Jonathan rejects state of the nation address bill GEORGE OJI AND TORDUE SALEM
resident Goodluck Jonathan has rejected the state of the na-
Vol. 3 N0. 651
tion address bill forwarded to him by the National Assembly for assent. He has, therefore, returned the bill to the lawmakers. This development came
one month after the National Assembly passed and forwarded the bill to the President. The President, in a rejoinder to the bill that was CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
No final decision yet on UK visa bond –Envoy Senate kicks against policy P.4,14
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
PDP leaders’re autocrats ...warns Reps against early campaigns TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
THEY ARE BUSY FANNING EMBERS OF PARTISAN HATE AND STRIFE. IT’S A HEINOUS CRIME FOR ONE TO VISIT, ATTEND THE BURIAL, BIRTHDAY, CORONATION, WEDDING OF SOMEONE IN OPPOSING PARTIES
peaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, has decried what he considers the growing autocratic tendencies by the
leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Tambuwal also condemned their aversion to positive inter-party relations. In a speech delivered at the resumed sitting of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
Troops capture Boko Haram leaders, recover weapons –DHQ P.54
Govt may ban importation of generators P.4
Mandela’s family meets in ancestral village He’s still in critical condition –Zuma P.47
President Goodluck Jonathan (3rd left); President Paul Biya of Cameroun (4th left) and other Heads of State and Government of Economic Community of Central African States, The Economic Community of West African States and The Gulf of Guinea Commission, at the closing ceremony of the summit on Maritime Safety and Security in the Gulf of Guinea in Yaounde, Cameroun, yesterday.
Be ready to shoot me, Amaechi dares Rivers CP
...accuses FG of ceding state’s oil wells APC names Masari, El-Rufai national officers
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Be ready to shoot me, Amaechi dares Rivers CP SAM OLUWALANA
ivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi yesterday dared the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, to shoot him and make good his threat to deal decisively with anyone or group that stages a street protest without obtaining official permit. The governor had threatened to organise a protest over the rising insecurity in the state soon and promised to lead the demonstration. He also said that the state was now under siege, alleging that the new police boss had turned it into a police state. Amaechi said this while addressing the people of Orashi Kingdom, who paid him a solidarity visit over the political crisis in the state. He said: One thing I will tell you is that we are looking for a date when we will demonstrate against what the Federal Government and the Commissioner of Police are doing in Rivers State. “We have told our chiefs to get ready, once we get a date, once we get people from overseas,
they are Nigerians, they will join us. We will give you the date. “I have told the CP to be ready to shoot me because I will be in front. I will not sit here and wait for you to march here and give me letter. Instead, I will keep the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, here and then I will march down with you people. “Then I will give the SSG a letter to give to the Federal Government, so that if they want to shoot, they can shoot me because we have a right to express our views. “You have the right to criticise me. I am not particularly a good man. There is nobody that is a perfect man in the world, is there any?” Amaechi praised the courage of the people for coming to his office despite efforts by the police to prevent them from entering Port Harcourt. “You people are by far stronger than me. I got a report yesterday (Monday) very late at night that the police had planned to stop you people. I was thinking that once you see policemen, everybody will run into his house. “But you must learn how to use these things.
You should have recorded them so that you can show to the world how much a tyrant our commissioner of police is. “Let us assume the CP is coming to protect, he cannot say he banned public protest when it is part of your fundamental human rights, which are there in the constitution. “So, is his (Mbu’s) personal order now superior to the constitution? Now, he stops people who want to freely express their views. Let me thank you for coming. “What you showed them is what we call people’s power. That you
came out despite the fact that police blocked all the roads looking for people in buses and stopping them from driving out, yet you still passed that road and came here. It shows that you are stronger than me, you are more courageous than me,” the governor said. Amaechi regretted that injustice had been done to the people by those who had been forcibly snatched the state’s oil resources from them. He noted that each time he tried as governor to protect the interest of his people, he was labelled a rebel.
“They have taken oil wells from the Etche people, they have taken from the Kalabari people and they have taken from Andoni. There is a claim by our sister state in Egbema, and you also have boundary with Delta, how do we know they won’t also claim that from the Delta area? How do we know if we close our eyes, the one they are claiming from Egbema they won’t take it from us? “And you can never tell how we will be losing our oil wells every day. Every day we will be losing our oil wells; if I speak they say we are against government.
“Should I sleep as governor of Rivers State and do nothing? Orashi for now is one of the highest producers of oil in Nigeria and we say ‘Federal Government do something around there. What have we gotten?’ That is our argument, nothing more. “No personal quarrel between me and anybody. It is a quarrel between Rivers State and the rest. We just have to defend our rights. We have a right to be Nigerians and Nigeria has the obligation to make us responsible citizens. “We will be forever Nigerians; we will go noCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
L-R: Special Adviser to Osun State Governor on Environmental Sanitation, Bola Ilori; Chairman, Committee of Deans of Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Samson Fadare; Governor Rauf Aregbesola; his Deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori and the Deputy ViceChancellor (Academics), Prof. Abayomi Salami, at the presentation of Environment Gold Award to the governor by the Institute of Environment and Ecology, OAU, Ile-Ife, yesterday.
Tambuwal’s bombshell: PDP leaders’re autocrats CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
the House after a two-week recess, Tambuwal said that PDP was bringing up divisive tendencies and causing disunity among politicians and Nigerians by witchhunting its members who are friendly with members of opposing parties. He said: “Preparatory to 2015, many have started introducing political doctrines that are alien to democracy and destructive to peaceful social coexistence in a civilised society. “They are busy fanning the embers of partisan hate and strife. According to this new doctrine, it is a political offence for a member of one political party to exchange greetings with someone in another political party. “It is indeed a heinous crime for one to visit, attend the burial, birthday, coronation, wedding or any such ceremony of someone in an
opposing political party. “The proponents of this shameful doctrine not only offend our sensibilities, they constitute an affront on the whole essence of democracy and civilised coexistence and must be halted before they do incalculable damage to our polity. “My dear colleagues, we refuse to be students of this school of thought.” He also warned his colleagues and other politicians to embargo their campaigns and await the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s approval. Tambuwal also advised them to focus on delivering on their mandate of oversight, representation and lawmaking. “It is also appropriate to remind ourselves that beyond the challenges routine to our functions as legislators, an even bigger challenge is fast approaching. I am referring
to 2015 and the gathering clouds of politicking. “First, we must resist the temptation to beat the gun, we have an electoral umpire whose gun’s sound we must await; second, we must resist being distracted from the execution of our mandate which is only half done and finally but perhaps more importantly we must make a difference by rising against every attempt to cause disaffection among Nigerians.” The Speaker reflected on how the House resisted PDP’s efforts to exert a firm grip on the lower chamber and went ahead to choose its leaders. According to Tambuwal: “We can all recall with some level of appreciation that when we started out this journey on June 6, 2011, the situation looked terribly daunting and unassailable, given the myriad challenges that stared us in the face.
“We instantaneously found ourselves at the crossroads of decision between the law and whims of individuals and cartels on a critical but all important issue as to who determines for us as an institution who our leaders should be. “In togetherness as democrats, we opted to choose our own leaders and God blessed our decision that we were right in our togetherness. “It was a decision about institutionalself-identitynotof selfish individualaggrandisement.” The Speaker, however, recalled that he inherited a House that suffered public apathy before a collective effort of the legislators redeemed it. “Again, we were in the quagmire of a highly depleted and fast dwindling public image, confidence and goodwill, the process of redemption called for unmitigated self-sacrifice and absolute commitment to
the pursuit of the public good. “In togetherness, we willingly chose modesty and self-discipline as a deliberate operating strategy. God, who deciphers the inner conviction of man prospered our cause and thus, while we may not yet have attained the object of total image redemption, in togetherness we are told we have, at least, arrested the drift. “These experiences have shown that there is power in togetherness, that there is accomplishment in togetherness and above all that there is victory in togetherness. “Surely the challenges ahead are more formidable than those gone bye but I am confident that together we can achieve and deliver on our mandate.” Tambuwal also promised to attend to key legislation awaiting passage such as the Constitutional Amendment
Bill, the Petroleum Industry Bill, the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill among others, and “step up activity to ensure improved budget performance, probity and good governance generally”. “Accordingly, in a matter of days, the House will suspend plenary and embark on oversight of the 2013 budget implementation.” He also assured that: “As we commence the secondhalf of our tenure, we must sustain our focus on the ultimate objective of dealing decisively with unemployment, poverty and insecurity. “As I observed recently, we must not allow insecurity to overwhelm us in our drive towards economic prosperity. “The Legislative Agenda we fashioned for ourselves has guided us thus far and we hope to stick to it, subject to whatever modification we might effect in view of the mid-term review and inputs received from members of the public.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Midweek Interview How do you react to the allegation by some stakeholders in the Niger Delta that you are just pocketing the money being made available to the ministry for the development of the region? I think I want to reason that that is another level of madness exhibited by people who think that the way they are, that is the way others are. Today in this country there is a process of doing things and the President has emphasised on that and he has put that in black and white to everybody. There is a procurement law in place. How do you pocket money? How? For a project to be done, first it has to go through the National Assembly, to be passed into an appropriation law. For you to do anything you have to go through due process, due process would do due diligence on the contractors, on the pricing, on the funding plan you have made for the execution of that project. These contracts are tendered, advertised and people would tender for these contracts and when these contracts are awarded, they are awarded to people. So how do you pocket money? People talk out of ignorance. They don’t know what it takes for the award of a contract. As a minister, I don’t have the power to sit down in my office and call in Mr. A and say I have given you this contract. It is not done, it is advertised. And this level of contracts you are talking about, they are advertised, they go through Due Process and it is when Due Process is satisfied that they would give you the Certificate of No Objection and it is with that certificate that you would forward your memo to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, where you have 42 ministers, the President, the Vice President and other technical advisers looking at the contract before it is awarded and so it sounds stupid, it exposes the level of ignorance of people to sit in their houses, offices and in the market places to say that ministers are pocketing money. It is absolute nonsense. Are you actually corrupt in view of the recent outcry by some Delta leaders and a group led by a former Member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dino Melaye, asking the EFCC to prosecute you over alleged corrupt practices? Categorically, Elder Orubebe is not corrupt and cannot be corrupt. When Dino Melaye came out that time and said that I awarded contracts that were not in the budget, that I awarded contracts worth N27 billion and that I have paid the money and that I have pocketed the money. That I awarded particularly one contract for N1.2 billion and then increased it to N12 billion and paid it. I think that Nigerians are more clever now; Nigerians now understand what governance is, Nigerians understand more the process of awarding contracts. Of course that time I came out on air and addressed a press conference. The man said N27 billion but the contracts that were awarded were just N6 billion and he said I have paid all the money but the contractors were mobilised with only about N990 million and as at the time they were talking, we were owing the contractors and we were even talking to their bankers to let them know that look we gave contracts to these people and the money is not available yet and that they should
2015: Not even Clark can stop me from being governor –Orubebe Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, is no doubt in the eyes of the storm, following recent attacks and petitions bordering on allegations of corruption and non-performance against him by some stakeholders. But Orubebe, in this interview, presents his own side of the story. SOLA ADEBAYO reports:
give them time to work and went to the extent of mobilising, inviting the media. So, most of the negative stories about me in the media are stories that are fabricated, they are stories that are developed in the bedroom of some people, who claimed all kinds of things but it is unfortunate that that is the kind of society that we have. The same Delta elders accused you of terminating and review the contract for the ministry’s youth centre in Edo State four times for self-enrichment. How far is that true? Again, this is another madness. We terminated that contract only once and I explain to Nigerians. Even in one of my tours to Edo State, when I visited the governor, I also made the point loud that we awarded nine training centres at the same time and that the one in Edo State was performing at abysmal form and we had to visit that place over and over and I got convinced that the contractors were not going forward and we wrote to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and recommended for the termination of the contracts and the contracts were terminated. And BPP later directed us on the best way to go about it and that is the process that is going on. We are going through another process of bidding to ensure that the project is awarded to another competent contractors that can complete
I AM NOT BOTHERED AT ALL BECAUSE
NIGERIANS, INCLUDING MR. PRESIDENT KNOW THAT THESE ARE PEOPLE THAT ARE
ACTING FOOLISHLY... it. The contract was terminated only once and the action passed through due process. No minister has that power to terminate and re-award any contract. For you to terminate any contract, you must provide all the facts to BPP and they will examine the facts before you get a nod to terminate the contract and make the pronouncement. Unfortunately, the so-called reasonable people, who call themselves elders are people that have never done any significant thing in this world, they have never succeeded in anything in this world and when I saw their frivolous petition, I laughed and I challenge them to any level. Well, my lawyers are looking into that matter and we are going to take appropriate actions against them, because they cannot go on air to smear the names I
have built over the years.
Are you bothered by the call on Mr. President to sack you from his cabinet? I am not bothered at all because Nigerians, including Mr. President, know that these are people that are acting foolishly and they are ignorant of the measures Mr. President has put in place to ensure transparency in governance. I am not bothered about them and that is why most times I don’t talk about it because everybody knows that they are acting through malice and unfortunately, they don’t have the facts. I think these people are day-dreaming and they have personal interest. Some of them expect certain things from me and when they are not available, Orubebe is a bad man and it is very sad. But as far as I am concerned, that concept of blackmailing people for personal gains is old version. That is old concept. The new concept is doing things transparently and getting things done so that Nigeria can move forward. A lot of them have sought favour from me and a lot of them have benefited from me in one form or the other, if you ask them they will tell you and if they want me to publish it, I will publish it. Some of them have a lot of dirty deals that I am helping them to cover up and if they provoke me to publish it, I will publish it. Some of them are not credible as they are just deceiving the public. Nigerians would be surprised that they have credibility baggage by the time I am provoked to expose them. The smear campaign is a cheap blackmail and I will not succumb to that kind of blackmail. We are doing things transparently and we will continue to do it despite the talks by this category of people. We cannot be intimidated, we are on course and we will get to where we are going. I think it is better that they begin to act as reasonable people and get their facts right before they come out to misinform the public. Why do you think some people are after you? Well, I want to believe that some of them see me as a threat, some of them feel that with me around, they would not be able to realise what they want to gain in life. Some of them have confronted me that I want to take leadership from them and I begin to wonder if leadership is just for some people. Leadership emerges through the will of God and I have never contested leadership with anybody. I am concerned about delivering what I am supposed to do to support Mr. President to deliver his programmes for the people. Others believed that 2015 is very close, either Orubebe is going to support somebody strongly or is planning to contest and they just go on but as I said I am not surprised and I am not bothered because I serve a God, who is always there for me. The rumours are everywhere in Delta State CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
L-R: Former Head of State, Chief Ernest Shonekan; President, Academy for Entrepreneurial Studies Nigeria, Mr. Ausbeth Ajagu; Chairman of occasion and former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar; Guest Speaker, Minister for Works, Arch. Mike Onolememen and Chairman, AES Excellence Club, Dr. (Mrs.) Nike Akande, during the 5TH AES Annual National Conference in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO.
L-R: Former Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN); Guest Speaker, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN); Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Lagos Branch, Mr. Taiwo Taiwo and representative of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN), at the 2013 NBA Annual Law Week in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Cross section of the ex-militants trained as commercial pilots, during the 4th Year Anniversary of Amnesty Proclamation in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
L-R: Corps Marshal/CEO FRSC, Osita Chidoka; Deputy Managing Director, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka and Managing Director/CEO, UBA Foundation, Ms Ijeoma Aso, during the launch of the ‘Don’t Text and Drive (DTD) Campaign Initiative of the UBA Foundation in Partnership with the FRSC in Abuja, yesterday.
FG may ban importation of generators KUNLE AZEEZ
he Federal Government may soon place restrictions on the importation of generators into the country. This was disclosed by President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday at the 5th Academy for Entrepreneurial Studies, Nigeria, AES, held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos. Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister for Works and Housing, Mr. Mike Onolememen, noted that, while the government is studying the proposal of restricting or banning importation of generators, his administration was working to ensure that current electricity problem facing the country is addressed The president praised the efforts of the AES in repositioning the youths through her ‘Operation 500 Students-Entrepreneurs Programme’, where 500 students in each tertiary institution in the country are trained on leadership and entrepreneurship free
in collaboration with the school authorities every year. Jonathan said his administration places emphasis on entrepreneurship and human capital development in its determination to reduce the level of unemployment in the country. He noted that Nigerians are enterprising people, who if given the enabling environment, would excel in whatever legitimate venture they are involved in. He pointed out that the theme of the conference: ‘Transformational Leadership: A Springboard to National and Sustainable Development’, was apt and timely as the country needs transformational leaders, who have the interest of the people at heart. In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion and former Head of State, Gen. Abdusalam Abubakar (rtd.), noted that the issue of good governance and peaceful coexistence are central to any effort at improving the lot of Nigerians. Abdusalam lamented
that Nigeria has an almost insurmountable problem of leadership that has hung on its neck like an albatross. The former Head of State listed three challenges that hinder the country’s match to nationhood to include; the absence of stable state institutions, a lingering constitutional problem, and the
question of inequity and inequality. In his speech, another former Head of State, Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (rtd.), represented by former Minister of Works, Mr. Mohammed Hassan Lawal decried the level of corruption in the country.
He noted that the greatest problem of Nigeria was the failure of leadership because “we have a government that is neither responsive, transparent nor responsible.” Buhari noted that the fight for good governance was a collective one as all Nigerians must rise up
and demand for the right leadership in the country. He described good governance as that leadership that is consensus based, that which allows for transparency and accountability in the affairs of government and that which must protect and respect the rule of law.
No final position on UK visa bonds yet –Envoy GEORGE OJI ABUJA
he British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocock said yesterday that his government was yet to take a final position on the proposed visa bonds for short time visitors to the UK from selected countries, including Nigeria. The proposed policy targets travelers with six months visa from Nigeria, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India, whose citizens are termed “high risk.” They are to pay £3,000 (N750,000) before entering
the UK. The amount, according to the new policy, is to ensure that such visitors do not over stay their visits as those who do would be made to forfeit such deposits. The envoy, who met with Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru in Abuja following the outrage which greeted the proposed policy, disclosed that the British Government has announced that it intends to undertake a small scale trial of the use of financial bonds as a way of tackling immigration abuse. “The details of a pi-
lot scheme are still being worked out. “No final decision has been made. If the pilot were to go ahead in Nigeria, it would affect only a very small number of the highest risk visitors. “The vast majority would not be required to pay a bond. Those paying bonds would receive the bond back, if they abided by the terms of their visa. “Let me put this in perspective. Over 180,000 Nigerians apply to visit the UK each year. About 70 per cent or around 125,000, of those applicants are successful. “Travel between our
two countries is a key part of our strong cultural and business relationship. Financial bonds would be focussed on only a tiny minority of potential abusers. “It would not be a ‘£3000 visa charge’ as some media reporting has alleged. “As soon as more details of the policy have been decided, we will inform the Nigerian Government and public fully and officially, in the spirit of our long standing friendship, and our wish to help bonafide Nigerian visitors to work, study or do business in the United Kingdom,” Pocock said in a statement in Abuja after the meeting.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Jonathan rejects state of the nation address bill CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
served on both chambers yesterday, hinged his rejection of the legislation on some of its clauses that undermine his discretion on the matter. He said that the proposed law was unnecessary, saying that Section 67 of the 1999 Constitution provided for such address. He explained that the section gave the President the discretion to attend any joint sitting or meeting of the National Assembly, either to deliver an address on national affairs or to make pronouncement on the policy of government. Jonathan, therefore, said that there was absolutely no need to legislate a separate law on the issue since the constitution had already taken care of that. Besides, the President criticised the proposed law as coercive in nature and going against the spirit of separation of powers since it contained proposals, which prescribed compelling actions against the President by the National Assembly. The draft bill makes it mandatory for the President to periodically address a joint sitting of the National Assembly on issues, including but not limited to national security, the econ-
omy, foreign policy and social justice. It also provides that the President shall be compelled to present such periodic address by the National Assembly through summons if he fails to do as required by the act. The bill provides that such address must be delivered in the first week of July after the commencement of every legislative session. The draft bill states in part: “The National Assembly shall have powers to regulate its procedures for this bill, including the procedure for summoning the President to address the state of the nation address.” In the accompanying letter to both the President of the Senate, David Mark, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, the President wrote: “In view of the express provisions of Section 67 of the 1999 Constitution, I am of the considered opinion that the constitution has made ample provision for the kind of address contemplated by the bill. “It would, therefore, amount to a duplication to enact legislation on the same subject matter. This is more so as the proposed legislation seeks to circum-
scribe the President’s discretion regarding whether or not, he should attend the joint meeting of the National Assembly or of any meeting or either House of National Assembly; the time to present the address; his determination of which policy of government is of ‘national importance’ for the purpose of an address; in addition to the threat of the use of coercive powers in the event of non compliance. “This, in my humble view, is inconsistent with the doctrine of separation of powers and the letter and spirit of the constitu-
tion.” The President, however, assured that notwithstanding the above observations, he would be willing to assent to the bill if some amendments were effected on it. President Jonathan proposed amendments to Clauses 1(2), 3, 5 and delete Clause 6 of the proposed law before he could sign it into law. He said that clause 1(2) should be redrafted to make it more flexible by substituting it with the following words: “The state of the nation address shall be delivered to a joint sitting
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
nothing. They have been out for eight years and they can’t wait to come in,” he said. Amaechi advised the people to resist injustice, vowing to stand by them, no matter the obstacle on the way. A traditional ruler in the kingdom, Mayor Umah, praised the governor for the development projects in the state. He said that the governor’s performance had matched the aspirations of the people since he assumed office. “We elected you to lead us in the state and you have not failed us. You have been performing well to the delight of the people of the state. “We didn’t send you to Abuja to do the bidding of anybody, but to look after our interests and you have been doing that effectively. We are happy with you and if anybody
ate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and either (a) designate the Vice-President to present the address on his behalf or (b) transmit to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives the text of the address.” The President added that to ensure symmetry with the above proposed clauses as well as give effect to their general intendment, clause 5 of the draft bill should be amended to read: “The National Assembly shall have power to regulate its procedure with respect to the provisions of this act.”
L-R: Director-General, National Boundary Commission, Dr. Mohammed Ahmed; Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga; Minister of State for FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide; Deputy Governors: Damishi Luka (Nasarawa); Musa Ibeto (Niger) and Yomi Awoniyi (Kogi) during a joint meeting on boundary issues in Abuja, yesterday.
Be ready to shoot me, Amaechi dares Rivers CP where else because we believe in Nigeria. But Nigeria must make us happy too so that we can say to the world we are proud to be Nigerians. We have been suffering.” “My brother, Chibudum Nwuche, said we are not running an inclusive government. Part of the problem we are having is that our brothers who have gathered in Abuja have been hijacked by those who are not from Rivers State to cause confusion in Rivers and using just one weapon. “I am taking a road to Chibudum’s village and I must complete it so that when he says inclusion I show him what we have done. “The danger in electing them to power is that for four years, they will not be able to do anything. Reason is that for eight years they have gotten
of the National Assembly within 30 days of the commencement of the legislative year.” The President also proposed the amendment of clause 3 of the draft bill, which purports to empower the National Assembly to summon the President where he decided not to make the address. He recommends that the amendment should read that: “Where for any reason the President is unable to present an address in accordance with Section 1 of this act, the President shall in writing inform the President of the Sen-
doesn’t like that, leave them,” the monarch said. Hundreds of policemen had tried to prevent the people from entering Port Harcourt, but were resisted by the people. National Mirror learnt that police authorities had feared that the people were going for a protest march and ordered that the planned visit be prevented. Things almost got out of hands as the people threatened to battle the policemen who tried to enforce the order, allegedly issued by Mbu. Although the state police command denied any involvement in the matter, the chairmen of the four council areas involved told newsmen after the solidarity visit that they were called by the divisional police officers of their council areas and the Area Commander of the Ahoada Division,
intimating them of the order by the CP to stop the planned visit and to ensure that none of them leave their council areas. They added that the police officers had told them that Mbu had threatened to deal with any DPO or area commander who failed to carry out the order. The Chairman of Ahoada-West, Awori Miller, said he told the area commander that the visit was a solidarity visit and not a planned protest, adding that even if it was a protest, police did not have the right to deny them their constitutional right to freedom of expression. Chairman of Onne Local Government, Austin Ayamalu, also said the police, in order to prevent the people from moving, went to the council secretariat and arrested the four drivers of the buses that were to be used for the journey but were later released.
Nigeria rated high in HIV infections among children PAUL ARHEWE WITH AGENCY REPORTS
igeria has the largest number of children acquiring HIV in Africa, with nearly 60,000 new infections in 2012, the United Nations AIDS program said yesterday. This is amid report that seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the world’s worst-hit region in the global AIDS epidemic, have cut the number of new HIV infections in children by 50 percent since 2009. The dramatic reductions - in Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia - mean tens of thousands more babies are now being born free of HIV, UNAIDS said in a report on its Global Plan to tackle the disease in around 20 of the worst affected countries. Overall, across 21 priority countries in Africa, there were 130,000 fewer new HIV infections among children in
2012 - a drop of 38 percent since 2009 - mostly due to increased drug treatment of pregnant women with the virus. “The progress in the majority of countries is a strong signal that with focused efforts every child can be born free from HIV,” said Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS’ executive director. “But progress has stalled in some countries with high numbers of new HIV infections. We need to find out why and remove the bottlenecks which are preventing scale-up.” Among places causing concern, UNAIDS said, are Angola and Nigeria, where new infections in children have increased and remained unchanged respectively since 2009. And for those children who do become infected, access to AIDS drugs that can keep their disease in check is “unacceptably low”, UNAIDS said, with only 3 in 10 children getting the AIDS medicines they need in most priority countries.
OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he Presidency yesterday said Nigeria would not feel the impact of the recent discovery of oil in commercial quantity by the United States. It said the Federal Government was rather adopting appropriate strategies to mitigate the impact of the decline in the purchase of Nigeria’s oil by America, with increased volume of term of contracts with Asian refineries. The Senior Special Adviser (Public Affairs) to the President, Dr. Doyin Okupe, gave the assurance in Abuja. He said: “With increasing volume of crude sales to the Asian markets which stood at 120,000 barrels per day and with great prospects of increased volume of sales from the area, coupled with a combination of market openings in Europe, it will effectively compensate for the loss of the US market and offer needed support for Nigeria’s crude oil exports.” Okupe said the decision of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to reduce dependency on crude oil sales resulted in aggregate increase in agricultural sector contributions which now stood at over 40 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product,
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
US oil, not threat to Nigeria –Presidency
was added to domestic food supply in 2012 which was 70 per cent above target. nation for Nigerian crude North Sea as a whole is re- foreign exchange, from 5.2 GDP. “In total, all the above He said: “While the Nige- oil cargoes, with the vol- cording annual natural de- metric tons to a little over measures have saved Nitwo million metric tons in geria N857 billion which rian economy, like other oil ume of Nigerian crude oil cline from matured field of two years with the ultimate would have been spent on dependent ones globally, of- grades going to Europe in- about 10 per cent. “In the same light, Asia’s goal of attaining 100 per food imports.” ten suffer from drop in sales creasing from 28 per cent in and fluctuation in inter- 2011 to about 38 per cent in demand for light sweet cent sufficiency by 2015. Also speaking on the is“Wheat imports have re- sue of high cost of govergrade is raising, stepping national pricing, the Jona- 2012. “A major factor for the up demand for Nigerian duced from 4.1 million met- nance, Okupe insisted that than administration has implemented key reforms growing demand of Nige- grades. India in particular ric tons to 3.7 million met- “under the administration to reduce dependence on rian crudes in Europe has is consistently taking an av- ric tons within the same of President Jonathan, Nioil and these reforms have been the Free Trade Agree- erage of 120,000 barrels per period. Sugar import is also geria’s recurrent expendion the decline. resulted in the agricultural ment between Europe and day from Nigeria. ture dropped from 74 per “Despite ravaging floods cent in 2011 to 68 per cent “On the problems of sector alone contributing South Korea. It is more profover 40 per cent to the GDP itable under this agreement high food import, the Jona- in 2012, Nigeria did not suf- in 2013 and will further go to sell North Sea crude oil than administration has fer anticipated food short- down in the next fiscal year. in two years. achieved a reduction in the age as a result of proactive “Oil exports are now 69 grades to Korea. “Domestic government “Many companies prefer quantity of importation measures to assist farmers borrowing declined from per cent of our total exports as against 91 per cent in to trade their cargoes in Ko- of rice, a major staple food with flood resistant seed- 852 billion in 2011 to 588 bil2008. In addition, Europe rea thus creating shortfall and dominant import item lings and dry season farm- lion in 2013. Our national has become a major desti- in Europe. In addition, the which drains enormous ing as 8 million metric tons debt is 21 per cent of our GDP compared to South Africa (42.7 per cent), Sub Saharan Africa (34.2 per cent), USA (106 per cent), Japan (225 per cent) and United Kingdom (90 per cent). “Our foreign reserve has climbed up to almost $50 billion while the exchange rate has been steady. “On infrastructure, major roads like the Kano - Maiduguri, Benin - Ore, Abuja - Lokoja, Owerri - Onitsha, Katsina - Daura, East - West roads and many others are being rehabilitated or reconstructed. “The second Niger Bridge has been concessioned and work is in steady progress. The Lagos - Ibadan Expressway was awarded yesterday L-R: Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega; National Commissioners, Dr. Chris Iyimoga and at a total cost of N160.7 bilMrs. Thelma Iremiren, during the second quarterly consultative meeting of the commission with political parties in Abuja, yesterday. lion.”
Again, Mark prescribes death sentence for oil thieves
•Senate confirms Nnamani, others for Infrastructure Commission Senate President, Ken Nna-
GEORGE OJI ABUJA
enate President David Mark has again reiterated his call for the enactment of a law to make oil stealing a capital offence. Mark said his proposal was informed by the devastating impact of oil theft on the country’s economy. He said: “In the past, I had occasion to comment on the escalating issues of oil theft. It does not need a genius to know that this would have a devastating effect on the economy if not checked. “We must, therefore, address it squarely. I still maintain my earlier stance that oil theft should attract capital punishment.” The Senate president also proposed the revisiting of the Terrorism Prevention Act to prescribe stiffer punishment for offenders. This is contained in his address to the Senate to mark the commencement
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of the third session of the Upper Chamber yesterday. Mark described the task before the Senate as enormous and crucial, some of which he listed to include the consideration of the report of the Committee on Review of the Constitution, consideration and passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, and consideration and passage of the Pension Reform Act (Amendment) Bill. Others include the review of the Electoral Act 2010, preparation for the anticipated flooding during the rainy season and the preparation for the first Africa Legislative Summit in November. He said that given the enormous tasks before the Senate, the senators must be dedicated and ready to make some sacrifices to be able to confront these challenges. Also yesterday, the Senate confirmed the former
mani, as the chairman of the Governing Board of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC. Other members of the Board of ICRC who were also confirmed are Mr. Aminu Dikko as the Director General of the commission, Mrs. Comfort SaroWiwa, Janet Adeyemi, Mrs. Yabawa Wabi, Hon. Musa Elayo and A. U. Kanu as members. The confirmation of the eight-man board followed the adoption of the report of the Committee on Works chaired by Senator Ayogu Eze, which screened the nominees. Mark also said the Senate would commence full debate of the draft bill of the 1999 Constitution review presented to the Upper Chamber before the break by the Deputy Senate President and Chairman of the review committee, Ike Ekweremadu, next week.
N2bn monthly stipends for ex-militants’ll stop in 2015 –Kuku OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he Federal Government said it would not pay about N2 billion monthly stipends to the Niger Delta former militants from 2015, when the amnesty programme would end. The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the fourth anniversary of the Presidential Proclamation for the former militants in the Niger Delta. He, however, said the budgetary provision for training and payment of monthly stipends of N65,000 each to 30,000 former militants would “be channelled to the provision of critical infrastructure, as well as impactful development projects in the zone as promised by the Federal Government in the Amnesty Proclamation”. Kuku declared that the region was now relatively safe, secure and ripe for fresh in-
vestments. He said: “Under our great leader, President Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian government has made the region conducive for investments. “You will agree with me that new investments would stimulate the economies of states in this zone and create employment opportunities for several of the youths that have been offered skills under the Amnesty Programme.” The special adviser said the Federal Government was prepared to abide by the date set for the end of the Amnesty Programme in 2015. He said: “To this end, we have resolved to complete the training of all enrolled delegates, who have opted for vocational training, before the 2015 exit date. “Beneficiaries of the programmes shall be duly handed over to existing Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs, of the Federal Government who are statutorily empowered by extant laws of the
federation to oversee scholarship and training programmes for the Federal Government.” The special adviser disclosed that it was the belief of the leaders and stakeholders in the zone that the provisions of the needed critical infrastructure would help stimulate growth and provide gainful employment for the thousands of youths who had been trained by the Amnesty Office. Kuku, however, said the Amnesty Programme had stabilised the security situation in the Niger Delta. He said: “All the ex-agitators who were in the creeks fighting against the Federal Government and impacting against investments and oil production have since been fully disarmed, demobilised and are either currently in training or have since been trained with a view to adding to national GDP and improving themselves and their families.”
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Nigeria has highest marine attacks, piracy –Jonathan ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that the highest number of piracy and robbery attacks were on the Nigerian waters as a result of the large volume of oil industry activities and trade. The Gulf of Guinea, comprising waters of Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, has emerged as a new danger-zone as pirates attack fuel cargo and loading it onto other ships to sell on the lucrative black market Answering questions from journalists at the summit on marine security on the Gulf of Guinea in Yaoundé, Cameroun, Jonathan said the end was near to the excesses of pirates with the determination of leaders present. He assured that the leaders of the West African Coast and the Central African Coast would expand cooperation to check
the illicit activities that were hampering economic growth of the region. The summit attended by Heads of States and Governments of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC), with focus on maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea ended yesterday. The President said: “The key thing about this conference is the issue of piracy and armed robbery in our coastal waters of which of course you know we have quite a number of attacks in Nigeria because of the volume of oil industry activities and the trade being a very big country. “The only way we can contain it is for the countries within the Central African Region and West African Region to come together. “Already Nigeria and Benin have been partnering but we need to expand across
the coast, the West African Coast and the Central African Coast. So this is the beginning of the end of these excesses of piracy, so we are quite pleased with the conference.” Jonathan, however, commended Cameroonian President Paul Biya for hosting the summit. Reading the communiqué of the summit, the Cameroon Minister of External Relations, Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo, said the member states of the three blocs (ECOWAS, ECCAS and GGC) have agreed on a coalition for a multi-lateral assistance among all the 25 members. The communiqué reads: “Harmonisation of members for information sharing on security issues within the Gulf of Guinea and constant convening of conferences on maritime security. “Joint cooperation by military of the three blocs (ECOWAS, ECCAS and GGC) to patrol and secure their borders.
“They agreed to put up a mechanism for the three blocs ((ECOWAS, ECCAS and GGC) to work together for strategic activities to check piracy. “They agreed to put in place structures that will enable the military personnel of the three blocs (ECOWAS, ECCAS and GGC) to work together with each bloc as well as individual countries”. In his closing remarks, Paul Biya said the agreement reached by the leaders to provide a secured space for easy circulation of goods within the regions was within the context of African solidarity. He said he was satisfied with the collective strategy taken for security and posterity within the context of the Gulf of Guinea protection. The Camerounian President haled the solidarity and confidence among member states, saying it was the original intent of the summit and it had been achieved.
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FG to evolve national policy on security OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA
he Federal Government yesterday expressed its determination to develop a national public policy on security with the inauguration of a team to facilitate the development of the project. “The team has the mandate to ensure the evolution of a broad-based, methodically articulated views of stakeholders, perceptions and thoughts on strategies and methodology that would engender efficient security service delivery in Nigeria as a National Policy instrument”, said James Odaudu, spokesman of the Police Affairs Ministry. Inaugurating the team in his office, Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade, said the policy document would be concerned with matters “that will ensure security and safety of the individuals as well as corporate persons in the society, while also evolving the roles and responsibilities of the individuals, community and the various tiers
$1.69m scam: Court rejects Ajudua‘s application to quash charge KENNY ODUNUKAN
ustice Olubunmi Oyewole of an Ikeja High Court yesterday dismissed the application filed by an alleged fraud suspect, Fred Ajudua, asking the court to quash the $1.6 million fraud charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) since 2003. He dismissed the application for lack of merit, saying the applicant was not responsible for the prosecution of the case and therefore could not terminate it. The judge held that if the prosecution had reached dead end in the case, it would say so otherwise the defence could not terminate the case even at the withdrawal of the fraud victim and witness as claimed by the defence. Justice Oyewole also said the application seeking to quash the charge was strange, adding that the testimonies of six witnesses were before the court and none of it would be touched until the statements of other witnesses were analysed. He said testimony in a
criminal trial is not at the discretion of the witness. It would be recalled Ajudua was arraigned alongside Charles Orie in 2003 for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen, Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, of $1.6 million between July 1999 and September 2000. But he has refused to attend the trial after being granted bail by Justice Oyewole. The judge issued a warrant for his arrest, but the police have not been able to produce him in court since then prompting unending adjournments in the matter. Ajudua had in a motion on notice dated June 7, 2013, filed through his counsel, Mr. Alex Agba, argued that since the complainant has withdrawn the case and filed an affidavit before the court to this purpose, the court should quash the charge. In the application, which is supported by a 16-paragraph affidavit, Agba said each case should be treated based on its own peculiarity. He said further hearing in the matter would be a waste of time as the witness had indicated his unwilling-
ness to continue with the matter. On the bail application, Ajudua’s counsel, Agba asked the court to restore the bail revoked from his client on December 15, 2005 with the same condition with an additional surety or grant him a fresh bail with conditions the court deems fit while trial lasts. Agba, who read to the court a letter from Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) to back his claim that his client was suffering from a complicated ailment, urged the court to grant the application. He also told the court that earlier bail revoked by the court was done on the basis of misrepresentation, adding that the defendant would personally give an undertaken for his bail. But EFCC counsel, Mr. Wemimo Ogunde (SAN), opposed the bail, saying the defendant, having delayed the trial for seven years, should no longer enjoy such right. He, however, indicated readiness for speedy trial in the case. Ajudua was returned to prison custody, while ruling on the bail application was adjourned till tomorrow.
of government in ensuring peace and orderliness in the society.” He said the objective of the exercise is to “determine and codify the roles of stakeholders on issues relating to public security and safety as well as relate them to international best practices for implementation in Nigeria.” Olubolade added that the document, when developed, would provide a roadmap and rules of engagement for security agencies on matters relating to “internal security, provide a standardized procedure for action by individuals and communities during security threats and ensure appropriately streamlined engagements of security agencies in public safety issues.” The minister also assured that the policy document would achieve efficient resource utilisation and synchronisation of efforts on matters relating to internal security and provide an overall framework for public security and safety in Nigeria.
