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Leaders urge peace at Eid-el-Kabir P6 Explosion near Eagles match venue P24 Taylor in UK to serve jail term P60 www.thenationonlineng.net

VOL. 8, NO. 2638 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

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Jonathan: Assembly to ratify conference’s report Okurounmu Panel for Akure Friday

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan restated yesterday his conviction that a national conference is inevitable now. He also said the decisions of the conference would be taken to the National Assembly and the Houses of Assembly for ratification and incorporation into the constitution. He insisted that his motive is clean and that he plans to “hand over a country that is better than what we have met to our children”. Critics, foremost among them former Lagos Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, believe that the motive for the conference and its tim-

And this national dialogue is even critical and is coming at the right time because the National Assembly is thinking about how they will amend the constitution. So, the results of the discussion, of course, will be passed to the National Assembly —Dr. Jonathan ...yesterday From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

ing are suspicious. It is coming 18 months before the next general elections, which Dr.

Sultan urges teachers, doctors to end strike

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MORE QUESTIONS

CONFERENCE REPORT: Will the delegates have the final say on recommendations? CONFERENCE STATUS: Will the conference have the power of a Constituent Assembly? LEGISLATIVE ROADBLOCK: Can the National Assembly overrule the conference’s report? RATIFICATION: Can legislative powers of National Assembly take the place of peoples’ referendum? ACCOUNTABILITY: Is Conference accountable to the National Assembly, President or the people ? BILL ON CONFERENCE: Can constituents mount pressure on their representatives in the National Assembly to get final recommendation enshrined in the Constitution. SOVEREIGNTY: Whose is the power of sovereignty – National Assembly or the people?

Jonathan is likely to contest. Dr. Jonathan spoke when he received members of the Muslim Ummah in his administration, led by Vice President

Namadi Sambo. With Sambo on the Sallah visit to the Presidential Villa were Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim; Inspector

Continued on page 2

•Sultan Abubakar III and Sokoto State Deputy Governor Mukhtari Shagari at the Eid-ElSEE ALSO PAGES 6-9 PHOTO: NAN Kabir celebration in Sokoto…yesterday.

Continued on page 2

Nigeria lags behind in agriculture financing

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From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto and Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

HE Sultan of Sokoto joined yesterday the long list of eminent citizens —and ordinary folks— urging university lecturers and resident doctors to return to work and embrace dialogue. Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, who is the leader of the Nigerian Muslim community, spoke at his palace in Sokoto while delivering his Eid-el-Kabir message. “We wish to use this opportunity to call on all those on strike, especially university lecturers, to call off their strike, so as to reduce the suffering of the people,” he said, adding that “they should go back to the negotiating table in order to bring an end to the crisis”. Sultan Abubakar said: “The matter is of great concern to Nigerians. This creates problems in the development of the country. We call on the government to listen to the complaints of the workers with the intention of solving them. The workers, on their part, should always be mindful of the suffering of teeming populace in the country.” Recalling that the teachers’ strike has en-

General of Police Mohammed Abubakar and National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd). Also with them were

former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Ahmadu Ali and Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Ms Jumoke Akinjide. Catholic Archbishop of Abuja John Cardinal Onaiyekan was also there. The President urged Nigerians to prevail on their representatives at the federal and state assemblies to get the recommendations of the conference enshrined in the Constitution. “So we need to come up with some bills in those areas we have agreed and we’ll push it to the National Assembly. Of course, some of those bills have not come out from the National Assembly, but we believe that even in the constitutional amendment that is going on, some will be useful. “And this national dia-

N spite of the government’s seeming focus on the development of agriculture, Nigeria is among the African countries lagging behind in the World Bank’s projected funding of the sector. It emerged at the Agriculture and Finance ministers’ from sub-Sahara Africa meeting during the just concluded World bank-IMF meeting in the United States, that Nigeria’s investment in the sector that employs 70 per cent of Africa’s population is less than the World Bank-dictated 10 per cent of public expenditure. “In Africa, even more so than in other regions in the world, agriculture growth is hugely important for any effort to end poverty and promote shared prosperity,” Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa, told the Ministers. He added: “Economic activity in agriculture typically accounts for 30 to 40% of

GDP, and there is global evidence showing that productivity improvements in agriculture can have a poverty impact close to three times that of other sectors of society.” The participants discussed “Sustaining the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) Momentum.” Launched by African leaders in 2003, CAADP seeks to encourage governments to inContinued on page 59

•Agric Minister Akinwumi Adesina

•SPORTS P13 •LIFE P25 •MONEY P30 •NATION INVESTORS P32 •POLITICS P45

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

NEWS

Sultan urges end to strike Continued from page 1

•President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) with Vice-President Namadi Sambo (second right) and (from left) Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Federal Capital Teritory (FCT), Rev. Israel Akanji; Catholic Bishop of Abuja Archdiocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan and acting Chief Imam of Abuja National Mosque, Sheik Ibrahim Makari, during Eid-El-Kabir homage to the President in Abuja…yesterday

Conference: Obasanjo deceived Nigerians in 2005, says Sagay

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ORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo deceived Nigerians in 2005 when he organised a national conference, legal activist Prof. Itse Sagay recalled in Lagos yesterday. He was a member of the committee for that conference. Sagay spoke against the background of the criticisms of the national dialogue being proposed by President Goodlcuk Jonathan. The President has set up the Femi Okurounmu committee to plan the conference. Sagay spoke at a lecture organised by the Centre for Change at the Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos. Others who spoke at the event were former Pastor Tunde Bakare and Prof. Pius Adesanmi, who delivered the keynote lecture. Sagay said: “Obasanjo called for a national conference and we agreed to work with him thinking he was sincere, but unknown to us, it was a vehicle for the amendment of the constitution to enthrone his third term bid. “When we got to realise

By Precious Igbonwelundu

that some of his people were working and having late night meetings for his third term, that was when some of us opted out.” He however said Nigerians need to talk hence his admonition on Nigerians to support Dr. Jonathan’s planned national dialogue. “We should go with our own motives irrespective of theirs.” Sagay who said the nation was down and bleeding, noted that there was no better time for dialogue than now, insisting that a national conference was more important than the 2015 general elections. “Regardless of their motive and intention, we should seize the opportunity presented by the call for this national conference to make this country great. “We have to embrace the national conference because we have two basic problems bedeviling this country. He listed them as a disastrous geo-political structure and bad leadership. “Although the problem of

bad leadership cannot be solved at the conference, the issue of the geo-political structure, we can address. “The conference is necessary because Nigeria is currently run under a unitary constitution that pretends to be federal. “We have an over-bloated and constipated federal government that treats the states like beggarly civil servants. “The states which no longer compete and lack productivity, go cap in hand to collect salaries at the end of the month from the federal government. “There is a dependence mentality and an addiction to oil and gas proceeds. This is not supposed to be in a federation. The states should generate their income from their resources and contribute to the running of the centre government and not the other way round,” he said. Sagay recommended that issues such as local government, establishment of police, federation account, among others be removed from the constitution and

the exclusive legislative list. “Local government should not be seen in our constitution at all. States should create and fund local governments exclusively. “Federation account should be expunged from the constitution and every state should be productive and fund the federal government. “Everything happening in Nigeria today is against nature, that is why there is instability. States should own their resources; pay certain percentage for the running of the centre government and another percentage to help less buoyant states. “Police, railway should not be in exclusive legislative lists, even labour and trade union issues should be removed from that list because the current situation creates conflict and confusion. “States should be able to conduct census because it is needed for their development planning and what we currently have is not reliable. Census should also be Continued on page 59

tered its fourth month, he emphasised that it had caused untold hardship to millions of students and their parents. “ The strike by the medical workers has caused the loss of many lives and untold sufferings for the sick who cannot afford going to private clinics,” the Sultan lamented The monarch expressed concern about the insecurity in the country, saying “it is a matter of great concern”. He urged Muslims to live peacefully with all and avoid all acts of violence. “The Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him) has cursed anyone who serves as a source of insecurity. “As a result of this, we wish to call on the politicians, especially those holding executive positions, to help in ensuring the security of this country. And to conduct themselves in truth and fear of Allah.” According to him, such would lead to the desired progress and peace in the nation. “They should consider the security situation of the country and try to improve the lot of the people who elected them, so as to bring meaningful development to the nation,” he maintained. The Sultan urged governments to empower the youth through proper education and moral training, and the provision of employment opportunities. “This would enhance the security situation and bring the desired peace in this country,” he stressed. In Sultan’s view, most acts of violence in the country are caused by unemployment of the teeming youths. Rev. Bishop Wale Oke, the Presiding Bishop, Sword of the Spirit Ministries, urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and President Goodluck Jonathan to return to the negotiation table to end the lingering teachers’

strike. Rev. Oke, who expressed serious concern about the strike, told reporters at the church’s headquarters in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, yesterday, that the strike was bringing hardship to students and parents. He said the way out of the logjam was for the lecturers to return to class while their leaders continue dialogue with the government on their demands. The cleric, however, advised President Jonathan to honour all agreements reached with the labour union in the course of the dialogue. Rev. Oke said idleness was killing some of the undergraduates who are involved in accidents while travelling up and down because they are not meaningfully engaged. He said: “ASUU and the Federal Government should bury their hatchet and reopen the universities. We are not apportioning blames because we do not have all the facts. Let both parties go back to the negotiation table to prevent waste of time of the young ones. Once the lecturers return to class, Mr President should also give a firm commitment and abide by whatever agreement made with ASUU as a condition to go back to class.” The cleric supported the planned national conference, stressing that it is better to dialogue than to go to war. He also called on citizens not to politicise the project, saying it is important for the country’s future. Popular preacher Morris Cerullo and President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor are among the preachers slated for a five-day crusade being organised by Rev. Oke’s church at the end of this month in Ibadan. Oke said the country needs prayer now more than before, in view of the problems confronting it.

CORRECTION The headline of our front page story in yesterday’s edition should have read Nwabueze battling prostate cancer and not Nwabueze battling prostrate cancer. The error is regretted.

Jonathan: Assembly to ratify conference’s report Continued from page 1

logue is even critical and is coming at the right time because the National Assembly is thinking about how they will amend the constitution. So, the results of the discussion, of course, will be passed to the National Assembly.” The President said: “We must work very hard; we must talk to ourselves the way that our children will not develop hate among themselves. And that is one of the key reasons that we decided to have a conversation as a nation. “At times, when you listen to radio and read in the newspapers and you see sometimes even our elders that are supposed to give us leadership, quarreling over nothing, sometimes even insulting themselves and even making provocative statements that will sometimes instigate one group against the other. We decided that we cannot continue that way; the talking must have a direction. What have been happening on the pages of the newspapers are discussions that have no direction. “We want a country that

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Okurounmu panel begins town hall meetings

HE National Conference Advisory Committee headed by Senator Femi Okurounmu will hold its nation-wide consultation in a town hall meeting format. The committee will also hold a retreat, where there will be exchange of ideas and exchange of knowledge between it and experts who will act as resource persons. The consultation across the six geopolitical zones will kick off in the Southwest, with the first town hall meeting scheduled for Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Friday. According to the committee chairman, Akure and Lagos were chosen by the committee for the Southwest town meetings, where the members of the committee will collate the views, ideas and opinions of the people. He said: “We are going round the country to collate opinions on the terms will have a direction. So, the discussions must have a direction; the discussions must lead Nigeria to where we want to be, not a divided Nigeria, not a Nigeria that is sown on hate, not a Nigeria that will be based on acrimony, ethnicity and tribal sentiments in the way we conduct ourselves.

By Emmanuel Oladesu, Group Political Editor

of reference before us. All Nigerians are expected at the meetings. Nobody is excluded. You journalists are also expected because you are Nigerians” Okurounmu did not disclose the structure of the meetings, the venues, time frame and logistic preparations. He said: “The committee started sitting immediately after it was inaugurated in Abuja. The members of the committee are now doing consultations. It is a big task and we do not have the monopoly of ideas. That is why we are holding town meetings in two cities each across the six geo-political zones”. The other locations for the proposed meetings are Southeast: Enugu and Owerri; Southsouth: Calabar and Benin-City; Northcentral: Jos and Minna; Northeast: Maiduguri and Bauchi;

“That is a reason we set up that committee and we have given them the free will. Some people are still instigating others that the president is doing this; the government does not have the capacity to do that. We are totally committed to do what is right. “We don’t need to carry

and Northwest: Kaduna and Sokoto. The meetings will not take place at the proposed cities simultaneously. After the inaugural meeting billed for Akure, the committee will hold the next one in Jos, the capital of Plateau State. Another member of the committee said: “The committee members are the coordinators of the meetings. All Nigerians are invited. We know that all the people cannot attend in reality. But critical voices and representatives of ethno-national organisations—Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Afenifere, Ohaneze—are expected. At the town hall meetings, the committee will receive peoples’ presentations. Memoranda will also be received through emails. “The motive is to collate the peoples’ opinions and advice. The committee

cane to flog Nigerians to show that we are determined. “I assure you that I, my Vice President and our team will continue to do our best for Nigeria so that our children will be happy in the end.” Jonathan thanked the Muslim community and other visitors for finding time to pay

Continued on page 59

homage. He said: “Some of you have been consistent. We thank God for that, in spite of the challenges we are celebrating. “We have challenges, but I’m glad that Allah made it possible for us to be here today. Other countries have had their own challenges; 53 years

•Dr. Jonathan

is a long period for an adult but as a nation, we are very young. “That is why we are totally Continued on page 59

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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NEWS

UK to send

•Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson (middle) signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strenghten links between Lincoln University and Bayelsa State Goverment on the develpment of education in the state. With him are President of Lincoln University, Pensylvania, Dr. Robert Jennings (left); Honorary Special Advser on International Cooperation, Mr. Ini Okori and member of Faculty Lincoln University, Cheryl Renee Gooch

There are 534 Nigerian nationals serving sentences in British prisons. UK Minister Jeremy Wright says prisoner transfer deal is close to being sealed, reports Daily Mail

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•Head, Corporate Responsibility, First Bank of Nigeria Limitred, Mr. Ismail Omamegbe (left); Vice President, Kings College Old Boys Association (KCOBA); Rotimi Aladesanmi; Principal, King College, Otunba Oladele Olapeju; Sports Secretary, Mr. Adeoye Adetuyibi; Vice President, KCOBA, Mr. Sanya Soyanwo–all cutting the tape to open the squash court built by First Bank at Kings College Lagos.

UNDREDS of Nigerian criminals will be sent home to serve out prison sentences under a deal set to be struck by ministers within weeks. Talks are continuing into reaching a compulsory prisoner transfer agreement, which could see more than half of the 500 criminals from Nigeria currently in UK jails repatriated. Prisons minister Jeremy Wright told MailOnline how ‘more foreign prisoners must serve their sentences in their own countries’. Ministers have been ordered to step up efforts to end the scandal of more than one in eight prisoners being from overseas. The Prime Minister said in 2010 that he would ’personally intervene’ to send more foreign criminals home. Britain has even made clear it would pay to build new prisons in countries like Nigeria to speed up the process of sending foreign criminals home. Up to £1million has been promised to upgrade Nigerian jails, including a new wing

• Jonathan & Cameron

at Kirikiri Prison in Lagos. But to date little progress has been made. When the coalition was formed there were 11,135 foreign prisoners in UK jails, and this figure has fallen by just three per cent since to 10,786. Each felon costs an average of around £40,000 a year to keep inside. Last week it was announced that notorious Liberian warlord Charles Taylor is to serve his 50year sentence for war crimes in the UK. A prisoner-transfer agreement was struck with Albania earlier this year to ‘free up space in pris-

‘Power privatisation pr A •Chairman, Board of Trustee, Centre for Change, Pastor Tunde Bakare (left); Guest Speaker, Prof. of English and African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, Pius Adesanmi; President, Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin and Chairman of the occasion Prof. Itse Sagay, at the maiden lecture of the Centre for Change with the theme: "Nigeria at 53: Retrieving the soul of a country in ruin", held at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA

•L-R: Board Secretary, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, representing the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chairman, Board of Trustee, Mr. Chima Onyekwere; President, Mrs Mary Uduma and immediate past chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), Dr. Adeola Odeyemi; at the inauguration of the NIRA Board of Trustee members in Abuja

PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Dr Katchy Onojuju has criticised the ways and manners in which the assets of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) were privatised. The Bureau of Public Enterprises (PBE) had just completed the first phase of PHCN privatisation, a development that resulted in the emergence of 14 power distribution and generation companies. Ononoju, in a statement titled: ‘’ Power Assets Privitisation: Bending the Rules Is Dangerous ’’, said the process leading to the sales of the six generation companies and 11 distribution companies was not in order. He said the assets were privatised to satisfy the yearnings of members of the ruling party. Ononuju said PDP is noted for bending the rules to satisfy certain powerful interests, even when their competence has been called to question. He said the Bureau of Public Enterprises and National Council on Privitisation undermined its own rules in the case of Enugu Distribution Company and Sapele Generation Company, adding that the development was capable of eroding confidence in the entire exercise. He said: ‘’ In the case of Sapele, somebody bid for $201million and do not have the money to pay for it.

By Akinola Ajibade

If they could not pay for it all this while, then the other people that come second should be called on to automatically come and pay and move on. Instead of behaving like this, they are keeping the assets for certain people and bending the rules. It is fraudulent because things are not being done according to the rules that were set to ensure transparency and it is wrong. Ononuju added: ‘’It costs about $2million to do due diligence to acclaim all those who came to bid and if you start undermining the rules in the middle of the game, they are not going to come back. And we are doing this just for the initial phase of the process that we envisage will get us 40,000 to 80,000 megawatts of electricity. So, what we are doing is small compared to what has to be done to get Nigeria to that target. Our international partners who have come to participate in this with us today will not have confidence in anything we do tomorrow.’’ According to him, companies that have shown profound lack of capacity to raise the required bid money to purchase the power assets can not be trusted to raise working capital and funds to upgrade the assets. He praised the government for demonstrating the political will to privatise the power sector.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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NEWS

hundreds of Nigerian prisoners home ‘

Legislation allowing Nigeria to enter such an arrangement was passed earlier this year by the Nigerian Parliament. We are now working with them on the text of a final agreement

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Drugs: Nigeria's albatross

IGERIA has the unenviable record of being the African country with the most citizens in foreign prisons, mostly in South-East Asia. As at the last count from the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more than 9,000 Nigerians are currently languishing in foreign prisons for different offences. According to the Director-General National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA Mr. Femi Ajayi, out of the total number of Nigerians in foreign prison, over 6000 of them were convicted of drug related offences. According to him, a conservative estimate shows that there are 4,000 Nigerians in Iranian prisons; Brazil 500, Thailand 500, Malaysia 300. Others are: India 400 China (368). ons here and reduce the cost to prisoner transfer agreement with the British taxpayer’. a country outside the European It was the first major bilateral Union.

Indonesia (110), Japan (80), Vietnam (24) and Nepal (17). Former foreign affairs Minister Gbenga Ashiru had lamented the 'get rich quick' syndrome which led many Nigerians into the drug trade to the Asian countries where the penalty for drug trafficking is mostly death. Nigerian prisoners in South East Asia are said to be in terrible conditions with many of them cramped together in a small cell and often denied of their rights to get bail. One prisoner who served 10 years in Thailand for drug offences told The Nation in May that Nigerians mostly are denied legal representation. " Many of them often die waiting for their legal representation. If you are convicted for drugs only a miracle can get you out," he said. There were around 250 Albanians in UK jails in June this year.

on process faulty’ ‘’After initial delay and some uncertainty, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) last month approved the payment of the remaining 75 per cent of 14 out of the 15 bidders for the acquisition of the 15 Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies. ‘’Rising from its sixth meeting in the year, the NCP approved the late payments by North South Power and Interstate Electric Limited for Shiroro Power Plc and Enugu Distribution Company Plc respectively but subject to the late payment penalty as provided in clause 12.20 on interest for late payment and clauses 5.5, 5.5.1 and 5.5.2 of the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA). According to reports, the NCP had previously approved the payments of the 12 companies which paid on or before the August 21- due date. They include Amperion Power Co. Ltd (Geregu); Transcorp/Woodrock (Ughelli); Integrated Energy Company ( Ibadan ); NEDC/KEPCO (Ikeja); Vigeo Power Ltd. ( Benin ); Aura Energy Ltd. (Jos); Integrated Energy Company (Yola); Mainstream Energy Ltd. (Kainji); Others are West Power & Gas (Eko); Kann Consortium ( Abuja ); 4Power Consortium ( Port Harcourt ) and Sahelian Power SPV Ltd. ( Kano ).

However, the Council referred the case of CMEC/EURAFIC consortium, the preferred bidder for Sapele Generation Company who had paid $119,887,156 of the $201,000,000 bid consideration to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for advice. It was gathered that there were legal issues which needed to be resolved. ‘’Of particular interest here is the inability or reluctance of CMEC/ EURAFIC consortium, the preferred bidder for Sapele Generation Company, to fulfill payment terms binding its successful bid.. It has emerged that the company started developing cold feet after it realise it had grossly over bidded by its $201,000,000 million bid far higher than the reserved price to $106 million and JBNNESTOIL 106.500 million dollars which automatically made JBNNESTOIL the reserve bidder. Government reserve price was pegged at 106 million dollars. Faced with the difficult task of raising the funds to beat the August 21 deadline for the payment of balance 75percent, the company developed cold feet and consequently failed to make any payment but only managed to pay $119million after the deadline had lapsed. Two clear months after the expiration of August 21 deadline, CMEC/EURAFIC consortium is yet to make whole its bid.

But securing an agreement with Nigeria would be seen as a much more significant breakthrough.

Latest figures show there were 534 Nigerian nationals in British jails, 485 men and 49 women. Nigerians account for one in 20 of all foreign prisoners, putting the country fifth in the league table of nations whose citizens have been jailed in the UK. Justice Minister Mr Wright said: ‘I am clear that more foreign prisoners must serve their sentences in their own countries. ‘That is why we are currently working with the Nigerian Government on a compulsory prisoner transfer agreement to increase the number of prisoners who are transferred. ‘Legislation allowing Nigeria to enter such an arrangement was passed earlier this year by the Nigerian Parliament. We are now working with them on the text of a final agreement.’ Overflowing jails abroad have made it increasingly difficult to deport prisoners to their own country. It is argued that by paying for building new jails or making existing ones more ‘comfortable’ so they approach British standards, will be repatriated. In April Mr Cameron said: ‘When people are sent to prison in the UK we should do everything we can to make sure that if they’re foreign nationals, they are sent back to their country to serve their sentence in a foreign prison. ‘And I’m taking action in Government to say look we have strong relationships with all of the countries where these people come from. ‘Many are coming from Jamaica, many from Nigeria, many from other countries in Asia. ‘We should be using all of the influence we have to sign prisoner transfer agreements with those countries. Even if necessary frankly helping them to build prisons in their own country so we can send the prisoners home.’

I’ll miss Omoruyi, says wife • Uduaghan, others mourn

•Mrs Omoruyi

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IDOW of the late Prof. Omo Omoruyi, Joan, has described the death of her husband as a rude shock, saying: “I will miss everything about him.” Omoruyi, the former DirectorGeneral of the defunct Centre for Democratic Studies (CDS), died in a private hospital in Benin, Edo State on Sunday night after a protracted battle with prostate cancer. Mrs Omoruyi said: “He came back from the United States some weeks ago; we know his medical condition but we were hoping for the best.’’ Omoruyi’s nephew, Dr Festus

Imuentinyan described the late Omoruyi as his mentor, saying: “He had been carrying everybody in the family.” “It was a great loss but we also thank God; it is to God’s glory for a man to live for 75 years with that kind of ailment; he was still very active even up till the point that he died.’’ Mr. Sunny Omoruyi, the immediate younger brother of the deceased, said: “We were all talking in the morning (Sunday) up till the later part of the evening. “We never knew he was leaving us but suddenly, my nephew called me that daddy couldn’t make it and I was confused and shocked,’’ he said. Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan described the late Omoruyi as a patriot and nationalist who had a burning passion for the unity and improvement of democracy in Nigeria. In a statement by his Press Secretary Felix Ofou, Uduaghan said Nigeria will forever remember Omoruyi as an advocate of good governance in the country. Uduaghan said the academic community, Edo State and Nigeria in General will be affected by the painful exit of a man who at great risk to personal safety and love for the common man would always want to speak the truth at all times.

“Even while he was on the sick bed. when he should be thinking only about his health, he never stopped talking. He was more concerned about deepening democracy and the distribution of the dividends to the grassroots”, he said. The governor urged all lovers of democracy, including the academia to see this moment of his death to honour the late Omoruyi by seeking to actualise the values and ethos for which he lived and was willing to sacrifice his live, particularly in service of the nation. He moreover prayed God to grant the family of the deceased, the Edo State Government and people, as well as Nigerians in general, the fortitude to bear the loss, especially at a time when Prof Omoruyi’s voice and wisdom were most needed. In a statement, Dr Osahon Enabulele, the National President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), commiserated with the family of the deceased and the Edo Government. “The NMA is appreciative of the fact that not only did Prof. Omo Omoruyi leave behind indelible footprints in the sands of time; he showed uncommon courage in his inspirational struggle against prostate cancer.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 16, 2013

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NEWS SALLAH CELEBRATION

Foundation distributes Sallah meat By Sampson Unamka

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HE foundation arm of the Nigerian Turkish International College (NTICs) yesterday distributed free meat to indigent Nigerians. The organisers said the gesture was to enable the less privileged in the society enjoy the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations. The school’s Vice Principal (Examinations, Records and Statistics) Mr Rakhmanov Ochilbek said NTIC had been demonstrating the gesture since 2006. He said: “This is an annual tradition for Muslims, though. But we want to bridge the gap between Turkish and Nigerian people. This is our main aim. But before everything, it (donating meat) is an Islamic tradition. It is organised by the NTIC Foundation and sponsored by people around the world, especially from Turkish, who wants to participate.” The teacher said the programme had grown from strength to strength since it was introduced. “In 2012, on behalf of those who donated, the NTIC Foundation sacrificed and distributed 1,050 cows at 36 various points in 16 states, reaching out to about 20,000 underprivileged and needy families,” Ochilbek said. According to him, the 125 cows slaughtered this year would only get to 47 locations in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Ondo states. The teacher said each family would get an average of four kilogrammes of meat. He explained that to ensure that the meat got to those it was meant for whom they are prepared, NTIC Foundation officials and a group of Turkish business executives and volunteers coordinate the distribution across the states wherein the points are located. He added that NTIC Foundation is also in touch with UFUK dialogue foundation and Nigerian Turkish Businessmen Association to encourage charity issues in the country.

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Fashola, Tinubu enjoin selfless service

HE National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) yesterday urged Nigerians to imbibe the lessons of Eid-El-Kabir, especially selfless service and sacrifice to evolve a new Nigeria. The duo spoke at the Eidel-Kabir prayer at the Lagos Central Mosque, Lagos Island. They were optimistic that the Nigeria of their dream was within reach, though would require selfless service and sacrifice for Nigeri-

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

ans to achieve this. The frontline APC chieftains advised Nigerians to pray for the nation’s unity and forgiveness of sins. Addressing reporters after the prayers, Tinubu emphasised the need “to sacrifice at a specific period for the rest of Islam, humanity and for forgiveness of sins”. He added: “Sacrifice should teach us indivisible commitment to humanity. We should be able to make sacrifice and forgive. We should be tolerant and obey the calling of the Almighty God. “We should pray for the

unity of Nigeria and for forgiveness of sins. What Nigerians should ask for is how we will continue to co-exist and be united. “We are not supposed to see the difference between religion and faith. Our Independence is not based upon division but on tolerance, coexistence, understanding and secularity of Nigeria. These values are extremely important. It is for us to make progress in this country. That is all we must pray for. “Any divisiveness must completely be eliminated; it must totally be neutralised as a country now. What are we, as human beings, to choose for

others? Almighty God did not call for war against one another. God did not call for the shedding of the blood of innocent citizens. God wants us to co-exist and worship. A man has the right to desire what he wishes. That is our liberty; that is our right; that is our calling. We should adhere to it. “We should acquire knowledge and impart knowledge. We should use the knowledge to better the condition of every human being in the country. We should keep our children in school. Let them be educated; let them be innovative; let them be creative; let them also obey the will and wish of the

‘It’s time to resolve nation’s problems’ By Oziegbe Okoeki

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•Members of the NTIC Foundation distributing the meat...yesterday

PHOTO: SAMPSON UNAMKA

IBB, Abdulsalami, Aliyu call for peace

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SIX-HOUR rainfall yesterday in Minna, the Niger State capital, forced Muslims to abandon the waterlogged permanent eid praying ground to converge on the township Central Mosque for the two-rakat Eidel-Kabir prayers. The Chief Imam of Minna, Alhaji Ibrahim Fari, led the prayers, which started by 10.05am and ended by 10.13am.

urged Nigerians to think of serving fellow citizens more than themselves. In a Sallah message, the former Benue State governor said it was necessary to “reflect deeply, not just on our religious convictions but also on how these affect our brothers and sisters”. The message reads: “I, on

Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu; former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida; former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and scores of worshippers attended the prayers. Aliyu and the two former military leaders called for sustained peace and stability in the country.

Babangida urged Nigerians to live in peace and love one another, in line with Islamic tenets. He noted that it was necessary to maintain good neighbourliness and safeguard the collective interest of the community and the country. “Let everyone of us be our brother’s keeper,” Gen. Babangida said. Gen. Abubakar said: “It is time to respect the tenets of Is-

lam, which call for peace. I hope that each of us will try to maintain peace and be our brother’s keeper.” Aliyu said the country was in need of peace and unity to enable it attain its goals and sustain the socio-economic development it recorded recently. He said: “We should be prepared to sacrifice and contribute our quota for the development of the country.”

behalf of my family and the good people of Benue Northwest Senatorial District, wish to congratulate Muslims and appreciate the Almighty’s blessings on the celebration of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir. “It is indeed a thing of immense joy to me - and I believe it is to all Nigerians - that our lives have

been spared by God until this momentous day. I wish all of us would recognise that there is a divine purpose for this. “The celebration of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir is an opportunity for us to take time out from our busy schedules and reflect deeply not just on our religious convictions but also

on how these affect our brothers and sisters. It’s a time when we are reminded to always think beyond self. It is also a day that reminds us that we can achieve new things only when we act together as one eschewing our differences. “I, therefore, urge all of us, in the spirit of this celebration, to respond to the divine calling that we love one another, live together in peace and tolerance as well as imbibe the spirit of fairness in all our dealings. “Furthermore, our solemn prayers should be directed towards remedying the difficult times we face in the country today, because it is only through that we can initiate and ensure justice, progress and development in Nigeria. “Once again, I wish all Nigerians a happy EidelKabir celebration.”

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

Akume: let’s think beyond ourselves

•Akume

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ENATE Leader Akume

Minority George yesterday

Lead by example, TUC urges leaders

HE Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) yesterday advised Nigerian leaders to lead by example. The admonition was contained in its Eid-el-Kabir message to Muslims through its National President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama and the General Secretary, Comrade Musa Lawal, titled: TUC Preaches peace at Sallah.

Almighty God. “ Fashola noted that sacrifice was necessary in celebrating the Eid-el-Kabir. The governor urged every resident “to imbibe the virtue of sacrifice so that we can witness a Nigeria we dream of, which I am confident is within our reach”. He added: “But we all need to sacrifice to realise it.” Fashola promised that Nigerians would experience the nation of their dream where people “are their brother’s keeper; where people are hopeful day after day and year after year; where all of the promises that we all feel will materialise”.

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

The congress described the prolonged Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike as a failure to lead by example, which had culminated in juvenile delinquency in Nigeria. The TUC added: “Development from all parts of the country attests to the fact that the youth are angry because they are hungry.

As such they vent their anger on fellow Nigerians through kidnapping, armed robbery and terrorism. The time for the government to reduce hunger in the land is now. Nigerians are tired of bloodshed.” According to the statement, the union urged Nigerians, especially the Muslims, to use the Eid-el-Kabir celebration to make amends and see every Nigerian, ir-

respective of their religion, as their brothers and sisters. This edifying way, said the TUC, was the only way the country could move forward. The congress also advised Nigerians to reflect on the challenges facing the country and submit to the will of Allah in the belief that only Him can help to overcome the challenges.

AGOS State House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji has urged Nigerians to reason together to find solutions to the myriad of problems plaguing the nation. Ikuforiji addressed reporters yesterday at the Epe Central Mosque in Ita Balogun, after the Eid-elKabir prayers. He noted that the nation’s problems were not created by God. Ikuforiji said: “The problems are artificial and were created by a few selfish individuals among us. I don’t understand why the very few could just have their way over and above the other millions.”

Yobe deputy governor prays for peace From Duku Joel, Damaturu

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OBE State Deputy Governor Abubakar Aliyu has advised the people to pray for the return of peace in the state and the country. Aliyu, in his Sallah message, noted that what the country and the state needed were fervent prayers for the return of peace. He said: “We are living in very difficult times. The people of the state and Nigeria need to join hands in offering fervent prayers to the Almighty Allah for the return of peace in our country. “For Yobe pilgrims in Mecca, we also enjoin them to double their prayers so that permanent peace would be restored to our dear land. We also wish them a successful Hajj and a safe return to the state.” The Chief Imam of Yobe Mosque and Islamic Centre, Ustaz Hudu Mohammed, who led the two-rakah prayers, condemned the killing of human beings in the name of religion. According to him, the way of life of Prophet Mohammed was an exemplar because he lived peacefully with non-Muslims. Hudu urged Muslims to unite against strange doctrines imported into Islam. He said: “Islam is a religion of peace.”

THE NATION WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 16, 2013

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‘Dishonesty hinders development’

SALLAH CELEBRATION

Obi: let’s be faithful to God

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HE Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, yesterday said lack of honesty among the people is hindering the country’s development. In his Sallah message, the royal father stressed that it was time for Nigerians to exhibit trustworthiness so that the country could progress. According to him, without peaceful co-existence, no nation could develop. Bayero urged Nigerians to always fear God so that the truth could prevail in all circumstances. He advised Nigerians to love one another and live in peace. The monarch called for prayers to Almighty Allah for peace to reign in Nigeria. He noted that without an attitudinal change among Nigerians and leaders, the nation’s growth would remain stunted. Bayero advised Kano residents to always ensure a tidy environment to prevent various ailments.

Night of Praise holds Friday

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HIS year’s Gideon One Baptist Association Annual Night of Praise and Power will hold at the First Baptist Church, Kosofe, at 592, Ikorodu Road, Kosofe Bus Stop in Agboyi/Ketu Local Council Development Area of Lagos State on Friday at 10pm till dawn. The programme’s theme is: Bring Me Now A Minstrel, taken from 2 Kings 3:15. The consultant of the association, Rev. Festus I. Olatunde, said all church denominations were invited to experience God’s bounties during the programme. He said God inhabits the praises/worship of His people, adding that the programme would be an avenue to experience the amazing power of God through praise.

Burial holds Friday

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A Nathaniel Ogunjobi, who died on Septem ber 24 at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo, Ondo State, will be buried this Friday. He was 80. A burial arrangement said his remains would leave the FMC, Owo, tomorrow at 8am for his home at 45, Iwonrin Street, OkaAkoko, Ondo State, for lying-in-state. There will be a Christian wake at the same venue at 5pm. A service of songs will hold at 10am on Friday at Oke Maria Catholic Church, Oka-Akoko, Ondo State. Interment will follow at the church’s cemetery. The entertainment of guests will hold immediately within the church premises. The late Ogunjobi is survived by wives, children and great-grandchildren. They are: Madam Cecilia Ogunjobi, Madam Justina Ogunjobi, Remigius Ogunjobi, Otunba Julius Ogunjobi, Jerome Ogunjobi, Mrs Margaret Oseleye, among others.

From Emeka Odogwu, Awka

ANAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi yesterday urged Muslims to be faithful to Almighty God. In his Sallah message, he said: “This celebration yet again offers our Muslim brothers the special opportunity to reflect on their spiritual lives, pray for themselves, others and the nation at large. “As the celebration goes on, it reminds us to always reflect on the ideals of good living, which all religions preach. This abhors violence but promotes peace and fraternity among men.” •From left: Senators Mohammed Saleh (Kaduna Central); Ibrahim Musa (Niger North); ‘Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos East) and Mudashiru Husain (Osun West) at the Holy Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, during this year’s Hajj.

‘No aggrieved member in Kwara PDP’

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HE ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State has dismissed the insinuation that it has factions. The party said those claiming to be pro-Bamanga Tukur-led PDP and challenging the primary for the nomination of its candidates for the October 26 local government election were faceless. Some aggrieved chairmanship aspirants, believed to Tukur’s loyalists, last Thursday, filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Ilorin, the state capital. They were challenging the modus operandi for selecting/electing the chairmanship candidates at the primary. Addressing reporters in

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

Ilorin, the PDP Chairman Ishola Balogun-Fulani said: “We read in the papers that some aggrieved members of our party took us to court, challenging the conduct of our local government election’s primary. To our surprise, up till now, nobody has served us the court notice. “As a party, anything we do here is done in accordance with the constitution of the PDP; the primary was conducted in accordance with the constitution of our party. “The national headquarters of our party was informed about the primary and it sent people down here to witness the primary

and thereafter sent an appeal panel. When the panel members came, they received no complaints from any quarters concerning our primary. “The panel members had gone back with their report, certifying that the conduct of the primary was peaceful and fair. “Are we even sure that the people who went to court are members of our party or members of another party? “As far as we are concerned, there are no aggrieved members of the PDP in Kwara State. The PDP is one in the state because, if there were aggrieved members, the primary would not have been peaceful. “According to the consti-

tution of our party, aggrieved members are expected to first report their grievances to the party not law court. All avenues must have been explored before heading to the court. “We are confident that the October 26 local government election will hold because there is no court injunction retraining the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWSIEC) from conducting the election. More so, it is specifically stated in the Electoral Act that no court can stop any election or any primary of any political party. “None of those reported to be aggrieved has neither complained to the PDP national, state nor local government level.”

Bauchi Police recover widow’s N6.5m SUV

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HE Bauchi State Police Command has recovered a N6.5 million Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) which was stolen from the home of a widow, Mrs Adah Gboyi, at her Ring Road, Tudun Wada home in Jos, the Plateau State capital. The recovery followed tight security across the state by Police Commissioner Mohammed Ladan. The police chief had introduced several measures to reduce crimes. The SUV, a 2010 model black Toyota Highlander SUV with registration number (Lagos) LND 950 BJ, was recovered with an AK 47 rifle, a locally-made pistol, 55 rounds of 7.62 milimetre live ammunition, five cartridges and a magazine.

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From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

Addressing reporters in Bauchi, police spokesman, Haruna Mohammed, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said: “At 11.30 hours on October 8, we received a report that at 20.30 hours (8.30pm) on October 5, a gang of five armed robbers attacked Mrs. Adah Gboyi.” He said the robbers tied Mrs. Gboyi in the presence of her children before they stole the car. Mohammed added: “On October 9, based on intelligence report, the command’s Special Squad, partnering those attached to Ali Kwarra - a famous private crime fighting outfit ambushed the robbers at

Zaranda, on the outskirts of the state capital.” During a gun battle between the police and the hoodlums, one of the robbers was killed while others abandoned the car with the weapons and escaped with gunshot wounds. Mrs. Gboyi said: “There was an outage and my generator was on. So, as I moved to the dining section of the parlour and was speaking on phone, the robbers sneaked in. “One of them came to me, pointing a pistol to my head and asked after my son, who was not in the house at the time. “They met other members of my family in the sitting room and ordered my children and everybody else to lie down. The robbers

asked for money and my car keys. One of them went into my bedroom, ransacked it and took away my car keys. They rushed out and started the car while others ransacked the house, searching for money and other valuables.” The widow could not remember how much cash and howmany other valuables the robbers took from the family. Mrs. Gboyi hailed the police for recovering her car and thanked God for sparing the life of members of her family. Ladan urged the public, especially workers of various health facilities, to report their patients with suspicious wounds to security agents for appropriate action.

Fire at Shell’s Trans-Niger Pipeline

HERE was a fire on Monday at the Shell P e t r o l e u m Development Company (SPDC). It occurred a few metres to its Trans-Niger Pipeline (TNP) in Rivers State, its spokesman, Precious Okolobo said. In a statement, Okolobo said the fire was reported within the SPDC Joint Venture’s right-of-way at Patrick Waterside, Bodo, Ogoniland and close to the

By Akinola Ajibade

Trans-Niger Pipeline. He said the incident occurred amid investigation and repair work on last week’s oil spills in the area. Okolobo said: “The fire outbreak was reported yesterday (October 14) within the SPDC JointVenture’s right-of-way at Patrick Waterside, Bodo, Ogoniland and close to the Trans-Niger Pipeline (TNP). “Investigations and repair

work continue on last week’s spills in the area. The entire TNP system, comprising the 24-inch line and the 28-inch line, were closed on October 9 as a precautionary response to the spills. But the 28-inch TNP was reopened shortly after investigations established that the leaks were on the 24-inch line only.” The spokesman said though the fire had been put out, the 28-inch would remain closed until checks were

carried out on it. ‘’ This means the entire TNP is shut-in, resulting in production of 150,000 barrels of oil per day being deferred. The force majeure on Bonny Light exports remains in place,’’ Okolobo said. According to him, investigations into the earlier incidents showed that unknown persons drilled holes on the 24-inch TNP at BDere, while an excavation was observed at Bodo West.

Onaiyekan: use Sallah as national celebration JOHN Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Catholic Arch-Bishop of Abuja, yesterday urged Nigerians, irrespective of their religious affiliations, to see Eid-el-Kabir as a national celebration. Onaiyekan spoke when he joined the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Muslim community to pay Sallah homage to President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Vice-President Namadi Sambo led the Muslim community to the President’s residence. Addressing State House correspondents, Onaiyekan noted that Sallah should not be seen as “just a Muslim festival’’ but a national feast that Christians and other religious faithful should celebrate. He said he joined the Muslim community in solidarity to pay Sallah homage to the President. Onaiyekan said: “As a Nigerian and, even as a Christian leader, I am celebrating in solidarity with my Muslim fellow countrymen. “As you know, many of us, who lived with Muslims, have always done this since early childhood. “Every year when I was a child, whenever it was time for ‘Ileya’ (Eid-el Kabir), I knew I was going to get food in my father’s house, even though my father was a very good Christian. “During Christmas, we carried food to our Muslim friends; that does not make us any less Christians. “This is how Nigeria has grown and should grow in my opinion. We may even teach the rest of the world the lesson that we can live together in peace, despite our differences.” w The Cardinal, who was dressed in a white cassock, said Nigerians must learn to live in peace with one another, irrespective of their religious differences. He said: “You can see how I am dressed now. I am not hiding the fact that I am a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. “That does not stop me from living in peace with others.’’

THE NATION WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 16, 2013

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NEWS SALLAH CELEBRATION

•Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed (second left); Assembly Speaker Rasaq Atunwa (left); Emir of Ilorin Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari (third left); Deputy Governor Peter Kisra and Nigerian Ambassador to Netherlands, Dr. Nimota Akanbi during a Sallah homage to the Emir’s Palace in Ilorin... yesterday.

•Yobe State Deputy Governor Abubakar Aliyu (third right); former deputy governor Aliyu Salleh Bagere (second right), Secretary to the State Government (SSG) PHOTO: DUKU JOEL Babagoni Machina, at the Damaturu praying ground...yesterday

•Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda (second left); Emir of Dass, Alhaji Usman Bilyaminu (left) and Commissioner of Police Alhaji Mohammed Ladan at Dass Local Government Ground in Bauchi... yesterday.

•Muslim faithful in Port Harcourt...yesterday

•Senator Bukola Saraki in Ilorin ...yesterday

L-R: Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar flanked by Alhaji Adamu Ciroma (left) and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed at the An-nur Mosque Prayer Ground in Abuja... yesterday.

•Children at the Eid Prayer Ground in Abuja... yesterday.

PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE

THE NATION WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 16, 2013

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NEWS

SALLAH CELEBRATION

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (second left); his predecessor and leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (left); Oba of Lagos Rilwan Akiolu (third right); Bashorun of Lagos, Alhaji Sikiru Alabi-Macfoy (second right) and Prince Alaba Oniru at the Lagos Central Mosque... yesterday.

•From left: Vice-President Namadi Sambo; his son, Amir; National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki(rtd); Acting Chief Imam of Abuja National Mosque, Sheik Ibrahim Makari and others praying in Abuja...yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

•Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako (left) greeting Peoples Democratic National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur in Yola... yesterday.

•Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (third left); former Deputy Governor Alhaji Sikiru Lawal (left); Senior Special Assistant to Ekiti State Governor on Research and Documentation, Mr. Hakeem Jamiu (second left) and Special Adviser to the governor on political matters, Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu at the Eid Ground in Ado-Ekiti... yesterday.

•Former Military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (right); former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (second left); Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu (left) and Emir of Minna, Alhaji Umar Faruk Bahago, at the Minna Central Mosque... yesterday.

•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (secnd right), Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Lekan Adegbite (secnd left), Deputy Chief of Staff, Alhaji Shuaib Salisu (right) and Commissioner for Physical Planning, Alhaji Adebayo Fari (left) at the Lantoro Prayer Ground, Abeokuta...yesterday

•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (second left); businessman Lamidi Ajadi (left); Chief Lateef Oyelade (second right) and Alhaji Muibi Ogunniyi, at the Eid Ground at Agodi, Ibadan...yesterday

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 16, 2013

NEWS

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Senators, NHRC chief seek prisons’ upgrade

HE Federal Government has been urged to take urgent steps to make prisons more conducive. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Human Rights and Legal Matters Ummaru Dahiru; his counterpart in the Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Inang and the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Bem Angwe, expressed dismay at the poor state of prisons. They spoke in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, at the kick-off of the audit of prisons, the police and other detention centres in the Southsouth by the NHRC. The audit began at the Uyo Prisons. NHRC's Director of Public Affairs and Communications Muhammad Ladan, in a statement, said many of the inmates were in prison due to avoidable delays in the legal process. Dahiru urged chief judges to visit prisons regularly to address such challenges. He said the Senate was willing to support prison reforms with legislations to reduce the number of awaiting-trial inmates.

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

Inang urged the state's Director of Public Prosecution, C.J. Udo, to adopt measures to reverse the situation. He said the Senate would appropriate funds for infrastructure in prisons, adding that prisons need rehabilitation. Inang said: "The accommodation, food and facilities in prisons must be continuously improved to achieve minimum standards. We also have to ensure that inmates, who are not supposed to be in prisons, do not languish in jail." Angwe condemned the detention of two nursing mothers awaiting trial in the prison on bailable offences, stressing that the prison was not a place for babies. He directed the NHRC's State Coordinator, Tony Iji, to ensure the women were released on bail to protect the rights of the children. Angwe said the purpose of the audit was to ensure compliance with the minimum standard in prisons. He said his commission would make recommendations to the Federal Government for the improvement of prisons.

