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu that a lot of sentiments were involved in the debate. Senate President David Mark said the Senate would take measures to stop foreign airlines operating in the country, including the British Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic, from exploiting Nigerians. He said the Senate cannot fold its hand and allow foreign airlines to exploit Nigerians.

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

The Senate aborted the adoption of the recommendations of the Senator Hope Uzodinmaled committee due to disagreement on some vital recommendations. The committee had recommended that the economic regulatory powers of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) should be reviewed and strengthened and that the Senate should mandate it to start the process of amending the Civil Aviation Act of 2006. The recommendation to grant Arik Air the national flag carriers status was not supported by many of the lawmakers who wondered why the airline should be granted such a favour.

Senator Mark said he was infuriated by a section of the report that talked about how foreign airlines operating in Nigeria exploit the country and its citizens. He said: “I think you have done a lot of good work, but I think there is a lot more the committee should have done. “I have not seen in this report where you have explained the difference in fares among the airlines flying to Accra-London, Lagos-London or Abuja-London. “I have not found here the recommendations to remedy the disparity in fares because it is ongoing. I know we are talking of anti-thrust laws, but that is not the issue. “You need to go back and bring very critical recommendations that will make us change

the aviation industry. “As it is at the moment, there are many problems. Of course, one of them is to reorganise our airports. “The airports we have at the moment, for foreign airlines to come here, they are doing us a favour because as soon as you get to our airports, you see confusion. “We also need to do our home work before pointing accusing fingers or blaming others for our problems. “What can we do because Nigerians expect that we should protect them so that people don’t take undue advantage of them? Can we do anything? “The point is, let nobody exploit Nigerians. British Airways and other airlines are exploiting Nigerians and we cannot fold our hands and say we cannot do anything.”

•A bonfire made by irate youths at Ilupeju, Lagos after an Okada rider was allegedly shot dead by a policeman...yesterday.

lawyer, Anthony Idigie, has said the best way to express one’s religion is to protect the sanctity of human life. He spoke at the relaunched Cardinal Anthony Okogie’s lecture. Idigie, a guest lecturer at the event, said no religion encourages the killing of people. According to him, the two greatest laws on earth, supported by Islam and Christianity, are that one should love God and love one’s neighbours. He said the love for humanity supersedes any pious act and that true religion mandates peaceful existence. Idigie’s stance was corroborated by other personalities. They preached peaceful co-exstence and freedom of worship. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola praised Cardinal Okogie, whose life, he said, is worthy of emulation.

Medview begins operations Nov 8

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EDVIEW Airlines will on November 8 begin scheduled flight operations, barring unforeseen developments. This follows its recent receipt of the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The Managing Director of the airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, who said this yesterday, added that the launch service would be a LagosAbuja and Lagos-Port Harcourt routes that would be operated simultaneously with its two B737-400 recently acquired from Romania. He said the airline’s ticketing offices in Ikeja and Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) are open to customers. Bankole said: “Online booking is also available. We’re set to hit the skies. “On November 8, by the grace of God, we’ll start our scheduled domestic service. We’ll operate Lagos-Abuja and Lagos-Port Harcourt flights at about the same time. You can get fares as low as N16,000. One thing customers and Nigerians generally can bank on is safe, comfortable and reliable service. The days of flight delays are over.” He added that other routes such as Maiduguri, Kano and other destinations will come on stream soon.

Flood: World Bank to conduct post disaster needs assessment

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HE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in collaboration with the World Bank and some international donor organisations, will soon conduct a postdisaster needs assessment following the flood that recently ravaged 28 states in the country. The Director-General of NEMA, who was represented by the Director of Finance and Account, Mr. Hakeem Akinbola, said this yesterday in Abuja at the orientation workshop for officials of the State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs), as well as Ministries of

•Hydrogeologists want installation of alarm system From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja and Osagie Otabor, Benin

Agriculture, Environment and Housing. He said: “The workshop is intended to provide participants with adequate skills, knowledge and techniques on how to handle the challenges. “It will also afford the Federal Government and international community the opportunity to execute plans and actions for rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery of the com-

munities affected by flood.” The United Nations Country Resident Coordinator, Mr. Daouda Toure, said the post disaster needs assessment seeks to assess the impact of natural disasters on infrastructures as well as people. He said the assessment would compile information on economic damage, losses and human impacts of the disaster on communities. Toure noted that the World Bank and European Union would support the Federal Government in the spirit of the

2008 joint agreement on post crisis cooperation. The Nigeria Association of Hydrogeologists (NAH) has called for the installation of early warning alarm systems in the hydrological stations connected through the satellite to alert the country to impending flood. It also wants the hydrological areas of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to be recognised as the unit water resources management. This was contained in a com-

munique issued at the end of the 24th annual conference of NAH held in Benin City. The association, in the communique signed by its President, Dr. Abubarkar Iliya, called for the establishment of modern hydrological stations to monitor and quantify the volume of runoff water likely to cause flood. It reads: “We should undertake a post-flood environmental impact assessment of the areas inundated by flood and carry out a survey of the submerged boreholes in the areas with the aim of rehabilitating and cleaning them up.”

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

NEWS Reps to probe Oduah over Kano airport

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•From left: Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) Chief Executive Officer Eugene Juwah; NCC Commissioner Mike Onyia; Kingsley Ebenyi and Chairman, House Committee on Communications Ojo Oyetunde at the ninth anniversary of Telecom Consumer Parliamenr at the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, Lagos. PHOTO:NIYI ADENIRAN

Reps, SEC in fresh row over Sallah gifts •Why we bought rams for lawmakers, by agency

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FRESH crisis of confidence has broken out between members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Capital Market and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over Sallah gifts. Members are demanding investigation into how the SEC allegedly spent millions of naira on rams. The SEC had offered rams to the lawmakers but they rejected them and told the SEC bearer to tell the DirectorGeneral, Ms Aruma Oteh, to quit her job. It was learnt that the Committee has reported the “curious offer of rams” to the leadership of the House. A member of the committee said: “The SEC came to us in an unprecedented gesture because it had never sent any gift to us during festive periods. “The commission sent a delegation to offer us rams, which we rejected. “We simply told the leader of the delegation to tell the DG, Ms Oteh, to pack her things and go.

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

“That clearly to us was attemptted bribe. It was the same way the commission attempted to give us N30million and later turned against us that we demanded a bribe. “This is a confirmation that the DG is desperate to remain in office. “We refused her gifts; we are standing by the resolution of the House that she should leave that seat.” Another member said: “What evidence does President Goodluck Jonathan need to confirm that SEC funds are being spent on frivolous projects? “We have informed the leadership of the House about the development. “We hope they will draw the attention of the Executive to this financial recklessness. “Nigerians are complaining about the slow recovery of the capital market, yet SEC has votes for rams. “We suspect that the purchase of the rams might run into millions again.

‘We refused her gifts; we are standing by the resolution of the House that she should leave that seat.’ “As we are talking, they are still begging us to come and collect the rams.” A third member said: “You can imagine the level of waste in SEC. “Is it its business to buy rams at a time many people have died as a result of the collapse of the Capital Market? We want the Executive to look into this.” But the DG’s Communication Adviser, Obi Adindu, said the commission did not offer the rams as bribes to House members. He said: “The fact is that the leadership of SEC is operating a well-known zero tolerance

policy for misconduct and that is why strengthening of the Capital Market is a key line objective of the reform agenda. “It is a reform agenda already bearing fruits given the All-Share Index appreciating by 30 per cent between June and now. “On the issue of Sallah gifts, there is an established practice in the commission in which the commission extends felicitations to wellwishers. “Such issues does not belong in the public domain. It is not a SEC-only practice or tradition. “And putting such matter in the public domain may well be an attempt to undermine lawmakers. “What is important is that SEC has utmost respect for members of the House and we extend traditional courtesy and felicitations to them. “And we will absolutely not associate with any effort aimed at reducing their integrity threshold or undermining them.”

JTF not responsible for Shuwa’s killing, says Ihejirika

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HE Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, has denied reports linking the Joint Task Force (JTF) to the shooting of Maj-Gen Mohammadu Shuwa, in his home last Friday. This followed the denial by Boko Haram that it was responsible for the killing. But an official account of the shooting linked the act to the group. Unknown gunmen shot Shuwa and a guest at his home in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. An account by JTF spokesman Col. Musa Sagir said the gunmen entered the late General’s home while he was hosting guests shortly before the Jumat prayers and shot at him and his guests. But Ihejirika yesterday debunked insinuations that members of the JTF are re-

•Faults Amnesty’s report From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

sponsible for the killing. Speaking through the Army spokesman, Brig-Gen Bolaji Koleosho, the Army chief dismissed the insinuation. He said: “All we are interested in is restoring peace to Maiduguri and this is what our officers lay down their lives to do. “How can you accuse them of turning back to kill the same people they are protecting? “It just does not add up. What reasons could the JTF have against Maj-Gen Shuwa? We debunked it and we condemned it. “It is unfair on the military to be accusing us of killing our

own.” Chief of Civil Military Relations Maj General Bitrus Kwaji faulted the report of Amnesty International, which indicted JTF of violation of human rights in the handling of Boko Haram insurgents. Kwaji regretted that Amnesty did not hear the military’s side before going public with its report. He said the organisation, which claimed to have visited Borno, Kano,Bauchi states and the Federal Capital Territory, did not balance its report by contacting security agencies during its investigation. According to him, the JTF acts under the terms of reference given to it and if it had done otherwise, Amnesty

ought to have brought its observation to the attention of security agencies before the publication. He stated that if any individual or group in the Army had been found wanting, such individual or group would have been sanctioned accordingly. “There is no truth whatsoever in what Amnesty reported. “Its report was in favour of Boko Haram; it was onesided. “You cannot have a report like this without interviewing security forces. “You just can’t come out and say that security forces have violated the rights of Boko Haram members or that security forces are involved in human rights abuses. “Whatever the JTF does is within the ambit of the law,” Kwaji stated.

HE House of Representatives is to investigate the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, for not allowing four international airlines land at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.. The affected airlines are Turkish Airlines, Ethiopia Airlines, Emirates Airlines and Skyline. This followed the adoption of a point of order raised on a matter of urgent public importance by Aliyu Madaki (PDP, Kano). He said the airport, being the first in the country, having been built in 1903, does not have to be so treated. “We are also aware that the choice of the airport by these airlines was informed by the number of passengers they convey from the airport to other parts of the world. “However, one is concerned that despite applications by the airlines, the min-

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

ister refused them permission to begin their operations. “It is disturbing that the refusal to grant the permission to these airlines is capable of retarding business growth in Kano and by extension Nigeria.” According to him, the refusal to grant the permits to the airlines runs contrary to President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda. “We are, however, desirous of the need to create a conducive environment for investment and to encourage investors and that is the reason why we have to intervene,” he said. Speaker Aminu Tambuwal mandated the Committee on Aviation to investigate the allegation. The committee has four weeks to submit its report.

Global sales on Qatar Airways

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ATAR Airways has launched a three-day global sale to its customers with promises of great savings to more than 100 destinations. The 72-hour marathon sale, which starts today and ends on Friday, offers customers the opportunity to travel to destinations in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas at very attractive fares. In a statement, the airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Bookings can be made on qatarairways.com/3-day-sale, any Qatar Airways sales office or travel agent. “The travel window is six months from November 12 till May 31 next year. Seats are limited, subject to availability with restrictions on specific dates with some destinations excluded. “As we come up to the end of yet another great year of great expansion, we would like to offer travellers another opportunity to take advantage of our special fares in our latest global sale, just two months after our last international promotion. “Qatar Airways’ success is largely due to the support of our customers. The Global Sale is our way of thanking our loyal passengers for their continued support and welcome new travellers enabling them to enjoy a great travel experience onboard the world’s best airline.”

We’ll complete projects, says Fashola

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AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has assured residents that the N497.277 billion budget proposal, when approved by the House of Assembly, will focus on completion of ongoing projects. Fashola spoke yesterday while inspecting some projects in various local government and local council development areas. He said government would ensure that stalled projects are completed next year. Among the projects inspected are the Oyingbo and Tejuosho markets, canal construction in Babs Animashaun Surulere, Itire housing projects in Shitta and Mushin, reconstruction of Ilasamaja Bridge, and the expansion of Kodeosho Street in Ikeja. He said Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have sent in briefs of projects they intend to see through next year. “We’re going round because we have just finished a budget, and the essence of the budget is to focus on completion of ongoing projects.” Giving an overview of the projects inspected, Fashola expressed satisfaction with the work done at the Oyingbo market. The governor said seven of

By Miriam Ndikanwu

the eight sections of the market have been completed. He assured that the last section will be completed next month to enable roofing to begin. “By the middle of the second quarter of next year, it should be completed. “From there, we saw the work in Tejuosho, there are challenges of funding, so we need to go back now and see which way forward.” On the canal construction in Babs Animashaun, Fashola said there is a redesigning of the scope of work being done there. Speaking on the ongoing construction of the collapsed pedestrian bridge at Ilasamaja bustop on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, which was demolished two months ago, Fashola assured that the bridge will be ready for use by January. “The contractor is already piling and from what I am hearing by the end of January, it will be back for use. “This time it will be a better one, with a ramp for the physically challenged and steps for able bodied people, a roof to protect from the weather and we hope that when it is done, people will not turn it to a market,” Fashola said.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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CITYBEATS

‘Budget will eradicate poverty’

By Oziegbe Okoeki

THE Lagos State government’s 2013 Budget will eradicate poverty and sustain economic growth, Deputy Whip of the House of Assembly Hon. Rotimi Abiru has said. Abiru also cautioned the Federal Government against holding talks with the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, saying the intention of the group must be ascertained. Abiru said: "The budget will eradicate poverty through infrastructural renewal and development. Key priority areas of the budget include security, power, agriculture, transportation, housing, education among others. "About N497 billion representing 54 per cent would be targeted at capital expenditure while recurrent expenditure is about 46 per cent, with the economic affairs sector taking the largest chunk of 31 per cent followed by the general public sector, then education sector taking about 13 per cent of the total capital vote.” Abiru, who welcomed the call for dialogue by Boko Haram said: "The sincerity and intentions of the sect should be ascertained." This, he said, was necessary because the sect’s spiritual leader is not part of the negotiating team and some of the proposed negotiators have denied knowledge of their nomination.

Soyinka for arbitration conference By Joseph Jibueze

NOBEL laureate Prof Wole Soyinka will speak at the Kuramo Conference, during which the Lagos Court of Arbitration will be launched. Organised by the Lagos State government, the conference will begin on Friday. The chairman of the Kuramo Conference Planning Committee, former Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Olasupo Shasore (SAN), said in a statement that renowned economist Paul Collier and acclaimed author Dambisa Moyo will deliver keynote speeches. Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), the conference convener, will declare it open at the Eko International Conference Centre, Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island. The statement reads: “On November 9 and 10, Lagos will once again host the Kuramo Conference, a summit for ideas, policy and global development. “The Kuramo Conference 2012 will highlight some of what are considered to be topical global issues – the role of the creative industries in supporting local economies; the recovery of stolen oil wealth from public coffers; solutions to addressing contentious energy solutions; creating a knowledge economy; African dispute resolution, aquaculture and food security and consumer rights in developing economies.”

08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:- ynotcitybeats@gmail.com

Policeman kills Okada rider

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motorcyclist was yesterday allegedly shot dead at the Ilupeju by-pass in Lagos by a policeman. But the police denied the death of the Okada man. Three policemen were said to be patrol when one of them reportedly fired the fatal shot. The Nation learnt that one of the policemen was hit on the right palm when the killer-cop shot sporadically to escape mob action. According to eyewitnesses, the policemen wanted to arrest the Okada man but he did not stop when he was

•Nobody was killed, say police By Mariam Akingbala

flagged down. “The next thing we heard was a gunshot from one of the policemen. The Okada rider fell off the bike and died instantly. When the officer that fired the shot knew he had killed the Okada rider, he fled the scene, shooting sporadically and ran towards Ilupeju Police Station for cover. It was in the process that a bullet hit one of the policemen in the palm.” The Nation gathered that

there was confusion when passers-by discovered that the Okada rider had died. Other motorcyclists plying the route parked and mobilised their colleagues from the nearby Obanikoro and Onipanu. About 15 minutes later, Okada riders from these areas besieged the scene with various weapons. Police spokesperson Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), denied the death of the motorcyclist, adding that he and the

•Manko

injured policeman were in the hospital. According to her, what actually transpired is still vague, with nobody having an authentic account yet.

•From left: Mrs. Folami Bolajoko, Acting Permanent Secretary, Environmental Services, Mrs. Adeola Afun, Mrs. Ayinde, Dr. Folami an official of Council of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), Mrs. Aderonke Solomon, at the event... yesterday.

Fashola’s wife advises traders, artisans on sanitation T HE wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dame Abimbola Fashola, yesterday urged traders and artisans to change their attitude towards environmental sanitation. Mrs. Fashola gave the advice during the environmental advocacy campaign organised for operators in the informal sector by the Ministry of the Environment. Represented by the wife of the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mrs Rhoda Ayinde, Mrs Fashola urged people to demonstrate positive attitude to the environment, adding that recent happenings in some parts of the country and around the world,

By Miriam Ndikanwu

particularly America, call for concern to the way environmental issues are handled. “A major question we must ask ourselves is how our business activities or vocations in the markets or workshops contribute to the poor sanitation in our environment”, she said. Mrs Fashola said there was need to look into those areas and change in order to combat the impact of climate change. Healthy sanitation and hygienic habit, she said, included proper disposal of wastes in markets/workshops, participating actively in the monthly sanitation

exercise and imbibing the culture of regular washing of hands. She said it was important for mechanics to know that improper handling of used oil is dangerous to health because it seeps into the soil to contaminate underground water. Welcoming participants, the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, said it required collective efforts to protect the environment from the danger of Climate Change. Bello, represented by the Special Adviser in the Ministry, Dr. Taofeek Folami, said the government placed high premium on the environment in the be-

lief that a healthy environment where good sanitary habits reign, is germane for the wellbeing of the citizenry. “We have in a determined manner progressively addressed the challenges posed by waste management with the provision of needed facilities such as dump sites, transfer loading stations(TLS) and waste compactors in addition to the involvement of the private sector participation (PSP) in waste management,” he said. As a way of enhancing environmental sustainability, the government, he said adopted measures to encourage citizens’ participation in the attainment of a cleaner and sustainable environment.

Traffic Law: LASTMA trains more officers

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NOTHER 200 officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) have been inducted in their on-going career evaluation training. Six hundred officers have undergone the training designed to change the approach to law enforcement from punitive to civil engagement. Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Transport Education Dr. Miriam Masha said the training

By Segun Balogun

was part of the government’s plan to ensure that the new Traffic Law promotes deterrence and voluntary compliance. She assured residents of a new regime in law enforcement, saying officers who pass the training would be civil to traffic offenders. “The core objective of the programme is to equip all the participants with a better approach to law enforcement, which is largely to deemphasise the use of force while placing premium on the tools of advoca-

cy in changing the way people behave,” she said. She promised that there would be no more forceful arrest and any other excessiveness hitherto associated with the officers. Mrs Masha called for road users’ cooperation as a critical link in the chain of law enforcement, saying: “There is nowhere in the world that people like those enforcing the law. This is because they are trying to change people’s behaviour and make them do things in certain ways that may not be comfort-

able, even though it will benefit the larger society. “This shows how people are resistant to change. People may not necessarily like law enforcement agents. So, the attitude of the people demands that as a government, we need to train and re-train our law enforcement agents so that they can respond to challenges in line with global standard and best practices.” A LASTMA official, Rasheed Sulaimon, urged road users to cooperate with them, saying they are ready to key into government’s reforms.

Agency decries rampant graffiti THE Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA) has decried the increasing rate at which graffiti appear in Lagos. The agency said the graffiti is now the alternative for indiscriminate pasting of posters, which the agency has fought hard to curtail. In a statement signed by Temitope Akande, the agency’s Manager, Corporate Affairs/PR Department, LASAA’s Managing Director, George Kayode Noah, said poster offenders in Lagos State are switching to wall painting. “These offenders have now adopted a more brazen approach by painting directly on public walls bridges and pillars,” he said. “They have decided to adopt this new strategy following the level of success our Agency has recorded in curbing the menace of indiscriminate posters wherever we find them within the city”. He added that crave for publicity is driving culprits to deploy graffiti and pasting of small stickers on public infrastructures as a new method of defacing Lagos. He however warned that “our position remains unchanged about indiscriminate pasting of posters, or painting of public walls. Anyone caught engaging in this illegal act will be prosecuted.” He concluded that LASAA will continue to deploy its resources to fight against these practices.

Five arraigned for attempted murder By Adebisi Onanuga

FIVE persons, including a woman, were yesterday arraigned before an Ikeja Chief Magistrate’s Court for allegedly threatening to kill one Olusegun Adeniyi over 100 plots of land belonging to him. They are: Abiodun Omoju, 35; Nneka Akandi, 36; Bamiloke Okemosadi, 53; Abu Tani, 32 and Dipo Omoju, 30. They are facing a threecount charge of conspiracy, forgery and acts likely to cause breach of peace. The accused, according to the prosecutor, Barth Nwaokenye, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), sometime in August, allegedly threatened to kill Adeniyi with thugs. The offence, according to him, is punishable under Section 166(b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. Nwaokenye alleged that the accused, about the same time, forged a receipt and Deed of Assignment for 100 plots of land. The offence, he said, is contrary to Section 363 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. The accused were alleged to have conspired to commit felony to wit forgery and conduct likely to cause breach of peace, contrary to Section 401 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. They pleaded not guilty. Chief Magistrate A. O. Isaac granted each of them N100, 000 bail and two sureties in the like sum. He adjourned the matter till December 10.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

NEWS Police foil kidnap in Osun From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

THE police in Osun State have foiled the kidnap of a building materials dealer, Alhaji Akeem Sulaiman, in Modakeke. Around 7:30pm last Saturday, a four-man gang in a red Honda Accord car, marked Osun FEE 73 AA, waylaid Sulaiman, who was driving an Infinity Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). They forced him into their car and sped off. Eyewitnesses alerted policemen, who chased after the kidnappers. The hoodlums abandoned their vehicle and the victim on the outskirts of the town and escaped. Sulaiman was rescued by the police. Police spokesman Folashade Odoro said two single barrel guns, one pump action pistol, five live cartridges and five expended cartridges were recovered from their car.

Ondo Assembly sacks nine council caretaker chairmen T

HE Ondo State House of Assembly yesterday sacked nine of the 18 Local Government Caretaker Committee Chairmen. They were sacked for failing to audit their staff as directed by the Assembly. Those affected are Femi Opakunrin, Akure North; Afolabi Mabogunje, Ose; Adetunji Ojomo, Owo; Rufus Agboola, Ifedore; Taye Sunday, Idanre; Mrs. Yetunde Dada, Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo; Banji Okunomo, Ilaje; Akin Sowore, Ese-Odo and Olu Arowolo, Akoko North East. At the plenary session presided over by Speaker Samuel Adesina, the lawmakers said the Assembly’s decision was to promote ac-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

countability and good governance in councils. Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government Affairs Afolabi Akinsiku (Ondo Constituency 1) said on January 5, the Assembly directed caretaker committees to audit workers on their payroll to get rid of ghost workers. He said several reminders were sent to THE sacked chairmen but they failed to respond. Akinsiku said: “We heard that all of them did the audit, but those sacked refused to submit their reports to us af-

ter four reminders were sent to them. “Section 3 of the Ondo State Local Government Law says we can sanction them to ensure good governance, probity and accountability at the third tier of government.” The Assembly appointed new caretaker chairmen in the affected councils. They are Ajayi Ogunsusi, Akure North; Olojualaule Sunday, Ifedore; Akinrinmade Benson, Idanre; Ebegbe Matthew, Ose and Osuporu Olawale, Owo. Others are Sikiru Adenolaweye, Akoko North East; Leke Ewarawon, Ilaje;

Jaiyeola Omobobuwa, EseOdo and Prince A. Adegbohungbe, Ile-Oluji/ Okeigbo. The Speaker directed the sacked chairmen to hand over to the Directors of the Local Government Administration (DLG), who will hand over to the new caretaker chairmen. Adesina said though there were petitions against some local government chairmen, the sack of the nine was not based on the petitions, but on their failure to comply with the Assembly’s directives. He directed law enforcement agents to take charge of security in the affected local government councils to prevent a break down of law and order.

Ogun sweepers’ families get N1m THE Ogun State Government yesterday gave N1 million to the families of the two streetsweepers that were killed by a truck at Sango Ota in August. Wasiu Adebiyi and Azeez Dada died immediately. Presenting the money to the bereaved families, Ogun State Head of Service (HOS) Mrs. Modupe Adekunle said the state government was grieved by the death of their loved ones. Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa said the deceased’s entitlements would be paid to their families. He said the families would benefit from an insurance policy that is being packaged for street-sweepers, when it is finalised.

•Ogun State Governor’s wife, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, and beneficiaries of the empowerment initiative for physically challenged people, tagged: Uplifting the Physically Challenged” in Abeokuta…yesterday.

Oyo lawmaker, Nigerian Compass MD, policeman shot by robbers

Church begins thanksgiving ST. Theresa’s Church of Christ (Cherubim and Seraphim), Imene Elshaddai, Mushin, Lagos, has begun its week-long Annual Thanksgiving Service. The event began on Monday and will end on Sunday. It will include a three-day revival praise night with the theme: “Rehoboth, the Lord hath made room for us”. The church’s Provost, Prophet Wole Shitta, said the closing ceremony, which is a special service, will be presided over by Senior Prophetess Modupe Tayo of the Spiritual Church of Christ, Ilaro, Ogun State.

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MEMBER of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Mr. Bamidele Ojo; the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of the Nigerian Compass, Mr. Adesina Kawonise and a policeman have been shot by gunmen. Ojo, who represents Ibadan South East II on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was attacked by suspected armed robbers in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Sunday morning. His Toyota Avensis car was snatched by the gunmen. Ojo is recuperating at the

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan. Yesterday, a source at the hospital said some bullets were extracted from the lawmaker during surgery. The source said Ojo would undergo another surgery soon. Commissioner of Police Joseph Mbu assured Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Monday that the joint security outfit code-named “Operation Burst” would tighten security. Kawonise and the policeman were attacked by gunmen on Monday night on the

Akure-Ilesha highway. In a statement, a Director at the Nigerian Compass, Mr. Biodun Oduwole, said Kawonise was returning from Awka, Anambra State, where he delivered the Keynote Address at the 17th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Anthropological and Sociological Association and received the association’s Distinguished Sociologist Award. The statement reads: “Kawonise was in a convoy of two vehicles, when the vehicle he was travelling in was ambushed at the Ikeji-Arakeji Junction, shortly after Akure, at

about 8:30pm. “The gunmen shot at the two vehicles. Kawonise and the policeman, who was seated in front beside the driver, were hit. They were rushed to a private hospital and the policeman was transferred to the Wesley Guild Hospital in Ilesha for surgery. “Kawonise was transferred to the University College Hospital, Ibadan, this morning. He has undergone surgery and he is stable. “We do not know the motive of the attackers, but Kawonise recently received threats from unknown persons on the Internet.”

‘Ekiti loses N757m annually to ghost workers’

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HE Ekiti State Government has been losing N757 million to ghost workers in the 16 local government areas, according to findings from the audit of local government workers. Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation Mr. Funminiyi Afuye spoke yesterday during a programme on ADABA 88.9 FM in Ado-Ekiti. Afuye said 1,323 of the 19,258 council workers were ghost workers.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

He said the initial biometric verification gave a figure of 19,212 workers while the last revealed 17,889 workers. Afuye said the salary of the 1,323 ghost workers cost the government over N63 million monthly and N757 million annually. He said the N757 million would now be spent on projects. Afuye urged the striking council workers to ac-

cept the government’s peace overtures and resume work. He said the Governor Kayode Fayemi administrations has no intention of sacking any worker and would pay the minimum wage as soon as their bank accounts were verified. The commissioner said 1,756 council workers with certificates would be deployed in schools and 4,669 council health workers would be deployed in the Primary Health Care De-

velopment Agency (PHCDA). He said the staff audit was not meant to witch-hunt any worker, but to restore efficiency, probity, accountability and transparency and reduce redundancy. Afuye said: “The governor has reiterated that it has no plan to sack anybody. We have discovered disparity in the number of staff on the government’s payroll in the local governments. The government is going to pay the arrears of the mini-

mum wage, but all these issues have to be resolved first. “Ekiti State has limited resources, which must be used for the welfare of the ordinary man. Since we have completed the biometric exercise, we urge local government workers to go back to work and ensure proper verification of their account details. “We urge them to go back to work and collect their salaries while we continue negotiations.”

ACN elders: Ondo election was a charade From Damisi Ojo, Akure

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LDERS of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) under the aegis of Ondo Opinion Leaders (OOL), yesterday described the October 20 governorship election as a charade. It said the outcome of the election would remain unacceptable to a majority of the electorate. Speaking with reporters, OOL Chairman Dr. Akerele Adu said: “There were allegations of the purchase of voter cards, as well as the printing and thumbprinting of ballot papers before the election. “Therefore, the election result is a fraud. It is not a true reflection of the wishes of Ondo people. “We, therefore, pledge our solidarity and support to our national leaders, our governorship candidate Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and his running mate, Dr. Paul Akintelure, in whatever action they deem fit to redress the injustice done to our party and to the good people of Ondo State. “We implore our supporters across the state and in the diaspora to remain calm, not to be discouraged by the result of the election and to be assured that the OOL will not allow the injustice to be swept under the carpet. The law will take its full course to right the wrongs at the appropriate time and at the appropriate court.” Present at the news conference were Prince Lanre Atanlogun, Prof. R. Akinfaderin, Mr. Tunde Okolu, Mr. Yomi Meroyi, Mr. Eyitayo Ogunleye, Mrs. Titilope Oparinde, Mr. Sunday Omokisun, Alhaja Fausat Kazeem and Mr. Niyi Oluwatosin.

Ondo varsity workers seek intervention in dispute From Damisi Ojo, Akure

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HE Joint Action Com mittee (JAC) of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), has urged stakeholders to intervene in the dispute between the institution’s management and labour unions. Members of the JAC, which comprises the NonAcademic Staff Union (NASU), the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the National Association of Academic Technicians (NAAT), have been on strike for some time. The institution’s management, at a meeting on October 29, gave the workers an ultimatum to resume last Wednesday, but the workers did not comply. This prompted an emergency meeting of the University’s Governing Council last Thursday and Friday. JAC said at the meeting, the management resolved to suspend or dismiss union leaders, stop the payment of Hazard Allowances to union members, sack workers that played active roles in the strike and deploy security operatives in the university. JAC said the management’s decisions were not in the interest of its members and urged stakeholders to intervene.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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NEWS ’25 ministries sign agreement’ From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

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HE Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, has said only 25 ministries have signed the performance contract agreement initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan. Usman, who spoke in Abuja yesterday at the signing in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, said lack of funds would not be accepted as an excuse for non-performance. President Goodluck Jonathan, on August 22, launched the fresh initiative for the effective implementation of budget through the introduction of performance-based contracts for ministers and other government officials. The decision to introduce performance-based contracts, according to the Minister of Women’s Affairs, would serve as an evaluation tool in the implementation of budgets in the ministry.

113 councils benefit from N11.3b scheme

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BOUT 113 local government councils have benefited N11.3 billion from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS), the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol, has said. She said the disbursement marked the implementation of the first phase of the support scheme, aimed to fund the health, education and water sectors in rural communities. Ms Gbeneol spoke at a training organised for 124 local government technical assistants yesterday in Abuja. She said: “We are well into the implementation of the first phase of the CGS to councils programme with N11.3 billion having been distributed to 113 councils for implementing locally relevant projects to support service delivery in health, education and the water sectors.” Ms Gbeneol said the scheme would be scaled-up to include 148 new councils while implementation would begin at the 113 councils. “We have carried out facility survey and we are just completing the expanded needs assessment. It is our hope that this innovative intervention will improve the lives of millions of Nigerians and improve local governance at an unprecedented level,” she added. According to her, the CGS aims to create an inclusive and sustainable approach to service delivery; and attain the MDGs by providing grants for integrated investments in the councils. Ms Gbeneol said the training is to orientate new technical assistants and evaluate the knowledge of existing officials to address imminent challenges.

States under pressure, says Ahmed From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

WARA State Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed yesterday said governors are under financial pressure. He urged the Federal Government to review allocations to states to meet their financial problems. The governor spoke yesterday during his monthly media chat on state-owned radio and television stations. The governor said the Sovereign Wealth Fund should be made available to states to solve some of their challenges. His words: “Modalities in supporting states require reviews. The pressure we are facing today is not what past governments faced. “Unfortunately, the resources made available to us are almost less than what we had before. It is putting a lot more pressure on us here. “That’s why the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has been putting pressure on the Federal Government.”

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Falana, group condemn refusal to swear in judge By Precious Igbonwelundu

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IGHTS activist Femi Falana (SAN) has condemned the refusal by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Muktar, to swear in a newly appointed

Justice of the Court of Appeal, Mrs. Ifeoma Jombo-Ofo. Falana, who called on the CJN to save Justice Jombo-Ofo from embarrassment, said since her appointment has not been validly set aside by President Goodluck Jonathan, the CJN’s action cannot be justified by law. The lawyer also faulted the petition challenging her appointment on the grounds that she is not from Abia State. He said the petition violated Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution, which prohibited discrimination arising from circumstances of birth or sex. He said: ‘’Since her appointment has not been validly set aside, she should not have been subjected to any embarrassment on the basis of a petition that challenged her appointment on the grounds that she is not from Abia State.” Similarly, a group, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), described the action as arbitrary, unfair and inconsistent. LEDAP said a number of female justices have been appointed, promoted or elevated on slots from their states of marriage rather than state of birth. A statement by the group’s spokesperson, Chino Obiagwu, said the refusal to swear in Justice Jombo-Ofo negated the principles of fairness. It called on the NJC to review such practices in the Judiciary to ensure that policies and practices are consistent and conform to standards of values of the society.

Diseases imminent in flooded areas, says NEMA T

HE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has raised the alarm over a possible outbreak of epidemic in flood-ravaged states. NEMA Coordinator, Abuja Operations Office, Ishaya Chonoko said there could be an outbreak of cholera, Lassa fever, measles and other skin diseases. He spoke yesterday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, at a two-day sensitisation and awareness programme on cerebro-spinal meningitis and other flood related diseases, organised by NEMA. Chonoko said the agency’s fear was borne out of “the fact that flood waters have contaminated natural sources of water.” He said: “The usage of this contaminated water by the

•Proposes permanent relocation of victims

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

victims can lead to an outbreak of diseases.” Chonoko, who was represented by his assistant, Slaku Bijimi, advised Nigerians to ensure proper ventilation of their homes. “Potable water should be properly covered and periodic washing of hands should be encouraged.” Speaking with reporters after the programme, Bijimi said NEMA is proposing a permanent relocation of some of the flood victims to a safer place. This, according to NEMA,

would guarantee the security of life and property of the victims. He added that the agency had sent a proposal on the need for the permanent relocation of the victims to the Presidency. “A permanent relocation of the victims is the best option. “But you know relocation has to be in agreement with the Federal Government, the state, local councils and even the people. “There are cases where you provide accommodation as a permanent solution for people and they abandon it for their flooded abodes.

“NEMA has sent a proposal to the President on what we think is the way out of the problem. “The President went round for an on-the-spot-assessment of what had happened. “He now knows that there are some people who cannot go back to their homes. “The essence of the Dangote-led committee is to see how there can be a permanent solution to the problem.“ Bijimi, however said the Federal Government must collaborate with the state governments and the victims before taking a final decision on the relocation.

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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Boy needs N3.7m for surgery

Kwankwaso inaugurates TB treatment centre

Obi steps up power partnership

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Kano

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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BOUT 50 physically challenged persons and widows have benefitted from the goodwill of a non-denominational outreach organised by GIPEC College of Chaplain. The organisation donated wheelchairs, food and household items, as well as cash to them in Lagos. The theme of the programme was: Giving hope to the hopeless.

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A lift for the needy By Adeola Ogunlade

The event was warmly received by the beneficiaries, their friends and family members, as well as civil society members, who danced, praised God and showered praises on the College of Chaplain. Speaking at the event, Chief of Chaplain, Bartholomew

Diamanozie said that the humanitarian gesture was conceived to give hope to the hopeless and the needy in the society. Diamanozie said it is important for those who celebrate to remember the less privileged, all the better if society can help them lead better lives. He said the church remains

the hope of the common man in the face of sweeping neglect, marginisation, violence and wanton destruction of life and property. He also urged the federal and state governments to embark on developmental projects that will ameliorate the suffering of the rural poor in Nigeria. Diamanozie said there are

huge potentials and opportunities arising from economic policies and reform agenda that touches the needs and aspiration of the citizens. According to him, the only way to achieve growth and development in Nigeria is when the leaders are ready to shun all forms of corrupt practices and exhibit selfless service to the people within their constituency. •Continued on Page 47

IFE of Ekiti State Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi has

launched various jobs tools provided by Hon. Omowumi Ogunlola, a member of the state House of Assembly representing Ijero constituency. The event took place at Doherty Memorial Secondary School, IjeroEkiti. Widows, students and the less privileged benefitted from Mrs Ogunlola’s gesture. Among the empowerment kits valued in excess of N6 million were 14 motorcycles, 14 grinding machines, 20 sewing machines, 12 barbing kits, 12 hand-held dryers, 24 crash helmets, and 12 phone stands with accessories. Besides, 100 students were given bursary awards, 60 widows ans another 60 aged people went home with food items and some cash. Ogunlola explained that the gesture was to complement the efforts of the state governor Kayode Fayemi, adding that it was also a demonstration of her love and kindness towards the people that voted her into office. The lawmaker also challenged her colleagues to deliver the dividends of democracy to their constituents, saying the phasing out of the so-called Constituency Allowance does not offer anyone excuses to deprive the people of their benefits. Noting that the event was held in commemoration of her one year at the Assembly, Ogunlola called on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to re-delineate the constituency into three, saying “it is just too big.” The Lawmaker, who is the Assembly’s Chief Whip and Chairman, House Committee on Information, assured the people of quality representation at the parliament and that towns in the constituent would receive more of state government’s infrastructural development as they were already earmarked in the budget. Ogunlola pointed out that the constituency remains the largest among the 16 Local Government Councils in the state which she said had affected the pace of development in the area. Ogunlola said that the constituency consists of about 14 towns

• Erelu Bisi Fayemi (third right), with Hon. Wumi Ogunlola (second right) and Speaker, Adewale Omirin (fourth left), Deputy Speaker, Adetunji Orisalade (third left) and other dignitaries.

Joy as Ekiti law maker provides jobs tools From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado Ekiti

and 33 farmsteads , which she described as too big to be one constituency. She noted that the call to INEC to carry out the delineation exercise was predicated on the provision of the Electoral Act, which stipulates that delineation should be carried out in every 10 years based on the people’s request.

The parliamentarian said the call to INEC to carry out the delineation exercise was predicated on the provision of the Electoral Act, which stipulates that delineation exercise should be carried out every 10 years based on the people’s request. She hinted that the largeness of the constituency is robbing the people of the deserved dividends of democracy “We have one-town local govern-

ments in every part of the country, so for Ijero to be a 14-town and several villages local government is an injustice,” she said. Speaking at the occasion, an elated Ajero of Ijero Ekiti, Oba Joseph Adewole, commended the lawmaker for her contributions to the development of the Council, saying she had actually proved that women could be better representatives in

appointive and elective positions. Oba Adewole urged the politicians to be responsive to the yearnings of the people, adding that Nigerian populace still expect much more from their elected representatives as a developing nation. She said by implication and in operation, democracy should enhance the people as people remain the target, wondering why a system meant to enhance the condition of the people had failed almost entirely to serve that end. ”We dont have constituency allowance; the little I have is what I have been saving for some time, and this is the little I am giving back to the people just to thank them and appreciate them for what •Continued on Page 47

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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Kwankwaso inaugurates TB treament centre

Borno to boost rice production T HE Borno State government has said that it would import 500 rice mills from Thailand as part of efforts to boost rice production in the state. Governor Kashim Shettima, who disclosed this in Maiduguri while interacting with newsmen, said the mills would be distributed to farmers’ cooperative associations to improve the quality of local rice production in the state. He said the state government had signed an agreement for the supply of the mills. “A delegation of Borno State government visited Thailand recently as part of a trip to explore areas of collaboration with different countries in their areas of specialisation. “While in Thailand, we made orders for the

•Shettima

Cleric urges grassroots development

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N Islamic clergy, Sheik AbdulAzeez Shittu, has advised the Good Governance Tour Committee to focus attention on grassroots development. Shittu told journalists in Omu-Aran, headquarters of Irepodun Local Government of Kwara, that emphasis should be placed on skills acquisition and youth empowerment. Shittu, who is the Chief Missioner of the Islamic Development Youth Association of Nigeria (IDYAN), observed that youth restiveness contributed to the country’s insecurity situation and should therefore be attended to. “Government, especially at the grassroots, rarely pay attention to the issue of empowering the youths for the nation’s development. “The neglect of this segment of the population is the result of the palpable fear and insecurity that have become the order of the day. “It is very disheartening to note that the youths, regarded as leaders of tomorrow, have now become threat to the progress and development of our country,’’ he said. He regretted that none of the 774 local gov-

Kwara ernments had evolve serious policy toward empowering the youths to enable them contribute to the nation’s growth. “It is sad that many local governments do not have a skill acquisition centre of their own, where youths can learn trade and vocations to become entrepreneurs. “As a result of joblessness, many of the youths have become armed robbers, terrorists and political thugs. “I think the good governance tour committee should challenge the state governors on this important issue”. The clergy said that many of the gigantic projects, being put up by state governments with contract running into billions of naira, might not benefit the citizens. He maintained that development could only be achieved in the atmosphere of peace, harmony and orderliness when youths were meaningfully engaged in productive ventures.

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HE Federal Government with Kano State Government has inaugurated an ultra-modern Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis treatment Centre in Kano, a statement said. The statement was issued by Malam Halilu Dantiye, the Director of Press and Public Relations to the Governor, in Kano. It said the centre was located within the premises of the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in Kano city. Speaking at the event, Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso said the project was the first of its kind in Northern Nigeria, constructed by the Federal Ministry of Health, and equipped by

Borno supply of 500 rice mills. I believe some of the items will start arriving in the state in a very short while,’’ Shettima said. The governor said that the government was working towards setting up mini-irrigation schemes in each of the 27 local government areas of the state. “Borno has lots of potential in agriculture; we are trying to harness these potential by creating mini- irrigation schemes in all the local government areas. “We are also looking at the possibilities of creating farm settlements across the state to further harness our agriculture potential,’’ he said. Shettima explained that the objective was to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the state. “Our goal is to provide jobs for our teeming unemployed youths who are roaming the streets without anything to do. “We are also trying to fight endemic poverty among our people which has reached an alarming level,’’ he said.

•Kwankwaso

Emir warns farmers, cattle breeders

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HE Emir of Argungu in Birni Kebbi,Kebbi State, Alhaji Samaila Mera, has warned farmers and cattle breeders in the emirate against actions that will lead to any clash in the area. Mera, who spoke with newsmen in Argungu, said the emirate would not condone any clash between farmers and cattle breeders over animal grazing and urged them to respect their mutual interests.

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tal screening programme in collaboration with Dental Association of Nigeria, we give adequate support to the drive to eradicate polio in our society through regular and aggressive immunization programme.” He urged pregnant women to make use of the facilities at Omodigbo Helathcare Centre where 24 hours service is available and where birth certificates from the National Population Commission will be made available to them. He added that there are primary health centres at Alvis, Ijesha, Isolo Road, Itire, Ajeabo where residents can enjoy the medical facilities. Speaking earlier, the Coordinator of Women Global Impact, Mrs Oluwayomi Uteh, urged residents to follow up whatever results that came out of the various tests or treatments. She said Mushin council would be the first in the country to enjoy their patronage. Women Global Impact, founded by Bishop Peace Okonkwo on her 60th birthday as a gift to women in general started the peace campaign on June 10, to sensitise the women folk on dangers of cervical cancer, diabetes and all other diseases. Uteh noted that the response has been tremendous as many sensitive cases have been attended to. She said the founder was motivated by her desire to put smiles on the faces of women. In his closing remarks, the council vice chairman, who doubles as the Supervisor of Health, Mr Emmanuel Bamigboye, thanked all that worked together to make the programme a success. He particularly thanked the chairmen of the various CDS or CDAs for their support.

