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Boko Haram: 950 inmates die in prisons –Amnesty PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

Ihejirika

Vol. 3 N0. 701

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s the fight against insurgency in the country continues, the Amnesty International

has decried the increasing number of inmates dying in Nigerian prisons. The global human rights watch group said yesterday that nearly 1,000 prisoners, comprising mostly of

Nation’s structural reforms not deep enough –Sanusi P.46

members of the suspected Islamist Boko Haram sect, died in Nigerian jails in the first half of 2013. Amnesty said some of the 950 victims were CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Why we’re committed P to confab –Jonathan

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ROTIMI FADEYI AND TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE

...says N’Assembly’ll deliberate on outcome

Bakare, Sagay, others urge Nigerians to seize dialogue opportunity

resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday justified the need for a national conference, insisting that Nigerians must discuss on the best direction to take as a nation in the face of current challenges. The President also told his critics that he needed not “carry cane to flog NiCONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

IN THE SPIRIT OF EID-EL KABIR

L-R: Bishop of Abuja Archdiocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan; President Goodluck Jonathan; Vice-President Namadi Sambo and Acting Chief Imam of Abuja, National Mosque, Sheik Ibrahim Makari, during Eid-El-Kabir homage to the President in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE

TEMPORARY TRUCE: Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako (left) and the National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration in Yola, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Alleged N270m scam: EFCC bars NTDC DG, others from travelling abroad P.15

Experts raise fresh alarm on aviation sector

Deportation:

P.2

...say NCAA does not have experienced personnel Sultan asks govt, striking workers to embrace dialogue P.7

Fashola

Victims slam Lagos AG, police with N1bn suitP.11


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News

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Experts raise fresh alarm on aviation sector

OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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nappropriate policies, huge debt portfolios, insufficient funds to expand operations, shortage of qualified manpower have been identified as major challenges facing the aviation sector in the country. The challenges, which also include inadequate training for staff and lack of good corporate management policy in the airlines, could lead to the collapse of the sector if the Federal Government through the Ministry of Aviation did not adhere strictly to the international best practices standard as recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO. Speaking on the challenges in the industry, a member of the National Association of Aircraft Engineers and Pilots, NAAPE, Engr. Sheri Kyari, warned that if the challenges facing the airlines were not addressed, the indigenous airlines might collapse very soon.

Kyari in an exclusive interview with National Mirror itemised the challenges facing the airlines to include skyrocketing price of aviation fuel, lack of training for their technical personnel, inability to pay salaries promptly and failure of the airlines to assess loans for their operations from the various financial institutions in the country. Besides, he noted that absence of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul, MRO, facilities is a huge contribution to the ineffectiveness of the airlines as they carry out maintenance abroad and in foreign currency. He also noted that the industry regulator, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, did not have adequate and experienced personnel to monitor the activities of the airlines, maintaining that for them to carry out their regulatory work as expected, their personnel required up to date training and re-training. To combat the menace, Kyari advocated for reduction on taxes, charges and fuel cost so that they can

train their workforce and pay salaries as at when due. He said: “You look at salaries; a few airlines owe salaries and destabilising the consciousness of their workers to pay serious attention to their duties because a lot of them would be thinking of where to go tomorrow where they can easily get salaries. That is why we have a whole lot of movements among pilots

and engineers from one airline to the other. “You also have NCAA, which is to be the regulator not adequately staffed in the area of qualified inspectors with lots of experience on the field before joining the agency. Those are the people who can do their job very well. “We are not saying the people who are in the NCAA today are not educated, they

are qualified in their own area of studies, but we are talking of aircraft inspection, which is being able to inspect what you have done over the years and that is why when you have an experienced person, immediately he goes into a facility, he knows what he’s looking for because he would have gone through areas of weaknesses, areas of strengths in service.

“We are also looking at maintenance, which is another major area of expenditure. The airlines are operating in Nigeria, earning naira, when it is time for C or D Checks, dollars become their language and if dollars become a language, how much of a dollar do they have that they are going to spend? “The other day, I was CONTINUED ON PAGE 54>>

L-R: Wife of the Ogun State governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun; former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Governor Ibikunle Amosun during the Eid-el-Kabir visit to the governor’s family in Abeokuta yesterday.

Why we’re committed to confab –Jonathan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

gerians to show that we are determined” on the confab. He stated that his government came up with the initiative of a national dialogue to ensure that discussion about the future of the country must have a direction. President Jonathan said this in Abuja when VicePresident Namadi Sambo led Muslim faithful in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to his residence on Sallah homage. His words: “When you listen to radio and read in the papers and you see sometimes even our elders that are supposed to give us leadership quarrelling over nothing, sometimes even insulting themselves and even making provocative statements that will sometimes instigate one group against the other. “We decided that we cannot continue that way; the talking must have a direction. What has been happening on the pages of the newspapers are discussions that have no direction. “We want a country that

will have a direction, so the discussions must have a direction, the discussion must lead Nigeria to where we want to be, not a divided Nigeria, not a Nigeria that is sown on hate, not a Nigeria that will be based on acrimony, ethnicity and tribal sentiments in the way we conduct ourselves,” Jonathan said. The President, however, lamented that in spite of the good intention of his administration to conduct the national conference to discuss how the country would move forward; there was still opposition to the initiative. He noted that “some people are still instigating others that the president is doing this, the government does not have the capacity to do that. We are totally committed to do what is right. We don’t need to carry cane to flog Nigerians to show that we are determined.” The President assured that the recommendations of the planned national conference would be passed to the National Assembly

for deliberation, ratification and possible inclusion in the process of amendment of the constitution. He explained that the national conference was critical and coming at the right time when the National Assembly was thinking of amending the constitution for the benefit of the country. Jonathan, however, assured “that government is totally committed to doing what is right.” The President further reassured that his administration would implement the reports of previous committees set up by government on national dialogue. He said some of the reports had already been submitted to the National Assembly for further considerations. His words: “Even the Justice Uwais’s committee that was set up, that report was passed on to the National Assembly in 2010. We brought (Justice Alfa) Belgore and others and I said in 2005, Nigerians discussed some things; why

don’t we begin to implement some of them. “So, we need to come up with some bills in those areas we have agreed and we will push them to the National Assembly. “Of course, some of those bills have not come out from the National Assembly, but we believe that even in the constitution amendment that is going on, some will be useful.” Jonathan maintained that Nigerians must impress it on members of the national and state assemblies to work together to ensure that the result of the national conference were properly enshrined in the constitution in order to hand over a better nation to posterity. He thanked God that in spite of the challenges facing the country, the Muslims were able to celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir. He urged Nigerians to inculcate in their children the virtues that would encourage unity in the country to ensure that the coming generations lived in peace. “We must build a Nige-

ria that wherever you go, you call the next person your own brother or sister. A Nigeria that our young children who will become adult will say that I am proud to be a Nigerian, not a Nigeria that people will kill them probably because they don’t recognise them. “The killing has been going on in some parts of the country; it has nothing to do with religion and ethnicity. That is why I asked those who killed those 50 students if they even bothered about their religion or ethnicity? “It has nothing to do with religion, it has nothing to do with ethnicity, it is because the world generally is experiencing terrorism.” Earlier, Sambo had commended the efforts of the President in ensuring political stability in the country, particularly in the conduct of elections. According to him, the national conference initiated by the President was also commendable, saying it would promote peace and the unity of the country. Sambo noted that the

transformation agenda of the Jonathan-led administration was yielding positive results, bringing about a better country. The Vice-President and the Minister of the FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide, later presented Sallah card to the President. Present at the Sallah homage were the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim; the former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ahmadu Ali; the Inspector- General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar and the National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Metropolitan Head of Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, John Cardinal Onayeikan. Meanwhile, the Convener of Save Nigeria Group, SNG, Pastor Tunde Bakare; constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) and the President of Campaign for Democracy, CD, and Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin have thrown their weight behind the move for a national conference as CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Photo News

Wednesday October 16, 2013

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EID-EL-KABIR CELEBRATION

L-R: Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu; Former Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar; Emir of Minna, Alhaji Umar Faruk Bahago, and Former President, Gen Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida at the Raka’at prayer to mark this year’s Eid-El Kabir in Minna yesterday.

L-R: Emir of Dass, Alhaji Usman Bilyaminu; Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda and Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Ladan, observing the Eid-el-Kabir prayer at Dass Local Government Area of Bauchi State, yesterday.

L-R: Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon. Rasaq Atunwa; Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed; Emir of Ilorin, Dr Ibrahim Sulu Gambari; Kwara State Deputy Governor Peter Kisra and Nigerian Ambassador to Netherlands, Dr, Nimota Akanbi, during Sallah homage to the Emir’s Palace, Ilorin yesterday.

Fun at all cost: fun seekers loitering around the barricaded area of Kuramo beach to behold nature in celebration of Eid-el-Kabir in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

L-R: Former Lagos State Governor/National Leader, All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu ; Governor Babatunde Fashola SAN; Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu 1; Bashorun of Lagos, Alhaji Sikiru Alabi-Macfoy and Prince Alaba Oniru during the Eid-El-kabir Prayers in Lagos, yesterday.

Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (right) and the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Arisekola Alao at the Eid prayer in Ibadan yesterday.

Muslims praying during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

Cross section of Muslim faithful praying in Ibadan to mark Sallah yesterday.

PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Former Kaduna State Governor, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi; Governor Mukhtar Yero; Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Hamza Damahawayi and Chief of Staff, Alhaji Aminu Yahaya, praying during the Eid-El-Kabir celebration in Kaduna, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN


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Photo News

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Director-General, Rivers State Tourism Development Agency, Mr. Sam Dede (left), with media executives after a meeting on the 2013 Rivers Carnival in Port Harcourt, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Chairman, Nigeria National Polio Plus Committee, Dr. Tunji Funsho and star actress, Funke Akindele (aka Jenifa) at the unveiling of Akindele as Rotary Polio Eradication Ambassador in commemoration of World Polio Day in Lagos, on Monday.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Winner of the Coca-Cola Company Economics & Business Award, Tolu Ogunlesi and President, Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, Dr. Susan Mboya, at the 2013 CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Award in Cape Town, South Africa, at the weekend.

L-R: Chief Operating Officer, Fortis Microfinance Bank Plc, Jero A. Omare-Ogah; Group Head, SME, Heritage Banking Company Limited, Bayo Ogunnusi; Head, Propositions, Diamond Bank Plc, Chima Nnadozie and Director, EDC, Nneka Okekearu, at the seventh Annual SME Conference of the PanAtlantic University Enterprise Development Centre, in Lagos, recently.

National News

Subscribers spend N740.5bn on calls –Investigation KUNLE A ZEEZ

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igeria’s mobile telephone subscribers have spent an estimated N740.5 billion on phone calls in the first seven months of this year, according to National Mirror investigation. The expenditure is based on an Average Revenue Per User, ARPU, figure of N900 for the Nigerian telecoms industry and the official active subscriber base per each month as released by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC. The ARPU is a financial performance benchmark in the telecoms industry that measures the average monthly revenue generated by operators from each customer. According to investigation, with industry’s ARPU of N900, telecoms

subscribers spend an estimated of over N100 billion each month from January through July. The NCC official data showed that the number of active Global System of Mobile communication, Code Division Multiple Access and fixed lines was 114.4 million in January; and with an ARPU of N900 per month, the subscribers must have spent an average of N102.9 billion on calls in January alone. In February, March and April, when active telephone subscriptions increased to 116.6 million, 117.2 million and 119.3 million, the total money spent by telephone users moved up to N104.9 billion, N105.4 billion and N107.3 billion, respectively. Findings also revealed that the expenditure increased to N108.6 billion in May when total active telephone subscriptions

increased to 120.7 million; but declined slightly to N108.2 billion in June with active phone subscriptions standing at 120.3 million while at the end of July, the figure fell significantly to N103.2 billion as networks recorded sharp decline in active mobile subscriptions to 114.7 million. Subscribers’ expenditure adds up to estimated N740.5 billion for the seven months. Reacting to the subscribers’ increasing expenditure on telephone services, President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, NATCOMS, Mr. Deolu Ogunbanjo, said telecoms services were taking priority position in the daily needs of Nigerians. He said: “While I may not be able to tell you categorically how much we spend monthly on phone calls as subscribers, it is understandable that Ni-

gerians spend a sizeable chunk of their incomes on telecoms services, which are replacing travel expenditures for the people.” Ogunbanjo said next to shelter, food and other needs of man “is the need to communicate which saves us a lot of time that would have been wasted travelling from one place to another to see relatives or do transactions with business associates”. The NATCOMS president added that the huge amount of money expended daily on telephone services by Nigerians had informed the insistence by the association that subscribers must get value for their money. He said: “We have recently asked the operators to provide N5,000 worth of free airtime to each subscriber on their networks as compensation for the poor services they were offering subscrib-

ers in recent past, a development that operators and the regulators have shunned.” Ogunbanjo, however, said NATCOMS had instituted a legal action in court to ensure that operators comply with the demand by the subscribers which suffered the adverse effects of the poor services they were offering their consumers. In the writ of summons with suit number: FHC/L/CS/1411/13 dated October 10, 2013 and filed by NATCOMS with NCC as defendant. Joining as co-defendants in the suit are the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, MTN, Globacom, Airtel Nigeria and Etisalat. It was gathered that NCC failed to take any action regarding the rights group’s demand on airtime compensation for poor quality of service in

an earlier petition, which NATCOMS claimed it wrote to the commission and the operators requesting for compensation. This informed the need for the legal action to also press home NATCOMS’s demand. However, the ALTON National Chairman, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, said operators’ desire was to always provide quality of service to their teeming subscribers in the country. He said: “Occasional services issues are associated to a number of operating and regulatory albatross which require the intervention of all stakeholders to solve for the operators. “When service goes bad, operators also lose money. It, therefore, means that no rightthinking operator would want its network to have service issue with its subscribers.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Boko Haram: 950 inmates die in prisons –Amnesty CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

suspected to have been executed but many died because of the harsh, overcrowded conditions of the jails. “Some starved to death. Others died after being shot or badly beaten then getting no medical attention. “The evidence we’ve gathered suggests that

hundreds of people died in military custody in 2013 alone. This is a staggeringly high figure that requires urgent action by the Nigerian government. “The details of what happens behind locked doors in these shadowy detention facilities must be exposed, and those responsible for any human

rights violations brought to book,” Lucy Freeman, Amnesty International’s deputy Africa director, said in a statement. Freeman stated that: “A large proportion of these deaths are reported to have happened in Giwa military barracks, Maiduguri in Borno State and Sector Alpha, commonly referred

to as ‘Guantanamo’ and Presidential Lodge (known as ‘Guardroom’) in Damaturu, Yobe State. “According to former detainees interviewed by Amnesty International, people died on an almost daily basis in both Giwa and Sector Alpha from suffocation or other injuries due to overcrowding,

L-R: Chairman, Board of Trustees, Centre for Change, Pastor Tunde Bakare; guest speaker, Prof. Pius Adeyemi of Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada; President, Centre for Change, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin and Prof. Itse Sagay, during CFC’s maiden lecture tagged: “Boda Naigeria, Bros Naija and Soul Things” in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

Why we’re committed to confab –Jonathan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

proposed by the President. Speaking at the Centre for Change maiden lecture in Lagos yesterday, the trio also took a swipe at those kicking against the national conference and, therefore, urged Nigerians to seize the opportunity of the dialogue to rebuild and restructure the country. Bakare, who is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, BoT, of Centre for Change, noted that the rebuilding process of the nation must visit the foundation of the country and examine how Nigeria’s founding fathers sowed the seeds for the woes that have plagued the nation from the late pre-independence era till date. He, therefore, urged Nigerians to seize the opportunity to reason together and engage in sincere talk. “The founding fathers of our country laid the foundation of the Nigerian state. Through agitations, conflicts, dialogues, negotiations and concessions, these statesmen designed the structural, constitutional, institutional and governmental blueprint that became the foundation upon which the nation was built. “Through visionary and selfless leadership, astute

organisation and peopledriven service that produced competitive regional development, the founding fathers became the pillars upon which the nation rested. But 53 years later, these frameworks are nothing but rubble. “Right from the days of our founding fathers, the gangrene of corruption began to infest the polity and sectional interests tore the fabrics of nationhood. The pillars of democratic governance were demolished by the military and the cornerstone of our collective existence was shaken by forces of balkanisation. Years later, having tottered through decades of military subjugation and eventual civil rule, the nation still lies in dilapidation with security blown away by winds of violence, with poverty plaguing the land, and lives and property becoming prey to banditry, with justice cast a far off and integrity becoming a stranger in the land while impunity and corruption remain comfortably seated in high places. “Any rebuilding process must visit the very foundation. We must now get set to rebuild and restore; we must retrieve what is remaining of the pillars of our founding fathers and we must restructure and re-

construct; we must rebuild from wall to wall, from gate to gate; from community to community; from city to city; and from region to region until the whole nation is restored to its former and even greater glory. “That is why we must seize every given opportunity to reason together and sincerely talk. Above all we must walk the talk. Not to do so may be suicidal for our nation. God forbid!” In his address, Prof. Itse Sagay, the chairman of the occasion, said that national conference was necessary to address the political and structural problems in Nigeria. He, therefore, urged stakeholders and Nigerians to participate actively in the national conference so that people could have a Nigeria that had future. Sagay also derided those describing the national conference as diversionary, as unfocused people in the society, saying that the most important life-saver for the country and her posterity was the dialogue as proposed by President Jonathan. “The conference is the establishment for the future of this country. If you are going for any other thing like the 2015 elections, that is irrelevant when you

compare it to the future of the country as typified by the conference. Personally, I won’t mind sacrificing the 2015 election in order to have a successful National Conference that is more important. “My attitude is that we should ignore the supposed motive of the President who has set it up. We should all go with our motives and ensure that our motives are the ones implemented which is to have a new constitution which reflects a new federalism and bring it into being by referendum. Let us impact and bring our own agenda. Nigerians must participate actively, firmly and positively.” Okei-Odumakin, who is the Convener of the Centre for Change, said there should be no-go areas during the conference, noting that the decision of the conference must not be tinkered with without being subjected to public referendum. “The proposed National Conference by President Jonathan’s administration must not end the way other previous conferences was ended without any meaningful things coming out of the conference; thereby amounting to waste of time and resources,” the CD boss advised.

and starvation. Some suffered serious injuries due to severe beating and eventually died in detention due to lack of medical attention and treatment. “These interviews also revealed that in some cases detainees in these facilities may have been extra-judicially executed. Some described soldiers taking detainees from their cells threatening to shoot and kill them. In many cases, the detainees never returned. Others were reportedly shot in the leg during interrogation, provided no medical care and left to bleed to death. “Another senior officer in the Nigerian Army who spoke on condition of anonymity told Amnesty International: ‘Hundreds have been killed in detention either by shooting them or by suffocation…There are times when people are brought out on a daily basis and killed. About five people, on average, are killed nearly on a daily basis.’ “In April 2013 Amnesty International delegates counted 20 emaciated corpses lying on the ground in the compound of the State Specialist Hospital mortuary in Maiduguri. Eye witnesses said that the bodies had been deposited by the JTF. Several other sources told Amnesty International that the same mortuary received a daily delivery of bodies by the JTF. They reportedly remain there until the mortuary is full and are then taken away for burial by Borno State Environmental Protection Agency, BOSEPA. Information received by Amnesty International indicates that post-mortem examinations are not carried out at the mortuary or elsewhere. “International standards, as well as Nigerian laws, require that deaths in custody must be investigated thoroughly and impartially. Detainees have human rights and these must be respected in all instances. “In many parts of northern Nigeria hundreds of people accused of having links to Boko Haram have been arbitrarily detained by the JTF. Many have been detained incommunicado for lengthy periods without charge or trial, without

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being brought before any judicial authority, and without access to lawyers and families.” Military spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said the Army had not yet seen the report but would respond when it became available. The government’s habitual position is that detainees are well treated and rare cases of abuse dealt with. A four-year-old insurgency waged by the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, aiming to revive a medieval empire in the North-East, has killed thousands and brought a heavy military presence across the region. Residents of affected areas and human rights groups have accused the Nigerian military of carrying out summary executions of Boko Haram suspects and others - a charge it has always denies. Privately, security officials admit such abuses are more widespread but see them as a reaction to an enemy whose vicious guerrilla tactics create a climate of fear. Amnesty said that in April, delegates counted 20 emaciated corpses lying on the ground in the compound of a hospital. It showed grisly pictures of the corpses. In July, a Nigerian government rights watchdog said it had credible reports the country’s forces carried out extra-judicial killings, torture, rape and arbitrary detention in the North-East. That study was notable as it is rare for a government agency publish reports of abuses. President Goodluck Jonathan ordered a military offensive against the Islamist rebels in May, including air strikes on bases, which authorities say has driven fighters out of camps near the border with Chad, Niger and Cameroon. But it has so far failed to quell the insurgency, still seen as the main threat to Africa’s top oil producer, and which has become more targeted towards civilians. Rights groups say army abuses may be counterproductive because they stir anti-government rage that helps keep the insurgency going.


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News

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

EID-EL-KABIR CELEBRATION

IBB, Abdulsalami, Aliyu preach peace, stability PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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ormer military Heads of State, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State have called on Muslims to sustain peace and stability in Nigeria. Babangida, shortly after the two rakat prayers led by Chief Imam of Minna Central Mosque, Alhaji

Abu Fari, urged Muslims to live in peace with one another to keep with Islamic tenets. The former military leader also enjoined the people to be good neighbours to one another, irrespective of religious beliefs by collectively safeguarding the interest of their communities and the country at large. On his part, Abubakar asked Muslims to respect Islamic teachings and try

to be their brother’s keeper. He said: “It was time to pay respect to the tenet of Islam which calls for peace and I hope that each one of us will try to maintain peace and be our brother’s keeper.” Also, Aliyu said without peace and unity it would be difficult for the country to attain its goal of sustained socio-economic development in all areas of human endeavour. He said: “We need to

make sacrifice, positive contribution and unity. We need a united Nigerian in whatsoever circumstance that we can get it.” This year’s Eid-el-Kabir prayers were held at the Minna Central Mosque, rather than the usual Eid praying ground which was waterlogged due heavy down pour on Monday, thereby forcing the worshippers to use the Mosque.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigeria not yet a nation –Ahmed WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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wara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, yesterday called on Nigerians irrespective of their religious leanings to work towards a good nationhood. Speaking with journalists shortly after praying at the Ilorin Eid ground, the governor said Nigeria was yet to attain a true nation. Also speaking, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaj Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, allayed the fear that the much dreaded Boko Haram insurgency was spreading to more states in the North. The emir also expressed confidence that the insecurity and other challenges in Nigeria would not spread to

Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, as envisaged in some quarters. He, however, urged religious leaders and their followers to ensure peaceful co-existence in the state. Gambari also charged government at all levels to provide basic social amenities capable of transforming the lives of the masses. In his Eid sermon, the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Alhaji Mohammed Basir, reminded Muslims of their obligations ahead of death, saying there was no shortcut to beat death. He prayed for peace in the state and Nigeria as a whole calling on God, who is the only one that can make a man or a nation’s destiny fulfilled.

Katsina Emir seeks support for measles vaccination JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

T Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, acknowledging cheers during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration in Osogbo, yesterday.

Resolve Nigeria’s crises, group urges FG AFOLABI GAMBARI

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s Nigerians join the rest of the world to celebrate Ed-el-Kabir, the Muslim Association of Nigeria, MAN, has called on the Federal Government to resolve crises threatening to cripple the country. The MAN President, Alhaji Sulaiman Yusuf, who made the call in Lagos yesterday, said the peace needed by the country for prog-

ress could only be achieved in the absence of strife. He said: “Specifically, government should find lasting solution to the crisis in the academic world in order to restore credibility to the education sector. “There is a risk in our graduates being considered as half-baked as this could have adverse effect on the future of Nigeria. “Government should also speed up the process of calling off the strike by

university lecturers while long term solution should be sought and all parties abide by the resolution.” Yusuf also urged Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of brotherliness in the course of fostering genuine nationhood, while enjoining Boko Haram members to sheathe their swords in the country’s overall interest. He said: “We request that Boko Haram reach a ceasefire agreement with government with immedi-

Learn from Ibrahim’s obedience, Imam tells faithful MURITALA AYINLA

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he Lagos State Secretariat Mosque yesterday called on Nigerians to be tolerant and patient because many challenges would be overcome “if citizens obey God’s commandments in all their dealings”. The Imam of Lagos Secretariat Mosque, AbdulGafar Abdul Hakeem, said

after the Eid prayer at the mosque praying ground that Nigerians should learn from the lives of Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) families, adding that nobody would regret obeying God’s injunctions. He said: “When Almighty Allah tried Prophet Ibrahim with one of the most difficult things. When he told him to sacrifice his only son, as

difficult as it was, he attempted obeying God’s commandment. The son too did not resist, he accepted his father’s plan for God’s sake but on the long run, Allah rewarded them all. “So, whatever we are going through, let us just obey Him, He would surely pave way for us in the end.” On his part, the first Vice-Chairman of the

ate effect in the interest of sustainable security of lives and property.” The MAN president also asked the government to immediately revamp the aviation sector. He said: “It is time for the government to show more than a fleeting interest in the aviation sector, in view of the many lives that have lost in recent times. “Air crashes cannot be eliminated but they can be minimised considerably.”

mosque, Dr. Tajudeen Afolabi, urged Muslims across the world to emulate the life style of Prophet Ibrahim and his son in order to live a fulfilled life. He urged leaders to be righteous while followers must obey their leaders. Afolabi advised Muslims to share their rams with the needy and the downtrodden around them, saying God loves a cheerful giver.

he Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir, yesterday called for more support from stakeholders for effective administration of ongoing immunisation exercise against measles across the 34 area councils in Katsina State. Kabir, who said this as part of his Sallah message to Muslim faithful, said such support was necessary to save children in every nook and cranny. He said: “This is the period in which children be-

come affected by measles. But we all should do everything possible to save and protect them from being affected by the disease.” The traditional ruler, therefore, called on district, village and ward heads to intensify awareness exercise to their people to support ongoing vaccination exercise. The emir, who also urged people to continue to pray for peace, progress and harmony in the state and country, urged Muslims to remember the plight of the less privileged among them.

Pray for peace, Gaidam urges Muslims INUSA NDAHI DAMATURU

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overnor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State has called on Muslims to use the period of the Eid-el-Kabir to pray for the restoration of peace and tranquillity in the country, particularly the states bedevilled by Boko Haram insurgency in the last four years. Yobe has passed through a difficult period as a result of security challenges which led to the loss of innocent lives and destruction of property worth millions of naira. “The unfortunate attacks on schools and the recent outrageous incident at the College of Agriculture, Gujba, would forever remain a source of sorrow in our collective memory.

“We pray to Almighty Allah to give the families of the bereaved the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss and the murdered innocent souls everlasting peace in the thereafter,” Gaidam said. This is contained in the governor’s Sallah message from the office of his Special Adviser on Press Affairs, Alhaji Abdullahi Bego, which was made available to journalists in Damaturu yesterday. Gaidam said Muslim brothers and sisters the world over celebrated Eidel-Kabir to commemorate and emulate that singular act of complete submission to Allah as demonstrated by Prophet Ibrahim who was instructed to offer his beloved son, Ismail, as a sacrifice to the Almighty Allah.


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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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CONDOLENCE VISIT TO LATE DR OLUSEGUN AGAGU’S FAMILY EID-EL-KABRIL CELEBRATION

Okorocha seeks prayer for Nigeria’s peaceful existence

Jos Chief Imam urges leaders to fear God

CHRIS NJOKU

JAMES ABRAHAM

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mo State Governor Rochas Okorocha yesterday urged the Muslim community in the state to pray for the peace and unity of the country. Okorocha, who received members of the Muslim Council of Imo State of Nigeria at Sam Mbakwe Expanded Executive Chambers at the Government House in Owerri, congratulated the Muslim community on the successful celebration of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir. Calling on the Muslims to reflect on the challenges facing the country at the moment, especially in the areas of security, economy and politics, the governor urged them to work harmoniously with their Christian brothers for united, peaceful and progressive Nigeria. He urged Nigerians to embrace peaceful co-existence irrespective of their ethnic divide. Okorocha also called for the remembrance of those killed during the recent crisis in the country. The governor said: “Let us not forget our brothers and sisters who paid the ultimate prize in various challenges facing the Nation. May we pray for the repose of their soul.” Earlier, the Muslim community commended Governor Okorocha for his exemplary leadership, which it has created interreligious harmony in the state. The Secretary General of the Muslim body, Jibril Nwangwasim, described Islam as a religion of peace as he called on Muslims to always shun violence.

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Cross section of woman at prayer ground in Abuja, yesterday.

PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Sultan asks govt, striking workers to embrace dialogue T he Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday urged striking workers to call off their strikes and go back to the negotiating table. Abubakar made the call as part of his Eid-el-Kabir message to Muslims. He said: “We wish to use this opportunity to call on all those on strike, especially university aca-

demic and non-academic staff to call off their strikes so as to reduce the sufferings of the people. And they should go back to the negotiating table in order to bring an end to the crisis. “This is a problem in the development of the country. We urge the government to listen to the complaints of the workers with the intention of solv-

ing them. “The workers on their part should always be mindful of the suffering of the teeming populace in the country.” Abubakar noted that the strike by the university lecturers is now in its fourth month and had caused many hardships to students and their parents. “The strike by medi-

cal workers, on its part, has caused loss of many lives and untold hardship to the sick who cannot afford going to private clinics,” the Sultan added. He, however, expressed concern over the insecurity ravaging the country, saying: “It is a matter of great concern.” The Sultan appealed to all Muslims to live peacefully and shun violence.

Fashola, Tinubu push for united Nigeria MURITALA AYINLA

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s Nigerians joined the rest of the world yesterday to celebrate the Eid-eil-Kabir festival, former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and his successor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, urged Nigerians to pray for the country’s unity. Addressing journalists after observing their tworakat prayer, they said if Nigerians pray for the country’s unity, all the dreams of the founding fathers would

be realised. Tinubu said: “What we should ask from God at this time for Nigeria is for the country to be united and exist in one body and soul. Not to see difference between religion and faith. The country wasn’t created on that. “Our Independent is not based upon division, but on tolerance, co-existence, understanding, secularity of Nigeria. This is extremely important. It will help us make progress, that is all we must pray for. Nigerians must pray to eliminate any divisiveness. We must com-

pletely neutralise it.” The former governor said God did not call for war against one another or the spilling of bloods of innocent citizens, saying: “All God wants us to do is to co-exist and worship Him.” Earlier, Fashola said that Nigerians needed to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice for the sake of humanity. He said: “We need to embrace the spirit of sacrifice so that the Nigeria we dream of is within our reach; the Nigeria where citizens are their re brother’s keeper,

where citizens are hopeful day after day and where all promises will materialise.” In his own Sallah message, the Vice-Chairman of Senate Committee on Housing, Lands and Urban Development, Senator Gbenga Ashafa called on Muslims to use the season of Eid-elKabir celebration as another opportunity to reflect on their spiritual lives, pray for themselves, others and the country at large. Hundreds of Muslims, however, defied the early morning downpour to attend the Eid prayer.

Amosun makes case for teaching of religious studies in school FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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overnor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State yesterday advocated rejuvenation of robust religious teaching in public schools as part of the measures to checkmate moral decadence among Nigerian youths. Amosun spoke shortly after observing the Eid prayer at the Lantoro

Muslim praying ground in Abeokuta, the state capital. The governor, who lamented the dearth of quality religious teaching in public schools, said the decaying morality and human virtues had accounted for the insecurity, misgivings and other social challenges confronting the country. Ha stressed that the immorality had worsened insecurity and sparked off

strings of attacks in some parts of the country With particular mentioning of Islamic studies in the school curriculum, Amosun said inadequate and wrong teaching of religious studies in both elementary and high schools as it was in the past were responsible for the worsening security and other mirage of challenges confronting the country. The governor, however,

claimed that his administration had begun recruiting Islamic teachers in public schools as part of efforts to restore morality in youths as well as the bring back the peace which had eroded Nigerian communities. He said his administration could no longer tolerate lack of morals among youths in public schools. Amosun said: “We have employed more religious

teachers to improve on the teaching of the Christian and Islamic studies. We have to start from the schools.” While congratulating the Muslim Ummah all over the country on Eidel-Kabir, the governor urged them to reflect on the teachings of Eid, which centres on sacrifice and fulfillment of promises in their dealings with fellow human being.

he Chief Imam of Jos, Sheikh Balarabe Dawud, has urged Nigeria’s leaders to always fear God while discharging their responsibilities. Sheikh Dawud spoke yesterday while delivering sermons soon after he led a crowd of worshippers to observe the raka’at prayer in celebration of the Sallah in Jos. According to the Imam, government at all levels must discharge their duties with justice and utmost fear of Allah He described the hardship and the insecurity rocking the country as worrisome. Dawud reminded Muslims of the significance of Eid-el-Kabir celebration, which he described as “a special day, a day full of Allah’s blessings in which people offer lawful animals for sacrifice in emulation of Prophet Ibrahim.” He called on Muslim youths to shun idleness, saying each of them should find one lawful business or the other for them to be selfreliant National Mirror noted that the raka’t prayer was performed peaceful and amid tight security.

Akpabio congratulates Muslims

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kwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio has congratulated Muslims across the country on the successful celebration of the Eidel-Kabir festival. He urged all Muslims to embrace tolerance and love their fellow human beings. Akpabio, however, urged other Nigerians to join their Muslim brothers to pray for the peace of the country and the success President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

Akpabio


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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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Nigeria spends N250bn on medical tourism annually • Centenary Committee targets N8bn for medical facilities OBIORA IFOH, ABUJA.

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he Organising Committee of the Nigerian Centenary Charity Ball yesterday put the estimation of capital flight for medical tourism at N250 billion, this was as the committee planned to use the

centenary celebration to generate about N8 billion for medical facilities in the country. Secretary of the Organising Committee, Dr. Kingsley Esegbue, who briefed journalists on behalf of the committee in Abuja said; “It is estimated that Nigeria spends N250 billion an-

nually on foreign medical care.” According to him, the capital flight was unnecessary for a developing country like Nigeria. He explained that the medical problems that cause these medical flights could be handled in Nigeria if the facilities were here.

He said: “Sealing a hole in a child’s heart need not cripple the parents financially or take place in India; replacing a damaged kidney should and can be done within our borders. “Every breast, cervical or prostate cancer patient should have access to quality care within Nigeria.

L-R: Vice-President Namadi Sambo; President Goodluck Jonathan and FCT Minister of State, Olajumoke Akinjide, at the Muslims Sallah homage to the President at the State House, Abuja, yesterday. PHOTOSTATE HOUSE

UDEME AKPAN

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ontrary to the provisions of the nation’s Freedom of Information Act (FoI), many public institutions have defaulted in the provision of timely information to the public. Determined to ensure easy access to information, the 2011 Act stated among others, that; “Notwithstanding anything contained in any other Act, law or regulation, the right of any person to access or request information, whether or not contained in any written form, which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution however described, is established. But an authoritative research conducted last month to ascertain the level of compliance showed that while many institutions did not respond to request, others delayed more than necessary in responding to request for information which the Act seeks to place in the public domain. The Public and Pri-

“Our neurosurgery units need to serve the Nigerian people; no woman should have her bladder torn giving birth and for victims of cruel acid attacks, re-constructive surgery should be possible within our borders. “Nigeria is blessed with skilled healthcare professionals. What i required is the infrastructure/technology and perhaps the will. “Certainly, this is what the Nigerian Centenary Charity Ball hopes to achieve by equipping already existing national referral centers for heart and kidney diseases, neurosurgery, cancer care and management. “This initiative intends to galvanise all Nigerians, including Nigerians in the Diaspora for a common good as our collective gift to Nigeria on this anniversary. “We will like to emphasise that in organising the Nigerian Charity Ball, we have chosen to be politically blind, because what is at stake is our health as a people.” Asked how much the

Federal ministries, agencies rated low on FoI vate Development Centre (PPDC) that conducted the research ranked transparency across15 public institutions in Nigeria according to their responsiveness to requests for procurement information. The PPDC stated in its report made available to National Mirror that; “With one representing the most transparent and 15 the least transparent, the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC); the Nigerian Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the National Automotive Council (NAC) were ranked as most transparent.” It stated also that; “The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); the Federal Ministry of Education and the Federal Ministry of Health were ranked as the least transparent as they did not provide any response whatsoever to requests for procurement information, neither did they provide other viable avenues for procurement information to be sought.”

The PPDC maintained that the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) was ranked as the second least transparent agency along with the Federal Ministry of Works, the Petroleum Development Technology Fund (PDTF) and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources while the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) trailed NEITI, NERC and NAC as one of the most transparent public institutions. The report also stated that the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) scored midway between the most transparent and the least transparent ministries or agencies. The PPDC maintained that; “The surveyed public institutions were ranked based on four criteria, which are proactive disclosure, responsiveness to requests for information, the cost of disclosure to the requester and the level of

disclosure.” It stated that of all the public institutions surveyed, none received a healthy report for proactive disclosure of procurement information as their procurement plans were not readily available. The PPDC added that; “Although the federal budget, advertisements in newspapers and advertisements are available online, it is hard to tell whether every procurement process for the year has been advertised when procurement plans cannot be accessed. It maintained that NERC, NAC, NEITI and REA responded within seven and 14 days to requests for procurement information made pursuant to the FoI Act while FERMA responded only once to five requests for information without providing any part of the information sought. The PPDC stated that although the NPHCDA responded to request for information, the responses took longer than 14 days while the Federal Minis-

try of Health, the Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, made no response to multiple requests for procurement information. The body stated that on the other hand, the Federal Ministry of Works responded to a request for procurement information concerning the contract records for the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway after four reminders. It stated that; “The highly anticipated response did not, however, meet the expectations of those requesting for information as the Ministry of Works only affirmed their commitment to transparency and sought to know the legal identity of the requesting organisation without providing any information on the requested contract documents for the Lagos- Ibadan Expressway. The PPDC stated that regarding the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, partial information was provided concerning pre-evaluation processes;

committee was targeting to assist the medical facilities from the centenary celebration, Esegbue said between N5 billion and N8 billion. According to him, the funds generated would be managed by a non-governmental and independent trust. In his contribution as a guest, the Nigeria Union of Journalists Abuja Council Chairman, Comrade Chuks Ehirim, condemned the political class, stating that the amount of money being spent on medical tourism was as a result of lack of patriotism from the political leaders. Decrying the loss of journalists to kidney or liver failure in the recent time, the NUJ chairman said the Nigerian Centenary Charity Ball Healthcare Projects would solve many problems in the health sector if actualised. Among those who were guests at the press briefing was the Nollywood Actress, Ms. Ngozi Nwosu, who recently went for a transplant of one of her organs at an Indian hospital. however, after the contract was awarded, subsequent documents such as contract award documents, schedule of payments etc; have not been provided despite six reminders to NAFDAC. It stated that although the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has informed those requesting that procurement records would be provided, the high cost of N65, 000 charged to inspect the records has hindered any form of access so far. The PPDC stated; “Full disclosure of information has also being attained from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, although that level of disclosure took nine months and followed a court order for the records to be disclosed. It maintained that although the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development responded to each of the four requests for procurement information, the responses by the ministry reiterated that the procurement information sought could only be inspected and accessed after a fee of 65,000 was paid.


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News

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

9

NGO empowers Anambra residents with N1.2bn equipment

Students of Edo State Institute of Technology and Management (ESITM) protesting non-accreditation of their courses in Benin, yesterday

Suleja under security siege as Muslims celebrate Sallah MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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ecurity personnel yesterday brought Suleja community under their control and consequently ensured hitch-free Sallah celebration in the hitherto troubled town. All streets were devoid of vehicular movement in the early hours of the day till afternoon, as the security operatives patrolled the town. Residents walked long distance in most part of the day unmolested, as activities of commercial motorcyclists were affected by the presence of the

security personnel. Tens of vehicles coming into Suleja were seen by National Mirror stopping on the road at the border of Madalla, a sister community to Suleja, for the fear their occupants might be molested by the security operatives. Soldiers ensured through checks were carried out on few vehicles allowed into and out of the town at the barricades created on the double-lane route that leads into the community. Besides, National Mirror saw some of the soldiers seized keys of vehicles whose drivers dared

their order. The mode of retrieving such keys by their owners was not immediately known to our reporter as the drivers were seen hanging around their vehicles. Meanwhile, cars were allowed into the praying ground area of the community, while the vicinity was under close watch of the gun-toting security personnel. Private security guards also assisted to ensure free-flow of human and vehicular movements around the playing ground. At the time National

‘Rehabilitation begins on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway’

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he Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Mr. Oluwatoyin Obikoya, said yesterday that contractors handling the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway had begun palliative work and construction of addition lanes. Oluwatoyin told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the idea was to ease the traffic congestion on both sides of the highway. He urged motorists to expect traffic diversions due to the construction work on both sides of the highway. Oluwatoyin said the additional lanes would be constructed on the inner road shoulders alongside

the repairs of bad portions of the road. “Members of the public should be patient because the federal government is trying to make life much more comfortable. “Julius Berger will continue its palliative work to ease traffic congestion on the road as new lanes are added. “They have started the construction of the additional lanes around their site yard, but the work is preparatory to carrying out permanent work,” he said. The controller said that measures were in place, through scientific calculations, to ensure smart ways of diversions. “This is to ensure that

the lane constructions on either side did not affect either Lagos bound or Ibadan bound carriageway negatively.’’ Oluwatoyin said the new inner lanes, which would be temporary before the main reconstruction project, would be built in every five kilometres. He appealed to motorists to be calm and cooperate with the contractors when the diversion came into force in the next one or two weeks. He said the process for release of funds by the Infrastructure Bank was being concluded. “Very soon, the agreement will be concluded for the funds to be released,” he said.

