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FG promises to tackle high interest rate

NCC fines Airtel, Glo, MTN N647m for poor services

...fine-tune rice, auto policies EMMANUEL OGBONNAYA

Okonjo-Iweala

Vol. 41 N0. 795 115

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he Federal Government yesterday said it was working to resolve issues of high interest rates and increase

import duties and levies on certain categories of goods, which has become a sore point for manufacCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

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Johnson

Tuesday, Tuesday,June February 7, 2011 25, 2014

N150 N150

Sanusi to face trial if..., says Jonathan P ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

‘I’ve absolute power to remove CBN governor’

resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria,

CBN, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, may face prosecution if a criminal case is established against him. Speaking during a Presidential Media chat, Jonathan also explained that he CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Tambuwal

Reps tackle NIMASA over N36bn unauthorised spending P.8

‘Probe’ll determine fate of kerosene subsidy’ P.8 ADVERT HOTLINES

For advert bookings and information, please contact: LAGOS 01-8446073, 08113947415 08113947419 08113947420 08113947422 ABUJA 08113947421 PORT HARCOURT 08113947418 OGBESE 08113947424

L-R: Ojomu of Idanre, High Chief Agboola Samuel Akintan; Group Managing Director, Energy Group, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim (OFR); Otunba Oyewole Fasawe and former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Australia, Prof. Olu Agbi, during the GMD’s 47th birthday celebration in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Don’t implement ex-CBN governor’s policies P.4

...Jimoh Ibrahim advises Sarah Alade Borno elders fault plot to remove Gov Shettima P.2

Muslims reject Yoruba delegates to National Conference

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News

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Borno elders fault plot to remove Gov Shettima OBIORA IFOH AND INUSA NDAHI

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he Borno Elders Forum, BEF, has faulted the alleged move by the President to remove Governor Kashim Shettima in order to strengthen the emergency rule imposed on the state. Borno State has been under attacks by terrorists since 2009. Just yesterday, there were media reports of a plan by the President to remove Shettima from office following the escalating Boko Haram killings and bombings in the state, which had

claimed over 500 people’s lives and property worth billions of naira destroyed since beginning of this year. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Rueben Abati, in a statement denied any plan by Mr. President to remove Shettima from office. Rising from an emergency meeting, which was attended by 29 prominent Borno elders including Ambassador Usman Gaji Galtimari, Professor Emeritus Shehu, Professor Nur Alkali, Alhaji Bukar Kwaya Biu, the BEF said they received the news of the plan to remove Shettima with deep shock and disappoint-

ment, pointing out that such move or action is evasive, diversionary and abdication of responsibility by the Federal Government in tackling the crisis of insurgency. Addressing journalists after the meeting, BEF Secretary, Mr. Bulama Mali Gubio appealed to the Federal Government and the President to appreciate the sustained efforts of Governor Shettima in managing the Boko Haram insurgency, which he inherited in 2011. While condemning “in no certain terms this move which will lead to further escalation and complication of an already bad security situation on ground,” the el-

ders said that the Presidency should be reminded of the illegality of such a move. Similarly, members of the vigilante youth a.k.a civilian JTF, who have been assisting the security operatives in the fight against terrorism in the state yesterday expressed shock over the reported plan to remove the governor. The group said removing the governor especially at this trying moment is like “adding salt to the injury.” The group noted that Governor Shettima has committed so much to the fight against the insurgency in the state. Addressing newsmen in

L-R: Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court, Mrs. Fatou Bensaoda; National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasukki; Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN) and President Goodluck Jonathan at the International Seminar on the Imperatives of the Observance of Human Rights and International Human Law Norms in Internal Security Operations in Abuja yesterday.

Maiduguri, the Legal Adviser of the group, Mr. Jubrin Gunda said that inasmuch as they appreciated the efforts of the security agencies and the Federal Government in tackling the issue of insecurity in the North East, it will be out of place to think of removing Shettima whose efforts in tackling the problem headlong has been appreciated by the people of the state. President Jonathan also said yesterday in Abuja that the Federal Government was still open to constructive dialogue with the sect. The president stated this when he declared open an International seminar on the Observance of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in Internal Security Operations. The seminar, held at the National Defence College, was co-hosted by the Offices of the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and the National Security Adviser, NSA. Jonathan called on members of the sect to lay down their arms and table their grievances, if any, before government. He, however, clarified that while waiting for the response from the sect, the military operations in the troubled areas would continue to safeguard lives and

property. “Our administration has committed tremendous resources and adopted several approaches to prosecuting the fight against terror in Nigeria. “The declaration of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states is one of the measures taken to contain the activities of the terrorists. “The National Committee on Peace and Dialogue in the Northern parts of the country was constituted to explore ways of dialoguing with the Boko Haram sect with a view to addressing their grievances, if any. “I wish to use this platform to renew my previous call to members of the sect to lay down their arms and engage government in a constructive manner in order to address their grievances, if truly they have any reason to do what they are doing. “However, while we are awaiting a positive response from the Boko Haram sect, it is important to note that government has the responsibility to protect the lives and property of our citizens. “No efforts will be spared by this administration in discharging that responsibility,” he said. Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress, APC,

security services are involved in the fight against terror, saying that fighting terror all over the world was not something so easy. He said, “In fighting terror, all the services are involved. The army is key in terms of confrontation because that is what they are trained for. The armed forces, the SSS, the police are working. Fighting terror all over the world is not something so easy but I can assure you that we will get over it. The President also expressed frustration with efforts to dialogue with the terrorist group though he did not rule out the option. “Of course, we set up a dialogue committee. I always said from day one that terrorists are difficult to deal with. They get brainwashed completely. They linked up with other terror organisations globally.

“It was easy for us in the Niger Delta for negotiations to succeed because they don’t hide their identities and they tell you their grievances, rightly or wrongly. But the terror all over the world, there is no rule of engagement. Niger Delta militants don’t just go and kill people anyhow,” he said. Jonathan regretted that the sect now go to markets, schools among other public places to kill people, stressing that the approach of terrorists all over the world differs. “They now use false religious tenets that have no basis in any of the religious books to brainwash their members. So, they are very difficult to confront. The dialogue thing is still working. We still encourage dialogue, but then, we must also use the military option,” Jonathan said.

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Sanusi to face trial if..., says Jonathan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

had full powers to suspend Sanusi as the Central Bank governor. According to him, the CBN governor was asked to step aside based on the allegations raised against him by the Financial Reporting Council. He said that Sanusi was only asked to step aside to allow for thorough investigations into issues raised by the Financial Reporting Council on the bank’s 2012 audit report. He said it would not be appropriate for Sanusi to be allowed to stay in his position because he was also the Chairman of the Board of the CBN. He said that the outcome of the investigation would determine whether the CBN boss would face prosecution. Pressed to confirm if Sanusi would be prosecuted based on the FRC

allegations, Jonathan said: “People must know how government functions. The government doesn’t just prosecute anybody. No, it is not done that way. Anybody could be accused of anything. Even in normal civil service operation, when you are suspected for fraud, the best thing is to place you on suspension or interdiction and the matter is investigated. “At the end of investigation, why they place you on suspension is so that you don’t stay in that office and frustrate the process of investigation. So government normally places such person on suspension. And if it is a grievous offence, they place you on suspension without salary, but not sack. “Until when they conclude investigations, he may go back if he has no case to answer. If he has a case to answer, that is when

they prosecute. “These are issues raised by a third party, the Financial Reporting Council is not a member of CBN. I am not saying everything raised there is incriminating on the CBN or Sanusi. “If Sanusi has no case to answer, how will you prosecute somebody that has no case to answer? “But if he has a case to answer, it depends on the nature of the case. In the public service, there are some cases that if it is not criminal in nature, it is either act if negligence or probably missed a process he was supposed to follow, he may not necessarily be prosecuted. There may be other sanctions or indictment. So everything does not end up with prosecution. “Prosecution can only come if a clear fraud is established. But if a fraud

is not established, maybe somebody does not follow due process, or some other issues that are not clearly fraudulent, we may not necessarily prosecute him even though the person is guilty. So, Nigerians should wait, they should not just talk about prosecution.” The president also explained that the suspension was delayed in view of the need to consult widely and not to send a wrong signal. “When dealing with the treasury of a nation, you have to be careful and consult widely,” he added. Jonathan also said that he has oversight functions over the bank. “Yes, I have absolute power. The CBN is not well defined in the Nigerian Constitution,” he said. Speaking on the activities of Boko Haram, Jonathan said that all the


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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Photo News

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right) presenting a souvenir, the Crest of Lagos State to the new General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Tamunomieibi Dibi during a courtesy call on the governor in Lagos yesterday.

L-R; Director-General, National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Prof. John Idoko, Director, Strategic Knowledge Management Department, NACA, Dr. Kayode Ogungbemi and Asst. Director/Head of Research Unit Strategic Knowledge Management Department NACA, Dr. James Aneneh during the National Symposium on Utilising Research Results in PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA Improving HIV Response in Nigeria in Abuja yesterday.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Executive Director, African Centre for Leadership Strategy and Development, Dr. Otive Igbuzor; National Coordinator, Protest to Power Movement, Mr. Jaye Gaskiya and Coordinator, Publish What You Pay Nigeria, Ms. Faith Nwadishi during a press briefing on the passage of Petroleum Industry Bill in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

L-R: Convener, Committee for Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP - Nigeria), Mrs. Margaret Adeleke; Head, Corporate Services Division, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Bola Adeeko; Executive Secretary, CECP - Nigeria, Dr. Abia Nzelu and Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria, Chief Tony Okoroji, at the Bell Ringing Ceremony to commemorate International Corporate Philanthropy Day in Lagos yesterday.

National News

Don’t implement ex-CBN governor’s policies

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he Publisher of National Mirror Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim OFR has advised the acting Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Sarah Alade, to kindly save the nation’s economy by distancing the CBN from the policies of the suspended governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi.

According to Ibrahim, to continue with the implementation of Sanusi’s draconian policies that have no human face is to kill the economy. He advised the Ag. CBN governor not to go ahead with the N163bn intervention for schools, institutions and universities or

…...Jimoh Ibrahim advices Sarah Alade

for politicians. He also called Ag. Governor not to write off N40bn debt in an individual account and should not sell a N1.3trn bank for N50bn but should refrain from using vulgar abusive

language such as warning judges against granting injunctions or annoying words such as “the MDs of banks should be shot pointing out that all of these are characteristic of Lamido Sanusi’s regime.

He also said there must be demonstration of a clear departure by the present regime from past draconian policies for investors to be sure that their investments are safe.

Ibrahim urged the Ag. governor not to use the language of war in this period of peace. He added that Alade would receive more unsolicited advice from him from time to time.

NCC fines Airtel, Glo, MTN N647m for poor services KUNLE AZEEZ

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hree telecoms operators have again incurred the wrath of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, over their failure to meet the Key Performance Indicators, KPIs, for Quality of Service, QoS, in January. The Commission yesterday imposed N647.5m fines on Airtel, Globacom and MTN Nigeria Limited. The three operators were also barred from selling Subscriber Identity Module, SIM, cards with effect from 1st till March 31,

2014, and were also barred from all promotions in their networks until they improve on the failed KPIs for which they are sanctioned. The details of the sanction showed that Airtel Network Ltd and MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd, are to pay N185m each, while Globacom is liable to the tune of N277.5m. In a statement issued by the Commission and signed by its Head, Media and Public Relations, Mr. Reuben Muoka, each of the operators was mandated to pay the fine on or before March 7, 2014.

Failure to pay on that day attracts another penalty of N2.5m per day as long as the contravention persists. The sanctions, which were communicated to the operators in a letter signed by the NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said the Commission will carry out an audit of the companies on March 1, 2014 and also on March 31st, 2014, to ensure that no sale of new SIM Cards takes place in any of the three networks within the period. The letter made reference to an earlier direc-

tive, issued on December 10, 2014, which warned the operators that “if the Quality of Service does not improve by December 31, 2013, the Commission will be compelled to direct operators to, among others, suspend the activation of new SIMs and subscribers until such an operator can prove that it has met the Key Performance Indicators specified in the Regulations.” Juwah said: “The Commission after careful collation of statistics from the Network Operating Centres, NOC, of all major networks operators for the

month of January 2014, has concluded that the service provided by some of the operators during the period fell below the Key Performance Indicators published by the Commission in the Quality of Service Regulations, as amended.” Details of the sanction also indicated that Airtel failed on Call Setup Success Rate, CSSR, and SDCONG, while MTN also failed on Call Setup Success Rate, CSSR and Drop Call Rate, DCR. On its part, Globacom failed on Call Setup Success Rate, CSSR, Drop Call

Rate, DCR, and SDCONG. Other key highlights of the sanction are that the service providers shall not churn or delete inactive or (none revenue generating SIMs) from their networks during the period of March 1 to 31, 2014. The service providers shall not supply new SIM cards from their warehouses or other sources to its dealers or third parties throughout the period from March 1-31, 2014. The service providers shall stop all promotions until the KPIs, which have been identified in their reCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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FG promises to tackle high interest rate CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

turers. The Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, who said this at a meeting with chief executives of manufacturing companies in Lagos yesterday noted that the quality and pace of Nigeria’s economic growth can be enhanced to tackle poverty effectively if some of the obstacles in the economy like power and transport among others can be removed. “The sector is finally

moving in the right direction as opposed to before, when it was static or even diminishing. Today we see more capacity utilisation, job creation and application of more local raw materials,” she said. She disclosed that she had already been in talks with the newly appointed acting governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on the issue of high interest rates, which she described as a big problem that cannot engender sustainable growth with investors borrowing above 20 per cent.

“We know that we cannot help the central bank in this regard because the bank is autonomous and has its own policies for tightening such as the Cash Reserve Ratio, which has been raised to 75 per cent, but we are looking at what we can do to help the situation,” she said. She announced that plans have been made to launch a solution in the form of a financial institution, which will actually make a huge difference for medium to long term financing. “You know we don’t have one in this economy so we

are building a development finance institution that will provide 7-15 year money for this economy at reasonable rates; we are working with the World Bank that have promised to give $500m, same with the African Development Bank, BNP of Brazil and other development banks and institutions across Europe that have already indicated their desire to work with us on this particular institution,” she said. Okonjo-Iweala pointed out that what was missing in Nigeria was some of the

L-R: Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission, Dr. Abdulkadir Oniyangi; INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega and Director, Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Iran Ajufo, during the Women Stakeholder Dialogue Session with INEC in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Borno elders fault plot to remove Gov Shettima CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

has raised the alarm over the alleged plot to remove Governor Shettima and appoint a military administrator in his stead. But the APC said that the denial was a smokescreen to cover up the real intention of the government. The opposition party warned the Jonathan administration against going ahead with the reported plan to appoint a military administrator to oversee the affairs of the state, under the guise of intensifying the fight against Boko Haram. In a statement issued yesterday in Ibadan by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said that if indeed anyone should be removed over the protracted insurgency in the state and the entire North-East, it is President Goodluck Jonathan. APC also warned that there is always a limit to impunity. “What is happening in

the North-East in general and Borno State in particular is failure of leadership at the highest level of government, especially because the imposition of a state of emergency in the three worst hit states has given the President emergency powers to deal with the protracted crisis. “As the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Jonathan is in full control of all the instruments of coercion available to the country, which he can and has been deploying at will. If, therefore, some seemingly implacable dead-enders have continued to kill, maim and destroy in any part of the country, no one but the President should be held liable. Everyone knows a governor does not deploy troops. “Also, it is trite to say that the raison d’etre of any government is the protection of lives and property. This means that the moment any government fails

in that key responsibility, it can no longer justify its reason for existence,” it said. APC said Governor Shettima and the entire people of Borno State are the victims in the senseless war being waged by the Boko Haram, and that what they deserve are succour and support, not further victimisation by a Federal Government, which seems to have run out of ideas on how to subdue the sect. The party said no one should lend any credence to the denial, by the Presidency, of the evil plot to remove Governor Shettima, because “this presidency’s words have never been worth the paper on which they are written”. “Several times in the past, this presidency has issued a straight-faced denial only to go ahead and do exactly what it said it won’t. Against such blatant lack of credibility and integrity, we do not believe the Presidency’s denial,” it said. APC said it is becoming

increasingly clear that the Presidency may be using the state of emergency in the North-East to fight its own political battle and get rid of those it perceives as a stumbling block to its interest in 2015. It said if that were not the case, the Presidency will not be flying a satanic kite of planning to remove the governor when it is clear that he has done everything humanly possible to support the Federal Government and the brave men and women fighting the sect, in addition to providing succour to the people of the state who have been terribly traumatised by the activities of the misguided terrorists. “‘The state of emergency has run its initial course and has even been renewed, yet the insurgency continues. That means the Federal Government must think out of the box to evolve new strategies to tackle the insurgency. “

essential institutions that other countries have built to grow their economies. “We must block that gap and provide these institutions. By the end of this year, the finance development institution will be in place and once we get it running by the first quarter of 2015, they would have rendered a big service to the manufacturing sector,” she said. The minister disclosed that the harmonised policy on 10 per cent levy and 100 per cent duty introduced for the importation of husk brown rice and polished rice since January 2013 has had some beneficial impact, which led to the increase in rice production in some regions particularly in the North, creating jobs for farmers and youths. But on the negative side there has also been massive smuggling of rice from neighbouring countries which has reduced customs revenue. “As a result of this we are reviewing this to see what type of appropriate policy can serve the need that we have and I believe we are soon going to come out with something that will help curb the smuggling and boost the impact of local production after discus-

sions with the President, the minister of agriculture and other affected ministries,” Okonjo-Iweala said. She disclosed that some aspects of the newly harmonised policy on automobiles will also undergo critical review before it is finalised. “We are looking at the issue of the second-hand vehicles and we want to make sure that we have a policy that does not penalise anybody or the economy, a policy that is also people friendly, so we are balancing both sides of this equation,” she added The minister explained that the Export Expansion Grant, EEG, which is under suspension, was under review with the aim of either continuing it in a sustainable manner or scrapping it altogether. She said: “The scheme is still there, we are not able to move forward with it right now until we complete this review and make sure that the policy is one that government can sustain, meaning that the impact on our revenue flow, especially with regard to custom is a sustainable one and that the scheme is tight enough.”

NCC fines Airtel, Glo, MTN N647m for poor services CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4

spective networks are positively addressed. The directive further warned that any deviation or alteration of provisioning pattern (in terms of average daily number of provisioning) in the remaining days of February 2014 compared to the regular provisioning rates by the concerned service providers shall be construed as a breach to the directive. National Mirror gathered in the last two years, the GSM operators had lost N1.93bn that would have accrued to them as revenues to the Federal Government in forms of fines for contravening industry regulations. The GSM operators, including Etisalat incurred the financial sanctions between May 2012 and May, 2013. The three breaches that deflated the operators’ revenue profiles focused on violations of the Key Per-

formance Indicators on quality of service; breach of promotional and lottery directive as well as the contravention of the regulation forbidding the sales of pre-registered Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) cards in the country. On May 10, 2012, NCC slammed N1.17bn penalty on the four telecoms operators over their failure to meet the set key performance indicators on quality of service for April and March that year. In the sanctions, MTN and Etisalat were fined N360m each, while Airtel and Globacom were to pay N270m and N180m respectively. The Commission also wielded the big stick, slamming a N22 million sanction on the four GSM companies for contravening a November 8, 2012 ban on promotions and lotteries, as part of measures to decongest the network for seamless calls.


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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

GMD’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

L-R:Editor, National Mirror, Mr Seyi Fasugba; MD/CEO, Mrs Kafilat Ogbara; GMD, Dr. Ibrahim; Deputy MD/CEO, Mr. Bankole Makinde and Acting Sunday Editor, Kayode Fasua.

GMD with Global Fleet Oil and Gas with their MD/CEO, Mrs Bridget Henry–Iyasere

The celebrant, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim OFR

L-R: Head IT, NICON Insurance, Lagos Head Office Annex, Mr. Rotimi Ogidan; Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim; Head Admin/ HR, Mrs Owope Funke; Head Life Dept. Mrs Edozie Beatrice and Marketing Zonal Officer, Mrs Adewunmi Adediran.

L-R: BM, Ikoyi Branch, Mainstreet Bank, Ms. Saratu Umar; Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim; Executive Director, of the Bank, Mr. Bolaji Shenjobi and Regional Manager, Ikoyi V/I branch, Mrs Yvonne Kogolo.

L-R:Vice Chancellor, The Premier University, SaoTome and Principe, Prof. Taiwo Ajayi; Prof. and Dr. (Mrs) Amos Idowu

L-R: Acting General Manager, Global Fleet, Mr. Timothy Afolayan; Chief Engineer, Energy Press, Mr. Tajudeen Oyeyemi and Managing Director CEO, Mr. Adesoye Adekoya.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

GMD’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

L-R: MD/CEO NICON Insurance, Mr. Emmanuel Jegede; MD/CEO, Gild Asset Management, Mr. Gabriel Owope; Barrister Wale Laseinde and GMD, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim OFR and former Chairman Nigeria Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Japan, Mr. Osakwe Ochade. Dr. Ibrahim (OFR) and his wife, Modupe.

L-R: Peoples Democratic Party governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom, Rt. Hon. Jerome Isangedighi; Dr. Ibrahim (OFR) and Rev Godnein Isaac. L-R: Relatives of the celebrant, Oyinda Akintola-Jimoh, her mother, Mrs. Omolola Akintola-Jimoh and sons, Ali and Rilwan.

L-R: Chief of Staff to the Group Managing Director, Energy Group, Dr. Yele Akinrolabu; Akwa Ibom State gubernatorial aspirant, Hon. Jerome Isangedighi and Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State, Hon. Bitire Solomon.

Guests with the celebrant, during the cutting of cake.

Special Guests, Bishop and Mrs. Mike Afolabi.

L-R: Dr. Lai Bello of Subol Hospital, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim and Mrs. Foluke Bello.

L-R: Ondo State Peoples Democratic Party senatorial aspirant, Elder Martins Okunfolami; party member, Prince Afolabi Ayinuola and consultant surgeon, Dr. Peter Oriaifo. Managing Director/CEO Newswatch Magazine, Dr. Bolu Folayan (left) and Senior Manager, Research and Strategy, National Mirror Newspapers, Alhaji Gani Kayode Balogun.

PHOTOS BY: ADEMOLA AKINLABI, YINKA ADEPARUSI, SAMUEL ADETIMEHIN


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News

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Reps tackle NIMASA for spending N36bn without approval WOLE OLADIMEJI ABUJA

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he House of Representatives Committee on Finance yesterday tackled the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) over the revenue projections from the budget office. The Chairman of the House Committee, Hon Abdulmumuni Jubril, wondered NIMASA could

spend up to N36 billion without getting approval from the National Assembly. Hon Jubril, who also took exception to the nonauditing of the account of NIMASA since 2008 till date, however, directed that the account should be audited. The lawmaker, who expressed concern over the continued absent of the representatives of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) before the committee, also tackled the

representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who appeared before the committee, saying: “No matter what is happening in CBN, that does not mean that the Acting Governor of CBN should not appear.” At the meeting, it was also discovered that nonsynergy between the Budget Office and the Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) could affect the implementation of the 2014 budget. The chairman raised an eyebrow over the implica-

tion of lack of harmony between the Budget Office and the MDAs following submissions by NIMASA and FAAN, both of which stated that their organisations did not interface with the Budget Office which submitted revenue projections for them to the committee. Jibril said: “The 2014 budget appears to have a lacuna and is therefore not realistic. Going by what we have just heard, it shows that the budget may only accumulate debts. “The Budget Office sub-

mitted a document for revenue projections for the 2014 budget, but here are some of the agencies saying no. For instance, the Budget Office projected the revenue of FAAN as N17.2 billion, but FAAN is saying they projected N56 billion with a view to remitting N500 million.” Also querying why there is a gap between the budget provisions and remittances of some of the MDAs, the

Nigeria spends N2.1trn on steel importation annually – AISA

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Founder, Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, Olumba Olumba Obu, being welcomed by his followers to the International Christ Universal Spirited Children Fellowship Convention in Lagos, at the weekend. PHOTO:NAN

BPE warns Kaduna power firms’ owners against payment default TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Dikki, has reminded the new owners of Afam Power Plc and Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDC) on the need to fully pay the bid price for the privatised entities, saying that despite government granting them access to the companies, they will not assume control of the until they fulfill their financial obligations on the deal. Dikki, who made the position of government known while inaugurating

the Transitional Committees (TCs) of the two companies in Abuja, explained that the Bureau initiated the Transitional Committees (TCs) concept in the power transaction to allow the core investors to interact with the management and to enable them have first hand information on the companies to prepare to implement the Post Acquisition Plan (PAP). He also said the move was aimed at allowing the investors to interface with the management for smooth transition from a public oriented enterprise to a private sector driven one and to engage them to understand the challenges and peculiarities

of the company. The Director General of the privatisation agency emphasised that that they would not assume full ownership of the companies until full payment is made. He said: “You are only allowed access to information and to acquaint yourselves with the workings of the company but not decision making. You should also not engage in any turf war with the management”. Describing the practice as novel in the privatization history in Nigeria and that the Bureau initiated it because of the complex nature of the power transaction, Dikki expressed the hope that the two newly

inaugurated Committees would also be beneficial to the core investors in view of the experience from the existing TCs. It would be recalled that on February 21, 2013 after a meeting with the Federal Government, management of the successor companies and the preferred bidders, it was resolved that after the payment of the initial 25 per cent deposit by the bidders, they would have the right to access the company facilities and participate in a transitional Committee. The primary goal of the TC will be to facilitate the smooth transition of the management and operational control of the SCs.

chairman wondered why they spent money that they were supposed to remit. The committee chairman said: “Why will you spend without remitting? Your action is in breach of the laws of the land. We have to find ways out of this. Over the years, the pattern of generation and remittances take the same pattern. Why? The whole thing looks like some arranged figures.”

he Secretary General of African Iron and Steel Association (AISA), Dr Muhammad Sanusi, said Nigeria spends N2.1 trillion annually on importation of iron and steel. Sanusi disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja. He said: “There is statistics by the Bureau of Public Statistics that Nigeria spent N21 trillion on steel imports in 10 years. “So, we are talking of N2.1 trillion per annum on the average, we are spending N2.1 trillion on the importation of steel ever year.” Sanusi appealed to the Federal Government to develop the mineral deposits lying fallow in more than 20 states across in the country. He said this should be done so as to conserve the foreign exchange being spent on the importation

of steel, while creating jobs and expanding the county’s revenue base. Sanusi said that 22 states had iron and steel deposits such as iron ore, coal, dolomite, limestone, marble and clay, among others. He listed the states to include Kogi, Enugu, Kano, Nassarawa, Kebbi, Bauchi, Lagos, Borno, Kaduna, Benue, Anambra, Zamfara, Plateau, Jigawa, Ogun, Cross River, Sokoto, Imo, Edo, Ebonyi, Abia and Katsina. “Now, there are more than 20 states that are endowed with all or some of these raw materials. “At the time Nigeria wanted to go into steel production, the government have the plan to do a survey “The Western world was then telling us that it would not work; that Nigeria did not have raw materials. “USSR later confirmed that there were large deposits of iron and steel in the country.

Probe’ll determine fate of kerosene subsidy –Senator

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ice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Sunny Ugbuoji, says that the outcome of ongoing Senate investigation into kerosene subsidy will determine the future of subsidies on petroleum products in the country. Ugbuoji spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja. He added that the investigation would show whether the Nigerian masses actually benefited from subsidies on petroleum products.

The senator said that “the whopping funds” being expended on subsidising petroleum products would have served better purpose if they were channelled into critical sectors of the nation’s economy. “That should not be and that would not be allowed to continue. This also will give us the opportunity to decide if we truly still need subsidy or not. “As it stands today, what is being spent on subsidy on petroleum in Nigeria is more than the capital budget of the country.


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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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News

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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Police sergeant bags death sentence ...Life imprisonment for 2 others SAM OLUWALANA

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sergeant and two other policemen have been handed a death sentence and life imprisonment respectively by a state high court sitting in Port Harcourt They bagged their fate over the death of two civilians while struggling with a bus driver over N100 bribe. Delivering the judgment yesterday, Justice Biobele Georgewill said the convicts conspired to murder the victims, Chinyeaka Kamalu and Ugochukwu Harcourt on January 17, 2010, in the state capital. He pronounced death by hanging on Sergeant

Clement Indyel, while Sergeant Ali Bello and Constable C. Auwalu Kwale were sentenced to life imprisonment. According to judge, the convicted policemen, who were serving under the state police command, were charged for felony, murder and conspiracy by the state, in connection with the murder of the victims, who were among the passengers attacked by the three officers over the N100 bribe. He said that having heard the submissions made by the lawyers and gone through the evidence presented before the court, he upheld that the convicted officers conspired to murder the two persons in

the bus because the driver refused to pay them the bribe of N100. The trial judge said the result of the autopsy conducted on the remains of the victims, which was tendered in court, showed that the wound sustained by them was from AK47 rifles used by the officers. He said the only way the souls of the victims could rest in peace for unjust murder by police officers who were meant to protect them was to allow the law to take its course. The Judge said: “Ali Bello is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment; Auwalu Kwale is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment”. Georgewill arose, went inside his chamber

and changed his gown. As he came back dressed in red and black, he said: “Clement Indyel is hereby sentenced to death by hanging. May his soul rest in peace.” He also ordered the state police commissioner with immediate effect to re-arrest other officers who were suspects on the matter to face the law. Reacting shortly after the judgment, yesterday, sister to late Kamalu, Mrs. Chinyere Ideoha, told journalists that he she was happy with the verdict, though her sister could not be brought back to life. “My sister was shot by the above officers who were chasing the bus drivers at Woke’s Street, Mile 4, Ru-

mueme, Port Harcourt, for a bribe of N100. “It is sad that my sister was among of those who died, but the judgment is a victory for the death.”

There was no comment from the counsel to the convicts, Mr. L.E Idiake. But, the defence counsel, Chidi Ekeh, said it was a justice for the victims.

FCT to spend N.9bn on drugs OMEIZA AJAYI

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he Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, is set to spend about N900 milion on drug procurement for its Central Medical Stores. Already, the Administration said in order to enhance the procurement, storage and distribution of drugs, laboratory reagents, medical gases and other specialised medical items to all its hospitals, the FCT Executive Committee had approved that the Abuja Central Medical Stores, ACMS, operate in line with the National Drug Distribution Guidelines. FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, made the disclosure yesterday at the FCT executive meeting in Abuja. Briefing journalists after the meeting, Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr Ademola Onakomaya, said the approval was to further ensure regular supply of quality and cost effective medical supplies to the residents of the FCT. He recalled that the Fed-

eral Ministry of Health in 2011 issued the National Drug Distribution Guidelines, which mandated all the states of the federation to establish State Drug Distribution Centres, SDDCs. He said the main objective of the policy was to put in place a sustainable system for the efficient and effective supply of safe, affordable and good quality drugs at all levels of healthcare on the basis of health needs in the public and private sectors. Onakomaya added that within the next few weeks, the secretariat would formulate and come out with the FCT Waste Management Policy to holistically manage both solid and liquid wastes within the 8,000 square kilometres of the FCT. The minister revealed that the policy would enable the FCTA manage various forms of waste, not only in the Federal Capital City, but also in the six area councils, including the satellite towns, in consonance with the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Lab interns protest crisis in health sector MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

Governor Shettima of Borno State going through the list of 116 drivers whose vehicles were burnt down by Boko Haram in Bama over the weekend

Judge’s absence stalls case against defecting governors ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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earing in a suit by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, seeking the sack of five sitting governors of the party who defected to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, was yesterday stalled. The affected governors are Alhaji Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers),

Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara). The case against them could not go on because the trial judge in the matter, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, was conspicuously absent in court yesterday. No reason was given for his absence. The counsels to the two parties were however asked to come back tomorrow.

As soon as all counsel in the matter got to court yesterday morning, they were politely informed by the court registrar to come back by 2 pm for the case. They all left the court to attend to other things. But when they came back few minutes to 2pm, they were told to pick another date as the judge was not yet available. The case was consequently adjourned to February 26, 2014.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was also listed as a defendant alongside the governors in the suit filed on behalf of the PDP by Alex Izinyon, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN. The PDP argued that the governors should be sacked from office on the ground that they had forfeited their offices having defected from the ruling PDP on whose back they rode to their offices.

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edical laboratory interns, under the auspices of Young Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, YMLSN, yesterday in Abuja protested alleged ‘lawlessness’ in the nation’s health sector. The protest, according to chairman of the association, Ikechukwu Nweke, who spoke with journalists, was to demand immediate resolution of crises that have ‘dented’ the image of the nation’s health sector in recent months. Nweke also said his group was uncomfortable with its mode of entry into the nation’s civil service. He said medical labora-

tory scientist interns were placed on CONHESS 7, against CONHESS 8 where their contemporaries in the health sector are placed. According to him, letters and agitations had been presented to the concerned authorities without results accompanying such complaints. The development, he stressed, has been causing harm and delay in career progression to medical laboratory scientists in the country. “It is in this regard that we came out today en masse under the aegis of Young Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria to cry to well-meaning Nigerians to give us support to ensure the enhanced medical laboratory scientists become a reality for us in Nigeria.


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South West

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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Muslims reject Yoruba delegates to national conference •Nigeria needs elders’ experience to forge ahead –Fashola KEMI OLAITAN AND FRANCIS SUBERU

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s countdown to the commencement of the proposed National Conference begins, the Muslim Ummah of South West (MUSWEN) has rejected the list of 15 people presented by the Yoruba leaders for the conference. MUSWEN Executive Secretary, Prof. Daud Noib, while addressing journalists yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, said despite warnings, the “socalled leaders did not con-

tact Muslims in the zone as regard representation and presented a list of 15 Christians who would represent the region.” He warned that any attempt by a self-appointed group to force itself on the Muslims would be resisted by all means, saying: “to be fore warned is to be fore armed.” Noib said Muslims in the South-West did not recognise the “so-called leaders” and “we have not mandated any group to represent us at the confab. Any decision reached by that group on behalf of the South-West will therefore be null and

void.” While noting that this was not the first time it would be alerting the nation about the danger being surreptitiously engineered by a group of Christians in the South-West calling itself leaders, he said the self-arrogated body had been stirring ripples in a religion brook not minding the consequences of its action. Noib stated that following the announcement of the National Dialogue by President Goodluck Jonathan, the “so-called” SouthWest leaders began to meet secretly in readiness for the

confab at different places without involving Muslims. He said as a way of excluding Muslims, meetings were fixed for 1.00 pm on Fridays knowing that the Muslims would attend the Jum’at service. Noib said Yoruba leaders have the responsibility to approach all stakeholders since they claimed to be representing the zone. He said: “We are not to search for them in their hideouts. They have to seek our views knowing fully well that Muslims are in majority in the zone. They are aware that the old order

has changed. “They are aware that Muslims are being marginalised and we are not going to accept that anymore.” Noib noted that the cordial relationship between Muslims and Christians in the South-West was made possible by the tolerance, patience and perseverance of the Muslims. Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has reiterated the importance of engaging elderly and experienced citizens in steering the ship of the nation, saying their experiences and dispositions are needed to forge ahead. Fashola spoke yesterday while receiving the representatives of Lagos State to the planned National Conference at the Government House, Alausa, Ikeja. The governor, who said wide consultations were made before the representatives were chosen, added that they would only plead the course of the people of the state. He said: “Our three representatives to the conference have been chosen to plead our charge. When

you see the direction in which our country is heading, perhaps it is important now to call on not just elderly people, but the leaders who could help us forge a way forward and steer the ship of the state by their experience, by their knowledge and by their dispositions. “Our position as governors in South-West was to allow our people who want to express themselves to do so, away from what the political tendencies could be. “Without trying to prejudge what your recommendations will be, there are positions we have agitated before that are contained in the materials that I left in the chief of staff ’s office. I wish you well as you go about the service of our dear state.” Former Federal Commissioner for Housing, Alhaji Femi Okunnu, who led the six representatives to the meeting, told the governor that one of the positions they would be agitating as representatives of Lagos is revenue allocation to the state, being a former capital of the country.