Kano Kano State Government. Kwankwaso said the action was to further coordinate efforts to curb the menace of tuberculosis, which was still prevalent in some developing countries, including Nigeria. He promised that his administration would work closely with international donor agencies and other groups toward improving the wellbeing of residents in the state. The governor urged members of staff of IDH to ensure effective management of the tuberculosis centre and to keep the hospital tidy at all times. The Minister of Health, Dr Onyebuchi Chukwu, represented by Dr Joshua Obasanye at the event , said the World Health Organisation in its 2012 report estimated that 3,491 MultiDrug Resistant Tuberculosis cases occurred in Nigeria annually.

•From left: National President, Estate Rent and Commission Agents Association of Nigeria (ERCAAN), Hon Emmanuel T. Dare; Chairnan, Hon Godwin Alenkhe and General Secretary, Hon Thomas Mebu during the Lagos State chapter Annual General meeting and conference at Rotary Club Hallm, Isolo PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

‘Ban importation of second hand tyres’

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N appeal has gone to the Federal Government to ban the importation of second hand tyres into the country. The call was made by a group, New Born Trucks and Tippers Owners Association, Itele chapter in Ogun State. The plea came through the vice chairman, Mr Alao Lateef, at the public enlightement rally tagged: Ember months safety campaign, organised by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Ota unit Command.

Speaking at the event, the Acting Unit Commander, Mr Bashiru Adeyemi, urged the road users to be cautions while on the road. Adeyemi highlighted some factors causing accidents on the roads as; lack of maintenance of vehicles/mechanism, excess drinking, abnormal behaviours and lack of adequate signals. He also appealed to the drivers to be watchful, maintaining enough space between the front vehicles and have enough rest before on-thewheel.

By Emmanuel Oladesu

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•From right: Chairman, Mosan-Okunola Local Council Development Area, Hon Abiodun Mafe; his counterparts at Badagry and Coker-Aguda councils, Hon Husitode Moses Dosu and Omobolanle Akinyemi-Obe at the World Conference of Mayors, Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea

Leadership award for students

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HE final stage of the 2012 Leadership Competition organised by the Chief Whip of Oyo State House of Assembly Hon. Abiodun Adigun Hammed for over 50 secondary schools in Akiyele Local Government Area of Oyo State comes up tomorrow, the organisers have said. The competition will kick off by 10am at council secretariat in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Hon Adigun disclosed in a chat with our correspondent that the competition was organised to groom the future leaders in his constituency and it is also in line with improving the education policy of the current adminitration in the state. He said the governor had charged all the political office holders to work diligently to clear the rot in the education sector. In his words: “ Life is all about competition, so the young once also need to compete so as to move to a higher level. We also wish to catch the secondary school students at the

Church holds solution night

•From left: Mrs Uteh, Hon Adepitan and the Hon Bamigboye at the event.

The Emir also called on district and village heads to ensure farmers do a quick harvest as well as ensure that cattle breeders are refrained from leading their herds into farmlands that had not been cleared for grazing. “The farmers and cattle breeders contribute to the social and economic development of the area but each group needs to live in harmony and avoid any clashes this year,” he said. Mera used the occasion to call on people in the emirate to be proactive on security issues and especially keep a closer look on strangers coming into the area.

Poverty alleviation programme for constituents

Council gives free medicare USHIN Local Government secretariat was a beehive of activities last Friday as residents came from far and near to enjoy the free medical screening and treatment of ailments such as cervical cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, malaria among others. The initiative was organised by the council in collaboration with Women Global Impact. The council chief, Hon. Olatunde Babatunde Adepitan, described the event as another golden opportunity of dividends of democracy and an answer to the health challenges of the residents which his administration cannot close its eyes to. Considering the primary place the council places health, he said: “We have assembled qualified health personnel here today to examine your hypertension level, diabetes, general health conditions in terms of malaria and general body metabolism. After the examination, necessary expert recommendation will be made, especially for those that will require more thorough examination and probably surgery at a high hospital.” He appealed to everyone present to avail themselves as of the great opportunity as nothing compares with good health as the basis of wealth Adepitan mentioned other health initiatives earlier organised by his administration where ante-natal packs were distributed to expectant mothers, free eye glasses to deserving people after through examination and testing were carried out and free drugs to people. He went further: “We also organised free den-

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THE New God’s Glory Ministry (TNGGM) will from today start a three-day vigil tagged: Nights of the Prophets, as part of its monthly divine automatic solution night at the church’s headquarters at Plot 712, Ikorodu Road, Mile 13, Owode Onirin, Lagos. It will start from 11pm - 3am today and tomorrow while Friday’s programme will be from 11pm till dawn. This month’s programme will feature great men of God such as Prophet Hezekiah Oladeji; Mujideen Kasali; Akin Fasawe and G. O. Obiwale aka Oyinbo GC, who will minister along the host prophet and the General Overseer Prophet Adeniyi Matthew Oni, while Evangelist Esther Igbekele will feature as the guest gospel artiste.

By Jeremiah Oke

prime age so as to improve the standard of education in the state”. The lawmaker lamented the terrible condition of education standard in the state before Governor Ajimobi came on board, saying the standard terribly dose-dived. While speaking on the alleged arrest of the wife of the state governor Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, Hon Adigun said it was the hand work of the opposition party in the state to divert the attention of the governor. According to him “ the woman they are talking about travelled a lot before she became the governor’s wife;you hardly met her at home. Now that she became the wife of the governor she has to reduce her traveling because she has many programmes she is presides over every two weeks. So how could such person be travelling every week because this will make it 60 weeks she asumed office and they said she had traveling for 52 times. Is it posible to be travelling every week? He queried. “Her baby they were talking about has been schooling abroad after 2007 election when people were attacking the family of the governor for no reason. That was why the governor took her abroad and is it bad for one to send his daughter abroad? So, our people need to change their pattern of thinking,their •Ahmed mindset”

LANS have been concluded by the House of Representatives member representing Epe Federal Constituency, Hon. Lanre Mukaila Odubote, to unfold empowerment and poverty alleviation programmes for the people in the constituency. The programme slated for November 9 to November 10, will witness elaborate ceremonies in all the major cities and communities in Epe Federal Constituency. The poverty alleviation and empowerment programmes slated for unveiling includes flag-off of constituency projects and distribution of empowerment tools. A statement by the lawmaker in Lagos said “the initiative was informed by the need to give the people in the constituency the much awaited dividends of democracy”. According to Hon. Odubote, “I am doing this in appreciation of the mandate freely given to me by my people to represent them at the National Assembly”, stating that the best way to show this appreciation is by providing them with the dividends of democracy. “I appreciate my people for their steadfastness and loyalty to our party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and we the elected representatives of the people can only reward this loyalty by not forgetting to be close to the people at the grassroots”.

Church harvest ST. Joseph Catholic Church, Isawo, Ikorodu has held its annual harvest and bazaar programme. The harvest tagged: “Harvest of Divine Visitation” was marked with pomp. The event will remain a memorable one in the minds of the people for sometime to come The harvest committee headed by Mrs. Rita Okoli worked tirelessly to make the event stand out. The committee put a professional touch to the printing of programme and bazaar sales. The brochure contained educative and informative articles for youths and adults. The introduction of fans clubs where supporters were made to support their clubs with various amount of money spiced up the event. At the bazaar, all items brought for sales were all bought, cooked foods such as ugba, pepper soup, jollof /fried rice with chicken, African salad with stockfish were all there. Mrs. Okoli, thanked the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Augustine Medalyedu, his co-priest, Rev. Fr. Louis Ajinge, CPC chairman, Mr. Augustine Nkem-Akolam Nwagwu and all the parishioners for their support in making the event a huge success.

•From right: The Acting Unit Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission, Ota, Mr Bashiru Adeyemi; vice chairman (1), New Born Trucks and Tipper Owners Association, Mr Alao Lateef; Chairman of the association, Mr Idowu Adeniji; Head of Administration (FRSC), ota, Mr Godffrey Otubu and vice chairman (2), Mr Akeen Jimoh and Mrs Taiwo Bello

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T was a moment of joy for the people of Badagry Federal Constituency when they trooped out last week in their hundreds to celebrate the inauguration of markets built and donated to them by Hon. Rafeequat Onabamiro, members of the House of Representatives. The gesture which was put in place to enhance their economic activities was a demonstration of the lawmaker’s resolve to ensure that residents of the constituency enjoy dividends of democracy as promised by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), her party. Onabamiro, who received standing ovation from her teeming supporters, noted that it was time the people of Badagry Federal Constituency joined the rest of the civilised society to enjoy facilities that would uplift their standard of living. At the commissioning of Badagry Fish Arena, she said when she sought to know what the market women needed to enhance their fish business, they requested that she sand-fill their fish depot located along the coast of Badagry Marina but on second thought she resolved that it was better to construct a market for them. She said: “When I met them to know their immediate need, they said I should sand-fill where they were selling their fish but I told them sand-filling would not address the matter, it is better to have a building over your head where you can conveniently buy and sell.” The lawmaker explained that Badagry was an ancient community that received the colonialists because of its proximity to the sea. According to her, this same community which opened the vistas for European economic gains has suffered untold negligence due to lack of interest from past administrations. She remarked that now that she represents the people of the constituency, Badagry’s development will be focal point of her membership of the House. “I had promised that I will

He said this ember event is carried out to sensitise on the road cautions, that road users should embark on driving to safe lives and properties. The chairman of the association, Mr Idowu Adeniji said the association does not take it lightly with any of their members found violated the road rules and regulations. Adeniji futher said “the association has compelled the drivers under the umbrella of the association to embark on only one trip per-day so to enhance enough rest and maintenance of the vehicle in order to end the frequent accident involving the tippers on the roads.”

Church holds convention

THE Evergreen Christian Church of God (ECCG), 228, Ikorodu Road, Obanikoro, Lagos State will celebrate her third convention from November 9 to Sunday, November 11 with soul-stirring programmes. As hinted by Pastor Phillip Babalola, the Shepherd of the church, Pastor Ladi Thompson of Living Waters Unlimited, Anthony, Lagos will minister as Guest Speaker at the event. Pastor Thompson, who is also a Special Adviser to the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, confirmed the programme to The Nation, saying that he would be there to preach message of salvation. Speaking on the ceremony, Pastor Babalola said that the essence of the convention is to glorify God for His unflinching grace over the church and her members in the past three years, adding that members and guests would be fed with messages of salvation at the three-day event.

Lawmaker builds markets By Musa Odoshimokhe

brief you of development in the House at least quarterly, this would include the progress we are making and how we intend to impact on the people.” Apart from the Badagry Fish Arena other markets include Owede-Asheri/Apa Commu-

nity Market in Badagry West Local Council Development Area and Iworo-Ajido/Ebute Olofin Community Market. The traditional ruler of Badagry, Aholu-Menu Toyi, the Akran of Badagry who praised the efforts of the lawmaker, described her as a good ambassador who has proved that she could be relied upon.

•From left: Hon Onabamiro; Vice Chairman, Badagry Local Government, Hon Elizabeth Kappo; Oba Akran of Badagry, and a market woman leader, Mrs Sekinat Oyaleye

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

It is more than one year since the last general elections were held in Kano State. The next is not due until 2015. In the last elections, the opposition parties were torn apart by internal crises. Now, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the Congress for Progressive Change(CPC) are glued to the drawing boards. How far have the opposition parties gone in effecting reconciliation within their ranks? Correspondent KOLADE ADEYEMI examines the strengths and weaknesses of the political platforms in the hot race for power.

Kano 2015: Can PDP survive the onslaught?

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HREE major parties are locked in fierce combat in Kano State. The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) have begun intense mobilisation, almost three years ahead of the 2015 general elections. Across the local government areas, party leaders and chieftains are oiling their party machineries. Since the PDP bounced back to power last year, it has been waxing stronger. Governor Rabiu Kwakwanso, many believe, has won the hearts of the people through popular programmes across the 44 local government areas. This is evident in the numbers of projects he has commissioned in the last 17 months. However, the ANPP that was displaced from power has critisised the administration, claiming that Kwakwanso has not performed as well as his predecessor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau. The party recalled that the former governor had shown exemplary leadership, which his successor has failed to build upon. For the CPC, the two parties have failed the state. It contends that only a third force can reposition Kano State for excellence. Kwakwanso is an experienced politician who had endured the pains of losing power before regaining it. Will he hand over to a PDP governor in 2015 or ANPP or will the CPC succeed in pulling the rug off the feat of the ruling party? The strategy the governor is adopting is to remain in the consciousness of the people by consolidating on the performance of his administration. Recently, the governor awarded scholarship to 501 graduates for post-graduate studies. Explaining the motivation, he said the decision was meant to boost capacity in the state. The CPC is not threatened by the power of incumbency. The party is putting its house in order. Instructively, CPC lost in its bid to govern the state in the last 2011 general elections due to leadership tussle within the fold. Now, the party leader, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), who was also its presidential candidate, has reconciled aggrieved members of the party in the state. A leader of the party iin the state, Kabiru Sani Abdullahi, said it is now united. The national ex-officio member of the party, added: “The CPC is very much alive in Kano. It is a party to beat in the state and in an opinion poll, it was adjudged as having the highest number of supporters in Kano. For us to test our strength, let Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso conduct the local government election. Then, PDP will realise that the CPC is firmly rooted in Kano.” “We have been able to handle our crisis within the party and Dr Mohammed Mahmud is the Caretaker Chairman of the party in the state. We have been able to bring together all the warring factions, except one, the Haruna Danzago faction. His disagreement with the party will not jeopardize our chances, because people are aware that the Danzago faction is being used to foment trouble. He defected from ANPP to CPC. So, what is happening is not a surprise . “We constituted a Caretaker Committee, headed by Dr Mohammed Mahmud Abubakar, a former Minority leader in the House of Assembly, who reconciled all the feuding parties. Now, we are in the process of forming various committees that will help to galvanize support

• Kwakwanso

• Shekarau

‘We have been able to handle our crisis within the party and Dr Mohammed Mahmud is the Caretaker Chairman of the party in the state. We have been able to bring together all the warring factions, except one, the Haruna Danzago faction. His disagreement with the party will not jeopardize our chances, because people are aware that the Danzago faction is being used to foment trouble. He defected from ANPP to CPC. So, what is happening is not a surprise’ • Senator Gaya

for the party from the wards and at the Local Government level.” Mahmud elaborated on the reconciliatory moves. He said his first assignment was to invite elders of the party, governorship, senatorial, and House of Representatives aspirants, the Assembly leadership, and local government and ward leaders to a peace meeting. “At the close of the day, we spoke and identified the grievances of all parties, reconciled them and mapped out strategies on the way forward. as The CPC is intact and we have no faction”, he added. Recently, there were indications that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was also coming up. ACN leaders, including Dr Baffa Baba Dan-Agundi, former Minister of Labour Alhaji Musa Gwadabe, and Abdullahi Gwarzo are trying to restructure the party, in preparation for the 2015 elections. “We have our own substantial support-

ers. So, we should not be regarded as a write off. We can also make a significant impact in some areas in the state. We have started touring the local government areas in the state to rekindle the support and interest of the public and the electorate”, saod Dan-Agundi. In ANPP, prominent politicians showing interest in the governorship include the deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Abdulrahaman Kawu Sumaila, former Governor Kabiru Gaya,now a senator, and the party’s flag bearer in last year’s election, Malam Salihu Sagir, who was the flag bearer in the 2011 general elections. Already, Kawu, who represents Takai/ Sumaila Federal Constituency, has started a subtle campaign to drum support for his ambition. Kawu, who has been a member of the House of Representatives for three consecutive terms from 2003 to date is no

doubt a grassroots politician. He is never far from his people. Recently, President Goodluck Jonathan conferred on him the national award of the Order of Federal Republic (OFR), in recognition of his service to the polity. Kawu is not a bench warmer in the parliament. His speeches on the floor always focus on the plight of the 19 northern states, especially the security challenge. The legislator has sunk many boreholes to ensure stable and potable water supply for both human and animal consumption in his immediate constituency. If eventually Kawu declares his interest in the race on the platform of the ANPP, he will receive massive endorsement. To date, Kawu has awarded over 300 scholarships to indigent students in his constituency and beyond to enable them pursue their academic careers, a gesture that has endeared him to the heart of the beneficiaries. Kawu is the toast of the youths in the state. He has started consultations with party elders and other stakeholders . But observers believe that the race will not be a walk over for him. Already, the ANPP’s Elders Committee Chairman, Alhaji Ammani Inuwa, has endorsed Kawu. He even urged him to declare his interest in time, promising to rally the support of the elders for him. Besides, Kawu is a regular commentator on Kano State affairs on radio and television. He currently sponsors a weekly political programme, ‘Kasuwan Bukata (Political market)’ on the Wazobia Radio. There, he compares the Kwakwanso administration and that of his predecessor. He will face big wigs at the primaries. One of them is Senator Gaya. The former governor had to withdraw from the race last year, following the advice of the party elders led by the former presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC), Alhaji Othman Bashir Tofa. The aim of the party elders was to streamline the contestants. At the close of the day, Salhu Sagir Takai, who was former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau’s anointed candidate, emerged as the candidate. Apart from Senator Gaya, other aspirants were Sheikh Ibrahim Khalil, Mohammed Kankarofi, a former Permanent Secretary, Sani Lawan Kofar Mata and Shekarau’s deputy, Abdullahi Tijjani Mohammad Gwarzo. The emergence of Takai did not go down well with most of the members. In annoyance, they defected to other parties. For example, Kofar Mata dumped the ANPP for the PDP and Gwarzo defected to the ACN where he emerged as the candidate. But he lost to Kwankwaso. Party members believe that Senator Gaya has an edge in the race. He is the most senior elected federal lawmaker from the state on the platform of ANPP. Takai has not been politically active since he failed to displace Kwakwaso at the Appeal Court. But he was recently on air to sympathize with victims of the floods that ravaged some parts of the state. He is yet to express interest in the race. Party sources could not confirm whether Shekarau will still back him, if he declares his interest. But if Shekarau decides to throw his weight behind Takai again, it may likely lead to fresh crisis, which could spell doom for the party. The battle is about to commence. Time will decide the winner

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

POLITICS Prince Olu Adegboro is a Chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN] in Ondo State and a former Commissioner for Information under the Adefarati administration. He spoke with LEKE AKEREDOLU on his assessment of the October 20 governorship election.

‘Ondo people will laugh last’

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OW would you assess the justconcluded governorship elec tion in Ondo State, especially with regards to the performance of your party? On the part of our party, the Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN], the election was very disappointing despite the huge human and material supports given us by our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, the ACN governors and even the commitment of our candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu [SAN]. However, I have realised that the structures that we have are very weak. The same structures we used for the legislative election in 2011are still the same we used in the just-concluded gubernatorial election in the state and that is the first problem that we had. Our national leadership did not have the courage to dissolve the existing structures having found them wanting during the last legislative election. The second problem we had was facing an incumbent whose politics is politics of deceit. He had successfully deceived our people and we needed to be well prepared to face him. Another thing is that we chose our candidate a little bit late, and most of the materials for the election came very late. Even money to be used for the election did not reach those who would have used it until it was too late. What are other reasons you think your party under-performed? Also, there are some of us with experiences that could be used in so many things but were marginalised; we were underutilised, unused, and were not given a role to play in the preparation for the election. If not because of the candidate, Akeredolu, who invited me to be in his office as Chairman of Strategy Committee, and even as Chairman of the committee those people who managed the Campaign Committee did not allow our candidate to have time for him to be advised; they didn’t allow him have time to plan. Also some of our leaders believed that we had won the election; instead of working, they started sharing the dividends of an election that we had not won. They started planning for the positions they would occupy; they allowed all these things to distract them. Again, when we had Director General for the Campaign, the people he brought were even worse than those that occupied the structures. Almost all the resources sent were consumed by the structures. We did not use the resources to mobilise people to join us and this is the major problem. There were so many people who wanted to join the party at that time, but you know the attitude of Nigerians, they wanted to be encouraged through little things, but we were not able to get those little things to get them into the party. So, out of frustration, they stayed in their parties despite the fact they were not satisfy. We did not spend time planning and strategising. We did not sufficiently access the incumbent, we underestimated him. And he surprised us in so many ways. And we relied absolutely on some few media stations; we did not go out on ourselves to promote publicity for our party; we were more concerned about the resources coming in from outside and the position we were going to occupy if the party won, this is really very unfortunate. But I still believe that the future of this state belongs to ACN. The ACN is going to control Ondo State. I am sure that in a matter of time, the eyes of our people will have been opened to see the inadequacies of Labour Party [LP] and its leaders. So, you still believe ACN has not lost steam as some may claim... ACN is the most formidable oppo-

• Adegboro

sition that can propel forces that can change the government tomorrow. ACN is the most powerful catalyst that can bring about change of government at the centre. I am sure that before two years time, the people of Ondo State will discover that government at the centre which is a government that is completely useless in terms of law and order, security and development can only be changed if they support a progressive party like ACN and I am sure the people the of Ondo State we have a rethink and realise that what Tinubu stands for is not to become the overlord of the South-West, but to change the fortune of this country by enthroning a progressive government at the centre. Our people will soon realise that Mimiko and his LP are agents of the federal government in Ondo State. You will discover that in the long run, LP is not working in our best interest, but working to sustain the most backward government that we have ever had at the centre. The present Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] government is the most backward, the most retrogressive and the most problematic government we ever had. Look at the way terrorism has blown up; look at the way crime has gone beyond imagination. It is as if there is no security in the country; look at the way our oil resources are being wasted. Not long ago, we protested that the government was increasing the petroleum pump price from N65 to a very high price, the government came back to N97. Today, through hoodwinking, the price has gone again to N150, N120, N110 and nobody is talking and people are suffering. Look at poverty rate in the country, you can hardly survive without belonging to one government or the other and that is the problem the people Ondo State had. Despite the claim that ACN is the only progressive political party in Nigeria, some Yoruba leaders like Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Chief Olu Falae and others all backed Mimiko for second term, what is your reaction to this? Chief Fasoranti is more or less my political father, he knows where I disagree with him. Chief Olu Falae is my brother, he knows where I disagree with him. I disagreed with them because their support for Mimiko was not based on principle, but on revenge. They are fighting Tinubu and Akande who succeeded in taking over the political control of the South West from them. They failed to think about the other struggle of the Yoruba leaders at the national level. Again, if they want to fight Tinubu and Akande, they should have made efforts to resuscitate their old party, the Alliance for Democracy [AD]. Their main problem is the success of Tinubu and some ACN leaders in taking over the control of the majority states in the South West. There grudge is that of revenge. During former Ogun State governor, Gbenga Daniel’s regime, who was in PDP, some of these elders too supported him. They were

working with him in the hope that he would leave PDP to join them in another political platform which they could use to fight Tinubu and Akande, but Daniel disappointed them and now, all of them are with Mimiko. I can predict to you that their support for Mimiko will eventually embarrass them because this support is not based on principle. Mimiko will disappoint them with the way he would use LP in the state to work for Jonathan in 2015. Can you substantiate that assumption? You could see that immediately after the election, Mimiko ran to Abuja to celebrate with Jonathan’s wife, Mrs. Patience at her 55th birthday anniversary. Eventually, they will realise their mistake. They should have looked for ways to reconcile with Tinubu and Akande to move Yoruba forward politically. They are injured because of the way ACN has grown under the leadership of Tinubu and Akande. They are not thinking of the long time trend of the South West, they are not thinking of our past not answering important questions like, does Mimiko political position agree with our past? Does the political position of flexing with PDP government at the national level tally with what Action Group [AG], UPN and AD stood for? I really feel bad for Baba Fasoranti because he is my political godfather and I will not want him to be embarrassed. What do you think is the future of your party? What I am sure of is that ACN is a movement and we will make our people in Ondo State to eventually see the usefulness of ACN in South West. The mistake of some of our leaders at the national level is that they allow so many people to come to them over there and deceive them, but I am sure that the experience of this gubernatorial election must have taught them that they should be very careful in selecting leaders for the party in Ondo State. If I have my way, very soon, I would call for the dissolution of all the existing structures of the party in Ondo State and create a a caretaker committee to rebuild the party for credible leadership. After this, I will call the caretaker committee to set up a board of enquiry to investigate the conduct of our preparation and campaign both for the legislative electionin 2011 and the governorship poll in 2012 so that we will not make the same mistakes again. Our leaders should now be very careful in getting a new leadership for the party, but I can predict that with good leadership, ACN will start winning Ondo State from 2015. The purpose of politics is to pursue political power, but most of our people do not realise this.

Constitution: Public session holds Nov 10 From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

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PUBLIC session on the review of the 1999 constitution is to hold on November 10, in the Esigie College Hall, Abudu of the Orhionmwon/Uhunmwode Federal constituency . A statement by Mr Osaro Osemwengie, Legislative Aide to Hon Samson Osagie, representing Orhionmwon/ Uhunmwode Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives said the session will be under the chairmanship Justice J.O. Olubor, retired President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Edo state. The same session will also hold in Ovia Federal Constituency represented by Nosa Osahon, an engineer. The proceeding, which will be held simultaneously throughout the country as far as is practicable, will be held on same day and about the same time in all the federal constituencies across the country. The statement advised the people of the constituency to see the public session on the review of the 1999 Constitution as their golden opportunity to participate and contribute their views and position on issues to be included or reviewed in the constitution

ACN chieftain berates don over comments on judiciary

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CHIETAIN of Edo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr. Kenneth Amana has berated a University of Benin don, Professor Tony Afejuku for attempting to denigrate the judiciary and forcing his views on it, when the judicial process instituted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag bearer in the July 14, 2012 election, Rtd Gen. Charles Airhiavbere is still pending. Addressing reporters yesterday in Benin City, Amana said Afejuku was trying to intimidate the judiciary. He said as a columnist with The Nigerian Tribune, Afejuku had titled a piece: Edo Election Tribunal and Nigeria’s Judiciary-less Judiciary, in which he deviated from scholarly issues to those he has no knowledge or competence in, saying this was regrettable. Amana said while he would not join issues with Afejuku or trade insults with him, it must be stated unequivocally that the falsehood, misrepresentations and the maligning of the state governor shall not go unreplied. “If men of good conscience fold their arms and watch the ugly and nefarious agenda of anti democratic forces in the state, there is the likelihood of institutional failure and thereby slowing the governor’s pace of work. “The people of the state is hereby put on notice that some person have perfected plans against their collective mandate given to the governor during the election. Since they were rejected at the polls by the people of Edo, they advanced to embarrass the peoples choice by raising issues such as certificate forgery and educational qualification. “They went ahead to the courts to see how they could secure black market injunctions before the elections and after. Sensing the integrity of the judiciary and their possible failure, they went to the Tribunal to challenge the best election ever conducted in the history of Nigeria in any state. Not stopping at nothing, they recruited some fifth columnists to denigrate the judiciary. “I have no doubt that the governor would overcome this dastardly plans. I also believe that tough times do not last but tough people do, Oshiomhole needs our collective support and prayers, if he must succeed with his developmental agenda in his second term in office”. Airhiavbere had approached the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal challenging Oshiomhole’s academic qualifications as well as his victory in the election. But on September 27, the tribunal struck out Airhiavbere’s case against Oshiomhole’s qualification for the election and assumed jurisdiction on the case against alleged corrupt practices and non-compliance with the Electoral Act. Besides, Airhiavbere has gone to the Court of Appeal to express his dissatisfaction with the decision of the tribunal striking out the aspect of his petition contesting Oshiomhole’s academic qualifications. It would be recalled that the tribunal had ruled that it was not vested with the powers to hear the issue of qualification of candidates, as that was within the competence of the Federal High Court. And that the issue of qualification was a pre-election matter and the petitioner should have gone to the Federal High Court and if there was any merit in the allegation, the court would have disqualified the candidate from contesting the election.

• Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole (right) congratulating the newly sworn in Justices of the Court of Appeal in Abuja... on Monday.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY,NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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COMMENTARY EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

EDITORIALS

Kogi’s ‘Conspiratorial 12’ •Obasanjo-era legislative rascality is alive and well

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AWLESS lawmakers, using “simple minority” to “impeach” Speakers in state houses of assembly, and the media uncritically parroting such outrage, appeared to have exited with the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency. Not so – and the latest legislative outrage from Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State, is ample proof. In a reckless show, a minority of 12 purported to have “impeached” the Speaker in a 25-member Kogi House of Assembly. But that was even the cold aftermath, when the futility of that action mocked the legislative conspirators. The original claim, cavalier as it was, reeked of wanton forgery; and grave constitutional infractions. To remove a Speaker, the 1999 Constitution, as amended, prescribed the sanction of twothirds majority. By simple arithmetic, twothird of 25 is 16.66, rounded to 17. Having somewhat cobbled together a band of 12, the legislative conspirators – not against the Speaker and his principal officers, but against the Basic Law that gave these legislative mimics life – flashed an “impeachment” document, purportedly signed by 17 members, out of which five were conveniently absent! And in a comical voice vote, sans the mace (the symbol of Kogi Assembly legislative authority), sans the gavel (the Speaker’s rod of authority, which ironically gave way to a hammer to underscore the legislators’ brazen lawlessness), the Conspiratorial 12 “impeached” Speaker Abdullahi Bello and his principal officers! Some impeachment! But to counter this claim and expose the absurdity, the

absent five surfaced, via a paid newspaper advert, with the majority of 13 to disclaim the purported impeachment. Nevertheless, before this unravelling, the 12 had trooped to Governor Idris Wada to pledge their “loyalty”, as if Nigeria’s presidential system is some medieval feudal contraption where every arm of government is at the potentate’s pleasure; and not, at least in theory, a rigorous system that strictly separates power among the executive, legislature and judiciary; and also programmes the three arms to be mutual checks on one another. Governor Wada ought to be ashamed for lending his high office to such illegality. Even assuming that he had no hand in this legislative affront, that he did as much as receive an illegal Speaker is enough culpability, if the governor subscribes – and every believer in strong democratic institutions must – to the fact that the high office of governor must be without blemish. But it is not too late for the governor to abandon the path of illegality and protect the law, as he swore by his oath of office. The National Assembly’s intervention, which has led to the Kogi Assembly’s suspension of plenary, has faced different reactions. That intervention is suspect, strictly on the point of law, given Nigeria’s federal system. The National Assembly is no army legislative garrison that can at will shunt aside lower legislative commands and take their place. Yet, on the point of public order, since the House is split 13-12, perhaps some freezing is needed to avert looming chaos. So, it is at best a doctrine of necessity. But now that chaos has been averted, it

is time for the federal authorities, since they control the security forces, to provide enough security for the House to sit. As at now however, the Speaker known in the eyes of the law is Abdullahi Bello. His colleagues have a constitutional right to choose their leader. So, if they want to remove him, they must do it properly and legally. If however the ‘Conspiratorial 12’ feels otherwise, they should proceed to court to stake their claim. What the federal authorities must not do is conspire to make Governor Wada sole administrator, as they did in the case of former Governor Gbenga Daniel in the 2010 impeachment rumpus in the Ogun State House of Assembly. That would be illegal, culpable and condemnable.

‘So, if they want to remove him, they must do it properly and legally. If however the ‘Conspiratorial 12’ feels otherwise, they should proceed to court to stake their claim. What the federal authorities must not do is conspire to make Governor Wada sole administrator, as they did in the case of former Governor Gbenga Daniel in the 2010 impeachment rumpus in the Ogun State House of Assembly. That would be illegal, culpable and condemnable’

Hurricane Sandy •Another opportunity for Nigeria to learn useful lessons on how to tackle emergencies

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URRICANE Sandy. That was one hurricane Americans would not forget in a hurry. Of course, it was not the first hurricane to hit the United States, but it was one with a difference, considering its magnitude and the catastrophic effects it left in its trail. The hurricane affected at least 24 states, from Florida to Maine and west to Michigan and Wisconsin, with particularly severe damage in New Jersey and New York. Streets, tunnels and subway lines were flooded when its storm surge hit New York City on October 29, with resultant effect of millions of Americans left without power supply. Naturally, businesses, schools, roads and bridges were closed; and more than 13,000 airline flights were cancelled. No fewer

‘We cannot keep doing the same thing the same way and expect different results. We do not pray for any disaster, natural or human. But the fact is they cannot always be wished away. What is important is for the country to learn the useful lessons in the anticipation and management of the disasters now that it still matters. We should be tired of being caught unawares all the time or having to beg multinationals to come to our aid when disasters strike’

than 106 persons have died from storm-related catastrophes. Coming not just in an election year, but only a few days to the polls, the hurricane came too close for comfort. And quite expectedly, it has had various effects in the US, particularly on the November 6 election. One thing cannot be denied though; and that was the fact that the hurricane did not take Americans unawares. It was, like other predictable natural disasters, foretold long before its arrival. And there was more than enough notice to Americans on its likely paths, on what to expect and what to do. Even President Barack Obama demonstrated the leadership expected of him in such a situation. He rose to the occasion, sleeping ‘0’nights’ to paraphrase Shakespeare, prompting Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to praise him repeatedly and effusively, for leading the federal government’s response to the storm. This was aside Obama’s visits to the affected areas and the empathy he demonstrated towards the victims. These are the essential qualities lacking in our own leaders and institutions. The biblical assurance that God will not tempt Christians beyond their capacities strictly adheres, at least to Nigeria. If Nature had not been as benevolent as not to make us experience some of these natural disasters as frequently as some of these advanced countries, no one can say with certainty what our fate as a nation would be by now. There is a huge gap between us and the United States and other advanced countries. And one of the defining features of this is that they have infrastructure for vir-

tually everything and they all work efficiently and almost independently of the American government. It is the infrastructure that enables them to anticipate such disasters and plan because, if you do not expect, you cannot prepare. The Americans knew the geography of the hurricane, they prepared full kitchens, medical and other emergencies, so, they already had a head start. Here, in the best of times, all Nigerians are told is that they should evacuate their homes and other routes of floods or other mishaps but they are not provided alternative shelters where people without such can take refuge. The agencies responsible for monitoring and alerting us to the possibility of natural and other disasters, as well as those expected to cater to the needs of victims after the disasters are ill-funded, ill-equipped and their staff ill-motivated. Aside all these, corruption has eaten deep into their fabric like the entire Nigerian society. The ecological funds set aside to ameliorate the sufferings of victims of disasters and provide succour generally to them have been converted to freebies for which no accounts are rendered. We cannot keep doing the same thing the same way and expect different results. We do not pray for any disaster, natural or human. But the fact is they cannot always be wished away. What is important is for the country to learn the useful lessons in the anticipation and management of the disasters now that it still matters. We should be tired of being caught unawares all the time or having to beg multinationals to come to our aid when disasters strike.

Obama is the wiser bet for crisis-hit US

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HIS year’s US presidential election has been a dispiriting affair. Compared with 2008, when Barack Obama emerged triumphant against all the early odds, the 2012 campaign has offered little inspiration, still less instruction, on what Mr Obama or his Republican rival Mitt Romney would actually do in office. Yet Tuesday’s election is arguably as important as any since 1980, when Ronald Reagan’s victory accelerated a shift to deregulation and supply-side economics. Today, after the Great Crash of 2008, the US economy is recovering, albeit too slowly for many Americans out of work or in search of a decent-paying job. US pre-eminence is under threat in a world where advanced knowledge is widespread and low-cost labour readily available. In Afghanistan, the Middle East, north Africa and the South China Sea, America’s resolve is being tested. Neither candidate has provided convincing answers on how he would respond to these challenges. In a risk-averse campaign dominated by political consultants, both men have displayed a poverty of ambition. There have been few glimpses of a better future, of opportunities to be seized thanks to cheap natural gas and America’s potential for energy selfsufficiency. What is clear is that both men have a different philosophy of government. Mr Obama is an interventionist. He staked all on healthcare reform, bringing 30m Americans into a safety net. The president also pushed through a $787bn stimulus package that saved the country from another Great Depression. He poured billions into rescuing the Detroit car industry and secured several hundred thousand jobs. His other legacy is the Dodd-Frank act, the most sweeping reform of Wall Street since the 1930s, though one which has only been fitfully implemented. Yet Mr Obama has often been curiously aloof. He has been notably cool toward business. The selfproclaimed agent of change has at crucial points failed to exercise leadership. He declined to endorse the Simpson-Bowles bipartisan panel’s recommendations on cutting the ballooning federal deficit. The White House blames the implacable wall of opposition from Republicans in Congress. On foreign affairs, Mr Obama has displayed caution after the misadventures of the Bush administration. He has withdrawn US forces from Iraq and drawn down troops in Afghanistan. He has pursued a relentless covert war against alQaeda terrorists and suspects. He boldly hunted down Osama bin Laden. He has been on the right side of the Arab uprisings. Mr Romney’s foreign policy proclamations have been far less reassuring. He has been needlessly belligerent. The more serious objection to Mr Romney is that he has gone through so many contortions to win his party’s nomination that it is hard to see how he would govern in practice. His wishlist includes an aspiration to raise Pentagon spending by a fifth while cutting everyone’s taxes and still somehow balancing the books. Such fiscal alchemy is an exercise in evasion, not a recipe for sustainable economic recovery. As in his response to Hurricane Sandy, Mr Obama has shown that purposeful government can be part of the solution rather than the problem. Four years on from the financial crisis, with extreme inequality an affront to the American dream, there remains a need for intelligent, reformist governance. Mr Obama, his presidency defined by the economic crisis, looks the better choice. •Financial Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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CARTOON & LETTERS

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IR: The floods threatening many parts of Nigeria, killing a lot of people and making many homeless and hence refugee in their own country is threatening Nigeria’s environment and the economy. The impacts include loss of agricultural produce, fish, and abandonment of fishing grounds and associated livelihood pursuits, degradation of aquatic resources and other ecological damages. Others include emigration of wild life and consequent decline in hunting, loss of drinking and industrial water and its importation or derivation at extra costs. There is also the impact of destruction or reduction of agricultural and related activities as well as cleansing, population resettlement and other aspects of rehabilitation. Impairment of human health, forced population migration, worsened rural development and embitterment of the affected individuals and communities. However, permit me to commend the efforts of the federal government under Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, GCFR for prompt intervention and visit to many communities where the floods rendered most people homeless and also killed many. As part of efforts to cushion the effect in the interim, the federal government constituted a committee and released funds for the assistance of the

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Flood: No time for emergency millionaires flood victims. Some states, like Delta State released funds, donated relief materials including Hilux vehicles to take care of the flood victims. This is highly commendable. For the committee constituted at different levels for disbursing ba-

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sic items for the survival of the victims, let integrity, honour, patriotism, selfless service, distinction and fear of God be the hallmarks and watch words of those charged with the funds and relief materials for the flood victims so as to ensure transparency, probity, accountability and

honesty at the end of the whole exercise. Let mergency millionaires among members of the committee or other NGO’s who are currently assisting not emerge. It should be noted that the core of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only

Open letter to the President

IR: In the spirit of citizenship, patriotism, love and faithfulness and in the words of a renowned American President who said “think of what you can do for America and not what America can do for you”, I am writing to you from the secret place of the most High God where wisdom and revelation emanates and disseminates. In view of the present ethno-religious, socio-political and economic crises ravaging our great country, there is urgent need to employ and utilize strategies that will settle the

spate of terror attacks, political agitations, kidnappings and corruption among other numerous ills bedeviling our nation. I am a patriotic and service-oriented Nigerian who absolutely believes in the oneness and unity of our country. I believe that Nigeria is a great country and can only remain great if we are undivided and united. For this to be achieved, we must have a clear and common philosophy, ideology, ethics and values transferred and ingrained into the mentality of every Nigerian.

The crises we hear and see in Nigeria today stems mainly from ignorance, prejudice and mindsets. This calls for a conscious campaign, education, orientation and enlightenment of the Nigerian people and nothing can be more important now! While the security agencies are doing their work in quelling insurgences, crime and criminality, it behoves of us to swing into action by transversing the length and breadth of our great country to establish our values, spread love,

The trouble with state police

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IR: Founded in London by Sir Robert Peel three centuries ago, the state police was first named Metropolitan Police. The men employed by the force were called “Peelers” or “Bobbies” after the founder. Working full time and wearing a special uniforms, with prevention of crimes as their primary function, England set the example, and other countries who virtually share similarities began to establish the formal or modern policing, though those who differ, developed it to centralised policing system. In its effort to establish a police

legitimate object of good government. We, the followers must contribute appropriately, genuinely and sincerely to this task. One can boldly say without mincing words that many Nigerians are morally vacuous and would do anything for money. The members of the committee have historical opportunity dropped on their laps by God to distinguish themselves and demonstrate that they are not going to be anybody’s stooge but with high level of discipline, where necessary step on toes for the betterment of flood victims. • Charles Ikedikwa Soeze, Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State.

force in Nigerian colony, the British had two options; either to adopt its own system or to develop the local African means of maintaining law and order. The former was adopted in the East, while the latter for the West and Northern Nigeria. The name pillars “peelers” was called yandoka in the North and they did everything but just! In Kano, a man was arrested when he visited a friend who was in a police custody, just because he belonged to opposition party. Fifty women were shot dead, when they revolted against special taxes in Aba, just to mentioned a few. To allow the state to have its own

police means only those from the state would be recruited, and needless to add, justice would surely be denied to non indigenes, considering how ethnicity and religion bigotry have become the order of the day. Its undisputed fact, the some states will also use it to have an easy way of arming their supporters during elections, since politics is now a “do or die affair”. Moreover, in a situation where majority of states depend on monthly allocation from federal coffers, and yet not enough is available to cater for other social amenities, funding would also be a major

problem. Despite being tagged as one of the most corrupt institutions, the constitutional review committee, should look for way forward to make the Nigeria Police corruption free, and more citizen-friendly as against relying on excessive force. Police entitlements should be paid promptly, and training should be top priority, to curb extra judicial killings, which is to be blamed on the aggravation of the crises in the northern states. • Auwal A. Dankano, Kano.

propagate right living, understanding and compromise in our polity. If the Nigerian people are orientated to do what is right from our families to our places of work and service, Nigeria will regain his place and good reputation in the comity of Nations. No institution can do this better than the already established National Orientation Agency. The National Orientation Agency must lead the campaign for peace, unity and corporate existence of our nation. The agency should be pragmatic and not just attend functions to make speeches. They should be mass recruitment of citizens in the 36 states of the federation who should be trained to carry out the campaign of religious harmony, political consensus, fairness and fair-play. Let us take this campaign to our schools, churches, mosques, market places and shops. Like the popular campaign banner goes, it should be door-to-door and neighbour to neighbour. As our dear President, Gen. Yakubu Gowon said before, “to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done”. Lets do this not by violence or force but by negotiation, discourse and education. • Monfum Ebine, Nfom, Ogoja, CRS

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

COMMENTS

Felabration, Felamuseum are great! Annual ‘Soyinka Nobel Grant’ and Soyinkamuseum?

