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Okonjo-Iweala to ASUU: FG broke, can’t meet N92bn demand

Power: Preferred bidders may withhold 75% payment balance

Protests rock Lagos over strike

EMMANUEL ONANI AND PRISCILLA DENNIS

Vol. 3 N0. 686

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he end of the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, may not be in

...asks FG to resolve labour issues, seek subsidy, tax holiday

sight as indication emerged yesterday that the Federal Government may not meet its demands. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4>>

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Obasanjo blasts Atiku, Tinubu, Alams, others ...says new generation politicians have failed nation Nigeria is jinxed, cursed –Former President

TRAFFIC SNARL ON EKO BRIDGE

KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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x-President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, took the younger generation of leaders in the country to the cleaners, lambasting them for poor performance in terms of integrity and probity. The former President, while commenting on issues of poor leadership CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

EFCC grants Saraki, exKwara gov, bail P.6 Army kills two Boko Haram commanders, arrests six Police nab 3 for alleged killing of village head P.12,51

Damaged portion at the Alaka end of Eko Bridge slowing down traffic last night.

SPECIAL

From The Civil Service

A comprehensive weekly focus on public sector starts today

PHOTOS ADEMOLA AKINLABI

Kudirat’s murder:

Lagos drags Al-Mustapha, Sofolahan to Supreme Court …Sagay, Sowemimo laud govt’s decision Fashola seals Orji Kalu’s Ikoyi home over Land Use Charge

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Lagos drags Al-Mustapha, Sofolahan to Supreme Court WALE IGBINTADE, MURITALA AYINLA AND KENNY ODUNUKAN

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he Lagos State Government has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court against two judgments of the Court of Appeal in Lagos, which acquitted and discharged Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and Lateef Shofolahan of charges of murdering Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, disclosed this yesterday during his ministry’s monthly media briefing on Law and Order in the state. He said that the decision to appeal the judgments was taken because there were substantial grounds for it. Ipaye, however, refused to disclose the grounds of the appeal filed in the apex court but a reliable source at the Court of Appeal told our correspondent that the Lagos State government filed an application seeking to quash the judgements of the Court of Appeal because the learned justices erred in law by setting free Al-Mustapha and Sofolahan, and also restore the verdict of the high court. Two prominent lawyers - Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) and Mr. Seyi Sowemimo (SAN) - have hailed the decision of the state government.

Both senior advocates described the step as a right decision in the quest to get justice for the victims of crime, the accused and the society. Sagay said: “Lagos State is absolutely right because people were killed with impunity. Kudirat was killed, Ibru was shot in the eye and he never fully recovered, Senator Abraham Adesanya was almost killed; Alfred Rewane was also murdered. “Was it a ghost that was killing these people? Who was the mastermind? Who was the weapon in the Abacha government that was being used in this elimination of our spoken voices? That is the question we are asking. “Nigerians may be pretending today and making hero out of him (Al-Mustapha), but that doesn’t mean that wool had been pulled over our eyes. “So, I commend the Lagos State Government for taking the matter up to the Supreme Court so that at least, we can say that the Lagos State government has done its very best to bring peace to the spirit of Kudirat and to all those who died and bring justice to Nigeria, to those who died, and not only justice for those who are being tried. What Lagos State is doing is the right thing because somebody killed all those innocent freedom fighters. Sowemimo agreed that

“it is in order for the Lagos State to appeal against the judgement. It is such an important case in which members of the public have interest and it would not be right to allow it to die down without going the whole hog in order to ensure that those behind the crime are brought to justice.’’ According to Ipaye, “Having carefully reviewed the decisions of the respected justices of the Court of Appeal, it is our humble view there are strong basis for appeal which the Supreme Court of Nigeria should have an opportunity to consider. “This step will also ensure that all issues are fully articulated and the

victim’s family, the defendants and the society are not deprived of the last window of opportunity provided by the constitution for the resolution of the case.”. This decision is coming exactly one month after the appellate court verdicts that enabled AlMustapha and Sofolahan, an aide to Abiola’s family, to regain their freedom following death sentences passed on them by a Lagos High Court on January 30, 2012, for conspiracy and the murder of Kudirat Abiola. Al-Mustapha and Sofolahan, who were convicted by Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos High Court had last month been re-

leased from the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, Lagos, by the Appeal Court. Both men had filed separate notices of appeal against the judgement of the Lagos High Court. In its verdict, however, the appellate court declared that the lower court erred in law in passing death sentences on Al-Mustapha and Sofolahan. Justice Rita Pemu, who read the lead judgement, said that the prosecution totally failed to establish the charge of conspiracy and murder against them. Al-Mustapha, a former Chief Security Officer, CSO, to the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, was sentenced to death on January 30, over the alleged

murder of Kudirat on June 4, 1996 in Lagos. Kudirat was the wife of the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief M.K.O. Abiola. Shortly after Al-Mustapha and Sofolahan secured their freedom, Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN) had declared that Al-Mustapha had succeeded to escape from justice and not that he got justice. He had also likened the Appeal Court as a judgement without justice. He had said: “Although Al-Mustapha was discharged and acquitted but the event that lead to his acquittal showed very clearly that the trial CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

L-R: Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole; former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Director, Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Ibadan, Prof. Labode Popoola, at the Annual African Sustainable Development Network Summit In Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday.

Obasanjo blasts new generation politicians CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

in Africa, said the crop of young generation of leaders in the country had failed the citizenry and that the nation itself was cursed and jinxed He spoke at the Fourth Annual African Sustainable Development Summit, organised by the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Ibadan, in collaboration with the African Sustainable Development Network, where he delivered the keynote address. He made specific references to his Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar; the former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Salisu

Buhari; former Bayelsa State Governor, Deprieye Alamieyeseigha, and others as younger generation of leaders who had failed the country. He said during his administration as President, “We had some people who were under 50 years in leadership positions. One of them was James Ibori, where is he today? One of them was Alamieyeseigha, where is he today? Lucky Igbinedion, where is he today? “The youngest was Salisu Buhari, you can still recall what happened to him. You said Bola Tinubu is your master. What Buhari did was not anything worse than what Bola Tinubu did. “We got him impeached.

But in this part of the world, some people covered up the other man. The man claimed he went to Government College, Ibadan, but the governor (Oyo State) went to Government College and packed all the documents so that they would not know that he did not go there. “I wanted someone who would succeed me so I took Atiku. Within a year, I started seeing the type of man Atiku is. And you want me to get him there? “I once went to Tanzania because Julius Nyerere recognised Biafra. He told me not to mind his aides and others in government. They would say they have one house in town, but their five-year-old sons and daughters would have

houses all over. “Some of you, who are condemning the leadership, would get there tomorrow and it will be a different story. Only very few are actually good. “Abacha, my predecessor, got $750m, through our lawyer in Switzerland, we recovered $1.25bn and the lawyer still said there was probably still another $1bn to be recovered. “In 1979, we had 20 new ships specially built for Nigeria. When I came back 20 years after, the national shipping line had liquidated. “The whole thing is not just about leadership. If we talk about good leadership, you should also talk about good followers. If you talk about human rights, you

should also talk about human duties and obligations. “It is sad that after 53 years of independence, we have no leader that we can commend. Then, we are jinxed and cursed; we should all go to hell. The problem in Africa is that when one person takes over, he would not see any good thing that his predecessor did. Let us condemn, but with caution.” Speaking on ‘Leadership in Africa’s quest for sustainable development,’ he said the topic came at a time when humanity as a whole was in search of innovative ways of managing globally-shared challenges. The Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole said: “We

have not raised any question about the scenario where 35 people found it difficult to conduct a credible election in this country. I then have concern about how 2015 election would be.” A discussant from the Institute of Sustainability and Peace, United Nations University, Tokyo, Dr. Obijiofor Aginam, said: “Unemployment is a bomb that has exploded and manifested itself in hunger, violent attacks, crimes and killings. Another discussant, Prof. Mojeed Alabi, said: “The task of leadership in Africa has been quite challenging. Africans have been so unfortunate. The question is whether our leaders wanted development or power.”


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Photo News

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

L-R: Assistant Defence Attache, Chinese Embassy, Major Pu Lin; Director, Political Section, Mr. Yonghua Ding; Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati; Deputy Chief of Mission, Chinese Embassy, Mr Zhang Bin; Ms Li Xue of Chinese Embassy and Deputy Director, Protocol, State House, Mr. Nura Rimi during the visit of the Chinese Deputy Chief of Mission to the President in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO:STATE HOUSE

L-R: Guest Lecturer, Prof. Mike Obadan; Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, NISER, Prof. Olufemi Taiwo and Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Tunji Titilola, at the lecture on “Nigeria Vision 20:2020 Prospects and Challenges’’ in Ibadan, yesterday.

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L-R: Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs (Enforcement, Investment and Infrastructure), Mr. Yinusa Saka; Assistant Comptroller-General (Headquarters), Mr. Tahir Musa and Board Secretary, Assistant Comptroller-General Mohammed Modu, at the Customs and Social Media Workshop on Benefits and Risks of Social Media in Abuja yesterday.

National Publicity Secretary, Joint Action Committee of Northern Groups, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed (r), with the Secretary, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Kaduna State Council, Chief Duminic Uzu, at a news conference on activities of the committee in Kaduna yesterday. PHOTO:NAN

National News

FG may not meet ASUU’s demands –Okonjo-Iweala CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, gave the hint in her speech at the opening of a two-day National Council on Finance and Economic Development, NACOFED, in Minna, Niger State. She said the Federal Government had no resources to carter for the lecturers’ demands of N92 billion in additional allowances with the current dearth of funds. Okonjo-Iweala warned that if the demands of the lecturers were met in salaries and allowances, the nation would not be able to provide infrastructure in the universities. The minister argued that the nation was still suffering from the effect of the 2010 increase in salary and if steps were not taken to handle issues of demands from various groups, all the resources realised by the government would be used in settling salaries and allowances. “Now, ASUU wants gov-

…unions protest in Lagos, action shifts to Abuja, Calabar, Kano, Owerri next week ernment to pay N92 billion in additional allowances when we don’t have the resources to cater even now that we are working to integrate past increases in pensions. “That is why we need to make choices in this country as we are getting to the stage where recurrent expenditures take the bulk of our resources and people get paid but can do no work,” she said. The minister insisted that when she assumed office, the share of recurrent expenditure in the total budgets accounted for about 77.2 per cent of the federal budget as against what she left in 2006, adding that efforts were now being made to rebalance the ratio. She also lamented the rise in both external and internal debts, saying in August 2006 when she left office as minister, Nigeria had $17.3billion, comprising $3.5billion in foreign debt and $13.8billion in do-

mestic debt. “By 2011 when I returned to office, the total debt now stood at $447.9bn and the domestic debt had now grown to about $42.3bn,” the minister said, adding that measures had been taken by the Federal Government to address the situation. Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu lamented that efforts to deregulate the oil sector have been mired in series of subsidy scandals, rather than yielding the desired benefits to social security and economic growth. Aliyu, who was represented by his deputy, Ahmed Ibeto, decried Nigeria’s huge oil reserve without a single refinery working in full capacity. In Lagos, motorists and pedestrians along the busy Ikorodu road yesterday experienced hardship as scores of angry youths, students, activists and workers in the nation’s education

sector flooded the streets to protest what they termed the neglect of the sector by government at all levels. The protest, coordinated by the leadership of the Joint Action Front, JAF, a coalition of non-governmental organisations and pro-democracy groups, had representatives from the various students’ and workers’ unions, including members of ASUU. Others include the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, SSANIP, the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, the Education Rights Campaign and the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR. The protest march took off at the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, House in

Yaba and terminated at Maryland roundabout, where the JAF’s Secretary, Abiodun Aremu, addressed the participants. He condemned the “nonchalant attitude of the Federal Government to the 42-day-old strike embarked on by ASUU”, noting that the unions had unanimously agreed to shut down the education sector until government did what was right. Aremu explained that the protest marked the beginning of a national sensitisation exercise to enlighten the public on the consequences of the current neglect the country education sector suffers. The Public Relations Officer of JAF, Isiaq Olaitan Buno, said the protest, tagged, “Save public education” would continue in major cities across the country, including Ibadan, Kano, Calabar, Owerri, and Abuja. ASUU National Treasurer, Dr. Ademola Aremu, condemned the current 8.43 per cent of the nation’s total budget being allocated for the funding

of education, saying government must kick-start the implementation process of the agreement it reached with the union in 2009. ASUP National President, Chibuzor Asomugha, urged the government and other stakeholders to rise up to the agitation for a sound educational sector as championed by ASUU and other unions. NANS South-West Zone D Secretary, Monsurudeen Adeyemo, and COESU Chairman, Adetimilehin Michael, reiterated their unions’ support for the ASUU struggle, noting that “it is a just campaign to free the education from the stronghold of the rich who destroy public properties and monuments for their own to thrive at all cost”. ASUU Chairman, University of Ibadan branch, Dr. Segun Ajiboye, who addressed the protesters in Yoruba, urged governments to stop paying lip service to the funding of education, stressing that “what is tagged as a right cannot be denied”.


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Power: Preferred bidders may withhold 75% payment balance CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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he power sector privatisation programme may have run into a hitch as preferred bidders for the Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, yesterday threatened that they would not pay the outstanding 75 per cent of the bid price. They said the balance, due for payment on August 21, would be withheld until the Federal Government settled all liabilities to the employees of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.

The bidders are also asking government to subsidise the operations and grant them tax holidays to help cover anticipated losses due to certain “structural problems” that will prevent them from operating profitably during the initial post-privatisation period. PHCN workers had threatened to scuttle the privatisation process from which government is set to make N394bn, if their severance benefits were not paid in full. However, the Ministry of Power has begun payments to PHCN staff, starting with the N118bn to workers of

the generating companies and PHCN headquarters. But there are fears that this will not be concluded by the August 21 when the bidders are expected to pay the 75 per cent balance and take over the companies. Speaking during a roundtable with the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, the DISCO bidders, led by Dr. Ransome Owan, stressed that one of the conditions precedent for the conclusion of the privatisation was that the DISCOs would be handed over free from all legacy liabilities. He said: “Our lenders are mindful of this and are

reluctant to approve loans and condition drawdown. Therefore, it is vital for full payment obligations to the current PHCN employees be finalised by the long stop date of 21 August, 2013. “Lenders expect evidence of these payments before we can draw down on funds to complete our payments.” The investors also expressed concern over the Transition Electricity Market, TEM, which they said would herald the start of contractual arrangements in the power sector and the automation of billing and metering operations of

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima (middle) assessing houses burnt by Boko Haram insurgents in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State, yesterday.

Lagos drags Al-Mustapha, Sofolahan to Supreme Court CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

passed through about two to three judges at the High Court. “It was not because those judges did not want

sit on the matter; it was due to manipulations of the defence. “On each occasion, you will discover that AlMustapha alleged that the

judge has been bribed and so on. A panel of enquiry was set to investigate the allegation. All in an attempt by the defence just to delay the trial up to

point that the witnesses will longer be available, the evidence could be destroyed and so on. These are all the things that affected the trial.’’

Fashola seals Orji Kalu’s Ikoyi home over Land Use Charge ...gives him 14-day ultimatum to pay

MURITALA AYINLA

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agos State Government, yesterday gave former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu 14-day ultimatum to perfect property documents and pay the land use charge on his property located in Park View Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos. Fashola’s intervention came after Uzor’s home was sealed off by officials of the state for failing to pay the charge. The former governor had alleged through a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Emeka Obasi that the property was sealed because

of Kalu’s criticism of the deportation of 72 Igbos from Lagos two weeks ago. “Why is it that it is now that the property is being sealed, barely two weeks after my boss disagreed with the action of Fashola? We maintain our stand and this will not distract us from fighting for the people.” But in a statement last night, signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, the state government Kalu contravened the Land Use Charge Law of the state, noting that the sealing off has nothing to do with his position on the deportation

It urged the former governor to respect the law of the state by performing his obligation as demanded by the state’s Land Use Act. The state also accused the former governor of spreading misleading claim that his Ikoyi home was sealed off following his threat to sue the state government over an unrelated matter. The statement read: “The attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to a misleading claim by a businessman, Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu that his Ikoyi home has been sealed off following a threat to sue the Lagos State Government over an unrelated

matter. “We wish to state, for the avoidance of doubt that nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu’s property in Park View Estate, Ikoyi was distrained pursuant to Section 40 of the Revenue Administration Law of Lagos State for failure to pay the statutory annual land use charge despite three separate notices delivered to the said property. “As a government driven by law and process, the Lagos State Government will ordinarily expect all law abiding residents to discharge their responsibilities to the state.”

the market operator in line with market rules. The investors said that the conditions precedent that were yet to be fulfilled to include completion of metering of the grid interface points; testing of the market operators settlement systems and processes and constitution of dispute resolution panel without which Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, could not advise the Minister of Power to declare the start of TEM. The group also said that the industry agreements, including power purchase agreements, vesting contracts and transmission network agreements, which underpinned industry revenue would be deemed illegal and nullity until the declaration was made by the minister. They added that the policy “makes it very challenging for local and international lenders to support our effort financially.” Owan noted that at the moment, DISCOs were operating at a loss and buyers would quickly deploy their respective turnaround plans, but a cost reflective tariff, which guarantees regulated return and covers all industry payments, was not yet producing the desired results due to systemic and structural problems. He, therefore, added that if the DISCOs were unable to cover the cost of the energy delivered by the Bulk Trader, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, and the Generation Companies, GENCOs would be adversely affected. Owan also called for the release of the subsidy contained in the Multi-Year Tariff Order, MYTO, model for each DISCO. The group also called for adequate funding of the TCN to enable it adequately evacuate power produced for DISCOs. They urged the Federal Government to grant them five to 10 years special tax holidays for electricity and also consider extension of the long stop date to September 21, 2013 to allow for full satisfaction all condition precedent items by the government. Nebo stated that though some of the conditions precedent were outstanding, government was

working assiduously to make the sure that the conditions were fully met before the declaration of the TEM. He said: “I would like to share with you that the Federal Ministry of Power is fully aligned with your dream to light up Nigeria. We are not unaware of the challenges that are on the way. These issues raised we have been mulling for the past several weeks, especially with the issue of the Transmission Company of Nigeria. “We also realised that some of the conditions precedent are outstanding and we are working assiduously to make the sure that these conditions precedent are fully met before the declaration of the TEM. “We understand the challenges that you have raised and we realised we are all learning in this process. And because it is still in the infancy stage, we need to nurse the infancy to maturity and one of the things we need to is to ensure that we present an enabling environment and where necessary to inject the adrenaline needed by the preferred bidders to ensure that they realise their dream, which we are all hopeful with the reform agenda. “We understand that you are supposed to inherit companies that indeed free from all legacies liabilities and we are working on that. We also want to assure you that at the rate that these payments are being made to staff of the various PHCN successor companies that you are acquiring, by the end of this week almost all the GENCOs would have been paid, and then, we begin with the DISCOs. “There are obvious reasons that we have chosen to settle the GENCOs and the PHCN headquarters and then move on the distribution companies. I will not delve into this, until the stakeholders meeting which we have already decided to hold within the next couple of days. “With regard to the transition electricity market, three conditions precedent that you mentioned metering of the grid, constitution of a dispute resolution panel receiving attention, be rest assured that we not oblivious of these things.”


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Alleged graft: EFCC grants Saraki bail OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday granted former Kwara State governor, Bukola Saraki, bail. Saraki is being interrogated by the EFCC over financial infractions allegedly committed during his eight-year rule in the state. The serving senator voluntarily appeared at the commission’s headquarters office in Abuja on Monday and was sub-

TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the 24 Deposit Money Banks, DMBs, in the country have signed an industry Resolution Cost Trust Fund Deed to cover the cost of the 2008 to 2009 banking sector crisis. The trust fund was also to further consolidate on the post-crisis system’s stability gains achieved in the industry over the last three years. Under the deed, the DMBs are expected to contribute 0.5 per cent of their total assets and 0.5 per cent of 33 per cent of their off balance sheet assets to the sinking fund. Currently, total assets of the DMBS stands at N21 trillion. Disclosing this at the end of the CBN Bankers’ Committee meeting in Abuja, the apex bank’s Director of Banking Supervision, Mrs. Agnes Tokunbo-Martins, said the initiative was mutually agreed upon by the CBN and the banks to create some funding that would strengthen the sector’s stability and guarantee safer banking in the future. She said what had hitherto existed to mitigate the devastating effects of the crisis in the sector was an Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between the CBN and the DMBs on how to cleanse toxic loans from their balance sheets. He added that with the signing of the deed, they have now formally agreed on the percentage and other ratios to be used in contributing to the sinking fund. The CBN Director clarified that: “One ma-

sequently interrogated and detained until he was freed yesterday. A source at the commission said that Saraki’s special administrative bail was based on his scheduled visit to London, to attend to a relative who is due for a medical operation. EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren said: “He has been allowed to go again because he has some medical challenges. He is likely to travel out of the country. A family member of his is due for a medical opera-

tion in London. “We are allowing him to attend to that and then return to answer more questions.” Uwujaren, however, did not disclose when Saraki is expected back in the country, a practice that is new in the commission. He said: “I wouldn’t call it an administrative bail. He was just given that privilege to attend to that medical challenge and then return to face his interrogation. We should expect him very soon.”

It was also not clear whether EFCC will soon file charges against Saraki after the interrogation, as the commission has kept mum over that. “You can’t preempt that. It’s like somebody going to the hospital and after the doctor’s diagnosis; you then ask if the person is going to undergo any surgery. It’s the diagnosis that will determine if there will be surgery or its just medication. I can’t tell what comes next after the interrogation,” Uwujaren said.

CBN, banks sign trust fund deed

jor event that took place today was the signing of the Resolution Cost Trust Fund Deed. This is a deed between the banks and its intention is to cover the cost of the banking crisis that we had about two or three years ago. “Initially what we had in place was a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, which required banks or rather where the banks on their own agreed to contribute 0.3 per cent of their total assets to clean the banking system at that time.” “But today the deed has been signed and what is in the deed is that the banks have agreed on their own to contribute 0.5 per cent of total assets and 0.5 per cent of 33 per cent of their off balance sheet assets to the sinking fund. “So, the whole intention of that is to ensure that going forward, the banking system is safe and there are no incidents whereby we have to fall back on tax payers’ money. The banks are going to contribute 0.5 per cent of their total assets and today in the banking system we have about N21 trillion in assets by the 24 banks held by them in various proportions,” Tokunbo Martins added. On the latest CRR policy decision which required the DMBs to deposit 50 per cent of public sector deposit with the CBN and how the banks intended to deal with its implications for lending and other business, the Managing Director, Zenith Bank Plc, Godwin Emefuele, said the committee discussed and that it was agreed that the banks would need to rev up their deposit drives and other

marketing initiatives that would help them to sustain their financial roles in the economy. The managing director explained that the banks were not only well-informed about the reasons that necessitated the apex bank to adopt the policy measure, but also determined to ensure that the overall objectives are achieved in the interest of the economy. Emefuele, who specifi-

cally spoke on the foreign exchange rate stabilisation potential of the measure, among other macro and micro-economic benefits, said the bankers committee agreed with the CBN governor on the rationale for the introduction of this policy and also agreed to monitor its implementation to ensure that the banks are able to ameliorate the effect on the economy and the banking industry.

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RMAFC commences consultation over new revenue formula TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, has commenced consultations with respected opinion leaders and elder statesmen in the country, including former Heads of State, as part of its advocacy campaigns to drum support for the proposed new revenue formula. A team from the commission led by the Chairman, Engr. Elias Mbam, visited former Head of State and elder statesman, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) in Abuja to update him on the progress made so far on the new revenue exercise plan. Mbam, who briefed journalists on the visit, explained that the rationale behind the consultative meeting was to enable the commission learn from the former leaders and also get their inputs into the proposed revenue formula. He further pointed out that it had become imperative for the commission to widen the scope of its consultations with critical

stakeholders in the country with a view to ensuring that they buy in into the exercise and offer support to the commission in order to ensure its success. According to the RMAFC boss, the commission has held consultative meetings with journalists, political leaders and senior public servants at the level of the three tiers of government, particularly state governors, speakers of state Houses of Assembly and chief judges as well as local council chairmen and their councillors, among others, in its efforts to engage all stakeholders in discussions that will help in getting a fair, equitable and generally acceptable revenue formula for the country. During the meeting, he told General Gowon that the commission would pay similar visits to his successors, to also get their inputs on the new revenue sharing formula. General Gowon thanked the delegation for the visit and assured of his continued support to the commission in its efforts at producing a new revenue formula for the country.

L-R: PDP National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur; Acting Deputy National Chairman, Chibudum Nwuche and Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, during the minister’s presentation of mid-term report to the National Working Committee of the party in Abuja, yesterday.

Nigeria signs arms treaty to check terrorism, piracy EMMANUEL ONANI

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s part of measures to check the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, the Federal Government has signed and ratified the Arms Trade Treaty, ATT. The development makes Nigeria the first African country to sign the treaty. A statement from the

Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, signed the treaty on behalf of the Federal Government in New York, United States. The statement reads in part: “Today, Nigeria becomes the first African country to sign and ratify the Arms Trade Treaty, ATT. “This landmark event represents our deep com-

mitment to a treaty which establishes transfer of conventional arms. “We remain resolute and unyielding in our efforts at uphold the principle of ATT and, in particular, ensuring that small arms and light weapons are appropriately transferred and access denied to terrorist groups, pirates, bandits and the like,” the statement said. It added that: “Since the

adoption of ATT, the government of Nigeria has continued to partner with like-minded states on the future implementation of the treaty.” Under the ATT, specific provision is made for the regulation of export of “ammunition and munitions capable of being fired, launched or delivered by the conventional arms covered under its scope...”


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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

EU, FG set aside €55m to fight polio RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR

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he European Union EU and the Federal Government have set aside about €55 million to intensify the fight against polio Addressing journalists in Calabar, the Programme Manager (Health) of the European Union Support to Immunisation Governance in Nigeria (EUSIGN), Dr Ayeke Anthony, said EU was out to assist the Federal Government reduce childhood morbidity/mortality as well as wild polio virus ravaging the country.

To achieve the goal, Anthony said 24 states had been identified and that the programme was divided into two phases. The first phase, he said, was on polio eradication and would embrace the whole country with the sum of €20 million earmarked. Anthony said: “The second phase, which shall gulp 35 million Euros, is the immunisation component in 24 states through the National Primary Health Care Agency. “The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is expected to spend €5.3 million mainly on training,

provision of infrastructure, need assessment, monitoring, supervision and coordination. “The import of this project is that the Federal Government of Nigeria has a plan. It has sold the plan to its development partners and EU has decided to buy into that plan. The intention is to build capacity of institutions of all participating states. The EUSIGN project is a follow up programme to the defunct EU-PRIME, but both differ in scope and approach.” Some of the benefiting states are Kebbi, Plateau, Lagos, Ogun, Gombe, Cross River, Edo, Akwa Ibom and

Abia among others. Also speaking, Director, International Cooperation Department of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Mr. Bassey Akpanyung, said the NPC was involved because the EU-SIGN programme had the capacity to change the health status of Nigerians. Akpanyung said: “The Federal Government of Nigeria has always found a good partner in the European Union particularly in health related issues as immunisation and polio eradication. Government shall give the programme all the necessary support in deserves.”

Opposition jittery over PDP meetings –Akpabio ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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overnor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State yesterday said that the series of high-level meetings among governors and stakeholders had begun causing panic among members of the opposition. Akpabio, who met with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, told journalists that the opposition was scared that the meetings organised ahead of the South-West congress and the PDP national con-

vention would lead to the peaceful resolution of the crisis rocking the party. The governor said he came to brief the President on the progress so far made towards the SouthWest congress scheduled for August 24 and also the national convention billed for August 31. Akpabio said: “All the steps being taken at the moment are in the right direction to ensure cohesion and bring back all the party faithful, particularly, the body of governors will come together to work as one for the interest of Nigeria and the interest of

the PDP. “I know that all the governors of the PDP are working towards the success of the party. I am not aware of any five aggrieved governors, but one thing I can assure you is that there is a jitter in the camp of the opposition with the meetings of PDP governors and the national convention that is coming up. “This is because as soon as the PDP puts its house in order, you know the result. The result is that Nigerians will follow because that is a truly national party in Nigeria.

Appeal Court quashes Army officer’s conviction • Orders appellant’s reinstatement

WALE IGBINTADE

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fter 15 years of legal tussle, the Lagos Division of Court of Appeal has quashed the two years conviction of an Army officer, Lt Col. K S Iberi (rtd), as well as ordered his reinstatement with immediate effect. The appellate court also declared the proceedings of the Court Martial that convicted him null and void, saying: “The proceeding was never alive and same is hereby declare null and void for want of jurisdiction.’’ Lt Col. Iberi (appellant) was arraigned on May 26, 1998 before a Court Martial in company of two other persons and were tried, convicted and sentenced to two years imprison-

ment without option of fine in accordance with the provision of Armed Forces Decree 1993. However, the court in its lead judgement delivered by Justice Rita Pemu and adopted by two other justices namely Ibrahim Saulawa and Justice Joseph Ikyegh said it was puzzling how the Commandant found the appellant guilty of the charges against him. The court held that there was no evidence of an agreement of a common design or any agreement whatsoever between the appellant and the coaccused persons to commit the crime. The court said: “There is simply no nexus, as there is nothing to show that the appellant conspired with anybody to commit any crime, of

cheating John Nwodo of the sum of N377, 000.00 and one Mitsubishi Bus Registration No- BQ628 AAA on the pretext of awarding a contract valued N10, 710, 000.00 from the Army HQ Lagos, knowing it to be false.’’ The court held that the burden on the prosecution would be discharged only when the essential ingredients of the offences charged have been established and the accused person is unable to defend himself. It stated that at the close of the case of the prosecution, the evidence presented failed to meet the essential requirements adding that the prosecution failed to discharge the constitutional burden to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.”

That is the only party without cleavages of ethnicity or tribalism and that is the only party without a godfather. “I am happy with the progress being made to ensure total reconciliation and I am very hopeful that at the end of this exercise, Nigeria will continue to enjoy good governance.”

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Keyamo dumps guber ambition, goes for senatorial seat SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, has revealed his ambition to contest the Delta Central Senatorial seat on the platform of the recently registered All Progressives Congress (APC). Keyamo, who had initially nursed governorship ambition, yesterday explained in a statement made available to journalists why he is contesting the senatorial seat. It will be recalled that the seat became vacant following the death of the lawmaker representing Delta Central, Senator Pius Ehwerido. The rights activist, however, denied that he had abandoned his governorship ambition for the senatorial seat. He said: “After the launch of the Delta Forces United, it became public speculation that I was interested in the governorship race in

Delta State come 2015. Of course, I had my eyes on the governorship race while I was mobilising the Delta Forces United to join the APC, and that, undeniably, still remains my ultimate goal. I will never abandon that goal. “However, the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. And he, who is great in smaller things, will be greater in bigger things. In this regard, the senatorial seat presents a unique and humble opportunity for me to bring to bear my enduring enthusiasm and skills for the supreme benefit of my people in public office, and to set the tone for the quality of leadership that is to come. That is why I am running for the vacant seat in Delta Central. And if the people give me a pass mark, they will eventually decide whether to push me forward or withdraw me from the governorship race.”

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 N20,647,810,000 and N30,000,000,000, respectively would be issued by Dutch auction on Thursday, August 22, 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, August 21, 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, August 21, 2013. The Bank reserves the right to reject any bid. Allotment letters would be issued for successful bids on Thursday, August 22, 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, August 22, 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.


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NEWS

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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Lagos holds 8th day Fidau prayer for Fashola’s father MURITALA AYINLA

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minent Nigerians yesterday gathered at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, to pray for the repose of the soul of Pa Ibrahim Ademola Fashola, the father of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babtunde Fashola, at the 8th day fidau prayer amid glitz and glamour. Present at the prayer session were former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), governors of 10 states and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal. As early as 10.25am, the pavilion of the TBS was filled to capacity with prominent politicians, market men and women, Muslim and Christian clerics, captains of industries, among others. The event could easily be described as one of the most powerful political gathering of the year as it brought together more governors from the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. Some of the governors present include; Comrade Adams Oshiomole of Edo State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Ogbeni Rauf

Aregbesola of Osun State, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and Abiola Ajumobi of Oyo State. Others are; Aliyu Babangida of Niger State, Muritala Nyako of Adamawa State, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State, Wada Idris of Kogi State, Sule Lamido of Jigawa State and the Deputy Governor of Imo State. A renowned Islamic cleric, Alhaji Muheedeen Bello, led the fidau prayer for the repose of the soul of the deceased as well as prayers for members of the Fashola family. In his sermon, Chief Missioner of Ansar-UdDeen Society of Nigeria, Sheik Abdul Rahman Ahmad, urged politicians to learn from the death of Pa Fashola, saying everyone came to the world and they will return with nothing. “And you will leave with nothing and you will leave behind your entire escort. You came alone. Your escort did not follow you. You came alone, nobody gave you any protocol, you are alone and naked before Allah. He urged leaders to live an exemplary live and shun the temptation of amassing wealth; Ahmad reminded

the politicians that a day is coming when God will question them on how they served the people. He added: “Often times, we forget about death and think of how to acquire properties. How foolish and unmindful have humans become to remember the futility of life because death will come whether you are ready or not.” Meanwhile, the event also featured tributes and recitation of school anthem from the Old Boys Association of Methodist Boys High School, where Pa Fashola had his secondary education from 1949 to 1954. Members of the Yoruba Tennis Club, Eagles Club, Premier Club, Island Club also paid tributes to their late member. Other dignitaries present include, the former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Secretary to the Federal Government, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, members of the Diplomatic Corps, members of the national and state Assemblies, members of the Lagos State Executive Council, among other top government functionaries.

L-R: Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji; Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako; Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal; son of the deceased, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola and his counterpart in Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, at the 8th day fidau for Pa Ademola Fashola in Lagos, yesterday.

National Leader, All Progressives Congress, Chief Tom Ikimi (left) and former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).

Encomiums as journalist’s body is laid to rest KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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ncomiums yesterday continued to pour in for the former Chairman of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, chapel of the Oyo State chapter of the Nigeria Union Journalists, NUJ, late Tunde Oluwanike, from colleagues, sympathizers and well-wishers for the worthy and selfless life he lived as a journalist. The presiding Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Tower of Blessing Area, Oyo Prov-

ince 3, Pastor Samuel Ige, in his sermon at the burial service for Oluwanike at Apata in Ibadan, charged Nigerians to continue to give their best to humanity as ‘no one knows when one will be called upon to give account of one’s stewardship.’ Oluwanike, 43, met his untimely death on August 2, 2013 in an auto crash that occurred somewhere in Osu, Osun State, while returning from Abuja with about 12 other leaders of the union, who were attending a programme. While 10 of the occupants of the bus sustained varying

degree of injuries, including the National Treasurer of the NUJ, Alhaja Fatimat Abdulkareem and the Oyo NUJ Chairman, Gbenga Opadotun (all still in the hospital), the deceased, who hailed from Ilero in Kajola Local Government Area of Oke Ogun, and two others, died in the accident. In a sermon taken from 1Thessalonians 4: 13 to 18, the clergyman said testimonies about Oluwanike from all the areas he had ventured into, attested to the fact that he lived a virtuous life and that of service to his profession and humanity in general.

Former Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (right) and his wife, Betty.

L-R: Governors: Adams Oshiomhole (Edo State); Rauf Aregbesola(Osun State); Musa kwankwaso (Kano State) and Babangida Aliyu (Niger State).

Amosun tasks South-West SSGs on child rights FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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gun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, yesterday charged Secretaries to the State Governments, SSGs, as well as all coordinating authorities from the six states of the South-West and Edo to evolve a recommendation that will impact positively on

the life of the Nigerian child. The governor gave the charge in his address while declaring open the 14th Zonal Network for Children, ZNC, in the UNICEF B-Field States tagged; “Fulfilling the Rights of Children: Our Responsibility,” which was held at the June 12 Cultural Center, Abeokuta, the state capital. Speaking at the event that was aimed at generat-

ing new ideas and strategies that will aid the governments of the six South-West states and Edo in fulfilling the rights of children in those states, Amosun expressed optimism that whatever recommendations generated from the forum would be made available for immediate implementation by governments of the participating states.

L-R: Former Regional Integration Minister, Dr. Abimbola Ogunkelu; former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Governor Fashola; Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun and Otunba Oyewole Fasawe. PHOTOS: OLUFEMI AJASA


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South West

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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Akinola to leaders: Purge Nigeria of corruption

•Says nation’s future under threat FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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Widow of NUJ Chairman, FRCN Chapel, Mr. Tunde Oluwanike, Omolara (second left), with her children, during the burial of her husband in Ibadan, yesterday. Oluwanike and some NUJ members died recently in an auto crash on their way from Abuja.

Lagos denies Amnesty International’s claim on evicted residents MURITALA AYINLA

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he Lagos State Government yesterday denied an allegation by the Amnesty International that it unlawfully evicted residents of blighted areas. It accused Amnesty International of interfering in land dispute without knowing the dictates of Nigerian constitution. Although the state government disclosed plans to consider those evicted from Ijora East area on humanitarian ground, it dispelled the possibility of compensating the evicted residents, adding that the land was unlawfully occupied by them.