L-R: Guest Speaker, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola; President, Lagos State University (LASU) Alumni, Gen. Cecil Esekhaigbe (rtd) and Vice-chancellor, LASU, Prof. John Obafunwa, during the university’s alumni association annual lecture in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
N979.6m subsidy fraud: Court orders arrest of oil marketers KENNY ODUNUKAN
n Ikeja High Court yesterday issued a bench warrant against two oil marketers Oluwaseun Ogunbambo and Habila Theck - for failing to attend their trial without cogent reasons. Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo also revoked the bail granted to Ogunbambo (the first defendant) for the same offence. The oil marketers and their company, Fargo Energy Limited, are being prosecuted by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged N979.6
million fuel subsidy fraud. They were arraigned on a six-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences, forgery and use of forged documents. Prior to yesterday’s proceeding, hearing on the matter could not proceed owing to the absence of their counsel, Olisa Agbakoba and Adebayo Adenipekun, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs). Their absence, however, stalled the hearing of an application filed by Agbakoba in which he sought to quash the charges against the defendants. Agbakoba had raised three major constitutional
and jurisdictional issues against the EFCC, one of which touches on what is referred to in legal parlance, as “Miranda rights.” Miranda rights are secured rights of persons arrested or detained, to have legal representation immediately on arrest and before making any statement. At the resumed hearing yesterday, the defence counsel told the court that the first defendant informed parties on Monday that he was sick. This prompted the prosecution team, led by Francis Usani, to ask the court to discountenance the defence submission stating that it was a ploy to delay trial.
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Ajimobi commissions Mokola Flyover Bridge, others
he sprawling city of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, literally stood still yesterday as dignitaries from all walks of life trooped into the city to join the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, in inaugurating three landmark projects executed by his administration. One of the projects, a flyover bridge constructed at the ever-busy Mokola axis of the city to ease the perennial traffic snarl that used to characterise the area, was the first to be constructed by any civilian administration in the state in the last 35 years. Another of the projects was the ultra-modern motor park at Podo area of the city with the capacity of
accommodating 60 luxury buses and 311 mini-buses and whose features include a terminal building, shopping malls, restaurants, management office, auto services, auto car wash, public toilets and boreholes, among others. The third project was a neighbourhood business complex at Scout Camp, Challenge, Ibadan, made up of 760 open stalls, 384 lock-up shops, two blocks of warehouses, administrative building, adequate parking space and canteen, among other conveniences. Former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,
led the roll call of dignitaries who attended the ceremonies. Others included the National Chairman of the ACN, Chief Bisi Akande, Governors Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, while the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Adejoke Oorelope-Adefulire. The Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Arisekola Alao; the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi; Chief Kola Daisi; the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Badejoko Adeniji; Speaker of the state House of Assembly,
Hon. Monsurat Sunmonu, were also at the occasion. A mammoth crowd of ordinary folks also thronged the inauguration held in three different locations within the Ibadan metropolis, with most of them singing and drumming to celebrate what most of them called monumental achievements unprecedented in the history of the state. Speaking at the inauguration of the Mokola Flyover Bridge, Asiwaju Tinubu commended Governor Ajimobi, whom he described as an actualizer, performer and extra-ordinary leader in Oyo State, for the project which he said would impact positively on the lives of the people of the state.
lowance otherwise known as Teachers Salary Scale, TSS, the state government has offered to pay them 15 per cent, but the teachers are sticking to their guns, hence the strike which is in its fourth week. The demand by the civil servants yesterday was expected to complicate the plight of the teachers as the state government, which hinged its inability
to pay the 27.5 per cent TSS on paucity of funds, would be over-burdened the new demand. Olaiya told journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday that it would be wrong and sectional for the government to have considered only the teachers for the 27.5 per cent professional allowance, when teachers had earlier benefited from the 33 per cent relativity that was a statutory benefit for the core civil servants.
ndications emerged in Ekiti State yesterday that there is no end in sight yet to the strike embarked upon by teachers in the state as the state’s civil servants demanded that whatever the state government conceded to the teachers must be extended to them.
State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Comrade Kolawole Olaiya, said the civil servants ought to benefit in any increase to the teachers’ salaries since teachers had been benefitting in the 33 per cent Relativity Allowance meant for core civil servants since 2012. Although teachers are demanding 27.5 per cent Teachers Peculiarity Al-
Customs intercepts 57 sacks of cannabis
ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
he Ogun State command of Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, has intercepted 57 sacks of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp concealed in 5kg bag each in the Imeko/Ilara/Aiyetoro border route, valued at N2.3 million. The NCS also seized contrabands that consisted of frozen chicken, rice, vegetable oil as well as second hand tyres along the Id-
iroko and Aiyetoro border routes whose Duty Payable Value, DPV, was put at over N29.8 million. The Comptroller of Customs in Ogun area, Ade Dosumu, stated this at the command’s headquarters in Abeokuta, the state capital, while addressing journalists on the activities of his command and efforts at reducing the incidences of smuggling in the state in the last one month. Highlighting the par-
ticulars of the seizure, Dosumu said smugglers in the state would continue to meet stiffer resistance of the Customs under him until they drop their illicit trade. Among the contraband seized by the command was 3, 500 cartons of frozen product concealed in a 40 feet container Mercedes Benz truck with registration number: LAGOS LSR 607 XB intercepted at Shagamu area of the state.
Lawyers are the ones corrupting judges –Sagay WALE IGBINTADE
onstitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay, SAN, yesterday observed that an insatiable and unrestrained urged for material things are responsible for the decline in the legal profession just as he accused lawyers of corrupting the judges. He also condemned the elite, saying they have no honour, nor vision and no compassion for the suffering masses. Sagay, who stated this in a keynote address delivered at the opening ceremony of the 2013 Annual Law Week of the Nigerian Bar Association, Lagos branch added that some lawyers have established themselves as middle men to approach judges in order to buy judgement. He said; “No client will dare approach a judge directly. We (lawyers) do the dirty job. Some of our colleagues have established themselves in business as the right persons to approach in order to buy a judgement. They are the middle men; the go betweens.” The professor of law also lamented that in recent times, there had been increasing cases of lawyers
embezzling their client’s money. According to him, one of the major misconducts in the legal profession was the habit of some senior lawyers, who deliberately prolonged court proceedings by filing frivolous preliminary objections. “This invariable ploy of bringing preliminary objections to stifle and frustrate prosecution, for stealing of enormous funds, is the greatest danger we face, because it is creating a powerful and rich club of criminals who are greater that the law and the state and who have director access to power,” he added. Sagay also condemned what he called; “The connivance and collusion of Attorneys-General with their political masters” to trample on democracy and the rule of law. He continued: “It is lawyers who establish the legal and political foundations on which democracy and the rule of law are demolished and despotism, dictatorship and oppression entrenched. “Lawyers so to speak, construct the infrastructure for the destruction of our freedom and welfare and are responsible for drafting draconian decrees for the military.”
‘Manufacturing sector, worst victim of Boko Haram’s insurgency’
The newly inaugurated Mokola Flyover Bridge at in Ibadan, yesterday.
Allowance: Ekiti workers demand parity with teachers
Others were 526 bags of rice, 251 cartons as well as 49 kegs of vegetable oil, 314 pieces of second hand tyres as well as clothes and shoes. Aside that, 498 cartons of assorted imported wines with 434 cartons of body/ hair cream, assorted soap, packages of serviette paper sealed in another Mercedes Benz truck with registration number: ANAMBRA XA 748 NEN, were also among the seizure.
n Ibadan-based industrialist and the Managing Director of Sword Sweets and Confectioneries Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Nnena Faleye, has identified the manufacturing sector of the economy as the worst victim of the Boko Haram uprising in the north. Speaking in Ibadan when a delegation of Oyo Mega Trade Fair project paid her a courtesy call, Faleye said it would be a grave mistake to assume that the security challenges posed by the Boko Haram sect was a northern problem alone. “As a result of the Boko Haram menace, many manufacturing concerns nationwide are flying at half mast and counting losses daily. So, it is an ill wind that blows no one any good.” She advised the Federal Government to be proactive in tackling security challenges in the country. By so doing, she said, the government would be able
to anticipate security challenges and nip them in the bud before they occur and would not just respond after the damage had been done. Speaking earlier, the President of Oyo Mega Trade Fair project, Mr. Delight Owoyemi, had assured exhibitors to the 10-day trade fair which kicks off on August 9, of adequate security which would be provided throughout the event. He also said that adequate power supply would be provided, adding that no exhibitor would need to bring a generator to the event. The President of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, NIMN, technical partners to the trade fair, Mr. Rotimi Adeyeye, said foolproof arrangements had been made to ensure that the trade fair meets its target of 300, 000 visitors to the event, where 1,000 exhibitors are expected to showcase their trade.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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Four sea pirates arrested in Ondo HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
L-R: The Action Congress of Nigeria Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi and his wife, Florence, during the inauguration of Mokola Bridge in Ibadan, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Osun: ACN chair raises alarm over assassination attempt MOJEED ALABI
he Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in Irepodun Local Government Area of Osun State, Mr. Abayomi Oyedeji, yesterday raised the alarm over attempt on his life by some gunmen. Oyedeji said gunmen stormed his house at Laaro area of Ilobu, the council headquarters, on two motorcycles in the middle of the night.
The chairman said he went into hiding when the assailants started shouting his name. But the gunmen shot Oyedeji’s neighbour occupying the first flat in the fourflat apartment, Mr. Usman Adam, in the thigh, palm and belly. Adam, popularly called “Oluaye,” was rushed to the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, LAUTECH, in Osogbo after the matter had been reported to the police.
When contacted, the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Mrs. Taliatu Abubakar, declined to comment on the issue. Abubakar said the state police commissioner would be in the best position to speak on the incident. She, however, pledged to call our correspondent as soon as she received the go ahead from the commissioner to speak on the incident. A series of crisis, which engulfed ACN in the local government, had polarised
the party. A faction is said to be loyal to the chairman while a prominent politician in the community controls the other. Oyedeji said he had reported the attempt on his life to the party at the state level through the Secretary, Prince Gboyega Famodun. He, however, warned that violence would not be tolerated in the party. The chairman also urged the police to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators as well as their sponsors.
Judge beats up clerk in court –Petition K AYODE KETEFE
judge of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, has been accused of beating up one of the administrative staff working under her, Mr. Israel Okodugha. The incident, according to a petition sent to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, by the father of the clerk, Mr. S. O. Okodugba, happened in the presence of Law students on attachment
in the court. The petition dated June 11, was also sent to the most senior judge in the Lagos Division of Federal High Court, Justice James Tsoho, as well as the Chief Registrar and Deputy Chief Registrar in charge of Administration. The petitioner alleged that on May 13, the clerk had gone to Ofili-Ajumogobia’s chambers to inform her that he was going home about 4:15pm while the judge, who was enraged by his effrontery, pounced on Okodugha and inflicted wounds on him.
The petition reads in part: “Sometime in the month of May 2013, at about 4:15pm, according to him, he (Israel) entered the chambers to inform Her Lordship that he wished to accompany the staff bus home since the money on him will not be sufficient to carry him home that evening to Ikorodu by public transport. “In the presence of female students, Her Lordship got up from the seat, went to Israel, grabbed his ears with her nails, pulled on them, in the process, inflicted pains on the ears and wounds on
the back of his left ear. “He bled on the ear to the house that night. We had to take him to a nearby pharmacy to give him analgesics after washing the wounds with antiseptics. “Before the incident, our son, Israel, has been one of the staff Her Lordship uses as house keeper to scrub the toilet, wash the clothes and sweep and clean the house during official hours and even on weekends under instructions until Israel told Her Lordship that he had studies he had to attend on weekends.”
We’ll soon expose those victimising Ikuforiji –Assembly
agos State House of Assembly yesterday accused some unnamed political adversaries of victimising its Speaker, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji. The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Strategy, Security and Publicity, Hon. Segun Olulade, who raised the allegation, said those behind Ikuforiji’s travail would soon be unmasked.
The speaker and his Personal Assistant, Oyebode Atoyebi, were re-arraigned before a Federal High Court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on an amended 54-count charge bordering on money laundering with a N 1billion bail slammed on each of them on Monday by Justice Ibrahim Buba. Speaking on behalf of the House, Olulade said
Ikuforiji did not mismanage or embezzle money meant for the lawmakers. He described the speaker’s trial as a political ploy to malign his personality and image, given his tremendous achievements in office and his rising political profile. While expressing gratitude to the good people of Lagos State and all other supporters and well-wish-
ers of the speaker and the Lagos House of Assembly for their concern, support, Olulade urged the public not to relent in their efforts in the defence of the legislative institutions in Nigeria. The legislator said if the speaker had embezzled funds meant for the House as alleged by the EFCC, the remaining 39 lawmakers would have cried out.
our sea pirates, who have been tormenting the residents of the coastal communities in Ondo State, have been arrested and handed over to the Joint Task Force, JTF. The suspects, who specialised in robbing the people of their valuables, were apprehended by a private security outfit on the water ways, Gallery Security Service, in Arogbo Ijaw in Ilaje Local Government Area. Two of the suspects, Samuel Odigbo and Bewereweigha Eligbe, are from Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State while Dimba Michael and Love Okugbe hail from Arogbo in Ondo State. Speaking on their arrest, the spokesperson of Gallery Security, Molos Ebi, explained that the suspects were apprehended in Arogbo junction by men of the security outfit who were on security duty on the water ways. He said the suspects were coming from Delta State where they had gone
to operate and were trying to get to the community to dispose their loot. Ebi disclosed that the two men from Delta State had earlier been involved in an operation between Delta and Bayelsa states, where they had robbed people of their valuables. According to him, the suspects specialised in robbing people of their valuables such as money, speed boats and boat engines. He said the two suspects from Delta State were the main culprits, adding that Okugbe usually buys stolen goods from them while Michael was their informant. Ebi said the suspects had confessed to the crimes, adding that one speed boat, a 30-horse power Yamaha engine and four mobile phones were recovered from them. He also disclosed that the suspects had been handed over to the JTF for further interrogation. The leader of the group, Odigbo, said they stole the boat engines and were about selling one of them in Arogbo.
Lawyers extorting money from suspects –Task force MURITALA AYINLA
he Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit yesterday accused lawyers of extorting money from suspects arrested by its officials. The task force therefore advised lawyers to stay in their chambers and desist from loitering within its premises to deceive offenders. The warning followed claims by relatives of a 19-year-old boy, Sunday John, who was arrested by the task force and jailed by the Special Court in Alausa for his inability to meet bail conditions that task force officials were demanding money from them to release the boy. The task force Chairman, CSP Bayo Sulaiman, who gave the warning, said investigation had shown that some lawyers not in the employ of the organisation capitalised on John’s ignorance to
demand money from him under the pretence that they were working for the task force. Sulaiman said lawyers operating around the office of the task force were the biggest problems faced by his organisation. He said: “The problem we are having in this place is from the so-called lawyers who are freelancing in this place. The clients claim they are not aware that they are not our staff. These lawyers are not our staff. “These lawyers are trying to get their professional fees. You can come here without a lawyer as the accused can interact with the magistrate directly. We have been having a problem with lawyers who are transacting their businesses here. “Last week, one of them demanded N100,000 from a person for settlement purposes. We confronted him and he apologised. Who will know that money is not being demanded by the task force? You don’t need lawyers to attend our court.”
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
‘Without peace, PDP may not make it in 2015’ ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI
L-R: Abia State Acting Chief Judge, Justice Shedrach Nwanosike; Governor Theodore Orji; his Deputy, Sir Emeka Ananaba and state Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Emma Nwaka, during the commissioning of the newly completed office complex of the Ministry of Justice in Umuahia, yesterday.
Police arrest 97 kidnappers, 131 robbers in Anambra CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
he Anambra State police command yesterday announced the arrest of 97 suspected kidnappers, 131 armed robbers and 11 cultists between January 2013 and June 24, 2013. Similarly, the command also said that it handled 31 kidnapping cases, killed seven kidnappers and eight armed robbers, recovered 13 AK47 rifles, 4, 385 assorted ammunition, 331 cartridges, 105 magazines and 46 robbed vehicles. Also, 22 kidnapped victims were rescued among other achievements that were recorded by the command within the period. State Commissioner of Police, Ballah M. Nasarawa, gave these details when
he hosted the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 9, Umuahia, Muhammad Tambari Yabo, at the State Command Headquarters, Awka. Nasarawa said the police was able to achieve these because of the cooperation they received from key stakeholders in the state like traditional and community leaders, vigilance groups and sister security agencies in the state. The police commissioner painted the picture of how they were able to work successfully in Anambra, saying; “Sir, I have engaged all hands in the command in constant patrols to prevent criminal activities; the vigilance groups are also assisting us in crime management. The security management in the state is complex
and challenging, but with the support of my officers and men, we were able to weather the storm.” He identified lack of a befitting headquarters and PMF Squadrons as some of the problems and challenges they are facing in the state. It will be recalled that Yabo, who made a familiarisation tour of police formations in Anambra yesterday, had, while addressing officers and men of the command warned them to shun civil matters, like debt recovery and land cases, as well as matters relating to inheritance of property, as the police are not allowed to get involved in such matters. The Assistant Inspector of Police, who also urged police officers to avoid illegal acts like mounting unap-
Abia House passed 12 bills, 60 resolutions in two years GEORGE OPARA ABIA
bia State House of Assembly yesterday said it has passed 12 bills into law and made 60 resolutions during the first two years of the fifth session of the Assembly. Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Alwell Asiforo Okere, who disclosed this yesterday, also said that three bills were amended during the same period. Okere, who also doubles as the Chairman, House
Committee on Information, scored the House 80 per cent in their performance during the period, saying that the members have done well because of the number of bills passed to ensure good governance in the state. Speaking during the House’s monthly press briefing at the State House yesterday, Okere said among the resolutions passed was the one urging the police to sit up and fight a resurgence of crime in the state. He also disclosed that the House is presently in-
vestigating a petition over the dwindling revenue of the state on allegation of diversion of the state’s revenue. According to the deputy speaker, all the bills passed by the House have been accented to by the Governor, Chief Theodore Orji. He also said that Abia House was 100 per cent in support of the state of emergency declared in three northern states on account of the activities of the Boko Haram, saying that the emergency would, however, have been declared earlier.
proved road blocks, misuse of firearms/accidental discharge, corruption and acts of extortion and anything that would bring fatal consequences to them, further warned that any officer, who runs foul of these acts, shall be punished severely. Yabo also warned officers and men of the command to avoid doing anything that will lead to the police being sued to court, adding that it is now the policy of the establishment that whoever causes a garnishee court order to be issued against the Nigerian Police should pay from his salary and other entitlements. He urged superior officers to exhibit good work ethics and ensure that the men and officers deployed on duty at the various beats are been properly monitored.
DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
he second session of the 15th synod of the Anglican Communion, Enugu Diocese, kicks of today in the coal city and will come to an end on Sunday. The synod will include a presidential address to be delivered by the Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Dr. Emmanuel Olisa Chukwuma, at St. Bartholomew Parish, Asata, Enugu, where the synod will take place. Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, is expected to be honoured at the synod on Sunday.
he Methodist Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese, Rt. Rev. Godfrey Agupusi, yesterday commented on the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the country, urging President Goodluck Jonathan to be mindful of the crisis and look for a way of resolving it. He said without peace in the PDP and in the country in general, the party may not make it in the 2015 elections, adding that ‘otherwise the All Progressives Congress, APC, may over take them in the election. Speaking with National Mirror in Abakaliki, the cleric called on President Jonathan to see reasons to make peace and reconcile the Nigerian Governor’s Forum, NGF, stressing that if the crisis in the PDP continues, it will endanger the lives
of innocent Nigerians ahead of the general elections. The bishop said Nigeria is a nation endowed with great natural resources but that it is unfortunate that the country have not had good leadership just as he frowned at the attempt by the Boko Harm sect to Islamise the country. He said: “I think President Jonathan should continue to strive to make peace just as he did when he declared a state of emergency in the three northern states troubled by the Boko Haram menace. People criticize him, but that shows how magnanimous, how patriotic, how peace loving he is, which everybody should acknowledge. Bishop Agupusi cautioned politicians to desist from committing fraud and other related crimes that would put the nation to shame, adding that politicians should exercise patience.
Elite group endorses Ifeanyi Ubah for 2014 NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
nambra State political class, under the auspices of Ebubechukwuzo Foundation, has endorsed a governorship aspirant in the state, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, as their candidate for the 2014 governorship election in the state. The National Coordinator of the group, Mazi Omife Omife, who disclosed this when he led over 3,000 members of the group, drawn from the 21 local government areas of the state on a solidarity visit to Ubah’s Nnewi country home, said they were convinced that Ubah represented true change that the Anambra
people wanted. According to Omife, “Anambra people are tired of recycling the same old politicians with outdated policies and ideas that do not work. It is true old politicians may have experience, but memories of the past have shown us that such experiences are rife with bribery and political corruption. “We no longer need the old career politicians who will continue with the same old policies of settlement, god-fatherism and business as usual, sharing and siphoning our commonwealth.” Responding, Ubah commended them for their foresight and reassured them that he would deliver if elected governor of the state.
Anglican Synod begins in Enugu today Bishop Chukwuma, who briefed journalists yesterday, said the Anglican Church is symbolically governed, adding that the diocese has moved from strength to strength since its establishment over 40 years ago. He said the theme of this year’s synod is; “Overcoming the Challenges of the Time,” adding that Christians can only overcome challenges through the help of God, especially in the present dilemma the country has found itself. The bishop said that the church is concerned about the high rate of corruption
and insecurity in the country, which he said the church will look into during the synod. “We encourage President Goodluck Jonathan to give the issue of security priority attention and wipe out the Boko Haram insurgency. PDP as a ruling party should be careful and both Bamanga Tukur and Tony Anenieh should resign their positions. “Anybody above the age of 65 years should resign his or her position and the issue of Governor Chibuike Amaechi should be resolved immediately,” Chukwuma advised.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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UNIUYO crisis: 44 students arraigned for murder, arson JTF sets ablaze tanker laden TONY ANICHEBE UYO
o fewer than 44 students of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO) arrested by the police in connection with recent violence in which many people were killed and property, including the vice-chancellor’s
office were destroyed have been charged with murder and arson. Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio said that the violence was planned by students who had one problem or the other with their academic career. He said: “The UNIUYO crisis was planned, that was
why the vice-chancellor’s office was burnt.” The police spokesman, Etim Dickson, said the suspects had been arraigned before the magistrate’s court on a four-count charge of arson, murder, damage to property and stealing. The suspects, who were picked up at various locations,
were brought to the court by the police in eight Hilux vans amid tight security. Magistrate Lawrence Udonwa, who refused to grant the students bail, pending the advice by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), ordered that the case should be transferred to the High Court.
with adulterated diesel RICHARD N DOMA CALABAR
he Joint Task Force (JTF) yesterday set ablaze a tanker load of adulterated diesel in Calabar, Cross River State. The tanker marked: URU-34XA, Imo, was seized by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) personnel on June 10, 2013. JTF spokesman, Capt. Joseph James, told journalists that the NSCDC operatives handed over the truck to men of the JTF, adding that the vehicle was set ablaze after undergoing laboratory test at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corpo-
ration (NNPC) yard in Calabar. According to him, JTF also intercepted a tanker and arms from some suspected oil thieves a few months ago on the Calabar –Odukpani Highway. He said: “I want members of the public to have confidence in what JTF is doing in Cross River State and report suspected oil thieves to security agents. “The fight against oil theft in Cross River State and Nigeria is a collective responsibility of all.” Capt. James said accurate information from members of the public would help the JTF to apprehend perpetrators of the illegal act.
Akpabio drops plan to prosecute striking airport workers TONY ANICHEBE UYO L-R: Member, House of Representatives, Hon. Asita Asita; Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi and Senator Wilson Ake during a solidarity visit by a delegation from Orashi to the governor in Port Harcourt, on Monday. PHOTO: NAN
Downpour displaces Yenagoa residents EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
any residents have been displaced by frequent downpours in Yenagoa and its environs in Bayelsa State. The downpours also destroyed property worth several millions of naira. Economic and social activities in the affected area are at lowest ebb. Investigations by National Mirror revealed that worse affected are
residents of Azikoro housing estate, Osiri and Azikoro roads, Biogbolo and Opolo, among others. It was learnt that the ongoing construction of some roads in Yenagoa, the state capital, also contributed to the flooding. The development has begun causing fears among the residents. Some residents whose houses were submerged were seen bailing flood from their buildings at Azikoro housing estates and Osiri.
Flooding is an annual experience in the state. The state government, however, blamed the recurring flooding on blockage of water channels by property developers. Sources told National Mirror that buildings blocking water channels would be demolished by the government, as they described the structures as illegal. A victim, Mr. Wayne Kojo, described the submerging of his home as sad and pathetic.
Kojo said he was planning to relocate to the outskirts of Yenagoa where the flood impact is not significant. He said: “My belongings were soaked by the flood in my apartment. The state government should find a lasting solution to the annual flooding, which is sacking residents of Yenagoa and other communities.” Kojo, however, accused the state government of politicising efforts to prevent the flooding.
Ban on commercial motorcyclists yields desired results –Edo police SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
he ban placed on the activities of commercial motorcyclists in Benin, the Edo State capital, has begun yielding the desired results. Speaking with National Mirror, the police spokesman, Mr. Moses Eguavoen, said that although the police were expecting a rise in the crime rate after the ban, the opposite has been the case. Eguavoen said that there had been an immediate reduction of crime in Benin after the ban.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole recently placed a ban on commercial motorcycling in Benin before threatening to arrest anybody that flouts the order. He also extended the ban to private use of motorcycles in order to give no space for an abuse of the order by privileged citizens as well as the operators of tricycles popularly known as Keke NAPEP. Specifically, the ban covers Oredo, Egor and Ikpoba Okha Local Government Areas and parts of Ovia North East and Uhunmwode Local Government Areas that also make up Benin city.
But speaking on police observation after 10 days, Eguavoen said: “Definitely, we were expecting a certain increase in crime rate as fallout of the ban with regards to motorcyclists, who found themselves suddenly jobless following the order. But to our surprise, there has been a lower trace of criminality since the ban. “All I can categorically tell you is that by our observation from reports of crime and criminality, the rate is on the decrease since the ban was announced. We believe the decrease is related to the ban.”
Meanwhile, in a clear demonstration of the government’s resolve not to go back on the ban, the Dr. Godwin Obasekichaired Committee on Alternative Employment Opportunities and Transport Reforms established by the state government has began to work out alternative employment for the displaced motorcyclists. But National Mirror reliably gathered that only those members who were registered by the gover nment-recognised faction of the riders’ union may be accommodated in the alternative employment plan.
overnor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has shunned his earlier plan to prosecute the striking Ibom Airport workers for alleged terrorism. The striking workers were alleged to have caused the black-out that almost led to a disaster involving Arik aircraft last Friday night. National Mirror learnt that the workers embarked on a protest last Friday to push for improved welfare package and, as a result, caused the black-out. The development led the Arik aircraft with over 100 passengers on board to divert to Lagos Airport. But speaking at a meeting with the striking workers held at the Government House Banquet Hall on Monday night, Akpabio said his intention was to arrest all the airport workers and charge them with terrorism. He said he discovered from the available security report that the black-out was not caused as result of the protest. The governor said: “I was very furious when I learnt that the Arik plane which was about to land had to divert to Lagos because the airport was in darkness as a result of the strike, but security reports indicate otherwise. “My intention was to order for your arrest and
charge you for terrorism for almost causing the death of over 100 passengers on board the Arik plane on Friday night, but I have dropped the charged.” He said the Ibom Airport was initially conceived as Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and not a passenger airport, saying there were plans by the Federal Government to take over the airport, a development which he said affected the workers’ welfare. Akpabio, who constituted two committees to review the workers’ condition of service and to streamline appointments, however, placed embargo on further employment of airport staff. Chairman of the Airport Service Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Mr. Edidiong Brendan, told the governor earlier that the workers were on a peaceful protest to register their grievances over poor remuneration and condition of service. Meanwhile, the governor ordered the immediate auditing of Ibom Airport transactions from the commencement of operations in 2009 till date. The decision followed an allegation that over N10.7 million approved by the state government for workers’ oversea training had been misappropriated by the management. Akpabio said anyone found directly or indirectly involved in the misappropriation would not be spared.
Wednesday June 26, 2013
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PDP vs ACN: Politicising war on terror
NGF: Confusion over representation stalls Fashola’s suit Jang briefs two separate legal teams
EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
earing in the suit filed by the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, over the May 24 election of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, was stalled yesterday, owing to consultation of two different legal firms by the factional chairman of the Forum, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State. Governor Fashola is praying a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court to restrain factional chairman
of NGF and Governor Jang, from parading himself as the forum’s chairman. Listed as co-defendants are Asishana Bayo Okauru, Osaro Onaiwu and The Registered Trustees, Nigerian Governors’ Forum. However, the suit, which was listed for mention yesterday, could not go on as scheduled, as Chief Tayo Oyetibo and Mr. Paul Erokoro (both Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs), announced their appearances for Jang and Osaro Onaiwu who is the 3rd defendant. The team led by Erokoro
had three other SANs. As a way out of the confusion, and in order not to take the time of the court, counsel to 2nd and 4th defendant, Dr. Awa Kalu (SAN), prayed the court for a short adjournment, to enable parties to sort out the thorny issue. The plaintiff was properly represented by a former Attorney General (AG) of Lagos State, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo (SAN), who led Mr. Femi Falana (SAN). Consequently, trial judge, Justice Peter Affen, adjourned the matter to
July 3,for “regularisation” of appearances. Speaking with National Mirror on the development, Erokoro insisted that the Plateau governor briefed his team, as a result of which he proceeded to file a preliminary objection, which he said was before the court. “Governor Jang consulted us and we entered appearance and filed a notice of preliminary objection. It appears that Governor Jang consulted two teams and the two teams didn’t know. Apparently, Oyetibo was also consulted,” Erokoro said. National Mirror exclusively accessed a letter per-
sonally signed by Jang and dated June 14. In the letter entitled: Legal representation in suit no cv/3389/13, Jang had instructed one of the SANs thus: “I hereby instruct you to represent and defend the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants in the above matter...” In the pending suit, Fashola is asking the court to restrain Governor Jang from parading himself as NGF’s chairman. This, according to the plaintiff, is against the backdrop of the fact that the May 24 election, from where Jang purports to draw his strength, was won by Rivers State
governor, Rotimi Amaechi. The plaintiff stated that Amaechi was duly returned as winner of the contentious election, having scored 19 votes, to defeat Jang, who was credited with 16 votes. In a preliminary objection, however, Jang urged the court to dismiss the suit on the premise that Fashola lacks the legal right to approach the court for the reliefs being sought. Jang also contended that the FCT high court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the suit, as the nature of the suit suggests that it is one between Lagos and Plateau states.
We’re not sure of Oyinlola’s return as PDP scribe –Filani
•Party elders call for an end to marginalisation AYO ESAN AND KEMI OLAITAN
Senate President David Mark (2nd left) and other senators resuming after two weeks break in Abuja, yesterday.
2015 elections will surpass previous exercises, says Jega EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
he Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday, assured Nigerians and the political parties that the 2015 general elections would be much better than previous exercises. The INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega gave the assurance at the 2nd quarterly meeting between the commission and chieftains of political parties. “I want to use this opportunity to assure you that INEC will continuously improve on the transparency and credibility of the electoral process, and I assure
all Nigerians that 2015 elections will be remarkably much better,” he assured. He also presented the draft guidelines for the conduct of the 2015 general elections to all the registered political parties at the meeting. Jega said the contributions of the political parties would go a long way toward strengthening the ongoing reforms in the electoral system. He said their contributions would also ensure better understanding, efficiency and effectiveness of all political activities as the nation moved toward 2015. “Be rest-assured that, we, in INEC, are committed
to ensuring that the process is improved and will conduct our responsibilities in a non-partisan manner with required efficiency and effectiveness,” he said. During the meeting in Abuja, Jega stated that the early presentation of the commission’s guidelines was aimed at providing them with the opportunity to study them, with a view to making appropriate inputs, where necessary, ahead of the final copy which would be duly signed and binding on all parties. He disclosed that the document was a by-product of the different recommendations and suggestions earlier made by both political
parties as well as the commission, towards ensuring transparent, free, fair and credible elections in 2015. Also, Jega stated that the meeting was meant to brief the parties on the steps being taken towards the production of permanent voter cards as well as other innovations by the Commission to differentiate genuine voters from fake ones. He said: “It is important to continue to brief you as the journey progresses so that you can in turn enlighten your members and the general public at large, as we hold the meeting regularly, we will take inputs from you to be included in the agenda of discussions.”
he bid of former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, to return as the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, may hang in the balance as the South-West leadership of the party yesterday said it was not sure if he could re-contest for the position. The Caretaker Chairman of the party in the zone, Chief Ishola Filani, stated this in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, after the expanded zonal meeting attended by 10 notable chieftains of the party from each of the six states in the South-West . Oyinlola was removed as the National Secretary following a court order. He said though the position was still zoned to Osun State, the party was not clear if he could vie for the position again. Meanwhile, the SouthWest PDP leaders yesterday in Lagos urged the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT, members from the zone to ensure that the Presidency ends the marginalisation of the region in executive positionas. In a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting, the
elders agreed that there is need for peace and unity in the zone ahead of the 2014 elections in Osun and Ekiti states as a starting point for the return of PDP to governance and relevance. “The zonal leadership upheld the status quo as regards the present zonal offices and positions in strict compliance with approved guidelines of the NEC as announced by the convention committee and called on the leaders in each state to encourage candidates with requisite experience, integrity and loyalty to the party to contest,” the communiqué said. The meeting also resolved to support and respect the decision of the national leadership to reposition the party. The meeting commended the former Deputy National Chairman of PDP, Chief Bode George for his leadership steps in the resolution of the challenges facing the South-West. “We have no excuse to lose in any position again in the South West. We must all go back to our wards, local governments and senatorial districts to rejuvenate our party structures to ensure victory for the PDP both in Osun and Ekiti and for President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015,” George said.
Wednesday June 26, 2013
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Senate rejects UK visa bond policy, threatens reciprocation
he Senate has said that Nigeria will not accept the visa regime proposed by the United Kingdom seeking to compel Nigerian visitors to deposit 3,000 pounds bond before travelling there. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Matthew Nwagwu said this in Abuja on Tuesday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Nwagwu said Nigeria would take reciprocal action against British citizens once it received formal notification of the policy from the UK immigration authorities. He pledged that the Senate would deploy necessary legislative action to ensure that Nigerian immigration authorities embarked on action commensurate with the “obnoxious” UK policy. Nwagwu said that Nigeria was still awaiting a formal communication from the UK Government on the new visa policy. He said: “When they inform us officially on this policy, we will respond to them officially. We will not accept it if Nigeria is branded among the countries they are targeting. “Reciprocity implies that, for example, if the UK government imposes this obnoxious policy on Nige-
rians, Nigeria also has the right to find a way to reply. “If your friend smiles at you, you too will smile at him. If he frowns at you, or decides not to love you anymore, it is up to you to decide how you will respond to him. “Normally, if Nigeria is threatened in a shady way and are excluded from a country, then, Nigeria must find a way to respond. It is up to the Government to decide.” Nwagwu called on Nigerian government to make effort to find out the rationale for the policy. The chairman also urged Nigerians who planned to travel to UK, to seek alternative destinations to fulfil their purpose for such trip. He said: “If the policy comes into effect, it is left for Nigerians also to begin to find alternative travel destinations. If somebody tells you not to go to his place again for any reason, you don’t have to impose yourself on him. “So, Nigerians should think whether it is worthwhile to go to deposit 3,000 pounds to enable them visit the UK.” He said in spite of the security challenge in some parts of the North, Nigeria was generally peaceful with many foreigners, including Britons, going about their normal businesses without
Party chides Tinubu over imposition of daughter as market leader day Fidau prayer for his OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU
he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has counselled former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Bola Tinubu, to rescind the imposition of his daughter, Shade Tinubu-Ojo, as the new leader of market men and women in Lagos State. The PDP, in a statement signed by its Lagos State Publicity Secretary, Taofeek Gani, asked Tinubu to allow the simple tenets of democracy to prevail in the selection of a new leader for the market men and women, “more so as there is no cogent evidence that his imposed daughter is a full time market woman.” The former governor had announced the choice of his daughter as the new leader of the market men and women during the 8th
mother and former leader of market men and women, Alhaja Abibat Mogaji. The party said: “This new development portends great danger for our democracy and indeed Lagos integrity. We are thus calling on the state governor, Babatunde Fashola, not to sit on the fence at this auspicious time. “Fashola must rise up and be counted now. He must exhibit control in governance especially when Tinubu’s interest conflicts with the public interest. He must see to it that the process leading to the emergence of a new market leader and any other leadership in the state is transparent, liberal and credible. “Politics must not be overplayed to erode human decency and respect for due process. Any act that would break down the assumed peace in the state must indeed be avoided.”
harassment. According to him, the current situation makes it necessary for Nigeria to review its relations with Britain, a country he says was expected to assist the country to deal with its problems. “You have to look at your friend properly to know whether he is the friend you know or not,” he said. Nwagwu said that Britain should understand
Nigeria properly with a view to helping the country solve its problems in whatever way it could. Senator Chris Anyanwu (APGA-Imo) described the proposed policy as “extremely offensive”, especially coming from a country that has strong historical links with Nigeria. She said Nigeria had every reason to respond emphatically to the “unfriendly policy.”
