ASUU strike paralyses varsities
We’ve made offer to lecturers –Minister
TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE, KEMI OLAITAN AND MOJEED ALABI
wo days into the strike embarked upon by the Aca-
Vol. 3 N0. 656
demic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, academic activities have been grounded in the government- owned universities across the country. At the University of Lagos, UNILAG, Akoka,
yesterday, lecturers abandoned classes to honour the directive. Classes were empty and most of the students stayed indoors in their hostels while some were roaming CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
400,000 workers lose jobs in Kano –MAN P.12
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Presidency, N’Assembly set to clash over 2013 budget Reps summon Okonjo-Iweala, accuse her of blackmail Senate cautions minister, to consider amendment Sept
GEORGE OJI AND TORDUE SALEM
he disagreement between the National Assembly and the Presidency over the proposed amendments to the 2013 budget appeared set to escalate. The Senate yesterday insisted that consideration for the proposal will have to wait till the end of September when it resumes from two-month recess. This is exactly the period that the Federal Government said it would no longer be able to pay workers salaries if the amendments were not passed by legislators. In a dramatic twist to the face-off, both chambers of the National Assembly also CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
Amaechi demands CP’s redeployment SSS parades Rhodes-Vivour’s wife, daughter’s abductors
L-R: Detectives from London Police: Head of Training and Educational Services, Inspector Steve Strickland; Sergeant Martin Baldwin; Sergeant Michael Bretts; Lagos State High Court Judge, Justice Latifat Okunnu and Facilitator/Executive Secretary, Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey, at the five-day workshop on ‘Corporate fraud: Insider abuse in financial institutions and the implication on developing economy,’ organised by the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police and the City of London Police, in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI
Price war imminent in pharma industry P.19
1138 condemned prisoners on death row –Investigation
Egyptian Army to conduct new election, suspends constitution
Jonathan approves N1.7bn for new police uniforms
Ex-South African President, De Klerk, ill
Viagra patent expires
Idumota traders stop sales of Yoruba films
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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1138 condemned prisoners on death row –Investigation FRANCIS FAMOROTI, SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN AND JOEL AJAYI
o fewer than 1,138 condemned prisoners are presently on the death row in the country, National Mirror investigations have showed. National Mirror gathered that of this figure, 1,119 convicts are males while 19 are females as at April 30, this year. Statistics obtained from the Nigerian Prisons Service, NPS, also revealed that the 145 prisons in the country had a total capacity to accommodate 47, 284 prisoners, but the inmate population as at that date is 53,816. A breakdown of this figure showed that the males have a total inmate population of 52,707 while the females are 1,109. The statistics also indicated that the total number of Awaiting Trial Persons, ATPs, is 37,429 out of which 36,540 inmates are males and 889 females. The figure of convicted persons was put at 16,387, comprising 16,167 males and 220 female convicts. A further breakdown of the number of the convicts revealed that apart from those on the death row, 465
males and eight females are serving life sentences. About 6,967 males are on long term sentence with only 114 females serving same, bringing the total figure to 7,081. It was also learnt that 7,616 convicts are serving short term sentences. Of this figure, 7,616 are males while 79 are females. The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, SAN, had on June 27 said the governors were statutory bound to sign death warrants of condemned criminals sentenced to death by courts of competent jurisdiction. The minister’s insistence came on the heels of mounting criticisms of President Goodluck Jonathan’s directive mandating governors to sign death warrants pending on their desks. In the forefront of the criticisms were some Senior Advocates of Nigeria, including Prof. Itse Sagay, who said that the President lacked the power to compel the governors to sign execution warrants of condemned criminals. Just last week, four death row inmates were hanged in Benin, Edo State, after their execution warrants were signed by Governor
Adams Oshiomhole. The inmates included Osaremwinda Aigbuohian and Daniel Nsofor, whose lawyers had been struggling to obtain a stay of execution on the death sentence; and two other convicts whose identities were yet to be ascertained. Idahagbon said that the defence team of the death row inmates, led by a civil society group, LEDAP, had tried up till the last minute to stop the hanging but did not succeed. Three of the inmates were convicted outside Edo State. Idahagbon said that the executed inmates had been
issued the death penalty several years ago. Under the Nigerian Criminal Code, Chapter 77, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 1990, the offences which attract death penalty include murder, treason and armed robbery. Specifically, Section 37(1) and 37 (2) states that “any person who levies war against the State in order to intimidate or overawe the President or governor of a state, or who conspires with any is guilty of treason, and is liable to the punishment of death.” Section 38 of the Criminal Code provides that “any person who instigates any
foreigner to invade Nigeria with an armed force is guilty of treason and is liable to the punishment of death. By section 49 (1) “any person who commits treachery or treacherous act by giving assistance to the naval, air force, or military operations of the enemy is liable upon conviction to death. Similarly, section 315 and 319 of the code states that any person who unlawfully kills another is guilty of murder and shall be sentenced to death. The criminal law also frowns at stealing with violence or armed robbery as section 401 and 402 provides
that the offender shall upon conviction be sentenced to death. Outside the shores of the country, some Nigerians, according to sources, have been extra-judicially executed in Indonesia in recent years. It was also widely reported sometimes ago that the authorities in Saudi Arabia were set to execute a Nigerian, Sulaimon Olufemi, 28, who was convicted and sentenced to death in connection with the murder of a policeman in Jeddah in 2002. The convict was reportedly sentenced to death at a CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice-President Namadi Sambo (centre) with some former senators, during their visit to the State House, Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
Presidency, N’Assembly set to clash over 2013 budget CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
yesterday descended on the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for blaming the legislature for the delay in implementing of the 2013 budget. The House of Representatives has already summoned the minister to appear before its Joint Committees on Appropriation, Finance and Legislative Compliance to defend herself on what legislators described as an attempt to incite workers against the National Assembly. The House in a motion also accused the minister of blackmailing the National Assembly into passing the proposed amendment to the 2013 budget. Similarly, the Senate warned the minister to refrain from making comments that could pitch the
legislators against the Presidency. The minister had said on Monday that the Federal Government might not pay workers’ salaries after September if the National Assembly failed to pass the N72bn budget amendment bill before it. Okonjo-Iweala also warned that government would not be able to implement some job creation programmes under the SURE-P initiative if the lawmakers failed to pass the budget amendment request by President Goodluck Jonathan. Following a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by the Minority Whip, Hon. Samson Osagie, the House accused OkonjoIweala of consistently insulting the sensibilities of the parliament and inciting workers against them. Osagie said: “This asser-
tion is intended not only to blackmail the National Assembly in the performance of its constitutional mandate, but also to incite Nigerian workers against a legitimate and the not militant institution of government – National Assembly. “There is a subsisting and valid Appropriation Act duly signed into law by the President, which is the operating budget for the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the financial year 2013.” He added that the minister had no right to raise such an alarm, stressing that “from available field reports, the executive organ of government is deliberately delaying or exercising undue tardiness in the implementation of the 2013 budget. “The Minister of Finance has consistently insulted the sensibilities of
the institution of the National Assembly through her constant umbrage and blackmail of this institution.” The lawmaker noted that the National Assembly was alive to its responsibilities and warned that it would not be stampeded or blackmailed by any appointee of government in the discharge of its duties. Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, who presided over the proceedings of the House, adopted the motion without debate. It will be recalled that last week, the House had thrown out the budget amendment bill forwarded by President Jonathan in March on the grounds that it was unconstitutional, which compelled him to send a fresh request last Thursday. The Senate also yesterday cautioned Okonjo-Iwea-
la to refrain from making comments capable of putting the National Assembly on collision course with the President. While referring to the statement credited to the minister that the Federal Government might not be able to pay salaries of its staff after September, the Senate spokesman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said: “The Senate and indeed the National Assembly was perplexed by the comments allegedly credited to the minister on the budget. “The Senate does not view the comments kindly. The feeling of the National Assembly has always been that we do not expect ministers appointed and working for the President to be making comments that tend to create the problem of collision course between the executive and the legislature because we are all working
towards the same purpose of improving the welfare of all Nigerians. “We certainly do not agree with the statement credited to the minister.” Abaribe said that the Senate would begin the consideration of the amendment sought by President Jonathan from September when it reconvened from its annual vacation. He explained that the Senate had already lined up other issues that would fully engage it till August 1 when it would proceed on its annual vacation, hence could not commence deliberations on the budget amendment proposal immediately. Besides, the lawmaker explained that the document containing the amendment sought by the President was so voluminous that it would require CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
L-R: Osun State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon. Wale Afolabi; Chief Justice of the state, Justice Adepele Ojo; Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori; Chief Justice of Oyo State, Justice Badejoko Adeniji and Resident Pastor of the Living Faith Bible Church, Osogbo Parish, Pastor Olumide Wise, at the thanksgiving service for the newly sworn in Justice Ojo at the church in Osogbo, on Sunday.
L-R: Assistant Admin Manager, National Mirror Newspapers, Mrs. Folake Bewaji; Advert Manager, Mr. Ganiyu Bello; 1st Vice District President, Leo Club District 404A1, Leo Tosin Akinwale, Assistant Editor, National Mirror Newspapers, Mr. Sam Eferaro and District President, Leo Shogo Oloshunde, during the club’s courtesy visit to National Mirror in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
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Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, (middle) with US President Barack Obama (right), during a tour of the Ubungo power plant near Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Monday.
L-R: Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Ms. Evelyn Oputu; Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Sarah Alade and Director Finance and Development, CBN, Mr. Paul Eluhaiwe, during a one day workshop on tomato value chain development in Nigeria in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
Presidency approves N1.7bn for new police uniforms OBIORA IFOH AND OMEIZA AJAYI
he new operational uniform for officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force may cost the Federal Government about N1.7bn, even as efforts are being put in place to professionalise the force following the recent security challenges in the country. The new blue and camouflage uniform was introduced last year to replace the traditional black dress, which has been in use for about three decades. President Goodluck Jonathan had in March 2012, approved a test-run of the blue camouflage dress as one of the operational attires of the police, pending the time when the black and black uniform would be totally phased out. The camouflage, which is an admixture of black, white and ash colours, would serve as an operational dress alongside the current ones being worn by officers and men of the force. It was learnt that the N1.7
billion was approved by the Presidency for the purchase of the new uniform as part of measures to reform and launder the image of the force Speaking in an interview with National Mirror yesterday, Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba confirmed the approval of fund for the scheme. He however did not mention the amount. Mba also declined to say whether it is the force or the Ministry of Police Affairs that would administer it. “The Federal Government is handling it,” he said when prodded further. Spokesman of the Ministry of Police Affairs, James Odaudu, said he was not in receipt of any information regarding the approval of the N1.7 billion. Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar had before now, defended the choice of the new uniform, urging members of the public to avail the force of constructive criticisms as regards its feasibility and desirability. “The advantages of the
new police camouflage include cost effectiveness; operationally durable; highly customized with security features to forestall impersonation and environmentally- friendly,” he had said. However, there are fears that the police is once again attempting to create a crisis of identity for itself due to the way it has continually changed its uniforms. Only in March 2007, the then Inspector General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero had unveiled the light blue uniform which he said
would be worn by both officers and men. However, several years later, only officers from the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police ASPs have continued to use the light blue uniform. It was not until recently that the rank and file at the Force Headquarters and some state commands began the use of the light blue uniform. For now, the police is set to have about four uniforms. Apart from its traditional black uniform, it has the
light blue for its officers-at least for now- and another dark green for officers and men in its Counter Terrorism Unit. The camouflage is the fourth. Meanwhile, the Federal Government said efforts are being put in place to professionalise the force. Disclosing this yesterday in Abuja, while briefing the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Working Committee, NWC, on his ministry’s scorecard, the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade, also
stated that the service would require more funds to prosecute its programmes with the view to repositioning the police. He said that his focus as a minister is to ensure adequate training of the nation’s policemen. “We have to look at the Police intelligence gathering and training which is key to our focus in this administration. Police must be given enough equipment and be protected with bullet proof vests for them to carry out their assignments.
FG to monitor disbursement of N5.7bn to victims of post-election violence ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said the Federal Government would closely monitor the disbursement of the N5.7 billion approved recently for victims of the 2011 postelection violence in nine states to ensure fairness and equity. Speaking at a meeting
with leaders and representatives of the Middle Belt Forum, President Jonathan said that government would do all within its powers to ensure that the money goes to real victims of the violence. The President said that although disbursements were already being made based on the recommendations of the various committees that examined claims for compensation,
his administration would keep a close eye on the matter with a view to correcting any errors or omissions. Jonathan said that his administration would continue to work with the leadership of the Middle Belt Forum and other Nigerians to improve the living conditions of all citizens. Speaking to State House correspondents after the closed-door meeting, Jang
said that the people of the Middle Belt would declare support for President Goodluck Jonathan if he decides to run for the 2015 presidential election. According to him, the Middle Belt under the aegis of Middle Belt Forum, MBF, would not join in the on-going ethnic supports being given to President Jonathan since he is yet to decide on whether or not to seek for second term.
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
ASUU strike paralyses varsities CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
the campus. Up till Monday, the students received lectures, hoping to write their semester exam in August. Some of them told National Mirror that they still remained in school because they were not sure if the government would meet the lecturers’ demand and pleaded that they should call off the strike. Expressing sadness over the strike, they, however, blamed the government for not honouring the fouryear old agreement with ASUU. The government action, the students said, indicated the insincerity of the country’s political leaders. Also activities at the Lagos State University, Ojo, have been halted as a result of the strike.
Students clustered around in groups, discussing the development when National Mirror visited the campus yesterday. They were unhappy about the strike and blamed it on the government, which failed to honour what they called ‘simple agreement’ with ASUU. A 600-level student of Medicine at the university and President of the Medical Students Association, Mr. Ajayi Babatunde was devastated by the development, saying he was tired of being addressed as student. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, where first semester exam is currently holding continued with the exam after the decision by its lecturers to join their counterparts in the strike
later. Academic activities were also paralysed at the University of Ibadan, as students who went for early morning lectures were stunned when none of their lecturers showed up. Although all lecture rooms were open, they were empty as students left the classes and retired to their halls. A visit to the institution showed that the strike was total as the lecturers only came to their offices but shunned lecture rooms while students who were seen patrolling their supervisors’ offices were reportedly instructed to wait until the end of the strike. Some of the students were seen playing football and basketball within the campus while those in
their final year lamented the strike. The students appealed to the Federal Government to address the demands of the union and save the country from anarchy. The National Treasurer of ASUU, Dr. Ademola Aremu, while speaking with journalists, said the strike order was fully complied with at the institution. He stated that the university community had been carried along in the efforts to rescue the education sector from the current disastrous situation in which it is mired. Aremu maintained that there was no need for the union to go on warning strike and a total and indefinite strike was only suspended to allow the CONTINUED ON PAGE 9>>
L-R: Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu; Mr. Tunde Adelaja, Rear Admiral Adetoye Sode (rtd) and former Minister of State for Defence (Navy), Mrs. Modupe Adelaja, at a lecture in honour of the late Pa Abraham Adesanya in Lagos, yesterday.
Presidency, N’Assembly set to clash over 2013 budget CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
painstaking efforts by the National Assembly to go through. “What we got from the President as the third amendment is a set of very large documents. The budget amendment is even larger than the main budget itself and there is no way we can consider the amendment until we come back from our annual vacation. “In September, there is also going to be a new budget (2014),” Abaribe said. President Jonathan had in a letter to the Senate conveying the request for the amendment of the 2013 budget complained that the lawmakers reduced allocations to some capital projects and appealed to the senators to restore the reductions so that government could execute the projects for national devel-
opment. Some of the reductions effected by the lawmakers include the allocation to the Abuja-Lokoja road, which was reduced by N4bn; Kano-Maiduguri road, cut by N3.5bn; dualisation of the Ibadan-Ilorin section 2, slashed by N5.5bn; rehabilitation of the Bebba Bridge, which was reduced by N1.25bn; rehabilitation of the burnt Marine and Iddo bridges, which was reduced by N1bn; special intervention fund for emergency roads and bridges washout across the country was also cut by N6.28bn and the dualisation of the Obajana junction to Benin, which was reduced by N4bn. On health, Jonathan noted that the MDG HIV/AIDS ARV drugs allocation was reduced by N1bn, routine immunisation vaccines slashed by N1.75bn, malaria pro-
gramme procurement and distribution of insecticides was reduced by N0.88bn, payment of pledge for Onchocerciasis recertification cut by N0.12bn and the National Trauma Centre, Abuja reduced by N0.1bn. In the Ministry of Power, the President said N16.3bn was cut from power projects, including the 215MW Kaduna Dual Fired Power Plant, which was reduced by N2.25bn; 2nd KadunaKano 33KV DC lines cut by N1.5bn; Gombe-Yola-Jalingo 33KV SC line reduced by N0.6bn; Maiduguri 330/132KV sub-station reduced by N0.3bn, KadunaJos 330KV DC line reduced by N0.5bn and the MotoshoEpe-Aja 330KV DC line reduced by N0.8bn etc. The President also listed the Transport Ministry where the lawmakers reduced by N1.4bn money
meant for the construction of the Abuja-Kaduna rail while Jebba-Kano rail line rehabilitation had its allocation reduced by N0.5bn; procurement and rehabilitation of wagon/locomotives was reduced by N1bn and insurance of locomotives reduced by N0.2bn. The Ministry of Education was not spared by the National Assembly as the lawmakers slashed allocations to projects to the tune of N5.64bn, including the National Library project, which was cut by N2bn. On the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, which one of its major targets is to address unemployment in the country, out of the N27bn budgeted for the community service, women and youth employment programme, the National Assembly slashed it to N7bn only.
1138 condemned prisoners on death row –Investigation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
closed trial in May 2005. Shortly after the death sentence against Olufemi was upheld by the Court of Cassation and ratified by the Supreme Judicial Council, the Saudi Arabian Human Rights Commission and the Amnesty International expressed the fear that the convict could be executed at any time. Meanwhile, the Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, yesterday decried the criticism trailing the execution of the death sentence in Benin. He told the Federal Government not to allow itself to be gagged by anybody. The Primate, who spoke at a press conference in Abuja, noted that Amnesty International had no justification to criticise the government’s action, stressing that they were not directly or indirectly affected by the action of those inmates. He warned that the government should not allow anybody or organisation to teach it what morality was all about, insisting that “the law of capital punishment for those who rightly deserve should be enforced.” Painting a scenario, where a victim of armed robbery was brutalised, raped and finally killed by the gang, the primate asked: “Now where is the human rights of this woman? Meanwhile, the armed robbers involved in that had been executed, and the people are crying for the human rights of the armed robbers! “The Federal Government should not allow people to teach it moral in our society. If somebody could afford to kill 79 people and they just sentenced him to 14 years imprisonment, if they think that is acceptable to them, it is okay, but here I think is not okay. “So, for me, anybody who has degenerated to that level of depravity deserves capital punishment and it should be enforced. “It is not true to say that punishment does not deter crime, it does. One of the differences between society here and society outside is that we have so many laws, which are not enforced. If you see Nigerians outside, they obey laws, but as soon as they come back here, they feel above the law; if
they do anything contrary to the law and the people approach them, they will say ‘do you know who I am?’ “So, punishment must be effected and that is the essence of government, the Bible supported it and the government cannot abdicate from punishing crime in the name of Amnesty International or whatever.” Okoh added that insecurity persists in the country because politicians were playing politics with it. “We must not play politics with our security. It is never done anywhere in the world. We need to ensure that our security is good and well-organised, then, we will have time for other things.” Also yesterday, the Edo State chapter of the Coalition of Registered Political Parties, CRPP, commended Oshiomhole, for signing the death warrants of four convicted criminals last week. The group said the action would serve as deterrent to rising crime rate. Replying the critics, the CRPP described as “unjustified” the criticisms against the signing of the death warrants by the governor. In a press statement issued by Edo State CRPP Chairman and National Secretary of Accord Party, Dr. Samson Isibor, the group expressed satisfaction with the execution, insisting that the state governor only exercised the powers conferred on him by the Constitution of the Federal Republic. Isibor said: “Those that are opposed to the signing of the death warrants are enemies of Edo State who want criminals to swallow up the state. “These human rights organisations and illmotivated critics are not sincere because the nature of the crimes that was committed by the convicts deserved no sympathy from any responsible government or organisation. “These self-styled activists merely play to the gallery in the bid to justify the huge funds they fraudulently collect from unsuspecting foreign donors under the guise of fighting injustice, human rights breach and bad governance.
SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI
our persons were feared dead while three Itsekiri communities were razed in fresh ethnic crisis which erupted in Delta State in the early hours of yesterday. It was learnt that those killed included a two-year old child, who was burnt in the premeditated attack on five Itsekiri communities in Warri North Local Government. The development, a reminiscent of the fratricidal war between the Ijaw and Itsekiri ethnic nationalities between 1997 and 2001, has raised tension in the state. Investigation showed that apprehension has gripped indigenes and residents of the various Ijaw and Itsekiri communities in the wake of the latest development. Although the immediate cause of yesterday’s invasion of the communities could not be ascertained, the Ijaw have been locked up in cold war lately with their Itsekiri neighbours over the sharing of political offices in Warri North council. The Ijaw had demanded that the chairmanship position of the council be allocated to them, as a minimum condition to guarantee peace in the area. The Itsekiri, who have six electoral wards in the
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Ijaw, Itsekiri clash: Four killed, five communities razed council, usually produce the chairman while the Ijaw, who have four electoral wards, occupy the position of the vice-chairman. The Ijaw had protested that they were tired of playing a second fiddle, adding that the population figure produced by the National Population Commission, NPC, and delineation of electoral wards carried out by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which gave the Itsekiri an edge over them,
were fraudulent. The state government and the security agencies had made futile attempts to douse the tension in Warri North before the situation degenerated yesterday. Some armed Ijaw youths were reported to have invaded Itsekiri coastal communities identified as Gbokoda, Udo, Ajameta, Obaghoro and Ayerode-Zion, in the early hours of yesterday. Reports indicated that four persons, including
a two-year old baby, who could not escape from the invaders, were burnt in the attacks. Similarly, 55 buildings were reported to have been razed in the communities. The residents of the communities were said to have been rudely woken up from sleep by staccato of gun shots by the Ijaw gunmen. Many residents were reported to have scampered into safety by running into the adjoining bush.
Queue for fuel in Abuja, yesterday.
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Already, security has been reinforced in the area apparently to apprehend the Ijaw gunmen and forestall the escalation of the war. The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Adaba, summoned some Ijaw and Itsekiri leaders to his office yesterday in order to stem the ugly tide and find a lasting solution to the impasse. Reliable sources said Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who was briefed about the incident by the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the council, Mr. David Edun, had directed the security agencies to restore peace to the area.
Fear of imminent sack grips Service Chiefs Reshuffle your cabinet, NUPENG OUR REPORTER
ear of possible sack has gripped military chiefs following an Abuja Federal High Court judgement on Monday, which invalidated the appointment of the Service Chiefs. This is even as the Federal Government is said to be studying the judgement with a view to either implementing it or approaching a higher court for further interpretation. However, a military source in Abuja who described the implementation of the judgement as complicated, said the Service Chiefs were hopeful that President Goodluck Jonathan would adopt a political approach in resolving the issue. “How do you even begin to implement this judgement? Are you going to sack the Service Chiefs or are you going to demote them by reverting them to their previous ranks or postings before
now? “I just feel that a political solution is what the President will adopt,” the source said. When asked what he meant by a “political solution,” the source said Jonathan might decide to send the names of the Service Chiefs to the Senate for “confirmation or re-confirmation of their appointments”. On why the court pronouncement could not be easily implemented, he queried: “If by the judgement you are saying that their appointments are invalid,
it therefore presupposes that you are also invalidating some of the policy decisions they had taken since assumption of office, and so, do you not think that there is a lot of security implication in that? For instance, the officers who were sacked before now, even in Jaji, are you going to recall them?” Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had declared the appointments of the Service Chiefs null and void in the suit brought against the Federal Government by the Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo.
he National President of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Mr. Achese Igwe, has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately reshuffle his cabinet. Igwe gave the advice in an interview in Abuja. He said: “It is obvious that some of the members of his cabinet do not take issues of serious concern to the country seriously. The President must reshuffle his cabinet if
NJC has no respect for court –Gummi ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
he immediate past Chief Judge of Abuja High Court, Justice Lawal Gummi, has described the National Judicial Council, NJC, as a lawless body without due regard for the authority of court.
Gummi said this yesterday at the resumed hearing of a suit he filed before a Federal High Court in Abuja against the NJC. He alleged that the NJC commenced his probe on May 10, despite a directive of the court that parties must maintain status quo in the case.
The former CJ spoke through his lead counsel, Mr. Okunade Olorundare (SAN). Gummi had already secured an order of the court (subpoena duces tecum) compelling NJC to produce report of its proceedings of May 10 to serve as basis to sanction the body.
he wants to succeed. “It is obvious that there are sycophants in his cabinet and they must be shown the way out very fast.’’ The union leader said it was alarming that another round of fuel scarcity had hit the country following the start on Monday of a threeday warning strike embarked upon by NUPENG. He told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Monday that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, knew the union was going to embark on the warning strike, “yet, she travelled out of the country without addressing the issues raised by the union’’. Igwe said it was unfortunate that issue pertaining to the welfare of workers no longer meant anything to some Nigerian leaders. Meanwhile, transport fares and the cost of petrol have gone up in Kaduna owing to the ongoing three-day warning.
Fire razes Visafone’s national sales office KUNLE AZEEZ
ire yesterday gutted the national sales office of one of Nigeria’s telecoms operators, Visafone Communications, destroying items worth millions of naira. The fire, which started around 12.20pm at the company’s office, which also serves as its warehouse, was said to have been caused by an electric spark. When National Mirror visited the office located at Saka Tinubu Street on Lagos Island around 4.30pm yesterday, the inferno had been put out by fire fighters. About 10 fire men came from both Eti-Osa and Onikan Fire Stations of the Lagos Fire Service with two water trucks, joined by seven other officials from the Federal Fire Service, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. Workers of the company managed to pick some items from the heap of recharge card packs, modems, phones, which were burnt by fire. The Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Rasak Fadipe, confirmed the incident. He said: “We got information around 1pm today, Tuesday June 2, and immediately, we swung into action by deploying our officials to curtail the fire from our Eti-Osa and Onikan fire stations.” Fadipe added that the initial challenge faced by the fire men was how to break into the two-storey building, wholly occupied by Visafone, “as the building is airtight and no ventilation; they only use air conditioners. Our men had to break the wall to enter the place.” Head of Etiosa Fire Station, Mr. Michael Ajayi, said, “we had to battle tooth and nail to see how we could penetrate because the structure was built like a warehouse with everything very tight”. An employee of Visafone, who did not want his name in print, said, “the fire was serious. It started with thick smoke coming from nobody-knows-where. Everything in the store, tons of carton of phones, Internet modems and, most importantly recharge cards were consumed”.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
ThisDay bombing: Court rejects suspect’s bid to quash charge ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
L-R: Former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida; former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and Senate President David Mark at the 4th National Civil-Military Dialogue in Abuja, yesterday.
Boko Haram: 15,000 Borno residents relocate to Cameroun INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
ollowing the security challenges perpetrated by members of the Boko Haram sect, over 15,000 residents of Ashigashiya, Ngoshe, Jubrili and other hilly communities in Borno State have relocated to Cameroun. Our correspondent, who accompanied the state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Zanna Umar Mustapha, with other senior public functionaries to Ashigashiya, Jubrili, Agapalwa, Chikide, Barawa and Khurum, observed that over 15,000 Nigerians have crossed over the river boundary between Ashigashiya and Cameroun and vowed not to return to the country. They were said to have claimed that security personnel were fond of harassing
them. But some Christian leaders said the allegation was not true. The Christian leader in Barawa, Revd James Ayuba, said the security agents deployed in the areas carried out their responsibilities according to the rules of engagement. Explaining why the people relocated to Cameroun to the deputy governor, a resident, Abdul Ashigashiya, alleged that many residents of Ashigashiya, Ngoshe and other villages along the border had been killed by men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) since the declaration for the state of emergency in the three Northern states. He said: “I have lived in this community for the past 50 years and I have never seen one of my people who killed his/her fellow human being in the name of reli-
gious, but it is unfortunate that Nigerian soldiers are coming into this community killing our people that they are members of Boko Haram sect.” Ashigashiya said the residents would only return to their villages if the state government assured them that the soldiers would no long attacking them. Another resident, Mallam Sidi Ali, described the people of Ashigashiya as lovers of peace, adding that immediately the declaration of the state of emergency by the Federal Government, over 10 people were killed in the community, including a principal of Government Secondary School, by the JTF. Two Ministry of Agriculture workers, Suleiman Dalhatu and Abubakar Talamu, were among those who fled to Cameroun. They claimed that they had lost many of their re-
Jonathan flays irregularities trailing Imo rerun ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday condemned the irregularities which trailed last Saturday’s rerun election to the Oguta Constituency of the Imo State House of Assembly. Jonathan said the conduct of certain persons and groups involved in the election negated the culture of one man, one vote which his administration is trying to foster on Nigeria. Speaking at an audience with a delegation from the Nigerian Senators’ Forum,
the President asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to bring all those behind the irregularities to justice. He said that it had become apparent that in order to successfully achieve his administration’s objective of entrenching a culture of consistently free, fair and credible elections, it must be made clear to all stakeholders that any unlawful conduct during elections would be swiftly punished. Jonathan said: “Those who made it impossible for the rerun election in Oguta
to be conclusive must be brought to book. We must make it clear that impunity in the perpetration of violence and irregularities during elections will no longer be tolerated. “Sanctions, promptly imposed on guilty persons, will deter others from engaging in such acts in future.” While welcoming the Senators’ Forum’s pledge to support his administration’s efforts to sanitise Nigeria’s electoral system, the President said he was glad that his advocacy for one man, one vote was winning more adherents across the country.
lations to the JTF attack. A teacher, Mr. Musa Hassan, said: “We are ready to return to Nigeria if the government can protect us from both the Boko Haram and JTF attacks. “We are really suffering, as you see me now, I am a teacher. I don’t have anything to eat with my family, we relocated to this village for over three weeks now, we have nowhere to stay not to talk of what to eat.”
Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday rejected a request by Mr. Mustapha Umar, the suspected bomber of ThisDay office in Kaduna, to dismiss a charge preferred against him by the Federal Government. Justice Adeniyi Ademola ruled that the Federal Government had established a prima facie case against the suspect and that he must face trial. The judge consequently asked him to open his defence if he had any. Umar did not waste as he gave evidence for himself and closed his case. He not only denied any involvement in the incident, he also accused the State Security Service (SSS) of doctoring the au-
IGP M. D. Abubakar
dio visual evidence shown in court to exclude how he was tortured to say what he was seen saying about the incident. Justice Ademola, however, adjourned the matter to enable parties address the court. Umar, it would be recalled, was accused of attempted to bomb ThisDay office. Two other media organisations, The Moment and the Daily Sun, also had offices in the building targeted by the suspected bomber. The SSS prosecuting him had brought hooded witnesses to court to testify against him. His confessional statement which was recorded, his car which was used for the operation and a dozen camp gas cylinders with which the bombing attempt was made were tendered in evidence. But after the prosecution closed its case, Umar asked the court to dismiss the case against him for want of evidence. The request by Mustapha was contained in an application filed by his counsel, Mr. Nureini Sulaimon, saying the Federal Government had no case against him.
Shell records eight crude oil spills in Niger Delta UDEME AKPAN
he Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Limited has recorded eight new crude oil spills at Adibawa field in the Niger Delta. The firm’s Corporate Media Relations Manager, Mr. Tony Okonedo, who confirmed the development in a statement, said: “The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) Limited recorded eight crude oil theft and sabotage-related spill incidents in Adibawa field in Eastern Niger Delta between January and June this year.” He said nearly 500 barrels of oil were spilled into the environment from the incidents. The Adibawa field straddles Biseni, Edagberi and Ikarama communities, and majority of the spills were caused when unknown persons inflicted extensive hacksaw cuts on pipelines. Okonedo said a joint team
comprising regulators, government ministries, SPDC and communities investigated each of the spills and confirmed their findings in signed-off reports. The latest spills occurred on the Adibawa-Okordia pipeline at Ikarama on May 24 and June 4 respectively. The largest individual spilled volume of 447 barrels came from the June incident. Investigation is continuing into another spill which occurred on the Adibawa North East flowline at Biseni on May 22. In line with its spill response strategy and at the earliest opportunity, SPDC shut down the pipelines, mobilised teams to the site of the incidents for containment and recovery of spilled oil. Cleanup of impacted areas is planned for later in the year. “We are very concerned over the rising trend of spills in Adibawa field,” said SPDC Managing Director and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu, adding: “Just between
April 9 and April 26, we recorded four sabotage spills in the same area, polluting rivers and blighting swathes of land. All stakeholders must work together to try to stop this crime against Nigeria. “SPDC continues to bring new level of transparency in spills reporting. In 2011, we set up a website www.shellnigeria.com/spills that captures all spills, sabotage and operational, and information on all the incidents in Adibawa and elsewhere are fully listed there. This is the only such website in Nigeria. “The SPDC observes in its latest report that unrest has grown, particularly as a result of frustration over lack of benefits from oil production. “The unrest has turned into a worrying criminal movement, which feeds on massive thefts of crude oil. Heavily armed and wellorganised groups attack oil and gas facilities in the delta, shut down operations, kidnap staff and sabotage pipelines.”
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Jonathan flags-off Lagos-Ibadan road’s reconstruction Friday
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stressing that the government was determined to address the sorry state of the expressway. He said; “We appreciate the comments you made admitting that our roads have improved and we invite you to join us at the flag-off which will be at the Sagamu interchange of the road. “This drive is part of the ongoing transformation in the road sector and we hope that very soon Nigerians will come to appreciate our efforts to see that Nigerian roads are in good shape.” Earlier in his address, the leader of the ALBON delegation, Mr. Frank Nneji, thanked the Federal Government for reconstructing and upgrading many roads in the country.
Tears as relatives receive Bodija traders’ bodies
L-R: Ogun State Head of Service, Mrs. Modupe Adekunle; Governor Ibikunle Amosun; Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Adesegun Ogunlewe and Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, at the 4th summit of Heads of Service, South-West Geo-Political Zone in Abeokuta, yesterday.
Ekiti teachers accept 16% allowance, suspend strike
OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
ightmare motorists and commuters experience daily on the Lagos - Ibadan Expressway may end soon as President Goodluck Jonathan will on Friday flag-off the reconstruction of the road. The Federal Government earlier in the year terminated the concessioning of the 178km road granted to BiCourtney Highway Services Limited. Government had said the company failed to honour the terms of the concession
agreement. A fresh contract for the reconstruction of the expressway was subsequently awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc for the Lagos – Sagamu interchange end of the road, while RCC Nigeria Limited is to handle the Sagamu – Ibadan axis. The Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, disclosed the planned flag-off by the President yesterday at a meeting with a delegation of the Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria, ALBON. Onolememen explained that the project had been
awarded, adding that the government was ready to see it completed in record time. He said: “You talked about the Lagos - Ibadan Expressway project and you know that it has been awarded and work will soon commence on it. “However, may I use this opportunity to let you know that President Goodluck Jonathan will flag-off the reconstruction and rehabilitation work on the Lagos -Ibadan Road on Friday?” The minister said the President would flag-off the project at the Sagamu interchange section of the road,
N53m fraud: Court admits laptops, modems as exhibits Kabiru Sanni. While admitting the exhibits, Balogun dismissed the objection of the defence counsel and ordered that items be taken as evidence. Earlier, a prosecution witness, Babatunde Shittu of the Advance Fee Fraud, AFF, department of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, told the court that the defendants were arrested following a petition written by one Kabiru Sanni, a bureau de change
operator. Narrating how the defendants were arrested, Shittu said: “We told Mr. Sanni to set up a meeting with the first defendant at one eatery in Lekki where we arrested him and took him to his house at No 13, Bamgbala Street, Elegushi, Lagos. “When we got to his resident, we recovered two laptops, two internet modems and a laptop charger which we took to our office along with the defendants.”
Lagos High Court presided over by Justice Christopher Balogun yesterday admitted as exhibits, three laptops and two internet modems tendered as evidence in a case of internet fraud and obtaining money by pretext filed against suspected fraudsters (a.k.a Yahoo boys). The suspects, Chris
Nwaigwe (34), Farouk Balogun (28), Fawas Animashaun (29), Damilola Ali (28) and Olasunkanmi Banire (27), were first arraigned on October 31, 2012 on a 21-count charge bordering on forgery, obtaining money by pretext and internet fraud. The defendants were alleged to have on April 27, 2012 within the Ikeja Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, conspired to obtain $210,000,00 equivalent of N53,577.597 million from one
Guber: Ex-PDP lawmakers endorse Adeyeye
ormer Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, state and national lawmakers in Ekiti State have supported the governorship ambition of former Afenifere chieftain, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, in the 2014 election. The PDP chieftains said Adeyeye emerged after a shadow election held to choose their favourite. The former lawmakers
said they had earlier resolved to lend their support to the winner of the said shadow election. Secretary of the group, Hon. Ayo Boluwade, confirmed Adeyeye’s adoption following his victory in the exercise. He said: “As it went yesterday, Adeyeye had 41 points while Akerele, the closest candidate to him, had 24 points. Therefore, we will back Adeyeye.”
