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Uproar as APC Reps block 2014 budget debate

Obasanjo, Buhari, absent from Council of State meeting

….bill scales second reading in Senate ISE-OLUWA IGE AND GEORGE OJI Tambuwal

Vol. 4 N0. 781

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n apparent compliance with the directive of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to block

all executive bills, opposition lawmakers yesterday frustrated moves to make progress with the passage CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

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Obasanjo

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

$20bn oil revenue C still missing –Sanusi

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GEORGE OJI ABUJA

CBN is inconsistent, selective, says NNPC boss MAN, DAUGHTER DIE AS SUV PLUNGES INTO RIVER

entral Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, has alleged that the outstanding unremitted amount due to the federation account from the sale of crude oil by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is $20bn and not $10.8bn. Sanusi stated this at the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

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2015: Heavens won’t fall if Jonathan loses –ACF

...opposition party wants AsariDokubo arrested P.6

Scene of an accident involving a family of three after their Toyota SUV plunged into the river at Ikota, along Lekki-Ajah expressway in Lagos, yesterday.

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Gunmen on rampage, kill 49 in Plateau, Yobe Group calls for emergency rule in Kaduna

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Amosun seeks Assembly’s approval for fresh N19bn loan

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Gunmen on rampage, kill 49 in Plateau, Yobe JAMES ABRAHAM, A ZA MSUE AND INUSA NDAHI

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eadly attacks in Plateau and Yobe states yesterday left 50 people killed by rampaging gunmen, including three soldiers and one policeman, while several houses were torched. In Plateau, two soldiers attached to the Special Task Force, STF, died with the 30 villagers killed in the early hours of yesterday when gunmen attacked Rajak and Atakar villages in Riyom Local Government Area of the state. It was gathered that scores of villagers also sustained injuries during the attack. The gunmen also burnt several houses. Sources said the attack had sent shock waves to the security agents as it came less than 24 hours after the state police command held a security meeting with stakeholders on how to restore permanent peace in the state The local government has been under siege by gunmen for some time. Last

week, a Chinese contractor was killed by the gunmen in the locality with perpetrators yet to be found. In the latest attacks, an eyewitness said the gunmen, numbering over 100 stormed the two communities about 3a.m. yesterday and started shooting indiscriminately, leading to the death of the victims, who were still sleeping. According to them, 19 of the victims were killed in Rajat while 11 others were killed in Atakar village. They also said that about 60 houses were razed by the gunmen. A member of the state House of Assembly representing Riyom constituency who confirmed the attack in Jos yesterday described the incident as sad. He said that two STF members deployed to restore law and order in the state were also killed. “As we speak, those killed have been given mass burial. Scores of persons were injured and have fled their homes to neighbouring villages in Kaduna State.” He called on the Federal Government to deploy more troops and to begin air sur-

veillance to stop further attacks in the communities. The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Felicia Anselm, also confirmed the attack but could not ascertain the number of those killed. She, however, added that efforts were being made to apprehend the attackers. In Yobe, 18 traders were killed by gunmen in a local

market on Monday. A lecturer with the College of Agriculture, Gujba, was also said to have been shot dead by the fleeing gunmen at Buni Gari while returning from Ashaka town in Gombe State. The state Police Commissioner, Alhaji Sanusi Rufai, confirmed that the 18 traders were killed by armed bandits in two villages in

Gulani Local Government Area. The police boss said: “The traders were ambushed by the bandits while travelling back from Ngalda local market. “The bandits attacked and killed 18 traders, 10 from Kukuwa and eight from Dokshi villages and took away their money estimated at millions of naira.

“The bandits were masked and wearing army uniforms.” Rufai said that a policeman attached to a quarry in Bara village was also shot dead by the fleeing bandits. “The Joint Task Force, JTF, and police are now combing the bush and security agents across the state CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

L-R: Former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida; former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan; former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammed Uwais, during the National Council of State meeting in Abuja, yesterday.

$20bn oil revenue still missing –Sanusi CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

resumed public investigation on the alleged unremitted $49.8bn crude oil revenue yesterday by the Senate Committee on Finance at the National Assembly. Sanusi alleged that out of the $67bn crude oil sold by the NNPC, only $47bn had been receipted by the CBN, leaving a balance of $20bn. Sanusi had last year written a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, accusing NNPC of failure to account for $49.8bn accruing from unremitted amount from the sale of crude oil. This prompted the President to direct all the stakeholders to have a joint meeting to reconcile the amount in question. At the end of the exercise, it was agreed by the parties, which included the Finance Ministry, CBN, NNPC, the Budget Office, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Directorate of Petroleum Resources DPR, and Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, that the outstanding amount was

$10.8bn. Sanusi’s fresh allegation came as the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, faulted the governor’s claims, stressing that the CBN as bankers did not understand the petroleum auditing processes. Yakubu also accused Sanusi of bandying the entire gross earnings of NNPC instead of actual net earnings. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, expressed indifference to the allegations raised by Sanusi. According to Makarfi, what Sanusi said was not a fresh issue, as it was already known to the committee and the reconciliation team set up on the matter. He directed the various teams handling the reconciliation of the said unremitted accounts to fast-track their activities and come up with the exact amount by Thursday next week, when the public hearing would reconvene. Sanusi said: “I have a 20

page presentation with 30 appendages but we have to first of all agree on what has been paid into the CBN. NNPC did a presentation. We have all agreed earlier that $14bn out of the $67bn they shipped came in to the dollar account of the federation. “We have looked at FIRS numbers and we have confirmed that $16bn paid by international oil companies to the FIRS account was not paid by the NNPC but paid by IOCs. It was the proceeds of crude lifted in the name of NNPC but sold on behalf of FIRS. “That $16bn had been confirmed by FIRS and had accepted. There is $1.6bn that DPR also received from IOCs, which was part of that crude and which CBN had accepted. We have provided evidence in the naira crude account out of the $28bn domestic crude shipped by the NNPC, it had repatriated $16bn. “Out of the $67bn that has accrued to the NNPC account we have accounted for $47bn. Out of the $67bn

that the NNPC shipped, $47bn had been repatriated to the CBN. What we are talking about is the balance of $20bn and what explanations had been given.” Responding to the allegations raised by Sanusi, the NNPC boss said: “The issues that were raised are not new at all. You see we came out in details because we don’t have anything to hide and we gave a detailed breakdown of the so called $49bn and we came out clearly to state the various streams that are associated with what he was talking about. “Now, we also made it clear that NPDC (National Petroleum Development Company), if we had anything to hide we would not have made it clear that NPDC was part of the stream, because NPDC which is NNPC’s upstream operation, is a limited liability company registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA, to do upstream business just like any other independent company. “Now, if you are in your

business, will you take your gross revenue and pass it on? What we simply said was to account for the streams that the CBN Governor erroneously captured. Now let me make this point very clearly; CBN is a banking outfit, so I really, really understand why they will not understand some petroleum engineering issues and they are not also an auditing outfit. “Now what they try to do is to audit and I heard some statements made here that they do not have this document, they don’t have that document. They are not the auditors. We have certified bodies and arms of agencies that are charged with the responsibility of auditing. They are banking right? So what he (Sanusi) said was not really new. We said clearly that we stated an amount that went to NPDC and that amount was the gross lifting. But there are other streams that go back to government in terms of taxes just like any other business player. “So we have Royalties,

we have Petroleum Profit Tax and so on and so forth. Now these are subjects of other detailed discussions and investigations and they are open. We give access to the Auditor General of the Federation, we give access to Accountant-General, we give access to agencies that have business to do with auditing our own business. And at the Federation Account too, we render this report as you are told on monthly basis and these are issues that are subject of reconciliation on monthly basis. “So really for issues like this to come to the public glare again becomes worrisome that we throw away numbers, we throw away allegations that at the end of the day we clarify but then the damage would have been done.” The NNPC had said previously that no funds were missing and that the $10.8bn allegedly unaccounted for had been used to fund operations include subsidy deductions and pipeline maintenance and CONTINUED ON PAGE 7>>


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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Photo News

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Chief of Staff, Government House, Enugu, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobodo; Chairman, National Steering Committee on Second Peer Review in Nigeria, Senator Ken Nnamani and Enugu State Deputy Governor, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi; during a courtesy visit by the committee to the Government House, Enugu, yesterday.

L-R: Deputy Director, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Mrs. Chy Nwude; Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga; Chairman, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Mr. Atedo Peterside and Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Sola DavidBorha, at the 2014 Standard Bank West Africa Investors Conference in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Acting Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Mr. Victor Mumako; Acting Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Otunba Jide Adebayo and Director, Multimedia, Mr. Joe Bankole, during Mamuko’s visit to the agency in Abuja, yesterday.

L-R: Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon. Nnenna Ukeje; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha; United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle and Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, during the Ambassador’s courtesy visit to the National Assembly, yesterday.

PHOTO: NAN

National News

Obasanjo, Buhari, Amaechi shun Council of State meeting • Council endorses Confab, Centenary celebration

ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari were absent at yesterday’s Council of State meeting convened by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The relationship between Obasanjo and Jonathan has not been cordial since the exchange of open letters in which both leaders expressed strong words on personal and national issues. Buhari is in the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) which is battle ready to wrestle power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Also absent at the meeting was River State Gover-

nor, Rotimi Amaechi, who has defected from the PDP to the APC. The relationship between Amaechi and the Presidency has been frosty in recent times. Former heads of state present at the meeting include Generals Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar, as well as former President Shehu Shagari and former Head of the National Interim Government (ING), Chief Earnest Shonekan, Senate President David Mark and House of Representatives Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, were also present at the meeting. State governors present at the meeting were Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Sule Lamido (Jigawa). Also in attendance were

Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Liyel Imoke (Cross Rivers), Dickson Seriake (Bayelsa), Peter Obi (Anambra), Theodore Orji (Abia), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Babangida Aliyu (Niger). Governors Abdulaziz (Zamfara), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Saidu Dakingari (Kebbi), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Idris Wada (Kogi) were also present. However, shortly before the meeting, there was a mild drama between some governors over the alphabetical order of the sitting arrangement The drama involved Orji (PDP), Nyako ( APC) and Akpabio (PDP), who had to sit together since their states start with the A alphabet. As Nyako took his seat, he told Orji that he was not comfortable sitting with

him as he could poison him. The Adamawa Governor said, “I am telling you don’t poison me here. I am not comfortable with you here. If anything happens to me here, Walahi, my people will take you to court.” In his reply, Orji said, “for how many years have we been sitting together? Is it this zero hour that I would poison you? Nyako said, “Who knows?” Turning to Martins Elechi who joined them during the exchange, Nyako said: “I am just warning him not to poison me. Is there any law that says we should sit down together? Meanwhile, the Council yesterday endorsed the National Conference as well as the Centenary celebration which kicks off this month. The council specifically urged Nigerians to actively take part in the National

Conference. The meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan also discussed the security situation in the country and advised that there was need to improve on strategies to tackle the problem. Although there was no former briefing on the outcome of the meeting, Governors Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and Gabriel Suswam (Benue) however told State House Correspondents that the issues of national conference, security and the centenary celebration were discussed at the meeting. Okorocha explained that the council took cognisance of the rate of insecurity across the country, especially in the Northern part of the country and how to put an end to the menace. According to him, the Council also expressed concern on unguarded utterances by politicians which

are capable of overheating the polity and therefore cautioned political office holders against such pronouncements. Speaking in the same vein, Suswam said, “the President briefed us about a lot of things including the impending Conference that is coming up. There were a lot of contributions and the Council approved it. “We were also presented with a list of the new Chairman for the National Population Commission and some new members and some to be reappointed. That too was approved. The National Security Adviser briefed us on the general security situation in the country which all members of the Council contributed as to the way forward and the decisions that will be taken to address some of the security issues that are affecting the country and then we concluded.”


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Uproar as APC Reps block 2014 budget debate CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

of the 2014 budget. The lawmakers said that they were only served with a summary of the budget and were therefore unable to debate a budget, which details were not made available to them. They said they would be ready to debate the budget when they were served detailed copies. The position of the APC lawmakers caused a mild uproar at the lower chamber of the National Assembly. The House however set up a six-man committee to advise its leadership on the legal implications of considering the N4.6trn budget. The committee members are House Albert SamTsokwa (PDP-Taraba), Sunday Adepoju (APC-Oyo), Aminu Shehu Shagari (APC-Sokoto), Ken Chikere (PDP-Rivers), Ali Ahmad (APC-Kwara) and Chkwuemeka Nwogbo (APGAAnambra). Drama started immediately the Leader of the House, Hon. Mulikat Akan-

de Adeola, presented the bill for second reading. Hon. Emmanuel Jimeh (APC, Benue) stood up to raise a point of order. In his submission, Jimeh said that the 2014 budget estimates, as presented by the Executive, breached the provisions of Section 21 (1, 2 and 3) of Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007. He said the section made it mandatory for all government agencies to prepare and submit their schedule estimates of revenue and expenditure for the next three financial years to the minister, which should be attached to the draft Appropriation Bill to be submitted to the National Assembly. Section 21 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 lists the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, National Communication Commission, NCC, Federal Airport Authority of Nigerian, FAAN), National Agency for Food

& Drug Administration & Control, NAFDAC, Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, as corporations, agencies and government owned companies whose detailed proposals must accompany the budget to the National Assembly. Others mentioned in the section are the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, NIMASA, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA. He said that the purported summary of the budget presented to the House was an abridged version of it. According to him, if the NNPC has submitted its budget estimates to the house, the issue of the missing $10.8bn at the corporation will not have arisen. The legislator advised the National Assembly and the House, in particular, not to condone such a breach of

the law. He said: “What accompanied the purported budget was a summary rather than the estimates. For instance, if the estimates of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has been submitted with the 2013 budget proposal, the House would have known where the missing $10.8bn is. “The House should not allow them breach the laws it passed and should not encourage the Executive to continue to engage in breaching the law. “This particular budget has breached our laws. This parliament must not encourage the President to continue to breach our law. We must not allow ourselves to do the wrong thing for the convenience of the moment. History will not judge the House well for sitting back when the law is breached.” The Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal had to step down the consideration of the budget after tense and passionate debates from two opposing camps of the PDP and the

L-R: Governors, Seidu Dakingari (Kebbi); Idris Wada (Kogi); Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta); First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan; Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol and wife of the Deputy Senate President, Mrs. Ike Ekeweremadu, during the official launch of the MDGs Village Health Workers Scheme in Abuja, yesterday.

Gunmen on rampage, kill 49 in Plateau, Yobe CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

are on red alert.” He stressed that the police was rebuilding confidence among the communities to encourage people volunteer information to security operatives. The commissioner said that “bandits now parade themselves as Boko Haram to induce fear in people.” Meanwhile, the Yobe State Council of Chiefs yesterday condemned the attack on the innocent traders. In a communiqué issued

at the end of their 7th Council meeting held in Damaturu, the monarchs commended the security agents for restoring peace in the state but however regretted the Monday night’s attack. The Emir of Fika, Mohammad Abali ibn Idrissa Mohamadu, called on the people to cooperate with security agencies in the fight against terror. Meanwhile, the Centre for Development and Rights Advocacy, CEDRA, has called on the Federal

Government to declare a state of emergency in Kaduna State, as the only means of securing Southern Kaduna from such attacks. A statement by the Director of CEDRA, Dr. John Danfulani, and made available to journalists in Kaduna, said: “It is clear that Governor Yero of Kaduna State and his security team are deficit of the knowledge of effective administration and physical security management.

“This has denied him/ them the capacity to carry out the number one duty of the state, i.e. protection of lives and property of citizens under their control. “It is a global norm that any government that is incapable of performing that crucial role is not worth staying in power for a single second. “We are by this reinforcing our 2013 position that, Mr. President should declare a state of emergency in Kaduna State.”

APC members at plenary. However, the disclosure from the Speaker that both the House and the Senate have agreed to postpone plenary till next week to allow APC members register, further dimed the chance of the budget being considered until next week. It would be the second time the debate on the budget is being put off. The first time was last week when it was postponed to give way for the voting on the constitution amendment. Jimeh said the presentation of the 2014 budget is in breach of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007. Countering Jimeh’s submission, John Enoh (PDP-Cross River), who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation said that the Executive had complied fully with the Act in the past two years on budget estimates. The legislator said that there had never been a time that the House had insisted on the budget estimates of certain agencies before passing the budget. He said: “I disagree that the estimates are in the breach. The struggle to get the Executive to comply has been long. Year in year out, the National Assembly kept insisting. In the past two to three years, the Executive has been in full compliance. “The question is; are the estimates abridged or not? My colleague (Jimeh) says it’s abridged, but he agrees that estimate accompanied them. “It becomes a different thing altogether what the National Assembly decides to do with the estimates. “In the 2013 budget, it came the way the 2014 came. There is no time that in the course of passing the budget that we decided we would not pass it until the budget of a certain agency was presented.” However, Enoh’s submission was greeted with the shout of No! No! No! by Jimeh’s supporters. The Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal at this point noted that Jimeh had made a valid point of law and appointed the six-man committee. In an interview, Hon. Dakuku Peterside (APC-Rivers) said that Jimeh’s point of order was appropriate as it was based on law. “The matter is specifically the issue of compliance with the law of the land,”

he said. He said that if the committee established that there was a breach by the Executive, the budget would be thrown back at it. Meanwhile, the House has adjourned plenary till February 11 to allow members of the APC to participate in the membership registration of the party in their constituencies. In the Senate however, the appropriation bill passed the second reading. It was accordingly referred to the third stage (committee stage) for the ministries and departments to go and defend their allocations before committees. Debate on the general principles of the budget proposal commenced last week Tuesday. The overwhelming support for the bill, which included lawmakers from APC was despite an earlier directive by the leadership of the opposition party to its senators to block the passage of the budget. The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu presided at yesterday’s plenary session because the Senate President was away to attend the National Council of State meeting at the State House, Villa, Abuja. In his remarks before committing the budget bill to third reading, Ekeremedu urged speedy consideration of the budget by the various committees of the senate. He also asked the senators to undertake a more thorough scrutiny of the shortcomings on the budget with a view to correcting all the noticeable inadequacies in the document. He reminded the lawmakers of their constitutional responsibility as the supreme institution in charge of the budget. “We have raised the issue of neglect that some sectors are neglected and others completely omitted especially in the areas of projects. The thing about our presidential system is the in-built separation of powers in which one arm of government is a check on the other. “The constitution is clear that it is the business of the Executive to prepare the appropriation bill and it is the business of the parliament to edit that proposal and come up with a final document.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

2015: APC wants Asari-Dokubo arrested over comment •Heavens ’ll not fall if Jonathan loses –ACF OBIORA IFOH AND A ZA MSUE

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he All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday called on the State Security Services, SSS, to arrest former Niger Delta militant, Mujahideen Asari-Dokubo, over his comment that his kinsmen will make the country ungovernable should President Goodluck Jonathan failed to win next year’s presidential election. The party said this comment by Asari-Dokubo is a threat against the nation, calling on the security operatives to arrest him for questioning without fur-

ther delay. APC described as reckless, irresponsible and totally condemnable the threat by the former militant to wage war against the country if President Goodluck Jonathan is defeated even in a free and fair election in 2015. In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said despite the attacks by oil militants in the Niger Delta and the ongoing insurgency by Boko Haram in some parts of the north, Nigeria has not witnessed a clearer and louder call to war than Asari-Dokubo’s vituperation since the country’s

civil war ended in 1970. The party said the SSS must act immediately or be damned. “There is no better test of the fairness, non-partisanship and professionalism of the SSS than this Asari-Dokubo’s threat to levy war on his own country. If Asari-Dokubo is not above the laws of the land, he must be hauled before the SSS, just like the Service did to our Deputy National Secretary, to explain his statement,” APC said. It also said Nigerians are waiting to see what the SSS, which recently detained for many hours the APC’s Deputy National Secretary, Nasir El-Rufai,

over his warning against election rigging in 2015, will do now that an ally of President Jonathan has threatened the very existence of Nigeria. “What on earth gave Asari-Dokubo the confidence to issue threats against a whole nation? If he doesn’t care about elections and democracy, how else could his hero, President Jonathan, have come to power? Does he know the meaning of anarchy? Does he think anyone, no matter how big, is more important than his country or bigger than its constitution? “When he said President Jonathan ‘must complete the mandatory

constitutionally-allowable two terms of eight years’ or the militants will make Nigeria ungovernable, was he aware that even the north that has become his favourite whipping boy did not complete its own eight years before his kinsman became President? “It is not Asari-Dokubo’s fault, when we warned against the handing over of the nation’s maritime security to a company owned by an ex-militant in 2012, many thought we were crying wolf where none existed. But the threat by an exmilitant to ensure that no vessel will be allowed to enter the nation’s territorial waters unless President Jonathan is re-elected has shown the dangers inherent in such actions,”

the APC said. The party wondered why President Jonathan, who said his ambition is not worth anyone’s blood, has neither condemned nor call to order his out-of-control kinsmen like Asari-Dokubo, who speak either on his behalf or for his benefit. In its reaction yesterday, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, said heaven will not fall if President Goodluck Jonathan loses the 2015 presidential election. In short text message sent to National Mirror by ACF National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani, the ACF warned ex-militants over their continued threats, saying that democracy is contest of ideas not intimidation.

Oyinlola: NCC contradicts MTN, AGF ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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L-R: Senate Leader, Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba; Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu and member, Senate Committee on Defence and Army, Sen. Chris Anyanwu, after plenary in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

We’re not sure when Boko Haram insurgency will end –DHQ UBONG UKPONG ABUJA

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he Defence Headquarters, DHQ, yesterday said it was not sure when the Boko Haram insurgency in the country will come to an end. The headquarters said it was impossible to determine when the insurgency would end in April. This new position was coming about 16 days after the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, said the Boko Haram menace would end in April this year But the DHQ yesterday

clarified the statement, saying that it was not a promise to Nigerians, but a charge by the CDS to his service chiefs. However, in what looked like another version to the April deadline yesterday, the DHQ in a statement in Abuja, through its Director of Defence Information, DDI, Major-General Chris Olukolade, aimed at clarifying the CDS statement, which he did not deny, said it was meant to bring the insurgency sufficiently under control. The statement reads in part: “The remarks made by the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Air Marshal A. S. Badeh during the hand-

ing and taking over ceremony between him and the immediate past CDS on the need to end terrorism by April this year, has expectedly generated lots of comments, interpretation and reactions, especially from the media. This has necessitated a clarification in the interest of the general public and for record purposes. “It is true that the CDS discussed the menace of insurgency/terrorism in parts of the country and the state of emergency. He also implored the service chiefs to take every necessary step towards bringing the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in the

North-East to an end. “Accordingly, he declared that, April is very crucial in this task, especially as a way of avoiding possible constitutional stalemate. The CDS was not unmindful of the hydra-headed nature of the situation when he made those comments. “He was simply being optimistic that given the vigour, zeal and combat readiness of the new service chiefs, the Nigerian military must work hard to bring the situation in the North-East to an end or sufficiently under control to pave way for normal socioeconomic activities in these parts of the country.”

he Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has faulted the claims by MTN Nigeria Communications Limited that it was mandated by law to keep call data of its customers for only three months. NCC made the disclosure in its reply to a Freedom of Information, FoI, request by a former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. According to NCC, telecom operators are mandated to retain call data for a minimum of one year contrary to the threemonth period claimed by MTN. Specifically, NCC said: “Please note that telecoms operators are required to retain call data for a minimum period of 12 months or as otherwise directed by the commission. The directive to operators took effect from the 3rd July, 2007.” A copy of the NCC’s letter which was signed by the Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, Josephine Amuwa, was made available to journalists yesterday. MTN had purportedly claimed before a panel of the National Judicial Council, NJC, which in-

vestigated allegations by Oyinlola that a former President of the Court of Appeal, retired Justice Ayo Salami, had communications with the leaders of the now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, while presiding at the appeal panel that sacked Oyinlola from office as governor of Osun State. The communications company had told the panel that the extant law allowed it to keep call data for only three months. In a suit filed by Oyinlola seeking to compel the Attorney-General of the Federation to prosecute MTN and its directors for lying on oath, MTN in a counter affidavit deposed to by a Senior Subscriber Fraud Analyst with the company, Mr. Mathew Okoromi, repeated the claims before the NJC panel and the Special Task Force, STF, that the IGP set up. In paragraph 6 he averred thus: “I know the 2nd Respondent (MTN) duly honoured request in line with extant laws and regulations and in line with its policies and capacity constraint at the material times which limits the period within which CDRs can be stored on the 2nd Respondent’s network to typically about three months by releasing the CDRs to the law enforcement agencies.”


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Man, daughter die as SUV plunges into river T ragedy struck in the early hours of yesterday when a Sports Utility Van plunged into a river, killing the driver and his 11-year-old daughter. National Mirror gathered that the incident occurred on Ikota Bridge, inward Ajah area of Lekki, when the middle-aged man, Mr. Sunday Megba, his

wife, Sade, and their daughter, Lola, were coming from a Celestial Church in the area. But the wife was lucky to escape. According to eyewitness accounts, the incident, which occurred around 1.00am, threw residents into confusion. It was gathered that the family were heading

towards Ajah when the SUV fell off the bridge and plunged into the river. The woman fell off the jeep while it was somersaulting and survived though, with serious injuries while the man and his daughter plunged into the river before help could come. Local divers, officials of the Lekki Construction

Company (LCC), Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) and other agencies had hectic time recovering the bodies of the victims and the jeep from the river. There was confusion over what led to the accident, but a LASEMA official, who did not want his name mentioned, said the jeep somersaulted many

times before it eventually plunged into the river. He could not tell whether the car had a burst tyre or brake failure. A local diver, Francis Agboglo, was said to have mobilised others for the rescue operations, but succeeded in bringing out the bodies of the father and daughter after many hours. Sade was rushed to the Peninsula Hospital for treatment. The bodies of the victims have been deposited at the Peninsula Hospital. Sade and her husband were said to be traders at Itedo area of Lekki Roundabout.

LASEMA General Manager, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed the incident. He said: “A jeep with a family of three fell off the Ikota Bridge inward Ajah and plunged into the river. “The wife has been rescued and taken to the hospital while dead bodies of the father and daughter were recovered by Ilaje divers. “Rescue operation is still ongoing by LASEMA, Lekki Construction Company and other emergency responders. Efforts are being made to recover the jeep from the river.”

$20bn oil revenue still missing –Sanusi

•NNPC says CBN inconsistent, selective CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7

L-R: Director General, Budget Office, Mr. Bright Okogu; Central Bank of Nigeria Deputy Governor in charge of Financial System Stability, Mr. Kingsley Moghalu CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, during an investigative hearing on the alleged unremitted $49.8 billion oil revenue by the Senate Committee on Finance in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

10 robbery suspects, forgery syndicate arrested in Imo CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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he Imo State Police Command yesterday arrested no fewer than 10 armed robbery suspects. It was said that the suspects were involved in different robbery and kidnapping operations across the state. Two of the suspects, Nwosu Josephat (33) from Umuduru in Onuimo Local Government Area and Jude Ihentuge (22) from Obazu

Mbieri in Mbaitoli Local Government Area, were arrested by the anti-kidnapping squad of the police at Ubulu Ihejiofor in Oru West Local Government Area while attempting to kidnap one Mrs. Margret Odor. The police also arrested one Chukwudi Eziefula (30) of Umuezuakpa in Mbaitoli Local Government Area and Bright Monday (22), who hails from Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia State, while attempting to rob a white Nissan

Sunny car marked APP 842BZ Lagos. Items recovered from the suspects include one locally made pistol and one Honda Element car suspected to have been stolen by them. Also, one Osondu Obichere of Eziobodo in Owerri West Local Government Area was arrested following a tip-off that the suspect, who drives a Dangote truck marked TRM 116 XA, diverted the consignment of 900 bags of cement to an uncompleted building in a remote village and

sold 348 bags to one Philip Oforegbu. Parading the suspects, including a forgery syndicate who specialised in forging bank stamps, the Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Musa Katsina, warned members of the public to beware of those who go about forging signatures of bank workers with the intention to defraud wealthy individuals, especially property owners. He said all the suspects would be charged to court for prosecution.

Fashola condoles with Newswatch over editor’s death FRANCIS SUBERU

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agos State Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday condoled with the management and staff of Newswatch Newspapers Limited over the death of the newspaper’s Deputy Editor, Saturday, Mr. Toyin Obadina. Obadina was shot last Fri-

day while returning home after the day’s work by some yet to be identified gunmen. He later died on Sunday morning after a surgical operation at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja. In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, Fashola expressed shock over the untimely death of the Deputy

Editor, noting that the deceased was an articulate and brilliant journalist who had contributed substantially to the development of journalism in the country. The governor was particularly pained by the fact that the deceased was cut down in his prime. Noting that the Newswatch has lost one of its top flight editorial team members, Fashola urged the

management and staff to take consolation in the fact that the deceased left a legacy of diligence in the workplace, adding that the best way to immortalise his memory was to uphold that legacy. Obadina was attacked by some suspected armed robbers along Itoikin-Old IjebuOde Road while driving to his residence at Parafa area of Ikorodu.

repairs. The NNPC in a statement issued late yesterday accused the CBN of inconsistency and being selective of the figures on which it based its calculations. “We are concerned by the dynamics of the moving numbers as the Central Bank’s figures keep changing. This is a worrying trend coming from an Agency of Government charged with managing the financial affairs of Nigeria”, the statement said. It added; “While NNPC and other relevant government agencies are in the process of reconciling the $10.8bn as accepted by all parties, we are surprised by the new $20bn figure introduced by the CBN. According to CBN the $20bn is made up of $12bn subsidy claim, $6bn NPDC gross revenue and $2bn third party revenue. It is worthy to note that the CBN accepted NNPC submission with respect to $16bn royalty and PPT payments into the federation Account through the FIRS. This indicates that the CBN cherry picks the figures.” The NNPC said that for example, in taking the entire $6bn gross revenue accruable to NPDC and allocating same to the federation account, CBN simply multiplied the gross production by the crude oil price; thereby failing to account for the operating

costs (opex) and amortized capital expenditure that underpin the production. “In other words, the CBN failed to take into account the cost of production.” “We reiterate that NPDC has been remitting the royalty and petroleum Profit Tax, PPT to the Federation Account. NPDC as a subsidiary of NNPC operates a business model similar to other international companies in Nigeria and abroad and will continue to be governed by these global best practices in the execution of these assets. “Regarding the subsidy claim on kerosene, it is important to note that NNPC as the supplier of last resort is the only company supplying this product in Nigeria for the benefit of the citizenry. If kerosene has been deregulated why are the independent marketers not supplying this product in line with what is applicable to diesel (AGO). “NNPC owes a duty to Nigerians to ensure that there are adequate products in the country. This mandate has without question been accomplished in the past four years. NNPC deserves to be commended rather than battered, for ensuring adequate supply of kerosene at regulated price of N50.00k. NNPC cannot be held responsible for any differential pricing from non NNPC retailers. This is the basis for NNPC’s claim on kerosene subsidy.”


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Lagos raises alarm over abuse of wetlands FRANCIS SUBERU

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he Lagos State Government has stressed the need for partnership with stakeholders in the preservation of wetlands in the state. Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, who made the call yesterday at the at the 2014 World Wetland Day held at the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, said government is prepared to do the needful to address the problem. Bello, who spoke on the theme:“Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners for Growth”, was represented by the Permanent Secretary Environmental Services of the ministry, Mr. Akeem Ogunbanwo. In his address, he noted that partnership with

stakeholders became necessary as most wetlands in the state had been encroached and severely vandalised as a result of anthropogenic activities. He said: “This has led to a great reduction in the buffer zone available to balance the ecosystem and control flooding. More than 51 percent of wetland area including mangrove swamps along the major rivers in Lagos has been lost to urbanization in the past decades.” While stressing that the preservation of wetlands is a compulsory option for life and living, Bello added that, “if we continue to destroy it, we compromise our future and endanger posterity. If our forefathers had preserved it for us, we also have the sacred responsibility of conserving it for unborn children.”

LASUTH records success in ear surgery FRANCIS SUBERU

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he Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Department of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH and The Cochlear Foundation, University of Freiburg, Germany, have successfully carried out the first corrective surgery in two people with severe hearing problem in Lagos. This was made possible through the implantation of an earring device called Cochlear Implantation into the deaf patients’ ears through surgery. The device is said to convert sound into impulses which enable the patients

to hear and understand. The mission, according to the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Prof. Adewale Oke, is another feat in the hospital’s quest to provide excellent health for the people of the state. He reiterated the hospital’s mission to a very large extent improve on the self-esteem and build social confidence in patients who as a result of loss of hearing isolate themselves from social engagements. According to the Chairman, LASUTH Board, Dr. Olatunde Williams, Freiburg University and LASUTH have found a lasting solution to a long standing problem through Cochlear Implantation in deaf people.

IGP: Ekiti, Osun polls’ll be hitch-free OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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head of the forthcoming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states as well as the February 2015 general elections, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar has expressed the readiness of the Force to ensure a hitch-free exercise. Speaking when the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle paid him a courtesy visit,

Abubakar said that already, no fewer less than 160,000 police personnel are receiving relevant training on election duties in different training institutions across the country in preparation for the elections. He promised that the Force would not leave anything to chance as it was committed to providing maximum security for the polls. According to him, the police officers are receiving specialised training on electoral laws.

Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, inspecting the guard of honour mounted for him by officers of the Nigeria Police attached to his office on arrival at his Okemosan office, Abeokuta, yesterday.

Agbakoba sues FG over alleged discrimination in Unity Schools K AYODE KETEFE

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agos-based human rights activist, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, has filed a suit against the Federal Government at the Federal High Court in Lagos to stop what he calls discriminatory practices in the FederalGovernment owned Unity Schools. The Attorney General of the Federation, AGF and Minister for Education are joined as corespondents in the suit commenced by special procedure of Originating Application for the Enforcement of Fundamental Rights. Agbakoba is praying the

court to declare that application by government of different cut-off marks for Federal Government Colleges, also known as Unity Schools, based on gender, ethnicity and states of origin is discriminatory and violates fundamental guarantees to Freedom from Discrimination of his grandchildren candidates as guaranteed by the Constitution. He based his argument on Section 42 of the Constitution which prohibits administrative or executive actions by government that discriminates between Nigerian on grounds of ethnicity, gender, religion or place of origin. The activist is seeking

a declaration that “the administrative acts of the respondents, particularly the 2nd, which prescribes and applies different requirements including cutoff marks for candidates seeking admission into Federal Government Colleges, based on gender, ethnicity, states of origin etc, is discriminatory against applicant’s grandchildren and the group/class they represent, on grounds of ethnicity, states of origin, gender etc. and therefore violates Section 42(1) of 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.” He is also seeking for two specific orders: “an order directing the respondents, particularly the 2nd, to apply uniform

admission requirements, especially cut-off marks, to all candidates seeking admission into Federal Government Colleges, notwithstanding their gender, states of origin, ethnicity etc; and “An order restraining the respondents, particularly the 2nd Respondent, whether by itself, its agents, servants, privies or otherwise howsoever from further acts of discrimination in admission to Federal Government Colleges.” The suit is supported by a 19-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Agbakoba himself, together with a written address containing the arguments he adduced to support his position.

Mimiko not leaving Labour Party -Nwanyanwu OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he National Chairman of the Labour Party, LP, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, has said that Dr. Olusegun Mimiko will complete his second tenure as the governor of Ondo State on the platform that brought him to office. Reacting to a report that the governor is set to dump the LP for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Nwanyanwu said Mimiko would also remain with the party

as a Leader and critical stakeholder to ginger the party to greater heights. Reports last weekend said the Ondo State helmsman and his Anambra State counterpart, Peter Obi were set to jump the ship to the PDP. But in release, the LP chairman said: “This very insulting insinuation should have been ignored by Labour Party, but owing to the fact that insinuations have been promoted by all manners of characters since 2009 when Governor Olusegun Mimiko

first took oath of office as the governor of Ondo State on the platform of the Labour Party, we have decided to briefly respond to it because it is a generally known maxim that ‘a lie told several times over could be perceived as the truth.” He added: “Let us state for the umpteenth time that Governor Olusegun Mimiko does not intend to decamp to the PDP or to any other party for that matter. Mimiko was elected governor on the platform of the Labour Party and

with Labour Party he intends to remain. This is because he believes in the social democratic ideology of the party. “And in case, he does not believe that decamping from a party with no leadership division to another party will find comfort with the provisions of the constitution of the real Republic of Nigeria.” Chief Nwanyanwu assured party members that the governor would complete the second tenure as the governor under the umbrella of the party.


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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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Amosun seeks Assembly’s approval for fresh N19bn loan FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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gun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday wrote the House of Assembly seeking its approval to obtain a fresh loan of N19 billion to complete ongoing projects across the state. Amosun, in the letter read on the floor of the House by the Speaker, Hon.

Suraju Ishola, said the loan was part of the sum of N29 billion already approved as capital receipt from internal loan passed by the lawmakers in this year’s budget. In the letter dated 3rd February, 2014 and titled: “Request for approval to obtain internal loan,” the governor said N19 billion out of the total loan budgeted would be “urgently

needed to facilitate the implementation of the 2014 budget”. Part of the letter read: “Kindly refer to the Ogun State 2014 approved estimates wherein a sum of N29 billion only was budgeted as capital receipt from the internal loan. “However, the sum of N19 billion out of the amount stated in paragraph two above will be needed

urgently to further the execution of the five cardinal programmes of the present administration, particularly in the area of infrastructure”. Amosun added that he intended to raise the loan from four banks. The governor planned to raise N5 billion from First Bank; N10 billion from Sterling Bank; N3 billion from GTB andN1 billion from

Ecobank. While the sum of N18 billion sought from First, GTB and Sterling banks are to be spent on infrastructure, Amosun also explained that the sum of N1 billion being sought from Ecobank would be spent on the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) as the counterpart funding of the project.

The governor, however, urged the Assembly to should issue “individual borrowing resolution” as required by the affected banks. After reading the letter, Speaker Adekunbi called for further debate on a bill seeking a law for the establishment of the lottery board in the state before the House adjourned till next week Tuesday.

