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SURE-P: We’ve uncovered over N500bn, says Senate committee ...accuses petroleum minister of concealment

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he Senate Ad hoc Committee on Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, yester-

Alison-Madueke

Vol. 3 N0. 736

day accused the Ministry of Petroleum Resources of mismanaging the fund. This is just as the committee said that the fraud

uncovered last month had gone beyond the initial N500 billion. The committee also

Centenary city project to fetch N3trn –Anyim P.5

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

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FG breaks ASUU’s ranks, shifts ultimatum to Dec 9 …UNIBEN, UNIPORT, UNIABUJA, MOUAU resume academic activities We’ve met ASUU’s demands, say officials

SAM OLUWALANA, OBIORA IFOH AND FEMI OYEWESO

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he Federal Government has succeeded in breaking the ranks of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, with the resumption of duties by some lecturers. The Federal Government had last week issued an ultimatum to lecturers to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Senate has 120 bills for President’s signature P.44

Tambuwal seeks US support on 2015 elections, Boko Haram P.4

L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan; governors Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe); Babangida Aliyu (Niger) and Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), at the second North-East Economic Summit in Gombe, yesterday.

Poverty not cause of insurgency in the North, says Jonathan Borno reviews curfew, restores GSM

APC condemns Maiduguri attack, seeks new strategy

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Man arrested over customised INEC laptop

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Poverty not cause of insurgency in the North, says Jonathan GEORGE OJI, INUSA NDAHI AND DANJUMA WILLIAMS

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday denied the notion that poverty was responsible for the insurgency in the North-East. The President’s denial came on the heels of the condemnation of Monday’s deadly attack on military formations in Maiduguri, Borno State, by Boko Haram Islamic sect by the All Progressives Congress, APC. He was speaking at the second North-East Economic Summit in Gombe, saying that those holding the notion were not well informed about the situation on ground. The President added that his administration would end the insurgency bedeviling the sub-region. “This administration rejects the notion that the region is the poorest because this notion comes from people who are not well informed,” the President said. He noted that the NorthEast alone produced more than 50 per cent cattle and livestock for the country and was blessed with abundant human and natural resources, stressing that there was no cash crop in the country that could not be grown in the region. The President rolled out the Federal Government’s intervention in the region from road construction, agriculture, water supply, power and employment. He said that his administration would continue in its efforts with the state governments in the region to address the socio-economic problems of the region. While commending the governors for the initiative, the President charged them to sustain the summit and promised that the NorthEast would receive the greatest support in the development drive of the region. Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo noted that the challenges confronting the area were serious, stressing that agriculture, education and infrastructural development remained the key to the transformation of the region. He commended the Federal Government for the establishment of three universities in the region, funding of state universities and the

construction of Tsangaya (Almajiri) schools. The governor called for the assistance of the Federal Government in the reconstruction of schools destroyed as a result of security challenges and solicited for foreign investors and Federal Government’s support for investment in the region. He also called on the Federal Government to help move the sub-region out of its present predicament of insecurity. APC, in a statement issued in Abuja by its interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the attacks on Nigerian Air Force planes and helicopters at the NAF base in Maiduguri were disturbing, considering the hitherto effective use of aerial attacks against the Boko Haram sect. It said that nothing could justify such deadly attacks on the military and the deaths and damages inflicted on civilians. APC, however, called for a renewed strategy to combat the sect, which seemed to retain the capacity to carry out such a massive attack in a major city, despite the successes which the military said it had recorded against it since the declaration of a state of emergency in three states last May. The party said the strategy must place a great emphasis on the gathering of intelligence through which such attacks could be nipped in the bud, adding that failure of intelligence, more than anything else, made Monday’s attack possible. It called for a probe into how hundreds of attackers could so easily infiltrate military facilities, which were believed to be highly secured. “The probe must unravel why the security personnel in the city in general and the military installations in particular were apparently caught unawares by the attackers, who were reported by some newspapers to number as many as 500, riding in trucks and motorcycles. “If military installations in a major city can be so easily overrun by a band of marauders, then no one and no facilities are safe. That’s why the government and the military must work hand in hand to unravel why such a massive attack on military installations was possible

in the first instance,’’ APC said. The 24-hour curfew imposed on Borno State capital, Maiduguri, and its environs following Monday’s

attack was yesterday reviewed by the state government to dusk to dawn. The review of the curfew came on the heels of restoration of GSM lines to

Borno State yesterday. It will be recalled that telecommunications line were shutdown in the state when President Jonathan declared state of emergency

on the three north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. In a statement by the Secretary to the Borno State CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

L-R: Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Ms. Nonny Ugboma; Mr. Ephraim Nwokonneya of the National Communications Commission presenting a hearing aid donated by the MTNF to Aisha Abubakar at the commemoration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Abuja, yesterday.

FG breaks ASUU’s ranks, shifts ultimatum to Dec 9 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

resume from their fivemonth-old strike on or before December 4 or get sacked. The ultimatum has, however, been shifted to December 9. ASUU on Monday, through its National President, Dr. Nasir Fagge, dared the Federal Government to carry out its threat to sack the lecturers, vowing to continue with the strike until its demands were met. But lecturers have returned to the classrooms at the University of Benin, UNIBEN; University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT; University of Abuja, UNIABUJA and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, MOUAU. At UNIBEN, lectures resumed yesterday in compliance with the Federal Government’s directive to lecturers to resume work. Our correspondent learnt that some of the lecturers had signed the resumption register stationed at the deans’ offices at the various faculties on the university. At the Faculty of Law, not less than 33 out of about 50 lecturers had signed the resumption register. At the Faculty of Management Sciences, lecturers had yet to sign the register, while the heads of departments in the Faculty of Agriculture were seen holding a faculty meeting.

Efforts to speak with the executives of the UNIBEN chapter of ASUU proved abortive as members of the union were holding a meeting. However, a lecturer in the university, who did not want his name mentioned, said that the strike was mismanaged by the national ASUU leadership. “We are not against ASUU or what it is fighting for, but we are against the methodology as well as the adamant and childish approach of the leadership at this point in time. “Agreement can be written or oral, and President Goodluck Jonathan has assured us that the agreement with ASUU would be implemented. “I think the sensible thing to do is to await the president’s directive to implement it; and if he does not do it, we then call up another strike. “Many of us are disappointed with the union leadership’s attempt to distort what has been agreed upon by all members across the country. “We believe in the Federal Government, we believe in what the highest authority in the country has said and we have decided to resume work. “And when we resume and the government is not doing anything about it; then, we will think of going

back on strike again,” the lecturer said. Efforts to contact the university’s management team on its next line of action proved abortive. Lectures have also commenced in almost all departments of the University of Abuja since Monday, a top official of the institution has said. The Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, Dr. Peter Maidoki, of the university, made this known yesterday. He said some members of ASUU, UniAbuja chapter, were responding positively to the Federal Government’s directive reopening the universities. Maidoki said that a register was opened at both the mini-campus and the permanent site of the university, for returning lecturers to sign. “I just signed and have finished attending to a class; my colleague has just taken over from me.” He said that some of the lecturers who had resumed work were eager to teach, but that there were no students in some departments to take lectures. According to him, members of ASUU have embarked on a campaign to discourage the students from returning. Maidoki, however, said that the few who had so far resumed were being given adequate attention.

“Attendance of students who were present at the lectures was taken,” he said. The director called on ASUU to suspend its strike, which he described as being over due, to enable the students to return to classes. The MOUAU has also reopened for the 2013/2014 academic session, an official has said. The Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mrs. Onyinye RalphNwachukwu, confirmed the resumption in Umuahia yesterday. Ralph-Nwachukwu said the institution reopened yesterday after a meeting of the Senate of the University on Monday. “The senate of the university met on Monday and resolved to reopen on Tuesday and students have started returning to campus,” she said. The spokesperson said the university time-table would be redesigned for the completion of outstanding examinations for the last semester of the 2012/2013 academic session. She explained that fresh students had commenced registration. But the Chairman of MOUAU-ASUU, Dr. Uzochukwu Onyebinama, said on the phone that the ASUU strike had not been called off. “The university has reopened, but we are still on CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>


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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

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Photo News

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

L-R: Deputy Managing Director, UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka; Executive Director, FirstBank, Mr. Abdullahi Ibrahim; Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Benjamin Dikki and Executive Director, FCMB, Mr. Adamu Nuru, during the signing of escrow agreement between BPE, Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc and banks in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

L-R: Deputy Managing Director, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka; first prize winner and student of Ambol Comprehensive High School, Akesan-Igando, Lagos, Master Ezenwa Okonkwo and President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Alhaji Alkali Mohammed, at the grand finale ceremony of UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for Secondary School Students at UBA House, in Lagos on Monday.

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L-R: Outgoing Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi; Executive Director, Risk Management/Chairperson, The Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria, Mrs. Onome Joy Olaolu; Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Alhaji Kabir Alkali Mohammed, at the investiture of Olaolu in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

L-R: CEO, Buhler AG, Mr. Calvin Grieder; Chairman, Honeywell Group, Dr. Oba Otudeko; President, Middle East & Africa, Buhler Management AG, Mr. Andreas Fluckiger and Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO, Honeywell Flour, Mr. Babatunde Odunayo, during the dinner organised in honour of the Buhler CEO in Lagos.

National News

SURE-P: We’ve uncovered over N500bn, says Senate committee CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

criticised the Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, for her failure to honour an invitation extended to her for the third time. Chairman of the Committee, Senator Abdul Ningi, said the denial issued by the ministry on the alleged N500 billion subsidy loot was not backed up by any statistical data. According to him, the fraud has gone beyond the N500billion yet to be accounted for by the minister. He said: “When we found out that this programme was not being run transparently enough for Nigerians to benefit from its dividends as

planned, we invited the minister, she didn’t come. “When we later discovered that out of the non-transparent running of the programme that about N500 billion was missing and published in the papers, instead of the minister to come out and defend the claim before us, she went to the papers, making denials without statistical data. “I want to assure Nigerians that we had gone further beyond the missing N500 billion, the details of which will be disclosed when the minister eventually honours our invitation. “The SURE-P programme is not being transparently run by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. This is the second letter of invitation

and it is a further testimony that some people in this country feel that they are greater than the country.” Ningi said everything would be done to make the minister appear before the committee, adding that there are many options available, including warrant of arrest and further letters of invitation. “We will continue to find ways and means of dealing with those who feel they are above the National Assembly, which means they are above the law and above the Nigerian nation. They thought that we are here just to waste our time and that nothing would happen, but I can assure you that something will happen sooner than later.

“The Senate will take a serious look at the matter. For a minister to shun the Senate three times showed the type of people they are. It is unfortunate; it is sad, this is just the beginning, aluta continua, victoria asertia,” he said. According to him, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, officially informed the committee of her absence at yesterday’s interactive session. “On Saturday, the minister of finance called to inform me that she was given an unscheduled assignment by the president to represent him in New York at a global forum and I asked her to put

Tambuwal seeks US support on 2015 elections, Boko Haram TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal yesterday solicited for the support of the United States to

tackle the growing insecurity in the country. The Speaker, who made the request in view of the recent carnage in Borno State, also sought the country’s assistance in conducting free and fair elections in 2015.

“Without a credible electoral system, we cannot have a workable democracy,” he said. The Speaker regretted Monday’s multiple attacks in Maiduguri, which claimed many lives. Earlier, the US Assis-

tant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Mrs. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who led a delegation of diplomatic staff at her Bureau to pay a courtesy call on the Speaker, assured of the country’s support.

that in writing. “Yesterday, I went for the PDP’s caucus meeting in the Presidential Villa and the president also informed me that he sought the postponement of our committee meeting with the minister of finance because if he is not attending the New York forum, then, she (OkonjoIweala) had to attend. “Despite this, the Ministry of Finance had also written a letter through the permanent secretary, which reads, ‘Re: Second letter of invitation to a meeting. I am directed that the Honourable Minister of Finance will not be available for the meeting with members of the Senate Special ad hoc Committee on SURE-P scheduled for December 3rd 2013, because the minister is currently representing the president at a global economic forum in Washington, DC.’ “In the meantime, the minister assured of her availability for Monday, 9 December. She hopes we would graciously grant her request,” he said.

Jonathan leaves for Germany

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resident Goodluck Jonathan left Abuja yesterday night for Germany en-route to Paris, France where he is scheduled to participate in the Summit on Peace and Security in Africa. About fifty heads of state and government are expected to participate in the Elysee Palace Summit which would be hosted by President Francois Hollande of France. The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, heads of European institutions and leaders of Africa’s sub-regional and continental organizations such as the African Union and ECOWAS would also participate in the summit which has economic partnerships, sustainable development and climate change on its agenda as well. Jonathan would be accompanied by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, relevant ministers and the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.).


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Centenary city project to fetch N3trn –Anyim TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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bout N3trn will accrue to government from investments in the Centenary City project being proposed by the Federal Government in the Federal Capital Territory,

FCT. The celebration is to mark 100 years of Nigeria’s unity. The Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, said that the Aerotropolis project initiated by the Ministry of Aviation and valued at about N300bn would facilitate the provision of

infrastructure, including roads, bridges, storm water drainage, potable water network, street lighting and telecommunication services. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, and Oduah appeared before the special ad hoc committee

set up by the House of Representatives to investigate alleged improper allocation, cases of land racketeering in the mass housing scheme, land swap and allocations of commercial and residential plots by the FCT from 2010 till date. Anyim gave indication that the authorities were

L-R: Assistant Education Officer, Secondary Education Board, Abuja, Mrs. Helen Sule; Public Relations and Events Manager, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr. Tope Ashiwaju and Coordinator, Indomie Fans Club, Mrs. Faith Joshua, during the annual Indomie teachers’ seminar in Abuja, yesterday.

Poverty not cause of insurgency in the North, says Jonathan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

Government, Ambassador Baba Ahmad Jidda, said the decision was taken by the government and security agencies. The government in the released to journalists about 4p.m. said: “The Borno State Government in consultation with security agencies has approved the review of the 24-hour curfew to commence from 7p.m. to 6a.m. each day until further notice. “All citizens are, therefore, enjoined to comply with the provisions of the curfew and cooperate with the provisions of the curfew and cooperate with security personnel on duty. “Vehicles on essential services such as ambulances, fire services and media personnel especially television and radio on duty are exempted.” The Senate yesterday deferred the earlier scheduled appearance of the service chiefs to brief members of the red chamber of the National Assembly on the security situation in the three northern states where emergency rule is currently in operation till tomorrow, Thursday. This is the third time the briefing is being deferred. Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, in a mo-

tion yesterday explained that the decision was at the request of the service chiefs, who asked for more time to brief the Senate. The service chiefs were expected to appear before the Senate yesterday to brief the lawmakers on the security situation in the three northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states currently under emergency rule. The decision to summon the security chiefs followed the request by President Jonathan to extend the emergency rule by six months, which was first imposed in the three states in May. President Jonathan had based his request for the extension of the emergency rule on the security report by the joint military operatives currently enforcing security in the affected states. Meanwhile, the Supervising Minister of Defence, Mr. Labaran Maku, said the ongoing armed confrontation between security forces and Boko Haram insurgents was not a civil war. Maku, the Minister of Information, said this in Abuja on Tuesday while fielding questions from journalists at a news conference to herald this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day. The minister was reacting to the opinion of the In-

ternational Criminal Court, ICC, that the ongoing armed confrontation between Nigeria and the Boko Haram was a civil war. “Nigeria is fighting a terror group,” Maku stressed. It will be recalled that the ICC at The Hague, Netherlands, on Sunday said the conflict between the Boko Haram insurgents and Nigerian security forces was no less than a declaration of civil war. In its latest report released at the weekend on the conflict in Nigeria, ICC said after a careful review of the situation, the violence in Nigeria qualified as an armed conflict of non- international character. “It is amazing that a terror attack on a nation is defined as a civil war. If it is a civil war, which part of the country is fighting which part?’’ He explained that when the country experienced civil war between 1967 and 1970, there was a region that wanted to be independent of it. “But in this, it is a war of terrorists against all Nigerians, particularly against those that live in their theatres of operation. “These terrorists have attacked Muslims, Christians and foreigners who pass through Nigeria; it is not a

civil war in my opinion. “What we are facing is a network of terrorists who have chosen to attack a part of our country and the whole nation is behind the armed forces to deal with these insurgents.’’ On the recent attack in Maiduguri, Maku said: ``I can say with pride that the incident was not only repelled but those who participated in the operation faced the fire of our armed forces. “I must say confidently that our armed forces are doing everything possible not only to ensure that we deal decisively with this incidence but to secure the north-east of Nigeria.’’ He said the fight was also to secure Nigeria’s boundaries, adding that occasionally, ``things like this will happen, as the country was dealing with an enemy that does not wear uniform. “I can tell you that as we continue in this operation and state of emergency, we are succeeding and for a very long time the army struck at the bases of these elements and chased them completely from Maiduguri. “And they are trying to strike back and I can tell you that most of those who came for that operation did not go back. This is a plus to the gallant soldiers’’, Maku emphasised.

concluding modalities for compensation to the Abuja original inhabitants and other property owners displaced to give way for the construction of the city to commemorate 100 years of Nigeria’s amalgamation. He, however, explained that all “encumbrances” in connection with the project would be eliminated by the FCT administration before any compensation to the beneficiaries could take place. “Why nothing has happened on the site today yet is because the investors in the city will not want to have any problem at all. They want every encumbrances to the city to be resolved completely. “The FCT administration is charged with anything compensation, resettlement and the authorities have already done the enumeration of those affected by the displacement including economic trees and buildings at the site. “The FCT has already forwarded the total bill to the planners to pay off all the economic trees, all the structures, compensation, resettlement and rehabilitation. We are in the process of transferring money to the authorities so that they can use the proper process to resolve all that. The centenary city is not doing anything on the area until every challenge about the site is resolved,” he said. Anyim explained that the proposed Centenary City would also bring direct foreign investment into the system, create employment for the teeming populations of the unemployed youths and save foreign reserve for the country. “The Centenary City has potential and we are anticipating that this city alone will bring foreign investment up to N3trn into the country. “It will bring direct foreign investment into the system and create employment and solve social problems like providing for the youths. It will also save foreign reserve because most of the things we go to do outside will now be done here. “We are also hoping that international conferences that do not hold here because we don’t have the facilities can now hold in Abuja because those facilities will be in the city,” he said. Ahead of the celebra-

tions next year, the Federal Government in August deployed officials and bulldozers from the FCT Department of Development Control to commence the removal of what it called illegal structures located on the site earmarked for the building of a Centenary City in the territory. The demolition exercise, which lasted three days, was expected to create the layout for the construction of structures on the 1,234 hectares stretching from Gosa Borehole area to Kuje bridge located along the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport [Umaru Musa Yar’dua] road in the FCT. The Federal Government on June 21, 2013 inaugurated the organising committee for the January 1, 2014 grand finale of the Nigeria Centenary Celebration with the FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, as the chairman. The nine-member committee had, among its terms of reference, the organisation and articulating of activities for the grand finale of the centenary celebrations on January 1, 2014, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nigeria via the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Protectorates. Also answering questions on the proposed Aerotropolis project by the Ministry of Aviation through the Abuja Land Swap scheme, Princess Oduah told the panel that the project valued at about N300bn will facilitate the provision of infrastructures including roads, bridges, storm water drainage, portable water network, street lighting and telecommunication services among others. Oduah said the airport infrastructure which is a 21 century phenomenon gaining ground all over the world will also boost the country’s economy and generate the much needed employment for the teeming youth. “The Aerotropolis in Abuja will generate N100 billion in revenue, ten million employment for the Abuja indigenes and infrastructure investment of N300bn as well as extend our GDP from aviation from 3 percent to 15 percent and create huge value chains in agriculture, tourism and a fatalist to economic growth,” the Minister said.


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Northern Christian elders want religion, tribe in 2016 Census A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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L-R: Vice-President Namadi Sambo (left) and Minister of Communications and Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson at the eNigeria 2013 Forum in Abuja, yesterday.