Igbo community in Oyo hailed for embracing peace KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

T Students of Lagos State University (LASU) being screened following the re-opening of the institution in Lagos, yesterday.

PHOTO:NAN

Impeachment: Lagos asks court to dismiss Pedro’s appeal WALE IGBINTADE

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he Lagos State Government has asked the Lagos Division of Court of Appeal to dismiss the appeal filed by a former deputy governor, Mr. Femi Pedro, over his impeachment from office. Pedro had challenged his removal on May10, 2007, asking the state High Court to declare that the process leading to his impeachment as the state deputy governor was improper, illegal, null and void. But the trial judge, Justice Yetunde Idowu, dismissed Pedro’s suit on

technical grounds, saying that the suit was brought in form of originating summons instead of the writ of summons as provided by law. Dissatisfied, Pedro appealed against the ruling and urged the appellate court to set it aside the decision of the lower court. At the resumed hearing of the appeal yesterday, Lagos State Governor and the Attorney-General of Lagos State, (2nd and 3rd respondents) in their motion on notice prayed the court for extension of time within which to file and serve their brief of argument. The application

brought pursuant to Order and Rule 10 of the Court of Appeal Rules 3011 signed by one Ashley Onyeka, a legal practitioner from the law firm of Aboyade& Co, stated that the delay in filing brief of argument within time as prescribed by the rules of court was not out of disrespect but because the case file was misplaced in chambers. Besides the 2nd and 3rd respondents urged the court to declare the entire appeal as incompetent and should be stuck out. The stated that the originating summons and all proceedings and processes brought upon it were

incompetent, having being signed by an unknown person. They urged the court to determine whether by the affidavit and documentary evidence before the lower court, the appellant proved his case and was entitled to the relief sought. After being impeached by the Lagos State House of Assembly (1st respondent), the former deputy governor, through his lawyer, the late Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), approached the High Court of Lagos by way of an originating summons dated July 8, 2007.

he Igbo community in Oyo State has been commended for not allowing the 17-yearold leadership tussle that rocked it to degenerate into violence and blood-letting. The Ezendigbo of Ibadanland, Dr. Alex Anozie, commended the community yesterday while addressing a press conference at his Ososami, Ibadan palace, on the recent judgement of Justice Moshood Abas of the Oyo State High Court which ruled that he (Anozie) is the authentic head of the Igbo community in Oyo State. While urging other Nigerians to emulate the Igbo community, Anozie noted that with the ruling, the 17-year-old leadership tussle had ended without resorting to violence or killing. Hailing the judiciary for the judgement, he specifically commended his

people for enduring provocation and embarrassment while the leadership tussle lasted. Anozie, however, expressed his readiness to welcome back to the fold all those who lost out in the case. He said: “We will open our arms to receive them back into the fold because almost all of them were with us before the unfortunate visit of the South-East traditional rulers to Ibadan some years back and caused the serious damage by their action which was against the peace and unity among Ndigbo in Ibadan and Oyo State.” Anozie asked members of the Igbo community to continue to be law-abiding and be promoters of peace and progress of their host community. He also lauded the Governor Abiola Ajimobi-led administration and the Olubadan of Ibadanland for the mature and unbiased manner they handled the matter.


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SouthWest

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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APC governors warn over youth unemployment KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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overnors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday warned that the ambition of Nigeria to be a major power in the world would be a mirage unless it solves the problem of over 20 million unemployed youths. The Chairman, Progressive Governors Forum and Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, gave the warning at the First Progressive Governance Lecture held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. He said the current unemployment situation in the country is unacceptable as it endangers the social, economic and political sta-

bility of the country. Okorocha stated that that aspiring to be world power without empowering the youth who are expected to take the country to the next level would be laughable, if not tragic for Nigeria. He assured of the commitment of the Forum to proactively change Nigeria through responsive governance that would stimulate political, socio-economic growth and development of the country, as well as guarantee citizens’ well-being. He said: “The current unemployment situation in Nigeria is unacceptable, and is a danger to the social, economic and political stability of Nigeria. “It also impacts negatively on our ambitions as a country. We can no longer

remain insensitive to issues around unemployment and the crises of governance in Nigeria. “As part of APC’s commitment to tackling major issues, this gathering will aptly bring out the issues and come up with tangible, workable proposals that will make immediate impact on job creation.” Speaking in the same

vein, the host governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, said there is need to urgently address the problem of youth unemployment in the county, stating that the rate of unemployment in the country is increasing yearly and needs urgent attention. Ajimobi disclosed that ‘as soon as the APC takes over governance at the fed-

eral level next year’, the problem of unemployment, among others, would be addressed. The governor said his administration had created a peaceful environment for investors, thereby creating employment opportunities for the youth. The guest speaker, Dr. Ayo Teriba, in his lecture entitled, “Unemployment

and the Crisis of Governance in Nigeria: The Way Forward”, called on the Federal Government to make monthly employment data available before the end of each month, fix rail transportation, rethink fiscal policy, refocus monetary policy and ensure that elected officials accept responsibility for policy formulation and coordination.

Burglary: 2 ex-convicts nabbed in Ondo HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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wo ex-convicts who have been tormenting the residents of Oba Akoko in Akoko SouthWest Local Government Area of Ondo State have been arrested by the police over burglary and stealing. The convicts, Monday Ige and Lucky Francis, were arrested by the men of the State Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, after a tip off. Confirming the development, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO in the state, Wole Ogodo, explained that a patrol team from the Divisional Police Headquarters in Oba Akoko had been informed about the activities of the burglars. Ogodo said the anti-robbery squad swung into action and arrested the two suspects in a bush around

the town. The suspects, he disclosed, confessed to the crime while some incriminating items were recovered from the two men. The PPRO said the suspects, upon interrogation, confessed to have burgled the shop of one Damilola Ishola and carted away some items. Some of the items stolen from the shop include a Dell laptop computer, handsets, DVD player, digital camera, sound system and a minigenerating set which were recovered from them. Ogodo said the command discovered during the investigation that the two suspects were only recently released from the Owo Prison, where they served jail terms. He, however, said that investigation was ongoing and that the suspects would soon be charged to court.

Lagos Methodists to hold 52nd synod

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he annual synod of the Diocese of Lagos, Methodist Church, Nigeria 2014, will take place from Thursday, 27th February, 2014 to Sunday 2nd March, 2014. The event, which is expected to attract a large number of faithful, clergies and others from all walks of life, will hold at Hanson Street, Ilupeju, Mushin, Lagos. This year’s synod, the

52nd, will start at 7.30 a.m. with ministerial and lay sessions, followed by communion services. The Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Chams Nigeria Ltd, Sir Ademola Aladekomo will be the guest preacher at the event. On Friday, the Lagos State The sermon will be delivered by the Bishop, Diocese of Lagos West, Methodist Church, Nigeria, Rt. Revd. Oluwayemisi Ogunlere.

L-R: Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Lagos, Cardinal James Odunmbaku; wife of Ekiti State Governor, Bisi Fayemi; and a former Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Leke Pitan, during the City People magazine’s First Political Excellence Awards, where the First Lady and Governor Kayode Fayemi bagged awards for Exemplary Commitment to Women Empowerment and as the Best Governor in Grassroots Development respectively, in Lagos, yesterday

Man to die by hanging over murdered corps member ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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n Ikere Ekiti High Court yesterday sentenced a 26-yearold commercial motorcyclist, Theophilus Pius, to death by hanging over the murder of a National Youth Service Corps, NYSC member, Anthonia Okeke. Justice Adegoriola Adeleye also sentenced the condemned person to 10 years imprisonment for kidnapping the corps member in 2008, which culminated in her death in the hand of

ritualists. Okeke, who was then undergoing her compulsory one-year national service at Ilawe Ekiti, was kidnapped on December 19, 2008 by the motorcyclist who was billed to take her to the park to board a bus home for Christmas. In his judgment, Adeleye said he found the evidence presented by the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, from the State Ministry of Justice, Mr. Adeleye Familoni against Pius as having probative value and reliable enough to convince

him that the accused person was guilty of the case. He said: “I want to submit that the prosecution counsel has been able to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt. He has been able to establish that the defendant is culpable and no criminal shall go unpunished in the face of law.” The judge, who sentenced Pius to a ten-year jail term for his complicity in the kidnap of the late corps member, also ruled that he should die by hanging for murder of the lady. Elder brother to the late

Anthonia, Obinna Okeke, said the verdict had proved that those with criminal intentions could not have their way as long as the government was determined to apply the relevant laws against them in a diligent manner. The DPP, Familoni said it was a victory against evil doers and those desirous of making money through fraudulent means. He said the ministry would continue to help the society in tightening noose against those with criminal tendencies.

VIO dies, another injured in Ogun multiple auto crash FEMI O YEWESO ABEOKUTA

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n unidentified personnel of the Ogun State Vehicle Inspection Office, VIO, has been confirmed dead, while another one is on the danger list following a multiple accident which occurred at the early hours of yesterday along the LagosAbeokuta expressway. The auto crash which happened at 10. 45 am in front of Lafarge Cement Company in the Ewekoro

Local Government Area of Ogun State, involved three vehicles, including a DAF truck marked (LAGOS) KRD 237 XK. The truck rammed into a stationary Toyota Matrix car marked (LAGOS) FKJ 991 AV, before hitting another heavy duty vehicle. VIO officials from the Sango Ota office were examining the particulars of a speeding ten-ton truck on the expressway before the crash which claimed the life of one of them occurred.

The cement-laden DAF truck, which appeared to have a failed break, burst from the rear, overtook other vehicles, before hitting the Toyota Matrix car. It eventually forced the stationary 10-Ton truck to run over three VIO officials. While one of them died on the spot, another one identified as Jamiu, who was bearing the spikes, was critically injured. Blood was oozing from of his head, nose and chest. Contacted, the Itori

Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Fatai Bakare, who confirmed the incident, said six people, all males, were involved in the accident. Bakare, who attributed the cause of the accident to break failure, also stated that corpse of the dead VIO personnel had been deposited at the Itori General hospital, while the injured victim was also receiving treatment at the same hospital.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SUPER TUESDAY We’ll take Kogi beyond people’s expectations -Wada

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Politics

Bola Ige: Adesiyan, ministerial nominee’s albatross

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2015: PDP, APC in game of suspicion over membership registration The membership registration exercise of the All Progressives Congress, APC has come and gone, but the echoes from the exercise is yet to die down, as the ruling PDP and the APC engage each other in battle of wits as prelude to the 2015 general election, writes FEMI OYEWESO.

Amosun

Mohammed

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STORY

hairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega blew the final whistle for polticians to commence what they knew and enjoyed doing best when he releases the time-table for the 2015 general elections. Precisely, on January 25, INEC announced to the whole world that partial ban on electoral activities has been lifted and that gave all the political parties that will be participating in the polls the leverage needed to strategise for the election. As expected however, the two leading political parties, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as well as the All Progressives Party, APC, which have in recent times, been in rivalry also have the opportunity to accuse each other of scheming to rig the elections even when the electoral umpire was yet to lift total ban on political activities. All the opposition political parties who converged to found the APC felt it was necessary to carry out registration of new members for the new party in order to afford it the opportunity of fielding candidates for the year 2015 general elections in a way that truly reflects all the component parts. The national leadership of APC fixed its membership registration exercise for Wednesday, February 5, to run through February 11, although originally scheduled to end February 9.

The national leadership of the party explained that it was extending the date so as to give room for members of the legacy parties, which included the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and other parties which fused together to form the APC, to be part of the registration exercise. But, in what appeared to be a suspicion move to preempt the opposition however, the PDP sparked off a controversy over the APC membership registration exercise, accusing the APC of scheming to manipulate the 2015 general election with an untenable membership figure.

THE PDP SPARKED OFF A CONTROVERSY OVER THE APC MEMBERSHIP REGISTRATION

EXERCISE, ACCUSING THE APC OF SCHEMING TO MANIPULATE THE 2015 GENERAL ELECTION WITH AN UNTENABLE

MEMBERSHIP FIGURE.

The PDP also accused the governors of the APC-controlled states of coercing civil servants to partake in the membership registration exercise as party members. The National Auditor of the PDP, Alhaji Adewole Adeyanju, was the first to raise the alarm before other members of the party queued behind him. In a statement which he signed in Abuja, Adeyanju alleged that APC had already coerced civil servants, “especially in the South- West, where I come from” to get registered as card carrying member of APC. He explained that the rationale behind such move was to enable the APC arrogate pseudo glory to itself, peradventure it loses the year 2015 presidential election. Adeyanju disclosed that the intention of the APC was to fool the nation that they had registered over 100 million members at the end of the exercise. He further alleged that governors in all the APC controlled states of South West have also attached promotions and other benefits to be enjoyed by civil servants to the registration exercise. His words: “This madness on the part of the APC governors of forcing innocent civil servants to register for their party must stop; it is real, especially in the South- West where I come from. I have been receiving series of reports on this since the beginning of the exercise. “The innocent civil servants will have no option than to succumb to the directive for job security since they have no job elsewhere. The APC is desperate, it have been telling the civil servant to go and register with APC, and that without the party’s membership card, there will not be promotion for them and later they will go a step further by denying them certain services being provided by the APC controlled states.” Also, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in another statement also accused the APC of constituting itself into a nuisance in the political landscape of Nigeria. Back in the South West however, chairman of the Ogun State chapter of the PDP, Engineer Bayo Dayo, alleged that the APC had been forcing civil servants and the underaged, especially students, to register as members of the ruling party in the state. Dayo made this allegation during an emergency meeting of the party held in Ijebu-Igbo, the country home of chairman of the Organizing and Mobilization Committee of the party in the South West, Buruji Kashamu. Dayo stated that the alleged forcible registration of civil servants in the state by the Ibikunle Amosun-led APC administration in Ogun State contradicted the laws of the land, stressing that the PDP would report the development in the state to the appropriate authorities at the national level in order to put a stop to it. In defense of the accusations however, the APC described the PDP’s allegations as sabotage of its ongoing membership registration exercise. The party said that the PDP’s rush to the media to condemn the process have shown that the ruling party is a cog in the wheel of the progress of democracy in Nigeria. APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai MohamCONTINUED ON PAGE 41


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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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We’ll take Kogi beyond people’s Kogi State governor, Captain Idris Ichalla Wada recently celebrated second year in office and he restated commitment to transform the state through agriculture. In a chat with journalists in Lokoja, the governor bares his mind on plans to take Kogi State to the next level. WALE IBRAHIM brings excerpts: Recently, your administration went to the stock market to apply for N20 billion bonds. Specifically what are the projects the money will be used for? We applied for N20 billion, but it was arranged in tranches of N5 billion. The first N5 billion was made available by first week of February. There are many processes and procedure involved and the bond is tied to projects. It is not money given out for people to use the way they like. We had a presentation at the issuing houses, such as Security and Exchange Commission, SEC, Debt Management Office, DMO and the Federal Ministry of Finance. We had to specify what we are going to use the money for, and specifically we are going to use the money for infrastructure development. We intend to build a road from Otokiti to Ganaja- Ajaokuta which will be dual carriage so as to open up a new town in the state capital. It is also in our plan to build 500 housing unit from the proceed of the bond, we are going to build zonal hospitals with the bond as well as several water projects in the three senatorial districts of the state. Also, some schools will be touched. The Kogi State University Teaching Hospital at Anyigba is a major project that would also come out of the bond. For all these projects, studies were carried out, consultations were made and some of them were at the stage of tender opening. After about three months, subject to how well we use the first tranche, we will apply for the second tranche of the bond which is another N5 billion and then we will execute those projects. Some of the projects I have outlined earlier cannot be completed with the first tranche, we will just start and take them to a certain stage where an evaluation by the bond issuing authorities would be carried out, they would come and expect to see how far we have gone and how well we have spend the money before they approved the second tranche of the money. This money is not the type of money that will be floating around for us to do what we like with it. It is targeted at specific projects which will be periodically assessed by the bond issuing authorities before further disbursements are made. What is the state government doing about some sacked workers who went to court and have not been reinstated up till now? On the issue of Sally Tibot screening exercise of 2008 where some workers were sacked, the aggrieved sacked workers that went to court got judgment but the state government has appealed the judgment at Appeal Court in Abuja and I believe we had a stay of execution of the judgement, that is why they have not been recalled, so until we hear from the appeal and the legal advice of the state Ministry of Justice, we can’t take any action on the matter, but I assure you that it will be resolved. Agriculture is one area where your administration has done well. But with the commencement of dry season farming, not much has been heard. Cashew is another area where Kogi has comparative advantage, what is your government doing to make cashew a cash crop that will generate revenue for the state? The Accelerated Rice Programme is on, but we have not made much noise this year as we did last year because last year was the beginning. We believed that we have achieved the awareness, because a lot of our people have shown interest. In Sarkin Noma area, we have a seedling farm there and a lot of rice has been planted for the dry season farming. Interested farmers have accessed input; we have given them seedlings, fertilisers and extension workers who are working with them. We have also went further to send a team from the state to Vietnam, because Vietnam is a

Wada

THIS MONEY IS NOT THE TYPE OF MONEY THAT WILL BE FLOATING AROUND FOR US TO DO WHAT WE LIKE WITH IT.

IT IS TARGETED AT SPECIFIC PROJECTS WHICH WILL BE PERIODICALLY ASSESSED BY THE BOND ISSUING AUTHORITIES

country that about twenty years ago was importing rice, but today the country is about the second or third largest exporter of rice in the whole world. Vietnam used appropriate technology, we sent a team there to study what they were doing, they came back with ideas on how to improve our performance and we are now implementing some of those ideas. During the first week of February we will have a visiting team from Vietnam to work with our people to increase their capacity in terms of rice production in the state. We are going to partner with the team from Vietnam to make Kogi State one of the largest producers of rice in Nigeria in few years from now. Much publicity was not given as we did in the first year but we are working hard on the sustainability of the programme and my happiness is that many of our farmers has improved their methods and they have shown tremendous interest in rice production. We are also number one in the country in terms of cassava production. Every local government council in Kogi State grow cassava in large quantities. Recently, we took the Minister of Agriculture and 14 American from Cargil Group of Company to Alape in

Kabba Bunu Local Government; we as a state have cleared and planted over 200 hectares of cassava, which is growing beautifully. They were very happy with our effort and commitment, and they were ready to work with us to put cassava plant there that would produce starch and sweeteners for domestic and export markets. We are encouraging our people to grow cassava because we have also introduced cassava processing micro industries in some of the local government areas in the state and more local government areas will be co-opted into the programme this year where youth and women will be engaged in processing cassava chips, and others. The market is growing, we are now being recognised for the cassava cultivation because we got enquires from industries that need cassava as raw material. On cashew, Kogi is also doing well. We are working hand in hand with the Cashew Association of Nigeria, tapping in on their experiences, we are again in contact with a team in Vietnam to domesticate cashew for us so that we can add value to it. Through the association, we are working toward processing of cashew before its exportation so that the farmers can get their value. When the Vietnamese come, they will help us to establish cashew plantations. The Vietnamese will train our people on modern techniques and varieties of cashew that will sell, that will give the farmers higher yield. In addition, the Kogi State University, Anyigba, has started processing cashew and the product is already in the market for consumption. The university is planning to establish a cashew centre of excellence; they have done a lot of researches on cashew nut to improve on it and to make it as one of their sources of internally generated revenue, IGR, to help the programmes of the university. So a lot of work has been done in this area, but it has not been published because we want to be confident and sure of the way forward before we publicise it. This is one of the characteristic of our government as we do a lot of planning, research and be sure of what we are doing before we made it public. In view of lean resources from the federation account, what is your government doing to improve on IGR of the state? On the state IGR, before I took over, the IGR of the state was between N150 and N180 million, but we improved it to between N450 and N500 million per month. What we did


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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

expectations -Wada was to block some of the leakages and we have started seeing the prospect The biggest effort we are putting now is working with the Department for International Development, DFID, which sent a team to us called James – 3, who are helping us to go to the fundamental of IGR, they carried out documentation of undocumented people and organisations in the state, guide us on the way forward because they have done it in three other states in this country where the states have seen tremendous improvement. So there is a systematic effort working with the DFID, the state Board of Internal Revenue and the Ministry of Finance to restructure the IGR systems of Kogi State. We hope that by this time next year, we would be talking about double or triple what we are generating as IGR now in the state. We are also educating our people. That tax is a civil obligation and if you are expecting development you should contribute your part by paying tax regularly. Recently the DFID assisted us with four hilux vehicles and ten motorcycles to ease movement of the tax officers. We have also recruited some young graduates who are to be trained to improve on the collection and documentation of IGR in the State. Sport and tourism are vital areas from which the state can make money, what strategy has this administration put in place for the development of these sectors? On sport, we have deployed a sole-administrator to the sector and we are restructuring Kogi United and Confluence Queen Football clubs. We have unveiled brand new logo for both teams. We have also launched their new jerseys as part of our transformation of football in the state, I urged people to buy the jerseys to support our clubs. Europe was able to reach where they are today as a result of support from people, therefore we should also support Kogi United Club with the same passion. Government have also motivated the players by paying their salaries through e-payment to avoid any cheating that may arise from government officials, which happen when I newly came in as governor. I have invested in sport more than any other administration in the state, but it was unfortunate that such money did not reach the players, the coaches and the technical crew. Such corrupt attitude of some people cannot yield the desired result, if the money does not go to the right destination. We have changed all of that. This type of motivation will definitely help sport to grow in the state. We will sustain this effort for sport to grow. A board will soon be inaugurated for the clubs because the sole administrator’s job is almost finished. The board will move the club forward from where the sole-administrator stops. We have also gotten a young man, a citizen of Kogi State who had excel in football in Europe and has volunteer to come to the State as technical adviser to both teams. That is the kind of sacrifice we needed at this crucial period to move the teams forward. 30 years ago, British football and league was not at the level it was today. We have to first begin to lay the foundation for proper football in our state. On tourism, when I came on board I met nothing on ground as far as tourism is concerned, but we have to show the world that there are some historic sites in the state. I decided that there is the need to renovate them to make the sites presentable to the visitors. We have the first primary school in the Northern Nigeria here in the state but the school was in a dilapidated form. Such school you can not invite visitors from other countries to come and see, but now the school has been renovated; Lord Lugard house on top of mount Patti has been rebuild and several other artefacts. Where the Niger royal flag was lowered and Nigeria flag was raised has been rebuilt. Those places are in good shape now. It can be shown to visitors. We are also looking at Mount Patti as a recreational park that will attract visitors. Also one of the ideas of ShintakuGnaja Bridge is to pass it by the confluence so that people will stand on the bridge and watch the actual confluence. We will tidy the shore line at the confluence beach hotel to make it look attractive to people. We will put golf course, modern swimming pool and the chalets will be giving a face lift so that whoever lodge there will definitely enjoy his stay in the hotel.

Anenih urges Southerners to support Jonathan OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

THE KOGI STATE UNIVERSITY, ANYIGBA, HAS STARTED PROCESSING CASHEW AND THE PRODUCT IS ALREADY IN THE MARKET FOR CONSUMPTION.

THE UNIVERSITY IS PLANNING TO ESTABLISH A CASHEW CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

The conference centre at the beach hotel has the capacity of accommodating over 2,000 people. It will be renovated so that big events can be organised there. What is the state government is doing about the ailing Kogi State Transport Corporation? The state government has set aside money for the revival of Kogi State Transport Corporation. We want to ensure that whatever is invested will later earn more money for the sustainability of the corporation. We have secured a consultant who will come up with a blueprint for a public service partnership on a franchise model where the state purchase some buses and get a transporter to buy some on a ratio of 70-30 or 40-60, then we will have a team in the state Ministry of Transport which will be saddled with the responsibility of monitoring and regulating the corporation while the private sector will be the direct management. As the corporation expands, the state government will inject more money. The state government has scheduled April, 2014 for the launching of the transport services. We have also concluded arrangement for the purchase of buses that will ply the state capital to all the 21 local government areas of the state. Intra city buses and taxis will be introduced at a subsidized rate to serve as part of welfare for the civil servants and the people of the state. The non payment of salary to the local government council workers is becoming an embarrassment to the state, what is your administration doing to correct this anomaly? The issue of local government councils paying half salaries to their staff in Kogi State is unfortunate and unconstitutional. When people agitate for local government autonomy, it looks realistic, but in the actual sense of it, it can never work, because of financial recklessness of some people who may be opportuned to be at the helm of affairs of the councils. Local government council was established as third tier form of government aimed at taking development to the grass root. Since I came on board, I have been giving free hand to the chairmen of the local government in the state to operate. I don’t interfere or touch their money. The council’s allocation comes direct into the joint account, after the statutory deduction as stipulated by law, I ordered that their money be given to them without removing kobo, and unfortunately there is high level of mismanagement in the council. The chairmen don’t have reason to pay certain percentage of salary to staff. To avoid ghost workers, we have insisted that a biometric exercise should be conducted to know the actual and genuine staffers of the councils. The report of the biometric has been submitted to me, but it is not yet implemented because of some political reasons and sentiments attached to it. I have also set a committee of high reputable people within the state to look into the local councils take complains of the people, investigate and address any genuine complaint after which the result of the biometric exercise will be implemented I am optimistic that with this measure in place, the wage bill will go down to the level that they will be able to pay salaries conveniently.

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hairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, has called on states of Southern Nigeria to unite behind President Goodluck Jonathan and support him in the governance of the nation. Anenih made the call in an address he delivered yesterday at the Southern Leaders Summit held at the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort in Calabar. He said the President needed their support to face the challenges created by Boko Haram, the global economic recession and unrest, and to keep the country united. Declaring that “the unity of this country is not negotiable,” Anenih said: “We must acknowledge the uncommon leadership the President has exhibited in the face of these challenges.” The PDP BoT Chairman also said: “Unfortunately, some Nigerians do not see any good in the present administration. This perception should be killed.” Anenih expressed happiness at the summit, which was convened to articulate Southern Nigeria’s positions at the forthcoming National Conference. He also said that “the response to the National Conference Committee was quite remarkable; so also is the widespread pre-National Conference Dialogue that is going on among various groups across the country. “I commend President Jonathan for his sagacity in giving Nigerians this golden platform to examine areas of concern about the Nigerian federation and find common solutions to those problems that have constituted a hindrance to our evolutionary journey to nationhood. “I am convinced that the National Conference will strengthen the bonds of unity, the fabric of our federalism and the pillars of our nationhood.” He added that “It is gratifying that different groups—nationalities, civil society organisations, faith-based organisations and academic institutions—are crystallising

their positions and preparing well-thought-out proposals for the conference. “This Southern Leaders Summit is, surely, one of the pre-conference fora which, hopefully, will identify areas of common interest to the States of the South.” Anenih, who used the occasion to lament the inability of the states of the South to operate on a common platform or to speak consistently with one voice, said the summit would provide a platform to identify common concerns, adding: “There is no doubt that there are many concerns which they share and need to identify at a platform such as this. Our Northern counterparts have been known to work together as a united front. We in the South must also forge unity and cooperation among ourselves.” He noted that participants at the summit are men and women who have distinguished themselves in their various callings and in the services of this country, expressing confidence that the ideas and proposals which would emanate from the deliberations would not only be profound but also capable of lifting the country and helping it towards attaining its manifest destiny.” He admonished that the National Conference must not be seen as a platform to shout at one another but rather as “another opportunity to make our country a better place to live in.” “We must concern ourselves with proffering ideas that will bring improvements to every aspect and sector of our national life. Our aim must be to facilitate the emergence of a new Nigeria which, in the days, months and years after the National Conference, will be far better and more united than ever before,” he said.

Anenih


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Politics

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Centenary: Jonathan hosts world leaders

ASO ROCK FILE

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with

Rotimi FADEYI

As Jonathan suspends CBN governor, Sanusi T he news came Thursday morning just as people were settling down for work and even when trading on the floor of the capital market was already gaining momentum; that the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has been suspended by President Goodluck Jonathan The Sanusi’s suspension was announced in a press statement issued by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati The statement also said that the most senior Deputy Governor in the bank, Dr. Sarah Alade has been directed to immediately assumed the position of acting governor of the bank until the conclusion of on-going investigations into breaches of enabling laws, due process and mandate of the CBN. As the news went round, many people, especially businessmen, wanted to know if the story was true as Sanusi was at that time in Niger Republic attending a conference. Abati, in the statement, explained that Sanusi’s suspension has to do with alleged financial recklessness and professional misconduct which are inconsistent with the present administration’s vision of a Central Bank.

According to him, the decision to suspend Sanusi as the governor of the bank was taken as government was determined to urgently re-position the CBN for greater efficiency, respect for due process and accountability. He also stated that the President has not acted contrary to the provisions of the law, stressing that the CBN Act empowers the President to suspend the CBN governor without recourse to the National Assembly. Abati explained that people who talk about illegality are referring to Section 11, sub-section 2 of the CBN Act, saying that what the President has done was not removal but suspension. The suspension, Abati said, has nothing to do with the appearances at the National Assembly over allegations raised by Sanusi against the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, over missing $20billion oil money. But Sanusi has already gone to court to secure an order restraining the Federal Government, the Nigeria Police Force and the State Security Service, SSS, from arresting him. Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Lagos Federal High Court last Friday issued the order following a motion ex-parte brought by Sanusi against the government.

Presidential Villa’s visitors 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Chief Executive Officer, Citi Bank, Mr. Jim Cowles Gambian Special Envoy, Dr. Abubakar Senghore Secretary General, World Customs Organisation, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya Director General, National Sports Commission, Gbenga Elegbeleye Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu 6 Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Adamu Mu’azu 7 Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko 8 Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam 9 Katsina State governor, Ibrahim Shema 10 Gambian Ambassador to Nigeria, Angela Colley Iheme

he country would witness an upsurge in political, social and economic activities as 28 heads of states and governments are being expected in Nigeria in the next few days to attend an international conference as part of the centenary celebrations. President Goodluck Jonathan, who would play host to the heads of states and governments, is also expected to present the lead paper at the conference which holds at the International Conference Centre with focus on how to secure the continent against activities of terrorists and other security threats. Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, disclosed last week at the end of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting that the conference would focus attention on the urgent need to tackle security in the African continent and the challenges of global security. Anyim explained that the theme of the centenary celebrations was designed to reflect the key concepts of unity, indivisibility and progress of the country. The SGF further disclosed at the briefing that the government would also organise a

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The President said he considered himself now formally recognised as number one supporter of the Nigeria Football Supporters’ Clubs, adding: “This decoration is dedicated to all members of my cabinet and indeed all Nigerians of goodwill because without the support of the ministers in charge of sports and other ministers that play key role and indeed all Nigerians that continue to support you and our teams, the achievements would not be possible. So we all share in this joy today. “I have always been keen supporter of our national teams in all sports. This cer-

dinner to raise funds while a committee is already in place to manage the resources that would be raised at the Eko Convention Centre, Lagos. He explained that the government would also organise an award for Nigerians who had contributed to the progress of Nigeria and who struggled for the independence of the nation stressing that 40 per cent of the award would be posthumous. The awardees would include those who had distinguished themselves in commerce and industry, heroes in sports, private sector, media, entertainment, the academia and other areas of life. Speaking further on the centenary, Maku explained that the celebration would expose the opportunities available in the country to foreign investors. “This celebration will also sell Nigeria to the world by exposing opportunities for investments in agriculture, power, manufacturing and all other areas, to show hope to investors that this country is worth investing in,” Maku said. Over 25,000 persons are expected to witness some of the events, including the multimedia show at the national stadium, Abuja.

Secretary General, World Customs Organisation, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya; President Goodluck Jonathan and the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko during the visit of Mikuriya to the State House.

The Boko Haram war in Borno

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his is not the best of times for Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, whose state has lost many lives and valuable property to the violent and deadly activities of the Boko Haram sect in the last few years. He was at the Presidential Villa last week, where he attended a security meeting summoned by President Goodluck Jonathan following the attack on Izghe, a village in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State killing about 106 people. Shettima, who is in pains, agony and

The N50m largesse for Super Eagles supporters’ club

igeria Football Supporters Club Worldwide is N50 million richer as President Goodluck Jonathan last week announced Federal Government’s financial support towards this year’s World Cup in Brazil. The President spoke during his conferment as the Grand Patron of the club shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting. At the conferment ceremony, Jonathan noted that it was a great honour to be decorated as the grand patron of the Nigeria football supporters club worldwide.

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emony, however, officially confer on me the formal responsibility of leading our supporters in cheering our national football teams whenever we are engaged in competitions. I hope to be with you in Brazil.” He said that as the grand patron of the Nigerian Football Supporters Club, his administration would not relent in giving the support required to sports men and women to excel in all international football competitions, The President urged the Supporters’ Club not to relent in its very important role in cheering the athletes and sports men to victory.

grief had to cry out when he emerged from the meeting that it is now a war-like situation in his state. The governor said he was worried about the situation as the Islamic fundamentalist group, Boko Haram, is now better armed and more motivated to carry out their violent and deadly activities of killing innocent people and destroying valuable property. Shettima said: “In a nutshell, what we are being confronted with is that we are in a state of war. That is what I came to update Mr. President with, the sooner we stop playing the ostrich and rise up to the challenges of the day and marshal all resources towards visualising the antics of Boko Haram the better for all of us.” He said there was need for more resources and that in fairness to the officers and men of the Nigerian Army and Police, they are doing their best given the circumstances they have found themselves in, adding: “Boko Haram is better armed and are better motivated than our own troops. I am eternal optimist as I have always said but I am also a realist. Given the present state of affairs, it is absolutely impossible for us to defeat Boko Haram.”

MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 41-44


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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

17

NAFDAC’s drive for food safety MARTINS F.O. IKHILAE

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ention National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and what is etched in your memory is an institution charged with the regulation and control of pharmaceutical products in Nigeria. Embedded in this mindset are the imageries of interception and burning of fake and adulterated drugs, shut down of drug markets in Onitsha, Kano, Lagos and elsewhere in the country. Of course, you are also conscientised to the great frenzy with which NAFDAC confronts these enormous challenges. Beside the administration and control of drugs the NAFDAC Act (as amended) is unquestionably unequivocal in absolute terms that its control and regulation of food production, promotion, distribution and sales is total. The high visibility of the agency in the control and administration of drugs across the country is being replicated in the food sector. Dr Paul B. Orhii, who recently won a second term director generalship mandate of the agency, is stepping up the drive to achieve this objective. This is the context I situate the novel creation of the Food and Applied Nutrition Directorate of the agency. The imperativeness of this stepped-up action on food safety in the country become clearer after you have internalized this recent gory prognosis of poor global food safety by Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America: “Across the globe, particularly in developing countries, far too many people are consuming

more and more unhealthy food.” And you are likely to get the big bang effects of the above prognosis after you peruse the 2013 food index ranking from Oxfam, the international relief and development organization. The survey, which covers 125 countries of the world, ranked them on the availability, quality and affordability of food and dietary health. It also looked at the percentage of underweight children, food diversity and access to clean water, as well as negative health outcomes such as obesity and diabetes. As to be expected, while The Netherlands was ranked first as the country with the most nutritious, plentiful and healthy food in the world, African nations were predominant in the bottom 30 countries with Chad maintaining the rear. Good food - food rich in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, iodine, iron, zinc, folic acid - is no doubt meant to help nourish the human body to provide it with energy, good sight, effective and efficient reproductive ability, sustainable mental alertness, dynamic and reliable intelligent quotient, enrich the blood, enhance efficient respiratory and metabolic activities, to mention but a few. Food is therefore, not merely consumed just for the fun of it, rather it is intended to fulfill a multiplicity of very vital functions in the human body system. Therefore, ‘food safety’ should be a nation’s catchy phrase, and NAFDAC is expected to deliver on this for Nigeria. In July 2011, the Federal Government inaugurated the National Food Safety Management Committee (NFSMC) and charged it with the responsibility for food

ACROSS THE GLOBE, PARTICULARLY IN

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, FAR TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE CONSUMING MORE AND MORE UNHEALTHY FOOD safety and quality control measures as well as management of the process of ensuring food safety from farm to table. The agency is expected to play a pivotal role in the realization of the above objective. And towards this end, it has therefore, taken it upon itself to be concerned with the preparation and storage of food in ways that prevent food-borne diseases. Doing this efficiently would mean promoting safety between industry and the market, and then between the market and the consumer. Specifically its food safety considerations must target the origins of food, as well as policies on biotechnology and food and guidelines for the management of governmental import and export inspection and certification systems for foods. It must also be involved in the safe preparation and delivery of food to the consumers. The agency has developed the competencies in all of these areas. Mention must be made of agency’s drive to eradicate the use of potassium bromate as baking flower/dough enhancer in bakeries across the country owing to its link with cancer disease; and its dogged determination at attaining the nation’s comprehensive salt iodization programme. Iodine

deficiency is traced as the main cause of preventable brain damage and reduced IQ in children worldwide. Similarly it has also been established globally that the absence of iodine in salt/meals is responsible for a neck deforming ailment tagged goiter. Nigeria’s drive for salt iodization was stepped up following the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendation of the fortification salt with iodine as the main strategy for eliminating iodine deficiency. The adoption of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), a systemic preventive approach to food safety and elimination of biological, chemical, and physical hazards in production processes, has become part of NAFDAC operations to maximize the fortification of food for human consumption. NAFDAC has ideally keyed into the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan administration‘s Transformation Agenda, especially in the agricultural sector by using technology to boost the quality of the nation’s exportable agricultural produce such as cashew nuts, cocoa, cassava, sorghum, melon seed etc. It is also very active in the national campaign to use local cassava flour as substitute to wheat in the baking of bread, cakes, etc. Raising the hygienic conditions of the environment in which food is processed and sold has become a core function of NAFDAC. There is no doubt that NAFDAC is promoting a healthy and safe food culture in Nigeria. Ikhilae, martinsikhilae@ymail. com, is a Lagos-based public affairs analyst

Gombe 2015: Dankwambo and political desperados ISA M. GOMBE

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he most prominent name that was widely speculated in the All Peoples Congress’ (APC) camp is that of the Gombe’s former governor, Danjuma Goje and now serving senator representing Gombe Central Senatorial District in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly. Goje was an ex-minister of state for Power and Steel during the Olusegun Obasanjo regime; and he was also elected as Gombe State Governor in 2003 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Having completed his two terms in 2011, he was succeeded by the incumbent governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo on the same political platform. Down memory lane, it was after a long pressure from various angles that Dankwambo resigned his appointment as the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) to return home and contest the gubernatorial seat. Goje himself, PDP stakeholders and other well-meaning people of the state unanimously and indisputably endorsed the candidature of the Talban Gombe (Dankwambo); and equally supported him to successfully emerge as the governor during the 2011 general elections. The handover process from to Dankwambo was not a very smooth affair, which was

why discerning minds raised some dust. But as an astute and experienced AGF of the most populous West African country, Dankwambo would not be expected to kickstart his administration based on unclear terms. This prompted him to set up 11 sector-based committees of non-partisan experts, who were given the responsibility to study sector by sector problems and recommend sustainable solutions to them. The goal was to set out a blueprint for the economic revival of the state and the restoration of the dignity of all citizens of the state. It was in the process of the committees’ work that they (committees) and other available sources confirmed some cases of funds misapplication. Consequently, the development soured the relatively cordial relationship between Dankwambo and his predecessor. It is no longer news that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Goje on alleged economic crimes. It is thus not surprising that Goje announced his defection to the APC recently. This is because in all the cases and political challenges he has been facing, Goje expected a respite, at least from the state government. This was not to be. But the question is: what political future is in stock for Goje? Of what relevance and value is his defection to the APC? What nature of people is APC accommodating in its enclave? While such fundamental questions beg for immediate answers, playing politics

THOSE OPPOSING

DANKWAMBO SHOULD TELL THE CITIZENS WHAT DIFFERENCE THEY WANT TO MAKE IN THE STATE.

with principles should have been the basis and foundation of building our polity. How could someone who served as a minister on the platform of the PDP, became a governor, and was equally re-elected as a governor for a second term, and then elected as senator under the same PDP dump the party for the APC? As if that is not enough, reports indicate that Goje is currently battling to wrest the leadership of the APC from the original founders/ joiners. This amplifies the nature of selfserving politics at play across the land. If the defector is unholy to dump his political ‘alma mater’ for selfish end, then the acceptor can be described as an immature power monger seeking to grasp power by all means, fair or foul, legitimate or illegitimate, legal or illegal. If such desperation can be unleashed by a defector to a new party, what hopes are there for the success of the recipient party in inter-party elections? The APC in Gombe has shown its political immaturity in view of its composition and

acceptance of people it ought not to dine with in the first place. Though some stakeholders have summoned courage to resist the hijacking of the APC structure by defectors like Goje, all is not well with the opposition party in Gombe. The people of Gombe Central, which he now represents in the Senate also seem uncomfortable with his performance in the Senate; and are even threatening to recall him. They not only accuse him of poor representation in the Senate, they claim he has abandoned his constituency and has neither visited nor influence the siting of any developmental projects in the Senatorial District. I call on all good people of Gombe to ‘shine’ their eyes. They should use their brains to calibrate the people seeking their mandate come 2015. Those opposing Dankwambo should tell the citizens what difference they want to make in the state. The era of political deceptions, hooliganism, and trickery should by now be rejected and the culture of credibility, outstanding records, visionary leadership and lots more, enthroned. Isa M. Gombe wrote from Bolari, Gombe. 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.


18

Editorial

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

All the Facts, All the Sides A PUBLICATION OF GLOBAL MEDIA MIRROR LTD BARRISTER JIMOH IBRAHIM, OFR „ PUBLISHER

KAFILAT OGBARA

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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

KING ODODORU

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

Law on interception of communications T

he Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), at its recent executive council meeting in Abuja, expressed concern on reported plans by the Federal Government to enact a law to empower security agents to intercept and record electronic communication between individuals, as well as track data use from internet service providers and mobile networks. The association described the bill as anti-free speech and arbitrary in nature. The body urged the government to discard the proposed law that would ostensibly infract on the rights of citizens and possibly herd the country into a police state. The NPAN’s intervention is timely and appropriate. The country’s 1999 Constitution (as amended), in Section 37, provides for the protection of the privacy of Nigerian citizens and their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications. We, however, concede that the same constitution lacks provisions on citizens’ privacy enforceability clause. It creates a lacuna by virtue of Section 45 (1) that gives a leeway to the government to subject its citizens to laws enacted by the National Assembly on national security, defence, public safety or public order. The issue becomes even more complicated when cognizance

is taken of the fact that Section 147 of the Communications Act provides that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may determine that a licensee or class of licensees ‘shall implement the capability to allow authorized interception of communications; and such determination may specify the technical requirements for authorised interception capacity’. In specific terms, section 148 of the Communications Act permits the NCC to issue an order stipulating that any communication or class of communication; to or from any licensee, person or the general public relating to any specified subject either shall not be transmitted or shall be intercepted or detained on grounds of national security or in public interest. Section 146 (1) of the act also imposes an obligation on a licensee to use its best endeavours to prevent its network facilities or network service from being used in or in relation to the commission of any offence under any law in operation in Nigeria. In Section 146 (2) of the Communication Act, a licensee is required to assist the NCC or other authority ‘as far as (is) reasonably necessary in preventing the commission or attempted commission of an offence under any written law in operation in Nigeria or otherwise in enforcing the laws of Nigeria, including the pro-

February 25, 1991 The Warsaw Pact was declared disbanded. The Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation, and Mutual Assistance, more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty between eight communist States of Central and Eastern Europe in existence during the Cold War period. The founding treaty was established under the initiative of the defunct Soviet Union and signed on 14 May 1955, in Warsaw.

THE FG SHOULD BEAR IN MIND

NIGERIA IS A DEMOCRACY;

THAT

AND PUBLIC POLICY SHOULD RESPOND TO THIS IMPERATIVE tection of public revenue and the preservation of national security.’ To protect licensees from potential litigation by an affected subscriber, Section 146 (1) and (2) of the Act provides that ‘a licensee shall not be liable to any criminal proceedings of any nature for any damage (including punitive damages), loss, cost or expenditure suffered (whether directly or indirectly) for any act or omission done in good faith in the performance of the duty imposed on it.’ However, it is not clear whether this protection extends to civil proceedings. Currently, Nigeria has no specific law governing the interception of private communications in the country. It would seem the 2012 bill on interception and monitoring of communication seeks to provide the initial framework for the interception of private communications, and the develop-

ON THIS DAY

February 25, 1994 Mosque of Abraham massacre: In the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron, Americanborn Israeli, Baruch Goldstein, a member of the farright Israeli Kach movement, opened fire on unarmed Palestinian Muslims with an automatic rifle, killing 29 Palestinian worshippers and injuring 125 more before being subdued and beaten to death by survivors.

ment appears to be premised on various provisions of the 1999 Constitution, Communications Act and the Freedom of Information Act. The arguments canvassed by the FG seem strong to necessitate a regulatory law on communications. More so, the current security deficit in the country appears to justify the proposed law. We caution, however, that the government should not pursue anti-people laws or laws that consciously set out to limit personal freedom and liberty. There is reasonable fear that the law could be exploited by overzealous security and other government agencies to subvert personal rights and foist authoritarian leadership on the populace. The existing laws cite national security and national interest as overriding considerations to regulate communications in Nigeria. The concepts of national security and national interest are nebulous and might be exploited by the governing elite to serve personal and political agenda. Besides, the fact that the law is being contemplated ahead of an election year, Boko Haram or no Boko Haram, makes it suspect. Nonetheless, the FG should bear in mind that Nigeria is a democracy; and public policy should respond to this imperative.

February 25, 2009 Bangladesh Rifles (MDR) soldiers, a paramilitary force mainly associated with guarding the borders of Bangladesh, carried out a mutiny at their headquarters in Pilkhana, Dhaka, resulting in 74 deaths, including more than 50 army officials. The rebelling soldiers took over the BDR headquarters in Pilkhana, killing the BDR Director-General and army officers. The mutineers surrendered after a series of negotiations with the government.


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Insurance industry still evolving –DG, CIIN 37

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Revenue leakages: Stakeholders demand tax justice, fiscal discipline

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The recent uproar over missing oil funds have again raised concerns over the management of public resources. TOLA AKINMUTIMI reports.

E

ven before recent startling disclosures about alleged missing $48.9 billion oil revenue was made by the now suspended Central Bank Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, one issue that has never been lost in public discourse thrusts on good governance and judicious utilisation of the country’s resources is the need for tax payers to get value for fulfilling their own part of the governance social contract. As a country reputed for unbridled profligacy in managing its resources, the last few years of international oil market uncertainties, threats of macroeconomic instability in many developed economies, deepening poverty, growing youth unemployment level, insecurity as well as paucity of infrastructure that ordinarily should drive growth in the economy, the need for Nigeria to raise tax revenue and ensure its judicious utilisation for accelerated development cannot be over-emphasised. Unfortunately, several years of ceaseless advocacy for fairness and transparency in the utilisation of earned incomes from taxation by fiscal policy experts, civil society organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders have not translated to concrete gains as the needed commitment of political leaders and their public servant collaborators at all level of governance to plug leakages in tax revenue generation, remittance and utilisation is missing still. This is despite the sundry tax reform mea-

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Med-View Airline sures, particularly policy and regulatory guidelines, including the streamlining of the hitherto complex and multi-layered system, being adopted by federal and state governments, with a view to broadening the scope of the country’s sources of tax revenues. For instance, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Joint Tax Board (JTB) have separately or jointly over the past five years not only initiated sundry policy measures designed to enhance the efficiency of tax administration but also, working in collaboration with development partners and other stakeholders, helped government to produce a National Tax Policy for the country. The Tax Policy, an initiative of the Federal Government which could be likened to a fiscal barometer through which national agenda for tax revenue would be guided, provided for a set of guidelines, rules and modus operandi that regulate Nigeria’s tax system. The policy, which derived from the reports and recommendations of the Federal Government’s constituted 2003 Study Group on Taxation, provides a basis for tax legislation and administration in the country. According to a study conducted by the Fed-

FG inaugurates OPS team on investment drive in agric sector

21

eral Ministry of Finance, more than 75 per cent of Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) which account for about 66 per cent of the GDP contributions, have continued to evade tax like their political and business bourgeoisie leaders. As at 2012, despite the efforts to boost non-oil tax revenue by the governments, total collections amount to 7 per cent of the GDP, a far cry from the projected collection target of about 22 per cent of the GDP set by the Federal Government. A report by the global consultancy outfit, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), for the World Bank and published in November 2012, indicated that efforts by Nigeria to achieve the target may be hampered unless far-reaching moves are undertaken to refine the country’s tax-paying process. The report which rated Nigeria in the 170th position out of 189 countries for ease of paying tax, down from 155th in 2012, noted that whereas the country had some relative strengths, including its “total tax rate”, which is defined as the sum of various taxes expressed as a percent of profit for a hypothetical medium-sized

Lagos- Abuja (Mon-Fri): 07.00, 08.50, 12.00, 16.30. Abuja- Lagos (Mon-Fri): 09.00, 14.00, 15.00, 18.30. Lagos-Yola (Mon-Fri): 8.50am. Yola-Lagos (Mon-Fri): 13.00. Lagos- PHC (Mon-Fri): 17.00. PHC-Lagos: 19.00. AbujaYola: 11.00. Yola-Abuja: 13.00. Lagos-Abuja (Sat): 08.00, 08.50. Abuja-Lagos (Sat): 10.00, 15.00. Lagos-PHC (Sat): 17.00. PHC-Lagos (Sat): 19.00. Lagos-Yola (Sat): 08.50. Yola-Lagos (Sat): 13.00

CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

Utilising company culture, philosophy to enhance growth 23

Abuja’s empty properties underline imperative of mortgage system 25


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Business & Finance

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Revenue leakages: Stakeholders demand tax justice, fiscal discipline CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 business, Nigeria fared poorly in categories such as the number of tax payments that the hypothetical company had to make According to Taiwo Oyedele, PwC Nigeria’s head of tax and corporate advisory services, some of the problems that have been highlighted are a result of multiple layers of taxation. Presently, entities are required to pay taxes at the local, state and federal levels, all trying to raise revenue without due consideration to the impact on the tax payer. “Overall, the ranking of Nigeria is 170 out of 189 countries worldwide. So, Nigeria is not doing well. That is clearly not where we should be, especially as we aim to be one of the top 20 countries in the world by year 2020”, Oyedele admitted. For instance, available statistics provided by government on accruable revenues lost oil thefts to the country as at the end of third quarter in 2013 stood at between 60,000 and 80,000 barrels daily this is even when the actual revenues from crude oil exports and other associated products in the sector cannot be really calculated based on recent rumblings at the highest level of government over unremitted revenues to the Federation Account President Goodluck Jonathan who spoke at the Annual Banking and Finance Conference held September 10 in Abuja, impliedly indicated that based on the $113 per barrel average crude oil price at the international market, the country would have been losing between $6.78m (N1.08bn) and $9.04m (N1.45bn) daily. These sordid developments and the desire to contain the massive stealing of oil revenues and other taxes and failure by government to meet the needs of tax payers at all level of governance may well have formed the basis of why a group of civil society organisations, under the aegis of Tax Justice Network, converged on Kubwa, one of the FCT satellite towns last weekend to re-align their forces in the war against tax injustice in the country. Most of the participants and fiscal policy analysts at the two-day Training on Tax Justice, Fairness and Equality in Nigeria Tax Administration were not only univocal in their concern on the need to entrench discipline in the nation’s tax system but also concluded the parley with a vow to massively mobilise the citizenry for tax advocacy engagement with governments in order to ensure efficient and value-based utilisation of the nation’s tax revenues. Speaking on the need for tax justice and the need for people’s engagement of the political leadership for accountability and transparency in the utilisation of tax revenues at the forum, Evelyn Mere, Associate Country Director, Oxfam in Nigeria, pointed out that people must demand for tax justice as a right and ensure that government uses what is collected to provide social services required by the citizenry. The Oxfam chief said: “For tax to work effectively it has to be just, people must pay tax based on the wealth that they have and those taxes must be recognised by the commonwealth and used for the common good. We all know that in Nigeria, this is a major challenge. We have taxes coming from oil, perhaps the taxes that are coming from oil they are not recognised as taxes of Nigeria

Okonjo-Iweala

Andrew Yakubu

NIGERIA IS A MAJOR CHALLENGING CONTEXT FOR TAX WORK, BUT IF WE FOCUS ON THE CHALLENGES WE WILL NOT DO ANYTHING. WE MUST ALSO RECOGNISE THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT EXIST and so they are not used to provide for the well being of Nigerians. “Nigeria is a major challenging context for tax work, but if we focus on the challenges we will not do anything. We must also recognise the opportunities that exist. A few years ago the government started a reform process, putting in place policies, putting in place laws, putting in place procedures for tax administration. “Whatever we do here today, we must develop the capability to engage in this reform process because it is a major opportunity to put in place an accountable society. We must be able to engage, as civil societies at the highest levels, and we must be able to engage as civil societies at the lowest level”, she added. In his opening remarks at the forum, which attracted over 40 participants from civil society organisations, Economists, tax experts, students and the media, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) representative, Kolawole Banwo, pointed out that CSOs can longer fold their hands and continue to watch the growing level of tax injustice in the country, adding that it is time for them to rally support for reversal of the prevailing abuses that characterise tax administration in the country. Banwo said: “Nigeria is an oil dependent country, and in our work with the extractive industry becomes clear that these non renewable resources have no endless limitation. That someday they will run dry and then the question will be what we will be left with. Tax has been identified as the most reliable source of revenue to fund development. “Meanwhile, government wants to generate revenue at all costs and forget that there are human faces behind the revenue they raise, so if we allow them they will squeeze the life out of everyone in a bid to raise more money and of course with cor-

ruption, we are not sure what this money will go into” the CISLAC leader added. While noting that civil societies have stayed out of tax issues because it was considered an accountant affair, it was considered banker’s affairs, the affairs of financial experts and economists but with the issues confronting us now, he submitted that civil societies can no longer remain aloof on tax matters, especially the justice in the tax. Another civil society activist and Action Aid Nigeria’s (AAN’s) Head, Policy Campaigns and Communications, Comrade Tunde Aremu, described the high level of tax evasion among the rich and the continued impoverishment of millions of ordinary Nigerians by the current tax system in the country. Restating his organisation’s position that poverty can be eradicated in the country if the political leaders show great commitment to the fight against socio-economic deprivations of the poor and vulnerable, Aremu attributed the deepening level of poverty to the greed of the ruling class who appropriate the commonwealth to serve their selfish interests. The civil activist identified the biggest challenge in the struggle for tax justice in the county to how advocates for fairness and justice in the tax system could join forces together to “remove the burden of taxation on the poor because when you put burden of taxation on the poor, you are also deepening poverty upon this people and they are taking more from those who don’t have enough to protect the interest of those are misappropriating the common wealth” Aremu also canvassed the need to focus more on the big corporate entities in the private sector whose activities, according to evidence-based researches, showed that they are not paying taxes, adding that civil activists and proponents of tax justice and transparency accountability in governance

“fulfil their obligation of us contributing to the development of Nigeria by ensuring that those entities pay their taxes” To the Christian Aid representative, Comrade Edem Edem, who also aligned his views to Aremu’s on the capacity of ruling elite to eradicate poverty given the available revenue incomes and other natural and human capital endowments of the country, adding that “those things that make one not to live a meaningful life, is what ChristianAid is out to challenge” According to him, ActionAid believes that tax justice is one of the key strategies for raising sustainable resources that can aid development, aid is not sustainable and that rather than for Nigeria to solely depend on revenue from oil which is not sustainable, the country should drive its developmental agenda on tax revenue in view of its sustainability. Edem explained that it was his organisation’s belief in the fact that tax revenues hold the key to sustainable development of countries globally that ChristianAid subscribed to “the tax justice campaign globally to consciously educate citizens to take part, consciously educate citizens to demand accountability for the tax that they have paid and that is why we are also part of this platform that is called Tax Justice and Governance Platform in Nigeria” On what appears a feasible roadmap for Nigeria to explore the abundant opportunities of tax revenue for poverty alleviation and tax justice, a development analyst and Programme Officer, Centre for Public Private Cooperation (CPPC) an Ibadan-based think tank, Kennie Williams, said one of the ways to achieving the objective was to empower civil society groups and other stakeholders in the tax system through trainings with a view to enabling them engage in tax advocacy. Williams, who said her organisation was at the forum was to help build “the capacities of these civil society members so that once they are well equipped, they can actively engage in tax advocacy because we know that in various parts of the country there has been pockets of tax injustice” On how to plug leakages in the tax system, the development expert canvassed the need for well-defined policies on tax incentives and other fiscal concessions being given to corporate entities such that they are not based on mere discretion of political leaders. The CPPC Programme Officer said: “For leakages, one of the problems we have been having is concessions are granted and they are granted without recourse to due process and this has been responsible for all of the anomalies we have. However, the Federal Government should from henceforth take steps to ensure that concessions are not just granted based on personal favours and all of that, but rather should be analysed and when you discover that these concessions are detrimental to the economy, they should be stopped. “That is the essence why we are advocating that for all of the previous concessions that have been granted and has opened up gaps for leakages, should be reviewed and analysed and if need be cancelled so that we can save Nigeria from crumbling”, Williams added.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

T

he Federal Government yesterday met with agribusiness leaders and financial institutions’ stakeholders to chart a common roadmap for engaging the broader agribusiness community on how best to consolidate on the recent achievements of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, ATA, by attracting adequate investments from local and global environments into the sector. The meeting, which crystallised into the inauguration of the private sector group, the Nigeria Agribusiness Executive Leadership Group, had about 20 agri-

Business & Finance

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

21

FG inaugurates OPS team on investment drive in agric sector business companies, financial institutions and other stakeholders leaders’ in attendance. Specifically, the discussions at the forum focused on how the Organise Private Sector, OPS, could add value to current efforts by government to boost investments into the sector and also advise on the best fiscal and monetary policies that would help in achieving exponential growth of the sector and increasing its contributions

to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP. Inaugurating the Group which has Alhaji Sani Dangote as the Protem Chairman in Abuja, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said the group was considered crucial to leveraging on the various initiatives of the Federal Government aimed at truly changing agriculture from a government -financed develop-

ment project to profitable business and by implication, using it as the springboard for attracting local and international investors for mutually beneficial returns on investments in the sector. Restating the role of the OPS in the ongoing ATA of the government, Adesina explained that the Group would also be relevant in mobilising private investors and finance institutions involved in agribusiness across the country and leading the engagement of the broader agribusiness community through the Nigeria Agribusiness Group, NABG, in the ATA. The NABG is expected to work in partnership with the ministry to catalyse sustainable growth of agricultural sector by continuing to treat agriculture as a business and not as government funded development project.

The Minister said: “Working in partnership with the private sector, we are driving new investments into agriculture sector. To continue this never before seen trend in diversifying away from the one-dimensional oil and gas economy of Nigeria and build on the investment inertia of the agricultural sector, we must engage the private sector to help drive and coordinate regulatory and policy reforms in the country” On the level of investments that had been attracted to the sector in the past year and potential investment opportunities, Adesina disclosed that a total of over $4 billion (about N680 billion) had been received in executed Letters of Intent (LOIs) for investments by 30 private sector agribusiness even as relationships had been established with over 150 agribusiness in the country.

FG targets N24bn earnings from Groundnut Value Chain TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA L-R: Acting Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Matthew Willshere; Senator Babatunde Fasinro and Head Retail Strategy, Rollout and Operations, Etisalat Nigeria, Anthony Iloh, at the Launch of Etisalat Gold Series Experience Centre in Lagos recently.

Telcos unable to fix 250 base stations in North KUNLE AZEEZ

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bout 250 base stations belonging to telecoms operators and scattered across the North-Eastern states of Nigeria are currently facing maintenance problem following the increasing wave of insurgency in the geo-political zone,National Mirror investigation has revealed. Industry infrastructure analysts put the average cost of a base station in Nigeria at $250, 000 (38.7 million). As such, the value of 250 telecoms towers which telecoms firms are currently being prevented from servicing as a result of the lingering insurgency is estimated at N9.6 billion. As at the end of 2013, aggregate telecoms sites built by the operators to provide services for the over 121 million active subscribers across the length and breadth of the country have hit over 27, 000 units, according to the Ministry of Communication technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson. The operators in 2012 had more than 30 of their base stations bombed by suspected terrorists and since then, the insecurity in the region has remained unabated. The increasing spate of the insurgency in the region has led to

the declaration of state of emergency by the Federal Government in such states as Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, the declaration which was still subsisting as at yesterday. Unfortunately, some of the affected base stations then were control telecoms towers which are control base station bubs and when such control base stations go down, other base stations connected to them are bound to experience similar fate, resulting acute service delivery problem for subscribers in such region. National Chairman, Association of Telecoms Operators of Nigera, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, confirmed that “Though about 30 base stations were damaged during the 2012 attack, some of the base stations were control towers, whose damage also affected

several other base stations connected to the control towers.” According t him, between 2012 and now, telecoms firms have been facing continuing insecurity challenges, which, he said, had hampered them from carrying out “major repairs on their damaged facilities while several others not torched by the insurgents could not be maintained due to prevalence of insecurity at the locations of the telecoms sites.” Of the 250 base stations, “In total, about 106 base stations belong to MTN in the North- East are not working now because of the attack and the prevalent insecurity in the area which prevents us from maintaining those not damaged,” says MTN’s Corporate Service Executive, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck in an interview in Lagos.

T

he Federal Government yesterday launched the Groundnut Value Chain component of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, with a projected income from the food crop subsector of about N24 billion within the next three years. This is apart from the other socio-economic benefits to the economy in terms of job creation, improved nutritional value and potential positive impact on the welfare of groundnut farmers, who are expected to add 120,000metric tonnes of groundnut grains. Launching the Groundnut Value Chain in Abuja, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, explained that the main objective of the initiative was to drive the development of groundnut subsector in conjunction with stakeholders along the value chain to improve production, processing, marketing and export of the produce.

In addition, the minister said the new move, which the National Presdient of the National Groundnut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Hon. Aimu Foni, described as desirable for the economy, would develop more efficient market linkages to reduce transaction cost, including policies to boost groundnut production, processing and value addition. Adesina said the Federal Government, working in collaboration with the governments and other stakeholders in the groundnut producing states, was determined to restore the past glory of the crop and re-enact the groundnut pyramids era in the nation’s economic history. On how to translate the dream to reality, the minister disclosed that “there will be formation of groundnut innovation platforms at National, States, Local Government, village levels, as these platforms would assist in project implementation and ownership by private entrepreneur and businesses.

PENGASSAN threatens strike over new payroll system MESHACK IDEHEN

P

etroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association, PENGASAN, have said it is cautioning the Federal Government against implementing the newly introduced Integrated

Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in the oil and gas sector. The association which is the umbrella body for senior staff in the oil and gas sector said the system does not conform to the peculiar nature of the industry. PENGASAN’s Presi-

dent, Mr.Babatunde Ogun, said in a statement that government agencies in the oil and gas sector are already operating an efficient and transparent International Financial Reporting System (IFRS), stressing that there is no need to introduce a new system

that will drag the industry payroll system backward. Ogun said the warning has become necessary in view of the deadline handed down by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation to some agencies in the petroleum industry

to implement the new system. The PENGASSAN president said the union is warning the government against imposing such a policy that poses several impediments on the personnel records and payroll system in the industry.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Cashless project: Electronic payments rose by 25.6% U

UBA partners Parolz.com on Payment Card Loyalty Scheme

UDO ONYEKA

T

he Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, cashless project has received a boost as many bank customers opt for electronic payments alternatives in their daily transactions. According to the CBN’s Economic Report for the first half of 2013, the value of electronic payments rose by 25.6 per cent to N1.4trn over the level in the second half of 2012, while the volume declined by 27.2 per cent to 146,961,511 from 201,793,172 in the preceding period. According the report a breakdown of the e-payment channels for the review period indicated that Automated Teller Mahine, ATM, remained the most patronised, accounting for 93 per cent, followed by mobile payments and PoS terminal, with 4.1 and 2.1 per cent, respectively. It said the web, internet, was the

least patronised, accounting for 0.8 per cent of the total. In terms of value the report said ATM accounted for 90.8 per cent; PoS, 4.0 per cent; the web, Internet, 1.5 per cent; and mobile payments accounted for 3.7 per cent. “The number of ATMs deployed stood at 11,702 in the first half of 2013, representing a 9.1 per cent increase over the figure of 10,727 in the second half of 2012. “However, ATM transactions decreased in volume by 30.6 per cent to 136,663,013 in the first half of 2013, from 196,995,507 in the second half of 2012, while the value rose by 22.9 per cent to N1.2trn billion above the level in the preceding period. “The volume of web transactions in the first half of 2013 was 1,108,485, indicating a decline of 5.9 per cent, compared with 1,178,300 in the second half of 2012. However, the value rose by 13.1 per cent to N20.7bn from N18.3bn in the preceding period. The fall in volume was due to users’ prefer-

ence for other payment channels”, the report said. The report also revealed that the volume of Point-of-Sale, PoS, transactions increased by 64.4 per cent to 3,207,788 in the first half of 2013, compared with 1,951,252 in the second half of 2012, “adding that the value rose by 53 per cent to N57.2bn from N37.4bn in the preceding period. This increase in volume and value the CBN report said was due to sustained public awareness and acceptance of PoS usage. It said the volume of mobile payments increased by 258.6 per cent to 5,982,225 in during the period under review over the level in the second half of 2012 and that the value rose by 103.1 per cent to N51.8bn over the level in the preceding period. This development the report said was due to the licensing of additional eight mobile money operators in the second half of 2012, which became operational in the first half of 2013.

L-R: Second prize Winner/Managing Director, Claokis Martins Agro, Warri, Mrs. Catherine Ekpere; Executive Director, Corporate Services, UAC Nigeria plc, Mr. Joe Dada; Managing Director, Livestock Feeds plc, Mrs. Dupe Asanmo and General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Livestock Feeds plc, Mr. Austin Dalyop, during the Livestock Feeds Golden Jubilee Anniversary promo presentation in Lagos yesterday.

FRANCIS E ZEM

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trong indications emerged that the Federal Government may have decided to reduce foreign dominance of the coastal and inland shipping business in Nigerian as it introduces stringent waiver requirements under the Coastal and Inland Shipping Cabotage, regime. The Cabotage Act, 2003, which provides that all vessels to be deployed for the inland and coastal trade must be built in Nigeria, owned and crewed by Nigerians however has a waiver clause, which allows foreigners render these services, which many believed was abused. But in what appeared a renewed zeal to reduce foreign dominance, the Minister

Cabotage Waiver: FG tightens noose on foreign shipping lines of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar in Lagos last week released a fresh draft guideline for stakeholders’ input, which has introduced stringent processes for the waiver administration under the act. The draft guidelines, which is expected to be forwarded to the National Assembly to form part of the amendments of the Act after harmonising the stakeholders’ input provide that foreign ships wishing to participate in the coastal trade are expected to collect a Cabotage Waiver Form CW 1, from the Cabotage Services Depart of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA.

The new guidelines also require that on completion of the form, the foreign line will return same to the department at least 60 days prior to the expected arrival of the vessel in respect of which the waiver administration is being made. The Minister, while speaking with stakeholders at the event, noted that this new 60day requirement, which is not in the old guideline had become necessary to checkmate the practice whereby some foreign vessels would have started lifting cargo with the coastal region several months or years before seeking a waiver to do so.

nited Bank for Africa ,UBA, Plc has entered into a partnership deal with Parolz.com, an online platform which offers exclusive discounts and benefits from top outlets in Nigeria. The offers range from Dinning to Lifestyle, Hospitality, Transportation and Gift Items. Only recently, Parolz.com extended its offerings to include Jumia and Metro Taxi. This implies that UBA Cardholders get exclusive discounts from Jumia, Metro Taxi and the over 200 Merchants listed on Parolz.com. This development comes on the heels of UBA’s nomination as the financial institution with the most benefits to Cardholders under the Card Benefit Category

in the Card and ePayment Africa Awards. UBA is known to have through its Cardholder Loyalty Scheme, launched several initiatives aimed at rewarding loyalty whilst encouraging card usage. Packages offered cover travel, lodging, lifestyle and entertainment. The UBA’s Card loyalty strategy cuts across the various card schemes under the Bank’s e-banking portfolio. There are ongoing deals for MasterCard, Verve and VISA Cardholders. “No other Financial Institution comes close to providing the many benefits we provide our Cardholders’’ stated, UBA’s Divisional Head, e-Banking, Dr. Yinka Adedeji.

Sterling Bank congratulates Audax on Google RISE award

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terling Bank Plc has commended Audax Solutions, pioneers of the Audax Code School, an initiative to teach Nigerian children programming skills for the web, for its selection alongside 41 other organizations spread across 19 countries, as a recipient of the 2014 Google RISE Awards. The Google RISE Awards is an annual global award to recognize excellence in computer science education particularly for children between the ages of 7 and 18. Audax Solutions and Sterling Bank recently organized the Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) Hour of Code and a free Boot Camp for kids and adults to spread awareness of the need for computer science education among the youth. Speaking on the Award, Mr Emeka Onyenwe, the Business Manager of Audax Solutions

stated that part of the cash grant from the Award will be used to further expand the company’s weekend and holiday activities which involves children from under-served neighborhoods and public schools in Lagos State, a priority goal of the organization. “We also plan to offer at least 30 full scholarships for our Easter and Summer Code School in 2014, including training on basic computer skills and the Internet”, he added. Sterling Bank in a letter to Audax Solutions congratulated the company for the feat achieved; stating that the Bank remains committed to the Code School initiative and other similar projects by like-minded institutions who continue to advance the development of human capital especially among the youth in the country.

First Bank appoints Oni as MD FBN Mortgages JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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irst Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced the appointment of Mr. Adenrele Oni, as the Managing Director of its subsidiary FBNMortgages Limited. A statement from the bank said prior to his appointment, he was the Chief Representative Officer for the bank’s South African office and President South Africa - Nigeria Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is on the board of Nigerians in Diaspora Organization in South Africa (NIDO SA). The statement explained that as the Managing Director of FBN Mortgages, he will be required to provide complete vertically integrated mortgage and real estate solutions for individuals and busi-

nesses in the country thereby improving the quality of residential and commercial accommodation choices. The statement quoted the bank’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Bisi Onasanya, as saying the choice of Oni is in line with the bank’s commitment to sustaining the on-going corporate transformation. It added that his appointment will enhance the capacity of the senior management whilst deepening specialization and strengthening the corporate governance culture of the bank. “His track record typifies our bank’s value system hinged on dependability, entrepreneurship, integrity and resilience and I have no doubt that he will make the expected impact as we make progress with the bank’s focused transformation for sustainable growth and development,” he said.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Jobs & Career

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

23

Utilising company culture, philosophy to enhance growth The case of having a clear cut company philosophy and maintaining organisational culture has, for a long time been on the radar of human resource experts. Recent developments are however indicating that the concept deserves a closer look by businesses, MESHACK IDEHEN writes.

