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NGF crisis: I won’t step down, says Amaechi …asks court to prevent his removal from office OBIORA IFOH AND GODWIN OKONKWO

Vol. 3 N0. 636

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he crisis in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, took a different dimension yesterday as the embattled

Chairman and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi vowed not to vacate his seat. He insisted that the CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

FG to pay N384bn PHCN workers’ severance package on June 17 P.4

Nebo

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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Boko Haram: US offers to try Shekau for terrorism

…as Jonathan proscribes sects

CAN calls for Buhari’s arrest over comments

ROTIMI FADEYI, OLUFEMI ADEOSUN AND PRISCILLA DENNIS

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he United States yesterday said that the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, accused of terrorism activities in Nigeria, could be tried in the U.S. when caught. Kurt Rice, the U.S. Acting Assistant Director of Diplomatic Security Threat Investigations and Analysis Directorate, said this at a joint tele- news conference with David Gilmour, Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tele-conference was aired to audiences in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

N58.9trn oil block:

AlisonMadueke, NNPC GMD face Senate

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L-R: Medical Officer, Nigeria Police Medical Services, Adenike Abuwa; Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar; Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; former IG, Musiliu Smith and Commissioner of Police (Medical) South-West Zone, Chinwe Okafor, at the commissioning of the newly renovated hospital at the Police College in Ikeja, Lagos, yesterday.

Reps pass bill to ease President’s impeachment P.12

P.7

Dana crash:

Senate report on constitution review supports six-year single term P.2

Again, gunmen kill 20 villagers in Nasarawa

Hands off contract awards, Ezekwesili tells Jonathan

Oduah

AIB releases interim report, identifies five safety issues P.7


News

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Reps pass bill to ease President’s impeachment GEORGE OJI AND TORDUE SALEM

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bill to simplify the process of impeachment of a president and his vice scaled the second reading in the House of Representatives yesterday. National Mirror had three weeks ago exclusively reported that the members would pass the bill for second reading before they adjourned for a long recess. The piece of legislation, which seeks to remove ambiguities in conditions precedent for the removal of a President and vicepresident was sponsored by Hon. Yakubu Dogara (PDPBauchi), Hon. Emmanuel Jime (PDP-Benue) and others. The proposed law titled: “An Act to Alter the Provisions of Section 143 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Remove Ambiguities in the Process of Removal of the President from Office on Allegations of Gross Misconduct and to Provide for a more Transparent and

Democratic Procedure for Impeachment and other Matters Connected” was passed for second reading after a heated debate. The bill seeks to copy the American model of impeaching a president by making the process less cumbersome. The lawmakers are seeking powers to initiate the process and investigate it rather than leave it to the Chief Justice of Nigeria. Though it was heavily attacked, the bill scaled second reading when it was put to vote. The key sponsor of the bill, Dogara, who led the debate, said: “The essence of the bill is meant to hold the executive accountable so that checks can be created, and it is not meant to target this term, but rather, make the process less ambiguous on grounds of misconduct. Let’s all look at this and do it in the interest of Nigerians.” The Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (ACN-Lagos), however, led the opponents to the bill. He argued that the bill,

if passed into law, might be subjected to other ambiguities, stressing that gross misconduct could be subjected to redefinition. Gbajabiamila urged the House to exercise maturity in considering the bill as it might send wrong signals to the public. “I will very quickly go on to shoot the bill down,” Gbajabiamila said, adding that “the timing of the bill

is wrong and people will read meanings into to it, we must be mature about it.” According to him, “The United States of America’s House of Representatives was caught up in something similar when the impeachment of President Clinton was going as regards to his affairs with an intern.” The bill was gazetted by the House on May 5, also seeks to make the lower

chamber the impeaching House, while the Senate would, after the president or his vice’s impeachment, set up a quasi-judicial panel presided over by the CJN with lawmakers as prosecutors before a final verdict either nails or exonerates the president or a Deputy. The bill states in part: “The President or VicePresident shall be removed from office on allegations

gross misconduct in accordance with the provisions of this section”. The bill seeks to amend sub-section 2 of 143 to read that: “Whenever the Committee of the House of Representatives in charge of Judiciary decides on whether or not to proceed with impeachment proceedings against the holder of the office of the President CONTINUED ON PAGE 55>>

L-R: President Nhamajo Serifo of Guinea Bissau; President Goodluck Jonathan and Serifo’s wife, Isolina, during a visit to the Presidential Villa in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Boko Haram: US offers to try Shekau for terrorism CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Abuja, Accra, Dakar, Lagos and Niamey. Rice’s comments came a day after the U.S. offered a $23 million (about N3.6bn) reward for information on the location of five leaders of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Boko Haram. All the suspects named in the first U.S. Rewards for Justice Programme for the sub-region were accused of being the mastermind of different cases of kidnap of foreigners and terror activities in West Africa. Rice said that Shekau when apprehended could be charged before a Nigerian court or ``the courts of partner nations whether in Nigeria, North or West Africa.’’ He expressed the hope that the capture of the Boko Haram leader would ``check’’ the deadly attacks in the country linked to the militant group in the past. “Our intent is to bring him before a court.

“Our intent in offering this reward at this time is to work with our Nigeria partners to try and make (Nigeria) a more stable and secure area,” he added. Rice said the U.S. rewards for Justice Programme had a ``track record’’ that had paid out 125 million dollars (about N19.8bn) to more than 80 people, who provided information leading to the arrest of terrorists, since 1984. “The fact is that this is a shared fight against terrorism. “This is one tool we have against terrorism and we find that overtime it has been enormously effective and it has saved a lot of lives and we want to continue doing that,’’ he said. Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has formally approved the proscription of the Islamic sect. He also authorised the gazetting of an order declaring the group’s activi-

ties illegal and acts of terrorism. A statement issued yesterday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said the order, which had been gazetted as the Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice 2013, affected Boko Haram (Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati Wal Jihad) and Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan. The order is pursuant to Section 2 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 (As Amended). Part of the statement reads: “The proscription order warns the general public that any person participating in any form of activities involving or concerning the collective intentions of the said groups will be violating the provisions of the Terrorism Prevention Act. “Section 5 (1) of the Act prescribes a term of imprisonment of not less than 20 years for any person who knowingly, in any manner, directly or indirectly, solic-

its or renders support for the commission of an act of terrorism or to a terrorist group. “For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, “support” includes: (a) incitement to commit a terrorist act through the internet, or any electronic means or through the use of printed materials or through the dissemination of terrorist information; (b) receipt or provision of material assistance, weapons including biological, chemical or nuclear weapons, explosives, training, transportation, false documentation or identification to terrorists or terrorist groups; (c) receipt or provision of information or moral assistance, including invitation to adhere to a terrorist or terrorist group; (d) entering or remaining in a country for the benefit of, or at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group; or (e) the provision of, or making available, such financial or other related ser-

vices prohibited under this Act or as may be prescribed by regulations made pursuant to this Act. The United States Government had on Monday offered rewards of $3m (N468m) to $7m (N1.1bn) for information leading to the location of “leaders of terrorist organisations” in West Africa, the first time it has used the rewards programme in the region. The action targets leaders of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, or MUJWA, and the groups known as the Signed-inBlood Battalion and Boko Haram. US Secretary of State John Kerry specifically authorised a reward of up to $7m for information leading to the location of Abubakar Shekau. The State Department blamed the group for the August 2011 vehicle-bomb attack on a U.N. facility in Abuja, Nigeria, which killed at least 23 people and wounded 80.

Kerry set rewards of $5m (N775m) each for information leading to the location of AQIM leader Yahya Abu el Hammam and Signedin-Blood Battalion leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar. The State Department described Hammam as a senior leader of AQIM who had planned attacks and kidnappings in North and West Africa and was reported to be involved in the 2010 murder of an elderly French hostage in Niger. Belmokhtar, previously a leader of AQIM, is the founder of the Signed-inBlood Battalion, also known as the al-Mulathamun Battalion, the department said. It said the group conducted the attack last January on a gas facility in In-Amenas, Algeria, where at least 37 hostages, including three U.S. citizens, were killed. The Federal Government has described the decision of the United States Government as a welcome development In a related development, the Christian Association CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Midweek Interview What is the origin of this trend of hostility towards the police? It is very unfortunate that Nigerians have resolved to kill their security operatives who are paid to protect them, maintain law and order for the well-being of the people. Rather than cooperating with policemen and other security agents, some miscreants, who do not understand the functions of the police or who are just beastly in their actions, have taken to such attacks. Section 24 of our constitution provides that it is the duty of the citizens of this country to assist the security agencies in the maintenance of law and order. So, it is incumbent on every citizen of Nigeria to assist the police. Look at the recent bombing in Boston, every American citizen rose in support of the police, saying the perpetrators must be detected. But look at us here. In Bayelsa they were ambushed. The same thing in Nasarawa; they came under attack even while on a legitimate mission and they were just massacred like goats. It is very beastly. It is criminal. It is unacceptable anywhere in the world. I consider the attack on police as an attack on the sovereignty of Nigeria; an attack on the entire Nigerian people and an attack on our nation. So, Nigerians should rise up to the clarion call. Our national anthem begins with “Arise O’ Compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey”. The killing is heinous and I am sure that the culprits would be fished out soon. What is responsible is the fact that Nigerians don’t seem to recognise the role of policemen. Even when there is a distress call and the police are called in, you will discover that people would still be antagonistic. We should be ashamed of our actions. We have to ask God to forgive us and we ought to apologise to the Nigerian police because they are there to serve us even under very harsh conditions. We can also trace this public antagonism towards the police to the colonial era and the military era in this country and how previous governments have treated the Nigeria Police Force. The Police have been so neglected in terms of proper remuneration, proper motivation, accommodation and general welfare. The Nigeria Police is the most impoverished in the world, though, interestingly, we are rated the best outside the shores of this country. Why the situation is like this is because we are operating in an antagonistic environment. What is responsible for this trend? This all started during the colonial era when the people saw the police as agents of the colonial masters who were out to protect such interests and legacies. The police was repressive and people saw them as agents of government. After that came independence and not too long, the military took over even when Nigerians were yet to fully dust themselves of the vestiges of colonialism. The military contributed a great deal to what is happening to the police today. The military refused to empower the police. It was President Shehu Shagari who tried to empower the police. We need to tell ourselves the truth, rather than playing to the gallery. This country belongs to all of us and we all have a stake in it. Previous governments tried to undermine the police force. Rather than empowering them, they impoverished them by reducing the

Nigeria Police, world’s most neglected force –Alobi, ex- FCT CP Lawrence Alobi, a former Commissioner of Police in the Federal Capital Territory, in this interview with OMEIZA AJAYI, says while President Goodluck Jonathan may not have done badly security-wise, it was high time the police reviewed its operational strategies if it must halt the growing wave of attack on its personnel and formations.

Alobi

powers of the police and proliferating many agencies who usurp some of the functions of the force. The military made decrees that were anti-people. So, the police were placed in an environment where they saw the people as unfriendly and where the people also saw them as violent. That lack of harmony between the two has continued even till today. The public see the police as enemies and now with this kind of attack, how will the police view the public? The public should know that they are the prime beneficiaries of a safe and secure environment. When the police do not perform well as a result of this antagonism, the public has to share in the blame. Most times, the police are not well-funded and the people who approve these budgets do not even know what the police are going through or what their problems are. Some people now take joy in castigating the police and even writing nonsense about them. The police are the symbol of governance in this country; a symbol of unity. When the people attack the police, it is an attack on the whole nation. My heart bleeds for this country that we have gotten to this stage where the police who sacrifice their lives for others are now being killed. Is it that the policeman does not have a human right? They also have

THE POLICE HAVE BEEN SO NEGLECTED IN TERMS OF PROPER REMUNERATION,

PROPER MOTIVATION, ACCOMMODATION AND GENERAL WELFARE.

THE NIGERIA

POLICE IS THE MOST IMPOVERISHED IN THE WORLD the right to live, but today I have not seen any human rights group coming out to take any action. The human rights society must also condemn these attacks because policemen are human beings too. Don’t you think the number of policemen deployed in the Nasarawa operation was too high? The police have a duty to protect other citi-

zens; they also have a right to protect themselves. The police should also look at its own operational strategies too so that they do not make themselves susceptible to these kinds of attacks because self-preservation is the first natural instinct. Really, before you embark on any operation, you are to plan the operation, read the situation and as well anticipate crisis because if you don’t do that, it might snowball. If they only went to arrest only one person which of course I do not know except based on what was reported in the media - I think that number was unwieldy. But if they went with this number and they were killed like this, then you need to ask yourself what would have happened if they had gone with a lesser number. We have to look at it holistically. But there could also have been some operational lapses or failure of intelligence. There could have been lapses in terms of command and control or in terms of deployment. I would not really know since I was not there. Again, I do not know if the men were sufficiently briefed about the kind of operation they were going for. I really want to advice that there is need for the police to look at its operational strategies again. We should learn from our mistakes. What lessons have been learnt from this incident? Not just the police, all security agencies must learn from this current wave of attacks on the police. How do we curb the trend? First, there is need for massive education on peace and security, democracy and human rights. In Mr. President’s 2010 Democracy Day speech, he said the challenge before us is that all institutions must re-orientate their personnel on democratic values and culture. Even most of our religious institutions no longer talk about peace. They preach about prosperity and conversion. There has to be good governance too. We must create jobs. We must create wealth and we must fund our educational institutions. Our leaders should focus on good governance and think less of how to capture power. The founder of the Baha’I faith said the peace and well-being of mankind is unattainable until unity is firmly established. We need to ensure the unity of this country. How equipped are the police to tackle this trend? Section 217 of the constitution empowers the government to equip the armed forces. Policing is expensive and requires tremendous tact. It is not like conventional warfare where you know your enemy’s position and you are commanded to shell such bases. In policing, you cannot shell the people. This is more challenging because you do not even know who is an enemy or a criminal. The police are terribly under-funded and underequipped. There is no real effort at institutional capacity building. Instead of doing that, they now create different security agencies who now see the police as a rival and even try to compete with them.


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Photo News

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Governor Babatunde Fashola; Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello and Chairman, House Committee on Environment, Hon. Tobun Abiodun, during a one-day Stakeholders’ Workshop on Groundwater Abstration in Lagos State Environmental and Health Impact organized by the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission, yesterday.

L-R: Regional Evangelist of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor J.T Kalejaiye; Chaiman of Council, West African Examination Council (WAEC) Prof. Pius Augustine Obanya; Chief Federal Government Nominee, Nigeria National Committee, WAEC, Barr. Daniel Uwaezuoke and Head of National Office, Mr. Charles Eguridu, during WAEC’s commendation service in honour of their members of staff who were recently killed in Borno by unknown gunmen while on duty, in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Production Coordinator, National Mirror Newspapers, Mr. Kehinde Inukaye; Editor, Health and Education, Mr. Sam Eferaro; Mrs. Chika Nnachi of the Admin Department; Head Teacher, Kingdom Heritage Model School, Iyana Ipaja, Mrs. Omolola Idowu and children of the school, during their visit to the Mirror House in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

National Mirror Reporter in Kaduna Mr. Msue Aza receiving media award for quality maternal and child health reportage from Representative of Emir of the Zazzau, District Head of Kakuri, Alhaji Shehu Tijani, organised by international health partner, Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative in Kaduna yesterday.

PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

National News

FG to pay N384bn PHCN workers’ severance package June 17 UDEME A KPAN CHIDI UGWU

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he Federal Government has said it would commence payment of the N384bn severance package to workers of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN on June 17. The payment is targeted at removing roadblocks in the privatisation of 15 Electricity Generation Companies, GENCOS and Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, which have been sold to private entities and require labour issues to be resolved before final payments are be made. The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who dropped the hint during his official inspection to Egbin Power Station yesterday said: “Very soon your severance package or entitlement will hit your various accounts by June 17, and I want to promise that nobody

...sets investigative panel on system collapse is going to find anything less than what has been agreed. “We hope to start payment of workers benefit by June 17, which is the tentative date we are working on, we need a lot of support from workers in areas of adequate information on the forms given to them.” Nebo said the technical and implementation committees set up by the Federal Government to ascertain the amount to be paid have been working to ensure that accurate payments are made to workers. He disclosed that contrite agreement had been reached with the leadership of the union in ensuring that what was agreed on workers severance package is paid as at when due. He however implored workers to ensure that all forms given to them were signed and filled

accurately, adding that nobody would be left out. The Chief Executive Officer of Egbin Power Station, Mr. Mike Uzoigwe said that the major challenge facing the station was inadequate funds, even as he urged the minister to rectify the situation to move the station forward. Commenting on the development, the President of the National Electricity Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, Mr. Mansur Musa, said the government would need about N600bn to pay entitlements of workers in the sector. Musa, who raised hope that the committees were working to ensure the issue was resolved as soon as possible said: “A lot of work is going on. We are hoping that the matter would be resolved in the coming weeks.” A potential investor

who preferred not to be named said it would be encouraging to take over the operations of the power plants, barely a few weeks after initial target. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has set up a Technical Investigative Panel to find causes of the frequent collapse of the power grid. A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Ambassador Dr. Godknows Igali, noted that investigative panel became necessary following the unsavoury trend of system collapses in the recent past. The Technical Investigative Panel is to be headed by a retired Director of Electrical Inspectorate Services, Mr. Fatai Olapade. Other members include Mr. Jonathan Ogbonna, former CEO Egbin Power Plant; Mr.

John Kingsley Achefe, former Executive Director, PHCN, and Mr. Imo Ekpo, Vice President International Commission on Dams. Others are a representative of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, a representative of the EIS department, and a representative of the Department of Power. Also to serve on the panel is Mr. Olukunle Olubiyi, President, Network for Energy Reform as well as a representatives of power generation and distribution companies. According to the statement, available reports indicate that electricity supply has been restored to Sokoto and environs, where supply was disrupted as a result of a recent storm that led to the collapse of transmission towers. It is recalled that

Nebo, had earlier said that a $3.4bn investment would be required to expand the transmission grid. He had expressed fear that the country might not be able to realise the 10,000 megawatts (mw) of electricity generation target by December this year, but that it could be achieved by the first quarter of 2014. He had said his review of the power situation was based on professional and realistic analysis of the sector, urging Nigerians to exercise a little more patience. According to him, the ministry was collaborating with the Ministry of Finance to work out a blueprint for private sector’s investment in power transmission and assured that the Transmission Company of Nigeria would not be sold to a private concern and that it would remain a government-owned entity.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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Boko Haram: US offers to try Shekau for terrorism CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

of Nigeria, CAN, yesterday urged security operatives to arrest former Head of State, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, over his comments on the military operations targeted at the members of Boko Haram sect in the three northern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. It said that it was unfortunate that Buhari, an elder statesman, would be throwing his weight behind a blood thirsty sect without consideration for the hundreds of Christians sent to their early graves. This position was made known in a statement issued by the CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, in Abuja. The retired General was alleged to have accused the Federal Government of double standards in dealing with the issue of Boko Haram at a recent public forum. He was said to have questioned the “special treatment” given to the Niger Delta militants by the Federal Government

while the Boko Haram members were being killed and their houses destroyed by government. He was quoted to have said: “They (the Niger Delta militants) were trained in some skills and were given employment, but the ones in the North were being killed and their houses were being demolished. “They are different issues. What brought this? It is injustice.” But in a swift reaction, Oritsejafor said Buhari should be arrested and be made to account for his unwarranted outburst even as he described the ex-Nigerian leader as a fanatic with an alleged link with the Islamic sect. The CAN president also noted that it was shocking that the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, stalwart would be indulging in careless statements while well-meaning Nigerians were praying for the success of the military operations in the three northern states where members of

the Islamic sect had inflicted a reign of terror on the people. The statement reads in part: “I cannot wish away the outburst of harshly critical statements, especially as some of them are directly related to the defence of the Boko Haram sect whose members have continued to

kill and maim Christians and burn churches. “I feel the pain inflicted on Christians living in the North is too deep for us in CAN to ignore any unsavoury statement that tends to portray innocent Christians who have been killed by the sect members as the aggressors.

“For Buhari, who has led a Brigade of troops in 1982 to repel invading Chadian troops from the same North-Eastern borders of Nigeria, the first major foreign invasion, to oppose a state of emergency when some parts of Borno and Yobe states had been occupied by terrorists and the

Nigerian flag replaced with theirs, burnt churches, schools, government institutions, killed innocent Christians, attacked traditional rulers and others not sympathetic to their cause, speaks volumes. “The retired General’s sad commentary has not CONTINUED ON PAGE 55>>

Commuters waiting to board the newly introduced buses as FCT Administration bans commercial buses in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

NGF crisis: I won’t step down, says Amaechi CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

forum’s existence depended on his leadership. The governor also said that he stood for re-election as the NGF chairman just to prove a point that Nigerians are eligible to stand for any elective position. Speaking to journalists in Abuja after his visit to the NGF Secretariat, the governor also responded to the accusation by Anambra State Governor Peter Obi that he rigged him out in the 2011 NGF election. Amaechi said: “Governor Obi stepped down for me when it became obvious to him that I had an overwhelming support and that there was no way he could win the position. “The election has come and gone. Like I said after the election, it was a test for democracy and democracy won at the end of the day. All we can do as democrats that are elected by the people is to uphold democracy and stand by democracy. “I honestly do not know why the disagreement, I don’t know why. Those of you who have been in meetings will realise that even when we hold meetings, whatever decisions

we have taken have always been unanimous and those of you who listen I always say to them ‘I hope that having taken these decisions,’ you will all stand by me and all of them will scream ‘we will all stand by you.’ “I think that it is up to Nigerians to know that nothing pays more than democracy, the right to chose who you want to chose and the governors having made their choice, we can only do one thing but stand by the choice the governors have made. “We should ensure that we don’t allow what is happening now to affect the stand of Nigerians in the course of the 2015 democracy. We are mature enough to manage our own elections and our own election process.” Amaechi who fell short of calling Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko a liar for claiming that he did not vote during the election challenged the governor to speak the truth as a Christian. “Again, tell my brother, Mimiko, that he voted, if he still says he did not vote I am willing to go with him to his church, the Redeemed

Christian Church of God, RCCG, we will kneel at the altar and say it before God. “Mimiko and I are Christians and I think he is a good Christian and one of the sins against God is the sin of lying. I am not saying he is lying but I am saying Mimiko voted.” Describing the controvertial election, Amaechi said: I was scared because at a stage seven governors refused to vote, I think they suspected that they would win and Mimiko was one of those who refused to vote, but when they whispered among themselves and they thought they will win they all cast their votes. “When they were counting if you watch you will see that those governors who were pro-Amaechi voted first and those against him voted last. When they counted Governor Jonah Jang eight times I was scared, if you watch the video you will hear that I was saying count the ballot first that was my response to that confidence that made them to go and vote. My response was what was the confidence that made these people to vote, I hope they have not rigged the election

and I said to myself, we are 35 and I want to see the 35 ballots. The first counting was the 35 ballots and I said okay I am satisfied, then you can then count who has what number of ballots. “Tell Mimiko that I said he voted. Mimiko voted, everybody there voted, even the issue of video you will hear me shouting stop it, don’t record it because some governors rushed to me and said ‘Chairman protect us, so, so governor is recording’ and the governor said ‘why won’t I record,’ it was not a hidden thing, it was not that somebody put camera somewhere and was hidden, it was an open thing.’ “I said, ‘no you cannot record governors,’ we are responsible citizens and there is no disagreement here.’ But then I was making a mistake because that video has turned out to be historical. I was protecting my colleagues who did not want it recorded and the governor who was recording said he will not stop and thank God he did not stop, if he had listened to me and stopped maybe it will be more controversial than it is now.” Amaechi also addressed

the Plateau State Governor, Jang urging him to be truthful. “I want to urge Jang because he said he is a Christian to know that God watches over everybody and whatever you say, say it according to God because beyond NGF ‘you and I know that there is heaven and you can’t go to heaven if you don’t tell the truth and stand by the truth. “I am not saying he is not saying the truth, I am not saying he is not standing by the truth, I am just saying that nobody can go to heaven when he is not saying the truth.” Amaechi, however, said that he was hopeful that the issues would be resolved even as he advised his colleagues to focus more on those issues that unite them, stressing that they should fight against poverty, polio and malaria and other things that are killing the poor. “We are busy here at Abuja and different state headquarters talking about NGF election, when indeed Nigerians are dying of poverty and hunger. There are so much resources we can apply to see how we can

manage this crisis in which Nigerians have found themselves. “I think that as a secretariat you should focus on those issues, forget the internal dynamics of the politics of NGF. We are colleagues when we talk among ourselves you will understand that there are underlying factors that are making them to behave the way they are behaving, that you cannot take away. It is usually things that appear sometimes beyond the control of the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. Also speaking, Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi said that his faction has been reaching out to the Jang’s faction believing that the disagreement will soon be settled. He said: “We are appealing to our colleagues and some of us are talking across the line and we believe that reason will prevail and we shall come back as one body that is dedicated to the development of the nation. “It is not a fight to finish. I apologise on behalf of the 35 members of the NGF CONTINUED ON PAGE 55>>


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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

N58.9trn oil block: Minister, NNPC GMD face Senate S OLA A DEBAYO WARRI

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he Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Andy Yakubu, are expected to appear before the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) today. They are expected to defend the allegation that they unlawfully transferred four oil blocks valued at N59 trillion to Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept belonging to Mr. Jide

Omokore. Also expected to appear before the Senator Emmanuel Paulker-led committee are Omokore, representatives of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC and those of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, a subsidiary of NNPC. Similarly, leaders of the five oil producing ethnic nationalities in Delta State, who dragged Alison-Madueke, Yakubu, Omokore and the management of SPDC and NPDC to the National Assembly over alleged illegal allocation of some Oil Min-

ing Licences, OML, have been invited by the committee. The protest by the oil communities was being spearheaded by the Akulagba of Warri Kingdom, Chief Ayirimi Emami. The leaders of Itsekiri, Isoko, Ijaw, Urhobo and Ndokwa oil communities had stormed the National Assembly on April 17 over allegation that OMLs 26, 30, 34 and 42 were wrongly transferred to Omokore and asked the legislature to review the exercise. The Senate had scheduled the hearing to enable the petitioners to prove the allegation.

The committee asked the invitees to appear by 1pm today. The effort of the Senate to deal with the matter on May 2, was frustrated when the stakeholders shunned the committee. The forum was later rescheduled for today. Emami confirmed the report in a telephone interview with National Mirror yesterday, adding that his team had arrived Abuja to face the Senate. The Warri high chief said his group had been armed with copious evidence to back its petition, adding that “Nigerians would be marvelled by

the extent of the rot in the oil industry”. The NNPC had in a letter to the committee exonerated Alison-Maduekwe, adding that the minister did not violate any law in approving the Strategic Alliance Agreement which enabled Atlantic Energy to manage the oil blocks. The corporation said that the agreement was aimed at raising funds for NNPC’s operations from alternative sources. Besides, it explained Omokore’s company had not taken over ownership of the oil blocks but was only managing them

on behalf of the NPDC. The House of Representatives had also inaugurated an Ad hoc Committee to probe the allegation on May 2. The resolution of the House to investigate the alleged shady oil deal was sequel to a motion sponsored by the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Victor Ogene, entitled: “Alleged N59 trillion shady oil deal involving the Petroleum Minister, SPDC and others.” The committee was given four weeks to report back to the House with its findings.

Judge inspects car, IEDs used in ThisDay bombing ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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Chief of Standard and Evaluation, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Headquarters, AVM Salihu Abubakar (left) and Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University, Prof. John Obafunwa, during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding involving NAF, 14 universities and research agencies on research development, in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

FG plans to privatise National Hospital –Chukwu MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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he Federal Government has expressed its interest in privatising the National Hospital, Abuja. The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, who disclosed this at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja yesterday, said the decision would help make the hospital become a world-class health facility. Chukwu also said the hospital would be upgraded to contain medical tourism which had undermined the nation’s health sector. The minister, however, expressed fear over possible public opposition to the plan.

According to him, groups such as the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, might protest the decision, given the loss of jobs that might accompany the privatisation of the hospital. He said: “NLC would rise up and say we want to chase away their workers. It is like those who were protesting the privatisation of NITEL but they are now smiling, carrying their handsets around. “But, we would consult. Whoever is there, like some of you feel, it doesn’t matter whether it’s public or private, so long as it is working and you can afford it.” Chukwu seemed not to be absolutely happy with privatisation of public facilities in the country though, as he added: “If we

make everything private, people cannot afford it; so, we need to be careful. “I rather feel that we first get universal coverage, and then begin to privatise. By then, I am sure everybody can afford it. But then, this is my own personal opinion, not that of the ministry yet.” The minister added that such decision would be easily acceptable to Nigerians if the country attained universal health insurance coverage before privatising the hospital. He added: “This would reduce the cost of accessing healthcare and will not make it go beyond the reach of ordinary Nigerians.” The minister gave the hint while reacting to a question regarding an In-

dian who had sought the attention of government to allow him equip the National Hospital with the state-of-the-art facilities that would considerably reduce medical tourism among Nigerians. The Indian had reasoned that most ailments taken abroad for treatment by Nigerians could be managed by his firm, if the government allowed his outfit to run the hospital on a Public Private Partnership, PPP, arrangement. Chukwu said government was considering setting up six additional tertiary facilities across the country. The minister said some sections of some federal hospitals were already being operated on a PPP basis to enable them provide worldclass services.

ustice Adeniyi Ademola of a Federal High Court yesterday inspected the charred remains of a Honda Accord car and the 12 gas cylinders constructed into Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, allegedly used by the self-confessed suicide bomber, Mr. Mustapha Umar, to destroy the building housing ThisDay, The Sun and The Moment newspapers in Kaduna on April 26, 2012. The bombing killed three people instantly while others were injured. The judge also watched the video of the suspected ThisDay bomber confessing how one Alhaji, now late, was commissioned to bomb ThisDay office in Abuja while he was assigned to destroy the Kaduna office of the newspaper for publishing an article considered as insulting to Prophet Mohammed, a few years ago. But the confession by Umar in a conversation with a police interviewer was done in Hausa language. Three witnesses, including an Assistant Commissioner of Police who interviewed Umar shortly after he was treated of the injury he sustained from irate youths after the bombing, had earlier told the court that the suspected bomber confessed that ThisDay offices in Kaduna and Abuja were contemporaneously bombed for

engaging in blasphemy. The assistant commissioner had informed the court that Umar told him that it was agreed that the offices should be bombed because of the “sin” committed by the newspaper, adding that the newspaper was no longer fit to exist. The Federal Government had charged Umar for bombing ThisDy office. But the suspected bomber had pleaded not guilty to the charge. The star prosecution witness who was simply identified as XYZ of Oxford Street had given vivid account of how Umar attempted to commit the crime before he was arrested. Seven other witnesses, who had already given evidence against him, were all masked. Three of the eight witnesses mounted the witness box yesterday, including a police expert in post-bomb who explained the chemistry of IEDs, the thin line between domestic camp gas and IED and why the gas cylinders meant to blow ThisDay office did not explode into fragments even after the car used by Umar hit the wall of the newspaper office. Another police officer, who took custody of all the exhibits tendered against Umar, told the judge during a short session at the frontage of the Abuja Federal High Court complex that the IEDs were recovered from the Honda vehicle.


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News

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

7

Hands off contract awards, Ezekwesili tells Jonathan •Asks Nigerians to protest President’s move to head PC

TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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ormer Vice-President of the World Bank for Africa, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has flayed President Goodluck Jonathan for presiding over contract award sessions during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meetings, calling on Nigerians to resist the President’s move to chair the procurement council. Ezekwesili spoke yesterday while delivering a keynote address at an interactive session among

the House of Representatives Committee on Public Procurement, stakeholders, ministries and agencies of government. The address of the former Minister of Education, which was punctuated by applause from the gathering, dealt in part with the danger of allowing a politician without expertise in the procurement process to preside over contract awarding meetings. She said: “A nation must decide whether it seriously wants to change or not. There is no middle road

to change; you cannot say you want to change and say at the same time that you want to change, but you don’t want the change now.” Ezekwesili, in a veiled reference to Jonathan, queried: “For example, what business has a President to sit with a contractor; that is not what your contemporaries do in other countries. While other leaders in other countries are thinking about development, others sit thinking about contracts”. The former minister, however, disclosed an al-

leged plan to make the President the Chairman of the Council on Procurement, but urged Nigerians and lawmakers to oppose the plan. Stressing that the chairman of the procurement council must be an expert and not a politician, Ezekwesili said: “I heard and read that there is a legislation to give the chairmanship of the council on procurement to the President, the President does not need that. He should not allow that to happen to him. The head of procurement

must not be a politician. I call on everybody to stand up against any attempt to make the President the chairman of the procurement council.” Ezekwesili, who said she had taken up a job in another country as an Economic Advisor, said Nigeria was one of a few countries with a President awarding contracts. She said: “Ours is the only situation where you have that kind of thing (award of contracts by a Head of State), United State President Barack Obama does not call cabinet meetings to discuss contracts.”

The former minister, however, urged the government to concentrate on delivering results from its policies, instead of dwelling on the “mundane”. In his opening address, the House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who was represented by the Minority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, said: “Nigeria has the highest number of abandoned projects. Since 2007, we have not witnessed the full implementation of the Public Procurement Act. The National Assembly will continue to insist that the Act must be implemented”.

National Mirror, reporter honoured for roles in healthcare development AZA MSUE AND ANJORIN

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Security operatives pleading with protesting medical students of the University of Abuja during a protest over non-accreditation of their course in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Dana crash: AIB releases interim report, identifies five safety issues OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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wenty-four hours after both the Lagos State and Federal Governments unveiled cenotaph in honour of the victims of Dana crash which occurred at the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos on June 3, 2012 with 153 passengers on board, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) says it has identified five safety issues in the accident. AIB said the safety issues were revealed in the course of its investigation into the crash. A statement posted on its website yesterday listed the safety issues to include engine and related system performance, flight crew performance, validation of foreign pilot certificates, preemployment background checks of pilots and maintenance documentation. According to AIB, four of the interim safety recom-

mendations had been issued and implemented by the operator and the regulatory agency. The agency, however, said that outstanding investigative activities on the accident were near completion and that it would be followed by the production of the final report. AIB emphasised that the report was in compliance with applicable International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards to include factual information, analysis, findings and recommendations. It added that in accordance with ICAO Annex 13, the sole purpose of the investigation was to prevent aviation accidents and incidents, emphasising that it is not the purpose of any such investigation and the associated report to apportion blame or liability. AIB said it appreciates the cooperation, support and contributions provided by

the involved organisations, investigation participants and stakeholders. AIB spokesman, Mr. Tunji Oketunbi, added that the investigation of Dana Air 992 had proceeded on schedule and as planned with the objective of preventing recurrence in accordance with the accident investigation protocols of ICAO. The statement stated that despite the heavy destruction of the aircraft due to impact and fire, in addition to other post crash disturbance of the wreckage, which resulted in the absence of substantial physical evidence and Flight Recorder Data (FDR) that would have provided information on the operation, performance and mechanical integrity of the airplane, the investigation has progressed significantly. The statement reads: “Extensive investigative activities have and continue to be conducted both domestically and in the United States.

The activities have included interviews of relevant personnel of the aircraft operator, the regulatory agency, service providers in addition to other personnel familiar with the operational and regulatory oversight aspects pertinent with the accident flight.” The interviews and review of records, the interim said, have also provided significant background information about the flight crew experience. Additionally, the AIB interim statement, also informed that the examination of aircraft and engine components, reconstruction of the accident flight using recorded air traffic radar and Cockpit Voice Recorder, CVR, information, forensic, computer animation, sound spectrum analysis, chemical analysis of fluid and other substances along with investigative research have appreciably advanced the progress of the investigation.

SEYI

he Global Media Limited, publisher of National Mirror and its Kaduna-based correspondent, Mr. Msue Aza, were yesterday honoured with award for quality maternal and child health reportage. The award organised by international health partner, Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), which held in Kaduna, was to reward some media organisations, journalists and medical professionals in their contribution to healthcare services. Presenting the award, the Emir of Zazzau, Dr. Shehu Idris, who was represented by the District Head of Kakuri, Alhaji Shehu Tijani, commended the awardees for their contributions towards saving the life of children and expectant mothers. NURHI Team Leader, Abdullahi Kabir, praised National Mirror, its reporter and other media organisations for reducing maternal deaths through features and routine stories writing. He said: “National Mirror and its reporter done more than what is expected through quality features and news writing on maternal and child health care issues. You and your organisation are honoured today with two awards. The award also shows us that, even in the most challenging environments, progress can be made and we have made much progress in the appreciation of childbirth spacing as a critical service for safe motherhood. “The media is an important ally in any public health

situation. It serves the role of being a source of correct information as well as an advocate for correct health behaviours.” The Permanent Secretary in the Kaduna State Ministry of Health, Ardo Zakari, said the government would continue to collaborate with development partners in tackling maternal and child deaths. Other selected media organizations and its reporters who received the award were Newswatch magazine NorthWest editor, Mallam Garba Mohammed; Radio Nigeria, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Voice of America, Daily Trust, Kaduna State Media Corporation, Liberty Radio and News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). The Council of the Chartered Project Management Institute of Nigeria (CPMIN) also lauded National Mirror management for its commitment to national development. Giving the commendation yesterday during the Institute’s three-day project management seminar and stakeholders’ forum on CORPMAN Bill in Abuja, the Secretary of the Steering Committee of CPMIN, Mr. Davies Igberaese, specifically praised the newspaper for partnering the Institute in its maiden seminar with the theme: “Project management as the panacea for national development.” Igberaese said: “We want to particularly thank National Mirror for collaboration with our Institute and making this seminar possible. As you can see, the newspaper is giving us support through publicity and other means which to us, is a commendable gesture.”