‘Presidency has no ulterior motive’

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From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

BONYI State Governor Martin Elechi yesterday said President Goodluck Jonathan has no ulterior motive concerning the proposed National Conference. He said the conference would enable Nigerians express their grievances and resolve them. Elechi spoke in Abakaliki while hosting representatives of the Muslim community. He said: “The President's plan to convene a National Conference is a demonstration of his desire to keep the nation united, as all segments of the country would have an opportunity to outline their grievances.” The governor felicitated with Muslims on the Eid-el-Kabir celebration and urged them to educate cattle rearers on the need to go about their activities peacefully. He said the government was planning to relocate the cattle ranch in the state for sanitary reasons.

‘Confab outcome must pass through National Assembly’

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MEMBER of the House of Representatives, Mr. Abiodun Abudu-Balogun, has said resolutions reached at the conclusion of the proposed National Conference must go through the National Assembly for deliberation before they become binding. Abudu-Balogun, who represents Ijebu North/Ijebu East/Ogun Waterside Federal Constituency, said there was nothing wrong with Nigerians discussing their problems. He spoke with reporters on Monday after a stakeholders' meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ijebu East Local Government Area of Ogun State. Abudu-Balogun, however, said neither the format nor the intention of President Goodluck Jonathan on the confab is clear. He said: "There is nothing wrong in dialogue. The essence of democracy is representation. We were constitutionally elected into the National Assembly to formulate laws and we have not been found wanting in our duties. "I am not opposed to the proposed national conference, but it is not yet clear

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

what format it is going to take. We do not know the intention of President Goodluck Jonathan on this conference. Are the members going to be elected or appointed? The resolution of the conference will not be binding until it passes through the National Assembly. The position of the Conference cannot override the National Assembly." He hoped the APC would win Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-controlled states and at the centre in 2015. Abudu-Balogun said the performance of governors in APC-controlled states was a pointer that the party would turn around the "misfortune" of the country under the PDP's control. He hailed the "Re-building Mission" of the Governor Ibikunle Amosun administration and urged the people to support the government. Abudu-Balogun said the N26 million Information and Communications Technology Centre (ICT), built under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), would be opened this month.

•From right: General Secretary, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Lagos State, Elochukwu Adibo; the association’s Chairman, Olawale Oladubu; Chairman, AMLSN Festac/Satellite chapter, Nnamdi Okonkwo and Chairman, Guild of Medical Laboratory Directors, Lagos State, Olumuyiwa Onaneye , at the Free Health Screening and Global Handwashing Awareness in Festac Town, Lagos... yesterday.

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Fed Govt to blame for prolonged ASUU strike, says Osinbajo

ORMER Lagos State Attorney-General and professor of law Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) yesterday blamed the government for the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which began on July 1. He said strikes had become popular because the government failed to act early to prevent conflicts. Osinbajo said: "I think it is time the government begins to look at ways in which we can engage the issues around education and other tensions in the society without waiting until things get to a head." He spoke to The Nation at the Lagos campus of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), where he was a guest speaker at the ongoing NIALS Annual Festival of Legal Scholarship. The lawyer urged the government to reconsider how it deals with conflicts and not allow matters get out of hand before acting. He said: "There is no doubt

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•NIALS boss: make law a graduate course By Joseph Jibueze

that every strike has a way of impacting education negatively. We are in an environment where nothing is done until there is a strike or somebody does something dramatic or alarming. It seems to me that it really should be up to the authorities at this time to find ways in which we can resolve conflicts. "Generally speaking, governments always appear to be uninterested in resolving an issue until it comes to a head. That is the reason strikes have become very popular. I do not see any reason why we should be talking of academics and the funding of universities in this way. It should be basic. The United Nations (UN) has recommended, at least, 20 per cent of the budget for education, but these parameters are never met." On the Federal

Government's plan to organise a national conference, Osinbajo said the agenda was not clear-cut and he does not clearly understand its essence. He said: "We have seen examples of these national conferences that appear to be knee-jerk reactions to something other than the realities of our present condition. I will like to better understand what this national conference is about. I do not know what the agenda is. "The circumstance in which it was announced appears somewhat funny, but let us see what we can make of it. However it is described, if it is another opportunity to talk, why not talk?" NIALS Director-General Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN) said the falling standard of education was more manifest at the primary and secondary school levels, explaining that many secondary school

leavers could not write or speak basic english. He said: "The decline is at the lowest level of education. You do not learn brighter grammar at the Law Faculty. If you do not get it right in the primary and secondary schools, forget it." Azinge criticised ASUU for allegedly not contributing enough to academic research, saying: "Let ASUU tell us what it has done for the country in terms of research. America is talking of driverless cars and we cannot even manufacture a bicycle!" He recommended making law a secondary university course, saying: "Is it not time we made law a graduate study? Can't we return it to a graduate programme?" Most of today's law graduates, Azinge said, no longer possess the "dignity, decorum and confidence" required of lawyers. The festival continues till Friday.

CNPP: don't attack Tinubu over national conference

HE Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) yesterday condemned the President Goodluck Jonathan administration for a comment against the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. The Presidency, in its response to Tinubu's statement on the convocation of a national conference, said: "While the Tinubus of this world focus only on the 2015 general elections, most patriotic ordinary Nigerians are more concerned with the emergence of a united country based on equity and justice." CNPP said: "The above statement is a farce, as the 2015 general elections hold higher hope for ordinary Nigerians' aspirations for a change in government. It is the epitome of liberal democracies, upon which other meaningful changes are benched."

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Osita Okwchukwu, CNPP warned the Presidency to stop attacking the former Lagos governor and address the issues raised on the national conference. It said: "We call on the Presidency to respond to the germane message that truly, the national conference is a Greek Gift, diversionary and deceptive. "This is the rational question raised by Tinubu and other patriots, which should be answered, rather than attacking the messenger. "We listened carefully to the statement made by Tinubu on his arrival from a medical trip abroad and it is in tandem with CNPP's position that President Jonathan is deceptively building a bridge to nowhere, as we cannot tell how the resolutions of the confer-

ence will work outside the 1999 Constitution without a Sovereign National Conference. "Accordingly, our understanding is that Asiwaju, outside the diversionary and deceptive outlook of President Goodluck Jonathan's conference, is worried about the credibility, reliability and capability of Mr. President to pull Nigeria through a free, fair and transparent 2015 general elections. "CNPP pages with Asiwaju on the truism that Mr. President's failure to pull through the unintended consequences of the conference may hazard and scuttle the 2015 general elections, especially when ethnic merchants dominate the 13-man Prep Committee. "This fear is based on how President Jonathan demonstrated gross ineptitude and incapacity to manage his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). "For with the umbrella of

his party in tatters, how can he mobilise the party's majority in the state and national assemblies to amend the 1999 Constitution and accommodate issues to be raised by the National Conference? For instance, the agitation of the Ijaw National Congress and others for self-determination, or is he bidding Nigeria goodbye? Answer urgently, please. "Alternatively, for the avoidance of doubt, can rational patriotic Nigerians bank on a president, who, till date, woefully failed to address the core recommendations of the Uwais Electoral Reform Report; Lemu's post2011 General Elections-Crisis Report; Ambassador Galtimari's Boko Haram Report and Orosanya Report; honour the 2009 Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) agreement and implement the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the union?"

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

11

NEWS Commission’s accountant ‘steals’ N29m From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

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•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola acknowledging cheers from the crowd during the Sallah celebration at Oke Baale in Osogbo, the state capital ... yesterday.

Fix Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, senator urges Jonathan

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ENATOR Babafemi Ojudu (Ekiti Central) has decried the poor state of the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. In a statement yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, Ojudu said: “It is disturbingly saddening that the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, which is the artery that links the commercial capital of Nigeria with the rest of the country, has become like a path through a jungle.” He said President Goodluck Jonathan’s recent visit to the road was greeted with a deep

From Damisi Ojo, Akure and Miriam Ekene-Okoro

sense of relief by the people, but “it seems Mr. President was more concerned about the publicity he got than fixing the road. Ojudu said: “When President Jonathan knew he was not going to mobilise the contractors to do the job, why did he go there to raise people’s hopes? This is more depressing than not going there at all.” He said it was the government’s duty to make life bearable for the citizens, adding that no serious government

would abandon such a strategic road, especially since 85 per cent of goods imported into the country and almost 90 per cent of goods exported are taken to and from the ports through the road. Ojudu said: “On a daily basis, people die needlessly on this road and goods worth millions of Naira are destroyed. Only on Monday, a trailerloaded with corn fell and the goods were destroyed. That is millions of Naira down the drain! How then do we encourage businessmen and entrepreneurs, who sweat daily to make

Nigeria better and provide jobs for our army of unemployed youths? “Heaven knows how many businesses have folded up due to losses suffered from accidents on this road. A journey that should ordinarily take two hours takes five hours on that road. That in itself is another loss of money arising from needless waste of time spent by motorists groping their way, as though in the dark, through that road. “Recently, Mr. President visited the road and, in the full glare of the world and the mass

media, promised that the road would be fixed, but what we have seen is that portholes on the road are being marked with white paint, suggesting another regime of endless road-patching. If that is the case, it would be the highest level of wickedness and emotional torture to Nigerians, who daily travel on that road.”

HE Accountant of the Ekiti State Pension Commission, Mr. Alebiosu Sesan, has “bolted” with N29 million belonging to the commission. Sesan reportedly diverted cheques worth N29 million meant to be paid into the commission’s account into his private account. A source said the “fraud” was discovered when the bank informed the Commissioner for Finance, Dapo Kolawole, that it had not received the cheques. The source said: “After about a week, the bank said it did not get the cheques and the commissioner directed that the accountant should be questioned. “Rather than answer when he was sent for, Sesan ran out of his office and was trying to escape when a motorcycle hit him opposite Mutual House building in AdoEkiti. “He was taken to the hospital for treatment, but unfortunately, as soon as he was conscious, he escaped from the hospital and they are still looking for him.” Commissioner of Police Sotonye Wakama said the police were trailing the suspect.

GUS Review: Episode 12 Dennis Opts To Bear Ifunnaya’s Stump Of Shame

Oyo residents celebrate Alaafin at 75

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•Oba Adeyemi

T was double celebration yesterday, as residents of Oyo town celebrated the Eid-el-Kabir festival and the 75th birthday of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111. Residents, both young and old, danced round major streets in a carnival-like procession, praising God for giving their monarch long life, good health, knowledge and wisdom to lead them. Extolling the ruler’s virtues, they said his visionary leader-

From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

ship had brought tremendous development to the town and its environs. They sang songs in support of the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration and the Caretaker Chairman of Atiba Local Government, Prince Adeniyi Adeyemi, who is the Alaafin’s son. They said Ajimobi was providing good governance and hailed Adeyemi’s “commit-

ment” to rural transformation. The celebration was rounded off at the palace, where the Alaafin thanked the people for their support and cooperation. Oba Adeyemi entertained the people by dancing to the beats of the talking drums. At the event were members of the House of Assembly, led by the Speaker, Alhaja Monsurat Sunmonu; Senator Ayo Adeseun (Oyo Central District); traditional rulers and religious leaders.

Ajimobi to unveil new exco members in 15 days

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YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday said the names of new executive council members will be announced in 15 days. Speaking with reporters at the Government House in Ibadan, the state capital, shortly after the Yidi prayers, Ajimobi explained why he dissolved the executive council. He said his action was based on “integration, reconciliation and systematic review”. Ajimobi said: “Every organisation needs occasional systematic review, rejuvena-

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

tion and reconfiguration. What we are trying to do is to rejuvenate the exco, so that when the names of the new members come out, everybody will be happy.” The governor said complaints from some stakeholders that they were not involved in governance was another reason for dissolving the council. Urging stakeholders to submit the names of persons they wish to be considered for appointments, Ajimobi said: “This time, we will ensure

that all local governments are well represented. Those who worked with me before did well, but others must be given the opportunity to prove their worth. That is why a governor cannot go more than two terms, even if he is the best governor. It is to give others an opportunity to serve their people. So what we are doing is giving other people an opportunity. “I am waiting for the names of nominees from party leaders from the 33 local government areas.” In his Sallah message, Ajimobi urged Nigerians to

work together to promote unity and progress in the nation. He said: “The celebration is about giving, fulfilment of promises and godliness. Prophet Ibrahim made a promise to God, when he did not have a child. He said if God gave me a child, he would sacrifice anything to him. And he was ready to fulfil that promise by sacrificing his only child in his old age. What this means is that if you make a promise, you must fulfil it.” He urged Nigerians to always fulfil their promises.

• The Spears memorizing the story Dennis opted to bear the Stump of Shame in Ifunnaya’s place after the Spears tribe suffered a humiliating defeat in the Memory Log task. Being the leader of the losing tribe, Ifunanya was about being burdened with the Stump when Dennis opted to bear it. He said she had saved them from a disaster in their last task and was not feeling well. Impressed by Ifunanya’s insistence on bearing the consequences as the leader despite her supposed ill health, Chidi allowed Dennis to bear the Stump of Shame. The Memory Log entailed log carrying, memorising three short stories and replicating same in a puzzle. To do these, four members of each tribe were to carry a log across an obstacle course to a bamboo pole at a distance. On the pole was a green board bearing three short stories and at the foot were two baskets on both sides. Each basket had three bags containing pieces of puzzle. The warriors were to pick a bag per trip, memorise a story and then return to their work station where the pieces of the puzzle would be put together to form the stories on the pole. The log was not to touch the ground at any point, while all four bearers must hold the log while in motion. The three bags must be returned before fixing the puzzle. The Spears started wrongly by going over the beam and had to go back to the beginning. The Swords also defaulted twice and were called back. The Swords won the task and were rewarded with a flint to keep their fire burning. The Council of Elders also surprised them with fresh and juicy chicken parts when they returned to their tent. Catch more exciting episodes and clues to the Fans Edition on the following stations: African Magic (DSTV), Ebonylife TV, Realstar, Wap TV, ESBS and AKBC at 10pm; and AIT & Galaxy TV at 10:30pm.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

12

NEWS ANAMBRA 2013

Poll rates Ngige ahead of others

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OLLOWING an opinion poll and survey indices conducted by a group in Anambra State on the November 16 governorship election, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Chris Ngige, leads the other candidates with 21 per cent. Others trailing him are the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Willie Obiano with 17 per cent, while the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Ifeanyi Uba, occupies the third position, with 16 per cent.

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

It was conducted by Poll Star Opinion Poll and Survey, which deals in policy, politics, economy, business and consultancy services, led by its Executive Director, Obi Benedict Ekene. In a statement to reporters yesterday in Awka, titled: “Second result of our opinion poll on Anambra 2013 governorship election”, the group also gave the candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, 15 per cent.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yet to determine its candidate, scored 14 per cent; Basil Iwuoba of the PPN got six per cent, while Ifeatu Ekelem of the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) got four per cent. Anayo Arinze of the ADC scored two per cent, Christian Otti of ID got 1.5 per cent, Prince Akanegbu of the UPP had 0.8 per cent, while the remaining parties were said to have scored 0.8 per cent. According to the poll and survey, “a further analysis of this result shows that the APC candidate maintains

popularity among prospective voters and has remained in the pole position in the race to the Anambra State Government House. “Another thing counting for him was his good performance in the past years, his penetrating grassroots campaign, his charisma and ability to connect with the people.” The group said the slide in the APGA candidates’ political fortune could be attributed to the prevalent godfatherism surrounding his candidature and his apparent lack of appeal, among others.

Women from Igbo states to talk with candidates T

HE women in seven Igbo speaking states are to organise an interactive session with the governorship candidates. The states are Abia, Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu and Igbo speaking areas of Delta and Rivers. The event, according to Umuada Igbo group, led by Dr. Kate Uzomaka Ezeofor, would hold at the Emmaus House in Awka, on October 29th. This was made known yesterday at the Catholic Parish Church in Neni, Anaocha Local Government, when Umuada Igbo group, in collaboration with IpasNigeria, visited the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Chukwuma Ofojebe. Briefing the cleric, the

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From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

Deputy President, Umuada Igbo Nigeria and in Diaspora, Lady Ifeoma Ogbu, said the forum would give the candidates the opportunity of telling the people what they intend to do for them through their manifestos. She said: “It is only in Igbo land that you will see legion of people vying for one seat. This has given Umuada Igbo concern. This is why we have come to you for prayers to save our people. “In view of the significant and strategic roles of women in Nigeria’s democracy, the Umuada Igbo Nigeria and in

Diaspora is organising a public interaction for the governorship candidates in Anambra before the election. “The candidates would at the forum tell the people their manifestos, how they intend to positively touch their lives, particularly the women, who are mostly at the receiving end of bad governance. “They should also tell us how they hope to develop Anambra State, which has suffered in the hands of leaders since its creation in 1991.” Rev. Fr. Ofojebe prayed for the group’s success and urged it to be careful not to make a mistake in

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

ensure a free and fair poll. They urged INEC to make a statement on the alleged missing of 53 polling units, the 93,000 double registrants as well as the issue of the polling stations found in shrines and evil forests. The groups said: “We demand that the final publication of the list of voters for the governorship poll should be attached with an executive summary by your Electoral Residency, addressing these crucial issues as raised.

“Such executive summary should be made public and rested in plain languages. “We remain unrepentant, the exponent of free, fair, participatory and popular elections in Nigeria, especially the November 16 governorship poll in Anambra State. “If the foregoing issues raised are not properly addressed, then the poll will not only lose its expected wide acceptance, it will also threaten your commission’s credibility. “We wish to remind your Electoral Residency that publication of the list of voters

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HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State has urged its members not to be deterred by the delay in determining its candidate in the November 16 election. PDP’s national and state leadership presented Comrade Tony Nwoye to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as their candidate, but submitted the name of Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu, following the ruling of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Since then, the party has been at a crossroads. While the candidates of other parties have launched their campaigns, PDP is still battling in court to determine its candidate. Speaking with The Nation yesterday in Awka, members

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•Ngige, APC’s candidate

choosing who takes Anambra to the promised land. “What you are doing is a divine intervention from God. Ndigbo are known for their enterprise and industry in every field in this world and 80 per cent of the success in every home depends on women,” the cleric said.

Rights’ groups demand release of voter register

HE eight human and civil society groups in the Southeast have urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the voter register for the November 16 governorship election. The groups included Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Intersociety, Campaign for Democracy (CD). This was contained in a letter addressed yesterday to Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukaogu, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC). The groups said the publication of the register would

Do not relent, PDP urges members

on the election date is not enough and can never guarantee the credibility of your voter register management, which has been tainted and fraught with a series of demographic complaints. “The Anambra voters and entire Nigerians would want to know the status of ‘93,000 double registrants’, which your commission disclosed publicly to exist in its current register of voters of Anambra extraction. They would also wish to know the status of ‘53 missing polling units’ in nine local government areas of the state.”

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

of the Tony Nwoye Campaign Organisation (TNCO), said they were not bothered about the development, adding that they believed victory would be theirs. The Director, Media and Publicity of the group, Mr. Ken Arinze, a former commissioner for Commerce and Industry, said the court case would not stop them from reaching out to the people. Said he: “The people know who they want in this election. This is why we are hoping in God to give us victory. “We are not panicking, the only thing bothering us is the delay in launching the campaign the way other parties have done. Time is no longer on our side.”

Umeh receives 1,500 PDP defectors into APGA

HE National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, yesterday received over 1,500 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members, led by a former governorship aspirant, into APGA. The event took place at Enugu-Ukwu in Njikoka Local Government, the hometown of APGA’s governorship running mate, Dr. Nkemakonam Okeke. Receiving the defectors, Umeh hailed them for taking a bold step to rediscover their root. He urged them to work with the youth to ensure victory for the party. Umeh described APGA as the only party that would ensure that Igbo enjoy the dividend of democracy. He said Chief Willie Obiano and Dr. Okeke were a

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

force to reckon with in view of their pedigree. Umeh said: “With the collective efforts of Nwandu and Okeke from EnugwuUkwu, APGA is sure of winning in Dunukofia, Njikoka and Anaocha local governments.” Okeke said the event showed that the people of the area were beginning to see the value of APGA. He promised that those who defected would become major stakeholders of the party in the town and state. The defectors were led by Chief Arthur Nwandu, who had declared his governorship ambition on the platform of the PDP. Nwandu said they left PDP because of the “lingering crisis at the state and national levels.”

‘Ojukwu’s spirit yearning for victory’

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CHIEFTAIN of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Ben Obi, yesterday said should the party lose the forthcoming poll, the hope of the Igbo would be dashed. He said Ndigbo had their last hope in APGA, adding that if Anambra State was lost to the opposition parties, there would be problem for the aspiration of Ndigbo politically. Obi, a senior special assistant (SSA) to Governor Peter Obi on Inter-party Affairs urged APGA members to convince the electorate to vote for the party’s governorship candidate. “If APGA does not win the poll, the spirit of our late leader, Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

and our brothers and sisters who died during the civil war will not rest. “With APGA winning in Anambra and other Southeast states in future, Ndigbo would have a voice and we would be reckoned with. “Our candidate, Dr. Willie Obiano and his running mate, Dr. Nkem Okeke, will continue from where Governor Peter Obi and his deputy, Chief Emeka Sibeudu, will stop,” he said. According to him, “our aim is to win. This is why we are not bothered about the distractions. We are focused. This is our last chance to maintain the status quo to enable us spread to other Southeast states.”

APGA’s candidate launches campaign in Onitsha today

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•All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Olorunfunmi Basorun, joined by his wife, Bolanle, his friend and members of the Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church, to cut a cake to mark his 75th birthday in his home in Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Lagos.

HE candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr. Willie Obiano, will today launch his second campaign, tagged: “Mother of all campaigns”, at the Holy Trinity field, Onitsha. The Director- General of the Willie Obiano Campaign Organisation, Chief Joe-Martins Uzodike, told The Nation that the rally would also be held in other towns in Anambra. He said APGA could not afford to lose the election since Governor Peter Obi had set a

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

pace in administration and governance. Uzodike said the Obi administration was working round the clock to realise the target of actualising the MDG’s before the 2015 deadline. He said they were planning to continue the good programmes of the Obi administration, adding that that was why they picked two men, who had excelled in their professions, as their candidate and running mate.

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REWARD

GIFT

EMPOWERMENT

Honour for Okorocha’s aide

Shettima’s wife gives 100 rams to widows, orphans

Group organises charity fair

Imo

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Borno

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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HEY came gaily dressed in white lace and beautiful head gears. For the men, it was a locally sewn blue cap; the women had a pink head gear known to the locals as gele of the same fabric. Something else was common to all of them; they were old men and women, the least, being 60 years old. They had all congregated at the events centre of the Ifako Ijaiye Local Government Area, where the wife of the council chairman Pastor (Mrs) Modupe Oke and her husband, Oloruntoba had thought it fit to celebrate them as part of the activities marking the World Aged Day.

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Lagos

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Email: news_extra@yahoo.com

Council fetes senior citizens By Adeyinka Aderibigbe

It wasn’t really the first time they had been so gathered. They had been gathering monthly for the past three years. Their coming together then was financed solely by a midwife, Mrs. Folorunso Lawal, who had been transferred to another council. Mrs. Oke adopted the initiative and continued from where she stopped; ensuring that the elderly meet monthly in a relaxed atmosphere, undergo light exercises to improve their health and give them health

tips as well as check their vital signs. That was not all, Mrs. Oke ensures they get appropriate drugs and food such as wheat, sugar and salt as well as groundnut oil. But the recent event was different. The crowd of the elderly that came was way above the number that usually showed up monthly. Not less than 1,000 of them came, as a council official said they had to get names of more aged from the various Community Development Associations, (CDAs), wards, and community leaders. Oke, who confirmed this, said the

council had taken the step to ensure that as many elderly as possible were feted at the ceremony which marked a day set aside globally to draw attention to issues affecting them in the society. The chairman, who expressed happiness at seeing most of them in good health, thanked God for preserving them, even as he praised his wife for having a thought for the aged. He said celebrating the elderly on a day set aside globally to draw attention to their plight, is a very

good way of giving back to those who have laboured in their youth, adding that the celebration further underscored his administration’s determination to ensure that their labours were never forgotten. He added that though the welfare of the aged had been a major item of his campaign, he had been unable to kick-start the welfare package he had due to “paucity of funds.” He said: “Most of you would remember that the welfare of the aged had been one of the major items on my campaign for this •Continued from Page 17

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HE problem of the female folk, experts say, starts from their infancy. From childhood, the issue of their subjugation begins to manifest. From infancy, they face the problem of preference of the boy child over them. Again, on human development, the girl-child is also at the receiving end. Parents prefer sending their male children to school. The girls stay at home to carry out domestic chores. They also suffer the highest number of school-drop-out in Nigeria. Experts maintain that Nigeria accounts for the highest number of out-of-school girls in Africa. This has become a source of worry to individuals, civil society groups and governments at all levels. The international community is no less concerned about the nauseating phenomenon. In the circumstances, therefore, the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has focused attention on the development of the girl child, with special consideration for their education. So, to mark the second International Day of the Girl Child, the UNICEF has urged governments at all levels to show more commitment to getting more girls enrolled into schools and improve the quality of learning for all children. Despite the decreasing number of girls that are out of school, too many around the world are still denied quality education and a chance to reach their full potential. UNICEF expressed its worry that there is terrifying evidence to the effect that even a single year of secondary school for a girl correlates with as much as a 25 per cent increase in her future earnings. But today, millions of girls are still out of school, including 31 million primary school-aged girls. The executive director of UNICEF, Anthony Lake said that “education can transform the

•Girls in a classroom

Guaranteeing future of the girl-child

Govts urged to transform education

lives of girls and strengthen their communities. Innovation can help us reach every girl by transforming education.” He further said that with its partners, UNICEF is exploring how technology can increase access to education for out-of-school girls

and improve the quality of learning for every child. In South Africa, the TechnoGirls partnership among UNICEF, the government, and over 100 private sector companies is connecting 10,000 adolescent girls with mentors from the tech sector to boost

their skills and job readiness. “Innovation is also helping governments and their partners to reach the-hardest-to-reach children who are at the greatest risk of being out of school. In Uganda, EduTrack is using SMS text messaging to connect students

and schools with UNICEF, enabling them to report on learning, teacher quality, and violence in schools. “Innovation is not only about technology. It can mean embracing new ways to overcome other barriers that keep girls out of school, like improving sanitary facilities and keeping girls safe as they walk to and from school. Continuing, Mr. Lake said: “Innovation is giving us powerful new tools to reach and teach more girls than ever before. “To help more girls go to school, stay in school, and complete their learning, we need to keep learning ourselves, using these new tools, generating new ideas, and scaling up the most promising innovations.”

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

16

Shettima’s wife gives 100 rams to widows, orphans

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•Governor Shettima

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EMBER of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Oshodi/Isolo 1 Constituency, Hon. Lawrence Ayeni has said that the best way to guide against youths becoming a problem to the country in future is to empower them, and make them self sufficient and responsible. Ayeni stated this at the 16th edition of his empowerment programme for his constituents which took place at Oshodi over the weekend. About 1,200 residents, majority of them youths, benefited from the programme as they graduated after undergoing training in different vocations like such as tye and dye, hairdressing, fashion designing, computer engineering and desktop publishing. The lawmaker gave out sewing machines and dryers to the beneficiaries to assist them practise their vocation. About 1,400 new intakes for the 17th edition of the programme also went through the matriculation process at the event to begin the programme. Ayeni who says he derives joy from empowering his constituents said: “it is a joy to me that I have been a source of help to them and my constituents appreciate what I have been doing and it makes me want to do more. With what I am doing, whether you are literate or not you can do something and help yourself out”, he

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HE wife of Borno State Governor,Hajiya Nana KashimShettima has distributed 100 rams to widows, orphans and other less privileged residents of Maiduguri, the state capital. Represented at the distribution ceremony by Alhaji Mohammed Bello, the Chairman of her foundation, Support for Widows, Orphans and Tsangaya Pupils (SWOT), she said the gesture was to ensure that the beneficiaries were not left out in the Eid-ElKabir celebrations. She said: “As a woman and a mother, I deem it necessary to assist women and the

By Oziegbe Okoeki

said. Adding that, “what I love best is empowering people. According to him, “the graduants know that I mean a lot of good for them, they should maximise and use whatever I have given them, they should utilise it and be self employed in future and not to rely on anybody before they can have their meal”. Appraising the programme which he started 16 years ago even before he was elected as a lawmaker, Ayeni said most of those that have benefited from the programme over the years have established businesses of their own and some are even furthering their education from the proceeds of the business they established from the empowerment and many are doing well. He also confessed that the programme has helped him in his political career, “for instance I walk freely in Oshodi without anybody molesting me, something so many politicians can’t do. Secondly, I don’t use to campaign in any election like others, my constituents always do that on my behalf without me asking and they

come out enmass to vote for me on election day. “Furthermore, everybody loves and takes care of my children and wife without me soliciting which is a thing of joy to me. I have been doing this even before I became a member of the House, 16 years now and I enjoy doing it and it will not stop after I leave office, I will continue with the programme”, Ayeni said. He advised fellow politicians to endeavour to fulfil every promise made during electioneering campaigns and before getting into office, “because without the electorate they can not get the position they are occupying. ever they have they should give the people a little so that they can pray for them”, he advised.

Technical training for teachers

EN technical teachers drawn from the three Lagos technical schools - Agidingbi, Ikorodu and Ikotun that specialise in refrigerator and air-conditioning repairs, have concluded their training. The two-week exercise is meant to empower them on how modern air conditions and refrigerators can be fixed. Aside, the teachers are expected to transfer the knowledge to their students who are being targeted by the Lagos State government to embark on aggressive entrepreneurship skills towards boosting the SMEs in the state. The training which was handled by DEKOOLAR Nigeria Limited, Arepo, Ogun State, was sponsored by the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB). And for the trainees, the experience was a departure from the conventional theoretical norm they were long exposed to. Mr Afolabi Kolawole who spoke on behalf of other trainees said that the exercise exposed them to new methods such of fixing modern air conditioning and refrigerators. “We are really having a unique experience here,” Afolabi told Newsextra. “Aside, we also learned new things that we

By Adegunle Olugbamila

did not anticipate would be part of the training; like we had a welding plant in our school which we rarely touch because we’d always believed they are meant for welders. But here, we were taught how we can always integrate welding into our work and all of us can now handle welding equipment effectively. Before, we did not know how to construct cold room cabinet. Whenever we wanted to make a cold room, we would go to Owode Onirin to buy a cabinet, and then construct the cold room. But here, we were taught how the cabinet is made through the mixing of two chemicals in equal proportion that would produce the cabinet substance.” On his visit to the trainees, LASTVEB Executive Secretary, Mr Olawunmi Gasper, admonished them to leverage on the knowledge acquired and network among themselves for further acquisition of knowledge. “LASTVEB decided to bring you here for this rigorous exercise so that you can learn from the nitty-gritty and therefore impact same on your students.

•Some communities in Sango-Ota, in Ogun State protesting power failure in their area

Farmer establishes N40m rice mill L

ARGE scale farmer, Alhaji Nura Attajiri, said he had established a rice mill worth N40 million in Sokoto to boost food production. Attajiri told journalists in Sokoto that he established the facility to boost local food production, alleviate poverty and to check unemployment. He said Nigeria should not be importing foodstuff, especially rice because God had endowed the nation with abundant fertile lands. “These vast fertile lands are capable of producing a myriad of foodstuff if all the enabling conditions are adequately and

less-privileged in the state through the SWOT foundation. “That is why we are distributing 100 rams to widows, orphans and other lessprivileged members of the society to enable them celebrate the Sallah festival like other people in the society.’’ She added that the beneficiaries were selected from different parts of the metropolis to ensure even spread. One of the beneficiaries, Hajiya Yagana Bukar, thanked the governor’s wife for the gift and prayed to Allah to reward her abundantly.

‘Why we must empower youths’

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•Wives of council chairmen (From right): Hajia Khadijat Yisa (Eti-Osa East); Alhaja Funmilayo Daramola (Iru/Victoria Island); Alhaja Bilikis Eshilokun (Lagos Island); Mrs Kafilat SalauBashua (Lagos Island East) and Mrs Sarah Joseph (Apapa) during a sensitisation on Maternal Mortality in lagos HE Jigawa State Justice Sector Reform Commission (JSC) has begun training for 150 community and religious leaders on alternative dispute and conflict resolution. The Chairman of the commission, Justice Tijjani Abubakar, said while inaugurating the workshop in Auyo, near Dutse, that the exercise was designed to build the capacity of com- cise would also enhance service delivery in munity leaders in adjudication as an alterna- the justice sector. tive to conflict resolution. He said the commission had so far trained Represented by Mr Musa Imam, a secretary community and religious leaders and other in the commission, Abubakar said the exer- stakeholders in the five emirates in the state, to encourage alternative dispute resolution within the communities. He said the participants were drawn from Auyo, Kaugama and Kafin Hausa local government areas. The Chairman of Auyo Local Government, Alhaji Muhammad Danjani, praised the JSC for the gesture, saying that it would enhance peaceful co-existence in the communities. “It will encourage quality service delivery and peaceful co-existence in the society,” he said. The reform programme is one of the key interventions by UK’s Department for International Development, to enhance justice service delivery at the grassroots.

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Commission trains 150 community leaders

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USLIMS and Christians have described the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Dr. Muiz Banire as a visionary leader who has served humanity with humility notwithstanding his position in the society. Speaking during a prayer session organised by Mandate Group of Odi Olowo/Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area, to mark birthday of Banire, Pastor Emmanuel Ekundayo of the Christ Apostolic Church, urged others to emulate him. He said the politician has made many people happy as a result of his selfless and purposeful leadership and prayed that God would grant him long life and good health. Also speaking at the occasion, the leader of the House, Odi Olowo/Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mr. Hakeem Saka, stated that the Mandate Group would continue to learn from the examples of Dr.

genuinely provided by the three tiers of government,” he said. He said the mill, “Attajiri Rice Mill’’, built on a four hectare land, was capable of processing between 800 and 1000, 100kg bags of paddy rice (raw, unthrashed rice). The farmer also said that the mill had employed 25 youths and was expected to produce about two million kilogrammes of processed and polished rice, annually.

Clerics urge selfless service Banire who has inspired many grassroots youths. He said: “It is in view of these examples set by our leader, I offered to train not less than 30 youths in driving skills to enable them secure jobs both in government and private capacities.” Saka added that he had earlier given market women on Adewusi Street N5,000 each to enable them support their business and believes this would relieve them of some burden. “I did this in view of the moving spirit of our party the APC which cares for the less privileged; even though I was financially constrained I think it is better to share the little you have with those who don’t have.” He maintained that Banire has always ad-

Funeral for Mr Mbah

T • Lion Yinka (middle) presenting food items and materials to Sister lnegbu. With them are chairperson, Lion Ola Etti Willams (third left), Lion Ben Eboreime and others during the World Lions Service Day held at the Paccelli School of the Blind in Lagos

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Club lifts the blind

NLY uncivilised nations treat disabled children without respect. It is important for Nigerians to add value to the less-privileged and orphans in the society as government cannot do it all.” That was the declaration of the District Governor of International Association of Lions Clubs, Mr Yinla Bolarinwa, during a visit to Pacelli School of the Blind at Ajao Estate, in Lagos. The club had visited the schoold to make some donations to the students. Making the donation, Bolarinwa enjoined the students to be focused, courageous and be ready to make sacrifices to become great in life. He said whatever height they plan to attain, their disability should not be an excuse, saying they should resist the temptation to beg for alms and not allow able men to take advantage of them. Bolarinwa reeled out the objectives of the Lion International to include: rendering selfless service to the community, encouraging efficiency and promoting high ethical standard in commerce, industry, public work and private endeavours. Bolarinwa said that inspite of high level of poverty and insecurity in the country, the Lions Clubs remain undaunted in giving selfless service to the Nigerian people. He said the clubs will soon embark on the development of the community by planting more trees. According to him, Lions Clubs organise en-

lightenment programme for children by taking care of their education need, members donate money to carry out operations for the blind, build schools and equip library with necessary books for the pupils. The Lions Clubs also carry out programmes such as Leadership opportunity for adult, he said. Receiving the items, the Matron of the school, Sister Miriam Terese Inegbu, thanked members of the club for their kind gesture.She said their concern was an expression of love and prayed that God would reward them . She said the major challenge faced by the school is flood and called on government for assistance.

Praise Night The annual night of Praise and Power of the First Baptist Church, 592, Ikorodu Road, Kosofe Bus Stop in Agboyi-Ketu Local Council Development Area of Lagos State will take place on Friday, October 18 at 10:00pm till dawn. The theme is “Bring Me Now a Minister”. According to the spokespman, Rev. Oladokun, who represents the consultant to Gideon One Baptist Association, Rev. Festus I. Olatunde said the Baptist conference has extended invitation to church communities to the programme

HE Catholic Men Organisation (CMO) of Saints Joachim and Anne Catholic Church, Ijegun Ikotun in Igando/Ikotun Local Council Development Area of Lagos State has announced the death of their member the late Mr. Andrew Udeoba Mbah. Mr. Mbah, who hailed from Umueze Anam in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State, died on September 19, at the age of 57. Burial programme released jointly by Messrs Peter Nnubuogu and Christopher Ubaka Mbah; president of CMO and first son of the deceased respectively, said that the late Mr. Mbah was a staff of UAC Nigeria Plc from where he retired in 1993 and the Catholic Men Organisation of Saints Joachim and Anne Catholic Church, Ijegun, Ikotun. According to the programme, there will be Christian wake for the deceased tomorrow at 130, Ijegun Road, beside OJB Shopping Plaza Ikotun at 2:00 p.m. It added that on Thursday, October 24, body will leave the Hens Mortuary in Aguleri Anambra East Local Government Area Anambra State in a motorcade for his home town Umueze Anam at 8:00 a.m. for a lie in state at 9:00 a.m. At 10:00 in the morning, the body will leave for St Theresa Catholic Church, Umueze Anam for a requiem Mass after which he will be buried at his compound at 1:00 p.m. The late Mbah was survived by his wife Mrs. Gloria Udemezue Mbah, seven children among who is Mr. Christopher Ubaka Mbah a staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Ijora branch, six grand children and many •Late Mbah other relations.

•Governor Wamakko

•Members of Mandate Group at prayer session for Dr Banire

vised them to think of what they can contribute to the development of society other than selfserving and because they would be judged by the impact they made on the people not the amount of wealth they personally accumulated.

Stakeholders endorse CDA polls

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By Duro Babayemi

HE chairman of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area Hon Kehinde Bamigbetan has been praised for introducing democratic principles in the choice of members of Community Development Associations. The commendation was given by stakeholders in the council area. The stakeholders who are mainly active members of the 75 CDAs in the council area gave the endorsement at a forum organised by the council at Fadu Town Hall, where the chairperson of the electoral body set up by the council to conduct the forthcoming elections. Mrs Huntonu Mary addressed the CDAs on the level of preparedness and modality for the elections. Chairman of Community Development Committee (CDC), the umbrella body for all the CDAs in the council area, Chief Sharafadeen Alimi at the occasion praised the council chairman for showing the courage and determination to inculcate the principles of true democracy among the people at the grassroots. The community leader added that the idea would allow the people to freely elect representatives who they believe can truly champion their cause in a selfless manner before local and state governments. Chief Alimi urged the CDAs members to rally round the administration of the Bamigbetan in its efforts to bring development to Ejigbo. Chairman, Killa Community Development Association, Prince Ayo Shajuyigbe said that the conduct of election into executive positions of CDAs, as it is being introduced by the council chairman is a welcome development.

Youths urged to be good ambassadors

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HE President Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Chief Lasisi Akinsanya, has urged youths to be focused and shun acts that can tarnish their image. He spoke at the installation of 3rd President of the Rotaract Club of Egbeda, District 9110 Nigeria, Mr. Olanrewaju Lasisi last week. He said Nigerian youths should emulate members of the club in its humanitarian services, which according to him was bridging the gap between the needy and the haves. He explained that the youths were the future of the country and should use their talent to harness the resources available in different parts of the country, stressing that with their inputs the things would continually fall apart. The newly installed President,Lasisi stressed the need for cooperation among the youth in order to realise the objective of the club. The club donated two sewing machines to residents within its jurisdiction and urged them to make good use of the item. He stated that it was part of the club’s objectives to assist in community development and expressed the hope that in due course the club would embark of projects that would bring impact on the lives of the people. Lasisi reiterated that in view of the club’s commitment to social service, it donated two dozens of plastic chairs to the Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area.

By Musa Odoshimokhe

He promised that the club would give 1000 copies of exercise books to pupils in primary and post primary schools in the area. “We will donate environmental sanitation equip-

ment to the Environmental Department of Egbe-Idimu LCDA, health items to the Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) for mothers and their newborn babies’ usage.” A beneficiary, Akinsanya Kehinde, thanked the club for its gesture and called on public spirited individuals to support the club in order to meet up with its programmes.

•Some members of the Rotaractors and other guests the event

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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Council fetes senior citizens •Continued from Page 15 office. However, we have not been able to start what we had in store due to the state of account of the council; but we cannot continue to be moaning our circumstances. If care is not taken, we may not get anything done if we continue on that path as we would be marking our second year in office soon. That is why we decided to buy into this event this year and begin what we had in store for the elderly.” Oke, therefore, announced the take-off of a N2, 000 monthly welfare package for all aged in the council area beginning from November. “Let me assure you all here today that this council, beginning from November, will give the sum of N2,000 to our aged as part of our welfare packages. This is in addition to our regular food, drugs, and check-up which would continue on a monthly basis. We would continue to give them drugs, food items, and look after their general welfare. But, in addition to all these, we shall be giving them N2, 000,” Oke added. Though admitting the amount might be small, Oke said the council will, at no time, give anything lower than N2,000, even as he said his office already has a register of about 2,000 people that would benefit from the scheme. “What we intend to do is that every month, precisely on the 10th of every month, those whose names are already on our register would receive an alert and would be promptly paid anytime they come to our office,” the council chief further added. In her welcome address, Mrs Modupe said she took over the initiative as part of her determination to give back to the aged for their service and as one

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HE Chief Executive Officer and Vice-President of Africa Development Bank, Dr. Nkosana Moyo has challenged Africa youths to widen their scope in innovation on means of solving the challenges facing the continent. Moyo stated this at the 2013 Murtala Mohammed Foundation Public Dialogue organised by the foundation at Habour Point, Victoria Island Lagos. The programme tagged “Investing in Africa’s Future: Unlocking the Potential of our Next Generation of Leaders” brought together many youths, government agen-

who is also “looking forward to getting to that age someday.” She said her non-government organisation – Nightingale Care of the Aged has been gathering these elderly together once a month under a congenial atmosphere in order to counsel them and take their vital signs while a medical doctor is always on hand to give them health tips. She said this has helped greatly in ensuring that many of them continue to be in good health, even as they are given wheat among other light food items. “For over one year, the Nightingale Care of the Aged has attended to the needs of over 800 senior citizens through its monthly meetings. The meeting, it must be stated, has afforded the NGO the opportunity to constantly interface with our aged people where issues bothering on their well-being such as health, nutritional advice, health exercises are given attention, while food items are also given to them free,” she said. She said her group’s commitment to the care of the aged is further underscored by this year’s theme: “Say no to Discrimination of the Elderly,” even as she urged more individuals and groups to show more concern to the aged. She praised the council for buying into the initiative and giving more vive to the event through the introduction

•From right: Senator representing Taraba South, Emmanuel Bwacha, CON; former Taraba North Senator, Dr Anthony Manzo, who represented Senate President David Mark and Benue State SSG, Dr David Salisu who represented Governor Gabriel Suswam during Bwacha’s mid-term report programme held at Mararraba, Dongal Local Governmentm Area, Taraba of the welfare package. The Special Adviser to the council chairman Elder Ezekiel Ojo who also doubles as the council’s coordinator of the elderly, said no fewer than 2,000 elderly people would be accommodated by the scheme, even as he disclosed that the number would be continuously reviewed to accommodate as many

What we intend to do is that every month, precisely on the 10th of every month, those whose names are already on our register would receive an alert and would be promptly paid anytime they come to our office

as could be found residing in the council. “That amount looks small, but it certainly cannot be lower, and if this can go on for the next four years, it would have gone a long way in adding to the economy of these indigent people,” Ojo said. He said the chairman decided to introduce monetary package to further cushion the effects of the economy on the aged most of whose children are still battling with unemployment. Dr. Anthony Ewodage took time to educate the elderly on what to do to avoid high blood pressure and diabetes, two diseases he described as “silent killers.” He advised the reduction in the consumption of salt, alcohol and drug abuse, even as he encouraged regular exercises, including strolling, walking or jogging, as

well as regular check up of blood pressure at least twice a month for anyone above the age of 60. The health instructor for the aged Mr Olumide Bello praised Mrs. Oke for sustaining the care of the elderly, adding that the monthly meeting where these people gather and often do light exercises had gone a long way in improving the health conditions of many aged people in the council. One of the beneficiaries Venerable Lawrence Ogunsipe, thanked the council for taking a major step in the welfare of the aged. Ogunsipe, 74, and a former teacher of the council chairman said the package would go a long way in making life better for majority of the elderly who looked up to nothing and had never benefitted from the government.

African youths urged to be change agents By Adeola Ogunlade

cies, World Bank, politicians, technocrats, public analysts, civil society groups and journalists from across the country. The progamme focused on identifying youths that possess innate leadership qualities; harnessing the innate leadership qualities in the youth; refining and honing the identified leadership qualities for

effective deployment and motivating the trainee leader to desire the vocation of leadership and to embrace the societal responsibility of leadership. According to him, over 65% of the population of Africa is made up of youths which are veritable resource in Africa’s quest for development if they are well equipped and empowered. He lamented what he called ‘the blame-game’ which the youth ex-

hibit; saying it is inappropriate for youths to blame their leaders for the woes of the country. He described this as lack of insight and ingenuity on the part of the youth, adding that it would be impossible to build a strong and vibrant continent if the trend continues. “It is obvious that today’s leaders do not have the solution to Africa’s problems, even as they have continued to fail in delivering essential services that would make the continent a force to reckon with among other continents of the world. “We believe there is no time such as now to point the young population towards the direction of sustaining good governance and public accountability that will drive a sustainable African economy.” Delivering the keynote address, the initiator of Unleashing the Wealth of Nations Project, Mr. Julius O. Akinyemi called for total overhaul of the education sector for it to meet the challenges in the global market. He said: “A vibrant education

system is pivotal and key toward breeding a new generation of honest, virtuous, humane and resourceful youths that will finally guide Africa to its greatness.” Earlier in her address, the Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, Mrs. Aisha Mohammed Oyebode said that the conference was aimed at creating opportunity for unique insights from leaders and agents of change throughout Africa and shall provide the framework for the confluence of ideas on innovative and dynamic strategies for developing a new generation of leaders. “We are eager to unite leadership and education in Nigeria, in order to facilitate large-scale positive change geared ultimately towards developing a new generation of leaders that will finally guide Africa to its greatness.” She added that there is no better time to transform rhetorics into action than now and to begin to develop a strong leadership ethos towards solving Africa’s interminable leadership problems.