Mirror left the community, Muslims and other residents in the community were relishing the peaceful aura of the festivity. It will be recalled that both Suleja and Madalla communities have recently been placed under intense watch of security personnel since the heinous bombing of St Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla on December 25, 2011. Over 40 lives were reported lost. Aftermath of the bombing was a six-month-old emergency rule declared by President Goodluck Jonathan on Suleja Local Government Area.

Minister wants workers to participate in Abuja carnival

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inister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, yesterday advocated half day work to enable civil servant to participate in the Abuja carnival. Duke, who made the suggestion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that the carnival was an economic activity that required proper planning. “We will look at the possibility of getting government to allow for a half day work for civil servants on the day of the carnival so that they can participate fully,” he said.

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Civil Awareness Economic Empowerment Initiative yesterday said that 20,000 people would benefit from its programme in Anambra State. The NGO’s supervisor in the South-East, Mr. Steve Ugwu, stated this in Onitsha while distributing empowerment materials to beneficiaries. The N1.2 billion empowerment materials included tricycles, laptops, grinding machines, sewing machines, plumbing machines and vulcanising machines. Ugwu said the items were given to the beneficiaries as part of the measures to complement efforts by stakeholders to create employment for the people and fight poverty and hunger. He said: “The initiative is a partnership with both local and international organisations to provide the materials to Nigerians at a very low rate so that they could be economically engaged and stay off crime. “A total of N1.2 billion equipment had been mobilised to Anambra and more is still coming. “We have discovered

that the major cause of crime in Nigeria is joblessness; that is why we are assisting the government to fight evil through job creation. “Our major appeal is that these first set of beneficiaries should redeem their commitment so that we can extend it to others.” Also speaking, the Anambra Coordinator of the group, Dr Ignatius Chukwuma, regretted the slight delay in distributing the materials. Chukwuma attributed the delay to the painstaking administrative process for ensuring the authenticity of the beneficiaries. He said: “The empowerment process is on and about 20,000 people of Anambra are targeted; it is almost free, all we need is a guarantor and it is open for youths and women.” Speaking on behalf of the other beneficiaries, Mr. Francis Ibeekendu thanked the organisation, saying he did not believe it was a reality. He expressed happiness that the day of idleness was over and promised to keep to the terms and conditions of the agreement.

Imo plans school for the blind

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overnor Rochas Okorocha of Imo said yesterday that his administration had concluded arrangements to establish a special school for the blind next year. Okorocha spoke when members of the state chapter of the Nigeria Association of the Blind visited him at the Government House in Owerri. The governor said he was touched by the plight of the blind and the partially sighted persons, promising to provide them with education and jobs so as to ameliorate their sufferings. He assured them that his administration would prioritise the welfare of the physically challenged persons to give them a sense of belonging. Promising an upward review of the bursary award of students in tertiary institutions, Okoro-

cha also promised to support the association of the blind financially to enable it to successfully host its forthcoming zonal conference. Earlier, the association’s chairman, Mr. Clinton Amaechi, appealed to the governor to address some of their pressing needs. Amaechi listed their needs to include regular payment of their bursary, employment opportunities and political appointment to their members. He noted that the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities called for practical and positive approach to the issues raised. While thanking the governor for his concern for the association Amaechi urged people in authority to grant equal opportunities to both the able bodied and physically challenged persons.


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South West

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Fayemi to disburse fresh N295m to 92 communities

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t least another 95 communities in Ekiti State are to receive N295 million under the second phase of the Fayemi administration’s grants-in-aid to communities for self-help projects. State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, will tomorrow present the cheques to the benefiting communities at a formal launch in Ikere Ekiti.

Speaking in Ado Ekiti, the Commissioner for Rural Development and Community Empowerment, Chief Folorunso Olabode, said the fresh disbursement would bring the total amount given out under the scheme to about N600 million. He said the funds would be disbursed directly to benefiting communities as intervention to complete

self-help projects, including viable ventures that had been abandoned due to variety of reasons. According to him, the projects, which include palaces, town halls, market stalls, school buildings, culverts and bridges, are expected to create job opportunities for artisans in the benefitting communities, thereby increasing their standard of living, im-

prove their socio-economic lives as well as improve of the living standard of the traditional rulers. Chief Olabode said the scheme has assisted in the effective control of erosion and flood through the construction of lined drainages in flood-prone areas as well as help boost access to potable water and reducing incidences of water-borne diseases

with the drilling of boreholes in the benefitting communities. He stressed that the intervention by the state government in community projects followed massive mobilisation and sensitisation of different groups of people, including representatives of Community Development Associations (CDAs) that were involved in identifying, supervis-

ing, monitoring and evaluating the projects located in their respective communities. Assuring that all communities in the state will benefit from the grantin-aid programme, the commissioner reiterated the commitment of the Fayemi administration to providing basic social amenities to the people at the grassroots.

Ajimobi to reconstitute cabinet soon

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yo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has assured the people of the state that the state executive council recently dissolved by the governor will be reconstituted by the end of the month. The governor, who gave the assurance while briefing journalists shortly after observing the two rakat prayers commemorating the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations at the Agodi Praying Ground, Ibadan yesterday, said consultations were already going on with party leaders in the state preparatory to the reconstitution of the cabinet. He said the executive council was dissolved to give room for the integration of fresh blood into the cabinet and to allow other members of the party to contribute their quota to the progress of the state. Governor Ajimobi added that the dissolution was also to ensure the usual systemic requirements to be met even as he said that

he had duly informed the party to submit the names of nominees to be considered for appointment. He assured the people of the state that the positions would be spread across all the geo-political zones of the state to ensure fair representation. The governor called for the continued support of the people of the state to ensure the success of his administration in its efforts to better their lots. While calling on politicians and those in positions of authority to always ensure that they fulfilled their promises to the people, he said that he would not renege in his promise of fulfilling all his electioneering promises to the people of the state. Governor Ajimobi called on Muslim faithful in the state to imbibe the spirit of Eid-el-Kabir which, according to him, was faithfulness and service to humanity as demonstrated by Prophet Ibrahim.

Only God can determine my ambition –Lagos Speaker

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he Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, yesterday said only God can determine his governorship ambition. “As a believer, I know that when the time comes, the Almighty God will show the light and make it clear that this is your next direction and your next seat. “No matter the noise, the plotting of the coup and the counter coup, what God has destined to be, no man can stop,” Ikuforiji told journalists in Epe, during the Eidel-Kabir celebrations. He said he became the

Speaker by the grace of God and that only God would determine his next political step in 2015. Ikuforiji called for peaceful co-existence among Muslims and Christians, saying both religions preach brotherliness. “We have to be our brothers’ keeper, God never sent anyone to go and kill on His behalf. “We cannot say we want to serve God without serving people; God has brought us together for a purpose. “God, in His wisdom, brought us together and we must make use of the advantage of our unity in diversity,” he said.

L-R: Former Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Alhaji Sikiru Lawal; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Research and Documentation, Mr. Hakeem Jamiu; Governor Kayode Fayemi and Special Adviser to the Governor on Political and Party Matters, Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu, at the Ado-Ekiti praying ground, yesterday.

Federal High Court reels under bloated volume of cases KAYODE KETEFE AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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he volume of work before the Federal High Court, Lagos has phenomenally increased to an extent that almost all the judges working in the division are being overworked, investigation has shown. National Mirror learnt that three major circumstances may have led to the high volume of cases at the court. It was gathered that the first factor is the temporary closure of the Ikeja Division of the Federal High Court sequel to the elevation of the only judge sitting at the division, Justice Stephen Adah, since October 5, last year. Investigation revealed that the authorities have not posted another judge to Ikeja due to an impending plan to rebuild the court to accommodate more courtrooms. Thus, the posting of a new judge is being stalled by a new proposal to improve on the existing physical structure of the court by pulling it down with a view to erecting a more grandiose one. Consequently, all the cases pending at the court

had been transferred to the main court at the Federal High Court, Queens Drive, Ikoyi. This transfer was confirmed by the Deputy Registrar of the court in Lagos, Mr. Bello Okandeji. National Mirror further gathered that the congestion also arose from the ongoing refurbishment of the annex to the court at the Bourdillion Street, Ikoyi, which have been handling some of the cases. As a result of this, judges earlier sitting in the court annex have been transferred to the main court, meaning that all the judges are now concentrated at the main court. Our correspondent learnt that another reason responsible for this unhealthy development is the recent retirement of two senior judges at the division, Barbara Molokwu, who retired in March, and Justice Okechukwu Okeke, who retired in May this year, after attaining the mandatory age of 65. The cases pending before these retired judges have now been transferred to other judges; many of these cases have to start afresh. With the retirement of Molokwu and Okeke, the remaining eight judges han-

dling the cases at the court, are Justice James Tsoho, Justice Saliu Saidu, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, Justice Mohammed Idris, Justice Okon Abang, Justice Muhammed Yunusa, Justice C. J. Aneke and Justice Musa Kurya. National Mirror also gathered that some of these judges now have as many as 84 cases per week. For instance, the court list for the week July 1 to July 5,2013, which was just before the court went on its annual vacation, showed that the most senior judge at the division, Justice Tsoho, had to deal with whopping 84 cases within that week. The caseload for other judges within the said week were as follows: Justice Saliu Saidu, 67 cases; Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, 77 cases; Justice Mohammed Idris, 39 cases; Justice Okon Abang, 80 cases; Justice Muhammed Yunusa, 22 cases; Justice C. J. Aneke 66 cases and Justice Musa Kurya, who had 45 cases. The sheer high volume of these cases has led to a situation where many cases are suffering incessant adjournments, culminating in the long delay of cases. In spite of this high volume of cases at Lagos, it would appear that the au-

thorities in Abuja have addressed this problem. National Mirror learnt from the Federal High Court Abuja that its volume of cases is not as high as that of Lagos. However, our correspondent who visited the court immediately after the vacation reported low volume of cases before most of the presiding judges. For example the case on the cause list, on Thursday September 19, 2013, (which was the week the court returned from vacation) showed that Justice Adamu Bello had only nine cases for the day, Justice A. R. Mohammed had a meager five cases, while Justice Abdul Kafarati, had nine cases. Justices Ademola Adetokunbo, Gladys Olotu and Gabriel Kolawole, did not sit on that day. The Federal High Court is, technically, a court of limited jurisdiction, and started its existence as a revenue court. However, the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court is set out in the 1999 Constitution in such a manner that enables the federal legislature to expand its jurisdiction, and this has enabled the Federal High Court’s jurisdiction to grow.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South East

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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Deportation: Victims slam Lagos A-G, police with N1bn suit NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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ederal High Court 4 in Lagos, presided over by Justice Rita OfiliAjumogobia, is expected to commence hearing on January 29, 2014 in a N1 billion civil suit instituted against the Lagos State government by those who were deported from the state recently. It will be recalled that 76 people, mostly from Anambra State, were deported by the Lagos State government

for various reasons and were dumped in Onitsha on July 24, 2013. The suit was filed by seven of the deportees, including Joseph Aniebonam, Osondu Mbuto, Osondu Agwu, Nnenna Ogbonna, Emily Okoroariri, Friday Ndukwe and Onyeka Ugwu as the applicants, on behalf of 76 others, while the Attorney-General of Lagos State and the state Commissioner of Police, are the respondents. The suit was brought as

a motion on notice pursuant to Order 11, Rule 1&2 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure Rules), 2009, Sections 34 (1) (A), 35, 40, 45 (1), 42 (1), 46 (1) and 6 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended; Articles 5, 6 and 12 of African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. In the motion filed on their behalf by their counsel, Barrister Ugo Ugwunnadi, an Onitsha-based legal practitioner, the applicants are praying the court

to declare that they, as Nigerian citizens, are entitled to the enjoyment of their fundamental rights as provided for in Sections 34, 35, 36, 37, 40, 41 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended. The applicants are also seeking a declaration that their arrest and detention in various camps, Oshodi Rehabilitation Centre, police cells and prisons, within Lagos State for no offence known to law and without trial and conviction by a court of compe-

tent jurisdiction, amounted to a serious breach of their rights. They said such an action was illegal, null, void and unlawful. They also sought an order of the court to declare that their deportation from Lagos State to Anambra State on July 24 amounted to a gross violation of their rights and a breach of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, as amended. They added that the court should mandate the first respondent to re-absorb and accommodate the applicants within Lagos State since they are Nigerian citizens and are entitled to reside in any part

of Nigeria, including Lagos State. The applicants equally sought a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents, their agents, privies, subordinates, workers and officers, howsoever called, from their further deportation or refusing them free entry into Lagos and free exit there from. They are also seeking an order mandating the respondents to tender a written apology to them by publishing the apology in three national newspapers continuously for 30 days, from the date of the first publication, for unlawful and gross violation of their constitutional rights.

National dialogue will not break Nigeria –Prophet DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

A Ike Obosi, Chief Osita Chidoka (sitting), at the new yam festival at Obosi in Idemili North Local Council Area of Anambra State recently. PHOTO: NAN

Aborted prayer rally: Organisers demand N10m compensation CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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embers of the Nigeria Rescue Missionaries, organisers of the aborted prayer rally in Aba, Abia State, have demanded a N10 million compensation and an unreserved apology from the state government for the sudden cancellation of the event. The clerics in charge of the programme, who described the last minute cancellation of the event that was billed to hold at the pavilion of the Abia State Polytechnic as shocking and embarrassing, insisted that the meeting was purely a spiritual gathering and not a political affair as insinuated. Speaking at a press briefing in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the National Chairman of the body, Pastor Dr. Daniel Jacob, said the group “is purely a religious movement that is committed to the welfare, peace and unity of the nation.” The clerics claimed that

they were God’s messengers sent for the rescue of the nation through prayers. “It is not a political movement but a spiritual mandate. We are ministers who are committed to the unity of the nation and good governance.” According to him, the choice of Aba as the venue of the prayer meeting was not politically influenced nor was it to serve any ulterior purpose. “We had planned to hold the event in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. We have even secured a venue before we considered the traffic situation and changed our plans because those of our members that will be coming from the far North and other parts of the country, will have great challenges wading through the traffic gridlock in Port Harcourt,” he stated. Jacob said although the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, was invited and would be presented with a birthday gift by the group, it was not a political meeting or guise to launch the All Progressives Congress

(APC) as claimed. But the Abia State government yesterday debunked the allegation that the organisers fulfilled the extant requirements to organise such event in the state, adding that the state government adequately informed them that the polytechnic had started its examination and as such would not be available for such event. But Pastor Jacob said the group complied with the rules, saying that; “The purpose of this press conference is to let the world know the truth. We paid N150, 000 for the venue, sent out letters to the Commissioner of Police, the state Director of the State Security Service (SSS) and other relevant security agencies and received confirmation from them. “But we were shocked that few hours to the event, we were told by the police that based on orders from above, the event has been cancelled.” He therefore said that; “We are demanding that Governor Orji should refund N10million to the

group and an unreserved apology for the embarrassment and pains his government caused us. We are clergymen, we may not do anything like the politicians, but we will leave vengeance to God. “If he has any issue with his colleague he should not have insulted the clergymen.”

minister of the gospel, Prophet Anthony Nwoko, has said that the proposed national dialogue by President Goodluck Jonathan will not lead to a breakup of the country but that it will help unite the people. He asked those saying that the country will break on account of the national dialogue to stop heating the polity but to join hands with President Jonathan’s administration to make the country better. Nwoko, who spoke in Enugu yesterday, however, said that Jonathan will be the last President in the present democratic set up, adding that after the con-

ference the world would know the position Nigeria is headed for. He said Jonathan is not Nigeria’s messiah, but a forerunner of he who is to come. “The saviour is yet to come. Jonathan is like John the Baptist, he is the one to usher in the messiah. Nigeria will not disintegrate, because it is the light of the world. He added that Nigerians are yeaning for dialogue because democracy, the way we are practicing it, has failed the nation. “Jonathan is on rescue mission and there is no peace in Nigeria. If the spirit directs over Nigeria, there won’t be problem, darkness cannot overcome light and Nigeria will not break. Let Jonathan relax, he will not die. Jesus is behind him.”

GUO Motors boss escapes assassination in Onitsha NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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arely 48 hours after the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) killed six suspected kidnappers in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, an Onitsha-based transport mogul, Chief Godwin Okeke (GUO motors), on Monday escaped death by a whisker. Gunmen, suspected to be either hired assassins or ransom kidnappers had riddled one of his private vehicles with bullets, thinking that he was inside the

vehicle. Okeke, Chairman of GUO Motors Limited, had just returned to his residence at Government Reservation Area (GRA), Onitsha home at about 6.00pm on Monday night and sent one of his drivers on an errand with one of the private vehicles, a Toyota Sequia Jeep with registration number: No ME70AAA. But as the driver was returning home, the gunmen, who had laid ambush, opened fire on the vehicle, with the hope that Okeke himself was inside the vehicle. Sources said when they

perforated the windscreen with bullets, the driver zoomed off and he was trailed close to Okeke’s residence while they opened fire more on the vehicle, shattering the rear windscreen completely and puncturing one of the back tyres on the spot. Speaking to our reporter, Chief Okeke confirmed he just came back about 10 minutes earlier and sent his driver on an errand with the vehicle and on his way back, a group of gunmen operating in a Sienna car trailed him to the GRA Gate II and opened fire on the vehicle.


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South South

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Residents shocked as flood ravages Uyo TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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hat began as a normal downpour yesterday left behind tales of anguish and despair among residents of Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital. Worst hit are Etoi area of Oron Road and Abak Road near Nkemba Street. The popular Methodist Church of Nigeria was a shadow of its former self as buildings and other property within its vicinity surrendered to the flood. One of the church’s clerics, Pastor Otobong John Out, said: “We have been experiencing flood-

ing here since 2008. We have been experiencing the menace for the past years, but today’s challenge is the worst. “In fact, I want to say that today’s flood has affected residents of this area, church document and even the new Archbishop’s house, the presbyter house. “I don’t know how we can handle this problem. My appeal to the state governor is to assist us. This thing should not continue the way it is, it is too terrible for the Arch Diocese of Uyo, a newly created Arch Diocese to be in this kind of situation”. An elder, Bassey Udofia, also called on the state

government to come to the aid of the church. He said: “We are appealing to the state government to come to the aid of the church by checking how flood finds its way into the church’s premises. “Today’s rain has spoilt many things, including documents. In fact, the resident pastor has nowhere to sleep. Everything, including the record department has been taken over by the flood.” Shelter Afrique Estate was also hit by the yesterday’s flood. Many homes were submerged in the estate. A resident said: “The situation is really bad, we

cannot come out of our homes, the flood has taken over the entire estate. The government should come to our rescue by building drainages.” Other areas affected are Atiku Abubakar Way, IBB Avenue, Oron Road, Urua Ekpa Road, Itu Road, Nkemba Street, Effiong Eno Street and Tabernacle Road, among others. Residents were, however, seen trying to save their household property from being washed away by the flood. The residents urged the government to build more drainages to save the city from being washed away by flood.

The flooded Uyo Road, yesterday.

Mark, Uduaghan mourn Omoruyi

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enate President David Mark has expressed shock over the death of the DirectorGeneral of the defunct Centre for Democratic Studies (CDS), Prof. Omo Omoruyi, whom he described as a political encyclopedia. Mark, in a reaction to Omoruyi’s death, said the nation had lost one of the best and fertile minds in politics and academics. He said: “Omoruyi was an academic and political giant who was vast in the political history of Nigeria and Africa. A vacuum has been created with his exit.” He said Nigerians and generations yet unborn would remember Omo Omoruyi as a scholar who

was ever ready to offer useful direction especially during difficult times. Mark urged the government and people of Edo State, especially the bereaved family to take solace in the fact that Omoruyi lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation. Also, Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, described the late Prof. Omoruyi as a patriot and nationalist who had a burning passion for the unity and improvement of democracy in Nigeria. In a statement by his Press Secretary, Mr. Felix Ofou, the governor said Nigeria would forever remember Omoruyi as an advocate of good governance.

Uduaghan said: “The academic community, Edo State and Nigeria in general will be affected by the painful exit of a man, who at great risk to personal safety and love for the common man, would always want to speak the truth at all times. “Even while he was on the sick bed, when he should be thinking only about his health, he never stopped talking. He was more concerned about deepening democracy and the distribution of the dividends to the grassroots.” The governor, therefore, urged all lovers of democracy, including the academia to see Omoruyi’s death to actualise the values and ethos for which he lived and was willing

to sacrifice his live, particularly in service of the nation. He prayed God to grant the family of the deceased, the Edo State Government and people, as well as Nigerians in general, the fortitude to bear the loss.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

A’Ibom Speaker advocates fair tax regime for citizens TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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he Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Sam Ikon, has advocated a fair and efficient tax regime as one of the major ways to strengthen governance. Ikon spoke when the President of the Chattered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Mr. M. A. Dike, visited him in Uyo, the state capital. The Speaker identified financial burden characterised by actual tax costs through rates and multiple taxes and the administrative burden resulting from the inefficiency of regulations and tax authorities in their dealings with taxpayers as the two major constraints to tax payments in Nigeria. He said: “The effect of this administrative inefficiency discourages investors while also places the Nigerian economy among the most difficult economies in which to pay taxes and do robust business.” To address this challenge, the Speaker called for a centralised tax payment system driven by constant training and retraining of tax officers, as well as deployment effective technology. Dike, however, commended the Speaker for welcoming the CITN team and for providing robust leadership for the Assembly, saying: “I also want to thank you for the wonderful manner with which you are piloting the legislative affairs of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. “It is an incontrovertible fact that good legis-

lations translate to good laws, which in turn bring about the desired development that the citizens crave for. It is only when this is in place that the citizens can be rest assured that their voices are being heard.” According to Dike, the Institute started on February 4, 1982 as Association of Tax Administrators and Practitioners. Thereafter, it metamorphosed into Nigeria Institute of Taxation, which was formerly launched on February 21, 1982 and statutorily recognised on May 6, 1987 as a Company Limited by Guarantee. The Institute was granted Charter Nigeria via Decree No. 76 of 1992 now Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria Act Cap C10 LFN 2004. Our aims and objectives as laid down in the charter are to determine what standards of knowledge and skills are to be attained by persons seeking to become registered members of the taxation profession; to raise, maintain and regulate the standard of taxation practice amongst its members; to promote professional ethics and efficiency in tax administration and practice” among others. He informed the Speaker of the Institute’s role in the Nigerian tax system through the training of professionals, involvement in public discourse, debates and advisory activities geared towards evolving an efficient and professionalised tax system for the country and ensuring requisite standards are in place for the regulation of the practice of the taxation profession in Nigeria.

Aregebesola, Oyedepo for FoI conference

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he Presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, will on November 5, 2013 deliver the keynote lecture on the freedom of information act organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA). The lecture was sponsored by the Akwa Ibom State Government. The conference tagged: “Information as a power-

ful tool for Nigerian transformation to glory,” is scheduled to hold in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital. Other discussants at the conference include the Osun State Governor, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola, and his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, Chief Godswill Akpabio. While Argbesola will speak on “Bridging the

gap-duties of public and private institutions in information dissemination and feedback,” Akpabio is expected to speak on “The role of good public governance as an effective tool in building citizens confidence.” The conference facilitator, Mr. Niyi Oshinubi, said that over 2,000 participants are expected to attend the conference.


Wednesday October 16, 2013

Nigeria long overdue for dialogue –Akinlade

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Politics

Confab’ll redefine nature of Nigeria’s existence –Babatope

43 chieftain of the Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, yesterday said the proposed national conference would promote the unity of the country. Adebanjo spoke at the public presentation of a book entitled: “The Untold Story of the NigeriaBiafra War,” written by Dr. Luke Aneke. Adebanjo said: “I support the idea of a national conference. The future of Nigeria is in our hands. Nigerians should treat each other with truth.” Adebanjo, who was the chairman of the occasion, said the book would make the younger generations to appreciate the civil war better. “The history of the Biafran war had to be told clearly and honestly,” he said. Prof. Anya O. Anya, the President-General of Ndigbo, Lagos, urged Nigerians to be more positive in their thinking and assessing the country.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Adebanjo, Bishop endorse national conference, say it’ll unite Nigeria Anya urged the media to always project positive image of the country in their reportage of events, especially political issues. Dr. Douglas Anaele, philosophy lecturer at the University of Lagos, said the 720-page book, contains many historical facts about the war. Meanwhile, Bishop Wale Oke of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries has called on all citizens to support the proposed National Conference so that interest groups could air their grievances. “The national conference will enable us to sit down and talk things out among ourselves. It is better to jaw-jaw than to warwar,” he said. Oke made this call at a news conference in Ibadan on Tuesday. He stressed that the sup-

port was imperative to ensure that “we have a country where the interest of everybody is guaranteed.” He cautioned politicians not to turn the conference into a political rally as doing so would defeat its objectives. On ASUU’s ongoing

strike, the cleric called on the union to return to work and continue negotiations with the Federal Government. The bishop advised ASUU to yield some ground and give room for resolution of the dispute so that students can go

back to the classrooms. “I am not competent to condemn both ASUU and the Federal Government on the strike, but the government should prioritise education by funding it very well. I also want ASUU to call off the strike now while they are still

enjoying the sympathy of the students and their parents. “If ASUU allows the strike to drag on for too long, they would lose the support of the public. No parents like his or her child to remain too long at home,” he said.

Embrace dialogue, PDP chieftain tells Baraje, G7 govs OTHMAN SALIHU KANO

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he Chairman, Kano State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Caretaker Committee, Alhaji Hassan Kafayos, has advised the G-7 Governors to sheath their sword and embrace dialogue. Speaking in Kano during the inauguration of the party’s remaining nine members of the caretaker committee yesterday, Kafayos reminded the G-7 governors to appreciate that God was responsible for the emergence of Jonathan as the President of Nigeria, which is beyond human comprehension. Members of the Caretaker Committee included Shehu Sagagi, Kawu Gurijiya, Tukur Sallau, Jafar Sani Bello, Lawan Yanusa, Almed Tukur Rabiu Dan Shariff and Ladidi Garba. He explained that God gives power to whoever deems right. He said: “Our country

is facing various forms of development challenges. There cannot therefore be a more auspicious time than now for all citizens, irrespective of party divides to join hands together and collectively move our country forward under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan.” Kefayos further said that the committee would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all the conflict resolution mechanism to achieve full and total reconciliation of aggrieved party members in Kano State is employed. Delivering his remarks, Nigerian Ambassador to China, Aminu Wali, charged members of the party in the state to give the committee their unflinching support and solidarity as they undertake their tasks. He equally challenged the committee to be firm and resolute in the quest for justice with a view to bringing an end to crisis in the party.

L-R Former Minister of Finance, Alhaji Adamu Ciroma former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ahmed Yayale at the An-nur Mosque Prayer Ground during the Eid prayer in Abuja yesterday.

Delta by-election: Seek redress in tribunal, PDP advises aggrieved parties

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he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State has advised aggrieved parties in the October 12 Delta Central Senatorial District byelection, to channel their grievances to the Election Tribunal for redress. The state PDP Chairman, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi, said this yesterday in Asaba, at a post-election

news conference. Nwaoboshi noted that the law on electoral disputes was clear, adding that nobody could annul an election that had been concluded, except the court of law. “I have read and heard the comments of some of the defeated candidates and their parties on the election. I think the best way to address this issue is for

them to go to court for redress,” he said. He appealed to the opposition parties to explore all the legitimate processes open to them to lay their grievances such as the court or the tribunal. According to him, the byelection afforded the political parties that participated the opportunity of “experiencing the weight of the

Yuguda, Doma extol Lar’s virtues JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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overnor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State has described the late Solomon Lar as a dogged fighter who fought for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria. The governor, who was

at the Beach Road home of the late elder statesman in Jos, the Plateau State capital, also described Lar as a true emancipator. According to him, Lar will be missed for his love for humanity and quest for peace. Also at the Lar’s residence was former governor

of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma. Doma was Deputy Governor of old Plateau State in 1979 when Lar was governor. He described the late pioneer National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, as a man that lived fighting for peace and justice.

political machinery of the PDP in Delta State.” Nwaoboshi recalled that the by-election became imperative because of the death of Senator Pius Ewerido, who represented the district in the Senate. He said that the party was happy to have won the election duly certified by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. “To this end, I want to thank the people of Delta Central Senatorial District for this massive support given to our party. We can only assure them of efficient and effective service to the good people of the state,” he said. The chairman also commended INEC and the security agencies for the successful conduct of the election.


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Politics

Wednesday October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NATIONAL CONFERENCE DEBATE

Chief Ebenezer Babatope, former Minister of Transport during the Sani Abacha military regime, believes that there should be no-go areas in the proposed National Conference. A member of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Peoples Democratic Party, and delegate in the 2005 National Political Reforms Conference, Babatope in this interview with TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE, says the confab is going to solve many of the knotty issues in Nigeria. Excerpts:

Confab’ll redefine nature of Nigeria’s existence –Babatope ceed or not. I have no doubt in my mind that those behind the conference and those who will go for the conference are those who are serious minded, who know that Nigeria must remain one and indivisible entity. Nigeria must be a land of justice, freedom and all these would be reflected in the report of that committee. And when they give their report, then the country would decide how to go about the report.

What is your view on the setting up of an Advisory Committee on National Conference by President Goodluck Jonathan? It is a good development for Nigeria and I congratulate the President for his statesman-like approach to solving national issues. There is no doubt that the national conference proposed by the President is going to solve many of the knotty issues that have been raised over the years as regards our relationship as a nation and on what course we want the country to go. What are your expectations from the Advisory Committee and the National Conference? I believe that the conference is going to do well. Like I said it will examine knotty issues of Nigeria’s existence and it will also help us to redefine the federal nature of our country’s existence. I know that they cannot be discussing about dismemberment of Nigeria because that is not part of what they were asked to do. But what they are going to do will constitute a very major achievement in the effort of the country to build one and indivisible entity. Do you think the committee is well constituted? It is very well constituted and I praised those who advised the President to appoint those he appointed. Femi Okurounmu is one fellow who had dedicated his entire life to fighting for this cause of National Conference. Apart from that, when he was in the University of Lagos as a lecturer, he was the leader of the Black Nationalist Movement at that time and that was a very progressive organisation. So, the membership of the committee is one that will encourage and inspire the people of Nigeria that people who are serious minded are behind the conference that will fashion and remould the lives of Nigerians. You have some elements that are known. Okurounmu is well known. Prof. George Obiozor, a former ambassador to United States is well known; he is a frontline intellectual and somebody who loves Nigeria very well. Tony Uranta is also there. So, these are great people. I would have loved to have Prof. Pat Utomi as member of the committee. But I am sure that the nation will still have good use of Utomi’s intelligence and ideas as we move ahead in this crusade. But there is no doubt that President Jonathan has started with something which is very good. What do you think should be the priority of the advisory committee? The Advisory Committee is to organise and plan for the conference to ensure that there are no mistakes made and to ensure that all the areas that would be touched by Nigerian representatives are touched. That is their job and they are going to do it well because those who are managing the organisation are people who are serious minded. What do you think should be the agenda of the national conference? The agenda of the national conference should be how to resolve the problems facing Nigeria. They should also make sure that Nigeria gets a national conference that will examine all problems facing Nigeria and bring out recommendations on how to solve those problems. For example, the issue of power equation in Nigeria and power rotation would have to be resolved by that committee and that committee would put everything before the national conference and we would arrive at basic conclusion.

You are part of the delegates to the National Political Reform Conference (NPRC) held in 2005 and many of the issues raised in the report of that conference are yet to be implemented. What do you think went wrong? I think that it may be problem of bureaucracy. It is not that government don’t want to implement what has been decided; it is a question of democracy. But this one is different. This is a different national conference from all the other conferences that has taken place in Nigeria. This one has got the direct touch and direct hand of the President of Nigeria. So, people should not doubt whether it is going to succeed or not. What we should be thinking about is how to ensure that the Nigerian government would give deep expression and would give meaning to result of the conference. Babatope

THE CONFERENCE IS GOING

TO DO WELL.

LIKE I SAID IT

WILL EXAMINE KNOTTY ISSUES OF

NIGERIA’S EXISTENCE

AND IT WILL ALSO HELP US TO REDEFINE THE FEDERAL

NATURE OF OUR COUNTRY’S EXISTENCE Do you buy into the idea that the national dialogue should be a Sovereign National Conference? I don’t buy into that idea at all. What sovereign are they looking for? We have sovereignty in the hands of National Assembly, President and the governors already. So what sovereign are they looking for? But many believe that sovereignty resides in the Nigerian people. That is a different matter. We have to start from somewhere. The President has started from somewhere and we should give him kudos for it. And when we now have a full conference of our dreams, then we would know that we have gotten which the President has initiated. Some critics of the initiative feel that the proposed National Conference is diversionary? What did they mean by diversionary? The President said he is aligning us to do the national conference. Some people have been agitating for it for several years and the man agrees, so we must commend him and we must ensure that we also work toward the success of that venture. We must let people know that we want to make success of it and by the grace of God we are going to achieve that success. And when we get that result, we would be happy. Given that several conferences held in the past to address Nigeria’s problems have failed, some people are skeptic about the outcome of the confab. What is your take on this? Those who are saying that are not being objective and fair-minded. Let the conference start deliberations and we then see from the deliberations whether they would suc-

In your view, how do you think the issue of representation at the conference should be addressed? I think that the advisory committee headed by Okurounmu should be able to meet and arrived at what should be the ideal representation of the Nigerian people because if we fail this time to make use of this conference as government has put it, then Nigeria may not have another opportunity. Should the representation be based on zonal or state basis? There are various categories of membership. The state must have their representatives and the federal must have its own representatives. But I know at the end of the day, we are talking of a people’s conference; a conference of the Nigerian people, who will talk on the future of Nigeria. Do you think there should be no-go areas for the conference? There wouldn’t be need to have a recourse to no-go areas. But when you say you have recourse to no-go areas, you are saying government is not serious. And saying that government is not serious will injure its ability and nobody who supports government would want that to happen. So you believe there should be no-go areas and all issues should be discussed. Every issue must be discussed so far it is about Nigeria. What about the issue of the division of the country being raised by some people. I think everything about Nigeria should be discussed at that conference; everything relating to Nigerian political existence should be discussed. But we must not say that we must talk about dismemberment of Nigeria. No, we mustn’t do that. As an elder statesman, what are your suggestions for the success of the national conference? I think the members must make up their mind that they would do the best for Nigeria. And two, the members should not mind the rumours that would circulate against them because rumour mill in Nigeria is dangerous. They might have said the committee members have taken money or whatever. Let them stand on principles and let them hold those principles.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

From the Civil Service LAGOS: FASHOLA SWEARS IN NEW HOS

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P.16

Alleged N270m scam: EFCC bars NTDC DG, others from travelling abroad ISE-OLUWA IGE

ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

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he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has barred some top officials of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, including its Director-General, Sally Mbanefo, from embarking on any foreign trip. National Mirror gathered authoritatively yesterday that the ban would subsist until the affected officials of the corporation have cleared themselves over sundry allegations of fraud preferred against them. The EFCC is probing allegations of fraud reportedly contained in a petition by concerned staff of NTDC touching on alleged expenditure of some funds not budgeted for. The controversial expenses were allegedly used to “settle” operatives of the EFCC and the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force. As at the time of filing this report, about N270 million had reportedly been moved from NTDC accounts for the purpose. The EFCC, which is investigating the fraud allegation involving several millions of naira and sundry ancillary criminal acts had reportedly arrested the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the NTDC, Dr. Segun Adesola, alongside top officials of the corporation last week Thursday before granting

them administrative bail. Meanwhile, Mbanefo who was also at the EFCC office for interrogation and some top officials of the corporation were scheduled to travel to the United Kingdom soon on an official assignment. Already, some staff of the agency particularly the DG and Adesola had been given ‘note verbale’ by the Foreign Affairs Ministry to facilitate their visa application . Sources within the EFCC revealed that the proposed official trip to London by some of the suspects had been aborted as operatives of the agency were not comfortable with the idea of the suspects travelling out of the country for fear of not returning to prove their innocence. Trouble started after the EFCC reportedly got the petition about the anomalies at the corporation. The petition, it was learnt, informed the decision of the anti- graft agency to put the corporation under its searchlight and monitor those alleged to be involved in financial crimes in the corporation. It was gathered that six EFCC officials had monitored the suspects from Monday till Thursday when the operatives made the surprise appearance. Initially, some senior management staff of the corporation, particularly the Deputy Director, Finance, Chris Okafor, was shocked when the EFCC

need to court the leadership of the anti-graft agencies.” Adesola had also reportedly claimed to be an Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, attached to the EFCC. Okafor had reportedly

tried to prevent them from arresting Dr Adesola, but when the operatives insisted on arresting him along with five others, Okafor allegedly begged for forgiveness for obstructing them. He was, however, in-

Ezoke

vited to join the suspects as his name allegedly featured prominently in the list of those to be invited. It was also gathered that a search conducted in Adesola’s Lugbe, Abuja residence further CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

Crowd of market women protesting against the protracted ASUU strike at the gate of the Ministry of Education in Abuja on Monday: PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Industrial court orders claimant to file fresh writ of summons

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he National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja has ordered Mr. Linus Igboyi, a former employee of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), to file a writ of summons. Igboyi had sued FIRS via originating summons, praying the court to declare that his dismissal in March 2008 by the defendant was illegal, null and void. The presiding judge, Justice Maureen Esowe, gave the order while delivering ruling in the preliminary objection filed by the defen-

dant’s counsel, Mr. Thihwi Dauda, to challenge the suit. Esowe held that originating summon was not the appropriate mode to commence the suit, since it contained issues of facts that were contentious. The presiding judge explained that the matter could not be properly determined and justice arrived at if oral evidence was not led by the parties. She ordered the parties to exchange pleading for proper adjudication of the case and adjourned it to November 13 for mention

and or hearing. “The court believes that the case at hand contains contentious issues of fact that cannot be meritoriously determined by affidavit evidence. The parties are ordered to exchange pleading to enable the court determine the case on its merit,” she ruled. When the matter came up for adoption in July, the defendant’s counsel, Dauda, told the court that there were contentious issues in the matter. He urged the court to strike out the suit on

grounds of merit in the interest of justice. The claimant’s counsel, Mr. Onyekachi Asogwa, argued that originating summon was the proper way to commence the suit since it was based on constitutional interpretation. The claimant is praying the court to declare that the defendant had no constitutional powers to terminate his appointment. Igboyi is also praying the court to order the defendant to reinstate him and pay all his entitlements from March 2008 till date.

Affiah

18 ex-corps members get automatic employment in Cross River P.41

ICPC boss warns health sector’s Governing Boards, CMDs over corruption

Why there’s existence of federal character principle –Ezoke P.41

officials pounced on Dr. Adesola to effect his arrest. National Mirror reliably gathered that “Dr.” Segun Adesola, one of the suspects was said to have persuaded the leadership of the Corporation on the

P.42


From the Civil Service

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bayelsa to build modern fire stations

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he Bayelsa Government has said it had concluded arrangements to build modern fire fighting stations to enhance the capacity of the Fire Service to respond to emergencies. The Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development, Mr. James Dugo, announced this at a news briefing in Yenagoa, the state capital. He stressed that the state government was committed to investing in the training and re-training of the firemen. The commissioner ex-

plained that government’s decision was geared towards empowering the fire service in its operations and use of modern fire fighting equipment. Dugo said 58 men employed by the previous administration without prerequisite training in fire fighting, had received comprehensive training at Premium Fireman College, Ikeja, Lagos. “The training of the firemen is in line with the restoration agenda of the Governor Seriake Dickson to reposition all sectors of the state for efficient service delivery,” he said.