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South West

UI begins PGD in herbal medicine soon –VC KEMI OLAITAN

IBADAN

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ice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said that the institution would soon begin a post-graduate programme in herbal medicine. Prof. Adewole spoke yesterday while presenting his mid-term report to the university community. He said the programme became necessary in view of its role in research on drug discovery, saying: “This is because herbals are important keys to drug discovery. Our plan is to have herbal medicine as part of the courses to be offered by UI.” According to him, the programme would be the university’s contribution to the development of herbal medicine in the country. The VC said: “Our mission is not to train herbalists, but to contribute our own quota to herbal medicine development in the country.” Also speaking, the Principal Investigator/Programme Director, Centre for Drug Discovery, Development and Production,

Prof. Chinedum Babalola, said: “There are different aspects of herbal medicine here. Faculty of Pharmacy has just established a new programme called Postgraduate Diploma in Herbal Medicine. “UI has a hub called PanAfrican University where people in laboratory science are trained. The university has a place in Ibarapa where we will have medicinal farm. We are going to have laboratory there and provide commercial services on the farm. We are still developing proposal on it, but we have a farm there. The services there will include herbal drug processing. Prior to this, the Faculty won a grant to set up a farm for drug discovery, development and production. “One of our points of reference is to have herbal farm, herbal processing and registration of drugs. The centre will turn our research in herbal medicine to product.” Chairman of the UI chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Segun Ajiboye, described the mid-term report as an avenue to assess the VC’s performance.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ladoja, Akala shun differences, strategise for 2015 •Inaugurate 14-man committee KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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ormer Oyo State Governor Rashidi Ladoja and his successor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, yesterday jettisoned their political differences as they inaugurated a 14-man committee to work out modalities for synergy between them ahead of the 2015 election. Akala led his supporters to the Ondo Street, Bodija, Ibadan residence of Ladoja, for the inauguration of the committee, which was also witnessed by supporters from the other camp. It was a celebration as the supporters sang and prayed for the success of the synergy. After a closed door meeting, both Ladoja and Akala addressed journalists, boasting that their grassroots-

oriented politics would be sufficient for them to defeat the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state. They then reeled out the names of the committee members comprising of seven-man from both Ladoja’s Accord Party and Akala’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faction. The committee members are Mr Bayo Lawal, Abubakar Tawakalitu, Adeola Akintola, Hon Adeolu Adeleke, Wahab Oyelade, Yinka Adewuyi, Hon. Ademola Ojo, Chief JG Adetoro, Mrs. Kemi Olorunsogo, Dr. Nureni Adeniran, Mr. Wale Ohu, Prof. Soji Adejumo, Mr. Wole Opadeye, Wahab Gbadeyero. The committee was given one month to submit its report. Meanwhile, a PDP chieftain in the state, Alhaji Ra-

sheed Adebisi, has urged the party’s national leadership to call Akala to order. Addressing journalists in Ibadan, Adebisi flayed what he described as Akala’s recent parley with Ladoja. He said: “Akala’s recent meeting with Ladoja is not PDP’s idea. The party has no hand in their alleged romance. The parley is against the interest of PDP. “Akala cannot be meeting with Ladoja on behalf of PDP without the consent of the state party executive members. The members of the committee are Akala’s people and not PDP’s persons. I am using this medium to call on the PDP at the national headquarters to call Akala to order because his act, if unchecked, is capable of derailing the peace which the party is currently en-

joying. “Though we know that the romance will end in futility, we don’t want Akala’s action to destabilise our party. We know that Ladoja is not returning to PDP as being rumoured, but only using Akala to cause disaffection in PDP.” Adebisi, however, asked the PDP national leadership to tell Akala to either remain in the party or pitch his tent with Ladoja, if he (Akala) was not sure of the path to thread in 2015. But the media aide to Akala, Mr. Abraham Ojo, denied the allegation, insisting that the former governor would not engage in any activity that would destabilise the party. He said: “Akala is a force to reckon with in PDP, having contributed and still contributing to the success of the party. Every step he is taking is in the interest of PDP. He has the interest of the party at heart. He has repeatedly stated that he has no plan to dump the party.

Court strikes out suit against Oba-elect HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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n Okitipupa High Court yesterday struck out a suit challenging the selection of the Olikan-elect in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, Prince Adedoyin Oyetakin, as the monarch of the town. The decision of the court will now give room for the installation of Oyetakin as the traditional ruler of the town. Justice Ademola Bola struck out the case for lack of merit and held that the plaintiffs failed to exhaust the available administrative remedies that were pre-condition requirement for filling such case. The plaintiffs - Omosehin Oroyo, Busayo Oroyo and nine others - had challenged the process that produced Oyetakin as the Olikan-elect. Kingmakers had presented Oyetakin to the state government for installation as the Olikan of Etikan. But the plaintiffs disagreed with the selection. They approached the court for an order to nullify the selection, claiming that some of the kingmakers were not

authentic. The plaintiffs also contended that Oyetakin was from the female line of Mafemiwa Ruling House and therefore not qualified to contest the stool. They also prayed for an order invalidating, cancelling, voiding and setting aside the meeting at which Oyetakin was appointed by the kingmakers. The plaintiffs asked for perpetual injunction restraining Oyetakin from contesting, presenting himself and holding himself as candidate for the vacant Olikan stool. When the suit came up for hearing, counsel to the first respondent, Francis Wale Omotoso, raised preliminary objection to the effect that administrative remedies were not exhausted before filing the suit, saying the plaintiffs should have petitioned the government before approaching the court. Counsel to the local government, Oluwasesan Dada and that of the state government, Olubunmi Dada, supported Omotoso, saying that the case was pre-mature and the court had no jurisdiction.

L-R: Ogun State Deputy Governor, Prince Segun Adesegun; Project Manager, Achan Dal; Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his wife, Olufunso, during an inspection tour of Ilara-Egua-Ilase-Oja-Odan Road, yesterday.

Alleged rape: Osun monarch seeks extension of time for judgement ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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he final judgement in the rape case instituted by an ex-corps member, Miss Helen Okpara, against the Alowa of Ilowa in Obokun Local Government Area of Osun State, Oba Adebukola Alli, suffered a setback yesterday as the monarch applied for extension of time for the ruling. Many people, who had thronged an Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo for the ruling, were disappointed as the presiding judge, Justice Oyejide Falola,

adjourned the judgement till July 2, following an application for the extension of time. Counsel to the monarch, Mr Taofeeq Tewogbade, said: “There is the need for us to seek for extension of time to allow us defend the case better. “There are questions the plaintiff needs to answer. Was the lady in question a virgin before she claimed that she was raped? We also need to know if any exhibit has so far been presented by medical practitioners. These and other questions need to be answered.” Stressing that the po-

sition of defence is sacrosanct in law, he urged the court to allow his client put up more defence before the court delivered the judgement. Tewogbade said his client had discovered new issues to raise in his defence, saying Section 36 (CB) of the 1999 Constitution allows for proper defence in any case and provides for extension of time for judgment. But Mr. M O Adedokun, a senior counsel from the state Ministry of Justice, who represented the Director of Public Prosecution, filed a counter affidavit, describing the defence counsel’s attitude as an

attempt to frustrate the judgement. Adedokun prayed the court to dismiss the application in the interest of justice, adding that the case had gone through series of adjournment, He said: “The defence counsel had, on April 15, 2013, told the court that he needed no more time for defence when the court asked for his position on its decision to deliver judgement on June 4. This is why there is the need for the court to discountenance the application for extension of time.” Justice Falola adjourned the case till July 2.


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South West

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Labour Party tackles Amosun over N200bn debt FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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gun State chapter of the Labour Party, LP, has accused the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, of throwing the state into debt totalling N200 billion in the last two years. This was just as the state government described members of the LP as ‘a band of confused people.’ The LP accused the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, government of ‘fooling’ the people of the state with its urban renewal programme and the on-going road expansion projects in the state, describing them as mere conduit pipes through which the state’s

funds are being siphoned. At the sensitisation and unity meeting attended by former members of the Peoples Party of Nigeria, PPN, the ACN and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Iperu and Ikenne Local Government Areas, who defected to LP yesterday, leader of the forum, Hon. Ladi Adebutu, said a situation where the ACN administration in the state has mismanaged the state resources was unacceptable. “In the last two years we have seen our debt in Ogun State rise to N200 billion. Without doing much arithmetic, in four years that will translate to N400 billion, which means every citizen of Ogun State will be in debt to the tune of

N50, 000 each. Now, what we have to do is to stop the process so that our grandchildren won’t be debtors. “We are having a situation where only two kilometres of road is being constructed for N3billion. This is the height of irresponsibility and incompetence. It has no other name than a deliberate attempt to mismanage the fortunes of the state. “The only department working could be seen in the area of roads construction, and to the best of our knowledge, that is a route to leakage. 27 kilometres of road was constructed between the interchange in Sagamu and Abeokuta town for N1.9billion. “On the average, all the

roads constructed prior to this administration costs N50 million per kilometer, including street lights. Adebutu, who is the son of the multi-billionaire businessman, Chief Keshington Adebutu, also accused the ruling ACN government of lacking in the capacity to bring about ‘adequate and genuine development in all parts of the state, particularly at the grassroots.’ “What is the essence of this N2.3billion spent on two kilometres of road? Ogun State has 20 local governments, if that money was spent evenly among those local governments judiciously, we will all feel the impact. Those roads are not made judiciously.”

9

Aregbesola is rewriting Osun history with Opon Imo –ACN ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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cting Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in Osun State, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi, has said that the educative programmes of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, which was based on his belief to make life abundant for all has in no small way re-written the history of Osun and change the state for good. The party chairman, who said this in a statement to congratulate Governor Aregbesola on the successful launch of Opon Imo, described Aregbesola as a gogetter, whose initiatives are always geared towards the progress and development of the state. He said with the development in the education sector, students in the state will now enjoy learning and reading, even as teaching would be made easy in all Osun schools. The Opon Imo, according to him, would assist both teachers and students to teach and learn faster, even as it would make life more

convenient for students. He urged the good people of Osun State to continue with their support for Governor Aregbesola and the ACN to enable him continue with his good works beyond 2014. Adelowo further remarked that the efforts of Governor Aregbesola at making life more meaningful for the people of the state were second to none, considering his laudable initiatives. Meanwhile, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, Country Director, Prof. Hassana Alidou, has commended Governor Aregbesola for his administration’s focus on elementary education. Alidou, at an interactive session with journalists in Osogbo yesterday, held that investments in early childhood education is very important, adding that studies from World Bank and UNESCO showed that if state governments invest in early childhood education, the risk of having students who will drop out of schools will be minimal.

Mimiko inaugurates committee on LG reform HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

T Former governors of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja (left) and Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, during their reunion in Ibadan, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

No leadership tussle in Ondo ACN –Boroffice HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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he lawmaker representing Ondo North senatorial district in the National Assembly and a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in Ondo State, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, yesterday denied any leadership crisis within the party in the state. Boroffice, who said this yesterday in a statement signed by him and made available to journalists in Akure, said the party in the state is strong, united and solidly on ground with no

leadership crisis. The clarification was coming on the heels of the recent inauguration of the All Progressives Congress, APC, merger committee led by the senator, which was kicked against by the state executive of the party. Boroffice maintained that he had the support of the national leadership of the party to bring all the parties involved in the merger together in readiness for a meeting of all the political parties involved. He said: “I was given the mandate to midwife the process of bringing all the parties involved in the

merger process together; being the highest political office holder in the Ondo ACN by the national leadership of the party at a meeting recently and there was a communiqué to that effect.” Boroffice, however, denied the insinuation by a national newspaper that there was a power tussle between him and the governorship candidate of the party in the last election, Rotimi Akeredolu, but said the party remains united and solid in the state. He continued: “The story also created a situation of unnecessary struggle for leadership of the party in

the state. The Action Congress of Nigeria is a one big family in the state. Like every other leaders of the party, I am committed to the democratic culture and ideals of the party and respect for organs of the party. “In line with the thinking of the national leaders of the party, we are working with all the leaders of the party and other progressive minded forces to bring about good governance and never have I granted any press interview that gives credence to the created tiff or the insinuation that I have taken over the control of the party in the state.”

he Ondo State government yesterday inaugurated a local government council management committee to improve service delivery in all local government council areas in the state. Inaugurating the committee, the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, said the committee is to undertake a historic review of financial and personnel management in all the 18 council areas of the state with a view to making them more functional and productive. The committee is to be headed by Akin Adaramola with Clement Faboyede, Ade Adeniyi, Busuyi Lawani and Gbenga Osunmakinwa as members while Olugbega Akingbesote is to serve as secretary. Speaking at the inauguration, Mimiko urged the committee to make a holistic assessment of all budget preparations and implementation processes

in the council areas and offer recommendations to strengthen and institutionalise budgeting at the local government level in the state. According to him the responsibility of the committee is also to determine the availability and appropriate usage of necessary personnel management tools and the adequacy of ICT infrastructure in the management of primary school teachers and local government staff personnel cost and also make appropriate recommendations. The governor also charged members of the committee to determine the monthly income of each of the local governments in the last three years, noting that the committee should also make recommendations on any other issue that will provide for efficient and effective funds generation and utilisation at the local government level. The committee is expected to submit its report within three weeks.


10

South East

CHARLES OKEKE AND NWABUEZE OKONKWO

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bout 11 members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, were reportedly shot and injured by the police yesterday at Nnobi and Awka-Etiti communities, Idemili south Local Government Areas of Anambra State. The incident occurred when the police tried to disrupt a rally organised by MASSOB to sensitise the public to its June 8 sit-athome order.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

11 injured, five arrested as police, MASSOB clash The police also arrested five members of the organisation. According to sources, the MASSOB members were in at the said communities to create awareness on the need to observe the directive in commemoration of those six Igbo killed by the police at Apo village in Abuja, bodies dumped in Ezu River in Amansea, Anambra State and others killed by Boko Haram. Reacting to the development in a telephone interview, MASSOB’s Deputy Di-

rector of Information, Mazi Chris Mocha, accused the police of killing MASSOB members fighting for the actualisation of a sovereign state of Biafra. He said: “The police also took away MASSOB laptop system, N8,000 and arrested Jude Ochi, Nnamdi Ezeaka, Nelson Ugboh, Ifeanyi Eboh and others.” Also reacting to the incident, Prince Ohaegbulem Jude of the Lagos State branch of MASSOB regretted that Igbo had been marginalised, intimidated

and made to be second class citizens in a country which they were part of. He said: “This sit-athome billed for June 8, 2013 is unstoppable despite the intimidation, arrests, shootings and harassment from the security operatives, Yoruba and the Hausa.” When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Emeka Chukwuemeka, confirmed the incident. Chukwuemeka said two Divisional Police Officers, DPOs, led the operation but

denied the allegation that some MASSOB members were shot. He described the incident as a minor skirmish, warning that the police would not tolerate illegal activities from disbanded groups. Meanwhile, Association of Igbo Youths, AIYO, yesterday stormed the Anambra State House of Assembly, Awka, and denounced the sit-at-home directive by MASSOB. The youths said the directive was illegal and

against the interest of Igbo. They argued that MASSOB did not have the right to give such directive. Members of the AIYO, who staged a peaceful protest in front of the gate of the Assembly, later presented their grievances to key members of legislative house. The state Chairman of AIYO, Mr. Annie Onyeakpa, said closing the markets on June 8 as directed by MASSOB would hurt the Igbo, who were mainly traders.

APGA crisis: We’ll reconcile Umeh, Obi, says Okwu OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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ational Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Maxi Okwu, yesterday said the outcome of the April 8 National Convention of the party was sacrosanct. Briefing journalists in Abuja on moves being made to reconcile all the factions in the party, Okwu explained that he initiated reconciliatory talks with Chief Victor Umeh and that feelers reaching him showed that he was not averse to reconciliation. He also said that with the recent judgement of the Awka High Court which validated the April National Convention of the party, which was not on appeal, all the legal hurdles confronting his leadership had been cleared. Okwu, however, explained that due to the need to restore APGA’s status at

its inception, he heeded the advice by the national leader of the party and Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, that inauguration of the Board of Trustees, BoT, should be shelved till the end of June when the Chief Regan Ufomba-led Truth and Reconciliation Committee, TRC, would have submitted its report. Okwu, who also spoke on the status of Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, explained that the governor was currently hobnobbing with an association. The APGA chairman added that if the All Progressives Congress, APC, was registered, Okorocha would have no option than come back to the fold or lose his membership of the party. He said: “After the judgement of the Awka High Court, we asked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to give us certified true copy of their report on our convention which they did.

Too many pending cases in courts –Okeke NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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ustice Okechukwu Okeke, who recently retired as the judge of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has attributed the increase in number of cases pending in the courts to shortage of judges and high rate of litigations in the country. Speaking during a thanksgiving service and homecoming for his successful retirement at his country home, Adazi-Ani in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, Okeke noted that most of the litigants knew they had bad cases, yet they decided to go to court to gamble. The retired judge recalled

that about 35,000 cases were pending before his court when he was presiding over the Federal High Court in Bayelsa State, adding that at the moment, he learnt the number of pending cases in the same court had risen to 70,000 yet only one judge was presiding over them. He said: “Even if it means only mentioning the cases and taking dates in a day, can a single judge attend to the whole matters in a day?” Okeke described his 11-year-old service in the judiciary as very tortuous but expressed satisfaction that he eventually retired in flying colours. He also urged his colleagues still in service to obey the rule of the service.

L-R: Immediate past President, Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association, Boma Ozobia; resource person, Funke Adekoya (SAN) and Chairmanelect, Eastern Bar Forum, Ogbonna Igwenyi, at the 2013 Eastern Bar Forum in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, recently. PHOTO: NAN

We’re ready to combat Boko Haram, others –Ihejirika of security problem affecting the nation. “The conference will avail us the opportunity to review the situation of the ongoing operation of the military in the northern part of the country.” The CAS pledged his unalloyed loyalty to President Goodluck Jonathan for giving constant support to the military and reiterated the readiness of Army to restore peace and order to the country. He said: “I wish to declare my unalloyed loyalty to President Goodluck Jonathan for

he Chief of Army Staff, CAS, Lt. General O. A. Ihejirika, has assured Nigerians of his preparedness to confront the security threat posed by members of Boko Harm sect and other terror groups. Ihejirika spoke yesterday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, while fielding questions from journalists shortly after the foundation laying of the Nigerian Army COMPO Ration Factory at

4 POL Res, Abakaliki and inauguration of mammy market at Nkwegu Military Cantonment. The mammy market was constructed by Governor Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State. Ihejirika commended the governor for his support to the military. He said: “I am particularly delighted to thank the Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief Martin Elechi, for hosting us. “This conference will enable us to discuss vital issues

DENNIS AGBO

Nsukka Diocese gets new bishop

ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI

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ENUGU

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he first African to be the Vice Rector of the Pontifical Urban University, Rome, Italy, Rev. Fr. Godfrey Igwebuike Onah, has emerged the second Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese in Enugu State. Prof. Onah’s Episcopal ordination/installation is slated for July 4, at St. Theresa’s Catholic Cathedral, Nsukka. About 50 Catholic bish-

ops from the Conference of Nigerian Bishops led by the Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, His Eminence John Cardinal Onayikan, will perform the installation. The Chairman of the Ordination/Installation General Committee and former Minister of Information, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, said in Enugu yesterday that at least six governors, several senators and members of the House of Repre-

sentatives, members of the Federal Executive Council especially those from the South-East zone, as well as about 1,000 priests had indicated interest to be part of the programme. Nwodo disclosed that enough mobilisation had been made to ensure the success of the event, noting that apart from the ordination/installation of the new bishop, his committee was equally saddled with the re-

his constant support to military.” Also speaking at the event, Elechi decried the killing of soldiers across the country. He said: “I offer our very sincere condolence to the Nigerian Army on the isolated cases of murder of soldiers in different parts of the country in their efforts to persevere the peace of the land. “Their only offence was the struggle to ensure that all of us live, but in the process, they paid the supreme sacrifice.”

sponsibility of renovating the temporary residences of both the incoming and retiring Catholic bishops of the diocese. Onah, who until his appointment last month was the first African to be the Vice Rector of the Pontifical Urban University Rome, Italy, is replacing Bishop Emeritus Francis Okobo as the second bishop to be produced in the diocese since it was created in 1991.


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Akwa Ibom Assembly to screen five commissioner-nominees TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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kwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio has sent the names of five commissioner-nominees and special adviser to the state House of Assembly for screening. In the letter dated June 3, 2013 and addressed to the House Speaker, the governor said it had become necessary to effect some adjustments in the membership of the state executive council. The letter reads: “In line with Section 192(2) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the governor has forwarded the under listed nominees for appointment to the office of

South South

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

commissioners/special adviser for screening and subsequent confirmation by the state House Assembly: Prof. Atim Antai, Dr. Ememabasi Bassey, Mr. Iboro Ekanem, Dr. Glory Emmanuel Edet, as nominees to the office of commissioners, while Prince Godwin Ntukude is the only Special Adviser nominee”. The Speaker, Hon. Samuel Ikon, however, committed the letter to the House Committee on Judiciary, Justice, Human Rights and Public Petitions for screening. Meanwhile, the lawmakers have ratified the appointment of Obong T. Udoh as the Chairman of the Assembly Service Commission.

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PDP suspends Orubebe, nine others for anti-party activities AMOUR UDEMUDE ASABA

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he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State has suspended the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, and nine others for anti-party activities. They were also accused of engaging in conducts likely to bring disrepute,

hatred and contempt to the party. In a press statement signed yesterday by the party chairman, Pastor Kenneth Ogeibiri; secretary, Ozano Ayedi and three others, after its meeting held in Burutu town, headquarters of the local government Area, PDP said that the suspension was as a result of petitions received from concerned party supporters against Orubebe and nine

other cohorts. The statement, which was made available to National Mirror in Asaba, reads: “After a preliminary hearing pursuant to Section 21.4 of the PDP constitution as amended, and by the virtue of the powers conferred on us, the working committee of the party via Section 21.4 of the same constitution hereby places Elder Godsday Orubebe and his nine cohorts on sus-

pension. “The suspension is triggered off by series of allegations of gross misconduct ranging from acts likely to bring the party to disrepute, hatred and contempt. In light of these, Elder Godsday Orubebe and the nine others are hereby referred to the PDP disciplinary committee, Burutu Local Government Area chapter, for further investigation.”

Why adulterated drugs production thrives in Nigeria –Akunyili EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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ormer Minister of Information and Orientation, Prof. Dora Akunyili, yesterday explained why production of adulterated drugs and other products thrive in Nigeria. Akunyili blamed the development on what she described as the unregulated chaotic drug markets. The former minister regretted that the unregulated drug markets had been in existence since the 1960s and had grown in number and complexity over the years. She, however, noted that the markets had survived the government’s efforts to forcefully dismantle them. The former minister

spoke yesterday in Yenagoa during the foundation laying ceremony of the Bayelsa State pharmaceutical storage and distribution complex. Akunyuli’s organisation, Dora Akunyili Foundation for Safe Medicines, is partnering with the state government to build the complex. Governor Seriake Dickson laid the foundation stone of the complex located on Alamieyeseigha Road in Yenagoa. The former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), however, stressed that it was not practicable to phase out the existing drug markets without providing a viable alternative.

Anxiety as IYC prepares for election EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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here are indications that anxiety is gripping the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) presidential candidates and their supporters over the council’s election scheduled to hold this month. As the election gathers momentum, the three leading candidates vying for the poll have intensified their campaigns and lobbying to secure votes. It was learnt that one of the candidates may clinch the poll owing to his track records in human rights crusade. Sources said some stakeholders had been nursing

the fear that the election may be violent. It will be recalled that leadership crisis recently rocked the socio-cultural organisation led by Abiye Kuromiema, but was later resolved by the intervention of some prominent politicians. The three IYC presidential candidates are Udengs Eradiri, Elvis Donkemezuo and Jonathan Lokpobiri. In an interview with National Mirror yesterday in Yenagoa, the outgoing IYC spokesman, Jeremiah Owoupele, said the group’s parliament had ratified the appointment of a sevenman electoral committee headed by Hilda Dokubo to conduct the election.

Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson (middle); former Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Dora Akunyili (right) and others during the laying of the foundation of a drug distribution complex in Yenagoa, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

We’ll probe UNIBEN’s student killing – Oshiomhole SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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overnor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has promised to probe the killing of Mr. Ibrahim Momodu, a 22-year-old student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), who was allegedly shot dead by the police on May 27, 2013 in Benin. Oshiomhole made the promise when the family and colleagues of the slain student visited him at the Government House in Benin. He said: “What happened is very unfortunate. Anything that leads to death other than through a judicial pronouncement, we will not tolerate as a government. However, the police have

offered their own explanation to us, which is different from the narration by the students and the statement from the family. The only thing all the sides agree on is that the late Momodu was killed. That is not in dispute, but what is in dispute is why he was killed. “Every story has more than one side, particularly when it is of this nature. What we can do as a government is to try to establish the facts and have an open mind. I have listened to the statement made by the mother of the late Momodu and I understand how she feels; everyone of us imagines the pain in her heart. “Whatever we now do will not bring Momodu back. But there are steps we can take to ensure we

don’t have another incident such as this and that is about all we are able to do. “We will set up an enquiry. I will consult with the Ministry of Justice on the proper nature of the enquiry whether it will be an administrative enquiry or a judicial enquiry so that we can establish some basic facts to enable us take the next decision.” Advising the aggrieved Momodu’s colleagues, the governor said: “No matter how much you protest, no matter the nature of violent protest, chances are that more people could be hurt or even killed; but the one already killed cannot come back. But what I think you are entitled to as colleagues and comrade of the late Momodu is to ensure that truth, peace

and justice prevails.” The mother of the slain student, Madam Osas Momodu, pleaded with the government to unravel the mystery behind the killing of her son. The family, however, presented to the governor a petition signed by their lawyer, Jefferson Uwoghiren. The petition particularly demanded the exhumation of Momodu’s body for inquest to determine the manner and cause of his death. It will be recalled that Momodu was allegedly shot dead by the police on May 27, 2013 on his street as he was returning home. His body was buried by the authorities of Ogida Police Station in Beninthe following day.


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North

IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

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unmen suspected to be Tiv militia yesterday attacked Rukubi village in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State killing no fewer than 20 persons in a fight with Agatu/Fulani leaving several others with varying degree of injuries. The Tiv gunmen were alleged to have invaded the community at about 5.30am and reportedly opened fire

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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Again, gunmen kill 20 villagers in Nasarawa on the villagers, most of whom were women and children who were asleep as at the time the hoodlums invaded the community. Though reasons for the attack were not immediately known, National Mirror gathered that the incident was not unconnected with the alleged harbouring of Fulani herdsmen to sustain their attack on Tiv farmers whose attempts

to resettle in their ancestral homes have been resisted by the herdsmen. Rukubi, the affected community, which is dominated by the Agatu ethnic nationality has in recent times been fingered as harbouring Fulani herdsmen to attack local Tiv farmers even as it was alleged that the herdsmen were hired by some individuals to sack Tiv farmers in the area.

At present, no fewer than 18, 000 farmers, mostly the Eggon and Tiv ethnic nationalities were still taking refuge at different communities across the state and beyond as all efforts by the state government to end the persistent communal clashes has not yielded the desired results. Reacting to the development, President of Tiv Youth Organisation in the state,

Hon. Peter Igbacher Kwembe, who condemned the incident, dismissed the insinuations making the round that the attack was carried out by the Tiv people, pointing out that his kinsmen have been forced out of their ancestral homes for two years. He insisted that the allegation was a calculated attempt to further hurt Tiv people as well as give them a bad name

in order to hang them and make them a subject of further attacks in places where they have been taking refuge in the past two years. All efforts to obtain comments on the matter from the state Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, on the matter were unsuccessful as he did not pick his calls nor answer the messages sent to him as at the time of filing this report.

Lawmakers deny inducement to impeach Aliyu PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda (left) with Team Leader, Chinese gas plant engineers, Mr. Leu Yang, during their visit to the Government House in Bauchi, yesterday.

2015: Stop supporting Jonathan, Arewa youths tell govs whatever problems that arises from the controversy of the NGF and work for the development of the people. We are also pained that in the midst of all these, President Jonathan has continued to implement the amnesty programme for youths in the Niger Delta region, while youths in the north have nothing to show as dividends of democracy. “President Jonathan is busy developing the Niger Delta while our own leaders are fighting over themselves to support him; this

is not good at all. We say enough is enough. “We expect the governors to be bordered about how the state of emergency declared in the region is been prosecuted, how are the ordinary northerners feeling the pains? The governors are also to monitor the state of emergency to make sure human rights violations are minimized, but they are not doing this; our leaders are fighting for their interests in 2015, the time to act is now before it is too late.”

orthern youths under the auspices of the Arewa Youth Forum, AYF, yesterday warned the 19 state governors in the region to stop supporting President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 presidential ambition. In an on-line statement by the AYF National President, Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, the group accused the northern governors of oiling their per-

sonal political interests ahead of the 2015 elections, rather than tackling the hardship being faced by the people who voted them into office. The statement urged the governors to immediately put their house in order and forget about the politics of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, to fast track the unity and socioeconomic development of the north as leaders of the region. The statement reads in part: “It is time to forget

INUSA NDAHI

Borno spends N4bn on electrification

A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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MAIDUGURI

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o complement the efforts of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, in Borno State, the state government has spent over N4 billion on the electrification of rural and urban communities in the state. Commissioner for Housing and Rural Electrification, Hon. Sugum Mai Mele, disclosed this to journalists while presenting the scorecard of his ministry at the conference room of the ministry in Maiduguri.

He said the decision of the state government to provide transformers and other equipment to the citizens was informed by the lack of such facilities in some areas. It was also to replace transformers that were vandalized by hoodlums. Mele said although the state government has written to the electricity regulatory body on what it expended on the electrification of communities for refund should the Federal Government plan to privatise the sector. Speaking on the achieve-

ments of the Kashim Shettima administration, Mele said so far, the ministry has spent over 70 percent of the amount budgeted to the ministry in 2013. According to him, the government is going to construct 2, 500 housing estates to cater for the housing needs of the people. “Government is planning to build 1, 000 housing units along Damboa road; 1, 000 units along Gubio, Monguno axis, 200 units along Bama road and the ongoing 300 units along Pompomari By-Pass, which is called Ali

Monguno Teachers Village, named after the first Petroleum Minister, Dr. Shettima Ali Monguno.” He said the provision of electricity to both rural and urban dwellers in the state is one of the cardinal objectives of the Governor Kashim Shettima administration, adding that although the state is one of the states that gets very low allocation of power from the national grid, government is planning to set up its independent power generation plant along Jos road in Maiduguri.

he Niger State House of Assembly has denied any knowledge of financial inducements by the Presidency to commence impeachment processes against the state governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, as speculated in the media. Addressing journalists in Minna on the development, the Speaker of the House, Hon. Adamu Usman, said members of the assembly were shocked at the report and felt the need to clear the air on the allegation. He described the media report that each member would be given N70 million to impeach the governor as untrue and embarrassing, especially when the governor is performing well in the state. “We have no reason to do that,” he said. He continued: “Concerning the impeachment story and the financial inducements allegation, we are not

aware of any such thing. But, with the reports, the plans of those muting the idea have been exposed and therefore, the House will be vigilant.” Usman said the 1999 Constitution made it clear that there must be reasons and procedures to be adhered to before considering such a step adding; “It is not easy to just remove a governor, I am a lawyer and I know what is involved.” Though, such moves succeeded in states like Oyo and Bayalsa in the past, he expressed confidence in the 27 lawmakers that made up the House saying; “I am sure members of the House will never support such plan, it is all about the build up to 2015.” The Speaker said the House has no business with the power play between the Presidency, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, or that of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, NSGF, that have culminated to such allegation.

CPC to sue Katsina Assembly for suspending lawmaker JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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ongress for Progressive Change, CPC, in Katsina State, said it will sue the state House of Assembly for unlawful suspension of a lawmaker belonging to the party. It will be recalled that the state Assembly suspended its Minority Leader, Abdullahi Mahuta, (CPC Malumfashi), over an interview granted a national daily in which he accused the lawmakers of not performing their statutory duties. Chairman of CPC in the state, Hon. Farouq Aliyu, while condemning the suspension, said the party has concluded arrangements to contest the suspension in court.

Aliyu, a former House of Representatives’ minority leader, described the suspension as illegal and unconstitutional, because procedures were not duly followed by the state Assembly and that the CPC would approach the court today. According to him, “There is no way you can move a motion, refer the matter to the ethics and privileges committee and at the same time arrive at a conclusion to punish a member without giving him a chance to defend himself. The suspension itself is a punishment.” He said the process would have been to first move the motion, then someone should second it; after which it will be deliberated upon before a decision is arrived at.


Wednesday June 5, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

13

Politics

It’s premature to release terror suspects –Ex-SSS director

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Suswam seeks increased investment in power sector OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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or Nigeria to meet her electricity needs, Benue State governor, Dr Gabriel Suswam, has canvassed for an increased investment in the nation’s power sector. Speaking in Lagos as chairman of the first road show for the privatisation of the Nigeria Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs), organised by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company

(NDPHC) and the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), Suswam said the nation’s current electricity demand of about 20,000MW would be unattainable unless additional investments were made in the sector to boost power generation. Suswam, a member of the board of the NIPP, said that the level of investment needed to raise the nation’s power output from the current 4000 MW to the required megawatts was too high for the govern-

ment alone to bear, hence the need for private sector participation. He added that the Federal Government has put in place a transparent process for privatisation of the nation’s power projects, therefore, interested investors should entertain no fear about the integrity of the privatisation process. He noted that the legal and regulatory framework put in place since his chairmanship of the House of Representatives’ Commit-

tee on Power were robust enough to give confidence to willing investors. Saying that the road show, which would also be organised in London, Hong Kong and New York to avail potential investors the opportunity to bid for the IPPs was a demonstration of the commitment of the Federal Government to the privatisation process, the governor revealed that under the planned offer of the IPPs for privatisation, 10 new projects owned jointly by

the federal, states and local government councils with the combined design capacity of 5, 453 MW, will be put on sale, adding that the IPPs are located in Alaoji, Ihovbor, Calabar, Egbema, Gbarain, Geregu, Ogorode, Olorunsogo, Omoku, and Omotosho. The Federal Government holds 43 per cent equity in the IPPs while the 36 states and the 774 local government councils own the remaining 53 per cent stake, with planned sale divesting the Federal Government of 80 percent of its equity while the states and local councils

divesting all their equity. The Benue State helmsman explained the privatisation exercise was being carried out ahead of the official commissioning of some of the IPPs, as it was the aim of government to improve the power situation in the country without further delay. He added that any delay in the sale of the projects to enable them function efficiently and effectively would be inconsistent with the Federal Government’s power sector reform policy launched in 2010 by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Rivers PDP crisis: Suspension spree hits state ACN GODWIN OKONKWO PORT HARCOURT

T L-R: Director, House 2 House, Campaign for Goodluck 2015, Chief Mike Ojo; National Coordinator, Prince Chidi Ibe and Director, Planning and Statistics, Mr. Abur Clifford, during a press briefing on the House 2 House Campaign for President Goodluck 2015 in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Lagos govt lashes out at Labaran Maku SINA FADARE

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he Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has labelled the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, a blackmailer whose tenure in the ministry was a disaster. The party said the minister has done nothing to uplift the Information Ministry to an enviable standard since he came on board. The ACN regretted that since Lagos State failed to partake in the jamboree called Good Governance Tour, which Maku and his team embarked upon recently, he has decided not to see the intimidating success story of Governor Babatunde Fashola in terms of taking Lagos to

the next level. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, the party noted that it was ridiculous for an Information Minister to demonstrate this low level of opinion about a globally lauded achievement just because Lagos refused to entertain the kind of banality Maku and his ilk have employed to extort states in the name of good governance jamboree. The statement states: “Ordinarily, we would not be drawn to join issues with Maku, because he does not know what good governance is and will never recognise one, if he comes in contact with it. One would have expected a man like Maku to come to Lagos to unveil the new

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the new Lagos-Abeoukuta Expressway, the new Lagos-Badagry Expressway, the new Airport Road, the new Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, modern, state-ofthe-art schools, hospitals, modern railway, etc, which his government has fixed with the whopping 52 per cent monthly allocation it corners every month.” Challenging Maku to tell Lagosians and indeed Ni-

gerians, rather than sounding so incredible, even to himself, “those so-called structures his government built in Lagos from which Lagos is collecting tolls,” the ACN said: “We feel it is a pity that someone that occupies such a position as Maku has reduced it to his low level by his infantile desire to take liberty with the truth, because of Lagos State government’s refusal to host his tour of folly.”

he Rivers State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN) seems to have been caught in the crossfire of the ongoing crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, as a wave of suspension and countersuspension has hit the party. Residents of the state woke up yesterday to the news of the purported suspension of the National Treasurer of the party, Kenneth Kobani, the state Publicity Secretary, Jerry Needam and others for alleged anti-party activities. The statement announcing the suspension was signed by the state acting chairman, Esuku M. Esuku. As frantic efforts were being made to confirm the authenticity of the statement announcing the suspension, another statement emanated from the state Publicty Secretary, Needam, signed

by the state secretary of the party and chairman of the ACN Forum of Chairmen, Mr. Amonibia Akoko, and Hon. Hope Onyeche, respectively, suspending Esuku. The Needam’s statement noted that Esuku has engaged in series of “activities and actions detrimental to the interest of the ACN, the latest of which was his acceptance to work with the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, for the purpose of registering members for the APC and to collect princely sum of N1 billion monthly.” Expressing disappointment in Esuku and condemning in the strongest terms, the alleged decision to work with Amaechi, the ACN said that after an emergency meeting held yesterday in Port Harcourt, it decided to suspend the acting chairman in accordance with the rules and regulation, and relevant statutory provisions of the party’s constitution.