Other PDP aspirants that were voted for were Senator Ayo Arise (19 votes), Ambassador Dare Bejide (15), Hon. Ropo Ogunbolude (11), Chief Bisi Omoyeni (10), Oluomo Abiodun Aluko (four), Otunba Segun Olarewaju (two), Mr. Ayo Fayose (two), Hon. Femi Bamisile (one) and Senator Gbenga Aluko (one). According to Boluwade, the group, popularly called
the Ijero Group, adopted Adeyeye based on his acceptability across the state as he expressed belief that PDP leaders at state and national levels would pick the most acceptable candidate across the state. According to him, two former National Assembly candidates, Hon. Kehinde Odebunmi and Kayode Alufa, were among the 20 members present at the meeting.
KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
t was sorrow and tears yesterday as the bodies of traders from Bodija market killed by Boko Haram members were brought to Ibadan, Oyo State. The remains of the beans sellers were received by their relatives at the end of Ife Ibadan Expressway at Alakia area of Ibadan in the afternoon. Relatives, fellow traders and sympathisers, who wailed profusely, rained curses on the perpetrators. Many people gathered as family members came to identify and collect the corpses for burial. The Hausa community in the market also gathered to mourn the slain traders. However, the Sarkin Hausawa of Bodija market, Alhaji Isiyaka Hassan, called on government to provide adequate security in the community. Hassan told journalists that what happened to the traders was disturbing and disheartening. He said: “It is disturbing because it is beyond our powers and disheartening because of the innocent souls that were killed without any just cause.”
ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
ublic primary and secondary school teachers in Ekiti State have suspended their 31-day old strike in pursuit of their demand for 27.5 per cent Teachers Peculiar Allowance. The teachers, under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, said the suspension of the strike, which had paralysed academic activities in the schools since they joined their counterparts in other states, was in the interest of the people of the state. The state NUT Chairman, Comrade Kayode Akosile, made the disclosure yesterday after a meeting of the leadership of the union with the government officials where the teachers accepted the 16 per cent offered them by the administration of Governor Kayode Fayemi. Akosile, who said that the teachers “took the
The Sarkin Hausawa, however, called for adequate security in the market for fear of reprisal attacks, praying God to rescue the country from the hands of evil men who kill under the guise of religion. Hassan explained that the traders in the market were brothers and sisters who had been living peacefully for decades irrespective of tribes or religions. He said: “We are brothers and sisters here without any fight. We share things together and we don’t have any cause to disagree. It is the evil people who are planning to a division among us but Isha Allah they shall not succeed.” During a visit to the market, there was palpable tension even though all the shops were under lock and key. Some uniformed security men were patrolling the market. But those in the neighbourhood expressed fear that the traders could become violent. A banker in the area, who simply gave her name as Tonia, said: “We expect the security agencies to be on standby to curtail violent reaction from the traders who are in tense mood because of the tragic news.”
painful decision” following intervention by wellmeaning individuals and groups, urged the state government “to reciprocate the gesture and abide by the agreement reached”. The Commissioner for Education, Mr. Kehinde Ojo, who confirmed that the suspension of the strike followed agreement on 16 per cent out of the 27.5 per cent being demanded by the teachers, added that the remaining would be added when the revenue situation of the state improved. Ojo praised the teachers for peaceful and decent conduct while the strike lasted and for not disrupting public examinations within the period, promising that no teacher would be punished for participating in the exercise. The commissioner, however, appealed to the teachers to adjust to accommodate the strike period and ensure that the students did not lose out on their studies.
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South-West Heads of Service forge alliance for regional integration FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
eads of Service of the six South-West states yesterday converged on Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, for a summit aimed at forging a formidable regional integration. The thee-day summit, which was themed: “Re-engineering public service for regional integration,” was also attended by senior public officials of the South-West states. Declaring the summit open, Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun urged the participating Heads of Service to evolve workable recommendations that would strengthen the public service for effective socio-economic development of the region. Amosun, who emphasised that success as well as failure of any government, depends largely on the propensity and elasticity of its public service, urged participants to engender the right frame of mind and attitude within the workforce of their respective states. He said: “You must ensure that you oil the machine of the public service for effective synergy and collaboration that will make government perform its statutory functions and ensure the socio-economic development and improvement in the standard of living of our people. “This can be done in the areas of exchange of information and cross-fertilization of ideas to strengthen the respective public services of the South-West states.” The governor expressed optimism that the summit would re-enact the glorious days of the Action Groupled government of Western Region under the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He said: “The like-minds in our various governments should co-operate to break the yoke of artificial geographical demarcations hindering the socio-economic development of the entire region. I see us reenacting the glorious days of the Awolowo Western Region era.” Reiterating the commitment of his administration to the welfare of workers in the state, Amosun said he had taken steps that would to facilitate improvement in the payment of gratuities of retirees.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Lagos cooperative society’s asset hits N60bn MURITALA AYINLA
agos State Commissioner of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, yesterday said the state cooperative society’s asset has hit N60 billion. Lawal also said the state government would begin production of 60 million eggs annually through its Agric-Yes initiative by November. He said efforts are on to achieve the 1million target
of fish production and 25 per cent increase in food production by 2015, adding that more communities would be empowered to achieve the objectives. The commissioner, who spoke while addressing journalists on the activities of his ministry during the 2013 International Day of Co-operative, said the needed state-of-the art implement to achieve the objectives had been provided. Lawal added that plans are also on to produce 10,000 chickens weekly by the state
commercial farm. He said: “We have supported several communities in the past and this year, we are supporting additional 10 communities in Badagry and Ojo zones with the production of outboard engines, fishing net refrigerators and other inputs that will boost fish production. These are the measures we have put in place to assist our farmers with the subsidisation of their inputs.” He assured that a lot of innovations had been made to boost food production, add-
ing that the state’ poultries had recorded remarkable improvement in the last one year. The commissioner said: “By November, we are going to produce 60 million eggs annually from the Agric-Yes, our commercial farm initiative in Araga. So, we are doing all possible to improve our production. “We are looking at the production 10,000 chicken weekly from our commercial farm. With all these, I am optimistic that we are going to meet out targets”.
L-R: Permanent Secretary Ministry of Power, Dr. Godknows Igali; President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Mr. Ariyo Olushekun and Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, during 2nd Annual National Workshop of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers in Abuja yesterday. PHOT: ROTIMI OSASONA
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 government to implement the agreements it had with the union in 2009. The UI branch Secretary of ASUU, Dr. Ayodeji Omole, lamented the unfortunate strike, saying: “We thought with a President like Jonathan, education will be better off, but we are worse off.” A letter signed by Omole sent to the Vice- Chancellor on the strike reads in part: “In view of the unsatisfactory state of the implementation of the 2009 agreement, the National Executive Committee of Academic staff Union of Universities, ASUU-NEC, after exhaustive deliberations, NEC asked various branches to resume the suspended indefinite strike from July 1, 2013. “You are hereby duly informed that all our members in the University of Ibadan have, effective from today, July 1, 2013 complied accordingly and withdrawn from all academic activities, including teaching, supervision and all statutory and ad hoc meetings.” In another bulletin distributed to all academic staff of the universities, the lecturers were instructed: “Do not
ASUU strike paralyses varsities
teach any course whatsoever, do not attend any statutory meeting, do not establish or supervise any examination at any level, do not engage in supervision of projects at any level, do not force any academic to teach, supervise theses and projects at any level or attend meetings of departments, faculties, senate congregation, councils during the strike.” The leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has however pledged to carry out a comprehensive review of the ongoing strike and intervene appropriately to ensure smooth academic activities. The students’ leaders stated that the position of the association would be made known soon. The President, Yinka Gbadebo, said efforts were ongoing to bring the stakeholders within the association together to review the situation and present a common position. He said the state of education in the country, saying the students were usually at the receiving end. The Chairman, Parents/
Teachers Association of Nigeria, South West Zone, Deacon Olusoji Adams, blamed the Federal Government for the strike, saying it was unacceptable for government not to have fulfilled agreement voluntarily entered into with the striking lecturers. He argued that government had the resources to honour the agreement but it was disheartening that it could still not respect a fouryear old agreement. Adams said the action was a demonstration of dishonesty on part of political leaders in the country. However, the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqqayatu Rufai said the Federal Government has made an offer to ASUU but was yet to receive any response from the union. The minister, who was answering questions from newsmen in Abuja, did not give any hint on the details of the offer made by the government to the union, but maintained that government was still expecting ASUU’s response. “They are our colleagues, we meet with them, we discussed with them. There is
an offer from government. We expected to hear from them and up till now we are expecting to hear from them,” she said. Also commenting on the issue, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie, said that ASUU was supposed to write to the government in respect of the offer made to them during a meeting held between them about three weeks ago. Okojie said that ASUU had informed representatives of the Federal Government that it would get its response after its National Executive Meeting, NEC. “We have no official report from them. They should write to us. We have been meeting regularly. We even met on Sunday. “About three weeks ago, there was an offer made to them by the government. They said that they were going to their NEC, what we expected from them is that they should have come to us and told us what was the result. “As far as I am concerned, if they are on strike we don’t know. They should write to us.”
Ladipo market president diverted N52m, witness tells court KENNY ODUNUK AN
n Ikeja High Cour t was told yesterday that the for mer President of Aguiyi Ironsi Inter national Market otherwise known as Ladipo Market, Jonathan Okoli, refused to remit the N46 million trade per mit to Lagos State Motor Vehicle Association Agency (MVAA). Okoli was ar raigned before Justice Olabisi Akinlade on April 22, 2013 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a three-count charge of obtaining money by false pretences and stealing. Anthony Mark, Erstwhile Vice-President of the Association, while being led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Anselem Ozioko, said the defendant only remitted rent on 430 shops instead of about 1,500 shops in the market. He said: “In 2007, the agency confir med through the letter written to the association that he (defendant) only paid N700, 000 out of the N8.7 million made that year”. The witness said the letter indicated that the state gover nment should collect N5, 000 instead of N5,500 being paid by traders. Mark said aside the N5, 500 being paid to MVAA, the traders also paid N12, 000 to Mushin Local Gover nment Area annually. He alle ged that the defendant diver ted the N18.7 million paid between 2008 and 2009 to his personal account. Mark said: “The defendant failed to remit the N8.5million collected from the traders between 2011 and 2012 to the state gover nment, instead he diver ted the money to his personal account number 126101014690”. Justice Akinlade, however, adjour ned the matter till November 25.
CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
ension is rising at Orodo in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State as the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the police are spoiling for a bloody clash. This follows a threat by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the area, Mr. Duru, to burn down the MASSOB office for hoisting the movement’s flag. But the MASSOB members also threatened to retaliate by unleashing mayhem on
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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Tension in Imo as police, MASSOB set for showdown the DPO. They also threatened to burn his building in the neighbouring local government area. The MASSOB Deputy Director of Information, Mazi Chris Mocha, told National Mirror yesterday in Owerri, the state capital, that the DPO’s threat was an empty one. He said that MASSOB would not hesitate to lunch a reprisal attack at the DPO’s house in Mbaise if he carried out his threat to destroy the movement’s office.
Mocha alleged that the DPO had ordered a landlord, Chief Paulinus Onyeze, to eject two tenants believed to be MASSOB members from his house failing which the DPO would arrest him and burn down the building. Stressing that MASSOB would mobilise its men for a likely showdown with the DPO, he said: “We are prepared to wage war against the police officer if he destroys any MASSOB’s property in the local government area.” The Police Public Rela-
tions Officer (PPRO), Joy Elemoko, declined comment on the issue, but a police source confirmed to National Mirror that the DPO ordered the MASSOB members to stop hoisting their flag. “He told them not to hoist their flag on the building because we have only one Nigerian flag as there is nothing like MASSOB,” the police source said. It was learnt that the DPO further threatened to prosecute the MASSOB members if they failed to obey the direc-
tive to dismantle their flag on the building. Three MASSOB members were, however, arrested yesterday in Owerri for hoisting the group’s flag on a building. The police team, led by the DPO, stormed MASSOB’s office at about 1:30pm and arrested one Joshua Onyema, Richard Ofonye and Miss Violet Abiakwe. The police team also searched the office and carted away some property. Among the property carted away were a typewriter, audio
cassettes, eight plastic chairs and benches, enlarged photograph of the late Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu and that of the MASSOB leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, as well as N7, 600. Mocha said the arrested members were detained at the police command headquarters. He said: “The police authorities have finally launched an attack on peace-loving MASSOB members without any justification for such provocative harassment.”
Professionals task S’East, S’South leaders on development TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
Leader of Federal Government delegation to China on Poverty Alleviation, Chief Aroh Nweke and member, Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Mrs. Ify Igwe, at a briefing with journalists in Enugu, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Customsbeginsmanhuntforcontrabandsmugglers CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
he Nigeria Customs Service has begun a manhunt for smugglers who abandoned a 20feet container of 205 bales of printed wax of high quality with Duty Paid Value (DPV)
of over N118 million. The contraband goods were abandoned on ElemeAba Road, Imo State. Speaking during a press briefing yesterday in Owerri, the state capital, the Customs Area Controller, Victor David Dimka, said that those behind the abandoned goods
would be apprehended and prosecuted as there would be no hiding place for them. Dimka said: “We are going to find out how the smugglers came about the contraband and get them arrested and prosecuted.” According to him, apart from the havoc smuggling
is causing to the nation’s economy, local manufacturers of goods lose more as huge investments in textile production suffer for lack of patronage. He warned members of the public to resist the temptation of involving in smuggling.
Govt wades into Onitsha drugs market leadership crisis NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
he timely intervention of the Anambra State Government into the leadership crisis rocking the Onitsha Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers Union (OPPMDU) popularly known as Onitsha Drugs Market (Ogbo Ogwu) may have saved what would have led to a bloodbath. The crisis began when the four-year tenure of the OPPMDU chairman, Chief Emeka Ezeanyika, expired and decided to seek re-election. As Ezeanyika was preparing for the re-election, his secretary, Uche Eze
•Appoints 12-man caretaker committee
and one other contestant also indicated their interests to contest the chairmanship election against him. Ezeanyika was also accused of failure to render an account of his first tenure stewardship to the union, as contained in the market constitution. As the crisis raged, the state government, through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, scheduled an election for June 20, 2013, but some stakeholders in the market petitioned the government, asking the state to suspend the election and constitute caretaker com-
mittee. As a result, the government ordered the executive of the Anambra Markets Amalgamated Traders Association (AMATAS), an umbrella association of all the markets in the state, to cancel the proposed June 20 election to pave the way for the constitution of a caretaker committee. Consequently, the government yesterday came up with a 12-man caretaker committee to control the affairs of the market for the next three months. The committee is to prepare ground for a successful election of the market
executive. According to a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Chief Robert Okonkwo, the Chief Ugochukwu Nwosuled caretaker committee is expected to douse the tension and reconcile various factions in the market. Other members of the committee are: Chibuzo Nwokeji (secretary), Uchenna Ubache, Chikelue Ezioba, Uzoma Anunihu, Paulinus Ucheagwu, Mike Madu, Innocent Mozie, Ikechukwu Okpala, Onyeka Egbosi, Chika Udemadu and Augustine Onyia.
he South-East, SouthSouth Professionals of Nigeria have urged leaders to develop the two regions. President of the group, Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju, who addressed members at a forum in Abuja, professionals said the group would support efforts aimed at developing the regions. According to him, economic and manpower potentials of the regions must be fully harnessed for effective development. He urged stakeholders in the regions to support initiatives that may be embarked upon to achieve the goal. Ugwu-Oju said: “No doubt, we are very much aware that we have economic commissions existing in the two zones, we have chambers of commerce and other economic bodies scattered in all these states and one key role they are playing is to initiate and drive economic activities in their areas and we are ready to support them to achieve result.” In his welcome address, chairman of the group’s
planning committee, Mr. Albert Okumagba, said: “Our focus is how to tap into the opportunities to drive the per capital income of the people in the two zones”. According to him, the future of the South-East, South-South is paramount to the group, saying that was why the group mobilised professionals in both public and private sectors to deliberate on the need to support initiatives to enhance the living standard of the people. He, however, called on professionals in other regions to key into the idea of forming a common force to tackle economic challenges facing their people. Presenting a paper entitled: “Where we want to be,” Mr. Onuoha Nnachi, called on government to introduce incentives that would attract investors into the regions. Such incentives, according to him, include, 100 per cent tax free period for five years for industries that produce products declared as pioneer and 30 per cent tax concession for five years to industries that attain minimum local raw materials utilization, among others.
Group makes case for Anambra LG poll NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
group, Society for Enforcement of Peoples Rights (SFEPR), has said that the only way Anambra State Governor Peter Obi could endear himself to the people is to conduct the long-awaited local government election. SFEPR chairman, Mr. Osita Umezulike, said at a press congress yesterday in Onitsha that the all the state government’s excuses for not conducting election for more a decade are no longer
acceptable to the people. Umezulike said: “The only Governor Obi can endear himself to the people of Anambra State is to conduct the long-awaited local government election. “The only thing the people will like to hear from Obi now is to tell them that he is ready to a conduct a credible election.” He, however, regretted that crimes, such as kidnapping, armed robbery and ritual killings had become the order of the day in Anambra State because lack of youth empowerment programmes.
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
SSS parades Rhodes-Vivour’s wife, daughter’s abductors SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
he State Security Service, SSS, yesterday in Benin, Edo State paraded three men held in connection with the abduction of Mrs. Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour, wife of a Supreme Court Justice, Bode Rhodes-Vivour, daughter and driver. The suspects, Messrs Austine Umukoro, Wisdom Ovwigho and Oghenero Ogheneriwe, were arrested at No. 77, Noruwa Street,
•Oshiomhole vows to demolish house, hotel used by kidnappers situated around Upper Sakponba Road in Benin. Meanwhile, Governor Adams Oshiomhole has sworn that the state government would demolish the building used by the kidnappers. The demolition, it was gathered, may also extend to another building, Christy Guest House, from where the suspects allegedly operated. Briefing the governor and the media on efforts to curb kidnapping in the state, the state Director of
SSS, Alhaji Bello Bakori, said Umukoro, Ovwigho and Ogheneriwe, as well as five other members of their gang who fled before the arms of the law could reach them, were using the house as a hideout to keep victims for ransom. Bakori, who gave the names of the fleeing suspects as Kelly, Koto, Shaggy, Maxwell and Afoke, said they were alerted of the presence of security men in the premises by Umu-
koro before he was nabbed. The SSS director added that the fleeing gang members were being monitored as they were presently escaping through Ughelli and Warri in Delta State even as “the command has put measures in place to get all of them arrested soon”. He said: “Sequel to the abduction of Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour, wife of a Supreme Court Justice, Bode Rhodes-Vivour, her daughter and driver on 10th May,
2013 along Benin - Ore Expressway, a joint operation comprising men of the Nigeria Army and operatives of this service from Rivers and Edo states’ commands was carried out in a bid to rescue the victims and apprehend the perpetrators. “The result is that the following three suspects, who are members of the kidnap syndicate that abducted the justice’s wife, were arrested at No. 77, Noruwa Street, off 3 House, Upper Sakponba Road, Benin City. “However, other members of the gang, who lived at Zomi-Zomi area, Upper Sakponba, were alerted by Austine Umukoro of the presence of security men in their premises after
which they escaped.” Speaking with our correspondent later, Oshiomhole said no one had the right to make money out of innocent Nigerians’ pains. He said: “This house that has been used for kidnapping, we will make an example of it, so that people will know that when we make a pronouncement, we execute it. We will not spare any effort so that the risks the men of the DSS are taking will be complemented. “Any hotelier who does not comply with security requirements of documenting people who stay in their hotels and rooms, we will demolish their hotels. It is better to demolish two or three houses to keep the whole community safer.”
Corps members’ kidnap: Rivers demands CP’s redeployment SAM OLUWALANA
A L-R: Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson; Chairman, Ijaw National Congress (INC), Sen. Tari Sekibo and the Gbong Gwom Jos, HRM Da Buba Gyang, during the inaugural meeting of the South-South/South-East Traditional Rulers’ Forum in Yenagoa, recently.
Marshal’s killing: Sign driver’s death warrant, FRSC tells Amaechi CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
he Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, has called on Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State to sign the death warrant of a driver convicted for killing a special marshal. The Corps Public Education Officer, Corps Commander Jonas Agwu, made the call following the recent Court of Appeal verdict in Port Harcourt, which upheld an earlier death sentence passed on the bus driver, Emeka Mbachu. He said: “The FRSC is also interested in seeing
that the judgement of the court is fully executed by the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, as provided in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.” Agwu said the FRSC was watching with keen interest, fallouts from the court ruling. He commended the judiciary for remaining steadfast in upholding the principles of democracy anchored on equity and fair hearing. The corps commander urged the government of Rivers State to expedite action on the case which, he said, had lingered for 18 years with attendant trau-
MOSOP seeks governorship slot for Ogoni SAM OLUWALANA
he Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has called on political parties to give it the Rivers State governorship slot in 2015. Its President, Mr. Legborsi Soro Pyagbara, said this was the only condition for
any party to enjoy MOSOP’s support. The body frowned on what it described as the continued marginalisation of the Ogoni people. In a communiqué issued and signed by Pyagbara in Port Harcourt on Monday, MOSOP said it came out with the position after its
ma for the bereaved family and relations of the late Special Marshal, Clifford Azubuike. He expressed shock at the circumstances under which the special marshal died in the course of discharging voluntary service to the country and cited other cases of deliberate attacks on both special and regular marshals of the FRSC by recalcitrant drivers. The attacks, according to him, have led to the death or maiming of FRSC operatives. He said the FRSC would henceforth explore all legal processes in ensuring that justice was brought on any
motorist who attacked the commission’s personnel in the course of discharging their statutory functions as provided in the FRSC Establishment Act of 2007. Appeal Court recently confirmed the Rivers State High Court ruling of July 15, 1999, sentencing Mbachu to death for killing Azubuike while on patrol duties on November 3, 1995 about 6.45 pm, at the 1st Artillery Junction, on Aba - Port Harcourt highway. In his lead judgement, Hon. Justice E. Eko (JCA) dismissed the appeal filed by Mbachu against his earlier conviction and sentenced him to death.
national congress in Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area, where it unveiled the ‘Ogoni 2015 Project’ aimed at ensuring that an Ogoni indigene occupies the Brick House. Pyagbara called on political parties to provide an opportunity for an Ogoni indigene to become Rivers State governor in 2015. The communiqué reads
in part: “The congress decried the marginalisation of Ogoni occasioning our denial of fair representation at the national and state levels. “The marginalisation has regrettably deprived our berth at the highest level of government in Rivers State. Congress resolved that come 2015, Ogoni will accept nothing less than the position of the governor of Rivers State.”
gain, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State has blamed the state Police Commissioner, Mbu Joseph Mbu, for the recent upsurge in insecurity and other criminal activities, including kidnapping, in the state. The governor, therefore, called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, and the Federal Government to immediately transfer Mbu out of the state. Amaechi made the call when the Chairman of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Governing Board, Chief Gordon Bozimo, led a delegation to pay him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Port Harcourt. He said the call for Mbu’s transfer became necessary because the commissioner had derailed from his legitimate function of protecting lives and property in the state. Bozimo had, in his speech, raised concerns on the recent abduction of three corps members and other atrocities meted on NYSC members posted to the state. The NYSC Board chairman warned that corps members might begin to avoid the state in future if the problems persisted. He said: “Three days ago, three of our corps members were kidnapped. I feel very worried because if
Port Harcourt is not safe, I don’t know where people will run to. “So, we are imploring Your Excellency to look at the problems critically and fashion out what can be done to nip the problem in the bud, if not, corps members may begin to avoid Rivers State the way they did to Borno, Yobe and other trouble-ridden states in the North. “I have the intention of discussing it with the Inspector General of Police when I get to Abuja.” Responding, Amaechi said the police commissioner had been shirking in his responsibility of providing security for the citizens of the state but instead had been dabbling into the politics of the state. He said: “We used to have a wonderful security system through commissioners of police who understood their functions and knew what to do. “But, when the police in Abuja suddenly withdrew the predecessor of this present commissioner of police and posted the person called Mbu Joseph Mbu here, nothing has been working again. “Mbu has been sitting with politicians for political reasons and the security system is down and out. Since he came, we have never had peace. We have held security council meeting two or three times. But before Mbu came, we used to hold security meetings two or three times every month.
JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
he death toll in the attack on three villages of Langtang South Local Government Area of Plateau State by gunmen has risen to 70. A House of Representatives member representing Langtang North and Langtang South federal constituency, Hon. Beni Lar, disclosed this while addressing the displaced peo-
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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Langtang killings: Death toll rises to 70 •DCO, others still missing ple at LGEA Pilot Central Primary School at Mabudi. Lar said apart from the over 70 people that were killed, many people were still missing. It was also learnt that the Divisional Crime Officer, DCO, attached to the area has been declared missing.
Some Fulani herdsmen last week invaded the three villages in Langtang South council, burnt down the villages and killed innocent people. About 70 bodies had been recovered while 7,000 displaced people are now staying at different public
schools in the area. Investigation showed that the DCO attached to Langatang South Local Government Police Division out on assignment when the gunmen struck has not been seen since then. Lar described the attack as barbaric, saying the assailants wanted to wipe out
the innocent villagers. The lawmaker added that they were able to carry out the attack because of the vulnerability of the villages. She said: “From what I gathered, the Divisional Crime Officer is still missing, 7,000 people displaced while almost 70 people lost their lives. “The intention of the at-
Yuguda rescinds decision to quit NSGF
Kano seeks RMFAC’s N272.3bn to develop agric, others
EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI
auchi State Governor Isa Yuguda has rescinded his earlier decision to quit the Northern States Governors’ Forum, NSGF, following “intense pressure” from the elders in the region. The Chief of Staff to the governor, Alhaji Yusuf Musa Gumli, disclosed this while briefing journalists at the Government House in Bauchi. Gumli said Yuguda decided to quit the NSGF as fallout of the crisis rocking the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF. “He quit the forum in realisation of unfairness of the past as regard the earlier decision of the forum that nominated Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State for the NGF,” the chief of staff said. Gumli said Yuguda’s decision to return to the forum followed pressure from northern elders who urged him to rejoin his colleagues. Asked if Yuguda’s earlier decision to quit the NSGF was based on his political ambition, Gumli wondered if it was a crime for anyone to nurse political ambition. “Is there anything bad for someone to aspire to any political office in the land?” he asked. According to him, if someone follows the legitimate way of acquiring power it is alright, adding that whatever comes along one’s way is an act of God. He said: “Bauchi State also faces its own insecurity problems and has never attributed it to anybody. “For instance, the state has been battling with the issue of Tafawa Balewa crisis for years and has stepped up to the challenge.” Gumli dismissed allegations that the crisis in Plateau State was being instigated by the Bauchi State Government.
tackers was to wipe out the entire inhabitants of the villages for just no reason.” The lawmaker implored the Federal Government to complete the federal roads in the area to further open up the locality. She said security agents were unable to access the villages because of the bad roads and the terrains. According to her, this made it difficult for the security agents to come to the aid of the people on time.
K Executive Secretary, Plateau State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Salisu Musa (right) briefing journalists on the preparation for this year’s Hajj operation in Jos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
A cross section of Nigerian refugees who crossed over to Cameroun from Ashigashiya following the Boko Haram crisis, yesterday.
Power crisis: 400,000 workers lose job in Kano –MAN AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO
bout 400,000 workers have lost their jobs in Kano State alone following the closure of about 400 companies as a result of the power crisis in the country. The National Vice-President, North-West Zone, of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Alhaji Ali Madugu, disclosed this while addressing journalists in Kano yesterday. Madugu warned that the rising unemployment rate in Kano would soon hit the sky if government continued to pay lip service to the power crisis threatening
the manufacturing sector. He said the 400 manufacturing companies folded up following their inability to get the required volume of power to remain afloat. Describing the power situation in Kano as pathetic, Madugu said there seemed to be lack of transparency in the allocation of power to Kano zone. The MAN vice-president said analysis of data on market activities report of May 2013 indicated that Kano zone, comprising Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states as well as neighbouring Niger Republic, was given 77,047,790 kilowatts per hour, about 100 megawatts, representing 3.6 per cent of the total allocation
nationwide. He pointed out that the allocation for Kano zone was shared among the three states with a standing order to supply to Niger Republic. With this, according to him, Kano alone has less than 50mw to distribute to manufacturers, other business outfits and the people of Kano State. Madugu said the zone could have done far better if the agreed eight per cent of the total allocation due to the state was properly allocated to it as stipulated in the power sharing policy. He recalled that during a town hall meeting with the minister of power and other key officials of the ministry held in Kano with
Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, the private sector challenged the minister on power supply to Kano State. The MAN vice-president said the minister “accepted the monumental failure of his ministry and promised to correct the anomalies as soon as possible, but nothing has been done”. He then listed the implications of the neglect of the private sector in relation to power distribution. Madugu pointed out that apart from threatening the survival of manufacturing companies leading to mass sack of workers, revenue from the sector would drop drastically and this would affect the economy.
ano State Government has asked the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission, RMFAC, for the release of N272.3 billion from Natural Resources Development funds to develop three key sectors of the state economy. The Deputy Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, presented the request at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja. Ganduje listed the three key areas for intervention as agriculture, tourism and solid mineral development which, according to him, will boost the economic base of the state and reduce its dependence on oil revenue. The deputy governor told the commission that the administration of Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso had increased the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, from N400 million to about N2 billion per month in the last two years. He salanid the government had changed budgetary ration in favour of capital expenditure to minimise the cost of governance and provide more dividends of democracy to the people. Ganduje explained that the budget was now 75 per cent capital expenditure and 25 per cent recurrent expenditure, adding that last year the government recorded 85 per cent implementation while effort was being made to improve on that. In his submission, the deputy governor said in its effort to enhance agricultural activities, the government was working towards rehabilitation of the 18 dams in the state, expand the existing irrigation facilities and build new ones as well as provide 2,800km shelter belt to stop desert encroachment.
Wednesday July 3, 2013
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Politics Benue Assembly not a rubber stamp but... –Leader
Tambuwal, opposition and PDP’s suspension threat
2015: South-South, South-East monarchs back Jonathan EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
head of the 2015 elections, South -South and South-East traditional rulers yesterday pledged to support President Goodluck Jonathan. The monarchs expressed their preparedness to mobilise support for Jonathan to ensure the actualisation of his political ambition. They spoke in Yenagoa at the inauguration of the South-South and South-East Traditional Rulers’ Forum. According to them, the President had provided ef-
fective transformational leadership despite the glaring challenges facing the country. Earlier, Chairman of the South-South Monarchs Forum and Amayanabo of Nembe Kingdom, King Edmund Daukoru said the forum would contribute to the peace and stability of the nation. Speaking at the event, President Goodluck Jonathan praised monarchs across the nation for exhibiting complementary roles to support the government, especially in the area of maintenance of peace and order in their
respective domains. He said: “The traditional rulers occupy a special place in our system. It was so before in the days of our forefathers and it is so uptill now and will continue to be. You are the critical link between our cherished history and past. You have a duty which of course, you are doing well to maintain our values, traditions and cultures. “I thank you all for the support that you have been giving to those of us in secular leadership because you cannot talk of mobilising and influencing our people positively
and even maintain law and order without the role of traditional rulers.” In his remarks, the Chairman, South-East Council of Traditional Rulers, King Cletus Ilomuanya noted that of all the geo-political zones in the country the people of South-South and SouthEast shared common affinity especially in the areas of culture and tradition. He said: “Historically, we are one people of the same lineage but for political expediency and administrative convenience, we now pretend to be people from two different zones. There-
L-R: Members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Information and National Orientation, Tijjani Tajudeen, Victor Ogene, Kingsley Ebenyi and Abike Dabiri-Eruwa, during the visit of the committee to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Ewherido: Senate defers deliberations on constitution amendment ting yesterday constituted Constitutes 9-man burial committee a nine-member burial GEORGE OJI ABUJA
he Senate yesterday deferred deliberation on the draft bill of the 1999 Constitution review till Tuesday next week in honour of their departed colleague, Senator Pius Akor Ewherido, who died at the National Hospital Abuja last Sunday. The red chamber had fixed deliberation on the draft constitution review to commence yesterday and run throughout this week. But following the adoption of the motion moved by the Senate Leader, Victor
Ndoma-Egba (Cross River Central) and seconded by the Minority Leader, George Akume (Benue North-West), the lawmakers voted for the debate to hold next week. The Senate also yesterday observed a minute’s silence in honour of Ewherido. Yesterday’s sitting lasted for about 10 minutes amidst sober and sorrowful mood amongst the senators. Most of them adorned black attires to reflect the mood of the red chamber. Moving the motion for adjournment yesterday, Ndoma-Egba observed that, “there is nothing in the order paper today and it is de-
liberate.” He remarked that the Senate on Sunday suffered a terrible loss with the death of, “one of our own and one of our brightest and best.” It was for this reason that he moved for the adjournment in honour of their departed one. Immediately after the brief sitting, the senators quietly filed out and kept straight faces as they retired to the Senate President’s reception hall where they usually retire for lunch after each sitting session. Meanwhile, Senate President David Mark who presided at the brief sit-
committee headed by the Chairman of the Senate Services Committee, Suleiman Adokwe (Nasarawa South).The committee is to liaise with the family of the deceased senator to organise a befitting burial for Ewherido. Other members include: Senators James Manager (Delta South), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta North), Olusola Adeyeye (Osun Central), Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia Central), Eta Inang (Akwa Ibom North-East), Nenadi Usman (Kaduna South), Dantong Gyang (Plateau North) and Joshua Ledani (Gombe South).
fore, it is one of the aims of the South-South and South East traditional rulers to reorientate and galvanise our people to begin to think and act as people of one cultural and traditional identity.” The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade and Gbong Gbom, Jos, Buba Gyang described Jonathan as one of the best leaders Nigeria had produced. Represented by the General Secretary of the Council of Yoruba Monarchs, Oba Ader-
emi Adedapo, Oba Okunade submitted that Jonathan’s emergence as President of the country was a fulfilment of Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s prediction that an Ijaw man would rule this country some day in the future. In his presentation, the Gbong Gbom of Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba urged the political class to ascribe constitutional role to the monarchs to enable them contribute towards decision making in the country.
Osoba advocates return of 1963 Constitution SINA FADARE
ormer governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, yesterday declared that until Nigeria return to the 1963 Constitution where true federalism and regional development was guaranteed, any amendment to the 1999 Constitution will be a mere exercise in futility. Osoba, who stated this in Lagos during the Abraham Adesanya Memorial Lecture organised by the National Association of Ogun State Students of the University of Lagos, noted that any constitution that does not give room for development of each region according to its space is a mere booklet of no significant value. “All we are asking for is a constitution that is in resemblance of that of 1963 where each region can pursue any developmental agenda that is desirable to its heart without any hindrance. What is the business of the central government in Abuja with primary education in Yorubaland? Let us be ourselves and respect our culture of self help,” he said. The former governor noted that Abraham Adesanya was a man who lived his life for the cause of a Yoruba nation. “He is the man of impeccable character that called a spade a spade no
matter whose ox is gored; his legacies will always remain evergreen, especially among those people who have close contact with him,” he said. Delivering a lecture titled ‘The Place of Yoruba in Nigerian Politics and Development’, at the occasion, Prof. Alade Fawole of the department of International Relations, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, lamented that majority of Yoruba leaders who find themselves at the helm of affairs are mere birds of the passage who failed to better the lots of the people. Fawole regretted that “in an age when men and women of foresight the world over are leading and energising their societies to make giant strides in all areas of human endeavour, we are being reduced to the bottom of the pit by insensate characters in an era of cutting-edge technological breakthrough and great advances in the fields of medicine and science and in good governance.” In her welcome address, the daughter of the late elder statesman and former Minister of State for Defence, Mrs Modupe Adelaja noted that the family was delighted to see the high turnout of Yoruba leaders who came to honour her father, urging them to keep up the pace and the tenacity of purpose in order to achieve the best for the common man.