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ELABRATION, Felamuseum are great. Nigerian leaders should think ‘legacy’ and count the country’s losses in potential revenues from Tony creative sources. They Marinho should study the success of the musical Fela and know that they are responsible for loss of millions in income which has been mopped up by the Amercians. It is not too late, with the family of Fela, for the federal government, Lagos and Ogun State governments and the banking and communication giants to sponsor Nollywood and National Theatre stage and mount separate film, stage and radio Fela-licious productions. They could be called for example the recently coined Felabration, or Felamania or Felaforever or Felafever.The world appreciate a home-grown version. In this Nigerian production his children and grandchildren can play Fela at different stages of his life. Such ventures as these, the film and stage musical, will be major boosts to Nigeria’s documentary history. The music score is already laid by Fela himself and can be added to by Fela aficionados. Nigeria’s Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka with his personal experience of Fela’s antecedents, may be persuaded to take on the task or at least supervise others. In civilised countries a Nobel Prize winner in Literature would have been given an annual ‘Laureate Grant’ to come up with an annual performance to tour Nigeria and perhaps the world to promote Nigeria and offer a conduit for others to achieve higher heights. But no, we will await a death in the family to express what might have been and eat ‘cow’. The late great Steve Rhodes would have been ideal to participate in this project. Of course new blood must be given free reign to get a new perspective on the Felathing.This project is an investment, entrepreneurial, job creation, money spinning venture at home and abroad. It is not a charitable enterprise but a business

venture to benefit all concerned and the nation. It should therefore be taken on after study of the success of Fela and the other ones from South Africa - Ipitombi and Umoja from South Africa. It goes without saying that Nobel laureates deserve an annual grant from governments to do what they do best in their area of expertise –to draw the attention of the world. Abroad Chemistry and other science Nobel laureates attract massive grants and funding to their chosen field and universities. Soyinka should be in control of a large grant from which he would dispense funds to artistic protégés and projects nationwide as well as being able to put up an annual radio play and film. How much would he have needed for this? N25-50-100m Soyinka Nobel Laureate grant is not too much as a start. Witness the enthusiasm for ‘instant millionaires and imagine the enthusiasm for one of 10 Annual Soyinka Grants of N200,000 -500,000 each towards plays and films funded by government realising that this strategy combats crime and keeps youth occupied and enthusiastic. It is an employer of labour. Image the anticipation nationwide of the 1st or 15th Annual Soyinka play! The arts world in Nigeria is very dry without budgeted government and private sector grants. Abroad these are taken seriously as lottery and grants are targeted at the arts in all its forms. We cannot expect South African MTN to sponsor a rival to South African Ipitombi? Maybe Glo will take up the challenge instead of wasting so much on bonanzas etcetera. Here in Nigeria art was an aside except for the mainstream pop music and magic or ‘violence’ films until the reality shows helped. Our art is making waves abroad through Nollywood and AfricaMagic. We must continue the evolution and add to the cerebral depth that has already been achieved. This requires budgets and funding. Has the $200m promised the arts by the President materialised? There is no excuse for ’starving’ Soyinka and others of the funds that will bring honour on radio, stage and in film worldwide. While Soyinka will live a long time, I dread to think of the ‘what might have been’ stories in future. An immediate annual

Nobel Laureate Grant in the Arts budgets of the Federal Government and Soyinka-loving states will solve this problem and salve our consciences by funding a new generation of Soyinka works and the works of those sponsored, nurtured and supported by Soyinka and other great Nigerian artists like Kilani and Professor Ishola Akinwunmi. Just one percent of all those thousands of hundreds of ‘billions’ stolen and lost in gas flaring will more than change the face of art in Nigeria. If funds were spent on these developmental and constructive activities there would be much less for politicians and criminal contractors and civil servants to steal. Congrats to Governor Fashola of Lagos for agreeing to have a Felamuseum - a small step in the right direction. We do not have to await a death before having a museum. It is now we should be building a new and exciting Soyinka Exhibition/ Museum to house Soyinka’s life and times, works and worries, poems and prose, photographs and newspaper headlines, music and struggles, politics and successes. Imagine what that Soyinkamuseum will be like with Soyinka’s and Tunji Oyelana’s ‘Chairman’ playing, screens showing Kongi’s Harvest snips and plays and books displayed. Imagine how inspiring it would be to be at the Soyinkamuseum and see him walking through and talking to you. Imagine if Felamuseum had opened during Fela’s life time.

‘If funds were spent on these developmental and constructive activities there would be much less for politicians and criminal contractors and civil servants to steal. Congrats to Governor Fashola of Lagos for agreeing to have a Felamuseum - a small step in the right direction’

Oronsaye: Go home

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OU could mistake it for a scene in a chartbuster Nollywood movie. The only difference is that, this time around, the actors on parade are technocrats and highly revered top civil servants who have dominated Nigeria’s civil service like colossus for many years. And watching the drama as it unfolded with ‘ruptured’ attention was the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan including cabinet members, other top government officials and television-viewing public worldwide who were all dazed with amazement. The setting of this theatre of the absurd last Friday was the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Present were three powerful committees set up by the President to look into different aspects of our national life. These are Special Task Force on Governance and Control, Refineries Special Task Force and the Petroleum Revenue Task Force. They were there to submit their reports. Prior to that ceremony, Reuters, an international news agency, had gone to town on its website with some ‘scoops’ from the report of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force headed by the former anti-corruption czar, Nuhu Ribadu. The report was also widely circulated by several newspapers. This extensive publicity sparked off instant public debates which seriously rattled the government. As tongues continued to wag over the report, the government knew that it needed to do something quickly to stem the tide of negative commentary. Perhaps, to save its face, the gov-

ernment fixed last Friday for the submission of the report in which monumental corruption has been unearthed. But rather than work, the strategy actually boomerang and created more embarrassment for the Presidency. This was underscored by the confusion and avoidable altercation that ensued between Ribadu and Steve Oronsaye, the man who rose from the ranks to become the head of service of the civil service of the federation before he retired a few years ago. The dilemma started during Ribadu’s presentation. First, he saluted the President for his courage in setting up the three committees and expressed the hope that Jonathan would find the courage to implement the various recommendations. While focusing on his own report, Ribadu assured the President that all the issues in the report were handled with sincerity, and that if properly implemented, they would set the country free from economic bondage. This, according to him, is because the recommendations would strengthen institutions and increase government revenue. He lauded the President’s anti-corruption and reforms agenda but emphasized that more needed to be done to fight the hydra-headed monster which corruption has assumed in Nigeria, adding that carrying out such reforms requires integrity. As soon as Ribadu moved towards to Diezani Allison-Madueke, the petroleum resources minister, to present the report, an apparently uncomfortable Oronsaye, who served as deputy chairman to the committee, raised up his hand like a

‘Oronsaye and his clique who have served their fatherland for more than 30 years should now take a back seat and allow those who are more vibrant, focused and resultoriented to take the centre-stage in piloting the affairs of this nation’

schoolboy in a classroom, to signify his intention to say something. But it was after Ribadu had handed over a copy of the report to the minister, that the President recognised Oronsaye, who had then become so desperate to speak. With subdued anger, Orosanye alleged that the process leading to the production of the report was flawed. He claimed, it did not pass through due process. This jolted everybody. The position of Oronsaye was supported by Ben Oti, another member of the committee. Though infuriated by Oronsaye and Oti’s position, Ribadu calmly said Oronsaye, “never participated even (for) one day in the deliberations of this committee”. He then added a caveat: “During the work of the committee, Oronsaye got himself appointed on the board of the NNPC. The other gentleman, Oti, became the Director of Finance of NNPC, and they decided to, more or less, bully everybody to take over. And they wanted us to write for them, but the Committee members refused.” Ribadu added,“Steve (Oronsaye) has not been in the country. He flew in this morning for him to come and do this and I think our president deserves more respect than what you have done now.” Ribadu’s position was corroborated by Samaila Subairu, the acting secretary of the committee and Ignatius Adegunle, another member. Subairu said the report was, indeed, the product of a joint effort of all members. Like Ribadu, he accused Oronsaye of staying away from most of the committee’s meetings. On his part, Adegunle said he was of the view that the forum was not the proper place for the issues canvassed by Oronsaye. However, what is clear from the melodrama between Ribadu and Oronsaye is that many people entrusted with sensitive national assignments have always found it difficult to separate personal emotions and self-preservation from such assignments. Or how does one explain

the fact that it was during this type of assignment that Oronsaye and Oti came on the board of NNPC, a department that was under probe. It was quite astonishing viewing the video clips especially where Oronsaye repeatedly kept on hollering “the President said you should submit, and so what!”, with all the emphasis heaped on “so what!” That statement was contemptuous of the office of the president. Whichever way it is viewed, it shows lack of reverence for that office. What Oronsaye actually meant was that Ribadu and other committee members should have ignored the President’s directive. Perhaps, it was when this dawned on him, that he made spirited efforts to explain his “so what” just immediately after he said so repeatedly. A consummate civil servant that he is, a man who once sat at the pinnacle of the nation’s civil service rule as it relates to such an issue, Oronsaye should not, and he cannot, simply interrupt the submission of the report the way he did it. If at all he had any reservation, since he has access to either the minister or the president himself, he could have sought appointment with the president and voice out his resentment. This way, that show of shame he exhibited under television klieg lights would have been avoided. After all in the civil service, you can only communicate by writing not by engaging in reckless vituperation right in the presence of your superiors, not to talk of exhibiting such gross misdemeanor right before the President. If such a scene had enacted itself in the presence of the man who appointed Oronsaye head of service during his tenure as president, I am sure he would have dressed him down and reprimand him for his ‘bad behaviour’. The lesson from this is that Oronsaye and his cliques who have served their fatherland for more than 30 years should now take a back seat and allow those who are more vibrant, focused and result-oriented to take the centre-stage in piloting the affairs of this nation. Nigerians can

Dele Agekameh no longer be bogged down by those who prefer to operate under archaic bureaucratic redtapism. All these appointments here and there, including even that of NNPC, which Ribadu said should have necessitated Oronsaye’s resignation from the committee in order to avoid being compromised, are no longer for spent bullets like him. Resignation would have been the most honourable thing for him to do rather than constitute a public nuisance. The same thing applies to Oti, his comrade in disgrace. With what the whole nation witnessed last Friday, Oronsaye need not be told any longer that he seems to have over-stayed his welcome in national affairs. The only option left for him at this moment is to devote his time to his community’s affairs back in Edo State, where his wealth of experience in the public service can make a whole lot of difference. I believe there are many things waiting for attention in Oronsaye’s community – youth counselling, community development, chieftaincy matters, settling matrimonial squabble and all that. It is time for him to retire from active public life and assume a fatherfigure. That it is why he should go home!

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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COMMENTS ‘Dear Dr Dare, I have just read your splendid tribute to my Catholic brother-in-Christ Cardinal Onaiyekan. I know him slightly - he expressed readiness a few years ago to write the Foreword to my book, but I did not press him knowing how busy he was. I may have written to you before now to say that you are one of the greatest journalists whose writings I have read since I first came to Nigeria in 1963. As Nigerian English says, more grease to your elbow! And best wishes. From Prof David Jowitt, UNIJOS’ • Cardinal Onaiyekan

For Gbenga Omotoso Nice write-up on Suntai and his hobby flying. Please, is piloting an hobby? Anonymous. Re: A governor and his hobby: President Jonathan should realise that Governor Suntai’s life is not more precious than other victims’ lives. They all deserve to be well treated. From Kola Do you really think that if the others could not be treated here, they would not be flown abroad? The State can afford it. But I believe they were lucky to receive lesser injuries than the governor. Let us pray for their quick recovery instead of causing more pain to their families. From Barr. Bisi Idaomi, Abuja The ultimate measure of any man or woman is where he or she stands in times of conflict and controversy, not in times of comfort. Get well, come out and tell us where you stand, Suntai. From Alison, Nyanya Abuja. All are the children of God. All should be treated equally by the State. All of them made their allegiance to the State; and it is the duty of the State to protect life, property and ensure the fundamental rights of its citizens. In this, there is no difference between the leader and the led; and the rich and the poor. Let us not say they are equal but should be treated separately. Treat them all equally, without segregation because they are all the children of God. From DrYahaya Abubakar Muhammad, Abuja The government should listen to the distress call from well meaning Nigerians. I wish Governor Suntai quick recovery. From Ogwuegbu Augustine, Umuahia The Northerners who criticise and villify Niger Delta governors for being fiscally irresponsible are the same who maintain luxury aircraft to the detriment of their ailing state economies. It is a pity! From Ebiotu Samuel, Warri I enjoyed your article A governor and his hobby. Kudos, sir. From Alex Bolaji Omorodion As I sympathise with the Suntai over his health, I also wonder what he thought about his former deputy. Permit me to ask, can this be a reward? From Comrade Raphael O. It is only a jobless man that will abandon his duty post as governor in a nearmoribund Taraba State to engage in flying. Our leaders live in a cave cocooned from the debilitating problems of the citizenry - hunger, disease, unemployment because they buy votes to win election. It is a pity for Nigeria! Anonymous I wish Suntai quick recovery, in Jesus name. From Obe Okafor, Port Harcourt Thanks for your article of November 1, 2012. It was too pungent as it is a clear case of man’s inhumanity to man. It is only in Nigeria that you have two types of grave yards - one for the rich and the other for the poor, forgeting that whether you are rich or poor we are all going to die and become manure. Since it is public funds that is going to be used for their treatment abroad, the authorities should not hesitate to fly Suntai’s aides abroad, for what is ‘good for the goose is also good for the gender.’ From Shehu Audu

What is good for Governor Suntai is good for his five passengers. They should be flown overseas too because no life is more or less important than another. From Adoks .G. Akams. Abonnema. I wish him quick recovery but he was not elected to be a pilot. Let our leaders be more serious. A busy governor could not have cherished flying in the air. From Tayo Ogunremi, Emure, Ekiti State For Olatunji Dare Thank you for your write-up on Cardinal Onaiyekan. I am from Kabba, too. Tunji Cole is my name. It always gladdens my heart when people like you are from my home town. Thanks. Anonymous. Dear Dr Dare, your column today is vintage as usual. But I am texting you on some ‘biographical’ points. First, you mentioned the two secondary schools, Keffi and Okene, that I happened to have attended. When I was in Okene for Higher School Certificate (HSC), there was a junior boy who was Oniayekan, and who also happened to have been a goalkeeper! The boy, of course, is not the Cardinal, but here is my problem: I always thought our papers got the spelling of the Cardinal’s name wrong, for ‘Onaiyekan’ makes no meaning to me in Yoruba whereas ‘Oniayekan’ does, the name by which we knew that boy. Please, enlighten me. From Wole Ogundele. Your write up on Cardinal Onaiyekan was great. It was clear; no one can contest it. Do take care, sir. From Dr Megbelayin. Politicians who failed to become governors in their states are the ones agitating for more states and not the people. From Funsho Lagos. Good and beautiful write up on Cardinal Onaiyekan. He is, indeed, Eniti aiyekan. From Kunle James Dukiya I loved reading your write up on Cardinal Onaiyekan. From Ajiro Diden, Portharcourt Prof, thanks for the beautiful piece you did on one of my few Nigerian heroes, Dr. John Onaiyekan. Though, I dare say, i should thank the Cardinal for giving you a subject on which you could honestly write a positive comment. Dr Onaiyekan is a biographer’s delight anyday. Do have a blessed day, Sir. Best regards. From Femi Ajayi. Dear Dr Dare, I have just read your splendid tribute to my Catholic brother-in-Christ Cardinal Onaiyekan. I know him slightly - he expressed readiness a few years ago to write the Foreword to my book, but I did not press him knowing how busy he was. I may have written to you before now to say that you are one of the greatest journalists whose writings I have read since I first came to Nigeria in 1963. As Nigerian English says, more grease to your elbow! And best wishes. From Prof David Jowitt, UNIJOS. Your writ-up on Cardinal Onaiyekun is

the most beautiful piece you have ever written. Uncle, God bless you. Better still, you should come for inaugural blessing by the Cardinal. Anonymous. Thank you for that excellent, illuminating piece on Archbishop John Onaiyekan, our Cardinal. Anonymous. Indeed, he is a man of God. Dear Dr Dare, neither you nor His Lordship Dr Onaiyekan knows me. I first met the Cardinal when he was invited to NIPSS to deliver a lecture by the late General Garba. Since then, I have been admiring this Man of God. The first time I met him, I saw humility and decency. After the lecture, I concluded that he is not only a Nigerian per excellent but, indeed, a patriotic one. Please, convey my best wishes to him. From Hon Takori mni. Cardinal Onaiyekan was predicted by TIME Magazine in 2002 to join the College of Cardinals. The publication cost him the elevation. You’ve vindicated him. Thanks for the concise expose on him. Anonymous. Thank you for your captivating treatise on Cardinal Onaiyekan. Indeed, he is a man of God and a peace maker. I pray the Almighty God to elevate him to the top echelon of the Catholic Church. He has endeared himself to both Muslims and Christians in Nigeria. From Shuaibu Ibrahim. Your write up on Cardinal Onaiyekan is indepth yet brilliantly brief. Kudos, sir! He’s a rare gem in the clerical circle; a gift not only to the Catholic Church but the entire Black race. He’s my type of a gentleman, a scholar and a saint. AVE IOHANNES. From Emmanuel Ekundayo, a product of Oro Grammar Schoool Your treatise on Cardinal Onaiyekun is super. I enjoyed your prose. The Cardinal - he belongs to the lost tribe of sane men that left this nation long time ago. What we have left are demons! May he end up a Pope. From Olanegan Taiwo Akure. Sir, Isanlu is now in Kogi State, Yagba East Local Government, some people may confuse it with Isanlu-Isin of Kwara Sstate. St Kizito is in Isanlu, Kogi State. From Dr Ekundayo I loved your on Cardinal Onaiyekun and I not only agree with him but corroborate his succinct description of the man, the new Cardinal. ‘Like father like son’ would aptly apply to this amiable genius. His father was a God-fearing man of impeccable character. He raised his children in the fear of God and dedicated each one to serve God in whatever human endeavour they chose. I congratulate the new Cardinal and pray that he will continue to faithfully serve the sovereign God until his life’s end. From Yetunde, Kabba Here in Nigeria, we have many archbishops of outstanding vocation and brilliance who would have made very good Cardinals. However, for reasons best known to the Papacy, they are not recognised until age disqualifies them. Nigeria deserves

‘It is only a jobless man that will abandon his duty post as governor in a near-moribund Taraba State to engage in flying. Our leaders live in a cave cocooned from the debilitating problems of the citizenry - hunger, disease, unemployment because they buy votes to win election. It is a pity for Nigeria! Anonymous’

• Governor Wamakko

more Cardinals. I congratulate Cardinal Onaiyeikan for passing through the eyes of the needle. AD MULTOS ANNOS. From Dr Charles Uka.Owerri. Why not do a biography on Cardinal Onaiyekan? It will be vintage,’At Home Abroad’. Thank you, for Ave Iohannes, Cardinal Onaiyekan. From lchie Emma Ezeh,FCE,Eha-Amufu,Enugu State For Tunji Adegboyega Your write-up of November 4 titled ‘The teacher in Governor Wamakko’ refers: Frankly, Tunji, I have no stomach for your argument against the flogging of some PHCN staff in Sokoto State. Believe me, the Sokoto State PHCN staff can hold the state to ransom only because those in power today are themselves clueless. The level of corruption and wastage in public office now requires much more than the 1984 tactics of Buhari/Idiagbon to whip Nigerians back into line. Anonymous. Tunji your piece on the flogging of Mr Osigwe of the PHCN by His Excellency, Governor Wamakko is to me a drama of the century which looks like a fiction in movies. Honestly, two wrongs do not make a right. Many people will attest to it that he deserves the punishment meted to him. I was a victim of PHCN ineptitude; I lost so much money without anything to show for it. Other sanctions would have been preferably applied. I sympathise with Mr Osigwe. This may make him sit up next time ... Anonymous. Haba, Governor Wamakko! A little patience would have solved the problem than flogging a mature man like that. Wamakko should know that there could be a role reversal tomorrow. His action has opened the doors to the public to do anything to PHCN officials, who then protects them? From Junaid K. Kreni. Tunji, I love your style, you are always hilarious the way you say the truth. His Excellency should have spared the rod and allowed the already spoilt child to get rotten. God will help us. Anonymous. As I am talking to you, I have not had light for three days, yet I pay a fixed amount of N4,500 every month as electricity bill. I sometimes go without light for one week; I do not support your view that Gov Wamakko should apologise to PHCN. If I had the opportunity, I would flog PHCN staff, they are very wicked people who will collect money from you and still keep you in darkness. Is that not robbery? From Charles, Abuja. Thanks for a thorough piece in your column of October 28. Indeed, ‘Okada’ is a menace to any civil society. The Japanese and Chinese manufacturers do not abuse them as some people do in our land where there is no rule. For me, ‘Okada’ should be banned at all levels. And politicians should stop such evil gifts as youth empowerment or death programme. Thank you. From Gift, Port Harcourt. Thanks for your write-up on the ‘Okada’ issue, you’ve fully aired the point I have been making to my southern brothers. From Eias. The ‘Okada’ wahala affects all Nigerians and that is evidence of failure of leadership/governance. May God help us. From Oduah, Ibadan.

NFF TO FALCONS:

Pg. 41

NFF didn’t set Beat South Africa, target for me—Keshi get N628,000 each Pg. 24

Sport Wednesday, November 07, 2012

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UEFA CHAMPIONS

Efe vows

to stop Messi

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ELTIC defender Efe Ambrose is determined to prevent Lionel Messi from performing his customised goal celebration in honour of his first child when Barcelona come to Parkhead tomorrow night. The Argentinian became a father when his girlfriend Antonella gave birth to a boy (Thiago) on Friday. Messi hid a dummy in his sock before the La Liga leaders played Celta Vigo on Saturday.

However, unusually, the 25-yearold failed to find the net and the dummy remained unused. It is understood he is bringing the dummy with him to Glasgow in case he breaks his 'drought' but Ambrose is determined to postpone Messi's fatherhood tribute. During the defeat at the Nou Camp two weeks ago, Celtic became the only team in 2012 to prevent Messi from contributing either a goal or an assist, and the Nigerian hopes to

thwart the world's best footballer again. "First of all I will tell Lionel Messi congratulations," he said. "It's a great thing to become a father but I believe we are going to ruin his party." In order to do that, Celtic will need to be at their best until the final whistle and Ambrose stresses there can be no repeat of the concession of late goals which saw them defeated in Catalonia and held to a draw by

Dundee United at Tannadice on Sunday. "It's very worrying that we've lost our concentration so late in these matches," he said. "We need to sort that out. "We've talked about it with the manager and we know what we need to do -- and we will do it. We can't afford to (continue like) that. At a time like this we need to be more focused and go to the last minute.

"It's not tiredness that is the problem... the whole team has to play right until the end." Barcelona are once again likely to dominate possession but Ambrose believes Neil Lennon's side can exploit the Catalans' fragility at set plays -- as they did a fortnight ago. "I think set-pieces are a major part of the game that Barcelona find difficult," he said. "Most teams use that to try and capitalise against them because Barcelona have most of the possession of the bal," he said.

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NATION SPORT

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EAD coach of the Nigeria national team, Stephen Keshi has dispelled reports making the rounds that he has been given a semi final target at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). The former Togo and Mali football head coach exclusively told supersport.com that he was shocked at the reports as no one at the NFF had told him his job was dependent on the Super eagles reaching the semi finals of the competition. “I don't know where all these stories are coming from. The NFF never told me I had to reach the semi finals or finals to keep my

•Mikel

job. There was never any talk of anyone setting a target for me so I don't understand where this is coming from,” Keshi told supersport.com. The coach said despite the absence of a specific goal for the Federation, he would be looking to inspire the Super Eagles to do well in the competition. “Of course we will be doing our best in the competition but Nigerians should not forget that we are still in the process of rebuilding this team,” he said. Nigeria is in group C alongside Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and the reigning champions, Zambia. Keshi says the three sides are 'very good teams' that must be shown respect. “They are all very good teams and we respect them but we will do our home work on them and give it our best shot,” he said. Nigeria will face Burkina Faso at the Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit in its opening game of the competition on January 21. Four days later, Keshi's boys face the champions, Zambia at the same venue before rounding off their preliminary campaign against Ethiopia at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on January 29. Nigeria has won the Africa Nations Cup twice in 1980 and 1994.

Glo unveils biggest Golf tour in West Africa •Tour holds in 4 cities •Golfers to putt for N62.5m •Toyota Corrola for Hole-in-1 winner

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EST African telecoms operator and Nigerian national carrier, Globacom, has unveiled a spectacular four-city golf tournament, the Glo Golf Tour 2012 with the biggest purse in the subcontinent. The tour will hold from November 8 to December 9, 2012 in Asaba, Sagamu, Abuja and Oturkpo, which will also host the grand finale. Top Professional and Category “One” Amateur golfers across West Africa will compete for the prizes which include the N62.5 million Pro-Am purse, a brand new Toyota Corolla for the Hole-in-One winner and a N1 million Veterans' prize. From the opening ceremony at Asaba Golf and Country Club in Asaba Delta State on Thursday November 8, the tour will move to a new city every week where the golfers will play for between N10 million and N15 million for pros and N500,000 for amateurs in each venue, culminating in the grand finale in Oturkpo with the Senate President, David Mark as Chief Host. In addition to the cash prizes, a variety of other prizes including top of the range ipads, free airtime and trophies will be given to lucky participants. The lush greens of the Elephant Cement Club, Sagamu will play host to the golfers from November

14 to 17, after which they will move to the IBB Golf & Country Club, Abuja from November 20 to 23. From Abuja, they will go to putt for the N20m cash prize for pros and N500,000 for amateurs in the grand finale from December 6 to 9, 2012, at the Oturkpo Golf & Country Club, an emerging golfing destination. The Golf Tour will feature about 50 amateur golfers and 250 professionals in each city while the grand finale will feature 300 pros. Speaking at the press conference to announce the commencement of the tournament Globacom’s Coordinator, Commercial, Folu Aderibigbe said the company is determined to establish its pedigree as the biggest supporter of golf in West Africa. He noted that with the sponsorship of the 2012 Glo Golf Tour, the company has raised the stakes in golf sponsorship in West Africa. "By making the Pro-Am purse the biggest in West Africa, we hope this will raise the standard of the game and motivate our professional golfers to step up their games and aim for continental and ultimately global glory," he said.

•Globacom's Commercial Coordinator, Mr. Folu Aderibigbe (middle) at the unveiling of the Glo Golf Tour 2012, which will Tee Off in Asaba on Thursday , November 8, 2012 and will take the golfers to Sagamu, Abuja and Oturkpo. With him alo are the Secretary of the Professional Golfers Association PGA Mr. Bolaji Olajide (left) and Globacom's Head of Post Paid Sales, Mr. Kamal Shonibare.

AFRICAN WOMEN CHAMPIONSHIP

NFF didn’t set target for me—Keshi

•Clattenburg (l) and Mikel

NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL:

NFF TO FALCONS:

Beat South Africa, get N628,000 each •Nigerian ladies in high spirits to face Banyana Banyana

Chelsea players torn over what Clattenburg said to Mikel

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HELSEA players are divided over whether referee Mark Clattenburg actually aimed a racist remark at John Obi Mikel. SunSport can reveal some Blues stars are sceptical about the shock allegations and pressure is mounting on the club to physically prove the remarks were made. Significantly, the club have not yet officially complained to the police about the alleged incident even though the Society of Black Lawyers has. Mikel's team-mates Ramires and David Luiz told the midfielder they heard ref Clattenburg make an 'inappropriate comment' during Blues' 3-2 defeat against Manchester United nine days ago. They were so furious they asked for Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay to go to the dressing room after the game and listen to their version of events. An insider said: “They were saying the club had to look after them and take action. They said the club had stood by John Terry in his race row with Anton Ferdinand and now it had to do the same for them. “But the other players weren't so vocal and wanted a cooling-down period mainly because they didn't hear the ref say anything.” Even if Clattenburg, 37, is proved innocent, it may be many years before he is allowed to officiate at a Chelsea game again. He is being 'rested' again this weekend while the FA investigates and a refs' insider told SunSport: “There are concerns about the implications of him refereeing a Chelsea match. “For starters it would place the pre-match handshake under great scrutiny yet again, as all the players are supposed to shake hands with the ref before each game. “If Mark was put back in charge of a Chelsea match immediately afterwards, the attention would be phenomenal. “It may even make sense to keep him away from Chelsea for good, which is a shame as he is one of this country's top three referees and Chelsea are one of the top three football clubs.”

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R Daobu Harry, Rivers Director of Sports, says the state is prepared to retain the top position at the upcoming 18th National Sports Festival to be hosted by Lagos State. The Games are scheduled to run from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9. Rivers emerged the overall winners of the 17th edition of the Games that it hosted in 2011 with 135 gold, 79 silver; and 85 bronze medals. Delta placed second with 82 gold, 89 silver and 81 bronze medals while Edo finished third with 46 gold, 41 silver and 43 bronze medals. Harry told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Tuesday that Team Rivers was aware of opposition expected from other rival States and would be well-prepared for them. ``National Sports Festival is not a push over something. It depends on your preparations and it depends on the type of athletes you have. And, we are saying that those states are not just going to push us

Squash federation to verify players' ages

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HE Super Falcons are set to earn N628,000($4000) each if they defeat the Banyana Banyana of South Africa in today's semi final clash of the ongoing 8th African Women's Championship(AWC) holding in Equatorial Guinea. The Nigeria Football Federation's(NFF)'s Director of Competition, Dr Mohammed Sanusi who made this disclosure on telephone from Malabo, stressed that the hike in the win bonus of the Falcons was meant to further motivate the team to an emphatic victory against the South Africans. He stated that the Falcons were raring to go and were upbeat of a positive result against a side that has not got a draw against them in the history of the AWC.

From Tunde Liadi,Owerri Dr Sanusi affirmed:"The Falcons are battle ready and there is no problem whatsoever in the camp. There is no injury worries in the camp at all. They are ready to go and I think by the grace of God they will beat South Africa tomorrow(today) and then go ahead to win the trophy. "... Definitely their win bonus will graduate after the first round and they are bound to get more if they scale the hurdle called South Africa. The Falcons will get $4000 each if they beat South Africa. This is to ensure the players but all their focus and attention on the task at hand against the Banyana Banyana and to get a ticket

Osaze to get Venezuela call SAZE ODEMWINGIE will now be recalled for a friendly against Venezuela on November 14 after he cleared the air with coach Stephen Keshi. Officials told MTNFootball.com the West Bromwich Albion striker will be top of the list of foreign-based pros to join up with the rest of the squad of players from the domestic league for the game to be played in Miami, United States of America. At the weekend, Osaze and Keshi

Rivers ready for National Sports Festival—Sports Director

made peace with the striker agreeing to return and fight for his place in the Super Eagles. The other pros to be announced on Thursday by Keshi are Levante striker Obafemi Martins, Rennes defender Onyekachi Apam, Onazi Ogenyi, who features for Lazio, and Turkey-based forward Kalu Uche. Only Onazi has played under Keshi thus far, when he came on as a late substitute in last month's

2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Liberia in Calabar. Martins has settled down very quickly in the Spanish La Liga after he terminated his contract with Russian club Rubin Kazan, Kalu Uche is also scoring goals with new Turkish club Kasimpasa, while Apam has bounced back from a knee injury which sidelined him for over 18 months.

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PORTS Mimnister and Chairman of National Sports Commission(NSC), Bolaji Abdullahi has told the NationSport in Abuja yesterday that the need to put people that have the wherewithal to attract sponsorships through private sector has been the main reason for constituting a new Board of the Nigeria Academicals Sports Committee (NASCOM)

for the nation in the final," he added. Falcons would be recalled got $3000 each for every first round win over Cameroon, Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast in Equatorial Guinea. Dr Sanusi praised the level of support accorded to the Falcons and the entire Nigerian contingent at the ongoing AWC by the Nigeria Embassy in Malabo, the Nigeria Consulate in Bata and the Nigerians who are resident in Malabo and Bata, Equatorial Guinea generally one which he described as being unprecedented. He nonetheless canvasses for more support for the Falcons as they step out against South Africa today for a place in record 7th final appearance in 8th editions.

HE Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF) said on Monday that it was working on the data base of squash players, to select genuine cadet players for the forthcoming 18th National Sports Festival (NSF). The federation’s President, Olufemi Ajagbe, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the essence of the biometrics, was to avoid needless controversies. ``We are working on the data base of our players because all the players that will be competing in the festival will have their database with us. If any State is fielding ineligible players, we will be able to checkmate them. We want to ensure that this festival helps us to be able to reach out to the grassroots,’’ the president said. Ajagbe, who is also the VicePresident of the Squash Federation of Africa, explained that as part of the federation's preparations for the 18th NSF, the federation is organising a clinic for its technical officials. He said that the clinic would help to keep the officials to keep abreast of developments in the sport. NAN reports that the federation has scheduled an international training clinic for its technical officials in Calabar from Nov.15 to Nov.18. ``The clinic is meant to acquaint our technical officials and coaches with current trends in the sport. Especially those that will be officiating at the festival, to ensure hitch-free officiating at the twoweek fiesta,’’ Ajagbe added.

around and I have always said that we are going to defend our title. And the whole world will know that we have just defended our own title. We want to prove that it is not because we hosted, that is why we won, but we want to win again in a neutral ground. ‘’ Harry said the state had started its

Team Nasarawa to use customised kits

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EAM Nasarawa is to adorn customised jerseys and kits at the 18th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Lagos, to enhance its performance, the Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Mr Daniel Ogazi, said on Monday. Ogazi disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lafia. He said that the customised jerseys and kits were manufactured by a sporting outfit based in Austria. The commissioner said the jerseys and sporting shoes were designed in consonance with the prevailing weather situation in Lagos. ``We had to send them the exact temperatures in Lagos, to enable the manufacturers to be able to develop the kits. As we speak, most of the consignments have arrived in Lagos. It might interest you to know that the bicycles our athletes will use in Lagos, for instance, are

which was inaugurated at the Media Hall of the Abuja National Stadium yesterday after dissolving the erstwhile Board led by Segun Odegbami. The Minister disclosed that there was need to bring in people that are private sector driven and people

that have the knowledge to woo corporate bodies to back this laudable project. He wanted people that has the exposure and knowledge in the sector to come together to drive the project. This made him to throw away the former Board and then inaugurate a new one in Abuja yesterday. “Let me express our appreciation to His

Excellency, Mr President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, (GCFR), for his clear message to Nigerian youths during the Presidential Sports Sector Retreat held on the 22nd of October, 2012 that this administration shall keep its promise to provide necessary political will and passion to reposition sports in Nigeria to meet with the

best global sports practices. “The National Sports Commission therefore has selected responsible men and women of high integrity as well as representatives of relevant MDAs and youth organizations into the new NASCOM Board for reviving sporting activities in our secondary schools.”

the type used at the 2012 Olympic Games in London,” he added. Ogazi said over 70 athletes would be representing the state in 11 sports at the festival, stressing that a Local Organising Committee (LOC) was being constituted by the State government, to ensure a successful outing for the team. The commissioner, however, urged corporate organisations operating in the State to support the team. He added that efforts were on to get financial institutions in the State to give some support to the contingent, as part of their corporate social responsibility. Ogazi noted that the burden of funding `Team Nasarawa' was enormous, saying that government was seeking the support and assistance of willing partners to its sports development initiatives because they were capital intensive.

•Bauchi State’s Ebitome being declared winner of Wushu-Kungfu -80kg category, after defeating Chidozie of Lagos State at the 17th NSF in Port Harcourt

Security Sub-committee tours venues

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HE Security Subcommittee for the 18th National Sports Festival on Tuesday began a tour to ascertain the security needs of the venues for the event. The Chairman, ACP Vincent Brown, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that they would also determine the number of policemen to be deployed to the venues. ``The security of all athletes

Why NASCOM was dissolved — Minister From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja

third phase and final camp for the festival. He said Rivers won in 13 of the 14 events during the zonal eliminations held at Uyo, Akwa Ibom, early in the year. The director said a total of 1000 athletes and officials would represent team Rivers at the 18th edition of the sports festival.

•Bolaji Abdullahi

and non-athletes taking part in the competition is an issue the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Umar Mako, is not taking lightly. My Committee is working according to the guidelines given to me which does not in any way jeopardise the state’s interest,’’ Brown said. He said the police authorities had made available 18,000 policemen for the event and that the inspection was to optimally engage the officers. The venues inspected on Tuesday are the Games Village at Surulere,Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere and the University of Lagos (UNILAG). The sub-committee’s chairman said that before the arrival of States contingent from Nov. 25, all the security arrangements would have been made. He added that the venues had their peculiar security challenges and that there was need to tailor security plans along those lines. The security chief, who declined to reveal the detailed security arrangements, assured participants of their safety during the biennial Games holding from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9 in Lagos. NAN reports that the committee will continue the inspection at Yaba College of Technology and Mobolaji Johnson Sports Complex, Yaba on Wednesday.

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Text only: 08023058761

•Members of National Council of Women’s Society (NCWS) on a tour with the founder of LOTS Foundation (in yellow)

Art feast in Coal City This is Ajegunle! SEEPAGE PAGE 26 – SEE 26

‘Cultural festival is alternative to crude oil’ – Page 28

Solving old problems with new discoveries – Page 37

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When members of the National Council of Women Society (NCWS), Ikeja chapter, left their comfort zone for Ajegunle, the Jungle City, nothing prepared them for the different world they experienced. EVELYN OSAGIE reports.

‘This is Ajegunle!’ •NCWS donates food items to charity

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EAPS of dirt and feaces littered the streets. This was expected. After all, is it not Ajegunle, that seedy part of Lagos? Members of the National Council of Women Society (NCWS), Ikeja chapter, were prepared for what they saw; yet they were moved to tears. Despite the visitors’ presence, some young and old men were busy smoking Indian hemp in front of their houses with relish. As if that was not enough, a young boy drew his pants down, stooped and emptied his bowels openly in front of the visitors. Watching the drama, the chapter chair, Chief May Akiode and those with her, said: “What is this?” “This is Ajegunle replied a tour guide, indifferently, as she walked past them with a look that says, “you have not see anything yet”. These were some of the things the NCWS members encountered on their visit to a section of Ajegunle. Things have not changed much from what they are in the place, but the women who were visiting a charity home mentoring children in the area, LOTS Charity Foundation, were shocked. They sought to put smiles on the children’s faces but got more than they bargained for. “This is not an environment to bring up children. The area is generally sick,” Mrs Akiode said. “Please, bear with what you are seeing here,” said Akeem Akinyo in Yoruba while receiving them during the visit. He said the area’s geographical location is its undoing, adding: “We are surrounded with so much developments but the area is underdeveloped. Our location is our problem. Since we are in the heart of the city, we are not usually considered as a rural area but we need as much attention as that which is given to the rural areas.” But, in spite of the odds, Akinyo said, the people are daily ekeing out a living for themselves. He boasted of the status of Ajegunle in the polity, saying it is an apt reflection of the popular maxim, “unity in diversity”. “Our people have continued to make something out of their lives, no matter the challenges they face. We, in Ajegunle, are rugged and that is why we outshine others anywhere we go. Look at the countless stars that have come out of this place. The place grooms and prepares you for life. I came to the area as a young man and the children I gave birth to here are already in the universities. It is unfortunate that our leaders are are not tapping into the many talents that are in the area. We, as community leaders, are trying our best, but how far can our efforts go. “We praise the efforts of LOTS Foundation and its founder. She has tried for the community: teaching our children and giving free them extramural lessons. My children are now very sharp and are one of the best in their classes. We are proud of her. She even donates food to the children’s parents. The one she gave me, especially last Christmas, came in handy. As we had many who did not have food to eat during that period. I ended up sharing what I received from LOTS with them, ” he said. The visit of the NCWS’s members was inspired by the words of LOTS’s founder, Miss Tolu Sangosanya, from who they first heard of the community. Moved by what she had said and her work in the area, they came to see for themselves and give their widow’s mite to support the foundation’s work, according to Chief Akiode, who is also the managing director, Frimalex Nigeria Ltd. She said: “While she was speaking about her work in the community and the plight of the people living here, everybody was touched, and many were moved to tears. She solicited our support then. And we decided to come and to encourage her and see things for ourselves so we can help carry the story to our friends and well-meaning Nigerians. NCWS is a non-partisan organisation, established over 50 years ago, with women from all spheres of society (from the federal, state and local level). And it is geared towards charity.” She decried the state of the living condition of people

•Members of NCWS presenting their donation to the founder of LOTS Foundation (in yellow)

• •Future leaders at LOTS Foundation receiving extramural lessons.

PHILANTHROPHY living in the area, while calling on the government to look into their plight. “To reduce mortality rate the government and well-meaning Nigerians should come to their aids. And that is why we are here to do our bit. We hope to put smiles in their faces in our own little way and encourage them that there is still hope. I see future doctors, teachers, lawyers among

‘Please, bear with what you are seeing here...Our people have continued to make something out of their lives, no matter the challenges they face. We, in Ajegunle, are rugged and that is why we outshine others anywhere we go. Look at the countless stars that have come out of this place’

PHOTOS: EVELYN OSAGIE

the children,” she said. Members of NCWS also commended the efforts of LOTS founder, urging Nigerians to emulate her, saying such deeds would help build the nation. They donated foodstuff, drinks clothing and toiletries, among others. “We have see things for ourselves and are proud of what she is doing here. But she needs financial support from government, well-meaning Nigerians, corporate organisations and other NGOs. We hope to spread this news in our local government and solicit support even from among our friends and other clubs. We would urge them on the need to stretch their hands of fellowship, especially to the people here,” they said. LOTS founder also bewailed the wasting away of potentials in the area, urging the government to explore ways of harnessing them for nation-building. “There are so many talents wasting away here. These talents, particularly those of the youths, can be harnessed properlly and channelled to bring about national development. LOTS Foundation believes in catching them young and that is why we are working with children. We seek to breed future leaders.” Other members of NCWS on the visit were the Special Assistant to Ikeja Local Government, Secretary NCWS, Mrs Shola Awodiran; Secretary to the Local Government (SLG) Onigbongbo LCDA, Megal Olufunmilayo Bruce; Retired Director of Education and NCWS second Vice-President, Mrs Elisabeth Olufunso Akin; Assistant Director of Education, Lagos State Technical Education Services and Publicity Secretary NCWS Ikeja, Mrs Kunbi Olomola and Mrs Bola Ogunode.

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Cleric calls for peace, unity

Positioning CARNIRIV as global brand

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HE Rivers State government has flagged off activities for this year’s edition of the cultural fiesta tagged CARNIRIV 2012. The annual festival, holding from December 8 to 15, is to commemorate th the 100 year of Port Harcourt – the Garden City. According to the Director-General of the Rivers State Tourism Development Authority (RSTDA), Dr Sam Dede, there are plans to make the CARNIRIV one of the world’s biggest cultural fiestas by 2015. Dede, who said there was no limit to the growth of CARNIRIV, restated the government’s resolve to project the fiesta as a global brand with the largest support and audience. He said: ‘‘CARNIRIV will evolve into a recognisable global brand beyond the imminent demands of 2012 edition. Our projection is to make it a carnival brand of reckon and a recognisable global brand that would become the biggest cultural fiesta by 2015, in terms of impact, benefits and attendance.’’ Dede added that the government has a long-term plan of granting CARNIRIV financial autonomy, as the era of dependence on subventions and handouts from the government was over. “This year’s carnival has been packaged to attract more corporate sponsors as well as deliver greater return on investment,” he said. He praised the carnival for its widespread acceptance among the people and assured that it would continue to impact the prosperity of the people. The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr Nabs Imegbu, said the Amaechi’s administration was not only interested in making CARNIRIV a platform to project the rich cultural value of the people, but to turn it into a major pillar for the socio-economic growth of the state. Imegbu said: ‘‘The government of Rivers State, over the past five years, has been consistent in its efforts to make CARNIRIV a tool for cultural revival; I mean culture in the broad sense of it. That is, the articulation of the special values, customs and attitudes of the people into a whole sellable package. In Rivers State, we are a people founded on unique good values, which we individually and collectively express in the way we live and interact with others.’’ The commissioner, who identified

By Nsikak Daniels

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FESTIVAL CARNIRIV as the second largest cultural event in the country, said the government has a plan to make it one of the most soughtafter cultural fiestas by tourists across the across the world. According to him, the government has been doing its best to make CARNIRIV 2012 like no other in terms of planning, content, logistics, security, attendance and participation among others. The commissioner said:‘‘A carnival is about big media, big mobilisation and big performance, and we are improving on these at every yearly edition of CARNIRIV.’’ Reeling out the activities lined up for the carnival, Dede stated a command performance entitled: King Jaja would set the ball rolling on December 8. The stage performance would give a momentous account of the earliest migrations of the Riverine peoples onto the precipice of Western reckoning. Another activity according to him would be the Old Port Harcourt Town Groove, designed to relive the fond memories of the city. Other activities lined up include kids’ carnival, in demonstration of the importance attached to children in CARNIRIV and by extension tourism development in the state. A carnival praise jam would also be staged to uplift and inspire the spiritual ambience for which Port Harcourt is renowned. Local and international groups including Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa are expected to feature during the praise jam. There will also be the unveiling of the Carnival Monument, one of which is the CARNIRIV ’88 monument. The old carnival monument is the symbol of CARNIRIV, the oldest carnival, established in 1988 has just been refurbished into a befitting memorabilia. The second is the new CARNIRIV monument, a towering monument to mark the Port Harcourt 100 edition of the carnival. CARNIRIV 2012 colloquium, a forum for intellectual discourse on issues that border on the state and the nation, is another high-profile event scheduled for the carnival with Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka expected to give the keynote address. Expectedly, Amaechi will declare the event open with the official inauguration of the Carnival Village. “This is an elaborate display of fireworks

•Govrnor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State

and it is meant to set the tone for a memorable opening ceremony with attendees enjoying all-round free access into the Carnival Village to view the artistic renditions of the different cultural climes of Rivers State,’’ Dede said. Other events are: Dance of Fireflies (DOFF), a nostalgic retrospection into the ancient ageless fireplace gatherings of indigenous African tribes and Rhythm of The Tribes in which the 23 local government areas will parade the best of their cultural heritage, Hosh Jam, a reminiscence of the old highlife style of the people, international aquatic fiesta and the Black African Music Festival (BAMFest), a celebration of the black African heritage among several other events designed to make CARNIRIV 2012 an unforgettable experience. A world peace concert amidst a rhapsody of spectacular fireworks, a star performance by Raggae-360, an international heritage parade, Old Port Harcourt Town groove and Garden City freestyle parade would drop the curtain on the weeklong carnival. Former Miss World and Face of CARNIV 2012, Agbani Darego, expressed delight to be the face of the brand. ‘‘It’s great to return home; to familiar soil and the loving people of Rivers State for an occasion that celebrates our rich heritage and buoyant culture in all its splendour,’’ she stated. Star actress Ibinabo Fiberesima, who delivered Miss Darego’s message, said she was excited at her new role while she looks forward to ‘connecting with my people and sharing this wonderful experience together.’