FG breaks ASUU’s ranks, shifts ultimatum to Dec 9 CONTINUED FROM 2 strike,” Onyebinama said. There was confusion at the University of Port Harcourt as discordant tunes echoes from the two sides of the divide as the institution’s chapter of ASUU chose to continue with the strike, even as the institution’s senate has set school’s reopening date for Sunday, December 8. The university’s Senate council, in its meeting yesterday released a new timetable for academic activities on the three campuses of the university, noting that lectures would resume on Monday, December 9, while students are ordered to be in their hostels by Sunday. The institution’s spokesman, Dr. William Wodi, said in Port Harcourt that despite the stance of ASUU to continue with the strike, many lecturers had indicated interest to resume class on the said date. Dr. Wodi, further explained that registers would be opened for academic activities and that those who obeys the directives of the school’s authority would receive their dues. However, reacting to the school authority’s orders, the Uniport branch of ASUU said that it would stick to the resolution of its national body to continue with the strike, while also lambasting the supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, for causing further damages to the various efforts being put into resolving the crisis. Chairman of the institution’s ASUU, Professor Anthonia Okerengwo, said the union’s congress

would wait for the federal government to show faith in the ongoing negotiations before calling off the strike. ASUU, UNIJOS, chapter said that classes would only resume in the institution if directed by the national body. The chapter Chairman, Dr David Jangdam said in Jos that the lecturers were waiting for directives from the nation body before the five-months strike could be called off. “Classes will only resume if directed by the national body,” he said. Jangdam said that the decision of the national body was final and binding on all local chapters. A visit to both the temporary and permanent sites of the university in Jos shows that they were deserted. The only visible presence was those of security personnel at the various entry and exit points. Jangdam also rejected suggestions that the lecturers had not been fair to university education in the country. But the South West zone of the union yesterday threatened to sanction any of its members who obeyed the federal government’s order. Arising from its congress which held inside the main campus of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, OOU, Ago-Iwoye in Ijebu North local government area of Ogun state, the lecturers vowed that the union would not succumb to threats by the Federal Government to sack them. The lecturers also maintained that they would continue their strike as long as the government refused to honour the agreements already

reached with the union. The Chairman of the OOU chapter of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Adesola, who is also the South West coordinator of ASUU while addressing the congress stressed that if the government could inject over two trillion into bailing out privately owned commercial banks, it should have no difficulty in expending public funds on government-owned universities. Adesola further stated that if federal government is genuine in getting the nation’s universities on course by getting the strike suspended, it should do that which is needful rather issuing threats. Meanwhile, the Federal Government said yesterday that it has met the demands of ASUU and there was no need to continue with the strike. Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday during an interactive session with leaders of the National Association of the Nigerian Students (NANS), Senior Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Students’ Matters, Comrade Jude Imagwe stated that a larger membership of ASUU campus chapters had voted for the immediate calloff of the strike. According to him, the administration believes that with the agreement and the result of the votes across the campuses, the Union has no reason for further sustenance of the strike, calling for the Union to complying with the call on them to resume work without further delay. He explained that the directive given by the government was not targeted to threaten the ASUU leadership but

to show government’s commitment towards ensuring that all university students return to school. Also, the Federal Government yesterday, shifted the earlier deadline of December 4, for university lecturers to resume activities. Consequently, a new date of December 9,has been fixed for resumption of academic and other allied activities. The development is in deference to the late former President of ASUU, Prof. Festus Iyayi, whose funeral rites begin on Thursday The Executive Secretary, ES, of the National Universities Commission NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, made the disclosure in Abuja, yesterday. Okojie also indicated the Federal Government’s readiness to pay the outstanding arrears of four months,owed lecturers of federal universities. According to Okogie, “Councils have been directed to shift the resumption date to December 9.” He said that the development has since been communicated to Pro-Chancellors,for necessary action. He continued: “You cannot pay someone who has failed to resume work. You are on strike and you want to be paid. What if some have already left the system? Some of our very bright lectures may have gotten jobs elsewhere already.” The executive secretary added that the issue of the Inclusion of a “NonVictimization Clause” as fresh demand by ASUU, did not come up at during the last meetings.

he new Chairman of the Northern Christians Elders’ Forum (NOSCEF), Elder Saidu Dogo, yesterday said Northern Christians are faced with injustice and persecution due to lack of accurate data on their numerical strength and called for the inclusion of ‘religion’ and ‘tribe’ clauses in the census exercise of 2016. NOSCEF also said it supported the call for representation at the planned national dialogue to be based on ethnic nationality and not by Local Government Areas (LGAs) as proposed by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF). The forum also went ahead to call on the Federal Government to call former House of Representative member, Dr. Junaid Mohammed to order, after he was quoted in a national daily as threatening that “blood would flow on the streets of Nigeria, should President Jonathan Goodluck contest the 2015 election.” Speaking during the inauguration of NOSCEF executive in Kaduna, Dogo said; “This new exco is going to follow the basis for which NOSCEF was formed - mainly to fight for the right of every Christian resident in the north and to inspire Chris-

tians to develop themselves and their churches by partaking in gainful ventures. “One of the basic problems we have in the north is the marginalisation that we face by the very unfair way that our population has been grossly underestimated. He continued: “A Malian or Chadian who is not a Christian, has more voice, rights and access to state resources than this group. It is same in most far northern states. NOSCEF is therefore insisting that the next census exercise in 2016 must make provisions for ‘religion and tribe,’ so that this matter can be settled. On election he said; “In 2011, they threatened to make Nigeria ungovernable if President Jonathan won the elections. Many did not take them serious until they unleashed a wave of destruction and massacre against Christians in the north. “Many who survived are still not able to recover from the consequences of that ordeal.” Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, represented by Kaduna State Head of Service, Mr. Akila Bungwon, said he acknowledged the past role of NOSCEF in peace building, assuring them of government’s support towards seeking sustainable peace, unity and development of Kaduna State.

Jonathan interested in 2015 than security –APC govs

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he Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of paying more attention to his ambition of retaining power in 2015 than addressing security challenges in the country. The Progressive Governors, who meet last night at the Kano State Governors Lodge in Abuja also commiserated with the people and government of Borno State Monday’s multiple attacks on Maiduguri airport, air force base and other facilities by the Boko Haram insurgents. In a statement issued yesterday, the governors lamented the precarious security situation in several parts of the country, despite the extension of the State of Emergency in some states and the tril-

lions of naira supposedly spent on security. The statement reads: “As it were, notwithstanding the fact that nearly one-third of this year’s Federal Government budget was devoted to defence and security, few Nigerians actually feel safe. “The most recent attack was particularly telling as it shows that President Goodluck Jonathan has no security agenda and is only focused on retaining power beyond 2015. “The result of this criminal negligence is the unabated slaughter of lives. Clearly the security structures set up in the region have been overwhelmed.” The governors called on the president to reassess his security strategy and focus more on the critical issues of the day.


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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

FG approves Customs’ takeover of destination inspection TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Federal Government yesterday directed the transition of Destination Inspection Service from Scanning Service Providers (SSPs) to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) following the expiration of the Destination Inspection Contract Agreements between it and the SSPs. A statement by the Special Adviser on Media to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Paul Nwabuikwu, confirmed that the transition was based on the President’s order. The contracts between the government and the SSPs were sealed in 2006. By the directive which took effect from 1st December 2013, the NCS had taken over full processing of all import transactions to Nigeria in accordance

with the amended Import Guidelines of the Destination Inspection Scheme. According to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, pursuant to the above, all Scanning Service Providers (Cotecna, SGS and Global Scan) shall cease to approve new Form M, issue Risk Assessment Report (RAR) or perform Scanning operations for goods imported into Nigeria. “The SSPs shall handover all valid Form Ms and existing Valuation Database to the Nigeria Customs Service. However, the contract for provision of ICT infrastructural back up for the scheme currently being executed by Webb Fontaine is extended for a period of 18 months to ensure a smooth takeover by NCS. “As we enter this era, the Federal Ministry of Finance urges stakeholders and all Nigerians to give the Comptroller General of Customs and his team

all the support necessary to manage a smooth and successful takeover. “While no effort was spared in the build up to this process, we should all bear it in mind that transition of this magnitude may throw up some implementation challenges”, the statement added. To ensure successful transition, the Minister explained that it would require the understanding of all Stakeholders to manage whatever initial challenges that may arise before the process fully stabilizes. Specifically, OkonjoIweala disclosed that as part of the take-over plans, Help Desks and dedicated hotlines had been provided to enable Stakeholders and the general public channel complaints, observations and suggestions on the process to the Nigeria Customs Service offices in Abuja and other parts of the country.

Aliyu presents supplementary budget of N6.2bn PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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iger State Governor Babangida Aliyu has presented a supplementary of budget of N6.2 billion to the state House of Assembly with 28 days to the end of 2013 financial year. The supplementary budget was transmitted in a letter to the legislature by the governor. Reading the letter at the House, the Speaker, Hon. Usman Adamu, said the supplementary bill was meant to tackle some

pressing economic and administration needs. The breakdown revealed that the economic sector will gulp N4.5 billion, while N1.7 billion is proposed for the administration sector. The bill was later referred to House Committee on Finance and Appropriation to look into it and report back to the Assembly tomorrow for possible passage. The House Leader, Hon. Haruna Labaran, called for the suspension of Standing Order 7, Rule 3 to allow the bill for presen-

tation for second reading and subsequent adoption by the lawmakers. The House also received a petition from the legislative arm of Borgu Local Government Council demanding the suspension of the Chairman and the Vice Chairman Alhaji Saidu Muhammed Pisa and Umar W Muhammad for alleged misconduct. The Deputy Speaker and member representing Borgu Constituency, Hon. Abdulrahman Bala Gambo, said nine of the local government 10 councillors signed the petition.

Mark tasks NIMC on ID card project GEORGE OJI ABUJA

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enate President David Mark has cautioned the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure that the current exercise of registering and issuing national identity cards to Nigerians should not fail like the previous efforts. “We must emphasis efficiency this time. We do not want another white elephant project. All we want

now is positive results and not the woes why it failed,” Mark told the management of the commission who paid him a visit at the National Assembly yesterday. The commission’s management team visited Mark to abreast him on the launch of the new project billed for today in Abuja. Director General of NIMC, Mr. Chris Onyemeam, assured that all the bottle necks that bedeviled the past exercises must be cleared to ensure the success of the new project.

Mark advised the commission to employ the state of the art technology to get the assignment right in a manner that it would be sustainable even for generations of Nigerians yet unborn. The Senate President urged the commission to liaise with other relevant agencies such as the National population Commission (NPC) and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in order to avoid duplications and save cost.

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South West

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Rights’ groups slam Ajimobi’s commissioning of BATN centre SINA FADARE

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Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola [3rd right]; his Deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye–Tomori [2nd left] Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti [2nd right]; Commissioner for Homes Affairs, Culture and Tourism, Hon. Sikiru Ayedun [2nd left); Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Wale Adedoyin (left) a graduand, Miss Khairat Temitope Bello (right) and other collegues at the reception for youths of the state after their Agricultural Training in Saxony Anhalt, Germany at Osogbo yesterday.

Man arrested over customised INEC laptop KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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yo State police command yesterday said it has arrested a man, Olatide Akinkunmi, for allegedly being in possession of a customised INEC laptop computer. State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Muhammed Indabawa, while addressing journalists in Ibadan yesterday, said the man, who claimed to be the managing director of a local IT outlet in Isake, Ogbomoso

area of the state, was arrested by a team of police detectives after a tip-off from members of the public. He said the customised Zinox laptop with model number C4106, product number C4106Q-CD, serial number 8000609826, was recovered from the suspect during the arrest. He said the suspect, who could not give a satisfactory account of how he came about the laptop, was in police net while investigation was ongoing.

The suspect while speaking with journalists, said the laptop was given to him by a student of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, who he did not give his name. Also, the command has impounded a substance suspected to be Indian hemp worth N11 million while two other people, including a female, were arrested. Indabawa said the culprits were arrested on November 29, adding that the

consignment of weeds was packaged and loaded for conveyance in a truck at a cannabis plantation in Eleja village near Akanran. He added that a lorry with registration number: XR 967JJJ, was intercepted with 646 bags of weeds. The police boss, who gave the names of the suspects as David Ndidi, 30, and Toyin Adegoke, said the command was making efforts to ensure that other suspects who fled the scene on sighting the police were arrested to face the law.

Lawyers differ on threats to witnesses in suit against Fayose ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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ounsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, disagreed at the Ado Ekiti Division of the Federal High Court yester-

day over the allegation of threat to the lives of the applicant’s witnesses in the matter. At the resumed hearing in the matter yesterday, EFCC counsel, Mr. Adebisi Adeniyi, alleged that some people had been threatening the lives of the witnesses he had lined up for the suit

in which Fayose is standing trial over alleged diversion of N860 million public funds meant for Ekiti Poultry Project, during his tenure as governor of the state. Although Adeniyi did not disclose the identities of those behind the threat, he said he decided to raise the alarm so that the court

could prepare adequate security for witnesses coming to testify before the court. But counsel to Fayose, Ahmed Raji, SAN, disagreed with the prosecution counsel, saying it was ‘a blanket allegation and intended to divide the minds of the public. Fayose is here and not threatening anybody.’

FG gets nod to try Boko Haram members in secret K AYODE KETEFE

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judge of a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, Justice Ibrahim Buba, yesterday granted the prayers of the Federal Government to conduct the ongoing trial of the 17 suspected members of the Boko Haram charged with terrorism behind closed doors. The ruling was sequel to an application made by the prosecution represented also by the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr. Ade Ipaye, urging trial in secret on the grounds that it would be

in the national interest to do so. In the application supported by a nine-paragraph affidavit, Ipaye had prayed for five orders, among which was an order directing that prosecution witnesses, mostly operatives of the State Security Service (SSS), should be allowed to give evidence while wearing masks. Ipaye had also sought for an order restricting journalists from covering the proceedings as well as other orders. It will be recalled that the Department of State

Security (DSS) had arraigned the accused persons on November 27, 2013. The accused persons are Ali Mohammed Modu; Adamu Karumi; Ibrahim Ali; Ibrahim Bukar; Mohammed A. Mohammed; Bala Haruna; Idris Ali; Mohammed Murtala and Kadri Mohammed. Others are Mustapha Hassan; Abba Duguni; Sanni Adamu; Danjuma Yahaya; Musa Bala; Bala Daura; Farouk Haruna and Abdula Zuladaini. They all pleaded not guilty to all the offences. The suspects were al-

leged to have been arrested at various locations in Lagos on March 21. The DSS claimed that the items recovered from the accused included three packets of explosive substances, construction pipes, 15 detonators and 11 AK-47 riffle magazines loaded with 30 rounds of live ammunition each. Other items recovered included 200 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition, one AK-47 rifle magazine with three rounds of live ammunition each, two suit case containing explosives and one water container containing explosive.

he Environmental Rights Action and Friends of the Earth (ERA/FoEN) and the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) have condemned the commissioning of the recreation centre belonging to the British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) Ibadan, by the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi. The groups said it was a setback in Nigeria’s campaign to reduce deaths caused by tobacco and allied products in the country. The anti-tobacco crusaders yesterday in a press statement jointly issued in Lagos and signed by the Director, Corporate Accountability and Administration of ERA/FoEN, Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi, said it was unfortunate that Governor Ajimobi could host BATN’s Managing Director, Keith Gretton and commis-

sioned the centre. He added that it was a way of endorsing Nigerian youths to smoke into their graves. The groups lamented that; “It was extremely shocking that Governor Ajimobi could describe a company that manufactures lethal products in its own doorsteps as an example of investment with economic benefits to the citizens of Oyo State and Nigeria.” Oluwafemi said not only is this romance between the state government and the BATN absurd; “We find it worrisome that the governor is asking BATN to show aspects of its operations that promote life at a time when global statistics and researches by organisations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and available to all governments around the world clearly indicates that tobacco kills 5.4 million people annually.”

N25.7m theft: Atuche, other seek dismissal of charge KENNY ODUNUKAN

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n Ikeja High Court yesterday was asked to dismiss the N25.7 million theft charge preferred by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against a former Managing Director of the defunct BankPHB (now Keystone Bank), Francis Atuche and his wife, Elizabeth. It will be recalled that the Court of Appeal had, in a unanimous judgement recently, struck out charge No. ID/115C/11 Federal Republic of Nigeria vs Okey Nwosu from the Lagos State High Court on the ground that there are similar charges of stealing pending before the federal and state high courts. The appellate court also ruled that the two charges, even though allege stealing, relate to the capital market, which is an item in the exclusive list of the federal legislature. In the decision, the court held that the state high court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the charges which are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal high court. Sequel to that decision,

Atuche and his wife, who were being prosecuted, by the EFCC alongside a former Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Ugo Anyanwu, over alleged N25.7 billion theft therefore asked the court to decline jurisdiction to continue to entertain the charge. In a motion on notice dated November 29, 2013 and brought pursuant to Sections 6 (6), 230 to 248, 270 to 274 and 287 (2) of the Constitution, submitted that the subject matter of the charge against him revolves around the issue of acquisition of shares as disclosed in all the 27-count charge. He also argued that the control of capital shares is item 12 on the exclusive legislative list of the 1999 Constitution and same exclusive to the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court by virtue of Section 251 (1) of the 1999 Constitution and section 7 (3) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004 Cap F12. But, the EFCC in their notice of preliminary objection to the motion filed by Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, urged the court to dismiss the application (from beginning) for being scandalous, frivolous and vexatious.


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South West

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

UCH resident doctors suspend two-month strike KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan has announced the suspension of its two months old industrial action. It will be recalled that the association embarked on an indefinite strike over anomalies in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) recently introduced by the Federal Government. Addressing journalists yesterday, President of the UCH ARD, Dr Babatunde Babasanya, said the deci-

sion to suspend the strike was reached after a six hours congress held with members, adding that the strike would only be suspended for a month to see if the Federal Government would pay all outstanding salaries. He said that the association suspended the industrial action to allow room for negotiation with the government. Babasanya said aside scholars and the UCH authorities, well-meaning Nigerians appealed to the association to suspend the strike to give room for negotiation. He said: “As at 8.00 am this morning, all departments at the hospital have

started working.” Babasanya, however, warned that if the government failed to pay the members’ salaries by December 31, the association would not hesitate to ask its members to embark on another strike. Babasanya said: “It is sad that the IPPS scheme has caused most of our members to lose part of their August and September salaries, some were paid as cooks, security men, cleaners and the likes, while others do not even collect any salary for these months. We were even shocked that when our November salary was paid, the shortfalls were not corrected. We want the management

to regularise the August and September with December salaries in order for us not to begin another strike. “Out of five months’ salaries, only two months were paid and we are still watching to see if the management will pay the rest. We are not asking for salary increase. “We are not asking the government for excess money, this is our salary which we have worked for, we cannot cope with this financial hardship that has befallen us again. The government has blatantly refused to yield to our request, but we are suspending the strike for peace to reign.”

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CAN asks govt to bring Osun principal’s attackers to book ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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arely two weeks after the Principal of Baptist High School in Ejigbo, Mr. Layi Oguntola, was beaten to pulp by some organised Muslim fundamentalists, the Osun State chapter of the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday called on the government and the police to bring the perpetrators to book. CAN, in a communiqué signed by its chairman, Pastor Elisha Ogundiya, after an emergency meeting with all its local government leaders in Osogbo, asked the government to ensure that the attackers and their sponsors face the wrath of the law. Ogundiya, however, hailed the intervention of the Osun State Commissioner of Police, Director of State Security Service (SSS), Speaker of the state House of Assembly, the Ogiyan of Ejigbo, religious leaders and

other stakeholders in the issue. The chairman called for the suspension of the reclassification and schools merger by the state government in order to allow for broad-based consultation. Stressing that the use of Islamic bond to finance education is unacceptable to Christians in the state, the association said the use of hijab in Christian mission schools should be stopped forthwith and be replaced with beret. However, the state government said it had set up two committees to look into the immediate and remote causes of the attack of the principal. The deputy governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori said in a statement that members of the committee include three royal fathers, state executive members of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), school principals, senior government officials, religious leaders and parents.

NDDC board: Ilaje leaders want screening of nominees stopped HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

l Members of the Oyo State chapter of the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) protesting against violence on women and children in Ibadan, yesterday.

N5.6bn fraud: EFCC wants property of ex-Oyo HoS, others confiscated KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday filed an application before an Ibadan High Court to grant interim attachment/ forfeiture of the property of the former Head of Service in Oyo State, Alhaja Adeleke Kudirat Iyabo, and 11 others pending the hearing and final determination of fraud suit preferred against them. Those who EFCC is seeking the confiscation of their property are Muili Hakeem Aderemi, Iyabo Giwa, Adesina Ji-

moh Ayoade, Oguntayo Banji, Adebiyi Musendiq Olasunmbo, Adeduntan Johnson, Johnson Bosede and Kareem Rasheed. The commission based its prayer on the ground that the accused persons conspired and fraudulently obtained sums of money running into several billions of naira from various accounts of the Oyo State Local Government Staff Pension Board domicile at different banks. The commission said the proceeds realised from the crime was channeled by the respondents to the development and purchase of some of the property they owned, hence

they should be seized pending the determination of their case. Although when issue of jurisdiction was raised, as the counsel to the EFCC, Mr. G. K Latona, claimed that the commission brought ex-parte motion which should be strictly between the court and EFCC in line with the arguments of the counsel to the accused, the court pointed out that there were processes challenging the prayers of EFCC which further raised serious questions bothering on law. The court further said that some of the property in question were not

strictly owned by the owners who have used them to transact business with financial institutions like Stanbic Bank. It will be recalled that EFCC began the trial of the 12 accused persons last month for alleged stealing of N5.6 billion pension fund in September 2010. And subsequent upon their arraignment, the court ruled that the accused persons should be kept in Agodi Prison custody pending the determination of their case. The presiding judge, Justice M. O Olagunju, however adjourned the hearing of the suit till December 20, 2013.

laje Leaders in the coastal area of Ondo State yesterday called on the National Assembly to stop the screening of nominees sent to the legislative Assembly for the composition of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board The leaders said the call was necessary to ensure equity and justice as stipulated by the relevant laws in the appointment into executive position in the NDDC board. The leaders stated this in a communiqué issued after a meeting held to review the current political development in the country. They also supported the action of a member representing Ilaje Constituency II in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Gbenga Edema, for instituting a suit to challenge the list sent to the Senate by President Goodluck Jonathan for confirmation into the NDDC Board. The leaders, in the communiqué signed by the Coordinating Chairman, Pastor Oyekan Arije, and the Coordinating Secretary, Henry Ojagbohunmi, urged the President and the Senate

to implement relevant laws that set up commission. They pushed the need for the Federal Government to apply Section 12 of the NDDC Act which provides that “there shall be for the commission a Managing Director and two Executive Directors who shall be indigenes of oil producing areas starting with the member state of the commission with the highest production quantum of oil and shall rotate among member states in order of production”. The leaders, however, explained that the position of the Managing Director and Executive Director of the commission had been circulating among four states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta contrary to the provision of the act that established the commission. Stressing that Ondo was ranked fifth in the oil producing states, the leaders called on the President and the Senate to allow produce either the Managing Director or one of the Executive Directors. The Ilaje leaders said most people from the area supported Jonathan during the 2011 general election and therefore claimed that they deserved to be treated fairly.


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South East

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Police arrest fake medical doctor in Imo •Rescue 16 pregnant teenage girls CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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mo State police command yesterday in Owerri, arrested a fake medical doctor, James Ezuma, for running an illegal motherless babies home in the guise of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO). Ezuma, who is currently standing trial for alleged gunrunning, operates a registered NGO, the Ezuma Women and Children Rights Protection Initiative (EWCRPI), a platform that shields his nefarious activities from security operatives. While parading the acclaimed medical practitioner at the premises of his ‘home’ at Egbu in Owerri North Local Government area of the state along with 16 pregnant teenage girls,

ages 14 and 19, the police said some of the babies were used for various purposes ranging from child trafficking to ritual. Briefing journalists, state Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Katsina, expressed worry over a missing newborn baby sold to unknown persons yet to be apprehended. He said one Chinaza Nnachi, from Ebonyi State, who came to the ‘home’ when she was stranded during her pregnancy, delivered the missing baby on November 24, 2013. The police boss said all efforts to locate the baby had proved abortive as the suspect has refused to lead the police to where the baby was kept. “So far, he has taken us to Abia State where he said the baby is, but we were not able to recover the baby;

though investigations are still ongoing, the presumption at the moment is that the baby may have been used for rituals. “When a search was conducted on the premises, 16 pregnant girls were found, including an automatic eight loader pump action gun which is a prohibited firearm,” he said. Katsina said the suspect had been arraigned for unlawful possession of firearms. “It is pertinent to mention that the suspect was arraigned before an Owerri Chief Magistrates’ Court 1 on November, 2013 for conspiracy and unlawful possession of firearms. The police also found 10 unregistered vehicles, which the suspect, as the commissioner disclosed, could not provide any proof of purchase or ownership. The police commis-

sioner warned parents and guardians to be vigilant and to ensure that their children and wards do not fall prey to exploiters. He said the command would continue its clampdown on illegal baby factories and other crimes against the people. In an interview with journalists, Chinaza Nnachi, the 19-year-old mother of the missing baby, said she was directed to come to the ‘home’ by a woman, who promised that she would take care of her at the ‘home.’ She, however, said her baby was taken away two hours after she was delivered of the baby without her consent. Nnachi said she was paid N100, 000 by the doctor when she continuously demanded for the whereabouts of her baby.