Political observers see the 7th Benue State House of Assembly as a toothless bulldog. What is your view on this perception? Circumstantially, when we came in the first time, we raised people’s hope because of the calibre and background of the people that came together. The Assembly has quite a number of young people, so there was high hope that things were going to happen. But the Assembly could do little or nothing to change situations. The reason is not far-fetched. It is said that he who pays the piper dictates the tune. If you are in the House of Assembly, you have so much pressure from your constituency. Back in your constituency, the people don’t know you are a legislator to make laws for good governance. What they know is that you are representing them and you are there to collect money to bring to them; that is the truth. And that is why every morning, they wake up, they say there is a burial, somebody has given birth, somebody is going for marriage; all sorts of demands come to you. And for the man who sits back home, who doesn’t understand what your duties are supposed to be, there is no way you can convince him. This is what he knows and that is what he expects of you and if you don’t give him that, it means you are not performing. Ironically, he is the one that judges your performance. So, it is not the reality that is the case here, it is the situation. The legislature has the burden as the power lies with the executive, especially the governor. A legislator needs money to service all these demands. The governor also must approve whatever the Assembly does. Interestingly, legislature has come to be an institution and bedrock of democracy and that is why the power of impeachment is vested in it; that is why the power of oversight is vested in it. The executive is supposed to hold the purse of the nation or state or the local government but the man who is giving you the purse to hold is the legislator, so he oversees what you are supposed to do. But that is on the paper. You are not free, you don’t have financial autonomy, you can’t even do anything, even if you have to buy pen in the office, if the governor says there is no money to give you to buy the pen, you cannot buy. Yet you have the pressure from your constituency and you try to complain and they say: Are you the first person to get there? We’ve been enjoying that. So, now who is the master? It’s the executive that is the master. If you radicalise from now till tomorrow and you cannot foot a bill back in your constituency and you cannot attract anything back to your people, you are a failed politician. This is the gimmicks, it is not only in Benue State; it is everywhere. The House of Assembly in Rivers State has not sat for almost two months because the governor’s seat was threatened and because the Assembly was under his control, he used everything to get them off. It happens everywhere. Anywhere you hear that the Speaker is impeached, it is because he is at loggerheads with the executive. This is what goes on across the nation; Benue State is not an exception. That is the reality and the truth. Some of us can speak it and will stand by it and defend it at any time. What is the way out of the situation? Give autonomy to the legislature at the state level, amend the constitution and free them. Make your budget, decide what you do with your money and be independent of the executive.
Wednesday July 3, 2013
Benue Assembly not a rubber stamp but... –Leader Hon. Nick Odukeroho Eworo is the Majority Leader of the Benue State House of Assembly. In this interview with HENRY IYORKASE, the lawmaker speaks on the need for autonomy of state legislatures, as well as revitalisation of tax administration in the country, among others salient issues. Excerpts:
Benue State House of Assembly has been plagued with intermittent change of leadership occasioned by litigations, impeachment and so on. What is the way forward for a stable legislature in the state? The Assembly could be stable. The first thing is that it should be allowed to regulate its activities. That freedom should come from the autonomy first; it is the major thing. Coming back to the issue of change in leadership, yes, the first speaker was sent out of the Assembly by the courts. That was not within our control. Then we had the second speaker; members of the Assembly sat down one day and said that they are no longer comfortable with his leadership style and there were a lot of rumblings. But he was not impeached, he resigned. Now there is a Speaker elected by the Assembly, and for a period of time now in terms of leadership, there has been stability, there haven’t been too much noise. But again, it also goes back to the fact that in democracy, we are also learning. My only quarrel and this is what I say all the time is that I think we learn for too long, especially that if you have someone to copy
from, then it shouldn’t take you this long process. But again, we are just still learning. Learning is what is causing most of these problems and leadership generally is a problem in Africa. Because we have refused to understand what it means by providing leadership, we make a lot of mistakes and because we make so many mistakes, we are so scared of situations and because we are scared of situations, we divert all our energies meant for providing things for our people into providing security for individuals and then individuals have become institutions. In civilised societies, people try to build institutions but here we try to build ourselves as individuals. We have so much and yet we are lacking. In the midst of plenty, we are poor. I can go on and on because some of us in the system are not happy. Observers are of the view that you are not checkmating the activities of the executive, how would you reconcile this position? The basic job we are doing is oversight function and you can only act according to the information available to you. When somebody saw me recently and said we are
THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY IN RIVERS STATE HAS NOT SAT FOR ALMOST TWO MONTHS BECAUSE THE GOVERNOR’S SEAT WAS THREATENED
AND BECAUSE THE
ASSEMBLY WAS UNDER HIS
CONTROL, HE USED EVERYTHING TO GET THEM OFF. IT HAPPENS EVERYWHERE.
YOU HEAR THAT THE
SPEAKER IS IMPEACHED,
IT IS BECAUSE HE IS AT LOGGERHEADS WITH THE EXECUTIVE
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not getting money at the local government level; it was an informal talk but I said: ‘What do you want us to do? Let us know what they are giving you. Even you that is talking, if they give you a cheque to the local council, you will not show it to me, then what do we do?’ How do you check the executive? On paper you have the power to oversight. The oversight is that for instance a ministry is given N20 billion to build so and so kilometres of road and the ministry goes to build the road. They had agreed that this project cost N20 billion and they have done it. Then you go there, they show you the road, the papers and everything is correct, what do you do? It should be participatory. Not for you to just go and see what is done, it’s for you people to start it from the beginning together. Everybody should be involved in the process. I have been an advocate of down-up approach not up-down. For instance, I must sit with your community and ask what the community wants and this is what will inform what I will request; what should be done for the community. But in Nigeria, people sit in Abuja and say I want to sink a borehole in your place, or for instance they say I am going to donate transformer whereas these people have no water to drink. This is the problem and that is why every activity you do is of no value or concern to people. The governor has complained of underperformance of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service, BIRS. What would you say is the problem with the tax outfit? In Nigeria, the first problem and I say this with all sense of responsibility, is the fact that we sit and wait for the oil money to be shared from the top to the bottom. So, we sit like spoilt kids waiting for something to come to us at all times and once it comes, we all fight like birds to grab what you can grab out of the system and you go back and it goes like that. Now come to BIRS, the truth is that after the law, they needed to give somebody who would be in charge. The whole effort was to make sure that the internal revenue generation would augment whatever is coming from the federation account. How do you do that? Government needed the expertise of someone who knows how to drive tax and revenue. So, they got someone involved and the agreement was this is our revenue profile, we want you to jack it from this level and if you can, you can take this percentage. That was done somehow, but in auditing the whole process, we realised that it wasn’t that the guy was bringing additional income. It is that he has succeeded in gathering data of which government was not able to gather before and said I have generated this much. In other words, government was getting a lot of money but was not getting enough reports to know that this is the level of money that we are generating. This guy was getting all these things put together. So, government found out and said but I was generating all this money actually, all you are doing for me is just giving me report, so I don’t need it. That was the complaint government had as against the generating formula, not that the law was wrong, it is the implementation or the process that was wrong. Are you satisfied with the level of implementation of this year’s budget in the state? Well, I have not taking the report since I am not in the committee level and when we get the committee report we will know whether we are satisfied or not.
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Wednesday July 3, 2013
Tambuwal, opposition and PDP’s suspension threat Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, is in the news again. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Osun State has called for his suspension from the party for praising an opposition governor. But Tambuwal has fired back, saying he is not a PDP Speaker. SINA FADARE reports on the development.
s the clock ticks towards the 2015 elections, it appears the fear of the All Progressive Congress, APC, has become the beginning of wisdom for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. This is given the fact that the party has viewed the relationship between some of its members and opposition parties, especially the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, with suspicion. In fact, the clamour by some members on the PDP leadership to suspend the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, for acknowledging the performance of an opposition governor, Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, has trumped up another controversy in the party. Tambuwal had during the launch of Opon Imon, an initiative of the Osun State government, in Osogbo, recently, applauded Governor Aregbesola for his achievements in the past two years. TThe PDP Chairman in Osun State, Mr. Ganiyu Olaoluwa, had said that Tambuwal’s comment was unbecoming of a national leader of the party, adding that the comment raised posers as to whether he (Tambuwal) “is a member of the PDP or a supporter of Rauf Aregbesola.” The party described the Speaker as a ‘prodigal son’ and called on the national leadership of the party to suspend him. But Tambuwal, at a social function in Ekiti State recently, fired back. He told his critics that he is not PDP Speaker. He said: “I was criticised for commending Osun State governor’s performance but I will always speak the truth. If somebody is doing well we have to commend such person, whether he is in the PDP, Action Congress of Nigeria or in any party. “I am not the Speaker of a political party. I am the Speaker for the whole Nigeria. Governor Kayode Fayemi has also done well and he should continue with the good work.” Not done yet, Tambuwal again hit back at his critics while addressing the House last week at the opening of the third session of the 7th Assembly. He regretted that strife, hate and autocratic tendencies in the PDP will not bring any good tidings to the party. He accused his party of practicing political doctrines that are alien to democracy and that PDP leaders are becoming autocrats. He said: “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.” He pointed out that “the proponents
of this shameful doctrine not only offend our sensibilities, but 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.” According to him, there is a difference between a candidate in electoral contest on the platform of a political party and an elected official who has assumed a non-partisan responsibility and taken oath to protect and preserve the constitution, to serve the people and the nation. He regretted that poor internal democracy which has caused the party a lot of havoc in the past is still rearing its head and may create incalculable damage if it is not checked. “While we are clamouring for the deepening of democracy, including internal party democracy, there has arisen a new group championing the obnoxious cause of the deepening of internal party autocracy and demagoguery. This is inexcusable and indeed reprehensible at this time in our history,” he said No doubt, Tambuwal’s actions and inactions on the political turf have attracted two prominent political enemies within. The Speaker emerged as a Speaker against the wishes of the Presidency and his party. His emergence was as a result of the support from the opposition parties and against this backdrop, he cannot afford to be partisan. This enemy within may not forgive him for this and will always read meanings to any of his move no matter how nationalistic and patriotic it may be. The other enemies are perhaps those who are not comfortable with his sympathy with the governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wammako, especially when the governor was suspended by the PDP. Tambuwal was among those who gave him a pat at the back for daring the socalled dictatorial tendencies in the party. At the rally organised by Wamakko in Sokoto shortly after he was suspended, Tambuwal had described Wamakko’s suspension as unconstitutional. The Speaker said the suspension was “unconstitutional and a self-serving decision taken through undemocratic means.” Some members of the party who were angry with his presence did not forgive him on this. Speaking to National Mirror on the
IF THE OPPOSITION IS PERFORMING WELL, THERE IS NO BIG
DEAL TO SAY SO, IT MAKES THE COUNTRY
THIS IS NOT
ABOUT POLITICKING OR TALKING ABOUT A PERSONAL ENTERPRISE condition of anonymity, a PDP chieftain and member of the Board of Trustees, BoT, said that the party would have overlooked Tambuawal’s “latest sin,” but decided to move against him because of his “growing misconduct.” Among the listed anti-party activities, was his emergence as the Speaker of the House of Representatives two years ago, when the party had tipped the current Majority Leader of the House, Mrs. Mulikat Adeola-Akande, for the post and had asked Tambuwal to step down. But Tambuwal, who had the support of the opposition and some PDP members, went ahead to contest the election and eventually defeated his party’s candidate. The question which political observers are asking is: Where were those people complaining about Tambuwal’s comments and visit to Aregbesola when Governor Godswill Akpabio visited and commended Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu as a dogged fighter of democracy? Where were they when Governor Aliyu Banbagida of Niger State commended the revolutionary approach to governance embarked upon by Governors Babatunde Fashola of Lagos and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti not long ago? Speaking on the issue, a political analyst and social critics, Mr. Moyo Jaji agrees that Tambuwal’s warning “is a welcome statement from a young politician judging from the fact that he is the number four citizen in Nigeria.” “Those criticising the Speaker are hypocrites. The antagonists can speak in the open to deceive Nigerians, but when they meet in private, they are best of friends. World over, politicians relate with each other irrespective of their po-
litical parties and that is how it should be. We should be grateful for having enlightened politicians like Tambuwal coming up in our political landscape. Politicians should disagree on principles,” he noted. The National Publicity Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, said that the issue at hand is more than pettiness which the PDP want to make it be. He said: “If the opposition is performing well, there is no big deal to say so, it makes the country better. At the end of the day, they are all accountable to the people. This is not about politicking or talking about a personal enterprise, it is Nigerian enterprise. According to him, “All those calling for the head of Tambuwal on the account of praising an opposition governor did not know what they are talking about. The Speaker has shown maturity as a politician. The fact that the man is having friends in the opposition; he cannot be prevented from talking to them. You cannot say on that account he is romancing with them, that is pettiness and irresponsibility of the highest order.” Similarly, the Publicity Secretary of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, praised the Speaker for his courage and for handling the matter maturely, adding that “he is the speaker of the country, not that of the PDP.” “His words: All we are after and shouting for is the development of the country. How can somebody be crucified where progress is being made? Those people calling for his suspension are undemocratic and unpatriotic of the highest order. “The Speaker is the number four man in the country and whatever he does; he is doing it as the representative of the whole country, not on behalf of PDP or ANPP or any other party. I think it is petty for the PDP to raise such an issue against him. Such action does not help the growth of democracy neither does it help in the development of the country.” However, the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, viewed the issue from a different perspective, saying all those who are involved are playing politics. Speaking to National Mirror, Odumakin noted that both the anti and pro-Tambuwal groups were all playing politics. “Tambuwal who was eulogising the opposition know why he was doing so. There was nothing virtuous from his action. None of them said what they are saying on a matter of principle but for a targeted purpose,” he said. Odumakin attributed the development to 2015 elections, as politicians are not taking chances on anything. “Tambuwal, who want to be the president of the country has to do what he did because he knows that this is a place he can get votes. All of them are playing politics,” he noted. Political pundits are of the view that if the ruling party, the PDP is sincere in the restructuring of the party, this is the time to strategise to keep some of its notable members who can work for it at the grassroots instead of listening to a few paperweight politicians within who are bent on disorganising the fragile cord of unity in the party.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Recurring Nigerian party system debate PUBLIC DOMAIN
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he debate on the most efficient party system for Nigeria has reemerged on the country’s political space. It borders on the appropriate party system that reflects the nation’s historical specificities. Some members of the political elite in Nigeria are canvassing for two party system, insisting it would mediate primordial politics and streamline the electoral process. This school of thought insists that the political space has been characterized by non-performing political parties, hence the need for two party system. The emergence of All Progressives Congress (APC) has partly renewed this debate. It is envisaged that the party would constitute the main political opposition to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Since 1999, the PDP has dominated the political space, especially with its decisive victories in the 1999, 2003 and 2007 general elections. Meanwhile, the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to invoke the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) on de-registration of parties has spurred criticisms. The invocation has been criticized as undemocratic, anti-people, illegal
and unconstitutional. The National Conscience Party (NCP) has challenged INEC in the court. This writer shares the pro active nature of NCP to challenge INEC so as to test the laws. It is important to assert that the two party system evolves in different societies where it exists and is rarely imposed on the populace. For instances, the two party system in the United States with the Republican and Democratic parties as the major dominant parties that alternate state power at the centre. Similarly, the Labour and Conservative parties are the alternate power holders in Britain. There minor parties still exist to protect specific interests. When the political alliances, Nigeria National Alliance (NNA) and the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA), contested the 1964 general elections, in Nigeria, there were still some minor parties such as the Socialist Party. The creation by fiat of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and National Republican Convention (NRC) by the General Ibrahim Babangida administration in 1989 was a misnomer. The political class was deceived by the endless political and economic transition, which eventually culminated in the annulment of the freest and fairest election held on June 12, 1993. In the Babangida Transition Programme, the political elite were mobilized to form political parties, which were denied registration. While the June 12 presidential election was contested and won by the SDP, on a Muslim-Muslim ticket, the annulment of the election raised
IT IS IMPORTANT TO ASSERT THAT THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM EVOLVES IN DIFFERENT SOCIETIES WHERE IT EXISTS AND IS RARELY IMPOSED ON THE POPULACE ethnic consciousness that polarized the polity. Ethnic militia organizations such as the Odua People’s Congress (OPC) emerged in this context to assert the right to self determination of the Yoruba nation. The older democracies earlier cited were hinged on ideological politics, especially in the cold war era. The end of cold war, however, led to a shift to issues-based politics. The last presidential elections were largely contested on issues rather than ideology. For the parties, the American national interest is the main rubric of its local and external conduct. The problematic, however, is the pedestrian nature of politics and warfare character of political struggle in the country. This decline has drowned the purpose and essence of party politics, which ought to lead debates on alternative ideas on state and economy. It is doubtful whether there are clearly differentiating ideas between the PDP
and APC on how to govern Nigeria’s political economy. The fractions of political elite outside the PDP should convince the populace that they are different; and that they rely on a fundamentally different construct of state and society relations in Nigeria. The minor parties such as the National Conscience Party, Democratic Alternative, Social Democratic Party, Socialist Party of Nigeria, et cetera, have the right to exist. More so, these parties canvass radically different perspectives on how to reconstruct the country’s political economy. The parties are largely constrained by the heavy monetization of politics and primordial influences on politics. Meanwhile, the nature of Nigeria’s economic and social crises requires major shifts in her political superstructure and economic foundation. The two party system should not deny the right of fringe parties to exist; and it enables more informed choices by the electorate. The country’s political space would ultimately develop to respond to and appreciate the sophisticated politics that the left wing parties canvass. The pervasive crises imposed by bourgeois parties will not be addressed through comprador bourgeois approach. The nature of Nigerian economic and social crises is depriving the state a command role, the main thrust of the argument of the left parties. The state will not likely be reconstructed on the basis of market philosophy that alienates the populace.
Okorocha’s fourth tier government in perspective CHIDI OFOEGBU
he Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha recently said among other things that “I didn’t come into power so that people can praise me, or to make wealth for myself, but that I might change the life of my people”. Good talk! You do not need anybody’s praises, my brother governor. My Bible tells me that everybody’s work will follow him (Rev. 14:13). A relationship exists between this declaration and the introduction of the fourthtier system of government, which is designed to bring development and dividends of democracy directly to the people. We only need the state and fourth tier governments to develop Nigeria faster. The structures of government in Nigeria as presently constituted are serious obstacles to peace, progress, development and growth. Over the years the federal and local governments have been sources of instigation of war by mischievous, greedy and covetous elements, and thus obstacles to development, particularly Igbo progress. Let states that feel they can work together select, elect or appoint people who will represent them in a new form of forum that will take care of whatever the present federal government is doing, with no serious cost implications on the states that have chosen to work together. If this is done, the looting that is going on everywhere in government businesses at different levels since I960 would have been reduced by two-thirds; Boko Haram insurgency will vanish automatically; kidnapping
THE IGBO WILL NOT FOLLOW ANYBODY
TO THE SO-CALLED
APC. THEY WILL NOT LIKE TO LOSE THEIR
POSITIONS, PROPERTY, TRILLIONS OF POUNDS IN
NIGERIAN BANKS AND TERRITORIES AGAIN
and armed robberies will be drastically reduced with this policy of “know who your neighbors are and what they do for a living”. Community policing will be effective where control is decentralized. In 2008, when the debate about whether to remove or retain the local government system in the constitution was raging, I wrote an article titled “Why scrap the local government from the constitution?” (See National Mirror of Friday December 12, 2008 page 19). I deposed that the “fourth tier government should be created for faster grassroots development in Nigeria. It is encouraging that the incumbent governor of Imo State, my state of origin, three years after my piece, has created same to hasten grassroots development in the state. This is good news and a better alternative for Imo people. The only bad noise which has also lost relevance is that the socalled PDP members in the state or the en-
tire South East, who cannot show anything they have done in, or attracted to Imo State or Igboland in general since 1999, are increasingly becoming a distraction, because their supply line has been cut off. The Igbo have a saying that ‘Every woman will present to people the type of child she gave birth to’. Let these people in PDP list the projects they either attracted, or put in place in Imo State or Igboland in general that will encourage them to challenge the Okorocha administration. Imo people know Okorocha before he became governor; they know him as an asset not a liability like his critics. The Igbos voted for Goodluck Jonathan not the PDP in 2011. They supported him in the hope that he would extend his good luck to Ndigbo, which members of the APC many of who have been fighting us since 29 July 1966, have deprived us. These same people who came to Owerri to hug and kiss Governor Okorocha so that he will help them cause confusion in Igboland and commandeer power from Jonathan are the same people who are placing adverts in the newspapers giving 1001 reasons why additional states should not be created in Igboland, awhile agitating that special status should be given to Lagos State. They are the same people who in 2002, though they were in AD, worked for Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and voted for him as their son. My plea to Governor Okorocha is do not allow yourself to be deceived again by these people who are hugging you now with their long caps on their heads in the name of Nigeria. After using you now to get what they want, they will
remember you are an Igbo, they will remember that as a Biafran, if they give you an inch, you will take a mile. The same way they are coming now, was the same way they went to Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe before 1960, it was the same way they went to Dr Alex Ekwueme before 1999. Those of them in ACN or CPC, people that have always lost presidential elections and called themselves opposition, and who have been criticizing and blackmailing the Jonathan administration, including characters like Femi Fani-Kayode, actually do not have anything to show for the so-called superior leadership quality, particularly in Lagos. I live in Lagos; nothing serious is going on here. Everywhere is dirty and many of the access roads are potholed. Let me conclude by advising my Governor Okorocha, who we know and will always identify with, not to take Imo people to APC because it is another “General Yakubu Gowon and Chief Obafemi Awolowo alliance”. The Igbo will not follow anybody to the so-called APC. They will not like to lose their positions, property, trillions of pounds in Nigerian banks and territories again. Ofoegbu, firstname.lastname@example.org, a researcher, writer, singer and a doctoral candidate, wrote from Owerri, Imo State Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
Public service and recurring ghost workers’ syndrome
hat 45,000 ghost workers were exorcised from Federal Government’s payroll often padded by desperate crooks to line their pockets should ordinarily be flattering news. But dubious incomes accumulated through faceless names or the non-stoppage of retired or dead workers’ salaries by FG’s criminally-minded pay officers has remained a recurring decimal. It is only exposed when it pleases the authorities to do so. Therefore, it is off the mark as an interesting piece of news. The latest payroll fraud was reportedly detected through the deployment of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), a new information technology the FG embraced for the purpose of curbing salaries and wages corruption in the federal public service. The IPPIS is one of the World Bank-engineered public sector reform programme in Nigeria coordinated by the Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR). According to the BPSR, the IPPIS project, a World Bank–assisted programme of the FG’s Economic Reforms and Governance Project (ERGP), was instituted in 2007 to provide a reliable and comprehensive database for the public service, facilitate manpower planning, eliminate record and payroll frauds, facilitate easy storage, update and retrieve personnel records for administra-
NO OFFICIAL HAS BEEN EXPOSED AS CULPABLE OR PENALISED FOR THE
FRAUDULENT ACT, TO PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE tive and pension processes and facilitate staff remuneration payment with minimal waste and leakages. Since the commencement of this project, successes recorded include the streamlining of payroll and personnel processes; personnel budget now based on actual as against estimate projections; prompt deduction and remittance of money to all third party funds, such as the Pension Fund Administration, National Health Insurance Scheme etc., as well as saving funds recovered from the ghost worker syndrome dogging the nation’s public service. The FG, according to reports, made a savings of N4.4 billion in the 2007/2008 fiscal year from the IPPIS project, for example. The said amount represents the difference between the budgeted personnel cost estimates of just seven ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and the actual personnel costs paid during the period under reference.
An insight into the horrendous nature of the fraud indicates that the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) harbours about 10,000 ghost workers on its payroll, while the prostrate Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) fritters away N2 billion annually using ghost workers as cover. The monumental ghost-worker sleaze bug is also eating the fabrics of the civil service of virtually all states in the country. It is documented that Ekiti State loses N63 million monthly to the fraud, while the figure for Zamfara State is N2 billion annually. In Kebbi State, the loss amounts to N153 million monthly; Bayelsa State N3.5 billion annually; and Kogi State N700 million per month. A report last year said Lagos State, believed to be ahead of other states in tackling the fraud, recovered N250 million through its innovative Oracle payment system. The adoption of information technology innovations like the IPPIS at the FG level, Oracle in Lagos State and the biometric system by some states, seems to have become inevitable with the oozing penchant of incorrigibly prodigal public pay officers, their cohorts and sponsors to loot government coffers dry. But quite distressing is the fact that with the recurring incidents of ghost workers in all the tiers of
government, no official has been exposed as culpable or penalized for the fraudulent act, to public knowledge. It is an uphill task convincing the public that the perpetrators of the economic crime are spirits, and cannot be fished out and made to face the wrath of the law, if the government so desires. On the IPPIS and related projects, however, our worry is that no system is entirely perfect. This is against the backdrop that some ‘smart’ managers of the system may compromise and twist the technology for selfish pecuniary gains. This possibility thus presents the need for the various governments to put in place very robust and stern measures to deter and punish in-house sabotage once detected, on the one hand; and the mounting of regular anti-corruption campaigns to discourage the ghost-worker syndrome countrywide, on the other. In addition, the government at all levels should give serious thought to how best to address the outrageous discrepancies between the incomes of political office holders and those of public servants who perpetrate ghostworker frauds. While the poor pay of public servants and their scarcely secured future cannot serve as licence for them to steal, they might have contributed to sustaining the fraud.
ON THIS DAY July 3, 2006 The Valencia metro (train) accident left 43 people dead in Valencia, Spain. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash which occurred at a curve just outside of Jesus Station. However, data from the train’s black box showed that the train’s speed at the derailment point was 80 km/h (50 mph), which meant it was travelling at twice the normal 40 km/h speed for the curve.
July 3, 2005 Same-sex marriage in Spain became legal. In 2004, the nation’s newly elected social democratic government, led by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, began a campaign for its legalization, including the right of adoption by same-sex couples. After much debate, a law permitting same-sex marriage was passed by the Cortes Generales, Spain’s bicameral parliament.
July 3, 1962 The Algerian War of Independence against the French ended. The war was a conflict between France and Algerian independence movements from 1954 to 1962, which led to Algeria gaining its independence from France. An important decolonization war, it was a complex conflict characterized by guerrilla warfare, maquis fighting, terrorism against civilians, the use of torture on both sides, and counter-terrorism operations by the French Army.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Health & Wellbeing Nigeria crosses final hurdle to emerge Guinea worm-free
AHF installs condom dispensers in brothels
Viagra patent expires • •
Price war imminent in pharma industry Nigerians warned against fake versions
ith the expiration of Pfizer’s patent on Viagra, the road is now clear for other pharmaceutical companies to manufacture their own version of the blue pill for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) – inability to develop and maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse It is expected that the development will make the drug more affordable though Nigerians have been warned against the circulation of fake versions now that the drug could be produced and sold by any pharmaceutical company. Viagra, which contains an active ingredient called sildenafil citrate, was launched worldwide in 1998 by Pfizer, the world’s biggest pharmaceutical company which has also held the exclusive right (known as patent) to market the drug. Now that the patent has expired, other pharmaceutical companies will be able to market their own versions of sildenafil citrate. Already, two companies the US medical giant Actavis and Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva have launched their own versions following news that Pfizers’ patent expired in 11 European countries, including Ireland and the UK. It is however feared that many of the new versions of Viagra may end up in the Nigerian market especially, given their potential low costs. Currently, the Pfizer version has been the only registered brand in Nigeria but National Mirror investigation has revealed that there are many versions of the brand, many from doubtful sources, with prizes ranging between N500, N1000 and N7,000 for a pack of four tablets. Viagra has been a money spinner for the company since it became the first oral treatment ever to be li-
censed for ED, with sales worth almost £1.5 billion a year. The drug has not only fetched the company a Nobel Prize but also popularised erectile dysfunction as a medical condition. Worldwide, millions of men suffer from ED. According to the US National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), approximately 22 out of every 1000 men in the United States sought medical attention for ED in 1999. While it is believed that up to 30 million men suffer from ED in the US, doctors in Nigeria believe that the incidence rate may not be too far from that of the US though few men will seek medical attention here. Formerly called impotence, erectile dysfunction was once a taboo subject. It was considered a psychological issue or a natural consequence of growing older. These attitudes have changed in recent years especially with the discovery Viagra. It’s now known that erectile dysfunction is more often caused by physical problems than by psychological ones, and that many men have normal erections into their 80s. Experts say erection begins with sensory or mental stimulation, or both. Impulses from the brain and local nerves cause the muscles of the penis, known as corpora cavernosa, to relax, allowing blood to flow in and fill the spaces. When these muscles contract to stop the inflow of blood and open outflow channels, erection is reversed Since an erection requires a precise sequence of events, ED can occur when any of the events is disrupted; according to the experts The sequence includes nerve impulses in the brain, spinal column, and area around the penis, and response in muscles, fibrous tissues, veins, and arteries in and near the corpora cavernosa. Damage to nerves, arteries, smooth muscles, and fibrous tissues, often as a result of disease, is the most common cause of ED. Diseases —
such as diabetes, kidney disease, chronic alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, vascular disease, and neurologic disease—account for about 70 percent of ED cases. Between 35 and 50 percent of men with diabetes experience ED. Lifestyle choices that contribute to heart disease and vascular problems also raise the risk of erectile dysfunction. Smoking, being overweight, and avoiding exercise are possible causes of ED. Also, surgery (especially radical prostate and bladder surgery for cancer) can injure nerves and arteries near the penis, causing ED. Injury to the penis, spinal cord, prostate, bladder, and pelvis can lead to ED by harming nerves, smooth muscles, arteries, and fibrous tissues of the corpora cavernosa. In addition, many common medicines—blood pressure drugs, antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants, and cimetidine (an ulcer drug) — can produce ED as a side effect. Experts also believe that psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, guilt, depression, low self-esteem, and fear of sexual failure cause 10 to 20 percent of ED cases. Men with a physical cause for ED frequently experience the same sort of psychological reactions (stress, anxiety, guilt, and depression). Other possible causes are smoking, which affects blood flow in veins and arteries, and hormonal abnormalities, such as not enough testosterone.
Health & Wellbeing
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Long-term cannabis use may blunt brain’s motivation system
ong-term cannabis users tend to produce less dopamine, a chemical in the brain linked to motivation, a study has found. Researchers found that dopamine levels in a part of the brain called the striatum were lower in people who smoke more cannabis and those who began taking the drug at a younger age. They suggest this finding could explain why some cannabis users appear to lack motivation to work or pursue their normal interests. The study, by scientists at Imperial College London, UCL and King’s College London, was funded by the Medical Research Council and published in the journal Biological Psychiatry. The researchers used PET brain imaging to look at dopamine production in the striatum of 19 regular cannabis users and 19 non-users of matching age and sex. The cannabis users in the study had all experienced psychotic-like symptoms while smoking the drug, such as experiencing strange sensations or having bizarre thoughts like feeling as though they are being threatened by an unknown force. The researchers expected that dopamine production might be higher in this group, since increased dopamine production has been linked with psychosis. Instead, they found the opposite effect. The cannabis users in the study had their first experience with the drug between the ages of 12 and 18. There was a trend for lower dopamine levels in those who started earlier, and also in those who smoke more cannabis. The researchers say these findings suggest that cannabis use may be the cause of the difference in dopamine levels. The lowest dopamine levels were seen in users who meet diagnostic criteria for cannabis abuse or dependence, raising the possibility that this measure could provide a marker of addiction severity. Previous research has shown that cannabis users have a higher risk of mental illnesses that involve repeated episodes of psychosis, such as schizophrenia. “It has been assumed that cannabis in-
The Health Beat Sam Eferaro
email@example.com 08094082123 (sms only)
Still in search of reliable disease data
creases the risk of schizophrenia by inducing the same effects on the dopamine system that we see in schizophrenia, but this hasn’t been studied in active cannabis users until now,” said Dr Michael Bloomfield, from the Institute of Clinical Sciences at Imperial, who led the study. “The results weren’t what we expected, but they tie in with previous research on addiction, which has found that substance abusers -- people who are dependent on cocaine or amphetamine, for example -- have altered dopamine systems. “Although we only looked at cannabis users who have had psychotic-like experiences while using the drug, we think the findings would apply to cannabis users in general, since we didn’t see a stronger effect in the subjects who have more psychotic-like symptoms. This needs to be tested though. “It could also explain the ‘amotivational syndrome’ which has been described in cannabis users, but whether such a syndrome exists is controversial.” Other studies have looked at dopamine release in former cannabis users and not seen differences with people who haven’t taken cannabis, suggesting that the effects seen in this study are likely to be reversible.
L-R: Director General, National Orientation Agency, Mr. Mike Omeri; Minister of State for Health, Dr. Mohammed Ali Pate and Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, during a symposium organised by NIMR in commemoration of the 3rd anniversary of Ujah as DG of the institute.
y 2000, I was already getting bored with health reporting. Then, it seemed there was nothing new to report. Every year, and almost on a daily basis, the same statistics were being bandied everywhere about our state of health. Then, Nigeria was ranked among countries with the lowest life expectancy, highest cases of child, maternal mortality and malaria. Then, at every scientific meeting when a disease condition was being discussed, the normal speakers’ introduction was to acknowledge the dearth of statistics and inability to tell the number of Nigerians suffering from the particular disease being discussed. The speaker would quote worldwide, Europe or American figures and then give some conjecture or extrapolations for what could be the Nigerian situation. In some instances, the speaker would rely on the grossly inadequate figures from the ministry of health sometimes obtained through the UN bodies covering health in the country such as WHO, UNFPA, UNDP, UNAIDS and the likes. The truth is nobody had any figure or reliable statistics about any disease condition in this country. Sadly, about 14 years after, the story has not changed much. The only significant change I can report today is that we no longer talk about guinea worm (dracunculiasis). Thank God, we have a success story and we can no longer quote the figures of 2000 or years before. In fact there’s no need to talk of statistics any more as we have joined the list of nations that have successfully eradicated the dreaded crippling worm. I pray we will be singing the same song soon about polio. Unfortunately, that’s not the story we can tell about several other diseases. We just don’t know how many of us are suffering from the prevalent diseases in our environment. Ask the Nigerian Hypertension Society, any Nigerian cardiologist or “scientist” about the number of Nigerians suffering from hypertension. What you get will depend on what they think is our current population. The figure this year has been between 56 and 61.5 million based on WHO’s projections of 41% prevalent rate for all African countries. What is more worrisome is the fact that WHO actually arrives at its own statistics based on reports from individual countries usually through the ministry of health or its (WHO) field office. Now, tell me the type of reports that will emanate from Nigeria! Apart from the occasional household surveys, I doubt if we have any verifiable and scientific way of knowing the prevalence and other details of the diseases in our environment. In the 80s, I was once informed at the Health Ministry’s department of statis-
THE CHAOTIC NATURE OF OUR HEALTHCARE DELIVERY SYSTEM IS CLOSELY LINKED WITH THE DEARTH OF STATISTICS ON THE COMMON AILMENTS PLAGUING US tics that each state of the federation was expected to send reports of notifiable diseases to the Federal level. Even at that time, the reports from some of the states were just simply laughable - and that was for those who cared to file reports. I don’t know the current situation but I will be surprised if it’s anything different from the situation in the 80s Any wonder then that our specialists on diabetes tell us there are only about 6.7 million Nigerians living with diabetes today based on IDF’s projected comparative prevalence of 4.5% in Africa. Now, consider this: A screening exercise conducted by the Urhobo National Association of North America (UNANA) in December 2004 in Warri and Sapele, Delta State, found out that out of the 487 people screened in Warri and its environs, no fewer than 65% had diabetes. In Sapele, 60% of the 300 people screened had diabetes. These are just two towns in a state. Will you still accept that the number of people with diabetes in this country will be just about six million? I wonder. Why bother about statistics, especially when it is a general malaise in all aspects of our life? Simple. The chaotic nature of our healthcare delivery system is closely linked with the dearth of statistics on the common ailments plaguing us. How can we ever plan how to effectively tackle any disease condition in a country of over 150 million people when we don’t even know the number of people affected by the condition, its pattern and peculiarities in our environment? Do you still wonder that our facilities are forever inadequate and our health workers seriously overburdened? Truth is, anyone attempting to genuinely address the myriads of problems in our health sector must start from the basics. We need to take the issues of data more seriously and we must plan for individual’s health needs based on available statistics. We certainly cannot do much with the dearth of information on virtually every health condition in our country. The Federal Ministry of Health must wake up and devise a way to collect relevant data from all health institutions in the country so we could at least have a semblance of ‘National Statistics’ on prevalent diseases in our environment.