Oyo, Germany to partner in SMEs, energy, agric

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overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has indicated his administration’s intention to partner with German government in order to enhance the socio-economic development of the state. He stated while receiving the Consulate-General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Lagos, Mr. Michael Derus, who paid him a courtesy call in his office in Ibadan. Specifically, the governor said that the partnership would be in the areas of agriculture, small and medium scale industries, energy, water and social services. He said a committee

Farm tools and equipment donated to various Fadama user groups in Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Man to die by hanging for killing in Ekiti ABIODUN NEJO ADO-EKITI

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n Ado Ekiti High Court yesterday sentenced a 30-year-old man, Mayowa Omolaye, to death by hanging for killing a farmer, Mr. Tayo Oluwabusuyi. The trial judge, Justice Lekan Ogunmoye, who said that all essentials of murder were established in the case, ruled: “The judgement of this court is

that you should be hanged by the neck until you are dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul.” Omolaye was charged with the murder of Oluwabusuyi at Igbooroke farm in Igede-Ekiti, headquarters of Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state on May 30, 2009. Omolaye was said to have earlier been convicted for assault and stealing from Oluwabusuyi’s farm.

After leaving jail for the crime, he went back to Oluwabusuyi’s farm, attacked and killed him there. While the trial lasted, the prosecution had argued that the act contravened Section 316 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap 38, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004. The prosecution said Omolaye had confessed to the crime and had claimed to have cut the throat of his victim.

As the prosecution called seven witnesses, the accused testified by himself and called two witnesses. Three issues were formulated for determination. They were whether the court can act on the retracted confessional statement of the accused to convict him and whether the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt based on the evidence before the court.

Group urges INEC to fix date for Ilaje-Ese-Odo by-election OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE

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group in Ondo State, the Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM), has protested the alleged delay in conducting the by-election into the vacant seat of

Ilaje-Ese-Odo federal constituency in the House of Representatives by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In a statement signed yesterday by its chairman, Asiki Medunoye, and Secretary, Eddy Kpiliboh, NDYM said the seat

had remained vacant for over two months. The group said: “We are afraid that a period of three months (90days) shall be completed on February 22. It is disappointing that up till now, INEC has remained silent on the possible date of the

by-election. No election time table; no sign of any preparation.” It called on INEC to release the timetable for the by-election so that the constituency would have a representative in the lower chamber of the National Assembly.

comprising government officials and those of Germany would be put in place to work out the areas of interest between the state and Germany. Ajimobi said: “Germany is a country that people with efficiency and commitment would always be interested in dealing with. So, we are ready to work with you to assist us in our efforts at developing Oyo State.” In his remarks, the Consulate-General, Mr. Micheal Derus, said Germany would partner with Oyo in the area of energy and agriculture where the people were expected to benefit more.

Lagos charges teachers for effective performance

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he Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, has urged teachers in the state to double their efforts with a view to improving the performance of students despite the remarkable improvement in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) results. Oladunjoye, who spoke yesterday Lagos at the opening of a three-day training programme for 350 secondary school teachers and principals, noted that it is by so doing that they (the teachers) can justify the government’s investment in the education, especially in the training and re-training of teachers and provision of relevant facilities. The commissioner commended WAEC for organising the programme to build and improve the

capacity of teachers, particularly against the background of the fact that Lagos is the first and pioneer beneficiary of the training programme. According to her, career development is important and puts emphasis on broader skills, which are applicable in a wide range of situations such as decision making, thinking creatively and managing people. She stressed the commitment and support of teachers in moulding the lives of children for a better rewarding future and urged them to pay adequate attention to facilitators at the programme. Earlier, the Head of National Office, West African Examination Council’s Nigeria, Mr. Charles Eguridu, praised the Lagos State Government for being proactive in organising the training for teachers and principals.


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Tribunal begins pre-hearing on Anambra governorship poll CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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he Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal headed by Justice Ishaq Bello has begun pre-hearing proceedings into the petitions filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Dr Chris Ngige and other contestants in the November 2013 poll. The Peoples Democratic

Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate, Comrade Tony Nwoye and other petitioners are also challenging the victory of Chief Willie Obiano in the controversial election. The tribunal, sitting in Awka, the state capital, yesterday began pre-hearing proceedings that was attended by no fewer than 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN appearing for the petitioners and respon-

dents. It would be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had on December 1, 2013 declared Obiano the winner of the November 16 and 30th, 2013 governorship election. Justice Ishaq Bello had at the resumed sitting of the Tribunal on yesterday called up four petitions filed against Obiano’s victory for mention and pre-

trial hearing. The petitions mentioned included those filed by Dr Chike Obidigbo against Obiano and two others, Ngige against INEC, Obiano, APGA and Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD),as well as that of the PDP versus INEC and 25 others, as well as Tony Nwoye versus INEC and 25 others. All the attorneys at the tribunal announced

that they had filed their pre-hearing information forms as well as motions for extension of time to file other processes. The respondents’ lawyers also informed the tribunal that they had filed motions seeking to strike out either some paragraphs of the petitions or the entire petitions for lack of competence. Ngige’s counsel, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, in the petition filed against INEC, Obiano, APGA and ACD, contended that the petitioner had withdrawn his petition against ACD. He also stated that he had filed a motion on notice asking the tribunal to direct all preliminary points of law or objection to be taken along with the

final addresses of parties. Others who announced appearances for their parties were Messrs Adegboyega Awomolo, Arthur Obi-Okafor and G.N. Uwechue, all senior advocates who represented INEC. Another silk, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, appeared for Obiano. APGA was represented by Patrick Ikweto, Osita Nnadi, Akeredolu and Emeka Ngige, all Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN. Prof. F.C. Dike represented Obidgbo. Chief A.O. Ajana stood in for PDP, while Mr. Emmanuel Ukala represented Nwoye. Justice Ishaq Bello had while adjourning further proceedings till February 11, commended the lawyers for their ‘cooperation’.

Obi orders financial reforms CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

A Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha (2nd right), his wife, Nneoma (right) and members of the expanded state executive council at the 38th Anniversary of State in Owerri on Monday. PHOTO: NAN

Enugu women vow to reject imposition of confab delegates by Ohanaeze DENNIS AGBO Enugu

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head of the proposed National Conference, crisis appears to be brewing in Enugu State. Women are daring the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze, vowing to resist imposition of delegates to the parley. Leader of Igbo Women Assembly and former President of National Council of Women Societ-

ies, NCWS, in Enugu State, Mrs. Maria Okwor, who briefed newsmen yesterday, alleged that the leadership of Ohanaeze led by Chief Garry Igarawey as president-general and Dr. Joe Nwogu as secretary, had both planned to plant stooges as delegates to represent women at the conference. She cited a women’s meeting summoned by the two leaders yesterday at the secretariat of the group in Enugu State where promi-

nent members of Imeobi Ohanaeze including herself were excluded. Mrs. Okwor vowed that Igbo women would mobilise a protest against the selection by the Ohanaeze chieftains “if their conspiracy comes to fruition.” She alleged that the women wing of the group had already elected their leaders, which she said the men leaders had failed to recognise.. Okwor suggested that

the governors of the SouthEast should be involved in appointing delegates for the conference. The women leader also suggested that Nigeria should go back to the parliamentary system of government, noting that the present presidential system is not only costly but corruption-ridden. “There is also so much power concentrated at the centre. Power should be devolved to regions or zones,” she suggested.

Alleged Scam: South-East CAN backs Oduah DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he South-East chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, yesterday rose in defence of embattled Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah over the controversy trailing the purchase of N225 million bullet-proof cars. The association attributed the woes bedeviling the

minister to ‘some powerful forces’ uncomfortable with her performance in the aviation sector. It also asked President Goodluck Jonathan to disregard calls for the minister’s sack, insisting that apart from giving the aviation industry a new lease of life, the minister remained one of the shining lights of the present administration’s transformation programme. South East Chairman of

CAN, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, who is also the Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, also warned the ‘forces’ behind the war against the minister to beware as the zone “will not continue to fold its arms and watch them destroy the integrity and reputation of our daughter.” His words: “There is a sabotage and blackmail by certain people in this country who want to blackmail and destroy the integrity

she has garnered over the years and we’ll not accept it. “Some of those who are behind the attack, we are aware of their record when they occupied the same position. No matter what seems like a mistake, we must give her a chance to improve herself. “We have to thread softly and investigate properly. I want to make it clear that we’ll not tolerate the blackmail. We must defend her to the last.”

nambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi has directed the 13-man March 17 handing over committee led by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, to facilitate transfer of power to the governorelect, Chief Wille Obiano. The members of committee, with a ten-point agenda, include Dr. Nkem Okeke, deputy governorelect, Dr. Chinedu Emeka, Prof. Dora Akunyili, Chidi Ezeoke, Mr. Callistus Ilozumba, Mrs. Azuka Enemo, Dr. Greg Obi, Mr. Willy Okafor, Dr. Tony Nnacheta, Mr. Law Chinwuba, Mr. Ifeatu Onejeme and Prof. Stella Okunna, who will serve as the secretary. Obi had in a release signed by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Chief Joe Martins Uzodike, directed the power transfer committee to examine the system of governance with a view to determining the need to retain, modify and improve on the existing models. The panel is also charged with the responsibility of determining government finances and status of outstanding obligations, as well as makes appropriate recommendations on the desirability and viability of existing government bod-

ies and agencies, especially on those considered to be moribund. The governor also ordered the committee to address the challenges of low internally-generated revenue and how best to reform the Anambra State Internal Revenue Service and taxation processes for optimal performance. They are also to review the remuneration of political and public office holders in Anambra State, courtesy of a July 16 2001 law 17 and recommend review, if need be, among other crucial duties. The mandate of the committee also included critical review of government finances and the existing operational structure and policies within one month.Details of the undertaking was relayed to journalists at the post-State Executive Council meeting press briefing held yesterday. The state government also said the executive council meeting had approved some contracts, including the rehabilitation and reconstruction of 33kv overhead lines and transformer substations in Ogbaru Local Government area valued at N152.5 million; 33kv one at Anambra East Local Government Area (N130 million) and construction of Nteje-Umunya road (N700 million), among other key projects, whose contracts were approved at the meeting.


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JTF rescues three abducted Indian sailors in Rivers EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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combined team of the Joint Task Force, JTF, the Nigerian Navy and men of the Department of State Security, DSS, yesterday rescued three abducted Indian sailors at a hideout in Abissa, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State. The freed expatriates identified as Kanishk Johrar, Mohinder Saini and Balwinder Singh, were kidnapped about a month ago on board a

fishing trawler at Malabo, Equatorial Guinea and whisked into the shores of Nigerian waters by the gang. This was contained in a statement signed by the Media Coordinator of the JTF, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu and made available to National Mirror yesterday. The statement said the kidnappers had earlier demanded for a ransom of N1 million to secure the freedom of the sailors. Nwachukwu said five of the kidnappers were arrested in their hideout,

a fishing port at Abissa by the combined team of security agencies that raided the area while their cohorts were at large. The JTF spokesman further said that his men also arrested 17 suspected oil thieves and used swamp boogies to destroy 29 illegal refinery camps in the creeks of Bayelsa and Delta States. According to Nwachukwu, the anti-oil theft operations by the security agency lasted between January 20 and February

2 this year, adding that the suspects were currently undergoing preliminary investigation pending when they would be handed over to relevant agencies for prosecution. Giving a breakdown of its operations, the officer said troops of 3, 19 and 195 Battalions of Sector 1 of JTF uncovered and destroyed 12 illegal refinery camps at Agbede Forest, Obi-Ayagha and Otegele communities in Etsako West, Ugheli South and Warri South-West Local

Government Areas of Delta State. The statement reads in part; “During the clampdown, the troops uncovered 28 Cotonou boats, 24 underground storage tanks containing about 70, 000 litres of illegally distilled Automated Gas Oil, AGO, 547 steel drums, five surface tanks, 22 plastic tanks all filled with suspected illegally refined AGO. “Other items discovered include five speed boats loaded with 150 drums of

illegally refined AGO, 47 fabricated steel pots and 37 ovens used for cooking illegally sourced crude oil. Seven other suspects were also arrested by the troops for pipeline vandalism and oil-related crimes. “Four of the suspects were apprehended for vandalising a pipeline belonging to PPMC at Okuejeba, while three others were arrested along Chanomi Creek in Warri SouthWest for indulging in acts of pipeline vandalism in the area.”

Oshiomhole faults INEC election timetable SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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do State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has faulted the timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for the 2015 general elections. He said the timetable has loopholes that may encourage rigging during the elections. Speaking in Asaba, Delta State, after a stakeholders’ meeting of the All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, Oshiomhole said; “Nigerians cannot afford to continue to be a laughing stock of the world even by West African standard.” According to the governor, there are assumptions that next year’s elections will be rigged, for which reason people are worried over

INEC’s conduct as an arbiter. “I don’t understand why INEC wants to climb the tree from the top. They do recognise that they have some explanations to make. Common sense demands that you climb a tree from the bottom for good reason,” he stated. “In any case, we are in this particular phase of democracy for 15 years since 1999. What makes the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the collection of the federating states. When you want to conduct the presidential election first, and you are deviating from an old pattern, you have some explanations to do. “But, it is more so when under this particular leadership of INEC that they conducted the National Assembly election first the last time, people did complain that they ought to begin with the House of Assembly.

Traders at Mile One Market protesting the alleged planned demolition of the market yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Ozekhome lists pitfalls ahead of national confab SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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uman rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Chief Mike Ozekhome, yesterday listed pitfalls ahead of the proposed national conference, harping on the issue of funding and a law

Edo police commissioner to arraign killer cop SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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do State police command yesterday confirmed the arrest of the policeman who shot and killed a 35-yearold truck driver at the weekend, Mr. Osagie Odion Egbon, in Ikpoba Slope, Benin City. The alleged killer policeman with Force Number: 364780, Corporal Valentine Fumaka, is attached to Mopol Five of the state police command and is currently in

detention pending when he would be arraigned for murder today. The arrest and detention of the suspect came few days after Governor Adams Oshiomhole directed the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Foluso Adebanjo, to ensure the arrest and prosecution of whoever committed the heinous crime. The state governor had reiterated his directive when the younger brother of the deceased driver and family spokesman, Mr. Efosa Egbon, led other

members of the family to the Government House to formally demand that justice be done in the case. Governor Oshiomhole commended the family of the slain driver for reposing confidence in the system as against taking the law into their hands. He said; “Nobody has the right to take the life of another person except as prescribed by the Constitution of Nigeria. Whether you are in uniform or out of uniform, we are all duty bound to respect the laws of the land.”

backing up the conference. He warned that the proposed conference may be bogged down by severe legal, economic, sociopolitical and cultural challenges, going by the way it is planned by the Federal Government. Ozekhome addressed some journalists yesterday in his chambers in Benin City, where he listed issues that he said have been bothering his mind concerning the conference, which he described as an appropriate and timely dialogue necessary to produce a template upon which the various ethnic nationalities of Nigeria must co-exist in the future. In the address that lasted for about an hour, Ozekhome, who did not forget to thank Nigerians, especially the media, for doing everything to ensure his release from the kidnappers den unharmed last year, listed issues he considered to be the pitfalls

ahead of the conference. He said for the conference to be meaningful and for Nigeria to avoid such pitfalls, President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Government must address the issues immediately. Ozekhome argued that there was no basis for anybody to doubt or campaign against the convocation of a national conference considering what is happening all around the country. He therefore blasted those he called “turncoats,” who had hitherto been calling for the convocation of a national conference only to turn their backs against it when the President decided to organise a platform for such national discourse. “I am ashamed to see campaigners of national conference turn their backs on it now. “It could be argued though, and I think this

is the argument that Mr. President’s advisers must have given to him; that Section 5 of the constitution gives executive powers to Mr. President. “He should be in charge for the peace, order and good government of Nigeria; and that having a national conference is part of the ingredients that will lead to peace, good governance, stability and security in Nigeria. “That will be one argument; that it is part and parcel of his function to organise a conference so that Nigerians can talk so that there will be peace, there will be tranquility, there will be good governance, there will be stability and there will be security. That is hurdle number one.” Listing the various challenges confronting the Conference, Ozekhome disclosed that there was no law, as of now, backing the idea.


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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Shettima inaugurates 27 LG caretaker committees • Warns against fraud INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

G Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima (left) presiding over the swearing in of local government caretaker chairmen in Maiduguri, yesterday.

FG rules out free cancer test for Nigerians MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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he Federal Government yesterday said that it would not be able to provide Nigerians with free cancer test due to the limited funds at its disposal. Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Ambassador Sani Bala, stated this at a briefing to mark 2014 World Cancer Day in Abuja. According to him, Federal Government was stepping up effort to increase radiographies for treatment of cancer to 10 in different parts of the nation. He added that the objective was to ensure no

Nigeria travel beyond 200 kilometers before accessing health facilities for treating the disease. Besides, the Permanent Secretary said the government would ensure adequate training of personnel for managing cancer in Nigeria, stressing that this year’s commemoration focused on demystifying four myths namely: “We don’t need to talk about cancer; there are no signs or symptoms of cancer; there is nothing I can do about cancer; and, I don’t have right to care.” These myths, he said, were still prevalent in Nigeria. Bala said: “The truth is that access to cancer care is a matter of social justice. Therefore, all people have the right to access

proven and effective cancer treatments and services on equal terms, without suffering hardship as a consequence. This informed the even spread of cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment facilities in the six geo-political zones of the country. This is also why the Federal Government established at least one tertiary health institution in all the 36 states of the federation with the capacity to manage different categories of cancers. “Our vision is that no Nigeria should travel more than 200 kilometers to access the best of cancer care in Nigeria. To this end, limited facilities such as radiotherapy and nuclear medicine ser-

vices will be available in 10 federal tertiary health institutions in Nigeria by the end of 2016…We have increased the capacity of health workers to make early diagnosis and institute prompt treatment by training and retraining of the relevant personnel in various subspecialties of oncology. “A technical working group will soon be inaugurated to scale up cervical cancer screening project in Nigeria. This will further expand our current effort in cervical cancer prevention in Nigeria. The focus on cervical cancer is because of its prevalence in Nigeria as the second commonest cancer after breast cancer and the fact that it is preventable.”

overnor Kashim Shettima of Borno State yesterday inaugurated the 27-member Local Government Caretaker Committee with a warning that public funds must not be misappropriated. The governor also read a six-point riot act to the 27 caretaker chairmen, after they were sworn in by the state Chief Judge, Justice Kashim Zannah, at the Government House in Maiduguri. He said their appointment was based on merit. Shettima, however, said that as the 2015 general elections draw near, the people at the grassroots should be mobilised for full participation in all the processes aimed at electing leaders at the state and national levels. The governor reminded

Scores of PDP members defect to APC in Borno INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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cores of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporter and leaders in Guzamala Local Government Area of Borno State have defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC), citing neglect and underdevelopment as reasons for dumping the party. Led by the former PDP secretary in the area, Alhaji

Mob kills pastor, sets church ablaze in Katsina JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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n angry mob yesterday attacked and killed the pastor of a local church in Kankia Local Government Area of Katsina State. The pastor, Dike Ocha, 50, was killed on suspicion that he had a hand in the death of a four-year-old girl, Fatima Yusuf, whose body was found close to his residence. Fatima was said to have gone missing about four days ago, only for her body

to be found close to the pastor’s residence with some vital parts of her body missing. An eyewitness, who spoke with our correspondent, said the pastor was attacked twice and set ablaze by the angry mob in front of a hospital where he was receiving treatment from the first attack. The witness said the church in which the late pastor was overseeing, an Assembly of God Church, his residence and another worship centre were also set ablaze by the mob.

He said the Eze Igbo of the area, who was with the pastor when the first attack occurred, was beaten by the mob, and would have been killed, were it not for the intervention by some soldiers. The witness added that the glasses of the Eze Igbo’s car were smashed to pieces while his family members narrowly escaped the mob attack. The situation was tense when our correspondent visited the area, as many armed security personnel were seen patrolling the

area. The Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Hurdi, confirmed the incident. Hurdi said: “This morning (yesterday), the body of the girl was discovered somewhere in one of the housing estates. “And incidentally or unfortunately, the place where the body was recovered was close to the residence of a pastor. “So, on sighting that and seeing the body had been tampered with. Whether the private parts have been

the caretaker chairmen that their responsibilities include delivery of robust services to the people through accountability and transparency. Speaking on projects that have been completed, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Babakaka Bashir Garbai, said most of the council headquarters and other villages were hooked to the National Grid in overcoming the problem of electricity in rural areas. Responding on behalf of the caretaker chairmen, Chairman of Maiduguri Metropoltan Council, Alhaji Kadiri Rahis, thanked the governor for founding them worthy of the appointment and promised that they would all work hard to ensure sustainable development across the state. He also promised that they would support Shettima’s administration for effective service delivery to the people.

removed or not, some mischievous characters concluded that the body must have been dumped by the pastor. “And before you know, a mob had already gathered and attacked the house and wounded the pastor; and when he was rescued to the hospital... some of them attacked him there and the rescuers, and set the pastor ablaze and he was killed in the process.” He added that the the pastor’s house and a church were set ablaze by the mob.

Tijjani Goni and chairman, Alhaji Lawan Kuru, the party stalwarts and supporters besieged the Maiduguri Government House yesterday to express their decision to dump PDP, which they claimed they had supported for 12 years “without appreciable gains.” They said many of their children were yet to be employed after completing their academic studies in various tertiary institutions. “They are not getting dividends of democracy; we want our children that have graduated to get jobs. We want development for our people. We are decamping to APC for the betterment of our people,” Goni said. In his reaction, Governor Kashim Shettima said the former PDP members had made the right decision to have defected to APC. He urged them to be patient and support APC chieftains, including the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Abdulkarim Lawan, adding that working together with them would ensure the success of APC in all elections in the state.


Wednesday February 5, 2014

Atiku

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Politics

Tinubu

2015: Atiku on the march again! Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubarkar, is on the match again towards achieving his political ambition of ruling Nigeria. Politics Editor, OBIORA IFOH, takes a look at his recent defection to the All Progressives Congress, APC and his chances of achieving this set goal.

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ith the following statement, former vice president and the Turaki Adamawa, Atiku Abubarkar finally bade farewell to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, a party he was one of the founding fathers: “I encourage my political associates and friends to register and join the All progressives Congress, APC, once the registration exercise commences, so that together we can change this country for the better.”

Atiku, before 1998 As a retired Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, top shot, Atiku warmed his way into politics under the tutelage of late General Shehu Yar’Adua, former second-in-command to General Olusegun Obasanjo military administration between 1976 and 1979. Easily, the most flamboyant politician from then Gongola State but his effort to rule that state in 1991 was met with stiff opposition. However, when the window of politics opened again during the late General Sani Abacha regime, he teamed up with his political mentor to form the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM. As its name suggests, the PDM played a critical role in the formation

AS IN 2006, IT IS THE STRUGGLE FOR DEMOCRACY AND CONSTITUTIONALISM AND SERVICE TO MY COUNTRY AND MY PEOPLE THAT ARE DRIVING MY CHOICE AND MY DECISION.

LET ME EMPHASISE THAT THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME. WE HAVE TO HAVE A COUNTRY BEFORE PEOPLE CAN ASPIRE TO LEAD IT

of the PDP. Unarguably among the finest political exports from the North, Atiku, as he is fondly called, led other Northern leaders to champion the Southern presidency and in this case, a South Westerner to assuage the zone for denying them the presidency in 1993. Chief Obasanjo emerged as a consensus candidate and Atiku was also favoured to run as his vice at the party’s convention.

Atiku, between 1998 and 2003 Both leaders formed a perfect partnership for the 1999 election and expectedly won in a landslide. Obasanjo was

expected to serve for one term and hand over to Atiku. At this point, while Obasanjo took care of governance, Atiku was saddled with oiling the political arm of the party. Things went smoothly at both ends of governance and politics until the rup up to the 2003 general election. Atiku, supported by virtually all political bigwigs in the party, including most PDP governors had expected Obasanjo to hand over the reins as agreed, but Obasanjo had other plans. He wanted to serve a second tenure as stipulated by the constitution. There was also an Alex Ekwueme and late Abubarkar Rimi, who will not let go off the presidency. At the famous Jos National Conventio,n barely a few hours to the occasion, Atiku caved in to Obasanjo’s pleading, with an understanding that 2007 was his for the taking. But unknown to Atiku, he has just lost the greatest opportunity to rule Nigeria as events later unfolded.

Atiku, between 2003 and 2007 Barely a year into their second tenure in office, Atiku and his boss, President Obasanjo started manifesting open discord and analysts believed that Obasanjo never forgave Atiku for the humiliation he made him go through during the Jos convention. He was stripped virtually of all executive positions and party oversight functions he hitherto held. He was also accused of disloyalty and also of high corruption and dragged to court in spite of the immunity clause. Atiku’s alleged transgressions were innumerable. Unable to bear this, Atiku said: “in 2006, as a result of my firm stand in defence of our constitution and our democracy, my supporters and I were pushed out of our party, the PDP, a party that we worked tirelessly, with CONTINUED ON PAGE 14


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Politics

Wednesday February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

2015: What future does APC hold for Atiku? CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 other compatriots, to build as a vehicle to restore democracy to our country.” As a sitting Vice President, Atiku joined the defunct Action Congress, AC, where he contested the 2007 presidential elections. He lost and his vice presidency also ended same year.

Atiku between 2007 and 2011. When Prince Vincent Ogbulafor became the National Chairman of the PDP and late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua emerged as the President, both made efforts to rebuild the party and pleaded with most party members that had defected to return, after of course, the necessary party waiver must have been secured. According to Atiku, “we later returned to that party in 2009 when a new leadership of the party and the country promised a new direction, a direction of inclusiveness, of internal democracy, of an end to impunity, adherence to the rule of law and respect for the dignity of members and Nigerians.” His return which was stoutly challenged by his own state governor, Murtala Nyako, however was geared towards his ambition to achieve the presidency. The ruling party now under the leadership of Okwesilieze Nwodo was divided over Atiku’s overbearing influence among the political class across the nation, the Northern political elite in particular, as well as his ability to champion a formidable opposition against the the acting President Goodluck Jonathan’s chances of becoming a substantive president in 2011. Atiku therefore was made to face several obstacles by the party so as to dissuade him from contesting the 2011 election. His eligibility to contest was challenged in the court, as well as even his membership status. He overcame all these challenges and went ahead to contest in the presidential primaries where again he lost to the eventual winner, President Jonathan.

Atiku since 2011 To many, Atiku was finished politically and at close to seventy years of age, there was really nothing the Turaki could offer to the nation, but alas, he thinks otherwise. To him, Nigeria deserves better than it is getting and he owes it to the nation that has done so much for him to ensure that things begin to work well again. He said: “More worrisome though is the danger posed to the continued existence of this country by this culture of impunity and arbitrariness. We continue to have threats from officially protected political extremists. Increasingly, our people are recklessly being divided along the lines of religion, ethnicity and region for political gains. Our history and that of many other countries in Africa and Eastern Europe ought to teach us that this is very dangerous and must stop. We can and we must do better. Our people deserve better.” Two years after self imposed political exile, Atiku resurfaced again through his PDM which he got registered as a fully fledged political party. In August last year, Atiku led seven PDP governors to stage a walk out at the PDP Special National Convention over irreconcilable differences, particularly, the inability of the party to keep to its promises of internal democracy. Atiku said: “In addition, the PDP continues to be beset with many crises, mostly leadership-induced crises. It has since lost touch with Nigerians and efforts made by many well-meaning members and stakeholders to bring it back to the vision of the founders have been rebuffed. To demonstrate the seriousness of the challenges and bring public attention to it, I and some other leaders and stakeholders staged a walkout during the party’s last convention in Abuja.

Late Yar’Adua

THE PDP CONTINUES TO BE BESET WITH MANY CRISES, MOSTLY LEADERSHIP-INDUCED CRISES. IT HAS SINCE LOST TOUCH WITH NIGERIANS AND EFFORTS MADE BY MANY

WELL-MEANING MEMBERS AND STAKEHOLDERS TO BRING IT BACK TO THE VISION OF THE FOUNDERS HAVE BEEN REBUFFED

“As I speak, most of the issues that led to that walkout are yet to be addressed. Many founding members of the PDP, I included, continued to be marginalised and excluded from the affairs of the party. “For instance as a former Vice President, I am by virtue of the PDP constitution, a member of the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT, and its National Executive Committee, NEC. However, I am not invited to the meetings of those organs nor consulted on their decisions, apparently because I dared to exercise my right to contest in the party’s primary election for a chance to be its flagbearer in the 2011 elections. We have, therefore, concluded that that party cannot be redeemed. In short the PDP has abandoned Nigerians, the very people who gave it life and many electoral victories.

His romance with APC When the G7 governors and the breakaway PDP under the leadership of former PDP chairman, Abubarkar Kawu Baraj,e entered into discussion with the APC

leadership, many pundits rightly predicted that the discussion will end into a fusion. So in November, 2013, five PDP governors, Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) along with their supporters decamped to the APC. Only Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Babangida Aliyu (Niger) stayed back in the PDP. The APC had only intensified its poaching resulting to several federal lawmakers elected onPDP platform defecting to the opposition party. It was, therefore, only a matter of days for Atiku to follow suit. In December, Bola Tinubu and Muhammed Buhari, two eminent leaders of the APC led other notables of the party to the Asokoro home of the former Vice President to woo him to their party, a visit Atiku said was necessitate by the need “to join hands with them to save the country. “Consequently, I have been consulting my supporters and associates, my family and friends for the past few weeks. My decision may not satisfy some of my friends and associates. In the end, however, I have to put the interest of our country first. This country has done so much for me personally and it deserves all that we can do to help rebuild it and serve our people better. “Following this extensive consultative process, I have, therefore, decided to cast my lot with the APC, a party of change committed to the improvement of the lives of our people and to the continued existence and development of Nigeria as one indivisible country. “This is the right decision. As in 2006, it is the struggle for democracy and constitutionalism and service to my country and my people that are driving my choice and my decision. Let me emphasise that this is not about me. We have to have a country before people can aspire to lead it, but as it is today, we may be losing this country. That is not acceptable. “The process of building a nation, of securing and deepening democracy is indeed difficult. And it is not a lineal process. There would be alignment and realignment of political forces. There would be ups and downs and zig-zags, triumphs and challenges. Amidst all that, patriots must remain focused and do what has to be done to save and build the country and serve our people better. “That is what I have decided to do. I will do all within my God-given powers to help the APC win elections all over Nigeria and bring true change to our country and its long-suffering people.”

Is his presidential ambition realisable under APC? Certainly, everything is possible in politics, but watchers are of the opinion that more than in the PDP, Atiku stands a chance of picking APC presidential nomination, unlike in the PDP where the door appears to be permanently shut against most contenders and him in particular. Atiku is a man of affluence and influence and has several disciples across the political divide; both across the sections of the country and all generation of political players. He really has no rival yet among the Northern hopefuls, if his past experience and political machinery are fathomed in. However, in the APC there are many credible aspirants; including serving governors, most of whom recently defected to the party. There are also retired Generals as well lawmakers who are known to have desired that office. But, winning the APC ticket is one thing and winning the general election against an incumbent President backed by his ruling PDP, who has unlimited resources and very willing and gullible supporters ready to cash in on the pecuniary reasons in his support. February 14, 2015 is still more than a year away and though, politics is just anybody’s game, but Nigeria deserves the best.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror National News www.nationalmirroronline.net

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From The Civil Service FG to spend another N96m to re-grass Abuja National stadium

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Service providers queue to enter the Federal Secretariat in Abuja, yesterday, following the recent installation of new security gadgets admitting only civil servants with access cards.

Enrollees seek review of NHIS MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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nrollees of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, are seeking the review of the scheme. The enrollees comprise largely Federal Government employees and few other citizens in the services of private institutions and expatriates in the country. Call for the review was a reflection of opinion poll carried out by National Mirror in selected Federal Government ministries in Abuja, namely Federal Ministries of Health, Education and Water Resources. The poll was necessitated by the need to set

Kwara govt tasks education officers on professionalism

enrollee-driven agenda for the newly-appointed Executive Secretary of the scheme, Dr. Thomas Olorunfemi, who assumed office recently. Currently, less than six per cent of Nigerian population is covered by various health insurance programmes, of which the Federal Government employees are well over 65 per cent. The out gone Executive Secretary of the scheme, Dr. Abdurahaman Sambo told National Mirror last year that 4.3 per cent of Nigerian population (about 7.8 million people out of estimated 167 million) were covered by the scheme in the country. According to him, “Under the formal sector

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at the federal level, we have close to 2.7 million people. Earlier last year (2013), it was 2.1million. We were able to increase it to 2.7million. It is slow because people haven’t presented themselves or take time to present themselves for registration.” From facts garnered in the course of the interview, it was gathered that increasing non-communicable diseases such as cancer, heart attack, diabetes, which are medically proven to kill faster than the conventionally familiar diseases are excluded from the scheme. Enrollees called for inclusion of the diseases as part of ailments to be covered by the scheme. And, those interviewed

said persistent deduction of five per cent of their basic salary for the scheme was unfair, given the services the scheme provides. One of those who spoke with National Mirror was Amina Ibrahim. She works with the Federal Ministry of Education. She said: “Once you are an employee of the Federal Government, you are automatically enrolled into the scheme. It covers you, your spouse and four children. It is expected to cost you 15 per cent of your basic salary as premium; but only five perc ent is deducted while the Federal Government pays 10 per cent on your behalf. But, since the scheme began, many of us have been

Kogi Assembly warns ministries against extra-budgetary spending P.41

PHOTO: NAN

the marching order for enhanced service delivery. Besides, an employee of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Akintayo Ifeoluwa said “I can’t just understand that scheme. The only good thing that I have seen in it is that the deduction is progressive; that is, it takes more from those who earn higher salaries. What does the scheme really cover? I am not happy with the way the hospitals and HMOs handle the scheme. We do not get commensurate services with what is taken from us. And, I think government should include killer diseases like cancer and diabetes into the scheme; that will make it sound better.”

complaining about it. Why would somebody be deducting my salary every month when it is possible I don’t visit a hospital in six months, except for check up? When you go to the hospital your Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) enrolls you in, or you which you chose for yourself and managed by the HMO, they give you drugs like paracetamol and the rest which may not even cost more than N200. The scheme is very unfair,” she said. Ibrahim called on Federal new leadership of the scheme to review the scheme to embrace emerging diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart failure, stressing that HMOs and hospitals must be given

Nasarawa Govt. probes sack of LG workers P.16


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Civil Service

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nasarawa probes FG to spend another N96m to sack of LG workers re-grass Abuja National Stadium T JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

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arely six months after National Sports Commission spent over N96m to re-grass Abuja National Stadium under controvertial circumstances, there are indications that similar amount will again be spent to re-grass the stadium after damage caused by the recent centenary celebration. During a visit to the Abuja main bowl National Stadium by National Mirror on

Tuesday, it was discovered that the construction company Julius Berger that earlier handed the project has been re-engaged re-engaged and is currently setting up high tower podium on the surface of the newly planted grasses on the pitch that has destroyed the grass. Most of the sports enthusiasts lamented the loss of vision and wasting of resources on the part of sports administratiors in the country. According to one of sport journalist who does not want his name to mention

said he wonder why the Minsiter of Sports, Mr. Bolaji Abudulahi allowed such a thing happened without protection. “I hope our leaders go out of this country because of recent when Nelson Mandela of South Africa died they did something like this but the turf was protected but in this case there is no protection it is very bad he lamented. Another sports lover said, “Well we should be get ready to spend the more money as you can see the grass is damaged”

It will be recalled that The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Godfrey Gaiya, had refused to accept the amount spent because to him the job done is substandard. He said: “My verdict is that I am not comfortable with the level of water logged on the pitch. I was in Calabar and it rained for three days non-stop before the match and you cannot compare Calabar that is in tropical environment to Abuja that is in the Savannah where rain is lighter”.

he Nasarawa State Gvernment has constituted a sevenman committee to look into the recent disengagement of some Local Government workers in the state, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. This is contained in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Hajia Zainab Abdulmuminu, on Tuesday in Lafia. The statement named Alhaji Mohammed Danazumi, the Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Local Government Affairs, as chairman, while Mr. Sule Osuza, the Director of

Administration and Supply, Ministry of Rural and Community Development would serve as secretary. It mandated the committee to appraise the circumstances surrounding the recruitment and disengagement of the affected staff. The committee, according to the statement, is also to verify the actual number of staff engaged by the councils during the period under review. It said the committee, which would be inaugurated by Gov. Tanko AlMakura on Thursday, was given three weeks to complete its assignment.

Kwara tasks education officers on professionalism

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L-R: Acting Director, Personnel Research and Statistics, National Board for Technical Education, Mr. Ekpenyong Ekpenyong; Secretary, Presidential Committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Public Polytechnics, Mr. Ben Ebikwo; Chairman of the committee, Hajiya Fatima Ahmed and Vice Chairman, Mr. Bello Isa, at a mandatory training for Nigerian Public Polytechnics in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Acting Permanent Secretary , Isa Ari Mohammed; Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide and Director, First Halal Meat Abattoir of Nigeria, Mr. Emmanuel Djewere during the inspection of Halal Meat Abattoir of Nigeria at Jikwoyi in Abuja yesterday.≠≠=≠≠

he Kwara Government on Tuesday in Ilorin urged education officers across the 16 local governments of the state to be professional in carrying out their duties. Malam Lamidi Alabi, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, stated this at a workshop for Quality Assurance Readers and Mentors. Alabi said recent developments had shown that the professional skills of majority of Quality Assurance Officers in the state had become ``blunt.’’ According to him, the quality of the reports emanating from some zonal offices leaves much to be desired. To arrest the declining quality of education in the state, he said correct duplication of roles on inspection and monitoring of schools was needed. This, he said, was to redeem the poor quality of inspection instruments and to standardise the quality of inspection reports. Alabi pointed out that the Quality Assurance Bureau (QAB) was set up to serve as one of the major feedback mechanisms to the government and other stake-

holders. “The QAB can serve as a reliable assessment as to the health and progress of the Education Reform Agenda in the state,” he said. He further reiterated government’s resolve to further train quality assurance readers and mentors from the headquarters and eight zonal offices of the bureau. In his remarks, Malam Mohammed Abubakar, the Director of QAB in the ministry, charged Quality Assurance Officers to be more committed to ensuring an objective assessment of schools in the state. He further appealed to the government to provide more funds in order to ensure improved performance.