It is obvious that today’s leaders do not have the solution to Africa’s problems, even as they have continued to fail in delivering essential services that would make the continent a force to reckon with among other continents of the world •Wife of Chairman, Lagos Mainland Local Government, Mrs Anike Adekanye displaying an award she received from the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Lagos Mainland branch at the council secretariat, Oyingbo.

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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COMMENTARY FROM OTHER LANDS

EDITORIALS

Hope for a Malaria Vaccine

Fleeing hell

•Again, more Africans seeking greener pastures abroad perish

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T is a most perilous journey. Those who undertake it do so at great risk to their lives. Thousands have perished by drowning over the years, as they sought to cross the Mediterranean on rickety, unseaworthy and overcrowded vessels. Others have been shot by border guards at their countries of destination. Many of those who try to reach their terminus through the land route die of thirst in the Sahara desert or freeze in the mountains along their way. There is also the strong possibility of their being repatriated home even if they succeed in arriving at their choice destinations. Yet, despite these evident dangers, thousands of migrants seek desperately to flee Africa on a daily basis in

‘The dangers faced by illegal migrants from Africa was, once again, vividly demonstrated when a decrepit and fragile trawler, overloaded with about 500 migrants aboard capsized near the Island of Sicily on October 3. The ill-fated 66ft boat had left from Tripoli, Libya, for Lampedusa – an island lying between Tunisia and Sicily. Most of the migrants on board were reportedly from Eritrea, Somalia and Ghana. While 150 of the 500 passengers survived, about 111 died and 250 could not be accounted for’

search of perceived greener pastures in Europe. They would rather risk the dangers than continue to endure what they obviously perceive as their existential conditions of hell on earth. The dangers faced by illegal migrants from Africa was, once again, vividly demonstrated when a decrepit and fragile trawler, overloaded with about 500 migrants aboard capsized near the Island of Sicily on October 3. The ill-fated 66ft boat had left from Tripoli, Libya, for Lampedusa – an island lying between Tunisia and Sicily. Most of the migrants on board were reportedly from Eritrea, Somalia and Ghana. While 150 of the 500 passengers survived, about 111 died and 250 could not be accounted for. Rosario Crocetta, President of Sicily graphically captured the enormity of this tragedy: “This is a huge tragedy that causes great suffering. I want to go and see the dead to pay homage to our brothers who had a dream, to come to Italy, to Europe, to Sicily, in search of work and freedom but instead are now dead”. The Sicilian leader could not have put it better. These migrants seek to live in countries where they can find work and earn a living as well as enjoy the freedom that guarantees their dignity as human beings. These conditions are largely absent in their home countries. According to statistics by a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), Save the Children, about 21,780 migrants reached Italy during the first nine months of the year, including 4,000 children. There is no doubt that illegal migrants, particularly from Africa, will face even more

strenuous and life-threatening challenges. For one, the crisis in such countries as Libya and Syria in the Middle East has significantly increased the number of migrants from the area seeking haven in Europe. Again, plagued by their own severe economic crisis, European countries such as Spain and Italy – the target of most migrants - are tightening their immigration laws just like most other countries in Europe. Indeed, it is because of the greater difficulty in entering Europe by land that most immigrants opt for the suicidal sea route. In his first journey outside Rome to Lampedusa, Pope Francis decried the lack of care, love and understanding for those immigrants who “were trying to leave a difficult situation to find a little peace and security…” While we identify with the Pope’s view, we believe that the greater onus rests with African leaders to ensure good governance, accountability and respect for the rule of law. This is an imperative for the economic progress and political stability that can help stem the tide of desperate attempts by their citizens to migrate to Europe. We recall the recent case of the school boy, Ricky Daniel Ohikhena, who hid in the wheel compartment of an Arik aircraft from Benin to Lagos. He took such a risk because he thought the flight was headed for America! Africa is simply too richly endowed for the current pervasive level of poverty across the continent that makes so many of her citizens so desperate to flee.

Baby boom in adversity • Even with their baby boom, over 7,000 fleeing Nasarawa natives in camps in Plateau State is heart-rending

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HE sheer number is benumbing: more than 7, 000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), consisting of some 1, 420 families, in three camps in Quan-Pan Local Government of Plateau State, enjoying a baby boom, with some 55 expectant mothers putting to bed! Should one laugh or should one cry? That is the extent of dislocation, in the Ombatse communal crisis in Nasarawa State. It would appear Tanko Al-Makura, the Nasarawa State governor who visited the victims in their Quan-Pan camps and even – unconvincingly – appealed to them to return home, is doing his best. But it is even clearer that his best is not good enough. Indeed, such a scale of human displacement in peace time Nigeria ought to sober everyone! If there was need for any further evidence, the Nasarawa example is another notorious proof of Nigeria’s ruinous federalism, even from the basic prism of security. Governor Al-Makura was anxious to appear in charge – an altogether not illegitimate posture. But on what basis was he inviting back families that just escaped from the jaws of death, back to a killing field that used to be their homes? Is he in charge of the Police? And if he is not – as it is clear – with what authority is he asking people to return? No doubt about it: the governor means well. Unfortunately, the federal structure in which he is supposed to take responsibility for the safety of people under his charge does not. It is true the federal authorities may have crammed the place with the Police and Department of Secu-

rity Services (DSS) operatives, not to mention the military. As laudable as the federal show of force appears (at least it shows the security chiefs and their political masters are not snoring), it is no better than securing the stable door after the stallion had escaped. To avert future hideous violence, a security restructuring, entailing the advent of state police and the state version of DSS, the secret police, is inevitable. Intelligence is vital to sort out communal crises even before they happen. A more local police and intelligence unit would appear better suited for that chore. It is therefore no surprise that the displaced Nasarawa 7, 000 have told their governor to keep his invitation to himself. Though their present situation is stressful, they would rather ride it out – at least in the camps, they are sure of being alive. It is an instructive vote of no confidence by distressed citizens in the Nigerian state and how its security is structured. Those who are planning President Goodluck Jonathan’s national conference/dialogue would do well to take note of the general anomie in the land, while making their recommendations. But the violence, by Boko Haram, the anarchists hiding behind Islam, the Ombatse, linked to the Eggon ethnic group in Nasarawa, and even the on-off ethnic and sectarian violence tearing apart Plateau State, the present haven of the Nasarawa IDPs, could well be a democratic reaction to bottled up injustices of the autocratic military era – and even before. While the hideous violence is bad,

reprehensible and should not be condoned for any reason, there is an imperative to look into age-old grievances with a view to fixing them. What, for instance, do the Eggon want, that murderers among them would hide behind such to kill and maim innocent and law-abiding fellow citizens? If their grouse, whatever it is, is isolated and redressed, those criminals committing mass murder in the ethnic group’s name would be exposed and punished for the hideous criminals they are. That is the conceptual way to go to end the current season of anomie.

‘But the violence, by Boko Haram, the anarchists hiding behind Islam, the Ombatse, linked to the Eggon ethnic group in Nasarawa, and even the onoff ethnic and sectarian violence tearing apart Plateau State, the present haven of the Nasarawa IDPs, could well be a democratic reaction to bottled up injustices of the autocratic military era – and even before. While the hideous violence is bad, reprehensible and should not be condoned for any reason, there is an imperative to look into age-old grievances with a view to fixing them. ‘

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HE most ambitious clinical trial of a malaria vaccine has shown some effectiveness in children over an 18month period. While its efficacy is modest, it is nonetheless a significant advance in the long struggle to control a disease that kills some 600,000 people a year, mostly children under the age of 5. The trial, conducted at 11 research centers in seven African countries, involved more than 15,000 patients who took a new malaria vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline or a non-malarial vaccine given to control groups. Young children who were 5 months to 17 months old when first vaccinated with the Glaxo vaccine had 46 percent fewer cases of clinical malaria than the control groups. Infants who were 6 weeks to 12 weeks old when first vaccinated had 27 percent fewer cases. Glaxo spent more than $350 million over 25 years to develop the vaccine for military personnel and travelers and expects to invest an additional $260 million to complete development. But Glaxo was reluctant to pay for pediatric trials in impoverished nations on its own, so the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided $200 million through the nonprofit PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative to drive development and testing over the finish line. If the results hold up after further follow-up, the vaccine will be the first ever shown to be effective on a large scale against a disease-causing parasite, an organism that is much harder to neutralize than viruses or bacteria. The vaccine attacks the parasite at its earliest stages, before it can multiply in the liver and re-enter the bloodstream to infect red blood cells. The trials were conducted in realworld conditions in which a large majority of young children and infants were already protected by sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets and other prevention measures. The vaccine protected them further. The Gates Foundation called the trial “an important scientific milestone” for demonstrating that developing a vaccine against a parasite is possible. Glaxo said it would seek a scientific opinion from the European Medicines Agency next year in hopes that the World Health Organization will recommend the vaccine’s use as early as 2015. There are still scientific and practical hurdles to surmount — a final judgment on safety and efficacy and an analysis of the public health impact and cost-effectiveness of using this vaccine. With no other broadly tested vaccine on the immediate horizon, we can hope Glaxo’s passes muster. - New York Times TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh

• Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Adekunle Ade-Adeleye •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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CARTOON & LETTERS

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IR: A critical observation of the situation in Nigeria will show that at the root of the nation’s problem is poverty. The ill functioning of the government is basically as a result of people engaging in corrupt practices to survive. The mushroom of religious groups in every street corner is mostly a consequence of economic hardship. The perennial upsurge of regional crisis is traceable to insecurity of the natural resources. These excesses of human behavior can be controlled by a country that can sufficiently provide for its citizens. It is the principal function of an enlightened government to attain this objective. The anatomy of corruption in Nigeria can be dissected from a psy-

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SEND TYPEWRITTEN, DOUBLE SPACED AND SIGNED CONTRIBUTIONS, LETTERS AND REJOINDERS OF NOT MORE THAN 800 WORDS TO THE EDITOR, THE NATION, 27B, FATAI ATERE ROAD, MATORI, LAGOS. E-mail: views@thenationonlineng.net

Nigerians too hungry to be civilized chological impact of poverty. The aggressiveness of most Nigerians in government to unduly grab the nation’s wealth as if it is vanishing could be attributed to the fear that they may not have the chance again. This behavior stems from the reality that most families are generally one or two generations away from poverty. The fresh memory of coming from a background where

one has experienced an abject lack makes one desperate. The scarcity of opportunity leads to a rush by any means to escape being a part of the downtrodden. People go through tremendous prayers and visits to powerful pastors including voodoo doctors, and by a supernatural endeavour, they are freed from the demonic bound of poverty. Living in hopelessness

in a country where there is no social safety net leaves the citizens in the phenomenal dispensation of a miracle. A young woman graduates from the university and could not find a job. Her parents are too poor to support her; probably it was a lover that assisted her through her education. She feels the pressure to make money to bring her family out of suffering. She turns to prostitu-

term. After Jonathan’s second term, no other part of the country can accuse the north of being part of the obstacles that denied it the opportunity to taste power to its fullest. Furthermore, the political elites in north have been busy fighting for power shift, while completely ignoring the most important task of nurturing a candidate sellable to the entire country. Apart from Atiku Abubakar, nobody from the north currently has the political structures, influence and contacts to win national acceptance. Hence, Jonathan’s second term would be an opportunity for the north to have enough time to present to the country its best candidates. Jonathan’s second term ambition would also be an opportunity for

the north to present him its development demands, which should include speedy and feasible policies that will break the poverty cycle in the north through massive development initiatives targeted at assets like the Lake Chad, Sokoto Basin and Benue Valley Oil Exploration projects, and the Mambilla plateau hydro-electricity project. There is a historical alliance between the north and the Southsouth; a genuine support to Jonathan by the northern political elites would rekindle that historic political alliance and completely shut up those who rely on the present misunderstanding for selfish gains. The current crisis in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is a golden opportunity for both northern po-

litical elites and Jonathan to strike a win-win deal. Jonathan should make a honest direct talk to the Talakwas of the north and diffuse their current state of minds- ‘yes, ideally, it should have been a northerner as the president; but destiny chose me. Please I need your support’. After all, most people of the north are not enthusiastic about where the president comes from, but someone that can free them from the prison of poverty. Finally, Jonathan came to power by destiny. The north should use today in the spirit of tomorrow, because nobody can tell what tomorrow would bring– a northerner may one day find himself in Jonathan’s situation. Zayyad I. Muhammad Jimeta, Adamawa State

2015: Reasons North should support Jonathan

IR: The most important political issue that has been, and would continue to revolve around the Jonathan presidency and his 2015 ambition is political power shift to the north. With the 2015 general elections fast approaching, should the north support Jonathan for a second term? Here are 10 politically touchy reasons the north should support Jonathan for a second term. Firstly, Jonathan’s second term would be an important milestone in that long process of completing the ‘equation of power’. This is because every part of Nigeria would also see, and experience the pain of having one of ‘their own’ in power. Secondly, Jonathan’s presidency has brought some sort of relief in terms of giving the minority a sense of hope of ascending the highest position of the land. Never in the history of the north had the touchy issue of minorities’ place in the polity been in the forefront of political discourse as it is now. It is obvious that northern minorities– especially within the Christian community feels some sense of ‘political relief’ with the Jonathan presidency. Thus the north can support Jonathan for a second term as gesture to their minority brothers in the spirit of Sardauna’s ‘one-north’, regardless of tribe, religion or geography. Also, if Jonathan is supported for a second term, it would be an opportunity for the country to restart the disrupted power rotation between the north and south. And, it would be in north’s favour- as power should, with no trouble, shift to the north after Jonathan’s second

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tion. Before she could settle to the easy life, she contracts HIV. A pastor comes and assures her that she could be delivered from the afflictions of the devil. The pastor wins her soul and also her tithe. She expects a miracle, other than that; she will whittle away and die in silence. Youths agitate about their plight. They live in communities with abundant natural resources and yet they are severely deprived. The revenue generated from their region is grossly expended in places they have never been and by people they do not know. The industrial consequences of producing this wealth dispose their community to all sorts of danger. No one comes to their aid when they start suffering the harmful effects of these exposures. The fatal instinct to survive sets in as they observe the exploitation of their livelihood. They go on a rampage burning down the effigies of their torment. It is unfortunate that the Nigerian government is paying lip service to solving the economic woes of the masses. The foundation to elevating the country to a civilized society lies in poverty alleviation. The elite are dismayed when the West looks down on them about the country. A situation where the leaders of the nation are roguishly rich reduces everybody to the rule of the jungle. If the government can put the abundant resources of the country to good use and seriously create a large middle class society, one will find out that majority of Nigerians will prefer the luxury of basking in the sun in a beach to the demeaning lifestyle of hustling for a living. Pius Okaneme Umuoji, Anambra State.

Africa, continent of misplaced priorities

IR: General Yakubu Gowon as the military Head of State when Nigeria’s oil money started to trickle-in was quoted to have said that Nigeria’s problem was not how to get money, but what to do with it. Yet in those days, many roads were un-tarred, many towns and villages had no pipe borne water, electricity, hospital, school of any kind, let alone telephone, etc. Despite the fact that Nigeria didn’t know what to do with her oil wealth at that historical moment, the West was able to persuade Gowon to borrow money from the World Bank. The purpose of the World Bank is for the global community to have a common resource pool, to which na-

tions can resort in times of need, etc. Understandably, every bank makes money from savings and lendingmoney, but how does that explain pressurising a country that does not know what to do with its money to borrow money? Then, much of the borrowed money was embezzled and misappropriated. America and many other Western countries are also heavily indebted to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, traditional Africa used to be scared of being in debt, even though anybody could be in debt for one serious reason or another. The Yoruba say you shouldn’t be flamboyant when you are in debt. By con-

trast, the Westerner, as I saw it in America, encourages indebtedness, as symbolized in the use of credit card, with which you are allowed to spend much more than you have at present. Indubitably, indebtedness is a Western life-style; even though it cannot be said that every Westerner keys into it. Some Westerners are very careful, knowing the end-result of uncontrolled indebtedness. Question is: Is Africa careful, or allowed to be careful? There is also the football idolatry/ cult. An African President told the football team of his country recently: “Your allowances have been

topped-up, and everything is under control; we are ready to do anything; it is now left for you to bring us victory.” I heard the footballers are paid in dollars and lodged in four or fivestar hotels; probably a worldwide practice. Everything under control? With heavy debt, many muddy, dusty, arduous roads; children learning under trees without chairs and desks, and many workers on strike while some others are threatening to go on strike? Africa is indeed living a borrowed or imposed life-style of indebtedness and misplaced priorities. • Pius Oyeniran Abioje, Ph. D, University of Ilorin.

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COMMENTS

Dying on the Expressway ‘for’ the Nigerian dream: Are JB and RCC emergency or too laid back?

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NC Congrats on Nigeria’s Eagles win over Ethiopia. If only it would translate into one million footballs for our children but we Tony know it will not. Update Marinho on the decrepit LagosIbadan ‘Expressway’: Nigerians have every right to expect a lot from Julius Berger (JB) and RCC, the contractors after years of political ineptitude. It is now an expressway where traffic is so slow that beggars parade and roadside hawkers show their wares. Add to that the fact that we were moving so slowly that I was able to take a photo of a friend, Sukky, in another car not once, or twice but thrice as we crawled past each other repeatedly. The truth is that the expressway, killed by politics and miscalculated funding during Obasanjo’s time, is still dead. The contractors are too slow in spite of seeing one of them at Redeem area. It is time for JB and RCC to move with the vengeance and urgency the road deserves and not just cut out potholes and wait three months for ‘healing’. The contractors can also fill all the potholes and smoothen the 20 odd main death-trap and go-slow areas including the long bridge/ road junctions at Lagos at a superhuman rate. This is the least Nigerians deserve after at least five years of rubbish political and maintenance from government seeking re-election after being in powerlessness since 1999. Driving is a dangerous dance with deep potholes. Let the government of the day know that we the people have moved our focus from the criminally negligent politics to the contractual obligations of contractors and performance above and beyond the call of duty. Everyday Nigerian police and soldiers and civilians are dying ‘for’ the Nigerian dream. The contractors BJ and RCC really have to prove themselves as being among the crème of contractors, above the level of other contractors, by dealing with the very real and apparent emergency nature of 20 major spots on the ‘former

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OO many cooks, they say, spoil the broth. This proverbial saying fits perfectly well into what is currently playing out in the North African country of Libya. Since the brutal end of the autocratic dictatorship of the late Libyan strongman, Muammar Gaddafi, in October, 2011, the fate of the country has been hanging precariously on the brink. The revolution, as the Libyan uprising that saw the end of the Gaddafi’s era was dubbed, appears to have produced more problems for the country than it has solved. In the absence of an active military or police force, the state has had to rely on militias who now act as security forces. The militias are paid by the Defence or Interior ministries although the ministries are largely unable to control their activities. As a result of this, there are tens of thousands of fake revolutionaries who now use the rebel name for personal gains whereas they are just gangsters prowling the streets of Libya and wreaking havoc at will. In the last two years, the country has witnessed a lot of upheavals precipitated by these marauding militias in various parts of the country. The climax of these internecine crises in the country was the September 2012 attacks in Benghazi, the home of the Libyan uprising, in which Christopher Stevens, the United States Ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans were killed. Since then, it has been one form of threat or another from the roving militants who now bestrode the street of Libya with impunity. If it is apparent that the average Libyan resident may have got used to the tension in the country, but not with the latest dimension the whole thing seems to have assumed. Last Thursday, Corinthia Hotel, an imposing tower near the coast in downtown Tripoli, played host to some unusual visitors in the wee hours of that fateful day. The unusual visitors were

Expressway’ in 24 hours. A contractor patch will snatch some Nigerians from the jaws of death this week. Sovereign National Conference is at last in full focus even if suspected to be divisive and diversionary. Ask 100 Nigerians in any group, religious, political, professional, pension or even prison, if they are happy with Nigeria as currently constructed and delivered. You will have 200 hands up saying, or screaming ‘No’. Why? Simply because those who were charged with, or charged themselves as military usurpers, with the execution of power for the glory of greater Nigeria selfishly arrogated more and more power and possessions to themselves while delivering less and less glory, service and leadership. For years the people have wanted a new leadership structure. Each time their goal was thwarted by those who were selected or elected or appointed or inserted at the barrel of a gun to act on their behalf and in their best interests. Rightly therefore, the people do not trust the existing or old structure to deliver what it could not deliver in 53 since Independence in 1960 or 100 years since ‘Amalgamarriage’ in 1914. We seem to have exhausted all the combinations of mathematical political sagacity and cunning, from various revenue formulae to 12 2/3 to census calculation based on chicken and goats. But there is still one more option as has been identified over the years –option Sovereign National Conference. All in favour say ‘Aye’. The almost infinite capacity for the Nigerian to suffer in silence anything government throws at him or her is at last ending. We must keep reminding ourselves that democracy is indeed very undemocratic once the election is over. We have delegated our vote to one man but did we delegate our ‘say’? That man or woman, immediately presumes, without much consultation beyond a few members of the team or kitchen cabinet, to know our mind, our needs and the portion of the national assets and privileges to be allocated to us as individuals, groups and populations. As soon as he is cloaked in the toga of governance, he changes his name to ‘Government’ and becomes invisible as the individual you voted for. From individual he

becomes invisible and then invincible. It is a short step to becoming Caesar, demanding allegiance and issuing threats and punishment to former fellow voters for ‘disrespecting not him but his exalted office of Councillor or Commissioner. He emphasises his power by qualifying his voted, selected or elected or appointed post with the prefixes of power – Honourable, Distinguished, Excellency, none of which he deserves or is willing to work towards. Even Your Excellency Squared has come up if the holder of one Excellency was a past holder of another Excellency title –like a two term governor or governor who became an ambassador or president of senate. Wearing the toga of governance he assumes ‘control’ and leadership and from then on consults less and less with those he ‘represents’ as he ‘knows’ exactly what the people need and what his greed will allow them to have. The reaction is visible in the groundswell of interest in the Sovereign, sorry Sincere, sorry Supreme, sorry, Sinister, sorry, Stupid, sorry, S………. National Conference. The composition is simple. First eliminate those who screwed us in the first place. This is not the time for the ‘rich and famous’. Nigeria belongs to all of us, old and young, youth and geriatric, but especially the youth. By youth I mean real youth under 20 or 25. To be continued

‘We seem to have exhausted all the combinations of mathematical political sagacity and cunning, from various revenue formulae to 12 2/3 to census calculation based on chicken and goats. But there is still one more option as has been identified over the years –option Sovereign National Conference’

Libya’s boiling cauldron scores of gunmen who invaded the hotel where Ali Zidan, the country’s Prime Minister, and other top government officials reside. After a brief scuffle with hotel security guards, the prime minister quickly instructed his personal bodyguards to stand down against the ‘invaders’ and surrendered himself. He was promptly taken away. Hours after the incident, a group called the Operations Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries claimed responsibility. The militias later released a photo of Zidan looking morose and ensconced between two militants. Initially, the militias claimed to have an arrest warrant against the prime minister on accusations of harming state security and corruption. This claim was immediately debunked by the public prosecutor’s office which said that such a warrant never existed. As the day progressed and public outrage mounted, the militants changed their storyline. The group said their action was in response to the comments made by John Kerry, the U.S Secretary of State that the Libyan government was aware of the U.S Delta Force’ raid that captured Nazil Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, a wanted terrorist suspect, in Tripoli on Saturday, October 5, and spirited out of the country. The U.S raid had sparked protests and complaints from Libyan officials and politicians who claimed that the Americans had violated Libya’s national sovereignty. Shortly after the militias’ reference to Kerry’s comment on the arrest of the wanted terror suspect, Marie Harf, spokeswoman for Kerry, said the American Secretary of State never said that the Libyans were informed in advance of the planned operation, as the group suggested. According to him, what Kerry said at a press con-

‘This whole idea that you give countries an election and they become western liberal democracies overnight is somehow a liberal nonsense!’

ference in Indonesia was: “We consult regularly with the Libyan government on a range of security and counter-terrorism issues but we don’t get into the specifics of our communications with a foreign government or in any kind of operation of this kind”. Speaking further on the incident, American officials argued against concluding that the prime minister’s kidnapping was a backlash against the U.S raid. A senior U.S. official said: “Any time you take action like that, you want to understand the impacts to the host government, especially one that we want to continue to work with”. However, the prime minister’s ordeal ended barely six hours after his abduction, when “he was set free” ostensibly out of frenetic pressure from other senior government officials and militia commanders. A day after his release, Zidan said his brief abduction by gunmen was an “attempted coup” by his Islamist political rivals, using militias which he warned are trying to “terrorize” the government and turn the North African nation into another Afghanistan or Somalia. With this nationally televised address, the embattled prime minister appeared to be trying to leverage public shock over his abduction into a momentum against his political opponents and the multiple armed groups stirring chaos in the country since 2011. The militias, including Islamic extremists, carry out daily violence nationwide and have defied attempts by the weak central authorities to rein them in. Doing so has been an uphill task for the government who is daily confronted with the tremor associated with the militias’ activities all over the country. Since Gaddafi’s ouster and death, the groups have grown and multiplied. Many tout themselves as defending the “revolution’s goals”, but often act to protect fiefdoms they have carved out for themselves, while blackmailing or intimidating citizens. Others have Islamic extremist ideologies and

are suspected of links to al-Qaeda and other extremist groups across North Africa and in Egypt. Just last month, militiamen abducted the son of the defence minister in a move seen as an attempt to prevent any action against the groups. Several weeks ago, the militia of alTajouri, which rescued Zidan, seized the daughter of the Gaddafi-era intelligence chief and held her briefly. Earlier this year, militiamen besieged government buildings for days to exert pressure on lawmakers to adopt a law banning Gaddafi-era politicians from holding any posts. Similarly, last July, 33-year-old Ibrahim al-Jathran, a former rebel with a 17,000-strong militia in eastern Libya, ordered his fighters to shut down two of the country’s main oil export terminals. Jathran is seeking more autonomy for the eastern part of Libya. These unrests have dented hopes for a rebound of the energy sector in Libya, which holds Africa’s largest oil reserves. In actual fact, International oil companies, as well as, international diplomatic missions, started retrenching their Western staffing levels after the September 2012 attacks in Benghazi that killed the U.S. Ambassador and three others. The apparent backlash against the government over the al-Libi raid could make Tripoli even more wary of allowing Washington to go after other wanted terrorists on Libyan soil. In particular, the U.S. has sought the arrest of terrorists behind the September. 11, 2012 attack on its consulate in Benghazi. Though, some of the suspects live openly in the eastern city, but the state is powerless to pursue them. Zidan has been struggling with political opponents and militias since he was named by parliament to lead the country about a year ago. The prime minister is one of the few senior people on the Libyan political scene today who never had his own militia or front line experience in the revolution. He was working in Ge-

Dele Agekameh neva as a human rights lawyer when the uprising against Gaddafi erupted. His diplomacy with European nations, especially France, was key to gaining international support for the rebel movement. As prime minister, Zidan has struggled to cobble Libya’s fractured militia groups into a national security force loyal to the central government instead of provincial commanders or strongmen. Therefore, the recent kidnapping of one of Libyan citizens by special US forces, which has raised serious concerns about double standards concerning international laws, followed by the kidnapping of Zidan himself, is really a cause for concern for all on what has been a disgraceful handling of the Libyan affairs. The problem is that Gaddafi was taken out, like Saddam Hussein of Iraq, with no thought given to what would come next. The truth is that Libya is a country of tribal rivalries held together by Gaddafi while his dictatorship lasted. You can’t just remove him and be surprised when the tribes start jostling amongst one another for supremacy. This whole idea that you give countries an election and they become western liberal democracies overnight is somehow a liberal nonsense!

Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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COMMENTS ‘Let us stop deceiving ourselves that governors will abuse the control of police, mechanics will surely be put in place to guide against such exceses and for funding, we all know that most states currently commit a lot of money to policing because the federal government is not doing enough. Also, taking police officers to terrains they are not acquainted with is actualy a diservice, police should work in places they are very conversant with to make them more proactive and effective. Simply put, Nigeria is over due for state police’. From Olu-Adewoju

•Ribadu

For Olatunji Dare Somebody should tell this president the home truth. Insecurity, kidnapping, oil theft and the like are the order of the day to which the president cannot find solution yet, he went ahead and constituted what I call ‘chop chop’ committee for dialogue. If the president means well for Nigerians and has no hidden agenda, he should make the country a safer place before any committee could be constituted. The president should tell us why sudden change of his mind on the confab. Jonathan should know that Nigerians’ integrity cannot be compromised. Nigerians are watching. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Apapa, Lagos On Kaduna, I agree with you partly because the Middle Belt is more ideological and religious than geographical. At least half of the population of Kaduna is Christian. People of the Middle Belt are found in large numbers in states like Kebbi, Gombe and Adamawa. Many in the South do not know this because they only speak on Election Day. Anonymous Where do you think Jonathan got his substantial votes from? Why did he not get as many in states like Bauchi, Zamfara or Sokoto?

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YRIADS of news abound today about the different natural disasters that incessantly threaten the life of people across Europe. While many have been rendered homeless and displaced, some have had their earthly existence abruptly terminated. As a result, many are languishing in pain and lament as the cry for help roars increasingly. Earthquake, tornado, hurricane, tsunami and the like, more often than not, invade the people as unwanted visitors. When they come, they wrought fear and unleash terror on their victims. However we as Nigerians have been so favoured by nature. We are immune to natural disaster. We are not victims of earthquake, hurricane, and tsunami as the case may be, but our detestable lot and portion is rather a moral disaster. We have become so engrossed in a colossal moral disaster known as corruption. While other natural disasters occur once in a while, our own brand of disaster has become so immanent. Devoid of any form of exaggeration, corruption as it were has become part and parcel of our nature. It has assumed an ontological status and considerably synonymous with our identity as a people. So bad it is that we not only practice corruption, but it is the case that it has become the air we breathe and the ocean we swim in. In fact to say the very least, corruption which is a social vice, is now shamelessly celebrated. We have gotten to the zenith where corruption becomes our food and drink, a milky way of life, and the fastest and easiest means of self-enrichment. Without any iota of deception, it is definitely accurate to assert that what we witness in Nigeria as a people is an institutionalized brand of corruption wherein the very corrupt have the say in the society. In this case, corruption is used as a political arsenal cum sponsor. We have domesticated and adopted a wild poisonous animal in our society. It is pathetic to

If religion is included in the next census, Nigerians will be shocked by the make-up of many states in the North in general. Anonymous Re: An October surprise. To me, there was nothing surprising about the October 1st broadcast of which the proposed National Dialogue/Conference was salient. I commend Mr. President for acceding to the age-long yearning for National Conference. Whoever is again, opposing the President's dialogue proposal is an enemy of this country, a pretender, selfish and a sponsor of anti-development. Simple or complex, let them go and dialogue and we see the output! Before now, I was an opponent of the conference. Now that Mr. President is conceding, what else do we want? From Lanre Oseni “An ‘October surprise’” is another voice amongst several voices advocating national dialogue. What some of the brilliant advocates have not exemplified is the mode of participation. Whether by selection or election, and if by election whether it will be different from those of our parliament. Whether the election will be flawless, and whether government will not influence the outcome. Again whether the conference will not amount to duplicity, and a further expenditure on our resources. Please educate us. Alhaji Hon. ADEYCorsim, Oshodi, Lagos. For Segun Gbadegesin This government by my assesment is a government of deception, wickedness, and vengiance. I have never seen any country in

the whole world where insecurity is thriving and the government is constituting comittee for dialoque. The whole country is in comma still the president does not give a damn about the happenings in the country. The president should realise that, power is tracient that whatever he does now eigther good or bad will remain in the boook of history for him. The sudden change of mind of the president shows the hypocracy of the committee. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Apapa, Lagos Sir, how will security be function, in the state that has no discipline! we need a discipline man like what Gen. Buhari did in 1983. From Talle Makaniki “Security and the national conference” are two issues that can help us shape our nation in the mode of a mature democracy. But sir, how do we determine participation at the national conference? Will it not amount to duplication of our parliament and a further waste of national resources? For those who claimed that state police will be used to harass oppositions, it must be stated that the present federal police is also being used by the federal government to harass oppositions. Ngige's abduction while serving as a governor, and the current situations of Rivers State are glaring examples. From Alhaji Hon ADEYCorsim, Oshodi, Lagos Re: “Security and national conference”. Those who understood our problems and have been calling for a national conference to discuss them politically and economically after the first republic fell know the implications involved if we refused. Our third republic is threathened if care is not taken. Now that the president has acceded to these clam-

Nigeria in search of healing By Peter Adeiza Ariko discover that this monster has become a stakeholder in the corridors of power; a vampire has become the counsellor of our political leaders as it takes over their consciences. I gasp and pant in dismay when I see that this deadly ghost of corruption is the source of anointing of many of our leaders. The future appears very bleak when I realize that many of our leaders have turned professors not in leadership skills, not in human sensitivity, not in economic development, not in profound philosophy of administration, but in the different gimmicks and tricks of corruption. Like a rampaging cancer, we are all witnesses to the effects of corruption. It is so crude that its effects are felt quite immediately. First and foremost, every corrupt society is a fertile ground for the thriving of selfishness, greed, shady practices, lack of accountability, hatred, and a harbour for unpatriotic leaders cum citizens. It is only in this kind of society that the innocents can be killed by way of ritual, accidents resulting from abandoned roads for which several contracts have been awarded and paid for, curable diseases which drugs have been confiscated, pensioners whose monthly pensions have been embezzled and so on. To this end, we are confronted with a leadership that is insensitive to the plight of the populace; our leaders are crippled in the war against the monstrous giant of corruption as a good number of them are very unpatriotic and mere saboteurs. As

such, they are often blindfolded and rendered visionless in the face of the dark cloud covering all aspects of administration. On the other hand, the masses have been instigated to anger, resulting into terrorism. The motherland is therefore polluted and desecrated with injustice, corruption, bribery, sexual perversion, religious bigotry, anxiety, maiming, cultism and their ilk. To state further, it is in a corrupt society like Nigeria that we can have her citizenry crying of hunger in the midst of abundance because of the endless crave to satisfy greed which is insatiable. I weep relentlessly when I see the ill wind of homosexuality blowing across young men and boys of today, not solely because they lack the proper sense of nature but because they have been compelled by hardship to fall victim to the corrupt gongs who also make recourse to same sex as a ritual to fuel and sustain their shady and corrupt practices. Or is there an end to the pain evoked by knowing that many young girls and ladies have turned prostitutes just because that is the only means by which they can tap from the treasury of the corrupt? From the foregoing, it is quite obvious that we are in need of healing. Where shall we go for help as we stand condemned before our heroes past, as the blood of the dead victims of corruption cum terrorism irrigate our land in utmost cry for vengeance and thirst for justice, as the cry and lament of the poor pierces the heavenly realms, as the faces of the masses are

•Obasanjo ours, I hope our problems which are not insurmountable will be objectively discussed to fashion out a workable constitution with a self-determination clause entrenched for those who will want to opt out from the union in future without any acrimony or bloody fight. On the sensitive issue of security, we are afraid that states will abuse it if a state police is created, but in line with a true federal system which we know befit our structure, states must have their own police and not a national police as we have it now. From Prince Adewumi Agunloye Let us stop deceiving ourselves that governors will abuse the control of police, mechanics will surely be put in place to guide against such exceses and for funding, we all know that most states currently commit a lot of money to policing because the federal government is not doing enough. Also, taking police officers to terrains they are not acquainted with is actualy a diservice, police should work in places they are very conversant with to make them more proactive and effective. Simply put, Nigeria is over due for state police. From Olu-Adewoju

veiled with misery, as many of our leaders have taken diabolical oaths in demonic shrines and satanic cults and thousands of souls are being offered as sacrifices to satisfy the unquenchable thirst for blood? Given the enormity of the havoc wrecked by the evil of corruption, it then means that there is a dire need for a national conversion. We have to atone for our sins as a nation. A presidential pardon cannot achieve this for us; rather it may be a subtle way of legalizing corruption. And if it must be of any help, it must have been preceded by a public remorse, atonement and reparation on the part of the offender. In essence, there is a clarion call for a national conversion. As a nation, we have to make reparation for the evil we have done. We have to repay hatred with love, we have to embrace transparency in our dealings, we need to imbibe the spirit of the common good and jettison selfishness and greed, we just have to make a return to land of mutual concern as entrenched in communal living and bid farewell to our failed individualism, yes, we must have concern for the other and not just the self alone. It is by so doing that we can be delivered from the hands of this demon called corruption. • Rev. Ariko writes from Lokoja, Kogi State

‘Is there an end to the pain evoked by knowing that many young girls and ladies have turned prostitutes just because that is the only means by which they can tap from the treasury of the corrupt?’

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

Life

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

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Salute to Alaafin at 75 – Page 26

82-year-old Nob bel b el wins No prize – Page 38

‘It’s like a dream’ – Page 38

Garlands for the Amazon – SEE STORY ON PAGE 28

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The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

Salute to Alaafin at 75 Yesterday, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, turned 75 years. In this report, FEHINTOLA AZEEZ chronicles the monarch’s life and times

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N October 15, 1938, 75 years ago, a child was born to the royal family of the then Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Adeniran and Olori Ibironke Adeyemi 11 of Epo Gingin Compound, Oke-Afin, Oyo in the Southwestern part of the country. He was christened Abdul Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi. Unlike some other of his peers, the little Adeyemi did not enjoy the tenderly and loving care of a mother, having lost her at an early age. As a child of a devout Muslim, he was enrolled at the Quranic School, Iseyin early and later at St. Andrews Primary School in Oyo for his primary education. All these were as a result of the strong will of his father, Oba Adeniran, who, though, was not privileged to have had western education, was inspired by his contacts with the British that came to the old Oyo Empire. He vowed that his son would be educated. The little Adeyemi did not, however, complete his primary education in Oyo due to his relocation to Abeokuta to live with the then Alake of Egba, Oba Oladepo Ademola. His stay in Abeokuta was again to be truncated by the struggle against “tax without representation” led by the irrepressible woman activist, Chief Funmilayo Ransome Kuti between 1947 and 1948. The struggle forced the Egba monarch out of the throne to live in exile in Osogbo, the present Osun State capital. Rather than going back to his father in Oyo, the young Adeyemi forged ahead, needless to say that he faced a lot of hardship to make the ends meet. In fact, he had to engage in menial jobs to survive. For his secondary education, he proceeded to St Gregory’s College, Obalende, Lagos, having come second in the entrance examination into the school. His experience in Lagos was not a rosy one as he also experienced hardship.But for his focus and determination, his education would have been derailed. He was exposed to the ugly side of life and had to live in some notorious areas of the city. He was, however, not overwhelmed by the situation as he graduated from the school with excellent grades which qualified him to study Law at the University of London. His London trip was facilitated by the late Owelle of Onitsha, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, who organised financial support for him through the manager of the then African Continental Bank (ACB), Yaba, Lagos, Mr. Nicoll. While the arrangement was being made, fate was waiting around the corner to play a cruel one. Exactly 48 hours to the scheduled date – February 16, 1960 – for the young Adeyemi to leave the shores of the country for England, his father, Oba Adeniran died; that was on February 14, 1960. That was how the beautiful plan of studying abroad was aborted for life. Another phase in his life began, now as an orphan and a young adult with a job at the Royal Exchange Assurance, Marina, Lagos. He did not allow the situation to subdue him. Having majored in English Language, English Literature and History in his advanced examinations, which qualified him for the admission to study Law, he deployed his talent in writing and developing his skills. He became and remains a pro-

CELEBRATION lific writer. Today, Oba Adeyemi without the luxury of university education is in a class of his own academically, and it is very much in doubt if there is any professor that can shove him aside, especially in world history and the culture of Oyo Kingdom in particular and Yoruba nation in general. In fact, he is a reference point on the subjects. Today, there are so many articles to his credit, too numerous to mention and Oba Adeyemi has delivered many papers as guest speaker by professional bodies and groups alike. But of great importance and significance were two of such articles written as far back as 1968, which are today fulfilled prophecies. The first was “I shall be great” and the second “I shall be the next Alaafin”. Barely a week after the second one was written, the young Adeyemi was chosen as the Alaafinelect by six of the seven Oyo-Mesi in March, 1968 and that marked the beginning of the tortuous journey to the exalted Alaafin throne. To say that Oba Adeyemi, today, is a great king is an understatement. Just as his growing up was tough, so also was his ascendancy to the throne as the then government of the day was not well disposed to his emergence, alleging that the procedure was not right and refused to endorse his appointment. The selection exercise was repeated three times and, despite the pressures mounted on the OyoMesi to capitulate, they remained unyielding and unbending as they came up with the same result. Rather than endorsing Oba Adeyemi’s appointment, the government, under the cloak of the then ongoing civil war, halted the whole process. Though the process was reopened again after the civil war in 1970, but, it was a new beginning. However, like an adage says, “if you toss a hand fan for 200 times, it will always lay flat, the Oyo-Mesi still came up with the same result with him winning in the selection process as announced on November 18, 1970. The government eventually approved and gazetted his appointment in December, 1970. Thus, it was a well-groomed and sufficiently equipped prince that took the position of his father at the age of 32 as Alaafin Lamidi Olayiwola

•Oba Adeyemi

Adeyemi 111.The young Adeyemi did not leave anybody in doubt about his mission and vision as a leader, who would give his people the kind of leadership that has so far become unparalleled in the history of the ancient Oyo Town. To a school of thought, which sees Alaafin Adeyemi 111 as a workaholic, energetic, diligent, courageous, irrepressible and a man of consequence, his tough background, despite being born with a silver spoon in his mouth,, undoubtedly, prepared him for the task ahead, despite the unfolding challenges. Against the backdrop of the hardship he faced while growing up, Oba Adeyemi became a man of many parts and one of such is he is kind and compassionate and a philanthropist, using what God has endowed him with to touch the lives of the people. Oba Adeyemi has taken traditional headship to another level, using his exposure, wealth and power to benefit mankind. The family of the late Sam Ojebode will forever be grateful for what Kabiyesi did for the members. The Oyo Town-born great footballer’s dream of owning a house in his ancestral home remained a pipe-dream until he breathed his last sometimes last year. But, today, the late footballer has a befitting building to his name, built and furnished to taste by IkuBaba-Yeye. Alaafin has displayed a great deal of ingenuity in bringing touches of modernity to the ancient Oyo Palace without losing its traditional essence, a development that has turned the place to a tourist centre. This touch is not only about the infrastructure and architectural design of the palace, but also about the individuals that have statutory and traditional functions in the palace. For instance, the ‘Oyo-Mesi’, Alaafin’s cabinet members, and the Oyo kingmakers now individually cruise in personal cars as against the practice in the past, when all of them would cramp in one rickety bus, while accompanying the monarch on a function. Talking in September 1984, he said: “A traditional ruler should be seen as the per-

‘A traditional ruler should be seen as the perfect embodiment of the culture of the place, as well as the synthesis of the aspirations and goals of the nation. This is not only in social values of veracity, egalitarianism, justica and democracy; but in dress, utterances and comportment; even the mere necessary trivicalities (sic) that mark Nigeria and the locality as a distinctive entity’

fect embodiment of the culture of the place, as well as the synthesis of the aspirations and goals of the nation. This is not only in social values of veracity, egalitarianism, justica and democracy; but in dress, utterances and comportment; even the mere necessary trivicalities [sic] that mark Nigeria and the locality as a distinctive entity”. To preserve the culture and tradition of his people as well as giving it international outlook Alaafin Adeyemi appointed a Cultural Ambassador, Dr. Paula Gomes, a Portuguese, about two years ago, who has been engaged in a great deal of research and organised educative lectures to showcase the beauty of Yoruba culture and tradition and the need to value, embrace and preserve it. It is to the credit of Oba Adeyemi that a great number of his colleague Obas across Yorubaland today are what they are in status, having used his position as a highly revered monarch, his robust sense of history, powerful writing skills and consideration for fellow human beings to advance their causes. Obas are statutorily not in active politics, but, a politician can only ignore him at his own peril. He, however, does this with great caution, relying heavily on the will and wishes of his subjects. In politics also, he is concerned about the sanctity of his position whatever happens and the welfare of his people. Thus, to secure his support, a politician must convince him of offering his exalted position the highest degree of dignity, respect and honour it deserves as well as the care of his people through the usual dividends of democracy. In 1979, the Federal Government honoured Oba Adeyemi with the national honour of CFR and a year later, the was appointed the pioneer Chancellor of the then newly established Uthman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, a position he held for a record time of 12 years of three terms, a feat that remains unmatched till date in the country’s university headship system. A complete family man, the monarch loves sports a great deal and trains as a boxer till date. These immortal words of Alexander Graham Bell – “The most successful men in the end are those whose success is the result of steady accretion... It is the man who carefully advances step by step, with his mind becoming wider and wider - and progressively better able to grasp any theme or situation -persevering in what he knows to be practical, and concentrating his thought upon it, who is bound to succeed in the greatest degree” – sum up the life voyage in the last 75 years of our indefatigable monarch, an enigma with an unequalled passion for the great good of all. Happy birthday, Kabiyesi, igba odun, odun kan! •Azeez is Media Aide to Oba Adeyemi

Funeral rites for Obe begins

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HE funeral rites for the late Mr Peter Oyeyemi Obe will begin with a service of songs on Monday, October 21, at 5pm at the Calabar Hall, Ajao Road, off Ogunlana Drive, Surulere, Lagos. A statement by Mr, Femi Obe, on behalf of the family said: A Christian wake holds on Thursday, October 24, at peter Obe’s compound, off Akure Owo Road, IgbaraOke, Ondo State at 5pm, while funeral service is on Friday, October 25 at 11 am at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Igbara-Oke, Ondo State.

Aphorism Exhibition holds

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SOLO art exhibition, Aphorism, by Mr Johnson Uwadinma, opens on Friday, November 1 at Mydrim Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos. It will run till November 12 at the gallery.

The Grail Movement holds talks

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HE Grail Movement will hold a talk session on Sunday, October 27 at 3pm at the Green House Art Empowerment Centre, Olambe, Ogun State.