FTER 52 years of sharing the same national values and identity, going through the same challenges – comic or tragic – we cannot for any reason toy with the future of our children. No matter our divide, be it creed, politics or tribe, collectively, Nigeria is far above all these. This was the admonition of the Most Rev. Dr Camillus Raymond Umoh, Bishop of Ikot Ekpene Diocese. He spoke at a special mass held at the cathedral to celebrate Nigeria and pray for her peace and unity. Bishop Umoh, who was represented by the Parish Priest of Saint John Catholic ProCathedral, Abak, Rev. Fr. Peter Cosmas Tombere, said there is the need to love one another and live in peace and that approach to serving one God may be different but God is the same. “In my little knowledge of all religions none that I know that is founded in any way to encourage his followers to employ any form of violent as a means of spreading the message,” he said. The bishop appealed to those perpetuating evil using religion as a cover to repent for their own good because God is watching. He stressed that the peace and unity of Nigeria are collective responsibilities and not that of government alone. He called on leaders to live by example by practising what they preach, rather than paying lip service for selfish interest. He frowned at the attitude of some parents who will encourage their children or wards to commit crime instead of teaching them the right values. He accused the younger generation of imbibing worthless western cultures and values that are exposing them to diverse dangers and in the process ruin their God ordained future. He noted that ‘our children should be given proper sex education starting from the home during their formative years rather than allowing them to grow and then advertise in the media the need and why they should use preventive sex materials…The best way to stay free from the ills of illicit sex is abstinence’ Bishop Umoh advised parents to spend some quality time with their children and teach them the principles of their religion, their cultural and traditional norms and values, trusting that it would make them better persons and good leaders with humane heart. He observed that if those entrusted with the educational duties of bringing up the children are passionate about their callings as it used to be then things are bound to look up. He called on government not to trample on the welfare of the teachers because everyone was taught by a teacher.

Commission begins civic registration By Ozolua Uhakheme

CAMPAIGN

•Comrade Hakeem Aregbe (middle) addressing the crowd at the event

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OISED to register Nigerian nationals and legal residents in the country, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has opened 25 points at Alausa Secretariat, Lagos, to kick-start the registration, which selling point is the inimitable National Identification Number (NIN). The commission’s Lagos State Coordinator, Mr J.A. Durojaiyem who captured the scheme’s slogan, Register Once, be Identified for Life, said government was more concerned

about identity management. “This time around, government is more concerned about identity management. When you get registered, you will be given a pin number immediately. That is your National Identification Number (NIN) which is not transferable. The card will come later. The number and other identities pertaining to you will be fed into a data base. As soon as you attain 16 years, you are eligible to register.” According to him, with the NIN, information about an individual can be accessed

anytime it is required. He explained that even in death, the number would not be transferred to another person. He urged Nigerians to avail themselves of the exercise and enjoy the accruable benefits. However, the Commission is not oblivious of the seeming challenge of public apathy to the exercise. It would be recalled that many Nigerians were shut out of the previous exercise by no choice of theirs. It is also not an understatement that many eligible Nigerians who failed to obtain the card are yet to overcome the denial. Inasmuch as the current exercise has guarded against such slips, the Commission is not resting on its oars. Recently, NIMC campaign team stormed Iyana Ejigbo in Ejigbo Local Government Area of Lagos State to sensitise the residents, comprising traders, artisans, commercial bus drivers, okada riders and others about the scheme. Expectedly, officials of the commission were given a rousing welcome despite arriving the venue at the peak of trading. With the Iyaloja, (Market leader), Chief (Mrs) Medinat Samsudeen and the Vice Chairman, NURTW, Ejigbo-Isolo chapter, Mr Hakeem Aregbe as mobilisers, the market women and their male

counterparts left their stalls to receive the ‘good news’. They gave varying accounts of their experiences during the previous exercise. For instance, Mrs Janet Toriola, a food seller, recalled the pains she went through in her effort to get the national ID card. ‘I left Ejigbo and went as far as Ahmadiya, when I learnt that people were getting registered there. At the end of the day, I didn’t get the card.” Toriola’s plight was not different from that of the Head of the Provisions unit of the market, Mr. Chike Nwokedi, who also recounted instances when the old national identity card would have come in handy when asked to produce a means of identification. Many times, he had been left stranded because of that. To allay their fears, NIMC State Coordinator assured them that nobody would be shut out of the ongoing registration since the National Identity Management System (NIMS) is not going to be a one-off thing unlike the previous one. “It is not going to be an ad hoc thing any longer where you would give deadline for registration. Every day, people turn 16 which is the benchmark age…That is why our slogan is ‘register once and be identified for life.’ We also have a plan to go to the hinterlands very soon,” he said. Present at the awareness campaign were the representative of the Elejigbo of Ejigbo, Chief Adekunle Adenuga, a delegation of the okada riders union, market associations among others.

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‘Cultural festival is alternative to crude oil’

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HE Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr Barclays Ayakoroma, has said the sure way out of the increasing danger of over dependence on oil and gas is the adoption and repackaging of cultural festivals in line with global best practices. He said over the years, oil exploration and exploitation have not only aggravated pollution and youth restiveness, but have also led to hostage-taking, pipeline vandalisation, oil spillages, communal protests and kidnapping, among other vices. He said it was high time managers of the economy looked towards other directions to diversify the revenue generation base, adding that one of such platforms is cultural festivals. “They are people-oriented because they celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the community; they are not capital intensive; they create jobs for the teeming unemployed thus ameliorating youth restiveness; and they have the potentials of stimulating the local economy,” he noted. Ayakoroma stressed that the revenue generation potential of cultural festivals is enormous unlike the oil sector where there are unwholesome practices by key players as seen in the joint venture operations. He cited inability of government to have direct control of oil quota, the recent oil subsidy scam, diversion of petroleum products by marketers as some of the challenges in oil and gas. He spoke at the opening of the fifth quarterly workshop organised by NICO in Lagos last week. The workshop, which was on repositioning Nigerian cultural workers for improved productivity had as theme Cultural festivals as tools for socio-economic transformation.

•Some of the participants

•Ayakoroma By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

WORKSHOP In his paper entitled Between Crude Oil and Cultural Festivals: Which Way Nigeria? Ayakoroma said the boundaries of tourism have proved to be very elastic as fresh frontiers, broadened horizons and new perspectives have emerged on the tourist canvas over the years. He said the lexicon of tourism has widened into new areas such as medical tourism, sports tourism, religious tourism, cultural tourism and environmental tourism, which attract more players into the sector. “It is true that the original concept of tourist attractions as consisting only of exotic natural scenery is fast changing to include local travels and cross border sight-seeing. This explains the differentiation of domestic and international tourism as windows through which stakeholders can market their economies,” he said. He noted that though culture

is the vehicle that drives tourism, most counties of the world now turn to tourism not just as an economic pursuit, but for image interpretation. He said having realised the dynamics of tourism industry, many states of the federation are keying into it to tap from its huge potentials. According to him, states such as Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Lagos, Niger, Plateau and Taraba have recognised the need to boost their internal generated revenue through tourism and as such embarked on development of tourism products to actualise that. “Kwara state is sourcing foreign and local investors to develop one of its largest festivals, the Patigi Regatta into a world-class event…The state government has constructed a motel, executive lodge and VIP chalets some kilometers away from where the event is staged with a view of making the festival an annual event,” Ayakoroma said. He listed some major carnivals and festivals that have become tourists attractions to include Ofala festival, Argungu festival, Osun

‘It is true that the original concept of tourist attractions as consisting only of exotic natural scenery is fast changing to include local travels and cross border sight-seeing’

Osogbo festival, Igue festival, Eyo festival, NAFEST, Abuja carnival, Calabar Xmas carnival and Rivers State carnival (Carniriv). In his remark at the opening session, he urged culture workers to tap into opportunities provided at training workshops to improve their productivity. He said such platform is not only significant for individual capacity development but it is also beneficial to the larger society when put to best use. He said there is the need for participants to cultivate effective networking between one another, adding that such networking platform would be useful in the future. Director, Training School, Prince Bamidele Olusa reiterated that NICO is focused on repositioning cultural workers in order to identify opportunities and to take actions that would bring positive changes and benefits to the society. “We have a high expectation that this workshop will be very beneficial to each o us, and will be put to best use at our various points of duty. We hope that this workshop will be an enjoyable and productive opportunity for you to meet and discuss various issues with your counterparts from other organizations,” Olusa added. The workshop also featured a ten minute drama presentation of a play, The Graduate Plava, written and directed by Dr. Dipo Kalejaiye. Among those who also presented papers at the workshop were Abayomi Oyelola, Oladipo Kalejaiye, Law Ikay Ezeh and Bridget Yerima.

Touching lives through poetry By Evelyn Osagie

LITERATURE

•From left: Tolar, Chnyere, Ofili, Mrs Okoro and Mabiaku.

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T was a sober reflection as guests watched the written words come alive through various performances of resonated the lines of Chinyere Darline Ezeigwe’s poems. Poetry came came alive as Chinyere unveiled her book,Parable of Deeds, last Saturday. The thought-provoking collection advocates against societal vices, violence, politics, religion sex, incest and quandary of choices. A critic said the collection tends towards “sad thoughts”. Chinyere said his words aptly describe the mood the poems evoke, adding: “It was written during a critical time in my life when the mishaps around me seemed to scream at their loudest and they flowed through my pen.” The book reviewer, the sensual poet, Ayeola Mabiaku, said the collection, which is reflexive, is

PHOTO: EVELYN OSAGIE

an improvement on the previous one entitled: Beads of Essence. The language used in this collection, she observed, is “simple, understandable and clear”. Reading the poem Drug to illustrate her review, she said: “There is an evolution process every poet must go through, a time to hone ones skill, I can see this development in this work. And I see that Chinyere is maturing like vintage win in this collection. Although sometimes the very essence of a poem is lost when needless words are used, this is one area the author should look into for her future works. The imagery created is of a dramatic monologue as one visualises the speaker with the result that the particularity of the situation is evident.” On his part, the former the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Lagos chapter chair, Chike Ofili, reiterated Mabiaku’s words, saying that the

author has reinvented herself. The performers including Iquo Eke, this reporter and AJ House of Poetry, took the genre beyond the intellectual confines, giving life to the words on stage. The AJ House of Poetry performances was especially electrifying accompanied with equally touching songs. They touched the creative essence of the audience, particularly that of veteran journalist and fashion exponent Edozie Onaka, with their dramatic interpretations of Priestly Confession, Not Me and Across the road. Eke captured the attention of guests with her rendition of One Piece and The Place to be. Touched by the lines and the dramatic interpretations, Onaka said: “This is a revolution. It is taking poetry from the intellectual confines and connecting it to everyday experiences. I am quite impressed by the wisdom imbibed in her words. Politicians think of the next election but leaders think of the next generations. Chinyere is a leader.” Mrs Ikem Okoro, a marriage counselor and author of Enriching Marital Sex, said the atmosphere triggered in her poetic essence. But for the author, it was meant to provoke the thoughts. But Chinyere has refused to dwell only at the level of intellectual rigor alone. She also formally unveiled her charity project called of Our Generation Africa Foundation. “I didn’t mean to sadden you. I meant that stimulate thoughts as you go through it about the mishaps happening around us, the menace and the rise of societal vices, its causes, how we see ourselves in the nearest future. Think: “if these are what confront us what are we, individually, going to do about

them. This has given birth to Our Generation Africa Foundation, inspired by the poem, Across the road. “Our vision is to see more young people discovering themselves, developing their talents or skills to the point where it provides them with a source of livelihood. This, we believe would reduce the unemployment rate as well as the number of nuisance around us. When we are robbed, raped or move through the red light districts, their actions affect us and pathetic still is that they grow up from streets thugs to becoming political thugs and that is why politics is said to be a dirty game. I have mixed with these kids and feel their pain and that is why aside unveiling the book, the foundation is equally important,” she said As its maiden project, the foundation will be reaching out to youths at Ikota, come December. She called for volunteers as friends, counselors and mentors, urging that the move would spell a revolution in the lives of many who were born or living in various conditions of hopelessness that ignites vices in the youths. She praised the mentorship efforts of current chairman of ANA Lagos, Dagga Tolar in breeding young creative minds such the ones featuring in the AJ House of Poetry. “When I was going to watch them practice their performance, I saw some of the people we are talking about. And I thought what would have happened to them if Dagga Tolar had not engaged them where would they have channeled their energies. Thank you for giving them these opportunities.” And as a parting note, she urged guests, saying: “Remember, there are some people somewhere wishing to be better but do not how to go about it. As you walk down the road, there is someone walking past you thinking of suicide or where or whom to bomb.”

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012 NLNG is one of the biggest success stories in our country. From what I am told, the company has invested $13 billion so far since inception, and has become a pacesetter in terms of revenue generation for the government. -Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

Forecasts Profit after tax N590.797m NIGER INSURANCE Gross Premium N2.73b Profit after tax N212.95m MUTUAL BENEFITS Gross Premium N2b Profit N885.633m REGENCY ALLIANCE Gross Premium N812.596m Profit after tax N256.437m LEARN AFRICA Turnover N1.06b Profit after tax N58.336m TOTAL Nigeria Turnover N46.676 b Profit after tax N942.1m MRS OIL Nigeria Turnover N51.20b Profit after tax N712 m ETERNA Turnover N27.64b Profit after tax N563.834m OKOMU OIL PALM Turnover N2.667b Profit after tax N1.044b STANBIC IBTC BANK Net Operating Income N16.805b Profit after tax N2.737b ASL Turnover N1.084b Profit after tax N101.355m GT ASSURANCE Gross Premium N3.892b Profit after tax N710.62m CORNERSTONE INS Gross Premium N1.223b Profit after tax N80.01m OASIS INS Gross Premium N562.500m Profit after tax N79.868m AFRICAN ALLIANCE INS Gross Premium N1.215b Profit after tax N107.213m BERGER PAINTS Turnover N976.303m Profit after tax N88.258m SCOA Nigeria Turnover N835.0m Profit after tax N18.200m DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY Turnover N38.251b Profit after tax N3.49b STUDIO PRESS NIG Turnover N3.375b Profit after tax N20.422m JULIUS BERGER NIG Turnover N80.125b Profit after tax N2.55b INTERCONTINENTAL WAPIC INS Gross Premium N1.41b Profit after tax N250.450m EQUITY ASSURANCE Gross Premium N2.45b Profit after tax N287.283m STANDARDALLIANCEINS Gross Premium N2.142b Profit after tax N475.964m CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE Gross Premium N6.917b Profit after tax N805m PRESCO Turnover N2.60b Profit after tax N800.9m RT BRISCOE Turnover N4.553b

CBN to approve new capital for Finance Houses next week T

HE Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is expected to approve a new capital base for finance houses in the country next week, an insider in the Finance Houses Association of Nigeria (FHAN) has said. The Nation gathered that the CBN Board would release a new prudential guideline, which also includes raising the capital base of the subsector, from N20 million to about N1 billion. This, according to information, would bring stability to the troubled sector. The source said other policy issues, such as the appointment of Managing Directors are part of the ongoing reforms in the subsector. He said the apex bank was also considering developing a

By Collins Nweze

regulatory framework that will govern finance lease practice, institutionalising a “funding pool” to stimulate lending activities in the sub-sector and structured programme to address the reputation and poor visibility challenges of the subsector. The source said other pending issues, such as withdrawal of licences of 47 finance houses whose liquidity were called to question in May, and funding for the subsector will be decided after the CBN board’s assent. He said progress was being made now, unlike before when nothing was happening in the

subsector. He said the reform is taking shape and may be concluded by year-end. The apex bank had, given a 30-day notice to 47 finance houses closed or inactive to submit evidence of their existence and/or operations, or lose their operating licences. The order had expired on Tuesday, April 18 and the banking watchdog is yet to take decision on the matter. The CBN said the affected finance companies had closed shop, ceased to operate, or abandoned finance company business. The source said the withdrawal of the institutions’ licences is certain because their conditions are beyond repair. President of the association,

Samuel Durojaye, said in a statement that the CBN reforms in the sector will transform, and reposition the finance company sub-sector to enable it play increasing role in Nigeria’s financing value chain. He acknowledged the apex bank’s continuing support to and engagement with the association on this project. He called on FHAN members to support the bank’s efforts at strengthening the regulatory environment by regular and timely rendering of all statutory returns and reports, as well as the renewal of their operating licences every year. Durojaye enjoined them to note that the apex bank is taking the issue of corporate gover-

nance practices very seriously and, therefore, counseled members to identify structural weaknesses in their various organisations and take immediate remedial steps to rectify them. Unlike banks, finance companies are not allowed to accept deposits. This limitation means they can only source funds from shareholders, private equity companies, development finance institutions and other institutional investors. The sub sector offers a variety of services, including funds management, equipment leasing, project financing, local purchase order financing, debts factoring, and financial consultancy, among others. The subsector also provides financial services for consumers, industrial, commercial, or agricultural enterprises.

‘Why banks’ customers experience downtime’

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•Executive Director, Enterprise Bank Limited, Mr Aminu Ismail (right) presenting a Customer Service Award of the bank to Miss Nkechi Okeke, one of the winners in Lagos.

‘NDDC contract award process transparent’

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IGERIAN Society of Engineers (NSE) has praise d t h e o p e n ness and transparency in the contracts awarded by the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). To this end, the society has urged other development agencies in the country to emulate the Commission to further the quest for a sanitised contract award regime. Chairman, Port Harcourt Branch of NSE,

Banks breaching ATM rules

- P 30

Denis Dania, disclosed this during the bid opening for the construction of Ogbogu Integrated Civic Centre in Ogba/Egbema/ Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State. “I have been participating in the opening of bids in some organisations and I can say that NDDC’s transparency is outstanding”, Dania declared. Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, Dr. Christian Oboh, represented by

the Acting Director, Finance and Supply, Jimoh Egbejule, said four companies bided for the job. He disclosed that the event was in keeping with the commission’s adherence to due process, transparency and best practices. “This is a major stage in the procurement process. We will pass this bid to the Procurement Unit for analysis to help us determine the winner”, the NDDC boss said.

NSE to review market making - P32

COMBINATION of factors ranging from cable cut, outages and problems arising from service providers, have been identified as factors liable for the downtime experienced by banks’ customers in the country. Head, Document Management, FirstBank of Nigeria PLC, Mrs Grace Oyebo, made this known to The Nation at the a workshop and exhibition, at Lagos Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja. She said banks should not be held responsible for the problem, adding that a lot of service providers along the chain also have roles to play. “When there is downtime, people will say it is network (from the bank). It may not be from us, it may be from any of our service providers. InterSwitch is there, people from the cabling companies are there, we depend on the service providers to get something done on the automated teller machines (ATMs), we also depend on some service providers to get to our own network too, so if that link is cut off before it gets to our network, we won’t be able to reach our network,”she explained. Speaking on electronic documentmanagement (EDM) of the bank, she recalled that the lender bought an independent system in 2006, adding that right now, it is migrating to Microsoft Sharepoint. “When the bank bought Microsoft Sharepoint in 2006, we were not using Outlook, the bank now changed to Outlook, which comes with Sharepoint, so the bank is now riding on Sharepoint as a management document system. We

By Lucas Ajanaku

are using this to save our maintenance cost because we have been spending money on maintenance and this one that we have is free, so we are migrating to Sharepoint because it saves us cost. We also have more benefits from its use,” she said. “We have a policy on how to store documents issued to all the staff. So, when you are generating documents whether on your laptop or your system, once you save it, we have our electronic data management system or EDMs. It is automatically saved in the EDMS, which is the central repository of all the e-documents so that the people that saved it, even if they are not there or you are in a meeting, instead of printing paper, you can open the document through the intranet and access information at the meeting. So, even if you leave the department or the bank, the bank’s documents will still be there,” she said. Mrs Oyebo said FirstBank is secured from hackers, adding that since the lender commenced operation, it had never had issues of unscrupulous elements hacking into its system. She said there are banks in the country, whose online transactions have been breached several times. On the transformation, she had led in data management, she said: “We have been able to keep the evidence of our transactions, that is, the records. You can imagine how many papers we generate everyday multiplied by the number of months and years the bank has been existing.“

NAICOM takes over ailing firms

- P 36

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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MONEY

Banks breaching ATM rules ANKS are yet to comply with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive that all Automated Teller Machine (ATM) related complaints should be resolved within 72 hours. The Nation investigations showed that it still takes many banks about a month to resolve simple complaints, such as non-dispensal of cash, debit without payment, card trapping or repair of non-functional machines. The banks are also not abiding by global best practices that require them to specify and inform customers about machines that need repairs, or those out of use. This breach is likely to be sanctioned by the CBN. A customer of one of the banks, Chukwudi Okafor, who is yet to have his N40,000 refunded after the ATM debited him without dispensing the cash, said he has written several letters to the bank, completed the complaint forms for almost a month, but nothing has been done. He said the challenge of delayed resolution of ATM complaints may affect customers’ perception on use of other e-payment channels, such as Point of Sale (PoS), among oth-

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By Collins Nweze and Olawunmi Kolade

ers. Okafor said the problem would have been averted if there was a notice on the machine, informing customers that it was faulty. “In many cases, customers get into problems because banks fail to properly inform them about the working condition of ATMs at a given time. I doubt if any customer will attempt using a machine that is faulty knowing the implications,” he said. Another customer, Abiodun Ogundipe, whose card was trapped in one of the ATMs, said he had problems getting the bank to reissue a new one, adding that after paying N1,000 to replace the card, nothing has been done in the last one month. Investigation showed that although many banks advise customers to complete forms to guide them in resolving such complaints, such resolution, if at all, takes about a month or more. The apex bank had earlier warned banks to resolve complaints from ATMs within 72 hours. “The CBN circular said: Failure to

respond to the customer or the CBN on ATM complaints within 72 hours will attract a fine of N50,000 per day for each complaint after the 72 hours until the response is received, while failure to resolve any ATM dispute with evidence of resolution within 14 days, the operator will refund the total money involved in the fraud. “All cardholders’ complaints are to be treated within a maximum of 72 hours from the date of receipt of the complaints. Networks used for transmission of ATM transactions must be demonstrated to have data confidentiality and integrity. Where the user of the ATM blocks his image for camera capture, the ATM should be able to abort the transaction.” The regulator also said operators that fail to establish help desks contacts, or non functional help desk contacts will attract a fine of N50,000 for each day of infraction, while failing to disclose ATM surcharge to customers, the CBN will enforce a refund of the surcharge. The CBN added that other nonmonetary sanctions that could be applied for these infractions include naming the offenders at the

Bankers’ Committee Forum, suspension of offenders from participating in clearing operations until the infraction is corrected, in addition to suspending offenders from participating in Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) operations until the infraction is corrected. Also, the CBN directed that the helpdesk contacts are to be adequately displayed at the ATM terminals, while all surcharges are to be fully disclosed to customers. The new rule also stipulates that there must be availability of cash in ATMs at all times. “The funding and operation of the ATM deployed by non-bank institutions should be the sole responsibility of the bank or institutions that entered into agreement with them for cash provisioning. Every ATM is expected by this arrangement to have cameras that will view and record all persons using the machines and every activity at the ATM like card insertion, Personal Identification Number (PIN) entry, transaction selection, cash withdrawal and card taking, among others. Also, regulatory monitoring stipulates that any institution

•CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

which operates ATM should file an updated list of such machines, including the details of location of their addresses with Banking and Payment Systems Department of the CBN for compliance monitoring. The apex bank is expected to conduct onsite checking of such machines, with a view to ensuring compliance with cash and service availability at the ATMs. On penalties to defaulters, the new CBN guidelines stipulate sanctions in the form of monitory penalties, or suspension of the acquiring /processing services or both will be imposed on such erring institutions for failure to comply with any of the provisions. Analysts insist that there is little or no implementation of these rules by the apex bank which would have improved ATM usage and confidence in the country.

Resort Savings to boost liquidity

R •From left: Executive Secretary, electronic-Providers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (e-PPAN), Onajite Regha; Head, Financial System Strategy (FSS) 2020 Team of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Toyin Jokosenumi and CBN Deputy Director/ Chairman, Nigeria electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF), Mr Emmanuel Obaigbona, at a meeting of the Forum in Lagos.

RenCap: Oil shut down to widen budget deficit

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HE three-week shutdown of oil production in October over floods will have negative impact for revenue collections and could expand the 2013 budget deficits, analysts at Renaissance Capital (RenCap), an investment and research firm, have predicted. It said in an emailed report that the budget was premised on oil production of 2.48 million barrel per day (mbpd), which means the budget deficit will exceed the targeted 2.85 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The flooding also led to increase in food index. As anticipated, food inflation rose to 10.2 per cent due to

a shortage in supply as the flooding delayed the harvest for some crops like cocoa, beans and pepper. Also, transporting harvested products to the markets has become more difficult and expensive as most of the roads are now impassable. It said the impact of the decline in core inflation far outweighed the rise in the food index, the largest contributor to the consumer price index, leading to an overall ease in headline inflation for September. President Goodluck Jonathan recently presented the proposed 2013 budget to the National Assembly. The budget is a plan of the intended

revenues and expenditures for the country. It is also a tool for macroeconomic management that could help promote fiscal prudency and foster growth in the economy. RenCap said the 2013 budget is similar to the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper sent to the National Assembly for approval. However, while the budget has a span of one year, the MTEF is a strategic document designed for a period of three years. The budget highlights showed an aggregate expenditure of N4.92 trillion, representing an increase of 4.7 per cent from the 2012 expenditure

of N4.7 trillion, while total revenue is put at N3.89 trillion, an increase of 9.3 per cent from the 2012 revenue of N3.56 trillion. However, indicators in the proposed 2013 budget that demonstrate the commitment to fiscal prudence are the reduction in fiscal deficit to 2.17 per cent of GDP from 2.85 per cent (N1.15trn) in 2012, which is within the threshold stipulated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007. There was also reduction in domestic borrowing by 2.3 per cent to N727 billion, from N744 billion in 2012, to ensure that debt stock remains at a sustainable level.

Forex inflows decline to $27.5b

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OREIGN exchange inflows to the economy dropped by 2.44 per cent from $28.19 billion in first quarter, to $27.50 billion in second quarter of 2012, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) website has shown. However, total outflows increased marginally by 0.32 per cent from $10.09 billion, to $10.11 billion, while a net inflow of $17.38 billion was re-

corded in second quarter contrary to $18.10 billion in first quarter of this year. According to the apex bank, net inflow through the CBN declined by 17.07 per cent from $12.11 billion in the preceding quarter to $10.05 billion. Similarly, outflow through the bank declined marginally, by 1.70 per cent, from $9.76 billion in the first quarter of 2012 to $9.59 billion in second quarter.

Total foreign exchange transactions through the bank therefore resulted in a substantially lower net inflow of $0.46 billion, which reflected in the marginal accretion to the stock of external reserves. The level of external reserves as at end June 2012 stood at $35.41 billion as against $35.20 and $31.89 billion in the preceding quarter and corresponding quarter of 2011. “The current level of reserves could

finance 11.1 months of foreign exchange disbursements and 7.3 months of imports compared to 10.8 months of foreign exchange disbursements and 7.8 months of imports recorded in the preceding quarter,” the report said. Analysis of foreign exchange utilisation by sectors revealed that $7.74 billion or 63.8 per cent was spent on importation of various items into the country in the second quarter.

ESORT Savings & Loan Plc said it will strive towards increasing value and liquidity of the bank in the general market. Managing Director of the bank, Abimbola Olayinka, disclosed this at the bank’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos. He said the lender would embark on aggressive value for money expenditure and cost management to create value for its shareholders. He predicted that the year ahead would be challenging for the mortgage banking sub sector, stressing that the capital requirements and the streamlined operational policy of the institution, are expected to bring about redefinition of strategies. Olayinka said the housing gap in the country was in the region of 16 million units with attendant opportunities for operators, adding that there was anticipation that managing growth in risk assets portfolio and creating unrivalled customer service experience would be the key factor in determining the effective operators in the emerging time. He further said the fresh fund would be raised by way of public offering, placing, rights issue and other method or combination of method which shall be determined by the directors. He said the fund raising, which is expected to take place before the end of the year, is subjected to obtaining the requisite approvals of the relevant regulatory authorities, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission and Nigerian Stock Exchange. He said the proceeds of the offer would be used to meet the required minimum share capital, deepen and grow its mortgage business.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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MONEY

Voter Cards: CBN wants depositors to report defaulting banks

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EPOSITORS who were denied the opportunity of using their voter cards for identification in banks should forward their complaints to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), its Director of Corporate Communication, Mr Ugochukwu Okoroafor has said. CBN had last month directed banks to accept voter cards duly signed and approved by the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) for transactions as part of its Know Your Customer (KYC) programme to promote financial inclusion in the country. Ugochukwu said though the apex bank has not received any complaints, depositors should report erring banks to the CBN. He said the three levels of Know Your Customer initiative was introduced to enable people with different means of identifications access the banking services. He said: “Though we are yet to hear that banks do not accept voter cards for identification, if there are depositors facing this problem, they should let the CBN know.

Stories by Akinola Ajibade

Based on CBN’s study, 65 per cent of people are out of the financial system, representing over 90million of the 160 million Nigerian population. We want to ensure that 32.5 per cent of this figure is brought into the financial community before 2020. We would like to see a situation whereby Nigerians that have been excluded from financial activities, mostly women, embrace banking transactions. If identification is the major problem in the industry, we should do something about it to encourage more participation in the industry.” According to him, lack of proper means of identification is one of the major problems affecting operations in the industry, adding that the inability of many people to have driving licence, international passports, among other major means of identification, resulted in the introduction of voter cards for banking transactions. “What we are trying to do by the three levels of KYC initiative as

stated in the policy guidelines, is to ensure that banks know their customers in details. Through this, banks would take lesser risks, guarantee the safety of funds, make more money and help in stabilising the system. It is not everybody that has the same level of identification. ‘’So, when there are multiple and varying means of identifications in the banking system, the more people come into the industry, the better for the growth of the industry and the economy in particular,” he added. The Association of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria (ACCOBIN) said the acceptability of voter cards for identification in banks is a welcome development. The association said banks would not leave any stone unturned to carry out a through customer due diligence. The association at a forum in Lagos said the approval of voter cards for transactions will give as many customers as possible an opportunity to have an interface with the banks.

UBA chief seeks support for cash-less banking THE Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Philips Oduoza has advised the bank’s customers to embrace cashless banking initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying it is convenient, safe and secure. Speaking at a Customers’ Forum of the bank in Lagos to announce its banking products and services, he said the initiative was meant to ease the financial transactions needs of its customers. The Managing Director said the forum became necessary in order for the bank to know its numerous customers and hear from them directly where they have challenges or how they want to be served better. He introduced the numerous new banking products to the customers. They include Cashless UBA, UBAlerts, U-Mobile, U-Direct, Point of Sale (PoS) as well as UBA ATM. “You can become cashless simply by picking up debit cards or prepaid cards, activating and doing transactions via U-Mobile and U-Direct and making payments on the Web and PoS,” he said. According to him, the products will enable customers to keep track of their transactions as instant alerts are sent by SMS and e-Mail using UBAlerts. He said the UBA Cards (Debit and Prepaid cards) are the keys to go cashless. “They enable you to manage your account without visiting a branch. The debit cards include the ‘Pay-as- U- go Verve card, Mastercard, Visa single card and Visa Dual Currency (DCDC),”he said.

Why FirstBank branches were shut THE management of FirstBank has regretted the closure of some of the bank’s branches in Edo State. In a statement, the bank said the closure was informed by its insistence on obeying the rule of law and not for tax-related issues, as allged. FirstBank’s spokesperson, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, said the bank remains an institution that has held the finest tradition of good corporate citizenship since its inception in 1894. “The issue on ground is clearly not related to tax payment as the bank is up to date in terms of fulfilling all its tax obligations in Edo State as well as other states of the Federation. The bank’s stand of not contravening an order from a court of concurrent jurisdiction on the status of a PHCN account domiciled in FirstBank is at the heart of the issue and it is unfortunate that our customers are being denied access to the Bank in an issue where the Bank is merely a third party.” Ani-Mumuney added the bank was served an order by a Benin High Court at the instance of Edo State Board of Internal Revenue because of a customer’s account which had been frozen in compliance with an earlier injunction of a Lagos High Court.

NIBBS, banks partner on frauds eradication THE Managing Director, Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS), Mr Ade Osinubi, has said the body and the banks are working together to curtail frauds in the industry. Osinubi, during a forum in Lagos, said there is security of networks used by NIBBS and the banks. He said fraud has to do with customers complaining either about their accounts being debited in error or not seeing money credited. He said: “From the customer initiating the transaction, if the bank is not secure, somebody else can initiate the transaction, but we may not know. What we get is the payment instruction from the bank and we act on it. However, I know that between us and the banks, the network is secure. We have done a review and we are constantly improving and putting new devices into making sure we are secure. A lot of the interactions with the banks require them to use tokens to ensure there is security between us. “

‘Banking needs review’ •From left: Counsellor, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Antonio Garcia; Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye Tomori, Ambassador, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Enrique Fernando Arrundell and Special Adviser to the Osun State Governor on Federal Matters, Ms Idiat Babalola, during a courtesy visit to the Deputy Governor in her office in Osogbo.

Ex-bankers protest non-payment of entitlements

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ORKERS who lost their jobs to the 2005 banking consolidation have protested against the non-payment of their entitlements, seven years after. They are allegedly being owed N8billion as entitlements. Also, the workers have appealed to the Senate President David Mark to invite the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation of Nigeria(NDIC) to resolve the issue. The workers, who staged the protests under the aegis of the ExStaff of Non-Consolidated Banks of Nigeria (AESNBN), were drawn from All States Bank Plc; Hallmark Bank Plc; Liberty Merchant Bank Plc; Lead Merchant Bank Plc; City Express Bank Plc; Assurance Bank Plc andTrade Bank Plc, among others. Speaking during the rally, the association Chairman, Mr Magnus Maduka, said the development has put the affected workers in a dire situation. He said the affected staff were 14,000, adding that some have died when struggling to get their benefits.

He said the former CBN Governor, Prof Charles Soludo, reneged on his promise to pay the workers of the banks that failed to consolidate their terminal benefits in line with the policies of their employers. Maduka, who was the former Deputy General Manager, Head of Operations, Hallmark Bank Plc, said members have made several moves to get their gratuities and severance packages without success. He said: “Initially, we had thought the CBN will live up to its billing by honouring its promise within 90days, but later referred us to NDIC. This made us to conclude that something is amiss. On the other hand, NDIC, in order to keep us off its back, classified our entitlements as “Other Creditors,” meaning that they may never pay us in our lifetime. It is quite unfortunate that NDIC which had earlier agreed in our meeting with them and in a letter dated June 20, 2008 to pay us would make a Uturn within a short time of one year.” (565).

Similarly, a former staff member of All States Bank Plc, Mr Charles Elelegwu, said NDIC and CBN have paid workers of the Lead Merchant Bank and City Express Bank, and must accord the same privileges to them. “The NDIC, through its existing legal framework of winding up banks, has set aside a maximum of N200, 000 for depositors of the failed banks irrespective of the balance in their accounts. We are, therefore, asking that the same principle be applied to the settlement of the staff entitlements,” he added. Sources close to the management of CBN said the apex bank would look into the matter to ascertain the level of genuiness of the complaints of the aggrieved staff. The sources said the winding up of banks, valuation of their assets, payments of the affected depositors/staff, among other issues, are sensitive, and need to be handled with cautions. “We would look into the issue and see what really happened, the sources added.

THE former Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Wole Adetunji, has advised the Federal Government to re-regulate the banking industry. He urged the government to set up a high-powered committee that would take a look at the financial system to come out with a code that will enhance the efficiency of the system as we have in Britain where there is a financial services regulatory authority. While speaking during the Pearl Award in Lagos, said the industry is over-regulated as evident by some actions of the CBN. Adetunji said: ’’The Nigerian financial system needs an overhaul. It needs to be looked into because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not have the capacity and resources to handle effectively the responsibility it has assigned itself under the dispensation. He wondered how Nigeria would still be operating the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of 1990, when Britain from whom she copied the law has reviewed and updated hers over the years. He also lamented the high rate of mortality in the industrial sector due to the inability of the banks to feed manufacturers with credit. ‘’I believe the banking industry is over regulated and that is not how it is done elsewhere. We need an independent body to regulate the banks while the Central Bank will concentrate on monetary policy, inflation targeting and exchange rate stability,’’ he added.

World Bank seeks private sector-led growth A WORLD Bank report said an active private sector is critical to creating jobs for the population. The bank has also outlined how jobs that do the most for development can spur a virtuous cycle. The report, contained in the World Development Report 2013, explained that poverty falls as people work their way out of hardship and as jobs empower women to invest more in their children. “Efficiency increases as workers get better at what they do, as more productive jobs appear, and as less productive ones disappear. Societies flourish as jobs foster diversity and provide alternatives to conflict,” the bank said in an emailed report. World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said a good job can change a person’s life, and the right jobs can transform entire societies, adding that governments need to move jobsto center stage to promote prosperity and fight poverty. “It’s critical that governments work well with private sector, which accounts for 90 per cent of all jobs. Therefore, we need to find the best ways to help small firms and farms grow.

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NSE to review market making B

ARELY two months after the coming of market makers, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is to review the initiative to ascertain its impact and functionality. A meeting of the chief executive of the NSE and his counterparts in stockbroking firms decided on the review. A source in the know of discussions at the meeting said the management of NSE wanted to engage in early review of the operations of initiative and seek valuable feedbacks. According to the source, brokers would be expected to provide feedbacks from institutional investors

Stories by Taofik Salako

and other key stakeholders on the market making initiative, which was kick-started on September 18, 2012 with 16 stocks. NSE had subsequently added 14 other stocks. Stocks under the market making basket included PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc; Nigerian Bag Manufacturing Company Plc; Presco Plc; International Breweries; Lafarge Wapco Cement Nigeria; Fidson Healthcare Plc; Redstar Express Plc; Zenith Bank Plc; Sterling Bank Plc; DN Meyer; Diamond Bank; First City Monument Bank; Fidelity Bank Plc; Nigerian Breweries Plc; Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and UAC

Nigeria Plc (UACN). Others are Access Bank; Academy Press; Custodian & Allied Insurance; First Bank of Nigeria Plc; Dangote Sugar Plc; Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, National Salt Company of Nigeria (Nascon), Nestle Nigeria Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc and UACN Property Development Company (UPDC) Plc. According to the NSE plan, all quoted stocks that are trading above par value will be added to the market making programme over a period of six months.

The NSE had in April appointed 10 stockbrokers as market makers. These included Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers, Renaissance Capital, Future View Securities, Vetiva Capital, ESS/DunnLoren Merrifield, WSTC Financial Services, Capital Bancorp, FBN Securities, Greenwich Securities and CSL Stockbrokers. Market making is a technical term that generally refers to the system of providing liquidity to securities through provision of bid and offer prices in the trading system of a stock exchange. The primary obligation of a market maker is to always make a two-way price in each of the stocks in which it

makes market. Under the operating rules for the programme, stocks in the market making basket are allowed to move within the 10 percentage point band daily as against limit of five per cent for all other stocks. Some concerned stakeholders had complained that stockbrokers were hiding under the guise of market making to arbitrarily increase prices of stocks without any visible fundamental changes. A shareholders’ leader, Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, said certain steep price movements were not justifiable and called on market regulators to take closer look at the market making programme.

Nestle to declare interim dividend

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ESTLE Nigeria Plc would distribute part of its N15 billion net earnings by the third quarter to shareholders as interim dividends, keeping in line with the food and beverages company’s tradition of two-time cash payouts. Directors of the company are scheduled to meet next Monday to review the operations of the company and consider other board decisions including cash payout to shareholder. The board is expected to consider and recommend the payment of interim dividend to the shareholders based on the interim report and accounts for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2012. Nestle Nigeria had distributed N1.19 billion as interim dividends to shareholders in 2011, representing a dividend per share of N1.50 per share. The dividends became payable on December 12, 2011. The interim cash payout for 2011 represented 13 per cent of the company’s net earnings of N9.14 billion by the third quarter ended September 30, 2011. It followed up with final cash payout of N8.76 billion or N11.05 per share, bringing total dividend for 2011 to N9.95 billion or N12.55 per share. The company had unusually adopted a conservative cash payout policy for 2011, distributing 59 per cent of net earnings as against its long-standing payout trend of almost full distribution of net earnings. Market pundits said they expected appreciable increase in dividend payouts this year as Nestle Nigeria consolidated its performance with 63 per cent growth in net earnings in the third quarter. The report indicated that turnover rose by 20.5 per cent to N85.03 billion in 2012 as against N70.54 billion in comparable period of

2011. Profit before tax increased by 40.7 per cent from N12.99 billion to N18.28 billion. Profit after tax jumped to N15.39 billion as against N9.44 billion recorded in corresponding period of 2011. With this, basic net earnings per share closed at N19.42 in third quarter 2012 as against N11.91 in comparable period of 2011. The board of has estimated that it could record profit of N4.9 billion within the last three months of this year as it moves toward its full-year target of N19.77 billion. Threemonth forecasts indicated that turnover would be N29.76 billion during the last quarter ending December 31, 2012 while profit after tax could be N4.2 billion. The board of the company had estimated that full-year net profit would be N16.89 billion on a turnover of N112.97 billion. Several analysts said they expected the company to surpass its forecasts, with FBN Capital noting “expectation that Nestle’s flattish year-on-year guidance for full year profit after tax was conservative” Analysts noted that despite increasing global agricultural prices, Nestle Nigeria appears to be benefitting from domestic sourcing of substantial portion of its raw materials as the gross margin indicates less top-line pressures. According to analysts, the third quarter 2012 gross margin compares with a recent high of 42.8 per cent in fourth quarter 2011 and is the highest the company has achieved this year. Analysts said the recent report also indicated Nestle Nigeria might have found innovative ways to insulate its distribution channels substantially from the disruptions in the Northern market, a large market for some key brands. Nestle Nigeria’s share price opened this week at N670 per share.

•From left: Director, UBS Investment Bank, Mr James Sadler; Baroness Lynda Chalker and Managing Director of GTB Asset Management Limited, Mr Nicholas Nyamali, at the UBS Africa Forum, Zurich, Switzerland.

Regulators investigate ‘accounting failures’ at Insurance firms

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INANCIAL services regulators would investigate ‘accounting failures’ and corporate governance lapses, that have led to resignation of the full board of directors of Goldlink Insurance Plc. A capital market source said the Securities and Exchange Commission and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) would also exercise their oversight functions on Goldlink Insurance as a quoted company. Although the source said the NSE and SEC may consider report of the investigations by the Naicom-appointed board, market regulators would form independent judgements on the company based on extant laws and operating rules and regulations of the capital market.