Gov. Fatai Ahmed


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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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My doubts over the planned national confab PUBLIC DOMAIN

DELE

SETEOLU

deleseteolu@nationalmirroronline.net (08033137577 SMS only)

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n his October 1, 2013 Independence Day broadcast, President Goodluck Jonathan pronounced his commitment to a national conference. A prominent member of Afenifere, Dr. Femi Okuronmu, was named the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference. The advisory committee toured the six geo-political zones of the country after which it submitted a report to the President. The Presidency has issued modalities for the conference and announced February, 2014 as its commencement date. The timeline set for the conference is three months. Northern Nigeria main stream political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has insisted that three months is rather too short for exhaustive debate. This writer agrees that the three month conference tenure is rather short to thoroughly discuss all the issues that make up the national question. Meanwhile, the conference would be attended by 492 nominees spread across the nation’s sociopolitical spectrums. The planned nomination of delegates, which is to be largely on state basis, is, to me, an anathema; it suggests a mindset of a predetermined outcome. A ‘genuine’ national

conference should derive its delegates through election. Election offers the process to choose popular representatives as against the nomination of cronies. Secondly, the nomination of delegates would not guarantee the participation of rural peasants and urban poor. The nomination process would likely result into elite dominated national conference. Why is the state averse to election to recruit delegates? Is nomination considered by the state more viable to election of delegates? How do we measure that nominees represent popular aspirations and demands? These issues are germane to a critical scrutiny of the selection process. The state often nominated delegates to influence outcomes of previous conferences; the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo civilian administration held a National Political Reform Conference, which was populated by nominated delegates. The widely shunned General Sanni Abacha conference lacked legitimacy for its selection process. The delegates were nominees of the military leadership. Besides, the self succession plan of the late General created doubts and cynicism in the regime’s political transition. The nominees-dominated conferences showed patterns of pre-determined outcomes and unpopular support. The state announced that the national conference outcome would be integrated into the amended version of the1999 Nigerian Constitution. This pronouncement is fraudulent and strips the forthcoming conference of its sovereign status. The 1999 Nigerian Constitution was not drafted by representatives of Nigerian people. Secondly, it was not submitted to a referendum. The 1999 Constitution has been flawed in several senses and could not constitute the basis

THE SIGN POSTS ARE

NOT BRIGHT FOR A FARREACHING NATIONAL CONFERENCE…THE GOVERNING ELITE ARE MAKING THE PROSPECT OF DISINTEGRATION FEASIBLE THROUGH THEIR ACTIONS AND MINDSETS of a new constitutional architecture for the country. The 1999 Constitution was a military designed document that heightened the political stress and contradictions within the polity. The Nigerian state requires a people’s constitution that is ratified at a referendum as opposed to the submission of its resolutions to the National Assembly. The state claims there would be non-restrictive dialogue at the national conference. The conference would be expected to discuss ethnicnationality question, indigeneship-settler question, fiscal relations between the centre and federating units, state and local government creation, consociation policy application such as quota system, federal character, economic system, and political power relations between the federating units. The state actors, however, insist on the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigerian state. The governing elite have shown arrogance through insistence on the indivisibil-

ity of the state. The concept of classical notion of sovereignty and its indivisibility is jaded and fails to reflect recent historical realities. It has been substituted with contemporary notion of sovereignty where sovereignty is shared between the popular and legal sovereigns. The legal sovereign derives its power in the popular sovereign. The popular sovereign decides its destiny and preferred constitutional architecture for the country. This writer prefers a perpetuation of Nigerian state. More so, the increasing aggregation of political units into trade and economic blocs has increased the attraction of aggregation as opposed to disaggregation within and among states. The Nigerian federation, however, is enmeshed in structural distortions and imbalances that cast doubts on its future. These distortions have increased the sense of alienation of its components units, working people, urban poor, peasants, social movements, students, artisans, et cetera. The state was not voluntarily negotiated, but imposed on pre-colonial territories. It is contradictory to insist on the indivisibility of Nigeria despite its colonial origin. Ordinarily, a federal state is a voluntary union and secession clause is often inserted in its main legal document. The Nigerian federation should be voluntarily negotiated and its membership equally voluntary. The sign posts are not bright for a far- reaching national conference. We need to discuss the national question, but the government’s modalities for the February national conference are anti-people and anti-development. The governing elite are making the prospect of disintegration feasible through their actions and mindsets.

Of comedy, comedians and national rebirth BOBSON GBINIJE

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an’s quest for joy, blithe and happiness takes the form of protean venture and can be likened to the temperaments of artifacts and museum scoundrels and thieves standing before investigators. They exude grotesque disposition. Hence, the comedian tries to create a balance through comedy. Comedy is as old as man and comedians have always been with us. In our world suffused, bemused and impregnated by Neanderthal bellicosity, scorching poverty, sanguinary proclivities, leadership inertia, chauvinism, religious extremism, psychotic corruption and planlessness, etc, we can water down our feelings through comic relief characters, who use satires, sarcasms or allegories to laugh at us in a lighter mood. The great literary masterpieces and mythologies from Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey; Achebe’s Things Fall Apart; Soyinka’s The Man Died, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan’s The School for Scandal, and others too numerous to mention, had a tincture of comedy that didactically said something about ourselves and society, precipitating laughter. We are in a world cocooned in cerebral dwarfishness because of our lost values, inability to speak truth to power and normative social standards. We use comedy and comedians to humourise our situation to ameliorate our emotional Erebus and political topsy-turvy. However, comedians must heed the admonitions of Abraham Lincoln,

NIGERIAN COMEDIANS HAVE WORKED SO

1980S THROUGH THE 90S TO THE 2000S TO LIFT

HARD FROM THE

THE COMEDY ART AND COMEDIANS TOIL FROM GUTTER SNIPE TO PROFESSIONAL LEVEL that “with malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right , let us strive on to finish the work we are in.” The comedian and his jokes are tools for societal change, political renaissance, cultural revolution and religious rebirth because he can hide real happenings to galvanise the leadership and the citizenry into action for societal change. A comedian once said that the late President Kwame Osagyefo Nkrumah once visited Nigeria, and as he drove in a convoy with Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, he saw a man urinating by the road side. He castigated Nigerians for being dirty litter louts. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa felt chagrined, despondent and crest fallen. He quickly organized a reciprocal visit to Ghana. As he drove in a convoy with Nkrumah, he sighted a man defecating by the road side. He quickly called Nkrumah’s attention to it. Nkrumah, breaking protocols, asked the convoy to stop. He quickly called for the arrest of the defecating scoundrel and asked him “Where are you from”? The man quickly retorted

“I am from Nigeria”. He immediately recalled the words of Mohandas K. Ghandi that, “I can retain neither respect nor affection for a government which has been moving from wrong to wrong in order to defend its immorality”. What a shame! And whither goeth Nigeria? The comedian made this joke and all laughed. But the silent and salient point is to admonish our leaders and Nigerians in general on social courtesies, responsible waste disposal mannerisms, provision of public toilets and efficient waste management organization. It is also a platitudinous truism that the comedian gave a joke which looked harmless, but in actual fact, if a critic or journalist had written an article on “Nigeria, waste management and leadership inertia”, it would have attracted detention or verbal/ physical flagellation. We must draw or make a clear-cut dichotomy between ‘comperes, masters of ceremony and comedians in a social forum. The popular social mistake is the desire of comedians to function as all of these. The popular compere Collins Adeyemi in his recent book, “Director of Ceremony”, adumbrated on the need for there to be a cantankerous difference between all of these to make professionalism the watchword in the trade. The Comedy Guild in Nigeria has become a fertile ground for youths, graduates and those with creative talents. They have become professional in their own rights and a regular feature at private and public occasions. The field is robustly enriched with Warri (Wafi) and Sapele (Safa) boys and girls. Indeed, the South-South, South East and South West are overwhelmingly represented in this field.

We have great comedians like Basket Mouth, I Go Die O, Ali Baba, Gandoki, Rocky Feller, etc. Nigerian comedians have worked so hard from the 1980s through the 90s to the 2000s to lift the comedy art and comedians toil from gutter snipe to professional level. They have become indispensible in the socio-economic and public calculus in Nigeria. The essayist, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, posited in his book ‘The ladder of St. Augustine’ that “the heights great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night”. Finally, Nigerian comedians have toiled all night and they deserve a place in the pantheon of the great builders of Nigeria in our rebirth strides. They have to be more critical, spontaneous, authentic, creative and revolutionary in their orientation and drive to make our world and Nigeria a better place. In trying to create happiness they most note the admonition of Francois Rochefoucauld that “we are more interested in making others believe we are happy than in trying to be happy ourselves” and “the happiness or unhappiness of one depends no less upon their disposition than on their fortunes”. God bless our comedians. Chief Gbinije, founder of Mandate Against Poverty, wrote from Warri, Delta State. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


18

Editorial

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

KAFILAT OGBARA

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MANAGING DIRECTOR/CEO

BANKOLE MAKINDE

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DEPUTY MD/CEO

SEYI FASUGBA

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DAILY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

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SATURDAY EDITOR

KAYODE FASUA

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ACTING EDITOR, SUNDAY

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

CALLISTUS OKE

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EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

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ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

FIDELIS LEMCHI OWOAMANAM

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REGIONAL DIRECTOR, S/SOUTH

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

KING ODODORU

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

R

APC’s directive to its parliamentarians

ecently, the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), took steps it believed would checkmate the festering, yet consciously scripted political crisis in Rivers State, in particular; and other parts of the country in general. The party specifically directed its members in the National Assembly to discountenance all executive bills, including the 2014 Appropriation Bill that is long overdue for debate until President Goodluck Jonathan restores law and order in Rivers State. In response, the Presidency upbraided the APC, stressing that its directive to opposition lawmakers was a direct invitation to anarchy and a vindication of its earlier position that the party was out to scuttle democracy and national unity. The APC, however, insisted it did the right thing. The party said its directive was people-oriented, democratic and aimed at saving Nigeria from sliding into anarchy. The party said the directive has already succeeded in dousing the tension in Rivers State, “where those who have been subjected to ceaseless harassment by hoodlums, aided and abetted by the police, can now stage their rallies in peace’’. The APC believes its directive will ultimately be in the interest of not only all Nigerians, but national institutions as well, includ-

THE PRESIDENCY SHOULD MOVE SWIFTLY AND RESTORE PEACE AND DECENCY IN RIVERS

STATE POLITICS, IN PARTICULAR, AND OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY ITS

MEDDLESOMENESS HAS BECOME INTOLERABLE ing the National Assembly itself. Notwithstanding intense pressure by the opposition and other critics on Jonathan to redeploy the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, accused of being a crony of Dame Patience, his wife, whose interest in the Rivers crisis is not hidden, the Presidency appeared complacent on the issue. Unconfirmed reports, however, said Mbu was reluctantly redeployed lately, apparently in deference to the APC directive. Of interest, however, is the fact that opposition political parties in the country other than the APC, including the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Labour Party, etc.,

have, in strong terms, condemned the APC order as unpatriotic, dubious, self-serving and, indeed, a recipe for anarchy. A member of the House of Representatives’ Public Accounts Committee, Mr. Linus Okorie, for example, described the directive as “anti–people and diabolical”. But from whatever perspective it is viewed, cognizance should be taken of the fact that political rascality, recklessness and impunity, as well as politically motivated disorder in the country have become unacceptable. The situation in Rivers State, for instance, has been a huge national embarrassment, an eyesore, courtesy of the police and other law enforcement agencies’ less than noble roles in the entire saga. Yet politicians and political parties deliberately worsen the situation by their dishonest interventions and unguarded utterances. The 1999 Constitution (as amended) made provisions for the freedom of association and expression, which we insist must be jealously protected by the appropriate authorities. The exercise of the said rights also goes with a high sense of responsibility and obligations. The directive by the APC leadership might have been necessitated by a number of wrongs by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), President Jonathan or his wife, that needed to be remedied. But that is not enough

for the main opposition party, perhaps basking on its new-found strength, to attempt to shut down Jonathan’s government. Politicians in the country have failed woefully in the way and manner they have been allowing history to repeat itself. They ignore the consequences of past circumstances that derailed the nation’s march to democracy and development. The political elite are again courting anarchy, the end of which is unpredictable. The drift should be halted now before it is too late. No matter how provoked, the directive by the APC leadership to its members in the National Assembly to block all executive bills, including the 2014 Appropriation Bill, is not in the interest of Nigerians. It is an unpatriotic order that demonises the game of politics. The directive will foist confusion and induce dire consequences on the nation if strictly obeyed. It is an ill-advised recourse to self-help, especially for a party seeking to wrest power from the PDP, purportedly to save the nation and Nigerians from further ruination. The Presidency should move swiftly and restore peace and decency in Rivers State politics, in particular, and other parts of the country its meddlesomeness has become intolerable. And for the APC, it should desist from giving the ruling party measures it would not tolerate were it to be in power.

ON THIS DAY February 5, 1976 The 1976 swine flu outbreak began at Fort Dix, New Jersey, United States. The swine flu outbreak, also known as the swine flu fiasco, or the swine flu debacle, was a strain of H1N1 influenza. Infections were only detected from January 19 to February 9, and were not found outside Fort Dix. The outbreak was most remembered for the mass immunization that it prompted in the US. It killed one person and hospitalized 13 others.

February 5, 2004 Rebels from the Revolutionary Artibonite Resistance Front captured the city of Gonaives, starting the 2004 Haiti rebellion/coup d’état. The 2004 Haitian coup d’état occurred after conflicts lasting for several weeks in Haiti. It resulted in the removal from office of President JeanBertrand Aristide, which prevented him from completing his second term. Aristide left Haiti on a United States’ plane, accompanied by US military/security personnel.

February 4, 2008 A major tornado outbreak across the Southern United States killed 57 people. The 2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak was deadly. It affected the Southern US and the lower Ohio Valley on February 5 and 6, 2008. The event began on Super Tuesday, while 24 US states were holding primary elections and caucuses to select the presidential candidates for the upcoming presidential election.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

19

Health & Wellbeing ‘We are not doing badly in cancer registration’

22

Health benefits of wheat

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Cervical cancer screening:

Second opinion may count –Olaleye test or more proceFRANKA dure, to rule out OSAKWE false-negative result”. Saying that ab30 year old lady was normal cervical cell recently reported to changes rarely cause have been miraculously symptoms Dr Olaleye stressed healed of cervical cancer without any treatment in one deliverance ministry in La- the need for women, irrespective of their age, gos. According to the report, She had gone for to go for cervical screening once they become a cervical screening test which revealed she sexually active for early detection of HPV. According to him, many factors can cause was positive for cervical cancer. Not bothering to go for treatment, she ran to her pas- false results in Pap smear such as, “when the tor for help and the pastor was said to have sample collected contains too few cells and there instructed her to go on three days dry fasting, may not be enough abnormal cells to study. Also after which she was delivered and the demon an infection or blood may hide abnormal cells cast out. She then went for further test and or it can also be washed away by douching or vaginal medications”. He says that, “the sample the result was negative for cervical cancer. While this is spiritually possible, there is might be taken from a healthy area of the cervix however a medical explanation for this phe- leading to a false result, which is why Liquid nomenon says Dr. Femi Olaleye, Medical Di- Based Cytology LBC was developed to reduce rector of Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, issues of false positive results. “There is also the visual inspection test Lagos. According to him, a screened test results may show positive for cancerous cells which involves a painless examination of the even when no cancer is present. This, in med- cervix and then spraying a mist of diluted ical parlance is referred to a False-Positive Acetic acid (vinegar) on the cervix. Abnormal test result. Also, it is possible for some abnor- parts of the cervix reacts with acetic acid and mal cells in the cervix (neck of the womb) to turns pale white, and this area stands out clearly Patient being tested for cervical cancer with radiotherapy machine. indicate the presence of human papillomavi- against the normal pink and healthy cervix. The Dr. Olaleye, also a gynecologist with clini- tive results can also happen when VIA is rus (also called HPV) which is the causative examiner then interprets the result as positive cal fellows in Obstetrics and Gynaecologist used, “this can happen when the examvirus for cervical cancer but these cells may and the woman is advised to treat the abnormal explained that the iner incorrectly interprets the negative area in order to prevent never become cancer. World Health Orga- result as positive. To avoid this, we recANY FACTORS CAN CAUSE development He explained that A false-positive test re- further nization WHO has ommend proper training and high clinisult (one that shows there is cancer when into full-blown cancer FALSE RESULTS IN AP SMEAR recommended visu- cal standards wherever a VIA screening there really isn’t) can only be verified after of the cervix. But in the al inspection using service is been delivered”. repeat tests or procedures (such as Colpos- absence of any reaction, SUCH AS WHEN THE SAMPLE acetic acid (VIA) The need for cancer screening has copy or biopsy) are carried out, which may the test result is negative COLLECTED CONTAINS TOO for cervical screen- been emphasized by World Health Orand the woman is advised involve a minimal invasive procedure. ing method in low ganization WHO whose record indicate Dr Olaleye says that False-Negative re- to repeat screening in 6 FEW CELLS OR IT CAN ALSO BE income areas, be- that cancer killed 7.6 million persons sults can also occur when a test is actually months, or 2 to 3 years WASHED AWAY BY DOUCHING cause of its added in 2008 worldwide, and there is indication positive but interpreted as negative. This time depending on the rethat the figure could double to 13 million by benefits. OR VAGINAL MEDICATIONS is the one that is really bad especially if the sult of the woman”. ”VIA is more 2030. woman already show signs of cerviThe report also shows that cancer acvaluable in deteccal cancer. According to him, Falsetion of precan- counts for 13 percent of all deaths regisNegative sometimes occur during tered globally and 70 percent of that figure cerous lesions of routine Pap smear tests which incervix because it occurs in middle and low income countries. volves scraping of the cells of the In Nigeria alone, about 10,000 cancer is more sensitive cervix to look for abnormal cells and and has accuracy deaths are recorded annually while 250,000 taking it for laboratory analysis. compared to Pap new cases are recorded yearly. WHO shows “That is why a woman who exsmear. It has low that two- third of the death and new cancer periences some symptoms such as cost implication, cases recorded are as a result of shortage abnormal Bleeding from the vagina, easy applicability of functional cancer control plans in develchange in her menstrual cycle that and shows imme- oping countries. she can’t explain, Bleeding or pain The same report links one third of all diate results plus during sex, vaginal discharge tinged there is no need for cancer deaths to “modifiable risks” like towith blood, should go for cervical laboratory test”. bacco, obesity and harmful use of alcohol screening and if the result turns out He added that al- and advices early detection and treatment negative, there should be a repeat Dr. Femi Olaleye during a cervical cancer screening at optimal cancer care foundation. though false-posi- as solution.

A

•Expert warns on false-positive results

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,“

P


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Health & Wellbeing

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

Health benefits of wheat

W

heat is a popular, ancient grain that has been consumed as staple food for many all over the world. The genus name for wheat, from which all wheat species are derived, is Triticum. It originated in south western Asia, but today it is grown in many countries. Generally, wheat cultivation is done at higher latitudes. Wheat is primarily used for baking bread products such as bread, pasta, crackers, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, noodles, just to mention a few common examples of wheat sources. It is made up of a fibre-rich outer layer (vitamins and minerals contents that are useful for digestion and various body functions); the bran( an excellent source of fibre); the germ (a source of protein, vitamins and minerals) and the endosperm (which aids in the supply of carbohydrates, mainly in the form of starch). The health benefits of wheat depend on the way by which one consumes it. During the milling process, the bran and the germ are often removed to give a ‘whiter’ cereal. However, if you wish to get the maximum benefit out of wheat products, it is advisable to choose wheat products that are made from whole-wheat grains rather than the refined varieties. “Whole” wheat grains are nutrient dense and pass on lots of vitamins and minerals into the body. It contains lots of dietary fibre, which is a toxin trapper. It provides essential fatty acids (omega 3); proteins ; vitamins like vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, folic acid; minerals like calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper, selenium; antioxidants and beneficial phytochemicals. Studies have shown that whole wheat grains are

rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, which help to protect against coronary heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. Wheat often has a low glycaemic index (GI). This makes it possible to release carbohydrate into the blood which, combined with fibre, may help make one feel fuller for a long time - helping to control appetite. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in a research has shown that, consumption of whole wheat rather than refined wheat is a good choice for obese patients especially women. Studies have also shown that wheat, help balance cholesterol levels and protects the heart, prevents stroke and type 2 diabetes may be up to 30% as part of a low-fat diet and healthy lifestyle. Consequently, the risk of developing some forms of cancer of the digestive system like bowel cancer may be reduced with higher intake of these whole grains. The insoluble fibre in wheat moves food along more quickly and easily, reducing the time that damaging substances are in contact with the gut wall. The soluble fibre however, provides a food source for ‘friendly’ gut bacteria, helping them to increase and produce substances which are thought to protect the gut wall, such as short-chain fatty acids. Wheat is rich in catalytic e l e ments such as

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 calcium, magnesium manganese, potassium, mineral salts, arsenic, silicon, zinc, vitamin B and vitamin E. This is why issues like sterility problems, anaemia, mineral deficiencies, gallstones, breast cancer, chronic inflammation, tuberculosis, pregnancy problems and breast feeding problems are all tackled by simply consuming wheat. The seeds are useful for treating gastrointestinal conditions, skin diseases and respiratory illnesses. It is vital to replace refined wheat products with wholegrain varieties such as whole¬meal bread and brown rice. To purchase wholegrain products however, look out for the word ‘whole’ before the name of the cereal e.g. wholewheat pasta, whole oats and make sure they are high up/ first in the ingredients list. Multigrain is not the same as wholegrain, it means that the product contains more than one different type of grain. Most of us eat too few wholegrains to get the health benefits from the whole range of nutrients they contain as we tend to eat more refined cereals. There are some restrictions to wheat consumption especially to those who have allergies such as hives, itching, skin rash, etc and intolerances (notably coeliac disease). Also, whole wheat contain oxalates and too much of it in our bodily fluids can cause health problems such as kidney stones, gall stones and gout. It is also, vital to minimize wheat consumption especially when it comes to consumption of baked snack foods containing wheat and sugar like cookies and crackers and processed foods such as toasted grains including toasted wheat cereals are considered among h the highest risk of foods when it comes to acrylamid exposure. A toxic amide and potentially cancercaus causing substance could t be the resultant effect t of these. Current and futu concerns also infuture clud sustaining wheat clude prod production and quality with reduced inputs of agrochemicals and developing li lines with enhanced qua quality for specific en end-uses.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Epigenetic alterations may contribute to age-related breast cancer risk

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ge is a key risk factor for breast cancer. A recent study by researchers from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC), examines the connection between cancer and the aging process to see if epigenetic DNA alterations might contribute to age-related increases in breast cancer risk. Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene function such as gene expression or gene expression potential heritable changes passed during cell division that occur without changes in DNA sequence. The NCCC researchers analyzed publicly available genome-wide DNA methylation data from disease-free

SCIENCE

Compiled by Franka Osakwe breast tissues and identified consistent methylation alterations associated with aging across multiple groups of subjects. (DNA methylation is an epigenetic mark that can occur on cytosine residues that are followed by guanine,

also known as CpG dinucleotides, and contribute to regulation of gene expression.) They then compared levels of methylation in normal tissues to breast tumor tissues and confirmed that age-related changes present in normal breast tissues were present and more prominently altered in breast tumors. The NCCC study suggests that there may be common genomic regions that are particularly susceptible to age-related changes in DNA methylation over time in diseasefree breast tissue and contribute to development of cancer.

New HPV study examines if vaccinating one sexual partner can benefit the other

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new study by McGill University will examine whether vaccinating only one partner in a couple against the human papillomavirus (HPV) can help prevent transmission of HPV to the unvaccinated partner. The study -- called TRAPHPV, an acronym for Transmission Reduction and Prevention with HPV vaccination -- is a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind trial involving 500 sexually active couples. The study aims to determine the efficacy of an HPV vaccine in reducing transmission of genital, anal, and oral HPV infection in unvaccinated sexual partners

of vaccinated individuals. HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, the second most common cancer in women globally. Prophylactic vaccines against certain high-risk HPV types have been shown to be effective in preventing infection. However, much remains to be understood on the effects of HPV vaccine on the blockage of transmission of target HPV types to sexual partners of vaccinated individuals. Another McGill study called HITCH (HPV Infection and Transmission in Couples through Heterosexual activity), also found more than half (56 per cent) of

young adults in a new sexual relationship were infected with HPV. Of those, nearly half (44 per cent) were infected with an HPV type that causes cancer. HPV is transmitted through sexual contact and persistent infections by specific types of HPV can cause cancer. Researchers at the International Agency for Research on Cancer estimate that HPV was responsible for 610,000 cases of cancer worldwide in 2008, about 5% of the world’s cancer burden. Most of these are cervical cancer, but HPV is also an important cause of cancers of the head and neck, anus, penis, vulva, and vagina.

If overweight, your child will be less active

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new study from the University of Copenhagen’s OPUS Research Centre reports that being overweight makes children less active. The findings underscore that parents of overweight children have an obligation to keep their children active, as physical activity is vital for the general health of all children. The study also shows that slender children do not become overweight due to a lack of activity. Over time, children with a higher fat mass reduce their level of physical activity and increasingly pursue sedentary activities such as watching TV or computer gaming. Conversely, low levels of

p hy s i c a l activity or too much time in front of the TV or computer do not cause normalwe i g h t e d children to put on weight. T h e findings stem from a large study that has just been published in the journal, the International Journey of Obesity. The study presents an entirely new body of knowledge about the links between physical activity and being overweight because it investigates developments

among test participants over time. In contrast, most other studies have measured activity at a single point in time, making it impossible to establish whether activity levels affect being overweight, or whether being overweight influences the level of activity.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

21

5 children born deaf in Nigeria everyday –Expert

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s a result of several social and environmental factors including working conditions, there are indications that five out of daily births recorded in Nigeria are deaf babies. This damning revelation was released recently at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja by a German Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon and Professor of HNO at the University of Freigburg,Germany, Roland Laszig during a mission to the country to carry out cochlear implantation surgery for patients in the state. According to Laszig, the statistics was arrived at in connection with what obtains in Germany where out of a population of 80 million people, about three children are daily born deaf. “So when you compare that with Nigeria where you have about 150 million population, there is indication that not less than five children would be born deaf.” Meanwhile, the cochlear implantation surgery, which involved the insertion of hearing electronic aid in the ear of patients, marked

the first of its kind in the history of the country, with two successful operations conducted for patients, while the third patient was said not to have cooperated with the surgeons and the medical team by not observing the conditions given. The surgery according to the experts was for severely ear impaired patients, and can also help them vocalise when adequately healed. Speaking on the development, LASUTH’s Chief Medical Director, Prof. Adewale Oke, commended the hospital’s Consultant ENT Surgeon, Dr. Olawale Olubi, who he said facilitated the initiative while he was in Germany for an exchange programme. Oke said the initiative had assisted the state in many ways, saying not less than 20 resident doctors were trained during the surgery and that the state was working on constant training for its staff so that they can effectively take over the conduct of the surgery from the expatriates. Asked how much it costs to benefit from the surgery, on behalf of

the organisers of the initiative, the Business Developing Manager, Cochlear Europe Limited, Mr. Riccardo Licari, said every other necessary items were provided freely except the money for the cochlear

device itself, which he said cost about 23,000 Euros, equivalent to about N5 million. He said when compared with the opportunities available for a man who regains his hearing, the

cost could be regarded as very cheap, while also insisting that the highest level of education that could be attained by a critically deaf patient is to complete primary school education.

(L-R): General Manager, Health Grades, USA, Nkechi Onyeukwu; Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State, Dr Faduyile Francis and President and Founder of Breast Without Spot (an NGO), Prof. Ifeoma Okoye PHOTO: NAN at a World Cancer Day event in Lagos yesterday.

increased advocacy on cancer Poor health condition attributed to over Foundation calls for was not well-managed; and then, our mother,” she added. M F processed food intake –Adesanmi Chidinma informed that her she died. But, the good aspect of ARCUS

ABUJA

FRANKA OSAKWE

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nutritionist, Dr. Adeduro Adesanmi has decried the poor health condition in Nigeria attributing it to unhealthy lifestyle and over processed food intake. He made this remark during the inauguration ceremony of Organic India, a global organic food manufacturing company in Nigeria recently at the presidential hall Ikeja. In a key note address, Dr. Adesanmi also the Managing Director of Banquaires Organic Health limited said that many processed foods contain phosphate additives that augment taste, texture, and shelf-life, and these additives are known to cause health problems like rapid aging, kidney deterioration and weak bones. He describesd organic foods as foods grown in organic soils just like in ancient times when there were nothing like chemicals and preservatives. “Natural fertilizers like manure, though smellier, are safer and free from chemicals. Also organic food is not prepared using chemical fertilizers, and does not contain additives or preservatives or any trace of these strong chemicals used in producing food items these days, so it does not affect the human body in negative ways. These are the issues that organic Indian company is going

to address with its establishment in Nigeria”. Also Dr. Adesanmi, while talking about the benefits of organic foods, mentioned that Organic India Company is set for humanitarian projects in Nigeria. “Not less than two hundred less privileged people will be catered for every month, we will also be giving scholarships and grants to people for studies abroad and we have already started this. We intend to partner with farmers and assist them with growing organic crops.” The Global director of Organic India Mr. Krishan Guptaa, also gave his address on the objective of the company which he said was commitment to complete wellness and healing.

ATUNMOLE

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health-based, non-governmental organization, Ego Bekee Foundation, has stressed the need for enhanced sensitization of Nigerians on the dangers of cancer. Founder/Coordinator of the foundation, Mrs Chidima Nwajimogu, stated this in Abuja on Monday at a briefing to mark 2014 World Cancer Day. She said sustained advocacy would save millions of lives that could fall victims of the disease. The NGO, she said, took off in 2006 following the death of her mother who died of cancer. Her words: “We founded the foundation because we lost our mother to breast cancer. She was diagnosed a bit late, the ailment

it is that when she was sick, she had a friend, a young girl, who also had breast cancer. She said if the young girl survived, we should do something about raising awareness that cancer is detectable and treatable and that if her case was detected earlier, she would have survived. “To her, she saw a girl who was just too young to have cancer. She felt that such a girl should not die of cancer and she asked us to take care of her. Unfortunately, our mother died but the girl is living today. Our mother said if she couldn’t win the battle against cancer, we should take up the challenge of letting people know the danger inherent in cancer. When she died, we started this Ego Bekee Foundation, which is the name of

organization had since engaged the public and government on the need to promote awareness on cancer in Nigeria. Part of her effort on the battle against the disease, she said, is that whoever obtains a note from her organization and takes it to the National Hospital in Abuja would pay only a half of her hospital bill for testing for cancer. She spoke further: “A lot of people have come to understand the need to come for testing for cancer. Many of them have lost some members of their families to the disease. We must continue to raise awareness on cancer in Nigeria. In 2008, I met some colleagues in Geneva, Switzerland, who are Nigerians. That was how we collectively resolved to ensure the advocacy on cancer in Nigeria is enhanced.

UNICEF seeks end to disparities in children’s rights MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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he United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, has challenged stakeholders to end disparities in children’s rights, worldwide. UNICEF made the call in its 2014 State of the World’s Children Report titled “Every Child Counts: Revealing disparities, advancing children’s rights,” which was released yesterday. A statement signed by Communications Specialist, UNICEF Nigeria, Geoffrey Njoku, and made available to National Mirror recently said “the statistics in the report bear witness to ongoing violations

of children’s rights”. The report, according to the release, shows that “Some 6.6 million children under 5 years of age died in 2012, mostly from preventable causes, in violation of their fundamental right to survive and develop; fifteen per cent of the world’s children are put to work that compromises their right to protection from economic exploitation and infringes on their right to learn and play; eleven per cent of girls are married before they turn 15, jeopardizing their rights to health, education and protection. “Data also reveal gaps and inequities, showing the gains of

development are unevenly distributed; the world’s poorest children are nearly three (2.7) times less likely than the richest ones to have a skilled attendant at their birth, leaving them and their mothers at increased risk of birth-related complications,” the statement added. For every 100 boys who gain admission into secondary school in Chad, only 44 girls do, hence leaving them without an education and without protection and services that schools can provide, stated the report. Meanwhile, the report, the statement stressed, revealed that In Niger Republic, all urban households but only 39 per cent of rural house-

holds have access to safe drinking water, while in Nigeria, only 47 percent of people who live in rural areas have access to improved drinking water against 75 percent of people in the urban areas. “The disparity continues even in HIV prevalence (in Nigeria). Prevalence among young girls is 1.3% while only 0.7% among boys. Access to education shows some disparity too in favour of boys. Net enrolment rate for boys into primary school is 60% while for girls it is 55% while net attendance is 72% of boys and 68% for girls,” the release quoted the report saying.