The state AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, chided Amnesty International on the allegation, saying the land in question belongs to the Lagos State Government contrary to the claims by residents and other human right groups. Ipaye said: “Amnesty International cannot determine who owns land in Lagos, Abuja and other states. We all know the main claimant to land in Lagos State under the land Use Act is the governor because he is the residual owner of all lands in the state.” The commissioner added that it was illegal for the residents to dominate the land on the

ground that they were relocated to the place from the site of the National Art Theatre by the Federal Government. He said “The Federal Government cannot just drive anyone to the land as claimed by these people. If the Federal Government wants to give anyone that land, it will first acquire it and give the person the certificate of ownership or title document to that land. But to say they drove me away from A and then settle in B when there is no document claim that land B actually belong to someone else.” The commissioner stressed that the challenges confronting Lagos as the smallest state with highest population

Aregbesola approves N35m for Obadare’s burial ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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overnor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has approved N35 million as the government’s contribution to the burial of the late renowned evangelist, Prophet (Dr) Timothy Oluwole Obadare. In a statement made available to journalists yesterday in Osogbo by the Commissioner for Finance, Economic Planning and Budget, Dr. Wale Bolorunduro, the government said the money was approved to appreciate the contributions of the late cleric to the development of man-

kind and the state. The statement reads: “The sum of N35 million is earmarked for construction of the mausoleum, burial ceremonies and intervention works of the late Spiritual leader who joined the saints on Thursday, March 21, this year.” The burial ceremony will be held August 9 and 17 at the World Soul Winning Evangelistic Ministry Theology Centre in Ilesha. The government described the late Prophet Obadare as one of the great spiritual icons and a sage who the state is proud of, saying: “He had promoted the name of Osun beyond the shores of Nigeria during

his missionary duties as C.A.C General Evangelist. “We believe that the mausoleum of the late Prophet will be a great benefit to Osun in terms of tourism development as it could attract the influx of tourists to the state.”

Aregbesola

called for the need for the government to take proactive step in checking residents who may decide to settle at any place illegally. Ipaye said: “What we may not know is that Lagos is the most populated and the smallest state in Nigeria in term of land space. Even the land available at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is bigger than what is available in Lagos. In this kind of situation what do you get with the kind of population density? There will be tendency towards this illegality if allows to go on. You know how refuse was in Lagos before, you know the efforts that are being made to clean the place.”

ormer Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Reverend Peter Akinola, yesterday asked leaders to use the forthcoming centenary celebration as an opportunity to provide the country with a clean break from the corrupt past for a better future. At a media chat organised by the Peter Akinola Foundation in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, Akinola said that the call became necessary because the last 100 years of structural defects had plunged the country into an endemic corruption. The programme was the concluding part of the WakeUp -Call series of discussions organised by the Peter Akinola Foundation. Decrying the dearth of a leader with the political will to break the jinx of corruption, the cleric asked those in position of authorities to learn from the secular experiences of countries like China, Singapore, Ghana, Botswana and Burundi, among others, which he said had shown the political will to clean their system. Akinola said: “If there must be hope of a better country, Nigeria must break the corruption jinx; people must realise that corruption does not represent the most disingenuous invention or creation of modern man. “For Nigeria, the endemic corruption constitutes a huge challenge and remains

the biggest obstacle to her development. Its overall harmful effect is the reason why Nigeria, which is a country that is so endowed, has become a crawling beggar- nation with millions of poor, miserable and unhappy citizens.” The cleric stressed that anti-corruption crusade must be the decisive issue for the year 2015 general elections. With specific reference to the way Federal Government is foot-dragging on diversifying the country’s economy, Akinola said that Nigeria’s future is under serious threat. He said: “Nigeria cannot continue to accommodate corrupt leaders with docility, more so now that it is evident that the United States that is the Nigeria’s biggest oil importer is on the throes of becoming self-sufficient in her oil needs. “With oil no longer as the black gold that it used to be; with endless external borrowing for no just cause and with corruption unchecked, Nigeria’s future is definitely under serious threat”. Akinola, however, urged all Nigerians to be united in developing and ensuring a zero-tolerance for corruption at all levels of the society, stressing that that urgent measures must be taken to strengthen the fight against the menace. Primate Akinola, however, said the 1999 Constitution demonstrated that “it is flatfooted” and could not guarantee the needs of Nigerians.

Prince hails Osun’s urban renewal project

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prince, Dotun Babayemi, has commended efforts by Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration to beautify the state. Babayemi commended the governor for the urban renewal project embarked upon by his administration, adding that the people stand to reap the benefits in the nearest future. The son of the late Olufi of Gbongan, Oba Solomon Oyewole Babayemi, described the urban renewal project as a welcome development. He particularly hailed the dualisation of GbonganOsogbo Road. While there have been mixed reactions over the demolition of structures to

pave the way for the dualisation of the road, Babayemi, who hails from Ayedaade Local Government Area, urged the people to support the government in its effort to turn around the socio-economic situation of the state. According to him, the emerging network of roads and other renewal projects were meant to turn the state to a mid-regional commercial hub of South-West and hopefully Nigeria at large, with the people of Osun being the beneficiaries. Pointing out that urbanisation, which signposts uneven socio-economic developments, comes with a plethora of peculiar challenges to healthy living and habitation, however, called

on the government not to relent on its efforts in making the state one of the best in the country. He said: “The current government has done a lot in terms of improving the living condition of its people and must be commended for taking the bull by the horn despite the challenges being faced in the process. “It is understandable for people to feel aggrieved over the demolition of some structures that may have hindered the work on the dualisation of Gbongan-Osogbo Road, but I am appealing to the people to focus on the gains such development will not only bring to the indigenes, but the state in general in the nearest future.”


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South East

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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Ebonyi residents warned against building in floodprone areas ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI

T L-R: Enugu State Coordinator, Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Mrs Fausta Chima; Secretary, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Chief Romanus Ezeh and AFAN Deputy Chairman, Mr. Okwudili Abba, during RMRDC capacity-building workshop in Enugu, yesterday.

NAFDAC lauds dealers for surrendering N25m expired drugs NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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he National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) yesterday lauded what it termed as bold initiative by the executive members of the Onitsha Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers Union (OPPMDU) to voluntarily surrender expired N25 million unwholesome drugs for destruction. The Assistant Director of NAFDAC in-charge of Onitsha Special Zonal Of-

fice, Dr. Christiana Esenwah, who made the commendation while receiving the drugs from the traders, described the initiative as a giant stride towards ridding the market and Onitsha of expired drugs. Esenwah said: “This goes a long way to show that NAFDAC’s partnership with traders in its fight against fake, sub-standard, expired, unwholesome and adulterated drugs is yielding anticipated results. “We are grateful for this step of ridding this market of unwholesome,

expired, fake and sub-standard drugs for the benefit of all and the agency is still looking up to the market executives to do more”. She, therefore, urged OPPMDU to sensitise its members on the importance of retaining public confidence by selling only wholesome drugs. Earlier, the Chairman of OPPMDU, Mr. Kenneth Nwosu, told the NAFDAC chief that the unwholesome drugs were mopped by the executive of the drug market, adding that most of the items were

voluntarily submitted to the union by the dealers following the orientation given to given them. Nwosu added that some expired drugs were also seized by the union’s task force. He said the union had re-enforced the task force to enable it track down suspicious products and their dealers. “We have also opened more channels of information flow between the traders and the task force. People can now drop information in a box without mentioning their names,” Nwosu added.

Obi flags-off N1bn welfare scheme for non-pensionable senior citizens CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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overnor Peter Obi yesterday flagged-off the Anambra State Social Welfare Scheme for non-pensionable senior citizens with N1 billion Speaking during the ceremony held at the Women Development Centre in Awka, Obi said the scheme under which each of the captured beneficiaries would receive a monthly stipend of N5, 000 to cushion the effect of poverty, would cover about 30,000 indigent senior citizens in the 177 communities. The governor, who claimed that his administration had saved enough fund to sustain the welfare scheme up to 2014, directed that the beneficiaries should paid in their respective communities by the committees constituted for the purpose to reduce the

stress the senior citizens would suffer if payments were to be done in Awka or through the banks. Obi urged those in charge of the scheme to ensure that those entitled to benefit from it are identified, captured appropriately and scheduled for payment. Describing maltreatment of the poor as an abomination, the governor said his concern was to build a better society where everything would work out well. Speaking on the import of the scheme which is backed by the Anambra State Indigent and Elderly Persons Law, Obi said: “If we sustain it, it would be better for everybody. Let us continue with it, even when I have left office, I assure you that we have provided enough money to cover the payment from July to December 31.” Obi who used the opportunity of the event to

speak on the recent cases of kidnapping of traditional rulers, assured that government is working hard to curtail the trend. He promised that efforts were been made to arrest all the felons who were involved in the kidnapping of innocent people, including that of Igwe of Awgbu. “We will go to any length

to ensure that life is secured in this State, what we are starting today is what will help society to grow and prosper, we are progressing and more goodies are coming,” Obi stressed. The ceremony was attended by traditional rulers and townunion presidents drawn from the 177 communities of Anambra State.

he National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has warned residents of Ebonyi State to stop erecting structures on flood-prone areas. The agency noted that 70 per cent of the residents were at risk of manmade flood caused by poor sanitation and blockage of water ways, especially in the urban areas. The Director General/ Chief Executive NESREA, Dr. Mrs. Ngeri Benebo, spoke yesterday at a town hall meeting held in Abakaliki, the state capital. Benebo said natural flood were caused by heavy rainfall and that the purpose of the meeting was to educate the people on how to prevent flood disaster. The Director General, who was represented by NESREA Coordinator, Mrs. Mfon Nkanang, said

the flood disaster that occurred in the state last month caused enormous economic loss to the people. Stressing that it is the responsibility of the people to avoid building on flood channels, Benebo urged the residents to grow at least four trees around their homes. He also asked them to provide toilet facilities and septic tanks in their homes. Benebo said: “The agency has followed the directive of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in organising this meeting across the country so as to educate the people on ways to prevent, control and mitigate flooding. “Going by what happened last year, and the fact that more than 70 per cent of the populace are at risk of manmade flood caused by poor sanitation and blockage of water ways, especially in the urban areas, natural flood on its part is caused by heavy rainfall, which is as a result of climate change.”

CBN, stakeholders meet on cashless policy

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he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday met with banks and Bureau de Change operators on the need for them to sensitise their customers on the cashless policy. CBN Deputy Governor, Mr. Tunde Lemo, told the audience that it was time Nigeria updated its payment system to enhance her global competitiveness. Lemo said the effectiveness of the policy would depend largely on the collaboration of stakeholders and the government.

He said: “Some of the benefits include safety of cash from robbers, electoral malpractice and the promotion of financial inclusion. “Others are the reduction in cost of credit, transparency and it curbs corruption and leakages,” Lemo was represented by Babatunde Ajiboye, a Deputy Manager in the bank. Earlier, Mazi Azubuike Okoro, the Branch Controller of CBN in Awka, said that Anambra State was strategic because of its high commercial activities.

APC is unnecessary distraction to Ndigbo –APPA boss CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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mo State Chairman of the All Progressive Peoples Alliance (APPA), Chief Macdonald Ogoke, has described the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC) as unnecessary distraction to Ndigbo, saying the party is not different from the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Addressing journalists yesterday in Owerri, the state capital, Ogoke said APC, like ACN, would

soon fizzle away in the South-East. “ACN did not make any impact in the South-East while it existed,” he said, adding that no serious Igbo man would think of joining the APC as it has nothing to offer him. Ogoke said just like APC, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not have a programme, saying: “This was how former Governor Ikedi Ohakim, who won the governorship election under the platform of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) de-

railed when he joined PDP. Governor Rochas Okorocha is now diverting by joining APC after winning on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA). That is why Ndigbo have no future in the two political parties.” He regretted that APGA and APPA would have formed a formidable political platform in the South-East, adding that effort made by the leadership of APPA to form alliance failed because of selfishness of APGA under Chief Victor Umeh

who felt that Anambra man should always be the leader of Igbo. Ogoke, however, advocated formidable regional parties to facilitate the country’s development, saying: “That is the way a federation like Nigeria is supposed to be run. Let the West has its party, East and North theirs and we have a central government by so doing, there will be proper checks and balances that will help to eradicate the issues of impunity by any section and corruption in the system.”


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South South

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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Verification: Edo teacher can’t read own certificate SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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here was a mild drama yesterday at the centre for the verification of certificates of primary school teachers in Edo State as a teacher in Asologun Primary School, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area, Benin City, Mrs. Augusta Odemwinge, could not read a sworn affidavit she tendered as part of her credentials. State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who paid an

unscheduled visit to the state Staff Training Centre venue of the exercise, was appalled that a teacher could not read her own document, saying; “If you can’t read, what do you teach the pupils, what do you write on the board?” State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, Comrade Patrick Ikosimi, who was also at the venue to monitor the exercise, said the teacher’s failure to read her own document was “an embarrassment.”

On arrival at the centre, the governor took time to peruse some of the teachers’ credentials and documents presented. When Mrs. Odenwingie took her turn for the exercise, the governor, who listened to her defense, asked her to read the affidavit she presented, however, she was stuttering and was unable to read coherently, reading as if a kindergarten were learning to read, to the consternation of everybody around. Comrade Ikosimi, who

described Odemwingie failure as an embarrassment, said the union was in tune with the state government on the need to sanitise the school system. He said: “We are committed to partnering with the government to reposition education in the state. What this teacher has just displayed is a show of shame; it shows the decadence in the education sector. “As the chairman of NUT, I have written to the governor that we are in total support of what he is

doing. He should properly involve the NUT so that together, we can fish out those that are not viable so as to sanitise the system,” he said. It will be recalled that at a televised town hall meeting on education on August 1, Governor Oshiomhole has disclosed an audit carried out by the state Information and Communications Technology Agency showed that 789 out of 1, 379 teachers obtained Primary School Leaving Certificates before the age of eight or nine years old. The governor further disclosed that only 1, 287 teachers representing nine per cent of 14, 484 total number of teachers in the state have accurate and proper records. About 91

per cent have various forms of discrepancies in their records, according to him. Meanwhile, three female teachers, Mrs. Patience Osadolor, Momodu Aisha and Patience Oroghene, who were kidnapped at gunpoint in Orhogbua Primary School in Ovia North East Local Government Area penultimate Tuesday have been released unhurt. Our correspondent reliably gathered that the kidnappers released the victims after allegedly receiving N7 million ransom. However, the payment could not be confirmed from authorities of any of the security agents in the state even though a family member, who did not want his name mentioned, confirmed the payment.

JTF arrests 11 suspected oil thieves • Shuts 27 illegal refineries

EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

O Cross section of participants at a protest in support of the Academic Staff Union of Universities strike, led by the Joint Action Front (JAF) in Lagos, PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA yesterday.

2015 GUBER RACE:

Akpabio, Ibibio leaders disagree over zoning

TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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kwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, and Ibibio leaders in the state have disagreed over the zoning of the governorship position in the 2015 elections. While the governor preferred that the governorship position be zoned to Eket senatorial district, prominent political leaders from Ibibio have canvassed that the choice of a new governor come 2015, should be made open. The leaders appealed to Governor Akpabio to ensure that the race to pick his successor remains an open contest in keeping with the tradition of electoral contests in the state. The Ibibio leaders canvassed their position at a closed door meeting with the governor at the Government House last weekend. Sources told National

Mirror that the stakeholders, mainly from Uyo senatorial district were reacting to Governor Akpabio’s briefing at a closed door meeting with a group, where he reportedly said he preferred to zone the governorship of the state in 2015 to Eket senatorial district, because, according to him, Eket district has not produced a governor since the state was created in 1987. But the stakeholders told the governor that their people (Ibibios), who make up 14 of the 31 local councils in the state, would prefer an open contest as it was in the past when Akpabio won the governorship election after defeating about 58 other contestants from all the senatorial districts of the state at the PDP primaries in 2006. National Mirror gathered that the governor, however, maintained his position, explaining to the delegation that the governorship position would still

go to the Ibibio, only that Ibibio of Eket extraction alone would be qualified to contest the party primaries, excluding Ibibio from Uyo senatorial district. Such move, some stakeholders believe, was an attempt to stop Umana Okon Umana, the immediate past Secretary to the State Government, SSG, an Ibibio from Uyo senatorial district. But the Ibibio leaders, according to sources at the meeting, reportedly rejected the governor’s new proposal, telling him that Ibibio people would never accept to be out of power for 16 years. They reportedly argued that if a similar segregation policy that seeks to divide the Ibibio had been applied by the former governor, Victor Attah, in 2006 to carve up Annang people into eligible and ineligible camps, Akpabio would have been zoned into the ineligible camp to pave the way for Dr. Udoma Bob Ekarika, who was At-

tah’s preferred candidate, and that would have stopped Akpabio from contesting the election. The Ibibio stakeholders also reportedly told the governor that in the old Cross River State, of which Akwa Ibom was a part, Chief U. J. Esuene of Eket senatorial district was in office for nine years and was followed by Dr. Clement Isong, also of the district for four years, and yet no one protested. They argued that any attempt to stop some sections of the state from the gubernatorial contest would be unconstitutional. In attendance at the meeting included Ntisong Essien Ekidem, leader of Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio, the pan-Ibibio socio-cultural group; Otuekong Sony Jackson Udo, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state; Dr. Maurice Ebong and Mrs. Rita Akpan, a former Minister of Women Affairs.

peratives of the Joint Task Force, JTF, has again arrested 11 suspected oil thieves allegedly linked with illegal oil bunkering activities during its multiple raids in the creeks of Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States. The JTF also shut down 27 illegal oil refineries operating in the three states of the Niger Delta region. Media Coordinator of the JTF, Lt.-Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this yesterday in a statement made available to National

Mirror, he said the anti-oil theft operations lasted between July 26 and August 9. Nwachukwu said the suspects, who were arrested for oil theft and other related offences were currently undergoing preliminary investigations before they would be handed over to relevant prosecuting agencies. Giving a breakdown of the raids, the spokesman said five oil theft suspects who attempted to steal crude oil from the pipeline of the Product and Pipeline Marketing Company, PPMC, located along Otokolomabie Creek in Rivers State were arrested its by operatives.

Suspected pirates kill three in Bayelsa EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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uspected sea pirates have killed three passengers traveling along the Port HarcourtNembe waterways, identified as Kilometre 46, a boundary community between Rivers and Bayelsa States. Identities of the victims were yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report. The boat operator and the other passengers sustained bullet wounds and are now receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. The gang of pirates in a separate attack carted

away N1.5 million and an outboard engine belonging to another passenger traveling along the Nembe waterways. Investigations by National Mirror revealed that the incident occurred last Sunday when the suspects accosted the passengers’ boats by firing at them sporadically. It was learnt that valuables such as personal effects of the passengers were taken away at gun point by the gang. Residents of Nembe have raised an alarm over the frequent attacks by pirates in their waterways and appealed to the authorities to save their lives by improving the security network of the locality.


12

North

PAUL ARHEWE

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igerian Military Special Operation Unit, Mubi Battalion, Adamawa, yesterday said it has killed two notorious Boko Haram commanders during a gunfire exchange. The Commanding Officer, Operations, Lt.-Col. Beyidi Martins, told journalists in Mubi. Martins said the unit was making a successful progress in containing the activities of the sect and other miscreants that terrorised the state. “Two notorious Boko Haram Field Commanders, Abubakar Zakaria Ya’u and Muhammed Bama, declared wanted, had been killed by the Special Operation Unit, Mubi,” Martins said. He said the operation that led to the killing of the two commanders was successfully carried out following collective efforts by the military, members of the State Security Service, SSS, and other security operatives. Martins, who commended the support and cooperation given by the people of the area, said the activities of the sect have been weakened in the state. “On July 30, the unit received a call from some good

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Army kills two Boko Haram field commanders Samaritans that there was an attack going on at a Mubi Bureau de Change, where some armed miscreants invaded the area. “On arrival, the special operation unit personnel cordoned the area. Sighting the army, the terrorists opened fire on them. “And during the exchange, six suspects were arrested while four escaped with degree of injuries, and later, their corpses were found.” He said during the operations, four Russian made AK47, 500 live ammunition, N3 million and 5.4 million CFA were recovered. The commander said the money would be returned to the owners. He said the Federal Government had awarded the contract for the building of army barracks in Mubi as part of efforts to strengthen security operations in the area. Meanwhile, the British government through its Foreign Office Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, yesterday condemned the attack on a mosque in Borno State, which left 44 worshippers dead. Attackers wearing Nigerian army camouflage fa-

Kaduna shuts 457 illegal private schools A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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aduna State government yesterday shot down 457 illegal private schools operating in the state without registration, saying 185 would be closed in the second phase after investigation. Addressing a news conference in Kaduna, state Commissioner of Education, Mallam Mohammed Usman, said out of the private schools only 1, 575 are legally registered. He noted that 331 of such illegal schools were closed down within Kaduna zone, 81 from Zaria axis while 43 were closed down from Kafanchan zone, adding that some of the closed schools are also operating outside the proper curriculum, in shops, half plots of land and in garages. Usman stressed that some of the illegal schools have been operating for over 10 years

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

without necessary registration, warning that government would no longer tolerate the practice in the state. Usman, however, warned that government would not hesitate to take necessary measures to checkmate operation of such schools, adding that such schools remain closed until they formalise their registration. On multiple taxation in private schools, the commissioner said a committee has been set up by the state government to look at the issues and come up with recommendations that will help to correct the issues, while government would further address indiscriminate increase in school fees. When contacted, one of the school owners, Mrs. Hannatu Sambo of Revival Nursery/Primary School said her school has been registered as a baby school with the main branch and the ministry and expressed surprise why her school will be among those closed.

tigues struck under cover of darkness as residents were saying their dawn prayers at around 5.30 am on Sunday at Konduga town, 35 kilometres from Maiduguri, said security agents who did not want their names in print. Another 12 civilians died in a simultaneous attack on Ngom village just outside Maiduguri, they said. Simmonds said: “I strongly condemn the attack on worshippers in a mosque in Borno State, Nigeria that took place on Sunday. This

senseless attack has reportedly killed 44 people and left many others injured. Attacking innocent people in a place of worship is a contemptible and cowardly act.” The British government also expressed condolences to those affected in the attack. “My thoughts are with all those who were caught up in the attack, and their families. The United Kingdom stands with the Government and people of Nigeria as they seek to reduce

violence in the North-East of the country,” Simmonds said. Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has condemned renewed killing of innocent Nigerians in Borno State. Specifically, the Speaker described as barbaric and brazen, the attack on security operatives and the killing of innocent worshippers in Konduga. In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on

Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal charged security operatives to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act and bring them to justice. He urged Nigerians not to despair, saying the dark period of wanton killings in the country will soon be a thing of the past. While praying for the repose of the souls of those who died, Tambuwal prayed to God to give their families the fortitude to bear the losses.

Participants at an interactive forum for stakeholders in the film industry in Jos, yesterday.

AZA MSUE KADUNA

One north not dead, says ACF, NEF, others wards enhancing the political fortunes of the north. He said: “In the last one year, a number of groups with membership drawn from professional, political and community leaders in the north have been involved in discussions towards creating a common platform for action in promoting the interests of the of the north in the context of a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria. “Some of the groups involved in such discussions include the Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern

he Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, and other groups under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee of Northern Groups, JACONG, yesterday said the oneness for which the northern region was known, was not dead but that it is still intact and would get back the Presidency in the 2015 election. The new group comprises of ACF, NEF, Middle Belt Group, The Code Group, Northern Reawakening Fo-

rum and Arewa Research and Development Project has vowed to improve on the unity and cohesion of the diverse people of the region in pursuit of power. Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, Publicity Secretary of joint northern group, Dr. Hakeem BabaAhmed, said many groups have decided to put their resources together rather than working in isolation for the region’s agenda. Ahmed, a retired federal permanent secretary said the group would encourage an inclusive approach to-

WOLE ADEDEJI

Offa LG polls hold August 31

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ILORIN

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he Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission, KWASIEC, yesterday fixed August 31 this month for the conduct of election into Offa Local Government Council. The exercise is coming up two months ahead of the earlier date of October 26, 2013, when elections will now be held in the remaining 15 local government councils.

In a statement signed by the Chairman of KWASIEC, Uthman Abdulrahman Abidagba yesterday, the peculiar conduct of the election in Offa council alone was consequent upon a judgment of an appellate court of February 13, 2013 “which ordered a fresh election into the office of the chairman of Offa Local Government.” The order had quashed the election of the sitting

chairman at the time, Prince Saheed Popoola, of the then Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, which implies that Popoola might, at the end, not have his dream of becoming the chairman of the council realised. The bloody clash between Offa and Erin Ile earlier in the year had attracted the suspension of the council while a sole administrator was appointed

Elders Forum, a number of groups from the Middle Belt, The Code Group, Northern Reawakening Forum and Arewa Research and Development Project.” “One North is not dead, we are all one and together. This platform is actually a collaboration of these groups. It is precisely created to reduce the duplication of efforts and the waste in energy. “The groups have decided to create a common platform through which we will also pursue the same objectives, though will continue to exist.” to run the council preparatory to the expected October poll. Popoola had on Monday raised an alarm that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, plans to influence the KWASIEC to conduct the election ahead of October which would be to his disadvantage. However, PDP had sharply denied the allegation asking the opposition party to which the ex chairman belongs, to stop chasing shadows.


Wednesday August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

13

Politics

Battle for the soul of APC in Oyo

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PDP cautioned over plot against Soludo’s guber aspiration OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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eactions have trailed media report this week that the leadership of the People Democratic Party, PDP are plotting to stop former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo from emerging as the flag-bearer of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State. The leadership of the PDP on Monday expressed reservation over Soludo’s resignation from the party and his movement to APGA where he has col-

lected form to contest the November election. The report said that the PDP leadership is therefore hatching plots to stop Soludo from emerging as APGA candidate in the election, as his huge profile and large followership in PDP would combine to make him the candidate to beat in the election. But a group of APGA faithful under the aegis of Ikemba Front, IF, said the report of PDP meddlesomeness in the party’s affairs will not be taken lightly, as it is an affront on not only the leadership of APGA but the entire Igbo land, since according to the group, APGA is the soul and body of a greater majority of Ig-

bos both at home and in the Diaspora. The group therefore warned the PDP to face its numerous crises and allow APGA and its members to decide on who would represent their best interest. In a press statement, signed by its national coordinator, Okobi Cyril Nnabuenyi, IF said that the PDP leaders cannot determine for APGA when both parties are in the same contest.

It said: “The news that the PDP leadership at the highest level is plotting to influence the choice of APGA candidature in the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State is simply despicable and therefore totally unacceptable to the entire members of our great party. “APGA is in contest for who becomes governor of Anambra State from March next year when

our dynamic leader, Mr. Peter Obi would be concluding his tenure. To that effect, the interest of the PDP in who becomes APGA candidate is in bad faith. The PDP wants to ensure that APGA fields a candidate that can be easily defeated by it and this will never happen.” Nnabuenyi added that for APGA to allow the PDP leadership to determine what happens in the

party would amount to suicide on the part of the party, saying: “Why is it that people from outside always think they can decide whatever would happen in Igbo land? Can PDP go to the South West to decide who would be the candidate of an opposition party? It dares not. In this case, we will do whatever is possible to resist PDP from infiltrating our party in this very crucial election.”

No alternative to PDP, says Maku PDP has laid the foundation OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, yesterday boasted that there is no alternative to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in terms of leadership quality and vision. Briefing the PDP National Working Committee, NWC on the scorecard of the ministry, Maku said that none of the political parties making noise would have made the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, independent. He added that the quality of governance depends on the quality of the party, insisting that transparent election can only be guaranteed by the ruling party and this, he said is what the opposition parties are enjoying today. Maku said that the nation’s economy is growing under the party, warning International Monetary Fund, IMF, not to dictate for Nigeria, but to advise. He also warned stakeholders, who are outside the government not to fan the ember of discouragement, but should help the government to achieve its mandate, adding that the

for democracy and no government anywhere in the country has done what the PDP-led government has done in the last two years. His words: “A reforming president is never a popular President in the beginning until when the reform’s result begins to come out. “Boko Haram has damaged the reputation of Nigeria. A report of a bomb explosion makes more news globally than commissioning of projects. We have been doing well in an atmosphere of negative reports. This government is the most documented in the Nigeria history.” He challenged all government appointees to be loyal to the party and the Federal Government, saying that when government succeeds the party has succeeded.

Chairman PDP Governors’ Forum, Goevrnor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State briefing State House Correspondents on the conciliatory moves in the party following series of meetings on Monday night and his consultations with President Goodluck Jonathan on the forthcoming South-West Zonal Convention at the Aso Villa, Abuja.

C’River 2015: Ogoja waxes stronger for governorship –Offoboche RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR

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s the race for the 2015 elections gathers momentum, the Northern Senatorial District of Cross River State has declared intention to produce the next governor of the state. This was as awareness has reached a crescendo on the need for one of its own to occupy the Govern-

ment House. Former Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Mathias Offuboche in an interview with National Mirror said there was no doubt it is the turn of the Northern district of the state to occupy the position since the Southern and Central districts of the state had occupied the position for eight years apiece through former Governor Donald Duke

Afenifere condoles with Fashola OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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an-Yoruba sociocultural organisation, Afenifere, has commiserated with the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, over the demise of his father, Pa Ademola Fashola, last week. Afenifere, in a state-

ment signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin said: “While the deaths of loved ones are painful no matter the number of their years, we are convinced that Governor Fashola has every cause to celebrate the life of his father who lived a good life and left behind a cherished heritage. “The torrent of tes-

timonies from all those who knew the deceased have shown that he was a good man in his lifetime that left lasting impressions on those who came his way. Most of these authentic recalls have come from those who knew the man well and not because they are speaking because he has a governor son.”

and the incumbent Liyel Imoke respectively. Offoboche, who is the political leader of the district said that he convened a meeting of potential governorship aspirants and stakeholders in Ogoja over the weekend to seek for ways of ensuring a peaceful transition of power from the Central senatorial district to the Northern district in 2015. His words: “You needed to be there to see the enthusiasm and readiness on the faces of the people in the meeting. When I asked the question: if the North was ready to produce the next governor of the state in 2015, the thunderous shout of yes almost brought down the roof of Ogoja Council hall.” He said that speculations that the pronouncement by Governor Imoke in August 2012 that the North would

produce the governor in 2015 was a political statement to fool the North to go to sleep was unfounded and cheap propaganda by those who want to create bad blood in the state. He said: “Imoke is a good man and I see so much of his father’s forthrightness in him; he said to me, go and unite your people and I will give you the governorship and I have no reason to doubt him. He has never lied to me before.” He further dismissed speculations that rancour and political animosity would disintegrate the leaders of the district and contenders for the post of governor such that somebody from the South would emerge, adding that no matter the number of contenders, there would be political measures and a yardstick to ensure that one candidate emerges peacefully.


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Politics

he registration penultimate week of the All Progressives Congress, APC, following the merger arrangement among former Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP and some elements in the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, generated frenzy all over the country, with politicians of all shades weighing the implication of the emergence of APC on the nation’s polity as the country journeys towards the 2015 general elections. Lauding the registration by INEC of what he and many have termed ‘a mega party’ was the Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who described the APC as succour to Nigeria’s political pain. The governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said with the registration of APC as a political party, the progressives are now set to rescue the country from the abyss which it had been plunged into by the reactionary elements, maintaining that history had been made as it is the first merger to be midwifed in the annals of political parties in Nigeria. He added that the coming on board of the APC was the resultant effect of the commitment, doggedness, political sagacity and the resolve of people of like minds across the country to come together and create a platform through which the country could be liberated, saying: “With the APC, it is a new political dawn in Nigeria and a fresh air in the Nigerian political waters. Ajimobi, who further stated that the stage was now set for the progressives to spread the gospel of APC to all the nooks and crannies of the country and reawaken the consciousness of Nigerians on the need for change, also gave kudos to patriots who cut across the merger parties and Nigerians in general, who stood by the proponents of the new political party to ensure its eventual registration by INEC. With the registration of the party, what will readily comes to mind is what await the three dominant parties that merged to form the mega party? In other words, it would not be out of place to assume that the registration of the APC will further raise the political stakes in the states where the three dominant political parties were holding sway. Among the states controlled by the merged political parties is Oyo State, where we have the defunct ACN as the ruling party while the other political parties are ANPP and CPC. But less than a month into its registration, sign that the APC in the Pacesetter State could soon be engulfed in crisis has emerged, no thanks to the opposition of leading members of the defunct ANPP, CPC and some elements in the ACN to the formal launch of the party in the state. The members of the party that include a serving National Assembly member, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, Alhaji Rasaq Folorunso, former chairman of the defunct ANPP; Mr. Abiodun Oladimeji, former chairman of the defunct CPC; Barrister Sarafadeen Abiodun Alli, Hon. Kazeem Adeshile Adedeji, both of the defunct ACN ; Mr. Sola Osotoye, secretary of the defunct ANPP; Mr. Adetunji Adeniyi, Assistant Secretary of the defunct CPC; Hon. Caleb Akanni Oyaniyi and Barrister Adebayo Shittu, state governorship candidate of the CPC in the 2011 election, while meeting under the aegis of stakeholders, last Friday issued a release where they kicked

Wednesday August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Battle for the soul of APC in Oyo KEMI OLAITAN writes on the battle for the soul of the newly registered All Progressives Congress, APC, among the merger parties, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Congress for Progressive Change, CPC and the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP in Oyo State and the implication of the contest on the party.

Ajimobi

Lanlehin

HOW THE LEADERSHIP OF THE DEFUNCT ACN IN THE STATE HANDLES ITS INTERNAL CRISIS WILL GO A LONG WAY IN DETERMINING THE LEADERSHIP ROLE IT IS EXPECTED TO PLAY IN THE

APC

against the proposed rally, maintaining that holding “such rally at this period may likely be counterproductive.” While the above-mentioned may be regarded by some as insignificant, political observers, nevertheless, believed that even though it is not in dispute that the party as presently constituted has members of the three former parties in its fold, the strength of each will go a long way in determining where the pendulum will swing in terms of calling the shots in the APC, as members will be jostling to push their interest within the new party. For the ACN, while it went into the 2011 general elections in the state as the leading opposition party, it emerged victorious, thus putting an end to the eightyear rule of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The party, apart from wining the gubernatorial elections, also dominated in the state House of Assembly and membership of the National Assembly from the state. While many political observers believed that the party, which was then led by the former governor of the state, late Alhaji Lam Adesina, won not because of its popularity or the candidates presented, but simply because the people were tired of the PDP, however more than two years at the helm of affairs in the state, the ACN through the governor, who has assumed the mantle of leadership, has succeeded in becoming the dominant par-

ty in the state. As the ruling party in the state, the ACN administration recorded defections from opposition parties on virtually daily basis, ranging from lawmakers, past commissioners, council chairmen, councilors and party officials. For instance, in 2012, the Commissioner for Finance under the administration of the immediate past governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, Chief Bayo Bankole, alongside over 10,000 members of the PDP decamped to the party. Bankole, while speaking on the decampment, said: “We have seen the committed works of development that the ACN is doing in the state and we cannot but team up with the party to ensure the speedy development and progress of the people of Oriire in all ramifications.” Also not to be left out in the decampment fever were members of the state House of Assembly, such that with its initial 13 members, the party now has 17 members, with the PDP and Accord Party, AP now having nine and six members respectively. One of the lawmakers that defected from the Accord Party, Hon. Temitope Olatoye (a.k.a. Sugar), representing Lagelu state constituency, said it was in the interest of his people, majority of whom he said had embraced the ACN and as a listening politician, he has no choice but to tow the line of his people. He said: “One can only be a politician with the support of the people and the decision that was taken today was not my own making, but that of the people that supported me. Since I do not want to lose their support, I have no other choice than to abide by their wish that we must join the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, under the leadership of our performing governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.” With many people in its fold and as the ruling party in the state, it is not unexpected that the defunct ACN in the Pacesetter State will have to contend with many challenges and this recently came into play even after the merger with some members, which include Lanlehin, kicking against

the leadership of Ajimobi. Indeed, the senator representing Oyo South Senatorial district in the National Assembly, in a recent interview, came hard on the governor, stating that his second term ticket despite his endorsement by members of the party in the three senatorial districts of the state is not automatic, as the state has not recorded any governor serving for two terms. In as much as the ANPP could be regarded as one of the tripod that merged into the APC, nothing much has been heard about the party in the state. Aside the fact that Ajimobi contested the gubernatorial elections on its platform in 2007, and with his exit, political observers believed the party went into political oblivion as it paraded no notable politicians such that can attract new members. In the view of many, the party only gained mention whenever its state Chairman and Secretary, Alhaji Folorunso and Hon. Osotoye, respectively, issued press statements. Indeed, it will be difficult to remember any of its candidates in the last elections as the party did not win any seat. The case of the CPC could not be said to be different, as nothing much is heard about the party, except whenever its gubernatorial candidate in the last elections, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, grants interviews or issue statements. Despite not having any stronghold in the state, the party was engulfed in crisis with two different factions laying claim to the party secretariat, to the extent that the deputy governorship candidate in the last elections has dumped the party. Parading an array of politicians, keen observers of the political situation in the state nevertheless believed that how the leadership of the defunct ACN in the state handles its internal crisis will go a long way in determining the leadership role it is expected to play in the APC. While the party is better placed to champion the cause of the new party, analysts are however afraid that Ajimobi, need to have a large heart to take the punches that will be thrown at him in order to position the APC for the battles ahead. An analyst, Mr. Taiwo Olatunji, who maintained that the other two political parties could not pose any threat to the ACN in the APC, said what is important is that the leadership of the defunct ACN must be able to deploy its internal mechanisms in putting an end to its crisis in order for it to speak with one voice in the new party. His words: “It will take a miracle for members of the defunct ANPP and CPC to muster any strength in whittling down the dominance of the defunct ACN in the APC in the state. It is a common knowledge that the two parties could be said to be virtually not existing any more in the state; what is left is for the leadership of the defunct ACN to put its house in order and ensured that every member of the party is carried along. And with its leaders setting the pace, it will not be too difficult to put the new party ahead for the 2015 general elections.” As the party tries to effectively put its feet on ground all over the country, how is able to present a common front in the Pacesetter State, with the rumblings already rearing its head in the new party, such that it will be able to coast home to victory in 2015, remains to be seen.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

From the Civil Service

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I NEVER ACCUSED MINISTER OF POOR FUNDING OF SPORTS –DIRECTOR P.42

Goni Aji calls for review of FOI Act OMEIZA AJAYI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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he Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Bukar Goni Aji recently called for a partial review of the Freedom of Information FOI Law in Nigeria with a view to giving more days to the civil service within which to come up with information so requested. Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja had few days ago called on the National Assembly to amend the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, 2011, in order to prevent persons who he said do not need information for specific reasons from applying for it. According to him, the Act as presently constituted, has created legal rights without a corresponding legal duty, adding that this would “create a situation where scarce public resources, time and energy are permitted to be squandered in attending to a request”. While erudite jurist was trying to guard against the abuse of the law, the recent advocacy by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr Bukar Goni-Aji for an extension of the number of days within which information must be provided from seven to 14 has become a cause for concern and has generated some ripples. However, Aji was not alone in advocating such review as some Civil Society Organisations CSOs and other public institutions also urged the National Assembly to review the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011 to increase the number of days.

CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK ccording to him, the appointment of permanent secretaries in the federal civil service will hence forth be totally on merit. “The appointment of Permanent Secretaries is now based

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Kaduna warns on evaluation reports P.41

Yero

At a two-day workshop organised by a Non Governmental Organization, the ‘’Right to Know’ in conjunction with the ‘Open Society Initiative for West Africa’ OSIWA, Mr Aji along with the CSOs, police and other paramilitary organisations as well as the Head of Service (HOS), were unanimous in their views that the entrenched culture of poor record keeping in the public service would continue to hamper the implementation of the Law difficult as the nation’s retrieval system is in shambles. Participants were of the firm belief that an alteration of the law should take cognizance of misgivings of public officers and the nation’s security agencies. While they advocated a step up in efforts to ensure adequate provision of funds to facilitate the sensitisation and training programmes of the FOI Law in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the zones, participants also urged the judiciary to evolve a set of practice directions aimed at giving full vent to the provisions of Section 21 of the Act, which requires speedy adjudication of all issues relating to the FOI Law. Part of the recommendations which were endorsed by all the participants, including Aji were that: “Security and law enforcement organisations should be encouraged to be more proactive in the disclosure of information. They must be transparent and accountable to the general populace. “The mass media need to be well-informed about their responsibilities to make informed decision in a situation of diverse security threats to ensure balanced, enlight-

ened and informed citizenry. Government and non-governmental organisations should work to ensure that the media use the FOI Act to perform their roles efficiently. “Civil society organisations should train and organise the public on the use of information obtained as a result of FOI request and from non-FOI sources. FOI officers within MDAs should make available their official contacts greater for access to information. “Non-governmental organisations such as the Right to Know Initiative should maintain and publicise a database of lawyers offering pro bono services on the FOI Act. “Sensitisation and awareness

initiatives on the Act should be stepped up to include the rural areas and deliberating on issues that affect disadvantaged groups. More visuals should be placed on television, billboards, posters, etc. More copies of the FOI Act should be printed and distributed to all parastatals and the general public. “The National Universities Commission (NUC) should consider integrating knowledge of the FOI into the universities’ curriculum.” Perhaps the most of the recommendations is the one asking for an extension in the number of days provided for sorting out information. While the law stipulates seven

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga’s office under renovation.

Evolution of the Nigerian Civil Service

strictly on merit, relying on 100 percent performance of all eligible candidates during examinations for the position of Permanent Secretaries. “All Directors are eligible to become Permanent Secretaries. Before now, the examination took

days, Mr Aji advocated 14 days. His argument was that the storage system in the public service which is usually done manually makes the retrieval of any information clumsy and very cumbersome. Participants recommended that: “In order to strengthen some parts of the Act to improve its efficiency, there is need to review the FOI Act. The conference called on the National Assembly to commence the review of the period within which information under the Act may be disclosed, from seven to 14 days. Amendment should also provide for stiffer punishment on the individuals who violate the Act, not just the institution.”

90 per cent of the marks while the Head of Service was free to do justice to the remaining 10 per cent.” He said a Head of Service no longer have the leave to do as he pleases with the 10 per cent. Aji believes that despite the decay in the service, there are posi-

tive indicators which show that the civil service has not entirely deviated from its core mandate. While acknowledging the challenges, he has vowed to severely reprimand erring civil servants. To this end about three staff of the Account Unit in the Federal

Kano holds preretirement workshop for civil servants P.42

Ministry of Information are currently facing sanctions as a result of their aiding and abetting of “ghost” workers who received monthly salaries. On her part, Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, DeaCONTINUES PAGE 16

Stakeholders await Pate’s successor as minister of state P.16


16

From the Civil Service

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stakeholders await Pate’s successor as minister of state MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

N

igerians, including President Goodluck Jonathan were recently caught unawares with the sudden resignation of Minister of

State for Health, Dr. Ali Pate when he resigned before the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja. He resigned after five years of service in two major offices. First, he was the Executive Director, National Primary Health

Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, between 2008 and 2011 when he was appointed Minister of State for Health, a portfolio he kept until he exited last month. His resignation was due to his professorial appointment

Hon. Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, welcoming the Chairman, DISCO Round Table, Dr. Ransome Owan and other members of his Group to the meeting with the Hon. Minister in Abuja.

at the Duke University’s Global Health Institute in the United States, in which he will be involved in an Africa-wide initiative and also serve as senior adviser to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation based in Washington, DC. Though unlike some others before him, whose exit from power promptly attracted condemnations from members of the public, Pate left honourably and little or nothing has trailed his resignation. Stakeholders in the health sector and those on the corridors of power across the country are eager to know who succeeds the former minister. As a Minister of State, Pate was responsible for the administration of primary health care across the country. Apart from his affable and humble disposition, one thing defined his leadership at the time: he travelled across the length and breadth of the country, sensitizing the public on basic health. Pate almost succeeded in total elimination of polio in Nigeria; his term in office witnessed in-

Evolution of the Nigerian Civil Service

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 coness Joan Ayo said 70 percent of all recruitment into the Federal Civil Service must be on merit and all promotions will be based on performance. She also described the transfer of civil servants from states and parastatals into the federal civil service above officers already there as unacceptable and should stop. “People who come in from the states sitting on top of diligent civil servants has to stop.” She said.

rine and Mines in quick. In spite of the foregoing, the origin of the Nigerian Civil Service can best be traced to the administration of Lord Lugard who was the Governor-General of the amalgamated administration of Northern and Southern Nigeria from 1914. The real structure of the service as we now know it was put in place by Sir Hugh Clifford who succeeded Lord Lugard and was appointed Governor of Nigeria. He established a Central Secretariat in Lagos in 1921.

Historical Development of the Civil Service

Report of Review Panel and Change in Administrative Structure

The establishment of the Nigerian Civil Service dates back to 13th March 1862 when the British government declared its interest in the Port and Island of Lagos under the title of the settlement of Lagos. A government was constituted and provision was made for the various posts of Governor, Chief Magistrate, Colonial Secretary and Senior Military Officers. The Offices of Private Secretary to the Governor and Auditor for Public Accounts, Chief Clerk, Collector of Customs, Judge Gaoler and Registrar were established shortly afterwards. Amalgamation, Colonial and Administrative Structure By 1906, the British Government had extended its authority over most of Nigeria. The Government began to establish its instruments of Law and Order such as Departments of Judiciary, Police, Prisons and added Public Works Department and the Departments of Customs, Ports and Telegraph. Ma-

In 1939 similar Secretariats were established for the three broad groups of Provinces administered from Ibadan, Enugu and Kaduna. The 1940s and 1950s saw the emergence of the Nationalist Nigerian Administrator and marked the beginning of a truly Nigerian Civil Service. This period also marked the beginning of pressures for Reforms in the Nigerian Political and Civil Service Structure. Since 1945 various panels have been set up by various governments to study and make recommendations for the reforming of the Civil Service. Prominent amongst these were the Tudoe Davies Commission of 1945; the Harragin Commission of 1946; the Gorsuch Commission of 1954; the Mbanefo Commission of 1959; the Margan Commission of 1963; the Adebo Commission of 1971 and the Udoji Commission of 197274. The outcome of the reports of the various panels impacted on the structure of the service and

the remuneration and productivity of the Civil Servant.

Policy Reforms At the inception of the Obasanjo administration in 1999, the morale of Nigerians was at the lowest ebb as a result of total decay of infrastructure, malfunctioning public utilities, high level of corruption, general waste, public pension collapse, inefficient State enterprises, soaring inflation, unemployment and a dissatisfied citizenry. Nigerians had almost lost confidence in the government and faith in their country. The federal government therefore embarked on fundamental changes otherwise tagged reforms, in the socioeconomic and political spheres of our national life, in order to give Nigerians a better future. After all, a chronic ailment must require a drastic cure or surgery, to restore a patient to good health. The Federal Government has therefore, identified and prioritized major areas requiring reforms, such areas include: • Privatization of public enterprises• Liberalization of key sectors of the economy• Restructuring of the Public Service• Review of government budgeting and taxation laws• Governance and institutional strengthening• Debt Management and Service Delivery• Economic empowerment programmes and Due Process Reform objectives comprise the following: • Reinvigoration of the economy• Faster development of infrastructure• Poverty Reduction• Jobs and wealth creation• Entrenchment of fiscal discipline

in public budgeting and expenditure• Motivation of private sector to achieve greater performance and growth; and• Restructuring the Public Service for greater efficiency and effectiveness, etc However, the challenges envisaged include: • Entrenched practices and prejudices that need to be changed• Lack of adequate public understanding and awareness• Inadequate statistical data for planning• Anticipated fight back by apparent losers• Lack of enough commitment to the total realization of reform• Ability to create a conducive environment for Private Sector participation; and• Political insecurity. On the other hand, results expected from the reform process, include: • Restoration of confidence among the citizenry in their government, its policies, programmes and activities• Restoration of confidence within the international comity of nations in Nigeria’s commitment to good governance and sound economic programmes• Greater stability and better understanding within the polity• Efficient and effective service delivery• Accelerated political and socio-economic development; and a better and happier existence for the average Nigerian.

Past Heads of Service Nigeria has had about 16 past Heads of the Civil Service of the Federation from independence till now. By implication, Mr Aji is Nigeria’s 17th Head of Service.

creased population immunity from 44 percent in 2008 to almost 90 percent as at 2013. He introduced various innovations to help reduce maternal and child mortality in Nigeria which include Midwives Service Scheme and the SURE-P MCH Programme/Social Safety net Conditional Cash Transfer mechanism and Saving One Million Lives Initiative. He also spear-headed the ‘care-under-one-roof ’ policy approved in 2011. He ensured improved routine immunization and introduction of new vaccines for meningitis, pentavalent and pneumococcal disease. There are speculations that the Minister of State might not come from Bauchi to succeed Pate. While it is expected the Federal Government nominate another Minister from the state, it is unlikely the would-be Minister hold that portfolio. Unfortunately too, none of the famous figures from the major parastatals in the health sector, especially in Abuja, comes from Bauchi. Will President Jonathan carry CONTINUES PAGE ??

The Secretary to the Prime Minister, Mr S.O Wey is regarded as the first Head of the Civil Service and he was in office between September 1st 1961 and January 16th 1966. Following him was Mr Eju Eyitchie who became the Secretary to the Federal Military Government from August 14, 1966 to December 20, 1970. Then came the son of the former Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Prince Abdulaziz Attah who was the Secretary to the Federal Military Government and Head of Service from December 21, 1970 to June 12, 1972 when he died. As from August 16, 1972 to March 31, 1975, Mr C.O Lawson became Secretary to the Federal Military Government and Head of Service, paving way for Mr Allison Ayida who took over from him and was in office between April 28, 1975 and March 31, 1977. Mr Adamu Ciroma took over and was in charge between April 1, 1977 and September 30, 1979. Mr G.A.E Longe became Secretary to the Federal Military Government and Head of Service between January 1, 1984 and January 28, 1986 even as Alhaji Adamu Fika became Head of the Civil Service of the Federation as from January 31, 1986 and April 12, 1988. It should be noted that, the military, arguably bad managers of all shades of men, did not know how to handle the civil service, hence its decision to always empower the Secretary to the Government to also act as the Head of the Civil Service. Consequently, there was CONTINUES PAGE 41


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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

17

Protesting to save public education PUBLIC DOMAIN

DELE

SETEOLU

deleseteolu@nationalmirroronline.net (08033137577 SMS only)

T

he Joint Active Front (JAF), in solidarity with unions in the education sector - ASUU, NASU, SSANU, NAAT, ASUP, SSANIP, COEASU, SSUCOEN & NUT, students and parents - held on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 a nationwide protest to draw attention to worsening public education sector. The protest held against the backdrop of the crisis in the sector underscored partially by the three month strike in the polytechnics and ongoing strike in the public universities across the country. The Federal Government has been reluctant to fully implement the 2009 Agreement it entered with ASUU. It has sought for a renegotiation, but the union insists on the implementation of the outstanding issues. The terms of agreement cover university autonomy, increased funding, extension of retiring age from 65 to 70 years and the payment of earned allowances, among others. The selection of vice chancellors is often devoid of democratic process and contradicts selection rules. For instance, the confirmation of the appointment of the Acting Vice Chancellor of Olabisi

Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye without recourse to due process has led to disagreement between the OOU branch of ASUU and the Ogun State government. The due process in the appointment of vice chancellors includes declaration of vacancy, search for qualified candidates, short listing of candidates, interview and recommendation of candidates to the Visitor. The subversion of due process partly explains the recurring crises in the academia. A university ought to be governed on the committee system where members are elected at congregation. In several universities in the country, committees are sidelined in the administration of such universities. The committee system would foster collective decision making that reflects the inputs of the critical partners in the system. The public education sector is grossly underfunded, getting just about 8.3 percent of annual budget. It is far less than the capital allocation to defence and less than the 26 percent the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization benchmarks. In several universities, the retiring age is still 60 thereby leading to the exit of experienced, competent and sound academics that ought to be doing research and supervising post graduate students. The supervision of Master’s and doctoral students require expertise, experience and exposure to the rigours of academics. The retiring professors are often lost to the private universities or foreign institutions.

THE PUBLIC EDUCATION SECTOR IS GROSSLY UNDERFUNDED AT ABOUT

8.3 PERCENT OF ANNUAL CAPITAL SPENDING.

The academics are owed backlogs of allowances that include excess workload and doctoral supervision allowances. The non-payment of earned allowances is a disincentive to effective teaching, research and job commitment. The decreasing real income of academics has led to moonlighting whereby scholars seek multiple employments including non-academic ones to survive. Consequently, the academia is increasingly populated by academic jobbers whose major attraction is the commercial aspect of the school system as against the cherished academic traditions. It is imperative to assert that the organized unions in the protests are not making fresh demands. Whenever the unions embark on strike; it is often the failure of the federal and state governments to implement agreements that are freely reached. The thrust of the protest is to insist that governments must fund education in consonance with global standards and make education tuition free at all levels. Funding education means the repair and building of new classrooms, hostels, laboratories, teaching aids, libraries et cetera. JAF and the unions bemoan the poor

funding of public schools amid the proliferation of highly priced private universities. The political elite often show indifference to public schools and their recurring crises largely due to the fact that their children are studying elsewhere in Ghana, Europe, America and Canada. This situation raises ethical question about the public conduct of the governing elite in Nigeria. There has been agitation for a law compelling serving governing elite to enroll their children in Nigerian public schools. This proposal would assist to reduce the drive for foreign education and tourism. Meanwhile, the recurring crisis in public education often disrupts academic calendars, leads to falling standard of education at different levels, a high level of general insecurity and a bleak future for the Nigerian child. It is noteworthy that the increasing cost of school fees has led to mass withdrawal of indigent students and social discontent among the vulnerable groups. For instance, the Lagos State University (LASU) has increased its tuition fee from N25, 000 to N320, 000, but the Lagos State government has refused to pay the N18, 000 minimum wage. The Nigerian teaching and non-teaching staff are the poorest paid in the Africa. This poor academic remuneration contrasts with the high salaries and allowances of the governing elite. We urge the Nigerian people to join the mass protest in Kano, Owerri, Calabar and Abuja when these are scheduled. We should bear in mind that freedom is not given, it is fought for and won.

Imperative of educational development in the North CONTINUED FROM LAST WEDNESDAY

BEN NANAGHAN

P

rof. Ango Abdullai is today at the driving seat of northern politics. His cares and worries are not for the improvement of education or other infrastructures. He stands for the protection of the status quo and further impoverishment of the region’s wretched of the earth. In 2010, Adamu Ciroma gathered the North’s “best presidential materials”, but none of them could make it through the primaries. I will advise Prof. Abdullai to drop politics for now and learn from Prof. Jibril Aminu on what further ways to improve education in the North. The Prof. may not have known that the easiest way to overcome your enemy is to deprive him of education. Absence of education gives rise to ignorance, which in turn gives rise to violence, which also gives rise to wars, anarchy, chaos, disintegration and finally extinction. If the learned professor is at a loss on how to revamp and revive education in northern Nigeria, I will introduce him to the Singaporean model. Prof. Abdullai should champion a broad-based and holistic learning system of education that will develop the northern child and enhance enduring core strength of competence, values and character for him/her to thrive and earn a place among other children in the comity of advanced nations. The tiny Singapore had its independence forced on it by Malaysia on 9th of August 1965, five years after Nigeria’s. Ev-

ABSENCE OF EDUCATION GIVES RISE TO

IGNORANCE, WHICH IN TURN GIVES RISE TO

VIOLENCE, WHICH ALSO GIVES RISE TO WARS…

erything in Singapore was in shambles, including their education. But the least educated of the three linguistic groups of Singaporeans were the minority Muslim Malays. The Chinese population of the country is a whopping 75 percent, while Malays follow with 14 percent and the Indians take the last with about 11 percent. The Malays were mainly Muslims and their ascendancy rate in education dropped over the years in comparison with the Chinese and Indians who were rich enough to sponsor their education. By 1980, the level of education of Malay students fell disgracefully to its nadir. Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew then called Malay community leaders and laid the facts of Malay students under achievement bare to them. Lee Kuan Yew showed the community leaders a survey of 15-20 percent improvement when both students and parents were motivated for excellence. The Muslim community reacted positively and with government support formed an association called MENDAKI (Maji lis Pendelikon Anak-Anak Islam-Council on Education for Muslim Children). MENDAKI consisted of representatives from Malay’s social, literary, and cultural bodies including Malay members of the ruling People’s Action

Party (PAP). The cooperation of Muslim workers was unbelievable. Government deducted 50 cents from each Malay worker’s Central Provident Fund (CPF). A few years after, MENDAKI showed a steady increase in the number of Muslim students passing their examinations in mathematics, the sciences and the arts. In 1991, some young Muslim graduates formed the Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) with financial support from both the government and wealthy community leaders, and with extra evening tutorials. The results improved tremendously. This gave extra fillip to an excited Muslim student community and their supportive parents. In 1995 Muslim Students scored more that the international average. In 1987 only 7 percent of Muslim students made it to polytechnics and universities. By 1999, 19 years after MENDAKI the figures had quadrupled to 28 percent. In 1999, a Muslim girl graduated Summa-Cum Laude in Berkeley, California. Another Muslim student topped his graduating architecture class, winning a gold medal also. Another obtained 1st class honours in physics in Cambridge and a PHD in 1999. These sterling and outstanding performances by the Muslim Malay students encouraged the Indian community to form the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) in 1991 and in 1992 the Chinese formed the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) to help their weaker students as the Muslim students were already topping the Chinese and Indian students in the Universities.

See what such concerted national efforts have done to lift education in that country. i. In 2006 Singapore was ranked “among the top” in the world literacy; ii. In 2007 Singapore students “ranked among the top in Mathematics and Science” in the world; iii. In 2009 Singapore students again “ranked among the top in Reading, Mathematics and Science”; iv. In 2010 Singapore was identified as one of the world’s best performing school system; and v. In the Global Competitiveness Report of 2011-12, Singapore was 2nd in “Quality of Educational System”. The greatest tragedy of northern leaders is that they all believe in using politics to drive personal aggrandizement. Northern politicians have taken politics to very unhealthy limits, not paying proper attention to education and other developmental infrastructure. The region is lucky to have produced the richest man in Africa. Community contribution is very vital to education development. Let all the leaders partner with the region’s industry players to kick start a new teaching and learning experience fit for the 21st century, Concluded. Nanaghan, bennanaghan@yahoo.com, wrote from Lagos Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


Editorial

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

STEVE AYORINDE

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

INEC and court verdict on political parties’ deregistration

T

he power of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to de-register political parties was recently challenged by an Abuja Federal High Court, which nullified the de-registration of the Fresh Democratic Party (FDP) based on the prescriptions of Section 78 (7) (11) of the Electoral Act 2011. The said part of the Act empowers INEC to de-register any political party that fails to win either a National Assembly or State House of Assembly seat. The presiding judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, held that the powers conferred on INEC by the Electoral Act was inconsistent with the provisions of Sections 14, 15 (2) and (3) as well as 17 of the country’s 1999 Constitution (as amended). Conceding, however, that the NASS which enacted the Electoral Act had powers to make laws for the good governance of the country, Justice Kolawole, nonetheless, maintained that any law made by the legislature that is in conflict with the provision of the 1999 Constitution was null and void and of no effect. It was mainly on this premise that the judge voided the decision of the INEC. The latter had, before the ruling, deleted about 28 political parties from the list of political parties it accorded recognition. Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega said, however, that the electoral umpire had appealed

JEGA’S REVELATION THAT OUT OF FOUR PAST JUDGEMENTS ON PARTY DE-

REGISTRATION, THREE FAVOURED

INEC, IS

AN INDICATION THAT THE JUDICIARY IS YET TO FINALLY RESOLVE THE MATTER against the ruling. “The order of the Federal High Court makes it four of such judgements on the de-registration of political parties. Three of such judgements are in favour of INEC to deregister political parties, only the fourth judgement restrained us. So, it is three out of four, but nonetheless, INEC has appealed against the judgement”, Jega stated. It may be recalled that late last year, INEC de-registered 28 political parties, including the FDP founded by Reverend Chris Okotie. Irked by the turn of events, Okotie and his axed party approached the court for redress. The applicants contended that the de-registration was illegal and at variance with both the spirit and letters of the 1999 Constitution. While deciding on the matter, Kolawole held that INEC acted unconstitutionally by deregister-

ing the FDP, especially when the party was not given the opportunity for fair hearing, in line with provisions of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution. The judge further averred that the power to de-register political parties as granted to INEC in Section 78 (7) (ii) of the Electoral Act assumed a quasi-judicial nature, having affected party de-registration; and therefore, should not be exercised without giving the affected parties fair hearing. According to the judge, since INEC was registered under Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution, it was wrong for it to deregister parties without reference to Sections 221 to 229 of the same Constitution. INEC, the judge held, stood condemned, having failed to provide any evidence to show that it complied with constitutional provisions on fair hearing before it proceeded to de-register the FDP. Justice Kolawole viewed portions of the Electoral Act that grants INEC power to de-register parties as a ‘legislative mischief that must be addressed’; stressing that the country’s electoral system had not matured enough to guarantee free and fair elections; and that the situation demanded the efforts of everyone to ensure an environment that could lead to the achievement of same (free and fair polls). The judgement has been hailed by many, especially the parties affected by the de-registration ex-

ercise. There are about 68 political parties in the country, out of which 28 were victims. While a section of Nigerians commended the de-registration, others saw it as a violation of the provision of the 1999 Constitution. However, with the latest verdict that annulled the de-registration of the FDP, it is not unlikely that the political parties earlier deregistered would return to the court to seek the voiding of their existence. But Jega’s revelation that out of four past judgements on party de-registration, three favoured INEC, is an indication that the judiciary is yet to finally resolve the matter. INEC’s appeal against the latest judgement may therefore be necessary in the search for undisputable judicial position on the controversy. Our position, nevertheless, is that INEC should allow smaller parties to coexist with the big ones, considering the varying interests they represent. The electorate should be given a free hand to decide their existence or otherwise. But the electoral body can take lawful steps to stop granting subventions to lame-duck and parasitic political parties that exist just for the sake of pocketing INEC subventions as permitted by the Constitution. That way, such parties would be compelled to be more serious-minded, better organised and re-engineer their capacities to raise funds through membership, if they truly desire to remain relevant.

ON THIS DAY August 14, 2006 Chencholai Sri Lankan Airforce bombing: The Chencholai bombing took place on August 14, 2006 when the Sri Lankan Air Force bombed what they claimed was the rebellious Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) training camp. At least 61 children between the ages of 16 and 18, all of them girls, were killed as a result of the bombing. The LTTE, UNICEF, etc. said those in the compound bombed were not LTTE trainees.

August 14, 2007 The 2007 Yazidi communities bombings: The 2007 Yazidi communities bombings occurred at around 8pm local time on August 14, 2007, when four co-ordinated suicide bomb attacks detonated in the Yazidi towns of Qahtaniya and Jazeera (Siba Sheikh Khidir), near Mosul in Iraq. According to the Iraq-based Red Crescent’s estimates, the bombs killed 796 people and wounded about 1,562 others.

August 14, 2010 The first-ever Youth Olympic Games were held in Singapore. The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is an international multi-sport event first held in Singapore from August 14 to 26, 2010. The games are held every four years in staggered summer and winter events consistent with the current Olympic Games format. The age limitation of the athletes is 14 to 18. The idea was introduced by Johann Rosenzopf from Austria in 1998.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

19

Health & Wellbeing Fewer children on exclusive breastfeeding -UNICEF

World’s top 10 causes of death -WHO

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21

Emergency contraception to the rescue!

•You can prevent pregnancy 72 hours after unprotected sex SAM EFERARO

I

t is now known that women who have not been using any contraceptive method can still prevent pregnancy if they take certain contraceptives within 72 hours after sex. The World Health Organisation (WHO), recommends two methods of such emergency contraception: the emergency contraception pills (ECPs) and copper-bearing intrauterine device (IUDs). According to the experts, contraceptive pills containing sex hormones such as estrogens and progestogens , when used as directed after unprotected intercourse, are safe and 75 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy. The dosage, according to the experts will however be higher than when such pills are used as regular, contraceptive method. WHO recommends levonorgestrel for emergency contraceptive pill use. Ideally, this progestogen-only method should be taken as a single dose (1.5 mg) within five days (120 hours) of unprotected intercourse. Alternatively, a woman can take the levonorgestrel in two doses (0.75 mg each; 12 hours apart). Experts say Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive pills prevent pregnancy by preventing or delaying ovulation. They may also work to prevent fertilization of an egg by affecting the cervical mucus or the ability of the sperm to bind to the egg. They are however not effective once the process of implantation has begun, and they will not cause abortion. The method is reported to have gained worldwide acceptance especially in the developed countries. For instance the US Food and Drum Administration (FDA), as far back as 1996, concluded “that certain oral contraceptives approved for daily use are also safe and effective as emergency contraceptive pills.” Since then, many countries approved the

Emergency contraception: The pills and IUD (top right)

methods and these are now in the markets, clearly labeled as “emergency contraceptive pills” and distinct from the regular monthly cycles of oral contraceptives. Based on reports from nine studies including 10 500 women, the WHO-recommended levonorgestrel regimen is 52–94 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. The regimen is more effective the sooner after intercourse it is taken. The organisation also confirms that Levonorgestrel-alone emergency contraception pills are very safe and do not cause abortion or harm future fertility. Side-effects are uncommon and generally mild. “Emergency contraceptive pills prevent pregnancy. They should not be given to a woman who already has a confirmed pregnancy. However, if a woman inadvertently takes the pills after she becomes pregnant,

When to use

Emergency contraception can be used in a number of situations following sexual intercourse. •When no contraceptive has been used. •When there is a contraceptive failure or incorrect use, including: -condom breakage, slippage, or incorrect use; -three or more consecutively missed combined oral contraceptive pills; -the progestogen-only pill (minipill) taken more than three hours late (or more than 12 hours late if taking a 0.75mg desogestrel-containing pill); -norethisterone enanthate (NET-EN) progestogen-only injection taken more than two weeks late; -depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) progestogen-only injection taken more than four weeks late; -the combined estrogen-plus-progestogen monthly injection taken more than seven days late; -dislodgment, delay in placing, or early removal of a contraceptive hormonal ring or skin patch; -dislodgment, breakage, tearing, or early removal of a diaphragm or cervical cap; -failed withdrawal (e.g. ejaculation in the vagina or on external genitalia); -failure of a spermicide tablet or film to melt before intercourse; -miscalculation of the periodic abstinence method, or failure to abstain or use a barrier method on the fertile days of the cycle; -expulsion of an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) or hormonal contraceptive implant. •In cases of sexual assault when the woman was not protected by an effective contraceptive method. Source: WHO

the available evidence suggests that the pills will not harm either the mother or her foetus. “Emergency contraceptive pills are for emergency use only and are not appropriate for regular use as an ongoing contraceptive method because of the higher possibility of failure compared with non-emergency contraceptives. In addition, frequent use of emergency contraception can result in sideeffects such as menstrual irregularities, although their repeated use poses no known health risks, “ WHO further says. According to WHO, a copper-bearing IUD, could also be used as an emergency contraceptive and could be ideal for a woman who is hoping for an ongoing, highly effective contraceptive method. The IUD has to be inserted within five days of unprotected intercourse to be effective. As emergency contraception, experts say the copper-bearing IUD primarily prevents fertilization by causing a chemical change that damages sperm and egg before they can meet. When inserted within five days of unprotected intercourse, a copper-bearing IUD is over 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. This is the most effective form of emergency contraception available. Once inserted, the woman can continue to use the IUD as an ongoing method of contraception, and she may choose to change to another contraceptive method in the future. “The only situation in which a copper-

bearing IUD should never be used as emergency contraception is if a woman is already pregnant,” WHO says. Experts say emergency contraception will be particularly useful in preventing unwanted pregnancy among rape victims or those who forgot to use their contracep0tives and many other s who would have resorted to unsafe abortion. They also describe this form of contraception as a back-up method particularly for the barrier method. The concept of post-coital contraception is however not entirely new to scientists. Indeed, scientists, as far back as 98 AD had sought to device a variety of methods to remove or destroy sperm to prevent it from fertilizing the woman’s egg. In the ancient times, as soon as it became known that semen was in some way responsible for pregnancy, women attempted to prevent pregnancy by removing semen from the vagina or by trying to destroy sperm with an agent placed in the vagina after intercourse. Modern research however did not yield much fruits until the early 60s when it was discovered that a broad range of chemical agents have infertility effect when administered postcoitally. Contraceptive pills containing estrogens and progestogens have indeed been in use for decades usually referred to as “the morning after pills.”


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Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

World’s top 10 causes of death –WHO

in every 100 deaths are among children under 15 years. In low-income countries, nearly 4 in every 10 deaths are among children under 15 years, and only 2 in every 10 deaths are among people aged 70 years and older. People predominantly die of infectious diseases: lower respiratory infections, HIV/AIDS, diarrhoeal diseases, malaria and tuberculosis collectively account for almost one third of all deaths in these countries. Complications of childbirth due to prematurity, and birth asphyxia and birth trauma are among the leading causes of death, claiming the lives of many newborns and infants.

Non communicable diseases responsible for two-third of all death globally.

THE KILLERS *Ischaemic heart disease *Stroke *Lower respiratory infections *Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease *Diarrhoeal diseases *HIV/AIDS *Trachea, bronchus, lung cancers *Diabetes mellitus *Road injury *Prematurity Diabetes, now a majoy killer.

Diseases affecting the heart on the rise globally

Q: How many people die every year? In 2011, an estimated 55 million people died worldwide. Q: What kills more people: infectious diseases or noncommunicable diseases? Noncommunicable diseases were responsible for two-thirds of all deaths globally in 2011, up from 60% in 2000. The four main NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung diseases. Communicable, maternal, perinatal and nutrition conditions collectively were responsible for a quarter of global deaths, and injuries caused 9% of all deaths. Q: Are cardiovascular diseases the number one cause of death throughout the world? Yes, cardiovascular diseases killed nearly 17 million people in 2011, that is 3 in every 10 deaths. Of these, 7 million people died of ischaemic heart disease and 6.2 million from stroke. Q: Do most NCD deaths occur in high-income countries? In terms of number of deaths, 26 million (nearly 80%) of the 36 million of global NCD deaths in 2011 occurred in low- and middle-income countries. In terms of proportion of deaths that are due to NCDs, high-

Multiple accidents like this, is a common occurence on Nigeria roads with huge loss of lives.

income countries have the highest proportion – 87% of all deaths were caused by NCDs – followed by uppermiddle income countries (81%). The proportions are lower in low-income countries (36%) and lower-middle income countries (56%). Q: WHO often says that smoking is a top cause of death. Where does tobacco use affect these causes of death? Tobacco use is a major cause of many of the world’s top killer diseases – including cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease and lung cancer. In total, tobacco use is responsible for the

death of about 1 in 10 adults worldwide. Smoking is often the hidden cause of the disease recorded as responsible for death. Q: What are the main differences between rich and poor countries with respect to causes of death? In high-income countries, 7 in every 10 deaths are among people aged 70 years and older. People predominantly die of chronic diseases: cardiovascular diseases, cancers, dementia , chronic obstructive lung disease or diabetes. Lower respiratory infections remain the only leading infectious cause of death. Only 1

Q: How has the situation changed in the past decade? Ischaemic heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections, chronic obstructive lung disease, diarrhoea and HIV/AIDS have remained the top major killers during the past decade. Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) were responsible for twothirds (36 million) of all deaths globally in 2011, up from 60% (31 million) in 2000. Cardiovascular diseases alone killed nearly 2 million more people in 2011 than in the year 2000. Tuberculosis, while no longer among the 10 leading causes of death in 2011, was still among the 15 causes, killing one million people in 2011. Maternal deaths have dropped from 420 000 in the year 2000 to 280 000 in 2011, but are still unacceptably high: nearly 800 women die due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth every day. Injuries continue to kill 5 million people each year. Road traffic injuries claimed nearly 3500 lives each day in 2011 – about 700 more than in the year 2000 – making it among the top 10 leading causes in 2011. Q: How many young children die each year, and why? In 2011, 6.9 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday; almost all (99%) of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries. The major killers of children aged less than five years were pneumonia, prematurity, birth asphyxia and birth trauma, and diarrhoeal diseases. Malaria was still a major killer in sub-Saharan Africa, causing about 14% of under-five deaths in the region. About 43% of deaths in children younger than 5 years in 2011 occurred within 28 days of birth – the neonatal period. The most important cause of death was prematurity, which was responsible for one-third of all deaths during this period


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Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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Fewer children on exclusive breastfeeding –UNICEF …stakeholders call for action

MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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he United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, has called for strong leadership in promoting exclusive breastfeeding practice, globally, saying less than a half of children under six months of age enjoy exclusive breastfeeding, worldwide. In a release to commemorate this year’s World Breastfeeding Week marked worldwide last week, UNICEF announced that breastfeeding remains the “most effective and inexpensive way of saving a child’s life. But with less than half of all children under six months benefitting from exclusive breastfeeding, strong leadership in promoting the practice is essential.” It stated there “is no other single health intervention that has such a high impact for babies and mothers as breastfeeding and which costs so little for governments. Breastfeeding is a baby’s ‘first immunisation’ and the most effective and inexpensive life-saver ever.” UNICEF emphasised that children who are exclusively breastfed are 14 times more likely to survive the first six months of life than non-breastfed children and that starting breastfeeding

in the first day after birth could reduce the risk of new-born death by up to 45 per cent. It added that breastfeeding also supports a child’s ability to learn and helps prevent obesity and chronic diseases later in life. “Recent studies in the United States and United Kingdom point to large health care savings resulting from breastfeeding, given that breastfed children fall ill much less often than nonbreastfed children,” the UN agency said. Meanwhile, Save the Children Initiative, in its newly launched report on “How overcoming barriers to breastfeeding will save children’s lives” said 830,000 deaths could be avoided if every baby is breastfed within the first hour of life; 22 percent of newborn deaths could be prevented if breastfeeding starts within the first hour after birth; in the first hours and days after childbirth, a mother produces the first milk called colostrum- the most potent natural immune system booster known to science; while, according to the report, an infant given breast milk within an hour of birth is up to three times more likely to survive than one breastfed a day later. The report continues that infants who are not

breastfed are 15 times more likely to die from pneumonia and 11 times more likely to die of diarrhoea than those who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life; an estimated 1.4 million child deaths in 2008 were as a result of ‘sub-optimal’ breastfeeding, that is where babies were not exclusively breastfed and where breastfeeding did not continue into the second year. The report also shows that worldwide, among 92 million children under six months of age, two out of three babies are either artificially fed or fed with a mixture of breast milk and other foods. Similarly, the Federal Government has attributed socio-cultural practices, beliefs, prejudices, taboos and state of the nation’s economy to mothers’ non-adherence to exclusive breastfeeding in the country. Speaking at a Media Roundtable Discussion to commemorate this year’s World Breastfeeding Day in Abuja, Head of Family Health Department, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Wapada Balami, said; “Though more than 90 percent Nigerian mothers have no problem in breastfeeding their young children, yet the exclusive breastfeeding is rarely adhere to”.

Breastfeeding the most effective and inexpensive way of saving a child’s life.

