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N537bn required for electricity grid –FG World Bank, others sign $145m deal to boost gas supply TOLA AKINMUTIMI, CHIDI UGWU AND MARCUS FATUNMOLE

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he Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has said

Jonathan

Vol. 31 N0. 605 115

that a total capital outlay of $3.4bn (about N537.2bn) was required up till 2016 to build the required capacity in nation’s transmission grid to evacuate all generated power. Nebo, who stated this

during the Presidential Power Reform Transaction Signing Ceremony held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, reiterated the Federal Government‘s target to achieve 10,000 megawatts CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>

Amaechi

PDP crisis: Rivers Assembly sacks LG chairman, 17 councillors P.12

Tuesday, Tuesday,June April7,23, 2011 2013

N150 N150

185 killed as JTF, Boko Haram clash in Borno 2000 houses razed Jonathan orders investigation CAN seeks US, UK intervention to end insurgency

INUSA NDAHI AND AZA MSUE

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ierce gun battle between the Joint Task Force, JTF, and Boko Haram Islamic sect has left at least 185 persons, including women and children dead, while over 2,000 houses were razed in Baga, Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State. Baga, a border town between Borno and Chad Republic, noted for the production of fish in large quantities, is about 235 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital. The Commander of the Multinational Forces, Brigadier-General Austin Edokpaye, confirmed the incident while conducting Governor Kashim Shettima CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Scene of the fuel tanker fire which razed 10 buildings at Inalende area, Ibadan yesterday.

Again, fire guts INEC hqtrs

2015: You can’t intimidate us, Buhari, Tinubu tell Presidency

Ten buildings razed in Ibadan tanker fire P.8,51

‘We’re tired of PDP’s poor governance, poverty, hopelessness’

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Jega

Suspected ThisDay bomber demands public trial

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Good Health

Watch it! Your diet determines how well you sleep TOBORE OVUORIE

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f you are in the habit of eating just anything during the daytime, you need to retrace your steps henceforth as recent studies have revealed that our diets actually determines and influences how well we sleep. The study was carried out by a group of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, United States of America. The researchers studied data from the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) involving 4,548 people. According to them, they looked at how much sleep the participants reported getting each night, as well as a very detailed report of their daily diet. For the study, very short sleep patterns were defined as less than five hours a night, short sleep was five to six hours a night, standard sleep was 7 to 8 hours, and long sleep was nine or more hours a night. Indeed, it was discovered that people in the different sleep categories had distinct diet patterns. Short sleepers consumed the most calories, followed by normal sleepers, then very short sleepers. Long sleepers consumed the least calories. Normal sleepers, however, showed the highest food variety in their diets, and very short sleepers had the least variation in what they ate. Nutritionists say a varied diet tends to be a marker for good health since it includes multiple sources of nutrients. Again, it was observed that very short sleepers drank less tap water and consumed fewer total carbohydrates and ly-

Balanced diet ensures quality and good health

Junks full of calories (left) do not give good health and sound sleep

copene, found in red and orange-colored fruits and vegetables and high in cancerfighting antioxidants, than people with other sleep patterns. Short sleepers on the other hand tended to consume less vitamin C, tap water and selenium (found in nuts, meat and shellfish) consumption, but more lutein or zea-

YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW

Over half of young adult deaths could be prevented if parents and children work together- Experts

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bout 57 percent of deaths among American teenagers and young adults are attributable to personal decisions and could be prevented, according to new risk research from Duke University. The researchers propose ideas for specific family decision making and communication to avoid fatalities from risky situations. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of preventable deaths for 1524 year olds include motor vehicle accidents, homicide and suicide, illicit drug use, accidents (such as drowning) and sexually transmitted diseases. Most of the risks are greater for males than fe-

males, according to the research, based on CDC mortality information from 2005 and vehicle accident reports. Decision sciences expert Dr. Ralph Keeney and doctoral student Asa Palley of the Duke University Fuqua School of Business conducted an in-depth analysis of the CDC data to discern which among the identified causes of deaths among teenagers and young adults were attributable to avoidable personal choices. Their article “Decision Strategies to Reduce Teenage and Young Adult Deaths in the United States” was published electronically in a recent issue of the journal Risk Analysis published by the Society for Risk Analysis.

xanthin, which are found in green, leafy veggies. Long sleep was however associated with consuming less theobromine, which is found in chocolate and tea, the saturated fat dodecanoic acid, choline found in eggs and fatty meats and total carbohydrates. The researchers further noticed that long sleepers also drank more alcohol. According to Michael Grandner, an instructor in psychiatry and member of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at Pennsylvania, many studies have looked at how sleep influences eating habits, but theirs is one of the first studies to look into the role diet plays on sleep quality. Research so far, suggests sleep deprivation interferes with hunger and satiety

hormones crucial to regulating appetite. But Grandner and his colleagues suggest that the relationship works both ways, and that diet can alter sleep as well. Some of the interactions are well known already, such as how drinking too much water can interrupt sleep by waking you up to use the bathroom, or how consuming heavy and spicy foods can keep you up, but there may be less apparent effects as well. “For example, iron deficiencies have been linked to restless leg syndrome in some cases. There may be certain substances that work on the molecular level to regulate some of the biological machinery of sleep, but there hasn’t been a lot done to that part, and this study may be one of the first to help point us in the right direction of where to look,” part of the study report revealed. With these findings, scientists are already at work to discover the right mix of calories and nutrients needed by humans to promote better sleep. This, they say could become a low-cost strategy to curb obesity and heart diseases. “It reminds people that we have come to the point in our society where we recognize that our diet is important to our health. We don’t always act on it, but we recognize it. We haven’t come there with sleep yet. People don’t brag about how much they eat anymore, we used to, but we don’t anymore, but we still show off about how little sleep we get”,” Grandner added. Do you want to have quality sleep and health all through this week and subsequently? Ensure that you keep a balanced diet as it is one of the best ways you would get the needed seven to eight hours of sleep per night and maintain a healthy weight and better health overall.

Smoking immediately upon waking may increase risk of the tobacco-specific carcinogen NNK -lung and oral Cancer in their blood than smokers who refrain

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he sooner a person smokes a cigarette upon waking in the morning, the more likely he or she is to acquire lung or oral cancer, according to Penn State researchers. “We found that smokers who consume cigarettes immediately after waking have higher levels of NNAL -- a metabolite of

from smoking a half hour or more after waking, regardless of how many cigarettes they smoke per day,” said Steven Branstetter, assistant professor of biobehavioral health. According to Branstetter, other research has shown that NNK (4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-[3-pyridyl]1-butanone) induces lung tumors in several rodent species. Levels of NNAL (4-(methylnitrosamnino)-1-(3-pyridyl)1-butanol) in the blood can therefore predict lung cancer risk in rodents as well as in humans. In addition, NNAL levels are stable in smokers over time, and a single measurement can accurately reflect an individual’s exposure.


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PhotoNews

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

President Goodluck Jonathan (right), congratulating Chairman, Heirs Holdings and Transcorp Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, the preferred bidder for Ughelli Power Plc, during the Presidential Power Reform Transaction Signing Ceremony held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.

L-R: Senior Advisor for Women and Technology United State, Ms Ann Mec Chang; Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina and Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy, Mr. Jim Anulty, during a working visit of US Delegates to the Office of the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development in Abuja, PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA yesterday.

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L-R: Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola; National Leader of Action Congress of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former Head of State and Chairman, Board of Trustees Congress for Political Change (CPC), General Muhammadu Buhari; Niger State Governor and Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and the author of the book, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, during the public presentation of the book “Witness To History: Action Congress of Nigeria and the Struggle for Democracy, Liberty and Justice” in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Head of Gloworld, Mrs. Titi Ebinisi members of the Glo MNP Team, Mr. Issac Thomas; Dammy Olarinde; Femi Steve and Chairman, Senate Committee on Communication, Senator Tony Adeniyi, during the launch of mobile number portability by the Nigeria Communications Commission in Lagos, yesterday.

NationalNews

Newswatch: Petitioners fail to produce witness in court K AYODE KETEFE

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he case instituted by two minority shareholders of the Newswatch Communications Ltd, NCL, Mr. NuhuWada Aruda and Prof. Jibril Aminu against the company and its new management was stalled yesterday as the petitioners failed to produce their third witness in court. The petitioners, who had earlier called two witnesses in the case, were scheduled to bring in another one whom they had designated as financial expert. However, at the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, they apologised to the court and the respondents through their lawyer, Mr. Adekunle Oyesanya, SAN, for their failure to produce the witness. Oyesanya attributed the absence of the witness to circumstances beyond the control of the petitioners, stressing that he would ensure that the witness attend the court at the next court sitting which had earlier been scheduled for April 26, 2013.

Oyesanya said: “We did our best, but it is unfortunate that the witness is not here today. He will hopefully be here at the next adjourned date. We are very sorry about this. I have also apologised to my learned friend on the other side. We shall be asking for an adjournment today.” Reacting, the respondents’ lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, said: “It is true my learned friend has spoken to me about the nonavailability of their witness, although I would have loved the matter to continue today as I am fully prepared to crush their witness during cross-examination. “Nonetheless, I will concede to them and I will not ask for cost.” The presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, consequently adjourned the matter till April 26, 2013. The two petitioners had filed the substantive petition, accusing the new management team of Newswatch led by Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR, of assuming control of the company “illegally”, even though they admitted that majority of the company’s shares had been legally transferred to

Ibrahim via a Share Purchase Agreement, SPA, signed by all the parties. The petitioners are therefore, praying the court to quash the powers of the current management elected by the majority of the shareholders. In their petition No. FHC/L/CP/1367/2012 brought pursuant to sections 310 (a), (b) and (c) and 311 (1), (2) (a) and (b) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the ap-

plicants are also praying the court to, among others, set aside the SPA on the basis of which Dr. Ibrahim assumed majority shareholding in the company. Joined as respondents in the matter are; Newswatch Communications Ltd and Global Media Mirror Ltd. At the last adjourned date, the second petitioners’ witness, who is also one of the former directors of NCL, Mr. Ray Ekpu, had created a mild drama when

he rejected a document earlier tendered before the court by one of the petitioners, Mr. Nuhu Wada Aruda. The document in question, a statement of account of Newswatch Communications Ltd, prepared for the company by its financial specialist, Marino and Partners had been tendered by Aruda, to prove the petitioners’ case against the new management. In his testimony as the second petitioner’s witness,

Ekpu said he had absolutely no knowledge of the documents and could not therefore vouch for its accuracy. It will be recalled that on February, 4, 2013, Justice Buba had dismissed the interlocutory application of Aruda and Aminu, seeking to stop the operations of Newswatch pending the determination of their substantive suit. Justice Buba had dismissed the application for lacking in merit.

World Bank, others sign $145m deal to boost gas supply, electricity TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he World Bank yesterday signed Partial Risk Guarantee, PRG, with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, Egbin Power PLC, Chevron Nigeria Ltd, and Deutsche Bank for a $145 million loan to support Nigeria’s gas sector and bring more electricity to Nigerian consumers. The PRG agreements were in support of a Gas Supply and Aggregation Agreement, GSAA. According to a statement issued by the Bank

in Abuja, under the 10year GSAA, which is based on the industry template developed by Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Chevron Nigeria Ltd will provide gas to Egbin power plant. This is the first time that Egbin power plant will be able to procure gas under long-term arrangements. Speaking at the occasion, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, said the PRG agreements were essential in enabling long-term gas supply arrangements for

the various power plants in the country. She said: “With over 75 per cent of Nigeria’s power generation depending on natural gas, assuring the availability and reliability of gas supply is a critical step in realising the goal of un-interrupted electricity supply to Nigerian consumers.” PRGs are used to cover private lenders against the risk of a public entity failing to perform its payment or contractual obligations. The NEGIP PRG was instrumental in achieving financial closure of the Egbin GSAA trans-

action, by providing payment security for Chevron Nigeria Ltd for the supply of gas. The payment security instrument used was a 10year Letter of Credit (L/C) issued by Deutsche Bank. The Breton Woods institution noted that the absence of long-term gas supply arrangements has been one of the main causes of power shortages in Nigeria, as gas had to be procured on a ‘best endeavor’ basis, which often was of low quality and insufficient quantity, resulting in poor performance of the power plants.


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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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2015: You can’t intimidate us, Buhari, Tinubu tell Presidency SINA FADARE

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ormer Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday hit back at the Presidency for describing them as “political liabilities”, saying they can’t be intimidated into submission ahead of the 2015 poll. The duo who spoke seperately yesterday in Lagos during the public presentation of a book:

“Witness to History” written by the National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that no amount of blackmail by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will deter the newly formed All Progressive Congress, APC. The Presidency had on Sunday described opposition leaders as lacking in integrity and bereft of the requisite social and political structures to move the country forward. It particularly said that the leaders

of the yet to be registered APC, Buhari and Tinubu are “political liabilities.” Buhari, who dismissed the claim, said it is the collective will of the progressives to come together and provide an alternative to the electorate who are tired of poor governance, poverty, hopelessness and procrastination of a better society by the ruling party. His words: “Let us consummate this merger, nobody will attempt to rig election. Nigerians are very passionate about this merger and we cannot af-

ford to disappoint them. We are going to provide a credible alternative to poor governance and we are going to banish poverty and penury that has been ravaging the people for many years.” Tinubu, on his part, in a speech titled: “A Rudderless Presidency,” noted that there is no greater liability than the Presidency, assuring that the APC is a positive storm that is systematically gathering and will sweep away the PDP when it gains momentum. He said: “The small-

L-R: Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga; Chairman, NIGERCO Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Yusuf Sani; Director, Legal, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Mrs. Aisha Hassan and Corporate Shipping and Export Manager, Shell Petroleum Development Company Nig, Capt Rick Hibbert, during the official launching of the Legal Meterology Web Portal in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

minded media minstrels of Abuja are at it again. It is a curious thing. They call former Lagos Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari insignificant and are nothing to fear, yet they seem to spend so much of their time on them. Does the eagle fear the sparrow or does an elephant fear a blade of grass? Despite their huffing and puffing, they know they are not the eagle or the elephant. Deep in their hearts, they fear that the APC has the potential for change that they lack. “Tinubu and Buhari are flattered by the attention. But Nigerians must heed the warning signs about this government and its anti-people policies. If they would only do their work as they should, the opposition and indeed millions of Nigerians would have very little to say but to congratulate them. Instead they chase after the opposition leaders like street kids running after a moving car. We have left them behind. They will soon be past history. “They can’t let their record speak for itself because it will only say bad things about them. Nigerians today are saddled with

185 killed as JTF, Boko Haram clash in Borno CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

round the affected area over the weekend. “We lost an officer during the attack on our men on patrol. We received intelligence that some suspected Boko Haram members usually pray and hide arms at a particular mosque in town. It was around that mosque that our men were attacked with several of them injured and an officer died. “When we reinforced and return to the scene, the terrorists came out with heavy firepower including RPGs (rocket propelled grenades), which usually has a conflagration effect,” Edokpaye said. Speaking with journalists yesterday, the Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Chris Kolade, also claimed that 25 Boko Haram members and a soldier were killed during the attack. He, however, kept mute on the number of civilian casualties. A resident of Baga town, identified as Mallam Bana

told the governor that the incident started about 8p.m. on Friday night. “The soldiers were mindless that night in their approach; they killed and burnt our houses, chased everyone into the bush, including women and children. So far we have buried 185 corpses, some were burnt beyond recognition; others are hospitalised with various degrees of burns,” Bana said. But General Austin Edokpaye said that the fire that consumed the town and resultant deaths should be blamed on the terrorists who opened fire on soldiers and using civilians as human shields. He denied residents’ allegations that the shootout was unprovoked and premeditated and deliberately targeted at some people. He noted that with his years of stay in Borno he had been able to cultivate civil and military relations to the effect that Baga township and environs had enjoyed relative peace for

years. He said those who died as a result of the incident could be victims of the crossfire between the soldiers and the Boko Haram gunmen, which he said was highly regrettable. Governor Shettima, who drove through the burnt town amidst heavy motorcade of security personnel, condemned the incident, which he said was a ‘nasty occurrence’. The governor was accompanied by members of the State House of Assembly, the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Alhaji Baba Ahmed Jidda as well as member representing the area in the House of Representatives, Hon. Isa Lawan Kangarwa At the town’s hospital, the governor commiserated with women, children and aged men receiving treatment for various degrees of burns caused by the fire. He also directed that those in the hospital with severe cases of burns be transferred to the Univer-

sity of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital where they could get better treatment. Bashir Isa, a grocery merchant said: “Everyone has been in the bush since Friday night; we started returning back to town because the governor came to town today. “To get food to eat in the town now is a problem because even the markets were burnt. We are still picking corpses of women and children in the bush and creeks.” Governor Shettima pleaded with fleeing residents to return to their homes as a committee had been empanelled to provide a palliative compensation for the loss they suffered. He also called on the commander to “take full charge” of his operation and ensure he personally supervises his field officers from time to time “in order to avert such nasty incidences in the future.” Before he left the town, Shettima inaugurated a high-powered committee,

led by Hon. Kangarwa, to ascertain the extent of the damage and how the people could be helped out of their seemingly irreparable trauma. It was observed that food and other basic needs became a problem in the town yesterday as a result of the crisis. Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan last night ordered an investigation into the killings, especially the high civilian casualties. A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati said that President Jonathan ordered the full-scale investigation after he received briefing from the Military High Command on the incident. The statement said: “While the preliminary briefings indicate that the casualty figures being reported by the foreign media may be grossly exaggerated, President Jonathan assures Nigerians and the

a government that lacks the presence of mind and the discipline to serve the people. The cluelessness of the current government needs no announcement. Their incompetencies need no contestation. It is writ large in the policy somersaults, mis-speak and economic and security malaise now prevalent. “Nigerians are currently saddled with a government asleep at the switch. This is a government engaged only in dynamic inactivity; of motions and gyrations without moving Nigeria forward. Nigerians are eyewitnesses to history and will be the judge when the time comes. They are possessed by the greatest political fear of them all – not that people will mistake who they are but that the people truly know who they are. “Thus, in a futile attempt they seek to belittle the accomplishments of Tinubu as governor of Lagos they shoot themselves in the foot. There is concrete and verifiable evidence about the transformation of Lagos, a foundation laid by Governor Tinubu and his team. The TinubuFashola plan for the transCONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>

global community that the Federal Government of Nigeria places the highest possible value on the lives of all citizens of the country and that his administration will continue to do everything possible to avoid the killing or injuring of innocent bystanders in security operations against terrorists and insurgents. “Rules of engagement for the military and security agencies are already in place for this purpose and the investigation ordered by President Jonathan into the incident in Baga is to amongst other things, determine whether or not these rules were fully complied with. Governor Shettima also ordered the state Ministry of Works to immediately mobilise to Baga and commence the reconstruction of houses that were destroyed. This was made known in a statement issued last night by the governor’s CONTINUED ON PAGE 8>>


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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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2015: You can’t intimidate us, Buhari, Tinubu tell Presidency CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

formation of Lagos has worked. And as members of the same party they had a coherent plan to develop Lagos State. “Can they say the same thing about anything at the federal level? Everything they touch gets broken. They call what they are doing a transformation agenda. They seem to want

to transform the nation into one big failure. Nigerians have endured this with grace and good humor. It is time for serious people with serious plans to address the serious problems we face.” Challenging the leadership of the PDP and its elected public office holders to walk the streets of Nigeria’s cities the way he

does with Fashola, Tinubu maintained that no one needs a president on lock down in Aso Villa all the time, completely isolated from the people he governs. “A leader who locks down every city he visits in Nigeria for security reasons is not our idea of a successful citizen friendly leader. There is no greater liability than such a Presi-

dency,” he said, pointing out that the ACN could not have achieved what it did if not for the ruggedness and agility of Mohammed who constantly keeps the ruling party on its toes with his analysis of developments. Earlier in his opening remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State said the PDP will con-

L-R: Governors Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Martins Elechi (Ebonyi), Theodore Orji (Abia), Peter Obi (Anambra) and Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere, at the South-East Governors’ Forum on the burial arrangements for Chinua Achebe in Enugu on Sunday. PHOTO: NAN

tinue to wax stronger and stronger no matter the media war against it. He said: “We are not saying there is not going to be elections in 2015, but we are saying that there is no vacancy unless you work hard.” Urging members of the newly formed APC not “to let personal ambition cloud collective goal and vision,” Aliyu who stressed that he is still in the PDP, noted that nation building is beyond partisanship and admonished politicians to at all times have the passion to make a difference by making sure that the people are the focus of their programmes. The governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, in his welcome address, said that the vision to make Lagos a mega city, stemmed from the fact that it is a comfortable home to all Nigerians and its vital role in the nation’s development.

Fashola said there was no going back in making sure that the state becomes a role model and a place for citizens to engage in economic activities that will uplift the growth of the economy. Buhari, who gave kudos to Mohammed for writing such a book at this auspicious time in the nation’s history, noted: “You (Mohammed) have consistently pointed out the shortcomings of the PDP, this shows an apparent courage. The book is necessary for all to read otherwise we will continue to make the same mistake.” The book’s reviewer; renowned poet, Mr. Odia Ofeimun, described it as a must read for those who want to know the intrigues and political schemings in the polity of late. According to him, the book is a template for historians as well as a good material for future researchers.

N537bn required for electricity grid –FG CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

of power generation in 2014 and 20,000MW by 2016. The minister gave the figures just as President Goodluck Jonathan, speaking at the same event, said accusations about corruption in Nigeria were exaggerated pointing to the transparent manner the power sector privatisation was being conducted. According to the minister, government is working out funding of Transmission Company of Nigeria’s long term expansion plan from a mix, which includes the Transmission Development Fund, International Development Banks and multilateral agencies. He stated that the nation’s current installed generation capacity has risen to 6,000MW while the generation capability has increased to 5,228MW with peak generation at slightly above 4,500MW. He said his ministry expected to add additional generation capacity of about 2,200MW from the National Integrated Power Projects, NIPP, projects before the end of 2013 apart from investments to boost generation through the large, medium and small hydros with total capacity of over 4,234MW. The minister added that

the massive increase in generation underpins the need for a robust transmission grid. He stated that arrangements are being made to ensure that roles are defined to suit the emerging scenario as the nation transits from a government controlled vertically inclined monopoly to a private sector-led structured electricity market. Jonathan had earlier insisted that the processes of reforming the power sector and handling of the fertiliser sector have been transparent since he assumed leadership of Nigeria. “I’m particularly pleased to hear directly from the private sector that the process was transparent and those stories of corruption were not heard. Let me continue to assure Nigerians that yes there are issues of corruption in this country but somehow it has been over-amplified. “People should watch how we have been conducting government business. We have been bringing down the issues of corruption gradually. If you look at the fertilizer sector, you will agree with me that if government actors are interested we would have continued the same story of buying all kinds of things, awarding

all kinds of contracts in the name of fertiliser. “But we are not doing that. We have sanitised that sector. Look at the power sector, when we started initially there were stories in the papers but at the end, even when I was in the United States, companies from there that participated said publicly that the process was transparent and issues of corruption was not there. “At least today we have also heard directly, that the process was transparent and that there were no issues of manipulation or corruption. I plead with Nigerians that the country belongs to all of us and we will all protect what belongs to us, what belongs to our children and what belongs to the generation yet unborn. We are committed to doing our best for this country; God willing, we will succeed,” Jonathan said. The new investors in the electricity distribution companies otherwise known as DISCOs, however, urged the Federal Government to ensure that the lingering labour issues in the sector were resolved. Former Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa Plc and the Chairman, Transnational Corporation Plc, which won the

bid for the Ughelli Power Plant, Mr. Tony Elumelu, while speaking on behalf of the investors, said some of the companies were ready to pay up the outstanding 75 per cent of the bid price and take over the companies immediately if the labour issues were resolved. Elumelu also expressed disappointment over the non-inclusion of Nigerian banks in the funding arrangements, stressing that Nigerian banks have come of age and deserved consideration in such transactions. Fifteen investors were given payment certificates by the Federal Government at the ceremony. Those who got certificates were bid winners for Kainji, Shiroro, Geregu, Sapele and Ughelli power generation companies and those for the 10 distribution companies Abuja, Ikeja, Jos, Eko, Port Harcourt, Benin, Enugu, Kano, Ibadan and Yola. The Minister of State for Power, Hajia Zainab Kuchi, said while distributing the certificates that the companies had already paid 25 per cent of the initial amount. Kuchi said the remaining 75 per cent would be paid when government settled labour issues with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC. Earlier, the Chairman

of the Presidential Task Force on Power, Chief Beks Dagogo-Jack, said the event would inform Nigerians of the government’s Power Reform Agenda. He said the Federal Government had reduced risks in the power industry to minimum to create conducive atmosphere for the investors. Dagogo-Jack said that some international finance institutions would provide foreign capital into the sector to assist the investors. World Bank, others sign $145m deal to boost gas supply, electricity Meanwhile, the World Bank yesterday signed Partial Risk Guarantee (PRG) with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, Egbin Power Plc, Chevron Nigeria Ltd, and Deutsche Bank for $145m to support Nigeria’s gas sector and bring more electricity to Nigerian consumers. The PRG agreements were in support of a Gas Supply and Aggregation Agreement, GSAA. According to a statement issued by the Bank in Abuja, under the 10-year GSAA, which is based on the industry template developed by Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Chevron Nigeria Ltd will provide gas to Egbin power plant, there will be assur-

ance of gas availability and reliability for power generation and assisting in economic growth. This is the first time that Egbin Power Plant will be able to procure gas under long-term arrangements. Speaking on the PRG agreements, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Marie Francoise MarieNelly, said, “With over 75 per cent of Nigeria’s power generation depending on natural gas, assuring the availability and reliability of gas supply is a critical step in realising the goal of uninterrupted electricity supply to Nigerian consumers.” The World Bank PRG, provided under the IDAfinanced Nigeria Electricity and Gas Improvement Project, NEGIP, was key to enabling long-term gas supply arrangements. PRGs are used to cover private lenders against the risk of a public entity failing to perform its payment or contractual obligations. The NEGIP PRG was instrumental in achieving financial closure of the Egbin GSAA transaction, by providing payment security for Chevron Nigeria Ltd for the supply of gas. The payment security instrument used was a 10-year Letter of Credit issued by Deutsche Bank.


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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Nigeria loses N9.3trn to inaccurate measurement, billing annually –Aganga

Jonathan constitutes boards of agencies, polytechnics, others

OLUFEMI ADEOSUN

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ABUJA

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he Federal Government yesterday bemoaned the consequences of inaccurate measurement and billing on the nation’s economy, stressing that the country loses about N9.3 trillion annually to the lapses. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, made the disclosure in Abuja at the launch of the legal metrology web portal. The legal metrology is the science of measurement which provides regulations for the control of measurements and measuring instruments.

It is an essential requirement which underpins the sale at both retail and wholesale level of food, petrol and many other goods, a sector of trade which accounts for more than 31.6 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP. Despite the challenges to the country, Aganga said the Federal Government was determined to address all issues associated with measurement and billing. The minister, who approved the commencement of the implementation of the new policy on weight and measurement at the event, said the policy would help the Federal Government to save about N474 billion annually and generate

about N17 billion this year. On the significance of the legal metrology system, he said, “it will ensure proper inspection verification and certification of meters to ensure proper billing system of electricity, water, hydrocarbon and telecommunication thereby eliminating N775 billion loss every month due to inaccurate measure and billing by Nigerians.” Aganga explained that the present administration was poised to ensure that Nigerians get value for not only locally produced goods and services but also imported products. He said: “All over the world, there is legal metrology which ensures that what

you buy is accurate and legal. “If you look at the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative Report, there is a lot of leakage in the oil and gas industry, either because the meters are not working or they are not installed at the right places. “But for the first time, President Goodluck Jonathan has given us approval to commence that operation across all sectors of the economy; we are starting with the oil and gas, telecoms and power sector.” According to him, the launch of the website would also promote accountability and transparency even as it will increase revenue generation.

L-R: Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Dr. Bright Okogu; Executive Director, World Bank, Mr. Mansur Muhtar; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi and Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at a conference with newsmen from Nigeria at the Spring Meeting of the World Bank and the IMF in Washington DC, on Sunday. PHOTO: NAN

ThisDay office bombing: Suspect appears in court, demands public trial ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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uspected bomber of ThisDay Office in Kaduna, Mr. Mustapha Umar, yesterday asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to reject the request by the Federal Government to exclude members of the public from witnessing his trial. Umar said trying him in camera was not only unconstitutional but also unfair and unacceptable to him. Although the Federal Government explained yesterday, in an application, that media representatives would be allowed to cover the proceedings, the suspect, however, told the court that he would not concede to the application even as he hired

a new counsel, Mr. Nureni Sulaimon, to defend him. The presiding judge, Justice Ademola Adeniyi, who could not proceed with the trial, adjourned till April 29, to enable the counsel to the opposing parties address him on the application to exclude the public from witnessing the proceedings and to enable Umar’s counsel to familiarise himself with the case file and lodge his defence to the charges. Umar was accused of bombing SOJ Plaza in Kaduna State occupied by ThisDay, The Moment and The Sun newspapers. Over 10 persons were reportedly killed in the attack. At the last hearing, the suspect was represented by Mr. Felix Umai and Mohammed Umar, both of Manga

Chambers in Abuja. He, however, changed counsel who told the court that he was just briefed on Monday. But before the adjournment, the prosecutor, Simon Labaran, asked the court to hear his application to exclude the public except the press and the parties to the case, from hearing the proceedings. The defence counsel, however, objected, saying the constitution mandated the trial to be in the open. The judge therefore directed the defence counsel to file his response to the application. He also directed him to file the defence of his client to the charges and front load it to enable the court handle the case with dispatch.

Adeniyi also ordered the suspect to be remanded in Kuje Prison even as he directed the prison officials to allow the suspect access to his lawyer and family to enable him prepare his defence adequately. The judge also directed the prison officials to make sure that the accused was brought to court at 9am. The suspect was brought to court at 9:58am yesterday. The case was initially stood down because the accused was not brought early. At the last hearing, the prosecutor had applied that Umar’s trial he held in private. Taking the hint from the judge, Labaran had amended his application to allow the press to cover the trial.

OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday approved the composition and appointments of the Chairmen and members of the Governing Councils/ Boards of federal polytechnics, agencies and colleges of education. The approval coincided with the commencement of a one-week strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP. ASUP had at the weekend announced a seven-day warning strike which began yesterday, listing the non-composition of the governing councils of federal polytechnics as part of its reasons for the industrial action. The union also argued that polytechnic rectors had become tin-gods as a result of the non-composition of the governing boards. A statement from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, gave the names of Dr. Yunusa Adamu Dangwani, Hajiya Mamma Ibrahim Hassan Lau, Abe Joseph Aku, Chief Adebowale Atanda Niyi Salako, Chief Ndidi Okereke and Mr. Anselem Igo-Goin as members of the board of the Nigeria Boundary Commission. The commission is usually chaired by the Vice-President. Former Chief of Army Staff and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, General Salihu Ibra-

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him, heads the board of the Nigerian Shippers Council. Members are Alhaji Sani Dauda, Alhaji Bala Buhari and Hon. Paul Anikwe. Chief Gordon Bozimo heads the board of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC. Members are Mr. Domnic G. Yahaya, Prof. Stella Attoe and Nnamdi Anyaechie. The Board of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, is chaired by Chief Patrick Ogbu, while members are Bashir Samaila Ahmed, Daniel Bwala, Ahmed M. Agina, Hon. Dele Fagoriola, Mrs. Rose Okoronkwo and Mr. Billy Etuk. PDP Board of Trustees, BOT, member, Senator Walid Jibrin, chairs the Board of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council. The Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron has Chief Mike Abiotomere as chairman, while members are Abdulmumini Yunusa, Chief Oliver Agbasoga and Mr. Reuben Aggo. The Board of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, is chaired by former PDP Chairman, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, while members are Hon. Iquo Minima, Sq. Ldr M. Ashu (rtd), Hon. Ibrahim Mohammed Gimi, Emma Ogbu, Hon. Austin Nwachukwu, Umar Liman Zuru, Alhaji Abdullahi Jalo, Alhaji Yunusa Yahaya Suleiman, Alhaja Sariyu A. Oyawoye, Chief Ejinima Mike, Mr. Ehiozuwa J. Agbonayinma, Mrs. Theresa Ikwue, Hon. A. K. Saliu, Hon. Wakil Aliyu and Mohammed Kabiru Abubakar.

Yusufu, pension thief, asks court to stop fresh trial ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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onvicted former Director of the Police Pension Office, Mr. John Yakubu Yusufu, yesterday begged Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court, Abuja to quash the charge slammed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Yusufu, who is standing a fresh trial for his failure to fully disclose his assets while in public service, based his request on the grounds that he had been tried and convicted over the same offence. Yusufu is facing a fourcount charge bordering on failure to make full disclosure of assets and liability in his Assets Declaration

form and declare his interest in a company known as SY-A Global Services Limited. At the resumed hearing yesterday, his counsel, Mr. F. C. Ibeh, informed the court he had filed a fresh application on Friday April 19 to quash the charges against his client. In the application, he contended that the ingredients of fresh four-count charge brought against him were the same with the ones he was convicted by the Abuja High Court, adding that the 1999 Constitution forbade being tried twice over the same offence. But the prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, opposed the application on the grounds that it was not ripe for hearing.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Again, fire guts INEC headquarters OMEIZA AJAYI

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or the umpteenth time, a mysterious fire yesterday gutted the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Abuja. The fire, which occurred at about noon affected the office of the former Director in charge of Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR, located in the Information and Communication Technology, ICT, building. Although, INEC said the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained, it said preliminary investigation showed

that it might have been triggered off by a surge in electricity supply. The commission said it has commenced investigation into the incident. Only in January this year, there was an inferno at the same headquarters, affecting the office of the Director of Voter Registry at the same Information, Communication and Technology, ICT, unit. INEC’s Director of Publicity, Emmanuel Umengyer, had in January dismissed reports of sabotage, saying that the inferno did not affect any sensitive document. “As you have seen, the fire incident began and ended in the office

of the Director of Voter Registry only. Due to the efforts of the staff on the ground, who alerted the relevant agencies, the fire was put out before it could spread to other places and luckily, the voter registration data base was not affected and the saver was saved because the fire did not even get to that section of the building”, he had stated. National Mirror recalls

that in April, 2011 the security post of the commission was gutted by fire; on May 24, 2011 the waiting room of the office of the chairman of the commission also recorded a fire incident and at another time last year the Electoral Institute of the commission suffered similar fate. Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, in a statement yesterday

in Abuja, said the fire was put under control by security men. “There was a minor fire incident at about mid-day today, Monday, April 22, 2013, at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Abuja. “The fire occurred in the office of the former Director in charge of Alternative

Dispute Resolution, ADR, located in the ICT building, and was restricted to that office when it was put out. “Men of the Fire Service attached to the commission swiftly responded to put the fire out. There was no damage whatsoever to any vital facility of the commission. “Formal investigation of the cause of the fire has commenced. Initial assessment, however, suggests that it might have resulted from an electrical fault,” Idowu stated.

185 killed as JTF, Boko Haram clash in Borno CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Isa Umar Gusau. The statement said the number of persons killed as well as houses destroyed has not been accurately ascertained by any competent authority as government awaits the report of its committee or any reliable source of information to ascertain accurate figures. “The governor also ordered release of funds to the Ministry of Works to gather all consumables and move earth moving equipment and brick making machines to Baga town to begin reconstruction while he held several meetings with stakeholders from Kukawa Local Government area to take firm measures that will further ameliorate the condition of surviving victims and other residents. Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigerian, CAN, in the 19 Northern states and Abuja yesterday called on the United States, British and Israeli governments to assist Nigeria with special security forces to stem the Boko Haram genocide against Christians in the North. Northern CAN Public Relations Officer, Mr. Sunday Oibe, in a telephone interview over reported rule of Boko Haram in 10 local government areas in northern Borno State said renewed attacks in the region indicated that only confrontation could end the insurgency. CAN further condemned what it described as ongoing systematic genocide against Christians in the region. It urged the Federal

Government to use huge amount of public funds earmarked for amnesty to empower security agencies with first class weapons that would aid their operations. CAN said: “We received a report from our CAN chapter in Borno State that killings of Christian passengers on the road by Boko Haram was on throughout the weekend and Sunday. We also read in the media that Boko Haram is in firm control of 10 local governments in Borno State. We said it before, Boko Haram is not political, poverty is not their problem, what they want is to Islamise the North and the country in general. “Nigeria is gradually becoming like Northern Mali. We are calling on USA, Britain, Israel and others to send a special security squad to assist Nigeria’s government to end Boko Haram. We have confidence in our security agencies but government refused giving them free hands to crush the insurgents.”

KUNLE A ZEEZ

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TN Nigeria, one of the country’s largest telecoms company, is closing a $3 billion (about N470 billion) facility deal aimed at expanding its network infrastructures in the current year. The formal signing ceremony between MTN and a consortium of banks, which will finance the facility, as part of the 2013 mediumterm funding facility is taking place today. The event will hold at

Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Sen. Umaru Dahiru (left) and Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, at the public hearing on the bill for an Act to create the offence of corporate manslaughter and for matters incidental thereto in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

FG sets up panel on forensic, DNA laboratories OMEIZA AJAYI

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n a move it described as a concrete response to the growing wave of insecurity in the country, President Goodluck Jonathan, has constituted a Presidential Committee to assess the state of Forensic and Deoxyribonucleic Acid, DNA, laboratories available currently for use by the Nigeria Police and other security agencies. A statement signed by the Assistant Director,

Press and Public Relations in the Ministry of Police Affairs, James Odaudu, said the committee which was inaugurated by the Police Affairs Minister, Caleb Olubolade, on behalf of the President, has one month to submit its report. The statement added that its membership is drawn from all the security services, the Presidency and the Office of the Solicitor-General of the Federation. It was, however, silent on the identities of the members of the com-

mittee. “The committee is also charged with advising the Federal Government on the modalities for upgrading the available ones and the propriety, technical and financial implications of establishing new ones in line with technical and professional standards obtainable worldwide,” it added. The statement quoted President Jonathan as decrying the absence of modern and technically up-todate forensic laboratories

in Nigeria, which has hampered crime investigations by the police and relevant agencies and said the country cannot continue to depend on other countries for quality and acceptable forensic services. “He directed the committee to also examine all laws relating to forensic services in the country, with a view to bringing them up-to-date with what obtains in other climes, especial as they concern the regulation of private forensic practices.

MTN seals N470bn deal for network expansion Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Although, a breakdown of the purpose of the facility and the banks involved was sketchy yesterday, National Mirror gathered that the facility would be directed at further boosting the telecoms network capacity of the operator for improved service delivery to the over 45 million telecoms subscribers on the network. The new facility, which, as gathered, was meant for the whole MTN Group, will see MTN Nigeria biting about

$1.5 billion of the total sum. This appears to be the reason why the Nigerian operation is spear-heading the signing of the deal on behalf of the entire group. MTN, last month, said about 13.1 billion Rand (around $1.5 billion) of the total MTN Groups Capital Expenditure (Capex) of 29 billion Rand (over $3 billion) for this year will be spent on network expansion for its Nigerian market. The group’s allocation to its Nigerian operation for 2013 is the highest in all its

over 20 countries of operations. Next to MTN Nigeria in the capital expenditure allocation is South Africa, followed by Iran with 5 billion Rand and less than 2 billion Rand respectively. The Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Wale Goodluck, had earlier hinted on the capital expenditure (Capex) in a recent forum held in Lagos. According to him, the $1.5 billion allocation to MTN Nigeria represented slightly more than 50 per cent of the

total Group Capex. Goodluck recalled that $1.3 billion was used as Capex for MTN in 2012, saying that Nigeria was still favoured in the current year by taking the lion share of the Group’s total capital expenditure. According to him, the current $1.5 billion would be directed at network expansion such as the building of more base stations to engender improved access to voice and data services with wider coverage to its growing subscribers.