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Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

‘We are not doing badly in cancer registration’

“Some 100,000 new cases of cancer occur every year in Nigeria with high case fatality ratio… Nigeria contributed 15 percent to the estimated 681,000 new cases of cancer that occurred in Africa in 2008” says the International Journal of Cancer of Epidemiology, Detection and Prevention. Prof Clement Adebamowo who took part in the report, and works as Director, Strategic Information, Training and Research at the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, IHVN, spoke on the efforts of Nigeria on the disease in this interview with Health Reporter, MARCUS FATUNMOLE. Except:

Given the prevalence of this disease in Nigeria today, do we have adequate cancer registries in Nigeria? That is not the way it functions. Cancer registration is an epidemiological tool, and like most epidemiological tools, you don’t need to have them everywhere. They require only certain inputs, and using the techniques of the trade, we can give you certain outputs. For a complex country and large country like Nigeria, we don’t need more than six to ten population-based cancer registries. And, currently, we have five located in different geo-political zones of the country. We have in Ibadan, Calabar, Abuja, Sokoto and Enugu. These are population-based cancer registries. Then, you have a secondary type that we call hospital-based cancer registries. These ones are located in the hospitals. We have about 20 of them. Population-based cancer registries are the important ones. The hospital-based are also important; but they are not as important as population-based. So, we are not doing too badly in terms of cancer registration; we need more investment, we need more training. We need to empower the people who work in those cancer registries to get better quality data. That is the area where you can say Nigeria is significantly lagging behind. Between the 1950s and 1970s, the only cancer registry in Nigeria was the one in Ibadan and was contributing data to the nation. Between the 70s and recent 2010, there was no cancer registry in Nigeria that the WHO considered to have adequate quality to make it be regarded as a populationbased cancer registry. Then, with IHVN’s intervention, bringing international partners, Nigeria now has these cancer registries that are recognized by WHO and after a 40 years break, Nigeria’s data is now being accepted by WHO as part of the compilation of cancer incidence throughout the world. It is not a trivial achievement. Early presentation for cancer testing is still a major challenge in Nigeria, how does this affect the data that you gather? Those are two different things. For example, if there’s an accident, police do not get there early;

ambulance does not get there early. Does it change the fact that you have an accident? And, we can count the accidents that occur. Can you see the difference? So, we can count the cancer registries, the cancer cases that occur. But, the factors that influence presentation are different. You shouldn’t mix these. One of the factors that influence presentation is why do people come late to hospitals? Number one is money. Cancer is extremely expensive to treat. Our people are not stupid, when they notice what looks like a cancer, they have to make a choice: I am going to feed my children, or am I going to travel from Yola to Ibadan with all the uncertainties that are involved? So, number one is money. Number two is belief system; an attitude to health. So, when people tell me “Oh cancer patients in Nigeria present late,” I ask them “Have you seen people with fractures? They also come late to hospitals. Sometimes, they go to native doctors. It is not a peculiar problem of cancer in that sense. It is partly a health belief issue because you have a population that is relatively poor, and the population that still believes es in non-modern ways of thinking ng about these diseases. People still ill think when you have a cancer, itt is a spirit or it is witchcraft, even n when they don’t believe that if you have a cancer, medical treatment ent can help; that what you need is prayer. So, it is those health belief lief systems, part of which is because ause of poverty. If you have enough gh money, even if you believe yourr cancer is due to witchcraft, at least, ast, you go to hospital and let them em operate on n it. The other part art of it is the organization the tion of health care system. em. In Nigeria, the referral ferral system has more re or less broken down. own. So, what we mean ean by the referral ral system, there are primary, seconddary and tertiary y levels of care. e. Different typess of illnesses ought to go to each of these different levels

of care. They filter each other. Tertiary level of care is not overwhelmed to take cases that should be better handled by primary health care. But, because many people don’t have faith in the primary level, or the primary level is not functioning, it is run by local government or whatever. They all go to the Teaching Hospitals. Somebody having malaria goes to the Teaching Hospital. Somebody has a boil; he goes to the Teaching Hospital. So, the Teaching Hospital infrastructure is overloaded by the type of cases it should not be treating. And, there are, therefore, not enough resources for the type of cases it should be treating. Then, for a long time, we have not invested in health care. Health care is extremely expensive. And, as a country, we need to decide where we are going to get the money from. Other countries have gone through this step and have taken those decisions. We took a partial decision by having the National Health Insurance Scheme. But, we didn’t move it forward. If you start a National Health Insurance Scheme, do you want it to c ove r every-

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draw benefit from it? We didn’t move it forward. If you’ve been reading information from different parts of the world, you will see that this is a challenge other countries are grappling with. You can see for the past four or five years, the politics of health care in the United States. It has been grappling with how to give health care to different categories of people in the country. We need a working-business model for us to provide good quality health care in Nigeria in general and cancer care in particular. So, those are reasons people present late. What are the predisposing factors to cancer? Cancer describes in one word hundreds of different types of diseases. So, you cannot talk about a predisposition to cancer broadly. There are a few things. For example, smoking: smoking is associated with lung cancer, colon and breast cancer; it is just bad for you. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you are already smoking, start to quit. But, we also need to appreciate one point: several people are addicted to smoking. In Nigeria, if you are addicted to smoking, you don’t have addiction treatment centres. So, you can’t keep telling somebody to stop smoking; he wants to stop. Addiction to smoking is a medical problem. But, we need to have places where people who have that problem can go to and be treated free. It is not an emotion or moral issue. Number two is infection. There are infections like hepatitis, like HIV, human papilloma virus that increases the risk of certain cancers. For some of these infections, we cur-

THERE

IS THE

ASPECT OF CERTAIN CANCERS WHERE THE TREATMENT FACILITIES IN

NIGERIA

HAVE

LAGGED BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD

body? bo b ody? dy y? H o w ?How do o peopeo- ple p e key pl key into ke iin ntto nto o it? How it? it Ho H ow do do t h e y

r e n t - l y h ave av ve e vacva v acc c i n a - t i o n s an and a nd ways o f w ys wa preventve v e nt n ing them. i g in th hem m. F o r e x - am ample, hepatitis s a mple plle, h ep e pa pat attiittis is i p a r t of o the the he national na attio ona nall p r o Prof. Adebamowo gramme gr ra am mme me immuo n im mm mu u- n i z a -

tion. So, everybody should be immunized against hepatitis. With the immunization, the chances of developing liver cancer will fall drastically. HIV is a risk factor for many cancers. Kaposi sarcoma and cervical cancer are referred to as AIDS defining cancers. And then, recent research is telling us that there is another whole long list of cancers that are associated with HIV infection that we didn’t know about before including lung cancer, anal cancer, lymphoma, carcinoma of the conjunctivitis, skin cancer. All of these cancers occur more frequently in HIV compared to those who do not live with HIV. So, HIV is bad news for cancer. And, then, we have the human papilloma virus which is actually the commonest cancer-causing virus that occurs in human beings. It affects about 290 million people throughout the world. The commonest cancer is associated with cancer of the cervix but it is also associated with head and neck cancer, anal cancer, canal cancer, cancer of the vulva, cancer of the vagina and some cases of cancer of the lung. Number three is obesity. You see that we are all growing fatter. Part of that is that we are not doing as much activities as we used to and we are now eating much more than we used to. Obesity increases the risks of several cancers including breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer. These are some of the general risk factors for cancer. Then, specific cancers tend to have their own peculiarities. Do you think that Nigerians have the personnel and facilities for managing cancer? There are certain cancers in Nigeria that we within reasonable limit can be treated. But, don’t forget, sometimes the issue is not just because cancer cannot be treated; some people engage in medical tourism because the access to certain resources that you and I do not have. For example, if you are big shot in a company and you can go and trim your tummy, you will use the company resources to do that. That is not to say that your tummy can’t be cut in Nigeria. There is that aspect to medical tourism which is political, economic and organizational. There is the aspect of certain cancers where the treatment facilities in Nigeria have lagged behind the rest of the world; where the lack of specialization is hurting the care of patients in Nigeria. Patients are not getting good quality care because we don’t have doctors who focus on needed care. Number three is the very chaotic medical system. So, even with the funding that we have and the low-level of our economic development, better organization of delivery of services will improve the outcomes for patients.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014 Wednesday, June 12, 2013

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23

Arts Lounge

I owe my finesse to Jos –Senator

Iresi festival holds to highlight positive values

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Art auctions as ladders of progress Dr. Ozioma Onuzulike, who delivered a paper in the Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation, OYASAF Lecture Series IV on Wednesday, January 29 said it would take the form of a dialogue. It was exactly as he had said when at the end of his delivery members of the audience fell over each other to respond. TERH AGBEDEH

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any issues came out of the Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation, OYASAF Lecture Series IV titled: Art Auctions in Nigeria: Ladders of Progress or Shots in the Artists’ Feet. Delivered by Dr. Ozioma Onuzulike of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, the issues were lack of documentation by artists, dearth of art historians and professional valuers for art auction houses, art forgeries and a host of others. Agreeing with most of the points raised by Onuzulike, particularly the lack of documentation on the part of artists, Ademola Azeez, an artist, said the attention of professionals is focused mostly on production. “As long as it is focused on production alone, other areas like documentation and so on will suffer,” he said. For Kavita Chellaram, who is chief executive, Arthouse Contemporary Limited, one company championing art auctions in Nigeria, there is a proper check on every work they receive to determine whether it is genuine or not. She went on to say that Arthouse has three professionals who do this work in-house and others who specialise in the different art schools like the Zaria School for instance. She was reacting to the point in the paper about some auction houses in the country not having qualified people to value work to be put under the hammer. Krydz Ikwuemesi of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, the same department and university with the guest speaker said he thinks there are enough art historians in the country. “Every year they take degrees in art history and there are 30 or more people doing PhD right now,” he said. But Ikwuemesi said no university in Nigeria offers art criticism, “people go into their closet and do things with no connection, no synergy and we cannot drive these

Shyllon

things without the enabling theory”. He concluded that artists need to talk more in the kind of atmosphere that the OYASAF lecture provides. Dr. Kunle Filani, an artist and academic, who had delivered the second lecture in the series sounded a word of caution that artists should take steps and correct the anomalies on ground. “We should not commoditise art, holding an exhibition for one week is not encouraging since it does not give the artist the space to express himself,” he said. Mike Omoighe of the Yaba College of Technology, YABATECH, said there is no way there would be absence of fakes in an art market that is growing, saying that documentation is key. “We should now be able to keep track of all the works that we are doing as documentation is important,” he said. Omoighe sited Moyo Okediji’s case, who had lost some of his works to thieves and 40 years later, he is talking about it. He said that should not be the case and that artists should let their contemporaries in on what they are working on should such a thing happen. Oliver Enwonwu, president of the Society of Nigerian Artists, SNA said the society has always had a strong stand against forgers, but that the Nigerian authorities are doing little or nothing to stop the menace. Sometimes allowing the perpetrators go scot-free or with an option of a fine no more than N50. “Auctions have done very well for Nigerian art and artists, they have opened the market and made Nige-

Onuzulike

AUCTIONS HAVE AWAKENED THE MUCH NEEDED AWARENESS ON THE INVESTMENT POTENTIALS OF ART TO THE

NIGERIAN

PUBLIC rian art lucrative on the world stage,” Enwonwu said. While saying that the next lecture will focus on forgeries, the convener of the gathering, Omooba Shyllon equally commended auction houses for being ladders of progress for the Nigerian artists. Essentially, Dr. Onuzulike’s paper held that most of the art auctions so far conducted in the country have largely succeeded in financial terms. His argument is that in a country where success is often measured in immediate fiscal scales, one cannot but agree that the auctions have achieved more than a pass mark. “(T)he auctions have awakened the much needed awareness on the investment potentials of art to the Nigerian public. It has opened the door for new collectors to come onboard for the betterment of our art market. The effect of the growing art market in Nigeria has also enhanced the respect for art in the country, gradually turning the visual art into a rewarding and prestigious profession in the minds of parents, aspiring artists

and the society in general. Beyond the local scene, they have also attracted the attention of the global art market which has recently turned its gaze to the modern and contemporary art of the country,” he said. But added that this may have opened the door for further exploitation of the relatively cheap prices in Nigeria. He said we must take a critical look at the working structures of art auction houses if they are to live long. For instance, Dr. Onuzulike said, the auction houses need to build more transparency around their operations, recruit specialists with relevant professional pedigree that will make them proud to advertise, not hide, them. “This is the way to ensure longevity and progress in the long run. For how long can our auction houses hide the identities of their appraisers and valuers? Recruiting the right specialists will minimise suspicions of favouritism and vested interests, lack of confidence in the price mechanisms and cases of forgeries. It might not be possible to eliminate forgeries altogether, but specialists are a deterrent to forgers. Of far more deterring strategy should be the prosecution of proved forgers and their collaborators,” he said. Artists, he said, must learn to sign and document their work properly and also devise means of tracking their itinerary. To the authorities he said there is a need for enabling laws in Nigeria to assist artists and those who manage their estates to reap from the fruit of their labours by being entitled to some percentage of the profit made on their works whenever they are resold. He particularly stated that the National Gallery of Art, NGA, should develop a plan for the advancement of art history and art criticism by instituting grants for postgraduate research and writing. “Many of our MA and PhD theses and dissertations in art history and criticism are not deeply researched and thus make no serious impact because students often lack the financial capacity to undertaken in-depth field researches. When written, the theses and dissertations remain unpublished because of lack of research/writing residency opportunities to work up the materials into publishable form,” he said. Dr. Onuzulike is an artist, poet, art critic and art historian of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts of UNN. Before him Professor Frank Ugiomoh, Dr. Kunle Filani and Professor Jacob Jari had delivered papers at the lecture. Among the other guests were the artists, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Nike Okundaye, Uwa Usen and a host of others. Also present were: art patron Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi and Professor John Agberia of the University of Port Harcourt.


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Arts Lounge

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

In line with this, the need for guilds such as Actors Guild, Directors Guild, Writer’s Guild and Producer’s Guild becomes relevant. It would be reasonable to start with a unifying association that would help set the standard for the guilds. Where such is not feasible, players in different departments of the industry, may start with relevant guilds and then work towards uniting all guilds under one broader association of entertainers. To avoid certain problems that could hinder the successful formation of any such guild or association, all players already in the game have to be invited from the start while room is made for upcoming ones to join once they meet the criteria for such guild or association. The initial members or the founders of such an association should not hijack the leadership and direction of the association. On the other hand, the fear of some players or sub-organisations that such a guild or association may eclipse what they already have, should be an issue for discussion rather than one reserved in the pocket of fear and dichotomy.

VOICES

Sustaining integrity in African entertainment OLIVER MBAMARA

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ll players in Nollywood and the African Entertainment Industry in Diaspora whether organisers, promoters, producers, artistes or crew have a responsibility to maintain a level of integrity and genuineness that will invite and encourage the growth of the industry.

Public confidence: If the public loses its confidence in Nollywood, it will eventually affect their willingness to participate or support ventures and content from the African entertainment industry. If members of the public are treated to much less than what they have paid to attend an African entertainment event such as a movie premiere, stage performance, fashion show, beauty pageant, or an award show, they are unlikely to return the next time such organisers put up a show. Incidentally, the stigma could dampen the enthusiasm of the public and reduce their confidence in the industry which would in turn systematically hamper turn out and support for other industry activities and content. Since most outsiders such as producers from Hollywood and other industries interested in the African entertainment industry may not be familiar with the relevant players and achievers within the African entertainment industry, they may be faced with the option of considering and relying on such factors as recognition-lists, award-recipients, and industry-compilations of leading artistes and personalities within the industry.

Division and infighting: Every growing industry has its challenges and there are bound to be disagreements and differences in opinion and the manner of going about things. It is okay to speak up or write about it when issues come up which affect the rudiments of the industry. Yet, we must draw some lines and observe some limits in our expressions so that we do not end up taking away from the unity and focus needed to nudge the industry forward. I need not repeat the known axiom about “united we stand” but I have to reiterate that quite a lot can be achieved in an industry like the African entertainment Industry in Diaspora if the players work together. This is more so as we are still in the formative years of the industry. All hands must be on deck to ensure that a strong foundation is laid for the industry so it does not crumble too soon. Disagreements could be quite healthy for growth so long as participants are open minded to suggestions and friendly in the manner they voice their objections.

Enough to go round: Industry players have to understand that the reach and audience of the industry is so vast that no single artiste, producer, or other player can prevent the other from reaching an avowed audience. If the work is good the public will consume it, and by that, the public remains the final judge of the performance of any artiste, producer, or promoter. So why fight each other? Let us concentrate on our works and let our works speak for us. Rather than begrudging others, let us wish them well, or humble ourselves

Mbamara

THE INITIAL MEMBERS OR THE FOUNDERS OF SUCH AN ASSOCIATION SHOULD NOT HIJACK THE LEADERSHIP AND DIRECTION OF THE ASSOCIATION to ask them how they made it or how we can join them to make it together.

Need for regional guilds It cannot be over-emphasised that Nollywood and indeed other African entertainment Industries in Diaspora across the globe need unifying associations that would help in coordinating and maintaining entertainment standards and discipline that would augur well for all players. Such associations would set standards to be met by players wishing to engage in certain activities that affect the general members of the industry in the region.

MEMORABLE READS

HARIS CHUMA President, Igbo Film Forum

Who is your favourite author? I like Ebereonwu’s works. He is dead now, but his works have depth and always show the folly of mortals in our part of the world. To have done that much against the situation the country avails is impressive to me. Which of his books do you like? I will give it to Insomniac Dragon his collection of poems. You are down with only poetry? I like other genres as well. But you can see me reading biographies, crime fiction and books on development most times. What book are you reading now? I am reading a biography. It is called Steven Spielberg: A Bi-

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ography by Joseph Mc Bridge. I started it yesterday and that is because I admire Spielberg’s works as a movie producer. What books shaped your early years? Those are the books by the Achebes and Soyinkas which we read to pass examinations in school. They are in their own class. What is your annual budget on books? I ought to have really, but the economy has not allowed me to. I buy and sometimes I borrow. Sometimes I see books I like and wish I could have it, especially when it has to do with developing my skills in filmmaking. Those ones usually cost so much.

Protecting our heritage through our works: For some of us, African creativity whether through films, stage-theater, music, song, dance, goes beyond entertainment. It is a cultural brand that signifies a people and their background, their origin and who they are, as well as the rudiments to sustain their future generations. The artiste should be encouraged and compensated rather than exploited whether directly or indirectly. Direct exploitation includes pirating of artistic works, or using artistic works without permission or compensation to the artist. Indirect exploitation includes – buying or consuming pirated works, patronising the consumption of artistic works that are not paid for such as free unauthorised streaming of African films or songs online, and using artistic works or presence to procure money from the public without providing a worthy and valuable return to either the public (for money paid) or the artiste (for content used). (Oliver O. Mbamara, a lawyer is also a filmmaker and published writer based in United States of America).


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Arts Lounge

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ARTISTE UNCENSORED

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MIDWEEK JUMP Winning with Pen & Paper tomorrow in Abuja

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I owe my finesse to Jos –Senator

Whitman Whi Wh W hiitm h ttma ma m an

The name Bethel Njoku may not ring a bell, but his stage name Senator, which was influenced by the democratic tenets in Nigeria, sure does. Welcome to the world of the comedian called, Senator. NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

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omedians in Nigeria are in love with the term, Federal Republic. That is why most of them introduce themselves on the stage as Comedians of the Federal Republic. While this denigrating sense of patriotism is gradually taking over the industry, Bethel Uzoma Njoku, has found a way of selling his brand of comedy. He re-invented himself as Senator, a title that would leave everyone wondering how many of his fans cast their votes for him. That was in 2003 when Nigerian democracy according to him was the buzz in the air, and he imagined himself representing the humour constituency. But this is by the way. His upbringing incidentally is one of his greatest influences in comedy. “My mother always stood by me, believing in my passion. She alone supported me all the way. In fact, I used her as my audience each time I have a new joke. She has a good sense of humour. “Comedy for me was a usual phenomenon. I studied Theatre Arts in the university. I majored in directing and choreography. I was so prone to either acting or directing comedy plays. Most times, I was never given serious or tragic roles because they usually end as comedy. Instead of crying and being sober, the audience goes home laughing and rejoicing over people’s tragic situations. So, comedy was a usual thing for me. But standup comedy just came in as a new trend. So as it grew into a profession, I saw myself switching into it.” Senator is one of the many talents who cut their artistic teeth in Jos, a city currently under social strife. The situation makes him sad and remains one thing he may never be found joking about. “I strongly owe my finesse to Jos. It all started there for me. Jos is an entertainer’s ‘breeding ground’. It has produced notable entertainers. In Jos, performing was never for the money, it was for the love of the art. Entertainers worldwide are trail blazers,

role models and all that. Obama’s victory to an extent could be hinged on entertainers in America. But that is a society which is not dealing with corruption and greed as its main problem. Here in Nigeria, the case is different. Entertainers grace occasions of corrupt leaders, so how would they correct the society? Every now and then, entertainment sector and the practitioners are at logger heads with one another over personal interests. So, it is even difficult for them to know their rights towards nation building. For the crisis in Jos, it is at we have in other not different from what am in Maiduguri, states; the Bokom Haram ja, Niger, Kogi, the bombing in Abuja, Kaduna and the kidnapping in k that they are the East. I just think all national issues which must be cerity.” discussed with all sincerity tually prepared Aside being spiritually for his kind of job, Senator thinks ial for his education is crucial attainment so far. “Well, my academic background danced like mary school the waves at the primary level. This was so because my father worked with the Federal Civil Service and as such couldn’t cular location. stay too long in a particular ary school in So, I started my Primary n transfer to Bauchi State, went on Yola, before I finally settled in d Fatima Jos. In Jos, I attended Private School. And at the Secondary level, I spent a year at Methodist High School and eventually joined the popular Government nment College in Umuahia, a, Abia State. From Government College ollege Umahia, I came back to Jos for a diploma course in Theatre Arts at the University of Jos. I eventually ran a full degree programme in Theatre Arts. I graduated with a second class upper degree in Theatre Arts. Also, I received d

a University convocation award as the best graduating student in play-writing during the 2004/2005 session. From there, I went to serve my nation in Bauchi State. But I am gradually warming up for my MSc.” He calls his brand of comedy spontaneous, analytical and interpretative targeted at the corporate class. But how has this set him apart in the career he started barely ten years ago? “My style is unique and possibly different because it is always refreshing. Genuine creativity is always functional. I don’t do art for art’s functionalit reasons. sake, I do it for functionality I guess that is why as m much as my jokes have been plagiari plagiarised, I still remain refreshed and functional. My skill of observation keeps me on the upgrade, corpor corporate bodies find it quite comfortab comfortable working becau of these with me because abilities.” Recounti Recountitng the challenges he has faced in comedy, Senator says they mo are mostly those o borne out of the percept perception of the society. “At the le first level, it was sc in my school when certain lecturers didn’t want me br to break, even when I was a brigh student bright who had guts guts. Then to the family leve level where my father felt Theatre Art Arts was a stud for lazy study peop people. My fathe father felt I was escaping ha hard work Senator b being an by e entertainer.

he Guest Author of the month in the reading organised by the Abuja chapter of the Association of Nigeria Authors, ANA is Petralyn E-Phil. The writer of Winning with Pen & Paper organisers said, will pop the cork on why many books don’t attract and successfully engage a reader’s attention. The event will start at 5p.m. and end at 7p.m. at the Savannah Suites Hotel, Area 3, Garki. A maestro in her art of compositions that compellingly engage her reading audience on her page–turners, E-Phil believes a reader should be enlightened, informed, educated and entertained. Apart from Winning With Pen & Paper her other works are: Kitchen Medicine and Acupressure for Your Sexual Health, Imagine if Strategy took Creativity for a Bride and a host of others. Writers and lover of the writing craft will be sure to learn a lot if they attend. “Elegant Presentations sizzle, and cart the reader’s interest, away. So a writer’s winning game plan should be … pitching for audience attention, by sprinkling some ‘r-a-v-e of the moment’, idiomatic phrases ‘n’ expressions, etc., in his/her works, now and again.” she said.

Open Doors receiving entries till March 3

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hen this year’s edition of the Festival del film Locarno takes place from August 6 to 16 in Switzerland, the Open Doors Coproduction Lab segment between August 9 and 12 will focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Alex Moussa Sawadogo, director of Afrikamera Film Festival in Berlin, Germany was in Nigeria recently to introduce the 12th edition of the lab organised annually by the festival in its 67th year. He said this edition is devoted to film practitioners in non-Francophone Sub-Saharan African countries and that the deadline for the submission of projects is March 3. Open Doors will with support from the Swiss Foreign Ministry’s Agency for Development and Cooperation, SDC, highlight films and filmmakers from the South and the East, where independent filmmaking is vulnerable, via a focus on a different region every year. The spotlight was on Francophone African countries in 2012 and this year it will be the turn of Angola, Botswana, Cape Verde, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Nigeria. Others are: São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Southern Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Festival will select a dozen projects from the region to participate in Open Doors 2014. The objective of the co-production lab is to bring the finalist projects’ directors and producers together with potential partners, to encourage support for these projects to come to fruition.


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Arts Lounge

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FAR AND NEAR

Iresi festival holds to highlight positive values

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t was cultural display at its best as Iresi, a serene town in Boluwaduro Local Government Area of Osun State marked the Iresi Cultural Festival. Acrobatic displays and sports activities like mountaineering also came alive in the town in commemoration of the yearly Oyeladeniran Foundation for Community Development (OFCOD) which came to a grand closure at the palace of the traditional ruler, Oba Sikiru Adeseun Ibiloye. The festival began with the unveiling of the festival’s programme in Lagos. As in the previous years, there were contests in football match displays, inter-lineal cultural competition, and art exhibition among others. Activities for the last day of the festival however began around 2pm at the palace of Oba Sikiru Adeseun Ibiloye, with several age groups parading in cultural procession and other thrills, while exhibititng the local cuisine. Later in the evening, guests and visitors were treated to the various cultural rite and display of the popular Orebe traditional dance. The festival activities came to a climax with in an evening tagged:

Contestants getting set for mountain climbing

Night Out. It was a night of performances marked by a variety of thrilling dance performances, colourful and intricate costumes as well as acrobatic displays. Outside the venue, most shops had time for brisk business as everywhere was busy with people feasting in one place or another. Oba Sikiru Adeseun in his speech underscored the significance of the yearly festival which is now in its third season. He said that Iresi Socio-Cultural Festival

is celebrated yearly in the land as a memorial of Pa Adeniran and Madam Oyeladun, who lived a worthy life during their lifetimes. According to the royal father, the festival is also aimed at helping youths imbibe the virtues of the departed couples which are hard work and honesty. The monarch therefore used the occasion to call on the Governor of the State of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, who was expected at the event but could not make it to remember the town. Ac-

cording to the royal father, their cardinal request is for the state government to help the town develop its tourism potential. At the event, the mountaineering race was a huge success without hitches as young athletes from the town moved from Orita Igbajo to Oke OdoIresi. Akinrinade Micheal, won the first prize and the female champion was Miss Bolarinwa Kafayat. Other events and their winners includes, male athlete result, Winner: Akinrinade

Book party to welcome LAGOS_2060 sci-fi anthology

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he book party to welcome the LAGOS_2060 sci-fi anthology published by DADA books to the universe will take place on Saturday by 5p.m. at the British Council office in Lagos. A statement from Ayo Arigbabu, the publisher of DADA Books said: “It’s a party, so come prepared to dance and of course, you’ve got to buy loads of copies of the book as gifts for people”. In 2010, eight writers came together to contribute stories to an anthology on fictional / futuristic takes on the city of Lagos via a workshop tagged LAGOS_2060, conceived to commemorate Nigeria’s golden jubilee. The anthology that grew out of the workshop is telling in the different versions of the future it foretells. In LAGOS_2060 - an unusual scenario planning exercise achieved through the power and magic of a creative writing programme - there are climate change induced natural disasters actively plugged by doomsday preachers of the day, there are serious government institutions involved in first rate science and more often than not, these institutions tackle and solve the energy crisis to various degrees of success. There are wars and near wars as Lagos threatens to secede from the Nigerian state to have full control of its own economy. There are robots, amphibious

speed trains, psychedelic drugs and highly trained security operatives with conflicts of interest, but more importantly, there are the ubiquitous Lagos people, whose industry and inventiveness seems largely unchanged, despite how much their city has travailed in the intervening half century. Supported by the British Council, the oragnisers said this is one party book lovers cannot afford to miss. Also that those interested in purchasing copies of the books can find details on DADA Books’ website.

Micheal, first runner up: Adebisi Adedeji, second runner up: Kehinde Abiodun, third runner up: Bolarinwa Rasheed, fourth runner up: Ayanleke Dare, Fifth runner up: Lukman Fawole. Winner of the female athlete contest was, Bolarinwa Kafayat, followed by Bamigboye Dorcas and Odengbenjo Aanu. Meanwhile, promoter of the festival, Debo Adeniran expressed joy for the festival. According to him, “The event is all about celebrating aspects of the rich Yoruba culture. We are not happy today because everyone can see how the society has degenerated. This is one good thing that this foundation was set to do, to draw back our youths to good old days of our society. We don’t want our youths to be involved in cultist activities, yahoo yahoo, homosexual, lesbians, sexual immoralities, stealing, armed robberies, suicide bombing, rape arrogance, loss of sense and other immoral acts. The coming of modernisation has so much influenced our youths in negative ways because there has not been complete integration between our culture, social values and modernisation in the process of globalisation.’’

NFC signs MoU with Spanish group Dadu and Castillo

NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

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n its quest to build capacity amongst women in filmmaking, the Nigerian Film Corporation, NFC has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Women for Africa Foundation, WFAF, a Spanish non-Governmental organisation. NFC’s Managing Director, Danjuma Dadu, and the WFAF President, Ms Fernandez De la Vega, signed the agreement in Abuja last week. Represented by Mr Alvaro Castillo, the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, De la Vega said the empowerment became necessary because of the importance of film, television and the world of images in the society. “There are very few things that have such ability to influence and convey ideas. The foundation is already working with women from African cinema to share experiences and backgrounds. Because of the potency of the film medium and the vibrancy of the African wom-

an, the foundation has created the first African women’s film festival in Spain.” According to De la Vega, WFAF has offered scholarship to women to study courses in audiovisuals at the National Film and Television institute in Ghana. In his remarks, Dadu said the MOU was a new face in the struggle for women empowerment and gender equality in Nigeria. Dadu said NFC and WFAF would collaborate and develop joint projects and programmes for the Nigerian film industry. The pact between NFC and WFAF, Dadu further said would focus on exchange of films, distributions, mutual technical assistance, collaborations on theatre development and capacity building. The memorandum of understanding will also promote the use of film as a means for advocacy for gender equality and women rights. Meanwhile, Dadu, has stressed that Nigeria’s participation at continental and international film festivals, through the Nigerian Film Corporation platform shall henceforth be driven by the need to ensure that Nigeria and her filmmakers benefit from such attendance and participation. A statement released in Jos, the headquarters of NFC said the time has come to deliberately develop Nigeria’s domestic film festivals that will also attract international participation and attendance.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Efugh retraces steps to Heartland

Eagles to play Spain, Greece in warm-up games

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igeria and Cote d’Ivoire have been included to play in a series of World Cup warm-up matches in the United States of America that will also feature world champions, Spain. Major League Soccer (MLS) is organising the “Road to Brazil” event, in which eight teams will play matches across North America between May 27 and June 10. Greece, Cote d’Ivoire, Honduras and Bosnia and Herzegovina are the other World Cup teams to have signed up. Bolivia and El Salvador, who are not going to Brazil, are also involved. MLS said it will announce details of matches and venues at a later date.

ABUJA

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F

ew months after the Federal Government spent close to N100million to re-grass the main bowl pitch of the Abuja National Stadium, there are indications that further renovation work on the stadium would gulp about the same amount. When National Mirror visited the stadium

yesterday, it was discovered that Julius Berger, the construction company that earlier handled the re-grassing work, is re-engaged and is currently setting up high tower podium on the pitch ahead of the country’s centenary celebration. Already, the ongoing work forced the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to relocate a friendly match decided

27

Sport

I think we had a wonderful Nations Championship, minus a great team to make great mark –SAFA PRESIDENT, DANNY JORDAAN

Abuja stadium to gulp another N.1bn JOEL AJAYI

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

last Sunday between Nigeria’s U-17 Women Team, Flamingos, and their Ghana counterparts from the main bowl to an artificial turf at the Package B side of the stadium. It was observed that the metal podium being erected to cover the entire grass on the pitch has already reached advanced level in readiness for the forthcoming activities slated to mark

Blessing Okagbare, the AFN star in 213

100 years of Nigeria’s existence. Though Julius Berger, the company which earlier handled the regrassing work, was said to have entered into an agreement with the National Sports Commission (NSC) to maintain the pitch over a period of time, the grass has already begun to whither less than six months of the planting. It would be recalled

that the House of Representatives Sports Committee on inspection tour of the stadium last year, had openly criticized the shoddy work done on the main bowl pitch of nation’s 60,000 capacity stadium. The Committee chaired by Hon. Godfrey Gaiya, vowed to investigate how about N98million was paid to the contractor to regrass the pitch, yet Julius Berger did a shoddy job.

AFN unveils Campbell, new tech director JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

T Enyeama

he Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has rolled out plans to make sure Nigeria returns to win-

ning ways in track and field in national and international competitions. Yesterday, in Abuja, the Federation unveiled Mr. Eric Campbell as the Athletics High Performance Director to help in

translating and uplifting Nigeria’s talent base into a level comparable to that of other nations in the world. President of the AFN, Chief Solomon Ogba, at press briefing in Abuja, urged stakeholders in the sports industry to be fo-

cused and ensure the country regains her deserved position in the sporting arena. Ogba said, “This year, AFN programmes will clearly focus on the steps necessary to ensure continued national and inter-

national success across all sports. International competition is intensifying and improving all the time and we believe Nigeria want, and indeed expect us to respond to the challenge and restore our pre-eminent position in world sport.”


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Sport

Pellegrini rues Etihad fall

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anchester City Manager, Manuel Pellegrini, felt the 1-0 home defeat by Chelsea was a frustrating match of missed chances. City had 25 shots in Monday night’s Etihad Stadium showdown against their title rivals, but only managed to get three on target in the 90 minutes. Pellegrini pointed towards the absence of two of his key players Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho whom were sidelined through injury. “We had clear chances to score at least two goals but didn’t do it, and they had two or three shots against the post,” the Chilean said.

Ferdinand gets Moyes look-in M

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Eto’o seeks England glory C

helsea striker, Samuel Eto’o, yesterday said that his career would be complete if he wins the Premier League title with Chelsea this season. The experienced striker, who joined Chelsea on a one-year contract from Anzhi Makhachkala before the close of the summer transfer window, has scored six goals in 14 league appearances and started Monday night’s 1-0 win at title rivals Manchester City. Eto’o has won domestic titles with Barcelona and Inter Milan, and the 32-year-old is determined to complete his collection with a Premier League winners’ medal. “I had the chance to play in Spain, we won,” Eto’o said. “I had the chance to play in Italy, we won. And I hope that I will also win a title in England and it would be total for me. The Cameroon international scored a hat-trick in last month’s 3-1 win over reigning champions Manchester United, but insists he did not need to prove he still retained his goal scoring instincts. “I have nothing to show anyone any more. I should rather try to take pleasure,” he remarked.

Keita reveals Anfield attraction V

anchester United Manager, David Moyes, insists defender Rio Ferdinand still has a role to play at the club. The 35-year-old centre-back has made just 13 appearances this season, and only two since November, as he struggles with a knee injury. Ferdinand’s contract is set to expire in the summer but, with Jonny Evans and Phil Jones both having to be substituted during the 2-1 defeat at Stoke at the weekend, Moyes could turn to the former England international for Sunday’s home game against Fulham. “Rio is back training and we will continue to use him at the right times and the right moments,” Moyes said.

alencia new signing, Seydou Keita, yesterday said he came close to joining Liverpool last month. The former Barcelona midfielder joined Valencia last week and was part of Saturday’s shock win at the Nou Camp. “I was close to a move to Liverpool, but when Valencia approached me, I changed my mind,” the Mali international said. Keita, 34, joined Valencia as a free agent from China’s Dalian Aerbin and is hugely relied to exploit his vast experience to lift the La Liga side in the ongoing season.

Moyes

Keita


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

B’ball: ISL, St. Jude’s get Nestle’s largesse AFOLABI GAMBARI

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estle Nigeria PLC yesterday donated sports equipment to International School Lagos (ISL) and St. Jude’s Girls’ Secondary School, Amarata in fulfilment of the company’s pledge to reward winning schools in the 2013 Nestle Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championship. “We believe that champions should celebrate their victories and being the overall winners from a competition of 5, 626 schools, it is certainly a feat worth celebrating,” Nestle’s Category Business Manager, Beverages, Mrs. Doja Ekeruche, said at the handover ceremoney held at the University of Lagos Sports Centre yesterday.

“Despite qualifying as best loser from the Western conference, the International School, Lagos lifted the championship trophy for the first time last year,” she recalled while congratulating St Jude’s Girls Secondary School, Bayelsa State for retaining the title it won in 2012. The occasion witnessed by parents, teachers, students also saw other gift items donated to the players and their coaches as well as teachers and students in the participating schools. Meanwhile, Coach of International School, Lagos Ijeomah Ernest, has enjoined other companies to emulate Nestle with a view to enhancing basketball development in Nigeria. “The more basketball competitions we have in the country, the better for the students,” Ernest said.

Minister condoles Olympian’s family

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ports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has commiserated with the family of first Nigerian-born Olympian, Prince Dr. Adegboyega Adedoyin, who died recently aged 91. Adedoyin participated in the Olympic Games in 1948, representing Britain in several sports including high and long jumps. At the completion of his medical course in the United Kingdom, Adedoyin returned to Nigeria where he led the Nigerian team in several international athletic competitions against Ghana and other countries. Upon his retirement from active sports, Adedoyin officiated for years and mentored younger athletes. “He contributed greatly to the development of sports in Nigeria,” Abdullahi said, adding, “The sporting community and indeed the entire nation will miss him dearly.”

Abdullahi

L-R: Head, Automation Unit, UNILAG Library, Mr. Okiki Olatokunbo; Principal, International Secondary School, Lagos Mrs. Adora Emily Ojo; Category Business Manager, Beverages, Nestle Nigeria, Mrs. Doja Ekeruche; Chairman, International School Lagos Management Board, Prof. Taiwo Rufus Akinyele, and Brand Manager, Beverages, Nestle Nigeria Mrs. Funmi Osineye at the handover of equipment donated to 2013 basketball champion International School, Lagos yesterday

n My days with Guardiola–Pique B arcelona defender, Gerard Pique, yesterday admitted he experienced a tense relationship with former coach Pep Guardiola. Guardiola, now in charge of Bayern Munich, froze out Pique in the final six months of his reign at Camp Nou. “The relationship was very intense,” Pique recalled. “We had our ups and downs. I’ll remember the good things, which are many.” It was put to Pique that he demanded Barca fire Guardiola, but the defender insisted it was an “urban legend”.

Pique

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Surulere LG boss, Yusuf

J-League: Surulere suffers Apapa roasting AFOLABI GAMBARI

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papa Golden Stars have halted the unbeaten run of league leaders Surulere Local Government in the on-going 2013/2014 Lagos Junior League Premier League Championship after a 5-0 defeat Agege Stadium, Lagos. The Apapa Boys dominated play the Surulere players put every foot wrong as they surrendered to three first half goals. It was not be Surulere day as the team conceded two more goals in the second half to send the fans wondering why their team collapsed scandalously. In a twist, however, Team Manager of Surulere LG and former Nigeria international, Akeem Ishola, accused his players of match-fixing. “It is sabotage,” Ishola insisted as he was corroborated by the Surulere LG Chairman, Hon. Tajudeen Ajide Yusuf. “There are not the boys I know,” Yusuf said. Former Nigeria internationals Peter Nieketien, Michael Dominic, Bremner Alada and Emma Iyoriohbe, who witnessed the encounter, also expressed disgust at the outcome that saw Surulere suffer its worst defeat in the league.

Mangala enters Devils radar

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anchester United Manager, David Moyes, says he would join the battle for much sought after Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala. According to reports, Moyes will make his move Mangala in the summer, although the Portuguese side wants £35million for the 22-year-old player. United has already identified the powerful French defender as the ideal replacement for Rio Ferdinand, who will be leaving Old Trafford at the end of the season. Manchester City hasalready failed in a double £50m deadline day bid for Mangala and 26-year-old Brazilian defensive midfielder Fernando. Mangala


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Sport

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Nigeria N ig Premier League with

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Cricket

IIKENWA NNABUOGOR ikenwa.nnabuogor@gmail.com

El-Kanemi round off prep in Cotonou E

l-Kanemi Warriors are set to hit Cotonou this weekend for another series of pre-season training ahead of the new season expected to start on February 21. The Maiduguri side has been in camp in Lagos engaging in pre-season friendly games and perfecting strategies ahead of the new season. The 1992 FA Champions arrived in Lagos last weekend where they have been camping and playing friendly games. They had scheduled a week training in Lagos to be followed by a week closed camping in Cotonou before returning home for their visit to Warri Wolves in

the season’s opening fixture. Camping at Abule Egba area of Lagos, they opened their pre-season friendly game on a high beating an academy in the first game played on Monday at the Agege Stadium. They followed that up with another win, beating Prodigy Academy 2-0. Chief coach and former player Salisu Yusuf is in charge of the proceedings and continues to lead his wards in the training sessions and friendly games. They are expected to round off their Lagos camping engaging the Mountain of Fire Ministries (MFM)FC in another friendly game before they hit Cotonou.

The Warriors will be without their Cameroon import Raphael Boumsong, who has teamed up with Enyimba this season, but have replaced the nine-goal last season hero with another Cameroonian striker. Joining the Cameroonian striker are two other Cameroonian and a Chad international as Warriors get set to unleash their rich foreign legion when the new season gets underway later this month.

Salisu Yusuf

LMC charges clubs on sponsorships

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he League Management Company (LMC) has directed all clubs that will participate in the 2013/14 Nigerian Premier League season to submit all existing and new sponsorship contracts including shirt advertising for verification and approval. According to Chief Operating Officer of the body, Salihu Abubakar, the demand is in line with Article 6.3 of the league rules which states that “in all league matches, the players and officials outfits may carry

advertisement subject to the approval by the League. The League must be notified before commencing negotiations. While 10 percent of the total package paid to the League. Abubakar warned that the clubs must comply or face sanctions. He added that the company is out to protect all existing contracts it has sanctioned and also wants to protect “existing benchmarks for the brand to ensure equity for all in the League.”

Efugh retraces steps to Heartland

Argentine striker eyes Glo Premier League

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oung Argentine striker Gaby Larocca has exclusively told National Mirror he wants to play in the domestic league in Nigeria in a bid to trade his skills abroad.

Gaby Larocca

Laroca, who plays in the fourth tier in his native Argentina, says he wants to make a mark by becoming the first South American to play in Nigeria. The 20-year old striker, who plays for fourth division side Argentine Franck, based in his home town Santa Fe, says he will be delighted to play in Nigeria to prove a point before he realises his dream move to Europe. He says he knows a lot about Nigerian football and recalls all his country’s encounters with Nigeria at senior and junior levels. Larocca, who has also played a number of local sides in his Sante Fe home, also reveals that his love for Nigerian players moved him to want to play in the local side. “I’ve always dreamt of playing in the Nigerian league and when I got a contact with the media in Nigeria, I didn’t hesitate to make my intention known,” he added. “I know top clubs like Enyimba, Rangers, Heartland and Shooting Stars and I’d love to play for one of these or any of the clubs in the domestic league. “I also read about newly-promoted Abia Warriors coached by one of my favourite Nigerian players Emeka Ezeugo and I would want to play under him. “He speaks good Spanish and I reckon there wouldn’t be any problem with language, though my English is not too bad. “I’m a striker, who loves to score, and I’m very strong too on the ball and I believe I will fit into the league in Nigeria.”