He promised that the Federal Government would continue to support Peer Counseling from family, social network, health care system, workplace including legislation to help mothers conform to exclusive breastfeeding practice. Nigeria’s operational National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS 2008) shows that exclusive breastfeeding in the country currently stands at 13 percent; initiation of breastfeeding, 38 percent and duration of breastfeeding of a newborn, 18.6 percent. The report states further that nutrition in Nigeria has over the years assumed public health proportion with malnutrition accounting for more than 50 per-

Anambra donates N10m towards epilepsy initiative CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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nambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi has presented a cheque of N10million to Rise Global Health Initiative to expand its intervention on epilepsy care in the state. Obi presented the cheque when he received a team of Rise Global Health Initiative on a courtesy call at the Governor’s Lodge, Awka. Speaking during the visit, Obi said his administration would continue to partner and encourage individuals and groups with programmes that would assist the state achieve the Millennium Development Goals. He explained that such partnership would enable the state to fill budgetary gaps because of its lean resources. The governor recalled that his administration initi-

ated and supported medical missions since inception, to compliment state health programmes. The leader of the team, Dr. Emeka Okeke said they were in the state with healthcare Professionals from various parts of the world to address some health challenges in the State, with special focus on epilepsy. Okeke explained that the team was working with Local Health professional to make the state a resource centre for neuro-science in Nigeria and West Africa. Same day, Obi also flagged off the medical mission at Adazi- Nnukwu where he said that his administration would continue to partner with professionals in the State to provide efficient service delivery to the people. He noted that the medical mission has brought an innovation

Obi

to provide a unique and specialist health services and thanked the volunteers for identifying with the state. The leader of the team, Dr. John Obegolu said they were in the state to compliment efforts of the state government in healthcare service. A neurosurgeon, Dr. Edie Zvoman explained that in addition to other services, they are also providing a specialist healthcare on epilepsy and sensitise the people to

understand that it is not a curse nor contagious and can be treated medically. In a related development, the state government has also entered into partnership with the Nigeria New Born Screening Initiative to intensify the fight against sickle cell anemia. Receiving a team from the organisation on a courtesy call at the Governor’s Lodge, Governor Peter Obi assured that the government would give them all necessary support and assistance to ensure effective implementation of the programme. The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Lawrence Ikeakor disclosed that the country records 20 babies with sickle cell disease out of every 1,000 births totalling about 150,000 sickle cell babies annually out of which 100,000 die before the age of five.

cent of under-five deaths. This, the survey says, emanates from poor infant and young feeding practices. Bottle feeding, according to the report is 16 percent while complementary feeding remains 76.1 percent. President, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Prof Ngozi Nnam described exclusive breastfeeding as “giving a baby only breast milk including expressed breast milk for six months. No fluid other than the breast milk, not even water, is al-

lowed.” Quoting a WHO’s (2000) report, Mrs Nnam noted that “breastfeeding is one of the important components of child care because it does not only provide the essential nutrients but also shield against any infections. Breastfeeding is capable of saving the life of new-born by preventing malnutrition and reducing the risk of infection. It is recognised as the single most important intervention to prevent child death.”

... seeks support for mothers DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has embarked on campaign aimed at supporting mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months and supplement it with other food nutrients for up to two years. The agency said, as Nigeria joined the rest of the world last week to mark the World Breastfeed Week, that the support to mothers could come through consistent advocacy, education at healthcare centres, government policies, trained healthcare workers, community outreach and comprehensive childhood breastfeeding programmes while also highlighting the critical role breastfeeding plays in child’s growth, development and survival. UNICEF Chief Field ‘A’ Officer in Enugu, Mr. Charles Nzuki, said science has repeatedly demonstrated great advantages of breastfeeding that does not only provide nutrients

critical to a child’s health in the earliest day but also prevents diseases and reduces the risk of long term chronic conditions such as obesity. He further disclosed that studies show that breastfeeding promotes cognitive development, thus, helping the children learn and earn more as adults, spurring economic activity and long term growth while reducing poverty and inequities.” UNICEF also stated that in recognising the benefits of breastfeeding, more governments are putting breastfeeding at the centre of their childhood nutrition programmes and the number of countries with increasing breastfeeding rates continues to grow. The international Child support agency urged mothers not to relent in breastfeeding their babies, particularly the practice of exclusive breastfeeding of babies up to six months that it said builds the baby against diseases, infant mortality and sharpens the physic of the baby to absorb intellectual capabilities.


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Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

WHO certifies Colombia ... Releases guidelines for mental health treatment as first country to A eliminate river blindness C MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

olombia has been verified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as having eliminated onchocerciasis (known as “river blindness”), thus becoming the first country in the world to achieve this goal. In an official notification letter, WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan, congratulated the Government of Colombia and urged it to “maintain vigilance to detect any future outbreaks” of the disease, which continues to circulate in other countries of Latin America. Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas, said Colombia’s achievement is “an example of commitment, persistence, and integrated work” and noted that the Americas Region has shown leadership in fighting this and other neglected infectious diseases. She also called for “redoubling efforts to eliminate the disease” in five other countries of this hemisphere, namely, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Venezuela, which are working towards achieving this same objective.

Victims of river blindness.

The official announcement came today during a meeting in Bogotá led by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Minister of Health and Social Protection Alejandro Gaviria, with participants including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Director of the Carter Center, which spearheaded the Onchocerciasis Elimination Program of the Americas (OEPA), supporting actions to eliminate the disease. PAHO’s Assistant Director, José Romero Teruel, and the PAHO/WHO Representative in Colombia, Gina Watson, also participated in the meeting. Colombia achieved elimination of onchocerciasis following 16 years of concerted efforts led by Colombia’s National Institute of Health

with support from the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the Secretariat of Health of the Department of Cauca, academic and research institutions, OEPA, and PAHO/WHO. The last “focus” (area of active transmission) of the disease in Colombia was Naicioná, a community of 1,366 inhabitants in the municipality of Lópex de Micay, in the Department of Cauca. The elimination strategy was based on mass administration of the antiparasitic drug ivermectin (donated by Merck) twice yearly during 12 consecutive years. In 2007, interruption of transmission of onchocerciasis infection was achieved, and community treatment with ivermectin was stopped.

new clinical protocol and guidelines that allow nurses and other health care givers provide mental health care services at primary health facilities for adults and children exposed to trauma and loss has been released by the World Health Organisation, WHO. The new protocol, copublished with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, will enable primary health-care workers offer basic psychosocial support to refugees as well as people exposed to trauma or loss in other situations. Types of support offered can include psychological first aid, stress management and helping affected people identify and strengthen positive coping methods and social supports. In addition, referral for advanced treatments such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or a new technique called eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) will be considered for people

suffering from PTSD. These techniques, WHO said, help people reduce vivid, unwanted, repeated recollections of traumatic events. It however called for more training and supervision of the health workers to make the new techniques more widely available. “We have received numerous requests for guidance for mental health care after trauma and loss,” said Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health,stressing that “primary health-care providers will now be able to offer basic support consistent with the best available evidence. They will also learn when to refer to more advanced treatment.” Mental disorders are common, disabling and usually untreated, and WHO’s Mental Health Global Action Programme, mhGAP, was developed in 2008 to scale-up care for mental, neurological and substance use disorders with simple treatment protocols that can be offered byn primary health-care doctors and nurses.

WHO is extending this programme by including care for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress and bereavement within its global programme. Primary health care staff are however warned against certain popular treatments. For example, benzodiazepines, which are anti-anxiety drugs, the agency warned, should not be offered to reduce acute traumatic stress symptoms or sleep problems in the first month after a potentially traumatic event. “There is no evidence on the benefits of benzodiazepines, a common anti-anxiety drug, on symptoms of traumatic stress after a recent potentially traumatic event. Benzodiazepines may slow down the time to recover from potentially traumatic events. “Key concerns about the use of benzodiazepines are that many people develop tolerance to their effects, gain little therapeutic benefit from chronic consumption, become dependent on them and suffer a withdrawal syndrome when they stop taking them.

Workers lament inadequate staff, poor facilities at Enugu District Hospital DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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ealth workers of Awgu district hospital in Enugu state have lamented the dilapidated infrastructure and insufficient personnel hampering delivery of quality heath care in the hospital The staff made their feelings known when the new state Commissioner of Health, Dr. George Ezeh, visited the hospital on an inspection of facilities. They lamented that the hospital, established in 1954 by the combined efforts of the people of Awgu Division in the defunct Eastern Region of Nigeria and the British District Commissioner, D. R. Gibbs, to offer comprehensive health delivery

service, is almost at the brink of collapse. They pointed at shortage of staff, obsolete medical equipment, perennial power failure and decayed infrastructure as major challenges of the hospital. The commissioner was conducted round the roof of the pharmacy department of the hospital blown off by the winds some years back, forcing the management of the hospital to move drugs to a part of the hospital that is hardly conducive for the storage of drugs. The District Health Officer for Awgu, Dr. Fred Chukwudi, who conducted the commissioner round the hospital during his one-day working visit, said the hospital has three regular doctors, 11 nurses, one theatre nurse and one

theatre anaesthetist, but without any theatre attendant. The matron, Mrs Marcellina Njoku told the commissioner that nurses at the hospital work two to three shifts at a time and that she also does the work of a cleaner as there is none in the hospital. “You can see a nurse working two to three shifts at a time. I, in particular, I do morning, evening and night. We lack ward orderly. I wash here, I wash the linens,” she said. At the medical records department, where Mr Ijezie Eric works, there is no ventilation, the only window being the one through which they attend to patients, putting them at the risk of contacting air-borne diseases like tuberculosis.

Face of river blindness.

Niger sets up breast, cervical screening centres PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA.

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iger State Government has set up breast and Cirvical Cancer screening centers across all public health institutions in the 25 local government areas of the state in order to reduce the incidences of the diseases amongst women. The state commissioner for Health, Dr. Ibrahim Sule made the disclosure in Minna on the occasion marking the World Breast feeding week in Niger State. According to him, what

informed the decision to establish the centers was due tothe high rate of breast and cirvical cancer, not only prevalent among the women folk, but the men as well. The commissioner, who did give the figure of the cases, said, “There are reported cases of breast lump in the breast of young girls that are not even married. They are not at the moment life threatening to those affected as most of them were treated.” Sule further explained that his Ministry has currently embarked on sensitization campaign to all women groups on how to

carry out self examination on their breast, especially on how to ascertain the presence of any lump no matter little, and the need to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis in case any is found. The commissioner also stated that the ministry had completed plans to set up a Cretche in all ministries, departments, parastatals and agencies to enable nursing mothers feed their babies with breast milk exclusively, adding that, “ that way the culture of breast feeding among nursing mothers will be revived.”


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Wednesday, June 14, 12, 2013 2013 Wednesday, August

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Arts Lounge

Domestic violence: The first time it happened in my marriage

NAIJAZZ fetes Highlife legend Victor Olaiya

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TERH AGBEDEH

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obel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka is quoted to have said a few years ago that a certain reality television show which airs on pay television is “pervasive and debasing”. It would seem that were he to speak on the same subject today, he may not find the words – Nobel Laureate in literature though he is – with which to define the downturn reality television shows in the country has taken. Not only have they become very daring in the quest to get participants onboard they are also numerous and counting. Art Lounge sought the opinion of a couple of informed people on the matter and was able to get the response of two owing to short notice. Charles Novia, filmmaker and author of the book, Nollywood till November, and Ade Bantu, an international musician and judge on MTN Project Fame show, are the two who responded. Novia lamented that there’s already an unchecked influx of reality television shows; mostly foreign franchises which are not in form and content different from each other. “Curiously, many of such shows find willing sponsors in the telecoms sector where the major GSM companies fall over each other to sponsor those shows,” he said. The refrain from these companies, he explained, is that they are discovering and helping new talent. That, to him, is a good intention “but it is majorly for brand exposure and enhancement than for the winning talents who are always left in the lurch after the season ends”. He, however, stated that despite the reservations about the originality of these concepts called reality shows, one must grudgingly admit too that such shows have created jobs for thousands of people and also improved somewhat on our talent economy. “From the media outfits, the hotels, the music industry and various appendages of these shows, there is no doubt that jobs are being created,” Novia stated. Commending the sponsors Novia, however, said he would prefer that, and be happier if indigenous concepts are given more priority than the foreign franchises that dominate the scene. About whether these shows ought to be regulated he wondered if we even have any such regulatory bodies. “If we have,

Novia

Bantu

Audition for a reality TV show.

Reality TV shows: Democratisation of stardom or perversion? Several reality television shows compete for the attention of Nigerian viewers and have more than ever before put the decision mainly in the hand of viewers who vote to decide winners and/or losers and can also participate in front of the camera. Almost all the popular shows in Europe and America now have franchises here. Viewers can also catch some others on cable or satellite television. But in whose interest are these shows making inroads into Nigeria’s broadcast space? then we wouldn’t be discussing nudity in reality television shows. Of course, such bodies regulating that sector would tell us that being on cable and satellite, such shows are difficult to regulate because it’s out of their terms of reference. But I find that curious,” he said. Asked whether the proliferation of these shows on Nigerian television is as a result of a lack on the part of the stations to create programmes his reply was in the affirmative. “TV stations in Nigeria have no creative departments anymore. All they depend on are independent productions from producers who buy airtime on such stations. So, reality shows are a means of filling their airtime quota,” he said. Ade Bantu on the other hand said that Reality television has led to a democratisation of stardom. “Anyone can have their five minutes of fame. It is not about skill or talent. Yet I believe you have to have some form of quality control when it comes to certain shows and this can eas-

BUT IT IS MAJORLY FOR BRAND EXPOSURE AND ENHANCEMENT THAN

FOR THE WINNING TALENTS, WHO ARE ALWAYS LEFT IN THE LURCH AFTER THE SEASON ENDS ily be achieved by auditioning and pre selecting. Ultimately, it all boils down to the vision of the show’s producers,” he said. On whether such shows have anything to contribute to the Nigerian experience Ade Bantu said that people watch reality television to be entertained not to be educated. “Most of the formats and concepts were developed in Europe or America. Of course, the producers try to indigenise their content and in most cases it works, people identify with the shows but still it’s not original it is a copy,” he said. He said the reason regulatory bodies turn the other eye and allow some of these shows go on air, particularly those that

have some elements of nudity in them is because sex sells. “It is a big part of global pop and television culture. Scandals and nudity help trigger ratings. The television business in Nigeria is driven by commerce. Producers and private-owned stations are in it to make money. Advertisers and sponsors will only support you if you have a viewership,” he explained. He added that state television has long lost its appeal and credibility and that the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA should be the one offering alternative and educational programmes but it is not. Ade Bantu said the lack of creative programming on the part of Nigerian television stations, which many blame for

the proliferation of foreign programmes on Nigerian airwaves, is a reflection of our society and our attitude as a people. “Nigerians have become complacent consumers who happily spend their petro dollars on imported goods. We hardly manufacture anything locally. So, how do you expect writers or producers to develop content that is innovative or cutting edge in a nation that loves celebrating mediocrity. Nigerians love to copy that is why we spend billions of naira licensing foreign television formats,” he said. It would seem like things would continue in that direction for a long time to come considering that 2015 is around the corner. That is the magic year when television will switch from analogue to digital platform resulting in the skyrocketing of demand for these programmes many consider are neo-imperialist and a means of eroding the very essence of Africanism.


Arts Lounge

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

VOICES

LET’S

T AL K FAD

Domestic violence: The first time it happened in my marriage The general impression is that marriages contracted in the entertainment industry have all valuable elements save from longevity. Riddled with stories of adultery, domestic abuse and lack of commitment, there are typical instances from Nollywood to Hollywood and Bollywood. Chika Ike, a Nigerian actress is one of the many Nigerian actresses who have been through this pathway; she recently formalised her divorce procedure. In this article she explains why her marriage failed.

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he past three years has been a very emotional period for me. I focused my energy on work and to build back my self esteem. It’s been really hard for me to come out straight and talk about this because sometimes, I pinch myself to wake up and not believe that I was a victim of domestic violence. I’ve been through a lot in my life, faced a lot of challenges but this is one topic I’ve tried so hard to avoid and have been waiting for the right time but I have come to a resolve that there’s really no right time because every second of the day, lives are being lost due to domestic violence. I was a victim of domestic violence in my marriage and that was the singular reason I left my marriage, aside other reasons. Growing up as a girl, I was always known as the sweetest kid on the block, before I got married, I had been through some relationships and for once no man had ever laid a finger on me. The first time it happened in my marriage, I didn’t understand it because I am not the type of woman a man beats, but I guess there are no types. It just happens and no woman deserves it. As a young girl, I thought it was love or his way of expressing his emotions, after every beating he pleads , cries and says it won’t happen again, once again I thought it was love and made excuses for him. Over the years, when it kept happening consistently, I started looking for other definitions for it. I started losing my pride, self-esteem, self-worth, and most painfully, I lost a pregnancy (miscarriage), I almost lost my life in the process then I realised how serious and abnormal it really was. I have heard and read a lot of accusations from ignorant people who don’t

Ike

I HAVE HEARD AND READ A LOT OF ACCUSATIONS FROM IGNORANT PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW

MY STORY;

I GUESS

THAT’S WHY THEY ARE IGNORANT know my story; I guess that’s why they are ignorant. I was 20 years old and very naïve to the world when I got married. They said I married for money. Laugh out loud! I was married to a corporate guy, who had a ‘9 to 5’ job in a bank, lives in a rented 2-bedroom apartment at Egbe. So do the math! I married for love. I did a traditional wedding, a white wedding and a court wedding. So that’s how much I wanted to be married forever. For five years, I hoped, prayed and wished that one day it will all change. But the last straw that broke the camel’s back was during a heated argument he threw a glass jug to my face and I dodged it and it shattered on the wall. I saw death flash before me and I made a decision to save my life. I left my marriage. I am not saying this to draw pity from anyone because we are entitled to our opinions and beliefs. I am not also saying this to discourage people from falling in love because it’s a beautiful feeling and I still believe in it. I am saying this to educate, share and talk about my experience as a victim of domestic violence because it is real.

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Fidelis Duker

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Deport or relocate me to Aso Rock Villa

I

have read, listened and debated with my Yoruba and aggrieved Igbo friends on the rationale and reasons adduced by the Lagos State Government for the “deportation” or is it “relocation” of the Nigerians who were “deported” within their own country. Some have condemned the actions of the Babatunde Fashola led-administration for what they term unconstitutional and inhuman treatment on those Nigerians deported within their country. You will notice I have continued to refer to the alleged deportees as Nigerians and I make this reference with every sense of responsibility because some other people have also hailed the action of the state government. In my understanding of the entire scenario, which sadly has been politicised and tribalised by all the parties without looking at the substance of the allegations and counter allegations, I feel their rights as Nigerians have been trampled upon. And, sadly, not protected by the government who is charged with the responsibility of protecting lives and property under the Nigerian Constitution. I will try to be as dispassionate as possible on the issue considering that the issue has been so muddled up by the desperation of all parties involved to score cheap political points at the mercy of the unfortunate deportees. A brief background to the issue will help us all. It all started with the Lagos State Task Force on July 24, 2013 allegedly dumping about 70 persons said to be Igbo traders in Lagos State at Upper Iweka bridge head of Onitsha, Anambra State. According to the Lagos State Government, “these destitutes were indigenes of three eastern states who were picked up around Lagos for constituting a nuisance and rehabilitated by the state government before the three states involved were notified. To ensure respect for the dignity of the human person, Lagos State Government notified the government of each affected state at least 90 days ahead of time to enable them to make adequate arrangements for accommodation and rehabilitation of the individuals”. But sadly Anambra state Government never replied Lagos State Government’s request neither in writing nor by practically effecting the removal of their destitute citizens in the state. Some indigenes of Igbo land have argued that they have never seen Igbos begging for alms on the streets of Lagos and, therefore, refuse to buy the story of destitute slammed on these innocent souls. While others say it was contrary to the 1999 Constitution to deport any citizen of Nigeria within the country as it could be termed an abdication of authority and responsibility by Lagos State government and transfer of authority and responsibility to Anambra State government to cater and cover the

THE STATE GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN A BETTER

PR TEAM

THAN USING

JOE IGBOKWE welfare for these Nigerians deported by Lagos State government, even when our constitution stipulates that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”. My position on the issue is simple will inform questions and comments for the two state governments: Lagos State Government: • When has loitering or begging become a crime under the Nigerian Constitution even though I hear there is a Lagos State law on begging but legally, the Nigerian Constitution takes pre-eminence? • Why can’t the Lagos State Government continue to rehabilitate them at the government owned vocation centre? • Why must the state government team arrive at night to transfer the destitute to the Anambra State Government? • Why will you dump all the destitutes in one state when they are from three states as claimed by the government? • Who received the destitutes at that ungodly hour? • The state government should have gotten a better PR team than using Joe Igbokwe ...to me rather a cheap tribal and political point. • When has it become a crime to live in any part of Nigeria as destitute? Anambra State: • Why would a responsible government not respond to a correspondence that affects the wellbeing of its indigenes? • What rehabilitation has the state government done to help these individuals because we understand it’s the Red Cross catering for them? • When these “deportees” requested to return home, what effort did the government do to accede the request of these individuals? From the correspondences produced by the Lagos State Government, it’s obvious the Anambra State Government acted irresponsibly. It is obvious from the aforementioned that both the Lagos and Anambra state governments have not been able to handle the issue in the best possible way. Sadly, the issue has been so trivialised on the altar of politics and tribal sentiments and I won’t be surprised to see a retaliatory response from the east which will be most unwarranted. However, on a lighter note, I don’t mind being deported to Aso Rock Villa which is my state.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Arts Lounge

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

25

ARTISTE UNCENSORED

My style blends urban and communal –Iwunze-Ibiam Writers are always in the quest for a work space that will allow time away from distractions and enhance their productivity. Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam found that space with peace and quiet at the Ebedi International Writers’ Residency in Iseyin, Oyo State, Nigeria where she is doing a lot of writing, meeting new people and having new experiences. TERH AGBEDEH

IT IS BETTER FOR

E

WOMEN TO GROW

nugu-based Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam is a fiction writer, who together with her colleague writers, Iquo Eke and Bilqisu Abubakar, are presently at the July/August 2013 edition of the Ebedi International Writers’ Residency Programme in Iseyin, Oyo State, Nigeria. Winner of the Cecilia Unaegbu Flash Fiction contest and the Voice of America, VOA, flash fiction contest, she is working on a collection of short stories, which will undoubtedly make remarkable social contributions. But for the residency in Iseyin she completed work on the first draft of her novel titled: His Fake Fiancee. “The residency is nice and very beneficial. We are able to work together,” Chioma told our correspondent in Ibadan where the writers-in-residence had come to attend the literary day in honour of the Late Chinua Achebe on August 6. Chioma, who said she worked on her novel, His Fake Fiancee, a few short stories and is in the process of editing her work, explained that she finds the style of Iquo and Bilquisu unique and interesting. “Iquo tackles more of urban stories; Bilqisu is more of a communal African setting, kind of like what Chinua Achebe would do. They are styles that are unique. Mine is a blend of both.” She said. The writer who has experimented with

AND DEVELOP AND BE PSYCHOLOGICALLY MATURE BEFORE THEY START MAKING COMMITMENTS flash fiction 2008 said before then she had been dedicated to working on novels which she has still not published yet. “I have been doing a lot of flash fiction and have attended workshops by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Helon Habila,” she said. Responding to a question on whether the girl child should be exposed to marriage at a young age Chioma, who is married with children, said it is better for women to grow and develop and be psychologically mature before they start making commitments they don’t understand. For that reason, she said she does not think she could give her daughter out for marriage at nine. Since coming to Iseyin for the six-week residency programme, Chioma, who is open to recommending the programme to writers, said the three of them have been sharing ideas and that has helped to

Iwunze-Ibiam

improve on their writing. “I will talk about the residency on my blog, which is for literature lovers. So I could help publicise Ebedi International Writers’ Residency. It will be very easy for me to do that,” she said. The time she is spending in Iseyin is not just dedicated to working on her novel and short stories; Chioma said she and the other writers have had very engaging mentorship sessions with school children in the town. While the others took the children in creative writing and reading, Chioma introduced them to blogging. “I did an introduction to blogging, what it is about and how to get creative ideas for your blog. Internet was slow but I was able to bring up a few pages and I could show them different blogs and how they can benefit them, how to get story

ideas, and what kind of ideas one can blog about and so on,” she stated. The whole idea of the mentorship came from the fact that young people read all sorts of things but they don’t mentally want to engage in literary materials all the time except if it is something that is part of school work. The Ebedi International Writers Residency Programme now in its third year of operation is an initiative that allows writers to complete their works in a favourable atmosphere at no cost. It also enables the writers to mentor aspiring young writers drawn from several secondary schools in Iseyin. The residency is managed by a Board of Directors made up of Maryam Okediran (Chairman), Uche Peter Umez, Alkasim Abdulkadir and Akintayo Abodunrin.

MIDWEEK JUMP Education for Change Essay Competition still open

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igerian students at both secondary and tertiary levels still have the opportunity of taking part in the maiden edition of the Education for Change Essay Competition, organised by the Murtala Mohammed Foundation (MMF) before August 16. The Foundation is doing this in line with their mandate to empower the youths to become exemplary leaders that shall stir Nigeria towards the path of sustainable development; the essay competition is focused on promoting critical thinking, harnessing ideas and developing the talents, abilities, gifts and skills inherent in the youth. Topic for students at the tertia-

ry education is: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world. -Nelson Mandela’, while secondary school students should write on: ‘Education is that which remains when one has forgotten everything he learned in school. -Albert Einstein’. Students can win as much as N150,000 by sending in their entries that should not be less than 500 words long.

‘Screen dance Africa’ calls for dance video entries

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ance artistes across Africa have the chance to enter their dance videos between two minutes and ten minutes long for an upcoming mini dance film festival slated

for Cape Town, South Africa. Screen dance welcomes any genre of dance on screen- documentaries, dance video, narrative or non-narrative, experimental, student or professional. Most importantly, they are looking for dance videos that activate the crossover of dance, choreography and the cinematic medium. Select dance videos that demonstrate a clear intention, using the dance, locations, choreography, camera movement and the editing to activate this are most welcomed. Films should however be of good quality, produced and completed during or after 2011. No recordings of live stage performances will be considered. Entries should come on DVD format with details such as: ti-

tle, nationality, choreographer, length, first premiere contact details, and director’s name. More details are accessible at the Screen dance Africa portal.

Activist launches book on women empowerment

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cclaimed women’s rights activist, Chief (Mrs.) Olabisi Olateru-Olagbegi, has launched her latest book, Path to Women’s Development: Thoughts, Vision and Passion. The launching, which held last weekend at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, Lagos was part of activities to celebrate the 60th birthday of Olateru-Olagbegi. Present at the event which also doubled as a public lecture with

the theme, “Women’s Health, Rights and Voices in Nigeria: Our Collective Responsibility”, were the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Hon Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Barrister Yinka Oladunjoye; Public Diplomacy Officer, US Consulate General, Lagos, Rhonda Watson; and many others. Speaking on the lecture’s theme, Orelope-Adefulire said that women should take care of their health as it is only when they are healthy that they can be productive, and that women must not be silent so that their voices can be heard. Concluding, she said the book is vital for every woman as it adequately addresses all the issues that will help women make something of themselves in life.


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Arts Lounge

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

FAR AND NEAR

Emegwali for filmmakers’ summit on ICT

NAIJAZZ fetes highlife legend, Victor Olaiya

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ADENRELE NIYI

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AIJAZZ music led by ace Jazz promoter, Ayoola Sadare has rolled out plans to honour legendary Highlife genius Dr. Victor Olaiya whose career has spanned about 60 active years. This is being done in pursuit of NAIJAZZ’s vision to redefine and restore Nigerian music to its glorious position and promoting authentic, indigenous and identifiable Nigerian music for global relevance in a classic and contemporary style, In a statement Sadare said: “We at NAIJAZZ are honoured for the opportunity to celebrate a living legend. Victor Olaiya has been a recurring decimal on the music scene for so long and he is no doubt a reference point for authentic Nigerian music whenever and wherever it is mentioned alongside other music legends like Fela Kuti, Ebenezer Obey, Rex Lawson, King Sunny Ade, Osita Osadebe and Dr. Victor Uwaifo to mention a few. His music is evergreen, fresh and relevant now as it was when initially produced. His music can be regarded as our own Jazz standard which when properly archived is a reference points for generations to come. His current collaboration Baby Mi Da remix with contemporary music icon 2face Idibia is a case in point. We need to celebrate and honour this man while he is alive”. Sadare revealed this event, facilitated by Olaiya’s son Bayode, would be the beginning of a series of events NAIJAZZ has planned for other musical legends. Dr. Victor Olaiya (born December 31, 1930) was extremely famous for his Highlife style in Nigeria during the 1950s and early 1960s. Alhaji Alade Odunewu (Allah De) of Blessed memory described him as The Evil Genius of Highlife. The 20th child of a family of 24. His parents, Alfred Omolona Olaiya and Bathsheba Owolabi Motajo, came from Ijesha-Ishu in Ekiti State. At an early age he learned to play the Bombardon and the French Horn. After leaving school he moved

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Olaiya

to Lagos, where he passed the school certificate examination in 1951 and was accepted by Howard University, USA, to study Civil Engineering; pursuing a career in music instead. He played with the Sammy Akpabot Band, was leader and trumpeter for the Old Lagos City Orchestra and joined the Bobby Benson Jam Session Orchestra. In 1954 Olaiya formed his own band, the Cool Cats, playing popular highlife music. His band was chosen to play at the state ball when Queen Elizabeth II of United Kingdom visited Nigeria in 1956, and later to play at the state balls when Nigeria became independent in 1960 and when Nigeria became a republic in 1963. On the latter occasion, Olaiya shared the stage with the American jazz musician Louis Armstrong. During the Nigerian Civil War of 1967-70, Olaiya was given the rank of a lieutenant colonel (honorary) in the Nigerian Army and his band played for the troops at various locations. His music bridges between Ghanaian highlife and what would become Afrobeat. Olaiya also ran a business that imported and distributed musical instruments and accessories throughout West Africa, and established the Stadium Hotel in Surulere, Lagos. The NAIJAZZ music celebration is slated for Sunday, August 18 in Lagos. Artistes billed to perform include: Bright Gain, Ebisan, Femi Leye and the eclipse band, Imole Afrika, Victor Ademofe and others. The event is supported by Metro 97.7FM, igrooveradio.com, Jazzhole and Inspiro productions.

enowned computer scientist, Dr Philip Emegwali also known as the father of the internet will on September 14, lead other prominent computer scientists as well as movie makers to Enugu for a four-day summit on Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Also expected at the summit which would take place at the Godfrey Okoye University Enugu, include the renowned computer wizard and Oracle consultant, Oracle Peter Okeke, President of ROCANA Institute of Technology, Dr Robery Orji, Head of Operations of AFRIHUB, Dr Vitalis Ndu as well as the Vice Chancellor of Godfrey Okoye University, Rev. Prof Christian Aneke. Briefing newsmen on the arrangements being put in place ahead of the summit, the Managing Director of Encyclotainment Nigeria Ltd, organisers of the event, Obinna Ukaobasi said that the theme of the event is “The World, ICT and Movie Summit”, adding that notable movie makers including the National President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Ibinabo Fiberisima, Head of Department of Theatre Arts, University of Port-Harcourt, Prof Sam Dede, Desmond Elliot as well as Linda Ikeji of the famous Linda Ikeji Blog are equally expected to be at the summit. Ukaobasi disclosed that the essence of the summit was to educate Nigerian students on the need to get acquainted

with new trends in ICT especially for movie makers, expressing dismay that most under-graduates still find it difficult to access the internet. While noting that about 3000 students drawn from various higher institutions in the country are being expected to attend the summit as participants, Ukaobasi also disclosed that the summit would unveil the latest technology for movie production, adding that by the time the summit would have been over, movie makers in the country would be poised to compete with their Hollywood counterparts. “It is regrettable that our students are no longer ICT literate, this platform will be used to educate them on the importance of ICT. We are also bringing Okeke of GO University to the summit. He has invented modern technologies for effects in movie productions, that is why we are bringing movie makers. We’ll show them how to use these technologies so they would begin to compete with Hollywood. Nollywood has come of age and we need to equally improve,” he explained.

Emegwali

12 finalists chase N4.5m in National Art Competition

Taiye Idahor, one of the finalists

TERH AGBEDEH

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welve finalists have emerged in the National Art Competition which has been on for six years and

will now battle for the N2m first prize, N1.5m second prize and N1m third prize. The finalists in the competition organised by the African Artists’ Foundation, AAF and sponsored by Nigerian Breweries Plc are: Karimah Ashadu, Alayande Ayanwale, Chidinma Nnorom Chinke, Mary Edoga Chioma, Brigitte Sésu Tilley-Gyado and Taiye Idahor. Others are Erasmus Onyishi, Olanrewaju Tejuoso, Felicia Tochukwu, Victoria Udondian, the duo of Chuka Ejorh and Olamide Udo-Udoma, as well as the duo of Halima Abubakar and Zemaye Okediji. The 12 were in retreat from July 29 to August 2 where they had the opportunity to exchange ideas and participate in workshops facilitated by leading artists, scholars, and art practitio-

ners. On hand to facilitate the workshops include: Olu Amoda, Uche Okpa-Iroha, Jelili Atiku, Delphine Fawundu, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Robin Hammond, Prince Yemisi Shyllon, Joseph Gergel, Orlando Reade, Nick Hagen, Roger Woodbridge and Richard Eko. Gergel, who is AAF’s curator, said at a media briefing addressed by NBL’s officials, including Mr. Edem Vindah, and AAF’s Founder, Azuh Nwagbogu, that the competition with the theme: ‘Identity: Who Do You Think You Are?’ received over 100 entries from the six geo-political zones of the country, while screening to select the 12 was conducted by a Prof. El Anatsuiled selection committee. “We encouraged the artist to think intellectually about what

their message content is,” he said, explaining that the competition this year experienced an unprecedented number of strong and conceptually impressive entries, which proposed a variety of artistic practices in response to the theme. Vindah said the company decided to invest in the younger artists to assist them to realise their potentials and contribute to national development. Nwagbogu said that AAF is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to the promotion and development of contemporary African art while serving “a significant role in art and academic communities through organising art exhibitions, festivals, competitions, residencies, and workshops with the aim of unearthing and developing talent,

creating societal awareness, and providing a platform to express creativity”. Collector, art patron and founder of the Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Foundation, OYASAF, Prince Yemisi Shyllon, commended AAF and Nigerian Breweries, saying their investment through the project will boost employment among artists, help in sharpening their skills, boost the country’s economy and further strengthen Nigeria’s cultural resources. After the retreat, finalists will have four months to execute their final project before the Grand Finale and Judging Ceremony which will take place on November 24 at the Art 21 exhibition space located at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.


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outh Africa midfielder, Siphiwe Tshabalala, has said that his team’s objective is to make the nation proud today against Nigeria. Bafana Bafana take on 2013 Africa Cup of Nation winners, Super Eagles Nigeria in the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Despite Nigeria’s superior record over the hosts (out of seven meetings, the Super Eagles have won five compared to just one for SA), Tshabalala is confident that Bafana can come out on top. “There is an objective that needs to be achieved, which is to do well and make the nation proud. Once again it is an opportunity for new players as well to play for the national team,” said Tshabalala. “It’s a tough task, playing the number one team in Africa; they have good players but on the other hand we have good players here and we have what it takes to compete, for us it’s not a friendly game. “It’s an honour for us to be participating in the national team in the Mandela Challenge, we will do our best and make sure we reign victorious.” The 28-year-old added that it’s always a pleasure for him to represent his country and that all the players called up deserve to be part of the squad. Their coach, Gordon Igesund, has already said his wards are battle ready for the African champions, when he exchanged warm pleasantries with Keshi at their Southern Sun hotel, camp yesterday.

Tshabalala

Sport

As far as this game against Bafana Bafana goes, we are taking it beyond being a friendly

Ronaldo delays contract renewal

We will prove ourselves –Tshabalala

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

- SUPER EAGLES’ WINGER, AHMED MUSA

Street soccer: Guinness excites Lagos’ fans with Traore’s freestyle

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remium beer, Guinness, is reinforcing its commitment to football in Nigeria by bringing football lovers across the country a series of exciting football experiences. Recently, the brand announced its collaboration with freestyle football guru, Iya Traore, and brought him to Lagos, where he had the opportunity to showcase his skills and meet with selected Nigerian freestyle footballers, giving them a chance to work with him and learn from the best. Traore amazed football lovers at the Guinness Head Office open field in Lagos with his incredible display of talent. Fans also had opportunities of challenging themselves by showcasing their skills and winning fantastic prizes. Ifeanyi Nwabeke and Ahmed Rilwan won $500 each Bafana Bafana coach, Gordon Igesund (l) and Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, in for their efforts while others friendly mood yesterday, prior to today’s Mandela Challenge match in Durban, South got consolation prizes. Africa. According to the Marketing and Innovation Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Austin Ufomba, the series of activities around Iya Traore

‘We love Mandela, but Eagles will beat Bafana’

are targeted at bringing football lovers across the country unforgettable football experiences. “Over the next few months, we will be revealing more about our exciting football plans for the forthcoming year. There will be many more great football experiences to come, involving well known football names and chances for Nigerian football fans to get involved and show us what they’re made of – Raise Your Game!” Ufomba said. Born in Guinea, Traore grew up playing street football where he impressed locals with his skills. In November 2000 he moved to France where he forged links with clubs such as ESP, Paris FC and Paris Saint-Germain, but decided to continue playing football in the way he knows best – on the streets. He is now well known for his incredible freestyle football skills and has appeared in exhibition matches, on TV shows and can often be found practising on one of Paris’s most famous streets, the Champs-Elysees.

• Kick-off 6.15pm

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI SPORTS EDITOR

“W

e aim to win every game we go into and this one will not be different,” Nigeria’s coach, Stephen Keshi, said yesterday ahead of this evening’s Mandela Challenge match in Durban between the Super Eagles and Bafana Bafana of South Africa. Keshi added, “It’s supposed to be a friendly game but national pride and the history and continental status of both countries make this a humdinger of a clash.” He described the former South Africa President, Dr. Nelson Mandela, as the quintessential icon and father of all Africans ahead of the match that kicks off at 6.15pm Nigerian time. “My image of Madiba when I was growing up was someone that will go out of his way to fight for his people, the sacrifice and the personal challenges notwithstanding. He looked at

the future and with age, preferred to end the crisis with peace. He always reminded me of Mahatma Ghandi of India. It was love that brought the people of South Africa to freedom.” Meanwhile, Chelsea midfield star, Mikel Obi, will not feature in the game due to a stomach upset he picked up while on tour with his EPL side. National Mirror was told yesterday that late on Monday, Chelsea doctors wrote to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) asking that the player be excused for health reasons. Keshi obliged, saying yesterday that he would not want to push Mikel too much because of the September 7 World Cup qualifier against Malawi in Calabar. All the other 19 players are in Durban, including Mikel’s Chelsea teammate, Victor Moses. “We hope to use this match to know the best way to tackle our most important game next month,” Keshi added.

Traore demostrating his skills on a pole


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Sport

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tit bits...