“This is an extreme and offending action and it is rather surprising that it is coming from Britain that has a very special relationship with Nigeria. “The onus lies on Nigeria to respond. We have to find ways of protesting perhaps by reducing patronage against things brought from Britain,” she said. Senator Magnus Abe (PDP-Rivers) said Nigeria
had forwarded a message to the British High Commissioner, that Nigerians would not accept such a “discriminatory policy. “As a country, we would be opposed to anything that is discriminatory to Nigerians and I have sent that message to the High Commission. “All Nigerians should let Britain know that that kind of policy is unacceptable,” Abe stressed.
L-R: Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda; State Head of Civil Service, Mr. Abdon Gin, and Emir of Dass, Alhaji Usman Bilyaminu, at the celebration of Civil Service Day and presentation of the 2nd edition of the Civil Service Compendium in Bauchi, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
APC names Masari, el-Rufai national officers •Akande retains chairmanship OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
ormer Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Masari, and the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai have been nominated by the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, to serve as members of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the yet-to-be registered All Progressives Congress, APC. In the list of nominees adopted last night by CPC, while Masari was chosen to serve as the Deputy National Chairman (North),
el-Rufai will serve as the Deputy National Secretary. National Mirror gathered that James Ocholi got the position of Deputy Legal Adviser. However, the case of Mrs. Sadiya Farouq whose nomination as the National Treasurer almost pitched her against the National Chairman was amicably resolved in her favour. Other officers nominated for APC interim leadership include the National Woman Leader, Mrs. Sharon Chiazor; National Youth Leader, Mr. A. Lado, National Vice Chairman (North Central), General Aboki (rtd); National Deputy Auditor, Captain Bala Ji-
bril and an ex-officio member, Hon. Musa, For the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, its national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande has been reconfirmed by the party to serve in that capacity for APC, while Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Mr. Muiz Banire is to serve as the National Publicity Secretary and National Legal Adviser for APC respectively. Other positions yet to be filled by the ACN, include the deputy national treasurer, deputy national youth leader, two vice chairmen and two ex-officio. Apart from the National Secretary of All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP, Alhaji Tijanin Musa Tunmsa, who
has been chosen to serve in the capacity for the merger party, the party is yet to formally fill its remaining slots allocated to it. The factions of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, and the Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, who are also in the merger arrangement got national organising secretary and national auditor respectively. Apart from the national organising secretary, APGA equally got deputy national chairman (South), deputy national financial secretary, deputy national women leader, one vice chairman and one ex-officio; the DPP on its part got deputy national secretary with the national auditor.
perception of the average Nigerian about PDP. Aroh called for a miniconvention in Anambra, saying: “What happened in March last year was a conspiracy of the insiders, of people who believe that some people are more situated to protect their vested interest. They went and exposed PDP to ridicule and that is what we are seeing today. Why this mid-term convention, it is because some people thought they are gods and decided that others should not be given
space to be. Candidates were nominated by some people who are not even delegates to that election and they hope to succeed. There must be a mini-convention in Anambra PDP to get the right calibre of executive that can win elections.” He also spoke on his quest to be elected as PDP spokesman. He said: “You are all aware why this redeclaration became necessary but for avoidance of doubt we are forced to redo what we would have done perfectly in 2012.”
PDP needs mini-congress in Anambra –NWC aspirant OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
head of the November governorship election in Anambra State, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been advised to replicate in the state, the peace process in the National Working Committee, NWC, by dissolving the state executive and convening a mini-congress. Former Vice Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, ALGON, and an aspirant to the
office of the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Barrister Okey Muo Aroh also said that the Anambra exco as it is presently constituted cannot organise a credible election. In an interview with journalists, Aroh, while declaring his intent to run for the office of the National Publicity Secretary, said he has a well developed agenda to harness all the good work of PDP government at the states and in the centre and use the same effectively to change the
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Wednesday June 26, 2013
The recent altercations between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, over who is encouraging terrorism in the country have become a subject of controversy. In this report, SINA FADARE x-rays the contending issues.
s long as the security situation in the country remains fragile and the Boko Haram insurgence has not come to a halt, the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and its arch opposition, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, will always engage in endless altercations. At the peak of the terrorists invasion of parts of the country and the wanton killings of innocent souls in Borno State, the ACN put the blame for the spate of insecurity squarely at the doorsteps of the PDP. Even when President Goodluck Jonathan took what many have come to regard as a bold step by declaring state of emergency in the troubled states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, the ACN still faulted the action as anti-democratic. The ACN, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, claimed that the recent proscription order against Boko Haram and Ansaru violated the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as it was capable of stifling the press and tampering with fundamental human rights of Nigerians. In response to Mohammed’s allegation, the PDP, through its former National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, accused the ACN of trying to use the press as a subterfuge to hide its support for insurgents and to whittle down the current efforts of the Federal Government to end acts of terrorism in the country. Dismissing the ACN’s claim, Metuh pointed out that no part of the presidential order proscribing terrorists groups, directly or indirectly, violated any provision of the Constitution or impinged on the freedom of the press in the country. He explained that the ACN is despicable and its outburst shows a clear indication of how far the opposition party can go to distort facts to support violence and cause disaffection among Nigerians. His words: “This deliberate distortion of facts clearly betrays ACN’s support for such groups as well as the heinous attempt to whittle down efforts by the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians to end insurgency in the country. “For the avoidance of doubt, no section of the order stifled the press, violated or seeks to violate any provision of the Constitution. Instead, the order reinforced the provisions of the Constitution guaranteeing the security and welfare of all Nigerians.” The ACN however came hard on the ruling party again when it responded that the PDP cannot label it as sponsoring terrorism, alleging that all alleged sponsors of terror in Nigeria are either within the ruling party, the PDP, or somehow associated with it. The party pointed out that “contrary to the blatant falsehood being peddled by the Presidency and the PDP, not one member of the ACN was mentioned in that docu-
PDP VS ACN:
Politicising war on terror ment, which is available to those who are more interested in seeking the truth than calling the dog a bad name just to hang it.” Dissociating itself from any form of terrorism or sponsorship of terrorism, the ACN noted that “terror has festered in our country largely because of widespread poverty, economic deprivation, massive unemployment, injustice and alienation of a large section of the society, all products of years of bad governance.” The party regretted that “Nigeria is home to the largest number of out-ofschool children in the world, according to the United Nations’ Educational and Scientific Commission, UNESCO. What this means is that we are creating a large pool of possible recruits for terror. “While these problems date back a long time, the rapacious PDP, which has ruled at the centre since our country’s return to democratic rule in 1999, and the painfully incompetent government of President Goodluck Jonathan have not made things better. It is therefore clear that as these evil twins PDP/Presidency, point one accusing finger at the ACN, four others are pointing at them.” But, the PDP reiterated its solid support for President Jonathan and what the party claimed to be “his untiring efforts to ensure an end to acts of terrorism in the country.” The party commended the President for the order, which it described as a welcome development, adding that, “those who have nothing to hide need not be afraid.” However, as the brickbats continue to fly, political pundits are of the view that it is the primary duty of a government to provide adequate security of lives and property of its citizen and therefore, the ruling party should be held responsible if there are any lapses in this direction. They argued that it is expedient on the ruling party to re-strategise and proffer solution to the issue before the situation gets out of hand instead of trading words with the opposition. Perhaps the statement by the President, sometime that he was aware that some of his cabinet members were no doubt members of the Boko Haram sect was not only
suggestive, but an indictment on his part that the government is helpless on the issue. Speaking to National Mirror on the issue, the National Publicity Secretary of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, noted that the Federal Government does not need to join issue with anybody but should rather go all out to put a stop to the security challenges that is threatening the existence of the country. Odumakin noted that the Federal Government did not tackle the issue of insecurity holistically but rather handled it with kid’s glove despite the declaration of state of emergency. He said: “What the President declared in those states was not state of emergency but rather, a martial law, because the governors of the states were still left in office, indicating that the President is still dancing around the issue and appears to deal with the issue without getting result.” From the altercations that ensued between the PDP and ACN, it seems the ACN is talking from both sides of its mouth in order to put the ruling party on its toes. When the PDP was reluctant to take action on the spate of killings that enveloped the country in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgence, the same opposition condemned Jonathan for lacking in courage and action to take the bull by the horn and do the right thing on the issue. It is now surprising to political observers that the same ACN is now crying foul when the dreadful sect was proscribed. Though Jonathan was very political in his declaration of the state of emergency in the troubled states by still retaining
THIS IS A TIME FOR ALL NIGERIANS TO RALLY ROUND THE LEADERSHIP OF THE
AND ENSURE THAT OUR COUNTRY IS RID OF THIS THREAT TO NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY
their governors and some political structures, a situation which a school of thought argued was misnomer, the recent killings a few days ago buttressed their argument. Former Electoral Commissioner with the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Mr. Mohammed Oyefeso, argued that “for the President to still retain those governors and still pronounce state of emergency in those states is contradictory, but I think the president is trying to be political. “An emergency means that the Presidency has temporarily taken over the administration of these states due to the prevailing security circumstances. But if the governors are still in office, then nothing has changed.” He added that what Jonathan has just done was to create more confusion rather than solve the problem.” Former Director General of the State Security Service, SSS, Chief Albert Horsfall, counselled President Jonathan to tackle the issue of terrorism instead of engaging in altercations with the opposition, noting that Nigeria is going through a period of severe political and security stress, adding that from all indications, “the terrorists intend to stay in this country, establish themselves and then pursue a political agenda.” Horsfall regretted that the Boko Haram sect has been heavily infiltrated by outside forces and external terrorist groups whose objective is to take over parts of Nigeria as they seem to have done in Mali before French forces flushed them out of northern Mali, adding that the issue at stake should not be politicised His words: “It is therefore important for all concerned to realise the magnitude of the threat which the country faces from those terrorist armies and co-operate to defeat the terrorists and not play politics with these truly dangerous events.” Explaining that the declaration of the state of emergency by the President in the affected areas was a bit late, Horsfall however pointed out that “it must be pursued fully and relentlessly. Therefore, this is a time for all Nigerians to rally round the leadership of the President and ensure that our country is rid of this threat to national sovereignty. We must equally rally round our armed forces, the police and the security services”. Speaking to National Mirror on the security challenges, Senator Iyabo Anisulowo said that the security of the country is so germane that the PDP-led government should not play politics with it. According to her, a spade must be called a spade no matter whose ox is gored, noting that “what we have today is a consequence of poor leadership.” She regretted that the porosity of the nation’s border is the cause of security challenges the country is facing, saying: “Our borders are very porous. Anybody can come in and sneak out and that is why we did not even know when terrorists infiltrated the neighbouring border towns and before you could wink, it has become uncontrollable. “Majority of this so-called Boko Haram are not from Nigeria, therefore we need high tech cameras to monitor our borders.” While the battle of wits rages what Nigerians are concerned about for now is the security of their lives and property and not the present unnecessary bickering between the ruling PDP and the opposition ACN.
Wednesday June 26, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
‘Nobody will stop me from running for governorship’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 that you are nursing governorship ambition in 2015, how do you react to the rumour? Well, I have told people who care to listen that today, as far as I am concerned, my immediate concern is to support Mr. President to enable him deliver his transformation agenda for the people of this country. I stand as one of the key supporters of Mr. President, one of the key loyalists of Mr. President to do what he wants us to do to move Nigeria forward. As far as I am concerned, 2015 is still very far away and it is in God’s hands. When we get to 2015, that is when other things will come up. When we get to 2015, I have the right to contest like any other Deltan but that is not in the agenda for now. I am working, standing by Mr. President to enable him deliver his promises to the people of this country. But you are being accused of declaring for governorship during your recent condolence visit to the family of a prominent Urhobo politician. Can any reasonable person ever believe that someone who wants to be a governor would go to a burial ceremony to declare his intention? It is absolute nonsense. I was there on condolence visit and we were talking about the activities of the man and that was how we ended. And so it was nonsense, it was cheap blackmail for anybody to say that. If I want to contest for governorship of Delta State, even if want to contest in 2015 and I want to declare, number one, I would have made proper consultation and number two, when I am declaring, the entire state will gather at one place for me to declare and tell them. It is not just to say I am going to contest, if I am going to contest and I am coming to declare, my programmes for the state would also be discussed. So whatever anybody said was absolute nonsense. But your leader, Chief Edwin Clark is one of the people who accused you, he even said you are not fit for the governorship of the state. What is your reaction to that? Well, Chief Clark is entitled to his opinion, but fortunately in the statement, he also said that he was told, he was not there. And so he must have acted from uninformed position. I am sure some mischievous people that are always around looking for their daily bread must have carried that information to him. But thank God, he also said he was not there, he was informed. Number two, if I want to contest the governorship of Delta State in 2015, Chief Clark also knows that I have the capability to run for the governorship of Delta State, I am not barred by the constitution and I have support of people and if I want to run, nobody will stop me from running. He is free to support anybody but there are thousands and thousands of people, who will also support me if I want to run in 2015 but today as I said, I am standing by Mr. President so that he can deliver to the people of this country his promises. A section of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Burutu Council of Delta State, where you and Clark hail from recently announced your suspension from the party. Are you still a member of the PDP? I am glad you said a section of the PDP. I think we have today, a group that was put in
saying the people don’t have any right to go to court to seek for redress? If somebody is walking and stumbles on a wood, it is Orubebe, I think they should stop this nonsense. And I have told you that I am working with the state chairman of PDP to ensure that we deliver in all future elections.
place by Chief Clark and it is these people that went on air to say Orubebe is suspended but as far as I am concerned, I don’t lose sleep over it because it is of no consequence. What is your relationship with Chief Edwin Clark now? I don’t have any problem with Chief Clark. He is one of the leaders we have in Ijawland. I don’t have any problem with him. Our relationship is still very cordial.
But supporters of Chief Clark have openly said that you an ingrate in view of the widespread belief that he recommended you for appointment as a minister. Why are you ungrateful to him? Chief Clark never and did not recommend me for appointment to the government but he supported me when the battle over my appointment started. Two things I have said, he was not the one who nominated me but he supported me when there was crisis over the appointment. I know the person who recommended me and at the appropriate time I will mention that name. I was recommended to the government by a young man, whose identity I will
CLARK ALSO KNOWS THAT I HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO RUN FOR THE GOVERNORSHIP OF
DELTA STATE... HE IS FREE TO SUPPORT ANYBODY JOE IGBOKWE
s we move close to making the All Progressive Congress, APC, an effective political party in Nigeria, some Nigerians are asking what the new party can do to restore the dignity of Nigeria. As we move close to 2015 Presidential elections, political watchers are asking to know the difference between APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. A lot of questions are coming to the political desks of APC throughout the country: is this party different from PDP? Are the progenitors not the same Nigerians we know? What does this party have in store for 150 million Nigerians? Can this new party make a difference? Can it fill in the gap in Nigeria’s political landscape? Can APC have the courage and the political will to fight the dreaded monster in Nigeria called corruption? Can APC deal with the rot in the power sector? Can APC fix Nigeria’s economy? Can APC deal with the security challenges facing Nigeria? Can this new party rebuild our educational sector? Can APC create jobs for teeming Nigerian youths? Can APC rebuild our institutional frameworks and decayed infrastructure? Can this APC continue to leave the big shoes for small men? Can APC continue to leave great jobs for little-minded elements? Can APC continue to neglect the problem of injustice in Nigeria? Is APC capable of holding this country together in peace
reveal at a later date. However, I have done everything humanly possible to carry Chief Clark along. What is your relationship with the leadership of PDP in the state? My relationship with the leadership of PDP is very cordial. Peter Nwaoboshi is my state chairman and I am supporting him and his entire executive so that we deliver PDP for all the elections in 2015. You are being accused of in instigating some party members to drag the party to court. How can I instigate people to take the party to court? If I want to go to court, it is me that would go to court. If people are aggrieved and they go to court, are they
How is your ministry helping in the actualisation of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda? This issue of Mr. President’s transformation agenda revolves around doing things in a normal practical way. When he became President and I was appointed Minister of Niger Delta, Mr. President said look, East/ West Road must be completed. You know this is a project that was awarded in 2006 and it was expected to be completed in 2010 but as at 2010 it was like we were doing a new project again because when it was awarded in 2006, there were no drawing and designs at that time and so the road was just going on without baseline drawing and it was in 2010. So by 2010, detailed designs and drawing of the East/West Road were completed. And we came to realise that this is a road that has 42 bridges, spanning from 70 metres to 850 metres, I came on board as a minister and completed 36 of the 42 bridges, a road that has over 1000 culvets, and today we have completed 704 culvets because we have financial plans put in place. The critical areas are culverts and bridges and we have gone very far on that and I have told everybody that by December 2014, this road which has been there since 2006 will be delivered to the people of Nigeria, particularly Niger Deltans. I think we are on and nothing will stop us from getting to where we want to get to. This is one of the outputs of Mr. President in the Niger Delta.
What APC will do in Nigeria and harmony, respecting our diverse cultures, religion, and tribe etc? Can APC address the structural imbalances in the polity? Can APC rise above partisan politics to face squarely the huge challenges facing Nigeria? What plans does APC have for agriculture? The questions are simply too many and are quite in order, for they capture the rightful expectations and anxieties of a people that are at the receiving end of bad governance and want a change. Well, APC may not have all the answers to these very strong questions posed above but the truth of the matter remains that things will never be the same again. One thing is clear: Nigeria is not making progress in the midst of plenty. Nigeria is not making progress in the age of success. APC believes that investment funds must be retrieved from the pockets of few corrupt Nigerians and the money ploughed back to the economy to create jobs. APC believes that nothing great can be achieved without great leaders. APC believes that time has come for us to stop lamenting on our comprehensive emptiness and do something tangible to show the world that we are capable of holding our own any day. APC believes that the gap between education and economic growth is a closed one. APC leaders know that the only way to fight poverty is through massive investment in qualitative education. I can
go on and on but APC cannot do everything in one fell swoop. Please take notice that this is not the manifesto of APC. After the formal registration, the party will sell its manifesto to Nigerians, and I know that it may not be too far from what I have said above. Nigeria’s problems are well known for a long time in this country, dating back to the early 90s. For over 20 years we have been dancing around our problems without addressing them frontally and today we have gone full circle. The problems have magnified to become an octopus. Nigerians want change and APC is ready to provide the long-awaited change. But the change is not going to come easy knowing the antics of the ruling party and their criminal disposition when it comes to electoral issues. To them, every presidential election is a do or die, a fight to finish, and the mother of all battles. The people get the kind of leaders they deserve. It is left for Nigerians to fight to reclaim their God-given country from pretenders and to all intents and purposes this is not going to be easy. This is a struggle for the soul of Nigeria, a struggle for economic, social and political freedom, a struggle to reclaim our rights to life. It is now or never. Yes, we can! •Igbokwe is the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Any viable opposition to PDP? PUBLIC DOMAIN
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he title was posed against the backdrop of the relative dominance of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in national politics and the recent emergence of All Progressive Congress (APC). In 1999, the PDP formed the government at the centre and two-thirds of the 36 states. Its dominance also extended to the control of twothirds of state legislatures and three-quarters of the 774 local government areas. Up till 2011, the country became a de-facto one party state due to the decline of opposition parties. However, since 2011 the strength of PDP has waned. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) regained the Southwest, less Ondo State. The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) is in firm control of Nasarawa State. The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) controls Anambra and Imo states, while the All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) now controls only three states. The foregoing suggests that the country has shifted from a defacto one party system to a multiparty polity.
The APC, a fusion of ACN, CPC, ANPP and a faction of APGA, has emerged to contest the dominance of PDP, especially in the forthcoming 2015 general elections. Meanwhile, the fused parties have held their national conventions and await registration by INEC. The seeming failure of PDP in the power sector reforms, social provisioning , anti corruption crusade, coupled with its internal schisms, the country’s security deficit and economic crisis, has led to the call for a stronger opposition to upset the ruling party in the next general elections. Critics argue that the litmus test for democracy in Nigeria would be the displacement of the ruling party at the centre. It is useful to provide historical contexts to the emergence of APC. The 1959 general elections held with the Northern People’s Congress (NPC), National Council for Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) and the Action Group (AG) as the dominant players. The NPC and NCNC negotiated a coalition to form the central government at independence. The 1964 general elections were contested between the Nigerian National Alliance (NNA) and the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA), amidst the 1962 census crisis. The NPC and Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) of Chief SL Akintola, formed the NNA, while UPGA was built mainly round the AG and NCNC, and some minority parties. The 1964 general elections crisis and the
THE COUNTRY WILL NOT LIKELY BE RECONSTRUCTED ON THE BASIS OF IDEAS CANVASSED BY THE
PDP AND APC
Western Nigeria 1965 election crisis largely contributed to the collapse of the First Republic. In the Second Republic, the 1979 and 1983 general elections were contested by the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP), Great Nigeria Peoples Party (GNPP) and Peoples Redemption Party (PRP). The proposed Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) that was conceived by the UPN, GNPP, PRP and NPP failed largely as a result of rivalry between Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. While the emergence of APC represents the first real merger of political parties in Nigeria, there are fears that the new political party might likely be characterized by political rivalry between the ACN and CPC. The ACN and CPC ought to have contested the 2011 general elections as a coalition, but the plan failed as a result of disagreements on the sharing of offices. The media has disclosed that the APC
has not been able to resolve the differences arising from the allocation of offices in the interim executive. It is therefore, disturbing that the differences in the political class often occur in the context of office sharing rather than ideological incompatibility. More so, it will be interesting to observe how the conservative ANPP would relate to the centrist and left-of-the-centre leanings of the ACN and CPC respectively. There are fears that the APC will not likely differ in a major way from PDP in terms of emphasis on the pursuit of state power as against the usage of political power. Against this backdrop, the question is whether there is a viable opposition to the PDP? The APC has not posed issues of ideological nature that will suggest it is fundamentally different from the PDP. Furthermore, the political space has been soiled with cross carpeting of political elite thus underscoring the absence of ideology-based politics and preponderance of politics of the belly. Amidst the prevalence of bourgeois parties, the left organizations are still atomized and pursue conflicting political agenda. The left movement in Nigeria should build a mass political organization to contest political power in the immediate future, and offer new and ideologically different arguments on Nigeria’s political economy. The country will not likely be reconstructed on the bases of ideas canvassed by the PDP and APC.
DABRA Awards: Changing perceptions on Africa DEJI IBRAHIM
atastrophes, famines, poverty, disease and wars were the imageries of Africa that resonated in developed nations in past decades. These images and accompanying narratives of Africa as a dark, mysterious, harsh and dangerous place are fast changing. Even as corruption and infrastructure deficit challenges remain commonplace on the continent, words like “emerging” and “frontier markets” that allude to trade and investment opportunities, now describe Africa to the world. From Lagos to Nairobi, Cairo to Cape Town, amazing stories of resilience, innovation and success are being celebrated by local, regional and global media. The story of Africa is no longer told from the lens of catastrophes, famines and war, making inflow of aid into the continent a priority. Both African and non-African journalists now provide global businesses with countless evidences of progress, growth, as well as political and economic vibrancy that makes the continent an attractive destination for investments. Inflow of foreign direct investments (FDI) into the African continent has risen from $15 billion in 2002 to $37 billion in 2006 and $84 billion in 2010. It is expected to accelerate and peak at $150bn by 2015, according to an Ernst & Young forecast, with all growth seeking multinational corporations heading for Africa. It is for this reason that ‘Africa rising’ has become the new cliché for global media establishments with the highly influential TIME and Economist magazines featuring same title on their cover pages to kindle business interests in the continent. This is
WHILE AFRICA STILL LAGS BEHIND ASIA IN
TERMS OF PERCEPTION, IT IS NOW ON EQUAL RANKING WITH
LATIN AMERICA AND EASTERN EUROPE a radical departure from Afro-pessimism to Afro-positivism, which reports the continent as critical to the long term growth ambitions of multinational corporations because of its upward socioeconomic and political trajectory. While Africa still lags behind Asia in terms of perception, it is now on equal ranking with Latin America and Eastern Europe, according to the Ernst & Young 2011 Africa Attractiveness Survey. Interestingly, Diageo, parent company of Guinness Nigeria and one of the few multinational corporations with deep roots in Africa, has over the last 10 years invested in shaping a positive perception of the African continent to accelerate its growth through trade and investment, not aid handouts. “In the recent past, Africa was more readily associated with catastrophes, diseases, famine, poverty and war, rather than profits, entrepreneurs, dividends and prosperity. At Guinness Nigeria, a Diageo company, we believe that better and more accurate reporting will stimulate investment inflow into Africa because of its huge potentials,” Seni Adetu, Managing Director and Chief Executive, Guinness Nigeria Plc., reiterates. Through international media visits and
the annual Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards (DABRA), the leading drinks company has sought to create a situation in which the global media and institutional investors will have in-depth knowledge of the continent’s vast business potentials. It believes telling the story about business in Africa will help shift perceptions and create a more balanced view of economic opportunity in Africa. In October 2004, Diageo led their first trip to Nigeria for international journalists. Supported by Guinness Nigeria Plc, this trip was to enable the journalists take an in-depth look at the business environment in Nigeria. The group met with SME groups and business leaders and had an audience with the Minister of Information and National Orientation. Similarly, in November 2005, Diageo led another team of American journalists on an 11-day tour of Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana. The journalists visited the World Bank Office and the East African Development Bank, and were addressed amongst others by the Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Kenyan Minister for Foreign Affairs. Interesting features of the trip included visits to gold mines, newspaper houses, water projects, and breweries and provided an opportunity for the journalists to get an informed and unique view of Africa. On an annual basis since 2004, through DABRA, Diageo continues to seek out, recognise and reward journalists and editors who provide high quality coverage of the business environment in Africa. Following this, perceptions of Africa as an investment destination have changed for the better. Commenting on this year’s awards, Nick Blazquez, President, Diageo Africa, Turkey,
Russia & Eastern Europe, said, “This year’s Awards have once again demonstrated the increasing strength and depth of reporting on African business matters…At Diageo we remain convinced that an accurate and balanced view of the risks and opportunities of doing business across Africa is essential to inform investment decisions. Our finalists for this our 10 year anniversary, are among the best in their fields and we look forward to celebrating their achievements at the ceremony in July.” A testament to the uptake of Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards across the continent and beyond is the array of positive African stories by international correspondents and African journalists on the 2013 shortlist. For instance, in the Best Business Feature category, Oliver August of The Economist UK was nominated for ‘A hopeful continent’ while Williams Wallis of The Financial Times UK was nominated for the article ‘Africa Calling’. Six Nigerian journalists make the shortlist in five out of 10 categories of the 2013 DABRA. They include Funke Osae Brown (BusinessDay); Adedayo Oketola (The Punch); Anthony Akazie (Broad Street Journal); Oyesina Fadare (National Mirror); Ola Omoyele (ACM Insight Nigeria) and Keisha Gitari (CNBC Africa.) Deji Ibrahim, a citizen journalist, wrote from Ikeja, Lagos 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.
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Governors and signing of death warrants
he reported confirmation by the Edo State government last Monday of the execution of some convicted criminals by hanging, will elicit condemnation from many quarters, particularly from some Nigerians and the international community that are opposed to death penalty. The Amnesty International had called for restraint in carrying out the execution, but Edo State authorities indicated that convictions for the executed criminals were obtained from past Supreme Court judgements. Coincidentally, the execution came shortly after President Goodluck Jonathan stated that state governors were obliged by law to sign death warrants. The President made the remark at this year’s Father’s Day service at the Aso Rock Villa Chapel, Abuja. “No matter what you do, even if you show love and provide the needs of the family, discipline is required to keep children on the right track… These days because of modern life, discipline is almost gone... the work we are doing has a very sweet part and a very ugly part and we must perform both”, he said. President Jonathan must have been compelled to publicly harp on the point because of the alleged reluctance of governors to carry out the legal duty, perhaps on
PROTAGONISTS OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT ARE OF THE FIRM BELIEF THAT WHOEVER HAS THE TEMERITY TO TAKE THE LIFE OF ANOTHER IS UNDESERVING OF STAYING ALIVE the emotional conviction that signing away lives was a huge mortal sin. In December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted on a new resolution for a moratorium on the use of death penalty. The World Coalition on Death Penalty has also fixed October 10 this year as the 11th World Day Against Death Penalty, and is relentlessly pressing for the ratification of the international and regional protocols on the abolition of death penalty by all states. However, Section 33(1) of Chapter Four of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (as amended) guarantees the right to life. But the right is deemed not to have been violated in the execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which
one has been found guilty. Section 315 of the Criminal Code also provides that “any person who unlawfully kills another is guilty of an offence which is called murder or manslaughter according to the circumstances of the case”. Section 319 (1) of the same law says: “Subject to the provisions of this section, any person who commits the offence of murder shall be sentenced to death”. Treason in Section 37 (1) of the Criminal Code equally carries capital punishment. In other words, the nation’s statute books still retain the enforcement of capital punishment. In America, a role model for Nigeria, the death penalty is said to be limited under the Eighth Amendment. But in practice, it is used for aggravated murders committed by mentally competent adults. Reports indicate that 34 American states have performed executions in the modern era. Some states that abolished the practice of late include New York (2007); New Jersey (2007); New Mexico (2009); Connecticut (2012); Illinois (2011); Oregon (1964-1984 and 2013); Washington (2013) and Maryland (2013), among others. Many other states in that country abolished the death penalty long ago. But it is obvious that a lot of others dumped
the practice most recently, and might revert to same when the need arises, as was the case with Oregon. Life, indeed, is sacred and has to be jealously guarded. But protagonists of capital punishment are of the firm belief that whoever has the temerity to take the life of another is undeserving of staying alive. It is true that some western countries have, as a result of pressure by human rights movements, abolished death penalty from their criminal justice systems. It is also obvious that Nigeria has not gotten to the stage those countries are in development and civilization, hence the recognition of capital punishment by the country’s laws. With the upsurge in violent crimes - suicide bombing, kidnapping-for-ransom, armed robberies etc., what should be the option for Nigeria? Has human rights advocacy in any way reined in criminality and violence in the country? Like President Jonathan said, we think the governors will be failing in their bounden responsibilities if they shy away from signing death warrants duly ordered by competent courts. Enforcement of the capital punishment law seems the lawful path to follow, at least for now.
ON THIS DAY June 26, 2012 The Waldo Canyon Fire descended into the Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs, United Staes, burning 347 homes in a matter of hours and killing two people. The Waldo Canyon fire was a forest fire that started approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of Colorado Springs, Colorado on June 23, 2012, and 1 mile (1.6 km) from a western neighborhood.
June 26, 2006 Mari Alkatiri, the first Prime Minister of East Timor, resigned after weeks of political unrest. Mari Bim Amude Alkatiri (November 26, 1949) was the first Prime Minister of an internationally-recognized East Timor. He served from May 2002 until he resigned on June 26, 2006 following weeks of political unrest in the country. He is the SecretaryGeneral of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN).
June 26, 1996 Irish journalist, Veronica Guerin, was shot by drug barons in her car while in traffic in the outskirts of Dublin. Veronica Guerin (July 5, 1958 – June 26, 1996) was an Irish crime reporter. On June 26, 1996, while driving her red Opel Calibra, Guerin stopped at a red traffic light on the Naas Dual Carriageway near Newlands Cross, on the outskirts of Dublin. Not knowing she was being followed, she was shot six times, fatally, by one of two men sitting on a motorcycle.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Health & Wellbeing There’s need for more cancer centres in Nigeria
We are about exiting polio -NPHCDA boss
Insist on your right!
...PSN president advises Nigerians on medications SAM EFERARO
our doctor has just diagnosed an ailment which has for some time, become a major source of worry to you. As is often the practice Nigeria, he has not volunteered much information either about the ailment or the drug he has prescribed for you. What should be your reaction? Proceed to the pharmacy and obtain your drugs even if the pharmacist offers no further information apart from the dosage? Wrong. But a National Mirror survey has revealed that a majority of Nigerians are likely to react this way. According to our investigation, very few people will insist on knowing the cause of their ailment, how it was acquired, and its consequences on their health. In some instances where the enlightened patient insists on knowing more about his ailment, many doctors, our investigation further reveals, are not often willing to divulge such information. That is not all, our survey also revealed that most patients will not ask the pharmacist for vital information on the drugs they are given. “The dosage is all the average patient cares to know in this environment, sometimes not even when the pharmacist goes out of his way to enlighten him so he could get the best out of the drugs. In most cases, the average patient is in a hurry. All he wants is to be given the drugs with simple instruction such as ‘take one three times daily. He’s not ready for any further discussion,” a pharmacist who pleaded anonymity told our reporters. But experts say every patient must be fully informed about his condition and the drugs he takes. Just as every patient has a right to be properly informed about his ailment by his doctor, the president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Mr Olumide Akinsanya says it is the right of the patient to know all about the drugs being prescribed for him and to know how such drugs will affect his health. According to Mr. Olumide, every patient must insist on his right when it comes to medications because it could be a matter of life and death. The patient he said, must be told how to use the drug, for how long and also, whether to take it during, before or after meals. That’s not all, when next you buy a drug, Akinsanya says you should ask questions about how to store it, its side effect and contra-indications. According to him, the storage of your
Patients have a right to be informed about the drugs they take.
... IT IS THE PHARMACIST’S DUTY TO ENSURE THAT THE DRUG YOU ARE BEING GIVEN DOES NOT LEAD TO A FURTHER DETERIORATION OF ANOTHER AILMENT YOU MAY HAVE Akintayo drugs could affect its potency so your pharmacist should inform you on how they should be kept. Most drugs, he says are likely to lose their potency when kept directly under sunlight. Also, drugs are better kept away from children to avoid disaster. “The patient should be warned about the side effect of the drug he’s buying. Generally, every drug has one side effect or the other. In most cases however, such side effects may not be so pronounced to warrant a drug not being prescribed but the patient ought to be informed so he should know what is going on in his body when such side effects occur.” Where one or more types of drugs have been prescribed, pharmacists advise that the patient should ask whether such drugs are not likely to interfere with each other in the body because there are
certain class of drugs which must not be taken together. “A pharmacist therefore needs to study
your prescription and call the attention of the doctor to a likely case of drug interaction to avoid contra-indication, Tell your pharmacist any other ailment you may have and ask if the drug being recommended for you is not going to aggravate such condition. Also according to .Mr Akintayo, it is the pharmacist’s duty to ensure that the drug you are being given does not lead to a further deterioration of another ailment you may have. This is why, for instance, people should buy their drugs from registered pharmaceutical premises and insist on seeing the pharmacist for relevant information concerning their drugs. “For instance, no pharmacist will want to sell tetracycline to a pregnant woman because of its effect on the baby in the womb so he will recommend an alternative. Of course, before buying a drug you have the right to know if the pharmacy is registered. You can ask to see the pharmacist’s licence which is expected to be displayed in the pharmacy.” Indeed, experts have advised that the individual patient must be involved in the management of his condition to get the best medical treatment. Getting involved of course means demanding for vital information about your ailment and medications. However in case you are not getting the best from your pharmacist, or where a fake drug is sold to you (if you can recognise it) Mr. Akinsanya says you have a right to seek redress. First ensure that you have an evidence (a receipt bearing the name of the pharmacy). Then report to the state’s branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and the. Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria. If found guilty, the pharmacist stands the risk of being blacklisted and forbidden to practice pharmacy anywhere in the country!
Health & Wellbeing
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Report calls for sharper focus on adolescent sexual health needs
umanitarian organisations must prioritise the sexual and reproductive health needs of displaced adolescents at the earliest opportunity in a crisis to protect young people from sexual violence, sexually transmitted diseases and early pregnancy, a report has found. While relief agencies focus on providing food, water and shelter for refugees in emergencies, the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people, particularly vulnerable girls, too often sit at the bottom of the check list – or don’t feature on the list at all, said the report by the Women’s Refugee Commission and Save the Children. “The report calls for humanitarian organisations to integrate adolescent reproductive health services at the very beginning of any emergency response,” said Sarah Costa, executive director of the Women’s Refugee Commission, speaking on a panel on last week at the United Nations, where the report was presented. On the basis of its findings, it recommends that governments, donors and humanitarian and development organisations effectively address the sexual and reproductive health risks for adolescents in crisis situations by scaling up services in emergencies and by investing in this area. The price of not doing – of neglecting adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH) – is high, panel members said, particularly
in a world with burgeoning and chronic refugee populations due to conflict and natural disaster. “Young people are not only an important subgroup, but in many conflict and post-conflict zones, they are the majority of the population,” said Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA executive director, adding that in conflict zones like Liberia, Sudan and Afghanistan two-thirds of the population are under 25. But “we give low priority to these people” and their need for SRH services “continue to be overlooked in humanitarian interventions,” he said. This is partly because “we don’t have a systematic data collection system that tells us who is where and what we should look out for.” Not only are adolescents a large segment of the population of many developing countries, but adolescent girls are among the most vulnerable to sexual violence, rape, early marriage, unsafe abortions and sexually transmitted diseases in humanitarian crisis situations where family structures may be shattered and risk-taking behaviour elevated, the report said. Globally, 16 million girls between the ages of 15 and 19 and 2 million girls under 15 give birth every year. Adolescent girls are at the highest risk of dying from pregnancy, with pregnancy-related deaths twice as high for girls aged 15 to 19 and five times higher for girls under 15 than for women over 20, according to the report.