Goldlink has 4.55 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each currently outstanding on the NSE, with market capitalisation of N2.50 billion. According to public filing, Unity Kapital Assurance Plc holds 27 per cent equity stake while other Nigerian institutional and individual investors hold the remaining 73 per cent. The company was incorporated on September 8, 1993 and was listed on the NSE on February 12, 2008. A seven-man interim board appointed by the National Insurance Commission (Naicom) took charge of the company on November 1. The interim board, according to Naicom, was charged with the responsibility to carry out full investigation of the financial reports and

corporate governance failures observed in the course of reviewing the company’ 2011 audited report. The Naicom-appointed board would also perform the normal duties of board of directors and take such actions that may be considered necessary for the sound management and growth of the company within the scope of existing policies and practices. The interim board has Mr James Ayo as chairman and Mr Gbolahan Olutayo as managing director. Mr Adeyinka Olutungase will serve as chief finance officer. Other members of the board include Ambassador Umar Damagun, Alhaji Sashe Dabana, Prof. Chioma Agomo and MrAbubakar Mijinyawa.

Starcomms faces massive share reconstruction as AMCON takes up equities

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TARCOMMS Plc would substantially reduce its current outstanding shares prior to the consummation of the $210 million new investment deal it struck with Capcom Limited. The share reconstruction may prune down the telecommunication company’s current outstanding shares of 7.09 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to less than one billion shares. Starcomms’ shares are trading at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at par value of 50 kobo, giving the company market capitalisation of N3.54 billion. Share reconstruction could initially wipe away some N3.1 billion in market values, although post-reconstruction and acquisition revalu-

ation may likely restore values to shareholders as the new shares respond to market forces. According to details of ongoing capital investment plan, Starcomms will reconstruct its current outstanding shares and subsequently offer 90.5 per cent post-reconstruction equity stake to Capcom in exchange for total investments of $210 million, about N32.7 billion through a private placement of shares. Besides, the company will open window for additional investments in the company to pre-reconstruction shareholders through a rights issue. The rights issue, which would be undertaken after the private placement to Capcom, will be on the same valuation as those shares offered to Capcom.

On completion of the private placement to Capcom, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and Helios Investment Partners would acquire equity stakes in Starcomms through equities derived from Capcom shareholding. AMCON’s shares would result from conversion of bad loans it took over from banks, which Starcomms was indebted to. The share reconstruction, private placement and rights issue are however still subject to statutory threequarter approval by shareholders and regulatory approvals from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). A Federal High Court must also authorize the shareholders’ meeting and subsequent report.

The board of Starcomms, and its professional advisers, has started extensive consultation and lobbying to woo shareholders to approve the transactions, noting that it’s the best possible way to regain any value from the debt-laden telecoms company. According to the directors, the proposed transaction represents the best option available to Starcomms to make a strategic turnaround, improve its financial position and retain value for its stakeholders. Capcom is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) created for the purpose of making the investment into Starcomms and other related transactions. Investors under Capcom included MBC, a private trust with a focus on investing in emerging markets; Pan African Capital through its

asset management division, PAC Asset Management; and the family offices, Bridge house Capital and Oldonyo Laro Estates. Starcomms last weekend indicated it has reached agreement with Capcom on the investment details, leaving the ball in the court of Starcomms’ shareholders. As part of the agreement, Capcom would acquire, release and merge the spectrum licence of MTS and the CDMA mobile telecoms business of Multi-Links to that of Starcomms. Besides, Capcom will provide $98 million in cash to finance the integration of MTS and Multi-Links into Starcomms and for the emergent company to meet on-going short-term losses in the business and to deliver the combined company’s new business plan.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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THE NATION INVESTORS

Govt should provide policy supports for businesses, says Ezekwesili

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IGERIAN government needs to design and implement progressive policies that support business growth and create new businesses to unlock the potential of the Nigerian economy and put it on the path to joining the developed economies. Former Vice President, World Bank, Oby Ezekwesili, stated this while delivering the keynote address at the Success 16th Success Digest Enterprise Awards and dinner in Lagos. She noted government holds the main keys for businesses to grow better and for new ones to be created citing various policies by developed and leading emerging economies that jumpstart their growths. She outlined that it is the primary responsibility of elected government officials and bureaucrats to set rules and practices that enable the productivity and efficiency of the country and lead to progressive improvement of the country’s social indicators. She however decried the selective conferment of undue advantages on certain businesses for political patronage rather than general policies that promote national economic growth and competitiveness. According to her, of the three sectors that interact to crystallize the productivity and competitiveness of nations; namely, government or public sector, business or private sector and civil society, it is the political class and the public sector leadership

Stories by Taofik Salako

that is, ultimately, most responsible for how well the country performs. She pointed out that even in the more advanced economies such as United States of America where 75 per cent of jobs are created by the small and medium businesses, governments which have pursued responsible macro-fiscal policies and sincerely carried out structural reforms have helped make their countries low cost environments for the businesses to thrive in the highly competitive global economy. “This should send a giant red flag to policymakers in our country to pull out all the stops to encourage and support business startups so we can create new jobs and sustain a worldwide economic recovery,” Ezekwesili noted. While acknowledging Federal Government’s job creation initiativeYou Win, she countered that the impact of such initiative is insufficient to deal with the massive unemployment that only growing businesses and entrepreneurship could solve. A former Minister of Mineral Resources, Esekwesili said lack of entrepreneurial mindset by Nigerian political class is the major cause of underdevelopment of the nation. “No nation that has developed did so by having leaders who remained complacent in the face of the stark reality of very poor and declining performance of national productiv-

•From left: Group Managing Director, Complete Sports, Alhaji Mumuni Alao; former Vice President, World Bank, Oby Ezekwesili and Founder, Success Attitude Development Centre, Dr. Sunny Obazu-Ojeagbase during the 16th Success Digest Enterprise Awards and Dinner in Lagos.

ity and competitiveness indices. No nation became great without leaders who have the entrepreneurial mind set,” Ezekwesili said. Noting that the wealth and poverty of nations inexorably depend on their domestic productivity and relative competitiveness, she said pointed out that the economic welfare of every citizen can only be guaranteed by nation-states that are governed by people who understand this very basic economic thought. Citing countries, such as China, India, Brazil, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia which were at a point on same level with Nigeria but have since left Nigeria far behind in the development index, she said economic growth can only be jumpstarted by quality leadership at both their political and public institutions that in turn resulted in high public sector efficiency. According to her, at the epicenter of this public sector efficiency was

and remains the investment in leadership of the kind that drove a national vision which placed education, intellect, values, reward for only strenuous effort and hard work at the center of their development strategy. “Once the public sector was set aright, it freed up the private sector and the rest of society to aspire to perform at their maximum possibilities. This explains why even for the USA which is the bastion of capitalism, it was through the instrumentality of its public sector leadership that it used public policy, public investment, and public institutions to set the stage for the world leading economy we all admire,” Ezekwesili said. She lamented that the absence of sustained quality public sector has meant that Nigeria’s private sector which should by now reflect the vibrant entrepreneurial mind among the citizens is anything but deep.

According to her, Nigeria has a private sector which also reflects the state of the public sector- a collection of businesses which mostly thrive not because of creativity and innovation but mostly because of incestuous linkages with a corrupt and inefficient public sector. She pointed out that other than micro, small and a few medium scale enterprises that thrive despite government, a deep analysis of some of the private sector in Nigeria will reveal that profit comes not from effort but because of access to the benefits that distortions in public policy confer. A former Minister of Education, Esekwesili advocated for early entrepreneurial training for children pointing out that urging government to design programmes that keep the entrepreneurial flame alive in boys and girls, whose inventiveness and drive can actually germinate into big businesses.

Investors Protection Fund ready to compensate for losses

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HE Investors Protection Fund (IPF) is ready to begin compensating investors who might have suffered any losses due to infractions or failures by any operator in the market. IPF has about N625 million. A member of Board of Trustees of IPF, Chief Sola Abodunrin, told The Nation that the board of IPF was ready to start considering investor’s claim for compensation on a case by case basis. According to him, the inaugura-

tion of the new board of IPF would kick-start the process of review of investors’ claims of losses to see those claims that fall within the purview of IPF and are necessary for compensation. Abodunrin, who doubles as chairman, Ibadan Zone Shareholders Association (IBZA) and represented interests of minority and retail investors on the board, urged investors to get all necessary documents to back their claims and present their cases in clear terms to enable

quick consideration by the board. “If anyone has a problem and he brings his papers properly, the fund BOT will look at it and ensure necessary things are done,” Abodunrin said. Mr Gamaliel Onosode chairs the nine-man board of IPF which included Managing Director of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oscar Onyema; Misan Kofi-Senaya, managing director of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), Mr. Kyari Bukar, Chief Sola

Abodurin, Fubara Anga, Edosa Kennedy Aigbekaen, Sam Onukwe and Umaru Modibo. Outlining the functions of IPF, Onyema recently said investors now have a statutorily backed avenue for reducing the losses suffer as a result of the bankruptcy, insolvency, negligence or wrong doing of dealing members. He noted that board would need to work to justify the confidence reposed in them stressing that the investing public is watching the per-

formance of the board. He tasked the board to look for ways to modernise the IPF in line with global best practices, enhance the quantum of funds available in the IPF, and create clear guidelines for compensating legitimate claimants from the fund. Onosode has promised to be on the side of ensuring the best for investors at all times. According to him, the board will be guided by facts and figures at every time.

IHS eyes turnaround with N20b new investment, others

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•From left: Managing Partner, African Exchange Holding Company, Jendayi Frazer and Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh when Frazer paid a business visit to the Commission in Abuja.

HS Nigeria Plc would use new equity and debt issues to pursue a long-term strategic growth that would strengthen the operational base of the telecommunication infrastructure company and reverse its current negative bottom-line. IHS’s bottom-line performance worsened in the latest audited year as significant increases in top-line and finance costs grew net loss by 23 per cent. Audited report and accounts for the year ended April 30, this year showed that net loss after tax worsened from N1.65 billion in 2011 to N2.04 billion in 2012. A source close to the company said the company was investing for growth and its negative bottom-line is a temporary waiting period citing the 198 per cent increase in the company’s net assets in the immediate past year. Audited report of the company showed turnover of N15.2 billion in 2012 as against N14.9 billion in 2011. With cost of sales at N12.41 billion and administration expenses at N1.28 billion, the company posted operating loss of N1.08 billion in 2012 as against operating profit of N913.7

million in 2011. Significant increase in finance cost from N1.2 billion to N2 billion, pushed pre-tax loss to N2.89 billion in 2012 compared with N1.84 billion in 2011. Net loss after tax rose from N1.65 billion to N2.04 billion, leaving shareholders with net loss per share of 46 kobo in 2012 as against 38 kobo in 2011. However, the company’s balance sheet performance improved considerably. Fixed assets doubled from N13.44 billion to N27.78 billion. Total assets also nearly doubled from N25.56 billion to N47.89 billion. It also significantly restructured its finance structure removing short-term loans, which had stood at N2.98 billion in 2011, and building up longterm loans from N8.13 billion in 2011 to N17.10 billion in 2012. Working capital thus jumped from N1.97 billion to N11.48 billion while net assets tripled to N25.23 billion as against N8.46. IHS has attracted a $125 million equity investment from Wendel in exchange for 25 per cent equity stake in IHS Plc. The deal worth about N20 billion is Wendel’s first direct investment in Africa.

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

INSURANCE

NAICOM takes over ailing firms S

HAREHOLDERS have praised the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), for taking over some ailing firms. So far, the commission has taken over Goldlink Insurance Plc and Alliance and General Insurance. The President, Nigerian Shareholders’ Renaissance Association (NSRA), Olufemi Timothy, said with this step, underwriters would now sit up. He said: “With the measure taken by NAICOM, underwriters would see the Commission as a dog that can bark and bite. It is a good development that some people are made scapegoats. We have been complaining of uncomplimentary things going on among the underwriters. “Now that NAICOM has risen to punish them, they would realise that most of the things they have been doing that they cannot escape with them. “The step taken by NAICOM is a good development and it portends a good future for the industry”. On why shareholders have been

• Shareholders hail action Stories by Uyoatta Eshiet

silent over the rot that is being uncovered by NAICOM, he said: “When you talk of shareholders in the insurance industry, you are likely to have 200,000 of us. Where you have 200,000 shareholders, opinions would vary. Some of us who are active have been talking of the misdeeds in these companies, but nobody listened to us. We had been calling on the regulators to look into the accounts of these firms, but nobody cared to listen, but now that we have got somebody who was ready to listen and take action, we are happy that our voices would be adhered to and our complains would be acted upon,” he said Secretary, Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA), Gbadebo Olatokunbo, said the taking over of the companies was good, adding that it would raise the confidence of

stakeholders. He noted the measure would deter other operators who are carefree in carrying out their responsibilities. NAICOM, in a statement, said it has constituted a seven-man interim board of directors to oversee the affairs of Goldlink with effect from November 1. It noted that the constitution of the interim board is sequel to the

resignation of members of the board of directors of the company following anomalies discovered in the audited financial statements of the company for the year ended December 31, 2011. The board is, among other things, charged with investigating the financial reports and corporate governance failures observed in the company’s financial statement for the year ending December 31, 2011.

The board, which has a sixmonth tenure, has Mr James O. Ayo, as Chairman; Gbolahan Olutayo, as Managing Director and Mr Adeyinka Olutungase, as Chief Finance Officer. Other directors are Ambassador Umar Damagun, Alhaji Sashe Dabana, Prof. Chioma Kanu Agomo and Mallam Abubakar Sadiq Mijinyawa. The statement said the development would not affect the firm’s service delivery.

‘Workers save less than 5% for retirement’

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GLOBAL research, consulting and professional development group, LIMRA, has said two-third of middle-incomeAmerican workers save less than five per cent of their yearly income for retirement, . In a report, Matthew Drinkwater, associate managing director, LIMRA’s retirement research. said: “These results, while not surprising, are very troubling.” “Less than 30 per cent of American workers have a traditional defined benefit retirement plan that could help them pay for their expenses in retirement, so the responsibility for providing the financial resources for retirement lies squarely on the individual. Many Americans will live at least 20 years in retirement, and will need significant savings to ensure their financial security.” Overall, four in five American workers are saving less than 10 per cent of their income for retirement. Most disturbing, the largest age group that reported not saving for retirement was those ages 55 and over (26 per cent) – often considered within 10-15 years of retirement. One in four workers ages 18-34 reported not saving at all for retirement. While more workers age 35-54 report saving some percentage of their income for retirement, almost one in five are not saving for retirement at all. “Optimally, all people should be saving systematically throughout their careers to ensure they can amass the funds necessary to live the lifestyle they wish in retire-

ment,” noted Drinkwater. “Many Americans’ plans include delaying retirement or not to retire at all, but our research has found that more than half of current retirees retired before they planned – often involuntarily. It is important that Americans take the steps to prepare for every contingency while they are drawing an income.” Most Americans understand that they need to set aside more for retirement. Eighty percent of those surveyed said they needed to save more to be on track for retirement, with a quarter of Americans saying they need to save an additional 15 per cent or more of their income annually. Older workers (age 55+) and women, who represented the highest level of nonsavers, were most likely to think they need to save at least 15 per cent more. “While economic conditions are clearly challenging Americans’ ability to save for retirement, savings habits have not changed significantly over the past two decades,” said Drinkwater. “Over this period, employersponsored retirement plans have continued to transition from defined benefit plans managed by employers to defined contribution plans where workers are fully responsible for their retirement funds. Our research indicates that workers still need more education and guidance to help them make the right decisions to ensure they have sufficient savings for retirement.”

• From left: Immediate past President, Risk Surveyors Association of Nigeria (RISAN), Chief Lebi Omoboyowa receiving a Fellowship plaque from his successor, Jacob Adeosun in Lagos. With them is former Commissioner for Insurance Chief Dipo Bailey.

‘Take business interruption insurance serious’ B

USINESSES’failure can be avoided if entrepreneurs and managers take ‘business interruption insurance’ seriously, Raymond Akalonu, General Manager, Group Insurance Dangote Group, has said. He spoke at the Risk Surveryors’ conference in Lagos. “Business interruption insurance, Raymond said, “covers the loss of income that a business suffers after a disaster while its facility is being rebuilt.A property insurance policy that most insured businesses take only covers the physical damage to the business, while the additional coverage allotted by the business interruption policy covers the profits that would have been earned. This extra policy provision is applicable to all types of

CIIN seeks operators’unity, cooperation

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HE President, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Dr Wole Adetimehin, has said the rift among insurance operators is inimical to the industry’s growth. Adetimehin, who spoke during a stakeholders’ conference in Ibadan, Oyo State urged the operators to collaborate and move the industry forward. He called on the practitioners to have a change of attitude, adding that the industry can only grow when stakeholders

are committed to their profession. He said: “My observation is that we are loyal to the arms of our industry instead of seeing ourselves as professionals with a common stake; that is, brokers are loyal to Nigerian Council of Registered Brokers (NCRIB), underwriting staff to Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Loss adjusters to the Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN). “We must shed this coat and put up a united front as one profession. Self-development is advo-

cated for the individual and companies should reward the staff adequately when they acquire higher qualifications.” He noted that the need for change of attitude and total commitment to the profession can note be over emphasised, adding that integrity and transparency should at all times be the guide for operators. “We must refrain from unethical conduct and any infractions should be reported to the institute for disciplinary action to deter others and improve our perception,” he said.

businesses, as it is designed to put a business in the same financial position it would have been in if no loss had occurred,” he explained. Speaking on the serious dangers posed to businesses worldwide as a result of natural and/or manmade disasters, such as fire at the work place, flood and others, Raymond said, the best thing to do is take the appropriate steps before the harm occurs. Hesaid:“Remember,you wouldn’t want to learn navigation in the middle of the sea during a storm. Successful b usinesses learn from their mistakes and those made by others. Many businesses failed as a result of Hurricane Katrina because they failed to plan for the worst. They did not believe it could happen to them. Consistent focus and consistent action can pay off in the event that an unexpected catastrophic loss event occurs”. On how businesses can go about this, he said the best defence against losses is a series of interdependent programmes created by management to identify and control fire, explosion, mechanical and electrical breakdown, and other perils, and to deal with the resulting emergency or contingency. To ensure the effectiveness of management programme, he said a standard feedback system must be in place. “The effectiveness of these pro-

grams must be continuously monitored because the failure of one or more of them significantly increases the potential for loss. Raymond said this type of coverage is not sold as a stand-alone policy, but can be added on to the business’property insurance policy or comprehensive package policy. Since business interruption is included as part of the business’ primary policy, it only pays out if the cause of the loss is covered by the overarching policy. “With 25 per cent of the population displaced, over N17 billion set aside for resettlement, flood, either man made or as a natural disaster has come to stay as warnings indicate of more perilous times ahead. How prepared are we to take on this challenge?” He recalled the fire that gutted the business platform of the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), in 2008, which was settled for N8,010,579,302; the one at the Sugar refinery in Kenana, Sudan in 1998, which was settled on arbitration for $108 million, the recent fire in Karachi & Lahore in Pakistan that killed about 315 people and led to a colossal loss of two big clothing facilities and the Dangote Sugar refinery fire incident in July, which underwriters have been advised to make a reserve of over N7 billion. He added the Hurricane Sandy in the United States, which he said, destroyed properties worth billions of dollars.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

35

SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

‘How to make it in fashion design’ ONFIDENCE is a requirement for succeess in business, says Mrs Eunice Oti-Okardie, Chief Executive, Ideal Tailors. When Mrs Oti-Okardie founded Ideal Tailors, 15 years ago, her goal was to develop high-quality products. What she didn’t expect, especially in the competitive fashion industry was that sales would rise so quickly. Her journey into the world of fashion started when she landed a reception job at a fashion-design firm known as Ojes. She worked with the Chief Executive. She learnt how to sew there by watching the Managing Director. Her interest increased and she began to practise sewing. By the time she left the company, she was already making designs. Over time, her designs struck a chord with people, including ce-

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Stories by Daniel Essiet

lebrities. The stylish cuts, simple but pleasing fabrics, and gracious looks of her suits and native wears, gave the company instant exposure. But her interest in fashion did not start at Ojes. As a child, she had developed a passion for the arts. Her venture into the fashion had something more to offer society – not just women entrepreneurs alone. She said designers, with good knowledge of the trade, confidence and creativity, marketing skills and customer service would make it. She offers guidance on dressings based on trends, image of the buyer, complexion, body and affordability. Her brand is best-known for simple suits. Her line has expanded beyond men wears to

include accessories and perfumes. An HND graduate from Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) where she studied Textiles and Designs, Mrs OtiOkardie honed her skills over time through experience and training. On how she has found success in an already crowded and fiercely competitive industry, Mrs Oti-Okardie said she strives to produce a dress which stands in terms of design. Her sense of sophistication and taste for best and luxury apparel placed her among the most respected in the system. Her native wears, she claimed, are still prominent. Mrs Oti-Okardie said a successful fashion design is both skill and talent. She told The Nation that she cre-

ates original wears, which are not imitations or copies of everyone else’s look. According to her, creativity is a vital skill for someone going into fashion design. As fashion changes rapidly; she said a fashion designer needs original ideas for new styles and the ability to draw inspiration from past trends. Without original and creative designs, a fashion designer cannot be successful. She said the textile sector has high employment and entrepreneurship potential. She said people who wish to become fashion entrepreneurs must have the passion for it. This is the foundation for everything that they are going to learn. She disclosed that she started the business with N750, climbing to be a player in the big league.

•Mrs Oti-Okardie

Joining the billionaire’s club

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•From left: Director, Resort Savings & Loans (RSL) Senator Sunday Fajimi; Mr Abimbo Olayinka and Chairman, Chief Francis Adefarati at bank’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos

Small business borrowing drops to ENDING to small businesses rolls likely increased 125,0000 in plunged in September to the 14-month low October, according to a Reuters L lowest level in 14 months, just as the United States of America (USA’s) central bank launched its latest round of monetary stimulus to encourage borrowing and spending. The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the overall volume of financing to small US companies, dropped to 94.1 from a downwardly revised 108.9 in August, PayNet stated. PayNet had initially reported the August figure as 109.9. “It’s unlikely you are going to get a lot of growth” from small businesses, PayNet founder Bill Phelan said. “It’s not a positive report.” Small businesses are often responsible for the bulk of new job creation after recessions. PayNet’s lending index typically correlates to economic growth one or two quarters in the future. The Federal Reserve in mid-September unleashed a new round of bond buying to lower borrowing costs and spur businesses to spend and, eventually, to hire. Separate PayNet data showed companies were under increasing financial stress. Accounts overdue by 30 days rose to 1.24 per cent of the total, from 1.18 per cent the previous month. Although the rate is

low by historical standards, it was the first rise in delinquencies in more than two years. Longer-term delinquency rates eased. Accounts behind 90 days or more, or in severe delinquency, dipped to 0.23 per cent from 0.25 per cent. Accounts behind 180 days or more, which are considered in default and unlikely to be paid, fell to 0.32 percent from 0.33 percent. PayNet collects real-time loan information, such as originations and delinquencies, from more than 250 leading US lenders. Also, small business employment steadied in October after four straight months of job losses as manufacturing firms added workers to their payrolls. The National Federation of Independent Business said the net change in employment per firm edged up to 0.02 last month after declining 0.23 in September. “Most of the industry groups were still slightly negative, but manufacturing employment growth was still strong and construction was slightly positive,” the NFIB said in a statement. Reuters reported that the survey was released ahead of the government’s more comprehensive payroll count. Nonfarm pay-

poll, after rising 114,000 in September. The unemployment rate is seen inching up a 10th of a percentage point to 7.9 per cent. The NFIB survey showed a marginal decline in the share of employers reporting difficulties filling job openings last month.

BUSINESS group, DoNothing-Money-Billionaires Community, is providing financial assistance to Nigerians. Do-Nothing-Money-Billionaires Community, is also known as Donmbill Community, uses the Avenues-to-Wealth Ltd (A2W). The platform requires one to sign in and recruit four people to earn income. After this, the firm will register four people for each member in the project. After their registration, they will start earning from it, its spokesman Revd Johnbright Anodebe said. He said many Nigerians are benefitting from the deal a sustainable income. He said members are guided with sound business models that will enable them to make adequate income. Anodebe said the group examines each step it takes to provide its members with business profit centres, unique life- changing products and services, and the ability to operate long term business and friendship global electronic community. He said the community is committed to a transparent and ethical business practice that will transform the way business is done in the country. Anodebe said the community employs the power of networking in “fours” to achieve a hitchfree flow of income, adding that interested individuals should visit

the group’s website for more information. The group’s spokesperson encouraged members and interested individuals not to let the uncertainties in the country’s business environment distract them from being part of the programme. He said there was no better time to let the world know of the group’s e-community empowerment programme than now, stressing that Nigerians should use the opportunity, as it would help them to reduce poverty in the country. “Membership to the global community assures of a financial quantum leap for everyone,” he said. The programme, Anodebe said, is an e-community-based and engages the same economic module with which world renowned successful business moguls made their money. One of such people is Mrs Ijeoma Chukwu who resigned her job to join thebn group. Today, she does not regret that action. In her words, A2W is a zero risk quantum wealth environment that has paid members uninterrupted weekly income to many Nigerians and others globally, since 2008. She disclosed that she is economically better than she was before she joined the group. Mrs Chukwu, who is also the first Platinum member in the world, assures Nigerians that A2W is founded on integrity. She said the system is registered with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission.

Africa: Shared benefits require bold economic reforms

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ARTICIPANTS at the closing session of the Seventh African Economic Conference in Kigali, Rwanda,have urged African leaders to put in place bold economic reforms, aimed at sustaining growth and boosting human development. The conference highlighted the need for policy-makers to create diversified economies capable of generating employment, implementing better social policies and inclusive growth. Participants agreed that good governance and fair competition will help Africa meet its sustainable development agenda. Carefully calibrated government support can help fulfill Africa’s economic potential, reducing political risks and bolstering financial accountability to open new markets. Africa has become the world’s second-fastest growing region. Hosting the AEC for the first time, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said in this era of economic uncertainty, the world has high expectations for the

African continent. According to the African Economic Outlook 2012, economic growth across the African continent is expected to rebound from 3.4 per cent in 2011 and accelerate to 4.5 per cent in 2012 and 4.8 per cent in 2013. “Some countries have even done better than these statistics depict. And because some countries from other continents show signs of economic stagnation, commentators have been inclined to think that this is Africa’s time,” said Kagame. However the continent’s poverty rates have remained stubbornly high, and progress on health, education and job creation have been too slow to accommodate its fast-growing population. These challenges are likely to become more difficult to tackle in the current global economic environment. “Rich countries are very much concentrated on their own immediate problems to fix,” said Donald Kaberuka, President of the African

Development Bank. “As we can see from the trade and climate negotiations, there is limited appetite for the multilateral solutions, so we need to trade our way out of poverty and deal with the impact of climate change.” During the closing press conference, Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank, Mthuli Ncube, said that “Africa can have a brighter future, and has the potential to become the next emerging market by the end of this decade if political, social protection, quality education, private sector and regional integration are implemented.” Ncube urged each and every one “to see inclusive growth in action in Africa.” He also affirmed that the continent’s long-term growth prospects are strong, propelled by both external trends in the global economy and internal changes in the continent’s societies and economies. • Source: www.afdb.org

• Mrs Wellington

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Taxation

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

Imper ati ves of Taxa tion on Tourism Impera tiv axation De velopment in Nig eria Dev Nigeria

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OURISM is one of the world’s fastest growing industries as well as a major source of foreign exchange and employment for many developing countries. In realisation of the enormous benefits derivable from having a vibrant tourism industry, governments all over the world have intensified efforts at promoting the growth of tourism through the application of robust tax regimes. •Aside from taxation serving as a source of revenue for developing the tourism industry, favourable tax incentives have also proved to be a potent tool for its development. Taxation is therefore necessary for the development of the Tourism industry which in turn contributes to boosting the tax revenue (in the form additional payment of Value Added Tax, Personal Income tax Companies Income Tax etc) accruing to the government. • In this paper, I will like to dwell on the following: - What is taxation? - What is tourism? - Classes of tourism - Needs for tourism - The tourism Industry - Tourism development - Why tourism development? - Taxation as a catalyst for tourism development - Incentives existing in the Tax laws - Conclusion

• Development of the Osun shrine village and the hosting of the Osun-Oshogbo Festival by Osun State Government; • Development of the Argungu Festival village and hosting of the Argungu Festival by Kebbi State Government; • Development of the Obudu Cattle Ranch and the Tinapa Project by the Cross River State Government etc All these projects are being substantially funded with revenue from government revenue. The Nigerian government has also been supporting tourism development through tax incentives. Due to lack of awareness, full advantage is not being taken of the incentives. This is why effort has been made to bring them out in this paper.

Incentives existing in the tax laws (1) Creation of a Tourism Industry Development Fund to be listed in the 5th Schedule to the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA),

Cap C 21, LFN 2004 as amended.

What is Taxation? • Tax is a compulsory payment imposed by the government on its citizens to meet the expenditures of the government in the provision of amenities and general needs of its citizens. • When citizens pay tax, they expect some benefits in return. Citizens therefore have a legitimate ground to demand for accountability in the utilisation of money collected from them in the form of tax by the government What is Tourism? Tourism refers to activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business or other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited. It includes movement for all purposes as well as day visits or excursions. Tourism can be used to describe a system of interacting relationships of people, their need to travel outside their communities, and services that attempt to respond to these needs by supplying products. Tourism is conceptually and technically different from leisure travelling and recreation. Leisure is defined as free time, time at ones disposal that can be taken to embrace any activity apart from work and obligatory duties. Travelling refers to movement from one point to the other. Travelling is a form of spending one’s leisure time. It is an element of tourism as tourism is a broader concept. Recreation refers to the act of creating anew. It is the act of having discretionary spending of our leisure time. Recreation is about involving oneself in activities like sports, hobbies, games, travelling, and tourism in order to re-invigorate or refreshing oneself. Classes of Tourism Tourism can be classified as follows: • International Tourism: Consists of inbound tourism, visits to a country by non-residents and outbound tourism, residents of a country visiting another country. • Internal Tourism: Residents of a country visiting own country. • Domestic Tourism: Internal tourism plus inbound tourism (the tourism market of accommodation facilities and attractions within a country). • National Tourism: Internal tourism plus outbound tourism (the resident tourism market for travel agents and airlines). • Sports Tourism: This refers to travel which involves either viewing or participating in a sporting event staying outside one’s usual environment. • Cultural Tourism: Forms of tourism concerned with a country or region’s arts and culture. It generally focuses on traditional communities who have diverse customs, unique form of arts and social practices which distinguish them from other types of culture. • Film Tourism: This involves visiting locations where films are made, where TV series are in produced and where film festivals are being held.

Needs for Tourism • For people to experience tourism, they usually need the following: •Disposable income •Leisure time •Tourism infrastructure such as transport facilities and accommodation. • Other factors such as health and motivation to travel. The Tourism Industry • The Tourism industry refers to a group of firms involved in the business of identifying the needs of tourists and striving to meet those needs with the minimum resource spending possible in order to make a profit. As a service industry, the tourism industry has numerous tangible and intangible elements. Major tangible elements include transportation, accommodation and other components for the hospitality industry. Major intangible elements relate to the purpose or motivation for becoming a tourist, such as rest, relaxation, the opportunity to meet new people and experience other cultures

• ALHAJI KABIR MOHAMMED MASHI, AG. EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, FIRS

The federal and state governments of Nigeria, in their effort to develop tourism, have created Tourism Development Authorities charged with the responsibility of planning and controlling the process of tourism development. or simply to do something different or have an adventure. The tourist industry includes: • Those sectors which enable the tourist to travel to and from the destination (for example travel agents, airlines, bus companies, tour operators and car rental companies); • Those sectors which are part of the product at the destination (for example accommodation, facilities and attractions); • The human component of tourism (the labour force); • The public sector or government agencies, regional tourism organisation, professional associations and industry training organisations.

What is Tourism Development? • Tourism Development refers to the totality of activities of the government and industry operators aimed at expanding the operation and enhancing the quality of service delivered to tourists by the industry. Such activities include: • Provision of land (usually done by government designating certain land space as Tourism Development Areas i.e. the coastal area of Lagos); • Building of transport facilities to allow for easy accessibility to tourist centres; • Building accommodation facilities and parks; • Developing geographical features like beaches, waterfalls, springs, ranches and mountain ranges etc; • Introduction of favourable tax regime; • Ensuring stable democratic government; • Provision of water, electricity and telecommunication facilities etc

Why Tourism Development?

The statutory basis for the above lies under Section 25 of CITA 2004 as amended. (2) Investment Tax Credit: The applicable statute on this incentive is Section 26(3) of CITA 2004 as amended. Section 26 (3): “Companies and other organisations engaged in research and development activities for commercialisation shall be allowed 20% investment tax credit on their qualifying capital expenditure for that purpose.” A lot of companies in different sectors of the economy have been enjoying this benefit. The incentive is also available for tourism industry operators to enjoy. (3) Deduction of reserve made out profit for research and development The statutory ground for this incentive lies under Section 26 of CITA 2004 as amended. This is a good incentive for tourism industry operators to enjoy. (4) Incentive for Reserve made out of profit for tourism development 25 % of incomes derived from tourists by hotels in convertible currencies are exempted from tax provided such income are put in a reserve fund to be utilised within five (5) years for expansion or construction of new hotels or facilities used for development of tourism. (5) Low Tax Treaty Concession Rate of 7.5 percent for foreign investors from treaty Nations. This incentive was introduced as part of the 1999 Fiscal Policy. It is applicable to investment income such as royalty, interest, rent and dividend earned by Non-residents who are citizens of treaty nations (i.e. countries having Double Taxation Agreements with Nigeria) which are to liable to withholding tax deduction at 7.5 (%) percent. A rate of 10 (%) percent is applicable to non-residents who are citizens of Non-Treaty nations. Foreign investors in the tourism industry from treaty nations can enjoy this. (6)Accelerated Capital Allowance Scheme

Schedule 2 to the CITA gives the details on this. Tourism companies which incur qualifying capital expenditure in doing their business are entitled to enjoy capital allowances. Unrelieved capital allowances are allowed to be carried forward indefinitely. This is available to be enjoyed by both foreign and local investors in the Tourism industry. (7) Loss Relief The applicable statute on this is Section 31 (2) of CITA 2004. The loss relief is subject to four (4) year carry forward limit. This is also available for all local and foreign Tourism industry operators to enjoy. (8) Repatriation of Net Earnings Outside Nigeria by

Foreign Investors

• Tourism is vital to the well being of many countries because of • The income generated by the consumption of goods and services by tourists; • The taxes levied on businesses in the tourism industry; • The opportunity for employment and economic advancement derivable from working in the industry. The economic benefits of tourism, however real and significant they may be, do not constitute the only criteria for government to encourage tourism. The opportunity for and international tourism.

Section 101 Subsection 5 of CITA is the relevant provision on this. There is opportunity for foreign investors in the Tourism industry and other industries to repatriate their net earnings outside Nigeria immediately the tax obligation on the income has been fulfilled. This is part of what the International Tax Units of the Large Taxpayers Offices of Federal Inland Revenue Service handle. Foreign investors in the Tourism industry are free to take advantage of this.

Taxation as a Catalyst to Tourism Development

It is pertinent to mention that with the approved National Tax Policy, it is considered imperative to address the issue of multiple taxation and introduce more sector focused but time bound incentives to support the tourism industry and other industries in Nigeria. Government will be motivated to give more incentives if the operators in the Tourism industry are prepared to be tax compliant by filing their tax returns and paying their taxes as and when due.

Taxation has been found to be a potent tool for speeding up the process of tourism development in Nigeria and by other nations all over the world. Aside from taxation serving as a source of revenue for executing development projects in the tourism industry by government, favourable tax incentives introduced by the government have proven to be a strong means of stimulating the activities of operators in the tourism industry. The federal and state governments of Nigeria, in their effort to develop tourism, have created Tourism Development Authorities charged with the responsibility of planning and controlling the process of tourism development. Examples of such projects are: • Development of the coastline of Lagos Bar Beach, Badagry Beach and Lekki Beach by Lagos State Government;

(9)

National Tax Policy and Tourism Industry

Conclusion It is obvious from the foregoing that taxation is an essential catalyst to the development of tourism in Nigeria. The relationship between the two should be a mutual one. If government supports tourism development with favourable tax regime which will lead to greater output and income, the tourism industry will in turn support government with more revenue through payment of more income tax, personal income tax, value added tax etc. This type of symbiotic relationship where one reinforces the other is good for the nation.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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The Midweek Magazine E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

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ISTORY is made every day. A popular Yoruba maxim: Ohun a ba foni se oro itan ni lola (The things that we do today becomes objects of history tomorrow) buttresses this. The reason for man’s advancement is his continuous management of, and improvement on, his historical pasts and experiences. Without this, we all would still have been chasing after games in the bushes with stone instruments in our absurd nakedness and darkness; trekking long distances on feet; sleeping in thatch houses and on hills; drinking water from the brooks; using leaves and animal skin as clothing; employing sun, moon and stars as media of timing and calendaring; utilising firewood and charcoals as fuel; using calabashes and mortar as utensils and getting killed by ignorance, among others. Man’s incessant renovations and innovations in his environment are the reasons we have come this far. Despite this success, there are problems begging for solutions. Kunle Adeyemi had identified some old problems in visual art and provided solutions based on his discoveries. There is, therefore, an assurance of the future. I cannot but agree to the saying that ‘A people with history are a people with future’. Kunle Adeyemi is a prominent contemporary Nigeria Artist with penchant for visual designs in painting and printmaking. His recent Ph.D research dwelled on some old problems in visual art practice and it proffered solutions to them through his new explorative discoveries. As one of the chips of the old the block, he was well positioned to make history count again at least for the sake of our desired posterity. In a dialogue by Kunle Adeyemi on his research titled Paintograph and Paintocast:Innovative Exploration in the Synthesis of Easel Painting band Printmaking, he posits as follows… ‘the painting practice of many artists of the first decade of the new millennium has witnessed a downward slide in artistry and technical quality. The limitations observed show that there is a need for a revamping of practice through the synthesis of easel painting and printmaking.’ This is not about digging out the why of the plunge in the artistry and technical depth of the works of post millennium artists in Nigerian as observed by the researcher, but about the how of solving its attendant problems such as copying other artists’ subject matters, and lack of deliberate explorations and experimentations. Here, Kunle Adeyemi quickly offered innovative synthesis, a technique of easel painting and printmaking, as the percipient solution. Insightfully, he observed that there is the need also, for creating potentials that are capable of reversing the old problem of ‘limited possibilities’. Through this research and experiment, Adeyemi discovered new progression, which he called Paintograph and Paintocast. It is a process that brings about an amalgamation between easel painting and printmaking that could lead to new complex and multiple creative possibilities in the art studio.In his own dialogue, Professor Osa Egonwa says Adeyemi’s Paintograph and Paintocast are a procedural transmutation of techniques of one art genre into another. The ability to research and discover the possibility to transmogrify from conventional easel painting to an admixture of suitable seemly forms thus dovetailing into new techniques and collaborative possibilities. This explorative innovation or innovative exploration otherwise referred to as Paintograph and Paintocast, employs the use of alternative local materials like sand, laterite, sawdust, scrap metals, newspaper collage, waste rags, epoxy resin etc. for painting. The problem of regulated painting approach as a result of specified costly foreign materials is eliminated. The discovery does lead to dynamic approaches to what is now a fusion of painting and printmaking. It introduces new vocabularies, raises the limits of creativity, discourages copycat syndrome, leads to multiple translation of same ideas into artworks of different techniques that can be reproduced severally, and by and large Kunle Adeyemi has come up with body of works that dialogues on the new ways of art. Kunle Adeyemi produced a body of works that typifies the new discoveries. Some of the works are Heaven’s gate, Demo-O-Crazy for Whom? Treasures of the Niger Delta, The road to oil rig, Female forms etc. As usual, Kunle did not forget his roots. He dialogues with the beholders on the socio-political debacle of Nigeria as a Nation, making imposing thematic and visual statements to all and

Cartoon art festival holds in Lagos

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HE first cartoon art festival and contest will be hosted by Nigeria on November 23, in Lagos, with followup travelling exhibitions and fund-raising art auctions across Nigeria and parts of Africa between December 2012 and December 2013. It will hold at the WHITESPACE, in Ikoyi, Lagos. The project, which was initiated in 2010 by cartoonist-cum Arts Editor of The Nigerian Observer Newspapers in Benin City, Francis Umendu Odupute, is a multi-purpose, allinclusive development education platform to drive innovation, productivity and sustainable development in Africa, while promoting cultural diversity and cartooning culture in global context. A statement by the organisers said call for participation in the pilot edition of the event has been issued on the project’s website: www.cartoonafricabiennial.org, with the deadline for submission of entries put at midnight, October 23. Details about the event and participation rules are accessible from the website or by sending an inquiry email to the planning committee through: africanpresscartoon@gmail.com . It added that a panel of judges drawn from the visual arts and culture communities, the media, development organisations and the literati, is expected to select the best works to be awarded prizes on the event’s opening day.

'Piracy killing publishing' By Joseph Eshanokpe

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•One of Adeyemi’s works for the exhibition

Solving old problems with new discoveries • Quintessence hosts Adeyemi Saturday By Kehinde Adepegba

VISUAL ART sundry. He shares his burden over his motherland with all and offers solution through his usage of curious materials and pregnant themes. Egonwa corroborates this act thus: It is no longer doubtful if visual images are vital sources of information and insight, which could serve personal and communal interest beyond mere entertainment. Every research is meant to proffer solution

to a problem. Kunle Adeyemi through this effort, has made new discoveries, which did not only contribute to knowledge, but leads to new techniques and innovative exploration, utilization of infrequent materials and expanding the scope of limitless possibilities in both easel painting and printmaking, herewith referred to as Paintograph and Paintocast. This accomplishment is simply recompensing and edifying to our visual art history, theory and practice. •Adepega is of the Department of Art and Industrial Design, Lagos Polytechnic, Ikorodu.