2015: There will be no democracy if... –Hafsat Abiola TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE

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aughter of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the late M.K.O. Abiola, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, yesterday warned that there would be

no democracy in Nigeria in 2015 if women are left behind. Abiola-Castello, in a statement titled: ‘Kudirat Abiola: 17 years after’ advocated for more women participation in politics come 2015. She tasked all lovers of democracy to rise up to demand that women be given

their rightful place in Nigeria’s democracy. The statement reads in part: “For perhaps more than the other sex, women in Nigeria have borne the brunt of the hollow political pact that the post-colonial state has been able to fashion out with the Ni-

gerian people. In terms of social services, access for women and girls are worse than that of men and boys. In some parts of the country, as many as 1,500 women die for every 100,000 babies that are born, more than five times the global average.”


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Politics

Wednesday June 5, 2013

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It’s premature to release terror suspects –Ex-SSS director Barrister Mike Ejiofor is a former Director in the Department of State Service, DSS. In this interview with OMEIZA AJAYI, he blames past administrations for the neglect of the security and defence sector and exonerates President Goodluck Jonathan of any blame for the current trend. He, however, says the current budgetary allocation to security/defence is still meagre. How would you rate Nigeria’s security situation in the last two years of President Jonathan’s administration? It’s nothing hidden that this administration has been facing security challenges of this nature more than any other administration since the Nigerian Civil War. However, the security situation is not as bad as the media often portrays it even though there is a present security challenge confronting the country particularly with the emergence of terrorist groups such as the Boko Haram and ANSARU. These groups did not start with this present administration. The escalation of hostilities and sophistication we might be seeing from the Boko Haram and its affiliates shows you that they were an evolving process that took years to get to this point. In other words, their unchecked activities [in the past] were bound to explode at some point which happens to be now. But we should also bear in mind that no other administration has committed more resources to the much neglected security/defence sector than this regime. Consequently, Nigerian security agencies have been steadily making significant headways in the fight against terrorism and the Federal Government has further taken more proactive measures to deny terrorists any breathing space. Recently, in a broadcast, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in response to the escalation of violence and terrorist activities by the Boko Haram sect. It is believed that this will go a long way in addressing some of the security challenges in the country. So, I would rate Nigeria’s security situation in the last two years of this administration as fair. How do we juxtapose the huge budgetary allocation to defence/security in 2012 and 2013 with the near-state of anarchy in some parts of the country? In 2012, N921.91 billion was budgeted for security (the biggest sectoral allocation in the budget) as against N348 billion in the 2011 budget. And now in 2013, a total of N1.055 trillion has been appropriated for security, according to the details of the 2013 budget, representing an increase of N135 billion over what was appropriated for the sector last year. The point here is that around the world, defence/security is a very expensive sector. For example in 2012, the United States was the highest military spender by appropriating $700 billion (to Defence) which is about 5% of its GDP. In Africa, Algeria ranked 29th in the world (3.8% of GDP), followed by Egypt which ranked 41st (2.1% of GDP), Angola ranked 42nd (4.2% of GDP), and South Africa ranked 43rd (1.3% of GDP). Unfortunately, Nigeria ranked 57th in the world (0.9% of GDP) despite the fact that even more peaceful and smaller countries like Morocco, ranked 48th (3.4% of GDP). To make matters even worse, Nigeria’s budget statistics on defence show that

out of the N326.354 billion allocated to the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces, N296.7 billion was for recurrent expenditure (leaving only N34.67 billion for capital spending). So, contrary to what some people here might feel, Nigeria is still not spending enough on security, especially following the years of neglect by the previous administrations. This has often made it even more difficult for those in the security agencies to conveniently and efficiently cope with their responsibilities. Luckily again, this year’s budget for the defence has increased (over 1% of GDP). What do you think has led to the growing wave of attacks on security operatives? In 2009, Boko Haram carried out a spate of attacks on police stations and other government buildings in Maiduguri. This led to shoot-outs on Maiduguri’s streets. Hundreds of Boko Haram supporters were killed and thousands of residents fled the city. A combined team of soldiers eventually seized the group’s headquarters, capturing its leader, Mohammed Yusuf. He was later handed over to the police who have been accused ever since of killing him (though the police insisted that he died from injuries sustained during the fighting). His capture, interrogation, and body, was shown all around the internet and by both local and international television stations. Though Boko Haram has used that as one of the reasons why they have stepped up attacks on security agents, their attacks on non-combatants, churches, NGOs, banks, schools, hospitals etc, have proven otherwise. In any war situation, it is only expected that those that have been entrusted with protecting lives and property would become direct targets of attacks by the enemy. The only thing, standing in the way of violent and terrorist groups from achieving their ultimate goals are the sacrifices and resolve of Nigeria’s security institutions in safeguarding Nigeria’s national security. Are you optimistic that the emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states would tackle the growing insurgency in those areas? Yes. Presently, the Nigerian Armed Forces have carried out a sustained land and aerial bombardment of marked areas and have now indicated that the recent offensive launched in these states has started to yield positive results with many of the terrorists either being killed, captured or hiding. So, I am optimistic that we will succeed. Can security operatives really succeed without a closure of the borders in those areas? This brings me to the issue of border security. There are many people who believe the insecurity caused by Boko Haram and other groups in northern Nigeria can be

Ejiofor

IT IS CLEARLY PREMATURE FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO ORDER THE RELEASE OF SUSPECTS WHEN THE

ARMED FORCES

ARE STILL CARRYING OUT ONSLAUGHT ON TERRORIST CAMPS traced to the activities of immigrant fanatics from countries like Chad and Niger who illegally enter Nigeria through our porous borders. Few others have even gone to the extent of suggesting the construction of a 3, 140 square kilometres of border fence without really taking into consideration the complexities and huge financial implications involved. On the other hand, a border closure would not be as effective and far reaching as proper manning of the border considering the fact that there are approximately 1, 497 illegal routes. Most security experts support the use of a combination of satellite imaging, enhanced border patrols, community cooperation on intelligence matters and more rigorous anti-corruption campaigns as more effective long term measures. Don’t you think the military operations in the three states could lead to a rise of insurgency in neighbouring states occasioned by the exodus of terrorists to these areas? It’s a genuine concern that the President and the service chiefs must have taken into consideration before the decision to declare a state of emergency was made. We must not forget that before this declaration, security had already been beefed in these neighbouring states to maintain law and order and of recent, to prevent a spill over of the crisis. There is presently a curfew in place in these affected states to prevent the movement of suspected terrorists and their supplies in and out of their bases. Adamawa State, for example, though a relatively peaceful state was affected by the state of emergency because it also shares border with Borno and Cameroon. Interestingly, some other Northern states have also proven to

be hostile to terrorist activities on their soil. For example, in April, a suspected bomber was apprehended and killed by a mob near the Emir of Kano’s palace. It was learnt that the residents pursued the terrorists after the blast, and burnt one of the men before handing over the other to security operatives. What is your take on the presidential directive that most terror suspects be released? In my own opinion, I think it’s premature, for government to order the release of terror suspects for now. It really will be demoralizing to the forces. We are launching an onslaught on the various camps of the militants and at the same time, we are releasing suspects in custody. And you also know that the amnesty committee is still in place. So, that will be having too many things on our hand at the same time. If the amnesty committee is working out modalities towards granting amnesty, we have government launching offensive on the militants and at the same time releasing terror suspects, I think it’s not the right thing to do for now. The Boko Haram itself had earlier given a condition that their people, especially women and children a must be released as a precondition for dialogue. I believe since the government has taken this action, they must have made some contacts. But to my mind, I still believe it is clearly premature for the government to order the release of suspects when the Armed Forces are still carrying out onslaught on terrorist camps. Looking at the numerical strength of the armed forces, would you say they are understaffed especially in light of the growing wave of insecurity? It will not be safe for me to give you the exact strength of the military but for all I know and in view of our various security challenges, we still don’t have enough manpower especially if you look at the baseline recommended by the United Nations. In our budgeting, in terms of the seemingly huge budgetary allocation, we are still very far away from other countries. We have a lot of security challenges. The armed forces are involved in various peace-keeping operations within and outside Nigeria. And because of our security challenges, we need to increase the strength of our armed forces.


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Brazil’s positive gesture to Africa PUBLIC DOMAIN

DELE

SETEOLU

deleseteolu@nationalmirroronline.net (08033137577 SMS only)

B

razil will cancel Africa’s debt to her worth $900 million (£600m). The debt cancellation plan is an effort at boosting economic ties between her and Africa. The debt plan was disclosed by Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff, who attended the recent African Union Summit in Ethiopia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the pan-African body. The continent’s economic crisis was a major issue at the summit. The world’s least developed continent has been characterized by huge external debt crisis, dependence on the West, weak industrial base, intra and inter-state wars, famine and exploitation of its resources by matured global capitalist states including, China. The debt was accumulated in the 1970’s and had been renegotiated at bi-lateral levels. To the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, the debt restructuring for some countries would consist of more favorable interest rates and longer repayment terms. The debt cancellation plan was conceived by the Brazilian government with a view to sustaining a special relationship with Africa; more so, this is strategic to her foreign policy. Congo-Brazzaville, Tanzania

and Zambia are among the 12 African states to benefit. The three most indebted countries to Brazil are Congo-Brazzaville ($352m), Tanzania ($237m) and Zambia ($113m). Brazil’s overture to Africa provides the context to reflect on Nigeria and Africa’s external indebtedness. Nigeria receded into the external debt peonage in 1978 when it borrowed about $1 billion in the international capital market. The Bretton Woods institutions had described the country as under- borrowed, a subtle encouragement for Nigeria to enter into the market for loan. Nigeria’s external indebtedness was deepened by the oil glut of the early 1980’s, political corruption and import dependency. The country’s external indebtedness was occasioned by the pattern of debt maturities and commercialization of interest rates. The pattern of debt maturities led to rescheduling that was serviced at commercial rate. The high interest rate structure meant that debtor countries paid higher on interests than the principal. Nigeria’s external debt occasioned the adoption of Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) to reduce government spending and ensure external debt servicing. In other words, there is a link between the country’s external borrowing and its economic reform measures. The debt repayment had implications for social spending and subsequently, increased social conflicts among the vulnerable social categories. The state’s de-subsidization policy, commercialization and privatization were components of adjustment reforms that

THE SIZE OF AFRICA’S DEBT, HIGH INTEREST RATE AND PATTERN OF MATURITIES RESULTED

INTO THE CONTINENT’S EXTERNAL DEBT CRISES impoverished, pauperized and alienated the working people, artisans, urban poor, rural peasants, students and poorest of the poor. Nigeria was among the three leading indebted countries in Africa in the 1980’s. The size of Africa’s debt, high interest rate and pattern of maturities resulted into the continent’s external debt crises. The debt crises led to a debt cartel among African, Latin American and the Central America states. The emergent debtor cartel placed the debt question in the global domain and re-negotiated with the London and Paris clubs. The bourgeois capitalist states and international financial institutions created the clubs to guarantee debt repayment and discourage debt repudiation. The clubs emerged as aspect of capitalist expansion and its dominance of global political economy. The debt crisis persisted amid the calls for debt repudiation by debtor states. This campaign was led by the former Cuban leader, Comrade Fidel Castro. The campaigners raised issues on the capability of debtor states to pursue and sustain debt

repudiation. The weak national economies, low industrialization and peripheral nature of debtor economies were considered major obstacles to this campaign. The debtor cartel, however, did not succeed in its debt repudiation campaign; and the debtor states were offered selective debt treatment. For instance, Bolivia enjoyed preferential debt treatment in the 80’s while the creditor cartels insisted on stringent debt repayment measures for Africa. Since the Latin America debt crisis, the Brazilian economy has emerged arguably the fastest growing economy in the region with a huge foreign reserve, rapidly developing social infrastructure, political stability and fast growing industrial base. She has emerged a regional power in Latin America and global influential within the context of BRICS, the economic bloc comprising, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The question is how Brazil transcended its underdevelopment and relatively weak economy? It is noteworthy, that the Latin American and African countries, as colonies suffered exploitation, economic dislocation and integration into global capitalist framework. In fact, the underdevelopment theory, a critique of modernization theory, emerged as a critique of capitalist penetration of Latin America. Why is Africa still underdeveloped, indebted, exploited and pillaged by internal and external colonizers? What do we do to address the continent’s crises? These are the challenges for the region and its governing elite.

Constitutional role for CSOs

NATHANIEL ABARA Continued from Monday

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ut what could be the cost of this enterprise? Working on the estimated 2013 budget figure of N9.5 trillions for the entire country, a capital component of 27.3 per cent, the same ratio in the approved 2013 federal budget, we have N2.6 trillions of capital expenditure which should impact on Nigerians. Dr. Andrew Pocock, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, disclosed that infrastructure in Nigeria cost three times higher than it ought to be because of corruption in allocation and delivery process. On this basis, the value of the capital budget that could be lost in 2013 is estimated at N1.7 trillions nationwide. This figure excludes savings in the overheads of governments. Investing on the CCS at all tiers about five per cent of the expected value not delivered, which comes to approximately N85 billion per annum in order to recover N1.7 trillions for Nigeria, would appear a reasonable investment. So, the CCS project would be good value-for-money. This new arm of government, will positively affect the 150 million disadvantaged Nigerians excluded in the framing of the 1999 Constitution. The 812 executive arms at all tiers of government have no more than about 30,000 elected and appointed officials to supervise a public service of about 2.5 million people. Based on the 2007 report of the global citizen network, CIVICUS, Nigerian CSOs now have about 120 million as members, thus they have the capacity to effectively engage the 2.5 million public servants on a 24/7 basis at all critical points where value is expected to be created.

THIS NEW ARM OF GOVERNMENT, WILL POSITIVELY AFFECT THE

150 MILLION

DISADVANTAGED

NIGERIANS EXCLUDED IN THE FRAMING OF THE

1999

CONSTITUTION The first compelling reason for this constitutional engagement is that the ordinary citizen is weak and helpless. There is very little he or she can do to influence government. As proposed, the CCS will act as an intermediary to advocate and mediate the social contracts between the people and their governments. Without credible CSOs in any nation, a people should not expect meaningful improvements in their security, social, economic and other areas of life. Second, Nigeria’s complex ethnic, religious, regional and other societal diversities overburden our three arms of government. We have an estimated population of 170 million fragmented along many divides. This is further compounded by the serial balkanization of the four regions in 1963 to 36 states, and 35 provinces to 774 LGAs. These demarcations now constitute the basis for socioeconomic, religious and political contests by a few elite, to the exclusion of the larger proportion of the citizens. Moreover, as a resource-rich nation, Nigeria is under the heavy veil of the “resource

curse”. The CCS is the EITI equivalent of the “magic arm” by which we convert our complex diversity and liability to assets: the members of CSOs and volunteers will help paper over these divides, create social values, propagate transparent, accountable and responsive governance, and turn the “resource curse” into God’s “resource blessing” for all. Thirdly, the challenge of Nigeria is not so much the lack of good laws, policies, rules and regulations, the implementation of these ordinances is the problem. The CCS will support other government arms by mobilizing its CSOs, their members and volunteers to engage the MDAs. The CSOs have played a significant role in the current constitution review process. It is only logical that they should also play a role in operating the constitution. The recognition offers them the locus standi to protect and develop CSOs and provide an ecosystem to advance the contribution of a strong voluntary, non-profit Third Sector of CSOs. The CCS will integrate the Nigerian Diaspora of 17 million; create a global human infrastructure platform and a new social world of Nigerians. Empowered civil society will also strengthen our nation’s political society, link party members to institutions of the state, and will lead to strong people-owned parties to mobilize the masses, transform politics and make our political parties developmentoriented. The timing is right for a constitutional CCS; we need to take advantage of the review process and change things to avoid a worse scenario from rearing up its head in future. We may not have another one for 10 years to straighten things up. Besides, prevailing conditions favour the CCS. We have the social media, geographic and global positioning systems and the FG’s

“Getting Government Online” initiative. Performance contracting has been introduced. The Freedom of Information Act is operational. Recently, many notable people in our nation called for civil society participation. Mr. President urged Labour unions to conduct peer reviews on corruption among its members; Deputy Senate President suggested CSOs’ constitutional representation on state police service commissions, and Minister of State for Health charged CSOs to monitor supplies to health facilities and ensure that the approved items were actually supplied. His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, urged state governments to return to their original owners all missionary schools taken over in the 1970s. CSO leaders urged states and local governments to publish revenues, budgets and finances as is done at the federal level; and senior citizens have clamoured for National Conference. Also, a few ongoing CSO initiatives need mention. The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission provides the media specialised training on investigation of corruption cases and follow-up to conviction. Many states now mobilize state and communitybased CSOs to address security concerns. A coalition of public procurement CSOs secured court order compelling government to disclose details of a power sector contract. 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, June 5, 2013

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

STEVE AYORINDE

„

MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

„

ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

„

DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

„

SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

„

SATURDAY EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

ADESOYE ADEKOYA

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CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION

CALLISTUS OKE

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EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

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ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

„

SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

„

HEAD, GRAPHICS

Southern leaders on national conference

T

he Southern Nigerian Peoples Assembly (SNPA) is agitating for the convocation of a national conference before December this year. In a communiqué issued after the third conference of the SNPA held in Lagos recently, the group insisted on the convocation of a national dialogue to discuss the basis of the co-existence of the nation’s federating units in order to avert recurring crises. Considering the fact that the country is fast slipping down the path of disintegration, the group says there exists the urgent need for all the ethnic nationalities and groups to have a round-table discussion. It therefore, implored President Goodluck Jonathan to take appropriate steps to facilitate the convocation of a national dialogue without further delay. A portion of the communiqué states, for instance: “… The Assembly re-affirms its support and solidarity with President Goodluck Jonathan in all his efforts at repositioning the country most of which challenges he inherited… the observed unease in the polity culminating from the threats and drums of war is a clear expression of the continually shrinking space for national dialogue. As we move gradually towards the precipice, our rescue lies only in the convocation of a national conference which shall provide an unfettered platform for Ni-

IT IS A STRATEGIC IMPERATIVE TO REDISCUSS THE TERMS

NIGERIA’S FEDERALISM… A STITCH IN TIME, THEY SAY, SAVES NINE OF

gerians to negotiate and agree on the terms of living together on the basis of mutual respect and trust. This is the only way to justify and make meaningful our centenary celebrations”. The SNPA also says the prerogative to rewrite and or review the country’s 1999 Constitution belongs to Nigerians, because sovereignty resides with the people. “The responsibility of the National Assembly with respect to constitutional amendment is limited to clauses and not wholesome review to change the Constitution in a fundamental way. Therefore, the present exercise of wholesome review of the 1999 Constitution being undertaken by the National Assembly is ultra-vires and shall not fulfill the aspirations and will of the people… the present skewed federalism based on dysfunctional structures that promote inequitable opportunities and privileges for some sections of the country by

the use of states whimsically created as federating units has continued to be the bane of our federation”, the group stated. The issues raised by the SNPA are obvious and germane to the country’s survival. The contradictions in the polity and the ensuing strains and stress have led to the convening of different political conferences in the past to address the vexatious concerns now rechristened as ‘the national question’. The conferences, however, failed woefully in courageously and sincerely mediating the conflicts in the country. The country still thrives as a federalist hypocrite, a condition that repeatedly ignites agitations for a national conference or a sovereign national conference. The National Assembly’s insistence on its legal sovereign status has also not vitiated the sustained campaign for a broad-based platform to tackle the issues. Most political office holders have been consistently opposed to the convocation of a national conference, particularly of the sovereign variant, the apprehension being that it may lead to new power equations and social forces. The political class and their cronies seem foresworn to die with a firm grip on the privileges, perks of office and opportunities their positions offer under the existing, yet distorted and objectionable socio-political or-

der. They have hijacked political power from the populace, who ought to be its source; hence the persisting official arrogance against and trivialization of the acclaimed popular demand for political and economic restructuring of the country through peaceful dialogue. Meanwhile, the contradictions in the polity are deepening and creating doubts on daily basis on the continued existence of the federation. Forces rooting for fundamental re-definitions of the country’s polity and economy have also been unrelenting and are, indeed, increasing in size, organizational capability and intensity. The agitations, most likely, will not abate, notwithstanding the pretence of the powers-that-be to the contrary. The fact remains that the country needs a re-federalised polity, where the socioeconomic and political bases of power are re-negotiated. Consequently, we are not only in support of SNPA’s renewed clamour for the convocation of a national conference, we urge President Jonathan to use his high offices to make same possible. That seems the only way the country can navigate itself away from looming conflagrations that may tear it to shreds. It is a strategic imperative to re-discuss the terms of Nigeria’s federalism as is being currently practised. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.

ON THIS DAY June 5, 2012 The Governor of Wisconsin, United States, Scott Walker, became the first US Governor to survive a recall election. Scott Kevin Walker (born November 2, 1967) is an American politician and a member of the Republican Party who currently serves as the 45th Governor of Wisconsin. Walker took office on January 3, 2011, after defeating Democratic candidate, Tom Barrett, obtaining 52 percent of the vote in the November 2010 general election.

June 5, 2001 Tropical Storm, Allison, made landfall on the upper-Texas coastline and dumped large amounts of rain over Houston. The storm caused $5.5 billion in damages, making Allison the costliest tropical storm in United States’ history. The worst flooding occurred in Houston, where most of Allison’s damage occurred: 30,000 people became homeless after the storm flooded over 70,000 houses and destroyed 2,744 homes.

June 5, 1963 British Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, resigned following a sex scandal known as the Profumo Affair, named after him. His affair with Christine Keeler, the reputed mistress of an alleged Soviet spy, and lying in the House of Commons when he was questioned about it, forced Profumo to resign and damaged the reputation of the then Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s government.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

17

Health & Wellbeing Nigeria’s health problem not funding

11 million under-five children stunted by malnutrition

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Family planning panel on day two of Women Deliver (left to right) UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin; Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Philippines Secretary of Health Dr. Enrique Ona; and Dr. Awa Coll-Seck, Minister of Health in Senegal

Global conference chats way forward for women’s health

…as health ministers pledge more attention TOBORE OVUORIE

JUST BACK FROM MALAYSIA

I

ssues of family planning and girl’s reproductive health took the centre stage at the just-concluded three-day Women Deliver Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with health ministers from countries around the world pledging to pay more attention to women’s health and ensure that this is central to the post-2015 development agenda. Women Deliver is a global advocacy organization that brings together voices from around the world to call for action to improve the health and wellbeing of girls and women. Nigeria was represented at the conference by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammed Pate. Adopting the ‘Call to Action’ at the end of a forum tagged: “Meeting Our Commitments for Family Planning” the ministers resolved to hold themselves accountable for achieving universal access to family planning and promised to work towards the elimination of barriers to service delivery and commodities, especially for youth and vulnerable populations. They also disclosed that within the framework of universal health coverage, they would further “ensure that health financing systems evolve to reduce financial barriers to accessing services and contraceptives among the most disadvantaged and poorest populations”. Apart from family planning, other top

UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin (2nd L) Princess Mabel (4th L) of the Netherlands and Denmark’s Crown Princess Mary (3rd R) at the opening session of the conference

women health-related issues addressed at the conference include maternal health, adolescent girls, cervical cancer, sexuality and abortion among others. Keynote speakers emphasized sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and women’s empowerment need to occupy a principal spot in the new framework that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals after 2015.

Reiterating the need for women empowerment, Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme stated that “Countries where women have rights and opportunity denied cannot maximize their development potential – that can’t happen if half the population is not equally empowered”. She however noted that progress towards the MDG goals and targets “has

been very uneven – not least for girls and women”. Gaps in girls’ education have closed. Maternal deaths have been reduced by half since 1990, but 800 women still die every day”. Describing this as “a global emergency”, she continued that “some 222 million women, predominantly poor and young, have an unmet need for contraception, leading to 80 million unplanned pregnancies and 20 million unsafe abortions. “Gender inequality and disempowerment of women and girls lie at the heart of slow progress on MDG targets and the Cairo Programme of Action. That’s why they must be focused on and tackled with renewed determination in a reinvigorated global development agenda,” she added. Several processes are however under way to assess the achievement of the MDGs and establish new development goals. Others are reviewing progress in carrying out the actions called for at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Two members of a high-level task force on ICPD, former President of Finland Tarja Halonen and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, further elaborated on the group’s call in April for much bolder action to protect sexual and reproductive rights, achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, ensure all young people have CONTINUED ON PAGE 17


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Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Echoes from Women Deliver Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

.5bn STIs recorded worldwide annually ... Melinda Gates, Nigerian gynaecologist advocate abstinence STORIES BY TOBORE OVUORIE

A

mid reports that no fewer than 499 million new infections of curable sexually transmitted infection (STI) occur worldwide every year, a Nigerian a Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, Prof. Bryan Adinma has recommended abstinence from sexual intercourse (oral, vaginal or anal sex) or having sexual intercourse only within a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner as the most effective means to preventing the infection. In an exclusive interview with National Mirror at the Women Deliver confenrence venue in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Prof. Bryan Adinma, who works at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra state disclosed that “much of these infections unfortunately exist without symptoms, and are major causes of infertility in men and women. Unfortunately, women are worst affected because even in pregnancy, they transmit it to their babies. “In pregnant women with untreated syphilis for instance, 21 percent of such pregnancies result in stillbirth and nine percent in neonatal death while the risk of acquiring HIV is increased three-fold or more”. According to Prof. Adinma, behaviour

A vest developed by America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA) Technology to stop postpartum bleeding on display

New technologies on display: The Non pneumatic anti-shock garment to prevent new born babies death. Nigeria was listed among countries involved in its trial.

change interventions remains an essential part of comprehensive STI/HIV prevention. He however noted that prevention should be inculcated as a combination approach which must include structural changes and access to commodities such as condoms and information, as well as services like testing, treatment and care within a human rights framework. “Though I started off by stating abstinence and faithfulness to a partner is the most effective way of keeping STIs at bay, male latex condoms and female condoms when used consistently and correctly, are equally highly effective in reducing the

transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea, chlamydial infection and trichomoniasis as well as preventing pregnancy”. The World Health Organisation in one of its latest reports reveal that in developing countries such as Nigeria, STIs and their complications rank in the top five disease categories for which adults seek healthcare. It further reported that antimicrobial resistance, particularly gonorrhoea is becoming increasingly widespread. Addressing these issues which she described as ‘a huge concern’, Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation disclosed to our reporter that “these conditions still thrive because women don’t always have the support they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. Speaking immediately after the fam-

ily planning Plenary session which she cochaired with the UNFPA Executive Director Dr. babatunde Osotimehin, she stated further that “tens of millions of women still lack access to contraceptives and this is a major reason some of the health conditions you just thrive. “As the way forward, I think our ability to create complex partnerships and change systems in dozens of countries will determine whether or not we get the results we want in the future. “I also urge everyone, which includes men to form a partnership with women because their voices have fallen on deaf ears for far too long. “I know the work ahead will be difficult, but I am optimistic because I know we’re all united by a single, powerful premise: that what matters is doing everything we can to help women and girls flourish worldwide”.

“Do not use diazepam for management of pre-eclamptic seizure”, doctors told

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r. Peter von Dadelszen, principal investigator, PRE-eclampsia Eclampsia Monitoring Prevention and Treatment Team, University of British Columbia (PRE-EMPT - UBC) has called on fellow healthcare providers who still use diazepam for management of preeclamptic seizure in pregnant women to desist from it. Speaking at a session during the Women Deliver conference, Dr. Dadelszen expressed his displeasure at lives being lost over the use of diazepam rather than magensium sulphate to curtail the life-threatening condition, saying “it is sad to know that some health care providers are still stuck to the use of diazepam for management of preeclamptic seizure!” In an emotion laddened voice, he further told healthcare providers at the plenary session that ““If your colleague wants you to administer valium (a brand of diazepam), then go ahead, but give the valium to your colleague and give your patient magnesium sulfate (MgSO4).” According to Medical News Today, Preeclampsia, also, is a condition during pregnancy in which there is a sudden, sharp rise in blood pressure, swelling (oedema) and albuminuria (excess protein albumin leaks into the urine). Swelling tends to occur in the face, hands and feet. Preeclampsia is the most common complication that can occur during a pregnancy. It generally develops during the third trimester and affects about 1 in every 20 pregnancies. Women in their first pregnancy have a higher risk of developing it, as do patients with diabetes and mothers carrying twins. Experts unfortunately still do not know

why this occur. If the preeclampsia remains untreated, it can develop to eclampsia, in which the mother can go into convulsions, coma and can even die. Complications from preeclampsia are extremely rare if the mother attends her pre-natal appointments. Although magnesium sulfate is the new innovate way of managing the life threatening condition, fears, like diazepam, still abound about its usage. Debunking fears related to the use of magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) as preferred drug for preventing and managing eclamptic seizures, Dr. Jeffrey M. Smith of the Mother and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) showed reviews which indicated a low incidence of severe side effect (generally 1-2%) directly attributed to use of MgSO4. “Indeed MgSO4 is a life-saving, safe intervention” he stated. He however disclosed that the challenges emanating from the use of magnesium sulphate comes from manufacturers. According to him, magnesium sulfate is manufactured in different packaging and formulations and this poses a challenge for some health providers who have difficulty diluting the drug and calculating the required dose. “These packaging and formulation variants have been identified as culprits in some cases of magnesium sulphate under doses or over doses. “As awareness about preeclampsia and eclampsia rises, we also lend our voices to the global policy makers in drug formulation to provide magnesium sulphate in just one or a maximum of two formulations that facilitate usage and foster acceptability.

“This way, more lives would be saved. Let’s make this a call for joint action: Let’s give life back to those who have been giving life since the human race started”, he concluded.

Way forward for women’s health CONTINUED FROM PAGE PB rights, achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, ensure all young people have comprehensive sexuality education, and eliminate violence against girls and women. The princess however noted that “sexual and reproductive health and rights are central to economic growth and addressing climate change”. Dr. Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, in a later discussion on population growth, sustainability and women’s rights revealed that women for long have been marginalized while their pleas and need for better and quality reproductive health fallen on deaf ears. “In every particular circumstance, when you ask women how many children they want to have, they actually want less than the ones they have. What we have denied them is the right to make that choice. “It comes back to the issue of freedom and choices, of exposure to education and access to services” he noted. The global conference which had 4,500 participants from 2,200 organizations and 149 countries, ended with Osotimehin thanking the ministers for their commitment as reflected in the Call to action. “You have also committed to the deadline of 2015,” he said. “Let us go forth, ensuring that each country owns


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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Funding not Nigeria’s health problem How would you appraise Nigeria’s health sector as we mark another year of democratic experience as a nation? Indeed, the situation in the health sector gives cause for concern. Contrary to all expectations with the huge investment the present government has made in the health sector, the expected outcomes in terms of improvement has not manifested. This is a result of acrimonious situation that is bedeviling the sector. One would expect that with the immense human and material resources available in Nigeria, we would have performed far better than what we are experiencing at the moment. In the 21st century, with all the resources available in the health sector, we shouldn’t be talking of massive patronage of foreign health facilities by Nigerians. It gives cause for concern to those of us who are professionals in the sector. We feel quite bad about the scenario in the health sector. And, we do believe that the time has come when the larger society must lend their voice for sanity and order to be restored to the health sector. Within these years, do you see the health sector moving forward the way it should? It has not moved as much as we would expect, especially given the resources that have been invested in the sector in terms of financial and infrastructural investment. That is what has given a lot of us concern because these resources are being mismanaged because when you put a round peg in a square hole we wouldn’t expect much in terms of outcome. We have said it now and again that orthodox practice did not originate from Nigeria. And, therefore, we must take a clue from the western world where orthodox healthcare service originated from. We should ask ourselves: ‘how do they get the result they are getting? How can we do it so that we get a favourable outcome that will engender the confidence and trust of our people that we have trained and licensed to serve? These are pertinent questions we need to ask ourselves. We shouldn’t deceive ourselves by saying that it is because of poor funding. There are many countries that don’t have as much fund devoted to their health sector as Nigeria has and they are producing much better outcomes. In days that Nigeria’s health sector was ranked fourth in the Commonwealth, we didn’t have as much investment as we have now. If we compare in terms of quantum of allocation, in terms of percentage of annual budget voted to the health sector. It was not as much as it is now. It is unfortunate some people make it sound as if it was paucity of fund that is plaguing the sector. If you have people who are professionally trained, experienced and equipped to manage the health sector, that is what management is all about. You produce more out of a little that is given to you because of the managerial acumen and capability that the managers and the leaders have. But, what you have seen in Nigeria is complete politicization of the management and administration of the health sector. And, that is at the root of the

As Nigeria marks another year of democratic experience, President, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, Dr Godswill Okara, in this interview with health reporter, MARCUS FATUNMOLE, x-rays the health sector and says the problem is not about inadequate funding alone. Excerpts.

Okara

problem we are having. As a professional advocacy group, my association has consistently advocated for a return to the professionalization of the management and administrative leadership of the health sector. Before now, the colonial masters that laid the foundation of the health sector in Nigeria had professional health service administrator as the managers of the health sector. And, that is what it is today, even in the UK. There have been rivalries in the health sector in the recent years. What do these portend to the nation, even as it looks to meeting the MDGs targets? Quite honestly, it spells a very gloomy picture. It starts from a situation where the first family in the country go abroad to seek healthcare service. If that could the happen at that level, what is the fate of less-privileged members of the society? In most countries of the world, you don’t ever see a Prime Minister of Britain going anywhere outside UK to seek medical attention. You don’t ever see the President of the first family in USA going anywhere in the world to seek medical attention; neither does it happen in Russia nor in South Africa. The Federal Government has resolved to take health services to the people who don’t access health facilities in their homes through health extension workers to promote health care services in the country; do you think it is a right approach? Yes, it is. Health care practice is to achieve what is called universal health coverage at an affordable amount. That is to say, to make health care delivery accessible and affordable at an acceptable

THERE ARE MANY COUNTRIES THAT

DON’T HAVE AS MUCH FUND DEVOTED TO THEIR HEALTH SECTOR AS

NIGERIA HAS AND

THEY ARE PRODUCING MUCH BETTER OUTCOMES quality. If the bulk of Nigerian population lives in the rural areas where they are suffering from simple ailments that you can train frontline health care workers and health care staff to take care of, so that they don’t face the problem of travelling long distances to come to General Hospital, come to tertiary hospital facilities in the city, if you have malaria, if you have simple ailments such as diarrhoea that can be easily taken care of, you train the health extension workers, equip them with basic skills and they are out there living within the community and villages to attend to these people. That is the proper thing to do and that is the way to go. How would you appraise the performances of state and local governments in health services delivery in the country? Certainly, the state governments are not doing enough. For Federal Government to dabble into primary health care, it was because the local governments

were not doing what they were supposed to do because of the so-called joint account between states and local governments. State governments will not allow local governments to use the money allocated to local governments from federation account for the services that the budget is meant for. That is the problem. And, instead of our National Assembly making laws to strengthen local government administration and free the funds allocated to local governments so that they will use these funds to deliver, they are talking about National Health Bill, which is another command structure, which is another attempt to shift burden to the federation. We are running a federal system. A federal system recognizes different tiers of government and each tier of government has its constitutional mandate. So, what we are expecting the legislature to do is to abrogate the so-called joint state and local government account and allow the local governments to have autonomy to use their budgetary allocation. Then, let the electorate judge them whether they have done what they are supposed to do according to their constitutional mandate and according to the funds allocated to the local governments. But, what you see at present is that local governments are emasculated by states and thereby preventing them to function optimally. Do you say the Health Bill is uncalled for? It is absolutely uncalled for. That is what we are saying. I have with me the South African health law. For that law to be implementable, nine different laws had to be repealed. 12 sections of three other laws had to be repealed. But, here we are, copying hook, line and sinker, a law by South Africa that has just come out of several decades of apartheid system which erected a lot of segregation and discrimination in their polity. They made a law to dismantle such segregation and discrimination, you just go and copy the law and want to replicate it in Nigeria. South Africa is not operating a federal system. So, why on earth would you go and copy anything you see without situating it properly. If you look at that Health Bill, it can be classified into four categories: to set standard, to prescribe duties and responsibilities for health care providers and users, to provide regulatory framework and to provide universal health coverage. All these four things; there are over 30 laws in the health sector doing either one or two of these four things. And, you are setting up another law to do the same thing that these 30 laws are doing without putting a clause to recognize the existence of these other older laws. Is that not a template for anarchy in the health sector? …Don’t you see that this is a prescription for conflict; this is a prescription that will exacerbate the acrimonious and rancorous situation in the health sector? This is what we have been talking about that we should not allow ourselves in the 21st century to be taken to the gallows for slaughter by people who want to achieve self-aggrandizement; by people who want to lord themselves over others.