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South West

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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Strike: We are not bound by court Telecoms operators asked to order, say Osun lecturers ensure success of number porting S T ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

KUNLE AZEEZ

he Federal Government has asked telecoms operators to ensure the success of the Mobile Number Portability scheme. Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson and the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Eugene Juwah, gave the operators the tall order as the porting service officially kicked off yesterday, in Lagos following three years of intensive planning. MNP is the process that enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when

changing from one mobile network operator to another. The kick-off in Nigeria came about two years after Ghana launched its own in July 2011, with other countries across Europe, Asia and America launched theirs as far back as 1997. The launch of the scheme was attended by key stakeholders in the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), such as MTN Nigeria, Airtel, Globacom and Etisalat. Speaking at the launch, the minister stressed the need to have seamless transitions within the networks. The minister, who was represented by the NCC Board Chairman, Mr. Peter Igho, said many people had asked about the possibility of getting the scheme started

in Nigeria. She said: “But today, that jinx has broken. We have entered into a regime where subscribers have freedom to choose. This is one single project discovered to have gathered so much support from all over the country from the survey carried out.” She hinted that more regulations and guidelines from the NCC are coming out that will ensure that the scheme becomes a success in Nigeria. In his address, NCC boss, Juwah said MNP has been identified as one of such services that could further deepen the competition in the telecommunications market. He said: “With the growing reliance and dependency on mobile communications for our everyday socio-

economic interactions, our mobile subscriber numbers have become our identity. “With the launch of MNP today, consumers of telecoms services will no longer need to acquire new numbers in other to move from one network service provider to another. “They will simply take along their existing numbers along with them to any network of their choice. The power and freedom of choice will henceforth rest with the consumer. If a consumer is dissatisfied with the quality of service being provided by a service provider, he or she can simply port out of that network to any network of his or her choice without loosing his or her subscriber number.”

triking academic workers of the four Osun State tertiary institutions have defied court order directing them to return to their duty posts. The workers also ignored pleas by stakeholders to suspend the strike in the interest of students. They said they would not suspend the strike until their demands are met by the state government. The leaders of the four tertiary institutions spoke yesterday at a press conference held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Osogbo, the state capital. They said that the court only has the right to direct the management of the institutions and not the academic staff union. The leaders said that the court only directed that they should resume academic work, but did not have the right to say “what we have embarked upon was not right.” Addressing journalists on behalf of other institutions, Mr. Olusegun Oni-

fade, said: “The order of the court is meant for the managements of the institutions and we are not the management. We are registered members of a legally established association. Since the government is not ready to dialogue with us sincerely, the strike will continue. “The seriousness of the government is not in the negotiation. There are issues that do not necessarily require any form of negotiation as an agreement had been reached on all these issues and decision reduced to writing for over two years now. “For clear comprehension, the issues can be summarized as follows: Non remittance of deductions for contributory pension scheme; reneging on the already approved 65 years retirement age for academic staff; adoption of new federal tax regime that does not respect federal salary structure; gross understanding in almost all academic units/ departments of the institutions and failure of the government to honor the agreement on the full payment of CONPCASS since November 23, 2011.”

NCC seeks stakeholders’ support for intellectual property protection NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

L-R: President, Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev. Supo Ayokunle; Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori; Governor Rauf Aregbesola; Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Wale Afolabi and Osun State Baptist Conference President, Rev Testimony Onifade, during Aregbesola’s visit to Osun Baptist Church New Site at Ajobo area in Osogbo, at the Weekend.

Seven-year-old swept away by flood in Ekiti •Fayemi to demolish houses on waterways ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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seven-year-old boy, Olamide Ayeni, was swept away by the flood that accompanied a downpour on Sunday night in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital. The all-night rain, causing culverts, roads and river banks to be over flown, sacked many homes and business outfits in many parts of the city. An uncle of the late Olamide, who simply identified himself as Simeon, told journalists at their Dallimore Street residence that the incident occurred when the child accompanied his sister,

Faith, on an errand. Simeon said the child accidentally stepped into the flooded road and was immediately swept off. Giving graphic detail of how the incident happened, the uncle said: “Olamide had gone with his 15-yearold sister on an errand by their mother. From what we learnt, when the rain started, they stayed back where they had gone. When the rain subsided, she held her brother’s hand as they made their way home. Olamide missed his step on the flooded road and fell into the culvert. “The sister ran home to report the incident and sympathisers made attempts to rescue him. We also called the

fire service men and they came to join in the efforts to find him. Up till now, we have not found his body.” According to him, the parents of the missing boy, 40-year-old Mr Matthew Ayeni and Mrs Oluwafunke Ayeni had been moved out of their house on the street because they could not cope with the trauma of the tragedy. Following the flood, Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday visited affected areas, including Elemi in Adehun on Iworoko Road where a popular hotel was affected. The flood also wreaked havoc in areas such as Ureje, Omisanjana, Ajilosun, Peace Estate and Emirin communi-

ty where a bridge was almost destroyed. Fayemi said buildings erected on waterways and those without approvals by the state town planning office would be demolished in the next two weeks to prevent flooding. The governor, who was worried by how some land lords violated town planning laws, said the demolition was aimed at protecting lives and property. He said though the government failed to enforce the law on building constructions in the past, a situation which he said had given many people the impetus to build without respect for safety of their lives and property, the government would henceforth begin a strict enforcement of the law to prevent flood-related disasters.

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s the world celebrates the 2013 World Book and Copyright Day today, the Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Afam Ezekude, has urged stakeholders to support the commission’s drive for intellectual property protection. In a press statement made available to National Mirror, Ezekude reiterated the fact that the choice of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, as the World Book Capital for 2014 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, (UNESCO) should be a source of national pride which would inspire better appreciation of books among Nigerians. He said: “NCC is delighted to join member-states of UNESCO around the world, espe-

cially stakeholders in the copyright industry, literary authors and publishers in celebrating the power of books as a veritable vehicle of transmission of knowledge and forging understanding among peoples of diverse cultures with prospects of actualisation of our lofty dreams for a better future. “In setting aside April 23 for this purpose, UNESCO seeks to mobilise its member-states worldwide in underscoring the importance of books and authors, the relevance and benefits of cultivating the reading culture especially among our youths and appreciating the role of literary endeavours in the sustenance of our humanity and national development. “This year’s celebration focuses on ways to better disseminate the culture of the written word and guarantee access to it by all men, women and children.


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Nigeria in trouble, unless –Oba Akiolu

SEGUN ADIO

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he Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, has warned of more troubles for the country unless the leadership and indeed all the tiers of government,

work toward conducting credible polls even as the 2015 general elections draw near. Oba Akiolu said this yesterday in Lagos at the opening of the First Commanding Officers Workshop 2013 held at the 81 Division Officers Mess, Marina, Lagos.

The monarch, however, noted that the impending trouble is avoidable if we come together to conduct honest, fair and sincere elections in 2015. His words: “Let us be honest with ourselves, trouble is coming in Nigeria, but it is avoidable only if we conduct honest, fair and sincere elec-

tions,” he said. The monarch, who lambasted traditional rulers that refused to tell the truth to people in authority, said suffering and poverty are part of the causes of the troubles currently confronting the country. He continued: “What I am

after is good governance in this country, but it is unfortunate that there are monarchs who will tell the authority only what they want to hear, but I am not in that category. “It is unfortunate that we have found ourselves in the situation we are now. The level of poverty and suffering among our people is now growing at a geometrical progression and we think it will continue to go on like this?” he queried. Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, has called for alertness from commanders of army formations in the country, saying that the action and inaction of the officers and personnel under them would rob off on the

commanders. The army chief also regretted the porosity of the nation’s borders which he said the terrorists are capitalising on to carry out their acts. Speaking with reporters at the event, Gen. Ihejirika says; “I expect you as part of operational security to ensure maximum troops’ alertness and security of your personnel, installation and equipment at all times. “Let me remind you that the threat we are faced with today is principally asymmetric and not conventional. From the creeks in the Niger Delta to the Sahel Savannah region in the North-East and North-West, there is no clear line between you and the adversary.”

Court dismisses lawmaker’s motion on vacation of seat HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE L-R: Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika and Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, at the first Commanding Officers’ Workshop in Lagos, yesterday.

ACN backs Ajimobi for sacking Ladoja’s men

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yo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, yesterday backed Governor Abiola Ajimobi, over the sack of Accord Party, AP, nominees in the ACN-led government in the state. The party, in a statement issued in Ibadan by its state Publicity Secretary, Hon. Dauda Kolawole, also pledged support for the governor in his transformation agenda. ACN described the AP leader in the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, on whose back the nominees came into government, as “a traitor who has betrayed the people of Oyo State.” The party recalled that the gentleman’s agreement entered with the AP leader had caused a lot of disaffection in ACN at the inception

of the Ajimobi administration, adding; “But for the wisdom, understanding and maturity of Governor Ajimobi, the story would have been different in the ACN.” The party noted that for some time now, the Ladoja had, together with his cohorts, been going round Ibadan and indeed, the entire state with concocted lies, aimed at misleading the public and cause disaffection within the polity. “This is not only dubious, it also raises concern over the so-called alliance between Governor Ajimobi and Senator Ladoja, and the extent to which he (Ladoja) could go to wreak havoc in the Ajimobi government for the realisation of his selfish ambition. “It is ironic that the AP, whose members are active

participants in government, to engage in dirty politicking at a time when Governor Ajimobi is deeply engrossed in serious government business of delivering democracy dividends to the people of the state as well as building an economically-viable state,” ACN said. The party urged Ladoja; “whose political coffin has been permanently nailed by the outstanding achievements of Governor Ajimobi,” to concentrate on how to clear himself of allegations of corruption hanging on his neck rather than dissipating energy on how to derail a winning team. “Ladoja should be told in clear terms that he has been tested twice and he has failed the people of Oyo State woefully. He has wasted their time and the scarce

resources of the state. “We all prayed for a change and our prayers were answered with the emergence of Governor Ajimobi, who has since brought unprecedented development to Oyo State. Ladoja should stop hallucinating on his return but rather concentrate on his purported ambition of becoming the Olubadan of Ibadanland,” the party said. It applauded the wisdom and courage of Governor Ajimobi for fulfilling his own side of the bargain with Ladoja even though the former governor had, right from day one, reneged on the agreement. The party urged all its members in the state to seize the opportunity of the collapse of the alliance to come together and work for the success of the party in future elections.

Soldiers’ deployment: Absence of judge stalls hearing of suit WALE IGBINTADE

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he absence of Justice Samuel Candide-Johnson of a Lagos High Court, yesterday stalled the hearing of the suit filed by the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Lagos branch against the Federal Government over the deployment of armed soldiers in all major locations in Lagos State during the protest against the increase in the price of petroleum products

in January, 2012. The suit brought under the fundamental rights (enforcement procedure) rules, 2009 and under inherent jurisdiction of the court was jointly filed by the NBA Chairman, Mr. Taiwo Taiwo, its Secretary, Mr. Alex Muoka and Bar leader and human rights activist, EbunOlu Adegboruwa. Many of those who trooped to court for the hearing of the suit were, however, disappointed when the court

registrar announced that the court would not sit. Already, Justice CandideJohnson had struck out the name of President Goodluck Jonathan, following an application by the claimants to discontinue their claims against the President. Specifically, the applicants are demanding for N100 million as damages against the respondents, jointly and severally for alleged violation of their fundamental rights. Sued as defendants are

the Minister of Defence, Dr. Bello Mohammed, the Chief of Defence Staff, Air ViceMarshall Oluseye Pentinrin, the then InspectorGeneral of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim and the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, Mr. Bello Adoke, SAN. The soldiers were deployed in January last year to prevent the protests and peaceful demonstrations that followed the removal of fuel subsidy, which led to a hike in petroleum products’ prices.

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Federal High Court sitting in Akure, yesterday dismissed a motion filed by a member representing Akure North/ Akure South federal constituency in the lower House, Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde, to stop the vacation of his seat as ordered by the same court last June. Abegunde had approached the court to institute a case against the Ondo State House of Assembly, the Labour Party, LP, and others praying the court to restrain the respondents from declaring his seat vacant following his defection from LP to the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. Justice Gloria Okeke had earlier ruled that Abegunde should vacate his seat im-

mediately, a situation which prompted him to file an application for a stay of execution of the judgment at both the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal. Respondents’ counsel and state Deputy Director of Civil Litigation, Mr. Shile Akinnibosun, had during one of the earlier sittings, complained that since the applicant filed a motion for stay of execution at the court shortly after the judgment, nothing had been heard about it thereafter. “My Lord, after the applicant filed the motion for a stay of execution before this court, instead of coming to court to argue the motion after issues have been joined, surprisingly he rushed to file a similar application before the Court of Appeal and abandoned the one before your Lordship.”

TJD mobilises 3.5bn people globally to praise God OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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he Jesus Dream, TJD, headed by Emmanuel Ehimika, has concluded plans to mobilise over 3.5 billion people around the world on June 30, for the fourth edition of its annual one-hour prayer programme, to praise and thank God. The Jesus Dream initiative, which began in 2010, is a onehour event where Christians, all over the world at an appointed time would stop whatever they are doing and observe prayer sessions and communicate with their creator. What made this year’s edition, which has been described as “the most unifying Christian experience since Pentecost,”

unique is that it is designed to praise and thank God for reconciling mankind to Him through His son, Jesus Christ. Preparations for this year’s event, which is scheduled to hold between 8.00 and 9.00pm Nigerian time on June 30, are already in top gear, according to the initiator of the programme, Ehimika, also widely known as the Preacherman, while addressing the media in Ikeja, Lagos. Former National President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, Dr. (Mrs.) Kate Okpaleke, who is the Global Campaign Executive of the TJD, disclosed that the 2013 edition of the programme is designed as a day of thanksgiving and praise.


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South East

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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APGA: Umeh, Okwu fight over legal representation CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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L-R: Member, House of Representatives’ Committee on Petroleum, Alhaji Ibrahim Khalid; Enugu State Deputy Governor, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi and Chairman of the committee, Mr. Muraino Ajibola, during the committee’s visit to the Enugu State Government House, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Ebonyi LG chair, policeman die in auto crash ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI

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he Chairman of Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Chief Chief Obasi Nwode, and a policeman have died in an auto crash, while three others sustained injuries. The accident occurred on a day Governor Martin Elechi was scheduled to begin a tour of the local government area. The accident, it was learnt, occurred at the Nkwagu Military Cantonment end of the Abakaliki - Afikpo Expressway while the chairman was returning from the headquarters of the council. Three other occupants of the Toyota Hilux van with

the registration number: LG 01A NCA sustained varying degrees of injury. Reacting to the development, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Chike Onwe, said the vehicle somersaulted several times. “His death is a great loss, as he served his people and the state government meritoriously and replicated the governor’s programmes in his council,” Onwe said. The commissioner noted that he discussed with the late chairman on Saturday when it became obvious that the governor would no longer be visiting his council as scheduled. He said: “We scheduled to see on Monday morning to deliberate more only for the tragic incident to occur on

Sunday. In a swift reaction, the wife of the governor, Mrs. Josephine Elechi, who visited the country home of the late chairman, expressed profound sadness and described Nwode as a loving father and people-oriented chairman. Confirming the incident, the state Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Mr. Jide Fehintola, said he visited the scene to assess the crash. He said: “The cause of the crash could be attributed to over speeding as the driver was trying to negotiate a bend.” Fehintola said another crash occurred on the road on Sunday which involved a Nissan Xterra Sport Utility Vehicle.

Imo communities protest rape, attacks by herdsmen CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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everal farmlands in Imo State have been devastated as Fulani cattle breeders raped natives in communities where their cattle grazed. Following this development, the Committee Against Menace of Fulani Herdsmen and State Neglect stormed the state House of Assembly yesterday to protest destruction of their farmlands and several rape cases recorded in various communities in the state. The committee’s spokesperson, Mr. Christian Anihe, said their crops had all been destroyed.

Anihe bemoaned the alarming cases of rape, assault and murder of women by the Fulani herdsmen. According to him, women no longer go to their farms for fear of being attacked. He also recalled a clash with the herdsmen in 2010 which resulted in the death of three members of one of the communities. Anihe called on the Assembly to react urgently to the problem to forestall further breakdown of law and order if the communities decided to defend themselves. The zonal chief of the Akanu, Ihe and Umuakpu communities, Mr. Sabastine Eze, said the assistance given to flood victims should be ex-

tended to them. He called on the Assembly to react swiftly to avoid retaliation by the Ohaji Egbema people. The House member representing Ohaji Egbema state constituency, Hon. Luke Chukwu, also decried the devastation of the people’s farmlands by cattle. He condemned the violence unleashed on the people by the herdsmen. The Deputy Speaker, Donatus Ozoemena, promised that the Assembly would adopt a swift and precise approach to provide a lasting solution to the problem in the area, while commending the people for maintaining peace.

The accident, according to him, was caused by a tyre burst, though no life was lost. He said: “We checked the tyres of the vehicle and discovered that they were manufactured in 2008 and were supposed to have expired.” The sector commander, however, cautioned that drivers should avoid over speeding to avert accidents.

t was a stormy session at the Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State yesterday as the camps of Chief Victor Umeh and Maxi Okwu fought over who should appoint counsel for the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. The incident occurred during hearing in the case filed by Charles Nwazojie for himself and on behalf of the Ward, Local Government Area and State Executive Committees of APGA against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Inspector General of Police, the state Commissioner of Police, Okwu and Hon. Egwuoyibo Okoye. The court presided over by Justice M. T. Saliihu had on April 15 granted an interim order of restriction against Okwu and other key officers in his camp. At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, immediately the announcement of appearances begun, two leading counsel, Kingsley Awuka and Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, fought tirelessly on the issue of which of them should represent

APGA, which is the fourth respondent in the judicial review application brought by Nwazojie. Immediately Ikpeazu told the court that he was representing APGA based on the mandate he got from Okwu, Awuka raised objection, saying he was the one properly briefed by Umeh to represent APGA in the case. The two lawyers reeled out principles of law and facts in support of their respective positions. Ikpeazu, making his first appearance, contended that he had been brought properly into the case having been duly authorised by Okwu and therefore should represent APGA. But in his submission, Awuka said the issue of change of counsel which Ikpeazu canvassed did not arise because his client, Umeh never briefed the lawyer who was being replaced by Ikpeazu. Awuka, who said the issue of legal representation for APGA was a fair hearing matter which should be resolved in favour of the party he was representing, disclosed that his application was for the court to allow proper representation for APGA.

Treason: Uwazuruike ready to go to prison –MASSOB CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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he Movement for Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, said yesterday in Owerri, the Imo State capital, its leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, was prepared to go to prison. MASSOB’s Deputy National Director of Information, Mazi Chris Mocha, who spoke on behalf of the group, was reacting to the order of the Supreme Court directing the Federal High Court to resume Uwazuruike’s treason trial. Mocha vowed that the group would not to waiver in its determination to prosecute the Federal Government and the police at the International Criminal Court of Justice, ICCJ, for the gruesome killing and dumping of over 50 Igbo youths including nine MASSOB members in Azu River in Anambra State. According to him, Uwazuruike is not jittery of going back to prison again

because he has done that earlier. He said: “The threat to rearrest Chief Uwazuruike is for us to withdraw our case at ICCJ. We cannot withdraw the case against the police authorities for that genocide.” Mocha explained that Uwazuruike, who was arrested on October 25, 2005 and granted three months bail by the Federal High Court on October 26, 2007 to bury his late mother, Mrs. Monica Uwazuruike, on January 19, 2008, voluntarily submitted himself after the burial. He said: “After the burial of his mother, Chief Uwazuruike submitted himself to Imo State Police Command on January 22, 2008 to be taken back to prison, but the then commissioner of police was said to be holding security meeting and directed DCP Ahmed Yusuf to refuse to take Uwazuruike into custody.” While re-emphasising the group’s resolve to pursue the matter to its logical con-

clusion, Mocha disclosed that no police intimidation could stop his members as they had employed the services of two international lawyers to handle the killing and dumping of the innocent Igbo youths in river. Meanwhile, MASSOB Okgiwe zone in Imo State has joined other members to request its sons and daughters in the area to remain at home on June 8 to protest against the Nigerian state over the senseless killings of Ndi-igbo in different parts of the country, particularly in the North. In a statement signed by its regional leaders in Okigwe, Onu-imo, Ehime Mbano, and Isiala Mbano, the spokesman for the zone, Kingsley Ezeugo, accused the international community of watching the killing of Igbo Christians with “conspirational silence”. He said: “Never in history have a people been so brutalised, hated and traumatised as they have done to the Igbo tribe of eastern Nigeria.”


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PDP crisis: Rivers Assembly sacks LG chairman, 17 councillors AMAECHI OKONKWO PORT HARCOURT.

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he raging war for the soul of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State was extended to the state House of Assembly yesterday as the House voted to suspend the Obio/Akpo Local Government Chairman, Timothy Nsirim, his vice-chairman and all the 17 councillors of the council. This was even as the new chairman of the state’s party executive vowed to challenge the action in court as he called

it the height of illegality. The decision followed a 22 to 5 votes by the legislators on an interim report titled: “Interim report of the House of Committee on Local Government Affairs on the allegation of reckless spending of public funds without due process and the issue of security breach leveled against the Obio/Akpor local Governement Chairman.” The matter was presented to the Assembly by the Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government Affairs, Lucky Odili, on a petition against the

the former state party executives said to be close to the governor . Efforts to get the reaction of Nsirim on his suspension before press time proved abortive as several calls and SMS put through to his cell phone went unanswered. However, the Chairman of the state PDP executive, Felix Obua, said that his party will challenge the decision of the state House of Assembly, vowing to resist the victimisation of the council’s leaders. He described the act as the height of illegality which must be resisted. “We are not going to accept their decision. It is the height of illegality and we are going to court to challenge it,” he said. In a related development, some Rivers State women gathered yesterday at the auditorium of the state House of Assembly to hold a prayer session organised by the state government over the sacking of the Godspower Ake-led PDP executive, an action, which was believed to have been targeted at the state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi. About 1, 000 women thronged the Assembly as

early as 9.00am, clad in black attire to indicate their disapproval of the latest political development in the state in the last one week. Speaking on the mission of the women, state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Ibim Semenitari said; “Rivers women are mourning for peace. They are in black because they have declared today a day of peace.” She added that; “When the children of Israel were mourning they wore sack clothes.” Addressing the women, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Joeba West, said when women come out to cry, God will come down and He will listen to their supplications. She said; “There was a PDP congress in Rivers State, women were part of the delegates that voted Godwspower Ake. We will not allow miscreants to take over illegally. Women can go out to the streets to protest against this injustice, but they won’t do that because we have no power of our own, except to cry to God and believe that God will answer us. Rivers women will arise.”

to the house of Igbinedion with nothing to show for it. We tolerate him because as they say, who are we to do the work of God? God will do justice to those who are in the wrong places.” Meanwhile, the state Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Hon. Thomas Okosun, has described the leaders of the PDP in the state as failed politicians who knew that they were not going to win

the local government election in the state. The party said the PDP plotted to disrupt the election because they know they can’t win, saying, “as hard as they tried, they could not stop what God has willed.” The party said it was to the credit of the government that those materials were printed outside Nigeria and the materials were not delivered secretly by EDSIEC.

Two sisters murder 50-year-old brother over land proceeds

him for money. “Our brother promised to use us for money rituals because he was planning to buy a jeep.” On what lead to the gory incident, she alleged that the deceased “came to our kitchen to cook cocoyam, so we warned him not to use our kitchen again because we don’t like sharing a kitchen with any man, besides that he sold our father’s land and had the guts to keep the money to himself without giving us our own share.” State Command Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, John Imoh, also confirmed that they were charged to court after the police had concluded investigations on the matter, citing the need for the law to take its course.

Obio/Akpo Chairman and his councilors on allegation of reckless spending of public funds without due process and security breach. The House also voted for the freezing of all accounts of the local government and the appointment of a caretaker committee by the state government to oversee the affairs of the council pending the result of the investigation of the petition. The move has been described as part of the strategies in the war chest of supporters of Governor Chibuike Amaechi, targeted

at the Timothy Nsirim-led council executives believed to be strong supporters of Nyesom Wike, Minister of State for Education, who is regarded as the leading opponent of Governor Rotimi Amaechi. National Mirror confirmed from sources at the Rivers State House of Assembly that the petition upon which the suspension was made had been lying unattended to long before yesterday’s session, but was only revisited as an attempt to spite the Abuja-based politician, after the sack of

L-R: Chairman, House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, Hon. Ishaka Bawa; members of the committee, Hassan Saleh; Musa Adar and Hon. Asita, during the public hearing on PIB for the South-South Zone in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

Oshiomhole inaugurates 14 new councils, warns Igbinedion SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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do State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday swore-in 14 new council chairmen and women, who were elected in the local council election held on Saturday, April 20. Speaking at the ceremony that was attended by thousands of party members, well-wishers and friends, Oshiomhole asked the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission, EDSIEC, to apologise to the people of Edo State for the lapses recorded in the council election. The governor particularly warned the Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, to desist from undermining the state government by deliberately contravening its laws. Oshiomhole’s words: “There is evidence that he has undermined the prosperity of this state for a very long time. Those who live in glass houses do not throw stones.” Furthermore, the governor said; “I want to send a note of warning to Chief

Igbinedion that he should take it easy. He has acquired a lot of government land that the people have not engaged him on. He walks as if he is above the law. He was a chief tax collector in this state, pocketing 25 to 30 per cent of every kobo that accrued while his son was the governor. “I have not looked back because my mandate is to look forward. I want to put him on notice that if he continues with elderly rascality, I will bring him to justice. He must never ever underestimate the fact that I have the will and I have the capacity to deploy that will. If he crosses the law, he will be cut to size. Elders must teach the younger ones to behave responsibly.” He continued: “You know how he is using ITV in a very reckless manner in a clear breach of the NBC code. He reduced himself from a high chief to a thug, leaving where he was registered to vote and going all the way to Okada on a day movement was restricted across the state. “He got to Okada and illegally used riot policemen

to guard him on the streets; going to the police station where sensitive election materials were kept in other to vandalise them, to ensure election did not take place. “How can Gabriel Igbinedion, who claims to be Esama of Benin, be leading the way for thuggery in Okada? If he misleads himself into believing that he has the birthright to continue to ap-

RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR

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wo sisters in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State are now guests of Afokang Prisons over an alleged murder of their 50-yearold brother, Mr. Kokoette Effiom Effiong, in the course of demanding for their share of money from the sale of their late father’s land. Late Kokoette was hacked down at about 7.00pm at the weekend by his sisters, Ikwo Effiom Effiong, 30, and Edak Effiom Effiong, 28, using clubs and machetes. Police sources said the deceased was found dead with broken skull, broken limps

propriate and privatize the resources of Edo State, he is living in a fool’s paradise. “Edo money will never flow into Igbinedion’s house any more. That can’t happen again. Okada people have complained about how Charles Igbinedion, as a local government chairman, privatised the resources of the local government council and transferred them

and machetes cuts on his body. The suspects were arrested by the police in Ikot Nakada in Akpabuyo and promptly transferred to the state Criminal Investigation Department, CID, Diamond Hill in Calabar. They were later yesterday charged to court for conspiracy to murder and murder in line with Section 516 and 519 of the criminal code from where they were remanded in prison custody. When National Mirror visited the village at Ekpenetete in Akpabuyo, some villagers alleged that the two suspects were a ‘terror’ to their neighbours and respective husbands, being divorcees.

Some also alleged they were used to using broken bottles, knifes and sticks on unsuspecting victims during any brawl. Narrating what led to the muder, one of the suspects, Edak, alleged that on the fateful day “we were told that Kokoette gave the names of three of us, including one of our siblings, Efangha to a native doctor for money rituals.” She said, they were convinced that Kokoette had already concluded arrangement with the said ritualist to sacrifice their lives, as he allegedly threatened them on one occasion that “in six months time, all our nonsense will stop because we will be kneeling down to beg


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

SUPER TUESDAY 2015: I’m not having a blind ambition to replace Sambo as VP –Yuguda

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othing brought the agitation for the autonomy for the local government system to the fore more than the recent plan by the Lagos State House of Assembly, at the prompt of the executive to extend the tenure of the present chairmen of the 20 local government councils and 37 local council development areas till about 2016 or 2017. There has been massive agitation across the length and breadth of the country for autonomy to the local government system, which many regard as the third tier of government in Nigeria’s warped federal system of government. The plan to extend the tenure of councillors and chairmen of local government councils in Lagos State was said to have been perfected and a bill to that effect already before the state House of Assembly and is said to be awaiting passage into law by the 40-member legislature, who are all members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). But political analysts in the state have described the plan as illegal and shifting of the goal posts midway into a game of football. This is more so as this attempt at tenure elongation was coming at a time when the current tenure of elected council officials is just midway. The draft bill, alleged to have been put together by the members of the state local government areas and LCDAs in collaboration with the state governor, Babatunde Fashola, and addressed to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, suggest that there is a collective plot to prolong the tenure of the executive and legislature of the councils. A clause in the bill, which indicated that affected elected local government officials can retain the offices and serve fresh term of office with effect from when the bill eventually becomes law stated: “Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 12(1) and 27(3), councillors and chairmen of local government and local council development areas that were sworn in prior to the commencement of this law may hold office for the term prescribed by this Law.” This section simply infers that the over 300 elected councillors and 57 chairmen automatically get an extension of tenure, a development which enables them to remain in power longer than necessary. Nigeria operates a federal system of government which recognises the local council system, which is run by elected chairman and councillors, where the chairman is the chief executive officer of the local council. The existing legislation, tagged Lagos Local Government Law 2001 stipulates a three-year tenure for elected local council officials. The bill sought two major amendments to local council administration in the Centre of Excellence. The first was the review of section 27 of the Lagos State Local Government Law 2001, with the aim of elongating the tenure of office of the current elected local government officials from

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Constitution review: Will the votes of Nigerians count?

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Lagos LGs: Gathering storm over planned tenure elongation Like a bolt out of the blue, what started as a rumour became topical – the backdoor attempt by the Lagos State House of Assembly through an obnoxious bill, allegedly propped up by the executive to elongate the tenure of present elected councillors and chairmen of the 20 local government councils and 37 local council development areas (LCDAs). OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU takes a look at the controversies trailing the draft bill and the issues surrounding the new move by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)-led government in Lagos.

Fashola

Ikuforiji

TOP STORY three to four years while the second was to limit to two terms of eight years the number of terms elected officials at the council can serve, in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) for the tenure of president and governors However, the new draft bill, if it eventually becomes law would give a new threeyear term of office to the present elected officials of the local government in Lagos, whose tenure was expected to lapse in October 2014, just a few months to the 2015 general elections. Since the news broke about this underground move to extend the tenure of elect-

ed local council officials, the polity has been awash with reactions, from different quarters condemning the act. To the opposition parties in Lagos State, especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it was a ploy by the ruling ACN to escape imminent defeat come 2014 should local council elections be held. The PDP believes that the popularity rating of the ACN and the Fashola-led administration in the state has reached an all-time low and it is only a matter of time before the party is sent packing by Lagosians, for the PDP to take over the reins of governance in the state. Reacting to the bill through its Publicity Secretary, Taofeek Gani, the PDP in Lagos described the plan as “undemocratic, legislative rascality and satanic.” It said: “The infamous bill, if passed into

THE INFAMOUS BILL, IF PASSED INTO LAW, IS

CAPABLE OF PROVOKING MONUMENTAL REACTIONS FROM

LAGOSIANS WHICH MAY AFFECT THE

ASSUMED PEACE AND TRANQUILLITY IN THE

CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

law, is capable of provoking monumental reactions from Lagosians which may affect the assumed peace and tranquillity in the Centre of Excellence.” While cautioning the state House of Assembly to avoid being used as agent provocateur to truncate democracy at the level of local government administration, the PDP wondered why the ACN-led government in Lagos State was so desperate “to hold onto the local government administration until after the 2015 general elections.” The party said: “In fact, this move further confirms the rumours that the National Leader of the ACN actually surreptitiously sponsored the ‘third term agenda.’ As a matter of fact and considering the centralised leadership of the ACN, we are also convinced that the former Lagos State governor collaborated with the incumbent to sponsor the infamous bill.” Also reacting to the draft bill, Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), reminded the Assembly members that attempts to elongate the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo was kicked against by their predecessors, they are morally “stopped” from elongating the tenure of elected chairmen and councillors in Lagos State by the manipulation of the law, adding that to elongate the tenure of the present chairmen and councillors of the local government councils in Lagos was simply an immorality and an illegality that cannot pass the test of time. Falana said: “The proposal is illegal in every material particular. It has to be withdrawn or struck down in the overall interests of the people of Lagos State who are due to participate in fresh local government election in October 2013. “As the chairmen and councillors were elected in October 2010 for a fixed period of three years their term of office will expire in October 2013 by effluxion of time. Therefore, an amendment of the Lagos State Local Government Law, 2001 under which they were elected cannot extend their tenure from three to six years under any disguise. Since the proposed amendment takes effect if and when it is passed into law it cannot retrospectively extinguish vested rights and obligations of the outgoing chairmen and councillors. In other words, the proposed amendment to the Lagos State Local Government Law cannot take a retrospective effect and thereby elongate the tenure of the chairmen and councillors from three to six years.” The legal luminary said that there was no doubt that the constitution, by virtue of Section 7 empowers each state House of CONTINUED ON PAGE 41


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2015: I’m not having a blind ambition Governor Isa Yuguda has been so favoured in life that he has excelled in all fronts. He has been managing director of two banks, two-term minister (Transport and Aviation) and two-term governor of Bauchi State. In this interview, he speaks about his alleged vice presidential ambition in 2015 elections, the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the amnesty granted to the Boko Haram sect, among other issues. AYODELE OJO reports. What is your reaction to the rejection of amnesty by the members of the Boko Haram sect? Amnesty has been given to the real Boko Haram and I believe that they are willing to negotiate with the government. That is my belief. But you know there is the criminal Boko Haram and there is the real Boko Haram. So, the criminal and political Boko Haram are the armed robbers and they are the para-military arm of the politicians. They go about attacking people. The real Boko Haram is willing. But those who are criminals are the ones responding that they don’t want amnesty because they are benefiting from it. Some of them are gun runners, some of them are armed robbers, and some are doing that on behalf of politicians. So, they just hide under the name Boko Haram to perpetrate evil and criminality. But those who call themselves the actual Boko Haram, there is something agitating their mind, not about killing human beings, probably joblessness in the society. Some of them are university graduates. They have no jobs, 15 years after graduation. Now that the President has extended that olive branch to them, I will like to strongly believe that they will embrace it. Once they accept, then we know that we have to face the criminals. Any other person that is doing this and calls himself Boko Haram is an armed robber and a political Boko Haram. So, the definition of Boko, you should try to understand it. May be, from the definition, you try to rationalise. Boko in Hausa is learning, including learning rocket science, Chemistry, Medicine, Biology. That is western in English. But if you learn rocket science in Arabic, is it Boko to you? It is not Boko, it is Arabic. If you learn it in Chinese language, they don’t call it Boko. So, you tend to get confused. A medical doctor who studied in Indian Language or Arabic, as we have close to 40 students from Bauchi studying Medicine in Egypt and they are about finishing next year; when they come back, they can do a lot of things. So, why should a group come out to say that Boko is Haram. Haram in Hausa is ‘forbidden.’ Would you forbid the knowledge of medicine? Would you forbid the knowledge of pharmacy? Would you forbid the knowledge of civil engineering? Would you forbid the knowledge of financial management? What do they want? Let us know what they want. As far as our thinking is concerned, there is no meaning in what they are saying. There must be something that is agitating them. Is it going to be a doctor by using English, or going to be an aeronautic engineer or going to learn rocket science, or sophisticated architecture? And you are using aircraft and a pilot. Is it Haram to fly an aircraft to Mecca or to Jerusalem? It is food for thought for all of

us. That is why it makes sense and in fact, we have to commend the President for extending the olive branch to those that we know are Boko Haram and of course, they are agitators. But for the criminals, we will fight them; the criminal Boko Haram, the political Boko Haram, and the gun runners every where. There are reports that you are nursing the ambition to replace Vice-President Namadi Sambo in the 2015 elections. How true is this speculation? It is more of the figment of imagination of those who want to play me against somebody I look up to as an elder brother. The Vice President grew up in Bauchi. I have known him as a small boy. He is working with Mr. President and he is very loyal to Mr. President. He is competent because he is a successful architect. I was in Part One in the university when he was in Part Four. We have close family relationship and he takes me like a younger brother. Why should I have a blind ambition? That I want to be vice president or president is a blind ambition. I had the privilege of being an average intelligent human being. I went through school and never failed my exams. I graduated at the age of 20 and at 21, I was doing my NYSC. And I consider myself privileged and have been so favoured by the Almighty God. Sometimes, I even weep in the night when I remember the favours that God has done to me. I was one of the bankers that enjoyed the fastest promotion in the banking industry. I have a Bachelors Degree. I went through development banking, commercial banking, mortgage banking to investment banking. I worked with a mortgage bank, development bank. I went to a commercial bank. I ended up as an investment banker. I was the Managing Director of NAL Merchant Bank. So, if I had that privilege from the Almighty Allah; a two-time managing director and I was the youngest branch manager in Savannah Bank at the age of 27. I was 32 years when I became the director of Banking Services. I hardly had any ailment apart from malaria. I am happily married. My children are all healthy; no deformity. My wives are also healthy. In fact, right now, I have five graduates with master’s degrees and another four are graduating next year. I have the means to send them to school, in spite of the hardship in Nigeria. I am a two-time minister and by the time I joined the cabinet, I was the youngest minister in Obasanjo’s government in 2000. I never had the ambition of becoming the governor. People were saying, Yuguda, you cannot be a politician because people have a definition of politics that has to do with violence, rancour, arson, mayhem, looting the treasury of government. I am not like that. But today, I am a second term gover-

Yuguda

WHEN I WAS THE

MANAGING DIRECTOR,

I WAS RECRUITING MY CLASSMATES. THEY WOULD SIT AND I WOULD INTERVIEW

THEM.