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Health & Wellbeing
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
AHF installs condom dispensers in brothels
n line with its commitment while assuring us of their committowards reducing HIV trans- ment and continuous support. mission in Nigeria, the Aids “To be sure, this effort is in line Healthcare Foundation (AHF), with internationally validated a global organisation providing fact that effective condom use has cutting-edge medicine and advo- helped reduce HIV transmission cacy to patients across 28 coun- and encouraged safer sexual betries, has introduced a novel haviour. The positive impact of way of providing access to con- condom use to halving the rates dom use in the country. of new HIV infections can be seen A press statement issued by the with successes recorded in counorganisation recently disclosed tries like: Zimbabwe, Brazil, Thaithat the Foundation had designed land, and Cambodia condom dispensers and baskets “With about 3.1 million Nigeriwhich are strategically positioned in hotels, brothels, and relaxation ans living with HIV, and a larger joints. This effort also comes with percentage of the general populacondom education and awareness tion unscreened for HIV, it has beas a conscious attempt to empha- come important that we get Nigerisise the importance of safe sex and ans, with perhaps one of the largest in an attempt to bring condom clos- sexually active population in the er to the people, especially those world (Nigeria is credited as having who cannot afford or access it con- one of the largestw youth population in the world) to imbibe safer veniently. According to the statement, no sexual practices through condom fewer than 25,412 condoms have use, as a key precautionary meabeen dispensed in 26 outlets at vari- sures for decreasing the spread ous locations in the Federal Capital of HIV/AIDS in the country,” the Territory alone since the inception statement further said. AHF is also the largest providof the project six months ago, AHF er of HIV/AIDS medical care in also has 50 outlets in Benue State, the U.S, with headquarters in Los the Nigerian state with the highest Angeles. HIV prevalence rate at 12.7%. “AHF is extremely impressed with feedback coming from partners: hotel managements and individuals; at the various outlets, who have described this initiative as a significant step in the right direction towards the fight against HIV/ AIDS in Nigeria A condom dispenser strategically placed in a brothel
Dignitaries at the launch of of Pharmaton Matruelle in Lagos.
700 newborns die daily in Nigeria –Save the Children Initiative MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA
espite hyped efforts by all tiers of government in Nigeria to reduce maternal and child mortality, no fewer than 700 newborns die daily in the country, Save the Children Initiative has said. The international non-governmental organisation told National Mirror through one of its doctors, Oyinbo Manuel in Nigeria that all tiers of government in the country needed to do more to overcome albeit decreasing maternal and child health challenges in the country. Dr Oyinbo said 254,000 babies die in their first month in the country, while maternal mortality ratio stands at 545 per 100,000 in the country. According to him, contraceptive prevalence rate is put at 10 per cent as skilled birth attendance rate is currently 39 per cent.
He stressed that Nigeria had about six/eight million births annually but ranks the highest in Africa in terms of the number of neonatal deaths and also contributes seven per cent of the world’s total. “Maternal and child mortality has continued to be one of the most serious development challenges in Nigeria despite several efforts, policies, initiatives and instruments aimed at reducing the incidences, and generally improve maternal and child health,” he noted. He however, blamed overconcentration of health workers with highest level of expertise in certain area of Nigeria as major contributor to the problems. He said: “The shortage of skilled birth attendants in Nigeria is accentuated by a mal-distribution of available cadres skewed in favour of urban locations in the southern states of the country. “Other factors responsible for
this shortage include a freeze on employment in the public service of some states, poor working environment leading to external and internal brain drain to other professions,” Oyibo decried. He called for task-shifting among health workers through the empowerment of community health workers (CHOs, CHEWs and JCHEWs) whom he said constitute 42 percent of all human resources at the primary health care level with nurses, midwives or doctors (recognized as SBAs) constituting only seven per cent. “To address this problem of shortage of skilled birth attendants at this level, a clear policy on task-shifting and task-sharing in the country should be put in place to guide the different cadres of health care workers, especially CHEWs, on how they can best contribute to the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality in Nigeria,” he concluded.
WHO issues new HIV recommendations Mothers’ health determines
ew HIV treatment guidelines by WHO recommend offering antiretroviral therapy (ART) earlier. Recent evidence indicates that earlier ART will help people with HIV to live longer, healthier, and substantially reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others. The move could avert an additional 3 million deaths and prevent 3.5 million more new HIV infections between now and 2025. The new recommendations are presented in WHO’s “Consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection”, as new data reveal a total of 9.7 million people were taking these lifesaving drugs at the end of 2012. “These guidelines represent another leap ahead in a trend of ever-higher goals and evergreater achievements,” says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “With nearly 10 million people now on antiretroviral therapy, we see that such
...calls for earlier treatment prospects – unthinkable just a few years ago – can now fuel the momentum needed to push the HIV epidemic into irreversible decline.” Call to initiate treatment at 500 CD4 cells/mm³ or less The new recommendations encourage all countries to initiate treatment in adults living with HIV when their CD4 cell count falls to 500 cells/mm³ or less – when their immune systems are still strong. The previous WHO recommendation, set in 2010, was to offer treatment at 350 CD4 cells/mm³ or less. 90% of all countries have adopted the 2010 recommendation. A few, such as Algeria, Argentina and Brazil, are already offering treatment at 500 cells/mm3. WHO has based its recommendation on evidence that treating people with HIV earlier, with safe, affordable, and easier-
to-manage medicines can both keep them healthy and lower the amount of virus in the blood, which reduces the risk of passing it to someone else. If countries can integrate these changes within their national HIV policies, and back them up with the necessary resources, they will see significant health benefits at the public health and individual level, the report notes. The new recommendations also include providing antiretroviral therapy - irrespective of their CD4 count - to all children with HIV under 5 years of age, all pregnant and breastfeeding women with HIV, and to all HIV-positive partners where one partner in the relationship is uninfected. The Organization continues to recommend that all people with HIV with active tuberculosis or with hepatitis B disease receive antiretroviral therapy.
babies’ health –Balogun SEKINAH LAWAL
xpectant mothers and women of child-bearing age have been urged to take good care of their diet as their state of health will go a long way in determining the health of their unborn babies. Giving this advice in Lagos recently is the Consultant Gynaecologist, Reddington Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Olufisayo Balogun at the official launching of Pharmaton Matruelle into the Nigerian market. Speaking on the importance of omegaH3 and folic acid, he said the best way to get enough was through supplementation. Dr. Balogun revealed that lack of folic acid could lead to Libia Fibida in foetus and also affects vi-
sion and mental development. He said other benefits of OmegaH3 include the fact that it improves birth weights of babies, important for neurological development in foetus and infants, improves vision, reduces inflammation, improves the level of immunomodulatory factors in the breast milk with resultant protective mucosal immune function and prevents inflammatory diseases like heart disease and arthritis “It also helps in the prevention of ischemic CVD, improves cholesterol profile, improves skin health by alleviating symptoms related to skin disorders, improves menstrual health by reducing the pain associated with premenstrual tension and dysmenorrhoea for women, helps to prevent cancers especially, colon, prostate and breast.”
Health & Wellbeing
MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA
igeria is on the path to receiving World Health Organization’s (WHO) certification on elimination of Guinea worm, as the team of the global health’s body is currently touring states of the federation to ascertain Nigeria’s claim of riddance of the pandemic. The struggle began over two decades ago against the syndrome which has left over a million people affected till date in the country. In 1988, according to WHO, the first national case search recorded 653,620 cases in almost all states throughout Nigeria, the highest worldwide. Nigeria has however not recorded a case since 2008, given both local and international interventions that have spanned over two decades. Guinea worm, otherwise known as dracunculiasis is a water-borne disease which affects human beings. It has an incubation period of about 12 months and manifests through the formation of blisters on any part of the body, inflicting pain on its victims who are in most cases, immobilized during the peak period of attack. Dracunculiasis, The Carter Centre says, is contracted when people ingest drinking water from stagnant sources containing copepods (commonly referred to as water fleas) that harbour infective Guinea worm larvae. Inside a human’s abdomen, Guinea worm larvae mate and female worms mature and grow, some as long as three feet or one meter. After a year of incubation, the female Guinea worm creates an agonizingly painful lesion on the skin and slowly emerges from the body. The contamination cycle begins when victims, seeking relief from the burning sensation caused by the emerging Guinea worm, immerse their limbs in sources of drinking water, which stimulates the emerging worm to release larvae into the water and begin the cycle all over again. There is no medication for Guinea worm but it can be managed. Centre for Disease Control, CDC, says “When the Guinea worm is ready to come out of the body, it creates a painful burning blister on the skin. When the infected person immerses the blister in cool water to ease the symptoms, the Guinea worm breaks through the blister and part of the worm is exposed. Management of GWD involves removing the whole worm and caring for the wound in general. There is no specific drug to treat or prevent the disease. There is also no vaccine to prevent it. The only way to avoid infection is to prevent exposure to the Guinea worm larvae in contaminated drinking water sources.” The disease is best prevented through the provision of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Joint report by Emmanuel S. Miri et al, titled “Nigeria’s Triumph: Dracunculiasis Eradicated” and published by the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene on August 5, 2010, says Nigeria and its partners had spent $37.5 million on the disease, and that medical geographer Susan Watts estimated, in 1986, that Nigeria accounted for approximately two-thirds of the world’s dracunculiasis cases. Sporadic reports of Guinea worm, the report says, was first discovered by a Swiss traveler who gave the name Guinea worm to the parasite Dracunculus medinensis after visiting the West African coast in approximately 1611. He was said to have re-
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Nigeria crosses final hurdle to emerge Guinea worm-free
NO MORE IN NIGERIA: A Guinea worm victim
THE DISEASE IS BEST PREVENTED THROUGH THE PROVISION OF SAFE DRINKING WATER AND ADEQUATE SANITATION ferred to what he saw “in areas bordering Gulf of Guinea, including the area that is now Southeastern Nigeria,” as Guinea worm. Grace Otubo, an indigene of Ezza Nkwubor village near Enugu, Enugu State, has been recorded as the last victim of Guinea worm in Nigeria. Pointing to her right foot that was affected, Otubo, 58 in 2008 when she was afflicted, said in a video that she used to stay in her home for eight or nine months when she contracted the disease. She later went to the containment centre where she got treated. This is the general experience of all victims; which makes poverty further ravages the mainly poor sufferers. WHO’s team is on three-week verification in Nigeria. Speaking on Nigeria’s efforts, leader of the delegation, Prof David Molyveux told journalists in Abuja that: “What is remarkable is that between 1970 and 1972 that I was here in Nigeria, guinea worm, during our study, was never mentioned. Yet, then you’d had about 650,000 cases. I think this is remarkable; irrespective of the conclusion which we never wish to preempt done well. What I want to do is just to say that we’ve read most of the documentation you provided. We look forward as a team over the next three weeks to work very closely with you on this credibly important mission. I just want to contextualise that we are looking at a very significant study team. “As you are aware, only two diseases are currently slated for eradication; guinea worm and polio and yours is now on the
map. And, we are looking at the country which has had the most cases in the highest number of people in terms of population in the largest cities and environment. And, with the information you’d given us, it is extremely exciting and thorough; it addresses the issue in many settings in a very novel way and we look forward very much to having the opportunity to validate the conclusions of the country report,” he stated. He added that the team was in Nigeria to validate the report already prepared by the Independent Verification Team on Guinea Worm in the country and that the team’s report would go to the International Commission for the Certification on Eradication which might be issued the country this December. The team leader continued: “It is something we cannot anticipate what the Commission will do with our report. My job is one responsibility to report to the Commission the findings of this mission. I see this activity as a mission and the report we make will be one of considerable responsibilities given the importance of being here to say that Guinea worm must be eliminated in Nigeria.” He promised that the team would be objective in its duties. A member of the team, Dr Gnatam Bisual said: “We are going to move round the different parts of the country. We would write our report and present it before the WHO and from there it would be forwarded to the Secretary General of the UN.” The team said it would rely on the assistance of the WHO officials who had been working in Nigeria and also understand the current standing of the country regarding the disease in troubled states of Yobe and Borno. The team, Bisual said, would not go to the two states. The Federal Government responded to the challenges posed by the disease by setting up the Nigeria Guinea Worm Eradication Programme, NIGEP.
Addressing the WHO’s team, NIGEP’s Coordinator, Mrs. Ifeoma Anagbolu, said NIGEP had ensured execution of needed programmes to include case management, provision of potable water for communities in the country; dissemination of requisite information and sustenance of zero-case since 2008. The list according to her, includes programme activities surveillance for guinea worm disease, communication for behavioural impact; including health education, advocacy and social mobilisation, safe water provision, maintenance and use. She noted that NIGEP was established in 1988 in tandem with global call for the eradication of guinea worm disease and in line with the recommendation of International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade to combat water and sanitationrelated diseases, particularly in developing countries. NIGEP, she said, works in partnership with government of Nigeria, United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, Yakubu Gowon Centre, The Carter Centre and the endemic communities. Others are government of Japan and United Nation’s Development Programme, UNDP. Anagbolu added: “Guinea worm disease surveys were conducted during the epidemiological years through June 1987 to July 1988 until 1991. In 1987 to 1988, we have 653,620 cases reported. The number of cases declined until 2008 when Nigeria reported the last 38 cases. The 38 cases occurred in five villages. But, at the inception of NIGEP, we had 5,879 villages affected. Altogether, we had 393 local government areas affected by Guinea worm disease in the country between 1987 and 1988. For the precertification period, a year after the case was reported, Nigeria adopted minimum pre-certification target. This includes that all health staff must know case existence for Guinea worm disease and appropriate response to a suspected case or rumour. All guinea worm disease or rumour must be reported within 24 hours, regardless of how the rumours were received. “At least, 80 percent of the public must be aware of message on Guinea worm disease and the cash reward for Guinea worm disease reporting. This means that any suspected case must be reported to the nearest health facilities of health workers and that there is a cash reward of N25, 000 on any confirmed case. From 2009 to 2010, we have received several rumour reports which were investigated and found not to be Guinea worm disease. Altogether, we have 680 rumour reports,” she stressed.
Wednesday, 2013 Wednesday,June July12, 3, 2013
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My ears help me pick materials for jokes –Blind comic
Idumota stops sales of Yoruba movies
Branding Nigeria for cultural revolution ADENRELE NIYI
he Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation will tomorrow formally launch ‘Fascinating Nigeria’, the new brand which is part of the Ministry’s vision to reposition Nigeria as the preferred tourism destination and cultural capital in Sub-Saharan Africa. The brand unveiling ceremony is expected to have in attendance the President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR and will be hosted by the First Lady and Nigeria’s Tourism Brand Ambassador Dame (Dr.) Patience Goodluck Jonathan. It is also being touted that this exclusive occasion is going to be a confluence of respected dignitaries from across the nation to witness the unveiling of ‘Fascinating Nigeria’. President Goodluck Jonathan will address the audience about the economic and social importance of positioning Nigeria as a tourist destination. Other speakers include Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke; Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah OON; Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Lyiel Imoke. The occasion also sees the launch of ‘Fascinating Nigeria Magazine’, the exciting publication that is dedicated to showcasing the wealth of diversity across Nigeria, from fascinating people and cultures to historic destinations, locations and contemporary events. At tomorrow’s event, the brand will be revealed in three stages: Firstly, celebrating the Nigerian attributes of warmth, nature, rhythm and secondly, showcasing the nation’s artistes, musicians, performers, comedians, poets, footballers, fashion designers and food in a branded Nigerian feast. Thirdly, in the Exhibition Hall, there will be the Fascinating Nigeria exhibition and food expo, all culminating in a grand finale. Top artistes to take part include King Sunny Ade, P-Square, 2Face, Iyanya, Ay and Omawumi in a dynamic and diverse presentation designed to showcase the best of the country. Vocalist Nikki Laoye opens the event with the Nigerian National Anthem and the National Troupe of Nigeria, NTN, will perform a dynamic routine for the rising sun opening. Oriki poetry will take centre stage with cultural themed poems to the richness of the land and its diversity. Nollywood delivers a star-studded performance and Sports also plays a role as great football moments featuring Lionheart performances are recalled. Footage of some of the most diverse and culturally important sites such as the ancient city of Kano, the Yankari Game Reserve and the Osun Osogbo sacred grove will highlight Nigeria’s heritage, while an
THE RELEVANCE AND NECESSITY OF F
NIGERIA ADOPTING A SLOGAN TO PROMOTE E AND SELL THE
COUNTRY’S TOURIST DELIGHTS CANNOT BE OVERSTATED exhibition by the Fashion Designers’ Association of Nigeria, FADAN, will showcase the best of Nigerian talents. The tempo towards this launch in Abuja had started building from Lagos on Friday, May 31 when members of the media had been invited to witness the media unveiling of ‘Fascinating Nigeria’ at the National Theatre, Lagos. The event, hosted by the management of National Theatre, had in attendance the helms man at the ministry, Chief Edem Duke; newly-appointed Director General, NTDC, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo; General Manager, National Theatre, Mallam Kabiru Yusuf and executives of relevant government agencies. Speaking to journalists at the parley held inside the cosy VIP Suites, National Theatre, Edem Duke intimated that he had always believed Nigeria deserved to have a distinctive tourism brand identity. “In several fora where the issue of the master plan had been discussed, some of the stakeholders had raised the fact that we have not done enough in refreshing the Nigerian tourism brand. For me, I have always felt it was like owning a brewery without a product. So, in the last one year, we have been working on developing a distinct Nigerian tourism brand identity”. Drawing comparisons from other countries and their tourism products, he positioned: “We are aware of the fact that virtually every country in Africa and the leading countries globally which have been identified as the exotic tourism destinations have something that speaks to the ethos of their products”. On the process that led to the launch of the brand identity, he said: “With virtually no resources at our disposal, we continued working on this and on January 9, 2013, the tourism brand identity was approved for Nigeria. It then became expeditious for us to work aggressively towards that brand launch”. The minister also took time to present the Fascinating Nigeria Magazine’, which he referred to as collaterals containing unique sellable tourism destinations within the country to support the brand. During his presentation, Duke stressed
The pictorial book unveiled at the launch
the dearth of reference literature on the vast natural and cultural heritage in the th will country. “There is no bookshop that you visit in an airport anywhere in the world that you will see respectable collateral about Nigeria. There is no mission of Nigeria that you will go to anywhere in the world that you will find materials that speak of the various endowment of this country. I think Nigeria deserves more as the biggest black nation on the surface of the earth and as a source market for tourism revenues of other countries”. In 2012, the Federal Government had ranked tourism among the six priority sectors of the nation’s economy to receive concerted attention. Similarly, during an interactive session with pressmen mid last year, Chief Duke had revealed that the Goodluck Jonathan led-administration was keen on carving a distinctive and unique tourism slogan for the country in order to identify the Nigerian brand and properly position the nation in the league of leading destinations of the world. Hitherto an initiative never displayed towards or vaunted about this sector by prior administrations, that unique brand would be unveiled during the launch. The relevance and necessity of Nigeria adopting a slogan to promote and sell the country’s tourist delights cannot be overstated. Already, Nollywood and contemporary Nigerian music have been building positive tourism images for the country, marking a shift from traditional destination marketing techniques which deploy traditional marketing principles (product, place, price, and promotion) to branding techniques. According to a recent report by Euromonitor, Nigeria’s film industry has helped to “change stereotypes about Nigeria by highlighting its culture, norms, creativity and hospitality. In so doing, it has influenced the willingness for potential travellers to travel to Nigeria, by attracting
continent l tourists. Many of domestic and continental t these tourists have been visiting film shooting locations in cities like Lagos”. But what’s in a name or catchy slogan for tourism purposes? A business marketer, Victorino Abrugar, analysed it this way. “In every marketing or advertising campaign, a catchy or a memorable slogan plays a vital role to achieving success. With a simple and short phrase, it can attract potential consumers. This is also true in the tourism business and industry. That is why countries, states and cities around the world are investing efforts and money to come up with the best slogan that can attract the most number of tourists and visitors to their place. Of course more tourists mean more revenue for the economy”. Consequently, around the world, different countries have come up with very inviting, catchy and even simple tourism slogans. Some of the best known ones include: Dubai – Definitely Dubai; India – Incredible India; Egypt – Where it all begins; Japan – Endless Discovery; Brazil – Sensational Brazil; Singapore – Your Singapore; South Africa – Inspiring New Ways; New York, USA – I love New York; Malaysia – Truly Asia; Peru – Peru. Live the legend and Canada – Keep exploring, among others. It is crucial to create the right slogan from the get-go –which depicts Nigeria’s rich traditional heritage, over 250 ethnic colourations and diverse cultures. It will make the difference between getting off to an alluring flying start in wooing tourists or floundering over a poor slogan choice. ‘Fascinating Nigeria’ encapsulates all of these cultural high points and Nigerians can begin to celebrate the new direction being charted for the country’s under-maximised tourism sector. However, more than the fanfare of tomorrow’s ceremony, success would be determined by measurable dividends of the brand name in years to come.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
T AL K FAD
GOZI OCHONOGOR Fashion designer
firstname.lastname@example.org; 08055662925(SMS ONLY)
NOLLYWOOD HAS OVER 30 ASSOCIATIONS AND GUILDS, WHICH
AMONGST THESE WILL
of distribution. The focus group, that was broad based and cut across the industry, was condemned by a few who felt they should have been invited and because they were not invited, the recommendations and suggestions were not tenable even when some of the guild and association heads were part of the focus group. Based on the complaints, the Minister of Finance requested for an industry town hall meeting where relevant guilds and association in Nollywood were invited to review, contribute, suggest and fine tune the draft document. The town hall meeting was held at the Eko Hotel, Lagos, where the minister gave a week extension to the industry to make contributions to the draft document. Ironically, immediately the guidelines were released, a small group of Nollywood stakeholders under the aegis of “Nollywood Summit” who were fully involved in both the focus meeting or the town hall meeting called a rather strange summit to condemn and discredit the N3bn as inadequate to meet the needs of the industry. This argument I consider weak because grants are support initiatives and the industry has survived without grants so saying it is too small makes no sense. The second argument by organisers of the “Nollywood Summit” is that the assessors of the grants should be made public. But global practices for award of grants do not make public assessors for obvious reasons. Another weak argument by the group was that the grants should be given to the guilds and association to administer; this is laughable because an industry that has over 30 associations and guilds, which amongst these will manage it? Reacting to the Nollywood Summit communiqué, a statement from the ministry last week said those who were not interested in the grant can seek support elsewhere. When I look at those behind the Nollywood summit, I sympathise with a majority who attended the summit out of ignorance –most of them have come out to disassociate themselves saying they were deceived about the motive of the gathering which was championed by a few failed producers and bankrupt marketers. Majority of stakeholders are simply waiting to start accessing the grant which will go a long way in developing Nollywood.
Do you love African writers? Yes. My best African author is Chinua Achebe. What’s your annual budget for books? I do not have. You think it is not necessary? No, I just buy. I am one of those people who believe that books choose you. The books that I have read actually chose me. I also think I do not read as much as I would love to. If you decide to write a book, what would be your theme? It’s pretty easier for one to write about oneself. If I should write today, I would probably write about my travels. I have lived in three different continents. In my dealings in these countries, I always find myself in situations that are really interesting. Sometimes, I even get arrested and these are things one would sit down eventually and laugh about.
N3bn grant: Nollywood wahala ollywood as an industry has become another theatre of the absurd by the happenings in the last three months since the president announced the grant at the State House Marina Lagos. It has been accusations, counter accusations, suspicion, lies and falsehood. In well structured and organised industries, the associations, guilds practitioners and stakeholders will engage and create inter and intra mechanisms to access the grant for members. Sadly, that is not the case; but internal wrangling and accusations over a fund that has not been released. Prior to the announcement of the grant and the appointment of Ministry of Finance as the ministry charged with preparing guidelines for the disbursement of the grant. In the last week, it has been a barrage of emails from different stakeholders to the ministry on why the guidelines released for the capacity building trench of the grant is fraught with irregularities and why it should not be implemented. According to this group, the conditions set in the guidelines were unacceptable to them, while another group seemed satisfied with the guidelines. As a major stakeholder in Nollywood, I have arrived at the conclusion that Nollywood is like the Israelite who in the Bible keep complaining even when God shows them love. Of all the sectors in the creative industry, Nollywood remains the first and only industry in the history of the Nigerian state to be so supported with a grant; yet they are not contented. The internal fighting has extended to the coordinating ministry where petitions are being sent daily on why they do not need the grant or why it should not be executed. Any reader of this column will wonder if they were no consultations before the release of the guidelines by the Ministry of Finance. The fact is that they were consultations individually or collectively. I will start with a brief background: A committee was set up to draft the guidelines for the disbursement of the grant on distribution, production and capacity building and this committee had representatives of the industry which included Prince Jide Kosoko, Dr. Umar Faruk, Stephanie Okereke and Amaka Igwe amongst other committee members from the Ministry of Finance, World Bank, British Council, Ministry of Culture, Censors Board amongst others. The committee met for weeks and then, the industry representatives were told to liaise with their colleagues on a major core component of the grant which is distribution and the driver of the other two components of the grant. At the focus group meeting of a select group of intellectuals within the industry, key decisions and suggestions were reached on the core needs of the industry in the area
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Who is your favourite author? It used to be Chinua Achebe when I was much younger but along the line, I discovered Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His style of writing got to me, making him my favourite author. May be, I would discover somebody tomorrow; I don’t know. Which of his books fascinates you? It’s called 100 Years of Solitude. What makes the book tick? It is a story running through generations and it’s fictional. The book is one of his best and was originally written in Spanish. But at the last count it has been translated into over 30 languages and over 20 million copies of it have been sold. The story is about Colombia, but from a fictional standpoint. How would you describe this book in one sentence? Interesting characters, well— written, very bizarre ending.
MIDWEEK JUMP Tribute concert for Fatai Rolling Dollar
he unforgettable high life musician, Fatai Rolling Dollar, who died on June 12, will yet again be celebrated by another group of musicians in a concert. Taking place this Friday at Bogobiri House, Ikoyi-Lagos, the concert will feature great stars like: Jimi Solanke, Emeka Keazor and Titi Sonuga, among others performing live Nigerian music spanning 100 years. The concert is organised by Duro Ikujenyo & the Age of Aquarius. Ikujenyo it was who produced Rolling Dollar’s Won kere si number hit album for Jazzhole Records in 2005. “We’re dedicating our next performance to paying glorious tribute to late Fatai Olagunju a.k.a. Fatai Rolling Dollar a legend, Icon, bridge between the past
and the future of popular music in Nigeria”, Ikujenyo said. Two films will also be screened the night of the concert, Lagos Fastest Growing City, by Duro lkujenyo and Angelbear Theurezbacher, as well as a short documentary film, The Future of the Planet Earth shot in 2009 to commemorate 75 years of the British Council in Nigeria by Ikujenyo’s company, New Age Production.
Cassava Republic releases Soldiers of Fortune
fter a hiatus, Cassava Republic Press has published a new book titled: Soldiers of Fortune: Nigerian Politics from Buhari to Babangida 1983-1993. Written by Max Siollun, it is the story of Nigeria’s political journey between December 31, 1983 and August 27, 1993, the story of
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
My ears help me pick materials for jokes –Blind comic Some physically-challenged adults see barriers to their dreams; but this boy in his early teens, sees opportunities. Meet a new comedy wonder: Abednego Jacob.
WHEN I PERFORM,
t does not take much to recognise talent. Abegnego Jacob, a 13-year-old Basic Four pupil of the Pacelli School for the Blind in Surulere, Lagos, is a budding talent. While representing his school at a charity performance organised in honour of Tunde Alabi-Hundeyin (CEO of Dudu Productions) who turned 60 a few weeks ago, he unveiled an aspect of him that gives credence to the saying that, ‘some people can see without their eyes’. Called up to the stage by Yemi Sodimu, the host at the event, the audience obviously never expected more from this child performer. But the moment he got hold of the microphone, he started reeling out jokes, most of them original, in a manner that had several artistes present bewildered. Taking turns, he engaged Gbenga Adeyinka and Segun Arinze in a comic session that only confirmed that he is not new to the game. For instance, when he was alerted on the stage that Segun Arinze was approaching the podium to meet him, he mimicked his (Segun’s) deep baritone, portraying the character that earned Arinze his nickname, Black Arrow, in home videos. Abednego is not yet a professional, but for an amateur he shows a lot of prospects. “I started this in 2008. I have friends in school and we would all sit together telling jokes. But each time I spoke, they would all laugh and from then on, they started asking me to join comedy since I could make people laugh. At first, I did not take it seriously until December 10, 2008, when I got the chance to perform on a real stage. That first experience was
how things fell apart. The press statement signed by Cassava Publishing Director, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf said the break was not for lack of something to publish: “Over the coming months we’ll be publishing some truly amazing writing”. Released this month, the 336page first edition is already causing excitement among Nigerian readers. Among those who have read the book are: Jibrin Ibrahim, Director, Centre for Democracy and Development; Obi Asika, CEO of Storm360 and Kaye Whiteman, former editor, West Africa Magazine. “The book is essential reading for those who want to understand the crass motivations that guided the cabal of military politicians that ruled and
PEOPLE SEE THE POTENTIALS AND ENCOURAGE ME TO
ASPIRE TO THE TOP; THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT
I AM DOING
what opened me to the possibilities I have in me. I did it very well”. Since he cannot physically see his audience, one would be tempted to wonder if Abednego knows what stage fright is. “I do not feel frightened. That is because what I want to say flows in me. It just runs in me and I say it out. The good thing is that I study my environment to know what to say; I listen to the radio and watch television too. So my ears help me to pick the things going on. Even at shows, I listen to pick comments I could create jokes from”. While waiting to break into the big league, Abednego says he is contented with the several accolades that come his way whenever he performs. “I have not really started making money but I believe my time is coming. A few days ago, I took part in a comedy show, where they brought other upcoming comedians. At the end of that event, I was chosen as the ‘Best Comedian of the Year’. I have also been honoured at many other events. The truth is that when I perform, people see the potentials and encourage me to aspire to the top; that is exactly what I am doing”. Getting to the top for him would, however, mean completing his studies first
because according to him, that is one task his parents have assigned to him in order to pursue his talent in the creative industry. “Honestly, I thank God for my parents. They have been very supportive but they are worried about my education. Despite their encouragement, they want me to finish my schooling first. Whenever I am with them, they tell me about education and they need for me to have it completed”. Another unique aspect of Abednego is his versatility in other area of art. “I do not do only comedy; I also sing and I do a little ‘emcee’. Sometimes, I try my hands on DJ jobs too. But ultimately, I want to be a producer. I know I would be happy producing and doing my comedy sketches in future”.
book is going to generate a lot of controversy and interest”. Whiteman said: “...he gets closer to understanding the inside story of Nigeria’s military rule and [...] cast of personalities than other literature on the subject”. Siollun is a historian and a socio-political commentator on Nigeria with extensive knowledge of Nigerian military history. His book Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture (1966-1976) has been one of the most well received Nigerian history books of recent times. ruined Nigeria”, said Ibrahim. For Asika, “Max Siollun’s Soldiers of Fortune reads like a Robert Ludlum thriller. He has brought an important period of Nigeria’s history to life and this
Film launched for antilynching campaign
o start a campaign against the needless gruesome killings in
At most shows where Abednego has featured, he quickly opts to do ‘Limpopo’, the popular song by KC. Does that mean KC is his best music artiste? “I just love his song. But I love an array of other artistes too like Davido and Sheyi Shay; but my best rapper is Vector the Viper”. Of course, he has a word of advice for visually-impaired children like him who believe they have something the world needs. “If you have something in you to showcase do not hide, come out and do it. Opportunity comes only to those willing to grab it”. Abednego is right about opportunity coming to those willing to grab it. At the event, he was promised a voice-over contract by Dudu Productions’ boss in his next television commercials.
Nigerian society, some concerned Nigerians will be launching the film Don’t Walk Away today at the New Unity Centre, Ikeja, Lagos. Don’t Walk Away is a short film by Abimbola Ogunsanya, who four years ago encountered the bitter killing of Samuel, a 12-year-old boy accused of kidnapping by a mob merely on suspicion without proof. e was beaten and burnt to death in broad daylight. As a film maker, Ogunsanya managed to interview Samuel and film the events as they took place. This sad event is what was edited into the short film that will immortalise the young boy. Several other jungle justice
acts, like the Aluu4 killing, have triggered outrage among sane members of society and the Don’t Walk Away launch which will also involve discussions with key speakers and guests. Attendees expected at the event include: Sen. (Mrs.) Oluremi Tinubu OON; host, Inside-Out TV talk show, Agatha Amata; Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi ConchitaBraide (DSP); Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, NBA Ikeja Chapter, Barr. Monday O. Ubani; National Commandant, NSCDC, Dr. Ade Aboderin and Toku Mike, father of one of the Aluu 4 victims.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
FAR AND NEAR
Idumota stops sales of Yoruba movies ADENRELE NIYI
ome movie marketers, under the aegis of Yoruba Video Films Producers and Marketers, YVFPMA, Association of Nigeria, have banded to protest the flagrant piracy of movies in the popular Idumota Market, Lagos. To enforce this, the marketers have stopped the further release of home videos of Yoruba genre into the market with effect from Monday, July 1. This is after a petition had been written by the marketers to the National Assembly lamenting the financially crippling activities of piracy and requesting that the legislators passed decisive laws to curb the menace. According to information gathered from the General Secretary of YVFPMA, Mr. Tunji Ojetola, the petition was given a hearing on the floor of NASS on Monday. However, the marketers are resolved not to resume film
release until their grievances have been suitably treated. “It is really serious and we have been complaining for long but it seems nothing was being done so we decided to stop the release of films for now. Presently, meetings are ongoing with relevant agencies of government about the crisis and we hope to find a solution soon”, said Ojetola. Nestled in the heart of Lagos Island’s bustling commercial district, the market’s film trading section is one of the two business hubs on which Nollywood –the film industry in Nigeria, is currently totally dependent. The other is Alaba International Market located in Ojo area of Lagos Mainland, which is viewed as the source of the movie piracy dilemma. “We know the pirates; and the accusatory finger is pointing back to Alaba International Market”, the Sec. Gen stated. Assessing their loss in numbers, Ojetola explained that
between 20 to 25 Yoruba movies are released fortnightly in both markets and because of the activities of pirates, the film producers and marketers lose between N60m to N65m every month; annually, that would be N720m to N780m untaxed income going into the pockets of pirates. These are conceivable figures considering that globally, Nollywood is ranked as second film making industry in the world; Nollywood makes about 2,400 films per year, putting it ahead of the US, but behind India, according to an updated UNESCO report in 2012. Also in 2012, research data produced by Euromonitor International in its forecast of nine major global travel trends for the next four years (till 2016), places Nollywood fourth on the list for being ‘a film hotspot’ and holding the power to increase tourist arrivals in the country from 2 percent in 2012 to nearly 3.5 percent in 2015.
L-R: Managing Director, University Press Plc, Mr. Samuel Kolawole; Chariman, Board of Directors of the Company, Dr. Lalekan Are and keynote speaker, Prof. Nolue Emenanjo of the University of Port Harcourt.
‘Nigeria’s not a book-friendly country’ TERH AGBEDEH
he keynote address at this year’s edition of the annual University Press Plc Authors’ Forum, titled: ‘How Safe is the Book, Today?’ delivered by Professor Nolue Emenanjo of the University of Port Harcourt, described Nigeria as a bookless country. “Nigeria is a chronically bookless country and most Nigerians are not great lovers, great buyers, avid readers or fanatical users of books. Indeed, Nigeria is not a book-friendly country”, Prof. Emenanjo said during the presentation. He went on to provide damning statistics on the matter concluding with recommendations that included strengthening the
educational system, having a national book policy and developing capacity, among others. He ended his paper with Ray Bradbury’s quotation: “There are worse crimes then burning books, one of them is not reading them”. Held at Kakanfo Inn, Ibadan, Oyo State, on June 26, the fifth in the Authors’ Forum series, which started slightly late with the speech delivered by the Chairman, Board of Directors of the company, Dr. Lalekan Are, saying that the company had donated books worth N5 million to schools in Oyo State. “University Press, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR has donated books worth N5 million to nine secondary schools in Oyo State”, he said. He explained that the company’s intention is to establish in
the next school session Readers Clubs in the schools to put the book to good use and that the plan is to extend the programme to more schools in Oyo State and other states of the country in the nearest future. Many of the renowned publisher’s authors were in attendance, as well as members of its board of directors, to, as Dr. Are put it, “reflect on our note, as authors, to nation building. It has always been a way to celebrate ourselves, to appreciate our efforts and commitment to University Press Plc in its drive as the nation’s foremost publishers”. Prof. Emenanjo is of the Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State and has published over 100 books.