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Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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11m under-five children stunted by malnutrition STORIES BY MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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bout 11 million under-five children are stunted by the malnutrition in Nigeria, Nutrition Society of Nigeria has said. The organisation made this known at a briefing in Abuja recently through its President, Prof Ngozi Nnam. Nnam noted that the statistics implied that physical and cognitive development of affected children is impaired and that they would be unable to reach their full potentials. She informed that Nigeria is reported to have the second highest level of malnutrition in children after India, stressing that, “globally, malnutrition causes 2.3 million child deaths every year and has tangible impacts on the economic and social development of countries affected. It can undermine future earning potential by as much as 20 percent and inhibit economic growth by as much as three percent of GDP”. She added that G8 coun-

tries would next week hold a summit on nutrition for growth to help foster ways of saving two million children who die annually from malnutrition. Former Director, Policy Planning in Nigeria, Amb. Akinkuolie Rasheed, at the briefing, called for the resuscitation of school meals for children to make up for deficiencies in their diets. “The policy of a meal a day in schools introduced in some states in Nigeria is worthy of study and emulation. A warm nutritious food is served to children on school days. The effect of this policy is multidimensional and it could be far reaching. “First, it encourages school enrolment, minimizes absenteeism, and enables greater attentiveness in class. More importantly, a balanced and rich diet during the developmental years would have significant long term impact on the overall mental and physical development of the child. “International donor organizations, governments at all levels, could also understudy this policy and carry out pilot schemes by adopt-

NHIS inaugurates 16-man committee for albinos

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he National Health Insurance scheme, NHIS, has inaugurated a 16-member committee to work out modalities for providing a special health insurance package for albinos across Nigeria. Executive Secretary of NHIS, Dr. Muhammad Sambo, said the measure became necessary because of the special condition of albinos whom he said suffer from skin cancer and other diseases not covered by the NHIS. Sambo pledged the commitment of the scheme to provide part of the funding required for the group under the scheme. He however charged the committee co-chaired by Dr. Hope Uweja, GM (Technical Operations NHIS) and President of Albino Foundation, Jake Epelle, to identify other sources of funding for the customized insurance package intended for the group. Sambo noted that the insurance would be permanent, given the nature of the ailments of the group, which, he said, include depression

as a result of discrimination and other problems. He announced that the programme would start in the fourth quarter of this year either totally or in part. The NHIS boss also expressed optimism that there would be health insurance for all by 2015. Epelle, who said the population of albinos in the country was about six million, lamented the health conditions of many of the vulnerable group. According to him, each albino dies every month from skin cancer because of lack of treatment. As a result, he stated that a lot had to be done to boost their morale. He advised mothers not to hide their children suffering from albinism at home but bring them out for medical attention while advising all albinos to use protective screens. Commending the commitmentof theNHIStotheircause, Epelle said Nigeria would be the first country to have a programme of this nature.

ing schools in remote and rural communities as test cases,” Rasheed said. In her contribution, President, Hajia Hauwa Ibrahim said every chilld should be breastfed for two years with six month exclusively on human breast milk. She

frowned at the practice of using animal milk to feed human children. “Cow milk is meant for cow while human breast milk is for human children. Why must we go for the milk of a cow and give to human beings? The intelligent quotient of chil-

dren breastfed with milk of the animal will be lower compared to those breastfed exclusively with the human breast milk. Behaviour of children fed with animal milk will also be animal-like against the good behaviour which children fed with human breast

milk portray. A doctor with Save the Children Initiative, David Olayemi, said 33 percent of children who die in the country die as a result malnutrition. Such deaths, he said, could have been avoided if there were adequate diets to feed them.

L-R: Dr. Victor Nwabudike, Public Relations Officer, Dr. Clement Olojede, President, both of Nigerian Dental Association and Mrs. Adebusola Opanubi, Regulatory & Technical Relations Manager, Procter & Gamble Nigeria at a press briefing on the forthcoming Annual General Meeting of the association in Lagos on Monwday.

Catholics asked to accept modern family planning methods

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atholics across Nigeria has been urged to accept modern family planning methods to help prevent ‘accident discharge’ which characterises the natural method acceptable to members of the Christian faith. Experts, including Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Healthcare Development Board, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, made the call in Abuja at the weekend during an award ceremony by Urban Reproductive Health Initiative for families who

adopted family planning in Nigeria. While urging members of the Catholics, Mohammed said members of the Christian faith “do not give birth as rampant as others even though they are not adopting family planning. They are adopting natural family planning. But we are encouraging them to please accept modern family planning such as the use of condoms. We have been encouraging them.” According to him, some of the church members

have agreed to embrace the programme given sensitization from government and health officials “but there are some people (among them) who are not educated and are giving birth as they wish. We are losing mothers and children before they reach their fifth birthday through that process and it is unfortunate they refuse to embrace family planning. “We are however happy with the Catholics because they are embracing natural family planning, although it leads to accidental discharge

which cannot be stopped. “By accidental discharge, it means sometimes the men cannot hold their own body while making love with their wives in trying the natural family planning techniques. Natural family planning means the number of times a woman will have her menstrual flow (safe period) in which they will not have pregnancy. They can make love within that safe period by using condoms,” Mohammed stressed.

Scientists advocate zero tolerance for child abuse TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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cientists at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos have advocated zero tolerance for child abuse or any form of violence against children in the country. Making this call in Lagos at a symposium organised by NIMR for secondary school students to commemorate this year’s Children’s Day celebration, the scientists said the call had become necessary considering the huge health risk most abused children are exposed to including depression, bipolar and schizophrenia disorders, among other health

challenges. They said studies had shown that direct experience with violence and neglect during childhood increases the risk of violent behaviour during adulthood. Speaking on the theme of the symposium: “Stop the violence against children,” the Director-General of NIMR, Prof. Innocent Ujah decried the enormity of child abuse in the country despite its grave consequences, saying violence against children was a global concern that needs to be addressed holistically. According to him, every child has the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health as they grow into adulthood and therefore

should be protected. Calling for the implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and several national and state policies and programmes as regards the issue, Ujah, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology lamented that it was unfortunate that family which is designed to bring up and protect children also, in certain cases, cause violence, pain and suffering for it members. On her part, in a lecture entitled: “Health implication of child abuse”, the Chief Research Fellow of the institute, Dr. Nkiru David noted that the immediate effect of child abuse could manifest as physical, psychological and social deficits while long

term manifest as maladjusted adults. She said apart from a child suffering from learning difficulties in school, psychological effects of child abuse could lead to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and above all suicide. To curb child abuse, she therefore called for the effective implementation of the law protecting the rights of children and the prosecution of child abusers to serve as deterrent to others. In his welcome address, Head, Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health Research Group, NIMR, Dr. Oliver Ezechi noted that the department is committed to ensuring that children live healthy and fulfilling life.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

21

Arts Lounge

Most Nigerian musicians are fake – Alariwo

Dana Crash: Odutola releases ‘The Big Conspiracy’

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Porny-wood: Stemming outburst of X-rated films Explicit sex scenes are taking over a portion of the movie industry driven by the passion for money and fame at the expense of the public sensitivities and regulatory agencies. Is there now a thin line between creative license and immorality? NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

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rom cultural standpoint, the Nigerian society is somewhat conservative. And if this should trail our way of living, then the screen productions being churned out lately by a section of the movie market has every reason to generate the buzz it is getting. A typical example is Afrocandy, who goes by the birth name of Judith Opara, apparently the most daring of this bunch, who seems to be living up to her promise to be ‘one producer who is determined to change things around the Nollywood movie Industry by setting the pace while others follow’. This ‘change,’ ironically, launched its first negative step, May 31, when she premiered her porn film, Destructive Instinct, in New Jersey, United States. With themes ranging from prostitution to black magic to politics and corporate survival, a subtle pornographic revolution appears the order of the day in some home videos which find their way to movie shelves across the country. During a recent survey carried out by Arts Lounge, it was revealed that in the last six months, over 40 film titles with nude scenes have flooded both the Idumota and Alaba markets, the two major open film markets in Nigeria. While efforts are being made by some renowned producers to get Nigeria onto the map of quality film productions, certain filmmakers, driven by the passion to make quick profits have turned their attention to making films with lewd scenes, which are often sold without proper censorship. During Arts Lounge’s random visit to Idumota, it was revealed that films such as Edge of Darkness, Dark Secrets, Sinful Act, Sinful Truth and Oyoyo Airline were the rave of the moment. Some other titles like Five Bold Babes, Room 027, The Benjamins, Pregnant Hawkers and Destructive Instincts were eagerly being awaited to appear on mass consumable formats. Although not displayed conspicuously on the shelves, all a customer needs to do is to explain what he or she wants and the films are brought from inner chambers. For instance, after our reporter was able to convince the shop owners that he was on a genuine mission, they disappeared to other

Afrocandy

adjoining shops to collect over 40 titles which they claimed had appeared this year. The reporter was also let in on the method of selling such titles, which are usually broken into several parts, with potential buyers being forced to buy all the parts of any title they wish to acquire. “We do not allow people to buy only the parts they like. Anyone who wants to buy any title must buy all the parts, because when the new ones come out; they are replaced with the old ones in that same order. That is why we refuse to sell in parts”. Meanwhile, the market appears organised, as the shop owners also explained that the producers who are responsible for these titles have resorted to online portals to generate interest in their works. According to them, aside word of mouth method which generates minimum sales, bulk of the advertising happens online where producers upload the trailers of such films. That is why films like Pregnant Hawkers, Bold 5 Babes and Destructive Instinct, though not released are eagerly being awaited. According to one of the film retailers, “Alaba Market has taken over from Idumota now in terms of films and music. Since the advent of DVD and VCDs, a lot of the supplies come from Alaba; they also dictate what sells. People watch and tell others who in turn begin to search for them. However, lately, a new method of advertising works happens online. With the boom in online awareness, such works are first put online to generate the buzz that can drive sales in the open market. This usually happens the moment production is concluded. Portals like YouTube are increasingly safe havens for such works, which are sometimes dumped with express notification that they are pornographic materials. Some popular Nigerian blogs dwelling on entertainment and lifestyle have also been used to generate attention for such

ALL A CUSTOMER NEEDS TO DO IS TO EXPLAIN WHAT HE OR SHE WANTS AND THE PORNO FILMS ARE BROUGHT OUT FROM INNER CHAMBERS works. The trailers of these movies are packaged in a way to whet the appetite of soft porn consumers who do not hesitate to ask for the works”. For reasons best known to soft porn film producers, they seem to have also narrowed their choice of actors to some upand-coming acts –desperate for stardom and fame, while some popular faces have also had their shot in porno films. Actors like Tony Umez, Muna Obiekwe, Jibola Daboh, Tonto Dike and Ghanaian actors like Prince David Osei and Frank Artus, have at one time or another in their career taken up sexually provocative film roles. More recently, Umez was one of the star actors in Room 027, but telephone calls to Tony Umez to hear his views on this development were neither picked, nor text messages sent to him replied as at press time. Although the market seems to be booming in Nigeria, Arts Lounge also gathered that majority of the films available in the market were actually shot in Ghana. A source at the markets confirmed that most of the films originated from Ghana and that with the increasing collaboration between the industries in Nigeria and Ghana, some Nigerian producers who prefer such lewd themes, go to shoot their films in Ghana. This could, however, be blamed on the operations of the Ghanaian censorship authorities, considering reports in the past bordering on leakages of film materials from authorities at the Ghana Censorship

agency levelled against them by one director, Shirley Frimpong Manso, over her film Adam’s Apple. The whole process seems to be happening behind the back of the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board, NFVCB. A member of staff at NFVCB’s Corporate Affairs department, who spoke to Arts Lounge for this article, averred that the producers may be cutting corners by submitting master tapes that are at variance with the ones that are finally released. “And they go along to put the classification logo of the board when they have clearly violated the rules of the classification”. When asked if the Board was aware of Bold 5 Babes, Room 027 and The Benjamins making waves online, he said it was not within the purview of the Board to monitor what happens online. “Some of those may have been posted from other locations other than Nigeria. It will be difficult to say what is being done elsewhere. As I speak to you, the board is not aware of such movies because they have not been classified yet”. But the truth remains that the trailer of a film like Destructive Instincts, though made by a company incorporated in the United States was shot in Nigeria, as exemplified by the locations. For now, the most visible producer in this genre is Judith Opara. This producer, actress and singer has been upbeat since she made an incursion into the entertainment industry a few years ago. Aside calling for auditions online, she also utilises online portals to defend her actions. On her Facebook page, Arts Lounge observed posts like: “If you call me a porn star ‘cos I play my roles in the movies well, then you should call all the people that kill in the movies ‘murderers’. Here you go my people, as I promised, I have delivered; As for all them people talking, go ahead and talk cr-p while I make history”. Only three weeks ago, she announced her plans to hire actresses like Cossy Orjiakor, and Uche Ogbodo for her next porn film. May be she will have a convert in Cossy Orjiakor, who in a recent interview with a national newspaper (not National Mirror), praised the guts of Afrocandy, equating it to what is obtainable in Hollywood. “I’ll like to have a dinner date with Richard Branson, it’s just a wishful thinking. It’s when she approaches me then I will know she is serious. I have gone through a lot, now I know better. I can’t condemn her; she is Hollywood standard when it comes to showing off her body. The likes of Janet Jackson, Halle Berry even most of their female musicians have gone nude, and Nigerians adore them. For me, I can’t go totally nude, never. My mum told me never to go nude. If not, I have got a beautiful body and I’m not afraid to flaunt it”.


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Arts Lounge

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

MIDWEEK JUMP

LET’S

T AL K FAD

Taruwa presents festival of arts

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n addition to its accomplished monthly gatherings of artistic and intellectual minds, which create a platform for artistes to express themselves, Taruwa (a Hausa word meaning ‘gathering’) is introducing a festival this month. Titled “Taruwa Festival of Performing Arts in Nigeria”, TAF, it is designed to be an annual event held over three days. From tomorrow, June 6 till Saturday, June 8, Lagos will experience all shades of art through music, poetry, theatre, dance, fashion and screening of short films, at the artsy venue of Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos. The festival’s grand opening features the stage adaptation of Bobo Omotayo’s bestselling book, London Life Lagos Living. This two-hour show also opens with a musical performance and the one-woman play, Chronicles of a Heroine, written by Ijeoma Grace Agu. The second day of the festival entails a children’s show in the morning, screen-

with

Fidelis Duker

T ing of short films and Open Mic Theatre afterwards and a Mega Concert featuring acts thrilling with the finest performances in music, spoken word, dance and a dash of fashion. The ‘Ankara Ball’, a glamorous Ankara-themed night of music, dinner and dance, brings the festival to a close on the last day.

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uro Ikujenyo, in conjunction with Bogobiri House, Ikoyi-Lagos, will hold the monthly music performance this Friday as Ikujenyo celebrates 34 years on stage. The performance is themed “Nu Global Afro Directions” of life music (Hip hop, Afro Beat, Afro Hop etc.) and will incorporate a lecture titled Afro Music in the 70s Spaceage & UFO. It will also feature notable guests such as Aduke Latoya Ekemode and afro soul band; Orlando Julius Ekemode one of the founding father of afro direction; Emeka, Keazor and Babs, a spoken word artist.

CCA holds development workshop for artists

nterested artists can now apply for a professional development workshop to take place at the Centre for Contemporary Art, CCA, Lagos, on Monday, June 10 from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. To facilitate the intensive workshop are: Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze, Wura-Natasha Ogunji and Nnenna Okore. They will focus on topics from the creative process to the business of being an artist. Participants can bring their questions and a notebook and prepare to be engaged. Topics to be covered by the artists include; Building a professional portfolio, Writing artist statements and resumes, New media and publicity, Securing grants, residencies and exhibitions and Documenting and archiving your work. It is a free workshop, but space is limited, hence interested participants should as a matter of urgency, send an email to kemikb@gmail.com to confirm attendance. CCA, Lagos is an independent non-profit visual art organisation set up in December 2007 to provide a platform for the development, presentation and discussion of contemporary visual art and culture.

Etisalat debuts Literature Prize

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n a bid to create a pan-African, homegrown platform with the purpose of celebrating and publicising the talented inimitable writers out of Africa specifically in the area of fiction, Etisalat Nigeria, launches the Etisalat Prize for Literature today. Scheduled for launch at the Wheatbaker Hotel, Lagos, The Etisalat Prize for Literature will host a number of prominent international personalities and intellectuals in the literary industry as well as key members of the media industry. Poised to become one of Africa’s prominent literary prizes and one of the first of

fidelisduker@yahoo.com; 08055662925(SMS ONLY)

Confusion in Nollywood

Ikujenyo marks 34 years on stage

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Call for applications for the new writers’ workshops in Kenya

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pplications are being requested from new writers in Nigeria for a chance to participate in a literary event organised by The British Council with Granta Magazine, UK and the Kenyan literary journal, Kwani on June 18 to 23. The event will comprise three parts: a public salon event, a reading for students and a workshop for new and aspiring writers. The events will all revolve around the theme of the ‘new writer and the space occupied by new writing’. From these applications, two writers will be selected and sent to Nairobi, Kenya to attend this workshop. Criteria for entry: Writers must be between the ages of 18 and 35; evidence of having at least one piece of fiction published anywhere, even online; applicant must be a writer who wants to develop their practice and publish internationally; applicants need to have valid international passports and must be available to travel to Kenya on June 18 and to return June 23, 2013. How to apply: Submit no more than 2500 word sample of unpublished work to cep.nigeria@ ng.britishcouncil.org

its kind with the sole purpose of celebrating new African writers as well as the publishing industry, The Etisalat Prize for Literature was created out of the need to give recognition to new African fiction –encouraging upcoming African writers whilst supporting the African publishing industry at large. With operations in 10 African countries, Etisalat holds as one of its core pillars a passion for nurturing Africa’s rising stars and The Prize will recognise published writers of African citizenship. It further has the potential to effect change through fiction writing, serving as a catalyst for a cultural revolution.

he last two weeks have been so funny with the level of confusion, desperation and shenanigans going on over the appointment of Director Generals of the relevant government agencies involved in the regulation and development of the Nigerian motion picture industry. These agencies, for the information of those who might not know, include the National Film and Video Censors Board, NFVCB, Nigerian Film Corporation, NFC, Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, NBC and the Nigerian Copyright Commission, NCC. Interestingly, the tenure of most of bosses of these agencies have longed expired, except for NCC whose Director General is still in his first tenure. The appointments are, in most cases, political made by the president on the advice of the Secretary to Government; an unfortunate reality most of my colleagues jostling for the positions have failed to accept. The schemes and intrigues to replace the duo of Emeka Mba and Afolabi Adesanya of NFVCB and NFC, respectively was, to a large extent, the most crude, uncoordinated, inordinate in ambition and approach by the interested applicants, so its execution and result is laughable. It started with a stakeholders’ meeting with the Special Assistant to the president on Research and Documentation sometime last year at Ocean View, Victoria Island, Lagos. At the event, which had the best of Nollywood and the creative industry in Nigeria, the issue of replacements for the former heads of these government parastatals came up with a demand from the industry that practitioners should be appointed into the agencies mentioned above, at least for the support the industry has given this administration before and after the elections in 2011. These arguments of support by the industry has continued unabated and I begin to ask for the definition of support; when you have sold your dignity, respect and self esteem on the platter of “thanks for coming” envelopes during the elections, how do you expect government or in subtle terms, the politicians to consider anybody from Nollywood for top positions of these industry agencies? It was, therefore, not surprising when the government announced the heads of some of these parastatals two weeks ago. The industry was, again, disappointed after the promise of the president’s aide that five names should be submitted and of this list, no core Nollywood practitioner, except Emeka Mba, who incidentally was moving from the Censors Board to the NBC where I know he will even perform better than he did at his former position.

NOLLYWOOD HAS

BEEN HOBNOBBING WITH THE PRESIDENT AND HIS AIDES YET, THEY COULD NOT INFLUENCE THE CHOICE OF THE OF

NFC

MD

No appointment was made in the censors’ Board and NTA and the reasons are not farfetched. But the NFC had a new helms man, Dr. Danjuma Dadu, a building engineer from the Ahmadu Bello University and interestingly, this is the only thing we know about this man. There has been condemnations, complaints and misgiving about his appointment which I do not share for five major reasons below. One, these appointments are politically biased in nature because they are simply compensation for the boys or their acolytes who have worked for the party. Two, how are we sure the new MD of the film corporation does not have a form of qualification or experience in the motion picture business or at the least management experience which I think should take priority over being a filmmaker? Three, what has happened to our colleagues who have always been seen hobnobbing with the president and his aides and yet, they could not influence the choice of the MD of NFC? The forth point is, if we even consider our colleagues who have, in the past, either been at the helm of affairs in this government agencies, what has been their scorecard? From those who were board chairmen, board members or director generals, in my opinion many of them scored below average and if you consider these, you will see my pessimism and that of many stakeholders who argue that appointing a practitioner does not mean uhuru. The fifth and final point is a sad reality; I mentioned earlier where practitioners visit these politicians for handouts in exchange for their support. We heard several stories how some top actors were ‘settled’ with money during the last election and another sad one was the recent condolence visit of a certain faceless “Nollywood G20” group to Mr. President when he lost his younger brother. We heard the result of that visit. So, if you consider all these reasons, you will realise why we as an industry will never be taken serious and might never get those positions, even as we eagerly await the appointments in NTA and NFVCB. My candid advice is that we accept our faith.


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Arts Lounge

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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Most Nigerian musicians are fake –Alariwo If there is one person that knows his entertainment onions well, it is Alariwo of Africa. Originally named Rotimi Martins, he hails from Edo State and is married to Sola from Ondo State, with whom they have three children. In this interview with TERH AGBEDEH he talks about his new show –Laugh and Dance, his album and his love for entertainment. Why are you staging a show in Akure? Ondo people are a very cultural people and I love the state; it is a very peaceful place. I thought to do the show and see how interesting it turns out to be. The show/event is called Laugh and Dance; so, it is a combination of music and comedy. It is better for me to take it to Ondo State so that they can have their fun. Also, I went on a visit to Ondo and realised that the entertainment setting is growing, so I felt that I should contribute my own quota to it as well. What form is the show going to take? It is a musical and comedy event and it will feature a lot of comedians like Ali Baba, Kofi, Omobaba, Lepacious Bose, Funny Bone, MC Abbey, and a lot of people in the movie and music sector. My friend, Sunny Neji will be there, Weird MC, Jaywon and LKT. There is also this new discovery of mine that will be performing as well. So, it is going to be interesting. It is about encouraging people to come out and have fun. The logistics of organising an event over there must be very different from Lagos. The logistics is heavy and expensive, but I’m getting support of the Almighty God and from people like Mayor Akinpelu, Dr. Seye Kehinde and a friend of mine, Steve Bayode, who runs Micro Plus Media. They are putting things together for me to ensure the event is a very successful one and I have a couple of friends there that are willing to support as well. Does that include friends in government and is the state government involved? Government is not involved, but I have invited the First Lady of Ondo State and know that by God’s grace she will honour us. My friend is the Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade and the Special Adviser to the Commissioner of Information, John Femi Adepoju. I am sure they will put in their own support as well. If the government supports, we will appreciate it. You have been on the music scene for some time now, what would you say is responsible for this staying power? What is responsible for the staying power is the grace of Almighty God because without God, nothing works and I always tell people, consistency matters a lot. If you are not consistent in anything you do, you fizzle out. By God’s grace, I have been in the business for a very long time. Some people feel I am a musician, but some people know that I am a complete entertainer. It is also good to be at the right place at the right time. I studied Public Relations and I am a journalist; music simply took a part of me. Sometimes, people prefer that I anchor an event since I am good at it. I talk and find that people laugh when I crack jokes. It is all about entertainment, so why can’t I do it? If you go to Lilongwe, Nairobi, Accra, Durban or wherever in Africa, music from Nigeria is playing in night clubs and on radio; but do you think we are going in the right direction? Nigerian music has taken over, but the truth is that some of us are doing it right, some are doing the right thing the wrong way. A lot of them are not musicians, a lot of them are money makers, they just want to sing and smile to the bank but some songs are not making sense, while the ones that make sense are not really getting the cash, as it were. It’s funny that you have to sing about sex, drugs and violence before you ‘make’ it. That is not the way it should be; we all should appreciate each other, that we are all musicians, we can’t do the same kind of music. I appreciate the originality and creativity of a lot of

ARTISTE UNCENSORED

THE INDUSTRY IS A LITTLE BIT POLLUTED AS IT WERE, BUT THERE ARE ARTISTES WHO ARE MAKING US PROUD Nigerian musicians but most of them are too fake, most of them are doing what they feel is right, but they don’t know it is wrong and 10 years from now, when you play such music, nobody will be standing. I was in South Africa and went to a club. Immediately I got in, I was recognised and they played my song while everybody danced to Yawa go gas. I knew that the song was a monster hit and I thank God people still appreciate the song. It is good to put out a song for people to listen and appreciate it. The industry is a little bit polluted as it were, but there are artistes who are making us proud. ‘Yawa go gas’ was from the Boju Boju album? No, it was, the second album. Yawa go gas was the first album. You seem to have reduced the tempo of release since those two albums? What I did was to cool off for a while and I released my album titled: Back on Track a year ago. But now, I have decided that the music should come into the market. The music is out, slowly and surely. My new album features Sunny Neji, 9ice, Pasuma, Yinka Ayefele, Yinka Davies, Waje and Lord of Ajasa. The new album is a mature one and it is meant for the young and the young at heart. Like I said before, everybody cannot listen and appreciate the kind of music we play, but those who appreciate it are still giving respect to our kind of music. African music is very authentic and people appreciate it. If the likes of Jay Z can sample Fela, a lot more people can do that. There is this group in America called The Roots that is still negotiating with Alariwo of Africa; they want to sample ‘Yawa go gas’. They are still in negotiations with my agents and publishers in America. As soon as they conclude, the song by The Roots featuring Alariwo will be out. That brings to mind the collaboration with UB40 you were supposed to have, what happened to it? I was on tour in Germany where I opened for UB40. The connection was through a friend of mine called Bantu. UB40 featured on Bantu’s album. They appreciated my kind of music, but along the line, we lost contact and before we could rekindle our relationship, UB40 split and there is no way I can do something with UB40 since they are no longer together. Another one was the issue of Lucky Dube, who, when he Alariwo

came to Nigeria, was so in love with my music. I was shocked when the manager called and told me that Lucky Dube died. We were supposed to do a duet a month before he died and it was a great loss to me. I did a song which took me just 45 minutes to write and shot a video for Lucky Dube. I put it on air and it was everywhere. I am the first to do a tribute to Lucky Dube. Whenever people heard the song, they would ask; is that you or Lucky Dube?’ That is because I did it his way. I believe that when the time comes, we will do the right thing the way it should be done. Listening to you talk about what you did for Lucky Dube calls to mind why you are the cross over king, you can do Afrobeat, highlife, reggae and you even write your own songs... I write my own songs and I actually had 38 songs before I released my album. I still have songs. If it is not in you it can never be in you. I thank God for giving me the complete talent. I sing, I anchor events, I do comedy, package events, I write songs, I do voiceovers, I do anything entertainment. And by His grace, I am good at what I do but I don’t brag about it. Basically, I just try my best to do what I can.


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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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FAR AND NEAR

FG to shutdown illegal museums JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

T

he Federal Government has threatened to shutdown and prosecute operators of illegal museums across the country, insisting that it would jeopardise the country’s heritage resources. The Director General of National Commission for Museums and Monuments, NCMM, Alhaji Yusuf Abdallah disclosed this to newsmen shortly after playing host to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Tourism and Culture, who were at the headquarters of the commission in Abuja on oversight function. Abdallah said government gives room for private bodies or individuals to partake in the development of museum, but it would not condone a situation where it is being done without the commission’s knowledge, calling on the operators of illegal museums to approach NCMM for regularisation. The NCMM boss maintained that ignorance would not be taken as an excuse for the operators, as the commission would not hesitate to close down any ille-

gal museum and prosecute the operators in case they turn deaf hear. “If they fail to come to us, they will be sanctioned, we will close down the museum and prosecute them, because they are endangering our heritage”, he threatened. Abdallah disclosed that NCMM had received the sum of N80 million for the first quarter of 2013 budgetary allocation for capital projects, adding that work is currently ongoing in about five newly established museums across the country, with rehabilitation and reconstruction of the existing one. He maintained that the newly established museum in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, would host the commission and Nigerians in its maiden exhibition on Oladoke Akintola; the second Premier of the Western Region. Responding, the House Committee Chairman, Hon. Abiodun Abdulakeem commended the commission for its prudency and called for improvement in the area of capital project implementation and research, for National Assembly to back the commission in its quest for more funding.

Universities’ art fiesta to resume HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

T

he Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Festival, NUTAF, is to be resuscitated as a proactive measure to enhance quality in the arts and theatre industry. The festival, coming as fallout of a tour conducted by executives of Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists, SONTA, to several universities, has been slated for July 14 to 20 at the Nassarawa State University, Keffi. Meeting with various presidents of Theatre Arts Students Associations, SONTA decried the misuse of theatre and the arts in contemporary Nigeria, while emphasising the need for practitioners to be trained to enhance quality productivity in the industry. The national body also laid emphasis on research and learning, which would be focal point of its Annual General Meeting started yesterday in Markudi, the Benue State capital.

Holding within the Benue State University, the 26th National Conference and AGM of the association, with the theme “Quality Assurance: Theatre, Media and the Creative Enterprise” is designed to critically examine society in general. In an interview with our correspondent in Makurdi, convener of the conference and Head of Department of Theatre Arts, Benue State University, BSU, Dr. Gowon Doki said keynote addresses will be presented from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, and Prof. Egwugwu John Sani Illah from the University of Jos. Other distinguished personalities expected at the occasion include Governor Gabriel Suswam and his wife, Arc. Dooshima Suswam, while chief host is the Vice Chancellor of BSU, Prof. Charity Angya.

Young actors in their role at a previous edition of the contest

NTN’s drama contest finals today ADENRELE NIYI

T

he Lagos finals of the National Dramatised Story Telling Competition for schools organised by the National Troupe of Nigeria, NTN, in partnership with Beeta Universal Arts Foundation will hold at the National Theatre, Iganmu, today. A total of 11 schools, five in the Primary Schools category and six in the Secondary School category, will be competing for honour at the event. Former Secretary of State for Women Affairs under the National Interim Government of Chief Ernest Shonekan and wife of the former Federal Director of Culture of the Federation, Mrs. Emily Aig-Imoukhuede will chair the finale, which will feature performances by the top five Primary and Secondary Schools from the preliminaries that was conducted by a panel comprising accomplished thespians like Is-

real Eboh, Sola Awojobi Onayiga, Edmund Enaibe and the arts and culture journalist Edozie Udeze. Government Secondary School, Lugbe was adjudged Abuja champions of the Secondary School category of the competition. The schools centenary play titled ‘Our Journey Here’ beat those presented of six schools including Crest International School Mararaba, School for the Gifted Gwagwalada, Government Secondary School, Garki and Federal Government Girls College, Bwari that made it to the finals. The finals held at the Women Development Centre, Central Business District, Abuja on Friday May 31. Over 45 schools competed in the secondary category but only six schools competed in the finals for the Secondary School category. GSS, Lugbe got a giant trophy donated by Golden Penny Pasta and some education materials including projector and computer for emerging tops.

School for the Gifted, Gwagwalada and Crest International School, Mararaba finished second and third places respectively. Ideal Basic School, Kubwa emerged winners in the Primary School category while La Vogue International School, Kurudu and Banky’s Private School emerged second and third place winners respectively. Held in Abuja and Lagos only, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of NTN, Martin Adaji, disclosed that plans were underway to extend the programme to more state of the federation. “The importance of this programme to national development cannot be over emphasised. Apart from encouraging the preservation and promotion of Nigeria culture, storytelling tradition which we are inculcating in our youth through this programme could be effectively utilised to achieve national integration and could be utilised to correct inadequacies of the youth”, Adaji said.

Dana crash: Odutola releases ‘The Big Conspiracy’ ...Ugly side of the air industry uncovered in new book SEKINAT L AWAL

T

wo days after the first anniversary of the ill-fated Dana Air disaster in IjuIshaga-Lagos which killed 157 people, a new book, The Big Conspiracy: The Travails of a Progressive Safety Regulator in a Not-So-Progressive Aviation Industry, written by Folasade Odutola, takes readers behind the shroud of conspiracy around the aviation industry in Nigeria. The new biography, published by AuthorHouse, gives Nigerians an opportunity to see the dark deeds and secrets kept

away from air users and the nation in general. Odutola brings her long history and experience in Nigerian aviation as a “non-hypocritical safety regulator in a challenging environment” to bear in this book. She takes readers into the political environment of the aviation world and shows how politics play into safety regulation. “This book is meant to show the human angle,” says Odutola. “It shows the ugly face of office politics and power play and their detrimental effects on those at the receiving end – the passengers and employees”. Odutola is an aviation executive with 35 years of industry experience, more than 20 of which

have been in the safety field. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Glasgow University in Scotland and a Master’s Degree in Air Transport Engineering from Canfield University, England. She resides in Lagos and Montreal.


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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Energy Week

udemea@rocketmail.com 07031546994

On the march towards environmental sustainability AYO OLESIN

A

s the nations across the globe today mark the World Environment Day today, attention is again being drawn to the myriad challenges of preserving a clean and sustainable environment despite an equally important need to engage in activities that will necessarily result in the production of substances and by-products that harm the environment. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the WED, which was first celebrated in 1972, has grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action. Through WED, the United Nations Environment Programme says it is able to personalise environmental issues and enable everyone to realise not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development. The theme for this year’s WED cel-

OIL MAJORS HAVE TAKEN STEPS TO REDUCE FLARING BY INCREASING GAS UTILISATION AND ADOPTING TECHNOLOGIES TO CONTAIN AND CURTAIL OIL SPILLS IN OPERATIONAL AREAS ebrations - Think.Eat.Save. Think.Eat. Save is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign that encourages people to reduce wastage of food amid widespread hunger around the world. Indeed, FAO estimates that about a third of total food productions is either wasted or lost hence the need for collective action to halt this trend. However, the energy industry had been the focal point of environmental issues in past decades and continues to be given the increasing awareness about the harmful effects of atmospheric pollution due to the heavy utilisation of hydrocarbon energy sources in industry, transportation and domestic settings as well as the “collateral damage” arising from oil pollution in exploration and production activity through accidents and in recent

cases in Nigeria from deliberate sabotage of oil installations by oil thieves. Oil firms operating in the country have regularly come under fire for widespread pollution in the Niger Delta region with debilitating effect on health and commercial activities such as fishing and farming in the rural communities while the authorities have had their own share of the blame for failing in their oversight activities. However, in the past two decades, oil firms have taken concrete steps in adopting environment-friendly practices and provide cleaner energy sources increasing investments in gas infrastructure and supply mechanisms and alternative energy sources including bio-fuels and solar for example. In Nigeria, the oil majors have taken

steps to reduce flaring by increasing gas utilisation and adopting technologies to contain and curtail oil spills in operational areas. Indeed, most have developed environmentally responsible ways of doing business with more attention and resources being deployed to protecting the environment and people impacted by company activities. Chevron, for example, has adopted that two key principles - ‘Do it safely or not at all’ and ‘There is always time to do it right’ - both aimed at improving the reliability and safety of everything it does do to prevent accidental releases, including spills; decommissioning and remediation of non-productive sites and development of Operational Excellence Management System for achieving outstanding environmental performance. Chevron uses OEMS to systematically manage issues regarding safety, health, the environment, reliability and efficiency. It also relies on four environmental principles in underlining its commit CONTINUED ON PAGE 28


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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

NIPCo CNG plant

Private investors invest in compressed natural gas for automobiles W ith 187 trillion standard cubic feet of natural gas reserves, Nigeria stands out as a major gas destination, particularly as it has been able to supply the product in different forms to many parts of the globe. Take the Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG as an example. From a modest two train base LNG project of eight million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in 1999 to the current six operating train capacity of 22 mtpa, there is great optimism that the nation would be able to produce 52 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the nearest future following the expected completion of ongoing projects. Besides, other major LNG projects (Brass & OK LNG) are in different stages of development. For instance, the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Brass LNG project comprising two trains of 10 mtpa is planned for 2013. The target is to take FID on the Brass LNG’s 10mtpa project which will be closely followed by FID on the NLNG’s 7th train of 7.8mtpa, and thereafter OKLNG. These are targeted at increasing the nation’s producing capacity to over 52 mtpa. Available records have it that the bold steps dated back to 1989 when Nigeria LNG was incorporated in the nation. In November 1995, a Final Investment Decision (FID) was signed by the Shareholders to build a Liquefied Natural Gas Plant in Finima, Bonny Island in Rivers State. In December 1995, a consortium of engineering firms comprising Technip, Snamprogetti, M.V. Kellog and Japan Gas Corporation (TSKJ) was awarded a turnkey Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the construction of the Plant, the Gas Transmission System and the Residential Area. Construction of the plant site commenced in February 1996 and by August 1999, one of the two trains (Train

The nation that is blessed with commercial reserves of natural gas has, over the years, depended on petrol and diesel for automobiles. UDEME AKPAN reports that some investors have started investing in Compressed Natural Gas, thus assisting to improve the state of the environment.