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any firms and business organisations in spite of seemingly doing well in their activities are still lacking the philosophy and corporate culture that can boost their business, some human resource development experts have opined. This situation, said business analyst, Mr. Kamaroudeen Amusa, and the Managing Director of Team Building Nigeria Limited, Mr. Yinka Olugbodi, has prevented such companies from performing better; at their optimum best and from fully attaining their overall business objectives. According to experts, having a clearly defined culture and philosophy by business organisations is a sure path to growth and lasting profitability. They said also that the place of organisational culture and philosophy cannot be over emphasised, if employees in such firms are to be productive and remain highly motivated. “Sadly”, said Olugbodi, “a lot of companies operating in the country and on the continent still don’t consider initiating and implementing sound and effective company culture and philosophy as part of their development and growth strategies, leading to haphazard and irregular growth pattern that may not be sustainable in the long term.” Explaining that a company’s culture is an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief and behaviour that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge and business know how to succeeding generations of employees and business owners, Amusa, said Nigerian companies must urgently adopt the trend in order for them to become lasting and world class companies. Making reference to the recent acknowledgement by United States of America giant, General Electric, about how their company’s philosophy and culture have kept it afloat and in sustained profitability, the Managing Director of Soreb Consulting Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Rotimi, said it was important though not to mistake a firm’sculture or philosophy with its mission statement. According to him, the vision, bank balance or the staff handbook though all contribute to creating a company’s culture is not actually the company’s culture. Company’s culture, he pointed out, is what a firm does and says, the way it behaves, the way they treat each other, their products, customers, the community and itself. “In essence, it is the personality of the com-

Olugbodi

President, CIPM, Victor Famuyibo

A LOT OF COMPANIES OPERATING IN THE COUNTRY AND ON THE CONTINENT STILL DON’T CONSIDER INITIATING AND IMPLEMENTING SOUND AND EFFECTIVE COMPANY CULTURE AND PHILOSOPHY AS PART OF THEIR DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH STRATEGIES, LEADING TO HAPHAZARD AND

IRREGULAR GROWTH PATTERN THAT MAY NOT BE SUSTAINABLE IN THE LONG TERM pany”. Rotimi said while speeches, grand plans and fancy training manuals, might have some influence on the culture, that it is ultimately what company’s leaders do much more than what they say that makes the culture and philosophy what it is. Harping on the place of company’s culture and philosophy in sustaining the growth and profitability of a company, global technology and infrastructure company General Electric said its global rating as the world’s best company for leadership is due to the firm’s human resource leadership philosophy and culture, which inspires its employees to be the very best in their respective areas of specialties and responsibilities. The Senior Vice- President for Human Resources of GE, Ms. Susan Peters, said recently that the company’s culture drives its longevity, while its leaders drive the culture by leading at all levels where all employees work as one. According to her, GE believes everyone at the company can become a leader with proper mentoring, saying a GE job is experiential and people learn by doing, because there is no better way. She added the company is also driven by meritocracy, because leaders proved themselves before they lead others. GE’s business leaders, according to Peters, connect people with the processes that keep all of them in the company rising

together, because they tell the employees what is expected of them, noting also that such move help them get there, hold them accountable and ensure that improving performance drive all of them. Peters said goals and objectives are set for each individual and reviewed regularly as part of the company’s culture and performance measured against them. She added that GE goals and objective systems ensure individual and organisation’s goals are aligned and thus, enables feedback throughout the year. As part of the company’s culture and philosophy, she said GE’s growth values shows employees how to perform, and is anchored on external focus, clear thinking, imagination and courage, inclusiveness and expertise which are embedded at every level of the company and are supported by one unifying principle: which is to always act with unyielding integrity, she added. Career Development Expert, Mr. Obi Obitunde, in explaining how organisations can create their culture and philosophy, told National Mirror that there are only two main ways to build an organisational culture, which are either with consideration and conscious intent; or, by contrast; which is to let the culture come together as it does, giving it little thought in the process. Obitunde said employees must be taught how to operate to imbibe their firm’s culture. According to him, the more effectively

Cole

organisations teach their people what they are looking for, the more likely it will become the reality, saying whatever orientation and training work a firm is doing, that it must talk about the kind of culture it is going after. He explained that organisations must describe the way they would like things to be working, and talk about the informal ways in which it envision the group working together, alongside the way it wants the customer experience to feel. The best way to teach the culture, he said, is to tell stories. “There’s something solid that resonates when people hear nice tales of how things were handled in a difficult situation, or how the organisation has successfully progressed to where it is. “There is a substantive wisdom that comes from these stories; an experiential element of teaching that goes beyond the intellectual theories. And because culture is what is happening, not just what we say should be going on, the stories resonate in ways that pure theory cannot”, he noted. He said also that putting the vision in writing is an essential element of making it successful, saying when the dialogue stays verbal only, it’s inevitable that everyone will leave the room with a different version of what was agreed upon. Documenting it is far more likely to help you get where you want to go, he said. Human Resource Development Consultant and Managing Director of Prot Consulting Limited, Mr. Sunny Agboju, on his part, said organisational culture is very little about what is said and very much about what is done. According to him, organisational culture is built slowly over time, not with a quick decision or the writing of a big check. The influence of the company’s leaders, Agboju pointed out, is particularly strong in a start-up situations, because things are moving quickly, people are operating in close quarters usually under high stress and behaviours can have long and lasting effects.


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Jobs & Career

Tuesday, Februay 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tips for building, managing a team

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inding the right employee and putting them to work in a way that will help propel your company’s continued growth is a challenge, if your company have got to the point where you are hiring employees for your business. Here are tips on how to build and manage them. Train them-Many entrepreneurs have the deluded expectation that an employee should show up able to do their job. No matter how competent they are, an employee will require train up and integration time. An added upshot, thinking about employee training cycles and growth paths really gets you thinking about how to grow your company. Create an entrance interview- Create some documents for new employees to fill

out right when they start about how they like to work, be rewarded, have meetings, etc. By having this written down it gives our whole team an understanding of how new team members might fit in and creates a better work culture. Get a good project management system- Entrepreneurs can keep the big picture in their head, but employees need to have the details in front of them. A good project management software is a great way to keep the team focused and on task. Efficiency and productivity increase when you measure accountability with project management software. Teach employees to never need a manager- Teach and empower your employees by giving them parameters to

Workers on duty

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eading provider of innovative telecoms service, Main One leads the pack in this week’s available job vacancies, with several openings in the company up for grab. At the company, the positions of a sales manager/accounts officer, a technical sales engineer/solutions architect, a project engineer/coordinator, a marketing operations officer/analyst, a data center facilities engineer, a product specialist and an operations support specialist are on offer. To access and apply for these positions, interested candidates are urged to visit the company’s website on www.mainone. net. Also on offer, are vacancies from leading indigenous independent power generating company, Bressonas Nigeria Limited. The company said the post for a plant deputy manager, anaccountant, a legal counsel and IT Officer is up for taking. The requirements for each position are on the company’s website. However applications by interested can also be sent to the company at Victoria Island in Lagos within the shortest possible time. On offer still are various positions from Dangote Cement Plc in their mining department, with the positions for surveyors, maintenanceengineers, mechanics and auto electricians up for interested candidates.

help them do their job autonomously. For instance, a sales rep doesn’t need a script; she or he must understand what makes a product valuable to a customer, and the many ways to point out those benefits. A service rep does not need a company policy to refer to, but rather a strategy for solving problems so the client is satisfied. Set a quarterly theme and visionSome firms intheir first year in business just did business day to day, but later found that even though they were doing awesome things, sometimes got stuck in a groove because they weren’t shooting for a big goal. Setting a quarterly theme for the company is important. This theme should go into everything so that everyone is now focused on making that goal a reality. Open door policy- Employees, especially new ones are bound to make more mistakes than necessary if they feel they can’t ask questions or get feedback. Make sure the bosses are accessible and available as much as possible. Literally, keep doors open to give the impression that anyone can visit to bounce an idea or ask a question. Culture is king- Put your employees first, and they will take better care of your customers. As you are building your team, you must define what the inside of your company is going to look like. Your internal brand ultimately dictates how the company is represented on the outside. If you try to design the customer experience first, it will be forced and unnatural. Try to design the employee experience first.

Hire for the ability to get stuff done- A small company cannot tolerate people who are lazy, procrastinate or are unable to use limited resources to push forward projects. You need people who can follow-through, find clever solutions and workarounds with a sense of urgency, and can take charge of a problem and drive it to a successful solution. Practice transparency- Being very honest with your team regarding financials and clients is very important. It is important to be upfront with folks in every aspect of the business particularly when you are first getting started. Young professionals enjoy being an integral part of the planning and decision-making process, and it can also help them better understand how the business is run. Tell them how to kick butt- it has become obvious that letting someone know how to kick butt increases the likelihood that they will do so. Smart, talented people want to feel smart and talented, and that’s on you as a business leader. Entrepreneurs are often self-motivated and we forget that getting the most out of people means showing them how to succeed. Encourage openness and honestyYou never want your employees to be afraid to tell you the truth. You can encourage openness and honesty by responding calmly when they tell you something has not gone as you expected; talking through a plan for moving forward and agreeing on follow up and accountability. Source: yahoojobs.com

Job vacancies Also on offer still from the company are the vacancies for operator, mining equipments, engineers in auto electrical, geologists, core drill rig operators, welders, vulcanisers, blasters and mining engineers. To apply, or access these vacancies, applicants are to visit Dangote Cement website on www.dangote.com,or applications can also be forwarded to careers@dangotecement.com A publicly quoted insurance company based in Lagos, said there are openings for a deputy general manager, a manager in charge of reinsurance, underwriters, an assistant manager in charge of accounts, accounts officer and marketers. Interested candidates are to forward their applications with detailed curriculum vitae to recruitment4hire@yahoo.com. Save the Children, an international non governmental organization said there are vacancies in their outfit for a deputy country director in charge of programme. According to the organisation, there are also openings for a head of education, a safety and welfare officer, finance and administration officer that will cover six northern states in the country, a project officer and a finance assistant. Curriculum vitae and covering letter can be sent, while job details and other requirements can be found by visiting the organisation’s website on www.savethechildren.net Openings for Graduate Trainees Lev-

el (www.findjobafrica.com) in the banking sector in the 36 states of the country are available. The company which is a major player in the banking industry said it seeks to employ competent graduate trainees with the following criteria. Qualifications include a minimum of 2.1 from a reputable University. Must not be more than 24 years as at December 2013. Posses good communication and analytical skills and must have completed NYSC. Also from www.findjobafrica.com is the position of a Personal Assistant to be based in Ikoyi, Lagos who will work closely with senior management to provide administrative support, usually on a one-toone basis. Discretion and confidentiality are therefore essential attributes for the successful Candidate. The PA is expected to deal with secretarial and administrative tasks, devising and maintaining office systems, including data management and filing; arranging travel, visas and accommodation and, occasionally, travelling with the manager to take notes or dictation at meetings or to provide general assistance during presentations; Qualifications for the post are a degree, as well as personal qualities, experience and general office skills. Candidate must be conversant with Microsoft office suites and Internet service. Good interpersonal

skills. Fluent in spoken and written English, and experience of between 5 to 7 years experience. Preferred age 40 - 45 years. From www.jobberman.com, is the position for a Relationship Officer who is to be based in Delta state. The company which is into information technology and customer service said some of the responsibilities for the incoming is to Initiate apt activities to ensure on time and scheduled response to customers, review independently all documents and link entire customer accounts to suitable relationship, provide securities details, quotes and valuations to customers and implement and supervise all unsolicited trade activities. Other responsibilities are to conduct evaluation of client’s accounts, collect mandatory information to analyze client situation, develop and oversee relationships with clients performing alongside the relationship manager to ensure top level service provided to clients and perform as key contact point for portfolio of clients dealing with routine matters throughout range of services and products. The qualification and requirements are amongst others, a minimum of OND in any related discipline, at least 2 - 4 years experience with a branding or advertising company in similar position and excellent communication and presentation skills.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

25

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Real Estate & Environment

Abuja Estate

Abuja’s empty properties underline imperatives of mortgage system The recent launch of Mortgage Refinance Company by President Goodluck Jonathan is one of the latest efforts by government to revamp the nation’s ailing housing sector through a vibrant mortgage system. However, analysts say government would need to curtail the rising infiltration of land speculators if it must succeed in its various intervention efforts. OLUFEMI ADEOSUN reports.

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owhere has the country witnessed the rate of property development like in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Apart from boasting of the largest housing estate in Africa (Gwarimpa housing estate), virtually all the economically viable roads and emerging settlements are replete with either completed housing estates or those under construction. From Gwarimpa to Kubwa Road, Jabi to Airport Road, the city is awash with various categories of un-habited housing estates. It is however paradoxical that this same city is reputed for having the worst housing challenge in the country. While some analysts have cited daily population explosion as a one of the major reasons for the high cost of housing in FCT on the one hand, others are of the view that the infiltration of some land speculators, profiteers and the incursion of politicians who allegedly find in housing development a veritable means of investing their ill-gotten wealth in a strong factor. This latter claim, it would be recalled, has been buttressed by the disclosure by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, that it would beam its searchlight on the property market. The anti-graft agency had said that having made ferrying money abroad a very delicate adventure

WHILE BY LAW, AUTHORITY OVER LAND ADMINISTRATION IS VESTED ON THE FCT MINISTER THROUGH THE FCDA, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG IN REGULARISING THE LAND

TITLED ISSUED BY AREA COUNCILS.

MEMBERS

OF THE PUBLIC ARE NOT WELL INFORMED ABOUT THIS DICHOTOMY AND THE RESULTANT EFFECT IS THAT A LOT OF HOUSES ARE TAGGED ILLEGAL AND ARE DEMOLISHED with lots of consequences, politicians had found investing in housing a viable option. Explaining why politicians now found investing in housing lucrative, an Abuja based housing consultant, Mr. Tunji Alase, stated that they always took advantage of government housing programme. When probed further to be more explicit, he said, “Some politicians and a few privileged people have now found investment in housing very attractive. “The reason being that, government agencies, particularly the Federal Housing Authority and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) under the disguise of

building for the low income earners acquire large hectares of lands, but these houses end up in the hands of a privileged few who buy them in buck at cheaper prices. On while they would prefer to lock up the houses rather than rent them out to people, Alase added that they found it convenient to do because, while the houses were allegedly gotten through the proceeds of corruption, they were equally procured at subsidised rates. Also commenting on the matter, a legal practitioner and property consultant, Mr. Tunde Abegunde, linked the issue of va-

cant estates to a number of factors such as endemic corruption in the system, daily influx of the people into the city centre and the dichotomy in land administration in the FCT. In his words,” The issue of living housing estates un-habited is caused by a lot of factors. One of those factors is the issue of corruption in the system. People who have access to public fund see it as a means of illegally enriching themselves. And that informs why they invest stolen public fund in property. “In other words, these stolen funds are use for the purchase of this property to keep the prying eyes of the law enforcement agency away from them. Another factor is lack sincerity of purpose on the part of the government who are the policy formulators. Yet another, especially in Abuja, is the confusing and unsettled regime of land administration system. The system in Abuja would tend to be mostly in favour of the rich. “Also, there is this dichotomy in the administration of land between the various local councils and the Federal Capital Development Administration. While by law, authority over land administration is vested on the FCT minister through the FCDA, there is nothing wrong in regularising the CONTINUED ON PAGE 26


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Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Abuja’s empty properties underline imperatives of mortgage system CONTINUED FROM 25 land titled issued by area councils. Members of the public are not well informed about this dichotomy and the resultant effect is that a lot of houses are tagged illegal and are demolished. On the implications of demolition of houses on accommodation in the capital city, Abuja, Abegunde said: “Abuja is a growing city and there is influx of people into the city every blessed day. If the available houses are not enough because of all these demolition exercises and yet the available ones are being bought mostly by some corrupt individuals, what will naturally flow from that is the elementary law of demand and supply. Invariably, rent will skyrocket as being typified in Abuja today.” On whether government could regulate inordinate acquisition of property, the property development expert, stated that it would be pretty difficult to regulate acquisition of property in Abuja, explaining that what government should be sincere about is how to fight the issue of crippling corruption in the housing sector. “The people in private sector who have earned their money legitimately are entitled to invest such money in property. It would be difficult if not impossible to now restrict the acquisition that could be made by them, “he further noted. Asked if introduction of property tax would help to take charge of hoarding of houses in the country and particularly in the FCT, he said the introduction of property tax may turn out to be a two edged sword. While its introduction may discourage living acquired property unhabited, thereby reducing housing problem, the owners of these property may on the other hands, pass whatever they might have paid as tax on the tenants. However, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Musa Sada did not succumb to the line of argument that the houses were deliberately locked up because they were owned by politicians who might have built them

THE SYSTEM ALL OVER THE WORLD IS THAT YOU GET A MORTGAGE SYSTEM WHICH ENABLES YOU SPREAD PAYMENT OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME through stolen funds, stressing that the ministry findings on the vacant estates revealed that the people could not afford the exorbitant cost of some of the houses. The minister, who agreed that government was greatly concern about the avalanche of vacant houses in the city, however explained that nowhere around the world where houses are procured on cash and carry basis. He said, “Maybe you are trying to latch on the EFCC statement a few weeks ago that the property market is being used to launder money. Yes, that may be right, they have their facts. But our findings is that people cannot afford the cost of the houses. There is nowhere around the world where you acquire houses through cash and carry. The system all over the world is that you get a mortgage system which enables you spread payment over a long period of time. The usual practice is that, as long as you continue to service your mortgage you continue to enjoy your property. The minister added that one of the reasons why the present administration launched Mortgage Refinance Company was to push the needed fund into the housing sector with a view to building individual mortgage. According to him, “The company buys up your mortgage and returns back the money to the mortgage institution for them to continue to build more houses while they allow you

Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban development, Musa Sada

to pay over long periods. Explaining why the issue of affordability has been responsible for vacant housing estates, Musa stated, “Sometimes, while some of these houses are being built, they ask you to first pay 10 per cent. Before they finish, they request for the payment of another 30 per cent. They want you to even pay up for the houses before they finish. If this does not work out, they sometimes look for money through other sources and complete the building. “And when you then come you want to buy the house, they ask you to come and pay N50m. That does not happen anywhere in the world and this is what we are trying to change and this is why President Goodluck Jonathan launched the Mortgage Refinance Company to serve as a springboard for those things so that money will be available in the sector for you to do your mortgage arrangement. Those houses that are being locked up, you can take the, and pay over a long period between 10 to 15 years. The houses are built by businessmen, who want to sell them, but they want to sell them in cash and carry basis and there are no people with enough money to buy them.”

Environmentalist urges NESREA to fight tree felling

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n Ibadan based environmental consultant, Mr. Derby Ogunjobi has urged the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA to intensify more efforts in combating the menace of tree felling. Ogunjobi, who lamented that indiscriminate tree felling for charcoal production was fast becoming a booming business in the country, particularly in the North, added that if something is not urgently done by the relevant regulatory authorities to stem the tide, the environment would be severely impaired. On the consequences of the unscrupulous activities of charcoal producers on the environment and on the health of the people, he said, “Many trees are felled in the course of charcoal production, and most of these trees are not replanted. The instant backlash therefore is deforestation which automatically threatens the survival of future generation of Nigerians!

“Secondly, potential medicinal sources – non wood products such as honey and medicinal plants with antidotes for HIV, Cancer, and Diabetes cure are lost; thirdly, our major defense against climate change is sacrificed as a result of the loss of forest cover to tree felling. By depleting the forest reserves the environment is put at risk – exposed to excess carbon monoxide! “Fourthly, the environment is at the mercy of crushing desertification, erosion and accelerated flooding. If that is not enough, add the loss of wildlife habitat which takes a toll on our tourism industry —a major source of financial returns for countries like Kenya, South Africa to mention few! In the absence of law on charcoal production, Ogunjobit said the temporary thing that could be done to stop the nefarious business activities was for the federal government to urgently ask the Tariff Review Committee to impose a ban on charcoal production and export.

“Be it as it may, one important step the Federal Government can take at the moment is to urgently ask the Tariff Review Committee to immediately slap a ban on charcoal production and export. “Enforcement Agencies such as NESREA should also continue the awareness campaign on negative effects of tree felling, advice charcoal producers to embrace alternative sources of producing charcoal such as animal bones, bamboo trees and coconut shells, he added. Besides, he also stated that states and local governments had a crucial role in the drive to maintain the sanctity of the environment, stressing that they must be actively involved in NESREA’s sensitisation campaigns He added that by the virtue of their closeness to the people at the grassroots, it was incumbent on both the states and local governments to always insist on adherence to environmental laws.

MD Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, Ya’u-Kumo

Property prices in Jersey stable in 2013 but still around 6% lower than 2009

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esidential property prices in Jersey have remained stable over the last 12 months with the Jersey House Price index falling by 1% on an annual basis, according to the latest data from the States of Jersey Statistics Unit. However, it is the fourth consecutive year of decline after a 2% fall in 2010, and 1% fall in both 2011 and 2012. Since 2009 the Jersey House Price Index has fallen by 6%. On a quarterly basis, property prices in the fourth quarter of 2013 were 5% lower than in the previous quarter and 3% lower than that recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2012. The index report shows that the mean price of one bedroom flats had been essentially stable throughout 2008 and 2009 at just over £230,000. But a fall in 2010 and 2011 saw prices fall below £200,000 for the first time since 2007. However, since then the mean price of one bedroom flats has increased, largely due to a reduced proportion of lower priced share transfer properties being sold. The mean price of one bedroom flats sold in 2013 at £210,000 was 2% higher than in 2012 and 6% higher than in 2011. Throughout 2008 and 2009, the mean price of two bedroom flats also remained essentially stable at around £320,000. Following a slight dip in 2010, prices increased in each of the subsequent two years, taking the annual mean price of this property type to more than £340,000 in 2012, the highest level recorded for this property type since the introduction of the index. However, in 2013 the mean price of two bedroom flats fell by £10,000 to around £330,000, a level similar to that previously seen in 2011. On a quarterly basis, the mean price of two bedroom flats was at around £340,000 for the first three quarters of 2013 before decreasing to around £300,000 in the final quarter of the year. Two bedroom houses maintained a mean price of £400,000 in 2008 and 2009 and increased to £409,000 in 2010 before falling slightly each year ending up below £400,000 last year. Currently the annual mean price of £375,000 is the lowest recorded since 2007.


myself n Giggs

Turkey move

Monday, February 25, 2014

Gebrselassie listed for cash race 30

–Jamaican Olympic champion, Veronica Campbell-Brown

epresentatives of the 20 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) teams are expected to meet with the League Management Company (LMC) today in Abuja, to discuss modalities for the kickoff of the 2013/2014 season sponsored by Globacom. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered yesterday that letters to that effect were despatched by Salihu Abubakar, the LMC’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) last Friday. The meeting is necessitated by the uncertainty surrounding the March 7 kick-off date of the new NPFL season. Some state governments have refused to endorse the registration requirements of the LMC for clubs in the forthcoming season. For example, Kaduna State Commissioner for Sports, Bashir Usman, expressed the fear that his government might find it difficult to approve such requirehairman of newly promoted FC Taraba, Tijments for Kaduna United FC. jani Babangida, has admitted he will need to The requirements include the reinforce his team for the challenges of the top provision of a Financial Perforflight. mance Guarantee (FPG) from an FC Taraba lost 2-1 to host Enugu Rangers in a preapproved financial institution for season friendly on Sunday and the former internathe sum of N100 million, during the tional, Babangida, said as much as he was impressed current season. with his team’s showing, there will be a need to fortify Others are: the provision of exthe team. isting or new Salary Bank Account “I must say that I am highly impressed with our details opened for each player for the game today despite the loss,” said Babangida, who 2013/2014 season and an undertaking made history by guiding Taraba to a first-ever appearby the clubs to abide by LMC rules. ance in the Nigeria top flight. The clubs are also expected to deposit “The aim of playing the match was achieved as duly-signed copies of each player’s conwe have noticed some of the weak links in the team tract agreement forms, which must conand after a meeting with the technical crew, we will form to the mandatory N150, 000 minimum know the players to get into the team. We need to rewage, among other requirements. enforce the team for the task ahead.” The league has been postponed twice as maThe former Ajax Amsterdam winger further said, jor stakeholders battle to resolve contentious is“We are a very young side in the league and will need sues delaying some state governments from comto muster enough courage and determination to rub plying with the LMC’s registration requirements. shoulders with the big boys of the league. Acting Secretary of the Club Owners Associa“Being our first season in the premiership, our tion, Aloy Chukwuemeka, told NAN that efforts were modest target is to retain our status, which I believe being made by the stakeholders to ensure that the comwith the calibre of the technical staff we have, it is petition kicks-off, as scheduled on March 7. achievable.” But Abubakar however, said that on its part, the LMC Rangers had to rely on a late goal from Meshack was ready for the commencement of the new season. Chibuikem to earn the win after substitute Luter IoHe said the LMC had completed the inspection of 18 venryhe had cancelled out Uche Ndukwe’s 23rd minute ues for the 2013/2014 league matches and tidied up procedures strike some few minutes into the second half of the associated with the licensing of players. highly entertaining encounter that had over a thousand spectators in the stands.

Babangida to fortify FC Taraba C

27

Sports

The final court available to us as athletes has spoken and humbly I say they have confirmed my innocence.

Glo League

LMC, club owners meet over kick-off date R

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


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Premiership

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Champions League...

Vidic

targets ultimate glory

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UC to

anchester United defender, Nemanja Vidic, says he would love to end his stay at Old Trafford winning the Champions League trophy in May as the Red Devils go into battle tonight at Olympiakos. Vidic won the trophy with United in 2008 and featured in the side’s two final defeats against Barcelona. “I believe we can do something special in the Champions League. I really do. If we play solid like we did against Crystal Palace we will be a hard team to beat,” Vidic said yesterday. “We always have people who can score goals and that is the way you play in the Champions League-be hard to beat, but be able to score. “It’s the only trophy we can win now, but I think we have done well in the Champions League so far this season. “Olympiakos is a tough game away from home. It is hostile and it is difficult to play there, but if we get a good result we can come back to Old Trafford and finish the game.”

Moyes

AFOLA

T Today’s fixtures

...Moyes rues Mata miss

Zenit vs Dortmund Olympiakos vs Man United

Gunners

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anchester United manager, David Moyes, has admitted it is frustrating that he will be without new-buy Juan Mata in the UEFA Champions League but he still believes the team can challenge for European glory. Mata is cup-tied for the Champions League after signing from Chelsea in January, but Moyes has defended the decision to bring in the Spaniard when they did for a club-record fee. “We wanted to get Mata when we could and that was the January transfer window,” Moyes said. “It’s a frustration we can’t use him in the Champions League and that’s why you hear people saying January isn’t a great time to buy. “Most of the clubs are trying to buy players who aren’t Champions League cup-tied. The Red Devils safely negotiated their group before Christmas and have been drawn to face Olympiakos in the last 16. “Teams don’t want to play Manchester United, because they know what this club stands for,” the manager further said. Injury threatens Dortmund’s hopes Borussia Dortmund heads to Zenit Saint Petersburg for today’s Champions League last 16, first-leg clash on the back of a shock Bundesliga defeat and injury worries. Dortmund slumped to a shock 3-0 defeat at relegationthreatened Hamburg on Saturday and lost defensive midfielder Sven Bender for the next 10 weeks with an inflamed pelvis. But Coach Jurgen Klopp has promised improvements in Saint Petersburg. “Things will be very different there,” Klopp said as his team departed to Russia yesterday. Zenit however has the squad to trouble Dortmund with the likes of Brazilian striker Hulk and ex-Arsenal attacking midfielder Andrei Arshavin.

insist on Casillas Vidic

A

rsenal is reported not to be givin up in the chase for out-of-favour Real Madrid goalkeeper, Iker Casillas. The experienced safe hands remains frozen out of La Liga action under Coach Carlo Ancelotti and is prepared to move on in the summer if things do not change between now and then. Arsenal is among European heavyweights to be in contact with Casillas’ representatives amidst reports that he favours the Gunners. The Spain number onw wold however adopt a wait-and-see game, even with no assurances from Ancelotti that he will change his keeper policy in the coming weeks.

h b p reache Acco in Nige Ruud G The utive y ons Le Last Argent close a true UEFA achiev The had be and th is mak 2009. Mea Plc, Mr phy tou “No outside Hein with th transla most p season

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AFOLA

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h t p the gra revolut Hon sola La gos afte program ed and Start N tion ha golf cou “At t es in La the am the gam “The schools be real soon be with a


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

‘Ezekiel won’t make Belgium switch’

CL: Heineken set unveil trophy

BI

29

GAMBARI

he stage is set for Heineken to give Nigerian football fans the opportunity to feel the UEFA Champions League trophy as the 2013/2014 season es the knockout phase. ording to the sponsor, the trophy, expected to be eria from March 13 with the brand ambassador Gullit, will remain in the country till March 16. Trophy Tour has been presented for eight consecyears by Heineken International, a UEFA Champieague partner. t year, the sponsor gave football fans in Nigeria, tina and Vietnam the chance to see and get up to the prestigious trophy which is regarded as global icon representing the excellence of the Champions League worldwide and the ultimate vement in European club football. sponsor also said various events and activities een lined up to give consumers, trade partners e media first hand contact with the trophy which king its tour of Nigeria for the second time since

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anwhile, Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries r. Walter Drenth, has said in a statement that trour is a unique activity to Heineken. other brand is capable of holding the trophy tour e of Europe,” Drenth said. neken announced the extension of its sponsorship he UEFA Champions League in August last year, ating to continuous partnership with the world’s prestigious club football competition till the 2018 n.

Ezekiel

he mentor of new Super Eagles invitee, Imoh Ezekiel, Mr. Gafar Liamel, has insisted that the Standard Liege striker will not dump Nigeria for Belgium. Liamel, who is the founder and chairman of 36 Lions of Lagos, has guided Ezekiel to international quality and expressed delight at his ward’s national invitation for the pre-World Cup friendly with Mexico in the USA on March 5. “It is just a rumour because Imoh told me that he is excited about the invitation to join the Eagles,” the amateur club owner said. “He has got a two-year multiple visa to the USA and he will honour the game with Mexico game on March 3. “To the best of my knowledge, he is not seeking Belgian citizenship, although Belgium wishes to give him and there is protocol to achieve that. “The truth is that Belgium coach Marc Wilmots wants him, and he is trying to fast track the citizenship issue, but Imoh has taken a decision to play for Nigeria, so no going back on that.” Imoh was scouted by Club Brugge before he was snapped up by Standard Liege after Brugge dropped interest in the promising striker due to a knock on his ankle. Aside scoring nine goals this season, he has also scored the fastest goal ever in the Belgian league when he scored after just 10 s

olf: Lagos plans big for kids

ABI GAMBARI

he Lagos State Amateur Golf Association (LSAGA) has unfolded a five-year plan for the development of golfers at assroots in an unprecedented move to tionise the sport in Nigeria. nourary Secreatry of LSAGA, Mr. Oluawson, who made the plan known in Laer a three-day”Training the Teachers” amme organised by 2AT Nigeria Limitundertaken by United Kingdom-based Now and Golf (SNAG), said the associaad commenced effort to build about 20 urses across the state. the moment, there are only four coursagos and they are not even enough for mateurs and professionals to engage in me,” Lawson reckoned. erefore, to have about 5, 000 kids from s also play on such courses would not listic. It is in this regard that we will egin to talk with the state government view to enabling us with lands where

golf courses can be constructed,” the LSAGA official added. According to Lawson who plays active golf in the amateur ranks, Nigeria would rank among the best world golfers by 2018 if conscious efforts by the association yield dividends. “We have taken the right step by taking the sport to schools and it is now a matter of time before the talents discovered are groomed to compete with golfers elsewhere,” Lawson, who expressed delight at the enthusiasm of over 500 kids who attended the programme at the Lagos Astro Turf 2000, further said. About 45 teachers drawn from the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) were trained by SNAG Master Trainer, Tony Howarth, who expressed satisfaction with their response. National Mirror learnt that the decision to take golf to public schools owed to LSAGA’s resolve to make the sport less elitist in tune with the new orientation in other countries in Africa. In a related development, former Nigeria

number one golfer, Umoh Edet, passed on in Abuja on Sunday, aged 33. Edet reportedly slumped during a training football match on the fateful day and was rushed to a hospital where efforts to resuscitate him failed to yield result. Assistant Resident Professional Golfer, Dominic Andrew, who confirmed the report to National Mirror yesterday, said: “It is sad, but that the truth we have to deal with now. The Professional Golfers Association sees it as a very big loss.” Edet, who until his death was an assistant professional at the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja, was Nigeria’s number one golfer in 2011 and also represented the country at the Pre-qualifier of the World Cup of Golf in 2011 in Seri Selangor in Malaysia. He won the Tour Partner Championship at Ikoyi Club in 2010 with a spectacular chip from the hole-18 bunker into the hole. Later that year, he won the PGA Championship at the IBB Golf Club and returned in 2011 to win the President Cup.

Kids during the “Train the Teachers” golf programme in Lagos


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Sport

Tuesday, February 25, 20114

Gebrselassie listed for cash race

States, clubs jostle for Olukoya

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thiopian legend, Haile Gebrselassie, will be the main pacemaker for the men’s race at the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, race organisers announced yesterday. The IAAF Gold Label Road Race will take place just five days short of Gebrselassie’s 41st birth-

Gebrselassie

day. Gebrselassie, who won two Olympic titles and four IAAF World Championship gold medals over 10,000m, and twice broke the marathon world record, will pace the leading men to 30km at world record speed. It is the first time the former world record-holder has run as a pacemaker in a top-class international race, and the London Marathon race director, Hugh Brasher, welcomed the addition of the legendary Ethiopian. “We are delighted to announce that Haile Gebrselassie has agreed to run as a pacemaker in this year’s race,” Brasher said. “Haile is an icon of distance running, a man who has broken 27 world records on the track and road during his long and brilliant career, and we can’t think of anyone better to set our elite men up for a crack at the world marathon record. “Everyone knows how difficult it is to break the world record on London’s course, especially with such a competitive field, but with Haile pacing and four of the fastest marathon runners in history in the race, there’s a real chance we will see something special.” Among the world-class athletes who are expected to follow Gebrselassie’s lead are Great Britain’s double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah, the current marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang, the reigning London Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede, the world and Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich, and the London Marathon course record-holder Emmanuel Mutai.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Olukoya

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he 4th Dr. D. K. Olukoya National U-18 Athletics Championship begins at the Dipo Dina Stadium, Ijebu-Ode on

Thursday with fifteen states and seven clubs already registered to participate. According to the Secretary General of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Olumide Bamiduro, more entries are still being expected. “This edition serves as trials for three major championships, the Africa Youth Championship in Gaborone, Botswana, which we are the defending champion, the IAAF World Junior Championships in Oregon, USA, and Youth Olympic Games, Nanjing, China,” Bamiduro explained. The Olukoya championship has produced the

likes of Florence Nkiruka Uwakwe, a gold medallist at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, Bukola Abogunloko, a bronze and silver medalist in 400m and Medley Relay at the same edition Youth Olympic Games. Abogunloko was also a member of the Team Nigeria 4x400m quartet that made the finals at the London 2012 Olympics and Moscow 2013 IAAF World Championships. Others discovered at the championship include Ese Brume, Africa Youth and Junior Champion in Long Jump, Favour Ada Benjamin, Fabian Ejovi, Divine Oduduru and Ifeanyi Atuma, among others.

Tsegaye, Chumba set Tokyo records

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wo course records fell in the 2014 Tokyo Marathon on Sunday as Ethiopia’s Tirfi Tsegaye and Kenya’s Dickson Chumba won their first World Marathon Major event titles. Chumba’s victory in 2 hours 5min 42sec moves him up into a six-way tie for fourth place in the 2013-2014 World Marathon Major series, while Tsegaye’s win saw her surge from 24th to fourth in standings. More than 36,000 athletes crossed the start line in eighth edition of the Tokyo Marathon - the second of its reign as a World Marathon Major - in conditions which

Chumba broke his own personal best time of 2:05:46, set during his win at the Eindhoven Marathon in 2012, to better the men’s course record, set by Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto last year, by more than a minute. The Kenyan was not among the favourites coming into the race with a seventh place finish in Boston last year his highest finish in a World Marathon Major. This did not faze the Kenyan as he began pushing the pace at the 30km mark hoping to break up the 12-strong pack of athletes as they made their way into the final third of the race. The World Marathon Major Tsegaye series will resume in London proved perfect for the run- on April 13 before heading to Boston on April 21. ners.