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10 new born babies are HIV positive –Consultant

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Consultant at the Federal Teaching Hospital (FETHA), Abakaliki, Dr Emeka Madu, has said that 10 out of 174 new births recorded in the hospital in the last six months were tested HIV positive. Madu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki yesterday that the births took place between June and November 2013. According to him, women living with HIV are often stigmatised and discriminated against by their loved ones and people around them, a situation, he said that results in their refusal to be tested for HIV. “This attitude often leads to high increase of the virus in the early stage,” he said. According to him, some progresses have been made more recently in an effort to eliminate the mother-to-child transmission through an effective voluntary testing and counselling services.

“We will make sure that women from the rural areas are sensitised and carried along and a positive approach will be made to reduce the virus to a zero level,” he said. Madu said the refusal by pregnant women to be tested in the early stage of their pregnancy has resulted in the number of new born babies that were infected. The doctor commended the efforts of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), UNICEF and other agencies in positioning Nigeria toward hitting the zero level. He advised Nigerians to always check their status to help reduce the virus in the country. “Stigmatisation and discrimination must stop and to have HIV is not a death sentence at all,” he said. A good number of women were tested and counselled as well as provided with the prevention of mother-to- child transmission drugs and antiretroviral drugs for the infected mothers.

Resume academic activities immediately, FUTO tells students, lecturers CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain, Mrs. Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu (left) and Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, at the NigeriaSpain Investment Forum in Madrid, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Man, 45, arrested for defiling 11-year-old girl ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI

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45-year-old man, Mr. Nwele Emmanuel, who hails from Umeh Igbudu village in Ikwo Local Government area of Ebonyi State, the home town of Governor Martin Elechi, was arrested yesterday for defiling an 11-year-old girl, Miss Nkachi Agbor. Confirming the incident, Police Public Relations Officer, Chris Anyanwu, said the suspect was caught redhanded by the girl’s father, who reported the case to the police via his village Chairman, David Onwe. Anyanwu said Mr. Nwele will be arraigned in court tomorrow.

According to the police officer; “One Emmanuel Nwele, aged 45, visited his friend, Agbor in the same village. After their discussion and as Nwele was leaving, he sighted his host’s daughter Nkachi, aged 11, pounced on her and forcefully had carnal knowledge of the poor girl.” Similarly, one Jerome Oziolo of No. 24, Oje Owerri Street, Abakaliki, known to be a quack doctor was arrested by the police along with Onyebuchi Nworie of No.10 Nsukka Street, Abakaliki, for allegedly causing the death of one Miss. Amaka Alo, a 28-yearold girl from Ezza South Local Government area of the state. It was gathered that the

suspects conspired with one Jerome Oziolo, a quack doctor, to abort the pregnancy of the victim, who died in the process. According to Anyanwu, “The duo hid her corpse in a corner within the room with the intention of disposing of it at night time.” He added that the police, acting on a tip off, swooped on the scene of the incident, arresting the suspects while the corpse was recovered and deposited at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki for autopsy.” He said the suspects will be arraigned in court tomorrow. In another development, one Mrs. Rajunor Charles, a 38-year-old woman was arrested by men of police

for allegedly stealing a fouryear-old girl, Miss Elizabeth Alum, who left for school and at the close of the school same day, could not be found. Speaking to journalists, Anyanwu said the child was recovered through a public spirited Nigerian in a joint operation with the Marine police attached to the Ebonyi police command. “Mrs. Rajunor Charles is a teacher at Ebom village in Abi Local Government area of Cross River State. The suspects who blamed the act on her passionate love for children actually enticed the little girl with a “Bobo” juice she bought for her on the date of the incident,” adding that the case is ready for arraignment in court tomorrow.

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he Senate of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), yesterday directed all its students and academic staff to resume academic activities immediately for the conclusion of the 2012/2013 Rain Semester. This was in compliance with the Federal Government’s December 4 deadline that all academic staff in all federal universities should resume work or be sacked. In a statement made available to journalists yesterday in Owerri, the Registrar/Secretary to the Senate, Mr. Orje Ishegh-Nor, directed all students of the university to return to campus between Monday, December 2 and Sunday, December 8, 2013. He said the rain semester examinations would commence on

Monday December 9, 2013 and would end on Saturday, December 21, 2013. According to him, all members of the academic staff are required to proceed immediately to their respective departments to resume for duty not later than today, Wednesday, December 4, 2013. Meanwhile, the lecturers, who were addressed by ASUU officials, FUTO branch on Monday, insisted that they would not resume duty as directed by the Senate. It was learnt from a reliable source closed to the union that even if they report for duty, there would be no lectures. “The government can come and lecture the students. Is it not some ministries that are buying refurbished aircraft as national carrier yet the government cannot meet our demands.”


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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

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FG has no business importing petroleum products – Dickson EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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ayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson yesterday said that the Federal Government has no business importing refined petroleum products into the country. Dickson regretted that the nation is still importing refined products in spite of the magnitude of the barrels of crude oil produced daily in the country. The governor, who spoke in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,

said his administration was ready to partner with the Organized Private Sector (OPS) in building a refinery in the state. According to him, the building of the refinery would open a vista of opportunities for investors in the oil and gas sector of the economy. Dickson was accompanied on the foreign trip by an elder statesman, Ambassador Lawrence Ekpebu; Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Sam Ateki and the Commissioner

Police parade 51 suspected criminals SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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he Edo State Police Command yesterday paraded no fewer than 51 suspects for criminal offences. Four of the suspects, whose names could not be obtained as at the time of filling this report, were killed by the police during exchange of gunfire in Benin. But the 47 others were paraded alive with some of them narrating how they were involved in criminal activities. Addressing journalists during the parade, the Commissioner of Police, Foluso Adebanjo, said the command would ensure a crime-free Yuletide season in the state and therefore urged residents to continue to avail security agencies with relevant information on criminal activities in their areas. Adebanjo said: “You will recall that on Octo-

ber 24, 2013, the command paraded 29 suspects for various heinous offences including kidnapping and armed robbery. They have all been charged to court. Today, we have in our custody 47 suspects for parade.” On how three of the suspects were killed, the police boss said: “On December 3, 2013 at about 0215 hours, following the confessional statement of a gang member previously arrested by SARS operatives, the fight against crime and criminality was further taken to the doorstep of the gang that attacked a vehicle conveying a team of policemen travelling from Osun State to Anambra State by the Oluku/Benin By-pass on November 15, 2013. “At the end of the exchange of fire, three of the hoodlums were gunned down while one was arrested alive.

‘Corruption responsible for terrorism’ OLAJIDE MOJOLOMOJU

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ormer president of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and Caretaker Committee Chairman of Patani Local Government Area, Chris Ekiyor, has blamed the militancy and terrorism confronting the country on corruption in all facets of the Nigerian state. Ekiyor stated this while delivering a paper at a Nigerian Colloquium held at the Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. He said: “The summary of this discourse is that economic, marginalisation, frustration and desperation

experienced by the greater population of Nigerians is the underlying cause of terrorism and militancy in contemporary Nigeria.” He said instead of attributing terrorism and militancy to religion, economic factors offered deeper insight into the cause of both social malaises in contemporary Nigeria. Differentiating between the two challenges, Ekiyor said: “Militancy is a combative approach to the pursuit of a cause, while terrorism is unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

for Trade and Investment, Ayakeme Massah. Besides, the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantities in Oloibiri in 1956, the governor said the Bayelsa was the second leading oil producing-state in Nigeria, as he urged investors to avail themselves of the advantage. He said: “This development is an opportunity for investors that have foresight to take advantage of that situation and then move in and work with us. We are ready to look at how

we can build refinery that will not be subjected to any bureaucracy; a refinery that will be private sectorowned and driven. “All these opportunities are there; opportunities in petro-chemicals. That is what the story of Bayelsa is all about. “There is almost nothing that a foreigner cannot do. There are procedures for registering your company, getting expatriate workers of a particular grade to come as you would have in every country. Beyond that,

we don’t really have any problem as long as the business is legitimate.” On the issue of corruption in emerging African markets, Dickson said: “I sent a number of bills to the state House of Assembly and I took a number of radical steps at the time I assumed office and hopefully, the decisions are paying off. “We started with the Transparency Law which obliges me as the governor of the state and all those who run the local councils that derive money from the

Federation Account to publicly disclose it on a monthly basis. “We made it an impeachable offence in the event of failure to comply with this law. We are the only state in Nigeria for now that does it. I am not saying other states do not have processes or procedures that ensure transparency. This has made it possible for our government to enjoy the confidence of our own local population and the confidence of our investing communities outside.”

Edo workers begin three-day warning strike

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do Sate workers yesterday began a three-day warning strike over some lingering labour disputes with the state government. The state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on December 1 directed the workers to embark on the strike if the state government failed to meet their demands. The NLC Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Ademokun,

told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the workers wanted the immediate payment of the balance of 20 per cent of consolidated salary structure for health workers in the state. Ademokun said that the workers, among other demands, wanted the implementation of the balance 10.5 per cent Teachers Special Allowance (TSA) as the state government ear-

lier agreed with the NLC. He said that the government should also address the non-promotion of public servants since 2011 and the immediate constitution of the board of Edo State Civil Service Commission. Ademokun said that NLC had on November 29 notified the state government of its resolve to embark on the strike. The News Agency of

Nigeria (NAN) reports that workers of the stateowned agencies complied with the NLC directive. A visit by NAN to some of the agencies showed that most of the gates to the establishments were under lock and key. Some of the offices visited include the state secretariat on Sapele Road; and the State Ministry of Information and Orientation.

L-R: Rivers State Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Dickson Umunakwe; Executive Director, State Sustainable Development Agency, Mr. Noble Pepple and Secretary to the State Government, Mr. George Feyii, at the 2013 International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Port Harcourt, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Defection: N/Delta youths hail nPDP governors’ courage OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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iger Delta youths yesterday saluted the five new Peoples Democratic Party(nPDP) for demonstrating the courage to defect to the All Progressives Congress(APC), saying the action would help in deepening the nation’s democracy. The youths, under the aegis of the Niger Delta Youth Progressive Movement, spoke after an emergency meeting in Abuja to “appraise recent political

developments in the country, especially in the Niger Delta.” The group said that the defection of the five governors of Kano, Kwara, Adamawa, Sokoto and Rivers “is good for democracy as it has shown that freedom of association is necessary for any democratic setting to be worth its salt.” In a statement signed in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Preye Ebi, the group specifically commended the immediate past National Youth Leader of the nPDP, Mr. Timi Frank, for his wise

move in defecting to APC. The group claimed that PDP had not only failed the people of Niger Delta, but the whole country under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan. Praising Frank for his courage to dump the “non-performing” PDP for APC, the group urged him to continue to exhibit the qualities that stood him out as a trusted person. The group, however, urged the ex-youth leader to support effort to expand the horizon of APC in the Niger Delta, especially in

winning the region in the next general elections. It specifically praised Frank’s efforts and support towards the success of the Amnesty Programme for former Niger Delta militants. The group said: “Your work, Comrade Frank, should be to ensure that the marginalised youths of the Niger Delta region are fully integrated at the national level in all programmes, appointments, developmental and economic policies of the APC now on a rescue mission.”


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North

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

police to treat cattle Benue varsity’s ASUU accuses Plateau rustlers as armed robbers –CP govt of polarisation T •Decries selective salary payment HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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he Benue State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has condemned the polarisation of the union for the purpose of frustrating the ongoing strike by the state government. The ASUU Chairman, Dr. Samuel Ikoni, told National Mirror yesterday in Makurdi that the selective payment of salaries to the lecturers was aimed at weakening the bar-

gaining power of the union. Dr. Ikoni said: “The divide and rule tactics introduced by the state government with a view to cause disunity among the striking lecturers would rather cause more problems as we look upon the outcome of the ongoing negotiations between the union’s national leaders and Federal Government. “Though Benue State University is owned by the state government, but the decision of the national secretariat of ASUU, which

monitors and oversees the activities of lecturers nationwide supersedes the government directive as far as this case is concerned. “As far as we are concerned, the strike persists until there is a contrary order from the national secretariat to resume work. No amount of intimidation will ever cajole the union members to taking a hasty decision.” Ikoni, however, stressed the need for the state government to see the ongoing strike as a national phenom-

enon rather that looking for avenue to apportion blames to those who complied with the directive of the mother union. He said: “What shall it benefit us if we are just idling away at home doing nothing. Furthermore, some of us also have our children in various institutions across the countries; some of them are in their final year. So, nobody is even happy seeing that the strike has prolonged to this unimaginable proportion, but the right thing must be done.”

he Plateau State Police Command yesterday said it would henceforth regard cattle rustlers as armed robbers. The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Chris Olakpe, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos that anybody caught indulging in cattle theft would be prosecuted as an armed robber. “We shall start considering all those caught stealing the herdsmen’s cattle as armed robbers. “The armed robbers usually carry arms and ammunition to commit their offence and the cattle thieves do the same thing. “The robbers most of the times kill their victims during their operations and the cattle thieves also indulge in killing their victims before carting away the cows. “We are going to charge anybody caught stealing cows before the court under the same section of law with the armed robbers,’’ he said. Olakpe said the command decided to take the measure

in order to discourage the youth that had been involved in this dirty business. “Our investigation has shown that drugs and cattle theft are the two causes of violence in Plateau North Senatorial Zone. “We are ready to checkmate the two crimes so that we can finally have peace,’’ the commissioner said. Olakpe called on community, religious and opinion leaders to caution their wards and children against the two “evils.” He warned that anybody caught with drugs and stolen cattle would be dealt with no matter the family he came from. “We will not fold our arms and allow some hoodlums to be disrupting the hard earned peace, ‘’ the commissioner said. He appealed to members of the public to assist the command by providing information about criminals, saying that any information received would treated as confidential.

Kano not facing financial deficit –Commissioner OTHMAN SALIHU KANO

T L-R: Acting Managing Director, Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (KRPC), Dr. Balfred Enjugu; Group Executive Director, Refining and Petrochemical, Dr. Anthony Oguigwe and Executive Director, Services, Dr. Idi Mukhtar, during their visit to KPRC Production Unit in Kaduna, yesterPHOTO: NAN day.

Boko Haram: JNI seeks release of detained Kogi varsity lecturer A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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he Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI) has called on the State Security Service (SSS) to release Dr. Muhammad Nazif Yunus, a lecturer with Kogi State University arrested for allegedly being a member of the Boko Haram sect. In a statement made available to journalists yesterday in Kaduna, JNI described Yunus’ arrest as shocking and, therefore, called for his immediate release. The statement, signed by JNI Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, claimed that from its findings, Dr. Yunus is peace-loving, gentle and an antagonist of Boko

Haram. The statement read: “Consequently, JNI finds it imperative to call on the authorities concerned to grant him his fundamental freedom because Dr. Nazif Yunus has denied the allegation in the strongest term asserting his position as a strong opponent of both the ideology and methodology of Boko Haram sect. “Those who have been following trends know very well that even ordinary members of Boko Haram hardly deny their connection to their ideology. It will be doubtful therefore if a whole “spiritual leader and recruitment officer” of the group would shed tears while denying any link to

that ideology. “It will sound contradictory also that a leader of Boko Haram will still maintain his position as a university lecturer while the first requisite for one to be a member of Boko Haram is to abandon anything connected with Boko (western education). “It is based on all this, and after thoroughly investigating the antecidents of the Doctor, that JNI finds it imperative to call on the authorities concerned to revisit their position on that apparently innocent person and grant him his fundamental freedom. “While re-echoing our strong condemnation against all forms of terrorism, we want to stress

that arresting innocent and peace loving people and subjecting them to humiliation and physiological torture would instil doubts in the minds of Nigerians regarding the sincerity of our security personnel in their fight against violent extremism. “Nigerian securities should conduct their statutory assignments with utmost professionalism and be careful in handling issues related to Boko Haram. We would not like a situation where, after applauding the successes so far recorded by the securities in halting violent extremism, Nigerians would be forced to lose the confidence they have in the security.”

he Kano State Government has denied insinuation that it is facing financial deficit, a situation that is affecting execution of its major projects and policies. Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Abdullahi Mahmud Gaya, spoke in an interview with journalists in his office in Kano. Gaya said: “Civil servants collect their salaries

as well due and contractors have not complained of nonpayment of their contractual dues.” He, however, said that there is a slight drop in the Internal Revenue Generations (IGR) in the state, which he described as normal in governance. The commissioner assured that all the ongoing projects initiated by Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso would be completed before the expiration of his tenure.

Homosexuals, lesbians to get 14 years jail term in Katsina JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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law that will make homosexuals and lesbians to face 14 years imprisonment and N10, 000 fine has been enacted in Katsina State. The state House of Assembly enacted the law through an amendment of sections 284 and 285 of the State Penal Code Law CAP 96, which provides for penalties to those found guilty of sexual harassment. The amendment followed a motion by Hon Rabiu Idris (APC, Funtua),

who lamented that the high rate of sexual harassment in the state and, therefore, called for stringent measures to punish perpetrators. A copy of the law, which was made available to journalists, states that “the law now provides for 14 years imprisonment to anyone who engages in intercourse with animal, man or woman. “Any woman who engages in lesbianism with another woman or girl with or without her consent shall be liable to 14 years imprisonment and fine of N10, 000.


Wednesday December 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

National Conference: Primal purpose and modus operandi

National Assembly, a cesspit of scandals –Morakinyo

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Bamidele is unfit to govern Ekiti, says APC OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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he All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ekiti State has said that Hon Opeyemi Bamided, the erstwhile Ekiti caucus leader in the House of Representatives, is unfit to govern the state, describing his exit from the party as a “welcome development” not only to the party but to the entire generality of Ekiti people. In a statement, signed by state Director of Publicity and Media of the APC in Ekiti State, Segun Dipe, the party observed that Opeyemi is puerile, of unsound mind, not fit to govern an upwardly mobile state like Ekiti and as such could not have realised his ambition

within the party. Saying that from the foregoing, Bamidele was free to join any party where he can continue to nurture his mobster ambition as a vain labourer, the APC said: “Just like Macbeth, Bamidele has premised his governorship ambition on some prophesies. And just like Macbeth, he is ever willing to maim and kill to achieve his vaunting desire. He has been living a lie all the while. He has been busy dishing out fables as facts, without minding whose ox is gored, and without any recourse to the party, which gave him the opportunity to rise to the level he finds himself, including the one he is presently occupying in Abuja.” Recalling how, Bamidele

had lied in various interviews he granted the media, especially “his claim to have practically dragged the incumbent governor of the state, Kayode Fayemi from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to (then) Action Congress, AC, and how he, Bamidele, personally introduced the governor to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2006,” the APC said that such lies could only have “come directly from the pit of hell through someone who desires power at the devil’s cost.” The statement added that Tinubu and Fayemi had known each other and

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worked together in the early 1990s, during the pro-democracy struggles, adding: “Governor Fayemi never joined PDP or any other party before joining the AC. Apart from his role within the human rights and prodemocracy community, Fayemi brought the DFID to Ekiti during the era of Otunba Niyi Adebayo, between 1999-2003. Opeyemi was by that time a commissioner in Lagos State for 9 years and we cannot remember what positive development he brought to Ekiti.” Dipe said: “Our party’s position is that while Hon Bamidele is qualified to con-

test for the governorship seat like anyone else and while he is free to realise his dream on any platform of his choice as provided for by law, he is not the kind of governorship candidate the APC will want to present to the good people of Ekiti. He is grossly incompetent to govern Ekiti State by our party’s parameter and that of the now discerning Ekiti people. “Here is a person who cannot be trusted with any private matter. He is not a team player and he prefers to be served than to serve. He would rather stay outside and haul stones inside his

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family house. He has made himself available as a willing tool in the hands of the enemy. What name should we call such a person? “Opeyemi is suffering from delusion of grandeur, coupled with selective amnesia. He has the size of a mature man but the brain of a child.” The party concluded that a man who had been sent on a four-year errand by the party only to turn back midway and start aiming for a higher, more challenging task, even when he had delivered nothing good from the first task, only deserves the pity of all.

Aregbesola’s alleged insanity: Court rejects application for case withdrawal ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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he application of a non-governmental organization, Egalitarian Society, before a Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State, seeking to withdraw the case of alleged insanity of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the state was yesterday rejected by the court. The presiding judge, Justice Ekuewumi Babs, however fixed the case for hearing on January 23, 2014. The NGO had instituted a suit where it claimed that Aregbesola was insane, and so not fit to govern Osun State. The NGO had joined the personal physician of the governor, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Najeem Salaam, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state and the Director of State Security Service (SSS), as respondents. After failed attempts by Governor Aregbesola to persuade a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to dismiss the suit alleging insanity on his part, the plaintiff ’s counsel, Mr. Kayode

Ajulo yesterday stunned the court when he informed it his intention to withdraw the matter. Ajulo who had at the commencement of the case filed a motion seeking for the court to probe the sanity of Aregbesola told the court that he was withdrawing the case on the ground that it has been overtaken by events adding that the suit is no longer necessary. But counsel to Aregbesola, Chief (Mrs.) Awomoona Funmilayon SAN, objected to the plaintiff ’s application for withdrawal of the case, saying that it cannot be withdraw orally. While daring the plaintiff to explain to the court what he meant by event taking over the matter, Mrs. Funmilayo urged the court to discountenance the plaintiff ’s application. However, the presiding judge, Justice Kuewumi, who had earlier quizzed the plaintiff ’s counsel on what he meant by event overtaking the case upheld the application of the defendants and ordered the plaintiff to bring a proper application for withdraw and serve all the defendants.