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The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

Celebrating a literary icon

Book on personal branding for launch on Nov 1

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N October 20, fans, lovers and the family members of the late Prof Oludare Olajubu will celebrate him in Ekiti State. The culture advocate from Ilare-Ijesa was acclaimed for promoting the Yoruba oral

literature. Born on March 21, 1933, Oloye, as he was known in the creative world, spent over 42 years teaching and promoting Yoruba folklore. The folklorist held the Yoruba oral tradition in high esteem, believing strongly in its rich cultural heritage worth celebrating. He spent his life promoting it. His passion for culture was intensified when he became the Sukoti of Ilare in the 70s. Seeing his contributions, the Adoko of Idoko honoured him with the chieftaincy title of Baapitan of Idoko. Versed in the Yoruba chants such as the Ewi tradition, he was famous for being a folklorist that borrows strongly from such tradition in his works. He has written several books on his passion with over 50 publications in local and international journals. As part of his commitment to impacting the young generations with the cultural heritage of Yoruba, he taught in several institutions. They included the University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University, then University of Ife; University of Ilorin and Adeyemi College of Education, among others. His children were not left out in the cultural feast, which he shared with his students. His children were his first audience, it was learnt. According to one of his grandchildren, Oyindamola Olajubu, “Grandpa taught us a lot. He told us lots of stories and would sing to us. I miss him greatly.” Oyindamola is one of his family members that is bent on keeping his creative memory alive. She is working on a project that would immortalise him and his works for generations to come.

•The late Prof Olajubu By Evelyn Osagie

CELEBRATION “I would like other kids to enjoy what we enjoyed from our grandfather when he was alive,” she said. The family and fans will hold a memorial service in his honour in his hometown on Sunday, October 20, to commemorate the first year anniversary of his passing away, according to his son, Oyedeji, an engineer. “I see the wisdom and I’m constantly being reminded of the advices he gave me. I miss him greatly.”

Personal Branding and Reputation Management Insights for Professionals and Entrepreneur will be presented to a distinguished audience on Friday, November 1 at 10am at CLAM Events Centre, Omole Phase 1, Ojodu, Lagos. Reiterating the vision behind the book, Akinbola said: “Personal branding is not just about having good online visibility or dressing nicely. It has to do with discovering the ‘U” in YOU; it is all about discovering what is UNIQUE about you and using it to differentiate and promote yourself for excellence in your career and business. There is a lot more that we need to share and understand about Personal Branding and reputation management. Having a strong and winning personal brand is not a nice-to-do thing; it is an existential strategy that is crucial to your enduring career or business success. The era of Personal Branding by Default (PBD) is gone. We are now in the era of Personal Branding by Purpose (PBP)” “It’s a BRAND U World ‘is the third in a book trilogy that features “Building Enduring Corporate Reputation (which was published in 2005) and “Built to Endure: How Purposedriven Organisations Use Reputation Capital to Achieve Brand Equity (which was published in 2010). According to a statement by Brand Stewards, publishers of the book, other activities of the day are an interactive session on “Personal Branding for Value and Wealth Creation” to be facilitated by Pastor Gbenga Ademujimi, Founder, Kingshill School of Discovery, Lagos. The event will also feature the inauguration of Demola Akinbola’s two new projects (City Brand Academy, a multipurpose centre for the personal and professional development of young graduates and early/mid-career professionals) and (Impact Branding Club, an online resource and networking forum for professionals). Akinbola is a brand management specialist with over two decades of professional engagement spanning Public Relations, Corporate Communications, Branding, Business Development and Project Management. He is the Head Steward at Brand Stewards Limited, a brand and reputation management consultancy operating in Nigeria and Republic of Ireland.

Firm donates borehole to Isolo community

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S part of its corporate social responsibility, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell Milk, has donated a borehole and water treatment plant to an Isolo community in Lagos.

Its Managing Director, Chief Keith Richards, at the inauguration, pledged to support the development and empowerment of youths in the community. Richards noted that Promasidor was trying to build up innovation and relationship to be close to the community by understanding the needs of consumers in a given community. According to him, one good thing about the inauguration of the borehole was is the provision of clean water to the community, adding that erecting the borehole in the palace of Oba symbolises a great partnership with the community. “We want to demonstrate that Promasidor is a good corporate citizen. Drinking water is a fundamental human right of any citizen. Hence, we will be committed to the monitoring of the project to keep the water running. We have always been a very socially-responsible organisation and we have been engaging with our host communities. ‘’In Isolo we have done something in the area of health care, street light and security. So, this project is just one of them. We also work with communities around the federation. We have worked with people that had been impacted by disaster, those affected by floods in the Middle Belt and in the southern part of Nigeria,” he said. Osolo of Isolo Kingdom, Oba Kabiru Kolawole, earlier in an address of welcome, praised Promasidor for its support to the cause of empowering the active poor in the community, describing the company as a greatest financier, supporter and source of inspiration because of its passion and concern for the downtrodden.

•From left: Oba Agbabiaka, Osolo of Isolo Kingdom and Chief Richards

PHILANTROPY Oba Kolawole, who also described the water project as another most thoughtful, generous and kindest corporate act, said Promasidor has been the only corporate positive voice in the kingdom who has demonstrated an unmatched and unprecedented concern and action by providing a borehole and

a water treatment plant that cost millions. He noted that the organisation has greatly impacted on the social and economic environment of the kingdom. He listed some of the projects the company had undertaken in the community to include donation of hospital equipment to the General Hospital, Isolo; construction of street lights and bus stops at Cowbell Way, Isolo and yearly scholarships to bright students of the community, among others.

Culture Ministry to strengthen partnership with Britain

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HE Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, has said the ministry will strengthen its partnership with Britain to boost creativity in the country. He spoke when the Chief Executive Officer of British Council Martin Davidson visited him in Abuja. He stressed the need for both countries to establish a platform for exchange of talents as way of harnessing the potential in the countries’ creative industry. Duke said: “The young Nigerians coming out of school will need such a platform to express their creative

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

talents.” The minister sought the assistance of Britain in the areas of expertise for the skills acquisition centre under construction in Calabar and in restoring Nigeria’s theatres and monuments. He stressed the need for a partnership that would assist in creating job opportunities for youths, as well as transform the creative industry into a major income earner for the country. “We must begin to think of an economy beyond oil;

help us to reposition this sector. We are looking for opportunities for our youths,’’ the minister requested. Earlier, Davidson said Britain was determined to look into the importance of culture as a means of building economic development for both countries. He said the synergy would encourage Nigerian artistes to work together with artistes in the United Kingdom. “It will create an opportunity for us to learn and develop new techniques with colleagues from Nigeria. We are conscious of the benefits of the exchange of ideas and views with Nigerian artistes and are greatly interested in the skills acquisition academy in Calabar,” he added.

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

BAF @ 50

• Dr Fayemi and wife, Erelu Bisi, at her 50th birthday Thanksgiving Service at the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel, Ado-Ekiti.

Ekiti State capital came alive with glamour and pomp as the wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, marked her 50th birthday. The star-studded event was a marriage of charm and wit that saw the presentation of her two books and celebration of her contributions to the development of humanity. EVELYN OSAGIE reports. •

Garlands for the Amazon

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T was her day of glory. Decked in a gorgeous blue lace gown, Ekiti State Governor’s wife Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, aka BAF, sparkled. The occasion was her 50th birthday celebration. And leading the delegation of family members, friends and comrades was her hubby, Governor Kayode Fayemi (JKF), dressed in agbada and navy blue cap to match. The day brought to the spotlight her life and legacies, and her contributions to the advancement of humanity, particularly the womenfolk across Africa. There were speeches, lectures and dance. Everyone had good words for the celebrator. Some described her as feminist, humanist and one woman who is strong-willed, knowing what she wants and aggressively going all out to achieving it. For her husband, JKF, she is an “unstoppable force” and an inspiration. “Bisi has been an incredible light and an inspiration to me in very many ways. She is a feminist, civil rights activist ... an unstoppable force for good of the human race. I get the credit for all the great works she does across Africa. “Bisi is the extrovert and a better politician than I am. I am a very private person. When I was reading the draft of Speaking above the Whisper, I did not quite agree with the title because Bisi has always spoken above the whisper. I am sure people here in Ekiti can attest to that. She has given me a lot of inspiration even here in Ekiti,” he said. Not one to slack at such moments, when it was time to dance, she danced to her heart’s content. The rhythm and songs of the state’s troupe were quite captivating. Holding a horse tail (traditionally called the Irukere), the birthday girl took to the dance floor. She was soon joined by Senator Oluremi

Tinubu and the wife of Lagos State Governor, Dame Abimbola Fashola, and other friends. As women and men praise-singers with very assertive chants competed for her attention, she smiled. Their interventions added interesting traditional touch and a calming effect to the atmosphere that was constantly charged with the words of human rights advocates, leaders, political top shots and literary gurus, led by the 2011 Nobel laureate, Ms Leymah Gbowee. Using BAF as a peg and model of what womanhood should be about, speaker after speaker touched on the plights of women in Africa, their role in nation-building and many more. In a world plagued by violence, wars, abuse, corruption and mismanagement of funds, Ms Gbowee, who was a major force that saw to the end of wars and the installation of the first African woman president in Liberia, called on women to be in the forefront of change. Describing BAF as a “force of nature” that has used her education and expertise to expand the rights of most vulnerable, she urged women to emulate her legacies. She said: “This true African icon continues to use her space and voice to empower Africans to identity and support our long-term solutions to our own challenges. Equiping African women as funders and philanthropists to support their brothers and sisters in forging a better future for Nigeria

‘Bisi has been an incredible light and an inspiration to me in very many ways. She is a feminist, civil rights activist ... an unstoppable force for good of the human race. I get all the credit for all the great works she does across Africa’ - Fayemi

and Africa, is no small feat. Erelu Bisi has continued to defy expectations of what the First Lady of Ekiti State should do. “She showed us during her time in non-profit world that every journey of change is possible if we set our minds to it. In politics, she is a trailblazer, showing women politicians and other first ladies all over the world that it is possible to use ones office for many good things than just dinner parties.” Born on June 11, 50 years ago, in Liverpool, England, to the family of the late Mr and Mrs Emmanue Akinola Adeleye and his wife, and Emily, BAF has been a goal-getter from the start. “I like to plan. Not only do I think and plan ahead, I also try as much as possible to have a back-up plan,” she said. Thisgoal-getter is a woman of many parts. She is a gender specialist, social entrepreneur, journalist, facilitator, policy advocate and administrator, who has worked in government agencies in the United Kingdom and under the United Nations and has formed several NGOs across the world. She is also the co-founded and a board member of the African Women Development Fund (AWDF) that empowers women across Africa. It is no surprise that along with being a recipient of this year’s Iconic Woman Award and other achievements, she has added another feather to her cap - authorship. The task was no easy one, according to her. However, after wrestling to make out time amid tight schedules and overcoming the shock of losing a friend, she finally put her mind and soul to writing. The result is the two books: Speaking above a Whisper and Speaking for Myself presented last Friday as part of activities marking her day. She recalled: “I had wanted to do this for quite a long time, but there wasn’t enough time. As my 50th birthday approached, I started to panic. I was not sure if I would be able to have the time to write an autobiography, though I had put some materials together on floppy diskette. I found myself searching for the hardcopies of lots of materials, so it was not easy. However, I managed to complete the first draft of a collection of essays in February this year. And with the passing away of my beloved sister and friend, Mrs Funmi Olayinka, I was not in a •Continued on page 37

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

Forecasts 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 Insurance Gross Premium - N1.223b Profit after tax - N80.01m Oasis Insurance 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 Standard Alliance Insurance 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

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

How directors, others cover up insider trading, by SEC S ECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) has uncovered ways directors, their relatives and other insiders bypass regulatory rules that require them to declare transactions on their accounts. A working document on new measures to curtail unreported insider trading by SEC indicated that some insiders bypass reporting requirements through the use of nominees’ share accounts to trade on their shares, thus circumventing the ability of the regulator to monitor and determine inappropriate exploitation of price-sensitive information. According to the document, several transactions that take place on behalf of nominees that are for insiders are usually not reported as specific names that could have alerted the Commission to the insider dealings are not mentioned. Section 315 of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007 defines an insider as any person who is or connected with the company in one or

By Taofik Salako

more of the following capacities- a director of the company or a related company; an officer of the company or a related company; an employer of the company or a related company; an employee of the company, involved in a professional or business relationship to the company; any shareholder of the company who owns five per cent or more of any class of securities or any person who is or can be deemed to have any relationship with the company or member; members of audit committee of a company; and any of the aforementioned persons who by virtue of having been connected with any such person or connected with the company in any other way, possesses unpublished price sensitive information in relation to the securities of the company. ISA further outlines that any reference to unpublished

price sensitive information in relation to any securities of a company is a reference to information which relates to specific matters relating or of concern, directly or indirectly to that company, that is, is not of a general nature relating or of concern to that company; and is not generally known to those persons who are accustomed to or would be likely to deal in those securities but which would, if it were generally known to them be likely materially to affect the price of those securities. ISA describes insider dealing as a trading that occurs when a person or group of persons who being in possession of some confidential and price sensitive information not generally available to the public, utilises such information to buy or sell securities for the benefit of himself, itself or any person. To block the circumvention, SEC has drafted a new rule

that will make it mandatory for insider trading under nominee accounts to be reported to the Commission. According to the new rule, which is expected to take effect soon, where the purchase of shares on behalf of a nominee is related to an insider it should be disclosed to the Commission within 48 hours by the director so involved and the nominee account manager. SEC stated that the new rule would enable it to track insider dealings and other suspicious transactions. SEC has indicated that it would specifically sanction any director or nominee account manager that fails to comply with the new rule. Insiders generally under capital market parlance include directors, major shareholders and their close family members. Unless where specifically outlined, “close family members” in capital market regulatory parlance globally mean spouse, parents, grandparents, biological and adopted children, stepchild, brothers, sisters, spouses of biological and

adopted children, step-child, brothers and sisters; grandchildren; and any such person who is financially dependent on such directors or major shareholders. Nigerian Stock Exchange’s (NSE) rules require a company to establish effective arrangements to deny access to insider information to persons other than those who require it for the exercise of their functions within the issuer. NSE outlines price sensitive information to include changes in the directorate of the issuer; death, resignation, dismissal or appointment of a principal officer; change in the registered office address or in the issuer’s name or in the accounting year end; an annual and interim results or any recommendation or decision that dividends or scrip issues will or will not be made.

‘Why prices are rising’ By Ambrose Nnaji

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•From left: Former Executive Director/Chief Credit Risk Officer, Zenith Bank, Andy Ojei; MD/CEO, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya and Registrar/ Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Credit Administration (ICA), Chris Onalo, during the presentation of the award of Credit Personality of the Year to Airtel CEO in Lagos.

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HE Federal Government’s poor budget implementation record has forced about 15 firms in one community alone in the Southeast to close. The Nation investigation has revealed that the Oba-NnewiArondizuogu-Okigwe road in Imo State, first constructed in 1982, has been abandoned despite budgetary allocations for its rehabilitation. Last year, though the Federal Government budgeted N490 million for the rehabilitation of the road and some contractors were said to have mobilised to the site, the road has remained unattended to

Cleared cheques in Lagos in slump to N2.2tr - P 30

Bad road forces 15 firms to close From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor (Abuja)

and till this year, a section of the Arondizuogu-Umunza road was penciled down to get N20 billion from the year’s budget. However, members of the community have lamented that nothing has been done on the road so far with two months to the end of the year. They claim that they are aware that President Goodluck Jonathan has authorised the rehabilitation of the road but

wonder what is responsible for the abandonment. The First Vice President, Arondizuogu Patriotic Union (APU), Chief Onwumere Gabriel Uche said: “This road is our life-blood, the deplorable condition of this road has caused nothing but backwardness to this community. Arondizuogu has about 15 private limited liability companies and this companies are now moribund because of the bad condition of the road”. The community, which has produced notable politicians,

is made more popular by the old TV drama series The Masquerade Character Chief Chika Okpala (Zebrudia), the residents lamented, is “notable for the production of agricultural products like rice, palm kernel, cassava and cocoa but this goods cannot be conveyed to the market because of the deplorable situation of the road.” A list of firms that have closed as a result of the poor state of the road include: Jolly Jones Vegetable Oil Arondizuogu, Safari Veg-

HE Marketing Director, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Dele Anifowoshe, has identified low indutrial capacity utilisation as one of the reasons prices of goods keep going up. This, he said, impacts negatively on the profitability of organisations and forces price increases, adding that it also affects shareholders’ value and brings about sacking of workers. Anifowoshe said when manufacturers produce below installed capacity, profit margin would shrink as fixed cost would continue to incured. He, therefore, stressed the need to improve on capacity utilisation across the various sectors of the economy. He said if capacity utilisation is maximised, prices would fall as production would be maximised. etable Oil, Arondizuogu, Safari Hotel, Arondizuogu Rice Mill, LNO Obioha Motel Plaza and Chimon Hotel Limited. Uche added: “This road was last constructed in 1983, however, we thank Jonathan for awarding the contract and we do not know who to blame because, initially, Doliz Construction Company Limited handled it. They lived up to below expectation and they were chased out. It was changed to Bulletin and it became nothing to write home about. It was now handed over to Zerock. We don’t like the snail pace the road is moving.”

From banking to rods selling

Lagos employees in CPS are 135,000 - P34

- P35

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

MONEY

Cleared cheques in Lagos slump to N2.2tr

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HE volume of cheques cleared in Lagos dropped to N2.2 trillion in August, 10.33 per cent below the level in July, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited, Bismarck Rewane, has said. The July figure stood at N2.42 trillion. He disclosed this at the Business Breakfast Meeting of the Lagos Business School. Rewane attributed the decline to Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) N150,000 restriction on third party cheques, which he said is beginning to have an impact on transactional trend. He said further decline is expected in coming months. The policy which became effective from June 1, 2013 places N150,000 limit on all over-thecounter cheque withdrawals involving third party cheques in commercial banks, microfinance banks and primary mortgage institutions (PMIs) nationwide. Before that date, the policy was only applicable to Lagos. Rewane also said the impact of the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) on public sector funds will begin to wane in the third quarter,

Biometric database for customers takes off in March

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Stories by Collins Nweze

adding that the Federation allocation fund disbursed remained relatively unchanged at N715 billion, but N240 billion was sterilised at the CBN due to the CRR policy which became effective in August 7. According to him, this implies that only N478 billion was actually shared among the three tiers of government while money supply declined to N14.81 trillion, five per cent lower than the N15.59 trillion recorded in previous month. Rewane said the figure remains at the lowest level this year, with the decline attributed to the 1.2 per cent and 10 per cent decline in net foreign assets and net domestic credit respectively. He said the monetary policy stance is expected to remain contractionary when the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meets this month adding that the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido is committed to protecting the value of the naira. “There is no going back for Sanusi in his resolve to maintain the value of the naira. He has re-

•CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido

sisted the urge to devalue the naira despite exchange rate trading outside the CBN’s target band of N150 to N160 to a dollar,” he said. Rewane said the management of monetary policy will remain a major subject of discussion as Sanusi leaves next year. According to him, the CBN was highly independent and autonomous under Sanusi’s regime. However, interest rates have remained high and volatile, even as the MPC is expected to keep all rates and variables unchanged. He sees a further drop in external reserves to $44 billion.

IOMETRIC database for bank customers will be ready by March next year. The project, which is the brainchild of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bankers’ Committee, is meant to have a central database where all bank customers’ information will be collated and stored. Since biometric identifiers are unique to individuals, they remain reliable in verifying identity of each bank customer. According to the CBN, the platform, when completed, would help operators and regulators of the financial system address issues of Know Your Customer (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML), and access to credit. This will help fast-track use of channels, such as biometric Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, among others. The CBN said it is also planning a Consumer Complaints Management System that will make it possible for it to monitor banks’ breaches in customers’ accounts. When completed, the platform will enable the regulator see which customer complaints are being treated,

Stanbic IBTC named custodian for BNP Paribas

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TANBIC IBTC has been selected as the custodian for BNP Paribas Securities Services in Nigeria. In a statement, the firm said the decision was made recently following a rigorous selection process which presented Stanbic IBTC as the most suitable custodian. Speaking on Stanbic IBTC’s appointment, BNP Paribas Securities Services’ Regional Head of Network Management for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mr Bogart Miheaye,said the bank was viewed as the strongest of three candidates in Nigeria, with its longevity and a market footprint that has proven lobbying influence. “Taking into consideration the current regulatory environment, Stanbic IBTC in Lagos was the first custodian to offer the segregation of treasury bills at the Central Bank,” he said. Global Head of Investor Services

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HE Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has lent its support to the establishment of a world-class microfinance training institute in the country to enhance capacity building in the banking subsector. The Managing Director/Chief Executive of NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, who made this known , also advocated the incorporation of All Women Microfinance Bank (MFB) to be wholly owned by Women non-governmental organisation (NGOs) in the country, to protect the interest of small depositors and boost public confidence in the microfinance banking sub sector. Ibrahim, who made the call when he hosted the Executive Members of the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) in his office, said NAMB’s request for unit MFBs to have multiple branches and operate cash centres in local government areas of their opera-

tions was before a joint committee, and it must be critically analysed and judged based on its merit. He, therefore, advised the association to await the recommendations of the committee on the matter. The NDIC boss reminded the association of the fundamental role of MFBs as grassroot business units toward enhancing financial literacy and consumer protection in promoting financial inclusion. He emphasised that only happy and satisfied depositors could guarantee the much needed public confidence in the banking system, saying that the NDIC had put in place a 24-hour toll free Help Desk to respond to all enquiries from depositors across the country. Ibrahim lamented the low level of payment of assessed premium among the MFBs which necessitated the need for a tripartite agreement between the corporation, MFBs and their correspondent

banks to facilitate prompt collection of premium in the subsector. He advised MFBs to avoid the extreme situation that would warrant the withdrawal of NDIC insurance cover on erring MFBs. Such a move, he said, would not augur well for the advocacy of financial inclusion and development of the subsector. According to him, the purpose for which the corporation set aside N16 billion intervention fund to rescue technically insolvent MFBs and Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) was based on defined criteria instead of the wrong impression that it was meant as a form of financial stability fund for MFBs. He reiterated that N2.5 billion of the fund was used to reimburse the depositors of 103 MFBs liquidated in 2010 and, therefore, advised the NAMB to take a cue from the deposit money banks (DMBs) by mobilising resources for the estab-

for Standard Bank,Mark Kerns expressed delight over the appointment from BNP Paribas Securities Services in Nigeria and look forward to deepening the existing relationship. “This appointment is another strong validation of our custody services leadership in Nigeria as well as testament of our lobbying and market advocacy efforts,” he said. Stanbic IBTC’s Head of Investor Services, Segun Sanni described the appointment as evidence that the company is the preferred asset custodian in Nigeria. “We are pleased with the mandate given to us by BNP Paribas Securities Services in Nigeria. The inclusion of BNP Paribas Securities Services in our custody client portfolio is further evidence that our investments are yielding fruit in retaining Stanbic IBTC as Nigeria’s preferred custody services provider,” he said.

e-clearing at branches may begin in Q4

•From left: Head, Savings Product Suite, UBA Plc, Stella Okojie; Director, Consumer Banking, Ilesanmi Owoeye; a customer of the bank, Ms Nikky Gladys Ugwuagu; Head, Retail Products Suite, Olumide Osunyomi and another customer of the bank, Amadi Simon Azubike, at the launch of U-Gold in Enugu.

NDIC stresses need for microfinance training institute

and which are not being considered. The CBN to, with the platform, see the complaints by bank customers and track the turnaround time of their resolution. It said the role of consumer protection is not limited to the CBN alone, but remains a collective responsibility of everyone. It said the Consumer Protection Unit of the CBN is mandated to educate consumers and defend their interest, detect money laundering and combat financial terrorism as well as enhance awareness on these issues. The apex bank is also reviewing the framework on consumer protection to ensure that all complaints by customers are promptly addressed. Also, where any of the cases is proved, the affected bank will be required to make necessary amends and where financial obligations are involved, will be required to refund the money. The measures are aimed at encouraging good banking habits and promoting efficiency in the delivery of financial services as well as boosting public confidence in the system.

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LECTRONIC clearing (e-clearing), being implemented only at banks’ headquarters, will be extended to banks’ branches in the fourth quarter of this year. However, this is subject to Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) approval, it was learnt. The policy, which took effect last August, could not be fully decentralised to banks’ networks because of poor technical know-how and infrastructure needed for a seamless takeoff in the units. e-clearing involves stopping the physical movement of cheques and replacing the physical instrument with the image of the instrument and the corresponding data contained in Magnetic Character Ink Character Reader (MICR) line. The cheque details are captured, typically by the bank presenting the cheque or its clearing agent and electronically presented in an agreed format to the clearing house for onward delivery to the paying bank for payment. Unlike the more common form of presentation where a cheque is physically presented to the paying bank, a truncated cheque is typically stored by the presenting bank electronically. Clearing period under the new rule

would allow cheques clear on a T+1 basis such that customers receive value in the morning of T+2 even as the clearing house is also expected to operate three sessions. Besides, the images of all the instruments in a batch/file shall be duly captured along with MICR data using scanners set up for the purpose. The amount needs to be captured/ keyed in to complete the data record. “The incoming images are subjected to validations. The images which fail validations are rejected with an appropriate response file. The bank may rescan the instrument and present in line with bank’s internal processes/ control procedures. The member banks have to maintain control over such re-presentments,” it said. Besides, banks are expected to plan transmission of their outward presentation by taking into account presentation volume, the bandwidth of network with the clearing house, and the session window. In the event of an exchange file being received at the clearing house within a session time but not passed to the clearing house, the clearing house would unbundle the exchange file, and reattach to a new session.

MARITIME THE NATION

Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.com

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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LADOL to begin FPSO construction, integration in 2015

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HE Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) in LADOL Free Zone is poised to begin the construction of its fabrication yard where floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels will be built and integrated. Its Project Manager, Phaethon Payiatis said in Lagos that the construction of the yard would begin next month while the fabrication and integration of FPSOs will start in 2015. He said the company has also made plans to dredge the harbour to get the right draft. He said the 14,000 square metre yard would handle 5,000 tonnes of steel and that necessary approvals from the appropriate regulatory agencies.

tion and based on the approvals the government has given, $62.5 has been invested. This is new private investment in developing infrastructure in Nigeria.” She also noted that based on researched facts, the most suitable site for FPSO integration in Nigeria is LADOL and the least suitable site is Nigerdock. The Nigerdock site shouldn’t be considered for integration owing mainly to operational consideration and the unacceptable high risk to the FPSO hull of traversing the narrow path to Nigerdock. She said the zone is located on a peninsula five minutes away from personnel and cargo jetties and being immediately next to the entrance to Lagos Harbour, it can eas-

ily accommodate the largest vessels and barges and it guarantees the fastest turnaround times. Besides, LADOL is registered as an International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) code certified port facility with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and receives local and international vessels. With 200m quay, 8.5m draft, 25 ton/m2 high load bearing area and additional 30 ton bollards at either end, the quay can accommodate up to six supply vessels and three heavy lift vessels simultaneously. Since products are piped directly through ducts in the quay, vessels’ turnaround time can be less than eight hours. The quay is being extended by additional 1,000m this year, she added.

Some 30 years ago, Mr. Gabriele Volpi, the founder and chairman, Orlean Invest Holding Limited, recognised an opportunity to transform Nigeria, despite the limited infrastructure, into a world-class logistics centre for the maritime, oil and gas industry. The transformation was extended to other sub-Saharan African countries. EMEKA UGWUANYI reports.

Govt plans ship-building yard for maritime academy

Stories by Emeka Ugwuanyi, Asst. Editor

LADOL’s Managing Director Dr. Amy Jadesimi said the company was carrying out the project with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) of Korea. She explained that contrary to reports, LADOL has done some major jobs for some oil companies , including Chevron’s Agbami FPSO. She said as at September, the company had invested $62.6 million in the $500 million facility, adding that, on completion, the project will generate 5,000 jobs inside LADOL and 50,000 jobs outside; it will attract billions of dollars in foreign direct investment (FDI) as well as technology into Nigeria.

She said: “LADOL is the only 100 per cent Nigerian logistics base owner in Nigeria and the only one to develop a facility from zero value Greenfield Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) site into $500 million world class base. LADOL is now expanding its facilities and its proven business model of private indigenous Nigerian lead development of facilities into Bayelsa as well as extending its facility in Lagos with a $500 million additional investment. “LADOL’s joint venture with Samsung to build Nigeria’s first and Africa’s only FPSO facility will make Nigeria Africa’s maritime, oil and gas hub creating 100,000 jobs. LADOL has been given all required approvals to proceed with construc-

Orlean Invest’s 25 years sojourn in maritime, energy logistics

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T takes many years of hard work, uncommon initiative, dedication and, sometimes, dogged determination to achieve a dream. This is the spirit that laid the foundation for the principles and motivations that drive the world-acclaimed energy logistics partners - Orlean Invest – which is Nigeria’s premier and preferred energy logistics partner for oil and gas industries. The founder of the company, Gabriele Volpi, ensured that the highest professional standards were applied in running the firm. Initially, activities were carried out at Onne Port Complex but he saw the need to widen the scope of operations and services. Today, the facility is one of the major participants in the development of energy logistics and the first oil and gas free zone in the region. During the same period, he created oil service centres at Warri, support base at Calabar, oil service centres in Luanda and Lobito in Angola, Pointe Noire in Congo, Abidjan in Cote d’voire, and other operations in Mauritania, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe.

In-country activities The company’s business core values include reliability, predictability and transparency. These values act as guide in corporate governance and evident in all the company’s activities which include: Transit and Supply Base: A “onestop-shop” tailor-made packages of services, for port facilities, equipment and personnel specific for each client solutions. Companies operating the oil and gas sector receive cargoes direct from overseas at Orlean Invest bases in client-dedicated areas before final delivery, and the concept significantly minimises risk of cargo damage. Dedicated Base Concept: The Company provides dedicated port facilities, the equipment and personnel to manage and supervise the logistics requirements of the oil producing, service and project companies. This concept provides assistance from arrival of cargo, through the stacking/racking stage, to final delivery of materials to designated transportation (support vessel, barges or trucks). Agency for support vessels: In Nigeria, as in most West Africa countries, all movements of barges, tugs and support vessels into and out of

•Onne port complex, Port Harcourt.

operating bases, channels and waterways are subject to government rule and regulations. Compulsory pilotage and declaration with the relative law enforcement agencies are required. Orlean Invest acts as a charters’ agent and serves to ensure an efficient and cost-effective operation beneficial to the oil and gas industry. Provision of camp facilities: The company offers residential estates and services as an option to its clients. All estates are fully- furnished and recreational facilities are built close to the commercial facilities, considered top-to-the-line in the country. Orlean Invest supports sustainable community partnership as it believes that competitiveness rests on having transparent relations with all stakeholders. So it applies a method known as the ‘integrated participatory approach,’ whereby goals and benefits are mutual to create an environment in which the host communities and company become fundamentally interdependent for growth and development. As a matter of principle, the company believes in moral obligation to be inclusive of their host community’s welfare hence the development of college of football in order to create a new reality for the promotion of sport and development of young talents in football and other sports.

This approach guarantees host communities friendly operation. Orlean Invest implements its vision in cooperation with respective government authorities, national oil companies and with the participation of all the major oil and gas producing and related service and construction companies. The vision is ultimately in line with the African Institute of Petroleum philosophy of adopting a Pan-African regional approach to handling oil and gas related activities in the region.

Orlean Invest CEO The ascension of this great Italian and Nigerian to becoming a maritime and logistic giant is evidenced by the over whelming role Orlean Invest plays in Nigeria’s maritime and oil and gas industries. Born about 70 years ago, Gabriele Volpi’s maiden romance with Africa and, indeed, Nigeria, was in 1976, when navigated the mountain to success, which took determination, hard work, dexterity and virile passion. These qualities he brought to bear when he berthed in Port Harcourt, Nigeria with MedAfrica shipping, which brought him to the country as its Managing Director. The astute and nimble minded business mogul is also endowed with dex-

terous creativity and initiative; this gave him an opportunity to further contribute to the economic growth of his beloved country, Nigeria, his second home. He was to graduate into the present multinational maritime logistics services some year later. But he was to take advantage of his unique entrepreneurial qualities to partner with the Federal Government in creation of a dedicated and one in Africa specialised Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme known as the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone. The Partnership has been described by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) as “a unique model” which later set the pace for transformation of the Nigerian maritime industry. The Federal Government appreciated his earnest contributions and patriotism by bestowing on him the very privileged Nigerian Citizenship. He has spent half of his active fruitful years collaborating to move the nation to greater industrial and economic heights. In support of the Federal Government’s transformation agenda in attracting investors into the country, Orlean Invest partners with the Federal Ministries of Industry, Trade and Investment, Petroleum Resources, and Transport to drive the only Nigeria Oil & Gas Investment Forum at Onne Port, which is in its second year.

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HE Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Ziakede Akpobolokemi, has said that Federal Government is planning to construct a ship-building yard for practical and technical training for the maritime academy. He said the ship-building yard will serve as platform for practical and technical training for students of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State. Besides, academy is being strengthened with infrastructural and technical capacity to make it a degreeawarding institution by affiliating it to the World Maritime University, Malmo, Sweden in order to be responsive to human capacity development. He told The Nation this during the send off for 655 trainee cadets sponsored under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), which held in Lagos. The trainee cadets will go for training in various maritime training institutions in Egypt, India, Philippines, Romania and the United Kingdom. He said that last year 1,500 cadet trainees were selected for training under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) adding that the selection of the 655 cadets brings to 2505 the number of trainee cadets expected to undergo academic, technical and sea time training under the programme. He said that 15 state governments currently support the programme and urged others to show interest and support. NIMASA, he noted, believes that the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme in the nearest future will make Nigeria Africa’s hub for supply of skilled maritime human capital. He said: “The pragmatic expectation of the Nigerian maritime industry is that the NSDP holds the future for the development of future nautical scientists, naval architects and marine engineers who will close capacity gaps in Nigeria’s ship building value chain, ship manning and contemporary elements of ships’ operation and navigation.”

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

THE NATION INVESTORS

Shareholders kick against SEC’s new tenure S policy on audit committee

HAREHOLDERS have rejected the plan by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to restrict the tenure of members of audit committee to three years in the first instance by creating a three-year waiting period between the first term and possible re-election. Shareholders’ leaders who spoke to The Nation said the plan was in bad faith and was capable of adverse impact on the confidence of retail shareholders in the corporate governance structure. A draft of new amendment to the audit committee’s rules under preview states that: membership of an audit committee shall be for a term of three years, subject to good performance; provided that such member shall not be eligible for re-election until the expiration of three years after his term. Another new amendment, according to the draft obtained by The Nation, stipulates new penalties for violation of the new tenure policy. According to the rule, any public company that violates any provision of these rules and regulations on the audit committee shall be liable to a penalty of not less than N100,000 and a further sum of not more than N5, 000 for every day of default. Shareholders said the restriction was targeted at independent shareholders, who are usually appointed to audit committees. The Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) requires audit committee

Stories by Taofik Salako

to be composed equally of directors and independent ordinary shareholders subject to a maximum of six members. Chairman, Onitsha Zone Shareholders Association, Bishop Goodluck Apore, flayed what he described as SEC’s contemptuous attitude towards ordinary shareholders noting that shareholders own the stock market and should be treated as such. According to him, the new tenure policy lacks general acceptability among shareholders and shows lack of consensus-building on the part of the market regulator. President, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, said SEC should reconsider the new amendment and tenure policy pointing out that the restriction appears targeted at retail shareholders than directors. According to him, since there is no rule restricting directors from consecutive terms of office, SEC should have ensured a level-playing ground by applying the rules on directors’ term of office to shareholders too. “SEC has not been protective of retail shareholders. They did not consult retail shareholders on this

rule and they should go back and reconsider their obnoxious rules,” Nwosu said. President, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA), Chief Timothy Adesiyan, described the new amendment as haphazard pointing out that SEC should have instead opted to finalise a comprehensive audit committee charter, which has been in the pipeline since 2008. He said any new tenure policy on audit committee’s members should apply to directors serving on the committee. Shareholders’ leader and activist, Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, in a position paper made available to The Nation said the new tenure policy would impinged on the competence and integrity of the audit committee. According to him, whether the new policy applies to all members of audit committee or not, it would have unintended negative impact on the performance of audit committee goind forward. “l respectfully wish to observe on why it is not very good for the riskmanagement of our companies. Most of the companies don’t have enough directors to fill the three years gap, because the norm had been not to have a chairman, managing Director and in most instances executive-directors, as

members of audit committee. So in the case where there were no more than two or three non-executivedrectors; what will then happen within the three years that they were supposed to stay out of office?,” Olatokunbo said. He noted that the restriction would not augur well for the experience and thoroughness required for retail shareholders to grasp the full details of a company’s operational framework and to effectively perform their oversight function. According to him, the first year in office for any new shareholdermember is usually for the familiarisation with the company’s products, ethic and other things while training or sponsorship of audit-committee-members for more knowledge doesn’t usually commence within the same year of election due to the fact that most companies might like to understudy the new member’s capabilities and most importantly their trust on him because of the fear of leakages of important information to competitors. By the second year of a new shareholder-member, the issues of training, understanding and trust might have been achieved but there will only be one year left to be of services to the sponsoredcompany due to the proposed new rule of three-year tenure. “Most companies with small

board-members will be discouraged on commitment to the audit committee’s work or make use of their executive-directors whose duties and responsibilities the same audit-committee is meant to oversee or they shall have to enlarge the board irrespective of the company’s size. That will therefore create an avenue for companies not to show much interest in equipping shareholder-members of audit committee with knowledge, knowing fully that they have short period to stay with the company while the same attitude shall be extended to new incoming shareholdermembers, thereby not helping the audit committee to function properly,” Olatokunbo said. He outlined that prolonged stay on the audit committee tends to build capacity and trust as companies tend to relax more with known shareholder-members on trust and start to work with them more on the sharing of important-information. “With such cooperation, trust, understanding of the companies, the audit committee’s functions become easier and the cooperation of both the internal and external auditors will have no limit in moving the assignment forward; most especially information and report from internal-auditors, which were very important to the function of the committee. “I suggest that there is no need for the proposed new rule,” Olatokunbo added.

Canadian analyst predicts 172% return on Oando HE impending completion of the acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ (COP) Nigerian asset portfolio by Oando Group would boost the valuation of its foreign-listed subsidiary, Oando Energy Resources (OER) with a potential one-year capital gain of 172 per cent. A chartered financial analyst (CFA) and oil and gas analyst at MGI Securities, Aminul Haque, said Oando shares are significantly undervalued because of the uncertainties surrounding the COP acquisition. He however noted that with the debt financing in place and the acquisition price reduced by about $200 million resulting from the exclusion of the Brass River LNG interest, the deal could be completed by the end of November, this year, transforming the company into one of the largest independent oil and gas producers in

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•From left: Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, receiving a souvenir from the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Mr Oscar Onyema during the visit of the Minister to the NSE.

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Nigeria. With the impending conclusion of the acquisition, MGI maintained a speculative buy rating and a 12-month target price of C$3 for Oando Energy Resources, which would provide investors a one-year price return of 172 per cent. “Our price target is based on the net asset value per share of the company and is at a 2.0 per cent discount to core net asset value and a 36 per cent discount to risked net asset value,” the analyst noted. MGI is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organisation of Canada (‘IIROC’) and Canadian Investor Protection Fund (‘CIPF’). MGI is a Participating Organisation of the Toronto Stock Exchange (‘TSX’), the TSX Venture Exchange and Canadian Trading, Quotation System Inc. (‘CNQ’) through their PURE Trading Facility, Alpha Trading Systems (‘Alpha’), Omega ATS and Chi-X Canada.

Adswitch to delist from NSE over harsh business

HE Board of Adswitch Plc has decided to delist the electrical switchgears company from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) due to what the directors described as harsh operating environment. The company, which was listed as a second-tier stock in 1991, has filed for voluntary delisting at the NSE. The NSE confirmed that the voluntary delisting process was already underway. Sources in the know indicated that the reference to harsh business climate was to operational challenges due to influx of fake and substandard products and uncompetitive manufacturing costs in Nigeria as well as the costs and requirements of maintaining the listing. Adswitch has struggled with dwindling margins and sales in recent years, with net losses over the past two years undermining the capital base of the company. Shareholders’ funds dropped from N25.42 mil-

lion in 2011 to N14.7 million in 2012. Audited report and accounts of Adswitch for the year ended April 30, last year showed that turnover dropped from N32.72 million in 2011 to N30.7 million in 2012. It posted a loss before tax of N10.34 million in 2012, albeit a better position that loss of N19.04 million recorded in 2011. Loss after tax also stood at N10.73 million in 2012 as against N19.69 million in 2011. Adswitch, a wholly owned Nigerian company, was incorporated in 1982 and it has a close relationship with Cutix Plc, an electrical and telecommunications cables manufacturer listed on the main board at the NSE. The decision by Adswitch to delist further raise anxieties about the streak of delisting in recent time, which has seen many companies opting to delist their shares from the NSE. Adswitch’s position was similar

to Poly Products Nigeria Plc, another company that is currently undergoing voluntary delisting process. Official notice cited Poly Products’ stockbroker – Signet Investments & Securities Limited, as attributing the decision to delist on the inclement operating environment and the difficulty in meeting NSE’s obligations. According to the notice, the company has been going through harsh economic conditions in recent times, which makes it difficult for it to fulfill its obligations to the NSE as at when due. The delisting of Poly Products will reduce market capitalisation of NSE by about N263 million. Audited report and accounts of Poly Products for the year ended March 31, 2011 had showed turnover of N2.24 billion in 2011 as against N2.42 billion in 2010. Profit before tax dropped from N83.36

million to N61.52 million while profit after tax declined to N50.73 million as against N60.67 million in 2010. Shareholders’ funds however increased from N350.33 million in 2010 to N423.86 million in 2011. The company recently distributed a bonus issue of one share for 24 shares for the 2011 business year. It should be recalled that Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), one of the biggest food and beverages companies, had delisted its shares from the NSE in 2011, in one of the high-profile delisting during the year. Other companies that have delisted their shares in recent time included Nampak Plc and United Nigeria Textiles Plc. The immediate past year had seen the highest concentration of voluntary delisting in recent years. Analysts said the worrisome trend of voluntary delisting by several companies, which ordinarily should have used the mar-

ket for their proposed turnaround and financial restructurings, highlighted the failures of the capital market as a repository of capital and lack of incentives for quoted companies. Another company on the main board, Tourist Company of Nigeria (TCN) Plc, has opted to delist its shares instead of issuance of new shares or sale of existing shares to dilute shareholdings of the core investors in the hotel and tourism company and release 20 per cent equity stake to the general investing public. A status report obtained by The Nation showed that the core investors in TCN, which owns the palatial Federal Palace Hotel & Casino based in Victoria Island, Lagos, have decided to voluntarily delist the company after the Exchange flagged the company for failing to maintain the minimum 20 per cent free float required to sustain its listing at the NSE.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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THE NATION INVESTORS

SEC moves to make code of corporate governance compulsory

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OMPANIES would henceforth be liable for sanctions for any violation of the Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies, according to new rules and amendments being previewed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A draft of the new rules and amendments obtained by The Nation indicated that companies will be liable to a fine of N500, 000 at the first instance of notification and subsequently additional fine of N5, 000 for every day that the violation persists. A new provision to the code stipulates that “compliance with the provisions of this code shall be mandatory” setting a radical departure from the moral suasion and consensual enforcement of the current code. The code, according to SEC, will now be described as a framework that is expected to facilitate sound corporate practices and behavior and it should be seen as a dynamic document defining minimum standards of corporate governance expected particularly of public companies with listed securities. Besides, the stipulated fines, the new provision also give SEC unfettered power to apply “any other sanction” it “may deem fit in the

Stories by Taofik Salako

circumstance”. The application of sanctions and penalties would scale up the code to same level of statutory rules being made by SEC under the mandate of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007. Already, publicly quoted companies are required to include in their annual report and accounts a compliance report on codes of corporate governance. The Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies sets the minimum acceptable standards for quoted companies. Launched in 2003, the code of corporate governance was reviewed and relaunched in 2011, with several changes to reflect the current globally acceptable practices. Some salient points in the code included board composition, remuneration, independent director, shareholding disclosure, insider knowledge, meeting and whistle blowing. Under board composition, the code stipulates that members of the board of directors should not be less than five and the board should comprise a mix of executive and nonexecutive directors, headed by a non-executive chairman. The majority of directors should be non-ex-

ecutive directors, at least one of whom should be independent director. The positions of chairman of the board and chief executive officer shall be separate and held by different individuals. To safeguard the independence of the board, not more than two members of the same family should sit on the board of a public company at the same time. The code requires that the remuneration of the chief executive officer as well as other executive directors should comprise a component that is long-term performance related and may include stock options and bonuses which should however, be disclosed in the company’s annual reports. Executive directors are not allowed to be involved in the determination of their remuneration. Executive directors should not receive the sitting allowances or director’s fees paid to non-executive directors. Every public company is expected to have a minimum of one independent director on its board. An independent director is a nonexecutive director whose shareholding does not exceed 0.1 per cent of the company’s paid up capital and is not a representative of a shareholder that has the ability to control or significantly in-

fluence management. In fact, an independent director must not have any contractual or familial relationship with the company. Besides, every quoted company is expected to disclose in its annual report, details of shares of the company held by all directors, including on an “if-converted” basis. This disclosure should include indirect holdings. All directors are required to disclose their shareholding whether on a proprietary or fiduciary basis in the public company in which they are proposed to be appointed as directors, prior to their appointment. On insider knowledge, the code requires that directors of public companies, their immediate families-spouse, son, daughter, mother or father; and other insiders as defined under Section 315 of ISA and Rule 110 (3) of the SEC Rules and Regulations, in possession of price sensitive information or other confidential information, shall not deal with the securities of the company where such would amount to insider trading as defined under the Investment and Securities Act 2007. The code also stipulates that general meetings are expected to be conducted in an open manner allowing for free discussions on all issues on the agenda. Sufficient

time should be allocated to shareholders to participate fully and contribute effectively at the meetings. The chairmen of all board committees and of the statutory audit committee should be present at general meetings of the company to respond to shareholders queries and questions. Notices of general meetings shall be 21 days from the date on which the notice was sent out. Companies shall also allow at least seven days for service of notice if sent out by post from the day the letter containing the same is posted. The notices should include copies of documents, including annual reports and audited financial statements and other information as will enable members prepare adequately for the meeting. The board is expected to ensure that all shareholders are treated fairly and are given equal access to information about the company; Also, every company is required to have a whistle-blowing policy which should be known to shareholders, employees, contractors, job applicants, other stakeholders and the general public. It is the responsibility of the board to implement such a policy and to establish a whistle-blowing mechanism for reporting any illegal or substantial unethical behavior.