Lagat shines in Seville

K

Lagat

enya’s Cosmas Kiplimo Lagat made a stunning marathon debut at the 30th edition of the Maraton de Sevilla, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, winning the Spanish race in a course record of 2:08:33 on Sunday (23). Lagat, 20, took more than a minute off the previous best of 2:09:53, set by Ethiopia’s Daniel Abera Wadejo two years ago, when he came home almost four minutes clear of his nearest challenger. It was a stunning breakthrough for the un-

heralded young runner, taking part in his first ever international race, who raced courageously right from the gun, despite his inexperience. Kiplimo Lagat was eight seconds ahead of the eight-strong chasing pack at 10km, passed in 29:58. Eritrea’s Amanuel Mesel moved up in the next 5km to help Kiplimo Lagat with the pace at the front of the race, with 15km passed in 45:21, with now almost a minute between the pair and a pack which had expanded to 11 men.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

31

Residential price growth in South Africa expected to slow

FHA to begin work on 25,000 units Abuja new town project A

..acquires land in 17 states for housing projects

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s the agency intensifies efforts aimed at providing affordable housing for the low and middle income earners, the Federal Housing Authority has said it had concluded plans to begin work on its 25,000 units Abuja new town housing project. The housing project located in Bwari, a suburb of Abuja, is aimed at decongestant the city centre which is gradually becoming over populated with all its attendant socio-economic misnomers. Managing Director of the Authority, Mr. Terver Gemade, who made this known last week in Abuja during an inspection of the site with members of his management team, said houses in the new town would be affordable in every sense of the word and would consist of a minimum of 25,000 housing units.

He said the experience in the past few years had underscored the urgency of the need to relieve the Abuja city centre of much of the pressure on its facilities and infrastructure, adding that the new town project was aimed at providing decent and affordable accommodation for the teeming population of the nation’s capital. Gemade noted that enumeration had commenced and that compensation would be paid to those who would be affected by the development in good time so that work would start in earnest by the middle of the year. He said the project which would be delivered through direct construction and public private partnership would, on completion, have its own independent power and water treatment plants. According to him, the new town would consist mainly of

one, two, three and four bedroom apartments in high rise structures, explaining that the recourse to such structures was to save cost on infrastructure and the serviced land. On the Authority’s new focus on the construction of housing for low and medium income earners, he said FHA, looking beyond the pursuit of profit, was committed to contributing its quota to the realization of the housing and job creation components of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda. In order to achieve this, he added that the Authority had acquired land in 17 states for the development of housing estates and that consultations were on with the Lagos State government on the titling of the Authority’s land holdings in the state.

gradual slowdown in house prices is expected in South Africa in 2014 after rises of 10% in 2012 and 2013, according to a new analysis report. Although the demand for quality housing remains high, the expectation of subdued growth in both the South African economy and household disposable income may dampen house price progression, says the report from Fitch Ratings. Meanwhile, banks still have to work out a significant volume of defaulted loans and sell the related properties on the market and the prospect of a gradual rise in interest rates by the end of 2014, as anticipated by Fitch, adds to the uncertainty on future gains in house prices. ‘Fitch expects nominal housing appreciation to slow down to approximately 6% a year over the next few years, in line with inflation,’ the report says. It also points out that despite the house price gains of 2012 and 2013, housing affordability remains significantly higher than in the pre global economic crisis years of 2006 and 2007. However, only a limited share of the South African population can afford a mortgage, as reflected by elevated house price to income per capita ratios. Fitch expects housing affordability to remain stable over the next few years, while housing appreciation slows down and the progression in disposable

incomes remains subdued. It explains that mortgage rates are generally linked to the prime rate, a reference index that closely follows the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) auction rates. Last reset to 8.5% in the course of 2012, it is at its lowest levels since the middle of the 1970s. The return of inflation, averaging 5.4% since 2011, and the recent major depreciation of the rand by around 23% against the dollar from January 2012 to November 2013, may lead SARB to tighten its monetary policy; these factors are nonetheless to be weighed against expectations for a sluggish economic growth. Fitch expects a modest policy tightening by the end of 2014, adding that given inflationary and foreign exchange pressures, there is a risk of earlier rises in interest rates. Mortgage performance has remained stable since 2011, down from the peak in defaults experienced in 2008 and 2009 and is expected to continue to be stable this year. Statistics from the National Credit Regulator (NCR) also suggest a gradual work out of the stock of defaulted loans inherited from the crisis years. ‘However, there is some uncertainty regarding the future pace of these settlements, as the least attractive properties may still have to be sold,’ the report points out.

New index shows Sydney leading property prices rises in Australia

A choice property in Lagos

Property price growth in the UK beating savings rates, new research suggests

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nnual property price growth in the UK is almost six times greater than popular ISA savings products, it is claimed. The average UK house has increased 11 per cent in value since January 2013 while the best fixed rate ISA paid 1.85 per cent, according to research by Sequence, owners of over 300 estate agent branches across the country. It also reveals that London’s house prices have increased by 21 per cent annually to £461,477, some 11 times the growth of an ISA interest rate. London’s sales transactions increase by 20 per cent annually as buyers continue to flock into the market and overall UK transactions remain buoyant coming

into the New Year, up 18 per cent annually. The research also reveals that London now has almost 14 new buyers registering for every new instruction and mortgage availability continues to fuel the market, with the number of applications up 15 per cent annually and the number of first time buyer applications rising by 22 per cent. ‘The property market shows no sign of slowing in the first quarter of 2014 and with the outstanding rates of annual price growth across the market it is easy to see why buyers are keen to get a foothold on the ladder. Indeed new buyer registrations grew by 26 per cent annually in the UK and 28 per cent in London,’ said David Plumtree, chief

executive at Sequence. ‘‘The property price growth we are seeing is out performing all other types of investment and is currently 11 times greater than an ISA in London, so anyone with cash in the bank is understandably looking to capitalise on the rising market,’ he pointed out. ‘‘Sales transaction levels are rocketing alongside this growth, up 18 per cent annually in the UK and 20 per cent in London. There are now almost eight new buyers registering for every new instruction coming onto the market across the UK, almost 14 in London, and it is this fierce competition which is underpinning the price growth,’’ he explained.

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esidential property prices increased in every capital city in Australia in the December quarter of 2013, according to the latest figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The figures show that the Residential Property Price Index (RPPI), a measure including houses and attached dwellings, for the weighted average of the eight capital cities rose 3.4% during the quarter and 9.3% over the last year. Established house prices rose 3.5% and attached dwelling prices rose 3% in the quarter. Sydney continued to grow at the fastest rate across the country, with house prices rising 4.9% in the December quarter 2013, the third consecutive quarter for which Sydney has had the largest rise in house prices of any capital city. House prices in Melbourne increased by 2.8%, Perth saw a 3.5% rise, Brisbane at 3% increase, Adelaide a 2.8% rise,

Hobart a 2.3% rise, Darwin a 2.7% rise and Canberra a 0.4% increase. Prices for attached dwellings, which includes flats and apartments, rose in all capital cities except Darwin with a fall of 0.4%. Prices went up in Sydney by 4.4%, in Melbourne by 1.9%, in Perth by 2.6%, in Brisbane by 2.2%, in Adelaide by 1.5%, in Hobart by 0.7% in and Canberra by 0.1%. The new statistics are being published as part of the ABS program to enhance macroeconomic statistics in Australia. These new figures also include a measure of the total value of residential properties in Australia, which has risen to $5.02 trillion in the December quarter 2013, up from $4.83 trillion in the September quarter. They also show that the average price of Australia’s 9.3 million residential properties is now $539,400, up from $496,800 in the December quarter of 2012.


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Real Estate & Environment

How to keep your closet tidy Have you ever been in a situation when you are getting late for an interview or for a date and can’t seem to find your clothes from your own closet? I’m sure that happens quite often to most of us. It must have been ages since you last organized your clothing. Imagine how much money and time you spent looking for the right outfit and then not being able to wear them when you want. Now it’s time to arrange them in closet and make your life easier. Here’s how you can do it in no time. STEPS TIPS * Get all your clothes out of your closet. Empty your closet by taking all of your clothes/shoes out of it. It sounds like a lot of work but trust me this is the best way to get started. You may turn some music on to keep yourself going if that helps. * Clean the closet. We don’t often realize how much dust and dirt can be inside our closet even though it is mostly closed. So, clean inside of your closet with an old piece of cloth for a good start. Use air freshener to get rid of the damp. * Separate clothes according to seasons. You might have summer and winter clothes kept altogether in the same closet. So, separate them. If you are living in a city/state where the weather is mostly warm, keep your winter clothes on your top shelf/drawer which you can’t reach easily and that is out of your sight. Do the opposite for cold weather. * Separate clothes by colors, sizes and events: Make sure you keep your work clothes separated from party dresses and sleepwear from sportswear. * Don’t forget to organize them by size either. If you are a size 4 now and think you might get back into size 2, don’t mix all the sizes together. * Moreover, arrange your clothes by colors. Keep all your whites together and as you go for darker colors arrange them accordingly. You will be amazed to find out how many of black pants and white shirts you own and don’t use them all- rather you keep buying more. Therefore, ordering them by categories will make your job easier every time you want to get ready to be somewhere and when you think you need a new white shirt where as you already have one. * Use hangers to organize. Hangers are the best way to keep your closet tidy and so put most of your

clothes Later , l th iin hangers. h L t if you are in i hurry h you can just pull the hanger out and wear what you want instead of searching it from a pile of clothes and making a mess. * Cover special outfits. For particular outfits which are not used frequently but we keep them anyhow; like wedding dress and suits, they need extra care. You can put them in suitcovers. This way they can be better protected d while being unused in the closet. * Do not use hangers for some clothes. Forr clothes like loose knits such as scarves orr sweaters, do not put them in hangers as they ey y might go out of shape by doing so. Keep your urr sweaters folded while keep socks, stockings and under garments in drawers. * Be ready to donate. You will be surprised ised that you might have some clothes in your closet oset which you haven’t worn in a long time and don’t on’t wish to wear them anytime in future. They hey might be out of fashion or not of your current ent size. So, no point storing them and it’s time to donate these clothes either to Salvation Army my or for a garage sale or to someone who can an make use of it. Make a list of clothes that you ou plan to donate and stack them in a box/bag. ag. If you have emotional attachment with any ny clothes, take pictures wearing them and post st it inside your closet or in an album before you u store or donate. * Keep your shoes, hats and bags separated. d. If you have shoes in your closet, make sure e you keep them separated from clothes and d of course according the types of shoes. Forr boots, it’s better to store them with winterr outfits. You should also allow some room for your hats, bags and belts. Make sure they don’t take too much space while being neat.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

33

FG urges NSE,COREN to blacklist engineers involved in road failure

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he Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen has called on the Nigerian Society of Engineers and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, to come up with punitive measures against engineers that are involved in road design failure in the country. Onolememen, who made the charge at a meeting with the NSE President, Mr. Isaac Olorunfunmi in Abuja, stated that opening a black book for inefficient engineers would not only help to serve as a deterrent to others, it would also be in the overall interest of the nation. He said, “It is not only in the housing that we witness failure; we also experience this in road infrastructure sector. We have experienced structures designed by the Nigerian engineers collapsed before our very eyes. I refer culvert bridges even road failures that are as a result of poor engineering designs. “We are being inundated with a number of those projects and I believe that its about time that the NSE and COREN should start meting out punitive measures for engineers who are involved in such shameful projects because they are capable of really lowering the prestige of the engineering profession in Nigeria. “As the president of NSE, I believe you have the responsibility to ensure that that

I THINK SOMETHING SHOULD BE DONE TO GUARANTEE THAT YOUNG ENGINEERING GRADUATES ARE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY DURING

NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE CORPS SCHEME

THEIR

Onolememen

does not happen and I want to assure you that as the minster responsible for the supervision of engineering profession in Nigeria, I am ready to collaborate with you and COREN to ensure that we open a black book for all such engineers so that they will serve as a deterrent to others.” The minister, who enjoined NSE to evolve a programme that would help young

Soweto’s affordable property location

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rotea Glen is currently the fastest growing suburb in Soweto with more affordable housing and many new developments where buyers can purchase off-plan and save on transfer duties and other costs. Luxury in this suburb is a home that has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with at least one garage and a carport - expect to pay R700 000. Homes are priced between R400 000 to R700 000, says Seeff Master Licensee, Johannesburg South, Eye of Africa, Alberton and Soweto, Shawn Mackrell. Mackrell explains that new homes in Protea Glen are priced at R450 000 for two bedrooms while three bedroom homes sell for R485 000. What will be luxury in this suburb are three bedrooms, two bathrooms with at least one garage and a carport, and expect to pay R700 000. Seeff agent Khosi Sibiya says the building of new two and three bedroom houses in Protea Glen Ext 11 in Soweto, which just commenced, is seeing overwhelming interest from buyers. The Protea Glen market is very buoyant at the moment, with over 140 property sales per month in 2013, according to Sibiya. “The vast majority of new buyers in the area are young people aged between 18-35 years, demonstrating the faith that careerstarters and young families have

in Protea Glen,” says Sibiya. She points to Lightstone data which shows that there has been a significant increase of about 35 percent in the average selling price of freehold property in 2013 compared to 2012 and even though the number of sales in this period decreased, the total value of sales is up by almost 30 percent. Protea Glen is located between Lenasia and north of Soweto and the new homes are selling from R450 000 including transfer and bond costs. Stands range from 300 to 320 square metres and the newly built homes range from 45 square metres to 70 square metres. With affordability of these homes come quality, as such, they are priced above the average price of around R300 000 at the moment, noting that currently, the majority of houses marketed by Seeff in Protea Glen are priced between R300 000 and R500 000, but there are also property sales taking place over R700 000. Protea Glen is located between Lenasia and north of Soweto and the new homes are selling from R450 000 including transfer and bond costs. Stands range from 300 to 320 square metres and the newly built homes range from 45 square metres to 70 square metres. “The homes in Protea Glen Extension 11 all include quality finishes with a choice of Tuscan style roofs and this is not very common in Soweto.

and upcoming engineers in the country, however frowned at the practice of sending engineering graduates to work in secondary schools. He said they stand a better chance to contribute their own quotas to the growth and development of the country if deployed into places where they would have the opportunities to put into use the practice of the trade they had spent 5years in the university to learn. “I think something should be done to guarantee that young engineering gradu-

ates are given the opportunity during their National Youth Service Corps scheme. I was at a forum where we discussed this and the registrar of COREN actually brought this to the fore and we thought that it made no sense posting young engineers who are on corps members to take up teaching jobs in schools. “I don’t think we are doing ourselves any good by so doing, these engineers can make better positive contributions to nation building in our country if they are appropriately trained and thereafter sent to engineering institutions and to specific projects where they can offer national service, “he stated. He also informed his visitors that the ministry had already begun implementation of the federal government’s white paper which stipulated that engineering contract within the range of N50m be given to local engineering firms. According to him, apart from having fulfilled the Presidential directive that the ministry employ 50 young engineers, it has started implementation of local content in road engineering procurement. For instance, Onolememen noted that out of 21 engineering projects procured by the ministry in the 2013, 15 of such contracts were given to local engineering contractors.

Committee for UN-Habitat housing conference inaugurated

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he Federal Government has inaugurated a multisectoral committee to work out modalities that would enable Nigeria make useful contributions to the forthcoming third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. The conference which is taking place 20 years after the 2nd UN habitat forum, held in Istanbul, Turkey, is expected to provide a veritable platform for the world to proffer solutions to the some of the challenges facing cities and towns. Speaking during the inauguration ceremony in Abuja last week, the Supervisory Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Musa Sada, stated that the committee is expected to among other emerging issues, provide inputs and support to the country’s preparatory process for the conference, convene a National Urban Forum and engage with all relevant stakeholders and partners in order to reflect the shared views of all relevant partners in the preparatory process. The committee’ terms of reference also include, developing a national habitat report which would enable the country asses the implementation of the Habitat 2-agenda, highlight new challenges, emerging trends and provide a prospective vision for sustainable

human settlements and urban development as basis for formulation of new urban agenda. It is also expected that the committee would help to raise the level of awareness about the Habitat 3-conference and the challenges facing the country’s human settlements. On the expectation of Nigeria from the conference, Sada style country hoped the conference would examine the changing structure, form and functionality of towns and cities in the intervening period and re strategies towards developing a concise, forward looking and action oriented new global urban agenda for the 21st century. On the importance of the constitution of the committee, Sada added, “Today’s inauguration of Nigeria’s National Habitat Committee is aimed at ensuring that we contribute positively to those global processes.” He assured that the country would not only participate in the global event, but would also articulate positions in the best interest of the African continent. “I assure you that the resources, talents, capacities and capabilities of our beloved country will be effectively mobilised, harnessed and deployed towards stage articulation of our key concerns and priorities

for incorporation into the new global urban agenda which is expected to be unfolded soon. “We are also committed to provide the focused and purposeful leadership for the African continent by ensuring that African concerns are properly integrated into the new urban agenda by contributing positively in terms of relevance and impact,” he said. Besides, the minister noted that Nigeria would work in close unison with the African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development to promote the new AMCHUD pact adopted in 2012 for maximizing the urban advantage focused on developing transformative national urban policies, creating more compact cities at human scale, undertaking institutional and legal reforms and learning how to do things together. Speaking at the event, the Deputy Executive Director who also doubles as the Assistant Secretary General for UN-Habitat, Dr. Aisha Kacyira, said the conference would be a rallying point for private sector, academic institutions and all relevant interest groups to review urban and housing policies affecting the future of cities within an international governance architecture.


34

Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Socio-Economic issues could impact on property market in SA

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otentially difficult times lie ahead for South Africa’s property market which was only just beginning to make a comeback says auctioneering firm Park Village Auction’s Jaco du Toit who heads up the company’s property division. “There’s a lot going on on the socio-economic front which doesn’t bode particularly well for South Africa in general and the property market in particular,” explains Du Toit. “A number of factors are putting off both local and international buyers from committing to purchases to some extent until they have a clearer picture of where the country is headed. Factors include rand weakness, high inflation, weakening metal prices, on-going violent strike action, a rising trade deficit, continuing uncertainty regarding property rights and land reform, high levels of crime, weak service delivery and political in-fighting.” Increasing input costs such as labour, electricity, water, property rates and taxes and raw materials as well as skill shortages, crum-

bling infrastructure and credit downgrades are further undermining South Africa’s social fabric and spooking investors he says. Evidence of buyer jitters could well already be playing out in the buy-to-let market which was recently described by FNB as “dead”. This description was linked to the release of its second quarter Estate Agents Survey which claimed that only eight percent of homeowners are buying property for letting purposes. The fact that the National Credit Regulator recently stated that there has been an “alarming” increase in impaired credit records isn’t positive either as this means that fewer people will be able to access home loans adds Du Toit. “Worryingly, as things stand, the potential for another cycle of unrest cannot be dismissed. If inflation accelerates as it is tipped to do, working-class households will be hit hardest as the cost of food and fuel would increase yet again. Thus, any wage increases gained through strikes will be eroded which could spark off another round of social upheaval, strikes,

rand weakness, investor runoffs and yet more inflation.” Hopefully this scenario will be nipped in the bud though and the rand, which is a particularly fluid currency, will change direction says Du Toit. And it’s not all doom and gloom. Confidence in the building sector has improved, there are suburbs

across South Africa which are performing very well, property values are improving and demand for auction properties remains fairly robust. Expectations are also running high in anticipation of government’s National Development Plan (NDP) which should kick-start major infrastructural upgrades in the near future.

South African property

Rental yields for buy to let landlords in England and Wales remain high

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andlords across England and Wales have seen returns eclipsed by those in London which have seen total annual returns of 14.6% in the 12 months to January 2014, up from 11.4% in the previous 12 months. While total returns on an average rental property across England and Wales was 8.9%, up from 5.7%, according to the latest buy to let index from LSL Property Services which owns the UK’s largest lettings agent network, including national chains Your Move and Reeds Rains. London landlords have seen an average return of £38,104 per property in the capital, or more than five times the total return per property in areas such as the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber. In England and Wales the total annual returns growth represents an average return of £14,767, with rental income of £7,961 and capital gain of £6,806. The data also shows that if rental property prices continue to rise at the same pace as over the last three months, the average buy to let investor in England and Wales could expect to make a total annual return of 13% over the next 12 months, equivalent to £22,256 per property. Gross yields on a typical rental property stand at 5.2% as of Janu-

ary, down slightly from 5.3% in January 2013. However, total returns have been boosted by capital accumulation and lower void periods between tenants. ‘Rental yields remain historically high, and such rental income is still underpinned by a demand driven lettings market. Meanwhile, rising prices are delivering an equity bonus for landlords, considerably boosting total annual returns,’ said David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services. ‘Such equity growth is also an important factor for some landlords looking to remortgage existing properties to fund new purchases. As mortgage availability grows and rates seem set fair for the time being, many landlords will continue to

London property

Encouragingly, industry observers continue to state that there are good reasons to remain confident in South African property as an asset class. A recent survey released by ‘The Economist’ seemingly bolsters this view in that it shows that South Africa ranks third in terms of global house price growth.

expand their portfolios,’ he added. The index also shows that average rents across England and Wales have risen 1.4% in the past year, to stand at £742 per month in January. Annual rises come despite a seasonal fall in rents between December and January. The average rent across England and Wales fell by 0.4% on a monthly basis. ‘Rents are now rising more gradually on an annual basis, thanks to the efforts of landlords to expand availability of tenancies. However, there still remains a dire shortage of housing in the UK. Powerful incentives for those with the ability to make more homes available are important in easing some of the short term strain for tenants,’ explained Brown.

Budget 2014: Singapore says ‘too early’ to relax property cooling measures

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he remarks by Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in parliament came amid concerns by analysts about property prices soaring to unsustainable levels in emerging markets, including those in Asia. “Our cooling measures have been aimed at moderating the market so as to prevent property prices from getting too far out of line with incomes,” Shanmugaratman said as he unveiled the 2014 national budget. “We are not engineering a hard landing, but neither are we able to eliminate cycles in the property market, with upswing in prices in some years followed by corrections,” he said. “Given the run-up in prices in recent years, it is too early to start relaxing our measures. The government will continue to monitor the property market and adjust the measures when necessary.” Singapore last year imposed additional measures in a bid to dampen down the red-hot prop-

erty market, including raising stamp duties, which made it costlier for foreigners to buy property. The government also sharply increased minimum cash downpayments for individuals applying for loans for second or subsequent homes. These were in addition to earlier measures to tame the property market, including a move by the central bank in 2012 to impose a maximum tenure of 35 years for new housing loans. Analysts have raised the red flag about soaring property prices in several Asian economies and have urged regional policymakers to take steps to prevent risky asset bubbles. Low interest rates have fuelled a property boom in emerging markets which may have led consumers to overborrow. There are fears that a rise in interest rates expected to accompany a winding down of the economic stimulus package in the United States would lead to borrowers unable to repay their loans.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Aviation

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mr. Jamie Cassidy is the Area General Manager, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa for British Airways. He has been with the airline for over 35 years. In this interview with OLUSEGUN KOIKI, he speaks on some of the challenges confronting the operator globally, its plans for Africa, future of the industry and intense competition among operators flying into Nigeria. Excerpts:

British Airways recently said that it is spending about five billion pounds over the next five years, how much of this amount of money do you intend to spend on your operations to the continent? As at the moment, we are spending 78 pounds a minute on investing in new planes. Just recently, we acquired four Airbus 380 and we are also on the verge of getting another four of the same brand this year. Apart from this, we are also taking delivery of Boeing 787 and in total; we are getting 20 new planes this year. This is a huge investment by the airline. In terms of Africa, this year, we are growing Africa by eight per cent. In South Africa for instance, we have put an Airbus 380 to Johannesburg route to increase the capacity there; Cape Town, we are increasing the frequencies; in Kenya, we are deploying B747 and increasing our frequencies there too; Ghana, we are using a bigger plane now with more capacity. So, in entire Africa, BA is investing in more planes and frequencies and I think that is in recognition of how important we see Africa and we are futurist about the continent and its growth. So, we are enhancing its investment in the continent. In Nigeria, this might sound a bit bizarre, Nigeria is like India; big population, very energetic, very enthusiastic and the people are ready to move. We know Nigeria has a big future in terms of investment. So, this is a good sign to us about the future. What other thing we will like to do about Nigeria is to expose some of its students in aviation colleges. We want to sponsor about six best students from the two colleges of aviation in the country; the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, Zaria and the Ilorin International College of Aviation, Kwara State. We will do this in conjunction with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA. We are going to take them to the United Kingdom, they will experience our facilities and expose them to the rudiment of our jobs and we think this is a very good way of sharing some of our experiences in aviation with upcoming Nigerian students. Many of them might not have been inside a plane before, but we want to nurture them and hopefully, they will be the pioneer of the future. For us at BA, Nigerian market has been very good to us in the last few years and we have been here for 77 years and we have no absolute no intention of moving out of the route. We

35

Competition, our major challenge in Nigeria –BA boss ting cost, what is BA doing to reduce cost as regards this? If you look at aviation fuel today, it costs about $100 per barrel; five to six years ago, it was just $25. So, airlines have had a very big task to accommodate such additional costs and fuel now is a huge cost to our operations in the industry. One of the key things we are doing is acquisition of new planes, which are very fuel efficient. I said it earlier that we are buying 20 new planes this year and they are up to 50 per cent more fuel efficient. So, that is one of the things we are doing. We are also looking at the issue of artificial fuel; how we can manufacture fuel from non-oil sources? We have got some researchers in London that are looking at some of these wastes and how we can use them.

Cassidy

are very keen on staying here and developing Nigeria with the Nigerians. We see the future as very positive. So, that is part of our investment in the continent, but it will be difficult for me to quantify it. What is your view about the navigational equipment provided by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA? I am not an expert in navigation, but BA will not be flying into Nigeria if the navigational aids are not safe. We take safety as number one in the airline. Although, I’m not an expert in that area, but safety is our number one priority. What is your impression about airport facilities? We can only operate with the facilities you have on ground here and I know you are taking plans to upgrade the facilities on ground at the airport. I can see and feel that too. We hope the improvement continues so that we can all benefit from it; we will benefit as an airline, Nigeria will benefit as a country in terms of the impression about people when they arrive in your country. I wish the government and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, the good fortunes. Earlier, you talked about your investments in new aircraft, are there plans to change the B747 aircraft you have been operating into the country with a more fuel efficient modern aircraft? Like I said earlier, we’ve got four A380; the aircraft is ideal and suiting for long haul operations. A lot of passengers can be moved at once. So, where we are flying that to at the moment is Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Johannesburg and a few oth-

IF YOU LOOK AT

AVIATION FUEL TODAY, IT COSTS ABOUT

$100

PER BARREL; FIVE TO

SIX YEARS AGO, IT WAS JUST

$25. SO, AIRLINES

HAVE HAD A VERY BIG TASK TO ACCOMMODATE SUCH ADDITIONAL COSTS AND FUEL NOW IS A HUGE COST TO OUR OPERATIONS IN THE INDUSTRY ers. These cities mentioned above are all about 11 hours’ flight. That is why the aeroplane is most economic for long range flight. Lagos is about six hours and A380 is not a good fleet for this route. The jumbo (B747) is a perfect plane for this route with lots of configurations on a single plane. The Nigerian market is a fairly premium market for us. We are beginning to retire the B747, but that is going to take several years to be concluded. We have 57 B747 in our fleet, but I’m not sure how many we still have left. Aviation fuel has been a very topical issue in recent times in the global aviation industry and several airlines around the world are looking at some options of cut-

BA has been flying into Nigeria for 77 years, what are your major challenges flying into the country? Definitely, our major challenge is competition from other airlines also flying into Nigeria. Many of the passengers of BA are flying into London, most are flying into North Atlantic and in the last few years, you have seen not much direct flights to the States. United and Delta Airlines are now flying daily to the United States, which didn’t happen a couple of years ago. You also have the gulf carriers; Emirates, Qatar, Etihad and lots more others. Apart from these, you have other big carriers like Lufthansa, KLM and others, they are all competing. We are lucky because we are based in London and the city continues to be a big global business centre and also a huge tourist centre. Although, the competition is the arguably the biggest challenge we are facing in the last few years, but BA still more than boxes its way and we have lots of other advantages over other carriers. We have the London Terminal 5, partnership with other mega airlines. So, despite the competition, we still continue to fly high. From your profile, you have been in BA for 35 years, how has your experience been with the airline over the years? The experience has been very interesting and I still have more years to work with the airline. Absolutely, it has been OK and some interesting things about BA are that it has allowed me to have several business careers in the same organisation. I have worked in engineering, cargo, marketing, brands, airports, cabin services and others. The only place I have not worked is the human resources department and financing. So, BA has allowed me to have several business careers in the same organisation. My latest portfolio is what I have enjoyed most recently because I look at the several interesting places in the world; the economic and politics around the world.


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Aviation

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

ICAO hails Nahco’s integrity in Nigerian aviation Industry STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, Ikeja District has commended the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (nahco aviance) for its unblemished records in the country’s aviation Industry. The Chairman of the district, Mr. Francis Egba, who led other executive committee members of the district, made the remark during a courtesy call on the management of nahco aviance. An online statement signed by the spokesman of the ground handling company, Mr. Sanya Onayoade stated that Egba commended nahco aviance for its support over the years through regular payment of subscription dues of its numerous staff members of the body. Onayoade stated that Egba expressed the desire of his dis-

trict to partner nahco aviance and called for more collaboration between the two organisations. Also speaking, the immediate past chairman of the district, Mr. Patrick Sanni commended nahco aviance for maintaining its integrity despite the series of challenges going on in the aviation industry, saying it is a

pointer to a well- managed and efficient company. Responding, the Managing Director of nahco aviance, Mr. Kayode Oluwasegun-Ojo lauded the visitors and assured them of the company’s resolve to continue to play its role as a leading aviation handling company in the country and by extension the sub-Sahara Africa.

L-R: The Head, Retail Business, AIICO Insurance Plc, Mr. Olusola Ajayi; Executive Chairman, Peacock Group of Companies, Aare Segun Phillips; Group Head, Alternate Channels, AIICO Insurance Plc, Mrs. Adetutu Arusiuka at 2014 Travel Insurance Dinner/ Award Nite held recently in Lagos.

ASC signs three years contract with Discovery Air

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irline Services Components, ASC, Limited said it has signed a three-year contract with the yet to commence flight operations airline, Discovery Air to provide full component support on its fleet of Boeing B737-300 aircraft. The company said this Power-by-the-Hour, PBH, contract would cover an initial three operational aircraft, with scope to expand as the airline looks to develop its route network domestically and regionally to destinations including Gambia, Ghana and Cameroon. Commenting on the contract, the Managing Director, Discovery Air, Capt. Abdulsalami Mohammed, said the airline was very glad to have ASC as our its support partner. While the ASC Director, Nick Filce added, “ASC is delighted to sign this PBH support contract with Discovery Airways on their B737 Classics. This is ASC’s first contract in Western Africa and a key addition to our growing portfolio. “ASC has recently reinforced its focus on the region and this contract provides a great cornerstone to our planned expansion into the market. ASC’s experienced and flexible approach to component support on the B737 platform ensures we are well placed to assist the regions

operators to streamline operations.” ASC specialises in the supply and management of rotable components to the commercial aviation market, along with complete wheels and brakes support services. These contracts are a crucial part of ASC’s strategic

expansion plans following significant investment from private equity firm Lloyds Development Capital, LDC,. ASC’s growing international presence is underpinned by its dedication to high quality service delivery and operational flexibility valued by its customers.

Aircraft in Lagos

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Airside shegzzy4live2000@yahoo.co.uk 08186007273

When airlines resort to generating sets

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he Nigerian airports have over the years been experiencing epileptic power supply to its facilities while all efforts to improve the sordid situation by the airport manager, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has largely been unsuccessful. At present, the situation has reached an embarrassing situation not just to the users, airport manager, but also to the airlines especially the international operators who have now devised a mean of generating power supply to their facilities. Last week, one of the foreign carriers operating into the country, Air France/KLM brought into the airport a generating set to power its ramp office when power supply to that part of the airport had been cut off for over a week and FAAN was helpless.

Airside thinks this is absurd. A responsible airport manager would have done something about this before it reached the present disgraceful level we are in at present. Although, FAAN had continually attributed the power outage at the airport to the unending remodeling exercise at the airport, Airside thinks this is not tenable. If the authority was serious about improving the power supply to the airport (if at all it has any solution to it), it ought to have had a Plan B before the commencement of the ongoing exercise. But, with the current situation, it shows FAAN is helpless and seriously need a help from outside. The earlier this disgraceful act is solved, the better for all and sundry.

Co-pilot as a hijacker

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ast week, an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner with 200 passengers and crew was forced to land in Geneva due to the unprofessional conduct of the co-pilot of the aircraft who took control of the airplane while the pilot was in the bathroom and wanted to seek asylum in Switzerland. According to international media, the co-pilot had locked his captain from the cockpit, commandeered the plane, and headed for Geneva, where he used a rope to lower himself out of a window, then asked for political asylum. The aircraft, which departed Ethiopia was on its way to Milan and then Rome before it was hijacked. One of the onboard passengers said the hijacker threatened to crash the plane if the pilot didn’t stop pounding on the locked door. Another said he was terrified “for hours” Monday as the plane careened across the sky.

Airside thinks this is ridiculous and needed urgent attention not just from the Ethiopian authorities, but from the global aviation industry. If it could happen to Ethiopia, it can equally happen to any country around the world. Airside wants to use this medium to once again emphasise on the conduct of psychiatric test for all crew members in the sector to know their mental state. It would be recalled that a British Airways pilot some few years ago who had domestic issue with his wife had also planned to crash a LondonLagos bound plane, but the dastardly plan was quashed by the security agencies in United Kingdom. It will be sad if air passengers no longer have confidence in their crew members. This can cause huge devastation to the safety driven sector. Hope the Nigerian authorities are not sleeping?

Overland commences weekend operations to Ibadan, Bauchi

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he Lagos based airline, Overland Airways, has announced the commencement of scheduled weekend flight services on Saturdays from Murtala Muhammed Airport, MMA, Lagos to Ibadan Airport connecting Abuja Airport via Ilorin International Airport. The airline stated that it would also commence Sunday flight operations on Abuja - Bauchi route. The airline in a statement stated that the commencement

of weekend flights operations on the designated routes was part of its objectives of providing comfort and facilitating social ties across the country. Overland on Saturday commenced flight operations to Ibadan. The airline said that the flight would regularly depart Lagos at 8:00am and arrive Ibadan at 8:30am while flights from Ibadan to Abuja via Ilorin would depart at 9:00am and arrive Ilorin at 9:20am to depart for Abuja at 9:50am and arrive Abuja at 10:50am.

On the Abuja - Lagos route, flights would depart Abuja at 3:00pm and arrive Ilorin at 4:00pm and depart Ilorin at 4:30pm and arrive Ibadan at 4:50pm., adding that it would then depart Ibadan at 5:30pm and arrive Lagos at 6:00pm. In addition, Overland Airways Sunday flights on Abuja Bauchi route would depart Abuja at 2:15pm and arrive Bauchi at 3:15pm while the return flight to Abuja would depart Bauchi at 3:45pm and arrive Abuja at 4:45pm.

The airline stated that with the commencement of the new weekend flight, “people that need to attend to urgent social and family events on the Lagos Ibadan - Ilorin - Abuja route will have Overland Airways offering them quality flight services with their safety and comfort as our number one priority.” It assured its clients of its commitment to delivery of safe and effective flight services that meet the needs of its customers anywhere in the country.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Insurance

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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Insurance industry still evolving –DG, CIIN With the insurance sector reforms in place, there is the need to consolidate. In this interview with MESHACK IDEHEN, DirectorGeneral of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Mr. Kolawole Ahmed, says increasing insurance knowledge is important in order to boost patronage in the sector among other issues. equate training for the agents in both products knowledge and selling techniques; provide appropriate infrastructure to support the field force in terms of deployment of IT for prompt issuance of documents, record keeping and prompt processing and settlement of claims; and have sustained commitment of the management. Micro-insurance firms should also avoid ‘shortermism’ by not considering the immediate gains of the product but the long-term benefits, which will accrue by way of deepening insurance penetration and increasing industry overall contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.