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Lagos Cla ITTF highli prospects

Ronaldo delays contract renewal

Villa David Villa says he’s enjoyed his first weeks with Atletico Madrid, as huge expectations trail his arrival. “Little by little I’m adjusting to the team,” Villa said yesterday. “My teammates have a defined system because they are virtually the same team that played last season. I am slowly getting used to the ideas and improving.”

YEMI OLUS

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Gallas

Crystal Palace Manager, Ian Holloway, is keen to keep William Gallas in London after the former France international was released by Tottenham Hotspur. The former captain, now a free agent, has also expressed keenness in remaining in the capital, although he has kept mum on his next move. “We are hoping to sign on William as he will certainly be an added value to us in the new season,” Holloway said yesterday.

Totti

Roma legend, Francesco Totti, says he is feeling happier at the capital club, amidst changes in the side ahead of the new season. Totti had reportedly become unsettled at Roma over the looming new era. But the centre forward has returned from the pre-season in high spirit to discuss a new contract, even as Roma President, James Pallotta, is set to negotiate with the star man.

Toure

Toure set to shine

Ronaldo

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eal Madrid winger, Cristiano Ronaldo, is delaying new contract talks with the club, according to latest reports which suggest his agent, Jorge Mendes, has opted out of the talks “until next month”. Ronaldo spoke personally with club President, Florentino Perez, during the team’s pre-season tour of the USA, but nothing was agreed, knowing that with less than two years to run on his existing deal, the pressure is on Perez to secure his signature to a new agreement. The reports, however, suggested that Ronaldo would not consider a shift in ground until it becomes clear if Madrid has succeeded in prising away Gareth Bale from

Coentrao

Tottenham Hotspur is believed to be interested in the services of Real Madrid fullback, Fabio Coentrao. Reports said the 25-year-old’s representatives were expected to speak to Spurs officials yesterday in a bid to spark negotiations. Coentrao has a release clause in his Madrid contract of £21.5million, but he is not part of new coach Carlo Ancelotti’s plans and could be offloaded for around £13m.

Sakho PSG defender, Mamadou Sakho, is being linked with Barcelona. The 23 year-old France international is unsettled at PSG and considering a move away this month. Observers believe Sakho has qualities similar to Barca defender Gerard Pique and would be worthy cover for the Spain international, even as Liverpool and AC Milan have also been linked with Sakho in recent days.

Tottenham Hotspur. Should the Welshman arrive, it will give Ronaldo and Mendes ammunition to demand ground-breaking terms to re-sign with Real. The Portuguese is still playing on the same contract he signed upon leaving Manchester United four years ago.

Bale tight-lipped on transfer

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ottenham Hotspur’s want away winger, Gareth Bale, yesterday avoided questions from desperate Spanish reporters on his future, amidst latest reports suggesting he might not team with Real Madrid for the new season. Bale, who is in Spain for Spurs scheduled friendly with Espanyol, shunned reporters who tracked him down for comments on the widely publicized move, staying tight-lipped all through the meeting. Asked why he pulled out of the Wales FIFA international friendly, he said: “This is no time to talk, right? I’m sorry, really. It’s not the time to talk.”

Mourinho, forgotten item –Ramos

‘Neymar ‘ll rival Messi’

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razil Coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, believes Neymar can reach the heights attained by Barcelona star Lionel Messi. Scolari says the one obstacle for Neymar to overcome will be having the discipline to play to Barca’s system. “Now that he’s in Europe, playing for Barca, Neymar can show the world his immense technique and emulate the success of Messi and reach his level. He has quality to do it,” Scolari said yesterday. “The hardest thing for him will be getting used to tactical discipline,” the vastly experienced gaffer added.

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eal Madrid defender, Sergio Ramos, insists former coach Jose Mourinho is no longer discussed inside the club’s dressing room. Ramos says he is happier focusing on the future, rather than talking about the new Chelsea manager. “Last season we did not reach previous successes, I’d rather stay with the positive, with the good, I’m not spiteful. I’ll take what I learned from a stage that is closed and forgotten,” the Spain international said. “Football continues, we must continue growing, improving, being ambitious to keep winning titles. Now is a new stage, with a new coach, new signings, we’re all very excited to win things.”

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iverpool new signing, Kolo Toure, is already focusing on the Reds’ opening game of the Premier League against Stoke City on Saturday. “I think I am ready because I have been working so hard,” the Ivorien said yesterday. “Stoke is going to be a really tough game. But after the preseason we have had, we are really confident. We will give 100 percent and try to win the game. “I feel great, the players have welcomed me and given me the help I need. I will give 100 percent every week. That’s what I’m here for, to play football.” Liverpool welcomes Stoke at Anfield in the season’s starter.

Dalglish commits to Petrov

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iverpool legend, Kenny Dalglish, yesterday signed up for Stiliyan Petrov’s No 19 legend’s Charity Match on September 8. Dalglish will take charge of one of the two sides which will honour ex-Hoops and Aston Villa midfielder Petrov who was forced to retire from the game in May because of his fight with leukaemia. Dalglish has joined current Celtic boss Neil Lennon, Manchester United great Roy Keane and ex-Celtic midfielder Lubo Moravcik, among others, for the event at Celtic Park and was delighted to be returning to the Glasgow institution. “I think anybody that has worked with Stan for any length of time would want to come out and help him,” he said. “To come here 19 years of age from your home country (of Bulgaria) and move to Glasgow must have been a big move for him but he was fantastic for us and was a really good guy,” he added.

Dalglish

he Internat nis Federa said that th International Tabl will help players to world ranking. The ITTF-appro organised by the L al Sports Classics Table Tennis Fed is the highest priz ment to be staged i According to ITTF Board of Di Oladapo, players a the competition to their ranking in th “Nigerian play three have an opp points and be rank Oladapo said. “Therefore, I ex will participate in to put in their best tournament is fe the top star aroun African Table Te (ATTF) Vice Presid Meanwhile, th tournament, Mola as Hall of Teslim Balogun nessed massive ren the competition wh August 26. Qualifi based players wil 22 and 23 while pla in 10 events in the categories.

CHAN 20 Kalusha match sh

AFOLABI GAMBA

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ootball As of Zambi President, sha Bwalya, expressed conce the postponemen CHAN 2014 qua Harare on Sun tween the Chipol Warriors of Zimb The Zimbabwe Association (ZIF postponed the gam gust 18 after offic Cameroon failed for the encounter the two neighbou flight complicatio Bwalya told Mirror yesterday FAZ had not exp inconvenience, however, that ZIF right thing unde


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Okagbare, a heroine–Minister

assics: ights s

YEMI OLUS

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tional Table Tenation (ITTF) has he maiden Lagos le Tennis Classics o garner point for

oved tournament, Lagos Internations and the Nigeria deration (NTTF), ze money tournain Africa. member of the irectors, Olabanji are expected to use o amass points for he world. yers in the top portunity to score ked by the ITTF,”

xpect players that n the competition t, especially as the eaturing some of nd the world,” the ennis Federation dent added. he venue of the ade Okoya-Thom-

n Stadium has witnovation ahead of hich serves off on iers for Nigerianll hold on August ayers will compete junior and senior

Sport S port

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pope Francis

Friendly: Pontiff fancies Italy, Argentina

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ope Francis yesterday joked with Italy and Argentina players ahead of their international in Rome today, saying he was torn over who to support. “It’s going to be difficult for me, it’s lucky it’s a friendly match! And let’s make sure it is one,” the Argentine pontiff said in a private meeting, which journalists listened to over the speakers in the Vatican’s press room. The players, along with Italian coach Cesare Prandelli and Argentine coach Alejandro Sabella, met the 76-year-old at the Vatican where the lifelong fan of Argentine club San Lorenzo, called on the teams to exploit their popularity to be role models. “Dear players, you are

014: rues hift

ARI

ssociation Kalusha ia (FAZ) cumstance. Kalu“It is at a great cost to us yesterday as it means we have to take ern over two trips to Harare inside nt of the one week,” the former Zamalifier in bia international, who is nday be- the first and only African opolo and Player of the Year from the babwe. Southern African, lamente Football ed. FA) had “We had prepared for me till Au- the match adequately, so cials from you can imagine the disapto arrive pointment we got to the barinvolving gain,” he added. urs, citing Interestingly, the Zimons. babwe football body had National proposed a 24-hour shift for y that the the CHAN encounter, but pected the Zambia objected as the Chisaying, polopolo was due to meet FA did the Senegal in a friendly scheder the cir- uled for France today.

very popular. People follow your example, off the pitch as well as on it. Therefore, you have a social responsibility,” he counseled. Among those present was AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli, who is often in the headlines for his behaviour on and off the pitch. The players presented Francis with a personalised shirt from each team with his name on it, as well as a silver vase from the Argentinians and an olive tree from the Italians. “Please pray for me, so that I too, on the ‘pitch’ God has placed me on, can play an honest and courageous game for the good of everyone,” Pope Francis said at the end of the meeting.

Delta Speaker greets athlete

S

peaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Ochei, has applauded Blessing Okagbare for winning a silver medal in the long jump event at the on-going IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia. Ochei said yesterday that Okagbare’s attainment was the product of perseverance and commitment as necessary ingredients for achieving enduring success. “It could not have come at a more auspicious moment after it ended Nigeria’s 14-year medal drought at previous editions of IAAF Championships. “Okagbare’s feat is a justification for Delta State government’s massive investment in sports, as a veritable component of its three point agenda.” The Speaker urged Nigerian youth to emulate Okagbare’s devotion and resilience in their endeavours.

ollowing the confirmation of African Champion, Omar Assar, for the first Lagos International Table Tennis Classics, Nigeria’s reigning champion, Ahmed Adeyinka, has dismissed the threat posed by the Egyptian. Adeyinka, who will be featuring in his first international tournament at this weekend’s Cameroun Invitational Championship holding in Yaounde, contended that the Egyptian would not prevail at the competition. “I have heard a lot about Assar but I am sure he must have also heard a lot about me being the current Nigerian champion,” Adeyinka. “We have not met before and I believe this will be to my advantage. I know that he will not find it easy with most of the Nigerian players because we are all roaring to go,” he added. The triple gold medalist at the last National Sports Festival tagged Eko 2012, however, acknowledged the quality of Assar. “He is a good representative of Africa having won series of competitions and I am looking forward competing with him,” Adeyinka remarked, saying the event would impact positively on the home lads. “I am happy that this tournament is coming at this time, especially for most of us who are yet

to feature in any international competition.” Players within and outside Nigeria have started registration for the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF)approved tournament holding at the Teslim Balogun Stadium from August 26 to 31. Organisers have fixed the deadline for August 13, while qualifying matches in all events for Nigerian based players will take place on August 22 and 23. T h e highest p r i z e money t a b l e tennis tournament in Africa i s

o r ganised in collaboration with the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF).

…Ogunkoya hails Abdullahi

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frica foremost women quarter-miler, Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo, has described Sports Minister Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi as “jinx breaker” after his term recorded a World Championships medal for the first time since 1999. Nigeria had endured a 14year spell of medal drought at the athletics meet until Okagbare achieved her feat on Sunday, clinching the long jump silver medal in Moscow. “From winning the Africa Nations Cup after 19 years waiting to the latest event, it has demonstrated the hard work of the current sports minister,” Ogunkoya said yes-

terday in Moscow. “He is the first sports minister to attend our Golden League, All Nigeria Athletics Championships, and now the first at the World Championships. In addition, you will also find him in table tennis, school sports and other sports’ events,” she added. Ogunkoya-Omotayo enjoined Nigerians to support Abdullahi in his effort to implement President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda in the sports sector. “He is always receptive to new ideas,” the former athlete hl ffurther h said. id

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nigeria Premier Nig League

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Cricket

with

IIKENWA NNABUOGOR ikenwa.nnabuogor@gmail.com

Glo League: LMC warns against disparaging comments

Irabor

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he League Management Company (LMC) has expressed its displeasure over the negative statements fed the public on outcome of Glo Premier League matches by club officials and players. LMC has therefore warned that it will henceforth sanction individuals who engage in this practice that brings the League to disrepute. In a statement from the office of the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Salihu Abubakar,

the LMC said it will no longer condone such comments by club officials, including coaches and managers as well as their players whose comments will lower the integrity of the League in the eyes of the public. It reminded the clubs that existing regulations have provided appropriate channels for conveying grievances and protests against perceived wrong doings by match officials or opponents. “The LMC wishes to admon-

‘Dolphins won’t do Sharks any favours’

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ice chairman of Dolphins supporter’s club, Prince Prezi Difa, has advised that city rivals, Sharks should look elsewhere for their salvation and stop hoping on Dolphins for survival. Difa stated yesterday that Sharks should not depend on Dolphins to get out of relegation zone as they will not spare their visitors at the Liberation Stadium tomorrow. “Every time Sharks are in trouble they want us to help them. The truth is we did not put them in the condition they are in so they should not expect us to get them out of it,” Difa said. “We are in touching distance of a place on the continent and we can even still win the league so I wonder why they feel they will come to our stadium and collect three points on Wednesday. “We are also not in a good position as we lost to Sun-

shine Stars over the weekend and must regain the points and goals from somewhere. If Sharks want a way out of relegation they should go and get it from somewhere else,” the vice chairman said. In the first round of the league, the game between both sides at the Sharks FC Stadium ended goalless. Sharks are currently 17th on the League table while Dolphins are 8th.

ish clubs who have issues with the outcome of matches or conduct of match officials to take advantage of existing procedures and channels of seeking redress and desist from statements to the press and on social media which not only prejudices public opinion but also questions the integrity of the League,” the statement noted. The LMC wishes to also assure clubs and their fans that all acts of proven poor officiating and misconduct on the part of match officials will attract adequate sanctions on the culprits. The statement said, “While the LMC will not accommodate acts of violent physical and verbal attacks on our appointed match officials and any persons within the jurisdiction of a match, proven acts of misconduct against any of them will be sanctioned in line with prescribed regulations.” Football is a beautiful game that is meant to be enjoyed, in victory or in defeat. Fans and officials must therefore learn to accept results and allow the LMC to take care of disciplinary issues for the game to grow.

K

Azubike revels in El-Kanemi goal

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ayelsa United youngster Okey Azubike said he was relieved to get on the score sheet for the first time last weekend as his secondplaced side walloped El-Kanemi 3-0 in Yenagoa. The Flying Eagles and Super Eagles invitee put his side in front in the early minute to inspire his mates to the comprehensive routing that helped them maintain their push for the league title. The newly-promoted 2008 season champions are among the three clubs locked on 39 points but are on third place behind leaders Enyimba and Kano Pillars, on lesser goal aggregate. The 17-year-old midfielder said he was delighted with the effort and hoped he would get more goals in the remaining games in the GLO Premier League.

GLO League Fixtures

“It was a huge feeling for me to score in the game which was also important for us to keep up the chase for the league title,” Azubike said. “I’ve also loved to score but the role I play keeps restricting me but I was just happy to hit the target and I hope the trend continues. “I play anywhere in the midfield and I love complementing the attack, having assisted in some goals this season. “Bayelsa United are gunning for the league title and winning games will only keep the hopes alive to achieve that. “No one gave us chance when things were a bit tough in the beginning of the season but things have really turned out good and I’m happy if it will continue.”

GLO Premier League standings

Today

Team

MP

W

D

L

F

A

D

P

Enyimba

24

11

6

7

19

11

+8

39

2

Kano Pillars

23

12

3

8

30

27

+3

39

3

Bayelsa United

24

12

3

9

29

29

+0

39

4

Warri Wolves

24

10

8

6

29

20

+9

38

vs Sharks

5

Kwara United

24

10

8

6

24

15

+9

38

Gombe United

vs Heartland

6

Enugu Rangers

23

11

3

9

31

21

+10 36

Kwara United

vs Enugu Rangers

7

Dolphins

24

10

6

8

24

21

+3

36

Kaduna United

vs Nasarawa Utd

8

El Kanemi

24

10

5

9

26

24

+2

35

Warri Wolves

vs Enyimba

9

Sunshine Stars

24

10

4

10

28

21

+7

34

10

Gombe United

24

11

1

12

27

33

-6

34

11

Akwa United

23

10

3

10

26

30

-4

33

12

ABS

24

9

5

10

20

24

-4

32

13

Kaduna United

24

10

2

12

23

28

-5

32

14

Nembe City

24

10

2

12

22

29

-7

32

15

Heartland

24

10

1

13

28

22

+6

31

16

Shooting Stars

24

9

3

12

28

29

-1

30

17

Sharks

24

8

6

10

15

20

-5

30

18

Nasarawa Utd

24

8

6

10

19

28

-9

30

19

Lobi Stars

24

8

5

11

22

31

-9

29

20

Wikki Tourist

23

8

2

13

20

27

-7

26

Bayelsa United

vs Akwa United

1

Wikki Tourist

vs Shooting Stars

Kano Pillars

vs ABS

Lobi Stars

vs Sunshine Stars

Dolphins

El Kanemi Warriors vs Nembe City

Ganaru visits hospital for check up ano Pillars technical adviser Baba Ganaru was at a Kano hospital yesterday for routine check up following injuries he sustained in the auto crash on their way back to Kano after their FA Cup ouster two weeks ago. Ganaru was discharged from hospital last week Thursday after spending some days in an unnamed

Azubike

hospital. The league titlewinning coach reunited with his family in Kano where he spent the Ramadan holidays. Coach Ganaru sustained minor injuries in the crash and is expected to return to the dugout for his club as they step up the chase to retain the league title they won last season.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

31

Business & Finance This is because we see the link between entrepreneurship access to financial services. Towards this the bank is launching its MSMEs Fund on Aug. 15, 2013.

The results of the last 40 years of government’s involvement in the power sector have made it imperative to open it up to the private sector. We are putting in place robust mechanism to ensure delivery of generated power because over time, there was not a systemic x-ray of the sector to determine its needs.

Central Bank Nigeria, Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido

MINISTER OF POWER, PROF. CHINEDU NEBO

GSM firms disconnect 386,536 lines KUNLE A ZEEZ

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ver 386, 536 telephone lines were disconnected by Global System for Mobile (GSM) Communications operators in the month of June in line with the directive from the telecoms industry regulator, National Mirror has gathered. The development, it was learnt, came about following the massive disconnection by telecoms operators of telephone users with unregistered or irregular SIM cards, leading negative impact on the growth of active telephone subscriptions in the country. National Mirror gathered yesterday that active telephone subscriber base declined at the end of June, 2013, leading to first-ever departure from the month-on-month subscriber growth which the industry has been recording since 2001, when the telecoms sector was liberalised. The latest subscribers’ data released by the Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, this week, revealed that 386, 536 SIM lines went redundant in June as a result of their disconnection from the telecoms networks. According to the official industry data, active subscribers fell from 120,748,754 in May to 120,362,218, leading to a difference

of close to 400,000 phone lines, which are now inactive. Total connected telephones, however, increased from 167.5 million in May to reach 181.3 million in at the end o f June, 2013. It would be recalled that the telecoms industry umpire had on June 30, 2013 directed telecoms operators to disconnect unregistered SIMs on their networks and should be reconnected after they had been duly registered. Meanwhile, teledensity also witnessed a decline in June as it fell from 86.25 per cent in May, 2013 to 85.25 per cent at the end of June, 2013. Teledensity in the Nigeria’s telecommunications industry in-

creased from 80.85 at the end of 2012 to reach 85.25 at the end of April, 20 13. The NCC latest data released for the month of June, 2013, revealed an increase in teledensity from 80.85 in December 2012 to 81.78, January; 83.29 per cent in February; 83.77 per cent in March and 85.25 per cent at the end of April, in the first quarter. In May and June, 2013, the phone density later increased to 86.25 per cent but declined, for the first time in 12 years, to 85.25 per cent respectively. Teledensity is the percentage of connected lines in relation to the population at a given period of time and its growth is proportional

to the growth in subscriber base. Correspondingly, active telephone subscriptions in Nigeria increased from 113.1 million to reach 114.4 million, 116.6 million, 117.2 million and t 119.3 million in January, February, March and April respectively. At the end of May 2013, the figure increased to 120.7 million. The figure declined to 120.3 million at the end of June, 2013. However, the total connected telephone lines (active and inactive) in the country now stand at 164.8 million at the end of April, 2013, having increased from 161.9 million, 159.8 million and 154.5 million in January, February and March in the first quarter.

T

he Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) and General Secretary of National Union of Electricity Employees

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L-R: Ata-Oja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun; Regional Trade Marketing Manager, South West, MTN, Ms.Olaleke Fakeye and Olori Jelilat Abidemi during MTN’s courtesy visit to the Osogbo monarch, to herald the commencement of this year’s Osun Osogbo festival, yesterday.

FG did not realise cost implications of power sector reforms -Ajaero MESHACK IDEHEN

Arik Air

(NUEE), Mr. Joe Ajaero, said the Federal Government did not factor in the cost implications of the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) before embarking on the reform process. He told National Mirror on Tuesday that unresolved labour issues in the power sector is capable of truncating what-

ever gains have been achieved, and that the agreements reached between the Federal Government and electricity sector unions took effect from June 2012. According to him, government’s inability to implement these agreements between June 2012 and July 2013 means that there is going to be a showdown with govern-

ment soon; adding government appears to be playing delayed tactics, even if it has commenced payments. Ajaero said workers in PHCN has reaffirmed severally their conditional acceptance of government privatisation agenda, despite their preferred position that the PHCN should be allowed to remain and

attempt be made to improve on the facilities to make it work efficiently. “Government did not take into consideration the cost implication of PHCN privatisation before embarking on the process of reforming the sector. He however warned that any attempt contrary to the agreement reached with labour would be resisted.

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

ISPS: Experts canvass selective compliance method for port facilities

Agent banking: Banks to be responsible for partners -CBN

Fuel subsidy bill rises to N1.9bn per day

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Business Finance

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ISPS: Experts canvass selective compliance method for port facilities FRANCIS EZEM

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s the expiration of the 90-day deadline given the Federal Government to upgrade its seaport facilities to comply with the International Ships and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) Code or face heavy international sanctions, some experts under the aegis of Association of Nigerian Marine Engineers and Surveyors AMES have canvassed the adoption of selective compliance method to address the issues. Under this method, compliant terminals and other port facilities will be identified, recognised and communicated to the relevant international maritime regulatory bodies such as the International Maritime Organisation etc to demonstrate Nigeria’s level of compliance. A council member of the association, Mr. Olu Akinsoji, who spoke at the weekend, noted that the cur-

rent practice where every seaport terminal and other facilities in the country are all classed together as non compliant does not best serve the interest of the nation. He also insisted that identifying those terminals and facilities that are compliant and communicate same to the IMO and other relevant bodies will indicate that Nigeria is not just sitting idle, as most people are meant to believe out there. “There are terminals and facilities that are compliant, they should be identified and declared as such and the information should be communicated to the IMO and the entire global shipping community through the Global Integrated Information System”, he insisted. In addition to identifying the compliant facilities, he also canvassed a review and updating of Nigeria’s port facility security plans and post same to the Integrated Information System in order to demonstrate the level of

port security activities going on in the country. He also canvassed the selection of some contact persons for the nation in respect of assistance or in the case of attacks, which should be updated regularly and uploaded into the world information system so that they will be known and the maritime authorities will be convinced that Nigeria is on tract in respect of ISPS compliance. “I am of the strong view that all these are easy to do and can actually be achieved within one week”, he said. Akinsoji, who is a one time rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria and Nigeria’s immediate past Alternate representative to the IMO insisted that when some terminals and facilities that are compliant are identified and publicized, those that are not will begin to ask questions on how to comply. “These terminals that are not compliant will begin to buckle up because every one of them knows

ICAN President, Alhaji Kabir Mohammed (left) with Chairman, Ijewere & Co., Mr Emmanuel Ijewere during ICAN president’s visit to the audit firm in Lagos, recently.

FAAN defends relocation of airlines at MMIA OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, yesterday defended the relocation of international airline operators from the second floor to third. The agency said the relocation was part of the ongoing remodelling exercise at the airport, which began in 2012. An online statement signed by the General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati recalled that its Managing Director, Mr. George Uriesi had held a meeting with the relevant stakeholders affected by the relocation and informed them about the need to relocate the affected airlines, long before the relocation exercise commenced last week.

Dati stated that at the meeting, FAAN discussed ways to ease the movements of the affected airlines, the representatives of which also made inputs on the movement. He argued that the planned relocation of the airlines offices would pave way for the expansion of the E and D fingers at the terminals, to achieve a 25 per cent increment in the operational floor area, adding that this would also help increase the number of check-in counters to 40 and the Immigration counters to 40. The statement added, “At present, the airport has a total of 16 Immigration counters. Arrangement has also been perfected to readjust the design philosophy to accommodate more commercial offerings, so that both travellers and customers will be housed in a more comfortable and soothing

environment. “It is to be expected that the amount of work to achieve our remodelling goal will definitely affect the services of airlines, which offices are located in this area, just as other stakeholders were affected when the remodelling project was taking place at other sections of the terminal. This is more so for a remodelling exercise of this magnitude, which takes place without shutting down operations at the airport, which had suffered four decades of neglect.” The agency through the statement however regretted any inconvenience that would be caused airline operators and other airport users affected by the relocation exercise, which it said would be carried out in a professional and efficient manner, to minimise discomfort.

what to be done. I can assure you that there is no facility that that does not know what to be done when one terminal has been identified as compliant”, he further insisted. He had also argued that it is not difficult to install Close Circuit Television, perimeter fencing or establishing a marked security zone or security drill regularly, which he insisted are simple and could be done within the remaining 21 days for the deadline to elapse. Meanwhile, the International Port Security Liaison Officer

Commander of the United States Coast Guard, Mr. David Gates has offered to assist the Nigerian government meet the security requirements in order to escape the looming global sanctions. Under the sanctions, the US will stop shipping services to Nigeria and also mobilise all her trading partners to do same as part of measures to compel Nigeria to comply with the enforcement of the ISPS Code, a development that might collapse the nation’s economy.

Opportunities open to Nigeria from locally grown wheat -FG MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said Nigeria will begin to produce its own wheat, reducing at first, and then eventually ending wheat importation into the country. According to the ministry, there are lots of opportunities open to Nigeria from locally grown wheat which is yet to be tapped, with the prospects seeming bright for Nigeria to free itself from decades of dependence on imported wheat flour. Speaking with National Mirror on Tuesday, the Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Kayode Oyeleye said the country has made breakthroughs in breeding of adaptable wheat varieties, production of food products from the locally produced wheat, adding experts in the ministry have found the northern Nigeria parts suitable for cultivation of varieties of

wheat with improved yields. According to him, the Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI) which has the national mandate for the genetic improvement of wheat, millet and barley, and also does research into the production problems of the popularly grown crops in the north-east zone has made tremendous progress in its assignment. He explained that the average yield since 1976 was 1.2 tons per hectare, noting with the launching of the wheat transformation agenda by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, that Nigeria has been able to develop improved varieties that can give an average yield of 5 to 6 tons per hectare. He explained this feat was achieved through collaboration with CIMMYT in Mexico and ICARDA in Tunisia, pointing out that these two improved varieties are Norman Borlaug and Reyne 28; varieties that are to be released in 2014.

FCTA assures conducive business environment to reduce poverty, unemployment

F

ederal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), says it will continue to ensure enabling environment for businesses to strive in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to reduce poverty and enhance job creation. The Minister of State for the FCT, Mrs Olajumoke Akinjide gave the assurance at the public presentation of Pottery Crank Wheel to Giri community pottery centre, Gwagwalada, Gwagwalada Area Council. She said that the pottery crank wheel was a mechanical device that would replace the drudgery and laborious process of traditional moulding and forming techniques. Akinjide, who was represented by her Special Adviser on Area Councils, Alhaji Ibraheem Ibraheem, commended the Raw Materials Research and

Development Council (RMRDC) and Abuja Enterprise Agency for providing the equipment. According to the minister, the equipment will no doubt enhance mass production of circular shapes such as cups, flowers vases, pots, plates and jugs. ``The pottery wheel will enable the potter to quickly form in minutes, shapes that would have otherwise taken days. ``It is expected that the introduction and popularisation of the wheel will facilitate the resuscitation of cottage pottery production, attract new entrants, create jobs and eradicate poverty among FCT residents,” she said. In his remark, Prof. Peter Onwualu, the Director General, RMRDC said that the pottery wheel was designed to replace the drudgery of manual hand building in small scale pottery production.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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Agent banking: Banks to be responsible for partners -CBN UDO ONYEKA

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he Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has said that Deposit Money Banks and other financial institutions such as Micro finance Banks and Primary Mortgage Banks shall be responsible for the agents they will appoint to engage in agent banking services on their behalf. The apex bank which made this known in a circular yesterday to all DMBs, MFBs and PMBs, this in line with best practices as the banks would sending regular reports to it on the activities of their agents. According to the CBN the circular was meant to clarify on the requirement for the agent banking in Nigeria.

The circular said “Applicants should write to the CBN requesting for a one- off approval to offer agent banking services. The application should be submitted to the relevant. “The CBN will only review and process applications from DMBs, MFBs and PMBs.Agents are not required to apply directly to the CBN for approval but shall be appointed and monitored by their principals based on the requirements for agents’ recruitment as contained in the guidelines”. The apex bank said the principal shall be held responsible for the activities of the agents they have appointed to offer services on their behalf. The CBN also said eligibility for agents, as contained in section 4.1a to 4 .1d of the guidelines for the requirement of Agent Bank-

ing applies to super-agent and sole-agent only. “Super Agents are to determine the eligibility criteria for their sub agents in line with best practices. Licensed mobile money operators need not seek any approval from the CBN to appoint agents as the regulatory frame work under which they are licensed already permits them to appoint agents. They only need to include the details of such appointed agents in their regular reports to the CBN”, the circular said. It said all other clauses in the guidelines for Agent Banking Relationship remain valid. It would be recalled that the CBN on February 2013, released guideline to direct the industry on the requirement and conditions for Agent Banking in Nigeria

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ASSIBIFI set to float labour radio station MESHACK IDEHEN

T

he Association of Senior Staff of Banks Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) said it will soon commence the operation of a radio station in the country that would be solely run by the union. ASIBIFI President, Mr. Olusoji Salako, told National Mirror on Tuesday, that a subsidiary of the union known as ASSBIFI Multi-Media House Limited would be the one to manage the station which would be known as ASSIBIFI Labour Radio. Salako, who is also the Ist Deputy Vice President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC),

Etisalat donates CUG phone lines to Imo State KUNLE

AZEEZ

N

Nigerian students jubilating after winning the 2013 students for Advancement of Global Enterpreunureship (SAGE) World Cup in Abuja recently. PHOTO: NAN

Foreign products patronage undermines local efforts –Zinox KUNLE AZEEZ

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he Chairman of Zinox Group, Mr. Leo Stan Ekeh, has stated that the preference for foreign products and services, right from the top was undermining the efforts of local manufacturers and service providers both in the Information Technology sector and other sectors in the country. He said the ugly development, which has remained the root cause of unemployment in the country, has further stunted innovations in Nigeria, where local human resources are not properly harnessed for national development “because there are no funds from patronage to pursue re-

search to its logical conclusion.” The Zinox boss lamented the trend during a courtesy visit of the executive management of Buy Naija, a private sector-driven local patronage initiative of the Federal Ministry of Industry, to Zinox headquarters in Lagos. He, however, declared that Zinox had transformed from being a mere computer manufacturers to a domain for integrated Information and Communication Technology solutions to both private and public orgai9nsationsas well as individuals. Ekeh, who urged the Buy Naija project team not to rest on their oars until a meaningful level of patronage is crated for Made-inNigeria products, said the fight for Nigeria’s development should

explained that the radio station would serve as a platform for Nigerian workers to express their feelings on labour and other related issues, adding that workers will from now have a voice of their own. According to him, the radio station would be self-funded, and would also take advertisement from all Nigerians and business organisations in order to sustain it, without necessarily having to compromise the standard and objects that the station has set for itself. The union leader pointed out that the registration of the radio station is already more than 80 percent completed, adding that the process would be tidied up in a few months with the station coming on air.

igeria’s fourth largest telecoms network, Etisalat, has donated Close User Group (CUG) telephone lines and a brand new security patrol Toyota Hilux to aid security activities in the state. The company said the gesture was in demonstrated of its support for the communities where it operates. While making the donations to the state, the Deputy Director, Technical at Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Mr. Adekunle Durojaiye, highlighted the company’s preparedness to continue to work with the State and community while explaining that the gesture was part of an ongoing plan

to engage as we continue to expand our network. “Etisalat Nigeria is aware of the challenges in the entire country and we commend the state for their achievements in reducing the crime rates as well improving the welfare of the citizens in the state. We hope that the items we have donated to them will improve communication between the different agencies,” he said. Receiving the donations on behalf of the State, the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Anoruo Madumere, commended Etisalat for the gesture extended to the State, while describing Etisalat gesture as laudable. He assured the representatives that the donations will be used to improve communication facilities within the State.

Enterprise Bank to sponsor six customers to Brazil be fought from all fronts. He said as a computer manufacturer and solutions provider, Zinox was launched on the conviction that only high quality products and services would survive the onslaught of numerous global technology giants. The Zinox Chairman stated that from beginning, Zinox PCs came standard with the Naira sign on its international keyboard and a surge arrest that defied the erratic nature of power supply in Nigeria. While stating that Zinox remains the strongest partner of Microsoft and Intel in subSaharan Africa, a relationship that helps sustain the worldclass quality standards of the Zinox brand, Ekeh revealed that innovations at Zinox had continued to differentiate it in ways that address the problems of the nation.

DAMILOLA AJAYI

T

o delight customers, Enterprise Bank Limited has launched its ‘Brazil 2014 BetaLife Promo,’ which will enable six customers of the bank to win an all-expense-paid trip to Brazil next year. A statement from the bank explained that the promo, which will run from August 2013 to March 2014 provides ample opportunity for customers of the bank to visit and have a feel of the land of soccer, samba and carnivals. The statement stressed that subscribers of the promo for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), Elite and Individual Accounts of the bank are expected to be winners of the trip to the fun land, Brazil, the dream holiday destination.

To qualify for the draw, the bank said that customers or prospective customers are to open either the SME account with N150, 000, the elite account with N75, 000 or individual account with N15, 000 and maintain the corresponding amount in the account every month from August 2013 till March 2014. It added that winners will emerge from these three categories of customers and a good number of other participating customers will also win mouth watering consolation prizes. The bank said that the launch of the promo is a further effort by the management to continually seek new ways of delighting the customers and improving the lives of all stakeholders. The draw will hold in the month of April 2014.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

35

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Energy Week Fuel subsidy bill rises to N1.9bn per day

udemea@rocketmail.com 07031546994

Marketers of petroleum products have called on the Federal Government to pay outstanding fuel subsidy which they claimed has constrained them from embarking on importation. UDEME AKPAN reports that the subsidy, may become a serious problem for the government as, August bill rises to an unprecedented level.

Fuel tanker

A

few months ago, fuel subsidy arrears amounted to over N170 billion, a development which marketers of petroleum products stated would forced them to stop importation. A breakdown of the figures showed that while subsidy arrears to major marketers, including Total Nigeria Limited, Oando Nigeria Plc, MRS Nigeria Plc, Forte Oil, Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc and Conoil Nigeria Plc amounted to N100bn that of independent marketers amounted to N70bn. This caused the marketers to raise alarm. As the Executive Secretary, Major Markers Association, Mr. Thomas Olawore puts it: “Our capacity to import has greatly reduced, meaning that it could get to a point where we can no more be able to do so. Some banks have started complaining about non payment. But many of them are busy calculating their interests, which the marketers are expected to pay.’’ This and other actions compelled the government to settle outstanding debt for 2012. Olawore who confirmed the settlement of last year bill remarked that major marketers were still owed N65 billion for 2013. The marketers did not keep mute. In their petition letter sent to the Minister of Finance,

OUR CAPACITY TO IMPORT HAS GREATLY REDUCED, MEANING THAT IT COULD GET TO A POINT WHERE WE CAN NO MORE BE ABLE TO DO SO.

SOME

BANKS HAVE STARTED COMPLAINING ABOUT

NON PAYMENT.

BUT MANY OF THEM ARE BUSY CALCULATING THEIR INTERESTS, WHICH THE MARKETERS ARE EXPECTED TO PAY

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison- Madueke and Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, Mr. Reginald Stanley, MOMAN urged the Federal Government to clear the outstanding debt. The association urged the government to respect the 45 days window for settlement of subsidy bills as agreed upon with the fuel importers. MOMAN Executive Secretary, who confirmed the development, stated that the letter was the second to be sent to the authorities on the matter. He stated that: “There is a need to point out that it took a long time for the government to make previous payments. So far, only N9.4bn has been paid for 2013, a development, which puts a lot of financial burden on our members.