L-R: Community Investment Manager, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Nkiruka Ogboruche; Deputy Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr. Ronke Desalu; Head of Department, Department of Ophthalmology, Guinness Eye Centre (LUTH) Prof. Folasade Akinsola and Head, Sustainability and Responsibility, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Adrianne Nwagwu, at the donation of eye equipment to Guinness Eye Centre in LUTH, Lagos at the weekend.
We are about exiting polio -NPHCDA boss MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA
he Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Ado Mohammed, has said Nigeria “is about exiting polio”. Dr Mohammed gave the assurance at the weekend, in Abuja, at a send-forth ceremony for the pioneer photographer and cameraman of the agency, Mr. Niyi Ayegboyin. Speaking on the recent widely publicized 25 polio cases reported in Yobe and Borno states since January this year, the NPHCDA boss said contrary to the report, the country has been able to reduce polio spread by 50 percent. “In the opening statement of the Independent Monitoring Board, it was said that at no point in time has so much been achieved and they have com-
mended the Task Force. Most cases this year are coming – almost 70 percent of the cases, from Yobe and Borno states as a result of insecurity.” Dr Mohammed stressed that government was working towards ensuring that the country was rid of the disease. He emphasized that case counts had reduced by over 50 percent and that only Type One, which is mild, had been circulating, while Type Two and Three, which are more dangerous, had not been circulating in the last six months in Nigeria. He added: “Type One is just within 15 local governments out of the 774 local governments we have in Nigeria. Population immunity improved from 55 percent to over 85 percent now in the endemic areas. So, we are about exiting polio. With the current leadership that the Task Force is providing, and with the
programme coordination that Nigeria has imbibed, it will stop the transmission. WHO and UNICEF have acknowledged that. All other partners in terms of this movement have also acknowledged that fact.” Dr Mohammed spoke glowingly of the retiring photographer saying: “What he has done for the agency in the last two years is something that he, himself cannot even express. He’s been very supportive, he’s been very active and he is been very committed. He has put everything to ensure that within his own area of jurisdiction, he has excelled and delivered very well. That is what we expect; irrespective of your position. Irrespective of you mandate, you must strive and do it very well because there is always a day for reward. It is either you are appreciated by the system or history will not recognize your input.”
‘Omega H3 and Folic Acid will reduce Child and Maternal Mortality’
clarion call has gone to pregnant women and women of child-bearing age in general to form the habit of ensuring that they have proper intake of OmegaH3 and Folic Acid. Giving this advice are the duo of Pharmacist Temitayo Alegbejo and the MD of Benjamin Michaels Ltd, Mr. Adeyemi Amuwo during
a sensitisation programme on the many benefits of OmegaH3 and Folic Acid in Lagos recently. According to Pharm. Alegbejo, the nation has, for so long, suffered the burden of maternal and infant mortality, saying the problem could be reduced drastically through the use of Omega H3 and Folic Acid by women of child bearing age.
She said that Pharmaton®Matruelle is a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement with Omega 3 DHA which composed of -carotene, Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D3, E, Folic acid, Biotin, Nicotinamide ,Chromium, Copper, Iron, Iodine, Molybdenum, Selenium, Zinc, MagnesiumOmega-3 fatty acids (including docosahexaenoic acid= DHA).
Mr. Amuwo added that in the composition of Pharmaton Matruelle, all the vitamins and minerals needed for pre, during and lactating periods are contained in Matruelle. “The advantage of Matruelle over competition is the fact that each of the components meets RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) and more importantly it is in one (1) single cap-
sule which makes compliance very easy and it is taken once a day.” She made it known that Pharmaton Matruelle to women of child bearing age helps to protect against embryonic tube disease and it is a quality balanced formula for both mother and baby reflecting the latest USA Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for pregnant women.
Expert lists benefits of milk
L-R: Project Manager, Abia State Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr Sam Ohaeri; Coordinator, Most at Risk Population Project, USAID, Mr. Ifeanyi Okekearu and Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Prof John Idoko, during a Stakeholderss’ Meeting on HIV and AIDS Most at Risk Population Programme, Implementation and Impact Evaluation in Abuja recently. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
he President, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Prof. Ngozi Nnam, recently at the 2013 World Milk Day examined the health benefits of milk and recommended that it should be included in daily diets by Nigerians. In a lecture at an event organised by Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria plc, in Lagos to mark the day, Nnam, a professor of public health nutrition, disclosed that the consumption of milk on a daily basis could result in the reduction of excessive abdominal fat, healthy teeth development and maintenance of normal blood pressure. “The health benefits of milk are enormous. It promotes
growth because it is an exceptionally good source of protein that is readily digestible and biologically available. It promotes cardiovascular health because of its rich potassium, calcium and riboflavin contents. Calcium can decrease bad cholesterol in the blood to reduce heart problems. Milk helps build immunity because of its rich vitamin A content. “It reduces blood pressure due to the effect of protein, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Milk consumption is associated with increased weight loss particularly from the abdomen. Consumption of low fat dairy products can help to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.”
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Health & Wellbeing
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
There’s need for more cancer centres in Nigeria Dr Adebayo Olayiwola Adejumo, a trained general and perioperative nurse and also a psychologist with focus on research and clinical ethics, is currently a lecturer at the Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan. In this interview with MARCUS FATUNMOLE, he discusses the increasing prevalence of breast and cervical cancer in Nigeria and calls for the establishment of more cancer centres to address the problem. Excerpts. How would you describe the prevalence of both breast and cervical cancers in Nigeria today? We are talking about one of the health problems prevalent in our environment at the moment. That is the rising surge in the incidence of cancers in Nigeria. Cancer strikes men and women of all ages. One thing we have to be sure of is those days were past when we thought that cancer was a prerogative of Europeans. Now, on a daily basis, we are recording new cases of cancer in Nigeria, and of all the cancers, breast cancer is commonest, especially among women; where we have close to 30 percent risk in women in Nigeria. In terms of the second most prevalent problem, that is cervical cancer, which is next to breast cancer, that is about 17. 9 percent of the entire women population. Cervical cancer is a kind of malignant growth that is peculiar to the cervix of a woman. You would remember that the cervix is the entry point to the uterus. That is the part after the vaginal wall before we enter into the uterus. That gate is called cervix. We are beginning to see more and more cases of cancer growing in that part of the body of women in our society more than ever before. And, Nigeria ranks among countries in the world with the highest incidences of cervical cancer.
That is why the level of chronicity, morbidity and mortality arising from many cancers, especially cervical cancer now is very high. The survival rate when people present late is very little.
What are the causes of cervical cancer? Just like many other cancers, cervical cancer is caused by genetic disposition, sedentary lifestyle. But, one specific thing is that there is a kind of virus that is linked to the formation of cervical cancer. That is what we call HPV, Human Papilloma Virus. For people with Human Papilloma Virus, they have a very high risk of developing cervical cancer, sometimes or later in their lifetime. So, that is one of the reasons we suggest cervical pap smear for people. As many that test positive to HPV, may have the high probability of suffering cervical cancer. Many times, when breast cancer begins to develop, there is tendency of the tissue of the breast to suddenly lose the guard concerning the rate at which it develops. When it loses the guard, it keeps multiplying at a rate beyond control. And the tendency to do that makes it to increase in size and cause a kind of swelling. When eventually it becomes a benign growth, it means a silent gentle growth. But, this silent gentle growth in no long time may translate to malignancies; that is to have features of metastasis and full blown cancer. Cervical cancer is a very crippling cancer. Just like in breast cancer, we are beginning to see the need for early presentation. If you present early, the tendency to get treated will be improved. Most times, in Nigeria especially, people present very late.
Which population group is mostly affected? The population mostly affected are women. Men don’t have cervix and they are not likely to have cervical cancer. Like I have said, 17.9, some people will say 18 percent prevalence or rise is being seen in Nigeria compared to about 40 or 50 percent of breast cancer cases that we see. In terms of number of people diagnosed, they are diagnosed in thousands now, in many of the centres in Nigeria. The risk is increasing. So, like I have said, primary prevention through the nature of diet, through activity, through habit in terms of non-smoking, non-drinking are some of the major things that will help us to prevent it. Again, if someone has the tendency to have that and the person’s attitude to screening is good, if you diagnose early, you may not die as a result of that problem. But, if your attitude to screening is bad, that is the person is not willing to do HPV screening, the person is likely going to have problem.
What are the treatments? We first do our investigations, running things like blood investigations, radiotheraphy, depending on the stage. It is not only blood investigation we do, we do physical examination and some other detailed investigation. If it is a stage one or two, many times, we could give chemotherapeutic agents. These are anticancer drugs. There are very many of them in circulation now. But, apart from that, we could also give radiation therapy. So, chemotherapy is one, radiotherapy is two, combination therapy is three, surgery also could be a late decider in terms of what you can do to help these persons.
Do we have enough hands in Nigeria to manage cancer? The answer is a straightforward no because if you are rating the publication of people like Olopade, Adebawomo, Akang, these are people who have written in this area, you see that by the last count, the number of physician to a thousand of Ni-
AND, NIGERIA RANKS AMONG COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD WITH THE HIGHEST INCIDENCES
OF CERVICAL CANCER. gerian population is still very low; even the number of nurses and the mid-wives is still very few, especially community midwives. This is where we can do much of primary prevention. That is one of the reasons the Federal Ministry of Health is now encouraging the principle of community midwifery, posting community midwives to various rural areas in sensitize people and to help them with primary preventions like this. Primary prevention is cheaper and it reduces morbidity and mortality. So, the cheaper for us is safer for us and gives longer life span and longer tendency to die as a result of being predisposed genetically to cancer. Are you satisfied with the turnout of people for testing? For testing, it is not optimal yet. Only the tiny fraction of Nigerians are still coming for testing. That is why there have been questions on the reason people don’t come for screening. We need to know why so that we can help to mitigate or correct that. The problem is still with attitude and many of these issues arise as a result of poor knowledge; poor familiarization with the problem. You can’t make decisions on things you don’t know. So, the awareness must
improve through sensitization, through mobilization of media to encourage further sensitisation of the people. Sensitization is on one side; we need more centres where such facilities for screening will be made available. I think it should be built into community midwifery project so that maybe at every local government, people can access Pap smear facilities in terms of screening, without necessarily needing to go to General Hospital or Specialist Hospitals. For how long can a cancer patient live? It depends on how soon the person gets diagnosed. If you are diagnosed at an early stage, you can live to the full. There are very many people living with cancer till 80 elsewhere in other climes. Depending on the area the cancer is located, depending on how soon you turn up for treatment, because there won’t be metastasis and there won’t be neighbouring organ infiltration. It cannot be described as a killer disease. New drugs are coming now in terms of new techniques. For instance, there is one hospital in Canada, Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto that is specifically targeting such problem by taking care of carcinomas. If we begin to establish more cancer centres in Nigeria, I think the better. Also, we need to do data or adequate record keeping. At Ibadan, we have a place called the National Cancer Registry. But, to what extent is information from nooks and crannies of the country coming into the centre? When we have that information, we can plan ahead to know for instance, which population are more at risk? This will help us in targeting population, equipment, personnel and other supplies.
Health & Wellbeing
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Facts you should know about worm infection Key facts •Soil-transmitted helminth infections are caused by different species of parasitic worms. •They are transmitted by eggs present in human faeces, which contaminate the soil in areas where sanitation is poor. •Approximately two billion people are infected with soil-transmitted helminths worldwide. •Infected children are physically, nutritionally and cognitively impaired. •Control is based on: •periodical deworming to eliminate infecting worms •health education to prevent reinfection •improved sanitation to reduce soil contamination with infective eggs. •Safe and effective medicines are available to control infection.
oil-transmitted helminth infections are among the most common infections worldwide and affect the poorest and most deprived communities. They are transmitted by eggs present in human faeces which in turn contaminate soil in areas where sanitation is poor. The main species that infect people are the roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides), the whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) and the hookworms (Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale). More than 1.5 billion people, or 24% of the world’s population are infected with soil-transmitted helminth infections worldwide. Infections are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical areas, with the greatest numbers occurring in sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas, China and east Asia. Over 270 million preschool-age children and over 600 million school-age children live in areas where these parasites are intensively transmitted, and are in need of treatment and preventive interventions. Transmission Soil-transmitted helminths are transmitted by eggs that are passed in the faeces of infected people. Adult worms live in the intestine where they produce thousands of eggs each day. In areas that lack adequate sanitation, these eggs contaminate the soil. This can happen in several ways: •eggs that are attached to vegetables are ingested when the vegetables are not carefully cooked, washed or peeled; •eggs are ingested from contaminated water sources; •eggs are ingested by children who play in soil and then put their hands in their mouths without washing them. In addition, hookworm eggs hatch in the soil, releasing larvae that mature into a form that can actively penetrate the skin. People become infected with hookworm primarily by walking barefoot on the contaminated soil. There is no direct person-to-person transmission, or infection from fresh faeces, because eggs passed in faeces need about three weeks to mature in the soil before they become infective. Since these worms do not multiply in the human host, reinfection occurs only as a result of contact with infective stages in the environment.
Morbidity and symptoms Morbidity is related to the number of worms harboured. People with light infections usually have no symptoms. Heavier infections can cause a range of symptoms including intestinal manifestations (diarrhoea, abdominal pain), general malaise and weakness, and impaired cognitive and physical development. Hookworms cause chronic intestinal blood loss that can result in anaemia. Nutritional effects Soil-transmitted helminths impair the nutritional status of the people they infect in multiple ways. •The worms feed on host tissues, including blood, which leads to a loss of iron and protein. •The worms increase malabsorption of nutrients. In addition, roundworm may possibly compete for vitamin A in the intestine. •Some soil-transmitted helminths also cause loss of appetite and therefore a reduction of nutritional intake and physical fitness. In particular, T. trichiura can cause diarrhoea and dysentery. The nutritional impairment caused by soil-transmitted helminths is recognized to have a significant impact on growth and physical development. WHO strategy for control The strategy for control of soil-transmitted helminth infections is to control mor-
bidity through the periodic treatment of atrisk people living in endemic areas. People at risk are: •preschool children; •school-age children; •women of childbearing age (including pregnant women in the second and third trimesters and breastfeeding women); and •adults in certain high-risk occupations, such as tea-pickers or miners. WHO recommends periodic drug treatment (deworming) without previous individual diagnosis to all at-risk people living in endemic areas. Treatment should be given once a year when the prevalence of soil-transmitted helminth infections in the community is over 20%, and twice a year when the prevalence of soil-transmitted helminth infections in the community is over 50%. This intervention reduces morbidity by reducing the worm burden. In addition: •health and hygiene education reduces transmission and reinfection by encouraging healthy behaviours; •provision of adequate sanitation is also important but not always possible in resource-poor settings. The aim of control activities is morbidity control: periodic treatment of at-risk populations will reduce the intensity of infection and protect infected individuals from morbidity. Periodic deworming can be easily in-
tegrated with child health days or supplementation programmes for preschool children, or integrated with school health programmes. In 2011, over 300 million preschool-aged and school-aged children were treated with anthelminthic medicines in endemic countries, corresponding to 30% of the children at risk. Schools provide a particularly good entry point for deworming activities, as they allow easy provision of the health and hygiene education component such as the promotion of hand washing and improved sanitation. WHO-recommended medicines The recommended medicines – albendazole (400 mg) and mebendazole (500 mg) – are effective, inexpensive and easy to administer by non-medical personnel (e.g. teachers). They have been through extensive safety testing and have been used in millions of people with few and minor sideeffects. Both albendazole and mebendazole are donated to national ministries of health through WHO. Global target The global target is to eliminate morbidity due to soil-transmitted helminthiases in children by 2020. This will be obtained by regularly treating at least 75% of the children in endemic areas (an estimated 873 million).
WHO, PAHO endorse plan to dietary salt consumption
o promote the prevention of cardiovascular disease, a multisector consortium convened by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) last week endorsed a plan to reduce dietary salt consumption in the Americas by half by the year 2020. Currently, average salt consumption in
most of the region’s countries is twice the recommended level of 5 grams per person per day. The SaltSmart consortium’s new 2013-2018 action plan proposes a series of commitments and actions aimed at reducing salt consumption at the population level, including campaigns to raise public awareness about
the importance of salt reduction as well as steps to reduce salt in industrially processed foods. “Modern diets typically provide excessive quantities of salt,” said Branka Legetic, interim coordinator of PAHO/WHO’s chronic noncommunicable disease program and coordinator of its Salt Reduction Initiative.
“Reducing dietary salt intake is the most cost-effective measure for reducing the risk of heart attacks and stroke.” Consuming more than 5 grams of salt (or 2,300 milligrams of sodium) per day increases the risk of high blood pressure, which is the leading risk factor for death from heart attacks, stroke, and kidney failure.
Wednesday, June June 26, 12, 2013 2013 Wednesday,
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I’m an advocate for book adaptations to film –Okon
NET, Bang Showbiz partner on content
Sustainability of literary prizes, as new one debuts TERH AGBEDEH
lot of issues came up at the Lagos unveiling of the first Pan-African Prize for Literature; an innovation to literary arts awards which was launched on June 5 by Etisalat Nigeria. Chief among them was the machinery put in place to sustain the award since such laudable initiatives in the country have in the past turned out dormant after holding one or two editions. Mr. Steven Evans, the Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, a telecommunications company which operates in at least 10 African countries, said at the event that the company’s new literary prize worth £15,000 is to encourage creative writing on the continent. “Etisalat operates in 15 countries around the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and 10 of those countries are in Africa. The Etisalat Prize for Literature has been created with this in mind and entries are open to writers from all of these countries and the rest of Africa”, he said. He explained that the prize is the first ever pan-African prize in literature celebrating first-time writers of published fiction novels “and it is our objective to encourage creative writing throughout the continent”. There is of course another pan-African prize, the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa worth $20,000 and also run out of Nigeria; however, it is biennial and not restricted to the first novel. Sponsored by Lumina Foundation, it was instituted in 2006 and the last edition was awarded in 2012 to South African writer Sizifo Mzobe for his book, ** Young Blood**. Then there is the Nigeria Prize for Literature, which is open to only Nigerians no matter where they stay in the world. Instituted by Nigeria LNG in partnership with the Nigerian Academy of Letters, the prize is worth $100,000 and rotates among four genres of fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. There is no gainsaying that Nigerian writers, who have done very well globally, can look forward to winning The Nigeria LNG Prize, the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and the just instituted Etisalat Prize for Literature. The first two, who like the Etisalat Prize is open to only published writers, have attracted a lot of entries and the organisers clearly
have no trouble with sustainability. Responding to the question of sustainability, Evans said that there was no doubt that the prize would outlive his tenure as CEO of Etisalat Nigeria. “Most of the things that we are doing, whether they are in the area of arts and culture or theatre arts are usually long term. For example, only four weeks ago, we launched the master’s degree in Quantum Engineering at the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria”, he said. Evans also revealed that his company has a contractual five-year commitment to support five lecturers from the university who will go for a two-year course at universities abroad and obtain Ph.Ds in Communication Engineering as well as commitment for 15 to 20 new master’s students emerging into Nigeria’s employment market, providing a foundation for future expertise. “(So), our culture goes far beyond any individual. It relies very heavily on board members who bring continuity in this aspect of the business. I can say that we see this Pan-African prize for literature as being very much a start of a journey. We believe that this is something that we could grow overtime to become the sort of prize, from our perspective, we would like to be associated with it for centuries”, he explained. Evans said that is why care was taken in the choice of the group of people that the company brought together as patrons and judges for the prize. “I think they guarantee the continuity which goes far beyond an individual. We are beginning something new, which is like a relay race where the baton will be handed on from time to time but of course, we will have a group of people that will ensure that we maintain the idea of the spirit of what we are beginning here today”, he said. On whether the stories will have a panAfrican focus since the prize itself is panAfrican, Pumla Gqola, the chair of the panel of four judges said they were primarily concerned with the quality and the skill of the writing. “The panel will not limit the content...it is important not to pre-empt the content of the (works). One of the things that will emerge from the prize deliberately and inevitably is what the many faces of African writing are today”, Gqola said. Gqola is associate professor in the Department of African Literature at the University of the
L-R: Dele Olojede, Pumla Gqola and Steven Evans at the Etisalat Prize for Literature launch in Lagos.
THIS PAN-AFRICAN PRIZE FOR LITERATURE IS VERY MUCH A START OF A JOURNEY Witwatersrand, South Africa. The other judges are Zaks Mda, Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Ohio and winner of the Commonwealth Prize; Billy Kahora, Managing Editor of Kwani Trust, of the literary Journal Kwani and Sarah Ladipo Manyika, writer and academic. They will work together to select the long list as well as a shortlist of three novels and finally the winner who will be announced in February of 2014. On eligibility, Kole Omotoso, a member of the panel of patrons, said it was open to “any African, anywhere in the world writing in English”. This is the case with the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. Other patrons include: Dele Olojede, the first African-born winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Margret Busby, youngest and first black woman publisher and cofounder of Allison & Busby and Ellah Alfrey, a Zimbabwewan, who is the deputy editor of Granta Magazine. Olojede said everyone should understand that the prize was an evolving thing “so it may very well be that this thing evolves into giving prizes in African languages like Swahili, Hausa or Igbo or any other language. This is a start”. The other prizes mentioned earlier, which are awarded in English, have remained that way over the years. Professor Stella Okagbue, a board member of the company capped it up by saying that the board was in complete support of the initiative. “It is a venture in which we are trying to promote not only creative writing. But also, trying to promote the reading habit, which is lacking in this country (I can’t speak for the rest of the African continent). We want to encourage people
to read because a writer without an audience is not going to be fulfilled”, she said. Entries for the Fiction Novel category opened on the day of the launch, June 5, to publishers who have published a minimum of 10 authors in the last three years and closes on August 30. Submitted works must be the writer’s first English language fiction novel of over 30,000 words, published in the last 24 months. Evans explained that this first edition may accept works only in English but the intention is to have the said works translated into other languages. “There will be a prize ultimately for novels in other languages but the initial incarnation of this prize is in the English language. That is something that we will be looking at whether it should be established in other languages”, he said. Also, the company is to launch a flash fiction prize later in the year of no more than 300 words with a 500 pounds prize and a Samsung Galaxy Note. The long list will be announced on December 11, while January 15, 2014 will be the day the shortlist will be unveiled. The prize aims to discover new creative talent from Africa as well as promote the continent’s publishing industry and authors, who must be of African origin as well as their publishers can be based anywhere in the world. African writers with dual nationalities are eligible. The winner of the Etisalat Prize for Literature will receive £15,000 and a Samsung Galaxy Note, while the telecommunication company will sponsor a book tour by the winning writer to three African cities. The winner will also embark on the Etisalat fellowship at the University of East Anglia mentored by Professor Giles Foden (author of The Last King of Scotland), which will include significant opportunities to meet other writers, publishers and most importantly work on their second book. Etisalat will purchase 1000 copies of all shortlisted books which will be donated to various schools, book clubs and libraries across the African continent.
Arts Lounge VOICES
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
An extraordinary music legend lives on till he passed-on on another auspicious date; June 12, 2013. Baba Fatai Olagunju was on the Board of Trustees of Hi-Life All Stars Club of Nigeria. A couple of outstanding lessons must not escape us from the life, works and times of Seriki Oni Guitar: • The essence of Life is Creative Service to one’s nation and to humanity. Baba Fatai Rolling Dollar contributed to the development of music in his homeland and ultimately to humanity. • Culture is the starting point, content and the vital key to individual and corporate service, as well as communication with the rest of the world. With Agidigbo, Baba Fatai made a Nigerian indigenous musical instrument known to the world. • It is not too much academic learning or even religion that brings personal salvation and fulfilment to individual and nations. It is the creative contribution of individuals to nationbuilding and to humanity. • A creative and creating person is bound to excel in all endeavours particularly when faced with stormy trials and the vicissitudes of life. Baba Fatai Olagunju Rolling Dollar, may yet to be listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the ‘Oldest Performing Musician’ in his generation; but we declare him one of the greatest men in ancient and contemporary world history! Excerpts of a speech delivered by veteran actor and chairman of the occasion, Dejumo Lewis, during the 2013 commemoration of the World Music Day by the National Troupe of Nigeria, NTN.
n the occasion of the World Music Day 2013 (June 21st), National Troupe of Nigeria, in a unique collaborative performance with Hi-Life All Stars Club of Nigeria, celebrates an extraordinary music legend, Baba Fatai Olagunju, appropriately self-designated “Seriki Oni Guitar” (Grandmaster Guitarist) better known world-over as Fatai Rolling Dollar. This iconoclastic musician, versatile performer, and entertainer-extraordinaire was born in Ede, Osun State, Nigeria, on July 22, 1926, 86 years ago. He started his remarkable music career in 1953, exactly 60 years ago and after he was viciously sacked by the authorities of Nigerian Railway for taking active part in the first organised labour protest led by another legendary personality, Pa Michael Imoudu, he moved on into music, starting with the Agidigbo, an indigenous cultural wind-box instrument, and later switched to the guitar. A true legend in any endeavTRUE LEGEND IN ANY our builds and mentors other legends; this truism has been ENDEAVOUR BUILDS clearly demonstrated by Baba Fatai Rolling Dollar. AND MENTORS OTHER It is on record that his exLEGENDS A TRUISM perimental fusion of Nigerian genre of Highlife DEMONSTRATED BY ABA music, then with Ghanaian Palmwine music, greatly inATAI OLLING OLLAR R fluenced some up-coming artists then like Fela Ransome-Kuti, Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey, to mention a few. He actually trained Chief Ebenezer Obey how to play the guitar. Rolling Dollar stayed in music for 15 years before going curiously into oblivion for 28 years, during which he took-up such odd jobs as security and church worker. Baba Fatai Rolling Dollar staged a dramatic comeback into limelight in 2003 and had a great breakthrough with his hitsong, Won Kere Si Number Wa; which was produced by Kunle Tejuosho of JazzHole Record fame. He remained at the top of the Nigerian music industry Late Rolling Dollar
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Impunity Nigeria Ltd: The NGF example
he last month has seen several charades amongst our so-called elected governors. They continue to embarrass themselves and the country by their undignified actions after an electoral process which Governor Rotimi Amaechi won with 19 votes as against the 16 votes by Governor Jonah Jang. The question I have asked has been what is the relevance of the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, which has had governors like Abdullahi Adamu of Nasarawa State; Victor Attah of Akwa Ibom State, Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State and Bukola Saraki from Kwara State before Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State. Interestingly, this is the first time the forum that was set up in 1999 under the part C of Company and Allied Matters Act of 1990 will be riddled with conflict and controversy over the emergence of the forum’s chair. But it is obvious that the controversies goes beyond the office of the chair as the chair is suppose to be one amongst equal; therefore, the chair should not pose a threat to any member of the forum. Many observers are already expressing fears that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum may be heading for destruction. The question I asked a couple of friends on the issue during discussions is whether this would be the end of all the lofty ideas behind the establishment of the NGF which is a coalition of the elected governors of the country’s 36 states with the aim of seeking to promote unity, good governance, better understanding and co-operation among the states and ensure a healthy and beneficial relationship between the states and other tiers of government. This crisis did not start with the elections of the NGF chair; rather it reared its ugly head with the establishment of a nucleus called Peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum, PDPGF, within the ranks of the larger body –NGF, some months ago. At that point, I envisaged danger for the ruling party –which prides itself as the largest party in Africa– as courting trouble because the emergence of the PDPGF was after the postponement of the first NGF meeting and election. Any discerning mind will see the handwriting on the wall because it was also a period of mergers and coalitions amongst the opposition parties. Any crack within the walls of the ruling party will be exploited by any organised opposition and this was what culminated in the NGF elections. Also of importance to feud is the perceived ambition of some key officers of the forum in the 2015 general election which is almost two years away. Some commentators have even accused the Presidency as being the brain behind
THE INABILITY OF 36 ELECTED GOVERNORS TO DECIDE A LEADER AMONGST THEM LEAVES A SORE TASTE ON THE LIPS OF
the crisis. Immediately after the election though, the Presidency, through a statement released, vehemently denied any involvement urging the chief executives in the states to “quickly resolve the issues and differences amongst them in order to continue to contribute effectively to national development as a strong and progressive body”. Sadly, what has been observed is the tacit support for the Jonah Jang faction. As a keen observer of the Nigerian political landscape, there are a few questions to ask the PDP governors. if you had 19 governors endorsing a particular candidate of the ruling party which, according to Governor Godswill Akpabio who is the Chairman of the PDPGF, has been the pattern of selecting a chairman from the era of the first chair Governor Abdullah Adamu, why bother go into an election? And when you lost the election and another member of your ruling party won, why not forget it and like my people say, wait for these party men in front. But what has happened has been suspension upon suspension of the governors even though some have been lifted. Some governors like Governor Fashola are in court challenging the declaration of jang as the chair. It didn’t stop with the party suspensions going on but the no love lost between the president and Governor Amaechi is becoming very obvious to the public as the governor never attends any state function by the president. Equally worrisome is the comments and counter positions from the PDP governors over the NGF election which is heating up the polity dangerousLY to say the least. The level of impunity on the democratic process this NGF election has caused and the inability of our 36 elected governors to decide a leader amongst them leave a sore taste on the lips of Nigerians. Unfortunately, the resultant effect and danger of this furore within the governors’ forum election is a signal of what to expect in 2015 where aspirants will lose an election and go declare themselves winners. It is therefore important that the political class exhibit some high level of caution and restraint in their desperation for elective office.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
I’m an advocate for book adaptations to film –Okon A few young women are as dedicated to a chosen career as Augusta Okon is. And Okon’s is much more than one career, as she has continued to test the waters in writing (short stories, books, television and film scripts as well as blogs and articles), law, publicist, movie premiere planner and as a critic. TERH AGBEDEH
ince the publishing of her short story, Bola and the Kidnappers by Nelson Publishers when she was only 14 years old, Augusta Okon has never looked back. And it was not because of the razzmatazz that surrounded the launching of the collection aired on NTA Network News or her eventual appearance on the now rested popular Morning Ride show also on NTA. It was not even the fact that the Master of Ceremony at the event was veteran actor and national honours awardee, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Okon insist it is because literature and film has always been her first love. Even when it seemed as if she had turned her back on her first love by going to study Law at the University of Ibadan and later at Law School, it was to arm herself for a career in entertainment. Okon did not just sit through law lectures with her mind elsewhere waiting for graduation day; she also let school pass through her. “I was to emerge among the 30 ‘Student Achievers’ named by the Faculty of Law in the university’s convocation brochure in 2003, ‘in recognition of the outstanding performance recorded at the 2003 Bar Final exams’,” she recalled. At 16, Nelson was to publish another of her short stories titled: Trust No One indicating that this teenage writer was not a fluke, but rather someone who knew where she was going and how to get there. Her first novel, The Sidewalk, is a 484page fine blend of highly pulsating, captivating, dramatic, suspenseful fiction. To say that Okon is a young woman of many paths is to state the obvious; her writing dexterity is also seen in the areas
of script and screenwriting, where she combines creativity and powerful storylines with a knack for adventure, action, thriller and crime genres. Some of the films that have resulted from her scripting work include: Colony 365, Trapped in the Past, Vindication: Ferno’s Tale, Dark Symphony and The Golden Pen of Masri. “I am also a publicist, movie premiere planner and advocate for book adaptations in the Nigerian film industry and the African movie industry as a whole”, she said. As a film critic, her professional reviews have been published online and in some national dailies. She explained that this critique skill paved the way to her being a member of the jury at the INShort International Film Festival 2012 and a film screener for AMAA 2013. “My articles, predominantly on the Nigerian movie industry, have earned me platinum status on Ezine Articles, the world’s leading article site, while stimulating and provoking thoughts on various subject matters”, she said. Okon, who also anchors one of the fast rising blogs at 9aijabooksandmovies, is dedicated to exploring the untapped sphere and providing the symbiotic platform for filmmakers and authors. Considering that only a Nigerian filmmaker like Tunde Kelani has fully embraced the adaptation of books to film, and the imminent release of the film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, there is not a better time for this advocacy. “We have had film adaptations of Nigerian works, but it is a drop in the bucket in comparison to original works”, she said. Okon went on to mention some books by Nigerian authors adapted into film to include: Professor Wole Soyinka’s Kongi’s Harvest; Professor Femi Osofisan’s The Relentless
Locust and Maami, and Elechi Amadi’s The Concubine. Others are: Bayo Adewale’s The Virgin adapted by Tunde Kelani as The Narrow Path, TV series based on the literary icon, late Prof. Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Adebayo Faleti’s Thunderbolt, among many others. Okon insists that Nigerian filmmakers are largely unaware of the endless possibilities associated with adaptations. She explained that they don’t want to go through the rigours of paying royalties to authors as well. Also, “any filmmaker/ producer going for film adaptations must be ready to produce with a good budget and not a shoe-string one”, she stated. For her, adaptations are very important since besides serving as a better alternative source to recoup investments
for original works, “it creates a combination of literature and film which makes us eventually want to read the book, watch the movie while listening to the characters’ dialogue”. As a writer who hopes to make sales on her book, Okon laments the dearth of reading culture, which she said stems from the lack of public libraries, parental indifference, strong contenders for our time and money, among other things. As the brain behind Wise Insight, which is gradually carving a niche for itself in the spheres of organising outstanding premieres, Okon has worked on jobs like the award winning movie, The Mirror Boy and TOBI from the stables of Emani Studios U.S.A. Also, the press screening for Blue Pictures distribution of the movie, Phone Swap, among others.
MIDWEEK JUMP Group holds exhibition in honour of Shonekan
oree to the growth and development of maritime industry in Nigeria”, the programme coordinator, Patrick Okpah, stated. According to him, President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to grace the occasion as a special guest while the governors of Ogun and Lagos States shall be part of the hosts.
s part of activities to mark the 77th birthday of Nigeria’s former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Earnest Shonekan, the Nigerian Arts Group, in partnership with the National Gallery of Art, NGA and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, is organising an art exhibition in Lagos. The event, which is slated to hold this Friday at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, Victoria Island, shall, according to the organiser, also feature a lecture themed: “Transforming Nigeria through the Maritime Industry”.
“We shall, therefore, hold give priority to maritime related artworks but without leaving out general artworks at the exhibition ground. The reason is basically due to the relevance and contribution of the hon-
SLCF calls for entries
he Splendid Literature & Culture Foundation, SLCF is accepting entries for the 2013 edition of its annual competition to select and publish the best six unpublished stories by Nigerian writers of children’s literature aged
11-21 years resident in Nigeria. Deadline for submission of the entries expected from all over the country is August 31. The organisers said that submitted stories should entertain and enlighten, with strong Nigerian/African content. “The foundation’s judges will assess each entry on the depth, originality and quality of the writing and the story’s appeal to its intended audience. Above all, these stories are to stimulate the imagination of the readers to think and problem-solve in novel ways”, SLCF said in a statement. All entries must be original, unpublished stories in English and do not have to be who are
not expected to illustrated unless the entrants wish to do so. Plays and poems are not eligible for entry. More details are available on the foundation’s website. Entries must fall within one of two categories: Junior (an original unpublished story in English for children between the ages of 8 – 12 with the length of up to 3,000 words) and Senior (an original unpublished story in English for young adults between the ages of 13 and 17 with the length up to 6,000 words). The best three stories per category will be selected for publication by the Foundation’s Panel of Judges.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
FAR AND NEAR
Laff & Dance debuts in Akure
Association to promote Shata’s legacies
JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
n association has been established for the promotion of the legacies of the popular Hausa musician, late Mamman Shata, who hailed from Katsina State and sang hundreds of songs in his lifetime, with some of his songs still wbeing listened to years after his demise. The association referred to as Dr. Mamman Shata Memorial Association, MASMA, has conducted its first meeting and appointed interim key officers. The meeting was attended by representatives from Funtua, Kano, Abuja, Kaduna and some family members of the popular Hausa music legend. In a press statement issued to newsmen in Katsina, the association’s Public Relations Officer, Kabir Saulawa said the meeting was conducted at the Arewa House in Kaduna State and was initiated by Ibrahim Sheme, secretary of the Association. Saulawa said the association would organise lecture series in memory of the popular Hausa musician on an annual basis. It was noted that the association also intends to establish a Centre in memory of the late Shata. The centre would also have pictures of some of the people he sang for and serve as an avenue where students from higher institutions of learning can conduct research and excursions. “The effort would help in no small measure in preserving his songs, interviews conducted by the legend during his life time, his instruments, clothes, shoes, caps, and so on”, Sheme, who is also Editor of the Blueprint Newspaper, said. According to the statement, other appointed members of the association include, Hamisu Gamaradi (Chairman), Yusuf Albasu (Financial Secretary) and Jamila Mamman Shata (Legal Adviser).
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L-R: Project Manager, Qlichy.com, Tosin Adefeko; Brand Ambassador, Qlichy. com, Funke Akindele-Oloyede and Marketing Partner, Qlichy.com, Bayo Idowu.