SOME OF THEM

HAD HIGHER MARKS THAN ME IN SCHOOL nor. And you are saying that I am begrudging somebody who is the vice president. What will I get from the office of the vice president that Allah has not blessed me with? So, you have no such ambition? I left the PDP in 2007 when I had prob-

lems with the party. People were in support that I should contest for governorship. I was virtually asked by the people of Bauchi to come out and that was confirmed during the election. If I had had the ambition to contest, that revolution that happened in 2007 would not have happened. We had 22 seats in the House of Assembly, out of 30. We have 12 seats in the House of Representatives. We had two senators. It was not because I had money superior experience and intelligence. No. When I was the managing director, I was recruiting my classmates. They would sit and I would interview them. Some of them had higher marks than me in school. So, if you say that you will not be grateful to God, you are looking for trouble. So, forget about that ambition. I am a loyal party member. I am loyal to Mr. President. It is God that brought him to power. I support him so that he can lead Nigeria well, together with the Vice President. And power belongs to God. Anybody who is forcing himself will not get there because he is not


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Politics

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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to replace Sambo as VP –Yuguda Board of Trustees (BoT) led by Tony Anenih. How do you think an end can be put to the crisis in the party? In every environment you have a manager; if there are no problems, there won’t be any manager. That is why you have the chairman of the party. A party is an association of like-minded people. But sometimes, there is the conflict of ideas, thoughts and vision, and in the process, you have misunderstanding. In families, there are squabbles and misunderstandings here and there which the neighbours should not hear, but they get to hear. If you are not a PDP member, you are a neighbour. I assure you that what you read in the newspapers is not the actual picture. The chairman of the BoT and the national chairman are elder statesmen. At their age, you don’t expect rancour from them. Anenih is one of the finest men I have ever met in my life, especially in the political landscape. He loves Nigeria with passion and he is a man of peace. Take it from me. I know him closely. He has vision for our country. He is interested in helping Nigeria to grow. If you don’t hear his side and you go and write a story, you won’t get to know. PDP is intact, I assure you and PDP is going to win 35 out of 36 states in the next elections. How do you feel with the crisis rocking the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the formation of the PDP Governors’ Forum? It is not a crisis. The formation of association is provided for in the constitution. Today, the opposition parties have formed an association and we call them the All Progressive Congress (APC). If the PDP governors feel that there are certain things that are exclusive to them, that there is a PDP manifesto and there is the need for them to discuss together to implement the programmes, we should do that. But the Governors’ Forum is Nigerian Governors’ Forum. It symbolises the unity of our country. And I had the privilege of going to the meeting of the American Governors’ Forum. Let me tell you, if the Governors’ Forum of Nigeria is not like this, then, I will look so cheap. going to offer anything. The average Nigerian considers political office as an enterprise. They see the governor as an entrepreneur. But there is a difference between entrepreneurship and governance under a political dispensation. A governor is not an entrepreneur. He was elected to serve humanity; to offer an enabling environment so that people can live a good life, safe life; educate people. But an entrepreneur is someone who is after profit. So, if you want to be a businessman, go and be a businessman. But once you are in politics, don’t make politics an enterprise or imagine that you want power for its sake. You cannot be a despot. You cannot play God like some of our governors in the past. If you wear the cap of arrogance, you are comparing yourself with the creator. To many, the reconciliation tour embarked upon by the PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, was a failure which informed another peace tour by the party’s

But how constitutional is the body? Whether it is constitutional or unconstitutional, it is in our own interest to reunite and solve our own problems. Is there anything unconstitutional in uniting and discussing our problems? But there is accusation that the Forum is holding the President to ransom, especially as alleged by Chief Edwin Clark? I am not bothered by what Chief Edwin Clark said. I am bothered by what you, my younger brothers are saying. In the interest of the larger Nigerians, our governors are united. I am closer to Babatunde Fashola than many of the PDP governors. Of course, there are ACN governors that are closer to PDP governors than their own colleagues. When we get to the Governors’ Forum, believe me, in the name of God, we discuss Nigeria’s problems, not the President, not even any other person. We speak on issues that will unite us. Any issue that we believe that will create a problem for the economy, we thrash it there before even

ONCE YOU ARE IN POLITICS, DON’T MAKE POLITICS AN ENTERPRISE OR IMAGINE THAT YOU WANT POWER FOR ITS SAKE. YOU CANNOT BE A DESPOT. YOU

CANNOT PLAY GOD LIKE SOME OF OUR GOVERNORS IN THE PAST going for the National Economic Council meeting, and we agree and we tell the chairman of the Governors’ Forum that this is the consensus view of the governors. All of us, we speak with one voice on all the issues that concern Nigeria. What about the crisis between the PDP governors and PDP national chairman? How can we discuss that at the Nigerian Governors’ Forum? In the forum, we have the ACN, PDP, APGA, ANPP, CPC and Labour Party. But it has been alleged that when the NGF chairman, Governor Rotimi Amaechi speaks the mind of the governors to the President, the President sees him as an antagonist... No. I am afraid, when you talk on what the governors have decided upon, nobody can object to it. The Excess Crude Account is not recognised by the constitution. Is it a fact or fiction? It is a fact, but it is in the constitution that the President has leverage for the purpose of good management of the economy of the country, he takes certain decisions. It is subject of the interpretation of the court, to determine if the Excess Crude Account can be factored in for the good management of the economy. These are questions that you need to ask. So, there are things we need to discuss generally. Should we have an Excess Crude Account? The position of the governors is that we don’t have sufficient money to pay salaries. In the budget, you have recurrent and capital expenditure, but you need revenue to fund them. That is why you have a balance budget, a deficit budget and excess, a surplus budget. Nigeria has not had a surplus budget, except during the Gowon era when there was the remark that we had money, but we don’t know how to spend it. But that may not have been the true position. May be the planers then, did not know where to throw the money to because we had a lot of infrastructural challenges, bridges and airports to be built. I don’t know whether they had a surplus budget then. But all our budgets today, from the federal to the states, are deficit budgets. And if you are running a federal budget and you have a deficit, there are three ways of financing a deficit. One is long term borrowing, either from the international capital markets through bonds. The repayment

may take 30 years. But you have to plan very well. If you take this money, we should know precisely where it is going because you are taking the money to fund capital projects. There is nowhere in history that an organisation will not be called a failed state if you borrow to finance recurrent expenditure. The second way of funding the budget is from your reserve. You can run down the reserve and fund your deficit. And the last option is printing money. It has negative effects. A state can raise internal and external loans. For instance, I have the sovereign guarantee of the Federal Government, approved by the National Assembly to take a loan of $171 million to build a power plant from China Bank. That facility would be paid back in the next 25 years. I am building a 150 megawatts power plant. With oil in a town in Niger Republic which is not more than 200 kilometres from Bauchi, the cost of transporting crude oil will not be difficult. So, we can pay back in four or three years. I have signed an agreement with the distribution company that will distribute to other zones. I am just waiting for the Minister of Finance to sign the agreement. In the next 18 months, we will have a power plant. Your action as Minister of Aviation, especially in the business agreement entred into with Virgin Atlantic has been called to question. What is your take on this? The unfortunate thing was that our desire to make Lagos a hub failed following the exit of Virgin Nigeria Airways. The story of Virgin Nigeria, no matter how it is told, no matter how the government has twisted it, is a tragedy that happened to the aviation industry because I was responsible at that time; I packaged the transaction and it was purely a private placement arrangement, using my experience as an investment banker to mobilise $25.4 million plus the investment by Richard Branson, which made it $50 million. That formed the seed that the airline took off with. I am talking about tourism and the agony of missing to be a hub in Africa because Lagos is supposed to be a hub by now. The assets I used in selling the business were the routes because we were not flying London, New York, Dubai and South Africa then. These were the assets that Nigeria Airways left behind. For any businessman who wants to do business in aviation, these are the routes, but he has to make his services efficient to have the customers because there are other competitors. We had a transparent bidding process by three airlines – South African Airlines, Bellview and Virgin Atlantic. At a time, Bellview could not meet up with the criteria, so for the remaining two, we used Lufthansa Airlines as a benchmark and eventually Virgin Atlantic emerged and was given the business as a co-investor to invest 51 per cent and the remaining 41 per cent to Nigerians. That’s the whole story about Virgin Nigeria. I remember that we held a meeting with Branson and Obasanjo in London after which we were all excited that we had a partner because Virgin itself is a brand and for you to get someone like Branson to invest in Nigeria was a positive one for the CONTINUED ON PAGE 44


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Politics

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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PDP crisis: Tukur, Anenih meet on reconciliation PDP Govs Forum meets tomorrow

OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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s part of efforts to resolve the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the national chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur, and the chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Anthony Anenih at the weekend

held a closed-door meeting. It was learnt that the meeting held at Tukur’s residence in Abuja was to harmonise ideas on the ongoing reconciliation moves within the party. Details of what Tukur and Anenih discussed at the meeting were still sketchy, however, indications are rife that both

leaders had used the meeting to dispel insinuations and media reports that they have both been working at cross purposes. Anenih got to the residence of the National Chairman at about 8:35p.m. and immediately went in to see Tukur unaccompanied while the two held private talks that lasted more than 25 minutes,

according to aides of the two leaders. Meanwhile, the PDP has opened a new chapter in its drive to re-energise for future challenges just as the PDP Governors’ Forum vowed to support the party’s leadership towards actualising its agenda of reconciliation and rebuilding of the party. This is coming as the PDP Governors’ Forum is scheduled to hold a meet-

ing tomorrow in Abuja to review activities within the party since the last time it met, even as the Forum would take the reports of different committees it set up on the crisis in the South-West and Adamawa, among others. The chairman of the Forum, Governor Godswill Akpabio had sent notice of meeting to the governors, just as he has started making personal contacts with

the governors in order to ensure a good attendance. Akpabio and his counterpart from Bauchi, Isa Yuguda had last week met Tukur to chart new strategies aimed at relaunching the party to enable it surmount its challenges. Fresh agenda on how to put the ruling party in a good stead for fulfilling its dream of winning more states by 2015 were discussed.

Boko Haram: Ndoma-Egba lends voice to amnesty option OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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enate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, has called on all stakeholders to give the amnesty option for Boko Haram sect being considered by the Federal Government a chance. The proposed amnesty has necessitated the setting up of a dialogue committee by the Goodluck Jonathanled administration. Ndoma-Egba, who represents Cross River Central Senatorial District, described the move as a welcome development which must be embraced by all Nigerians as a way of finding an enduring and lasting solution to the unnecessary incessant killings of innocent Nigerians for no fault of theirs. Advocating that the government must be supported in the current effort to restore peace in the North and resolve the crisis of insecurity in the country, Ndoma-Egba said: “We cannot allow this incessant killing of innocent Nigerians to continue. Whatever we need to do must be done to stop this dastardly act. That is why I think it is very much important that we give this option of

amnesty a chance and see whether it will succeed or not. We hope that it succeeds because we cannot continue to watch our countrymen and women being sent to their early grave due to the activities of the Boko Haram sect. “It is an unusual situation that every Nigerian will like to see an end to. So, our approach will also be unconventional. But while trying to bring the situation under control and the phenomenon to an end, we should also know that there are victims of the acts of this group. So, the victims must also be in the picture of whatever strategy the government is putting in place.” Reacting to the reported rejection of amnesty offer by members of the sect, the Senate Leader said that such reaction must be expected, as they are not expected to jump at the offer. He added: “At this point, it is always like that. They will say ‘we don’t want to talk. We don’t want to talk.’ Everywhere you have had this kind of situation; that is the initial reaction. So, it is not an unusual reaction. But I think it will be good for them to accept the offer in the interest of peace and unity of the country.”

L-R: Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Gas Resources, Bassey Ewa, member of the committee, Uche Ekwunife and Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed at the North-Central Zone Public Hearing on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Held in Kwara Hotel, Ilorin, yesterday.

Edo LG poll: Govt sues for calm, warns troublemakers FELIX NWANERI

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he Edo State government has urged the people of the state to remain calm and law-abiding and guard their hardearned democracy against the machinations of antidemocratic forces. In an official reaction to last weekend’s local government election in the state, the state government stressed that the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) remains the only constituted authority empowered to

Anambra to create Women Ministry OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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nambra State governor, Peter Obi, has said that his administration is on the verge of creating a Ministry for Women Affairs in the state. Governor Obi made this known in a chat with journalists in Lagos during the dinner to mark 100 years celebration of the Nigerian woman.

When asked the level of women participation in the politics and governance of Anambra State, the governor said: “The ratio of Affirmative Action in my state is very high. I am actually trying to create the Ministry of Women Affairs.” Asked to score the contribution of women in his state and Nigeria, Obi said: “Nigerian women are big contributors to developing Nigeria. In my state, I work

closely with a number of women and so I know their contribution to not only state building but also nation building. “In my work as the governor of Anambra State, women have been very supportive and their contribution has been immense. Our Chief of Staff is a woman, a woman is in charge of the Finance Ministry and also a woman is the AccountantGeneral. And the list goes on and on.”

make pronouncements on the election. According to a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Louis Odion, EDSIEC, owing to some logistics challenges had to postpone elections in four local governments, namely; South-West and Esan North-East as well as Oredo and Ikpoba-Okha till Wednesday and Thursday this week respectively. It said that while elections had to be postponed in Esan South-West, Oredo and Ikpoba-Okha local government areas due to late arrival of election materials, in Esan North-East, the exercise was disrupted following the reported importation of a combined army of thugs and mobile policemen by the Minister of Works, Mike Onolemhenmen. The thugs, the statement further said, made it impossible for the election materials to be distributed to the various polling units, thus forcing a postponement. The statement said: “Obviously, PDP came to the contest with a simple strategy: ensure that the

exercise never held by deploying thugs to cause mayhem. It was, therefore, no coincidence that whereas the Edo governor led the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) campaign across the 18 councils in the state, PDP’s campaign was left in the hands of one Dan Orbih who clearly has no electoral value. Not even the Works Minister was sighted in any of the campaigns before the deadline on April 18. “In furtherance of the same strategy of ‘no election,” at Okada, PDP stalwart, Gabriel Igbinedion, was sighted leading a band of thugs and armed mobile policemen with a view to invading the police station where election materials were kept. It is on record that Igbinedion never registered as a voter in Okada, but in Benin where he resides. So, what was his mission on election day at Okada when movement was supposed to be restricted?” The Edo State government noted that the people should rejoice that for once, they now truly have a say in who emerges their leader at the local level owing

to the reforms initiated by Governor Adams Oshiomhole, as gone are the days when elections were never held but results were usually announced in Benin City from the bedroom of one godfather, whether people voted or not. “Today, without shame, they seek to hold others by the standards they themselves never kept. But our joy is that the discerning can see the difference. We thus feel vindicated,” the statement said. Urging eligible voters in Esan South-West and North East and those in Oredo and Ikpoba-Oha to come out en masse to vote candidates of their choice come Wednesday and Thursday, the state government assured that enough security arrangements would be put in place to ensure their safety. “For the avoidance of doubt, let the troublemakers be reminded that Edo State has a popularly elected government in power and it will not fail in its responsibility to bring those who breach the law to justice,” it said.


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Views

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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Ogun as a huge construction site YUSUPH OLANIYONU

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first came across the phrase a ‘Huge construction site’ in November 1999 during a tour of Germany sponsored by the German government. The expression was used in an information pamphlet describing the city of Berlin, which was then undergoing massive reconstruction aimed at giving it the infrastructural facilities befitting its status as capital of the newly united Germany. That phrase, however, aptly captured the scenario presented on the streets of Berlin during the period. Every corner you turned to, there was construction work going on, with giant equipment dotting the landscape. Thus, it was no surprise when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), in his speech last January 24 during the commissioning of the first flyover bridge in the 37 year old Ogun State, used the same expression to describe the situation in this state today. With 16 major road projects going on simultaneously across the state and reconstruction works on some other smaller roads, Ogun State has really become a “Big construction site”, where top civil engineering firms now compete to prove their competence. The construction work on major roads in Abeokuta, Ijebu Ode, Ota, Sagamu, Isheri, Magboro, Ilara, Ijohun, Ilashe, Ilishan, Ago Iwoye, Mowe, Ibafo and Ofada, among others, is a manifestation of the urban renewal and infrastructural development, which form part of the five cardinal programme of the Ibikunle Amosun administration’s “Mission to Rebuild Ogun State”.

THE ROAD CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS HAVE IMPLICATIONS FOR

GOVERNOR AMOSUN’S “MISSION TO REBUILD OGUN STATE” The government commenced this urban renewal programme with the reconstruction and expansion of the 2.4 kilometre Ibara-Sokori-Totoro road, which was used as a model for what is now known as ‘Ogun standard’ roads. The already completed project came with road furniture like walkways, drainage, median divide with street lights and flower beds, bus stop, flyover at the Ibara junction and pedestrian bridge. All these facilities are being enjoyed by the good people of Ogun State. As at today, the 7 km Sagamu-Benin Express Junction/Oba Erinwole Junction road, 4.8 km Ilo Awela road in Ota, 8.7 km OGTV-Brewery junction road, 6 km Moshood Abiola Way, 34 km Lafenwa-Ayetoro road, 9 km Ojere-Asero road, 5.6 km Somorin-Ajebo road, 2.2 km Abiola Way JunctionMuda Lawal Stadium, 850 metre Moriamo Olorombo road, all in the state capital, are under construction. Other roads being modernized by the government are the 100 km Ilara-IjohunIlase road, 25 km Ilishan-Ago Iwoye road, 29 km Mowe-Ofada-Ibafo road, 9 km EjinrinOluwalogbon junction in Ijebu Ode, 12 km

Magboro-Underpass road and the Isheri road. Most of these roads are at different stages of completion. There is still the 32 kilometre Sango-Ijoko-Ojodu Abiodun road which the government hopes to construct through Public-Private-Partnership arrangement. The road construction projects have implications for Governor Amosun’s “Mission to Rebuild Ogun State”. With the road construction, the problem of unemployment plaguing a continuously growing state like Ogun is being tackled. The construction firms are employing thousands of skilled and unskilled workers. Their work is also contributing to shoring up the local economy, as many other allied businesses like supply of sands, granite and other materials used in construction work, are now thriving. More importantly, the state government is expanding the roads in readiness for the future construction of light rail to complement the road transportation system. On April 9, the government signed an agreement with the CCECC, a Chinese construction company, for the construction of light rail which will link up the major cities in the state like Abeokuta, Ota, Sagamu and Ijebu Ode. The plan therefore is to use the road construction to prepare the state as the next preferred investors’ destination in West Africa. The road construction projects are to be complemented by ambitious housing programme, which will help to accommodate the people that will expectedly begin to relocate to Ogun State in search of jobs and a safe, peaceful abode. More importantly, the new roads, when completed, will open up the nooks and crannies of the state to modern-

ization. There will be effective link between the far flung parts of the state in Ipokia and Imeko to Ogun Waterside and Ago Iwoye. However, the road expansion and modernization comes at a cost. There will be loss of property by some people to create right of way for the new roads. Vehicular and pedestrian movement will be slowed down around the construction sites. Many people whose homes and businesses are beside the roads may find it difficult to access their premises. The people of Ogun State deserve praise for the understanding and support they have been displaying in the face of these temporary pains. With over N90 billion being invested on these infrastructural development projects, there are those who wonder where the money is coming from. There is the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which has risen from the paltry N700 million per month that this administration inherited to about N3 billion now. The leakages in the financial system have been blocked. There are internal loans from local banks, which are being frugally dispensed. There are also funds from development partners. The state is blessed to have a captain who does not sit in the office, giving directives. The governor moves round the construction sites mingling with engineers and supervising the pace and quality of work. See why Ogun State is Nigeria’s modern day ‘Huge construction site’? Olaniyonu is Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy

Much ado about 2015 presidency MEDINAT UMAR

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he ThisDay report of April 15, 2013, claiming that the presidency has empanelled a 21-member committee to kick-start the 2015 re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan, fits well into a developing pattern of obsession in our politicians and the media with the 2015 election year. The forthright position of the President that it is too early in the day to start talking and politicking over 2015 appears to have fallen on deaf ears as politicians continue to strategize, align, realign, discuss and crisscross the geopolitical zones in readiness for 2015. To be sure, President Jonathan has insisted and rightly so, that any talk about 2015, about two years ahead, not only distracts the focus of his government on delivering on his campaign promises, but also definitely short-changes the very people who had given him their mandate. I really do not see how anyone, irrespective of his or her political bent, will quarrel with this statesmanlike position. Yet in spite of the unambiguous position of the presidency towards the politics of 2015, some selfish politicians and the opposition continue to prod the President to declare his stance on 2015. One wonders what part of his statement that is not clear to these politicians. President Jonathan has not barred anybody interested in running for whatever office in 2015 from mak-

ing his or her intentions known; he has not banned politicians from politicking as he has no powers to abridge the rights and liberties of the people; what he is simply saying is that whoever is interested in 2015 politics at this time should count him out. He is saying it loud and clear that he has not instructed anybody or group of persons to set up any structures or start campaigns for his re-election bid come 2015. To this effect, he has pleaded with the ruling PDP to refrain from any second term politics, and has banned his ministers and other cabinet members from the distracting politics of 2015! President Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo deserve commendation for their patriotic stance on 2015. By insisting on focusing their attention on the vexed issue of good governance rather than their own selfish ends, they have earned for themselves the confidence and the respect of Nigerians and a place in Richard Feno’s famous classification of ‘politicians who go into politics to pursue public interests’. Like statesmen not interested in the next election, but in the next generation, the President and his Vice are once again proving that politics can really be an ennobling activity for the development of society and improvement on the moral content of the citizenry. It is never a “do or die” thing. By insisting on not getting involved for now in the 2015 politics, the President has consciously given away the ‘first-mover’ advantages, which he should naturally enjoy by

BY INSISTING ON NOT GETTING INVOLVED FOR NOW IN THE

2015 POLITICS, THE PRESIDENT HAS CONSCIOUSLY GIVEN AWAY THE ‘FIRST-

MOVER’ ADVANTAGES virtue of his incumbency position. That is the stuff of leadership intent on transforming its society. Interestingly, while the Jonathan administration is concentrating on good governance, his opponents appear to have taken the initiatives. They are working round the clock forging alliances and mergers to unsettle the ruling party. They are using everything in the book, including cheap propaganda and blackmail, to draw Jonathan out to renege on his position on 2015. Imagine the infantile insinuation that the decision of the President’s itinerary to pass through Lagos on his way to Ogun State, is a plot and a strategy to torpedo the convention of the Action Congress of Nigeria! Meanwhile, three-time presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, has made public his intention to run for the highest office in the land for the fourth time. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said he is consult-

ing his supporters and stakeholders before declaring his position. It appears there is a grand conspiracy to shut President Jonathan and his deputy out of the 2015 race. A young man has approached the court for its opinion on the eligibility of the president to pursue a second term bid. One governor is talking of a nebulous agreement that seeks to tie the president to one term in office. On its part, a section of the media is doing its best to misrepresent the President, and even putting words in his mouth concerning his 2015 ambition. Although the President says it is not yet time to start the 2015 politicking, he has never ruled himself out of the race! It is understandable why some politicians, especially those in the opposition, are getting jittery on Jonathan’s second term stance. If the President is in the race, he remains the man to beat. Were politics a sport, Jonathan and Sambo would be the defending champions, and it is always difficult to beat the champions, not when they can still find their best form through improved performance. Umar wrote from Abuja Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


Editorial

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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On redeployment of youth corps members

overnance in the country is gradually but steadily becoming notorious for precipitate, and perhaps, panicstricken decisions taken with little or no investment of quality thinking. This was recently demonstrated by the deployment and sudden redeployment of youth corps members in some parts of the North by the management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). For some time now, there have been agitations by youth corps members against deployment to crisis-prone states, which the agency ignored. We recall that the National Assembly, after the deadly attacks on corps members in some northern towns by the dreaded Boko Haram sect about two years ago, advised that youth corps members should not be deployed to endangered areas any longer. But the NYSC authorities turned deaf ears to the honest advice, defending themselves with the cock and bull story that the essence of the youth service scheme might be defeated if corps members were not posted to areas they could meet their sudden death. Despite assurances of safety for corps members deployed to hot spots of Boko Haram insurgency, covering the young graduates on national service in such areas with adequate security has been more of lip service than

reality. Ordinarily therefore, the NYSC’s recent mass redeployment of corps members from some northern states under the siege of terrorists ought to be commended. But such commendation becomes meaningless on considering the fact that the agency stubbornly posted youth corps members to such areas, and only corrected itself following intense protests and even threats by some of the affected youth corps members to forget about the national service. Yes, NYSC authorities have the right to defend and promote national unity for which the scheme was originally established, but must that be pursued at the expense of the lives of the corps members when it is obvious the Federal Government has demonstrated its inability to cover those willing to go to such areas with adequate security? Can a dead youth corps member espouse, let alone promote national unity? The Federal Government and its agencies should stop their reckless experiments with ill-conceived policies that are often reversed when common sense prevails. Examples include the recently proposed introduction of N5000 notes and conversion of N5, N10 and N20 notes to coins by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as the policy somersault on the Computer-Based Test (CBT)

HASTILY TAKEN POLICY DECISIONS ARE TAKING THEIR TOLLS ON THE

INTEGRITY OF, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE

PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN IN THE

GOVERNMENT that is making the JAMB to start the programme on April 27, 2013, instead of the originally scheduled take off date of 2015. Other such gaffes from the highest quarters include the Federal Government’s two-year withdrawal of the country from competitive football, which was reversed almost immediately on FIFA’s threatened sanctions; free distribution of pre-paid electric meters and energy saving bulbs; renaming of the University of Lagos as Moshood Abiola University; the 2011 listing of retired Lt. Gen. Domkat Bali for a CFR national honours award, a title lower than the GCON he was awarded by a past administration, among others. In the particular case of the NYSC, we consider it unbelievable that the agency could go ahead and post youth corps

members to extremely risky parts of the North, despite the cold-blooded murder of serving youth corps members in the region in 2011. The decision, though reversed later, was not only insensitive, but confirmed the assumption that some fellows in positions of authority believe in garbage in-garbage out style in their day-to-day interpretation and implementation of public policies; and perhaps, they do not care a hoot about the fatal outcomes of their indiscretions. Incidentally, too, such officers may never think of posting members of their families or loved ones to such deadly areas. Hastily taken policy decisions are taking their tolls on the integrity of and public confidence in the President Goodluck Jonathan government. While we commend the President for his responsiveness each time any of such blunders is committed, we recommend that the Presidency and National Assembly should insist on a thorough investigation of the capabilities and capacities for innovativeness of persons being assigned to sensitive positions in government. We agree with the thinking that government advisers and officials having the penchant for churning out ill-conceived policies and taking reckless decisions are in way no better than terrorists.

ON THIS DAY April 23, 1997 Omaria massacre in Algeria: The largest Omaria massacre took place on April 23, 1997 in the Algerian village of Omaria near Médéa, south of Algiers. Attackers armed with knives, sabers, and guns killed 42 people - including 17 women and three babies - in three hours, mutilating and sometimes burning the bodies. A pregnant women was cut open, and her baby hacked apart. The Haouch Khemisti massacre had taken place the day before.

April 23, 1993 Sri Lankan politician Lalith Athulathmudali was assassinated while addressing a gathering, approximately four weeks ahead of the Provincial Council elections for the Western Province. Lalith William Samarasekera Athulathmudali (November 26, 1936 – April 23, 1993) was a Sri Lankan politician of the United National Party and former Cabinet Minister of Trade, National Security, Agriculture, Education and deputy minister of defence.

April 23, 1985 Coca-Cola changed its formula and released New Coke. The response to the new product was overwhelmingly negative, and the original formula was returned back to the market in less than three months. New Coke was the reformulation of Coca-Cola introduced in 1985 by The Coca-Cola Company to replace the original formula of its flagship soft drink, Coca-Cola (also called Coke). New Coke originally had no separate name of its own.


Pilfering, missing luggage at Nigerian airports: Matters arising

Unpaid premium: Govt, insurance companies involved, stakeholder alleges 37 SUPER TUESDAY

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www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Multiple taxation: Can Dankwambo committee tame the fiscal monster? A s the challenge of inadequate funding continues to confront national and sub-national governments with greater intensity, the three tiers of government and their economic management experts are not only going back to their three drawing boards to tinker with existing fiscal and policy frameworks but they are also designing new strategies to explore tax revenue options in order to close the gaps between the available resources at their disposal and growing developmental agenda. But then, rather than adopting an aggressive revenue generation approach to boost their revenue generation potential, the governments are adopting a more liberal strategy on how best to improve tax compliance rate by frontally tackling one of the most daunting hurdles to businesses in Nigeria - multiple taxation. To most analysts, the new move to deal with the nuisance of multiple taxes could not have come at a more auspicious time in view of the fact that it has not only become a cancerous leech in the body of corporate entities in the economy but also constituted a major source of revenue leakages as illegal agents take advantage of the lapses within the tax system to pursue selfish interests. For instance, apart from losing big manufacturing concerns to neighbouring countries like Ghana, Benin and Cote D’Ivoire due to inclement operating environment over the past five years and the potential of losing more, the lamentations of the existing

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After years of prevarication, the Federal Government is leading other tiers of government to tackle the problem of multiple taxation and its negative implications for the nation’s sustainable development. TOLA AKINMUTIMI, appraises the new initiative and what experts believe could be done to achieve its objectives.

Arik Air Lag-Abj:07.15, 09.15, 10.20, 13.05, 15.20, 16.20, 16.50,18.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun). Abj-Lag: 07:15, 09.40,10.20, 12.15, 15.15, 16.15,17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun); 12.15, 15.15, 16.15 (Sun)Lag-PH: 07:15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.10, 17.15 (Mon-Fri) 07.30, 11.40, 15.50 (Sat) 11.50, 3.50, 17.05 Sun) Abj-PH: 07.15, 11.20, 15.30 (Mon-Fri) 07.15, 16.00 (Sat) 13.10, 16.00 Sun) PH-Abj: 08.45, 12.50, 17.00 (Mon-Fri) 08.45, 17.30 (Sat) 14.40, 17.30 (Sun) AbvBeni:08.00, 12.10 (Mon-Fri/ Sat)08.56, 12.10(Sun)

Aero Contractors Lag-Abj: 06.50, 13.30, 16.30, 19.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun), 12.30 (Sun) 16.45 (Sat) Abj-Los: 07.30, 13.00, 19.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat, 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 (Sun, 18.30 Sat) LagBenin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (MonFri/Sat/Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat)

IRS Federal Inland Revenue head office, Abuja.

ones over multiplicity of taxes and other macroeconomic factors can only be ignored to the detriment of the economy and the governments, who, in view of the increasing clamour by the masses for improved welfare, are desperately searching for ways out of their funding logjam. And in what appears a proactive step to finding a workable solution to the problem of multiplicity of taxes, the National Economic Council (NEC) has constituted a Committee to appraise the problem with a view to identifying how best to address it for the purposes of minimising the burden of taxpayers, ensure tax justice and by extension, improve tax compliance rate as encapsulated in the National Tax Policy.

In addition to the NEC initiative, which is coming after several years the Joint Tax Board (JTB) has been vigorously confronting the menace is also a new mass awareness campaign on tax compliance which will soon be embarked upon by the Board as part of its sustained initiatives to create enabling environment for improved tax administration in the country. Speaking on the proposed initiative of the governments aimed at finding a lasting solution to the problem at the 27th Meeting of the JTB held last Thursday in Abuja, the Acting Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Alhaji Kabir Mashi, said the National Economic Council (NEC) had already constituted a

Committee to review the issue of multiple taxation and how best to address its challenges to corporate entities’ sustainable growth. He said: “The National Economic Council had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo and he has done a lot. It is one of the issues that we are going to discuss, the report, for our input to see that as much as possible the issue of multiplicity of taxes is addressed. “But the issue of enforcement, whatever we agree, there must be enforcement and it is the JTB members that must ensure that the issues are addressed and the law enforcement agencies must

Lagos-Abuja 7.30 8.30 7.45 8.45 09.30 10.30 10.30 11.30 12.30 13.30 14.30 15.30 16.30 17.30 Lagos-Kano 08.00 09.15 10.30 11.45 14.30 15.40 18.15 19.30 Los-Maid&Yola (Mon-Thur) 09.30 11.30 Fri- Sun 10.30 12.30 Kano-Lagos 07.30 08.45 14.00 15.15 17.30 18.45 Kano-Abj 10.45 11.30 Abj-Lagos 09.00 10.30 11.00 12.00 12.00 13.00

CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

Customs projects six hour cargo release

Handling two or more jobs

Adopting modern building process to bridge housing deficit

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Business & Finance

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Multiple taxation: Can Dankwambo-led committee tame the fiscal monster? CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 support the revenue agencies to ensure discipline in the system. “I have directed the secretariat of JTB to start public enlightenment in respect of multiple taxation so that the tax payer would know what they are supposed to pay and what they should not pay. And if they are asked to pay something that is not backed by law, they are free to enforce it in the court of law. They can go to court and insist they are not going to pay. So, the tax payers too must help the revenue agencies,” Mashi added. As desirable as the move appears, experts believe that the committee would need to look beyond the problem but engage all stakeholders in a holistic discourse in order to enable it understand the magnitude and dimensions of the problem and come out with recommendations that will help Nigeria to have a more investment -friendly tax regime. In his reaction, Dr. Boniface Chizea, a leading public policy analyst and financial consultant, described the establishment of the committee as a desirable option in government’s efforts to make the domestic economy more investmentfriendly since if the right measures are put in place to tackle the challenge it will naturally have positive effects on government’s tax revenues as well as offer macroeconomic benefits to all stakeholders in the long run. He, however, believes that the Committee must work in concert with key stakeholders as well as look beyond the domestic economic frontiers in order to gain insight into best practices at subregional and international environments in order to come up with recommendations that will truly reduce the incidence of multiplicity of taxes at all levels of the economy to the barest minimum. Chizea said: “We commend the government for setting up a committee to look into the problem of multiple taxation to remove the disincentive factor of the prevalence of this phenomenon in the economy. The loss to the Treasury arising from multiple taxation is not immediately obvious to the simple minded. In fact, the often received wisdom is that high tax rate generates more funds for government. “Losses arise from consideration of the fact that the available profit on which tax is applied is suppressed from this situation as aggressive investments are discouraged and energy is dissipated in attempting to avoid or possibly evade the payment of tax. This point of view aligns with the demand stimulation effect of supple side economics. “The committee is advised to collate the views of critical concerned stakeholders who wear the shoe to ascertain where it pinches to aggregate their views on what they consider equitable in this connection. Through this process, more insight might be gained into other disincentives to investment which they prioritise ahead of multiple taxation. As these views are collated across various sectors of the economy, a consensus would be crystallized on the best way forward. It would also be necessary to benchmark best practices in this connection from countries both within the Sub-Region of Africa and internationally”, Chizea advised.

Okonjo-Iweala

Dankwambo

WE COMMEND THE GOVERNMENT FOR SETTING UP A COMMITTEE TO LOOK INTO THE PROBLEM OF MULTIPLE TAXATION TO REMOVE THE DISINCENTIVE FACTOR OF THE PREVALENCE OF THIS PHENOMENON IN THE ECONOMY In addition, he also pointed out that it would be necessary to engage legislative provisions in the conduct of the exercise to streamline the incidence of multiple taxation arising from taxation imposed from sub-national tier of governments, particularly local governments, in their attempt to generate revenue for undertaking development projects to provide democratic dividends. The financial expert expressed the hope that the exercise will not be one of those committee’s work which would be left unimplemented after progressing through various sub-committees to generate white papers for government consideration and decisions. Expressing what could be described as private sector operators’ position on the menace of multiple taxes and levies and it could be curbed, the Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Muda Yusuf, reiterated that multiple taxes have become a major disincentive to investments, an ugly development which, he said, the Chamber had drawn the attention of the authorities to the evils of multiple taxes and levies, with little or nothing to show for such efforts in terms of government’s actions to tackle it. While describing the LCCI as a strong advocate of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and an interest group that is fully aware the implications of the prompt payment of taxes, Yusuf pointed out that the importance of tax revenues to provision of major economic and social infrastructure by government, many of which the private sector would ordinarily not or cannot even provide, cannot the overemphasised. He, however, explained that the concern of the private sector is that tax regimes at all levels of government should be in line with best practice principles. “We crave for certainty and clarity in taxation. The private sector wants to be very clear and certain of its tax obligations - the number of taxes, the rates, period of payment, mode of payment and so

on”, he said. Amplifying the position of the organised private sector further, the LCCI boss demanded a tax system that is devoid of arbitrariness and not driven by the whims and caprices of state officials (the local government tax officials are the main culprits here). Yusuf said: “We crave for a tax system that is fair; treating equal people equally, and unequal people unequally. We desire a tax regime that is flexible enough to respond to changing circumstances. “We crave a tax regime that takes into account the prevailing economic conditions and the harsh investment climate. These are some of the attributes that could promote an investment friendly tax regime. I must commend the Lagos State Government for the various steps already taken to address many of these concerns. “The private sector is currently faced with an avalanche of taxes – Value Added Tax, Import duty, excise duty (for selected sectors) withholding tax, education tax, Consumption tax, Port levies, Land use Charge, Advertisement tax, Environmental Tax, Rice levy and Sugar Levy, Automotive levy, Wheat levy, copious levies by the local government councils as well as other fees charged by regulatory agencies across the sectors at the States and Federal levels. “The reality is that the current burden of taxes and levies is heavy, especially when situated within the context of the high operating cost for businesses. Operators in the real sector of the economy are the worst hit. “The telecommunications companies have also complained about the numerous levies imposed on them by the various state and local governments. They also have serious issues with regard to right of way for their cables and other infrastructure. I understand though that this is being addressed by the National Economic Council”, the LCCI boss added. In his contribution, Professor Sola Aliu, an entrepreneurial skill building

Chizea

expert, who appraised the committee’s assignment from a broad historical and developmental perspectives, noted that broadening the tax base and developing appropriate administration mechanisms for Nigeria remain crucial to achieving the long term goal of creating a socioeconomically just society. Aliu, a chartered engineer and former consultant to UNESCO and DFID, believes that the problems of dearth of tax database, corruption, lack of capacity in tax administrations to enforce compliance and many others remained major hurdles to tackling the problem of multiple taxation and therefore advised the committee to approach the task with a multipronged strategy such that constraints to a harmonised, easy to administer tax regime are eliminated at federal and sub-national levels in the country. He explained: “We need to develop a robust database of all taxable adults and enterprises operating in the country. All tiers of Government must cooperate to ensure a unique identification for each “person” – individual or corporate. It will make it easy to monitor tax compliance. While citing the World Bank 1997 report on how to tackle the menace of corruption with the tax system on a variety of fronts and on an ongoing basis over a long period of time, pointed out that, “it is essential that as with reform, addressing corrupt tax practices come to be regarded as an on-going process and not as one-off event, basic institutional reforms are needed. He explained further that, “we must consider the benefits of developing an African culture of tax compliance, improve on our tax collection, while also improving on political and financial independence if we wish to develop our economies. We need also to look at the weaknesses of fiscal policies.“ According to him, what Nigeria needs is a tax administration system capable of collecting revenue due to the state, dealing with tax evasion and avoidance and building a culture of compliance. Aliu believes that in order to create a well-harmonised and efficiently administered tax regime there is an urgent need for tax authorities to mount a vigorous public education and enlightenment campaign on existing tax laws and tax administration in the country even as he charged the political leaders to tackle corruption with vigour.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business & Finance

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Customs projects six hour cargo release FRANCIS EZEM

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he Nigeria Customs Service says it is working towards a six-hour cargo release under its new fully automated cargo clearance procedure facilitated by its Nigerian Trade Hub, which provides connectivity for all the government agencies involved in cargo inspection at the air, seaport and land borders. The Federal Government had on December 31, 2012 extended the seven year Build Own, Operate and Transfer contract with four service providers under the Destination Inspection scheme by another six months. This follows complaints by many stakeholders including the importing community and freight forwarders that the service is not capable of taking over and sustaining the DI scheme as was provided in the contract and therefore called for an extension of the contract to enable more officers of the undergo more training. Comptroller General of service,

L-R: Business Head, Hand Held Products, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Emmanouil Revmatas; Marketing Manager, Ms. Olajumoke Okikiolu; Creative Director, CLAN, Ms. Teni Sagoe and Kimono Kollection, Mr. Hakeem Balogun, at Samsung’s “Galaxy S4 Design for Life” Workshop for young fashion designers in Nigeria in Ikoyi, Lagos, yesterday.

Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko, who spoke with journalists in Abuja at the weekend, disclosed that the service has developed a new Information Communication Technology called the Nigerian Trade Hub. Under the ICT trade hub also called ‘Ruling Centre’, designed to facilitate trade, the service is

‘Remittances to developing countries to grow by 8.8 %’ UDO ONYEKA

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ccording to the latest edition of the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief, issued last week, remittance flows to developing countries grew by 5.3 percent to reach an estimated $401 billion in 2012. Remittances to developing countries are expected to grow by an annual average of 8.8 percent for the next three years and are forecast to reach $515 billion in 2015. World Bank said remittance flows to developing countries have more than quadrupled since 2000, while global remittances, including those to high-income countries, are estimated to have reached $514 billion in 2012, compared to $132 billion in 2000. The report said remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa have been recovering from the contraction associated with the global financial crisis, but growth has been modest. In 2012, the region is estimated to have received about $31 billion in remittances, only about one percent increase over 2011 and that Nigeria by far was the largest recipient of remittances in the region, accounting for about 67 percent of the inflows to the region in 2012, followed by Senegal and Kenya. “Remittances to Eastern Europe and Central Asia are

estimated to have declined by 3.9 percent to about $40 billion in 2012, partly due to the depreciation of the euro against the US dollar (lowering remittances in dollar terms). Continued strong growth in oil-exporting Russia underpinned buoyant remittances to Tajikistan and Ukraine, while weak conditions in the Euro Area depressed remittances to Romania, Russia and Serbia. With officially recorded remittance inflows of about $6.5 billion in 2012, the Ukraine is the largest recipient in the region, followed by Russia ($5.7 billion), and Tajikistan ($3.7 billion). As economic conditions improve in Europe, and growth in Russia remains robust, officially recorded remittances to the region are expected to rebound in 2013-2015, exceeding the pre-crisis peak in 2014 and reaching US$52 billion in 2015. “The Latin America and Caribbean region saw a slight increase in remittances in 2012 to $62 billion, still more than $2.5 billion below the peak reached in 2008. Mexico, which received $23 billion in 2012, accounts for 56 percent of total remittances to the region, followed by Brazil ($4.9 billion). The US is the largest source of remittances to the region, accounting for 73 percent of the total inflows in 2012.

proposing the introduction of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) to replace the current Risk Assessment Report (RAR) issued by the service providers under the DI contract, an advisory document to Customs on the risk level associated with any imported consignment into the country.