Olawore argued that the majors were not out to blackmail the government, noting that the banks were no longer willing to extend credit facilities to enable members import fuel. But the government monthly subsidy bill may continue to rise as daily commitment has increased from N1.7 billion to N1.9 billion between April and August, based on the estimated daily consumption of 36 million litres of petrol per day. The latest PPPRA statistics showed that government’s subsidy, which stood at N47.07 in April has risen to N55.21 per liter in August, this year. This is said to be a reflection of high prices of crude oil at the volatile global market. These included OPEC basket such as Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Is-

lamic 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) which price is presently in excess of $104 per barrel. Consequently, global refiners who export petroleum products, including petrol to Nigeria have in recent times incurred higher costs in the process of procuring, refining and shipping products to Nigeria and other parts of the world. The costs, it was learnt have been passed to net importing nations, including Nigeria which have over the years resorted to increased fuel importation to meet domestic demand because of the inability of local refineries to refine adequate fuel for its citizens. The August 2013 template of the PPPRA released over the weekend puts the landing cost of fuel at N136.72 per liter. A breakdown showed that cost and insurance, trader’s margin, lightering expenses, NPA, financing, jetty depot thru’ put charge and storage amounted to N125.10, N10.00, N33.60, N5.25, N17.16, N6.75 and N25.32 respectively. The template puts distribution marCONTINUED ON PAGE 36


36

Energy Week

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Fuel subsidy bill rises to N1.9bn per day CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 gins, including retailers, transporters, dealers, bridging fund, marine transport average and administrative charge at N4.60, N2.99, N1.75, N5.85, N0.15 and N0.15, amounting to N15.49 per liter. The template also puts total cost and official ex depot at N152.21 and N81.51 respectively, showing an under recovery of N55.21 per liter at the current price of N97 per liter. The current subsidy level which is the highest in recent times may pose serious problem to the Federal Government which has at different times expressed its determination to end the present subsidy regime because of serious financial burden to the nation. The government which budgeted to spend N972.138 billion on fuel subsidy this year seemed to be experiencing some difficulties. One of the difficulties that may arise is a fall in the demand for its crude oil grade, including Bonny Light as a result of increased supply of shale oil from the United States and other nations. In fact, it is not only about Nigeria but all members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC. The August report of the cartel showed the control of OPEC members, including Nigeria will continue to reduce as the United States and others pump more crude oil to the volatile oil market. Specifically, Non-OPEC supply is expected to rise by 1.0 mb/d in 2013, following a minor upward revision as well as higher-than-expected United States output. The latest authoritative OPEC report which made this known over the weekend also stated that: “In 2014, non-OPEC oil supply is forecast to grow by 1.1 mb/d, supported by projected increases in the US, Canada, Brazil, the Sudans, and Kazakhstan. The report further stated that: “OPEC NGLs and nonconventional oils are projected to increase by 0.2 mb/d in 2013 and 0.1 mb/d in 2014. In July, total OPEC crude oil output averaged 30.31 mb/d, according to secondary sources, representing a drop of 0.10 mb/d from the previous month. It stated that the demand for OPEC crude in 2013 is forecast to average 29.9 mb/d, almost unchanged from the previous report and 0.4 mb/d lower than in the year before. The report has it that in 2014, demand for OPEC crude has experienced a slight change since the previous report to stand at 29.7 mb/d, representing a decline of 0.3 mb/d compared to the year before. It stated that improved pipeline networks and the use of rail links have facilitated the efficient movement of crude from inland to refiners on the coasts, thus assisting to unlock a glut at America’s oil-storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma. The report quoted the US Energy Information Administration as estimating that new projects would provide 1.15 mb/d of additional pipeline capacity to deliver crude from Cushing to the US Gulf Coast, with another 830,000 b/d to move crude directly

Reginald Stanley

Alison -Madueke

IT IS AN UNDENIABLE FACT THAT EVERY RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP, GENUINE STAKEHOLDER AND PATRIOT MUST BE WORRIED WHEN A NATION SPENDS ABOUT AN EQUIVALENT OF ABOUT

N1 TRILLION,

20 PER CENT OF THE

NATIONAL BUDGET, ON SUBSIDY PAID OUT TO A

FEW COMPANIES AND ENJOYED IN THE MAIN BY VERY FEW ELITES.

from the Permian Basin in Texas to the US Gulf. It maintained that starting in 2011, the rail volume increased and the total amount of crude oil and refined products being transported by rail was close to 1.34 mb/d during the first half of 2013, up from 927,000 b/d during the first six months of last year. The report stated that: “WTI also got a further boost as refiners in the US consumed more crude than at any time in almost eight years. During the week ending 12 July, refiners have processed more than 16.2 mb/d, which corresponds to a refinery utilisation rate of almost 93per cent. It maintained that inventories in Cushing rose to almost 52 mb at the beginning of the year as a result of oversupply before falling to around 42 mb at the end of July. The report stated that the decline in stocks has encouraged some money managers to bet on the recovery in WTI prices contributing to narrowing the spread between WTI and Brent. It stated that the completion of improvements to BP’s refinery in Whiting, Indiana, which is now absorbing close to 400,000 b/d of the surplus crude, helped to relieve the glut. The report has it that this surge in Midwest refinery demand, coupled with shortened supply from Alberta, Canada, on upgrader maintenance and pipeline shutdowns had helped

the gap to tighten. It stated that while the spread has converged significantly and has had a positive impact on US domestic oil producers, the profits from shipping oil by rail are shrinking, making pipeline deliveries more attractive and slowing the demand for train cargoes. The report maintained that refineries in the US East Coast and eastern Canada that traditionally import foreign crudes from the Atlantic Basin have benefited from growing output from North Dakota, where prices have been cheaper than North Sea Brent and West African grades, enough to cover the cost of rail shipments. It stated that stated that: “However, because the WTI-Brent spreads are narrowing, the economic attractiveness of sending US midcontinent crudes by rail to various trading points has decreased significantly and once these spreads are offset by the additional cost of rail, shippers are more likely to use the new 830,000 b/d pipeline capacity. The report maintained that US refiners in the Midwest are losing an advantage they have enjoyed for nearly three years as the gap between WTI and Brent has narrowed considerably. It stated that: “Prior to this, refiners’ margins had benefited from the purchased of low-priced WTI-linked crudes and sale of refined products, such as gasoline and diesel, at prices

Yakubu Andrew

linked to the more expensive Brent. However, with the drop in the spread, this advantage had been considerably reduced. Some people have started to make suggestions. For instance, the National President of the Oil and Gas Service Providers Association, Mr. Colman Obasi stated in a telephone interview that there was increasing need for the nation and other producers to diversify their foreign exchange generating base in order to cope with the present and future realities in the market. He also suggested the early passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB in order to pave the way for massive investment into the construction of refineries. However, despite the huge subsidy bill and slide in the demand for its crude, the Federal Government has not concluded plans to remove the fuel subsidy. Presidential Spokesman, Dr. Doyin Okupe had stated in a statement that: “The President and this administration are not insensitive to the plights of the Nigerian Masses and will continue to pursue and execute policies and programmes that are in the overall interest of majority of Nigerians and that will bring the greatest good to the greatest number of our teeming population. He stated that: “It is an undeniable fact that every responsible leadership, genuine stakeholder and patriot must be worried when a nation spends about N1 trillion, an equivalent of about 20 per cent of the national budget, on subsidy paid out to a few companies and enjoyed in the main by very few elites, while the common man benefits only minimally. Okupe stated that: “Finally, for the avoidance of doubt and at the risk of being repetitive, this administration is not considering the issue of removal of fuel subsidy in the nearest future and certainly will not embark on any such programme without extensive consultations and engagements across the various segments, interests and stakeholders in the Nigerian polity.’’


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Energy Week

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

37

OPEC daily basket price hits $104.94 a barrel UDEME AKPAN

T

he price of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC basket of 12 crudes has risen from $104.47 to $104.94 per barrel, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). The increase, attributed to a substantial rise in demand for crude oil in the volatile global market is said to be welcomed as it will enable producers, including Nigeria to generate adequate foreign exchange for the execution of their 2013 budget. The Alternate President of OPEC, Dr. Abdel Bari Ali Al-Arousi has stated that: “Overall in 2013, the world oil demand growth forecast is expected to increase by 0.8 mb/d. He said total non-OPEC supply has seen a slight upward adjustment to 1.0 mb/d for the year while OPEC natural gas liquids and non-conventional oils are also expected to grow by 0.2per cent. Al-Arousi remarked that this situation is likely to continue through the third and into the fourth quarters as we head into the driving season. He stated that OPEC will, as always, closely monitor developments in the oil market in the coming months. It will also continue its efforts to achieve

Oil vessel a stable oil market by ensuring that the market is well supplied to meet demand from consumers at fair and reasonable prices. The alternate president maintained that: “We will have an opportunity to examine closely these important issues regarding the market outlook for the rest of this year and beyond. Our focus will remain on doing all we can to provide stability in the market. This stability will benefit all stakeholders and contribute to growth in the world economy. However, as we have repeatedly said, this is not a job for OPEC alone. Every stakeholder has a part to play in achieving this. Together, through cooperation and dialogue, we can achieve our goal.” However, the control of members of OPEC, including Nigeria will continue to reduce as the United States and others pump more crude oil to the volatile oil

market. Specifically, Non-OPEC supply is expected to rise by 1.0 mb/d in 2013, following a minor upward revision as well as higher-than-expected United States output. The latest authoritative OPEC report which made this known over the weekend also stated that: “In 2014, nonOPEC oil supply is forecast to grow by 1.1 mb/d, supported by projected increases in the US, Canada, Brazil, the Sudans, and Kazakhstan. The report further stated that: “OPEC NGLs and nonconventional oils are projected to increase by 0.2 mb/d in 2013 and 0.1 mb/d in 2014. In July, total OPEC crude oil output averaged 30.31 mb/d, according to secondary sources, representing a drop of 0.10 mb/d from the previous month.

Metering technology has recorded improvement – Akpocha

M

etering technology has witnessed much improvement in different parts of the world, thus promising to impact positively on Nigeria. The Director-General, Centre for Democratic Governance in Africa, CDGA, Dr Dafe Akpocha, who made this known stated that some metering manufacturing companies has been able to improve on the metering technology available in the world by building a template which allows for seamless payment among other upgrades.

Akpocha who made the observation during a conferment of Gold Service Merit Award to the chairman of MOMAS meter manufacturing company, Mr. Kola Balogun by the Centre for Democratic Governance in Africa on Monday in Lagos noted that the only way to promote local content development in Nigeria is when government discouraged importation of good and items that can be manufactured by Nigerians. According to him, when importation of meter is banned in the local market, Nigerians will be forced to buy our indigenous meters.

``There is no way we can stop importation but it can be reduced, there some locally manufactured products here that can matched with international best practice. Akpocha said that the indigenous manufacturer can improved and projects the economy in a positive manner if both government and the Nigerian banks assist indigenous companies to strive. He said that the centre was persuaded by the selfless service demonstrated by the recipient, who he described as “A silent achiever and good ambassador of

Energy & Oil Prices

Source: Bloomberg

OIL ($/bbl) Nymex Crude Future Dated Brent Spot WTI Cushing Spot

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

85.95 111.01 85.54

0.41 0.90 -0.74

0.48% 0.82% -0.86%

07:42 07:52 10/29

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

310.55 275.30

-0.97 -0.38

-0.31% -0.14%

07:37 07:41

OIL (¢/gal) Nymex Heating Oil Future Nymex RBOB Gasoline Future

NATURAL GAS ($/MMBtu)

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

11:19

New York City Gate Spot

3.77 3.43 3.57

-0.03 0.09 0.11

-0.84% 2.69% 3.18%

07:43 10/29 10/29

ELECTRICITY ($/megawatt hour)

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

% CHANGE

09/24

Nymex Henry Hub Future Henry Hub Spot

Mid-Columbia, firm on-peak, spot Palo Verde, firm on-peak, spot

32.95 35.23

-0.40 -0.76

-1.20% -2.11%

10/26 10/29

BLOOMBERG, FIRM ON-PEAK, DAY AHEAD SPOT/ERCOT HOUSTON

30.25

2.04

7.23%

10/26

Source: Oilprice.com

Nigeria and indeed Africa. The director general said that ``Am impressed with the level of work of going on and assured that he would do everything humanly possible to pull the right strings in order to further develop the company. “I can see the future of Nigeria here. Memmcol Nigeria Ltd is a manifestation of the can-do spirit only common to Nigerians. The company needs to be supported in every way possible. ``Banks should encourage indigenous oil companies through grant of loan facilities. ``The essence why government initiated the local content bill is to promote indigenous companies in the country. Akpoas therefore, advised government and banks to introduce a special funding package to support the participation of indigenous companies in the oil and gas sector of the Nigerian economy. He said that such support would assist Nigerian entrepreneurs in the technology-driven, capital-intensive oil and gas industry for increased competitiveness.


38

Energy Week

On consumers

T

he Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has noted the comments of Nigerians on the recent increase in the fixed charges for some class of customers. As a responsible regulator, we are committed to respond to the concerns raised by consumers in print and electronic media and through social media. We consider it of utmost importance to always explain to the consumers that the tariffs they pay are fair, reasonable and necessary to guarantee continuous improvement in electricity supply to Nigerian homes and businesses.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

We will enforce regulations on accurate billing – Amadi Based on major development in the electricity sector and comments of stakeholders, the Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi recently addressed journalists on a number of issues in Abuja. UDEME AKPAN here presents the excerpts

On tariff increase NERC wants to make it clear that since 1st June 2012, when the second edition of the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO 2) came into force, it has conducted two Minor Reviews and published its findings on 1st December 2012 and 1st June 2013, as required by the law. A Minor Review under the Multi-Year Tariff Methodology published by NERC in 2012 involves an examination of interest rates, exchange rates, inflation rates and available generation capacity during the preceding six months; and if these report a change of plus or minus 5percent individually, such change will be applied to the tariff published for each distribution company. The two Minor Reviews conducted by NERC did not result in any increase of tariff because the indices stated above and the fundamentals of the MYTO, as shown in the Methodology and the financial model published in full on NERC’s website have not significantly changed. We must state that the commencement and results of both Minor Reviews were announced via various national print and electronic media, including some that have carried various provocative statements that bear absolutely no connection with the truth. The changes that some customers have belatedly noticed in their electricity bills were announced by the commission on 1st June 2012. The MYTO stipulates tariffs for the 5-year period from 1st June 2012 to 31st May 2017 based on the expected cost of generating, transmitting and distributing the electricity for homes and businesses during these years. This means that the tariff order issued to every distribution company has an approved tariff for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Except there is a Minor Review of the MYTO, which takes place semi-annually, with results announced on 1st December and 1st June each year, each distribution companies is authorised to collect only the approved tariff announced by NERC. An examination of the tariff tables for the respective 11 distribution companies that were nationally published last year shows all the tariffs for the period 2012 – 2017. The total electricity tariff paid by all consumers in Nigeria comprises a single monthly fixed charge and a variable energy charge that is based on consumption. It must be made clear that for residential customers who use either single-phase meters or three-phase meter (R2), the fixed charge approved under MYTO is N500 for 2012 and N700 for 2013. Accordingly, on 1st June 2013, their fixed charge changed from N500 to N700 as prescribed in the MYTO. This happened without any further action from the commission.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

of the fixed charge only as significant improvements in quality of service are shown. We agree with all stakeholders that we must ensure the success of the power sector reform. As a regulator, we understand that the basis for any sustainable improvement in the networks is that we can attract investment to increase the generation capacity, transmission and distribution network. The reality, which we all know, is that without tariffs that covers the prudent costs of producing and supply electricity in the country there will be no such investment. The ultimate need of the consumers of electricity in Nigeria is that they have access to stable electricity. The objective of the tariff review in 2012 was to ensure cost recovery as a way of guaranteeing stable electricity in the nearest future.

On activities of distribution companies

Sam Amadi

WE REGRET THAT THE DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES HAVE NOT BEEN VERY COMMITTED TO MEETING THEIR OBLIGATIONS IN THE

MYTO. NERC

RECOGNISES THAT THE QUALITY OF SERVICE HAS

NOT SEEN SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT, ESPECIALLY IN THE AREA OF METERING AND ACCURATE BILLING OF CUSTOMERS On accountability and transparency NERC is committed to the highest standards of accountability and transparency. The MYTO was designed and executed with utmost transparency and full participation of relevant stakeholders. Several public hearings and consultations were organised in Abuja and Lagos to afford consumers and other stakeholders the full opportunity to participate in tariff setting, which many stakeholders took advantage of. In addition, NERC arranged and held special meetings with those organised groups, including residents associations, estate developers, small and medium scale enterprises, industrial and commercial interest groups and trade unions that reciprocated our genuine effort to engage with them. The financial and technical assumptions of the MYTO were validated by relevant public and private institutions, including acclaimed experts and academics. The two Minor Reviews so far conducted have confirmed the soundness of the Commission’s financial and technical assumptions and particularly the fact that as re-

quired by Section 76 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, Nigeria’s electricity tariffs enable operators to recover the prudent cost of their operations plus a reasonable return on capital.

On need for fixed and energy charge The MYTO has two components of tariff for most electricity consumers: the fixed charge and energy charge. In the past consumers paid for Meter Maintenance Fee. The Commission abolished the Meter Maintenance Fee (MMF) in 2011 to make tariff in the industry fair and reasonable. Fixed Charge is a component of electricity tariff all over the world. It is charged to recover some of the capital costs for producing and supplying electricity. In designing the fixed charge NERC ensured that very poor consumers on R1 are not charged fixed charge and that most of the residential consumers are subsidised. The fact is that the current N700 fixed charge for R2 residential customers actually recovers only a small fraction of the actual fixed cost of supply. As NERC stated in its Methodology, it permit the recovery of the full cost

We regret that the distribution companies have not been committed to meeting their obligations in the MYTO. NERC recognises that the quality of service has not seen significant improvement, especially in the area of metering and accurate billing of customers. We have responded with regulations to enforce correct billing of unmetered customers and the new CAPMI metering policy. We will continue to enforce these regulations and interventions to improve quality of supply before the preferred bidders take over the networks. Our expectation for significant and sustained improvements in electricity supply and quality of service lies in the expected take-over by the privatisation preferred bidders who have better incentives and commitment and have made enforceable promises to invest continuously in providing better services to consumers. These investments and commensurate improvements will not all be made in one day but over the coming months, years and decades following the entry of new investors and managers of our distribution companies.

On stakeholders participation We wish to call on consumer groups and civil society groups to get more engaged with the work of the Commission. The Business Rules of the Commission allows any person aggrieved by the orders of the commission to file a proper petition for the review of the order upon proper consideration by the Commission. The small and medium enterprises utilised this provision to request NERC to review the fixed charge paid by small and medium enterprises. This review will shortly become effective. The NLC or any other organised consumer or civil society group can bring similar matters for the consideration of the Commission if they so wish and they will be given a full and fair hearing. Let us work together to provide stable and reliable electricity to Nigerian homes and businesses.


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Energy Week

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Atako set to boost development in Niger Delta UDEME AKPAN

T

he Acting Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Niger Delta Development CommissionDr. Christiana Atako has started initiating actions targeted at achieving sustainable development of the Niger Delta. A top official of the commission saidNDDC was established in 2000 with the mission of facilitating the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta into a region that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative and politically peaceful. The source stated that the NDDC boss was determined to plan and implement, in accordance with set rules and regulations, of projects and programmes for sustainable development of the Niger Delta area in the field of transportation including roads, jetties and waterways, health, employment, industrialisation, agriculture and fisheries, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and telecommunications. He said that she has expressed her determination to assist in implementation of all the measures approved for the development of the Niger Delta region by the Federal Government and the states of the commission. The source said that: “Atako has also expressed her readiness to tackling ecological and environmental problems that arise from the exploration of oil mineral in the Niger Delta region and advising the Federal Government and the member states on the prevention and control

Atako

of oil spillages, gas flaring and environmental pollution.” Prior to her recent appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan, Atako was the Director of Education, Health and Social Services in the commission. Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, conveyed the President’s decision to the Chairman of the NDDC Governing Board, Dr. Tarilah Tebepah, in a letter he read at the board’s valedictory session last week. According to the SGF, Atako’s appointment takes effect from August 7. He directed the outgoing Managing Director/ CEO to handover all the Commission’s property in his possession to the Acting Managing Director/CEO. Her appointment comes on the heels of the expiration of the tenure of Dr. Chris Oboh as Managing Director/CEO. Atako, one of the pioneer staffers of

the NDDC, was Assistant Director and Acting Head of Community and Rural Development Directorate at the inception of the Commission. Before then, she was Assistant Director and Head of Public Affairs Department of the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission from 1995 to 2001. Subsequently, she became Deputy Director, Community and Rural Development; Head, Corporate Affairs and Director, Community and Rural Development. An avid reader and researcher, Atako is a first class honours graduate of English from the University of Sokoto. She also holds a master’s degree, a doctorate of philosophy, with emphasis on Social Psychology, a postgraduate diploma in Public Relations as well as two postgraduate certificates in Cross-Sector Partnerships and Conflict Resolution Skills. She is a fellow of several professional bodies, such as Institute of Strategic Management, Certified Institute of Public Administration & Management, Certified Directors Institute, Strategic Finance & Administrative Institute, as well as Institute of Corporate Managers and Public Administrators. She is also a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) and the Institute of Management Consultants. The Acting Managing Director/CEO is a recipient of numerous awards and prizes among which are National Youth Service Corps Oyo State Merit Award, University of Sokoto Merit Award and American Biographical Institute’s Great Woman of the 21ST century Award. She is also a Goodwill Ambassador of the University of Calabar.

CSR: Total commissions community projects in Rivers State SAM OLUWALANA

O

il giant, Total E & P Nigeria Limited gave the people of Obiozimini and Obiyebe in Ogba/Egbema/ Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State cause to smile, weekend, as they took delivery of a 1.3km (Beach) Road and a health centre built by oil giant, in their communities. . At a colourful ceremony over the weekend, Total E&P said the gesture shows the management’s commitment to fulfill promises made to its host communities. Speaking at the two occasions, the Company’s Executive General Manager, JVA Operations, Mr. Jean-Clude Vachet described the project as economically viable and strategic, adding that it provides a gateway towards the economic transformation of Egi kingdom. Vachet said the beach road will provide resources for building construction within communities in Egi land and beyond and but also be a ready loading bay to feed the upcoming float glass industry, “thereby providing excellent business opportunities for entrepreneurs and help in creating jobs for our teeming youths.” Represented by Total’s Deputy General Manager, Community Affairs, Izu

Iduoku, further said, “ It is our (Total’ s) hope that with this quality of road in place, the difficulties usually associated with loading of sand during off-seasons will be greatly reduced thereby making sand more readily affordable.’’ On the health centre executed in Obiyebe community, Vachet said the facility was one of the demands made by the Egi people under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the firm signed with the community in 2007. According to him, “I am particularly pleased to commission this facility (Health Centre) which is one of the demands by the Egi people under the 2007 MoU. “With the quality of equipment in the health centre and the excellent living quarters provided, I have no doubt in my mind that this facility will be put to the best use and will serve the community effectively in the area of primary healthcare delivery to our people.” He thanked the Rivers State Government for the support and encouragement the company received in executing the job and for providing the required staff and medical personnel to ensure the smooth take-off of the facility. “This is not only in tandem with the aspiration of the company to bring healthcare closer to the people, but also

in line with our core objectives towards sustainable health of our communities. “It is therefore our hope that the communities will not only take ownership of this facility, but will also guard it jealously after here. I urge youths, elders and community leaders to ensure the effective utilisation and good maintenance of the facilities for the benefit of our people,” Vachet said. Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Community Development Committee, CDC, of Obiozimini, Nwadike Ewe expressed happiness at the completion of the road project, saying it will be beneficial to farmers and would boost economic activities in the area. Ewe called on the oil giant to assist on the other side of the river known as Onoshi-ulo, saying, “We (Obiozimini) appeal to you (Total) to link the Onoshiulo (road) to Onoshi-Ume-Nkweke to enable it serve the same economic purpose.” In his remark, the Chairman, Ogba/ Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area Primary Healthcare Authority, Ego Ahiamadu thanked Total for the project and expressed the commitment of the council to provide security and a conducive working environment for all investors and multinationals doing business in the area.

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Q&A When was the EPSR Act, 2005 enacted? The Electricity Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 was enacted on March 11th 2005. The Act is the legal framework through which government intends to address the country’s power problems to ensure that power is adequate, safe, reliable and affordable. Why the need for Power Sector Reform? The history of electricity in Nigeria is well known. It is generally inadequate, unavailable in most rural communities, and unreliable where available. Prior to the reforms in the Power Sector, the industry was a monopoly run by a single government owned utility company handling generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. Over the years, this single utility company had metamorphosed in name from Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN), to Nigerian Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and finally, Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). To address the power problems, a provision of the Act has further broken down the business of generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the country into 18 separate entities made up of 11 Distribution companies, six Generation companies and one Transmission company. What is NERC and when was it established? NERC is The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. The Electric Power Reform Sector Act, 2005 gave birth to the Commission. This is an independent watchdog and regulatory body for the power industry and was inaugurated on October 31st 2005. What is the mandate of NERC? The Commission was created to oversee the orderly reform of the electricity industry and mandated as follows: To Ensure adequate, safe, reliable and affordable electricity to all consumers. What effort is NERC making to protect consumers as well as the Electricity Sector? The Commission has established the following consumer protection measures: Customer Complaints Handling Standards and Procedures; Connections and Disconnections Procedures for Electricity Services; Customer Service Standards for Distribution companies and Meter Reading; Cash Collection and Credit Management for electricity supply. The Commission has embarked on a public enlightenment campaign titled ‘Power Consumer Assembly’ to enlighten consumers on their rights and obligations. The Commission has established a Health and Safety Standard Manual and has approved and established a Grid, Distribution and Metering Code to ensure standards and safety in the sector. Market rules have been developed. The Commission’s oversight function is fully operational. What are the individual rights of consumers? The right to safety. The right to basic need. The right to be informed. The right to choose. The right to be heard. The right to redress. The right to consumer education. The right to a healthy environment CONTINUED ON PAGE 40


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Energy Week

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39 What are the obligations of electricity consumers? Pay bills for electricity consumed. Pay security deposit requested by the Disco and other requirements for connection stipulated by NERC. Vigilant protection of Electrical Installations. Cordiality towards electricity workers. Customer (User) compliance to the requirements of the Distribution code What redress mechanisms are available to consumers? The commission has established a procedure to ensure that customer complaints are expeditiously treated by the Distribution Companies. The requirement now is that at minimum, each Distribution Company must set up a window to address customer issues, known as Customer Care Unit (CCU). Customer Care Units (CCU) of the Distribution Companies are now responsive to the complaints of consumers. The new initiative of the Commission to create a customer service attitude in the sector is paying off. In addition, the Commission has established a Forum for hearing and resolving customer complaints on appeal in the operational area of every Distribution Licensee. A complainant must first report any grievance to the Customer Complaints Unit (CCU) of the Distribution Company before bringing such unresolved complaints to the Forum. What does the Commission say about the issue of estimated or crazy bills? The Commission has addressed estimated billing by working with the industry on the minimum number of months or period within which one can continue to receive estimated billing. The Commission’s Regulation on Standards of Performance for Distribution Companies 1.10 stipulates three months or 90 days after which the Utility Firm must find every means possible to read the meter for actual energy consumed if the premises is metered. What effort is the Commission making to ensure uninterrupted power supply? In this regard, the Commission has established Rules and Regulations for private investors, and has to date granted generation licenses up to 70 Independent Power Producers (IPPs) is setting standards in power quality and reliability of electricity supply in Nigeria. What is the Commission’s rule on Mass Disconnections? The commission is paying attention to consumer rights and obligations. There are procedures for connections and disconnections stated in the Connection & Disconnection Procedures for Electricity Services Section 2(2.1). The commission has put to stop ‘mass disconnection’ where a group of customers are disconnected just because of a few defaulters, which leads to wrongful disconnections. Note that those who owe past overdue bills would be subject to disconnections. However, there are procedures for doing that. The Utility Company is to work with those who owe bills, give them a reasonable time to pay their bills, if everything fails, they will give them a final warning after which the consumer shall be subject to disconnection. Source: NERC

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

BP loses bids to buy Forties, Vitol offers four West Africa crude grades UDEME A KPAN

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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ritish Petroleum Plc failed to buy North Sea Forties blend at a lower price than a previous trade. Eni SpA sold Russian Urals at a smaller premium than the last bid. Vitol Group offered four West African grades for loading next month. Caspian Pipeline Consortium will cut daily crude shipments from the Black Sea to an eight-month low in September, a preliminary loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed. BP was unable to buy Forties for September 2 to September 6 loading at $1.15 a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. This compares with plus $1.30 for the last trade on August 8. Eni didn’t manage to sell Forties for August 23 to August 25 at $1.10 more than Dated Brent, the survey showed. No bids or offers were made for Brent, Oseberg or Ekofisk crudes. Reported crude trading typically occurs during the Platts window, which ended Monday. Brent for September settlement traded at $108.09 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $107.36 in the previous session. The October contract was at $106.77, a discount of $1.32 cents to September. Ekofisk crude supply was affected by a compressor halt at the Ula platform, Jan Erik Geirmo, a BP press spokesman in Stavanger, Norway, said in an e-mailed response. “Gas turbine powering a compressor at Ula had a breakdown as of Wednesday evening August 7th 2013,” he said. Ula was unable to handle output from the Tambar, Blane, Oselvar fields,

Oil platform which feed into Ekofisk, according to BP. Eni sold 100,000 metric tons of Urals to Statoil ASA at 65 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent for loading September 1 to September 5 on a delivered basis to Rotterdam, the survey showed. That is 15 cents less than a bid on August 9. CPC will ship 2.35 million tons next month, compared with 2.87 million tons in August, according to the schedule. That’s equal to 602,268 barrels a day, versus 719,226 barrels this month. That’s the least since January. The September program comprises six cargoes of 134,000 to 135,500 tons each and 18 consignments of 80,000 to 90,000 tons. Libya’s biggest oil export terminal, Es Sider was shut after opening yesterday, hampering the nation’s ability to sell its most valuable commodity. The brief opening allowed two tankers to berth at the facility and they may be turned away tonight if no crude loadings occur, the port coordinator,

Captain Abu Ejela Al Zanati, said today by phone from Es Sider. Another six vessels are anchored outside the port. The Kirkuk crude pipeline resumed at 8 p.m. local time yesterday at Turkish port Ceyhan, according to Turkish port agent Boutros Maritime & Transport SA. Pumping stopped today at 7 a.m. due to low production. This is not unusual because flows normally occur during evening, the agent said in an e-mailed note. Vessels arrived yesterday are expected to wait for 10 days for loading and about 950,000 barrels are available for loading, it said. Saudi Arabian Oil Co. will supply full volumes in September to customers in Europe, unchanged from this month, according to two refinery officials with knowledge of the matter. Vitol was unable to sell Nigeria’s benchmark Qua Iboe grade at $5.10 a barrel more than Dated Brent for September 10 to September 15 delivery to Rotterdam or Lavera in France and also offered Escravos for September 5 to September 10 delivery at a premium of $5.30, the survey showed.

NCDB inaugurates Joint Committee on industrial park

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he Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board in reiterating its commitment to partner with state governments to establish Industrial Park Schemes to create job opportunities for unemployed youths and technological transfer to small and medium scale businesses as well as help these enterprises integrate and participate in industrial activities especially in the oil and gas sector to grow the economy recently constituted the Industrial Park Project Joint Committee with the Government of Bayelsa State. Speaking at the inauguration, the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr. Ayakeme Masa who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Barr. Ebi Collins Daniel stated that the joint committee is charged with the responsibility of looking at the variables in the Industrial Park proposal before the Bayelsa State Government through the Ministry and to discuss general issues

relating to this partnership such as the state government’s collaboration with the Board and setting up sub-bodies that will look into critical areas to make the project successful and fast for the progress and development of Bayelsa State, the Niger Delta region and Nigeria at large. The Commissioner noted that every other mandate not enumerated will be communicated to members as it was the desire of the state government and the Board to give the committee three weeks within which make findings and submit reports so that both parties could adopt a working document for the realization of the Park as the basis that will help the oil and gas bastion based on the deliberations to spur the industrial development of the state. The Committee, however, has Mr. Tunde Adelana, Director, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Board as Chairman while members include Engr. Ginah O. Ginah, General Manager,

Downstream at the Board; Mr. Raphael Opuofoni, Special Assistant to the Commissioner on Investment, Bayelsa State Government and Mr. James Jokori, Director, Finance and Supply in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment. Patience Ranami Abah, Company Secretary, Bayela Property and Investment Company serves as Secretary. In his response, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Tunde Adelana expressed appreciation for the task given the members with a firm commitment that the committee will discharge its responsibilities considering the time frame. He mentioned that the establishment of an Industrial Park in Bayelsa State is by no means a very critical part of the economic development of the area as it is one of the key thrust of the Board and a project it intends to quickly set up. The Chairman assured that the committee will work collectively to see that the idea of the park comes to light.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

From the Civil Service

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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Bayelsa retiring civil servants cautioned over dupes EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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ayelsa State Deputy Governor,Rear Admiral John Jonah has cautioned retiring workers in the state to be wary of individuals who will approach them on how to invest their retirement benefits. Jonah reminded them that quite a number of retirees had fallen victims to such fraudu-

lent persons with brilliant ideas,stressing that many retired civil servants had been duped in the past. The Deputy Governor spoke in Yenagoa, the state capital while declaring open a three-day pre-retirement workshop organized by the office of the Head of Service for civil servants who will retire this year. While advising the civil servants not to be apprehensive about retirement ,Jonah noted

that retirement was an opportunity to commence a new phase of life and also a moment to identify new challenges. He said:”I congratulate the civil servants that are due for retirement after serving the state meritoriously .Some of you may still be called upon by government to serve in various capacities even after retirement.” Earlier, in a welcome address, the Head of Service ,Frazer Okuoru,lauded Governor Se-

riake Dickson for approving the workshop ,saying that the last pre-retirement workshop was held in 2009. Okuoru said the workshop was conducted to equip civil servants various activities and opportunities they could successfully engage themselves after retirement from the civil service. In his comments, Lead Consultant of Patkairos Consult,Dr. Patrick Okpah,who organized

the workshop said the event was academic and would also deal with psychological issues ,stressing that a number of retirees had to deal with emotional challenges such as writing of wills and management of estates. Okpah expressed appreciation to government for the cordial relationship established with her over the years ,especially with issues of benefits for retiring workers.

Kaduna warns on evaluation reports A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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aduna State Civil Service Commission, has warned its civil servants to submit properly completed annual Performance Evaluation Reports, (APERs) saying erring officers would be sanctioned appropriate. Permanent Secretary, Ibrahim Jamo in a statement on behalf of Chairman of the commission said officers should not assess themselves. The statement further charged staff to complete their forms diligently adding that the general grading for overall performance should not conflict with the assessments.

The statement read in parts: “Officers are required to complete part one of the APERs and to sign seeing the contents of the assessment. They should not be allowed to assesses themselves and or to counter sign the APERs themselves. This is contrary to section 21 of the 2005 guidelines for appointments, promotion and discipline. “Hence, APERs improperly completed shall be rejected and appropriate disciplinary actions shall be taken against the officers and reporting officers. Reporting officers are advised to be diligent in completing the overall performance section. The grading for overall performance should reflect the assessment.”

Evolution of the Nigerian Civil Service CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16 no recourse to extant Service rules which was why no woman had ever been made to occupy that position as merit was discarded and civil servants could not hope to rise to the pinnacle of their career. Various manners of people were appointed to head the service at different pints. Some, seasoned administrators, others, greenhorns. This was why and how we had a certain Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed who was Secretary to the Federal Military Government between January 1, 1990 and August 26, 1993. During cross-examination by late fiery lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi in a case between some Supreme Court Justices and Concord Press, the ex-SGF had told a bewildered courtroom that his greatest educational qualification was a Teacher’s Grade Two Certificate. Then from July 15 1995 to May 29, 1999, Alhaji Gidado Idris was Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Head of the Civil Service while Mr Abu Obe took charge as Head of the Civil Service of the Federation from

June 10, 1999 to December 17, 2000. Alhaji Mahmud Yayale Ahmed, who is one of the longest served among them was in office from January 2, 2001 to June 2007. It was not until the advent of democracy that women now rose to the position of the Head of Service. It was like an exclusive preserve of men, before then. This was why after Mr Ahmed, came Engr. Mrs Ebele Okeke who was in office for a year between June 2007 and June 2008. Then between June 16, 2008 and June 15, 2009, Amal Pepple was in charge before Mr Stephen Osagiede Oronsaye took charge from July 16, 2009 to November 15, 2010. Then came Professor Oladapo Afolabi who was in charge from November 18, 2010 to September 29, 2011 before Alhaji Isa Bello Sali came in on September 30, 2011. He retired from the Service on March 22, 2013 paving way for the incumbent, Bukar Goni Aji who was then a Permanent Secretary.

The ever busy Federal Secretariat, Abuja

Stakeholders await Pate’s successor as minister of state CONTINUED FROM PAGE ?? out a minor cabinet reshuffle to pave way for Minister of State for Health among the serving Ministers? Or would another Minister of State emerge from Bauchi State? In a statement signed by the Minister and made available to National Mirror, Dr Pate said of his resignation: “Some may recall my appointment from the World Bank Group in 2008 to come back home after 15 years

in the Diaspora to join the public service, which I gladly accepted. In the last 5 years, I have had the rare privilege to serve first as Chief Executive of the NPHCDA and for these past 2 years as cabinet Minister with portfolio as Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Health. In these two capacities, under Mr. President’s leadership, and in collaboration with several stakeholders,

including Ministers, permanent secretaries, other chief executives, civil servants especially staff of the FMOH and NPHCDA, development partners, members of the Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication, Traditional leaders and leaders in the Nigerian private sector and the media; together we made significant progress in a few areas within the health sector in Nigeria.

FG orders peer review of perm secs OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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he Federal Government has concluded plans to peer review federal permanent secretaries as part of efforts to boost efficiency in the civil service. The exercise would start tomorrow. A statement from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation indicated that the Peer Review Mechanism would be for all Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Civil Service. Director of Communications in the office, Tope Ajakaiye said the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Bukar Goni Aji

made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja at the end of the monthly meeting of Permanent Secretaries. He said the exercise is scheduled to take off at the Ecological Fund Office and the Federal Ministry of Works on Thursday, 15th August, 2013. According to him, the process would entail Permanent Secretaries evaluating one another’s performance in order to maintain and enhance their quality. “Presentations are expected to be made by each Permanent Secretary on the general overview of the activities and challenges of the Ministry followed by an interactive session with

the reviewing Permanent Secretaries”, Ajakaiye stated. He added that the reviewing team will also “make a spot assessment of the Ministry premises and facilities and interact with the Directors and executive members of the Joint Staff Union to assess progress and areas of challenges in the Ministry.” He said the initiative is part of efforts to reposition the Federal Civil Service and evolve a well-motivated, professional and ethical workforce, adding that the programme is expected to create an organizational environment in which ethical conduct is promoted and demonstrated.