The commissioner added that equipment and other working tools were being provided to enable staff do their job professionally and efficiently. He urged the management and staff of the service to utilise equipment available to them for the benefit of the state. Dugo said that Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, would be supplying equipment to the fire service in support of the state government’s efforts. The equipment, he said, include: two units of 20,000-litre water tankers, two units of fire fighting

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Joint unions kick against new tax law in Ebonyi college

T Dickson

trucks and one unit of 30 metre Hydraulic Aerial Fire Fighting Truck. He warned that government would not accept any lapses on the part of the fire service in the event of fire outbreak in view of the huge investment in it.

he Joint Action Committee of Trade Unions at the Ebonyi State College of Education, Ikwo, on Tuesday gave the state 21 days to reverse its new tax regime. The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Greg Esheye, warned that an industrial action loomed unless the tax was reversed. Esheye said the ultimatum which commenced on October 14 was part of resolutions at the congress held in the college. He noted that other issues which the congress addressed included streamlining the condition of service for college staff, constitution of governing council for the institution and the introduction of pension and gratuity for its staff members. Others were entrenchment of 65 years retirement age for lecturers as obtained in other institutions of higher learning in the country,

payment of two years leave allowance owed to the staff members and payment of arrears of the new salary structure awarded to workers in November 2012. According to Esheye, the new tax law which came into effect in September is outrageous and designed to impoverish the workers. He said the new tax regime was increased by more than 500 per cent, noting that such development was capable of triggering industrial unrest in the institution. “We took a survey of 22 federal and state colleges of education across the country and discovered that no college of education is paying the harsh tax regime. “Our colleagues in the Ebonyi State University resisted the tax law. “What we are saying is that the new tax regime is completely unacceptable and we reject it in its entirety,” Esheye said.

Alleged N270m scam: EFCC bars NTDC DG, others from travelling abroad CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15

Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (right), congratulating Mrs. Josephine Oluseyi Williams (left) after receiving her appointment letter as the 17th Head of Service (HoS), in the state at the Exco Chamber, Lagos, yesterday.

Lagos: Fashola swears in new HoS

MURITALA AYINLA

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overnor Babatunde Fashola on Monday sworn in Mrs. Josephine Oluseyi Williams, a chartered accountant, as the 17th Head of Service, HoS, of Lagos State. The ceremony which was held at the Chamber, Lagos House, Ikeja had in attendance members of the State Executive Council, Body of Permanent Secretaries, three former HoS in the state, namely; Mr. F.A.O Adeyemi, Mr. Rafiu Babatunde Tinubu; Mr. Akinsanya Sunny Ajose and the outgoing HoS, Mr. Adesegun Ogunlewe amongst other dignitaries. Speaking at the ceremony, Fashola congratulated the new Head of

Service on her appointment and wished her the best of luck in leading the state public service. He, therefore, charged friends and family members of the new Head of Service to help her keep the Oath of Office by praying for her and not by putting pressure on her. In her acceptance speech, the new HoS, Mrs. Williams thanked Governor Fashola for the confidence reposed in her and pledged to continue from where her predecessor stopped, particularly in the area of ongoing reforms in the state public service. Williams was until her appointment the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. The new HoS, a fellow of the Institute of

Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Lagos, Akoka and a Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Science. She started her career in the Federal Civil Service as Accountant Grade I on GL 09 from February 15, 1980 at the Federal Housing Authority. She later joined the Lagos State Civil Service on transfer in 1985 as Chief Accountant on Grade Level 14 and acted in various capacities in the Ministry of Finance before her deployment to the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning as Director of Accounts. The new HoS was appointed the state Au-

ditor-General in June 1994, a position she held till 1995 when she was appointed the state Accountant-General. Between 1996 and 1999, Mrs. Williams was seconded to the Lagos State University, Ojo as the University Bursar, but was recalled to the post of the state Accountant-General in June 1999, where she was until 2001 when she was re-designated as Accountant-General and Permanent Secretary, State Treasury Office. She was deployed to the Ministry of Finance as Permanent Secretary in February 2006. Williams succeeds Mr. Adesegun Olusola Ogunlewe who retired statutorily by age as the Head of Service having served the state for 34 years.

strengthened the EFCC’s suspicion that he should be interrogated more on sundry crimes. For example, the EFCC team that went to search his house recovered some copies of NYSC discharge and exemption certificates and blank copies of University of Jos degree certificates. This development, among others, informed the decision of the antigraft agency to commence a full-scale investigation into the financial activities of Ms Mbanefo since her assumption of office as DG few months ago. It was gathered that apart from Dr. Adebayo, five other NTDC staff including its DG were granted administrative bail and told to report back unfailingly at the Wuse11 headquarters of the anti-graft agency. Adesola’s official car was also impounded. Although, Adesola was said to have written a statement on Thursday, Ms Mbanefo was unable to write one as she was said to be weeping profusely throughout. She is, however, expected to write one this week. She is also expected to furnish EFCC investigators with payment vouchers al-

legedly kept in her office instead of the accounts department. Although the DG was allegedly said to have informed EFCC officials that the principal suspect in Thursday’s arrest is unknown to her, eight photographs in the hands of EFCC have been able to establish a nexus between them The anti-graft agency’s attention was also drawn to recent employment in the corporation particularly how the DG’s driver, a primary six school leaver was allegedly given the post of Protocol Officer on level 14. EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement confirmed the arrest of Adesola. NTDC’s information officer, Ms O. Grace, confirmed Friday that EFCC officials came to effect the arrest of the corporation’s CSO. But when National Mirror called her yesterday on development in the matter, she not only feigned ignorance but added that she knew nothing about it as she had been on official assignment outside Abuja. National Mirror, however,, few minutes after Ms Grace claimed to be outside Abuja confirmed that she was on her seat.


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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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ASUU strike: Matters arising PUBLIC DOMAIN

DELE

SETEOLU

deleseteolu@nationalmirroronline.net (08033137577 SMS only)

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resident Goodluck Jonathan has described the going-on ASUU strike as politically motivated. Similarly, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and Nigerian Youth Council (NYC) have threatened to expose ASUU, alleging its connivance with politicians to frustrate the government at the centre. The President’s comment is regrettable and contemptuous of the highly revered and respected ASUU. I am disappointed that the President has condescended to mundane level on the going-on crisis. Since this industrial action begun, the state actors resorted to character assassination and mudslinging to subdue the academic staff union. Ironically, the politics of blackmail has further strengthened the union’s resolve to pursue the struggle to its logical end. For clarity, ASUU is a credible, principled and consistent platform of scholars that has been clear and robustly articulate in the enunciation of the country’s educational crises. The body is equally known for its profound ideas on alternative options to the status quo in the education sector. We should recall that the state actors had signed the 2009 FG/ASUU Agreement

with a three yearly review proviso. The thrust is the better funding of tertiary institutions to enhance their competitiveness. The level of funding is abysmally poor and points at the anti-poor nature of the state. The public universities in Nigeria have been victims of IMF and World Bank policies, which have largely underfunded the social sector and destroyed the country’s social fabric. It is regrettable that the Jonathan administration has prevaricated on the implementation of the 2009 Agreement. The shoddy handling of negotiation by the Implementation Committee of the Federal government NEEDs Assessment to Nigerian Universities report, led by Governor Gabriel Suswam underscores the tardiness in the country’s public life. Since the dismal performance of the Suswan Committee, the Presidency has opted to include tired and exhausted former heads of state, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Alhaji Shehu Shagari in the negotiation. Jonathan should not expect ASUU to accept piece meal offers that would likely precipitate fresh crisis. The Presidency should not resort to blackmail as it will fail to intimidate the union into suspending the strike. We should recall that President Jonathan had alleged that the Boko Haram insurgency was sponsored by political elite. However, he has failed to expose who the political sponsors are. The Presidency appears to have been stretched to its wit end on the Boko Haram question. It is ironical that Jonathan has been meeting with the New PDP G7 Governors with a view to resolving the crisis in the ruling party. He seems to have given the crisis in the Peoples Demo-

FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBT, THE ASUU STRUGGLE IS LEGITIMATE AND SPURRED BY A NATIONALISTIC COMMITMENT TO ADDRESSING THE DECADENCE IN

THE COUNTRY’S EDUCATION SYSTEM cratic Party (PDP) priority over the ASUU crisis. This shows that his priority is in the 2015 presidential election. The recent NANS press conference and its threat to expose the political intent of ASUU in the prolonged strike is most unfortunate. This writer challenges NANS to make full disclosure of the political undertones of ASUU strike. It is obvious that the factions of NANS have become mouthpiece of state officials. We should recall that NANS was penetrated by the previous military juntas to reduce the strength of popular and mass movement against military dictatorship. In the 1970’s and 80’s, NANS in conjunction with ASUU, organized labour and civil society organizations waged ideological-based struggles against political repression and economic authoritarianism. These groups were also consistent in the struggle against economic sub-

jugation euphemized as the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). The 1986, 87, 89 and 1990 anti-SAP protests were led by articulate, consistent and ideological Nigerian students, ASUU and organized labour. It is noteworthy that the relief concessions the General Ibrahim Babangida administration made were occasioned by the consistent and principled struggles of organized social forces. The predatory Nigerian state has largely succeeded in undermining and destroying social movements to perpetuate its dominance of politics and economy. The state has sponsored the factions of NANS as counter forces in the universities. NANS, hitherto formidable and progressive, has become a willing tool for the governing elite. NANS through its latest press conference has shown preference for the perpetuation of the rot in education sector. It is important to mention that there are radical and progressive student leaders on the fringes of the students’ body. The state often sponsors factions to decimate the students’ body and foist its agenda. The National Youth Council is a willing accomplice in the decimation of NANS. It is a state sponsored organ that canvasses status quo oriented programmes to develop ‘cadres’ that are opportunists and reactionaries. For the avoidance of doubt, ASUU struggle is legitimate and spurred by a nationalistic commitment to addressing the decadence in the country’s education system. The union has proposed a national summit to address the education crises in a holistic sense. This is a minimum required to address the rot in education.

Sanusi, Okonjo-Iweala: It’s time they go

Continued from Yesterday

OLU OBAFEMI AND BANJI OJEWALE

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he government has persisted in its bizarre economic approach because of the complacency of the Nigerian masses. They suffer a degree of poverty that is amongst the worst type in the world, and yet they keep not only quiet but go about like a mesmerized people sleepwalking. And because of this timidity, the government believes that it has the support of Nigerian masses to do what it is doing. At least the minister of information has expressed that disgusting sentiment recently. Those of us who are not mesmerized have a grave responsibility to awaken our people from their lethargy and get them to insist on peaceful change just the same way the Rev. (Dr) Martin Luther King of the USA did for the black peoples of America. One man who has been in the forefront of a similar gigantic battle in Nigeria is Mr. Henry Boyo of the Lesleba fame in the Vanguard and PUNCH newspapers. For over a decade now, this man has been fighting relentlessly for Nigerians to appreciate that their economic problem lies with a devalued currency. In a manner similar to Martin Luther King, our own Henry Boyo has been fighting on the pages of newspapers, in seminars and talks, trying to persuade Nigeria that any country that allows its currency to be devalued has in effect allowed the life

INCREASINGLY WE ARE BEING ENSLAVED BY THE RULING ELITES AND THEIR COLLABORATORS IN OUR FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS of its citizens to be devalued. He therefore, launched a spirited campaign tagged, “SAVE THE NAIRA, SAVE NIGERIA”. But as is usual with our country, he was ridiculed by those whose complicity in the criminal devaluation of the naira has brought them enormous wealth, while the masses have become impoverished over the decades since the naira was devalued. If those who have been in charge of our economy since 1999 have failed to move Nigeria forward with their policy prescriptions, for God’s sake, why should we continue with those policies, when Boyo’s prescriptions – which remain a credible alternative - is ignored while the country and its people suffer? Why? In whose interest is this economic prescription of Okonjo-Iweala and Sanusi designed? Certainly, the political and business leadership elite of the country are feeding fat on it. The Breton Woods Institution – which by the way is entrenched in government in Abu-

ja – has more than an ordinary interest in keeping Nigerian resources within its orbit of control to exploit, regardless of the effect on our citizens. They post growth figures in the economy, which only translated to suffering and misery in despicable poverty for the Nigerian masses. In the current circumstances Nigerians have no choice but to fight their way out of the satanic misery imposed on them by a financial system that continues to impoverish them in spite of the enormous wealth of the country, which the leadership elites in business and politics have appropriated to themselves in one of Africa’s (if not the world’s) most tragic manifestation of misery in the midst of wealth. We in the Leadership Search Initiative feel the unstoppable urge to join hands with Henry Boyo and associates to advocate a definitive change in the financial management of the Nigerian economy away from the monstrosity of the policy thrusts of the CBN under Sanusi, and the Ministry of Finance under Okonjo-Iweala. We call on Nigerians everywhere to demonstrate their resentment of the poverty, misery and systemic collapse which this duo have burdened us with. There is a limit to which any human being should endure enslavement. Increasingly we are being enslaved by the ruling elites and their collaborators in our financial institutions. What belongs to all of us has been appropriated by them and our people are in painful poverty in the midst

of wealth. Our silence and docility are now being construed by the heartless leadership as a sign of approval and satisfaction. Yes, in their sadism, they could be right. We are the ones who should prove them wrong. This is not Henry Boyo’s fight alone. We are all involved, and except we rise up to this tragedy it will swallow us after we have been dehumanized by those in whose hands we have wrongly placed the management of our economy. Let the clarion call go forth and those who are human enough to be proud of their humanity take the gantlet and march on with the courage of justice in their cause to stop the “carnage” that is going on in Nigeria. If we refuse to do something now we will stand accused of complicity in our own misery, even as we agree that the government of President Jonathan has ushered in what many Nigerians consider to be popular and progressive policies which must not be allowed to be sabotaged by cabal. Concluded Obafemi and Ojewale, promoters of Leadership Search Initiative, can be reached on thelsinitiative@gmail.com Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


Editorial

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

FIDELIS LEMCHI OWOAMANAM

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ACTING MD/CEO

BOLAJI TUNJI

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DAILY EDITOR

SEYI FASUGBA

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SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

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CALLISTUS OKE

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EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

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KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

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fishing boat overloaded with African migrants in search of greener pastures in Europe capsized recently on the Italian island of Lampedusa. Reports indicated that about 311 people died and 50 still missing in the mishap described as one of the deadliest migrant-ship disasters in recent history. The Lampedusa route has been the transit point of entry into Europe for African migrants desperate to escape from the harsh socio-economic conditions and conflicts in their home countries. The human smugglers charge thousands of dollars per individual and use boats that are barely sea worthy, always overcrowded and without life vests. According to reports, the ill-fated boat with about 500 migrants mainly from Eritrea, Ghana and Somalia, set sail from Tripoli, Libya, before it capsized about a half mile to Lampedusa. Among the dead were 97 women and 10 children. Trouble started when the boat began to take on water due to its heavy load. With the smugglers manning it having neither mobile nor satellite phones to call for help, one of the migrants reportedly set fire to a piece of material inside the boat to attract the attention of passing ships. In the process the boat capsized. Lampedusa has been at the centre of illegal immigration,

The Italy boat mishap INDEED, THE TRAGIC BOAT INCIDENT RAISES QUESTIONS ON THE GROWING NUMBER OF FAILED AND FAILING STATES IN

AFRICA

and migrants who arrive there are processed in centres and screened for asylum. Most of the migrants are often returned to Africa, but some slip into northern Europe. The United Nations Refugee Agency officials said 8, 400 migrants got into Italy and Malta in the first six months of 2013, almost double the 4, 500 who arrived at the first half of 2012. Media reports also highlight an increase in the size of migrants in recent weeks, occasioned by the Syrian War. The death of the Italy-bound African migrants draws attention to the grave political and economic crisies many countries in Africa have been plunged into. Most African nations are under political leaders who alienate the populace from state institutions and exploit the people. The governing clique conveniently serves itself. It is monumentally corrupt and often pursue narrow or personalised agenda. National economies in a lot of the countries

in Africa are often ravaged by predators and heartless rent seekers, indeed locusts, called governing elite. This, in turn, increases the level of material poverty, hopelessness, social despair and underdevelopment. Eritrea and Somalia are some of the poorest countries in Africa; and Ethiopia and Eritrea had been at war over the separatist bid of the latter. These states are also locked in a bitter conflict for the control of the Ogaden Desert, an oil rich territory. The Somalia migrants had probably escaped from the prolonged conflict in the country. Somalia has become a failed state and it is confronted by the dreaded al-Shabab. Somalia’s social infrastructure and economy have virtually collapsed amid private armies that divide the country. The implementation of harsh economic policies in Africa by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank has created a serious social dislocation and hardship. The cumulative result manifests as the increased number of Africans seeking refuge in Europe, to escape from the absence of social provisioning, job losses, school dropout, weak national currencies, et cetera. Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has adopted stricter immigration laws to discourage the influx of African migrants into Europe, especially

through illegal routes. Still, African migrants persist on illegal routes to circumvent the laws. Indeed, the tragic boat incident raises questions on the growing number of failed and failing states in Africa. It also challenges the governing elite to rethink economic policies to protect the vulnerable social categories. The state in Africa should re-enter the public domain as against its withdrawal, to provide essential social services required for decent living. It is noteworthy that the Italian government observed a three- day mourning period in honour of the dead victims. It is equally noteworthy that in the aftermath of this current disaster, the United Nations Refugee Agency has urged wider responsibility-sharing among European Union countries to process asylum claims and find lasting solutions for people in need of international protections. As good as the above intervention might seem, we dare say the only likely lasting solutions would be people-friendly policies and programmes that would lift the objective material positions of poor Africans. We therefore, urge the developed world and the Bretton Woods Institutions to re-engineer the global economic system in order to reduce poverty and underdevelopment in the peripheral states.

ON THIS DAY October 16, 1996

October 16, 1998

October 16, 2012

About 84 people were killed and more than 180 others injured as 47,000 football fans attempted to squeeze into the 36,000-seat Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City. The sale of counterfeit tickets led to the excess fans; and the improper design of the complex in the event of an emergency caused the fans to stampede and fall onto each other, causing many people to suffocate, in one of the worst tragedies to have occurred in a sports stadium.

Former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, was arrested in London on a warrant from Spain requesting his extradition on murder charges. Pinochet (November 25, 1915 – December 10, 2006) was an army general and dictator of Chile from 1973 until the transfer of power to a democratically elected president in 1990. He was the commander-in-chief of the Chilean army from 1973 to 1998 and president of the governing junta from 1973 to 1981.

The extrasolar planet, Alpha Centauri Bb, was discovered. Alpha Centauri Bb is a possible extrasolar planet orbiting the K-type main-sequence star Alpha Centauri B, located 4.37 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation of Centaurus. If verified, it would be the closest extrasolar planet to Earth ever discovered, and the lowest-minimum-mass planet detected so far around a solar-type star.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

19

Health & Wellbeing Never try self medication for TB 22

39m people blind worldwide SAM EFERARO

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he 2013 World Sight Day was marked last Thursday globally amidst report by the World Health Organization (WHO) that an estimated 39 million people are blind worldwide while about 285 million people are visually impaired. Also, no fewer than 246 million people globally were reported to have low vision. The World Sight Day is the international day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and visual impairment. This year’s edition coincides with the launch of the new WHO Action Plan on the prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment 2014 – 19 earlier in May. The Action Plan which was endorsed by the 66th World Health Assembly aims to sustain and expand efforts by Member States, the Secretariat and international partners to further improve eye health with three key objectives: • to address the need for generating evidence on the magnitude and causes of visual impairment and eye care services and using it to advocate greater political and financial commitment by Member States to eye health. • encourage the development and implementation of integrated national eye health policies, plans and programmes to enhance universal eye health with activities in line with WHO’s framework for action for strengthening health systems to improve health outcomes. • address multisectoral engagement and effective partnerships to strengthen eye health. In spite of the progress made in surgical techniques in many countries during the last ten years, WHO report shows that cataract (47.9%) remains the leading cause of visual impairment in all areas of the world, except for developed countries. Other main causes of visual impairment in 2002 are glaucoma (12.3%), agerelated macular degeneration (AMD) (8.7%), corneal opacities (5.1%), diabetic retinopathy (4.8%), childhood blindness (3.9%), trachoma (3.6%), and onchocerciasis (0.8%). The causes of avoidable visual impairment world wide are all the above except for AMD. In the least-developed countries, and in particular Sub-Saharan Africa, the causes of avoidable blindness are primarily, cataract (50%), glaucoma (15%), corneal opacities (10%), trachoma (6.8%), childhood blindness (5.3%) and onchocerciasis (4%). “Looking at the global distribution of avoidable blindness based on the population in each of the WHO regions, we see the following: South East Asian 28%, Western Pacific 26%, African 16.6%,

WHO calls on nations to intensify eye care

…As quacks take over eye care in Nigeria FRANKA NWUSULOR

N

Cataract remains a leading cause of blindness worldwide

Eastern Mediterranean 10%, the American 9.6%, and European 9.6%. “In addition to uncorrected refractive errors, these six diseases or groups of diseases which have effective known strategies for their elimination, make up the targets of the WHO Global Initiative to Eliminate Avoidable Blindness, “VISION 2020: The Right to Sight”, which aims to eliminate these causes as a public health problem by the year 2020. Cataract, onchocerciasis, and trachoma are the principal diseases for which world strategies and programmes have been developed. For glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, uncorrected refractive errors, and childhood blindness (except for xerophthalmia), the development of screening and management strategies for use at the primary care level is ongoing at WHO,” the report further says. Although the WHO report reveals that about 90% of the world’s visually impaired live in developing countries, there was no activity to mark the day in Nigeria.

igeria did not join the rest of the world to mark The World Sight Day last Thursday, fuelling growing fear that a substantial part of the nation’s eye care services have been taken over by quacks who prescribe and dispense eye glasses openly on the streets in major cities. It will be recalled that last year, the optometrists and Dispensary Registration Board of Nigeria shut down a fake eye clinic Dudu Ventures located at shop 35, University of Lagos main shopping complex Lagos. But this has not deterred the fake eye clinics in many parts of the country. Masquerading under the guise of Frame and Lens Dealers, these business men carry out eye tests, fix lenses and sell frames. All along Awolowo way and Olowu street Ikeja, along Pen Cinema Agege motor way, Broad street and every other nooks and crania of Lagos, one can easily locate them. Our reporter while undercover visited one of the shops at Olowu Street Ikeja . She

SHUT: A fake eye clinic in Lagos

was attended to by the operative who identified himself as Mr. Sunday. A brief chat with Sunday revealed that he is just a standard six holder. According to him, he learnt how to operate the trial lens set while serving his master five years back. He thereafter bought his own eye test kit with N12,000 at Lagos Island and started his own eye test business as well as lens fixing. Chatting away excitedly, Sunday proudly boasted that the business is a secret gold mine. Anyone with eye defect who comes to them and have their eye problem detected and corrected, will not only keep patronizing them but will also refer friends and family to them. The bothering concern is why anyone would hand over their precious eyes so cheaply to be examined by a quack instead of going to a qualified and licensed Optometrists. The reason is not farfetched; top on the list is the exorbitant amount charged by the private clinics for eye checks and prescription. Some clinics charge as high as twenty five to fifty thousand Naira for eye examination and lenses whereas CONTINUED ON PAGE 20


20

Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Nutrition for Health Chizoba Nwobu chizobanwobu@yahoo.com 08065651922 (sms only)

Ever visited a nutritionist?

I

deally, nutrition means ‘what we eat or drink that is absorbed and broken down into nutrients in the body and are utilised for growth, development and healthy living.’ A nutritionist is a health professional who specialises in the study of nutrition and helps people live healthier lives through what they eat. The duty of a nutritionist is therefore, to proffer nutritional guidance by advising people of their nutritional needs, meal planning and diet analysis, conducting one-onone or small group wellness coaching programs, nutrition education, developing and implementation of nutrition-based programmes as well as writing nutrition-based articles and so on. The foods you decide to eat determine the nutrients your body gets. The nutrients in our diet give us energy and are necessary for our growth and body functions. Every nutrient does one or more function, but we need all nutrients together for our bodies to work properly. By adopting a nutritious proper diet, you can reduce your chances of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, diseases of the heart, respiratory tract disease, diseases of the digestive system, malnutrition, eating disorders and even ageing gracefully. A lot of people are confused on what to eat. This is actually pretty simple! There are six classes of nutrients that we need to stay alive and well. These nutrients are carbohydrates which are basically the main energy source of our body, they are found in grains (breads, cereal, pasta, etc.), fruits, starchy vegetables (corn, peas, potatoes) and milk products, etc. Fats or lipids are also source of energy, they are key components of cell

membranes and they insulate the nerve cells and help our bodies perform necessary physiologic functions. Healthier fats can be found in some fish, like salmon and sword-

BY ADOPTING A NUTRITIOUS PROPER DIET, YOU CAN REDUCE YOUR CHANCES OF DEVELOPING CHRONIC

DISEASES... fish, nuts, avocados, vegetable oils, and olives. Unhealthy fats are found in fatty meats, butter, cream, bakery goods (doughnuts, pastries), fried foods, and full fat dairy (whole milk, ice cream). It is vital to choose more fish and plant sources of fat and limit foods high in animal fats. Proteins are involved in growth, repair and general maintenance of the body. Sources of proteins are meat, fish, beans, nuts, seeds, milk, yogurt, cheese, and eggs. It is essential to eat lean cuts of meat, take off the skin from poultry, and eat fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Water acts as a solvent for other molecules to dissolve in. It is an inorganic nutrient that is vital to our survival. Drinking enough water balances fluid inside and outside of our cells, regulates nerve and muscle function, transportation of nutrients, and excretion of wastes. Vitamins help us regulate our bodies’ processes. They also play important roles in bodily functions such as metabolism, immunity and digestion. Our bodies do not make vitamins and therefore

we must consume them through our diet and can be obtained through a variety of foods. Vitamin sources are plant sources like fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, fortified cereals and animal products like eggs and diary products. Minerals aids maintaining ionic balances and many biochemical reactions. A healthy diet gives us the right amount of calories for a healthy weight, a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. A deficiency of any one type of nutrient can lead to disease, starvation (or dehydration in the case of water) and subsequent death. And that is the reason why we all need balanced diets. A balanced diet is one that provides an adequate intake of energy and nutrients for maintenance of the body and therefore good health. A diet can easily be adequate for normal bodily functioning, yet may not be a balanced diet. An ideal human diet contains fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, water and fibre all in correct proportions. These are some basic information you can get easily by visiting a nutritionist. Unfortunately, Nutritionists’ services are grossly underutilised in Nigeria. Most people don’t know that just as they consult the doctor to diagnose their ailments they ought to consult the nutritionist to prescribe the right foods good for their health. Visiting a nutritionist ensures that you are able to know the right type of food for you and the quantity you should be eating as you reach certain stages of your life while also guiding you on how to check any drug or food label before buying it for consumption, in order not to eat what could cause problems to your health or body system.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

…As quacks take over eye care in Nigeria CONTINUED FROM 19 these quacks do same for three to six thousand maximum. Another reason people go to quacks is their availability and easy accessibility unlike some government hospital were people have to cue from morning till evening for eye check. Eye examination and prescription of lenses should be carried out only by the Optometrists at the primary level. Optometrist’s duties include: examining the internal and external structures of the eyes to diagnose eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal disorders, systemic diseases, including hypertension and diabetes; vision conditions such as near-sightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. They also perform tests to determine the patient’s ability to focus and coordinate the eyes, and to judge depth and see colors accurately. Optometrists prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, low vision aids, vision therapy, and medications to treat eye diseases. They are the ones who refer patients to the eye specialist, Ophthalmologists for more advanced and complex treatment or for surgical procedures if required. National Mirror can reveal that optometrists

are almost none existence in many primary health care facilities in Nigeria. For instance, investigation revealed that Ikeja health center and other Local government health centers in Lagos do not have optometrists. Some health centers at times manage a student optometrist for their centre while others do not even bother at all. One of such corp member serving at Ikeja health centre (name withheld) told National Mirror that the centre did not have facility for optometrists. She had to bring her own trial test kit with her when she started. Being the only eye care giver in the centre, she usually has a busy schedule from morning till evening. However, moving up the ladder to General Hospitals and Teaching hospitals is where few optometrists are absolved leaving majority of them scattered in private clinics. In a chat with one optometrist in private practice, Dr Ehimare Asabi working at Vision Care Optical Clinic Ikeja, the young doctor complained bitterly about the incursion of the quacks in the eye care business. “Awareness is one of the greatest challenge we face in the practice. People are not aware that they are supposed to check their sights from

Eye test now a common practice on the streets

time to time and so many do not know the right people to meet for their eye examination; some go to the general medical practitioners while a majority patronize the quacks especially those people selling glasses on the street”. Dr Ehimare pointed out that government needs to absorb more optometrists in government hospitals. According to him, government establishments are biased as they take few optometrists and more of other health professions particularly medical doctors. According to him, the government needs to balance this scale. “They should work with the board of optometrists in ensuring that more space is allocated to optometrists in general hospitals and primary health care centers because that is where you find few number of optometrists, sometimes non existence. “These quacks just prescribe lens for people without knowing if there are some underlying disease condition behind the eye problem. Conditions such as Glaucoma and other serious eye conditions cannot be detected by a quack Correcting the sight without treating the underlying cause will lead to the situation worsening and eventual blindness. What they do is trial and error,” he told National Mirror.’


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Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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Envoy advocates telemedicine for Nigeria MARCUS FATUNMOLE AND SEYI ANJOORIN ABUJA

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ndia High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Mahesh Sachdev has to Nigerians embraced telemedicine as a faster and more accessible means of treatment. Sachdev made the call at the launch of a telemedine centre in Abuja, recently. According to him, India has made use of the facility to cater for about 1.2billion of its population. “Tele medicine is essentially an exercise, enabling the advancement of the telecoms sector, to provide enhanced healthcare and assistance. And, I wonder how many of you know that the first use of Tele medicine was in Africa, by Africans centuries ago. “Tele medicine has enormous platform to launch various devices and methodology ranging from consultation with the doctor, to the diagnostics. So, if we can have the understanding of daily medical care extended to the nooks and crannies of Nigeria in telecoms and broadband, things will inevitably become better, I believe this will also help Nigeria to use its healthcare facilities more efficiently”,

he stressed. The centre, procured by Dr. Hassan’s clinic and diagnostic centre, in Abuja, Sachdev noted, would also create developmental environment in the nation’s telecoms industry. In his remarks, Medical Director of the diagnostic centre and National President, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, Dr. Godswill Okara, said the clinic initiated the process of setting up a molecular diagnostics unit, and then the infrared painless, bloodless surgery for haemorrhoids. According to him, the intention was to gather the best team of committed intellectuals, scientists and clinicians that they can be proud of. “Technology has come a long way, and it is our intention that we will continue to bring the best into Nigeria”. “What we do is get the doctor outside the country to see the patient here through this facility; and then the doctor can say this is what to do. It reduces cost for the patient even if they have to travel because they have seen their doctor here and has been given the necessary advice’, he said. He added: “The Tele – medical

facility gives the opportunity of consulting with specialists around the world, you can have an x – ray done in Jalingo, it is sent online, and then, the doctor probably has a printed copy. This makes the medical process

faster and you bring the medical facilities together, around the patient”. Okara, who reiterated the efforts of the centre towards the provision of efficient medical care stressed: “we are

foreseeing that very soon, our molecular diagnostic centre will be available, and some of the investigations people go outside the country to access, we will be able to make them available here”.

L-R: Mrs Rani Malik of High Commission of India to Nigeria; Director, Prevention of Blindness, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr (Mrs) Olufunmilayo Sokunbi and President, Rotary Club of Lagos Palm Grove Estate, Mr Venugopal Jajoo at the closing ceremony of the free eye screening and surgery organised by Rotary club of Lagos- Palm Grove Estate recently.

64m Nigerians suffer from mental illness –expert

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he Founder of the Mental Health Foundation, Dr Emmanuel Owoyemi, said last week that no fewer than 64 million Nigerians had one form of mental illness or the other. Owoyemi, who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, on the sideline of a forum to mark the 2013 World Mental Health Day, attributed the situation to the absence of a mental health policy in the country. ``Sixty four million Nigerians today are going through one form of mental illness or the other because everything that would cause mental illness is on the increase in Nigeria. Poverty is on the increase, hopelessness is on the increase, insecurity is on the increase. There is so much panic at heart, anxiety, high level depression. ``And also, there is no mental health policy in Nigeria right now; the National Assembly has been delaying in passing the Mental Health Bill. None of the psychiatric hospitals in Nigeria today has up to 1000 beds and we have over 160 million people. ``We have about 150 psychiatrists; we have 34 neuro-surgeons in the whole country, meaning that, one point something million Nigerians

is to one psychiatrist. How many people can one psychiatrist attend to within the 1.2 million or 1.3 million? So, we are not doing enough. The human capital is not there, the facility is not there, and yet everything that could cause mental illness is on the increase in Nigeria.`` The World Federation of Mental Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), set aside Oct.10 every year to raise awareness on mental health issues across the world. Owoyemi urged the National Assembly to ensure the speedy passage of the Mental Health Bill to reduce high rate of mental cases. ``We need a mental health bill, a national policy for mental health; that is where to start from. There must be law; there must be legal framework to work with; there must be policy. That bill is what will help us to be able to do every other thing. ``If we say, let’s start putting facilities, structures, systems in place, it is the bill that will give us the legal framework to do all that. So, if the bill is not passed nothing else can be done, even to budget for mental health adequately, we need a bill that guides everything we do. ``

Assistant Category Manager, Skin care, Unilever Nigeria, Mr. Olumide Aniyikaiye; First Lady of the State of Osun, Mrs. Sherifat Aregbesola; Nutrition and Health Manager, West Africa, Unilever, Dr. Victor Ajieroh; Programme Manager Partnership for Child Development, Mrs. Abimbola Adesanmi; and Commissioner for Environment, state of Osun, Olubikola Oyawole, during the Unilever Global Handwashing Day Celebration in Osun State

Task Force secures conviction of 100 drug peddlers in Kano

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he Kano State Task Force on Fake and Counterfeit Drugs has secured the conviction of over 100 persons it prosecuted for selling and circulating fake and adulterated drugs in the state this year. The Chairman of the Task Force, Alhaji Ghali Sule, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recently in Kano. Sule said the peddlers were convicted by magistrate courts in the state, adding that most of them were still serving their various

prison terms. He said the committee had also confiscated and destroyed fake and adulterated drugs worth over N3 billion since it was established in 2012. Also, the task force, he said, was able to raid about 10 ware houses used to store fake and adulterated drugs in the state. ``Before now, Kano state was a dumping ground for fake and adulterated drugs but with the establishment of the task force, it has curtailed the ugly trend to the barest minimum,’’ he said.

The chairman disclosed that the latest raid last week on three ware houses at Kofar Ruwa in the metropolis, had led to the recovery of four vehicles including two trailers loaded with tramol, valium, codeine syrup, and other prohibited drugs. ``Even recently we closed down three illegal drugs manufacturing outlets at Dakata in Nasarawa Local Government, and in Jaba and Sabon Gari areas of Fagge Local Government Area,’’ he said. (NAN).


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Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Never try self medication for TB Tuberculosis (TB) has become a major public health concern especially since the advent of HIV/AIDS. Dr. Kenneth Iregbu, a Consultant Clinical Microbiologists working at the National Hospital, Abuja, says about 40 percent of HIV patients are affected by TB. In this interview with Health Reporter, MARCUS FATUNMOLE, Dr. Iregbu stresses the need for proper treatment and warns that patients should not attempt to treat themselves at home. Excerpts. Sir, what manner of disease is TB? Tuberculosis is a disease caused by a germ generally called micro bacterium tuberculosis. There are different types of tuberculosis but the most common one known to the people is the one we call pulmonary tuberculosis; that is tuberculosis of the lung. That is the one most of the people are familiar with. But, it is a disease that can affect any part of the body. It can affect the brain; it can affect the heart; it can affect the liver; it can affect the abdomen; it can affect the joint; it can affect the bone; so, it can affect any part of the body. But, like I said, the most common, which is the most worrisome to us globally, is the pulmonary type. What population of people is affected by tuberculosis? Generally, we say anybody that lives in the tropics or sub-Saharan African is susceptible to tuberculosis. Besides, there are some predisposing conditions that make it more likely for someone to have tuberculosis than the other person. One situation is people who live in poorly-ventilated and crowded environment; people whose immunity has been depressed for one reason or the other such as people with HIV/AIDS; people who are diabetic; people who have cancer or cancer therapy; or people who have some other forms of genetic immuno-depressions. Anything that can bring down your immunity exposes you to tuberculosis. Ordinarily, for somebody who is quite healthy, you have about five to 10 percent chance of acquiring tuberculosis in your lifetime. But, for those who have diseases like HIV; that probability increases to 10 percent per annum. Again, it can affect any age group. Like I said earlier on, overcrowding and poor housing in terms of ventilation are major predisposing factors. How is tuberculosis acquired? It is a communicable disease which can be acquired from another person by inhalation. There is another type we call bovine tuberculosis which is caused by another form of micro-bacterium tuberculosis. That one is acquired from drinking unpasteurized cow milk. Bovine is a Latin word for cow. Those who drink raw milk from cow are predisposed to acquiring bovine tuberculosis. There are few other ones that are not too common except in people with HIV, the one we call micro-bacterium avian complex diseases and a few other ones. But, the one we are really concerned about is this pulmonary tuberculosis. How prevalent is the disease in Nigeria compared to other parts of the world? In the tropics generally, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, that is the dominant

Dr. Iregbu

area for tuberculosis and other area is Asian countries. Tuberculosis varies from one region to the other within the same country. We have prevalence ranging for about five to 25 percent in some areas. Like I said, the more people you have with immune-depression, the higher the likelihood of developing TB. Today, the highest concentration of people that have tuberculosis are those with HIV/AIDS. About 40 percent of patients with HIV/AIDS are also affected by TB. So, you can see the burden today. About 40 percent of those with HIV/AIDS also have TB. In fact, today, HIV/AIDS and TB are regarded as twin diseases. HIV/AIDS makes TB worsen; TB also makes HIV/AIDS worsen. So, if you have a patient coming to your clinic with symptoms of TB, it will be out of malpractice if you don’t subject that patient for HIV test because they are the most common group today with tuberculosis. What are the symptoms of TB? The most common of tuberculosis is prolonged cough. If you have a patient that has been coughing and probably producing sputum for about three, four weeks or more, and you have taken your antibiotic as prescribed by the doctor and it is not remitting, you begin to suspect that this patient could have something else. Attention is focused more on TB if patients have any other features such as fever that does not really go down. You have night sweat, that is, patient sweats more at night. Patient may also be losing weight because of that. The hallmark of it is when patient begin to cough out blood, which is called haemoptysis. A good number of patients with TB would cough out blood. So, prolonged cough with sputum, unremitant fever; coughing out of blood; night sweat; weight loss are all associated with tuberculosis. This is talking about the long type of tuberculosis. There are other ones which have their own peculiar features too. How do we prevent tuberculosis?

YOU MUST SEE YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER WHEN YOU

TB FOR PROPER EVALUATION, PROPER DIAGNOSIS, PROPER DOCUMENTATION...

HAVE

Prevention is of course the best approach to taking care of TB. There are different levels of prevention. Let be start by saying that in Europe, in about the 16th to 17th century, TB was a major problem. It almost reduced the population of Europe by 50 percent. And, at that time, drug for TB has not been developed; so there were no drugs for the treatment of TB. Incidentally, the prevalence of TB went down when they started planning housing; just environmental changes in terms of improvement in housing almost reduced the incidence of TB in Europe to a near zero. So, the first major thing anybody has to do in terms of prevention is to ensure good housing, avoid overcrowding and have good ventilation. That is the fundamental one. By that, you avoid TB, coming in contact with the germ. The second level of prevention is vaccination. BCG is used for the vaccination. Initially we thought BCG completely protective but we are beginning to understand now from some literature that it may not be accurately protective but it can reduce the incidence of very severe tuberculosis. The third one is when a patient has developed the disease, since it a communicable disease, if you treat the person with the disease, it cannot be transmitted to another person. Another level of prevention is prompt diagnosis and prevention. Early and proper treatment is very key. TB is not a disease anybody

will go and treat and on his own. It is not like when you have malaria and you go to the chemist shop and buy drug, take and move away. You dare not do that for tuberculosis; it will worsen the situation. You must see your healthcare provider when you have TB for proper evaluation, proper diagnosis, proper documentation and proper administration of therapy, including proper follow-up. The reason is that the minimum period you can treat TB is six months. It is not something you take today and forget tomorrow and, say after one week, you continue. Even after the cough has stopped, you must continue to treat. At the end of the day, if somebody has had the disease, he is treated and we discover some disabilities as a result of the disease, we regard rehabilitation as part of the prevention. We must help the person to be functional to the extent that physical activities are not hindered. So, these are the different levels of prevention. Human behaviour also matters to the extent that if you have tuberculosis, you must appreciate the fact that you are a risk to others. You don’t go to the crowd and cough with your mouth open and cough anyhow. This thing like I said is acquired through inhalation. The particles of this tuberculosis are released into the air by those who have the disease. And, the particles that carry these organisms are the smallest of all particles, we call them droplet nuclei. They are less than five nanometers in diameter. Now, these particles float in the air for longer period. If you cough now, you discover that you release some saliva in form of drops. Those ones make trajectory movement and fall to the ground immediately. But, these ones that carry the tuberculosis organisms don’t drop. They remain floating in the air sometimes for two, three or four days so that if somebody with untreated TB within an environment coughs within a room, the person may release about billion organisms into the room and they remain floating. Somebody who was not there when he coughed probably is immune-depressed, walks into the room and stays there for about ten minutes; he will inhale these organisms and develop TB. Since there is no way through which the organisms can out, they will just be circulating there. That is the reason we advocate good ventilation. The thing will be circulating there; so you come in and collect your own and you go away. It is very critical; that is the human aspect. Somebody who has the disease should know that he is a risk to others. Your behaviour, your conduct, we expect that when you want to cough, you cough into a tissue paper or your handkerchief that is confined and you wash your clean and you don’t go about spreading it. You talk less among people because when you talk or sneeze, you are releasing these organisms into the atmosphere. How can a TB patient be treated? Once you have diagnosed that somebody has TB, you have to evaluate the patient holistically. Like I said earlier, there are some conditions that predispose human beings to TB; you don’t just focus on the TB. You look at factors that could have made the person get tuberculosis because most of us walking around without tuberculosis have the organisms living in us. Living in the tropic, we have encountered it. But, because our immune system is so strong, the organisms are trapped by a group of cell we call microphages. They are alive but it is like somebody in detention, they are in detention inside the microphages. By the time the immune system begins to go down; that means your defence is weakening, they can now be released from the microphages.