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entral defender Chinedu Efugh has reportedly returned to Heartland after a brief spell at rivals, Enyimba last season. Efugh, nicknamed ‘Chicago’who captained the Naze Millionaires to double FA Cup victories in 211 2012, left in the wake of financial crisis that rocked the club last season which saw some players leaving. The former Rangers utility player has since begun training with his familiar side but what remains unclear is whether the captain’s band will be returned to him. Efugh will be expected to lead Heartland’s resurgence when the new season kicks off later in the month despite the departure of some key players notably playmaker Ikechukwu Ibenegbu,, who transfered to Warri Wolves and young central defender Nelson Onyekachi. ‘Chicago’ arrived at Heartland from Rangers some seasons ago and became the mainstay in the rear of the fivetime league champions.

Efugh


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

31

Business & Finance The Zungeru project has a benchmark cost of $1.85m per Right now, our best guess for the completion of the installed megawatt. This is a very competitive price relative to Enterprise Bank deal is sometime in the second quarter of this year. When we complete with Enterprise Bank, we will similar projects worldwide. sit back and see what we have learnt from the process. – Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo

– MANAGING DIRECTOR, AMCON, MR. MUSTAPHA CHIKE-OBI

Banks to re-strategise amidst monetary tightening –Experts UDO ONYEKA

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xperts in the financial sector have said that in spite monetary tightening by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and perceived risk of political activities, banks operating in the country would make adequate returns on investment this year with a combination of strategic focus, driving scale in their respective niches and improving asset quality. According to Director General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, WAIFEM, Professor Akpan Ekpo, in the face of continuous monetary tightening environment banks would survive by r- strategising and increasing market drive He said that banks do some of the things they do in order to meet the target given to them by their owners. “It is as if banks are given some sort of target by their owners to make certain level of profit. This I think is the reason why banks retrench staff even when their profits are on the increase. I know some banks may decide to cut down the number of their staff because of the monetary tightening.” He said that the CBN hike raise banks’ Cash Reserve Re-

quirement, CRR, on public sector deposits from 50 per cent to 75 per cent is not meant to hurt neither the banks nor the financial system. In some countries public deposit is domiciled with the Central bank. So banks should do their home work to bring monies that are outside the banking system in to their banks,” Ekpo said. Also former President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN and Managing Director, Maxifund Finance and Se-

curities Limited, Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu said banks should gear up towards facing increasing monetary tightening. He said the way The CBN is going the CRR on public sector deposit may be raised to 100 per cent. Unegbu said the decision of CBN on the CRR on public deposit was right and in the interest of the economy. “Banks have left their core mandate and they are now trading with government funds. If were the CBN governor I would raise the CRR to 100 per

cent so that they would concentrate to do what they are supposed to do”. He said what would distinguish banks at this period is ability to re-strategise by developing new products and services that would attract new customers and retain old ones. According to a report by experts from Renaissance Capital, banks would no doubt face challenging environment in 2014, but they can also make good out of the year.

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Med-View Airline

L-R: Lagos State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Adebiyi Mabadeje; Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo; Executive Secretary, ALTON, Mr. Kazeem Ladepo and General Manager, Regulatory Affairs, MTN Nigeria, Ms. Oyeronke Oyetunde at the MoU signing between ALTON and the Lagos State government on Right of Way in Lagos recently.

Naira slides as reserves fall after fx sales limit lifted

he naira currency fell for a third day after the Central bank of Nigeria lifted limits on sales of dollars to foreign-exchange bureaus by

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

banks and its currency reserves dropped to a 15-month low. The naira weakened as much as 0.9 per cent to the lowest level since September 16, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The CBN removed the weekly limit of $250,000 that may be sold to a bureau de change to “shore up liquidity in that segment of the foreign-exchange

GTB concludes Fina Bank acquisition 32

market,” it said in a statement on its website dated January 24. In September, the bank banned imports of foreign currency by lenders without approval. “Foreign capital flows dried up last year and turned negative in early 2014 amid a generalised emerging-market foreignexchange weakness, which is forcing the CBN to sell dollars directly to the banks,” Samir

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

Gadio, an emerging-markets strategist in London at Standard Bank Group Ltd., said by e-mail yesterday. “The removal of the cap on foreign-exchange sales by banks to bureaux de changes will also bring an extra layer of foreign-exchange demand.” The naira weakened 0.2 percent to 162.80 per dollar at 11:45 a.m. in Lagos, extending this year’s drop to 1.5 per cent.

Oil market, other factors threaten Nigeria’s 2014 budget 35

Banking sector reform has not addressed lending rates –Prof Ekpo 46


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Business & Finance

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

GTB concludes Fina Bank acquisition …begins trading in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda AYO OLESIN

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uaranty Trust Bank is start trading in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda as the brand secured regulatory approvals for the acquisition of majority stake in Kenya’s Fina Bank. It has promised weekend banking and even deliver cash at home for Kenyan depositors as part of strategies to win market share in one of the toughest markets for foreigners in Africa. GTB had acquired a 70 per cent stake in Fina Bank Group last year through a combination of capital injection as well as the acquisition of shares from its current shareholders for a total cash

consideration of 8.6 billion Kenya Shillings. The acquisition brings together two highly successful organizations with expertise across all banking segments and a new entity in each country called Guaranty Trust Bank Kenya, Guaranty Trust Bank Rwanda and Guaranty Trust Bank Uganda, a bank statement said yesterday. The bank would aim to redefine the retail segment play in oil and gas following recent discoveries of oil in Kenya and Uganda. GTB’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Segun Agbaje, said the acquisition “makes strategic sense for our combined customers and shareholders. Fina Bank has over the years built an enviable banking institution in East Africa; our

combined strengths will help us build an attractive portfolio of leading products, services and marketing capabilities.” He added: “Over the next few months we will be in the process of integrating the new Fina Bank Group into the Guaranty Trust Bank Group. We assure you that this will not affect our operations and level of service delivery to our customers”. According to the founder and current Chairman of Fina Bank Group; Mr. DhanuChandaria, “We are delighted to partner with GTBank, an extremely successful African bank, and with whom we share a common philosophy on integrity, governance and transparency. It is an honour for me to have been approached for a

L-R: Specialist, Sponsorship, Etisalat Nigeria, Okanu Ibeanu; Nigerian Idol Season 4 Judges, Dare Art Alade; Nneka Lucia Egbuna; Dede Mabiaku and Nigerian Idol Host, Ill Rhymz, at the Etisalat Nigerian Idol Judges Day, in Port Harcourt, recently.

FG/USAID seal pact to boost agric exports OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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he Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Agency for International Development to expand the exportation of agricultural products by 30 per cent within the next three years. The Executive Director/Chief Executive, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, signed the deal for the Federal Government while the USAID Nigeria Director, Mr. Michael Harvey, signed on behalf of the United States Government. Under the stipulate of the agreement, the expansion of the agricultural programme, is expected to be implemented under the Nigeria Expanded Trade and Transport program. The program, which is expect-

ed to promote inclusive economic growth through improved trade and transport competitiveness, has three components. They are transport corridor improvements, which would bring together public and private sector stakeholders to strengthen transport corridor governance along the Lagos-Kano-Jibiya corridor; policy reform and trade facilitation; as well as expanded export support. Speaking yesterday in Abuja when the deal was being consolidated, Awolowo described the agreement as historic, stressing that it would assist the federal government increase exports of selected products by 30 per cent. Besides, NEPC ED also noted that deal would help capture the level of the country’s informal trade within the continent. He said, “This is a very important agreement for us because. We

know that we are missing out in the capturing of trade within Africa formally. “The partnership will help to increase exports of selected products by 30 per cent over three years. “We have an estimate that informal trade within Africa is about $12bn which we are not capturing. It’s going on there every day. For our own non-oil exports, we are capturing $3bn all over the world. “So you can see what we are missing out. So this is very exciting to us. We have done also a report on informal trade and the constraints and the problems we are facing. With this agreement, we will be able to move informal trade to formal.” Also speaking at the event, Harvey said under the MoU, both parties would develop export development strategies for priority value chains.

partnership with GTBank, whose high standards and capabilities we have been able to appreciate over the past 18 months. We look forward to working together to continuing to build the bank, as part of the GTBank Group, leveraging on our respective strengths

and creating a winning combination for all our stakeholders in East Africa.” With the acquisition, GTB has now expanded it foothold in Africa to nine countries. It also has a wholly owned subsidiary in London.

Stevedoring firms bemoan new rice, fish import policy FRANCIS EZEM

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tevedoring companies operating in Nigeria have raised fears that the ongoing Federal Government’s policies on rice and fish importation may spell doom for stevedoring companies operating in Nigeria. A stevedoring firm in Nigeria’s shipping parlance is a company that employs the services of dock workers, who in turn work at the port quay sides in the loading and offloading of imported cargo, especially bulk such as grains, cement, fish and steel products, among several others. The Federal had in the 2013 budget increased the tariff on brown and polished rice from 35 per cent to 100 per cent and also imposed a 10 percent levy on the product, even as it commenced a 25 per cent annual reduction of the volume of imported fish as part of measures to grow the local industry and enhance self-sufficiency in rice and fish production. Managing Director of Micura Services Limited, a major stevedoring firm, Mr. Michael Ubogu, who spoke in an interview, hinted

that unless something radical happens, most of the stevedoring contractors operating in Nigeria will face complete extinction. According to him, with the new policy on rice and fish imports, coupled with the new automotive policy, which hiked the duty on imported vehicles, one does not need a soothsayer to tell him that most stevedoring firms are on their way out of business. “The thing is many stevedores are already going into extinction except those that have other chains of income. I don’t need to tell you, if government is banning rice, increasing tariff on used vehicles and reducing importation of fish, what is left? Very soon even the iron ore when the mills start producing iron, soon they will ban importation of iron just like they banned cement and so there is no future for us in the stevedore industry”, he argued. According to him, it will be dangerous for an entrepreneur in Nigeria today to depend on a mono-cultural business, insisting that one must have to diversify, adding that if any one depends on one source of income, he may crash sooner than expected.

AutoReg now in Caribbean, African countries MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Managing Director of Courteville Business Solution Plc, Mr. Adebola Akindele, said one of the company’s innovations, the AutoReg, is now functional in the Caribbean and other African countries. He said the AutoReg platform, which is a web-based business solution for motor vehicle administration documentation, has also been deployed across over twenty states in Nigeria, with more than 4,500 processing points. Akindele told National Mirror in an interview that the web based solution provided by his company has by far remained the leader for the collection and administration of road taxes in Nigeria through optimally collecting revenue due to various state governments. He explained the solution has created the best online, real-time records, for government and its agencies thereby eliminating cas-

es of duplicated registration of motor vehicle number plates. According to him, the company through its pioneering and innovative effort has succeeded in generating thousands of employment, adding Nigeria would soon become a major exporter of technology and business solution around the world. The Courteville managing director decried situations where foreign firms are favoured and engaged by government for services that can be effectively provided by indigenous companies, pointing out the technology and business solutions being reeled out by his company can compete with any in the world. He explained as a country, that government need to trust the capabilities of its private and public entities, saying the Federal Government does not have to insist that there should be the presence of a foreign partner company in order for one to deliver national utility services.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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Shippers’ Council blames freight forwarders for lapses

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he Nigeria Shippers’ Council yesterday said that lack of professionalism among freight forwarders was negatively affecting their operations. The council’s Deputy Director (Public Relations), Mr. Ignatius

Nweke, made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Lagos on Tuesday. According to him, many freight forwarders lack the requisite skills needed to operate professionally in their daily as-

signments. Nweke made the observation while reacting to allegations that NSC had failed to protect shippers and properly regulate activities of concessionaires. “Nobody feels happy that an operator is suffering. If you have

a proof that you have been over charged or treated unlawfully, inform the NSC,’’ he said. He said that allegations by freight forwarders over alleged increase in tariff, excess charges and extortion were without justification and evidence. Nweke said that all formal complaints against terminal operators to the council had received documented response. “In June 2013, we received a petition from Wali Waziri and Sons Ltd in Apapa against APM terminal on poor handling of cargoes, resulting in excess demurrage and by November, the matter was settled. “Other issues like that of Pao Olusola International Ventures in Palmgrove wrote a complaint

to the council in January and the issue was resolved in April. “Vistalin Nigeria Ltd, Apapa, wrote to the council in October and same month the issue was settled. “Frank Ventures in Oworosoki wrote in December 2012 and the issue was resolved in February 2013,’’ he said. Nweke said some of the operators’ grievances included delay in physical examination, cargo vandalism, fraudulent cargo clearance, delay in accepting returned empty containers, cargo loss, unjustifiable excessive demurrage and other shipping charges. He urged freight forwarders to support and collaborate with the NCS to ensure effective business operation in the maritime sector.

Biometric bank portal for launch next week –CBN TOLA AKINMUTIMI L-R: Senior Consultant, Global South Group, Germany, Mr. Greg Cohen; Group Managing Director, Stockcorp Group, Mr. Tunji Tolani and Business Development Manager, Mr. Ahmadu Kama, during a Stockcorp Group Meeting with Global South Group Germany on Funding Opportunities for Leasing Companies in Nigeria in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Microsoft names Nadella chief executive

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he world’s largest software maker by sales has picked Satya Nadella, a 22-year Microsoft veteran, to take over from Steve Ballmer as chief executive. He will be the company’s third head after Mr. Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates. As part of wide-ranging changes at Microsoft, Gates will assume a new role as “founder and technology adviser”. John Thompson, a director on the board who led the search for a new chief, will replace Mr. Gates as chairman, Microsoft said on Tuesday. “During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” Gates said in a statement. The elevation of Indian-born Mr. Nadella, who had been head of Microsoft’s cloud computing and enterprise business, ends a search that began in August and initially involved more than 100 candidates. A number of highprofile executives were report-

edly approached, including Ford boss Alan Mulally and Mark Hurd, the president of Oracle. The five-month process intensified a debate over the future of Microsoft, which had a stranglehold on technology – both in the home and the office – when its Windows operating system was installed on every PC. That dominance has been eroded over the last decade as new devices and software from the likes of Apple and Google decimate PC sales. Nadella’s promotion will disappoint those who believe Ballmer’s exit offered the opportunity to install an outsider at Microsoft’s sprawling Seattle campus. However, the company’s third chief executive is likely to be warmly greeted by the almost 100,000 employees at Microsoft, where Nadella’s expertise as a computer scientist is well regarded. “The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform. A big part of my job is to accelerate

our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly,” said Mr. Nadella, as the company announced his appointment. Nadella’s 22-year stretch has included spells at the online services division, which includes search engine Bing. For the past two years, Nadella has been Microsoft’s cloud man, with the responsibility of pushing the company into an era in which business customers expect the likes of Microsoft to host much of their IT architecture online – or in the cloud. Nadella, who joined Microsoft from Sun Microsystems, is reported to have a quieter style than Ballmer. The 46-year old was born in the city of Hyderabad in central India and has a degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University. He has masters in computer science from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

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pparently worried by negative reports in some sections of the media that the company awarded the contract to handle the biometric project for Nigerian banks, Dermalog of Germany is bankrupt, the Bankers’ Committee yesterday stated that it was working with the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, to ensure the completion of the project. A national newspaper had reported on Monday that the German company, based on information gathered from official sources, became bankrupt last year, calling into question the judgment of the Bankers’ Committee headed by the CBN, the basis of awarding the multi-million naira project to the company. CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Ugochukwu Okoroafor, the Bankers’ Committee allayed fears on the project, saying that both the Committee and the NIMC are working on the integration of the biometric data to be acquired from Bank customers beginning from February 14, 2014. Okoroafor and his counterpart in the Banking and Payment Systems, Mr. T.O. Fatokun, dispelled claims that the biometric project,

which was a collective decision of the Bankers’ Committee, contradicted the directives of the Federal Government on the proliferation of data bases in the country. According to them, the Bankers’ body is working hard with the NIMC in order to integrate both systems for the overall good of the country in her quest to rank among the top economies of the world within the current decade. On the allegation that Dermalog, the company to which the biometric capture contract was awarded, is bankrupt, the duo reiterated that the German firm was not bankrupt. They explained that the Bank that advised the Committee gave a Due Diligence Report, which did not identify any encumbrance in the financials of the company. The apex bank top shots wondered why such a report could be published on a matter of crucial national importance, even after the reporter had been shown evidence that Dermalog was an active and capable company with proven competence in the relevant area. They also emphasised that the presence of the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms. Dorathee Janeteke-Wenzkel at the contract signing ceremony lent credence and weight to the credibility of the company.

7.8 million telecoms subscribers use data on Internet, says NCC

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he Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, on Tuesday said that only 57,840,299 out of the 121,888,014 million active subscribers on the Global System for Mobile Communications, GSM, networks used Internet data. The Internet Subscriber

Data released by the NCC on its website shows that 64,047,715 subscribers have yet to use data on the Internet as at October, 2013. The NCC stated that MTN Nigeria took the lead in the usage with a total of 29,347,442 subscribers. “The company had 28,477,200

Internet users in the third quarter of 2013, and added 870,242 users on its Internet usage in October, 2013. “Globacom Nigeria took the second place with 13,201,437 of its customers using the facility, against 12,975,809 Internet users recorded in the third quarter of 2013.

“Airtel Nigeria occupied the third position with a total of 9,650,631 Internet users in October, 2013, against the 9,085,153 subscribers using the facility in the third quarter of 2013.’’ It stated that Etisalat Nigeria came last with 5,640,789 subscribers using Internet data on its network, as against 5,540,676

customers on the Internet in the third quarter of 2013. The Internet Subscriber Data showed that many GSM subscribers in Nigeria still fully depended on voice services, although data usage was envisaged to be the next revolution in the Nigerian telecommunications arena.


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NAMA spends N200m to calibrate navaids in 26 airports I

CSR: Etisalat, Thistle Praxis partner on Sustainable Conversations

OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, says it spend at least N200m annually to calibrate navigational aids at 26 airports across the country. This is as the agency also disclosed that it has commenced calibration of navigational equipment at some airports across the country to enhance air safety. The Managing Director, NAMA, Mr. Nnamdi Udoh, in a statement stated that the routine calibration exercise commenced at the Kebbi State-owned Birnin Kebbi airport where newly installed Doppler Very High Omnidirectional Radio Range, DVOR, Distance Measuring Equipment, DME, and Instrument Landing System, ILS, were commissioned. Udoh stated that routine checks

on VOR/DME equipment at Sokoto, Jos and Abuja are to be carried out by the technical team including the Precision Approach Path Indicator, PAPI, of the Abuja and Kaduna airports. The glide slope of Kaduna will be re-checked as well. Also, he hinted that the newly installed Conventional VOR/ DME at Enugu airport will be commissioned soon while the VOR/DME at Owerri and ILS/ DME at Ilorin are for routine check. He informed that a week exercise is being handled by a Dakar based Calibration firm, ASECNA. Udoh added that the calibration of the navaids would assist in putting all the navigational aids in proper shape at these airports. IITA technologies help cassava farmers double yields (P34 2nd) Meshack Idehen Allied Atlantic Distilleries

Limited has said that improved varieties and best-bet agronomic practices in the production of cassava, obtained from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, and passed on to farmers have almost doubled the yield of the root crop, making it possible for farmers to supply more of this raw material to the industry than earlier expected. The plant, commissioned last week in Lasada, Igbese community in Ogun State, the ethanol factory will produce nine million litres per annum of extra neutral alcohol, requiring approximately 250 tons of cassava per day. Already over 8,000 farmers located within 70-km radius of Igbesa covering Ogun and Oyo states, southwest Nigeria, have been engaged and the factory is providing more than 40,000 indirect jobs to people in the area, Chairman of AADL, Mr. Ola Rosiji, said.

n continuance of its commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainable national development, the fastest growing and most innovative telecommunications services provider in Nigeria, Etisalat has partnered Thistle Praxis Consulting for the fourth edition of the thought leadership session, Sustainable Conversations slated for February 8 in Lagos. Sustainable Conversations is a quarterly thought leadership breakfast series that focuses on policy formation, and private/ public synergies in the attainment of development for Nigeria. This quarter’s discussion is themed “Education: Building Viable Frameworks for Sustainability,” and would feature Prof Pai Obanya as Lead Discussant. Director, Brands and Communications, Etisalat Nigeria, Enitan Denloye said the company is

Kano assures support for banks ALEX MOMOH KANO

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L-R: Retail Marketing Manager, Nokia West Africa, Mr. Olajide Adeyemi; star rapper, Olamide; Winner of the What’s In the Ice competition, Mr. Emmanuel Riverson and Communications Manager, Nokia West and Central Africa, Mr. Airiafo Oriunuebho during the launch of the new Nokia Asha ICE range in Lagos at the weekend.

pleased to support this initiative because “it addresses critical sectors that require urgent attention and intervention.” According to him, “Etisalat is throwing its weight behind this initiative because it would help address the critical needs of education via intellectual and analytical discussions that would point the way forward, assisting those who can and would want to intervene to know where to channel their resources to the benefit of the education sector.” Ini Onuk, Lead Consultant/ CEO of ThistlePraxis Consulting Limited, said the quarterly thought leadership is focusing on education because economies across Africa recorded weak investment in education in the 1980s and this has had a negative impacted on the quality of education and the infrastructure needed to sustain knowledge.

he Kano State government has expressed appreciation to commercial institutions for their contribution towards the enhancement of the economic status of the state and the country at large. The state governor, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, who said this recently at the Customers’ Forum organised by the Unity Bank of Nigeria Plc in Kano, assured that the state government was ready to partner with any financial institution that is ready to boost the economic growth of the state. Speaking through the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Baraka Sani, Kwankwaso disclosed that his administration

has adopted various policies and programmes to galvanise the economic growth and transformation of the state, adding that in this regard, 34 micro-finance banks were established in the state between 2012 and 2013. He however, commended the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for the introduction of the organisational policy of the electronic and Internet facilities, which he said were additional added value to ensure efficient service delivery. Speaking at the forum, the new Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Harry James, described the Customers’ Forum as the first of its kind to be organised by the organisation, saying that it would serve as an avenue of sharing ideas and as well as discussing various problems with a view to finding lasting solutions.

IITA technologies help cassava farmers double yields AMATO introduces regulatory MESHACK IDEHEN

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llied Atlantic Distilleries Limited has said that improved varieties and bestbet agronomic practices in the production of cassava, obtained from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, and passed on to farmers have almost doubled the yield of the root crop, making it possible for farmers to supply more of this raw material to the industry than earlier expected. The plant, commissioned last week in Lasada, Igbese community in Ogun State, the ethanol factory will produce nine million litres per annum of extra neutral alcohol, requiring approximately 250 tons of cassava per day.

Already over 8,000 farmers located within 70-km radius of Igbesa covering Ogun and Oyo states, southwest Nigeria, have been engaged and the factory is providing more than 40,000 indirect jobs to people in the area, Chairman of AADL, Mr. Ola Rosiji, said. “With the support of IITA, our farmers have doubled their yields from an average 12 t/ha to 22 t/ ha; our farmers now earn double what they would have earned,” he added. Commending the board and management of the company, Dr. Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy Director General, Partnerships & Capacity Development, representing Director-General Nteranya Sanginga, said the inauguration of the factory was indeed a good opportunity for Africa, and espe-

cially cassava growers, who now have more markets for their produce. He said that the factory would create jobs, attract foreign investment, and create wealth for the people, adding that IITA is willing to partner with the private sector to lift 11 million people out of poverty and also reclaim and put into sustainable use 7.5 million hectares of degraded land. Collaboration between IITA and AADL, a subsidiary of the Lexcel Group, began in the early 2000s when the project was conceived and IITA provided inputs to the feasibility study of the investment. Also under the Cassava Transformation Agenda, which is being coordinated by Dr. Richardson Okechukwu, IITA is again linking farmers to the factory.

code for members

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he Association of Maritime Truck Owners, AMATO, has introduced a regulatory code that will promote efficiency in the operations of its members. The Chairman of the association, Chief Remi Ogungbemi, gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Lagos. Ogungbemi said that the code known as AMATO 2014 Regulatory Code was necessary since maritime trucking business encountered many challenges. According to him some drivers do not maintain their trucks while some hirers do not pay amounts of money commensurate with their loads. He told NAN that these and

others anomalies would be taken care of by the regulatory code. He said that, when fully operational, the code would be beneficial to stakeholders in the maritime industry. “It is very important for people to do things right at all times,” Ogungbemi said. He told NAN that the association would in March begin training of Lagos-based truck drivers in the maritime industry, on best practices. “By March, the first batch of 300 drivers will be trained while those in other port cities will take place later. “We are particular about port cities because we operate our trucks in the maritime industry,” Ogungbemi said.


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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Energy Week

udemea@rocketmail.com 07031546994

Oil market, other factors threaten Nigeria’s 2014 budget The implementation of the nation’s 2014 budget has not yet started, as stakeholders, especially legislators continue to debate it. UDEME AKPAN reports that developments in the global market and other factors constitute serious threat to the key budgetary assumptions and implementation of the budget.

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any nations, including Nigeria have come to over depend on their crude oil as the Egyptians look up their River Nile for agriculture and other purposes. Take the 2014 budget as an example. The Federal Government of Nigeria has already projected to base the implementation of its 2014 N4.77 trillion budget on oil reference price of $77.5 per barrel. The budget which ordinarily should have been passed for implementation before now is still a subject of discourse at the National Assembly. Many legislators have picked holes on the budget. For instance, the government has been criticised for allocating more funds to some issues, including former Niger Delta militants than others. These and others are expected to be harmonised or resolved before the budget is passed for execution. Perhaps what is more worrisome about the budget is the realisation that the 2.39 million barrels a day crude oil production has been overstated. The Global rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, S&P that made this observation stated that such a target may not be realised as a result of a combination of factors. The agency which identified Niger Delta militancy as one of the factors stated that the situation could be worsened as the 2015 elections draw near. An S&P analyst, Ravi Bhatia stated, “It’s a concern if they have a big rise in pre-election expenditure and there’s a big revision on the oil price or there is a production shortfall due to Niger Delta tensions. High global oil prices are helping to sustain the picture as it stands now. Bhatia who noted that not much investment and production should be expected in the nation until the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB becomes a law stated that a $10 to $15 fall in the global oil price might change the fiscal calculations for the 2014 budget. These have attracted the comments of some analysts. For instance, the Technical Director of Drill Bits, a Port Harcourt-based firm, Mr. Zakka Bala stated in a telephone interview that the issues raised are real and capable of affecting the ability of operators in the oil industry to maximise output and export. He said, “The Niger Delta restiveness has reduced considerably in the past few years because of the Federal Government Amnesty programme and other measures. But generally speaking, the

Oil vessel

socio-political environment in the region is not yet very conducive for commercial oil exploration and production. Bala stated that the continued massive oil theft that goes on in different parts of the Niger Delta is also another factor capable of reducing output and export, thus constituting a bane on foreign exchange generation in 2014. He is not alone. The Shell’s Country Chair in Nigeria, Mr. Mutui Sunmonu stated, “As a Nigerian, and one who has spent a great deal of my career in the Niger Delta, my greatest immediate concern is the issue of crude oil theft, which is an increasingly dangerous menace. He stated, “The volume currently being stolen is the highest in the last three years, with over 60,000 barrels per day

from SPDC facilities alone. This is a huge loss, and the effects of this industrial scale theft are devastating for both the people and the environment. Most of the stolen crude makes its way to the international market and a smaller percentage is refined locally, with thick smoke from illegal refineries lining the shore in many parts of the delta. Sunmonu added, “The land, shorelines and water are heavily polluted with oil as a result of these activities. This is a crisis situation because the solution is beyond the capacity of any individual company. Our concern is that, if these activities continue at this rate, the effects would be devastating, not only to the social and environmental structure of many areas of the Niger Delta, but also to Nigeria’s

PERHAPS WHAT IS MORE WORRISOME ABOUT THE BUDGET IS THE REALISATION THAT THE 2.39 MILLION BARRELS A DAY CRUDE OIL PRODUCTION HAS BEEN OVERSTATED

economy.” The firm also stated in its report that the Niger Delta continues to be a challenging place to operate for many reasons. It stated that there is a fundamental lack of basic infrastructure in many areas, with poverty, lack of employment opportunities, widespread criminality and other factors all contributing to the social and economic crisis in the region. The report stated, “Criminality has expressed itself in many forms over the years – attacks on facilities, kidnapping, militancy and, most worrisome in recent years, crude oil theft and illegal refining. In 2012, there were over 80 reported incidents of crude oil theft from the facilities of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, several accompanied by vandalism, spills and fire. These are internal matters. But there are also external factors. For instance, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC stated in its January market report that oil exports coming from many nations would likely affect the CONTINUED ON PAGE 36


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Oil market, other factors threaten Nigeria’s 2014 budget CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 fortunes of members states, including Nigeria. The report stated, “ The forecast for the current year was also revised higher, up 70 tb/d to 1.3 mb/d. Growth is seen coming mainly from the US, Canada, Brazil and the Sudans, while Norway, UK and Mexico are seen declining in 2014. … In 2014, demand for OPEC crude is forecast at 29.6 mb/d, a drop of 0.4 mb/d from last year. The report also painted a clear picture of the global economy when it stated, “Recent signs point at a continued acceleration in the OECD economies, driven by improvements in North America as well as the UK, while the Euro-zone continues its fragile recovery and Japan is starting to adjust its stretched fiscal situation. As a result, growth in the OECD is forecast to improve from 1.2per cent in 2013 to 1.9per cent in 2014. It maintained that recent developments in China indicate growth remaining stable at 7.8per cent in 2014, the same level as in the previous year. For India, the economy is seen benefiting from the global momentum and re-emerging investments, which may lift growth to 5.6per cent this year from 4.7per cent in 2013. Global growth remains unchanged at 3.5per cent in 2014 compared to 2.9per cent in 2013. The report added, “Further advances throughout the year could be possible, but some downside risk remains. The main challenges to global economic growth in 2014 come from the risk of unexpected monetary tightening in key economies, the ongoing fragility of the Euro-zone’s recovery, the degree to which Japan is able to stimulate its economy given its sovereign debt situation, emerging economies ability to overcome structural issues, the risk of deflation in selected OECD economies and potentially re-emerging geopolitical tensions in various regions.” The latest oil movements stated that OPEC is set to reduce shipment following a reduction in the demand for oil. It stated that the reduction will take place

T HE O RGANISATION OF P ETROLEUM E XPORTING C OUNTRIES , OPEC STATED IN ITS J ANUARY MARKET REPORT THAT OIL EXPORTS COMING FROM MANY NATIONS WOULD LIKELY AFFECT THE FORTUNES OF

Jonathan

Okonjo Iwela

MEMBERS STATES , INCLUDING

Alison-Madueke

Andrew Yakubu

in February, 2014 as western demand falls with the end of winter in the northern hemisphere. The report has it that the cartel which suppliers about 40 percent of the world’s

oil will reduce sailings by 90,000 barrels a day, or 0.4 percent, to 23.72 million barrels in the four weeks to Feb. 15, 2014. The report stated that global oil demand typically falls toward the end of the first quarter

N IGERIA

with the end of winter in the northern hemisphere. Middle Eastern exports will decline by 1 percent to 17.28 million barrels a day in the month to Feb. 15, compared with 17.46 million in the previous period, Oil Movements said. It stated that crude on board tankers will drop 2.8 percent to 472.93 million barrels through Feb. 15 from 486.39 million in the previous period. However, stakeholders, especially the National Assembly should not limit their works to making changes in the 2014 budget. Concerted efforts should be made to create to create a suitable environment for its implementation. Specifically, the legislators should go beyond mere pronouncements to passing the PIB into law. This is desirable in order to attract serious operators into business, reposition the oil and gas industry on the path of sustainable development and generate more foreign exchange for future budget execution.

NERC, De Energia Eletrica to promote energy information exchange

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he Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC has entered into an agreement with Agencia Nacional de Energia Electrica, ANEEL of Brazil, to co-operate on information exchange on energy. The collaboration dates back to 2011 when the National Electrical Energy Agency under the special scheme established by law resolved to partner with the commission in the area of regulation of the electricity sector. The agreement focuses on organisation and furthering of regulatory bodies; exchange of technical and legal documentation, personnel training, tariff determination, electricity market monitoring and development. Other objectives are consumer protection issues and surveys, quality standards and renewable energy among others. The Vice-Chairman revealed that ANEEL has a comprehensive customer re-

dress mechanism worth emulating, stating that, “ANEEL has a very comprehensive mechanism for customer complaints, which encompass mediation, dispute resolution and stakeholder engagement”. He noted the use of a call center as one of the network of direct contact with electricity customers. He disclosed that, “the call center involves the use of an out sourced agency, which has a dedicated telephone/fax system that receives calls and responds to from customers during workdays from 8am-8pm”. He also indentified other avenues such as the use of a mail system, online chat support as well as face to face contact amongst other methods, which he revealed was already being practiced in NERC. According to the vice-chairman, the Brazilian electricity sector has achieved 99% electrification of their country, a feat made possible by regulation backed by a

good policy environment. In a related development, NERC has been assured of financial support for human capacity development for the power sector. Chief of Projects, Division of Education, Agence Francaise Development (AFD) Betrand Facini and the Senior Program Officer of the French agency, Adesoji Ademola expressed their readiness to support in a meeting with NERC’s Commissioners. The meeting which was prompted by the AFD took place on the 16 of January, 2014 after holding discussions with the power ministry. According to the visiting AFD delegates, on 14 November 2013, 170 million dollars was earmarked as the loan sum for the transmission aspect of the electricity industry. Facini revealed that the AFD was concerned about sustainability; hence, it was

looking at the risk of developing the market alongside the present reforms so as to guide its intervention. He said that energy efficiency stands out as one of the key programs that has to be realised, making it imperative to engage with the Commission to work out human capacity development and vocational training which would stand the test of time. ‘’We have come to assess prospective mission in the education system because we regard skill development as a critical need’’ he said. The Vice Chairman, Muhammed Lawal Bello disclosed that the Commission was already working with the national board for technical education as well as other vocational training institutions on capacity building for the power sector. He said that expert support by the AFD would be most appreciated and described the visit as timely.


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Energy Week

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

37

OPEC basket price rises to $105.09 per barrel UDEME AKPAN

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he price of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC basket of 12 crudes has risen from $104.57 to $105.09 per barrel, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). The market situation raises hope for increased foreign exchange generation in OPEC member states, including Nigeria that has budgeted to generate huge funds for its 2014 budget. The cartel believed that its members would continue to generate adequate funds as a result of the market situation. The Secretary Generation of OPEC, Dr. Abdalla El- Badri stated, “The size, scope, and complexity of the global oil market make it almost unique among physical commodities. Currently more than 90 million barrels of oil are produced and consumed every day. He stated that beyond the scale of this trade, the strategic importance of oil and the crucial role that it plays in the global economy make it a commodity like no other.

The Secretary General stated, “It is the backbone of the global transportation sector, and is used to develop and produce a vast array of everyday products. The price of oil is, of course, a central component to all this. In fact, how oil prices evolve in the future matters to every one of us. He stated, “Whether you are a consumer purchasing a petroleum product at the pump, or the refined products for your airlines, ships and trains; or whether you are a producer looking at oil investments and future prices, a stable and fair oil price is vital. El- Badri said high oil prices, for example, are bad for consumers today and lead to situations that are bad for producers tomorrow. And low oil prices are bad for producers today and lead to situations that are bad for consumers tomorrow. He stated, “Thus, as I have often said, extreme prices – either too high or too low – are not in the interests of either producers or consumers. I think it is important to initially stress that past experience has shown us that no one country or institution can set or control prices. El- Badri said, “However, it is crucial we better understand how the market can help realize a stable and fair oil price and eliminate excessive fluctuations. It means looking at the price from both the short- and long-term perspectives. He said that clearly there is always much focus on the ups and downs of the price on a daily, weekly and monthly ba-

El-Badri

sis. El-Badri said, “Short-term price fluctuations caused by such issues as geopolitics, supply disruptions, economic developments and weather are natural. They are expected. They are unavoidable. He stated, “Over the past decade, we have witnessed the increased financialisation of oil markets. Oil has increasingly being treated as an individual asset class by financial investors. Speculative funds flowing into – and out of – the commodity futures markets, have exposed the physical oil market to financial market volatility. The Secretary General said since 2005, the total open interest of the NYMEX and ICE futures and options has increased sharply. And what has evolved is a close link between crude oil prices and speculative activity.

Source: Oilprice.com

Inadequate gas supply stalls N10bn NIPP project CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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he management of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has said that over N10 billion invested by Federal government to procure about 5000 megawatts under the Nigerian Integrated Power Projects, NIPP, in Niger Delta areas were wasting away due to gas supply challenge. Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi who disclosed this, recently, at the installation of the newly elected President and council keyman awards & induction of new members of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and agriculture said most of the projects were struggling to commence operations because gas supply was not adequately considered before the procurement. He said part of the problems in the sector is that power plants are being established without due regard to gas supply or transmission capacities.

Electricity meter

Amadi stated, “Today, we have power plants proposed or being built in places where they are no gas transportation and transmission facilities. The case of the

Nigerian Integrated Power Project, NIPP, comes to mind. Government invested over N10 billion to procure over 5000 megawatts in the Niger Delta are without proper planning about gas supply and transmission facilities. “Despite the plants being commissioned, because of gas supply challenges which were not adequately considered before the project procurement, most are struggling to commence operation,” he lamented. Amadi recalled that since the enactment of the reform Act in 2005, “we should by now have procured more than 7000 megawatts if we had prudently implemented power procurement as required by the Act.” The Act he said, “provides a framework for procurement of power and other services that ensure prudence and transparency. This process has not been followed. The NIPP was well intentioned. “The former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government took the bold initiative of setting up independent power

Commodity

Units

Price

Change

% Change

Contract

Time(ET)

Crude Oil (WTI)

USD/bbl.