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From the Civil Service

Pay state workers salaries, Rivers PDP tells Amaechi SAM OLUWALANA

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he Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi has been urged to pay the salaries of the state workers by the leadership of the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in order to alleviate what it described as the agony which civil servants in the State are facing over the delay in receiving their July salaries. The Special Adviser on Media to the State Chairman of the party, Jerry Needam, in a statement issued and signed on behalf of the chairman of the party in the state, Hon Felix Obuah, said it wondered why the State Government should ‘’remain insensitive and unconcerned about the plight of these workers almost two weeks into a

Amaechi

new month without salaries and with no explanation on why they should not be paid their July salaries which are a legitimate right’’. Describing the development and unfortunate and callous, the party said ‘’no matter the situation, the Civil Servants should not be made to suffer the weaknesses and mistakes of inefficient State administrators as appears to be the case’’. The party alleged that all projects in the state which are part of the development efforts of the Amaechi administration are now on hold. ‘’ no thanks to Gov. Amaechi’s preference for senseless politics of showmanship, it sees it as a willful act to let all Rivers people share in his political fight that has gulped billions of naira from the State coffers’’. The statement reads. The statement further claimed that the development in the state confirmed the fears of the party’s leadership, admonishing the Governor to explain to the people reasons behind the sad develoment. “There is no other rationale for this misnomer other than that the State is broke to the point of not paying monthly salaries. And we make bold to ask where has the money gone to, if not for the hosting of numerous supporters, fans and political gold diggers to whom Rivers State has been portrayed as a haven for such games”, the party said.

Kano holds pre-retirement workshop for civil servants AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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ano State Government is to hold the first pr-retirement workshop for retirees in an effort to sensitize the retirees on how to tackle fresh challenges after retirement from the Civil Service. This was disclosed in a chat with National Mirror yesterday by the state Head of Service, Dr Umar Shehu Minjibir, who said that the workshop would among others educate them on what it takes to venture into alternative and lucrative business venture. According to Minjibir, the State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who introduced the workshop for retirees, emphasized that is to acquaint them on the risks involved in venturing into specific businesses. At the close of the day, he counseled them on what type of business transaction to venture into; particularly those considered as less financially risky but generate huge profit for the investor. He advised retirees to avoid venturing into businesses they are not conversant with but only those they

have the wherewithal to cope with, so as to avoid running into a hitch and eventually become liabilities to the society. On the occasion, Minjibir disclosed that the State Government has upwardly reviewed and improved by 300 per cent the welfare of pensioners through the payment of N5,000 minimum pension as against the earlier arrangement, whereby pensioners receive as low as N135, 00 per month. Mijibir disclosed that the state is determine to reward junior and senior servant who distinguish themselves in their various field, especially for their outstanding dedication to service. Also, Minjibir used the occasion to commend Kwankwaso’s administration for the prompt payment of staff salaries, Judiciary salary profile, sustained grant of financial assistance to various labour unions, sale of Government owned Houses to Civil Servants, disbursement of vehicle loans to civil servants and the upward adjustment in the staff salary of tertiary institutions, as well as been among the first state government in the country to pay the N18, 000 minimum wage.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

I never accused minister of poor funding of sports –Director Director of Sports in the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Alhaji Mohammad Alim, in this interview with JOEL AJAYI in Abuja, denied accusing FCT minister, Bala Mohammed of starving the sector of much-needed funds as well as numerous other issues. Excerpts: What is your administration doing to develop sports in FCT? We have recorded a lot of positive achievements under the present administration, whether it was during the recently-concluded National Youth Festival held towards the end of 2012 in Lagos where FCT came 12th out of 37 states of the federation with a total of seven gold, 12 silver and 10 bronze medals. That single achievement, which was the first and the best of its kind since the Federal Capital Territory joined National competition popularly known as National Festival in 1987 portray the substantial level of sports development in FCT under the present administration; while FCT athletes were believed to be the most youthful out of the other entire participants, with FCT placed above all the 19 Northern states. What are the mechanisms put in place to drive sports in the territory? There are no states in this country that have taken sports to the grassroots like the FCT Administration. If you look at sports at federal level, National Sports Commission, the federation, and other states, what are they doing that is so spectacular that FCT is not doing? We do organize sports completion from the 62 wards of the six Area Councils and our athletes are also one of the best-kitted in the country, they have track shoes, they have traditional ware, ceremonial ware, completion ware etc. They have all that it takes and they are well taken care of, be it mentally, physically to do their best in any competition. And if you go to all these National championships here and there, hardly will you see nine states in the top sports chart without the FCT being among. How do you raise your athletes? In sports, we have two seasons either you competing or you are training. Sports is not all about competition, it is also about training. If you are off season you go for training. Since I came on board I have never gone to any state to import the athletes from

Alim

other places to represent the FCT. I make sure the FCT representatives are prepared locally. The FCT Administration is doing all it can to make sure that our most unifying factor which is sports is well developed in the territory. We organized competition in all 62 wards; we also sent equipment to the wards, now tell me if there are any states that have taken sports to the grassroots like FCT? How many states have taken sports programme to the wards level like we have done? Not only that, this is not limited to under 13 alone: the same is done for the first lady’s competition the newly-introduced championship, just as we have the under -17 minister’s cup tagged at secondary schools for male football competition; there is also the First Lady’s female football competition among the girls in the secondary schools. We do not just organize competitions for teams at the local government level, but we organized it from the ward level and we have 62 electoral wards in the FCT. We do not even organize just competition, we buy kits for teams that qualify from each of those wards and give them; we also give them money to organize competitions. In 2004 when the FCT hosted the National Sports Festival then, we registered 624 athletes and we came 14th and at the 15th National Sports Festival in Abeokuta we went with 580 athletes and we came 15th. At the 16th National Sports Festival in Kaduna, we went with 500, we came 15th; at the 17th festival in Port Harcourt we registered 198 athletes and we came 14th; at the last National Sports Festival in Lagos, we registered 148 athletes and we came 12th. So, from all indications, we are developing sports in the territory.

Do you have enough facilities to host the National Youth Festival? Yes. In the six Area Councils, for instance, and for the first time since the creation of FCT, funds have been earmarked for the construction of Sport Centres at the headquarters of each council. It is expected that each council will complement this noble effort that is on- going, by taking full advantage of the facilities to develop their youth population. It is painful to hear people saying I accused the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed of poorly funding the sport sector, but such accusation is a blatant distortion of all available facts. It is on record that since 2010, this administration has been restructured and redefined toward attaining development and the achievement recorded could not have been possible without adequate funding. Can we say inadequate facilities caused the shifting of the National Youth games earlier slated for September? No, no and no I don’t understand why some people think like that. The reason was that, we discovered that by that September the students are still on holiday or probably are just coming back from the long vacation and by that time, we will not be able to get the athletes because the games is channelled towards the secondary school ages and if they are on vacation where do you think these athletes would come from or do they want me to go and import athlete from other states? That is why we decided to put it for December so that after their examination the competition will hold. It is not as result of lack of facilities.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Wednesday August 14, 2013

PRISCILLA DENNIS writes on the giant strides being made by the Babangida Aliyu administration in Niger State and his resolve to ensure the completion of all on-going projects before May 2015, when his tenure elapses.

Abandoned projects: Setting new order in Niger State

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bandoned projects are a common sight left by administrations after administrations in Nigeria. It is common for a government to start some project only for the next administration to cancel them and embark on its own; thereby turning a blind eye to the previous ones no matter how important they are to the state and the people. In most cases, these abandoned projects, which litter the various states of the federation, remain like that for years. But recently, the Niger State Commissioner for Information, Communication and Strategy, Prof. Mohammed Yahaya in an interview said such would not be the case of the present administration in the state as measures have been taken to ensure that all projects started by the Babangida Aliyu administration are completed before it leaves office in May 2015. According to him, no project initiated would be abandoned as steps have been taken to ensure that every project is completed in line with the terms of agreement between firms handling the projects and the state government. He said infrastructural development is very dear to the state and therefore, nothing would be spared to ensure that all project are completed. The state has demonstrated its commitment to infrastructural development by securing a N30 billion bond at 14 per cent interest rate to be released in three installments with a gestation period of seven years. With the first installment of N6 billion, the state undertook various road construction and rehabilitation projects across the state. Prof. Yahaya, who reiterated the resolve of the Aliyu administration to ensure that all the on-going projects would be completed, said: “There is a provision to pay for all projects started in the state and we are monitoring to ensure they are done to specifications. None of them would be abandoned, I want to assure on that. It is when there is no money that projects are abandoned.” Against this backdrop, officials of the state Ministry of Information in conjunction with other ministries have commenced a tour of all the areas that have on-going projects for first-hand information as well as assess the quality work on those that have already been completed. Some of the projects being executed with funds from the bond are the Mokwa-Raba road; Luma-Babanna road in Borgu Local Government Area; BatatiDaddan and Fahzi roads all in Lavun Local Government Area; Birgi-LapaiGwari road; phase one work on the road within the proposed Three Arms zone on the Eastern by-pass; rehabilitation of the Idris Legbo Kutigi and Goodluck Ebele Jonathan roads all in Minna, the state capital as well as the rehabilitation of the Bonu-Gurara Water Falls road.

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Aliyu

NO PROJECT INITIATED WOULD BE ABANDONED AS STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO ENSURE THAT EVERY PROJECT IS COMPLETED IN LINE WITH THE TERMS OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN FIRMS HANDLING THE

PROJECTS AND THE STATE GOVERNMENT... THERE IS A PROVISION TO PAY FOR ALL PROJECTS STARTED IN THE STATE AND WE ARE MONITORING TO ENSURE THEY ARE DONE TO SPECIFICATIONS. NONE OF

THEM WOULD BE ABANDONED, I WANT TO ASSURE ON THAT. IT IS WHEN THERE IS NO MONEY THAT PROJECTS ARE ABANDONED Except for the Mokwa-Raba road that is still on-going, owing to the revocation and re-awarding of the contract, every other project approved under the N6 billion bond has been completed. And in 2011; at the point of completing the repayment of the first soft loan, the state went for the second bond of N9 billion from the N30 billion. Infrastructural Projects under the bond are all on-going in various parts of the state. They are the construction of galvanized structural steel bridge over Shiroro River, Shiroro local government area at the cost of N1.5 billion; construction of the Kwakuti-Kaffinkoro-Gwada road that links Shiroro and Paikoro local government areas at the cost of N2. 1billion; Rijau-Dukku road in Rijau local government at the cost N1.11 billion, construction of a bridge over Barago River on Lapai-Gwari-Federal University of Technology, FUT, Minna permamnent site road; the Eastern by-pass from Maitunbi Roundabout-Maikunkele at N2.58 billion as well as the dualization of Eid burial

ground-Ahmadu Bahago roundabout and Maitunbi road at N1.4 billion Besides the road sector, the state government has also made huge investment in the housing sector by embarking on the construction of 500 housing units at the Wushishi Estate; another 500 at the Talba Housing Estate, Minna; 250 units at Bida, 250 units at Suleja, and 250 units at Kontagora. While those at Bida, Kontagora and Suleja are at various levels of completion, those at the Wushishi Estate have been completed and sold to the public, while the Talba Estate units are currently being sold to members of the public. And, in a desire to open up Minna City, the state government under the PPP initiative has embarked on the construction of 1,000 housing units at Maikunkele, Bosso local government, while another set of 1,000 is being handled by the Federal Government. The 2,000 units would be ready by the end of the year. There are also the Zariawa 1,000 housing

units under construction at Suleja area. The project is a partnership between the federal and Niger State governments and it is expected to be completed before the end of the year. Speaking on the housing projects initiative of government, the state Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Dr. Sale Peter Sarki told journalists at the site of the project at Maikunkele that the federal and state governments will deliver 2,000 housing units this year. According to him, the decision to cite the project in the area is to open up the new Minna Airport City area, where the state on its part has already built 150 housing units out of the 1,000 that would be sold to members of the public at affordable rates. He also revealed that the state has allocated 100 housing units out of 500 at the Talba Estate to the public, noting that soon the beneficiaries would move in. An official of the state Ministry for Lands and Housing, Mohammed Musa, who also spoke with journalists, disclosed another plan to build about 5,000 units of houses in the Suleja axis of the state by the Aliyu administration to ease the housing deficit in the Federal Capital Territory’s satellite town. It would be recalled that Governor Aliyu had demonstrated the importance he attached to the housing sector, when on assuming office in 2007; he entered into a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with SNECOU, a private firm to tackle the challenge of infrastructural decay to the tune of N5.98 billion, which was later reviewed upward to N6.1 billion. Other key sectors such as health, water provision and electricity have not neglected as they to impact directly on the people, especially those in the rural areas. At the last count, there has been an upgrade of hospitals, renovation of existing ones at a cost of N1.2 billion, while the construction of new standard hospitals at Nasko, Magama local government, Gulu, Lapai local government and New Wuse, named; Yar’Adua Memorial Hospital (after the late President Umar Yar’Adua) gulped N3 billion. The projects are spread across all the three zones of the state to ensure that people have access to quality health care. Some of these health facilities, not only serve the areas they are sited, but currently serve as referral hospitals to people even residents neighbouring states. On the water sector, expansion work has been carried out on the six mini water projects in Kontagora, Mokwa, Bida, Katcha, Lapai, Lambata and Minna, the state capital. The Bosso and Tagwai dams have been distilled to ensure that residents of the state capital and its environs have access to portable water. The cost of the projects, according to the state government was N2.38 billion. The power sector has also benefited from the soft loan, as several electricity transformers have been procured and distributed to the various local government areas to boast power supply.


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Politics

Wednesday August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Delta Central: Keyamo pledges effective representation FELIX NWANERI

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uman rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo, has declared that he is in the race for the vacant Delta Central Senate seat because it presents an opportunity for him to bring to bear, an enduring enthusiasm and skills for the supreme benefit of the people of the zone. Keyamo, who stated this in a statement made available to National Mirror, listed his areas of priority if voted into the upper chamber of the National Assembly to include consumer protection and the fight against corruption. He said: “I have done a

lot of work in this area as a private citizen and as a lead Prosecutor to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. As a result, I have a fair knowledge of the legal huddles we face in the fight against corruption. Earlier this year, I had forwarded to the National Assembly a detailed proposal for constitutional amendment to check the delay in corruption cases, which is actually one of the major obstacles in the fight against corruption.” Senator Pius Ewherido, who occupied the seat passed on in June and a byelection is due soon to fill the position. Already, political jostling has started in the state,

with an array of candidates putting themselves forward from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, All Progressives Congress, APC, and Democratic Peoples Party, DPP. But Keyamo, who maintained that Delta State deserves total freedom from the yoke of bondage, added that his been in the Senate will also set the tone for the quality of leadership that is to come in the state in 2015. “After the launch of the Delta Forces United, it became public speculation that I was interested in the governorship race in Delta State come 2015. Of course I had my eyes on the governorship race whilst I was mobilizing the Delta Forces

United to join the APC, and that, undeniably, still remains my ultimate goal. I will never abandon that goal. However, the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. And he, who is great in smaller things, will be greater in bigger things. “In this regard, the Senate seat presents a unique and humble opportunity for me to bring to bear my enduring enthusiasm and skills for the supreme benefit of my people in public office, and to set the tone for the quality of leadership that is to come. That is why I am running for the vacant Senate seat in Delta Central. And if the people give me a pass mark, they will

eventually decide whether to push me forward, or withdraw me from the guber race,” he said. He called on the people of the state to dethrone the old order of crass corruption and bad governance as well as resist the succession plan of the ruling PDP in the state. He said: “I believe Delta State deserves a new set of thinkers, even if they are not perfect; a new set of ideas, to inject life into the politics of the state; a new beginning, just to get things right. We, as a people, deserve total freedom from the yoke of bondage. That is why I make no pretence about it that the central theme of my foray into Del-

ta politics is to dethrone the old order of crass corruption and bad governance and to lead a revolution of real change. “We must oppose the succession plan of the PDP. I represent that real change because I have never been part of the corrupt system before. I am a fresh face, a clean hand with a well-known track-record. I come to town to add great value and not to destroy. The whole nation knows where I stand at every point in time. And that is a virtue supremely required for the Senate on behalf of the proud and noble people of Urhobo land, and for their profound aspirations to be given a breath of life.”

APC, PDP bicker over Osun 2014 governorship ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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Aspirant, National women Leader, Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Betty Nnadi with her supporters shortly after submitting PDP National women Leader nomination form in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Fashola won’t join PDP, says Ashafa Hoists APC flag in constituency

MURITALA AYINLA

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ollowing the rumour making round that some political big wigs from the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, are making frantic moves to woo the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola into joining their party or another party to be floated come ahead of the 2015 general election, the lawmaker representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Senator Gbenga Ashafa yesterday debunked the claim. The rumour, National Mirror gathered, was premised on the calibre of Nigerians who had been visiting the governor to commiserate with him over the loss of his father, Alhaji Ademola Fashola. Presi-

dent Goodluck Jonathan, including six ministers as well as former Heads of state and governors from both Rotimi Amaechi and Jonah Jang Camps had visited Fashola. But reacting to the rumour after hoisting of All Progressives Congress flag in his constituency, Ashafa described the rumour as unfounded, saying Fashola is an icon of good governance that wouldn’t and was not planning to join other party. He said: “There is no iota of truth in that. Fashola is not just a governor of Lagos State, Fashola has become an icon of good governance. So, if anything happens to him, you will expect even the Head of State of another country coming to commensurate with him. He is one of the added val-

ues that APC has. I won’t be surprise if the President of Ghana or Cameroun to comes to Lagos to commiserate with him. He merit it, he has demonstrated it. “What is the big deal that the former heads of state came to Lagos to come and commiserate with him? Why is our people reading meaning to all this. Lets give it to him, he deserves it, let decipher Fashola from this. His father was a fantastic human being. He

was socialite of the highest order. He was religious, intellectually sound. He lived in the US for sometimes; he lived in Britain for so long. So generous, just meet Pa Fashola once, he will call you the same day”. He added that the new APC has come to right the wrongs of many years of PDP leadership, saying many challenges confronting the nation which remain unresolved would be adroitly tackled by the APC.

s the race to next year’s governorship election in Osun State hots up, the All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP are already at each other’s jugular. The state chapter of the APC yesterday described those paraded on Monday by the PDP as its governorship aspirants in the state as a bunch of failed politicians. But the PDP told the APC to shut up its mouth that is running diarrhea, saying it needs seasoned politicians to teach it on how to recognise experienced and first class politicians like the ones it paraded. The APC, had in a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Barr. Kunle Oyatomi, said the PDP politicians were too ill-formed to govern the state. His words: “These PDP governorship aspirants are bunch of failed politicians and appeared to be too uninformed to be worthy of a governorship ticket. None of the ‘collective aspirants’

has the essential wherewithal to govern the state. The PDP foursome failed before and they will fail again.” Saying that the PDP aspirants were reported to have condemned the state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for his environmental renewal projects and what they called the ‘debt profile’ of the state which they mischievously construe to be beyond the state’s resources to repay, Oyatomi questioned the collective intelligence of the PDP aspirants, who are still talking of ‘bad governance’ and accusing the governor of financial recklessness, while the PDP-led Federal Government as well as its agencies and the World Bank consistently praise Ogbeni Aregbesola for his exceptional performance in governance and financial management. In a separate statement however, Alhaji Ganiyu Olaoluwa described APC as a den of frustrated politicians who have sunk into the ocean of political hopelessness adding that those criticizing PDP lack political education and are suffering from political ignorance.

Tukur pledges more elective, appointive slots for women OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has assured female members of the party of more slots in both elective and appoint-

ive offices. Tukur made the promised yesterday in Abuja at the party’s national secretariat, during the solidarity visit by PDP National Woman Leader, State women leaders, zonal women leaders and women members of the National Executive

Committee (NEC). Tukur said that the party is bringing in women to participate in all areas, adding, “people are asking for women to be given 30 percent, to me I believe you need more. We are going to bring more and more women in. Is there any man who

is not born by a woman?” He advised the women to brace up for the challenges ahead, saying PDP being the biggest party means biggest responsibility, adding, “we have to work hard, we have to be focused to earn result in whatever we are doing.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Executive Discourse

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

45

Nigerian tourism sector has capacity to generate more revenue than oil -Aku Chairman Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Novena Majesty Industries Limited, Prince Sunny Aku, apart from his investment in many sectors of the economy, is into manufacturing. In this interview with UDO ONYEKA, he says the economy can only do better with implementation of good policies. Excerpts. What are the Asian countries doing that we are not doing considering the development in that region? What the Far East countries are doing that we are not doing right is that they embraced technology. secondly, the governments in that one, region have gotten their economic policy right. You see, you may have the best government policy, but if your trade and economic policies are wrong, you are not making any headway. Such a country cannot develop, because everything around us as human beings has to do with commerce. The commerce policy is the first a country must get right if it must develop. I was one of the first blacks to visit Singapore in those days, when Singapore was a developing nation like us. In fact, Nigeria today, was far better than Singapore during its developing years. Singapore was part of Malaysia; the people were driven away by the Malaysians that was how they found themselves in that Island. When they got there, they were not happy but a lion came to meet them and the lion was not harmful to them. That was how the name Singapore came about. Singapore means the city of lion. Now when their struggle started, they did not get their economic policies right, surprisingly, what was holding them down is what is holding us now. What happened was that they did not get their commerce policy right, but when they realised their mistakes, they changed those policies that were hindering their progress. It shares the same climatic condition with Nigeria the Government removed import tariff from air conditioners and refrigerators, so that their people could have access to coldwater and stay under conducive environment, since the climate is hot. When I got there, these were the only two items that had free import tariff. I was there when they removed import tariff from almost everything and turned the country into what you can trade free zone. Even up till the two items that dutiable are alcohol and tobacco, every other items are duty free. And you know what if you are taken it out of the country they refund you the tax you paid on it, but if you are consuming alcohol and tobacco in Singapore, you pay through your nose. As I said earlier I was in that country in the early eighties when the economy of the country began to grow after the Government opened up the economy. Before this time the country had a huge unemployment problem like what we have today in Nigeria. Just one year after they remove tariff from all importation into the country virtually the whole world started coming to Singapore to shop. Singapore became the supermarket of the entire world, including England and United State of America. By the second year Singapore moved from a country with high unemployment rate to country that has insufficient manpower. Do you till today, they don’t encourage foreigners to come and work in their country. In their immigration form it is boldly stated employment of foreigners are prohibited. The only way foreigners could secure job in that country is by invitation from a company there requesting that you come in as an expatri-

Aku

ON THE OTHER HAND,

GOVERNMENT CAN ENCOURAGE THOSE WHO HAVE INVESTED HEAVILY IN CEMENT AND OTHER BUILDING MATERIALS THROUGH SUBSIDISING THEIR

GOODS. IN FACT IT IS THE LACK OF GIVING SUBSIDIES TO LOCAL MANUFACTURERS THAT MADE THEIR GOODS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THE IMPORTED ONES ate professional. They allow professionals from various sectors who were invited by companies operating there to come in. They do not allow foreigners to come and trade in their country .Trading and other jobs are reserved for their own people. That is why I disagree with people that say the government would not do the same. Our government will benefit if we do the same. When this is done the cost of living which is important to the citizenry will definitely come down. Let me tell you what China is doing for example, do you know the government of China subsidises all goods meant for export. They do this to support manufacturing companies in China to export and earn foreign exchange which is the backbone of every economy, knowing that the money will still come back to the country. Now it is this economic policy of China that is affecting us adversely today in Nigeria, because they are dumping a lot of these goods in Nigeria. Chinese have relocated to this country and many of them are now doing trading. To encourage the dumping of goods in the country, companies in China ship those goods to Chinese in Nigeria to sell and remit money back home, later. What do you think the Federal Government must do to reshape the economy?

What we need to do to get the economy on the right track is to declare state of emergency in many sectors of economy. For instance in the housing sector, we can begin by declaring zero duties for all building materials, so that the cost of housing will drop. The government would benefit as well as the citizenry when the economy is opened up. If that is done investors in the housing sector will have access to cheap building materials and by this there would accommodation for the people and also jobs are created for the estate manages and other ancillary services. This is what the government ought to do instead of collecting the $400 m loan, which will be like a drop in the ocean because that cannot solve the housing problem in Nigeria rather it would throw the country into debt. On the other hand, government can encourage those who have invested heavily in cement and other building materials through subsidising their goods. In fact it is the lack of giving subsidies to local manufacturers that made their goods more expensive than the imported ones. Not only in the housing sector if government can declare zero tariff for most items coming into the country both the government and the people would benefit. Now that the government and the citizens buy from the market and even the government pay more. They pay more because they go through contractors. When goods come in at zero tariff, government would also pay less in the items it purchases and through this means would save money, as capital expenses would also reduce. The money that is saved through this means is channeled to other sectors to provide the badly needed infrastructural development. While this being done, the government would intensify efforts in the collection of taxes and the value added tax (VAT). I believe the Nigerian Customs should be saddled with the responsibility of collecting VAT for the government, because they have the manpower and technical knowhow. Nigerian Customs are among the best in the world, but their efforts have been frustrated by some stakeholders and the ruling class. Again, this country has potential for tourism. Tourism can bring money into this country, I mean commercial tourism. CONTINUED ON PAGE 46


46

Executive Discourse

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigerian tourism sector has capacity to generate more revenue than oil -Aku I have not been able to make money because of low patronage. I have not been able to recover half of my investment.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 45 Commercial tourism brings a lot of money to Singapore. Singapore generates more money from tourism than we generate from oil. Singapore does not have oil; they don’t all these mineral resources we have in this country. The country depends majorly on trade. Singapore has only one airport and that airport has become the busiest in the world that every five minutes an international flight is landing in it. You can then imagine how many people that visit the country on daily basis and all these people pay airport charges. These visitors to Singapore do not sleep on the main road. They all stay hotels which also generate VAT to the government and in create jobs for the people. During the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, importation of over 40 items were banned in one day. Why did they continue to allow the importation of these items when the local manufacturers can sustain the demand? I will put it this way, the problem is corruption, and corruption comes in many ways. Corruption is not only when you receive bribe. When you also work against the policies of government it is also corruption. Corruption in the sense that some people in authorities allow these items to come in. Corruption in the sense that many government officials are still the ones smuggling in some of these items both for their own use and for their wives and friends to sale. That is corruption, because they work against the policy of the government because of their selfish interests. You will be surprise that some of these items would found in government offices and homes across the nation is all imported, which might have been smuggled into this country. Even the hotels springing up everywhere, most of the furniture in them are either imported or were supplied by Chinese. They prefer Chinese companies to furnish the hotels instead of Nigerian companies. There are many furniture made in Nigeria that meet international standard, I am not advocating for patronage of low quality or sub standard. There are lots of products produced in Nigeria that meet international standard. Some of us have invested millions of dollars to put up industries with world standard machines to produce locally and what we are getting is frustration. Our products are not been patronised even by government and its officials. It is frustrating to see people in government bringing in something below the standard you are producing here and paying higher. Is it not on account of competitive pricing, may be because the locally made ones are more expensive than the imported ones? No, it is not true, they should go round, we have show rooms. For instance a visit to some of the big show rooms of local manufacturers including my own show room will reveal that the prices of local products are better than, what you can get in the shops of foreigners if you add the freight and other expenses when you import. If you get the quality of for example my own products in Italy, you pay twice or even more what we are offering. Are you producing substandard products what many regard as Chinese quality? We do not produce substandard, but if you go to showrooms ran by Chinese companies, you will observe that some of their items are sub standard, but go to our own showroom, I am using international standard raw materials, my prices are better than their prices. You know that those items sold by Chinese are not even made here, they bring them in and dump them in this country. They smuggled them in and it is not as if people are not aware including those in authority that they are smuggling those items into this country. Those in authorities even

OUR PRODUCTS ARE NOT BEEN PATRONISED EVEN BY GOVERNMENT AND ITS

OFFICIALS. IT IS FRUSTRATING TO SEE PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT BRINGING IN SOMETHING BELOW THE STANDARD YOU ARE PRODUCING HERE AND PAYING HIGHER

patronise them. With this huge investment, how much profit have you been able to make over the years?

What are the things government should do to encourage and support local manufacturers like you? Let’s look at made in Nigeria, the government should first and foremost identify the companies that are producing quality and meeting international standards in the country. The government should begin by creating a forum whereby all those manufacturers can come showcase what they can do. The government can also take a step further to visit the factories of these companies to see whether their claims are genuine. After which it would seek ways to assist the companies. We have a lot of unharnessed resource both human and products in this country. Now after identifying genuine manufacturers’ government go further to encourage them by granting them waivers to import raw materials. During the tenure of former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, he tried such by asking genuine manufacturers who wanted to import generating set to do so without paying duties. He also created NEFUND where companies that source their raw materials locally was given a sort of grant. IBB would recall also dedicated some petrol stations to transporters to get fuel at subsidised prices, thereby reducing transport fares. During his tenure importation of buses and trucks attracted zero duty to bring down the cost of transportation. Many stakeholders have said that influx of Chinese goods into the country would not help the economy, that instead of setting up factories, Chinese are running retail shops in various corner of our cities. What do you have to say? I am not against trade liberalisation, but what may be wrong is the implementation. If you have to liberalise, it has to be in the form it is been done in some countries, where goods come in and go out. But it is not same in our country. Here it is like one way traffic, everything is coming in and they are not going out. That is what I am saying about commerce policy, that we must get it right if the economy must develop. It has to be done in such a way that goods come in and they will be able to go out. It should not be restricted to trade free zones, the entire country should be seen as trade free zones, where you can bring in and be allowed to re –export the same. The only way the goods can go out in the present circumstance is when you allow people collect their duty back when they export, if it does not want to embrace duty fee policy of Singapore and Dubai. Government must make that pronouncement. Secondly, government must control who and who should come and set up shops here. The immigration must up their game in making sure that people come in with genuine papers. For instance, as a Nigerian you cannot go to Singapore to go and open shop, you cannot also do that in Dubai. Their law is that you must partner with the locals and the locals, so that the locals will take percentage, but here everybody from wherever comes to do buying and selling. It is not supposed to be free for all if Nigeria economy must survive. And at the end they will repatriate all the money back to their countries. When you check their visa and travel documents, many of them came in as manufacturers, engineers and other professional and all of a sudden, they become traders, buying and selling. Some foreigners in this country are packaging and selling sachet water. This is not the kind of direct foreign investment that the government is talking about. Many of the foreign investors we have in the country are nothing but brief case carrying who come to collect the loans meant for locals to set up businesses in Nigeria.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

47

Guaranty Trust Bank accounts for 22% of market turnover JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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espite the bearish trend affecting banking stocks on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, Guaranty Trust Bank and FBN Holdings became investors’ toast as the duo accounted for 19 per cent and 32 per cent of volume and value traded respectively. The benchmark index of equities extended a four day downtrend, shedding weight across board. However, Guaranty Trust Bank accounted for 22 per cent of the day’s turnover, after gaining 1.86 per cent to close at N25.14

per share. Explaining the reason behind the uptrend, Meristem Securities Limited, an investment firm, noted that the appreciation in the two stocks may be based on the expectation that half year results of both banks may surpass expectations. On the bearish outlook in the bourse, the firm said that the impact of Cash Reserve Ratio on banks earnings spurred the sell offs by investors. The banking stocks were hit though they dominated volume and value of transactions. The Central Bank of Nigeria last Wednesday withdrew an estimated N1trn from the banking system to

reflect the increase in CRR on public sector deposits as announced earlier, causing interbank lending rates to spike by seven percentage points. The apex bank had said it was imposing the new CRR requirement two weeks ago to tighten liquidity and support the naira. Financial experts estimate that banks would lose no less than N45bn in interest income following their inability to utilise 50 per cent of the deposits from the three tiers of government and their agencies. The decision is expected to have a negative impact on the banking sector,” Muyiwa Oni and Rele Adesina, analysts at SGB Secu-

rities Limited, had written in a report following the announcement. In the first quarter, public sector funds in the banking sector stood at N2.5trn, which was 17 per cent of the banking sector’s deposits, the analysts said. “The CBN was concerned about the build-up in excess liquidity in the financial system and a vicious circle where banks sourced large amounts of public sector funds and subsequently lent them to the government by purchasing T-bills and Open Market Operations,” Samir Gadio, a London-based emerging-markets strategist at Standard Bank Group Limited said.

DAMILOLA AJAYI

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rading in equities continued on a bearish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as more investors took profit from the gain recorded last week. Specifically, the All Share index dropped by 0.59 per cent to close at 37,589.60 points, same with decrease of 0.59 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 37,813.43 points. Market capitalisation depreciated by N71bn to close at N11.904trn, same with the depreciation of N71bn

All-Share Index 37,589.60 points

N4.74 per share. points. Trans-nationwide ExThe Lotus Islamic index dropped by 0.29 per cent press Plc appreciated by or 9.59 per cent 9,910,815,896,785.59 30,983.83 to close at 2,641.24 points seven kobo while the Alternative Mar- to close at 80 kobo. On the ket Securities Index re- flip side, Cutix Plc lost 22 kobo or 9.95 per cent to close mained flat. Paint Manufacturing at N1.99 per share, while Company Plc led the gain- Custodyins Plc fell by 16 ers’ table with 17 kobo or kobo or 9.94 per cent to close ten per cent to close at at N1.45 per share. UACN Plc dipped by N1.87 per share, followed by Champion Breweries Plc N6.00 or 9.84 per cent to with N1.61 or ten per cent to close at N55.00 per share, while IPWA Plc declined by close at N17.71 per share. Jos Breweries Plc rose ten kobo or 9.52 per cent to by eight kobo or 9.88 per close at 95 kobo per share. cent to close at 89 kobo per Vono Products Plc deprecishare, while Evans Medi- ated by six kobo or 9.52 per cal Plc declined by 42 kobo cent to close at 57 kobo per or 9.72 per cent to close at share.

US yields, European shares rise on better economic outlook

U

nited States Treasuries yields rose and the dollar climbed to one-week highs yesterday after a gauge of US consumer spending rose at its fastest pace in seven months. Wall Street stocks slipped, while European shares rose to two and half month highs after data pointed to an improving economic outlook across the euro region, though the optimism failed to carry over to Wall Street. World equities markets were little changed. The benchmark 10-year US Treasury note was down 24/32, its yield at 2.7063 per cent. Strong US data will encourage the Federal Reserve to trim its monthly purchases of about $85bn in bonds, perhaps as early

as September. Such a move will boost US bond yields and bolster the appeal of dollar-denominated assets. “For the next five and a half weeks every US statistic will be measured by its impact on the September 18th (Federal Open Market Committee) decision,” said Joseph Trevisani, chief market strategist at WorldWideMarkets, in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. “By that standard today’s number should keep the Fed on track to curtail quantitative easing purchases in September.” MSCI’s all-country world index, a measure of 45 equity markets around the world, edged up 0.1 per cent. The Dow Jones industrial average finance/markets/index dropped 24.27 points, or 0.16 per cent, at 15,395.41 points.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index was down 1.12 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 1,688.35 points, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 3.62 points, or 0.10 per cent, at 3,666.33 points. Consumer stocks, especially homebuilders, dragged on Wall Street. The group came under pressure as government bond rates rose, making mortgages less affordable. PulteGroup Incorporation was the biggest loser among consumer discretionary stocks, trading 2.6 per cent lower at $15.30. “The general tone in markets is positive, but things are feeling a bit heavy,” said James Dunigan, chief investment officer at PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia, who helps

Source: FMDA

Market indicators

Index sheds 0.59%, as bears sustain hold recorded the preceding day to close at N11. 975trn. All the sectorial indices shed substantial part of their value, the Consumer Goods index shed 1.15 per cent to close at 1,061.45 points, followed by the Insurance index with 0.91 per cent to close at 138.40 points. The NSE 30- index lost 0.77 per cent to close at 1,760.40 points, while the Industry Goods index dipped by 0.75 per cent to close at 2,263.41 points. The Banking index fell 0.45 per cent to close at 407.31 points, while the Oil and Gas index declined 0.39 per cent to close at 203.57

Source: NSE

oversee $118bn. “I think the next five per cent move in markets will be down, while the next 10 per cent move after that will be up.” Europe’s broad FTSEurofirst 300 index hit its highest level since May before pulling back to 1,236.50 points, up 0.5 per cent. US retail sales outside of cars, gasoline and building materials rose 0.5 per cent last month, the biggest gain since December. Overall retail sales rose 0.2 per cent during the month, just below analysts’ expectations. A jump in Germany’s ZEW economic sentiment survey dovetailed with a rise in euro zone industrial output and the fastest rise in UK house prices in seven years, bolstering a renewed sense of optimism in the region.

Market capitalisation 11.95 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

PAINTCOM

1.70

1.87

0.17

10.00

CHAMPION

16.10

17.71

1.61

10.00

JOSBREW

0.81

0.89

0.08

9.88

EVANSMED

4.32

4.74

0.42

9.72

TRANSEXPR

0.73

0.80

0.07

9.59

WEMABANK

1.00

1.09

0.09

9.00

UPL

3.80

4.09

0.29

7.63

JAPAULOIL

0.50

0.52

0.02

4.00

VITAFOAM

4.16

4.30

0.14

3.37

MANSARD

2.21

2.26

0.05

2.26

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CUTIX

2.21

1.99

0.22

-9.95

CUSTODYINS

1.61

1.45

0.16

-9.94

UACN

61.00

55.00

6.00

-9.84

IPWA

1.05

0.95

0.10

-9.52

VONO

0.63

0.57

0.06

-9.52

COURTVILLE

0.87

0.79

0.08

-9.20

HONYFLOUR

3.21

3.05

0.16

-4.98

NASCON

11.50

11.01

0.49

-4.26

TRANSCORP

1.40

1.35

0.05

-3.57

ASHAKACEM

23.78

23.01

0.77

-3.24

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Days

22,057.31

10.30

15-Aug-13

182-Days

60,000.00

10.50

15-Aug-13

-

-

-

-

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

167-Days

41,969.33

10.50

15-Aug-13

164-Days

37,821.60

10.50

15-Aug-13

-

-

-

-

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$221m

12-Aug-13

$300m

N/A

$248m

7-Aug-13


48

Capital Market

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at August 13, 2013 1st Tier Securities

1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

Community Mirror The problem we have in the polity is that governors’ always gang up and impose their positions on the people.