NE of the problems of the books industry is piracy, the President, Christian Books Association Nigeria (CBAN), Mrs Modupe Ehirim, has said. She spoke at this year’s national convention/fair of the group in Lagos. She said because of the problem, there are more pirated books in the market, adding that given their cheap prices and the economic downtourn in the country, some people prefer them to the original ones. Praising the National Copyright Commission (NCC) on its battle against piracy, she said more efforts by the law enforcement agency and other sister agencies would help to nip the problem. Mrs Ehirim urged the government to prosecute the cases of arrested books’ pirates, adding that arrests and seizures of their books were not enough to deter suspects and others from the illegal trade. She called for more enlightenment on the evils of piracy to the economy, saying that more people should be urged to desist from buying pirated books. On the fair, she said it was aimed at making available good books and creating awareness for the industry. Assessing its impact in the last 10 years, she said the turnout of people at the fair had been impressive. “Last year’s fair in Port Harcourt was well attended. Beside books, we also feature music and other church materials in our fairs. As Christians, we do not sell what is fake. We only sell good materials,” she said. She also called on the government to assist CBAN’s members by repairing roads and providing other social amenities, which she said, were hampering the distribution of books, adding that the wear and tear of the roads was adding to the cost of distribution and making business difficult. “My bookshop is not in Lagos. Because of bad roads, it takes some time to distribute to some customers,” she said. On Nigerians reading culture, she said: “It is poor. The environment does not encourage reading. In those, the British Council Library was very conducive for reading for us. Now there are no such public libraries or where they exist, they are not enough. But this is changing. Adults are beginning to appreciate the importance of reading. It is the same thing with the youth. In our bookshop, we had invited youths for an excursion. She commended President Goodluck Jonathan for encouraging reading culture through the Bring Back Book project,” adding that the programme should be sustained. She urged Nigerians to read, saying that reading enables people not only to know about themselves but also about others abroad and how they solve their problems.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

International buyers eye NFW

Macmillan’s Break it at MUSON

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ORRIED by the deteriorating socio-political situations in the country, the management of Macmillan Publishers Nigeria Limited will present a mixed grill of music, drama and dance to draw attention to issues that constitute obstacles to national development. The tenth Macmillan literary night, with the theme, Break It…stumbling blocks to national development, will hold at the Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos tomorrow by 6pm. Renowned artistes that will feature at the event include Joke Silva, Norbert Young, Irhia Enakhimio, Tina Mba and Segun Adefila’s Crown Troupe of Africa. Compere for the night is poet and social critic, Odia Ofeimun. Chairman, Macmillan Literary Event Committee, Mrs Yetunde Emanuel has identified corruption, anarchy, ethnicity, religious bigotry, poverty and ignorance as problems hindering national development. But, she noted that these issues that must be addressed for the situation to improve. She explained that in order not to make the night depressing, considering the issues at stake, music, dance and drama would be used to highlight those fundamental issues in a humourous format. She said most Nigerians are aware of the challenges but that the literary night would be a presentation of the messages through laughter. “We don’t want to further depress the people, so we are bringing humour

By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

By Evelyn Osagie

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LITERATURE and laughter,” she said. Mrs Emanuel explained that the 10 th Macmillan literary night is another manifestation of the total commitment of Macmillan Publishers Nigeria Limited to its corporate social responsibility policy. She observed that the world is changing and moving forward, ‘if we do not change with it, we will be left behind,’ adding that Nigeria must look forward in anticipation of global political changes and social demands and tailor its plans to mitigate the negative effects of such changes. “We believe very firmly that if we are to get where we need to get to as a nation, all hands must be on deck to deal with the issues. That includes the public and private sectors in Nigeria, civil society, ordinary Nigerians and the media. We have unshakeable faith in the possibility of a better Nigeria and believe that together with the media, we can make significant contribution to the changes needed in attitudes, values and determination to ensure development in Nigeria,” she added. Mrs. Emanuel said in the short term, the literary night has been rewarding as a corporate social responsibility programme. The managing director, Macmillan Publishers Nigeria Limited, Dr. Iyiola Adesanya

•Mrs Emanuel

Adenekan reiterated that the literary night is being put together to reinforce the key issues for the people to digest. He added that the audience would include leaders at all levels, especially the family unit. “Our audience will have a mixed grill of our package,” he said. A member of the Macmillan Literary Events Committee, Mr. Ben Tomoloju observed that the presentation would attract the Nigerian people that elect the political office holders and who are bigger than the government officials as well.

Kuramo Conference for creative industry

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HE Kuramo Conference will hold between November 9 and 10 at the Eko Hotel International Conference Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. The creative industry will be the focus of the conference on Saturday (second day) with discussants speaking on Lifting your Local Creative Economy, which is geared towards exploring key challenges facing the industry and to stimulate discussion on what initiatives the sector needs to facilitate its growth. Discussants at the session include Mr. Charles Igwe of BOBTV, Managing Director, Gabosky Films, Mr. Igwe Gabosky Okoye, CEO, Chocolate City Group, Mr. Audu Maikori, CEO, OGD Productions, Mr. Tade Ogidan, CEO, Renegade Theatre Mr Wole

Oguntokun and CEO, Style House Files, Ms. Omoyemi Akerele. The moderator of the session is Consultant, Communications & Corporate Relations, Central Bank of Nigeria, Ms. Celine Loader. The afternoon session will examine Enabling Nigeria’s Creative Industries, which will be moderated by Mrs. Bolanle Austen Peters of Terra Kulture African Centre, Lagos. The session chair is the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism and intergovernmental Relations, Mr Disun Holloway. Contributors include CEO, Cinemart, Ms. Sola Momoh, CEO, LUFODO Productions, Ms. Joke Silva, Head, Corporate Communications, Bank of Industry Mr. Waheed Olagunju, Assistant Country Director, British Council, Ms. Ojoma Ochai and Head,

In honour of a centenarian

Celebrating master artist Akinola Lasekan

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HE ancient town of Ile-Oluji in Ondo State was agog when it hosted eminent personalities to a one-day symposium in honour of a centenarian, Chief Samuel Ojo Oladimeji, an educationist and mind builder. The event, tagged Grace and Mercy was held at the Jesus Arena Events Centre, Ile-Oluji, literarily served as thermometer to feel the pulse of Chief Oladimeji, fondly referred to by his folks as tisa agba (the great teacher) and the appreciation of his outstanding strides and zeal. It was also an occasion to appreciate Chief Oladimeji, the Lomafe of Ile-Oluji Kingdom, especially by his admirers and those whose lives he has touched. The event was chaired by a scholar and retired diplomat, Ambassador Adewuga Adekuoye, who paid glowing tributes to Pa Oladimeji, describing him as a ‘great teacher, molder of lives, and a great benefactor who dedicated his life, talents and resources to the upliftment of the church, the society, and the nation especially.’ One of those Oladimeji impacted their lives, the Odunwo of Ile-Oluji, Nathaniel Adesiyakan, said: “I could have become a driver but for God’s and Papa Oladimeji’s prompt intervention. I am now what I am by God’s grace today.” Chief Odunwo, a surveyor, charged those present to remain focused in God at all times and to continue to acknowledge the noble contributions of Oladimeji. The event also featured a symposium entitled Teachers Build Great Nations, which was treated exhaustively by sea-

Lagos Film Office, Mr. Makin Soyinka. The creative industries have become a critical part of the world economy creating jobs and achieving social and developmental benefits for their host communities. The creative industries in Nigeria have recorded significant growth in the last twenty odd years and industry watchers predict that this sector, with the right investment and support will become a cornerstone of the Nigerian economy. In two panel discussions, a distinguished gathering of experts drawn from the breadth of the creative industries in Nigeria will explore the key challenges facing the industry and stimulate discussion on what initiatives the sector needs to facilitate its growth.

LL is set for this year’s edition of the Nigeria Fashion Week (NFW), tagged: Going Green II. This year’s edition, according to the organisers, will be showcasing over 40 designers from around the world on two daily shows for three days. It will open tomorrow and end on Saturday with daily exhibitions from 8am to 8pm. Some of the designers featuring at the event include Frank Osodi, Mai Atafo, Adebayo Jones, Francesco D’Amico from Milan, Kosibah Creation, Zizi Cardow etc. The NFW is organised by Legendary Gold Limited in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture & National Orientation and the World Fashion Organisation. This year, international buyers will not be attending but would also be sourcing for fashion products and accessories from Nigeria, the organisers have said. They include Milanbased Camera Buyer Moda who runs over 120 shops in Europe; Sak Brand Group; Australian-based TCF Global Group. The buyers are the soul of the event, according to the President of NFW, Lexy Mojo Eyes. “It is worthless to have a fashion week without buyers. The major aim of fashion weeks anywhere around the world is to create market for participating designers collection and this is what Legendary Gold Limited over •A model the years have been working towards. We are very excited we are getting there little by little,” he said.

• Chief Oladimeji By Adegunle Olugbamila

CELEBRATION soned scholars and administrators. Chief Adesiyakan and the Executive Chairman, Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board, Prof Modupe Adelabu both x-rayed and proffered solutions to the decadence in education. They called on governments at all levels to appreciate and acknowledge teachers’ role in the emerging society, as well as reappraise their contributions to the nation. The duo equally charged parents, guardians and other stakeholders to pay attention to the sector, as well as invest positively in it.

ORTY years after his death, the renowned modern artist, Akinola Lasekan, will be celebrated posthumously by his family members and the artists’ community. A symposium and a four-day art exhibition with the theme, Akinola Lasekan: His life and contributions to the development of contemporary Nigerian art will hold on November 15 at the Terra Kulture Art Centre Victoria Island, Lagos. It will be chaired by the founder of Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF), Prince Yemisi Shyllon. The exhibition will run from the November 15 to 18 . Dr Olusola Dublin-Green on behalf of the family has called on all practising artists, art collectors and other stakeholders to support the family in celebrating one of their own at the planned symposium and art exhibition. Akinola Lasekan (1916 -1972), was widely acknowledged as one of the pioneers and masters of Nigerian modern art, following in the footsteps of Aina Onabolu but of the same league with esteemed Nigerian artists, such as Ugorji, Okaybulu, Ben Enwonwu, Erhabor Emokpae and others of that genre. He was an innately talented artist who started his professional art practice as a textile designer before veering into book illustrations for publishing companies, such as CMS Bookshop and Thomas Nelson Ltd. When he made a success of these, he established an art studio and became an art teacher in 1941.

He studied commercial art through correspondence with the Hammersmith School of Art in London. In 1962, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts London, in the UK. In his bid to pass on knowledge to upcoming generations of Nigerians, he taught art in the later years of his life at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). He established a legacy as a nationalist with his sharp political cartoons, which appeared daily in the defunct West African Pilot as the clamour for national independence increased, and in his realistic paintings on different themes from allegorical paintings on pro-nationalism to landscape drawings. Some of Lasekan’s popular works to be exhibited from the family collection include oil on canvas paintings such as “ The last political mission of Herbert Macaulay, The story of Dr, Nnamdi Azikiwe, a pictorial and historical composition, The return of Ajaka of Owo, painted in poster color on paper, and Atilogwu dancers, amongst many others. Other works to be exhibited are three out of his early oil on canvas paintings in the collection of Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) titled Masquerade at the square, Cocoa cropping, and Village Market and Motor Park. Given his public spiritedness, several of his artworks were donated to the National Gallery of Arts, which were exhibited during the second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977.

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The Midweek Magazine Annang ruler who dared to win

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BOOK of 336 pages, He Dared by Offonmbuk C. Akpabio, tells the very compelling story of Okuku Udo Akpabio, the great colonial ruler of the Annang people of Nigeria in what is now known as Akwa Ibom State. It is fitting that the state is currently governed by a great grandson of the selfsame Okuku Udo Akpabio in the shape and size of the resourceful Governor Godswill Akpabio. The author of He Dared Offonmbuk C. Akpabio, as the name goes, is of the Akpabio home, an Abuja-based legal practitioner who also devotes her time to several charities and non-profit organisations. According to the distinguished literary journalist Dili Ezughah, “Offonmbuk Akpabio has told the enthralling story of not just a man but that of his people in a time of transitions. He Dared captures the force of Okuku Udo Akpabio and his time – He is a force driven by integrity, justice, honour, and derringdo.” With this kind of high recommendation it is little wonder that He Dared is a reader’s delight. He Dared is the life history of a man who can be likened to a force of nature, a leader who touched so many lives in all kinds of profound ways. He knew no boundaries as he welded together his subjects into a formidable organization of determined men and women who believed implicitly in his headship. Okuku Udo Akpabio reigned in the late 19 th century and all through the colonial era as the patriarch of the Great Akpabio family, arguably the largest and most influential family stock in South-South Nigeria. This remarkable man married 29 wives. Incidentally many of the wives were personally chosen for the great man by Udo Akpabio’s first wife Nne Eyen Mboho. “Through these twenty-nine wives, Udo Akpabio begat a large family whose offspring would later form nearly the entirety of Ukana Ikot Ntuen village in now Essien Udim Local Government Area of

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

The canopy for mother, child

BOOK REVIEW Title: He Dared – The Story of Okuku Udo Akpabio, the Great Colonial African Ruler Author:

Offonmbuk C. Akpabio

Reviewer:

Bassey Usung

Publisher:

Xlibris, USA

By Chinasa Ekekwe

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Paganition: Akwa Ibom State,” writes Offonmbuk C. Akpabio. The dim circumstances of his early life could not deter Okuku Udo Akpabio from the ambitious life of turning around the fortunes of his people for the good. He attained the highest traditional stool of the Annang people. He served as a veritable bridge between the British and the indigenous people. He adroitly steered the affairs of his beloved people by striking a delicate balance between age-long traditions and Westernisation. He led his people with great poise into modernity. In the words of Offonmbuk C Akpabio, “Okuku Udo Akpabio was also known to have handled very highly combustible cultural issues with great wisdom and tact. Through his leadership, the course of history in the community was re-written, putting an end to the killing of twins and their mothers, burying alive of slaves for whatever reasons, and other practices of human sacrifice. He used his oratorical skills effectively in public discourse and ceremonies, lacing his speeches with proverbs, innuendoes, hyperboles, ironies, metaphors, paradoxes, personifications, etc., applied selectively and opportunistically to bring his point home. He was a master at this and celebrated by his friends and associates who fondly called him ‘Udo Akpabio Ayie Ntand Isong’, meaning ‘Udo Akapbio the Owner of the Soil of the Earth’.” He did not have the benefit of Western education but ensured that his children had the best education available then. Named Essien, connoting “Essien Ubong” which translates to ”he quickly made his compound of glory”, Okuku Udo Akpabio

excelled as a businessman. It was not his forte to join in the slave trade of the time being dominated by the Aro Igbos of the Ajalli, Arondizuogu, and Bende kingdoms. Around 1903, the white colonialists arrived and thereafter Okuku Udo Akpabio was elected by the people of Ukan Ikot Ntuen as their representative at the British Administration Office at Ikot Ekpene, thus becoming a “Chief by Government Warrant”. Furthermore, then the “Administration elected Udo Akpabio as the first president of the court, Obong Esop, in Ikot Ekpene – a position he held until his retirement from the administration.” He was the president of the Native Court. It was in 1918 that Okuku Udo Akpabio was initiated into the esteemed Abie Owo Society. Okuku Udo Akpabio was the first paramount ruler of the district. He Dared by Offonmbuk C Akpabio is recommended reading for all who wish to know how great African kingdoms grew into prominence. This is a priceless book for all libraries. It is a compendium of enduring and endearing facts. The past has been brought forward into the present tense with a panache that brings great charm to bear on a past world. Offonmbuk C Akpabio has done a world of good to our history through her book He Dared.

‘Home is where it all began’ After 20 years sojourn in the United States (US), Bassey Ikpi, a poet, has returned to Nigeria to make her long-time dream of performing poetry in her homeland a reality. She speaks on a range of issues in this interview with AHMED BOULOR

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HAT is it like being home after spending almost 20 years in the United States? It’s been incredible. Of course, a lot of things have changed but what strikes me the most is how easy and comfortable it has been. I feel like I left for a few weeks and returned. This is truly home for me and I’m really happy to be back. How do you feel making your dream of performing poetry in your homeland come? It’s humbling. In the states, it’s already known and understood what I do, I’m here trying to prove myself once again. But it’s giving an opportunity to get back in touch with why and how I started performing in the first place. It’s been grounding and humbling. I’ve been moved to tears several times. It’s been a dream since I started becoming successful in the States. I mean, it’s great to go abroad and do things but it means very little if your people and family and homeland don’t connect and understand and feel it too. My poem Homeward discusses that and other things, but I feel like I’ve come full circle. This is where it began and it only makes sense to return to the source. What is the goal behind your mission to facilitate the growth of spoken words in Nigeria? Over the years, I’ve received countless emails and messages from people in Nigeria about my work. I learned about a performance venue called Taruwa in Lagos and realized there was a burgeoning scene. Because the industry is much different in Nigeria than it is in the States, I wanted to see if there was some way I could get involved and maybe, somehow make it more visible. Nigeria has so much talent but the talent isn’t’ just in films or music, as far as performance and entertainment goes, poetry could also be on the forefront of Nigeria entertainment. It just needs a boost and for folks to have the vision to give it a

INTERVIEW chance. There are amazing voices here and those voices deserve a platform. I hope to be able to provide some avenues for that in the future. Is there any special reason for tagging the show Poetry Slam? A poetry slam is a competition. I wanted to make it fun for the audience and give it more than just another poetry reading or performance. It was an added element of excitement and something different to bring to the people of Nigeria. Poetry Slams are very popular in the United States and they are just catching in on it here in Nigeria, especially in Abuja. It’s a good way to hone performance skills. I learned a lot the few years I slammed. What was the turn-out like when you initially held your show in New York, Washington DC and Philadelphia? It was amazing and all the events were sold out. People really responded well to the format and the content. I was really happy about it. How did the introduction of works from poetry greats such as Langston Hughes and Nikki Giovanni at the tender age of eight help to improve your poetic skills? I learned from Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni and a number of other people that I had to tell my own story and the stories of people like me. It taught me about creating my own unique and authentic voice. I learned from a number of writers and poets. I’m always learning. I’m always growing as a writer. When I stop learning and improving, it’s time to stop doing it. I’m useless. Who introduced their works to you? My father introduced Langston and Nikki to me but there were teachers in school that really pushed poetry on me. I just loved language. How were you discovered by Russell Simmons’ Def Jam in America?

• Ikpi

I worked very briefly for an entertainment internet company when I first left school and moved to New York. One day, a co-worker told me about an audition he was going to and asked me if I would go with him for moral support. It was close to our office and during lunch time, so I said yes. When we got there, they told us it was a closed audition and I couldn’t enter unless I auditioned. My friend told me to sign up and we could just be in there together. Long story short, I auditioned and ended up winning the entire thing. I got noticed by Russell Simmons then and did the second half of the first season of Def Poetry Jam and then went on to do 5 seasons. I toured with the Broadway cast in Edinburgh and then across the US. The rest, as they say, is history. What was it like performing for the first time on the Def Jam stage?

F you are planning to begin your journey of investing in art, or just to feed your eyes with amazing works, Conoco Phillips in association with Nike Art Centre brings to you, The Canopy, a group art exhibition exploring the relationship between mother and child, and a mother’s role in Nigerian society. The event, which kicked off last Saturday, will run till Friday, November 9 at the Nike Art Centre, Lekki, Lagos. The exhibition is featuring paintings and mixed media of seven up and coming artists; Badejo Abiodun, Tyna Adebowale, Oladimeji Alabi, Owolabi Ayodele, Olawunmi Banjo, Rafhue Distinction and Adeleke Akeem; all of whom were specially chosen by ConocoPhillips because of their vision, inspiration and commitment to the world of art, and they are artists with the greatest potentials. According to the organisers, the exhibition seeks to explore the emotional bond of mother and child, which is rooted in tradition and values passed down from generation to generation. “When we think of a mother, we generally envision a person who is nurturing, wise, loving, strict, and patient and who takes care of us. This sheltering role is what inspired the title of the exhibition, ‘The Canopy. The works celebrates this relationship and reminds us that it is mothers who pass on the traditions, religious values, antidotes and stories of their lives through the generations,” the organisers said. The exhibition is being sponsored by Conoco Phillips and is dedicated to the late Tope Ariyibi, a mother and colleague, who lost her life in the Dana Air crash this year.

It was frightening. I’m always nervous when I’m on stage but I was mortified. I was afraid of forgetting my poem. I was afraid that nobody would clap. I was afraid I would fall on the way to the stage. It’s the same fears I carry every time I perform but it was multiplied by a thousand that night. I can’t even watch that performance to this day. I cringe every time. The performance style was over the top and way too big. I’ve changed as a performer since then so that moment just feels very amateurish. How did the idea of orchestrating your own show in Nigeria come about after you performed five times on the Russell Simmons’ Def Jam show? I’m Nigerian. I love Nigeria. I’ve always loved being Nigerian. And I wanted to come home and come with what it is that I do. This is what I have to offer and I wanted to showcase that but also give other up and coming performers a chance to get the spotlight as well. Performing and doing Def Poetry Jam was great. I have to move forward and moving forward includes taking what I learned to move my career and life forward and hopefully, help bring some people with me. How did you come about being a mental health advocate? While on tour with Def Poetry Jam, the stress and hardships of touring took a big toll on me and triggered a breakdown. I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder around that time and I realized that black people don’t seem to talk about it at all. I felt like it needed to be discussed. And if I was the only one doing it, then I’d just have to be the only one doing it. I soon discovered that there were several people talking about it, but they thought they were the only ones as well. I decided that because I had this amazing job where people would listen to me when I spoke, I had to speak about it. I wanted people to hear me and see me and not be able to say, “I don’t know anybody with a mental illness.” Well, you know me. And you see me. I’m visible. I’m vocal. I’m showing you who I am and what it means to live with and manage an illness. It’s a responsibility that I have. It took it a step further after a young friend of mine committed suicide. I realized I really needed to do much more and that’s how The Siwe Project was created. Is it true that you appeared on the NAACP Image Awards as part of a tribute to Venus and Serena Williams? Yes.

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

•My office - award-winning photograph by Eremina Jumbo at the Life In My City Art Festival, Enugu

•From left: DG, NIALS, Prof. Azinge (SAN); Inaugural Lecturer, Prof. Adewopo; Intellectual Property Law Chair endower, Chief Edu and former Edo State Governor Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor on the occasion.

‘Achebe is still relevant’

Akwa Ibom hosts writers By Evelyn Osagie

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one-time Honourable member of the Federal House of Representative, and author of a political satire of the Nigerian Legislature, Tenants of the House, Dr. Wale Okediran, has said that the octogenarian professor, Chinua Achebe, is still very relevant as far as Nigerian literature and social criticisms are concerned. Okediran spoke at a Writers’ Conference at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, last Friday. Dr. Okediran observed that not much has changed since the 1960s after Achebe’s 1966 novel, A Man of the People, lamenting how the politics of rancour, violence, ineptitude, corruption and cluelessness has bedevilled the country. He said: “The only difference from our present time and Achebe’s time is that while politicians used cutlasses and charms to kill in Achebe’s time, they use guns and bombs and dynamites in our time.” In his witty and humour-loaded lecture, Dr. Okediran recounted some of the memorable events that honed him as a political writer and activist. Quite instructive was his near dismissal from the University for bugging the then Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) on a campus newspaper he edited, known then as “Rip Off”. According to him, the DVC urinated on a flowerbed and his paper ridiculed him for the indecent and uncultured behaviour. The piece on the DVC landed him before the University Disciplinary Panel, where he took a 300 level student of law to defend him. Their courage, boldness and textured arguments saw his studentship survive the threat of expulsion, although his campus newspaper could not survive as the University management banned the newspaper. For Okediran, the moral of the story was what happened few years after when unknowingly he tended and nursed the DVC’s sick father out of coma to his (the DVC’s) humility. Okediran noted that Nigerian literature

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•Achebe

•Okediran

By Ademola Adesola and Arthur Anyaduba

He said that Okediran represented the dogged spirit of excellence that has distinguished the products of the university to excel in areas that they did not even have direct training in, especially in the field of journalism and writing. Prof. Omole expressed his admiration for his 39-year-long friend for his exhibition of principle while serving as a member of the Federal House, remarking that “when he (Okediran) was in the House of Representative, he represented what an alumnus of Ife should be.” Some of the colourful moments during the programme included the dramatic presentation by the Head of Department of English, OAU, Prof. Olusegun Adekoya, and the motivational charge by the University’s Director of the Institute of Cultural Studies, Prof. Gbemisola Adeoti. The conference was organised by the Jury Press of the Faculty of Law, OAU to encourage writing and a repositioning of the country’s image. The president and editor of the Jury Press, Mr. Ajibola Lawal, said the programme was put up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the university.

LITERATURE began with politicians and political writings by veteran nationalist politicians such as the late Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo. He also recounted the degeneration and corruption in the Federal House of Representative, and the laughable events that inspired his satirical fiction, Tenants of the House. The Writers’ Conference which featured other young and talented Nigerian writers like Tade Ipadeola and Emmanuel Iduma, the author of the scintillatingly experimental novel, Farad, had OAU ViceChancellor, Prof. Bamitale Omole, in attendance. The VC who has been Dr. Okediran’s friend since 1973 while undergraduates of OAU remarked that Dr. Okediran has been a dedicated person whose dedication to work and versatility need to be emulated by students. The don of International Relations reeled out Okediran’s interest in sports, in journalism and in politics as an undergraduate.

Jos Repertory returns with Queen Amina

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HE Jos Repertory Theatre is returning to Abuja with the production of Wale Ogunyemi’s Queen Amina of Zazzau, which is a story of the life and times of the legendary Queen Amina of Zazzau in what is presently known as Zaria. It will hold at the Merit House, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, from November 29 till December 1. Queen Amina’s reign in the 16th century witnessed tremendous growth in territory, commerce and relationships with cities, which Queen Amina conquered or which she forged friendships with. Her territory

extended all the way from ancient Zazzau to the Sudan with the first markings of what later became the trans-Saharan highway. She exerted tributes of kolanuts, gold and slaves from territories that she conquered and from territories that wanted friendship with Zazzau. Queen Amina’s reign witnessed a lot of infrastructural development and her reign pioneered the use of iron coat armour which was used by her soldiers in their military campaigns and conquests. The famous Zaria wall is attributed to her reign and ingenuity. She was a very remarkable leader who developed and built a court founded on

justice and fairness. Her subjects also prospered during her reign and according to her – “you will prosper if you work hard as food does not grow on trees”. Historically, she is not known to have married though a lot of Sultans and Chiefs desired her hand in marriage. She had only one sister, Zariya from an illustrious Queen mother, Barkwa Turunku who was Queen before Amina’s reign. The fact of her being single did not go down well with her subjects some of who also desired her hand in marriage and it was a relationship with one of her subjects which led to her untimely death after reigning for thirty four years.

KWA Ibom State will come alive with literary festivities tomorrow. Writers, authors, publishers and book enthusiasts from within and outside the country will converge on the state's capital for this year's edition of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) international convention. The three-day event, billed to run till Sunday, will feature plenary sessions, book fair, readings, performance, novelty football march, tour, among others. The visitors are ecstatic about the event. This is the first time the state will host a large crowd of writers. Given its immense historical and cultural wealth, the visitors are hoping to get inspired, especially by the tourist sites in the state. According to the Chairman of the state's chapter of ANA, Joseph Ushie, the convention will impact the economy and tourism sector. With the theme, Nigerian Literature, Social Media and Security, speakers from within and outside the country will be led by Prof Pius Adesanmi of the Carelton University, Canada. Others include writer/lawyer Chuma Nwokolo; DCP Emmanuel Ojukwu; Mallam Al-Bishak (Nasarawa State University, Keffi; Ngozi Chumah-Udeh (Anambra State University); Jeroome Dooga (University of Jos); Camillus Ukah (ANA Imo) and Monday-Michaels Ashibogwu, an online journalist. With social media as a sub-theme, it is hoped that more light would be shed on how writers can harness the immense possibilities in new media. With the mind of intimating and educating writers on new media, ANA is partnering YSGHubs, a new e-commerce and mobile applications development company in Lagos, a subsidiary of the Young Shall Grow [YSG] Group, it was learnt. It runs an online media store that enables users purchase eBooks, music, videos, event tickets and lifestyle accessories from the convenience of their homes, classrooms, offices and even on-the-go. According to a statement signed by the Richard Ali, Publicity Secretary (North), the company has donated N2 million towards the success of the 2012 convention. "A demonstration of this partnership will include guaranteeing positive brand visibility of YSGHubs at the Uyo Convention. The Association will also facilitate presentations by a marketing team from YSGHubs. An Information Desk will be maintained for the use of our esteemed members at the Convention Venue," it read. The partnership, Ali said, was part of the national executives' move fulfilling its mandate. "The Remi Raji-led executives seek to bring about a "New ANA" with the successful ANA/Yusuf Alli Reading Campaign and the Teen Author Campaign sponsored by Hajiya Babangida Aliyu all in the last twelve months.

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NEWS

N382b fuel subsidy fraud: EFCC grills 11 more marketers

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ORE than 11 marketers were yesterday grilled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection with the N382billion fuel subsidy fraud uncovered by the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments. The committee was headed by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede. Some of the marketers might be arraigned before the Lagos High Court of Justice next week. According to investigation, the affected oil marketing and trading companies (OM&T) were grilled for six hours in Abuja on the contentious N382billion subsidy cash. It was learnt that some of the marketers had hectic time explaining why they benefited from subsidy payment without importing fuel. Others faced the panel on in-

•Trial likely next week From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

flation of subsidy funds accruable to some OM &T; irregular payment; sheer fraudulent cases; abuse of process; short-time certificate issues. A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We quizzed some big marketers, who had been indicted by the Presidential Committee. We have been interacting with them and conducting discreet investigation into their role in subsidy fraud. “We have established some cases against them and fairness requires that we should grill them with facts and figures available to the anti-graft agency. “So, as we were asking them questions, the lot fell on them to defend allegations of how they cooked records against them. Some of them were also grilled on inflation of imported products and why they got subsidy

funds in excess of what they ‘purportedly imported.’ “For this batch of marketers, whom we interacted with for six hours, we are on the last lap of the investigation into their activities. “The next stage is criminal prosecution of marketers and companies involved in the subsidy fraud.” Replying a question, the source added: “Going by the network of syndicates involved in the scandal, it is not a case you can handle overnight. “I can confirm to you that we have made tremendous progress in our investigation. “I think some of the suspects might be arraigned next week before Lagos High Court of Justice after the conclusion of this lap of investigation.” The source however refused to disclose the identities of the marketers that were quizzed yesterday. The source simply said: “I think by next week, we will un-

Currency counterfeiter jailed 25 years

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•EFCC boss Lamorde

veil these suspects who will face trial.” The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “As part of our ongoing investigation into the subsidy payments, this commission interacted with some marketers in Abuja . “But I do not have the details. The commission will make relevant information available as it has always done.”

ACN chieftain reiterates call for state police

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CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain Mr. Olawale Oshun yesterday reiterated his call for state police, saying it is in the interest of national security. He objected to the opposition to state and community policing by top police brass, who he accused of dodging reality. Warning that Nigeria may become more threatened by security breaches, the Third Republic House of Representatives

By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

Chief Whip said the police cannot fully concentrate on intelligence policing in the absence of state and community police. Oshun, the ACN National Director of Finance and Administration, spoke at the presentation of two patrol vehicles to Sabo and Adekunle Divisional Police Stations and distribution of chairs, tables and food

items to teachers and pupils in Yaba Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) by the Chairman, Mr. Jide Jimoh. The education infrastructure was received on behalf of the schools by State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) the chairperson Mrs. Ola Dawolu. The event, which was held at the All Saints Primary School, Yaba, was witnessed by the ACN chieftains in the area, in-

cluding Otunba Tayo Oyemade, Apostle John Ojo, Mrs. Bola john and Mrs. Bola Olumegbon. Oshun, who inaugurated the patrol vehicle, revisited the pressing challenges of federalism, insisting that the police should be restructured and decentralised. He said: “Security is a serious issue in Nigeria. Nigeria police has no business fighting against state and community police.”

HE Federal High Court in Gombe has jailed a currency counterfeiter suspected Abdullahi Bello for 25 years. The convict was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) on a five-count charge of conspiracy, dealing in and possession of counterfeit Nigerian currency notes to 25 years imprisonment. According to a statement by the Commission’s Head of Media and Publicity Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the accused, who was arraigned on October 31, was convicted by Justice Babatunde O. Quadri. The convict was guilty of offences which are contrary to “Sections 6 (2) (b) and 4 (1) of the Counterfeit Currency (Special Provision) Act CAP C35 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. The statement said: “ Bello, who pleaded guilty to all the charges is to spend five years in jail on each count, but the sentences are to run concurrently. “ Bello had earlier pleaded guilty when he was arraigned on October 31, prompting the judge to adjourn sentencing till Friday November 2, 2012. But on the adjourned date, Bello changed his guilty plea to “not guilty”, forcing the court to adjourn till November 5, 2012. “But in a dramatic twist, Bello stepped into the dock, pleading with the trial Judge and EFCC Prosecution Counsel, Al Qasim Ja’afar, to forgive

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

him for what transpired in court on November 2, when he denied the charges against him. “He said he was wrongly advised by some inmates he met while in prison custody. But the Judge stopped him, advising him to keep his breathe, as his action may be prejudicial to the proceedings of the day. “The prosecution counsel however amended the sixcount charge to five before reading the charges all over again to the accused. Prosecution called a witness to prove its case against Bello. “The prosecution witness, Ahmed Bala Mohammed, an EFCC operative of the narrated to the court how the Commission acted on intelligence report concerning some persons who are in the business of defrauding innocent persons by using fake Nigerian Naira currencies. “He told the court how Bello was arrested at the Sabon Main Market on 14 June, 2012. According to Mohammed, at the point of arrest, 38 pieces of suspected counterfeit N500 (Five hundred naira) notes amounting to N19, 000 were found on him. Mohammed told the court that forensic examination confirmed the currency notes found on Bello to be fake, as they lacked certain security features and have repeated serial numbers.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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•Members of the Chaplain with the physically challenged •Continued from Page 13

He said that Nigeria may soon become the laughing-stock of the world if greed, theft, bribes being perpetuated among the elite few in public and private re-

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GUN State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka has urged chairmen of local governments to join hands with the government in providing preventive, promotional and affordable healthcare delivery service for the people. He spoke when he paid advo-

A lift for the needy mains unchecked. Diamanozie said: “We are in trying times in the history of our

access to qualitative health care, education to lead a normal life”. He said that although Nigeria

Commissioner challenges council chiefs on healthcare cacy visits to Odeda, Abeokuta North and Abeokuta South local government areas. The commissioner explained that it was important for them to support the state government in putting in

We will save ourselves a lot of money if we embark on prevention instead of spending so much on curative policies…Enlighten residents …on the need to embrace the community-based health insurance scheme to enable them to enjoy its benefits

•Soyinka (right) and Edun

country as millions of women and children are increasingly in need of shelter, clothing, food,

is rich with immerse human and material resources that can cater for the need of all but its can only effectively achieve its potential when our leaders are people driven in their approach to governance.

place various health intervention and preventive measures for the benefit of the people. “We will save ourselves a lot of money if we embark on prevention instead of spending so much on curative policies,” Soyinka said. He also enjoined the council chiefs to enlighten residents of their respective areas on the need to embrace the community-based health insurance scheme to enable them to enjoy its benefits. Soyinka reeled off other health issues that needed the support and involvement of the council chairmen to include preventing childhood killer diseases, routine immunisation, polio and guinea

worm eradication, shistosomiasis and soil helminthes, among others, adding that more attention should be given to cold-chain storage.

Responding, the council chiefs pledged their commitment to ensure the successful implementation of all health programmes in the state.

Ekiti law maker provides jobs tools

•Continued from Page 13

they have done for me”, Ogunlola said. She said she needed more support from the people of the constituent to enable her continue sustain the gesture, noting that politicians should best learn how to give back to their constituencies. According to her, this project was coming up for the first time, since this is her first year as a lawmaker, “I know is going to be a continuous exercise, by next year it might take another dimension.” She hinted that the largeness of the Constituency is robbing the people of the deserved dividends of democracy “We have one town local government in every part of the country, so for Ijero to be 14 towns and several villages Local Government is an injustice”. The lawmaker disclosed that the constituency has 12 wards, which she described as the largest of all the constituencies in the country.

Therefore, I am advocating that the way INEC is conducting the affairs or responsibiliy they are saddled with, they should ensure that this delineation of constituency should not be difficult. “Normally, one of their responsibilities is to delineate constitutencies, and the constitution says after 10 years, look into constituencies and delineate. “You know, Ijero has been in existence more than 10 years now, and yet we are still the way we are. We have one town local government, one town constituency. That constituency has 10 wards, Ijero has 14 towns , we have one of the wards, five towns constituting one ward, which should not be. “So, normally, INEC should look into the affairs of Ijero, and should be able to delineate Ijero, that is what we are soliciting, we are appealing to them that they should live up to their responsiblity,” she insisted.

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

Boy needs N3.7m for surgery

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HIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD Great Morgan, the only son of Mr and Mrs Ogden Okey Morgan of Ndoni area of Rivers State, requires N3.7m to undergo facial plastic surgery in India. On September 11, 2005, the vehicle conveying little Morgan and other passengers to Lagos, was involved in a severe accident between IjebuOde and Shagamu. Great, six-yearold then, sustained extensive injuries which, if care is not taken, will make him remain permanently deformed. He was returning to Lagos after spending the holidays with his grandmother in Ondo State. The victims were taken to Shagamu General Hospital for medical treatment. As a result of the magnitude of the injury which Master Great Morgan sustained, the hospital management directed that he be taken to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba Lagos for adequate medical attention. At LUTH, he was admitted to the emergency ward and later moved to ward four (children’s ward) where he spent three months. There, he underwent series of surgery. But the surgeries were not good enough because his face was totally battered in the accident. “It was because of this,” Mr Morgan said “that medical experts advised that he be taken to Fortis La Femme in India for proper plastic surgery.” A medical report signed by Mr Ugburo, A. C. Consultant Plastic Surgeon of Lagos University Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba Yaba Lagos on August 27, 2007 reads: “RE: GREAT MORGAN, MALE/6 YEARS/ HOS-

By Chinaka Okoro

PITAL NO. 470060. “The above named is a patient of the unit [and] was admitted on the 12th September, 2005 and discharged on the 25th November, 2005. He presented at the Accident and Emergency department following Road Traffic Accident in which he sustained Avulsion Injury to the forehead, abrasion injuries to the face, bilateral humeral fracture and closed fracture of the left femur. “Clinical evaluation revealed that he was anaemic and a Jehovah Witness by religion. This religious sect does not accept both autologous and heterologous blood transfusion. The Avulsion injury involved the entire forehead with the periosteum of the underlying bone still intact. “The fractures were managed conservatively and soft tissue cover of the avulsed forehead was planned. This however was delayed as the packed cell volume was 17% and patient would not accept blood transfu-

sion. He was subsequently commenced on intravenous Erythropoietin. Six weeks later when the conditions were optimal, a split thickness skin graft was used to re-surface the forehead while a posterior auricular full thickness graft was used to correct upper eyelid ectropion. He was subsequently discharged and planned for further flap reconstruction of defects of the forehead if required. “Follow up treatment was continued on outpatient basis and in the last review on the 27th March, 2006, the following defects were noted:-Excessive scaring of the graft site. -Hypertrophic scar extending from the medial canthus of the right eye down the entire nasolabial fold. -Re-contracture and ectropion of the right upper eyelid. Surgical reconstruction of these defects were offered however patient wishes to seek resolve of his problem outside the country. “We would be glad if all necessary assistance is offered.”

The worst part of it is the psychological trauma he goes through. Any time he returns from school, he will be crying that his school mates usually make mockery of his face; asking him ‘why can’t your parents remove this bad thing on your face?’He feels dejected almost always

Donor hailed for helping Delta flood victims

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fficials of Delta State flood rehabilitation camps have commended Delta State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in the 2011 general elections, Professor Saliba Mukoro for donating relief materials to flood victims. A statement signed by his Media Consultant Mr. Oghenekevwe Laba said that Mukoro, who is currently on holidays in the United States of America (USA) recently, donated pick-up load of relief items and truck of pure water each to four different flood victims’ rehabilitation camps spread across Delta State. The flood rehabilitation camps which benefitted from Mukoro’s gesture were Ughelli, Oleh, Ozoro and Asaba. Relief

•Saliba Mukoro

items loaded in the pick-up trucks were bags of rice, bags of garri, bathing soap and loaves of bread, among other items. The materials were presented on behalf of Mukoro by his Special Assistant Hon. Joshua Panama. While receiving the relief materials from Panama, Camp Commandant of St. Michael’s College, Oleh, Mrs. Helen Obanedo, who said she was short of words over Mukoro’s humanitarian gesture to the flood victims, thanked him for donating generously to the needy, just as she noted that they appreciated his effort in ameliorating the pains of the flood victims. In a related development, Camp Commandant of flood victims located at Anglican Girls’ Grammar School (AGGS), Ozoro Isoko North Local Government Area Mr. Atumu Desmond commended Professor Mukoro for supplying relief materials to the camp, just as he assured him that the relief materials would be judiciously used to the benefit of the flood victims. “Delta State government, Isoko North Local Government Area and Isoko Development Council (IDC) in Ozoro thanked Professor Saliba Mukoro for the items he supplied to this camp. I want to assure him that the items will be judiciously used to the glory of God and for the benefit of the people,” he promised. Responding on behalf of Mukoro, Joshua Panama said Mukoro donated the materials to the various camps as a way of expressing his feelings to the flood victims. He said pick-up load of relief materials and truck load of pure water each were distributed to four different camps. He ap-

•Some of the items donated

pealed to corporate organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGO) and individuals to assist by supplying relief materials to the victims, adding that government cannot do it alone. “The exercise should be a continuous one. This is because if you give them food today, how can they feed tomorrow? Government should make arrangement for proper and permanent rehabilitation of the victims. This is a natural disaster that could happen to anyone,” he said.

Corroborating the above, the management of the Fortis La Femme Hospital in India in what it called estimated diagnosis and line of treatment said: “Dr Kashyap, Senior Consultant, Department of Plastic Surgery has reviewed the reports of the patient Master Great Morgan and opined that reports of the patient revealed scars on the forehead due to split skin grafting, ectropion of right upper eyelid and scaring on the left nasolabia. He is being scheduled for facial contractures and skin grafting…” Though Great Morgan is not suffering from physical pains as the wounds have healed the psychological trauma which results from jests made of his deformity by his school mates seem to be the major pain the little boy is experiencing currently. According to his father Mr Okey Morgan, Great always displays immense psychosomatic dispositions any time he comes back from school. He said: “Each time he looks at his face in the mirror, he starts crying. And any time he is asleep, one of his eyes will be open as if he is awake. We his parents are not happy seeing him in that condition, as no parents will be happy seeing his or her child looking deformed. Great’s face is totally deformed. “The worst part of it is the psychological trauma he goes through. Any time he returns from school, he will be crying that his school mates usually make mockery of his face; asking him ‘why can’t your parents remove this bad thing on your face?’He feels dejected almost always. We are

•Great Morgan praying that no dangerous thoughts would come into him one day to do something funny.” Mr Morgan further disclosed that they have been approaching some individuals for assistance but have not gotten an appreciable amount of the N3.7m required for the surgery. The Morgans said: “We are appealing to Lagos State governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), public-spirited Nigerians and corporate organisations to provide financial help to enable us to take our only son Great to India for plastic surgery.” For more information, the following telephone lines could be contacted: 08023066447 and 08161694530. Cash payments can be made into the following bank account number: OGDEN OKEY MORGAN 3004973563 FIRST BANK Plc.

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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HE Rotary Club of Nigeria, Palm Grove Estate, Lagos has organised a free eye treatment exercise for patients in the state. Many with eye conditions, especially the aged, turned up for the programme. Several were treated, while some were diagnosed and given medication. President of the club in the estate, Susan Ramesh urged Nigerians to see the importance of agreeing to donate their eyes after death in order to save the sight of the living. No less than 500 Lagosians with temporary blindness attended the programme, which was tagged Mission For Vision at the General Hospital, Marina, Lagos. Ramesh said the club took up the project five years ago and has handled over 80,000 cases, saying the Nigerian government has given them a lot of support and that what the club is doing is just to complement the effort of the government. She said that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over one million Nigerians are infected with preventable blindness and if proper surgery is done, can prevent total blindness. Ramesh said the most important thing is for Nigerians to know the importance of eye donation after life is gone, saying the eyes of a dead person can still be useful for others who have lost their sight. “If information gets to us at the eye bank, we can quickly go there and collect the eyes of the dead person provided it is within the eight hours after life is gone the eye can still be useful. This practice will give sight to an individual and give a blind person the hope of seeing again. Nigerians should realise that the eye is no longer useful for the dead person but can be useful for the living,” she said.

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HE Jos District Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria (SWAN), the women wing of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) has given succour to over 90 orphans of Child Love and Protection Advocacy Initiative (CLAPAI) in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State. The ICAN women who visited the orphanage, donated assorted items

•Beneficiaries of the programme

Free eye treatment in Lagos By Adeola Ogunlade

The President said about 500 people were shortlisted for the surgery which was to last two weeks in Lagos after which the club will move to Ogun State and perform surgery on 600 patients with temporary blindness. She described the project as a laudable one where trained and specialised doctors are brought from India to treat people with preventable blindness. She lauded the Federal Government for supporting the Club with logistics which has enabled the club to succeed in its work.