97.65

+1.22

+1.27%

Mar 14

10:33:52

Crude Oil (Brent)

USD/bbl.

106.11

+0.07

+0.07%

Mar 14

10:33:45

TOCOM Crude Oil

JPY/kl

64,450.00

+390.00

+0.61%

Jul 14

10:10:33

NYMEX Natural Gas

USD/MMBtu

5.23

+0.28

+5.74%

Mar 14

10:33:19

Source: Bloomberg

plants in the Niger Delta states as a strategic response to both the energy and Niger Delta crisis. “But unfortunately, the NIPPs had been a byword about how not to manage a project in the power sector. It starts with process of procurement that lacks transparency and accountability. Thankfully today, the Jonathan administration has repositioned the NIPP projects such that they have been commissioned and we expect to have additional 5000mw capacity from the NIPP power plants” he said. Emphasising on effect of defected procurement in the sector, Dr. Amadi recalled that since 1999, over N20 billion may have been spent on various projects to boost electricity. Part of the problem is that process for procuring these services is neither transparent nor prudent. “They did not go through regulatory review. Since the regulator did not approve these projects he cannot establish whether they were procured at all or at reasonable prices. One important aspect of the work of the regulator is to supervise transparent and timely procurement of services in the industry.” He pointed out that the rules of a regulated industry do not permit haphazard investments in the networks, adding, “in the past every Minister of Power wakes up and makes investment without proper system planning and without the approval of the regulator.”


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Energy Week

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stop panic buying of petroleum products –IPMAN

Power Ministry inaugurates stakeholder advisory group

STORIES: UDEME AKPAN

CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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he Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN has cautioned marketers and others against rumour of imminent fuel shortage, assuring that there was adequate supply in all parts of the nation. The National President of the Association, Alhaji Aminu Abdulkadri stated that it was incorrect to speculate that there would be fuel shortage in the nation. Abdulkadri said that there is very stable fuel supply in the country, urged members of the public to avoid panic buying, adding that there is no reason for panic buying. He said, “There is no scarcity of fuel in the country, marketers or Nigerians should stop promulgating wrong signals over scarcity of petroleum products. “We are lodging petroleum products adequately from all NNPC depots across the country and we don’t think there any proposed scarcity because NNPC and PPMC have assured us of sufficient stock in the country,’’ he said. He said that in spite of the unending challenges posed by pipeline vandalism and product theft the country through the NNPC and its subsidiary has sufficient stock of products in its marine reserve and national strategic reserve to ensure that the country remains wet with petroleum products round the clock. Abdulkadri cautioned members of the public against any form of hoarding or panic buying of petroleum products in anticipation of scarcity He said, “The fuel situation in the coun-

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Fuel tanker

try is quite stable; no cause for alarm, this smooth supply of products had been sustained for period of two-years. “I want to assure Nigerians that the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke through the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu, and the Managing Director, PPMC, Mr. Haruna Momoh in conjunction with IPMAN president we have been working tirelessly in ensuring we maintained the temple,’’ he said Abdulkadri said, “l want to assured our members that there is no cause for alarm, we need to step up our bridging in area where products supply is lacking we should augment, because vandalism of the products pipelines had been a serious menace of the country. He said NNPC, PPMC and leadership of IPMAN has been on top of the situation we should not encourage anybody that will

portray the country bad by saying we are running out of fuel. ``What we have in the country currently is adequate. And we have equally agreed with the Petroleum Equilisation Fund (PEF) to ensure payment of marketers bridging claims as at when due, which at the moment the agency is doing its best. The IPMAN boss said that in furtherance to the realization of democracy by the Federal Government, the honorable minister of petroleum has agreed to sustain the supply of Kero-Direct to Nigerians. This l believes we go a long way in assisting the Nigeria masses to benefit from the programme as it was used to be. He therefore appeal to marketer s to lives above all oodles, as he promised that IPMAN executive to hesitate to use internal mechanism in sanctioning any erring marketers found wanting.

FG woos financiers to invest in power sector CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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ederal Government has started wooing more foreign and local investors to invest in the nation’s power sector. The government said the participation of the financiers would go a long way to boosting investment in the capital intensive sector. The government that this and others explain why it has become desirable to organise an International Conference, targeted at facilitating increased financing of power infrastructural development in Nigeria. The Chairman, Media & Publicity, Nigeria Power Sector Investor’ confer-

Transformer

ence, Mr. Chigbo Anichebe stated in a statement that the conference scheduled to hold on February 10, 2014, is further aimed at augmenting the efforts of the private sector which recently took over the electric power generation and distribution assets of former Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). According to the statement, participants are expected to be drawn within Nigeria, her development partners, the donor community, international financial institutions and international financiers. He stated, “The aims of the Conference are to facilitate interaction between the new investors and local and international financial institutions to explore the available opportunities in meeting the capital expenditure (CAPEX) needs

of the Nigerian power sector; and to support the creation of a sound economic expansion framework that will enhance performance across the power sector value chain; Anichebe stated that other objectives of the conference are to provide the enabling environment for potential investors in the power sector to refine their entry strategy into the Nigerian power sector; identify areas of need that can affect the viability of the market; provide opportunity for clarifying government policies for the power sector; and to create a sector CAPEX plan that will serve as baseline for future monitoring and evaluation of the sector participants. The Chairman of the organising committee of the conference, and also the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, stated that “the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration anchors on Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020, which is focused on building institutions to drive robust roadmaps of reform in key sectors of the economy, with the Power Sector Reform being a pivot.” He noted that “following the physical handover of the successor companies to the private sector investors on November 1, 2013, the burden of process optimization and capacity expansion has been shifted from the Federal Government to the new owners.

he Ministry of Power has inaugurated a ‘Power Sector Stakeholder Advisory Group’ comprising Civil Society Organizations who would meet regularly with sector leaders to brainstorm on critical electricity issues and give advice to government on progress strategies. The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo shortly before the inauguration held at the first CSO Power Forum in Abuja at the weekend called on the CSOs to enlighten electricity consumers on the power sector reform especially in the postprivatization era. He said, “Civic engagement like this provide an opportunity for Nigerian citizens to actively take ownership of the reforms, whilst helping to promote the attitudinal changes necessary for reflective power supply and power usage and consumption.” Prof. Nebo decried the situation of some Nigerians who are living in off-grid rural areas with no power access, in some cases unstable supply, noting that a lot need to be done to arrest the situation. Justifying the need for the advisory group Nebo said, “Government cannot and should not do it alone, and I invite you to come and work with us towards the much needed changes in the power sector.” The Permanent Secretary, Dr. Godknows Igali who commended the efforts put in place by the CSOs regarding power sector advocacy, urged them to educate the citizenry and always defend the right of consumers on electricity supply. Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Dr. Sam Amadi in a presentation said, setting the context of transparency and accountability in the power sector is crucial and involves all sector participants.

Indigenous firm blazes trail in local content

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he Local Content Initiative of the Federal Government is yielding greater results, as indigenous firms are gradually gaining global recognition through their exemplary performance in Horizontal Directional Drilling, HDD Technology, in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. Recently, Fenog Nigeria Limited (FNL), with the aid of two HDD rigs-PD 250 and PD500, set a new world record in the oil and gas sector with the gas pipelines project awarded to it by oil major, the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC). The management of NAOC, the Nigerian unit of Italian Eni, was probably impressed by the performance of Fenog in the NNPC/Chevron’s job in the Escravos river crossing, challenged Fenog to send gas pipelines across the Kwale end to ObOb end of the river, a distance measuring 2.82 kilometres. The trunkline project, designed to convey gas from the various fields of NAOC in Kwale and its environs, to ObOb Gas Station to Bonny plant of LNG and beyond was awarded in February 2013.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Energy Week

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pemex awards $64m contract to FMC Technologies

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MC Technologies, Inc has signed a three-year contract with Pemex Exploration and Production for the manufacture and supply of surface wellheads to support its drilling and well maintenance programs in the Gulf of Mexico. The award is expected to result in approximately $64 million in revenue to FMC Technologies if all of the equipment is ordered. The agreement provides assurance that at least 40 percent of the contractual value will be ordered by Pemex during the threeyear call-off period. FMC Technologies’ scope of supply includes surface wellheads and production trees, as well as installation and supervision services for Pemex’s operations in its Southwest Marine Region of the Gulf of Mexico. The equipment will be supplied from FMC Technologies’ operations in Mexico. “We appreciate the opportunity to extend our support of Pemex,” said Johan Pfeiffer, FMC Technologies’ Vice President, Surface Technologies. “FMC Technologies has historically played a significant role in Pemex’s developments, and this new award expands that relationship.”

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fforts to increase access to power infrastructure in Africa has received a boost with a US$350million financing agreement between global infrastructure giant General Electric and one of Africa’s leading financial institutions, Standard Bank. The partnership seeks to provide affordable access to power infrastructure to augment traditional large scale grid capacity development. The partnership will target 10 priority countries: Nigeria, Angola, Tanzania, South Africa and Ghana. Others are Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Financing activity will center on project finance, equipment finance, trade finance and advisory. The program will be open to independent power producers and non-recourse infrastructure projects, industrials and manufacturers, natural resource companies,

Power plant

Addax partners Gabon to invest in oil fields

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Power station

FMC Technologies, Inc. is a leading global provider of technology solutions for the energy industry. Named by FORTUNE® Magazine as the World’s Most Admired Oil and Gas Equipment, Service Company in 2012, the Company has approximately 19,000 employees and operates 30 production facilities in 16 countries. FMC Technologies designs, manufactures and services technologically sophisticated systems and products such as sub-

sea production and processing systems, surface wellhead systems, high pressure fluid control equipment, measurement solutions, and marine loading systems for the oil and gas industry. The firm stated, “Our technologies and worldwide service locations help operators boost well site performance, savings and safety. Our top performing equipment and integrated services respond to customers’ technical, economic and safety challenges.”

GE Africa, Standard Bank sign $350m partnership deal UDEME AKPAN

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food and agricultural processors, small to medium enterprises, and other potential borrowers. President and CEO of GE Africa Jay Ireland said the partnership comes at the right time when there are concerted efforts to boost access to energy across the continent. He said partnerships of this nature would certainly support efforts by respective governments in finding captive power solutions to meet the growing demand for alternative fuels. Ireland said this partnership is in line with the country-to-company agreements, which GE has signed with a number of African governments aimed at generating incremental power and increasing access. Mrs. Sola David-Borha, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings (Standard Bank trades in Nigeria as Stanbic IBTC Holdings) said the bank was committed to partnerships of this nature that help energize the sector. She said the power challenges identified in the focus countries for this partnership were opportunities for growth through sus-

tainable investment. David-Borha also disclosed that through the partnership, financing will also be available for off-grid solutions that rely on cleaner fuels such as biomass and biogas across Sub-Saharan Africa. GE works on things that matter, using the best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges, finding solutions in energy, health and home, transport and finance, building, powering, moving and curing the world. Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of The Standard Bank Group, is a full service financial services group with a clear focus on three main business pillars - Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Wealth Management. Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets. It is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 19 countries on the African continent, and headquartered in South Africa. Standard Bank has been in operation for over 150 years and is focused on building first-class, on-the-ground banks in chosen countries in Africa and connecting other selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other, applying sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, globally. Standard Bank employs 49, 000 people and delivers a complete range of services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth management. Standard Bank’s Corporate & Investment Banking division offers its clients banking, trading, investment, risk management and advisory services with a deep specialisation in natural resources. It has strong offerings in mining and metals; oil, gas and renewables; power and infrastructure; agribusiness; telecommunications and media; and financial institutions.

ddax Petroleum has concluded negotiations with the Gabonese Republic, which marks the beginning of a new mutually beneficial partnership for the next ten years. As a result, the Gabonese Republic has signed with Addax Petroleum a new Production Sharing Contract for the three oil fields Tsiengui, Obangue and Autour. This contract constitutes an innovation in the Oil & Gas industry in Gabon with clear financial and technical objectives in order to maximise the return for the Gabonese Republic in the exploitation of its natural resources. “I am pleased to confirm that our efforts to resolve amicably all existing issues and disputes have borne fruit and resulted in the completion of our negotiations with the Gabonese Government” said Yi Zhang, CEO of Addax Petroleum. He said, “This successful outcome is the result of constructive discussions between both parties and reflects the historic friendship between Gabon and China. I would like to thank the Gabonese Republic for its commitment in leading these discussions in the interest of all”. “This is a very positive development in the beginning of this new year”, Mr Zhang added, “and I have given instructions to my management team in Gabon in order to resume all operations in a safe and efficient manner as soon as possible and ensure this new partnership will be a success.” This new partnership establishes a renewed platform for growth in Gabon for Addax Petroleum and Sinopec. He said, “Addax Petroleum plans to continue its mission as an economic and social actor involved in the long-term in Gabon, in full transparency and in compliance with Gabonese laws and regulations.

NDDC seeks contractors’ cooperation to complete projects

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he Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC has urged contractors handing its uncompleted projects to expedite action and make maximum use of the dry season to complete them for the benefit of the people. The Executive Director, Projects, of the NDDC, Engr. Tuoyo Omatsuli, made the plea when he began the inspection of uncompleted projects across the region, with a visit to the emergency shore protection project site at Ekerekana in Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State. The contract was awarded in 2012 and the contractor mobilised to site with the expectation of completing it last year. However, it was delayed due to logistics problem. Speaking at the project site, Engr, Omatsuli expressed satisfaction at the level of work done by the contractor, saying that the project was necessary for the Ekerekana community. He gave the contractor six months to complete the job instead of 12 months being requested by the contractor to comCONTINUED ON PAGE 40


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Energy Week

NDDC seeks contractors’ cooperation to complete projects CONTINUED FROM 39 plete the work for the benefitting community to feel the impact of the project.” Omatsuli explained that he deemed it wise to visit the sites of the Commission’s ongoing and uncompleted projects in order to have a clear picture of the situation before authorising payments. Omatsuli however urged all contractors handling the Commission’s projects to return to sites and complete all abandoned or uncompleted projects immediately. Also, the NDDC said it is set for the grand Commissioning of one of its star projects, the 600-metre bridge in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State. To facilitate the process, the Managing Director of the Commission, (Barr) Bassey Dan-Abia, inspected the longspan bridge across the Qua Iboe River in the company of Engr. Etim Inyang Jnr, who represents Akwa Ibom State on the Governing Board of the Commission. Dan- Abia said that it was the good fortune for the new NDDC board to deliver the mega-bridge, and the 6.8-kilometre Iko-Atabrikang-Opolom-IwuoAchang Road. He expressed satisfaction with the `quality of the road and the long-span bridge. “I am particularly impressed by the fact that it was done by an indigenous contractor,” . The Managing Director noted that the road and bridge had provided a major link for several communities that were hitherto locked up in swampy terrain. He said that to get the full benefit of the mega-project, “we need to embark on the second phase which will take off a lot of load from the Eket – Ikot-Abasi Road. If it was not provided for in the 2013 budget of the Commission, we will see what can be done about it.” The supervising engineer for the project, Mr. Etim Eyoette, had earlier informed the Managing Director that the design for the second phase had already been done, and that work was progressing at another 36-kilometre Ikoro-Ntafra-Opolom road with 8 bridges to link up the Ibeno bridge after the second phase would have been completed. According to him, the road would shorten the distance for those travelling from Ibeno to Port Harcourt, as they would no longer need to pass through Eket. A representative of the Ibeno community, Hon. Enyima Inyang, said that they were delighted that the first phase of the project had been completed. He, however, appealed to the NDDC to quickly initiate action towards extending the road to reach other communities in the area. Earlier Members of the Senate Committee on the Niger Delta had inspected the bridge and expressed satisfaction with the quality of job done by the contractor. Senator James Manager, chairman of the committee said it was one project which he would want President Jonathan to Commission as soon as possible.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Chevron, GE form technology alliance

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hevron Energy Technology Company and GE Oil & Gas have come together to develop technologies, capable of meeting various needs in the oil and gas industry. Chevron stated in a statement that the Alliance builds upon a current collaboration on flow analysis technology for oil and gas wells. It stated, “It will leverage research and development from GE’s newest Global Research Center, the first dedicated to oil and gas technology. The firm stated, “GE brings its leading manufacturing capabilities, worldwide marketing, distribution, and extensive R&D capabilities not only for oil and gas, but also other business sectors to this alliance,” said Paul Siegele, president of Chev-

Transmission substation

ron Energy Technology Company and chief technology officer. It stated, “Chevron’s deep understand-

Nigeria needs five years to stabilise power supply –Cole

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he Chief Executive Officer of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, says it will take at least five years from now before Nigerians will begin to experience uninterrupted power. Cole stated at the just concluded 44th World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland that there were areas needed to be improved upon before the needed stable power would be experienced. He said that one of such would be improvement in the way information is shared among key players in the sector for the next couple of years. He also said that pipeline vandalism in Nigeria had contributed hugely to the poor power supply. “Anybody that vandalises a pipeline may

vandalise the pipeline to go and sell crude somewhere thinking that he is making money, but each time he vandalises a pipeline, whether it is a gas pipeline or an oil pipeline, it affects everyone. “But before we can get to a point where we don’t have to think about power because it is just there, it requires a lot of investment, a lot of capital has to go into that,” he stated. Cole pointed out that the power sector had taken a new shape with the taking over of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria by private owners, saying that the private companies still have to work with the government and the regulators to achieve realistic results.

ing of the oil and gas industry, combined with GE’s long tradition of technology development and close collaboration with strategic partners, will uniquely position this new alliance to address the industry’s technology needs,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, president and CEO, GE Oil & Gas. The firm stated, “The solutions developed by this alliance will take on even more industry significance given Chevron’s proven leadership in being first to field-test and deploy new technology breakthroughs.” It stated that this partnership builds upon an ongoing collaboration between Chevron and GE developing the GE Safire TM flow meter, now being tested and deployed on Chevron land-based well production lines in the western U.S. The firm stated that in addition to the flow metering collaboration, which is being conducted with the Measurement & Control business within GE Oil & Gas, the Alliance is also managing a coatings project and will be taking on additional high-value projects in the near future. It stated that the Alliance provides a mechanism for commercializing early stage technologies from Chevron, GE or other technology partnerships. The firm stated, “For example, GE flow meter products will be developed incorporating the Swept Frequency Acoustic Interferometry (SFAI) metering technology incubated in an alliance between Chevron and Los Alamos National Laboratory. It stated, “Los Alamos develops unique technologies and these can have powerful applications for U.S. industry,” said Duncan McBranch, chief technology officer for Los Alamos National Laboratory. “Strategic partnerships with industry allow us to accelerate breakthrough innovation in these areas.

NIPCO takes LPG campaign to international community

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ipco Plc, an integrated downstream player in the nation’s oil and gas industry has taken its campaign to deepen Liquefied Petroleum Gas usage as domestic cooking fuel to the next level exploring the potential of the Indian community in Lagos. This feat came into the fore at a cultural event organised by scores of Indians resident in Lagos during which Nipco mounted an elaborate exhibition of LPG cylinders and its accessories for domestic cooking. The forum was also used to launch its specially designed safety leaflet to guide gas users across the country to utilize gas cylinders in a safe manner, a document that attracted many visitors to the company

Nipco gas plant

stand at the event. The programme held at the Mobil Pegasus club, Apapa ,to coincide with the Annual Harvest festival in the Asian country afforded the company avenues to reiterate its commitment to LP gas as domestic cooking fuel as against the preponderance of kerosene for cooking . Conducting people of different strata of the society who visited the stand, Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Lawal Taofeek said the company took part in the event as part of its avowed commitment to enhancing of LP gas utilisation in the country among all nationals. He maintained that continuous awareness on the growing benefits of gas as do-

mestic cooking fuel is imperative if the increasing number of people switching to gas as against other cooking fuel is to be sustained and increased accordingly . Lawal listed some of the benefits of switch to gas as cooking fuel to include: ease of cooking, faster cooking, smoke – free, convenience, paucity of wall stains in the kitchen environment and affordability. According to him, the company has invested huge sums of money to procure al varying sizes of cylinders and other accessories to guarantee affordability its affordability while our gas refill rates are very competitive. He counseled hundreds of participants at the event that by refilling at the various outlets of the company retail outlets and skid centres across the country, they are not only assured of accurate quantity but also assured of a clean energy source and a safe alternative for cooking. Lawal equally informed that in 2014 additional refill outlets are in the pipeline and noted that sooner than LP gas consumers may think their nearest gas outlet may be the Nipco filling station next to your household to further encourage LPG consumption by the populace. Several LPG accessories and cylinders donated by Nipco were presented to winners of a raffle draw organised as part of the programme.


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Civil Service

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

41

Kogi Assembly warns ministries against extra-budgetary spending

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he Kogi State House of Assembly on Tuesday in Lokoja warned ministries, departments and agencies against extra-budgetary spending. The Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello, gave the warning when the officials of the Kogi State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources defended the ministry’s

2014 budget proposal. Bello said that the agencies should return to the Assembly for supplementary budget if they had any reason to exceed their budgetary allocation. Bello observed that the ministry overshot its budgetary allocation in 2013 without seeking the approval of the House as provided by section 121(4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The constitution provides that if the amount for any purpose is insufficient, a supplementary estimate showing the sum required should be forwarded to the House of Assembly for consideration and approval. Bello said that the ministry’s revised estimate for 2013 was put at N900magainst N100m approved by the House for Rehabilitation/Procurement of

plants and equipment. On the 2000 hectares of rice farms across the seven local government areas of the state, Bello said the ministry’s expenditure was N479.01m against the approved budget of N200 m. Bello said that budget defence was not a ritual, but a genuine fulfilment of the concept of constitutionalism. Dr. Olufemi Bolarin,

the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, said that only N804.4m was released out of the N2.6bn allocated to the ministry in 2013. He said the figure represented 29.4 per cent of the total allocation, adding that the ministry, there-

FCTA promotes 1,023 Area Council Staff OMEIZA AJAYI

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L-R: Country Director, UNAIDS, Dr Bilali Camara; Director General ,National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Prof. John Idoko and Secretary to the National Planning Commission, Barr. Fidelis Ugbo during the National Agency for the Control of AIDS and National Planning Commission Donor Consultative Forum on HIV and AIDS Response in Nigeria in Abuja, yesterday.

fore, was rather underfunded in 2013. He said that the ministry was engaged in the development of upland rice farming at Sarkin-Noma, Ejiba and Odu and Soyabeans in Osara and Karara parts of the state in 2013, among other activities.

he Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA has approved the promotion of 1, 023 staff in the six Area Councils and the Area Councils’ Services Secretariat. Chairman of the FCT Area Council Service Commission, Alhaji Buba Mohammed Gamawa disclosed this yesterday when he visited the Minister of State in the FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide. While thanking the minister for accelerating the approval process, Gamawa pledged the continued loyalty of the staff to the provision of basic rural services. He also sought the collaboration of the relevant officials of the FCT Administration to enhance the welfare of staff of the councils. Gamawa however appealed to the minister to scale up efforts at complet-

ing the Area Councils’ training institute at DobiBako village of Kwali Area Council. Recalling that the contract for the project was awarded in 2011, Gamawa lamented that work has progressed at a very slow pace due to paucity of funds, explaining that when completed, the complex would serve as a revenue spinner for the Administration since its is a mulyi-purpose facility. Responding, Akinjide promised to ensure accelerated development at the grassroots, saying the nation cannot develop without the Area Councils. “For Nigeria to develop, we must develop the Area Council system. We must fund them adequately and do the needful at all times. This is why we hold elections as at when due and we do not appoint Caretaker Committees to run their affairs. They are all democratically elected”, she explained.

TCN boss tasks mgt team on efficient service CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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L-R: Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency, Mr. Tetsuo Seki; representative of the Minister of Education, Mr. Michael Ofor and Director-General, National Teachers Institute, Dr. Aminu Sharehu, at the Strengthening Mathematics and Science Education sensitisation forum in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

he Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr. Mack Kast has tasked the management team on being efficient and cooperative to maximise quality delivery of its mandate. Kast gave the charge at its first two-day management retreat for 2014 in Abuja. The retreat with its theme “Working Together for a Brighter Future” focused on the need to synergize, motivate, and build trust to achieve better results in its service delivery. According to a statement by the General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs. Seun

Olagunju, the MD stated that the management team has the requisite potential to lead others on realising its set goals in the power sector and must therefore set an enviable pace. He noted that presently, much of its infrastructures needs to be upgraded and that the shortcomings which are being worked upon can be fully achieved only through cooperation. Earlier in his address, the Deputy Managing Director (DMD), Mr. Abubakar Atiku, said the retreat is a forum for management to review the past performance of the company and plan for the year ahead while having a strategic plan for 2014.


42

Politics

Mr. Aderemi Oyebamiji, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, is the National Chairman of Grassroots Mobilisation for Buhari, GMB. In this interview with KEMI OLAITAN, he speaks on the proposed National Conference and the 2015 general elections. Excerpts: What is your take on the proposed National Conference as the Federal Government released the modalities for it? There is no doubt that National Conference is a good platform for Nigerians to express their views and for any inhibition to be put on the way will not be good, we must not forget the fact that members of the civil rights organisations have been calling for one in which whatever decisions arrived at, will not be subjected to the ratifications of the National Assembly, but rather will be the decisions of Nigerians which are bound to be fully implemented. However, the timing of the present proposed National Conference is diversionary; this is because the ruling class are on the spot as they have seen that Nigerians are not happy, so the National Conference is nothing but an opportunity for them to take attention of Nigerians from the impunity that have been foisted on them. Also, coming at the time elections are around the corner, it will not help to solve our problems, but rather add more to them. It is also a fact that members of the National Assembly will do everything to protect their seat, so they are bound to be afraid of any decision on the structure of the country, knowing that such will affect them. In essence, it is my view that all Nigerians must be able to rise and tell the Federal Government that the timing is wrong. This must however not becloud the fact that the unity of the country is not negotiable, for us as a country; there is strength in our unity. Nevertheless, we must have it at the back of our minds that Singapore and Malaysia were together before, but courage and determination saw them through where they are today, so there is strength in Nigeria’s unity. Given what is happening in the nation’s political climate and the security challenge, would you agree that the prediction of the United States about Nigeria in 2015, may after all come to pass? It is a fact that a prophecy is meant to guide one against what is likely to happen in the future, it is to avert a doom, so if the US or any other nation made prediction concerning the country and we are deliberately working towards the prediction, the fault then is in us. From the first republic to now, it is quite unfortunate that the ruling class in the country has not changed. What it means therefore is that time is ripe for a change in the country, let us try another set of people so that the expectations of the people which have been dashed will become reality. The most unfortunate thing is that those in the position of power seem to see themselves as infallible and doing things as if they are gods. A classical example was in 1982 when the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, warned that the ship of the nation was moving towards wreckage, but rather than accept that fact, Chief Adisa Akinloye, came out to say that he was a prophet of doom. But just a month after, Akinloye and his co-travellers were to be proved wrong, as the prediction came to pass with the government introducing austerity measures and so on. It was so bad that Nigerians were groaning like what we are having today which eventually led to military intervention. While no one is calling for military intervention now, when the military came in the early 1980s, they were able to bring sanity into the system with the introduction of War Against Indiscipline, WAI, while politicians who abused their positions were jailed just to serve as deterrent to others, all aimed at making political leaders accountable to the people. Many Nigerians were disappointed with the directive

Wednesday February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigerians deserve positive change in 2015 –APC chieftain

Oyebamiji

given by the leadership of the APC to its members at the National Assembly not to support the passage of the 2014 budget and other bills, what is your view on this? Most of the times I found it difficult to relate how Nigerians take things; the directive coming from the APC to its members at the National Assembly, to me is nothing but born out of patriotism. It is in Nigeria that we found the ruling class, rather than do what is right, working on sentiment to hoodwink the people. What the APC did was what happened recently in the United States with its economy shut down while President Barack Obama was virtually on his knees to get things back right. And come to think of it, if we have a President that is working every day to bring impunity to the system, where then is the check and balances to make things work as it should be. Thus by calling the President to order, the APC is just been patriotic, the party represents the hope of Nigeria. What we must all agree with is the fact that Nigeria is a country in a hurry to develop and it is the duty of all of us to make this happen. The APC as a political party is determined more than ever to be in the forefront and the party as the symbol of positive change has been swelling every day. One of the landmarks that the party recorded was the defection of five PDP governors and some lawmakers. This defection was unique as it is the first time that we will have somebody leaving a ruling party with all the largesse available to an opposition party. With age not on the side of Major General Muhammed

BY CALLING THE PRESIDENT TO ORDER, THE APC IS JUST BEEN PATRIOTIC, THE PARTY REPRESENTS THE HOPE OF

NIGERIA

Buhari as he is now over 70 years, don’t you think that the time has come for him to shelve any presidential ambition again? I will disagree with you on this, for rather than not showing interest in rescuing the ship of the country, I would say that this is the time for him to come to power to replicate what he did as a military Head of State. The retired General is one Nigerian burning with the desire to get Nigeria out of the woods; he is not coming to power to revenge or amass wealth but rather to hearken to the cry of Nigerians to lead them to the Promised Land. That he has contested for the presidenct three times does not matter, he is certainly not the only person to have done this, Abraham Lincoln ran, many times before he was elected American President while Awolowo also contested more than two times but did not win, just for us to refer to him as the best President Nigeria never had. Buhari on his part is coming to power to instil discipline into the system and as well as clean the Augean table. One fact that is indisputable is that nobody has ever said he is corrupt or indiscipline, these qualities qualified him to be the next President of this country. It is quite unfortunate that the ruling class in the country today do not want to surrender power because of what they are eating to the detriment of the people, they are afraid that they will be made to account for their deeds when they leave power. Buhari has the experience to turn things around in the country, he has served as military Head of State, military governor and minister, all these put him in a good stead as he is not a learner President. And for those who are calling him a religious bigot, they are missing the point, here is a man whose Personal Secretary is a Christian and he has contributed to the success of many Christians in the country, including Prof. Dora Akunyili, whom he discovered. Indeed he has a long list of patriotic Nigerians both Muslims and Christians that he would work with to move the country forward. Do you see him supporting any other presidential candidate of the party if he is not picked at the end of the day? He possessed the necessary antecedents and will not be out of place to say that he will be the candidate to fly the flag of the APC in the coming elections. However if it should be otherwise, General Buhari as a disciplined man and man of integrity will throw his weight behind the candidate of the party so that the progressives will come to power to ensure that the needed positive change is brought to the country and at the end of the day, the country will take its rightful place among the comity of nations. What is your view on the time table for the 2015 elections just released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC? To most Nigerians it is unfortunate that the INEC has started on a wrong footing. INEC should have called a meeting of all the stakeholders to approve the time table before it ws released, but rather than do this, it just imposed it without enjoying the contributions of stakeholders. What it means is that there is an unseen hand in the time table. However, no matter how INEC colludes with the unseen hand, Nigerians are ready for change and will use their votes to send the enemies packing. I can say with confidence that the turn-out during the coming elections will be unprecedented, indeed it will not be less than 60 per cent of registered voters, what this means is that Nigerians want change.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR

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Politics

Wednesday February 5, 2014

s the searchlight for who succeeds Cross River State governor, Liyel Imoke, continues, with the Northern Senatorial District gearing up to take over the mantle of leadership in the state come 2015,following Imoke’s pronouncement at different fora that power would shift to the zone, many have signified their intentions to take a shot at the plum job. Imoke had based his declaration on the need to remove inequity and injustice which the zone had suffered since 1987, when the state was created, wherein no one from that zone has been opportune to be at the helms of affair of the state. Often times, when any government comes on board, the North had always been used as errand boys to run the government of the day, despite the huge human resources the zone was endowed with. But this was to change in recent time when politicians from the zone began to position themselves for the plum job. Going by the growing number of aspirants jostling for the seat of governor in 2015,,no one could predict who would actually emerge as the governor of the state come 2015, although there insinuations that Imoke had anointed a former Secretary to the State Government, SSG, who is now the Executive Secretary of the National Planning Commission, Mr. Fidelis Ugbo to succeed him. Among others vying for the plum job were other s who had at one time or the other contested for the governorship before now, while others are fresh entrants and greenhorns who are trying their lucks for the first time, with the hope of taking advantage of some political permutations, intrigues and schism just to spring a surprise. So far, 12 candidates have for now shown interest in the big contest, with only two coming out to the open to declare their intention, while others are yet to do so, perhaps to them, the time is not yet ripe. Among the contenders for the governorship were: Group General Manager (Crude) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Godwin Jedy-Agba; Commissioner for Works, Mr. Legor Idigbor; former Minister of the Environment, Mr. John Odey; Speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly, CRHA, Mr. Larry Odey and former Speaker, CRHA/ acting governor, Mr. Frank Adah. Others include: an Abuja based lawyer, Mr. Francis Ashang Tanko; a former Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Julius Oputu and current Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, Senator Ben Ayade and a former banker, Chief Bullem, who said he was in the race “to ensure good governance and accountability put on ground by the incumbent, Senator Imoke.” Bullem said that after series of consultations made far and wide and which he will continue to make with critical stakeholders, a formal declaration will be made to the entire people of Cross River the moment the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) publishes the timetable. His claim that he had made enough consultations, if true might place him ahead

43

C’River 2015: Contenders for Government House

Imoke

Jeddy-Agba

THE FINAL DECISION ON WHO OCCUPIES THE

GOVERNMENT HOUSE IN 2015 LIES IN THE HAND OF THE CROSS RIVER PEOPLE

of his opponents and bring him closer to grabing the job when the time comes. The contest is however believed to be a two horse race between two contenders who pundits see as major elements in the race: Jeddy-Agba and Ugbo. For Ugbo, it is believed in some quarters that he is the anointed of the incumbent governor, which explains why, even along the streets of Calabar metropolis, his billboards are flooded with the face of the governor, President Goodluck Jonathan. Jeddy-Agba seems to be the only aspirant with enormous financial muscles, due to his association with the bigwigs at the national level, but his undoing is that he lacks the experience in terms of how things are run and managed in the state, given the fact that he had spent almost all his life outside the state. But his father’s long standing position as the paramount ruler of Obudu, in Obudu Local Government Area of the state places him on advantage to exert enormous influence even among his father’s colleagues among the state traditional council. But on the other hand, critics of his candidature said that despite his enviable position in the NNPC, he has not done enough to help youths get jobs with the

Ugbo

corporation even at the manipulative cadre. This might mar his chances of realising his ambition. Although, he still has a chance of having an upper hand, given the fact that some political bigwigs in the state seems to be his allies; worthy of mention is Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, even as it was rumoured that Jeddy-Agba’s aspiration led to the current faceoff between NdomaEgba and Governor Imoke. It was also believed that Agba’s ambition and aspiration remains also the immediate cause of seeming polarisation within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state as it is believed that imoke was not well disposed to Agba’s ambition. Senator Ayade is another force to be reckoned with in the polity of the state. He is among those that had indicated interest early enough to run for the number one seat. But he is scared of losing to any opponent who will come to slug it out with him, particularly from his local government of origin. At least, he is one of the money bags of Northern politics and going by his ante-

cedents, he had done enough in terms of youth empowerment in his constituency. He stands the chance of winning overwhelmingly, but the political calculations may not have favour him because of the emergence of Jeddy-Agba, who hails from the same local government with him. The emergence of incumbent Speaker of the CRHA, Odey in the race came as a sucker punch, having acted in Imoke’s stead when the incumbent governor was removed by the court, on the claim that his election was marred with malpractices and irregularities. Though he is conversant with the workings and intrigues of governance, his hope could be dashed given the fact that he had not done enough home work as one with ambition to assume the seat of a governor. His interaction with the media and youths of his constituency is low when placed on a scale. For Okpotu, it might not be easy with, even though he had once come out to run for governor. Going by his antecedents, he might not make it because of the grudges young people have against him when he was the chairman of the state Civil Service Commission, during which time a lot of youths lost their jobs as a result of the Imoke and Donald Duke’s downsizing policy, which the duo claimed was the best for the state. Ugbe, current Commissioner for Youths and Sports, a soft spoken journalist with oratory prowess, is also a green horn in the contest. His emergence for the race surprised a lot of people, simply because he had always been seen as more of an errand boy to the ‘big oys’. He was Duke’s Chief press Secretary and Governor Imoke’s Commissioner for Information, before his deployment to his present ministry. Though analysts have said that he might not make it to the final, even if he emerges the PDP candidate, but it is said that he has a very deep pocket to play with the leading contenders. His supporters are of the opinion that his oratory prowess, his charisma and the good relationship that he has built with members of the public over the years could cause the money bags to stoop low for him. Hon. Adah’s strength lies in the fact that he is also close to the governor. His inexperience in running the office of the state governor, despite that he had acted once as a governor, was not enough reason to make him emerge as governor in 2015. Whichever way it goes, the battle for the 2015 governorship in Cross River State would not be a tea party, as Governor Imoke would be expected to ensure that he is succeeded by a loyalists who would cover his flanks after his exit from office, but the final decision on who occupies the Government House in 2015 lies in the hand of the Cross River people.


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Politics

Wednesday February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ekiti 2014: Fayose seeks stakeholders’ support ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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ormer governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, yesterday canvassed support of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, leaders and members for him to emerge the party’s candidate for the June 21 governorship election. Fayose, a PDP governorship hopeful, said such support was necessary for him to re-enact what he did in 2003, when he defeated the

then incumbent governor, adding: “There is no aspirant with credentials that are better than mine. I am seeking your cooperation to confront the All Progressives Congress, APC, again. The former governor, who spoke at a meeting with PDP ward chairmen across the 16 council areas of the state, charged the party leaders to do everything within their powers “to win souls for our great party. “The PDP depends on you to disseminate infor-

mation and provide leadership to our grassroots followers or members which determines who become the leaders of the people,” Fayose said. The former governor, who took a swipe at the present government in the state over alleged lack of interest in the grassroots, said: “The APC has disappointed Ekiti people particularly at the grassroots. The APC has deprived the common people in Ekiti the benefit of grassroots

government by refusing to conduct local government elections.

He said: “We should work together to defeat the APC government in Ekiti to return a democratic local government. We cannot wait for another four years. We must come together now as a party, bury our differences and forge a common front to win the election irrespective of whoever the party picks as its candidate”. Fayose also canvassed support for the new PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, saying:

“The party at the national level is presently undergoing restructuring which will affect us positively with Alhaji Muazu. Let us give him and our party our total support to lead us to greater height.” Some of the ward chairmen, who took turns to speak at the meeting, expressed their support for the former governor’s ambition, describing him as a reliable politician capable of offering leadership for the party at all times.