Funke Akindele becomes Qlichy.com ambassador NGOZI EMEDOLIBE
tar actress, Funke Akindele has been announced as the brand ambassador of Qlichy. com, a fast-growing business and networking portal. She was presented to the media last week at a ceremony which held inside the premises of The Quadrant Company in Ikeja, Lagos. Her presentation came on the heels of a successful official launch in April and a town storm campaign in May by the brand. Qlichy.com is a multi-site business portal, news service and ecommerce platform, which offers sub-platforms like: Bizpoint, Talkpoint, Salespoint, Playpoint and Thoughtpoint. Speaking at the ceremony where she was unveiled as the brand ambassador, Akindele remarked that: “I am delighted to be associated with Qlichy.com and consider it a huge honour to be the brand ambassador. The Qlichy brand, besides being the ultimate virtual meeting point and resource centre, is the future. I say this because this new platform will empower a lot of people. I admire the thought pro-
cess behind it and that’s why I am thrilled to be part of Team Qlichy”. Speaking earlier, Managing Director of The Quadrant Company, parent company of Qlichycom, Bolaji Okusaga explained that by unveiling of Akindele as brand ambassador, the multimedia awareness campaign will further deepen the brand’s acceptance. “We’re launching the radio and online campaign next Monday to further avail more businesses and individuals the limitless opportunities that Qlichy.com offers enterprises across different sectors of the economy, be it consumer goods, oil and gas, real estate, telecoms and financial sectors among many others”, stated Okusaga. According to him, the projection of Qlichy.com within the next six months is to become a household name in business intelligence and social commerce given the ability of the platform to offer a seamless experience which cuts across business information, lifestyle and e-commerce. “Achieving this target will require luring businesses and consumer searching for opportunities to visit and explore possibilities which were before now fragmented in the Nigerian online space”, Okusaga added.
he first ever edition of ‘Laff & Dance’ will take place this Saturday at the Adegbemile Hall in Akure, the Ondo State capital. The brain behind the entertainment event, Rotimi Martins, otherwise known as Alariwo of Africa, told our correspondent that among those to perform are: Ali Baba, Sunny Neji, Gbenga Adeyinka, Weird MC, Koffi, MC Abbey, LKT and Funny Bone. “It is a music and comedy event so it is a combination of music and comedy. Ondo people are a very cultural people and I love the state; it is a very peaceful place. I want to do the show and see how interesting it is going to be. It is better for me to take it to the state so that they can have their fun”, Alariwo said. The versatile entertainer, who said the grace of the Almighty God is responsible for his staying power in his chosen career, explained that ‘Laff & Dance’ will take the shape of a musical and comedy event. “It will feature a lot of comedians like Ali Baba, Kofi, Omobaba, Lepacious Bose, Funny Bone, MC Abbey, a lot of people that are in the movie and music sector. My friend Sunny Neji will be there, Weird MC, Jaywon and LKT. There is also this new discovery of mine that will be performing as well. It is about encouraging people to come out and have fun”, he said. Alariwo, who studied Public Relations but pitched his tent with music as well as anchoring events, said the logistics of planning the show outside Lagos are huge but that will not deter him from going ahead. “The logistics is heavy and expensive, but possible with the support of God and people like Mayor Akinpelu, Dr. Seye Kehinde and a friend of mine, Steve Bayode, who runs Micro Plus Media. These are the people putting things together for me to make sure the event is a very successful one and I have a couple of friends there that are willing to support as well”, he said, adding that the state government is not involved. He has, however, invited the wife of the Ondo State governor, whom he is convinced will honour the invitation.
NET, Bang Showbiz partner on content
ne of the country’s contemporary news organisations, Nigerian Entertainment Today, NET, has announced a major international partnership with popular news agency, Bang Showbiz. The NET founder, Ayeni Adekunle, who signed the deal with the Bang’s global marketing director, Masato Kamo earlier this month, says the agreement, which will see both organisations exchange content, is a move that will expose Nigerian and African celebrities to a global audience, through Bang’s far reaching wire. “We’ve been experimenting with Bang since they first contacted us many months back”, Ayeni says. “It started with them giving us their great content for our website www.thenet.ng. And after seeing the opportunities, I requested for a face-to-face meeting which happened in London last month. “Our offer was simple; we’d love to have all the great content from Hollywood, Bollywood, the UK and elsewhere.
But we’d also love for the world to have access, through Bang’s network, to the works and lifestyles of great African celebs like D’Banj, 2face Idibia, Sarkodie, Omotola, Genevieve, Wizkid and others”, he explains. The partnership means that The NET will now exclusively deliver daily, on all its platforms, global entertainment news courtesy Bang, to its millions of readers within and outside the continent; while Bang will deliver rich African news content supplied by The NET, to its subscribers in the UK, America and Asia. “BANG sees this as a tremendous opportunity to work with a leading African media company to develop a mutually beneficial content distribution channel”, says founder Rick Sky. “I always dreamed of getting a foothold in Africa. The continent is a wonderful marketing opportunity and I am convinced it is a great market for the very best entertainment news…” BANG Global Marketing Director Ma-
sato Kamo added: “Nigeria has the highest distribution of Internet usage per capital in Africa and NET is an ideal partner positioned in a prestigious niche. We look forward to working together at both representing and expanding the coverage of African celebrities in our global news network”. Founded in 1997 by Rick Sky, a former entertainment editor with The SUN, Daily Mirror and Daily STAR, Bang is a worldwide leader in entertainment news; supplying several organisations across the globe with breaking news in several languages. Bang currently reaches over 400 unique users every month. The NET was founded in 2009 by former Encomium, The Punch and THISDAY journalist Ayeni Adekunle, ‘as a child of necessity’ to deliver accurate, reliable and up-to-the-minute entertainment news from Nigeria, to audiences wherever they are. NET is currently available on mobile, web and print, with a TV news service scheduled to launch later in 2013.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Nigeria Premier Nig League with
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Glo league players make hay in first round National Mirror runs the rule on the Glo NPFL players that made the team of the first round. Goal Okemute Odah – Warri Wolves The former Golden Eaglets’ goalkeeper was the chief protagonist in the Wolves’ resurgence that saw the Warri-side finish second on the log as the 2013/14 season went on recess. Odah punched, parried, blocked and frustrated opposing strikers as Wolves came from the mid-table to battle for honours. Wolves will have to rely on Odah’s heroics in the second round to step the chase for the elusive league title.
Defence Haliru Umar – Rangers Even the arrival of former Super Eagles’ right back Chibuzo Okonkwo at Rangers did not stop Haliru Umar from holding down the right back position for the Flying Antelopes. The young right back forced the Rangers’ coaches to find a new role for Okonkwo in the midfield. Umar flew down the flanks for the Antelopes with assured composure, skill and confidence and still found time and energy to do his defensive duties. He has also been outstanding in the Rangers’ Confederation Cup campaign.
Mutiu Adegoke – 3SC The former ASEC Mimosas left back has refused to leave his left foot on the throttle as he showed character, grit and tactical awareness for the Oluyole Warriors in the first round. Never has Adegoke been found wanting in the left back since he came to limelight with same club in 2004. He netted seven goals last season mainly from set pieces and continued the trend in the first round, hitting target three times.
Ike ThankGod – Warri Wolves ThankGod stood like a bastion in the heart of defence for Wolves in the first round and came out smelling of roses. The former Heartland star marshalled the defence for the Wolves in the absence of Super Eagles defender Azubuike Egwuekwe, and kept things as tight as ever as the defence was just breached an impressive 16 times. Wolves’ defence was one of the meanest in the first round, finishing second on the log in the first round.
Chibuzo Madu – Rangers The young centre back was one of the biggest revelations in the first round as his all-round ability gave him the nod ahead of Sunshine Stars’ defender Godfrey Oboabana, who was
mainly on duty for the Super Eagles as the first round hit the home stretch. Madu’s timely tackles and general performance were just worthy of note.
Midfield Ikechukwu Ibenegbu – Heartland Nicknamed ‘Mosquito’ Ibenegbu stood out in the midfield for the Owerribased side in the first round. He conducted the orchestra in the midfield with so much ease and opened defences with his telling passes. His free kicks were also worthy of note as well as his general tactical awareness. A move abroad could well be on the cards for the 2005 season top scorer sooner or later.
Rabiu Ali – Kano Pillars Ali remains the mainstay in the Pillars’ midfield and demonstrated his impressive ability in the first round. His ruggedness, passes and grit came in handy for the defending champions as they emerged first round kings. He also found his way to score some important goals despite his tight and compact duties in the middle of the pack.
Gomo Onduku – Bayelsa United The skilful little man switched from Sharks this season to newly-promoted Bayelsa United and didn’t waste time to stamp his authority in the midfield. Little wonder, foreign clubs from Germany and Turkey were all over the talented midfielder for a possible switch. Onduku was one of the reasons for the newly-promoted side’s impressive fourth finish in the log in the first round.
Striker Dele Olorundare – Sunshine Stars The big striker made bold statements with his tremendous goal return in the first round. Olorundare has so far netted 11 goals to brighten his chances of claiming the top scorer’s award that seems to have eluded the power striker for the past three seasons. Olorundare fired in his 11th goal of the season after a brace in a 2-0 win over Nembe City just before the curtains drew for the league’s first round, to emerge top scorer of the first round. The Jazzy Stars of Jos discovery now has 11 goals to lead other goal getters in the league. He finished with 14 strikes last season to lose the award to Niger Tornadoes’ Sibi Gwar, who was three goals better. It appears the striker who also scored four goals in Sunshine Stars’ Champions League campaign last season will eventually cart away the award if he continues his impressive goal form.
Isah Akor – Heartland The 18-year-old striker first sold himself to Nigeria’s soccer world last season at the lowly Prime FC, where his goals
lifted the lower league side to the semifinals of the Federation Cup. He netted five goals to emerge the Federation Cup goal king. He continued his rich vein of form this season at Heartland, hitting the target seven times so far to keep up the chase for the top scorer’s award as the likes of Sunshine Stars’ Dele Olorundare, Enyimba’s Sibi Gwar and Rangers’ returnee striker Bishop Onyeudo are also hot on the race.
rejoined former club Rangers in the mid-season transfer window, Onyeudo could well be striking his way to lifting the top scorer’s award. Rejected at Rangers for futile attempts to land a contract in Qatar, he joined Gombe United at the start of the season and reminded his former club he still had some goals left in his boots. He even destroyed Rangers with two goals when the Antelopes visited the Desert Scorpions in the season’s early fixtures. Now back at Rangers, Onyeudo could ride on the back of Rangers’ new found form to land the elusive award.
Bishop Onyeudo - Rangers With eight goals in the bag for the Enugu-born striker who sensationally
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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Madrid unveils Ancelotti
eal Madrid has announced former PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti as new coach on a three-year contract. Ancelotti, who will replace Jose Mourinho as head coach, has signed a three-year contract. His departure from Paris leaves a vacancy at the mega rich side, which will be filled by the former France coach Laurent Blanc. “The Italian has experienced success in every country where he has managed and arrives in the Spanish capital after being named coach of the season in France,” a Real Madrid statement said yesterday.
Mikel linked to Napoli switch
L Blues seal Schurrle deal C
helsea has completed the signing of Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen after the Germany forward penned a fiveyear contract. The 22-year-old moves to Stamford Bridge from the Bundesliga club, whom he joined back in 2011, following the completion of legal documentation and related matters, including personal terms and a medical. It was announced on June 13 that Chelsea and Leverkusen had reached an agreement for the transfer but formalities have finally been completed with Schurrle given the club’s number 14 shirt. After representing Germany at the U-19 and U-21 levels, the young attacker earned his first call-up to the senior squad in November 2010 before being handed his debut as a late substitute in a friendly against Sweden. “I am so happy now I have signed and it is an
honour for me to play for this club, with this team and for these great fans,” the player who has scored seven goals in 24 appearances for his country said. “I am really looking forward to it.” Schurrle becomes effectively Chelsea’s first signing since Jose Mourinho returned as manager at Stamford Bridge to replace interim boss Rafa Benitez. “I first met Jose Mourinho at Michael Ballack’s farewell game in Leipzig last week,” the new signing added. “He was in charge of my team, the World Select side. We met before the game, he shook my hand and told me ‘everything has gone through, and you are my player’. That was a wonderful feeling.” Leverkusen had agreed to let Schurrle go following the signing of Heung-min Son from Hamburg after the inclusion of Kevin de Bruyne in part exchange had reportedly been blocked.
atest reports indicate that Napoli is ready to challenge Galatasaray for Super Eagles and Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel. Galatasaray had earlier offered £13 million for Mikel, even as the vastly improved player denied any link with the Turkish side. But reports yester-
day said former Blues boss, Rafa Benitez, who recently switched to Napoli, is keen to bring the player to the Italian city of Naples for the new season. Mikel had also admitted speaking with former Chelsea teammate Didier Drogba about the prospect of playing in Turkey but has yet to commit himself to a new employer.
Rooney on Barca radar
arcelona has reportedly joined the race to sign unsettled Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney. Rooney is due to hold more talks with new Manchester United boss David Moyes this week but a number of clubs are poised to strike if he cannot be persuaded to stay, with Chelsea and Real Madrid also being mentioned as possible destinations. “Rooney is precisely the type of attacker that would fit perfectly into the system,” a report quoted a Barcelona insider as saying yesterday. “Defence starts from the front at Barca and Rooney works harder
than anyone. His first touch, movement, control and vision are phenomenal and if he comes on the market then the club is certain to try to sign him,” the insider added.
Ronaldo Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez, is adamant that Cristiano Ronaldo is not for sale and has backed the star to retire at the club. Speculation continues to suggest that the world’s costliest player could be involved in another mega-money move this summer. “Cristiano is our most important asset and we will build the future of Madrid around him,” Perez said, adding, “I always want the best to come to Madrid.”
The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti does not guarantee a future at Real Madrid for Kaka. Kaka is close to the departing PSG coach thanks to their days together with AC Milan. However, reports yesterday said Ancelotti will insist Kaka stays with Isco arriving from Malaga while space will be provided for Castilla star Jese Rodriguez.
LA Lakers star, Kobe Bryant, was in Brazil last week to catch up with fellow superstars of sport. The 34-year old USA basketball ace met a number of football stars that include AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli and Barcelona signing Neymar. Bryant was present at the Italy versus Brazil Confederations Cup group stage match in Bahia on Saturday and met with players from both sides as shown after the game. Cavani
I’m loyal to Napoli –Cavani
apoli striker, Edinson Cavani, has cooled talk of wanting a move to Real Madrid. Amid reports last night of an agreement with Chelsea, Cavani refuted claims made by his father that he wanted to move to Madrid. “I’ve requested a thousand times to my family not to speak, because they can only hurt me,” the forward thundered yesterday. “I belong to Napoli, and everything depends on the club.” Meanwhile, Naplesbased Radio Marte reported early yesterday that Chelsea had had a 58 million offer for Cavani accepted.
Tottenham Hotspur Manager, Andre Villas-Boas, expects all eyes to be on his former mentor Jose Mourinho next season following his return to Chelsea. Mourinho is back in English football, and back at Stamford Bridge, after five years away in Italy with Inter Milan and Spain with Real Madrid. “It won’t be possible to take your eyes away from Mourinho,” Villas-Boas said yesterday, stressing, “He deviates attentions in such a way that the team is only worried about winning.”
Cahill Tim Cahill insists he is not with New York Red Bulls simply to pocket a big pay check. The 33-year old Australian international joined the MLS club from Everton in July last year with many critiquing the move by suggesting it was purely for the money.
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
FG, oil firms in endless war against crude theft, illegal refineries For the past few years, the nation has recorded numerous cases of oil theft and related crimes, especially illegal refining. UDEME AKPAN, who investigated the issues, reports that the government and other stakeholders do not appear to be wining the battles despite many pronouncements.
A pipeline burns after being sabotaged by oil thieves
fortnight ago, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC shut the Trans Niger Pipeline, TNP, following an explosion and fire at a crude theft point on a section of the facility at Bodo West in Ogoniland in Rivers State. Consequently, it suspended the production of about 150,000 barrels of oil worth $16.3 million or N2.57 billion per day because of the incident. The Corporate Media Relations Manager of the firm, Mr. Tony Okonedo, who confirmed the development stated that prior to the incident, SPDC had shut down the 28” TNP to remove crude theft connections before deciding to finally close the 24” TNP as a precautionary response to the fire. That was not the first time. In April, this year the firm declared force majeure on its 150,000 barrels of oil per day Bonny Light export, after shutting down the Nembe Creek Trunkline, NCTL. These and other numerous cases
IN APRIL, THE FIRM DECLARED FORCE MAJEURE ON ITS 150,000 BARRELS OF OIL PER DAY BONNY LIGHT EXPORT, AFTER SHUTTING DOWN THE NEMBE CREEK TRUNKLINE, NCTL have impacted very negatively on many stakeholders, especially the Federal Government that has an average of 57 per cent equity in the Joint Ventures with the International Oil Companies, IOCs. For instance, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC stated that during the April incident, daily crude oil production fluctuated between 2.1 and 2.3 million barrels per day (mbpd) compared with the projected estimate of 2.48mbpd. The Acting General Manager in the Group Public Affairs Division, Ms. Timini Green stated that “This fall between actual production and forecast in first quarter 2013 resulted in a drop in crude oil revenue of about $1.23 billion (N191 billion)
that should have accrued to the Federation Account. The apex oil Corporation has it that the nation lost about N191 billion ($1.23 billion) in the first quarter of 2013, due to drop in crude oil production, arising from incessant crude oil theft and vandalism along the major pipelines in the Niger Delta. However, the latest TNP shutdown may take a long time to be reopened as stakeholders are still planning to commence investigations into the incident. The spokesman of Shell confirmed that: “A joint team is due to conduct an investigation tomorrow into the cause of the June 19 explosion and fire on the 28” Trans Niger Pipe-
line (TNP), after SPDC shut the facility resulting in a deferment of 150,000 barrels per day. The team, which will comprise regulators, including the Ministry of Environment, community members, SPDC and independent observers, will visit the site as part of their mission. The fire went out on Friday (21 June). The TNP had previously been targeted by crude thieves and shut down several times to take out crude theft points. To ensure that the facility continued to meet operating standards, SPDC deployed a team to Bodo West on May 22, 2013 to remove and repair crude oil theft connections on both the 24 and 28-inch sections of the TNP. The repair team’s presence and mandate to remove crude theft points were made known to the community which granted them access. No sectional replacement work was underway. One operations support barge, one environCONTINUED ON PAGE 30
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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FG, oil firms in endless war against crude theft, illegal refineries refineries
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 30 mental barge and two tug boats were the only authorised vessels at the Bodo West worksite. Environmental barges are typically used to store and transport recovered oil. The Managing Director of SPDC and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu said, “Unfortunately, crude thieves continued to operate at night even as the repair team worked to remove illegal connections during the day, such that, on the day of the incident on June 19, two unauthorised Cotonou boats were reportedly present at the time of the initial explosion and fire. The established operations routine at any repair site comprises a team of SPDC staff, contractors and regulators who only work during daylight hours and leave the site at the end of each day. This means that no SPDC authorised people could have been on the ground at the time of the incident.” Sunmonu stated that: “Having shutdown and isolated the pipeline, but with oil continuing to flow from the pipeline under gravity to the low point on the TNP, the only other practicable option in the circumstance was to allow the fire burn out naturally. To prematurely extinguish the fire without functioning containment equipment on site could have resulted in further environmental damage. He added that: “We continued to monitor the fire while also mobilising replacement oil spill containment and response equipment to site. With the fire out, a residual leak was observed at the site contained within the crater caused by the initial incident. We are currently mobilising crews to evacuate the pit, access the leak point prior to the joint investigation visit and complete repair. On the reported arrest of some employees of SPDC’s contractors and subcontractors on suspicion of involvement in crude theft activities, Sunmonu said, “We appeal that the arrested suspects be treated in line with the principle of presumption of innocence until proven
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 guilty, and hope for a speedy and transparent dispensation of justice for anyone found to have violated the laws of the land. He stated that: “We are committed to operating transparently, which is why we have invited the National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spill in the Niger Delta (NACGOND) to join the investigating team as independent observers. We will continue to run our operations as safely as is possible and in accordance with both industry regulations and Nigerian laws.” The firm stated in its recent report that the Niger Delta continues to be a challenging place to operate for many reasons. 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. It maintained that 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. The firm stated that: “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. He firm maintained that Shell Companies in Nigeria (SCiN) are active supporters of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR), a set of guidelines developed in 2000 by various governments, extractive industry companies and human rights organ-
isations. It also stated that SPDC applies these principles in the delta and engages various government agencies (including the National Human Rights Commission), Government Security Agencies (GSAs) and other organisations on how the company can contribute to better implementing VPSHR in the country. It remarked that: “GSA personnel deployed to work in company facilities are informed of the VPSHR and the need for its application, and are also reminded regularly. International Oil Companies operating in Nigeria, including Shell, are advocating for the government to join the VPSHR plenary. It is heartening to see the success of the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme in the Niger Delta, aimed at ex-militant groups. The enabling environment helped by the amnesty resulted in a significant increase in Nigeria’s oil and gas production and provided better access for operations and maintenance of assets. However, significant grievances remain over post-amnesty management issues, and these would need to be managed to sustain the gains in the long run. The country chair/Managing director is said to have also stated that: “As a Nigerian, and one who has spent a great deal of my career in the Niger Delta, my greatest immediate concern is the issue of crude oil theft, which is an increasingly dangerous menace. The volume currently being stolen is the highest in the last three years, with over 60,000 barrels per day from SPDC facilities alone. He stated that the developments constitute huge loss, and the effects of this industrial scale theft are devastating for
both the people and the environment. Sunmonu also stated that: “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. 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 economy.” However, the government does not appear to have given up hope as President Goodluck Jonathan has challenged governors in oil producing states, service chiefs, and multinational companies, to come up with a strategy to tackle crude oil theft in the country. The meeting was attended by Vice President, Namadi Sambo, Governors Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state, Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta, Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, and Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, among others. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, said the focus of the meeting was to find ways of ending oil theft. She stated that: “We are continuing with what has been done, but we are becoming much more aggressive. We met with a number of multinationals; we have come up with various pointers which must be addressed in an in-depth manner over the next 10 days.” Some observers who have been watching government actions doubted the potency of the latest actions to end these and other criminalities in the Niger Delta as the various issues are funded and masterminded by highly placed persons and foreign syndicates. They therefore called for very drastic measures to tackle oil theft and illegal refining in the region.
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
OPEC daily basket price drops to $99.82 per barrel UDEME AKPAN
WITH AGENCY REPORT
he price of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC basket of 12 crudes has dropped from $101.40 to $99.82 per barrel over the weekend, 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). Despite the drop, the price was still higher than the budget reference prices of many oil producing nations, including Nigeria. However, the cartel which recently rose from its 163rd meeting is optimistic that the oil market would remain stable throughout this year. According to OPEC, the Conference reviewed recent oil market developments, as presented by the Secretary General, in particular supply/ demand projections, as well as the outlook for the second half of 2013. It noted the relative steadiness of prices during 2013 to-date was an indication that the market was adequately supplied, the periodic price fluctuations being a reflection of geopolitical tensions. The Conference observed, however, that, whilst world economic growth was projected to reach 3.2per
cent in 2013, up from 3per cent in 2012, downside risks to the global economy, especially in the OECD region, remain unchecked. The Conference noted, moreover, that, while world oil demand is expected to rise from 88.9 million barrels a day in 2012 to 89.7 mb/d in 2013, driven almost entirely by the non-OECD regions, non-OPEC supply is projected to grow by 1.0 mb/d, and that OECD stock levels remain comfortable. Taking these developments into account, the second half of the year could see a further easing in fundamentals, despite seasonally-higher demand. In light of the foregoing, the Conference again decided that Member Countries should adhere to the existing production ceiling of 30.0 mb/d. Once more, the Conference agreed that
Member Countries would, if required, take steps to ensure market balance and reasonable price levels for producers and consumers, and Member Countries reiterated their readiness to rapidly respond to developments that might place oil market stability in jeopardy. The Conference decided that its next Ordinary Meeting will convene in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday, 4 December 2013. Finally, OPEC also stated that: “The Conference reiterated its expression of appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Austria and the authorities of the City of Vienna for their warm hospitality and the excellent arrangements made for the Meeting.”
NNPC, NPDC restates commitment to acquired assets CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and its subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, have expressed their readiness to professionally and efficiently run some of the assets and oil mining leases transferred to it by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC. The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu stated this over the weekend after the board meeting of the NNPC/NPDC in Warri, Delta State. This was contained in a statement signed by Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Tumini Green. According to statement, Yakubu said the Corporation along with its
flagship company, NPDC, is repositioning to ensure that its acquired assets remain productive to ultimately boast the revenue inflow to the Nigerian economy. “With the divestment of Shell, NPDC is the top and the only option for indigenous participation that will replace companies like SPDC and other companies that wanted to divest their equities. So NPDC therefore, has taken over this obligation of value addition as the flagship operator of the upstream business of NNPC. NPDC is the gateway of capacity development and capability development of the upstream activities in Nigeria’, he said. He said the activities of the NNPC/ NPDC in Warri has made NPDC the highest local producer of gas to the domestic gas requirement of Nigeria and this has gone along way in meeting the Federal Government aspiration in the area of power generation stressing that with the
new status, NPDC remain the biggest indigenous gas supplier in Africa. The NNPC helmsman noted that as a socially responsible Corporation, the
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NNPC/NPDC will step up its activities in the area of providing social amenities such as class room blocks, educational scholarship, and provision of health facilities among others. According to him, by partnering with the various tiers of government in providing basic amenities to oil bearing communities, a conducive environment that would guarantee smooth operations of the acquired assets would be provided. He assured that the NNPC/NPDC would continue to touch the lives of Nigerians in many positive ways. According to him, the assurances from Warri communities indicate that the coming of NPDC to Warri would help in sustaining community development efforts in line with international best practices. It would be recalled that through the support and vision of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Maduke, the NNPC/NPDC took over the management of some OMLs in the bid to meet the aggressive target of producing 250,000 barrels of crude per day in 2015 by NPDC.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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Nigeria loses 1,598mw to gas pipeline vandalism
The Minister condemns the unpatriotic acts of the vandals, and assures Nigerians that the Ministry of Power is already collaborating with security agents to provide more protection for power infrastructure across the country. He further appeals for the understanding of people whose homes and businesses are affected by the current shortage in supply, adding that everything possible is being done to rectify the situation speedily. Recently, Federal government admitted that only 40 million Nigerians currently have access to electricity with the remaining 120 million of the population living in darkness. “We have 160 million Nigerians now and we are only giving power to 40 million of that population. What it means is that there
are about 120 million Nigerians that are without power and wish to buy power,” the Minister of State for Power, Zainab Kuchi was quoted to have said. The minister had described the situation where only 25 per cent of Nigerians have access to electricity as a nightmare caused by human beings used by evil forces. He attributed the current shortage in power supply to the lack of appropriate provisions in the 2012 budget for maintenance of power equipment; adding that the country did not anticipate the current slow pace in the privatization process. He said the problems are surmountable with divine intervention and the efforts being made by this administration. He said unprecedented system collapses were being experienced in the power sector; while the rainy season has brought about heavy storms like the ones that shattered transmission lines in Bayelsa and Kebbi states which destroyed four transmission towers. Nebo, however, painted a lucrative picture for the sector and called on investors to take advantage of the ongoing privatization process and government’s energy mix policy to invest in the sector which he said holds better prospect for lucrative returns. “We need to deliver power to Nigerians and the only way to do this is by serious commercialization. There is even more money in power than in petroleum, all you need is a power plant and you will make money by the day,” he said. “The government has tried, we have all sorts of encouragement, we could go into coal, renewable energy so we need clusters of the windmill” The minister also assured Nigerians that the 10,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity being targeted will be available by the end of 2014. He disclosed that 3,200 MW is currently available for distribution out of the 4,000 MW being generated. Nebo said government was looking forward to partnering with independent producers; adding that power funding should not be left to government alone.
by the global body. Earlier, the Chairman of NEITI Board, Mr Ledum Mitee, called for the President’s intervention to address the funding challenges facing the organisation. Ledum Mitee noted that “NEITI’s budgetary provision has continued to dwindle whilst its activities remain on steady expansion and the situation has worsened to the extent that it now threatens the agency’s continued performance of its core functions” Mitee also appealed to the President to ensure that all outstanding NEITI findings and recommendations in the extractive industry are implemented as “This would not only help a great deal in the revenue drive of this administration but would help to underline the fact that NEITI exists mostly for the purpose of helping to remedy identified gaps and not just fault finding.” Reacting to NEITI’s presentation, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, promised to ensure that NEITI’s intervention in the extractive sector would be adequately aligned with on-
going economic programmes especially on extractive revenue resources management. She affirmed that “NEITI’s activities and benefits are critical to government’s reform initiatives. We can no longer ignore the need to work closely with NEITI to achieve integrated approach to our economic reforms.’’ The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Musa Mohammed Sada, said that NEITI’s outing at the recent EITI global conference in Sydney Australia was impressive. He noted that EITI provides a rare opportunity which Nigeria must explore positively in the on-going reforms. The Global Conference was a big forum where NEITI made Nigeria proud. The Minister of Petroleum Mrs Deziani Allison Maduekwe who was also at the meeting commended NEITI for the quality of its work and engagements in the industry and called for closer cooperation with her ministry and affiliate parastatals. She welcomed NEITI’s sustained interest in the Petroleum Industry Bill.
CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
he Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said the massive load shedding being experienced nationwide, is caused by vandalism of two major gas pipelines supplying gas to eight power generation stations in the country. In a statement signed by the company’s General Manager (Public Affairs), Mr. Dave Ifabiyi, noted that the stations are Egbin/AES Thermal Stations, Olorunsogo, Omotoso, Geregu NIPP, Afam IV and VI Thermal Power Stations as well as River State Independent Power Station, resulting in drastic reduction of power supply by 1,598 megawatts. Ifabiyi, TCN said that one of the vandalised gas pipelines takes supply from the Okoloma gas plant while the other takes from Escravos. With the disruption of gas supply through the lines, the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) is unable to move gas to Afam IV, Afam VI as well as the Independent Power Plant in Rivers State, resulting in generation loss of 593MW. Also, the second vandalised gas pipeline from Escravos to Warri , caused a cutback of 1,005MW in power generation from Egbin / AES power generating station, Olorunsogo, Omotosho and Geregu NIPP power generating plants. According to the statement, with the total generation loss of 1,598MW, the total power generation as at yesterday is 2,290MW. With this low level generation the company said, the operation and control of the system is a major challenge. TCN said due to the critical importance of these pipelines to power generation, NGC is said to be seriously working to isolate the vandalised portions of the pipelines in order to effect repairs, with the hope that gas supply can be restored to the affected power generating stations soonest. Therefore, TCN deeply regrets inconveniences the load shedding is causing Nigerians nationwide. Meanwhile the Minister of Power Profes-
sor Chinedu Nebo has assured that power supply will soon be restored to places affected by the drop in generation arising from the vandalisation of two gas pipelines. Nebo says all necessary expertise has been mobilized to restore supply to affected parts of the country. To this end, the Nigerian Gas Company has begun the process of restoring gas pressure to the two gas pipelines; they are the Eastern pipeline affecting Okoloma Gas Plant, and the 56 kilometre Escravos-to-Warri pipeline. The total cutback in generation caused by the destructive activities of the vandals was 1,598 megawatts, by Sunday afternoon. This has necessitated massive load shedding across the country, to control frequency and improve voltage.
Government agencies move to recover $9.6bn for government UDEME AKPAN
any Federal Government agencies have intensified efforts to recover $9.6 billion for the Federal Government. The efforts are said to be in line with the government’s recent directive which ordered NEITI to ensure the sum is recovered without delay. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who directed that they should recover the outstanding $9.6billion uncovered by NEITI audit reports of the Oil and Gas sector. The President gave the directive in Abuja while receiving the Board and Management of NEITI at the State House. Jonathan requested the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to immediately set in motion the process of reconstituting the Inter Ministerial Task
Team on implementation of NEITI findings and recommendations with requisite high ranking officers with the appropriate levels of authority. He commended NEITI for its courage, diligence and commitment to transparency and accountability in the management of the extractive sector which has resulted in the exposure of under payments and under assessments of what companies in the sector ought to pay to the Federation coffers. Jonathan also directed that NEITI principles and operations be fully integrated into the on-going Government’s economic reform agenda. He commended NEITI for winning the global award for Nigeria as the best implementing country of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to sustain Nigeria’s ranking
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he Federal Government has presented benefit statements to staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN to enable them know the benefits to be paid to them before the handover of the Electricity Generation Companies, GENCOs and Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs to preferred bidders. The Implementation Committee for the Settlement of Entitlements of workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria PHCN which made this public also commended the high level of cooperation of the workers, as the last few steps towards the payment of their benefits are taken. The Committee which is headed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Ambassador Dr. Godknows Igali has validated and cleared more than 43,400 (forty three thousand) workers, in readiness for payment of their benefits. This equates to nearly 93 percent of the workforce in the electricity sector. The Committee says it is still working on the records of the remaining staff to clarify various issues arising from their records. Those personnel whose records have passed the biometrics test have also been issued Benefit Statements showing their expected terminal benefits. They are to make necessary corrections and return the statements to the Committee within one week. Furthermore, in order to enable the workers to understand the process of computation better, Committee members have been on a sensitisation tour
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
PHCN workers receive benefit statements in the different geographical zones. Members say the sensitisation tour has been useful, producing perfect feedbacks, as well as a high degree of accuracy and acceptability wherever they have gone to. On receipt of the signed-off papers from workers across the country, the Committee is to begin warehousing the documents, and subsequent process of forwarding same to the Accountant-General of the Federation for payment. The Committee for the Settlement of the Benefits of PHCN workers was set up by the Federal Government, and its membership includes representatives of the Unions in the electricity industry, as well as Federal Government representatives, prominent among them, the Minister of Labour, the Accountant-Gen-
eral and Auditor-General of the Federation. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power Ambassador (Dr.) Godknows Igali is the Chairman of the Committee. Nebo had, recently said plans were on to commence payment of severance benefits to electricity sector workers on June 17, subject to the completion of verification processes and return of benefit statements. The Federal Government recently concluded the process of giving employment to about 20,000 casual workers of Power Holding Companies of Nigeria (PHCN), thus raising hope for preparation and payment of severance benefits to workers in the power sector. The accurate computation and payment of the benefits are also preconditions for the successful handover of the 15 Electricity Generation Companies
Qua Iboe July price at four-month low
he government has reduced its July official selling price for benchmark Bonny Light and Qua Iboe crudes to the lowest level in four months. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC stated in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg that Total was seeking Forties at 10 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent for loading on July 9 to July 14, 5 cents higher than its bid yesterday, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. Bloomberg which confirmed the development stated that Mercuria Energy Trading SA was unable to buy a cargo for July 4 to July 10 at parity to Dated Brent. It stated that Eni SpA sought to sell without success two consignments of Forties at 20 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent,
(GENCOs) and Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to preferred bidders. Investigations showed that while many got their letters from the PHCN after the clearance of the Ministry of Power, the last set of about 3,000 workers who had some issues were cleared by the government technical committee last week A member of the committee, who preferred not to be named, said: “We reviewed many cases before approving that about 3,000 more casual workers be given their letters of employment. “The completion of the process and information generated will enhance the work of the technical committee that is saddled with many responsibilities, especially verification and computing of accurate benefits to be paid to workers before the handover of the GENCOs and DISCOs to private investors.”
according to the survey. The first was for loading on July 7 to July 9, two days earlier than the original schedule. The agency stated that Statoil ASA sold Oseberg cargo 20130701 for July 8 to July 10 to Gunvor Group at $1.05 a barrel more than Dated Brent, compared with a premium of 80 cents for the last trade on June 3, the survey showed. It maintained that Total failed to buy Ekofisk for July 11 to July 17 at a premium of 80 cents a barrel to Dated Brent and didn’t manage to buy Brent for July 10 to July 15 at 20 cents more than the benchmark, according to the survey. Reported crude trading typically occurs during the Platts window, which ends at 4:30 p.m. London time. Forties loading in 10 to 25 days was 3 cents more than Dated Brent, compared with a discount of 16 cents yes-
terday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Brent for August settlement traded at $100.60 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $102.96 in the previous session. The September contract was at $100.23 at the same time today, a discount of 37 cents to August. Vitol sold 80,000 metric tons of Urals for July 4 to July 8 to OAO Lukoil at 30 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Augusta, Italy, unchanged from the last transaction on June 11, the survey showed. Lukoil didn’t manage to sell 80,000 tons of the blend for July 5 to July 9 delivery in the same region at a discount of 5 cents, according to the survey. Vitol failed to sell 100,000 tons of Urals for July 12 to July 16 at
15 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Rotterdam, the survey showed. Urals in the Mediterranean rose by 9 cents to a discount of 10 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. In northwest Europe, the grade was at 20 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, compared with a discount of 10 cents yesterday. This is the highest since Aug. 16, 2012. Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp. reduced its official selling price of benchmark Es Sider crude for July to a discount of 5 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, compared with a premium of 15 cents for June, according to a price list obtained by Bloomberg News. OAO Surgutneftegas issued a new tender to sell two 100,000ton cargoes for July 7 to July 8 loading in July, two people with knowledge of the matter said. One lot will load from Primorsk and the other from Ust-Luga. The tender closes on July 24.