L-R: Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; wife of Ekiti State governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; wife of Osun State governor, Mrs. Sherifat Aregbesola; and Director-General, National Centre for Women Development, Lady Onyeka Onwenu, during day-one of 3rd Ekiti Gender Summit, in Ado-Ekiti, on Monday

Confab: Ndigbo set up committees to articulate position FELIX NWANERI

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gbo elders have set up three different committees to fashion out the position of the South-East geo-political zone at the proposed national conference. Former Secretary General of apex Igbo sociopolitical group, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, who disclosed this after a recent meeting of Igbo elders and groups in Enugu, said the three committees will work simultaneously towards giving Ndigbo the much expected direction at the conference. Nwabueze heads the Planning Committee, assisted by Prof. Michael Echeruo; the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka

Achebe heads the Finance Committee, assisted by the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri Archdiocese, Archbishop Anthony Obinna. The Contact Committee is yet to be set up. Though details of the four-hour deliberation were not made public, a delegate at the meeting, Prince Chukwuemeka Onyesoh, was full of praises for Prof. Nwabueze’s sacrifices to save Nigeria. Nwabueze had initially refused to get involved in the confab on health grounds but he had to acquiesce when pressure from many quarters become unbearable. Onyesoh said Ndigbo were overjoyed at Nwabueze’s large heart

and steadfastness at giving his best to his people when called upon. Prof. Elo Amucheazu, who also spoke said he is positive that the outcome of the confab would be the very best for Ndigbo and Nigeria, given Nwabueze’s agreement to direct the deliberations. Former military administrator of Lagos and Imo states, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, said the confab is a very serious matter and should not left to politicians, expressing confidence that the great opportunity to remodel Nigeria will succeed, while thanking Nwabueze for yielding to pressure to serve his people and the country. On his part, the president of Igbo Youth Movement, IYM,

Evangelist Elliot Uko said Prof. Nwabueze’s acceptance of the call to duty for Ndigbo is a welcome development. Present at the meeting, chaired by Igwe Achebe, were Archbishop Maxwell Anikwenwa, Admiral Kanu, Prof. Echeruo, Prof. Amucheazu, Prof. Felix Oragwu, Archbishop Obinna, Chief Nduka Eya, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, Senator Ben Obi, Dr. Offiah Nwali, Lolo Kate Ezeofor and Prof. Mrs. Uche Azikiwe. Others were, Sen. Anyim Udeh, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, Prince Onyesoh, Chief Olisa Agbakoba, Chief Mrs. Maria Okwor, Igwe Aja Nwachukwu and Evang. Uko among others. Another expanded meeting to include more Igbo leaders will hold again on December 12.


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Politics

Wednesday December 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

National Assembly, a cesspit of scandals –Morakinyo Hon. Adebayo Morakinyo was the former Deputy Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly and currently the Chairman of Ekiti State Waste Management Board. In this encounter with SINA FADARE, he says that the proposed national conference will not solve the country’s socio-political crisis, while advocating for a return to the core value systems of the nation. Excerpts As a former lawmaker, are you comfortable with the huge funds the country is expending on the National Assembly? I think a lot of things are wrong. For the development of the country, the percentage that goes to public functionaries, the legislature inclusive, looks ridiculously too much compared to what other sectors of the society get. Meanwhile we said that our motive of contesting election is to serve the people and make their interest paramount, but no sooner than the election is won, that new songs begin to emerge. Whereas, if there should be anything, the people should benefit more. We have seen that a lot of things are not yet right with the system. Contesting election in this country, to a large extent, depends on the spending power of the contestant, irrespective of his or her party. Therefore immediately a politician wins an election, the first thing he does is to recoup his money. Then you can see that politics is not really for those who have something tangible to offer, especially those who have made impacts in their different careers. Those people with pedigree and who want to serve the people cannot withstand the stress. The bitter true is that it is compulsory and necessary that the country develops because no matter how long you stay in public office, one day you are going to vacate the office. Therefore, we should be interested in what the system gets because the system will outlive everybody. That is why our election is always terrible because nobody who invests in politics wants to lose. Even what the governors are earning and the issue of security votes remains our dark side, which we can always change as we go along our democratic lane. If as of today, electricity generation is below 5000 mega watts with a population of about 160 million people and all the infrastructure that drives modern economies are virtually not there, Abuja- Lokoja road was approved for N160 million in 2006 and up till now, it is still under construction. These are some of the issues that worry the mind about where we are actually heading to as a nation. Considering the huge cost of maintaining the National Assembly, will you canvass for a part-time legislature? I would not for now. If the variables that make our politics dirty and money gulping are still there, we are going to be rigmaroling on a spot. If things are working

they will be crazy from the expectations from their leaders.

Morakinyo

well, we can still manage. Why will one go out to buy a generating set when there is constant supply of electricity, we must put certain structures on ground before we continue to build on it. Why would somebody want to die in the office? Why would a governor want to go for a second term by all means, why must the President insist to go for another four years? Why can’t our politicians be disciplined? Do four years and go home, must it be a right or tradition? Can’t somebody make a difference? The reason why everybody wants to stay there is because of personal gains and the fear of unknown, especially of life outside government, which may turn out to be very terrible. The truth is that you cannot stay too long. What became of the likes of the late Idi Amin of Uganda? Society tends to gain better when you have a smooth transition. Let another government come and continue to build upon the previous achievement, that is how we can move forward, when a new government comes on board, it doesn’t need to condemn all that has been done in the past in order to gain cheap political point. We should try to internalise the structures of legislative business before we can say we want to run it on a part time bases, but the way things are, we are still at the learning process. The business of legislation is a huge one; we would make a mess of it if it becomes a part time job. The good thing is that no matter how many years or terms you spend as a lawmaker, if the fundamentals are not addressed, you will still go back to the people and you can be worst off. Will you advocate for a unicameral legislature in order to reduce cost of governance? Both uni and bi-cameral legislature have their disadvantages, though in a unicameral system, things are done with dispatch. But in a multi lingual and plural setting like Nigeria, bicameralism is a

THERE IS ONLY ONE SOLUTION TO ALL THIS PLETHORA OF

CHALLENGES, AND IT

IS GOOD GOVERNANCE.

GOOD GOVERNANCE WILL REDUCE ALL THESE TENDENCIES

good option. The first thing that should be sacrosanct is that the state Houses of Assembly should have absolute freedom from the operation and manipulation of other arms of government, particularly the executive. They shouldn’t to go cap in hand to the executive before they are adequately financed. It is so sad that our National Assembly in the recent time has become a cesspit of scandals. Look at the Elumelu power probe scandal; what about how Mr Integrity rubbished himself ? I believe as a politician that whatever you made while in office cannot last you for a life time. The question is what happens to your immediate family? What about your friends? If you are a rich man in the midst of twenty people, you are worst off. Now the youths are more into crimes and it is very difficult to sleep with the two eyes closed. The level of neglect is just unbearable these days, therefore whatever you think you have acquired while in government, your children may not be able to enjoy it, then you ask yourself a question: why would you have to go on such acquisition that will not give the desired happiness? What we are doing now has a lot of consequence on the society, therefore instead, such money should be used for the development of the community so that if you are there for twenty years, nobody borders as long as people have job to do, otherwise,

What is your take on the proposed national conference by President Goodluck Jonathan? It is not as if the All Progressives Congress, APC, opposes dialogue. The position of our party is that if there will be a dialogue, certain parameters and yardsticks have to be clearly defined. From Mr President’s view, whatever is discussed at the conference would still be subjected to the ratification of the National Assembly. That in itself is an absurd and against the principle of the rights of the people to say their mind. It is either we have a conference or we do not have any at all. By the time their view is subjected to the scrutiny of the National Assembly, it is either their decisions are subverted or they are out rightly expunged from the final document, at the end of such an exercise, we are back to square one. The position of the APC is clear, if there is going to be a dialogue, subject the outcome of such to a referendum and whatever came out of it will be the peoples document, which cannot be vetted by any organ of governmet. If we should have a discussion, it cannot be a mere discussion but dialogue that the collective wish of the people will matter at the end of the exercise. We have been in the rain for too long and if we should have a shelter, it should be a better one. Do we need a discussion to fix all the dilapidated infrastructures that cut across the country? Do we need a dialogue to fix our education that is collapsing in our face? Do we need a discussion before we could stop oil theft and vandalisation of pipelines? There is only one solution to all this plethora of challenges, and it is good governance. Good governance will reduce all these tendencies. I do not envy Mr President, the man has been favoured from 1999, and therefore he should not be looking for a second tenure in office. Even if we have the country restructured, but we fail to change our attitude towards governance, we would still not be making progress. Those days, ethnicity used to be the under current factor in politics, but today, take for instance, those that stole money from Ekiti are not from Cross-River State. People who are stealing in Jigawa State are not from Bornu State. Somebody once said that if our value cannot save us, law cannot rescue us. I agreed totally with this philosophical statement, there is no amount of national dialogue that we do, if we do not go back to our value system, we are only postponing the evil day. People should know that they have to put a stop to stealing of public fund. Somebody is planning to build a N380 million civic centre in Aso Rock, what are we going to do with it? For whose benefit? These are the questions that those at the corridor of power should ask themselves. A man is happy that he has billion of naira in the bank and the people in his community are all languishing in poverty and penury, no job for the youths, that type of a person need not to be told that he is crazy. What Nigerians need is a consistent leader that will listen to them and changed their misfortune to fortune.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

From the Civil Service ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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BUJA--Two of the finest members of the inner bar, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) and Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), yesterday, stunned the bar, the bench and members of the public as they publicly exchanged hot words with each other in the open court room over moves to arraign afresh the former Governor of Bayelsa state, Chief Timpre Sylva accused of stealing N19.2 bn public fund while in office. Ex-Governor Sylva was alleged to have colluded with six others to siphon the whopping sum from Bayelsa State treasury. Fagbemi (SAN) who was the first to launch verbal at-

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N19.2bn fraud: SANs in war of words over ex-Gov Sylva’s trial ...It is a sad development in legal profession, says judge tack against his fellow silk, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) represented the former governor in the case yesterday while Jacobs (SAN) who angered Fagbemi (SAN) over his insistence to dock, yesterday, the ex-governor when he was never served the criminal charge in the N19.2bn fraud case represented the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the matter. The EFCC is prosecuting Sylva and six other accused persons in the matter.

As the drama was unfolding in the court room yesterday, the presiding high court judge, Justice A. R Mohammed who initially supported his chin with his hand, watching the senior counsel exchange hot words, suddenly intervened, lambasting them. His exact words: ““I am surprised! It is very unfortunate that two senior lawyers who should be leading young and upcoming members of the bar should engage in this kind of atti-

tude. “It is unfortunate that people should lose tempers this way before my presence. I take it as an affront to my authority to see two senior lawyers insulting themselves before a judge” Justice Mohammed added. About thirty minutes earlier, the EFCC represented by the Chambers of Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) and the ex-governor’s counsel, Chief Fagbemi (SAN), had locked horns in a sister criminal case before Jus-

tice Adamu Bello in which the governor was accused of stealing a separate N6.5 billion belonging to the people of Bayelsa state. Although the duo were not fighting over whether the ex-governor was properly before the court for the trial, they were exchanging legal arguments over whether the ex-governor was entitled to apply for his travel documents to jet out for medical attention while the two criminal cases in-

volving N6.5 billion and N19.2billion were still pending. EFCC was of the opinion that the former governor would jump bail and never come back to face his trial if allowed to travel abroad fr medical treatment. The commission through Rotimi Jacobs ha argued that Sylva through his counsel, Prince Fagbemi (SAN) brought an urgent application in July CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

Kwali Council Chairman embarks on programme with human face JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

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n a bid to ensure judicious use of public funds by elected, political leader Journalist has launched assessment tour of projects being execute by the present administration in all six Area council of FCT. The area council in fct consist of AMAC, Kuje, Gwagwalada, Kwali, Abaji and Bwari area councils. The Chairman of Kwali Area Council Hon. Daniel Ibrahim, disclosed that his administration will not derail from transformation agenda of Mr. President and the honourable Minister of FCT in bringing dividend of democracy to the people in the area council as well as Nigeria. He made this known on Monday,at Kwali Area council Secretariat in Abuja, during the assessment tour of six area councils embarked by National Union of Journalists NUJ He said: “ his administration would continue to embark on programmes

and projects that would have direct bearing on the live of the people” Among the projects visited were 17 buses for secondary schools in Kwali, replacing of the Old transformer of 500kva in Koroko village, construction of 5.5km road from Dafa to Yagoji, drugs worth of 5 million naira at kwali health centre, 710m township road in Akimi, 20,000 liters of water tank in petti-kilankwan ward amongs other. Declaring the assessment tour open the Executive Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area council AMAC Hon, Jiba Micah, noted that the area council need more cooperation from the media to excel in any administrative setting. In his own remarks the President of NUJ Chuks Ehirim who lead the delegation to the flag off of the asssessment tour noted that tha purpose of the tour is to give view of on-going projects to eveluate the appropriateness and relevance of the developmental project for the betterment of communities

Supervising Minister for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri (left) and the Chief of Protocol in the ministry, Amb. Usman Baraya, at a media interaction in Abuja recently. PHOTO: NAN

‘Personnel training vital to reduction of maternal, child mortality’ MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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inister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu has said meeting the Millennium Development Goal on reduction of maternal mortality and child morbidity required ad-

Okene residents rise against DPO, say he is too repressive

Prof Chukwu stated this at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi when he declared opened the Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON), according to a press statement issued by the Ministry, yesterday.

According to him, family physicians function at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of health care in order to provide health promotions, preventive, curative, palliative and rehabilitative health care in a manner CONTINUED ON PAGE 42

NEITI postpones Roundtable with Civil Society, other events

Alhaji Adoke also faulted the DPO for the arrest of innocent

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equate training of health personnel across all facets of health facilities in Nigeria. This is even as he expressed confidence in the nation’s primary health care system “as a costeffective way to reducing morbidity and mortality” in the country.

I GP, Muhammed

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Goni Aji


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From the Civil Service

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

N19.2bn fraud: SANs exchanged hot words CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15

seeking the court order to release his travel document to travel abroad for urgent medical attention. The commission had reminded the court that in the course of trial of the application, the court itself had discovered inconsistencies and likely falsehood in his affidavit evidence, adding that even though his application was refused, he was still hale and hearty in December. The commission had argued that there was nothing urgent in his application and thatit was a ploy to es-

cape justice. Justice Bello had, hardly, adjourned for ruling in the case till December 5 than men of the EFCC started ordering the ex-governor, Chief Timpre Sylva, though politely, to enter into the court room of Justice A R Mohammed. He was being ordered into the court room to enter his pleas to a fresh 42-count charge of money laundering involving N19.2billion even though neither the charge nor hearing notice was served on him. In the fresh charge, exGovernor Timpre Sylva is standing trial alongside six

others. The other accused persons are Francis Okokuro, Gbenga S. Balogun, Samuel Ogbuku, Marlin Maritime Ltd, Eat Catering Services Ltd and Halowen-Blue Construction and Logistics Limited. Although the ex-governor was initially reluctant to follow men of the EFCC, he however had to play ball when it was evident that he could be embarrassed. But at the time the men of the EFCC were ordering around the ex-governor, two of the accused persons were already in the dock in the courtroom of Justice

Federal Civil Servants in Rivers State during an interactive session in Port Harcourt recently.

Mohammed. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) whose chamber had appeared in the sister case before Justice Bello drew the attention of the court to the fact that Sylva was outside of the court room but had refused to enter, apparently not wanting to be docked and for fear of being arrested. He told the court that the ex-governor, had, for sometimes now, evaded being served with notice of hearing in respect of his arraignment, accusing him of playing antics. “First time, we wanted to serve the hearing notice,

PHOTO: NAN

the 1st accused (the ex-governor) told the IPO that he was attending to a medical check up in Lagos and has continued to dribble us. “Afterwards, he continued promising until he eventually asked his lawyer to receive the processes,” the EFCC lawyer told the court. As Rotimi was addressing Justice Mohammed, counsel to Sylva, Lateef Fagbemi, who had announced appearance for the former governor in protest, interjected angrily and took exception to the claims of the EFCC lawyer. “You should not talk that way. Rotimi, you are rude. The fact that you are handling EFCC case should not make you to observe seniority. You should know how to behave in court. We are not here for a political rally” Fagbemi yelled angrily at Rotimi. Rotimi on his part was infuriated and replied rather in an uncouth manner before Justice Mohammed waded in. “I am surprised; it is very unfortunate that as two senior lawyers who should be leading young and upcoming members of the bar should engage in this kind of attitude. It is unfortunate that people should lose tempers this way before my presence. I take it as an affront to my authority to see two senior lawyers insult-

ing themselves before a judge” Justice Mohammed stated. Having calmed frenzied nerves, the trial judge demanded for what happened and Fagbemi told him that his client (Sylva) was not even served with notice in respect of his arraignment. The EFCC lawyer however informed the court that the 2nd accused person was not in court but his lawyer Gordy Uche explained that Francis Okokuro was sick, though he admitted receiving two volumes of amended charges and proof of evidence from the plaintiff ’s counsel. Ochu Chukwuma, who represented Gbenga S. Balogun (3rd accused) confirmed being served with the relevant processes by the prosecution but said no hearing notice was served him. For the 4th accused, Samuel Ogbuku, his lawyer Ajayi Olowo also admitted being served but he informed the court that he had filed a motion of preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the court on the matter. Olowo’s objection is on the ground that the EFCC had no right to investigate and prosecute the accused as the alleged money belonged to the Bayelsa state government and not the Federal Government.

‘Personnel training vital to reduction of maternal, child mortality’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15

that has the capacity to greatly improve Nigeria’s health indices and help in the attainment of the MDGs. He noted that the flexibility of family physicians allow them adapt to the specific needs of the communities they serve, as well as their changing epidemiological patterns and variations in available resources, hence the need for periodic and sufficient training for them. He stated there had been noticeable decline in maternal, infant and under-five mortality indices in Nigeria, “in addition to high uptake of maternal and child healthcare services including immunizations against vaccine preventable diseases such as polio and increased access to family planning methods are just few cases impacting positively on

the Transformation Agenda of this present administration and attainment of MDGs”. He stressed that in order to fulfil their unique roles; family physicians required training that would allow them master the distinct body of knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary for optimal practice in the communities they serve. He observed that the declining indices such as maternal, infant and under-five mortality rates had been achieved due to the assiduous work being carried out by health care professionals including primary healthcare physicians. He also opined that the conference was vital to the role of family physicians in helping to improve health indices in the country, stressing that family physicians in the country, under the um-

brella of SOFPON serve as key providers of comprehensive, continued and coordinated health services for the people of Nigeria. The statement added that Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon.Ndudi Elumelu, tasked health professionals in the country to be conscious of the fact that patients have rights to seek redress in the law courts whenever they are dissatisfied with the levels of care and treatment offered by physicians. “He reminded the physicians that: “ a physician can be investigated and disciplined by Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal established under the provisions of section 15 of the Medical and Dental Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. While appreciating the Federal Medical Centre Keffi for providing

qualitative heath care services to patients patronizing the Medical Centre, Elumelu expressed delight that the Federal Medical Centre has been performing complementary role in absorbing and treating patients from Abuja.” In his address, the Chief Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre, Dr.Giyan Ndom, said that the Conference was designed to inform and equip the family physicians towards handling medico-legal issues which, he said,were rapidly becoming a challenge to the noble practice of medicine in Nigeria. “He said that the theme for this year’s SOFPON Conference “Medicine and the Law” together with the sub-theme “Medico-Legal Aspects of Family Medicine” were apt to train and re-orientate the frontline physicians

towards health care delivery where the quality of life, the privileges and the rights of the patients are utmost. “At the Federal Medical Centre Keffi, the Minister of Health, P r o f . C . O. O n y e b u c h i Chukwu commissioned many projects among

Chukwu

which are Accident and Emergency Project, Family Medicine and National Health Insurance Scheme Building, intensive Care Unit, CT Scan, Digital x-Ray Machine, Ophthalmology Equipments, Laboratory equipment and Oxygen Plant,” the release stressed.


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The APC, nPDP Merger PUBLIC DOMAIN

DELE

SETEOLU

deleseteolu@nationalmirroronline.net (08033137577 SMS only)

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he All Progressive Congress, APC and the new Peoples Democratic Party, nPDP have merged thus concluding the talks held between the parties. The interim Chairman of nPDP, Alh. Kau Baraje read a communiqué that announced the dissolution of nPDP into the APC. The governor of Niger state, Alhaji Babangida Aliyu and governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Sule Lamido had denied joining the APC alongside the governors of Kwara, Adamawa, Rivers, Kano and Sokoto. The PDP crises began at the special national convention to elect new executives for the party. The governors of Niger, Jigawa, Rivers, Kwara, Kano, Sokoto and Adamawa states had left the venue of the convention to protest the alleged imposition of candidates and interference of the presidency. These governors later emerged as G7 led by Alhaji Baraje. The emergence of nPDP has signaled the emergence of faction within the ruling party. The party chairman, Alh. Bamanga Tukur had described the nPDP

as illegal thus provoking verbal and media face offs between the PDP and nPDP. The series of meetings convened to reconcile the belligerent factions failed to resolve the issues. The PDP later suspended and expelled Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Alh. Kau Baraje . It is noteworthy that Prince Oyinlola had aligned with the G7 governors to challenge the alleged authoritarian character of the national chairman, Alh. Bamanga Tukur. Meanwhile, the governors of Niger and Jigawa last week met with President Goodluck Jonathan and chairman, Board of Trustees of PDP, Chief Tony Anenih to resolve the lingering crises. The media reliably reported that the governors insisted on principle and fairness at the meeting. The APC, nPDP merger has drawn critical comments as the most significant development in recent times in the country’s political space. These groups have been described as strange bad fellows whose merger will not likely succeed. The merger has also been described as suggesting the pursuit of power politics and virtual absence of ideology in political contestation. Critics insist that the merger suggests that there is no difference between the APC and PDP. Analysts recall that the APC had pilloried the PDP and its governors as lacking creative ideas on governance and corrupt. In its reaction, the APC has described the merger as useful to build a national party that will displace the PDP in the 2015. The party insists that the new entrants will be expected to respect its pro-

THE MERGER HAS ALSO BEEN DESCRIBED AS SUGGESTING THE PURSUIT OF POWER POLITICS AND VIRTUAL ABSENCE OF IDEOLOGY IN POLITICAL CONTESTATION gramme and party constitution. The APC and nPDP merger underscores the phenomenon of defection otherwise described as cross carpeting in Nigeria. It began with the 1954 Western Regional Elections when NCNC members defected to AG before the formation of the Western Regional government. The 1962 Western Regional crisis led to the exit of Late Chief S. L. Akintola from the AG to form Nigerian National Democratic Party. The faction of AG that formed the NNDP went into alliance with the Northern Peoples’ Congress, NPC, after the 1965 Western regional election. The polity has also been characterised by several defections across political parties in the fourth republic.

The governor of Bauchi, Alhaji Yisa Yuguda won on All Peoples Party platform, but defected to the PDP. The Action Congress Senators, Musiliu Obanikoro and Seye Ogunlewe defected to the PDP. The Labour Party candidate in the last Anambra governorship election, Ifeanyi

Uba was a member of the PDP. Similarly, the APC governorship candidate in the last Anambra guber election, Dr. Chris Ngige was in the PDP and his election as governor on PDP platform was vacated at the tribunal. The list appears endless thus showing the chicaneries in our polity. For clarity, political parties could merge and would be meaningful when their manifestoes are similar. In the case of APC, nPDP merger it is doubtful there are similarity of ideas. The APC claims to be a centre left party when the PDP including nPDP appears to be right. It is important to emphasise at this point, that a political party is not a monolith. In other words, different ideological persuasions will likely contest the political space. Nonetheless, a single ideology will likely be dominant at a point within a political party. The challenge, therefore, is how the APC and nPDP intend to reconcile their centre left and rightist persuasion. More so, we should bear in mind that the nPDP are largely governors and political heavyweights who might not easily tow party lines.