RAR, which is an advisory report generated by the service providers under the DI contract advises the service on the level of risk associated with a given consignment since it is the duty of the service providers under the contract to carryout Computerised Risk Management System. The Comptroller, who was rep-

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resented by the Deputy Comptroller General in charge of administration, Alhaji Garba Makarfi, disclosed that with the introduction of electronic Form M by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, the service will be able to release cargo from the seaports within six hours after the arrival of the consignment. According to him, with the trade hub, which gives importers all over the world information regarding imports documentation such as the goods that are regulated, prohibited, fees and charges associated with every form of consignment and duty payable, among others, the importer would have a through picture of what and what not to bring into Nigeria and the processes involved. He also disclosed that with the PAAR, which assesses the risk level associated with any consignment before its arrival unlike the RAR, which is allegedly issued over five days after the arrival, the service would release any consignment six hours after the importer or his agent lodges its Single Goods Declaration documents, especially with the electronic Form M of the CBN.

Dana Air re-launches Port Harcourt route, plans Calabar in few weeks OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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arely three months after resumption of flight operations to Abuja, Dana Airlines yesterday recommenced operations to Port Harcourt Airport. The airline also disclosed that plans are underway to recommence flight operations to Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar in the coming months. Speaking to reporters on its recommenced flight operations, the Group Corporate Manager of the airline, Mr. Tony Usidamen said that the request of its loyal clients propelled it to recommence operations to the route. He also said that the airline, which currently has five Mc-

Donalds 83 aircraft in its fleet hopes to increase the fleet with Boeing 737 aircraft in the coming months. He however promised the airline’s clients to any of the routes in the country of world class flight experience. He said, “We received lots of request from our clients asking us to recommence the route. We are happy to offer them world class service we’ve been offering them in the past. “We want to connect our passengers to as many locations as possible. We are looking to re-launch operations to Calabar and other cities in the coming months. This is going to be a boost on our consolidation drive.” Also speaking, the General Manager, South-south airports, Federal Airports Au-

thority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mrs. Ebele Okoye said that the resumption of flight operations to the airport by Dana would further afford passengers more choices on airline to fly with. She explained that before now, the airline made application to return to the airport, which was immediately granted them by the management due to the antecedents in giving air passengers prompt and comfortable air experience. She said, “I’m impressed that they are staging a comeback to the airport. Before now, the airline made applications for some assistance, which we are happy to oblige them. We all know what happened to them and we are happy to welcome them back to the airport.”

Naira depreciates as oil importers demand for more dollars

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he naira declined for a fifth day, reaching its lowest in more than five weeks on increased demand for dollars by oil importers and as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cut the amount of dollar sold at yesterday’s auction. The naira weakened 0.1 percent to 158.83 per dollar in Lagos, yesterday the lowest on a closing basis since March 14, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Nigeria relies on imports to cover 70 percent of the fuel

needs because of inadequate refining capacity. Those shipments into the country are a source of pressure on the naira, according to the CBN. The Apex bank sold $246.5 million at an auction yesterday, compared with $266.2 million at the previous sale on April 17, it said in an e-mailed statement. The naira weakened “on huge dollar demand by oil importers,” Access Bank analysts led by Tony Monye and Michael Ndiomu wrote in a note. The drop in the central bank’s supply also added pressure on the

naira, Tunde Ladipo, chief executive officer of Lagos-based Valuechain Investment Ltd., said by phone. Borrowing costs on the nation’s local-currency debt due January 2022 fell four basis points, or 0.4 percentage point, to 11.44 percent, according to April 19 prices on the Lagos-basedFinancial Markets Dealers Association website. Meanwhile yields on Nigeria’s $500 million of Eurobonds due January 2021 fell three basis points to 4.04 percent yesterday.


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Business & Finance

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

NUPENG protests engagement of expatriates as security manager, CRM MESHACK IDEHEN

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orkers in their hundreds who are employees of the Universal Energy Resources Limited have protested against the employment of some foreigners as the Chief Security Officer and Community Relations Manager of the company. Protesting under the aegis of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) together with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), the workers said the action of the company has become intolerable over the years, and that the Federal Government should immediately call the firm to order.

The South-South Zonal Treasurer of PENGASSAN, Port Harcourt Zone, Mr. Peter Ogbeidi, said in a statement to National Mirror on Thursday, that “the engagement of the foreigners as chief security officer and community relations manager was a slap on Nigerians”. He said the company had claimed that there was no qualified Nigerian to take up the jobs either as CSO or CRM, adding the company’s insistence on such flimsy excuse as the basis for recruiting the expatriates at the expense of thousands if qualified, willing and able Nigerians was an insult that the workers and the union’s leadership and the workers cannot swallow. According to him, “the workers in the company and

the union leadership can’t take this insult any longer. How can this company employ these young foreigners as the chief security officer and community relations manager on our own land? This is really strange. It can’t happen anywhere else in the world. “The next thing you hear the company say is that the foreigners are more qualified for these positions than Nigerians. This is a real falsehood. We cannot be slaves in our own land. It’s a taboo,” the union leaders said. He explained in the statement that the conditions of service for Nigerian employees of the company were the poorest in the oil and gas sector, saying also that the union has come to the end of its patience with the company.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

BASL opens new lounge to ward-off touting at terminal OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he management of the BiCourtney Aviation Services Limited, BASL, operators of the Murtala Mohammed Airport Two, MMA2, yesterday said that in a bid to sustain its anti-touting policy within its terminal has opened a new lounge for protocol officers of various organisations at the complex. The terminal operator said the innovative idea would further make the airport terminal more traveller-friendly, vowing that touts, miscreants and other questionable characters would continue to be kept at bay from MMA2. An online statement signed by its spokesman, Mr. Steve OmolaleAjulo and made available to aviation correspondents stated that the company has zero-tolerance

Wema Bank promotes over 100 staff DAMILOLA AJAYI

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L-R: Ewekoro Local Government Chairman, Hon. Oludele Soluade; Ewekoro Plant Manager, Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc, Mr. Thierry Terriere; Vice Chairman, Ewekoro Local Government, Hon Biodun Olaleye and other traditional rulers in Ewekoro Local Government during the company’s donation of Ambulance to the Lafarge Health Centre in Ewekoro Local Government Secretariat, Itori, Ogun State, recently.

South African Airways appoints fourth CEO in six months OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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ne of the leading airlines in the continent, South African Airways, SAA, over the weekend announced the appointment of Mr. Monwabisi Kalawe as its new Chief Executive Officer, CEO. With this appointment, Kalawe thereby becomes the airline’s fourth CEO in six months. The former CEO, Ms. Siza Mzimela had resigned in October 2012 after a dispute between the board members and the Southern African Government. In her replacement, Vuyisile Kona was appointment, but was equally suspended in February because of some certain allegations, which were not made known to the public. Immediately after his suspension, the CEO of the company’s low-cost carrier, Mango Airline was appointed on interim basis and has been in

charge since then. An online statement signed by the airline’s media consultant in Nigeria stated that Kalawe was appointed by the government in a bid to continue to focus on improving the fortune of the airline not just in the continent, but in the globe. The statement reads in part, “The Board worked tirelessly to find a suitable leader who will lead by example and stabilise the internal environment whilst working towards ensuring good corporate governance within the airline,” “Mr. Kalawe will also lead SAA, as a strategic national asset, towards contributing to the socio-economic development of the country and the continent.” The statement stated that Kalawe began his career at State Owned Company, SOC, Eskom, before joining Nestle South Africa for a few years and then re-

turning to Eskom for three years. No stranger to the aviation industry, Mr. Kalawe also worked at Airports Company South Africa, ACSA, for six years before leading Total Facilities Management Company, TFMC, as Chief Operating Officer and Denel as Chief Executive Officer. After concluding his role as Country Managing Director of Compass Group for five years and more recently as Executive Chairperson, Mr. Kalawe is expected to join SAA in the next few weeks. SAA posted a pretax loss of 1.36bn rand ($148.4m) for the year ending March, 2012 compared with a profit of 79m rand a year earlier, according to its annual report. The government gave the airline a 5bn rand debt guarantee in October to ensure it can borrow from financial markets to support a recovery.

policy for any form of touting in and around the airport terminal. Omolale-Ajulo stressed that the new lounge has modern facilities, such as internet, DSTV and communications equipment “to make the company officials using them have a feel of the relaxed ambience of MMA2, while still being effective in their various assignments.” Apart from its aim of checkmating touting, the new lounge, the statement said, would enhance security as all protocol officials would be well identified with various tags having different levels of access and restriction within the terminal. The statement added that many companies have started using the lounge and more have indicated interest in the facility, adding that MMA2 has enough space to accommodate all the interested firms.

ema Bank has elevated over 100 staff across various cadres at the end of its recently concluded performance appraisal exercise. A statement from the bank on Friday quoted the Managing Director, Mr. Segun Oloketuyi, as saying that the commitment of all staff towards achieving the bank’s goals has seen its brand and business profile rising. He said that the bank is committed to reward exceptional performance of its staff without bias. According to him, the bank

will continue to push for diversity in its workforce and an inclusive culture whilst ensuring that the best hands in the industry are recruited and retained. He also stated that the bank is totally committed to continuously enhancing the capacity of the current workforce to provide a competitive advantage and also help in delivering exceptional, delightful customer service at all times to all stakeholders. “With staff strength of over 2000 employees, Wema Bank is an equal opportunities employer and has an inclusive human resources policy that does not discriminate by age, sex, or disability,” he added.

Salako, Kaigama battle for TUC presidency MESHACK IDEHEN

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s the tenure of outgoing President-General of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) Mr. Peter Esele, expires in June, the battle to succeed him is now getting more intense. The presidents of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) Mr. Bobboi Bala Kaigama and Association of Senior Staff of Banks Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), Mr. Sunday Olusoji Salako are the leading contenders that have indicated interest to succeed him. Launching his campaign for the job, Kaigama said his vision is to consolidate on the achievements of Esele and take the trade centre higher, saying he would execute a housing project and consolidate on the mass transit system established by the out-going

administration. Kaigama also listed part of his achievements as spearheading the last two upward reviews of salaries for civil servants in Taraba State, making the workers among the best paid in the north. According to him, as a branch chairman of his union, he instituted a welfare programme for the union members, which now stands at about N70 million. However, the ASSIBIFI president on his part, while unveiling his manifesto vowed to raise the bar to consolidate on the gains of the outgoing president-general. “I vow to raise the bar to consolidate on the gains of the outgoing President-General, Comrade Peter Esele, with a functional and well-equipped secretariat, highly skilled and motivated staff, with a robust platform for social change and justice for workers.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Jobs & Career

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The clamour for effective regulation that will allow workers keep two or more jobs simultaneously without offending their employers is mounting, with human resource experts insisting that keeping multiple jobs is possible if well managed, MESHACK IDEHEN writes.

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Handling two or more jobs

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he concept of doing more than one job is hardly anyone’s idea of an ideal employment situation, said Author, Conceptual Framework in Human Resource Management and human resource expert, Mr. Kunle Rotimi, “but it can often prove necessary, as many workers may find themselves piecing together an income from several part-time jobs,” he conceded. Rotimi’s views aside however, Industrial Relations Expert, Mr. Peter Okhiria, said on the surface, that he would be hesitant to recommend the idea of allowing employees he manages keep multiple jobs because learning how to handle two or more jobs in any case, according to him, requires some special considerations, if such employee is not to become overwhelmed by multiple jobs. Inspite of the different views offered by practitioners on the propriety of employees taking multiple jobs at the same time, alongside their ability to handle such without compromising one for the another, other analysts told National Mirror that it was time the Federal and state government come together to put adequate legislations and modalities in place that will support and protect workers that decide opt for multiple jobs. Making reference to the prevailing economic situation in the country, An employer, Mr. Tope Awosegba, said he will not stop any of his workers from engaging in activities that will expand their streams of income, especially if such activities does not affect his business in any way. He said that workers in public service are particularly restricted from taking up multiple jobs by their employers; the government, emphasising that it was such restriction that was responsible for the high level of malfeasance and

L-R: President, Chartered Institute of Personel Management, Mr. Victor Famuyibo, and Registrar, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute, Mr. Sunday Adeyemi at a briefing in Lagos.

IF YOU CAN LEAVE ONE JOB AND GET EXTRA HOURS AT THE OTHER WHILE STILL MEETING

YOUR FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS, CONSIDER DOING

IT.

BUT IF YOU ARE WORKING MULTIPLE JOBS TO GENERATE MONEY THAT YOU DON’T NEED TO MEET YOUR BASIC OBLIGATIONS, THE PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS IS OFTEN NOT WORTH IT low productivity that jobs and career in the public service has become famous for. Be that as it may, other experts said taking up multiple jobs should not be for the fun of it, and that it should be taken when it has been ensured that working multiple jobs is the only viable option left for such category of workers. Managing Director, Findjobafrica. com, Mr. Funto Akinkugbe, said the first question to ask before taking up multiple jobs is whether you really need to have two jobs. According to him, “If you can leave one job and get extra hours at the other while still meeting your financial obligations, consider doing it. But If you are working multiple jobs to generate money that you don’t need to meet your basic obligations, the physical and psychological stress is often not worth it”.

While urging many in paid employment to consider taking multiple jobs, and also gave advice on how to handle it, Akinkugbe said it was important for any worker thinking of multiple jobs to prioritise and delegate his responsibilities. He explained that balancing two jobs and a long work week will leave such employees unable to keep their home clean, cook their own meals, and take care of other responsibilities with diligence. “To compensate, prioritise your tasks so that some are performed less frequently. If you can delegate cleaning or child care tasks to a family member, consider doing this to lighten your load of responsibilities”, he said. On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Purple Consult International, Mr. Samuel Joseph, said it was critical to have an established exit plan when

taking up multiple jobs, to make sure this becomes a reality, which such employees will need to determine what steps they will take to allow them to quit one job, even if in haste. According to Joseph, handling multiple jobs also requires that such individual gets adequate rest whenever possible, because balancing multiple part-time jobs will mean schedules will likely vary from week to week. He said multiple job holders should take advantage of any down time by going to bed early or resting for a few hours, considering that sleep deprivation will eventually wear them down and make it harder to balance the two jobs along with other commitments. Also speaking on how to handle two or more jobs, a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Ifezulike, said immense work schedule can lead to neglect of social commitments, adding that neglecting friends and family generally serves to increase the stress created by multiple jobs. Ifezulike explained that overlapping work responsibilities will ensure that they perform better for both jobs at the same time. “Occasionally, when your attention would be required at both jobs at once, be as diplomatic as possible with your coworkers and supervisors when deciding how to triage responsibilities in these cases”, the ICAN fellow added.

Scrap dealers’ union gets certificate of registration MESHACK IDEHEN

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he National Association of Scrap and Waste Dealers Employers of Nigeria (NASWDEN) has been registered by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour and Productivity. The new association, though having been in existence in the country for about 10 years now has not been granted official recognition until when the Registrar of Trade Unions in the Labour Ministry, Mrs. Nwanyeize Mbogu, presented a certificate of registration to the new

union on Tuesday. The National President of the union, Mr. John Egaji Obeh, explained that the union has been pursuing the registration for about four years before it was finally granted. He said the union had to organise itself before the issuance of this certificate saying the aim of the union is to bring the entire scrap dealers in Nigeria together under a unified umbrella so they can confront common challenges with a united voice and strength. He explained the focus of the union in the next one year is to have branches in all the 36 states of the federation and

Abuja, insisting at the same time that scraps dealers is important in the economic activities. He decried the popular notion of people that scrap merchants deal only in rubbish, insisting that they contribute meaningfully to the economy of the country and the sub region. He said, “When you talk about scraps, people will focus their mind on waste product, but what this union was able to do is to gather scraps for recycling purpose. Before now, Nigeria had just two major steel rolling mills but today, I can tell you that through the effort of the union, we have about 22 steel rolling

mills. “The union members supply these rolling mills raw material they are using for recycling purposes as well as full production of iron rod. More workers are needed in order to serve the 22 rolling mills and in that regard we are proud to say that we have indeed contributed substantially to the growth of the economy. “We have about 161 registered agents attached to all steel rolling mills and each of these agents has about 100 workers under them. We are contributing meaningfully to job and wealth creation in this country.”


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Jobs & Career

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How to be happy at work Can someone really strive being happy at work? After all, it is called work. Is work supposed to deliver happiness to us? Work can deliver happiness and employees can strive to be happy at work. Some people are happier at work than anywhere else, and they are perfectly healthy people. Whatever be the case, this is it. Stop complaining - One of the biggest challenges of people being unable to be happy at work is really due to all the complaining. Add to it all the gossips and rumours; it makes a very difficult environment to try to build some joy and happiness in it. Tough as it may be, avoid complaining. Stop complaining. When you distance yourself from negativity, you will quite naturally be happy at work, or at least, feel a little happier. Don’t feel the need to complain as if it will resolve the issue. If you need to, discuss the challenge. Then find a way to diffuse it. Otherwise, you just stop. Resist complaining. Build affinity- Humans are social animals. We need others to connect. Learn to relate to others not just on the professional end but also on the personal side as well. Who knows? You may share some common interest with your colleagues and work suddenly does not become boring. There are common topics to talk about. Help others when you can - That is a way to build affinity with the others. You will also sense energy within yourself because you are able to contrib-

MD findjobafrica.com, Funto Akinkugbo

ute beyond your regular work scope. Do not help by expecting others to return a favour though. You will be disappointed when others do not reciprocate. Help because you can and are willing. Look for connections Sometimes you may not know it. But you may feel unhappy at work because you do not really know your role within the bigger organization. Look for connections and try to understand your work. Where do you fit in within your company? How do you contribute to the profits of the company? Look for these connections and keep learning new things. When you understand the bigger picture, you will understand your role and hence feel being happy at work. What is work to you? - Work means different things to different people. What does work mean to you? Is it something that puts bread on the table and that’s all? Or do you look to work to fulfill other aspects of your life? Try to understand what your relationship with work is, if you want to feel being happy at work. Know your destination -

Where do you want to be? How does this contribute to your goals? Give yourself a goal. When you feel unhappy, you can always remind yourself of the bigger goal and how what you are doing now contributes to it. Seeing your goal and how work contributes to it can make you happy at work. Learn to accept and manage disappointments - Learn to accept and manage disappointments with people and with work. Nothing is perfect and situations are always in a flux. Not just at work, but everything else too. So, don’t be too attached to the idea that you should be happy at work. Strive to be happy, but if sometimes that is not possible, learn to accept that it is a fact of life. You can achieve being happy at work. The secret is in understanding your role, your relationship with work, how you relate to people and how willing you are to be nice and stop complaining. Above and beyond that, learn to accept that disappointments come and go. www.forbes.com

Institute urges collective action against corruption MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria has said the war against corruption in the country is the collective responsibility of every citizen and not that of government alone. The President, ICSAN, Mr. Olatunde Busari, who made the remark at the 12th induction ceremony for new members in Lagos, explained that everybody has a role to play in combating the menace of corruption, pointing out that there could not be a bribe

taker without the giver. Busari said the institute condemned corruption in both public and private sectors of the economy, adding that the Federal Government need to strengthen and equip anti-graft agencies to enable them fight a successful anti-corruption war. The ICSAN boss said the body condemned all acts of terrorism as they make the country to be unattractive to investors and industrialists as well as hindering intellectual growth. He said this had a negative effect on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and national

income.He urged the Federal Government to identify and bring to book every individual involved in the perpetration of violence and acts of terrorism under the guise of religion. The ICSAN president advised the inductees to adhere strictly to the principles of good corporate governance. These include honesty, ethical conduct, trust, integrity, openness, performance and orientation. Others are responsibility, accountability, mutual respect, commitment to the organisation and boldness to speak the truth always.

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Job vacancies

angote Cement leads available job vacancies for this week. With projects and operations in Nigeria and 14 other African countries. The firm is recruiting for various positions, including those of IT Requirement and Project Analysts whose key responsibilities amongst others are Linking IT objectives to corporate vision, goals and priorities, Identifying gaps, risks and requirements to projects directed at fulfilled the objectives, identifying and selecting the best mix of IT investments to achieve business goals and objectives and connecting requirements to projects and overseeing the projects. Qualification required for the position are a Masters’ degree in Computer Science or related subject, professional certifications including ITIL and PMP which would be an advantage, a minimum of 10 years of progressive experience in the IT field in a large organisation preferably a manufacturing concern and managerial skills with demonstrated ability to lead a team of technical staff and manage multiple concurrent projects. Other skills needed are the ability to design, develop coursework and administer training, excellent problem-solving, analytical and evaluative skills and excellent verbal and written communication skills. Also from of Dangote Cement is the position of Application Solution Analyst/Architecture, who responsibilities managing the corporate databases to ensure data security, data integrity and lack of misuse, as well as identifying users’ software needs. Other activities would include and also determining application packages that best fits the business demand and following through the development or procurement process whichever is applicable, Other responsibilities are evaluating vendor application packages, organising demos and making appropriate recommendations, directing all software review, developments and upgrades as necessary to meet changing business needs, and managing issues relating to application software licenses and ensure they bare renewed as and at when due, Qualifications are a good university degree in Computer Science. Professional certifications to include Oracle/MS SQL Server and/or MCPD; ITIL an advantage, minimum of 10 years’ experience in implementing and managing ERP, an understanding of SAp, ISCALA or similar ERPs and tools, Cloud computing, Mobile computing and ecommerce and knowledge of common best practice in finan-

cial accounting, and business practices. Also on job vacancies for this week are positions for Cooks and Bakers at Tastee Fried Chicken, whose duties and responsibilities are to prepare meal for customers, follow production plans and prepare quality pastries and snacks. Requirements for the posts are the incoming must be neat and organised, educated up to and beyond senior secondary school levels and posses appropriate catering and baking skills From www.jobsinnigeria. com are various positions in Pharma-Deko Plc for an Industrial Electrician, with responsibilities for effective maintenance of electrical parts of machines, to detect electrical faults on machines and proffer solution and ensure quick response to electrical faults within the Factory The qualification required are a minimum of Labour Trade Test I,II and III,minimum of 3 years working experience in a manufacturing Industry preferably a bottling and canning factory, must be between 18 and 35 years of age, while computer literacy is an added advantage Other positions from Pharma-Deko Plc are those for Mechanical Technician with responsibilities is the same as for the Industrial electrician, Title Legal Officer who must have graduated from an accredited university and from law school, and with a 3 years’ post call to bar experience and age between 35 – 40 years The responsibilities for the Title Legal Officer are to interact with various levels from staff to management, partner with and influence others to drive process changes. The incoming must also have strong analytical skills to form objective conclusions and Excellent written and verbal communication skills and an ability to synthesize information and make clear, concise recommendations on courses of action From the United Arab Emirates (www.jobsindubai.com) are positions for Mechanical Engineers with Responsibilities for Marine Boat Mechanical and electrical works The boat engineer’s primary responsibility is to maintain the mechanical propulsion systems of a marine vessel, including the engines, pumps, boilers and generators. Additional responsibilities include maintaining electrical, refrigeration, ventilation, heating and cooling systems. From www.findjobafrica. com is the position for Territory Manager to be based within the Johannesburg area of South Africa


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

25

Real Estate & Environment dayoayeyemi@yahoo.com 08033312578

Adopting modern building processes to bridge housing deficit One of the housing estates built by the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC)

If Nigeria must bridge the 16 million housing deficit, experts say there must be a paradigm shift from the slow-pace building process to modern methods such as dry construction that gives room for quick delivery of houses. DAYO AYEYEMI, writes.

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t is no longer news that Nigeria has 16 million housing deficit. To bridge this gap, the country needs approximately N46trillion to ensure the construction of one million houses every year for the next 16 years. Currently, the nation has population growth rate of 2.5 per cent, urbanisation of 3.8 per cent coupled with high rate of unemployment, environmental degradation and high cost of building. Also, the contribution of real estate to the economy is less than 5 percent, whereas it has the potential for 13 to 15 per cent if properly tapped. Some of the challenges confronting housing sector in the country include poor incentives for the provision of affordable housing, inadequate budgetary allocation, prevalence of unskilled local personnel and artisans in the building industry, poor land administration, non-availability and high cost of building materials among others. But it has been discovered that, even if money is available, the nation would still be suffering from inadequate housing unless the current building process is changed. There must be a paradigm shift from the conventional method of housing construction to modern technique which allows speedy production and economy of scale. Instead of the usual brick and mortar process of building in the country, emerging economies such as Malaysia, South

Africa and China have adopted alternative building processes and materials to aggressively address their housing shortfalls, thereby creating jobs for their youths. For Nigeria to be among the top 20 economies in the world by 2020, the housing needs of its citizens must be taken seriously. And to achieve this, experts at different fora have canvassed the need to solve some of the challenges confronting the sector while adopting alternative building materials/processes that allow quick delivery. Apparently worried by the huge housing deficit in Nigeria coupled with the challenges and cumbersome building process, one of the leaders in the manufacturing of components of building materials in the country, Nigerite Limited, recently canvassed the adoption of dry construction to drive the sector and accelerate building production process. Dry construction uses composite panels or boards installed on metal or timber

structures to build exterior walls, interior walls, ceilings and many other applications. Many speakers at the forum threw their weight behind the proposal but listed some of the challenges such as public education and awareness, training and retraining of workforce, high cost of borrowing and lack of housing finance among others that must be addressed for the technology to work. Speaking to National Mirror in his office at the weekend, Marketing Director of Nigerite Nigeria Limited, Mr Toyin Gbede, an architect, disclosed that the firm has bought some equipment to fast track the process of dry construction in the country. According to him, Nigerite is currently working with the Lagos State Technical & Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) for the training and retraining of skilled and semi-skilled labour to jump-start the process. According to him, a building in one of

IF WE SAY WE CAN DELIVER ONE MILLION HOUSES EVERY YEAR, IT WILL TAKE US 16 YEARS TO DELIVER 16 MILLION HOUSES, AND POPULATION KEEPS GROWING AT AN AVERAGE OF 2 MILLION TO 5 MILLION EVERY YEAR. THERE IS NEED FOR US AS PROFESSIONALS TO BEGIN TO LOOK FOR THE WAY TO FAST-TRACK THE PROCESS

the technical colleges located in Ikorodu has been adopted as training centre for the process. He said, “We have adopted the whole building of Government Technical College in Ikorodu. It is under construction and we are working with a private sector person who has an interface with City and Guild of London. “We are doing it with the Lagos State Government. We have bough equipment. The centre is going to be known as Building Construction Solution. The essence is to teach every aspect of dry construction. It is to train people and to be able to write City and Guilds, and replicate it in other states of the federation.” Justifying the need for a paradigm shift from wet to dry construction, Gbede remarked that one of the major problems associated with wet construction is its slow process, pointing out that housing deficit is not only about lack of funding, but the process that made up the deficit. He explained that the current building process which is wet construction is labour-intensive resulting in depletion of environment as one needs to dig soil and break rock to get aggregates. “If we say we can deliver one million houses every year, it will take us 16 years to deliver 16 million houses, and population keeps growing at an average of 2 million to 5 million every year. There is need for us as professionals to begin to look for the way to fast-track the process,” he said. Gbede said it is high time, the country begins to look for modern material on how to industrialise the process so that many activities could be done and quickly. CONTINUED ON PAGE 26


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Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Adopting modern building processes to bridge housing deficit CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 With dry construction, the marketing manager of Nigerite maintained that if the whole components of housing could be broken down to a manufacturing process, the nation will gain in time and also be able to solve bigger problems that have to do with creating employment. According to Gbede, because the materials are designed and produced off-site, building is just like assembling a car or a motorcycle, pointing out that this method increases speed of construction by 30 percent. “Furthermore, because of the speed of construction, developers pay less in terms of interest rate on bank loans, and this saves up to 15-20 percent of construction cost”, he said. Allaying the fear of artisans about job loss, Gbede said dry construction comes with a lot of valued chain and there is need for them to retool and retrain, maintaining that the process has great advantage for them. He said, “If dry construction starts today, wet construction will not die immediately. It is an opportunity for artisans to have extra skills as it provides them more jobs.” Supporting the idea recently, an architect, Mr. David Majekodunmi, said, “The use of dry materials speed up the construction process and allows early occupancy,” stressing that such materials are generally light, easy to work with and have specific technical properties. Majekodunmi said this model has a number of benefits, noting that construction periods are reduced by up to 30 percent, precast concrete and light steel framing provide a rapid dry envelope and construction process is safer.

Presdient Jonathan

A Lecturer of Housing and Urban Regeneration at the University of Lagos, Professor Timothy Nubi, said dry construction offers design freedom combined with comprehensive technological performance. “Building products and processed materials are transferred directly to the building site, which means less technical, logistical and infrastructural costs,” he said Also, some private organisations such as Royal Sanderton Group and Moladi Nigeria Limited had recently introduced new building technologies to accelerate massive housing development in Nigeria.; but apathy from people and government slowed down the rate of adoption of these materials. Sanderton Venture Limited, had introduced the Royal Building System (RBS),

Gbede

Afolayan

a patented revolutionary building system based on concrete formwork technology and Polymer, Polyvinyl Chloride (uPVC). The system combines the trusted strength of concrete with the versatility and durability of the Polymer uPVC to achieve strong, indestructible maintenance free building structures To demonstrate its sincerity, the organisation has constructed many housing estates in Lagos with the product, popular among them are the Royal Garden at Surulere and Royal Estate at Alausa, IkejaLagos. Also, Moladi Limited came for demonstration in Abuja and Lagos two years ago. Moladi technology is primarily a manufacturer of a re-useable machine that allows walls to be cast stronger and faster. Its proponent said the principal focus is on the delivery of the ‘whole house’.

On how it operates, once the main modules of the new home are constructed in the factory, complete with attached walls, floor, ceiling, wiring, plumbing and interior fixtures, they are transported to site and placed on a permanent foundation by a crane. Modular construction allows for a quick turnaround between groundbreaking and occupancy, and most work is done in the factory, so weather delays, missing materials and subcontractor no-show are all but eliminated, saving time and money. It has the benefits of design flexibility, quality control, energy efficiency and green building. Emerging economies such as China, Brazil, South Africa and Singapore have adopted modern technologies to produce high rise buildings on a large scale for their citizens. Popular technologies include Structural Insulated Panels, Insulated ConcreteForms, Radiant Wall System, TimberFrame, Cob, Stabilised Mud Blocks, Straw-bale, Log, Adobe, Rammed Earth, Plastic Forms and Earth Ships.

Loyalty programme offers real estate consumers 50% off transactions DAYO AYEYEMI

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n order to help real estate investors and consumers save up to 50 per cent off the transaction and professional fees, 3Invest Limited, an emerging real estate advisory and advocacy company has introduced a platform known as 3Investor Loyalty Programme (Card) for their benefits. The loyalty programme was launched alongside a Real Estate Investment Network (RIEN), in Lagos at the weekend at the Property Buyers Forum, PBF, held recently in Lagos. Currently, transaction fees (commission) paid by real estate consumers on property investments hover between 10 per cent and 15 per cent. Speaking during the launching, Managing Director of 3Invest Limited, Ruth Obih, explained that 3Investor Loyalty Programme was designed to help consumers save an upward of 50 per cent of transaction cost. She said, “The 3Investor is a loyalty programme expected to be driven by REIN, a real estate investment nexus that seeks to connect sponsors with investors who are

willing to invest in income-producing real estate portfolios to expand their income margin.” REIN is expected to broker investments within the 3Investor circle by introducing projects considered investible to a network of investors who will pull funds together to execute projects under predefined arrangements and earn income on such projects on an agreed percentage to every member of the network who has invested in the project. Obih in her presentation, explained that REIN is expected to help sponsors raise more funds for real estate projects by building investors’ confidence and closing the gap between investors and developers; thereby ensuring that more activities are on-going in the real estate sector. “As a company, we are committed to how the industry grows and activities that make for it growth. That is why we have created the REIN and the 3Investor as platforms that can help increase the number of activities in the industry. We believe when there are more activities, employment will be inevitable and where there is employment, then the Real Estate contribution to the GDP will increase”, she stated. REIN is an annual subscription-base network that runs on the 3Investor platform of

Standard and Premium subscribers. Standard subscribers are willing investors with an investment portfolio of N1 million and above; while Premium subscribers have their entry level pegged at N20 million. REIN differs from Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), in that it does not bank or hold the investors’ funds and it is not managed by a sponsor. It only maintains the network of these investors and introduces investible projects to it and manages the project through an Escrow account. Members of REIN are developers who have agreed to the discounted terms of the network to drive their portfolio or make more sales, investors who have identified the imminent boom of the Nigerian real estate, legal practitioners, marketing firms, mortgage banks, and so on. In addition, members of the 3Investor Loyalty Programme have other opportunities besides the 50 per cent off their real estate transactions done within the network. They have access to up to 30 per cent discount on merchandise from subscribed outlets such as malls, airlines, haulage, real estate events and an up-to-date information on market conditions and new projects through a weekly news letter.

FIABCI’s World President visits Nigeria

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he World President-elect of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), Mr Flavio Gonzaga Nunes, will be paying a 2-day visit to Nigeria between April 29 and 30, 2013. As part of the activities scheduled to celebrate his visit, FIABCI Nigeria will be holding a seminar on “Urban Infrastructure Gates and Its Effects on Property Development,” on Tuesday, April 30 at the Best Western Hotel, Victorial Island Lagos. According to the statement signed by the President of FIABCI Nigeria, Chief Kola Akomolede, and the Secretary-General, Mr Joseph Akhigbe, former President of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Mr. William Odudu; and a lawyer, Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa, would be speakers at the forum.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Oduduru targets Fasuba’s record 30

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

27

Sport

Whether I am disposed to a Bayern or Barca victory? I would rather be a spectator now - Former Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola

CCL: Rangers plan victory in Angola

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nugu Rangers have promised to score a goal in Angola that will propel them to the group stage of the CAF Champions League. Rangers are walking a tight rope in the Champions League after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Recreativo Libolo of Angola on Sunday in Enugu. ‘The Flying Antelopes’ are the only surviving Nigerian club on the continent this year and they have now vowed to qualify for the money-spinning stage of the competition in Angola in a fortnight. “Recreativo are a very good team, but we could have won this game but we lost a couple of chances,” said late substitute Razaq Adegbite. “Their goalkeeper made some world-class saves but we

believe we have a good chance of turning the table against them right at their home.” “A goal in Angola will see us through because we will not concede in Angola,” midfielder Emeka Eze told MTNFootball. com. “If they could pick up a draw in Enugu, we could also get a good result in Angola. We will work harder and attack in the return match.” Rangers goalkeeper trainer Victor Okoh praised the class of newly signed Chigozie Agbim and predicted that the Super Eagles’ shot stopper will post a clean sheet in the reverse fixture. “Agbim showed class in his first match for us. I am confident that in Angola he will not let in any goal,” Okoh predicted.

Ideye breaks record in Ukraine Recreative of Angola goalkeeper, Landu, making a save in their match against Rangers in Enugu on Sunday.

I KENWA N NABUOGOR

Club managers disown LMC N JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

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anagers of the professional football league clubs have disowned the League Management Committee (LMC) headed by Hon. Nduka Irabor. After an emergency meeting in Abuja yesterday, the club managers said they had withdrawn their recognition of the LMC set up by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to run the league on interim basis for the 2012/2013 season. Acting chairman of the club managers, Barrister Isaac Danladi, made the decision of his members known at a briefing in Abuja. He, however, assured that their stance would not disrupt the league, as the group would borrow money to ensure continuation of the competition. “At the end of an emergency meeting of Premier League Club Chairmen and Managers held on 7th April, 2013 at Lamode Hotel in Abuja, 10 far reaching resolutions were passed among which we gave the League Management Committee, LMC, two weeks within which to call for an emergency congress of the premier league which is su-

preme body of the league, so as to address the pressing issues raised in the communiqué. “Sequel to the fact that the LMC has failed and neglected to call for a meeting as demanded by the clubs owners who are the rightful owners of the league, we hereby re-affirm our statutory right as members of premier league clubs which is the supreme and legislative body of the league, the 20 premier league clubs are the bonafide owners of the league as it the practice all over the world and approved by FIFA. “We therefore disassociate our self (Premier League Clubs) with illegal company called League Management Company Limited LMC, because the company was registered without the consent, resolution and approval of the clubs who are the supposed directors of such company, as well as the allocation of 20million shares to himself, Hon. Nduka Irabor representing 80 percent of the total shares and five million shares to Alhaji Aminu Maigari on behalf of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) representing 20 percent of the total shares. “Consequently, upon illegal registration of the League Management Company Limited by

Ndukar Irabor League Management Committee, we disassociate and derecognise the League Management Committee forthwith,” Danladi said.. Representatives of 17 clubs were in attendance and endorsed the resolution. The clubs are ABS FC, Nassarawa United, Elkanemi FC, Enyimba FC, Warri Wolves, Akwa United, Kwara United, Kano Pillars, Lobi Stars, Shunshine FC, 3SC, Wikki Tourists, Kaduna United, Gombe United, Balyesa United, Nembe FC and Rangers of Enugu.

igeria international, Brown Ideye, has broken the Ukrainian Premier League record for goals scored by foreign players of Dynamo Kiev in a single season after netting a brace in the 25th round of matches against Zorya. The brace takes his tally to 16 goals after 24 league games, making him one of the sharpest attackers and second top scorer behind Shaktar Donestk’s leading scorer, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, on 22 goals. Ideye had continued his newly-found scoring form after breaking his 2013 cal-

endar year duck a fortnight ago, by helping his secondplaced team compound Zorya’s woes with a heavy 5-0 hammering. Ideye’s goals in the 39th and 80th minute saw him move one clear of the previous record which was held by Guinea international, Ismael Bangoura, who achieved the feat by scoring 15 goals in the 2007 - 2008 campaign. With five games left in the Ukrainian Premier League, the former Ocean Boys striker will be expected to break his own record. Ideye had previously netted 12 goals to become the third best scorer among foreign players in the Dynamo Kiev’s history.

CAF U-20: Congo’s coach predicts Nigeria, CIV final

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he Junior Red Devils of Congo coach, Basile Erariki, has predicted Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria final at the ongoing Africa Under-17 Championship in Morocco. Erariki’s side was dumped 0-7 by the Golden Eaglets in Saturday’s last Group B match played in Marrakech which ended their campaign and chance of appearing at the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Baby Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire finished their group

Today’s Match Morocco

v

Cote d’Ivoire

campaign as runners-up on five points and will face host Morocco today in Casablanca while Nigeria will square up against Tunisia tomorrow in the semi-finals. Congo finished bottom behind the three West African sides, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. Erariki rated the football standard witnessed in Group B higher than Group A that had host Morocco, Tunisia, Gabon

and Botswana. “I agree that our group was the most difficult. Any of the four teams in this group is good and you could see that the semi-finalists did not emerge here until today (Saturday). Either Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire or Congo could have qualified easily in the other group but there is nothing we can do about that again,” Erariki said. “If Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire play the semi-finals the way they played us they can end up being in the final.”


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Sport

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tit bits...

Mata Juan Mata insists Chelsea is still targeting a top-three finish in the Premier League this season, despite Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Liverpool leaving them behind Arsenal in the table. Victories for Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal over the weekend has added extra pressure heading into the final five games of their Premier League season, but Mata remains convinced the Blues’ targets are within touching distance.