The issue of professionalism is one the CIIN is concerned. What is the CIIN doing to develop professionalism? The Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria is statutorily empowered to determine the standard of knowledge and skills to be attained by persons who wish to become registered members of the insurance profession in Nigeria. This duty entails producing insurance professionals and ensuring continuous retraining of the professionals. The institute does this by conducting insurance professional examinations. The institute’s professional examinations, which started in 1989, are written in various centres throughout the country and The Gambia. The examination is conducted twice in a year; that is April and October. CIIN also ensures that qualified professionals continually engage in retraining and further personal development programmes that will sharpen their professionalism through the deliberate programme of Mandatory Continuing Professional Development. These programmes include an annual conference, a professionals’ forum, seminar, business outlook, collaborative and exchange programmes with other bodies and institutes, all aimed at broadening members’ horizon and keeping them abreast of developments in the insurance and financial world. What is the number of professionals you would say the CIIN produced over the years? As of December 2013, the institute has produced 2,618 qualified professionals (associates). Micro insurance has been introduced in the sector. What is the body doing to support its growth and acceptance? The institute has designed and organises programmes aimed at sensitising the industry and Nigerians to the benefits of micro-insurance and as a means of deepening insurance penetration at the grass roots. The institute also collaborates with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) in promoting insurance education and awareness among the populace, thereby increasing the level of acceptability of insurance as a way of life. The institute is responsible for producing professionals that will drive growth in the industry. How developed, would you say the CIIN insurance college is? In order to ensure a smooth and orderly development, the College of Insurance and Financial Management project is divided into phases. Phases one and two consist of construction of a two-storey administrative multipurpose block; one-storey restaurant building; five units of living chalets as well as a 50-room (all en-suite) hall of residence for students; two flats of three-bedroom senior staff quarters. Four units of additional living chalets have been completed. The council is desirous of inaugurating the college by the second quarter of the year while academic programmes will commence thereafter. The processes leading to the appointment of a rector for the college have also been concluded and anytime from now, the first rector for the college will be unveiled. The third and last phase of the college project, which will commence soon, will consist of an auditorium, squash/gym hall, swimming pool, lawn tennis court, landscaping and beautification. How will the school help to increase the number and quality of insurance professionals in the sector? The curriculum of the college is being designed in such a way that it will promote insurance education and professionalism in the industry. The college academic programmes will prepare students for and graduate them to take up the institute’s professional examinations with due recognition being given to their status by means of granting appropriate exemptions in the professional examina-

Ahmed

tions. The college will also run short-term refresher programmes for workers in the industry in diverse technical areas as well as induction courses for recruits into the industry. How do you think insurance can be more embraced at the grassroots? Insurance can be more embraced at the grass roots by creating more awareness about the benefits of the profession and its role in supporting business and ameliorating the suffering (financial or otherwise) of individuals, groups and companies; by promoting radio and television programmes in local dialect in order to reach a large number of people in rural areas; embarking on communitybased awareness campaigns on monthly or quarterly basis with a view to dramatising the role of insurance in the event of accidents and losses. This will go a long way in attracting the attention of the grass roots. What are the things the micro-insurance firms should put in place to be successful? In order to be successful, a micro-insurance company needs to put some things in place such as recruit large number of agents to reach the target market; provide ad-

MICRO-INSURANCE FIRMS SHOULD ALSO AVOID

‘SHORTERNISM’ BY NOT CONSIDERING THE IMMEDIATE GAINS OF THE PRODUCT BUT THE LONG-TERM BENEFITS,

WHICH WILL ACCRUE BY WAY OF DEEPENING INSURANCE PENETRATION

How will the introduction of insurance as a subject of study in secondary schools boost the industry? The root of the problems in the industry is that of perception, which invariably leads to distrust and low acceptability of the insurance culture. Introduction of insurance as a course of study in secondary schools will frontally address the problems of insurance education, awareness and low perception of the role of insurance in our everyday life. It is a way of addressing the problem from the root by exposing the youth at a very early age to the knowledge and the business of insurance. It will also encourage youths, who are exposed to the study of insurance right from the secondary school, to develop an interest in and probably take a career in insurance. It is a means of catching them young. The policy is, therefore, likely to increase the production of qualified professionals for the insurance industry and solves the problem of future manpower needs of the industry. Furthermore, students who convert and choose insurance as a career will eventually become vanguards for spreading the gospel of insurance to their families and within their communities. This will increase public awareness, refute the misconceptions about insurance as a risk transfer mechanism and invariably attract more people to embrace the insurance culture. What are the opportunities available to insurance graduates? The insurance industry in Nigeria is still evolving. There is a renewed interest from investors especially foreign investors in the industry. This is as a result of the enormous potential they can see in the Nigerian insurance industry and the fact that more than 90 per cent of the population has yet to embrace any form of insurance. This renewed interest can only translate to one thing for the professionals – increased job opportunities in the sector. In addition to job opportunities in the core sector of the industry, underwriting, broking and loss adjusting, there are also openings for insurance professionals in other spheres of the economy like manufacturing, construction, telecoms, oil and gas and in the MDAs. Job opportunities also abound in secondary schools as insurance teachers and as lecturers in various insurance departments of many tertiary institutions that offer insurance as a course of study. Are insurance companies doing enough in terms of human capital development? In the areas of training and human capital development, the industry still needs to do more than what currently obtains. Given the importance and multiplier effects of human capital development to an organisation, no amount is too much to train and equip employees in the discharge of their responsibilities. Manpower development should not be the exclusive preserve of executives or top management but it should cut across all strata of a company’s workforce. Companies need to ensure that a given percentage of their staff cost is reserved for training and staff development and such funds should be applied fairly and evenly among all staff members.


38

Insurance

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

for insurance marketing, Insurance regulators worried Tips leads prospecting over poor cash flow I STORIES: MESHACK IDEHEN

T

he National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), said the situation where operators in the insurance industry are hampered by cash flow problems is lamentable. According to the commission, most operators are managing to stay afloat and even post profit and declare dividends for their shareholders. The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel, said the commission is determined to change this situation, adding it was these development that gave birth to the introduction of the no premium, no cover policy. He said the Federal Government which remains the industry’s biggest client must be applauded for cooperating with NAICOM. He said in the early stage of implementation that a few businesses were lost, noting however that the policy has so far put more money at the disposal of operators, improving their cash flow, and ability for claims settlement significantly. Daniel noted as a result of the policy, that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), for the first time, paid its insurance premium timely last year,

Daniel

because of the insistence on enforcing the policy, adding other reforms such as the risk based supervision, as against rulebased; the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) compliance and market conduct reforms are meant to entrench consumer confidence in the sector. As part of boosting confidence, Daniel said NAICOM needed to reinvigorate claims complaint bureau, (while) the Nigerian Insurance Association (NIA) set up the ombudsman head by a retired Appeal Court judge. Some complaint that comes to NAICOM is pushed to

the NIA’s ombudsman, he explained. “We are upping the ante. We are going to have a contact centre, we give people a number to make complaints against any insurance company, and an insurance person will take it up with the company,” he added, stressing that the mass media would be involved in the project. The insurance commissioner noted that the nation’s insurance industry has grown by 40 per cent between 2007 and 2013, and that the growth would become evident when the audited results of the underwriters begin to trickle in in the coming months. The DG said although the local content law in the nation’s oil and gas industry is 70 per cent, that domestic operators are now doing an average of 40 per cent, which in itself is significant, compared to just two per cent before the law was enacted. He said NAICOM is collaborating on implementation of Section nine of the National Housing Fund Act, which requires that every hospital in the country must have professional liability cover, “such that when a hospital gives wrong prescription, they will be sued. That means all hospital must have this cover for their nurses and doctors.”

FG insures police officers with N3.5bn

A

N3.5 billion life assurance policy has secured by the Federal Government for the cover of police officers in the country. National Mirror gathered from underwriting sources that the sum was for the group life insurance cover for all police formations and commands for the 2013 financial period, and that even though the premium is coming after the 2013 financial period, it will give financial succour to the dependants of police officers who lost their lives due to security challenges in different parts of the country while discharging their duties last year. Custodian and Allied Insurance, it was gathered, emerged the winner of the contract, after much lobbying by the underwriters to have control over the fund. The firm is leading 21 other insurance firms to underwrite the risk in conjunction with 39 insurance brokers. The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Goni Aji, had earlier said the sum of N11bn was budgeted for the insurance cover for the entire workforce of

the Federal Government last year, saying the amount, would cover the premium on the insurance of members of the Nigeria Police and civil servants in all ministries. He said government prioritised the welfare of its employees and that the insurance cover was an encouraging one, especially for the families of deceased workers. It would be recalled that in 2008, the Federal Government introduced the Group Life Insurance scheme for its entire workforce with the first premium of N4bn, based on Section 9(3) of the Pension Reform Act 2004, which states that an employer shall maintain life insurance policy in favour of the employee for a minimum of three times the annual total emolument of the employee. With the group life insurance cover, compensation is to be paid to the dependants of deceased workers. National Mirror also gathered that apart from attacks by armed robbers on police officers, Boko Haram insurgency in parts of the North has led to the death of many police officers. However, delays in

the payment of premium on the group life policy for police officers often subjects their dependants to undue hardship because of their inability to get claims. Sources within the industry explained while the underwriters have made known to the different Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government the ‘no premium, no cover’ policy, that they have also started bidding for the 2014 insurance of the civil servants.

IGP, Mohammed Abubakar

nsurance marketing is assuming a larger proportion, here are proven, and costeffective insurance marketing, lead generation and prospecting tips, including ideas and strategies for insurance agents and financial advisers. Create a true marketing plan- Your success (or lack of success) is totally dependent on you developing a contact strategy consisting of free reports, telemarketing, newsletters, joint ventures and special events such as workshops and other educational formats that are designed to build a relationship with your prospects now and over time, including the people that need and want what you are offering. Be a big fish in a small pond- Your primary marketing goal should be to get known as the most respected and trusted advisor in your local community. How much easier and more cost-efficient is it for you to get known in your local community, verses an entire city. Create a bio sheet- Use a professional photo and share both your professional resume as well as personal information on what makes you unique within the industry and identifies the problems you solve for your clients. Your bio sheet hi-lights how you are helping people and why prospects should work with you. Let your friends, family, neighbours and the people you do business with know what you do- Not that you sell insurance or are a financial advisor, etc., but how you are helping people. Example, how you help people save for a tax free retirement… or how you can help them to pay off their mortgage 10 to 15 years early… without them spending any additional money or changing their current lifestyle. Ask your friends and family for their help- One of the ways to get started in the insurance business is to get appointments, or get people to your educational workshops, or to ask people for their help. You need to rehearse your approach, factfinding and sales presentation in front of real people. And, the best place to do that is in front of your acquaintances, family and friends. Ask them if they will allow you to practice with them! It’s a non-threatening way to get them to hear your ideas, without them feeling obligated or put upon. And, if you do a good job, many of them will ask if you can help them to put a financial plan together for their situation and/

or you can ask them for referrals. Identify your best customers-Stop wasting your time and money chasing poor-quality prospects. Create a perfect prospect profile based on your best existing clients, and only target great potential buyers. You’ll spend much less energy, time and money, if you are contacting people who are the most likely to buy. Find out what problems they are struggling with and how you can help them. Your insurance marketing strategy should focus on delivering a special message that addresses the needs and wants of that group. Establish and understand your primary geographical market area- Identify your geographic area by zip code, county, neighbourhood or other parameters and understand the prospects that live there. Then, develop marketing campaigns to promote relevant offerings based on life triggers and other events that may be happening in your community, including new homebuyers, births, and marriages within this area. Target your products and services to those events. Get known in your local community- Be active in your church or a civic group. Get to know the members. Write articles about the group and what they are doing for the community. Include your by-line on the article, with your contact info and offer a Free Booklet or Report. The better known you become, the more cost-effective your marketing will be. Use monthly newslettersNewsletters create credibility and stimulate interest in your services. Send a monthly newsletter to everyone you know. By sending a newsletter to your friends, family, neighbours, clients and prospects, you are constantly reminding them of what you do (or in some cases who you are) in a very non-threatening way. It’s non-threatening, because there’s no pressure to buy anything. Ask your clients and friends for names of people who would like to get your newsletter- Make sure your newsletter is not boring insurance and financial stuff. Put some personality into it. You will find your newsletter to be a very important lead generation and referral marketing tool. But like I said, it has to be fun, interesting, and helpful. Source: www.insure.net


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

39

Markets stabilise, offshore investors on sidelines ...equities shed 0.7% in one week JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

he naira fell 0.5 per cent yesterday while yields on government debt were broadly stable, as offshore investors remained on the sidelines even as dealers said turbulence at the central bank had largely been priced in locally. The local currency has been under heavy selling pressure since President Goodluck Jonathan suspended internationally respected Central Bank governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi on Thursday, removing an increasingly outspoken critic of the

government’s record on tackling corruption. The naira traded at N166.20 to the dollar. Dealers said much of the panic of the last two days was starting to subside, especially since the central bank had shown willingness to intervene to prop up the naira. Markets have been panicked over the suspension of Sanusi, whose policies are credited with stabilising the naira and bringing down inflation to single digits. The currency fell to a record low on Thursday of N169 to the dollar, until the bank intervened to prop it up. However, investors in

the financial services sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange seem to be packing their holdings in different baskets as insurance and banking stocks have been on full offer in the last one week. Specifically, the All Share Index dropped 2.3 per cent to close at 38,707.14 points, from 38,295.74 points at which it closed on Tuesday’s last week. Market capitalisation shed N97bn to close at N12.4trn, compared to N12.5trn it closed last week Tuesday. On the sectorial indices, insuranmce stocks recorded highest decline of 3.9 per cent to close at

139.76 points, from 145.56 points last week, followed by banking stocks with 2.3 per cent decrease to close at 368.70 points. The NSE 30-Index shed 0.97 per cent to close at 1,735.77 points, while the Consumer Goods Index depreciated 1.2 per cent to close at 983.89 points. The Oil and Gas Index lost 1.8 per cent to close at 308.84 points, but the Lotus Islamic Index gained 0.04 per cent to close at 2,813.04 points. The Industrial Index rose 0.52 per cent to close at 2,547.15 points, while the Alternative Securities Market Index depreciated 0.35 per cent to close at 959.63 points.

Nedbank mulls Ecobank governance Issues

N

edbank Group Limited, the South African lender controlled by Old Mutual Plc, said it would consider governance issues before deciding whether to exercise an option to buy a stake in Ecobank Transnational Incorporation. Nedbank has until the end of November to convert the $285m loan it made to Ecobank in 2011 into an equity holding and then increase the stake to as much as 20 per cent. Ecobank was probed by the Securities and Ex-

change Commission after a former head of finance said Chief Executive Officer, Thierry Tanoh and former Chairman Kolapo Lawson planned to sell assets below market value. Tanoh and Lawson deny any wrongdoing. “We will take all factors into account,” Nedbank CEO Mike Brown said in a phone interview from Johannesburg yesterday. “Ecobank has some corporate governance challenges and we think they’re dealing with it appropriately.” Ecobank will hold an

extraordinary general meeting on March 3 where shareholders will vote on whether or not to create an interim board to implement recommendations on corporate governance made by the Nigerian regulator. While Nedbank still intends to take up its rights to Ecobank shares, it hasn’t started formal internal processes or approached regulators for approval, Brown said. Graham Dempster, Nedbank’s chief operations officer, will attend next

week’s meeting in Togolese capital of Lome, Brown said. If Nedbank decides not to take up the stake, Ecobank should have more than enough money to repay the loan, he said. Nedbank earlier reported a 16 per cent increase in full-year profit to 8.64 billion rand ($789m), while its shares rose as much as 4.6 per cent and were trading tree per cent higher at 208.01 rand, making Nedbank the biggest gainer on the six-member FTSE/JSE Africa Banks Index.

GTI’s trading floor will boost stockbroking practice, says CIS JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

he Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) has applauded the emergence of the first private trading floor as a milestone that will usher in a new era and boost the practice of stockbroking in the country. The President of Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Mr. Ariyo Olushekun, who led other council members to the trading floor, noted that the emergence of private trading floor will deepen the practice of stockbroking.

According to him, it will allow stockbrokers to engage in private practice as qualified professionals in their own right as lawyers, medical doctors, accountants and other professionals as against the current situation where stockbrokers can only work under a stockbroking firm. He explained that the possibility of brokers and dealers being able to trade directly through private trading floor such as GTI’s will enhance the attractiveness of the institute certificate and create more opportunities for brokers and investors and the economy generally.

Olushekun, who is also the Managing Director of Capital Assets Limited, said there are provisions under existing rules that allow some kind of private practice for stockbrokers, noting that the trailblazing effort of GTI will make it further possible for all stakeholders to realize this. “What you have here is a mini stock exchange, some stock exchanges in West Africa and other parts of the world don’t have a floor as robust as this. This is very impressive; I will like to commend your effort. “I urge other colleagues to find time to visit this

floor and see what you have done and see how they also want to contribute to stockbroking and market development,” Olushekun said. He advised the management of GTI Securities to expand the trading horizon of the floor by adding other platforms such as the commodities exchange and the debt securities and bonds exchange. The Managing Director, GTI Securities Limited, Mr. Tunde Oyekunle, reiterated that the driving motives for the firm have always been the development of the Nigerian market and the ethics and ideals of stockbroking.

Source: NSE

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 38,707.14 points Market capitalisation 12.43 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY UBA

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

6.70

7.28

0.58

8.66

DANGSUGAR

10.74

11.59

0.85

7.91

FBNH

4.92

11.99

12.58

0.59

DIAMONDBNK

6.10

6.40

0.30

4.92

UBCAP

2.50

2.62

0.12

4.80

SKYEBANK

3.30

3.45

0.15

4.55

TRANSCORP

3.66

3.82

0.16

4.37

WEMABANK

0.95

0.99

0.04

4.21

NEM

0.73

0.76

0.03

4.11

HONYFLOUR

3.50

3.64

0.14

4.00

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

WAPIC

0.90

0.85

-0.05

-5.56

AIICO

0.80

0.76

-0.04

-5.00

CADBURY

90.78

86.25

-4.53

-4.99

ABBEYBDS

1.49

1.42

-0.07

-4.70

EVANSMED

2.57

2.45

-0.12

-4.67

MCNICHOLS

1.50

1.43

-0.07

-4.67

CONTINSURE

1.09

1.04

-0.05

-4.59

JAPAULOIL

0.53

0.51

-0.02

-3.77

168.90

162.61

-6.29

-3.72

1.73

1.67

-0.06

-3.47

GUINNESS COSTAIN

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

32,888.90

11.60

24-Oct-13

182-Day

30,000.00

12.09

24-Oct-13

364-Day

31,385.00

13.27

24-Oct-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

164-Day

47,176.65

12.30

24-Oct-13

161-Day

47,662.59

12.30

24-Oct-13

136-Day

13,500.00

12.10

24-Oct-13

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$296m

23-Oct-13

$300m

N/A

$299m

21-Oct-13


40

Business & Finance

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at February 24, 2014 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, February 25, 2014

41

2015: PDP, APC in game of suspicion over membership registration CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 med, said that the only reason why the PDP is levelling the allegation against it was because the ruling party has seen the handwriting on the wall, since the registration started, and has consequently become overly jittery. Mohammed said: “The PDP is wrong about its claim that the APC is engaging in phantom registration. The party should know that while anyone can manufacture numbers, no one can manufacture human beings. Therefore, in the fullness of time, any party that gives a fake number of its membership will get its comeuppance.” Mohammed also explained that within the first three days of APC’s membership registration exercise, the party had met and exceeded the target set by the national leaders for the party, adding: “PDP officials should not just sit in their Abuja offices and make phantom allegations about some party engaging in phantom registration. They should go out there and see for themselves what is going on and how Nigerians are streaming aboard the train of change that the APC has become.” Apart from APC’s national Publicity Secretary, Mohammed, the Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuf Olaniyonu, also condemned the allegation levelled against the state government that it was forcing civil servants to register as card carrying members of APC. Olaniyonu, who described leadership of Ogun PDP as mischief makers, emphasised that the Amosun-led administration is not unmindful of the sacredness and neutrality of the position of every civil servants in the state whose loyalties only is to the smooth running of governance so that they can serve any government in power effectively. He said: “Let’s first of all remind them that it is unethical and un-professional for any civil servant to belong to any political party. “One of the attributes of the civil service is neutrality so that such a civil servant can serve any government in power effectively and Amosun holds dear to that. You will also recall that one of the virtues which Senator Amosun has been trying to promote in the civil service is for them to be very ethical and professional. So, how will he now be the one debasing what he is promoting? “In fact, I was asking from my over 100 information officers yesterday during our usual meetings when I read the news in national dailies whether anybody has instructed or compelled them to go and register, and they said no”. “With all seriousness, I implored them not to lie because it would amount to unprofessionalism, unethical should they register to make them play partisan politics. “Let me emphasise here please; we do not need the civil servants to promote APC as a political party in Ogun State. What we will need the civil servants for is during the general elections when a civil servant under the law, will be expressing his choice by performing his or her civic constitutional responsibility as citizens of Ogun State, but as party members, we do not need them.” He added that the population of Ogun State is about five million and Amosun on ly said that he was expecting 500,000 APC members from the state, asking whether it was too much to ask for in a state with over five million population. Olaniyonu emphasised that the PDP is not worth being referred to as opposition in the state because the party as presently constituted lacked focus. The commissioner added that leadership of PDP in Ogun State has demonstrated to the people that they are in no way an alternative to the Amosun-led administration and that by extension, the APC-led government in the state should just continue by virtue of the votes of the majority of the people of the state, adding : “This is because when you have an opposition that cannot say that alright; this road that you are constructing, this is a viable option that can generate debate. So, what kind of opposition is that when they cannot face substantial issues? Issues that will affect the day-to-day living condition of the people, they now result to cheap blackmail and mischief.” Olaniyonu stated further that Ogun PDP has resulted to raising that kind of allegation simply because the party “lacks the creativity and so, it is myopic of developmental ideas. “Secondly, they can resort to that because their stock in

Metuh

OBSERVERS OF POLITICAL EVENTS IN OGUN STATE EXPRESSED THE WORRY THAT SHOULD THE APC FAILS TO ADEQUATELY ADDRESS THE

ISSUE, FURTHER ELECTIONS IN THE STATE MAY NOT HOLD.

trade is just mischief. That is what they are investing all their energies and resources into doing”. “Thirdly, because they could not imagine the greater number of party members that are trooping to registration centres and so, they are intimidated and were already conceding defeat to our party. “If what they are saying is that the civil servants are

please with this government, then we are happy that the civil servants are please with us, but we are emphasising that we have not encourage, mobilise not to even talk of coercing any civil servants to go and hold party membership card. “The civil servants will be useful to the government and they are useful in helping to run the government. They will also be useful during any INEC organised general election so as to be able to vote for any government of their choice. “All these people who are calling themselves opposition now; were they not the same people that were in government when people could not sleep with the two eyes closed? When they were oppressing the people, causing violence and punishment on the people? When they could not even tare roads successfully? To me, they do not worth being called opposition!” As the raging controversy subsists, analysts and observers of event in the Gateway State, however, warned that care must be taken in order not to derail the democracy train in the state. Particularly that the allegation actually originated from the Ogun State chapter of PDP, analysts also warned that the two political parties must ensure that they do not engage in unnecessary litigation that may bring about postponement of any election in Ogun or the one that is capable of jeopardising the survival of the current democratic experience. The warning was coming on the heel of the fact that the crisis which is still rocking the entire PDP as a political party in Nigeria, actually originated from Ogun State. And with specific reference to the PDP National Auditor’s claim on the South West report, observers of political events in Ogun State expressed the worry that should the APC fails to adequately address the issue, further elections in the state may not hold. They cited the instance of series of court injunction obtained by Kashamu (as attested to by the disgraced former national chairman of PDP) which made the internal crisis in the state chapter of PDP to remain unresolved. Apart from the suspicion between APC and PDP, observers of events in the Gateway State have also fingered some PDP stalwarts in the internal crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of Labour Party, LP. They have alleged that the suspended member of the state executive committee of LP were being financed to institute legal action against the national and state leadership of the party in order to cause an unresolved crisis within the party till the elections were over in 2015.

2015: Be of good conduct, Bauchi Christian women urged EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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head of the 2015 general elections, Bauchi State Christian Women in Politics have been charged on good habit according Biblical injunctions as a measure to contribute their quota to the success of the elections. The coordinator, Mrs. Sarah Yohanna Ryaghan, made the charge in Bauchi during the meeting of the stakeholders of the women forum that cut-across all the 20 councils of the state. Ryaghan added that the meeting was organised to sensitise women on how to conduct themselves maturely in their participation in politics, as the forum will not afford to fold its arms watching women exhibiting habit that are contrary to the development of the nation.

The beauty of women involvement in active politics, according to the coordinator, is to bring the necessary change out of democracy towards the plights of women and children. “I beg you not to illicitly expose your dignity to randy politician and at the end, your husband will be forced to divorce you, watch out

carefully,” Ryaghan warned. She urged women to shun everything that will bring disunity in Bauchi State and the country as a whole, describing women as catalyst and weapon for socio-economic development. Ryagyan also stressed that the major aim of the women forum is to create an enabling environment

where government will involve women in decision making in line with the 35 percent affirmative action. The Bauchi State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigerian, CAN, represented by its chairman, Pastor Abiola Badaru, charged Christian women in politics to allow themselves to be guided by the ethics of truth.

APC poised to better lives of Nigerians -Goje GEORGE OJI ABUJA

F

ormer governor of Gombe State and the senator representing Gombe Central senatorial zone, Senator Danjuma Goje said yesterday that the opposition All Progressive Congress, APC, was better positioned and poised to provide a better leadership

that will improve the lives of Nigerians more than what the present ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is currently doing. He assured that by the time APC comes into power in 2015, the party will change the live of Nigerians for the better by raising the standard of living of the people as well as stabilising the nation’s polity. The former governor,

while fielding questions from newsmen yesterday at the National Assembly said: “Given the situation in the situation in Nigeria as it is today, the situation in Gombe State, we believe that the APC is in a better position, is poised to make changes that will go a long way in improving the present conditions of the people of my state and Nigeria as a whole.”


42

Politics

THE

PARLIAMENT

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Bola Ige: Adesiyan, ministerial nominee’s albatross

But for the firm intervention of the Senate President, David Mark, Osun State ministerial nominee, now designate, Alhaji Abduljelili Adesiyan, would not have been confirmed as a minister because of the perception that he had a hand in the death of the late Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige, writes GEORGE OJI.

H

e came to the Senate chambers, obviously aware of the perception and the stigma that has refused to be obliterated in so many peoples’ subconsciousness. He was obviously certain that if not well managed, that wrong perception may be his very undoing. So, that Thursday, February 13, he came determined to address the issue once and for all. He thought he should raise the matter and rest it before his “enemies,” would again capitalise on it and make a mountain out of a molehill of it. As it’s the common practice with the Senate President, whence any ministerial nominee appears before the Senate for screening, Mark would ask the person to commence the exercise with an introduction of self. “We have before us your CV. Is there anything that is outside your CV that you would like to share with us or anything in the CV that you would want to emphasis more? You are free to do so. Let me also say that you are free to withhold any information you may not like to share with us,” Mark would usually say. So, that day, once Mark was through with his usual remarks, Alhaji Abduljelili Adesiyan, took the stage and firstly thanked the distinguished senators for the opportunity. After a brief introduction of himself, he went straight to the point without any prompting. “It may interest you distinguished senators to know that I am one of those wrongly accused to have had a hand in the death of my mentor, Chief Bola Ige. “It was all political blackmail because I knew nothing about the death of Chief Ige. I was detained for three and half years for something I knew nothing about. “I stand here to say that I knew nothing about the death of Chief Ige,” Adesiyan explained. The nominee then described the late Ige as his political mentor whom he had no reason whatsoever to kill. His submissions expectedly generated some reactions in the chamber, as the senators engaged in hisses, murmurs and shuffling. It was Senator Ehigie Uzamere (Edo South) who first interjected by raising up his hand and after being recognised by Mark, said, “Mr. Nominee, you men-

Mark

Adesiyan

IT WAS ALL POLITICAL BLACKMAIL BECAUSE I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THE DEATH OF CHIEF IGE. I WAS DETAINED FOR THREE AND HALF YEARS FOR SOMETHING I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT. tioned in the course of your speech the death of Chief Bola Ige. Can you swear by the Quran that you do not know anything about the death of Bola Ige.” The question was protested by some of the senators who shouted that the Senate was not a place of worship or a shrine where such a request could be granted. There was temporary uproar. When normalcy returned to the chambers, Uzamere again continued: “You said that you did not kill Bola Ige, that you were accused wrongly and detained for three and half years. We are in the same boat, because I was also detained. “The question I want you to answer is did you kill Bola Ige. Did you have anything to do with the death of Bola Ige. If the Holy Quran is not here as some senators said, I want to ask you: did you kill Bola Ige. What do you know about the death of Bola Ige?” Again, more protests, leading to another round of uproar. Not deterred, Uzamere insisted that Adesiyan should answer the questions. In the midst of the protests, the Senate President demanded a response from Adesiyan. Adesiyan said: “I thank Senator Uzamere for his questions. I do not know whether I can be availed with a copy of the Holy Quran. But I maintain and say that I did not kill Chief Bola Ige. “The reason I was fingered was because I was Assistant Secretary of the Alliance for Democracy. I depected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Because of that, I was fingered and punished as having something to do with the assassination of

Chief Bola Ige. I had nothing to do with the death of Chief Bola Ige. It was all calculated political blackmail.” With those explanations, it appeared that the issue had been sufficiently rested. Unknown to many however, the three senators from the state, Senators Olushola Adeyeye, (Osun Central), Babajide Omuwurare (Osun East) and Mudashiru Husain (Osun West) had been lobbying the Senate President to ensure that Adesiyan would not be confirmed as a minister. Matters came to the open last week Tuesday after the screening had been concluded and the nominees were to be confirmed. Once it was the turn of Adesiyan to be confirmed, Adeyeye, rising under order 14 of the Senate Standing Rules on privileges took the floor. “I want to put it on record again that all three senators from Osun State unanimously oppose this nomination. I also want to place it on record that this nominee is the sixth person that was nominated by the President on an appointment that requires the confirmation of this Senate. I want to put it on record that all previous nominations, all three of us, have not only endorsed the nomination of the President, we have canvassed support for them among our colleagues,” Adeyeye said. Continuing, the lawmaker said, “This is the first time that we are opposing any nomination brought before this senate. This opposition is not brought frivolously. This opposition is not being brought on the grounds of partisan politicking.

“We oppose this nomination on two grounds; one, we do not believe that the interest of the President of our country will be best served by the appointment of Mr. Adesiyan. When he met the three of us from Osun, he told a long story about his being accused falsely of the murder of the late Chief Bola Ige. “Mr. President, there is a serious issue, that if you have this albatross around your neck, are there no other persons in your party?” At that point, Mark, who had been listening patiently, interrupted Adeyeye. “Prof, please am afraid I will have to stop you at this point, the reason is very simple. Let me put something on record. It is true you approached me, it is also true that you did ask whether you could ask him when he appears here or not,” Mark disclosed. Continuing, the Senate President said, “You will recall that I said that I had no problem with that and I think you should have reported that beat. I also did say that during confirmation you can make your objections. That I think is very clear from the voice votes. I asked openly here. When he was here, whatever questions you had for him, I did not stop you from asking. “If he is not prosecuted in the law court, anything we do here is just an allegation. Thank God you said the issue is not just only about Bola Ige. He did not nominate himself, he was nominated by Mr. President and we all heard the voice votes here and if you have an objection to the voice votes, you can call for a division if that is what you want. “But I think from the voice votes, it is clear to everybody here that this nominee is approved by this house. So, I don’t see where your privilege has become an issue that you are coming under privilege now.” With that, Mark ruled Adeyeye out of order and when the issue was put to vote, the senators who supported the confirmation of Adesiyan as a minster far out-weighted those against the nominee. That was how the Osun nominee scaled the hurdle.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

THE

PARLIAMENT

43

Controversy continues as 2014 Budget debate begins in House

The House of Representatives adjourned for two weeks to adjust the proposals for 2014 Budget sent in by President Goodluck Jonathan. The controversy on the budget is however sure to continue over the proposed N7 billion for the National Conference, the personal security vote for the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, and several other items that are bound to arouse disagreements, TORDUE SALEM reports.

Tambuwal

T

he House of Representatives two weeks ago cleared the contentious 2014 Appropriation Bill for second reading. The money bill was referred to the Committees on Finance and Appropriations for further consideration and on Thursday last week, it was announced that the Green Chamber will close for 14 days to allow agencies defend their expenditures in the 2013 Budget, and convince parliamentarians to pass fresh votes for them. However, before the troubled money bill was passed over, the Chairman of the Committee on Services, Hon. Yakubu Dogara (APC-Bauchi), launched his offensive against the proposal of N7 billion for the national conference, which he described as a “waste.” Hon. Dogara, while citing similar proposals in the 2013 budget estimate, with N8 billion allocation for the building of African First Ladies’ secretariat in Abuja which the National Assembly rejected, called for the review of the proposal during the consideration. He said the recent method for the se-

Dogara

THE POSSIBILITY OF ALL NORTHERNERS UNITING ON SANUSI’S REMOVAL WITH THE PRODDING OF THE EMIRATE COUNCILS OF

KANO, BORNO,

SOKOTO AND THE REST IS RIFE.

lection of delegates for the conference, showed that there was a clear lack of confidence in the National Assembly, despite what he put as being “elected clearly by Nigerians.” Similarly, Hon. Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno), who is the chairman, House Committee on Agriculture kicked against the reduction in the sector’s allocation

from the 2013 budgetary allocation. He said there was a reduction of about N20 billion from last year’s N80 billion to this year’s N60bn, leaving the sector to trail other countries on the recommended 10 per cent charter signed by most African countries, including Nigeria. After an exhaustive debate on the budget, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal ruled after the ayes had it that the budget be considered for the second time. Recall that Hon. Emmanuel Jime (APCBenue) had on the budget’s first allotted day, kicked against its lack of details from money-spinning agencies. Jime, who is the chairman of the Committee on Federal Capital Territory, insisted that the proposals as presented to the National Assembly were in breach of section 21(1)(2) and (3) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007. His objection forced the House last week to defer consideration of the budget to Tuesday this week when a committee mandated to look at the legal implications of the proposals laid its report and admitted that the budget was in breach, but it must be considered “for national interest”.

Lagos House not vibrant – PDP TOYEEB OLAYINKA

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he Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has described the All progressives Congress, APC-dominated state House of Assembly as inefficient to represent the people but a mere rubber stamp of the state governor. The PDP accused the House of totally neglecting its oversight functions, thereby allowing the governor to impose unpopu-

lar policies on Lagosians. The stance of the party is coming on the heels of the Assembly’s negligence of cogent bills, but rather exerting time and resources on less important bills whose motive is to increase the revenue generation of the state. Speaking through its spokesman, Taofeek Gani, the Lagos PDP described the recently passed anti-smoking and indecent dressing laws that are now operative in the state as irrelevant and contrary to the expectations of Lagosians on the lo-

calisation of the Freedom of Information, FoI Act; reduction of LASU fees; toll free on Lekki-Epe road and the downward review of Alpha Beta among others. It said: “We note that the Lagos State House of Assembly is now cowed and has derailed away from its expected functions to make life bearable for Lagosians. The House has abandoned, on the floor of the House, important issues like the desire and demand of Lagosians to have the FoI Act domesticated, among other pressing state issues.”