Church leader restrained from official functions

50

FORMER SENATE PRESIDENT, AMEH EBUTE

Man arrested for possession of fake C of O FRANCIS SUBERU

A

64 year-old man is currently being detained at X-Squad, Command Headquarters for allegedly presenting fake Certificate of Occupancy, C of O,to bail a fraudster. The suspect identified as Agwu Ebere attempted to secure the bail of a retired Navy Captain identified as Onabu. The retired Navy captain was earlier arrested by police detectives for allegedly defrauding a Lagos based businessman of N40m The suspect confessed that he paid N60, 000 to someone who helped secure the forged documents at Government House, Alausa.

“It is hardship that forced me into crime. Outside this business, I have a registered company with which I facilitate vehicle registration and change of ownership”, the suspect said. Parading the suspect at Ikeja, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Ngozi Braide stated that the fraudster was invited by family of the retired captain to help secure his bail.

Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said on arrival, Ebere presented the C of O of a property located at 29 Alhaja Bello Street, Idimu, Lagos. “The Officer in Charge of XSquad who suspected the documents could have been forged insisted that it should be verified. “At the State Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, it was discovered that the Certificate of Occupancy was

forged” she added. Based on outcome of the investigation, the 64 year old fraudster was arrested. She stated further that the suspect confessed that he had used the forged documents in the past to secure the bail of numerous persons at police stations and court. “He also confessed to making from N50, 000 to N100, 000 per per-

Organisation holds conference on corruption LEONARD OKACHIE

D

Police urged to combat menace of street kids

T

he Cross River State Commissioner for Social Welfare and Community Development, Inyang Patricia Endeley, has called on the Nigerian Police to cooperate with it in combating child abandonment in the state. The commissioner made the call in Calabar when she paid a courtesy visit on the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kola Sodipo in his office. She lamented, the increase in street children pointing out that from available statistics, some of them were brought in from neighboring states and dumped along Ikot Ishie Calabar at night. Endeley said some of these children were above 15 years of age, as such, they had engaged in armed robbery and rape, which government frowns at and appealed to the police to assist in curbing the menace. Responding, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kola Sodipo, said, the command was always ready to assist, adding that they would be equipped with the necessary tools to aid them in rendering services, at any point in time. Mr. Sodipo urged the ministry to appoint a liaison to always keep them informed, pointing out that, the children must be given the necessary protection, because they were the hope of the nation.

son” she added. Though, investigations were still ongoing, Ngozi stated that effort is on to arrest other members of the gang. The Lagos State Police Spokespersons advised banks and financial institutions to verify all land documents presented by clients before approving any loan.”Failure to do so might spell doom to them” she added.

People queueing for rice being distributed by the Lagos Mainland Local Government Area in honour of late Pa Ademola Fashola at Iponri, Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

Oil company commissions projects SAM OLUWALANA

O

il giant, TotalElf has given the people of Obiozimini and Obiyebe in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State cause to smile, following the construction of a 1.3km road and a health centre in their communities. At a ceremony to hand over the projects, Total E&P said the gesture shows the management’s commitment to fulfill promises made to host communities. Speaking, the Company’s Executive General Manager, JVA Operations, Mr. Jean-Clude Vachet described the projects as economically viable and strategic, adding that it provides a gateway towards the economic transformation of Egi kingdom. Vachet said the beach road will provide resources for construction in Egi land and beyond and also be a

ready loading bay to feed the upcoming glass industry, “thereby providing excellent business opportunities for entrepreneurs and help create jobs for the teeming youths.” Represented by Total’s Deputy General Manager, Community Affairs, Izu Iduoku, he said, “It is our hope that with this quality of road in place, the difficulties usually associated with loading of sand during off-seasons will be greatly reduced. On the health centre in Obiyebe community, Vachet said the facility was one of the demands by the Egi people under the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, the firm signed in 2007. According to him, “I am particularly pleased to commission this facility which is one of the demands by the Egi people under the 2007 MoU. “With the quality of equipment at the health centre and ex-

cellent living quarters, I have no doubt that this facility will be put to the best use and will serve the community effectively in the area of primary healthcare delivery”. He thanked the Rivers State Government for the support and encouragement received in executing the project and for providing the staff and medical personnel to ensure the smooth take-off of the facility. “This is not only in tandem with the aspiration of the company to bring healthcare closer to the people, but also in line with our core objectives towards sustainable health of our communities. “It is therefore our hope that the communities will not only take ownership of this facility, but will also guard it jealously. I urge youths, elders and community leaders to ensure the effective utilisation and good maintenance of the facilities for the benefit of the people,” Vachet said.

isturbed by the ugly trend of corruption in the country, the Prison Fellowship Nigeria, PFN, is set to host a bi-annual national prison ministry and restorative justice conference. The 2-day conference with theme, “Restoring Justice” is expected to build a professional synergy for robust dialogue on a criminal justice system that is holistic in its outcomes of transformed lives, reconciled relationships and restored community. According to a statement by the Executive Director, PFN, Mr. Benson Iwuagwu, the conference holds from September 12-13, 2013 at Merit House, Central District, Abuja, under the distinguished chairmanship of Prof. Yemi Osibanjo. The main conference paper tagged, “Restoring Justice, Anchor of the Social Contract and Democracy”, will be delivered by the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Lagos State, Ade Ipaye, while Prof. Mark Yantzi of Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada will speak on Principles and Practice of Restorative Justice. Iwuagwu, who is also the Prison Fellowship International Anglophone Africa Liaison, will speak on “Victim/Offender Mediation: STP Model”, while Jacob Tsado takes on “Children Victim’s Therapy: The Angel Tree Model.” Expected participants include, practitioners in the criminal justice administration, police, judges, lawyers, correctional officers, prison ministry practitioners, church organisations and civil society groups. PFN is a faith-based Non-Gov-


50

Community Mirror

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Church leader restrained from official functions HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

A

n Akure High Court presided over by Justice C.E.T. Ajama has ordered the state Secretary of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches, OAIC, Snr. Superintendent Apostle Jimi Ajidahun to stop parading himself in that capacity pending the determination of the suit before the court. The court also ordered Ajidahun to vacate the leadership position of the Cherubim & Seraphim Church and cease leading church service until determination of the suit. In the suit number AK/199/2011, instituted by Ajidahun and five others including, Apostle M.F Aboyewa, R.O Ayodabo, Janet Ogungbade, Elizabeth Okero and Mrs. Keji Ajibade for and on behalf of Atunbi Moses Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Oke Igbala, Igboliki, Akure, they are asking the court to recognise Ajidahun as their leader. The plaintiffs have sued Victor Oladipo Olabode, Ajibola Olabode, Mrs Bosede Ade Turton

and Apostle Kolawole Oluwabusuyi before the High Court to stop the 4th respondent from parading himself as leader of the church. The plaintiffs have approached the court that the 4th defendant, Oluwabusuyi was no longer leader of the church, saying he had been succeeded by Ajidahun. Ruling on 10 paragraph application filed by counsel to the defendants/applicants, Kunle Adetowubo, Justice Ajama said the 1st claimant/respondent, Ajidahun, and 4th defendant/applicant, General Superintendent Apostle Kolawole Oluwabusuyi, should cease to function in any leadership capacity in the church. The duo has been involved in a tussle over who occupies the number one position in the church. Justice Ajama, however said that to “allow peace to reign, it is hereby ordered that all the chairs in the inner altar of the church, at No 13, Igboliki Street, Akure be removed and the inner altar left bare until this claim is finally determined. “It further ordered that neither the 1st claimant nor 4th de-

fendant shall preach or perform any function or occupy any position in the church until the claim is settled. “Finally, because all the parties agree that this church is established at Akure by Late Captain Julianah Omoleye, and since the law abhors a vacuum, the family of Julianah Omoleye shall hold a meeting and chose someone already high ranking to run its affairs until determination of the suit.” The OAIC secretary who is the 1st claimant in the suit had earlier approached the court to uphold his right to the leadership, claiming that the 4th applicant is no longer the minister-in-charge of the church. Thereafter, an undertaking, off record, was extracted for “the 1st claimant to allow the 4th applicant to occupy the seat on the right side of the inner altar,” said Justice Ajama. According to Justice Ajama, “This undertaking was elicited from the 1st claimant in chambers on 7th February, 2013. It was done in chambers off record and the intervention of the court was

in the spirit of allowing peace to reign.” However, the applicants alleged that the claimants conspired to unseat the 4th Respondent and that they resisted, in an apparent breach of the truce mediated by the court. The applicants therefore prayed the court for an “Order compelling the 1st to 6th claimants to allow the 4th defendant/ applicant to occupy his proper seat and position inside the inner altar as the Supreme Administrative Leader and Spiritual head of St. Julianah Cherubim & Seraphim Church, Oke-Igbala, pending the determination of the substantive suit; and for any such order or other orders as the court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of the case.” Counsel to the claimants, however urged the court to dismiss the application, saying that it will amount to determining a substantive issue at the interlocutory stage and that it will be contrary to the suspension and removal of the 4th respondent as spiritual leader and head of the church as shown in exhibits B & C.

Mini bus ban: Passengers struggling to board a tricycle in Abuja, yesterday.

PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Youths call for investigation over killing SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

C

oalition of youth organisations in Edo State has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately direct the Department of State Security to take over investigation in the murder of a 22-year old, 500-Level student of the University of Benin, Mr. Ibrahim Momodu. In a communiqué marking the 2013 International Youth Day in Benin, the leaders of 53 youth groups called for the im-

mediate redeployment of the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Foluso Adebanjo, to pave way for a thorough investigation of the extra-judicial murder. It also urged the federal and state governments to give a proper re-burial to the late student allegedly murdered and hurriedly laid to rest in a public cemetery on orders of the former Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ogida Police Station, Mrs. Carol Onyeka Afegbai, who has since been allegedly redeployed in a bid to exonerate her. Momodu, was allegedly shot

while returning home on Friday, May 27th 2013 by a Corporal, Mr. Amadin Idahosa, during a patrol led by Mrs. Carol Afegbai. According to the late student’s family, the policeman shot and killed the victim during a stopand-search exercise on orders of Afegbai, who alleged that the victim wanted to shoot her. While Mrs. Afegbai has been transferred to Ibadan, Oyo State, Mr. Amadin was summarily dismissed by the Nigeria Police Force even without any of the two officers being investigated or prosecuted for the murder.

Meanwhile, the coalition had warned that it would resort to self help if the Federal Government refuses to heed its call regarding the immediate investigation and prosecution of Amadin and Afegbai. The coalition included Edo Youth Congress, Edo Youth for Good Governance, South- south Youth League, Pan Nigeria Youth Congress, United Youth for Social Justice and Equity and the Initiative for Youth Awareness on Migration, Immigration, Development and Reintegration

Monarch urges love among Nigerians FRANCIS SUBERU

T

he Osolu of Osolu kingdom in Ojo Local Government Council Area of Lagos, His Royal Majesty Oba Abideen Adekanbi Durosinmi ,has advocated love among Nigerians as the only factor that can engender rapid development and transformation of the country. The monarch made the remark in his goodwill message at the second annual anniversary service of the Episcopal Church of Cherubim & Seraphim of Zion Nigeria Worldwide, Itedo Awon Alore Parish, on the Lagos-Badagry. According to him, Nigerians irrespective of religion or race should love one another as exemplified by Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed. The traditional ruler however berated some elected public office holders at federal and state levels over the lack of love for the public, saying this is responsible for the high level of poverty in Nigeria. Oba Durosinmi, accused them of being self centred, adding that good governance will continue to elude the country as far as such attitude persists. His words: “There is no love in Nigeria and it is what has brought us to this level, the politicians are self centred, they only think of themselves and family. A government that loves the people will do the right thing and not only to amass wealth”. He said the killing and shedding of innocent blood by the Boko Haram sect is as result of lack of love for fellow human beings, stressing that nobody would take the lives of those he or she loves. He also called on Nigerians to pray for the success of President Goodluck Jonathan administration and appealed to politicians to allow him complete his tenure rather than fomenting crisis that could make him lose focus. In his sermon, the chairman of Apapa Zonal Conference of C&S Church of Zion, Supreme Headquarters, Omogun - Kristi Eretan called on all and sundry to think of how to make heaven and work towards it. He identified humility, love for one another, righteousness and total submission to the will of God as some of the factors that should guide one’s daily life. Earlier in his welcome address, the minister in- charge of the church, Rev. Pastor Sunday Oyesaanu, had explained that the anniversary service is meant to applaud God for his mercy and protection over the church and country at large, adding that a six day revival service had preceded the anniversary where prayers were offered for the peace and progress of the country.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

x

Cocktail

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (189)

“If a player was prepared for the little things, that player would be ready for the major challenges.”–Harvey Pink DO NOT BE TOO BIG TO START SMALL! When we are ready to be content with small, even though we keep striving for the big league, we are in the right track. Something is seriously wrong with wanting things to happen in a hurry. Something is wrong with a mind that is rushing to succeed without going through the process. Mushroom can grow within a day, but the lifespan is pitiably short. An oak tree may take too long to blossom, but it will last for years. It is in mastering the little that we are prepared to handle the big. Whatever one can do to develop patience with faith will not be a wasteful investment. Many big things we see around us today began in small ways. Even God started the human race with just two people. If we despise the days of small beginnings, we are not wise. No man is big today who was not small yesterday. The young people of today are so much in a hurry to make it. And they run into problems here and there. It is good to associate with those who can teach us faith and patience. When we see big things happening around us, let us take the pains to probe and ask questions. What we will see in most cases are humble beginnings. DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile

51

Oddities

Two men with same name win $1m prize

K

evin Lewis became a million dollars richer over the weekend in Cincinnati. And thanks to a casino blunder, another Kevin Lewis also become a millionaire. Before a crowded room and cameras it was announced at the Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati that Kevin Lewis was the second winner of three $1 million promotional giveaways. “When I heard my name I said, ‘God finally gave me a big win’ . . . a lot of screaming and happiness, being at the right place, at the right time,” Kevin L. Lewis the 52-year-old

Cincinnati native told local ABC TV station WCPO. After the photographs and jubilation were over, the casino learned it had made a mistake. The rightful winner, Kevin Lewis, 50 and also a Cincinnati native, was at home. “This was our blunder,” Horseshoe Cincinnati Senior Vice President and General Manager Kevin Kline told the television station.

In this case, the milliondollar error worked in the favor of both men. Each will be awarded a million-dollar prize, and the casino vowed to step up verification of winners before the next event. “There were a lot of similarities between the two gentlemen that led to confusion on our end,” casino spokeswoman Jennifer Kulczycki told Cincinnati.com, adding, “It was human error.”

The casino told the local station it practices two levels of verification for prize winners, but it was only after the final identity check that the mistake was caught. And despite already awarding the allotted prize money for the giveaway, the casino said that it will still hold the third of three planned million-dollar drawings, as originally promised in Septem

31-pound 31 d catt lloves h human ffood d and d iis placed on diet

T

here’s a real-life fat cat that’s straining the scales at 31.4 pounds. The kitty named Buddha is enormous, and enormously overweight. The prescription: a serious diet and more exercise. The 6-year-old feline was rescued from a Nashville, Tenn., shelter after its

previous owner gave him up for adoption. Not only does Buddha need a new home, but the white and black cat also needs a new and healthy lifestyle. Pet shop owner Chris Achord is caring for Buddha until he is down to a healthy weight of 19 or 20 pounds and can be adopted. The biggest problem

with the big cat, just as with Garfield, his cartoon counterpart, is that big Buddha hates to diet and seems to prefer people food, according to the Daily Mail. Buddha’s new owner said the picky eater gets excited around lunch time when most humans eat, especially when foods like pasta are on the menu.

One of the Kevin Lewis (2nd from left) holding a cheque for his winning

PHOTO: ABC NEWS


52

Classified

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


Wednesday August 14, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

53

World News

“I must reiterate once again, and categorically, that I never considered entering politics”

Palestinian-Israeli peace talks resume amid construction row

–FORMER ITALY’S PM, SILVIO BERLUSCONI’S OLDEST DAUGHTER MARINA

54

Keita wins Mali’s presidential election PAUL ARHEWE,

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

M

ali’s presidential election has been won by Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after his rival admitted defeat in the second round. Ex-Finance Minister Soumaila Cisse said he had congratulated Mr Keita and wished him good luck. Keita, 68, served as prime minister from 1994 to 2000. Mali has suffered a year of unrest including a military coup and a French-led military intervention to oust Islamist rebels from the north. A 12,600-strong United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Mali (Minusma) is currently deploying to the West African nation, as France begins to withdraw its 3,000 troops. Meanwhile, Soumaila Cisse, loser in Mali’s presidential elections, vowed yesterday that he would build the country’s first proper opposition in years, as Malians applauded his concession to Ibrahim Boubacar Keita which dispelled fears of fresh conflict. Mali seems to be headed towards a peaceful end of its electoral process after Cisse conceded to Ibrahim Boubacar Keita following Sunday’s run-off vote. This is yet another example that politics is not an exact science -many had predicted chaos if Mali held elections so soon. France, anxious to get its troops

Loser vows to create opposition

Keita waving to his supporters.

out of Mali after routing Islamist militants from northern regions earlier this year, faced criticism for pushing for early polls. Yet the electoral success lies more with the Malian people, who firmly believed the polls would end an era of turmoil. Cisse got that message and did not want the process to drag on. The results so far show he is losing by a wide margin. But this is not a blank cheque for Keita. The voters’ message is clear: “You’ve now got the legitimacy so you need to get us out of this mess.” Malians did not want a post-election crisis, and Cisse sided with them. So he has lost and won at the same time. No official results have yet

PHOTO: TELEGRAPH

been released following Sunday’s run-off, however, reports had put Mr Keita well ahead. In the first round Cisse, who pledged to improve education, create jobs and reform the army, polled just 19% against Mr Keita’s 40% and most of the other candidates then gave Mr Keita their endorsements. Late on Monday, Cisse tweeted that he and his family had just left the home of Keita “future president of Mali, to congratulate him for his victory. May God bless Mali”. He later told private Malian television Africable that he wished Keita success “so that you can have the strength to take up the enormous challenges that

Egyptian police disperse pro-Morsi march in Cairo

E

gyptian police have fired tear gas to break up crowds of supporters of detained ex-leader Mohammed Morsi during a march in central Cairo. Morsi supporters went to a government compound to protest

at the appointment of army officers as local governors. Local residents then clashed with the pro-Morsi crowds and both sides threw bottles and stones at each other, before security forces moved in.

Police detaining a supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi during clashes in central Cairo, yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS

The army deposed Morsi in July and put in place an interim government. Supporters of Morsi, an Islamist leader who came from the Muslim Brotherhood movement, refuse to accept the new government and insist he must be reinstated. They say the military overthrew a democratically elected government and is now attempting to entrench its power. Opponents of Morsi say he used his year in power to dismantle secular, democratic institutions in order to increase the influence of Islam. Tuesday’s trouble began when crowds of Morsi’s supporters marched to an area of Cairo that houses several government buildings, and is also home to many people who oppose the Muslim Brotherhood.

await you’’, the Associated Press news agency reports. The BBC’s reporter in the capital, Bamako, said Keita - known as IBK - had the support of influential moderate Islamic leaders; he was also considered the favourite of the military, including last year’s coup leaders. The 68-year-old will now oversee more than $4bn (£2.6bn) in foreign aid promised to rebuild the country after a turbulent 18 months. His new government will also be obliged to open peace talks with the separatist Tuareg rebels within two months following a ceasefire that allowed voting to take place in the north. Military officers staged a coup in March 2012 - a month ahead of scheduled elections - accusing the government of failing to end a Tuareg rebellion in the north. The Tuareg rebels were allied with al-Qaeda-aligned groups, but the alliance quickly crumbled with the Islamists occupying major cities such as Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu where they imposed a strict form of Islamic law. In January, France sent more than 4,000 troops in January and together with West African troops regained control of northern towns and cities. Tuareg rebels then captured Kidal, the only town in Mali where the Tuaregs form a majority, and agreed a deal in June to allow nationwide elections to go ahead. The protesters were angry because at least 15 former military officers have been sworn in as local governors. The demonstrators tried to get into a government compound, but were forced out and then clashed with local residents and police. Women and children fled the scene, as both sides threw bottles and stones at each other. Witnesses said residents pelted the demonstrators from balconies, taunting them by calling them terrorists. Millions of Egyptians had protested in favour of Morsi’s removal, but correspondents say his ousting appears to be deepening the divisions in Egyptian society. His supporters have set up two camps in central Cairo, where they have been holding sit-ins. The authorities threatened to remove the camps earlier this week, but then said they would delay the plan.

WORLD BULLETIN Mugabe plans ‘final phase’ of black ownership of foreign firms

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe said yesterday he saw his victory in last month’s election as a mandate for “total” application of policies forcing foreign-owned firms to sell majority stakes to local investors. Addressing a Defence Forces Day rally, Africa’s oldest leader at 89, maintained a belligerent defence of his re-election on July 31, which is being challenged in court as fraudulent by his main political rival, Morgan Tsvangirai. Rejecting this challenge along with questions by Western governments about the election’s credibility, Mugabe said his new five-year term extending his 33 years in power gave him the chance to enact what he called the last chapter of a fiercely nationalist economic strategy. His so-called “indigenization” policy seeks to redistribute wealth by forcing foreign-owned firms to sell at least 51 percent to black Zimbabweans. The local operations of the world’s two largest platinum producers, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum Holdings, have already been targeted by this policy, and foreign-owned banks are also seen as likely targets.

South African police complete Pistorius murder probe

South African police have completed their murder investigation into global track and field star Oscar Pistorius, who will appear in court next week to receive detailed charges for the Valentine’s Day shooting of his girlfriend. The double-amputee, known as “Blade Runner” for the prostheses he wears in competition, is due in court on August 19 for a hearing that will likely be brief and procedural. He was released on bail in February after being charged with murder. Police said on Tuesday they had used forensic experts, ballistics experts, psychologists and technology experts to investigate the February 14 death of Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot by Pistorius through a closed bathroom door at his upmarket Pretoria home.

CAR: UN agencies provide aid amid widespread lawlessness

United Nations humanitarian agencies yesterday voiced deep concern over the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), where hundreds of thousands of people continue to be affected by lawlessness and insecurity, and widespread fear is reported among residents. Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said the agency was continuing to see “forced displacement” within and from CAR.


54

World News WORLD BULLETIN

China bans extravagant official parties to curb graft China will ban officials from holding extravagant galas linked to official meetings that have hurt the image of the government, the latest move by President Xi Jinping to fight corruption, state media said on Tuesday. All areas of government will be barred from using their funds to organize galas, often staged with expensive celebrities, state news agency Xinhua reported, citing a circular from the government. Xinhua said the grandiose performances were “extravagant and wasteful” and had “damaged the image of the Chinese Communist Party and the government, triggering public complaints”. Anyone flouting the ban will be punished, Xinhua said. Large-scale meetings of government and the ruling party, such as those of provincial legislatures, are often marked by variety shows featuring made-up child performers and people dressed up as happy ethnic minorities. The new rules echo similar demands made of party officials by Xi since he took over as party chief last November. He has made cutting back on extravagance and waste a key theme of his administration, seeking to assuage anger at corruption and restore faith in the party.

Wednesday August 14, 2013

A

10-minute drive from where negotiators will sit down today to resume long-stalled Middle East peace talks, Israeli bulldozers are busy reshaping land that Palestinians want for their future state. Settler homes are popping up across East Jerusalem and major roads are being built to burgeoning Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. Israel has just approved plans for 3,100 new homes on the territory it seized in the 1967 Middle East war. The non-stop building on the land that is at the heart of the conflict raises serious doubts about whether the latest round of U.S.brokered talks can result in a deal to create an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. “The two-state solution by now is unobtainable,” said Dani Dayan, a former chairman of the settler movement, arguing that any accord palatable to the Palestinians would involve removing so many settlers that it would be impossible to enact. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the driving force behind the resumption of talks following a three-year hiatus, agrees it is a major problem, but says there is time for a final push. “What this underscores is the importance of getting to the table, getting to the table quickly,” he told reporters in Colombia on

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Palestinian-Israeli peace talks resume amid construction row

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) leading a cabinet meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, recently. PHOTO: REUTERS

Monday when asked about the series of Israeli building announcements in the run-up to the new negotiations. Israel has rejected criticism of its construction plans, saying the new homes would be erected in settlements within blocs it intends to keep in any future peace deal with the Palestinians. The settler numbers are imposing. In 2010, when the Palestinians

quit negotiations over settlement building, some 311,110 Israelis were living in the West Bank. Today, according to Israel’s Army Radio, this has surged to 367,000. Adding in East Jerusalem, then the number of Israelis living beyond the 1967 lines rises to nearly 600,000. Few, if any, would willingly quit their homes as part of a peace deal. After an initial round of meet-

ings in Washington at the end of last month, the real discussions start on Wednesday, with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni facing Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat in Jerusalem’s King David Hotel. The negotiations will be moderated by U.S. envoy Martin Indyk, with the next encounter already penciled in for later this month in the West Bank city of Jericho.

I would still be a martyr if executed, says US Fort Hood terrorist

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he Army psychiatrist on trial for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood told mental health experts after the attack that he “would still be a martyr” if convicted and executed by the government, according to a newspaper report Tuesday. Those remarks by Maj. Nidal Hasan in 2010 are being made public at a time when his standby attorneys in his military trial, which continued yesterday, are insisting that he wants jurors to

sentence him to death. Hasan told a panel of military mental health experts that he wished he had been killed in the attack, because it would have meant God had chosen him for martyrdom, according to documents obtained by The New York Times. The documents were part of a report that concluded Hasan was fit to stand trial. Hasan was left paralyzed from the waist down after Fort Hood police officers ended the rampage by shooting him in the back.

“I’m paraplegic and could be in jail for the rest of my life,” Hasan told a panel of military mental health experts, according to the documents. “However, if I die by lethal injection, I would still be a martyr.” The documents were released to the newspaper by John Galligan, Hasan’s former civilian defence attorney. Galligan did not immediately return phone messages yesterday. Hasan, 42, is acting as his own attorney during the trial that began a week ago at Fort Hood.

‘UN still negotiating with Syria on chemical weapons’

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.N. chemical weapons investigators are ready to visit Syria to investigate the use of chemical weapons, but a deal has yet to be reached with the Syrian government after two weeks of talks on safety assurances for the team, the United Nations said on Tuesday. “Once the government of Syria confirms its acceptance of the modalities, the

mission will depart without delay,” the United Nations said in a statement. It has been nearly two weeks since the United Nations said the Syrian government had agreed to let a team of experts travel to three sites where chemical weapons are reported to have been used. One, Khan al-Assal in Aleppo, is where the Syrian government says rebels used chemical weapons in March.

The other two locations to be visited have not yet been identified. The United Nations said it has received 13 reports of possible chemical weapons use - one from Syria’s government and the rest mainly from Britain, France and the United States. The Syrian government and the opposition have accused each other of using chemical weapons, and both have denied it.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Taraba police arrest three for allegedly killing village head T he Taraba State Police Command yesterday said it had arrested three people in connection with the killing of Kole Village Head in Wukari Local Government Area. The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Jibrin Adeniji, told journalists that the three suspects were arrested for allegedly conspiring to kill Abdul Sarkin-Yamma. He said that SarkinYamma was, until his death in May, the Village Head of Kole in Bantaje

District of Wukari Local Government Area. Adeniji said the suspects were arrested on August 1, 2013 after investigation by the police. He said two of the suspects, had confessed to committing the offence. The commissioner said the suspects claimed that said they were hired by a man to kill Sarkin-Yamma. The police boss said investigation into the matter had been completed and the suspects would be charged to court.

Responding to questions by journalists, the suspects said that their sponsor mobilised them to commit the crime. They told the police that the sponsor said he was angry with the village head for allegedly making him pay N200, 000 as fine for injuring a cow. They further confessed that the sponsor promised to give them 15 cows each after successfully carrying out the assignment. One of the suspects said: “It was our spon-

sor who gave us the gun to kill Sarkin-Yamma. I shot at him three times without getting him. It was then that my colleague gave him machete cuts until he died after he had fallen into a ditch in an attempt to escape from us.” But the alleged sponsor denied the allegation, saying he had never met the suspects before. He said the allegation was a frame up by his enemies, expressing optimism that he would be vindicated.

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Exam malpractices: Kwara poly targets corrupt lecturers WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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he management of the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, has initiated a major strategy to curb examination malpractices among students and corrupt lecturers. The management has, therefore, set up a “marking conference” to arrest alleged exploitation of students by the lecturers. The school’s Rector, Mr. Masud Elelu, made this known yesterday at a press conference to herald the hosting of the Council of Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology in Nigeria (COHEADS) by his institution. According to Elelu, the era of students’ fate lying in the hands of lecturers occasioned by sharp practices and other forms of

harassments in the name of marking answer scripts is gone in the polytechnic. The Rector said aside the fact that answer scripts would be marked by a team of lecturers in each department, external markers could even be invited in case of disputes. Meanwhile, the polytechnic has secured accreditation for 51 of the 57 programmes it is running. Elelu said the 40-yearold institution had begun building an e-library to boost learning and research. The rector, who highlighted the achievements being recorded by the polytechnic, said with the assistance of TETFUND, the institution had been sending its staff on retraining in countries like South Africa, Kenya, Israel and Ghana so as to boost their intellectual capacity.

Crisis in Benue PDP good for opposition –CNPP HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

C A collapsed classroom block at Gwadabawa Primary School in Sokoto State yesterday.

PHOTO: NAN

NUT strike: Group declares Black Mondays in Kogi

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he Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Kogi State yesterday declared every Monday begin from August 9, 2013 as “Black Monday” to protest the lingering primary school teachers’ strike. This is contained in a communiqué jointly signed by Mr Paul Agada and Mr Victor Adejoh of Civil Society Action Coalition for Education for All (CSACEFA) and Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) respectively. The communiqué was issued after a one-day meeting to discuss issues of “Condition of Service for Teachers and Educational System’’.

The meeting was organised by the PIBCID supported by ActionAid in collaboration with CSACEFA and attended by 17 organisations. The coalition described the lingering teachers’ strike and what it saw as the sordid state of education in the state. It called on teachers, parents, students and all citizens to put on black clothes every Monday as a non-violent protest to draw government and other stakeholders’ attention to problems in the education sector. The coalition also criticised the “commercialisation” of the ongoing teachers’ recruitment exercise by the state Teaching Service Commission (TSC) in

which each applicant was being charged N3,400. The coalition said no fewer than 15,000 unemployed graduates had so far applied for the 500 slots advertised. “In pursuit of its commercial intentions, the commission had shortlisted all, including unqualified candidates who paid the N3,400 for the examination,” it said. The coalition also queried the rationale behind the call on National Examination Council (NECO) to conduct the recruitment examination instead of the National Teachers’ Institute (NTI) or even the ministry. “We recommend that the NTI rather than NECO has the statutory ground

to train teachers and to set examinations for graduates seeking employment as teachers,’’ it stated. It also appealed to the state government to consider recalling qualified and experienced teachers erroneously retrenched in the 2009 Sally Tibot Staff Audit before fresh recruitment of teachers. The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in May declared a nationwide strike in 18 states over many issues, including the non-implementation of minimum wage structure for primary schools teachers. While 17 other states called off the strike, it continued in Kogi because the teachers claimed that the government was yet to meet their demands.

hairman of the Conference for All Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) in Benue State, Mr. Baba Agan, has described the leadership crisis rocking the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state as healthy and a welcome development. Agan told National Mirror that the crisis would enhance the recently registered All Progressives Congress (APC) to have a cleansweep in the forthcoming elections in the country. The CNPP chairman said the opposition would cash in on the crisis to have a smooth ride in 2015. He said: “The opposition in Benue State is not losing sleep over the manipulative tendency of the ruling PDP.” The Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) chieftain, however, said that the opposition would succeed Governor Gabriel Suswam in the 2015 general elections. Agan said: “Everything has been put in place to ensure that power shift. A credible candidate will be presented to challenge PDP candidate in the 2015 gover-

norship race.” When asked to reveal the identity of the likely candidate, the PRP chieftain said: “It is too early to expose our joker. When the time is ripe, we shall adequately inform the electorate of who takes over from Governor Suswam.” Meanwhile, former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, has urged the APC leadership to embark on aggressive drive to bring eminent Nigerians of proven integrity into its fold. Tsav told National Mirror in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, that the acceptability and charisma that greeted the newly registered party by Nigerians was a welcome development. He said that with the emergence of APC, many wrongs would be corrected. The former police boss said the ruling PDP may lose the Benue State governorship seat to the opposition in 2015. Tsav said: “If only the opposition can present a credible candidate, surely it will defeat PDP because nobody is sure of what the PDP is doing and equally people are also disenchanted with the party.”


WORLD RECORD

Highest hotel (in a mixed-use building) Vol. 03 No. 686

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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N150

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong occupies floors 102 to 118 on the top of the 484-m (1,588-ft) International Commerce Centre (ICC), in Hong Kong. It opened in 2011.

Nigeria’s fiddling legislators

igerian legislators, especially those in the National Assembly are fast acquiring the insidious reputation of modern day Nero, fiddling while ‘Rome’ burns. Presently, Nigeria is no better than Emperor Nero’s days when rulers of the empire threw decorum to the winds and engaged in all manner of epicurean and licentious living at the expense of their less privileged and deprived subjects. Such rancorous debauchery and depravities found expression in wild parties and vigils where tons of choice wines were consumed in the company of minors and women of easy virtues. Therefore, it did not come as any surprise that the most pressing legislative matter which recently engaged attention of the Senate was that calling for the retention of section 29 (4) of the 1999 Constitution which stipulates that “any woman

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

who is married in Nigeria is of age”. Invariably, this invalidates the age of consent which is 18 years. What it means, is that any girl could be given away in marriage even while in the crèche. In the midst of competing bills meant to improve the country’s infrastructure, create employment and raise living standards, the only one that could capture and hold senators’ imagination was that dwelling on whether a little girl yet to attain puberty should be married off to a man old enough to be her grandfather. As Nigerians watched the debates and humdrum reasons adduced by those predisposed to the idea, they came away convinced that our lawmakers in the National Assembly are there to promote their hedonic pastime. If only they will expend such monumental efforts debating on bills me that will bring the country out of the present doldrums. But such wishful thinking would only take eternity to come true, given the real reasons why many of them went into politics in the first place. Here, politics and lawmaking is about keeping their mouths permanently in the nation’s financial trough and anything that would divert their attention and interest from this ignoble goal is stoutly resisted. If not, how come some weeks ago, the Senate voted that principal officers of the National Assembly (NASS) should be on pension for life? According to the new subsection (5a) Section 84 of the Constitution which was inserted, “Any person who has held the office as President or Deputy President of the Senate, Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be entitled to pension for

FACT REMAINS THAT NIGERIA CANNOT AFFORD THE EXPENSIVE PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT WITH THE MYRIAD APPURTENANCES AND INHERENT CORRUPTION THAT GO WITH IT. life at a rate equivalent to the annual salary of the incumbent President or Deputy President of the Senate, Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives”. Definitely, the National Assembly is opening a ‘Pandora’s box’ which for a long time would not only drain the country’s lean resources but also divert whatever remains to the pandering of frivolities and creature comfort of former legislators. In voting for this, the senators never let Nigerians know whether the law should be retroactive, in which case it would take care of their past leaders way back to the Second Republic. Unarguably, they have remained silent on the position of those principal officers sacked or disgraced from office. Normally, Nigerians will want to know whether those presently on pension from their states and federal government will be entitled to the proposed largesse. If so, they will be earning double income paid

for by the same taxpayers. It is this wanton ways of lawmakers that is behind calls for making the business of legislature part-time. Political analysts and commentators have consistently railed against making our legislators full time workers, given the enormous resources involved. Many have also, questioned the rationale of importing an American style government to Nigeria, especially with the rudimentary level of our economic development and the dire straits of our finances. The often held argument that, the system would help solve our chronic dysfunctional politics is neither tenable nor backed by empirical facts. Rather, the shibboleths of religious and ethnic politics have remained apparent, albeit in disguised forms. Fact remains that Nigeria cannot afford the expensive presidential system of government with the myriad appurtenances and inherent corruption that go with it. Probably, the senators are emulating their American counterparts. Come to think of it, the United States of America is the richest country in the world and can conveniently pay the high wages that come with their system of government. If California, the largest state in the US is to be an independent country, it would be the sixth largest economy in the world, far richer than entire sub Saharan Africa. Moreover, all members of American congress pay Social Security taxes in the same amount as they would if they were employed in the private sector at the same salary. This pension varies and depends on years of service, age at the time of retirement, and salary. Also, American senators contribute 1.3 percent of their annual salary into the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and pay another 6.2 percent in Social Security taxes. They receive retirement annuity not exceeding 80 percent of their final salary. It is doubtful whether their Nigerian counterparts pay into pension funds and even taxes commensurate with their outlandish salaries and emoluments. Therefore, it would be the height of disservice to the voters and taxpayers, if they are allowed to be reaped off in the guise of retirement pension.

Sport Extra

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orld number five, Roger Federer, says his recent injury concerns are under control and is confident to make a strong defence of his Cincinnati Masters title. The 32-year-old Swiss

Federer ready for Cincinnati defence is expected to open his account today as he gets a bye in the first round. Federer, a five-time winner in Cincinnati, suffered shock defeats on the clay courts of Hamburg and

Gstaad during July while suffering from back pain. But he remains upbeat about his chances next week, when he is drawn to face number for Rafa Nadal at the quarter-final

stage. “My passion is sky high. If the passion doesn’t overweigh all the rest, the end is extremely near,” he said yesterday. “You might be doing

it for the wrong reasons. But I love what I’m doing. “I wanted to get over Wimbledon as quickly as possible. I was ready to go in Hamburg and tried to enjoy playing.”

Federer

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