Investors show keen interests in NASD •Eight companies list on OTC

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NVESTORS appear to be showing keen interests in companies listed on the NASD Plc as more companies open up their shares for trading on the over-thecounter (OTC) exchange. Latest trading summary indicated increase in number of active trading stocks from one to four while the number of companies listed on the NASD has increased from about three at the onset to eight. Companies that are listed on the NASD now included Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria, Industrial and General Insurance (IGI), Food Concepts, Niger Delta Exploration & Production (NDEP), Consolidated Breweries, Geo Fluids, BGL and SWAP Technologies & Telecomms Plc. According to trading summary, transactions have centred around four companies including Friesland WAMCO, Food Concepts, IGI and NDEP. Altogether, a total of 23 deals have so far been struck on the

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NASD for 121,758 shares valued at N55.99 million. WAMCO was the Exchange’s live wire with 18 deals for 105,758 shares worth N52.88 million. Three deals were struck for 10,000 shares of NDEP valued at N3.10 million. A deal was struck for 5,000 shares of Food Concepts valued at N11,250 while another deal was struck for 1,000 shares of IGI valued at N2,500. The OTC market has established a price of N500 for WAMCO. NDEP traded at N310 per share while Food Concepts and IGI were valued at N2.25 and N2.50 respectively. Formerly known as the National Association of Securities Dealers, NASD Plc is a registered over-thecounter (OTC) trading platform for unquoted securities including equities and bonds. NASD is owned by several investment and financial institutions as well as strategic investors. It is registered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an organised trading platform for unlisted securities.

•From Left: Managing Director, GTI Securities, Mr Tunde Oyekunle; President, International Commerce Management Limited (ICML), United Kingdom; John Kavvouras and Managing Director, NASD Plc, Mr Bola Ajomale, during the visit of the ICML to the management of NASD in Lagos.

African Prudential Registrars modifies N1.2b rights issue

FRICAN Prudential Registrars (APR) Plc has modified the qualification date for its impending rights issue from August 23, to August 20, this year. The qualification date serves as the cut-off point for shareholders who will be entitled to participate in the rights issue. In a regulatory filing, the share registration company indicated that the Tuesday August 20, 2013 supersedes any other previous announcement with a caution that only the shareholders whose names were in the register of members at the close of business on August 20 will take part in the forthcoming rights issue. APR plans to raise about N1.2 billion new equity funds from existing shareholders in order to finance its growth plan. A source in the know of the new issue said APR is concluding preoffer processes for a rights issue 1.0 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo

each at N1.20. The shares would be pre-allotted to shareholders on the register of the company as at the close of business on August 20, 2013. At N1.20 per share, the rights issue’s price represents a discount of 35 per cent to the company’s opening share price of N1.85 yesterday. The largest chunk of the new equity funds is expected to be provided by Tony Elumelu’s Heirs Holdings, the pan-African investment company that holds the largest individual stake in APR. APR, the only listed share registration company, recently concluded the acquisition of UAC Registrars, the oldest non-bank affiliated registrar in the Nigerian capital markets. The company plans to integrate and absorb UAC Registrars to enhance its competitive scale, reduce operating expenses and increase overall profitability. Managing Director, African Prudential Registrars, Mr. Peter Ashade, said the company was at the

vanguard of the consolidation of Nigeria’s share registration industry. He noted that APR would consolidate its leading position as a pacesetter in the introduction of technology to the conventional share registration market and the first company to launch an online real-time share registration portal in Nigeria. According to him, the company has succeeded in making registration quicker and easier through the use of innovative interactive systems that enable shareholders, stockbrokers and client companies to monitor their portfolio remotely. Majority shareholders in several quoted companies have recently stepped up efforts to bridge equity financing gaps and reduce dependence on bank loans by injecting their own funds into their companies. Besides APR, at least four companies including Vitafoam Nige-

ria, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN) and RT Briscoe are at different stages of raising new funds through initiatives of their major shareholders. Against the background of the in investors’ apathy and deteriorating pricing trend at the capital market, several core investors that hold the decisive votes on the success of recapitalisation of quoted companies have opted for rights issue, which allows existing shareholders to recapitalise their companies. Rights issue gives the first right of refusal to existing shareholders and thus preserve existing shareholding structure. It however provides window for new investors to buy into the company through rights trading on the secondary market. Market analysts said the growing list of rights issues early this year underscores the preparedness of core investors to refinance their companies as well as the undervaluation of several companies at the

stock market. According to analysts, rights issue implies significant financial commitment by the core investors. Market analysts said they expected more companies to file for rights issue given the high gearing ratios of several quoted companies, which interest burden could stifle returns to shareholders in the period ahead. High costs of funds and lack of access to amenable capital have adversely impacted on earnings potential and returns of several companies. Reports by boards of directors for many companies had indicated that companies were constrained by their inability to source new equity capital due to the meltdown at the capital market while recourse to high-interest bank loans depressed probable returns to shareholders. Many reports highlighted the twin-problem of high cost of fund and liquidity squeeze on corporate earnings.

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

PENSION

‘Lagos employees under CPS are 135,000, not 45,730’ T

HE Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) has said the number of employees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in Lagos State is 135,000 and not 45, 730 stated by the National Pension Commission (PenCom). PenCom Acting Director-General, Mrs. ChineloAnohu-Amazu, said the state had implemented the CPS with 45, 730 employees, who contributed N46.5 billion as at last July. But Director-General, LASPEC, Mr Rotimi Hussain,The Nation, said the figure by PenCom was wrong. He said: “While other figures like contributions remitted to various Pension Fund Administrators are correct, the figure of the number of registered workers in state under the Contributory Pension

Stories by OmobolaTolu-Kusimo

Scheme (CPS) is too far from the correct figure. “The state has a total of 135, 000 employees registered under the scheme and they quoted 45, 000. I am surprised by this figure and do not know where they got their information from because there was no formal approach to us by PenCom.” Hussein, however, said he is not bothered because the state has its record of registration and remittance with the PFAs. He explained that there is the core civil service, tertiary institutions, local government and parastatals in the state and every worker have subscribe to the scheme. “If there’s anybody that has not subscribed, the person must be new

in service. But part of the requirement engine now is that as soon as you accept any offer in the state, part of the document you must submit is your pin number from any PFA of your registered with. He said he is sure there was no intention of PenCom to understate what they are doing because they have a good and cordial relationship with them. He observed that the PFAs are the ones that registered the employees and that they got their figures through the PFAs. He urged the regulatory body to corroborate it with the state so that they can get an accurate or close figure. “For instance, my responsibility first is to ensure that on a monthly basis, remittance goes out of this government through the treasury

to the PFAs. But I don’t even stop at that I check the other end which is the receiver, the PFA. I corroborate from the PFAs if they have indeed received the remittance for each particular month. ‘’The reason is that there are times that the government would have remitted and the PFAs will still not have confirmation through their PFCs and that gapoccurs because the money is hanging in one bank or the other. So, I ensure that money we send hit the right account and on time. “There is no single month where contribution from workers is hanging. And based on how the scheme operates, once the money goes to the PFAs, it is completely out of the reach of the government and regulatory authorities.The only set of people that could have access to

• Hussain

the money is the owners of the account which is the worker,” he added. A source in PenCom who spoke with The Nation on the disparity in the number of Lagos employees said the commission will investigate. He said the IT department will check whether the data they have tally wiht the figure quoted by Lagos State.

‘Amend Pension Reform Act’

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•A cross section of Lagos State pensioners during a verification in Lagos.

‘Dearth of investible instruments stifling growth’

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HE National Pension Commission (PenCom) has identified dearth of investible financial instruments as a major challenge to the growth of the economy. The pension regulatory body is, therefore, seeking broadening of the instrument base for pension fund investment as this is important saying the need to support the drive for tax efficient laws that would promote the introduction of alternative assets that will impact significantly on contributors and the economy. Its Director-General, Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, who spoke in Lagos, cited Real Investment Trust (REITs), asset and mortgage backed

securities, as examples of insruments that are investible and would enhance the growth of the economy. She said after identifying dearth of investible financial instruments as a major challenge, the commission employed dynamic investment monetary procedures that focus on risk issues as they affect the investment portfolio of pension fund. This, she said, was backed by support activities towards the development of new financial instruments aimed at deepening the financial market. She added that plans were in the pipeline to introduce multi-funds and give room to foreign invest-

ments by pension funds. In order to ensure successful implementation of this programme, research capabilities are being enhanced in investment while risk management has adopted the riskbased supervisory philosophy. She added that the commission would continue to fine tune its riskbased supervisory approach in the discharge of its supervisory and regulatory functions. “In this regard, PenCom has deployed and implemented a Risk Management and Analysis System (RMAS) which follows off site examination of pension operators as well as generate timely industry report,” she said.

HE pension policy is due for review, an expert, Femi Aborishade, has said. Aborishade, a labour consultant and lawyer, argued that the Act ought to be amended in such way such that there is a responsibility for the state and Federal Government to operate a mandatory pension system. This, he said, is important in the context of the trend in which opportunities for guaranteed employment for a long time until retirement appear to be fast disappearing. Aborishade spoke on safety net and value addition for pension contributors in the pension system, at a workshop by the Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria (CPIN) in Lagos. He said while a key function of the PFA is to ensure that investments are made in pension funds for contributors in accordance with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act, 2004, there is a critical concern on issues such bankruptcy/insolvency, stock market decline, winding up proceedings and virtual failure of companies in which pension funds have been invested. According to him, it is doubtful if the protective measures in Sections 52 (1)(d) and 98 of the Act, which itemises qualification of a company to be licensed as a Pension Fund Custodian are adequate to protect the interests of pension contributors who have sacrificed to make savings over their entire working lives. On these shortcomings and concerns and lessons from pension system in three industrial countries, such as United States, United Kingdom and Germany, he said the way to go is a pension system that combines features of the two

main systems, the DB and DC plans. He argued that the Pay-As-YouGo (PAYG) Defined Benefits scheme makes a lot more sense for governments and public sector. He continued: “It eliminates extensive and expensive administrative structures such as the PFAs and PFCs in the Defined Contribution scheme introduced in the Pension Reform Act. The PAYG system is what the central government in Britain operates. In this case, funded schemes separate from the company, as provided in the Act may be needed in the private sector to protect the workers in case of bankruptcy. “The government has a responsibility, not only to those it employs in the public sector, but also to the entire citizenry, including the unemployed, the self-employed and those employed in the private sector, at their old age, when they are weak to work or when there is no work. Apart from pension schemes maintained by private employers therefore, there is a need for a state-run mandatory pension system that covers all. “In Britain, the state pension scheme covers effectively everyone and gives all elderly people at least equivalent of about N100, 000 a month. Although this is hardly enough to live on in Britain, the company or public sector pension schemes are in addition to the pension received from the mandatory small state scheme.” He added that pension benefits that are constitutionally extended to the president, governors, and top judicial officers should be guaranteed and extended to other citizens, particularly the poor people that are vulnerable to shocks and changes in the economy.

Is now a good time to buy an annuity?

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HIS has been a good year for annuities, with rates rising by 9pc since January. In general terms, someone with a £100,000 pension pot will be more than £350 a year better off for the rest of their life. However, there is evidence to suggest the recent bull run may be nearing an end. This is because annuities are priced in relation to the yields on government bonds, called gilts, and other fixed-interest investments such as corporate bonds. The benchmark 15-year gilt yield rose significantly from

2.31pc at the beginning of January to 3.2pc in September. The increase can be attributed to a number of factors, including concerns that as US and European economies improve inflationary pressure may increase. The imminent end to the policy of quantitative easing (money printing) in the US has also helped. QE has kept long-term gilt yields low for several years, so yields have risen as American politicians have hinted that the policy might be phased out later this year. There is a useful rule of thumb

that can be used to predict annuity rate movements. For every 100 basis points rise in gilt yields (in other words, yields moving from 2pc to 3pc, say), annuity income should increase by about 8pc. There is a time lag between changes in yields and changes in annuity rate but this rule of thumb normally applies over a two-month cycle. The outlook for annuities for the rest of this year has soured. Gilt yields have eased off – and on October 1 the benchmark yield was 3.09pc. At the moment it does not seem likely that annuity rates will

continue increasing in the run to Christmas, especially as the Bank of England seems to want to keep rates low for the foreseeable future. It is too early to know what effect the financial shut down in the US will have on UK bond yields so it will be important to watch events in America. There is, however, a general consensus that annuities will be higher at some time in the future – it is just that nobody knows when that will be. This makes deciding the best time to purchase an annuity a difficult task.

For anybody considering purchasing an annuity, it may be prudent to take as much time as is needed in order to decide what is the right option. Once a decision has been made it might make sense to act straight away, as those who defer their annuity purchase in the hope of getting a higher income are often disappointed. Bear in mind that £50,000 won’t even buy an income of £3,000 a year for a 60-year-old today. That hardly covers the cost of a twoweek holiday today, let alone in 10 years’ time.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENUERSHIP After many years of working in Union Bank Plc, Alhaji Nurudeen Lawal retired. He returned to Alagbado, a Lagos suburb, to sell rods. Though his business is small, he told DANIEL ESSIET that the micro enterprise is growing.

From banking to rods selling LHAJI Nurudeen Lawal, Executive Director, Alowonle Technical Services, spent much of his adult life working for Union Bank Plc, before he bid farewell to paid employment. While there, he saw how micro entrepreneurs were developing new enterprises and creating jobs. He thought of what to do after retirement. At this point, opportunities in the iron and steel industry came as a beacon of hope. He saw a well-developed metals industry with vast resources to support manufacturing. He saw opportunities for entrepreneurs to sell products, such as

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iron, blooms/slabs steel coils, roofing sheets, steel pipes, wire rods, galvanised wires, stainless steel wire and fasteners. So, many small businesses were taking advantage of these opportunities and living their dreams. In March, this year, he started a small business which sells iron rods. He got a place in front of Anwarudeen Prayer Ground Mosque, Alagbado on the Abeokuta Express Road, to spread his wares. He knew it would be expensive to get a place around Lagos mainland where rents are high. Earlier, he enrolled for a threemonth entrepreneurship course on how to start and manage rods

selling. He learnt how to identify various steel rod products. “Those going into this business should be trained to identify and sell different rod products to survive in a competitive market,” he said. The programme, his perseverance and family support are the reasons behind his success. For Lawal, the local construction boom offers big rewards for small rod sellers. This is because steel products are in high demand. Demand has increased in recent years, but the market for rods, however, is segmented between small-scale residential and commercial or industrial uses. With his little supply, Lawal

assists contractors. He uses his creativity and industrious work to implant himself in the local construction industry. According to him, belonging to the Association of Small Business Owners (ASCON) has helped him develop a business plan for the neighbourhood. He uses his working capital to buy in bulk to control the cost of supplies. He pays attention to the changing needs of her clients and stocks items to meet the demand. He has no employees yet. But he has clientele of contractors. He plans to expand his business by exploring growth opportunities. His attention to customer service has enabled him to build a

Alum processing plant

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LUM is a common name for aluminium sulphate. Used for purification of water,alum has a lot of applications - dying of fabrics, tanning of leather and in the paper industry. Apart from household consumers, industrial consumption of alum in the country creates a continuous demand market that can only be satisfied with the establishment of small cottage industries in different parts of the country. The main raw materials for alum manufacturing are bauxite and sulphuric acid, which can be sourced locally. Bauxite deposits occur in commercial quantities in Ondo, Cross River and Yobe states. The equipment required for alum production include the following - sulphuric acid tank, acid pump, jaw crusher, Evaporating tank, setting tank and digester. Production process for alum takes the following stages: Raw bauxite is fed into the crusher to reduce it to powder form. The powdered bauxite is mixed with sulphuric acid for a considerable length of time up to four hours. The solution is then released in a large settling tank and glue is added to enhance the coagulation of all suspended particles. The solution is then filtered into a concentrator for further concentration. Finally, the end product is poured into moulds for solidification as it cools. Quality is then tested and certified for the market. Site location must have water, elec-

loyal cadre of customers. He said by selling rods, he has been able to give his children good education and a good environment to grow up in. He also said new traders are welcomed. Entrepreneurship, he said, though rewards hard work, has many challenges.

Living his dream

By Edwin Agbaike

tricity and good access road, which is the basic infrastructure necessary for the smooth running of the plant. A three bedroom flat or an existing warehouse in a plot of land will be ideal for take-off. A small scale Alum project may cost about N350,000 to N1. 2 million. This amount can be scaled down or increased depending on the financial strength of the promoter. Potential investors in need of capital for implementation of this or any of our listed small scale project may get in touch for assistance. Investors can market the products through wholesale dealers on industrial chemical raw material dealers. Direct contact can also be made with industries that use the product extensively such as textile industries and independent small-scale fabric dyeing industries tanneries, manufacturers of baking powder and the paper industry. The plant capacity under consideration is estimated at 4,500 metric tonnes per year. On a capacity utilisation of 40 per cent, the plant first year revenue at wholesale price of N2,500 per metric ton will be N4,500,000. Since cost of raw materials is minimal, a profit after tax of 35 per cent is expected. The return in investment is high with a short payback period. The project is capable of providing employment for at least seven personnel. For more details contact krisedbrilliant@yahoo.com or call 08023381900.

•Lawal

A web content expert, Kehinde Ajose, dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur when he was in school. Now his dream has come true. He runs his own media firm. DANIEL ESSIET reports.

•Ajose

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VER since Kehinde Ajose was a student, he dreamt of two things: reviving entrepreneurship and empowering businesses. Today, he has achieved his dream. He is a media entrepreneur and runs a public relations /content development outfit called M.O.V.E Media. “ I work with and train authors, entrepreneurs, and showbiz practitioners to get more visibility for themselves and their businesses by leveraging the magic of publicity. I do this by helping them to leverage on the platform of the print media, social media, and E-commerce. “We also help small and medium enterprises(SMEs) to develop alluring content for their business to be irresistible in the competitive market space, “he said.

Besides, he is a blogger. He runs an inspiration and lifestyle blog calledKehindeAjose.com When did he start nurturing the dream of a business? ”I had always done business even though I didn’t give it much attention. As a student in the university, I was editing and proof-reading books for authors, selling books, writing articles for publications and profiting from my passion. In my final year, I just decided to take it serious and give it more attention. Like they say, the rest is history. We thank God for how far he has led us?” How much did he start the business with? He said he started with a laptop which cost about N55, 000. “I had a laptop, hope, and a network of individuals who were willing to support through referrals and words of mouth. But before the laptop came, go to the cyber café. I was not willing to make excuses in the pursuit of my dreams. It paid off at the end of the day,”he said. The business is growing. “The excellent service we render to our clients, and the positive feedbacks we get from them is what propels us to do more and deliver.I believe in the

‘Create a conducive environment for entrepreneurs’

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• An aide to Chairman, Badagry Local Government Area, Lagos State, Hositode Moses Dosu (2nd left) receiving a cake from beneficiaries of the council’s entreprenuership programme.

saying:, “Under promise, over deliver. It’s a growing business with huge potential for more success.” Is it expensive to start? He said it is not expensive. “ I started out with what I already had, a laptop and good will. It was easy for me to leverage on my media contacts, because I was writing for a couple of print media publications as a student. So, leverage is the key here ... using the little you have to achieve much. So, the mustard seed one has shouldn’t be underestimated , it has the capacity to grow into a forest. His organisation supplies firms with different types of content, including, recorded live events, original web content and books. For him, businesses need a catalyst to consolidate their market and creatively innovate. He knows what it takes to launch an entrepreneurial venture, but most importantly, how to keep the business going. He is doing well. His advice to young people who wish to be entrepreneurs is that they leverage resources and use them to their advantage.

HE Federal Government has been urged to provide conducive environment for new entrepreneurs. A financial expert, Mr Shola Sulyman, gave theh advice in OmuAran, Kwara State. He said the private sector can revive the economy. He called for the adoption of a corporate turnaround management strategy to save troubled companies and return them to solvency. “When we talk about corporate turnaround management, I am referring to the way we resuscitate failed or failing businesses. “It’s a complex and tasking service that demand expected results within weeks or months. “When a business or company is in crisis, either financial or management, you need to take a proper diagnostic approach to ascertain where the problem lies,” he said.

Sulyman, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Sash and White Consulting firm, said the high number of failed businesses had contributed to the increasing rate of unemployment and insecurity. He said the alarming rate of business failures in the Third World countries was not only crippling the economy, but affecting the citizens’ standard of living and their images. “For this reason, there is need to imbibe corporate turnaround management in developing economies and more especially in the public sector,” he added. Sulyman identified factors responsible for failure of businesses to include poor strategic choices, lack of financial discipline and obsolete business models. Other factors, he said, were economic recession, government’s intervention and disaster induced business failures.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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BUSINESS INTERNATIONAL Suisse undergoes painful US, Gulf states fight for c oil Creditbond surgery, survives markets control I T HE Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, are producing more oil than ever, showing that despite the United States’ crude oil production boom those Gulf states remain a dominant force in the global oil market, Financial Times reported. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, combined, set production records in July, August and September, according to new estimates provided by the International Energy Agency. Saudi Arabia set a record, producing 10.19 million barrels of oil per day in August, an increase of 10 percent since the start of this year. The UAE also set a record by producing 21.77 million barrels of oil per day in September, an increase of seven per cent since the

start of the year. Combined the four countries have produced 16.4 million barrel of oil per day during the third quarter. “Despite the shale revolution, the Middle East is and will remain the heart of global oil industry for some time to come,” Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist, said. U.S. oil production has increased 50 per cent by 2008 and that rapid increase can be attributed to the extraction of the commodity from shale formations, the Financial Times reported. Not only is the U.S. producing more crude oil, but they are also extracting natural gas. The U.S. is producing 14 per cent more of its own energy now compared with 2005, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency, or EIA. Thanks to hydraulic fracturing,

or fracking, and the ability to drill horizontally, oil and gas production in the U.S. has skyrocketed. Fracking is a drilling technique that blasts millions of gallons of water and chemicals to fracture rock formations deep beneath the surface and release petroleum. The drilling technique has been heavily criticised, and some environmentalists contend that fracking contaminates groundwater. Gulf states aim to invest profits from their production to maintain spare capacity, which the EIA defines the volume of production that can be brought on within 30 days and sustained for at least 90 days. This spare capacity has allowed the Gulf States to raise production to offset a number of disruptions across the Middle East and Africa over the past two years.

N spring 2009, senior Credit Suisse executive Gaël de Boissard told colleagues at a strategy meeting that as the bank reshaped its bond trading business, they needed to remember the five stages of grief outlined decades ago by psychiatrist Elisabeth KüblerRoss, Reuters has reported. Denial would come first, followed by anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance, he said. “It is hard to be present in every business line in a world where capital is expensive. You have to make some choices,” de Boissard, now cohead of the Credit Suisse investment bank, said in an interview with Reuters. Credit Suisse has been among the most aggressive banks in paring back its fixed income, currency and commodities trading business after the financial crisis. The Swiss bank winnowed down the 120 product areas it traded in to around 80, through consolidating some businesses and exiting others altogether. With Credit Suisse’s strategy now well set, it could be a template for other European and U.S. banks that are under increasing pressure from regulators to cut risk-taking, bank executives said. Banks are being squeezed on at least two fronts. Revenues are down by a third since 2009, but funding costs are higher because regulators are forcing banks to rely less on cheap debt to finance themselves, said Philippe Morel, a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. The big banks cannot respond by buying one another - the way companies in the steel, auto and pharmaceutical industries have done to reduce excess capacity - because regulators do not want banks to get any bigger, Morel said. The only real option left for most major

Twitter wraps up $1b IPO revolver

•From left: Olayinka Oni, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Nigeria, Akinsete Sunday; Adedoyin Kazeem, 1st place winners in Microsoft 9jApps Competition (Windows Phone Category) and Oyeshina Oyetosho, Developer and Platform Evangelism Lead, Microsoft Nigeria, at the prize presentation to winners in the 9jApps competition in Lagos.

How US shutdown affects Latin America’s trade, growth

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S the United States holds its breath waiting for the resolution on the shutdown, so does Latin America. The fiscal crisis that began two weeks ago with the closing of the U.S. government and could culminate in a U.S. debt default in a few days could have disastrous consequences for the United States’ southern neighbours, hurting the currency exchange rates and weakening the region’s growth. According to Reuters’ report, the U.S., still Latin America’s largest trade partner and investor, must decide whether it will raise the debt ceiling, currently at $16.7 trillion, or suspend payments to bondholders. If that were to happen, possibly as soon as October 17, the world economy would suffer another blow, starting in Latin America and the Caribbean. “The region is in a very complex situation due to the fiscal crisis and the shutdown,” Colombian financial analyst Juan Alberto Pineda told financial newspaper El Economista América. “The signals that are coming out [of Washington] do not look positive for Latin American exports, or an exchange rate that allows the region to compete in global trade.” “I fear that Latin America, already flooded by the excess of American dollars with no support,

will see a downgrade of its currencies,” he added, referring to the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy, which has made dollars available at near-zero interest rates for years now. This would not bode well for several Latin American currencies, which are among the most devalued this year relative to the dollar. The Venezuelan bolívar saw the third-biggest drop in the world and biggest in Latin America among currencies relative to the dollar, with a drop of 32 percent. Two Latin American economies with strong ties to the U.S., Argentina and Brazil, followed in second and third positions (18 percent and 17 percent devaluation, respectively.) The GDP growth of the region could also be severely hurt. According to the International Monetary Fund, Latin America’s GDP is expected to grow 2.7 per cent this year, the slowest rate in recent years. Managing Director Christine Lagarde said last week that the U.S. should make decisions soon to face the short-term fiscal uncertainties. “Latin America, which was growing at a faster pace than other regions in the world, is now facing an unsettling scenario,” said Fernando Gamboa, professor of economics at Universidad del Rosario, in Bogota.

Despite the grim scenario, analysts see a glimmer of hope regardless of what may happen in Washington. Both Gamboa and Pineda agreed that in the event of a drop in trade and exports towards the U.S., the European Union and China might be able to fill the void. China is already Chile’s the biggest trade partner, and Brazil and Mexico, the two biggest economies in the region, have already moved towards strengthening their relations with the Asian giant. Colombia has recently signed a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, and Ecuador has expressed its interest in following suit. Nevertheless, the situation in Washington has Latin America on the edge of its seat. Mauricio Cárdenas, Colombia’s Economy Minister, said to local newspaper El Espectador he was “astonished by the fiscal mess” in the U.S. “The U.S. has always lectured Latin America on the importance of keeping public finances in order — they should really show more stability in their policies,” he said. “But I do think [the U.S.] will do the right thing,” he added. “As Winston Churchill said, the U.S. always does the right thing, but only after having exhausted all other alternatives.”

banks globally is to voluntarily shrink to be sufficiently profitable, he added. Credit Suisse did not have a choice. The Swiss government, which was shocked by the nearcollapse of UBS AG in 2008, moved earlier and more forcefully than other regulators to require banks to rely less on debt funding and more on equity, which can cushion them better against losses. Even though Credit Suisse navigated the financial crisis relatively well and received no taxpayer bailouts, executives felt they had to face up to new rules and weaker revenue, and start cutting. They focused on slashing areas where their market position was weak and the capital requirements were high, such as commodities trading. If they did not make changes, Credit Suisse executives determined that the investment bank’s return on equity, a measure of the returns they wring from shareholders’ money, would have fallen to 10 percent from 19 per cent, an unacceptably low level. With the changes, they aim to get returns closer to 17 per cent. So far, the efforts have paid off Credit Suisse’s investment bank posted a return on capital of 18 percent in the first half of the year, as revenue increased 9 percent, helped by businesses including fixed-income trading. “Credit Suisse moved very quickly, to their credit,” said analyst Chris Wheeler of Mediobanca. “They’re getting much bigger bang for their buck,” he said. There are risks to Credit Suisse’s strategy. Businesses that the bank exits may come roaring back, and businesses that it stays in may produce less profit than expected. What’s more, rivals with weak hands may be slow to fold, reducing profitability for everyone else, analysts said

NLINE social networking tool Twitter Inc is finalising a $1 billion revolving credit facility ahead of its expected initial public offering, sources told Thomson Reuters. Reuters said Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank are leading the deal that backs the most highly anticipated go public transaction in the technology space since Facebook Inc. Representatives from the five banks declined to comment, Reuters said. Revolving credits, which are generally used to back general cor-

O

porate purposes and capital expenditures, guarantee access to funding for corporations. Companies are required to pay a commitment fee for the availability of capital even if the revolving credit remains undrawn. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank are also underwriters of the IPO, which was filed publicly on October 3. Twitter is expected to go public some time before Thanksgiving and has yet to determine pricing, according to Reuters, but analysts expect the company that posted a $69 million loss last year to seek a valuation of at least $10 billion.

Emulex deal uncertain as buyout talks continue

E

MULEX Corp has held talks with a few private equity firms, including Francisco Partners LP, Thoma Bravo LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP about selling itself, but a deal remains uncertain for the struggling chip maker, according to several people familiar with the matter. According to Reuters, the discussions with the private equity firms have been underway for the past few months, but have so far failed to lead to an offer that Emulex’s board would accept, the people said, asking not to be identified because they were not authorised to disclose details of the process. Some prospective buyers remain

jittery over potential legal liabilities of Emulex, which has been mired in a patent infringement lawsuit filed by bigger competitor Broadcom Corp (BRCM.O), some of the people added. Emulex, Francisco Partners, Thoma Bravo and Thomas H. Lee Partners declined to comment. The talks with the private equity firms highlight how Emulex has found it more difficult of late to attract interest from other companies in its sector. The Costa Mesa, Californiabased company, which sells chips that help computer servers and storage networks transfer data, rejected an $11 per share offer from Broadcom in 2009.

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BAF @ 50

• From left: Otunba Adebayo, Prof Awe, Erelu Bisi, Dr Fayemi and Senator Tinubu

•Erelu Bisi flanked by wives of other governors: Mrs Omolewa Ahmed (Kwara State); Mrs Ajimobi (Oyo); Mrs Olufunso Amosun (Ogun); and Dame Abimbola Fashola (Lagos), during her 50th birthday celebration, in Ado-Ekiti... on Saturday. •Continued from page 28

frame of mind to write anything. I started writing again a few months ago. “Even though I was not sure I would be able to accomplish it, God and my husband, who consistently encouraged me, made it possible. The book, Speaking above the Whisper, is inspired by a story about a friend’s aunt, who was described as rich and beautiful, never speaking above a whisper. I thought to myself that I don’t want to be remembered as someone who never spoke above the whisper. With the support of my late father, and my soul-mate, Dr Fayemi, I have made good use of my voice.” The books were reviewed by two African strong voices for change: the Chair, Department of Women and Gender Studies, Rutgers University, United States, Prof Abena Busia and the Executive Editor of The News magazine, Mr Kunle Ajibade. Describing the celebrator as a “social change agent”, Prof Busia praised her for writing her story, urging women to speak up against social ills. Speaking above a Whisper, the professor observed, speaks for itself. According to her, the 287-page autobiography, shares, among others, the triumphs and pain of women in nationbuilding and private stories of activism and

Garlands for the Amazon the organisation of a movement of African women. She said: “Bisi has been a mentor to so many of us. Our responsibility is to remember to tell our stories ourselves.” Ajibade named her, who serves as a Contributing Editor of The News, a “champion of the cause of African women”. Speaking for Myself, which is dedicated to countless African girls and women who need the voice and space to speak for themselves, is a compendium of essays, speeches, public opinions and poetic thoughts of the author, according to the reviewer. Written with “clarity of thought”, according to him, it argues diverse issues from the role of women in politics, activism, their citizenship rights, their portrayal in the entertainment industry and tributes to African women icons, among others. “As you read her contribution, you would not miss the tender honesty of her writing… Due to biological, social and economic factors, women in Africa suffer more from the conse-

quence of conflict and war. “How come, she asks, that women do not have the right to transfer citizenship to another national? "If you are a full citizen of a country, you should have the power to legally transfer citizenship. If the constitution says that you cannot, then your status as a full citizen is questionable,” he said. On the part of former Pro-Chancellor, Chairman of Council, University of Nsukka (UNN),

‘In politics, she is a trailblazer, showing women politicians and other first ladies all over the world that it is possible to use your office for many good things than just dinner parties’ - Leymah

Prof Bolanle Awe, BAF is a woman rights activist. “We are celebrating a young woman who has contributed a lot to the development of women in Africa. I knew her in the 80s at a time when women movement was taking another dimension. I have watched her since then with admiration.” Senator Tinubu called her a “passionate philanthropist.” “Wishing you the best of luck and the best of everything as you march on to the second phase of your life: good health long life and peace,” she said. The event, which was followed by a star-studded thanksgiving service at the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel the next day, was attended by Senator Femi Ojodu, and members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Adewale Omirin; Oyo State Governor’s wife Mrs Florence Ajumobi; Osun State Governor’s wife Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola; former Ekiti State Governor Richard Adebayo and his wife, Erelu Angela; former Lagos State Deputy Governor Mrs Sarah Sosan; Prof Modupe Adelabu; Odia Ofeimum; Prof Kole Omotoso and Joke Sylva, among others.

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82-year-old wins Nobel prize

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LICE Munro, the renowned Canadian short-story writer whose visceral work explores the tangled relationships between men and women, small-town existence and the fallibility of memory, won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday. Announcing the award in Stockholm, the Swedish Academy said Ms. Munro, 82, who has written 14 story collections, was a “master of the contemporary short story.” She is the 13th woman to win the prize. The selection of Ms. Munro was greeted with an outpouring of enthusiasm in the English-speaking world, a temporary relief from recent years when the Swedish Academy chose winners who were obscure, difficult to comprehend or overtly political. Ms. Munro, widely beloved for her spare and psychologically astute fiction that is deeply revealing of human nature, appeared to be more of a purely literary choice. She revolutionised the architecture of short stories, often beginning a story in an unexpected place then moving backward or forward in time, and brought a modesty and subtle wit to her work that admirers often traced to her background growing up in rural Canada. Her collection Dear Life, published last year, appears to be her last. She told The National Post in Canada this year that she was finished writing, a sentiment she echoed in other interviews. She also seemed to have finished paying attention to major literary awards, if she ever did in the first place. On Thursday morning, the Swedish Academy was unable to locate Ms. Munro before it made the announcement public, according to the Twitter account for the Nobel Prize. A phone message was left instead. Ms. Munro, who lives in Clinton, a town in Ontario, eventually found out that she had won while visiting her daughter in Victoria, British Columbia, who woke her at 4

AWARD a.m. with the news. Sounding a bit groggy, and at times emotional, she spoke with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation just a few minutes later by telephone. “It just seems impossible,” she said. “It seems just so splendid a thing to happen, I can’t describe it. It’s more than I can say.” She later added, “I would really hope this would make people see the short story as an important art, not just something you played around with until you got a novel.” Waking up to the news that Ms. Munro was the winner, her admirers were jubilant, especially in Canada. Stephen Harper, the prime minister, issued a statement praising Ms. Munro as the first Canadian woman to win the Nobel in literature. “Canadians are enormously proud of this remarkable accomplishment, which is the culmination of a lifetime of brilliant writing,” he said. On Twitter, congratulations rolled in from publishers, literary magazines and fellow writers including Margaret Atwood and Nathan Englander. “A true master of the form,” Salman Rushdie wrote. Readers used Twitter to send messages with Munro quotations. (“The constant happiness is curiosity” was one favorite.) Some people wondered if Ms. Munro’s honor was an indication that the short story was entering a golden age; most Nobel winners tend to focus on novels or poems. Ms. Munro knew that she wanted to be a writer from the time that she was a teenager and wrote consistently while she helped her first husband, James Munro, run a bookstore and raise their three daughters. She said she fell into writing short stories, the form that would make her famous, somewhat by accident. “For years and years, I thought that stories

• Munro

were just practice, till I got time to write a novel,” she told The New Yorker in 2012. “Then I found that they were all I could do, and so I faced that. I suppose that my trying to get so much into stories has been a compensation.” Her first collection, “Dance of the Happy Shades,” was published when she was 37. Throughout her career, she has drawn from the setting of her home of rural Ontario and frequently expanded on themes of sex, desire, work, discontent and aging. One of her collections, “The Love of a Good Woman,” won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1998. The Nobel, one of the most prestigious and lucrative prizes in the world, is given to a writer for a lifetime’s body of work, rather than a single novel, short story or collection. The winner receives eight million Swedish kronor, or about $1.2 million. Winners in recent years have included Mo Yan of China, in 2012; the Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer, in 2011; Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian writer, in 2010; and, in 2009, Herta Müller, a Romanian-born German novelist and essayist. Each year, a handful of the same names are floated as contenders, including the Americans Joyce Carol Oates and Philip Roth and the Japanese author Haruki Murakami. Mr. Roth and Ms. Munro were the subject of even more intense speculation than usual this year because they had

made similar recent pronouncements that they were finished with writing. The announcement continues a losing streak for American writers, who have been passed over for 20 years. The last American to win the prize was Toni Morrison, in 1993. While both are celebrities in Canada, Ms. Munro’s public profile stands in contrast to that of Ms. Atwood, the country’s other internationally known writer. Ms. Munro rarely speaks out on public issues, while Ms. Atwood uses her fame, and Twitter, to comment on causes like the environmental impact of Canada’s oil sands. But Ms. Munro’s low profile has not made her any less well known in Canada. In a statement released by her American publisher, Knopf, she paid tribute to the Canadian literary circle. “When I began writing, there was a very small community of Canadian writers and little attention was paid by the world,” she said. “Now Canadian writers are read, admired and respected around the globe. She said she was thrilled to be chosen for the prize, adding, “I hope it fosters further interest in all Canadian writers.” In an interview with The New York Times this year, Ms. Munro said that now that she is in her 80s, she isn’t as concerned about aging. “I worry less than I did,” she said. “There’s nothing you can do about it, and it’s better than being dead. I feel that I’ve done what I wanted to do, and that makes me feel fairly content.” Speaking to a reporter after the announcement of the prize, Peter Englund, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, said that Ms. Munro is capable of a “fantastic portrayal of human beings.” Whether she is really finished writing, he said, is up to her. “She has done a marvelous job,” Mr. Englund said. “What she has done is quite enough to win the Nobel Prize. If she wants to stop writing, that’s her decision.” In a brief interview with Nobelprize.org, Ms. Munro explained that she had decided to stop writing because she had been working since she was about 20 years old. “That’s a long time to be working, and I thought, maybe it’s time to take it easy,” she said. “But this may change my mind.” •Culled from New Yorker

NLNG literary prize: ‘It’s like a dream’

“F

inally, a winner has emerged for The Nigeria Prize for Literature, 2013 edition …” began the General Manager, External Relations of Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) company, Mr Kudo Ekesia. His statement was followed by a 10-second drop-dead silence that seemed like a long-10 minutes. When anxiety was almost splitting the hearts of the waiting audience made up of journalists and scholars, he looked straight at them, with a smile on his face, and continued: “The Sahara Testaments by Tade Ipadeola has been adjudged winner of the prestigious prize by the panel of judges led by Prof Romanus Egudu.” The announcement was followed by a thunderous cheer. The absence of Ipadeola and the two other contenders – Promise Ogochukwu and Amu Nnadi – did nothing to dampen the excitement in the air. The prize’s winner was announced in Lagos a day before 82-year-old famous Canadian shortstory writer Alice Munro, was named winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature, last Thursday. His work beat 200 others submitted for this year’s edition to emerge the winner. The 201 entries received were first pruned to 11 that included works by a debut woman poet, Iquo Eke (Symphony of Becoming) alongside that of strong voices such as acclaimed playwright Prof Femi Osofisan (Seven Stations up the Stairways); the National President, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Remi Raji (Sea of My Mind); Afam Akeh (Letter Home and Biafran Nights); Obi Nwakanma (Birthcry) and Amatoritsero Ede (Globetrotter and Hitler’s Children), among others. It was further screened down to three. Established in 2005, the prize, which is sponsored by NLNG, has since become a major toast of writers within and outside the country. Due to its mouth-watering $100,000 (N16million) giveaway prize, it now tops most prestigious literary prizes across the world. Last year, the prize, which was hitherto reserved for Nigerian writers living in Nigeria, was won by Belgium-based novelist Chika Unigwe, On Black Sisters Street, making her the first foreignbased Nigerian writer to win it.

•Ipadeola By Evelyn Osagie

AWARD This year’s process, which began like a marathon race with the call for entries made public in February, came to a close with the emergence of Ipadeola as winner. Although the prize is his biggest catch, he has also won other literary prizes. For instance, in 2009, his poem, Songbird won the Delphic Laurel in poetry in Jeju, South Korea. His collection, which is his third, was published by Hornbill House of the Arts, Lagos, is a sequence of 1000 quatrains on the nuances of the Sahara. The judges thought Ogochukwu’s Wild Letters had “high human relevance as reflected in her bold treatment of subject-matter such as the persistent menace of Boko Haram”, in addition to alerting societal leaders on their obligations to the under-privileged. It also underscoring a message of hope. Although those qualities got her a space on the final shortlist, the judges said, the collection was flawed by “errors of wrong word choice and the use of clichés, colloquialism, and prosaic language”, they said. On the other hand, Nnadi’s Through the Window

of a Sandcastle, according to the judges, reflects “artistic maturity, seriousness of thought, integrity and coherence, as well as the effective use of poetic devices such as imagery, irony and sound.” Nevertheless, the work is wanting with regards to quality of binding and print size and his themes are very private and personal; making the collection scanty on national or universal issues, they said. Ipadeola’s The Sahara Testaments not only scaled through the rigour of the competition, but earned him an elaborate compliment from the judges. As they rightly noted, the work is indeed “a remarkable epic”. Its intellectual touch may not be far-fetched, given his background as a lawyer. “On the whole, Ipadeola demonstrates an outstanding level of intellectual exposure and

knowledge, language use, and awareness of literature, which would be beneficial to Nigerian readers and writers alike...the book portrays a rare creative ingenuity with technical panache,” the judges said. Covering the terrain and people of the Sahara from the very dawn of creation, through the present to the future, the Sahara is used as the metonymy of the problems of Africa, and indeed the whole of humanity. They observed that: “True to the epic tradition, this work encompasses vast stores of knowledge in an encyclopedic dimension. It contains potent rhetoric and satire in topical issues and personalities, ranging from Africa’s blood diamonds and inflation in Nigeria to ‘contrite…Blair’…In fact, his use of poetic language demonstrates a striking marriage of thought and verbal artistry expressed in the blending of sound and sense. The work is replete with historical, geographical, and literary allusions and tropes. “The average reader, even an intellectual one, would initially find Ipadeola’s book difficult due to the numerous peri-phrasic terms, extraordinary and cryptic expression which tasks the readers’ understanding. This style is perhaps symbolic, not only for the grandeur of the epic tradition but also a way of defamiliarising the mundane...It is a profound articulation of a bold vision for the African continent and humanity at large. The use of quatrains throughout the poem is a unique and daunting praxis.” Asked how it feels winning the prize, he said: “It is like a dream.” With a mind of encouraging creative writing and reading, the judges urged writers interested in winning the prize in the future should pay attention to details. They advised that writers should ensure they are abreast with the mastery of the use in English, especially grammar. They added: “Writers should endeavour to produce highly creative, socially relevant, and serious works; pay close attention should pay attention to production details as in the strength, quality and standard of print and binding, and avoid use of dysfunctional and inappropriate decoration and other art works. The organisers said Ipadeola will be presented to the public at a date to be announced.