Frequently asked questions
hat effort is NERC making to ensure uninterrupted power supply? In this regard, the Commission has established Rules and Regulations for private investors, and has to date granted generation licenses up to 70 Independent Power Producers (IPPs) is setting standards in power quality and reliability of electricity supply in Nigeria. What is the Commission’s rule on Mass Disconnections? The Commission is paying attention to consumer rights and obligations. There are procedures for connections and disconnections stated in the Connection & Disconnection Procedures for Electricity Services Section 2(2.1). The Commission has put to stop ‘mass disconnection’ where a group of customers are disconnected just because of a few defaulters, which leads to wrongful disconnections. Note that those who owe past overdue bills would be subject to disconnections. However, there are procedures for doing that. The Utility Company is to work with those who owe bills, give them a reasonable time to pay their bills, if everything fails, they will give them a final warning after which the consumer shall be subject to disconnection. What is MYTO Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) is a procedure or principle by which electricity tariffs are being calculated in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and it gives a 15 year tariff path with annual minor review (taking cognizance of inflation rate, cost of gas and exchange rate) and a 5 year major review. MYTO is a step by step method of determining cost. It ensures a gradual and affordable tariff overtime, and assurance of return on investment for investors. What effort is the Commission making to ensure uninterrupted power supply? In this regard, the Commission has established Rules and Regulations for private investors, and has to date granted generation licenses up to 70 Independent Power Producers (IPPs) is setting standards in power quality and reliability of electricity supply in Nigeria. Source: NERC
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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FG tasks operators on local content, capacity building UDEME AKPAN
he Federal Government has tasked operators to be committed to be committed to local content and capacity building in the oil and gas industry. The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB which made the plea over the weekend maintained that this would enable the government to maximize the benefits of the industry for sustainable development of the nation. NCDMB stated this at a workshop organized to enlighten the public on the executing its mandate stipulated in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development, (NOGICD) Act signed into law in 2010 by President Goodluck Jonathan. The Executive Secretary, Engr. Ernest Nwapa who was represented by the General Manager, Projects and Operations, Engr. Nathaniel Etim-Ukut highlighted the challenges of the Board and disclosed plans to establish a favorable business environment for small businesses which will be achieved by establishing Industrial Parks in oil producing states. Nwapa further hinted on the thrust of the Board which is to carry the Nigerian Content message to the grassroots with the cardinal objective of promoting community participation and
integration of community entrepreneurs and assure these communities of the Federal Government’s determination to create capacity and get people employed through the recently introduced Nigerian Content Employment Initiative, (NCEmI) directly linked to industry skill requirements to fully deepen their participation in exploration and production activities. The Executive Secretary disclosed that the practice in the past was oil and gas operations was done by foreigners without the active participation of indigenous manpower but now local participation is encouraged to develop capacity and capabilities to create wealth in order to build competencies and get Nigerian employed. The Deputy Governor of Cross
River State, Barr. Efiok Cobham said the state has played a major role in the oil and gas sector not only in Nigeria, but the West African sub-region. Barr. Cobham who was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor of Cross River State on Special Duties, Hon. Fabian Okpa noted that the promotion of oil and gas in the state is paramount and encouraged the youths to take advantage of the initiative to be self employed. The Deputy Governor enjoined the youths of Cross River to avail themselves of the opportunities enlightened through the workshop organized by the Board as an avenue for empowerment, self emancipation and community mobilization for training and entrepreneurship in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to enable the
state regain its pride of place amongst the oil bearing communities in the Niger Delta. The National Legal Adviser of the Association of Community Leaders of the Nine Oil Producing States in Nigeria, Barr. Leo Ekpenyong charged indigenes of the state to eschew complacency and assert themselves of opportunities abound in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. The Zonal Coordinator, Cross River/Akwa Ibom Zone, Mr. Uduak Obot expressed the Board’s appreciation to the government and good people of Cross River State in their collaborative effort and effective turn out at the maiden edition of the workshop. Mr. Obot also commended the stakeholder interest of entities in the corporate Cross River which indicated a genuine willingness to turn around the economic fortunes of the state to ensure young Nigerians effectively grasped the purpose for which Nigerian Content Board was established. Highpoint of the sensitization workshop was a Raffle Draw with entries from the eighteen local government areas of the state which had Mr. Ayan Esoso Ebaye of Ikom local government area emerge winner. Mr. Ebaye, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the Cross River University of Technology, (CRUTECH) will be a recipient of the Board’s capacity building initiative.
CSR: Total launches new offshore oil field
rench oil giant, Total has concluded plans to begin work on an oil field off the coast of Nigeria, in a rare expansion by a multi-national, which are increasingly parting with assets in Africa’s biggest crude producer. Discovered in 2003, the Egina oil field lies 200 km beyond the shores of Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s oil industry hub, and 20 km from another Total operated field that is part of the same exploitation block. The block, known as OML 130, is 24 percent owned by Total, with the rest split between Nigerian groups NNPC and Sapetro, China’s CNOOC and Petrobas of Brazil. Total said the well lay 1,600 meters underwater and would begin pumping up to 200,000 barrels at the end of 2017. While the move has been long in the works, it bucks current trends by other multinationals that have been unloading assets. Such sales have come amid uncertainty in the country’s oil
industry, with a sweeping overhaul of regulations, royalties and taxes delayed for years and still stuck in parliament. Oil theft and sabotage onshore have also had a major impact on production, and firms such as Shell, the country’s biggest producer, have increasingly shifted their focus offshore, where the risks of such incidents are lower. Recent moves include USbased Chevron’s announcement earlier this month that it was selling its interest in at least two Nigerian oil blocks. In November, Total itself announced the sale of its 20-percent stake in another Nigerian offshore block to China’s Sinopec for $2.5 billion. Meanwhile in December, Nigerian firm Oando announced the purchase of ConocoPhillips’ interests in the country. Despite those moves however, multinationals continue to have a major presence in Nigeria, with the country’s 37 billion barrels in reserves difficult to abandon.
Egina oil field
Nigeria’s oil production dropped to 1.96 million barrels per day in May, a six-month low, according to the International Energy Agency. TOTAL Upstream carries out its work in oil and gas exploration, production and exportation in Nigeria within the framework of partnerships and joint ventures.
TOTAL, came into being on May 6, 2003, the fruit of two successive mergers. The first took place in 1999, when the former TOTAL joined with Belgian oil company Petrofina to form TOTALFINA, and the second in 2000, when TOTALFINA combined with French oil company Elf Aquitaine to create TOTALFINAELF.
NCDMB, Cross River to partner on industrial park
igerian Content Development and Monitoring Board and the Cross River State Government agreed on Tuesday to partner towards using the state as one of the pilots of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industrial Park Scheme (NOGIPS). The two parties came up with the agreement when the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Ernest Nwapa paid a courtesy visit to the Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke in his office in Calabar. Under the relationship, the state government will provide the Board with 20 hectares of land for the industrial park in a location suitable for industrial development and work with the Board on the project. The Board had presented the project to the Bayelsa State Government a few weeks ago and Governor Seriake Dickson expressed the willingness of the state to participate. Similar visits to other oil producing states have been lined up in the coming weeks. In his remarks during the visit to the Cross River State Governor, the Executive Secretary explained that the Industrial Park Scheme will spur small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to grow their capability in manufacturing through partnerships with multi-nationals and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). According to him, “We intend to use the industrial park model to establish physical infrastructure and create enabling environment for low-cost manufacturing of equipment components, with a view to maximize utilization of Nigerian made goods in the oil and gas industry; and to integrate community entrepreneurs into the oil and gas value chain.” Nwapa stressed that the Board will use the Nigerian Content Development Fund to create infrastructure in the industrial parks and make it compulsory for OEMs that seek to continue participating in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry to mentor small and medium enterprises to manufacture certain components of their equipment. Other benefits of the NOGIPS, which will soon be launched by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke as pilot in two states will include the creation of over 3,000 jobs per location, alleviation of employment pressure on oil companies and technology and skills acquisition.
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nited Kingdom industrial production unexpectedly fell in January as factory output slumped, fueling concerns that Britain may slip into a triple-dip recession. Production fell 1.2 percent from December, when it jumped 1.1 percent, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday in London. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 29 economists was for a 0.1 percent increase. Manufacturing also unexpectedly declined, by 1.5 percent. The pound fell. The U.K. economy shrank in the fourth quarter and the Bank of England has forecast that growth will remain “weak” in the near term. As manufacturers battle a continued slump in the euro area, the U.K.’s biggest trading partner, as well as lackluster demand at home, today’s data have fueled concern the economy will fall into its third recession in five years. “A dire set of U.K. data,” said Ross Walker, an economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in London. It leaves a “decline in first-quarter gross domestic product looking more likely than not. Sustainable recovery and macroeconomic rebalancing feel as
U.K. industrial output unexpectedly falls on oil, gas
UK Prime Minister, David Cameron
distant as ever.” The drop in manufacturing output in January compared with economists’ forecast for an unchanged reading. The statistics office said respondents to the survey didn’t cite heavy snowfalls that month for the slump. Nida Ali, economic adviser to the Ernst & Young ITEM Club, said it may
Japan’s fiscal impasse threatens stimulus to spur growth
apan’s political gridlock threatens to curtail the government’s ability to apply fiscal stimulus as a rebound falters in the world’s third-largest economy. Opposition parties in the upper house of parliament stymied legislation approved in the lower house August 28 that enables the issuance of 38.3 trillion yen ($490 billion) of deficit- financing bonds, seeking to force Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda into an early election. The government could hit a spending ceiling as soon as October, according to the Finance Ministry. The freeze may suspend outlays from this year’s budget for the first time, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and limits Noda from proceeding with the supplementary spending package he mooted in July. With economists increasingly seeing an economic contraction this quarter, the deadlock adds to risks facing global expansion that include a so-called fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax increases in the U.S. at year-end. “The impasse on deficit-covering bonds may delay the compilation of a stimulus package and would be a drag for the economy,” said Taro Saito, Tokyo-based director of economic research at NLI Research Institute and a past winner of a Japan Center for Economic Research award for accuracy in forecasting. “This is not as severe as the U.S. fiscal cliff but could be said to be Japan’s fiscal slope.” Japanese stocks headed for a fourth day of declines, the longest losing streak in more than a month, on pessimism about the global expansion. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average was down 0.4 percent Monday in Tokyo. The yen was at 78.37 per dollar, about 4 percent from its postwar high, underscoring the threat to exporters of a strong currency. Besides exchange-rate appreciation, Japan’s manufacturers are facing diminishing demand abroad, hurt by the European crisis, China’s slowdown and stunted
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
partly reflect the impact of the “sharp” increase in December. The pound dropped as much as 0.6 percent yesterday It fell to as low as $1.4832, the weakest since June 2010, and was trading at $1.4895 Monday. in London, down 0.1 percent on the day. Government bonds rose, pushing the 10-year gilt yield down five ba-
Hong Kong may boost spending on poor as income gap widens
American growth. A government report yesterday showed capital spending rose 6.6 percent in the second quarter from a year before, less than the 7.8 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. This report spurred economists to cut forecasts for Japan’s second-quarter gross domestic product, initially reported at an annualised 1.4 percent gain. Officials may pare that calculation to 0.9 percent on September 10, according to the median of seven projections in a Bloomberg survey.
sis points to 1.96 percent. “It is quite early in the flow of first-quarter data, but the data so far suggest that first-quarter growth may well be negative, or at best flat,” said Michael Saunders, an economist at Citigroup Inc. in London. Reports from Markit Economics last week showed factory output shrank in February and an index of construction reached the lowest in more than three years. Still, services strengthened and the three surveys point to “modest” growth in the first quarter, Markit said. This production data showed that mining and quarrying fell 2.4 percent in January from December, while electricity and gas rose 1.2 percent. Oil and gas dropped 4.3 percent because of the closing of the Schiehallion platform, operated by BP Plc. (BP/) The ONS said the suspension will continue for four to five years as a new production and loading vessel is built. Oil and gas output also plunged in September and October 2012 when the Buzzard platform in the North Sea was temporarily shut.
ong Kong’s government may boost spending on the poor and elderly in its first budget under Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying as record home prices and falling ratings add pressure to narrow a widening income gap. The government may report a surplus of HK$55 billion ($7.1 billion), boosting reserves to a record HK$724 billion, according to Marcella Chow, an economist at Bank of America Corp. in Hong Kong. The budget, presented by Financial Secretary John Tsang, will probably trim one-time measures and focus spending on alleviating poverty and helping the aged, Chow said. Hong Kong’s doubling of a propertysales tax last week underscored Leung’s failure to tame a market that has surpassed its 1997 high, spurring warnings of a bubble and stoking social tensions. Leung, may need to refocus on his campaign promises to make housing affordable and narrow the rich-poor gap as opposition efforts to oust him over illegal additions to his home contribute to record-low popularity ratings. “The government needs to spend more to tackle the deep- rooted issues in Hong Kong such as the wealth disparity,” said Kevin Lai, an economist at Daiwa Capital Markets
Hong Kong Ltd. Leung “still has a long way to go. Most of the pledges he made in his election platform don’t look to be fulfilled soon.” Tsang will give his latest estimate on the budget surplus for the fiscal year ending March 31 and outline the following year’s budget. The government will also announce fourth-quarter and full-year data on gross domestic product.
South Africa’s economy expands 2.1% in fourth quarter
outh Africa’s economy, the continent’s largest, grew at a faster pace in the final quarter of last year than the previous three months as manufacturing and agricultural output expanded, the statistics agency said. Gross domestic product rose an annualized 2.1 percent from 1.2 percent in the third quarter, Statistics South Africa said in a report released yesterday in Pretoria, the capital. The median estimate of 20 economists in a Bloomberg survey was for growth of 1.7 percent. The economy grew 2.5 percent for the whole of last year, down from 3.5 percent in 2011. South Africa’s economy is expand-
ing at less than half the pace President Jacob Zuma said is necessary to slash a 24.9 percent jobless rate, the highest of more than 30 emerging- market nations tracked by Bloomberg. Work stoppages that began at platinum mines in August spread to gold shafts, while thousands of truck drivers went on strike last quarter over higher pay, disrupting output. “While better than expected, overall growth remained sluggish over the final quarter,” Adenaan Hardien, chief economist at Cadiz Holdings Ltd. (CDZ) in Cape Town, said in e-mailed comments. “The manufacturing sector performed better than was expected. Although mining remained a drag on overall GDP, it
was less so than over the third quarter. Transport and financial services also performed better. We expect growth to continue its recovery through 2013.” Mining strikes cost the economy more than 10 billion rand ($1.1 billion) in lost output and exports and shaved about 0.5 percentage point off GDP last year, according to estimates from the National Treasury. Mining fell an annualised 9.3 percent in the fourth quarter, while electricity slumped 2.2 percent, the statistics agency said. Manufacturing expanded by 5 percent, agriculture by 10 percent, finance by 2.9 percent and transport by 1.9 percent.
uropean finance ministers voiced confidence that Greece will pull off a successful bond buyback, the key element in a revamped effort to stem the debt crisis in the country where it started. Greece began the 10 billion-euro ($13 billion) repurchase of bonds maturing from 2023 to 2042 on Monday, offering a higher-than-planned price in order to increase demand for the debt-reduction measure. “I’m confident it will go well,” French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici told reporters after euro-area finance chiefs met in Brussels. “It seems to be happening under satisfactory conditions.” European governments are counting on the buyback as a market-based way of cutting Greece’s debt, paving the way for continued aid payouts. Finance ministers set a December 13 meeting to release the next 34.4 billion euros for Greece and possibly wrap up bailout talks with Cyprus, which would become the fifth country to tap international aid since the crisis erupted in late 2009.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Euro finance chiefs confident of Greek buyback success
Once dismissed by European officials as a high-risk, low- reward method of debt reduction, the buyback became part of the Greek package after Germa-
Hollande loses bond market as growth stalls
rench President Francois Hollande’s honeymoon with bond investors may be ending as economic reality bites. Hollande, who returned from a 15-day summer break last week, faces an economy that hasn’t grown in three quarters, rising joblessness, a ballooning trade deficit and the task of coming up with a plan in the next few weeks to plug a budget hole of more than 30 billion euros ($37 billion) for next year. The challenges ahead may undermine the rally in French bonds that has allowed the country to sell bills at negative yields for the first time. During Hollande’s first 100 days in office, the premium demanded to hold French 10year debt rather than comparable German securities fell to the lowest in more than a year. That trend may be reversing. “France’s fundamentals -- rising unemployment, widening current account deficit and budget deficit -- would not support its bonds,” said Jamie Stuttard, head of international bond investments at Fidelity Investments in London, which has $1.6 trillion under management. “The more expensive French bonds go, the harder the case becomes for French government debt.” The French 10-year yield is at 2.06 percent, near the record-low of 2 percent reached on August 3 and down from 2.89 percent on the last trading day before Hollande’s election on May 6. While the premium France pays over Germany to borrow for a decade fell below 60 basis points for the first time in more than a year on August. 15, it’s rising again. It was 73 basis points on Monday. French government securities returned 0.34 percent this month after earning investors 3.98 percent in July, trailing bonds from Belgium, Ireland and Portugal, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch data. Sovereign debt from France, which was stripped of its AAA rating by Standard & Poor’s in January, got more expensive throughout 2012 -- notably since
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ny rejected the writeoff of official loans as a way of easing the country’s financial plight. The euro fetched $1.3070 as of yesterday. in London from $1.3054
Connecticut homes biggest losers as Wall Street cuts jobs
Hollande’s victory. The rally came as the European Central Bank cut its main interest rate to a record low and reduced its deposit rate to zero as the euro area teetered on the verge of recession and Spanish and Italian 10-year bond yields climbed above 6 percent.
Monday, when it touched $1.3076, the most since October 23. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has since indicated, in a Dec. 2 Bild newspaper interview, that official debt relief might be in the offing, as long as Greece starts posting operating budget surpluses in 2014 or 2015. That timeline would put off a decision to lump German taxpayers with losses on loans to Greece -- something Merkel promised would never happen -- until after a German election in late 2013. To persuade the International Monetary Fund to continue chipping in a third of the Greek loans, the euro ministers last week announced debt-reduction steps including lower bailout loan rates and a recycling of the European Central Bank’s profits on Greek bonds back to the Athens treasury.
onnecticut, for 25 years the state with the highest per capita income in the United States, is now leading the nation in home-price declines as Wall Street trims jobs and bonuses that had driven multimillion-dollar property sales. Prices in the Fairfield County area, home of the banker bedroom communities of Greenwich and New Canaan, tumbled 12.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the biggest decline of the 147 U.S. metropolitan areas measured by the National Association of Realtors. While the number of home purchased within the state financed with conventional mortgages rose 8.4 percent in the first half, deals using jumbo loans for pricier properties slid 9.4 percent, according to Warren Group, a real estate tracker. “We’re in a tough slog here relative to everybody else, which is surprising given where we’re located, near New York and Boston,” said Terence Beatty, director of the new homes and land division of Prudential Connecticut Realty in Wallingford. The state, which hosts the world’s two largest bank trading floors within UBS
AG (UBSN) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS)’s Stamford offices, is falling behind a U.S. housing recovery after losing 3,900 financial-services jobs since July 2011, the most of any industry. Connecticut also is struggling with rising foreclosures, posting the nation’s secondbiggest jump in notices of default and repossession last month.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy
Brezhnev bonds haunt Putin as investors hunt $785 billion
he European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ordered Russia last month to pay Yuriy Lobanov, a septuagenarian from the Ivanovo region near Moscow, 37,150 euros ($46,497) in compensation for the 1982 notes he held, or about 140 times the average monthly pension. Mariya Andreyeva, a 95-year-old survivor of the Nazi blockade of Leningrad, won a preliminary 4,300 euros on the bonds, which doubled as lottery tickets. The securities are part of the 25 trillion rubles ($785 billion), equal to almost half of Russian economic output, the government says it still owes the public from lost Soviet savings. Putin is stalling, most recently signing an order in April to halt
payments on the notes until at least 2015. Now, armed with court rulings, veteran speculators are joining pensioners in seeking to cash in. “This all should have been settled back in the 1990s,” said Boris Kheyfets, a Soviet debt specialist at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Economics in Moscow. “How do you assume a debt that huge? It would collapse everything immediately.” Soviet authorities began selling the 20year certificates in 1982 for 25, 50 or 100 rubles, partly to redeem earlier bonds and partly to sop up cash from a command economy with few consumer goods. The State Domestic Lottery Bonds offered a token 3 percent interest and a chance at
payouts of as much as 10,000 rubles, Kheyfets said. The top winners were entitled to a “chic” Volga sedan, while second prize was a Zhiguli. Unlike other former Soviet republics that settled similar debts in the 1990s at a fraction of what was lost, Russia pledged to cover the whole amount. President Boris Yeltsin signed a law in 1995 ordering the government to restore savings via bank deposits and Soviet bonds based on what those holdings could have purchased in 1990. Payments started in earnest during Putin’s first term, when surging oil prices pushed the budget into surplus. Now Putin is back in the Kremlin for a third term and the budget is barely breaking even.
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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‘Deliberate policy needed to Mr. Ope Odunsa, is the Chief Operating Officer of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), the body responsible for populating Nigeria’s country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), which is the country’s Internet identifier on the World Wide Web. In this interview with KUNLE AZEEZ, Odusan speaks on a wide range of issues and efforts by NIRA to boost .ng adoption and usage in the country. Excerpts:
You recently held your Annual General Meeting and during such a forum, NIRA usually sets key target, especially with regards to what level penetration you want to achieve in the usage of .ng in the current year. What is your target for this year? Our target at NIRA is a moving target. So, I don’t want to give you numbers because by the time it is reported, things might have changed. Though target is supposed to be futuristic, I would rather set percentage now. I think we are growing on a month-to-month basis of almost 20 per cent. That may seem like a small number but if you can multiply that over the entire year, that can be significant. One thing that we have done this year was that the board of NIRA now allows registration at .ng level. Before now, it used to be between N500, 000 to N600, 000 a year to register a .ng. For instance, Thisday.ng that got the first .ng paid almost N3 million for five years. But what the board has done now is to significantly reduce that price to N15, 000 per year. Basically, we have gone from N500, 000 per year to N15, 000 per year. That’s a huge drop. The reason for that was based on the board’s realisation that the adoption of .ng was very low and that it is better to have .ng directly instead of having .com.ng and Nigerians also complain about the price of having .ng directly, so we had to listen. We noted that a lot of foreigners took over .ng but our people could not afford it because of the high cost. For one, .ng being registered directly is a special category. It has lot more value but it is difficult to buy by our own people. Indeed, .ng is the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD). It is a country code. So, by this opening up of .ng through cost crash, we have seen tremendous uptake in the first five days of opening it up. We have registered over 300 .ng domains, which is quite significant, considering the fact that it is even N15, 000 domain name compared to other domains which is N2, 500 annually. So, that is quite significant and it is a major thing that has happened and we would continue to grow every day. What was the level of response in terms of adoption, when the .ng domain was about N500, 000? Though I seem to have answered this question in the earlier question but let me also answer by providing additional information. As I earlier pointed, there were only two people in the whole country that got .ng before now. They are ThisDay newspaper and MTN. Thirty other companies which we sold .ng to before the recent cost liberalistion actually come from outside Nigeria, meaning that we sold only 32 .ng domain names prior to the cost crash. This happened because it was very expensive. Most companies in Nigeria could not afford it. They actually wanted to use .ng but they just could not understand why it was so expensive ad now that the price has come down, we see that people are really taking it up because some people just prefer to use .ng instead of adding .com.ng because .ng is a first level domain name in terms of domain name hierarchy. So, the general public can now register .ng directly. Basically since the reduction in price, we have seen a lot of uptake and I see more Nigerians showing interest because they can now afford it contrary to when it looked like out of reach for most Nigerians. How are you tackling the penchant that many Nigerians have for patronising foreign domain names in spite of the reduction in cost of .ng registration? We would continue to do awareness. Just before the AGM, we had a local internet content forum. That was part of the strategic initiative designed to promote aware-
ness and for people to understand that there is patriotism part of it in using .ng but it is just all about patriotism. If you have a website that is hosted locally and it is .ng, it is actually faster to locate such content locally online. That is a given. The farther a website is in terms of physical location, the slower it is to get there. I have my website here and my local Internet Service Provider is connected at the local Exchange Point, there is zero latency or what I will call zero travel time. Analogically, it is like if I want to go to Benin from Lagos and I first go to London and then come back to Benin, here in Nigeria. That is what we are doing when we host Internet contents outside Nigeria as against if you want to go to Benin and you just go directly from Lagos to Benin. Of course, the second approach is much faster and cheaper. That is incontestable. But right now, we are not doing that which makes it possible for us to locate our online destination faster and cheaper. At NIRA, what we are doing is to create the awareness among the people who are creating their website under .com that .com will always be farther away from us. By having a .ng identity and hosting it locally, you actually hasten online transactions. That is one thing we are encouraging at NIRA. Another thing we are doing is that, we begin to let people realise that .ng is not for the elite or Information and Communication Technology world alone. Although, a lot of the things we have been doing are to work with core ICT organisations and professionals which we would continue to do, we are also taking it down to the grassroots, to religious organisations, educational institutions, the students, Small and Medium Enterprises and others with a message that they need to leverage .ng domain name for cheaper and faster online activities. I always say it that one of the best ways to significantly drive .ng adoption, apart from cost reduction, is through deliberate government policy to ensure its adoption. For instance, in 1990s, the United States government made a deliberate policy that if you host your website with .com, you will run your business tax-free for five years. It was a deliberate policy that if you sell your service or product online on .com, you will be given a five year tax holiday. Gradually, everybody started going online and that was the beginning of .com population. It was a deliberate policy of the US government under President Clinton and Algore. Usually, if you sell and buy anything in the US, you are heavily taxed. But the government was saying that if you buy online, you will not be taxed for a period of five years. What happened was that everybody started putting their products and services online and buyers also preferred to buy online than buying from a local shop and then, the whole .com adoption exploded and we are at that stage now in Nigeria. We can adopt a similar measure in Nigeria. It only takes one or two policies to achieve this. But at NIRA, what we are also doing is that we are working with the Nigerian government through the Ministry of Communication Technology to make a policy push that makes it a requirement for Corporate Affairs Commission to mandate people that are registering their businesses to secure their domain names in .ng. Today, we have over 8 million companies registered with CAC and one-tenth of those names actually have a website. So, we have a lot of companies that are already doing business but would need to be online and specifically on .ng. Currently over 300, 000 domains names have been registered in Nigeria including .com; .net; .org; .ng and others. But majority are not functional. So, by making
AT NIRA, WHAT WE ARE DOING IS TO CREATE THE AWARENESS AMONG THE PEOPLE WHO ARE CREATING
THEIR WEBSITE UNDER .COM THAT .COM WILL ALWAYS BE FARTHER AWAY FROM US.
some policy changes, we can actually drive .ng uptake but if we don’t do it, the money will continue to go outside ultimately. For instance, for all the newspapers that have .com address in Nigeria, whether they like it or not, they pay the government of US annually even if it is just $10. So, that money is going outside and we want to reverse that trend which is not good for the Nigerian economy. We went live on April 16, 2013 with the N15, 000 and within five days, we had gotten close to 500 names, majority of which came from foreign companies too and what that means is that we are now getting money back into the country. The more foreigners like and buy .ng, the more they bring their money into the Nigerian economy and then, the next thing for us is to actually host our contents locally. When you host abroad, you are sending money to develop other economy. When you host locally, you are creating jobs, developing your internet economy and ultimately the Internet cost will go down. I’m sure you remember that initially, the cost of internet in the country was very expensive but in the last few years, because of competition, the prices have gone down. And mark my words; it would get to a time when all these telcos offering you unlimited calls will also switch to unlimited data bundles. There is a perception that foreigners don’t want to do online business with Nigeria once they discover the web they are transacting with is domiciled in .ng. Now, with this .ng being opened up and expected surge in its adoption by Nigerian firms, what is NIRA doing to correct this impression? That is a very interesting question. You see, don’t be misled about what you read about foreigners. When we started .ng, I told you that, of the 32 domains we sold out at N5 million apiece for a period of five years, only two were bought by companies operating in Nigeria. The rest were bought by foreigners. This shows that foreigners know the benefits inherent in getting .ng for that price and as time
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
deepen .ng adoption’
goes on, they would want to come to Nigeria to do business. Having said that, we also recognise that there is a problem. The way Nigeria is reported in Nigeria and even outside of Nigeria is unfair. The news I just told you about foreigners who bought 30 of our .ng domains since NIRA started with never got reported properly. The reason is that the negative stuff always sells more in Nigeria. Now, to answer your question, there are issues with .ng that Nigerians have no control over. The main thing about .ng is that foreigners like it more than Nigerians do. You see words like ‘going’, ‘coming’, ‘dancing’; ‘tourism’ and so on, which foreigners have all taken in creating their domain names. Do you know that? If you go through Google now and search for anything that has to do with .ng, you will realise that such words combined with .ng are gone. Others are ‘reading’, ‘traveling’, ‘shopping’; they are all taken by foreigners. The online market is such that these are key words that when you want to search and you google them, they are easily located and made available to you. People need to understand that online business is a whole new industry that they need to invest in and really understand. I want to liken it to oil. Our forefathers had oil but didn’t know what to do with it and then allowed Shell and other multinationals to come and extract the crude oil, refine it and then sell it back to us at exorbitant prices. That exactly is what is happening now to .ng and we need to reverse it. Indeed, foreigners had taken most of the key words and as Nigerians, we are watching and ultimately, the foreigners are going to come back and re-sell the domains to Nigerians at higher prices if we are not careful. During your last AGM, some important decisions were taken. Can you share with us what these resolutions are and how they will affect NIRA’s operations going forward? During the last AGM, we have had some interesting resolution. One is that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is now a member of Trustees of NIRA. This means that a NITDA representa-
INDEED, FOREIGNERS HAD TAKEN MOST OF THE KEY WORDS
NIGERIANS, WE ARE WATCHING AND ULTIMATELY, AND AS
THE FOREIGNERS ARE GOING TO COME BACK AND RE-SELL THE DOMAINS TO
HIGHER PRICES IF WE ARE NOT CAREFUL.
tive is now a member of the Board of Trustee (BoT) and also the current chairman of BoT of NIRA, Dr. Odeyemi indicated his interest in stepping down as the chairman and constitution calls for a re-election of a new chairman of BoT at the AGM. Other members of BoT will meet at a later date to elect their new chairman because there were no nominations for a new BoT chairman during the AGM. Also, all other executive members returned except Mr. Akin Akinbo, who decided to step down and then contest for the executive board of director. So, there are two boards, the executive board of directors, which is the operation arms of the NIRA, and the BoT, which carries out advisory role. Another important issue that came up was the conferment of life patrons on three members of BoT by the general house of NIRA. The revised constitution allowed for NIRA to elect some of the BoT members to become life patrons. Consequently, the three people elected were Dr. Odeyemi; Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, who was previously secretary of BoT and Mr. Chima Onyekwere, who is the chairman of Linkserve Limited, a leading Internet service provider in the country. The other important decision taken during
the AGM was the fact that a house motion was moved for the CAC to re-issue NIRA’s Certificate of Incorporation. The initial certificate became lost to the death of our former President, Mr. Kalu Ndukwe and CAC insisted that, to get a new one, we must have a house resolution and that resolution was passed during the AGM. We will, therefore, want this to be in the news so that when we go to the CAC, they will know that the general house resolution had been passed so that we can be issued a new certificate. The history of NIRA is such that when it was formed, there was never an administrative office. Rather, it was being run from the office of the pioneered President but when he passed away, because of the sorrow and all other intrigues, nobody really knew where the Certification of Incorporation was. What people were able to recover only was the seal, corporate papers and other suchlike but to regain our certificate know as the law requires that a resolution be passed before the certificate can be re-issued.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance We are concerned that many MFBs are not operating as they should, neither are they playing by the rules. As many as 15 per cent of the over 880 MFBs operating in the country fail to render returns to the supervisory authorities, as and when due, while many fail to pay their annual premium as required by law,”
‘Deliberate policy needed to deepen .ng adoption’ Chief Operating Officer, Nigeria Internet Registration Association, Ope Odunsa
MANAGING DIRECTOR, NIGERIA DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION, ALHAJI UMARU IBRAHIM,
D-8 nations target $500bn trade volume by 2018 OLUFEM ADEOSUN ABUJA
he Secretary General of D-8 countries, Dr Seyed Mousavi yesterday put the expected volume of trade among the group in the next five at $500billion (about N79trillion.) According to him, at present the inter-trade volume among the member states of D-8 which include Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey, is about $148 billion, approximately N23.38trillion. Mousavi spoke in Abuja at the 1st Trade Ministers Council Meeting of the Preferential Trade Agreement. The PTA framework of agreement is one of the main areas countries under the D-8 group intend to explore to boost trade and investment among member nations. Other areas include multilateral agreement on administrative assistance in customs matters, simplification of Visa procedures for the business man of the
D-8 members. Relying on the International Monetary FundInternational Financial Statistics, the Sec Gen noted that the volume of D-8 total trade to the world increased from $434bn 1997(the pre-D-8 era) to almost $1.8trillion in 2012, representing a leap in percentage from 3.9 to 5.0. In the same period, he also said D-8 intra-trade also boosted significantly with the volume of intra-
trade increasing impressively from $15bn in 1997 to almost $150bn in 2012, also representing a percent increase from 3.4 to 8.2. Also speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, underlined the imperative of the council, insisting that the only tool that would deliver sustainable economic growth is trade and investment. According to him, the
meeting is holding at a time when discussions and negotiations are taking place in a number of multilateral fora on how best to use public policies to unleash the potentials for peace, sustainable economic growth and development. Specifically on the PTA, Aganga who hosted the Council that comprised ministers of member nations, noted that the framework of agreement and
igeria telecoms industry grew its subscriber base by 7.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2013, as over 6.2 million additional
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Arik Air Lag-Abj:07.15, 09.15, 10.20, 13.05, 15.20, 16.20, 16.50,18.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun). Abj-Lag: 07:15, 09.40,10.20, 12.15, 15.15, 16.15,17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun); 12.15, 15.15, 16.15 (Sun)Lag-PH: 07:15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.10, 17.15 (Mon-Fri) 07.30, 11.40, 15.50 (Sat) 11.50, 3.50, 17.05 Sun) Abj-PH: 07.15, 11.20, 15.30 (Mon-Fri) 07.15, 16.00 (Sat) 13.10, 16.00 Sun) PH-Abj: 08.45, 12.50, 17.00 (Mon-Fri) 08.45, 17.30 (Sat) 14.40, 17.30 (Sun) AbvBeni:08.00, 12.10 (Mon-Fri/ Sat)08.56, 12.10(Sun)
Aero Contractors Lag-Abj: 06.50, 13.30, 16.30, 19.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun), 12.30 (Sun) 16.45 (Sat) Abj-Los: 07.30, 13.00, 19.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat, 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 (Sun, 18.30 Sat) LagBenin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (MonFri/Sat/Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat)
L-R: Head of Finance and Operations, NASD Plc, Mr. Titus Oladunni; Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Bola Ajomale and Legal & Compliance Officer, Miss. Omobolanle Sanusi, during a press briefing in Lagos to announce the official launch of Over the Counter (OTC ) Market operations recently.
Nigeria’s phone subscriptions up by 7% in Q1 KUNLE A ZEEZ
schedule of commitment should be implemented in a transparent and predictable manner for the mutual benefit and progress of member states. Speaking on the achievements of the group since it was formed in 1997, the minister stated,”D-8, established in 1997 has grown in both scope and activities supposedly due to the vigour and dynamism of the private sector which is consistently building many partnership and alliance. At the same time, people to people contact has helped in building trust and confidence as well instilling a feeling of community in D-8.
telephone lines were recorded on various mobile networks during the period. This was contained in the latest industry data obtained by National Mirror from the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC. The additional 6.2 million telephone lines which were added in the
quarter pushed the current total active mobile subscriptions in the country up from 113.1 million at the end of December, 2012 to 119.3 million at the end of April, this year. According to the latest, active telephone subscriptions in Nigeria increased from 113.1 million to reach 114.4 million, 116.6 million, 117.2 million and t 119.3 million in
January, February, March and April respectively. However, the total connected telephone lines in the country now stand at 164.8 million at the end of April, 2013, having increased from 161.9 million, 159.8 million and 154.5 million in January, February and March in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the NCC data has revealed an in-
Maritime workers threaten to shut seaports next week
crease from teledensity from 80.85 in December 2012 to 81.78, January; 83.29 per cent in February; 83.77 per cent in March and 85.25 per cent at the end of April, in the first quarter. Teledensity is the percentage of connected lines in relation to the population at a given period of time and its growth is proportional to the growth in subscriber base.
Lagos-Abuja 7.30 8.30 7.45 8.45 09.30 10.30 10.30 11.30 12.30 13.30 14.30 15.30 16.30 17.30 Lagos-Kano 08.00 09.15 10.30 11.45 14.30 15.40 18.15 19.30 Los-Maid&Yola (Mon-Thur) 09.30 11.30 Fri- Sun 10.30 12.30 Kano-Lagos 07.30 08.45 14.00 15.15 17.30 18.45 Kano-Abj 10.45 11.30 Abj-Lagos 09.00 10.30 11.00 12.00 12.00 13.00
FG, oil firm in endless FAAN insists war against crude theft, controversial land illegal refineries belongs to FG
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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Maritime workers threaten to shut seaports next week MESHACK IDEHEN
aritime Workers Union of Nigeria(MWUN), said it will shut down activities inall the nation’s seaports next week, and that the union has petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan over unpaid 11 months salary to members by the Nigerian Ports Authority, (NPA). According to the maritime workers, “NPA had for the past 11 months not paid tally clerks, onboard security men and other deckhands, but had been spending not less than N300 monthly to pay illegal employees known as cargo surveyors, who had nothing to do at the ports”.
MWUN President, Mr. Anthony Nted told journalists on Tuesday, that the union is giving the management of NPA up till Tuesday next week to pay the tally clerks, onboard security men and deckhands their 11 months salary and disengage the cargo surveyor who had no defined job to do at the ports, but receive fat pay, failing which the nation’s ports would be shut indefinitely. According to him, the dockworkers including tally clerks and on-board security men were registered by the National Dock Labour Board, (NDLB), to work at the sea ports, private terminals and jetties and were trained in the act of cargo handling/loading and discharging of ships.