2) was completed. On August 12 of the same year, the plant was ready for start-up, and production of LNG commenced on September 15. The second train of the Base Project, Train 1, came on stream on February 27, 2000. Train 3 came into operations in November 2002. NLNGPlus, comprising Trains 4 and 5, came on stream in November 2005 (for Train 4) and February 2006 (for Train 5). NLNG Six, came on stream in December 2007. The plant has rapidly and successfully made the transition from a construction project to a stable production operation, with a robust delivery chain underpinned by relentless focus on asset integrity and HSE assurance. This has made NLNG to achieve, within a short span, the status of a very reliable supplier of LNG in the Atlantic Basin, serving the European and North American markets. Besides NLNG, the nation has made efforts to export gas through the instrumentality of West African Gas Pipeline Company limited (WAPCo) with headquarters in Accra, Ghana and an office in Badagry, Nigeria, and field offices in Cotonou - Benin, Lome - Togo, Tema and Takoradi, both in Ghana. WAPCo which is a joint venture between public and private sector companies from Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana has the mandate to transport natural gas from Nigeria to customers in Benin, Togo and Ghana in a safe, responsible and reliable manner, at prices competitive with other fuel alternatives. WAPCo is owned by Chevron West African Gas Pipeline Ltd (36.7%); Nige-

THE JV SCHEME, WHICH RESULTED IN THE SETTING UP

GREEN GAS LTD, HAD ALREADY INAUGURATED EIGHT

CNG STATIONS

AND CONVERSION WORKSHOPS IN

BENIN,

WHILE MORE OUTLETS ARE CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY rian National Petroleum Corporation (25%); Shell Overseas Holdings Limited (18%); and Takoradi Power Company Limited (16.3%), Societe Togolaise de Gaz (2%) and Societe BenGaz S.A. (2%). The 678 kilometer West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) links into the existing Escravos-Lagos pipeline at the Nigeria Gas Company’s Itoki Natural Gas Export Terminal in Nigeria and proceeds to a beachhead in Lagos. From there it moves offshore to Takoradi, in Ghana, with gas delivery laterals from the main line extending to Cotonou (Benin), Lome (Togo) and Tema (Ghana). The Escravos-Lagos pipeline system has a capacity of 800 MMscfd, and the WAPCo system will initially carry a volume of 170MMscfd and peak over

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

time at a capacity of 460MMscfd. From all indications, not much has been done in the past to harness commercial gas for local consumption. Although some investments have been made to boost the application of gas in industries and homes, many consumers still complain of not only of high prices but also shortage of cooking gas. There is however hope as some investors have started to boost investments targeted at propagating the use of Compressed Natural Gas, CNG mainly made up of methane for automotive application. One of the major investors is NIPCo which has injected over N17billion in the provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) infrastructure in a joint venture scheme with Nigeria Gas Company, NGC a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. The JV scheme which resulted in the setting up Green Gas Ltd has already inaugurated eight CNG stations and conversion workshops in Benin. More stations are currently under construction in other parts of the nation. The Managing Director of Nipco, Mr. Venkataraman Venkatapathy who made the disclosure while speaking on the sidelines at the Nigeria Gas Association (NGA) 8th international Conference and Exhibition said over 1,500 vehicles had been configured to use CNG as vehicular fuel. Venkatapathy stated that: “The product is preferred as it is said to be colorless, odorless, non-toxic, but inflammable and lighter than air. CNG is not a liquid fuel and is not the same as LPG, which generally consists of Propane and Butane in Liquid form. The product is relatively cheaper than petrol and diesel. Also, Natural Gas is a clean burning fuel that reduces vehicle maintenance costs. Since engine oil is not diluted by CNG, oil change intervals can be extended and further, standard spark plugs of the engines last longer in CNG vehicles. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as a vehicular fuel has become very popular all over the world. There are over 7 million vehicles running on CNG in different countries.” The company plans to lay about 55kms of steel pipelines and construct about 10 CNG refueling stations in Benin City within three years. Along with CNG, the company has also planned to supply Piped Natural Gas (PNG) to commercial & industrial consumers in Benin City. A typical CNG station is blessed with CNG Compressors, Dispensers, and storage cascades, Canopy, Customers Relations Centre and other facilities. NIPCo has also established two CNG kits Conversion Workshops to facilitate initial conversion of vehicles into CNG in Benin City. The first CNG kit Conversion Workshop is located along Auchi Road while the second workshop is along Sapele Road. The project has some benefits, including proper utilization of its natural resources, which is abundantly available in Nigeria, reduced importation of refined products which would CONTINUED ON PAGE 36


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Private investors invest in compressed natural gas for automobiles CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26 result savings in foreign exchange, relief to FGN due to reduced subsidy on liquid fuels used for Vehicles, domestic energy needs shall be met internally leading to Energy Security for the country, No “dry-outs” of the fueling stations since the supply of Gas shall be continuous through the pipelines and reduced dependency on refineries which are capital intensive& technical manpower requiring. Other benefits include the creation of additional employment opportunities, reduced movement of heavy tankers on roads resulting in enhanced road safety and less environmental pollution from these heavy vehicles, direct economic benefits to public due to reduced running cost of the CNG vehicles per kilometer of travel, provision of dual fuel option for the vehicles, less exhaust emissions from CNG vehicles that lead to healthy city life and placement of the nation in the league of nations that use environmentally friendly fuels. NIPCo which confirmed the advantages of CNG as automotive fuel stated that: “Benin City CNG Project by NIPCo Plc needs supports of all Government Departments and also the Public for its success. It is an environment friendly project and at the same time it intends to provide relatively cheaper fuel to the vehicle users besides the commercial & Industrial consumers in the city. World over CNG is becoming increasingly popular day by day. Nigeria being a gasrich country, the usage of CNG & PNG shall help FGN its dependence on the importation of refined products and at the same time provide its citizen a quality life.” With the successful execution, efforts have been directed at encourag-

Jonathan

Alison Madueke

MANY PEOPLE ARE ALREADY CONVINCED OF THE NEED TO TAKE TO THE USE OF CNG, BUT CANNOT DO SO IMMEDIATELY AS THERE ARE ONLY VERY FEW FILLING STATIONS IN EXISTENCE ing users to switch to CNG. As NIPCo puts it: “Efforts are ongoing to get key companies in Benin to use gas for their vehicles and generating sets as it is cheaper, economical and eco friendly as source of energy. The cost of conversion and availability of gas are some of the major challenges on this scheme but concerted efforts are on under the joint venture arrangement to further appeal to the Federal Government to look into these areas. It added that: “On our part , subtle campaigns are on to convince motorist of the inherent benefits in using CNG over other conventional fuels and the fact that the more you travel on it , the faster the recovery period

on expenses incurred on installing the kits. Scores of vehicles are now using the fuel in Benin with about a dozen from the present NIPCO fleet even as enquiries are being made on daily basis on what it takes to run the existing petrol car on CNG. The firm stated that: “At the fitment workshop in Aduwawa Benin, the entire process of conversion takes only 24 hrs after a prior pre-conversion check on the cars for its suitability. The existing CNG stations which had remained a milestone in natural gas revolution in Nigeria are located in Eyaean, 2nd Circular Road, Sapele Road and other areas in Benin, Edo state. Under the scheme, plans are on to supply Piped

Andrew Yakubu

Natural Gas [PNG] to commercial and industrial consumers from the gas pipelines being laid in Benin – Warri highway.” The firm stated that Green Gas Limited, the JV Company of NGC and NIPCO has completed the laying of pipes of more than 40 km to cover the city of Benin, Six CNG stations have been completed with two kits fitment workshop while six more are under construction in other cities. Under the JV scheme, NGC provide for GGL as part of government efforts at promoting the use of CNG. Investigations showed that many people are already convinced of the need to take to the use of CNG but cannot do so immediately as there are only very few filling stations in existence. Proponents of the products however raised hope that there would be more stations in future as investors, especially NIPCo have started investing funds to increase their stations.

On the march towards environmental sustainability CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 ment to doing business in environmentally responsible ways including taking the environment into consideration in all business decisions, reduction of environmental blue print and identifying and managing risks to reduce potential environmental impacts. The company has also incorporate biodiversity protection in its operations through the Chevron Biodiversity Network which ensure protection of habitats near operational areas and is committed to the protection of freshwater resources and has developed an integrated corporate freshwater management strategy to enhance current processes, tools and guidance on water stewardship and management throughout the corporation. Similarly, Mobil’s Environment Policy fosters appropriate operating practices and training, and requires that company facilities be designed, operated and managed with the goal of preventing environmental incidents. Its Protect Tomorrow. Today. initia-

tive also guides management processes to continuously improve environmental performance while Environmental Business Planning has been incorporated into the annual business planning cycle. The company has also developed robust environmental stewardship programmes, biodiversity and ecosystem services, site remediation and spill performance strategies minimise impact of spills and freshwater and waste management programmes to reduce the environmental footprint in the operation areas worldwide. Its unique Environmental Drilling initiative includes the use of new Extended Reach Drilling technology to access oil reservoirs in offshore fields from land thereby reducing the need for offshore platforms in some oil regions and also the use of environmentally compatible base fluids for non-aqueous drilling fluid cuttings discharged at sea. Mobil also has a robust freshwater management strategy deploying aa wide range of approaches to reduce water use and preserve water quality, including onsite recycling and water reuse, sourcing

treated wastewater for use as process water, employing processes to decrease water needs and appropriately treating wastewater prior to its discharge. In Nigeria and Germany, rain is harvested for use in preparing drilling fluids. During heavy rain days, up to 500 barrels can be collected, and in most cases, the rainwater accumulated exceeds the water amount needed at the rig site. Other companies such as British American Tobacco has supported environmentally-friendly practices especially in energy and water usage, and insists that good environmental practices is the way to go since the continues supply and raw material, as well as access to markets depend on it. BAT, which operates a large factory in Ibadan, believes that the effect of climate change may be felt more strongly in coming years hence efforts are in top gear to effectively address both the immediate environmental impacts and the likely environmental pressures on the business in the future. This involves risk assessments, performance management and making its operations more efficient.

Currently, it has seen 41 per cent reductions in carbon dioxide emissions since 2000; and 13 per cent cut in energy and 22 per cent drop in water usage since 2007 while the Group Environment, Occupational Health and Safety expenditure stood at £40.4 m in 2012. In the public space the Federal Government has been in the forefront of tackling the major issues including desertification and deforestation, pollution and waste management, flood and erosion and enforcement of environmental laws and standards with limited success. The general attitude seems to be that environmental issues should be left for government and institutions to deal with at seminars as the average Nigerian appears not fully aware or is indifferent to environmental issues unless directly impacted negatively. It is clear that more resources need to be deployed in addressing environmental issues through increases sensitisation especially of young persons. National Mirror looks at some of the issues in the following pages.


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Preventing Desert Encroachment through Annual Tree Planting

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HE issue of desert encroachment and environmental degradation has assumed a dangerous dimension in Nigeria with an estimated 5km of arable land being lost to this menace on an annual basis. The magnitude and the enormity of this problem is such that government alone can not single handedly tackle the problem on a sustainable basis without the active collaboration of other well meaning organisations and stakeholders. As a corporately responsible organisation,The BATN Foundation has played a pivotal role in the last ten years in the fight against desert

British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation 50 hectare neem tree plantation at Barawa, Katsina State.

Nigeria.

British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation neem tree seedling nursery at Katsina, Katsina State.

encroachment and land degradation through annual tree planting campaigns and establishment of tree plantations with particular emphasis on the frontline states of Northern

In Katsina State,the Foundation established a 50 hectare Neem tree plantation. This environmental protection initiative of the Foundation has also resulted in the establishment of 5 hectares of Neem plantations in Jigawa,Kano,Bauchi,Taraba and Sokoto State. This was achieved through active collaboration and partnership with various government agencies in each of the States. This initiative has resulted in forest regeneration,enhancement of plant and animal biodiversity,agro-forestry enterprise development,improvement of soil fertility,ecosystem conservation and creation of employment at the community level . With the global clamour for the entrenchment of sustainable environmental friendly practices,it is our believe that more organisations should take a cue from the BATN Foundation and support the Federal Government of Nigeria in the fight against desertification and land degradation.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Energy Week

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African nations need to commit more resources to tackling environmental challenges –Inyang As the world celebrates this year’s World Environment Day, many nations are faced with several challenges. In this online interview with UDEME AAKPAN, the Duke Energy Distinguished Professor of Environmental Engineering and Science, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, USA; member, Education Caucus, United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development; and Chairman, Implementation Committee of the African Science Plans, the International Council of Science (ICSU), Prof. Hilary Inyang speaks on a wide range of issues. What does the World Environment Day means to you? It is befitting that the international community acting through representative Organisations at various hierarchical levels, has set aside one day to reflect on the environment. The environment is our life support system. Its stewardship by all segments of society is a requirement for sustainable development and good quality of life. Is it adequately celebrated worldwide and how have you participated? Yes, from very humble beginnings, the World Environment Day has caught on in various parts of the world. South America and Scandinavian countries are particularly serious on environmental policies and environmental compliance enforcement, respectively. This is reflected in the large suite of activities that are implemented in both regions as part of the World Environment Day celebrations. Yes, in my former role as the Chairman of the Environmental Engineering Committee of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board in Washington DC, I spoke at various places during the World Environment Day celebrations. Also in 2011, I came to Nigeria to speak at the Abuja Sheraton Hotel on one of such occasions. I would like to come to Africa more often to participate in it but I am often on environmental research expeditions in other parts of the world during this season. What are the major environmental challenges that are faced in Africa? First of all, let me place African environmental challenges in context. The continent is resource-rich and is by necessity, engaging in natural resourceintensive economic development activities to earn revenue and implement programs that target socio-economic elevation of her people. Mining as most prevalent in Central, Southern and even West Africa, as well as oil and gas operations in Nigeria and other countries, fall into this category. Historically, resource exploitation and subsequent translocation cause land dereliction and spreading of contaminants. Combined with the approximate domestic waste generation rate of about 0.1-0.4 kg per person per day, and uncontrolled dumping of industrial effluents and pollutants, many ecological systems that supply water, food and even the air that Africans breathe are contaminated beyond acceptable limits. Please note that natural processes that may intensify due to human activities continue to add to African pollution burden. In this regard, excessive grazing in Sahelian Africa and dry areas of Southern Africa such as Serengeti

Inyang

and Okavango from which I returned recently, enable dust generation and spreading over large regions. Manifestations range from soiling of houses and contamination of open water bodies, to human respiratory diseases. You are aware that many Africans except in very few countries such as Botswana, Tunisia and Mauritius, still cook with wood. Soot from firewood in poorly ventilated houses continues to cause contamination of indoor air and death in many rural communities. On a larger scale, energy generation using combustion of hydrocarbons at electric power plants, and outright flaring of untapped gas are contributors to acid rain which threatens water resources and croplands in Africa. Some years ago, I measured the acidity of rain water at a location in Nigeria. I was not too surprised that the range was 4.8-6.0. As many African countries become oil and gas-producing without systems to harvest gas from oil-fields for use, this environmental problem will intensify. What are you doing about this problem at the African continental scale? It is all about roles and responsibilities. At the policy level, the African Union acting through its organs such as the African Ministerial Council on the Environment and even NEPAD, is engaged in necessary consensus-building among countries, and catalysis of incentives for agencies at the regional (ECOWAS, SADC, etc.) level to improve their environmental systems. Of course, other global organizations (exemplified by UNEP) and non-governmental organizations are also active. Nevertheless, in Africa, unlike the circumstance in North America and Europe, the enormity of the environmental pollution problem exceeds the current capacity to

THE WRITTEN COMPENDIUM ON PROGRAMMES,

TECHNIQUES AND BUDGET NEEDED TO ADDRESS

DESERTIFICATION, OIL SPILLAGES, CLIMATE

CHANGE, EROSION, ETC IN VARIOUS PARTS OF

NIGERIA LIES IN THE SENATE address them. With humility, let me indicate that until about nine months ago, I chaired the Energy Workgroup of the African Research Plans on Energy. Following hard work by our Committee which was convened under the auspices of the International Council for Science and other international agencies in Pretoria, South Africa, we came up with a comprehensive plan to address the issue of capacity building. I presented elements of the Africa plans at the global integration meeting convened as part of the post- Rio Summit in Mexico City in April this year. Being that the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon is personally interested in sustainable energy system implementation and momentum is building to direct some intellectual and material resources toward program implementation in Africa and elsewhere on the nexus between energy and the environment, I am hopeful that our efforts will yield dividends. The African strategy for the 2012 Rio

which was developed by several distinguished African government program officers, academicians, NGO representatives and corporate representatives in a workshop held in November, 2011 in Johannesburg, covers plans and systems which when (if) implemented, can address the challenges that I mentioned earlier. That effort was sponsored by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Council of Science (ICSU). I co-chaired that effort and represented the consortium as the presenter of Africa’s interest to the United Nations at its New York headquarters on March 20, 2012. My personal opinion is that in order to improve the quality of life in Africa, socio-economic development plans at all organizational levels (local government, province or state and national), must be complimented with the following systems for environmental stewardship: environmental regulations, policies, technical guidance/ research/ public enlightenment, monitoring and data utilization systems, compliance enforcement, and economic incentives. African countries need to be rated, perhaps through the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) that the African Union currently operates, on the extent to which they create and deploy the above-mentioned systems to safeguard the health and lives of our people. What peculiar environmental problems affect Nigeria? The key word there in your question is “peculiar”. Of course Nigeria is impacted by the African environmental challenges outlined above. Nigeria has high population and high population density as additional stresses. Essentially, environmental stresses impact upon a larger number of people per unit area of land in Nigeria than in all the other African countries. Nigeria’s spatial coverage of diverse climatic and vegetation zones, high drainage density, high urbanization rates, and interest in materials useintensive lifestyles are additional exacerbating factors. An exhaustive response to your question would take very many pages of your newspaper. I will not attempt that herein because I have on occasion such as my keynote lecture at the June 24-29, 2012 Nigerian Senate Retreat at Uyo, given a reasonably complete synopsis of Nigeria’s environmental challenges, and the approaches and systems that can address them. Also, may I immodestly state that beginning from my help to the Obasanjo Administration in 1999 on oil pollution issues and on the creation of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) subsequently, CONTINUED ON PAGE 32


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SNEPCO, Chevron, Addax, others support celebration in Lagos

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takeholders in the oil and gas industry have teamed up to support the activities of this year’s World Environment Day in Lagos. The contributions of the firms, including Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO), Chevron Nigeria Limited and Addax Petroleum are expected to culminate in the success of the event. The Chairman, Nigerian Environment Society Lagos Island Chapter, Dr. Nnadozie Isinguzo who is also the Managing Director of DOTECON Nigeria Limited, stated that the theme of this year’s World Environment Day celebration is Think.Eat.Save. He said the theme became necessary because the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has realized that every year, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. Dr Isinguzo said that this food waste is equivalent to the same amount produced in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, 1 in every 7 people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily from hunger. He said the 2013 WED slogan “Think before you Eat and help Save our Environment” encourages us to become more aware of the impact of food choices we make and the eating habits we have formed and empowers us to make informed decisions. This implies that we should balance our diet and reduce excess consumption of carbohydrates which include grains (rice, maize, wheat, cereals etc), tubers (yam, cassava, cocoa yam, potatoes, etc) to conserve food for the less privileged thereby reducing our food print. According to FAO estimates the world

Isinguzo

would need to save a third of global food production which is currently being wasted and lost to sustain its seven billion people which is expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050, hence the choice of the theme. Consequently, NES LIC as an advocate on the environment is celebrating this year’s WED in Ebenezery Heights International School with education and fun fare programs. These include a debate on the theme THINK. EAT. SAVE by Secondary Schools in Lagos Island, a launching of Proceedings of Municipal Waste Management Conference in Lagos State empowered by NES LIC in March 2013 and award of color coded waste bins and trophies as well as cash awards to winning Schools and deserving students in the competition. The Chairman who flashed back to previous years noted that: “Every year a different city is chosen to host the World Environ-

ment Day celebration for a period of one week beginning from the 5th of June. Also a different theme is selected along with an Environment Day slogan which emphasizes the importance of protection of our environment. The objective of the celebration being to promote the understanding of significant and effective roles of individuals, the public and private sectors in tackling the environmental concerns of our global environment. He stated that this year’s celebration is another opportunity to further create environmental awareness and education as well as sensitize the population on our food prints which result in poverty and environmental pollution. Dr Isinguzo stated that: “India was the city chosen to host the World Environment Day 2011 by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The Environment Day 2011 slogan was ‘Forest: Nature at your service’. Forests cover 1/3 of the earth’s land mass and play a key role in our battle against climate change, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere while storing carbon dioxide – this was what the theme aims to reinforce. He said the theme for World Environment Day 2012 was Green Economy: Does it include you? The City chosen for its celebration was Brazil. The Chairman said the first part of the theme focuses on initiatives for environmental best practices calling for personal intervention measures such as keeping our environment clean through segregation of waste at source and practicing the 3Rs of reduce, recycle and reuse.

Use friendly technologies for oil exploration, production –El-Badri The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, which Nigeria is a frontline member, has experienced good, as well as challenging times, in over 50 years of its existence. The Secretary General of the cartel, Abdalla Salem ElBadri, in this interview first published in myINVESTORguide, stated, among other things, that there is a need for member states to use technologies that are capable of not endangering the environment. What are your main priorities for 2013? As always, our focus is on market stability. This is in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry. Stability benefits all stakeholders. As for challenges, the main one in the shortterm remains the global economy. There is a particular focus on the Euro-zone, which continues to struggle with such issues as sovereign debt, the banking crisis and high unemployment. I should stress, however, that not all economic indicators are pessimistic. In fact, compared to 2012, we currently see slightly stronger global

decline rates in existing fields, it is estimated that total OPEC liquids capacity will rise by 5 million bbl/d over the period 2012–2016. Thus, OPEC’s spare capacity is set to stay at healthy levels. What this highlights is that OPEC’s Member Countries continually strive to make sure that the market is well supplied and that there are comfortable levels of spare capacity; today, tomorrow and in the future. Looking to 2035, the industry’s combined investment requirements in the upstream, midstream and downstream are estimated to be somewhere in the range of US$6 to US$7 trillion. El-Badri

growth for 2013. In OPEC’s most recent World Oil Outlook, world energy demand in 2035 is expected to be more than 50 per cent higher than it was in 2010. What is OPEC doing to face this challenge? Let me say here that there are more than enough energy resources to meet this demand growth. From OPEC’s perspective, our investments in the oil sector are of course focused on the medium-term. OPEC’s latest list of upstream projects shows Member Countries undertaking or planning about 116 projects during the 2012–2016 period. This corresponds to estimated investments of about US$270 billion. Given current assumptions and projections in OPEC’s Reference Case from its 2012 World Oil Outlook, as well as natural

In 2010, OPEC celebrated its 50th Anniversary, a proud milestone for any institution. How have the challenges facing OPEC changed over the years? This is an interesting question. In terms of our overall goal I would have to say ‘no’. Market stability remains central to everything we do. However, it is clear that some of the challenges we face today were not around, or were perhaps not viewed as important, back in 1960. Allow me to give you a couple of examples. Fifty years or so ago, we were not talking about the link between price volatility and excessive speculation. However, it is one of the biggest challenges facing the oil industry today. Speculative investment flows can distort the price of crude. We cannot avoid speculation and volatility altogether. However, it is essential we look to mitigate extreme volatility and excessive speculation. These are detrimental.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

African nations, including Nigeria need to commit more resources to tackling environmental challenges CONTINUED FROM 31 I have continued to provide advice to the Nigeria Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology and many other Nigerian government Ministries although I am not resident in Nigeria. As a few examples, the written compendium on programmes, techniques and budget needed to address desertification, oil spillages, climate change, erosion, etc in various parts of Nigeria lies in the Senate; a catalog of oil spill problems in Nigeria, appropriate technologies and costs of their implementation which we developed in 2011 lie in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs where I am told that funding is needed for its implementation; and the Environmental Management Framework for the FCT which I developed in 2010 under the sponsorship of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), including training of representatives of the various Area Councils of the FCT, lies at the Abuja Environmental Protection Board unused. How committed are stakeholders, especially the Federal Government toward environmental problems? It would be unfair for me to characterize the internal efforts of the Federal Government being that I have resided mostly outside Nigeria for much of the past 32 years. Besides, environmental problems, for example oil pollution, dates back to 1958 when proper systems were not put in place to address oil spillages at the inception of oil drilling in the Niger Delta region. Certainly, that history cuts across many governments. Rather than provide political commentary in response to your question, I would like to push useful recommendations for management actions not only by the Government but by all sectors of society. The Federal Government has a role to play as I indicated in my keynote address to the Nigerian Senate when I was invited to speak at its 2012 Retreat. I titled my speech as “The Necessary Regulatory, Policy and Technical Framework for Enhancement of Nigeria’s Environmental Security”. The private sector, research institutes in universities, NGO’s and other sectors of society should also play their roles. For example, certain actions and environmental management activities by a small geopolitical unit such as a Local Government Authority in Nigeria can greatly improve the lives of their citizens. All sectors of society should act with sincerity of purpose, forthrightness and concern for those whose circumstances are rife with disadvantages. What has made it possible for you to attain international prominence on environmental science and technology? Divine providence, my parents, teachers and friends in that order. I have also enjoyed the benevolence of the poor, rich, mixed-status and religious affiliations in various parts of the world. Imagination rules the world. Experience is only useful when it does not constrain imagination- the driver of innovation. Thank you Prof. Hilary Inyang Thank you very much.


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Business & Finance For the first time, the country now has actual and comprehensive debt data of the entire federation with framework in place for regular updates. We have been able to assist the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory to establish debt management departments.

Director-General, Debt Management Office, Abraham Nwankwo

It is imperative for Nigerians to consider the oil and gas industry as a collective heritage. Its security should be a national affair and collective priority, with a view to avoiding further destruction of the legacy PRESIDENT, LAGOS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, GOODIE IBRU

RMAFC seeks adjustment of budget cycle TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), has advocated an adjustment of national budget cycle to give room for seasonal variation and adequate time for the implementation of projects in compliance with the Public Procurement Act, 2007. Chairman of the Commission, Engr. Elias Mbam, who made this call yesterday in a Memorandum on the Review of the National Planning and Budgeting submitted to the Senate Committee on National Planning, Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and Finance, noted that the current budget cycle had failed to support maximum utilisation of the dry season period which should have been used for construction work. The RMAFC boss was quoted in a statement by the Head, Public Relations Department of the

Commission, Ibrahim Mohammed, as lamenting that such precarious situation which encouraged MDAs to return unspent funds that would have been expended on implementation of capital projects to the treasury at the end of each financial year was not desirable to efforts aimed at making capital budget more impactful

on the governed. To reverse the ugly trend, Mbam canvassed the shifting of the commencement of the Fiscal Year from January 1st to June 1st to enable any incoming federal or state government administration to take charge of its First Year budget on assumption of duty on May 29th of that year, and by

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he Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) said it is urging the Federal Govern-

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

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L-R: Regional Operating Director, South, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Godfrey Efeurhobo; Bid winner of ipad mini and iphone5, Christabel Agara and General Manager, Value Added Services, Mr. Victor Bannerman-Chedid, at the first presentation ceremony for bid winners of the ongoing Airtel Bid & Get Service in Port Harcourt recently.

Oil workers demand probe of NDDC MESHACK IDEHEN

so doing avoid budget distortion in the first year of any new administration as obtains now. Mbam also faulted the Envelope System whereby discretionary expenditure ceilings/ limits are fixed for MDAs without prioritisation and taking cognizance of the financial requirements for peculiar and specific activities, proj-

ects and programmes thus contracting the bottom-up system of budgeting which promotes stakeholder awareness, consensus building and public ownership of the entire budgeting process and plans in line with global best practices. In addition, he recommended that a viable framework should be designed to enhance Executive-Legislative collaboration and partnership in the budgeting process to reduce areas of friction in the early stages of budget preparation and appropriation by the two arms of government.

ment to immediately set up a special task force to monitor and probe the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC). According to NUPENG, the union is worried by the non-performance of the commission, and the alleged abandonment of projects by contractors engaged by the interventionist agency.

In a statement on Tuesday, NUPENG,s President, Mr. Igwe Achese, NDDC is accused the not living up to expectation of stakeholder, particularly in relation to the development of the oilrich Niger Delta region. Specifically, the NUPENG president said the union has observed that despite the huge resources allotted to the commission for the development of the

region, it was sadden to note that the region was yet to enjoy significant development to tally with the funds released. “The union observes the complaints of various communities in the Niger Delta of complete neglect and abandonment of projects by the NDDC. It is sad to state that despite the huge funds allotted the NDDC from oil revenue to develop Niger Delta, there is nothing really on ground to

show for its existence. “We have had many cases of NDDC contractors collecting mobilisation fees and abandoning the projects. The objective of setting the NDDC has not really been met, as the roads in the Niger Delta are still in deplorable state. The NDDC is just another avenue for its officials and government cronies to enrich themselves. The NDDC has failed to transform lives in the Niger Delta.

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

Check NESREA’s closure of telecoms base stations, FG told

Nigeria, other West African nations in search for reliable gas

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Check NESREA’s closure of telecoms base stations, FG told KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, NATCOMS, has called on the Federal Government to stop the National Environmental Standards Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) from indiscriminate closure of telecoms base stations in the country. NATCOMS President, Mr. Deolu Ogunbanjo, said continuous closure of telecoms base stations by the environmental agency without due recourse

to the Nigerian Communications Commissions regulations would dampen the already poor quality of service issue in the country. In a statement yesterday, Ogunbanjo noted that the request for a call to order has become necessary following the closure of a base station by the agency in Platue State. According to him, “It is rather unfortunate that the NESREA under the leadership of Dr. Ngeri Benebo is over stepping its bounds once again, disturbing the Telecoms industry by sealing base

stations.” He said NESREA had again sealed one of the Globacom’s base stations in Dandur, Lantang North Local Government Area of Plateau State for not adhering to its regulations. “NESREA said that Globacom had failed to conduct a Site Specific Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) citing the provision of the EIA ACT of 1992, before erecting its facility in the area. “NESREA is also over exploiting the humility of the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola

Johnson and the President and Commander-In-Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan. “The NCC is the regulatory body by law, charged with the responsibility of regulating telecommunications and Information and Communication Technology in Nigeria and should be left alone to do its job,” he said. He also called on the ministries of Communication Technology and the Environment to sort “this issue out and leave the Telecoms industry alone to concentrate on how to bring

about good quality service to telecoms and ICT subscribers and consumers.” According to him, “The Nigerian telecoms industry is currently suffering from very poor quality services with insurgents destroying masts and base stations; floods and natural disasters affecting some; state of emergency in some states affecting many and now NESREA closing down base stations with unparalleled impunity.” He also urged the “National Legislature should please call Mr. President’s kinswoman to order so as not to heat up the pride of Nigeria’s economy, the telecoms sector.”

FG vows to end abandoned projects syndrome TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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L-R: Ag. Company Secretary, Food Concepts Plc, Mrs. Bukola Olateru; Chairman, Chief Dele Fajemirokun and Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Deji Akinyanju, at the 12th Annual General Meeting of the company in Lagos recently.

CVFF: Four banks appointed primary lending institutions UDO ONYEKA

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he Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar said that four banks have been appointed primary Lending Institution for Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF). Speaking at a mid-term ministerial scorecard presentation organized by the Federal Ministry of Information in Abuja, Umar said the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) which is being funded from two percent surcharge on all contracts performed by vessels on our waters and aims at assisting indigenous investors in the procurement of ships. Umar said the amount as at early 2013 has attained $196.1M (USD), adding that NIMASA has within the last two years carried out 595 port state and

5244 flag state inspections and that the agency has recommended and commenced processing of six applications of potential beneficiaries from the CVFF scheme. According to a statement made available to National Mirror the four banks, include; Diamond Bank Fidelity Bank, Sterling Bank and Skye Bank. The scheme according to the minister is to be jointly funded by NIMASA, Primary Lending Institutions (banks) and the borrower at a 50 per cent, 35 per cent and15 per cent contribution respectively while the bank will bear the risk in the event of borrower’s default. On ways to improve port efficiency, the minister called on the Nigeria Customs Service to consider reduction of physical examination of cargo and reducing the number of its desk at the ports as part

of ways to achieve 48hour clearance time of cargo. He added that construction work at the Ibaka deep seaport in Akwa Ibom State will commence in 2014 while Baro River Port in Niger and Oguta Port in Imo states will be constructed this year before their eventual concession to private concerns. Speaking on indigenous capacity building in the maritime sector, the minister said over one thousand Nigerians are studying in different institutions abroad on a NIMASA sponsored scholarship scheme under the Nigeria Seafarers Development Programme and that effort are being made to upgrade the maritime Academy of Nigeria to a degree awarding institution with the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding with Sweden based World Maritime University.

he Federal Government yesterday said it was determined to end abandoned projects syndrome in the country by working with all stakeholders, particularly professionals involved in projects development, to ensure effective monitoring and timely completion of such projects. Giving the assurance during the opening session of the 3-Day Project Management Seminar and the CPMIN/CORPMAN Bill Stakeholders’ Forum with the theme, ‘Project Management as the Panacea for National Development’ in Abuja, the Minister/ Deputy Chairman, National Planning Commission, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, said the seminar was important in view of its opportunity to effectively manage priority projects geared towards the realisation of the ongoing Transformation Agenda of government. Represented by the Secretary of

the National Planning Commission, Ntufam Fidelis Ugbo, Usman, cited the report of the Presidential Project Assessment Team to explain the magnitude of abandoned projects and the negative implications for qualitative project execution in the country and pointed out that appropriate policy measures were being adopted to reverse the ugly trend in order to optimise the value on money spent on such projects. The minister said: “There is no gainsaying the fact that our National landscape is characterised with lots of abandoned projects. “According to the report submitted by the Presidential Project Assessment Team led by Arc. Ibrahim Bunu (a former of the FCT) the incidence of abandoned projects in the country is characterised by widespread institutional mediocrity, deficiency of vision and lack of direction in project management leading to poor conceptualisation, poor design and faulty execution of the projects”, Usman lamented.

ICAN to protect whistle blowers through fund MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) said it has put measures in place to increase its drive against fraud and corruption, including creating an anti-corruption fund to protect whistle blowers. Outgoing ICAN President, Mr. Adedoyin Owolabi, said the stipulated fund though not disclosed yet, will not stop the institute from soon sending a bill to the National Assembly for onward check and approval. Speaking through a statement on Tuesday, the ICAN president said Nigerians are hard working and it is not every Nigerian that wants to be fraudulent and corrupt. According to Owolabi, “We have another category of Nigerians who are aware of what is going on but afraid that should

they talk, something terrible may happen to them. So, we decided that the institute can help to support such people to sponsor this bill, as a private member bill on the floor of the National Assembly and they too can always feel protected to criticise corrupt officers without any bad thing happening to me. “We are mindful of the fact that, that umbrella of not losing your job may not be able to shield everybody, some will fall victim, so the Institute on its own has put in place an anticorruption fund, a fund with which we are going to sponsor the bill to make it feel good in order to protect this whistle blowers. Very soon, the bill will appear on the floor of the National assembly. Once it becomes law, we will make sure that it encourage as many Nigerian professionals and as many Nigerians to join us in applying that bill to the latter.”