Critics have argued that ideology has receded globally thus it should not be an issue in the context of APC and nPDP merger. This writer argues that given the level of development in Nigeria, the alienation of the populace, mass poverty and underdevelopment, ideology should still be a significant component of its politics. The nature of development crisis in Nigeria requires alternative ideas to market ideology to resolve Nigeria’s economic crisis.

SMEs: Tool for development and economic prosperity.

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he recent trends at different fora of Nigerian context have clearly revealed the amount of respect and advantages attached to Small and Mediumscale Enterprises (SMEs) by government, educational institutions and corporate bodies. The development of Small and Mediumscale Enterprises has being recognised as a veritable tool for promoting poverty eradication, job creation, rural development and sustainable livelihood for the populace. The greatness of Nigeria’s economy and national development hinges on the productive capacity of SMEs activities and growth. It is a clear that in Nigeria, SMEs have generated more than 70 percent of employment and job creation as of today. First Bank Nigeria Limited has in the recognition of this held a first SMEconnect national conference tagged “SMEs at the heart of national Development: Creativity, Capacity and Capital”. The group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Mr. Bisi Onasanya in his opening speech said “the FirstBank SMEconnect National conference, dedicated to spotlighting a critical aspect of our national economy that holds the key to sustainable development and our long-term survival as a nation”. He further said “I am optimistic that today’s discourse on Small and Medium-scale Enterprise (SMEs) will contribute effectively in situating it in the rightful position at the heart of Nigeria’s national development”. The keynote speakers at the conference include Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Group CEO of the Chair Centre Group and Mr. Sim Shaga-

THE NEED TO EXPLORE THE OPPORTUNITIES IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP TO TACKLE THE SKILLS GAPS IN OUR GRADUATES IS OF PRIME IMPORTANCE THAT WE MUST NOT ABANDO ya, founder of Konga.com and Dealddey.com. Also, the key speakers at panel 1- Creativity: unleashing the power within; were Mrs. Kofo Akinkugbe, MD/CEO of SecureID Limited, a Master, Visa and Verve certified smartcard embedding and personalisation firm in West Africa, Mr. Audu Maikori, CEO of Chocolate City Group and Mrs. Ndidi Nwuneli, MFR, founder of AACE foods, and Mr. Seyi Oyefeso served as the moderator. The panellists however shared their stories in the line of business and how one can unleash the power within to drive business to a competitive edge. The second panel- Access to Business capital: show me the money!, had Mrs Cecilia Majekodunmi, head, emerging Corporate strategic business unit, FirstBank and Mrs. Nkiru Adekoya, Vice President, Alternative Investments division of FBN capital limited also, Mr.

Peter Bamkole of the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), Pan- Africa University. The moderation of the panel was handled by Mrs. Aishat Bello; Group Head in charge of FirstBank retail Business in North/West zone. The manner and approach in which funds can be secured to boost one’s business was discussed by the panellists. This new step taken by FirstBank Nigeria Limited towards supporting, growing and developing SMEs for national development and economic prosperity is another gigantic systematic involvement of the bank to better the lots Nigerians and reduce unemployment dramatically. This will without any form of exaggerations set a new phase for national development and poverty reduction due to the fact that it will create more wealth for the people.

Nevertheless, my opinion on SMEs growth and development is all about creating a special entrepreneurial context and content for the youth through robust education programmes that are entrepreneurially integrated. Drive for industrial growth and robust economy cannot come into fruition without putting sustainable entrepreneurial, technical and vocational education programmes in place. We are all aware of the fact that the contributory factor to the geometric rising of unemployment and economic failure is due to the lack of technical skills and manpower to establish, manage and drive our businesses in the various fields and sectors of the economy. The Nigeria educated elite and youths are only literate but lack the necessary skills to drive

the technicality of a professional field. This is why you find most of our critical sectors being handled by foreigners. The need to explore the opportunities in entrepreneurship to tackle the skills gaps in our graduates is of prime importance that we must not abandon. The incorporation of entrepreneurship education into technical and vocational education will give birth to a vibrant, productive and highly sophisticated economy through graduates who are literate coupled with high level of skills that will provide credibility for future economic independence and survival. The long-term positive impact of this on the economy is of no measure and incalculable. It is in the overall recognition of this; that I praise FirstBank Nigeria for giving a sound and remarkable support for sustainable entrepreneurship education for the purpose of impacting adequate skills in young Nigerians to tackle unemployment. This will go a long way in reducing the high level of unemployment over the years and re-position the SMEs for sustainable growth and transformation of Nigeria’s economy. Comrade Daisi Omokungbe is of Entrepreneurship Education Development. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


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Editorial

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

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

FIDELIS LEMCHI OWOAMANAM

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ACTING MD/CEO

SEYI FASUGBA

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DAILY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

A

Daylight robberies in Lagos

bout the first quarter of this year, newspaper reports had it that the Lagos State Police Command arrested a gang of robbers who attacked the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos on March 13, killed two policemen and injured many innocent people. The robbers were said to be the same criminals who attacked a Bureau De Change at the same airport last year and stole dollars worth about N600 million. You must have also heard not too long ago how armed robbers held residents of Akanro Street in Ilasamaja area of Lagos hostage for over an hour with persistent gunshots. Motorists reportedly stopped mid-way at Agiri Bus-stop and turned back to avoid running into the criminals who were reportedly fleeing from the police and were double crossed at Power-Line junction on Akanro road by a detachment of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives. On Tuesday November 15, at the Alaba International market, bandits visited the busy axis, killed and maimed people as well. The target was a young lady who was going to a nearby bank to deposit a huge sum of money. Two mobile policemen were also shot in the process. All these have persisted in spite of Governor Babatunde Fashola administration’s visible efforts to clean up,

A HUNGRY, HOMELESS AND ECONOMICALLY TRAUMATIZED PEOPLE ARE VERITABLE CANDIDATES FOR VIOLENT CRIMES light up and rid Lagos of common criminals. There was a time the Lagos State Government could rightly boast that armed robbery was no more in Lagos. But today, pray that you are not found in a traffic hold-up in any part of Lagos, especially on roads with craters or pot holes. Many of such roads adorn Lagos, anyway, contrary to the impression visitors get if they drive from the Airport in Ikeja to Victoria Island, Ikoyi, or other areas inhabited by the elite. Even at that, robberies are frequently reported around the Victoria Island – Epe; Lagos – Badagry and Mile 2 – Apapa axis; as well as in many outskirts of Lagos metropolis. Children and unemployed youths are mostly involved in the criminal exploits, an indication that the state government’s attempts to address

the involvement of children of school age in crimes through the establishment of rehabilitation centres have yielded little result. The massive presence of street lights is a deliberate design by the state government to address the problem of crime at night. But the street lights only work when the government can power them. The official agency that should supply electricity had chosen to supply darkness for decades. But it should be realised that the escalation of daylight robberies in Lagos or any major city for that matter is an indication that dare devil criminals are not afraid of light, the number of policemen or soldiers deployed to check crime notwithstanding. Indeed, to be borne in mind is the fact that Nigeria’s population is about 160 million. With such a huge population, how many policemen and soldiers will suffice in preventing armed robbery at anytime is a matter of conjecture. Our thinking is that the root cause of robberies and other violent crimes is poverty - material poverty, intellectual poverty and bad examples by national leaders. Tackling material poverty through job-creation; the establishment of industries; paying a decent living wage that

is far-above the so-called minimum wage; and enabling citizens in Lagos and elsewhere have reasons to believe in the country, might perform greater wonders in checking crime than flooding the streets with policemen and soldiers. A socio-economic approach to security will also ensure that there is an aggressive approach to housing and food production in the country. A hungry, homeless and economically traumatized people are veritable candidates for violent crimes like armed robbery, hostage taking (kidnapping), religious bigotry or fanaticism; and ethnic chauvinism. Matters are not made better by the production and display by the electronic and print media of violent crime films and stories. Education that is qualitative and sufficiently engaging should therefore be considered as another solution to the problem of robberies and other forms of violent crime. It appears to us more cost effective to pursue a crime-free society through empowering citizens; who would in turn help the security agencies to police crime and criminals, whether in Lagos, the country’s commercial nerve centre, Abuja, the nation’s capital and other cities in Nigeria.

ON THIS DAY December 4, 1977 Jean-Bedel Bokassa, ex-President of the Central African Republic (CAR) crowned himself Emperor Bokassa I of the Central African Empire. Bokassa (February 22, 1921 – November 3, 1996), was the head of state of the CAR and its successor state, the Central African Empire, from his coup d’état on January 1, 1966 until September 20, 1979. Of this period, he served almost eleven years as president; and for almost three years, he reigned as emperor.

December 4, 1991 Journalist Terry A. Anderson was released after seven years in captivity as a hostage in Beirut. He was the last and longest-held American hostage in Lebanon. Anderson (born October 27, 1947) is the best known and longest held hostage of a group of Americans believed to be captured by Shiite Hezbollah militants in an attempt to drive United States’ military forces from Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War.

December 4, 2006 The Jena Six: Six black youths assaulted a white teenager in Jena, Louisiana, United States. The court case that followed was highly celebrated. The teenagers were convicted for the beating Justin Barker, a white student at Jena High School in Jena, Barker was injured in the assault. The case was often cited as an example of racial injustice in the US due to the belief that the defendants were charged with too-serious offenses and treated unfairly.


Wednesday, December 4 , 2013

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Health & Wellbeing Endoscopy, new trend in medicine-Nordica MD

Health benefits of drinking water 20

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Despite $bn grants, Nigerians, economy, under HIV/AIDS’ threats OUT OF ESTIMATED THREE MILLION PEOPLE REQUIRING ANTIRETROVIRAL

TREATMENT, NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT IS ABLE TO PROVIDE FOR

600,000

L-R: Coordinator of Women Living with HIV in Ogun State, Mrs. Olubunmi Lawal; Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka; Director, Ogun State Agency for the Control of AIDS (OGSACA), Dr. Kehinde Fatungase and another official of the agency during the rally rounding-off 2013 World AIDS Day in Abeokuta yesterday.

MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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he future of Nigerian economy and youth hang in the balance of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV, and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS, despite foreign aids and domestic financing efforts that have run into billions of dollars within two decades. World Health Organisation WHO report indicates 60,000 children Nigeria were infected with the virus in 2012, while about 300,000 new infections occur annually among people aged 15 and 24, representing 60 percent of total infection in the country, according to Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNIAIDS. Nigeria is currently faced with domestic funding challenges as it struggles to rev its 25 percent contribution to overall funding for managing the disease, even as fears are rife that donors may soon trim aid. Consequently, tiers of government have set N263billion target to be raised together with the private sector to manage the disease in the next two years, pursuant to the realization of President’s Goodluck Jonathan’s Comprehensive Plan on HIV/AIDS. Foreign donors have consistently provided 75 percent of required fund for managing HIV in Nigeria for over a decade. Former United States Ambassador to Nigeria earlier this year told National Mirror that no less than $3billion (about N450billion) had been committed to the fight HIV/ AIDS and general improvement of Nigerian health system in the past decade by the US government. This is done mainly through US Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR. Besides, his successor, Ambassador James Entwistle, in the 2013 release of PEPFAR’s programme in Nigeria said

with the support of PEPFAR, about 540,000 men, women and children are on HIV treatment. In Financial Year 2013 alone, approximately 572,000 people have been reached with community outreach programs promoting prevention of HIV; nearly 6.7 million people have been reached with HIV counseling and testing services; about 47,000 pregnant women have been provided antiretroviral drugs for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV; approximately 790,000 adults and children living with HIV/AIDS have received care to support quality of life, including TB/ HIV care services and; about 530,000 children orphaned by AIDS and other vulnerable children received care and support. Currently, Nigeria remains second world’s most endemic nation with HIV/ AIDS, coming after South Africa which has 6,100,000 of its 51, 770, 560 population (2011 census) living with the disease, according to UNAIDS, South Africa. This is the position both countries have occupied for over a decade. And, Nigeria has 3.4million people living with the disease. 2012 reports on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria have shown more teenagers and children live with HIV in Nigeria, which according to findings is transmitted through failure of appropriate authority to provide needed services, monitoring children’s lifestyles by guardians among others. This development greatly worries WHO at the moment; and it has made this the focus for 2013 commemoration of HIV/AIDS. “More than 2 million adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 years are living with HIV, and many do not receive the care and support that they need to stay in good health and prevent transmission. In addition, millions more adolescents are at risk of infection,” WHO said in its recent report.

Out of 60 million people that have died of HIV/AIDS, three million were Nigerians, said Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Prof John Idoko at this year’s World AID’s Day Conference in Abuja earlier this week. According to him, it will be impossible to lay the foundation for the pandemic’s end without greater progress in reducing new infections among adults and children. He put the prevalence of HIV infection in Nigeria at 3.4 percent of the nation’s population currently estimated 170 million. “3.5 million people are living with HIV, out which 1.5 million are in need of treatment. This number will go up with the adaption of the new WHO guidelines on ART,” the NACA boss said. He informed that there had been reduction in HIV prevalence in many of the 12+1 states namely Benue, Akwa Ibom, Ogun among others. Besides, out of estimated three million people requiring antiretroviral treatment, Nigerian government is able to provide for 600,000; a 100,000 above those who benefited last year. Key challenges facing the Federal Government according to Idoko include: increasing the number of people on treatment to 50 percent of those in need that is 1.5 million people; getting to test 40 million persons annually; stigma and discrimination; mobilizing local resources and innovative financing among others. President Goodluck Jonathan had responded to disaster inherent in the pandemic by instituting the Presidential Emergency Response Plan on HIV/AIDS. This aims at combating HIV/AIDS for two years. According to the President, “the plan will provide HIV testing for 40 million Nigerians; provide treatment for more than 1 million HIV positive persons requiring treatment; and provide Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission services to about 250, 000 HIV positive pregnant women.” But, like other programmes in Nigeria which have been unsuccessful, Nigerians awaits the result of the plan. Meanwhile,

given the current circumstance where more children are infected with HIV, the prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme of government may be judged to be unsuccessful in Nigeria. According to Emeritus Prof Umaru Shehu, most Nigerians women do not have access to health facilities, which make them to give birth at home. Lack of access to these facilities by mothers plus inadequate health personnel remain huge challenge in Nigeria. UNAIDS said less than 30 percent of pregnant women have access to PMTCT services. More infections occur, daily, and, in effect, more children are born with the virus. This expectedly will put enormous strain on the nation’s resources while the children and the youth productivity will unarguably be negatively affected. HIV/AIDS has remained the first disease in history that has defied all medications. Nigeria must be in the vanguard of nations that will bring this disease to a halt, through enhanced research and development of its manpower, including all institutions that will help in achieving global goal. The world is looking towards zero-free HIV generation as this year’s commemoration theme is “Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections”. In his address to commemorate 2013 World AIDS Day, United Nation’s Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon called on nations to commit more effort to global target of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths to help ensure a future free of AIDS. He said there were significant decreases in new infections and deaths, from HIV/ AIDS. He said further “As revealed in the UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report for 2013, there are still worrying signals that some regions and countries are falling behind. We are making advances in reaching vulnerable populations through efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination, but there is still much to do to end this problem. We must recommit to breaking the remaining barriers, including punitive laws and social exclusion, so we can reach all people who lack access to HIV treatment and services.” He urged that to create conditions for an AIDS-free generation, nations must step up efforts to stop new HIV infections among children and ensure access to treatment for all mothers living with HIV, even as he called for action to end the discrimination and violence against women which he said cause terrible harm and increase risk of HIV infection and death from AIDS.


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Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, Dccember 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

Health benefits of drinking water

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ome people do not like drinking water, probably because of its taste or they may be completely ignorant about its health benefits. Similarly, a lot of people put their minds and bodies under intolerable unnecessary stress and become sick simply because they do not drink enough water. Do you know that unintentional dehydration leads to illnesses and degenerative diseases that can be prevented, treated, and cured simply by drinking plenty of water? Most times, some people wait until they are thirsty or have a dry mouth before taking water, by so doing, they must have been mildly dehydrated. Water makes up 50 to 70 per cent of an adult’s total body weight. It is the single most important nutrient for our bodies. There are two types of water: spring water and mineral water. Spring water is natural water collected directly from its source where it is bottled. Mineral water emerges from under the ground, then flows over rocks before it is collected, resulting in a higher content of various minerals. Different brands of spring and mineral waters have differing amounts of minerals depending on their source. In choosing the right type of water, aim for pH balance. Distilled water is too acidic and alkaline water is too alkaline. The ideal pH of water should be between 6.5 to 7.5, which is neutral. Studies have shown that spring water is in this ideal range. It is one of the healthiest water on the planet because it is “living water”. Living water, like “living food is in its raw, natural state. Some water like spring water has essential minerals and nutrients like magnesium, potassium, sodium, selenium, etc which are important for nearly every function in the body. Water aids maintenance of a healthy body weight. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that “drinking water (about 17oz) increases metabolic rate by 30 percent in healthy men and women”. Water suppresses hunger and aids in digestion. The gastrointestinal tract requires lots of hydration to keep things flowing smoothly and prevent constipation. The skin regulates water by perspiration and absorbs lot of water by acting as a protective layer. Water aids decrease muscle and joint inflammation- it keeps joints strong, healthy and lubricated. Water detoxifies the body naturally. Most of the toxins produced or accumulated in the body is carried through cells by water fluids and flushed out. The muscles produce lots of traction when they are in motion. They require lots of hydration to function smoothly. Water protects our organs, keeps our tissues moist and dissolves minerals and other nutrients to make them accessible to the body. Studies have also shown that, “in case of headaches and migraine problem, the first thing to do is to drink plenty of water”. Research also shows that “staying hydrated can also reduce risk of colon cancer, bladder

cancer, breast cancer and heart attacks”. Another question most people ask is: how much water should I drink daily? Knowing more about your body’s need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day depending on the climate, lifestyle, etc. If you are in a hot climate or engaging in strenuous activity, it is advisable to increase your water intake as needed. As you age, your thirst mechanism works less efficiently, so older adults need to pay more attention to the colour of their urine to see if their water intake is adequate. Some studies have shown that “to determine how much water your body needs you need to measure your body weight (in pounds) and divide it by two. That’s how much ounces of water you need a day-unless you have congested heart failure or kidney failure, in which case you should consult a doctor”. A lot of people drink lots of water during meal times without knowing its health implications. Drinking too much water with meals washes away the hydrochloric acid, digestive juices, enzymes in the stomach and intestines and also, slows down digestion. Aim to hydrate about 15 to 20 minutes before you eat, and then try not to drink too much water until about 30 minutes to an hour after you have finished your meal. Drinking cold water with meals can slow down digestion process and may cause cramping. Reduce intake if diuretics (substances that push out excessive salt and water from the body) because this can lead to dehydration. Always bear in mind that you do not consume all the water you need in liquid forms, water can also be consumed in other forms like in fruits and vegetables and some foods. To encourage adequate consumption of water for those who do not like its taste- put lemon slices in your glass of water to enhance its taste. In general, water is the key to a longer, healthier, and more vigorous life; making water your go-to drink saves a lot of money in the long run. Always take along with you a fresh bottle of water anywhere you go!

The team of celebrities from the Nigerian Music & Movie industry before taking on Team Ex-Internationals in a novelty football match tagged ‘Superstars Play For Life’ organized by Friends Africa to mark World AIDS Day recently.

Save our souls

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hronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is now a global health challenge. It is a leading cause of various other illnesses including heart failure. CKD is also, leading cause of premature death even among infants and young children. A Nigerian child, Chidimma Silas Ezemoka who hails from the ancient city of Igboukwu in Aguata LG in Anambra State is currently without a functioning kidney. Her two kidneys have failed. When in December 2011, Mr. Festus and Mrs. Njideka Sailas-Ezemoka observed that some parts of their lovely daughter’s body was swollen, they raised an alarm. Chidimma was just eight years-old in 2011 when she was struck by kidney failure in December of that year. Then in Primary four, but, of no choice of hers, ill-health has for so long, kept her from joining her peers in school. Narrating the genesis of his daughter’s renal failure, Ezemoka further recalled that, “towards the tail end of 2011, some parts of her body began to swell up. I took her to the clinic and she was later referred to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). It was after series of tests that the doctor told us that her two kidneys have failed. Chidimma has been undergoing dialysis in LUTH, a process which is financially burdensome. Ezemoka continues. “Three months ago, she started undergoing dialysis. At first,

Chidimma Ezemoka

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recisely on March 3, 2013, Mr. Chikodi Onuegbu had his left leg cut off. The amputation was carried out at the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos. To be able to carry on with life struggles again, doctors have recommended that a false leg be provided for him. The 34 year-old man who hails from Amigbo in Nwangele Local Government Area of Imo State is a commercial transport operator. The ghastly auto crash that claimed one of his legs, occurred on April 22, 2012. The accident which occurred along Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, close to Isolo bus stop, had his left leg badly damaged. To make matters worse, the badly damaged leg was grossly mismanaged by a traditional bone setter who had administered a bandage

three times a week. Each course costs between N35, 000.00 and N50, 000.00 (fifty thousand naira). Some weeks, she could go for three. At other times, she could go for two dialyses weekly. It all depends on her condition and her blood level. It was Chidimma’s school, Saint Michael Nursery and Primary Anglican School, Coker-Orile that first started footing the bill for her treatment. At the moment, nothing in the whole wide world matters the most to Mr. and Mrs. Ezemoka than to see their little princess hale and herty and back on her feet again. So, I am calling on every Nigerian for help. They should help save the life of my daughter’s life. Part of a medical report from LUTH, signed by Consultant Paediatrican, Dr. Christopher Esezobor and dated, June 18, 2013 on the state of Chidimma’s health, reads: “following poor response to the standard treatment with steroid, she underwent a kidney biopsy.” The report went further to state that the findings on kidney biopsy indicated near-end stage kidney disease with almost all of the glomeruli globally collapsed and some intestinal fibrosis. Over the ensuing months, her kidney function declined to the present level”.

Meanwhile, arrangements are in top gear for Chidimma to be flown to India for further care and subsequently, kidney transplant. She requires N6, 000,000.00 (six million naira for the trip. You can reach her through Diamond Bank Account number 0034 774 037, Acct. name, Ezemoka Festus or through telephone numbers 0802 012 0136

Chikodi Onuegbu

on the leg and left it unattended to for weeks. As a result, the leg got infected and began to decay. The young man now requires an artificial leg to get him back on his feet enable him irk a living. “I’m appealing to all Nigerians once again to please come to my aid. I want to be up again and carry on with life. Doctors had put the cost of the procurement of the artificial leg and further treatment at treatment at N555, 000.00. Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi who led the medical team that performed the surgery, and Dr. Babalola Olatunji also Consultant Orthopedic at the hospital, said considering his age and zeal, there is urgent need to rehabilitate the young man. Mr. Chikodi Onuegbu can be reached via telephone number 0803 693 9292 or through GT Bank, Acct no. 012 677 3661.