2015: Ebonyi police assures of adequate security ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI

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s the 2015 general election approaches with campaign activities lined up by various political parties, the Ebonyi State police command has reiterated its readiness to ensure adequate provision of security for all political parties to ensure free, fair and credible election in the state. Speaking with National Mirror in Abakaliki, the state capital, the Commissioner of Police Mr. Maigari Dikko, said that the police are ready to ensure that there is no breakdown of laws and order in the forthcoming general election, just as he cautions politicians to avoid any activity that would tamper with existing peace in the state. Dikko however called for partnership with journalist in Ebonyi to ensure that people are enlightened on the need to report

crimes to the police so as to enable security agencies and other paramilitary agencies in the state to combat crimes. The commissioner warned that desperate politicians should stop heating up the polity to avoid destruction of lives and property. According to him, “whatever we are doing in Ebonyi State, without the cooperation of themedia as well as other security and paramilitary agencies, we may have not succeeded. “Issues of security cannot be left for the police alone but together with the synergy of other security agencies, we can combat the security challenges facing the country. “I cannot say that only I and my men can confront the security challenges in Ebonyi State. I need the cooperation of the State Security Service, SSS, Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, civil defence and other paramilitary agencies.

L-R: Interim Chairman, All Progressives Congress, APC, Ekiti State, Chief Jide Awe; Governor Kayode Fayemi; APC’s National Vice Chairman, South West, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin, during a meeting of leaders of the party at Iyin-Ekiti, recently.

Ajimobi to party members: Endure discomfort of registration OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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he Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has urged members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who began membership registration yesterday, to endure whatever discomforts they may encounter in the process, in a bid to en-

Stop being alarmist, Lagos PDP chides APC OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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he Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has cautioned the Lagos State chapter of the All progressives Congress, APC, to refrain from being alarmist and causing unwarranted panic in the state. The PDP was reacting to APC’s recent statements against the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, describing the utterances as “the struggling of

a drowning man.” Lagos PDP, in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Taofeek Gani, opined that the unfounded claims by the Lagos APC is diversionary and an attempt to find alibi in the already failed security system in the state. It said: “By this unsubstantiated allegation, it is now confirmed that the APC has always been behind the false alarms of Boko Haram in Lagos which always caused panic in the state and environs. The Lagos APC propagandist system

is now sour and no longer fashionable to Lagosians. They should talk facts and are at liberty to approach the Lagos PDP for information since they have become too lazy to get their information accurate.” While positing that the Lagos APC is haunted by its own militarised politicking, thereby confirming the saying that “the evil men do lives after them,” the PDP said: “The actual engagement of KAI, LASTMA and neighbourhood watch to oppress, coerce and victimise opposition targets in

sure the continuity of what he called unprecedented developmental initiatives of his administration. Ajimobi made this known during a sensitisation exercise held for APC members at the Mapo Hall in the state capital. According to the governor, inconveniences like long waits at registration centres, difficulties the state before and during elections is what has made the state government paranoid over non-issues.” “Indeed Lagos State counts as the only state with highest number of paramilitary agencies. Should it also be suspected that they are preparing to attack the Federal Government outfit? We counsel Lagos APC to discourage itself from initiating warped arguments.” Governor Raji Fashola and the interim Publicity Secretary of Lagos APC, Mr. Joe Igbokwe had accused the Federal Government of recruiting paramilitary agency in the state for elections.

of getting registered and others that may be encountered in the five-day exercise were necessary ingredients towards ensuring the continuity of his administration. He said: “I want to appeal to you to endure any difficulty that you may encounter during the registration exercise, bearing in mind that you are all yet to become bonafide members of the APC until we are registered. You know it is only when you are duly registered that you can take part in the party’s activities.” While also counselling party faithful to be actively involved in party activities, the governor urged them to always attend party meetings so as to be well informed of developments in the party. He welcomed all members coming from other parties, saying that in the APC, no one was old or new member, stating that all of them were coming into the party afresh.

While appealing to aggrieved members to exercise patience, he said that all their grievances would be addressed by the leadership of the party. Ajimobi, who said that the APC was a party to beat, not only in the state but in Nigeria, urged party members to put in extra efforts in ensuring that the party remained the darling of the people at the grassroots. In his own remarks, the Chairman, Oyo APC registration team from the party’s headquarters in Abuja, Shola Akinwumi, assured that the registration exercise would be conducted without any hitch, stating that all registration materials would be supplied to all the polling booths where the exercise would be conducted. Interim state chairman of the party, Chief Akin Oke, also urged all members to get registered, stating that it was the passport to their being recognised as party members.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

45

Union Bank seeks N18bn loan to expand business JOHNSON OKANLAWON WITH AGENCY REPORT

S

tandard Chatreed Bank has started a syndicating loan of N17.5bn ($100m) as requested by Union Bank of Nigeria. The book runner of the loan told Bloomberg yesterday that the debt will finance the bank’s United States trade finance business and general funding requirements. According to the report, Union Bank is expected to repay the loan in three years, with amortizing after one year of grace period. In 2012, African Capital Alliance, a core investor in Union Bank injected N113bn ($750m) to recapi-

talise the bank. According to an unaudited results of the bank for nine months ended September 31, 2013, the bank recorded gross earnings of N70.2bn from N69.9bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2012. The bank’s profit before tax stood at N11.7bn for the nine months, from N6.8bn posted in the same period of 2012, while profit after tax was N12.4bn. Customers’ deposits, which show the level of customers’ confidence, rose from N522bn in 2012 nine months to N536bn in 2013, while loans and advances stood at N181bn, up by 32 per cent from N137bn in 2012. The bank’s shareholders’ funds stood at N188bn,

compared to N172bn in 2012. Speaking on the results, the Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Mrs. Oyinkan Adewale, said the bank fully absorbed the impact of exposures to discount houses and from non-banking subsidiaries, amounting to N4.08bn in the review period. “Union Bank’s core performance remains stable, and cost and efficiency initiatives will continue to support our profits, and fund our future investments in people, systems and infrastructure. Oneoff losses notwithstanding, the Union Bank Group stayed on course,” she said. The Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr. Emeka Emuwa said, “In

the 3rd Quarter we continued to grow our core banking business, whilst transforming Union Bank into an institution with improved customer service, as the basis for our increased long-term profitability. “As part of our core banking strategy and as announced, we are executing the divestment of our non-banking subsidiaries. While we improved the quality of the earnings from our core banking activities, Union Bank’s third quarter results were negatively impacted by the nonbanking subsidiaries, particularly by losses in one of the subsidiaries and the effects of the recent developments in the discount house sector.”

Index slides 0.7% as Learn Africa leads gainers

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rading in equities closed on a bearish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, to erase part of the gain recorded on Monday. The All Share Index lost 0.73 per cent to close at 41,064.91 points, as against the increase of 1.96 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 41,366.42 points. Market capitalisation shed N97bn to close at N13.16trn, in contrast to the appreciation of N255bn recorded the preceding day to close at N13.26trn. Stock analysts at FSDH, an investment

firm, attributed the decline to losses recorded in the share prices of some highly capitalised stocks such as Guinness Nigeria, Transcorp, FBN Holdings, Dangote Cement and GT Bank, amongst others. However, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited, another firm said, “the market will close the week marginally negative. The firm said in a note to investors that across markets in Africa, only the Ghanaian equities market appreciated with a gain of 1.54 per cent, bringing its year-to-date

return to 9.71 per cent. The Nigerians equities market has dropped 0.64 per cent year-to-date. Beta Glass Plc led the gainers’ table with N1.80 or 10.19 per cent to close at N19.47 per share, followed by Neimeth International Plc with 17 kobo or 9.88 per cent to close at N1.89 per share. GNI Plc added five kobo or 8.47 per cent to close at 64 kobo per share, while Oando Plc gained N1.64 or 7.77 per cent to close at N22.75 per share. Royal Exchange Plc appreciated three kobo or five per cent to close at 63 kobo per share.

Conversely, Learn Africa Plc lost nine kobo or 4.74 per cent to close at N1.81 per share, while Livestock Plc fell 19 kobo or 4.50 per cent to close at N4.03 per share. International Breweries Plc dropped N1.04 or 3.47 per cent to close at N28.95 per share, while RT Briscoe Plc depreciated four kobo or 3.15 per cent to close at N1.23 per share. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc dipped 88 kobo or 3.10 per cent to close at N27.52 per share. A total of 407 million shares valued at N4.45bn were traded in 5,846 deals.

Govt pledges to jerk up manufacturing contribution to GDP JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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he Federal government yesterday reiterated its commitment to unlock Nigerian economic opportunities through a clear policies and strategies that would facilitate economic growth and enhance competitiveness within and across the globe. It has also resolved to increase manufacturing from its bismal level of four per cent contribution to Gross Domestic Product to 10 per cent by 2017, to add extra N3.5trn to the nation’s

economy and about N5trn to manufacturing revenue. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, disclosed this while addressing participants at the 5thedition of Standard Bank West African Investors’ conference, in Lagos. According to him, the country has a strong and vibrant micro economic environment, which is a foundation and basis for any investor both private and public. He explained that government has resolved to take the country to a new direction that unlocks the na-

tion’s economic potentials, driven by well articulated and detailed sectorial policies that would revolutionalize the nations’ economy. Hee said,” The Nigerian government knows that we have some constraints in reaching our potentials. For years, Nigeria had focused on exporting its raw material and exporting jobs, without focusing on non oil sector like manufacturing and industry and agriculture and does not address fundamental constraints. “As a result, business struggle, our product standard became weak, the stage of our infrastructure

made it less competitive to run many businesses locally. Nigeria had no well defined trade policy, and detailed industrial policy and these among others are why our country had challenges with poverty and insecurity”. Aganga stressed that government has decided to use industries to diversify the economy, create jobs, increase revenue and create wealth for the nation. He added that it has also addressed issues that had held back the country from achieving significant growth in non-oil sectors of the economy over the years.

Source: NSE

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 41,064.91 points Market capitalisation 13.20 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

BETAGLAS

17.67

4.29

1.80

% CHANGE 10.19

NEIMETH

1.72

1.89

0.17

9.88

GNI

0.59

0.64

0.05

8.47

OANDO

21.11

22.75

1.64

7.77

ROYALEX

0.60

0.63

0.03

5.00

BERGER

9.05

9.50

0.45

4.97

INTENEGINS

0.63

0.66

0.03

4.76

CUTIX

1.97

2.06

0.09

4.57

VONO

1.59

1.66

0.07

4.40

CILEASING

0.56

0.58

0.02

3.57

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

LEARNAFRCA

1.90

1.81

-0.09

-4.74

LIVESTOCK

4.22

4.03

-0.19

-4.50

INTBREW

29.99

28.95

-1.04

-3.47

RTBRISCOE

1.27

1.23

-0.04

-3.15

GUARANTY

28.40

27.52

-0.88

-3.10

FBNH

14.98

14.55

-0.43

-2.87

WEMABANK

1.10

1.07

-0.03

-2.73

ACCESS

9.40

9.19

-0.21

-2.23

ZENITHBANK

23.50

23.00

-0.50

-2.13

ETI

15.00

14.70

-0.30

-2.00

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

22,057.31

11.50

07-Nov-13

182-Day

30,000.00

11.59

07-Nov-13

182-Day

47,786.39

13.05

07-Nov-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

178-Day

86,709.13

12.35

07-Nov-13

175-Day

95,368.69

12.35

07-Nov-13

-

-

-

-

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$350m

N/A

$343m

04-Nov-13

$400m

N/A

$399m

30-Oct-13


46

Executive Discourse

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Banking sector reform has not Professor Akpan Etim Ekpo is DirectorGeneral, West African Institute of Financial and Economic Management, WAIFEM, a former Vice Chancellor Federal University of Uyo , Akwa Ibom, State and a former board member of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. In this interview with UDO ONYEKA he spoke on topical economic issues including reforms in the banking industry, lending rates, exchange rates and inflation, among others. Excerpts. The nation’s inflation rate for sometimes now has been at single digit and the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, also on the increase. Why have these figures not reflected on the living standard of Nigerians? What is Gross Domestic Product, GDP? GDP captures the value of the final goods and services produced in a year. When you divide the GDP by population you now have GDP per capita. That is when you can say each Nigerian has so much. When you observe it overtime you would be to say whether it is improving or decreasing. GDP per capital is an average measurement. It does not mean if you get that number each Nigeria has that amount of money. You compare GDP based on a fixed year. You have a base year. For instance in Nigeria the base year is 1990. So when you rebase with 2014 that would push the figure up. GDP could be increasing or rising and yet people are not feeling the impact. It means you are growing but you are not experiencing development and that calls for government’s to intervention to redistribute that growth to different sectors, so that the growth get other sectors such as education, health, infrastructure, housing and so on and so forth. GDP is a good measure, but it is not the only measure to check economic development of a country. There are other social indices to ascertain whether the economy is doing well or not. But it is a fact that in the last five years you cannot say Nigerians are doing well may be marginally, not to an extent that people will like it to be. As I have said GDP captures the final value of goods and services and value is measured by price. Sometimes you multiply price by output you have what is called money GDP. If you want the real GDP you divide it by the price. The point is that if inflation is continuously increasing, it is not good for the economy; it is not good for the poor. The poor gets hurt more with rising inflation. The rich can draw from savings to cope with higher prices; inflation refers to a rise in prices over time. If there is decrease in price, that is deflation. If there is persistent change in price overtime you have inflation. The point is at what point do say that inflation is okay, that is the issue. We have often talked about single digit, meaning less than 10 per cent. But the issue now is no longer single digit. The issue is what is the country’s threshold, because a country can be experiencing high inflation and yet is doing well. Brazil has high inflation, but it is doing well. So this preoccupation with single digit is no longer the in-thing anymore. It is the country’s threshold that matter. Nigeria’s threshold from research is between 14-15 percent. That is why when they tell you, inflation is at single digit, you see that ordinary Nigerians are not feeling the impact. It is expected that at single digits, you can now buy more goods and service because they will be cheaper but the impact are not yet been felt. Two reasons may be responsible for this. The first is that it takes times, there is doubt about that. Secondly, how are we sure it is single digit. We have to be sure of the quality of data that is going to that calculation. And you know inflation has several components. Are we looking at core

Ekpo

inflation, food inflation are we looking at year to year, these are the issues. If you have single digit inflation for a year or two and there is no appreciable decline in prices of goods and services, then something is wrong somewhere. My worry is that I am not interested in rebasing. It is good to re-base but really what is the impact on the lives of people. Now, if you re-base to 2014, the GDP of the country will shoot up to above four hundred trillion. This will make Nigeria the largest economy in Africa, but that does

THE REAL SECTORS ARE STILL IN COMATOSE BECAUSE THE LENDING RATES ARE TOO

HIGH.

THE REFORMS ARE

NOT BRINGING DOWN THE

LENDING RATES, BANKS JUST GIVE SHORT TIME LOANS AND ALSO THE CAPITAL MARKET WHERE YOU CAN GET CAPITAL FUNDS, ARE CONTROLLED BY

BANKS.

SO THE REFORMS HAVE

NOT ACHIEVED THE DESIRED OBJECTIVE

not say anything, except that it gives the impression to international community that our economy is now large. It has implications because Nigeria will now be known as a middle-income country meaning that one can no longer take some of the loans meant for low-income economies such as World Bank loans. So is that what we want if we actually need those loans. We have to be very careful. People may say oaky since 1990 is too far, the question now may be is 2014 the correct year. These things are good for us to do some technical work, but in the final analysis it must reflect on the living standard of people. That is when you catch it and sometimes to be honest it takes time. Why do we want to rebase? There are two reasons why we want to rebase. The first is the 1990 is a long time ago and we need a new year. We need to know what is the true value of the economy based on what is current that is why we want to use 2014. There is nothing wrong with it. But it should not be made to look like when we do it everything will be fine. It has its own implications, but at least you now know your true value and also other countries are doing the same. So that it does not look as if Nigeria is left behind. it is just a question of making sure that we have some true semblance of economic activities in the economy based on current events. What are the benefits of rebasing? As I have said earlier rebasing will shoot up our GDP and income per capita will also increase because. If our GDP increases to let say four hundred and something trillion you divide that by the country’s population each Nigerian will have more income. Nigeria as a country will be seen as a middle-income country and no longer a low-


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Executive Discourse

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

47

addressed lending rates –Ekpo income country. The benefit is that to the outside world, they will say Nigeria used her oil money well and she is making progress. It does not mean there are no poor people in the country that is why we are saying those are not the issues we should worry about now. We should look at poverty whether it is increasing or decreasing. We should look at the quality schools, health delivery, even drinking water. I believe these basic things are more important now. But you know Nigeria does not exist in isolation. We are part of comity of nations. We must do what others are doing. Nigeria is gradually moving back into debt, especially internal debt. Is this good for the country? Well you see, it is how you plan it. Borrowing in itself is not bad when you invest the fund into viable projects that would pay their way. It is not only the internal debt; the external debt is also rising. But the point is that have we reached the threshold. If the external debt to GDP ratio is 40 per cent and less we are okay. We are not at 40 per cent, but does that mean we should keep borrowing? The point is that we need to be transparent. If for instance you are borrowing for infrastructure that you know have multiple effect on the economy now and in the future, there is no problem with that, provided you get a good rate for the country. But if they are just borrowing to finance the current expenditure and consumption, I hope they are not doing that, but if they are doing that, that is a big problem. If we borrow to invest in power, railway there is nothing wrong. We need that extra money, but we have to be careful and make sure is used properly and judiciously. But so far in fairness the federal government is able to pay their debt. But the question we ask is that do we need to borrow when we have excess crude oil. It is like you have money and you are borrowing, why don’t you use the money you have for infrastructure? So, I suspect, may be because of the rebasing, which will take us out of International Development Association, IDA loans, they are front loading, borrowing for future. So because of the rebasing we can no longer borrow from international organisation but there is a grace period. So I think they are using the grace period to borrow. So let them use it for viable projects and there would be no problem because evidence has shown that if you invest in infrastructure like power, railway, roads and so on in the long term it would be better for the economy. Looking five years back can say the banking sector reform achieved its objectives? Well for me the reforms started even before five years, because we started with banking consolidation. We said well you could be big but not efficient. That was the first step. Then the new reforms introduced by the current Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Lamido Sanusi, which tried to tackle banks problems by taking care of toxic assets and governance issues. What has been the outcome? I have to say that the financial sector is relatively stable because the apex bank would not allow them to have any serious challenge that would affect the banking industry. The reforms in my view have not brought about the desired objective, which is the banking sector lending to the real sector. The banks are not still lending enough to the real sector. The real sectors are still in comatose because the lending rates are too high. The reforms are not bringing down the lending rates, banks just give short time loans and also the capital market where you can get capital funds, are controlled by banks. So the reforms have not achieved the desired objective because lending rates are still very high. They average about 25 per cent. The preferred customers are at about 16 per cent. Even then it is high. If you don’t have single digit lending rate, you can forget it. In that sense I have a problem with the ultimate outcome of the reforms, which is to ensure that the banking sector plays it roles in the economy, its role as a catalyst by providing funds for investment. The Banks are still involved in short term, 90 days financing LPO.1 do not know who will borrow at 25 per cent to build a factory and pay back regularly. In most countries it is small and medium scale entrepreneurs that drive the economy.

THE POINT IS WHY DO THEY EVEN SPEND MONEY

ADVERTISING ABROAD?

WHO

WILL COME FROM ABROAD TO BORROW MONEY HERE BECAUSE LENDING RATES ABROAD

ARE VERY LOW?

THEY ARE

ADVERTISING SO THAT PEOPLE CAN COME AND BRING THEIR DEPOSIT Now if they cannot borrow there still a problem. If you give the big time companies at 16 per cent fine, but a small-scale business cannot borrow at 16 per cent. Somebody was telling me that the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, which should be the anchor, is 12 per cent, so if you add 4 per cent you will arrive at 16 per cent for the preferred customers. I think the reform has no doubt brought about relative stability, but it has addressed the problem of low lending, which has been there over 12 to 15 years. If you set up industries in Nigeria, now there will be jobs. So, when they say they are creating jobs, you have to ask where they are creating the jobs from. These jobs are created from agriculture, which is seasonal. For the country to make progress we need to have wage employment. If people earn wages monthly they can plan their lives, not for people to go and pick seeds for three months when it is agric season because you have good rainfall and after that season they are now unemployment. We are talking about wage employment. If you are building a modern economy it depends on factories, you will be industrialised, employ people, pay them wages, they can earn salaries and plan their lives. Even the GDP growth they are saying is fuelled by agriculture and services; it is not fuelled by manufacturing. In Nigeria, manufacturing contributes only five per cent to GDP, the data is there. What they are doing now if they

would in the housing sector if they continue is the housing sector, which they are trying to address that will help but for now there is really nothing. You know the banks need to provide money for all these things. Why are the banks not lending. It was thought that consolidation they would have enough funds to lend to customers especially the real sector? The Banks in the first place are in business to make profit. They will tell you the cost of doing business is high. My position is that if you look at the banks they are making profit and at the same time retrenching workers. So if a company is in crisis everybody should make sacrifice. If they are making losses and they cutting their staff strength one can understand. I suspect that they have a target profit like any other business and so they do not want to miss the target. That is why they are involved in short term lending. Some one said of power improves it would affect lending because they would not spend so much in power generation. May be that is true, but the point is why do they even spend money advertising abroad? Who will come from abroad to borrow money here because lending rates abroad are very low? They are advertising so that people can come and bring their deposit. So what the Asians do they borrow money abroad come and put it in Nigerian banks, the banks here get their deposit. They invest it make profit and take their money out. You go to overseas, you see Nigerian banks advertising and they are spending huge sums of money on this. Why are they doing this? It is the same profit motive. They want to attract deposits even if it is for two days, that a lot of money for them. So the apex bank should look at all these things. It is better you over regulate. In banking business operators are always ahead of the regulators. So you have to be harsh sometimes. For instance what the CBN did concerning the CRR on public sector deposits is in the right direction. Yes they will adjust. So if you tell the banks that the lending rate should be 12 per cent, they would not close down. That is what I would do if Iam the CBN governor. Why the CBN raised the MPR to 12 per cent was because they fighting inflation. Now inflation is at single digit according to them and it has been there for a long time. So why are you still leaving it at 12 per cent. Bring it down at least see whether it would have impact on lending rates.


48

Capital Market

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at February 4, 2014 1st Tier Securities

1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

Community Mirror First lady launches health scheme 50 for rural areas

All of us must surely die but only God knows when, where and how we will go back to Him. KADUNA STATE GOVERNOR, MUKHTAR YERO

I was forced to sign confessional statement –suspect WALE IGBINTADE

A

middle aged man, Kabiru Olanrewaju charged for armed robbery has told a Lagos High Court that he was shot by the police to make him sign a confessional statement that he was an armed robber. Olanrewaju is standing trial alongside one Idowu Olalekan, 22 and Tajudeen

Busari, 30, on a two-count charge of conspiracy and armed robbery. The suspect who was led in evidence by his lawyer, Mr. Ladipo Johnson, told the trial judge, Justice Ebenezer Adebajo that he was arrested in September 2008 and was shot at Lion Building Police station. He told the court: “I signed a document at the police station but did not make a statement. I do not

know what is contained in the document now. I signed the confessional statement because I was shot on my leg on the day I was arrested. “I was shot at Lion Building Police Station, after the policeman asked a question and I said I did not know anything about what he said. I signed the document because he threatened to shoot my second leg” Olanrewaju stated.

The suspect further told the court that the police officer shot him because he did not understand the question asked. The defence counsel then urged the court for trial within trial to ascertain how the defendant’s confessional statement was obtained by the police. Ruling on the oral application, Justice Adebajo, adjourned to March 3 for trial within trial.

NEMA trains officers for ambulance service

T

he National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has begun the training of 45 officers to boost the its Mobile Intensive Care Unit, MICU. The Director-General, Alhaji Mohammad SaniSidi, said the training was aimed at mobilising officers who will assist in operating the ambulance service. Represented by the Director of Search and Rescue, Air Commodore Charles Otegbade, SaniSidi said officers in the emergency response unit were also being trained to be proactive. He said participants will receive training on casualty handling, pre-hospital trauma and moving equipment to scene of accidents.

He said the participants will also be trained to administer basic life support, first aid materials, dressing and cold compresses.The others are bandage and bandaging, as well as removing clothing and head gears of victims. Sani-Sidi said the training would also focus on administering first aid in common emergencies, such as fractures, bleeding and burns, shocks, asthma and choking. It will also include head and spinal injury as well as cardiac arrest and unconsciousness. According him, the officers will be taught the basic component of the mobile intensive care unit ambulance and how it can be operated.

Residents groan under high rent in Gombe DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

R Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State (left) with officials during the inspection of Nnebisi Road drainage in Asaba at the weekend.

Police smash robbery syndicate DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

T

he GombeState Police Command has arrested six suspects for alleged armed robbery and receiving stolen properties. According to the command, it recovered eight stolen motorcycles, four receipt booklets, 28 motorcycles plate numbers stolen by the syndicate. The Police Public Rela-

tions Officer, PPRO, DSP Fwaje Atajiri, said the suspects specialising in cross border operation came from Bauchi State. He said the four crime control strategy of Road policing, Intelligence gathering, and Visibility evidential policing introduced by the Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Kudu Abdullahi Nma have been yielding results which led to the latest arrest. Mr. Atajiri said arrest

of the suspects, Ibrahim Muhammad, Abdullahi Sahabi, Adamu Mohammed, Yusuf Mohammed, Hudu Garba and Abdulwahab Dauda followed intelligence reports and confidential information gathered from the public. He explained that Yusuf Mohammed was the principal receiver of stolen motorcycles, while Hudu Garba and Abdulwahab Dauda acted as fronts, even as he said they were arrested at various spots

within Gombe metropolis. Fwaje said that Ibrahim Mohammed, Abdulkarim Sahidi and Adamu Mohammed were responsible for snatching motorcycles and had spent a long time in the nefarious activity before luck ran out of them. He said the suspects will be arraigned in court as soon as investigations are completed, adding that they were cooperating with the investigation team.

esidents of Gombe have called on the authorities to check the sky high rents charged by Shylock landlords in the metropolis. An investigation by Community Mirror revealed that this is affecting the middle and low income earners in the state capital. Tenants interviewed expressed concern that renting a house in Gombe metropolis was fast getting out of reach for them. Among the complainants were civil servants who, said the situation has negatively affected their income given that the greater percentage of their salaries now go to paying house rent. The investigation also discovered that a single room and a room and palour go for N60, 000.00 and N80, 000.00 respectively while a self-contain consisting room and palour

with toilet and kitchen and a two bedroom flat go for N120, 000.00 and N500, 000.00. It was gathered that a family of five that cannot be accommodated in one room usually rent room and palour and the rent for this category is far too costly for the low income on N30, 000.00or less monthly. The same goes for families in a room that goes for 60,000.00 on salary of N25,000.00. According to a respondent, this has adversely affecting the education of their children and family upkeep. He said the development has brought increased poverty among people in the middle and low income brackets. All those who spoke expressed disappointment and attributed the situation to the influx of people into Gombe following the activities of insurgents and the emergency rule in neighbouring Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.


Community Mirror

50

ADEOLA TUKURU ABUJA

T

he First lady, Dame Patience Goodluck has launched the MDGs Village Health Workers Scheme, VHWS, to 148 local government areas in the 36 states of the country. At the launch in Abuja, she assured that the Millenium Development Goals VHWS is a project designed to curb unemployment by providing 1,480 jobs in rural communities, as part of the transformation CHANGE OF NAME t GOZIE: Formerly known and addressed as Mr. Donna Gozie now wish to be known and address as Mr. Chigozie Donna Udeaja. All former documents remain valued general public to take note. CHANGE OF NAME

t

AKINWUMI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Akinwumi Aina Toyin, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Oladiti Aina Omolade. All former documents remain valid. Hospital Management Board (HMB), Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State and general public take note.

t

AKEWUKEREKE: Formerly known and addressed as Akewukereke Ridwan Bolaji ,that due family name is Akewukereke, biological father’s name Sa’d Ahmed, name from birth Ridwan, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Akewukereke Sa’d Ahmed Ridwan. All former documents remain valid. General public and Authorities concerned should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

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OGUNSAKIN: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunsakin Gbemisola Oluwabunmi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Idowu Gbemisola Oluwabunmi. All former documents remain valid general public take note.

t

OGUNDANA: Formerly known and addressed as Ogundana Oluwaseun Sunday, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Francis Oluwaseun Sunday. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

OGUNLEYE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunleye Lola Taiwo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Adeyemi Lola Taiwo. All former documents remain valid. Petkan Nigeria Limited and general public take note.

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OYEBANJI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Oyebanji Bimpe Victoria, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Faruku Bimpe Victoria. State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State and general public take note.

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t

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AROH: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Aroh Nnenna Hope, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Benjamine Nnenna Joy. All former documents remain valid General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

agenda of the federal government. According to her, the VHWS will be an ambassador in the rural areas and other remote communities in the country. She further called on the workers to ensure that women, children and men in the rural areas make good use of the health facilities provided by the government and other donor agencies. “I urge you to make use of the development by taking time to carry out the task for which the MBADUGHA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss. Mbadugha Nwanneka Chiamaka now wish to be known and address as Mrs. Nganwuchu Nwanneka Chiamaka. All former documents remain valid general public to take note.

OBIANUJU/CHIME: Formerly known and addressed as Miss. Obianuju Queendaline, same person as Miss Chime Chekwubechukwu now wish to be known and address as Mrs. Onwughalu Ujunwa Queen. All former documents remain valid general public to take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

First lady launches health scheme for rural areas

CHANGE OF NAME

t

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

OGUNRINDE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunrinde Kemisola Oluwatoyin, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Jegede Olusuyi Kemisola Toyin. All former documents remain valid. Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Ido-Ekiti, Ekiti State and general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

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ODEYEMI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Odeyemi Towoju, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ayeni Towoju Beatrice. All former documents remain valid. Ilejemeje Local Government and general public take note

t

OLADIMEJI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Oladimeji Mercy Omolara, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Bamidele Mercy Omolara. All former documents remain valid. Ekiti State Teaching Service Commission and general public take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE OJOO / AKINYELE ARTISANS AND TRADERS ASSOCIATION

Notice is hereby given to the general public that the above named Association has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under Part ‘ C ‘ of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990

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

Salisu Isihaka Ali Mohammed Ibrahim Musa Ibrahim Usman Shittu Ahmed

6. Aminu Ibrahim 7. Yusuf Sani Mohammed 8. Rufai Adamu 9. Abdullahi Usman 10. Danjuma Abdullahi

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To encourage, promote and foster unity among all members. 2.To encourage the spirit of cooperation amongst members for the well being of the association. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

SIGNED: TRUSTEES

Two headless corpses found in Benin SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN

theme is being launched “. The First lady, called on relevant agencies to continue working together towards achieving the MDGs vision 2015. In her remarks, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs,Dr. Precious Kalamba Gbeneol, said the scheme is in furtherance of the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan to improve the health of Nigerians. She explained that the scheme is one that has been carefully planned in collaboration with stakeholders,

particularly the state and local governments and the national and state primary health care development agencies. Gbeneol further disclosed that the VHWS is a world acclaimed best practice which has the basic principle of establishing a link between community and health services, as well as providing the much needed avenue for generating demand for ease of access and increased coverage of services.

CHANGE OF NAME t AKINWUMI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Akinwumi Helen Motilola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Olanubi Helen Motilola. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

CHANGE OF NAME t EDUGBO:Formerly known and addressed as Miss. Edugbo Onome Mavis, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Eyetan Onome Mavis. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

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NGANWUCHU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss. Nganwuchu Ada Chioma Joy now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Nwoke Ada Chioma Joy. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

OWOLABI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Owolabi Funmilayo now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Fadojutimi Funmilayo. All former documents remain valid. General public take note ADESOYE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Adesoye Gbemisola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Olobayo Gbemisola Veronica. All former documents remain valid. Hospital Management Board (HMB), Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State and general public take note.

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ADELANA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Oluwaseun Damilola Adelana now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Oluwaseun Damilola Akande. All former documents remain valid. The general public take note

GANIYU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss. Ganiyu Basirat Iyabo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Asifat Basirat Iyabo. All other documents remain valid. General public take note. ILESANMI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ilesanmi Adeola Eniola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Odunayo Adeola Eniola. All former documents remain valid. College of Health Science & Technology, Ijero-Ekiti, Ekiti State and general public take note.

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AKINLUYI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Akinluyi Funmilayo Christianah, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Orelusi Funmilayo Christianah. All former documents remain valid. Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State and general public take note.

OLUWATIMILEHIN: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Oluwatimilehin Bukola Temidayo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Akoleaje Bukola Temidayo. All former documents remain valid. Hospital Management Board (HMB), Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State and general public take note.

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CHANGE OF NAME t MBA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Hope Chidiranyi Mba, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Hope Chidiranyi Chigbata. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

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OYINSAN: Formerly known and addressed as Mrs Oyinsan Taiwo Jane, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Taiwo Taiwo Jane. All former documents remain valid. Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and general public take note

NOTICE! NOTICE!! NOTICE!!!

The general public is hereby warned that the parcels of land known and called “OHOOFIA LAND” lying and situate at Nkitaku Village Agulu Town measuring approximately 136805.481sqm, comprised in survey plan number,TG/ AN063/2012 CertiÀed by Surveyor E.A. TOLA-ANUEYIAGU is the landed property of EZI-NKITAKU Community of Nkitaku Village,Agulu,Anaocha Local Government Area ,Anambra State. Trespassers should beware.Any transaction with any person or group of person(s) other than Ezi-Nkitaku community is null and void. Signed:

CHIEF S.U.S. MBANASO JP EUREKA CHAMBERS, NO 43 ZIKS AVENUE,AMAWBIA, (SOLICITOR FOR EZI-NKITAKU COMMUNITY)

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

BENIN

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esidents of the ever busy Lagos Street in Benin City have deserted their homes for fear of arrest, following the discovery of two headless corpses. The shocking discovery was made at the early hours of the yesterday by traders going to their various businesses. According to eyewitnesses, the bodies were allegedly discovered by the road side near the market. It was gathered that the residents alerted the police at the Oba Market CHANGE OF NAME

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who came to remove them. As at the time of filling this report, the Edo State Police Command is still investigating the cause for the gruesome murder. However, some residents of the area mainly populated by Hausas, who fled their homes, were seen coming back even as their shops remained locked. While it is believed that the victims may be travellers, who ventured out late in the night, the police spokesman, DSP Moses Eguavoen said he was yet to be briefed briefing on the incident from the Divisional Police Officer ,DPO, of the area. CHANGE OF NAME

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ABEGUNDE: Formerly known and addressed as Abegunde Temitope Emmanuel, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Bodunrinde Temitope Emmanuel. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

IBRAHIM:Formerly known and addressed as Miss Abigail Ibrahim, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Abigail Musa Garga. All former documents remain valid. Federal Inland Revenue Service and the general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t OGUNSAKIN:Formerly known and addressed as Ogunsakin Ayoope now wishes to be known and addressed as Eweje Adekoya Niyi. All former documents remain valid. General public please note.

ADEMOLA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ademola Elizabeth Sholape, now Mrs Ajayi Elizabeth Sholape. All former documents remain valid. Ministry of Adult,Technical and Vocational Education, Akure and general public take note.

ANI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Patience Ani now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Evanglist Derorah Okoro. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

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ADEWOLE:Formerly known and addressed as Miss Adewole Janet Oluwatoyin now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ogunyemi Janet Oluwatoyin. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

IGWENAGU: Formerly known as Miss Igwenagu Blessing Ogochukwu, now wish to be known as Mrs Okoye Charles Blessing Ogochukwu. All documents bearing the names remain valid.General public take note.

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CHANGE OF NAME t IKEGBUNAM: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ikegbunam Nneka, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Abara Nneka. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t EZE: Formerly known and addressed as Eze Johnbosco Oguejiofor, now wish to be known and addressed as Eze Johnbosco Ihejika. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t OSUJI: Formerly known as Miss Osuji Amaechi Sochima now wish to be known as Mrs Enenmuo Gift Sochima. All documents bearing the names remain valid.General public take note.

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BELLO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Bello Christianah Adetola, now wish to be known and address as Mrs Osarumwense Joyce Christianah Adetola. All former document remain valid. General public should take note.

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OLOSUNDE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Olosunde Damilola Olukemi now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adeyemi Damilola Olukemi. All former documents remain valid. Ekiti State Hospital Management Board and general public take note

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OKAFOR: Formerly known and addressed as Okafor Godday Nnaechetam, now wish to be known and addressed as Nwakonobi Godday Nnaechetam. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

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AKINYEMI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Arinola Olubukola Akinyemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Arinola Olubukola Osagie. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

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ORAEZIM: We formerly known and addressed as Mr. Titus Okechukwu Obika Oraezim, Mrs Josephine Chiemeka Obika, Onyekachukwu Robert Oraezim, Onyinyechukwu Rosita Oraezim, Chinazaekpere Patience Oraezim, Chukwukadibia Oluebubechukwu Oraezim. now wish to be known and addressed as Mr Okechukwu Titus Okechukwu, Mrs Josphine Chiemeka Okechukwu, Onyekachukwu Emmanuel Okechukwu, Onyinyechukwu Gift Okechukwu, Chinazaekpere Favour Okechukwu, Chukwukadibia Oluebubechukwu Okechukwu. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

AUCTION ! AUCTION

The Nigerian Police Anambra State is calling on the owners of these vehicles,motocycles parked at Ihiala Police Station. The items include One scrap accidented mistibushi 608 bus with Reg. No XA 349 UMZ. One scrap Honda Sonata with Reg No ABC 899 AG, One Scrap accidented Audi 80 without reg. no and 38 motorcycles. The Commissioner of police hereby directs the general public to go to Ihiala Police Station to claim their Vehicles,properties and motorcycles before it will be auctioned on within 21 days from the date of these publication. SIGNED:Csp Christopher Bassey Divisional Police Of¿cer Ihiala


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Couple charged after toddler calls 911 15 times

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uthorities have charged a northern New York woman and her boyfriend because the woman’s 2-year-old daughter used their cellphones to dial 911 a total of 15 times last month. Village of Lowville Police Officer Matthew Martin says the 23-year-old mother and her 33-year-old boyfriend told him they tried to keep their phones away from the persistent toddler, but the girl kept getting

Cocktail

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Oddities

them and dialling 911. Martin spoke to the couple Wednesday after Lewis County 911 dispatchers reported that a child had called 14 times in January. Martin says the child called 911 a 15th time later that night. He charged the couple the next day with obstructing governmental administration. Martin says the girl called 911 three more times Friday but hasn’t made an emergency call since then.