Casillas, world be –USA fem keeper

Bale

Gareth Bale admits he would love to be crowned PFA Player of the Year for a second time as he looks to help Tottenham secure a UEFA Champions League place next season. Bale returned from two-and-ahalf weeks out with an ankle injury for Sunday’s 3-1 home win over Manchester City. The Wales international set up Clint Dempsey for Spurs’ equalising goal before securing the points with a well-taken third as they came from behind to score three times in eight minutes in the final quarter of an hour of the game.

Oxlade-Chamberlain Alex OxladeChamberlain believes if his Arsenal team mates work together as a team they will have enough to secure a top four finish. With eight wins in their last ten matches, the Gunners have overtaken bitter north London rivals Tottenham and sit third in the Premier League table. Oxlade-Chamberlain urged his side to repeat last season’s end of season form to clinch a Champions League qualification spot.

Alcaraz

Wigan is waiting to discover the extent of an injury suffered by Antolin Alcaraz at the weekend. The centre-half damaged a hamstring and was substituted during the first half of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at West Ham, a result which kept Wigan in the bottom three of the Premier League with just five games of the season to play.

Begovic Asmir Begovic has insisted that all he is concerned about at the moment is Stoke City’s survival in the Premier League. The Bosnia goalkeeper has been linked with a summer move away from the Britannia Stadium, but despite an impressive campaign personally Stoke has found itself dragged into the relegation mire.

USA goalkeeper Hope So

Messi

Messi gets doctor’s ‘all clear’

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Bastian Schwensteiger

Barca faces confident Bayern B ayern Munich will be brimming with confidence when the Bavarian club face Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions league semifinal today at the Allianz Arena. The last four Champions League finals have included either Bayern or Barcelona and both sides will be involved in an epic battle to book their spot for this season’s finale in Wembley. Bayern defeated Juventus 4-0 on aggregate in the previous round, while the Catalan club squeezed through on away goals after its tie against Paris SaintGermain ended 3-3 on aggregate. The Philipp Lahm-captain German club has already been confirmed as champion in the Bundesliga and that allowed coach Jupp Heynckes to rest some of his regular players during their domestic fixture against Hannover 96 over the weekend. However, the champions proved to be too strong as they dispatched Hannover 6-1 with Mario Gomez and Claudio Pizzarro netting a brace each, a positive omen with leading scorer Mario Mandzukic out of the first leg due to suspension. “Once again, the players have

proved we don’t have a B-team, we only have an A-team,” Heynckes said yesterday. “I’m delighted for the players who’ve otherwise not played very often. It’s not always easy, and you repeatedly have to deal with hardship cases. I’ll decide who plays against Barcelona.” Meanwhile, Barcelona also enjoys a healthy 13-point lead in La Liga with just six matches left to play but the club laboured to a 1-0 win over Levante. The Blaugrana will now look to lift its performance for today’s clash.

arcelona’s inspirational player, Lionel Messi, who is struggling to overcome a hamstring injury, was yesterday declared fit to play in today’s semifinal first leg against Bayern Munich. Barcelona’s Sporting Director, Andoni Zubizarreta, said Messi had received the “all clear” to star in the allimportant fixture. “Messi is with the team and is fit to play, although it is ultimately up to the coaching staff to decide,” the former Spain goalkeeper said. “We’re not going to give up on fielding the best possible side on the pitch,” he added. Four-time world

player of the year Messi returned to training with Barca last Friday but the club’s medical staff have not yet given him the green light to play. The Argentine star was injured in the quarter-final first leg against Paris SaintGermain that ended 2-2 in the French capital. He came on in the return fixture in Barcelona and inspired the home side to strike back from a 1-0 deficit before going through on the away goals rule. Messi sat out the last two La Liga matches against Zaragoza and Levante to give him time to recover for the match in Munich

Today’s Match Bayern

v

Barcelona

It’s a balanced tie –Van Bommel

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ormer Barcelona midfielder, Mark van Bommel, says the club’s home advantage in the second leg of their eagerly-awaited Champions League semi-final showdown with Bayern Munich could prove decisive in the match-up which he describes as evenlybalanced. The Dutch star, who has represented both clubs, argues there is little to choose between the two sides, but believes the draw might have tipped things in favour of the Blaugrana, who will be in the Allianz Arena today before welcoming Bayern to Camp Nou a fortnight later. “In such an evenly-balanced tie, that

could be decisive,” Van Bommel said yesterday. “Barca have a very good team and have appeared in six consecutive semifinals, which says a lot. “We’re going to see two great matches. We’re going to have a real treat. They are very similar teams. They have the same style of play, they like to pass the ball and are strong in attack.” Van Bommel does not believe Barca’s hopes of reaching the final will be unduly affected by the injury-enforced absences of Javier Mascherano and Carles Puyol, even if he is well aware of how inspirational a leader the latter can be.

Becoming one of ball and consider old USA goalkeep success on it. The player, whos to Olympic gold,

You must be very prou what you and the US t achieved in 2012. As an athlete or a fo there are only two t the World Cup and th In 2011 we didn’t wi Cup, so 2012 was all ing back, rebuilding o making sure that we of that podium and th did.

What do you think was about the US Olympic Our 2011 World Cu incredibly special a Olympic team was pretty much the same difference was that w much in that year. A learned how to finish obviously played the Japan for the second t time we came out on we learned how to game. In 2011, we felt ourselves. We had th we were ahead num throughout the game ever reason we could out. But from that, we to manage the game a let it happen again, able to come out on to same team a year late

What is your favourite the London 2012 Olym It was a strange for a goalkeeper. I wa make many plays un I felt that, as a veter the team, I really ha and wait for the mom to me; wait for the gam to make a difference I wasn’t really able to ference to help our te final against Japan. It


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

29

, est male

olo admires Spanish Iker Casillas (right)

f the most renowned, widely recognisable figures in women’s footred to be the finest female goalkeeper of her generation, 31-yearper, Hope Solo, has combined celebrity status off the field with e reputation was further enhanced last year after helping America spoke to FIFA.com

ud about team

ootball player tournaments: he Olympics. in the World l about comour team and stood on top hat’s what we

s special team? up team was and the 2012 made up of e players. The we learned so Above all, we h a game. We final against time and this n top because manage the t like we beat he game and merous times and for whatd not close it e learned how and we won’t so we were op against the er.

e memory of mpics? tournament asn’t asked to ntil the final. ran player on ad to sit back ment to come me to ask me e. Personally, o make a difeam until the t was a test of

A LOT OF COACHES KNOW TACTICS; THEY KNOW HOW TO PUT ON TRAINING

SESSIONS. BUT TO COME IN AND HAVE BIG PERSONALITIES LIKE ABBY WAM-

BACH MYSELF AND BRING ALL OF THEM TOGETHER IS DIFFICULT.

my patience as a goalkeeper, of my maturity as a goalkeeper. I think the ultimate moment as a team was when the final whistle blew. Some of my team-mates were instantly in tears, but I smiled for probably a month straight! Literally, my mouth was tired from smiling. It was the ultimate joy. What influence did coach Pia Sundhage have on your career and how important was she for your personal development before she left the team last year? Pia was a true leader when she came in and took over our team. Our team was in a shambles, we had different opinions, different goals and we played different styles. She came in and she brought us together. She was pretty much the first coach I played for that really knew how to bring a team together and make them a true team. One of the hardest things for a coach to do is to manage personalities. A lot of coaches know tactics; they know how to

put on training sessions. But to come in and have big personalities like Abby Wambach myself and bring all of them together is difficult. What’s your take on goalkeeping in women’s football in recent years? Goalkeeping has changed in men’s football as well. As the game grows it needs continuing to change. Everybody knows that a goalkeeper now has to have the ability to play with his or her feet. They have to have confidence with the ball because the defenders need to have the option of passing the ball back. Do you sometimes take lessons from male keepers? It’s all about being a student of the game. Watching football, watching international football - it is all the same. Goalkeeping and football is all the same. You have tactics, you have different styles of play but just because I am a female goalkeeper doesn’t mean that I only watch male goalkeepers. It means that you can watch goalkeeping as a whole and learn different bits and implement them into your own game. Who do you think is the best male goalkeeper in the world? I would say Iker Casillas, as his ability with the ball at his feet is second to none. What advice would you give an upcoming female goalkeeper? No matter what challenges or obstacles you are faced with, it is important to stay true to what you want to do. Not what your parents want to do, not the pressure from the outside world, but truly what you want to do in your own heart.

Nigeria’s Jayson Obazuaye with the ball trying to dribble pass an opponent in a match.

B’ball: NBA Stars for Milo final SAYO OGUNDEJI

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ponsor of the Milo Secondary School Basketball competition, Nestle, has assured that NBA Stars will grace this year’s national finals billed for the National Stadium Surulere, Lagos. Brand Manager, Nestle Milo, Mrs. Funmi Osineye, who made this disclosure in Lagos yesterday at the final of the Enugu Conference of the tournament, said that the most valuable players of the competition would also be trained by the NBA stars and some international coaches for three days.

“Champions are determined to succeed as they have the discipline to practice to improve their game and they have the drive to be the best,” Osineye said. “These values have been exhibited here in these past five days of the conference. The 15th Milo Secondary Schools Basketball championship will continue to expose and harness the enormous potential of our youth and the abundant basketball talent in our country. “The national champions are exposed to international competition. Recall that 2011 champion from Adamawa State went to South Africa last year for an international basketball competition and they won the trophy.”

Omiunu for burial on Saturday AFOLABI GAMBARI

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he late former Green Eagles captain and goalkeeper, Emmanuel Ejire Omiunu, who died at Ikeja General Hospital Lagos on March 16 after a brief illness aged 78, will be interred on Saturday in Sabongida Eme Ora, Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State. Veteran journalist and spokesman for the family, Mr. Robert Ndabai, told National Mirror in Lagos yesterday that a wake-keep on Friday will precede the burial at the deceased’s residence in Sabongida Eme Ora. “The family has concluded arrangement to give the late Nigerian star a befitting burial as we expect visitors from far and near in the sports community,” Ndabai said. The late Omiunu, who was retired assistant commissioner of Police, led the Nigerian team to its first Africa Cup of Nations

finals at Ghana in 1963 and won many caps in addition to being former president of the Nigeria and Lagos State Football Coaches Associations respectively. He caught national attention in 1959 during Challenge Cup final between the Nigeria Police and Ibadan Lions at King George V Stadium, Onikan, Lagos, although the Lions prevailed 2-1 to give then Western Region its first Challenge Cup victory. The late Omiunu’s team eventually prevailed 1-0 over Plateau Highlanders in 1962 Challenge Cup final after the towering goalkeeper established himself in the national team. Survived by a wife and nine children, the former team manager of Lagos club Julius Berger will be remembered for leading the side to win the National League and Super Cup titles for Lagos State in 1991, as well as the club’s fine run in the then African Cup of Champions Clubs campaign in 1992.


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Sport

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

On the track with

YEMI OLUS danyella172003@yahoo.com

Okagbare, others set for Penn Relays Asumnu is expected to be in action at the Penn Relays this weekend we

T Oduduru, celebrating after his race at the recent AYAC in Warri, Delta State

Oduduru targets Fasuba’s record D ivine Oduduru won the sprint double at the maiden edition of the African Youth Athletics Championship, but now the 17-year-old believes he can erase compatriot Olusoji Fasuba’s African record of 9.85m with the right encouragement. Oduduru won the 100m with 10.62secs which was 11secs short of the Personal Best of 10.51 he ran at the D.K Olukoya U-18 Athletics Championship in Lagos. He thereafter posted an impressive time of 21.57 to win the 200m and won a bronze medal as well in the relay medley. The SS 2 student of West End Secondary School in Asaba, Delta State says he aims to lower his PB to 10.2 and then win medals at the World Youth Championships slated to hold in Ukraine later this year.

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“My 100m performance at the AYAC was low because my opponents were slow so it didn’t motivate me to push further,” he explained. “The time I ran in the 200m was a good one which I am very happy about. My next target is to train harder and get a 10.2. I would also want to represent Nigeria in more competitions and bring more medals and I’m also ready to break the African record.” Oduduru gave National Mirror a brief insight on his involvement with athletics. “I started from my school interhouse sports competitions. I was trained by Coach Raymond Agboro who picked me up during the competition when I was in JSS 2 and told me that I could do it. He also ensured that he picked me for training after school hours.”

The rising star, who considers Usain Bolt to be his role model, revealed that he had faced challenges in his short career in track and field even as he stated that he currently had no base for training. “My family members discouraged me from training, saying that I couldn’t get anything from athletics,” he revealed. “I was also screened out of many age-grade competitions but I want up-and-coming athletes not be discouraged by what others say because their destiny lies in their hands. “I will be very grateful if the stadium in Asaba can be completed because there is nowhere for us to train. We want the authorities to let us know that there is hope for us.”

Lagos athletes to train in Kenya

thletics coach, Saheed Alabi, says that athletes representing Lagos State in the long distance events will train in Kenya in June. Alabi produced Aminat Olowora, who turned out to be one of Lagos State’s brightest talent during the Eko 2012 Games where she won three gold medals in the 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m, and mentors Olamide Oluwaseun who took part in the 2,000m steeplechase during last month’s African Youth Athletics Championships (AYAC). The coach revealed that the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, had plans to nurture

the young athletes, most of who are wards of the Adopt A Talent Programme which the governor initiated. “The Commissioner for Sports, Waheed Enitan, has said we have to move camping to Kenya in June,” Alabi further said. “He also asked me to forward the list of the equipment for the athletes which I have done. “This will be a very good development for the athletes. “Some of the athletes under the Adopt A Talent programme won medals in Warri and I was impressed because these athletes were kept in camp for just three weeks. At the moment, we have

moved from the tartan tracks and now working out at the Atlantic beach where we are training the long distant athletes.” Alabi, who is also a national coach, says that intensive training will commence for most of the athletes who represented Nigeria at the AYAC. National Mirror learnt that the national athletes would be sent to the high altitude centre in Port Harcourt where they would be camped for three months to prepare for the African Junior Championships and the World Youth Championships. “This is a good start for Nigeria,” Alabi reckoned.

he 4x100 and 4x400 female relay teams are expected to feature in the Penn Relays held annually at the University of Pennsylvania holding from April 25 to 27 in the USA. The teams will comprise a blend of home-based and USA-based athletes like Bukola Abogunloko, Peace Ukoh, Blessing Okagbare, Gloria Asumnu, Regina George and Ajoke Odumosu. The men’s relay teams were not included, a situation the Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, said resulted from the unimpressive performance of the male athletes at the first leg of the AFN Golden League which was held in Sagamu, Ogun State earlier this month. “The men didn’t impress us in Sagamu,” Nesiama said. “We want them to run good times here first before taking them out of the country because we aren’t meant to participate there just for the sake of it. We want our athletes to do well in international competitions so they must first of all achieve that on the domestic scene. Everything we do now is performance-based after our experience at the London 2012 Games. “The whole essence is for them to be serious and then they will be rewarded by being taken out for competitions. After all, the ranking comes from the International Association of Athletics Federations.” One of the male quarter milers who pleaded anonymity, however, accused the federation of favouring the female athletes at the expense of their male counterparts. “Did you care to ask the AFN why are they only bringing the female teams to run the Penn Relays, even as our men’s 4x4 men team is ranked

12th in the world,” the distraught athlete asked. “They only focus on the female teams and that is why some of them are usually under pressure to use performance enhancing drugs.” But one of the country’s top male sprinters says he remains unfazed by the snub and would continue with his training schedule. “The federation knows that it is whatever it asks us to do that we will do, and it can’t deny that,” the athlete said.

Race reviews start times

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ondon Marathon Race Director, Hugh Brasher, says the organisers may implement revised start times after a crash between a runner and a wheelchair athlete. Tiki Gelana was involved in a collision with wheelchair racer, Josh Cassidy, as she picked up her water bottle. Cassidy said the wheelchair race should begin before the women’s elite event. “London Marathon will look at the possibility of changes to start times but will not be rushed into spur of the moment decisions,” Brasher said. The elite women have started before the wheelchair competitors for the last 19 years and for the last 19 years there have been no problems.” Canadian Cassidy, 28, could not continue after the collision, and despite Olympic champion Gelana’s efforts to rejoin the race, the 25-year-old Ethiopian later faded in clear discomfort. After the race, Cassidy Tweeted: “The wheelchairs must finally start first next year so this doesn’t happen again, or worse.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

FMBN brings back Borno State to NHF scheme ...woos NLC on remittance of funds

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Actis, Duval Properties to build Jabi Lake Mall in Abuja KUNLE A ZEEZ

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One of the housing estates in Abuja.

STORIES: OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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he Borno State Government has approved the participation of its workers into the National Housing Fund (NHF) contribution with effect from May 2013. The Governor of the state, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, disclosed this when he played host to the Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr. Gimba Ya’ u Kumo, in his office in Maiduguri. Governor Shettima confirmed his resolve to partner with the FMBN in housing development by approving the allocation of a 3.5 hectares land for the bank to construct a housing estate for workers of the state in Maiduguri. Apparently to show his sincerity about the housing project, Shettima subsequently handed over the Certificate of Occupancy in respect of the land to the FMBN boss. Responding, the managing director commended Governor Shettima for his commitment towards the development of Borno State. Kumo informed the governor that the bank would immediately approve mortgage loans to at least 300 workers of the state to afford them the opportunity of owning their own homes. Meanwhile, in continuation of its consultation exercise, the board of the FBMN, led by Mr. Bisi Ogunjobi, visited the officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress, also

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he Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria COREN has elected Engr. Kashim Ali as its new president. Ali, who emerged President at the end of an extra-ordinary Council meeting, takes over from Mr. Ibikunle Ogunbayo who himself assumed office following the demise of Mr. Mustapha Bulama on the 8th June 2012. According to a statement the Council’s Public Relations Manager, Mr. Gabriel Alum, Ali was the Director of Transportation, Federal Capital Territory Administration until his assump-

led by its President, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar where they both agreed to work together, particularly in the area of convincing workers to remit their 2.5 per cent Nigeria Housing Funds contribution. The board had two weeks ago had a similar meeting with the officials of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation(NDIC). At the NLC meeting, Ogunjobi stated the that the present board had mapped out strategic reform programme that would place the bank on a strong footing to perform its statutory function of house finance. Specifically, he stated that the bank would like to work with various groups, particularly, the teachers, nurses and all other groups in the labour sub-sector. He said, “We want to look at various labour groups like teachers, nurses and various sub-sector of labour groups and work with them on how best to serve them. You would recall that early this, we set a joint tax force top look at this issue. We should be getting the report by the end of this month. It would be a good opportunity for us to see how we can collectively work on the report to realise the objective of not only of the bank, but that of the labour congress.” According to him, in order to be able to perform its mandate, the bank had begun the process of restructuring with a view to harnessing the needed resources for housing provision in the country. “We need to review our policies; we want to make an impact and for us to mea-

sure the impact on the provision of houses in the country. For us to be able to do that, we need to be able to mobilise resources both from inside and outside the country. To achieve that, we need to look at our structure and see how we reengineer ourselves to reinforce the weak areas and enhance the good areas to be able to deliver on the mandate,” he said. Responding, Omar assured that as long as the bank remained focused, as it had been in the last few years, congress would convince its members that had been sceptical about the issue of funds remission to join the contributive housing scheme. “I want to assure you that, as long as you continue to progress, we will continue to partner with you. I recall that at a certain stage, congress stood against the issue of NHF deductions. Despite the fact that the scheme is a Federal Government policy, we felt people should have right to their own money and properties. We were of the view that it would amount to injustice for people to contribute money without houses being provided for them. “But now that we are seeing evidences that things are working, we will discuss with the state governments to convince them to make their contributions. “There is no doubt in the fact that the workers are the most critical stakeholders in this business. I do know that when you are talking about housing provision, what readily comes to mind is housing to workers because they are the ones with formal connection.”

COREN gets new president tion of office The statement reads in part, ”Engr. Ali who was born on June 10th1958 in Ofugo, Ankpa, Kogi State, is a Registered Engineer, fellow and Past President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers as well as member of the National Institute. “Above all, he was a member of Nigeria Vision 20:2020 steering and Implementation Committee and Chairman of the sub-committee on physical Institute. “Engr. Ali has also held some other key positions such as co-chairman of the

Infrastructure Policy Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, and member Policy Support Group to the Economic Management Team 2008-2010. “His working career started in the old Benue State Ministry of Works in 1982, before he joined the Federal Capital Development Authority in 1992, rising to the Position of Director and Chief Executive Officer of the FCT Water Board, Special Advisor (Utilities), Director (Technical Services) of the Abuja Infrastructure Investment Centre.

ctis, the most experienced private equity real estate investor in sub-Saharan Africa, has confirmed the development of the Jabi Lake Mall in Abuja, in partnership with Duval Properties. The construction exercise is expected to commence in June, pending receipt of the necessary government approvals. According to a statement, the new retail centre will offer 30,000 square metres of grade-A shopping space from a prestigious location on the shores of Jabi Lake. The mall is expected to be anchored by Shoprite and Game, providing a onestop leisure, restaurant and retail destination just ten minutes from the city’s business centre. Jabi Lake Mall follows the success of other Actis malls in Nigeria, namely The Palms and Ikeja City Mall in Lagos. Charles Russell of the United Kingdom and F.O. Akinrele & Co., Nigeria acted as legal advisors to Actis. Also, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie, Nigeria and SNR Denton (UK) acted as legal advisors and McCabe & Partners (Mauritius) served as financial advisor to Duval. Speaking on the project, Actis Head of Real Estate, Mr. David Morley said, “Actis is delighted to partner with Duval Properties and to move closer to delivering a top quality shopping experience to the citizens of Abuja.” According to him, the Nigerian capital boasts strong population growth fundamentals, a robust infrastructure and a thriving consumer class, stressing that drawing on its extensive track record in West Africa, Actis would achieve the scheme on schedule. “Since 2006, Actis has developed 10 institutional quality assets in five countries in sub-Saharan Africa including The Junction in Nairobi, and Accra Mall in Accra,” he said. Also speaking, Chairman of Duval Properties, Mr. Hakeem Osagie, said, “Duval’s vision for Jabi Lake is to create a vibrant, mixed-use waterfont community that is Abuja’s best place to live, work, and relax.” He said his company’s partnership with Actis to build a waterfront mall was an exciting first step toward achieving the vision. Meanwhile, Actis invests exclusively in the emerging markets with a growing portfolio of investments in Asia, Africa and Latin America; it currently has $5.2 billion funds under management. Combining the expertise of over 120 investment professionals in nine countries, Actis identifies investment opportunities in three areas: private equity, energy and real estate. Actis has close to $1.7 billion investment in 18 African countries and 32 investment professionals working in Africa, with offices in Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos, London and Nairobi.


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Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Open shelves, inexpensive way to add needed organisation to any space Experts at www.apartmenttherapy.com, say when you do it well, your wares can be at your fingertips looking neat and tidy, advising that you should be careful because with too much of a good thing, you could end up being featured on an episode of hoarders Few tips to keep your shelves in tiptop shape: • If you’re not sure how much space you’ll need, consider adjustable shelving so you can rearrange as you go. • Start organising by whoever uses the space the most. Kitchen shelves should be organised by the household chef, records rearranged by your in-house DJ. • Put like with like — Group your glasses. Spices stick together. Art books go with art books. Arrange by colour. You get the idea. • Make sure labels are facing front so you grab the peanut butter and not the arsenic.

• When buying things like Olive Oil, consider the fact that it will be on display. You may want to choose the packaging that’s more design friendly (without scarfing quality). • Invest in good containers. Cereal doesn’t have to stay in the box. Put protein powder in a jar instead of those bulky canisters. • Keep an open space. This can be used for guests with specific cracker needs, or maybe a place for overnighters to rest their weary toothbrush. • Larger, heavier items — like a blender or stand mixer — work best on lower, easy-to-reach shelves.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

33

Why road construction in Lagos is expensive –Hamzat STORIES: DAYO AYEYEMI

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oose soil cost of compensation and relocation of public utilities among others have been adduced as reasons for high cost of road construction in Lagos. Speaking during the 2013 Ministerial Briefing to showcase the achievements of his ministry in the last 365 days at the weekend, Lagos State Commissioner for Work and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, disclosed that topography and cost of compensation posed as major challenges to infrastructure development especially roads in the metropolis. Citing the completed Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge, ongoing Lagos-Badagry road, Ikorodu road expansion and AjaoEjigbo road, he said owing to the soil nature in these locations, it cost the state government more fund to build their roads. According to him, most of the roads in these locations required pilling for structural stability, adding that the more than 1,220 pilling works, 33 metres deep were being put in place for the ongoing Ikorodu Road’s expansion. Besides, he said more than 9 bridges would also be constructed along the road. All of these, he said, have made road construction in the state more expensive. He also bemoaned the unhygienic behaviour of residents, who, he said indiscriminately dump waste on roads and drainages. He also lamented the vandalisation of road furniture and public utilities, maintaining that over 141 manholes were stolen by unsuspected members of the public this year. Although, he said government is replacing the manholes, but appealed to residents to guide public utilities jealously. Listing the achievements of his ministry, Hamzat remarked that in the last 24 months, the ministry has marched for-

L-R: Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Paul Bamigbos; Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ganiyu Johnson; and Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; during the 2013 Ministerial Press briefing to commemorate the second year of the second term of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration at the weekend.

ward in delivering first class infrastructure for the benefits of the people of the state, adding that it has adopted better delivery strategy on all projects and it is getting better value for every expenditure government makes. The commissioner explained that between May 2011 and May 2013, the ministry has initiated 261 roads upgrade and reconstruction, adding that 161 and 100 roads were initiated in 2012 and 2013 respectively. He maintained that the ministry has completed 82 roads in the last one year, adding 112.746 kilometres of high quality asphalted path to the state’s road stock. He announced that the Lagos landscape is now being adorned with the first cable stayed bridge, pointing out that the state government has completed the 1,358 metres’ Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge. He noted that considerable progress is being made to hand over the bridge for

the use of members of the public soon. He added the state government is not relenting in its effort on the ongoing expansion of the 13.5 kilometres Ikorodu Road to accommodate 6 lanes with a dedicated BRT land on either side. Hamzat also assured that the ongoing Ipaja-Ayobo Road, Idimu-Ejigbo, AjaoEjigbo, Ago Palace Way and Ozumba Mbadiwe in Victoria Island among others would soon be completed as government is accelerating the processes In order to promoted intermodal transportation system, he said the state government has completed Ipakodo jetty, while Osborne and Badore jetties are expected to be completed by October and July 2014. The commissioner said contracts for nine pedestrian bridges have been awarded to make the roads safe for pedestrians to cross. Some of the pedestrian bridges, he explained were located on Federal roads, saying the state government has to work

Quantity surveyors asked to collaborate to enhance standards

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ost experts in the building/construction industry have been urged to collaborate in order to create a platform to enhance standards of quantity surveying training and practice. President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Mr. Agele Alufohai, made the appeal to his colleagues in both professional practice and academics during the Convocation of Senior Quantity Surveying Academics in Nigerian tertiary institutions which was held at the Federal University of Technology (FUTA), Akure last week. The ceremony created an avenue to emphasise the enormous mutual benefit that can be derived from close interaction and collaboration between quantity surveyors in the field and colleagues who are teaching the subject in higher institutions. The NIQS president maintained

that transparency in construction and infrastructure expenditure not only accelerates economic growth but makes an important contribution to resolving political and security problems. “It is hence important that quantity surveyors must actively collaborate with relevant government agencies and allied professionals to build the confidence of our citizens in the costing processes associated with public procurement in Nigeria,” he said. According to him, one of the most valid criticisms one could make of the Nigerian education system is the dissonance between the teaching and research in the higher education institutions and the needs of industry. To play a successful role in the enhancing governance, he stated that quantity surveyors must acquire and disseminate up-to-date relevant

knowledge on cost economics theory and practices and must master the latest value-for-money techniques on Public Private Partnership projects on electric power stations, railways and other key infrastructure. He enjoined quantity surveyors to work towards excellence so as to create quality in the cutting-edge areas of the profession. “The industry and the academia have to come together to work on how to keep enhancing the quality of national knowledge of cost economics and in strategising on how knowledge of cost economics can provide answers to governance challenges as a nation” he said. Alufohai said that regular exchange of information between the industry and the academia must be a critical component and congratulated the senior quantity surveyor academics in Nigerian tertiary institutions on taking a bold step.

with agencies of Federal Government to resolve areas of challenge. He said, “We are determined to be a change agent and leave the state’s infrastructure better than we met it.” Hamzat said the state government would continue to appeal to the Federal Government to pay the N51 billion debt, being the money spent in rehabilitating federal roads in Lagos. He noted that if the money is paid, it would help the state government to complete other ongoing road projects in the metropolis. “If paid, the money would have helped us to complete other roads, but it is unfortunate. We will continue to demand for it,” he said. He also enjoined the Federal Government to put in place a routine maintenance plan for the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos to ensure its structural stability and safety all the time, saying this is necessary to prolong its lifespan.

Lagos NUJ unveils N74m guest house DAYO AYEYEMI

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he Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), at the weekend, unveiled plan to build a two-storey building guest house, comprising 20 rooms ensuite in Shomolu, Lagos. This is to replace the abandoned bungalow building formerly used as secretariat at 3, Adeola Street until 2004. Estimated to cost about N74million and to be completed in 12 months, the guest house is designed to have car park, reception, restaurant and bar on the ground floor, 10 rooms en-suite on the first floor and another 10 rooms on the second floor. Justifying reasons for the project while speaking during the turning of the sod of the multimillion naira guest house, Chairman, NUJ, Lagos State Council, Mr. Deji Elumoye, said, “We have been pondering about what will become of the property left behind. Eventually, Lagos journalists at one of its monthly congresses agreed that the bungalow should give way to a more befitting structure to serve a better purpose.”


34

Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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Scaled-up investment in sustainable cities crucial for improved resource efficiency –Report

L-R: Chairman, FCT Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Mohammed Abba Tor; Deputy President oF NIQS, Murtala Aliyu; and President , Mr. Agele Alufohai, at the investiture of Abba Tor in Abuja.

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nvesting in sustainable infrastructure and resource efficient technologies in cities, offers a golden opportunity to deliver economic growth with lower rates of environmental degradation, reductions in poverty, cuts in greenhouse gases, and improved well-being, a new report released by the United Nations at the weekend has said. Around three-quarters of the world’s natural resources are already consumed in cities, and the proportion of the global population living in urban areas is set to rise to 70 per cent by 2050. At the same time, cities generally offer lower per

capita resource use and emissions than their surrounding areas. Achieving inclusive sustainable development for all, says the UN study, requires ‘decoupling’ city-based economic growth rates from the unsustainable consumption of finite natural resources, which has characterised most urban development to date. As the price of depleting natural resources continues to rise, promoting sustainable urban infrastructures can benefit the environment and shield cities from potential economic and social instability in an increasingly resource-

constrained 21st century. Melbourne, Australia, has seen a 40 per cent drop in emissions by introducing energy efficiency measures in public buildings, while in Cape Town, South Africa, a re-fit of low income housing with solar water heaters and efficient lighting has saved over 6,500 tons of carbon per year, cut respiratory illnesses by 75 per cent, created scores of green jobs and reduced the cost of hot water for poor households. Thirty such case studies are featured in the report, City-Level Decoupling: Urban Resource Flows and the Gover-

Osun strengthens partnership with UN-HABITAT with N100m urban renewal

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he State of Osun has recorded another huge success in its development efforts by strengthening its partnership with the United Nation Habitat (UN-HABITAT) in the areas of Cities Prosperity Initiative, Urban Info and Local Urban Observatory Programmes. This is sequel to the collaboration of the State Government with the UN-HABITAT for the preparation of Structured Plan for the nine cities identified for the urban renewal project by the state government. The collaboration was arrived at last Wednesday in a bilateral meeting held with the Osun State delegation at the Governing Council 24th meeting at the UN-

HABITAT Headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya. In attendance at the official presentation were Mr. Muyiwa Ige, an architect and Commissioner for Physical Planning, who also led the Osun delegation, comprising Chairman, House Committee on Lands, Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Johnson Ojo, Hon. Jimoh Olayemi; Mr. Oladejo for Osun; Prof. Oyebanji Oyeyinka (Director, UN-HABITAT) and Dr. Gora Mboup (Chief, Global Urban Observatory Section- UN-HABITAT). These programmes are necessarily aimed at successfully preparing and implementing the structural plan project currently going on in nine (9) cities in the state. It will be recalled that the state’s N100mil-

lion contribution to UNHABITAT was fully paid last year and the plans are expected to be completed by September 2013. In consonance with these preparations, the UNHABITAT has agreed to give technical support in the area of effective deployment of these tools. In a couple of weeks, officers of UNHABITAT would be deployed from its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, for UrbanInfo training programme. The training programme will address areas like unsuitable urban growth, problems affecting the environment and growing inequalities between rich and poor and serious distortion in the form and functions of cities, among others.

Nigerite to engage building experts on innovative building construction

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lans are under-way by Nigerite Limited to organise a one-day engagement for professionals in the built industry. The forum, with the theme: “Innovative building construction in the 21st century” is slated for April 30, 2013 at the Eko Hotel & Suites. A statement signed by the company’s Executive Director, Marketing Mr. Toyin Gbede, said the one-day engagement “is in line with the company’s strategy to contribute its quota to quest in solving housing deficit

in Nigeria estimated as 16 million units.” This, Gbede revealed was necessary so as to enable construction industry players to begin to address their mind towards dry construction technology as a viable construction process in resolving housing provision challenges in Nigeria. His words: “This is in line with our strategy to turn the attention of Nigeria construction experts to modern methods of construction in other continent where housing issues have

been addressed considerable and assure them of our readiness to collaborate as Nigeria matches forward in its transformation agenda. Innovation is the bedrock of modern civilization. Any nation or corporate body that does not innovate will die.” The parley, is a follow-up to a well attended interactive forum held in January 2013 at the same venue where stakeholders in construction industry discussed the benefits of dry construction methods over the conventional wet construction process.

nance of Infrastructure Transitions, produced by the International Resource Panel (IRP), which is hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Other efforts involve reducing oil consumption by moving more people and goods onto public transport powered by electricity, or re-establishing peri-urban farms to supply locally grown food. “To date, the trend towards urbanisation has been accompanied by increased pressure on the environment and growing numbers of urban poor,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner at the launch of the report in Nairobi. “But unique opportunities exist for cities to lead the greening of the global economy by increasing resource productivity and innovation, while achieving major financial savings and addressing environmental challenges. Although many cities are seizing such opportunities, a holistic vision for the urban centres of the future is still lacking.” The study says much greater effort is needed to support new and improved infrastructure for water, energy, transport, waste and other sectors – generally located in and around cities – to wean the world off unsustainable consumption patterns, and avoid serious economic and environmental implications for future generations.

Climate alters global vegetation

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limate change is responsible for more than half the changes detected in the world’s vegetation, researchers from the University of Zurich, Switzerland and Netherlands have said. They noted that the amount of vegetation in the world, and the way it is spread across the planet, has changed significantly in the last three decades. They attributed more than half the changes they detected to the effects of the warming climate, with people responsible for only around a third. Surprisingly, perhaps, they are at a loss to attribute about 10 per cent of the changes unequivocally to either the climate or human. They said their work marks a scientific advance, because it has only recently become possible to quantify how far climate variability, human activity or a combination of the two are responsible for what is happening. While the researchers, geographers from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and colleagues from the Netherlands, said the last 30 years have seen substantial changes, satellites have during that time been recording how vegetation has altered. In a striking and perhaps unexpected development, the team found that while vegetation has declined south of the Equator, it has increased in the northern hemisphere.


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Aviation

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

35

Pilfering, missing luggage at Nigeria airports: Matters arising The issue of pilfering and missing luggage at the nation’s airports has been on for decades. On a daily basis, no fewer than 30 passengers complain of pilfering, damaged or missing luggage. OLUSEGUN KOIKI writes.

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he Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos is the fifth busiest airport in Africa while the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja is the seventh busiest in the continent. Over eight million passengers pass through the two airports annually according to the statistics released by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, in 2012, but ironically, despite these high passenger traffic, travellers passing through the airports have in recent time have couse to complain of pilfering, torn or missing luggage, not just at the two airports, but in all the airports in the country. More than 30 cases of missing and pilfering of checked in or hand luggage occur daily at the airports, which is affecting the image of the country in international community. When this dastardly incident occurs, accusing fingers are in most cases pointed at two groups of workers at the airport; Aviation Security, AVSEC, a department under the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and personnel of the ground handling companies for the airlines. For instance, one Mrs. Chinyere Nwankwo recently arrived Nigeria from Dubai aboard Emirates Airline. She was checked in with three luggage and after combing the baggage reclaim area of MMIA for hours, she was amazed that she could only recover two of her three checked in luggage. The missing luggage, according to her was 22kg, which she said was full of her clothing and other personal effects. She rained abuses on the staffers of the airline and even the airside workers because of the missing luggage and even vowed to pursue her case with the last penny in her account. Earlier in the month, the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, complained of pilfering and missing luggage onboard Air Maroc Airlines boarded in Lagos on March 28, 2013. According to the National President of the union, Mr. Garba Mohammed had told journalists that his checked in luggage was pilfered by the ground handlers with the sum of N150,000 stolen from it while the luggage of the National Secretary, Mr. Liman Shuaib is still missing days after take off from Lagos. So far, it has been difficult to know the exact point a checked in luggage is tampered with as each authorities usual seek to defend the integrity of their countries, but on October 20, 2012 at MMIA, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arrested an official of FAAN, Mr. Akinyele Adetula, for trying to launder $1.4 million (N218m) for one Mr. Ifeanyi Urama, a bureau de change operator who also doubles as clearing and forwarding agent. According to the Head of Operations, EFCC, Mr. Iliyasu Kwarbai, the suspect was able to pass through Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, security checks because he was wearing his identity card and therefore did not draw any suspicion.