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Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

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SOGON 2013: Nordica MD honoured •says Endoscopy is new trend in medicine

SEKINAH L AWAL

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call has gone to young doctors to understand the fact that the practice of medicine and the whole world is chanching, hence, the need to embrace the new trend in the field of medicine such as Endoscopy. Giving this advice in Lagos recently was the Medical Director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi while he was been honoured at

the 47th Annual General Meeting & Scientific Conference of the Society of Gynaecology & Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON) 2013 during a dinner which took place at the Eko Hotel, Lagos. According to Ajayi, his message is for the young and upcoming doctors as they are the ones who will take the reins sooner than later. “Quite frankly, my journey through medical school was rather interesting and it’s God’s grace that I am where I am today. When I meet aspiring phy-

sicians, I don’t discourage them. I tell them it’s a great career, full of depth, challenges and meaning. Medicine as a profession has problems, and we need to address them if we hope to continue having physicians. The difficulties of medicine are not insurmountable. But we must work on them. If only so that we can maintain an ongoing procession of fresh, new faces and innovative new thinkers to fill our medical shoes as my generation of physicians, and

several others, fades off the scene of active practice. He advised them on leaving their comfort zone, taking advantage of many opportunities available out there, synergy for better growth and stewardship. “No doubt we are good at what we do, great doctors but medicine and world is changing. Learning new skills is imperative both in medicine and outside medicine.” Stating that the area of Endoscopy is the new trend in the world,

L-R: Medical Director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi; National President, Society of Gynaecology & Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON), Dr. Fred Achem and SOGON’s Sec.Gen, Dr. Chris Agboghoroma during the award dinner marking the 47th Annual General Meeting & Scientific Conference of SOGON 2013 at Eko Hotel, Lagos

FG, GE train 120 trauma managers MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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enceforth, trauma patients in Nigeria are expected to receive improved treatment from clinicians in major health facilities in the country, given fourday training offered over 120 trauma clinicians courtesy General Electric Healthcare and the Federal Government in Abuja recently. Speaking on the significance of the training, Managing Director, GE Healthcare, Pamels Hall said Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu had prioritized efforts around trauma. “We engaged in this programme with our colleagues on

life support training. The intent here is to continue skill building with applications that can make them serve the patients better. Everyone can make a difference. Everybody should do his part; that is the statement because trauma incidents are high in the country, we should do our part. According to her, life support is about techniques, stressing that trainees could manage patients, primarily with the skills garnered from the training. A participant and Assistant Director, Nursing, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ebonyi State Philochukwu Winifred, said “I have been an Accident and Emergency

Nurse for the past ten years; I have been going for conferences and seminars, as regards to emergencies to upgrade my knowledge. But, I will not tell you lie, this is the best so far. It was with advanced cardiac life support. I have really learnt a lot. It is not only in terms of resuscitating patients alone, both within hospital and outside the hospital community, whatever happens now, I will be able to handle it because of the knowledge I have acquired from this training. It was very wonderful”. Speaking, Desk Officer, Trauma, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Ijeoma Okorie, said the programme is aimed at

improving the skills of Nigerian health providers in medical emergency issue. It is meant to enhance our response to medical emergencies. As we can see here at the National Hospital, we have over 96 participants on basic life support and 24 participants on advanced cardiac life support.

President Jonathan

he urged them to learn it. I look forward to the first robot in Nigeria. We have been trained to be one man army but the world has moved on. Very little can anyone achieve alone hence you need people skills.” He quoted Dale Carnegie who said that for a profession to be successful; you need 20% professional skills and 80% people skills …in other words; you need to make other people work for you. He also talked on the need to work together. If one takes a look at Lagos, every major street is littered with clinics, most of them not viable. Why can’t doctors join forces to open big hospitals instead of everyone wanting to be the MD? “The world is a global village so one man can’t survive without synergy today. Institutions must work together, that way, the idea of P.P.P. should work out very well for all like banks and others.” Conclusively, Ajayi enjoined them to serve and mentor the younger ones and empower them. “In order to help future medical students,

we need to give them a sense of calling, a sense of purpose. We must use our wisdom and experience to smooth the paths for aspiring physicians, otherwise we harm the future generations who will lack new cures, new drugs, new procedures and fresh faces of compassion. And we may, inadvertently, harm our own descendants, who might find themselves suffering with no one to intervene. Endoscopy is a medical procedure that allows a doctor to observe the inside of the body without perfor ming major surgery. The tube-like endoscope (fibroscope) is inserted into natural openings (such as the mouth or anus). An endoscopy can have advantages including no scarring, quick recovery time, and less or no time in hospital. Some of the younger doctors spoken to by our Correspondent described Ajayi as a role model who has been a source of inspiration to many of them and urged others to emulate him.

‘Lack of education increase teenage pregnancies’ MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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ow level of awareness on education and family planning services, especially in satellite communities; have been identified as major factors aiding teenage pregnancies in Nigeria. Nigerian Urban and Reproductive Health Initiative, NURHI, made this known recently through its FCT Team leader, Mrs Salako Adebusola, at a villagewide free family planning services for Gishiri village, near Maitama, Abuja.

Adebusola said: “During our conversation with the people of the community, we discovered that family planning was one of the immediate needs of the people. She advocated girl-child education. According to her, when there is education, the girl child will be able to stay in school, get mature before

getting married and bearing children. Head of the village, Prince Dan Fenu, expressed delight with the programme, stressing that the services would help birth control in the community. He said: “In this village, the issue of family planning is an issue so many people in the village have desired for long. Some who do it go to distant health facilities in town.

“Today, NURHI is a solution to challenge of our people and we are very happy. Actually, some of them have the family planning. The people that have not done it are more than those that have it already. Honestly, if you look at the children we have in this village, they are many. The parents have been complaining about this. With the family planning that is coming here now, we believe there will be reduction in the number of children being born here.”


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Experts lament growing rate of hypertension, obesity, MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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he increasing rate of diseases hitherto affecting only the aged among Nigerian youths, today, has become a source of worry to health practitioners in the country. This informed a Young People’s Health Conference in Nigeria (Young PHCN) organized by Kiacops Mega Concept in Abuja recently with the aim of enlightening the youths on how best to curb the trend. Speaking at the conference titled “My Health, My Future”, a dietician and retired nurse, Mrs Peninah Gabriel urged youths to be conscious of diseases of the old people which, she said, now afflict the

nation’s youths. Speaking on obesity, she said of her experience: “I had a weight of 148kg before. But, right now, I am about 108kg. I lost about 40kg within one and a half year.” At the time she was having heavy weight, Mrs Peninah said she ate all manners of food that came her way and was not careful about the implications. She warned that prevention of heavy weight is better than its cure. While urging everyone to ensure they eat their last meal of the day earlier than 8pm, she said any food eaten after 8pm is poisonous to the body and would have negative impact on their health. Convener of the conference and Coordinator of Kiacops Concept, Modupe Olu-

fisoye said the essence of the event was to sensitize the youths, especially those between the ages of 25 to 45 on the need to stay healthy. “We must learn to pay attention to our health. It is not just making money. It is not just living the lifestyle that pleases us. We must be careful that we do not do things that will be detrimental to our health in future. What I am emphasizing is that some disease conditions that used to be in the old people before are now found in young people. This is not supposed to be. We want to encourage regular check-up among our youths”.

US Ambassador commissions Mapa Community Clinic

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L-R: Brand Manager, Sunlight Detergent, Gbenga Lawrence; Category Manager, Fabric Cleaning, Nnenna OsiAnugwa and Kingsley Nwabudike during the Sunlight Bubbleman Flashmob event in Lagos at the weekend.

HIV/AIDS: Let’s end discriminationSoyinka

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he week-long activities marking the 2013 World AIDS Day in Ogun State came to an end yesterday with a rally in Abeokuta, where the Commissioner for Health, Dr Olaokun Soyinka made a strong appeal for an end to stigmatisation and discrimination against people living with the virus. Addressing participants at the rally which took off at Oke-Ata Housing Estate and terminated at Ita-Oshin motorpark, Soyinka emphasised that the greatest challenge facing the fight against the spread of the virus had been the twin problem of discrimination and stigmatisation. He noted that as a response to the increase in the awareness campaign, some people have shown readiness to engage in voluntary counselling and testing, lamenting however that the possibility of being labelled was making some of them to develop cold feet. “We need to learn to show love and support to those living with the virus and not discriminate”, Soyinka said. He said the measures were embarked upon as a necessary step to prevent a likely epidemic which could result if

people lost sight of the modes of transmitting and methods of preventing the virus. Also speaking, the Director of the State Agency for the Control of AIDS (OGSACA), Dr. Kehinde Fatungase disclosed that the sensitisation campaign was targeted at youths within 15-24years because they were the drivers of the epidemic. Dr. Fatungase advised that those who could not abstain should be faithful to their partners and avoid risky sexual practices. Coordinator of Women Living with HIV in the State, Mrs. Olubunmi Lawal, in her address encouraged people to take advantage of the free HIV Counselling and Testing to know their status and if discovered to be positive, take advantage of available interventions to curtail the spread. She expressed hope that once the Anti-Stigma bill is passed into law, people living with the virus would feel free to disclose their status and would not be discriminated against in their places of work or in the larger community. The rally was rounded off with free HIV testing and counselling held at Ita-Oshin and Kuto motor parks.

She stressed that every youth must learn to stay healthy, making conscious effort to stay health through regular medical check-up. In a presentation, a Consultant with the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr Galadanci said starting to change lifestyle during adulthood “is always too late. It is better done when one is very much younger.” He stated that youths in Nigeria die of cardiovascular diseases, trauma, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and obesity which were once regarded as diseases of the aged.

.S. Ambassador to Nigeria James Entwistle commissioned the Mapa Community Clinic recently in commemoration of World AIDS Day. The clinic’s goal is to provide antenatal care and delivery services to women in the Mapa and surrounding communities to reduce maternal deaths and the resultant number of orphans and vulnerable children in these communities. Services for preventing mother-to-child transmission of the HIV virus also will be offered at the clinic. “All of this is in keeping with the theme of World AIDS Day 2013, ‘Getting to Zero’ new HIV infections,” said Entwistle. He went on to note that “World AIDS day 2013 also presents a special milestone. It’s the 10th anniversary of PEPFAR, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief—the largest effort by any nation to combat a single disease, and what a difference a decade makes.” The clinic project is the result of a

partnership among the ambassador’s PEPFAR Small Grants Program, the Mapa community, the Tabitha Cumi Foundation, and the Bwari Local Government Area. The grant of approximately $10,000 was provided to the community for the construction of the clinic and to pay for clinic furniture and equipment. In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja has an HIV prevalence rate of 8.6 percent (well above the national median of 4.1 percent), and the Bwari Local Government Area, where the MAPA community is situated, has the highest HIV prevalence in the FCT. The ambassador’s PEPFAR Small Grants Program supports communitydriven initiatives that involve significant local contributions in land, labor, capital, and expertise and favors projects that will be sustained by the community in the long run. It is a special initiative aimed at helping communities to help themselves.

Coca-Cola partners Friends Africa on HIV/AIDS

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s part of activities to commemorate World AIDS Day in Nigeria, former Super Eagles stars took to the pitch of the Campos Mini Stadium, Lagos, against a team of entertainment celebrities from the movie and music industries in the second edition of the novelty football match tagged “Superstars Play for Life’. The match was organised by non-profit advocacy group, Friends Africa in partnership with Coca-Cola to raise awareness for the HIV/AIDS pandemic, lend support to people living with the disease and call for an end to stigmatization and discrimination against people living with the disease. Speaking at the kick-off of the novelty match, the founder and CEO of Friends Africa, Dr Akudo Ikemba disclosed that the

group was taking a two-pronged approach to its HIV/AIDS advocacy. The call and need for Nigerians to know their status and the fight against stigmatization. According to Clem Ugorji, Public Affairs and Communications Manager of Coca-Cola Nigeria, official beverage sponsors of the campaign, the fight to end stigmatization and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS is a fight for all. HIV/AIDS imposes a huge social and economic burden on our communities, not only in terms of human suffering but also the loss of productivity and the high cost of managing the disease. At Coca-Cola we believe that government, business and civil society must work together to effectively address this threat to the sustainability of our communities.”

L:R The Special Adviser To Govenor Fashola On Primary Health Care Dr Yewande Adesine, with The Event Chairman chief Molade Okoya Thomas at the 2013 Lagos State Medical Guild (AGM) LCCI Ikeja


Wednesday, June 12, 2013 Wednesday, December 4, 2013

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Arts Lounge

I write to help 25 Africa’s younger generation –Uponi

2face, Tiwa Savage headline Exquisite Face 26 of the Universe

Tribe gathers for NANTAP convention, elections THE 2013 NANTAP

ADEBIMPE OLATUJA-ADEOTI

PRESIDENTIAL

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he National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) recently held her 15th National Delegate Convention in the ancient city of Ibadan, Oyo state from Thursday, November 14 to Sunday, November 17. It was indeed a ‘gathering of the tribe’ –as the annual convention of NANTAP is usually known– with theatre practitioners from different parts of the country converging in Ibadan to deliberate on the future of the association, welfare of theatre practitioners and the development of theatre in Nigeria. Opening ceremony Speaking at the opening ceremony at the Arts Theatre of the University of Ibadan, General Manager of Oyo State Council for Arts and Culture, Dr. B. A. Olanrewaju challenged the association to reassess itself and widen its horizon in its primary assignment of setting standard of practice without jeopardising the welfare of its members and resultant effect on the society. “If the definition of theatre as a ‘product of creative activity wherein materials are shaped and arranged to convey an idea, emotion or a means of correcting societal vices, theatre artistes as individuals and members of one big family like NANTAP have the onerous responsibility of creating ideas, stories, environment and situations that must benefit their society”, he said; while adding that the theatre artiste is a model for defining character, situation and purposeful engagements. Performances by the Zeal Dance Troupe, an Ibadan based private dance troupe, and the multi-cultural performance by the Oyo State Council for Arts and Culture troupe put the audience at the edge of the seats added the required flavour to the opening ceremony under the chairmanship of Professor Chuks Okoye, Head of Theatre Department at the University of Ibadan. Yinka Ola-Williams, the General Manager of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Theatre, OOPL Theatre, Abeokuta, Ogun State, wowed the audience with a stunning poetry performance which underscores the essence of the congress –the need for a new order, ordained by God. The poem, “Dream Dawn” written by Pastor Paul Adefarasin of the House on the Rock Church has already being produced by the artiste and would soon hit the airwaves. Delegates’ congress After the opening ceremony and a well-deserved courtesy visit to the Head of Department, Theatre, Professor Chuks Okoye, delegates observed a brief

RACE WILL REMAIN ONE OF THE MOST

KEENLY-CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN THE HISTORY OF THE

24-YEAR-OLD

ASSOCIATION

President-elect Tunde Obalana (r) being decorated by outgoing-President Greg Odutayo

Oyo Council for Arts and Culture troupe performing

break before reconvening later in the evening for the delegates’ congress held at the Glory View Hotel and chaired by Dr. Israel Wekpe from Edo state, with Mr. Yele Balogun as the Clerk. After taking reports from national officers and state chapters, the association deliberated on various issues affecting her members and the practice of theatre in Nigeria which the congress identified is going through some challenges. As moved by Professor Emma Emeasialu fro Rivers State, the congress passed a vote of confidence on the Greg Odutayo led National Executive Council for steering the association to the enviable position it occupies today “I am proud of what Mr. Greg Odutayo’s presidency has been able to do for our great association in the last six years. I am if the opinion that they have done what must be done and must be so commended. What is important now is for the incoming executives to follow the pace the outgoing executives set for them”. A new president The highlight of the 2013 convention is the transition programme. A new era was

ushered in the life of the association with the election of a new President to stir the ship of the association for the next three years. While other positions from the Deputy President, Secretary-General, down to the Chief Whip were returned unopposed, the position of the President, contested for by Mr. Yemi Sodimu and Mr. Tunde Obalana was not without some drama. In the end, in what will remain one of the most keenly-contested elections in the history of the 24-year-old association, Mr. Babatunde Obalana, a one-time Secretary-General and Lagos State chapter chairman of the association earn a well deserved landslide victory, with 42 votes to Yemi Sodimu’s eight votes. Having been declared and presented to the congress by the National Electoral Panel consisting of Mrs. Oluchi Ighile (Ondo), Mr. Sunday Umana (Alwa Ibom) and Pa Babatunde Olapade, the Presidentelect reiterated his mission for the association as contained manifesto presented to delegates. “My mission for NANTAP premised on the need to expand the horizon of this association. To build on the structures the

outgoing executives have put in place. This is a new order that we must all embrace for the good of our association and the practice of theatre in Nigeria”. He concluded, appealing for support for his administration from all stakeholders, chapters and the outgoing President/Executives. Gala/award dinner The convention came to a close with a sumptuous Gala/Award Dinner held at the SDM Events Centre under the chairmanship of Oloye Lekan Alabi, the Aare Alasa of Ile Ibadan, with Alhaji Tajudeen Aremu, the Head of Service of the Oyo State government, as Special Guest of Honour . At the dinner which was co-anchored by Demola Aremu and popular actor-comedian, Afeez Oyetoro of the ‘Saka’ fame; veteran theatre practitioners who have given their talent and time to the practice of theatre in Nigeria were recognised and honoured by the association. In 2011, a new vista was opened in the lives of the association when it decorated three distinguished theatre artistes and cultural workers with NANTAP’s Fellow of Theatre Award (FTA) and followed up with seven others in 2012. This year, the number swelled to 17 as Professors Duro Oni, Sam Ukala and USbased Segun Ojewuyi topped the list of distinguished fellows decorated this year. Others include Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, Joke Silva, Chief Muraina Oyelami, Oba Segun Akinbola, Peter Fatomilola, Israel Eboh, Dele Morakinyo, Edmond Enaibe, Patrick Jude Otteh, Dotun Osunsanya, Tunde Obalana, Olu Adeniregun, Sola Onayiga and Jahman Anikulapo. Mr. Emeka Mba, Professor Hope Eghagha, Mr. Wole Oguntokun of Renegade Theatre, Bolanle Austen Peters of Terra Kulture, Mrs. Yetunde Fosudo of Ekiti State Arts Council and Dr. Arnold Udoka of the National Troupe of Nigeria, NTN. Honourable (Prof.) Chudi Uwazuruike received NANTAP’s Special Recognition Award for Art Patronage and support of the development of theatre in Nigeria.


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Nigerian female artist and her unique perspective

VOICES

JULIET EZENWA MAJA-PEARCE

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here is no gender in art. Creativity doesn’t select what sex an individual is in order for it to be expressed. Martha Graham, the American choreographer, described creativity as “a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into actions and because there is only one of you in all time; this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost”. For the female in the visual arts, there is really no special treatment. You are expected to work just as hard as your male counterpart, be as productive as they are and produce as much as they do. In Nigeria’s not-too-distant past, of course, the female was not permitted by tradition to produce certain types of art. In fact, we celebrate today the pioneering efforts of Princess Akenzua, the mother of Peju Layiwola, who was the first female to formally produce Benin bronzes. Historically, the Nigerian female artist has never been this free. Art which had been taboo for women to create 30 or 50 years ago is now accessible. This, indeed, is the Golden Age. A female artist in present-day Nigeria under the age of 40 (who is single) has the following advantages: Absolute freedom to create any form of art that she desires and to travel as she likes without a male escort. She is also independent of parents or guardians. More than likely, she is financially independent and can provide minimal health care for herself and probably look after a ward or two. She needs little time to prepare for an exhibition and no permission to attend one but the one she gives herself. She understands pressing national and social issues and possesses a certain measure of confidence and will speak when given the opportunity. This is a positive development. One only imagines the silent agony creative women must have endured in the past when they lacked the freedom to express their creativity in any medium of their choice. Women can now use the therapeutic qualities found in the creative process to heal themselves, justifying Sigmund Freud when he said, and I quote, “Unexpressed emotions never die. They are buried alive and come forth later in uglier ways”. Or Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings when she writes: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”. The role of the woman in society is now more sophisticated and complex. It seems as if, for all the freedom this century has offered, society now demands full payment for that freedom. Single, sit-at-home moms are no longer acceptable. Non-professional women are frowned upon and considered lazy. The average woman is expected to be a perfect mother, an excellent wife, a caring and polite in-law, a successful professional, a good marketer and a PR person. Any flaw in her performance in any of these roles and the whiplash of criticism comes pouring in. The society expects the modern woman to be a super-hero and will

‘OT’ an installation by Peju Alatishe

Maja-Pearce

‘Moon light’ a painting by Maja-Pearce

Okundaye

punish her mercilessly if she falls short of expectations. For the present-day female artist, time management is the key factor to achieving this goal. The expectations of the society, plus those of the family and individual goals, all make a huge demand on this limited time. Many days I wished there were more than 24 hours in one day. What would the world be today if Leonardo Da Vinci had been born a woman and his study drawings of the helicopter not been made? For me, I would not be happy doing anything else but creating works of art. The practice of art is my life’s activity. I love the creative process as well as the creation itself. Most of all, I love selling them. I find that people regard creative people with trepidation. This is not surprising because I believe the ability to capture that creative idea or essence in your mind, to hold it long enough in order to bring it alive, takes its toll on the psyche of the creator. No wonder artists are sometimes lost in their works and often described as weird. Ideas are like fleeting thoughts. The challenge, therefore, is to use them before they disintegrate. The lifestyle of the artist is quite simple. Primary allegiance is to the art, closely followed by the family. Many artists don’t have much of a social life as a result of

A FEMALE ARTIST IN PRESENT-DAY NIGERIA UNDER THE AGE OF 40 (WHO IS SINGLE) HAS ABSOLUTE FREEDOM TO CREATE ANY FORM OF ART THAT SHE DESIRES the huge demand the creative process makes on their time. Someone once described art as that flower in a forest. The place of art is, for me, like the perfume that you wear, the salt in your soup, that intangible quality that gives value to an object. It is a fact that the great civilisations of old are classified according to the quality of art they left behind. A house or a home with lots of art works quickly tells the visitor that the residents are people who live a quality life and like fine things and are therefore civilised. Because the creative artist needs to maintain a high level of purity of thought in order for the art to emerge as true, the artistic mind quickly finds itself as the conscience of the society. Artists have been known to possess the ability to see into the future, as witness the drawings of Leonardo. For any individual or society which desires to be futuristic in approach, artists are a sine qua non. The society, on its part, needs to understand that the creative individual should be handled differently from others. Like the goose that lays the golden egg, they should be handled with extreme care. For the female artist, 100 per cent spousal support is vital. Many female artists stop practising art as soon as they marry because of

the marital demands made on them. However, we have some female artists who have triumphed in this field juggling art, marriage and the salary job, successfully. We look up to them hoping to draw strength from their achievement. Women like Chief Mrs Nike Okundaye of the Nike Art Centre; Ms. Ndidi Dike, topmost female sculptor; associate professor Peju Layiwola, the master jeweller and artist. Mrs. Veronica Otigbo, a sculptor, Mrs. Nkechi Nwosu-Edoche and Ms. Peju Alatise, just to mention a few. In the same way that society expected the female to fulfil multiple roles, so the art is expected to be multi-media in presentation. The traditional two-dimensional art is no longer enough to hold the audience’s attention. There is the need to create a memorable experience in order to meet these new demands; the art needs to be more dramatic and exciting. My personal philosophy has been guided by this quote by Linda Ellerbee: “If you believe in your heart that you are right, then you must fight with all your might to do it your way. Only dead fish swim with the stream all the time”. Maja-Pearce is an award winning visual artist and the owner of Yemoja Gallery in Lagos.