‘Prayer for Nigeria’ 2013
Female artists exhibit Prayer for Nigeria ADENRELE NIYI
rayer for Nigeria’, a visual arts exhibition by an all-female group of eminent artist will open in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, on Thursday, August 8 at The Thought Pyramid Art Gallery. The exhibiting artists are: Angela Amami-Isiuwe, Victoria Udondian, Ngozi Akande, Klaranze Okhide, Stella Awoh and Juliet Ezenwa Maja-Pearce. The theme of the exhibition is taken from one of the works by Juliet Ezenwa, also titled ‘Prayer for Nigeria’. Juliet, a graduate of Delta State University, Abraka, believes the many recent challenges that Nigeria has been facing could be solved by Nigerian women and children praying for the nation. Her inspiring work comprises of a collection of acrylic collage paintings on canvas, portraying groups of women and children deep in fervent prayer. Organiser of the Holiday Art Workshop in Abuja, Ngozi Akande is currently pursuing a PhD at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. She is secretary of the Society of Nigerian Artists, (Abuja) and also the current president of the Female Artists Association of Nigeria. Stella Awoh first set out as a fashion designer before turning to art, which she studied under Dr Bruce Onobrakpeya, the master printer. She sees herself as part of a group of artists ‘whose deep concern about the goings-on in the society form the basis for artistic expression.’ She is currently head of the Department of Fashion Design at Yaba College of Technology in Lagos.
The works Angela AmamiIsiuwe has prepared for the exhibition reflect her tertiary educational background. She trained at the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, and her works are minimalist abstractions of forms showing the influence of Ben Osagiae and Kainebe Osahenye of the Auchi style. Victoria Udondian holds a BA from the University of Uyo in Painting. Before studying painting, she worked as a tailor and fashion designer, which is reflected in her interest in textiles. She explains: “I work with used fabrics, paper, plastic bags and other recycled materials which are cut, sewn, tied, glued and re purposed to create sculptures and installations which reference textile and clothing industries in Nigeria”. Secondary School Fine Art teacher Klaranze Okhide obtained her HND from Auchi Polytechnic and a Post Graduate Diploma from the University of Abuja. She is a member of the Society of Nigerian Artists, Abuja chapter. Speaking about the impending showcase, Jeff Ajueshi who runs The Thought Pyramid Art Gallery said: “The plan is to exhibit the works of these female artists in Abuja, which has been in the pipeline for a while now. Like in most labour-intensive professions, female artists are very few; the challenges they confront in order to keep practicing their art is enormous. Each of these artists has been in the field for a good number of years and they have all shown the potential for longevity. They have also worked hard to produce and finish the works for this show”. The week-long exhibition close on Thursday, August 15.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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The ended season was massive. Did I do it alone? No, I didn’t. It’s a whole of joint efforts
Okpotu revels in Libyan deal
- MIAMI HEATS STAR, LEBRON JAMES
USA ’94 fallout: Ex-Eagles launch house campaign …Oliha’s unrealised dream AFOLABI GAMBARI
Enugu Rangers FC line-up
CAF throws Rangers out of Confed Cup EVEREST ONYEWUCHI
he Confederation of African Football (CAF) has disqualified Enugu Rangers, from this year’s Confederation Cup, for featuring junior international goalkeeper, Emmanuel Daniel, in the competition. In a letter dated July 2, 2013 and sent to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) CAF said it based its decision on “documents and letters sent by the club Shooting Stars and its Chairman”, which confirmed that “by the time the player was registered on December 24th, 2012, no agreement was found between Shooting Stars and Enugu Rangers for the player Daniel Emmanuel.” However, the League Management Company (LMC), in charge of Nigeria’s elite division, yesterday con-
…Club appeals, NFF unhappy with 3SC firmed that Daniel plays in the Glo Premier League with a valid license that recognises him as a Rangers’ player. Also yesterday, Rangers, who prevailed 1-0 on aggregate over CS Sfaxien of Tunisia to reach the mini-league phase, and is the only Nigerian club left in contention for continental honour this year, immediately set in motion the process to appeal the decision. NFF General Secretary, Barr Musa Amadu, said the Federation will give Rangers the full support in the appeal process. “We are absolutely shocked that an internal transfer matter between two clubs could snowball into a situation that will see a Nigerian club disqualified from continental competition. “We have seen the player’s con-
tract. He signed a contract to play for Shooting Stars FC between January and December 2012, and at the expiration of his contract, duly signed for Enugu Rangers. The player did not start playing for Enugu Rangers until he secured his license from the LMC in April this year. “It is also on record that the player had featured for Enugu Rangers against clubs like Heartland FC and Sunshine Stars, and even against Shooting Stars in Enugu a couple of weeks ago, without any of the clubs protesting his eligibility.” Amadu added, “The NFF and LMC will afford Enugu Rangers total support in this case and we are confident that the club will be re-instated in the competition.”
W/Cup qualifier: Malawi hires Saintfiet for Nigeria
he Flames of Malawi are simply not taking chances ahead of September’s trip to Nigeria for a winnertakes-all 2014 World Cup African Group F qualifier. The Flames have three interim highly qualified coaches, led by an African who coaches Europeans, Eddington Ng’onamo, yet the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) feel that is not enough. FAM has agreed to bring in volunteer Belgian, Tom Saintfiet, specifically for the mission to defeat Nigeria and sail through to the final qualifying round of the World
Cup qualifiers. Nigeria lead on nine points, two ahead of Malawi. “He is in Europe and has offered to help us for free. We will only take care of his expenses when he is here,” FAM chief executive officer, Suzgo Nyirenda, told Radio 2 FM on Monday. FAM president, Walter Nyamilandu, further told The Nation newspaper yesterday that Saintfiet “believes he can guide the Flames to win against Nigeria because he was coach for Ethiopia when the Super Eagles scored a last-minute equaliser to force a draw during the 2012 AFCON qualifiers.” Saintfiet
he last may not have been heard on the unfulfilled promise of a house each to members of the Super Eagles who won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 as some of players have finalised plans to seek audience with President Goodluck Jonathan to redeem their gifts. Super Eagles had surmounted obstacles to win the AFCON trophy after a 14-year wait since Nigeria first won it as host in 1980, prompting then Head of State, the late General Sani Abacha, to announce the largesse amidst joy across the nation. But only a few of the 22-member team have received their houses, nearly 20 years after. National Mirror learnt from a reliable source close to the aggrieved former internationals that a delegation would soon be appointed to meet with President Jonathan with a view to determining if there is any hope left for those who are yet to get their share of the house awards. “It is difficult to ascertain the exact number of the ex-players who have received their houses,” the source said. “But suffice it that majority are yet to receive theirs and this has accounted for the effort expended on the fresh move to redeem them. “There is no denying the fact that instability in governance in Nigeria has contributed mainly to the ex-players’ plight because had General Abacha lived beyond the 1998 World Cup finals, things would have been different; a
good number of the Eagles of 1994 still played at the France `98 finals. “The situation is worsened by the fact that only diplomacy can help them redeem the houses now as no relevant documents could be traced to sort the matter out officially.” Three of the beneficiaries, Uche Okafor, Rashidi Yekini and Thompson Oliha, passed on in 2010 and 2012 and 2013 respectively. Oliha, who died in Ilorin last Sunday, recently made a passionate plea to the Jonathan administration to ensure that justice was done to the former players, in view of the government’s policy to reward athletes who have brought honour to the country. “If this is the last thing that I will get for my contribution to the development of my country, I will at least have a positive story to tell my children,” Oliha, who was a tutor at the Kwara Football Academy, Ilorin, until his death, said. Interestingly, although current Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, and assistant, Daniel Amokachi, were among the 1994 heroes, only Amokachi got his house while Keshi has waited for luck to shine upon him. Both, however, were beneficiaries of Jonathan administration’s plots of land awarded the Eagles in February after Nigeria won the AFCON 2013 trophy in South Africa. National Mirror reported on Tuesday that unlike the yet unredeemed 1994 promise, the 2013 victorious Eagles have secured their plots located in Abuja.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Bale mak UCL choi
Neymar New Barcelona signing, Neymar, is set to undergo surgery this week. Neymar will undergo his surgery in Rio de Janeiro and a member of Barcelona’s Medical Services will be present. Barca’s teammate Jordi Alba will also undergo surgery in Catalonia. The pair will undergo tonsillectomies this Friday. Both surgeries had been delayed as the players participated in the Confederations Cup.
Chelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho, rates Oscar ahead of Spanish ace Juan Mata. The swashbuckling Mourinho is thought to prefer Oscar in the number 10 role supporting a main striker, believing the Brazilian is a more attacking threat than Mata. Only five Blues stars, Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Eden Hazard and Oscar are certain starters for the coming season.
Echiejile reveals EPL dream
Juventus top official, John Elkann, has praised Gigi Buffon for his performance at the Confederations Cup. Buffon helped Italy to a third place finish after standing up in the playoff shootout against Uruguay. “Buffon has once again proven to be a great champion,” Elkann said yesterday. “We are very proud of our captain’s performances in Brazil,” he added.
Real Madrid defender, Marcelo, is full of pride after helping Brazil win the Confederations Cup. “We have a lot of respect for the Spanish squad as they have an incredible team and to beat them 3-0 like this is to make history,” Marcelo said yesterday. What is more, it was a great thrill to play here with the support of these wonderful fans. “We have demonstrated that Brazil is returning to its rightful place, but we are not a conceited group of players and we will try to improve our performance in home games.”
Altidore AZ Alkmaar striker, Jozy Altidore, has emerged as a target for a number of clubs in Europe. The 23-year old USA international, who netted 31 goals in all competitions in Holland last season, could be on the move this summer according to reports.
Blues move to bet Cavani C
helsea has made an approach for Napoli striker, Edinson Cavani, according to reports. The in-demand Uruguay international, who was Serie A’s top scorer last season with 29 goals, has been linked with moves to Manchester City, Real Madrid and Paris St Germain as well as Stamford Bridge. City had appeared frontrunner for Cavani’s services but Napoli President, Aurelio De Laurentiis, revealed last week the side had baulked at his £54m price tag. Chelsea is also loath to meet that buy-out clause and, with Cavani anxious for an end to the uncertainty, it is understood talks between his agent and Napoli officials over his asking price will take place this week. “I want to talk as soon as possible with president De Laurentiis,” Cavani said yesterday. “We must clear this situation up ourselves. I’ll talk with him, as it’s done between men, really soon. “Right now, I’m at Napoli and I’m very proud to be there. If I leave one day, I’ll be ready to move to a bigger club. We’ll see.” Meanwhile, Napoli coach, and former interim Chelsea manager, Rafa Benitez, reiterated his stance last week that he wants Cavani to stay. “We want Cavani to stay at Napoli,” Benitez said, adding, “Cavani knows how much he is loved and how valuable he is to the city and to the team.”
uper Eagles’ defender, Elderson Echiejile, has said he wishes to move to the English Premier League amid speculations about his future. Echiejile has a year left on his contract at Portuguese club Sporting Braga, but is most likely to move this summer with several English clubs among his numerous suitors. “There are interests in the English Premier League as well as the German Bundesliga and by the weekend I would have a clearer picture of things,” he revealed. When asked his preferred destination, he said: “The EPL is where I would like to play. It’s very popular in Nigeria and most of us grew up following it. “It will really be great to take my game there and I
Samba returns to Anzhi
have spoken about the league with players like Yakubu and Mikel. They love their football in England and so the atmosphere is unbelievable.” EPL sides Fulham and Norwich City as well as VfB Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga are believed to be on the hunt for the 25-year-old left back, who has also featured for Rennes in the French top flight.
Toure arrives in Anfield
ote d’Ivoire international, Kolo Toure, yesterday completed his switch after signing a deal at Liverpool’s Melwood training ground. The former Manchester City defender is Liverpool’s fourth signing of the summer, following Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas and Simon Mignolet to Anfield. “This means a lot to me. Firstly, I’m joining one of the best clubs in England,” the 32-year-old said. “When I left City it was important for me to stay in England because it’s the best league-and to join Liverpool is massive for me. “I chose Liverpool because of the history and because of the spirit of the team and the people here.” Most of Liverpool’s squad, including Toure and fellow new signings Alberto, Aspas and Mignolet, were all back at the club’s Melwood training ground on yesterday.
PR defender, Christopher Samba, will make a shock return to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala for a fee of £12m, reports said yesterday. The defender is one of relegated Rangers’ highest earners but the club is set to recoup most of the club-record transfer fee they paid for his services in January. Djibril Cisse has already left Loftus Road as Harry Redknapp reshapes his squad for the Championship, with further high-profile names such as Loic Remy expected to follow. Samba arrived for £12.5m on a four-and-a-half deal with wages reported to be £100,000 a week - a figure that drew criticism from outsiders. The former Blackburn player endured a difficult few months at the doomed London club and later admitted that he was not ready for the rigours of the Premier League when he agreed to join the club in January. Toure
ottenham H Gareth Bal some Prem just set up to def prefers the open UEFA Champions Bale produced zling performanc walk away with vidual accolades, missed out on a four. The Welshman he loved playing i ber one club co Tottenham reach finals in 2010/11, i more excitement t football. There has been Bale could leave W this summer, wi making no secret but Tottenham ha will be no sale an ing to lead the tea Champions Leagu time. “When you pla League against a they set up to def and block you off, “But when yo Champions Leagu are used to winn so it’s more of an game, it is end-to-e While he may f to face opponents on defending, Bale score 26 goals in last season.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
NTF calls for tourney entries Maigari sure Eagles will fly over Elephants
Hotspur winger, le, has admitted ier League teams fend and says he n nature of the s League. a series of dazes last season to numerous indi, but Spurs just place in the top
has revealed that in Europe’s numompetition when hed the quarterinsisting there is than in domestic
n speculation that White Hart Lane ith Real Madrid t of its interest, as insisted there nd he will be hopam back into the ue in 12 months’
ay in the Premier lower-end team, fend all the time ” Bale said. ou play in the ue, all the teams ning every week n open attacking end.” ind it frustrating who are focused e still managed to all competitions
rospective athletes for the Korean Ambassador’s Taekwondo Team Championships slated for September 9 to 11 in Lagos have been invited to submit their entries before July 31. According to President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation and Chairman of the Main Organising Committee for the event, George Ashiru, the NTF would provide free accommodation for the first registered 200 athletes. The three-day championship, organised by the Nigeria Taekwondo Black Belt College and hosted by the Lagos State Taekwondo Association, will be preceded by a National Referee Course and Technical Conference taking place from September 2 to 5 in Lagos. Participating teams are expected to arrive on the September 7 while the championship proper will take off with an opening ceremony two days later at the Sports Hall of the
NTF boss, Ashiru
Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos where a Kukkiwon demonstration by a team from South Korea would be special attraction for the competition. Team Kyorugi (male and female), Team Poomsae (male and female), Individual Creative Poomsae (male and female) and Individual Special Skills (male and female) are some of the events on the cards. Other tournaments slated for the domestic scene include the Panamai Championships for August 19 to 25 at Oshogbo, Osun State and the Chika Chukwumerije International Taekwondo Championships in Abuja from October 10 to 12.
Deaflympic Games: NDF official launches fund appeal YEMI OLUS
ecretary-General of Nigeria Deaf Sports Federation, Mr. Lukman Agbabiaka has appealed to individuals and corporate organisations in the country to support the federation’s bid to participate in the 2013 Deaflympics Games scheduled for Sofia, Bulgaria from July 26 to August 4. Agbabiaka noted that the team had received less attention from the public, due to the athletes’ deficiencies, while lamenting that the development had crippled the federation.
“Only few kind-hearted Nigerians who feel they should impact positively through their generosity come to our aid when we request for it,” he said. “I’ve lost count of letters sent to organisations and the individuals for financial assistance but nothing came as response. I don’t think we should be treated that way because of who we are,” he added. Meanwhile, the Secretary-General has promised not to relent in his effort to ensure that the federation gets necessary attention, even as he also appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to respond to their yearning.
Pastor Kemi Odukoya (r) presenting a trophy to the captain of Church 3:16, winners of the Daniel’s Cup Football Competition, Ezekiel Sekoni, at the final in Lagos recently. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI
resident of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, has expressed confidence in the ability of the home-based professionals to fly gloriously over the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in Saturday’s 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier in Kaduna. Maigari presently at the FIFA U-20 World Cup finals in Turkey, assured that he would be in Nigeria before Saturday to lead the cheer for the homebased Eagles at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium. “I have very high confidence
in the ability of the home-based professionals to acquit themselves well against the Ivorians. They have been part of Coach Stephen Keshi’s rebuilding for almost two years now and most of them have enjoyed opportunities to play against some of the biggest teams in Africa and the world. “Come Saturday, I know they will go all out and give their very best, and make Nigeria proud,” the NFF boss said. The Eagles depart Abuja for Kaduna later today, to continue their build-up towards the match.
Milo B’ball: St. Jude, Yejide, GSS Minna get wins AFOLABI GAMBARI
t. Jude Girls Secondary School, Bayelsa State, Yejide Girls Grammar School, Oyo State and Government Secondary School, Minna, Niger State won their matches yesterday as the Nestle Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championship dunked of at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos. The competition sanctioned by the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) saw St. Jude Girls Secondary School defeat Government Secondary School Gboko, Benue State by 24-16 points in the opening game of the day. Yejide Girls Grammar School also breezed past Ahmadiyya College, Kano, Kano
State 34-11points to record their first victory in the grassroots tournament. In the boys’ category, International School, Rivers State University of Science and Technology were out-dunked
34-29 by Government Secondary School, Minna, Niger State. The one-week competition, which attracted a large crowd of spectators yesterday continues today and will end at the weekend.
Murray fancies trophy triumph
orld number two, Andy Murray, insists he is in the perfect frame of mind as he prepares for what may be his best chance to win a Wimbledon title. Murray is bidding to become the first British man to lift the men’s singles title at the Championships in more than 77 years and knows that expectation is building throughout the nation. On paper he would appear to have a straightforward route to Sunday’s final, beginning with a quarter-final against the unseeded Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday. Losing to Roger Federer in last year’s Wimbledon final provoked a tearful response from Murray. But, after winning the US Open and an Olympic gold at Wimbledon last year, Murray has appeared increasingly in command of his emotions both on and off court. “There’s always pressure coming into this event and it builds with each match,” Murray said. “But I’ve dealt with it well over my career. I’ve played well at Wimbledon. It’s been consistently my best slam over the course of my career.
“I work extremely hard to give myself the best chance to do well here.” This year’s tournament will be remembered for the incredible number of upsets, culminating in Serena Williams’ shock exit on Monday.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Nigeria Premier Nig League with
IIKENWA NNABUOGOR email@example.com Latest Transfers
Okpotu revels in Libyan deal L obi Stars’ striker Tony Okpotu says he’s delighted to kick off his professional career with a deal at Libyan giants Al-Ittihad. The home-based Super Eagles invitee to 2014 CHAN qualifiers, inked a three-year contract with the Tripoli side last week. Okpotu finally got his pro career off the ground after failing to land a deal in Norway at Brann late last season. The young striker was touted as a replacement for Nigerian striker Kim Ojo, who departed Brann for Belgian side RC Genk. The 19-year old ace says he’s targeting a goal-filled season at
his new club to attract European clubs to prise him away. “It’s the dream of every player to play abroad and I’m delighted that I have come on board and I want to say that I will give it all my best shot,” Okpotu said. “My target is to play one season and then move to Europe because I believe I still got a lot to prove in the big stage.” Okpotu would later be dropped for El Kanemi’s Haruna Babalo following his recent move to the North African country as the championship is only meant for players playing in the African continent. But Okpotu told National Mirror
that in as much as he was disappointed for his replacement he was happy that he finally moved abroad. “Everything happens for a reason and I thank God for everything. That’s a huge sign that I still got a lot to achieve in future,” he reasons. “In truth, I was looking forward to proving myself at CHAN but God has better plans for me as He designed my signing my first pro deal to coincide with the CHAN invite. “I wish my colleagues the best as they are set to qualify the country for the first ever CHAN having failed to represent Nigeria in the last two editions.”
Pillars in tricky date, Wolves ready to pounce
s the Glo NPFL league resumes for its Week 20 fixtures across the country today after a twoweek recess, leaders and first round champions, Kano Pillars, are locked in a witty battle on the road in Maiduguri to hosts El-Kanemi Warriors as they look set to retain their summit position. Pillars, on the summit with 36 points, face El-Kanemi in the desert battle and will only take something extra ordinary in the defending champions to wrestle down the Warriors, who are yet to drop a point before their home fans. Warriors, sitting precariously at the foot of the log with just five points better than the rock bottom club Sharks, will have to continue to break down the big guns having sent back big contenders like Rangers and Heartland in the first round. Pillars have also been boosted with the arrival of 3SC stars Philip Asuquo and
Tony Ejomarigwe but it still appears a mountain to climb for the defending champions. Second placed Warri Wolves are also on the road; visiting 11th placed Sunshine Stars and could as well cash in on Pillars’ herculean task in Maiduguri to take summit position should they come away with an outright victory at the Dipo Dina International Stadium, Ijebu Ode. Wolves, with a mouth-watering plus 13 goal aggregate, will be hard pressed to continue their impressive away form, having claimed two away victories in their last five games. Also on strong contention for the league title are the third-placed Kwara United, who are also on a road trip to troubled 3SC. The Afonja Warriors, on 32 points, have also shown good character away, but will surely face a tough one in Ibadan. 3SC are without their key players – Super Eagles invitees Philip
Asuquo and Tony Ejomarigwe – who have switched allegiances to Pillars during the transfer window. 3SC have struggled in their last five games before the recess but will just have to start to get their acts together with a win in this fixture. A win at home will only improve their standing in the log. The most interesting battle in the fixtures pits the two biggest Eastern club Heartland and Enyimba in Owerri tomorrow. Heartland, erstwhile league leaders, currently on fifth place, host arch rivals in the oriental war which looks promising for the Naze Millionaires. The hosts boost some of the best players in the league this season and will try to compound Enyimba’s woes with a victory. On the other hand, Enyimba, placed on half salary following their dismal performance this season, will be at the best to prevent a defeat.
Week 20 Fixtures Today Shooting Stars SC
El Kanemi Warriors
Tomorrow Enugu Rangers
Foreigners invade Glo League
host of foreign players were captured in the transfer window that opened when the season went on break two weeks ago, with newly-promoted Bayelsa United bolstering their squad with the signing of four foreigners. The 2009 league champions completed the signing of two Malians - central midfielder Oumar Diakite and striker Yacouba Sango, from an unnamed Malian club. Details of the transfers remained sketchy but National Mirror learnt that the new acquisitions have arrived their Yenagoa base as the second round kicks off today. It is however yet unknown if the clearance papers of the two players have come through. Another foreigner arriving at Bayelsa United is former Gabros’ Liberian playmaker Diaz Williams,
Eric Frimpong (left)
who has been given a lifeline to knock his fast fading career back into shape. Williams was one of the most sought after players in the NPFL five seasons ago but failed to live up to expectations after a move to Enyimba. He would go into oblivion after attempts to re-launch his career in Europe and the MLS in the US hit the rocks. Also retracing his steps to Nigeria is Ghanaian youngster Eric Frimpong, who signed for Bayelsa United after stints at Tunisian sides – Etoile du Sahel and Hamman Lif. Eric, the kid brother of former Enyimba striker, Joetex, returned to have a taste of the local league after his superlative performance at Niger Tornadoes few years back attracted the attention of Etoile du Sahel officials
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance With the establishment of the NHF 21 years ago, like a child, it should have become an adult, having reached the age of puberty, and be eligible to vote and be voted for, and ready to take on responsibility for building his or her own family. Unfortunately, the high hopes enshrined in the NHF Act have not all been realised.
Chairman, Board of Directors, FMBN, Bisi Ogunjobi
CBN bemoans N11.7bn spent yearly on tomato paste imports TOLA AKINMUTIMI
he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday expressed concern on whooping N11.7 billion spent on processed tomato paste on a yearly basis and canvassed urgent reversal of the ugly trend in the overall interest of the domestic economy. Expressing the apex bank’s worries over the unbridled importation of the commodity, amongst other items, the Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi stressed that such a huge sum of money could better be invested to grow the commodity locally. Sanusi, who made the observation in his welcome address at a one day stakeholders Forum on,’’Partnering to build a competitive Tomato Industry in Nigeria’’, in Abuja said that the simple reason for this situation was largely due to the dys-functional agricultural value chain system in the country. He pointed out this resulted in about 50 percent of the tomato produced in the country being lost to lack of preservation, poor marketing distribution and access to markets. Represented by the DeputyGovernor, Economic Policy of the Bank, Dr. Sarah Alade, Sa-
nusi said globally Nigeria remained the 14th largest producer of tomatoes and second only to Egypt in Africa at 1.51 million metric tonnes valued N87.0 billion with a cultivated area of 254,430 hectares. He said: “It is worrisome that as at today, Nigeria imports 65,809 tons of processed tomato paste valued at N11.7 billion annually. “It is on this premise that the CBN intervened with programmes such as the N200 billion Commercial Agricultural Lending --NIRSAL, to support
the Federal government of Nigeria’s Agricultural transformation Agenda--ATA”, he added. According to him, the initiatives are being implemented to improve access to finance by the agri-business at single digit interest rate and as part of commitment towards revolutionalizing the sector. He explained that the N200 billion Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme has disbursed a total sum of N199.25 billion to 270 projects since inception, including 30 State Government projects ,the SME Restructuring
No extension of time has been given and we have given directive to all operators to disconnect all unregistered SIM cards. EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN, NIGERIAN COMMINICATION COMMISSION, EUGENE JUWAH
and Refinancing Fund--SMERRF disbursed, N235.00 billion to 535 projects also. On what he thinks is the way forward to save the huge foreign exchange losses on tomato imports, Sanusi said in building a competitive tomato industry in Nigeria, developing successful and effective partnership among stakeholders has now become very essential. He stressed that the forum was therefore organised to focus on strengthening Nigeria’s tomato industry through partnership even as he charged the forum to forge effective partnerships to address the constraints militating against Nigeria’s full exploitation of the gains of the tomato industry.
he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has deferred the implementation of Cashless Policy charges on lodgments and withdrawals in Federal Capi-
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L-R: Chairman, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Chief Bisi Ogunjobi; Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Amma Pepple and Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Gimba Kumo, during a Sensitisation Workshop on the National Housing Fund in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
Cashless policy: CBN defers charges till October UDO ONYEKA
tal Territory (Abuja), Abia, Anambra, Kano, Ogun and Rivers states so as to allow customers adjust to the new policy. According to notices issued to customers by some banks operating in the country to their customers, the CBN took such a step to make room for a seamless transition to a cashless economy. It would be recalled that the CBN last Mon-
day extended the cashless policy to other other states such as Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), Abia, Anambra, Kano, Ogun and Rivers states. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), cashless policy was introduced with a pilot scheme in Lagos in January 2012. Following the extension of cashless policy to six more locations, banks
NIMASA writes FG over NLNG’s refusal to pay shipping levy
have been sending messages to their customers in accordance with the CBN directive. According to the CBN what happens in the new locations will be a replication of what is happening in Lagos, where Cash In Transit (CIT) and cash pick up services are longer been provided by banks. Only licensed CIT companies are allowed to provide
FG begins implementation of Backward Integration Policy in sugar industry
these services. “Also all third party cheques above N150, 000 shall not be eligible for encashment across the counter. They will be paid into an account to receive value through the clearing house. The maximum daily cumulative cash withdrawals and deposit transactions for both Individual and corporate accounts would be N500, 000 and N3, 000,000 respectively.
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Lagos set to become major oil producing state in Gulf of Guinea
NIMASA writes FG over NLNG’s refusal to pay shipping levy FRANCIS EZEM
xpectations that the ongoing feud between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited over the latter’s refusal to pay shipping levies might soon be settled amicable became slim as NIMASA wrote the Federal Government, insisting it is discharging its statutory responsibility. The agency had last week foreclosed the possibility of vacating the blockage placed on its gas export operations with the attendant detention of two of its vessels since June 21, 2013 until all the statutory fees were paid including the arrears.
The letter dated June 25, 2013 and addressed to the Attorney General of the Federation and copies sent to the Presidency, National Assembly, Federal Ministry of Transport, National Security Adviser and Chief of Defence Staff, among others by Mike Igbokwe SAN & Co, legal advisers to the agency was in response to an earlier letter to the Attorney General in which NLNG alleged that NIMASA breached a court order. According to the letter signed by Mr. Mike Igbokwe SAN, senior partner of the firm, NIMASA is not aware of any court orders as defendants in the suit instituted by the NLNG are the Attorney General and Global West Vessel Specialists Nigeria Limited, adding that no summons were served on the agency. While describing as false
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
and misleading claims by the NLNG, the NIMASA legal adviser observed that the attorney general was not joined in the suit as a representative of NIMASA or to defend NIMASA in a representative capacity. He had also argued that NIMASA was not mentioned anywhere in the title of the suit nor was the Attorney General nor the second defendant mentioned in the suit as an agent or a servant of NIMASA. “Indeed by section 3(2) of the NIMASA Act, 2007, our client is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal capable of being sued and of suing in its corporate name which gives it a separate and distinct identity and capacity from your office”, the letter had insisted. The Senior Advocate had also noted that it is therefore preposterous for the NLNG to argue that an action against the office of the attorney general is automatically an action against NIMASA.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
First Bank , UNICEF partner on mobile payment DAMILOLA AJAYI
irst Bank of Nigeria Limited is partnering with the United Nations Children Education Fund Health Scheme in its payment disbursement plans to ensure that stipends get to recipients securely and conveniently irrespective of their locations. The partnership will see FirstMonie, the mobile money payment solution of FirstBank support the UNICEF Health Scheme Initiative through its payment disbursement services and redemption related issues to its Volunteer Community Mobilisers (VCMs) as well as their consultants across the nation. A statement from the bank
Cyberoam appoints Mart Networks as Nigerian distributor KUNLE A ZEEZ
yberoam, the leading global network security appliances company, today announced the appointment of Mart Networks as distributor in Nigeria. The company is already Cyberoam distributor in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. While Cyberoam presence is already well established in the region, the appointment is aimed towards moving to the next level of growth. In a statement yesterday, Cyberroam said the markets in NiL-R: Marketing Manager Chemical & Allied Products Plc, Mr. Dominic Oladeji; Managing Director, Mrs. Omolara Elemide; Managing Director Wow Road Shows Limited, Mr. Tokunbo Odebunmi and Brand Man- geria were at a point where busiager, Miss. Omole Imosemi; during the flag-off of the second phase of the Dulux Mobile Room Make-Over nesses look for futuristic solutions Activation in Lagos, recently. that can keep up with the pace of changes in security industry.
FAAN, AIC Hotels at war again over airport land OLUSEGUN KOIKI
ell was almost let loose yesterday at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos as officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, led by the Chief Security officer, Col. Carl Dalub Onalu (rtd) pulled down the controversial piece of land being claimed by FAAN and one of its concessionaires, AIC Hotel Limited owned by the business mogul, Chief Harry Akande. The duo are in battle over a large parcel of land the latter wants to use for construction of a five-star hotel around the airport. While FAAN is insisting that the land in question belongs to it by the virtue of a Federal High Court judgement AIC says the court never ordered the agency
to take over the parcel of land immediately. At the airport, FAAN had bulldozed their way into the barricaded land, pulled down the gates and commenced clearing of the land with two tractors and its personnel. However, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati denied that FAAN officials attacked the concessionaire, rather, said that the officials were on the site to ensure security of the place. He insisted that the land had returned to the agency and FAAN would do everything possible to protect its property. He said, “Our staff were trying to sanitise and clear the area when they were attacked by thugs. We want to ensure that security is ensured at the terminal. The terminal is a secured area and when
people want to invade the land illegally, the security officials have the right to prevent that. “The law should be allowed to take its course and we waited for the judicial announcement and the next thing is for us to clear the place until there is a contrary order. That is the law. An appeal is not a judgement and I think we should be more civilised in our conducts.” But, the General Manager, AIC Hotels Ltd, Chief Niyi Akande, described the action of the agency as illegal especially when the company had appealed the Federal High Court judgement on the matter. Akande claimed that FAAN did not obey the judiciary, which ought to be the last hope of the people, insisting that land matters is not in the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts.
yesterday said Firstmonie enables a subscriber send and receive money, pay bills, buy airtime, and make sundry purchases in Nigeria without owning a bank account. The statement quoted the bank’s Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, FirstBank, Mrs. Folake AniMumuney, as saying that FirstMonie platform which facilitates the entry of the unbanked and under-banked population into the financial system offers an excellent medium for UNICEF to disburse funds securely to beneficiaries across the nation. “FirstMonie is open to subscribers of MTN, Airtel, Glo and Etisalat across the nation and registration is initiated by dialing *894# or visiting their website and following the prompts”, she said.
It stated that Mart Networks, as a distributor, will empower the existing channel through training, technical support and logistics support to better serve the highly potent Nigerian market. “With presence in more than 125 countries worldwide, Cyberoam is the only UTM that specifically caters to a critical need of enterprises – identifying users in the network – which makes it, stand out in the competitive UTM market across the globe. “The unique capabilities and comprehensive security of Cyberoam has already seen it successfully ensconced in the region and now Cyberoam is all set to strengthen its existing relationship with customers and, lead the market as the most preferred UTM solution.”
SME owners laud Diamond Bank over loan facility UDO ONYEKA
ntrepreneurs from the Middle-Belt region of Nigeria have applauded Diamond Bank Plc for constantly encouraging and supporting them with soft loan facilities to improve their businesses. According to a statement from the bank the accolade was given at a one day Business Xpress Enterprise series seminar organized by the bank for its small and medium scale business owners in Jos and other states in the Middle -Belt region. The participants also commended the approach of the bank in educating them on how they should manage their finances. Managing Director, NENMAC Ideal Quality Base Limited, Micheal Dachom, one of the partici-
pants at the event described Diamond Bank as a business friendly bank that the business community in Plateau could do business with at all times. He encouraged other banks to “emulate Diamond Bank in giving facilities to owners of small and medium scale businesses in the zone to encourage business boom in the area. If a small and medium scale business concern begins to make head way in the economy, more jobs will be created for the unemployed youths in the country.” Speaking at the event, Head, MSME Propositions, Diamond Bank, Mr. Chima Nnadozie said “this seminar is part of the non financial services which is included in the Diamond Bank plans for MSMEs. The aim of the seminar is to help build the managerial capacity of the MSME customers .
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Local scientists partner NEITI on metering infrastructure
FG begins implementation of Backward Integration Policy in sugar industry OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
he Federal Government, on Tuesday, commenced the implementation of the Backward Integration Policy (BIP) in the sugar industry with the official signing off on the BIP plans and projects by three major sugar refineries in Nigeria. The event, which was chaired by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, was attended by representatives of Dangote Sugar Refinery, BUA Group, Golden Sugar Refinery, the Ministries of Health, National Planning and the Nigerian Customs Service, among others. The Federal Executive Council had on October 19, 2012, approved the Nigerian National Sugar Masterplan. The NSMP is expected to generate about 170,000
new jobs across the country, ensure self sufficiency in sugar production, and conserve about $350million annually in foreign exchange. According to the plan, the sugar industry is also expected to produce about 1,797,000 tons of the commodity annually, while about 161.2 million litres of ethanol to be produced will generate 400 MW of electricity, among others. Speaking during the signing off ceremony in Abuja, Aganga said the event marked the beginning of the nation’s journey towards sound industrialisation, in line with the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan. He said, “Today marks the historic beginning of the journey towards our nation’s industrial revolution, which is based on the areas where we have competitive and comparative advantage.
“Today is the demonstration that the implementation of the Backward Integration Policy in the Sugar industry, which is a critical part of National Sugar Master Plan, has started.” The minister, who commended the sugar refiners for keying into the new Sugar Master Plan, said the Federal Government was committed to implementing the policy in a fair, transparent and mutually beneficial manner. He said, “I am particularly delighted that since the new sugar policy was announced, we have been encouraged by the commitment of sugar refiners towards supporting the implementation of the policy. For instance, the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has made some pronouncements on the company’s intention to invest about $2bn to produce about 1.5m metric tons of
sugar. “Currently, they are discussing with Adamawa, Kogi, Kebbi, Sokoto and Taraba. If this is successfully implemented, you will be amazed by the level of economic transformation that will take place in these states. Similarly, Golden Sugar Refinery plans to produce about 30 metric tons of sugar from about 13, 500 hectares of land in Niger state with an investment of close to N50bn. He added, “I want to commend the sugar refiners – Dangote Group, BUA Group and the Golden Sugar Refinery – that have shown commitment to this country by supporting the Backward Integration Policy. Each one of them have prepared their Backward Integration Plans which I know was not easy to do but they have done it as a way of demonstrating their commitment.
he Nigerian Academy of Science has said will come to the aid of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to find solutions to the issue of measurement of Nigeria crude through evidence based research on introduction of metering infrastructure in the oil and gas industry. NEITI’s Director of Communications, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji in a statement said the President of the Academy, Professor Oyewale Tomori made the pledge in Abuja when he led the Academy on a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed. According to the statement, Tomori noted that NEITI’s persistent concern through its Audit Report that there is no reliable scientific mechanism to measure the quantity of crude produced in Nigeria, is a national issue that requires the intervention of Nigerian Academy of Science. The Academy, which is made
up of renowned scientists from major fields of natural, physical, applied and environmental sciences has promised to mobilise its members to carry out an in-depth research in collaboration with NEITI. The goal of the Academy will be to come out with a scientific mechanism that will introduce a metering regime to guarantee that Nigeria’s crude being extracted by companies are adequately measured to check the continued loss of revenue. Professor Tomori said that the decision to collaborate with NEITI is as a result of exceptional demonstration of courage, integrity, knowledge and professionalism by the Agency that has earned it international recognition. He explained that the Nigerian Academy of Science is proud over the recent award to Nigeria through the work of NEITI as the best extractive industries transparency implementing country out of 50 countries at the global conference of EITI in Sydney, Australia.