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Business Finance

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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N16bn maritime security contract backed by law, says FG Winners emerge in Airtel Bid & Get service “Under the agreement, the serthe transport sector, disclosed that FRANCIS EZEM

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he Federal Government has said that the maritime security concession contract between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and Global West Vessels Specialist Limited allegedly owned by some former Niger Delta militants was backed by relevant legislations. NIMASA had last year signed the contract Under which GWVSNL supply and crew the boats for policing the entire stretch of the Nigerian coastline from Lagos to Calabar, the Cross River State capital with an initial investment of $103,400,000.00 (N16 billion), for 10 years in the first instance under a no cure, no pay basis. Minister of Transport, mallam Idris Umar, who spoke in Abuja during a ministerial briefing on the midterm achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan in

the contract was in line with the provision of Section 23 (3) and (4) of NIMASA Act 2007. Section 23 (3) provides that where the agency may provide a facility or service or discharge a function, it may do so itself, in cooperation with another person or by arranging for another person to do so on its behalf. Sub-section four provides that the ‘persons’ mentioned in subsection three could be the Federal Government of Nigeria, a state government or Federal Capital Territory, the government or an agent of a foreign country and any juristic or natural person. The minister said: “In order to effectively curtail piracy, armed robbery and other maritime crimes at the sea, the agency engaged a services of Global West Vessels Specialist Limited to provide platform which includes patrol and enforcement boats and electronic software to enforce its mandate”.

vice provider is expected to provide a minimum of one and a maximum of 20 boats. 13 armoured boats and 12 conventional boats have been procured, bringing its fleet to a total of 25 boats”, he said. It was gathered that the agency is concluding plans to take delivery of three additional armoured boats in the few months as part of measures to combat the worsening cases of piracy and sea robbers on Nigerian waters The minister, who also reeled out statistics of sea piracy cases, disclosed that three armed robbery attacks had been recorded in the recent past, saying that six marine distress incidents such as fire explosion and oil spill were recorded by the agency. According to him, five vessels were hijacked and one illegal shipto- ship operations was recorded even as the NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy team were able to rescue seven people evacuated from the hijacked vessel.

KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he first set of winners have emerged in the on-going Airtel Bid and Get service, recently introduced to telecoms consumers across all networks. The winners are Vincent Okafor, a 22-year old student of Electrical Engineering in the University of Benin, 30-years-old banker, Olabode Uthman Otukoya and Port Harcourt-based Christabel Agara, a 22-year-old business developer. The trio successfully bid for and won Blackberry Z10, Samsung 3D TV as well as ipad mini and iphone5 respectively. They have since been presented with the bidding items. The bidding service, first ever in the country, is a direct reverse of the traditional bidding concept which recognizes the highest bid for any advertised item, by placing premium on the bid with

the most unique and lowest monetary value for any of the range of items put up during the period of the bidding. Airtel’s Bid and Get service is a unique addition to the company’s rich line of exciting, pocketfriendly value propositions that offer a unique service experience to customers on the network. Congratulating the winners, Airtel Nigeria’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Mr. Deepak Srivastava, said, “The emergence of the winners attests to the level of trust reposed on the network by Nigerians and indicates the credibility of the service. I urge customers to take advantage of the offer and enrich their lives.” He noted that Airtel’s Bid and Get service was open to customers on both pre and post-paid plans. “The range of items available for auction includes communication devices and house-hold appliances among others,” he said.

Glo Shines at Ghana Telecoms Awards 2013

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lobacom has confirmed its leadership position in Ghana as its subsidiary, Glo Mobile Ghana is adjudged the Fastest Growing Telecommunications Network by the the prestigious Ghana Telecoms Awards (GTA) over the weekend. Globacom was also adjudged at the Awards as the telecoms company with the Most Innovative Product in the year 2012 in Ghana, due to the phenomenal success of Glo Biiiig 5, a promo it introduced in the last quarter of last year. Glo began commercial business in Ghana on April 29th 2012, at a time when market watchers and all the experts considered Ghana’s telecoms sector as being overly saturated and without any Managing Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, Mr. Peter Eshikena and President, Nutrition room for a new player. The comSociety of Nigeria, Prof. Ngozi Nnam, during the Milk Day Celebration in Lagos recently. pany took its chances, and with determination and customer-

centric offerings, has succeeded in wrestling an enviable chunk of the market for itself. Ahead of its launch, Glo Mobile Ghana had successfully reserved 1.7 numbers for subscription, and in the span of just 90 days following its commencement of operations, it registered over one million active subscribers, according to Ghana’s telecoms regulatory agency, the National Communications Authority. This unprecedented feat was achieved notwithstanding the new SIM Card registration regulation which forbids instant subscription by customers since 2012. Glo Mobile Ghana has grown steadily since it launched 14 months ago and as at the close of April was listed by the NCA as commanding an active subscriber base of 2.47 million.

Smallholder farmers key to lifting 1bn people out of poverty – UN Ecobank wins Innovation in Banking award DAYO AYEYEMI

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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upporting smallholder farmers to play a greater role in food production and natural resource stewardship is one of the quickest ways to lift over one billion people out of poverty and sustainably nourish a growing world population, a new United Nations report has said. The report, which was released as part of the celebrations of World Environment Day (WED), whose global host this year is the government and people of Mongolia, noted that most of the 1.4 billion people living on under US$1.25 a day live in rural areas and depend largely on agriculture for their livelihoods. It pointed out that an esti-

mated 2.5 billion people are involved in full or part-time smallholder agriculture. These smallholders, it stated managed approximately 500 million small farms and provide over 80 per cent of the food consumed in large parts of the developing world, particularly Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, thus contributing to food security and poverty reduction. A previous study showed that a one-per-cent increase in agricultural per-capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reduced the poverty gap five times more than a one-per-cent increase in GDP in other sectors, especially amongst the poorest people. Another study demonstrated that for every 10 per-cent increase in farm yields, there was a sevenper-cent reduction in poverty in Africa, and a reduction of over

five-per-cent in Asia. However, increasing fragmentation of land, reduced investment support and the marginalization of small farms in economic and development policy have hampered the development of this vital contribution and left many smallholders vulnerable. Given the right enabling conditions and targeted support, these often-neglected farmers can transform the rural landscape and unleash a new and sustainable agricultural revolution, according to Smallholders, Food Security and the Environment, a report commissioned by the UN Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (I FAD).

DAMILOLA AJAYI

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cobank Transnational Incorporated has won the Award for Innovation in Banking in this year’s African Banker’s awards. According to the statement from the bank yesterday, the annual awards, which reward outstanding talent and achievement in Africa’s financial sector, were held under the patronage of the African Development Bank at its Annual General Meeting in Marrakech, Morocco. Mr. Albert Essien, Deputy CEO and Head of Ecobank’s Corporate and Investment Banking Division, accepted the award on the Group’s be-

half. Publisher of African Banker ,Omar Ben Yedder, said innovation provides the key to unlock the potential of the African continent which is especially relevant within financial services, where the unbanked proportion of the population is still high “Innovation helps us to reduce transaction costs and reach out to the wider community, which is what Ecobank is successfully doing. They are leveraging technology and their extensive footprint to enhance their customer service and, by providing faster and affordable access, Ecobank is making a significant contribution to improving financial inclusion across Africa”, he said


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Global Business

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oland’s central bank cut borrowing costs for a second month to spur growth in the European Union’s biggest eastern economy, which faces the risk of its first recession in two decades. The only central bank in the 27-nation EU to raise rates this year lowered the benchmark seven-day reference rate 25 basis points to 4.25 percent yesterday, in line with the forecasts of 33 of 35 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Two predicted a 50 basis-point decrease. The Narodowy Bank Polski last month cut the rate for the first time since 2009 and Governor Marek Belka announced the start of an easing cycle, adding he sees no risk of a recession for Poland. Since then, inflation slowed below the upper end of the bank’s tolerance range for the first time in almost two years and economic growth slowed to the weakest in 13 quarters, prompting analysts including Marcin Mazurek at BRE Bank SA (BRE), the local unit of Commerzbank AG, to predict a contraction. “This is a partial disappointment because of weak economic growth in the third quarter,” Dariusz Winek, chief economist at Bank Gospodarki Zywnosciowej SA, wrote in a research

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Poland cuts main rate second month amid recession threat

Poland central bank governor, Marek Belka

note. “We still think a steep fall in the inflation rate in the next few months will trigger further monetary easing.” The zloty strengthened to 4.1196 per

South Korea’s unemployment falls to 7-month low on service jobs

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outh Korea’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to a seven-month low on increasing numbers of self-employed workers and service-sector jobs even as Europe’s debt crisis dragged down exports. The jobless rate was at 3.1 percent in July, compared with 3.2 percent in June, Statistics Korea said yesterday in Gwacheon, south of Seoul. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 14 economists was for a rate of 3.3 percent. The outlook for the labor market is clouded by signs that Asia’s fourth-largest economy is losing steam. A decline in exports in July was the steepest since 2009 and the central bank said August 9 that domestic demand is also weakening. “Jobs are increasing in the service sector

and the self- employed are lifting the total number of workers, but Europe’s fiscal crisis is taking a toll on company hiring,” said Sun Yoo, an economist Woori Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul. “The quality of the job market is deteriorating with more people taking non-salaried work.” The won weakened 0.3 percent to 1,133.00 per dollar at Tuesday open in Seoul and the benchmark Kospi stock index was little changed. The number of employed people increased by 470,000 to 25.1 million in July, with the self-employed and public services providing 318,000 of those new jobs. The seasonally unadjusted jobless rate was also at 3.1 percent in July, compared with 3.2 percent in June, yesterday’s report showed.

Budget standoff causing economic gloom

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ravelers Cos. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jay Fishman said that businesses are curbing spending and hiring because United State lawmakers haven’t addressed fiscal imbalances the country faces in the next decade. “The best thing that could happen right now is a bipartisan solution” to the nation’s mounting debt and widening deficit, Fishman, said in an interview for Bloomberg Radio’s Closer Look With Arthur Levitt” to be aired next month. “The sense of gloom and despair would lift and, in fact, businesspeople would be more optimistic.” Executives including BlackRock Incorporated Laurence D. Fink and Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Mohamed El-Erian have warned that Congress’s inaction on fiscal policy will hurt economic growth in the world’s largest economy. Businesses see challenges beyond the

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end of this year, when the U.S. faces a so-called fiscal cliff of automatic spending cuts and tax increases, said Fishman, whose New York-based firm provides insurance coverage to almost a million companies in the country. “Most businesspeople are worried about the intermediate term,” he said. “They understand there will be some fis-

euro yesterday in Warsaw, extending its advance to 0.3 percent on the day. The currency has gained 8.4 percent against the euro this year, the world’s second-

best performance after the Hungarian forint. The yield on five-year government bonds rose two basis points to 3.60 percent. Monetary easing will total 150 basis points, according to Mazurek. That’s above the market expectations even after derivatives traders boosted their bets for monetary easing following the release of the third-quarter data. They now predict a total of 123 basis points in cuts in the next 12 months compared with 100 before, according to the gap between the equivalent forwardrate agreement prices and Warsaw Interbank Offered Rate compiled by Bloomberg. Inflation slowed to 3.4 percent in October from 3.8 percent a month earlier and will “record a remarkable decline in November,” according to Jaroslaw Janecki, Warsaw-based economist at Societe Generale (GLE), who expects the rate at 2.8 percent. If confirmed by the Central Statistical Office on December. 13, it would be a two-month low.

Finnish economy joins Euro area in recession on investments

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inland’s economy unexpectedly joined the euro area in a recession in the third quarter as the region’s debt crisis weighed on business confidence and sapped investments. Gross domestic product contracted 0.1 percent from the prior quarter, when it shrank 1.1 percent, Statistics Finland in Helsinki said on its website today. That missed the estimates of three economist surveyed by Bloomberg for growth of 0.2 percent to 0.4 percent. On an annual basis, GDP fell 1.2 percent. “I’m afraid the final quarter is going to be even weaker,” said Pasi Kuoppamaeki, Helsinki-based chief economist at Danske Bank A/S. “It’s possible the trough will be in the first quarter.” Finland’s economy is stalling as businesses cut investments amid concern over falling demand as the 17-nation euro area struggles to contain a debt crisis now in its fourth year. Investments fell 1.1 percent from the previous quarter, with construction spending dropping 1.4 percent, and machinery and equipment investments contracting 2.5 percent. The slump in the northernmost euro economy comes as the government raises taxes and reins in spending to keep debt growth in check. The austerity is exacerbating a slump as companies such as Nokia Oyj, stainless steel-maker Rautaruukki Oyj and paper-machine manufacturer Metso Oyj have responded to declining demand with job cuts. Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen told reporters yesterday that the economic situation is “very challenging,” even as the government will stick to its austerity policies to keep borrowing costs from rising. “Creating new growth is more challenging than usual,” he said yesterday. “We can’t take risks at the expense of our

Katainen

public finances, as we must defend our credibility.” The government has agreed on 2.3 billion euros of austerity measures next year, which will swell to 5.9 billion euros by 2016. The deficit will shrink to 1.2 percent of GDP in 2013 from 1.7 percent in 2012, the government said on September 17. The economy of the euro area shrank 0.1 percent in the third quarter after contracting 0.2 percent in the second, according to preliminary data. It had stagnated in the first three months of the year as growth eludes the single currency bloc. Growth is also slowing in Germany’s economy, Europe’s biggest. Finnish exports grew 2.4 percent and consumer spending expanded 0.8 percent from the prior three months. The increase in exports is probably due to companies delivering old orders, Kuoppamaeki said. “I’m surprised exports showed an increase,” he said. “Most statistical observations don’t support this. New orders are weak and exports are in a downward trend. Companies are probably working on older orders.”


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Global Business

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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pain’s recession eased in the first quarter as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy prepares plans to foster growth while reducing the country’s budget deficit. Gross domestic product fell 0.5 percent from the fourth quarter, when it dropped 0.8 percent, the most since 2009, the Bank of Spain said in its monthly bulletin today. That’s the seventh quarterly contraction. This data is in line with the median of 15 economist estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Rajoy pledged on April 17 to unveil measures to stimulate the economy and create jobs later this week. His government is seeking more time from European Union peers to reorder public finances in the euro-area’s fourth largest economy after a banking-sector bailout propelled Spain’s deficit last year to the largest in the region. “It’s a good sign after a horrible last quarter in 2012, but we are still in an intense recession,” said Jose Carlos Diez, chief economist at Madrid-based brokerage Intermoney SA. “It’s difficult to see a recovery. Our main trading partners

Spain’s recession eases as Rajoy prepares growth plan

Rajoy

aren’t doing well and unemployment is going to continue increasing.” The yield on Spain’s 10-year benchmark bonds fell 23 basis points to 4.264 percent yesterday in Madrid, narrowing the spread with German debt of similar maturity to 3.05 percentage points after met its maximum target of 3 billion eu-

Japan’s fiscal impasse threatens stimulus to spur growth

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apan’s political gridlock threatens to curtail the government’s ability to apply fiscal stimulus as a rebound falters in the world’s third-largest economy. Opposition parties in the upper house of parliament stymied legislation approved in the lower house August 28 that enables the issuance of 38.3 trillion yen ($490 billion) of deficit- financing bonds, seeking to force Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda into an early election. The government could hit a spending ceiling as soon as October, according to the Finance Ministry. The freeze may suspend outlays from this year’s budget for the first time, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and limits Noda from proceeding with the supplementary spending package he mooted in July. With economists increasingly seeing an economic contraction this quarter, the deadlock adds to risks facing global expansion that include a so-called fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax increases in the U.S. at year-end. “The impasse on deficit-covering bonds may delay the compilation of a stimulus package and would be a drag for the economy,” said Taro Saito, Tokyo-based director of economic research at NLI Research Institute and a past winner of a Japan Center for Economic Research award for accuracy in forecasting. “This is not as severe as the U.S. fiscal cliff but could be said to be Japan’s fiscal slope.” Japanese stocks headed for a fourth day of declines, the longest losing streak in more than a month, on pessimism about the global expansion. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average was down 0.4 percent Monday in Tokyo. The yen was at 78.37 per dollar, about 4 percent from its postwar high, underscoring the threat to exporters of a strong currency. Besides exchange-rate appreciation, Japan’s manufacturers are facing diminishing demand abroad, hurt by the European crisis, China’s slowdown and stunted

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ros ($3.9 billion) in a bills sale. The Spanish 10-year yield rose to a euro-era record of 7.75 percent in July before the European Central Bank pledged to do whatever it takes to save the euro. The International Monetary Fund last week cut its outlook for Spain, predicting the economy to shrink 1.6 percent this

Slowing Polish economy may force Tusk to ease budget cuts

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Yoshihiko Noda

American growth. A government report yesterday showed capital spending rose 6.6 percent in the second quarter from a year before, less than the 7.8 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. This report spurred economists to cut forecasts for Japan’s second-quarter gross domestic product, initially reported at an annualised 1.4 percent gain. Officials may pare that calculation to 0.9 percent on September 10, according to the median of seven projections in a Bloomberg survey.

year before growing 0.7 percent in 2014. Still, the Washington- based fund’s managing director Christine Lagarde offered support for Rajoy’s calls for the EU to loosen demands for further deficit cuts. Spain “needs more time,” Lagarde said in Washington on April 18. “We do not see a need to do upfront, heavy-duty fiscal consolidation as was initially planned.” Funding conditions remain restrictive for households and companies, weighing on domestic demand, the Bank of Spain said. Households’ limited capacity to save in a context of declining disposable income as well as uncertainty on the labor market and a high level of debt leave little space for consumption to pick up in the short term, it said. Spain’s export growth was also held back by the euro-area recession during the first three months of the year, the Bank of Spain said. Spain’s National Statistics Institute will report first-quarter GDP data on April 30.

oland’s slowing economy is putting pressure on Prime Minister Donald Tusk to ease deficit cuts to avoid the fate of other European Union nations where austerity measures to tackle the debt crisis helped suffocate growth. Tusk’s Cabinet met in Warsaw to discuss a revised 2013 budget after the economy expanded at the slowest pace in 11 quarters in the three months through June. While Poland will stick to a plan to cut the 2012 budget gap within the EU’s limit of 3 percent of output, the slowdown means its “ambitious goal for a 2.2 percent deficit next year is out of the question,” Maja Goettig, a member of Tusk’s Council of Economic Advisers, said by phone on August 31. “Everyone, including markets, would understand and maybe even appreciate it, if the government avoided excessively harsh austerity for the sake of growth, which is now key to financial stability,” said Goettig, who’s also a Warsaw-based strategist at KBC Securities. Tusk, the first Polish premier to serve a second term since communism ended in 1989, must weigh EU deficit demands

against concerns that further spending cuts may damp growth in the nation of 38 million people, whose GDP-per-capita is 40 percent below the 27-nation bloc’s average. While his Cabinet still enjoys broad support in polls, governments across Europe have collapsed after protests against austerity policies that helped plunge economies from Romania to Spain into recession.

Donald Tusk

Manufacturing in U.S. probably stagnated amid global slowdown

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anufacturing probably teetered between growth and contraction in August, a sign the pillar of the recovery is now struggling, according economists surveyed before a report Monday. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index was little changed at 50 compared with 49.8 in July, according to the median estimate of 70 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between shrinking and expanding. Spending on construction projects probably rose in July, other figures may show. The possibility that taxes will rise and government outlays will fall if U.S. lawmakers don’t act by January may shake confi-

dence and cause consumers and businesses to curb spending. The European debt crisis represents another stumbling block that threatens to limit orders to American factories. “Domestic uncertainty and global weakness are both restraining growth in manufacturing,” said Yelena Shulyatyeva, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York. “It’s a weak sector of the economy right now. We don’t expect a lot of pickup in investment activity this year.” The Tempe, Arizona-based ISM released the report Estimates ranged from 48.7 to 51.5. The group has said that an index (S15MACH) reading above 42.5, while signaling contraction in manufacturing,

is generally consistent with an expanding overall economy. The gauge averaged 55.2 in 2011 and 57.3 in 2010. Other reports show manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy, weakened last month. Factory activity in the New York region contracted in August for the first time in 10 months, and production in the Philadelphia-area shrank for a fourth month, Federal Reserve reports showed. The Institute for Supply ManagementChicago Inc.’s business barometer also fell in August, indicating manufacturer’s pace of expansion was slowing and that companies may hold the line on production until sales pick up.


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Executive Discourse

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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Ongoing surveys on economy‘ll cover over Dr Yemi Kale assumed the position of Statistician General of the Federation barely two years ago armed with sound academic and over 10 years of cognate experience in planning and development garnered locally and internationally. In this interview with TOLA AKINMUTIMI, the statistics expert speaks on some of the initiatives of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to transform Nigeria’s statistical system and use it as bedrock of developmental drives at national and sub-national levels in the country. Excerpts: The national GDP re-basing project the NBS is embarking upon obviously is intended to get a true picture of the overall performance of the economy in real growth terms. What are the medium and long term objectives of the exercise for Nigeria’s rating and implications for the country’s competitiveness in the global economic order? As you stated yourself, the objective of rebasing is to get a proper, accurate picture of the structure of the economy. Normally we are supposed to have been doing this every five years and the truth is that if we had done it every five years as required all the noise that it has created would not have been generated because the changes would have been very small. Nobody would have noticed and all you will just hear is that we have adjusted and there is a slight change. But because we have waited for over 20 years to do it, it is now going to be such a huge change up or down and that is what is creating all this attention. So, you are right the exercise will give us a better structure of the economy after about two decades. It is very important and it will enable our governments to understand why certain policies are not working and which policies can work. If you target a particular sector and it is not working it is probably because your target was based on the wrong assumption in the first place. So, after we do this we will get a better picture of what is actually happening. We know Nigeria’s economy is not in the same place it was 20 years ago in virtually almost every sector. On the negative side, some manufacturing sectors no longer exist while on the positive side, some wholesale, retail businesses that were not there now exist. So, in almost all the sectors there have been some positives and negatives and we need to get a proper, accurate counting of all of what is happening and that is what the re-basing is going to do for us. In terms of the short, medium and longer term plans, you have to understand that this is an extremely big project because of the divisions in which we are trying to get a proper account of what is happening. Unfortunately in Nigeria, our work is largely labour intensive, we are not in the level of some developed countries where you just sit down in say, Washington or wherever, push a button and all the data are coming in automatically. Even with them, their budget is almost 1,000 times bigger than our own despite all the fact they have bigger capacities in terms of technical, ICT advantage and other resource tools. So, you can imagine here that we need to do a little more work. Could you give an insight of the scope of the project? There are two key parts of the work that will depend on some things that are not within our control. There is the funding aspect and I will explain that and the second part which, is to some extent within our control, the processing, analysis and collation of data. From our initial assessment, we have to do two censuses which will involve counting everybody, it is not a sample. One is agriculture. We have not done a census on agriculture for over 18 years. We have just been doing surveys and surveys are just a small part and we have been using that one to go forward but after a while the efficiency of the surveys and samples become less useful because the survey is a sample of

IF YOU TARGET A PARTICULAR

SECTOR AND IT IS NOT WORKING, IT IS PROBABLY BECAUSE YOUR TARGET WAS BASED ON THE WRONG ASSUMPTION IN THE FIRST PLACE what we had about 18 years ago. If it has doubled and you still continue to use that sample for planning it would have become less efficient. Assuming you had 100 farms 18 years ago and you picked 50 as your sample and use that to represent that sector and 10 years after you now have 1000 farms but in your survey, you are still using 100 farms out of which you take 50 but now you have 1000 farms, the survey is now becoming less and less representative of the whole. So, if we keep doing that it becomes less reliable. So, we have to do a census of virtually every agricultural land in the country, measure their sizes, check where they are, what they generally produce even up to may be the or quality of the soil in order to know what is happening agriculture-wise and then you compare it to what a cultured land that is left available, that will help the Ministry of Agriculture to sensitise on what they are doing and how to move things around. Then we have to do a census, the one I think is equally more important, of businesses and industries which will make us to count every business that opened up in the country. We have not done that for 17, 18 years as well. You can imagine the number of businesses that have come into Nigeria in the last five years; a lot of them have not been captured. We are going to ensure that we go to every street in every local government, our staff are going to stand there, record the names of every business name we can find and get their details and so on as long as they have physical location up till the Mama Put as long as you have a kiosk where you are doing your business, you will be captured. Going to that level will help us to attract a lot more of the informal sector that is missing from our numbers. All this will take a lot of time and cost a lot of money as you have to deploy thousands of people to the field. We have nine additional surveys and currently we have 33 activities we cover but we are moving to a higher classification. Currently, we are using three but the international one now is called 4.1 and we are moving to that and that has a lot more disaggregation. So, we go from having data for just 33 activities to over a hundred. How soon do you think the project will be completed? We have nine other sectors that we have to get additional data from which currently, we have admitted, we don’t have enough information. Things like mining we don’t have enough information of what it is going on in that sector and we hear a lot of export of mining is going on out there but where are these companies? May be they are doing it in an informal sector but a lot of mining companies come and leave this country but nobody report them accurately. Are we losing revenue as a government from taxes or from exports?

Kale

So, we have to capture these things properly. Another one out there which is a major one is the NGOs. NGOs are in almost every street as everybody is establishing NGOs. What is their contribution to the GDP and where are they? What are they doing? They have a lot of activities but nobody ask them the full picture of what they doing. What we have is estimates for the few we know but there are many of them doing something nobody knows. We are trying to get where the NGOs get their funding from, who they are and what they are involved in? We are trying to capture more of that. It is the same thing with the Real Estates business. All these Estate Agents are informal players that run around to do business but they are not captured. Most of them are informal. But then you have the bigger ones, but you have these smaller ones all over the place that we are not capturing properly we want to do that. So, capturing these uncovered sectors is going to take time. We are targeting next year. I am not going to give you any


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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Executive Discourse

39

100 activities – Statistician-General so much on data, was not appreciated during the military regime. If you are not planning but you just take decisions without plans, you don’t need data. And for many years we have been doing a lot of that, by just taking decisions with guesswork. That was what we were doing for many years but that is fast changing now. Now the National Assembly’s job is, as far as statistics is concerned, the oversight. But how do you do oversight without data? It is the data that we produce that would help the Legislature to call, for instance, Minister of XYZ and to ask, why is this thing not working properly? Is this not NBS data that indicates this sector is not performing? That is how they can conduct effective or evidence-based oversight. It is not oversight just of the funds; it is not just checking how the money is spent, it is also about the impact of those funds on the objectives of what you are spending all the money for. Now, coming to the issue of support from the National Assembly for NBS, I think both the Executive and Legislature are doing their best to support us in terms of funding and other areas. This is because there is a growing awareness about the crucial roles of statistics in planning and development. Don’t get me wrong. There are still some challenges in NBS that require that we get more funds but we are working on them. But because they are seeing the progress we are making with funds allocated to us, it is encouraging them to say come, let us give you more money and that is what they have been doing in the past two years.

NIGERIA PRODUCE THE RICHEST AFRICANS, MALE AND FEMALE, IF ALL

HOW DID

OF US ARE SUFFERING IN

NIGERIA? THAT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE. specific date but I can assure you it is going to be 2014. Given the picture you have painted that really means you need a lot of funds and naturally this might not come from public sector. We understand that donor partners have been supportive of your initiatives. How would you see the National Assembly intervening in terms of improved budget for NBS?

I will say many years ago statistics was well funded and unfortunately it was a period of military rule during which the military governments used some kind of Decrees that did not focus on data, planning and they don’t use data. And we have the decay in which the infrastructure is eroded. Planning, which depends

Recent reports by the NBS, IMF, World Bank and international rating agencies show that the Nigerian economy is one of the fastest growing economies globally, yet, ordinary Nigerians are still caught in the poverty web, with the gap between the rich and poor widening by the day. How do you think we can bridge the gap and make the growth inclusive? Thank you for that question. I agree with you, I reiterate because we get the numbers Nigeria is growing as a nation, as a group. Is the growth being felt by everybody? No. Is the growth being felt by some people, absolutely and that is why it is growing. I always make this comparison that we have the richest male and female in Africa. So, when you compare us to other countries like South Africa, how did Nigeria produce the richest Africans, male and female, if all of us are suffering in Nigeria that doesn’t make any sense. Yes, there is real growth in the country. When you hear all these South Africa companies, Shoprite, Spar, and so on, coming in to Nigeria expanding their branches it is because they are making money. It means somebody is buying their product and if they were not making money, which is growth, they would have pulled out by now. When you hear that WAPCO, Dangote Cement, and other big companies are expanding their plants, it is because they have people to buy their products, otherwise they won’t. So, it means there is enough money, the problem is to make it more inclusive like you said which is inequality. In several countries, may be once again, we should be looking at coming up with rules and laws that make this growth more widespread. In a country like UK, for example, their tax system is so tough that the richer you get the harder it is for you. By the time you get to a particular amount, you are paying almost 50 percent taxes. So, the richer are taxed properly compares to someone that is earning low income. In the past in Nigeria, everybody was almost getting the same tax whether you were earning one billion or one million, we were all getting the same tax. I think that has changed now with the new rules and policy. So that is one way of re-distributing income which means you take a lot more from those making more money and then try to move these extra money to social services that poorer people can benefit in and you move it to schemes that grant credit, for example, to smaller businesses.


40

Energy Week

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

AMCON bonds’ refinancing plan positive, Moody’s says JOHNSON OKANLAWON LONDON

P

lans by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria to retire about a third of its $35bn of bonds and refinance the rest by 2014 will boost the country’s creditworthiness, Moody’s Investors Service said yesterday. Under the arrangement, the Central Bank of Nigeria will invest in a N3.6trn ($22bn) bond that AMCON will issue in December to refinance the bank’s entire exposure at an interest rate of about six per cent over a 10-year period, Governor Lamido Sanusi said on May 21. The arrangement will make the central bank the sole creditor to AMCON

by October 2014. According to Moody’s, “The move eliminates the government’s indirect exposure to private creditors. We view this as a credit-positive development for the government of Nigeria.” Moody’s rating for Nigeria is Ba3, three levels below investment grade. Credit analysts at Moody’s, Edward Al-Hussainy and Dietmar Hornung, said on May 14 that an upgrade of the country’s rating is hindered by corruption, weak institutions and its vulnerability to oil price drops. AMCON had recently announced its intention through a circular of a comprehensive plan to redeem and refinance its maturing obligations at

the end of 2013 through 2014. The aggregate amount of the debt instruments with a principal amount/ face value of N5.7trn is to be affected. The principal amount issued as zero coupon bonds (where payment is retired in a final bullet payment) was N3.9trn, with three years tenure. This indebtedness was incurred on behalf of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in its surgical intervention to stave off a looming systemic crisis in 2009. The bonds were issued in exchange of eligible bank assets (toxic) as well as recapitalization of the banks that failed to be acquired after the CBN intervention. The banks that re-

ceived these bonds either sold portions to CBN to raise funds to settle their interbank liabilities and/ or kept them on their balance sheets as Held-to-Maturity (HTM) assets. As of today, most of the N2trn sits on banks’ balance sheets and the balance, N3.6trn, sits with the Central Bank, according to Renaissance Capital, an investment bank. “The repayments will be done via cash and ‘liquidity status qualifying instruments’ that is, Treasury bills. Both AMCON and Central Bank of Nigeria have stressed that the refinancing will be in a manner consistent with efficient macroeconomic stability, ensuring no monetary policy dislocation.

Source: NSE

Source: Afrinvest

Market indicators All-Share Index 38,486.08 points Market capitalisation 12.29 trillion

Aig-Imoukhuede, Ogunbanjo named NSE vice-presidents DAMILOLA AJAYI

T

he Nigerian Stock Exchange has announced the appointment of Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo as first and second Vice Presidents of the Council respectively. The appointments were made after the 52nd Annual General Meeting of the NSE that took place in May 2013. The Council of the Nigerian bourse is made up of 14 members, consisting of the President, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Oscar Onyema and other members including representatives of dealing member firms, who

are highly qualified in their respective professions with a wealth of diverse experience. Speaking on this appointment, the CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Mr. Oscar Onyema said: “The Council recognises their sterling qualities and wealth of experience, and is delighted with the appointment. We believe that they will not relent in their efforts as ambassadors to move The Exchange forward”. Mr. Aigboje AigImoukhuede, the first Vice President is the current Group Managing Director/ CEO of Access Bank Plc. Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the second Vice President is the Managing Part-

ner of Chris Ogunbanjo & Co (Solicitors), the pioneer corporate law firm in Nigeria. Meanwhile,trading in equities continued on bullish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as investors’ appetite on stocks rose further. The All Share Index appreciated by 1.75 per cent to close at 38,486.08 points, higher than the increase of 0.07 per cent recorded on the preceding day to close at 37,822.99 points. Market capitalisation gained N21bn to close at N12.09trn, higher than the rise of N1bn recorded on the previous day to close at N12.08trn. All the sectorial indices closed on a positive note ex-

cept the Alternative Securities Market, which shed 0.97 per cent to close at 991.04 points. The Lotus Islamic Index led the sectorial indices with 2.59 per cent to close at 2,768.00 points, followed by the Consumer Goods index with 2.38 per cent to close at 1,124.10 points. NSE 30- index rose by 1.84 per cent to close at 1,843.30 points, while the Industry index appreciated by 1.23 per cent to close at 2,295.41 points. The Banking index and the Oil and Gas index gained 0.87 per cent and 0.65 per cent to close at 442.85 points and 188.17 points respectively while the Insurance index appreciated by 0.42 per cent to close at 146.91 points.

European shares bounce back as chip makers rally

E

uropean shares staged a modest rebound yesterday, led by chip-makers after confident outlook comments from STMicroelectronics raised optimism on the industry. S T M i c ro e l e c t ro n i c s rose 5.2 per cent and peer Infineon rose 2.6 per cent after STM’s chief executive, Carlo Bozotti, told the newspaper Le Figaro it expected growth of 5 to 10 per cent this year. “This guidance confirms the company’s positive momentum and signals a recovery in the sector, which brings more

visibility,” a Paris trader said. STM led the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which was up 0.5 per cent at 1,213.62 points, while the euro zone Euro STOXX 50 index was up 0.7 per cent at 2,766.83 points after closing at a three-week low on Monday. The Euro STOXX 50 has fallen roughly 2.7 per cent from a nearly two-year high hit in late May as investors fretted that the United States Federal Reserve may taper off its monetary stimulus programme, which has helped drive a 35 per cent rally in the past year.

Trading has become more volatile in the last couple of weeks, with key indices recording daily moves of more than one per cent, and the VSTOXX index of implied volatility, regarded as a gauge of investor fears of future swings, hitting a 6-week high on Monday. “The markets are very extended and very nervous,” said Lee Robinson, founder of the hedge fund Altana Wealth. “The price action on a lot of assets has been violent. Could you see a 5-per cent-down day on the FTSE or the Euro STOXX in the next four weeks? It’s

not inconceivable.” In this context, Ronnie Chopra, a strategist at TradeNext, recommended hedging long positions in single European stocks with shorts on indices such as France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s Dax. Short sellers borrow a security and sell it, betting they will be able to buy it back at a lower price before returning it to the lender, pocketing the difference. Respectively 63 per cent and 58 per cent of IG’s clients with positions on the Dax or the CAC were short the indices, data from the spread betting firm showed.

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

MULTITREX

0.50

0.55

0.05

LIVESTOCK

4.25

4.67

0.42

MAYBAKER

2.43

2.67

0.24

JAPAULOIL

0.52

0.57

0.05

IKEJAHOTEL

0.94

1.03

0.09

NPFMCRFBK

1.12

1.22

0.10

UBN

12.46

13.50

1.04

COSTAIN

1.44

1.56

0.12

RTBRISCOE

1.58

1.70

0.12

HONYFLOUR

3.23

3.44

0.21

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

PORTPAINT

5.90

5.31

0.59

JOHNHOLT

1.60

1.44

0.16

MCNICHOLS

2.04

1.84

0.20

PRESTIGE

0.62

0.57

0.05

NEIMETH

1.00

0.95

0.05

ETERNA

3.11

3.01

0.10

REDSTAREX

4.95

4.80

0.15

OKOMUOIL

43.10

41.99

1.11

CONTINSURE

1.28

1.25

0.03

CILEASING

0.51

0.50

0.01

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Days

25,647.81

9.20

23-May-13

182-Days

31,246.03

12.45

23-May-13

364 -Days

50,683.60

14.30

23-May-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

139-Days

56,530.03

13.32

23-May-13

128-Days

110,802.31

13.03

23-May-13

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$245m

20-May-13

$300m

N/A

$207m

15-May-13


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at June 4, 2013 1st Tier Securities

Sector

Company name

1st Tier Securities No Of Deals Quotation(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

41


42

x

Cocktail

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (151) “Work is a constant professional psychiatric reassurance.” –Rabbi Daniel Lapin *** Work Is Part Of Our Happiness In Life Many of us don’t realise again what it means to leave home daily for our places of work. Ask the jobless! Ask a typical prisoner! Ask a sick person who cannot work! It’s a privilege to have something to do! Work is part of the therapies of life. Work is a channel for the release of the creative energies in us. It’s a great privilege to have something to do! Work is a way to contribute to the progress of humanity. Work is the way to be a blessing to our loved ones. Without something to do, our self esteem will be severely affected. It’s really a great privilege to have something to do! May I ask you to do something right now? Here it is: drop whatever you are doing right now and lift up your hands to thank God for giving you something to do. Remember to pray for the jobless and the sick too! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

Oddities

Man arrested 77th time for stealing candy

A

Chicago parolee arrested more than 70 times found out stealing candy isn’t always as easy as stealing candy from a baby, officials said. Police said Amarri C. Bowens, 22, was arrested for the 77th time Saturday morning when he allegedly stole a box of Starburst candy from a convenience store at the Addison Red Line station in Wrigleyville. The candy, which

police recovered, is worth $29.89. For its alleged theft, Bowens was jailed in lieu of $30,000 bail. The candy theft charge is a felony because it violates Bowens’

Man gets 11 pounds of marijuana in mail by mistake

I

t sounds like a stoner’s dream, but it’s been a bit of a nightmare for a California man who recently got an unexpected FedEx delivery: 11 pounds of marijuana. George Burton, from Sacramento, Calif., said the FedEx Kinkos box— with his name and return address handwritten on it—was left on his porch Thursday. Burton and his dog

sitter cut it open to find a layer of spray Styrofoam. “We break into it, I look and say, ‘This isn’t what I think it is,’” Burton told Sacramento’s KXTV. Burton tur ned the pot over to police, who believe his address was picked at random. But Burton and his fiancee decided to temporarily leave their home out of fear

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

the intended recipient may resort to violence after discovering the pot—worth about $24,000—is gone. A sign posted on his front door reads: “Kinkos/FedEx Box Given to Sac Police.” “I’m really concerned someone is going to come looking for this,” Burton said. “People have gotten hurt for a lot less than $24,000 worth of marijuana.”