Besides, last September, AVSEC officials arrested a passenger for attempting to steal $6, 000 belonging to a co-passenger onboard. The passenger had boarded Arik Air flight W3 071 from Lagos to Accra, Ghana before attempting to steal the money of another passenger. The passenger was caught by a cabin crew when he attempted to open the bag in the overhead baggage hold and subsequently raised an alarm, which led to the arrest of the passenger by FAAN security officials. More so, about two weeks ago, AVSEC officials arrested two passengers aboard Med-View Airlines when they attempted to steal N1.5 million belonging to another passenger onboard. The arrested passengers were on their way to Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport , NAA, Abuja before they were arrested by AVSEC. An online statement signed by the General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati had stated that the money was kept inside the compartment of the aircraft as hand luggage. He explained that the AVSEC personnel got wind of the incident when one of the cabin crew of Med-View Airlines engaged in a hot argument with two passengers over missing money inside the aircraft. Speaking on the issue, the Head, Communications, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, NAHCo, Plc, Mr. Sanya Onayoade while agreeing that some luggage are tampered with at the airports, exonerated the staffers of the ground handling company from the act. He explained that NAHCo has a massive warehouse with modern facilities that enhances efficient processes and reduce human contact, adding that the system restricted access by cargo agents and others, but decried that some unauthorised persons get access to the warehouse and other sterile areas through the invitation of security agencies. He explained further that in the last 12 months, NAHCo management had sacked no fewer than 18 persons for pilferage and other related offences, stressing that the staff now know that they must report any inducement from any security agent or cargo agent to undermine revenue accruing to the company or to the government. He said, “Sometimes, cargoes are detained on the tarmac, and you see all kinds of people, those not wearing the prescribed ODC (On Duty Card) flocking around those shipments. We have put in place so many measures for checking theft and pilferage,

Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

some of which are the coverage of the warehouse and surroundings with CCTV, introduction of whistle-blowing system, where we introduced about five phone numbers and an email address where people can reach out and report anybody found doing anything unethical. “Go to any of our stations, you will see our whistle-blowing bill boards conspicuously displaying the phone numbers and email to reach. We have also increased the number of security men in and around the warehouse. Our relationship with other security agencies is cordial and mutual. But we in NAHCo approach issues from the larger overall interests of the public. We are publicly quoted, and have strong corporate governance and ethical standard that every staff must sustain.” Security experts said there are various security lapses at the airports most especially at the airside, which give personnel at that point of the airport access to pilfer luggage of either departing or arriving passengers. The Chief Executive Officer, Eagle Eye Security, Mr. Adebayo Adetona, said that to prevent luggage pilfering or theft at the airport, the government needed to install Closed Circuit Television, CCTV, cameras at strategic places within the airport. He explained that the ground handling personnel in collaboration with security agencies at the airports are in most cases found culpable in this dastardly act, but noted that the situation has improved recently with the regular surveillance carried out by the security agencies at the

SOMETIMES, CARGOES ARE DETAINED ON THE TARMAC, AND YOU SEE ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE, THOSE NOT WEARING THE PRESCRIBED ODC (ON DUTY CARD) FLOCKING AROUND THOSE SHIPMENTS. WE HAVE PUT IN PLACE SO MANY MEASURES FOR CHECKING THEFT AND PILFERAGE IN NAHCO

airports. He said, “No single person can tamper with a checked in luggage alone without the collaboration of others, but in most cases, the staff of ground handlers for the airlines are involved in this act because they carry the luggage from the terminal to the belly of the aircraft or vice-versa. Between the time they do this, many things do happen. “It is unfortunate that this is happening, but we have to note that it is a global phenomenon, which is not restricted to our country alone. Even, as sophisticated the United States of America is, it happens in their domain. However, I want to say that the act has greatly reduced in recent time at our airports, but we can still do more.” Also, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said that the management has changed the security apparatus at all the airports most especially at MMIA since last quarter of 2012 following the discovering of compromise by some AVSEC staff. Presently, he noted 90 per cent of AVSEC were redeployed from MMIA to other airports in the country, assuring that the situation has greatly improve. Apart from this, he explained that CCTV cameras have been installed in strategic locations at the airside of the airport with a control room within the terminal in a bid to monitor activities at that aspect of the airport and challenged those with concrete allegations against AVSEC personnel to come forward with them. He added, “The luggage of passengers is not in our hands, but despite this, we still ensure that we monitor the transfer of their luggage either into the plane or to the baggage reclaim areas. also, we have a cargo centre at the airport where goods left behind by passengers are kept. Most times, people forget these baggage and alleged that it was stolen. Very soon, we will begin to get rid of them if they don’t come for them.”


36

Aviation

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

SAHCOL boss seeks Customs duty waivers for ground handlers STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Managing Director of the Skyway Aviation Handling Company of Nigeria Limited (SAHCOL), Mr. Oluropo Owolabi has appealed to the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah to consider Customs duties waivers to ground handling companies in the aviation industry. Owolabi decried that the amount of money paid by ground handling companies as Customs duties at the ports on imported equipment was too high, stressing that this would go a long way in reducing costs for the companies in the sector. He made these statements last week at the commissioning of new ground handling equipment for SAHCOL. He, however, commended Oduah for ensuring duty free regime for airline operators in the country on acquisition of aircraft and imported equipment for their operations, maintaining that this would further boost safety in the sector, but enjoined her to look in the direction of ground handlers for the same purpose.

Owolabi

He said, “One of the things that I think the Federal Government in conjunction with the minister has been able to do is the granting of Customs duty waivers to the airlines. I want to seize this opportunity to appeal to the minister to assist us to be able to have this sort of relieve at the borders. This will go a long way in helping the companies in the sector to grow. “You are asking me how much we spent in acquiring these equipment, but the truth is that I can not quantify it until after everything is out. We paid through

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Airside shegzzy4live2000@yahoo.co.uk 08186007273

our nose from the port and these equipment can not be moved around, they are meant for stations. “Once they enter the tarmac, that is the end. That is the reason the government needs to assist us because of safety. Most of the handling companies in this industry can not afford this because they are very expensive, but a duty free regime from the seaport would enable us meet some of the challenges at the airports.” Also, he declared that the ongoing construction of its warehouse at Lagos Airport has reached 80 per cent completion stage, adding that it would be commissioned for use before the end of the year. Some of the newly acquired equipment are Commanders 15i JBT Loader, 40i JBT Loader and 30i JBT Loader, which performed different ground handling functions on aircraft ranging from narrow to wide body aircraft. Owolabi insisted that the equipment are the latest of such in the sub-region, stressing that the company would not rest on its oars until ground handling sub-sector in the country is at par with other developed aviation countries in the world.

L-R: Human Resources Manager, Peacock Group; Mr. Aderemi Awolaiye, Mr. Loco Lambert, Chief Operating Officer, Cronos Airline; Mr. Segun Phillips, Group Chairman, Peacock Group of Companies; Mr. David Ekule, Country Rep; Cronos Airline; and Mr. Biodun Adewuni, Customer Relationship Manager (Africa), NAHCO Avience at the signing of flight operations between Peacock and Cronos Airlines in Lagos, recently.

How not to keep firearms onboard plane

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he statement ‘accidental discharge’ is a common phrase among the various security organisations in Nigeria describing how thousands of souls have been lost due to misuse of fire arms by security agents. In a bid to avoid ‘accidental discharge,’ worldwide, security personnel are expected to submit their firearms at the check - in counters of the airline officials with proper documentations until they get to their destinations, but it seems the international standard does not apply to Nigeria. Airside was at the General Aviation Terminal, GAT, of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos on Thursday, April 11, 2013 and was amazed at the display of arrogance and ignorance by one of the security officers who wanted to board one of the airlines operating at the terminal. The said security officer re-

fused to submit his firearms at the counters and wanted to go through with it even at the screening point, which the Aviation Security, AVSEC rebuffed. However, in the process of removing the magazine from the gun, the gun went off and caused panic at the terminal. This incident could have led to the usual ‘accidental discharge’ with victims in an environment like the airport. Airside uses this medium to appeal to the respective security authorities to educate their officers on the handling of firearms within the airport especially if they want to board the plane. Since aviation practice is global, Nigeria can not operate in isolation. Our security personnel should submit themselves to all forms of security checks even if such is being conducted by a ‘bloody civilian’ whenever they are at the airports.

Who wants to choke AIB?

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ccident Investigation Bureau, AIB, is supposed to be composed of trained accident investigators with proven track records. The total workforce in the agency as at October 2012 was 45, but the situation has since changed. Airside was disturbed recently when it heard that some ‘powerful’ people close to the Presidency dumped new recruits without aviation backgrounds on the agency and posted them to the technical department. The technical department is in charge of accident investigation for AIB. The total recruits according to sources close to the ministry are 40! A figure that almost doubles the existing workforce in the agency. Airside supports employ-

ment generation for Nigerian youths, no matter where they are from, but such exercise should not turn to a jamboree where people are picked and posted to departments based on who they know and not their disciplines. Airside is worried if an agency that is supposed to prevent and investigate accidents will be able to cope with these huge figures. Does the agency actually need these high numbers? How will it pay for their salaries and other entitlements? Were there vacancies in AIB before now? Did the agency or even the ministry advertise for job placements in AIB? Those absorbed, how were they recruited? These and more questions are waiting to be answered.

South African Airways bags Most on-time airline, Best Business Class endorsements

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ne of the leading foreign airlines flying into Nigeria, South African Airways, SAA, said it has received two major endorsements from respected industry experts. The first, the airline topped the list of the most on-time airlines in the world in a report produced by an independent entity, FlightStats, Inc., the leading provider of global flight and airport information services. According to the FlightStats report, South African Airways was one of the only two major

international carriers that delivered over 90 per cent of their flights on time in March. SAA took the number one spot with 92.26 per cent whilst Gulf Air came in second at 92.11 per cent. The FlightStats March 2013 On-Time Airline & Airport Performance Report further states that major international airlines had on average delivered 78.76 per cent of their flights to the arrival gate within 15 minutes of schedule in March, up slightly from February’s 77.64 per cent. Cancellations for the

same group in March were 1.35 per cent, down from 1.57 per cent last month. According to SAA’s General Manager of Operations, Zuks Ramasia, “SAA’s above average operational showing among global competitors is the result of the skill and efforts of highly trained teams across all functions, working in tandem to ensure safe, efficient and value for money operations.” The On-Time Performance accolade comes hot on the

heels of another accolade bestowed on South Africa’s national carrier by a Europebased publication. Through its Mystery Shopper project, FVW, Germany’s leading travel trade magazine, voted SAA’s business class as the Best Business Class product amongst Star Alliance carriers. The magazine’s incognito mystery shopper tested the Business Class products and services of Star Alliance carriers on long-haul flights

out of Germany. SAA topped the list with 94 points out of 100, eclipsing three other renowned European airlines. SAA ranked the highest for its comfortable fully lie-flat seats, while its class-leading comfortable duvet, extra-large pillow and padded bedding also got the nod from the magazine’s mystery shopper. SAA also got 24 points out of 25 for its check-in and lounge facilities whilst the cuisine was rated 18 out of 20 points and service 19 out of 20.


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Insurance

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

37

Unpaid premium: Govt, insurance companies involved – Stakeholder Insurance analysts say there is more than meets the eyes concerning huge sums of unpaid insurance premium by many of the insured, particularly ministries and agencies of government. Feelers point to unholy alliance between some desperate operators and unscrupulous clients, MESHACK IDEHEN.

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ecenty, the Federal Government said it has warned its ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) on how to conduct their insurance business with operators in the industry. According to the Federal Government, insurance companies are owed over N24 billion in unpaid premium as at January 2013; a situation that has made many of the insurance companies near comatose and almost losing focus as far as their business objectives and contributions to economic growth were concerned. However, following the warning which was issued by the Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Yerima Ngama, in a circular which was also copied to the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Ogiadome, Vice President Namadi Sambo and all the heads of government parastatals, titled, “Guidelines on insurance premium collection and remittances — compliance with Section 50 (1) of the Insurance Act,’ insurance analysts and stakeholders said operators also should have been warned to cease their “collusion with MDAs in the unholy alliance of not pay premiums”. This position according to analysts, most of whom are also insurance stakeholders, is because Nyama had made it clear that the indebtedness to insurance firm, in spite of the yearly budgetary provision by the government has become unacceptable. Insurance Expert, Mr. Obi Ngwuta, told National Mirror that such huge indebtedness to insurance companies due to unpaid premiums annually was only made possible because many of the insurance firms operating in the country are working in partnership with those in charge at the MDAs to defraud their companies. He explained that it was not possible for insurance firms to fold their arms and watch without doing anything, including seeking legal options where necessary to collect the huge monies due them, if there was no thing more to it than meet the eyes. Ngwuta added “it was that knowledge by the government that its agencies and ministries were expending funds meant for paying premium for other purposes that gave rise to the warning by the finance minister in the first place.” According to him, “government has realised maybe almost too late that allowing the insurance sector to die a gradual death by allowing its agencies and ministries to withhold or lavishly spend funds meant for paying premium to insurance companies was not only affecting the sector”. That view by Ngwuta collaborates the explanation by the minister of state for finance who lamented that the refusal of the MDAs and other stakeholders to pay their premium is affecting insurance companies negatively, making it impossible for them to meet their vari-

Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

IT WAS THAT KNOWLEDGE BY THE GOVERNMENT THAT ITS AGENCIES AND MINISTRIES WERE EXPENDING FUNDS MEANT FOR PAYING PREMIUM FOR OTHER PERSONAL PURPOSES THAT GAVE RISE TO THE WARNING BY THE FINANCE MINISTER IN THE FIRST PLACE ous claims obligations under contracts of insurance to eligible beneficiaries. The minister also ordered the MDAs and other stakeholders involved to immediately begin payment of the premiums in line with the Act, saying sanctions will be meted out for non-compliance and that any contract of insurance entered into without payment of full premium in advance shall be legally unenforceable. Speaking in the same vein, Insurance Practitioner, Mr. Joachim Adenusi, said the directive by government that MDAs and other stakeholders are to comply with the provisions of the Act, by rendering their returns on premium collection and remittances to the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has not gone down well with some stakeholders in the indus-

Chairman , Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, Mrs. Ngozi Olojeme

try, especially those that were benefiting before the warning. Adenusi, however, warned that attention be focused on the private sector where a high level of connivance with operators to defraud their firms is active. He alleged many agents and marketer collude with their clients to ensure that monies as premium never gets to the office, saying amongst some long time staff of a big, publicly quoted insurance company headquartered in Lagos, the story is still been told of an agent that fleeced the company of almost N5 million, through some sort of collaboration with a shipper the insurance firm was covering. The businessman succeeded in convincing the young insurance agent who was just fresh from university to accept part of the monthly premium due the company, in exchange for signed receipts indicating that the monthly premium has been paid by the businessman. According to him, “all the company’s insurance agent had to do was to make sure the businessman got the receipts signed by him, after which he goes back and inform his bosses that the payment for that month is differed to the next month due to some challenges the businessman is having”. He explained that such situation which is not limited to individual business cover or small firms alone, could go on for months and years, without the company getting wiser, adding that it is only when a major incident requiring claims occurs that the matter is brought to the open.

Custodian acquires Crusader Nigeria

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ollowing the conclusion of the business combination process, Custodian & Allied Insurance Plc has taken over the assets and liabilities of Crusader Nigeria Plc. The enlarged entity, according to a statement will be known as Custodian & Allied Plc. Brand and Communications Manager, Custodian and Allied Plc, Mr. Chukwudum Ofomata, said the merger had created integration of skills, information technology and back office processes to the ad-

vantage of the company’s customers. According to him, customers can now take advantage of the company’s increased spread, improved operational efficiencies and expanded product portfolio. “The merger between Custodian & Allied Insurance Plc and Crusader (Nigeria) Plc leverages on 79 combined years of insurance and financial services experience. The merger has created invaluable inte-

gration of skills, information technology and back office processes. All these to the benefit of our customers and other stakeholders,” he said. He noted that the strength of Custodian & Allied Plc was in its stronger balance sheet, financial capacity, improved operational efficiencies and an expanded product portfolio, adding that the company had expanded its scope of services with the merger with Crusader.


38

Insurance

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Insurance sector recorded N300bn Tips for selling any type of insurance A premium income in 2012 MESHACK IDEHEN

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he insurance industry’s Gross Premium Income (GPI) grew at an annual average of 25 per cent in the last five years (2008 – 2012), hitting N300 billion in 2012. In a report by rating agency, Agusto & Co, the GPI reached a record high of 63 per cent in 2008 and a record low of six per cent in 2010. Specifically, the industry’s premium income, according to Agusto, grew by 19 per cent to N240 billion in 2011 and further increased by 25 per cent to N300 billion in 2012, supported by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM’s) Market Reconstruction and Development Initiative (MRDI). The MRDI launched in 2011, is meant to drive insurance penetration in Nigeria through enforcement of the compulsory insurance regulation and a continuous sensitisation of the public on the benefits of insurance. According to Agusto & Co, “although premium growth plunged in two successive years (2009 –2010) to single digit, due to the capital market crisis which prevailed in the country, the industry rebounded slightly in 2011, to record a double digit premium growth”. The report also stated that consumer apathy towards insurance

Commissioner for Insurance, Fola Daniel

remains a challenge for the industry, given the poor public image regarding claims payment. “We note that consumers’ lack of interest in the industry has further heightened with the unfortunate Dana Air crash and alleged delay in claims payments by some insurance operators. In an effort to improve their image, some industry operators have increased public notification on claims payments; this we view positively. “The industry’s dependence on brokers for large-ticket transactions, however, remains a major weakness of underwriters in Nigeria. This is exhibited in the high premium receivables recorded in 2011 as well as in 2012. We expect the “no premium no cover regulation” passed by NAICOM in 2012 to moderate premium receivables by the end of

FY13,” said Agusto & Co. The industry, the firm added, is dominated by non-life operators, which collectively account for 40 per cent of its premium income. “We view positively NAICOM’s plan to introduce the micro-insurance and Takaful insurance frameworks for the lower-income segment of the population before the end of 2013. We believe this should help insurance companies deepen their retail reach and market penetration going forward. The entrance of Old Mutual Limited (Anglo-South African insurance company) into the life insurance market would further change the dynamics of this segment and encourage best practices as well innovation among life operators,” the firm stated.

Delayed assent to budget affects insurers negatively-CIIN

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he President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Mr. Wole Adetimehin, said late assent of the 2013 Budget by President Goodluck Jonathan has rubbed off negatively on the operations of insurance companies and broking firms in the first quarter of the year. Speaking in Lagos while reflecting on the performance of the insurance sector in the last quarter, Adetimehin observed that insurance operators were expectant of improvement in their business following President Jonathan’s early presentation of the 2013 Budget to the National Assembly last year. However, he said their expectations were not met because it took long time before the legislators approved and presidential accent was given to it. According to him, the optimism that was witnessed by operators in the industry gave way to pessimism when the President delayed his assent to the bill that was passed into law

Adetimehin

since November 2012. He explained that the budget was tabled before the upper and the lower houses in November last year was enough to raise the hope of any sector of the economy, adding that the basis for planning in the new year is firmly in place. However, Adetimehin said, “Without mincing words, I would say all those hopes and expectations became shattered, because the budget was not

signed into law as expected”. The CIIN president also noted that the delay in signing the budget as expected, would also affect insurance business in the second quarter. “Due to bureaucracies in government, most government’s ministries, department and agencies would not be able to access and release funds for projects as expected in the second quarter,” he explained. He, however, assured stakeholders that in spite the challenges witnessed in the first quarter of the year, insurance operators would continue to make their contributions towards the development of the economy by way of providing risk management services. The CIIN president advised the Federal Government to ensure an improvement in the state of the economy, noting that businesses activities, including insurance were very low due to the high level of poverty in the land.

s an insurance sale professional, you serve both the customer and the policy provider by bringing them together, uniting a prospect with a need with a company that can fill that need to the benefit of both parties. While each type of insurance has its own nuances and sales strategies, these universal tips will help you sell any kind of policy. Evaluating leads-Concentrate your valuable time and energy on pre-qualified leads -- those who have an identifiable need to buy, will buy now, and have the means to pay. Develop qualifying questions that filter out unlikely prospects and use them early in your sales call. The more in-depth research you can assemble, the better you’ll evaluate and prioritise leads. Doing research yourself consumes valuable sales time, so consider purchasing quality leads from an established provider. The majority of insurance purchasers now go online for information first, and providers connect you instantly with the most actionable leads, allowing you to use filters to narrow your search. Communication - Using the phone to contact prospects saves time, but you lose visual, nonverbal cues that can help you tune your pitch. Avoid cutting the customer off -- wait a few seconds after they finish speaking to respond. Schedule uninter-

rupted sales call time daily. It can be helpful to reach out to leads at odd times, early and late in the day when prospects are likely to be free to converse. Certain holidays are an excellent time to call, when many people are more relaxed and approachable, but be sensitive. Use voice mail strategically, and keep it short - Provide a time-sensitive reason to return your call now. Leave useful information, as a relationship-builder, rather than the expected sales pitch.Face to face meetings with highly promising clients may be worth spending some time on the road. Try asking prospective clients to come to your home office or a nearby location. Clients, who have already invested time to come to you, or to gather required documents, are ultimately more likely to buy. Marketing and lead generation - Referrals from existing happy customers, family and qualified leads purchased from Internet lead providers are both cost-effective lead sources. Build your personal brand by blogging, answering questions on consumer forums or answer services such as Yahoo Answers, keeping your LinkedIn profile updated, and building a business Facebook page. Request online reviews on relevant sites and testimonials for your website or marketing emails. Source: www.insure.net

How to get out of insurance sales slump

J

ust like in any other market, insurance sales go up and down. As an insurance salesperson, you aim for more ups than downs, regardless of what the market is doing. So how can you increase your life insurance sales if you are in a bit of a slump? Follow these insurance sales tips to get out of your slump and boost profits. Set realistic goals - If you don’t know what sales targets you need to hit, the ability or motivation to get there can be challenging. Set one or two long-term goals and define the short-term objectives you need to achieve them. It may seem like a simple step, but creating an achievable goal can mean the difference between floundering and focusing. Use an effective system How many new sales calls do you make each day? How many calls do you make to follow up with leads? How much time do you dedicate to finding new prospects? Creating an effective system can help you stay on track so no part of the sales process will fall through the cracks. You can either create a new system that makes the most sense for you, or use one of the countless sales tools available. It doesn’t matter

what system you use as long as it is effective for reaching your insurance sales goals. Buy life insurance leads This is perhaps one of the most useful insurance sales tips. Purchasing insurance leads can save you a lot of time and money. You get all the information you need about a prospect that has already expressed an interest in life insurance. All you need to do is follow up and work your sales magic. Ask for referrals from existing clients - Nothing is more powerful than a satisfied customer. Asking your clients to recommend you to their friends and colleagues can help you get more than just a foot in the door; it may give you the bump you need to get out of your sales slump. Offering incentives for referrals can help you generate even more qualified leads. Improve your product line - If you have a proven record of sales success and are looking for an even bigger boost it may be time to explore additional products to sell. If you have sales experience and the motivation to succeed, you’ll have no trouble finding a good life insurance company with a quality product to sell. Source: www.bellinsurance.com


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

39

Investors advised against stock with poor fundamentals JOHNSON OKANLAWON WITH AGENCY REPORT

T

he President, Association of Stockbroking Houses Owners of Nigeria, Mr Emeka Madubuike, has advised investors to take position in equities with sustained growth of more than five years. According to him, such stocks could not be badly affected by prolonged lull in the capital market. Madubuike who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos yesterday noted that the advice was necessary in view of the upsurge in the number of short-term investors in the capital market. He counselled that the investors should not be in-

fluenced by greed to invest to avoid burning their fingers. Madubuike attributed the recent bearish trend in the capital market to the 2012 audited results of some companies which were below investors’ expectations. Last week, for instance, sharp sell offs by some investors dragged the benchmark index of equities as the market did not show much enthusiasm to the release of corporate actions and some impressive results that have been released in recent times. The All-Share Index declined by 520.17 points or 1.55 per cent to close on Friday at 32,993.97 points, while market capitalisation of the listed equities on the main-

board shed some value to close at N10.5trn. Equities analysts at First Discount Securities Limited, a research firm noted that investors had factored the expected earnings into the pricing of stocks last week hence, the eventual release of the result could not spark off the much desired change. The firm said, “As more results trickle into the market in subsequent weeks, we are most likely to see a haphazard trading pattern.” In the week, a turnover of 2.114 billion shares worth of N26.7bn were exchanged in 27,624 deals in contrast to a total of 2.191 billion shares valued at N24.9bn traded in 33,100 deals the preceding week. The Financial Services

led the sectorial indices with 1.759 billion shares valued at N14.6bn traded in 16,902 deals, followed by the Consumer Goods sector with 121.622 million shares worth N9.41bn exchanged in 4,391 deals. Similarly, the banking subsector of the Financial Services sector was the most active during the week (measured by turnover volume) with 1.435 billion shares worth N11.9bn traded in 12,764 deals. Volume in the subsector was largely driven by activities in the shares of Wema Bank Plc, Skye Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, as trading in the shares of the three banks accounted for 627.601 million shares worth N4.38bn exchanged by investors in 3,720 deals.

S

tanbic IBTC Holdings has declared a profit after tax of N10.2bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2012, an increase of 53 per cent over N6.6bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The company’s profit before tax stood at N11.7bn for 2012, an increase of 16 per cent above the N10.1bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2011. According to the result presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, gross earnings, which stood at N63.4bn in December 2011, increased to N91.9bn in 2012, while total assets increased to N676.8bn in the review period, from N554.5bn recorded in 2011. During the period, total

operating income increased by 22 per cent to N67.4bn, from N55.2bn in 2011, while gross loans and advances to customers rose by five per cent to N279.5bn, from N266.6bn recorded in 2011. Analysis of the balance sheet showed that customer deposits increased by 24 per cent to N355.4bn in 2012, from N287.2bn in the corresponding period of 2011, while non-performing loans stood at N14.3bn, a decline of 13 per cent, from N16.5bn in 2011. A statement from the company yesterday said the strong performance, despite the challenging operating conditions, is an indicative of the soundness of the group’s decision to adopt a holding company structure, in line with its strategy to provide end-toend financial services and

build a franchise capable of generating sustainable and respectable returns to its stakeholders. The statement quoted the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Sola David-Borha, as saying that the performance is a testament of the credibility of the company’s strategy to realise its objective of being the leading end-to-end financial solutions provider in Nigeria. “We continue to assess our risk assets through our robust and systematic risk management practices, whilst ensuring that adequate provisions are made for unforeseen shocks in line with the operating environment,” she stated David-Borha said the group continued to expand its business on the back of growth in transactional volumes and activities, money

All-Share Index 33,090.05 points

and capital market activities and loan book. She pointed out that deposits from customers increased by 24 per cent, while loan book grew by five per cent despite the sell down of existing large performing exposures to enable the company comply with the post restructuring single obligor limit. “The group will continue to seek opportunities in strategic sectors of the economy in order to grow its business in line with its future growth strategy. Our expanded branch network, excellent customer service, diversified business model and access to an extensive pool of experience within the group have put us in a desirable position to generate growing value for shareholders in 2013,” she added.

Index rises 0.29% as Thomson Reuters Eikon launches on NSE DAMILOLA AJAYI

T

rading in equities closed on bullish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as some investors took position on stocks. Specifically, the All Share Index rose by 0.29 per cent to close at 33,090.05 points, as against the drop of 0.32 per cent recorded on Friday to close at 32,993.97 points. Market capitalisation gained N3bn to erase the N3bn decline recorded on Friday to close at N10.54trn. JohnHolt Plc led the gainers’ table with 15 kobo

or 10 per cent to close at N1.65 per share, followed by Learn Africa Plc with 15 kobo or 9.87 per cent to close at N1.67 per share. On the flip side, MRS Plc lost N2.24 or ten per cent to close at N20.16 per share, while DeapCap Capital Plc shed 18 kobo or 9.89 per cent to close at N1.64 per share. A total of 317.6 million shares valued at N3.44bn were traded in 4,682 deals. Meanwhile, Thomson Reuters yesterday rolled out the latest version of its next-generation desktop product, Thomson Reuters Eikon, to financial professionals in the country.

Thomson Reuters Eikon, which has already been well-received in a number of other African markets such as Kenya and Botswana, makes it easier and quicker for financial professionals in Nigeria to access historical and realtime market data on locallylisted companies. Speaking at the launch in Lagos, the Managing Director, Africa, Thomson Reuters, Mr. Keith Nichols, noted that it is difficult for customers in African markets to get relevant historical and real-time data relating to stocks. He said, “Research ana-

S Source: Afrinvest

Market indicators

Stanbic IBTC posts N10bn profit in 2012 JOHNSON OKANLAWON

Source: NSE

lysts and equities traders need vast amounts of information at their finger tips to be able to generate their reports and to make decisions on different stocks. Thomson Reuters Eikon delivers this data in a very intuitive way and therefore closes that gap for financial professionals. “With the recent addition of advanced search, Eikon has done away with the need to remember instrument codes or navigate complex interfaces, thus creating a new benchmark in providing information across asset classes.”

Market capitalisation 10.58 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

JOHNHOLT

1.50

1.65

0.15

10.00

LEARNAFRCA

1.52

1.67

0.15

9.87

WEMABANK

1.24

1.36

0.12

9.68

PAINTCOM

1.46

1.60

0.14

9.59

AIICO

0.83

0.90

0.07

8.43

JAPAULOIL

0.60

0.65

0.05

8.33

IPWA

0.68

0.73

0.05

7.35

CUSTODYINS

1.74

1.83

0.09

5.17

ABCTRANS

0.60

0.63

0.03

5.00

UBA

7.00

7.28

0.28

4.00

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

MRS

22.40

CLOSING 20.16

2.24

-10.00

DEAPCAP

1.82

1.64

0.18

-9.89

ROYALEX

0.71

0.64

0.07

-9.86

COSTAIN

1.76

1.59

0.17

-9.66

CCNN

10.50

9.60

0.90

-8.57

AGLEVENT

1.54

1.41

0.13

-8.44

UBCAP

1.20

1.10

0.10

-8.33

NAHCO

5.88

5.40

0.48

-8.16

PRESTIGE

0.62

0.57

0.05

-8.06

NEM

0.75

0.71

0.04

-5.33

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Days

34,888.90

10.84

25-Apr-13

182-Days

45,000.00

13.25

25-Apr-13

364-Days

60,730.00

14.64

11-Apr-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

126-Days

107,554.47

13.45

25-Apr-13

122-Days

34,538.50

13.44

25-Apr-13

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$246m

22-Apr-13

$300m

N/A

$266m

17-Apr-13


40

Capital Market

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at April 22, 2013 1st Tier Securities

1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

41

Lagos LGs: Gathering storm over tenure elongation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 Assembly to legislate on the administration of local government councils, but in exercising such powers as granted by the constitution, it is wrong and illegal for the House to enact laws “with retrospective effect in a way that accrued rights of the people are abrogated.” Falana added that should the bill be passed into law, the constitutional rights of Lagosians to partake in periodic elections of not more than three years to elect chairmen and councillors of councils cannot be sacrificed by the Lagos State House of Assembly. He added: “However, if the Local Government Law is amended to provide for four-year tenure for chairmen and councillors, the amendment cannot tenure to the benefit of the current chairmen and councillors whose term of office is three years certain.” While drawing the attention of the Lagos legislature to the “case of AttorneyGeneral of Abia State and 35 others versus the Attorney-General of the Federation (2001) 17 WRN 1 wherein the Supreme Court held that even though the chairmen and councillors of local government councils throughout the country were elected under Decree no 38 of 1998, which had been repealed, their three-year tenure could not be extended or prolonged by any law enacted by the National Assembly,” Falana said that following the same pronouncement of the Supreme Court, “the three-year tenure of chairmen and councillors fixed by the Lagos State Local Government Law, 2001 cannot be elongated by any amendment whatsoever and howsoever.” He added: “Having regard to the penchant of the political class in Nigeria to copy bad examples, the Lagos House of Assembly should not be allowed to set a dangerous precedent by engaging in the illegal extension of elected chairmen and councillors in Lagos State. If the tenure of the local government chairmen and councillors in Lagos State is extended through an anomalous amendment of the Local Government Law, all other public officers in Nigeria who were elected via the 2011 general elections may also want to take advantage of the proposed amendment of the constitution to elongate their tenure to 2019 without contesting any election in 2015.” Falana therefore enjoined the Lagos lawmakers to jettison the proposed elongation of the tenure of chairmen and councillors of local government councils in Lagos State forthwith, threatening that should the bill be passed into law and assented to Governor Fashola, he would not hesitate to challenge the legal validity of such law in court “without any further notice.” In like manner, the Lagos Collectives, a group of stakeholders’ in the state also condemned in strong terms the proposed bill and attempt by the state government to perpetuate illegality. The group in a statement signed by its chairman, Professor Tejumade AkitoyeRhodes, frowned at what he called an “obscene reward for the incumbent chairmen and councillors.” Akitoye-Rhodes likened the proposed law to the third term agenda, which was shot down by concerned citizens in the recent past.

THE PROPOSED LAW WHICH SEEKS TO

EXTEND THE TENURE OF THE CHAIRMEN AND

COUNCILLORS IN LAGOS

STATE IS OUTRAGEOUS, ILLEGAL, PRIMITIVE AND UNDEMOCRATIC. IT IS A CRASS ATTEMPT BY THE ACN GOVERNMENT TO DENY THE PEOPLE OF

Falana

LAGOS STATE THEIR

DUE AND APPROPRIATE REPRESENTATION The statement read in part: “The proposed law which seeks to extend the tenure of the chairmen and councillors in Lagos State is outrageous, illegal, primitive and undemocratic. “It is a crass attempt by the ACN government to deny the people of Lagos State their due and appropriate representation. Even changing a law must not only go through a rational and logical process of the constitution, it cannot be seen to be an obscene reward for the present holders of office. “The apparent absurdity of making a proposed legislation to the deliberate advantage of incumbent elected office holders betrays the ACN government in Lagos State as hypocritical and unprogressive. The very people who shouted themselves hoarse over Obasanjo’s third term bid are proving themselves as equally desperate and unworthy of the people’s trust. “The Lagos Collectives vigorously rejects this aberration and we are determined to ensure that it will not stand.” In its reaction to the barrage of criticisms trailing the draft bill, which the House has been accused of treating, the deputy speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Taiwo Kolawole, said that there was no plan by the House to extend the tenure of local government chairmen. Kolawole denied that there was such a bill before the House, but declared that what was before the House for consideration was a bill to consolidate all the existing laws on local government administration in the state. But he conceded, however, that there was a clause in the bill the House was considering which borders on tenure extension of elected officials at the local government, disclosing that the bill has just passed the second reading. While expressing his disappointment at what he called attempts by some highly placed individuals in the state to pre-empt the outcome of the House deliberation, Kolawole, specifically reacting to Falana’s threat and umbrage, said that Falana is free to go to court, as such action was “what makes democracy interesting.” His words: “Mr. Falana is not supposed to warn us. Lawmaking is not his duty.

Lagos PDP Chairman, Olatunji Shelle

He is a social crusader and rights activist. There’s nothing new in challenging our laws. We have not categorically said we are extending the tenure of council chairmen in the state. He cannot read the mind of the House. So, he is wrong, even though I do not want to join issues with anyone on this. “Falana has the ample opportunity to go to court and challenge that. It is still a lawmaking process, but he must not pre-empt us. That is wrong and unfortunate for our democracy.” The Deputy Speaker added that the state House of Assembly is made up of 40 members, whose contributions, opinions and inputs count on every issue raised and discussed on the floor of the House and therefore, should those clamouring for tenure extension be in the majority, “there is nothing anybody can do about it.” But as if exposing the deputy speaker’s double speak on the matter, the state Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Adeola Ipaye, justified the proposal. He said that the move was brought on stream as a result of barrage of complaints of poor performance of the council chairmen in the state, arguing that elected officials at the local government level have also hinged their constraints in making appreciable impact not only in infrastructural renewal or manpower development on the number of years the law stipulates for their office. But beyond the denial of and justification for the bill, a school of thought is of the opinion that the proposed amendment was to guard against any form of conflict, disaffection, protest, internal crisis and defection that may arise from the conduct of prima-

ries for councillorship and chairmanship of the 20 local government councils and 37 LCDAs should the council polls be held in 2014 and thereby jeopardise the chances of the ACN, which last Thursday fused into the All Progressives Congress (APC). To this school of thought, there is no justification for such bill at this point in time, because, it is merely changing the rules of the game midway into the game. But to the opposition, this latest gamut is nothing but a ploy by the ruling ACN in Lagos to avoid defeat, which it said is staring the ruling party in the face in the 2015 elections. To major opponents of the proposed bill, including the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), it is highly immoral and illegal that the fixed tenure of elected officials, elected by the electorate, would be elongated by just 40 lawmakers who belong to the ruling party. Just as no one was in doubt of the powers of the Lagos State government to seek to review any law when and if necessary, it was the considered opinion of stakeholders and political analysts that such review must be for the promotion of the common good, but this present attempt is not only an act of bad faith, but a “brazen attempt to infringe on the rights of the people of Lagos.” Also displeasing was the plan to make the bill have a retroactive effect when passed into law. Stakeholders believe that making the law retroactive is “clearly immoral and antithetical to the promotion of good governance and the rule of law,” and as such dangerous to the nation’s nascent democracy. Even more befuddling was the fact that the ruling ACN in Lagos State, which seems to be the proponent of this contentious bill, played very important and strategic role in the truncation of a similar bill proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan extending the tenure of the president and governors to one single term of seven years. The administration of President Jonathan had in 2011 proposed a bill to be included in the constitution during the ongoing amendment process, which prescribed a seven-year single tenure for the president and state governors, a proposal which the ACN became the arrowhead for its opposition. With the barrage of opposition to this bill, which according to the Deputy Speaker has passed its second reading, will the Lagos State House of Assembly go ahead and pass it into law? If the House does pass the bill into law, will the state governor, Fashola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), assent to such “obnoxious” law? If the two scenarios play out, what steps will the opponents of the bill take and what steps will the people of Lagos, whose rights are being abridged by the executive and legislature take? Will Falana follow through with his threat and seek redress in the law courts? So many questions begging for answer. But one thing is sure; the Centre of Excellence will not remain the same should the attempt to elongate the tenure of elected local government officials scale through at the end of the day. Whichever way the pendulum swings, this new bill will be a reference point now and in the near future.


42

Politics

THE

PARLIAMENT Going by the content of the report of the House of Representatives’ Ad hoc Committee on 1999 Constitution laid last week at the lower chamber, majority of Nigerians are on a progressive path. But with the ball now in the court of the state and national assemblies, can Nigerians’ dreams for a brighter Nigeria be shared by their representatives? TORDUE SALEM asks in this report

T

he long wait was finally over last week Thursday, when the committee reviewing the 1999 Constitution in the House of Representatives, presented its report on public sessions held in the 360 federal constituencies across the country. The process which started more than a year ago, revved for several months before it took off it in earnest. At the presentation, several stakeholders, who witnessed the epochal event, included the chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum representing the state governors; chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures representing the Speakers of state Houses of Assembly; president, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA); and president, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON). Others at the event were presidents, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC); Trade Union Congress (TUC); Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU); Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT); National Council of Women Societies (NCWS); National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE); Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ); National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS); Nigerian Youth Council (NYC), and representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and women organisations. Though the report, which was presented to the public by the lead consultant to the Emeka Ihedioha-led Ad hoc Committee on Constitution Review, Clement Nwankwo, was not absolutely satisfactory, a presidential aide, Mrs. Joy Emordi and several others described it as “unprecedented.” From public sessions held in the 360 constituencies, constituents of diverse interests were subjected to 43 questions for which they voted most interestingly. The constituents across the constituencies from the collated results voted for the removal of immunity for sitting president and governors in civil cases; 225 votes to 132, but voted overwhelmingly against state control of Police by 307 votes against 53. Nigerians voted for states creation by 245 to 105 votes. They voted for over 19 new states to be created by 205 votes against 133, they however voted against a six geopolitical zones structure recognised by the Constitution by 330 votes against 27;

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Constitution review: Will the votes 324 votes for financial autonomy for local governments against 26 votes; 295 votes for financial autonomy for State Houses of Assembly against 62, and also voted 279 for the justifiability of Chapter 2 of the constitution on fundamental human rights against 78 votes. They also voted 342 votes to six on the need for the president and governors to present budget proposals to state Houses of Assemblies and National Assembly three months to the end of every fiscal year, and the abolition of ‘Joint State Local Government Account’ by 295 to 62. Nigerians also voted on November 10, 2012, against the request for state governments to create local governments and fund them, by 276 to 78. They however voted for the proper recognition of local government as a third tier of government by 291 to 66 votes. They, however, rejected the allocation of funds to caretaker executives of local governments by 277 votes to 70; voted for defined tenure for local governments, chairmen/councillors in the constitution by 331 to 26 but rejected the request to transfer some items on the exclusive list to the concurrent list by 180 to 181 votes. Nigerians across constituencies voted against State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) by 261 votes to 95, but voted for the National Youth Service Corps, Land Use Act, Public Complaints Commission Act, National Security Agencies Act, to remain in the Constitution by 216 votes to 139. In his response to the presentation of the report, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, apologised for the delay in presenting the report. Tambuwa said: “I would like to start by, once again, on behalf of the House of Representatives extend our apology to all Nigerians for the obvious inconveniences caused by the sudden postponement of the earlier scheduled date for the submission of this report. “As the Deputy Speaker rightly noted in his welcome address, the postponement became inevitable in order to allow members who were yet to verify their reports in the compiled documents to do so. I am pleased to confirm that that has now been done and what we have today is the true representation of what transpired at the public session in the various constituencies.” He added: “I was glad to receive the report of that endeavour from the Ad Hoc Committee. Let me therefore express my sincere appreciation to all the honourable members of the House of Representatives for the successful conduct of the exercise and to the Ad Hoc Committee for diligently perusing, collating and producing the report before us. As a participant observer, I am not in any doubt that the exercise was challenging but ultimately fulfilling.” The Deputy Speaker, Ihedioha, was elated that “the views of all Nigerians on various issues outlined in the ongoing review of the constitution have been fully reflected in the report of the people’s public sessions presented to the House.” He stated that “results presented to a packed audience comprising members of the House and stakeholders from all walks of life represented the voice of the Nigerian people who have expressed their views on

L-R: Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Ihedioha; Speaker Tambuwal; House Leader, Mulikat Adeola Akande and Presidential Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Emordi during the presentation of the collated results of the public sessions on the constitution review in Abuja, yesterday.