Woman gives three waitresses $5,000 each

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hree waitresses at an Illinois restaurant say they could only stare in disbelief when a woman over the weekend handed them each a $5,000 check. The owner of the Boone County Family Restaurant in Caledonia, Matt Nebiu, said business was slow Saturday when the customer handed checks to 25-yearold Amy Sabani, 23-yearold Sarah Seckinger and 28-year-old Amber Kariol-

ich. Sabani told the Rockford Register Star she first thought her check was for $500. But on closer inspection she saw its actual value and refused to take it. Sabani said the woman told the waitresses to use the money for school and “everything else in life.” Seckinger says a last semester to earn her associate degree in criminal justice was too expensive, but she will now return to school.

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning might have lost the Super Bowl but at least he didn’t lose his ear.

PHOTO: UPI

Man bites off brother’s ear during Super Bowl party

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uring a Super Bowl party in Upstate New York, a man allegedly punched his younger sibling in the face, knocked him out and then bit off part of his ear. Sean Fallon-Nebbia, 27, of Rochester was charged with

felony assault for attacking his brother Frank during a postgame brawl that went down after the brothers had shared more than a bottle of whiskey. An emergency room doctor said that the ear was “per-

manently disfigured” and that “the victim’s ear will not be the same again.” According to witnesses, the men were just “play wrestling” but then things “turned violent and aggressive.” Police were also told that the

brothers “puked all over each other’s faces” during the altercation. In a statement to police, Fallon-Nebbia’s girlfriend wrote, “They were drinking. They really just love each other.”


52 IBEAWUCHI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ibeawuchi Loveth Amarachi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Nicholas Loveth Amarachi. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note.

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AWOYEMI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Awoyemi Ayisat Ayoola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adebowale Ayisat Ayoola. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note.

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CHANGE OF NAME t ACHA: Formerly called and addressed as Acha Paul now wish to be known and addressed as Achua Paul. All former documents remain valid General public should please take note.

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ODUNLAMI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Odunlami Olufunke Oyindamola, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Mrs Adebowale Olufunke Oyindamola. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

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CHANGE OF NAME That we the following: Ogunlaru Sherifat (Wife), Bashir Owolabi Abdulkareem (Children), Bashir Adebayo Hammed (Children) and Najeem Ogunlaru Bashir (Children), that we are the Wife, Children and Next-of-Kin to Late Bakare Adebayo Bashir, that Bakare and Ogunlaru is our Grandfather’s name, Bashir is our father’s name which everyone of us bear as surname. General public and Authorities concerned to take note. CHANGE OF NAME

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CHANGE OF NAME t EKOS: Formerly known and address as Joel Ogie Ekos, now wish to be known and addressed as Joel Osime Ogie. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. CHANGE OF NAME

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UGWU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ugwu Doris Chinyere, now wish to be called and addressed as Mrs Ugwuanyi Doris Chinyere. All former documents remain valid. O.A.U.THC ile-ife and general public should please take note.

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AKPRESE: Formerly known and addressed as Omotoyosi Samiat Akprese, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Omotoyosi Samiat John. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

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UWAZURUONYEOKE: Formerly known and address as Miss Chinonso Yvonne Chilaka Uwazuruonyeoke, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Chinonso Yvonne Kenneth Chilaka. All former documents remain valid. general public take note.

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ZIKIYE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ebiere Juliet Asanze, now wish to be called and addressed as Mrs Ebiere Juliet Perez Zikiye. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

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ADENUGA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Adenuga Veronica Mojisola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Olabamipe Veronica Mojisola. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

EKENEONYEM: Formerly known and addressed as Ekeneonyem Emmanuel Dennis, now wish to be known and addressed as Samuel Emmanuel Divine. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

AYENI: Formerly known and addressed as Mr Ayeni Ademola Tunde now wish to be known and addressed as Mr Yakubu Ademola Tunde. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

CONFIRMATION OF NAME t This is to confirm that Akinola Olawale Akinsola is the same person as Akinola Ismail Olawale.That henceforth wish to be known and addressed as Akinola Ismail Olawale. All former documents remain valid. Osun state Polytechnic, Iree and general public should please take note.

CONFIRMATION OF NAME t This is to confirm that Anerunoye Blessing is the same person as Anerunoye Blessing Abiodun, That henceforth wish to be known and addressed as Anerunoye Blessing Abiodun. All former documents remain valid, Osun state Polytechnic, Iree and general public should please take note

OBILOR: Formerly known as Miss Obilor Maryann Chinwendu now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Madu Maryann Chinwendu. All former documents remain valid. Abia State University Uturu and the general public take note.

NWOKO:Formerly known and addressed as Miss Blessing Chinonso Nwoko now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Blessing Chinonso Omuzaga. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t SARUMI: Fomerly known and addressed as Sarumi Aminat Olawumi and now wish to be know and addressed as Mayaki Aminat Olawumi. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t SAHEED: Formerly known and addressed as Saheed Adeshina Balogun now wish to be known and addressed as Adeshina Remilekun Balogun. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t CHUKWU: Formerly known as Chukwu Onyekachukwu Okonkwo now wish to be known as Onyekachukwu Michael John Okonkwo. All former documents remain valid . General public take note.

OKEKE: Formerly known as Miss Okeke Lucia Chizoba Obiageli, now wish to be known as Mrs Nwabueze Lucia Chizoba Obiageli. All former documents remain valid. UNIZIK, IBTC pension fund Costodian, UBA and general public take note.

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OKEKE: Formerly known as Miss Okeke Ogechukwu Gloria, now wish to be known as Mrs Okafor Ogechukwu Nneka Gloria. All former documents remain valid. UNIZIK, IBTC pension fund Costodian, UBA and general public take note. SOMADE: Formerly known as Miss Somade Adesimbo Oluwakemi, now wish to be known as Mrs Odule Adesimbo Oluwakemi. All former documents remain valid. OOU AgoIwoye Ogun State and general public take note.

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AJAYI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ajayi Comfort Adenike, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Famoroti Comfort Adenike. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. SHOYEMI: Formerly known as Miss Shoyemi Abisola Elizabeth, now wish to be known as Mrs Shoyemi Abisola Risquat. All former documents remain valid. Ijebu-Ode Local Government service Commission Ogun State and general public take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE

YAKPEDE INTERGATED AND ENVIROMENTAL SANITATION

This is to inform the general public that the above ministry has applied to the Cooperate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under part C of company and Allied matters Act 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: Dr. Mrs. Helen Yabunde Akpede Terfa Adaga Engelbert Chatherine Mpinega Anger Cephas Tyozenda Atser Kaior Samuel Akpede Dr. Ayila Ngustav Mrs. Bridget Ngunyi Ngutor Ahungwa

Chairman Secretary Member Member Member Member Member

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

1. To enhance intergral nutrition, hygiene and health management. 2. To bridge the gap between rich and poor. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the registrar-general, corporate affairs commission, plot 420 Tigris crescents off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Garki, Abuja within 28 days of the publication.

SIGNED: TERFA ADAGA ENGELBERT SECRETARY

PUBLIC NOTICE

UKWA NGWA ELITES FOR EQUITY ASSOCIATION

This is to notify the general public that the above named Church has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under Part of C of the Companies and Allied maters ACT 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Hon. Akwarandu U. Augustine 3. Hon. Joe Nwanma 5. Hon. Enyinnaya .G. Azu 7. Mrs. Obiageri Ohuonu 9. Elder. Ruben Ehiemere

2. Hon. Godson Nwaulu 4. Mrs. Dorithy Okwudu 6. Mr. Lasbury Azuka 8)Mr. Uchemadu Nwogu 10. Comr. Anumadu Gabriel .C.

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

1. To promote peace and good governance within the Ukwa Ngwa Zone. 2. To draw the attention of the State, Federal , and Local Government for meaningful development within the Ukwa Ngwa Zone.

Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the RegistrarGeneral, Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja within Twenty Eight (28) days of this publication.

SIGNED: HON. AKWARANDU .U. AUGUSTINE

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ANICETIUS: Formerly known and addressed as Ezenwa Chinemerem Anicetius now wish to be known and addressed as Ezenwa Alex Chinemerem. All Former documents remain valid. General public take note.

OGUNYEMI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunyemi Sholape Adetutu, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Akanle Sholape Adetutu. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

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ONAGBESAN: Formerly known and addresed as Miss Onagbesan Adejoke Rashidat, now wish to be known and addressed as Adeyale Adejoke Rashidat. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

FAPOHUNDA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Fapohunda Adedunke Adebusola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Opatola Adefunke Adebusola Adedunke. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note. ADEGUNLE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Adegunle Adebisi Jolade, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Oguntade Adebisi Jolade.ALL Former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note

UCHE: This is to inform the general public that Miss Uche Nkechi Cordelia, Is also known and addressed as Miss Uche Nkechinyere Cynthia Cordelia. All former documents remain valid. The geneal public please take note.

OLORUNTUGA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Oloruntuga Imoleayo Yemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Paul Imoleayo Yemi. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

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RAJI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss. Raji Fatimo Bukola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Aladejare Florence Oluwabukola. All former documents remain valid. Nigerian Immigration Servicesand general public take note

OYEDEJI:Formerly known and addressed as Miss Oyedeji Oluwatomi Oluwakemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Adekunle Oluwatomi Oluwakemi. All former documents remain valid. Ogun state government (OGSG), general public please take note.

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OKEME: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ojochenemi Okeme, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ojochenemi Sunday. All former documents remain valid. The Nigeria Police Force and general public take note.

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AWOLOLA: Formerly known and addressed as (Dr) Miss Awolola Olaoti Oyeyemi, now wish to be known and addressed as (Dr) Mrs Ogundare Olaoti Oyeyemi. All former documents remain valid. Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital and general public take note

SIJUWADE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Sijuwade Florence Idowu, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adeyemi Florence Idowu. All former documents remain valid, State of Osun Government and general public should please take note.

OKUNOWO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Okunowo Adeola Oluwatosin, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Oladepo Adeola Oluwatosin. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

EZUGBO-NWOBI: Formerly known as Miss Ezugbo-Nwobi Ifeoma Kosisochukwu now wish to be known as Mrs Ugwuanyi Ifeoma Kosisochukwu. All former documents remain valid. general public take note.

EKELOZIE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ekelozie Uche Henrietta, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Igwe Uche Henrietta. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t THEMAN: Formerly known and addressed as Mrs Sandra Theman, now wish to be known and addressed as Miss Sandra Sanda. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

OGUNTUMIBI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Oguntunmibi Dorcas Adebola now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Adepoju Dorcas Adebola. All former document remain valid. General public note.

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AKINKUOWO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Akinkuowo, Olamide Olayemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Akinbayode-Okuyemi Olamide Olayemi. All former documents remain valid. Teaching Service Commission and General public take note.

ADELEKE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Adeleke Funmilola Bamidele, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Odutade Funmilola Bamidele. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

DENASOHIN: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Denasohin Iyanu Maulome. now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Odunuga Iyanu Maulome Naomi. All former documents remain valids. STERLING BANK Plc and general public take note

ONYEBUCHI: Formerly known and addressed as Mr. Uba Christopher Onyebuchi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mr. Uba Christopher Onyewuchukwu. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

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CHANGE OF NAME t IBE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ibe Lilian Okechi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Chukwudi Lilian Okechi. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

CHANGE OF NAME t ANICHEBE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Anichebe Anulika Patricia now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ejiuche Anulika Patricia. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

EBILIMA: Formerly known as Miss Ebilima Cecilia Ngozika, now wish to be known as Mrs BuchiOkafor Cecilia Ngozika. All former documents remain valid. Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Banks and general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t OKAFOR: Formerly know as Miss Okafor Ogechukwu Celina now wish to be known as Mrs Onyenyili Ogechukwu Celina. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t OKEREKE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Okereke Chizoba Sylvia now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Obi Chizoba Sylvia. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

ANAGBOGU: Formerly known and addressed as Anagbogu Chukwuemeka Amaechi.JR. now wish to be known and addressed as Nelo Emeka Emmie. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

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EDEHNWOBODO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Edehnwobodo Chioma Grace, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Dokai Chioma Grace. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

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EJIM: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ejim Juliet Chinagolum, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ezeugwu Juliet Chinagolum. All former documents remain valid. NYSC, and general public take note.

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT

DEMAND FOR SACK LETTER

I refer to the letter I wrote to the Chairman/Governing council Appointments and Promotions Committee St. Augustine’s College of Education (Project T.I.M.E) Affiliated to University of Ibadan, AkokaYaba Lagos, through the Provost Prof. (Mrs.) J.O Omokhodion on the 18th October,2013. That I do not want the Higher Degree (MLIS) I obtain from Postgraduate School University of Ibadan to be kept in any record or file of the College. Reg. Number. (SI.30138) not to be used as example/discussion in any official or unofficial meetings of the College. I allow my Degree and Diploma from University of Calabar Cross-River to appear in all the records. My attention wish to go to Dr. V.O AniemekaOkonji the College Registrar. Please (Project T.I.M.E) give me the sack letter as it suppose. Keep away all or any payment into my Bank Accounts. IBTC Bank plc and Zenith Bank plc. Stop the payment and remove your Authority there.

MRS. MARYANN CHIDILIM OGBUEHI. The Announcer

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OKEKE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Okeke Ebele Rose, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs AfoenyiAustine-Ebele Rose. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

UGAH: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ugah Chinezerem Maureen, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Eneh Chinezerem Maureen. All former documents remain valid IMT/ NYSC and general public take note.

EZE: ormerly known and addressed as Miss. Eze Nkechi Bernice, wish to be known and addressed henceforth as Mrs. Ezeuwugo Nkechi Bernice. Ministry of Education please informed according. Previous documents remain unchanged. For your information and necessary action please.

PUBLIC NOTICE

OHEKWURU LOVE CARES FOUNDATION

This is to inform the general public that the above ministry has applied to the Cooperate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under part C of company and Allied matters Act 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Ruth Jeoheobe Abu 2. Ode Agana Micah

Chairman Secretary

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To educate the public against the danger of abortion. 2. To discourage pregnancy outside wedlock among the youth in the society. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the registrar-general, corporate affairs commission, plot 420 Tigris crescents off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Garki, Abuja within 28 days of the publication.

SIGNED: ODE AGANA MICAH SECRETARY


Wednesday February 5, 2014

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World News

‘Obama to face blunt talk in Saudi Arabia’

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PAUL ARHEWE,

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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sketch showing Pascal Simbikangwa in court in Paris on 4 February 2014 Pascal Simbikangwa appeared in court wearing a brown jacket and white tracksuit bottoms A French court has begun hearing the landmark trial of a former Rwandan intelligence chief charged with complicity in the 1994 genocide. Pascal Simbikangwa, who is paraplegic after a car crash, was arrested in 2008 while living under an alias on France’s Indian Ocean island of Mayotte. His lawyers argue that he is being made a scapegoat for the killings. France has been accused of being too slow to prosecute those allegedly linked to the genocide. Hundreds of thousands of Rwandans perished over 100 days in 1994. Court officials with the wheelchair of Pascal Simbikangwa in the dock of the court (4 February 2014) Rwandan Justice Minister Johnston Busingye said the start of the trial against wheelchairbound Mr Simbikangwa was a “good sign” After the genocide, many Rwandans fled to France as they share a common language and used to enjoy close diplomatic relations. Simbikangwa, 54, is accused of helping to arm ethnic Hutu militia who manned roadblocks in the capital, and instructing them about their part in the slaughter.

I’m still alive and I don’t lose sleep because I’ve done what I feel I needed to do. It was the right thing to do and I’m not going to be afraid. –Former US NSA contractor, Edward Snowden

France begins landmark trial for Rwanda’s ex-spy chief

Court security officer preparing for the commencement of the trial.

He faces the possibility of life in jail even though charges against him have been downgraded from genocide and crimes against humanity to complicity in these crimes. Unusually for France, the trial - which is expected to last six to eight weeks - will be filmed, with recordings available once the case is concluded. Simbikangwa has acknowledged being close to the government of President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu whose assassination in 1994 led to the outbreak of violence that killed some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and

moderate Hutus in Rwanda. More than 50 journalists, historians, farmers, security guards and former intelligence officials are expected to be called as witnesses in the trial. Although Pascal Simbikangwa only had the rank of captain, as head of the country’s secret service he is accused of being one of the most significant people in organising the genocide. He is accused of drawing up lists of high-profile Tutsis and Hutus opposed to the government to be killed in the capital, Kigali. He then allegedly instructed the

PHOTO: AP

soldiers and militia on how they should carry out the slaughter. He denies all the charges. He lost his legs in a car accident in 1986 and has used a wheelchair ever since. As he could no longer fight in the army, he joined the secret service. He is accused of personally torturing people from his wheelchair. Rwanda’s government has long accused France of having supported the genocidal regime. Paris denies this but the two countries have fallen out. This trial has been well received in Kigali and may lead to a diplomatic rapprochement.

Suspected murderer of Tunis MP among dead in police raid

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suspect in the killings of two prominent Tunisian MPs has died in a clash with security forces, the coun-

try’s interior minister confirmed. Kamel Gadhgadhi was among seven militants killed in the raid on a house in Tunis.

The raid started on Monday afternoon and lasted almost 24 hours.

One policeman also died in the operation, which began on Monday afternoon. Tunisian security forces have fought a long campaign against Islamist militants over the past two years. Gadhgadhi was wanted in connection with the killing of prominent left-wing MPs Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi last year. The assassinations plunged Tunisia into a protracted political crisis, which the country has only now emerged from. The raid comes a week after Tunisia’s parliament adopted a new constitution - its first since the revolution three years ago. The Tunisian interior minister has confirmed that Kamel

Gadhgadhi is among the suspected militants who were killed during the operation in Raoued. Gadhgadhi was being sought by Tunisian authorities for his suspected involvement in the assassination of a prominent opposition politician, Chokri Belaid, on 6th February 2013 as well as Mohammed Brahmi in July 2013. He is also being accused of being a member of the radical Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AST). Ansar al-Sharia has been declared a terrorist group by both the Tunisian as well as the US government. The siege ended in dramatic style on Tuesday afternoon as special units from the National Guard stormed the house.

WORLD BULLETIN

U.N. peacekeepers probe Rwandan rebel’s disarmament claim

Senior members of a Rwandan Hutu rebel force based in eastern Congo said yesterday they had started laying down their arms and were ready for talks with Kigali, but U.N. peacekeepers said they had seen no signs of disarmament. The claims by the FDLR rebel group came as U.N. forces in Democratic Republic of Congo prepared to target the insurgents in coming months after a successful campaign alongside Congolese government troops against local Tutsi-led rebels last year. Rwanda has repeatedly rejected calls for talks with the rebels. The Rwandan rebels have been at the heart of two decades of conflict in eastern Congo since Rwanda’s genocide. Their presence there has often been cited by Kigali as justification for sending its troops across the border.

Somaliland blessed by dodging aid curse –Minister The breakaway territory of Somaliland cannot access foreign aid because it has not yet been recognized internationally as a state, and that suits it just fine. “That is a blessing in disguise. Aid never developed anything,” Hussein Abdi Dualeh, Somaliland’s minister of energy and minerals, told Reuters on the sidelines of an African mining conference. “Aid is not a panacea, we’d rather not have it ... How many African countries do you know that developed because of a lot of aid? It’s a curse. The ones that get the most aid are the ones with the problems,” he said. Dualeh is in Cape Town trying to woo junior mining companies to come and explore for minerals in Somaliland, which Dualeh described as Africa’s “land mining frontier. Almost completely unexplored”.

‘Mineral deposits in Uganda’s region heighten human rights abuse’

Huge mineral deposits in Uganda’s Karamoja region, expected to regenerate the conflict-ravaged area, could instead further deepen the suffering of people living there, a report has warned. Minerals, especially gold, have brought frantic manoeuvres from mining companies and powerful individuals in government who want to receive money from the precious resource, according to the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report. The report, How can we survive here? The impact of mining on human rights in Karamoja, launched on Monday in Kampala, says mining companies have disregarded the region’s indigenous people’s land rights – sometimes fencing off swaths of land without their consent.


54

World News

WORLD BULLETIN

HRW urges Kuwait to amend laws curbing free speech Human Rights Watch urged Kuwait yesterday to amend laws that officials are using to crack down on free speech and send people to jail for criticising the country’s ruler. HRW also called on Kuwaiti authorities to fulfil their promises to resolve the decades-old problem of over 100,000 stateless people, or bidoons, who claim the right to citizenship. During the past year, authorities in the Gulf state have brought cases against at least 29 people for expressing critical views on social media platforms and at protests, the New York-based HRW said in a statement on the occasion of releasing its 2014 report on Kuwait. “The government should let Kuwait’s people speak and write freely, and keep its promises to address Bidoon citizenship claims,” said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at HRW. Prosecutors brought most of the speech cases under the vaguely worded article 25 of Kuwait’s 1970 penal code, under which anyone who publicly “objects to the rights and authorities of the emir or faults him,” can be jailed up to five years, HRW said.

Two rockets hit Iraq’s Green Zone, car bombs kill 10 Two rockets hit Iraq’s Green Zone, car bombs kill 10 Rockets hit Baghdad’s heavily fortified “Green Zone”, home to the prime minister’s office and several Western embassies, yesterday and car bombs elsewhere in the capital killed 10 people, police and medical sources said. One soldier was killed in the rare attack on the Green Zone, which is likely to heighten concerns about Iraq’s ability to protect strategic sites as security deteriorates. The car bombs struck mostly Shi’ite districts, including Shurta, in the southwest of Baghdad, where four people were killed in a crowded market, the police and medical sources said. A car bomb in south Baghdad’s al-Maalif neighbourhood killed two people and three died in a blast in the Bayaa quarter. In Taji, north of the capital, an explosion near a police patrol claimed another life, police said.

86 Cambodian workers hurt in truck accident A truck overturned yesterday as it was taking 93 workers to Cambodian factories that make garments and sports shoes for famous Western brands. At least 86 of the workers were injured. Transporting workers in open trucks is common in Southeast Asia, but Svay Rieng provincial governor Chieng Am said has ordered police to stop overloading trucks and to inspect their condition. He said 11 of the injured workers were in critical condition. The truck rolled over after a front tire burst. Labor activist Chea Odom of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers said the workers were employed at eight factories in two specially designated industrial zones.

Wednesday February 5, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Obama to face blunt talk in Saudi Arabia’ B lunt talk over the US opening to Iran and reticence in Syria will be on the menu when President Barack Obama travels to Saudi Arabia next month to meet King Abdullah. Obama’s White House years have caused frustration and incomprehension in Riyadh and a rocky ride for Washington’s key strategic relationship with the Gulf kingdom. His nuclear diplomacy with Iran, Sunni Saudi Arabia’s Shiite-led foe in a swirling regional proxy war, and his last gasp reversal on striking Syria last year infuriated the Saudi court. Since then, Saudi princes, mouthpieces for the aged monarch, have vented in opinion pieces for US newspapers, comparing Washington to a “big bear” reluctant to show its claws and branding an interim nuclear deal with Iran a “dangerous gamble.” Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, is said to have discovered in recent audiences that the king’s wits and tongue are as sharp as ever, despite his approaching 90th birthday. Obama’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia was first reported Saturday by the Wall Street Journal quoting Arab officials -- who appeared to catch Washington off guard. The White House waited until Monday to confirm that Obama would indeed add an unexpected

US President Barack Obama smiling alongside King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia during meetings at the White House in Washington, DC, in 2010.

stop in Saudi Arabia onto a previously announced tour of the Netherlands, Brussels and Vatican City in March. US officials would not say which partner in the tempestuous marriage of political convenience initiated the summit. And despite offering “diplo speak” about a broad and vital relationship, they could not quite dispel the idea the visit’s purpose was damage control. “Whatever differences we may have do not alter the fact that this is a very important and close partnership,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

While the picture is not all bleak -- Saudi Arabia is cheered by Kerry’s exhaustive Middle East peace drive and the security and intelligence relationship is tight -- differences over Iran and Syria are glaring. “I would expect it to be a very frank conversation, as they say in diplomatic parlance,” said David Ottaway, senior Middle East scholar at the Wilson Center. Simon Henderson, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that while the Saudis did not want to humiliate Obama, they would not hide their frustration.

Ukraine lawmakers fail to strike constitution deal

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krainian lawmakers failed to agree on curbing the president’s powers at a stormy debate yesterday as international pressure grew for ending the two-month crisis with the expected arrival of the EU foreign policy chief. Catherine Ashton is due to meet opposition leaders for dinner in Kiev on Tuesday and President Viktor Yanukovych on Wednesday to discuss plans for financial aid from Brussels and Washington in exchange for democratic reforms. Ukraine’s protests erupted in

November after Yanukovych rejected a key EU pact in favour of closer ties with Moscow, and the turmoil has now become an allout movement to oust him. Demands of pro-EU protest leaders include constitutional amendments that would cut presidential powers and freedom for arrested activists without conditions, but Yanukovych’s ruling Regions Party has insisted this can only happen if occupied government buildings are vacated. In a sign that Yanukovych’s position is softening further, his

Opposition supporters carrying sticks as weapons walk past a couple selling cigarettes in a street heading to Kiev’s Independence Square, the epicentre of the country’s current unrest, Ukraine, yesterday. PHOTO: AP

personal representative in parliament Yuriy Miroshnychenko, told AFP that the president was considering “two possible scenarios”. “The first is the release of occupied buildings and an amnesty and the second is early elections. The amnesty is not working out,” he said, referring to the release of those arrested in past weeks. A conditional amnesty came into force on Saturday and gives protesters 15 days to leave the buildings but the opposition has dismissed the law, saying it turns activists into “hostages”. Protesters camped out on Kiev’s Independence Square -- the hub of a movement that has spread across Ukraine -- expressed mixed feelings about the possibility of Yanukovych stepping down before the end of his mandate in 2015. “Until we see a complete change which is not just Yanukovych, people will stand here,” said Vasyl, a campaigner from Lviv in western Ukraine. Bogdan, an activist from Kiev, said: “It would be the best way for us. A full reset of power. Both president and parliament.”

“The undertone is ‘you come here, Mr Obama, we are going to tell you a few facts of life about the Middle East which you don’t appear to appreciate.’”

Pakistan: Taliban criticise peace talks delay

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akistani Taliban negotiators have condemned the failure of government representatives to meet them in Islamabad, as preliminary peace efforts got off to a chaotic start. The government side had asked for clarification about the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) team. The militants have been waging an insurgency inside Pakistan since 2007. Later, a bomb outside a hotel in a Shia neighbourhood of the north-western city of Peshawar left at least eight dead. Twenty-six people were injured in the blast which Shafqat Malik, leader of the police Bomb Disposal Unit, said was a suicide attack. The government and Taliban representatives had been due to start charting a “roadmap” for talks. Many observers were puzzled by the government side’s approach. The Taliban swiftly made clear there were to be no additions to their team, and urged the government side to begin talks and see for themselves whether the team had a mandate. There is more scepticism than hope as the government and the Pakistani Taliban prepare to hold preliminary peace talks. There are three reasons for this. First is the reluctance of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to confront the Taliban militarily despite a public wave of anger against them.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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‘Politicians responsible for Nigeria’s woes’ HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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ormer Chief Press Secretary to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief David Attah, yesterday carpeted those in the corridors of power in the country, accusing them of holding the nation to ransom.

He said they are responsible for the woes of the country. Attah, who spoke with journalists yesterday in Makurdi, said Nigerian leaders, past and present, have held the country hostage through incompetence and their insensitivity to the plight of the common man. He said leaders at every level are not prepared to

learn; neither do they take advice from the people that voted them into positions of power, but rather see themselves as above any other consideration and every advice offered to them falls on deaf ears. He criticised the proposed national conference, saying that it is a waste of resources, questioning the relevance of such a body when the country was not

under military dictatorship. He described it is a wasteful jamboree aimed at enriching some privileged few at the expense of the masses. He called on Nigerians to have a sense of introspection by becoming ashamed of past misdemeanors, saying that; “We should genuinely have a sense of shame and be shocked about the things

we did in the past and show remorse as a way of getting out of them.” Chief Attah charged politicians to learn to operate from a moral high ground to be able to get things right in this country again. He said the getrich-quick syndrome that has gripped the political class has made them deviate from service to humanity, advising them to

consider politics as a call to service and not an avenue to make money. The elder statesman further expressed dissatisfaction with the attitude of politicians whom he said; “Are only concerned with issues pertaining to the next election, they are not concerned about solving social problems, they are not worried about what society thinks about them.”

Group decries move to scuttle Jonathan/Sambo ticket A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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political group under the auspices of the Northern Patriotic Youths for Development, NPYD, yesterday condemned moves by some politicians in the region to scuttle the relationship between President Goodluck Jonathan and his Vice, Namadi Sambo, ahead of the 2015 presidential election. The group said it noticed with sadness the ongoing political onslaught against Vice-President Sambo targeted at sowing a seed of discord in the Presidency. In a statement signed by the group’s National Coordinator, Danladi Husseini Abubakar and Secretary-General, Ishaku Kefas Irimiya, they warned politicians who were bent on destroying the relationship between the two to desist from doing so or be ready to be exposed. NPYD said some of the detractors claimed that the vice-president lacks the political base and sup-

port to President Jonathan to win the 2015 election. The statement called on President Jonathan to ignore attention-seeking politicians, who are out to derail his transformation agenda and his chances of victory on the Jonathan/ Sambo presidential ticket. The statement reads in part: “We are, however, most delighted by the recent show of appreciation by the people of Bayelsa State; the home state of Mr. President, who were led by their amiable Governor Henry Seriake Dickson to the Presidential Villa, where they showered encomium and appreciation on Vice-President Sambo for his absolute loyalty to their son. “Furthermore, VicePresident Sambo’s total loyalty to President Jonathan has brought a lot of developmental projects to Nigeria, particularly the north, especially in education, agriculture, power generation, transportation, job creation as well as construction of critical infrastructure.”

FCT Administration to shut down substandard abattoirs OMEIZA AJAYI

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he Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, yesterday disclosed its resolve to shut down substandard abattoirs in the territory, saying that the presence of such abattoirs has done more harm than good to the health of FCT residents. Minister of State in the FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide, announced this yesterday after inspecting a private

livestock processing firm, First Halal Meat Nigeria, in Jikwoyi, Abuja. She said the administration has already mandated its Agriculture and Rural Services Secretariat to draw up a code containing the minimum hygienic standard for abattoirs to operate in the territory. Akinjide added that after the code has been designed and published, the FCT Administration will close down operating outlets that do not conform to the set standard.

Staff of Gombe State Committee for Zaurawa Marriage, screening applicants for the mass wedding scheme in Gombe, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

FG urged to intervene in Fulani/ Tiv feud HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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ormer Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. Dave Iorhemba, yesterday decried the spate of incessant attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen on Tiv peasant farmers in Benue State. He called on the Federal Government to look into the issue with a view to bringing lasting peace to

the state. Iorhemba said this in a chat with National Mirror yesterday in Makurdi while stressing the need for the Federal Government to safeguard the lives and property of the people of the state in the wake of the unending crises. The lawmaker, who represents Guma Constituency in the state House of Assembly, said there was another massacre last week in which 10 people

were killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen at TorAnyie, Ucha in Gwer West Local Government Area in the state. Iorhemba said the attacks were becoming too rampant, which requires the intervention of the Federal Government to be able to bring the situation under control before the entire Tiv race is wiped out of their land. He further hinted that so many dimensions had

been introduced into the crises as analysts said that mercenaries had been hired from other countries to annihilate the Tiv people in their land. He implored public spirited Nigerians to come to the aid of the peasant farmers, who are being chased away from their land daily by Fulani marauders, adding that the condition under which the people are living now is deplorable.

Emir of Ilorin floats Alimi Foundation WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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foundation in memory of Sheikh Alimi, an Islamic scholar and progenitor of the ruling class in Ilorin was yesterday established by the Emir, Alhaji Ibbrahim SuluGambari.

Inaugurating an 11-man committee for the body known as “The Shehu Alimi Islamic Foundation,” the emir gave members of the committee the mandate to propagate Islamic education and the provision of welfare for the less privileged in Ilorin Emirate in particular and Nigeria in general. According to the

monarch, the foundation is to maintain peaceful coexistence in the emirate and beyond, stressing that; “Ilorin is known as a citadel of learning for all and sundry. There is need therefore to guard these precious attributes jealously.” The emir at the inauguration appointed Dr. Abdulkadir Oba-

Sholagberu as the Chairman of the committee and Alhaji Hussein Akewushola, National Missioner while he announced himself as the Grand Patron. He requested that in addition to what he wanted to do, he would be glad if the group could as well develop the ancient ‘Kuo’ a place where Alimi first stayed.


WORLD RECORD

Largest fresh-flower lei/garland

Vol. 04 No. 781

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

N150

The longest fresh-flower lei measured 5.01 km (3.11 miles) long and was made by 120 volunteers in an event organized by Chev. Dr. N. R. Dhanapalan (India) in Chennai, India, on 2 January 2012.

The politics of defection

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o one watching the gale of defections now rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should be surprised at the turn of events. Incidentally, the party is not the only one affected by this seasonal circus of politicians and their acolytes. It looks like defections from one party to another have become the latest antics of those too desperate to catch the headlines in order to remain politically relevant. No day passes that we don’t get to hear of a party chieftain drifting with his loyalists to a new political grazing field. The usual excuse is that they have discovered a more veritable platform to liberate Nigerians from the misrule of the PDP, and by extension, the freedom to make informed choices on the way forward for the country. Incidentally, it is not only the PDP that

bn

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

is bleeding from this political haemorrhage, as other parties and even the All Progressive Congress (APC), have been losing their members by the minute. But the conspiracy of silence on reporting such exodus from other parties is predicated by the fact that the PDP, being the largest and ruling party, is being targeted to get all the bad press, if only to make it look weak and demoralised by the constant footloose nature of the members. Definitely, the searchlight on the party has everything to do with the 2015 general elections and the psychological impact such development will have on the voting public. But should anyone care a hoot about this spate of defections, given that it has become an old and enduring habit of our politicians. In the Second Republic that lasted from 1979 to 1983, it was not unusual to hear of those who lost in the struggle to control their party’s machinery leaving to join some disgruntled fringe groups in forming new parties or even groveling their way into opposition camps in the quest to bag tickets for elective offices. On several occasions, some who defected discovered to their dismay that they were left in the cold, while tickets were being given to the founders for elective offices. It is likely the same scenario may play out in the coming weeks and months. By then, all those who in the frenzy to get places at the opposition table will not only be disappointed, but as is usual with their prodigal nature, return to their former party with contrite hearts to beg for

THE COUNTRY IS YET TO RECORD ANY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS WON ON THE STRENGTH OF THOSE THAT DEFECTED TO THE OPPOSITION IN AN ELECTION YEAR rehabilitation. Watching the development from the sidelines, one is tempted to see it as an earthquake capable of permanently changing the country’s political landscape. But don’t bet on that. Reason is that our politicians are not enamoured of any ideological beliefs capable of motivating them to permanently be on the opposite sides of the political divide. Rather, their actions are dictated more by personal ambitions, greed and ego, with nothing to do with the common good of the country and citizens. That is why there is the need of going back in time to look at the antecedents of those now drifting from one party to the other and their reasons with a view to understanding their personality. For example, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has never hidden his contempt for PDP. Everyone knows he has been nursing presidential ambitions for 2015, and had for long been at logger head with the party bosses. Initially, he sought to encourage the G7 governors

to tour the country and tell every one of the misdeeds of the Jonathan administration. But when five of them defected to APC, he with Babangida Aliyu and Sule Lamido, governors of Niger and Jigawa states respectively, developed cold feet. Probably, the game plan was to tarry a little, while watching the type of reception that will be extended to the G5 governors. Buoyed by the red carpet reception, Atiku hurriedly concluded his national consultation with APC chieftains and now is member of the party. In wanting to justify the move, Atiku said: “I am a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) by right under the constitution of PDP. But I have been barred from its meeting because invitations are not extended to me”. Any watcher of the polity knows that there was no love lost between erstwhile national chairman of PDP, Bamanga Tukur and Atiku on the control of the party machinery in Adamawa State. In the battle to dislodge the former, Atiku had enlisted the support of Governor Murtala Nyako. Given that Tukur remains the biggest obstacle to the political ambitions of both gladiators, they decided to defect to APC and try their luck. The assumption is that these defections will be the deciding factor in the 2015 presidential contest. But anyone thinking along that line misses the point. Increasingly, there is the tendency to believe that the personal ambitions of all those now lining up to take leave of the PDP will either give fillip to their new party, or act as albatross weighing it down when the chips are down. This is against the background of not fulfilling their ambitions or even in the event that others with more vested interests see them as threats than compatriots. The country is yet to record any presidential elections won on the strength of those that defected to the opposition in an election year. That of 2015 may not be different.

Sport Extra

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equel to Bafana Bafana’s poor outing at the recent CHAN 2014 finals, President of the South Africa Football Association (SAFA), Danny Jordaan, says the future of Coach Gordon Igesund will be decided on February 20.

CHAN fallout: South Africa coach faces sack

Reports said Igesund has been under intense pressure and will now argue his case in front of SAFA’s International Board and Technical Committee while submitting his report from

the CHAN, after which his fate could be decided immediately. Interestingly, Jordaan sought to defuse the tension when he declared yesterday: “We have a national team

coach who has a current contract, this despite some people in the media appointing their own people. “We will also hear from the team doctor, team manager and head of delegation,

and then we will make a decision from there. But we must bear in mind that time is not on our side before we meet Brazil on March 5, especially as we need to announce a team soon.”

Igesund

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