Wednesday, June 16, 12, 2013 2013 Wednesday, October

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Arts Lounge

I’ve special love for ankara fabrics –Ye –Yewande

Femi Kuti, Yinka Davies promise fireworks at 2013 MUSON Jazz

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AFRIMA: Uniting Africans through music The African continent is in dire need of unity, if it must achieve its desired potentials; now the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, is set to initiate this goal through the most universal language –music. NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

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pinions are rife that Africa is yet to achieve its full potentials in spite of its enormous human and natural resources. This has often precipitated one sad factor, which is the continent’s ‘extreme’ vulnerability to crisis that has left several spots on the continent, riddled with skirmishes. At the moment, various spots on the African continent like Egypt, Somalia, Libya, Rwanda, and Sudan appear to be in dire need of peace. In West Africa, there is also an urgent need to combat the menace of terrorism, which has made some parts of northern Nigeria a theatre of bloodshed and horror. But much as the world seeks political and economic resolutions to these several crises in the continent, the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, believes in a cultural solution, especially through music, the only language that distinctly permeates all cultures and sort of provides the platform for all African nationals to connect. Interestingly, this pan-African music awards will make its international debut in 2014, the year Nigeria celebrates its Centenary Anniversary as a nation, and would do so in the country for three years in a row. Already, series of programmes have been lined up between now and October 25, 2014 when the grand event is expected to take place in Nigeria. Rising from a meeting of the principal partners of AFRIMA last week, there were resolutions that the award event would have creativity, authenticity, excellence, transparency, integrity, and fairness as its core values, while availing global recognition to African music and its practitioners. To realise this, AFRIMA has appointed a team of professionals to serve at various levels of organisation as board of patrons, ambassadors, panel of judges, regional and country directors as well as hub and committee personalities. This graded level of responsibility has been designed to make the awards take off finally in a hitch-free manner. Interestingly, AFRIMA will not be about the glitz associated with award ceremonies only. The organisers are also

AFRIMA co-Producer, Mrs. Petra Seseli reveals the host country at the unveiling event

L-R: Micheal Strano, Mike Dada, Petra Seseli and Matlou Tsotetsi at the unveiling of Nigeria as the host country of AFRIMA 2014 – 2016.

looking at hosting a summit that would bring together experts in African entertainment industry to discuss issues concerning uplifting African music. This two-day summit which is expected to commence on October 23, 2014, would be seeking amongst other things solutions to the problem of getting African music across to other continents of the world. In order to draw attention to the African music scene, the group is also taking the award on a road show to major music centres in the world. So far, arrangements have been concluded to host road shows in cities like New York, London and Paris under the theme: ‘On the Road to AFRIMA’. ‘On the Road to AFRIMA’, would culminate in a four-city concert that would

be staged in Africa to give the continent a pre-event feeling of what to expect. AFRIMA will expectedly coast home eventually to Nigeria at the end of this. Of course, the fact that Nigeria has maintained a relatively successful and blossoming music environment in Africa must have influenced the decision to grant the country the right to host the event, according to AFRIMA’s Brand Communication and Sponsorship Director, South Africa’s Matlou Tsotetsi. “Nigeria was selected to host the much expected pan-African music award among four other countries– Gabon, South Africa, Namibia and Kenya”, she says. “One of the factors that aided the decision to give Nigeria the maiden host-

ing right is the booming business of music in the country and its growing entertainment and event hosting infrastructure. We took a lot of factors into consideration before Nigeria was eventually considered and nominated just like we did last year in Namibia before we arrived at the last five countries”. With the nomination, she affirmed that Nigeria would host the award aimed at rewarding African music talents for the next three consecutive years. Without doubt, AFRIMA’s highpoint rests on the plan to collaborate with the African Union, AU, to foster unity, peace and love among African nations. According to Mike Dada, Chief Executive Officer, PRM Africa and the executive producer of AFRIMA, the event is designed to offer a platform for African leaders to embrace political leaders, cultural icons, members of the diplomatic community and business leaders across the world. In his words: “AFRIMA will provide opportunities to showcase our strength as Africans for global competitiveness and project our musical and cultural values from our perspectives in an unambiguous manner that reflects our heritage and bright future”. Of course, the African continent has had her own fair share of award events but AFRIMA also stands out by being the only one that would honour music professionals who operate behind-thescene; who have hitherto been neglected because awards organisers largely see their activities as trivial. For instance, for the first time honour would be accorded people who are engaged in the art of song writing. Michael Strano, Regional Director of the event in East Africa and co-Producer says, “One of the uniqueness of the award is that for the first time in the history of hosting music awards in Africa, songwriters will also be recognised among several other industry professionals”. Although there would be no cash rewards for winners, it is expected that the global audiences that would tune in on October 25, 2014, when the grand event comes on live on about 109 television stations across 89 countries would be enough to project victorious artistes to the klieglights of the world music stage and set them on a path of global recognition. As the excitement of this pan-African platform to honour music professionals continues to reverberate, it is pertinent to note that African artistes have all the opportunity to embrace this revolution by entering their works digitally to compete on one or more of the established 24 categories. Of course, the time is now to clutch the prestigious ‘Djemba drum and Microphone’, AFRIMA’s plaque for winners!


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Arts Lounge

MUSINGS

Untitled Once upon a land filled with honey and more Within her earth, were adorned heads with beaded caps The land was bursting and overflowing with goodies for all She blossomed and revelled in nature’s embrace Adorned in her garment of grace, From her full breasts her children she smothered with love and care ...Paga! She now reels in pains Mutilated, suffocated she lies impaled Woe hosting vegetable, she shelters her foes Long ago the griots sang She had everything going for her Then came the plunderers Then came the conquerors Padded with poisoned arrows They broke her beaded waist with blemished swords The alien pricks! They violated her in frenzied orgy They sowed their tainted seeds In her tattered womb Desecrated her hallowed shrines No! The plunderers were not satisfied! They twisted her children’s tongue till her wisdom’s milk turned sour in their infant mouths They distorted her children’s taste Till they clamour for ‘Eyes Cream’ in place of ‘Akamu’ Now the children scramble for stale mucus while their mother lay dying They sway to foreign music They chase glittering ashes They shame their names They scurry untamed Paga! To the whirlwind they make a gift of their careless caution Ha! Their Elephant can no longer bear the weight of its tusks Yet mother lies helpless, hapless and hopeless and listening and seeing Flaming rods roar in the lands of sand Fruits are plucked unripe Life’s fluids flow in the creeks Mother mourns... The cursed fruits have crushed the trunk that suckled them Beaten till battered she reels in tremor Wobbly and dying from fermented stupor She is bent in her Boubou of dishonour Her once stout frame of variegated hues now blemished Her Amazonic height of revered comeliness now shredded Her graceful gaits are now crooked and wobbly And now she’s gaunt and famished Ha! Here comes the town crier with his gong Riding deftly on the back of a song Perhaps he also has got it wrong ©Segun ‘Oriade’ Adefila, October 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

2013 Nigeria Prize for Literature: Report of the panel of judges Introduction

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he Panel of Judges recognises the honour of having been selected to handle the 2013 competition for The Nigeria Prize for Literature (Poetry). Also, the panel notes with pleasure that poetry writing in Nigeria is strongly practiced as demonstrated by the rich submission of 201 entries. Panel of Judges members: Prof. Romanus Egudu, Chairman; Prof. Molara Ogundipe, member and Dr. Andrew Aba, member. Nigeria Prize for Literature Advisory Board members: Emeritus Prof. Ayo Banjo, Chairman; Dr. Jerry Agada, Vice Chairman and Prof. Ben Elugbe, member

Procedure The process of arriving at the final decision on the winner involved producing an initial shortlist of 50, from which 25 were derived, out of which arose the 11 as earlier published. From the shortlist of 11 emerged the three topmost contestants also published earlier, named in alphabetical order by surname: • Tade Ipadeola, The Sahara Testaments • Amu Nnadi, Through the Window of a Sandcastle • Promise Ogochukwu, Wild Letters

Shortlist of three: Summary of analyses Wild Letters by Promise Ogochukwu Promise Ogochukwu’s Wild Lettershas high human relevance as reflected in her bold treatment of subject-matter such as the persistent menace of Boko Haram. Similarly, her poems consistently alert societal leaders on their obligations to the under-privileged, and a message of hope underscores the collection. She demonstrates innovativeness in combining poetry with abstract paintings. Wild Letters features effective use of poetic devices such as, imagery, wit and irony. However, the work contains errors of wrong words choice and the use of clichés, colloquialism and some prosaic language.

Through the Window of a Sandcastle by Amu Nnadi Amu Nnadi’s Through the Window of a Sandcastle is presented in three sections namely: wreaths, voyages and garlands. The third section embodies technically superb love poems and constitutes the heart

VOICES

THE FINAL DECISION ON THE WINNER INVOLVED PRODUCING AN INITIAL SHORTLIST

50, FROM WHICH 25 WERE DERIVED, OUT OF WHICH AROSE THE 11 OF

AS EARLIER PUBLISHED of the collection. The work is presented in elegant, well-crafted language, depicting contrastive experiences of pain, decay, pleasure and beauty. His work reflects artistic maturity, seriousness of thought, integrity and coherence, as well as the effective use of poetic devices such as imagery, irony and sound. Nnadi also uses direct Igbo expressions in the text without recourse to in-text translation or glossing, a practice that depicts cultural nationalism and self-representation. However, many of his themes are very private and personal, making the collection scanty on national and universal issues. Furthermore, the work is wanting with regards to quality of printing and print size.

The Sahara Testaments by Tade Ipadeola Tade Ipadeola’s The Sahara Testaments is a remarkable epic covering the terrain and people of Africa from the very dawn of creation, through the present, to the future. The text uses the Sahara as a metonymy for the problems of Africa and, indeed, he encompasses vast stores of knowledge in an encyclopaedic dimension. It also contains potent rhetoric and satire on topical issues and personalities, ranging from Africa’s blood diamonds and inflation in Nigeria to “continue…Blair” In fact, Ipadeola’s use of poetic language demonstrates a striking marriage of thought and verbal artistry expressed in the blending of sound and sense. The work is replete with historical, geographical, and literary allusions and tropes. On the whole, the poet demonstrates an outstanding level of intellectual exposure and knowledge, language use,

and awareness of literature, which should be beneficial to readers and writes alike. The average reader, even an intellectual one, would initially find Ipadeola’s book difficult owing to the numerous periphrastic terms as well as extraordinary and cryptic expression which task the reader’s understanding. This style is appropriate for the grandeur of the epic tradition but is also a way of defamiliarising the ordinary, which is a trait of modernist poetry. The Sahara Testaments portrays a rare creative ingenuity and technical expertise. It is a profound articulation of a large. The use of quatrains throughout the book is a unique and courageous engagement.

Conclusion On the basis of a detailed assessment of the submissions for the Nigeria prize for literature, 2013, the panel adjudged The Sahara Testaments by Tade Ipadeola the winning entry. Considering the key objectives of Nigeria LNG Limited in establishing The Nigeria Prize for Literature –one of which is to encourage creative writing as well as reading –it is pertinent to highlight the following observations with a view to improving future writing: (a) Writers should ensure mastery in the use of English, especially grammar; (b) Close attention should be paid to production details such as strength and quality of printing and binding; (c) The use of dysfunctional and inappropriate decoration and other art works should be avoided; (d) Nigerian writers and particularly prospective entrants for The Nigeria Prize for Literature should endeavour to produce highly creative, socially relevant and serious works.

Note: The emergence of a winner brings to a positive conclusion the prize process that began in February 2013 when the Call for Submission of Entries was made public. The Nigeria Prize for Literature and The Nigeria Prize for Science are two of Nigeria LNG Limited’s numerous projects aimed at helping to build a better Nigeria. (A report submitted by the Panel of Judges on October 9, 2013 when the winner was publicly announced)

MEMORABLE READS

HARRIS CHUMA Film producer

Who is your favourite author? I like Ebereonwu’s works. He is dead now, but his works have depth and always show the folly of mortals in our part of the world. To have done that much against the situation the country avails is impressive to me. Which of his books do you like? I will give it to Insomniac Dragon his collection of poems. Is poetry your only reading preference? I like other genres as well; biographies, crime fiction and books on development.

What books shaped your early years? Those are books by the Achebes and Soyinkas which we read to pass examinations in school; they are in their own class. What is your annual budget on books? I ought to have a book budget really, but the economy has not allowed it. I buy or borrow. Sometimes, I see books I like and wish I could have it, especially when it has to do with developing my skills in filmmaking. Those ones usually cost so much.


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Arts Lounge

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

ARTISTE UNCENSORED

I’ve special love for ankara fabrics –Yewande She recently passed out as a member of the National Youth Service Corp, NYSC, but Yewande Lawal is enjoying the dividends of her service year and striving to make a name in the creative industry market with her design line styled ‘Ankara Reloaded’. ADEBIMPE OLATUJA

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ewande Lawal is ingeniously redefining the use of ankara fabric in designing of clothing and accessories. Her inspiration emanated from three things: Firstly, love for drawings, passion for ankara fabrics, and lastly the leather work training she received during an NYSC skill acquisition programme. At that point, she got inspired and went on to acquire more knowledge on leather works and other important aspects of her business. The trained makeup artiste and aspiring model now creates ankara designs under Anikky Costumes, the company which serves as a business outlet for her fabric creations and make up services. “Presently, I produce shoes and sandals for men, women and kids, bags, bangles, earrings, belts, rings and much other sweet stuff. Designers have different names for their ankara collections but I named mine ‘Ankara Reloaded’ because I am using Ankara in a new dimension, I am trying to transform and rebrand ankara fabrics in ways people are not familiar with”, she explains. Although Yewande Lawal studied Sociology at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, it was the posting to observe her mandatory NYSC year in Ogun State that turned out to be just the opportunity needed for the 22-yearold to fulfil her long time dream of designing, using Ankara fabrics as her primary medium. The artistic lady remembers her passion for African prints developed from childhood while being raised by her grandmother in Festac Town, Lagos. “I was exposed to fabrics preferred by Nigerians for traditional wears as a kid; my grandmother used to retail laces and other fabrics. I have special love for ankara fabrics and I love to use it for different styles of clothing. I give my tailor ankara materials to make jackets and a whole lot of clothing wears for me”, she stated. However, Yewande’s creative sense surfaced further in secondary school where she made some of the best drawings in her Art class; she recollects a school art exhibition where ‘my art-

Yewande

work was one of those showcased on the day’. When asked why she isn’t pursuing a career in Sociology, Yewande said: “I used to say I would love to work with a Customer Relations department of any company because Sociology has trained me for human relations, but now I’m so into my creative works that I can’t give this up easily. Although, if the right job comes I can take it and still hold on to my dreams”. The Lagos-state born Yewande sees ground for merging her course of study and her present business; she believes sociology will have impact and influence on her creative work as she states: “I love to interact with people and if I want to sell my products, I need to interact well with people to sell. That is the main thing in being a sociologist, the ability to interact properly”. Her goal is also to deliver quality jobs. “I am not talking about quantity but quality; by this I mean well-finished jobs. She also emphasises the need to give ‘Ankara Reloaded’ prominence in the market before aiming for profit because not many people are familiar with Ankara designs on shoes, bags and accessories. “There are so many people who don’t even know what ‘Ankara Reloaded’ is; gradually, quite a number of Nigerians are patronising me and as long as I keep producing what people want, transforming their usual and best stuffs with ankara fabrics, then definitely there will be a large market for me”. The slow market acceptance for ankara designs and accessories is not deterring Yewande who is projecting a bright future for her creative business. “I think about the future a lot, but what I conclude is that change is constant and as we grow we will come across many ideas. Depending on the demand, I could decide to start making ankara under wears, ankara pillows, ankara decorations etc. Different ideas will keep coming and there will be no limit by God’s grace”, the designer confidently says. After conquering the Nigerian market, she intends to take ‘Ankara Reloaded’ to foreign markets that appreciate African creativity and quality.

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MIDWEEK JUMP Uchay’s ‘String Theory’ showing at Houston

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tring Theory’, an exhibition of works by noted multi-media artist Uchay Joel Chima, is ongoing in the Library Art Gallery of Lone Star College, Houston-Texas, USA. The exhibition opened on October 8 and closes on October 31. The artworks on display follow Uchay’s artistic style of thought provoking presentations which address the realities around us. According to Gary M. Conners, Professor of Art, Lone Star College, “Uchay employs a mixture of conventional and unconventional approaches to art making. His complex visual statements weave a tapestry of personal memory that evoke imagination, societal happenings and emotion”. Since graduating from the Art School of the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria in 1997, Uchay’s artwork has continued to evolve, remaining relevant to developments in contemporary art. He says in an artist statement: We are simply designed to make connections and build relationships. With this

Ego

in mind, I have selected some materials to work with that I believe are synonymous with the notion of bonding, togetherness, intimacy and entanglement. Some of these materials include strings, ropes and different kinds of threads, a obvious symbol of fusion. In an era where global upheaval; whether natural, economic or social are the issues of the day in relation to in survival, there is a desperate need for people who can and want to make a positive difference to others. “Strings are so interestingly powerful because they show strength and connection, but, at the same time they can be very fragile and tender”. Uchay started making art with strings in 2009 and four shows have come out from it: “Much Strings Attached” shown at Arc gallery, London in 2010; “Bonding Strings” which showed three times at Reitveld Academy, Amsterdam in 2011, at Pan-African University and Goethe Institut, both in Lagos, Nigeria, and “Before the String Snapped” showed at LifeHouse Lagos.

Ebisan

Sallah: Inspiro presents ‘Play @1004’

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uring the Sallah holiday today, residents and guests of the prestigious 1004 Estates in Victoria Island, Lagos, will be treated to an experience tagged Play@1004. The event, organised by leading event and show promoters, Inspiro Productions, is a showcase of Jazz, Hiphop, Soul, Afrobeat, poetry, spoken word, comedy, dance and lots more. Some of the acts to be featured include Ego,

Agboola Sadare, Dapo Dina, Ebisan, Adepiper + jungle bois, Lekkihood’s Finest, M-Gabriel and Obadice. Comperes are Mazino of Smooth 98.1FM and Yacoba of igrooveradio.com. DJs Lami and Ray Browne will also be on hand to dish out contemporary and classic songs. The event is supported by Smooth FM, Mansard Insurance, The Jazz Hole, NAIJAZZ music, Metro FM, Moxtra works and Configure.


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Arts Lounge

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FAR AND NEAR

FG partners UK to reposition creative industry …set to commission creative academy in Calabar JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

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n its bid to use the creative industry to foster economic, the Federal Government has called for partnership with the United Kingdom, UK. The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, made the call while receiving the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of British Council Worldwide Mr. Martins Davidson, during a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory. Chief Duke noted the importance of working with the British Council to reposition the Nigerian creative sector in order to translate industry policies to growth and development for the nation. “It is critical for us to look at the opportunity and possibility using creative industry to foster growth and development among Nigeria. It has been always said eloquently that creativity is Nigeria biggest non-oil initiatives to generate employment for our youths. “Creativity is the most prominent soft-power that we can use in advancing our relationship, and use as a pillar for development advancement of our crucial cultural diplomacy for young men and women who have broken ground globally in the various aspects of creative industry”, the minister said. To this end, Duke said that in due course the government would commission the multimillion naira creative academy in Calabar, Cross-River State

Chief Edem Duke, Minister of Culture

that would focus on training unemployed youth in the area fashion designers, film, craft, writing skill and arts among others. Duke noted that Nigeria would require UK’s assistance in the development of curriculum, as well as in the area of preservation of cultural heritage. The culture minister used the visit to invite UK contingents to participate in the forthcoming Abuja Carnival slated for November: “One of the platforms to execute our creative agenda is the upcoming Abuja Carnival –the carnival of National Unity, with participation from all the states of federation. It would be a delight to walk that road with you especially in the area of command performances”. Earlier in his remarks, Martins Davidson described the initiative proposed by Edem Duke as a strategic platform that would enhance youth empowerment and capacity-building between the two countries. The British Council CEO noted that creativity and skills acquisition have immensely contributed to the growth and development of economy of United Kingdom. “Past relationship between Nigeria and UK shows that two countries have learnt so much from each other and partnering in skills acquisition and creative industry would strengthen the relationship more. “We will be delighted to have more conversation on how to contribute to the development of the Centenary and the Abuja national carnival”, he pledged.

Femi Kuti

Yinka Davies

Femi Kuti, Yinka Davies promise fireworks at 2013 MUSON Jazz fest STORIES: ADENRELE NIYI

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frobeat King Femi Kuti and Afro-soul/jazz diva Yinka Davies, headlining performers for the 2013 edition of the MUSON Jazz Festival, have promised to give superlative performances on October 19. “Expect the best from me on October 19 at the Jazz Festival. Even though it’s also in the middle of ‘Felabrations’, you can still expect a firework performance from me and the Positive

Force Band. It’s going to be lots of fun and excitement!”, Femi said during a press conference last week held at the Agip Hall of MUSON Centre, Lagos. The World Music award winner also confirmed this in an igrooveradio.com radio interview with the Festival Producer, Ayoola Sadare of Inspiro Productions. Corroborating Femi, vocal power house, Yinka Davies added: “I’m so excited coming back on the MUSON platform. It’s not the first time for either of us and I want to call on lovers

of jazz and jazz related music to come out and hang out with us as we treat them to good music”. Opening tomorrow, October 17 and ending on Sunday, October 27 at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos, this year’s edition is a double celebration for organisers of the annual festival; the 30th anniversary of the Musical Society of Nigeria, MUSON, falls within the 10-day art fiesta. According to organisers, MUSON clocks 30 on October 25 and it would be a celebration of perfection in the arts at the festival.

Oil firms to support literacy campaign

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xxonMobil, Midwestern Oil &Gas, Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, Pillar Oil and Energy and Mineral Resources (EMR) have all put money down in support of the longest annual book reading carnival in Africa. The Lagos Book and Art Festival, LABAF, scheduled for November 15 to 17 at the Freedom Park in Lagos, has a broad theme, “Nigeria’s Centenary: The Lagos Narrative”, that resonates with the idea of Nigeria as a geographical space. The theme interrogates the century old effort at Nationhood since the British cobbled together the country from a number of kingdoms located north and south of the Niger River in 1914. ExxonMobil is supporting the three-day review of books and reading activities through its subsidiary Esso Exploration Production Nigeria, with the support of state hydrocarbon company NNPC as well as the Shell subsidiary SNEPCO, both of whom are co-venturers in a Production Sharing Contract. Pillar Oil and NDPR are donating for the second, consecutive edition, EMR is donating for the third time, while ExxonMobil (with partners NNPC and SNEPCO) are backing the Festival for the first time. “It’s an incredible gesture to have such iconic private sector enterprises support our campaign to rid the nation of ignorance”, says Jahman Anikulapo, programme chairman of the Committee For Art, CORA, organisers of LABAF. “We need to partner and raise the stake of the Lagos Book and Art Festival“, says Layiwola Fatona, Managing Director of NDPR. “Your book event should be an international event of significance”. With the support, Anikulapo says these companies have joined the British Council and the Goethe Institut (German Cultural Centre), who are both providing material and institutional backing for the festival. “British Council is funding the trip of writ-

ers from Britain, including some of the Nigerian candidates who made the final shortlist of the last Caine Prize. Goethe Institut is flying in book publishers, from around Africa, for The CORA Publishers’ Forum, a key event which happens during the course of the festival”. The Publishers’ Forum provides a concentrated space for publishers to gain critical insight into their current operations within the context of the challenges facing their industry, brainstorm on their findings and identify key steps that can be taken as individual businesses or as a collective to improve their bottom line. Meanwhile, Nelson Publishers are launching a set of new books, hot off the presses, at the 15th LABAF. The books to be unveiled on Saturday, November 16 are We have The Dream Chaser (a collection of short stories by adults) and two series of children’s books for presentation at the event. The series are five books each with a workbook”, the company says. It would be the second time in four years that Nelson, a subsidiary of Evans Publishers, would choose the platform of Africa’s longest Book Reading Carnival, to launch its products. LABAF hosts over 10,000 visitors in a three day fiesta of book reviews and discussions, filled with fun and thrills, with live band and theatre performances, galleries displaying cutting edge art. In 2010, Nelson used the opening session of the Festival to break the grounds for a proposed New Writers Fiction Series. “We have noted with dismay, that most recent successful Nigerian writers are published abroad”, the company declared earlier. “Nelson has a long established literary pedigree, dating back to the 40s when the first of the now famous D. O. Fagunwa novels were published”. The company invited writers, especially prose stylists, to take advantage of the initiative.


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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

After numerous conversations, we felt like this was the best time and path for both of us. Paul Annacone remains a dear friend

Brazil sweat to beat Zambia

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- SEVENTEEN-TIME GRAND SLAM CHAMPION, ROGER FEDERER

CHAN: Keshi invites 28 for friendly with Jordan EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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Super Eagles’ striker, Emmanuel Emenike (c) celebrating with teammates, Eddy Onazi (l) and James Okwuosa, after scoring his first goal against Walya Antelopes in a 2014 World Cup qualifying match in Addis Ababa on Sunday. Nigeria beat Ethiopia 2-1. PHOTO: FIFA.

W/Cup play-off: Shorunmu defends Enyeama

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uper Eagles’ goalkeeper trainer, Ike Shorunmu, has defended Vincent Enyeama after his fumble put Ethiopia ahead in last Sunday’s World Cup play-off match decided in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia took the lead after 57 minutes through Behailu Asefa, when his cross from the left was wrongly judged by Enyeama and the Camerounian referee ruled it a goal.

Shorunmu reiterated like Enyeama has insisted that the Ethiopia goal should not have stood as the ball never crossed the line. “Yes, I know Vincent may have read the cross wrongly because of the swerve of the ball, but sincerely that ball did not cross the line. Even though we were far from the goal area, I am convinced the ball didn’t cross the line,” Shorunmu told MTNFootball.

…Ideye makes case for Lukman

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ynamo Kiev striker, Brown Ideye, has said that his club mate, Lukman Haruna, deserves a recall to the Super Eagles based on his new-

Haruna

found form. Haruna, who now averages a-goal-a-game for Dynamo Kiev, has been on superlative form this season. And Ideye said he believes the inclusion of the midfielder will provide competition for Coach Stephen Keshi in the Eagles midfield. “I think with the form of Lukman right now, he deserves a look-in for the Eagles,” Ideye said. “Haruna scored in our last game even after coming on from the bench. I know if he gets the opportunity, he would make a big impact” “But it’s the coach who has the final decision with regards who makes the team.” Haruna last featured for Nigeria at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

com. The former World Cup star, Shorunmu, also rose in stout defence of the overall performance of the Lille shot stopper against Ethiopia. “People will easily remember his mistakes, but you would agree that he made some saves, distributed the ball very well, co-ordinated his defence line and made several quick starts,” Shorunmu said.

Ethiopia keen to fortify with Arsenal teenager, Zelalem

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thiopia are hopeful Arsenal’s Germanborn midfielder, Gedion Zelalem, will choose to play for them. The 16-year-old is eligible to play for Germany, Ethiopia, where his father was born, or the United States. After Walya Antelopes 2-1 defeat by Nigeria in an African World Cup play-off first leg on Sunday, Zelalem wrote on Twitter: “Still proud.” BBC Sport reports that in response, Ethiopian foreign minister, Adhanom Tedros, wrote: “Hi Gedion... we hope you will play for Ethiopia soon.” Central midfielder Zelalem arrived at Arsenal in January and quickly made a big impression, starring

in the club’s pre-season tour of Asia where he played in all four games in Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan. He also played in the Emirates Cup and the Germany youth international was named in Arsenal’s first-team squad for this season. But Coach Sewnet Bishaw had told Reuters he would not contact the player personally. “If he decides to play for Ethiopia and asks us, then things will be easy,” said Bishaw. Zelalem, who has been labelled by Arsenal fans as “the new Cesc Fabregas”, is currently sidelined with an injury. Meanwhile, Ethiopia will play the second leg of their World Cup play-off against Nigeria in Calabar on November 16. The aggregate winners of the tie qualify for next year’s finals in Brazil.

ome-based Super Eagles will kick-start their preparations for a firstever appearance at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) on Thursday, as Coach Stephen Keshi has invited 28 players to camp. In a statement yesterday, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) spokesman, Ademola Olajire, said the Super Eagles Team B would play an international friendly game with the full team of Jordan, in Amman on October 28. Invited are three goalkeepers, eight defenders, nine midfielders and eight strikers, with former ‘A’ team regular, Ejike Uzoenyi, who is back home from a stint in France, a pleasant surprise invitee on the list. Predictably, top of Keshi’s list are the five members of his ‘A’ squad, namely goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim, defenders Azubuike

Egwuekwe, Solomon Kwambe and Benjamin Francis, and midfielder Sunday Mba. Olajire said the upcoming friendly with Jordan would be the first in a long list of international games the NFF was putting together for the home boys ahead of their CHAN campaign in South Africa next January. While Jordan will use the match to prepare for their 2014 FIFA World Cup playoff fixture against the fifth-placed team in the South American campaign (likely to be Uruguay), Keshi will have another look at his probable CHAN team. All the 28 players called-up are advised to arrive at the team’s Bolton White Apartments abode in Abuja on Thursday, with their international passports, as visa processing for the Jordan trip will commence on Friday, October 18, 2013. The delegation is expected to leave for Amman on October 25.

Call-up list: Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers), Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland FC), Okemute Odah (Warri Wolves) Defenders: Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars), Benjamin Francis (Heartland FC), Ebenezer Odunlami (Sunshine Stars), Umar Zango (Kano Pillars), Yinka Adedeji (Sharks FC), Bright Esieme (Enyimba FC), Solomon Babatunde (Nasarawa United) Midfielders: Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers), Etebo Oghene (Warri Wolves), Christian Oghiozor (Enugu Rangers), Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars), Ogonna Osuchukwu (Enugu Rangers), Mohammed Garuba (Abia Warriors), Douglas Achiv (Lobi Stars), Olayinka Oyeleke (Crown FC), Christian Pyagbara (Sharks FC) Strikers: Muhammad Gambo (Kano Pillars), Ifeanyi Edeh (Enyimba FC), Barnabas Imienger (Lobi Stars), Osadiaye Joseph (Warri Wolves), Sani Mohammed (Gombe United), Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers), Victor Namo (Nasarawa United), Ezekiel Mbah (Akwa United).


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Sport

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Keane calls for tough new manager

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sturridge

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epublic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane has called on Football Association of Ireland chiefs to ensure their new manager is ‘someone who has balls’, as the search for Giovanni Trapattoni’s successor continued. In comments that suggest he may welcome the arrival of a stern manager like Roy Keane, the striker has laid down some pretty basic criteria to FAI bosses as they close in on their next head coach. “I want someone who is an honest manager who doesn’t mess around, understands how important it is to be involved in international level, someone who is very, very proud to be a manager and be proud of what we are trying to achieve in Ireland,” said Ireland’s all-time record goal scorer. “Someone who is honest and someone who has balls and doesn’t take any s*** from anyone. If anybody wants to ask any of the Ireland players a question about this, I am sure they will be very open to listening to what people have to say and certainly give their opinion on what they feel. “But ultimately, the decision is down to the FAI. It’s their heads on the chopping block, if you like, if they don’t feel like they are making the right decision.” When asked whether he would be content to welcome Roy Keane as the next Ireland boss, the Los Angeles Galaxy forward was keen to avoid nominating his own preferred candidate as the FAI move towards their reported November 1st deadline to nominate Trapattoni’s successor. “The names I have heard being mentioned, if any of them took over, I think everybody would be fairly happy. It could be any of those. I think it’s important whoever takes over it’s a fresh start for everybody, the whole country gets behind them and we wish them well whoever that may be”, he stated.

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Sturridge ‘fully committed to England’

Balotelli urged L to show maturity

Balotelli

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taly coach Cesare Prandelli has backed calls for Mario Balotelli to grow up ‘as soon as possible’. FIGC president Giancarlo Abete had urged the 23-yearold to show a bit more caution in the wake of more headlinegrabbing behaviour -- first, with a provocative tweet, and then by breaking the microphone of a cameraman who got too close to him However, Prandelli and Abete looked sympathetically on Balotelli’s plight, conceding that he was put under ‘excessive’ scrutiny by the media. “Things tend to get exaggerated when it comes to Mario. But he does go looking for it too. Abete has already said all that needs to be said on the issue”, Prandelli said at a press conference in Naples on the eve of Italy’s final World Cup qualifier against Armenia. Abete spoke earlier in the day about Balotelli’s maturity, and how people seem intent on doing

all they can to prevent him from growing the right way. “He can’t take one step, can’t write one word without it being interpreted in many different ways. We’re a bit tired of it always being him at the focus of everybody’s attention. A bit more caution on the part of Balotelli would not go amiss”, Abete said. “It’s a testing time for him, but you’ve also got to understand the pressure he is under from the media, which is excessive. He’s only 23 and he still has to grow and improve. Being provocative is part of the character of a player who is very active when it comes to communication. “When you are a true champion, you are complete in every sense – the way you present yourself, your values, positive factors like with the likes of Pirlo or Buffon. We all hope that Balotelli grows up and we hope it happens as soon as possible”.

iverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has declared he is fully committed to England and has played down any notion that he is only concerned about playing for his club. Sturridge scored a penalty on Friday as Roy Hodgson’s side beat Montenegro 4-1 at Wembley but he was at the centre of a club-versus-country controversy in September when he gave an interview in which he appeared to claim that playing for Liverpool was more important than turning out for England. The 24-year-old told Liverpool’s website at the time that his main focus was on winning trophies for his club, but he subsequently claimed on Twitter that his remarks had been misinterpreted. Sturridge missed both of England’s qualifiers in September, a 4-0 home win over Moldova and a 0-0 draw in Ukraine with a thigh injury. But having returned to international action, the Premier League’s leading scorer hopes he has put all controversy behind him.

Lahm tipped to break Matthaeus record

ranz Beckenbauer has praised Germany captain Philipp Lahm and tipped him to break Lothar Matthaeus’ record of international appearances for the country. Bayern Munich and Germany skipper Lahm won his 103rd cap against Sweden in Stockholm on Tuesday night and draws level with Beckenbauer, who clocked up 103 caps between 1965 and 1977. Der Kaiser made his Germany debut in a World Cup qualifier in Stockholm on September 26, 1965, with a 2-1 win that day securing qualification for the 1966 World Cup. Germany went on to reach the final, famously losing 4-2 after

Giacche World C with Ital

extra time against the Three Lions. Beckenbauer said that it was indeed a bit ‘peculiar’ that Lahm will draw level with him in the Swedish capital. “I can personally only congratulate Philipp for surpassing 100 caps. Of course, the national team plays more matches than back in the day. But his rise to the century club is down to his special playing style. With his fleet-footedness and his good eye, with his great overview and his intelligence he stays away from injury troubles”, he told the German federation’s official website. The former sweeper, who twice won the Ballon d’Or and lifted the

World Cup with West Germany as both a player and coach, believes that Lahm ‘embodies everything you need for a high number of caps’ and could now be out to break the all-time Germany record of 150 senior appearances, currently held by Matthaeus. “Lahm looks back on a fantastic career with FC Bayern and the Germany team. But most of all, at 29 years old, he still has many successful years ahead of him. I trust him to become the Germany record player in the next four years. If anyone can break the Matthaeus record, then it is Lahm, a real leader and role model”, Beckenbauer said.

Lahm

He said: “The worst thing was that there was an article on the Liverpool website which they posted out featuring comments I’d made a week prior, so it was taken out of context and the fans had a perception of me that I cared more about my club than my country. “But the reason I’d said that was because the games you play for your club are the groundwork for becoming an England regular, and if I don’t play for Liverpool, I won’t get selected for England and not the other way around. And that was the most frustrating part for me because the fans didn’t understand how much it meant to me to play for England. “I’ve not had the opportunity that a lot of other players have had in the past, so for me, it’s my time to do what I can do, so it was heartbreaking for me not to be involved -- especially as it could have affected my place in the two games this week, because they’re so important and the ones that are going to get us to the World Cup.” Sturridge has yet to represent the senior England side at a major tournament, although he did play for Great Britain’s football team at the London 2012 Olympics.

underland accherini worthy of squad. The versatile the Stadium of Paolo Di Canio, the struggling B Giaccherini, about swapping Sunderland, bel football on Wea travelling to Bra “I wanted to c larly. At Juventu place in the tea World Cup, so I World Cup was ing here”, the 28 derland Echo. Sunderland w Premier League day when they t boss Gus Poyet’

United re £16m m

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anches ready t interes Xavi of Spanis launching a Ja Atletico Madri Koke. The 21-year o mer United man Ferguson’s rada after establishin the heart of Atle with a string of a mances. He has cont same vein this ing Atletico into in the league beh and even forcin the senior Spain It has not go at Old Trafford, Camp, where B still trying to a ing Atletico sna heels, rather tha Koke has an of just over £16 attracting strong


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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erini eager for Cup chance ly

d midfielder Emanuele Giis determined to prove he is a place in Italy’s World Cup

e midfielder was brought to Light during the summer by who has since been sacked by Black Cats. though, says he has no regrets g the Serie A champions for lieving the regular first-team arside will boost his hopes of azil with the Azzurri. come to England to play reguus, I wasn’t given a consistent am. And next summer is the needed to play regularly. The a big reason behind me com8-year-old Italian told the Sun-

will look to pick up their first e win of the season on Saturtravel to Swansea City in new ’s first game in charge.

Vermaelen

Nigeria’s Atseye competing at last year’s edition of the tournament.

Governor’s Cup: Downpour shifts doubles date YEMI OLUS

Vermaelen hints at Arsenal exit

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rsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has suggested he could consider leaving the club in January if he is not playing regularly in a bid to improve his World Cup prospects. Belgium centre-back Vermaelen has been pushed out of Arsene Wenger’s starting side by in-form duo Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny this season. Although he denies he is concerned about his role at the Emirates, the 27-year-old is likely to seek a move away from the Gunners after Belgium booked their place at Brazil 2014.

eady to make fresh move for ‘new Xavi’

ster United are to revive their st in the ‘new sh football’ by anuary bid for id midfielder

old was on fornager Sir Alex ar last season ng himself at etico’s midfield assured perfor-

tinued in the season, steero second place hind Barcelona g his way into n team. one unnoticed or at the Nou Barcelona are adjust to havapping at their an Real Madrid. escape clause million and is g interest from

United and Barcelona after maintaining a level of form that has led many to compare him with Nou Camp maestro Xavi. United considered meeting the release figure for Ander Herrera during the summer but have noted a dip in his standards this season and may now switch to a player who has always been known as Koke, despite his full name being Jorge Resurreccion Merodio. The technically-gifted 5ft 10in midfielder made his Atletico debut at 17 and has become such an intregral part of a rejuvenated Atletico side that David Moyes may have his work cut out persuading him to leave. While United are in transition, Atletico are on the up and threatening to break up the Barca-Real dominance in La Liga, leaving Koke with a decision to make, should Old Trafford boss Moyes come calling. Xavi

“I’ll have to think about that when it’s necessary. January is still a few months ahead. Of course, never playing will not be the ideal situation for me to go to the World Cup, that’s for sure. People ask me if I panic because I’m not playing a lot but I’m not. “I have spoken to the manager but it will remain private between us. Things can happen in a split second and change my situation. That can happen tomorrow or next weekend. In that case, we will speak differently in January. I have to be ready for that”, he told the Daily Mail.