The union said section 35 of the Nigeria Dock Labour Decree No. 37 of 1999 which established the Joint Dock Labour Industrial Council, (JODLIC), described a dockhand as “a person registered under the decree to perform duties connected with the loading arid discharging of ships.” MWUN said the cargo surveyors of NPA are not known under the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Act 2007, which regulates maritime labour activities in Nigerian ports, hence, not permitted by law to perform the role of registered tally Clerks. According to the petition, “On-board security men are involved in watching over cargo to avoid theft and over
boarding and to prevent unauthorized shore leave through the gangway by crew members. Their function also helps to prevent attack of vessels in the ports by terrorist and pirates in line with requirement of the ISPS code on port and ship security and safety. “It is unjust and undesirable for NPA management to attempt to substitute registered tally clerks with cargo surveyors because looking at all past and subsisting legislations; there has always been provision for registered tally clerks and onboard security
CSOs laud NASS on budget oversight roles TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
L-R: Managing Director/CEO, CMC Connect Ltd, Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya; Directors, Mr. Laolu Akinkugbe, and Mr. Tunde Dabiri, at the 16th Annual General Meeting of the company (Perception Managers) held in Lagos recently.
CBN cautions on currency counterfeiting TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Central Bank of Nigeria has described currency counterfeiting as one of the most destructive vices in any economy and urged all Nigerians and other stakeholders to jointly work together in tackling the monetary menace in the domestic economy. Making the observation at the Regional Workshop on Bank Notes and Currency Management and Forecasting in Central Banks organised by the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), in Abuja, the apex bank Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who believes that currency counterfeiting is not peculiar to the nation’s economy, noted that with collective collaboration of stakeholders and deployment of innovative technologies, the incidence
could be reduced in the financial system. Sanusi, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Mrs Sarah Alade, said that one of the major challenges facing central banks worldwide is the increasing prevalence of currency counterfeiting activities in various countries, warning that if un-checked, it would undermine the integrity of domestic economy, creates economic distortions, and render the tools of economic management ineffective. The apex bank Governor said that in order to curb the menace, the regulatory would design and implement appropriate enlightenment campaigns which will not only reveal the evils of currency counterfeiting needs but also discourage the economic saboteurs who engage in the despicable act. He also harped on the need for effective collaboration between
central banks and other international agencies involved in the fight against counterfeiting; pointing out that effective currency management depended on excellent information and insightful analysis. Sanusi said: “From the perspective of a Central bank, currency management is indeed a critical aspect of our functions the world over. Central banks need to safeguard the value of the currency through various measures such as, initiating policies relating to the issue and redemption of currency, initiatives to prevent and minimize money laundering and counterfeiting, and adequately meeting the demand for money by the public. When confidence in the currency is strong, this fosters monetary and financial stability which is a precondition for achieving sustainable economic growth.
men because of their strategic importance to the Maritime industry and tacit security value as “whistle blowers”. “As a union, we say emphatic no to any move to replace the trained, experienced tally clerks and onboard security men with cargo surveyors. The move shall be resisted by our members in all seaports nationwide. This is because we cannot stand any further labour dislocation in our seaports and the attendant consequences on the affected Nigerian workers, their families and dependants”.
ivil Society Organisations in the country have commended the National Assembly, particularly the Office of the Senate President, for its efforts aimed at ensuring effective implementation of federal budgets and also collaborating with the civil society in their campaigns for impactbased monitoring and evaluation of budget performance. Expressing the CSOs’ position on the oversight roles of the Legislature in budget implementation at the Office of the President of Senate – Civil Society Roundtable to Brainstorm on strategies for Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting of 2013 Budget held in Abuja, the Chairman of Government/ Civil Society Partnership, Dr. Lanre Adebayo, said the current engagements between the
Legislature and CSOs had the potential of increasing the impact of yearly budgets on the socio-economic well-being of the citizenry. He said: “We are advocating for democratising the budgeting process in the country in such a way that civil societies will be involved as well as the people of the country, Adebayo also said the National Assembly was not to be blamed for poor budget implementation. “Their constituency project which many people talk about is just a small part of the entire project. One factor could be revenue shortfall, which is fundamental. There could also be lack of capacity because it is one thing for a proposal to be made for budget and another thing for the MDAs to have the capacity to access the funds and spend it because even the process of spending the money is highly technical.
Controversial land belongs to FG, FAAN insists OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, yesterday said that the controversial expanse of land at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos still belongs to it. FAAN and AIC Hotel Limited owned by Chief Harry Akande have been in tussle over the large parcel of land proposed for the construction of a fivestar hotel for over a decade. FAAN in a statement signed by the Coordinating Spokesman, Aviation Parastatals, Mr. Yakubu Dati insisted that the ruling of Hon. Justice Buba of the Federal High court indicated that the land was still in its custody. Dati assured the public and aviation stakeholders that it would abide by the ruling of
the court, stressing that for the fact that the company had filed an appeal against the ruling did not indicate that it would be favoured at the end of the day. The statement reads in part, “We hereby advise members of the public, especially aviation stakeholders, to disregard such untenable claims by AIC Ltd designed to pull wool over their eyes, and assure them that the ruling by Hon. Justice Buba on that land concession still stands. “We wish to assure the public that as a law abiding and responsible corporate citizen, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria will not engage in any act that would amount to disrespect to the judiciary, in the same way that we shall not allow any unruly concessionaire to trample on the collective right of all Nigerians, which FAAN represents on this issue.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Lagos requires N440bn for shoreline protection project DAYO AYEYEMI
he Lagos State Government said yesterday that it would require N440 billion to protect the state’s shoreline, covering 87 kilometres, from problems of coastal erosion and degradation. Besides, the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Mr. Adesegun Abiodun Oniru, an engineer, said the state government has spent over N38 billion for the restoration of its shoreline damaged by coastal erosion occasioned by frequent ocean surge. Speaking at the 2013 Annual Distinguished Lecture of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers in Lagos, Oniru said the restoration works, which start from the back of Eko Atlantic City project to Alpha Beach, covered 7 kilome-
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
tres stretch of the shoreline. The theme of the lecture is entitled, “Nigeria’s Coastal Erosion: A case study of the Lagos State Coastline.” Despite the fact that the shoreline being ravaged by coastal erosion is the boundary of Nigeria, the commissioner disclosed that the Federal Government has been passive as regard finding the last solution to the problem. According to him, the Federal Government has not contributed anything to help the state government to solve the problem. “President Jonathan was at scene of coastal erosion of Alpha Beach two years ago and promised to help the state government to solve the problem, up till now, we are still expecting the promise,” he said. One unique solution embarked upon by the state government to
combat coastal erosion of Lagos shoreline , the commissioner said was the Eko Altalntic Project. According to him, without the Eko Atlantic City project, the whole Victoria Island and Ikoyi would have been swept away by the ocean surge. The commissioner explained how wild storm from the Atlantic ocean, as a result of rise in sea level, ravaged the Bar Beach in 2006 and how the state government came to rescue. He said, “We all saw what happened at Kuramo Beach last year; strong wave from the ocean swept away people and their makeshifts. We don’t want a repeat of this and that is why the state government is passionate about finding permanent solution to ocean surge of the entire area.” Oniru suggested many ways to combat problems of erosion of the shoreline which include the use of sand saver, sand reclamation, sea wall , X-bloc, sand bags, floodgate and groynes protection.
Accion MFB partners UNIDO on career, entrepreneurship development MESHACK IDEHEN
ccion Microfinance Bank Limited (AMfB), one of the country’s largest microfinance banks has said it would participate in the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) initiated Entrepreneurship and Career Fair 2013. The bank said the entrepreneurship and career fair which has the support of the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment (FMITI), is geared towards attracting and interacting with over 10,000 young people.. External Communications Executive, Oluwayemisi Mafe, in a statement on Tuesday, said the initiative would bring together hundreds of leading local and multinational companies from several industries, representatives from various ministries and government agencies.
She said the programme which would also feature seasoned and amateur entrepreneurs, and jobseekers with varying qualifications and levels of experience is in line with Accion Microfinance Bank’s goal of ensuring a brighter future by building manpower for sustainable enterprise development. Mafe said with a capitalisation of N1.7bn and total asset of N2.7bn as at December 31, 2012, alongside being voted in the top 5 company for outstanding work place practices in Nigeria by Great Place to Work Nigeria in 2012, that the security of customer’s funds is a priority for the bank. According to her, working at Accion Microfinance Bank offers every employee an opportunity to develop self while fulfilling career goals and aspirations, adding the bank has consistently delivered on its promises of dependability, accountability, and ensuring the security of customer’s funds.
Nigeria’s $25bn FDI to rise with GITEX 2013 KUNLE A ZEEZ
T L-R: Beneficiary, Indomie Mobile Carts Empowerment programme, Mrs. Olaitan Ojelade; Public Relations Manager, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr. Tope Ashiwaju; beneficiaries, Mrs. Olajoke Ogunshakin and Mrs. Itiolu Bolanle, during the donation of Indomie Mobile Carts Empowerment programme in Lagos, yesterday.
Maritime labour: Nigeria formalises international convention ratification UDO ONYEKA
igeria has taken a major step towards the domestication of the Maritime Labour Convention MLC 2006, with the submission of the instrument of ratification to the International Labour Organisation, ILO. A statement made available to National Mirror said Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu presented Nigeria’s instrument of ratification of the MLC 2006 to the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Mr. Guy Ryder during the just concluded 102nd Session of the ILO Conference in Geneva, Switzerland said the development is milestone in maritime development in Nigeria. According to the statement with this submission, Nigeria
became the fifth country from Africa, and the thirty Eight 38th country amongst the 185 member organisation to ratify the Convention, which provides comprehensive rights and protection at work for the world’s over 1.2 million seafarers. It said the Convention also aims to achieve both decent work for seafarers and secure economic interests in fair competition for quality ship owners. In his address before handing over the ratification instrument to the DG ILO, the Minister of Labour and Productivity Chief Emeka Wogu noted that the quest to provide productive and decent jobs for the teeming youth population in an environmentally sustainable manner made the ratification of MLC 2006 more compelling. Wogu noted that the provisions of the MLC 2006 are in line with the transformation agenda
of President Goodluck Jonathan Administration which has human capacity development particularly youth empowerment as its focus. The ILO Director General, Mr. Guy Ryder, commended the Nigerian Government for ratifying the Convention and described the submission of the ratification instrument as the highpoint of the 102nd session of the ILO Conference in Geneva adding that the 38 countries that have ratified the Convention jointly account for 69% of global ship tonnage. Speaking shortly after the instrument was submitted to the ILO boss; Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, who was represented by the Executive Director Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Barrister Callistus Nwabueze Obi described the ratification of the MLC 2006 Convention as a major milestone in the quest to enhance the maritime labour industry in Nigeria.
he Gulf Information Technology Exhibition 2013, holding in Dubai later in the year will help in opening a visa opportunity for Federal Government to woo foreign investors to come and invest in Nigeria in order to further boost the current $25 billion ICT investment in the country. Tagged: GITEX 2013, the forum will attract a global audience in the knowledge economy by establishing a Nigerian Pavilion, with assurance of improving the FDI index of the Federal Government. This would be made possible by the consulting expertise
of Mr. Akande Ojo of Pinnacle International Consulting of Iowa, United States. Pinnacle Consulting is an international Consultant Company focused on promoting investment in Nigeria as well as providing international business opportunities for Nigerian based companies with the aim of creating Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and increasing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria. The consulting firm is working strategically with the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC) to expose Nigerian companies to the international business community by creating a Nigerian Pavilion at the GITEX Technology Week 2013.
‘Nigeria Telecoms Trade Fair will boost industry growth’ KUNLE A ZEEZ
hief Executive Officer, Logica Group, organisers of the annual Nigerian Telecoms Trade Fair, Mr. Biodun Ajiboye, has said the event has a greater role to play in accelerating further growth of the nation’s Information and Communication Technology industry. Speaking at the three days event, which held at the Tafawa Balew Square, TBS, Ajiboye said the event which entered its second year running this year was conceived to provide a platform for ICT companies to showcase latest solutions, gadgets ad services they have for their customers. According to him, the forum helped in facilitating face-to-face
interactions among the players, the operators, consumers and other stakeholders in the industry with a view to creating awareness and competitiveness in the industry. While noting that the organisers got some buy-ins into the event this year, as operators such as MTN, Globacom, Airtel, Etisalat, RLG, among others came to exhibit their latest services and hardware products, Ajiboye noted that this’ year’s event was an improvement over the inaugural one held at the same venue last year. He, however, noted that the current non-participation of the regulators such as the Nigerian Communications Commission, the National Information technology Development Agencies, NITDA, among others was still major challenge to the event.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Oando posts N10.8bn profit in 2012 JOHNSON OKANLAWON
ando Nigeria has announced a profit after tax of N10.8bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2012, lower than the N11.7bn it forecast to deliver in the year. The company’s turnover rose by 17.8 per cent to N673bn in 2012, from N571bn recorded in 2011, while income tax expense dropped to N6.77bn, from N11.3bn in 2011. According to the result presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, gross profit increased to N81.6bn in the review period, from N65.8bn in 2011, while selling and
marketing costsdipped marginally by 4.3 per cent to N7.56bn, from N7.89bn in 2011. Analysis of the company’s balance sheet showed a total asset of N516bn in 2012, from N405bn in 2011, while current assets stood at N148m, from N193m in 2011. The Integrated energy firm, which raised N54.6bn from existing shareholders early in the year, said in its offer prospectus that shareholders would enjoy dividends of N3.18bn for 2012 financial year. Market analysts had said that given the third quarter results of the company, in which it recorded N9.2bn, the pro-
jected N11.7bn might even be surpassed. The offer, being made at N12 per share on the basis of two new shares for every one share already held, was used to repay part of N60bn syndicated loan used to acquire upstream assets and swamp drilling rigs among others. The energy firm said in the first quarter of 2012 that profit before tax declined by 15 per cent to N5.12bn in the first quarter compared to a year ago. That was despite the fact that revenues inched up 38 per cent to N160bn. The company said higher cost of petroleum products during the period compared to the same
period in 2011, reflecting the reduction in subsidy, as a major cause of the fall in profits. Nigeria cut petrol import subsidies in January in an effort to control the spiralling costs of a scheme that represents a huge state handout to fuel importers. The government had initially planned to axe subsidies completely, but was forced to partially reinstate them after a public outcry. Oando, which holds a secondary listing in Johannesburg, also said administrative and selling expenses, including foreign exchange losses, hurt profits in the quarter.
ASI drops 1.96% as Champion Breweries leads gainers DAMILOLA AJAYI
he bench mark index of equities continued on a bearish note on Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as more investors took profit from the gain recorded last week. The All Share index dropped by 1.96 per cent to close at 35,751.40 points, while market capitalisation depreciated by N23bn to close at N11.29trn, higher than the decline of N19bn recorded the preceding day to close at N11.52trn. All the sectorial indices shed substantial part of
their value. The Insurance index lost 4.31 per cent to close at 138.01 points, while the Banking index dipped by 2.90 per cent to close at 399.77 points. The Oil and Gas index fell by 2.82 per cent to close at 173.01 points, while the Consumer Goods index declined by 2.33 per cent to close at 1,008.68 points. The NSE 30- index shed 2.06 per cent to close at 1,708.49 points, while the Lotus Islamic index fell by 1.75 per cent to close at 2,565.79 points. The Industry Goods index dropped by 0.16 per cent to close at 2,214.25
points, but the Alternative sard Insurance Plc lost 22 30,983.83 per cent to close Market Securities 9,910,815,896,785.59 idex re- kobo or 10 at N1.98 per share, while mained flat. International Champion Breweries Neimeth Plc led the gainers’ table Pharmaceutical plc shed with 53 kobo or 9.96 per N4.50 or ten per cent to cent to close at N5.85 per close atN40.50 per share. Wapic Insurance Plc deshare, followed by IHS Plc with 16 kobo or 8.79 per clined by 10 kobo or 10 per cent to close at N1.98 per cent to close at 90 kobo per share, while Union Bank share. Eterna Plc appreci- Nigeria Plc fell by N1.19 ated by 20 kobo or 6.45 per or 10 per cent to close at cent to close at N3.30 per N10.71 per share. National share, while Ikeja Hotel Plc Salt Company of Nigegained four kobo or 5.41 per ria Plc dropped by N1.16 cent to close at 78 kobo per or 9.95 per cent to close at share. Dangote Sugar Plc N10.50 per share. A total of 461.2 million increased 52 kobo or 5.29 per cent to close at N10.35 shares valued at N5.39bn were exchanged in 7,377 per share. On the flip side, Man- deals.
Loan recovery to determine MSME fund beneficiaries -CBN JOHNSON OKANLAWON
he Central Bank of Nigeria has said that microfinance banks (MFBs) that have a history of loan recovery would be able to access the Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises Development Fund which will be launched in the third quarter of the year. Speaking at a two day workshop organised by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) for MFBs in Lagos, the CBN Director, Other Financial Institutions, Mr. Femi Fabanwo, said this is to ensure that the fund achieve the desired
goal. He said, “The MFBs that would be able to access the MSME Development Fund must have a proven track record of performance. That is they should have been able to recover the loans that they have given out on their own.” According to him, the capability to recover loans will enable the banks to recycle the fund as many times as possible, thus helping to grow the economy. The Managing Director of the NDIC, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim noted that to complement the efforts of the CBN, the corporation is putting in place a framework for financial assistance to prob-
lem MFBs with intension to promptly intervene and assist them to overcome temporary liquidity problems. He noted that regulatory authorities are not unaware of the challenges facing MFBs such as undercapitalisation, illiquidity, high cost of funds and operating costs as well as poor infrastructure and false lifestyle of managers, adding that measures are been put in place by regulators to provide relief. On the failure of some MFBs to pay premium, he said that the corporation has proposed a tripartite agreement wherein the correspondent banks of the MFBs
will be required to debit their accounts and credit the corporation with the premium due. According to him, since the introduction of the deposit insurance for microfinance banks in 2008, only N1.1bn had been collected as premium by the regulators. This amount, according to the NDIC boss, was far lower than the actual amount that ought to have been paid by the operators. He cited the case of September 2010 when 103 MFBs were closed down by the regulatory authorities, saying that N2.5bn was paid to depositors of the affected institutions.
Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 24 JUNE 2013 & 25 JUNE 2013 16.00
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Market indicators All-Share Index 30,983.83 points Market capitalisation 9,910 trillion
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
Primary Market Auction TENOR
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Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at June 25, 2013 1st Tier Securities
1st Tier Securities Sector
No Of Deals
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (168) “When one door of happiness closes, another opens but often we look so long at the closed door that we don’t see the one that has been opened for us.” –Helen Keller There Is Always A Way Out! Worries and anxieties have the power to blind us to the opportunities that abounds around us. Once I was looking for 700,000 naira to do a particular business and was almost at the verge of taking loans when my eyes were opened to a long time investment that I once did which miraculously turned to millions of naira. As a matter of fact the document was under my reading table all the time and I didn’t know! Let’s keep our eyes open. When one door closes millions are wide open somewhere. I believe this implicitly! Someone says many look but only few see! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Clinton letters, Lewinsky clothing gifts up for auction A collection of items used in the investigation of former White House intern Monica Lewinsky’s sexual encounters with then U.S. President Bill Clinton is being auctioned online, Nate D. Sanders Auctions said on Monday. The 32-item collection was submitted by Lewinsky’s former lover Andy Bleiler to special prosecutor Kenneth Starr during his investigation of the Clinton-
Lewinsky scandal in the 1990s, the auction house said in a statement. Lewinsky’s affair with married man Bleiler came to light during the investigation that led to Clinton’s impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1998 on perjury and obstruction of justice charges. Clinton was acquitted by the Senate, and completed his second term in 2001. Among the items up for
auction is a signed Clinton letter to the Bleilers, photographs and cards from Lewinsky and clothing gifted by Lewinsky to Bleiler’s wife Kate Nason, who is putting them up for sale, the auction house said. “Items owned by Monica Lewinsky, especially relating to the Clinton scandal and Ken Starr investigation are exceedingly rare,” auctioneer Nate D. Sanders said in a state-
ment. “This is, to my knowledge, the only collection of this nature to come to light.” The items are expected to fetch between $25,000 and $50,000 in total. Online bidding for the lot began earlier this month and concludes on June 27, the auction house said. Lewinsky, 39, has largely remained out of the spotlight in recent years after moving to Britain.
Monkey attacks police officer at traffic stop
Texas police officer said a traffic stop took a turn for the bizarre when he was attacked by the motorist’s monkey. Aransas Pass Police Officer Keith Moore, 21, who joined the police department three months ago, said he pulled over a truck for speeding Wednesday and when he reached into the vehicle to hand the citation to the driver, a monkey jumped
up from the back seat and attacked his hand, KRISTV, Corpus Christi, Texas, reported Monday. Moore said it was difficult to explain the situation to his supervisor. “My sergeant thought I had initially got stung with a bee but it wasn’t,” Moore said. “I ended up telling him when I was walking back that it was a monkey that came out of nowhere.” The incident was
caught on Moore’s policeissue video camera. “He’s got a monkey and it attacked my hand. I’m not even kidding,” Moore can be heard telling the sergeant on the recording. Police said they determined the monkey was a professional primate trained for appearances at carnivals and festivals. The driver was not penalized for the attack on the officer’s hand.
President Clinton posing with Monica Lewinsky in Nov. 17, 1995.
Wednesday June 26, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Russia rejects US demand for Snowden’s extradition
“There is a president ruling the country in a democratic way, and (through) democratic elections. We can’t imagine that the army would come back”
–EGYPTIAN PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN, IHAB FAHMY
MANDELA’S 18TH DAY IN HOSPITAL
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
lose family members of Nelson Mandela gathered yesterday in his ancestral village in the Eastern Cape where he has asked to be buried, when he dies, according to Xhosa custom in a grave beside his mother and father. No official details of the clan meeting in Qunu were divulged aside from word from South Africa’s SAPA news agency that it had been held “to discuss delicate matters.” The widespread assumption was that that meeting – which was said by some reporters to have included a visit to the family cemetery plot by one of Mandela’s grandsons – was convened to discuss funeral arrangements and the protracted grieving process and celebration of his life that is likely to follow when the 94-yearold former president passes away. The family gathering in Qunu was the latest of many signs that the iconic anti-apartheid freedom fighter’s final struggle may be in its final stages. Meanwhile, South Africa’s president yesterday urged his compatriots to show their appreciation for Nelson Mandela, who is in critical condition in a hospital, by marking his 95th birthday next month with acts of goodness that honour the legacy of the anti-apartheid leader. The office of President Jacob
Family meets in ancestral village He is still in critical condition –Zuma
Yongama, 9, observing bunches of flowers at the entrance to the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where Mandela is being treated in Pretoria. PHOTO: AP
Zuma said Mandela’s condition remained unchanged after reporting late Sunday that his health had deteriorated to critical, alarming many South Africans as well as people around the world who regard the former president as a symbol of sacrifice and reconciliation. “We must support him and support his family,” Zuma said in a statement. “We must demonstrate our love and appreciation for his leadership during the struggle for liberation and in our first few years of freedom and democracy by liv-
ing out his legacy and promoting unity, non-racialism, non-sexism and prosperity in our country.” The president asked that the legacy of Mandela, also known by his clan name Madiba, be celebrated on July 18, his 95th birthday. Pretorians gathered in larger numbers than ever yesterday outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in the capital to express their deep affection for South Africa’s first black president, with both notes and words. The number of foreign journalist maintaining an around-the-clock vigil has also
UN to screen Chadian soldiers in Mali
he United Nations will screen all Chadian troops offered for the world body’s peacekeeping force in Mali to make sure there are no child soldiers in their ranks, the head of U.N. peacekeeping said yesterday. Chad was included in a U.N. list
of countries published last week where children are recruited, killed, maimed or raped by government forces and armed groups. Others on the list include Afghanistan, Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Yemen, and Mali.
A child soldier from one of the many rebel groups operating along the ChadSudan border holds a gun in eastern Chad. PHOTO: REUTERS
Countries that have child soldiers are barred from participating in U.N. peacekeeping missions. Chad has vowed to cleanse its ranks of child soldiers and the United Nations has given the country four months to take steps to end the recruitment of children. “Let me assure you that the United Nations is making every effort to screen the Chadian contingent to ... ensure that no troops under 18 are among them, as well as provide training on child protection issues,” U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told the 15-nation Security Council. France, aided by 2,000 troops from Chad, began a military offensive in January to drive out Islamist fighters who hijacked a revolt by the Tuareg rebels and seized two-thirds of Mali. U.N. officials and diplomats say that the Chadians proved to be an extremely effective fighting force in Mali.
grown dramatically since Mandela’s medical condition slipped from “serious” to “critical” on Sunday evening. The Mandelas have repeatedly asked that they and their patriarch be allowed privacy after he was rushed to hospital on June 8 with a recurrent lung infection. This plea has mostly fallen on deaf ears. “Madiba is a man of the people and the people need to be a part of this, too,” said Theresa Ncieeni, one of those watching, using Mandela’s clan name. The U.N. peacekeeping force - to be known as MINUSMA - is expected to assume authority next month from a U.N.-backed African force deployed there to take over from the French. Most of the African force, including the Chadians, are expected to become part of the U.N. force, U.N. officials and diplomats say. The deployment of the force is subject to a council review of Mali’s security situation, the focus of Tuesday’s meeting of the 15-nation Security Council. Ladsous also reiterated his concerns about the need to properly equip the peacekeeping force. “It is important to note that we are still seeking pledges for important outstanding capabilities, including medium utility helicopters, armed helicopters, intelligence, information operations and special forces,” he told the council. He described the shortages as “critical shortfalls.”
Mugabe heads to Singapore for health check
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe left for a medical check-up in Singapore yesterday, his spokesman said, a month before an election in which the 89-year-old is looking to extend his 33 years in power. Africa’s oldest leader - who denies reports he has received treatment for prostate cancer will return at the weekend after a routine visit to an eye specialist, his spokesman, George Charamba, said in a statement. Mugabe has said he has cataracts, but no other major health problems and regularly dismisses media allegations that his health is deteriorating as wishful thinking by his enemies. He has often gone to Singapore for medical check-ups and passed through the southeast Asian city state during a trip to Japan three weeks ago. Mugabe’s main political rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has called for a delay of at least two weeks to the vote, currently scheduled for July 31.
Tunisian army chief retires amid criticism
Tunisia’s military strongman, who has been criticized for the army’s inability to catch a band of al-Qaida linked militants, has announced his retirement. Army Chief of Staff Rachid Ammar was widely seen as having a key role in forcing out dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 by not allowing troops to fire on the prodemocracy uprising. Recently, however, Ammar has been criticized by opposition politicians for the army’s inability to find a band of extremists in a mountainous area near the Algerian border. Ammar appeared on state television late Monday to say he had submitted his resignation to President Moncef Marzouki last Saturday.
Libya’s assembly elects new head
Libya’s national assembly has elected a man of Berber origin, Nouri Abusahmen, as its president. He won 96 votes out of the 184 cast in the second round of polling. His heritage is significant, says the BBC’s Rana Jawad in Tripoli, as Berber rights were denied during Col Muammar Gaddafi’s rule. The previous assembly president, Muhammad al-Magarief, resigned in May because he had held a senior post under Col Gaddafi. Dr Magarief was Libya’s ambassador to India for two years in the 1980s before breaking away from the Gaddafi government. A new law bans from public office anyone who worked with Col Gaddafi, including ambassadors. Col Gaddafi was deposed in August 2011 and killed during the Libyan revolution.
Wednesday June 26, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Russia rejects US demand for Snowden’s extradition
Iran’s president-elect praises ties with Russia
America wants no confrontation with Russia –Kerry
ussia’s foreign minister bluntly rejected U.S. demands to extradite National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, saying yesterday that Snowden hasn’t crossed the Russian border. Sergey Lavrov insisted that Russia has nothing to do with Snowden or his travel plans. Lavrov wouldn’t say where Snowden is, but he lashed out angrily at Wash-
ington for demanding his extradition and warning of negative consequences if Moscow fails to comply. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has urged Moscow to “do the right thing” and turn over Snowden. “We consider the attempts to accuse Russia of violating U.S. laws and even some sort of conspiracy, which on top of all that are accompanied by threats, as absolutely ungrounded and unacceptable,” Lavrov said. “There are no legal grounds for such conduct by U.S. officials.” The defiant tone underlined the Kremlin’s readiness to challenge Washington at a time when U.S.-Russian relations are strained over Syria and a Russian ban on adoptions by Americans. U.S. and Ecuadorean officials said they believed Snowden was still in Russia. He fled there Sunday from Hong Kong, where he had been hiding out since his disclosure of the broad scope of two highly classified U.S. counter-terror surveillance programs. The programs collect vast amounts of Americans’ phone records and worldwide online data in the name of national security. Kerry said Tuesday that although the United States does not have an extradition treaty with Russia, he called on Moscow to comply with common law practices between countries where
CONTINUED FROM BACK PAGE dictated wording, nothing inspirational, just the usual felicitations and injunctions to turn that ram into asun for general feasting. Those who attended the event will recall the grand entry of the gift - as reported by one and all, including the foreign visitors, and Chinua’s reported reaction, seated on the podium. He shook head and said, “Typical of Wole”. The ram was then led off to meet its destiny at the hands of the gathered. (As a side note, it was I who took a gift away from his 70th at Bard University – a sobering flash of time past that resulted in my Elegy For A Nation. I had that poem re-published to mark the day of his funeral.) Our story is only beginning. On the way back from that celebration, Chinua had his accident and was flown to the United Kingdom. At the first opportunity, I made my way there and called up the High Commissioner, Dove-Edwin, who was certain to know the hospital location. It turned out that he also
fugitives are concerned. “I would simply appeal for calm and reasonableness. We would hope that Russia would not side with someone who is ‘a fugitive’ from justice,’ “ Kerry said at a news conference in Saudi Arabia. Lavrov claimed that the Russian government found out about Snowden’s flight from Hong Kong only from news reports. “We have no relation to Mr. Snowden, his relations with American justice or his travels around the world,” Lavrov said. “He chooses his route himself, and we have learned about it from the media.” Snowden booked a seat on a Havana-bound flight from Moscow on Monday en route to Venezuela and then possible asylum in Ecuador, but he didn’t board the
plane. Russian news media have reported that he has remained in a transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, but journalists there haven’t seen him.
A representative of WikiLeaks has been travelling with Snowden, and the organization is believed to be assisting him in arranging asylum.
ran’s president-elect says Tehran’s relations with Russia will take high importance during his term in office. The statement carried late Monday on the official website of Hasan Rouhani is the first to a permanent member of the UN Security Council, which along with Germany are in talks with Iran on the country’s disputed nuclear program. They follow Russian President Vladimir Putin’s congratulations on Rouhani’s June 14 victory. Iran’s first nuclear power plant went online with help of Russia in 2011. The two countries have also cooperated militarily in the past. Both Russia and Iran back Syrian President Bashar Assad in his fight against rebels. The West accuses Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons technology. Iran denies this, saying its program is for peaceful purposes.
False bomb threats force evacuations across Poland
undreds of people were evacuated from hospitals,
courts, police stations and prosecutors’ offices across Poland yesterday after
Hospital employees biding their time as experts are checking the Brodno District Hospital for explosives in Warsaw, Poland, yesterday. PHOTO: AP
more than 20 apparently false bomb threats were sent by e-mail. Police who checked all the locations said no explosives were found and there were no explosions at noon as the e-mails had threatened. One hospital in southern Poland was fully evacuated, one in Warsaw partially. “The entire day was lost for us and for the patients,” said Wlodzimierz Migacz, director of a hospital in Katowice, who ordered a full evacu-
The Village Mourners’ Association
planned a visit that afternoon, and he agreed to give me a ride. We waited – I was joined by two others – waited, and waited, then a phone call came from him that the visit had been called off. The High Commissioner would explain why, on arrival – over a promised dinner, as compensation. That explanation was this: Dove-Edwin had received communication that some of “Chinua’s people” – a university professor among them, who was named – had pronounced publicly that “Chinua should have known better than to accept a spotless ram from his enemy” – yes, that was the word used – “enemy”. I verified this report from various other sources. Later, an alternative diagnosis surfaced: “Chinua had been too long away from the chieftaincy politics of his hometown, otherwise he would have realized that the title that he took was coveted by some others – and these were deeply steeped in
traditional psychic combat”. In short, those rivals “did him in”. Both diagnoses competed for dominance for a while, petering out eventually. Before the promotion of that alternative cause-and-effect, however, Dove-Edwin had re-scheduled, and we had a most bracing, optimistic afternoon with Chinua. Yes, our patient was eventually told the cause of the earlier postponement, and he had a good laugh. On my return to Nigeria, I could not wait to take the opportunity of a public lecture to invite all desperate enemies to please send me their rams of choice – spotless, spotted, piebald, striped or nondescript – so I could treat starving writers to free meals in my home for the rest of the year. And I promised to taste a piece of each ram before serving. Yes, it is that same breed that continues to sow poison in the minds of the susceptible. Alas for you, it so happens that some of us insist on our own way of com-
memorating, of being there, even when absent. You, by contrast were never there, however ostentatiously you position yourselves at the event, or at vicarious gatherings to denounce, attribute sinister motivations, and inseminate hate against those whom your pedestrian vision cannot see. Your very loudness proclaims your absence. You were always absent. You will always be absent. So, this communication is not really meant for you but for those potential almajiri – whose minds you corrupt daily with your jeremiads in that accommodating madrassa known as Internet. As a teacher, I lament your failure to use the opportunity of the passing of a revered writer to turn your younger generation in enlightened directions. You have chosen instead to coarsen their sensibilities and breed in their minds misunderstanding, suspicion and above all – hate! You will have understood by now how I have come to view you
ation, including of a prematurely born baby in an incubator. “I hope the author of the e-mail will be found and punished,” Migacz said on TVN24. TVN24 footage showed ambulances leaving the hospital to take patients to other medical centres. In Warsaw, it showed some patients and relatives waiting in front of a hospital. People were allowed to return to the buildings Tuesday afternoon.
as no different from the homicidal clerics who arm youths with kerosene and match, cudgel and knife, a few Naira in their beggars’ bowls, and dispatch them to set fire to structures of comradely cohabitation, of reflection, of mind enlargement, and destroy communities of learning. Your gospel of separatism goes beyond the geographical – in which I have not the slightest interest! – but the humanistic. The difference is in the weapon – in your case, poison, mind corrosion. The means - Internet, and its wide open, undiscriminating generosity. That is where you lay spores of poison, and doom future generations to a confinement of human relationships within the darkest corners of the mind. You are beyond pity. Kindly absent your selves from my funeral, when that event finally intrudes. Professor Soyinka, a Nobel Laureate, is currently at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, US
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Community Mirror “I do not need the Governors’ Forum to do what I have to do; all I need is Edo Forum.” EDO STATE GOVERNOR; ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE
NDLEA nabs 207 drug dealers in A’ Ibom TONY ANICHEBE UYO
he National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Akwa Ibom State Command, yesterday said it arrested 207 suspected drug dealers between January and June, this year. The State Commander, Mrs. Ruth Obi, gave the statistics while addressing newsmen as part of the activities marking the
…impounds 104.59kg hard drugs 2013 World Drug-Free Day. Mrs. Obi also said the command made a total seizure of 104.59kilogrammes of various types of hard drugs. Of the 207 suspected illicit drug peddlers arrested, the State Commander said 175 are male while 32 are female. According to Mrs. Obi, the seized 104.59kg drugs comprises of 104.39kg of cannabis sativa;
0.103kg of cocaine; 0.090kg of heroine and 22 and half litres of combine. She stated that the command also secured 14 convictions and counseled 95 drug abusers in the last six months. Her words: “We have successfully secured 14 convictions and counseled 95 drug abusers. We have presented 45 enlightenment lectures in schools and other fora
across the state during this same period. “We encourage all and sundry to take advantage of these special programmes to get well informed for their own good, as well as to safeguard their loved ones. “We also urge all well-meaning people in Akwa Ibom state to join us in the war against drug abuse and illicit trafficking in order to ensure a safe, healthy and secure society where we can have peace and development.”
Nations President, Ogidi Development Union, Mr. Tunde Ipinmisho (left) welcoming the Defence Attaché, British High Commission, Mr. James Hall to the venue of Ogidi Day held in Ogidi, Ijumu Local Government Are, Kogi State.
19 hoodlums held over Ketu crisis FRANCIS SUBERU
he Commissioner of police in Lagos State, Umar Manko yesterday said that 19 suspected hoodlums have so far been arrested at Ketu, Lagos for allegedly causing crisis at market place in the last three days. Manko disclosed that the suspects were fighting over the sharing of money collected from Ketu and Ikosi markets. According to the CP, trouble started when a group felt they deserve taking the lion share of the collections, while the other group objected. He said: “They were disrupting the commercial activities in the
area, forcing shops and market traders to shut down their businesses. Dangerous weapons were freely used by the hoodlums. However, 19 of them have been arrested. “We have concluded our investigations on them and they will be charged to court without delay. Meanwhile, normalcy has returned to the markets and the entire area. We have also posted some of our men to the markets. “I have directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations to meet with the Divisional Police Officer and the market leaders, with a view to end the crisis.’’ When Community Mirror visited the area on Tuesday, commercial activities were in full operation.
Dismissed LASTMA caught extorting motorists at Mile-2 MURITALA AYINLA
dismissed Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) official was on Monday arrested for extorting motorists at Mile 2 area of Lagos metropolis. Community Mirror gathered that the 40-year old culprit, Muhamed Ayinla Ibrahim a native of Abeokuta, Ogun State was among those dismissed by the agency on the ground of gross misconduct recently. It was also learnt that the arrested officer had hitherto refused to accept and sign his dismissal letter which was reportedly served on him through a postal agency.