Ramesh said: “This venture would not have been possible but for the support of the governments. Lagos State government, for instance, realised how important it has been to the people, so they gave us this General Hospital to make use of where we handled the surgeries with the equipment on the ground. “Much more complicated surgeries will be possible by getting more grants we therefore call on individuals, corporate organisations and corporate bodies to please donate to this kind gesture of Rotary Club of Nigeria,” she said. Also, in her address, the Secre-

tary, Rotary Eye Institute, India, Dr Viral Purohit, advised Nigerians on the use of sun shades and the importance of washing their eyes twice daily to prevent infections. He said one of the causes of eye infections is when people eat and don’t wash their hands and use the same hand to scratch their eyes. This, he said, can lead to eye infection. Purohit also said what lead to total blindness are negligence, when people don’t pay proper attention to their health, excess urine, malnutrition and ignorance adding that the Club will work on updating the knowl-

edge of the public on how to take care of their eyes. He also spoke on their Mission for Vision which he said is a simple statement on restoring the light of the community and to create light where it is needed adding that in his nine visits to the country he has treated over 80,000 people in six states which are Abakaliki, Kaduna, Lagos, Ogun states, among others. He advised Nigerians to spend their money, skills, power and position to better the lives of the people in their immediate community. Some of the beneficiaries of the free eye treatment showed gratitude to the Rotary Club and expressed their satisfaction towards the treatment they were given. They also prayed for the progress of the club.

Women group donates to orphanage ranging from foodstuffs, beverages, detergents, toiletries, gallons of groundnut oil, clothes, shoes, cash, among other items. Presenting the items, SWAN Coordinator, Mrs. Loretta Takon stated that her group learnt about the or-

phanage when they sought to contribute their quota to help the needy. Takon expressed her happiness that the action has brought smiles to the faces of the children who, at the time of the visit, were just trusting God for the next supply.

•From left: Vice Chancellor, Benson Idahosa University Prof. Mac-Donald Idu; Deputy Director, Entrepreneurship Development, National Universities Commission (NUC), Mrs Lauretta Achor; Chief Executive Officer Poise Nigeria Mrs Mavi Isibor and Head Poise’ Graduate Finishing School, Mrs Ukinebo Dare at the unveiling of a software-Psense by Poise Nigeria at Protea Hotel Ikeja, Lagos

She maintained that the items are tokens to share with the children who, without the home, would have had no one to cater for their needs. Earlier, Mrs. Kyenpiya Nyabam, the Coordinator of the orphanage disclosed that Child Love and Protection Advocacy Initiative (CLAPAI) established six years ago aims at catering for the food, shelter and educational needs of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. She said the death of her relatives through the scourge of the disease and the plight of the children was the determining factor for establishing the home which started with just seven children. The home now has over 100 children. Her words: “My husband and I were touched by the plight of orphans in the society and decided to contribute in helping them overcome the hurdles of life. We intervened in order to curb teenage abortion, child molestation and prostitution. “The prolonged strike in public schools also contributed in bringing

orphans here for free education because we have people who volunteered to teach and take care of them.” The Coordinator further stressed that it could sometimes be discouraging because of the challenges and financial burden the couple go through, even as she said that at some moments where people visit like the women did, it gives them hope and encourage them to forge ahead knowing the children have a brighter future. Mrs. Nyabam decried the crises in the state which she said have increased the rate of orphans with many of them having no one to cater for them. This, she added, results in the children having social and educational challenges in life. She urged public-spirited people to contribute their quota in whatever measure to encourage those who are picking children off the streets for rehabilitation as street children have the potential of becoming nuisance to well-brought up children in the society.

My husband and I were touched by the plight of orphans in the society and decided to contribute in helping them overcome the hurdles of life. We intervened in order to curb teenage abortion, child molestation and prostitution

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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•Board of director of the Akute club for the current Rotary year with the incubent president at the investiture ceremony

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HE President of the Rotary Club of Akute in Ogun State, Showunmi Michael Adeshina has praised one of the club’s departed member Ebenezer AlaniOludimu who died earlier in the year. He described him as a Rotarian per excellence. Showunmi, who made this remark at his investiture as the 7th president of the club said that Oludimu’s death was a huge loss to the club. “The occasion indeed calls for deep reflection and sobriety in honour of our departed member, the late Rotarian Ebenezer AlaniOludimu who was the incoming President until the Lord ascended him triumphantly in the first quarter of this year. Rotarian Oludimu was a Rotarian per excellence and his sudden departure

Rotary gets new president By Olusoji Olukayode

was a big loss to the club, his family and all members of the Rotary Club of Akute,” he said. Speaking on the day’s event, the new helmsman said: “I feel a deep sense of humility and privileged honour to thank you all for taking time out of your busy schedule to be part of my investiture as the 7th President of the Rotary Club of Akute, 2012/2013 Rotary year.’’ On Rotary in general he said: “This current Rotary year, Rotary is spreading the message of peace

through service around the world and we are partnering with all service-oriented bodies both corporate and personal.’’ And of the Akute Club he said: “At Akute Rotary has continued to impact positively on the community through some of our projects carried out in the past six years.’’ He reeled off the projects to include “sinking of boreholes in ZI Primary School and Akute Grammar School, running of free adult literacy school with an average of 50 students at Akute Grammar School, annual microfinance interest-free facility to petty

traders with a seed capital of N100, 000, annual free medical test for people in the community, provision of chairs and desks to ZI Primary School Akute, refurbishment of Ajuwon Police Division patrol vehicle. The occasion witnessed fundraising for the completion of the community health centre being built by the club for the people of Akute who lack such facility despite having about 500, 000 inhabitants. At the event two people, Prince Olukayode Adeolu Babatunde and Senior Evangelist David Oladugbagbe were recognised and given awards for their

humanitarian services. The occasion was chaired by Engineer Wale Babatunde; Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba Abeokuta, Ogun State, Dr Oladapo Sotiloye was the Special Guest of honour. Present at the event was the Sagbua of Egba land, Chief Samuel Adeyemi Showunmi who was the Royal Father of the day. Also present at the event were the six past presidents of the club, Isiaka Bello, Ayo Solano, Olasunkanmi Eyinfunjowo, Gbadebo Soetan and the erstwhile president, Emmanuel Olusesi. Most of these personalities had made some financial contributions to the health centre project while some had promised to make contributions later.

Council chief inspects projects T

HE new public primary school in Ailegun Community in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area will be inaugurated before the end of the year. The facility built by the Kehinde Bamigbetan administration has reached 80 per cent completion stage. This was disclosed by the Council Enginner, Kayode Olaniyan when he conducted the council chairman and executive members of the local council round the school building. The officials were at the school to inspect the state of work as part of their one-day tours of ongoing projects in the area. Mr Olaniyan, while conducting Bamigbetan and his executive round the facility explained that Lagos State government’s specification and standard were followed to the letter in the con-

Bamigbetan expressed satisfaction with the work done so far, adding that its completion and inauguration will avail children living around the school the opportunity of attending a public school closer to their homes. This, he said, will save them a lot of energy and time trekking a long distance to their schools

By Duro Babayemi

struction of the school. He added that what remains to be done on the school are the plastering of classrooms, fixing of the toilet facilities, completion of the conduit wiring and sand-filling of the school premises. Bamigbetan expressed satisfaction with the work done so far, adding that its completion and inauguration will avail children living around the school the opportunity of attending a public school closer to their homes. This, he said, will save them a lot of energy and time trekking a long distance to their schools. At the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Primary School, which was inaugurated by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola in January, Bamigbetan inspected the installation of ceiling fans in all the 10 classrooms of the school and also expressed satisfaction with the quality of job done. He also visited Imakiyo Primary School where he inspected the fencing of the school. Also, Project Concern, the construction firm handling the rehabilitation of Kayode Double Power Line Road in the area, has assured the local government authority that repair work on the road would be completed by the end of this month. The Site Engineer, Gboyega Nurudeen gave the assurance when Bamigbetan and his executive inspected the project. Gboyega while responding to Bamigbetan’s question on meet-

•From right: Mr. Gboyega Nurudeen of Project Concern explaining some points to Ejigbo council chairman, Kehinde Bamigbetan and other officials of the council during an inspection visit to Kayode Double Powerline Road by the council officials

ing the initial eight weeks deadline set for the completion of the road repair, stated that when they moved to the site early September, they discovered that the scope of work was more than their original plan and this required re-designing the job. He said there was the need to engage the Power Holding Com-

pany of Nigeria (PHCN) for the removal of some high tension electric wires from the road to enable them get their correct alignment on the road, and the removal of some abandoned vehicles from the road as some of the challenges militating against meeting the initial deadline. He assured the council chief

and his team that the November deadline would be met, as they have started setting kerbs on both sides of the road, noting that this aspect of the job is the most critical. Gboyega further assured the local government that the road would meet world-class standard on completion as it would stand the test of time.

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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

Obi said he was impressed by what he saw but stated that there was need to define things properly so as to know when each stage of the work would be completed and when the entire project would be finished

Obi steps up power partnership

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NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi has taken steps to end the state’s electricity challenges and grow its economy. The state is reckoned to be the country’s industrial hub, but unsteady power, a common issue nationwide, has hobbled its progress. Obi wants to let the state’s industrial engines run at full throttle by ensuring stable power supply. He said constant electricity, guaranteed by an independent power plant, will create jobs and grow the economy. The governor expressed concern that the industries in Onitsha and Nnewi, as well as other parts of the state, have not been operating at full capacity, a situation he said he will change by partnering with reputable power firms. The quest has taken him and a state state government team to Bahrain, where extensive work has been going on in the construction of the state’s power barges. Also the governor is negotiating with two other companies that will generate 260 MW from the state’s IPP, which will be located in Onitsha. Involved in the Bahrain pact were the Senior Management of Arab Shipbuilding and Repairs Yard Company (ASRY); the delegation from Centrax Ltd, UK, the oldest gas turbines company in the world, formed 65 years ago; and the delegation from Eaglefin Structures Finance Mauritius LTD. While conducting the delegation round their facilities, the Chief Executive of Arab Shipbuilding and Repairs Yard Company (ASRY), Mr. Chris Potter assured on the quality of the barges, which he said will be comprehensively tested before shipment to Anambra. The Director of Centrax Ltd, a privately owned turbine industry, Mr. Guy West, added that the barges will meet international standards. Responding, Governor Obi said he was impressed by what he saw but stated that there was need to define things properly as to know when each stage of the work would be completed and when the entire project would be finished.

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

The state has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a consortium of investors to build a 260 Megawatts power plant. The project is estimated to cost 350m dollars and will be sited at the bank of the River Niger. The signing ceremony took place in the Exco Chambers of the Government House, Awka. Governor Obi signed for the state government, Chief Dennis Okafor signed for Denca Services Limited; the project sponsor, Mr. Russel Schwartz signed for Eagle Finance Structured Consortium of South Africa while Mr. Daniel Oshiogwemde signed for the Stanbic IBTC Bank. Mr Noel Guy was part of the team. Obi said with adequate power supply, the state economy would compete with any in the world. He explained that the project, when completed, will serve the high concentration of industries and businesses in Onitsha, Nnewi and other parts of the state, especially as more multi-national corporations are siting their facilities in the state. The governor assured that the government will support the consortium to complete the project on schedule and according to specifications. The Commissioner for Public Utility, Water Resources and Rural Development, Mr. Emeka Nwankwu said the project was in line with the drive to make the state one of the strongest economy in the country. Mr Nwankwu further said: “We are planning to build a 120 mega power plant under private public participation arrangement,” he said. He said the governor is also discussing with geo-Metrics in Aba, Abia state to see the possibilities of taking power from their generating plant to supply the industries and companies in Nnewi. His words: “In transmission we are also trying to see how we can assist Power Holding Company of Nigeria. We have allocated land to them at Ifitedunu, in Dunukofia for

•From left: Governor Peter Obi in a handshake with Shaikh Daij Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, Chairman of Arab Shipping and Repairs Company in Bahrain. With them is Chief Dennis Okafor the building of A substation. In the area of distribution, we have set out to provide about 200 transformers. We have started with 50 pieces which will be handed over to the PHCN soon. It will be used in some areas that have no power supply. They include part of Anambra East, West, Ayamelum, Orumba North, South, Amanuke in Awka-North, Izinakato, Ndiokpalaeke, among others.” “The second phase will be to upgrade facilities in some areas with increased populations. We are importing transformers of different sizes, 500KVA, 300KVA, 200KVA. The state government last year spent over N300 million on rural electrification projects. For this year, we have budgeted N1.4 billion. The project sponsor, Chief Dennis

•Alhaji AbduRazak Asaju assisted by the Amir (President) Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) Lagos State Area Unit Alhaji Qasim Badrudeen (right) to present gift to AbdulGaniy Anjorin, winner of the Quranic Competition in Lagos. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA

Okafor, thanked Governor Obi for giving them the opportunity to contribute to the development of the state while another partner, Mr. Schwartz said arrangements for the gas turbine have been concluded. The government’s interest in the IPP is to enable Onitsha and Nnewi as well as other cities in the state have concentrated energy supply. The visit to Bahrain was part of the state’s plan to realise that vision. Senior Special Assistant to the

Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr Valentine Obienyem, a lawyer, informed that his boss believes that local industries cannot compete effectively with other sectors unless necessary infrastructure such as power, water, security of lives and property, communication and roads are available. He said the Obi administration has spent billions of naira to boost infrastructure. The governor has been praised for his infrastructural renewal projects and the IPP plan.

NEMA links fire outbreaks to negligence

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HE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has observed that over 90 per cent of fire outbreaks in Nigeria are caused by human negligence. Ther agency said this could be prevented through changing the value, cultures and practices of the people through well-thought-out re-orientation. Speaking at a one-day workshop organised by NEMA in Akure, the Ondo State capital, the South West Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Iyiola Akande described fire outbreak as the greatest human-induced disaster. He added that its impact was always devastating because of its tendency to completely destroy, in a few minutes, what someone has taken years to build. Akande, who was represented by the Principal Relief Officer of NEMA, Mrs. Bolanle Ojo noted that the workshop aimed at creating awareness on fire prevention and mitigation measures in order to build a culture of safety consciousness among authorities and communities at different levels. She further said that the programme was aimed at enlightening members of the society to be proactive in reducing and preventing fire disasters. He argued that experience has also shown that the incidences and intensity of damage and losses are more

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

during the dry season. Akande, however, said the best fire-fighting technique is prevention and to prevent a fire outbreak is to create awareness among the people. He said: “Fire outbreak has remained a major disaster not only in Nigeria but the world over. Some of these outbreaks have been linked with electrical as a result of power surges. In recent past, so many lives and properties worth billions of Naira have been lost to uncontrolled fire in the country. “In addition to loss of lives and properties, there are incalculable indirect fiscal losses that results in unemployment, reduced property values and loss of business income. There is usually no warning as to when a fire outbreak may occur. “However, experience has shown that the incidences and intensity of damage and losses are more during the dry season. “To this end, the best agent for attitudinal change is sensitisation and awareness. Therefore, efforts would be made, through the resource persons, to emphasise on measures and procedures for mitigating fire outbreak through early detection and prompt response. This will help in saving lives and minimise losses.”

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

53

NEWS

Fed Govt to get $77.73m loan from France

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HE Federal Government is to receive a $77.73 million loan from the French Development Agency (AFD) to cofinance the second National Urban Water Sector Reform Project (NUWSRP2) in Cross River and Lagos states. According to a council memo, the Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, will present the matter for deliberation to the Federal Executive Council today. Also at the FEC’s meeting, the government is expected to award a N600 million contract for the purchase of Direct Data Capture Machine to boost the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT). The contract will first be revised at the meeting before the award is granted to the successful contractor that will supply the machines. According to the memo seen by The Nation, the first item on the day’s agenda is “the revision of the contract sum for the procurement of Direct Data Capture Machines to enable the payment of VAT amounting to $3,750,760 on the importa-

From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor

tion of the Direct Data Capture Machines.” Also, the Federal Government will increase the contract price of food stuff to be supplied to prisons across the country. A memo earlier circulated by the Minister of Interior on September 21, will urge members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to consider increasing the “contract prices for supply of food stuff and cooking gas for prisoners.” The Nation also gathered that contracts will be awarded for the rehabilitation of the ECOWAS secretariat in Abuja, going by another memo expected from the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, as well as the “contract for the augmentation of per/post contract consultancy services for the improvement of power supply to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. The memo will be presented by the Minister of Aviation. Approval is also expected for the award of contract for the construction of the Sagbemi-Kirigbo-Gada-

• Dr Jonathan

Igbekibo road in Ondo State, as well as the ratification of the President’s anticipatory approval for the ward of contract in respect of 28 infrastructure development projects for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The last two items on the agenda for today’s FEC meeting are those presented by the Minister of Works for the augmentation of contract NO 1793 for the dualisation of the Ibadan-Ilorin road section 1 Ibadan-Oyo road in Oyo state and addendum No 2 for the extension of the service lanes from KM0+000 (River Niger Bridge Head, Onitsha) to KM1 +000 and rehabilitation of slip roads at Upper Iweka interchange in Onitsha Anambra state under contract number 6134.

Minister’s briefing delays Reps debate the eve of the House’s twoHE House of Repre on PIB months break.The House sentatives yesterday

T

postponed the debate on the contentious Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to enable the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to brief the House. The debate was deferred till next week. This makes it the second time the debate on the bill would be postponed. It was billed for discussion before the House went on recess. Just like the first occasion, the PIB was listed on the order paper for debate, but this was not taken. When she was invited to take the lead debate at plenary yesterday, the House Leader, Mulikat Akande-Adeola, said

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

ministerial details were lacking in the bill and therefore requested for more time to enable her receive briefing from the minister. Sequel to the demand by the House Leader, the Speaker said: “House Leader has requested that we step down consideration until she gets briefing from the Petroleum minister. “We will begin debate on PIB next week. Honourable members intending to contribute are to drop their names with either of the whips.” The first time the House refused to debate the PIB was on

while rejecting the bill, wondered why the Presidency was sending it at the onset of a twomonth recess, adding that the act was not only mischievous but also an effort at blackmail. The House yesterday resolved to merge the Petroleum Industry Bill with a similar member bill sponsored by Kaka Kyari Gujibawu, entitled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish the National New Frontier Exploration Agency, for the purpose of Exploration and Production of Oil and Gas in the frontier of chad basin, Dahomey basin, Imo basin, Benue trough and Sokoto Basin.’

Sinopec set to buy Total Nigeria’s stakes

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HINA's Sinopec is close to buying stakes in Nigerian onshore oil blocks from French oil major Total worth about $2.4 billion, the Bloomberg news agency reported yesterday. Asia's largest refiner has signed a preliminary deal to acquire the stakes, the report said without providing more

details. When contacted, a spokesman for Total declined to comment on the report. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) was not immediately available for comment. The French group said in September it planned to sell assets worth between $15 bil-

lion and $20 billion in the period up to 2014 as part of a bolder approach to managing its business, which has seen it buy and sell assets more frequently. Total shares were little changed, trading down 0.06 per cent, while the European oil and gas sector edged 0.07 per cent up.

Jonathan promises agric revolution

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HE Federal Govern ment has restated its determination to revolutionise the agricultural sector to achieve selfsufficiency in food production, as well as provide job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth in the country. President Goodluck Jonathan, who gave the assurance in Dutse yesterday, during his courtesy call on the Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Nuhu Mohammadu Sanusi, said for the country to achieve self-sufficiency and boost its economy, agriculture will continue to be the cornerstone. “I am looking into many areas, but of course, our

From Kolade Adeyemi & Eunice Bosua, Dutse

emphasis will be on agriculture in order for us to get to where we want to be. We will also make sure that power is stabilised. We are concentrating our time and energy to improve power supply in the country so as to encourage small and medium enterprises. “But agriculture will remain the main focus because for us to create wealth across the length of the country. We must revolutionise agriculture; that is an area we are working very hard and I believe before we quit office, I believe our vision and mission will be very clear to most Nige-

rians.” While laying the foundation stone of the N5 billion Jigawa International Airport in Dutse, Jonathan commended the efforts of the state Governor, Dr Sule Lamido but pointed out that it is not mandatory for all states to have an international airport, adding that what is important is a functional airport. However, Jonathan promised to partner with the state government to complete the project. He appealed to NYSC member to accept postings to the state, noting that it is among the most peaceful states in the country.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

54

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 6-11-12

Equities gain N39b amidst several losses

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QUITIES sustained the positive market outlook at the Nigerian stock market yesterday, although more stocks ended with lower valuations. Considerable gains by a handful of highly capitalised stocks including Nigerian Breweries, First Bank of Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc boosted the overall index position, notwithstanding a tally of 28 losers to 18 gainers. Aggregate market capitalisation of quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) rallied N39 billion to close at N8.516 trillion as against its opening value of N8.477 trillion. The main index, the All Share Index (ASI), inched up by 0.47 per cent from opening index of 26,600.10 points to close at 26,724.02 points. The modest gain nudged the average year-to-date return at the stock market to 28.91 per cent, more than

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

twice the inflation rate. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria led the advancers with a gain of N1.91 to close at N43.80 per share. Nigerian Breweries followed with a gain of N1.50 to close at N134. UAC of Nigeria added N1.04 to close at N40.50. First Bank rallied 80 kobo to close at N16.40. Oando chalked up 40 kobo to close at N11.70. GTB gained 39 kobo to close at N20.54, while Nigerian Aviation Handling Company and UBA added 27 kobo each to close at N5.87 and N4.86 respectively. On the downside, Cadbury Nigeria and UACN Property Development Company led the losers with a drop of N1.25 each to close at N25.75 and N11.25 respectively. CAP followed with a loss of 84 kobo to close at N29.84. Ecobank

Transnational Incorporated (ETI) dropped 62 kobo to close at N10.98. Academy Press lost 41 kobo to close at N3.69. University Press dwindled by 24 kobo to N4.59. Red Star Express was down by 21 kobo to close at N2.80. Access Bank declined by 20 kobo to N8.70. Ashaka Cement Plc slipped by 13 kobo to N18 while Custodian and Allied Insurance dropped by 11 kobo to close at N1.19 per share. Turnover remained around the average with exchange of 253.21 million shares worth N2.76 billion in 4,876 deals. The Banking subsector was the most active accounting for 165.66 million shares valued at N1.74 billion through 2,832 deals. Food products subgroup staged a distant second with a turnover of 25.37 million shares valued at N145.4 million shares in 253 deals. On stock by stock basis, Zenith Bank topped activity chart with a turnover of 35.22 million shares valued at N620.8 million in 339 deals. ETI trailed with 23.28 million shares valued at N248.44 million in 143 deals. Dangote Sugar Refinery ranked third with a turnover of 21.9 million shares worth N116.8 million in 101 deals.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 6-11-12

55

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

MONEY LINK

Sterling Bank to help MfBs access N220b intervention fund

S

TERLING Bank Plc has expressed its commitment to assisting Microfinance Banks (MfBs) access N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF), which would be launched by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) next week. Managing Director, Sterling Bank Plc, Yemi Adeola disclosed this yesterday at the MfB Customer Forum organised by the bank in Lagos. He said the fund seeks to provide wholesale funding for MfBs and microfinance institutions for on-lending to micro and medium enterprises. The bank CEO listed other funding opportunities that the MfBs can key into to include the N5 billion small business development funds, $4 million renewable energy project, and another $200 million provided

Stories by Collins Nweze

by Ford Foundation to enable them increase their market penetration. Adeola said the plan is part of the apex bank’s strategic initiatives aimed at strengthening the MfB subsector to enable it play its primary role of financial support for the grassroots in the economy. He said Sterling Bank is proactively positioning its key customers in the MfB subsector to benefit from the MSMEDF when it is eventually launched. The Sterling Bank boss said that Nigerian banks concentrate on big customers, not understanding that 50 to 60 per cent of finance in the economy usually comes from the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). He said unless banks refocus on SMEs, the economy will not grow. Noting that massive invest-

ment is required to run a bank, Mr Adeola said that Sterling Bank is committed to channeling some of its products and services as well as dedicate knowledgeable staff, towards meeting the business needs of MfBs. He said that the MfBs need enabler s such as commercial bank to be able to access the Fund and other intervention finances from the apex bank to the subsector. He said there is also a N600 billion agricultural development fund, which the bank has already assisted several customers to benefit from. Chief Finance Officer, Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman said the bank believes strongly in strategic partnership and is already partnering with some MfBs in relation to electronic business, agricultural finance among others. “We identify with the brand promise of MfBs

and believe there is need to leverage on technology to increase their retail penetration and enable their customers enjoy electronic banking facilities,” he said. Consequently, he said the bank will be assisting the MfBs on co-branded card issuance, epayment inflows, global teller, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) deployment and mobile banking. He said such services will enable the lender increase customer patronage, enhance deposits, revenue and boost efficiency through automation of operations. He said Sterling Bank has increased its exposure to the agricultural sector and will continue to do that going forward. Managing Director, Support Microfinance Bank, Sunny Akhamiokhor said the step taken by the Sterling Bank is commendable. He said the pro-

European Investment Bank, UBA to support small businesses

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HE European Investment Bank (EIB), Europe’s long-term lending institution, and United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, have agreed to strengthen small and medium businesses in Africa through a Eur50 million regional funding initiative. In a statement, EIB Vice President, Pim van Ballekom said the bank is committed to supporting the private sector in Africa, stressing that the partnership will benefit small businesses seeking to expand and contribute to strengthening of

the financial sector in 16 African countries. Ballekom said the ability to access harmonised financial services across borders will also encourage greater regional economic integration on the continent. Group Managing Director and CEO, United Bank for Africa Plc, Phillips Oduoza said the partnership with EIB provides his bank with an additional source of medium to long term funding and will enhance financial intermediation in key sectors such as agriculture, manufac-

He said the EIB loan will be used by UBA for on-lending to eligible customers in its countries of operation and will assist the bank strengthen its African regional network. Oduoza said the initiative will target private sector enterprises, including small businesses in post-conflict countries such as Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast and will also be used for expanding and strengthening the under-developed financial sectors of Benin, Chad , Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

•Oduoza

turing, infrastructure, transport, energy, health, education among others.

FGN BONDS Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016

Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 6-11-12 SYMBOL

UBA FIRSTBANK HONYFLOUR NHCO GLAXOSMITH WAPIC JAPAULOIL OANDO NEIMETH IKEJAHOTEL

O/PRICE

4.59 15.60 2.01 5.60 41.89 0.52 0.55 11.30 0.97 1.07

O/PRICE 12.50 4.10 1.30 1.14 3.01 11.60 4.83 27.00 1.99 1.78

E

FFICIENT payment system will assist in creating a better functional economy, the Managing Director, Unity Bank Plc, Ado Yakubu Wanka has said. Speaking at the Nigeria electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) conference held in Lagos, he said that an effective e-payment system is also key for financial stability and smooth function of the financial markets. Wanka, who was represented by Lanre Fagbanre, an executive of the bank, said the country has over the years, experienced more changes in business due to technology advancement, than any other factor. He said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has put in place, an institutional framework for payment system

By Kolade Olawunmi

development that gave rise to the ongoing cashless policy initiative of the apex bank. He said the cashless policy, which was derived from the institutional framework for payment system development of the bank is a major paradigm shift in the Nigerian economy in which retail and commercial payments are mostly made in cash. He said the cashless policy initiative has led to transformation of the payment system and growth of electronic payment. Consequently, he said there is urgent need to increase availability, reliability, and security of electronic channels is critical in achieving an effective payment system for the country.

C/PRICE

4.86 16.40 2.11 5.87 43.80 0.54 0.57 11.70 1.00 1.10

CHANGE

0.27 0.80 0.10 0.27 1.91 0.02 0.02 0.40 0.03 0.03

C/PRICE 11.25 3.69 1.19 1.06 2.80 10.98 4.59 25.75 1.90 1.70

CHANGE 1.25 0.41 0.11 0.08 0.21 0.62 0.24 1.25 0.09 0.08

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer

NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

153.0000

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

July ’12

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

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% 11.8%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

NSE CAP Index

27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%

28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

LOSERS AS AT 6-11-12

SYMBOL UAC-PROP ACADEMY CUSTODYINS FIDSON REDSTAREX ETI UPL CADBURY ETERNA CUTIX

Efficient payment system’ll support economy

Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m

Currency

Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

ducing commission on turnover (COT) and other banking costs that burden the subsector’s operations.

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM

MANAGED FUNDS

OBB Rate Call Rate

•Adeola

DATA BANK

Tenor

NIDF NESF

cess of accessing intervention funds from the CBN has been hectic for the subsector, adding that the move by the lender to mediate between the MfBs and CBN on the intervention funds will address such hitches. “We commend Sterling Bank for taking the bold step to reach out to the MfBs. We want the bank to keep its promises because access to funds has remained our biggest limitation in the industry,” he said. Akhamiokhor said the bank should also extend other cost cutting measures including re-

Offer Price

Bid Price

ARM AGGRESSIVE 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 125.70 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 125.49 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.79 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.11 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.95 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,736.41 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 10.45 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 9,007.38 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND

9.08 1.00 125.40 124.84 0.76 1.11 0.93 1,129.87 9.94 1.33 1.80 9,778.08 191.08 1.62

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK

Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

Movement

56

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

NEWS Edo governor to present 2013 budget tomorrow

Traders beat up Edo WAI official TRADERS on the New Lagos Road on Monday beat up an official of the Edo State War Against Indiscipline (WAI). It was gathered that WAI officials went to the area to enforce the weekly sanitation. Traders are not supposed to open their shops until the sanitation ends at 12 noon. Sources said the officials allegedly demanded between N3,000 and N5,000 from traders, whose shops were open, but the traders insisted that the 12 noon law was binding on markets and not shops located in private areas. It was learnt that the WAI officials threatened to arrest them and the traders descended on one of them. A trader said: “We are not in the market, yet they came to pack our things.” The traders detained the official and it took the intervention of the WAI Chairman, Mr. Babatunde Olukoga, before he was released. Olukoga said that the official was on illegal duty and assured the traders that he would investigate the matter.

Church marks 14th anniversary THE World New Revival Ministries International will celebrate its 14th anniversary in Lagos from November 7 to 11. It will hold at the church headquarters at 5, Pipeline Road, OrilowoEjigbo. The theme of the fiveday programme is: “Reaching the Summit”. The General Overseer, Mrs. Margaret Durojaiye, said the programme would address various spiritual needs of the people.

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

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•Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan deworming a baby at the SPC Flood Relief Camp in Asaba, the state capital...yesterday. PHOTO: HENRY UNINI

Oshiomhole dissolves council caretaker committees

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DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday implemented the resolution of the House of Assembly, which dissolved transition committees in the 18 local government councils. He directed the Heads of Service in the various councils to take over the management of the local government secretariats. At a meeting with the former transition committee chairmen and Heads of Service at the Government House, Oshiomhole said the Assembly’s resolution was in the best interest of the state.

Ifet takes Michael out of GUS 9

J

ust a day earlier, the warriors learnt lessons in cohesion and team spirit. But for the day’s challenge, they were to abide by the age-long jungle mantra: kill or be killed. It was going to be the survival of the fittest. Every warrior for him or herself. The appearance of Dominic Mudabai, the third and final gatekeeper meant that eviction was in the offing. The game was the Pot of Life. Each of the remaining eight warriors had three pots with their names inscribed on them, hanging from a beam. The Warriors were to aim axes at fellow warriors’ pots. The first warrior to have three of his pots smashed becomes the loser. The warrior whose pot remained intact after hostilities would be declared winner. The warriors made their grand appearance with painted faces and war chants. Game time: In the first round, Priscillia Ezeh smashed Ogbuefi Michael’s pot while Ifet Iniobong struckNuhu’s pot. Micheal appeared

DO State Gover nor Adams Oshiomhole will, tomorrow, present the 2013 budget proposal to the House of Assembly. This was contained in a letter dated October 6 and signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Simon Imuekhemen, on behalf of the governor. In the letter, which was read during plenary session yesterday, Oshiomhole sought the lawmakers’ permission to present the proposed 2013 Appropriation Bill to the House. In another letter dated November 1, the governor requested the amendment of the law establishing the Agency for Information, Communication and Technology (ICT).

to have dug his own grave when he smashed his pot. At the end of the first round, Michael had two of his pots down. The stakes were raised when Chidi Mokeme, the Anchor, directed them to call out the owners of the pot they intended to smash. None of the pots was smashed in the second round. However, in the third round, axe-swinging Ifet ‘buried’ Michael when he called out his name and successfully smashed his pot. It was a death knell to Michael’s dream of becoming the Ultimate Champion. He was evicted on the spot and asked to hand over his Golden Key to Dominic the Gatekeeper. Adah James heaved a sigh of relief as Michael’s journey came to an end.James’s pots were the most targeted as warrior after warrior called out his name during hostilities. It was either that the urge to smash his pots was too tempting to resist or the majority wanted him out of the competition. Chidi soon observed that most of the warriors deliberately missed targets when they swung their axes. He directed Dominic the Gatekeeper to break the pot of warriors that miss their targets on three consecutive swings. The warriors lost a pot each after missing their target. In the end, Paschal’s pot remained hanging as the others lay shattered on the task ground. He was not only made Head Warrior, he was presented with his pot intact and asked to hang it at the camp as a memorabilia of victory. Chidi chided the remaining warriors for their poor performance and directed the warriors to properly paint their faces in order to look more warriors-like. They were also asked to make totems reflecting their personalities and their ethnic origins and presentsame to him at the next meeting. Meanwhile, James became the second contender to bear the burden of the Stump of Shame. GUS 9 continues tonight on AIT, African Magic World (DSTV), Real Star (Star Times), AKBC, Uyo and ITV, Benin at 10pm.

•Heads of Service to head local governments He said the Heads of Service are there to ensure that workers salary are paid and not to run the councils as sole administrators. Oshiomhole said: “I invited you to brief you about a recent development. You are aware of the resolution passed by the Assembly as regards the tenure of the local government transition committees. “We have considered the resolution, which has since been sent to my office, and are satisfied that it was done in good faith and in the best interest of our state. “Accordingly, we have resolved to accept the dissolution of the transition commit-

tees, which means the tenure of the chairmen of the transition committees, the councillors and the supervisors have come to an end. “I appreciate the transition committees for the leadership they provided in the councils in the last two years and a month. “Everything considered, I am convinced that the chairmen have impacted in various ways on the life of the people in their respective local governments. “I have seen schools, health centres, street lights and other projects that were executed by the caretaker committees. When I look at

the score cards of the transition committee chairmen and compare them with those of their predecessors, who were elected, I believe these set of chairmen have done better. “But as they say, there is time for everything, and by the nature of caretaker leadership, there is no defined tenure of office. It is meant to be a stop gap depending on when elections are conducted. “Now that we have cleared the coast, we are sorting out the remaining legal issues regarding the State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSEIC) and we believe over the next few

months, council polls would be conducted. “But before then, we have asked the transition committee chairmen to hand over the affairs of the councils to the Heads of Service.” Warning the Heads of Service not to act as sole administrators, Oshiomhole said: “If there are specific developments that require action, those developments would be discussed and specific approvals would be given. “Ensure you have approval for anything you want to do in black and white to avoid misconception. Our instruction is not that you should go and pay contractors. You must give priority to the payment of accumulated salary.”

Rivers Assembly halts teachers’ recruitment

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HE Rivers State House of Assembly (RSHA) yesterday suspended the recruitment of teachers. The second round of the recruitment test was meant to begin this week. The lawmakers said they took the decision because the Universal Basic Education and the Senior Secondary Schools’ boards were not involved in the recruit-

From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

ment. Mr. Ibiso Nwuche (Ahoada East Constituency 11) raised the motion, which was co-sponsored by members of the Committee on Education, who said the Ministry of Education did not follow due process. Speaker Otelemaba DanAmachree ordered the Com-

missioner for Education Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi and her team to appear before the House on Wednesday by 10am. Dame Lawrence-Nemi could not be reached for comments, but ministry staff said the commissioner was committed to improving the sector. A worker said the ministry has effectively curbed exam malpractices.

The worker said: “People are complaining because the commissioner is strict. She has not given them chance to manipulate the process and recruit their friends. She always insists on merit. “Due to the effective management style of the commissioner, the state has won the best price in education by the Universal Basic Education Commission and many other laurels.”

Remain steadfast, group urges Ugolor

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HE Conference of Non-Government Organisations (CONGOs) in Edo State has assured an environmentalist, Rev. David Ugolor, of their continued support. Ugolor was arrested and detained in prisons custody for alleged involvement in the murder of Mr. Olaitan Oyerinde, the former Principal Secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomhole. He was later released on bail. CONGOs urged him not to see the recent happenings as a setback, but a catalyst for him and his

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

organisation, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), to continue to speak for the downtrodden. During a visit of CONGOs officials to Ugolor yesterday, the group’s President, Comrade Jude Obasanmi, said: “Permit me to make a little retrospection on the recent happenings in which the integrity of active Civil Society practitioners was put to litmus test. “No doubt, your 41 days’ incarceration has proved to

all that we have a long way to go in the quest to have a just and egalitarian society.” Assuring Ugolor of CONGOs’ support, Obasanmi appealed for the incorporation of the group in ANEEJ’s local and international activities. Thanking them for their support, Ugolor said: “Your action/demonstration on the streets with other groups is the first in our recent history as a nation. “They sent the right signal to the agents of state terror and the public that you cannot just frame up an innocent man and get away

with it. “Those who wield lethal weapons purchased for them by tax payers’ money should not turn the weapons against the innocent tax payers.” He urged CONGOs to see his travail as a call to greater duty, adding that many innocent people were languishing in prisons for offences they knew nothing about. Ugolor urged CONGOs’ leadership to come up with a proposal that would reposition civil Society groups for greater service to humanity. CONGOs is a coalition of over 80 organisations

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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NEWS Embattled Kogi lawmakers relocate over threats From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

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MPEACHED Kogi State House of Assembly Speaker Abudullahi Bello, his 12 allies and their families have relocated from Lokoja, the state capital, following alleged threats, it has been learnt. The Chairman of the House of Assembly Committee on Information of the Group of 13, Salihu Akawu Shaidu, yesterday addressed reporters in Abuja on the development. The news briefing was attended by the 13 pro-Bello members. Shaidu accused the Group of 12 and pro-government lawmakers of flouting the “enrolled order” of the House of Representatives’ Ad-Hoc Committee on the crisis, which led to the closure of the Assembly. He said the “12 dissident legislators” continued sitting despite the directives of the House of Representatives’ Committee to the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS) stopping legislative activities at the Assembly. Shaidu said: “The security of our lives and that of our families are continuously threatened. Most of us have relocated with our families from Lokoja for our safety. Unknown gunmen have threatened our members and their families in Lokoja.” The lawmaker explained that Nigerians do not need a mathematician to interpret the provisions of Section 92 (2)(C) of the 1999 Constitution to know that it requires two-third members of any Assembly to legally remove a Speaker or a governor. He said: “The invisible socalled 17 signatures can neither be presented physically till this moment, as claimed by the 12 dissident legislators.” Shaidu said the briefing was to put the records straight and draw the attention of Nigerians to the “latest assault and intimidation” on the 13 members of the Assembly who respected the rule of law. He added: “While we, the 13 members (Speaker’s group) obeyed and continued to abide by this enrolled order of the House of Representatives that shut down the Assembly, the dissident group fragrantly disobeyed and continued its illegal and unconstitutional sittings.”

Gunmen kill family of four in Jos attack

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UNMEN HAVE killed a family of four, comprising the father, mother and their two children, in Chaha village, near Vom, Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State. The deceased are: Iliya Yakubu, his wife, Lyop, their son, Nuhu and daughter, Peace. Two other members of the family, Alice and Patience, escaped with bullet wounds and machete cuts. They are receiving treatment at the Vom Christian Hospital. A resident, Yohanna Dung, said the gunmen stormed the village at 10pm on Monday when the villagers were asleep. He said the gunmen forced the family’s main door open and started shooting at them one after the other. The Nation visited the scene yesterday and saw Patience, 10, at the hospital. She narrated what happened, saying: “The attackers first shot at the door to force it open and

•STF arrests four suspects From Yusufu Aminu Idegum Jos

when they got inside, they started shooting anyone they saw. The people that came to attack us were Fulani. I don’t know them but I saw them. “I don’t know how I escaped. I only decided to run into the darkness. Fortunately, they did not come after me. I came out from my hiding place after the attack to see the bodies of my sister, my father and my mother.” The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Pam Ayuba said: “I visited the scene early Tuesday morning because my village is closer to the scene. I beheld the gory sight of the bodies of the victims. “It’s unbelievable that a man could be so heartless against fellow beings. It’s condemnable.”

Residents of Sopp village in Riyom Local Government Area have been keeping vigil for several days to avoid likely attacks by gunmen. The lawmaker representing Riyom in the House of Assembly, Daniel Dem, said: “The gunmen are still lurking around in my constituency. It has been a serious gun battle between residents and Fulani herdsman, who were coming to attack the villagers. “I want to believe that the Fulani have declared war on my people. I am calling on security agencies to come to our aid.” The police confirmed the attack, saying they have deployed about four units, including the Ant-Riot Squad, Anti-Robbery Squad, AntiTerrorist Squad and detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) to

• Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (left) addressing reporters after the state Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) stakeholders’ meeting at Laafia Hotel, Apata, Ibadan..yesterday. With him are the House of Assembly Speaker Monsurat Sumonu (middle) and Senator Olufemi Lanlehin. PHOTO: FEMI ILESANMI

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

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OUR students of the College of Education, Katsina-Ala, Benue State, have been killed in a “cult clash”. The school was yesterday shut down indefinitely and the students ordered to vacate the campus. The Nation learnt that folowing the celebration of Tiv Day at the school last Saturday, a student in the Theatre Arts Department was found dead with machete wounds all over his body. This reportedly aroused the suspicion that he was killed by some cultists. A senior worker in the school, who spoke in confidence, said three other students had also been killed. Investigations showed that the home of the Registrar, Mr. Aungwa Makurdi, was invaded by armed gunmen suspected to be cultists. But he escaped the attack. An eyewitness in KatsinaAla, Benue Northeast Senatorial Zone where the school is located, said he saw four bodies being taken to the mortuary. Police spokesman Daniel Ezeala, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), confirmed the incident. He, however, said the casualty figure was two. Ezeala said the police arrested two suspects over the incident, adding that they were being interrogated. The police spokesman said security haD been tightened around the school.

BALOGUN •Dr. Ismaila Adewusi (right) and another party member at the Oyo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) stakeholders’ meeting at Laafia Hotel, Apata, Ibadan...yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ILESANMI

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•The late Mrs Ayodeji

•School shut down

CHANGE OF NAME

Funeral tomorrow HE burial arrangements for Mrs Oluremi Abake Ayodeji have been announced. There will be a Christian wake tomorrow at No 1, Ayodeji Street, Oke Ejigbo, Abeokuta, Ogun State, from 5pm to 7pm. On Friday, there will be a church service at New Life Gospel Church, Agbemoye Obantoko, Abeokuta at 10am. Interment will follow immediately at Abule Ogunji, Obantoko, Abeokuta.

apprehend the killers. Police spokesman Emmanuel Abuh, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said: “The attack was carried out about 11.30pm on Monday night. The sound of the gunshot by the attackers attracted the attention of Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of K-Vom. “He sent a platoon to the direction of the gunshot. Unfortunately, the gunmen fled after the attack.” The Special Task Force (STF) on Plateau Crisis, codenamed Safe Haven, yesterday said it has arrested four suspects. Its spokesman, Capt. Salisu Mustapha, confirmed the arrest. He said the suspects were arrested in the bushes near the village. The STF spokesman added that the area has been cordoned off while the search for more suspects continues.

Four die in Benue college ‘cult’ clash

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‘We’ve no confidence in Benue electoral body’

HE Benue State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said it has no confidence in the state’s Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) under Prof. Philip Ahile. The party said it would soon take a decision on the November 24 local government election. It wondered where BSIEC got the constitution, which empowers it to disqualify ACN candidates, while those of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were cleared. ACN noted that the 1999 Constitution is clear on the fact that only competent law courts have the powers to disqualify candidates. Addressing reporters yester-

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

day in his office, its Chairman, Comrade Aba Yaro, said BSIEC disqualified ACN Deputy Chairmanship candidates for Konshisha and Makurdi Local Government Areas on the flimsy excuse that they are undergraduates. Yaro said the 1999 Constitution states that the minimum qualification for the chairmanship candidate of a council, like a governorship candidate, is the Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSSC). The party chairman said but for the intervention of the law courts, BSIEC would have denied ACN candidates from

Ukum Local Government Area screening without reasons. He said: “We had to approach the court and the verdict was clear. The BSIEC lacks the power to disqualify any candidate standing for elections. This is a deliberate attempt to divert our attention from preparing for the poll. But we will decide on what to do very soon. “We are telling the world that the signals we have seen so far from BSIEC are clear that it is doing everything possible to frustrate our party so that we will continue going to court while the PDP continues with its electoral campaigns.”