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ll doubles matches scheduled for yesterday are expected to serve off today as the heavy rainfall altered the timetable of the ongoing Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Tournament holding at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan. The rain also affected the timing of the singles matches which couldn’t commence until 12.30 in the afternoon. Meanwhile the promise by organizers and sponsors of the tournament to support outstanding Nigerian players at this year’s edition of the tournament to circuits around Africa might go unclaimed as more players continued to bite the dust. India’s Ranjeet ViraliMuguresan who won the Men’s Singles of 2011 edition defeated Bolaji Olawepo 6-2,6-2 while his compatriot, Jeevan Nedun-

chezhiyan also dismissed one of Nigeria’s top players, Henry Atseye 6-1,6-0. Another Nigerian, Abdulmalik Kabiru was outserved by Crotia’s Borma Coric 6-0,6-0 while Samuel Omoile lost to Dino Marcan 3-6,2-6. Men singles No. 1 seed, Japanese Hiroki Kondo beat Ivorian Slyvian Anibie 6-0,6-0 and Andre Gaspar Murta of Portugal defeated Tinotenda Chanakira of Zimbabwe 6-1,6-1. In the women’s singles Indian lady Prathana Thombare beat Loveth Nnadozie of Nigeria 6-1,6-1 while reigning Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Open Tennis champion, Ronke Akingbade lost to Anna Norgina 6-2,6-0. No 8 seed (women), Dalita Jakupovic defeated Ester Masuri of Israel 6-1,6-0. Kabiru however blamed Nigeria’s unimpressive form on the dearth of tournaments in the country and called for more support for the players. “I didn’t prepare very

Super 6: Pelican Stars reject Bayelsa

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igeria Women’s Premier League side, Pelican Stars, have charged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to shop for a neutral venue for the 2013 Super Six final. The Super Six final was earlier billed for the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State from October 20 to 26 before it was suddenly called off. The annual women’s football fiesta is expected to see six finishers during the regular season namely defending champions, Delta Queens, Bayelsa Queens, Nasarawa Amazons, Pelican Stars, FC Robo and Federation Cup title holders, Rivers Angels battle for the league shield. An official of the Cross River State-owned side, Ali Ita, appealed to the NFF and Nigeria Women’s Premier League board chairperson, Dilichuk-

wu Onyedinma, to reverse the early choice of Bayelsa State as host of the scheduled women’s Super Six final but consider Lokoja, Kogi State as a better neutral venue. “We’re appealing to the NFF and NWPL board to get us a neutral venue for the Super Six final, the choice of Bayelsa as host will not provide good competition as Bayelsa Queens will have better advantage over other participating teams. “Bayelsa State hosting the games will provide their side, Bayelsa Queens, huge advantage over other teams. We want to guide against the host and win-at-all-cost syndrome,” said Ita to supersport.com. The NWPL body is yet to come up with a date and possible new venue for the competition rather would want the national teams to conclude their World Cup qualifiers before

well for this match. I played in the main draws as a lucky loser to replace Umaru Balami. I tried my best as a first timer in the Governor’s Cup. This is an exciting experience for me playing in a bigger competition for the first time. “It is a pity that while these foreigners are having many tournaments to play in their country, we in Nigeria have only Governor’s Cup to play. This is very bad in a game where a player must feature in regular competitions to keep fit. I want to beg companies and individuals in the country to please come to our aid”, he said.

Brazil sweat to beat Zambia

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razil took nearly an hour to break through before finally winning 2-0 against a Zambia side who were hampered by chaotic preparations for the friendly in Beijing yesterday. Oscar opened the scoring with a looping deflected shot and central defender Dede headed the second in a seven-minute spell at the Bird’s Nest stadium, the unlikely venue for the first-ever meeting between next year’s World Cup hosts and the 2012 African champions. Zambia were playing under 35-year-old interim coach, Patrice Beaumelle, who took over eight days ago after Herve Renard, who had picked the squad, resigned to take charge of struggling French Ligue 1 side, Sochaux. The Chipolopolo, who have failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup, were also without three regulars following a bizarre tug-of-war with their club, TP Mazembe, in Democratic Republic of Congo. Brazil’s win was their fourth in a row as they bounced back from August’s shock defeat in Switzerland.


30

Sport

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Nigeria Premier Nig League

Cricket

with

IIKENWA NNABUOGOR ikenwa.nnabuogor@gmail.com

‘Pillars motivated to retain title’

Disunity, bickering nail 3SC’s relegation coffin

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igeria Glo Premier League, defending champions, Kano Pillars, are confident they can retain their title at the end of the season, with two games left, reports Joel Ajayi. In a chat with National Mirror, Media Officer of the Kano Pillars, Idris Malikawa, said the players were well motivated to win the Glo League ahead of Enyimba FC and Bayelsa United. He said, “As I am talking to you now the board of our club led by Alhaji Abba Yola has settled all our entitlements. The boys are not owed salaries or match bonuses. “We are preparing to take on Dolphins FC on Wednesday (today) in Lokoja, and we know that by the grace of Allah we will win that match which will be an interesting match for fans to watch” “We are not expecting anything less than a win from that match. The players are committed and with the motivation from our chairman nothing will stop us from reaching where we are headed.” Malikawa stated that it does not matter how the team plays, but the most important thing is to get all three points against Dolphins today.

Akwa United team

Akwa United poised to avoid relegation

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e l e g at i o n - t h re at e n e d Akwa United have expressed confidence in avoiding going under and keeping their top flight status. Ahead of the week 37 Glo Nigeria Premier League at the Uyo Township Stadium against visiting Kaduna United F.C, the media officer of relegation threatened Akwa United, Uwem Ekon, has assured their teeming fans that the team will retain its premiership status at the end of the season. Uwem said that the win against Warri Wolves was the tonic needed to earn the remaining six points in their last

Eagles’ invite excites Rangers’ wonder kid

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angers’ kid sensation Christian Obiozor says he’s delighted to be named in the Home Eagles’ squad that will face Jordan in a friendly on October 28. The teenager made the 28-man list released yesterday ahead of the friendly. Obiozor caught the eye of the Eagles’ coaches after netting five goals for the Flying Antelopes. The former Lagos-based nonleaguer has been a revelation for Rangers and he’s expected to make the most of his chance at international level. Obiozor beleives the chance he’s been craving for is here and he’s poised to reproduce his killer form that has helped lift Rangers to fifth spot this season. He only joined Rangers in the mid-season and did not waste time to repay their confidence in him by netting a brace in his debut. His impressive goal return, Obiozor says, will be relied on in

the friendly. “My aim is to go on and do well in the friendly and go on to make the team to the CHAN in South Africa next year,” Obiozor relishes. “I’m grateful to Coach Stephen Keshi and his assistance for this wonderful opportunity and I promise I will live up to expectation. “Playing for the Eagles is a dream come true and I’m living the dream. I can’t ask for a better time to show what I can do at this stage.”

two league games and beat the dreaded drop to the Nigeria National League (NNL). “Let me start by assuring our teeming followers that Akwa United will beat the drop to the NNL. What happened in Warri was just the tip of iceberg as we mandated ourselves to pick all nine available point in our last three games after some not too impressive performances in our home games. “It is tagged ‘Code Nine’ and with Wolves out of the way, Kaduna United are the next on line and they stand no chance against us as we have our back against the wall in this survival Glo Premier League Fixtures Week 37

GLO Premier League standings Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts

Today

1

Kano Pillars

36

19

3

14

45

38

7

60

Heartland

vs

Enugu Rangers

2

Enyimba

36

17

8

11

31

17

14

59

Sharks

vs

Nasarawa United

3

Bayelsa United

36

18

4

14

40

37

3

58

4

El-Kanemi

36

17

6

13

42

32

10

57

5

Rangers

35

17

4

14

45

32

13

55

6

Gombe United

37

17

2

18

38

45

-7

53

7

Warri Wolves

36

14

10

12

41

31

10

52

8

Sharks

36

14

8

14

32

30

2

50

9

Dolphins

36

14

8

14

31

33

-2

50

10

Kaduna United

36

16

2

18

33

42

-9

50

11

Heartland

36

15

4

17

37

30

7

49

Sunshine Stars vs

Enyimba

ABS

vs

Nembe City

3SC

vs

Warri Wolves

Akwa United

vs

Kaduna United

Bayelsa United vs

Kwara United

Wikki Tourist

vs

Gombe United

Kano Pillars

vs

Dolphins

El Kanemi

vs Lobi Stars

12

Sunshine Stars

36

14

7

15

37

33

4

49

17 goals

13

Kwara United

36

13

10

13

30

29

1

49

Oghenekaro Etebo Warri Wolves

15 goals

14

Nasarawa Utd

36

14

7

15

35

39

-4

49

Rabiu Ali

Kano Pillars

13 goals

Mfon Udoh

Akwa United

13 goals

15

Lobi Stars

36

14

7

15

33

39

-6

49

Dele Olorundare

Sunshine Stars

12 goals

16

Nembe City

36

15

4

17

28

41

-13

49

Bishop Onyeudo

Enyimba/Gombe 12 goals United

17

Akwa United

36

13

8

15

37

43

-6

47

18

Wikki Tourists

36

14

4

18

36

42

-6

46

Glo Premier League Top Scorers’ Chart Victor Namo

Obiozor

battle,” stated the media officer. He went further to say, “Kaduna United are a very good side no doubt but with the motivation in our camp and the collective resolve to keep our club in the top flight of Nigeria club football, they stand no chance against us. We shall build upon what helped us in Warri where, despite playing with a man down, conceding a penalty late on in the game but still came out with a deserved victory. I expect a tough match but we shall emerge winners so that our game against Kwara United in Lokoja, will be used to celebrate our survival.”

isunity among the coaches and the players coupled with management’s infighting learn National Mirror has reliably, have been fingered as the reasons 3SC have been relegated to the Nigeria National League. The Oluyole are rooted to the foot of the log Warriors with 43 points and all but condemned to the lower rungs with two games remaining. Some of the players told National Mirror that the traditional club who once spent life in the lower leagues some years ago, also revealed that infighting among the club executives seriously worked against them and they were only waiting to be officially relegated. “The coaches are not fair to some players and selected players for game with sentiments and players who not in the good books of the coaches are frustrated,” one of the players said. “There’s no way we will do well by sidelining better players and this never went down with the players. “The management members were always quarrelling among themselves and it affected us badly and this is the subsequence.” The players also told National Mirror that they have lost confidence in their coaches and queried their competence hence the relegation battle they are fighting for the better part of the second round.

Nassarawa Utd

Raphael Boumsong El-Kanemi

9 goals

19

ABS F.C.

36

13

7

16

28

41

-13

46

Peter Ebimobowei

9 goals

20

3SC

36

12

7

17

39

44

-5

43

Bayelsa United


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

31

Business & Finance To actualise the goals of our cashless economy, there is need to focus more on grassroots mobilisation and sensitisation Executive Secretary, Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Onajite Regha

The confidence level of doing business in Nigeria decreased from 24 per cent in the third quarter of 2013 to 17.6 per cent in the fourthquarter of the year Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce , Dr. Muda Yusuf

Oil theft: FG begins enforcement of new berthing rules for ships FRANCIS EZEM

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s part of measures to contain the rising wave of petroleum products theft on the nation’s maritime domain, the Federal Government is concluding plans to commence the enforcement of fresh regulations on the berthing of vessels, especially mother ships. Mother ships are very large tanker ships used in the carriage of refined petroleum products, which cannot berth at the nation’ seaports because of the relative draft of the channels, the deepest being Apapa, which is 13.5 meters, which are too shallow for such big ships, some of which are 17.5meters and above and so have to anchor midstream. It has been estimated that Nigeria loses over N100billion annually to oil theft, which experts believe if not checked, might portend economic danger for the Nigerian economy. Senior Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Leke Oyewole who spoke in an interview, disclosed that the government has taken steps towards increasing anti-piracy

and sea robbery campaign within the Nigerian territorial waters, which had earned Nigeria a bad reputation among comity of nations. According to him, the government has over the years discovered that the two categories of vessels that are attacked by these pirates and sea robbers are the mother ships which are so big and therefore cannot berth at the nation’s seaports, which have relatively low draught, and so anchor offshore, adding that no container or other bulk cargo vessel has been attacked.

Another category of ships prone to such piracy attacks are those relatively smaller tanker vessels, which are used to discharge products from the mother ships to the storage facilities for onward distribution to the depots, most of which are hijacked and their contents stolen. He disclosed that under the new berthing regulations, the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, have been detailed to ensure that they capture in their systems any mother ship coming into the Nigerian waters for

proper documentations and registration. The essence of this, it was further gathered is to ensure that all mother ships that come into the Nigerian waters are made to anchor at a particular place; that is the anchorage for proper monitoring. The presidential aide said: “If any ship is reported by NPA or NIMASA as not captured in their system, it means that such ship entered illegally and in that case, we will send the Nigeria Customs Service after such ship and the implications are not pleasant”, he had warned.

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ir Traffic Controllers, ATC, are lamenting the hasty retirement of qualified technical personnel in the Nigerian aviation industry, saying that this is causing acute

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L-R: Director, Standard Bank USA, Mark Chiaviello; Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Mrs. Sola David-Borha; Head of Corporate and Investment Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr. Victor Williams and Head, International Development Group, Standard Bank Group, Maureen Harrington at the Standard Bank power sector investors’ conference in New York, United States, recently.

ATC laments rate of retirement of technical personnel in aviation OLUSEGUN KOIKI

Arik Air

manpower shortage in the sector. The ATC also said that the Federal Government has abandoned training and retraining of personnel in the industry, a situation, which they claimed is negatively affecting the status of the country in the global aviation sector. These were contained in a communiqué signed and issued by the President and Secretary of ATC, Engr.

Victor Eyaru and Banji Olawode respectively at its just concluded 42nd Annual General Meeting and Conference held in Asaba, Delta State. The ATC warned that the failure of the Government to embark on massive recruitment and training of personnel would spell doom for the country, adding that Nigeria’s leading role in Air Navigation Services in Africa is also

threatened. While appreciating the Government for its efforts at permanently addressing the communication crisis in the industry with the provision of Air traffic Control Services, it however urged the Government to sustain its efforts until the total objectives were achieved. The body also called on the government to settle all outstanding, unresolved

EITI boss tasks FG on NEITI audit recommendations

FG moves to boost $25bn ICT investment

32

34

or pending matters of ATC remuneration and professional allowances. On navigation, the association declared that the Air Navigation and Aerodrome Systems particularly control towers where Air Traffic Control Services were to be provided should be constructed and equipped in an ergonomically friendly manner in the interest of safety and efficiency.

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

Tension in OPEC as united States, Canada, Sudan, others supply more oil to market

35


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Business Finance

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

EITI boss tasks FG on NEITI audit recommendations CHIDI UGWU, ABUJA

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he Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative – a global body that ensures transparency around countries’ oil, gas and mineral resources, has said the work of EITI cannot transform the country without the support of the civil society. The International Chair, EITI, Ms. Clare Short, charged Nigerians to demand for the implementation of the recommendations of the nation’s oil sector audit report. The report, which indicted many companies and government agencies in the sector, was released in July by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Ms. Short said Nigerians should demand for change in the country’s extractive indus-

tries based on the findings of the NEITI audit report. Short, who was on a working visit in Nigeria, spoke at a conference organised by NEITI for civil service organisations and stakeholders in Abuja. She said, “The analysis done by NEITI is very impressive but the reforms that comes from it haven’t been implemented yet. So we are at a crucial point now where you need informed demand for change. “I think we are now in a position, especially in Nigeria, to make informed demand and you are the people to make this. The comfortable ones in the society can make the changes and it has to be on behalf of those who are not getting their fair share as the demand for change comes.” Short emphasized that a country’s natural resources belongs to its citizens. She said citizens should have the right

to see what their government is receiving from these resources. “However, in too many countries this information is not publicly available.” According to the EITI chair, if the Nigerian government would judiciously use the proceeds from the oil sector, the level of poverty in the country would be reduced, “or eliminated before 2030.” Short said President Goodluck Jonathan assured the EITI team of the Federal Government’s willingness to ensure that NEITI’s findings were upheld. The team had earlier visited the President. “He made strong commitment on issues that has to do with transparency in the extractive industry because they’ve got the power to make sure that things are done properly,” she said. The Chair, Publish What You

L-R: The Olojodu of Ojodu, Oba Adelani Obatula; Mr tayo Magbagbeola; CEO, Whao Funland,Mrs. Toyin Magbagbeola; former MD, Intercontinental Capital Market, Pastor Ayodele Thomas, and Pastor Kunle Ajayi, during the Grand Opening of Whao Funland in Lagos recently.

Odumodu canvasses enthronement of international standards FRANCIS EZEM

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orried by the worsening influx of fake and sub-standard products into Nigeria, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the nation’s apex standards regulatory organ has canvassed the application of international standards as a tool for positive change in today’s shifting global markets. Director General of the organisation, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, who spoke as part of the activities marking the 2013 World Standards Day, also said there was need to balance remedies to macro-economic challenges therefore called for a meaningful response to climate change. The annual event, which focus is on climate change with the theme: “International Standards Ensure Positive Change”,

is being celebrated across the world and jointly coordinated by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). One of the activities to mark the event in Nigeria will be a stakeholders’ sensitisation/interactive forum on “The effects of substandard electric bulbs on the Nigerian economy” being organised in collaboration with the Electrical Dealers Association of Nigeria and the General Electrical Dealers Association at the Alaba International Market on October 19, 2013. “International Standards are powerful tools to lead positive change by detailing specifications that can open up global markets, create enabling business environments, spur economic growth and help mitigate and adapt to climate change in

the complex international environment”, Odumodu said. According to him, international standards represent the consensus view of the world’s leading experts in industry sectors ranging from energy utilities and energy efficiency to transportation, management systems, climate change, healthcare, safety as well as information and communication technology (ICT). He also noted that in volunteering their knowledge in the service of public interest in these and many other subjects, experts came together to create standards that share innovation with all the world’s countries and so provide business, government and society with a solid platform for positive change. Odumodu also said: “Standards support economic growth in developing countries like Nigeria by outlining best practices that enable them to avoid “reinventing the wheel”.

Pay, Ms. Faith Nwadishi, said if Nigerians refuse to demand for the implementation of the recommendations of the NEITI audit, the findings of the report would be discarded. Nwadishi said, “The strength of an EITI implementing country is as strong

or as weak as the push of the citizens in that country. If the citizens are quiet and are not calling for the implementation of the data from the audit report, it means that the EITI in that country will just be another appendage or a churned out report.”

NACAN set to build first aviation library in Nigeria OLUSEGUN KOIKI

T

he National Air traffic Communicators’ Association of Nigeria, NACAN, is set to build the first aviation library in the country. The library, which is aimed at improving aeronautical services in the country, is to be built in Owerri, Imo State Capital in collaboration with the Governor of the State, Chief Rochas Okorocha. The move to build the library was unveiled at the recently second Annual General Meeting of the association held in Imo State. Under the deal, the state government is to provide the building to house the library while NACAN will provide the academic materials for study by would be users. Speaking at the programme, Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon Ben Owajumogu who stood in for the state governor, said the state would be willing to accede to the proposal put forward for the project by NACAN, noting that it was the joy of the state government to associate with the project. He said, “I can assure you that in no distant time, when finishing touches are put to the proposal, the state government shall not hesitate to donate a building or give you a landed property

which we shall also build for the purpose.” Speaking further on the project, President of NACAN, Philip Aderosoye said the idea was spurred by the need for Nigerian aviation to be at par with what is obtainable at the developed world. According to him, Nigeria is still being faced with acute under-development in some areas of aviation practice which need to be rectified for the nation to be ranked among the best. “As it is synonymous with all nations of the world, the country is faced with some challenges in deployment of modern facilities in its airspace, most especially in the system of its air navigation communications infrastructure, its practices and procedures. “We may recall that one of the major reasons why Nigeria airspace was blacklisted during the military era was associated with aeronautical communications and ineffectiveness of its practices,” he said. Aderosoye noted in view of this that it was high time Nigeria started transiting from the now obsolete Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network, AFTN, to the Air traffic Services Message Handling System, AMHS, which is now in vogue and in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, sanction.

Works Minister urges RTEAN to educate members DAYO AYEYEMI

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he Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, an architect, has requested the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) to educate its members to make good use of the road infrastructure in the country The minister reiterated that better use of the roads would facilitate the association’s business. Onolememen stated this when the National Executive Council of RTEAN led by its National President, Alhaji Shehu Musa Isiwale, paid a courtesy visit to his office. He added that the ministry will give the needed support to the association in its quest to develop various motor parks on the nation’s highways. The minister disclosed that

the Federal Government is already simulating the private sector to participate in the establishment of road parks so that trucks would not be parked indiscriminately on the nation’s major highways. He solicited for the co-operation of RTEAN the continuous drive to transform road infrastructure in the country, while recognizing the association as a major stakeholder to be reckoned with in the Nigerian road sector. Earlier in his address, Musa Isiwale, expressed appreciation to the minister for the ministry’s modest achievements in positively transforming the Nigerian road sector, while promising a much sustainable partnership between their association and the ministry in the daunting task of making Nigerian roads safe and motorable.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business Finance

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Coca-Cola reports higher profit, sticks by long-term goal

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oca-Cola Co yesterday reported a higher quarterly profit and said it was on track to achieve its goal of doubling its 2010 “system revenue,” which includes its sales and those of its bottlers, by 2020. Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent said the world’s largest soft drink company would proceed by investing in its brands and seeking acquisitions. “There’s some headwind in emerging markets, but we believe they are very temporary” because the middle class in those countries is growing, he said. In the third quarter, net income rose 6 percent to $2.45 billion, or 54 cents per share, in the third quarter from $2.31 billion, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding special items such as transaction gains and tax matters, earnings were 53 cents per share, in line with what analysts expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $12.03 billion from $12.34 billion, slightly below analysts’ estimates of $12.05 billion. The decline was largely due to weakerthan-expected currencies in many emergingmarkets and the costs of restructuring bottling operations in Brazil and the Philippines. Chief Financial Officer Gary Fayard said he expected currency weakness to hurt operating income by 5 percent to 6 percent in the fourth quarter. Morningstar analyst Tom Mullarkey said he was encouraged by Coke’s global volume growth, which reached 2 percent overall, as well as the popularity of the Coca-Cola brand in North America. “Soda is not doing great overall in the U.S.,” he said, “but the Coke brand is the leading soda brand, and so the company continues to push it forward.” Kent said the Coke brand was resilient, helping the company deliver a record 181 billion beverage

Citigroup results hit by bond trading slowdown

C

itigroup Inc posted weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings yesterday as weak bond market trading volume hurt revenue at the No. 3 U.S. bank and across Wall Street. Citigroup’s bond trading revenue dropped 26 percent, or $956 million (598 million pounds), excluding an accounting adjustment, contributing to earnings that missed analysts’ forecasts. While the drop in fixedincome revenue was more severe than at larger rival JPMorgan Chase & Co, which reported earnings last Friday, it could spell trouble for investment banks Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley, which post results later this week. “Investors should have been expecting this,” said Tom Jalics, senior investment analyst at Key Private Bank. “The investment bank was a little bit weaker than people had been expecting, but the company’s management

had been telegraphing this for the past 6-8 weeks.” He and other investors pointed to Citi’s efforts to control costs in the third quarter as the most positive part of the earnings, which were also marked by top-line weakness in retail banking. Similar moves could be imminent at other banks, especially as Wall Street bonus season - typically a huge part of their budgets - approaches. “Obviously, the topline growth measures are tough to come by in this environment, and the one lever management is able to pull is on the expense side,” Jalics said. In last year’s third quarter Citigroup took a pretax charge of $4.7 billion related to selling its Smith Barney brokerage business, a charge that ended up costing Vikram Pandit, then the bank’s chief executive, his job. Pandit’s successor, Michael Corbat, has struggled to improve Citigroup fortunes in an environment where client busi-

servings in the quarter. Shares of Coca-Cola, which generates almost 60 percent of its revenue from international markets and nearly 70 percent from soft drinks, were up 0.2 percent at $37.97 in midday trading. In North America, sales volume increased 2 percent overall, largely because of the strong performance of Coke’s non-soda offerings. Still-drink and bottled water sales rose 5 percent, and teas, which include Honest Tea and Fuze, had double-digit percentage growth. Sparkling drink sales in the region were flat. Volume rose 5 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, led by growth of 21 percent in Vietnam. In China, volume increased 9 percent, including an 8 percent rise in soft drinks, without any significant pricing promotions. Executives said the nation had stabilized economically, and its people had more disposable ness is tepid and new regulations are raising banks’ expenses. Corbat told analysts in a conference call that business conditions would remain “uneven” through the rest of the year. “While many of the factors which influence our revenues are not within our full control, we certainly can control our costs, and I am pleased with our expense discipline and improved efficiency yearto-date,” Corbat said in a statement. The bank’s expenses fell nearly $500 million from the second quarter to $11.7 billion as performancebased compensation and transaction costs fell, partly reflecting a weak revenue environment, Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach told analysts. The lender, which has said it was aiming to reduce costs by $1.2 billion annually, said on Tuesday it plans to cut areas like marketing expenses in the fourth quarter. Investors said that from the outside, it is hard to evaluate how the bank’s cost-cutting is affecting its daily operations.

income. Volume rose 4 percent in Eurasia and Africa, fell 1 percent in Europe and stayed flat in Latin America, in part because storms hampered beverage sales in Mexico. Also in Mexico, the government said in September that it was planning on levying taxes on soda to combat obesity. “A regressive discriminatory tax on one part of the food industry just is not going to work,” Kent said Tuesday’s call. Kent later told reporters that the company was not even sure the tax would become law. To capitalize on the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Coca-Cola has already begun its largest soccer-related marketing campaign, which will cover more than 170 markets. The company said it had repurchased $2.8 billion in stock in 2013 and planned to increase that amount to between $3.0 billion and $3.5 billion for the full year.

33

New salaries in London’s financial services up 15%

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orkers who found new jobs in London’s financial services sector in September secured an average 15 percent salary rise, data from recruiter Morgan McKinley showed yesterday. “With existing organisations exerting pressure to keep staff who have already resigned, this is further driving the average salary increases, which for the last few months has been hovering around the 15-20 percent mark,” said Hakan Enver, Operations Director at Morgan McKinley Financial Services. The number of job va-

Cameron

cancies in the UK capital’s financial services industry stood at 7,371 in September, up 8 percent from 6,804 in August, according to the Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor. Enver said the result reflected a renewed energy in the sector and echoed the findings of a recent Confederation of British Industry and PwC survey, which showed that UK financial firms are at their most optimistic for almost 17 years. However, the figure remained far well below the September 2012 level, when vacancies reached 9,072. The monitor also showed an 86 percent increase in the number of people actively job seeking, reflecting improving economic conditions outlined in the British Chambers of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey. “This increasing appetite for exploring new career opportunities suggests that confidence levels are continuing to improve,” Enver said.


34

Business Finance

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

FG moves to boost $25bn ICT investment KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he Federal Government, through the Ministry of Communication Technology, is holding an investment forum at the Silicon Valley in Sans Francisco, the United States of America and the forum is expected to end today. The Silicon Valley Investment Forum was part of the government’s strategic moves to boost Information and Communication Technology industry investment in the country. The Nigerian Communications Commission has recently declared that the volume of local and Foreign Direct Investment into the nation’s ICT sector has reached over $25 billion, with growing efforts by the government to further attract more investment into the industry through FDIs. The Silicon Valley Investment Forum was to showcase the untapped potential of the Nigerian ICT sector and share

its success stories and investment opportunities to the global community. Kicking off with a welcome and networking cocktail session, according to a statement from the ministry, the threeday forum ending today, is also showcasing the development of Nigeria’s technology sector including policy, economic development and individual success stories of start-ups in the country. The aim of the forum, according to the statement, is to further highlight the potential of the Nigerian ICT sector and increase exposure of ideation and innovation in Nigeria. “The forum is to showcase Nigeria’s Innovation drive and success stories of Start-ups like Jumia, Co Creation Hub, Venia Business Hub, Wakanow.com, Inters witch, Paga and so on. Also a new report on Nigeria’s ICT sector by the Oxford Business Group will be circulated at the forum,” the statement said. The Minister of Communi-

cation Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, at the forum is to speak on the potential of the Nigerian ICT sector and initiatives of the ministry to accelerate the growth of the sector. Distinguished participants at the event include the Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Prof. Adebowale Adefuye, officials of the Stanford Institute of Innovation in developing countries, Nigerian innovations hubs, representatives of companies in the diaspora, ECHOVC, venture capitalists, investors; innovators and ICT entrepreneurs. Silicon Valley is the southern region of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California, United States. It is home to many of the world’s largest technology corporations as well as thousands of small start-ups. Silicon Valley is also a leading hub for high-tech innovation and development and accounts for one-third of all of the venture capital investment in the United States.

A Muslim trader making brisk business during the Eid-El-Kabir prayers at the Ikpiba Slope Prayer Ground in Benin, Edo State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Ezekwesili lauds development in agriculture

F

ormer Vice-President of the World Bank, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, on Friday lauded the Federal Government’s emphasis on agricultural development in the country. Ezekwesili told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Lagos that the focus on agricultural development was doing a lot to empower farmers across the country. She added that the current emphasis had redirected the focus of more than 60 per cent of the population into agriculture and related businesses. “I think the emphasis that government is giving to agriculture and agribusiness is very good. I applaud them

(officials) for the emphasis on agriculture, agribusiness and enhancing productivity. “Frankly, already we have more than 60 per cent of our citizens in agriculture. “So, if you want to tackle poverty, go to the sector where the people who are mostly poor are operating, and it’s in agriculture. “So, you go to that informal sector of agriculture, you provide them with the kind of tools and the kinds of facilities, the extension services, the links to the market, the seeds and inputs, the access to credit. “The better business environment, all of these add together to improve their productivity, and

therefore, will improve their income. “When you enhance the income of the farmers, what it means is that they have more money that they can spend even in offering education to their children. “So that circle of activities is so important for taking the entire society out of poverty. “You don’t lift people out of poverty; you give people what they need in order to lift themselves out of poverty.’’ She also urged the government at all levels to make more efforts to boost agricultural development in the country in order to reduce the rate of poverty.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Hilton awards $5,000 Grant to Nigerian NGO for literacy project TOLA AKINMUTIMI, ABUJA

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ilton Worldwide, a leading global hospitality company, has on behalf of Transcorp Hilton Abuja, awarded a $5,000 Travel with Purpose Action Grant to ACE Africa Charity, an Abuja-based NGO with a focus on re-defining the meaning of charity in Africa while providing education, literacy skills and training to African children and youths. The funds will be used to facilitate the implementation of ILSA (Increase Literacy Skills Africa), a project designed to teach and increase literacy skills among African children and adults which includes topics such as English Language, being able to read and understand, writing numeracy, IT and basic etiquette. The Travel with Purpose Ac-

tion Grant programme which was launched this year is part of Hilton Worldwide’s global effort to recognize and encourage collaboration within the communities where we live, work and travel to address local and global challenges. ACE Africa Charity is one of 26 community partners around the world to receive the Grant. The Public Relations Manager of Transcorp Hilton Abuja Shola Adeyemo, stated that every office and property within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio was encouraged to submit an Action Grant application, adding that Transcorp Hilton Abuja is very proud about the Grant to the Nigerian NGO. He explained: “We are so very proud to be part of this global initiative and so excited to have won these funds on behalf of our community partner.

Phase3 Telecoms’ll drive broadband growth, says CEO KUNLE AZEEZ

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he Chief Executive Officer of Phase3 Telecom, Mr. Stanley Jegede, has said that his firm would continue to pursue every legitimate avenue to expand broadband internet access in Nigeria and the West African region for its social and economic development. Speaking at the just concluded Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) 2013 Forum in Abuja, Jegede stated that the development and provision of reliable broadband access was an important component required for social and development. “We believe that improved access is important to the accomplishment of real development in Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, region. “As a firm that has the relevant infrastructure that can help deliver such access, Phase3 Telecom has been in the forefront of promoting world-class communication access in Nigeria and the ECOWAS region. We

want to continue to pursue the achievement of this using every acceptable means,” he said. According to him, the desire to continue to enhance access and demonstrate before people what broadband delivers informed the decision of Phase3 Telecom to support the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization 2013 Forum. “Our decision to support the CTO 2013 Forum is consistent with our vision to promote the growth of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria and the West African region. “We know that technology is a development enabler and the social and economic benefits that it provides are what we want to make our people have access to,” he stated. Jegede noted Phase3 Telecom, provided free broadband internet access to delegates at the CTO 2013 forum as well as effective live streaming of the event. This, he said, allowed people to watch the event online as the proceedings of the plenary sessions and other streamable segments of the forum unfold in real time.

Subscribers to win N280m in new Airtel promo KUNLE AZEEZ

O

ne of Nigeria’s telecoms network, Airtel has launched a new consumer promo to reward existing and prospective customers with N280 million. The promo, which is tagged ‘Airtel Red Hot Promo’, will produce one winner of N1 million on a daily basis for 60 days. Every customer that participates in the promo will win a prize and also stand the chance of winning the ultimate star prize of N10 million at the end of the promo. In addition to these prizes, Airtel said it will be offering high-end

smart phones to 100 lucky customers every week and free airtime to over 5, 000 customers. The telecoms operator said because everyone is a potential winner in the Red Hot promo, customers will get five free Short Messaging Service and one value added service ,VAS, for every recharge throughout the duration of the promo. Speaking on the promo, the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Deepak Srivastava, said, “Red Hot Promo will lift a large number of Nigerians into instant millionaires.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

35

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Energy Week

udemea@rocketmail.com 07031546994

Tension in OPEC as United States, Canada, Sudan, others supply more oil to market For several years, members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, which includes Nigeria, commanded dominant influence in the world of oil. But UDEME AKPAN reports that part of their market share has been eroded as many nations, including the United States, Canada, Sudan, Russia, China and Colombia now export commercial crude oil to the volatile global market.

An oil vessel at berth

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he Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC was very clear with its objectives when it was established in 1960. The cartel that has Nigeria Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela was set to co-ordinate and unify petroleum policies among member countries, in order to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers. It was also established to achieve an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations; as well as secure a fair return on capital to investors. The cartel which developed its collective vision established its objectives and Secretariat, in Geneva and later, Vienna before adopting a ‘Declaratory Statement of Petroleum Policy in Member Countries’ in 1968. The statement emphasised the inalienable right of nations to exercise permanent sovereignty over their natural resources in the interest of their national development. Consequently, it rose to global prominence in the 1970s as its members, including Nigeria assumed increased control of their domestic petroleum industries and influenced the pricing of crude oil at the world markets. Expectedly, oil prices

rose at least on two occasions. That was during the Arab oil embargo in 1973 and the outbreak of the Iranian Revolution in 1979. It did not seize to grow in the 1980s. But after reaching record levels early in the decade; prices started to crash in 1986, responding to a big oil glut. An authoritative report of the cartel stated, “OPEC’s share of the smaller oil market fell heavily and its total petroleum revenue dropped below a third of earlier peaks, causing severe economic hardship for many Member Countries. Prices rallied in the final part of the decade, but to around half the levels of the early part, and OPEC’s share of newly growing world output began to recover. This was supported by OPEC introducing a group production ceiling divided among Member Countries and a Reference Basket for pricing, as well as sig-

nificant progress with OPEC/non-OPEC dialogue and cooperation, seen as essential for market stability and reasonable prices. Environmental issues emerged on the international energy agenda. In the 1990s, prices moved less dramatically than in the past due mainly to OPEC interventions, especially during the Middle East hostilities in 1990–91. The report stated, “But excessive volatility and general price weakness dominated the decade, and the South-East Asian economic downturn and mild Northern Hemisphere winter of 1998–99 saw prices back at 1986 levels. However, a solid recovery followed in a more integrated oil market, which was adjusting to the post-Soviet world, greater regionalism, globalisation, the communications revolution and other high-tech trends. Breakthroughs in producer-consumer

THE SEPTEMBER OIL MARKET REPORT OF THE CARTEL STATED THAT OIL SUPPLY OF NON MEMBERS OF

OPEC TO THE GLOBAL MARKET WILL INCREASE BY 1.2 MILLION BARRELS PER DAY IN 2014 AS A RESULT OF INCREASED PRODUCTION AND EXPORT OF THE

UNITED STATES AND OTHER NATIONS

dialogue matched continued advances in OPEC/non-OPEC relations. As the United Nations-sponsored climate change negotiations gathered momentum, after the Earth Summit of 1992, OPEC sought fairness, balance and realism in the treatment of oil supply. One country left OPEC, while another suspended its Membership. Things were not stagnated thereafter. In the 2000s, the introduction of innovative price band mechanism assisted to stabilise crude prices in the early years of the decade. As the report puts it, “But a combination of market forces, speculation and other factors transformed the situation in 2004, pushing up prices and increasing volatility in a well-supplied crude market. Oil was used increasingly as an asset class. Prices soared to record levels in mid-2008, before collapsing in the emerging global financial turmoil and economic recession. It also stated, “OPEC became prominent in supporting the oil sector, as part of global efforts to address the economic crisis. OPEC’s second and third summits in Caracas and Riyadh in 2000 and 2007 established stable energy markets, sustainable development and the enviCONTINUED ON PAGE 36


36

Energy Week

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tension in OPEC as United States, Canada, Sudan, others supply more oil to market CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 ronment as three guiding themes, and it adopted a comprehensive long-term strategy in 2005. One country joined OPEC, another reactivated its Membership and a third suspended it.” Despite the bold steps and domineering influence of the cartel, one thing is certain. The net oil importing nations, led by the United States, Canada, South Sudan & Sudan, Russia, China, and Colombia have succeeded in taking part of OPEC’s market share through increased oil production and export. The September oil market report of the cartel stated that oil supply of non members of OPEC to the global market will increase by 1.2 million barrels per day in 2014 as a result of increased production and export of the United States and other nations. The supply of United States and other nations is presently put at 1.1 million bpd. The authoritative report of OPEC stated, “Non-OPEC supply is anticipated to increase by 1.1 million bpd in 2013. Growth is supported by expected gains in the US, Canada, South Sudan & Sudan, Russia, China, and Colombia, while output from Syria, Norway, the UK and Australia is projected to decline. The report stated that world oil demand will grow by 1.0 million bpd during the period. According to the report, in 2014, world oil demand is projected to grow by 1.0 million bpd, in line with the previous forecast. It maintained that OPEC NGLs are expected to average 5.8 million bpd in 2013 and 6.0 million bpd in 2014, representing growth of 0.2 million bpd and 0.1 million bpd respectively. Unlike non OPEC, members of OPEC have in recent times been pumping less. For instance, in August this year, OPEC crude oil production stood at 30.23 million bpd, representing a decrease of 124 tb/d from the previous month, according to secondary sources. OPEC stated, “Preliminary data for August showed that US commercial oil stocks fell slightly by 0.7 mb, reversing the build of last five months, but still indicating a surplus of 30.7 mb with the five-year average. It stated that the demand for OPEC crude in 2013 is forecast to average 29.9 mb/d, unchanged from the previous report and 0.5 mb/d lower than last year. The report stated that the demand for OPEC crude in 2014 was revised down slightly to 29.6 mb/d since the last MOMR to show a decline of 0.3 mb/d compared to the current year. The report maintained that: “World economic growth forecasts for 2013 and 2014 remain unchanged at 2.9per cent and 3.5per cent, respectively. US growth for 2013 has been revised up to 1.7per cent from 1.6per cent due to a stronger-than expected 2Q13; the 2014 forecast remains at 2.5per cent. It stated, “After a return to growth in 2Q13, the Euro-zone is now expected to see a lower contraction of 0.5per cent in 2013; the forecast for 2014 remains at 0.6per cent. The report maintained that: “Japan’s forecast has been revised to 1.7per cent from 1.9per cent and the 2014 forecast is unchanged at 1.4per cent. India has recently been impacted by capital outflows and its 2013 forecast has been revised from 5.6per cent to 5.3per cent, while its 2014 growth remains at

Jonathan

Alison Madueke

OPEC

AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS SHOULD

ALSO CONTINUOUSLY REVIEW THE MARKET AS WELL AS ADOPT PROACTIVE MEASURES ,

CAPABLE OF ASSISTING TO ACHIEVE ADEQUATE SUPPLY AND MARKET STABILITY 6.0per cent. More than that, the October 2013 report of the cartel stated that the United States and other non-members of OPEC are to supply as high as 54.1 million barrels per day, bpd to the global market this month, representing an increase of 1.1 per cent against its previous record. This sustainable increase in oil supply is expected to further affect the market share of OPEC member nations, including Nigeria that depend on oil export to generate foreign exchange for the execution of their yearly budgets. The stated, “Non-OPEC oil supply is estimated at 54.1 mb/d, following an upward revision of 0.1 mb/d, representing growth of 1.1 mb/d. It stated that the upward adjustment was due mainly to higher-than-expected supply from the US, Brazil, Kazakhstan and South Sudan & Sudan. In 2014, non-OPEC oil supply is expected to increase by 1.2 mb/d, supported by anticipated growth in the US, Canada, Brazil, and South Sudan & Sudan. The report stated that OPEC NGLs and nonconventional oils are expected to increase by 0.2 mb/d in 2013 and 0.1 mb/d in 2014. In September, total OPEC crude production averaged 30.05 mb/d, according to secondary sources, representing a drop of 390 tb/d from the previous month. It stated, “World economic growth for 2013 and 2014 remains unchanged at 2.9per cent and 3.5per cent respectively, although ongoing developments regarding the budget stand-off in the US requires close monitoring. US growth for 2013 has been revised down to 1.6per cent from 1.7per cent, while the 2014 forecast remains at 2.5per cent. The report maintained that, “The Euro-zone growth forecast for the current year has been revised up to -0.3per cent from -0.5per cent and to 0.7per cent from 0.6per cent for 2014. Japan’s forecast for 2013 has been re-

vised up to 1.9per cent from 1.7per cent and growth for 2014 has been revised to 1.5per cent from 1.4per cent. It stated that India has been impacted by capital outflows and its 2013 forecast has been lowered to 5.0oper cent and its 2014 forecast reduced to 5.8per cent. The report stated that China’s growth expectations remain unchanged at 7.6per cent and 7.7per cent for 2013 and 2014, respectively. It stated that, “World oil demand is estimated to average 89.7 mb/d in 2013, representing growth of 0.8 mb/d compared to the previous year, and unchanged from the previous report. The report maintained that upward revisions in OECD Americas and Europe were almost entirely offset by downward adjustments in OECD Asia Pacific, Other Asia and the FSU. It stated, “For 2014, growth is expected to increase to around 1.0 mb/d to reach to 90.8 mb/d. Non-OECD countries are projected to lead oil demand growth with 1.2 mb/d, while OECD consumption is seen continuing to decline but at a lower rate of 0.2 mb/d. Demand for OPEC crude in 2013 is estimated to average 29.9 mb/d, unchanged from the previous report, representing a decline of 0.5 mb/d from 2012. In 2014, demand for OPEC crude is expected at 29.6 mb/d, also in line with the previous report, representing a decline of 0.3 mb/d compared to the current year. These and other developments have attracted comments from some stakeholders. One of them is the International Energy Agency, IEA which has predicted that the United States will overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s top oil producer by 2017. The forecast which advises large industrialised nations on energy policy, were in sharp contrast to previous IEA reports, which saw Saudi Arabia lead-

Anderew Yakubu

ing. The current report states that energy developments in the United States are profound and their effect will be felt well beyond North America, and the energy sector. It made it emphatic that: “The recent rebound in U.S. oil and gas production, driven by upstream technologies that are unlocking light tight oil and shale gas resources, is spurring economic activity with less expensive gas and electricity prices giving industry a competitive edge.” The questions most people are asking are: how would that affect OPEC and its members, especially Nigeria and what should they do to ameliorate such negative impact? From all indications, exporting crude oil to United States and other emerging oil provinces would soon be like taking coal to Newcastle. In other words, the decision of the United States and others to stop or reduce oil imports from OPEC member nations may impact negatively on them in one way or another. The National President of Oil and Gas Service Providers Association of Nigeria, OGSPAN, Mr. Colman Obasi said in a telephone interview that: “We in OGSPAN feel that uncontrolled oil export from the United States and other nations can have an oversupply problem on the market. This, we believe can be prevented through regular consultation between OPEC and non OPEC members. OPEC and other stakeholders should also continuously review the market as well as adopt proactive measures, capable of assisting to achieve adequate supply and market stability. These will impact positively on member states, including Nigeria that still depends heavily on petroleum to generate adequate foreign exchange for the implementation of yearly budgets.” However, evident abounds to illustrate that OPEC has been engaging stakeholders in different parts of the world so as to achieve adequate supply and stability in the global market. Early this month, the Secretary General of OPEC, Dr. Abdalla S. El-Badri, stated at a conference in Kuwait that: “With stock levels and OPEC spare capacity continuing to support the supply and demand outlook. The market is stable, something OPEC continually strives for.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

UDEME AKPAN

T

Energy Week

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

he price of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC basket of 12 crudes has risen from $107.69 to $108.15 per barrel, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). The Secretary General of OPEC, Dr. Abdalla S. El-Badri expressed optimism that the price of OPEC basket may remain stable throughout the remaining part of the year as the market is presently well supplied. He called for increased cooperation among stakeholders, including members of the cartel in different areas, especially technology. He said, “Technology and people have combined to continually transform our industry, playing a fundamental role in supporting the efficient production of hydrocarbons. Over the years, technological advancements have helped people to push the limits of the industry. For example: El-Badri said, “By extending the industry’s reach in terms of the way resources are identified and developed; by addressing the goals of better, faster, cheaper, and safer operations in both the upstream and downstream; and, by producing cleaner and more efficient petrochemical products. He said back in February 1938, oil was discovered at the Burgan field, with commercial oil production beginning in 1946. The Secretary General said it was a great find for Kuwait, but very few would have predicted that this field would still be pumping today. Burgan turned into a ‘giant’ oil field and it remains central to Kuwait’s oil industry. He said, “In Burgan’s long history,

OPEC basket price rises to $108.15 per barrel

Oil vessel

people and technology have combined – to tap into the reservoir, expand its recoverable resource base and apply improved recovery techniques, so that more of the oil in place can be produced. El-Badri said technological advancements have enabled the industry to increase the estimates of the amount of oil and gas that can be found, and what can be recovered. Improvements in the quantity and quality of information about different geological structures has enhanced the likelihood of finding oil and gas, and extended the reach of the industry into harsher and more remote locations in ‘frontier areas’. He said, “Of course, when talking of fossil fuels we need to recognize that they are non-renewable resources, so peak supply will arrive one day. But at present, this day is being pushed further and further into the future. The Secretary General said for oil, estimates from the US Geological Survey of ultimately recoverable resources have more than doubled since the early 1980s, from just 1.7 trillion barrels to over 3.8 trillion barrels.