Australia, Canada, World Bank to support Nigeria’s mining sector TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
ustralia, Canada, and the World Bank yesterday launched a two-year programme to support Nigeria’s mineral sector in an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable way. A statement on the initiative by the Country Office of the World Bank in Abuja yesterdat indicated that the Australian Government’s support will help identify mineral resource corridors; improve education and training
for mining sector employment; update the fiscal regime for mining; formulate an artisanal and Smallscale Mining strategy; and review the strategy for MidTier Mine Operators. In addition to supporting the mining infrastructure planning, the Canadian Government’s support is expected to contribute to strengthen the consolidated strategy for sustained mineral sector development in Nigeria, finalize sector specific environmental and social regulations, upgrade the geosciences research laboratory to serve
the industry, and increase the opportunities for gender equality in the mining sector. The release quoted Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country for Nigeria, as saying that “contributions from mining as a percentage of GDP in mining rich countries are usually between two and eight percent”, adding that “in Nigeria, the contributions are still low at 0.15 percent but Nigeria has done well to reinvigorate the sector following the first five years of its SMMRP supported reform”
British Airways introduces hi-tech bag tag OLUSEGUN KOIKI
ritish Airways would soon begin a new electronic bag tag that could do away with the need to have a new paper tag every time you fly. In a statement, the airline said once checked in, customers just need to hold their smartphone over the electronic tag, which automatically updates with a unique barcode containing their flight details and an easy-to-see view of their bag’s destination.
It said the technology does not require a paper tag to be printed and attached as customers can save precious time by having their electronic tag quickly scanned at the bag drop, going straight through security to relax before catching their flight. “It is intended that the patent-pending hi-tech tag can be used time and time again.” British Airways Managing Director, Brands and Customer Experience, Frank van der Post said: “This is a fantastically sim-
ple, yet smart device that gives each customer the choice to have their own personalised electronic baggage tag that changes with the swipe of a smartphone – every time they fly. “As the saying goes, ‘good things come in small packages’, and this innovative device is no exception. Along with other initiatives we are investing in, we believe it has the potential to revolutionise the way our customers check in and pass through every airport around the world in the future.”
TENDER NOTICE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA ON BEHALF OF DMO NIGERIAN TREASURY BILLS Notice is hereby given by the Central Bank of Nigeria on behalf of DMO that the Federal Government of Nigeria Treasury Bills of 91 and 182day tenors amounting to N20,159,210,000 and N54,403,148,000, respectively would be issued by Dutch auction on Thursday, July 11, 2013. All Money Market Dealers should submit bids through the CBN TEMENOS INTERNET BANKING between 9.00a.m and 11.00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Each bid must be in multiple of N1, 000 subject to a minimum of N10, 000. Authorized Money Market Dealers are allowed to submit multiple bids. A bid may be for authorized Money Market Dealers own account, Non – Money Market Dealers or interested members of the public. The result of the auction would be announced by 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 10, 2013. The Bank reserves the right to reject any bid. Allotment letters would be issued for successful bids on Thursday, July 11, 2013, while payment for the successful bids should be made to your account with Central Bank of Nigeria not later than 11.00am on Thursday, July 10, 2013. The Bank reserves the right to vary the amount on offer in line with market realities prevailing as at the period of auction of the Nigerian Treasury bills. GOVERNMENT SECURITIES OFFICE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA ABUJA.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
NEW DISCOVERY IN GULF OF GUINEA
Lagos set to become major oil producing state W
hen an indigenous outfit, Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company Limited declared that its Aje field was in custody of commercial oil reserves, many people did not believe that Lagos was at the verge of becoming a major producer for at least a reason. First, oil exploration was also at the early stage in the state. Second, Aje is a marginal field which reserves are not expected to be extraordinary in nature. Specifically, Aje is expected to produce between 50,000 and 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) a day. Investigations showed that the oil firm has moved from one stage to another in the process of exploration and production of crude oil in the nation. For instance, from June 1992, when Oil Prospecting License, OPL 309 was granted to the company as a Sole Risk Contract under the Nigerian Government’s Indigenous Allocation Programme to 1998 when the OPL was converted to OML 113, a lot have taken place. For instance, the field is defined by high quality 3D seismic data and two wells (Aje1 and Aje2), were drilled in 1996 and 1997 respectively. In 2005, Aje 3 vertical appraisal well was drilled in approximately 3000ft water depth before encountering an oil and gas bearing column. Further drilling of Aje 4 in 2008 showed that the field contains an extensive reservoir structure, thus raising hope on the commercial prospect of the OML which Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum has 60 per cent equity, leaving 40 per cent to others, including Vitol Exploration Nigeria, Panoro Energy, Energy Equity Resources and Jacka Resources. While the oil firm and its partners continue to develop the OML, Optimum Petroleum and its partners last week made it known that it has recorded a major oil find on OML130, offshore Lagos. The firm stated that the high impact Ogo-1 well located on the OPL 310 licence offshore Nigeria has discovered a significant light oil accumulation, based on the results of drilling and wireline logs. It maintained that the Ogo-1 well was drilled to a total measured depth of 10,518 ft (10,402 ft true vertical depth subsea), before encountering a gross hydrocarbon section of 524 ft, with 216 ft of net stacked pay. The firm maintained that: “The well was targeting 78 mmboe of gross P50 prospective resources, but based on evidence to date; targeted resources are likely to be significantly in excess of previous estimates. Further evaluation using wireline log analysis is currently underway prior to extending the well to a total measured depth of 11,800 ft
Lagos has, for many years, been known as the commercial capital of the nation. But with the success of recent offshore campaigns by Yinka Folawiyo and Optimum Petroleum and partners, UDEME AKPAN reports that the state will likely evolve into a major oil producer in the next few years. (11,684 ft true vertical depth subsea) to target further high potential zones. It added that the Ogo-1 discovery, testing a four-way dip-closed structure in the Turonian, Cenomanian, and Albian sandstone reservoirs, confirms the extension of the same Cretaceous sandstones that have yielded other significant discoveries along the West African Transform Margin. The firm also stated that: “Following the completion of drilling operations at Ogo-1, the partners intend to drill a planned side-track, Ogo-1 ST, which will test a new play of stratigraphically trapped sediments that pinch-out onto the basement high targeting 124 mmboe of gross P50 prospective resources.” The Chief Executive, Mr. Osman Shahenshah remarked that: “The discovery of oil in the Ogo-1 well opens up a new oil basin in an under-explored region and represents a possible extension of the West African Transform Margin. Based on evidence to date, targeted resources are likely to be significantly in
excess of previous estimates, with some high-potential zones still to be drilled. We look forward to working with our Partners to realise the full potential of Ogo and our additional prospects on the license.” He stated that: “The Ogo-1 exploration success follows a series of recent discoveries, Okoro Field Extension, Ebok North Fault Block and Okwok in Nigeria and Simrit-2 and Simrit-3 on the Ain Sifni Block in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.” From all indications, the latest exploit will go a long way to changing the status of Lagos from commercial capital to a major oil and gas destination in the gulf of Guinea. This hope is fuelled by its strategic location and success of other operators in the same zone. A major partner in the Oil Prospecting Lease, OPL 310, Afren Plc disclosed over the weekend that the block is strategically located in an under explored zone with a high possibility to deliver commercial crude oil reserves.
AJE IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE BETWEEN
50,000 AND 80,000 BARRELS OF OIL
EQUIVALENT (BOE) A
DAY. INVESTIGATIONS SHOWED THAT THE OIL FIRM HAS MOVED FROM ONE STAGE TO ANOTHER IN THE PROCESS OF EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION OF CRUDE OIL IN THE NATION It maintained that the OPL lies in the terrain that has already yielded significant discoveries in neighboring countries such as Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. The firm which has 22.86 per cent participating interest and 40 per cent economic interest in the block CONTINUED ON PAGE 36
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Lagos set to become major oil producing state CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 stated that: “OPL 310 is located in the Upper Cretaceous fairway that runs along the West African Transform Margin and lies close to the Aje field, which has been declared commercial. It stated that extending from the shallow water continental shelf to deep water; the block represents an exploration opportunity in an underexplored basin with a proven working hydrocarbon system in close proximity to the Tano Basin. Afren stressed that: “Detailed evaluation of the block has identified several prospects lying in the same Turonian, Cenomanian and Albian sandstone intervals that have yielded significant discoveries in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. The firm which explained that the commercial terms of a farm-out agreement which paved the way for the exploration of the block stated that: “On 14 May 2013, Afren completed a farm-out agreement with Lekoil (subject to Nigerian Ministerial Consent), in respect of a 17.14per cent participating interest in the OPL 310 licence.” Afren which explained the terms of the farm out which culminated in the exploration stated that it will receive a total carry of up to $50 million in respect of an exploration well currently being drilled at the Ogo prospect and a planned sidetrack well. It stated that Optimum Petroleum will continue to hold a 60per cent participating interest, with Afren providing technical assistance to Optimum in respect of Optimum’s obligations under a Technical Assistance Agreement. The firm stated that Afren will hold a 22.86per cent participating interest and 40per cent economic interest once Afren and Optimum achieve cost recovery. Last week, the firm made public the high impact Ogo-1 well located on the OPL 310 licence offshore Nigeria has
IT IS ALSO EXPECTED TO CULMINATE IN THE PROVISION OF MORE AMENITIES THROUGH THE
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, CSR OF OPERATORS IN THE STATE discovered a significant light oil accumulation, based on the results of drilling and wireline logs.
It stated that Ogo-1 well has been drilled to a total measured depth of 10,518 ft (10,402 ft true vertical depth subsea),
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
and has encountered a gross hydrocarbon section of 524 ft, with 216 ft of net stacked pay. The well was targeting 78 mmboe of gross P50 prospective resources, but based on evidence to date; targeted resources are likely to be significantly in excess of previous estimates. Further evaluation using wireline log analysis is currently underway prior to extending the well to a total measured depth of 11,800 ft (11,684 ft true vertical depth subsea) to target further high potential zones. The Ogo-1 discovery, testing a four-way dip-closed structure in the Turonian, Cenomanian, and Albian sandstone reservoirs, confirms the extension of the same Cretaceous sandstones that have yielded other significant discoveries along the West African Transform Margin. Following the completion of drilling operations at Ogo-1, the Partners intend to drill a planned side-track, Ogo-1 ST, which will test a new play of stratigraphically trapped sediments that pinch-out onto the basement high targeting 124 mmboe of gross P50 prospective resources. Meanwhile, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has started studies aimed at ascertaining the quality and commercial nature of the oil find. A source in the Department stated in a telephone interview that: “We have been informed of the development. In the next few weeks, we should be in a position to ascertain the quality and authenticity of the find.” Indeed, the development is good news to the government and people of Lagos for some reasons. First, it is also expected to culminate in the provision of more amenities through the Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR of operators in the State. Second, it will also assist to attract additional financial allocation from the Federation Account to the State. However, the Executive Director of Spaces for Change, Mrs. Victoria IbezimOhaeri and others who spoke with National Mirror stated that there is a need for emerging oil and gas states, including Anambra and Lagos to put in measures to tackle the negative impact of petroleum but also develop projects and programmes capable of making positive impact on the people.
India to invest $2bn in Nigeria oil blocks
ndian State Hydrocarbon Company, ONGC is to spend up to $2 billion in acquiring 25- 30per cent stake in four blocks, one of which contains a small sized producing field, in Nigeria’s Niger Delta Basin. The crown jewel of the proposed acquisition is the Okwuibome 2 Field, located in the 369 km Oil Mining Lease (OML 143) in the east of the country. It was put on production in 2011 and it delivers 8,000BOPD from four wells. The Okwuibome producing facility included 25,000 bpd flowstation and a 23km pipeline to jetties located on the mouth of the Ase River, from which small barges transport the crude to larger tankers en route to an FPSO. The oil is sold to energy trader Vitol Group. ONGC was conducting due diligence on the blocks, as of the time of our going to press, after signing a confidentiality agreement with Sterling
Energy and Exploration Production Company (SNEPCO), a privately held Indian firm that operates the blocks. SEEPCO is working up another field, Anieze. SNEPCO has worked up other fields close to production. The company’s 2012 to 2016 strategic plan sees Anieze field, located north of Okwuibome, coming to production in 2013, although that no longer looks likely. Funds from the ONGC farm in deal should help SNEPCO to return to Awgu field in Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 277, located south of Addax operated OML124. The company has drilled three wells, but the Field Development Scenario indicates facilities that would be too expensive for the anticipated production. “Discussions are ongoing with Addax”, say officials at the NNPC, the Nigerian state hydrocarbon company. The company’s remaining two blocks,
including Oil Prospecting Leases (OPLs) 2005 and 2006, are exploratory tracts, although there’s an undeveloped discovery Elebele Creek 1, by a previous operator, in OPL 2005. There is one tendency highlighted by SEEPCO’s deal with ONGC. The transaction contrasts the fact that Indian companies are some of the least aggressive among Asian E&P companies, who have been generally on asset buying binge all over the planet in the last decade. SNEPCO is reaping the reward of a fast track programme (by Nigerian standards), which ensured first oil five years after signing PSC with the government. Most companies who won blocks in the country’s series of auctions between 2005 and 2007 haven’t made it to first oil. Indeed, other Indian companies which won Nigerian assets around the same time: Essar group, Oil India Ltd and ONGC itself are still working up their
properties at various stages of development. Irish independent Petroceltic is replacing the $300 million bridge facility Iprovided by HSBC with a financing agreement for up to $500 million with a syndicate of international banks including HSBC, , Nedbank and Standard Chartered Bank and the International Finance Corporation. The 300MM bridge facility was taken in 2012 to support the merger with Melrose Resources plc. Petroceltic is focused on North Africa (Egypt and Algeria), the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The Financing has two tranches: Tranche A is a revolving senior Reserve Based Lending (“RBL”) Tranche of up to $375MM; Tranche B is a Development Financing Tranche of up to $125m. Both Tranches have an initial five year term, however are extendable by two years, subject to lender consent.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
OPEC daily basket price rises to $100.78 per barrel STORIES BY UDEME AKPAN
he price of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC basket of 12 crudes has risen from $100.37 to $100.78 dollars per barrel, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). This has raised hope for the generation of adequate foreign exchange needed to execute yearly budgets in oil producing nations; including Nigeria. Although other nations may generate more funds, Nigeria may not as indications showed that total output has declined as a result of frequent oil theft, illegal bunkering, illegal refineries and rising insecurity. The President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Goodie Ibru said in a statement at the weekend that the government may have it difficult to finance the nation’s N4.987 trillion 2013 budget as the government has recorded an estimated daily shortfall of N10.7 billion ($69 million). The budget designed to further enhance the country’s macro-economic gains of the recent years and create an atmosphere for Nigerians to benefit from these gains through programmes to improve living standards and job creation was based on variables major variables.
These included 2.526 million barrels per day crude oil and condensate production, $79 price per barrel, N858.588 billion Joint-Venture Cash Call, exchange rate of N160 per dollar and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) target growth rate of 6.5per cent. Unfortunately, some of the variables have not been obtainable. For instance, the nation is said to be producing about 1.85 million barrels per day against the budget target of 2.526 million barrels, including condensates. He stated that: “At an output level of 1.85 million against the budgeted 2.54 million barrels, Nigeria currently records an estimated shortfall of N10.7 billion ($69 million) daily due to oil theft, bunkering, illegal refineries and rising spate of insecurity. Ibru maintained that: “The domestic and international issues facing the oil and gas sector pose both risks and opportunities for the Nigerian economy. The greatest risk is the potential shock to fiscal sustainability if the global oil price slumps at a time when Nigeria’s oil output is declining. The Secretary General of OPEC, Dr. Abdalla Salem El-Badri, spoke in Russia on Monday, this
week maintained that: “Looking ahead, it is clear that world energy demand is set to grow. In OPEC’s most recent World Oil Outlook, world energy demand increases by 54 per cent over the period 2010-to-2035. He said while renewables, biofuels and nuclear will play an important part in a diverse future energy mix, it will be fossil fuels that remain dominant in meeting energy demand for the foreseeable future. El-Badri said they currently account for 87 per cent of global energy demand, and will still make up 82 per cent by 2035. He stated that: “Of all fossil fuels, natural gas is expected to witness the fastest growth rate, at close to 2.5 per cent annually. And its overall share in the fuel mix rises from 23 per cent today to 26 per cent by 2035. The Secretary General stated that although its overall fuel share falls from 35 per cent to just over 27 per cent between 2010 and 2035, demand still increases by more than 20 million barrels a day over this period. He stated that: “Combined, natural gas and oil will still meet well over 50 per cent of the world’s energy needs by 2035. That is not to say, however, that the future will be straightforward. As well as opportunities, there will also be challenges and some of these are shared by both oil and gas. El-Badri stated that: “For example, challenges related to the environment, human resources and technology and investments. There is much our industries can learn from each other. Permit me to also share with you the principles that the Heads of OPEC States agreed upon during their most recent Summit held in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This included among others: stability in global energy markets; energy for sustainable development; and energy and environment.
Nestoil wins Shell Nigeria’s pipeline contract
n indigenous oil firm Nestoil Plc, has won a multi billion naira pipeline construction contract from oil giant Shell Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, SPDC after a keenly competitive bid. The multi billion naira contract, signed last Friday at the Shell Industrial Area, Rumubiakani, Port Harcourt, is for an export pipeline in the Niger Delta to reroute the Kolo Creek gas to Soku Gas plant. Signing for Shell was General Manager Nigeria, Operated, Onshore & Shallow Offshore Projects, Toyin Olagunju, and Vice President, Projects Operated, Engineer Graham Henley, while General Manager, Projects, Austin Agomuoh and Executive Director, Keith Jones, represented Nestoil. Under the terms of the contract and scope of work signed on Friday, Nestoil
is expected to carry out the Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation and Commissioning (EPCIC) of a 20 in., 40 km gas pipeline, which would run from Kolo Creek to Soku, in Bayelsa State. The project is to be funded by Zenith Bank Plc and has a two year contract completion time frame. Nestoil is the largest indigenous company in the oil and gas sector, contributing significantly to the growth of the industry in the last 22 years. Nestoil has carved a niche for itself as a one-stop services provider in the upstream sub-sector of the Nigerian Oil & Gas industry. The company was awarded, its first major project by Shell [SPDC], the Edjeba Sewage Treatment Plant in Warri in 1998. This project was executed successfully and today the plant is still in active use at the SPDC Edjeba complex. For this project, SPDC gave Nestoil an award for excellence
in quality and safety. This achievement was a significant landmark in the life of the Company and indeed a boost to the nation’s Local Content Initiative. The company has also constructed and commissioned a 20” X 38km Pipeline for Shell between 2005 and 2009 and is currently constructing the Nembe CreekCawthorne Channel Trunk line Replacement Project [NCTL] for SPDC. It has received accolades from international oil companies impressed by its capacity to deliver results on technically complex projects from its industrial base in Abuloma, Port Harcourt, Rivers State and understanding of the local terrain, particularly Niger Delta. The scale of Nestoil’s operations has been regarded as a sort of catalyst to increased local participation in oil and gas. Nestoil PLC, a diversified oil and gas company, has invested heavily in Engineering,
Crude Oil (WTI)
Crude Oil (Brent)
TOCOM Crude Oil
NYMEX Natural Gas
Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPC) and major offshore fabrication. The company belongs to the Obijackson Group, which has extensive interest in Exploration and Production, oil and gas, pressure vessel fabrication, dredging and marine logistics Nestoil Plc was incorporated in Nigeria in 1991 for the provision of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services to the energy and oil & gas industry. Since then, Nestoil has grown to become the leading indigenous EPC provider for major IOCs (International Oil Companies) in Sub-Saharan Africa like National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Total, etc. Employing highly dedicated, skilled and goal-driven professionals and using unique and innovative technology, Nestoil Plc delivers excellent, first class and cost effective solutions to industry problems. At Nestoil, our policy is to use the best resources, with stringent supervision that assures safe working conditions and excellent quality. We are also committed to the optimization of local content in all aspects of our business and the growth of our workforce and host communities.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Nigeria partners Egypt on mining industry development STORIES BY CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
igeria and Egypt have indicated interest to collaborate toward the development of their mining and steel industries. The intention was made public when the Egyptian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr. Ashraf Abdelhjader Salama paid a courtesy visit the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Musa Mohammed Sada recently. Sada said that Nigeria was pleased and ready to partner with the Egyptian government and investors towards the development of our country’s minerals and metals sector. The minister disclosed that the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was paying the necessary attention towards the development of the nation’s minerals and metals sector for revenue generation, job and wealth creation
through the formulation and implementation of investor friendly policies, adding that mineral exploration activities were being fast tracked to realize that vision. He said that Nigeria’s National Metallurgical Development Centre which was being reformed for better service delivery
FG targets Asia for crude shipment
he discovery of shale gas by the United States may never have serious negative impact on the economy of Nigeria after all as there has been significant increase in demand for oil by developing nations. Stakeholders in oil and gas sector have expressed worry over the likely impact of the US shale gas on the Nigerian economy which is 90per cent dependent on oil. However, investigations show that West African producers like Nigeria and Angola, once big suppliers of North American refiners, are now also shipping far more crude to Asia than before. This indicates that other markets are beginning to open generally for the petroleum industry as developing nations increase their demand for oil. For instance, a U.S. report revealed recently that oil demand in developing countries surpassed that of wealthy nations for the first time ever in April, in its latest demonstration of how rapid growth in Asia has upended trade and increased competition for resources. Led by surging growth in China, oil demand outside the wealthy nations’ club of the Organization of Economic Cooperation
would gain immensely from the Egyptian Raw Materials Development Agency counterpart through knowledge sharing. The minister said that Nigeria would also benefit from Egypt which had gone far in minerals and metals production. Sada noted that there was the need for value addition in the minerals mined and processed in the African Continent hence the need for partnership and collaboration among African countries to realize that vision. The minister said that follow-up discussions would be held between the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the Egyptian Embassy to concretise the necessary plan of action for the partnership. Speaking earlier, Ambassador Salama said that the essence of his visit was to explore areas of collaboration and partnership in Nigeria’s Mining and Steel industries for the welfare and benefits of Nigerians and Egyptians.
and Development (OECD) has jumped by almost 50 percent in the last decade, hitting 44.5 million bpd in April, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. Oil demand in developing countries “was higher than consumption in OECD countries for the first time in history,” the EIA said in its monthly Short Term Energy Outlook, which pegged demand at 44.3 million bpd for April in OECD countries. While the data for April may be a seasonal blip, with oil demand in Western Europe and the United States generally diminishing in the spring, 2014 should cement the developing world as the majority consumer of the world’s oil, the EIA said. Ten years ago, the developing world consumed just two-thirds as much oil as wealthier countries, historical data from the EIA shows. Countries in the OECD have also reduced consumption in response to higher prices and environmental concerns. The changing patterns in global oil demand have pushed countries including China into new strategic and economic alliances. “It has changed the way oil flows around the world,” said Katherine Spector, head of commodity strategy at CIBC World Markets
in New York. “The developing world was already on a faster growth trajectory before the recession, but since 2008 we’ve also seen OECD oil demand fall sharply.” Saudi Arabia, a long-term U.S. ally, now ships roughly as much oil to China as it does to the United States, sending over 1 million bpd in 2012. State-owned Chinese companies have also grabbed a bigger share of post-2003 Iraqi oil development and production than international oil companies. West African producers like Angola and Nigeria, once big suppliers of North American refiners, are also shipping far more crude to Asia than before. “We now see virtually no West African crude going to the United States,” Spector at CIBC said. From around 78 million bpd 10 years ago, global oil demand is now expected to average 89.2 million bpd in 2013, rising by almost 900,000 bpd from last year, the EIA said. “Non-OECD Asia, particularly China, is the leading contributor to projected global consumption growth,” the EIA said. The pace of China’s oil demand growth appears to be slowing, however, the EIA said, forecasting that consumption would increase by between 420,000 and 430,000 bpd this year and next, compared with an average of 520,000 bpd between 2004 and 2012. While rising demand has boosted global oil prices to above $100 a barrel for most of the last three years, it has also encouraged wealthy nations to try to increase supplies, helping to keep a lid on prices. The EIA said that output in countries outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen rising faster than demand this year, growing by almost 1.2 million bpd to 53.91 million bpd. “North America accounts for much of the projected growth in non-OPEC supply over the next two years because of continued production growth from U.S. tight oil formations and Canadian oil sands,” the EIA said. Industry experts now predict that North America could cut net imports of crude to virtually zero if the pace of production growth keeps rising and demand continues to slide.
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Exxon Mobil launches campaign against over-speeding
isturbed by the high rate of road crashes in the country, Exxon Mobil partnered with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to launch Pan Nigerian Road Safety Campaign to address violations of regulations on seatbelt, over-speeding and use of phone while driving. Speaking during the occasion in Abuja, the Executive Director of ExxonMobil, Udom Inoyo noted that the company was particularly moved by the current data by FRSC which indicate that Nigeria ranks as one of the countries with highest road accidents in the world. He said “Our decision to partner with the FRSC in this laudable scheme is premised on factor the willingness to utilise current data from the commission which indicate that Nigeria ranks as one of the countries with highest road accidents in the world. This is in line with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon’s announcement during the 2013 Global Safety week that Africa accounts for more than 80 per cent of the world’s annual 1.3 million road accidents deaths and 50b million injuries” Inoyo said Exxon Mobil is determined to change the attitudes of the road users which often cause road accidents, stressing that most road accidents are caused by human error ranging from negligence to outright indifference. He stated the collaboration provides a platform to engage road users on an on-going basis, using modern tools to achieve the desired attitude change required to reverse the negative data on Nigeria roads. While pledging commitment to continued financial support to the course, the Executive Director expressed willingness to share key learning, insights, practices and processes from the company’s global framework which he hoped which he hoped would deepen the good work already being done the FRSC. The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive Officer of FRSC, Osita Chidoka noted that the need for collective efforts cannot be overemphasised in dealing with road safety challenges. “It is to this end that we are glad to have some corporate bodies which have demonstrated commitment to issues of road safety partnering with us in this campaign. These corporations have demonstrated genuine commitment to issues of road safety and we are sure that this partnership would lead to positive results” Continuing he said “For the avoidance of doubt, let me state that the campaign shall be focusing on three main areas that are critical to ensuring safer road environment. These are Seatbelt; Overspeeding and use of phone while driving. Seatbelt as you all know is a safety device which all vehicles come with. But most Nigerians have continued to ignore the warnings to always wear them even as some drivers continued to be thrilled by speed by ignoring the warnings on its limit.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Ghana, Togo, Benin await Nigeria to restore gas STORIES BY UDEME AKPAN
hree West African nations – Ghana, Togo and Benin have incurred huge cost in the process of generating electricity for their citizens because of lack of gas. The cost was incurred in the process of shifting from gas to light crude which is relatively expensive than gas. Investigations showed that as a result of lack of gas supply, the governments of these nations were compelled to take to increased use of light crude without increasing tariff that consumers pay for electricity. A reliable source in Accra, Ghana said in a telephone interview that: “In Ghana, and indeed other nations, the governments have been compelled to generate electricity through increased use of light crude. He said that they cannot pass the high cost to consumers so as not to cause social unrest which can further affect the economies of the affected nations,” Recently, National Mirror learnt in Ghana that the nations have started losing confidence in the ability of Nigeria to meet their demand for gas in West Africa. The nations have agreements with the West African Gas Pipeline Company, WAGPCo to receive commercial supplies of the product for power generation through the West African Gas Pipeline which has been down for rehabilitation since August 2012. Some representatives of Gha-
na who participated in the just concluded CWC Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Accra, Ghana told National Mirror that the nation was forced to think beyond Nigeria in order to secure steady and adequate supplies for power generation. For instance, the Chief Executive Officer of Volta River Authority, Mr. Kwesi Awotwi said the arrangement with Nigeria has failed over the years to deliver adequate gas for electricity generation in the nation. He said Ghana has started to make use of light crude oil which is more expensive than gas, a development that has culminated in high cost of operations. Consequently, Awotwi said the company has not been able to meet the electricity demand of major customers, including the Electricity Company of Ghana, ECG that sells electricity to do-
mestic, industrial and commercial concerns and some mining companies. The Chief Executive who confirmed that inadequate and unstable gas supply constituted a serious impediment to the nation’s electricity sector said the nation was presently generating about 2,000 megawatts even though it has the capacity to make about 2,800 mw. He said Ghana was considering importing Liquefied Natural Gas from the global market while efforts were being made locally to construct and aluminum plants that can also provide alternative source of energy. Awotwi said: “We have come to a point where we have to accept the reality that we can no more depend on one source of gas to generate power. We need to do this very urgently because of the inability of the West African Gas
Pipeline Company, WAPGCo to meet our target. He said the WAGPCo have only been able to provide between 40 – 60 per cent of the nation’s gas needs, thereby compelling Ghana to take to the utilization of light crude for electricity generation at higher cost. Awotwi who expressed optimism for the successful execution of the projects said some of the schemes were ongoing. The ongoing projects included Takoradi 3 (T3) which is a 132 MW Combined Cycle Thermal Power Project and located close to the existing VRA Thermal Power Plants. He said: “The plant is made up of four (4) UGT 2500 Gas Turbines, four (4) Once Through Steam Generators (OTSGs) and a Steam Turbine. The plant has the capacity to operate on Light Crude Oil, Natural Gas or Diesel. Awotwi said they included the Kpone Thermal Power Plant (KTPP), a 230 MW Simple Cycle Thermal Power Project which is made up of 2 Alstom units of 115 MW capacity each. The plant is expected to be commissioned by 2015. The projects include the Takoradi 2 Thermal Power Project (T2) Expansion, an Independent Power Producer jointly owned by VRA and TAQA Energy of Abu Dhabi which seeks to expand the 220 MW T2 plant from a Simple Cycle Power plant to a combined cycle power plant. The projects would increase the installed capacity of the plant by 110 MW. The project is expected to be commissioned by 2015.
OBG boosts investment in electricity sector
he Oxford Business Group has expressed its commitment to boosting investment in electricity sector of the economy. The group stated that its commitment is fuelled by relatively high demand for electricity in the nation of over 140 million people. It stated that: “As evidenced by the constant hum of diesel generators across the country, electricity in Nigeria is a big issue, with low generating capacity having long hampered growth. However, sizable progress has been made over the past month to reverse this trend, with reforms to Nigeria’s power sector underway and efforts to almost double electricity production by the end of 2013 boding well for consumers. The group stated that nonetheless, the success of these efforts will depend on whether operators of the newly privatised generation and distribution companies are able to move quickly enough
to make the necessary invest- the year, up from the 6442 MW of ments to upgrade the industry’s nominal capacity as of 2012. The group remarked that: “If frayed infrastructure. It stated that: “In late February, the government and private opthe final contracts for the privati- erators are to achieve their yearsation of most of Nigeria’s gen- end goal, further investment will eration and distribution capacity, be needed to install the necessary formerly operated by the Power infrastructure. This will be a Holding Company of Nigeria costly endeavour, with some esti(PHCN), were signed in Abuja. mates suggesting up to $10bn will The former state monopoly has been broken up into a series of smaller companies, of which 15 – five generation and 10 distribution firms – have passed into the private sector, with a further two yet to attract a satisfactory bidder. The group maintained that the privatisation process has been the cornerstone of the government’s efforts to reform the power sector and to increase investment and efficiency. It stated that in early 2013 the government announced it was looking to boost generation capacity to 10,000 MW by the end of Afam Power plant
be needed to ensure the increased power output can reach clients. It quoted chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP), Beks Dagogo-Jack as stating that there is also a question of whether the existing transmission grid has the capability to transmit the expected increase in production.
NEITI 2009 – 2011 Oil & Gas Report
he Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), through the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG), continued its statutory mandate of ensuring transparency and accountability of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria by the appointment of Sada Idris & Co. (Chartered Accountants) in March 2012, as Auditors for the 2009 – 2011 Oil and Gas Industry audit. The purpose of the audit is to review and reconcile all revenues collected by Government Agencies on behalf of the Federation and payments made by all the oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria, in line with the international standards and rules of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). This Core EITI report, titled ‘Financial Audit: An Independent Report Assessing and reconciling Financial Flows within the Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry – 2009 to 2011, is in fulfillment of one of the reporting requirements as contained in the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the assignment. 1.2 Scope of Work The scope of work requires a report on the revenue flows to the Federation from the covered entities as well as investment flows from the Government Agencies and related transactions made by participants in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. The review and reconciliation exercise aimed to capture all payment streams made by all covered entities to the Federation as well as applicable State Governments and other Government Agencies that might have received revenue from oil and gas operators. In addition, the scope of work covered investment flows involving Government payments by way of Joint Venture investments, loans and loan repayment received by the operators as well as dividends from equity investments paid by the operators. 1.3 Methodology Data collection templates were prepared, reviewed, updated and issued to all the covered entities for population regarding relevant financial transactions in the period covering 2009 - 2011. The populated templates received from the Government Agencies were analysed and compared with populated templates from the companies in order to identify and reconcile differences, where necessary. The audited financial statements obtained from all the covered entities were reviewed to ensure that the populated templates are linked to the financial CONTINUED ON PAGE 40
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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Vandalism, manpower lapses cause of system collapse, says panel CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
andalism, old and inexperienced workforces were among the cause of constant system collapses which have bedeviled the Nigeria’s power sector since January. The Chairman of the Technical Investigative Panel on System Collapses, Engr. Fatai Olapade, gave the hinted in an interview with National Mirror shortly after presenting the panels’ report to the minister of power Professor Chinedu Nebo in Abuja said that most of the operators in the industry are old while some are inexperienced, adding that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has not recruited since that past 17 years. He said: “I just want to say this, we are in this together, you will discover that the public also has a role to play when it comes to vandalism, like today we lost close to 1600MW due to vandalism. And there are lots of other problems
that are government related. The transmission company of Nigeria for the past 17 years has not been employing people. Most of the operators are old while some are inexperienced. They need to be trained so there should capacity building but all other issues are purely technical, like communications, cadre system, and what have you but the
most important part of it is that is the vegetation. You know we are in the rainy season there some trees that grow so fast like the Indian Bamboos; they grow so fast that when wind blows they can touch the lines that will result to fault. That is the immediate cause but if something is causing a fault there are protective devices that can be
used to ensure that the system is stabilised. The committee also looked at this and they have made their recommendations on what to be done to ensure that when we have these kinds of problems they can easily be arrested” He, however, noted that there are ongoing projects that will add value to the power system stability generally in the country when completed. The Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo said there are difficulties in fixing the problems due to lots of man-made causes and the age-long neglect of the sector. The minister, who noted that the situation in the power sector is getting out of hand, called for the support of Nigerians in checking vandalism of the facilities being put in place by the government. Recently, the vandalism of two major gas pipelines which supply gas to eight power generation stations across the country drastically cut power supply by 1,598 megawatts (mw).
FG battles agencies to recover $9.6bn UDEME AKPAN
he Federal Government has started battling its agencies to recover $9.6 billion uncovered by Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI audit reports of the oil and gas sector. Investigations showed that a memo has already been sent to the agencies demanding immediate payment. A reliable NEITI source who confirmed the development said that: “The Federal Government has set a motion in place to ensure the funds are completely recovered. The agencies have already been ordered to do so. He stated that: “We are optimistic that the funds will be recovered. It showed the present administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability in the country.” Recently, President Goodluck 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 ac-
countability 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 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 OkonjoIweala, 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 ongoing reforms. The Global Conference was a big forum where NEITI made Nigeria proud.