Notwithstanding the decision of the House to consider the budget, contentious issues on the document will continue to linger. For example, the Public Accounts Committee of the House has queried the Budget Office under the Ministry of Finance for over-spending the 2013 Budget by about a trillion naira. The committee headed by Hon. Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC-Lagos), has a litany of revelations on the budget that would further generate a lot of heat in the polity. The issue of the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, is bound to be replayed in the House. Last week Wednesday, the House, through a motion raised by Hon Samson Osagie (APC-Edo), the Minority Whip, condemned the suspension of Sanusi. The House resolved after an overwhelming vote that the action of President Goodluck Jonathan was illegal and unconstitutional and in violation of the 1999 Constitution. The Emirate Council of Kano issued a statement on behalf of the Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, at the weekend also condemning the suspension, saying that the removal of Sanusi was illegal and a mere witchhunt of an effective officer by Jonathan. This reaction from the emir is bound to resonate with a majority of lawmakers from the North across political parties. It also does not help matters that key committees in the House that would generate headache for the Presidency are headed by Northerners or All Progressives Congress, APC, members. Finance is headed by Hon. Abdulmumuni (APC-Kano), Petroleum, Downstream (Dakuku Peterside), Public Accounts by Hon. Adeola (APC-Lagos), FCT Committee, another key committee is headed by Hon. Jime (APC-Benue). The above committees have the potentials to frustrate the budget and give the Presidency hell, thereby further worsening the decline in the economy in the wake of Sanusi’s arbitrary suspension. The possibility of all Northerners uniting on Sanusi’s removal with the prodding of the emirate councils of Kano, Borno, Sokoto and the rest is rife. 2006 is a case in point: that year, the North decided to unite against the budget, irrespective of parties. The unity led to calls for impeachment of the then former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Another factor that would impact on the budget, negatively or positively, is that it is a budget coming in a campaign year, when lawmakers’ attention will be more on how to win tickets of their parties and plan for the 2015 elections.


44

Politics

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

N11m nomination: PDP aspirants in dilemma OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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overnorship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ekiti State appear to be in a fix over the plan of some of them to present one candidate as the consensus candidate for the June 21 election. This was as the Presidency is said to be in support of the directive of the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu that interested aspirants should obtain the forms first. Some of the aspirants

from the South senatorial district met but were unable to arrive at the three aspirants, among whom the candidate will be picked. Already, three of the aspirants from the South have concluded plans to obtain the expression of interest and nomination forms before today, just as indications emerged that the Presidency may have shortlisted three aspirants from among whom a possible consensus candidate for the party would emerge. Mu’azu had said during a meeting with the aspirants in Abuja last week:

“There is no record of who is an aspirant in the party. The only option to know who is serious is for all aspirants in the race to obtain the governorship nomination form as well as expression of interest form.” A highly dependable source told National Mirror that the Presidency was still in support of the consensus option and that the South may be favoured, but would not do anything to contradict the directive of the national chairman. The source said: “The

consensus idea came from President Goodluck Jonathan himself and he still prefers the option. How-

ever, it is the opinion of the Presidency that the National Chairman was right to have directed that aspirants should first obtain necessary forms from the party before they can be related with as PDP governorship aspirants.” Another source also confided in National Mirror that Prof Tunde Adeniran, who was directed by Mu’azu to hold talks with the aspirants, was in support of the national chairman’s directive, even as he is said to be liaising

with the Presidency on the choice of candidate. Speaking with National Mirror on phone, Ekiti State chairman of the PDP, Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe said he was in total support of the directive of the national chairman, adding: “Whoever that must claim to be an aspirant must have complied with the party guidelines, and that the choice of candidate cannot be that of people that are only being regarded as aspirants because they pasted posters.”

Bamidele accuses Fayemi of flouting campaign directive ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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abour Party, LP, chieftain and House of Representatives member, Hon Opeyemi Bamidele, at the weekend expressed concern over the refusal of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ekiti State to heed the directive of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to all parties in the state to remove their billboards and posters. Bamidele, who is LP aspirant for the June 21 governorship election, said his party had “removed all our billboards and posters on the streets, but we are surprised that Governor Kayode Fayemi’s posters and billboards are all over the place and nobody is talking about it.” Bamidele, who spoke in Ado Ekiti during his party’s state congress, said: “The governor has continued to paste posters everywhere. INEC gave 24 hours deadline to remove posters and

billboards, but we won’t heat up the polity and I want to appeal to our supporters to give peace a chance, we are government in waiting.” INEC chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, had during a stakeholders’ meeting held in Ado Ekiti penultimate week warned politicians and political parties behind the campaign materials to remove them, saying their action outside the stipulated 90 days to election contradicted the Electoral Act. Expressing hope that the Ekiti State governorship election would be peaceful if the APC would give peace a chance, Bamidele said: “I know INEC is going to do its best. The LP is a law abiding political party. We in the LP have kept to INEC directive to stop erection of billboards and pasting of posters.” However, the ruling APC has described the statement by any opposition to dislodge the Fayemi government as daydreaming, saying available statistics in the state supports the ruling party’s victory.

L-R: Deputy Governor of Osun State, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori; Governors’ Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State; Aliyu Wamako of Sokoto State; the host governor, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State; Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State; former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari; Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State; former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and the Interim National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Bisi Akande, during the Progressive Governors Forum in Ibadan, yesterday.

Available statistics support APC victory OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

T

he Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has said that the party was very sure of victory in the June 21 governorship election in the state, based on available statistics and indicators. APC Director of Media and Publicity in the state, Segun Dipe, who said this in

a statement made available to Saturday Mirror, added that “the APC is a party of brains and not brawn. One in which actions are based on calculations and not on mere guess work.” He said: “Those in opposition are agonising, while we in the APC continue to organise. We make bold to say that there are only two political groupings in Ekiti State today. One, as you know, is the APC and the

APC youth vow to resist electoral fraud ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

Y

outh of Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have vowed to resist any form of rigging in the June 21 governorship election in the state or forcing any “undemocratic element” on the people through the election. Consequently, they urged

the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and security agencies, especially the Nigerian Police, to get their acts together and ensure credible, free and fair election. The APC youth leaders from the 177 political wards in the state lamented at a summit in Ado Ekiti at the weekend that some Ekiti elements in the opposition parties, “who have long

been rejected, but who seem to be selling lies about their non-existent imagined popularity to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led President Jonathan Federal Government”. In a communique at the end of the summit signed by the state APC Youth Leader, Mr Yomi Oso, they expressed preparedness to defend their votes, warning that “those planning to rig

or use federal might should not import the Anambra style into Ekiti as doing such would be met with stiff resistance.” Calling on Ekiti people to, “as a matter of posterity and continuation of good and focused governance, support the re-election of Governor Kayode Fayemi to prevent the truncation of the wheel of progress already set in motion in all sectors of the

other, is the Association of Confused Politicians, ACP. Dipe described as “fairy tale of Alice in an imaginary Wonderland” the boast by the opposition to dislodge the Dr. Kayode Fayemi-led administration from the Ekiti Government House in the coming election, saying that such boast was grossly unsupported by available statistics. He said: “Such high hopes by opposition par-

state economy,” the youth specifically, urged all Ekiti youth to rise up and mobilise for the governor’s re-election in view of the administration’s focus on programmes and policies that had benefitted the younger ones “in terms of employment, meaningful engagements and youth empowerment”. The youth advised APC members to turn out to collect their permanent voters cards which would make them eligible to vote on election day.

ties to win the governorship election despite their noticeable shortcomings is most comparable with that of a patently lazy student who never read his book but was always announcing he would make distinctions in all his papers. This is what is referred to as dead on arrival. “When the campaigns commence, those in opposition will be boasting of what they will do, while the APC will be pointing at what Dr. Fayemi has done.” Describing the opposition as being disorganised and disoriented and busy searching for the right candidate among the many jostlers, he said that the APC already has “the most marketable candidate in the incumbent governor.” He expressed delight in the massive turn out of members of the party for the recently concluded registration exercise, where the party registered over 300,000 members.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

45

World News

“The legitimacy of a whole number of organs of power that function there (Ukraine) raises great doubts.”

Ukraine issues arrest warrant for ousted president

46

- RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER, DMITRY MEDVEDEV Y

Uganda’s president signs anti-gay bill ...Says West trying to recruit children into homosexuality PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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ganda’s president yesterday signed a controversial anti-gay bill that has harsh penalties for homosexual sex, saying the bill is necessary because “arrogant and careless Western groups” had tried to “recruit” Ugandan children into homosexuality. President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill at his official residence in an event witnessed by government officials, journalists and a team of Ugandan scientists whose report —which found that there is no genetic basis for homosexuality — Museveni has cited as his reason for backing the bill. “We Africans never seek to impose our view on others. If only they could let us alone,” he said, talking of Western pressure not to sign the bill. Government officials applauded after he signed the bill, which was influenced by the preachings of some conservative American evangelicals. In its original form the bill called for the death penalty for some homosexual acts. That penalty was removed from the legislation following an outcry of international criticism. The new law calls for first-

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signing the new anti-gay bill, yesterday. PHOTO: AP

time offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in jail. It also sets life imprisonment as the maximum penalty for a category of offenses called “aggravated homosexuality,” defined as repeated gay sex between consenting adults as well as acts involving a minor, a disabled person or where one partner is infected with HIV. The bill is widely popular in Uganda, but international rights groups have condemned it as draconian in a country where homosexuality is already criminalized.

Zimbabwe deports ex- U.S. congressman over expired visa

pornography charges against him on a technicality after the prosecution failed to clear the charges through the Prosecutor-General’s office as required by law. “We followed deported him as ordered by the court, but I am sorry that we are not in a position to discuss details of what flight or route we put him on,” immigration officer Francis Mabika told Reuters. “Those are security issues.” Although Reynolds pleaded guilty to the visa charge, he had denied charges he was found with nude pictures and videos of women

F

ormer U.S. congressman Mel Reynolds was deported from Zimbabwe on Sunday after he pleaded guilty to staying in the southern African country on an expired visa, a senior immigration official said yesterday. Reynolds, 62, was arrested at a Harare hotel last week and was fined $100 by a magistrate court. But the court dismissed additional

Some European counties threatened to cut aid to Uganda if the measure is enacted, and U.S. President Barack Obama warned that signing the bill would “complicate” this East African country’s relationship with Washington. In signing the bill, Museveni said he had previously thought homosexuality was merely “abnormal” sexual behavior that some people were born with — the reason he once was opposed to harsh penalties against gays. Now he said he is convinced that

Reynolds

it is a choice made by individuals who may try to influence others. Africans are “flabbergasted” by homosexual behavior, he said. The bill was introduced in 2009 by a lawmaker with the ruling party who said the law was necessary to deter Western homosexuals from “recruiting” Ugandan children. Ugandan gays challenged this account, saying the country’s political and religious leaders were influenced by conservative U.S. evangelicals who spread their anti-gay agenda in Africa. Pepe Julian Onziema, a prominent Uganda gay activist, said he was disappointed that Museveni signed the bill without taking time to talk to the people targeted by the law: Ugandan homosexuals. “The president is making this decision because he has never met an openly gay person. That disappoints me,” he said. Some in Uganda’s gay community had repeatedly tried and failed to meet with Museveni, he said. Museveni, whose popularity has been fading amid criticism that he wants to rule for life, has faced pressure from the ruling party to sign the anti-gay measure. and men having sexual intercourse on his mobile phone. Possession of pornography is illegal in Zimbabwe. The state-owned Herald newspaper reported last Tuesday that Reynolds had run up $24,500 in unpaid hotel bills. Reynolds, a former Rhodes scholar, was a fast-rising star in the U.S. Democratic party when he was forced to resign in 1995 after being convicted of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography.

ECOWAS, partners meet on zero hunger initiative for West Africa

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COWAS in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and other partners, will launch the West Africa Zero Hunger

Initiative, which targets the eradication of hunger in the region and adopts a new approach to the governance of agricultural, food and nutrition issues in West Africa during an inception

workshop scheduled for Accra. The Workshop to be held from 24 to 26 February 2014, will enable the stakeholders to forge a common understanding of the nature of the

Initiative, a countryfocused and resultsoriented set of actions that reinforces and strengthens existing strategies and programmes for eliminating food insecurity and malnutrition in

ECOWAS Member States. Governments in West Africa, at regional and country level, have expressed political commitment to eradicate hunger, through the various

regional and national agriculture investment plans, among others. Participants will discuss how the Zero Hunger Initiative can add value to regional and county level Food.

WORLD BULLETIN ‘Chad troops kill civilians in Central African Republic’

Chadian peacekeepers shot dead three civilians in a Christian neighbourhood of the capital of Central African Republic yesterday, residents said. Bangui’s Christian population accuse the Muslim Chadians of backing Muslim Seleka rebels - some of whom came from Chad - since they seized power in the mostly Christian Central African Republic and embarked on months of looting and killing. Christian militia have carried out brutal reprisals against the Muslim minority. Tens of thousands of people have been killed, Human Rights Watch says, in violence that 2,000 French and 6,000 African Union peacekeepers have been unable to stop. Al Qaeda’s North African wing threatened at the weekend to punish France for allowing Muslims to be killed. Tensions flared in recent days in the Christian neighbourhood of Combatants in Bangui, where peacekeepers from Muslim Chad - part of the African Union’s MISCA mission - have clashed with residents and local militia. “I condemn the Chadian forces. They said they came here to restore peace but it’s them who are killing us,” said Macnel Ndotowe, a resident of Combattants.

500 African migrants storm Spain Some 500 African migrants stormed a triple barbed-wire border fence yesterday that divides the Spanish territory of Melilla from Morocco, with about 100 making it over, an official said. The migrants targeted two different sections of the border and were “very violent” as they used “sticks and threw rocks at Spanish and Moroccan police”, said a spokeswoman for the Spanish government’s representative in Melilla. About 100 of the roughly 500 migrants involved in the border assault managed to enter Melilla, she added. The Moroccan interior ministry said at least 27 people had been wounded, including 13 members of its security forces hit by rocks that the migrants hurled at them as they stormed the border fence. Moroccan police arrested around 100 migrants, including 14 who were taken to hospital in the nearby town of Nador suffering injuries caused by the barbed wire that the Spanish authorities have placed on top of the barrier as a deterrent. It was the latest in a series of coordinated assaults by African migrants on the border of Melilla, which along with fellow Spanish territory Ceuta has the European Union’s only land borders with Africa. The two cities sit across the Mediterranean from mainland Spain, surrounded by Moroccan territory.


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World News

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ukraine issues arrest warrant for ousted president

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kraine has issued an arrest warrant for fugitive ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, the interior minister says. Arsen Avakov said on Facebook that a criminal case had been opened against Mr Yanukovych and other officials over “mass murder of peaceful citizens”. MPs voted to remove Mr Yanukovych on Saturday after months of deadly protest sparked by his rejection of an EU deal in favour of closer ties with Russia. Russia’s PM has said he doubts the legitimacy of Ukraine’s new leaders. Yuri Maloveryan, Kharkiv: A stand-off conCHANGE OF NAME

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tinues between those who back the Maidan protests and those opposed. David Stern, Kiev: The capital is finally at peace. But running beneath this return to relative normality is an uncertainty and disquiet over what will happen next. Mark Lowen, Donetsk: As light snow fell over Donetsk today, the mood was cautious. One man, Sasha, told us he wouldn’t mind reunification with Russia. “We do not understand what is going on there. There is a real threat to our interests and to the lives of our citizens,” Russian media quoted Dmitry Medvedev as saying. “There are big doubts CHANGE OF NAME

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about the legitimacy of a whole series of organs of power that are now functioning there.” Russia, furious at the loss of its political ally, has already accused the opposition of seizing power, and has recalled its ambassador for consultation. Newly appointed interim President Olexander Turchynov has said Ukraine wants to establish relations with Russia on an “equal and good-neighbourly footing that recognises and takes into account Ukraine’s European choice”. Parliament has until Tuesday to form a new unity government. In his statement Avakov said an “official case for the LOSS OF DOCUMENT

This is to notify the general public of loss of original document. Power of Attorney over plot 46 New GRA Trans Ekulu Enugu belonging to Chief Cajetan Ikpa of St. Peter Catholic Church Abor in Udi LGA Reg as 15/15/1507 of lands Registry Enugu, if found contact Ministry of lands and Urban Development Enugu.

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CONFIRMATION OF NAME

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Arawobarin Janet O. Is the same person as Arawobarin Oluwakemi Jane in NECO. Henceforth I want to be known and addressed as Arawobarin Janet Oluwakemi. All former documents remain valid college of Education Ikere Ekiti and general public take note

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PUBLIC NOTICE

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Hon Alaku Emenike 2. Comrade Ozukaeru Ifeanyi . G. 3. Mr. Odo Kenneth Gerald 4. Mr. Ege Kenneth 5. Mr. Ezamegbe Chukwudi

- Chairman - Secretary - Member - Member - Member

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1.To ensure the welfare of the members and the society at large 2.To do all things incidental to promoting peace. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the RegistrarGeneral Corporate Affairs Commission Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street Matama, Abuja within 28days of this publication.

SIGNED: SECRETARY

LOSS OF DOCUMENT

This is to inform the general public that ABIGAIL UCHE OBIAGA lost deed of Assignment regd as 61/61/1312 of plot 37/18-20 Riverside Housing Estate Phase II Abakpa Nike Enugu at lands registry. If found contact the Ministry of lands and urban development Enugu.

CHANGE OF NAME

HASSAN :Formerly called and addressed as Amina Hassan, now wish to be known and addressed as Amina Adefala. All former documents remain valid, General public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

ADEKIYESI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Adekiyesi Folakemi Deborah, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Alfred-Ogunbanjo Folakemi Deborah. All former documents remain valid.General public take note

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senior Pakistani Taliban commander has been shot dead in a militant stronghold near the Afghan border, security sources and relatives said. Asmatullah Shaheen was ambushed as he drove through a village near Miranshah in North Waziristan, reports said. Three aides in the vehicle also died. It is unclear who killed them. There has been no word from the militants. Shaheen was briefly the TTP (Pakistani Taliban) interim leader after its chief Hakimullah Mehsud was killed last year. Mehsud died in a US drone strike in November and was later replaced by a new leader, Mullah Fazlullah. Asmatullah Shaheen is the most high-profile TTP CHANGE OF NAME

OGUNLEYE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunleye Olusola Olubukunola, now wish to be called Mrs Omisande Olusola Olubukunola. All former doc valid, D.S Adegbenro (ICT) Polytechnic Itori-Ewekoro and general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

ARAOYINBO: Formerly known and addressed as Araoyinbo Florence .O.Ifeoluwa, now wish to be known and addressed as Araoyinbo Florence Ibidunni. All former documents remain valid. MAPOLY and general public take note

(1 X 1) CLASSIFIED ADVERT RATE IS NOW N2,500 EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY, 15, 2014 CHANGE OF NAME ADIO: Former known as Adio Gbemisola Rukiyat, now wish to be known and addressed as Oniosun Gbemisola Rukiyat. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. FAMILY CHANGE OF NAME

KEKERE: We the family of Kekere of Neni Town in Aniocha L.G.A of Anambra State wish to change our family surname from Kekere to Akonobi. The names are: Frank Akonobi, Livinus Akonobi and Francis .A. Akonobi. All former documents remain valid general public take note.

The general public is hereby notified that the above named Association has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under the Companies and Allied Matters Act No. 1 of 1990 Part C.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

‘Top Pakistani Taliban commander shot dead’

IMPORTANT NOTICE

PUBLIC NOTICE IMAMS RA’TIBI AND ISLAMIC SCHOLARS ASSOCIATION, IWO

CLUB 95 AKU The general public in hereby notified that the above named CLUB has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the companies and Allied Matters Act No 1 of 1990.

mass murder of peaceful citizens has been opened”, and that Yanukovych and others “have been declared wanted”. The statement said Yanukovych was last seen in Balaklava on the Crimean peninsula on Sunday. But after dismissing most of his security detail, he had left by car for an unknown destination, accompanied by an aide. The statement did not name the other figures covered by the warrant. Avakov and Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, appointed by parliament to oversee security matters, have travelled to Crimea to defuse tensions, according to media reports.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Imam Jabar Mudasiru Ajao Imam Akanbi Buliaminu Adebayo Alhaji Amodu Asimi Akanji Imam Ibrahim Monsuru Ademola Abdurafiu Saheed Omokunmi Imam Ajani Hamjat A. Imam Usamotu Rasidi Aremu

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

1. To encourage the advancement of Islamic practice. 2. To develop academic excellence among its members. 3. To restore the pride and dignity of the Association. 4. To foster the spirit of unity, cooperation and to promote peace and harmony among its members.

Any objections to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, P.M.B. Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

SIGNED: TRUSTEES

CHANGE OF NAME OKOLI: I formerly Miss Okoli Charity Chizoba, now wish to be known as Mrs Charity Chizoba Obinka Okoli. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

NEIFE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Nneife Evangeline Ngozi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ozoibe Evangeline Ngozi. All former documents remain valid, general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

DEMEHIN: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Demehin Adebimpe Opeyemi, now wish to be called Mrs Akinmorin Adebimpe Opeyemi. All former doc. valid. Ondo State Local Govt Commission and general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

OLUWALEYE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Oluwaleye Kehinde Mojisola now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Emmanuel Kehinde Mojisola. All former documents remain valid Ekiti State University Ado Ekiti and general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

OKAFOR: I formerly known and addressed as Okafor Tochukwu Maxwell, now wish to be known and addressed as Okafor-Arua Tochukwu Maxwell. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

commander to have been killed since its former chief Hakimullah Mehsud died in a drone strike in November. The manner of his killing appears to be part of a new emerging trend in North Waziristan, in which unidentified men have gunned down militants with known affiliations to groups aligned with the TTP. The attack on Mr Shaheen is the fifth of its kind during February alone, and there have been no claims of responsibility by any group. This has left many observers puzzled. Since Mr Mehsud’s death, there have been frequent reports of tensions among militant groups over the question of whether the TTP should make peace with Pakistan. The Pakistani security forces have been building pressure on the TTP in recent weeks - they also have a presence and a network of proxies in the area, and their role cannot be ruled out. CONFIRMATION OF NAME This is to confirm that Ajadi Gloria is the same person as Ajadi Gloria Oluwatosin, that henceforth wish to be known and addressed as Ajadi Gloria Oluwatosin All former documents remain valid. Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and general public should please take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME This is to confirm that Olufunmilayo Micheal M. and Olufunmilayo Micheal O. is the same person as Olufunmilayo Micheal Oluwamayowa, that henceforth wish to be known and addressed as Olufunmilayo Micheal Oluwamayowa. All former documents remain valid. Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and general public should please take note.

CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Ojuolape Olusope Olawale, that Osun State Polytechnic, Iree wrongly registered my name as Ojuolape Olusola Olawale, that henceforth wish to be known and addressed as Ojuolape Olusope Olawale. All former documents remain valid. Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME ALOFE: Formerly known and addressed as Alofe Christianah Olushola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Oshodi Chritianah Olushola. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. CHANGE OF NAME

WHISTANCE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Elizabeth Ann Whistance, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Abubakar. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

EZE: Formerly known and addressed as Eze Lorreta Odinkenma, now wish to be known and addressed as Eze Lorreta Onyinye. All former documents remain valid general public take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME ENWONYE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Enwonye Beatrice now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ejoh Romiwa Beatrice. All former documents remain valid. Federal Ministry of Education, Inspectorate Department, Dutse and general public take note.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

103-year-old given 103rd Street sign for birthday

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os Angeles officials said they presented an elderly man with a street sign that read “103rd Street” in honor of his 103rd birthday. Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge has a history of giving Leon Saliba a variety of unique gifts to celebrate every birthday since his 100th, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. When Saliba turned 100, the city planted a purple-leaf plum tree in front of his home, at 101, he was photographed standing near the 101 Freeway

sign. At 102, he was photographed outside city Fire Station 102. For 103, the plan was to photograph Saliba at the intersection of 103rd Street and Success Avenue. “After all, reaching age 103 involves having success,” LaBonge said. But Saliba couldn’t make the 50-mile round trip due to unseasonably warm weather. So LaBonge took the custom-made 103rd Street sign, complete with Saliba’s name inscribed on it, to the man’s house.

Cat rescued from under Swedish ferry

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rew mates on a Swedish ferry said they saved a cat that had become stranded in the water under the vessel. The HSC Gotlandia II was docked on the island of Gotland when the crew noticed strange noises coming from below the vessel, TheLocal.se reported Sunday. “We heard the cat meowing when we were getting on to work, it had probably fallen into the water

Cocktail

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

and was trying to crawl up. He sat there and was distressed,” crew member Stellan Stenberg told Aftonbladet. Johan Skarkarl put on a wetsuit and jumped into the water to rescue the cat. He swam back to shore with the cat sitting on top of his stomach, the website said. “He is an animal lover and said immediately that he wanted to jump in,” Stenberg said.

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Oddities

Residents upset over sugary goat cheese ban in schools

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southern Norway town has banned “brunost,” sweet brown goat cheese, from being served in kindergartens, sparking controversy, officials said. Brunost, a beloved treat in Norway, is made of the whey of goat’s milk, rather than the curds, as well as sugar and chocolate, and has been banned for children in Horten, TheLocal.no reported Friday. “Brunost contains so much sugar,” Linda Jakobsen, head of the local municipality’s unit for young people, told NRK. “Brunost may taste good, but it contains nothing that a child’s body can make use of. Chocolate spread tastes good too, but we don’t recommend that either.” Some Horten residents are upset over the ban. “This is an insane suggestion,” Tore Landbo, a local businessman in

the Horten area, wrote in the comments section of the local Gjengangeren newspaper. “What kid has

ever suffered from eating goat’s cheese? And whose idea is it that children are healthy and strong, just

because they are thin? No, let the kids get brown cheese and start doing more activity.”

A Pacific oyster has been confirmed by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest.

PHOTO: UPI


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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Community Mirror I am just visiting our national leader of PDP; myself and Baba are in PDP. SPEAKER, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, HON. AMINU TAMBUWAL

Prince arraigned for alleged falsification of document KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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49 year-old man, Prince Adebayo Yusuf Aladegbemi, has been arraigned before an Iyaganku Magistrate Court for falsification of land document and obtaining money by false pretence. Aladegbemi was arraigned on four count

charge of obtaining money by false pretence and issuing fake certificate of occupancy. He was alleged to have between December 2013 and January 2014 at Iwo Road, obtained the sum of N10 million by false pretence on claims that he was a bonafide owner of a parcel of land measuring 2.040 356 square metres at plot 7 block V111, Kolapo

Ishola GRA, Iwo Road, Ibadan. In the charge sheet, Aladegbemi was accused of issuing a fake certificate of occupancy registered as No 2 page 2 volume 3550 by lands registry office, Ibadan and dated October 7,2008. The charge read, “You convert to your use , a sum of N10 million , the property of Mr. Taofeek

Oladipupo Odukoya and forged an Oyo State Certificate of Statutory Right of Occupancy bearing Mrs. Natasha Owolabi and dated October 7, 2008 and registered at No 2 page 2 Volume 3550 at Land registry, Ibadan”. According to police prosecutor, DSP Aruwaji Solomon, he was also said to have issued to one Mr. Odukoya, a fake Oyo

State Certificate Statutory Right of Occupancy bearing, Mrs. Owolabi. Solomon said the offence was punishable under section 419 ‘A’ of the criminal code Cap 38 Volume IIO of Oyo State 2000, section 390 (9) of the criminal code Cap 38 Volume II laws of Oyo State, section 467 (2) (e) of the criminal code Cap 38 Vol. II laws of Oyo State

2000 and section 467 of the criminal code Cap 38 Volume II laws of Oyo State, 2000. However Prince Aladegbemi pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Magistrate Durosaro Tijani then granted him bail with a sum of N5 million and with two sureties in like sum, while adjourning the case till April 1, 2014.

Market boss, traders on war path in Aba GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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A woman with load climbing pedestrian bridge in Lagos, yesterday.

PHOTO: DEMOLA AKINLABI

Monarch’s driver charged with reckless driving HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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chauffeur to the traditional ruler of Ifetuntun in Osun State, Akeem Bakare whose vehicle rammed into a convoy of the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Ali Olanusi, has been charged before a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Idanre, area of the state. Bakare, 30 and driver to Oba Taofeek Olaposi was charged for reckless and dangerous driving leading to the deaths of four people

Bakare,who drove a Toyota Camry car with plate number Obamure of Ifetuntun rammed into the convoy of Alhaji Ali Olanusi and other vehicles along AkureOndo Road. The accident led to the death of the chairman of Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Akure chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists Alex Akinwale including his wife, Kehinde, daughter, Pauline and housemaid, Bose. When the case came before Chief Magistrate Veronica Bobmanuel,

Bakare was alleged to have dangerously driven the car into the convoy leading to the death of the people. The Police Prosecutor, Sgt. Omolayo Olusegun who brought the twocount charge against Bakare said the offence is punishable under the Ondo State laws The prosecutor noted that the charges against the driver were punishable under Section 18 of the Road Traffic Laws, Cap 3, Volume 6, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006. She however urged the court to remand the accused

in prison custody, while preparing duplicate of the case file for an onward transfer to the Director of Public Prosecution, Ministry of Justice for legal advice. However, counsel to the accused, Henry Orumen, prayed the court to grant the accused bail, saying the offence committed by his client is bail able. The Magistrate however granted Bakare bail with the sum of N1milion and two sureties who must be at least level 15 civil servants in Ondo or Osuan states, while the case was adjourned till March 19 for mention.

he fragile peace which has existed at Ariaria International market, Aba, Abia State may soon be truncated, as the caretaker committee chairman, Lucky Akubueze is now on warpath with some of the traders following the purported dissolution of the executive of the A -D sub union. This action did not go down well with the traders who are alleging that it was taken because they refused to bribe the chairman with N2m he demanded as gratification. In a petition to the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, and signed by the chairman of A-D sub union, Chief Cyril Jubulu, secretary, Mrs. Eugenia Adikuru and 23 others, the traders stated how on assumption of office, Akubueze demanded for N2m gratification. The petition read, “We wish to inform you that against the wishes of members of the zone and not minding the attendant consequences, Mr.Lucky Akubueze, acting above his powers purportedly dissolved an elected executive of A-D sub union and announced the splitting of the zone into two.

As elected executive and members of the zone, we reject in its entirety the purported dissolution because Mr. Akubueze as an appointed chairman has no powers to sack elected officials whose tenure have not ended. “Against the lies that he was acting on behalf of the governor, we are aware that government did not send him to demand a gratification ofN2m from the zone, the rejection of which is the bedrock of his illegitimate actions.” The traders also alleged that Akubueze had been boasting that as a relation of Gov Orji, he would do anything and get away with it,even as he has been using Abia State Vigilante Service to harass officials of the zone. When contacted, Akubueze said no zone in the market had up to N2m in its account and wondered why he should be accused of demanding money. He said the zone was split into two because of its large size. “In fact I would not deny that Gov. Orji is my brother. To be candid, one of these days, I am going to seek audience with him and after tabling this matter before him; I would then come and deal with these recalcitrant former executives”.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South-East

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

49

Jonathan’s visit: Women protest against PDP rally in Imo

• Accuse party leaders of making provocative comments CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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undreds of women yesterday stormed the streets of Owerri, the Imo State capital, to protest what they described

as provocative statements by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The women claimed that PDP made the provocative statements last week when President Goodluck Jonathan visited the state during the

party’s sensitisation rally. The protesters said the PDP leaders deliberately organised rally to provoke Imo people. The women, who stormed the Dan Anyiam Stadium as early as 7.30am, were singing: “Obey, PDP Must Obey Okoro-

cha” with their brooms sweeping away the “footprints of PDP members.” The protesters claimed that they had swept away the footprints of the PDP leaders and its members who were at the stadium during the rally.

It will be recalled that PDP leaders stormed Imo to welcome President Jonathan who came to the state to receive former Governor Achike Udenwa, Senators Chris Anyanwu, Ifeanyi Araraume, Chief Mike Ahamba (SAN) and their numerous supporters who returned PDP after many years of political sojourn in opposition parties. Addressing journalists, the protesters’ leader, Mrs. Josephine Udorji, said the PDP leaders came to remind Imo people about the scars they left on their bodies when they governed the state for 12 years, expressing surprise that the President could attend such a rally to receive those without electoral value again. Receiving the women who marched to the Government House in Owerri to register their solidarity to Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, Chief Uche Nwosu, told them that Imo people would speak loudly and clearly in 2015.

He thanked the women for their unflinching support. But the Acting Publicity Secretary of PDP in Imo, Mr. Enyinnaya Onuegbu, said: “It is uncharitable for Governor Okorocha, who personally came to the airport with over 200 of his appointees and hangers on to welcome the President, to be sponsoring crowd against that massive PDP rally. “This goes to confirm our belief that every effort was made by the state government and its agents to frustrate or abort the rally. “There were verbal attacks against the President’s visit, the delay in approving the use of the stadium and eventual imposition of outrageous user charges, the poor hygiene and disrepair of the stadium structure and premises. “All these, including the importation of thugs from Ebonyi State two days before the event, the destruction of decorations at the airport by official of the state government were targeted at causing apprehension in the

Trailer crushes tricycle operator to death in Aba Igwe Tony Ojukwu of Ogui Nike in Enugu State being presented with the Nigerian Breweries Safety Hero Award won by Mr Ugwu Emmanuel (middle) and Kingsley Owoh of Enugu State University of Science and Technology in Enugu, yesterday.

CLO urges IGP to release report on man’s killing DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, to release of the report on the alleged extra-judicial killing of Mr. Chukwuma Ihezie, an engineering graduate of the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu. This is even as it called

for the immediate suspension of the three policemen involved in the alleged killing of Ihezie. CLO recalled that the deceased was shot dead few days after he was arrested by men of the Independent Layout Police Division in Enugu State. In a statement issued by CLO yesterday in Enugu and signed by Mr. Paul Uwadiegwu, it said the call became necessary following threats to the life of the victim’s

elder brother, Mr. Chinedu Ihezie. It stated that Chinedu, who has been vigorously seeking justice over his brother’s murder, “has gone into hiding as he is now being trailed by unknown faces within the last few days”. While expressing sadness over the agony being faced by the family of the victim, CLO said: “Their suffering and tears demand immediate action against those involved in this gruesome

murder. “We are calling on the IGP to order the release of the report on the death of this vibrant young man inside SARS cell. We still maintain that the SARS cannot do the work meant for the judiciary. “As it stands, the delay in the release of the report is already making us to suspect foul play, especially as the victim’s brother is being trailed everywhere he goes possibly by those who are bent on killing this matter”.

Court stops ex-commissioner from burying businessman’s body GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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n Abia State High Court sitting at Osisioma near Aba has barred the former Anambra State Commissioner for Special Duties, Vincent Ezenwajiaku, and five others from burying the body of a late Ababased businessman, Sir Pius Ndubueze Ezenwajiaku of Amanasa, Umuchu in Aguata Local Government of the state. The others are Sir John

Ezenwajiaku, Mr. Marcel Ezenwajiaku (aka Eze), Madam Caroline Ezenwajiaku and Mrs. Francisca Udensi (nee Ezenwajiaku). The Allied Medical Services Limited, Aba, was also restrained from releasing the body of the late businessman for burial until the determination of the motion on notice. The widow of late Sir Pius Ezenwajiaku, Lady Clara Ezenwajiaku, her son, Ikenna Henry Ezenwajiaku, had for themselves and on behalf of the family dragged the siblings of the late businessman

to court over who had the right for his burial. The plaintiffs’ counsel, Anthony Okpalah and Mrs. M.I Nnabuife, said according to Umuchu custom, it was the “diokpala” (first son) and his siblings who burying their father and that it is he who buries the deceased that will inherit his wealth. Okpala argued that for this function to be performed by another person no matter how closely related put the paternity of the children in question. He, therefore, urged the

court to restrain the respondents who were accused of trying to bury their brother without the adequate involvement of the wife and children of the deceased. But the respondents’ counsel, Chief Ibeziem Udogu (SAN), who led five other lawyers, said the claimants were seeking the injunction to deride the deceased. While reserving ruling on the matter till February 26, Justice C. H Ahuchogu said the burial would definitely not hold as originally planned by the respondents.

GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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commercial tricycle operator was crushed to death at the weekend on the Opobo Road by an articulated vehicle in Aba, Abia State This is even as motorists decried the recent hike in the pump prize of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petrol in the state. The accident victim, Anyamaghiobi Okezie, a resident of Nna Close, Starline Estate Ogbor-Hill, according to an eyewitness, was hit by the tail of the vehicle while he was fixing his damaged tricycle which was said to have broken down on the busy Ogbor Hill-Ovom Road. It was gathered that the victim died on the spot. The driver of the vehicle did not, however, know that he had killed someone because it was the tail of the truck that hit the tricycle operator. The driver only knew what had happened when people ran after him to inform him of the incident. The driver immediately surrendered himself to soldiers at a nearby checkpoint and who after confirming the incident, handed him

over to the police. The body of the tricycle operator was deposited at the mortuary by the police. It will recalled that it was on the same Opobo Road that a tipper rammed into a primary school a few months back and killed four pupils while scores others were injured. Residents blamed incessant accidents on the deplorable condition of the Aba-Ikot Ekpene link road. According to the residents, the poor condition of Aba-Ikot Ekpene link road forced vehicles going to Akwa Ibom and Cross River states to divert to OpoboAzumini Road. They, however, called on both the Abia State and Federal governments to fix the Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road. Meanwhile, motorists in Aba have expressed sadness over the recent sharp increase in Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) pump price in the state as the scarcity hit Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Osisioma Depot. Some of the motorists that spoke to our correspondent at various petrol stations visited called on the authorities of NNPC and other regulatory bodies responsible for the supply and distribution of PMS to Osisioma depot to address


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South South

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Uduaghan: Delta, an investors’ haven

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overnor Emmanuel Uduaghan has assured investors that Delta State is very safe for investment to thrive. The governor, who met with the investment community in Lagos at the weekend, stated that security challenges in the state had been reduced to the barest minimum. According to him, an enabling environment had been created for investors to do business. Uduaghan disclosed

that the state has two airports at Warri and Asaba, while the Federal Government is constructing an airstrip at Ogidigben. He added that sea ports are also located in Warri, Sapele, Burutu, Koko and Escravos, making transportation easier. The governor stated that the Escravos port was being used by an oil company, and that plans were on for another deep sea port to be constructed at Ogidigben. While linking some of

the security challenges in the state to environmental degradation that had affected the people’s sources of livelihood, Uduaghan said his administration had engaged in massive empowerment of the people to curb restiveness. “You dare not carry out piracy in Delta waterways, because the youths in collaboration with JTF will arrest you,” he warned. The Managing Director, West Africa, of Control Risk, Tom Griffin, said, “Delta State is a land of

opportunities.” He observed that risks involved in doing business in the state are peculiar to what is happening in other parts of Africa. Another speaker at the forum, Dr. Salami, noted that Delta State is the fourth highest economy in Nigeria, adding, “Delta has the foundation and is building on those foundations; there is a lot of virgin areas for people to invest in.” The Managing Director of Chevron Oil, Andrew

Fawthrop, attributed some of the negative stories from the Niger Delta to media sensationalism, arguing that the area is safe for business. Chairman of Delta State Economic Advisory Committee, Bismack Rewane, said the Uduaghan administration was pursuing a development programme that is independent ofs oil, stating,

Akpabio’s aide brands senator ‘businessman’ ANIEFIOK MACAULEY UYO

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L-R: Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan; former Senate President Ken Nnamani and Prof G. G. Darah during the Southern Nigerian Peoples Summit in Calabar, Cross Rivers State, yesterday.

Boko Haram, threat to unity -INC EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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he Ijaw National Congress, INC, yesterday raised fears that the Boko Haram insurgency in the north could constitute a threat to the peace, unity and progress of the nation. While lauding efforts of federal government in stemming the menace, it urged the leadership of the north to ‘emulate’ the initiatives of Niger Delta leaders who supported late President Umaru Yar’Adua to resolve militancy in the creeks. This was contained in a communiqué signed by the acting and pioneer presidents of INC, Charles Ambaiowei, Prof. Christopher Dime and six others at the end of a mini-Pan Ijaw conference held in Yenagoa at the weekend. The group urged the National Assembly to pass the

Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB without further delay, stressing that the non-passage was frustrating the citizenry and investors. It was learnt that 68 clans of the respective chapters of INC were in attendance at the meeting. The group insisted that President Goodluck Jonathan had the constitutional right to seek for a re-election in 2015, contrary to some opposition remarks to the contrary. The communiqué read in part: “Whereas the circumstances of the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President in 2010, and the constitutional twoterm provision applicable to his election as President in 2011 are noted, President Goodluck Jonathan has the constitutional right to contest the 2015 election for a second term.

“The Ijaw nation, therefore, supports and calls on President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to declare for, and contest, the 2015 presidential election.” The group resolved that the forthcoming national conference should be seen as an opportunity to enhance the unity of the country, attain fiscal federalism and ensure true democracy, adding that a former President of INC, Prof. Kimse Okoko and Ambaiowei had been nominated to represent Ijaw nation at the conference. It added: “Whereas there is the need to have homogenous and contiguous geopolitical structures in Nigeria, ten (10) Federating Regions as contained in the INC submission of 27th June, 2012 to the National Assembly would serve this need, with each Federating Region having the power to

create any levels of lower administrative structures it desires. “Whereas Fiscal Federalism and an ideal democracy are imperatives and in view of the fact that every region has some peculiar resources, there should be a total control of resources by the owners everywhere in the country and the payment of appropriate taxes to the federal government, contributing to a revenue pool that could assist parts of the country in need of supporting revenue.” The INC acknowledged the benefits of making governance closer to the people, just as it advocated that legislative powers of the federal government should be limited to defence, foreign affairs, central banking, immigration and emigration, citizenship, aviation and nuclear energy, in an exclusive list.

“We are here to sell investment opportunities; we want Delta State to be the most attractive investment destination for investors.” Dr. David Ige of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, disclosed that work had commenced on the gas project at Ogidigben, stating that Delta is safe for industries to thrive.

he Commissioner for Special Duties in Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Enoidem, has taken a swipe against the senator representing Akwa Ibom North West in the National Assembly, Aloysius Etok, saying he is more a businessman than a lawmaker. Speaking with newsmen in his office on Monday, the commissioner described Etok’s two terms at the National Assembly as a monumental disappointment to the people “who shunned sentiments to vote for him.” “If you go and check his attendance at the Senate, he has the least. He is a businessman than a senator,” the commissioner stated, adding, “you will notice that his attendance is the least in terms of number of days he sat.” Enoidem was apparently reacting to a statement credited to Etok that his face-off with Governoe Godswill Akpabio started when he (Etok) voted for the confirmation of President Goodluck Jonathan as acting president when the late President Umaru Yar’adua was incapacitated. Rather, he said, it was Akpabio that was ‘very vocal and pivotal’ in the emergence of Jonathan as the president. The commissioner’s words: “Godswill Akpabio was very vocal and very pivotal in the emergence of Jonathan, despite all the intrigues to scuttle the attempts of to take over from his late boss, and in obedience to the provisions of the Constitution of the Fed-

eral Republic of Nigeria, because the position of the constitution is very clear as when the president dies. “To start with, our senator does not have any capacity to support Jonathan. He lacks capacity, both in his wards, local government and to the entire senatorial district he represents. So, I don’t know what level of power or support he has to be able to gather for the president.” On claims by Etok that Akpabio is ‘intimidated’ by his ‘over- performance’ in the Senate, Enoidem retorted, “Well, I don’t know what he is referring to overperformance. Is he talking about the number of motions he has moved? Is he talking about the number of speeches he has made in the National Assembly? Is he talking about the number of contributions he has made on the floor of the National Assembly, or the number of constituency projects he has attracted to the senatorial district that are verifiable?” Enoidem maintained that “if Etok was talking about the youths he has impacted on; or given jobs in national institutions and agencies and organising his senatorial district meetings, then he would say that our senator failed, both in his first and second terms.” The commissioner, who hails from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, alleged that Etok, over the last seven years in the National Assembly, has neither called for constituency briefing to render an account of his stewardship during his two-term tenure as senator, nor attracted any form of development, even to his immediate community.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Tuesday, February 25, 20134

51

FG convicts 40 Boko Haram members -Adoke

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he Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, on Monday said that more than 40 Boko Haram members had been convicted for terrorism-related crimes. Adoke made this known at the opening of an International Seminar on the Observance of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in Internal Security Operations in Abuja. The seminar declared opened by President Goodluck Jonathan was co-hosted by the office of the AGF and National Security Adviser, NSA. Adoke said the considerable efforts of government had been made possible through the prosecution of members of the sect under the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011, as amended in 2013.

The minister commended the roles of members of the armed forces and other law enforcement agencies in containing terrorism and other related crises in the country. He said the seminar was to sensitise the participants, particularly members of the armed forces, to comply with relevant human rights and international humanitarian laws and norms during internal security operations. Adoke noted that the military had been effective in maintaining law and order and restoring normalcy to many crises areas in the country. He said the intervention sometimes attracts negative reactions from affected communities on accounts of loss of lives and alleged use of excessive force. Adoke recalled the incidence in Odi, Bay-

Soldier seeks N100m damages over alleged illegal detention

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Nigerian soldier, Lance Cpl. Michael Emefik, on Monday sued the army at a Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking N100 million damages and the enforcement of his fundamental rights over alleged illegal detention. Emefik’s counsel, Adejoh Jibrin, in his submission, said his client had been in detention at the Mogadishu Cantonment, Asokoro, Abuja, since January 21, 2013. Jibrin, in the motion for the enforcement of his client’s fundamental right, prayed the court to order his immediate release from ``unlawful arrest and detention by officers of the Nigerian Army’’. He said the order became necessary and urgent following the refusal of the army authorities to release the applicant after repeated demand. Jibrin also prayed the court to declare that the continuous detention of his applicant ``is unlawful, illegal, unconstitutional, null and void’’. He asked the court to compel the respondents to pay N100 million as general damages jointly and severally to his client for the treatment meted out on

him. Jibrin said that Emefik, with Service Number 2002/ NA/51/036, joined the Nigerian Army School of Medical Science in 2002. He said that his client got married two years later to his wife (name withheld) in 2007. The applicant’s counsel further told the court that his client got a wind of an illicit affair going on between his wife and his superior officer, who is a serving colonel (name withheld). He said the applicant reported the case to the appropriate authorities and tendered a letter dated 24th March, 2010, as exhibit. The applicant claimed that the colonel used his influence and contacts in the Nigerian Army to victimise him. The applicant said that he was simply asked, via a signal he got from the Army, to report to Abuja on the January 13, 2013. He said he was arrested upon arrival in Abuja and later detained since then in the guardroom, without being told his offence. When the matter came up for mention, the counsel to the Chief of Army Staff, Miss Deborah Iwoha, told the court that she was not ready to go on with the matter as she had just been briefed.

elsa State and Zaki Biam, Benue State, both in 2001, where damages were awarded against Nigeria in billions of Naira by the International Criminal Court, ICC. “Allegations of human rights abuses and nonadherence to applicable rules of engagement leveled against those involved in quelling crises

coupled with adverse reports from human rights advocates have tended to put the country on the spotlight in the international community. “The sad events that occurred in Odi in Bayelsa (State) in 2001 and Zaki Biam in Benue, also in 2001, led to the award of damages against the Federal Government.

“The court awarded N37 billion against the Federal Government in respect of Odi incident and N42 billion for the Zaki Biam incident, which was later negotiated to eight billion naira. “The unpleasant consequences of the extrajudicial killing of Malam Yusuf Mohammed, leader of the Boko Haram sect in

Borno in 2009, still reverberate in the polity despite the N100 million compensation that the courts ordered government to pay to the deceased’s family. “The point being made is that government can illafford to bear these huge financial liabilities in the face of increasing responsibilities and dwindling resources,’’ he said.

L-R: Former Special Adviser on Food Security to the President, Prof. Ango Abdullahi; Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Yero; former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) and President, Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, KADCCIMA, Dr Abdul-Alimi Bello, at the seminar to mark the on-going 35th Kaduna International Trade Fair in Kaduna, yesterday. Photo:NAN

Group urges NASS to audit CBN, berates Sanusi TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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pparently miffed by alleged fiscal recklessness perpetrated by the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria, CCSON, yesterday urged the Senate Committee investigating the alleged missing funds from the Federation Accounts to also order that a forensic audit of the accounts be carried out on the apex bank’s accounts. This, in the group’s opin-

ion, will help in determining the culpability or otherwise of the governor over allegations leveled against him by the government and upon which his suspension was based. Addressing the media on the recent ugly developments in the fiscal system that had triggered a gale of allegations and counter-accusations on missing funds, the president of the group, Etuk Bassey Williams, particularly picked holes in Sanusi’s stance on unremitted funds to the Federation Account, saying that the CBN may not also be insulated from financial abuses. Williams described the

CBN governor’s whistleblowing in government as uncalled for, especially for consistently shifting his grounds on allegations leveled against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on the actual amount not remitted to the Federation Account. Describing the dusts raised by Sanusi’s allegations as unfounded and capable of sending wrong disparaging Nigeria’s image in the global community, the CCSON leader said the group’s attempt to make its views known to the public over the raging controversies on the alleged missing funds and revelations about

how the CBN Governor ran the apex banking institution was not intended to give credit to any individual but to put the records straight. He said: “We condemn in totality the act of outburst credited to Mallam Sanusi Lamido on financial misappropriation without facts and specification. This coalition expects the CBN governor to respect the system by allowing such allegations to undergo due process of facts and findings as such because the lopsided statement of Sanusi is as damaging as destroying the integrity of this nation in totality.

Mbu gives ultimatum over tinted glass OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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he new Commissioner of Police in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Mbu Joseph Mbu, has threatened to arrest motorists without tinted glass permits, giving them 24 hours within which to comply. Addressing journalists yesterday on the security situation in the territory, Mbu said as from tomor-

row, vehicles without registration numbers would be arrested. “I want to make this pronouncement now. If you do not have a tinted glass vehicle permit, formally approved by the Inspector-General of Police, and you are not permitted to have tinted glass in your vehicle, you have between today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday) to remove it. “No vehicle will ply the

streets or the highways within Abuja without an identification mark, that is to say, there must be FRSCapproved number plate affixed to your vehicle. We are going to enforce this law as from Wednesday this week,’’ Mbu stated. He appealed to motorists to obey traffic rules and regulations, saying “whatever your position is in the society, I am appealing to you to respect the law.’’

On the security situation in the territory, the CP said he had visited the entry points into the city, assuring that criminals would be kept at bay during his tenure. He said: “I have gone to Abaji, Kwali and Gwagwalada axis, up to the boundary between FCT and Kogi, to ascertain security measures put in place to secure commuters travelling during the day and at night.


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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO AN ICON @ 47 May this day usher in God`s blessing and sweet memories to our wonderful Group Managing Director (GMD) Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR our motivator, supporter and mentor. A great Entrepreneur, Lawyer and Administrator. Your excellent influence and inspirational teachings has supported and lead us every step of the way. In return, we at NICON PROPERTIES LIMITED wish you more success, good health and happiness on your birthday and the rest of your life.

Barr. Jimoh Ibrahim OFR

Signed

BARR. O. ALONGE Chief Executive Officer


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Desertification: Governors want N10bn intervention fund released PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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he 19 Northern states governors have agreed to persuade the Federal Government on the need to release the N10 billion it promised the Committee on Environment it constituted to fight desertification in 11 states. Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and Governor of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, dropped the hint during a visit by the Chairman and members of the Nigeria Frontier Action Initiative on the Environment in

Minna. It will be recalled that out of the N10 billion promised by the Federal Government, only N300 million was released one year after the pledge. Decrying the delay in the release of the intervention fund to the committee, Aliyu said: “Governors will push for the issue of desertification that is plaguing 11 states in the North to be among topic for discussion during the centenary celebration of the country. The issue of desertification has gone beyond partisanship; all hands must be on the deck to solve this problem once and for all.”

He also called on his colleagues to embark on vigorous campaign on the issue of desertification. The NSGF chairman said: “We want people to know what government is doing to arrest the issue. And that is why during the last meeting of the governors, we discussed exhaustively major problems facing the north, especially the issue of desertification and resolved that majority of the matters raised should be properly looked into and presented at the forthcoming constitution conference. “We have agreed to send our best hands to the conference; they are to speak

on the issue of desertification as part of the revenue sharing formula.” Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Mukhtar Lugga, said earlier that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) report had revealed that 53 million persons in the Northern region are poor, adding that the report also said 10 out of 19 states in the region as the poorest in the country. He added that 34.5 % of the land mass in the “frontline states” had lost their lands to desertification, which explains the migration of people from the rural areas to the urban ones.

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Plateau LG poll: Police restrict movement JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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s local government election holds today in Plateau State, movement of people has been restricted from 6am till 6pm. The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Olakpe, who stated this yesterday while addressing journalists in his office, said the police had beefed up security across the 15 local government areas participating in the poll. According to him, the police had dispatched enough personnel and

equipment to the affected areas to ensure violentfree poll Olakpe claimed that the proactive measure was aimed at ensuring that the state witnessed peaceful elections He said: “Movements from one local government to the other has been restricted from 6am to 6pm.We call on members of the public to stick to electoral rules, politics is not a do-or die-affair. “Rumor mongering should be discouraged and I am appealing to politicians to play politics without rancor and bitterness.”

Benue’s new scheme to empower 8,500 youths HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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he Benue State Government has launched a new scheme to empower unemployed youths in various capacities. The state government has, therefore, engaged about 8,500 unemployed youths under the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) in the state. Governor Gabriel Suswam said yesterday during the launch of the scheme at IBB Square in Makurdi, the state capital, that the programme was introduced to engage unemployed youths in useful ventures.

Suswam urged the beneficiaries to take the programme seriously as they stand the chance of joining the civil service. He said that state government had acquired 50 18-seater Hiace buses and 56 taxi cabs for the scheme, while order had been placed for the purchase of 20 trucks to help in the disposal of refuse in the environmental sanitation sector of the programme. Suswam threatened to deal with any government employee involved in the scheme even as he urged those on the verge of retirement to involve themselves in useful ventures.

NSGF extols Shagari’s virtues at 89 Sokoto State Grand Khadi, Alhaji Saidu Tambuwal (left) and Sokoto State Head of Service, Alhaji Bature Shinkafi, during a threeday workshop on Criminal Justice System in Sokoto, yesterday. PHOTO:NAN

PRISCILLA DENNIS

Foundation launches anti-human traffic brigade

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ADEOLA TUKURU ABUJA

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he Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF) has inaugurated a team called WOTCLEF Antitrafficking Brigade (WAB) to encourage children to participate directly in the fight against human trafficking and child labour. WAB is made up of students from different schools. WOTCLEF National Coordinator, Mrs. Veronica Umaru, said yesterday during the inau-

guration of WAB at the Junior Secondary School (JSS), Life Camp, Abuja, that the ceremony was the grand finale of the series of programmes the Foundation organised to mitigate child trafficking and promote children’s rights in the country. According to her, WOTCLEF targets to train 8,000 children from both primary and secondary school to combat the menace of human trafficking and child labour or abuse, which she noted had continued to increase despite all ef-

forts to curb it. She said: “We will train 400 children who will reach out to another 20 children each and this will give us 8,000 all together. The 400 children will undergo training to enable them train other children too on child’s rights, children’s responsibilities, child abuse, reproductive health, peer group pressure as well as how to reach out to other children. “We have also trained over 600 children whom apart from feeding we give them clothing and

shelter but most importantly we send them to school and we achieve this in partnership with NAPTIP who give us funds to carry out our activities, as well as other donors like the European Union. “We had earlier conducted training for parents and guardians as well but, most of the guardians refused to attend our training so we train principals and teachers to identify such children who have been abused and through that we can reach their parents or guardians.”

MINNA

he Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has described the first Executive President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, who turns 89 years today, as a statesman of uncommon pedigree. A statement by the NSGF Chairman and Governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, said: “Alhaji Shehu Shagari, as Nigeria’s first Executive President, played politics without bitterness and placed topmost premium on the values and virtues of constitutional democracy. “Shagari’s politics eschews bitterness. Even opponents concede that he is a

disciplined man whose life symbolises a rejection of the corrupting influences that distracts the commitment of some leaders to improving the lot of the common man.” The statement described the former President as the greatest statesman and urged Nigerians to emulate his exemplary life that is characterised by honesty, selflessness and the fear of God. The 19 Northern governors also said they were proud to be associated with the achievements of the former Nigerian leader, especially his contribution to the deepening of the nation’s democracy. The Forum then prayed God to grant Shagari excellent health, courage and many more years of selfless service to Nigeria and humanity.


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Features

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Gombe: Empowering citizens through mass transportation In this report, DANJUMA WILLIAMS looks at the recently launched economic empowerment scheme through mass transportation initiated by Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo. Tagged “Talba Empowerment Scheme” the programme proposes to improve the living standards of the people.

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he concept of empowerment has always remained on the front burner of every administration, especially in Gombe State where the administration of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo feels it represents one of the most practical and realisable means of fulfilling his promises to the citizens in view of the overwhelming mandate to him in 2011. Before the ‘Talba Empowerment Scheme’ that saw the distribution of 100 ALTO Suzuki taxi cabs and 1, 050 units of 8-seater tricycles for town service, as well as 50 buses for the Gombe State Transport Company, the transport system in Gombe was known to be booming, active and a major source of income for many people due to the concentration of commercial activities in the state and even for the North-East zone. However, due to poverty and low purchasing power of the vast majority, this transport business was left in the hands of a few, who exploited commuters thereby making the sector very expensive in Gombe metropolis and other towns in the state. A positive change for the masses was however expected after launch of the scheme. But with heavy investment in infrastructure, human capital and social development, as well as construction of regional roads to connect agrarian areas to the markets and commercial centres and township roads in major towns and cities in the state by the administration in the last two and half years, the intervention was not only right but timely. This is because the people, especially beneficiaries of these vehicles were being presented with long term opportunities for job creation through tricycles, taxis, tractors and buses in which more than 3, 500 direct jobs will definitely be created for those who had no jobs before. It is also estimated that over 20, 000 families will be direct beneficiaries of the scheme. This intervention will obviously open doors for income generation and provide food for families in multiple of this number, finance healthcare services and train more children in varying skills, including engineering growth of the economy of Gombe State, especially in the area of agriculture where 200 tractors have also been provided for this purpose at launch of the

Tricycles assembled for distribution to beneficiaries at the event

“Talba Empowerment Scheme”. Received with great joy and applause, the launch of the scheme some days ago at the Abubakar Memorial Stadium, Gombe, witnessed the attendance of President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and that of the National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW) and many other known personalities in the North-East zone who for long had canvassed for such programmes to be launched in other parts of the country, as a way of reducing poverty among millions of Nigerians. Describing the event, the NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar said, what he saw in Gombe was not the usual cosmetic decoration that has become the norm in some states of the federation. No wonder, to make the scheme real and practical and to avoid a situation where it would be like other white elephant projects, the Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo personally ensured wider stakeholders consultation with the direct beneficiaries who are the common people on the streets. Following that, Dankwabo said at the occasion, “we have among other things, drawn up long, medium and short term programmes of comprehensive empowerment and youth re-orientation, in order to achieve our vision for Gombawa”. He said: “although our empowerment programme is not restricted to transportation system alone, we consider this as a very crucial sector that has immense socio-economic and security implications”. In order to provide maximum value to beneficiaries of the scheme for which it is intended, the government did not place any mark-up on the original price and even reduced the cost of the vehicles by 20 percent. This means that each will be sold at the subsidised rate of N2.6 million for taxi cabs, while the tricycles will be sold at the subsidised rate of N553, 021.96 each. Even at that, the taxis and buses are expected to be paid for within three years, while repayment for tricycles is for two

TO HELP AT ENFORCING THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE

LEASE AGREEMENT, GEO-FENCING WILL

BE USED TO DETECT VEHICLES VIOLATING THEIR ASSIGNED ROUTES years. Also, the tricycles will be under the management of Gombe Leasing Company Limited but would only be released after an initial non refundable deposit of 30 percent. Another remarkable part of the scheme was its revolving nature, as it is intended for economic empowerment which means putting it to business for profits. The Gombe Leasing Company has been mandated to enter into value adding partnership with motor-service workshop for the maintenance and repairs of the taxi cabs and tractors, while a new assembly plant is expected to be built for the tricycles for the purpose of maintenance and repairs. To also check abuse or activities of defaulters, the leasing company will use vehicle trackers as an integral part of its fleet management, such that defaulting customers are disembarked from their vehicles and penalised in case of violations. To help at enforcing the terms and conditions of the lease agreement, geo-fencing will be used to detect vehicles violating their assigned routes to ensure they are not driven outside Gombe. Before launch of the scheme, the state Commissioner for Finance, had assured that the vehicles had been test-driven and were found to be convenient for town service taxi operation, since according to him, “they are rugged and fuel sufficient to the

extent that you can drive from Gombe to Bauchi which is over 150 kilometres on a gallon of petrol”. With the whole idea of the scheme aimed at reducing poverty and increasing and boosting agriculture, the 200 tractors which would have been purchased in the country for more than N7million each, were however, directly imported from Pakistan at a lower cost and will sell to farmers at a subsidised rate of N4. million each. Also, under the Gombe Leasing Company Limited, this is putting in place a platform for establishing operational lease for the tractors in order to make them affordable to those interested in procuring them. According to theCommissioner of Finance , this will form the bedrock for the provision of operating lease for tractors aimed at safeguarding the asset and achieving cost recovery to enable the government use the recycled funds to procure more farm equipment for more beneficiaries. On the whole, stressing its sincerity and willingness to really move the economy of the state forward and also exhibit its responsibility to the people, Governor Dankwambo said, “ the “Talba Empowerment Scheme” was is developed to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people. It is therefore truly theirs and should be supported with all means at their disposal. “I urge all beneficiaries to strive to fulfill their obligations under the scheme. The empowerment programme is ready to assist you source the initial deposit required by the scheme. You should therefore take advantage of this arrangement and participate in the “Talba Empowerment Scheme” for our collective benefit.” It will be recalled that Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe state is rooting to become the champion of youth empowerment, by moving towards eradicating poverty and providing job opportunities to youths, who have been abandoned before now. It could be recalled that in 2011, Dankwambo made empowerment foremost priority in order to eradicate the menace of poverty and unemployment in the state.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Features

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

55

Ikarama: A riverine community facing oil spill hazards Ikarama, a community in Bayelsa State has for long been battling the incessant incidents of oil spills due to acts of sabotage. EMMA GBEMUDU writes that the government and concerned stakeholders are now exploring ways of tackling the problem, including offering employment to the youths.

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his is not the best of times for the inhabitants of Ikarama, a community within Okordia clan in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The enormous amount of oil spills in the community in recent times is raising concern among the inhabitants, government, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and other stakeholders. Offenders who vandalise these pipelines are not prosecuted by law enforcement agencies. They are only arrested and granted bail later. Concerned indigenes said the kid gloves treatment extended these economic saboteurs must be discouraged forth with .They insist that the vandals should be made to face wrath of the law to serve as deterrent to others. The oil bearing community is only 45 minutes drive by road from the state capital,Yenagoa. The major occupation are farming, fishing and logging. Investigations by National Mirror revealed that government presence at Ikarama and other eight neighbouring communities in OkordiaZarama clan is a sad commentary. The people are neglected in terms of infrastructural development in spite of their contribution to the nation’s economy. The indigenes in both clans however, heaved a sigh of relief when Shell Petroleum Development Company commenced the implementation of its Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) in the area. The multinational has been exploring the black gold for more than 50 years in Okordia-Zarama. At present, Ikarama is battling the numerous oil spills spewing in the area.It was learnt that 90 per cent of the spills was as a result of sabotage caused by youths in the community. Investigations also revealed that surveillance workers protecting the pipelines and other facilities are behind the sabotage. A community source, said the sabotage was due to nonpayment of allowances owed the surveillance guards by the contractors, even as they have collected same from SPDC. Ikarama is said to be an area with the highest number of oil spills in the state and this is not going down well with the authorities. There are calls for a change of the surveillance contractors, as it is being alleged that they have over stayed the specified period and needed to be relieved of their jobs for non-performance. Management of SPDC said a total number of 21 spills have occurred in the area between 2009 till date. Incidentally, 17 of those spills were acts of sabotage due to the bursting of the company’s pipelines and manifold in the area, while four were caused by equipment failure that occurred at pre-

People fetching water from polluted pond

AT PRESENT,

IKARAMA IS BATTLING THE NUMEROUS OIL SPILLS SPEWING IN THE AREA.IT WAS

LEARNT THAT

90 PER

CENT OF THE SPILLS WAS AS A RESULT OF SABOTAGE CAUSED BY YOUTHS IN THE COMMUNITY.

Polluted creek in the area

viously clamped sabotage points, already weakened by repeated cuts. Spokesman of SPDC,in Port Harcourt, Joseph Obari said the oil spill response and remediation team of currently in Ikarama cleaning up a spill that occurred in January 2014, and remediation of the 2013 spill sites. He said these spill sites could not be remediated owing to last year’s flood in the area. The official said some portions of the spill sites where remediation were completed have now been polluted by another act of sabotage in November 2013. According to Obari , on January 27, this year there was act of sabotage on the Ikarama Manifold (JIV Report No 1109543), resulting in the spill of 302 barrels of crude oil onto SPDC Right-of-Way(ROW) and beyond. Some 0.74 hectare of the environment was impacted by the spill,even as all spilled oil was recovered by SPDC Officials. He said:”Oil recovery activity involves collection of spilled oil in tanks for evacuation by vacuum trucks. The recovered oil is taken to the nearest flow station for processing. That was the process that has been misinterpreted by an online medium in its

report that SPDC is resorting to using tankers to transport crude oil because of poor pipeline integrity.” “This appears to be a deliberate attempt to present accounts of the cleanup activities of November 2013 as a recent incident. About 98 barrels of the estimated 101 barrels of crude oil spilled in that incident were recovered.” “Some time in September 2013, there was a spill as a result of sabotage .We have to come here to do the recovery .We are now conducting a remediation of the site. As at last year when the spill occurred, we could not complete it because the site was flooded. Part of it is still flooded. We had to come here to the clamping where the leak point is. We started the recovery to make sure the impact of the spill does not affect the environment. Because of the flood, we were unable to do conduct the actual remediation. This is the best time we think we can conclude the work we commenced last year,” Obari said He said the extent of damage was not really much because when it occurred there was still water on the ground. “What you are seeing now is more or less

superficial. We quickly came and intervened and tried to recover the much so that it will have minimal impact on the environment.” The SPDC official appealed to government to assist in employing community youths to reduce the incidents of spills in the localities. “A couple of times we have seen a lot of sabotage cases in the cause of work. People claim that unemployment is responsible for the acts of sabotage. If they are offered employment the incessant incidents of sabotage will be reduced”. Obari called on the government to prosecute those arrested over pipeline vandalism to serve as a deterrent to others ,adding that SPDC was handicapped in prosecuting them. In an interview, the chairman of Okordia-Zarama cluster development board, Mr.Timi Obonah told National Mirror that the incident of oil spills at Ikarama is appalling given the adverse effect on the community. Obonah disclosed that since the emergence of the board it had fought spiritedly to ensure that spills are brought to a minimum.


WORLD RECORD

Highest capacity commercial fiber optic link (single pair) Vol. 04 No. 795

N150

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The highest capacity fibre optic cable providing a commercial service has a capacity of 8 Tbit/s, and is operated by Türk Telekomünikasyon A. between the cities of Istanbul and Ankara. The capacity was verified on 11 June 2013.

The ethical underpinning of political defection

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refer to a publication in the 13th of February, 2014 edition of your widely read newspaper, National Mirror titled ‘Of Politicians, Survivalism and Sagacity’, written by one of your regular columnists, Professor F.N. Ndubuisi, an existentialist and a sagacious ‘jurisprud’ with sympathy for the natural law school. In the said article, he attempted to bring back morality into the politics of Nigeria, which to me is analogous to squeezing water out of stone. In totality, I agreed with him that there are ethical issues involved in politicians’ exercise of the right to belong to political parties and the right to defect when necessary. According to him the central ethical issue is the justification for belonging and

B

rooklyn Nets’ Jason Collins has become the first openly gay man to appear in any of the four major professional American sports leagues when he played for his team in the NBA on Sunday. Collins revealed he is gay last April, and after signing a shortterm contract with the Nets, made

Guest

Geoffrey

Anyanwu

Columnist defecting to parties, and it is morally justified if it is motivated by reason to serve the people than the self and immoral if otherwise. As he can agree with me that ethical justification of actions and moral principles vary from one ethical school of thought to another but as Nigerians, we have accepted that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) is our standard for moral conducts. The Constitution provides justifications for political office holders to defect to other parties (see S.68 (1g) & S.109 (1g)), but does not have explicit justification for non political office holders’ defection. It is presumed that their right to defect is captured by S.40 which is premised on the right of free assembly and association. So if one’s defection is in accordance with the Constitution, we can validly conclude that he is motivated by ‘principles and propelled by higher urge to serve, his people’. This is the only ethical basis accepted by our Professor as sufficiently necessary to justify defection. Since Atiku Abubakar, Attahiru Bafarawa and Ibrahim Shekarau are not political office holders for now, their defections are supported by the Constitution and are thus morally justified. Despite various reasons given by defectors, a critical study of the history of defections in Nigeria has shown

DEMOCRACY IS ONE OF THE BEST INVENTIONS OF

HUMANITY, AND IT MATURES AND IS SUSTAINED BY TRIAL AND ERROR that people defect to other parties based on one or a combination of these reasons: policy disagreement, politics of godfathers, tribal or regional sentiments, personal conflicts, lack of party’s internal democracy, constitutional loopholes and lack of party ideology or incompatibility of ideologies. Democracy is one of the best inventions of humanity, and it matures and is sustained by trial and error. The worst democracy is better than the best military regime. Democracy cannot be democracy in the absence of veritable opposition. The stronger the opposition, the higher the democratic dividends available for the poor and indigent citizens. So Nigerians should welcome with funfare the birth of a very strong opposition party like All Progressives Congress (APC). Since its emergence, the ruling PDP has been

jittery and wary of its actions, because it is clear to them that a party with the wherewithal is around the corner, ready to pull political power off their feet. Now, PDP is publicly apologizing and begging the defectors to come back, inaugurated housing estate for the masses, visits perceived communal democratic fulcrums for support, embarks on serial cabinet shake up to accommodate certain interests, especially the removal of those in the bad book of the public opinion, removed the PDP Chairman etc. Before now, the PDP-led Federal Government had been ruling us with impunity and had failed to provide any form of leadership for Nigerians. That is evident in the statement of former PDP National Chairman, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, who boasted that PDP must rule Nigeria for 50 years, and the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s oft-quoted slogans of “No shaking” and “Who born monkey?”. We know clearly now that PDP and its members are visibly shaking. We came to this beautiful higher ground of moral politicking by trial and error and not by design. If there is design, it is the instituting of democratic system of government in Nigeria. It could be why Mahatma Gandhi says that the spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing to be aadjusted by abolition of forms. It requires change of heart. And I am confident that through trial and error, which is engineered by change of heart, we would one day actualize in Nigeria Aristotelian conception of democracy as one in which the indigent and not the men of property, are the rulers. What we need now how what must be done for the survival and sustenance of our democracy. Anyanwu is a Security Consultant and can be reached through ganyanwu@unilag.edu.ng .

Sport Extra

Basketball: Nets’ Collins makes NBA history his debut against the Lakers in Los Angeles. He came onto the court with 10:28 left to a warm reception from the crowd, and although he did not score a point he helped the Nets and an 11-game losing run to the

Lakers. Collins finished with no points, two rebounds, one steal and five fouls in 11 minutes as Brooklyn won 108-102. On his reception he said: “For me, the pressure is playing in an

NBA game tonight and last time I played in an NBA game was last April. “The most important thing is the team won. I don’t care about scoring. I care about my team winning.”

Collins

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