He said, “And when looking at recovery rates, these have increased from less than 10 per cent of oil in place in the early history of the industry, to in excess of 70 per cent in some fields today. El-Badri said, “In terms of drilling, we have progressed from drilling tens of metres to many kilometres below the surface, both vertically and horizontally. And the industry as a whole has evolved from basic geological sciences to reservoir simulators, state-of-the-art IT, 3D views of deep and complex horizons in the subsurface, large offshore drill ships and huge data mining activities to optimize performance. He said, “From the downstream perspective, the development of the fluid catalytic cracking process for upgrading heavy crude components has allowed the industry to produce increasingly lighter products and much larger volumes of transportation fuels. And desulphurization technologies have enabled the industry to reduce the environmental impact of sulphur emissions.”

Amadi tasks DISCOS on metering of customers CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

T

he Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Dr Sam Amadi, recently charged the PHCN successor companies to consider metering of customers as their major priority when they takeover PHCN. Amadi said this at a two-day workshop organised in Abuja by NERC to sensitise the successor companies and other

stakeholders on the draft interim rules and other regulatory issues. ``The new PHCN successor companies should see metering of all their customers immediately they take over ownership of the PHCN companies as it major priority to avoid bills estimation,’’. Amadi explained that the idea of the successor companies continuing with bills estimation would not be tolerated, adding that using this method leads to cheating of the customers. He explained that in the new power reform agenda, both the accounts of

Source: Oilprice.com

the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and the customers should be balanced and maintained. Amadi noted that one of the concerns of NERC was to ensure that the DISCOs and customers have their rights unhindered; noting that one of these rights was to meter customers. He stated that metering all the customers would enable the customers to monitor their energy usage as well, ensure enable the DISCOs could know how much revenue they could realise. Amadi said that the more customers

Commodity

Units

Price

Change

% Change

Contract

Time(ET)

Crude Oil (WTI)

USD/bbl.

101.54

-0.87

-0.85%

Nov 13

08:35:59

Crude Oil (Brent)

USD/bbl.

109.91

-1.13

-1.02%

Nov 13

08:35:23

TOCOM Crude Oil

JPY/kl

64,080.00

-360.00

-0.56%

Mar 14

08:31:11

NYMEX Natural Gas

USD/MMBtu

3.84

+0.02

+0.45%

Nov 13

08:35:56

Source: Bloomberg

37

DISCOs give meters, the more revenue they would make. He stressed that metering all the customers, would make it possible for DISCOs to know the exact numbers of the customers they have. Amadi said that the Multi-Year-TariffOrder 2(MYTO2) of the Nigeria electricity Power Sector Reform Act 2005, provided money for DISCOs for losses incurred by them in the metering of customers. He assured the DISCOs that NERC and would fix a date to sit with them and find out how many months or weeks would be given to DISCOs to ensure that all their customers were metered. Amadi noted that previously, 18 months was given to the PHCN to meter all their customers they were not able to do this. Earlier, Mr. Roberk Yates, who spoke on behalf of the DISCOs) said that metering of the customers, would make the DISCOs incur more expenditures.


38

Energy Week

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

‘Electricity consumers should be organized’ The electricity consumers who complain of exploitation in different parts of the nation do not appear to be organised. The Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, who spoke with journalists at the sidelines of the public hearing and workshop on the regulation of the electricity marketpost privatisation called for improved organization of consumers. CHIDI UGWU reports.

How will the implementation of MYTO2 assist to subsidise low income consumers in the nation? Well, it is already effective; if you are paying N12 instead of N24 it is self executing. What I mean is that the tariffs have been structured in a way that low income earners are paying less. They are actually paying less, so it is implemented already, but the issue is will it remain that way? We do not know, it depends on what the cost profile in the industry is. So, after the variables are verified and validated we go back and rebase the tariff, and it follows from there. Two things, will government provide subsidy? Maybe not. If they provide subsidy, it contributes. If they do not, we look for cost subsidy. So the subsidies for the poor are working now. What will be in tomorrow’s market will be determined after a forensic review and evidence based decision making by the commission. How prepared is NERC to manage the excesses of DISCOs that have organized themselves into a pressure group? In real life, regulators deal with pressure groups. Civil society is pressure group. Consumers constitute pressure group. Media are pressure groups. So, a

Niger Delta activist lauds President Jonathan on dialogue

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Sam Amadi

What measures have been put in place to ensure that are the efforts in place to ensure sustainable operations in the electricity sector? First if rules are reasonable, it will be easy to implement them than when they are unreasonable. So our first commitment is to ensure that the rules are reasonable. And you have to ensure that the rules and regulations which you are bringing forward outline financial penalty. You make the rules together with the operators. Second, you make the rules communicated clearly to everybody. They should be made to know that these are the rules. The rules should be monitored. When they fail to perform, there are provisions for forfeiture in those rules. So, that is how it works. So essentially, the focus should be on getting the rules. The next should be getting them enforced. For this market, there is no reason why we should not enforce it because when we provide the private operators the enabling environment to perform then there will be no justification for failure to follow the rules. Therefore, there will be every justification to punish the infraction of the rules vehemently.

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WHEN

CIVIL SOCIETY

regulator must have the capacity to withstand pressure groups. We are not really bothering much about pressure groups or cartel. It is legitimate in a democratic society that people try to organize themselves and try to influence decisions in their favour. I have made it clear that as long as you legitimately try to influence policy; that is fine with democracy. That is why you can go to National Assembly and protest. When civil society demonstrates or march around that is pressure. So pressure is part of democracy. And a regulator deals with pressure. Our job is to balance all interest. The key issue is that a regulator should have the ethical and technical competence to withstand pressure. So, we are not really worried about pressure, we are more concerned with building our own capacity. Like I said the rules will be written by NERC not pressure groups but pressure groups are free to make their contributions.

are the expectations. They expect us to guarantee them their revenue strength. So if we go and make a law that makes it difficult to get their recovery, we have violated our obligation towards them. In the same way, consumers have expectations, the second wife; she expects that when it is time for you to come to her room you will come.

How will your Commission effectively regulate the sector, especially when investors seek to bend rules in order to recover investments targeted at settling debts to financiers? The regulator is like a polygamist, a good polygamist, even though some people from their religious point of view will argue that polygamy is bad, and to me it is outlawed. But a good polygamist will like to keep everybody happy which as you know is never an easy act. What does he do? All the wives have legitimate expectations. You will consider what are the rights of consumers and the rights of investors. Someone was speaking to me and said can you really say that investors have a right? I said yes, they have a right that a regulator provides a regulated environment that allows them to work efficiently and get their returns. We had a retreat and I made it clear to CEOs that in this market there are expectations from NERC, and we NERC also have expectations from them. The area of the workshop was essentially to let them know what we expect them to do. We expect them to file their returns to us, file health and safety indicator, commercial as well as consumer management activities. If they fail, we sanction them. We expect them to respond to queries, if somebody disputes their bills. We expect them to provide reliable electricity within their business plan in line with the Green Code. These

It is polygamy. So you discover that it fair for us to be there to say ‘but the tariff is N12: 60 kobo in Abuja, why are you charging N14 per Kilowatt hour? The consumer expects that if the owners come and tell NERC that see, this arithmetic does not add up, we would want you to increase it to N20 per kilowatt hour. The consumer expects us to say no, justify why it should be increased. Our job is to protect the consumer and protect the investor. That is why we do public hearing. Having studied a little bit about participation, I believe that there is a synergy of power. If you call a meeting, may be to look at the minor review, you hardly see consumers but the Discos are always in attendance. So, if someone is telling you that the Discos will lose money. They will give you the graph how they will loss they money. They will give you the numeric and the analysis how they will lose the money. They will tell you they will lose $20 million if you do X, but nobody will do the analysis and tell us what the consumers will lose. That is why I said it, and in many countries of the world, they have it. Consumers need to be organized so that if we are doing consultation, we will receive paper from Transcorp. We should also be able to receive paper from NLC; TUC or from an NGO. A regulator is like a judge, we are not going to shut our eyes to the evidence. We are going to make our policy based on evidence before us.

DEMONSTRATES OR MARCH AROUND ,

THAT IS PRESSURE .

SO

PRESSURE IS PART

OF DEMOCRACY .

AND

A REGULATOR DEALS WITH PRESSURE .

oremost Niger Delta activist and Director General of Network for the Defense of Democracy and Good Governance, NDDGG, Ambassador Sobomabo Jackrich has lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for setting up the committee for National Dialogue pointing out that this has further re-assured Nigerians of his administration’s resolve to consciously transform and unite the country for the better. Speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt the peace ambassador and philanthropist reminded Nigerians about the President Jonathan’s sincerity of purpose in instituting a national dialogue which he said is a national project, sincere and fundamental undertaking, aimed at realistically examining and genuinely resolving, longstanding impediments. He said it would bring about cohesion and harmonious development as a truly united nation, and therefore called for total support for the president’s project as a last gap effort to right the wrongs of the past and become more conscious of the future. Jackrich also spoke about the plight of the Niger Deltans and said the region and people responsible for a greater percentage of the national wealth are in dare need of such national dialogue following pains and marginalizations of the past inflicted on her by the entity called Nigeria. Further commending the president the peace ambassador noted that as Niger Deltans he is in an unflinching solidarity with the president on this decision, “I want to say we have total faith in the National dialogue because it is not only timely but shall bring to fore serious national discourse with a view to re-solving them jointly” he was quoted as saying.

Total signs $7.5 bn loan agreement with eight banks

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otal Exploration & Production Nigeria Ltd. and Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd. agreed to borrow $7.5 billion from eight lenders in subSaharan Africa’s second-biggest economy. “It’s meant to finance local contractors and suppliers,” Charles Ebereonwu, Total’s spokesman in Nigeria, said today by phone from Abuja, the capital. “It’s in line with Total’s development program for local contractors.” Banks in Africa’s top crude producer have increased lending to finance oil, power and infrastructure projects after returning to profit from near-collapse in 2008 and 2009. Companies such as London-based Heritage Oil Plc and Lagos-based Neconde Energy Limited bought stakes in fields owned by Royal Dutch Shell, Eni (ENI) SpA and Total, Nigeria’s fourth-largest oil and gas producer. The eight lenders providing the $7.5 billion facility for Total’s contractors are Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Ecobank Nigeria, Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank, United Bank for Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, Access Bank and Fidelity Bank, Ebereonwu said.


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Energy Week

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Shell continues oil spill cleanup UDEME A KPAN

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he Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited has intensified efforts targeted at completing the cleanup of a major oil spill in Rivers State. The accident occurred following frequent attack on its Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), which enhances the production and export of Bonny Light, Nigeria’s premium oil grade. Consequently, the nation’s has suspended the production of 150,000 barrels per day following fresh attack on Shell Petroleum Development Company Trans Niger Pipeline, TNP. The attack recorded on Tuesday culminated in the complete shut of the entire 28-inch pipeline which facilitates the production and export of Bonny Light, Nigeria’s premium crude oil grade. Spokesman of the firm, Mr. Precious Okolobo who confirmed the development in a statement stated, “A fire outbreak was reported today (October 14) within the SPDC JV rightof-way at Patrick Waterside, Bodo, Ogoniland and close to the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), even as investigations and repair work continue on last week’s spills in the area. He stated, “The entire TNP system, comprising the 24-inch line and 28 inch line had been closed on October 9 as a precautionary response to the spills, but the 28” TNP was reopened shortly after investigations established that the leaks were on the 24

Sunmonu

inch line only. “The 28-inch TNP has now been shut in again due to the fire at Patrick Waterside. The fire has now gone out but the 28-inch will remain closed until checks are carried out, he stated. The Okolobo said this means that the entire TNP is shut-in, resulting in production of 150,000 barrels of oil per day being deferred. The force majeure on Bonny Light exports remains in place. Okolobo stated, “Investigations into the earlier incidents showed that unknown persons had drilled holes on the 24-inch TNP at B-Dere, while an excavation was observed at Bodo West. Investigation into the spill at Nonwa – Tai is continuing. He stated that SPDC is taking appropriate actions to minimize impact on the environment and ensure the safety of members of the community, SPDC staff and its contractors.

Okolobo stated, “SPDC will initiate clean-up and remediation, as well as provide relief materials and compensate those who may be impacted upon establishment of volume and impact of any operational spill as determined by the JIV report. The Country Chair and Managing director of the firm, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu stated in a recent report that: “As a Nigerian, and one who has spent a great deal of my career in the Niger Delta, my greatest immediate concern is the issue of crude oil theft, which is an increasingly dangerous menace. He said, the volume currently being stolen is the highest in the last three years, with over 60,000 barrels per day from SPDC facilities alone. Sunmonu said this is a huge loss, and the effects of this industrial scale theft are devastating for both the people and the environment. He said most of the stolen crude makes its way to the international market and a smaller percentage is refined locally, with thick smoke from illegal refineries lining the shore in many parts of the Delta. Sunmonu stated, “The land, shorelines and water are heavily polluted with oil as a result of these activities. This is a crisis situation because the solution is beyond the capacity of any individual company. He stated, “Our concern is that, if these activities continue at this rate, the effects would be devastating, not only to the social and environmental structure of many areas of the Niger Delta, but also to Nigeria’s economy.”

Angola to impose up to 10% tax on oil firms

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ngola, Africa’s largest oil producer after Nigeria, is imposing a consumption tax on petroleum companies that will raise some costs by as much as 10 percent, according to government documents. The law, which comes into effect with its publication that may happen as early as today, requires companies to follow a tax schedule that adds five percent to most services and supplies and double that for equipment rentals, a presidential decree showed. Bloomberg stated, “Angola set up a special tax reform branch in 2010 to work with government ministries on increasing revenue and closing loopholes in a bid

An oil rig

to simplify taxation. The southwest African country, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, pumped about 1.74 million barrels a day in September from offshore fields, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “Oil companies have benefited from tax exemptions even as government reforms have expanded the net of taxable services,” Emily Anderson, a researcher at the London School of Economics, said in an e-mailed response to questions. He said, “Closing loopholes in the fiscal system will bring greater tax justice and taxpayer confidence across all industries while making good economic sense.” Companies spend about $20 billion a

year in petroleum exploration and production in Angola, according to Londonbased GlobalData Ltd. and Oilfield Support Angola Lda based in the capital, Luanda. Tapping fields under one mile of ocean and three miles below the seabed tests limits of current technology. Mercer ranks Luanda the world’s most expensive city for expatriates with an oil-driven economy that’s inflated prices. Angola is continuing to recover from a 27year civil war that ended in 2002. BP Plc (BP/), ConocoPhillips and Statoil ASA (STL) are among oil explorers investing at least $3 billion in wells off Angola next year, David Thomson, an analyst with Wood Mackenzie Ltd. in Edinburgh, said in August. The companies will drill 20 wells at a cost of $150 million each, he said. The government’s tax reform branch plans to simplify and modernize codes while boosting revenue, Gilberto Luther, director of the reform project, said in an interview in April. By 2017 or soon after, a value-added tax on finished products and services will replace the consumption tax that’s charged on each stage of manufacturing, Luther said. The new levy will cut the “cascading effect” of the current tax, which increases inflation by making prices higher than a lone tariff on the final product, he said.

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SHELL lifts 5000 youth entrepreneurs with training, start-up capital SAM OLUWALANA

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nother batch of 50 youths trained and equipped were lifted into the business world last Tuesday by oil Giants, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC Joint Venture With this last batch now, the Anglo-Dutch company has equipped over 5000 youths between the ages of 18 and 35 in a self-sufficiency scheme known as LiveWire. Each of the 50 beneficiaries went home with princely sums of N300,000 to start their own businesses, even as the company’s officials promised more financial support in the next one year. The flag-off of the ceremony took place at the Atlantic Hall of Hotel Presidential on Aba Road in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Most of the previous beneficiaries were elated and expressed appreciation at the top level training they got together with the funds that went with it. Twelve highfliers from the previous 2012 batch were also handed another N200,000 each as a mark of encouragement while the best three best trainees for 2013 were given special awards for their edge. According to the General Manager, Sustainable Development and Community Relations of SPDC, Nedo Osayande, LiveWire which began in 2003 has pushed out over 5000, with over 2000 so far benefitting from various financial assistance that have turned them into top level entrepreneurs with a harvest of success stories recorded so far by the scheme. Osayande said: “These young entrepreneurs are now business owners. They are creating employment opportunities for other youths and contributing to the reduction of youth employment and restiveness in the region”. He further that said LiveWire has won recognition at home and abroad for its live-transforming capability. “In 2011, the programme received the African Leadership Magazine Award and some of the beneficiaries have gone ahead to win other awards including the Central Bank of Nigeria Entrepreneurial Award. The Go Trade Enterprise Linkage Award in 2010 also enabled some of them to make international trade visits to London and Dubai”. He said the scheme was in line with the company’s business principles encapsulated in their social development policies of contributing to economic empowerment and job creation for youths in the Niger Delta. On how the beneficiaries emerged, the Osayande said over 1000 applied for the 2013 version, but that only 300 were selected before written tests reduced the number to 50. The lucky ones further underwent a week-long training in the hands of some of the best hands in entrepreneurial skills. ‘’Those with the ability to produce bankable business plans were selected. But it does not end here. This group will CONTINUED ON PAGE 40


Energy Week

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SHELL lifts 5000 youth entrepreneurs with training, start-up capital CONTINUED FROM 39 upon successful performance”. Three model entrepreneurs brought to the stage to give motivational tips, were greeted with warmth and huge applause as response. Belema Ogbuigwe, the executive director, Centre for Information and Development, a pioneer recipient (2003), thrilled the newcomers on how she managed her capital, waded through storms and emerged as a thriving business magnate with employees. She admonished the 68 million youths all over Nigeria must create jobs for themselves instead of waiting on relations or the Government.

Famosotiye tasks PHCN staff on health

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orkers of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN have been tasked to give priority to health in order to boost their productivity. The Business Manager of Eko Electricity Company, Ajele Business Unit, Engr. Sunday S. Famosotiye who made the call during a health walk programme recently said, “Health is wealth. He said, “I have been regularly exercising myself for years to keep fit. The exercise has helped me build a healthy workforce and a healthy worker contributes positively to the business of the company. Famosotiye said, “This is a tradition I am trying to build among my staff and I would like to make it a monthly routine. Famosotiye used the occasion to shed more light on the activities of the company. When asked what is his District doing to enhance availability in his district. He said light has improved considerably in recent months and that he is working round the clock to sustain it. He said good monitoring initiated by the company and the cordial relationship between his unit and the community leaders and youths in the area has held keep vandals at bar and provided security for PHCN installations. On the issue of computerized metering and its availability to customers, Famosotiye said the computerized which was suspended due to lack of funds has been re-introduced for a token fee of N25, 000 and that it takes an average of 36 days for a prospective customer to get one having fulfill all conditions. The Chairman, Social Club of Ajele Business Unit, Mr. Ejegbai Emmanuel also said a healthy worker is an active worker and contribute positively to the growth of the company. He said a sound mind gives better service to his country and the purpose of the health walk is to prepare the workers for the new challenges ahead. Emmanuel said the Walk took the staff through Meloney Street, Catholic Mission Road, Broad Street and back to the office.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Forte, MTN fuel communication at filling stations

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orte Oil PLC, Nigeria’s foremost indigenous major marketer of refined petroleum products today announced that it has reached a partnership agreement with MTN Nigeria, a leading telecommunications company to jointly improve customers’ experience through the provision of ‘Visible, Impactful, Stable, Appealing (VISA)3000 kiosks at selected Forte service stations nationwide. This partnership aligns with Forte Oil PLC’s vision of making its retail outlets a one stop shop for robust customers’ shopping experience, beyond refueling of vehicles. At the VISA3000 kiosks, Forte customers who are MTN subscribers can now enjoy a complete customer care service such as sim swaps, bill payments, sim registration, query resolutions, sale of airtime and other bouquet services right on the forecourt in addition to fuels and lubricants purchases as well as sundry services such as groceries, laundry, car wash and auto repair. In the first phase of the project, MTN will deploy 100 VISA3000 kiosks to selected service stations nationwide. This is poised to increase significantly to 200 at the second phase of the deployment exercise. Commenting on the partnership, Akin Akinfemiwa, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Forte Oil PLC, said, “As the foremost indigenous oil marketing company, Forte Oil PLC is constantly seeking opportunities to meet and surpass our customers’ needs through the provision of value add services. The partnership with MTN reinforces that vision whilst affirming our commitment to superior service delivery as a testimony of our partnership with MTN, the foremost telecommunications company in Nigeria. With this partnership, our customers who are subscribers to the network will be able to reduce their

Filling station

commuting time and cost in attending to their telecommunication requirements by visiting Forte Oil PLC retail outlets.” Commenting on the partnership, Michael Ikpoki, CEO MTN, said, “At MTN, relationship is a core value and the hallmark for driving our vision of providing first class services to our customers. We are always on the lookout for like mind organisations who share same vision of leadership and innovative approach to bringing our products and services closer to our customers in a way that enriches their lives. We are proud of the partnership with Forte Oil PLC, a young dynamic organisation, who shares a lot of our values, especially in the provision of superior service delivery. We are pleased to leverage their network of over 500 stations nationwide and their 24hour service in key locations to ensure that our products and services are brought closer to our dear customers.” Forte Oil PLC is a public liability company listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and a foremost indigenous major

marketer of refined petroleum products a strong presence in the thirty-six states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. It is head quartered in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic nerve centre. The Company operates a network of 500 outlets spread across the Country with major fuel storage installations at both Apapa (Lagos State) and Onne (Rivers State). Its Aviation Joint User’s hydrants in Ikeja and Joint Aviation depots in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano makes it one of Nigeria’s leading providers of aviation fuel for local and international airlines. In addition to these strategic retail and commercial network in Nigeria, Forte Oil PLC is also well established in Ghana under the trade name-AP Oil and Gas Limited (APOG), with a network of retail outlets, liquefied petroleum gas plants and a lubricant blending arrangement with Tema Oil blending plant. Forte Oil is currently using its presence in Ghana to leverage its expansion into other West African Countries as it seeks to dominate the African Energy market.

U.A.E. diversifies into gas, nuclear power –Minister

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he United Arab Emirates, OPEC’s fourth-largest crude producer, is investing in nuclear power, renewable energy and liquefied natural gas terminals to reduce its reliance on oil, according to its energy minister. “We are making our energy-supply portfolio more robust,” Suhail Mohammed AlMazrouei said in Daegu, South Korea, today. “We are committed to being a reliable supplier of hydrocarbons to the world,” he said, adding that the nation is operating a cross-country crude pipeline to facilitate exports. Abu Dhabi, holder of most of the U.A.E.’s crude reserves, plans to raise out-

Nuclear plant

put capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day in 2017 to meet export demand and feed an expanded local refinery. The emirate supplies parts of the country with gas imported from Qatar and from its own fields and provides electric power to other emirates. Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the second-biggest emirate, are also investing in renewable energy. “Traditional sources of energy on their own are not enough,” Al-Mazrouei said at the World Energy Congress. “The U.A.E. is actively diversifying its energy mix.” The U.A.E. plans to generate 25 percent of its power from nuclear plants by 2020 and to have 2,500 megawatts of generation

capacity from renewable sources, according to the minister. Four nuclear plants will produce 5,400 megawatts of power when completed by 2020, Matar Hamed Al Neyadi, an energy ministry undersecretary, said at the conference today. Renewable energy will account for about 7 percent of the nation’s generation, he said, indicating the U.A.E. will have a capacity of more than 35,000 megawatts by 2030. Abu Dhabi last year started a crude pipeline to Fujairah, a port outside the Strait of Hormuz, a choke point for oil shipments from the Persian Gulf. Two Abu Dhabi state-owned investment vehicles plan to build an LNG import terminal in the emirate to bring in more of the fuel for power generation. The U.A.E., which has boosted its oil-production capacity to about 3 million barrels a day, will proceed with plans to raise its total daily output capability to 3.5 million barrels even amid increased supply from U.S. shale resources and from Middle East producers including Iraq, Al-Mazrouei said yesterday. Rising global demand means extra production will be utilized, he said. The U.A.E. pumped 2.9 million barrels a day of crude last month, according to a Bloomberg survey of producers and analysts.


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18 ex-corps members get automatic employment in Cross River

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o fewer than 18 former members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, have been given automatic employment by the Cross River Local Government Service Commission. The commission’s chairman, Mr. Nja Nkang-Abang, said this in Calabar, while briefing journalists on the commission’s activities. He said that the former corps members were given automatic employment in appreciation of their excellent performance during their service year. Nkang-Abang said: “The commission has commenced online computation of the terminal benefits of all pensioners; this exercise should be completed by the end of 2013. “Enlightenment campaign is being carried out through Pension Desk Officers and Secretaries of Area Education Authorities. “This is aimed at en-

Affiah

couraging retirees to promptly process their papers for the computation of their terminal benefits.” Nkang-Abang said that the commission was statutorily established to manage the personnel affairs of local government councils, especially in the areas of appointments, promotions, training, transfer and discipline. According to him, the commission is committed to training and re-training of local government personnel, with a view to bringing the desired professionalism out of the system. “The commission has sponsored the training of 38 persons at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Out of them, 22 have so far graduated. “Six of them obtained B.Sc degrees in Local Government Studies, while16 others acquired Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in different courses,” he said. Besides, Nkang-Abang said that the commission had approved the retirement of 188 permanent workers and 28 voluntary staff. He also said that the commission had commenced plans to select workers for training as Community Health Officers from the 18 local government areas in the state.

Retirees urge FG to revert to old pension scheme

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

From the Civil Service

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

tuity, while the other half is kept with the managers. “The only advantage the new scheme has is that retirees receive their money as at when due, while in the old system the retirees receive a substantial amount of money as gratuity. “But now some pension managers now give only a third of the gratuity to retirees and do business to enrich themselves with the remaining two-thirds,” they alleged. The retirees said it was completely embarrassing to them as retired civil servants who had served in various capacities to better the country. “By the new pension scheme, the Federal Government failed to realise that not all retired civil servants were able to build a home for themselves before retirement.”

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Why there’s existence of federal character principle –Ezoke Barrister Edu Harry Ezoke is a commissioner representing Cross River State on the Board of Federal Character Commission. In this interview with EMMANUEL ONANI, he speaks on the importance of the federal character principle in Nigeria, census exercises and other issues of national importance. Excerpts: Concerns have been raised on the retention of the federal character principle in the 1999 Constitution. Has the principle not outlived its usefulness? Well, the federal character commission is a product of history, and if you know where we are coming from, you will understand why the principle is included in the constitution. The North and South protectorates of Nigeria were amalgamated in 1914, thus bringing two different people, so to speak, to live together as one. You will also agree with me that Nigeria is made up of very many ethnic nationalities, with their various problems; various situations as it were. So, to live together means there must be something that will keep us together. Recall that immediately after the colonialists left us, there was a need for us to fashion a system that would create harmony and unity among the various ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria. That is why, during the 1994/1995 constitution drafting conference, the issue came up and it was from there that the word “federal character” originated. Before now, sections of the country were agitating for quota system, and then the word federal character originated from that conference. The conference agreed that it was necessary for an institution to be established, that will ensure the observance of the federal character principle. So, up till today, you will agree with me that there is still need for the existence of the federal character principle in our politics. Essentially, that is it. Those who argue for its abolition say it promotes mediocrity. Do you subscribe to that line of argument? It should not promote mediocrity, in so far as we agree that every segment of the country should be represented proportion-

Ezoke

IT IS NOT THE STRUCTURE OF

NIGERIA THAT

IS THE PROBLEM; IT IS THE OPERATION OF THE SYSTEM THAT IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE PROBLEM ally; we also ensure that the best hands are being engaged. In our guidelines, it is also provided that when you do not have a suitable candidate from a particular state, you could go to another state from within the same zone. The essence is to ensure that the zones are proportionally represented. Some concerned Nigerians have insisted that Nigeria, as presently constituted, needs restructuring. What is your take on this? Well, to me, it is not the structure of Nigeria that is the problem; it is the operation of the system that is considered to be the problem. So, whether you want to go back to the six regions, which I think is also captured, because we now have six geo-political zones in the country. Now, are you saying that Nigeria should be administered from the zonal structures or the states? When we

were operating zones, the minorities clamoured for independence, for self actualisation, and that was what informed the decision to create states, so that minorities can be carved out as independent states thereby administering themselves. Today, we have 36 states in the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. I don’t know what other structure anybody will be thinking about, and in each state you have local governments, as a tier of government. So, you have three tiers of government; you have the federal, you have the state and then the local government. So, I think the structure is not the problem, but the way the system is being operated at the moment, is what we really need to look at. You were a Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission, NPC. What will be your reaction to the recent declaration by NPC Chairman that past census exercises were less than credible? For me to agree with that assertion, would mean to cast aspersion on my own activities. I took part in the conduct of that census; I participated from the beginning - from the enumeration area demarcation exercise to the actual

census - and everything that has to do with it. And, I know that as a commission, we did our best, with the assistance of the international community. We had United Nations observer mission that visited the commission periodically, to ensure that we complied with standard procedures, and at all stages and we were given pass mark. Let me tell you, we did census to the best of our ability, and everybody that was involved in the conduct of that census took an oath to ensure that everything we did was in accordance with the laid down guidelines. The final validation of that census was done in my own state, without my own knowledge; I did not even know that the validation exercise was done and staff of the commission, who were involved in the validation exercise, for the period that they carried out the exercise, were incommunicado. In fact, they did not communicate even with their families, not even with their wives. That is to show the level of seriousness that was devoted to the conduct of that census. It was done in Cross River State; it was only after they came back that I knew that they were in a part of Cross River State, because nobody had access to them. And, we came out with a result that was generally acclaimed, accepted internationally and nationally to be accurate. So, for one man to come now and say that no census has ever been successful, I mean, it is a fallacy. There is confusion on what the difference is between a public servant and a civil servant. What is the difference between the two? I’m just a lawyer; I know they call me public servant. I want to assume that public servants are those who are appointed while civil servants are employed. Public servants are appointed, civil servants are employed, and that is my own definition.


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From the Civil Service

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ICPC boss warns health sector’s Governing Boards, CMDs over corruption …as agency confiscates young lady’s 60-flat estate MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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overning Boards and heads of tertiary health institutions, including heads of parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria have been warned of consequences of indulging in any form of corrupt practices in the course of their duties.

Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Ekpo Nta, gave the charge in Abuja at a two-day retreat for Chairmen of Boards of Tertiary Institutions, Chief Medical Directors, Medical Directors and heads of parastatals under the ministry. Cautioning the participants of the menace, Nta said: “The most offence-

feeling I ever have is when I have to deal with the file determining whether I should charge somebody to court or not. And, I know the consequences. I look at the person’s CV who is being arraigned, Professor of 15 years, several books to his name. And, because he came out to serve his country in a ministry from the academia…and he begins to listen to self-appointed ex-

perts. He begins to hear “sir, we don’t return money here, and this is how we do it. “This year we calculated it, ‘you have N17 million for yourself; the balance of N5 million will take care of all the directors. One million naira can go to cashier because he did the voucher. And you buy that.’ The N5 million he said would be shared to others in truth is actually N55 million and

Enugu State Capital Territory Development Authority demolishing the headquarters of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries in Enugu, last week.

NERC takes PCA to Bauchi CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

T

he Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has taken its routine public consultation forum under the aegis of Power Consumer, Assembly (PCA) to Toro town in Toro Local Government Area of Bauchi State. The electricity consumers, during the sessions, decried inadequate power facilities that had resulted in epileptic supply. They noted that in

Toro, most of their complaints were neglected by the former Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, just as they urged the new owners of the power company to provide transformers and other services for them. In his response, the Toro Business Unit Manager of the defunct PHCN, Engr. Mansir Nakande, stated that there is due process for transformer installations to ensure safety. He maintained that new Customer Complaints Units, CCU, have

been opened in Gumau, Nabardo, Tilden Fulani and Toro town to handle complaints. On metering, Nakande said: “The new power companies would soon introduce a complete metering system to ensure accurate billing system.” He stated that Toro Business Unit will soon commence the distribution of prepaid meters in major towns and designated centres where prepaid cards can be accessed while affordable non-prepaid meters will be distributed in the ru-

ral areas. Mr. Shittu Shuaibu of the Government and Consumer Affairs division of NERC urged consumers to always advance their complaints to DISCO’s complaints units and the commission’s zonal office in Bauchi town. The Toro District Head, Alhaji Adamu Waziri, Katukan Bauchi expressed gratitude to government for the forum, adding that his subjects would continue to support the private investors to ensure stable and affordable power supply in Toro.

you are actually collecting N17 million. And, you’ve been made to believe. “At the end of the day, when we put all these things together, we look back and remember your distinguished career going down the drain because you decided to listen to one selfappointed expert in your organisation,” he added. The ICPC boss further told the participants: “I am very privileged to be speaking to you today, and I hope that by the time I leave here today, the next time we meet, it will be to shake hands at workshops and seminars like this or maybe at the marriage seminars of your children and not for you to be put on the faces of newspapers or television and as having been quizzed.” Speaking on the reason people get corrupt, the ICPC boss said it was difficult to understand, given the nation’s perception of corruption. According to him, it was difficult for him to believe that the level of corruption in the country was out of greed. “Somebody said I stole money because I am poor. If you are stealing because you are poor, that is the common thought. Then, how come somebody who is already a millionaire is still stealing money? Can we define that? Is it out of societal or family pressures? For all of you who have been appointed board members and CMDs, by the time you leave that office and go back, and you cannot point to the number of family members you have been able to put in your organisation, then, you have not really served your community. “But, unfortunately, when you‘ll be faced with the rigours of having to answer questions in ICPC or EFCC, those same persons will not be there. And, unfortunately, how do we even get to know that you have recruited your immediate family members? The same family members that go to the mosques or church and say pray for my brother; but for him, I would not have got this job and the news will also come to us and we begin an investigation. If he is eminently qualified,

no problem, but people will still write,” he noted. He listed persons who are susceptible to corruption to include those in the position of authority; persons in charge of procurements, contracts and supplies. “These are persons who have excessive powers attached to their offices and execute it without thinking of the consequences. You must, as board members and CMDs, always have at the back of your mind that you carry immense powers and you must be careful with the way you use executive powers because when you think you are no longer there, the same people who are busy opening the doors will be the same persons who will supply all the evidence we require to nail you,” Nta counselled. He called for increased capacity building for holders of sensitive administrative positions to help in checking administrative lapses. Speaking on what he called costly executive recklessness, Nta urged that they should ensure proper keeping of records in their various institutions to put a check on corruption. Besides, he gave the reasons for administrative lapses thus: “When you come in newly, the first set of people who come to you come to confuse you by telling you stories. If you are serious, tell them to go back and put what they see in memo and send back to you. Being misled on fact and figure; not permitting open forum for discussion and feedback; absolute dependence and reliance on a particular officer or officers; not defining ethics, values and standards of your organisation; failure or inadvertent to have internal control checks and balances; failure to recognise and reward exemplary behaviour and hard work; failure to direct and ensure enforcement of discipline.” He, however, disclosed that the last property the ICPC confiscated was a 60-flat estate belonging to a lady, stressing that the agency was not convinced of the source of money used to build the estate.