THIS PROCESS MAY NOT BE PERFECT, BUT... IT IS THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY THAT

NIGERIANS AT THE GRASSROOTS HAVE

BEEN MADE PART OF THE CONSTITUTION REVIEW PROCESS what changes they would like to see in any amendment being made to the national legal grund norm – the Constitution of Nigeria.” In his address, Ihedioha said: “The reports from the people’s public sessions which held on November 10, 2012 throughout the country, have been painstakingly collated, verified and its integrity can be fully assured. “Deliberations at the country-wide sessions last year were free, robust, and participatory,” stressing that Nigerians living in the various constituencies in the remotest nooks and crannies of Nigeria spoke their minds without let or hindrance and that the ensuing report is devoid of any tinkering or manipulation. Ihedioha added: “This process may not be perfect, but I dare say, that it is the first time in the history of this country that Nigerians at the grassroots have been made part of the constitution review process in a practical and transparent manner.” The first draft of the report was abruptly postponed on Thursday January 31, 2013 for undisclosed reasons, raising fears that its content may have been doctored to favour state creation. The protesters from various civil society groups had questioned the sincerity of the exercise, accusing the committee of ulterior motives and the alteration of certain aspects of the report that had to do with an earlier proposal on states creation. According to the clerk of the committee,

Chinedu Akabueze, the cancellation of an early scheduled presentation, was because the committee wanted to “allow honourable members of the House more time to verify that the results reflected the voting in their various constituencies.” Key among items that may make it to the new constitution is a bill to grant the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAGF) financial autonomy. The piece of legislation scaled second reading in the House and was referred to the constitution amendment panel shortly before the lower House adjourned for Easter recess. The OAGF, at present, depends on allocations from the Budget Office in the Presidency. He also takes directives from the Ministry of Finance, as against the spirit of the position of the audit chief of the federation. The bill was sponsored by the Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, Adeola Solomon Olamilekan (ACN-Lagos) and several others. The bill was titled: “A Bill for an Act to Alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to place the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation on the first line charge of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.” While making a case for the piece of legislation, Olamilekan reminded his colleagues that the OAGF was rendered weak by the executive because of routine interferences in the job of the office. “The Office of the Auditor General of the Federation is nothing to write home about, because there is no proper funding for the office,” he said. The lawmaker regretted that while the National Assembly approved N2.1 billlion for the Auditor General’s office in 2012, the Budget Office in the Presidency reduced the budget to a meagre N892 million. Olamilekan appealed to his colleagues to support the passage of the bill to amend section 85 of 1999 Constitution to grant the office financial autonomy so as to make the audit of government offices more effective. The PAC chairman regretted that the Auditor General of the Federation was made to answer to queries and directives


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

of Nigerians count? from the Minister of Finance, when the reverse should be the case. “Mr. Speaker, you will be surprised to know that a whole Auditor General of this country can be summoned by the Minister of Finance and is forced to take directives from the minister, when the reverse should be the case,” he said. Issues however arose as to a part of the bill, which ties financial autonomy with the duty of auditing. Ifeoluwa Arowosoge (ACN-Ekiti) raised a constitutional order citing section 85 of the constitution. He said the section already empowers the OAGF, and there was therefore no need to bring another seeking to strengthen the office. But in his intervention, the Chairman, House Committee on Business and Rules, Albert SamTsokwa (PDP-Taraba), advised that the piece of legislation be referred to the ad hoc committee on constitution review for necessary amendments and inclusion in their report. The bill was passed after a short debate and referred to the constitution review committee. But later on, other issues bothering on the 1999 Constitution followed. While the Senate, which is yet to present its report, suspended its opinion poll on the autonomy of local councils in the Review of the 1999 Constitution, the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) cautioned both chambers of the National Assembly not to undermine the process through underhand dealings and unnecessary horse trading. National president of ALGON, Nwabueze Okafor, who reiterated his earlier warning in Abuja, said the key components of the vision 2020-20 and the SURE-P all require the local tier of government to play a role. He said for the local councils to effectively play this role, they require financial and administrative autonomy. Okafor said: “We wish to advise that in exercising our rights of freedom of autonomy, we should not lose sight of the need to place national interest above personal/group considerations. “This is because, if we must grow our country in the right order, namely from bottom to top, we should be mindful of the vital role of local governments and resist the temptation to undermine the current constitutional amendment exercise through endless arguments and postulations”. Okafor expressed worry that lately, some individuals and groups have become vocal in argu-

IF WE MUST GROW OUR COUNTRY IN THE RIGHT ORDER... WE

SHOULD BE MINDFUL OF THE VITAL ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO UNDERMINE THE CURRENT CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT EXERCISE THROUGH ENDLESS ARGUMENTS AND POSTULATIONS

Politics

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

ing that the local governments are not federating units, so they require no autonomy. According to him, “we concede to these groups their right to hold and propagate their views. However, the truth remains that in advanced democracies the world over, local governments are recognised as a separate tier of government with an increasing role to play in promoting grassroots democracy and socio economic growth.” He argued that the Nigerian constitution recognises local councils as the third tier of government with the right to participate in sharing both revenue and responsibilities, adding that section 3(6), 7, 162(3), (7) and (8) and 313 and fourth schedule to the 1999 Constitution as amended are clear on the issue. The ALGON chief insisted that as federating units, the local governments require the right level of administrative and financial autonomy to be able to discharge the weighty responsibilities and functions assigned to them by the constitution. He said: “It is therefore important to clarify the raging confusion and allay the fears of those who think that autonomy means that local governments are sovereign entities outside the realm of federal and state governments oversight. “It is very regrettable that some media utterances opposing the autonomy of local government councils are coming from respected stakeholders who essentially understand the importance of grassroots development and the levels of impoverishment being experienced as a result of make-shift arrangements of local government administration.” Besides the impressive vote of Nigerians on the issue of fiscal freedom for the local councils, they also intriguingly voted in favour of retention of the four-year renewable tenure for states and federal executives. But issues of constitution review are as tricky as any legislative work with an avalanche of interests. The exercise was botched on May 16, 2005 on the basis of tenure controversy. Again, the issue of fiscal autonomy for local councils and state assemblies, though desirable, may be a hard sell to state Houses and local governments with the governors having a firm grip on them. In 2010, efforts at amending the law to free state assemblies from the financial shackles of state governments failed. The local governments had surprisingly worked against the proposal from the National Assembly, after a painstaking and tedious process by the federal parliament. Though the method adopted by the House this time in amending the document is novel, democratic and more organic, it might end up defeated if certain items are pushed too hard. A big task also awaiting the House, is the effort to convert what Nigerians have voted for into bills. That would mean about 48 bills, including the ones that were not subjected to decision at the public sessions. The House and its Senate counterpart should also learn from 2010, and adopt a trick if necessary to have state Assemblies reason why they should collectively avoid the wrath of Nigerians and do their best to retain the thrust of their aspirations as reflected in the pattern of their voting. Already state governors like Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State have already fired expletives at the National Assembly for trying to meddle in states’ affairs with local governments. The House has returned the fire. But with a system sadly skewed in favour of federal and state executives, the House and its Senate counterpart would have to proceed with diplomacy and caution, if this exercise must succeed.

43

DRAFT HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PEOPLE’S PUBLIC SESSION TOTAL VOTE COUNT ITEM

YES

NO

UNDECIDED

TOTAL

105

1

360

1

Should Section 8 of the Constitution be amended to remove the ambigui- 254 ties in the process for creation of more States?

2*

How many more States should be created in Nigeria?

205

133

22

360

3

Should a State/States be created in order to bring parity to the number of states among the geo- political zones?

120

181

59

360

4

Should the 6 geo-political zones be recognised in the Constitution for administrative purposes only?

134

212

14

360

5

Should the 6 Geo-Political Zones be included in the Constitution as another tier of government?

27

330

3

360

6

Should indigeneship of an area be defined to include persons 188 who have resided in an area for a continuous long period, and therefore entitled to accruing rights, duties and privileges?

167

5

360

7

Should the aspects of the Constitution related to the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy in Chapter II which deal with political, economic, social, educational and cultural objectives be made justiciable or enforceable like the Fundamental Human Rights in Chapter IV?

279

78

3

360

8

Should Sections 81 and 121(1) of the Constitution be amended to require the President/Governor of a state to prepare and lay the annual budget before the National Assembly/State House of Assembly at least 3 months before the end of a financial year?

342

6

12

360

9

Should State Houses of Assembly be granted financial autonomy/independenceas is the case with the National Assembly?

324

26

10

360

10

Should Section 162(6) be amended to abolish ‘State Joint Local Government Account’ so that allocations due to the Local Government Councils would be paid to them directly?

295

62

3

360

11

Should the Constitution be amended so that the power to create local government areas now rest exclusively with the states, such that states assume responsibility for the funding of local governments?

78

276

6

360

12

Should the Local Government Councils be accorded the status of a third tier of government properly so called with its own Legislative List?

291

66

3

360

13

Should the Constitution be amended to deny revenue allocation to unelected local government councils?

277

70

13

360

14

Should there be a defined tenure for Local Government Chairmen/Councillors in the Constitution?

331

26

3

360

15*

“Should the Second Schedule, Part 1 be amended so that some of the items, including those listed below be moved from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List – (a) Fingerprints, identification and criminal records; (b) Insurance; (c) Labour, etc; (d) Prisons; (e) Public holidays; (f) Railways. (g) Bankruptcy and Insolvency (h) Registration of births and deaths”

170

181

9

360

16

Should Section 197(1) (b) be amended to abolish the State Independent Electoral Commission in order that all elections are conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission?

261

95

4

360

17*

Should Section 315(5) (a) and (d) be amended to remove the National Youth Service Corps Act, the Land Use Act, Public Complaints Commission Act,NationalSecurity Agencies Act, from the Constitution?

139

216

5

360

18

Should Section 308 be amended to make the immunity provision for the President, Vice President, Governor or Deputy Governor cover only civil proceedings while in office?

225

132

19

Should Section 214(1) be amended to enable the establishment of a State Police?

53

307

0

360

20

Should Nigeria have one police organisation which shall be constituted in such manner as to give State Governors control over the Commissioner of Police in their respective states?

237

70

360

21

Should Nigeria maintain the current Police structure and system as in the Constitution?

292

62

6

360

22

Should a provision be inserted in the Constitution for the rotation of the Office of President between the Northern and Southern parts of Nigeria?

80

275

5

360

23

Should a provision be inserted in the Constitution to make the Office of President rotate among the 6 Geo-Political Zones of the country?

147

210

3

360

24

Should the Office of President or Governor of a State be filled purely on merit, instead of zoning?

224

135

1

360

25*

“Should Sections 135 and 180(2) be amended to create a single tenure of (a) 5 years; (b) 6 years; (c) 7 years; for the Office of President and Governor respectively?”

110

245

5

360

26

Should the two-term tenure provision for the Office of President or Office of Governor be retained in the Constitution?

263

95

2

360

27

Should a provision be inserted in the Constitution to make the Office of Governor of a State rotate among the three Senatorial Districts in the State?

175

181

4

360

28

Should the Constitution be amended to allow for Independent Candidacy in elections?

292

66

2

360

29

Should the Constitution be further amended to address gender issues, including but not limited to reserving certain percentage of elective offices for women?

107

251

2

360

30

Should the Constitution be amended to lower the qualifying age for contesting various elective offices?

50

306

4

360

31

Should there be specific provision in the Constitution to take care of the interests of persons with disability?

311

46

3

360

32

Should Section 77(2) be amended to give Nigerians living outside the country (in the Diaspora)voting rights?

46

311

3

360

33

Should the country abolish the existing bi-cameral legislature and allow for only one chamber National Assembly?

47

307

6

360

34

Should the Constitution be amended to provide for a Parliamentary instead of the present Presidential System of Government?

29

326

5

360

35

Should Nigeria implement the practice of Federalism that allows States to control up to 50% of their resources and pay the remainder to the Federation?

123

236

1

360

36

Should the derivation component of Revenue allocation be increased to at least 20%?

125

224

11

360

37

Should a role be created for Traditional Rulers in the Constitution, such as theirhaving representation in the National Council of States at the national level and roles in the States and local governments?

202

155

3

360

38

Should the Constitution be further amended to address issues of electoral reform, including the time for conducting bye-elections, time limit for the determination of election petitions, etc?

259

93

8

360

39

Should the powers of the President or Governor to modify or amend exist- 218 ing laws under the transitional provisions of S.315(2) and the definition section related thereto be expunged, as such is currently exercised by the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly respectively?

134

8

360

40

Should the Constitutional provisions on the judiciary be amended to achieve reforms of judicial institutions and processes in order to ensure quicker dispensation of justice?

295

16

49

360

41

Should the Constitution be amended to separate the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation by the creation of the office of the Accountant General of the States?

277

27

42

Should the Constitution be amended to separate the office of the Attorney General of the Federation from the position of Minister of Justice of the Federation?

282

24

54

360

43

Should the Constitution be amended to enable the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission send Proposals for Revenue Allocation directly to the National Assembly in order to avoid undue delays in preparation of the Revenue Allocation Formula?

257

46

57

360

*See addendum for more explanations

53

3

56

360

360


44

Politics

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Why we’re repositioning Bauchi –Yuguda

CONTINUED FROM PAGE15 country then. And so the airline started, but what happened? Because we used the routes as assets and had to give protection to the investor by saying: ‘You have exclusivity of the routes for seven years, thereafter it is open for competition, if any Nigerian airline wants to compete on those routes, we can designate it, but before then, the investor had to recoup his investment.’ This was in 2004, by now we would have had 75 aircraft on the airline’s fleet going by the projection and timeline which if virgin had failed to meet would have led to the cancellation of the concession agreement. As the Aviation minister then, I had the powers to allocate terminals to airlines and do you know why I allocated a terminal to Virgin Nigeria at the International Airport? It was for two reasons; first was that we wanted to establish a hub just like you have at Heathrow, Frankfurt and Dubai. I also designated the domestic airlines to fly to Cameroon, Chad, Senegal and Ghana. Virgin Nigeria also had these routes. It also made sense because of the level of our capacity in luggage handling. We don’t have the technology that will handle luggage as quickly as possible from the local airport to the international airport. But after the exit of the Obasanjo government and late President Umaru Yar’Adua came in, all the international agreements that we signed were aborted. They woke up one morning and shattered all the partitions in the terminal building of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport. All the investments were broken down and Branson said he will never come to Nigeria again. In fact, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told me that they used to talk every week but now, he (Branson) doesn’t pick her calls and anywhere he goes, he says that Nigeria is the worst place to do business. For the mere fact of agreeing to do business in Nigeria, we should have given him the land free because of the multiplier effect in terms of job creation. I am telling this story because I feel very hurt that the Federal Government reversed its own policy and that at a point, those in government were even accusing me of taking a bad decision. In any case, they forgot that in management, it is even better to take a bad decision than not taking one at all, but that was the best decision for Nigeria. Turning around Nigeria Airways at that time was possible for me, but I needed taxpayers’ money to invest and turn round the fortunes of the airline. From the assessment of the history of the airline, it has had so many woes, even the name Nigeria Airways, given the kind of services it was rendering, wasn’t a good product but Nigerians wanted Nigeria Airways, as nations are proud to advertise their presence on the globe with their flag carriers. Back to Virgin Nigeria, it was when they drove Branson out that they brought in Arik. It was very funny to me because there is enough space at the international airport, so why do you have to destroy everything that was put in place by Virgin Nigeria. Aviation is key and critical to development, so we must get it right. So, is this what is driving you to build an international airport in Bauchi? We want to earn foreign exchange for Nigeria. Bauchi State is also an agricultur-

Yuguda

al state; we have the potential of agro-allied industries – small, medium and large scale. Even the shoe industry is enough market for airlines in Bauchi; we have the largest stock of cattle, goats and sheep for now and this is the leather that is used in Europe and other parts of the world in shoe-making. The Bauchi Airport was approved for construction in 1979 but past governments didn’t thought about building it. The last time that a minister visited the place was during Dr. Kema Chikwe’s time as the Minister of Aviation, and then I was in the Ministry of Transport. She took the pain of going there and walking round the bush to see the site. The airport in use now is 2.2 kilometres, so it is just about 2,200 metres and it was constructed in the late 50’s by Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa when he was the Minister of Transport. When I was the Aviation minister, I wrote to the then President, Obasanjo that the airport which is a federal project has been abandoned. I said that if he is talking about tourism being a major foreign exchange earner for Nigeria, it will even exceed oil because there are so many countries whose tourism earnings are up to $100 billion dollars annually and that if Nigeria is to become a tourist destination, no one will count Nigeria without going to Bauchi because it hosts the largest games reserve in Africa. It is 98 by 95 miles. Also, inside that Yankari is a treasure. That is where Shell discovered oil. They sank a well and got 30 billion cubic feet of gas. Also in that place, there is an established deposit of iron ore that is richer than the one we have in Itakpe – about 27 by 27 kilometres, all is iron ore – but the Federal Government is being silent over these. So, you have the eco-tourism and the holiday resort there. By the grace of God and all things being equal, we are opening the airport in June. It has a 3.5 kilometres runway, longer than Lagos which is 3.4 kilometres. The longest

WE WANT TO EARN FOREIGN EXCHANGE

FOR NIGERIA. BAUCHI

STATE IS ALSO AN AGRICULTURAL

STATE; WE HAVE THE

POTENTIAL OF AGRO-

ALLIED INDUSTRIES – SMALL, MEDIUM AND LARGE SCALE runway that we have in Nigeria is at the Ilorin Airport, which is four kilometres and it is alternate to Lagos. Harold Demuren came to see what we were doing here before his exit from the NCAA. He said immediately the airport is completed; he was going to make it an alternate to Abuja because of the quality of job that is going on there and secondly, because of the navigational aids that we have installed. We acquired them from the firm that did the total radar coverage of Nigeria. The airport is about N8 billion, but you would be surprised to learn that some of the terminal buildings of other airports in the country cost up to N18 billion. We went for the quality and ensured that we got the best in terms of cost without compromising international best practices. So, by the grace of God, anyone who wants to come to Yankari by June from China for example, will just key in because the airport is an international one - the fifth in the country and with all registrations at ICAO. What is the security situation in Bauchi and how do you intend to ensure that the rising insurgency in the North does not affect the tourism sector that you are building?

I am assuring you that Bauchi is the most secured state in Nigeria and that has been attested to by the American ambassador who came to Bauchi in January this year. It couldn’t have been a political or diplomatic statement because he said it based on the facts available to him. The German ambassador also attested to that after spending a night at Yankari with a team from Siemens. So, I am worried when I read about insecurity and mayhem in Bauchi in Nigerian newspapers. I ask why we had to bad-mouth our own country because the world is now a global village. If Nigerian papers decide to make Nigeria a secured place, they can do it. I can tell you that the crimes committed in one city of one of these developed countries forced the nation way back in 2003 to have a budget in the region of $30 billion for security only. And from statistics, the crimes committed in that city in one day are more than all the killings and loss of lives in one year in Nigeria. Every minute, a woman is raped; every minute, somebody is shot and yet people travel to that country. Nigeria is a safe place for investors. There are crises all over the world though we are not justifying our own, but I don’t see any reason why anyone would think that there is religious crisis in the country. If you read the Bible and the Quaran, there is nowhere that it was said that you should go and kill in the name of God. Jesus said if you are slapped on one side, give the other side. So, what is the justification for killing others as a Christian? In Islam, you cannot be a Muslim without believing in Jesus Christ because He is Isa, the son of Mariam in the Quaran. You must also believe in His mother and the way He was given birth to through the Holy Spirit and you must also believe in the Bible even though there are minor variations, especially that which relates to crucifixion and the Holy Trinity. So, tell me what justification a Muslim has to create enmity between him and a Christian when he has to believe in the Bible before he becomes a complete Muslim. If you look at the trend in Nigeria, Islam came to Western Nigeria - Lagos before it came to the Sokoto Caliphate. It is only the El-Kanemi Borno Empire that has a history of 1,200 years of Islam. Lagos has a history of 1,300 years of Islam because it came through the sea. Uthman dan Fodio’s Empire is just 215 years, from 1804 to date. Any country where there is injustice perpetrated by the leadership, that country will certainly suffer setbacks. The Quaran says that there is no compulsion in religion. We are sharing this knowledge because I am worried as a governor. The first Sharia court in Nigeria was established in Iwo, Osun State. The Yorubas first had Islam before the Fulanis formed the Sokoto Caliphate. It was after the death of Sultan Shehu Uthman dan Fodio that emirates were formed because he never created any and the emirs became despots. That was why it was easier for Lord Lugard to conquer them because there was injustice. If you look at the trend today, do you have religious riots in the South-West? You don’t; you see a church and mosque close to each other. That is how it is supposed to be; then, why should we have religious crisis in the North?


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

45

World News

Boston bombing suspect charged

46

“Treason charges will not be filed against former military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, but will leave the decision on that to the winner of the upcoming election.” - Pakistani Government

IMF warns Ghana over increasing debt PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

G

hana’s ballooning wage bill, if untamed, will increase the country’s debt to levels that pose a risk to its transformation agenda, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned in its recent country report. The West African country’s wage bill rose by 47 percent last year following the implementation of a new pay policy for public sector workers that saw some salaries being doubled. IMF has instead called for an audit of the 2012 payroll, observing that wage payments under the new pay policy, the Single Spine Salary Structure, were twice the level included in the supplementary budget of 2012. The IMF warning comes at a time when trade unions are lobbying for better conditions and market-related incomes. The mission noted that a growing public sector wage bill, costly energy subsidies, and high interest rates pushed

A

film installation celebrating the words of Nelson Mandela, the former South African president, is taking over many of the electronic billboards of New York’s Times Square for a few minutes every night for the month of April. The short film was commissioned by the Tribeca Film Institute, an arts organization cofounded by actor Robert De Niro. It is being played shortly before midnight across many of Times Square’s glowing screens for the rest of the month. “We’re in the crossroads of the world, it’s all about the glitz and the glamour, and all of a sudden you’re seeing this man to remind us of our humanity,” Ndaba Mandela, a 30-year-old grandson of the anti-apartheid leader, said at a special screening of the film on Friday night. De Niro also attended the event at a Times Square hotel and posed for pictures with Ndaba and Kweku Mandela, another grandson, but did not make any remarks. The two grandsons worked with filmmakers Nabil Elderkin, Andrew van der Westhuyzen and Gregory Stern to choose inspiring quotes from Nelson Mandela’s

Ghanaian President, John Mahama

Ghana’s fiscal deficit to about 12 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) last year. Recently doctors, teachers, lecturers and pharmacists were on strike demanding better incomes, but experts warn that this could throw the country into economic

turmoil. To help deal with the rising wage bill, the IMF recommended an additional fiscal adjustment of three percent of GDP by 2015, using a combination of revenue and expenditure measures. This, they say will lessen the public debt burden and raise of-

Mandela’s words take over Times Square’s billboards speeches to honor his 95th birthday in July. Mandela spent 27 years on Robben Island and in other jails as a result of his struggle to end apartheid in South Africa before becoming the country’s first black president in 1994. His words have been animated to dance across screens that normally advertise clothing, movies and corporations. About a dozen electronic billboards, including one on Thomson Reuters’ Times Square building, are participating, organizers said.

Mandela

Mandela, who stepped down from office in 1999, has had health problems recently and spent more than a week in the hospital with pneumonia this month. “He’s doing much better,” Ndaba Mandela, who said he lived with his grandfather in Johannesburg, said in an interview. “I would say he is about 80 percent.” He added that his grandfather had offered his approval upon learning that his words would be projected in Times Square. “If he doesn’t support something, he’ll let you know,” Mandela said.

ficial reserves towards the authorities’ target of more than four months of import cover, up from 2.8 months currently. IMF said the target was consistent with the mission’s own analysis of optimal reserves, which suggested that a cover of 4.2 months of imports would provide a reasonable cushion against plausible shocks. “The mission shared the Bank of Ghana’s views on keeping a tight monetary policy stance for the time being,” the country report said. Ghana has experienced a surge in inflation, which is expected to continue rising due to increased government borrowing. To further ensure strong monetary regime with effective policy rate within the inflationtargeting framework, the IMF recommended narrowing the gap with current market rates. “Successful fiscal consolidation will allow an easing of interest rates in due course, provided inflation expectations decline to levels consistent with the achievement of the target,” the report says.

Stakeholders urge quick implementation of African development programme

S

takeholders including Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the African Union, NEPAD, development partners and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have ended a threeday meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa calling for accelerated implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). The stakeholder workshop jointly organized by the African Union (AU) and the WEF on the implementation of PIDA and private sector funding of infrastructure in Africa, called for the buy-in of RECs such as ECOWAS in order to build a consensus with them and their member states on the proposed “methodology for the selection of the PIDA pilot projects, to be accelerated through the application of private sector business principles.”

WORLD BULLETIN

Egypt probes prosecutor who ordered drunk flogged An Egyptian prosecutor who cited the Quran as he ordered police to flog a man with 80 lashes for public drunkenness has been suspended and put under investigation, the prosecutorgeneral’s office said. Spokesman Mahmoud elHefnawi said late Sunday that the country’s top prosecutor had ordered Hussein Anani’s decision cancelled and a judicial inquiry launched. The order by Anani comes amid growing fears by some in Egypt that Islamists, emboldened by election wins, are seeking to slowly enshrine a religious system based on conservative interpretations of Islamic law. President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood group has emerged as the most powerful political force in Egypt since the uprising that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak two years ago. As is the case in most countries, public intoxication has long been a criminal offense in Egypt. Penalties range from small fines to around three months in prison. Egypt’s penal code does not mention flogging, however. Years ago police had the right to lash disobedient prisoners, but even that has been banned. Additionally, the sale and consumption of alcohol in Egypt is legal, and local beer is a common feature of street weddings in popular quarters. The man who escaped the lashing, Mohammed Eid Hassan from the province of Minya, said he was arrested for public intoxication after attending a friend’s wedding where beer was served.

Libyan officers want military chief dismissed Libyan military officers are demanding the dismissal of the army chief of staff, pledging to go on strike if he is not replaced. Hundreds of officers met late Sunday in the eastern Libyan city of Brega. They gave Libya’s government 10 days to comply with their demands, threatening to walk away from their posts. The officers charge that the army chief, Maj. Gen. Youssef al-Mangoush, is guilty of corruption, poor management and hiring commanders from the deposed regime of Moammar Gadhafi. They also demand the dismissal of those commanders, as well as trial of officers involved in killing rebels who fought against Gadhafi in Libya’s 2011 civil war. This was the first time army officers took part in rallies against alMangoush. The protests have been going on for a month.


46

World News

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

500 persons feared dead in Damascus suburb –Activists

WORLD BULLETIN

Canada foils al-Qaeda inspired terror attack on train Canada’s authorities say they have arrested and charged two people with conspiring to carry out an “al-Qaeda inspired” attack on a passenger train. At a news conference, the authorities said the suspects Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, and Raed Jaser, 35, were arrested in Montreal and Toronto yesterday. The attacked was allegedly planned on a VIA passenger train in the greater Toronto area. It was not clear when. The two men will now appear in court on Tuesday for a bail hearing. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said the surveillance operation leading to the arrests of the two suspects was “a result of extensive collaborative efforts”. They said the two men were not Canadian citizens and were supported by “al-Qaeda elements in Iran” without providing further details. At the same time, the RCMP said they believed the alleged plan to attack was in the planning stage and “there was no imminent threat to the general public”.

Gunmen kill 6 in southwest Russia Authorities say a man opened fire while attempting to rob a gun store in a south-western Russian town, killing at least six people before fleeing. Officials said Monday that the man, Sergei Pomyazun, opened fire in the store, killing four employees. Pomyazun then started shooting on the street outside, killing a 14-year-old girl, before escaping in a car. A second girl, 16, later died in the hospital. Police locked down the entire neighbourhood as they searched for the man, whom they say has four prior criminal convictions and is in possession of several guns. Belgorod’s provincial governor declared a state of emergency, while its mayor announced two days of mourning.

Italian President Napolitano scolds politicians Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano has chided the politicians who re-elected him, saying he only agreed to it because of a deep political crisis. He accused them of an “unforgivable” failure to enact reforms. Napolitano, 87, was speaking as he became the first Italian president to be sworn in for a second term, after parties failed to find a replacement. Italy still has no government, eight weeks after an exceptionally tight election resulted in a hung parliament. President Napolitano said that deadlock must not continue, urging political parties to reach a deal on a new government “without delay”. At times his voice cracked with emotion as he delivered his impassioned speech, says the BBC’s Alan Johnston in Rome.

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Police vehicles are seen outside the hospital where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is undergoing treatment.

Photo: Getty Images

Boston bombing suspect charged

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he surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was charged in his hospital bed, US media reported yesterday. The complaint against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sealed, so details of the charges are not known, local channel WCVB said. A White House spokesman has said Mr Tsarnaev will not be treated as an “enemy combatant”, as suggested by some Republican members of Congress. The twin bomb attack near the finishing line of the marathon killed three people, and injured more than 180. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was captured on Friday evening after a huge manhunt during which his elder brother and suspected fellow bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died. He has been unable to speak because of a throat wound, though he has reportedly responded to questions in writing. If he faces a federal charge of using a weapon of mass destruction to kill people, he could face the death penalty. In addition to federal charges, prosecutors for the state of Massachusetts, which does not have the death penalty, could file their

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own. “We will prosecute this terrorist through our civilian system of justice,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. Investigators are seeking, among things, to determine whether the two suspects acted alone. Boston’s police commissioner and mayor have both said they believed the brothers were on their own. “I am confident that they were the two major actors in the violence that occurred,” Davis told CNN on Sunday. Davis also said investigators have discovered at least four undetonated devices, one of them similar to the two pressure cooker bombs set off at the Boston Marathon, and that he believed the suspects were planning additional attacks. Still, much of investigators’ attention has focused on a trip to Russia last year by Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The brothers emigrated to the United States a decade ago from Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim region in Russia’s Caucasus. They are accused of planting and setting off two homemade bombs near the crowded finish

line of the Boston Marathon last Monday, killing three people and injuring more than 170 others. Carmen Ortiz, US attorney and the federal prosecutor for the Boston area, was preparing criminal charges against the younger Tsarnaev, a naturalised US citizen, according to Davis. It was not clear when charges would be filed, but it was expected early yesterday. Tamerlan Tsarnaev travelled to Moscow in January 2012 and spent six months in Dagestan, a law enforcement source said. Neighbours in Makhachkala, the region’s capital city, said he kept a low profile while visiting there last summer, helping his father renovate an apartment unit. That trip, combined with Russian interest in Tamerlan communicated to US authorities and an FBI interview of him in 2011, have raised questions whether danger signals were missed. A group leading the armed struggle against Russia said on Sunday it was not at war with the United States, distancing itself from the Boston bombings. The conflict is rooted in two separatist wars that Russian troops waged against Chechen separatists following the fall of the Soviet Union.

t least 109 people have been documented as killed and up to 400 more are likely to have died in an almost week-long offensive by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, activists said. The activists said the attack was carried was carried out on a rebellious Damascus suburb. If the accounts are confirmed, the killings in the mainly Sunni Muslim suburb of Jdeidet al-Fadel would amount to one of bloodiest episodes of the two-year-old uprising against Assad. Many of the dead were civilians, the activists said. A statement by the Syrian National Coalition umbrella opposition group, issued from Istanbul, said death toll ``continues to rise and has reached the hundreds’’ and described the killings as a ``horrifying civilian massacre’’. “The deafening silence of the international community over these crimes against humanity is shameful, and has become routine for the victims and their families,” the statement said. “Syrians no longer expect an answer to our pleas for help or a chivalrous intervention from our brothers and neighbours. We no longer expect to be supported with the necessary arms to empower the Free Syrian Army to defend our people.” Syrian state media gave no death toll but confirmed the army had been fighting in Jdeidet al-Fadel. It said it had saved the town from what it described as criminal terrorist groups, killing and wounding an undisclosed number of them.

Fresh crisis in China’s quake-hit province

id and rescue teams have battled landslides and more than 2,000 aftershocks in an effort to find survivors and get basic needs into remote areas of China’s earthquake-ravaged Sichuan province. Clogged roads and debris impeded rescuers yesterday as they travelled often on foot in the mountainous southwest region after a 6.6-magnitude quake left at least 188 dead. Saturday’s earthquake left many people missing and more than 11,000 injured, according to state media. Local authorities said around 17,000 families had lost their homes. Some people on the outskirts

A man squatting near the collapsed remains of a building destroyed by Saturday’s earthquake in Lushan. Photo: AP

of the disaster zone complained they felt that the government had forgotten them as they were left without basic supplies, as huge boulders have blocked rescue vehicles along roads leading to some

of the worst-hit areas in rough terrain. Pia MacRae, Country Director for Save the Children in China, told Al Jazeera that aftershocks and mudslides had caused huge

problems for aid workers for the international children’s charity in trying to reach remote areas. MacRae said that Save the Children teams, many of whom responded to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake disaster, and government troops had managed to bring in supplies on foot to some remote areas by Sunday night. She said the government’s first response to the disaster had been strong, but aid workers had seen gaps in what was normally provided quickly because of the difficulty of accessing the areas. “We’re finding in the communities that there are shortages of water, there’s shortages of food, tents, plastic sheeting,” MacRae told Al Jazeera.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Community Mirror Family petitions IGP over police harassment

“Some politicians and privileged individuals are exploiting the condition of the unemployed youths to expose to them to crime ”

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ANAMBRA STATE GOVERNOR; MR. PETER OBI

Driver kills man while escaping from police FRANCIS SUBERU

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here was confusion at Haruna Area of Ikorodu, Lagos when police officers attached to Owutu Police Division and a yet to be identified bus driver killed a pedestrian, identified as ‘Baba Peace’. The unfortunate incident took place when the police officers on routine patrol chased a commercial bus driver who was suspected to have committed a traffic offence. Eyewitness account said the

bus driver was chased from Agric bus stop and was speeding to Ikorodu town uncontrollably, as the police, in pick-up van, pursued him. The deceased, at the time, was standing by the roadside trying to board a bus for work,even as the fleeing driver knocked him down, killing him on the spot. His wife who had escorted him to the bus stop could not hold back tears. Sensing trouble, the police officers who were chasing the errant driver fled into into Wa-

hab Avenue before escaping into Marwa Estate. But, youths in the area and some commercial motorcyclists gave hot chase, even as the police shot into the air to scare them. On getting to the estate, they ran into an apartment, as they told the house owner that they were pursuing robbers and had implored he help put a call to their Divisional Police Officer at Owutu who immediately ordered for reinforcement. However, before the reinforcement arrived, one of the

police officers who had another cloth inside their patrol van changed to mufti and attempted coming out through the gate. Luck however, ran out of him as he was trying to leave, but was immediately identified by the angry mob outside. He was later rescued by the police reinforcement sent by the DPO. Meanwhile, the body of the deceased, has been taken away by police personnel from Owutu Police Division, and officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority LASTMA.

In another development, a bus driver fleeing from LASTMA officials for driving on BRT lane knocked down two pedestrians at Ketu bus stop, Lagos,even as he escaped arrest. The pedestrians, a male and a female sustained severe injuries and were taken to a nearby hospital. When contacted, the Deputy Public Relations Officer of the state Police Command, Mr. Damasus Ozoani could not be reached as several calls to his cell phone went unanswered.

Jang urges participation in immunisation JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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Lifeless body of ‘Baba Peace’ on the highway

Pastor escapes as hoodlums invade church HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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here was pandemonium in Akure, Ondo State capital as a pastor escaped being lynched following the death of a two-year-old boy in the church premises. The timely intervention of mobile policemen saved him from being manhandled by an angry mob that wanted to avenge the boy’s death. It was gathered that twoyear-old Feranmi Oladeji last Sunday fell into the church’s

soak-away and died instantly. According to an eye witness, trouble started at the Christ Apostolic Church, Oke Ihinrere in Aiyedun Area of Akure metropolis, when hoodlums, numbering about 20 said to have been hired by the deceased’s father, Mr. Oyinbo Oladeji, invaded the church premises. Mr. Oladeji, who is a vulcanizer was not at the church service, though it was gathered that the deceased was christened there and recently celebrated his second birthday penultimate Sunday.

It was gathered that while the service was on, the deceased, who was seen playing near the soak-away fell inside, even as his mates did not immediately inform his mother. When eventually the mother started looking for Feranmi, she was told by his playmates that he fell inside the soak-away, and when the body was pulled out he was already dead. However, news of the ugly incident got to the father who reportedly stormed the church with hoodlums and

disrupted the service, as they damaged the buildings and properties, including musical instruments, chairs and tables, among others. It was only the timely intervention of the police following a distress call that saved the pastor and other worshippers. Speaking on the incident, grandfather of the deceased, Mr Adebanji said Feranmi was his only grandchild, even as he demanded that the pastor pay for the casket. He also demanded a N30, 000 and live goat as reparation.

ife of Plateau State Governor,Ngo Talatu Jang has called on people of the state to ensure that they participate massively in this year’s immunization programme. Mrs. Jang who spoke at the inauguration campaign in Jos said, the call became necessary in view of importance of immunization to adults and children. Her words “As a mother, grand-mother and indeed mother of the state, the importance of immunization cannot be over-emphasised, as it is aimed at creating awareness among policy makers, communities, mothers and indeed humanity on the need to support and actively participate in ensuring its success at all levels.” She appealed to the vaccinating officers to ensure that the programme reaches people at the grassroots, for the benefit of entire state, irrespective of difficult geographical terrain. Mrs. Jang added that the programme was in fulfilling one of the MDGs targets of reducing mortality rate among children between the ages of five and below before 2015. Also speaking, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Fom Dakwak said the immunisation targets no fewer than 22 million children across the country who are yet to be immunised of measles, BCG, yellow fever and other child killer diseases. The commissioner who was represented by the permanent secretary, Elias Pede lamented the high rate of unimmunised children in the state and encouraged them to take advantage of the programme to bridge the gap


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Community Mirror

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Family petitions IGP over police harassment FRANCIS SUBERU

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he Idomesan family of Odugbe Village in Igbesa Area, Ado - Odo \Ota Local Government of Ogun State has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Abubakar over police harassment and threats to their lives. The family accused the police of supporting their rival follow-

ing an incident at Odugbe Village when their agent, Alhaji M. Owoeye was working on a land awarded to them by an Ogun State High Court. They also asked the IGP to order an investigation into the constant threat and attacks as well as using armed thugs to molest them. They claimed the action of the police and those they are backing is a flagrant disobedience to a High Court judgment delivered by Justice O. A Ajibola

on February 17, 1989. The petition written by the family lawyer, W. A Sobayo, expressed surprise at the incident, despite a valid court judgment on a disputed land in the village,even as the Idomesan family attached a 23 page judgment delivered on suit No HCL\29 \83. Citing part of the judgment, the family stated that Justice Ajibola had awarded the certificate customary right of oc-

cupancy to the Idomesan family, who were the plaintiff in the suit and that the position and judgment of the court “only give possession of the villages and not to be exceeded to the defendant “who are their tormentor. Members of the family also claimed that a survey plan, drawn by Ademola Ashipa, a licensed surveyor, which served as exhibit A in the documents, clearly marked out the portion of the land; they got the custom-

ary right of occupancy on. The family in the petition said that “these hoodlums have at times without number jointly and openly attacked our client with fire arms and allied dangerous weapons without provocation at various parts of Igbesa Town, Ado Odo Ota LGA. Investigation revealed that the Inspector General of Police monitoring team has since begun investigations into the incident.