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Arts Lounge

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

25

I write to help Africa’s younger generation –Uponi An emerging voice in the African literary space, Uzoma Uponi works ARTISTE UNCENSORED from her base in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

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ne does not need to dig very deep to realise that Uzoma Uponi holds her readers in high esteem. With two books, Colour Blind –which ended on the final list of the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Africa and Whispers from Yesteryears –her latest book which was released a few months back, Uponi has proven that her stories are studded with plots and characters that inspire her growing army of readers, which span the different corners of the globe. “I love reading about how the average person struggles with relationship issues and how he or she is able to overcome by staying through to his or her spiritual convictions. One of the reasons I write is to encourage and inspire readers. I write to provide insights into the dynamics of contemporary African society. Media portrayal of Africa concentrates on our poverty, politics, crimes and diseases. Many people don’t know that life goes on in Africa the same way it goes on in the West. Young people fall in love, get married, have children and send the children to school, experience conflict with their spouses and their teenagers. People go to colleges, experience unemployment upon graduation, eventually find work, buy and drive cars, build houses, use the ATM, have parties. But this is hardly the narrative of Africa that is out there in the media. I can provide awareness about ‘the other side’ of Africa through my writings because I am from Africa. I write to help the younger generation of Africans gain meaningful insights into the core values of their motherland and to give the older generation pride in their heritage”. Education must have played a critical role in her blossoming writing career. After her secondary education at the Federal Government Girls’ College Kazaure, iJigawa State, Uzoma proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she studied Mass Communication before

WHEN I AM WRITING, I KEEP MY EYES AND MY EARS WIDE OPEN TO THE DYNAMICS OF THE LIFE THAT IS GOING ON AROUND ME earning an MBA which prepared her for a job at Shell Petroleum, from where she relocated to Canada. Like most writers, she tries to relive her experiences in her works. “I get my experiences from everywhere; from listening to people talk, from books that I have read, from movies that I have watched, from my experience, from stories people tell me about their own experiences. I see story ideas in everything. When I am writing, I keep my eyes and my ears wide open to the dynamics of the life that is going on around me”. In Colour Blind, Uponi masterfully weaves the fabrics of the Nigerian culture and tradition into a colourful story of timeless wisdom and biblical truths contrasted against a backdrop of suspicion, hurt, painful secrets and deception. The book is a plot that movies are made of as each page threads one closer and closer to unravelling the conflict, only to find a new twist on the next. Whispers From Yesteryears follows the same trend. It is the story of love and tragedy. In it, Okolie’s daughter has run away from home. Suspicion that she may have been a casualty in a fatal vehicle accident is confirmed when her body is located, identified and buried. The tragedy of the painful loss continues to trouble a mother’s heart. 11 year later, the family receives an email from a stranger who claims to have been in recent contact with the deceased girl. Family secrets begin to surface and bitter accusations start to swirl, ultimately leading to the disintegration of the Okolie family.

Uponi

For a mother of four boys, writing can seem a Herculean task, but Uzoma says she manages to juggle her roles albeit effectively. “Reading and writing have been my hobbies since I learned how to do both. My family knows this and everyone encourages and cooperates with me whenever I sit in front of my laptop, mostly on weekend”. At every point in her life, ideas are brimming in her head and these soon culminate to books and more books. “The lesson in it for me is to never announce the title of any manuscript I am working on until it is done and ready for printing”.

MIDWEEK JUMP Maiden IN-SHORT festival holds

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he International Film and Broadcast Academy, Lagos in conjunction with Goethe Institut, Lagos is holding the maiden edition of the International Short Film and Video Festival, IN-SHORT 2013. The festival, which will be starting on Thursday, December5, will end on Saturday, December7, 2013. IN-SHORT is designed to discover the hidden talents for the movie industry. These include actors, directors, cinematographers, writers, etc, many of whom are film school students, film school graduates and others with a passion and gift for story telling through the motion picture medium. Many of these are currently producing

musical videos, commercials and documentaries. They are mostly not involved in Nollywood, but it is hoped that through this festival these hidden talents will be discovered and given a break. The festival director Mr. Victor Okhai has promised the general public an exciting time at the two and half-day screening and workshops. Attendance at all screenings will be free, including the short film forum although the short film workshop will be strictly by invitation as there are limited spaces for participants. The festival, which has over 200 entries from 27 countries, will feature screenings, documentaries, fiction, comedies, musicals, experimental, animations and free workshops in various aspects of film

making with experts and resource persons in conjunction with the Association of Movie Producers, AMP, and a short film forum with interested filmmakers. Screenings will be taking place at the City Mall cinemas, Onikan, beside Tafawa Balewa Square and the National Museum, Lagos.

Authors, filmmakers to tackle adaptations

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pportunities no doubt abound for Nigerian filmmakers in the adaptation of books to film. Although Hollywood has always gone the adaptation way with box office hits like: Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games**

Augusta

and Dracula, among many others, this has not been the case in the Nigerian film industry popularly known as Nollywood. Thankfully, that is about to change with the Film Adaptation Seminar, FAS conceived by film critic, Augusta Okon, whose company, Wise Insight is organising

the one-day event. The seminar, to take place on December 6 at the Rutanda Hall, National Library Complex, Yaba, Lagos with the theme: ‘Film Adaptation: A goldmine and reading drive in Nigeria?’ The gathering will bring together filmmakers, producers, novelists, poets and playwrights. She told our correspondent that adaptations are not strange to the Nigerian filmmaker “as the roll call of films honour plates such as Kongi’s Harvest, Bull Frog in the Sun, The Concubine, The Virgin, Jaguar Nana’s Daughter, Thunderbolt, The Perfect Church, Maami and Half of a Yellow Sun”. Okon, who is also a lawyer mentioned projects in film adaptations such as Dazzling Mirage, Ake; The years of childhood and Beast of No Nation.


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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

FAR AND NEAR

And the winner for the 6th NAC is... TERH AGBEDEH

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ast Friday, Sesu Tilley-Gyado emerged winner for the sixth edition of the National Art Competition, NAC with the theme: ‘Identity-Who Do You Think You Are?’. She walked away with the grand prize of N2m, a solo show at African Artists’ Foundation, AAF, and a round trip with a three-night stay at the Hilton Hotel in Dubai. Tilley-Gyado was not the only winner among the 12 finalists who took part in the final exhibition and judging ceremony at the Art21 space located in Eko Hotel, Lagos that night, as the duo of Halima Abubakar and Zemaye Okediji as well as Victoria Udondian walked away with N1m each for ‘Outstanding Concept’ and ‘Outstanding Production’ respectively. The chair of judges, Professor El Anatsui, said it was a hard competition to judge by the distinguished jury of art professionals since every one of the finalists could have easily won. Mr. Nicholas Vervelde, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Breweries PLC, sponsors of the competition organised by AAF, said the NAC is part of initiatives geared towards his company’s vision of winning with the people.

“Our company remains committed to championing causes that would continually add value to the Nigerian society, part of which is the development of arts because of its role in strengthening cultural values in society”, he said. Before the cheques were presented to the winners, each of the contestants had a chance to speak about their entry and two of the winners from last year also shared their experience with the crowd of artists, art enthusiasts and friends who came to the event. Since its inception in 2008, the competition has sought to unite art-

ists and society through the interpretation of crucial themes proposed in each year’s call for entries. The other finalists in the competition which aims to promote the conceptual development of contemporary art in Nigeria with the mission of raising awareness on relevant social issues through the use of creative artistic expression are: Karima Ashadu, Alayande Ayanwale and Chidinma Nnorom Chinke. Others are: Mary Edoga Chioma, Taiye Idahor, Erasmus Onyishi, Olanrewaju Tejuoso, Felicia Okpara Tochukwu, the duo of Chuka Ejorh & Olamide Udo-Udoma.

L-R: Executive Chairman, Lagos State Inland Revenue Service, Tunde Fowler; Director African Artists Foundation, Azu Nwagbogu; star winner, Sesu Tiley-Gyado; Nicolaas Vervelde; Professor El Anatsui and Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Kufre Ekanem during the grand finale of the 6th National Art Competition.

AfricaMagic@10; announces AMVCAs nominations

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he excitement is fast building as nominations for the second edition of the much anticipated 2014 AfricaMagic Viewers Choice Awards which was first launched in september 2012, will be announced in a glamorous twopronged event in Lagos, Nigeria. The names of nominees will be revealed tomorrow, December 5 in conjunction with AfricaMagic’s 10th anniversary celebration. The nomination announcement will be hosted by Stargist presenters, Vimbai and co-host, Lawrence in a live broadcast.

Also slated to host the AfricaMagic at 10 night of magic and celebration will be AfricaMagic Jara presenters, Helen Paul and Uti Nwanchukwu. While the award organisers hoped for a higher number of entries for the 2014 edition, submissions have so far exceeded expectations. Entries for the awards scheduled to have closed on October 18 was extended to November 1, 2013, as TV and film practitioners across the continent submitted entries in droves; showing a high level of participation, which also confirms the

success of the maiden edition. The judging panel which convened in Johannesburg, South Africa to lend its expertise to the nominations process was led by film maker and documentary veteran, Femi Odugbemi, who in a media session explained in detail the level of professionalism and dedication the judging panel exhibited throughout the process. To reveal the nominations on stage and add colour to the event will be some of the big names in Africa’s TV & film.

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ANACP partners Nwosu on Igbo Cultural Day NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

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he Association of Nigerian Arts and Culture Practitioners, ANACP, will be partnering with the Igbo Community in Mushin, Lagos, for the 2013 edition of ‘Igbo Cultural Day’ slated for Saturday, December 4, at the Mushin Mini-stadium, Mushin Lagos. At a press briefing hosted by the Eze Ndi Igbo in Mushin, Chief John Nwosu, the involvement of the ANACP will help the event realise its purpose of reliving the cultural legacies of Ndi Igbo amongst her people in Lagos. Nwosu who decried the waning passion for cultural issues among the youth said the event which holds in December every year was designed to help Igbo people resident in the area to remain in tune with their rich way of life even while living and working outside their region. “It is true that we are living outside Igbo land at the moment but that does not mean that we should let the culture that was handed down to us to die. I am a custodian of Igbo culture and it is my intention to always use the little resources I have to propagate Igbo culture. This year’s event will be about the celebration of the culture of our people; and some native games that were popular in the olden days would be reawakened during the event. We will also use the opportunity to honour our sons and friends from other lands who have done so well and have also proven that their friendship is worth it”, said Chief Nwosu. He also revealed that the organisers have also put in place a lot of measures to ensure a hitch-free event, considering the location of the event and the calibre of people being expected. “Security wise, we are ready. We are partnering with all those who are concerned with security in Mushin land. You know when Mushin is mentioned in Lagos, people have this anxiety especially in relation to security. This one will be special because we have put the necessary measures in place. On that day, we are going to invoke the atmosphere that will bring the Igbo culture alive in Lagos. All manners of Igbo masquerades will be on display and His Holy Majesty, Prof Chibe Uzzimba, Igwe Ononankume of Ideato Land will deliver the lecture. We intend to build a cultural centre in Mushin to ensure that our children here are kept abreast with the reality of Igbo values, ethos, ethics and what have you. Our great sons and daughters like Chief Pius Anyim (Secretary to the Government of the Federation), Prof Chinedu Nebo (Power Minister), Chief Emmanuel Nwachukwu, Lady Ada Ofoegbu and Hon Bolaji Ayinla would be honoured”.

2face, Tiwa Savage headline Exquisite Face of the Universe ADENRELE NIYI

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ultiple award winning artiste and pop icon, 2face Idibia will be performing at the Exquisite Face of the Universe finals holding on Saturday, December 19. The globally renowned beauty event, being staged in Nigeria for the first time, will take place at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Joining him on stage at Africa’s biggest beauty pageant is multitalented songstress, Tiwa Savage. 2face and Tiwa are headlining

the Exquisite Face of the Universe finale supported by other talented performers to serenade guests and contestants with some of contemporary Afromusic hit singles. During his performance, 2Face, the ‘African Queen’ crooner will receive on stage some of the beauty queens vying for the top prize. Recently wedded Tiwa Savage is also expected to perform her upbeat ‘Kele Kele Love’ and the more recent chart topper, ‘Eminado’. Guests will be treated to an exciting dance competition by the exquisite beauty queens in addi-

Tiwa

tion to talent and fashion shows. Exquisite Face of the Universe is an international beauty and

2Face

modelling contest born to showcase the advancements of Africa’s Eco Tourism.

This year, 60 beautiful women from different countries across all the continents are expected to converge in Nigeria to contest for the coveted crown. Contestants include beauty queens include from Canada, Germany, England and Italy. Others are Miss Namibia, Miss Philippines, Miss Scotland and Miss Sweden. Miss Switzerland, Miss Uganda, Miss Venezuela and Miss South Africa and many others. Organisers say preparations are in top gear to give both contestants and attendees an unforgettable fifth edition of pageant.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Glo-CAF Award: Okocha tips Mikel 29

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27

Sport

In my honest opinion, Zinedine Zidane is way ahead of Lionel Messi with regard to tasks taken –BRAZILIAN FOOTBALL LEGEND, PELE

Keshi, fans differ on ‘favourable teams’

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uper Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, yesterday said he is open to play against any team at the World Cup in Brazil, but a cross section of fans says they would wish the Eagles avoid the country. Nigeria has clashed once with Brazil at full international level with the South Americans outclassing the West Africans 3-0 in a friendly in Abuja in June 2003. “The only team I don’t want Nigeria to meet at the group stage is Brazil,” Lagos-based fan Tunde Odu told MTNFootball.com “It is always difficult to face the host team because the Brazilians have all the home backing and sympathy. But the rest of the seeded teams, we can handle them. I trust the Eagles,”

AFOLABI GAMBARI

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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resident of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari, will be at the head of Nigeria’s delegation to Friday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup draw taking place in Costa do Sauipe, Salvador in Brazil. Chairman of the NFF Technical Committee, Barrister Chris Green, Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi and NFF’s Director of Marketing, Adama Idris, will also be in the party, as well as NFF’s Assistant Director (Media), Ademola Olajire and Eagles’ Team Administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor. The delegation left Lagos last night for Johannesburg, South Africa, where they would board a South African Airways flight to Sao Paulo before connecting to Salvador. National Mirror learnt that the ceremony, which would last 90 minutes, would hold at the Costa do Sauipe Resort in Mata de Sao Joao in Salvador, State of Bahia. Host and record five-time champion, Brazil, will head Group A of the finals taking place between 12 June and 13 July next year, with reigning champion Spain, threetime champion Germany, two-time winner Argentina, two-time winner Uruguay, Switzerland, Colombia and Belgium, who are the other seeded teams heading

Odu added. Another fan, Steve Oruruo, said he also dreaded a first-round clash with the Samba Boys. “We should avoid Brazil if we could. They are playing at home and have a lot of youthful players and easily won the Confederations Cup,” Oruruo said. A football enthusiast, Phil Uchegbu, said: “By the later stages of the competition, when we would have found our rhythm, it would then be okay to face the host country. “Brazil will be the team to avoid. Let us rather tackle the likes of Switzerland and Colombia in the first round. We cannot afford to meet them so early in the tournament.” According to Lanre Famakinwa, the Eagles should avoid Brazil, Germany

and Argentina in the group stage of the World Cup. “It is not that we fear them, but we just need to avoid teams like Brazil, Germany and Argentina at the early stage. We need to gain in confidence by winning say two matches before we meet such teams,” Famakinwa reasoned. But Leonard Amire averred Keshi that Germany would be the most dreaded of the seeded teams. “Nigeria should avoid Germany because they will again YEMI OLUS be the most tactical team at the World Cup and they will give hief Executive us a tougher time than Brazil Officer of Opwould,” Amire argued. tima Sports Management International seven other groups. (OSMI), Mr. Rotimi PeAll 32 teams will be drawn dro, yesterday disclosed into eight groups of four that his organization teams each, with the top two has acquired rights for teams advancing to the Round television and mobile of 16. devices on the 2014 FIFA Delegations of countries World Cup in Brazil. would also inspect venues afAccording to Pedro ter the event. who spoke in Lagos Nigeria’s best performance yesterday, the rights at the finals is a Round of 16 also covered other FIFA events on the Nigerian spot in 1994, in which the Suterritory. per Eagles lost 2-1 to Italy after “Football fans across taking the lead against the Euthe country will be able ropean nation. to follow the World Cup matches on their mobile devices,” the OSMI boss said. “The idea is to tell Nigerians that unlike the last Africa Nations Cup when most fans were shut out of match viewing, they would watch all 64 games of Brazil 2014 without having to go to a viewing centre or pay subscription to any organisation.” Super Eagles striker Emmanuel Emenike and his possible exploits at next year’s World Cup Pedro also hinted on

Brazil 2014: OSMI acquires TV, mobile right

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W/Cup draw: Maigari, others head to Brazil

would occupy the minds members of Nigeria’s delegation to draw on Friday

specialised services that await Nigerian ball fans during the World Cup. “It is not acceptable by any standard that our team is playing and the populace of this country will have to pay one way or the other,” he maintained. “FIFA has awarded the rights for the Free-to Air television and radio and this allows us to redistribute this content on Free-to-Air stations across the country. We have fourfold rights which are the terrestrial viewing rights, mobile, radio and public viewing rights.” OSMI will now air its third FIFA World Cup, having secured the rights for the 2006 and 2010 finals. “We aim to improve on our rich history as well as our distribution and we are promising that next year will not be any different,” he further said, adding: “We are here to preserve the national team as the core of any country.”

ITTF Juniors: Nigeria to outrank Egypt YEMI OLUS

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he Nigerian male table tennis team is set to reclaim its dominance in Africa having emerged 15th in the world at the ongoing ITTF World Junior Championships in Morocco, leaving North Africans, Tunisia and Egypt to 17th and 18th positions respectively.

The team, led by Olajide Omotayo, rose to the occasion after beating Australia in the final group match. Olasunkanmi Oginni beat Yang Shen 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 while Azeez Ogunlade lost to Ivan Sulfaro 11-7, 3-11, 8-11, 5-11. However, the team failed secure victory with wins from Omotayo against Jake Duffy (11-5, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8) and Sulfaro

(11-7, 11-8, 11-9). “It was painful that I lost my match against Australia’s Ivan Sulfaro after playing so wel,” Ogunlade lamented. “I think my looping didn’t serve me well. I hope to correct all these when the mixed doubles, doubles and singles start and I still lok forward to a good outing in this tournament.”

Omotayo will partner with Esther Oribamise in the mixed doubles where they will Dang Qiu and Alena Lemmer in the qualifying matches. Oginni and Agnes Onoja will meet Tai-Wei Wang and Yu-Chiao Huang from Taipei while Ogunlade and Ajoke Ojomu will pair up in the event.

Nigerian hopeful, Oribamishe


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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Reds won’t buy–Rodgers L

iverpool Manager, Brendan Rodgers, insists his current players will be given time to prove themselves after ruling out a January spending spree. A run of one win

from Liverpool’s last four Premier League games has placed Rodgers’ men under close scrutiny, especially in the wake of Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Hull City. Strength in depth in comparison to the

club’s main rivals is a factor that has kept Liverpool out of the top four in each of the last four seasons. Rodgers addressed that by signing the likes of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and

striker Daniel Sturridge from Sunderland and Chelsea respectively and has played down the likelihood of spending big when the winter transfer window opens next month. “The thing for me is

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trying to maximise the players we have got,” the Reds boss said. “We are not in a position to spend money for the sake of it,” he added as the Anfield side prepared to face Norwich City today. Rodgers

Kompany

Kompany boost for City

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anchester City captain, Vincent Kompany, is back in the squad for today’s trip to West Brom after two months on the sidelines with a thigh injury. The 2011/2012 champions have struggled defensively in his absence and Manager Manuel Pellegrini is grateful to have the 27-year-old Belgium centre-back available again. “I think Vincent is a very important player. He is a very good defender and of course we need him,” the Chilean said. “The other defenders can do it as well, but Vincent is always an impor-

tant player.” On the game itself, Pellegrini admitted he was desperate to improve City’s away record this season, adding: “It is very important especially this week. We play two games away before we play against Arsenal here at home so I hope we will be the same team we are here in those two games this week.” Argentina defender Martin Demichelis and powerful England star Micah Richards have drawn criticism in attempting to fill the void left by Kompany, who has missed 10 games.

Boruc blow for Soton

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outhampton Manager, Mauricio Pochettino, has revealed that the club will be without goalkeeper Artur Boruc for several weeks due to a hand injury sustained against Chelsea. The Poland international suffered the problem during his side’s 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and adds to the Saints’ growing injury list, which includes Morgan Schneiderlin, Guly do Prado and Kelvin Davis.

With keepers Boruc and Davis both on the sidelines, Pochettino is set to hand 21-year-old Paulo Gazzaniga his first Premier League start since December 2012 against Aston Villa today. Southampton goes into the clash with Paul Lambert’s men on the back of successive league defeats at Arsenal and Chelsea but Pochettino insists that he is looking forward rather than back.

RVP gets Moyes’ weigh-in M

anchester United Manager, David Moyes, says that Robin van Persie has a chance of facing Everton at Old Trafford tonight. The Netherlands international has been struggling with toe and groin injuries in recent weeks and missed United’s Champions League clash with Bayer Leverkusen and the 2-2 draw with Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

When asked if Van Persie could return, Moyes said: “Robin’s okay. He’s got a chance.” United goes into the game two points behind Everton, having drawn its last two Premier League games, and the Scot hopes to see his side return to winning ways. “The job is to keep it going, keep winning and keep on a good run of form,” he said.