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Politics

Wednesday October 16, 2013

43

NATIONAL CONFERENCE DEBATE

Nigeria long overdue for dialogue –Akinlade Hon. Abiodun Isiaq Akinlade, a member of the House of Representatives, representing the Yewa South/Ipokia Federal Constituency, believes that the welfare of the people should take precedence over every political decision by any government. In this interview with SEGUN ADIO, the lawmaker speaks on the proposed national conference and other issues. Excerpts: President Goodluck Jonathan has announced his government’s intention to convoke a national dialogue, as a federal lawmaker, what is your opinion on this initiative? The President’s initiative in this regard is a welcome development. In fact, it is long overdue. The only thing we should all pray for is that the idea should not be hijacked like previous ones. I must also say, though the modalities and structure of the conference is not yet out, we need to keep reminding our people that such a conference could not be said to be sovereign again outside the existing structure of the National Assembly. In a democracy, sovereignty derives from the power of the constitution and the state. And one of the recognised organs of a state is the National Assembly, which comprises both the Senate and the House of Representatives. No other sovereignty could exist outside the duly and democratically elected representatives of the people in a popular election. However, Nigeria is long overdue for a dialogue of this nature. Even in a family setting, when there are conflicts, such would be settled by getting everyone and all parties involved to a roundtable. There are too many issues in Nigeria which call for discussion. We need to discuss how we want to live together as a nation; the nature and structure of our politics; our relationships with one another; we need to discuss our economy; our resources and how they should be controlled; we need to discuss protection for minorities rights; we need to find a way to integrate all sections of the Nigerian community to accommodate everyone and make them joint stakeholders of our commonwealth; we need to discuss the security of the nation. There are so many things we need to find solutions to and how to live together as a corporate entity. We should also not forget that even the founding fathers of the United States of America, USA, after the declaration of Independence in 1776 from the British government struggled all through between that period and 1786, holding conferences of this nature before they arrived at an acceptable mode of co-existence. The result is what we have today as the United States of America. We should also not forget that there is too much distrust among our people, and this is not only affecting our politics, but also our economy. There have been cries of marginalisation here and there, not only at the national level, but even within the states. For instance, in Ogun State, where I come from, my own sub-ethnic division, the Yewa/Aworis have not been able to have any of its citizens elected as governor in over 37 years. Some of these things could be corrected in an atmosphere of mutual dialogue. One thing that should however be most important in a dialogue of this nature is the political will make

real demands? Who are their sponsors? Then, how can we reduce the poverty level which makes our youths vulnerable to be used by some others to wage a war of terror on their country. We should also address the issue of our porous borders, especially in the North-Eastern states. Some people describe you as an activist in politics. How come? Well, I will say this may find expression in where I am coming from politically. I started my politics while I was an undergraduate, and I was involved in the students’ union activities in those days. I wasn’t really doing unionism for unionism sake. As part of my upbringing, I have followed the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s welfarist political ideology closely. I fell in love with the late Basorun M.K.O. Abiola’s philanthropic spirit. I was always moved by the joy, the excitement people feel whenever their problems are removed or assisted to achieve certain goals. I decided early in life to align my political thought and philosophy to this welfarist ideal, and this has formed the foundation upon which all my political engagements and programmes are founded.

Akinlade

the agreements reached work at the end of the day. So, in this, President Jonathan has my backing. The state of insecurity in Nigeria is giving many people sleepless night; do you think there is a solution in sight to this menace? It is rather unfortunate the state in which we find ourselves in the country. No doubt, there is a lot of restiveness all over the world, so I will advise that we should not look at Nigeria in isolation. Terrorism seems to have become the rule rather than the exception in global politics. We tend to look at this simply because this is happening so close to us, right in front of our nose. Meanwhile, this should be condemned by every wellmeaning Nigerians. The militancy and rise of terror also has some roots partly in our economic policy which appears to impoverish many of our youths and make them willing tools for violence, and partly in our politics. There is a lot of distrust among our political class. There is a lot of desperation for the control of the national political arena and also our economy. All these added together are creating tensions which I believe the President’s latest initiative to institute a national dialogue should be able to ad-

THERE IS A LOT OF DESPERATION FOR THE CONTROL OF THE NATIONAL POLITICAL ARENA AND ALSO OUR

ECONOMY. ALL THESE ADDED TOGETHER ARE CREATING TENSIONS WHICH I BELIEVE

THE PRESIDENT’S LATEST INITIATIVE TO INSTITUTE A NATIONAL DIALOGUE SHOULD BE ABLE TO ADDRESS dress. Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and multireligious society; we can only find a common ground to live together. I am not one of those who subscribe to the idea that we should continue to fight the terrorists alone, but while doing that, we should try to understand the real cause. What is the point of their agitation? What are their

Your name is a recurring decimal in the list of those who are aspiring for the office of the Ogun State governor. Are you really in the governorship race in 2015? I think the answer to that is even in the question as you raised it. Even while I am yet to make any formal declaration to that effect, you would agree with me that even the whole of Ogun State have actually been shouting Akinlade in the race. Does that not speak that the people of the state are tired of the incumbent governor and government. Two, they are looking for a credible alternative as a replacement? And in their search, it is like the crystal ball, or the oracle keeps pointing towards Hon. Abiodun Akinlade. How they arrive at that, only the people can tell. Some have told me in confidence, that reason why they are dragging me into the race is because what they perceive as my welfarist attitude to politics, while some have said it is the art of giving and providing jobs for many of our youths wherever and whenever I have the capacity. These are some of the things they believe is lacking in the present government in the state. But like I also told you, I am an activist. I cannot afford to disappoint our people who are looking up to me to provide the leadership to liberate them from what they see and believe are many years of injustice. Our people want to live together in Ogun State where they will be treated as equals and fairly. And the beauty of it this time around is that we seem to be getting a lot of support from other sections of the state. Our kinsmen, the Ijebus and Egbas, especially the liberal ones among them are beginning to reason along the line of social justice and encouraging us further to push our case. From the way things are looking up; it is most likely to be a straight run between Akinlade and Governor Ibikunle Amosun and not between the Yewas and Egba or Ijebu.


44

Politics

Wednesday October 9, 2013

National Confab of Unity, not break up

ASO ROCK FILE

F

with

Rotimi FADEYI

Still no resolution of Jonathan, G-7 Govs’ row T he crisis within the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which reached a climax on August 31 with the splitting of the party into two factions is yet to be resolved as another reconciliatory meeting could not hold last week as some key actors involved in the matter were out of the country on pilgrimage. Seven aggrieved governors of the party had staged a walkout at the Special National Convention of the party to form a parallel new PDP with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and made Kawu Baraje, national chairman. The seven governors include Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto) and Babangida Aliyu (Niger). President Goodluck Jonathan and the governors had held some meetings at the Presidential Villa but have not been able to resolve the crisis. When the meeting resumed last week at the Presidential Villa, it was resolved that further discussions would take place after the conclusion of the Muslim and Christian pilgrimages as some of the governors on pilgrimage were absent at the meeting. A communique that was later issued

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and jointly read by Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State and Aliyu stated that the meeting which was cordial, resolved that in spite of the unfortunate events that arose after the meeting of September 15, the parties remain committed to the resolution of the differences. The communique said the meeting agreed to continue to take steps towards implementing the resolutions agreed to at the previous meetings. However, there was no date fixed for the next meeting. The communique further said that there were apologies from Lamido, Wammako and Nyako for their absence at the meeting as they are currently on Hajj. “In view of the above some of the governors it was resolved that the meetings be reconvened shortly after the Muslim and Christian pilgrimages are concluded,” the communique further said. The aggrieved governors had expressed dissatisfaction with the leadership of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the National Chairman of the party and demanded for his removal. They also demanded by the resolution of the Adamawa and River States PDP crises in favour of Nyako and Amaechi as well as the lifting of the suspension on Amaechi from the party and that Jonathan should respect his one- term agreement.

or those who think that that Nigeria would cease to exist with the plan for a National Conference, they need to have another thought as the unity and integrity of the country would still be intact. The Senator Femi Okurounmu-led National Dialogue Advisory Committee that commenced work last week Monday is expected to establish modalities for a National Conference. President Goodluck Jonathan has allayed fears of those who think that the convocation of a national conference would call the integrity of the nation to question, saying that the conference would further unite the nation. According to him, the nation cannot deny the fact that sitting down to talk was one right step in calming down tensions and channelling grievances, misgivings and suggestions into more positive use for the good of the country. The President explained that every dialogue adds something valuable to evolving nation, stressing that the urgency of a national conversation is a child of necessity. While reminding the Advisory Committee on the seriousness of its assignment, the president charged the members not to disappoint Nigerians while also

urging them to consult widely before sitting down to develop the framework that would guide and guard the proceedings of the discussions. “No voice is too small and no opinion is irrelevant. Thus, the views of the sceptics and those of the enthusiasts must be accommodated as you formulate this allimportant framework. This conversation is a people’s conversation and I urge you to formulate an all-inclusive process that protects the people’s interest. “Let me also urge the Advisory Committee not only to be alive to the expectations of our people, but to bear in mind, that what we desire is what can work for the good of our people and country. The goal is to bequeath a better and a greater Nigeria to the present and the generation that is to come,” Jonathan said. Okurounmu, who is the chairman of the Advisory Committee, commended the President for the decision. He assured that the committee would not disappoint Nigerians, stressing that at the conclusion of the assignment, and the national conference that would follow, those who are sceptical and critical of the idea of a national conference would have become persuaded about its merit and benefits to the nation.

Health awareness campaign to halt sudden death syndrome

T

here is no doubt that these are trying times for many Nigerians, particularly with the security situation, the lack of basic necessities of life, the poor state of social amenities infrastructure and other myriads of problems in the country. The situation created a situation where many are under tremendous pressure and stress that have led to great health challenges like stroke and heart attack which often lead to sudden death at their prime age if not properly attended to by medical experts. In order to stem the deadly health situations among Nigerians, President Goodluck Jonathan last week flagged off the Nigeria National Stroke Prevention Programme to forestall the alarming rate of sudden death in the country. As part of the ceremony to flag off the

programme, the President and his vice, Namadi Sambo had to undergo medical examinations in a mobile clinic brought to the fore-court of the President’s office at the Presidential Villa from the National Hospital in Abuja. They were attended to by consultant doctors who carried out some tests on them such as body mass index, measurement of height and weight, blood pressure. The health awareness programme flagged off shortly before the end of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting was to encourage Nigerians to take the issue of their health seriously. Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu explained that the programme was approved by the President to check sudden death syndrome.

Presidential Villa’s visitors 1 2 3 4. 5 6 7 8 9

Chairman, Board of Trustees, PDP, Chief Tony Anenih PDP Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur Senate Leader, Victor Edoma- Egba Chairman of Advisory Committee, National Dialogue, Dr. Femi Okurounmu Niger State Governor, Babangida Sliyu Cross River State governor, Liyel Imoke Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwanwaso President, Nigerian Medical Association(NMA), Dr. Osahor Enabulele Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Special Duties, Nadi Karibo 10 Emir of Tsongo, Dr. Haliru Yahaya 11 Akwa Ibom State Hovernor, Godswill Akpabio 12 Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada

President Goodluck Jonathan undergoing medical check-up and Dr T Uwaezuoke, during the launching of the Awareness Campaign for Regular Medical Check-Up in Abuja, last week.

Reps’ unprecedented oversight mission to the Villa

I

n an unprecedented visit to the Presidential Villa on oversight function, the members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Special Duties were at the Presidential Villa to inspect ongoing projects. The committee members led by its Chairman, Nadi Karibo, were conducted round the Presidential Villa by the State House Permanent Secretary, Emmanuel Ogbile after which they visited President Goodluck Jonathan in his office. Karibo, who led 20 out of the 36-member committee visited the State House Medical Centre and several offices within the Presidential Villa. On his impression of the visit and what he met on ground, Karibo said that members of the committee were impressed with the projects in the State House, particularly the renovation and extension work going on at the State House Clinic. According to him, he was impressed

that the State House Clinic was not only made available to the Staff of the State House but also provided medical services to other people. “What really interested me is the extension work going on at the State House clinic and I was surprised. My initial impression was that State House Medical Centre was only for the President and the State House Staff but I observed that those who are not even State House staff have access to that medical facility. “It is really impressive and we also observed that there is extension work going on there, a new site is being developed, probably to cater for the upsurge of the people going there for treatment and that outsiders have access to the facilities,” Karibo said. Karibo said he was happy that the President would open his doors and enable members to come freely and do oversight, saying it was not the usual thing.


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Oando, Total sign $8.3bn loan for business expansion JOHNSON OKANLAWON

O

ando Energy Resources Incorporation has announced that it has received commitment letters for up to $815m of bank credit facilities to purchase ConocoPhillips’ Nigerian upstream oil and gas business. A statement from the company yesterday said the credit facilities comprise $465m reserve based lending facility, internationally placed and led by BNP Paribas, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. According to the statement, the other facility is $350m senior secured loan, jointly arranged locally in Nigeria, by FBN Capital and FCMB Capital Markets. The company had in

Capital Market

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

September advised the market of the extension of the outside date for the completion of the ConocoPhillips (COP) acquisition to November 30, 2013. As a result of the termination of the agreement to purchase Phillips Brass Limited, the net purchase price payable to complete the COP acquisition was reduced to approximately $1.22bn (after giving effect to the termination of the agreement to purchase PBL, adjustments as of the date hereof and the deposit already paid to COP). The RBL and Senior Loan remain subject to various closing conditions, including execution of definitive documentation. The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Pade Durotoye said, “The

receipt of the commitment letters represents an important step towards closing the COP acquisition and concludes the second stage in our financing plan, having initially paid a $435m deposit to COP. “We have sought to optimally finance this acquisition to retain maximum value for our shareholders. We will now proceed to the final stage of concluding the financing required for completion of the COP acquisition.” The American energy company had agreed to sell its Nigerian operations to Oando December last year, after 46 years of operation in the oil-rich West African country. Considered as Nigeria’s leading integrated energy solutions providers, Oando

engages in every aspect of the energy value chain, from exploration, production to marketing, distribution and power generation. It is also the first Nigerian company to achieve a dual listing on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange and South African bourse. Meanwhile, Nigerian contractors’ Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited and Total Upstream Nigeria Limited have agreed to borrow $7.5bn from eight lenders in the country. “It’s meant to finance local contractors and suppliers,” Charles Ebereonwu, Total’s spokesman in Nigeria, said. “It’s in line with Total’s development programme for local contractors.” Banks in the country have increased lending to finance oil, power and infrastructure projects after returning to profit from nearcollapse in 2008 and 2009.

Citigroup profit hit by bond trading slowdown

C

itigroup Incorporation reported a marginal fall in adjusted quarterly profit from ongoing businesses after the Federal Reserve’s decision to continue its bondbuying program for longer than expected slowed trading by clients. Citigroup shares were down one per cent at $49.10 in premarket trading as the earnings fell short of market expectations. Third-quarter net income, adjusted for certain items, slipped to $3.26bn (2 billion pounds), or $1.02 per share, from $3.27bn,

or $1.06 per share a year earlier, the third-largest United States bank said on Tuesday. Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.04 per share on an adjusted basis, according to Thomson Reuter. Revenue from bond market trading fell 26 per cent on the same basis. Bond trading volume across much of Wall Street slowed during the quarter after the Federal Reserve decided to continue its program of bond buying for longer than expected. JPMorgan Chase and

Company reported on Friday that its revenue from fixed-income trading fell eight per cent in the quarter. Citigroup had better results in equity trading, but those gains were not enough to offset the decline in bond trading as revenue from the bank’s securities and banking business fell 10 percent on an adjusted basis. Revenue for the whole company fell five per cent to $18.22bn, excluding items. Adjustments excluded a loss in the prior year relat-

ed to the sale of the bank’s interest in brokerage Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, as well as the impact of tax benefits and changes in the value of Citigroup debts and those of trading partners. “While many of the factors which influence our revenues are not within our full control, we certainly can control our costs and I am pleased with our expense discipline and improved efficiency yearto-date,” Chief Executive Michael Corbat said. Total cost of credit fell 25 per cent to $1.96bn.

European shares climb on US debt deal hopes

E

uropean shares rose yesterday, with some benchmark indexes hitting multi-year highs, bolstered by indications that a deal could soon be clinched in Washington to avert a debt default. The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.8 per cent at 1,262.50 points, led by miners and autos as investors bought into cyclical shares. The blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index added 0.8 per cent to 3,001.94 points, hitting a fresh two and half year high, while France’s CAC 40 rose 0.7 per cent to a five years high and Germany’s DAX was up 0.9 per cent, at a record high.

Positive signals from talks on Monday between Democrat and Republican Senate leaders fuelled hopes of an imminent deal to reopen shuttered U.S. federal agencies and prevent a default on federal debt. Republicans also hope to pass their own version of legislation to reopen the federal government, it emerged on Tuesday. The Euro STOXX 50 Volatility index, or VSTOXX, reversed Monday’s gains, down 7.7 per cent, signalling a sharp rise in demand for risk. “It’s a risk-on day. The market’s anticipating a resolution to the gridlock in the United States and equi-

ties have responded accordingly,” Neil Veitch, investment director at SVM Asset Management, said. The better mood was also visible in the derivatives market, with the Euro STOXX 50 put/call ratio falling back to 1.2, down from a four-year high of 3.9 hit two weeks ago. The ratio, a widely used European gauge of investor sentiment, measures the trading volume of put options versus call options on the Euro STOXX 50. A ratio below 1 signals bullishness, while a ratio above 1.5 usually signals that investors are turning cautious, buying ‘puts’ as a hedge for their equity

portfolios in case of a correction. “The sooner that we get to a resolution, depending on how long-lasting that resolution is, then markets should quieten down, but (there might not be) a big rally because we haven’t been seeing a significant amount of downside despite the uncertainty,” Henk Potts, market strategist at Barclays, said. SVM’s Veitch concurs, seeing little scope for stock markets to gain much more in the event of a short-term fix, whilst cautioning that the third-quarter earnings season is shaping up to be an unlikely driver of the next leg higher in equities.

45

Source: NSE

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 37,051.14 points Market capitalisation 11.80 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

FO

48.00

52.92

4.92

10.25

CONOIL

28.80

30.24

1.44

5.00

CUSTODYINS

1.62

1.70

0.08

4.94

ACADEMY

1.89

1.98

0.09

4.76

FIDSON

2.10

2.20

0.10

4.76

CADBURY

51.60

53.91

2.31

4.48

UAC-PROP

16.01

16.69

0.68

4.25

AIICO

0.87

0.90

0.03

3.45

DANGFLOUR

9.22

9.50

0.28

3.04

CONTINSURE

1.12

1.15

0.03

2.68

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

UBCAP

1.40

1.33

-0.07

-5.00

TRANSEXPR

1.32

1.26

-0.06

-4.55

COSTAIN

1.10

1.05

-0.05

-4.55

THOMASWY

0.91

0.87

-0.04

-4.40

WAPIC

0.96

0.92

-0.04

-4.17

IKEJAHOTEL

0.75

0.72

-0.03

-4.00

UNITYBNK

0.58

0.56

-0.02

-3.45

AFRIPRUD

1.86

1.80

-0.06

-3.23

LEARNAFRCA

1.70

1.65

-0.05

-2.94

SKYEBANK

4.40

4.30

-0.10

-2.27

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

20,159.21

11.80

10-Oct-13

182-Day

43,490.87

11.64

10-Oct-13

364-Day

68,184.89

11.74

10-Oct-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

183-Day

92,995.00

12.00

17-Oct-13

182-Day

63,717.87

12.00

17-Oct-13

-

-

-

-

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$297m

9-Oct-13

$300m

N/A

$231m

7-Oct-13


46

Executive Discourse

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigeria’s structural reforms Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, speaks on the nation’s structural reforms, imperative of retaining the tight monetary stance, the US budget impasse and explains the rationale for the new foreign exchange market policy in this interview with journalists at the just concluded World Bank/IMF 2013 Annual Meetings in Washington DC. AYO OLESIN was there. There are complaints by Nigerians abroad that their Western Union remittances are being paid in naira in Nigeria. What would you say about this? The interesting thing about our country is that we try to be different from others in the world. If you are in the UK and somebody transfers money to you from the United States, in what currency do you get paid in London? Obviously you get paid in pounds. There is nowhere in the world where you go to a bank and because you got a transfer, you insist on being paid in that currency. If you are Japan you get paid in the Japanese Yen; if you are in China, you get paid in Yuan. The CBN introduced this policy of asking the banks to pay people in dollars because there was a time when the banks used to cheat people and basically gave the people an exchange rate far less than the market rate. Now we have said that the exchange rate must be exactly the exchange rate of the inter-bank of the particular date of exchange and the banks are required to display the exchange rate in the banking hall. I don’t see how the bank can continue with a policy that is not consistent with global practices and continue importing dollars and basically saying that we don’t have confidence in our currency. I have been asking those who have been asking us to distribute FAAC in dollars that they should tell us one country in the world that distributes its resources in foreign currency. Why should Nigeria be the only one that will be paying dollars to people because they were sent dollar transfer? Why should we pay your uncle or aunt who is going to spend naira in Nigeria, dollars because he or she got dollar transfers? They should explain to us why they should be paid in dollars and not Naira. Why should Nigeria be the only one doing such a thing? What are we taking home from this meeting? The last two, three World Bank/ IMF meetings have been focusing on the European Union- the crises and all that. This year, there is a tremendous focus on what is happening in the United States - the budgetary impasse, the debt ceiling issues and the implications if the legislature and the executive don’t reach some kind of conclusion, therefore being forced into what could become a massive austerity programme and the possibility of a default on its obligations not necessarily on the default in their treasury bills because I expect that there will be some form of prioritisation. I don’t see the United States defaulting on its treasury bills as a first line of defence. But they will default in some of their obligations and no one knows exactly how the market is going to react to this. The real challenge for us in emerging and frontier markets is that while the government shutdown is more of a domestic issue, the debt ceiling is the one that affects all of us. We hold our reserves in the US dollars, we have invested it in US Treasury Bills and bonds and if there is a slide in those instruments we

Sanusi

I HAVE BEEN ASKING THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN ASKING US TO DISTRIBUTE

FAAC IN

DOLLARS THAT THEY SHOULD TELL US ONE COUNTRY IN THE WORLD THAT DISTRIBUTES ITS RESOURCES IN FOREIGN CURRENCY.

will suffer loss in the assets that we hold. And so we expect the US to resolve this impasse in the interest of the global economy. Within this period how has this debt ceiling affected the naira since we hold our reserves here? The naira has been fine, yesterday it was N160.1 (per dollar) so we are trading within our band of -+3 per cent, we have maintained a stable exchange rate throughout this crisis and the whole currency turmoil. If you look at all emerging markets currencies starting from December till now - the Indian rupee, Brazilian riel, the Ghanaian cedi, the South African Rand - you find that most of them have lost between 10 or 20 per cent of their value. The naira lost a maximum 2.3 per cent and it is actually back to being within the range. So it has been stable and we have done that without losing too much in terms of reserves. Now obviously we have had to tighten money policy, increase CRR, increase the rate at which banks lend to each other and lend to customers, but that is the price you pay for stability. A lot has been said about Nigeria, that our regulatory systems are improving. They also said when exogenous factors come into play we may suffer. What are we putting in place to take care of unexpected issues? There are a number of things that you need to look at. While developments in the United at States affect frontier and emerging markets, they do not affect all of them in the same way and extent. Emerging markets were affected far more heavily than frontier markets so the crash in the capital markets in China and Brazil and

Asia were far deeper than what happened in Africa and the demand as well was stronger. So in terms of volatility, you have got that variation depending on the depth of the market. Secondly, you would notice that the countries that had current account deficits were affected far more than countries that had current account surplus. And we do have current account surplus in Nigeria and therefore there is a general sense that we are better prepared and better able to, protect our currencies than those countries that had a current account deficit. So even when we had the pressure on the naira, the pressure was not coming as a result of a major reversal in capital inflows. We did have a slowdown in inflows and you would expect that if the yields go up on treasuries, that would not be very good news because people would pull out of emerging markets financial assets; they would pull out of commodities and so you could have a moderation in prices of oil and a reduction in capitalisation. But I don’t think that given where our rates are and given our commitment to a stable currency, we are going to be as badly hit as some of the other countries that we are competing with for capital. However, we must accept that we remain vulnerable because the structural reforms in Nigeria over the decades have not been as deep and intense as they should have been. We have been talking about diversification for so many decades but we have not really diversified. The economy itself diversified, oil is only 13 per cent of GDP, but our foreign exchange earnings are not diversified, oil continues to account for 99 per cent of our export earnings, therefore anything that happens to the price of oil has a disproportionate impact on reserves, on exchange rate and on the government’s fiscal position. I think this is really the point that is being made, that we have strong growth, but this growth remains vulnerable until we can put in place the right structural reforms. When we will see relaxation in Monetary Policy Rate? When I am satisfied that conditions are conducive. If you look at the CBN Act, our objectives are very clear; we are given responsibility for price stability, for protecting the external value of the naira, which is exchange rate stability, for maintaining the reserves of


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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Executive Discourse

47

not deep enough -Sanusi YOU KNOW WE NEED TO GET AWAY FROM THIS IDEA THAT THE

CBN WOULD SET

UP AN INTERVENTION FOR

EVERYTHING.

FOR HOUSING CBN, FOR HEALTHCARE CBN, THAT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS. the country and for financial system stability. We have to keep our eye on the ball. It is very easy to call the shots from the sidelines. Supposing I decide today to lower the rate of interest, which is print more money, a number of things will happen. Maybe inflation would go up, exchange rate weakens. Now, once the foreign portfolio investor believes the naira is going to be weak and he is therefore going to lose money, remember he bought in dollars and then you are going to wipe out his profit by basically changing the exchange rate, everybody decides to run out of Nigeria. Then the naira crashes from N160 to N180 or N190 and the stock market crashes and the people who are holding shares default on their loans and the banks get into problems. We have stability that is very easy to take for granted. In 2009 when I became CBN governor, inflation was 15.6 per cent, the stock market had lost 70 per cent of its value, one third of the banks were about to collapse. The official exchange rate was N145, at the BDC, it was being sold at N190. It is very easy when you have established stability for people to start screaming that you are holding policy too tight. You have had a stable exchange rate for two years; we have brought inflation from 15.6 percent to 8.2 per cent and it’s going to below eight in December. The stock market has been up 30 per cent between December and now and people are complaining. You want lower interest rates? Where do you want the naira? 180,190? Where do you want inflation rate? 13, 14 per cent? I can deliver interests rates of seven percent if you want today; it is just to print money. The Fed has delivered zero, it is easy. Print the money, the interest crashes, but where do you want your naira? People want a stable exchange rate, they want to have reserves; they want to have low inflation and they want to have low interests rates? I am not a magician. Are we looking at CBN intervention in the housing sector? You know we need to get away from this idea that the CBN would set up an intervention for everything. For housing CBN, for healthcare CBN, that is not how it works. However in the case of housing, it is a priority for the finance minister and as you know working with the IFC, the CBN and the World Bank, the Ministry of finance has driven the establishment of a Mortgage Refinancing Company and that is what is going to play the same role as this MSME fund. The shareholders would be the World Bank, CBN and also the commercial banks and then that is the fund that will play this role of providing a refinancing window for the mortgage market. But you must remember just like in the case of agriculture that the problem of housing is not just finance. How much is the cost of building a two bedroom flat in Nigeria? It is too expensive. So first of all we have to deal with the cost of getting your land, the cost of titling, the cost of building materials, getting all these approvals. By the time you do all that, you have got to look at how many people, even at nine percent interest in the lower middle class, can borrow money, let’s say N5m at even nine per cent and pay over 10 years. It is one thing to provide the finance, the governorship have to look at how much is charged for C-of-Os, letter of consent. We need to standardise the way we build our houses. There is a whole reform around building plans and

Sanusi

standardisation of buildings, the cost of processing, reducing the legal costs in putting up structures, making it easy to repossess. This is because a bank lends to you, you default, they want to sell, you go to court, you keep the banks there for three to four years, the banks don’t want to lend to you unless they feel there is a very little chance of you defaulting. What informed the idea of a ban of importation of foreign currencies? We have never said we want to strengthen the naira. But we certainly have to act if we feel the needs why do you need foreign exchange in any economy? The only reason why you need foreign exchange is because you want to spend money abroad, you want to buy goods and services from abroad, you want to pay your children’s school fees, medical bills, and you want to import goods? That is fine. If we feel that there is a strong demand for foreign currency that is not linked to the import of goods and services, then that demand is speculative. People are holding dollars because they believe that the naira is going to depreciate or people are trying to cover an audit trail and do some form of money laundering or like has been discovered in some cases, people are actually buying dollars and going to other countries to dominate the BDC business and we have to stop that. There are people from Kano who just buy dollars and go to Dubai, Saudi Arabia to trade them. If they want to trade dollars, let them go to Saudi Arabia to get the dollars and not buy in the market. It is money laundering because we sold dollars to them on the condition that these dollars were to be used to purchase goods and services that are approved by ministry of finance. If they use it for any other purpose, it is money laundering. We must always remember that we are a regulator in the foreign exchange market. The actions we take are not necessarily tied to the exchange rate; it is tied to other things. Money laundering hurts the economy; it hurts our reputation and image. When people walk out of Nigeria with $5million, our law allows it, imagine walking into Holland or France and showing a declaration that you declared it in Nigeria and you purchased it from a BDC, people will wonder what kind of country it is and feeds into this entire image we are trying to protect. These are aimed at addressing money laundering. Your plan to introduce 5000 naira notes was shot down

in Parliament, do your intend to revisit it before your tenure ends? I have said I would not revisit it. I made all the arguments at the time I made them. You have had inflation in double digits for a very long time, this has weakened the purchasing power of the national currency and therefore means you are carrying much more currency than you need to carry out your transaction. You go to an ATM, you want N100,000 you have to take 100 notes, those notes have a cost and printing those notes you are paying for the paper, paying for the security features, paying for transportation and paying for security while transporting them. If you had a five thousand naira note, five of you are going to take that 100,000 each, with the same number of notes and at the same cost to the economy. So the economic fundamentals are clear to me, if your currency looses value, printing higher denomination makes economic sense. Some of the dollarisation we have in the economy is as a result of that. Why do people need to have $10,000 in their pockets, which is N1.5 million. If you had the N5000 notes, it is three bundles. I have heard people say all these will encourage corruption, well you are having corruption in dollars but you do not want to have it in naira. I have heard all sorts of silly arguments it will cause inflation. I have never seen any kind of economic basis for that kind of argument, people get up, make statements, professional institutions, accountants that this is inflationary. I don’t know when accountants became economists, I don’t know when changing denomination became the same as increasing money supply, but in a country in which the decisions are not taken based on the soundness of an argument but on sentiments, I can’t help it. If Nigerians would rather carry Ghana must go bags on their backs that is fine. If they would rather we continue spending the money printing these notes, that is fine. Look, if you take a bullion van of 5,000 notes from Abuja to Lagos or from Abuja to Kaduna, you would have to do that trip five times to transport the same value in 1,000 notes. Think of the bullion van, the fuel, the security, the printing, it was very clear to me and very clear that the people who were arguing had no argument, but we had a National Assembly resolution, we had Nigerians threatening to March and the decision is not a CBN one, but a government decision. So if the government suspends it, it suspends it. If it was my decision, you would have N5,000 notes, if you like don’t take it.


48

Capital Market

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at October 14, 2013 1st Tier Securities

1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


Wednesday October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

World News

“Only with Portugal, regrettably, are things not well. There have appeared contradictions at the level of the leadership and the current political climate in the relationship (with Angola)”.

Obama rejects proposed US House fiscal plan

A

Libyan Al-Qaeda suspect was arraigned in New York yesterday in connection with the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in East Africa that killed 224 people. Anas al-Libi was snatched from the streets of the Libyan capital Tripoli by US commandoes on October 5 and brought to New York at the weekend for trial. He was indicted in 2000 in connection with the 1998 bombings which were claimed by Al-Qaeda, in a precursor to the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001. Court officials said Libi would be presented before Judge Kaplan at 12:45 (1645 GMT) and arraigned over the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The car bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi killed 213 people and wounded another 5,000 on August 7, 1998. A near simultaneous truck bomb outside the US mission in Tanzania killed 11 people and wounded 70 more. Libi, a computer expert, was on the FBI’s most wanted list with a $5 million price on his head for his presumed role in helping to scope out targets in Kenya. The married father-of-four is accused of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim Americans and of plotting to maliciously damage and destroy US property. The 49-year-old initially was held and interrogated on the USS San Antonio, an amphibious American transport ship in the Mediterranean. But US television network CBS reported that his questioning was

50

–ANGOLA PRESIDENT, JOSE EDUARDO DOS SANTOS

Libyan Al-Qaeda suspect to be arraigned in New York

Anas al-Libi

cut short and he was brought to New York after he started to refuse food and water. CBS says Libi, whose given name is Nazih Abdul Hamed alRaghie, suffers from hepatitis. The New York indictment of him and 20 other presumed AlQaeda lieutenants in 2000 lists him in direct connection to the US embassy bombing in Kenya. It accuses Libi in 1993 of dis-

cussing possible attacks against the US embassy in Nairobi, and of spying on the diplomatic mission. In or around 1994, it says, he received files concerning possible terrorist attacks against the embassy, the US Agency for International Development, and British, French and Israeli targets in Nairobi. US President Barack Obama said last week Libi “planned and

helped to execute a plot that killed hundreds of people, a whole lot of Americans.” “We have strong evidence of that. And he will be brought to justice,” Obama added. Libi’s capture embarrassed Libya and put it under pressure from its critics, notably former rebel groups from the 2011 revolt that ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi. Washington has refused to say whether it sought permission from Libya’s government for the operation, or whether it gave advance notice of the raid. But the US government insists it was legal under US law. Born in Tripoli, Libi belonged in 1990 to the Islamist Libyan Islamic Fighting Group which tried to topple the Gaddafi regime and establish an Islamic state. After a Libyan crackdown, Libi fled to Sudan, joining Al-Qaeda, where he climbed the ranks because of his IT expertise. He travelled to Afghanistan and Yemen before being granted political asylum in Britain. When he was indicted in the United States he fled again, finding shelter in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is believed to have returned to Libya at the beginning of the uprising against Gaddafi, battling alongside rebels seeking to topple the dictator.

Nigerians in Europe meet on major national issues

N

igerians in the Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) Europe is organising its Annual General Meeting in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where major national issues concerning Nigeria will be discussed. The meeting on 9th November 2013 will attract delegates from its 19 Regional Chapters in the United Kingdom and Mainland Europe. Also expected in attendance are Nigerian Ambassador to The Netherlands Nimota Akanbi, and representatives from other Embassies in Europe and High Commissioner to Great Britain, Dalhatu Sarki Tafida. Highlight of the AGM is the organizational reform, which contains a three-phase process culminating in a set of recommendations to be put together by

an Analysis Team. Describing the reform as ‘long overdue’ the NIDO Europe Chairman, Collins Nweke enjoined all 19 Chapter Chairpersons of the organisation to apply themselves credibly to the process. He reiterated his remarks at the Diaspora Day 2013 in Abuja where he observed that ‘a question mark hangs over the relevance, if not the existence, of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) as a veritable policy instrument for Nigeria in harnessing its huge human and capital resource deposits outside Nigeria.’ He went further to explain that ‘the irony of the situation is that those who argue against NIDO, both openly and clandestinely have failed to come up with a viable alternative. They are aware that going back to

Tafida

the pre-NIDO era when there were thousands of Nigerian organisations abroad competing against one another for recognition of the Government for partnership on developmental issues, is senseless.” Nweke was also quick to add that NIDO on its part needs to

do a sincere soul-searching to determine if it is fulfilling the purpose for which it was formed and if not, to dare question itself as to why? Above all, it must be prepared to initiate a reform process. It will be recalled that at the annual Summit of NIDOE, which took place in Zurich, Switzerland, in May 2013, a soul-searching effort informed a robust debate on a new direction for the organisation. Consequently the need for a reform was underscored by the panel of discussants. On the modus operandi for the reform, the General Secretary, Benson Osawe explained that Phase 1 of the process entails a broad-based call for memoranda both internally and indeed outside the traditional NIDOE family.

WORLD BULLETIN Malawi president appoints new Cabinet

Malawi’s president has appointed a new Cabinet that includes replacements for the finance and justice ministers, amid allegations of high-level corruption in one of Africa’s poorest countries. President Joyce Banda sacked her previous Cabinet last week. The government overhaul follows the Sept. 13 shooting of Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo, who is believed to have been targeted because of his efforts to stop graft. He was taken to South Africa for treatment. In appointments announced Tuesday, Maxwell Mkwezalamba, a former commissioner at the African Union Commission in Ethiopia, became finance minister, and Fahad Assani, former director of public prosecutions, became justice minister. Assani has said corruption is endemic in Malawi, estimating that 30 percent of the government budget is lost through fraud and corruption annually.

Taylor transferred to UK to serve term

Ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor yesterday arrived in the UK to serve the remainder of his 50-year prison sentence for war crimes. He had asked the UN-backed special court in The Hague to serve his jail term in Rwanda instead. Taylor was handed over to UK prison service representatives after his plane landed at 11:00 BST (10:00 GMT). He was sentenced in May 2012 for aiding rebels who committed atrocities in Sierra Leone during its civil war. The former president, 65, was convicted by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), but his trial was held in The Hague in case it sparked renewed unrest in West Africa. The Netherlands only agreed to host the trial if he was imprisoned elsewhere. In a statement, the SCSL said Taylor left the Netherlands on a chartered flight on Tuesday morning, “accompanied by Special Court detention and security officials”. He would be given credit for the time he had served in detention since his arrest on 26 March 2006, the statement said. Last month, Taylor’s appeal was rejected, with the court that ruling his guilt had been proved beyond doubt. He was convicted on 11 charges including terrorism, rape, murder and the use of child soldiers by rebel groups in neighbouring Sierra Leone during the 1991-2002 conflict, in which some 50,000 people died. The former Liberian leader was found to have supplied weapons to the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in exchange for socalled blood diamonds. The rebels were notorious for hacking off the limbs of civilians to terrorise the population. Taylor has always insisted he is innocent and his only contact with the rebels was to urge them to stop fighting.


50

World News

WORLD BULLETIN Too soon to judge progress in Geneva nuclear talks -- Iran

A senior Iranian negotiator cautioned it was too early to say whether the Islamic Republic and six world powers made progress yesterday towards resolving the decade-old standoff over Tehran’s disputed nuclear ambitions. Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi had told reporters earlier that Iran - now with a moderate president committed to easing its international isolation - had presented a proposal capable of achieving a breakthrough in the deadlock. But Araqchi was more circumspect when he spoke to Reuters after the first day of a planned October 15-16 meeting in Geneva between Iran and the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany. “It’s too soon to judge,” he said when asked whether the two sides were any closer to resolving a stalemate that has heightened the risk of a new Middle East war.

British soldier killed on patrol in Afghanistan A British soldier has been killed by enemy fire while on patrol in Afghanistan, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said. The soldier from 14 Signals Regiment had been on patrol in Helmand Province when he was killed. A spokesman said the soldier was “the brightest and the best” who had “died defending his comrades”. His death brings the number of UK service personnel who have died in Afghanistan since 2001 to 445. The serviceman’s next of kin have been informed. He died at the scene, despite receiving “immediate medical attention” after coming under enemy fire in the area of Kakaran, north east of the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, the MoD said. Spokesman for Task Force Helmand Lt Col Hywel Lewis said: “A fantastic soldier has tragically died defending his comrades. He was the brightest and the best.

Syrian fighters battle on, ignore Muslim holiday Syrian air force jets and helicopters bombed rebel-held districts across the country yesterday, the first day of the Muslim festival of Eid al Adha, and rebel fighters fired rockets into the heart of Damascus. President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces are battling a civil war which grew out of protests against his rule two years ago, was shown on state television attending morning prayers with ministers at a Damascus mosque at the start of the Eid holiday. But there was no let-up in the violence which has torn Syria apart and divided the Middle East between Sunni Muslim supporters of the rebels and Shi’ite backers of Assad, despite a joint plea from regional Arab and Muslim organizations for both sides to mark the occasion with a ceasefire. Activists said warplanes bombed targets in rebel strongholds to the east and south of the capital. Video footage uploaded on the Internet showed explosions and thick columns of smoke rising above the town of Daraya, on the southwestern edge of Damascus.