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U SA V I L The Babangida mystique

BOOK REVIEW

Title:

Ibrahim Babangida: The Military, politics and power in Nigeria

Author: Dan Agbese Reviewer: Clem Baiye Publisher: Adonis & Abbey Publishers

Pagination:

448

PINIONS about General Ibrahim Babangida, Nigeria’s military ruler from 1985 to 1993, tend to be polar opposites. Some see him as a brilliant, personable leader; others reserve for him more unkind epithets. The toothy smile, and the glad-handing pointed to one pole; the political somersaults pointed to another. How could a leader who promised so much and arrived as more than a breath of fresh air, leave office in such an untidy manner after the annulment of the June 12th, 1993, presidential elections? To say the writing of the biography of such a personality would be difficult is an understatement. Indeed, it would require a healthy dose of courage to set about the task. But if anyone has what it takes to embark on this arduous responsibility, it should be Mr Dan Agbese, formerly Editor, New Nigerian, longtime Deputy Editor-in-Chief and an ace columnist of the storied Newswatch weekly magazine. The journalist in Agbese, the masterly prose writer, combined with the equable commentator to produce a splendid biography-diligently researched, forthright but objective. From the list of interviewees and topics covered, this book could have easily stretched beyond its 448 pages, but it is just meaty enough. The book dwells at length on the life and times of Babangida; how he came to power and his economic programmes, foreign policy, including Nigeria’s military involvement in Liberia and the Technical Aid Corps. Though it covers many grounds, a vital omission is the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC). In 18 Chapters with a prologue and an epilogue, Agbese tells of Babangida’s early years from his

father’s roots in Wushishi to his own birth in Minna, his father’s adopted town. He seemed to have had a flair for popularity and generosity from childhood. Though Babangida describes himself as “compact and sturdy”, he tended to pull a crowd around him. The late Kere Ahmed, his boyhood friend, said of him, “He was the most agreeable person for all of us to converge around.” Interviews were conducted with over 50 persons stretching as far back as Babangida’s boyhood in Minna and Bida right up to the Nigerian Military Training College and beyond. But, like the complex character most people have adjudged him to be, Babangida promised to deliver documents relating to June 12, 1993 to his biographer but later reneged. “Anyone writing a biography is certain to confront tough challenges and frustrations. I had my fair share of those. Babangida was the main source of my frustrations. He gave me several appointments but failed to keep them after he left office. He promised me documents but failed to give them to me.” Agbese says he set out to explore the “Babangida mystique” which he attributed to his “complex character” with “towering contradictions.” Undaunted, Agbese’s intention is to present “a definitive biography”; bypassing the Babangida cottage industry of “criticism, more uninformed than informed.” How did he fare at the Government Secondary School, Bida? He registered as Ibrahim Badamasi only changing to Babangida, his father’s name on his return from India’s military academy. He rather liked the initials IBB- a good one for sub editor’s casting headlines but it would be a vaporous stretch to infer that newspaper headlines mattered to the young officer. At Bida, he played hockey, cricket and football. For his centre half defensive skills he was nicknamed Block Buster, one of several

Guide to investment

U S V A I L

O

N

IGERIA is Africa’s most populous country, and therefore a haven for investors. With a population of over 150 million, there is no shortage of market for any business. With immense opportunities for investments in power infrastructure, transportation, aviation, communication, agriculture, among others, Nigeria remains a country of choice for any discerning investor. However, not many potential investors know enough about Nigeria, the commercial climate, its people and what it takes to go into business in the country. There had been a gap in such knowledge. To bridge this knowledge gap, the book: Investing in Nigeria (A Country Business Guide for Multinationals and Entrepreneurs), compiled by a team of experts led by the Managing Partner, Oak Chartered Accountants, Mr Oluremi Oyekola, will be launched in Lagos next Wednesday. Investing in Nigeria is a 226-page book, with 14 chapters. The first chapter entitled: An Introduction to Nigeria, contains handson information about the country, such as location, constitution, postal and courier services, currency, holidays and festivals, religion and language. Among the sub-topics in Chapter One is the question: Why invest in Nigeria? Answering the question, the authors said: “In recent times, focus is being directed at non-oil exports and agriculture, which at present account for 30 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), to diversify the economic base. “Opportunities exist for the exploitation and export of natural gas, bitumen, limestone, coal, tin, columbite, gold, silver, lead-zinc, gypsum, glass sands, clays, asbestos, graphite, and iron ore, among others… “Nigeria has enormous resources, most of

BOOK REVIEW

Title:

Title: Investing in Nigeria (A Country Business Guide for Multinationals and Entrepre neurs)

Authors:

Oluremi Oyekola, Kofoworola Joseph, Okanlawon Olalekan and Olaleye Bisi

Reviewer: Joseph Pagination: 226

Jibueze

which are yet to be fully exploited. They include mineral, agricultural and human resources. “It also offers the largest market in subSaharan Africa, with a population of about 150 million. The Nigerian market potential also stretches into the growing West African sub-region.” Among the first concerns of a first-time visitor is how to easily obtain entry permits.

monikers he gathered. His teachers were reasonably happy with him. One described him as “humble, good in sports and very neat in appearance.” His command of spoken English earned him another nickname, MR BILL after the English teacher, Mr Bill. Nigerians were later to become familiar with that pacy style with which he delivered his presidential broadcasts. To be fair, one of his classmates believed strongly that Babangida was unduly favoured by the English language teacher! Two very important visitors called at Babangida’s high school, Government Secondary School, Bida. First, was the Northern Region’s Premier, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto, and later the Minister of State for Defence, Ibrahim Tako Galadima. These guests were in Bida to encourage the students to take an interest in pursuing careers in the military, particularly the army. Tako Galadima pointed the way to a military career for Babangida and many of Chapter Two of the book provides answers. It discusses requirements for procuring visa and permits, as well as immigration requirements for new companies. There is a treatise on gratis (courtesy) visa, visitor and transit visa, business, education and transit visas, temporary work permit, employment visa, return or re-entry visa, among others. The procedure for obtaining them is discussed. Immigration requirements for new companies are also treated, as well as multiple entry visa and alien registration card. Businesses do not exist in a vacuum. The authors, in the third chapter, explore legal and regulatory framework, examining institutions such as the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) and their roles. The book explains a unit of the NIPC, the One Stop Investment Centre, which provides coordinated and streamlined services for investors. OSIS is said to function with 26 other participating agencies, which are all explained. The chapter further discusses the Coporate Affairs Commission (CAC), its structure, processes and functions, as well as cost and other requirements for company incorporations. The money market and its institutions; discount houses which intervene in mobilising funds for investments in securities in response to the liquidity of the system; universal banking, commercial banks, community banks, among others, are also discussed. Not every investor would want to start a business from the scratch. The fourth chapter, titled: Acquisition of Businesses in Nigeria – Major Legal Issues, discusses the steps for establishing new companies in Nigeria with foreign shareholding, and appointment of directors. The fifth chapter: Basic Tax and Exchange Control Issues Relevant for Investment in Nigeria, is an eye-opener. It discusses no fewer than 25 sub-topics on types of taxes payable, as well as issues related to investment taxation. Nothing less is expected from tax experts. Having set up or acquired a business, the

his contemporaries. Four of his seniors were already in the army. Therefore, 14 boys (himself included) opted to travel to Kaduna to sit for the entrance examination into the Nigerian Military Training College. Some had misgivings as to whether they were merely infatuated or had sustainable interest in the army as a few preferred “more glamorous careers such as medicine, engineering, and law” thinking that the army was for “school dropouts and average students.” Babangida’s principal, Mr Skillbeck wrote: “He has had a very good academic career and has usually been top of his class… and he would be a very good army material.” If he was fated to join the Army, then some things conspired to place odds against him: First, was his inability to enter the Boys School (Nigerian Military School, Zaria) as his uncles vetoed his admission. Hence, he went to Bida for his high school education. Secondly, reports by his tutors at NMTC were not exactly glowing. The Chief Instructor was of the opinion that Babangida was “lively and conscientious” but an “average cadet” with an “unimpressive classroom performance”, placing 41 out of 60 cadets at NMTC. And when his report from India Academy rated him “average”, his commanding officer, Brigadier Samuel Ademulegun was not pleased. But better assessment followed as the battalion commander, Colonel J.V. Pinto rated him highly. “He exercises command effectively. He is tough and can stand up to sustained mental and physical effort.” Babangida chose the armoured corps because the officers had a “peculiar way of dressing” which attracted him. But on return to Nigeria from India he had to settle for Recce because there was no armoured corps. Years later, Babangida was to set up and head the armoured corps in a reorganization which he had been assigned by the Supreme Military Council under General Murtala Mohammed. But before then he had to pass through the probationary period ordered by Brigadier Ademulegun. After two reports, Ademulegun concluded; “The officer will, no doubt, prove a success and will certainly be up to the required standard.” His career in the army had found a good anchor as the plaudits started coming in. “A very cheerful officer who is always smart and alert….he has a bright future in the Nigerian Army” wrote Major Hassan Usman Katsina, later to be Chief of Army Staff under General Yakubu Gowon, in a confidential report. need for standard accounting practices is crucial. Chapter Six dwells on Accounting Record and Reporting. It also explains the Corporate and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) requirements, the annual financial statements and what it must contain. Chapter Seven, the heart of the book, gives in-depth analysis of the priority areas of industrial investment and procedure for obtaining relevant licenses. They include agriculture, manufacturing industries, export manufacturing, mining and mineral extraction, electric power production, among others. The free trade/export processing zone schemes (such as Calabar, Onne Oil and Gas, Kano, Maigatari, Banki and Lekki Export Processing zones) are also discussed, as were the import prohibition order, grant of special licenses, among others. Several countries are known for tourism, which largely sustains their economies. Nigeria has huge tourism potentials, but investment remains low. Chapter Eight, on Tourism, notes that many of the country’s tourist attractions “are still largely untapped and even in their raw state, are still being enjoyed…” It highlights the investment opportunities in transportation, hospitality, tour operations, as well as the regulatory framework, incentives and concession of land. Tourist sites and festivals are also identified. Pictures of interesting places follow, such as a spectacular lagoon front, the first storey building in Nigeria, etc. Infrastructure is the theme of the ninth chapter, which highlights investment opportunities in coastal, inland waterways and maritime transportation (as well as shipping and numerous port services); rail, aviation; energy and information and communication technology, etc. No business succeeds where the operators do not recognise and respect local customs. With pictorial illustrations, Chapter Ten explains local customs and traditions, language, religion, national pride, the family, communication style and business meetings/etiquette.

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The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

•Enugu Chambers’ Choir performing at the award night at Nike Lake Resort Hotel.

Onitsha monarch backs promotion of art

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2006 graduate of Painting from Auchi Polytechnic, Mr Henry Eghosa, has emerged the overall best winner in this year’s Life In My City Art Festival, at Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu last Saturday. He went home with a cash prize of N500,000. His entry, Fragments of unity, (oil on canvas) emerged overall best from top 25 selected entries from across 10 zones of the federation. Other winners who went home with N250,000 were Ajayi Toyeeb (best sculpture/installation/ceramics), Kemi Akinnibosun (best photography/multimedia), and Monsuru Alashe (best textile/graphics). The Justice Anthony Aniagolu prize for originality (N100, 000) went to Erasmus Onyishi, while Muoneme Izuchukwu won the VinMatin Ilo prize for best Enugu entry (N50,000). Falodun Oluwafemi won the $1000 PhotoAfrica prize, while Onyishi Candidus Chinagolum got the Art is everywhere prize for best waste-t-art (N50,000). No fewer than 12 other participants got N20,000 each as consolation prizes. Theme of the festival is Out of the frame, Out of the box. The best overall artwork, Fragment of unity, which is presented in a regular format depicts a roundtable conference in which a bespectacled dog spotting an Ijaw cap sits at the centre, flanked on both sides by a variety of mainly domestic animals, rodents, insects and birds. The seven-man jury, led by Prof Chike Anaikor, said Fragment of unity was chosen not because the young artist engaged with a relevant social theme in an out-of-thebox manner, but also because of his ability to manipulate a traditional medium in ways that have enabled him achieve his goal. The work emerged as the jury’s best based on its sardonic wit. According to the jury, this year’s prizes were keenly contested so much so that they found it very difficult to take decisions in some cases. Chairman, Life In My City Art Initiative, Elder K. U. Kalu, said the festival has lit a fire in the Nigerian art landscape, and that the fire has slowly but surely burned

•Igwe Achebe presenting the prize to the winner, Eghosa By Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor (Arts)

COMPETITION ever more brightly in the past seven years, gradually creating a unique platform for educative interaction and inner uplift and empowerment for both young and old. “There is no other event like this in Nigeria, either in form or in size, especially and exclusively for young people. Our long term aim is to grow that fire to a point where LIMCAF will become a unique international event bringing visitors to Enugu form all over the world. We aim also that the grand finale exhibition will in due course, traverse the major cities of Nigeria and become a truly national and all-inclusive centre point for youth art,” he said at the grand finale. The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, charged

patrons and collectors of art to show more interest and commitment towards sponsorship of artists and collection of Nigerian art. He noted that art cannot flourish without patronage. “So, artworks should be collected, especially those on display tonight. Also vital is the sponsorship of artists to workshop and seminars to enhance their creativity. The artists need lots of support. Art should be brought to the level of the man on the streets. And it is about time all stakeholders work out how to provide a befitting gallery for the arts,” he said. The award night was spiced by songs presentations by Enugu Chamber Choir. Earlier on Friday, a sponsors’ dinner was held at the City Park Hotel, Enugu to say thank you to the sponsors. Also, a photography exhibition, PhotoAfrica, featuring artists from across Africa, was held at the National Gallery of Art, Enugu. Theme of next year festival is The future I see.

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POLITICS

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

The absence of a zonal executive committee in the Southwest Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is hampering effective coordination of the six state chapters and preparations for future elections in the region. Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU writes on the protracted crises that stalled the zonal election and its implications.

When will Southwest PDP congress hold?

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S the All Progressives Congress (APC) prepares for the next governorship elections in Ekiti and Ondo State, the attention of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) leaders in the two states is diverted by protracted crises. The awful picture of a polarised party also stare the members in the troubled Oyo, Ogun, Ondo and Lagos chapters in the face. Since 2007, Southwest PDP has been battling with strife and rancour among its key chieftains. So far, there is no end in sight. Today, there is a bitter struggle for the soul of the party by two contending forces. The two camp-Bode George Group and Reforming Groupare working at cross purposes. In the latter group are the billionaire businessman from Ogun State, Prince Buruji Kashamu, former zonal caretaker committee chairman, Chief Ishola Filani, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Dr. Bode Olajumoke, Dr. Yomi Finnih, and Chief Segun Adegoke. George is itching to maintain his hold on the zonal chapter as the leader, but Kashamu’s group is erecting a roadblock. The thinking of the group is that the former deputy national chairman had sown a seed of discord in the party, owing to his overbearing attitudes. Out of the six zonal chapters in the country, Southwest is the lone zonal branch without a duly constituted executive committee. Although a caretaker headed by an acting chairman, Mr. Deji Doherty, is in place, it is weak in composition and personality. Ahead of the last rancorous national convention of the PDP, a date was fixed for the zonal congress. But it was later postponed indefinitely, due to the protracted litigation arising from the preparation for the zonal election. Three national offices-National Secretary, National Auditor and Deputy National Youth Leader-were zoned to the Southwest. The deposed National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, went to the court, challenging the basis for his removal. Without consultation with the zonal leaders, an Acting National Secretary, Dr. Remi Akitoye, suddenly emerged. When the national secretariat was inundated with complaints, the embattled National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, confessed that his name was suggested by George. He urged the aggrieved chieftains from the zone to show understanding, adding that Akitoye will only spend three weeks in office. Although Akitoye, who spent more than three weeks there, performed to the expectation, he could not be made a substantive National Secretary because he is not from Osun State, where the position was originally zoned by the party. Last month, the party approved the selection of Prof. Wale Oladipo, an Osun indigene, for the National Secretary, following the ruling of the court. A national auditor and deputy national youth leader from the Southwest also became members of the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC). However, the zonal congress is still put on hold. The implication of the absence of a zonal executive was felt at the last national convention. The seat of the PDP National Chairman (Southwest) was vacant. Since the zonal executives were absent, it reduced the number of delegates from the zone. The Southwest delegates went to the convention with acrimonies. The troubled chapters had longed for rec-

• Chief Obasanjo

onciliation, following their polarisation by personality clashes and conflict of interests among the stakeholders. Immediately Filani became the caretaker chairman, following the removal of Mr. Segun Oni as the National Vice Chairman (Southwest), he set up reconciliation panels across the six states. The reports of the committees are now ready, but there is no zonal executive committee to implement them. Many PDP chieftains have also complained Tukur that crisis resolution is failing in the Southwest PDP because of the void created by the lack of a zonal executive. The bond between the zonal caretaker committee and the troubled chapters is weak. For example, the committee has not been able to resolve the crises arising from the consensus option proposed by the party for the governorship nominations. The proposal has spark off disagreement among the governorship aspirants in Ekiti and Osun states. Former Works Minister Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, who reflected on the leadership vacuum on the zone, lamented that the party may not regain power, unless it puts its house in order. He observed that, in Lagos State, the monopolisation of the party organs by a caucus have edged out other groups. This, he added, has complicated disunity in the fold. Other chieftains-Finnih and Mrs. Modupe Sasorehave challenged George’s leadership, pointing out that his styles have contributed to the electoral misfortunes of the party. In Oyo, the warring groups revolve around the key leaders, including former Governor Adebayo AlaoAkala, Dr. Lekan Balogun, Senator Teslim Folarin, and Chief Jumoke Akinjide. Although the party has a senator and some legislators, it has continued to wobble on in an atmosphere of strife. In Ogun State, the forces loyal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo

• George

• Filani

have not accepted Chief Adebayo Dayo as the chairman, despite the court verdict affirming him as the authentic chairman. Although the former President had led a national reconciliation committee, the warring PDP chieftains in his home state have not sheathe their swords. In Osun, there is a bitter struggle for the governorship ticket. Other aspirants-Hon. Wole Oke, Senator Olasunkanmi Akinlabi and Chief Peter Akinbade-are united against Senator Iyiola Omisore. The ambition of the gladiators has polarised the party. Although the party leader, Senator Olu Alabi, has always said that all is well, it is a known fact that the contrary is the case. Lagos PDP is the hotbed of trouble. The chapter is made up of caucuses. But the crisis now is between George’s group and other groups. Finnih, a party chieftain, complained that the retired commodore had arrogated to him himself ‘party power’ and prevented other groups from critical deliberations and decision making. Some party members are now in court seeking the withdrawal of George as a Board of Trustees (BoT) member. They claimed that he is an ex-convict yet to receive pardon from the President. From the inception of this dispensation, the progressive bloc had capitalised on the weakness of the PDP. The Alliance for Democracy (AD) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) rode to power on the back of the PDP weakness and its inept leadership. The region has gain reputation as the stronghold of the progressives, having thrown up successful Action Group (AG), Social Democratic Party (SDP), AD and ACN heads of governments. Although the PDP displaced the AD governors in 2003, the victory was temporary. The PDP leaders mismanaged the disputed achievement. A party chieftain, who attributed the turn of events in the party to poor leadership, recalled that ACN bounced

back in the region because the party had less crisis. He said: “ Obasanjo’s influence as the President and the ineptitude of the former AD governors in the Southwest led to the takeover of five out of the six states in 2003. The PDP was stable in the Southwest between 2003 and 2007. Although we won these five states back in 2007, it was obvious that things were going to disintegrate. “ The court declared the governorship elections i n three states for ACN and the internal feud within the PDP in Oyo and Ogun states made the party to lose the two states to the ACN. Although this was not a sufficient reason to declare the Southwest an ACN zone, because when you add the votes of the PPN and PDP together in Ogun State, the PDP could have won. Also, when you add the votes of the PDP and Accord Party (AP) in Oyo State, the PDP would have won. The court verdict in Ondo, Ekiti and Osun were based majorly on technicalities. The membership of the PDP, which is numerically more and superior to those of the ACN, still remains so up to today. The problem of the PDP in the Southwest has always been bad leadership” Many chieftains blamed Obasanjo and George for the party’s misfortune, especially in post-2007 period. But other party members also exonerated the two leaders, saying that the party grew in leaps and bounds under their leadership. At one point or the other, George, the aggrieved members said, loomed large as the National Vice Chairman (Southwest) and National Deputy Chairman. “Owing to the support that Obasanjo gave him, which he later grossly abused, trouble started in the Southwest PDP. He engaged in individualistic approach. He was not interested in winning any election, but to exercise the strong and great powers the Presidency was according him to him and his cronies. That was the foundation of the crisis that started manifesting after the 2007 elections”.

‘The Southwest delegates went to the convention with acrimonies. The troubled chapters had longed for reconciliation, following their polarisation by personality clashes and conflict of interests among the stakeholders. Immediately Filani became the caretaker chairman, following the removal of Mr. Segun Oni as the National Vice Chairman (Southwest), he set up reconciliation panels across the six states. The reports of the committees are now ready, but there is no zonal executive committee to implement them’

Another chieftain said that the synergy between Obasanjo and George led the party to its doom in the region. The chieftain from Ekiti said: “One of the issues that contributed to the PDP’s misfortune is that the combination of Bode George and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’ imposed candidates on the PDP in the 2003 and 2007 elections. Although this error did not manifest between 2003 and 2007, but because it was repeated in 2007 elections, the resultant effect was the protest by the affected members of the PDP. Even, where elections were won in 2007 for patriotic reasons, it could no longer hold again. “Members and leaders were even supporting the removal of our governors in the tribunals and courts, thereby helping the situation in Ondo, where members went to the Labour Party to fight for Mimiko against Agagu, in Oyo where members preferred Ladoja to Akala, in Ekiti where the personality weakness and ineptitude of Segun Oni threw the entire state into disarray. Bode George was the cause of all these. All those governors were installed by him and Obasanjo in a way members and leaders of the party believed were undemocratic”. The members of the Reforming Group, including Kashamu, Filani, Finnih, Mrs. Remi Adikwu-Bakare, Senator Balogun, Senator Adeleke, Senator Bode Olajumoke, Mr. Ayo Fayose, Senator Omisore, Mr. Bisi Omoyeni, Chief Segun Adegoke, and Alhaji Afeez Gbolarunmi-tend to hold the same view. Some of them believe that George is not interested in the PDP winning any election in the Southwest in general and Lagos State in particular, adding that he has used his relationship and closeness to the corridor of power to corner everything that would have made the Southwest to prosper in the PDP. “ The Southwest PDP has now come to the reality of its problem and it is now determined to get itself out of the bondage Bode George and his cohorts, many of who are Board of Trustees, put it. That is why the concerned party members in the Reforming Group and all the state chairmen, except those of Lagos and Ekiti, have resolved to transform the party. Though the Lagos chairman is not among this group because of his allegiance to Bode George, majority of his executives are in this struggle. In Ekiti, the chairman, Makanjuola Ogundipe, is a lone voice in the executive. “A lot has been done by this group to revatalise the PDP in the Southwest. Almost all the members and leaders in the six states have been reconciled. The three national positions, National Secretary, National Auditor and Deputy National Youth Leader have been produced by these reforming group. The Yoruba are averse to criminality. Whosoever has been indicted one way or the other by the court cannot lead the Yoruba nation. That is why some leaders of the party in Lagos State, with the backing of the leadership of the PDP in Yoruba nation, have gone to court to declare that Bode George should cease to be a member of the PDP BOT and caucus of the PDP because an ex-convict cannot lead the Yoruba. It is against the Yoruba custom and civilisation”, said another PDP chieftain from Lagos. Many chieftains have also alleged that George and Obasanjo have mounted roadblocks on the road to •Continued on page 4

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

POLITICS Many politicians are hiding under legal technicalities to evade trial for corrupt practices. Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU highlights the impediments to a successful anti-graft war by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Combating corruption among politicians

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WILD applause greeted the es tablishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. But 10 years after, corruption is still soaring in the nation. Although the commission cannot be described as a tooth-less bull dog, its impact has not been greatly felt by the stakeholders. Corruption is on the increase in public life. The list is endless-electoral crimes, civil service pension fund scam, police pension controversy, fuel subsidy fraud, House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee scandal. Critics have argued that it is relatively easier to prosecute and jail people who stole N2 million than to invite for questioning big fish, who allegedly made away with billions. Thus, the slow progression of the anti-crime battle has eroded public confidence. Before the EFCC was established, development experts, who had established a linkage between graft in high places and failure of governance, warned that the country may continue to wallow in poverty and squalour, unless the bad eggs in the corridor of power are edged out. EFCC moved swiftly to track down the corrupt politicians and public officials, who have looted the treasury and enriched themselves to the detriment of other citizens. A searchlight was beamed on governors, ministers, National Assembly, boards and parastatals, civil service and private sectors, and others who were previously insulated from public scrutiny. However, politicians have devised a means of hiding under constitutional technicalities to escape justice. Also, EFCC had not achieved much when the Federal Government manipulated the process and turned it into an agent of intimidation and victimisation of perceived political opponents. To the right activists, the anti-corruption war had gone awry. A university teacher, Prof. Niyi Osundare, who had reflected on the anti-graft war, observed that a corruption-compliant ruler cannot rule a corrupt-free country. Another scholar, Prof. Itsey Sagay (SAN), expressed worry about the high tolerance for corruption by institutions set up to nip graft in the bud. He said corruption is a devastating quagmire, adding that Nigeria is hopeless because members of the National Assembly investigating corrupt charges against public officials are also taking bribes. “N16 billion was expended on power, but it ended with the probe of contracts involving the chairman of committee that was probing the scam. The chairmen and members of the committee probing the SEC and fuel subsidy are now under investigation. We are in a situation where we have to find a policeman to police the police. Corruption is destroying the country’s chance of development,” Sagay stressed.. Many have also expressed worry over the perception of corruption and corrupt leaders by the society. Osundare lamented that the former Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Chairman, Chief Bode George, was accompanied to the court when he was standing trial by drummers and praisesingers. After serving a two-year jail for corruption, he was also welcomed back with funfair. Apart from frowning at the red carpet reception, Osundare said clerics mocked religion when a church service was held for him in Lagos. “All these make Nigeria a moral desert, political jungle and haven for criminals”, he said. If the war had been fought according to the law, the university don said the sectors would have witnessed renewal. “All the disasters, road accidents, air crashes, Boko Haram violence; these clusters of calamities are traceable to corruption. Corruption

• Lamorde

killed the railway system, which would have reduced the pressure on the roads. “Why is the Nigerian road full of “tokunbo” cars and airspace racketing “tokunbo” planes. Where are previous reports? All we have is investigation without an end, recommendation without implementation and reports that are dumped”. To the university teacher, President Goodluck Jonathan has also failed to lead by example. He faulted the President’s position on declaration of asset, stressing that his “I don’t give a damn attitude” to matters of probity and transparency was condemnable. “How did the Permanent Secretaries have houses in Abuja, Lagos and their villages. These were the boys we taught in the universities. We know their tricks”, he added. But why is the EFCC unable to adequately discharge its duties with maximum results? A right activist, Debo Adeniran, leader of the Coalition against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), said: “What we have noticed is that the number of convictions being recorded in courts by these specialised agencies is not commensurate with the number of cases they have in court”. Last year, EFCC and ICPC claimed that they had over 1,500 cases waiting to be determined in courts. Out of this figure, not less than 65 are cases involving politically exposed persons; governors, ministers and others. “Our worry is why are these cases stalled in courts”, said Adeniran. The new EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Larmode, has reiterated the commission’s determination to prove skeptics that it is a tooth-less bulldog. Many think that the bravado lack basis, owing to certain impediments. His predecessor, Farida Waziri, who had explained the constraints to reporters in Lagos, painted an awful picture of the anti-corruption process. She

‘Many have also expressed worry over the perception of corruption and corrupt leaders by the society. Osundare lamented that the former Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Chairman, Chief Bode George, was accompanied to the court when he was standing trial by drummers and praise-singers. After serving a two-year jail for corruption, he was also welcomed back with funfair. Apart from frowning at the red carpet reception, Osundare said clerics mocked religion when a church service was held for him in Lagos. “All these make Nigeria a moral desert, political jungle and haven for criminals’

big suspects, have often delayed the litigation process. “Their counsel ask for frivolous adjournments to buy more time. They tender medical reports before courts and get permission to travel abroad, thereby wasting the time of the court and EFCC.” The former EFCC boss also condemned the culture of worshipping the corrupt officials standing trial by followers, who accompany them to the court with pomp. “They alight from their posh cars and wave at the crowd of supporters as if they are heroes worthy of emulation”, she complained, stressing that the process has indulged them. The only way out, said Farida, is to set up special courts for the speedy trial of criminal suspects who are ruining the economy. Many analysts have also objected to the plea bargaining, which has provided an escape route for fraudsters. Another human right activist, Lanre Suraj, complained that privileged suspects, who stole public money, are treated with kid gloves, unlike ordinary men, who stole five tubers of yam and ends up in 12-month jail. His colleague, Ayodele Akele, former governorship candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP), agreed with him. “They steal a huge sum and pay back a little in the name of plea bargaining. If somebody steals a handset, he is jailed for six months or a year. Why not jail corrupt politicians? This is double standard”, he said. In his opinion, plea bargaining for political and economic fraudsters must be removed, if it cannot be extended to the poor. On many occasions, ICPC and EFCC have said that many Nigerians lack an in-depth understanding of the operations of the agencies. They have argued that the agencies were not sep up to prosecute erring politicians and civil servants alone. Their mandates, they clarified, also extended to going after corrupt employees in private organisations. Right groups which have never disputed this however, have another axe to grind with the agencies. A Lagos lawyer, Supo Ojo, berated EFCC for sensationalise its complaints against suspects. He said, once a person is arrested by the EFCC, the public perception of him as thief may never be erased. “EFCC is heavy in the media. It is light in concrete performance of its statutory functions”, he said. Ojo supported Farida’s call for a special court to try corrupt leaders. Justifying the call, he alleged that the judiciary is an accomplice in attempts by politicians to evade justice. “A special court will give EFCC teeth. The present system is faulty and not much can be done. There are constraints like perpetual injunctions. we need dedicated courts and special legislations and sanctions must be heavy”, he stressed. It is believed by many that the antigraft war mirrors the stance of the federal government. Thus, Akele urged President Jonathan to give EFCC a free hand to operate so that it will not be a toothless bull dog Adeniran also urged the federal government to give the anti-corruption agencies a free hand to do their job without any influence or interference from the Presidency and the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation. A House of Representatives member Abike Dabiri-Erewa urged Nigerians to make use of the Freedom of Information Act. “Nigerians now have access to pubic accounts and they can demand for accountability. They can raise questions”, she said. A cleris and politician, Pastor Tunde Bakare, urged Nigerians to embrace the spirit of radical reformation. He also enjoined them to study how corrupt-free countries like Sweden , Denmark, Switzerland, Australia, Canada and Georgia conquered the cankerworm.

‘Houses of Assembly deserve autonomy’ Oyo State House of Assembly member Hon Ganiyu Waliu spoke with JEREMIAH OKE on the Ajimobi Administration, the prospects of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state and other partisan issues.

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PPOSITION parties in Oyo State are threatening to send Governor Abiola Ajimobi packing from the Agodi Government House in 2015. Are you not worried by the threat? That is their opinion and they are entitled to it. As far as I am concerned, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is waxing stronger on a daily basis in Oyo State. It is obvious that the present administration is led by people who understand the plight of the masses and cater for their needs. Going by the achievement of this government, I know that, in 2015, no party will be able to challenge our party at the poll. Our victory will not be limited to the states that we are controlling at the moment. It will be extended to other parts of the country. In the case of Oyo State, the record is there to speak for us. We are all aware of the massive developmental projects. We have transformed, reconstructed and repositioned the state in less than three years in office. It is what we can see and appreciate. The three major parties in the state have all ruled the state at one time or the another. And I make bold to say that our government remains the best, in terms of performance. During the Alhaji Lam Adesina’s regime, he recorded a landmark achievement. The present administration has also recorded a great achievement and, by the time he completes his second term in office, nobody in the history of the state will be able to match his achievements. So, I don’t know what the opposition parties have achieved that will make people to vote for them in this state. I consider it as a political statement. How will they do it? They don’t have any programme and they have nothing to offer. We saw what they did when they were in government. So, it is a mere threat. Would you say the legislative arm of government in Nigeria is performing its functions as expected? Generally, the legislative arm of government at the state level is lagging behind. This is because it is starved of fund. That is why we are clamouring for legislative autonomy. Among the three tiers of government, it is only the legislative arm that is not given enough fund to carry out its duties. The judiciary is receiving its own, the executive is getting its own while the legislature is not treated the same way. Lack of fund is, therefore, responsible for the non-performance by the Houses of Assembly. What I am saying is that, we are unable to perform our duties effectively because we don’t have the financial muscle. How would you react to claims by the opposition that the cost of the Mokola fly-over was inflated? Before any contract is awarded in the state, it is thoroughly scrutinised. There are processes, which the ministry must go through, before a project is awarded to any contractor. Meanwhile, there was a proposal on a similar project during the regime of former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, at the ministry of works. The money proposed for it was almost double the amount spent on the fly-over by the present administration. We need to appreciate the present administration for doing the right thing at the right time. Now, if Ladoja could say such a thing, why didn’t he construct such a fly-over during his own tenure? That is the question people need to ask him. There are fundamental questions we must ask people like Ladoja. We want to find out what he contributed to the infrastructural development of Oyo State when he was serving as the governor. Instead of criticising the people that are focused, doing their best to improve the living standard of the masses, he should tell them what he achieved during his own time. Sincerely, nobody can surpass our achievement in the state and, by the time the governor completes his second term in office, the good work, which the governor is doing, will be manifested to all. Representing Atiba, where Alafin Oyo comes from, is not an easy task because of his influence. What is your relationship with him? The Alafin is a father to me and he has been playing that fatherly role, since we assumed office in 2011. As his son, I do take advice from him. Many times, I have taken some decisions on his behalf before telling him and he has never turned down my decisions.

• Waliu

When will Southwest PDP congress hold? •Continued from page 44

the zonal congress because they knew that their candidates would lose at the election. Both leaders denied the allegation. But they also blamed the duo for the crisis in the zone. “Obasanjo and Bode George put the Southwest in this problem because the congress that produced their cohorts in the region were declared null and void by the court”, alleged another chieftain from Lagos. A member of the Zonal Caretaker Committee, who pleaded anonymity, said that “it is in the interest of the Southwest that the PDP conducts this zonal congress before the end of October”. He said, although the congress was tied to the national convention, recalling that, when it was discovered that there was no court order stopping the congress, the NEC empowered the NWC to fix a time for it”. “But up to now, the complaints are that there is no money and logistics. The large budget for the congress has become superfulous. Since it is the NWC now that will organise the congress, we are back to the status quo. The status quo is a five-man committee to conduct the congress in any zone. The PDP should note that there are two governorship elections coming up in Ekiti and Osun states in 2014. “Many detractors within and outside the PDP are combining together to ensure that there is no constitutionally constituted body to make preparations for the elections. And this will be disastrous for the PDP in the Southwest. It will be disastrous for all the elections also coming up in 2015, particularly the presidential election. Some people, with the assistance of those close to power in the Presidency are parading some ex-governors who are now in other parties and George as those to be used to win the presidential elections. This will not work because people are wiser now, unlike 2011 when the machinery of the party was ignored. The repercussion will be grave”, he added.

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

POLITICS Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi reflected on the proposed review of the revenue allocation formula in Ibadan, the state capital, at the opening ceremony of the twoday Southwest sensitisation on revenue sharing.

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Pitfalls of fiscal federalism

HE Southwest Geo-political zone has always been identified with strategic planning, focused development and methodical care for the future endeavours of its people. The enduring developmental impacts of our forebears in government were predicated on their intense passion for the socio-economic welfare of the people, as well as their development of marshal plans for the future of their people. In spite of the series of political challenges and geographical readjustments over the years, the Southwest remains the hub of progressive politics. As we all know, the hallmark of progressive politics is to proffer antidotes to the menace of mass poverty. Progressive leaders, vision-driven and passionate about the future of their people, are fired by the zeal to always prosecute causes that engender socio-economic emancipation of the downtrodden and the common man in their governmental environment. We are not oblivious of the fact that the Revenue allocation formula being employed for the distribution of our national resources among the federating units took its premise from the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are also aware that the formula took its essence from the modification orders which came about as a result of the Supreme Court Judgment of April 2002 in the case between the Federal Government and the 36 states. However, it is becoming evident by the day that the current fiscal structure which favours the Federal Government with 52.68 per cent of the total national revenue is at variance with, and certainly not in consonance with the reality of responsibilities of the other tiers of government. Cries against this inequitable distribution have been strident among federalism experts and nationalists. Yet, there is no respite at the moment. Efforts, severally and individually, had in the past been made to make the federalist avowal of the Nigerian Constitution to reflect its fiscal disposition accordingly. However, this desired result and effect have been elusive. The effort of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to use the power conferred on it by the constitution to review the revenue formula and principles in operation is commendable. It could not have been done at a better time, in order to have our fiscal regime conform with changing realities. Without prejudice to the wouldbe report of RMFAC, after this exercise, the realities of the contemporary challenges at the grassroots level would, no doubt, be unassailable to all. I am convinced that the challenges would force out the unison of opinion of all stakeholders that there is an urgent need for an equitable and a more acceptable revenue allocation formula. A formula that will be directed towards the economic imperatives of the nation, further its oneness and eschew unfairness among the various tiers of government, is no doubt a sine qua non for an equitable nation. Oyo State Government, like other States in this zone, would make her own presentation in the cause of this 2-Day sensitization programme. It would not be different from the corpus of agitations for fiscal equity. As articulated by federalists and as witnessed by us

• Gov. Ajimobi

in the administration of our respective tiers, the responsibility of governance, both at the state and local government levels, have become so enormous but frustrating for the operators. This has been necessitated by inadequacy of resources. One sole incubus implicated in this is the primary responsibilities of states and local governments that is being unnecessarily competed with by the Federal Government. Since the states and local governments are positioned strategically to identify the critical needs of the people at these levels of governance, duplication of efforts on the concurrent list should be reviewed, so as to allow each tier of government to concentrate on areas that will better touch the lives of the governed. Since the inception of this administration in Oyo State, efforts are daily being made to put human faces imprints on all the socio-economic welfare programmes and policies implemented by government, with a view to bringing governance and its essence closer to the people. This we started by advocating a style of governance and politics that is devoid of subterfuge and violence which we inherited, but rather a focus on development. We have spared nothing to ensure that security is not compromised as only peace can engender development. Earlier in the life of this administration, a joint secu-

rity outfit named Operation Burst, comprising all the security agencies in the state, was launched and, by now, its tentacles have spread to all the geo-political zones of the state. What we have now in Oyo State is a rest from the hitherto disorder and violence that stuck to us and our well-advertised pedigree like a leech. The state government is also hosting foreign investors more than ever before and yet almost on daily basis, new proposals are received to do business with the serene and peaceful New Oyo State. Just recently, a Canadian team signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state to invest over $1 billion in agriculture in our state. This could not have been possible in the hitherto atmosphere of brigandage and disorder. The attraction is also the massive infrastructural rehabilitation and construction being embarked upon throughout the length and breadth of the state. Investment in the future of our teeming youths has also evolved several youth empowerment programmes. Apart from the initial 20,000 youths employed by us almost two years ago, many more youth have passed through our skill acquisition centres. Both the education and health sectors of the State are also witnessing a revolution of massive rehabilitation and infrastructural development that is aimed at bringing back the old glory

‘It is becoming evident by the day that the current fiscal structure which favours the Federal Government with 52.68 per cent of the total national revenue is at variance with, and certainly not in consonance with the reality of responsibilities of the other tiers of Government. Cries against this inequitable distribution have been strident among federalism experts and nationalists. Yet, there is no respite at the moment’

of the Western Region. While this is not a forum for blowing the trumpet of achievements of this administration in the state, driving round the capital city, Ibadan and our major cities will confirm that, like our forebears, we are driven by a vision to bring the condition of living of our people to the acceptable standard for humans in the world. This forum is premising its gathering on the last presidential debate organised by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), where the President had promised to present whatever are the views of the general public on the subject of the proposed review of revenue allocation formula to the National Assembly, as would be submitted through the report of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission. This has given a hope that the agelong yearnings and aspirations of the federating units of this nation, in term of availability of resources for the respective responsibilities of governance, would soon be met. This is also the forum for all stakeholders to lend their voices to the desired devolvement of more financial resources from the center to the states and local governments. There is no doubt that some of the issues that would lead to the realization of this dream would require constitutional amendments. Necessary steps should therefore be taken to correct the present imbalance and unfair distribution of our financial resources. Both the existing vertical and horizontal allocation formula should be discussed for review. Apart from the vertical method which has favoured the Federal Government with 52.68 per cent of total revenue, the seven indices currently in use for the horizontal formula deserve particular attention. It is hoped that indices of general concern like equality and population (including density) is reviewed upward. I wish to particularly point out that the issue of crises of population, for example, should be given a proper attention as one of the relevant determining factors for revenue allocation. For instance, the last census figures which controversially puts Oyo State at 5.6 million is grossly understated and this might have been responsible for the unfair treatment meted to the state in terms of allocation from the Federation Account. In reality, the population of Oyo State is close to seven million, with a high range of density. It must also be mentioned that Oyo State has deposits of minerals in commercial quantities, with the Federal Government undertaking mining activities in the various parts of the state, albeit without the state benefiting from the 13 per cent derivation due to states where mining activities are taking place. I know that the South Western zone will have a coordinated view on this subject matter by the end of this sitting. I wish to assure the commission that the six states in this region will do everything possible to ensure that the objective of this sensitization exercise is realised. Our hope will then be for justice to be done. Once again, I thank the chairman and commissioners of the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMFAC) for bringing hope that will improve the economic future of all the federating units of this Country through this conference.

Monarch endorses Obiano

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HE traditional ruler of Obosi Kingdom, Anambra State, Igwe A C Iweka III, has endorsed Chief Willie Obiano, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the November 16 governorship election in the state. The traditional ruler said at this year’s Ofala festival at the AfoAdike Stadium, Obosi, that APGA has picked the right candidate, who is capable of expanding the vision of Governor Peter Obi. According to James Eze, Head of Media and Communication of Willie Obiano Campaign Organisation, the traditional ruler spoke while receiving the APGA team in his palace. He also pledged the support of his cabinet and the town in the proposed election. According to the monarch, although many people want the next governor to come from Anambra North Senatorial Zone, Obiano stands out as the best candidate. Earlier in his remarks, the APGA candidate, Obiano had assured Igwe Iweka III that he will ensure that the great work done by Governor Obi would be sustained. According to him, it would be unfortunate, if the tremendous progress the state had recorded under Obi is allowed to go down the drain because of lack of continuity in vision and commitment.

•Obiano

APC, PDP unite for Ogbara

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EMBERS of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have set aside partisan politics as they joined former PDP governorship aspirant in Ogun State, Alhaja Kafilat Ogbara, in a thanksgiving service in Lagos. Speaking at the ceremony, Ogbara, said: “All I can say is to thank the Almighty Allah for sparing my life in a fire incidence in Ogun State in February this year. I am also grateful to President Goodluck Jonathan, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Ogun State Governor Senator Ibikunle Amosun and all Nigerians, who stood by me during my six months sojourn abroad”. She commended Jonathan and Amosu for their quick response to emergencies in the country. “Governor Amosun, especially, stood by me. I am not a member of the APC, but he stood by me. Those with the fear of God should be made to govern this nation like Amosun. He is an excellent man”, she said. Obasanjo, who was represented by Chief Femi Majekodunmi, also expressed gratitude to God for sparing the life of the young politician, while paying glowing tribute to her. Amosun, who was represented by Mrs Funmi Ajayi, said the government will continue to ensure the security of lives, property and safety of her citizens during emergencies.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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RISIS rocking the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Ondo State has assumed another dimension following the election of Comrade Bunmi Eniayewu as its new President. Already, the aggrieved workers had formed a new group named Association of Local Government Workers (AOLGW) in replacement of the NULGE in the state. As a result of this development, the newly formed AOLGW has directed workers at the local government service to resign their membership from the Ogun State chapter of NULGE. It has also directed the Local Government Service Commission to stop the deduction of their check-offdues to the account of NULGE once they get their letter of resignations. But, the NULGE President, Eniayewu insisted that there were no factions in the union.

‘Why we formed new workers’ union’ From Damisi Ojo, Akure

He said NULGE in Ondo State has continued to remain a unified entity indivisible by any factor or issue of

election, adding that the union will continue to work as one. According to him, the just-concluded election into various positions of the union showed the true voice of over 13,000 work force of

Some of the leaders of the union were under investigation over allegations of gross misconduct and had been interdicted by the state government… We are tired of the set of leadership we have in the local government

Anambra community holds cultural fiesta

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BBA community in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State has held its new yam festival/cultural fiesta; setting a pace in cultural revival. At the fiesta, many traditional activities were competed for. These include cultural dances, yam exhibition, music, wrestling, songs and praises, among others for which Ndigbo are known. The event was conducted in the Igbo vernacular. Students who were best in their classes were given presents and winners of the various competitions went home with prizes like fridge, plasma television, electricity generating set; fan as well as cash prizes. The traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Leonard Nwankwo

From Odowgwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

Ezeh, who presided at the event, said “the fiesta was aimed at reviving their culture and tradition for the benefit of their children. The new yam festival is a general return so to speak for the community. He encouraged families to return home for the annual celebration of new yam and cultural fiesta each year as there are many things to learn from the events. Igwe Ezeh commended Chief Cosmas Agagbo, Augustine Egbe and Captain Ebele Edochie for sponsoring various prizes won by participants. He also praised those who brought food and drinks for the event, even as he urged other Abba

men and women to emulate them in upcoming events. Chairman Planning Committee, Mazi Alfred Chikelue Amasiani said the addition of the cultural fiesta during the Iwaji ceremony was an innovation to recapture the real essence of the event which, he said included bringing back the good old days of the community, projecting the community to the limelight and re-imbuing in the present generation a sense of pride. It is also, he said, aimed at making the young generation of Ndigbo realise that hard work pays. Senior Special Adviser to Governor Peter Obi on Religious Matters who is indigenous to Abba, Sir Anslem Okafor noted that “culture started in Abba and they have returned to set the pace for other communities to emulate.”

local government workers spread across the 18 local government areas of the state. However, the workers’ association, in a statement by its President, Mr. Isaac Fashina and Publicity Secretary, Felix Oteje said their resignation from NULGE would afford them the opportunity to join the AOLGW, an association which would fight for their rights from government. The statement also said the members of the AOLGW would no longer pay their check-off-dues to the account of NULGE once they resign their membership of the union. They particularly lamented the election which brought Eniayewu as President of NULGE, saying delegates’ list was improperly compiled. “We have 21 branches of which eight delegates would come from each of the branches to vote at the state level. To our amazement, some local government areas like Odigbo, Ese-Odo and Ondo West where there were no elections, the immediate past President went ahead to compile illegal list for the three branches. “We complained bitterly and even protested at the NULGE House; we were ignored simply because they have the support of National Executive who came to conduct the election. “They had to ratify their concocted lists for the election. On this note, we made our intention known that we cannot allow these men of questionable character to keep leading us and, of course, you need nobody to tell you that such people would not offer better things to the workers,” he said. According to the letter sent

through the Administrative Secretary, Local Government Service Commission, Fashina said the new association comprises at least 80 per cent of members of the Merit Group of the local government workforce. The statement reads further: “The decision to pull out of NULGE and form the new group was in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 which stipulates that ‘every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons; and in particular, he may form or belong to any political party or trade union.’ “Besides, the Trade Union Act Section 12(4) empowers us to belong to any association as it provided that “notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this act, membership of Trade Union by employees shall be voluntary and no employee shall be forced to join any Trade Union or be victimised for refusing to join or remain a member. “Some of the leaders of the union were under investigation over allegations of gross misconduct and had been interdicted by the state government. “We are tired of the set of leadership we have in the local government. Look at the restructuring exercise going on. We are the most affected and our leaders can’t do anything about it because most of them are also guilty. “Many of them are guilty of misappropriation, age falsification and they cannot face the governor to make case for others because the governor does not want to see their faces and we have been clamouring that we should have a change of leadership.”

Honour for Okorocha’s aide in Lagos

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OR her relentless effort and doggedness in public service, the women wing of the Imo State Towns Development Association, Lagos (ISTDAL) has honoured the Special Assistant to the Imo State governor on Lagos Liaison, Hon. Lisa Asugha, with an award of “woman of excellence and distinguished leadership.” The award ceremony which held during the 5th Imo Women Summit/10th Year anniversary of the association in Lagos served as a showcase to harness diverse ideas for the women to reason together on how to improve the society through home management. In her words of appreciation, Asugha expressed delight for the honour and gave the assurance that the award would not only show a sign of her hard work in public service, but will, as well, spur her to put in more effort in the discharge of her duties. Also commending the organisers for their wisely thought-out plan in developing Imo women in Lagos through such summit and workshops, she pointed out that it would help in making them be self-employed as well as being employers of labour. Highlighting most achievements capped by the Rescue Mission administration, Okorocha’s aide further solicited for the women’s support to wrap the present government’s projects and goodwill for the people of Imo State. “Our governor’s thought for Imo State is one that would bring smile on the faces of our people. We’ve seen so far how he has been able to

•Governor Okorocha and Hon. Asugha achieve in less than three years what most governors that stayed in office for eight years couldn’t achieve. What governor Okorocha needs from us all at this time is our support and prayers; then Imo will remain better.” Earlier in her address, the President (ISTDAL) women’s wing thanked Hon. Asugha for deeming it worthy to honour them with her presence, and also for enlightening the women on the progress of the

state so far since Governor Okorocha’s assumption of office. She thanked Professor (Mrs) Mopelola Omoegun for her well delivered key lecture, themed: “Good Parenting and Empowerment.” Present at the occasion included President of the Imo State Town Development Association, Lagos, Mazi Tony Ohakwe, Professor (Mrs.) Mopelola Omoegun and Engr. Chinasa Ego-Osuala, among other dignitaries.