NEITI 2009 – 2011 Oil & Gas Report CONTINUED FROM 39 statements and prepared in line with International Standards in Auditing (IASs). Applicable materiality guidelines, stipulated in the TOR, were followed in addressing differences and discrepancies that arose from the reconciliation. 1.4 Highlights of the Financial Flows The major highlights of the exercise are captured in this executive summary and include but not limited to: 1. A summary of the financial flows into the Federation Account as well as other related flows in the industry during the period of review including: • Details of production and liftings and their link to equity crude oil and gas sales and the Federation Account • Details of investment flows such as joint venture cash calls and alternative funding arrangements • Downstream quota allocations to refineries and the summary of NNPC subsidy deductions 2. The outcome of the financial flows reconciliation exercise including identification of differences on the related financial flows as well as explanations of the unresolved differences on each of the financial flows. 3. A summary of the issues and recommendations arising from the exercise. 1.5 Financial Flows from all sources The financial flows to the Federation Account are made up of sales of Equity Crude Oil and Gas, as well as specific payments such as Royalty (Oil), Royalty (Gas), Signature Bonus, Concession Rentals and Gas Flaring Penalties. They also include taxes paid to the Federation such as Petroleum Profits Tax (PPT), Companies Income Tax (CIT), Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Value Added Tax (VAT). The other summarised flows include dividends and repayment of loan by NLNG as well as payment of taxes to State Governments. In addition, there are other flows to specific Government Agencies of which some are paid directly to the covered entities such as contributions to NDDC. Others, like the Education Tax Fund, though collected by Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) are paid to designated accounts in the office of Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) as specified by their enabling Act. The total financial flows from the extractive oil and gas industry in Nigeria from 2009 to 2011 amounted to $143.5billion. Source: NEITI
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Nigerian banks are not designed to Since the collapse of vehicle assembly plants in Nigeria, the automobile industry has relied heavily on importation of cars. However, there is an on-going effort by a local entrepreneur and Chairman of Innoson Group of companies, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, to bring back the dream of making Nigeria an automobile manufacturing nation. In this interview with ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI, he reveals how Ghana and some other African countries are demanding for the locally-made cars and vehicle parts manufactured by his company.
Tell us how you started all these, what was your motivation? I see myself as a business man. I started my business as a trader, selling motorcycle spare parts. After sometime, I started dealing on motorcycles and then moved to another area of business, which is plastic plant to support the motorcycle business. By this time, I was already assembling motorcycles in Nigeria and felt the need to have a plant that would support this by manufacturing the plastic components of my brands of motorcycles here in Nigeria rather than importing same. It was after this that I went into manufacturing of cars and other motor vehicles. By the time I started motorcycle manufacturing, there were just three or four companies that were in the business. These include, Leventis, which was importing Honda motorcycles and Boulos Group which was importing Suzuki as well as CFAO which had the Kawasaki franchise. There was also Yamaco for the Yamaha brands. At the time, buying motorcycles was rather very expensive and my studies showed that the high cost was because of costs associated with importation. Then, the importers were importing whole motorcycles in crates which contained just about 40 units in one container. My studies showed that I can pack over 200 motorcycles in one container; using the CKD model and that dropped my costs by as much as 40 percent. We then opened my plastic plants, my costs dropped significantly further. That was the beginning of the purchase of brand new motorcycles in Nigeria as against the growing trend of importing fairly used ones from other parts of the world. At this point too, brand new ones became cheaper than the fairly used ones and a revolution thus began. I also looked at the market and saw that our people are buying more of fairly used motor cars and that also inspired me to set up a car manufacturing plant in the country. A lot of people have the erroneous impression that what we do is mere assembling of vehicles but that is not correct. We manufacture many components of the cars here and that give great values to what we take to the market. What items do you manufacture in the country? Bumpers, dashboards and all other plastic components of our cars are made here in Nigeria. There are other components in addition to these ones that are being made for us by other factories in the country. We are looking at a near future when there would be other factories producing other components for us in the country so that we would just need to import very few items and that way, we would add more local value to what we produce. When you were going into motor vehicle manufacturing, did you entertain fears that the big brands would make it hard for you to penetrate the market? I knew all that. But I was also aware that, as they say, ‘Rome was not built in a day’. I am also aware that there are other great brands that looked like late entrants but went ahead to upstage the so-called established brands. When we started, we were not bullish. We knew the challenges ahead and that was why we started on a very small scale, believing that we would grow when the market sees the values in what we are offering. And this has worked for us because we have been growing significantly since we entered the market and I can assure you that those heights the likes of Honda, Toyota and others
OUR VEHICLES ARE NOW BOUGHT AND SOLD IN GHANA. WE ARE SELLING IN COTE D’IVOIRE, MALI. IN CHAD, THERE ARE INNOSON VEHICLES. AND THE INTERESTING THING IS THAT IN THESE COUNTRIES, OUR VEHICLES ARE SO WELL ACCEPTED YOU WOULD THINK WE HAD BEEN IN THE MARKET FOR SEVERAL DECADES.
have been able to reach, we will also get there one day. Remember that before now, there were more German and French cars in Nigeria. In those days, we knew only of Mercedes Benz, Renault and Peugeot. But the Japanese cars came in and have been able to make impact. Today, Korean and even Chinese cars are doing very well in Nigeria. So what they are doing to be successful is also what we would do and be even more successful. Was it difficult for you to make any initial impact when you started? The important thing for us then was quality assurance. We had it at the back of our mind that when something is good, people would want to buy them and when they buy and get good value, they tell others and before you know it, everyone is at your doorstep seeking to be a part of the good news. I have global benchmarks of standard driving our brands and having ensured this, I was sure the market would be there for us and so far, we have not been disappointed. Where is your market? Does it extend beyond Nigeria? We are in various parts of Africa at the moment. For instance, our vehicles are now bought and sold in Ghana. We are selling in Cote d’Ivoire, Mali. In Chad, there are Innoson vehicles. And the interesting thing is that in these countries, our vehicles are well accepted you would think we had been in the market for several decades. Their satisfaction is not just from the mere fact that we were able to give them good quality motor vehicles. They take pride in the fact that this is an African initiative that might be a test case for the kind of leapfrog the continent could witness if all talents are harnessed towards that purpose. In other African countries where we have sold these vehicles, the joy that we have seen is greater than what was the case in our home market, Nigeria. How many units of these vehicles have you been able to sell since this project started? The number is quite huge, to be modest. And I will give you this explanation. Our production capacity is 300 units of different models of motor vehicles monthly. So if you realise that we have been in this business since 2007, I am sure you should have an idea of just how much we have done. In essence, it means that we would have sold close to 30,000 units of vehicles since we began. The interesting thing is that we do not produce to stock and sell. We produce according to demand and
supply as soon as we roll them off our production line. Given your level of success, what do you think is responsible for over dependence on importation in the country? Why are others are not manufacturing? I think there is a lot of confusion in Nigeria. The fact is that most of us are not alive to the fact that there is no one outside the country that can develop this country except Nigerians. We have kept looking outside the shores of the country for development direction when we should be looking inwards to determine our own
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support industrialisation â€“ Chukwuma
peculiar development imperatives and design such the way it would suit us. We have Indians and Chinese all over the country masquerading as foreign investors but these are just business men that are interested in how much they can earn here and repatriate to their home countries. I am sure you are aware that the present government has many initiative designed to make Nigeria an industrial haven. They are doing so many things to encourage local enterprise. They are providing avenues for local capacity building in so many areas, especially manufacturing. But people have been complaining that lack of infrastructure, lax security and cost of funds impede industrialization? Let me make it clear here, while I acknowledge that there are impediments to industrialization in terms of cost of credit, poor infrastructure and many other factors, I am also of the view that those are not great stumbling blocks because if you check the cost of importation, you find out that it pales in significance when you compare it with the added values that manufacturing in the country has to offer to both the business man and the market. I give you an instance; when I started my manufacturing business, the country was no better in terms of either infrastructure or cost of funds or even security. I built the foundation of this business on poor infrastructure and factored all of them in the business plan and I know that there are still great opportunities. We are even witnessing improvement, especially in the area of power generation. This means that if it further improves, we are at a greater advantage. The point to note is that in those countries where we import from, the cost of production is also high in many other areas.
I AM ONE OF THOSE THAT BELIEVE THAT NIGERIAN BANKS ARE DESIGNED NOT TO SUPPORT INDUSTRIALISATION.
ANY MANUFACTURER THAT DEPENDS ON THE REGULAR
BANKING SYSTEM FOR CREDIT SUPPORT IS DOOMED TO FAILURE For instance, in Japan, the cost of manpower is significantly high when compared to what we have here. You have to pay huge salary to staff and that is relatively speaking, not the case here. If you convert the average salary of the Nigerian employer to dollar, it is nothing compared to what the Japanese earn. So when you spread the differential across cost areas like power in the case of Nigeria, everything evens out. What about cost of credit? I am one of those that believe that Nigerian banks are designed not to support industrialisation. Any manufacturer that depends on the regular banking system for credit support is doomed to failure. I am sure that was why the government in its wisdom, set up the Bank of Industry (BoI). As far as I am concerned, it is only the Bank of Industry that can support any industrialist and help him or her to succeed. In our relationship with
this institution, we have been able to get all the support we need. There is nothing we need that BoI has not been able to give us. What they need is just for you to have a proper repayment plan and traffic. Once you do this, they will make sure your business grows and prospers. They will help you source for equipment and plant facilities. Has government supported you in any way? The government has been of help to us in many ways. I have not gone to them for any issue without getting their listening ear. We were able to bet some form of tax rebate in motor manufacturing. There has also been patronage from them in terms of purchase of our vehicles and this has helped a lot. But we have also not been dependent of government handouts in driving this project. In the market, I can tell you for instance that we have sold more of our cars to private individuals than government. What have you done to ensure that this brand survives from generation to generation just like others in the advanced world? Yes. It may interest to know that I am not the only one behind the Innoson dream. There are other people that are part of this vision and all of us are working to ensure that we leave a legacy that will survive generations. We are mere mortals and do make plans of our own but God is the final voice in everything. We have structured Innoson right from the onset to ensure generational relevance. For instance, I have refrained from making this the regular family business that Nigerians are familiar with. As we speak, I am the only person in my family that is working in this group and it is a deliberate strategy to exert high standards of performance and raise managers who will drive the vision beyond family boundaries What has been your biggest challenge as a manufacturer? I am not really challenged by the regular thing that people moan about daily in Nigeria. People complain about so many things, including those that they could naturally have the capacity to overcome. It is popular for people in my type of business to scream about power and infrastructure. But for us here, those are not real challenges. Our challenge here is mainly on how to keep the factory optimally busy because when they are busy working, we will remain in business. If there is anything that will create some kind of downtime in any of our production plants, that is what I call a challenge. What is your workforce like? We have in our employment, 7,400 people What about spares and servicing? We did not start this project by accident. Right from the onset, we set planning for it to be sustainable and put structures in place to ensure the availability of spare parts across the various markets where we are selling our brands. If you are a proud owner of any of our vehicles anywhere in the country, spares are available at convenient distances. Our spare parts are just as conveniently available as the popular Japanese vehicles you have on the street. We have also ensured that our vehicles are designed in ways the average motor mechanic would be able to understand easily and be able to fix any damages. We have also gone to the extent of training most of them on how to handle any issue of mechanical breakdown so that our customers can continually get the satisfaction of driving in our vehicles. Where do you see this brand in the next 50 years? What you must understand is that our growth target is for the long haul. And our environment is not just Nigeria but the entire Africa. We are positioning Innoson Group to be the king in Africa, especially in the area of motor manufacturing. We will be all over Africa, satisfying their desire for a truly African automobile brand capable of giving the same utility as those imported from Europe, America and Asia. And from our footprints on some parts of the continent so far, we believe this is achievable.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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China’s recovery falters as manufacturing growth cools
hina’s manufacturing is expanding at a slower pace this month on weakness in global and domestic demand, fueling concern that the world’s second-biggest economy is faltering. The preliminary reading of 50.5 for a Purchasing Managers’ Index (EC11CHPM) released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compared with a final 51.6 for March. The number was also below the median 51.5 estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 11 analysts. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. China’s stocks slumped as the data provided further evidence of an economic slowdown after weaker-thanestimated numbers for gross domestic product last week prompted banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to cut full-year forecasts. In Washington, central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said April 20 that a 7.7 percent first-quarter expansion was reasonable and “normal,” highlighting reduced expectations after 10 percent- plus rates during the past decade. “This paints a picture of a continued painfully slow recovery for China’s
manufacturing sector,” said Yao Wei, a Societe Generale SA economist based in Hong Kong. “The government needs to help translate the easy liquidity conditions into real growth.” President Xi Jinping’s officials are grappling with constraints on export demand, property-market overheating, the risks associated with a surge in socalled shadow banking, and weakness in consumption because of a campaign to rein in official perks such as spending on banquets. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 2.6 percent, the biggest decline in three weeks. Euro-area services and manufacturing output contracted for a 15th month in April as the currency bloc struggled to emerge from a recession, a report showed yesterday. In the U.S., the Commerce Department is forecast to report new home sales improved in March, a Zhou Xiaochuan Bloomberg News survey of economists flu in Shanghai and Zhejiang and an showed. In China, first-quarter growth slipped earthquake in Sichuan now adding to from a 7.9 percent annual pace in the fi- the challenges for officials. “This has been a very narrowly based nal three months of last year, with bird
BOJ’s $267bn JGB buys spur record win streak
apanese government bonds are headed for the longest run of annual gains on record, buoyed by central bank purchases almost equivalent to Malaysia’s economic output. The bonds have returned 2.1 percent
on an annualised basis in 2012, set for a ninth year of gains that’s the longest streak since at least 1986, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch index shows. Ten-year yields have declined 22 basis points to 0.76 percent. U.S. Treasuries are poised to post a third annual gain with a 2 percent return, while the benchmark rate has fallen 10 basis points. The Bank of Japan (8301)’s JGB holdings increased 22.6 trillion yen ($267 billion) in 2012 as it sought to pump funds into a deflation-plagued economy that contracted for two quarters through September 30. With incoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe planning a “large-scale” extra budget to bolster growth, analysts forecast the 10-year yield will rise to 0.99 percent by the end of 2013, a Bloomberg survey shows, which would still be the third lowest globally. “Public-works spending will kick-start the economy” under an Abe administration, said Koichi Kurose, chief economist in Tokyo at Resona Bank Ltd., which oversees about $178 billion. “But the BOJ will increase asset purchases to keep a lid on borrowing costs.”
Spanish unemployment to swell as public jobs vanish
erez de La Frontera, a Spanish town of 214,000 in southern Andalusia, is negotiating with unions to fire 13 percent of the 2,000 government workers who absorb 80 percent of its budget. “It’s not easy because these are people and families,” said deputy mayor Antonio Saldana. With a quarter of Spain’s workforce already jobless, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s efforts to retain investor confidence by shaving more than twothirds off the nation’s budget deficit by 2014 will worsen the highest unemployment rate in the European Union. Tenyear yields at 6.86 percent mean “we can’t finance ourselves,” Rajoy said on September 1. “There’s going to be less hiring and
more firing for the spending cuts to be made,” said Ricardo Santos, an economist at BNP Paribas SA in London who sees unemployment climbing to 27 percent next year from 24.6 percent currently. “The more unemployment persists, the more difficult it’ll be for the government to meet budget goals and implement reforms.” Television stations, airports, hospitals, schools, fire brigades and social services from Spain’s southernmost tip to the Balearic islands in the east are reducing headcount as Rajoy tasks regions and municipalities with shouldering 60 percent of the cuts needed to reduce the budget shortfall to 2.8 percent of gross domestic product in the next two years.
recovery, predominantly driven by infrastructure investment, but now even infrastructure investment is also apparently slowing down,” said Tao Dong, head of Asia economics excluding Japan at Credit Suisse Group AG in Hong Kong. Goldman Sachs, Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. last week cut estimates for 2013 expansion to 7.8 percent. That would be the same as 2012’s pace, which was the weakest in 13 years. This data show that weakness in demand, including for exports, is starting to weigh on employment in manufacturing, HSBC said in a statement. The preliminary report is based on 85 percent to 90 percent of responses to a monthly survey of purchasing executives at more than 420 companies. “Beijing is expected to respond strongly to sustain the economic recovery by increasing efforts to boost domestic investment and consumption in the coming months,” said Qu Hongbin, chief China economist with HSBC in Hong Kong.
Bernanke buys $1.14 trn in assets
ederal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s latest round of bond buying will reach $1.14 trillion before he ends the programme in the first quarter of 2014, according to median estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Bernanke will push on with purchases of $40 billion a month of mortgage bonds and $45 billion a month of Treasuries, according to the survey of 44 economists, even as some Fed officials warn his unprecedented balance-sheet expansion will impair efforts to tighten policy when necessary. “To get to the point where Bernanke would be comfortable letting up, you have to have a good solid string of economic reports that you’re just not going to get” this year, said Eric Green, global head of rates and FX research at TD Securities Inc. in New York and a former New York Fed economist. The Federal Open Market Committee will renew its commitment to asset buying during a two-day meeting starting today after determining the benefits from the program exceed any risk of inflation or financial instability, according to economists surveyed January 24-25. Bernanke has said the policy will continue until there are “substantial” gains in employment. Fed officials have a brighter outlook for the economy than many private economists. FOMC participants forecast growth this year ranging from 2.3 percent to 3 percent, while economists in a separate Bloomberg survey have a median estimate of 2 percent. “The economy is not going to be able to generate growth above 2 percent” as it faces headwinds from federal tax increases and a weak global expansion, Green said. Fed asset purchases will probably do little to help reduce 7.8 percent unemployment, economists said, with 57 percent of them predicting the programme won’t help boost the number of jobs created this year. Economists who expect gains from socalled quantitative easing say it will account for an increase of 250,000 jobs during
2013. Last year, the economy added 1.8 million jobs. Employers probably hired 160,000 workers in January, after a 155,000 increase in December, based on Bloomberg News survey of economists before the Labor Department reports the figures on February 1. In the first round of purchases, begun in 2008, the Fed bought $1.4 trillion of housing debt and $300 billion of Treasuries. In the second round, beginning in November 2010, the Fed bought $600 billion of Treasuries. In the current round, the Fed’s total purchases will be split between $600 billion of mortgage-backed securities and $540 billion of Treasuries, according to the median estimates of economists in the survey. Asked what would prompt the Fed to halt its bond buying, 63 percent of economists said the central bank will act in response to substantial improvement in the labor market.
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pain’s recession eased in the first quarter as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy prepares plans to foster growth while reducing the country’s budget deficit. Gross domestic product fell 0.5 percent from the fourth quarter, when it dropped 0.8 percent, the most since 2009, the Bank of Spain said in its monthly bulletin yesterday. That’s the seventh quarterly contraction. This data is in line with the median of 15 economist estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Rajoy pledged on April 17 to unveil measures to stimulate the economy and create jobs later this week. His government is seeking more time from European Union peers to reorder public finances in the euro-area’s fourth largest economy after a banking-sector bailout propelled Spain’s deficit last year to the largest in the region. “It’s a good sign after a horrible last quarter in 2012, but we are still in an intense recession,” said Jose Carlos Diez, chief economist at Madrid-based brokerage Intermoney SA. “It’s difficult to see a recovery. Our main trading partners
Spain’s recession eases as Rajoy prepares growth plan
aren’t doing well and unemployment is going to continue increasing.” The yield on Spain’s 10-year benchmark bonds fell 23 basis points to 4.264 percent Monday in Madrid, narrowing the spread with German debt of similar maturity to 3.05 percentage points after met its maximum target of 3 billion eu-
Tech stocks signaling sustained U.S. growth
hares of technology companies are rallying as investors see capital spending for their products strengthening along with the economy, consistent with the Federal Reserve’s latest growth forecasts. Tech stocks capped their best 10 weeks of relative performance since 2009 last week, and the Guggenheim Standard & Poor’s 500 Equal-Weight Technology exchange-traded fund has outpaced the Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal-Weight ETF (RSP) by 4.8 percentage points since April 19. The gains show a “hand off” is starting, as investors move into industries that could outperform benchmarks later in the economic expansion, said Brian Jacobsen, who helps oversee $221.2 billion as chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Advantage Funds in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. “If the Fed is confident enough to begin taking the training wheels off the economy, then that should benefit tech stocks,” he said. Wells Fargo maintains an overweight recommendation on the sector partly because capital spending on these products would improve with increased assurance about the durability of the expansion, he said. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Tech Pulse Index, which tracks the health of the U.S. information-technology industry, is showing an improvement in investment, consumption, employment, industrial production and shipments. The index rose to 98.96 in May, the highest since 2008. The equal-weight technology ETF began to lead the benchmark index shortly before the Fed started bracing investors for a phase-out of its unprecedented monetarystimulus program. At the conclusion of a two-day meeting May 1, the Federal Open Market Committee said it was “prepared to increase or reduce the pace of its purchases to maintain appropriate policy accommodation as the outlook for the labor market or inflation changes.” Chairman Ben S. Bernanke provided more detail on June 19 when he said the cen-
ros ($3.9 billion) in a bills sale. The Spanish 10-year yield rose to a euro-era record of 7.75 percent in July before the European Central Bank pledged to do whatever it takes to save the euro. The International Monetary Fund last week cut its outlook for Spain, predicting the economy to shrink 1.6 percent this
Slowing Polish economy may force Tusk to ease budget cuts
tral bank may begin to taper its $85 billion in monthly bond buying later this year and halt purchases in mid-2014 as long as the world’s largest economy performs in line with its projections. Officials project the U.S. will expand 3 percent to 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 from the same period this year, according to their central-tendency estimate, which excludes the three highest and three lowest estimates. The March projection was a range of 2.9 percent to 3.4 percent.
year before growing 0.7 percent in 2014. Still, the Washington- based fund’s managing director Christine Lagarde offered support for Rajoy’s calls for the EU to loosen demands for further deficit cuts. Spain “needs more time,” Lagarde said in Washington on April 18. “We do not see a need to do upfront, heavy-duty fiscal consolidation as was initially planned.” Funding conditions remain restrictive for households and companies, weighing on domestic demand, the Bank of Spain said. Households’ limited capacity to save in a context of declining disposable income as well as uncertainty on the labor market and a high level of debt leave little space for consumption to pick up in the short term, it said. Spain’s export growth was also held back by the euro-area recession during the first three months of the year, the Bank of Spain said. Spain’s National Statistics Institute will report first-quarter GDP data on April 30.
oland’s slowing economy is putting pressure on Prime Minister Donald Tusk to ease deficit cuts to avoid the fate of other European Union nations where austerity measures to tackle the debt crisis helped suffocate growth. Tusk’s Cabinet met in Warsaw to discuss a revised 2013 budget after the economy expanded at the slowest pace in 11 quarters in the three months through June. While Poland will stick to a plan to cut the 2012 budget gap within the EU’s limit of 3 percent of output, the slowdown means its “ambitious goal for a 2.2 percent deficit next year is out of the question,” Maja Goettig, a member of Tusk’s Council of Economic Advisers, said by phone on August 31. “Everyone, including markets, would understand and maybe even appreciate it, if the government avoided excessively harsh austerity for the sake of growth, which is now key to financial stability,” said Goettig, who’s also a Warsaw-based strategist at KBC Securities. Tusk, the first Polish premier to serve a second term since communism ended in 1989, must weigh EU deficit demands
against concerns that further spending cuts may damp growth in the nation of 38 million people, whose GDP-per-capita is 40 percent below the 27-nation bloc’s average. While his Cabinet still enjoys broad support in polls, governments across Europe have collapsed after protests against austerity policies that helped plunge economies from Romania to Spain into recession.
Manufacturing in U.S. probably stagnated amid global slowdown
anufacturing probably teetered between growth and contraction in August, a sign the pillar of the recovery is now struggling, according economists surveyed before a report Monday. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index was little changed at 50 compared with 49.8 in July, according to the median estimate of 70 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between shrinking and expanding. Spending on construction projects probably rose in July, other figures may show. The possibility that taxes will rise and government outlays will fall if U.S. lawmakers don’t act by January may shake confi-
dence and cause consumers and businesses to curb spending. The European debt crisis represents another stumbling block that threatens to limit orders to American factories. “Domestic uncertainty and global weakness are both restraining growth in manufacturing,” said Yelena Shulyatyeva, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York. “It’s a weak sector of the economy right now. We don’t expect a lot of pickup in investment activity this year.” The Tempe, Arizona-based ISM released the report Estimates ranged from 48.7 to 51.5. The group has said that an index (S15MACH) reading above 42.5, while signaling contraction in manufacturing,
is generally consistent with an expanding overall economy. The gauge averaged 55.2 in 2011 and 57.3 in 2010. Other reports show manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy, weakened last month. Factory activity in the New York region contracted in August for the first time in 10 months, and production in the Philadelphia-area shrank for a fourth month, Federal Reserve reports showed. The Institute for Supply ManagementChicago Inc.’s business barometer also fell in August, indicating manufacturer’s pace of expansion was slowing and that companies may hold the line on production until sales pick up.
Pencom boss wary of pension fund investment in real sector TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Acting Director General of the National Pensions Commission (PenCom), Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, yesterday expressed concern over the security of investing pension savings in the real sector of the economy, saying that some structures will have to be put in place before the savings could be securely invested. Even then, she assured that the Commission was ready to partner with agencies of government on investing pension funds
in key infrastructure development. Disclosing this at the 2nd Annual National Workshop of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers with the theme ‘Transformation Agenda 2, the real issues in the power, housing and energy sector of the economy’ in Abuja, Anohu-Amazu asserted that pension funds were available for long term investments. She added however that the commission is mindful of how that would happen and the form it would take so that retirees are not denied access to their savings whenever they
need the funds. She said, “I agree that pension funds should go into power sector but my worry is how we will do it. I am concerned about the safety of the investments. Until we see structures in that area, we will be circumspect in letting pension funds go anywhere “We need to focus not just on quantum of pension assets, but also look at the issue of dearth of investible instruments. What I see is intense pressure on us to bring the money. But we cannot do so without a clear indication on what will happen to the funds”, the PenCom
boss added. According to her, with only 30 per cent of the working class in Nigeria have Retirement Savings Account (RSA), the Commission is looking at avenues to attract the other 70 per cent to boost pension funds. “How many Nigerians have RSA accounts? How many of the people itching to get at the funds are actually contributing? The primary aim of the fund is to provide funds for retirees when they need it, while investing in infrastructure is secondary. “I cannot tell a 70 year old stories when he needs his money. We need to create vehicles for all ages to find succour in the Investments” Anohu-Amazu added.
ortland Paints and Products Plc yesterday rose for a fourth day to the highest in a month after United Africa Company of Nigeria Plc said it acquired a majority stake. The stock gained 10 per cent to N4.95 per share, as UAC acquired 51 per cent of Portland Paints. A statement from the UACN said it now owns majority stake in Portland Paints and Products Plc, which manufactures and markets an impressive array of decorative paints, industrial and
marine coatings under the Sandtex, and Hempel brand names. According to the statement, Portland Paints also holds the Armitage and Ideal Standard sanitary ware dealerships in the country. It explained that the transaction, which has received the required statutory approvals, is driven by potential synergies between the two companies and is in line with UACN’s strategy of building a portfolio of brands and businesses. Commenting on the transaction, UACN’s Group Managing Director, Mr Larry Ettah said, ‘’We are delighted to
to N20.1m, from N75m in the corresponding peri9,910,815,896,785.59 30,983.83 od of 2011. have acquired a majority stake in Portland Paints. “This strategic acquisition provides UACN with the opportunity to diversify its paints revenues by gaining entry into the mid-tier decorative and marine paints market where Portland Paints has a leading position.” He added that with a strengthened position in paints and enhanced supply chain and distribution efficiencies, the company will engage stakeholders to grow the market sustainably and deliver value to shareholders in the enlarged UACN group. Portland’s profit in the first quarter dropped
Equities regain vigour, up 0.6% DAMILOLA AJAYI
he benchmark index of equities turned green on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as some investors took position on stocks with good earnings. Specifically, the All Share Index rose by 0.59 per cent to close at 36,043.48 points, as against the decline of 0.92 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 35,832.16 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N7bn to close at N11.41trn, in contrast to the dip of N8bn re-
corded the preceding day to close at N11.34trn. All the sectorial indices gained substantial points except the Industry Goods index which lost 0.43 per cent to close at 2,062.36 points and the Alternative securities market index which remained flat. The Oil and Gas index led the sectorial indices with 2.36 per cent to close at 175.41 points, followed by the Banking index with 1.95 per cent to close at 406.77 points. The Insurance index appreciated by 1.43 per cent to close at 140.54 points, while the NSE 30- index rose by
0.85 per cent to close at 1,700.51 points. The Lotus Islamic index increased by 0.65 per cent to close at 2,500.73 points while the Consumer Goods added 0.35 per cent to close at 1,013.96 points. Portland Paints Plc led the gainers’ table with 45 kobo or ten per cent to close at N4.95 per share, followed by Beta Glass Plc with N1.00 or ten per cent to close at N11.00 per share. ABC Transport Plc gained 11 kobo or 9.91 per cent to close at N1.22 per share, while Evans Medical Plc appreciated by 26 kobo or 9.70 per cent to
Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 28 JUNE 2013 & 1 JULY 2013 16.00
2 8 -J u n -1 3
1 -J u l -1 3
Market indicators All-Share Index 33,440.57 points Market capitalisation 10,691 trillion
Portland Paints rises on UAC acquisition JOHNSON OKANLAWON
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
UACN announced a profit after tax of N7.10bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2012, an increase of 108 per cent when compared to N3.41bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The group revenue rose by 17 per cent to N69.6bn in 2012, from N59.6bn in 2011, while taxation stood at N3.64bn, from N3.59bn in the corresponding period of 2011. Operational profit increased by 49 per cent to N11.5bn in 2012, from N7.72bn in 2011, while finance income was up by 84 per cent to N1.75bn, from N953m in 2011.
close at N2.94 per share. Forte Oil Plc increased by N1.48 or 8.70 per cent to close at N18.50 per share. On the flip side, Arbico Plc lost 69 kobo or 9.99 per cent to close at N6.22 per share, while Cap Plc shed N4.82 or 9.93 per cent to close at N43.70 per share. Berger Paints Plc declined by N1.13 or 9.93 per cent to close at N10.25 per share, while Thomas Wyatt Plc dipped by 13 kobo or 9.85 per cent to close at N1.19 per share RT Briscoe Plc fell by 15 kobo or 9.68 per cent to close at N1.40 per share. A total of 463 million shares valued at N2.95bn were traded in 5,188 deals
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
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Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at July 2, 2013 1st Tier Securities
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (172) “Money is everywhere!” –Mike Murdock * * * How To Make Money Money is a reward for solving problems. If you are not afraid of confronting problems, you will always have money. Money is nothing but the creation of value. When you make it a daily goal to always focus on adding value to people and things, you will always have money. Money flows to where value is. Each of us can be creative and creativity is a money magnet. Just as the air we breathe is all around us, money is all around us all the time. Think of this last statement throughout today. TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE
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16-month-old swims across pool unaided
n a viral YouTube video, a 16-month-old baby girl swims across a pool without the help of floatation devices or adults -- just the sound of her father’s voice encouraging her. Though the video was posted to YouTube in August of last year, it has just recently gone viral, prompting discussion about the
benefits and dangers of trying to teach young children to swim. “I must say though I find it very unsafe to not be in the water with the child, and allow the child to put so much distance between you two,” one commenter wrote. Elizabeth’s father, who identifies himself as Adam BC, says in the video’s cap-
tion that both he and his wife are professionally trained in CPR and water safety. He says he is a nurse and his wife is a lifeguard and that Elizabeth has been taught by “infant swim instructors.” “At no point do we force our child to do anything she is unwilling to try. We are able to recognize in-
fant/toddler fatigue in the swimming pool,” he says. Elizabeth is a very determined little girl and sometimes she wants to roll over and breath as she was taught and sometimes she wants to hold her breath the whole way. I was 100% prepared to jump in at first sign of distress.
Woman arrested W t d for f allegedly ll dl kissing ki i police officer
Florida woman who planted a kiss on a police officer’s nose as he mediated a dispute between her and a neighbour got herself cuffed and charged with a felony. Peggy Hill, 62, of Bradenton was speaking with Manatee County Sheriff ’s Office Sgt. Randy Lamb late Saturday, who was summoned to the neighbourhood to resolve a fight over the
placement of a fence between two residences. Lamb said he was speaking with Hill when “she approached him and kissed him on his nose against his will.” Lamb, an 18-year veteran, stepped away from Hill and “wiped off the saliva from his nose,” the website TheSmokingGun.com reported. With the help of another deputy, Lamb
“gently” took Hill to the ground and handcuffed her. In a post-arrest interview Hill admitted to drinking three glasses of wine prior to her encounter with police. She said “the thought just popped into her head” to kiss Lamb on the nose. Hill was charged with felony battery and was being held in lieu of $5,000 bond.
Baby Elizabeth showing off her astounding swimming skills by crossing the pool by herself. Photo: UPI
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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Community Mirror “We have no excuse to be caught unprepared again after the floods of last year.”
Police smash certificate forgery syndicate in 50 Enugu
PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN
Ado-Odo crisis: Judge lambasts DPO, calls him a liar FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he Commission of Enquiry set up by Ogun State Government over the crisis that rocked Ado-Odo town has accused the Divisional Police Officer in-charge of AdoOdo Police Division, Mr. Olukayode Ayilara, a Chief Superintendent of Police, of lying and negligence of duty. The Commission, headed by Justice Oluwatosin Elizabeth Osinuga also found CSP Ayilara wanting in rescuing the mon-
arch, Oba Lateef Akanni Adeniran from being stripped naked by the rioters. At the sitting of the commission on Monday, Justice Osinuga described the DPO as a liar in a federal uniform. It would be recalled that between April 14th and 15th, 2013, a riot broke out in Ado-Odo town in which Oba Adeniran was stripped naked, while his wife, Olori Fausat Adeniran was almost raped and his driver, Olufemi Jide was equally attacked. The ancient palace of the
monarch was also razed by angry mob mostly youths who did not spare several vehicles parked within the palace, belonging to Oba Adeniran. Following the desecration of the traditional institution however, the commission, under the chairmanship of Justice Osinuga was inaugurated by the Ibikunle Amosun led administration to establish the immediate and remote causes of the crisis as well as recommend punishments. CSP Ayilara however, incurred the wrath of the commis-
sion due to inconsistencies in his statement while being crossexamined by the monarch’s counsel, Chief Afolabi Fasahanu (SAN) as well as members of the judicial commission. The commission had asked the DPO, whether it was normal by police’s protocol and practice to think of people who are asthmatics during crisis, particularly when the police want to disperse crowd of rioters, before using tear gas. The DPO then responded that he refused to use canisters on the angry mob to prevent Oba
Pedestrians crossing the road barrier at Ebute-Ero on Lagos Island.
PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI
Drug trafficking: Court jails 55-year-old woman K AYODE KETEFE
Federal High Court judge, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday sentenced a 55-year-old woman, Gado Adams, to six months imprisonment for illicit drug dealing. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had arraigned the convict, on June 20, 2013, on a one-count charge of dealing in a restricted narcotic, Cannabis Sativa, known in local parlance as Indian hemp. The of-
fence is said to be contrary to the provisions of sections 11(c) of the NDLEA Act, 2004. The convict had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge while Justice Yunusa adjourned the case for a review of the facts and sentencing. At the resumed hearing of the proceedings yesterday, the prosecution, represented by Mr Kalu Orji, told the court that the convict was arrested on February 8, 2013, by Customs officials at Gbaji check point in Seme. The prosecution had told the court that the routine stop and search of motorists, about 8.8 ki-
lograms of the narcotic was found in the possession of the woman, concealed in a black nylon bag. It added that Gado had imported the illicit substance from Benin Republic for the purpose of trading same in Nigeria before she was apprehended and handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for prosecution. After reviewing the facts, Justice Yunusa sentenced the woman to six months imprisonment. The judge however added that the sentence should start running from February 8, 2013, which was the time she was arrested.
Adeniran from being molested but rather chose to “beg” the rioters. The response did not convince the chairman of the commission who immediately took a swipe at the DPO. Justice Osinuga said; “We have audio and video recordings; you have at different times said different things here today and you wore a federal uniform. To say that ‘no, I did not use tear gas because of the people that are asthmatics and because you did not want to choke Kabiyesi’, is something I did not expect from an officer who claimed to have spent 19 years in the Police service”. In the video footage of the attack which was admitted as evidence before the commission, Justice Osinuga expressed disgust that the police did not arrive the scene of the attack which lasted for about three hours despite the DPO’s attestation that it takes less than 10 minutes drive from his office to the scene of the incident. Counsel to the monarch, Fashanu also accused the DPO and his men of ineffectiveness, stressing that there is connivance between the police and the hoodlums to attack the monarch. He equally accused the DPO of leaking the IGP’s intention to effect the arrest of the hoodlums, due to the inability of the officers on ground to do same. In his defense however, the DPO told the commission that 7 accused persons were arrested during the violent clash, adding that he and his men prevented the hoodlums from killing the monarch.