Wednesday October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Obama rejects proposed US House fiscal plan

T

he White House has rejected a proposal from House of Representatives Republicans to extend the debt limit and reopen the federal government. The White House criticised what it called an attempt to appease a small group of conservatives, but praised a parallel bipartisan Senate plan. The White House objected to the House’s proposed alterations to President Barack Obama’s “Obamacare” health law. The US must raise its $16.7tn (£10.5tn) debt limit by Thursday or risk default. It is hardly surprising that Republicans in the House want more out of a deal. The concession they are asking for is pretty minor but would allow them to tell conservative activists back home that they

didn’t come away from this epic fight empty-handed. If they can’t claim that, they could soon be looking for a new job. Because of “redistricting” gerrymandering - there are few safe seats where it makes any sense appealing to the centre ground. Activists gleefully look for opportunities to unseat those they consider “Rinos” - Republicans In Name Only. But President Obama has repeatedly said that he will not pay ransom to hostage takers. While Democrats are loathe to pay a ransom, they may have to fob off their enemies with a little loose change. Otherwise this crisis could soon turn into an economic catastrophe. It remains unclear whether

Congress can agree a deal in time to avert economic calamity in the US and across the world. Both the Senate plan, outlined on Monday evening, and the House Republicans’ plan, revealed on Tuesday, would fund the government through midJanuary and raise the debt ceiling until February, creating room for negotiators to agree a longerterm budget. The Senate proposal would delay for two years a per-employee tax paid by companies and labour unions on workers’ healthcare plans. The House plan, meanwhile, would delay a medical device tax used to pay for healthcare subsidies under the law and eliminate healthcare subsidies for the president, vice-president, members of the president’s cabinet, and members of Congress.

Federal workers demonstrating for an end to the U.S. government shutdown on the west front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Sunday. PHOTO: REUTERS

Bomb attack kills Afghan’s influential governor

A

bomb attack on a mosque in Afghanistan killed the governor of a province south of Kabul, a friend of the country’s president, yesterday as he was making an address on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, officials said. Arsala Jamal was governor of Logar province, a strategically important province on the southern approaches to Kabul and home to one of Afghanistan’s richest mines. He had previously been governor of violence-plagued Khost province on the Pakistani border and the killing of such a senior official will raise new fears for Afghanistan’s security as foreign troops prepare to leave by the end of next year. “When the governor was giving a speech it detonated. He is martyred,” said Jamal’s spokesman, Din Mohammad Darwish. He said one other person had

been killed. No one claimed responsibility. Jamal was a close friend of President Hamid Karzai and served as his campaign manager during his successful bid for reelection in 2009. He had already survived at least one attempt on his life, when a suicide bomber in a car attacked him, killing his guards and a local official in 2007. Darwish said the bomb had been planted inside the mosque and detonated remotely. Police initially said a suicide bomber had been responsible. A group supporting Afghanistan’s administrative development said it suspected Jamal’s work to get the Aynak copper mine in Logar province up and running was the reason he was killed. “Jamal... had done considerable work for the excavation of copper at the Aynak mine,” the

Independent Directorate of Local Governance agency said in a statement. “These activities were not acceptable to the enemies of the country and that is why they martyred him on the first day of Eid al-Adha,” it said. It did not elaborate on who it thought was behind the attack. Jamal spent part of his life in Canada, where his wife and two children continue to live. Taliban insurgents fighting to expel foreign forces have stepped up attacks on government targets ahead of the withdrawal of foreign combat troops by the end of 2014. The Taliban have rejected government calls for peace talks and have denounced a presidential election due in April as illegitimate. A Chinese consortium is running the Aynak mine under a $3 billion deal agreed in 2007.

Both proposals would include income verification requirements for Americans seeking public subsidies to purchase health insurance. The health law passed in 2010, was subsequently validated by the Supreme Court, and was a central issue in the 2012 presidential election, which Obama won handily. Many key provisions have already taken effect, and more begin next year. Yesterday, Obama rejected what an aide described as Republicans’ attempt to extort “ransom” while the government remained shut and the threat of a debt default loomed. “Unfortunately, the latest proposal from House Republicans does just that in a partisan attempt to appease a small group of Tea Party Republicans who forced the government shutdown in the first place,” said White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage, referring to a faction of hardline conservatives who hold significant sway in the House. “Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have been working in a bipartisan, good-faith effort to end the manufactured crises that have already harmed American families and business owners. With only a couple days remaining until the United States exhausts its borrowing authority, it’s time for the House to do the same.” Later, Republican House Speaker John Boehner said that both parties were trying to find a way forward and that the House plan was focused on “fairness for the American people under Obamacare”. It is Afghanistan’s largest foreign investment project but Taliban attacks on the site have prevented work from getting going. The Chinese investors in August demanded a review of the deal, putting the project at risk. Production was originally scheduled to start this year, but now is seen as unlikely before 2019. The Taliban’s elusive leader, in a message to mark the Eid holiday, urged his fighters to step up their fight against the government.

Jamal


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Cocktail

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

51

Oddities

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (215) When we are passionate about what we do, success will follow. – Richard Carlson Work with Passion! Passion is magnetic. Passion is magical. Passion is wisdom. Passion is the secret to getting tangible results from whatever we love to do. When you are passionate about something, you stand a greater chance of being blessed by that thing. A passionate teacher is a great delight to his students. A passionate employee is a blessing to his employer. A passionate business person will have a way of drawing out the secrets hidden in a particular endeavor. Be passionate about what you do or stop doing it! Anything you do that you cannot be passionate about is a sheer waste of your destiny. DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile

Airline passenger forced to buy extra separated seats

A

man who weighs more than 500 pounds said an airline forced him to buy a second ticket, but the seats weren’t together. Les Price, 43, of Brynithel, Wales, a contestant on the BBC’s “Wales’ Weight Clinic” said the airline told him the rules required him to purchase two tickets on each plane for his roundtrip to Ireland, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday. “When I got to the airport I had to explain to all

the staff why I had two tickets, they didn’t have a clue,” Price said. “When I finally got on the plane one was an aisle seat and the other was by the window -- in a threeseat row. On the way back from Ireland one seat was in row 17 and the other in row 19.” Price, who weighs more than 500 pounds, said he has always struggled with weight gain, but the problem escalated following a back injury that kept him at home for months and the death of his wife in 2009.

President Barack Obama bagging sandwiches as he visits with furloughed federal workers while volunteering at a Martha’s Table kitchen on Monday in Washington, D.C. PHOTO: UPI

75-year-old woman kills fox with bare hands

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75-year-old Swedish woman said she killed a fox with her bare hands when she caught the wild animal attacking her chickens. Ingrid Meinking, 75, who lives in a village outside Sundsvall, said the chicken coop had been on her proper-

ty for less than two months recently when she noticed her cats reacting to strange noises outside, The Local.se reported yesterday. Meinking said she went out to the chicken coop and discovered the fox attacking her five hens. “I wasn’t scared. I didn’t

feel anything, but my heart was pounding for an hour afterwards,” Meinking said. “He ran between my legs, and I said, ‘Now I’m going to get that thing.’” “He didn’t have time to think! I squeezed my legs together and grabbed him,” she said.

Meinking said she grabbed the fox by the tail and slammed him against the stone steps of her home. “I grabbed him, threw him around twice and then slammed him against the stone stairs. Then he was dead,” Meinking told the local Sundsvall Tidning newspaper.


52

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

CHANGE OF NAME SOWALE: Formerly known and addressed as Oluayo Israel Sunday Sowale now wish to be known and addressed as Oluayo Michael Israel. All former documents remain valid. General Public please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME BELLO: Formerly known and addressed as Abubakar Bello, now wish to be known and addressed as Abubakar Altine. All former documents remain valid. SSMB Birnin Kebbi and general public should take note

CHANGE OF NAME NDUKWE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ndukwe Amauche Chika, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Opara Amauche Chika. All former document remains valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME NWACHUKWU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Nwachukwu Chizoba Olivia, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Olaniyan Chizoba Ifeoluwa Olivia. All former document remains valid. General public should take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME

That Aderiye Jimoh Foluso is the same and one person as Jimoh Aderiye Ibrahim former documents remain valid. General public take note

CHANGE OF NAME

LABODE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Labode Omobolanle Jolade, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Johnson Omobolanle Jolade All former documents remain valid. Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and general public to take note

CHANGE OF NAME

MBAMALU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Mbamalu Anthonia Oluchi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Umeigbo Anthonia Oluchi All former documents remain valid. General public to take note

CHANGE OF NAME

TADE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Tade Gbemisola Racheal now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Borisade Gbemisola Racheal. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

AGUOHA: Formerly known and addressed as Mrs Patience Ngozika Aguoha, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Patience Ngozika Anosike.. All former documents remain valid. Federal Ministry of Works and general public should take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE

The general public is hereby notified that the above named mission has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for Registration under part C of the Companies and Allied Matter Act 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: Abogunde Balogun Akinpelumi Inioluwa Balogun Adepate Akinpelumi Cecilia Yusuf Joseph Bolanle Taiwo

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General Corporate Affairs Commission (C.A.C) P.M.B 198, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent off Aguiyi Irosi Street, Maitama Abuja within 28 days from the date of this publication.

SIGNED: ABOGUNDE BALOGUN

PUBLIC NOTICE DEPEND ON GOD CHURCH INT’L

1. Bishop Johnson Abbah Gabriel 2. Mary Azi 3. David Idoko 4. Monica Micheal 5. Goodness Johnson

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. Setting captives free by God’s word 2. Encouraging Christian to relied on God 3. Giving hope to the hopeless Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the registrar-General Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication

SIGNED: SECRETARY

PUBLIC NOTICE FIREBRAND SISTERS OUTREACH

The generalpublic is hereby notified that the above named Organization has applied to theCorporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under part “C” of theCompanies and Allied Matters Act, 1 of 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Victoria Conqueror Stephen Kwol 2. Prisca Pam Fom 3. Rifkatu Peter Gwom 4. Hauwa Musa Danboyi 5. Kaneng Pam Wang

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

1. To raise women who are determined to fulfill their destinies 2. To build women to be effective tools for kingdom advancement 3. To promote God’s love by reaching out to the unsafe, needy, widow/ widower, e.t.c. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the registrar-General Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication

SIGNED: VICTORIA CONQUEROR STEPHEN KWOL PRESIDENT

CHANGE OF NAME

OMOSEBI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Omosebi Oluwafunmilayo Christianah now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adepemi Oluwafunmilayo Christianah. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME

AMU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Amu Jacinta Ndidiamaka, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ezeilo Jacinta Ndidiamaka. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME

ODUNOLA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Odunola Omolayo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. AbdulRasheed Omolayo. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

EZECHUKWU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ezechukwu Chinyere Lovelyn, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Okeke Chinyere Lovelyn. All former document remains valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME EGBO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Egbo Chizoro Juliet now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Igwebueze Chizoro Juliet. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

CHANGE OF NAME YEKEEN: Formerly known as Mrs Yekeen Adeola Adebukola, now wish to be known as Miss Hamzat Adeola Adebukola. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME

ADAM: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Funmilayo Temitope Adam now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Funmilayo Temitope Bakare. All former documents remain valid. Abia State Teaching Hospital and general public take note

CHANGE OF NAME OGHENEKEVWE: Formerly known and addressed as Obie Cynthia now wish to be known and addressed as Obie Oghenekevwe Cynthia. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

CHANGE OF NAME

KALU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Kalu Chidinma Rachael now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Hilary Onyegbule Rachael Chidinma. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note

PUBLIC NOTICE

TRICYCLE OWNERS AND RIDERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, EKITI STATE CHAPTER This is to inform the general public that the above named association has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under the part C of the Company and Allied Matters Act 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Adetunkasi Marcus Olusola –President 5. Ogunyemi Toyin Bamidele –Member. 2. Akinola Talabi Tolulope –Vice President 6. Adebisi Ademola Ajayi –Member 3. Lateef Saheed Oladapo –Secretary 7 Abidoun Gbenga –Member 4. Ademiluyi Samuel Adeleke –Member

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To protect the interest of members.

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

SIGNED: TRUSTEES

CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME UGWUOKE: Formerly known as Miss Ugwuoke Lauretta Ngozinow wish to be known as Mrs Enyirim Lauretta Ngozi. All former documents remain valid. ESUT and general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME OGBU: Formerly known as Miss Ogbu Uchechukwu Patience now wish to be known as Mrs Anyanwu Uchechukwu Patience. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

EGBEYEMI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Egbeyemi Aminat Mojisola now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Abass Aminat Mojisola. All former documents remain valid. Ogun State Civil Service Commission and general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME AMAO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Maryanne Amao now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Maryanne Olusanya. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

CHANGE OF NAME AMA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ama Patience Nneka now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ediomo Precious Nneka. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note

OSUJI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Osuji Patricia Chika now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Onyeugo Patricia Chika. All former documents remain valid. Abia State Teaching Hospital and general public take note

CHANGE OF NAME OKOROCHA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Okorocha Emmanuella Adaugo now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ikegwuruka Mmanuella Adaugo. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

CHANGE OF NAME OZOKONKWO: Formerly known and addressed as Ozokonkwo Charity Obianuju now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ani Charity Obianuju. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

CHANGE OF NAME NWAIGWE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Nwaigwe Bridget Ogechi now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Magnus Bridget Ogechi. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note

ADEBESIN: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Adebesin Oluwakemi Ajoke now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Ogundele Oluwakemi Ajoke. All former documents remain valid. OGUN TSC, WEMA BANK PLC, and the public to please note

OKEKE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Chioma Maureen Okeke, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Chioma Maureen Nneji. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note. AMAKEZE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Amakeze Maciline Mary-Jane Ebelechukwu. now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Mmaduike Maryjean Ebele. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note

1. Chief Ifebuzo 2. Mr. Linus Ogbuji 3. Clement Mmonu O. 4. Emeka Ekweariri 5. Chief Joseph Oguejiofor

-

Chairman. Secretary. Member. Member. Member.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To maintain Peace and harmony in the market. 2. To ensure the market is kept clean. 3. To ensure that welfare of members is served. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent Off Aguyi Ironsi Street Maitama Abuja Within 28 days from the date of this publication.

SIGNED: BARR. NDUBUISI OKORIE

PUBLIC NOTICE

JAH JEHOVAH SHALOM SPIRITUAL CHURCH

This is to inform the general public that the above named church has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Primate Dr Pro Steven Adekanle Ade-Alabi –Chairman Pastor Omiremi Abiodun (Secretary) Evangelist Ayomide Anthony Ayodeji Apostle Tunde Obenbe SP. APT Odunlami Rotimi Olabode Leader Ade-Alabi Anuoluwapo Adewale

7. PRO. Adeleye Abiola Samson 8. APT.Wahab Idowu Esupofo 9. Ade-Alabi Elizabeth 10. APT.Akintunde Oyeteju

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

1 To propagate, teach and preach the gospel of christ in the line with the revelation received through holy spirit 2 To convert and win souls into God ‘s family by believing God the father,Son and Holy spirit 3 To evangelize Jesus Gospel 4 To proclaim his second coming and training children of God in technical skill viz bible teaching and training including spiritual deliverance @healing by holy spirit 5 Education, Publication of christian books, Journals and magazine

Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent Off Aguyi Ironsi Street Maitama Abuja Within 28 days from the date of this publication.

SIGNED: TRUSTEES

CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME

PUBLIC NOTICE SOCCER FRIENDS AFRICA FOUNDATION

PUBLIC NOTICE

THE TRUSTEES ARE:

CHANGE OF NAME

KOLAWOLE: Formerly known and addressed as Mrs Kolawole Julianah Funke now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Arijenileola Julianah Funke. All former documents remain valid. Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and general public take note

EGBELU BUILDING MATERIALS MARKET LANDLORDS ASSOCIATION This is to inform the general public that the above named Association has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990.

CHANGE OF NAME

OGUZIE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Sandra Chiwendu Oguzie now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Sandra Chiwendu Daniel. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note

ODUNAYO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Odunayo Ayodeji Grace now wish to known and addressed as Mrs Ishola Ayodeji Grace. All former documents remain valid. College of Health Science and Technology Ijero Ekiti and general public take note

CHANGE OF NAME

AKINLUYI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Akinluyi Temitayo Oluseun now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ogunleye Temitayo Oluseun. All former documents remain valid. Emure Local Govt Education Authority, Ekiti State, State Universal Basic Education Board and general public take note

This is to notify the general public that the above named church has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE:

CLASSIFIED ADVERT FOR SALE

GEDE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss. Gede Evelyn Ebidoumere, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Disi Evelyn Ebidoumere. All former documents remain valid. Federal University Otuoke and the general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

IZUEGBU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Izuegbu Patience Uche, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Uzoh Patience Uche. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

OLD PATH CHRISTIAN MISSION INTERNATIONAL

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

CHANGE OF NAME ASHIWE: Formerly known and addressed as Ashiwe Vivian Omesham now wish to be known and addressed as Agbomi Vivian Omesham. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

The general public is hereby notified that the above named foundation has applied for registration to the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja under part C of the companies and Allied Matters

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Sylvester Okonkwo Blessyn Okpowo Shola Adeyemi Patrick Okonkwo

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To promote, support and organise soccer activities within Nigeria. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, and Abuja within 28 days from the date of publication.

SIGNED: NWANKWO IJEOMA ONYINYECHI 08033457827

PUBLIC NOTICE

ASSOCIATION OF EVANGELICAL AND DELIVERANCE BISHOPS OF NIGERIA

This is to inform the general public that the above named Association has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE:

1. Bishop Apostle Chinasa Nwosu –President 2. Pastor Mrs Sarah Ngozi Nwosu 3. Pastor Bright Ewere. 4. Bishop Abraham Wisdom Aimakhu –Secretary 5. Rt. Rev. Innocent .N. Erimujor (D.D.Phd. J.P).

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

1. To enhance cooperation among Churches. 2. To provide a forum for evangelical Bishops to meet. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent Off Aguyi Ironsi Street Maitama Abuja Within 28 days from the date of this publication.

SIGNED: G.A. OKUJAGU ESQ (SOLICITOR) 08034319365.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

53

Community Mirror Senator spends N16m on Sallah gifts 54

“Our existence as a country is God-ordained and we must entrust its success on to Him alone” KWARA STATE GOVERNOR, ABDULFATAH AHMED

Gombe initiates literacy awareness campaign FRANCIS SUBERU WITH AGENCY REPORT

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ndigenes of Tudun Wada community in Gombe have promised to embrace western education and raise awareness on its benefits in order to promote literacy in the area. As part of the Access Campaign on School Enrolment, introduced in Gombe State by the 1 GAME Campaigns, leaders and volunteers in Tudun Wada community have been

sensitizing parents to send their children to schools. A leader in the community known as Bashiru, said more and more parents are getting convinced about western education and are beginning to act. “We have moved from house to house and have spoken to many parents and guardians. We have told them that their children will be given free books and other educational materials. We also told them that no money will be charged as education is free. “Many of them have

told us that their children will begin school when it resumes in Gombe. Some asked to see the books first before acting but we told them that they will be distributed in the schools,” Bashiru explained. A campaign volunteer, Mohammed Awwal said despite progress being made in many quarters, convincing almajiris to embrace western education was still a challenge. “We are happy that parents are beginning to see the importance of western education. If every child

FRSC admonishes commuters to be safety-conscious here is in school, Gombe will be a better place. “Our only concern is the almajiris. It is very difficult convincing them. Some have refused to tell us who their parents are. But we believe as the campaign progresses, we will deal with the situation,” Awwal concluded. Tudun Wada community is one of the few areas in the capital city with a high number of almajiri children. School enrolment in the area is relatively low when compared with other communities in Gombe town.

Farmers planting rice during the visit of a delegation from south-south cooperation in Africa to Okumi site of Kogi accelerated rice project in Lokoja, recently.

Ex-soldier demands compensation for property demolition

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n ex-soldier, Yerima Solomon, has urged an Abuja High Court to compel the Chairman of the Bwari Area Council, to pay him N120 million compensation for the demolition of his property. In the suit filed by his counsel, Mr Ogaranya Imegi, the plaintiff, joined the FCT Minister as codefendant, even as he demanded an additional N150 million as exem-

plary damages from both parties. Imegi also asked the court sitting in Lugbe, Abuja, to grant an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further trespassing into his land located at Yerima village, Bwari, Abuja. He prayed the court to also compel the defendants to, in the alternative to the injunction, relocate and resettle the plaintiff to a

better or similar expanse of land fit for human habitation within the FCT. When the case was first mentioned, the counsel to the second defendant, Ms Nkechi Okpara, had raised a motion of preliminary objection to the plaintiff ’s suit, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction and the suit was incompetent. Okpara, also asked the court to strike out the first defendant’s name from

the suit. Similarly, the counsel to the first defendant, Mr Fortune Ibanga, had in his statement of defence, denied most of the plaintiff ’s claims. Ibanga had urged the court to dismiss the plaintiff ’s suit for being speculative, gold-digging, vexatious, frivolous and without legal basis. Justice Angela Otaluka adjourned the case to Oct. 31 for definite hearing.

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he Federal Road Saftety Corps, FRSC, Benin Zonal command, has advised drivers and other road users to drive with caution to ensure a crash free Sallah celebration. The FRSC RS5 Zonal Commanding Officer, Mr Nseobong Akpabio, gave the advice in a statement on in Benin,even as it said that officials of the command had been enjoined to redouble their efforts in ensuring a safe motoring environment for road users. “They have been briefed to also ensure free flow of traffic and arrest recalcitrant road traffic offenders. Officers and Marshals in the zone have been strategically deployed to effectively monitor all critical corridors. Such roads include Asaba-Benin, BeninAuchi, Benin-Ore, BeninWarri, Ontisha-Enugu,’’ the statement added. It further said that “Operation Eid-el-kabir” would focus on offences such as speeding, dangerous driving, dangerous overtaking, over-loading and use of phone while driving.” It, therefore, advised motorists and other road users to be conscious of hazards of the rainy season and use the road with extra caution. It added that commands have been directed to intensify public enlightenment and ensure prompt removal of road obstructions. In a related development, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Mr Osita Chidoka, has charged the Igbo to promote their values, culture and language irrespective of their societal status. Chidoka made the call while celebrating the new yam festival at Obosi, his home town in Idemili North Local Government

Area of Anambra State. According to him, the core values of hard work and entrepreneurship were embedded in Igbo culture, especially in farming and communal work, which distinguished them from other tribes. “Today is an opportunity to thank God for making the farming season to come to an end and for ensuring a bumper harvest. The Igbo culture of hard work and communal work is reflected in the new yam festival. “It is a culture that every Igbo son and daughter must promote,” Chidoka, said. The occasion, which was a show and display of Igbo cultural heritage, attracted members of the community and dignitaries. Among those present were the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr Ballah Nasarawa, and Commander of the 302 Artillery Regiment, Nigerian Army, Onitsha, Col. Taritimiye Gagariga. They also included Mr Chike Nwaka, the Assistant Corps Marshal of the FRSC Zone 9, Enugu; Mr Ademola Lawal, the Assistant Corps Marshal of Zone 2, Lagos and the Assistant Corps Marshal of Zone 5, Benin, Mr Nsibong Akpabio. Speaking at the occasion, the chairman of the FRSC board, Mr Felix Ugwu, urged the Igbo to reinvent themselves, particularly by ensuring that their children spoke the language. The Anambra FRSC Sector Commander, Mr Hygienus Omeje, commended Chidoka for finding time to celebrate with his people. “His coming back home is an indication that he is a true Igbo man who always remembers that he is first a grassroots man before becoming the FRSC boss,” Omeje said.


54

Community Mirror

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Senator spends N16m on Sallah gifts NDLEA arrests man KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he Deputy Senate Whip and Senator representing Oyo North Senatorial District, Hosea Ayoola Agboola has distributed Sallah gifts worth over N16million to Muslim faithful and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members across the 301 wards in Oyo State. Agboola who made the disclosure through his Personal Assistant, Mr

Femi Ogunyale, said he extended the Sallah gifts to party leaders in the state, executives of the party at the state level, Oyo North Senatorial District and local governments in his constituency. He said 250 rams were distributed alongside 580 bags of rice as well as 1000 specially-branded threekongo rice with his name inscribed on the package. The Senator disclosed that a total of N16million was expended on the gifts as well as the N3.5 mil-

lion monthly subvention which he used to give to party executive at the local government and ward levels in his constituency, noting that he made the gesture to remind the people that as their representative, he had their interests at heart and had been doing everything within his power to deliver dividends of democracy to them in both physical and intangible forms. He said, “In the spirit of Sallah, I have made this contribution to en-

sure that people enjoy the festivity and it is also an extension of the several commitments I have made as a representative of the people. Ranging from the construction of classrooms and clinics in all local governments of my constituency to the ongoing construction of roads as well as the rehabilitation of the University College Hospital Annexe in Sepeteri, I have put my people first in all my activities and I can say more are still coming”.

with 7.45kg cocaine FRANCIS SUBERU WITH AGENCY REPORT

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he National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has arrested a 39-year-old man, who imported 7.45kg of cocaine valued N82 million into the country. Mr Mitchell Ofoyeju, the agency’s spokesman, who made this known in a statement on Tuesday, said that the suspect was intercepted at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja. Ofoyeju said that the discovery was made on October 12, 2013 “during inward screening of passengers onboard an Ethiopian Airline flight from Brazil. “The drug, which was industrially concealed in-

side food flasks and kitchen utensils, tested positive to cocaine and weighed 7.45kg. It is estimated to cost N82million. It is the single largest seizure recorded at the Abuja Airport since January.’’ Ofoyeju said investigations into the case had commenced, adding that the agency’s ‘Operation End of Year Screening’ made the discovery possible. “The agency is prepared to counter the tricks of drug traffickers. As the year is coming to an end, we have launched ‘Operation End of Year Screening’. This is targeted at preventing drug cartels from carrying out their criminal acts this season,’’ he said. The spokesman said that the suspect would soon be charged to court.

Lawmaker urges tolerance at Sallah FRANCIS SUBERU

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ice chairman, Senate Committee on Nigerian Air Force, Senator Akin Odunsi has in his Eid-el Kabir message, urged Nigerians to imbibe the virtues of Prophet IbraSensitisation campaign for child immunisation against measles by health officials at Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area him, who obeyed God by ofof Kwara State recently. PHOTO: NAN fering his only son for sacrifice in obedience to God’s directive. He said; “I would like to CONTINUED FROM 2 (rtd), raised the fear about ibility in terms of its credit charges are outrageous and appeal to all our brothers amazed when I wanted to the safety of the Nigerian rating. coming at a time when the and sisters across all faiths, do a little arithmetic by us- airspace. The former Assistant domestic airlines are al- especially Muslims to make ing a B737 that carries 130 Ojikutu told our corre- General Secretary, Airlines ready grappling with finan- the needed sacrifices in suspassengers, I multiplied spondent that the recent Operators of Nigeria, AON, cial challenges. taining the country’s unity. it by about N25,000 ticket plane crashes revealed that AlhajiMuhammedTukur, He took a swipe at the avi- We need to imbibe the spirit and it was about N3m, but Nigeria still lacked efficient also accused the Aviation ation agencies and the min- of forgiveness, love and reby the time you change it accident management. Ministry of unlawful in- istry for neglecting safety spect for one another. To to dollars, it is about just He accused the Ministry terference in the running for money making ventures. this end, I urge you to ex$21,000 and there are com- of Aviation of taking over of the agencies and blamed An aviation expert based change gifts and visits durponents that are multiple the roles of NCAA as spelt the crashes and problems in the United Kingdom, Mr. ing this eid-el kabir celebraof such an amount. So, the out in the Act establishing confronting the domestic Nick Fadugba once told our tion.” naira is weak when com- the agency and other Civil airlines on the too much correspondent that what pared to dollars. We have a Aviation Authorities in the pressures government is would sustain the survival lot of challenges. of Nigerian airlines is for mounting on them. global aviation industry. he annual Revival “There is a need to look Tukur, who raised the the carriers to merge and He explained that minFire Conference of at the operations of aviation istry assuming the roles alarm over the rate the Fed- be managed effectively by Foursquare Gospel holistically and government of NCAA and other opera- eral Government through experts that would be deChurch, Omole will begin must do something that tors in the industry, led to the various aviation agen- tached from the whims and today . would bring down the cost the conflicting figures and cies is stifling life out of the caprices of their owners. The 5-day programme, of running airlines in this information being released domestic carriers through He said: “There is no with the theme: Created for country. If they can do that, immediately after the re- multiple taxation, said this airline in Nigeria today His Glory , taken from Isamay be, the airlines will get cent crash in Lagos State. move was enough to force that can adequately fill the iah 43:7, will have Rev. Sam money and come together Besides, former Presi- any of the airlines to cut cor- shoes of Nigeria Airways. Aboyeji from Warri, Rev. and establish maintenance dent of Nigeria Cabin Crew ners to remain in business. If you look at the engineers (Dr.) Tope Oni, Rev. Sam facilities that will bring Association, OlumideOhuHe cited the recent intro- and pilots in Nigeria in Omoleye and Prof. Vuyani down the cost of their main- nayo, identified the owner- duction of new tariff charg- various private airlines, Ntitili from South Africa tenance, beyond that, it’s go- manager syndrome as the es by the NCAA, which many of them were trained ministering. ing to be extremely difficult.” crux of the problems of Ni- compels domestic carriers through Nigeria Airways. Also in attendance Also, a former Airport gerian airlines. to henceforth pay $3,000 on Yet many Nigerian airlines would be the Senior Pastor, Commandant, Murtala He noted that when a each take-off while their today do not have adequate Foursquare Gospel Church, Mohammed International company is attached to one foreign counterparts are to training programmes for Airport, MMIA, Lagos, individual, it affects its cor- pay $4, 000. engineers and pilots due to Omole and the District Overseer, Ikeja Foursquare Group Capt. John Ojikutu porate image and its credAccording to Tukur, the lack of funds.”

Experts raise fresh alarm on aviation sector

The senator admonished Muslims that the festive period gives room for socialization and integration among the diverse ethnic and religious groups in the nation. Senator Odunsi who is representing Ogun West advised the rich to reach out to the poor so as to reduce the gap between ‘the haves’ and the ‘have nots’. For those who have genuine grievances against the country, he said they now have opportunity to present them at the proposed constitutional conference. “It is an idea that many have canvassed, especially those who feel marginalized. This is an opportunity for all to seek justice and fairness in the distribution of the nation’s wealth and positions,” he said.

FGC, revival fire conference begins today

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Gospel Church, Pastor and Rev. (Mrs.) Dayo Adewumi. Highlights of the event include: Word Feast/Power Night and High Praises. Also ministering at the programme are guest artistes – Rachael Oribhabor, Awsome Praise Ministers and Tope Olajimi. The programme takes-off by 5:30pm on Wednesday and on Thursday, with a vigil on Friday by 11pm. Leadership Seminar takes the centre stage on Saturday by 3:pm while the grand finale holds on Sunday with Anointing Service from 9am.


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North

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bauchi: Suspect killed in police, robbers’ shootout

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olicemen yesterday killed a suspected armed robber and recovered a stolen vehicle after a shootout with a fiveman robbery gang in Bauchi State. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Haruna Mohammed, said in a statement that the command it received an intelli-

gence report that the gang had attacked a widow in Jos and made away with her car and other valuables. He said: “On receiving the report that the robbers were heading towards Bauchi, the police laid ambush in Zaranda area where they engaged the robbers in a shootout. “During the shootout,

one of the robbers was killed while others escaped with bullet wounds, abandoning the vehicle, a black Toyota Highlander with registration number Lagos LND 950 BJ, and other exhibits.” Mohammed listed other items recovered from the gang to include one AK47 rifle, one locally made pis-

tol, 55 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition, five cartridges and one magazine. He quoted the state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Ladan, as calling on the public to assist the police by watching out for the fleeing armed robbery suspects who might be seeking medical attention in their neighbourhood.

55

We’ll defend artistes’ rights –COSON

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he Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, has restated its resolve to end the abuse of artistes’ rights by some organisations. In a statement in Abuja yesterday, the society said some organisations had over the years used Nigerian music for their corporate gains at the expense of the artistes. COSON’s Head of Communications, Media and Strategy, Mr. Chibueze Okereke, said in the statement that the society would not hesitate to take legal action against such organisations to protect the rights of the artistes. According to the statement, the society will not relent in its effort to bring to justice errant copyright infringers as no organisation is above the law. The statement quot-

ed the COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji, as saying that the recent suit filed against a media conglomerate was long overdue. Chukwuji said the lawsuit came after steps were taken by COSON for the organisations to comply. He advised various organisations to obey the copyright laws to prevent legal actions against them. The general manager said the society operated in accordance with the law and with the support of the international copyright community, insisting that no one was above the law. He warned that any persons infringing on copyrights with regards to musical works and sound recordings would be brought to book.

APC plans to oust PDP in Kogi WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA Sokoto State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mukhtari Shagari (left) and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, during the Eid-elKabir celebration in Sokoto, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

ASUU, FG face-off setback to national growth –Emir OTHMAN SALIHU KANO

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he Emir of Zaria, Alhaji Shehu Idris, has described the face-off between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, as a huge setback to education, national growth and development. Idris, who spoke in Zaria, Kaduna State yesterday, urged both parties to shift grounds on the issues for the education and growth of future generations. He said: “The lingering problem has a negative consequence on the lives of our children and those yet

unborn; all parties must make quick compromises and ensure peace.” The emir also renewed his earlier call on the Federal Government and the Kaduna State Government to fulfil the promises of completing the Zaria water project. He also called for the construction of additional road networks in Zaria, Tudun-Wada and Sabon-Gari. The monarch pointed out that the roads in those areas were bad and required urgent attention. The royal father urged his subjects to sustain the prevailing peace in the state to enable the government execute more projects for a better society.

Idris also called on the people to redouble their efforts toward active participation in irrigation farming and also cautioned them against selling their farm produce. He said: “You should rather reserve your agricultural yields for future use.” Meanwhile, Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, yesterday described lack of honesty among Nigerians as one of the factors hindering the country’s development. In his traditional Sallah message in Kano yesterday, Bayero explained that it was time Nigerians exhibited trustworthiness among themselves, so that the

country could move ahead. The emir observed that in the absence of peaceful co-existence, no nation could develop. The traditional ruler also urged Nigerians to always have the fear of God, so that at the end the truth would prevail. Bayero also urged Nigerians to love one another and live in peace and harmony for a better Nigeria to be attained. He enjoined the people to pray fervently for peace to reign in the country, stressing that without an attitudinal change among Nigerian leaders and the generality of the masses, the country had a long way to go.

A

ll Progressives Congress members in Kogi State have been advised to work together to be able to wrest power the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state. A member of the APC National Interim Steering Committee, Mr. James Ocholi (SAN), who made the call at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lokoja, the state capital, urged party faithful to remain focused. Ocholi explained that part of the aims of the mega party was to wrest power for PDP at the centre and the states. He regretted that public fund was currently going into individuals’ pockets in the state, noting that all the founding members of the PDP were no longer relevant in power sharing in the state. Ocholi assured party

loyalists that APC would entrench internal democracy and rule of law. He promised that APC would win the three senatorial seats, nine House of Representatives seats, 21 local government chairmanship seats and the governorship. Also, the state House of Assembly member representing Yagba West Constituency, Hon. Bidemi, said it was high time the state was rescued from bad governance. The lawmaker said before he was elected into the state House Assembly he was thinking of how to rescue the state and serve his people diligently, but when he came on board he discovered that it was not easy, adding that he could not help the matter. Bidemi, therefore, noted that all the APC loyalists must close ranks and work tirelessly to ensure the party win elections in the state.

2015: Jonathan’s posters flood Ilorin

WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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resident Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign posters flooded strategic spots yesterday at the Ilorin Central Eid Praying Ground.

This was despite the stand of the new Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, spearheaded by former Kwara State governor, Bukola Saraki, Alhaji Kawu Baraje and others that the President must not re-contest in 2015. The posters were spon-

sored by a group which called itself the “Foundation for Empowerment and Uniting Nigerian Youths.” The brain behind the group in Ilorin was not known at press time. Some of the posters were pasted on the walls along

New Yidi Road by the Irewolede Housing Estate; one of Saraki’s pet projects as the governor. The posters have messages such as: “Let the good work continue,” “In culture, in architecture and for the future, you are the best,”

“Support Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for continuity,” “He has done it,” “He is doing it... He has also promised to do more despite challenges.” It was learnt that the posters were pasted late Monday evening.

Jonathan


WORLD RECORD

Highest rate of pet ownership (country)

Vol. 03 No. 721

I

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

N150

The country with the highest rate of pet ownership per household as of 2010 is Australia with over 60% of households having at least one animal as a companion (typically a cat or dog) and 83% of Australians having owned a pet at some point in their life.

Still on the national conference

f there is one thing most Nigerians agree on, it is the fact that the country is running down a slippery slope and needs a very strong wedge to stop it from tumbling into a deep ravine. All ethnic groups believe there is injustice in the land, but to varying degrees and depending who is involved. The issue of justice takes a malevolent stripe when it comes to redressing decades old wrongs. This is so because not everyone agrees on what is wrong and who has been wronged. For example, the South East geopolitical zone has been at the forefront of crying marginalisation for many years with others paying very scant attention. The reasons are not farfetched. Since the end of the civil war in 1970, many of the combatants have surreptitiously maintained very hostile postures towards each other,

Okay Osuji (okayosuji@nationalmirroronline.net) 08034729256 (sms only)

even when they publicly profess amity and good neighbourliness. Even when flashing toothy smiles, the victors have gone ahead to unleash a scorched earth policy meant to perpetually emasculate the losers and keep them in a disadvantaged position for as long as they hold the reins of power. That was the grim situation in which some ethnic groups found themselves and which had the unintended consequence of sowing the seeds of distrust and division in the polity. The problem with this is that those who created the ‘Frankenstein monster’ are always haunted by the nightmarish spectre of one day being at the receiving end of the ghost they let loose. Naturally, power is an aphrodisiac and has a way of intoxicating those who come in contact with it , especially when there is no equivalent force capable of controlling it. In the process of riding rough shod over real and perceived challengers to their hold on power, those who drove the country to its present precipitous state took to making enemies of everyone. Like battering rams, they charged at anyone and anything with no exception. In the end, they only succeeded in pushing every passenger in their boat out into the sea. Fatefully, every revolution has an unnatural way of devouring its own children and with time, the curse goes full circle. Forty three years after the civil war, the country is yet to get out of the woods. This is because there was a conscious and consistent policy of wanting to create a country of unequal citizens.

THERE IS NOTHING SACROSANCT IN HOLDING TO AN UNHAPPY MARRIAGE IF ALL PARTNERS FIND IT INCREASINGLY INCONVENIENT TO LIVE UNDER THE SAME ROOF Definitely, those who had the privilege of holding executive power at the centre set out to build a country of Jews and gentiles, where the reins of leadership is reserved for a few. And because of this anomaly, certain groups and persons have become wedded to the presumption of rulership being reserved for those from some privileged areas. The present hoopla over the 2015 elections derives from the cantankerous attitude of those who feel that their privilege of divine leadership has been taken away from them. For this group, President Goodluck Jonathan is not only an outsider but also a political outlier, who should not nurse the ambition of a second term. Despite all threats and vituperations, the Otueke-born politician still looks certain to throw his hat into the ring for the presidential contest of 2015. Such show of bravado has not only piqued some self styled political heirs, it is seen as grist in the mill of those challenging the status quo.

Now, we are beginning to hear a new cry of marginalisation and how the present power configuration is leaning heavily on those too helpless to defend themselves. We are being told that some areas are now starved of federal presence, while efforts are on to pauperise those zones ill at ease with the present dispensation. What is intended here is to bring to the fore the grave dangers facing the country if nothing is made to redress the artificial imbalance that has for long held its progress back. The proposed national conference should not only allay the fears of the different ethnic nationalities, it should also address once and for all their modus for cohabitation. In doing this, all groups must list what it wants from the union and how it would meld seamlessly with the ambitions of others. Part of the country’s problem stems from the present military inspired 1999 constitution that has succeeded in elevating injustice to an acceptable farce. For example, it beats every imagination to understand the logic that informed the present 36 states structure. A pedestrian observation gives it away as the handiwork of a few persons desirous to corral all of the country’s resources to their geopolitical zones, and even hold the veto on any political discourse not likely to keep them permanently in power. So, the conference should again visit Nigeria’s federalism and see whether it meets the basic universal principle and standard. We all know that the present arrangement is a unitary system propped up by a dysfunctional legislature. Basically, it is otiose to revisit our amalgamation and see whether it has advanced the purpose for its existence in the past hundred as a country. There is nothing sacrosanct in holding to an unhappy marriage if all partners find it increasingly inconvenient to live under the same roof. We may as well try a confederation or revert to the old regions that emphasised true federalism if the present one has not served us well.

Sport Extra

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ormer Senegal coach, Bruno Metsu, who led the African country to the World Cup quarter-finals in 2002, has died, aged 59, French media reported yesterday. Local newspaper, La Voix du Nord, sports dai-

Ex-Senegal coach, Metsu, passes on ly, L’Equipe, and France Football magazine reported that Metsu, who quit his coaching job at Dubai club, Al Wasl, last year to fight stomach cancer,

passed away overnight at his Dunkirk home in northern France. The much-travelled Metsu, also known as “The White Sorcerer”,

also coached Guinea, Qatar, and several clubs in the Gulf region. However, the highlight of his career came at the 2002 World Cup when Sen-

egal beat holders France in the opening game and went on to reach the last eight. That year, Senegal also reached the African Nations Cup final.

Metsu

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