Our governor’s thought for Imo State is one that would bring smile on the faces of our people. We’ve seen so far how he has been able to achieve in less than three years what most governors that stayed in office for eight years couldn’t achieve

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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We believe that fundamental changes can only come to Nigeria through the actions of Nigerians who we recognise as the agents of change. In essence, we believe that we are the change we have been waiting for…We accept that the task will be extremely difficult; but we believe that we can succeed if we draw strength and inspiration from each other

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IGHT House Group, a nongovernmental organisation, has organised a charity fair and fun day for over 25 civil society organisations at King’s College, Victoria Island, Lagos. The civil society groups were So Said Charity Home for Vulnerable Persons/Offspring, Gheto Love Empowerment Foundation, Freedom Foundation, Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria, and The Bloom Cancer Care and Support Centre. They used the occasion as a showcase for their works and activities for well-meaning Nigerians to support them. Speaking at the event, a member of the organising committee, Segun Akerele said that the fair was meant to bring to the fore the humanitarian efforts of individuals and provide a platform for support and expansion of their works. He said: “We believe that fundamental changes can only come to Nigeria through the actions of Nigerians who we recognise as the agents of change. In essence, we believe that we are the change we have been waiting for.” Continuing, he said: “We accept that the task will be extremely difficult; but we believe that we can succeed if we draw strength and inspiration from each other. It is this search for strength and inspiration that has brought us to these extraordinary Nigerians we propose to support and celebrate and who are featured in the programme.” He noted that the need to support hard working and dedicated Nigerians who are willing to dispassionately look at the problems honestly is imperative for nation building. Speaking at the event, the Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator, Freedom Foundation,

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NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation (NGO), the 1 GAME Campaigns has said it would partner Borno State government in the execution of some of its educational programmes for the benefit of the people. The Project Development Coordinator, 1 GAME Campaigns

•Members of the Ghetto Empowerment Foundation at the event

Group organises charity fair By Adeola Ogunlade

Rose Azuike said that the foundation is aimed at providing education for orphans and vulnerable children, providing services and education for young women who are victims of

sexual exploitation and providing vocational training and business for the unemployed. Azuike, who reeled off its programmes and partners to include Genesis House, Freedom Funds Empowerment, Bethesda Child Sup-

port Agency and King Solomon’s Micro-finance Bank, said that they are meant to reach out, give hope, rehabilitate, educate and empowered the impoverished people in Nigeria. In a chat with Newsextra, founder

of Gheto Empowerment Foundation, Eric Obuh said that the foundation was formed in order to provide Ajegunle children basic needs, empowerment and create appropriate health awareness for the community. He said: “We have be able to reach out to over 500 children in terms of provision of scholarship, medical aids, school kits and other social needs of the children in the community.”

NGO, Borno to partner on education By Jude Ochang

Agafi Kunduli, disclosed the stand of the organisation during a meeting in Maiduguri with the

Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Inuwa Musa Kubo. He stating that 1 GAME is committed to offer a platform to enhance primary school enrolment as well as support the state in its

• From right: Vice-Chairman, Surulere Local Government Area, Hon Sulaiman Balogun; wife of Chairman, Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area, Alhaja Ashabi Bamgbola and Supervisor for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Ronke Balogun during a Town Hall Meeting on Maternal and Child Mortality Reduction Programme in Surulere, Lagos

educational programmes. Kunduli further said that during its visit to the state, 1 GAME had seen first-hand, the efforts of government in improving education, even as it noted that such inputs require the synergy of policy makers, non-governmental organisations, international agencies and the civil society in order to achieve results. Commending the 1 GAME Campaigns for embarking on the visit, Alhaji Kubo said the expectation of the state is high. He expressed his hope that the organisation would play its role in order to contribute to the development of the educational sector in Borno State, explaining that the state had recently built a strong relationship with 1 GAME and hoped the visit would strengthen the relationship. Alhaji Kubo promised that the government will partner 1

GAME in the overall interest of the state. Addressing elders and residents of Bama-GRA communities and representatives of 1 GAME Campaigns at a meeting, the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima said: “My administration will start paying all parents from the Northern part of the state that will enroll their children in school in order to acquire western education. “All the schools burnt down by terrorists that stood at over 800 classroom blocks would be renovated.” According to him, the increasing case of poverty orchestrated by lack of access to education led to the insecurity in the state. School enrolment in Borno State is the lowest in the country with only 28 per cent of school children attending primary schools.

My administration will start paying all parents from the Northern part of the state that will enroll their children in school in order to acquire western education. All the schools burnt down by terrorists that stood at over 800 classroom blocks would be renovated

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

NEWS

Aba rally: Organisers demand N10m from Orji

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EMBERS of the Nigeria Rescue Missionaries, organisers of the aborted prayer rally in Aba, have demanded a refund of N10 million they claimed to have spent on logistics for the event that never was. They also asked for an unreserved apology from the Abia State government. The clergymen, who described the last-minute cancellation of the event as shocking and embarrassing, insisted that the meeting was a spiritual gathering and not a political event as insinuated. Addressing reporters in Owerri, the National Chairman of the body, Pastor Daniel Jacob, said the group was a religious movement committed to the welfare, peace and unity of the nation through intercessory prayers for the leaders and the nation. Quoting from the Holy Bible, the cleric said: “We are God’s messengers sent to rescue the nation through prayers. Our group is not a political movement but a spiritual body. We are clergymen committed to the unity of the nation and good governance.” According to him, the choice of Aba as the venue of the prayer was not politically- influenced, but was made because of the low traffic in Abia State. “We had planned to hold the event in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. We had even secured a venue before we considered the traffic situation and changed our plans be-

•’Governor’s action shocking’ ‘Why we stopped Okorocha’s birthday’

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HE Chairman of the Abia State Polytechnic Governing Board, Prince Christopher Enweremadu, has clarified the issues that led to the stopping of the birthday party for Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha. He said it was for the benefit of the students. Speaking with The Nation in his home at Ngwaukwu in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government, Enweremadu said an unauthorised head of department collected money from a prayer group seeking permission to hold prayers at the institution’s pavilion. He noted that the group was said to have paid for the pavilion, undermining the disturbance the session would cause students who were having their semester examinations. The board chairman said: “On hearing the information, the Students’ Union Government (SUG) President, Miss Sandra Ejimadu Livinus, went to the organisers and told them that the programme would clash with their examinations, as the noise would disturb them.” He said the organisers told the SUG presiFrom Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

cause of our members, who would be coming from the North and other parts of the country. We chose Abia State because it is centrally- lo-

From Ugochukwu Ugoji-eke, Umuahia

dent that they had paid for the venue. “She then went to the polytechnic authority and urged them to reconsider the permission because of the ongoing examinations.” Enweremadu went on: “On the basis of the information before us, the board and management of the school cancelled the permission, to create a conducive atmosphere for the examinations.” He said the polytechnic was embarrassed that the cancellation of the prayer that was done in good faith, received a political colouration. Enweremadu said: “I use this medium to clarify that the institution is an autonomous entity with the right to take decisions in the interest of the students and whatever we do should not be attributed to the government. “I advise the Imo State governor to spend more time addressing the problems in his state, instead of joining issues and creating an unconducive environment in a neighbouring state.”

cated and we chose Aba because of its low traffic,” he said. Pastor Jacob said although Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha was invited to be

presented with a birthday gift by the group, it was not a political meeting or a guise to launch the All Progressives Congress (APC) as alleged.

Debunking an allegation that the organisers did not fulfil the requirements to organise such an event, the cleric said the group complied with the rules. His words: “The purpose of this news conference is to let the world know the truth. We paid N150,000 for the venue, sent letters to the commissioner of police, the state director of the State Security Service (SSS) and other security agencies. The letters were received and acknowledged. “We were shocked when a few hours to the event, we were told by the police that based on an order from above, the event had been cancelled.” Pastor Jacob said: “We are demanding that Governor Theodore Orji should refund N10 million to the group and tender an unreserved apology for the embarrassment and pains his government caused us. We are clergymen, we may not do anything as the politicians, but we will leave vengeance to God. “If he has any issue with his colleague, he should not have punished the clergymen in that manner.”

UMUAHIA in Abia State will be agog today as the Skill Acquisition Centre, Umuahia, hosts philanthropists, government officials and other visitors. Over 150 amputees will be fitted with polio calipers, artificial-legs and limbs, courtesy of Abia State governor’s wife, Mrs. Mercy Odochi Orji. She has touched many lives through her humanitarian projects. The latest gesture will be the second and final phase of a well-conceived project, nurtured and executed by Osinulomaramma through her NonGovernment Organisation (NGO), Hannah May Foundation, in concert with Tolaram Charity Foundation and Welfare Charity Foundation. Like the first phase in December last year, the second phase will seek to give out free functional polio calipers, artificiallegs and limbs to the affected people, who cannot afford to pay for them. Amputees, who will throng the Skill Acquisition Center on wheel chairs today, will go home walking on their feet.

Row over plot to relocate Imo Library Board From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

Amaechi’s ally takes on Wike From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

A

N ally of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Emma Chinda, has urged the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, to always speak as a minister. Chinda, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Rivers commissioner for Agriculture, yesterday in Port Harcourt expressed surprise at Wike’s condemnation of the state government’s banana plantation in Ogoniland. The National Coordinator of the Ogoni Solidarity Forum (OSF), Celestine AkpoBari, also urged the Rivers people not to take seriously, the minister of state for Education and a former representative of the Rivers South East Senatorial District, Lee Meaba, an Ogoni. AkpoBari, also a human and environmental rights activist, yesterday in a telephone interview, said the Ogoni people would never see Meaba as one of them; having failed the people for the eight years (2003-2011) he represented them. The minister of state for education is the grand patron of the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI). Wike, Meaba and other GDI leaders and members were in Tai-Ogoni Local Government on Sunday, where the minister and senator condemned the banana plantation.

Orji’s wife lifts amputees

•Director-General, Rivers Tourism Development Agency, Mr. Sam Dede (left), with some media executives after their meeting on 2013 Rivers Carnival in Port Harcourt... yesterday.

Businessman escapes attack in Onitsha

A

N Onitsha, Anambra State businessman, Chief Godwin Okeke, the proprietor of GUO Motors, yesterday escaped an attack by unknown gunmen. A source said the incident occurred at the GRA when Okeke was returning from

T

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Onitsha

work around 6:45 pm. He was reportedly trailed by the suspected assassins to his GRA home. Okeke was not in the vehicle when it was at-

tacked. He returned home 10 minutes earlier and sent a driver on an errand in a black Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). The suspected assailants opened fire on the SUV. Anambra State police spokesman Emeka

Chukwuemeka confirmed the incident. He said the command was on the trail of the suspected assassins. Chukwuemeka urged the residents to give the police information that could lead to their arrest.

THE plan by Governor Rochas Okorocha to relocate the 60-year-old Imo State Library Board has been criticised by the board’s workers and relevant organisations. There is a disagreement between the government and the state council of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Allied Institutions (NASU) over the move to relocate the board to a new place in Owerri, about five kilometres from the Government House, Owerri. The state Chairman of NASU, Nze Obinna Okafor, who addressed reporters on the looming face-off, said although the union was not opposed to government’s plan to move the board to a new place, it was irked that it was being taken to an obscure, uncompleted building not conducive for reading.

Ex-Aba North council chair, three others arraigned for bribery

HE former Transition Chairman of the Aba North Local Government, Chief Appolos Alozie, has been arraigned before an Umuahia Chief Magistrate’s Court for allegedly offering bribe to influence his appointment for a second term. The court remanded him and members of a syndicate, which defrauded him, in prison custody. The ex-council boss was arraigned for offering N4,450, 000 paid through an Access Bank account 0008035473 to Uche Stanley and his group, who had claimed that they could in-

•Remanded in prison for alleged bribery From Ugochukwu Ugoji-eke, Umuahia

fluence Governor Theodore Orji and his son, Chinedu Orji, an engineer, to re-appoint him as a council boss. Alozie was said to have committed an offence punishable under Section 509 of the Criminal Code, Cap. C.38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. The syndicate comprising Uche Ogbusuo, 35, Henry Madubuike, 37, Joseph Imo Kalu, 36 and Agwu Ukariwo now at large, allegedly

conspired and obtained the money from the former council chairman between May and August to influence his reappointment. The accused were alleged to have tricked Alozie into believing that they could restore him as the Transition Chairman of Aba North Local Government. The syndicate reportedly induced the ex-council boss to part with the huge sum, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 1 (1) (a) Cap. A6, Vol.1 of the Advance Fee Fraud and

Other Related Offences Act, Laws of the Federation 2004. The first accused, Ogbusuo, who was the secretary of Ochendo Youth Foundation (OYF), was said to have impersonated Orji’s son, Chinedu and made Alozie to believe he could restore him as a council chairman. Alozie lost his job as Aba North council boss last year, following allegations of high-handness and fraud. He reported the matter to the police after he was denied reappointment by Orji. The defence counsel argued that the accused

should be granted bail, citing health reasons. He added that he should be granted bail based on his “personal integrity”. But the prosecuting police officer, Samson Onyemuche, said: “A man, who allegedly paid such a huge sum of money (to get political appointment) cannot be said to have integrity.” Denying the accused bail, Chief Magistrate John Ukpai ordered that they should be remanded at the Federal Prison, Afara Umuahia till October 28 and November 4 for Alozie and the 419 accused.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

54

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 14-10-13

Equities emerge with best return, beat fixed-income securities

Q

UOTED equities have scaled up to the top of returns table among investment securities as sustained rallies continued to build up real positive return on investment for equities. The Nation’s check showed that most fixed-income securities opened this week several notches below average equity return, with gap as wide as five percentage points in some instances. Average return by equity stands today 31.95 per cent, 10 per cent above fixed-income benchmark Monetary Policy Rate of 12 per cent and some 23.75 per cent real return above current inflation rate of 8.2 per cent.

Official data by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) showed that 91-day Nigerian Treasury Bills currently carry a yield of 10.85 per cent while three-month tenor deposit rate of banks stand at 8.04 per cent. Average inter-bank call rate stands at 12 per cent. The Nation’s market intelligence shows that bonds currently have coupons of between 4.0 per cent and 19 per cent, indicating the yield spread within the fixed-income segment. Coupons or interest rates within the corporate bonds segment ranged between 10 per cent and 19 per cent. The Tower Funding Plc bond carries the highest rate of 19 per cent.

In the sovereign bond segment, the five-year tenor Federal Government of Nigeria April 2015 bond has the lowest interest rate of 4.0 per cent while the long-term bond due for maturity in 2022 has the highest rate of 16.39 per cent. Sub-national bonds-comprising mainly of bonds by state governments, indicated return range of between 10 to 15.5 per cent. Market analysts said the improvement in returns at the equity market could lead to bandwagon gains as late adopters follow the track of the bullish rally. Analysts expressed the optimism that equities would sustain its lead noting that substantial upswing would remain,, in spite of expected profit-taking transactions. According to analysts, some stocks still trade below their intrinsic value and are a pick for bargain hunters and value investors.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 14-10-13

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

55

MONEY LINK Total signs $7.5b loan pact with banks

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OTAL Nigerian contractors’ Total Exploration & Production Nigeria Ltd and Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd agreed to borrow $7.5 billion from eight Nigerian banks, Bloomberg report has said. “It’s meant to finance local contractors and suppliers. It’s in line with Total’s development program for local contractors,” Charles Ebereonwu, Total’s spokesman in Nigeria, said. Banks have increased lending to finance oil, power and infrastructure projects after returning to profit from near-collapse in 2008 and 2009. Lending to the oil industry increased as smaller producers expand drilling. Companies such as Londonbased Heritage Oil Plc and Lagos-based Neconde Energy Ltd. bought stakes in fields owned by Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) Plc, Eni (ENI) SpA and Total, Nigeria’s fourth-largest oil and gas producer. The eight lenders providing the $7.5 billion facility for Total’s contractors are Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Ecobank Nigeria, Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank, United Bank for Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, Access Bank and Fidelity Bank, Ebereonwu said. Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, Exxon Mobil Corp., Total and Eni pump about 90 per cent of Nigeria’s oil through ventures with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

US stocks decline as lawmakers race to reach debt deal

CBN: 11 banks handle forex sales to pilgrims

E

LEVEN banks were selected by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to handle foreign exchange (forex) sales to pilgrims travelling for this year’s Hajj. The banks are Union Bank, Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa, Fidelity Bank and First City Monument Bank. Others are Unity Bank, FirstBank, Ecobank, Sterling Bank, Skye Bank and Keystone Bank. A circular to all authorised dealers signed by CBN Director, Trade and Exchange Department, W.D. Gotring, pegged maximum Personal Travelling Allowance (PTA) sale to

U

Stories by Collins Nweze

intending pilgrims at $1,000 at a flat rate of N146 to a dollar. The apex bank also said no commission shall be charged by banks for the sale of the PTA between the approved $750 to $1,000. The issuance of the PTA was done in Lagos and Abuja. According to the CBN, the funds of the respective banks shall be debited as soon as the funds are disbursed. Also, each of the designated banks is required to sell to the CBN, the

•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido

unutilsed PTA. Gotring advised the designated banks to comply accordingly.

Mobile money: Western Union, eTranzact partner

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HE Western Union Company and eTranzact International Plc have announced the launch a new mobile money transfer service. The firms said in a statement that consumers who use the eTranzact mobile money platform now have the option of receiving Western Union money transfer transaction on their mobile phones. The facility allows consumers to receive funds from money transfer transactions initiated at Western Union transactional websites in 23 countries, or Western Union agent locations around the world. “Western Union continues to introduce new service offerings to complement our multi-product, multi-channel strategy,” said Western Union Regional Vice President for North, Central and West Africa, Aida Diarra.

She said the firm is excited to partner with eTranzact to increase the number of access points for consumers to use its services worldwide, facilitate financial inclusion, and provide convenient mobile solutions for those who want new methods for money transfer transactions. “To date, we have 19 active mobile money transfer deployments in 17 countries, and remain committed to expanding our mobile service offerings in key regions,” she said. eTranzact mobile money is a mobile payment solution that has multi-network interface capabilities with third-party payment programmes. Upon receipt of funds via a Western Union Money Transfer transaction, subscribers can use PocketMoni, the eTranzact mobile money platform, to pay utility and cable television bills, make merchant

DATA BANK

FGN BONDS Tenor

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

payments, top-up their mobile phone credits and/or make third party transfers. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, eTranzact, Mr. Valentine Obi said: “We are excited to work with Western Union and leverage the power of their global network on behalf of consumers across Nigeria.” He said eTranzact mobile money service such as PocketMoni, is specifically designed to transform a user’s mobile phone into a highly interactive, feature-rich payment device. He said the firm’s relationship with Western Union will allow for daily access to money transfer transactions. He said Western Union money transfer capability to the platform is another step in building a comprehensive suite of mobile services, and enhances our customer value proposition.

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Offered ($) 350m 350m

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Quotation Price N8250.00 N1000.00

NIDF NESF

OBB Rate Call Rate

Current Market 5495.33 N552.20

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

SYMBOL

O/PRICE

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 3-10-13

FO CONOIL CUSTODYINS ACADEMY FIDSON CADBURY UAC-PROP AIICO DANGFLOUR CONTINSURE

2013-10-11

48.00 28.80 1.62 1.89 2.10 51.60 16.01 0.87 9.22 1.12

C/PRICE 2013-10-14

52.92 30.24 1.70 1.98 2.20 53.91 16.69 0.90 9.50 1.15

%CHANGE 10.25 5.00 4.94 4.76 4.76 4.48 4.25 3.45 3.04 2.68

LOSERS AS AT 3-10-13

SYMBOL UBCAP TRANSEXPR COSTAIN THOMASWY WAPIC IKEJAHOTEL UNITYBNK AFRIPRUD LEARNAFRCA SKYEBANK

2013-10-11

O/PRICE 1.40 1.32 1.10 0.91 0.96 0.75 0.58 1.86 1.70 4.40

2013-10-14

C/PRICE 1.33 1.26 1.05 0.87 0.92 0.72 0.56 1.80 1.65 4.30

350m

Year Start Offer

Current Before

Current After

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8

Date 2-7-12 27-6-12

113m

113m

155.7

22-6-12

NGN USD NGN GBP

147.6000 239.4810

149.7100 244.0123

150.7100 245.6422

-2.11 -2.57

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

212.4997

207.9023

209.2910

-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

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%

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX

CUV Start %

%CHANGE -5.00 -4.55 -4.55 -4.40 -4.17 -4.00 -3.45 -3.23 -2.94 -2.27

Amount Demanded ($) 150m 138m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

NITED States stocks yesterday declined after a four-day rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as Congressional leaders worked on competing deals to raise the federal debt ceiling two days before the deadline. Bloomberg report said the S&P 500 fell 0.3 per cent to 1,704.26. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 65.31 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 15,235.95 yesterday. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was 6.9 per cent above the 30-day average at this time of day. Head, Trader at Greenwich, Connecticut-based NorthCoast Asset Management LLC, Frank Ingarra, said by phone: “It’s all news driven from what’s going on in Washington.” His firm oversees about $1.8 billion. “On minute we are closer to it and the next minute we are farther apart. In the short-term there is going to be this up and down because we are so near a high, and I would imagine it is not going to break through that high until we have a deal,” he added. The S&P 500 closed at the highest since September 19 yesterday after a four-day rally gave it the biggest advance since January and left the gauge within 16 points of its Sept. 18 record of 1,725.52. Meanwhile, the dollar advanced against the euro for the first time in three days as the House and Senate worked on competing plans to end the two-week government shutdown and keep the US from exhausting its ability to borrow money. Australia’s dollar and South Korea’s won led gains among the greenback’s 16 most-traded peers as congressional leaders wrangled over a resolution of the political deadlock in the world’s biggest economy two days before the debt-limit deadline.

NSE CAP Index

19-09-13 11.432.09 35,891.90

23-09-13 11.494.75 36,088.64

% Change -

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH BGL NUBIAN FUND BGL SAPPHIRE FUND CANARY GROWTH FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST FBN FIXED INCOME FUND FBN MONEY MARKET FUND KAKAWA GUARANTEED NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE INVE STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL

Offer Price 159.15 9.17 1.18 1.16 0.75 1.39 1,000.00 100.00 1.00 1,833.94 13.64 141.19 11,004.94 0.80

Bid Price 158.38 9.08 1.16 1.16 0.74 1.33 1,000.00 100.00 1.00 1,828.14 12.97 140.70 10,680.29 0.78

• ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUNDARM AGGRESSIVE

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK

Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

Movement

THE NATION WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 16, 2013

56

NEWS (SHOWBIZ)

Synagogue drama feathers Jim Iyke’s love story •P-Square

Day Nigerian pop singer schooled bankers

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By Victor Akande

HE growing trend in the entertainment industry is an attraction to investors, given the reason the Federal Government has put up series of intervention funds to help the industry to grow. And despite the absence of structures necessary for auditable businesses, the success of some Nigerian artistes remains a case study for staff of Nigeria’s apex bank; the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Peter Okoye, one-half of twin singers, P-Square, tells his story, during a lecture organised for a set of new recruits at a CBN seminar, last week. Reports say Okoye, was invited to motivate the new employees, while sharing his success story as a pop star. The twin artistes, who combine energetic choreography with sonorous rhythm, are known to be the most popular Nigerian singers in Africa. Having spent over a decade in the Nigerian music industry, with their ability to create and manage wealth for the period, the group won the heart of the bank as an entrepreneurial model. A statement from the bank records that P-Square’s feat is rare, especially in an era where most musicians are known to fall off, as fast as they rise to the top. Along with his twin brother, Peter Okoye has released five chart-topping albums, won multiple awards, sold out concerts, gained international recognition and become a household name within and outside Nigeria.

Jazz promoter takes ‘Ileya’ show to 1004

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By Ovwe Medeme

ODAY, residents of the prestigious 1004 estates in Victoria Island Lagos will be treated to an event experience tagged Play@1004. Put together by event and show promoters, Inspiro Productions, the event is expected to be a showcase of Jazz, Hip-hop, Soul, Afrobeat, poetry, spoken word, comedy, dance and lots more. Acts expected to put up performances at the show include Ego, Agboola Sadare, Dapo Dina, Ebisan, Adepiper and the jungle bois, Lekkihood’s Finest, M-Gabriel, Obadice. Comperes are Mazino of Smooth 98.1fm and Yacoba of igrooveradio. DJs Lami and Ray Browne will also be on hand to dish out contemporary and classic songs. According to Ayoola Sadare, CEO of Inspiro Productions, the event is supported by Smooth FM, Mansard Insurance, The Jazz Hole, NAIJAZZ music, Metro FM, Moxtra works and Configure.

•Ego

M

ANY still believe that the public was merely treated to a drama, the day Jim Iyke was said have fallen to the ground several times at the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN). If indeed that was fictitious, a sequel is already trending, with the actor’s stylish marriage proposal to Ghanaian actress, Nadia Buari. Buari, the fair-skinned screen diva, played up the romantic lines on her tweeter handler, capturing them in a story that makes a good prose: “What kind of wedding would you like?” he asked, and stole another kiss before she could reply. “…The kind that turns you into my husband.” She touched the firm line of his mouth with her fingers. What kind would you like?” He smiled ruefully, saying: “A fast one.” Reports on the actor’s visit to the church indicated that he was being delivered of a negative spirit that has prevented him from getting married. A two-minute video on the church’s website shows the actor struggling with several officers of Pastor TB Joshua, the head of the church, as they fought to keep him still. The session, as shown in the video got the thespian sprawling on the floor, after falling several times, and shouting incoherent words. Notable actor Segun Arinze was among those who felt that the Jim Iyke encounter at SCOAN was a charade. He said: This Jim Iyke’s deliverance video at the Synagogue trending looks too contrived. It’s a big embarrassment. Has anyone ever seen demons come out live and speak? Una fit stand demons? Una carry Nollywood enter Church, abi? How much did he get paid? I’m just wondering...” Film producer Charles Novia also expressed his reservation. “I just feel that deliverance issues are personal. Not with cameras and klieg lights. De demon na star? All I can

actor. And now goes the undaunted thespian, whose most recent tweet may suggest that indeed, his conviction about the SCOAN deliverance has opened his eyes to the strength of his love for the Ghanaian actress: “For years, she stands in the space beside you in the eye of dark storms. She makes something as unfathomable as love seems easy.

She is the one. Heaven testifies,” he wrote. With unbelief, many still feel that both actors are merely playing a game with the public, with pointers made to Iyke’s current reality show tagged ‘Jim Iyke Unscripted.” The actor and businessman, with a personal thirst for the arts, in a recent interview with The Nation had described his new TV series as a confluence of his life. But SCOAN may just score a point, and put the criticisms to an end if Iyke finally makes real, his vows to Buari, in spite of odds. What started as a secret relationship between the two has now snowballed into an open affair. Iyke’s most celebrated relationship was with Jamaican Keturah Hamilton, which many thought would end up at the altar after six years of sizzling romance. Buari is known to have a love child for Ghanaian footballer Michael Essien with whom her love story had earlier revolved.

•Davis

•Roberts

his skill in kungfu. Roberts’ stagecraft is one attribute that has endeared him to fans. The artiste first stepped onto the stage at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak, Michigan,USA. He has appeared on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, BET’s ComicView, and ‘It’s Showtime’ at the Apollo. He has performed his stand-up all over the world and was the recipient of the BET Robin Harris Award for Most Original Comic. Davis on the other hand won the Comedy Central Laugh Riots Competition and was the biggest hit on the Cedric the Entertainer Tour. Best known for his role as Ray-Ray the Hustle Guy in ‘Barbershop and Barbershop 2: Back in

Business’, Davis has also appeared in other films, including ‘Semi-Pro’ and ‘21 Jump Street’. The visiting comedians are expected to perform with Africa’s comedians including Ndumiso Lindi of South Africa, Uganda’s Salvado and Nigeria’s top comedy acts; Basketmouth, Ali Baba, Bovi, Okey Bakassi and Akpororo. Others are Klint de Drunk, Buchi, Gordons, Funny Bone, Bash, Emeka Smith, Julius Agwu and Sim Card. The telecoms operator said the comedy sessions will be spiced with the best of Nigerian music, with a line-up that will feature PSquare, Lagbaja, Wande Coal, MI, Burna Boy.

•Buari and Iyke

‘What kind of wedding would you like?” he asked, and stole another kiss before she could reply. “…The kind that turns you into my husband.” She touched the firm line of his mouth with her fingers. What kind would you like?” He smiled ruefully, saying: “A fast one.’ By Victor Akande

say is that ‘whatever floats your boat, brother’. Better send those poor women you have dated to same church for same.” “I have long trained myself not to be swayed by public opinion. Now, I am ten times stronger in my conviction. To helpers, critics, cynics, sceptics, God is in charge,” replied the

Foreign comedians in Nigeria... what experience?

A

S indigenous telecommunications company, Globacom, continues to build the hype of its coming comedy show around American top comedians, Tony Roberts and Deeray Davis, who may arrive in the country soon, the impact of proximity in joke appreciation became a topic of discourse among some event managers who were enjoying a casual time at an Ikeja, Lagos Public Relations firm yesterday. “Nigerian music and comedy have come of age,” said Dare, who pointed out that, “gone are the days when club bangers were foreign hits. And so is our comedy which helps us to laugh off the harsh reality of our pains as a nation where almost everything is in comatose. Without undermining the intelligence of Nigerians, jokes by Americans may be too elitist.” Dare’s view did not appear to go well with Clem’s who thought that the story of America, is the story of the world, using the Madea comedy series as an example of a comic programme that is loved by many Nigerians. Madea is themed after morality and other social issues, wherein the woman/man character, a no-nonsense protagonist uses subtle, comical means to communicate his radical approach, as a change agent. “Unlike music and literature, other genres of the art like movies have

By Victor Akande

not been able to enjoy total local patronage by Nigerians,” opined Kunle, who seemed to agree with Clem. He also faulted most local comedians whose jokes are sometimes abusive and centered on poverty and hardship. Kunle was of the opinion that, while comedians in Nigeria serve as comic relief to the hardship suffered by citizens, there are a thousand and more inspiring topics that the world could grow on. The debate appeared to be pitching the Nigerian comedians against the visiting comics, who have been slated to perform at the Glo’s annual show called ‘Laffta Fest’. And these entrepreneurs seem to be shelving their bet until after the show. Roberts and Davis are expected in the country later this week for the Globacom’s special Laffta Fest shows, Invasion LOL. Touted as Nigeria’s biggest comedy show ever, the event, which is in two phases, will take place on Saturday, October 19, at the Expo Centre of Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island Lagos, while the second leg holds in Abuja at the popular Thisday Dome October 25. In a promotional tape on the show, Roberts said, “Nigeria, how now? Join me at the Eko Hotel on October 19 and Abuja on October 25 for the Glo Laftafest shows”. He ended the promo skit with a comical display of

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

57

NEWS

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AMCON to take over Tinapa

HE Asset Management Cor poration of Nigeria (AMCON) is to take over the management of Tinapa Business Resort following an agreement with the Cross River State government for the transfer of its controlling interest in Tinapa. By the agreement, AMCON is to buy back Tinapa ‘s debts totaling about N18 billion and also provide the sum of 26billion for the revi-

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

talization and resuscitation of the Resort to reposition it as a private sector driven enterprise. The matter it was learnt has been presented to the Cross River State Executive Council and the transfer approved premised on the fact that a private sector holding in Tinapa would provide the needed platform for the revitalization of the project

and the state will be relieved of the huge debt burden. The Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly Larry Odey who informed members through a secular with reference no SSG/GSA/300VOLXV1/223 and captioned Re-Approval for the Transfer of controlling interest in Tinapa Business Leisure Resort to AMCON said the development is a thing of joy to the people of the state.

Retirees urge Fed Govt to revert to old pension scheme

S

OME retirees from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka have urged the Federal Government to revert to the old system of pension scheme which ensures a substantial payment of gratuity. The group, who are mostly junior staff and comprising retirees from 2007 to date, made the demand in a statement signed by their chairman, Mr Patrick Okafor. They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the present pension scheme was not favourable to them. The retirees said a greater number of them had passed away due to lack of money. “The new pension scheme allows pension managers to pay retirees only half of his or her gratuity, while the other half is kept with the managers. “The only advantage the new scheme has is that retirees receive their money as at when due, while

T • From left: Chairman Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Mr Mitee Ledum, President Goodluck Jonathan, Chairperson Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) International, Clare Short and Executive Secretary of NEITI, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed during the courtesy visit to the State House, Abuja. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

Maritime security: Dutch Navy partners Nigeria

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HE Netherlands Navy yes terday said it is willing to partner with its Nigerian counterpart to ensure that adequate maritime security is provided within the Gulf of Guinea in order to encourage maritime trade. Director of Trade and Industry Support of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Rear Admiral B. Bekering who made the disclosure while leading a team of officers from Rotterdam to the Western Naval Command, WNC, Lagos, said The Netherlands is a trading nation and it is the navy’s desire to ensure there is free flow of trade by providing proper security at sea and coastal waters. While being received by the Flag Officer Commanding, FOC, WNC, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, Bekering said the presence of the Netherlands Warship within the Nigerian water was for diplomatic reasons, particularly to further trade. In his response, Ibas called for in-

By Precious Igbonwelundu

ternational participation to ensure that adequate security that will further trade is provided at the Gulf of Guinea. The Netherlands Navy ship, HNLMS Rotterdam while in Lagos will participate in the military exercise tagged ‘African Winds 2013’. The Dutch Vessel, it was learnt is in Nigeria as part of the African Partnership Station (APS) programme for Maritime Environment Workshop. A statement from the Embassy of Netherland said the vessel will in addition, participate in the ‘African Winds 2013’ deployment to highlight the importance of regional security, as served by the Royal Netherlands Navy and its international partners. The Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria, John C.M. Groffen, said: “For the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria, strengthening

our bilateral economic ties is a top priority. This visit is characterised by the combined focus of strong economic relations, and constructive cooperation in the field of regional security. These are core topics of this embassy.” Around the visit of the HNLMS Rotterdam, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, said it is organising a number of topical meetings and events, such as a business forum for maritime businesses from Nigeria and the Netherlands. The APS is an international initiative developed by United States Naval Forces Europe-Africa, which works cooperatively with US and international partners to improve maritime safety and security in Africa as part of US Africa Command’s Security Cooperation programme. It is a strategic programme designed to build the skills, expertise and professionalism of African militaries, coast guards and mariners.

• From left: Kazeem Obigbesan; Abolade Agboola; Ayodeji Oladunjoye and Ademoyo Ibikunle, the N1 million winners of Glo ‘Recharge to Stardom Promo’ at Glo’s head office in Lagos.

in the old system the retirees receive a substantial amount of money as gratuity. “But now some pension managers now give only a third of the gratuity to retirees and do business to enrich themselves with the remaining twothirds,” they alleged. The retirees said it was completely embarrassing to them as retired civil servants who had served in various capacities to better the country. “By the new pension scheme, the Federal Government failed to realise that not all retired civil servants were able to build a home for themselves before retirement. “We never had any agreement with government nor with the pension managers that our benefits be kept with pension managers to do business with. “So, we are begging the Federal Government to look into our pitiable case and kindly bring back the old pension system,” they said.

Fed Govt, NTDC, LCCI partner to lift tourism

HE Federal Government, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) are collaborating to lift the tourism sector so that it could become another money-spinner for the nation. To achieve this, the Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke and the Director General, NTDC, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo will be guest speakers at a symposium designed to motivate Nigerians to embrace tourism on Thursday. In a statement, the chairman of the LCCI group, Mr. Larry Segun-Lean said the Tourism symposium this year would consider “how 160 million Nigerians have communicated culturally, artistically, innovatively in the last 100 years.” He disclosed that the theme of the symposium, ‘Nigeria Arise for Tourism’ was carefully chosen as a pointer to the need for the nation to diversify her economy and be less reliant on crude oil and commodities.

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor

“We cannot afford to continue the downgrade of the tourism sector as a proven economic driver and job creator,”Segun-Lean stated, adding that the event would create the paradigm for Tourism development, assessment and “dimensioning’ of the current status of the sector.” He submitted that the tourism market could no longer be ignored with its estimate of four to six billion US dollars for domestic tourists locally that would provide global insights into what foreign tourists expect from Nigeria.” He also said that the symposium will help galvanise all tiers of government to take pragmatic action on tourism development in order to improve internally generated revenue, reduce poverty and develop infrastructure through Public-Private Partnership. Other speakers billed for the event include the Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Affairs in Lagos State, Mr. Oladisun Holloway and the Secretary General, World Tourism Organisation, Mr. Taleb Rifai.

South Africa banks in data breach

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SOUTH Africa’s banks have suffered tens of millions of rand in losses due to a major breach of customer card data by criminal syndicates that infected electronic point-of-sale (POS) terminals using a variant of malicious software called Dexter. According to NewsCentral Media, it’s not known exactly how many POS terminals were infected by the malware, but the problem is believed to have been widespread in the fast-food industry. It’s understood from a source with knowledge of the situation that chicken fast-food chain KFC has been particularly hit hard by the Dexter infection. The South African Police Service (SAPS), Interpol and Europol are all involved in a multinational investigation to bring the syndicate or syndicates responsible for the data breach to book. South Africa’s banking risk intelligence centre, Sabric, is managing the forensic investigation and working with the SAPS, where a case docket has been opened. No South African suspects have been arrested so far. Payments Association of South Africa CEO Walter Volker confirms to TechCentral that the breach, which affects most of South Africa’s cardissuing banks, is significant — running into tens of millions of rand — and is at least on a par with an incident last year involving payments company PayGate, in which thou-

sands of cards were compromised. The Dexter incident, however, affects a “broader environment”, Volker says. South Africa’s banks first noticed “unusual levels of suspected fraud” starting to occur at “certain fast-food outlets” earlier this year, Volker explains. “This highlighted reasons for concern, although the numbers were still low.” However, a forensics company was appointed to begin analysing “some of these incidents”. An incident response committee was created, consisting of all the affected, cardissuing banks, as well as global payments companies Visa and MasterCard. The committee has worked “through 99% of the issues” and is now in the process of “cleaning up and keeping a list of possible new incidents”. “It took quite a while to get to the bottom of [this incident], because it was not the standard Dexter malware, which has been around for a while, and which many antivirus software programs can pick up,” Volker says. “This one was a variant that was changed to [avoid detection] by the antivirus software.” He explains that the infection came from overseas, possibly involving a syndicate based somewhere in Europe. “That’s still part of ongoing investigation.” He’s also reluctant to disclose how the breach occurred until the investigation has been concluded.

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CITYBEATS Church begins conference today 'Help, my son is dying'

THE annual revival conference of Foursquare Gospel Church (FGC), Omole, Lagos, will start today. The five-day programme, with the theme, Created for His Glory, will have Rev. Sam Aboyeji (Warri), Rev. Dr Tope Oni, Rev. Sam Omoleye and Prof. Vuyani Ntitili from South Africa, ministering. The Senior Pastor, FGC, Omole and its Ikeja branch overseer, Pastor and Rev. Dayo Adewumi, will attend the event. The event will feature Word Feast/Power Night and High Praises. Also ministering are guest artistes including Rachael Oribhabor, Awesome Praise Ministers and Tope Olajimi. It takes off by 5.30pm each day. After a vigil on Friday, a leadership seminar will hold on Saturday by 3pm, while the grand finale holds on Sunday with an anointing service at 9am.

Society holds fair THE Trade Fair group of the Premier (Yaba) Industrial Estate Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Limited, will hold its third annual trade fair and exhibition at the Yaba Industrial Estate, Lagos on October 28 and 29. The Chairman of the fair and president of the estate, Alhaji Olayiwola Jaji, said the fair would be an avenue for outsiders to identify with the business activities in the estate, adding that diplomats from other countries were invited to shed light on how Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) work in their countries. He said there would be awards for those who have contributed to nation building, humanity and the growth of SMEs, including media practitioners who have distinguished themselves in objective reporting of SME development. Dignitaries expected at the fair are: Director General of Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr Gloria Elemo; Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola; the state Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Mrs Olusola Oworu; Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr Joseph Jamodu; representative of Goodwill Property and Investment, Diamond Bank, and representatives of the Egyptian and Brazilian Consulate.

•Mum of hole-in-the-heart boy seeks help

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HE boy, two-year-old Oluwafeyijimi Benson, cut a pitiable picture on her embattled mother's laps. The woman stared at him in utter hopelessness. Suddenly, she burst into tears, asking tacitly: "God, who will you send to save this boy for me?" Oluwafeyijimi merely looked on. He could not feel the trouble rocking the heart of his mother, Mrs Toyin Benson, because of his diseased condition - a hole that had withheld the peace of his tender heart since he was twomonth-old. It was a heart-rending sight at their Agbado, Ogun State home when The Nation visited last week. Sympathisers found it hectic consoling her. "That is how she weeps all the time and we have always urged her to be calm because God is on His throne," said one of her neighbours. At two, Oluwafeyijimi can-

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By Olatunde Odebiyi

not walk, stand or eat like his peers. His breathing is dangerously fast and often times, he breathes through his mouth. His eyes are purple and according to his mother, he rarely has appetite to eat. "He feeds barely on baby foods, and has never taken breast milk, owing to his health condition," Mrs Benson said. "A hole was discovered in his heart when he was barely two months old at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, when I took him there for treatment. However, financial challenges have not allowed us from doing the prescribed surgery for him," she added. A medical report from the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health of the LASUTH shows that the boy, with hospital registration number,

By Kunle Akinrinade

ders of the land grabbers, also attacked our 82-year-old family head, Chief Jimoh Tijani, destroying his home. "Surprisingly, his wives were also detained by men of the State Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) for 15 days before their release. We have since petitioned the Inspector of General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar. Although, those behind the attack were invited by police, they did not turn up. The mobile policemen from Mopol 22, brought by the land speculators, are still stationed on our land and we

0210983, is a patient at the Paediatric Cardiology Unit of the hospital, where he is being managed for Congenital Heart Disease, which requires surgical intervention. Now, his family must urgently raise N1.7million for corrective surgery, which will take him to the Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital in India. Desperate for solution, the woman brought the boy to the Lagos headquarters of The Nation on Monday. "I decided to visit your office because I don't

have since been prevented from visiting our property." The Deputy Public Relations Officer, Mr Damasus Ozoani, told The Nation on phone: "The community where the property is located is a trouble spot. That was where a policeman was killed and a riot policeman injured during a bloody land tussle. The traditional ruler of the community has since been arrested and charged to court for his complicity in the crisis and the case is ongoing. The policemen were deployed in the town to prevent the crisis from escalating through reprisal attacks by the contending parties."

•Mrs Benson with the boy

want my son to die in my hands. He needs urgent help. I'm a petty trader with two other children to take care of. His father is a bricklayer. We don't know how to raise this money to give him life. Nigerians should please come to his aid," Mrs Benson said. "I want fellow Nigerians to give my son the chance of living a nor-

mal life. I need help to keep my son alive," she further pleaded. Following suggestions, according to her, she opened a First Bank account under the name: Oluwafeyijimi Benson, with number: 3071772551, for the attention of prospective helpers, saying that she could be reached on 08039151682.

Suspect hides cocaine in flasks

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FFICERS of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja have prevented a Lagos-based businessman, Asogwa Solomon Ochiabuto, 39, from smuggling 7.45 kilogrammes of cocaine into the country. The discovery was made during the inward screening of passengers on board an Ethiopian Airline flight from Brazil. The drug, which was industrially concealed inside food flasks and kitchen utensils, is estimated to cost N82 million. It is said to be the single largest seizure recorded at the airport since January. The commander, NDLEA, Abuja Airport, Mr Hamisu Lawan, said the arrest was made following intensive screening by narcotic officers. "The suspect was on-board an Ethiopian Airline flight from Brazil enroute Lome, Addis

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

Ababa to Abuja. The cocaine, though carefully hidden in the flasks, was detected during a search. We have commenced investigation into the case and he will soon be charged to court," Lawan stated. The suspect, who resides in Okota, Lagos State, and hails from Umabor town in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, said: "I am a Secondary School Certificate holder. I could not study further owing to lack of sponsorship. I sell jewelry in Lagos to earn a living. I was married, but now divorced. My intention was to invest the money from the drug trade in my business because I have suffered several losses that made me heavily indebted". Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade expressed satisfaction with the arrest, adding that the agency was prepared to counter the tricks of drug traffickers.

‘Disaster claims 2,234 lives’

Muslim body seeks peace

THE Muslims Association of Nigeria has charged the Federal Government to resolve all the crises causing tension in the country. Its President, Alhaji Sulayman Yusuf, who made the call in Lagos, sought a lasting solution to the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA). "Our schools and hospitals are paralysed. What types of graduates do we intent to produce if our Ivory Towers remain locked; what message are we passing to the international community? People are dying because doctors are not on ground to attend to them. We need to show love and mutual understanding to one another," he said.

CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

‘He feeds barely on baby foods and has never taken breast milk, owing to his health condition’

'Save us from land grabbers'

HE Ifegbuwa family of Imowo Nla, a suburb of Ikorodu on the outskirts of Lagos, has cried out over the alleged invasion of its land by suspected land grabbers. Its secretary, Pa Abdul Safari Jimoh, urged the state government to assist in recovering the land from the usurpers who, he claimed, work in connivance with some riot policemen. He said:" Our over 1000-acre land has been encroached and annexed by some land speculators acting in concert with some aggrieved persons who took our family to court over ownership of the land but lost. A few weeks ago, some hoodlums, acting on the or-

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

•L-R: Oduyebo, Olanipekun, Coker and Abah … during the presentation

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Firm donates vehicle to police

N actualisation of its corporate watchword, "we value life," Fidson Healthcare Plc, a leading drug firm, has donated a Ford Ranger van to the Shomolu Area Command of the police in Lagos State. The vehicle was presented on behalf of the organisation by its Finance Director, Mr Olatunde Olanipekun. He was accompanied by the Corporate Services Manager, Mr Oladimeji Oduyebo and Chief Security Officer, Col. Robert Abah (rtd). Olanipekun said the gesture was part of the company's

By Oyeyemi GbengaMustapha

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, adding that it understands the significance of security of lives and property in the society. "We appreciate the efforts of the police at combating crime and ensuring safety, particularly around our neighbourhood. We are therefore obliged to encourage them in every way we can, to be more passionate and efficient in performing their duties. This is why we constantly seek to understand their challenges and the ways we can

support them, all for public good," he said. The Divisional Police Officer, Pedro Police Station, Somolu, Olalekan Coker, a Chief Superintendent (CSP), while receiving the van, thanked the donor company for the gesture, saying that the assistance would go a long way to motivate the police to perform their duties more effectively. "This shows that our work is being appreciated; it is a good motivation. This vehicle is meant for patrol and will solely be used for that purpose," Coker assured.