Police, traditional rulers meet over abductions

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On-going rehabilitation work on Olusegun Obasanjo Way in Abuja.

PHOTO: NAN

Trader slumps at hearing of N3.8bn suit Osun to pay N240m to vulnerable elders FRANCIS SUBERU WITH AGENCY REPORT

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suit filed by the Akannimodo International Market Association against the Lagos State Government, was on Monday disrupted as one of the members, Mr. Daramola Adesanya, slumped in court. It was gathered that Adesanya, a septuagenarian, collapsed at the hearing of the suit before Justice Opeyemi Oke of an Ikeja High Court. The development disrupted the proceedings and the court adjourned hearing of the matter till May 6. Adesanya was later was rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, for treatment. Prior to the incident, counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr Tunji Ayanlaja, informed the court that he had filed an application of interlocutory injunction. Ayanlaja, further asked the

court for an interim injunction to restrain the government from carrying out any construction on the land in dispute. Counsel to Lagos State Government, Mr Akinjide Bakare, asked the court for an extension of time to respond to the interlocutory application. In her ruling, the judge ordered both parties to maintain the status quo. Oke said:”I have carefully considered the applications of both parties, as they should maintain the status quo pending the hearing of the Motion of Interlocutory Injunction.” The traders, represented by their leaders, Alhaji Adekunle Agbalajobi and Mr Ademola Oyekanmi had sued the government over the alleged forceful demolition of the market situated at Kosofe Local Government Area. They had asked the court to order the government to pay them the sum of N3.8 billion as compensation for the destruction of their goods following demolition of the market.

ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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he Osun State Government said it has set aside N240million as allowance to vulnerable elders to alleviate their suffering. The Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Special Needs, Barrister Stephen Kola-Balogun, who made this known, added that N80million has been paid to the beneficiaries with each receiving monthly stipend of N10, 000. The commissioner who further stated that the government has taken over management of the Prime Football Club,Osogbo, said this was done following the rising profile of the club. “Aside this, Governor Rauf Aregbesola has approved the composition of a nine -man management team headed by Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi ,while an undisclosed amount has been approved for manage-

ment team of the club.” The government is also proposing to organise the Osun Chapter of Special Olympics for physically challenged persons and the governor has also approved money for the project.” Also,the second batch of 20,000 youths for the State Youth Empowerment Scheme, OYES, has undertaken a threeweek training programme and will be deployed to various primary assignments”. He stressed also that more than 4,000 cadets have been engaged in specialised areas of agriculture, 610 cadets in O’REAP for training in modern agriculture procedure, 2,100 under OYES-TECH public private partnership to manufacture mobile phones, 74 cadets in Leventist Foundation for training, 182 trained as paramedics, five in Cuba for leadership training, 1,501 qualified teachers recruited by SUBEB among others.

he Divisional Police Officer in the Ngwa Police Division, Mr Chris Kpatuma, has held a meeting with traditional rulers in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State following the renewed wave of kidnapping in the area. Speaking on ways to reduce the crime, Kpatuma decried the rising wave of kidnapping, saying the development was attracting very negative image to Aba and Abia. He expressed displeasure over the recent abduction of one Miss Uchechi Nora Mectel, a Briton at Umunkiri Community in Obingwa, saying the police had intensified efforts to rescue her. “We are not happy over the abduction of this lady. We are working with other sister agencies to ensure she was not only rescued but also that her abductors are arrested”. Kpatuma appealed to traditional rulers to sensitise their subjects on the need to volunteer useful information that would help to rid the area of undesirable elements. “I appeal to our royal fathers to sensitise their subjects on the need to give useful information that will assist the police in the arrest of kidnappers, in the area,’’ he said.

Fire victims get N0.8m in Katsina JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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total of 28 victims affected by recent fire disasters in Mashi Council Area of Katsina State have been given N800, 000 as assistance money. The local government council authorities gave the money to victims from Zangana, Hamis and Nakaya villages in Baure wards. Other victims were from Mashi, Karau, Gallu and Doguru wards. Speaking at the occasion, the transition chairman, Hamisu Abdullahi said the assistance was part of the council to consider losses incurred by fire victims. Abdullahi said, apart for local assistance, both the state and federal governments were looking at possibility of extending same also.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

25 Kogi poly students held over lecturer’s murder WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

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o fewer than 25 students of Kogi State Polytechnic in Lokoja have been arrested in connection with the murder of a lecturer, Mr. Anthony Abimaje. Abimaje was reported killed last weekend by

some unknown persons. The polytechnic’s Rector, Prof. Mathew Idowu Ajibero, told journalists in his office yesterday that the clash that led to the killing was not cult-related as speculated in some quarters. He explained that fight ensued between some Igala and Ebira girls in the

school premises and students regrouped at about 11: pm on Friday night to engage one another in open confrontation. Ajibero said as the late lecturer was attempting to pacify the warring students, he was stabbed in the neck in the process. The rector said that the lecturer was rushed to an

undisclosed hospital where he died. Following the death of the lecturer, the academic board of the institution ordered the closure of the school with immediate effect. The two girls who caused the mayhem have been handed over to the police for investigation.

Former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri (third right), after being decorated in Tiv costume by the paramount ruler of Ushongu, HRH Ambrose Iortyer, the Ter Ushongo (2nd right) at a thanksgiving service in her honour in Uga-Mbakuha, Benue State, at the weekend.

NDLEA arrests fake police superintendent with 108kg drug would serve as deterrent to others, the suspect pleaded for mercy and commended the NDLEA for its efforts in tackling illicit drug business. The NDLEA boss, however, said the agency had seized 194.232kgs of suspected drug from 56 suspects in the first quarter of the year. According to him, the agency arrested one Mohammed Mai Anguwa, 41, with 9kgs of cannabis sativa at Dako village in Misau Local Government Area of the state. It also arrested one

Turaki Mustapha, who is a dealer in the substance for years, in Misau. The NDLEA coordinator said: “The agency will remain resolute in the fight against drug abuse and trafficking considering its implication to human health.” He warned drug traffickers to shun the illicit business, stressing that the agency would not relent in its effort to arrest and prosecute perpetrators of the criminal activity. The agency boss urged stakeholders to support NDLEA to ensure drug-free society.

he National Drugs Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a fake police superintendent with a substance suspected to be cannabis sativa in Bauchi State. The value of the 108kg substance, according to NDLEA, is N90, 000. The agency’s Co-ordinator, Mr. Parah Julius Bawa, stated this while parading the suspect in Bauchi. He said the suspect, Augustine Odogu, 45, con-

cealed the substance inside the boot of his vehicle with Lagos registration number MUS 937 after beating security men from Delta to Bauchi states. Bawa said the suspect hailed from Delta State, adding that the investigation revealed that he was dismissed in 1993 as police sergeant. The suspect, who claimed that he was studying Criminology in one of the nation’s universities, however, regretted his involvement in the drug trafficking business. Claiming that his arrest

PRISCILLA DENNIS

Governor makes case for infrastructure development

EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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MINNA

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overnor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has called on government at all levels to prioritise development of infrastructure, especially roads for safety and for boosting economic activities. Aliyu made the call at the 38th National Conference of Directors of Electrical/Mechanical Engineering Departments in

Ministries of Works held in Minna. The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Hon. Ahmed Musa Ibeto, said: “We must strive and work assiduously to join the league of nations that have been able to transform their economy through development of infrastructure.” He also urged participants at the conference to adopt international best practice in the execution of

their jobs to enhance their expertise. Earlier, Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Oziegbe Onolemenmen, stressed the need to improve the engineering infrastructure on the Nigerian roads, saying road infrastructure is very vital for economic growth. The minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Abubakar, explained that the nation has a road net

work of 194,200 km with the federal government having 17.6% (34,120km), state, 15.7% (30,500km) and local government, 66.7% (129,580km). He, however, observed that the nations’ federal roads net work carries 70% of freight and services which is responsible for 90% of the socio-economic activities, hence the need to improve on the engineering infrastructure on them.

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Rep urges FG to include insurgents in amnesty committee INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Amuna Khadi, has urged the Federal Government to reconstitute the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North to include some insurgents. Khadi urged the Federal Government to include more people from Borno State and the North-East in the committee. The North-East is worst hit by terrorist attack recently. The lawmaker said: It is necessary to dominate the committee with people from Borno State or North-East other than people from other regions of the country.” The lawmaker spoke to journalists in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. Khadi said that the inclusion of one or two members of the Boko Haram sect in the committee would not only enhance the proposed amnesty for the insurgents, but would go a long way in giving them a sense of belonging and bring their activities to an immediate end. The lawmaker, however, said some members of the amnesty committee would not have rejected to participate if the Federal Government had taken the right step. She said: “The members of the committee would not have rejected to serve if they had been consulted by the

Federal Government before going on air. “People like Shehu Sani and Dr. Datti Ahmed would not have turned down the offer to serve as members of the committee if they had been consulted. I think the Federal Government should show more sincerity in the amnesty deal so that it can be fully accepted by the insurgents.” Khadi, however, promised to assist in whatever capacity to ensure the return of peace to Borno and other parts of the country. She said: “All federal legislators from Borno State, irrespective of political affiliations, have been working round the clock to bring back peace to our state.” Khadi, who represents Jere Federal Constituency, supported Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima on the new initiative aimed at restoring peace to the state confronted with security challenges. She said: “All Nigerians, irrespective of political, tribal or religious differences must come together with necessary ideas to solve the security challenges confronting the country, especially the North, adding: “Efforts by Governor Kashim Shetttima to return peace to the troubled Borno State is not only commendable, but a right step in the right direction. “ I think we should support anyone who is committed to resolving the current security crisis in Borno State and other parts of the country.

I knew nothing about Lamido/ Amaechi posters –Aliyu PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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iger State Governor Babangida Aliyu has distanced himself and his administration from the campaign posters of Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido and Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State. Aliyu said that he knew nothing about the posters, which flooded Minna, the state capital at the weekend. The posters had the pictures of Governor Lamido as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate and Governor Amaechi as the running mate. On Sunday, residents of Minna were taken aback by

the sudden presence of the posters pasted at conspicuous locations in the town. In a statement signed yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, Aliyu insisted that he knew nothing about the posters. The statement reads: ‘‘Those who posted the posters are neither agents of the state government nor that of the governor. They also do not have the sympathy of the government or any of its officials. “The Niger State Government will continue to respect the decision of the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which has placed a ban on all forms of campaign ahead of the 2015 general elections.”


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North

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Boko Haram: Benue mass transit introduces scanners

•Police deny fresh herdsmen, farmers’ clash HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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Members of first aid group of the Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’ah Waikamatis Sunnah during the closing ceremony of the National Camping and launch of N150m fund in Gombe. PHOTO: NAN

PIB: North-East seeks reduction of minister’s excessive powers

DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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takeholders at the House of Representatives’ Public Hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, for the North-East held in Gombe, Gombe State yesterday called for the reduction of the powers of the Minister of Petroleum Resources. According to them, the minister exercises excessive powers which in turn encourage corruption and lack of transparency. The Speaker of the Gombe State House of Assembly and Chairman, Conference of Nigerian Speakers’ Forum, Inuwa Garba, who presented the joint position of the zone, based their position on the fact that past and present Ministers of Pe-

troleum Resources had been as powerful as the President. At the two-day forum organised by the House of Representatives to collate aggregate views of people of the region, politicians and opinion leaders said the law on petroleum currently encourages corruption and lack of transparency. The stakeholders condemned sections 5 and 6 of the PIB where the power to allocate and license oil blocs to individuals rests solely on the minister. They demanded that the sections should be expunged from the PIB to prevent the minister from being a policy maker and major player in the oil sector. Garba said Section 17 of the PIB, which seeks a special fund for oil-producing

states, would be to the disadvantage of non-oil producing states like Gombe and other northern states. He disclosed that the entire zone through its six Houses of Assembly had concluded arrangements to set up a committee that would present a joint position to the House of Representatives. On his part, Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State, who praised the House of Representatives for the initiative, also urged stakeholders in the zone to embrace the opportunity. He said: “Your participation, contributions and comments shall have farreaching effects on the type of petroleum industry that would evolve.

FG plants 2,000 trees to mark World Earth Day OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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igeria yesterday joined the rest of the world in celebrating “Earth Day,” by planting 2,000 tree seedlings as part of the efforts to address the negative impacts of climate change. While the seedlings were provided by ASO Savings and Loans Plc, a foremost primary mortgage bank, the year’s commemoration was organised by the Renewable Energy Programme of the Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the Embassy of the United States and Earth Day Network. Senator Gaylord Nelson had on April 22, 1972, demonstrated that the task of sav-

ing the fragile environment could not be left to the government alone by mobilising 20 million Americans to engage in general clean-up. The National Coordinator, Renewable Energy Programme, Mrs. Bahijjahtu Abubakar (an engineer), spoke on the significance of this year’s event with the theme: “Face of Climate Change.” She said: “The Earth Day is a day for us to talk about how to preserve the earth so that the earth can continue to accommodate and be friendly to us. “Nigeria is celebrating the Earth Day in collaboration the US Embassy and the Earth Day Network. We are also pleased to know that the private sector has stepped us

to partner with us.” Abubakar said the spate of flooding, desertification and the continuous rise in sea level that the country had experienced in the last few years were a pointer to the fact that climate change was no longer a myth. According to her, there is the need for the people to be aware of the trend so that concerted efforts can be made toward mitigation and adaptation. She said: “Over the years, the issue of climate change and preserving the environment has not been brought to the front burner because of lack of awareness. And that is why we are here today; we want everybody to understand that Nigeria should be part of the global

“And when you consider that over 90 per cent of the revenue that accrues to our states are sourced from the petroleum industry, you will appreciate the weight of the responsibility that rests on your shoulder as a people.” As the committee continues receiving inputs at the two-day forum, the governor commended the Chairman of the North/East Forum, Hon. Ali Ahmed, for choosing Gombe as the venue for the zone.

he General Manager of Benue Links, Engr. John Baka, said the Benue Stateowned transport outfit had acquired load and body scanners to ensure the safety of all its passengers. Baka, who made the disclosure yesterday in Makurdi, the state capital, said the measure was to prevent bomb attacks on vehicles in the fleet of Benue Links which, according to him, shuttle between Benue State and violence-prone states like Kebbi, Yobe, Adamawa and Borno. The general manager disclosed that the security gadgets worth over N5 million, adding that the measure was taken to safeguard the lives and properties of passengers. Baka said the appreciation shown by those patronising Benue Links since the introduction of the devise was unprecedented, adding that the organisation is surprised by the response from its customers and pledged to sustain the

service. The GM also disclosed that the management of the transport firm had embarked on the renovation of the company’s headquarters to give it a face lift so as to meet the expectations of the public. Meanwhile, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP Daniel Ezeala, has refuted claims of renewed clash between Fulani herdsmen and Tiv farmers at Adeke Village on the outskirts of Makurdi, the state capital. Ezeala told our correspondent yesterday that he was not aware of fresh crisis between the herdsmen and farmers. But a source said there were gunshots on Sunday night at Ikpiam near Adeke, forcing the inhabitants to flee. The source added that many families had evacuated their belongings along with the children and left for neighbouring communities. At the time of filing this report, people, including women who carried their children on their back, were still leaving the area.

Foodstuffs’ prices skyrocket as unions begin strike NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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embers of Nigeria Lorry Drivers Association, NILODA, Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, and Federated Foodstuffs Dealers Association, FFSDA, have embarked on an indefinite strike in Benue State. The associations are protesting alleged harassment, extortion, collection of illegal levies and imposition of multiple taxes on their members by the government revenue agents in the state. Consequently, prices of foodstuffs have skyrocketed in all parts of the state since the commencement of the industrial action on April 15. The acting National President of NILODA, Apostle Boniface Chiedozie, who disclosed this yesterday at the NILODA National Headquarters, Nkpor, near Onitsha, Anambra State, told journalists that the

unions were compelled to embark on the strike because all efforts to make the authorities concerned see reasons for their intending action failed. Flanked by the national leadership of NARTO and FFSDA, Chiedozie explained that the Benue State Government had earlier, at a stakeholders’ meeting held with the three unions, agreed that it would stop all activities of government revenue collection agents and streamline the activities for effective result. He added that despite the agreement, agents of the state government continued with their activities unchecked. The NILODA president, who said the associations were not against collection of revenue by the state government, disclosed that they were only calling for an orderly method instead of the chaotic method which made it possible for all manners of fake revenue collectors to extort their members.

Chiedozie said all efforts to make government at both the state and local government levels respect the agreement were thwarted. According to him, members of the associations have for long been subjected to harassment and intimidation to pay all manners of levies at gunpoint. He said to maintain peace, the unions had, through their lawyer, written to the Benue State Government to intervene but all their efforts were rebuffed. Chiedozie appealed to Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State to use his good offices to intervene and order the relevant commissioner in charge of revenue to call the revenue agents to order. Also speaking, the National Secretary of NILODA, Comrade Ngozi Chukwuma Okeke, urged the governor and well-meaning Benue State leaders to intervene and save the situation.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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Court orders SSS, police to pay Peace Corps N10m damages ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday restrained the State Security Service (SSS) and the police from disturbing, arresting or intimidating men of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) from operating as a lawful registered civil security outfit. The high court judge, Justice Evon Chukwu, awarded N10 million damages against the SSS and the police for violating the fundamental rights of the Peace Corps men to free association. The two security agencies are to pay the Peace Corps men N5 million each. The Peace Corps had in

the suit filed on its behalf by Mr. AbdulRasaq Ayedum complained that its offices across the states of the federation have been closed down while its officials were stripped naked in the public by the SSS. The Corps demanded N250 million damages from the SSS and the police for the hardship and embarrassment suffered. But the SSS and the police said the Peace Corps was exploiting youths by training them for illegal activities capable of undermining the nation’s security. Delivering judgement, Justice Chukwu barred the two bodies from interfering with the lawful activities and programmes of the Peace Corps. The judge also stopped

further arrest, detention, intimidation and harassment of Peace Corps men by the SSS and the police. Justice Chukwu held that it was barbaric and uncivilized for the operatives of the SSS and police to resort to stripping the Peace Corps officials naked in the public for no cause. A secret security report by the SSS sent to some governors indicting the Peace Corps as an unregistered and a security threatening body was nullified and set aside by the court for being unlawful,

illegal, unwarranted and in bad taste Justice Chukwu held that the report damaging the registered Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) was in bad taste due to the failure of the SSS to justify the reason behind its issuance. The judge also lashed out at the SSS officials for their poor defence of the case. He said that in a democratic setting where the rule of law prevails, such habit of gross abuse of power and deliberate infringement on the rights

of the citizenry must not be allowed to exist. The judge disagreed with the claim by the SSS that the Peace Corps was exploiting Nigerian youths for illegal activities capable of undermining the security of the nation. Justice Chukwu said that there was no proof of such allegation by SSS throughout the trial of the case. He, therefore, restrained the SSS from further engaging in unprovoked attack against a non-violent body.

The National Commandant of the Peace Corps, Ambassador Dickson Akoh, praised the judge for upholding the rule of law. He regretted that SSS had crippled the activities of the body in spite of several court judegment and appealed to the Federal Government to compel SSS and the police to always respect court orders. Akoh claimed that the SSS had on several occasions attempted to get the certificate of the registration of the body revoked, but failed.

FG woos Brazilian farmers for agric sector growth TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Federal Government has called on Brazilian farmers and investors to target Nigeria’s agricultural sector for capacity-building collaboration. The government said the collaboration would enable Nigeria to learn from the experiences of advanced technology used by Brazil to transform her economy. Making the call during a dinner with Brazilian investors and stakeholders in agribusiness in Sao Paulo during a tour of agro-ventures in Brazil, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said if Brazil could rise above her challenges to become a net exporter of food, then Nigeria had no reason to continue to contend with under-utilization of her huge agricultural productivity potentials. Adesina, in a statement issued yesterday by Director Press, Greyne Anosike, and signed by Mrs. Idowu Jokpeyibo, was quoted as saying that the growing influence of Brazil in global economic foray was linked to her ability to feed herself and export food. He said: “The plan of the government is to grow the size of the country’s agriculture from the cur-

rent value of $99 billion yearly to about $256 billion annually, but we should not wait till 10 years or 20 years before seeking credible partnership with those whose history is in sync with Nigeria.” The minister, who believes that Nigeria has a lot to learn from Brazilian experience in order to achieve the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), told Brazilian investors of Federal Government’s commitment to use the agenda to add 20 million metric tonnes of food to the domestic food supply and create 3.5 million jobs in the next four years. To ensure that the goal is achieved, he said that the government had started doing a lot of things differently which include value chain approach to agriculture, focusing on import substitutions and getting private sectors regular investment Adesina added that government had been providing incentives for private sectors to develop the agriculture sector.

Adesina

Demolition of illegal structures at OPIC, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway by the Ogun State Ministry of Physical Planning, yesterday.

10 buildings razed in Ibadan tanker fire K EMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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ragedy struck in Omitowoju area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, yesterday as not less than 12 buildings were consumed in an inferno caused by a falling petrol tanker. National Mirror learnt that the fully

loaded tanker was trying to link Inalende road towards the Mokola round about area of the city when the driver lost control with the truck falling and spilling its 33,000 litres content. It was gathered that the driver of the tanker decided to pass through the densely populated area due to the closure of

the Dugbe/Mokola road as a result of the ongoing construction of an overhead bridge in Mokola by the state government. As at the time of filling this report, many sympathizers with the men of the state fire service were trying to put out the fire. According to an eyewitness, when the tanker fell, most of the people

in the area rushed out of their buildings and that it did not take long for the entire area to be enveloped in thick smoke. He added that it will be difficult to determine whether any life was lost in the incident, stating that an old man whose whereabouts could not be known was in one of the affected buildings.

ECOWAS ministers meet on construction of Lagos-Abidjan highway PAUL ARHEWE

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COWAS Ministers of Works/Road Infrastructure, Transport, Finance and Justice from Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo met yesterday in Abuja to agree on strategies towards the construction of a homogenous highway from Lagos to Abidjan. The one-day meeting followed a directive by the Heads of State of the five countries, who met on the margins of the 42nd ordinary summit of regional leaders on February 28, 2013 in Yamoussoukro, Cote

d’Ivoire, for the ministers to further improve the LagosAbidjan corridor. The ministers were expected to deliberate and agree on an implementation plan with a clear indication of responsibilities and corresponding implanting stakeholders. They were also to benefit from presentations from some of the development and technical partners, such as the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organization (ALCO), the World Bank and the African Development Bank who have some on-going activities on the corridor. Their report will be presented to the Presidents of the concerned member

states at the margins on the May 26, 2013 summit in Addis Ababa. Also expected to attend the ministerial meeting are the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Finance Corporation (AFC), the French Development Agency (AFD), the AbidjanLagos Corridor Organization (ALCO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Osprey Investment Group of the United Kingdom, and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID). The Abidjan-Lagos corridor covers a total distance of 1,028 kilometres and carries more than 75 per cent of trade in West Africa. It con-

nects Lagos, Accra, Cotonou, Lome and Abidjan, which are considered as some of the largest and economically most dynamic cities in Africa. In addition, links vibrant sea ports serving Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – the three landlocked countries in the region. ECOWAS and its development partners have made several interventions in order to facilitate transportation on the corridor. These include improvement of road infrastructure, restructuring of border posts as well as soft transport facilitation interventions to improve the free flow of persons, trade and transport.


Cocktail

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (133) “The only thing that can stop you is the doubt that you carry in your mind.” –Chae Richardson HAVE FAITH! Many people are crawling today instead of flying. The chief problem is nothing but plain doubts. We have been told over and over that if we truly want to succeed in life, we should constantly doubt our doubts. Faith is the master key to exploits. There is so much that we can accomplish in life if only we can have faith in God and His words to our hearts. The foundation of faith is largely rooted in deeply believing that we are created in the image of God and that all things are possible to those that believe. It is true that life can be tough with disappointments here and there, but if one is resolute within that there must at least be a way out, the light will shine to direct him. Whenever we doubt that what we strongly desire may not come, we literally abort the pregnancy of wonders within us. Things may be tough for you right now but don’t give up your faith. If you want to learn the faith life very well, study the pregnant women. They do not abandon the baby within them no matter what. Through heat and cold they will hold on to the baby inside them until the time of delivery. Keep your dreams like that and do not allow the winter of life to weaken you. Have faith! DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile

Britons, B i Americans A i feud f d over park k

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he British and the Americans are quarrelling — albeit with tongues in cheek — over territory again, this time over who has the world’s smallest park. One, in Portland, Ore., is essentially a concrete planter, 2-feet in diameter, with soil and some vegetation, and the Guinness Book of World Records says it’s the smallest. The other is about 5,000

miles away, in England. Those guys don’t claim to have a physically smaller park — theirs is 15 feet by 30 feet. But they are disputing whether Portland’s is a park at all. What started as two Brits’ stunt to drum up publicity for a charityrunattheirparksparked some cross-pond banter. One online commenter wrote: “If that’s a park then my window box should take the title.”

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Woman steals $170K from work, partly for boob job

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lorida police said a 37-year-old woman stole nearly $170,000 from her employer, a camper sales business, spending $7,000 of it on breast implants. Police arrested Steffani Lariscy in Iredell County, N.C., Thursday, the Orlando (Fla.) reported Saturday. She was charged with grand theft after a yearlong investigation of financial records for Robbins Camper Sales in Ormond Beach, Fla. The owner of the camper business filed a complaint with police against Lariscy in March 2012 after discovering $1,000 was missing connected to the sale of a camper, the Sentinel reported. Lariscy had told her employer she took the money to help pay for her divorce proceedings and planned to pay it back. When the owner said he was calling authorities, she ran off, the

newspaper said. Police confiscated bank records and other financial documents from Lariscy’s home. During the investigation, an anonymous tipster told police Lariscy had been

bragging about having a large quantity of cash at her home. “Last month, the audit team revealed that the total amount of money that they were able to document as being misappropriated from the business totaled

A toad rescuing a mouse from a stream.

$169,822.63,’’ a report from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department said. “The tipster also said that Lariscy had bought some new furniture and also had spent $7,000 on breast implants,’’ the report said.

PHOTO: NY DAILY NEWS


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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Features

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Blazing fire at the market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Traders trying to salvage their wares.

Kara: Where mystery fire devastated traders and community The rising incidence of market fires has become a recurring phenomenon in Nigeria. Painfully, not only are goods and lives lost, but the victims are always at crossroads on how to start all over again. Incidentally, many of the affected traders lack insurance cover and funds to rebuild their businesses. FEMI OYEWESO was at the recently burnt Kara Market in Ogun State and reports that victims are not only lamenting their losses, but also begging for assistance from government to get back on their feet.

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t the early hour of Tuesday April 16, 2013, the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and members of his cabinet inspected the progress of work at the new site at Oluwanishola Cattle Market (Kara) in Isheri Area for the rehabilitation of traders. The new site, which is about four kilometres from the present location, is believed to be more befitting, especially as it is equipped with state-of-the-art amenities including abattoir, as well as tarred road to enhance production of healthy meat for consumption. Prior to the visit, however, a mystery fire which started at 7 pm had ravaged the Oluwanisola Market in Ifo local Government Area of the state on April 3, 2013, completely destroying it, as non of the traders was able to salvage their goods. Recounting their ordeal, Hamza Saidu, Personal Assistant to Seriki Hausawa of Aworiland, the head of the market, Mohammed Gbadamosi said they were at the mosque praying when they suddenly saw fire coming out from the shops. “Many people had closed for the day and majority of the shop owners had gone home. We were praying when we suddenly saw fire coming from that direction. By the time we got to the scene, the whole place had been

TILL NOW, THE CAUSE OF THE FIRE REMAINS A MYSTERY; EVEN

AS RUMOUR HAS IT THAT IT MAY HAVE STARTED FROM AN EATERY OPERATED BY A WOMAN IN THE COMMUNITY engulfed with smoke and nobody could do anything. We had to start calling others to tell them what happened.� Till now, the cause of the fire remains a mystery; even as rumour has it that it may have started from an eatery operated by a woman in the community. What perhaps aided the spread of the fire, it was learnt, was that the shops were built with plywood. The market, it was revealed, was started by two persons and later grew in large number, accommodating traders from the diverse ethnic groups. Observations revealed that apart from the cattle trading that the market is known for; most of the shops are shanties. Close to the River Ogun which serves as source of water

for the cattle, there is also mechanic workshop as well as other trading activities. Of course, Oluwanisola Cattle Market, popularly called Kara, was already a shanty, illegally occupied by the traders who mostly came from the north. Again, the market community was not connected to the national electricity grid and National Mirror investigations revealed that 93 per cent of the inhabitants relied mostly on generators for their power needs. Many of the traders are known to store Premium Motor Spirit in jerry cans within the shanties. Although no life was lost to the inferno, property worth millions of naira were, however, lost to the fire incident. Miss Bilikis, a victim of the inferno narrated that she lost all her goods to the fire outbreak. She added that the occurrence compelled her to sleep outside till day break because she resides in the market. According to her, she does her marketing in the day time and sleeps inside her shop in the night. Speaking with National Mirror on the fire incident, the Director of Ogun State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Timothy Adenekan said 464 victims were identified of which 90 per cent were of Hausa origin. He also explained that properties destroyed amounted to N190 million.

Adenekan, correAdenekan further told our corr spondent that the victims demanded for financial assistance to enable them return back to business rather than relief materials for their rehabilitation. He said the day after the fire incident, both the state SEMA and the zonal officials of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, under Iyiola Akande carried out joint assessment on the impact of the disaster on the victims. Adenekan said all the stakeholders which included leader of the Hausa community in the market, Seriki Hausa, Alhaji Mohammed Badamosi, solicitor to the victims, Barrister Adekunle Sulaiman, officials of the Ogun State Ministry of Physical Planning ,as well as SEMA and NEMA officials jointly administered the claims forms on the victims to ensure no one was left unattended to. The Director also said that SEMA had already forwarded its recommendations to Governor Amosun for financial compensation to the victims. Prior to the fire outbreak, the state government had made concerted efforts at ensuring that the traders vacate the area, as it believed the market was illegally occupied and activities at the place had turned the entire vicinity into an eyesore. Several meetings were held between representative of the cattle dealers, Seriki Hausawa, Alhaji Mohammed Badamosi and officials of government towards ensuring that the traders complied and relocate, but to no avail. Again, a week before the fire outbreak, however, National Mirror gath-


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Features

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sheep and goats in the market before the inferno.

THE LOSSES WOULD HAVE BEEN MINIMAL IF APPROVALS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF STRUCTURES WERE SOUGHT AND OBTAINED FROM RELEVANT AUTHORITIES

A burnt stall in the market

ered that the Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Lanre Tejuosho, had visited the market and ordered that the traders relocate to the new site approved for them by the government. The traders had remained adamant and defiant, thereby daring the government order. The cattle dealers’ insistence had also led to a court action, as leader of the cattle dealers sued the state government, claiming that he had the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) to carry out business on the land. But the state government, which considered their activities in the area an eyesore to its developmental agenda, maintained that the issue of C of O raised by Seriki Badamosi was illegal. The government said that the occupants deviated from the original intention for which the C of O was applied and granted.

Government explained that the original intention of the person who applied for the C of O was that he would be using the land for the processing of dairy foods. It was further gathered that the applicant, now deceased had told the Ogun State Government in the declaration form, that he would be using the land to rear cow and consequently turn the place to a factory for production of cow milk. The government, which told Seriki that it had since revoked the C of O, further premised its reason for the revocation on the fact that the applicant deviated from the agreement stated in the form but turned the place to an illegal abattoir. National Mirror further gathered that the real intention for government’s quick action at relocating the traders may not be unconnected with the rumour of the dreaded Boko Haram religious sect’s infiltrating the commu-

nity. Sources close to the government confided that available security reports revealed that criminals had infiltrated the market and this explained why Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Barrister Taiwan Adeoluwa, had while visiting the market after the fire incident, charged the traders to be vigilant at all times in order not to allow hoodlums to infiltrate them, saying if that happened, it would threaten the existing peace. While commiserating with settlers and operators of the market, Adeoluwa said that the losses would have been minimal if approvals for construction of structures were sought and obtained from relevant authorities. He however promised that the government would after due consultations with leaders of the community, come up with palliative measures to cushion the losses. “We want to thank God that no live was lost. We are here to commiserate with you and also to assess the level of damage by the fire”. “Apparently, these are shanties built without government approval and we are not happy about the development. That notwithstanding, as a responsive government we will stand by you at this period. We will do something in the mean time to assist those affected after consultations with your leaders but we also need to investigate the cause of the fire”, he assured. Corroborating the SSG, the South

55

West Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management, NEMA, Mr. Iyiola Akande said the danger would have been avoided if necessary approvals were sought before construction and enjoined the people to always be security conscious. Speaking earlier, leader of the community, Alhaji Mohammed Gbadamosi thanked the state government for identifying with them during this trying period and appealed for assistance towards rehabilitating the victims. He said the number of victims; value of the goods damaged as well as the cause of the accident which started at 7.pm could yet not be ascertained. The government delegation to visited the market after the fire included the Commissioner for Urban and Physical Planning, Mr. Adebayo Faari, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Engineer Femi Falana as well as officials of SEMA and Ministry of Environment. Presently, the Ogun SEMA said it is awaiting further directives from the state governor on how to assist the fire victims. SEMA Director, Adenekan told National Mirror that his agency had sought the assistance of the Federal Government through the NEMA zonal office in Lagos to provide succour to the victims who had insisted on monetary compensation that would enable them return back to business. Adenekan also said that the claim forms were jointly administered on each of the victims before the leader of the market, Seriki Hausawa Aworiland, Alhaji Badamosi and their legal adviser, Barrister Adekunle Sulaiman. Aside the efforts being made by SEMA and NEMA, the Ogun State Government has also ordered that traders operating at the Kara Cattle Market in Isheri Area be relocated latest by Monday April 22, 2013. Amosun, who handed down the order during an assessment visit to the market with members of his cabinet, recalled that he had earlier met with the market leadership far back in June 2011, to inform them that the traders will be relocated to a more befitting place. During last Tuesday’s visit, he said: “We are here to inform you that in line of what we discussed back in June 2011, which we even followed up with a meeting with your leaders, I want to tell you that government officials will be coming to relocate you from this place”. “I want to assure that you will not be allowed to suffer over the move. As a government,we will provide an alternative for you. We will also build a modern market you will be proud of ”. “I am promising that we will build a place for the cattle traders equipped with modern amenities including a modern abattoir’, even as he promised that the road to the new cattle market would be tarred with adequate security provided. He commended the traders for allowing peace to reign in their area, stressing that they should not allow criminals to operate within the market as this will jeopardize the existing peace. Also, representatives of the traders who spoke at the meeting pledged the continuous support to the administration, adding that they are ready to accept the relocation for their own good.


WORLD RECORD

Oldest pot plant Vol. 03 No. 605

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

N150

The world’s oldest potted plant is a prickly cycad (Encephalartos altensteinii), which was brought from South Africa to the UK and planted in 1775. The cycad is currently on display in the Palm House, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, Surrey, UK .

The Boston Marathon bombings

he deliberate attempt to disrupt the peace of the American city of Boston in Massachusetts by the terrorist act of the Tsarnaev brothers from the Russian republic of Chechnya last week brought a new dimension to the fight against terrorism and every act of violent agitation targetted at law abiding citizens and the state. Though their motives are yet to be established, but without any doubt the two of them, Tamerian, 26 and 19 – year old Dzhokhar must have been driven by certain reasons so far known to them to choose such a world stage as the Boston Marathon to plant the bomb aimed at not

M

ercedes star, Lewis Hamilton, yesterday admitted that he is in the hunt for the 2013 world title as things stand, but stresses his team has a lot of work ahead if it is to stay in the fight all through the season. Despite having played down expectations for what he could

TALKINGPOINT Seyi Fasugba

seyifasugba@yahoo.com 08053069514 (sms only)

only disrupting the peace of the city, but also to kill and to maim innocent souls out there to compete for honour and for the fun of taking part in the event. After detonating the bombs, three people, including an eight-year-old who had stayed at the finish point to welcome his dad were killed. And as expected, the bombers may have underrated the condemnation which followed the action and the fact that the society would turn against them. It appears that they forgot to plan their escape in all of their strategies to strike at the marathon event. Just few days after the attack, the terrorists were identified and an appeal was made to the people to provide information that could lead to their arrest after they were identified through the security cameras located around the site of the blasts. Not long after they were identified, the two were located and manhunt for them began. The rigorous search by the security agents for just two terrorists will go down in history as the most intense and detailed in spite of the sophisticated equipment available and at the disposal of the police to do so. The terrorists themselves must have come to the conclusion that there was no way to escape and without being told, the government must have also resolved that delay is dangerous, hence the heavy deployment of resources to quickly curtail

CURTAILING TERRORISM THE

BOSTON WAY AND MAINTAINING SUCH GRIP ON INSURGENTS IN ANY FORM,

REMAIN THE ONLY WAY TO SUSTAIN THE CONFIDENCE OF THE PEOPLE the insurgent, if only to achieve one thing, to restore the public confidence that government is still in charge and not afraid and will not allow the terrorists dictate the terms. After one of them was killed, it was at the discretion of the police to capture the other alive which they eventually did. So, same week and within a matter of days, the city heaved a sigh of relief from tension momentarily caused by the incident. The Boston bombing had a resemblance of challenges we have faced as a nation with the Boko Haram insurgents for more than a year and to which no solution appears to be in sight. And with every

passing day, the situation becomes more complicated and complex than what the government can handle. The Boko Haram insurgents started in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, but unfortunately they are now so confident that they come to Abuja at will to strike their targets and get back without any arrest or clue to the scope of operation of the sect till date. Not that the people have not assisted the security agents enough to end the insurgents, but due largely to the unpreparedness of the leadership to tackle the insurgence in a decisive way as witnessed in the case of the Boston bombings. President Barack Obama’s words on the incident were matched with prompt action and the people had no option than to provide the information on the suspects. The existing social infrastructure in Boston assisted a great deal in exposing the suspects through the close circuit camera. Such equipment in fighting crime is no longer a luxury but the reality of the times we are now. But for the effective reliability of such security gadgets, policing would have been a serious challenge to the US as well. Not just the camera but, most importantly, the functionality of the uninterrupted power to power the equipment. Unlike in the US, what has compounded the insecurity situation confronting us as a nation is the growing rate of unemployment caused largely by the same virus of power supply which had led to collapse of many industries while those in operation are merely struggling to exist and to provides employment to the citizens. With the breakdown of public infrastructure, the collapse of public order is inevitable. Until these issues are addressed, every other government policy will amount to window dressing. Curtailing terrorism the Boston way and maintaining such grip on insurgents in any form, remain the only way to sustain the confidence of the people in government and its policies.

Sport Extra

F1: Hamilton admits racing challenges achieve in his first year at Mercedes even before arriving at Brackley in January, Hamilton has made a surprisingly strong start to the new season. Hamilton followed what was already an encouraging fifth-

place finish on his debut for his new team in Melbourne with consecutive third-placed results in Malaysia and China and currently sits fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, just 12 points off the ultimate pace set by Sebas-

tian Vettel. “I’m not focusing on the title because look at what happened to Nico with his car, which is something that could happen to me at any time. But I have made the right choice,” he said.

Lewis Hamilton

Printed and Published by Global Media Mirror Ltd: Head Office: Mirror House, 155/161 Broad Street, Lagos Tel: 07027107407, Abuja Office: NICON Insurance House, Second Floor, Central Business District Area, Abuja Tel: 08070428249, Advert hotline: 01-8446073, Email: mail@nationalmirroronline.net. Editor: SEYI FASUGBA. All correspondence to PMB 10001, Marina, Lagos. Printed simultaneously in Lagos, Abuja and Ondo State. ISSN 0794-232X.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013  

185 killed as JTF, Boko. Haram clash in Borno. 2000 houses razed. Jonathan orders investigation. CAN seeks US, UK intervention to end insurg...

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