I. formerly known and addressed as MISS BALOGUN MUTIAT ADENIKE now wishes to be known and addressed as AINA MUTIAT ADENIKE BALOGUN. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note

CHANGE OF NAME ADESINA-TORITSE I. formerly known and addressed as ORITSEMISAN SAMUEL ADESINA now wishes to be known and addressed as ORITSEMISAN SAMUEL ADESINA-TORITSE. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note

LOSS OF DOCUMENT MRS. MARGARET ADEROJU KOSHONI: Letter of Confirmation from Lagos State Government in Respect of 2 Bedroom Bungalow at Abraham Adesanya Housing Estate Ajah, Lagos got lost in transit.

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NEWS I’m committed to Aba’s facelift, says Orji

Biafra: MASSOB says BZM is childish Continued from page 1

peace and non-violent method as greatest tool for actualizing our dream” He added that the leader of the BZM has no valid address of no house, adding, “the group is trying to cause problem in the Southeast because the leadership consists of faceless people who have no house or anything to identify them.” “MASSOB urges the public to dismiss them as attention seekers; we have overgrown the era of marching the

streets with Biafran flags. MASSOB is now consolidating on building structures and diplomatic negotiations with other countries, including the re-declaration of Biafra in May 22nd, 2000, submission of Biafra Bill of rights to United Nations and Chief Uwazuruike’s attendance of OAU Summit in Lome, Togo in 2000 among other achievements”. The Campaign for Democracy (CD), Southeast region urged President Goodluck Jonathan to order the uncon-

ditional release of over 500 BZM members, who have been detained by the police following the Enugu rally. In a statement in Onitsha, CD said: “It is very unacceptable and wicked for police in Enugu to arrest defenseless activists, who are not armed with any weapon. “The movement was just agitating for their freedom as enshrined in Chapter 4; Sections 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38 of the amended 1999 Constitution, which provides the freedom of association and

peaceful assembly,’’ it said. The statement condemned the “kangaroo” manner which the BZM activists were arrested, arraigned and remanded in prison custody. “This is very sad and acceptable to the entire Igbonation, going by the on-going killings by the Boko Haram religious sect in the northern part of the country. “The Federal Government is not doing enough to checkmate their criminal activities against the Nigerian nation.”

CPC rejects Buhari’s nomination by Boko Haram Continued from page 2

deck’’ to tackle corruption,” he said. The Archbishop, Metropolitan Primate Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Most Revd Okoh, described the Boko Haram sect as a “faceless mafia.” Speaking at the Second Edition of the Divine Commonwealth Conference in Abuja, Rev. Okoh said the “Christian faith is something which must be defended.

“Every Christian is a defender of this faith . Every Christian of every generation must defend it. It is the duty of every generation to pass it on uncorrupted and unperverted,” he said, adding: “There is scarcely a common understanding of how to begin to approach the advance of violent Islam- some canvass fire-for-fire approach; others believe that good Christians must continue praying and even try to

preach to the Muslims to change them; meanwhile, the killing and Muslim advance continue unchecked. In between the two extremes are those who believe in dialogue and seminars. Unfortunately, Boko Haram is a faceless mafia, which makes this proposition merely academic, and non-effectual.” According to the Archbishop, Boko Haram has stated that it wants to weed Christianity out of Northern Nige-

ria . While Executing its mission, the sect, said Okoh, has been bombing, shooting, slaughtering and maiming Christians. He added that due to the violence, many Christians have become intimidated and relocated to other places. He lamented that “Our dioceses in Maiduguri, Damaturu, Kano, Bauchi, Yola, Zaria, Jos, among other are, now drastically depopulated.”

•Orji

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BIA State governor Theodore Orji has restated his commitment to the service of the state. He dismissed the activities of those he described as “having sworn to mislead the public through their trade mark of political mildslinging.” In a statement by his Special Adviser on Public Communication Mr. Ben Onyechere, Orji said the development of Aba will go on without hindrance. He criticised those who are generating sentiment around what they described as the underdevelopment of Aba. The statement said: “Nothing can come between me and the development of the state because I have committed myself to the promises I made to the people which is

to give the state a befitting status such that it can have the semblance of statehood. “In doing so, we have laid out a work plan which must be enacted procedurally because of other contending issues which demand equal attention due to long period of neglect by successive administrations. “But irrespective of our avowed commitment and responsibility to the people we will refuse to be stampeded by those who have sworn to mislead the public through their trade mark of political mudslinging because this government has gone beyond blackmail. “The reconstruction of road in Aba will continue unabated so as not to hinder commercial activities for which the city is known. ‘Government will source for partnership with concessionaries as well as gear up its instruments of internal generation of funds. “It is important to urge the people of Aba to cooperate with the government by paying their taxes without which government may find it difficult to re-engage in the huge burden of giving Aba a face lift.”

Bayelsa didn’t collect N17b, says Dickson Continued from page 2

•A lorry-load of relief materials donated by Adenuga Foundation to Bayelsa flood victims...yesterday

Army faults Amnesty report on rights abuses

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HE Army has condemned the recent Amnesty International reports which accused the Joint Task Force (JTF) of gross human rights violations in some parts of the North. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, told reporters in Abuja yesterday that the methodology used by the International Human Rights Group was faulty. Represented by the Chief of Civil Military Affairs, Maj.Gen Bitrus Kwaji, he described the report as unbalanced and highly subjective in favour of the aspirations of Boko Haram. He said the military was never contacted or consulted when the Amnesty International was gathering information and conducting interviews from members of the sect from which they concluded their report. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that Amnesty International last week in a report entitled: “Nigeria: Trapped in the Circle of Violence’’, highlighted the nation’s security challenges, oil spills and demolition of houses.

“The serious human rights violations carried out by the security forces include; enforced disappearance, torture, extrajudicial executions, the torching of homes and detention without trial,’’ the report said. Gen. Ihejirika, however, debunked such allegations as biased and ill-conceived with the intention of rubbishing the efforts which the military had been making to restore peace, protect lives and properties, law and order. According to him, I am happy to observe that Amnesty International recognised that

all the acts of Boko Haram are against Nigerian laws. “They also recognised the fact that Boko Haram attacks were against civilians, this was a crime against humanity. “We, however, disagreed with the mythology used to get the reports which did not give the military fair hearing. “In their report regarding the methodology used, it admitted it spoke with affected members of the public in Borno, Bauchi, Kano and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) “The Amnesty International also read newspaper reports and statements from

Gunmen kill two soldiers in Bauchi

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NKNOWN gunmen killed two soldiers and injured a civilian on Monday night along Kano-Potiskum-Maiduguri road, Azare, Bauchi State. The soldiers were attacked at a Suya spot close to an AA Kankani petrol station. The Second-in-Command to the Brigade Commander of 33 Artillery Brigade at Shadawanka Barracks in Bauchi, Lt. L. Adekanmbi confirmed the killings. “Yes, they killed our men -

two of them - we have received the report,” he said. The gunmen also took away their rifles. He said the bodies of the deceased soldiers had been taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Azare. A civilian who suffered a bullet wound to the leg was also taken to the hospital. Residents of the area said the two soldiers went to the joint to buy suya. The scene of the attack is the busiest spot in the town.

Boko Haram. “No where did they state that they got in touch with us. They never made any effort to reach us. We have our modes of operation, which were being complied with by our officers.”

JTF kills four

Continued from page 3

the arrest of four other suspects.” The JTF has also commenced the use of Sniffer dogs at different check-points in the metropolis. Lt. Eli said the Sniffer dogs are used for the detection of specially-concealed arms and nitrate-based materials used in the making of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at check points. He said: “Available information reveals plan by the terrorists group to smuggle arms into the state capital by all means necessary and cause mayhem in the city so we have to keep evolving new methods. According to him, it is necessary to remain ahead of the terrorists and in so doing, we have to employ all the resources at our disposal to ensure we achieve the set objective” he said.

there to create an impression of bias on the part of a hardworking, impartial federal agency that is doing its work. The truth, however is this: “Last year, the government of Bayelsa State in the last administration made some claims against Rivers State on the account of revenue collection due Bayelsa in respect of some disputed wells. “The government of Rivers State and its officials duly defended this claim and at the end of it there was a reconciliation of figures. At the end of the reconciliation, it was found and agreed upon by all parties, including officials of the Government of Rivers, that Rivers State government had wrongly collected the sum of N17bn that was due Bayelsa State. “That was determined and found to be a fact at the reconciliation. Therefore, an agreement was reached by all parties, including the representatives of the Government of Rivers State for a refund to be made. Government of Rivers State also made a counter claim of wrongful payment of some other wells in its territory to Bayelsa State and other neighbouring states. “The appropriate Federal agencies looked at these claims, heard from all the parties and found that as a fact that Rivers State government was entitled to refund of close of N15-N16bn again in defence, there was an agreement reached for refund, as a result of which all the states affected were made to refund that money. Refund was agreed upon to be made to Rivers State. Either all the states affected have paid or in the process of doing so. The government of Bayelsa State was made to pay about N2bn as refund to Rivers State based on that consensual un-

derstanding. The government of Bayelsa State consequently after paying our refund to Rivers state got about N15.1bn. In line with our transparent regime in this state, we duly declared this earning to the people of Bayelsa State. As I am talking to you, this sum is safely kept in the account of the government of Bayelsa State and when the flood and rain subside, we shall direct it into putting back our critical infrastructure. “It is mischievous for anybody to allege and create an impression that the sum of N17bn was ever kept in an escrow account and that a federal agency paid it out to Bayelsa State during the pendency of litigation. That is a lie that has been fed to the public to create the impression that the Federal agencies are biased. “That is the procedure and that is why we are convinced that the issue of derivation is best left for states to handle and not communities but since my counterpart from Rivers State has made it a communal affair, I believe that he will help us to tell the people of Rivers State, particularly the people of Kalabari Kingdom, who he claimed to be fighting for that the basis of our recent claim is that the government of Rivers state in the past couple of years has wrongly received about N120bn that shouldn’t have been paid to Rivers State. “I hope he will also tell the people of Rivers state, particularly the people of Kalabari, about the refund that was consensually agreed upon and effected in favour of Rivers state to the tune of about N15N16bn which he got about a month ago. We feel that this matter are best left for states and other stakeholders at the Federal level to resolve in accordance with laid down rules.”

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FOREIGN NEWS Two U.S. sailors charged with rape, assault in Okinawa

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WO U.S. sailors were indicted on Tuesday on charges of raping and injuring a local woman on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa. Prosecutors formally charged Seaman Christopher Browning and Petty Officer Skyler Dozierwalker, both 23, in the incident in mid-October. It sparked anger in Okinawa, where local residents have long been critical of the U.S. military’s presence and crimes committed by U.S. troops. The incident also prompted the U.S. military to impose a curfew on all of its personnel in Japan from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., but local police were investigating a U.S. serviceman for allegedly breaking into an apartment on Friday and beating a 13-year-old boy after drinking at a local bar past the curfew.

S •The Mandela banknote

Mandela banknotes issued in South Africa

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HE first banknotes featuring the face of Nelson Mandela have gone into circulation in South Africa. They are the first South African notes to bear the image of a black person - they replace notes with wild animals and rural and industrial scenes. President Jacob Zuma says the banknotes were a “humble gesture” to express South

Africa’s “deep gratitude”. Mr Mandela, 94, is one of the world’s best loved figures after spending 27 years in prison for fighting apartheid. Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus was the first to use the new banknotes when she spent 160 rand, about $18 (£12) on some nuts, beetroot, a watermelon and a cucumber at her local shop in the capital, Pretoria.

She said that Mr Mandela was delighted with the design. She also noted that South Africa tries to update its currency every seven years for security reasons. The new design includes watermarks and a metal strip, while raised printing was added to assist the visually impaired. Mr Mandela’s face is on one side of all the new banknotes,

while the “Big Five” animals - lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant - remain on the reverse. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his campaign against white minority rule and was elected president the following year before stepping down after a single term. Known affectionately by his clan name “Madiba”, he has now retired from public life.

Turkey begins trial of Israeli military over Gaza ship killings

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UNDREDS of protesters chanting “Murderer Israel’’ gathered outside an Istanbul court on Tuesday at the start of a trial of a group of former Israeli military commanders. The military commanders were charged over the 2010 killing of nine Turks aboard a Gaza-bound aid ship. The trial in absentia of four of Israel’s most senior retired commanders, including the head of the army, has been dismissed by Israel as a politically motivated “show trial’’ and threatens to further strain already fraught relations. Ties between the Jewish state and what was once its only Muslim ally crumbled after Israeli marines stormed the Mavi Marmara aid ship in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of

the Palestinian-run Gaza Strip. Nine Turks were killed in clashes with activists on board. The ensuing rift remains raw in spite of U.S. efforts to encourage a rapprochement between the two regional powers whose alliance was a mainstay of Washington’s influence in an unstable region. Israel, Turkey and NATO members which both border Syria, once shared intelligence information and conducted joint military exercises, cooperation which has since been cancelled. Several hundred people, many wearing the Arab keffiyeh headscarf around their necks adorned with the Turkish and Palestinian flags, crowded outside the courthouse as witnesses and relatives of those killed in the raid began

to arrive. “Murderer Israel, get out of Palestine’’ the crowd chanted as others held up a banner with the words, “what is the difference Hitler -Israel.’’ On a board erected outside the courthouse by IHH, the Islamic humanitarian agency that owns the Mavi Marmara, protesters scribbled the slogans “Israel, your end is near,’’ “Down with Israel,’’ “the revenge of our martyrs will be bitter’’. “We want nothing more than for those who are responsible to be punished. We want them to be brought to account for the violation of Palestinian people’s rights,’’ said Ummugulsum Yazici, one of the protesters. Inside the courtroom, the presiding judge began hearing

26 killed in Iraq car bombing

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T least 26 people were killed on Tuesday in a car bombing near a military base north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, Al Jazeera television reported. The Doha-based broadcaster added that at least 30

people were injured when the car exploded in Taji, around 30 kilometres north of Baghdad. Although the level of violence has dropped from a peak in 2006, attacks have become almost daily occur-

rences in Iraq this year. Eighty-eight people were killed in a wave of bombings on Sept. 9, the worst since U.S. forces withdrew in December, almost a decade after the invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.

Assad’s safe exit “could be arranged’’, says SAFE exit and possible take him. Cameron immunity from proseA spokesman for Cameron

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cution for President Bashar al-Assad “could be arranged’’ if it would end Syria’s increasingly bloody conflict, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday. Some 32,000 people have been killed in Syria during a revolt against Assad that began with peaceful protests in March 2011 but became an armed rebellion after a deadly military crackdown. “Done. Anything, anything, to get that man out of the country and to have a safe transition in Syria,’’ Cameron told the Saudi-based Al Arabiya news network in Abu Dhabi

when asked about offering Assad safe passage. “Of course I would favour him facing the full force of international law and justice for what he’s done. I am certainly not offering him an exit plan to Britain but if he wants to leave he could leave, that could be arranged,’’ he said. It was unclear if Cameron had spoken to other UN Security Council members about the idea - which could involve offering Assad immunity from prosecution if he accepted asylum in a third country. Nor was it clear what nation would

suggested separately that an immunity deal could - reluctantly - be put on the table. “Clearly we would like Assad to face justice for what he has done, but our priority, given the situation in that country has to be an end to violence and a transition. And that cannot take place while Assad remains in place,’’ the spokesman said. The UN human rights office has said Syrian officials suspected of committing or ordering crimes against humanity should face prosecution at the International Criminal Court.

testimony from those who were aboard the flotilla during the 2010 raid.

Sudan security seizes Islamist newspaper

UDANESE security forces confiscated the edition of one of the country’s oldest daily newspapers on Monday without any reason, its editor said, as authorities extended a crackdown on the media. Sudanese journalists complain of frequent restrictions on press freedom, even though censorship was officially abolished in the Arab-African country in 2009. The secession of South Sudan last year, an economic crisis that followed the loss of oil revenues and a series of small protests against government austerity measures earlier this year are all sensitive subjects, journalists say. Hussein Khogali, editor of Alwan newspaper, said security agents confiscated the Monday edition of the papers after it had finished printing, but did not say why.

Three boatmen injured by whale

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HREE men were injured on Monday when a whale leaped out of the water and landed on their inflatable boat off South Africa’s south coast near the harbour city of Port Elizabeth, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Tuesday. The weight of animal, believed to be a humpback whale, pushed the craft underwater but the boat popped back to the surface and one of the men was able to raise the alarm with a cell phone, the NSRI said in a statement. Illuminating flares were then used to search for the men and their stricken boat on a moonless night. “The boat was found about one nautical mile off-shore with all three men clinging onto the hull,’’ said Ian Gray, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander.

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THE NATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

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SPORT EXTRA

Ozil rescues a point for sluggish Real Madrid A Mesut Ozil free-kick salvaged a dramatic 2-2 draw for Real Madrid in the final minute of their Champions League Group D clash with Borussia Dortmund at the Bernabeu. Marco Reus stunned the hosts with a clinical finish in the 28th minute, before Pepe equalised to the relief of Jose Mourinho’s side before half time. Real slipped behind again due to Alvaro Arbeloa’s own goal on the stroke of the break, but Ozil rescued what could prove a vital point for the hosts as they prevented what would have been only their second defeat in 14 Champions League games at the Bernabeu. Mourinho started with Raphael Varane in central defence, while Arbeloa filled in at left-back with Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao out injured; meanwhile, Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl was handed a starting berth, despite suffering a facial injury against Stuttgart at

the weekend. The pace of the match was electric from the outset, and Gonzalo Higuain squandered a glorious opening in just the second minute as Luka Modric -

who scored his first goal for Real on Saturday against Real Zaragoza - slid a through ball into his path, but the forward failed to control it with just the goalkeeper, Roman Weidenfeller, to beat.

• Real Madrid midfielder, Xabi Alonso against Marcus Reus in action durin their UEFA Champions League match yesterday

Squash classic kicks off

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HE Lagos State Squash Association (LSSA) has said that its ongoing “Squash Classic’’ championship would be used to assess the fitness of its players for the forthcoming 18th National Sports Festival (NSF). Sanya Akindele, the association’s Chairman made this known in a media briefing at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Tuesday. ``The classic would also be an opportunity, for us to assess the preparedness of our team for the festival, as it would be the last major tournament before the main competition,’’ he said. NAN reports that the Team Lagos’s squash players have been in camp since August preparing for the biennial sports fiesta tagged ``Eko 2012’’. The 18th NSF which would be hosted by Lagos is 27 days away. NAN reports that the squash classic is an invitational tournament for the top ranked players in the country (Top 16 men and top 8 ladies according to the Nigeria Squash Federation ranking) The tournament will be in the various categories; Men singles, Ladies singles, U-19, U-15, Men and Ladies Team events (Only for players eligible for Eko 2012). There will be total prize money of N1.5 million for the professional players and participants, while the junior players and veterans will be given material

prizes. The selected venues for the events are the Ikoyi Club squash court (for veterans) and the Teslim Balogun Stadium (all other matches and the closing ceremony). The chairman stressed that the championship was arranged mainly to sharpen the competitive edge of its players for the 18th NSF; and its

grassroots development programmes .``We know the importance of grooming young talents for the development of the grassroots, as long as we have sponsors we will always organise this competition,’’ he said. NAN reports that the competition would hold from Nov.6 to Nov.10.

OBUDU RACE

Kopkudi, Dung lead Nigeria’s` challenge

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WO-TIME men's champion in the Nigerian category, Danjuma Kopkudi and five-time women's queen, Janet Dung-Dabatu will lead Nigeria's challenge for the Obudu International Mountain Race title and cash next weekend at the Obudu Ranch Resort in Obudu,Cross River State. Kopkudi,the fastest Nigerian man at the race in 2005 and 2006 will lead 24 other Nigerian men who will be aiming to rewrite the history of the race by winning the title on offer while Dung-Dabatu,the defending women' champion will strive to extend her domi-

nance beyong the Nigerian stage. Kopkudi will have four other past winners in the Nigerian category in the persons of Stephen Jurbe (2008),Danjuma Gyang (2009),Cletus Eyo (2010) and defending champion, Tokbe Giwet join him to stake a bold bid for the overall time that has been won by one Australian, one Kenyan and five Ethiopians. For the women, DungDabatu will be the only former or reigning Nigerian champion to spearhead the battle for a change in a status quo that has a Czech Republic, an Austrian and a Kenyan women as well as four Ethiopian women as former winners.

Osun govt resuscitates sports in schools

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R AKIN Adio, the General Manager of Osun State Sports Council, says the government is resuscitating sports from kindergarten to tertiary institutions in the State. Adio told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Osogbo that government was doing so because sports was an integral part of learning. He said that sports helped mental alertness at all levels of education. ``The present administration in Osun is acting in the right direction by taking the issue of sports in schools seriously as a way of engaging the students meaningfully outside the classrooms. It is obvious that many star athletes that did Ni-

geria proud in those days were through school sports which were the pride of students then because it diverted their attention from vices. During that time, school sports were controlled by Sports Councils which organised sporting events like the principals cup, inter-collegiate games and the rest of it,’’ he said. The general manager condemmed the way the Nigerian School Sport Federation (NSSF) handled school sports and the training and coaching of students nowadays. Adio explained that the games masters could not handle the children professionally the way the sports councils did, blaming the dearth of sports in schools on it.

According to him, the NSSF which is now saddled with the responsibility of administering sports in schools through games masters cannot do it alone in a professional way. ``Even when they are doing this, the technical assistance always come from us in terms of provision of coaches and some other things. The games masters are more or less jack of all trade. In the old western region, when sports were being handled by sports councils, there was an effective sports administration and provision of equipment and human resources,’’ he said. It will be recalled that the government recently constituted a committee headed by Adegboye Onigbinde to rejuvenate sports in the State.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

62

NEWS

I would have been Boko Haram member, says Onoja A

FORMER Military Governor of Plateau and Katsina states, Brig.-Gen. Lawrence Onoja (rtd), yesterday said the Boko Haram sect is pursuing a just cause. The retired soldier, however, faulted the killing of innocent people by the sect to get antional attention. Onoja spoke in Minna, the Niger State capital, when the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) submitted a report on Road Map for Peace Unity and Development of Northern Nigeria to Governor Babangida Aliyu, the Chairman of Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF). The former military governor stressed that the sect has a “genuine case”.

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

Onoja said he would have joined the sect if it had not resorted to indiscriminate killings of innocent lives. He said: “If you look at it from the beginning, they (Boko Haram) have a genuine case. I have told people that I would have been a member of Boko Haram before they started killing people. But if they had started going after those who rigged elections and killing them; those who carried ballot boxes to their homes, thump-printed and started announcing fake

results the next day, which is what most people are doing; if they go after such people, I would have joined them. What we don’t want is to start wasting people’s lives.” The retired soldier recommended dialogue with the leadership of the sect to prevent further killings. Gen. Onoja noted that security challenges are not peculiar to Nigeria. According to him, advanced nations, despite their technological wherewithal to get information fast and wage military war against similar sects, still dialogue with some dissident groups for peace.

Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu yesterday in Minna, the state capital, received the report of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) on the need to restore peace in the North. The Chairman of the National Executive Council of the forum, Alhaji Aliko Mohammed, submitted the report, entitled: The Road map for Peace Unity and Development of Northern Nigeria. The governor advocated the merger of the ACF with Northern Elders Forum (NEF). He said: “ACF should swallow the NEF.”

Anambra police pensioners protest unpaid arrears •63 die of ‘starvation’ •National Assembly, Obi petitioned

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OME retired police officers in Anambra State yesterday protested at Amawbia over the non-payment of their 15 months’ pension arrears from the Federal Government and the Police Pension Service Commission. The Chairman of the Association of Retired Police Officers of Nigeria (APRON), Chief Harold Chike Onyeonwu, a retired Deputy Superintendent (DSP), told reporters that they had not been paid their pension since August, last year. He wondered why the pensions should be withheld, despite the fact that the verification of pensioners was done in July, last year. Onyeonwu said at the last count, over 100 pensioners had died of starvation. The state chapter of the APRON said it has the records of 63 deaths of its members. The union leader said those without records of their deaths did not make formal entries with APRON but heard about their deaths informally. He said the families of the deceased members were being tossed up and down for the entitlements of their late breadwinners. Onyeonwu urged the Federal Government and the National Assembly to intervene in the matter to save the pensioners, many of who he said

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

are on danger list. The APRON Chairman was with the Administrative Secretary of the union, Mr Nwobi Bernard, and another executive member, Chief Charles Onyechi, as well as Chief Chris Nnaemeka and Chief Godwin Obiorah. The union petitioned the National Assembly, urging its leadership to prevail on the Pension Office and the Police Service Commission to pay their arrears. The retired policemen also appealed to Anambra State Governor Peter Obi to make President Goodluck Jonathan intervene on the matter. He recalled that the police pensioners in the state converged at the police command on November 28 to protest the alleged ill-treatment meted out to them by the Federal Government and the Pension Office in the last 15 months. Onyeonwu wondered why a police commissioner who retired before 2006 should be paid a N93, 069.55 a month pension; an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), N57,953.06; an Inspector, N27,722.85; a Constable N5,560. According to him, their colleagues, who retired after the period under review, collect 10 times their pensions.

Man arrested for monarch’s murder •The new Oyingbo Market during the inspection...yesterday. INSET: Fashola (right) and the Managing Director of the Construction Company, Mr. Ziad Saimua.

Fashola, Exco members, perm secs tour projects

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AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) yesterday led members of the State Executive Council (Exco) and permanent secretaries in some ministries on a tour of projects. The tour began at the Oyingbo Market and passed through Tejuosho Market. It took the team to Shitta Homs Project and the inspection of the Apapa- Iganmu drainage channel. The team also inspected projects at Babs Animashaun, Surulere, the Ilasamaja pedestrian bridge, the Olu-Aina Street site of Mushin Homs as well as Kodesho Road, Ikeja. The governor likened the inspection to real field work, which he said could be related to the paperwork the members of the team had been seeing in their offices. He added that it would en-

able the government officials to understand their roles in working as a team. On the team with Fashola were Deputy Governor Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs Ranti Adebule; the Commissioners for Economic Planning and Budget, Ben Akabueze; Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; Energy and Mineral Resources, Taofik Tijani; Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye and Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba. Among the local government chairmen who received the team, were Tajudeen Ajide, (Surulere); Babatunde Adepitan, (Mushin); Bayo Alli, (Odi-Olowo Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area and Adewale Odunlami, (Ikeja). Members of the House of

Assembly, who received the team include Mrs Funmi Tejuosho, Bashir Oloto and Moshood Oshun. Fashola addressed reporters after the tour. He said: “We are going round our project sites because we’ve just finished a budget. The essence of the 2013 Budget is to focus on the completion of ongoing projects. Now, we have received briefs from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on what they plan to do. “We have made provisions for them, but there are interministerial, inter-departmental impacts. We’ve decided that whoever is in charge of any project, whether they need to do environmental work or traffic work there, we will all go out and see what needs to be done, instead of staying in the office.”

Fashola said council chairmen and lawmakers were in team to ensure that it was allencompassing. The governor gave details of the projects the team inspected. He said he started at the Oyingbo Market, where seven of the eight sections had been completed. He noted that the last section would be completed in November or December, to be followed by the roofing. According to him, the projection is that by the middle of the second quarter of next year, the Oyingbo Market will be completed. The governor was at the Tejuosho Market to see the level of work. He said there was the challenge of funding the project, adding that this would require further planning.

ACN donates materials to Imo flood victims

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HE Imo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday donated relief materials to the victims of floods in Oguta and Ohaji-Egbema local government areas. The materials include bags of rice, clothing, toiletries and assorted food items. Addressing stakeholders at Oguta Civic Centre, the leader of the delegation and the

Chairman, Chukwudi Charles Ubah, said the party was moved by the plight of the victims. He described the ACN as a caring party. Ubah led the party’s team to the palace of the traditional ruler of Oguta, Eze Nnani Nzeribe. The party chairman told the residents that ACN is committed to the welfare of

its supporters. He said: “We keep in touch with our members during and after elections. ACN is the only political party in Nigeria that has remained committed to the welfare of its members, even in states where the party is not in power. We have come today to commiserate with our people and other victims who lost their homes and means of livelihood to the un-

fortunate disaster.” A resident, Prof. Ike Azogu, thanked the party for the gesture. He said: “We are happy that you are here to assist our people. Oguta has a soft spot for the ACN. As you may be aware, the flood has receded and we are battling with the post-disaster challenges. We solicit your kind support in any form.”

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HE Enugu State Police Command has arrested a man for his alleged involvement in the murder of a traditional ruler, Igwe Moses Ugwu. The late Ugwu was the traditional ruler of Umuode, the hometown of the former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji. He was killed by unknown persons on October 9. Umuode and its neighbor,

From Chris Oji, Enugu

Oruku, have been at loggerheads over communal land. Police spokesman Ebere Amaraizu said the suspect, Chukwuemeka Nwatu, hails from Oruku community in Nkanu East Local Government Area. The police had rounded up 20 other persons over the monarch’s death.

Floods: Abia hails NDDC

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HE Abia State Government has hailed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), for responding promptly to the plight of flood victims in the state. The Special Assistant to the Governor on NDDC, Fidelis Nwachukwu, made the com-

mendation while receiving relief materials procured by the commission at Oke-Ikpe in Ukwa East Local Government Area. “We are proud of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for intervening at a time like this. Please keep it up,” he said.

Okorocha assures indigenes in Diaspora of security

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MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha has assured indigenes in the Diaspora, who want to return home for the Christmas and New Year, that his administration would provide tight security for them. The governor spoke in London at a meeting with Imo indigenes in the British capital. He said his administration had reduced kidnapping and armed robbery. Okorocha said: “We will continue to go after criminals and the homes of those who engage in these crimes will be pulled down; all businesses

built from the proceeds of crime will be forfeited.” The governor said his administration has started building a Diaspora village to make it easier for those living abroad to relocate and contribute to the development of the state. He promised to complete the projects that will transform Imo into a modern state. A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chinedu Offor, said Okorocha was received by Imo born-British Olympic gold medalist Christie Okorogu, among other dignitaries.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012

63

SPORT EXTRA

Eagles' medical crew won't Team Lagos promises 7 gold medals in T/Tennis rush Reuben K A NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL

ANO PILLARS midfield ace Reuben Gabriel is under close observation by the medical crew as he was made to train on his own which is part of precautionary measure to avoid a relapse on the injury that has put him on the sidelines for nearly three months. Reuben has often been de-

scribed by Keshi as one of the key players in the team underwent a light jogging while other members of the team trained on Monday evening, futaa.com gathered. He was scheduled to continue his secluded training

NSFC vows to back Eagles to conquer Africa

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HE Nigeria Football Supporters Club (NFSC) said on Monday that it would fully back the Super Eagles to win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa. Rafiu Ladipo, President-General of the club, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the club’s supporters were of the belief that their presence could propel the Eagles to victory at AFCON. ``We are making these efforts because we believe that our impact can motivate the Eagles to go all out for victory in South Africa. We have a good team; what they need at the moment is for us (the Supporters Club), to play our own part and we are making plans for that,’’ he said. Ladipo said he believed the national team's campaign could be boosted by the supporters club. ``Nigeria can win the cup in South Africa.’’

He said that what had kept the club going had been its patriotic drive at setting a positive international image for the country. ``This is because we believe in Nigeria. It is also because we believe that we have roles to play in giving the country a good image. We are committed towards ensuring our national teams get the best of support because we believe that our influence is always making a big difference. Right now, we are among the top 10 rated supporters clubs in the world and it shows how influential we have been to sports in the country,’’ he said. The NSFC president also commended the Super Falcons for their impressive run so far at the ongoing Africa Women Championship holding in Equatorial Guinea.

on Tuesday with the hope that he will be competing with all his other teammates by Wednesday. "Reuben is ok. The medical team is observing him because he's an important player not just as an home-based player but the team as a whole,"

team's spokesman Ben Alaiya told futaa.com. He trained on his own and same is expected of him tomorrow but by Wednesday he should be taking part in the regular training. Reuben sustained the injury in the Federation Cup semifinal match with Lobi in Port Harcourt and missed NigerIa's two-leg playoffs with Liberia.

FIBA AFRICA ZONAL REFEREES:

7 Nigerian basketball referees certified—Umar

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EVEN Nigerian basketball referees have now been certified as International Federation of Basketball (FIBA) Africa Zonal Referees, Tijani Umar, the President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), has said. They are Olayiwola Alimi, Samuel Sofoluwe, Olusegun Adekanbi, Musa Gambo, Patrick Obochi, Opeyemi Ogunleye and Rasaq Okedeyi. Umar told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja that the referees were part of 12 Nigerian basketball referees, who took part at the recent FIBA Africa Zonal Referees Clinic. NAN reports that the clinic was held from Oct. 9 to Oct. 12 in Lagos. ``We had 12 of our referees at the course and seven of

them were said to have passed the course by FIBA, the organisers of the clinic. In essence, we now have seven of our referees certified as FIBA Africa Zonal Referees; it is really a heartgladdening development, and we at the federation (NBBF) congratulate them. ``We also enjoin them to bring to bear their newly-acquired competence in their basketball assignments,’’ the NBBF president said.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RESULTS Dynamo. K 0 - 0 FC Porto Paris S.G. 4 - 0 D/Zagreb Olympiakos 3 - 1 Mont’llier Schalke 2 - 2 Arsenal AC Milan 1 - 1 Malaga Anderlecht 1 - 0 Zenit St.P Man City 2 - 2 Ajax. A Madrid 2 – 2 Dortmund

7 gold medals haul has been promised by the Lagos State Table Tennis Team at the forthcoming 18th National Sport Festival Eko 2012 kicking off in Lagos next month. The team made the pledge during a thank you visit to the management of the Lekki Free Zone Development Company (LFZDC) for the training tour sponsorship support. 8 players and 2 officials were sponsored by the company to China between September 9 and 20, 2012 as packaged by Corporate Leisure Limited Leader of delegation who also doubles as the Technical Director of the Lagos State Table Tennis Association, John Peters while thanking Lekki Free Zone Development Company, the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, expressed deep appreciation for the approval and facilitation of the training tour and also appreciated the honourable Commissioner for Youth, Sport and Social Development for his superlative love and care. He said the trip was the first in the history of the sport and an eye opener that has exposed the team to new techniques. Peter ”thanked the management of Lekki Free Zone Development Company for sponsoring the trip. This is the first time we are being sponsored for a foreign trip by a corporate body in preparation for the Festival. Our trip to China has ena-

038

bled us to learn new tactics, concentration during and after the game, determination to win consistently with the highest margin possible. We are assuring you that we will win all the seven gold medals in table tennis during the 18th National Sport Festival.” Also in his thank you letter, Lagos State commissioner for sport, Barr. Waheed Enitan Oshodi said: “It is the belief that the exposure and the knowledge gained by the players from the training tour will put Lagos State on top of the medals table in Table Tennis during the biennial National Event” Deputy Managing Director, LFZDC, Adeyemo Thompson said the board’s desire to develop the team into world champions, formed the organisation’s decision to sponsor the tour. He promised to do more for the team if they win gold medals at Eko 2012. “We never knew that we were going to make an impact when we sponsored the trip. But we are happy that you were able to gain a lot during the trip. We thank Corporate Leisure Limited for initiating the idea. Our aim is to see that you are able to compete with world leaders in the game. And we hope the experience you gained in China will assist you during the Festival. I’m looking forward to a good collaboration with you and we will do more for you if you win seven gold medals during the Sport Festival,” Thompson said.

7-11-2012

TODAY IN THE NATION

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

VOL.7 NO.2,302

‘Oronsaye and his clique who have served their fatherland for more than 30 years should now take a back seat and allow those who are more vibrant, focused and resultoriented to take the centre-stage in piloting the affairs of this nation’ DELE AGEKAMEH

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

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AST week, I promised the reader I will devote today’s column entirely to some of the reactions provoked by my piece of the week before on the controversial “personal” history of Biafra by Chinua Achebe which he titled There was a country. However, man, it is said, merely proposes but it’s only God who disposes. God, apparently, disposed through two terrible events of last two weeks that my promise would have to keep for another week. The first was the gruesome suicide bombing of St Rita’s Catholic Church, Unguwan Yero, Kaduna, on October 28 in which at least 30 worshippers lost their lives and hundreds more lost their limbs or were maimed. It was indeed a miracle that the casualties were not higher considering the number of worshippers who assembled that day and the suicide bomber’s (assuming he was alone in the vehicle) apparent desperation in ramming his way into the church yard through the perimeter fence that terrible Sunday morning. It was my typical Sunday morning; rising late and taking eternity to have my bath. I was sitting on the toilet seat a little after 9 am when I heard a huge rumbling sound like I’ve never heard before. At the same time, I felt the house shake as if the roof and the wall were going to cave in. Madam, who was in the bedroom, shouted “Baba, what is it?” Of course, I didn’t know what it was but somehow I restrained myself from rushing out, especially since the kaboom was not followed by any physical destruction. However, while still in the toilet I kept thinking what could have caused such a huge sound. In quick succession I dismissed the possibility of the rock breakers across the road from my house using dynamite and the other possibility that the transformer serving our neighbourhood had blown up. In the end, I concluded it must have been a bomb, even as I prayed to God fervently that it shouldn’t. My prayers were answered in the negative when shortly after my bath one of my kids came to tell us that the online media had been reporting that it was the suicide bombing of a church at Unguwan Yero. My heart sank just imagining what the casualty would be like; if my house which must be at least two kilometres away from the church as the crow flies, could be shaken to its foundation by the bomb I shuddered to think what could have been the fate of those in and around it. Terrible as the number of those killed and injured was, it was, indeed, a miracle that the mayhem was not far worse by the time the rubbles had settled. Predictably, the story grabbed the head-

RIPPLES Nigerian leaders should fear God –Alfa Belgore

Fear who....?the only FEAR they have is being CAUGHT

People and Politics By MOHAMMED H ARUNA ndajika@yahoo.com

Boko Haram: Why govt should listen to Amnesty

•The late Gen Shuwa

lines of the media the following day. Equally predictably, virtually all fingers pointed at the usual suspect: Boko Haram. This time, however, the security forces acted with unusual dispatch to avert any retaliatory attacks. But even more importantly, in my view at least, the Christian leadership in Kaduna, especially those of the Catholic fold – that of the affected church even more so acted with greatest restrain in calling on their,

no doubt, angry flock not to seek revenge. As far as I know, Boko Haram has not claimed responsibility for the attack but it has remained the principal suspect. All this was Sunday October 28. Then last Friday came another shocker. I was about rounding up my lecture to my post graduate diploma students at the Samaru campus of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, when a call came through from a former very senior government official and a senior friend. During class I normally leave my phone on silent and pick up a call only when I think it might be important. This was one such call. So I excused myself and answered my phone. I had not spoken to the gentleman since dropping a document for him a few days before. So I thought he was calling to confirm receipt. He did confirm receipt but his next words shocked me to the marrow. “Sorry about Shuwa,” he said. “What has happened to him?”, I asked nonplussed. Didn’t I hear he had been killed that morning?, he asked. That ended my class that evening. Apparently, my students too had not heard. They were all shocked when I told them the news, half of which they must’ve guessed from the way my voice and countenance changed. Their shock was not surprising because more than half the class were old enough to have heard some of the probably apocryphal exploits of the (79 year old) general during our civil war of 1967 to 1970. To think that such a person who had survived a war and served his country well would be killed like a

HARDBALL

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OR nearly eight weeks, local government workers under the aegis of the Ekiti State chapter of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) have been on strike over wage disagreements with the state government. The workers are asking for the payment of the new minimum wage of N19,300 and the implementation of the Consolidated Health Salary Scale (CONHESS)/Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS), which they said other civil servants had been enjoying since April. After much bickering, the Commissioner for Labour, Mr Wole Adewumi, eventually announced on Saturday that the workers had called off the strike and were expected to resume work on Monday. But the workers countered by announcing through their spokesman, Mr Oludare Famoofo, that the strike was not called off. It was this stalemate that led to the startling discovery of how still deeply attached Nigerians are to their embroidered and even entertaining past. On Monday morning, according to newspaper reports, the public, including some few returning LG workers, discovered charms and fetish objects (juju) of all sorts hung on the gates of the local government secretariats. Some reports said all the 16 LGs in the state had the fetish objects hung on their gates. The juju objects were apparently placed at the secretariat entrances to frighten and discourage workers who might be disposed to returning to their duty posts. The gambit worked far beyond expectation. Workers who

chicken by assassins who were probably young enough to be his grandchildren right in front of his house! If their shock at the manner of the man’s death did not surprise me, the way they all chorused that “dis one pass Boko Haram,” surprised, even shocked me, the more so because there were more Christians in the class than Muslims. My students are certainly not a representative sample of this country’s population. But it sounds sensible to me that if only one Christian would begin to wonder if there is not more to the bombings of churches and the killings of Christians – never mind the bombings of public buildings and the killing of security agents, serving or retired – than Boko Haram insurrections, one can be forgiven the thought that the official mantra about Boko Haram being behind each and every one of these bombings and killings needs a fundamental re-thinking. No doubt Boko Haram is real. And its methods are despicable and certainly counter-productive to its objective, to which it is entitled, of Islamising Nigeria. As it knows all too well the Qur’an makes it very clear that there is no force in religion. However, it has been said again and again that Boko Haram has since become a franchise used by criminals, and for all we know, rogue elements in government and the security services for their own ends. This is one good reason why government must rethink its scorched earth strategy to bring an end to the insecurity that has pervaded this country. The scorched earth policy has not worked and it will not work because it can only worsen the very vicious circle of violence which the extrajudicial killing of the Boko Haram leadership back in 2009 unleashed on the hapless citizens of our dear country. If only because government has control over the official instruments of violence, it has the greater responsibility for ending this vicious circle. It can start by listening to what Amnesty International said last week about how the public, especially in the theatre of the Boko Haram insurrection, has come to fear and loath our security forces more than the Boko Haram insurgents. Unless we have a strategy of more carrots and fewer sticks employed by government, the country could, God forbid, slide into an anarchy of bombings and counter-bombings and high profile killings along religious lines. •For comments, send SMS to 08023211188

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Federal Republic of Superstitions resumed work were reported to have fled back to their homes, and others who heard about the juju story never bothered to show up. It is not clear whether the newspapers exaggerated; but at least workers were, by Monday, still staying away from work. It is entirely up to the state and its LG workers to find an accommodation on the wage matter. But it must come as a huge surprise to many Nigerians that in the 21st Century, a group of people, let alone educated workers, could resort to using juju to scare their compatriots. Ekiti is rated as probably the most educated state in the country, with more graduates per capita than any other state. It is also said of the state that there is hardly any family in those hilly redoubts which does not boast of a graduate. So, it can be safely speculated that among those who hung fetish objects on LG secretariat gates were graduates, perhaps of philosophy, biology, sociology and religious studies, among other disciplines. Could it be that the juju enthusiasts didn’t believe in juju but trusted that it would scare others? But let’s cut the sophistry. The fact is that more Nigerians than not believe in juju and continue to be deeply superstitious. They have encountered enough science in their studies to disprove the nonsense about charms and fetish, but they have stuck to the anthropomorphism of their youthful fan-

cies, and like soldiers of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda, would as soon wear charms to repel bullets as rely on the efficacy of magun to secure the connubial rectitude of their wives. Many a man had been killed by bullets in spite of wearing the so-called local bulletproof, and many a husband had been made a cuckold notwithstanding the elaborate placement of magun on their wives, but they’ll continue nonetheless to place their boyish fate and dreams, like Asterix, in the hands of local druids. If it is true, as newspapers reported, that charms were hung on the gates of all the 16 local government headquarters in Ekiti, then we must begin to doubt just how efficacious modern education really is. Perhaps we should all give up on the proven powers of science and return to our atavistic past. And it would of course not matter that juju did not stop white men from defeating our forefathers and colonising us; nor that every time science met juju, the latter was defeated. We were still grappling with being described as the Federal Republic of Lynchers on account of the recent murder of four University of Port Harcourt students by a mob; now we must also contend with transiting regressively into the Federal Republic of Superstitions, alas, without the amenity of a time machine.

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. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790. WEBSITE: www.thenationonlineng.net E-mail: info@thenationonlineng.net ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO


The Nation November 07, 2012