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VER 2234 lives were lost to disasters in Nigeria between January and September 24, this year, a report by the Executive Director, Disaster Watch Nigeria Initiative, Mr Biodun Orebiyi, has revealed. Orebiyi, who spoke at the public presentation of "the Nigeria 2012 Disaster Report," said the number of lives claimed by disasters so far in the year exceeds last year's, which he put at 2119. He said that in April, 424 deaths were recorded, while in March and May, 365 and 360 deaths were recorded respectively. By the report, according to him, 79, 580 people were displaced from their homes while 432 sustained several degrees of injuries from disasters. He said the figures were

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

collated from disasters like flood, religious/ethnic conflicts, ocean surge, air accident, landslide, building collapse, measles, cholera, pipeline explosion and oil spill. He said most of the disasters occurred because early warnings were not heeded, adding: "As we go forward in 2013, we need to undertake well-thought-out postemergency assessment after disaster mitigation and urgently generate hazard map for use in general terms and for specific areas. He added that there is need for communities in floodprone and coastal areas to be sensitised against taking rising water levels for granted, especially after alerts and warnings had been issued.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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NEWS

Assembly to ratify report Continued from page 2

•Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, flanked by Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his wife, Olufunso, during the Eid-elKabir visit of the ex-President to the Governor’s family house at Akin Olugbade, Abeokuta...yesterday

‘Obasanjo deceived Nigerians in 2005’ Continued from page 2

removed as a basis for revenue allocation and sending people to parliament. “We want a return to fiscal federalism and we must not give up. We should take our ideas to the national conference. We should enthusiastically participate so that our aims and objectives will be articulated,” Sagay said. Bakare, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Centre for Change, said both the proponents and critics of the Jonathan conference are insincere. He said: “I see shortage of sincerity on both sides. Fear of who owns sovereignty on the part of the government and insincerity on the side of critics who have themselves clamoured for national conference. “Let us be careful that the national conference does not become our albatross. “Nigeria is confined to an intensive care unit of the universe as many doubt her chances of survival. The values upon which the nation was founded has been broken down. A rebuilding process must visit the foundation.

“We must return to true federalism. We have wept, prayed and protested but now is time to take our destiny in our hands. “The national conference presents an opportunity to reason together and talk. We must restructure and reconstruct until the whole nation is returned to its past glory.” Delivering a lecture on the theme “Nigeria at 53, retrieving the soul of a country in ruins”, guest speaker, Prof. Adesanmi said there was need for a national soul. Titled: “Boda Nigeria, Bros Naija and Soul things”, Adesanmi’s lecture mirrored the many problems that have befallen the nation, adding that the country has lived without purpose for 53 years. “Nigeria is physically and spiritually in ruins and have ruined itself continuously and uninterrupted. “Patriotism does not mobilse citizens but the soul of a nation does. It speaks only the language of collective good, which is Pentecost and not babble,” he said. Adesanmi said: “Because Nigeria lacks ideal, it is easy for politicians to steal budget

and wreck infrastructure. The first error the nation committed was to go for the material. We did not appreciate the fact that it was not the business of the colonialist to give us a soul. “A national soul can only be achieved by constantly negotiating seeds of an idea that can become an ideal. “Message and personal capital must work hand-inhand. There should be recalibration of the message “Naija no dey carry last,” to form a national ideal for excellence and this should be done by people out of government,” he said. President of the group, Mrs. Josephine Okei-Odumakin, said she was optimistic change is possible in Nigeria. She said Nigerians must insist that the conference should not go the way of others, insisting that the decisions of the conference must be subjected to a referendum. At the lecture were activist Mr. Femi Aborishade; Mr. Henry Boyo; Chief Segun Ojo; Mrs. Shade Benbateum-Young; Mr. Gbenga Fatile and Mr. Monday Ubani, among others

Nigeria lags behind in agriculture financing Continued from page 1

crease investments into the agricultural sector and allocate 10 per cent of their public expenditures to the agriculture sector. “Since 2003, CAADP has demonstrated that African institutions can come together to address the critical challenges facing the continent. Already, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Mali, Niger and Senegal have met or exceeded CAADP’s 10% target,” said Sari Söderström Feyzioglu, Senior Manager for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region. “On our side it has been a win-win opportunity as well. CAADP has helped to align the Bank’s strategic focus and strengthen its strategic partnerships for optimal development impact.” Since 2003, 32 countries have created national agriculture investment plans that lay out priorities for meeting the CAADP goals. On average,

public agriculture expenditures have risen by over 7 per cent per year across Africa (more than 12% per year in low income countries) and have more than doubled since CAADP’s launch, signaling greater recognition of the agricultural sector as an engine of growth and poverty reduction. Abebe Haile Gabriel, the African Union Director for Rural Economy and Agriculture, noted that the Commission had designated 2014 as AU’s Year of Agriculture and Food Security. The AU will launch its new plan for CAADP called “Sustaining the CAADP Momentum.” Gabriel also announced that new funding for CAADP – a second Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) – managed by the World Bank, will be sought The MDTF fund provides grants to African institutions and finances technical assistance to the CAADP process. In its next phase, CAADP will focus on implementation, Gab-

riel said. “We would like to use this opportunity to call on our partners to support the next phase of CAADP which is going to be very exciting,” he said. CAADP’s next phase will put a new emphasis on issues such as creating stronger platforms for agriculture policy formulation, encouraging private sector development in the agriculture sector, support for climate smart agriculture, education, food security and improved nutrition. “We are seeing the build up of institutions in countries throughout Africa, which has been made possible by the support from CAADP,” said Estherine Fotabong, Head of Programme Implementation and Coordination Director, NEPAD. “This has been a very positive program and we want to see a continuation of financing. It has made it possible for us to have programs in gender, climate change and the role of women in agriculture,” she said.

committed to do our best to ensure that we pass a Nigeria to our young people that are coming up a Nigeria that people will live in peace, a Nigeria that wherever you go you call the next person your own brother or sister, a Nigeria that our young children who will become adult will say that I am proud to be a Nigerian. Not a Nigeria that people will kill them probably because they don’t recognise them.” He insisted that terrorist killings have no religious or ethnic inclination. “The killings that have been going on in some parts of the country have nothing to do with religion and ethnicity. “That is why I asked those who killed those 50 students (in Yobe College of Agriculture) whether they even bothered about their religion or ethnicity? It has nothing to do with religion, it has nothing to do with ethnicity, it is because the world generally is experiencing

terrorism,” he said. The President was also optimistic that some key recommendations of the Justice Uwais Electoral Report would be captured in the on-going constitution amendment. He said: “Even the Jusitice Uwais Committee that was set up, its report was passed on to the National Assembly. In 2010, we brought Belgore and others and I said in 2005 Nigerians discussed some things, why don’t we begin to implement some of them”. Vice President Sambo congratulated the President for his successful outing at the United Nations General Assembly in the United States; Nigeria’s 53rd Independence anniversary and the Super Eagles’ victory over Ethiopia in the first leg of the final round of the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier. Sambo hailed the President for his efforts towards ensuring political stability in the country. Sambo and Akinjide presented the President with a Sallah greeting card.

Okurounmu panel begins town hall meetings Continued from page 2

will be driven by peoples advice. This is the first step in making the people to take the ownership of the process. There will be resource persons, not consultants, to assist the committee. Thus, there will be a retreat in-between the meetings to afford the members of the committee an opportunity to listen and tap from the experts”. The Secretary of the Afenifere faction led by Pa Rueben Fasoranti, Chief Se-

hinde Arogbofa, said the pan-Yoruba socio-political group was prepared for the meeting. Although he could not confirm the details of Afenifere’s plans, he said: “Afenifere has been in the vanguard of the Sovereign National Conference. We are prepared to attend. We want it. Afenifere is meeting on it. We will have a representative there. Our leader will choose our representative”. The programme of the committee is as follows:

Akure, Southwest, October 18; Jos, North Central, October 21; Minna, North Central, October 23; Calabar, South-south, October 25; Benin, South-south, October 28; Enugu, Southeast, October 29; Owerri, Southeast, October 30; Lagos, Southwest, October 31; Sokoto, Northwest, November 4; Maiduguri, Northeast, November 5; Bauchi, Northeast, November 9; Kaduna, Northwest, November 11 and Abuja, FCT, November 13.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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FOREIGN NEWS

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Venezuela frees seized US-operated ship

HE owners of a US-operated oil ship which was detained by the Venezuelan navy on Thursday say the vessel has been released. The Venezuelan navy had boarded the Teknik Perdana on Thursday in disputed waters off the coast of Guyana and sailed it to Venezuela’s Margarita island. Caracas accused the crew of operating illegally in Venezuelan waters. Its owners said all 36 crew, among them five US citizens, had been released. Owners SapuraKencana Petroleum said they wished “to express their gratitude to the Venezuelan government for caring for the safety and welfare of the crew, which comprises multiple nationalities, during the time they were at Margarita island and also for releasing the vessel”. The Venezuelan government has not given an indication as to why it decided to let the ship sail. The Venezuelan foreign ministry had accused the Teknik Perdana of “carrying out illegal activities” within a maritime area claimed by Venezuela.

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Obama rejects proposed Reps’ fiscal plan

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HE White House has rejected a proposal from House of Representatives Republicans to extend the debt limit and reopen the federal government. The White House criticised what it called an attempt to appease a small group of conservatives, but praised a parallel bipartisan Senate plan. The White House objected to the House's proposed al-

terations to President Barack Obama's "Obamacare" health law. The US must raise its $16.7tn (£10.5tn) debt limit by Thursday or risk default. It is hardly surprising that Republicans in the House want more out of a deal. The concession they are asking for is pretty minor but would allow them to tell conservative activists back home that they didn't come away

from this epic fight emptyhanded. If they can't claim that, they could soon be looking for a new job. Because of "redistricting" gerrymandering - there are few safe seats where it makes any sense appealing to the centre ground. Activists gleefully look for opportunities to unseat those they consider "Rinos" Republicans In Name Only.

• Obama

But President Obama has repeatedly said that he will not pay ransom to hostage takers.

Death toll in Philippines quake jumps to 93

HE death toll from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the central Philippine island of Bohol on yesterday rose to 93, as rescuers struggled to reach patients in a collapsed hospital. Centuries-old stone churches crumbled and wide areas were without power. Bohol police chief Dennis Agustin said 77 of the deaths came from the province. At least 15 others died in nearby Cebu province and another on Siquijor Island. The quake struck at 8:12 a.m. and was centered about 33 kilometers (20 miles) below Carmen city, where many small buildings collapsed. Many roads and bridges were reported damaged, making rescue operations difficult. But historic churches dating from the Spanish colonial period suffered the most. Among them was the country's oldest, the 16th-century Basilica of the Holy Child in Cebu, which lost its bell tower. Nearly half of a 17th-century limestone church in Loboc town, southwest of Carmen, was reduced to rubble. As night fell, the entire province was in the dark after the quake cut power supplies. Windy weather and rain also forced back a military rescue helicopter.

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19 missing as cargo ship sinks off South Korea

OUTH KOREA's coast guard says a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship is sinking off the country's southeastern coast and all of its 19 crew members are missing. The coast guard said in a statement that the 8,461-ton ship had anchored off the port

PUBLIC NOTICE OJO

I formerly known and addressed as MISS TEMITOPE OLUWASEUN OJO. now wish to be known and addressed as MRS TEMITOPE OLUWASEUN ADEFEMI. The general the public please take note. All other documents remains valid.

city of Pohang but hit a seawall amid high waves yesterday. Coast guard officers said 18 Chinese and one Vietnamese were aboard the ship and were missing more than nine hours after the incident. The officers said most of the ship had sunk and rescue efforts were being hampered by strong winds and fierce waves. The ship had unloaded its freight and was to leave for Japan. The coast guard officers said the ship was carrying about 130 tons of bunker oil and diesel fuel.

• Palestine children walked around a pillar symbolising the Kaaba inside the Al-Massid al-Haram Mosque in Mecca, at a kindergarten in the West Bank city of Hebron...yesterday. PHOTO: EPA

Kenya: VP Ruto to cooperate with ICC

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• Ruto

EPUTY Kenyan President William Ruto said yesterday he would continue to cooperate with the International Criminal Court despite a call from African leaders for the prosecution of President Uhuru Kenyatta to be halted. Ruto told a news conference in The Hague that he would prefer for the case to proceed but that he should be excused from appearing in person so that he could carry on with his

duties in Kenya. Ruto and Kenyatta face charges of crimes against humanity over accusations they orchestrated widespread violence after a disputed 2007 election. Both men deny the charges and have tried to have the prosecutions adjourned or halted. An African Union summit in Addis Ababa at the weekend strongly criticized the workings of the court, complaining that it had only pur-

sued Africans. The court has convicted just one man, a Congolese warlord. The summit said the U.N. Security Council should defer Kenyatta's trial under article 16 of the court's Rome Statute, which allows for an initial delay of a year, or the AU would seek an alternative means of postponement. Kenyatta's trial is the court's most high profile case so farthe first against a sitting president.

Bomb attack near Afghan capital kills governor

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BOMB attack on a mosque in Afghanistan killed the governor of a province south of Kabul, a friend of the country's president, yesterday as he was making an address on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid alAdha, officials said. Arsala Jamal was governor of Logar province, a strategically important province on the southern approaches to Kabul and home to one of Afghanistan's richest mines. "When the governor was giving a speech it detonated. He is martyred," said Jamal's spokesman, Din Mohammad Darwish. He said one other person had been killed. He had already survived at least one attempt on his life, when a suicide bomber in a car attacked him, killing his guards and a local official in 2007. Darwish said the bomb had been planted inside the mosque and detonated re-

motely. Police initially said a suicide bomber had been responsible. A group supporting Afghanistan's administrative development said it suspected Jamal's work to get the Aynak copper mine in Logar province up and running was the reason he was killed. Jamal spent part of his life

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in Canada, where his wife and two children continue to live. A Chinese consortium is running the Aynak mine under a $3 billion deal agreed in 2007. It is Afghanistan's largest foreign investment project but Taliban attacks on the site have prevented work from getting going.

The Chinese investors in August demanded a review of the deal, putting the project at risk. Production was originally scheduled to start this year, but now is seen as unlikely before 2019. The Taliban's elusive leader, in a message to mark the Eid holiday, urged his fighters to step up their fight against the government.

Charles Taylor transferred to UK

X-LIBERIAN President Charles Taylor has arrived in the UK to serve the remainder of his 50-year prison sentence for war crimes. He had asked the UN-backed special court in The Hague to serve his jail term in Rwanda instead. Taylor was handed over to UK prison service representatives after his plane landed at 11:00 BST (10:00 GMT). He was sentenced in May 2012 for aiding rebels who committed atrocities in Sierra Leone during its civil war. British diplomats will hail the jailing of Charles Taylor in the UK as the successful culmination of a long-term development strategy in Sierra Leone. Many people in West Africa will agree

with them. Taylor was convicted of backing Sierra Leonean rebels in the civil war, during which the UK was the main international supporter on the side of the government. The former president, 65, was convicted by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), but his trial was held in The Hague in case it sparked renewed unrest in West Africa. He would be given credit for the time he had served in detention since his arrest on 26 March 2006, the statement said. He was convicted on 11 charges including terrorism, rape, murder and the use of child soldiers by rebel groups in neighbouring Sierra Leone during the 1991-2002 conflict, in which some 50,000 people died.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

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NATION SPORT

De Bruyne no longer targets for Leverkusen

Zaha not good enough, says Moyes M ANCHESTER United manager David Moyes has backed his firm stance of not playing Wilfried Zaha by telling the winger that he

must improve in order to break into the first team. Zaha has only featured for United once this season, in a Community Shield victory over Wigan but has yet to

Bent hopeful over Berbatov partnership

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ULHAM striker Darren Bent has insisted that he will develop a fruitful partnership with Dimitar Berbatov. The pair have struggled to forge a relationship so far this

•Bent

season, with injuries limiting their time together on the pitch. However, Bent believes that it is only a matter of time before they strike up a rapport. "The manager wants to work on the partnership with me and Berba," he told the club's official website. "We haven't really had a chance yet because of injuries. "On the training pitch we are working on things and trying to get it going. Berba can play with anyone because he's that good a player, but partnerships take time. Hopefully we will be firing on all cylinders soon." Bent, who is currently on a season-long loan from Aston Villa, has scored three goals in seven games this campaign.

make the substitute bench in the Premier League. The former Crystal Palace winger remains puzzled over why he has been excluded from the squad and it seems as though Moyes is keen to ship the England international out on loan in a bid to gain Premier League experience.

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Lille-born 20-year-old bought in 2011 who flourished under Mourinho's tutelage. 'He told me that I’d have my chance to play and that I was going to find out about myself and get to know myself better,' Varane is quoted to have said by FIFA.com. 'I’d never been under a lot of pressure before, either on the pitch or off it, and he said that I’d soon be given the opportunity to find out how I’d react to it. Mourinho kept his word. In the two years I played for him he always kept his word, and he also knew when to throw me in at the right time.'

what happens here. The competition is hard. “It is just impossible to get all these players a game at the one time. You can only ever play eleven.” Zaha looks set to move away from United this January with Newcastle, Fulham and Stoke thought to be showing the most interest.

Wenger believes Flamini is better than ever following his time in Serie A, and the Gunners boss hopes his experience could prove invaluable. “This Mathieu Flamini is more experienced than the one we had nearly 10 years ago of course, and has a knowledge of what is needed at the top level,” he said on Arsenal’s official website. “But I also think he has a bigger love for the club now because he realises what he left behind when he left Arsenal. “He has come back with a great desire. I must say I was a bit reluctant to sign him at first, because I didn’t like to sign the same players twice. But he convinced me with a frank and honest statement, wishing to play for Arsenal.

“He had other opportunities from clubs, but he said he missed what he had here. “Even more than that his attitude in training convinced me to bring him back - his desire to work hard and to win. “It had always been my policy to never bring back players who had left, but I changed that a few years ago basically because I didn’t necessarily want to be stubborn. “I feel it’s important that once players leave here, they know it’s not that easy to change your mind and get another chance. “It’s important the players know it’s not down to them if they come back or not. But in the end there is only one important thing, and that’s the best interest of Arsenal Football Club.

Flamini has changed since last time—Wenger

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RSENE Wenger believes Mathieu Flamini loves Arsenal more than ever following his return to the club on a free transfer in the summer. The French midfielder has proved an instant hit on his return to north London after a spell with Italian giants AC Milan.

Varane advices Lukaku on Mourinho

JOSE Mourinho attracted censure for his decision to allow human tank Romelu Lukaku, 20, a one year loan move to Everton where he has since prospered in front of goal while Chelsea's strikers struggle. The Portuguese has also been criticised for the perpetual omission of Belgium winger Kevin de Bruyne, 22. However, when it comes to nurturing young talent, Lukaku and de Bruyne and even all those who doubt twotime ChampionsLeague winning coach Mourinho, have been sent a message by Real Madrid's defensive phenom Raphael Varane, a

And Moyes backs his decision not to play Zaha by telling the Daily Mail that he hasn't had the opportunity to play the winger and he needs to get used to the set up at Old Trafford. “Wilf has not appeared. We have not felt we have had the opportunity. “I want Wilf to get used to

•Flamini

Ki Sung-Yeung disappointed to miss Swansea clash

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U N D E R L A N D midfielder Ki SungYeung has admitted that he is disappointed to miss Saturday's Premier League clash with parent club Swansea City. The South Korean midfielder joined the Black Cats on a season-long loan over the summer. However, the 24-year-old must miss this weekend's encounter at the Liberty

Stadium due to ineligibility rules. "I can't play against Swansea which is disappointing, but I hope the boys can play well," Ki told The Journal. "Hopefully I will be back in the team for the Newcastle game. I feel much better now after playing a few games. I think I'll be stronger when we start again after the international games too."

Saturday will see new manager Gus Poyet take charge of Sunderland for the first time. Sunderland midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung has admitted that he is disappointed to miss Saturday's Premier League clash with parent club Swansea City. The South Korean midfielder joined the Black Cats on a season-long loan over the summer.

BAYER Leverkusen say they are no longer interested in taking Chelsea's Kevin de Bruyne in January. De Bruyne looks set to leave Stamford Bridge in the next transfer window after failing to break into the Chelsea firstteam as expected. The Chelsea youngster spent last season on loan at Werder Bremen and was a target for Borussia Dortmund over the summer, but was reportedly persuaded to stay put by Jose Mourinho. Now the former Genk playmaker is said to want out after not getting the first-team action he was promised, and has been linked with a move back to Germany. However, it appears as though Leverkusen have pulled out of the race for De Bruyne, with general manager Rudi Voller revealing that they are no longer interested in the Chelsea ace. "We have had an interest in Kevin de Bruyne, of course, he told BILD. "He is an excellent player.” "But at this point in time we do not have an interest in his services. We have a strong squad and already have enough quality players in de Bruyne's position."

•De Bruyne

Remy coy on Newcastle future

THE Frenchman moved to the Magpies in the summer on a season-long deal following Queens Park Rangers' relegation to the Championship. The 26-year-old has taken brilliantly to Tyneside, finding the back of the net five times in five Premier League matches. There are now talks of a permanent deal for Remy at United, but the France international insists he isn't looking beyond the loan. I am really enjoying it at Newcastle, but what happens next I don't know. Loic Remy: "I am really enjoying it at Newcastle, but what happens next I don't know," he said. "For the moment the question of staying beyond my loan period is not in my head - it is a good question, but we have time to decide." Toon boss Alan Pardew - who tried to sign Remy in January concedes there is already a permanent deal in place with QPR, but it isn't a straightforward transfer. "Loic's a player who has done terrific for us and a player that we'll perhaps look at going forward to bring to the club on a permanent basis," said Pardew.

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PREMIERSHIP

NATION SPORT Sir Alex Ferguson Way unveiled

Pardew: Cabaye stay was key

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ORMER Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has attended a ceremony to commemorate the renaming of a street in his honour near Old Trafford. Waters Reach, which runs adjacent to United's stadium, has been renamed Sir Alex Ferguson Way by Trafford Borough Council. The permanent tribute further acknowledges the contribution Ferguson made to the area on a day in which he is also awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Trafford. A special ceremony was also due to take place at Trafford Town Hall for the 71-year-old, who retired earlier this year after 26 successful years at the United helm. Ferguson, who won 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League titles with United, said: "I am delighted to accept this from Trafford Council. "When I arrived at Old Trafford in 1986 I had little idea of the journey that awaited me. "Over quarter of a century later, to receive the Freedom of the Borough of Trafford, and to have a part of Trafford carrying my name, is truly humbling." Sir Alex Ferguson Way is close to another stadium approach road, Sir Matt Busby Way, named after one of his illustrious United predecessors. The Honorary Freedom is the highest honour which the council can bestow and recognises an eminent contribution to services in the borough. Councillor Matt Colledge, leader of the council, said: "Sir Alex has contributed significantly to Trafford over a sustained period of time through his strong leadership of the Manchester United team and it was felt that the Honorary Freeman title and the renaming of the street was a fitting tribute to him. "Football contributes significantly to the borough through the large number of visitors it attracts and jobs it creates. "It has been through the success of

•Fergie

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•Mackay

‘Mackay won't resign’

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ACKAY'S position at Cardiff City Stadium has been under scrutiny since the club decided to remove Iain Moody from his role as head of recruitment and replace him with 23-year-old Kazakhstani Alisher Apsalyamov on an interim basis. Apsalyamov is thought to be a friend of Cardiff owner Vincent

Tan's son and appears to have no previous experience in football. Mackay attended a meeting of the club's board on Monday, where chief executive Simon Lim was expected to be present but not Tan, and the issue was almost certain to be high on the agenda. It had been understood that Mackay had no intention of

quitting the Bluebirds and his agent Raymond Sparkes, when asked if his client could resign, told BBC Radio Wales: "No, absolutely categorically not. "Even now that's not something Malky is contemplating. "There is absolutely no prospect of Malky resigning from a job that he loves, a job he's ensconced in."

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"Against England, I proved to be in good shape and now I just need to play regularly to find the best condition, I'm not worried," he said.

Jovetic was heavily linked with Juventus in the summer, but they failed to meet his valuation although he admits he probably would have ended up in Turin if he had not chosen to move abroad, a decision he does not regret. "If I would have not gone to Manchester City, I would have gone to Juventus," he said. "This summer, the situation was simple: I had a price of •30 (£25.4) million, but I never said that I wanted to go to Juve. "I only asked to leave Fiorentina and I was pleased. The interest of Juventus? I was aware of the deal, I read about it on the newspapers and I know that they were speaking with my agent. "In the end, however, I chose to go abroad and now I'm happy. I don't regret the choice I made."

Jovetic has no City regrets

ANCHESTER CITY striker Stevan Jovetic insists he has no regrets about his move to England. The Montenegro star admits he has struggled for fitness since arriving at the Etihad Stadium from Fiorentina in the summer, but he now feels he will start to prove himself now he is fully fit. Quoted in an interview by Italian newspaper Tuttosport, Jovetic says: "I arrived at City behind in my physical condition and so I have always been behind the shape of others. "Then I went to the national team and I got injured again, thus losing more time." Jovetic captained Montengero against England on Friday and he feels that showed he is getting back to his best, physically.

•Jovetic

LAN PARDEW admits to having faced a 'difficult situation' with Yohan Cabaye over the summer, but is delighted he stayed at Newcastle United. Cabaye made it clear he wanted out of St James' Park when the transfer window was open, with interest from Arsenal having turned his head. Newcastle, though, stood firm and refused to sanction the sale of a prized asset. Cabaye has accepted their stance and worked his way back into contention, with Pardew of the opinion that a disruptive saga has been quickly forgotten by all concerned. He said in the Evening Chronicle: "That was a difficult situation because I've got a great relationship with Yohan. "When a player comes in and is trying to force a move, which really and truly he was trying to do which happens at other clubs, we're not the only club that's happened to - then it's difficult and we had some words. "I told him my opinion but the most important thing when you get through that process is coming out the other side that you're still intact. Fortunately, me and Yohan have come through that intact, and that's important." Pardew added: "(It's fortunate) Yohan stayed because I do feel that he's an important player for us. He's such a talent in terms of being a technician on the ball. "He's just got such great quality. He's as good a midfield player as I've worked with and when you consider I've had Michael Carrick amongst many, I'd put him in that level. "He's a player ingrained in the French side and will be a big part of the French team that goes to the World Cup, if they qualify." Cabaye impressed in his latest run-out for his country - a 6-0 mauling of Australia on Friday and France coach Didier Deschamps is delighted to see the 27-year-old focused on football again. He said: "He got slightly lost during the summer period. "But I am not just discovering that Yohan is a very good player with a lot of influence. He has always been important with his technical qualities. I am fortunate to have some very good players in that position."

Carlton Cole agrees Hammers deal

TRIKER Carlton Cole has rejoined West Ham on a three-month contract, the Barclays Premier League club have confirmed. Cole has been working on his fitness at the Hammers' Chadwell Heath training ground for the past few weeks and successfully came through a behindclosed-doors match against Charlton last week. The former England international had been a free agent following his release over the summer by West Ham, for whom he originally signed in 2006 and has made 237 appearances, scoring 59 goals. He was unable to find a new club, and on September 3, the London outfit announced that Cole was undergoing a medical with them with a view to returning on a short-term contract. No deal subsequently materialised

around that time, but on Monday afternoon it was confirmed that the 30year-old had indeed put pen to paper on a new contract at Upton Park that runs to January 13. He told West Ham TV: "I'm in an excellent mood, happy to be back and

•Cole

can't wait to get working with the lads again and start my season off. "I've been working hard with the strength and conditioning coach Mathew Monte-Colombo in the gym and he's been really hands-on with me to get me up to standard to train with the team and

get my match-fitness up as quickly as possible with a view to signing. "I feel fit and raring to go and it's time to start knocking on the manager's (Sam Allardyce) door to get some games under my belt." Reflecting on his departure over the summer, Cole added: "At the end of the day, everything happens for a reason and you don't always choose what is going to happen to you. "We decided to part ways in the summer but West Ham and me have ended up together again. Hopefully I can come in and be who I am and help the team achieve what we need to achieve." West Ham recruited Andy Carroll on a permanent deal during the summer but he is yet to feature this season due to injury, and their efforts to bring in a new striker towards the end of the transfer window proved unsuccessful.

•Cabaye

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013

63

SPORT EXTRA

Ghana crushes Egypt 6—1 in W/Cup play-off

Adewale accepts W/Cup axe

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OALKEEPER Adeyinka Adewale has said he accepts his exclusion from Nigeria final squad for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in the UAE. “I have no ill-feelings towards anybody because I was not picked for the World Cup due to my troubled injury and I know the coaches have acted in good faith," said Adewale, who kept goal for Kwara Football Academy's 2012 Shell Cup-winning team. “It was my dream to be at the World Cup but for this knee injury." Adewale was in goal during the African Junior Championship in Morocco. Odinaka Uzoho; Abdulazeez Abubakar and Sunday Alampasu have been battling for the Golden Eaglets' Number 1 shirt, but Adewale has endorsed Sunday Alampasu as his favourite for the Number 1 position when Nigeria begins its quest for a fourth FIFA U17 World Cup

SAMOAH Gyan scored twice as Ghana moved closer to a third successive World Cup appearance with an emphatic 6-1 win over Egypt and former Chicago Fire coach Bob Bradley in their African play-off first leg in Kumasi on Tuesday. An own goal from Wael Gomaa, a powerful header from Abdul Majeed Waris, a Sulley Muntari penalty and a late effort from substitute Christian Atsu left Egypt facing more World Cup disappointment. A contentious penalty

allowed Mohamed Aboutrika to register a consolation goal just before halftime, but Egypt will need a major turnaround in the second leg on Nov. 19 if they are to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time since 1990. Gyan, who had his first effort on goal inside 11 seconds, opened the scoring after five minutes, shooting home from a narrow angle. The lead was doubled in the 22nd minute when Michael Essien went on a mazy run, dribbling into the area before being challenged by Egypt

captain Gomaa, who managed only to deflect the ball into his own net. Essien, having played just once for Chelsea this season, produced a dominant midfield showing over the 90 minutes. Egypt were awarded their penalty four minutes before half-time when Mohamed Salah was bundled down, though the decision from Moroccan referee Bouchaib Al Ahrach was generous. Aboutrika converted but Ghana restored their two-goal advantage a minute before the break with Waris's powerful

header from Muntari's free kick. Muntari's cross set up Gyan for the fourth in the 53rd minute before the AC Milan midfielder converted from the spot after Waris was brought down by Egypt's substitute goalkeeper, Ahmed Al Shennawi. Atsu's shot from outside the penalty area capped a one-sided occasion. Ghana reached the quarterfinals of the previous World Cup, in South Africa. Egypt has missed out on the past five finals despite winning an unmatched four African Nations Cup titles in the same period.

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against Mexico on Saturday. “I have no doubt that there are capable replacements for me and I would easily pick Alampasu to succeed me. Alampasu has all the attributes of a good goalkeeper and I have told the three of them to support each other,” he said. Meanwhile, the four players who did not make the Golden Eaglets cut for the World Cup will leave Dubai for Nigeria Tuesday. The quartet of Adeyinka Adewale, Clement Ogbobe, Godwin Odibo and Olumide Akofe were confident their counterparts who made the final list will make the country proud in the UAE. "We have learnt so much during this training tour and we shall continue to pray for the success of the team at the World Cup," said Ogbobe, a former Nigeria U15 star. "Of course, all of us cannot make the team as such; we wish them the best at the World Cup."

First Bank promotes sports development, donates N44m

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•Captain Musa Muhammed signs

Tour organisers fete Golden Eaglets

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HE Managing Director of Denan Sport Service, Mr. Nabil Mejri on Monday night held a get-together for the Golden Eaglets with a clarion call on the youngsters to rule the world at the 2013 FIFA Under17 World Cup in the UAE Denan Sport Service managed by the Tunisian, organised an inch-perfect tour for the Nigerian U-17 Team ahead of the World Cup

which kicks off on Thursday with the first match between favourites, Brazil and Slovakia in Abu Dhabi. At the brief ceremony which lasted 30 minutes after dinner, Mejri said he has the confidence in the ability of the Golden Eaglets to go all the way at the World Cup after watching the professional manner the team conducted itself during the two-week training camp in Dubai.

“ I hope we shall be able to have a bigger party at the end of the championship on November 8,” said Mejri before the small matter of cutting a big cake designed like a football pitch and decorated in the green and white colours of Nigeria.“I’m confident that you can do it.” Golden Eaglets’ administrator, Mr. Tayo Egbaiyelo described the gesture of Denan Sport Service

as instructive which is a morale booster to the team as the country seek a fourth FIFA under-17 World Cup title. He described Mejri as a forward-looking young man that is very good at his job: “I wish everybody can do their work like Mr. Mejri because he provided us with first class service throughout our stay in Dubai and we are ready to make him proud of us at this championship.”

CCSF INTERNATIONAL TAEKWONDO OPEN

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30 volunteers listed as Mali, Niger arrive

ALI and Niger Republic are among the first set of teams to arrive for the second edition of the Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation (CCSF) International Taekwondo Open. The 16-man delegation from Mali arrived Abuja yesterday for the two-day tournament while Niger will touch down today as well. According to the organisers more teams are expected to arrive this weekend for the championship, which will hold on Saturday October 19 to Sunday October 20 at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja. Leading the Malian team is Africa’s finest fighter, Mali’s

Ismael Coulibaly, who is one of the highly rated taekwondists expected to feature in the championship. Also, Nigerian Army and Nigeria Navy have registered six and nine fighters respectively for the competition. Also, Samsung has thrown its weight behind the event as the company promises to give out phones to medallists at the tournament. Coulibaly, a finalist at the 2011 World Championship held in Gyeongju, South Korea and the current African champion as well as 2011 All Africa Games gold medallist, is expected to compete with some of Nigeria’s finest

fighters at the two-day tournament. Aside the Malian, 2012 All Francophone Champion, Niger Republic’s Abdoul Razak Alfaga will also be among the West African top athletes hoping to have a bit of the N2.8m prize money at stake at the championship. Also, Nigeria will also have national champions like Michael Obiorah, Vivian Ndu, Sunday Onofe, Segun Olushola, Omoowa Omoregie, Ezekiel Obazi and Chimaobi Igwenyere in the tournament. Meanwhile, organisers of the competition are putting finishing touches to preparation for the

tournament holding in Abuja this weekend. Gold medallists will cart home N150, 000, while silver medallists will get N100, 000 and bronze medalists will also smile home with N50, 000 each. Apart from the cash reward, 200 athletes that registered for the competition will get equipment like uniform, kicking pads and skipping ropes valued at N1.7m. Also, athletes and teams expected to compete at the championship have continued to perfect their skills in readiness for the competition touted as one of Africa’s colourful and glamorous event.

IRST Bank of Nigeria Ltd. in its bid to strengthen sports development and enhance student health and well being through physical recreational activities in secondary schools, has donated sporting facilities totalling N44 million to Queens and Kings College Lagos. The Bank under its corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives constructed a 450seater sports pavilion at Queens College and renovated the Squash Court of Kings College as part of its continuous contribution to complementing Government’s efforts by providing educational infrastructure support for Schools across Nigeria. FirstBank’s spokesperson, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, said

the financial institution’s interventions in the area of sports development reinforce its commitment to boosting the process of developing the minds and abilities of the nation’s future leaders. “At First Bank, our ultimate goal is to remain a strong supporter of efforts geared towards equipping the youths with the skills required for socio-economic empowerment through support of sports development, youth engagement initiatives, endowment schemes and infrastructure development. Our desire is to see these strategic and need-driven youth empowerment interventions culminate in equipping our Nigerian youths for a bright future,” she said.

Bizuayehu: Nigerians are greedy

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N Ethiopian Football Federation official says Nigeria are not reaching their full potential because of 'players' greed'. EFF secretary general Yigzaw Bizuayehu was speaking before his country's 1-2 defeat at the hands of the Super Eagles in the CAF 2014 FIFA World Cup play-off first leg in Addis Ababa. Bizuayehu revealed his admiration of the Nigerian players present and past, but claimed their selfish ways are hindering their progress as a dominant force in world football. "But your boys are too greedy," the Ethiopian administrator said. "They earn a lot of money in Europe, but every time you hear that they are fighting their federation over bonuses. Where is their

•Keshi

pride? They should see playing for the national team as a privilege, which so many people can only dream about. "Here, we don't talk about bonuses because the players know they are blessed by God to serve their country. We give them what we can and they are happy because they know what it means to play for one's country. I doubt if your players realise what they are gaining for playing for Nigeria. "Our players are committed, dedicated and they don't talk about money. Your players harass the country before they play, while our players play for the national flag." He added that the Nigeria Football Federation could be at fault for the continued tensions over money in the national team.

TODAY IN THE NATION

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

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WO days ago President Goodluck Jonathan used the occasion of his goodwill Eid el-Kabir message to Muslims in the country to respond to those who have dismissed his decision to hold a national conference as diversionary and self-seeking. “Those who continue to say that our initiative is diversionary or aimed at promoting certain political agenda,” he said, “are in error.” Of all the critics of the President’s new found conversion to holding a national conference – until his announcement of the initiative during his October 1 Independence Day speech, the man had been decidedly cool, if not completely hostile, to the idea – the presidency seemed to consider Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State, putative leader of the South-West and leading chieftain of the new opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the most intolerable. On arrival in Lagos two weeks ago, fresh from his extended medical trip abroad, he had dismissed the President’s initiative as impractical and insincere. “Where,” the Asiwaju had asked, obviously rhetorically, “is the capability, where is the sincerity?” The President’s initiative, he said, was a “Greek gift.” That the President probably had the Asiwaju foremost in his mind of all his critics became apparent when his bellicose spokesman, Dr. Doyin Okupe, singled out the Asiwaju for his now characteristic diatribe within hours of the President’s Sallah message. “The APC leader,” he said at a press conference he addressed on the issue, “as usual, is completely off target. Desperate politicians and selfseeking political leaders tend to believe that their quest for power or insatiable appetite for wealth accumulation through politics is superior to the genuine desires and innate aspirations of ordinary Nigerians.” The “Bola Tinubus of this world,” he said, are concerned only with the 2015 elections whereas “most patriotic ordinary Nigerians” were more concerned with how to build a united Nigeria “based on equity and justice to all its component parts...” This, presumably, was the President’s motive for agreeing at last to holding a national conference. So instead of criticising the President, Okupe said, the man should be praised not just for acceding to what most Nigerians, he claimed, have always demanded. His principal should be praised because for the first time in the country’s history a leader has said he will hold a national conference “without the obnoxious ‘no-go areas.’” As usual, Okupe’s defence of his oga was pure wind. First, every Nigerian, except the big man himself and his handlers like Okupe, knows that the man had long ago made up his mind to contest and win the 2015 presidential elections whatever it takes. The evidence stares us in the face daily from the cloak and dagger games that have been going on over the control of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) between him and the internal opposition. However, the dead giveaway was his denial in his September 29 Presidential Media Chat that he signed any paper or said he would not contest the elections. “I did not,” he said, “say that I will

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E is a voluble, jolly good fellow, this Chief Servant of Niger State who also happens to be chief ruler of that central part of Nigeria. You are bound to love Governor Babangida Aliyu especially if you put him behind the microphone all the time. He is ebullient, enthusiastic, vivacious and quick on the take. He loves to talk and Hardball wagers that the mic must be his best work-tool. Considering the volume of talk he dishes out, he must be accomplishing quite a load of work in his domain. But try not to listen too keenly or reckon too much with the trend of his talk lest you begin to take him too seriously and start punching holes in his sequence of speech. Sometimes, the effervescent Chief Messenger has been caught out when he says today, the exact opposite of what he said yesterday. However, Hardball could not help but take an especial note of something he said recently in Kaduna during the commissioning of Liberty Radio. It was vintage Aliyu speak. He said his aging mother has enormous spiritual pow-

VOL.8 NO.2,637

‘This whole idea that you give countries an election and they become western liberal democracies overnight is somehow a liberal nonsense!’ DELE AGEKAMEH

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

People and Politics By

MOHAMMED HARUNA ndajika@yahoo.com

National Conference debate: Between Jonathan, Tinubu

•Jonathan

•Tinubu

not contest in 2015. In Addis Ababa, that was when I advocated single term of seven years...I said if Nigerians agree to that I may not be involved. I did not say I will contest or not. Those who said I have signed an agreement should show the agreement.” Because of the double-speak obvious from these words – you cannot say you may not be involved in a thing and at the same time insist you have not made up your mind on the thing one way or the other – and again because Nigerians have rejected his condition of a seven-year single term presidency for keeping out of the elections, it is not unfair to conclude that he has since felt obliged to contest and will do so. Second, the President’s timing – less than 18 months to the 2015 elections – raises questions about his motive. Never mind the insecurity situation in the land, or the incredible oil theft going on, in spite of – some would say indeed because of - the multi-million-dollar contract he gave to a favoured clique of former Niger Delta militant leaders, or the on-going ASUU strike, etc, the President has enough work before him organising credible, free, fair and peaceful elections in 2015. To add a national conference to all this against the historical background of a general lack of sincerity by our leaders in summoning similar conferences since 1967 cannot but raise questions about the President’s own sincerity. Going back to February 1966, Major-General J. T. Aguiyi-Ironsi set up the equivalent of the President’s panel on how to organise the conference under Chief FRA Williams but

before the late legal giant could sit down to work, the head of state, apparently at the prompting of his narrow-minded clique of advisers, went ahead to enact the ill-motivated Unification Decree. After him General Yakubu Gowon had his own ad-hoc constitutional conference which eventually ended in a fiasco in Aburi, Ghana. After the civil war which followed ended in 1970, he promised to go in 1976. In 1974, however, he said 1976 was unrealistic and tried to elongate his stay in office. He was overthrown in July of 1975. The next regime under General Murtala Mohammed promised to leave in 1979 and kept its word even though the man was assassinated in an abortive coup in February 1976. The Constitution Drafting Committee he had set up under Chief Williams suggested a change from the Parliamentary democracy of the Second Republic to an American type Presidential system. The mostly elected Constituent Assembly accepted the change but its sitting ended in a near fiasco. Then General Olusegun Obasanjo who succeeded General Mohammed made 17 amendments to the CA draft before he enacted it into the supreme law of the land in 1979. The Second Republic, which started in October 1979 under President Shehu Shagari, was overthrown in December 1983. Between then and the beginning of the current dispensation in 1999, we’ve had four military heads of state – Generals Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha and Abdulsalami Abubakar. Except for Buhari, all of them summoned a constitutional conference whose outcome received mixed reactions mainly because of widespread suspicions that the leaders were interested in succeeding themselves, in the case of Babangida and Abacha, or in imposing another general on the country, in the case of Abdulsalami. The Third Term Agenda of General Obasanjo who took over from Abdulsalami is too fresh in our memories to waste space dwelling over. Clearly, President Jonathan is merely treading the familiar paths of past leaders who tried to remain in power by the subterfuge of a manipulated constitutional conference. Virtually all of them failed. However, the lesson seems clearly lost on President Jonathan as he tries to use the same strategy.

HARDBALL

Aliyu’s invincible old lady ers to protect him and shame his enemies. He noted that as long as his mother lives, whoever plots his downfall politically or otherwise would have his mother to contend with. Hear it: “My mother is still escorting me, so, go and do whatever thing you want to do against me, my mother is behind me and he is praying for me.” He urged us all to learn to respect our mothers and our women because God answers them quicker and they also make sure children are brought up in the straight and proper way. The Chief Servant is spot on there about mothers being the vessel of glory for their children. Sometimes some of us begin to think our mamas have attained some special powers which could make them hide us in a magical pouch around their loins and spirit us away from any danger. Of course mothers are the ‘prayer warriors’ of each household.

When they pray you can almost bet that God would have no choice but answer their supplication. Mother’s special attachment to their children especially to some ‘special’ male children can be quite confounding. Remember the story of the legendary Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and her equally world-famous son, Fela AnikulapoKuti. Though Fela lived an unconventional and even sometimes wayward life, Mama Funmilayo virtually ignored her less controversial children like Beko and Olikoye and stuck with Fela to her end. Such was it that she lived with Fela in his Africa 70 Shrine and was present that fateful day when soldiers stormed the hot spot, damaged it and fatally injured Mama Funmilayo. She was considered the backbone of Fela and the spirit behind the phenomenon. In African traditional religion, mothers are seen as some kind of ‘good witches’ who would

Still on the issue of sincerity, it is evident to all but Okupe who says his boss should be praised for summoning a national conference without “no-go areas” for the first time in the country’s history that this is fiction. The fact is that what the President is summoning is anything but sovereign. Not only did the President not use the word sovereign anywhere in his speech, everything he said took the unity of the country for granted. His conference, he said, among other things, is to provide a platform that will “reinforce the ties that bind the country’s many ethnic nationalities and ensure that Nigeria’s immense diversity continues to be a source of strength and greatness.” There may be many people who doubt his commitment to the country’s unity, unless he remains its president beyond 2015 but anyone who thinks the man is ready to surrender his sovereignty to any conference would surely be in for a big surprise. Thirdly, as Tinubu has said, apart from the question of sincerity, there is also that of the capacity of the Jonathan presidency to hold a national conference when so far he has failed to demonstrate the capacity to resolve the nation’s myriad of problems. Fourth and lastly, but most importantly, flawed as our Constitution is, it is the least of the country’s problems. The fact is that there is sufficient good in it to make our country great if only our leaders will keep good faith with its provisions and with the good but suffering people of this country. This lack of good faith explains why we have had about 12 constitutions since the first one in 1922 and we are still blaming them for our problems. As the English would say, it is bad workmen who always quarrel with their tools. Compare the American constitution, which is 226 years old and which we have copied, with ours and it’s easy to see that that the difference between the two countries is the good faith the Americans have, by and large, kept with the provisions of theirs. Compared to ours, it is concise and brief; the copy I have is all of 34 pages with an average of 27 lines each and eight words per line. A simple arithmetic gives you less than 7,500 words, including all the 27 amendments to the constitution the last of which was ratified in 1971. Ours is 235 pages with an average of 29 lines per page, each line having an average of nine words. This comes to over 61,000 words! Yet we still think we have not captured enough in it to serve as a guide to good governance. From all this, it should be clear that our Constitution with all its flaws is the least of our problems. The sooner our politicians accept the fact they and not our Constitution are the main problem with our country, the sooner we will begin to solve those problems.

I

FEEDBACK

PROMISED last week that I will reproduce the last of the lengthy but thoughtful reactions I received on my column on the Emir of Suleja. I am sorry I am again unable to do so for lack of space. I hope to do so next week. •For comments, send SMS to 08059100107

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above protect their children against the ‘black witches’. Indeed every mother is considered a witch and since only women are witches, they necessarily must belong to the conclave if only for the protection of their own. And in a back-handed sense, mothers are even better when they have passed to the great beyond from whence as spirits they can cast a better protective eye on their children. Many would casually invoke the spirit of their dead mothers. Such is the power of our mothers that the Yoruba say there is no deity like the mother. Back to Aliyu, he noted specifically that no enemy can harm him so long as mama is alive but Hardball shudders to think what happens after mama? Finally, Hardball admonishes that since we all have our own mothers too who can fly by night on our behalf it will be nihilistic to drag them into our politics by setting them up for a fight. We say that if we are truly chief servants at our various stations, no enemy can harm us and we shall not have to trouble our mothers, living or dead.

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The Nation Oct 16, 2013