Bowens

parole, the Chicago Tribune said. The Cook County Sheriff ’s Office said Bowens was sentenced to three years in prison but was

let out on parole in December 2012 after serving about 18 months. Bowens is due in court Friday following his latest arrest.


Wednesday June 5, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

43

World News

2,000 guests mark Queen Elizabeth’s 60th coronation anniversary

44

“The tests carried out by a French laboratory prove the presence of sarin (chemical weapon Syria used) in the samples in our possession” –FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER, LAURENT FABIUS

Mali: Suicide bomber dies in failed attack PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

A

suspected Islamist suicide bomber blew himself up but caused no other casualties in an attack in the northern Malian city of Kidal, the bastion of Tuareg separatist MNLA rebels, witnesses said yesterday. A French-led military offensive launched in January succeeded in ending a year-long occupation of the desert north by al Qaeda-linked armed Islamist groups, ousting them from urban areas. But Islamist attacks, usually targeting Malian soldiers and African forces deployed to the north, persist. Seven people were killed in a suicide bombing in Kidal in February, and three soldiers from Chad died in another attack there in April. “It was exactly 10.20 a.m. (1020 GMT) when we heard the explosion,” Moussa Ag Ibidas, a local aid worker, told Reuters. “When we arrived, there was just human debris left. We couldn’t even identify the body.

The scene of a suicide attack.

His bomb must have been poorly programmed, or he made a false move,” he said. Witnesses said the explosion occurred near the Kidal home of an MNLA officer and not far from the former residence of Iyad Ag Ghaly, the leader of Islamist group Ansar Dine. But it was unclear what the bomber had intended to target.

The MNLA rose up last year, calling for the creation of a Tuareg homeland. The group later joined forces with al Qaeda-associated fighters as they rapidly overran the north, but was eventually sidelined by the better armed Islamists. The MNLA was not targeted by the French offensive and has since been able to retake some

Ghana installs tracking device to detect piracy

A

vessel tracking device has been installed within the territorial waters of Ghana to provide surveillance on the movement of vessels and to detect hijacking or piracy, The Ghanaian Times has reported yesterday. The monitoring facility, which is in the form of a satellite system has been installed at Keta and Saltpond and is monitored in a control room of the headquarters of the Ghana Maritime Authority in Accra. The Minister of Transport, Mrs Dzifa Aku Ativor who disclosed this to The Ghanaian Times yesterday on the sidelines of the 12th Board of Governors

Ghana’s President John Mahama

meeting of the Regional Maritime University in Accra said the move formed part of efforts to stamp out piracy, especially in the wake of the discovery of oil in Ghana. “The facility is meant to monitor every activity within the maritime domain of the country”, she said. Mrs Ativor said “similar facilities have been installed at, the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority and within the Ghana Armed Forces to respond swiftly to any eventuality. Addressing the opening session of the meeting, the Minister described the activities of pirates as a serious threat which required a holistic approach by member countries to deal with. She said the global maritime industry is confronted with challenges, particularly the activities of pirates in the Gulf of Aden which had caused considerable damage to International shipping, adding that it is important for countries in the sub-region to adopt strategies to combat it. “The maritime areas of West and Central Africa have in recent times witnessed a steady in-

crease in piracy, armed robbery and other illicit maritime activity”, she said. Mrs. Ativor said while piracy activities in the Gulf of Aden had declined, the number of attacks reported in the Gulf of Guinea rose from30 in2011, to 34 in 2012. Mrs. Ativor said the United Nations Security Council expressed deep concern about the threat that piracy and armed robbery posed in the Gulf of Guinea to the safety of seafarers, international navigation, security and the economic development of states in the region. The escalation of the maritime activity in recent times, she said, had generated a number of initiatives aimed at suppressing such activities “but unfortunately, most of the initiatives have proved unsuccessful because they failed to include the broad spectrum of stakeholders needed to effectively address the issue.” “It is against this background that I welcome the roadmap developed by the West and Central Africa Economic Communities to address the maritime security concern of the sub region,” she added.

areas, including Kidal, lost to the Islamists. But this has strained relations between France and the transitional government in the southern capital, Bamako. The Malian government accused the MNLA on Monday of violence against non-Tuaregs in Kidal and said the army would retake the city before a presidential election in July.

Judge postpones Pistorius trial, criticises mediaSouth coverage African judge

A

postponed the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius yesterday and criticized the media for sensationalist reporting of the Olympic and Paralympic athletics star’s shooting of his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. Pistorius, 26, remained composed throughout the 10-minute hearing at the Pretoria Magistrates Court when he made his first formal public appearance since his release on bail in February. He was driven away afterwards in a sports utility vehicle with tinted windows. The double amputee, nicknamed “Blade Runner” for his prosthetic racing legs, has admitted killing Reeva Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, by firing four shots through a locked toilet door on February 14 at his plush Pretoria home. Dressed in a dark suit, shirt and tie, his only words in court were “Yes, Your Honour” when asked if he understood the bail conditions. Judge Daniel Thulare postponed the case until August 19, which would have been Steenkamp’s 30th birthday, after prosecutors asked for more time to prepare their case.

WORLD BULLETIN

$750 million missing in Angola-Russia deal –Report

Some $750 million is missing from Angola’s treasury from a deal with Russia facilitated by a Swiss bank and a shell company registered in Britain’s Isle of Man, a report by a corruption watchdog group said. Russian and French arms dealers got away with $263 million, Angola’s president reportedly stashed away more than $36 million, and three Angolan officials and a former Russian legislator got away with smaller amount. Another $400 million is unaccounted for, according to Corruption Watch UK and Angola’s Clean Hands, or Maos Livres association of human rights lawyers. The Angolan expose is the latest of a slew of reports on corruption, its cost to development, and how it is aided by bankers and shell companies that keep secret the identities of owners. Angola has long been accused of siphoning off payments from its massive oil production, worth some $40 billion in 2011 according to Revenue Watch. They enrich a small coterie surrounding President Eduardo dos Santos while nearly half the population lives below the poverty line. Dos Santos has ruled Angola for 33 years. The report on Angola comes as the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom are working on stricter legislation to try to halt the flow of dirty and tax-dodging dollars. “The thing that really shocked me is the complicity of the financial system, of what became Switzerland’s biggest bank,” said former South African legislator and whistleblower Andrew Feinstein, lead author of the Angolan report, “Deception in High Places.”

Burundi’s president criticised for approving new media law Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza has approved a new media law which critics have condemned as an attack on press freedom. The law forbids reporting on matters which could undermine national security, public order or the economy. It marked a “black day for freedom of information” in Burundi, campaign group Reporters Without Borders said. Nkurunziza is a former rebel leader who was elected president at the end of a brutal civil war in 2005. He was re-elected in 2010 in polls which were boycotted by the opposition. Nkurunziza’s spokesman Leonidas Hatungimana said the president had approved the law after it was passed by the House of Representatives and Senate.


44

World News

WORLD BULLETIN

No other suspects at scene of London murder –Police

There is no evidence that any other suspects were present at the killing of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, London a senior Scotland Yard officer has told MPs. Statements have been taken from 60 “significant” witnesses to the attack, Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick told the Home Affairs Select Committee. Twelve people have been arrested over the attack, she said. Two have been charged, eight bailed and two released. Father-of-one Drummer Rigby was killed near Woolwich Barracks on 22 May. Dick, who is head of counter-terrorism for the Met, said 600 police officers had been directly involved in investigating the killing. She said 17 addresses and six cars had been searched and police had so far seized 2,649 items of potential evidence, along with an “enormous” amount of digital data and forensic material. Dick told MPs that police had “no evidence there was anyone else present at the scene”. She said the inquiry was a “police-led investigation” with support from other agencies, such as MI5. In the days following the attack the Met faced criticism that police armed response teams were slow to reach the scene.

Iran’s leader tells candidates not to appease West

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged presidential candidates yesterday not to make concessions to appease the West, an implied rebuke to several of the candidates running in June 14 elections who said that they would focus on improving the Islamic Republic’s relations with other countries. The comments by Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, are a red line to candidates indicating how far they can go, and a reminder that the ruling clerics rather than the elected president determine all major policies. “Some, following this incorrect analysis — that that we should make concession to the enemies to reduce their anger — have put their interests before the interests of the Iranian nation.

Wednesday June 5, 2013

T

he United Kingdom Queen yesterday joined 2,000 guests for a service at Westminster Abbey to mark 60 years since her Coronation. Some of those who took part in the 1953 service were among the congregation. Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby said the event honoured “60 years of commitment”. The Queen was accompanied by more than 20 members of her family, including the Duke of Edinburgh, who pulled out of an engagement on Monday night because he was feeling unwell. Several key items from the Coronation were placed in Westminster Abbey for the service. They included the heavy, solid gold St Edward’s Crown, displayed on the High Altar - the first time it has left the Tower of London since 1953. Beside it was the Ampulla, the gold, eagle-shaped bottle from which the holy oil was poured for the Queen’s anointing. The Coronation Chair, one of the oldest pieces of English furniture still in use, was also on show. The Queen and Prince Philip entered Westminster Abbey to the same music that greeted her in 1953. The crowds were smaller, the weather better and there were no carriages, bands or processions. But there were plenty of reminders both of the Queen’s Coronation, described by one participant as a “medieval pageant”, and of what we may witness at the next one.

2,000 guests mark Queen Elizabeth’s 60th coronation anniversary

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip (left) arriving for the service to celebrate the Queen’s 60th anniversary of her coronation at Westminster Abbey, escorted by The Dean of the Abbey, Dr John Hall in London, yesterday. PHOTO: AP

She entered and left the abbey with Prince Philip, who has been ill but who was determined to be by his wife’s side, and with Prince Charles who has lived a life in waiting. For many - other than those who seek an elected head of state this was a moment of celebration. For the Queen, it will have been an opportunity to reflect on a service, 60 years ago, which she regards as an act of consecration. A moment when God set her apart for his service. On the evening of her Coronation she spoke to the crowds in

Bollywood actress commits suicide in Mumbai

Turkish deputy PM seeks to calm antigovernment protests

Turkey’s deputy prime minister sought to mollify tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators yesterday by apologizing for a police crackdown on a peaceful protest that triggered five days of rioting across the country. The comments by Bulent Arinc, who took charge of government after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan left on a visit to North Africa on Monday, contrasted with Erdogan’s defiant dismissal of the protesters as “looters”. “The excessive violence that was used in the first instance against those who were behaving with respect for the environment is wrong and unfair. I apologize to those citizens,” Arinc told a news conference in the capital Ankara. “But I don’t think we owe an apology to those who have caused damage in the streets and tried to prevent people’s freedom,” he said.

Khan

B

ollywood actress Jiah Khan, who was found dead at her home in the Indian city of Mumbai, killed herself, a police post-mortem has found. Her mother found Khan’s body hanging in her apartment, police told the BBC. Police say no suicide note has been found and they are seeking information from her neighbours. The actress, 25, made her debut in 2007 with Amitabh Bachchan in Nishabd, based on the novel Lolita. She also acted with Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

“Nafisa Khan, who is known as Jiah Khan, was found hanging by her mother at around 22:45 India time [17:15GMT] ) at her residence on the first floor of Sagar Sangeet [apartment],” deputy commissioner of police Chhering Dorje said. Born Nafisa Khan in New York, the actress grew up in London before moving to Mumbai for a career in Bollywood. She acted in Nishabd, starring Bachchan, and the psychological thriller, Ghajini, which had Aamir Khan in the lead role. Her last film role was in the 2010 comedy Housefull, in which

the Mall of striving all her life “to be worthy of your trust”. Back then, aged 27, she was the 38th sovereign to be crowned in an abbey that has been the scene of such ceremonies since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066. The Archbishop of Canterbury told those gathered in the abbey that the Coronation had been “an ordination, a setting aside of a person for service”. Dr Welby said that during the ceremony the Queen knelt at the abbey’s altar and prayed. “We do not know what was she played a supporting role. Her death caused shock within the film industry. “Never ever seen a debutant actress with more spunk and more spirit than Jiah when I was directing her in Nishabd,” filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma wrote on Twitter. But he added that Khan had not worked for the past three years and was “depressed for her career and scared for her future”. Bachchan also took to Twitter to react on his colleague’s death: “WHAT ...!!! Jiah Khan? What has happened? Is this correct? Unbelievable!!!” Fellow actress Dia Mirza rwrote : “RIP Nafisa (Jiah) Khan. You were too young and beautiful…” Filmmaker-choreographer Farah Khan tweeted: “Can’t register that Jiah is no more... Worked with her in Housefull and she was so beautiful and such a good soul. Too young to go Jiah.” Jiah Khan’s “official” website says she studied Shakespeare and method acting in New York from the age of 17 She later featured in an advert for the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).

prayed. Her Majesty knelt at the beginning of a path of demanding devotion and utter self-sacrifice, a path she did not choose, yet to which she was called by God. “Today we celebrate 60 years since that moment, 60 years of commitment.” At the time the Coronation was a major television spectacle, with an estimated 27 million Britons tuning in.

FBI missed Boston warning –Russian official senior Russian official

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said yesterday that the Boston Marathon bombings could have been prevented if American officials had followed through with Russian intelligence. Officials previously hewed to President Vladimir Putin’s statement that Russia had no information that could have prevented the attacks. “The Russian side warned the American side about the Tsarnaev brothers, but this information was not taken seriously by the American side, which is what led to that tragedy,” Valentina Matvienko, the speaker of Russia’s senate, said yesterday, referring to suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Interfax news agency reported. Matvienko made the remarks after a meeting with Britain’s ambassador to Russia. She is the long time governor of Putin’s hometown of St. Petersburg, is considered a close Kremlin confidante and was named Russia’s most powerful woman this year by Ekho Moskvy radio. “Today the world has to deal with common global challenges and international terrorism, as well as crime, and the cooperation of intelligence services becomes extremely significant for this issue,” she added.


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World News

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Germany sends rescue to flood inundated regions •Death toll hits 10 G ermany dispatched thousands of soldiers yesterday to help cities and towns cope with flooding from the rain-soaked Danube and other southern rivers — reinforcements that came a day after the Bavarian city of Passau saw its worst flooding since 1501. The death toll rose to at least 10, including seven in the neighbouring Czech Republic, where a man was found dead in the water in eastern Bohemia. Another nine people have been reported missing in the floods that have also swept through Austria and Switzerland. Chancellor Angela Merkel toured flooded German regions, pledging 100 million euros ($130 million) in immediate federal help and holding out the possibility for more. She told reporters in Passau, a city of 50,000 on the Austrian border, that the damage looked even worse than during the massive flooding that hit central Europe in 2002. Some 5,000 German soldiers were called in as well as more than 2,000 federal disaster workers and 700 federal police to sandbag areas in danger of flooding and provide other assistance. Water levels were still rising in

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after they spotted him acting suspiciously and gave chase. But DiVietro’s bizarre practice of dancing while he stole came back to haunt him. CCTV footage of him show-

ing off his moves while stuffing his waistband with products he hadn’t paid for back in 2011 became an internet hit and he was arrested after someone recognised him.

Volunteers wading through the flooded streets of the city of Pirna, Germany.

Overview over the flooded old centre of Passau, southern Germany, yesterday. PHOTO: AP

major rivers such as the Danube and Elbe as well as tributaries. In the Czech Republic, author-

ities evacuated animals from the Prague zoo and closed a major bridge in the capital on Tuesday.

Shopkeepers shave hair of Chinese shoplifter hen Chinese shopkeeper Lu Sun saw a shoplifter shoving clothes into her bag she decided she’d teach her a lesson. In an unusual example of vigilante justice, the retailer, whose store had been hit by a spate of thefts over the previous two weeks, pinned shoplifter Li Wu to the ground, took a pair of scissors and hacked off her long dark hair, Daily Mail has reported. Lu Sun, 32, had lost hundreds of pounds worth of goods from thefts at her store at a shopping centre in Wenzhou, China, so he decided to keep a close watch on Li Wu when she saw her acting suspiciously. She said: ‘I watch so many people everyday, so I can tell thieves from others easily. ‘When I noticed the woman sneaking around in the shopping mall, I knew she was up to no good. ‘So, when she came into my shop, I was alert and finally caught her in the act.’ Miss Sun was helped by a neighbouring shop owner who held Wi Lun down while she cut off chunks of her hair. The pair then called the police and had the shoplifter arrested. Miss Sun added: ‘I decided to do it to teach her a lesson and to send a message to other thieves in the

The rain in Prague has halted but the Vltava river that runs through the city and flows into the Elbe was still raging, with currents and water levels far exceeding the norm. The famous Charles Bridge was closed as a precaution. On the outskirts of Prague, a major Staropramen beer brewery on the river bank was closed as a protective measure — as were several major chemical factories. One of them — Spolana — released dangerous toxic chemicals into the Elbe during the devastating floods of 2002. Authorities said the level of

the Vltava in Prague has now begun to drop but excess water was expected to soon hit the Elba river, into which it flows downstream. This year’s spike in water levels has been far less than in 2002 so far, but still forced the Prague Zoo to evacuate animals after the lower side of the park was submerged and will once again need major reconstruction. Passau, a city built around the intersection of the Danube, the Inn and the Ilz rivers, has been one of the worst hit by the flooding in central Europe. After hitting the highest level in more than 500 years in Passau on Monday, the floodwaters there had dropped by an estimated 2.5 meters (nearly 8 feet) Tuesday but cities downstream like Regensburg were bracing for the water’s arrival. Peak floodwaters coursing out of the Czech Republic were expected to hit Dresden, capital of the German province of Saxony, along the Elbe in three to four days. Already, the German cities of Pirna and Meissen were reporting flooding in their historic centers. Cities and towns in the German states of Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia and Brandenburg were also hit with flooding.

area to stay away from my shop.’ Miss Sun is by no means the first shopkeeper to dish out a painful lesson to thieves. Last year Edinburgh retailer Arfan Hussain became an internet sensation when CCTV footage of him apprehending a thief went viral. The thief tried to steal £2.30 worth of milkshake - but didn’t bargain on shopkeeper Mr Hus-

sain being a former Tae Kwon Do champion. He was hailed the internet’s next ‘Big Man’ after he posted the CCTV footage on YouTube. Other shoplifter’s bizarre methods ensured that they were brought to justice. New Jersey thief Anthony DiVietro managed to escape the clutches of the security guards at the store he was trying to rob

Vigilante justice: Chinese shopkeeper Lu Sun was so fed up with losing stock from her store to thieves that she decided to teach Li Wu (pictured) a lesson by pinning her down and cutting her hair off.

A lesson learned: Lu Sun was helped by a fellow shopkeeper as she pinned the shoplifter down and hacked off her hair. PHOTOS: EURO PICS


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Community Mirror “It is only in Nigeria that every election would be contested from the tribunal to the Court of Appeal, then to the Supreme Court.”

IGP pledges personnel welfare

FORMER NBA RESIDENT, CHIEF WOLE OLANIPEKUN SAN

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Suspected ritualist remanded in prison WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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suspected ritualist, Jacob Olaniyan has been arraigned before an Ilorin Chief Magistrate’s Court for allegedly stabbing a teacher, one Mrs. Popoola Bola for ritual purposes. He was alleged to have stabbed the teacher working with Dolapo Group of Schools

all over her body with a knife on May 31, at Tanke Area, Ilorin. According to the Charge Sheet, the accused stabbed the victim when she was buying food during break period at the school but luck ran out of him, when the victim got rescued by some roadside mechanics who responded to her shouts for help. The prosecutor, Inspector

Baliqees Adu, told the court that investigations revealed that the accused was a habitual criminal and had earlier killed a mother and her daughter in the same area five years ago. According to her, “The accused was arraigned on a two-count charge of causing grievous hurt and attempt to commit culpable homicide, contrary to Sections 248 of the

Penal Code Law.” During the trial, the prosecutor objected to the bail request for the accused on the grounds that the alleged offences were not bail able. In his ruling, the presiding Magistrate, Mr. Moses Adeniyi ordered Olaniyan to be remanded at the Mondala Maximum Security Prison Yard, Ilorin and adjourned the case to June 18 for mention.

Trapped vehicles due to bad portion at Mile 2 along Lagos-Badagry expressway in Lagos, yesterday.

Residents cry out over erosion in Anambra CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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ndigenes and residents of Oko community in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State, have cried out over the menaces of erosion in the area. Hence, they have called on the Federal Government to come to their rescue. The residents also deplored the situation where they are made to live in perpetual fear of a landslide. Speaking on the menace of erosion in Oko,a community leader,Elder Caleb Ezeokeke, who said his house is currently being threatened by erosion,

stated that about 14 houses have already been destroyed. Shedding light on the extent erosion menace in the town, Ezeokeke said,“I have never seen a thing like this all my life. Daily, we live in fear of losing our residence, even though we have handed ourselves to God. We no longer sleep here. You are lucky to meet me because I came to pick up some items. We are calling on the government to come to our aid because this is beyond us.” Another resident, Mrs Adaeze Okeke, said her children now sleep in houses of friends and relatives because of fear their family house may cave in any day.

She also called on the Federal Government to come to their assistance by taking positive steps to check the erosion. In a related development, the residents of Nanka have commended the government on the successful completion of erosion control project in the area. A member of Nanka from Isiakpuenu, Ifite-Nanka, Mr Ejikeme Arinze, thanked the government, saying the construction of drainage has lessened the fear of a landslide. He pleaded to the Federal Government to come to the assistance of Oko by checking the menacing erosion and lanslide,just as it did in Nanka.

Rainstorm destroys homes, farm in Katsina JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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ainstorm has destroyed homes and farmlands worth millions of naira in Musawa Local Government Area of Katsina State. The incident is coming few days after flooding in Danja and rainstorm at Batagarawa council areas that destroyed government and private properties. Already, the state’s Emergency Response Committee has visited the area to make assessment of damage and initiate measured to provide relief items to affected victims. Speaking during the visit, the committee’s chairman, Danjuma Alti, who is also Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, assured the victims of prompt government assistance to alleviate their condition. Alti said, the Ministry of Environment, has toured the 34 council areas and enlightened them on ways to avert flooding. He called on the affected council areas to ensure all drainages and waterways were cleared to allow for free flow of water, as well as drain ponds that pose threat to people. He also called on the public to imbibe the culture of planting trees as way of checking desertification and erosion, and to desist from indiscriminate felling of trees. While he urged for special prayers for divine intervention, Alti called on people to always comply with reports of possible heavy downpour from the Nigerian Meteorological agency, NIMET.

Clan leaders seek police protection SEGUN ADIO

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wo community leaders at Ebute Metta in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area have cried out over what they alleged is threat to their lives by suspected hoodlums. The two, Odafe G. Ovuefor and Agbodemu Ishola Musbau, chairmen of Toluwani and Ifesowapo Otto-Ilogbo Extension communities, have been reportedly working hand in hand with the Lagos State Police Command to rid the areas of hoodlums. The two neighbouring communities are reportedly haven for criminals and hoodlums of different shades, and some weeks ago, a

detachment of the police task force reportedly stormed the area to arrest some hoodlums, while some escaped. Days after the raid, some of them reportedly returned to the community, chanting war songs and threatening the two leaders who they alleged were behind their plight. Speaking with Community Mirror, Ovuefor, lauded the efforts of the police task force for the cleanup of the communities, but lamented that some of the hoodlums have been threatening. He said, “We have been calling for a cleanup exercise in these areas. This is long expected. But it is sad that few days after the exercise, some of the hoodlums are threatening those of us they perceive are responsible their ordeal”.


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FRANCIS SUBERU

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he Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Abubakar has pledged the commitment of the force to the welfare and well-being of its personnel. Speaking while commissioning the ultra modern and renovated hospitals at Police College, Ikeja, Lagos Abubakar said the physical, mental

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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IGP pledges personnel welfare and sound fitness of the officers and men to discharge their duties efficiently and effectively are very paramount. According to him, on assumption of office in January 2012, he and his team pledged to improve all police medical facilities in the country and as a result, the dream had come true with the

commissioning of 26 hospitals, a development he said, is to ensure that the personnel were not left uncared for. However, Abubakar noted that motivation is a key factor and assured that he would look into the promotion of the personnel of the medical unit as well as the necessary co-operation and support

needed to encourage them. “We shall not fail this country and we shall continue to do our best to the well-being of all and sundry”, he said. Meanwhile, the IGP has pledged his commitment towards ensuring that protection of lives and property in the remaining part of the year is adequately taken care of.

Also, a former Inspector General of Police Mr. Musiliu Smith, admonished all the officers and men to use the available resources at their disposal of the force judiciously. “Let us improve police facilities because you will be helping a lot. Do not rest on your oars and improve all the facilities”, Smith said.

LG organises empowerment seminar for women

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n line with the vision of wife of Oyo State Governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi to empower women, the Oyo East Local Government through the office of the council boss, Dr. Aishat Abdul Kareem has orgnaised a seminar for women in the area. The seminar held at the Federal School of Surveying, sensitized women on recipes for nourishing food for the soul to keep their husbands. Participants at the seminar were also taught the benefits of ugu with the seedlings given to participants to plant.

L-R: Princess Ladigbolu, Deaconess/Matron Raji, an official of Durbar Police Station, Oyo and the wife of Oyo East Caretaker Chairman Dr. Aishat AbdulKarrem Adekunle at a seminar for women empowerment held in Oyo, Oyo State recently.

Amosun’s wife, youths to plant trees Philanthropist promises free legal service the poor

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ife of Governor of Ogun State, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun has embarked on ‘Green Educationfor the Youth, GEFTY, an initiative aimed at enabling them nurture the environment for their future benefits. She advised children and youths in the state to support and promote the initiative through tree planting to ensure a sustainable and healthy environment. Speaking d at the Moshood Abiola International Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta, Mrs. Amosun said all children and youths are GEFTY ambassadors and are expected to

flag off the Ogun State Youth 10,000 Tree Planting exercise. She noted that the initiative was geared towards promoting a clean and healthy environment devoid of environmental pollution as well as teaching them to protect their future and to contribute meaningfully to the progress of the state and Nigeria. According to her, “The world is going green and job creation is going green and we do not want our children to be left out in the green initiative. We shall be inaugurating 10,000 tree seedlings to be distributed for planting to ensure greener and better condition of the environment.”

DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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n an effort to promote good governance, a sociocultural organisation, ‘Neighbour to Neighbour’ has employed the services of lawyers for the less privilege in the society who cannot afford legal services. According to its Chairman, Alhaji Bala Tinka, the aim of the programme is to let the people know that democracy is working in the state and to also to bring succour to those suffering because of lack of a legal representation in the courts. The philanthropist and

Managing Director of Tinka Points Nigeria Limited, who presented 100 motorcycles and 50 bicycles to Nafada Local Government Area, said ‘Neighbour to Neighbour’ is intended to make people see and benefit from the dividends of democracy. He said the state administration has done a lot in the past two years and his organisation is implementing the good ideals by being a good neighbour. The Deputy Speaker of Gombe State House of Assembly, Hon. Abdul Biri expressed happiness that the organisation is being launched in his area,even

as he said that the local government has benefited immensely from the administration through provision of many projects. The Nafada Local Government Chairman, Alhaji Nafada while presenting the motorcycles and bicycles to the beneficiaries, explained that the only way to repay the administration for what has been achieved is to remain loyal and supportive. He said the local government has embraced the ideals and objectives of the organisation just as he called on the people to support the administration.

Mrs. Shema tasks stakeholders on water, hygiene JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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ife of Katsina State Governor, Mrs. Fatima Shema has called on stakeholders to ensure commitment at improving water supply and hygiene conditions in rural areas in the state. Mrs. Fatima, who stated this during the ‘2nd Wash Consultative Forum’ meeting, said there was need for stakeholders to compliment government’s efforts in this regard. She said the reintroduction of end of month sanitation exercise, appointment of women supervisory councillors. war against disposal of polythene bags, provision of water tankers and waste collection vans, were some of what state government was doing to tackle the issues. She said the meeting which was organised by her pet project the ‘Service to Humanity Foundation’ in collaboration with RUWASSA and UNICEF zone “C” office, Kaduna; would pave way for reviewing achievements of the programme. In his remark, the Speaker, Katsina State House of Assembly, Hon Ya’u Umar, represented by the Director Legislative Matters, Yusuf Abdullahi assured of readiness to formulate laws to sustain health and habitable environment.


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Legislator’s reinstatement: Bauchi Assembly spurns court order EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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L-R: District Head of Wamakko, Alhaji Salihu Barade; District Head of Dundaye, Alhaji Bello Yahaya; Acting Managing Director, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, Alhaji Yawale Ladan; Chairman, Wamakko Local Government Area of Sokoto State, Alhaji Ahmed Kalambaina, during the donation of 2,600 bags of cement to 62 communities in the area by the company in Sokoto, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Borno teachers begin indefinite strike over minimum wage

INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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eachers in Borno State have embarked on an indefinite strike to press for the payment of N18,000 minimum wage to those in primary school and those under the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, in the 27 local government areas of the state. The state Chairman of the National Union of Teachers, NUT, Comrade Bulama Abiso, said in an interview with journalists in Maiduguri that the strike was in compliance with the decision reached by the National Executive Council, NEC, of the

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unmen have shot and killed a member of the Sokoto State House of Assembly, Alhaji Murtala Wauru. The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Al-Mustapha Sani, said yesterday that the legislator was killed on Monday at 8.45p.m in Mabera area of Sokoto

union at a meeting in Asaba, Delta State on April 17 and 18. Abiso said the NEC in a communiqué issued after the meeting directed all state wings whose states had not implemented the N18,000 minimum wage to embark on an indefinite strike with effect from June 1. He said the state council had forwarded the directive of the national body of the union to the state Head of Service and the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs but had not received any response from them. The NUT chairman said the strike was for teachers at primary school and those in the junior second-

ary school under SUBEC. He said the strike was going on simultaneously Sokoto, Benue and other states. Abiso said it was unfortunate that teachers in the payroll of SUBEB were receiving only N4,000 compared to their counterparts on the payroll of the state government who were being paid N20,000 per month. He said there were 1,897 primary schools across the state with about 20,000 teachers. The NUT chairman also called on the teachers to observe the strike till further notice, saying that the union was ready to fight for the welfare of its members.

Gunmen kill Sokoto lawmaker

metropolis. According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, the late Wauru was on his way home after attending a meeting at Minanata area of the city. Sani said the assailants went away with the car of the deceased. The police spokesman

promised the lawmaker’s killers would be apprehended and prosecuted. Until his death, Wauru had represented Gada West constituency in the assembly since 1999 and was the chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Finance and Appropriation.

One of the pupils, Isa Adam, who spoke with our correspondent, said the strike caught them unawares. He said the pupils got to school only to discover that the teachers were on strike, adding that they had to return home. Adam called on the teachers and the government to resolve their differences, because the strike would affect their education. A parent, Mallam Bukar Fantami, said the strike would not only affect the education of their children but would impact on the education sector. He called on the government to dialogue with the striking teachers.

His funeral, at Wauru village yesterday, was attended by the Deputy Speaker, Alhaji Abubakar Tureta, the Commissioner for Local Government, Alhaji Faruk Malami, and the Chairman of the local government, Alhaji Altine Kyadawa.

Transparency International commends Nasarawa’s fiscal discipline –Al-Makura IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

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overnor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura has said that the Transparency International had ranked Nasarawa State among the first three states in the country with high fiscal discipline. Al-Makura said this in

Lafia, the state capital, when officials of the Code of Conduct Bureau led by its Chairman, Sam Saba, paid him a visit at Government House. The governor said the scorecard was very encouraging because when his administration was implementing the government policies, nobody knew some people were

watching what it was doing. He told the bureau that the kind of accolade the state received from the Transparency International about three months ago would further spur the state to execute programmes and projects inline not only with the Transparency International’s tenets but all

other mechanisms put in place to ensure accountability and transparency. Earlier, Saba had told Al-Makura that the bureau was in the state to formally condole the people and government of the state over certain misfortunes that had befallen them in recent times culminating in the killings of security operatives.

auchi State House of Assembly yesterday cut short its sitting in order not to reinstate the member representing Bogoro constituency, Hon. Rifkatu Samson Dannah, one year after she was suspended. The state High Court presided over by the Chief Judge of the state, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Zango, last week ordered the Assembly to Dannah. The court had described her suspension as not only illegal, unconstitutional but an affront to the rule of law. But attempt by the lawmaker to resume yesterday was frustrated by her colleagues, who abruptly ended their sitting. Speaking with journalists on the floor of the House, Dannah said she decided to resume since the court had served the Assembly with the ruling, which was in her favour. She wondered why the

speaker, the clerk and other members disappeared. The lawmaker noted that although she contacted the clerk of the house on phone before arriving, yet the clerk went into hiding, alleging that the members had relocated the sitting to the personal residence of the speaker. Dannah said the disappearance of the lawmakers was a slap on the judiciary. She noted that justice could only be delayed, but not denied. Dannah, journalists and hundreds of people from her constituency were also prevented from entering the speaker’s residence by stern looking policemen. The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Bogoro Local Government Area, Mr. Andarawus Adamu, berated the Assembly for disobeying court ruling. He said the lawmakers’ action was a demonstration of weak leadership style in the Assembly and the party.

Ahmed promises mega projects in Kwara WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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overnor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has said that his administration would embark on mega projects in the next two years. Ahmed made the disclosure while speaking on his mid-term report on a media programme, “The Governor Explains.” The governor said his administration had substantially completed projects inherited from his predecessor and godfather, Senator Bukola Saraki. Ahmed said though he devoted much attention to uncompleted projects of the previous administration, he had also initiated others which were of pressing needs to the people. Some of the projects, according to him, were inaugurated to mark his second anniversary. The governor said the mega projects would include raising the capacity of Ilorin Water Works from 25 million gallons per day to 40 million gallons in the next two years through a reticulation exercise. He also disclosed that five general hospitals would be upgraded to meet inter-

national standard, while a number of secondary schools across the 16 councils would become mega schools and would share their facilities with all cluster schools in their areas. Ahmed said his administration would pursue an aggressive transformation of the agriculture sector by setting up agricultural laboratories to do soil tests to boost commercial farming while the government would introduce Information Technology, IT, services in agriculture. He also disclosed plans for the construction of a computer village that would be known as Kwara ICT Village to fill the gap existing in the sector and service the states in the North-Central. Some of the projects initiated by the Saraki administration which the governor said he had completed were the township roads in the state capital, rural roads at the council level, Ilorin Aviation College, Ilorin International Airport Cargo Terminal, the Shonga commercial framing and the Kwara State University where the government is currently constructing N800 million Faculty of Engineering building and laboratories.