WITH AGENCY REPORT
he Police Intelligence Bureau of the Enugu State Police Command on Tuesday arrested three persons who allegedly specialise in issuing fake certificates. The Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr Ebere Amaraizu, told newsmen that the accused persons specialised in issuing fake certificates of secondary and tertiary institutions to interested individuals. According to him, the suspects were tracked down based on intelligence report gathered from the members of the public; leading to the arrest of
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Police smash certificate forgery syndicate in Enugu the syndicate at their Trans Ekulu office, Enugu, where various fake certificates were recovered. “We received information that some people issue fake certificates of various secondary schools, polytechnics and universities at a cost, ranging from N60, 000 and above. We caught them at a point they wanted to hand over a Higher National Diploma Certificate of the Institute of Manage-
ment and Technology, (IMT), Enugu to one of their victims. “One of the certificates has the stamps with an inscription of Mechanical Engineering Department of IMT. We also recovered during the raid on their office, six copies of senior secondary school certificates, four identity cards and 45 files, suspected to be owned by their candidates. Apart from these, the police also recovered substances suspected
to be hard drugs.” The spokesman named the suspects as Ikechukwu Olisa, Anthony Nwankwo and Osinachi Udoka. Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Abubakar Mohammed, has praised the intelligence operatives for their efforts; even as he thanked members of the public for providing useful information on criminals within the state.
Local architecture at Katsina-Ala in Benue State.
wenty-eight-year-old, physically challenged man, Yahya Dogo and one Moses Kikame (26-yr) were yesterday arraigned before a Lagos High Court for allegedly stealing jewellery valued at N100, 000. The duo who were charged before Justice Christopher Balogun are facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and armed robbery. State counsel, Mr W.A Quadri told the court that the defendants have no particular means of livelihood. Information on the charge sheet revealed that Kikame and Dogo committed the offence on June 3, 2011 at Lester Pharmacy, Ado-Odo,
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Disabled, one other arraigned for robbery Ajah, Lagos at 8.00 p.m. Kikame and Dogo attacked one Mr Lucky Amadiuche while armed with a gun and disposed him of his gold chain valued at N100, 000. They however, pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them. Ruling their bail applications, the court granted Kikame which Dogo was remanded in prison custody. The offences contravened Sections 402 and 403 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State. State counsel, Mr W.A Quadri who pleaded that there were no witnesses in court at the time of the hearing; asked for an adjourn-
ment date to enable him produce witnesses in court which the defense counsel,
Mr Omiyinka Oyediji, didn’t object. Justice Balogun then or-
Community plans N5m New Yam festival DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
dogbalato community in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State has planned an elaborate 2013 New Yam festival that will gulp no less than N5million. According to the traditional ruler of the community, HRH Igwe Chris Oti, this year’s yam festival competition would be spectacular and more colourful, than that of previous years. The Monarch said it was because of the anticipated elaborate celebration that he decided to increase the free donation of fertilizer to farmers in his community from 20 to 50 bags. The monarch said: “This year’s Adogbalato New Yam festival will gulp the sum of N5million and it will feature a lot of new innovations including masquerade competition among neighboring and host community. “New Yam celebration is a big cultural event in our community; because it is a time we showcase our cultural heritage as well as entertain ourselves and visitors.” The traditional ruler said he has procured over fifty bags of fertilizer and assorted farming implements to be distributed freely among farmers during the festival scheduled to take place on July 20th, 2013. The monarch also decried the continued neglect of rural roads by Enugu State Government, stressing that it was high time governments at all levels accorded agriculture the serious attention it deserves. He insisted that since no nation can survive without agriculture, there was the urgent need for policy makers in the country to always initiate human oriented programmes in the sector that are capable of boosting the nation’s economy.
dered that the first defendant continue his bail while the second be remanded in custody and adjourned the case to October 3, 2013 for hearing.
Wednesday July 3, 2013
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Gitmo detainees on hunger strike sue U.S. over forced feeding
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
.W. de Klerk, the last leader of South Africa’s apartheid era and a co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela, has suffered dizziness and will be fitted with a pacemaker to help his heart function, a foundation said yesterday. A Cape Town-based foundation named after 77-year-old de Klerk said the former president felt dizzy after returning home on Sunday from a trip to Europe, and consulted his specialist on Monday. “He has had several such spells in recent weeks and his specialist recommended the immediate installation of a pacemaker. He will be fitted with a pacemaker later today and will spend the night in hospital,” the foundation said in a statement. South Africa’s president released a statement Tuesday wishing the former leader a speedy recovery. “We wish the former President well during this difficult time. Let us keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers,” Jacob Zuma said. On Saturday, the foundation issued a statement on behalf of de Klerk and his wife Elita, saying they had decided to suspend a working visit and vacation in Europe because Mandela is critically ill, and that they were praying for an improvement in the health of the anti-apartheid leader. Mandela, 94, was taken to a Pretoria hospital on June 8 to be
“Clearly the voters roll is a shambles. The registration is often chaotic and frustrating in urban areas and we see this as an attempt to rig the elections before voting has even started” –ZIMBABWE’S MDC PARTY SPOKESMAN, DOUGLAS MWONZORA
South Africa’s apartheid-era leader, De Klerk, falls ill To get pacemaker for heart
L-R: South African President Nelson Mandela and Deputy President F.W. de Klerk chatting outside Parliament after the approval of South Africa’s new constitution, in 1996. PHOTO: AP
treated for what the government said at the time was a recurring lung infection. Since then, there has been a groundswell of concern in South Africa and around the world for the man who spent 27 years as a prisoner under apartheid and then emerged to negotiate an end to white racist rule before becoming president in the country’s first all-race elections in 1994. De Klerk, a former education minister who had backed segregated schooling, was a key figure in a delicate transition that
turned out to be relatively peaceful despite fears of widespread racial conflict. In 1990, a year after becoming South Africa’s president, he announced he was legalizing the African National Congress, the banned group that led the anti-apartheid movement, and would free Mandela. He received the Nobel prize along with Mandela for his reformist initiatives and effectively negotiating himself out of power. De Klerk later served as a deputy president during Mandela’s single five-year term as presi-
dent. Since his retirement from political life, he has travelled widely and delivered lectures. His foundation says its mission is to help poor and disabled children, contribute to conflict resolution and uphold South Africa’s constitution, which robustly supports the protection of human rights. Last year, Mandela’s archivists and Google announced a project to digitally preserve a record of Mandela’s life. In one online video, de Klerk recalled being asked to address parliament alongside Mandela in 2004.
Egyptian army to conduct new election, suspend constitution
he Egyptian military has leaked details of its draft “roadmap” for the country’s future, which includes new presidential elections. According to details given to the BBC, the plan would see the suspension of the new constitution and the dissolution of parliament.
Clashes in Cairo between opponents and supporters of President Morsi killed seven people yesterday, officials say. The army warned on Monday that it would step in unless a solution was found. Morsi criticised the ultimatum, which gave him 48 hours to find agreement with the opposition,
Egyptians protesting against President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s landmark Tahrir square in Cairo. Egypt, on Sunday. PHOTO: UPI
saying it “might cause confusion”. The president met the head of the armed forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, for a second consecutive day on Tuesday. They did not give any details of the talks, which also included Prime Minister Hisham Qandil. Military sources told the BBC the president’s position was becoming “weaker” with every passing minute and suggested that under the draft plan, he could be replaced by a council of crossparty civilians and technocrats ahead of new elections. Thousands of protesters gathered in Tahrir Square in central Cairo yesterday afternoon to demand Morsi step down. Waving flags, the crowds chanted slogans including: “The people have brought down the regime.” When several military helicopters flew ahead, they erupted in
cheers. Opposition supporter in Tahrir Square, Cairo (2 July 2013) As the Tamarod deadline approached, thousands of protesters gathered in Tahrir Square Deadly clashes broke out between pro- and anti-Morsi activists at several points in the city, with the health ministry reporting casualties at hospitals in the north, south and centre of the capital. More clashes have been reported across Egypt as leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood - the Islamist party to which Mr Morsi belongs - urged their supporters on to the streets, reports the BBC’s Aleem Maqbool in Cairo. Morsi was put under further pressure by the resignation of six ministers from his government on Monday, including Foreign Minister Kamel Amr.
Obama ends Africa trip, joins Bush at memorial in Tanzania
United States President Barack Obama and his predecessor President George W. Bush found common ground in Africa yesterday, honouring the victims of a terrorist attack in an unprecedented encounter a world away from home. The U.S. presidents observed a moment of silence together at a monument to victims of the 1998 embassy bombing here in the east African city where Bush coincidentally happened to be as Obama wrapped up a weeklong tour of the continent. While the two leaders didn’t say anything publicly, their wives engaged in a warm and chatty joint appearance at a summit on African women. Initially the two presidents weren’t even planning to meet while in town, but first lady Michelle Obama joked as she sat next to her predecessor: “They’re learning from us.” The Obamas departed Africa for home shortly after crossing paths with the Bushes, who were hosting the summit promoting the role of African first ladies in bringing change to their countries.
South African police investigate Mandela’s grandson in grave dispute
South African police opened an investigation yesterday into Nelson Mandela’s grandson on suspicion of illegally exhuming the bodies of three of the ailing anti-apartheid hero’s children, a police spokesman said. The investigation is the latest twist in an unedifying family feud that has drawn global attention as the 94-year-old Mandela lies in a Pretoria hospital in a critical condition. Sixteen members of the Mandela family have already won a court order forcing Mandla Mandela - officially chief of the Mandela clan - to return the bodies that he dug up two years ago from the village of Qunu, where Nelson Mandela grew up.
250 inmates escape in eastern Congo prison break A justice official says more than 250 inmates, including many ex-combatants, were freed when gunmen attacked a prison in eastern Congo. Lidia Masika said yesterday that the gunmen killed a prison guard and an inmate who refused to go with them during the attack in the town of Beni, which occurred early Monday morning. She could not identify the armed group behind the attack. She said it was the second time in the past year that the prison in Beni had been attacked and hundreds of prisoners freed. Eastern Congo is routinely destabilized by various armed groups. Last month, Beni was attacked by members of one of the local militia groups known as Mai Mai. The army repulsed that attack, killing 24 militiamen while losing four soldiers.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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Pope John Paul II may be canonised this year
Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005 at the age of 84, may be canonised as soon as the end of this year, sources at the Vatican said yesterday. The sources told the Italian news agency ANSA a plenary meeting of cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved a second miracle by Pope John Paul II, clearing the way for his canonisation. The miracle, one which Vatican sources said will “amaze the world,” took place on May 1, 2011. It involved the inexplicable recovery of a French nun from Parkinson’s Disease that came about through the intervention of the Polish-born pontiff. Last month, a board of theologians of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints gave its green light to the miracle. Yesterday’s approval by the cardinals and bishops leaves Pope Francis with the final decision.
North Korea seeks talks with US to ease tensions North Korea’s top diplomat said yesterday that the U.S. must accept its offer for dialogue without preconditions if it wants to ease tensions on the divided Korean Peninsula. He drew a quick rebuttal from his South Korean counterpart, who said the international community has made clear that Pyongyang must give up its nuclear ambitions if it wants better relations. The Koreas were among 27 nations at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum in Brunei, where the North’s nuclear weapons program was a key topic, along with other hot-button regional issues such as South China Sea territorial disputes. Asia’s largest security forum includes the U.S., North Korea and the four other countries involved in long-stalled nuclear talks on ending North Korea’s nuclear ambitions in return for aid. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the U.S., South Korea, Japan and China — North Korea’s chief ally — were “absolutely united” in their insistence on a denuclearized North Korea.
Israel agrees to Egypt troop movements in Sinai
Israel’s military says Egypt has moved forces into the border area near the Gaza Strip in coordination with Israel. With unrest sweeping the country, Egypt is believed to have moved several dozen armoured vehicles to the volatile border area to contain militant activity. The Israeli military gave no details. Under a 1979 peace treaty, Egypt is required to coordinate any special military activity in the area with Israel. In a statement yesterday, the Israeli army said “the Egyptian military activity in Sinai is coordinated with Israeli security elements and authorized at the most senior levels in Israel, to contend with security threats in Sinai that pose a threat to both Israel and Egypt.” Violent Islamic extremists are gaining strength in Sinai, and Palestinian militants have infiltrated through tunnels from Gaza.
Wednesday July 3, 2013
our inmates at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba are suing the United States government over the camp’s force-feeding procedures, arguing they are inhumane and violate the inmates’ freedom of religion. The inmates—two of whom are currently on hunger strike, which has lasted for months, and are being force-fed—are suing in federal court in Washington, D.C., for an injunction that would stop the U.S. military from feeding inmates against their will. Previous court rulings have held that U.S. prisoners may be force-fed to prevent them from effectively taking their own lives by starvation. But lawyers for the detainees argue that because they have not been charged with a crime, there is no “legitimate penological interest” in forcefeeding them to prolong their indefinite detention. The United Nations and the World Medical Association, however, have said force-feeding is inhumane and that prisoners who are mentally fit should be allowed to refuse food. More than 40 prisoners are being force-fed now, with 106 total on hunger strike. President Barack Obama suggested in a national security speech in May that the forced feeding was unjust and that he would renew efforts to close Guantanamo. Interestingly, the detainees’
Gitmo detainees on hunger strike sue U.S. over forced feeding lawyers are also asking the court to reconsider whether certain religious protections extend to foreign nationals held outside the United States, given the expanded definition of personhood put forward in the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC. The detainees argue that they should be allowed to fast for the holy month of Ramadan, which begins July 8. The prisoners say the forced feeding will violate their ability to observe fasting for Ramadan under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Previous court rulings have suggested the act’s protections do not extend to “non-resident aliens,” but the detainees’ attorneys argue that the courts should reconsider that precedent under the Citizens United decision, which dealt with freedom of speech and political contributions. It’s unclear whether the district court will buy the lawyers’ argument that it should take the case, because the government has argued in the past that civilian judges have no jurisdiction over the prison. The court has given the government two days to respond to the filing. Ahmed Belbacha, a 43-year-old
Former U.S. president George W. Bush and U.S. President Barack Obama walking to meet with family members of the U.S. embassy victims during a wreath laying ceremony to honour the victims of the U.S. Embassy bombing, yesterday, in Tanzania. PHOTO: AP
Algerian inmate who was suspected of belonging to an al-Qaida unit in Pakistan, is one of the four who is suing. “I accept [the risk of starvation] because hunger striking is the sole peaceful means that I have to protest my indefinite detention,” he says, according to the U.K. human rights group Reprieve and the California-based lawyer Jon Eisenberg, who filed the court papers on their behalf. “I realize the consequences of ending the force feed-
UAE sentences 69 in mass coup plot trial
ore than 65 suspects accused of plotting an Islamist coup in the United Arab Emirates received prison sentences of up to 15 years yesterday in a mass trial that underscored the widening crackdowns on perceived Arab Spring-inspired dissent across the entire Gulf Arab region. Rights groups have accused the UAE of widespread violations, including jailhouse abuses against the 94 suspects on trial. The suspects included teachers, lawyers and even the cousin of one of the UAE’s rulers. Authorities have rejected the claims and have moved ahead with further arrests sweeps tar-
geting suspected groups linked to Islamist networks such as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The UAE — which allows no political parties — has not faced any street protests or direct pressures since the Arab Spring uprisings began in the region more than two years ago. But Western-backed officials have turned their attention to suspected Islamist cells and online activists who have called for a greater public voice in the tightly controlled country. The official news agency WAM said prison terms of 15 years were given to eight suspects tried in absentia. Ten-year sentences were handed to 56 others, including Sheikh Sultan
Ahmed Mansour, an Emirati blogger and a human rights activist, talking with his children after he was pardoned by UAE’s president and released from jail in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2011. PHOTO: AP
bin Kayed al-Qasimi, who was head of a group known as alIslah, or Reform. He is a cousin of the ruler in Ras al-Khaimah, the northernmost of the UAE’s seven emirates. Five suspects received sevenyear terms. Another 25 people were acquitted. Earlier, prominent rights activist Ahmed Mansoor said 26 people were cleared based on preliminary information from the court. Security was tight with many foreign journalists, family members and observers blocked from the session. The Abu Dhabibased newspaper The National reported that chants of “Allahu Akbar,” or God is Great, came from defendants and some relatives as the verdicts were read. Mansoor said at least two brothers of the suspects were detained hours before the verdicts were handed down, reflecting wider trends across the Gulf as leaders attempt to quash any challenges to their rule. Dozens of people have been jailed across the Gulf for blog posts and Twitter messages deemed offensive to rulers. Authorities in the Gulf also have claimed to have dismantled alleged espionage rings — some accused of links to rival Iran or its proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon.
ing regime. Understanding this, I ask the Court to stop the prison authorities from force feeding and forcibly medicating me.” Belbacha notes that he has been held without charge since 2002, and was cleared for release in 2007 and again in 2009.
Taliban hit NATO supply compound in Kabul, kill seven
aliban suicide attackers blew up a truck bomb early Tuesday at the gates of a NATO supplier’s compound in Kabul and sprayed gunfire at security personnel, killing five guards and two civilians, Afghan officials said. The morning attack was the latest in a series targeting highprofile locations in the Afghan capital. The attacks have made clear the Taliban have no intention of ending the violence, even as they say they are willing to enter peace negotiations. The U.N. deputy chief, Jan Eliasson, who was in Kabul wrapping up a five-day trip to Afghanistan when the attack took place, said continued violence could only harm the Taliban’s own cause. “I would hope that there would be steps taken by the leadership of the Taliban to realize that the tool of violence in any case cannot instil confidence in the population,” he said. “There’s been too much suffering there and there are too many widows, too many father-and-motherless children in Afghanistan and I think we need to instil a sense of calm.” But the Taliban showed no signs of backing off, telling The Associated Press by phone that Tuesday’s attack was part of its offensive started in the spring to target military and diplomatic sites with suicide bombers.
Wednesday July 3, 2013
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Woman almost lose breast to mosquito bite during Egypt tour
woman has spoken about how a harmless-looking mosquito bite on her chest almost cost her a breast, Daily mail has reported. Natalie Thomason was on holiday with her daughter in Egypt when she was bitten three times on the chest. She didn’t give the red bumps much thought at the time, but weeks later she was in excruciating pain, her breast had turned purple, become cratered and smelled foul because it had been infected with a flesh-eating bug. ‘I’m always getting bitten, so I made sure I covered up and was liberal with anti-mosquito spray,’ she told ITV’s This Morning. ‘But obviously I wasn’t liberal enough.’ Thomason had been in Cairo when she was bitten in March this year. She was wearing trousers and a long-sleeved top to minimise the chances of getting bitten. It was only her chest that was left uncovered. When she noticed the bites has blistered very slightly at the end of the day she was not concerned because she had never suffered any health problems related to mosquitoes before. The next day, back at the resort of Sharm el Sheikh, she thought a dip in the salty sea might help the angry bites go down. But she was wrong.
She said: ‘I got swept under a jetty which was full of algae and when I came out I looked like the creature from the black lagoon. I showered it afterwards off though.’ Indeed it was her decision to take a swim in the sea that ultimately caused her to become infected with bacteria and develop necrotising fascitis, a condition that can be fatal. It would be weeks until she realised this, however. For the rest of the holiday Ms Thomason carried on as normal but by the time she arrived home she said she felt unusually tired.
‘The bites looked like big black craters which were being sucked inwards as the bacteria ate the breast away. ‘The bacteria produces toxins which slough away all the flesh and fat.’ ‘At the time I just put it down to the fact we’d had a busy holiday,’ she explained. ‘But I could really feel my energy going.’ Thomason’s bites did not heal and her health steadily deteriorated. She said she wanted to spend more and more time in bed because she was so tired. Several weeks later the situation became critical.
special tribunal in Senegal has charged former Chad dictator Hissene Habre with war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture over atrocities committed during his eight-year rule, his French lawyer said yesterday. The charges were handed down at the end of a two-hour meeting at the Extraordinary African Chambers, said Francois Serres said. The court was inaugurated earlier this year to prosecute Habre after more than two decades of living freely in Senegal. Habre ruled Chad from 1982 to 1990. Human rights and victims groups say that soon after coming to power, he promoted members of his Gorane ethnic group to head a ruthless torture and
killing apparatus targeting members of other ethnic groups that threatened his rule. He was removed from office in 1990 in a military coup, fleeing to Senegal. Over the next 20 years, as Senegalese authorities resisted attempts to try him, Habre became a symbol of impunity and an uncomfortable reminder of Africa’s unwillingness to hold its leaders accountable. Paramilitary police arrested Habre from his home in Dakar on Sunday, a move his defence team branded a “kidnapping.” Victims’ representatives on Tuesday praised the decision to charge Habre. “This is the first victory for the victims,” said Jacqueline Moudeina, lawyer for the victims and president of the Chadian As-
sociation for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (ATPDH). “The charging of Habre is a culmination of our 22 years of campaigning for justice.” Reed Brody, counsel for Human Rights Watch, who has worked with Habre’s victims since 1999, called the charges a “stunning victory.” “Today’s arrest is a message to dictators around the world who think about embarking on mass murder that they will never be out of the reach of their victims,” he said. In May 1992, a 10-member Chadian truth commission formed by President Idriss Deby, who came to power following Habre’s ouster, reported that Habre’s government was responsible for an estimated 40,000 deaths. The commission placed particular blame against the Directorate of Documentation and Security, Habre’s political police force, which “distinguished itself by its cruelty and its contempt for human life.” It employed torture methods that included whippings, beatings, burning and the extraction of fingernails, the panel reported. One technique involved forcing a victim to put his mouth around the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle, causing severe burns when the motor was accelerated.
Thomason (right) is pictured with her daughter on the day that she was bitten on her chest. PHOTO: ITV
She woke up to find the bites had become black, raised and very angry. Half her breast had turned purple and was incredibly painful too. She said: ‘I showed my mum and she said it looked like a nasty infection and that I should go to the doctor. ‘The next day I showed my son and he said I needed to see a doctor urgently but I wanted to go back to bed.
Foreigners to deposit thousands of pounds before using UK’s health service
F Ex-Chadian ruler charged with crimes against humanity A
Habre, left, seen as he leaves the court in Dakar, Senegal, in 2005.
‘I went to the GP though and he told me that if I’d gone to bed [and left it any longer] I would probably have needed amputations or I might have died.’ Thomason was rushed to hospital to receive urgent medical care but doctors were not entirely sure what was wrong with her. Initially they believed she had malaria or tuberculosis but after Googling they realised she had necrotising fasciitis.
oreigners will have to pay thousands of pounds up front before being able to use the UK’s National Health Service, the Daily Mail has reported yesterday. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will also charge migrants to visit a GP to curb the impact of benefit tourists. Latest figures show that for every £100 the NHS spent on caring for health tourists last year, only £23 has been paid back. Hunt will on Wednesday unveil a crackdown on loopholes which allow migrants to wrongly access free UK health care. He will vow to cut the £200 million annual bill for treating foreigners. However, Brits who live abroad, who currently face paying for care if they live permanently overseas, are set to be given guaranteed access to free NHS healthcare. The help will be available once they have paid 10 years of national insurance contributions. The new Immigration Bill, introduced during the Queen’s speech in May, outlined plans for incomers’ accessing NHS services to make a contribution to the cost of their care, either with their own money or through their government. Hunt said: ‘No one expects health workers to become immigration guards and we want to work alongside doctors to bring about improvements, but I’m clear we must all work together to protect the NHS from costly abuse.
‘We want a system that is fair for the British taxpayer by ensuring that foreign nationals pay for their NHS treatment. By looking at the scale of the problem and at where and how improvements can be made we will help ensure the NHS remains sustainable for many years to come.’ The plan to charge people who arrive in the UK before they can use the NHS has proven controversial, with divisions in the coalition about whether it should be a few hundred or several thousand pounds. Hunt will launch a consultation on the detail of the plans, which will be included in the Immigration Bill when it is published in the autumn. When the idea was first announced in the Queen’s Speech nurses and doctors were furious at the idea of being asked to conduct immigration checks. GP leaders said they ‘have a duty of care to all people’. An audit will be launched into how much overseas patients and short-term residents cost the health service. Around £33 million went on the treatment of foreign nationals in hospitals in 2011/12, of which around £12m was written off. According to Department of Health research, less than half of overseas visitors using hospitals are identified and only half of their costs are recovered, but officials pointed to a 2003 report by insurers CCI that put the cost at between £50m and £200m.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
INUSA NDAHI DAMATURU
he Federal Government has directed that 25,000 metric tonnes of food should be released from the nation’s grains reserves to the three states under the emergency rule. The Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, told journalists in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, that the directive followed complaint that residents of the affected states were suffering. The states are Yobe, Bono
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Emergency: FG releases food to three states
and Adamawa. Ngama said that the insecurity perpetrated by the activities of the Boko Haram sect in the affected states had caused untold hardship for the residents. The minister added that the restriction of movement in the three states, which has reduced farming activities, also contributed to the residents’ suffering. He said that 25,000 metric tonnes of food would translate to 930 trailer loads of food items, which is over
half a million bags of maize, millet and guinea corn. Ngama, however, said that the items would be released in batches because of the large quantity of food required. For the first batch, about 399 bags of 665 trailer loads will be released to the three states. Borno State, which is the largest and worse hit by the Boko Haram insurgency, will take the lion share of 324 trailers, while Yobe will get 195 trailers and Ad-
amawa will be left with 170 trailer loads. The minister added that the President approved N250 million for the purchase of rice, cooking oil and other accessories to be distributed in the three states. In Yobe State for instance, Dr. Ngama said that all the 178 wards would be given a trailer load of food, while the remaining would be shared among civil servants, police, army and other organisations. He advised the people
not to politicise the gesture, but to accept it as an Act of God Ngama said: “We are giving this food not because we are Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but because we see it as our responsibility. I am calling on all the people to come out to collect the food. It does not matter whether you are a member of PDP or not. Nobody will discriminate in the sharing of the food.” He said security agencies with aid groups would be in-
volved to ensure a hitch-free distribution of the food. Praising President Goodluck Jonathan for the gesture, the minister said: “This is an unprecedented initiative by the President. I have not heard in history where this amount of food was released to any part of Nigeria in the past. “The people of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states will remain grateful to Mr. President for his kindness and gesture to ameliorate their sufferings.”
Governors frustrating effort to grant autonomy to LG –NULGE A ZA MSUE KADUNA
Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu, presenting the key of an 18-seater bus for the Niger State Justice Sector Reform Committee, to the state Chief Justice, Justice Fati Lami Abubakar, after she was sworn in at the Government House in Minna, yesterday.
State-owned TV banned from airing Tambuwal’s visit to Katsina JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
he Katsina State Television (KTTV) has been banned from airing the recent visit of the House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal. The ban also affected speeches delivered at an event in Zango Local Government Area by the state’s Deputy Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Faskari and a National Assembly member, Hon Sani Daura. It was learnt that a Zenith
Bank cheque was issued to KTTV to air the event in a programme format, but the organisation refused to deliver after collecting the cheque. National Mirror learnt that when a reporter assigned to cover the event arrived at the KTTV head office, he was asked to submit the event’s video shots with him and go ahead with other assignments. The KTTV management, according to sources, then kept mute about the video shots even as it hid same to keep employees from mistakenly airing it.
A source, who did not want his name mentioned, said yesterday that the ban was an “order from above” and that the action was not unconnected with Tambuwal’s perceived anti-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) activities. Tambuwal was said to be eyeing the Presidency in 2015 general election and that his relationship with President Goodluck Jonathan was not rosy. He was also said to have been flirting with opposition parties. The source, however, said the ban was a reflection of the
crisis within the PDP and that “it would not be surprising if senior government officials are fully aware of the ban.” But the Special Adviser to the Governor on Press Affairs, Abdulhamid Danjuma, said KTTV aired jingles on Tambuwal’s intended visit to the state. Danjuma, however, said he was unaware whether the station aired the event proper and that he would confirm and get back later with the information. Efforts to reach him at time of filing this report were unsuccessful.
Ajaokuta steel company takes delivery of abandoned spare parts WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA
pparently determined to ensure that Ajaokuta Steel Company returns to productive activities, the management has taken delivery of five containers of boiler tubes and 37 crates of spare parts for the thermal power plant of the company abandoned at the Lagos Sea Port since 2006.
The company’s Sole Administrator, Mr. Isah Joseph Onobere, told journalists yesterday in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, the management would ensure that the objective of making Ajaokuta a productive firm is achieved. Onobere said the N62 million spare imported for the maintenance of the boilers of the thermal power plant in 2006, but was abandoned with other items at the La-
gos Sea Ports. The sole administrator said that when he resumed office in November 2012, the issue was brought to his attention and he immediately requested for the consent of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Muhammad Musa Sada, who graciously approved his proposal to have the spare parts moved to Ajaokuta. He said: Armed with
this approval, I directed the Commerce Department to locate the items and ensure they are salvaged and brought to Ajaokuta for our use. I am therefore happy to say that with the arrival of these critical spare parts, we have moved the dream of an operational Ajaokuta Steel Plant one more step forward. I want to assure you all that we will continue to put Ajaokuta Steel Plant first in whatever we do.”
he Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NUGLE) has alleged that the 36 governors are frustrating efforts to grant autonomy to the local council. The union alleged that governors are manipulating the National Assembly members against the plan to grant autonomy to the local government. It said the governors’ action was against the interest of igerians. Addressing journalists yesterday in Kaduna, NUGLE National President, Mr. Ibrahim Khaleel, said that local government workers were not responsible for corruption in the country, stressing that majority of the corrupt practices should be blamed on the Presidency. Khaleel, however, called for the abrogation of the local government and state joint account, adding that the council administration should be democratically
and financially autonomous for speedy transformation of rural areas. He said: “You will agree with me that Nigeria is one of the most corrupt nations and you will also agree that majority of the corrupt practices are carried out in the Presidency. So if you are to go by that assertion, no tier of government in Nigeria deserves to be autonomous. “My prayers are, if the governors are truly democratic, they should support people’s opinion and accept local government autonomy. There should be no manipulation of National Assembly members. Members of the 36 states House of Assembly should stand firm and resist any pressure from their governors to frustrate attempts to grant autonomy to the local government. “They should also see the issue as a project that must be executed. The lawmakers should support Nigerians by pursuing efforts that will grant autonomy to the local government.
Suntai’s health improving –Suswam HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI
overnor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State yesterday flayed the alleged deteriorating health of his Taraba State counterpart, Mr. Danbaba Suntai, saying that people were being fed with unfounded claims. Suswam, while answering questions from journalists on his return from a two-week vacation, said that he visited Suntai and ascertained his health condition is improving. He said: “As far as Governor Suntai’s condition is concerned, there is tremendous improvement and that he has
fully recovered to the best of my knowledge.” Suswam said from the discussion he had with Suntai at his hospital bed in New York, the United States, he (Suntai) signified his desire to return to Nigeria. He added that Suntai was only waiting for his physicians to certify his level of fitness before returning to the country. Suswam said: “Frankly speaking, people are just being mischievous; they are playing politics with the case of Danbaba. But for the avoidance of doubt, I want to emphasize here that the man is full of life and will soon be with us.”
Most resistant insect
Vol. 03 No. 656
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
The most insecticide-resistant insect is considered to be the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) which has been documented as being resistant to 71 different chemical pesticides. They are approximately 2.3 mm (0.09 in) long when fully grown and vary in colour from green to pale yellow or pink.
The huge scam that is ‘service wide votes’
ometimes in June last year, the chairman of the House of Representatives’ Public Account Committee (PAC), Hon. Solomon Olamilekan Adeola raised alarm over a likely fraudulent practice perpetrated though Service Wide Votes in the capital budget of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). Using the audit queries raised by the Office of Auditor General of the Federation for the financial years 2003 to 2006, he unearthed a misuse of budgetary allocation made under the nebulous Service Wide Votes heads that were meant to handle contingencies and emergencies not captured under any headings in appropriations for the MDAs. The sum of N21, 103, 363, 588.92 was allegedly misappropriated by 22 MDAs using this dubious means during this period in focus! A stunned Hon. Adeola deposed that the
...DOES THAT MAKE HIM SHEIKH JONATHAN?
olish Agnieszka Radwanska overcame a medical timeout and a stiff examination of her credentials by Li Na to move into the semi-finals of Wimbledon. The fourth seed, who is the highest ranked player left in the women’s draw,
way forward would be the removal of ‘Service Wide Votes’ from the budget since it had become both a conduit pipe for siphoning public funds and a ploy for circumventing or curtailing the constitutional power of the legislature to appropriate all public expenditures in accordance with Section 80 of the 1999 Constitution. His position then, which was widely reported in the newspapers, was succinctly captured thus: “There should be nothing like Service Wide Vote. Our position is premised on the fact that it is an avenue for the government to spend money that was not duly appropriated for. If we check what makes up the Service Wide Vote in the budget of the Federal Government, you will find out that it is the breakdown of heads and sub-heads of budgets already contained in the original budget of the various MDAs of government. This is not enough for them; they still want an omnibus vote whereby the breakdown of which will be centrally attached to each of these agencies again and tag it ‘Service Wide Vote.’ Almost a year after, it is now paramount that the federal legislators must do something to curtail, if not eliminate, what may amount to “contingency scams” in the league of fuel subsidy that assisted in the fraudulent diversion of billions of naira of public fund. This conclusion follows the appearance of Dr. Bright Okogu, the Director General of Budget Office of the Federation, before PAC on Wednesday June 19, 2013 over some expenditure under the Service Wide Votes. The revelations in that encounter were so mind bog-
THE SERVICE WIDE
VOTES HAS TURNED OUT ONE HUGE SCAM AGAINST NIGERIAN PEOPLE gling that a member of the PAC at the sitting, Hon (Dr) Babatunde Adejare, complained loudly that the quantum of the misappropriated funds was giving him severe headache. Dr. Okogu was asked to explain N1.2 billion expenditures in three months for a Presidential Project Assessment Committee (which was what really galled Hon Adejare). Listed were N377 million for settlement of outstanding liabilities; $775, 000 contribution to ECOWAS; and N410 million for capacity building for Ministry of Finance. Another member of PAC, Honourable Odeneye Kehinde, an accountant, preemptively dismissed all these expenditures as not falling within the purview of the intendment of what Service Wide Votes meant, saying they could have been covered under the Appropriation Act. Indeed when the chairman of PAC requested to know from a Ministry of Finance official if capacity building was in the ministry’s original budget, he answered in the affirmative, a clear indication that the N410 million from Service Wide Votes for the ministry’s capacity building is suggestive of fraudulent practice. But for the DG, Budget Office, the N1.2 billion expenditures’ justifi-
cation is that they received “approval of the Presidency”! More bizarre expenditures from Services Wide Votes unearthed included a princely N59.9 million expended to produce and circulate a magazine called ‘Servant Leader’; N300 million spent on 2010 World Cup, while N75 million was spent on lobbying for Federal Government in Washington DC. The NNPC also got N257 million as consultancy fees! The expenditure that most irked Hon. Adeola was N514 million for external auditors while the Office of the Auditor General’s request for N1.2 billion was cut to N800 million. Predictably the PAC chairman ordered the names of the audit firms, the accounts they audited and the audit reports, as well as the details of all the above outlandish expenditures to be furnished to his office for further investigation. However, it was generally agreed that the long term solution to the problem is a bill outlawing the omnibus Service Wide Votes to stop what in the opinion of another member, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, is the circumvention of the constitutional provision for Supplementary Budget, adding that the recourse to ‘Service Wide Votes’ is a ploy by the executive to avoid the scrutiny of the legislature. Without doubt, the Service Wide Votes has turned out one huge scam against Nigerians people and it is in the public interest that it is outlawed through an Act of the National Assembly. The nation afford to cannot line individual pockets under the pretext of addressing ‘emergencies’ or contingencies’ like publication and circulation of an ego massaging magazine, or spending N514 million on private audit firms auditing while the Office of Auditor General goes cap in hand looking for money to do its constitutional duty. The earlier the National Assembly rises up to the occasion of doing the needful by scrapping this conduit pipe that is Service Wide Votes in face of ever contracting public finances, the better for us as a nation. Chief Odunaro (JP), email@example.com, wrote from Abeokuta, Ogun State
Wimbledon 2013: Li Na joins list of casualties
came through a highly entertaining match against the Chinese sixth seed 7-6 4-6 6-2 to book a mouth-watering clash with Sabine Lisicki. The Pole, who started the match with strapping
to both her thighs, was immediately broken but quickly levelled before Li broke again to lead 5-4. Li had four points to serve it out but each was saved by Radwanska, who then earned two set
points in an error-strewn tie-break before taking the first one to take it 7-5 before rain briefly interrupted play. The Chinese had hoped to increase her haul in the Slam event to no avail, de-
spite her efforts.
FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP RESULTS Spain
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