He was said to be one of the dismissed officers who operate in mufti to deceive and extort unsuspecting motorists. The culprit, who incited the mob against the provost team which came to arrest him regretted his action, even as he voluntarily collected and signed the dismissal letter. The agency, however, mandated him to hand over all the agency’s kits with him before handing him over to the police for further investigation. Speaking on the development, LASTMA’s General Manager, Engr Babatunbnde Edu said the agency is working hard to check any acts of impersonation or sabotage so as to ensure that citizens’ interests are served.
6,000 widows get succour in Cross River RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR
ife of the governor of Cross Rivers, Mrs. Obioma Imoke, on Sunday, said her Non-Governmental Organization (NGO); Partnership Opportunities for Women Empowerment Realization (POWER) has, so far, empowered 6,000 widows, adding that about 4,000 more will soon benefit from the NGO. Mrs. Imoke disclosed this while marking the International Widows day. According to her, the event is marked in order to do something that will sustain the widows for the rest of their lives, saying “we needed to do something to support the widows. Marking a day like this will help bringing the plights of widows to the forefront, so that people can take note of what is happening to them”. She said POWER has been receiving complaints about the neglect and abuse of widows in the state, noting that such attitude was capable of having a negative impact on the society in general. According to her; “In the course of meeting with these women (widows), the stories they share about the neglect, brutality and indignities they have suffered are better imagined than real. Yet, no one is speaking up because of the tradition of silence embedded in our culture”. She disclosed that the SouthSouth and South-West governors’ wives are planning to organise a workshop in Uyo that will sensitize the world on the plights of widows and their circumstances. While fielding questions from journalists, Mrs Imoke said with the support of their husbands, a temporary transition home will be built to accommodate homeless widows. “It is imperative that we all make a commitment to show love to widows in our different neighborhoods. Widows do not deserve our pity; instead, they need our individual and collective action that will translate to increasing economy opportunities for them. Efforts that will strengthen their livelihoods through vocational skills acquisition, micro enterprise development and access to microfinance” she stressed.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Glo league players make hay in first round
It’s not about avoiding Nigeria or any so-called super power in the next round. It’s about ourselves
- EGYPT COACH, BOB BRADLEY
Fed Cup: Dan Lawan dares Rangers
CHAN: Keshi calls up Agbim, 23 others for CIV
nugu Rangers midfielder, Ugonna Uzochukwu has said his side will deploy their full weight against minnows, Dan Lawan FC in the Federation Cup round of 64 match at the Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos today. Winners of the encounter will confront Samba FC in the annual football fiesta’s round of 32 matches. Uzochukwu said his side’s shocking defeat in the hands of last year’s giant-killers and bronze winners, Prime FC, at the group stage in Ibadan was still fresh in their memory to treat the dark horse from Jigawa State with kid gloves. “We’ve learnt our lesson the bitter way in the hands of Prime FC in last year’s championship and we won’t allow it to happen again. “We won’t handle Dan Lawan FC with kid gloves rather we’ll deploy our full strengths against them aimed at grabbing the full points to see us to the next stage of the competition,” he said.
Onazi tussling with Cote d’Ivoire’s captain, Didier Drogba, in the quarter-final match of the AFCON 2013 in South Africa.
2012/2013 NIGERIA NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION A STANDINGS AS AT WEEK TWENTY SIX Teams
Mighty Jets FC
Jigawa G Stars
DIVISION B STANDINGS AS AT WEEK TWENTY SIX Teams
Akwa Starlet FC
Onazi fired up after Confed Cup miss S uper Eagles’ midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi, is keen to put behind him, the disappointment of missing out on the ongoing 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. The SS Lazio player was ruled out of the tournament which Nigeria exited on Sunday after picking up an injury in Nigeria 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Namibia in Windhoek on June 12. Coach Stephen Keshi highlighted importance of the 20-yearold to the team when he declared after they crashed out of the tournament that Onazi’s absence was partly responsible for the side’s under-par display in Brazil. “I can’t imagine that my top
striker Emmanuel Emenike will miss some of the goals that we missed (at the tournament) and even Ogenyi Onazi was sorely missed,” Keshi said. Onazi has now taken the time to discuss his present situation explaining that he is “feeling much better.” “Thank you all for your prayers and support, am feeling much more better. I have personally gone through all your messages, am fired up to give more and do more by the special grace of God,” Onazi said via his Facebook page. Onazi has made 12 appearances and scored one goal for the Super Eagles since making his debut in 2012.
FIFA bans Lebanese refs
IFA has imposed a worldwide ban on two Lebanese assistant referees who were jailed in Singapore this month for accepting sexual favours to fix a club match. Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb had been provisionally banned by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) pending a disciplinary hearing and now FIFA has extended the suspension worldwide. The two were jailed for three
months each on June 10, backdated to April 4, when they were detained by police in Singapore. The match referee, Ali Sabbagh, was jailed for six months the following day. The three Lebanese had been scheduled to officiate an Asian Football Federation match between Singapore’s Tampines Rovers and India’s East Bengal in April but were hastily replaced hours before kickoff by the AFC.
fter crashing out of the ongoing FIFA Confederations Cup tournament in Brazil, Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, has turned his attention to the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying match against Cote d’Ivoire, by calling up 24 home boys for the game billed for next week. Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) spokesman, Ademola Olajire, informed National Mirror yesterday that Keshi has called up goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim, defenders Azubuike Egwuekwe, Godfrey Oboabona, Solomon Kwambe and Benjamin Francis; midfielders Emeka Eze and Sunday Mba and strikers Muhammad Gambo from the squad that were with him in Brazil and added 14 more from the Glo Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and two from the lower division. Returning are goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, defender Kunle Odunlami and striker Obinna Nwachukwu and Gomo Onduku who were part of the team’s training camp in Germany ahead of the international friendly with Mexico in Texas, USA. Defender Chibuzor Okonkwo, no stranger to the senior team camp, is joined by familiar faces Umar Zango and Ezekiel Bassey, Ayo Saka and Anthony Okputu. NPFL top scorer, Dele Olorundare, of Sunshine Stars is joined by former junior international midfielder, Olufemi Oladapo. New faces are Mohammed Ajia of Bayelsa United, Enyimba FC’s Ifeanyi Edeh, Pius Samson of Ranch Bees, Festus Ajah of Union Bank FC and Warri Wolves’ Etebo Oghene. The players are expected to report at the Eagles’ Abuja Bolton White Apartments camp on Sunday. Meanwhile, the NFF has announced that the match will be played at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Saturday, July 6. “We are happy for the favourable response from the Kaduna State Government, and we have also approached the National Sports Commission for permission to use the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna for the encounter. “The grass is excellent and the entire facility is so well-maintained. The Super Eagles will find the place comfortable,” NFF General Secretary, Barr Musa Amadu, who was in Kaduna on Monday, said. The call-ups Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Warri Wolves); Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland) Defenders: Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars); Benjamin Francis (Heartland); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars); Ezekiel Bassey (Lobi Stars); Umar Zango (Kano Pillars); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Chibuzor Okonkwo (Enugu Rangers) Midfielders: Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers); Ayo Saka (Enyimba); Olufemi Oladapo (3SC); Emeka Eze (Enugu Rangers); Mohammed Ajia (Bayelsa United) Strikers: Muhammad Gambo (Kano Pillars); Obinna Nwachukwu (Heartland); Gomo Onduku (Bayelsa United); Ifeanyi Edeh (Enyimba); Anthony Okputu (Lobi Stars); Pius Samson (Ranch Bees); Festus Ajah (Union Bank); Etebo Oghene (Warri Wolves); Dele Olorundare (Sunshine Stars).
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Confederations Cup 2013… Did you know? •Brazil is on a four-match winning run and is unbeaten in its last nine. •Brazil has won its last two encounters with Uruguay, including a 4-0 thumping in a World Cup qualifier in June 2009. •Luiz Felipe Scolari’s first-ever match in charge of Brazil ended in a 1-0 defeat to Uruguay in July 2001. •Uruguay has won four of its last five international fixtures. •Luis Suarez scored his 35th and 36th goals for Uruguay in the win over Tahiti to replace Diego Forlan at the top of the all-time scorers’ list.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Sports Awards get November date AFOLABI GAMBARI
rganisers of the Nigeria Sports Awards have announced that this year’s event will hold at the Muson Centre, Lagos on November 26. According to General Manager of Unmissable Event, whose company is organising the awards, Mr. Kayode Idowu, who spoke in Lagos yesterday, the grey areas of the maiden event last year have been addressed with a view to staging a resounding occasion as the awards gather recognition. “Location was a bit chal-
lenging last year and after weighing the effects, we resolved on a more accessible location for the coming awards with a view to enabling all stakeholders to witness the ceremony,” Idowu said. “The Awards has grown beyond the Nigerian shores and we intend building on this platform ahead of this year’s as well as in subsequent editions,” he added. A member of the Awards Panel and veteran journalist, Mr. Michel Obi, expressed delight with the Lagos Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) for what he described as excel-
lent coverage of the maiden Awards. “We expect a new impetus in the coverage this year in a collaborative venture among Lagos and national SWAN in addition to the African Sports Journalists Union (ASJU),” Obi said. Entries for the 2013 Awards will be received in 15 categories as obtained last year while entries will open July 1 and close September 7 as finalists’ shortlist will be announced on September 9, after which public voting for sportsman and woman of the year will commence ahead of the Awards night.
Luiz confirmed for Uruguay
razil defender, David Luiz, is available for today’s last four clash against Uruguay after recovering from a bruised leg. Midfielder Paulinho is set to return to the eleven after missing the 4-2 win over Italy with an ankle injury, but Bernard who
copped a foot injury is a doubt. Hulk is expected to start ahead of Lucas Moura in attack, despite failing to impress in the group stage. Meanwhile, Uruguay captain, Diego Lugano, returns after serving a one-match ban for accumulating two yellow cards, but fellow defender
Andres Scotti is ruled out after getting sent off in the 8-0 win over Tahiti. Coach Oscar Tabarez is likely to persist with the attacking trio of Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani despite Abel Hernandez’s four-goal haul against the Pacific islanders.
NPFL now Glo Premier League EVEREST ONYEWUCHI
elecommunications giant, Globacom, has restated its commitment to the development of the game of football in Nigeria at all levels. Globacom’s Coordinator, Marketing, Mr. Niyi Olukoya, said this in Lagos yesterday when the company and the League Management Company (LMC) jointly unveiled the logo of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). The NPFL was also renamed Glo Premier League, thus signalling a new era in football sponsorship in Nigeria. Olukoya stated that Glo had sponsored the league continuously from 2003 to 2009/2010 seasons, adding that the company “is proud to be back as league title sponsor.” He stated that Globacom looks forward to working with the Hon.
Nduka Irabor led LMC to make the Glo Premier League number one in Africa. “The unveiling of Glo Premier League logo today signals a new era of progress and total commitment to the development of football in Nigeria,” he added Earlier in his speech, Chairman of the LMC, Irabor, thanked Globacom for coming back to sponsor the League,
adding that Globacom and the LMC will work together to grow Nigerian football. “The eagle bird as captured on the new logo is a unique icon which symbolises excellence and top notch performance and we are grateful that our national teams have been living up to this reputation through scintillating performances in recent times,” Irabor concluded.
Chairman Globacom, Mike Adenuga
L-R: Olympian, Chief Falilat Ogunkoya; Chairman of the National Sports Awards Panel, Mr. Ikeddy Isiguzo; member, Dr. Gloria Obajimi and General Manager, Unmissable Event, Mr. Kayode Idowu, in Lagos, yesterday . PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO
Basketball: 12 schools for Milo final YEMI O LUS
ollowing months of preliminaries covering 5,626 schools across the country, 12 secondary schools will battle for a trophy and cash prize of N150, 000 at the final of the 15th Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championship billed for the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos on July 1. The Boys teams are International School RSUST Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Government College Funtua, Katsina State, Government Secondary School, Minna Niger State and Adedokun International School, Ogun State, St. Joseph Secondary School, Benue State and International School UNILAG, Lagos State. Girls’ defending champion, St. Jude Girls Secondary School from Bayelsa State, will lead Government Day Girls Secondary School, Zamfara State, Government Secondary School, Gboko, Benue State, Westend Mixed Secondary School, Delta State, Ahmadiyya College, Kano State and Yejide Girls Grammar School from Oyo State. According to the sponsor, Nestle Plc, each of the participating teams will get N200, 000 while the winner will in addition, earn N150, 000 as second and third placed teams will receive N120, 000 and N100, 000 respectively. The final of finals will hold on July 6 while a special training camp will be held
for the best 50 male and female players of the tournament while the sponsor said some top NBA players would feature in the training programme tagged ‘Top 50 Camp’ scheduled for July 7 and 9. Vice President of the National School Sport Federation (NSSF), Sam Abaji, however said four top teams would be exposed to international competitions in South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.
NBBF boss, Umar
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Assembly blackmailing Yero with N560m SURE-P fraud report –Commissioner A ZA MSUE KADUNA
Some of the 1,666 people trained as SURE-P Marshals during their passing out parade in Jalingo, Taraba State, yesterday.
Ramadan: FG to relax emergency rule in Adamawa, Yobe TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
he Federal Government has decided to relax the state of emergency in Adamawa and Yobe states because of Ramadan which will begin soon. Security chiefs disclosed this at a closed session with members of the House of Representatives led by the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Admiral Ola Ibrahim, at the National Assembly. The Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Me-
dia and Public Affairs, Hon. Victor Ogene (APGA-Anambra), made this known while briefing journalists after the meeting which lasted about four hours. Ogene said the military was “on top of the situation” and making progress in the restoration of peace and order in the affected states. He said: “Ramadan is approaching. Already from the charts and the signals we got, the restrictions will begin to be relaxed in at least Adamwa and Yobe states very soon, before or close to Ramadan.
“Already in Adamawa, they have two more hours taken off the curfew. If we have all this; that indicates that they (security agencies) are making progress.” According to Ogene, the CDS told the meeting that so far, 13 insurgents’ camps had been taken over by the military. The lawmaker added that even places where terrorists’ symbols and flags were hoisted had been overrun by the military. He said: “They have discovered 13 camps and I can tell you they are in control
of those camps. There is a return to normalcy in all the troubled areas. So they (military) are in total control.” Ogene also disclosed that to address the challenge of funding, the National Assembly was proposing an amendment to have funding for security placed on first line charge so that the bureaucracy of releasing funds meant for such emergencies would be eliminated. He said: “The National Assembly is working an amendment to ensure that funding for security should be on first line charge.
Boko Haram: Borno ANPP chieftain on the run INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
ouths in Borno State have accused a chieftain of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, of supplying arms and ammunition to Boko Haram. The youths, who have been complementing the efforts of the Joint Task Force, JTF, in arresting suspected Boko Haram members in the state in the last two weeks, invaded the house of the prominent politician (names withheld) to arrest him.
OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA
asarawa State Government yesterday asked the Federal Government to remit to it taxes collected from those residing in the state but working in Federal Capital Territory, FCT. The Deputy Governor, Dameshi Barau, made the
members in Maiduguri and Damaturu, the Yobe State capital. Penultimate week, some of the volunteered youths went to the residence of the ANPP chieftain situated in new GRA of the metropolis, threatening to set the house ablaze. It took the security operatives guarding the house about 20 minutes to persuade the youths from torching the house. A source said the youths, who knew many members of Boko Haram and their families, have vowed to en-
sure that the politician did not escape arrest. It was gathered that ANPP chairman rarely stays in Maiduguri. The last he was seen in the state was on June 17 at the Government House during the swearing-in of the 27 newly appointed local government caretaker chairmen. Efforts to contact the politician proved abortive because of the breakdown of GSM network services in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, which are under emergency rule.
‘FG must remit Nasarawa residents’ taxes’
FCT, the state is faced with both sweet and bitter sides of fast growing nature of the satellite towns that form the gateway to Abuja. “It is worthy of note that boundaries are not intended to separate the good neighbours that live along boundary corridor but only to clearly show the limits of each state’s jurisdiction for administrative convenience.
The youths, who have formed themselves into a volunteer group, have also commenced “Operation Stop and Search” of vehicles in strategic areas of Maiduguri metropolis. Through the operation, the youths have apprehended and handed over of many suspected terrorists to security agencies. The youths, whose efforts have been commended by Governor Kashim Shettima and other concerned individuals, have helped in arresting many Boko Haram
call at a meeting of officials of FCT and four contiguous states of Nasarawa, Kogi, Niger and Kaduna in Abuja. According to Barau, over 70 per cent of the people who live in Nasarawa and Abuja border towns work in FCT and pay taxes to the territory instead of their state of residence. He said: “They make use
of all the social infrastructure provided by the state and yet do not pay taxes to the state government. “It is imperative for the Federal Government to review the taxes that are paid by its workers that are living in the state; the taxes should be remitted to the state. “Since the creation of
aduna State Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr. John Ayuba, yesterday accused the House of Assembly of trying to blackmail the administration of Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero through its N560 million SURE-P fraud report. Ayuba said the report of the Assembly on the alleged missing Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, fund had no iota of truth. Addressing a news conference in Kaduna over the vote of no confidence passed in him by the Assembly, the commissioner described the allegation as unfounded and disrespectful. Ayuba, who was the commissioner for Finance before his recent deployment to the Ministry of Water Resources in a cabinet reshuffle, said the total amount received by state for SURE-P was N2,243,188,906 in 2012. He said the allegation by the Assembly that the cost of the purchase of buses and
tricycles was inflated was false. Assembly had passed a vote of no confidence in the commissioner over poor implementation of SURE-P. But while denying being responsible for the implementation of the programme in the state, Ayuba said no SURE-P fund was missing as contained in the Assembly report. He said: “Tuesday 18th June, was a day that an attempt was made to bring into dispute the name of Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, the state government and tarnish my hard earned reputation by an arm of government. “Kaduna State Government will go to any length to clear itself of the allegations that are unfounded and lack basis. All the documents relating to SURE-P transactions are here for you to cross check. “We don’t have anything to hide as being alleged by Kaduna State House of Assembly. No money has been lost and all SURE-P funds are in the state’s dedicated bank account.
Tribunal orders FIRS staff’s trial for tax fraud JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
he Department of public prosecution office of the attorney general of Plateau state has been order by the North Central Zone of The Tax Appeal Tribunal sitting in Jos has directed the Office of the Department of Public Prosecution of the Plateau State Attorney-General to arraign seven staff of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, for tax fraud. The seven staff of FIRS were accused of forging Federal Government’s tax receipts to claim over N17 million from the Plateau State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB. The forged tax receipts were uncovered by the Tax Appeal Tribunal when FIRS dragged SUBEB before it for tax evasion. The forged documents, which were tendered by SUBEB before the court to substantiate its claim to have remitted some tax, led the tribunal to suspect fraud. It subsequently ordered the Plateau State Police Command to investigate the forged documents.
Presenting its report during the sitting of the North Central Zone of the tribunal in Jos yesterday, the command said it had investigated the matter and discovered the said documents were truly forged. Corporal Yahaya Adamu, who appeared before the tribunal on behalf of the Police Commissioner Chris Olakpe said the command had arrested seven suspects in connection with the fraud. Adamu said the suspects were in police custody, awaiting the order of the court for prosecution. The tribunal Chairman, Abraham Ndana Yisa, while ruling on the case, ordered the state attorney-general to ensure the suspects in police custody were arraign without delay. Yisa commended the police for the investigation which he said had simplified the work of the tribunal. He also expressed delight over the level professionalism displayed by Adamu for getting to the root of the crime and recommended him for promotion. After hearing all the seven cases pending before it, the tribunal adjourned sitting to July 30.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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Troops capture Boko Haram leaders, recover weapons – Olukolade
he Federal Government troops deployed to Yobe and Borno states have captured some notorious leaders of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, and recovered various weapons. This was disclosed in a statement yesterday by the Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade. In the statement, Olu-
kolade gave the report of a nine-member Defence Headquarters Operational Assessment Team, sent by the Chief of Defence Staff, Adm. Ola Ibrahim, to the two states. Olukolade said the team visited troop locations in various parts of Borno and Yobe. “The commanding officer narrated the conduct of the operation to rid the forest of the insurgents who had
made the location their sanctuary,” he said. Olukolade quoted him as saying that some notorious leaders of the terrorists had been captured while some materials recovered in their camps had provided useful intelligence for subsequent operations. “The team was shown the various weapons, including rockets and locally fabricated weapon accessories captured
in the forest,” he added. The items, he said, included a large number of Improvised Explosive Devices- making materials, laptops, mobile communication equipment used for shooting and posting online videos as well as locally made rockets and rocket launchers. “Also, seized vehicles of different brands were shown to the team. Several vehicles destroyed by the terrorists
as well as their tailoring equipment apparently used in producing fake uniforms were also shown to the team, Olubolade said. He said the commanding officer told the team that the unit suffered casualties in men and equipment. The defence spokesperson said troops were currently engaged in night and day patrols of the area to dominate the forest and apprehend any
terrorist who might be lurking around. He said the Chief of Defence Staff expressed satisfaction with the high level of successes so far recorded in the operation. Olukolade said he thanked the troop for a job well-done, and urged members not rest until the entire region is fully sanitised and cleared of all terrorist activities.
Court remands three for alleged killing in Kogi WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA
Farmers carrying fertiliser during the distribution of the commodity in Jos, yesterday.
Police arrest kidnap kingpin while trying to get ransom WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA
suspected kidnapper, Awo Denis, alias Orland, has been arrested by the Kogi State Police Command. Denis was alleged to have perpetrated criminal activities in Delta, Edo and Anambra states before his arrest. The suspect was arrested by the police at the premises of the First Bank branch at the Kogi State University, Anyingba, while attempting to withdraw N1.5 million believed to be the ransom
deposited to his account by relatives of a victim. The victim is a wife of a professor. The Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hilary Opara, told journalists yesterday in his office in Lokoja that the suspect travelled all the way from his hideout in Ozoro, Delta State, to Anyigba to withdraw the money. He said that the suspected kidnapper had been on wanted list of over three police commands in the country for criminal activities. Opara described the sus-
pect as a notorious criminal, adding that he once escaped from the police custody in Delta State before he met his waterloo in Anyigba. Stressing that Kogi borders over 10 states in Nigeria, the police boss said security agents had arrested about 12 suspected armed robbers in the last three months between Okene in Kogi and Ukpella in Delta State. Opara said that the stretch of road between Okene and Ukpella had been the worst flash point in terms of armed robbery,
kidnapping, car snatching and other criminal activities. He, however, advised road users to exercise extra care while plying the road. The police commissioner said: “The Okene-Lokoja Road is another flash point. The Kogi State Command has stationed patrol teams along the route to check criminals.” Opara added that some Fulani herdsmen used their cattle to block the road and robbed unsuspecting road users and thereafter disappear into the bush.
Shema flays Rep over refusal to accept souvenirs JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
overnor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State yesterday flayed the House of Representatives member representing Kankia/Kusada/ Ingawa Constituency, Hon Ahmed Baba Kaita, for allegedly refusing to collect copies of the booklets and calendars detailing the gov-
ernor’s achievements. Kaita was elected on the platform of the Congress of Progressive Change (CPC). The lawmaker and others were at the Government House on visit to the governor in Katsina. All the visitors were given calendars and copies of the booklets containing achievements recorded by the governor, but Kaita did not accept any of them.
Immediately after, Shema “confronted” the lawmaker and demanded to know why he did not accept the materials. Shema said: “Why are you not with the materials? I want you to go through them and see our achievements in office and these projects are on the ground for anyone to see.” But Kaita replied, saying: “It is not that I did not accept
Lokoja Chief Magistrate’s Court has remanded three persons in prison custody for allegedly killing one Alhaji Yakubu Shaibu of Igah-Ikeje in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi. The suspects were said to have killed Shaibu over N300 fine. In his ruling yesterday in Lokoja, the state capital, Chief Magistrate Levi Nda Animoku said: “Granting bail to the accused is terribly beyond the capacity of this court.” The accused persons are Sunday Omale, 23; Danjuma Ojile, 20 and Monday Ademu, 20. They pleaded not guilty to the charges of criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide preferred against them. The offence is contrary to sections 97(1) and 221 of the Penal Code. The Police First Information Report (FIR) revealed that on June 15, 2013, the accused allegedly conspired and stormed the deceased’s residence to demand N300 fine from his daughter. The deceased daughter, Safiya Shaibu, was alleged to have refused to participate in the cleaning of the Com-
Tukur urged to intervene in Nasarawa PDP crisis IGBAWASE UKUMBA
the materials and what is on ground is not necessarily what is on paper.” The lawmaker is a major critic of Shema and he often writes articles on newspapers as well as grant interviews that are sometimes scathing to the governor. Shema, however, said he was joking about the whole issue. Both men shook hands and later posed for a group photograph.
munity Secondary School in the area. The police report added that the decease gave the suspects N1000 and when one of his daughters demanded the balance of N700, the accused went violent and attacked the family. They beat the deceased to a pulp as a result of which he died. Police prosecutor, Samuel Ikutanwa, told the court that investigation into the case was ongoing. Ikutanwa said by Section 341(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) the accused were not entitled to bail. Counsel to the accused, Joseph Usman, said he intended to come formally by way of motion for their bail in view of the nature of offence, adding that there was tension in the village because of the matter and urged the court to “keep them around.” In his ruling, Chief Magistrate Animoku said: “The offence of culpable homicide is the highest crime known to our laws and therefore, the accused persons shall be remanded at Federal Prisons, KotonKarfe because of the fear of insecurity and crisis in the venue of the crime.” He, therefore, adjourned the suit till July 1.
ormer Nasarawa State Governor Aliyu Akwe Doma has appealed to the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Bamanga Tukur, to assist in reconciling the aggrieved members of the party in the state. Doma spoke in Lafia, the state capital, when hundreds of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) members and
those of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) defected to the PDP. He also called on the aggrieved PDP members to shun their differences and supports efforts aimed at making the party formidable. The former governor urged members to forgive those who that might have offended them either by omission or commission. Doma welcome the defectors and assured them of equal and robust treatment.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
FG may sue Lagos over Lekki land encroachment FRANCIS EZEM
ndications emerged yesterday that the Federal Government may ask the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to institute a legal action against the Lagos State government over alleged encroachment on a parcel of land in the state. The parcel of land is located in the Lekki Phase 1
Housing Scheme of the state close to the Banana Island, belonging to the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA. NIWA is the apex regulatory organ for Nigeria’s coastal and inland waterways as well as some jetties and other loading and discharging facilities within the inland waters. Newly appointed Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the authority, Hajia Inah Ciroma, who took a tour
of facilities and jetties under the authority, noted that there had been discussions between the authority and the state government over the disputed right of way, but regretted that the stage government has in the last three months commenced the development of the land. According to her, the authority will try to exhaust all avenues of dialogue to ensure an amicable solution to the disagreement, but noted that where that fails to
yield the desired goals, the authority will not hesitate to seek other means of resolving the problem, including a legal action. She said as a corporate responsible citizen, NIWA will seek an amicable resolution of the problem through dialogue but would also not hesitate to seek redress in court if it feels that its rights have been trampled upon. Ciroma, who resumed work last month, said she would brief the legal unit of
the authority on the pending legal action against the Lagos State government and also liaise with the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation. She noted that it was not proper for the state government to encroach on the right of way of the authority, claiming that it has passed a law backing its action. “Nigeria is a country guided by laws. As you know, there is the exclusive list, which is the exclusive
reserve of the Federal Government while both the federating states and the central government can legislate on issues on the concurrent list,” she noted. “It is also a well known fact that under our system of government, even on the concurrent legislative list, federal laws supersede those of the federating units and any state legislation that is inconsistent with federal laws becomes null and void,” she had argued further.
Attempted murder: Drama as defendant’s father weeps in court
Ondo election: Appeal Court reserves judgement
here was a mild drama at a Lagos High Court yesterday in the trial of a commercial bus driver, Quadri Kasali, charged with alleged attempted murder of Justice Ebenezer Adebajo, as the father of the defendant disrupted the proceeding, pleading for mercy. Justice Balogun had, at the last hearing, dismissed a bail application filed on behalf of the defendant, but assured an accelerated hearing of the case. Shortly after hearing resumed yesterday, the father of the defendant, Aderemi Kasali, suddenly interrupted the proceeding, lying flat on the floor, crying and pleading that the judge should have mercy on his son. It took the intervention of the court’s orderly to stop the drama when he took the man out of the courtroom as ordered by the judge. Few minutes after he was escorted out of the court, the defence counsel, Mr. Oludare Falana, from Femi Falana’s chambers, prayed the court for an adjournment. He told the court that he just filed an application to quash the charge against the defendant and that another proof of evidence had just been served on him. “I have just filed an application to quash the charge against the defendant and also an additional proof of evidence had just been served on me. I will urge the court to grant an adjournment to enable me do a thorough check on the documents,” he said.
L-R: Chairman of the occasion, Senator Gbenga Ashafa; President, Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI), Mr. Solomon Ogunbusola and Philippino envoy in Nigeria, Ambassador Alex Lamadvid, at the 57th General Meeting of FOCI in Abuja, yesterday.
Police arrest bankers, others for Internet fraud FRANCIS SUBERU
peratives of the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police have arrested four people, including two officials of Skye Bank Plc in connection with Internet fraud, estimated to be around $50, 000. A 400 Level student of Imo State University, who was described as the main suspect in the crime has also been arrested by the police. The suspects: Uche Akobundu, Nnamdi Dike, Olawale Ogunniran and Sani Ismaila were said to have connived together to dupe some unsuspecting female citizens of the United States about two years ago. Olawale Ogunnirani and
Nnamdi Dike, who are staff of Skye Bank at Allen Avenue, Lagos and a branch of the bank in Owerri, Imo State respectively, allegedly assisted Uche in withdrawing an amount of money without due process. Police Public Relations Officer in charge of SFU, Ngozi Isintume-Agu, said the arrest of the suspects was as a result of a petition from a United States national, Amelia Brosick, who is also a victim of the fraud. According to her, Uche used a pseudo-name, Devon Miles, an America citizen, to lure his victim into a relationship, dupe them of their money and then dump them. Uche; according to the police, succeeded in collecting $16, 439 from Amelia,
before it occurred to her that she had fallen prey to a fraudster. Other victims of the suspect include: Jettie Simpson, Shelly Bashir, Billie Klock and Aurea Desena. All had in the last two years sent a total of $30 000 to Uche. Investigations revealed that Uche had lied to his victims that he was 49 years old and that he was in Nigeria for business transactions. The main suspect, in an interview with National Mirror admitted to have committed the crime but said that he did not do anything ‘tangible’ with the money. According to him, he lied to some of his victims that he was stranded in Nigeria or that his daughter had an accident.
Nnamdi reportedly opened an account in his father’s name, Joseph Samuel, with which he withdrew money that was sent through Western Union Money Transfer. The other banker, Ogunniran Akintunde, allegedly paid money to Devon Miles, through Bala, an errand boy with a Bureau de Change in Ikeja, without adhering to the rules and regulations, governing such transactions. Commissioner in charge of SFU, Tunde Ogunsakin, noted with dismay “the increasing incidence of cyber crime in Nigeria; urging Nigerians and foreigners to report any suspicious internet fraud through the unit’s website on Info@specialfraudunit org ng
Britain condemns execution of four prisoners in Edo PAUL ARHEWE
he British Government yesterday condemned the execution of prisoners in Edo State and urged the Nigerian authorities to halt further executions.
Speaking on the issue yesterday, Foreign Office Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, said: “I am deeply saddened that four prisoners were executed in Edo State, Nigeria yesterday. “These executions, the first since 2006, end Nige-
ria’s seven year moratorium on the death penalty. This is a serious setback for human rights in Nigeria, coming only a few months before the Universal Periodic Review of Nigeria by the UN Human Rights Council. “We oppose the death penalty in all circumstanc-
es. There is no conclusive evidence of its deterrent value. It is particularly concerning that there are reportedly around 1, 000 prisoners currently under sentence of death in Nigeria, and I would urge the Nigerian authorities to halt any further executions.”
he Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, Ondo State, yesterday reserved judgement in the appeal brought before it by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, over the outcome of the last governorship election in the state. The Andovar Kaka’anled Election Petitions Tribunal had upheld the results of the October 2012 governorship election as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which declared Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, as the winner of the contest. Speaking on behalf of the five-man panel, the Presiding Judge, Justice M. L. Garba, promised all the parties involved in the appeal that judgement would soon be delivered. However, counsel to the state governor, Chief Wole Olanipekun, described the appeal against Mimiko as a ‘legless appeal,’ saying the appellant adumbration have clearly showed the futility of the appeal. Olanipekun said the tribunal was right in its judgement that the opening of the soft copy of the voters’ register issued by INEC at its stakeholders meeting of September 28 was a pre-election matter and cited Section 19 and 20 of the 2010 Electoral Act. He said; “Even if you open it a day to the election, it remained a preelection matter. It was held by the lower tribunal that all the allegations you levelled thereafter were even criminal, not electoral.”
Most cosmetic procedures Vol. 03 No. 651
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Cindy Jackson (USA) has spent $99,600 (£53,148) on 47 cosmetic procedures, including nine full-scale surgical operations since 1988.
The Village Mourners’ Association
igerians who are old enough will surely recall the source of the above title. For others, I ought to narrate its origin. Fortunately, early this year, I delivered a lecture at the University of Ibadan, where I made a passing reference to the true owners of that copyright. Here is the relevant section: “At the passing of a short-lived dictator, his successor decreed two weeks of mourning, two weeks during which the nation went into a coma. Even the television and radio stations closed down – nothing but martial and funereal music was played, while churches and mosques took over the abandoned air-waves to drown the nation in suras and canticles of lachrymose outpouring. A very sharp group quickly formed something that was called the National
Mourners Association – clever lot! While the nation was quarantined and bogged down in the orgy of lamentation, they were touring the world, sponsored by government, to take the gospel of anguish to every corner of the world that boasted a Nigerian diplomatic mission.” Yes, that was at the death of General Murtala Mohammed. But now, we turn to address the latest progenies of that association, operating in a different clime and context, but cacophonously enmeshed in variations on that ancient tune. When that day comes that individuals encounter hostility over their sensibilities in dealing with loss in their own way, privately, away from public eye, with or without symbolic public gestures, then we are witnessing the end, not simply of plain civility, but of civilization, and the enthronement of fascism. It is not the intolerance and excess of a moment’s excitation, but of a cultivated arrogance and will to imposition, one that attempts to dictate the private responses of others to shared events. Once again we are confronted with the Nigerian phenomenon of the egregious appropriation of what is not on offer and thus, is not subject to dispute. Where frustrated, these claimants reel out chapters from their Book of Imprecations. Let it be stated here, for the avoidance of doubt, that I am a solid believer in the collective rites of Farewell. I believe in Ritual. Humanity is often assisted to reconcile with
ONCE AGAIN WE ARE CONFRONTED
WITH THE NIGERIAN PHENOMENON OF THE EGREGIOUS APPROPRIATION OF WHAT IS NOT ON OFFER AND THUS, IS NOT
SUBJECT TO DISPUTE loss in a collective, and even spectacular mode. The choice to participate or not, however, belongs to each individual, including even those who arrogate to themselves the mission of imposing on others their own preferred mode of bidding farewell. These self-righteous clerics are dangerous beings, especially where they flaunt the credentials of secular learning and gather in caucuses of presumed Humanities. From the herd, the mindless Internet fiddlers for whom the landing of a planetary probe, or a medical breakthrough is simply distraction from fraudulent internet mailing, nothing less is expected. What menaces the collective health of society is when the deserving highs of intellectual application of the former, become indistinguishable from the loutish low of the latter.
I do not pander to the expectations of the sanctimonious. I can absent myself from any event, for reasons that are personal to me. I can absent myself as the result of a mundane domestic situation, as legitimately as from a visceral rejection of occupancy of the same space, at the same time, in the same cause, with certain other participants. I may absent myself for the very reason of my disdain for that breed which is certain to cavil at the very fact of my absence. Such specimens pollute the very space they claim to honour. Sputter and rage they may, but even the most illustrious of that ilk cannot control that choice, neither will they be permitted free passage to encroach upon, and abuse the private spaces of human responsiveness. I shall speak to them directly: your psychological profile is commonplace. It is not the honour to Chinua that agitates you; no, it is your own self-regarding that seeks to be reflected in the homage to a departed colleague. It does not take a psycho-analyst to recognize this phenomenon of greedy acquisitiveness, even of immaterial products. Like emotional parasites, you feed off others, but you have never learnt to value what others give, or be thereby nourished. I recognize you, atavistic minds – was it not your type that once disseminated an unbelievably primitive accounting for Chinua Achebe’s motor accident? Here goes the story, for those who seek light relief from ponderous unctuousness: What happened was that I found myself unable to return to Nigeria for a Colloquium in honour of Chinua’s 60th birthday. My dramatic mind immediately scrambled for some striking manner of compensation. So I telephoned a business friend who had some agricultural connections in Delta State and told him: find the chunkiest, spotless ram in Delta State – all white or all black, but a thoroughbred of striking physique. Find a leather pouch, tie it to its neck with the following message and deliver it at the venue of the Colloquium. I no longer recall the exact CONTINUED ON PAGE 48
loyd Mayweather has warned Saul Alvarez he is not ready to relinquish his poundfor-pound top billing. The unbeaten pair came face-to-face in New York at the start of an 11-city tour to promote their September 14 catchweight contest
Boxing: Mayweather aims at Alvarez’s jugulars in Las Vegas. Mayweather was quick to shoot down his younger rival’s claim that the time is right for a shift in power at the top of the sport. “The Earth is my turf,”
Mayweather said yesterday. “You can put me in any ring and I will always come out victorious,” he added. The five-weight world champion is 14 years older
than 22-year-old Alvarez, who beat Austin Trout in April to add the WBA lightmiddlewieight belt to his WBC title and is widely expected to give Mayweather a tough physical test.
“In boxing, it’s everybody’s time, and this is my time,” Alvarez said, after earlier denying that the agreed 152lbs weight limit was set upon request from his camp.
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