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Certificate forgery: Again, court refuses to compel IG to probe Tinubu WALE IGBINTADE

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ustice Saliu Seidu of a Federal High Court in Lagos, yesterday rejected an application filed by one Dr. Adegbola Dominic, asking the court to compel the InspectorGeneral of Police (IG) and the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State to re-open the case of false statement on oath and false declarations initially lodged by

the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, against former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The applicant, (Dominic) had in a motion ex-parte brought pursuant to Sections, 6, 214, 215 of the Constitution as well as Order 34 Rule 3 of Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009 and Section 4 of Police Act, sought leave of the court to serve the Motion of Notice and other court processes on the Inspector-General of Police through the Lagos an-

Oil subsidy scam: Court orders EFCC to release Tukur’s passport KENNY ODUNUKAN

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ustice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of Ikeja High Court yesterday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to release the international passports of Mahmud Tukur and Alex Ochonogor, to enable them travel abroad for business. Tukur, son of the Chairman of the People Democratic Party, PDP, Alex Ochonngor and Abdullahi Alao, the son of a prominent Ibadan-based businessman, Alhaji Abdullazeez Arisekola-Alao, with their company, Eternal Oil Plc are facing a N1.8 billion fuel subsidy fraud charge preferred against them by the EFCC . In his ruling, Justice Onigbanjo ordered the EFCC to release both Tukur and Ochonogor’s international passport to enable them travel abroad for business transaction. According to the judge;

“Their passports should be released to them to enable them attend scheduled business transactions outside the country.” Justice Onigbanjo also ordered them to return the passports to the commission’s custody not later than June 27, 2013. Counsel to Tukur and Ochonogor, Olaniran Obele, had earlier moved an application urging the court to order EFCC to release his clients’ international passports in order for them to travel abroad on a short business. While Tukur intends to attend a board meeting as well as perform Hajj, Ochonogor wishes to attend a board meeting - that had been rescheduled for August 27, in Paris, their counsel said. EFCC counsel, Mr. Tayo Olukotun, informed the court that the commission would not opposed the application. The court while granting the application, urged the defendants to avail themselves in court at the next adjourned date.

nex office. But, Justice Seidu in his ruling that lasted less than 30 minutes held that the applicant was out of time in filing the application. The court held that Section 34 Rule 4 of Federal High Court stipulates that such application must be brought within six months after Tinubu vacated office as governor of Lagos State. Justice Seidu held that; “The applicant did not do anything since 2007 till now. There is need to comply with stipulated rules of court. This matter is grossly out of time and the prayer sought cannot be granted, it is hereby refused.” The applicant had in his motion ex-parte dated December 27, 2012, filed by his lawyer, R. Gilbert, sought for an order of mandamus compelling the IG and the Commissioner of Po-

lice Lagos State to investigate forthwith his application and the application filed by late Gani Fawehinmi over complaint of crime allegedly committed by Tinubu. The applicant wants the court to declare that the police have statutory power to investigate crime and bring suspects before a court of competent jurisdiction. In a 15-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by the applicant, he averred that sometimes and prior to 1999 governorship elections of Lagos State conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Tinubu, then a candidate, filed together with INEC Form (F001), an affidavit on oath in respect of lost certificates before the Commissioner for Oaths at the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja on December

29, 1998. The deponent further stated that the affidavit on oath allegedly sworn to by Tinubu contained the following; “That he (Tinubu) attended St. Paul School Aroloya, Lagos Island which school never existed. “That the deponent attended Government College, Ibadan between 1965 and 1968, a claim which the authorities and Old Boys’ Association of Government College, Ibadan debunked. “That the deponent attended Richard Dale College, Chicago between 1968 and 1971 which he did not. “That the deponent attended the University of Chicago in the United States between 1972 and 1976 and obtained a B.Sc. degree in economics which claim was allegedly false. The applicant added that when the late Fawehinmi initi-

ated a suit in court in 1999 for an order of mandamus to compel the police to investigate the criminal allegations, the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court held that Bola Tinubu, then governor of Lagos State by virtue of Section 308 (1) (a) (b) (c) of the 1999 Constitution enjoyed immunity from civil and criminal investigations and proceedings. The applicant averred that Tinubu had left office as governor since 2007 and no longer enjoys immunity hence the police ought to have commenced investigation on the alleged crime. He added that he wrote a letter to the Inspector-General of Police (1st respondent) on November 1, 2012 asking him to reopen the case, but he bluntly refused hence he filed the suit to compel the respondents perform their statutory duties.

Rescue workers evacuating a flood victim at Passau in Germany, yesterday.

Polytechnic workers protest as strike continues Minister, WAEC commiserate with families of slain officials MOJEED ALABI

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s the nationwide strike embarked upon by workers in polytechnics enters its 36th day, members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, SSANIP, have described the non-chalant attitude of the Federal Government towards their plight and the fate of the students of polytechnics nationwide as grossly insensitive. This view was expressed yesterday in Lagos by the National Secretary of the association, Mr. Monday Jegede, during a press conference held at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos which was followed by a peaceful protest. Jegede, who noted that the agitation behind the

strike action was the nonmigration of members at the lower cadres on the Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure 15, CONTISS; the release of white paper on the visitation panel to Federal Polytechnics; noncommencement of needs assessment of Nigerian polytechnics; worrisome state of state-owned polytechnics/ monotechnics; and continued appointment of unqualified persons as rectors by some state governments, insisted that the strike action shall continued until the Federal Government meets their demands. He said the CONTISS 15 was approved by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2009, but was implemented only for those in Level 12 upwards by the National Board for

Technical Education, NBTE, in 2010, exempting those in the lower cadre. “The financial implication of the full implementation is being captured in the national budget, the question now is, where is the money going to?” Jegede queried. He added that the strike was also for an approval of the new scheme of service, as the old one had become obsolete; establishment of a national commission for polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges of education. “We are also saying no to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, poor funding, as well as the discrimination against HND holders,” which Jegede added was being fuelled by the Federal Government.

OLUFEMI AJASA

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inister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai, has expressed shock over the gruesome murder of three members of staff of the West African Examination Council, WAEC, saying it is not only reprehensible but should be condemned by every well meaning Nigerian. She made the remark in her tribute to the affected families at the commendation service in honour of the victims in Lagos. The minister commended the staff of the council for their courage and dedication to duty in spite of the security challenges and risks involved. She further said the Federal

Ministry of Education will collaborate with WAEC in ensuring adequate security of members of staff during the conduct of examinations. “I pray that the Almighty will heal those who are hurt and grant the families of the late officials and the council the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, she said. Accordingly, the Head of the Nigeria National Office, WAEC, Mr. Charles Eguridu, described the trauma as one which will forever remain indelible in his mind. “Three dedicated officials; Peter Gwalasha; Boniface and Daniel Alexander of our branch office in Yola, Adamawa State, were brutally murdered on Friday, April 19, this year by unknown gunmen near Damboa, Borno State while conveying scripts of the May/

June WASSCE, to candidates in Adamawa and Taraba States.” This is a great loss not only to their families but to the council as well.” he said. He, however, noted that wives of the deceased have been offered jobs in the council in order to compensate the huge loss. Wife of one of the victims, Mrs. Fibi Gwalasha, who responded on behalf of the wives of the deceased, described the loss as not just a physical loss, but also emotional, psychological and economical loss to the families. “The memory of their death will linger on in our minds. But so far, we appreciate all the love shown to us and commend WAEC as an organization in immortalising them,” she concluded.


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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

54

- SUPER EAGLES’ DEFENDER, JOSEPH YOBO

Enyeama focused

GROUP F

N

Efe’s mate leads Harambee

K

enyan midfielder, Victor Wanyama, will captain the Harambee Stars against African champion, Nigeria, in today’s y’ y’s y’ Keshi crunch World Cup qualifying match in Nairobi. Coach Adel Amrouche told MTNFootball.com yesterday that in the absence of suspended skipper, Dennis Oliech, the e players had selected Wanyama, a, who is Efe Ambrose’s team mate e at Scottish club, Celtic, to lead ad them for the game taking place at the Moi International Sports Cenntre, Kasarani. The coach said Wanyama, who ho was named Celtic and Scottish ish Premier League Young Player of the year, is a good communicator ator and highly respected by his team eam mates. Meanwhile, the Nigerian team that arrived in Nairobi yesterday erday morning at 1.40am from their base ase in Germany settled in at La Mada a Hotel after rejecting the one that had been offered by the Football Kenya Federation deration (FKF).

Sport

I have no doubt whatsoever that Nigeria will prevail over Kenya in this crucial game in Nairobi

Onuigbo dumps Dolphins, returns to Libya

igeria’s field captain and goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, is an optimistic man as he prepares to lead his team mates against Harambee Stars in today’s World Cup qualifier in Nairobi. Buoyant and looking relaxed at his team’s La Mada Hotel yesterday, Enyeama said Eagles’ goal is to get all three points against a Kenyan side who held them to a one all draw in Calabar in March. “We have come to Kenya for an important job on Wednesday (today) and I know it will be tough but we are determined to get very positive results and it’s a do or die game in the group. Kenya showed their pedigree in Calabar but that is now past news and I know the players everybody is giving 100 percent and praying that all goes according to plan.” “Our philosophy is not to underrate any team and that has helped shape us positively before. It will all be decided on the pitch and we hope to harvest all three points before travelling to Namibia,” Enyeama told supersport.com.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Country

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

Pts

Nigeria

3

1

2

0

3

2

5

Malawi

3

1

2

0

2

1

5

Namibia

3

1

0

2

1

2

3

Kenya

3

0

2

1

1

2

2

Previous Results Nigeria

1-0

Namibia

Kenya

0-0

Malawi

Malawi

1-1

Nigeria

Namibia

1-0

Kenya

Nigeria

1-1

Kenya

Namibia

0-1

Malawi

Super Eagles’ keeper, Vincent Enyeama (left) making a save in a match.

W/CUP QUALIFIER

Our mission in Kenya can’t fail – Keshi

IKENWA NNABUOGOR

N

igeria’s Super Eagles must beat the Harambee Stars of Kenya in a crunch World Cup qualifying match today in Nairobi, to raise, hope of picking one of Africa’s tickets to the Mundial in Brazil next year. Coach Stephen Keshi said yesterday, that the mission to Nairobi must be realised. Nigeria is currently on top of the log with five points same as second placed Malawi that welcome Namibia, who are occupying the bottom spot going into the Matchday four fixtures.

Eagles scored a last minute goal as they fought back from a goal down to end the first leg 1-1 on March 23 this year in Calabar, to keep hope of berthing in Brazil alive. But that disappointing score draw at home appears to have set the team on a cliff hanger for the remaining three games and anything short of victories in Kenya and Namibia could see Nigeria’s boat badly rocked. Keshi called up 30 players to prosecute the World Cup qualifiers against Kenya and Namibia, including the FIFA Confederations Cup holding in Brazil later this month in what appears to be a tough month for the African champions. Sadly, the team has to contend with the seemingly poor travelling arrangements leading up to today’s clash in Kenya. Also, players’ withdrawals, notably the unavailability of Chelsea’s Victor Moses due to injury, was not a piece of cheering news ahead of the big clashes, first in Kenya today, and next week in Namibia. Nevertheless, Eagles must beat Harambee Stars and repeat same feat a week later in Windhoek to consolidate on their top spot to berth in Brazil next year.

Their 2-2 draw against Mexico in an international friendly in Houston, USA, last Friday will only ginger the team to victory. A confident Coach Keshi said yesterday that their mission is to grab the maximum points. “We respect the Kenyans for what they achieved when we played in Nigeria, but I like to state that is in the past. We have forgotten about that, just as we are not going to be thinking about the fact that we have beaten Kenya in nine of 11 previous meetings,” Keshi said. The Nigerian gaffer added, “The important thing is that we have a mission here and that is to pick the maximum points and then go to Namibia to do same. That way, we would have enhanced our chances of qualification for the World Cup before going to the Confederations Cup.” “Our focus is unaffected and our determination not in any way weakened. We were forced to a 2-2 draw by Mexico in a friendly match in America last week, even without a good number of our regulars. “We would go out on the field to do the job and in the process, do our country proud.”


52

Sport

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tit bits...

Toure

Reina cools Barca switch

L

iverpool goalkeeper, Pepe Reina, has denied speculation he will return to Barcelona and has confirmed he would be open to extending his Reds contract. Widespread reports have claimed that Reina is a target for Barcelona, if current number one Victor Valdes leaves the Spanish club next summer. However, Reina has stressed that he is happy at Anfield and has dismissed talk of a return to his first club as “only rumours”.

Bale

Wenger rues Bale miss

A

rsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, has acknowledged he made a huge mistake in not signing Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale for the Gunners. Bale joined Spurs in the summer of 2007 from Southampton, 18 months after his former teammate Theo Walcott had moved to Arsenal. Wenger was tracking both players but felt he had enough options at left-back at the time and decided against a bid for Bale, who has since blossomed into a devastating attacking player. “We didn’t take him as we had Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy and didn’t want another left-back,” Wenger said yesterday.

“I must confess it was a huge mistake as he can play in midfield. He struggled at the start at Tottenham, then they moved him to midfield and he has done exceptionally well. “The career of a player layer sometimes depends on playing ying in the right position.” Wenger accepts that at Bale has the potential to rival the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as one of the bestt players in the world. “I still think he is a typical flank player and they hey are so difficult to find. d. I think he is too young to move to the middle,” the French gaffer observed.

Casillas hails Mourinho

O

ut-of-favour Real Madrid goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, says he wishes departing coach Jose Mourinho all the best in the future despite both men’s well-documented fallout during the season.

Dzeko nears Blues switch

M

anchester City’s striker, Edin Dzeko, has sensationally emerged as candidate for new Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho. Mourinho signed a four-year deal at Stamford Bridge on Monday, taking the reins of the club he steered to successive Premier League titles before his sacking in 2007. Dzeko has long been linked with an exit from the Etihad Stadium, with the Bosnian’s desire for regular first-team football seeing him linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Indications have given Dzeko a sure bet to land the Blues contract. “The money has come following the appointment of Jose Mourinho, who maybe in the mar-

ket for a big target man,” an,” reports said. The Serbia international ational has been a target for several al top sides that include Juventus,, AC Milan and Bayern Munich.

Dzeko

“We want to make it bigger and my future is with Liverpool,” he said. “Right now, there are no facts about Barca and I cannot talk further on that.” Valdes is currently expected to leave Barcelona in 2014 when his contract expires and Reina respects his fellow Spain international’s position. “Victor has said he will not move from Barcelona and wants to fulfil his contract, and that must be respected,” Reina added.

Mourinho

Casillas did not play a single match for the first team during the second half of the campaign, with Mourinho preferring to use Diego Lopez and Antonio Adan between the sticks. The Portuguese boss also sselected fourth-choice keeper Jesus Fernandez for last e weekend’s final match in w charge against Osasuna. c “II don don’tt hold any grudge nor do I feel mistreatm ed by him,” him Casillas said yesterday. yes “He took the dehe cisions which wh thought w were the best for the club and you need nee to respect that. spe I’ve nothing personal against him. him “ U n Casillas f o r t u nately, we na weren’t able to a achieve our obo j e c t iv e s in the Copa del Cop Rey and Champions League in the end, th but there’s no th point going on g about that. “Mourinho “Mo has embarked em on a new journ ney and an I wish him the best.”

Manchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure, says the new dawn at the club will make the past pain disappear. Toure and mates endured a torrid season that saw them surrender their EPL title to Manchester United with weeks to the end of the season. “I can see a new horizon and I hope we will be able to exploit it,” Toure said yesterday.

Gotze

Bayern Munich new signing, Mario Gotze, is in danger of missing the start of next season due to a thigh injury. The playmaker picked up a thigh problem during his former team’s UEFA Champions League semi-final, second leg against Real Madrid. It was initially hoped Gotze would recover in time to play in the final of the competition against Bayern.

Navas

Manchester City’s prospective new signing Jesus Navas has spoken of his delight at the move, saying it was decided some time ago. City has agreed a fee with Sevilla of around £17m plus add-ons for the Spain international winger. Navas, 27, has spent his entire career at his hometown club but said of the switch to England. “It was my choice and I’m very happy with the decision.”

Lahm

Philipp Lahm has stressed that Bayern Munich will not rest on its laurels after winning the treble this term, saying the club is hungry for more trophies. The Bavarians beat Stuttgart 3-2 in the DFB-Pokal final at the weekend to complete the treble after previously clinching the Bundesliga title and the Champions League and Lahm believes that this season’s successes are just the beginning. “We will reach for more success,” he said.

Rooney Wayne Rooney will give serious consideration to a move to Arsenal this summer if they can match his salary demands, according to reports. The England international is ready to sever his ties with Manchester United as he sets his sights on a new club next season. Chelsea, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are among the bigspending continental outfits who are closely monitoring Rooney’s situation.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

53

First Registrars lifts Abesan Cup A FOLABI GAMBARI

T Eagles ‘ll dim Stars –Elumelu, others Super Eagles’ defender, Godfrey Oboabona, will face a herculean task warding off Harambee Stars’ attackers in Nairobi today

AFOLABI GAMBARI

F

ormer striker, now President of the Abuja All Stars Football Club, Barrister Austel Elumelu, has enjoined Nigerians to have what he calls supreme confidence in the Super Eagles when they meet the Harambee Stars of Kenya in the crucial World Cup 2014 qualifier in Nairobi today. “The Eagles are highly motivated to be at their highest level in all aspect of this game,” Elumelu said in Lagos yesterday. “I don’t see any threat from the Kenyans that will overwhelm Nigeria as long as the coaching crew fields the best players,” the NFF Board member added. President of the Lagos All Stars FC, Ugo Ugorji, also corroborated Elumelu in tipping

Eagles for victory. “The new Super Eagles squad is fantastic, although I don’t expect the coaches to leave any stone unturned in this game,” Ugorji said. Former ACB FC of Lagos goalkeeper, Patrick Mowete, however predicted a 2-0 victory for Nigeria at the Kasarani Stadium in the Kenyan capital. “I don’t see the Kenyans escaping defeat this time after coming to play the spoilers in the reverse fixture in Calabar in March,” Mowete said. Former NEPA FC of Lagos captain, Francis Tandoh, also rubbished the Kenyan threat, saying it is misplaced. “We are not in the same class and they would not issue the threat if we had taken our chances in the reverse fixture. They will be defeated roundly,” Tandoh asserted.

he on-going Abesan Cup has received a further boost with the donation of jerseys and match balls to the organisers by First Registras Limited, a division of First Bank Plc. Head of Administration, First Registrars, Oluwaseyi Adetola, who announced the donation, said the company was proud to associate with the competition geared towards grassroots football development. “We have followed the Abesan Cup since inception in 1998 and feel dutybound to contribute our quota at this auspicious time,” Adetola said, while calling other corporate bodies to identify with the organisers’ dream. Austin Tigers FC became the first team to reach the second round even with one match to play. Meanwhile, organisers have placed an indefinite ban on Rainbow FC following the club’s sudden withdraw from the competition. Competition coordinator, Tayo Adeyemo, expressed dismay over the club’s decision after playing a match it won 2-1 over Fellers FC. “This is the first time we have had this situation in the history of Abesan Cup,” Adeyemo said. Reports, however, said that internal squabbles between players and management might have caused the 2009 quarter finalist to retreat from this year’s event.

Quadri

Quadri inspires club to final YEMI OLUS

N

igeria’s Aruna Quadri has landed in the final of the Portuguese table tennis league after helping G. D. Toledos to victory over GDSR Juncal in their semi final match. Quadri, who has played in every final of the league since his debut in the elite Portuguese league three years ago, has failed to lift the trophy on two occasions. In last weekend’s semifinal tie against GDSR Juncal who has another Nigerian, Bode Abiodun, in

its rank, Quadri was the arrowhead of Toledos as his team prevailed in the two-leg clash. Quadri was the centre of attraction when his team claimed the Portuguese Cup in his first season in the European elite league. Toledos will now face defending champion Sporting Club in the twolegged final in a repeat of last year’s final. “I have played in the play-off final twice without winning but I am delighted that we won Portuguese Cup this year,” Quadri enthused. “I am hopeful that the league cup will not elude me again,” he added.

Ghana ready for war –Inkoom

B

L-R: Guinness Nigeria Plc Marketing Manager, Larger, Paul Asemota; General Manager, Rangers FC, Chief Paul Ozor; Managing Director/Chief Executive, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Seni Adetu and Corporate Relations Director, Sesan Sobowale, during the signing of the sponsorship deal with Rangers International of Enugu recently

lack Stars’ defender, Samuel Inkoom, says his teammates are ready to punch above their weight for a win against Sudan on Friday in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier. The on-loan FC Basel player is part of Kwesi Appiah’s 25-man squad preparing for the return Group D qualifier in Omdurman. Inkoom missed the first leg 4-0 victory at the Baba Yara Stadium in March but has played against the Nile Crocodiles in previous meetings. Ghana has been preparing in Ethiopia since last Friday and will leave the East African country on Wednesday to

Khartoum. Inkoom believes the team has the right mentality to record another victory. “Every player wants to show something and prove to the coach that he is good,” Inkoom said yesterday. “The most important thing is that we need to stay focused, listen to the coach and keep on working hard. “I believe this team. I have trust in my colleagues. It’s not going to be easy. We have been there twice. But I believe that we are going to beat them.” The Ghanaians need a win against the Nile Crocodiles to keep snapping at the heels of Group D leaders Zambia.


Sport

54

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Nigeria Premier Nig League

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Cricket

with

IIKENWA NNABUOGOR ikenwa.nnabuogor@gmail.com

Amodu leads new players to rescue Sharks

NPFL Standings – Week 7 Pos Team

P

W D

L

GF GA

1

Heartland

15

8

2

5

24

11

13 26

2

Kano Pillars

15

8

2

5

17

18

-1 26

3

Kwara United

15

7

4

4

16

9

7

25

4

Dolphins

15

7

3

5

14

12

2

24

5

Nembe City

15

7

2

6

17

18

-1 23

6

Bayelsa United

15

7

2

6

16

19

-3 23

7

Enyimba

15

6

4

5

12

6

6

8

Nasarawa United 15

6

4

5

14

15

-1 22

9

Gombe United

15

7

1

7

15

18

-3 22

10

Rangers

13

6

3

4

20

11

9

21

11

Warri Wolves

15

5

6

4

19

15

4

21

12

Sunshine Stars

15

6

3

6

16

12

4

21

13

Akwa United

15

6

2

7

16

19

-3 20

14

Kaduna United

15

6

2

7

13

17

-4 20

15

3SC

14

6

1

7

16

16

0

16

El-Kanemi

15

5

3

7

15

18

-3 18

17

Lobi Stars

15

5

3

7

12

17

-5 18

18

ABS F.C.

15

4

4

7

12

16

-4 16

19

Wikki Tourists

14

4

2

8

11

19

-8 14

20

Sharks

15

3

5

7

7

16

-9 14

22

19

Orji nears Kwara United switch

F

ormer Tamworth Academy England youngster Telma Orji is set to sign for Kwara United when the transfer windows open in two weeks. Orji has been training with the Afonja Warriors for the past 11 days and has caught the eye of Coach Samson Unuanel who reportedly asked him to come over after his failed attempt to team up with Dolphins. “Everything has been positive for me since I arrived here and I’m very confident I will sign a con-

tract,” Orji told National Mirror. “The coach is impressed with what he sees me do during the training and I hope he will add me to his team when the windows open. “I was just barely on the pitch for five minutes in my first training and the coach fell in love with me and assured he would sign me.” Orji has played in Qatar, UAE and Oman and just recently missed out on a good contract in Peru due to late arrival.

Week 16 Fixtures Today Sharks

v

Rangers

3SC

v

Nembe City

Wikki Tourists

v

Kwara Utd

Kano Pillars

v

Gombe Utd

El-Kanemi

v

Heartland

Tomorrow Sunshine

v

Nasarawa Utd

ABS

v

Enyimba

Akwa United

v

Warri Wolves

Bayelsa Utd

v

Kaduna Utd

Lobi Stars

v

Dolphins

E

S

Onuigbo

Onuigbo dumps Dolphins, returns to Libya

F

ormer Heartland striker Ifeanyi Onuigbo has dumped Dolphins and returned to Libya to sign a three-year contract at Darnes Sports Club. The rangy striker left Dolphins after a brief spell to return to his former club. He was on the books of Premier League side after switching from Sudanese top side Al-Hilal in January 2009. He spent a season before he shifted base to nearby Egypt before settling in at Vietnamese side T&T Hanoi. Onuigbo has since settled down at his new base ahead of the new season that will kick in July. He spent three weeks in Tunis on pre-season tour and only returned to Libya last weekend. “I’m to return to my former club

after signing a three-year contract,” Onuigbo said. “It was just a brief spell for me at Dolphins because I needed to keep fit before I was off abroad again. “I joined Dolphins as a free player and free to move at any time and thank God I signed for a foreign club again. “It was not easy playing in the local league but it was for a brief period. We’re set for the league that starts next month. “I played here in the 2009 and left for Egypt before I found myself in Vietnam where new laws on foreigners’ quota forced me to return to Nigeria. “It’s a good club and the fans still remember my exploits and I want to continue from where I left off. I can’t wait to get on the groove again.”

Ogbu denies Egypt link

stranged Heartland striker Brendan Ogbu has expressed surprise at the reports in the local media last week that he had jetted out to Egypt to begin trial with an unnamed club. The former Rangers striker was left fuming with the funny report, describing it as untrue. Ogbu told National Mirror that he was aware of the interest in Egypt but declared he was not in the land of the Pyramids for any trial but rather in Abuja sorting his travelling documents. “I only spoke to the agent that’s arranging the trial but yet to meet. I don’t really know where the story that I have travelled to Egypt came from,” Ogbu fumed.

“Though, I still got an opening at Russian club Alannia but I will have to give the opening in Egypt a trial and see how it goes. “I don’t know when I will fly to Egypt as things are still being sorted. I’m still waiting for the agent to finish the arrangement.” Meanwhile, Ogbu is yet to receive his Tom Tom Man of the match prize money from Cadbury Nigeria Plc several months after heading Heartland to another Federation Cup title triumph November last year. Ogbu lamented that he was disappointed with the sponsors of the man of the match award after his efforts to get his reward continued without success.

Ogbu

harks’ new recruit Mohammed Amodu says he’s leading a revolution with the 14 new players signed by the Port-Harcourt side in the Week 9 windows to rescue his new club from sinking into relegation. Amodu acquired mid-season from Rising Stars, is among the new players the embattled Port Harcourt side currently at the foot of the log, signed in a desperate bid to improve their seriously dwindling fortune. The 19-year-old left back believes the new players will bring positive changes to Sharks. The younger brother of the former Golden Eaglets star, Usman, reckons that the result has started showing since their arrival with Sharks grabbing five points from their last three league games that ultimately shot them two steps above the drop zone. “I’ve played four straight games since I arrived from Rising Stars and I can assure you that things will change,” he said. “The new players have brought positive changes in the club and we will continue to build on this to make things happen. “Personally, it’s really fulfilling for me to take my game higher by signing for Sharks and I want to continue playing regularly and see how it goes. “But my ultimate aim is to play for the junior national team and I hope to do well to attract the attention of the coaches.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

55

NGF crisis: I won’t step down, says Amaechi CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

that voted and plead that Nigerians should stop castigating us because we are also human beings.” Meanwhile, Amaechi yesterday approached a Port Harcourt High Court, praying the court to restrain the 32 members of the State of House of Assembly from impeaching him unconstitutionally. Amaechi’s counsel, Mr. B.E.I. Nwonfor, SAN, who filed the suit on behalf of the governor, asked the court to restrain the 32 lawmakers from impeaching him before the expiration of his tenure on May 29, 2015. The governor, who claimed to be pursuing his constitutional rights is also seeking an order of the court to specifically restrain the members of the House of Assembly from initiating an impeachment process against him throughout the remaining part of his second term in office. The trial judge, Justice George Omereji, adjourned the case till June 18, for hearing. Counsel to the five antiAmaechi lawmakers, Mr. Justice Aguma, told the court that his clients did

not share the same interests with the leadership of the House led by the Speaker, Hon. Otelemaba DanAmachree. He said: “His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State sued the House of Assembly, secondly, he sued Hon. Otelemaba DanAmachree, Speaker of the House, in their representative capacity that is, suing the Speaker to represent other members of the House. “By the nature of the action, our clients who are members of the House, but do not believe they have the same interest as the Speaker sought their own independent representation to convey their own stand on the matter.” Counsel to the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Emenike Bita, told journalists that he was confident that the court will give fair hearing to all the parties involved in the matter. “It was not an injunction. The governor approached the court against the 32 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, praying the court to restrain my clients from impeaching him illegally or unconstitutionally. “He is perceiving that

five or two or three members less than the 21 members, that are supposed to be the two-thirds of the House, would want to impeach him without following due process. “He approached the court that we should not unconstitutionally impeach him except as approved by the constitution.” Meanwhile, Adamawa state born social and political critic, Daniel Richards

yesterday called on the government to scrap the NGF without further delay, as the forum has not in any way impacted on the lives of Nigerians. He also called for the prosecution of the governors for wasting the state funds, adding that the forum is a complete nonsense and illegal. Speaking with journalists in Abuja, Richards asked if the association

which he described as Kangaroo gathering was actually making impact on the lives of Nigerians, what has it done to since the Boko Haram insurgency started? He said that the NGF has no meaning or bearing on the lives of Nigerians, adding that a serious government or governor, who has the interest of its people at heart would not have the time to be running to Abuja every time for night meetings.

The critic said that the governors should be mandated to account for the funds spent over the years on the NGF. He said: “The Nigerian Governors’ Forum was formed without the consultation of Nigerians. What impact does it has on Nigerians? What have they achieve through the forum? The forum has no meaning, it is a Kangaroo association.”

Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole (left) receiving Madam Osas Momodu, the mother of Ibrahim Momodu, a 22-year-old final year student of the University of Benin shot by the police in Benin on May 27, at the Government House, yesterday.

US offers to try Shekau for terrorism

Reps pass bill to ease President’s impeachment

portrayed him as a national leader. As a retired General, he should have known that fights against terrorists are not mere child’s play. They are much more difficult than conventional war which he fought in 1982. If Buhari is a national leader, he should have been more concerned about the killings of innocent ones by the sect members and the success of the troops and not that of terrorists as he has been doing. “Therefore, Buhari’s comments, coming at a time Nigerians have been quite appreciative of the bold steps taken by President Goodluck Jonathan to rid the North of Nigeria’s enemies can only mean that the retired General is a fanatic. “I intensely dislike believing that Buhari is making these distasteful and unacceptable comments only as a way of escaping from the wrath of the sect members after their attack on his native Daura town. It is not enough to oppose positions that have been applauded by major-

or Vice-President on allegations of gross misconduct”. According to the bill: “The Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary of the House of Representatives shall propose a motion to begin an inquiry into such allegation of gross misconduct, and if the motion is passed by a simple majority of the House, the committee shall be mandated to carry out an inquiry into the allegations. “The Committee on Judiciary upon conclusion of such an inquiry shall present its findings to the Whole House stating that impeachment is warranted as encompassed in Articles of Impeachment, or that impeachment is not called for.” The House also seeks to see the process through in line with rules drawn by its Committee on Business and Rules and to be able to sack the President and his Vice by a simple majority. “If any Article of Impeachment so considered by the House of Repre-

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

ity of Nigerians. Constructive criticism dictates that alternative solutions are given. Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar said without members of the sect laying down their arms and coming to the negotiation table, it will be impossible for the Presidential Panel on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North to successfully discharge their duties. Abubakar, who stated this during a courtesy visit by members of the panel at his Up Hill Residence in Minna, said, “In my experience, violence does not solve problems, even if you are fighting a war, you still need to come to the table and as it is, without it, your job will almost be impossible. “In the name of God, please, lay down your arms wherever you are so that solutions can be found and people in the affected states can find peace. We are appealing to your conscience,” the former head of state pleaded with the sect. He lamented that the sect

took a violent means of expressing their minds, saying he is constantly pained by the level of carnage in the affected areas and urged the Federal Government to the root causes of the insurgency and other forms of social challenges confronting the nation. While, commending the government at setting up the panel, the former head of state also linked some of the problems to the high rate of unemployment among the youths. He noted that though the Federal Government cannot provide jobs for the army of jobless people, it can create an enabling environment that can generate employment, especially adequate electricity power supply to boost the business activities people are engaged in. Abdulsalami then urged the people to give security agencies and the committee useful information that will lead to the peaceful resolution of the problem, while calling on the panel to come up with recommendations that would bring lasting peace to the North and the country as a whole.

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sentatives is approved or passed by a simple majority vote of members present and voting, the President or Vice-President shall be impeached. “Upon the impeachment of the holder of the office by the House of Representatives, the Speaker shall within seven days transmit the House Resolution to the Senate for trial and shall within 14 days of the receipt of the House Resolution conduct a trial to be presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria with a select Committee of the House members serving as prosecutors. Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday received the draft report of its committee on the review of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution. The report, which was laid before the Senate by the chairman of the review committee and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, is expected to be formally presented to the Senate today. Some of the recommendations contained in the report,

according to National Mirror findings, include the six-year single tenure for the President and his vice as well as the governors and their deputies. In line with this, the committee recommended that the single tenure should commence from 2019. There is also recommended autonomy for the democratically the elected local governments. In addition, the committee recommended the creation of one additional state from the South-East geo political zone to bring the region at par with the rest of the other zones. At the formal presentation today, Ekweremadu is expected to justify the reasons for all the recommendations made by members of the committee. The Deputy Senate President had on Monday hinted that the review report would be laid before the Senate this week and that following that, he would provide justifications for each of the recommendations contained in the report.


WORLD RECORD

Widest canal Vol. 03 No. 636

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

T

he long awaited battle among contending forces for the soul of the nation has finally begun. And like any grueling war, the agglomeration of forces now massing on both sides of the battlefield is not only formidable, the combatants are deploying all their big guns for the final blow. Steadily, the position of all the combatants is slowly crystallising, making it less difficult for any discerning analyst to know where they stand, even when some are still Janus faced. It this latter group of political ‘Nicodemus’ with legs straddling both sides of the divide that the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has threatened to expel from the party in the coming days. In this war, no one is allowed to sit on the fence.

N150

The Cape Cod Canal, which crosses the land that connects Cape Cod to mainland Massachusetts, USA, was constructed between 1909 and 1916. It is 28 km (17.4 miles) long and 164.6 m (540 foot) wide.

The knives are out Okay Osuji

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

Definitely, all that is now happening had earlier been foretold and it therefore, comes as no surprise that the bubble has finally burst. From now on, everyday politics will not only be bitter and rancorous, it will smack of hell and brimstones. Both the opposition and the ruling party are sounding prepared to take the battle to each other’s territory. And for anyone versed in the art of war, should know that the consequences are deaths and destructions on unimaginable scale. Unfortunately, while all these are going on, it is the ordinary folks that are being caught in the inferno. From the look of things, governance has taken a back seat while crude politics has been given free rein to the detriment of national development. Remotely, the politics of who gets what in 2015 is behind all the noises and nuisance, even as oversized egos are making them difficult to beat a retreat. It is only the fainthearted that would be quivering at what may likely happen in the coming days. For those conversant with the country’s politics, it smacks of déjà vu because we have been there before. By a strange quirk of fate, everything has remained the same from the Second Republic when the country adopted the presidential system of government with all the cost implications and greed of politicians. Between 1979 and 1983, the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) held the political reins of power under the presidency of Alhaji Shehu Shagari. But the big opposition parties of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) headed by

THE POLITICS OF WHO GETS WHAT IN 2015 IS BEHIND ALL THE

NOISES AND NUISANCE, EVEN AS OVERSIZED EGOS ARE MAKING THEM DIFFICULT TO BEAT A RETREAT Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe respectively, gave the NPN a run for its money. Even when election results became the subject of interminable legal wranglings in the courts, those nationalists displayed rare political maturity through their actions and utterances. It was not unusual seeing them sitting at the same table at national ceremonies and toasting to the health and progress of the country, even while waiting for verdicts from election tribunals. Curiously, at that time, many of their followers never saw any good or need in fostering such amity, especially when they felt hurt and cheated by what they alleged was a stolen presidency. Today, the same litany of complaints, especially from the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has continued to fill the air. Then, with exception of occasional disagreements that were resolved in-house, there was no large scale altercations and

political brigandage as we are witnessing now. Party loyalty reigned supreme and those displeased with their party’s ideology quietly left to propagate their beliefs under another platform. But in spite of that, some disloyal members went all out to denounce what they saw as heresy, while calling on the military to takeover. One wonders what those then shouting themselves hoarse will now make of the present dispensation and politicians. Whereas, the parties went into elections as one body with articulated manifestoes, the present day ones have become houses of commotion, intrigues, subterfuges and mindboggling acrimonies. For example, the PDP has turned against itself with every member flaying at each other. The party has become so fractious that one wonders how it would survive into the next elections. Increasingly, it is making it easy for the opposition to divide its ranks. And given that most of the members have ambitions of becoming presidents and vice presidents in 2015, it would take the powers of a Greek Zeus to put their house in order. The knives are already out and the killing spree promises to be a gory spectacle of epic proportion. The so called opposition is not in better shape either. Given that they are yet to be tested at the poll, it is early days to subscribe any success to their political endeavours. All we have seen is the constant and endless fulmination of invectives and trite words at the PDP without proffering any viable alternative to what they are denouncing. All we know of them is that it is a collection of ideological strange bed fellows, whose opportunistic union is informed by a rage and deep seated anger at being left to languish at the periphery of national power. Overall, the political discourse has not made it possible to subject all their claims to critical scrutiny in order to sieve the chaff from the wheat. Whatever happens in the days ahead, the reality of a bloody political contest is surely to be a constant reminder of the perilous times we are living in.

Sport Extra

W

orld number one, Serena Williams, appeared to be on her way to a 29th consecutive victory yesterday after holding on to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the semifinals at Roland Garros for the first time since 2003.

French Open: Serena cruises to semi finals After sweeping through the first set, Williams was broken twice early in the second set, then broken again to start the third set. Williams managed to gather herself in the third

set, including an angry service hold early, and then regain control of the match. After falling behind 0-2 in deciding set, Williams won five consecutive games to get to 5-2.

Kuznetsova then stopped the streak, but Williams served it out. Williams, who remains unbeaten on clay this year, is on a career-best 29-match winning streak,

will now face number five seed Sara Errani of Italy, who lost in the final to Maria Sharapova a year ago. Errani defeated number four Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-4, 7-6 (8-6).

Williams

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