Ronaldo

“But we still drew two games and won one last week. We’d like that to be a better ratio but nevertheless it’s not a bad one either.” The match sees Moyes face his former side for the first time as United boss. “The new manager at Everton has brought in his own players and has done a really good job,” the former boss added.


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Sport

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

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‘Lukaku remains a Blue’

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helsea Manager, Jose Mourinho, has again made clear that loaned striker Romelu Lukaku will return for the 2014-15 season, dismissing the forward’s claims he may stay at Everton. The Belgian suggested on Sat-

Lukaku

urday that he would be open to extending his spell at Goodison Park, saying: “I think it’s not a bad idea.” Mourinho, however, joked: “Maybe there is a new rule in football where, when the season finishes, every player is free to decide his future. Maybe it’s a new rule.” Meanwhile, Mourinho also revealed how Ashley Cole is no longer first-choice, beyond his recent lack of appearances, explaining that the England international must work hard to dislodge Cesar Azpilicueta. Mourinho is known to have been impressed with the Spanish right-back’s adaptation to the left side. As it stands, it is only squad rotation that will see Cole back in the side.

Glo-CAF Award: Okocha tips Mikel YEMI OLUS

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ormer Super Eagles captain, Austin Okocha, expects Mikel Obi to scoop the title of the Best Player of the Year at next month’s Glo-CAF Award ahead of Ivory Coast’s Yaya Toure. The Manchester City midfielder beat Mikel to the BBC African Footballer of the year award which was announced two days ago, but Okocha insists that his compatriot has done enough to be declared winner. “I think Mikel stands a chance as he has achieved enough for both club and country and deserves to

win,” Okocha, who was curiously eluded in the African award in his prime, said. “Toure is a threat because anyone who is nominated stands a good chance of winning it especially if you are an outstanding player in Europe, but I wish Mikel wins it.” Meanwhile, the former Fenerbahce player who has participated in three World Cup finals, has said that he looks forward seeing the Eagles progress far in next year’s World Cup in Brazil. “I think the current squad has done enough to elevate Nigeria’s status and I can’t wait to see the Eagles excel,” Okocha submitted.

L-R: Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Patrick Olowokere: President Nigerian Chess Federation, Mr. Lekan Adeyemi; Corporate Media and Brand PR Manager, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Edem Vindah; NCF Secretary, Mrs. Bidemi Opolo; and NCF Media Officer, Mr. Femi Solaja, during the formal presentation of the NB 2013 Chess trophy in Lagos yesterday

Chess boss hails NB sponsorship AFOLABI GAMBARI

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resident of Nigerian Chess Federation (NCF), Mr. Lekan Adeyemi, has commended Nigerian Breweries Plc for its partnership with the federation in the sponsorship of the major chess championships in the country. Adeyemi, who spoke yesterday in Lagos ahead of the 36th Nigerian Breweries Open Chess Championship scheduled to hold from December 12 to 15, said the company’s unbroken sponsorship had helped Nigerian players to compete with some of the

Corporate Affairs Adviser, Mr. Kufre Ekanem, at the trophy unveiling ceremony yesterday, noted that the company’s partnership with NCF was the longest between Nigerian sport and a private sector company. “We are proud to be associated with the Chess federation in its effort to produce world class players,” Ekanem said. The tour nament will be in seven round Swiss event paring with the star prize winner going home with N250,000 and corporate gift from the sponsor. Kolade Onabogun is the defending champion.

NSA 2013 fallout: Uduaghan, others get plaudit AFOLABI GAMBARI

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rganisers of the Nigerian Sports Award have praised Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, and other awardees at the second edition of the award ceremony held in Lagos last week. Uduaghan clinched the Sports Governor of the Year award at the well-attended ceremony. General Manager, Unmissable Incentives Limited, organisers of the award, Mr. Kayode Idowu,

Mikel

best in the world. “Chess in Nigeria has grown into homes and institutions as favorite sport and pastime intellectually inclined,” Adeyemi said. About 220 participants have registered for the four-day event billed the Mobolade Okoya-Thomas Indoor Sports hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos where over N1.5million will be up for grabs. “Prizes will be won in Masters Section, Open, Amateur one and two, VIP Section and U-14 boys and girls,” the Chess boss explained. Corporate Media and Brand PR Manager, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Edem Vindah, who represented the

said the awardees deserved their prizes. “Coming tops among the bests in various categories is not a mean feat and we believe this award will further spur the winners to do more for sports development in Nigeria and on the globe,” Idowu said yesterday in Lagos. “We have renewed our commitment to further improve on this concept to reward excellence and make it opium of sports development in Nigeria,” he added, while urging sports-inclined brands and individuals to sponsor the 2014

edition of the awards. About 14 personalities were awarded with Sportsman of the Year Award, Sportswoman of the Year Award, Footballer of the Year Award (male and female), Ball Sports Person of the Year Award, Coach of the Year, Team of the Year, Discovery of the Year, Track and Field Star of the Year, School Sports Award, Administrator of the Year, Sports Journalist of the Year (print and electronic) and Sports Governor of the Year prizes.

L-R: General Manager, Marketing/Sales, Multichoice Nigeria, Mr. Martin Mabutho; Senior Verification Consultant, Alexander Forbes, Mrs. Lola Akinla; and General Manager, Trade and Distribution, Multichoice Nigeria, Mr. Akinola Salu, during the MultiChoice Media Launch of Festive Season Promo tagged DSTV Samba 2014, “Let’s go to Brazil” in Lagos yesterday. PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI


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Nigeria N ig Premier League

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Cricket

with IIKENWA NNABUOGOR ikenwa.nnabuogor@gmail.com

Ogbeide hooks Sunshine Stars’ top job

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unshine Stars FC of Akure have appointed Solomon Ogbeide as their new technical adviser for the new season. The veteran coach arrived Akure yesterday to officially pen the contract, though, the financial details of the deal was not disclosed. After weeks of negotiation, the management of Ondo State Football Agency (OSFA) Executive Director Mike Idoko announced the former Warri Wolves’ handler as the technical Instructor for all the football teams under the agency. With this latest appointment Ogbeide will coordinate the technical affairs of all teams under the agency, including Rising Stars, Sunshine Queens and the academy, stressing that he was employed based on his experience. Ogbeide will lean on his wealth of experience to tinker the club with his latest achievement being leading Warri Wolves to second place finish in the 2013 Federation Cup. Also appointed alongside Ogbeide are coach Henry Abiodun as

Head Coach, Julius Kayode, a former junior international, as Assistant Head Coach, Tokunbo Akinyelure as Assistant coach 2 while Busuyi Olu-Ibukun will serve as goalkeepers’ trainer. Similarly, Gabriel Aborowa, who was the team manager when Sunshine Stars campaigned in both the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup has return as Team Manager under the new arrangement. Meanwhile, the management has retained 27 players for next season’s campaign in the Globacom Premier League while the team will move to camp at the Rojenny Tourists Centre, Oba, Onitsha, Anambra State today. They will camp for two weeks and thereafter, take a break for Xmas and New Year celebrations before embarking on a tour of Europe. According to Idoko, since the league will resume after the CHAN, the management decide to send the team on tour of Europe, preparatory to the start of the season.

Isiaka Olawale

Dolphins return to the communities

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olphins Football Club has decided to return to the communities to enhance better relationship with their fans. On Monday, the management of the team paid a visit to the chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Orji Ngofa to seek a better relationship with the people of the Area Dumbo Awanen, General Manager of the club said during the meeting that they want to return

Ogbeide

to the communities since that is the only way clubs can get their fans back. “We want to collectively achieve today and that is why we are here to meet with you,” Awanen told the chairman. He also conferred on Ngofa the title of “Patron of the club” Orji Ngofa simply said was happy that his interest in the club had been re-jigged as he used to be a fan of the club. “I know most of the players

Baraje favoured to land Enyimba coaching job

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here are strong indications that Enyimba Fc will this week unveil El-Kanemi Warriors coach Zacary Baraje as their new coach. Close camp sources reveal that top officials of the team are suggesting that the Ex- Dolphins coach is favoured for the top job vacated by Salisu Yusuf, who is finalising arrangements to take over Baraje’s position at El Kanemi. The veteran coach, the sourced added, will be expected to arrive Aba this week to sign the dotted lines. Meanwhile, other names

also being considered include Former U-17 & Bayelsa United coach Monday Odigie who is touted as assistant to Baraje. Odigie also left the assistant coach position at Enugu Rangers. But the People’s Elephants fans have reportedly backed the return of former coach Okey Emordi, according to sources. The fans believe that Emordi with his wealth of experience in continental football will steer Enyimba’s ship better in the CAF Champions Cup. Enyimba will return to CAF Champions League competition next season alongside league champions Kano Pillars, after

emerging runners-up in the league last season. Heartland offer Emigo fresh start There are strong indications that former Rangers and Enyimba left back Ekene Emigo could be joining Heartland as both parties are locked in negotiation talks, National Mirror can exclusively report. Emigo had been sidelined for two and half seasons as result of excruciating knee injury that incapacitated the exciting young defender. Emigo, who had running battles with his last club Enyimba over his unpaid entitlements, remained in his Jos

base to treat his injury which took some time to heal. Now hale and hearty, Emigo is set to revive his career as Heartland are concluding plans to have the left back in their fold ahead of the 2013/2014 season.

Baraje

and officials of the team since I used to watch the club regularly but when I got disillusioned with the bad officiating in the league I stopped to move over to European Leagues. “But I am sure with this move, my interest has been rekindled in Dolphins and the Nigerian League. Dolphins had previously visited the mayor of Port Harcourt, Chimbiko Akarolo, still in their bid to return the club to the communities.

Togo WAFU Cup goal king joins Bayelsa United

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ogolese striker, Saibou Badarou, who scored four goals to emerge goal king at the just concluded GoTV Wafu Cup, in Ghana, is set to seal a deal with Glo Premier League side, Bayelsa United. The performance of the striker was monitored by Bayelsa United gaffer, Ladan Bosso, who wants to boost his side’s attack ahead of domestic and continental assignments, in 2014. “Negotiations have reached an advanced stage. Badarou is excited with the chance to play for a big team like Bayelsa United.

“I monitored Badarou’s performance during the recently concluded Gotv Wafu Cup and confirmed my findings. It’s a good move for us and he’s a good striker,” Bosso told ojeksaikhoje. blogspot.com. Badarou, who plays for Lome based Customs side, L’Association Sportive des Dounes (fondly called AS Dounes), comes with great credentials after scoring 14 goals to emerge goalking in the just concluded Togolese Championnat National. Dounes narrowly lost the title by two points and finished second behind Angers FC.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Business & Finance We are addressing threats to cashless policy which include poor connectivity, inadequate enlightenment, low capacity of Payment Terminal Service Providers and merchant apathy. – Governor Central bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido

KUNLE A ZEEZ

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igerian economy may have been losing a whopping N730 billion to cases of poor quality of services delivered by telecoms services providers in the country, the Chief Executive Officer, Back-Up Networks Limited, Mr. Monday Ogbe, has disclosed. Speaking with National Mirror on the economic losses associated with poor telecoms services, Ogbe, who also stated that Back-Up Networks has introduced www.idonport.com portal, a solution that will address quality of services issues, argued that everybody suffered as a result of poor QoS including the consumer, the service providers and the economy as a whole. Analyzing a typical loss to consumer, service provider and the economy, Ogbe said: “For 100 million subscribers experiencing 10 minutes of poor QoS and quality of experience at N10 average failure rate, the net loss to subscribers is N1 billion per day. “Also, providers’ inability to service 100 million subscribers with potential 20 minutes calls due to consistent 10 minutes downtime equals N2 billion. But with less than N1 billion earned as a result of poor quality repeat calls, the net loss to service provider equals N1 billion. “As a result, the Nigerian economy losses N2 billion per day as a result of net losses from the consumers and the operators income, bringing the total losses

The regulatory intervention in the telecoms market is to ensure open and non-discriminatory access by all players to reduce barriers and other challenges. – EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN, NIGERIAN COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, DR. EUGENE JUWAH

Nigeria loses N730bn to poor telecoms services annually –Expert in a year to the economy within 365 days to an estimated N730 billion as a result of poorQoS/ QoE.” However, to address the problem of QoS/QoE for the users of over 121 million active phone lines in the country, Back-Up Networks has come up with webbased solution, christened idonporto.com portal, which arms customers to test by themselves which network is performing well and view result online. The portal, according to Ogbe, provides empirical data that op-

erator can also use to correct the problem, saying if an operator fails to monitor the portal to make necessary correction, there is tendency for it to lose subscribers, who will be willing to port to another network. Ogbe said customer service experience is presented on the site so the customer can make informed decisions as to who to subscribe to. Service providers can use the report to improve on their performance. “With idonport.com, telecoms subscribers can ensure mobile

device is compliant and fault free, report service degradation promptly, inform operators if there are planned events that might require extra capacity provisioning to avoid future service degradation. “Also, personalised test software from.idonporto.com can be used to test the network and report findings to the service provider and allows subscriber to port to a more reliable provider based on empirical data provided by the portal on a service provider.”

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he Federal Government has said that the ongoing construction of Jigawa Airport will further boost the economy of the state and the Nigerian economies. This is as the government reiterated its support for the construction of the airport valued at

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L-R: Head of Gender, Entertainment and Special Products, Bank of Industry, BoI, Mr. Ahmed Kagara; President, Gabosky Films, Chief Gab Onyi Okoye; Managing Director/CEO Transerve Disc Technologies Ltd, Mr. Cyprian Orakpo and Chief Operating Officer, Transerve Disc Technologies Ltd, Mrs. Doreen Orakpo at the launching of Gabosky Films Inc. (G.Media Distributors Network) supported by Bank of Industry in Lagos, yesterday.

N11bn Jigawa Airport will boost Nigerian economy –FG OLUSEGUN KOIKI

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

N11bn on completion. Speaking during the inspection tour of the progress of work on the project, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, insisted that the Federal Government was very committed to the actualisation of the dream of Jigawa Airport project. Oduah also expressed happiness on the pace of work done on the airport project, adding that the Federal government would also construct a perishable cargo

New charges: NAMA, AON set up five-man committee 32

terminal to enhance the agricultural produce and commercial viability in the area. She said Jigawa airport has the potential to become the perishable cargo hub in the region, stressing that this would greatly enhance the income of farmers in the area who would have ready international markets for their produce. She said the government was very proud of the milestones already achieved by the governor of the state in a little over 8

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 KanoLagos 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

months of the commencement of the project, and expressed the hope that the airport would commence full operations in the first quarter of 2014. Besides, the governor of the state, Alhaji Sule Lamido commended the Federal Government for the support his government has received on the project, assuring that at the pace work was being executed; the airport would be completed by the end of January 2014.

How to tackle odds against power supply in Nigeria 35

Cross River State moving from oil-based to service oriented economy –Commissioner

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New charges: NAMA, AON set up five-man committee OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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n a bid to review critically the imbroglio caused by the introduction of new charges to non-scheduled operators by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, the agency with the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, yesterday jointly set up a five-man committee to appraise the new government policy. AON led by its new Chairman, Capt. Nogie Meggison had met with the management of NAMA, led by its Managing Director, Engr. Nnamdi Udoh in Abuja to review the charges, which stipulated that non-scheduled operators with Nigerian registered planes would henceforth pay the sum of $2, 500 while the ones with foreign registration would pay the sum of $3, 000 per flight. AON had described the policy as unnecessary and an attempt

to muscle out the operators in favour of scheduled operators. The Senate had intervened last week and ordered the two trouble organisations to meet and deliberate on how the thorny areas in the policy could be addressed and favourable to both parties. An online statement signed by the General Manager, Public Affairs, NAMA, Mr. Supo Atobatele stated that personnel of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, NAMA and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA were selected on the committee as observers. Atobatele added that the committee, which is expected to commence sitting next Monday, was given three weeks to turn in its report for further deliberation in January next year. The parties at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja yesterday, he said resolved that the contentious issues relating to the new charges

be resolved within 60 days, just as they agreed to uphold the onestop shop payment system. The statement added, “The committee, is to among other things; appraise the proposed charges objectively, using the standard and acceptable basis for industry charges, most importantly taking aircraft weight, distance and unit rate into consideration. He stated further that the Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Fola Akinkiotu, supported the idea of having a committee to review the new charges, but urged the members to do a thorough job on the matter. Akinkuotu, in the statement emphasised that whatever the stakeholders agreed thereafter with the aviation agencies would become a law for all to abide with. Besides, the Managing Director of NAMA, Engr. Nnamdi Udoh, appreciated the operators,

but urged them to support the efforts of the agencies by subscribing to the charges, which he noted were just marginal in their operational cost. Also commenting, AON Chairman, Capt. Nogie Meggison,

called for regular dialogue among the stakeholders to create room for clarity on contentious issues affecting the operators, saying that doing this would make things work better in the thriving Nigeria’s aviation industry.

NGO proffers solution to cyber crime in Nigeria KUNLE A ZEEZ

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non-governmental organisation, Avenue to Wealth, A2W, has advocated the need to teach and educate the youths on other positive ways to make money through the internet in a legitimate way as one of the ways to curb increasing cyber criminal activities in the country. Speaking during a visit to the Ekiti State Governor Kayode Feyemi, the Managing Director, Avenue to Wealth, Mr. Adeolu Akinyemi, decried the prevalence of cyber crimes in the country, saying proactive steps were needed to address the ugly development. He explained that it was high time Nigeria government pay attention to youth development by creating avenue through which they could be engaged so that they could be useful for themselves and the their country. Akinyemi stated that his organisation would serve as a catalyst in complementing the state government’ efforts aimed at creating opportunities and ways to

wealth-making for the people. He said, “A2W major vision and mission is helping people in the areas of empowering and assisting them to identify their objectives and also growing them, because everybody in life is gifted, everybody in life has one defect or the other. “My submission is that no one is physically challenged or handicapped depending on how you are able to make use of your own God given gift deposited in you. Where you are today is your fault. Where you’ll be tomorrow is your choice. If you decide not to decide, you have decided. Nobody was born to lose; we were all born to choose. “Youths or those engaging in cyber crime are ignorant, because it takes lesser energy, time, and money invested on cyber crime to make good money in A2W. We teach people how they can make money through this model without fraud, or shady business but in a transparent and legitimate way.” He continues, “It is all about enlightenment and educating them on how to make money using the Internet legitimately.”

Discovery Air to commence operations this month

L-R: Head, Corporate Broking, CSL Stockbrokers, Mr.Olabode Oladejo; Head, HR, NSE, Ms. Pai Gamde; Head, Corporate Finance Division, Capital Assets Limited, Mr. Kissinger Ndubuisi and Head, Corporate Services Division, NSE, Mr. Bola Adeeko at the Retail Investors’ Clinic in Lagos yesterday.

NAPEP disburses N786m to despondent parents OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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he National Poverty Eradication Programme, (NAPEP) has said that despondent parents from 14 states of the Federation had benefitted from the N786million funds disbursed under the Conditional Cash Transfer programme of the agency. It also claimed that over N43million was disbursed in Kogi State to ameliorate the suffering of the victims of the 2012 flooding incident in which a number of people lost their lives and thousands of internally displaced Persons, IDPs, were created. In a 2013 report obtained by our correspondent in Abuja yesterday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President and National Coordinator, NAPEP, Mallam. Mukhtar Tafawa Balewa, stated that the two projects were part

of the programmes of the agency aimed at bringing succour to the people in need. According to him, other projects the agency embarked upon during the year ending included shea butter development, micro credit and cassava development projects. Besides, he also added that the agency also entered into a collaborative agreement with the Korean International Cooperation Agency, KOICA, with the sole aim of setting up cassava processing plants in Kogi, Enugu and Ondo states respectively. He emphasised that while the programme, CCT, is the brainchild of NAPEP, it is implemented from the MDGs office in conjunction with all the participating states. It will be recalled that CCT is in its fifth phase of implementation, having been introduced in Nigeria in 2007. Its implementation

over the years has covered the 36 states and the FCT. NAPEP’s CCT -COPE implementation for 2013 kick started with a selection of 13 non-CGS states for participation. The remaining 23 states of the federation are being supported directly by the MDGs Office to implement the CCT-¬COPE programme. So far 14 states have since benefitted from the 786million largesse disbursed in two phases in the year ending. On the of the desirability of the programme, Balewa stated, “The scheme provides small fund transfers to qualified poor households on the condition that they engage in investments in the development of their children and/ or wards. Qualified households are expected to fully participate in all the free basic education and health care programmes provided by government. This strategy will help to break intergenerational transmission of poverty.

...Takes delivery of B737-300 aircraft OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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ne of the entrants into the Nigerian civil aviation industry, DiscoveryAir said it will commence scheduled flight operations by middle of this month. It also revealed that it has taken delivery of a Boeing 737-300 aircraft in preparations for the operations Speaking with aviation correspondents at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos, its Managing Director, Captain Abdulsalami Mohammed, said the delivery of the aircraft is one of the three that would be acquired within the next one month by the airline before the commencement of flight operations. He explained that the aircraft, which arrived the country early last month, would be involved in demonstration flights as part of the process for the issuance of the Air Operators’ Certificate, AOC, for commencement of operations by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.

With this, Mohammed stated that airline is now closer to commencing domestic commercial operations in a matter of days. Mohammed further informed that Discovery Airways was set up about a year ago with the aim of providing the Nigerian travellers very good customer service, and to also fill the gap of shortage of commercial aircraft in the country. He said, “We are going to commence operations with three modern aircraft and progressively grow our fleet size to service our robust expansion plans that is based on our due diligence of the market. We have in the last one year taken time to study the successes of global legacy airlines and have adopted strategies to suit Nigerian operations.” Mohammed, however, attributed the short lifespan of most Nigerian airlines to what he described as lack of proper planning as well as the harsh and non-conducive business environments, which he said makes it difficult for Nigerian operators to access long term credit facilities in the country.


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Chevron increases Total Global Fund Investment to $60m UDEMEN AKPAN

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hevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, has announced that Chevron Corporation has committed an additional $5 million over two years to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to target the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, PMTCT, in Nigeria. Chevron Nigeria Limited is the operator of the Chevron/NNPC Joint Venture. This commitment raises Chevron’s 8-year investment in the Global Fund to $60 million, making the company the single largest

private sector partner to the organization. Speaking, the Executive Vice President, Policy and Planning for Chevron Corporation, Rhonda Zygocki, said, “We recognize the deep interdependence of healthy businesses and healthy societies. Our continued partnership with the Global Fund reflects our longterm commitment to investing in health, education and economic development initiatives that help build strong communities.” Chevron became The Global Fund’s inaugural Corporate Champion in January 2008, when it committed $30 million to support AIDS, tuberculosis and ma-

laria programs in Asia and Africa. In 2010, the company made an additional commitment of $25 million to fight HIV/AIDS and PMTCT in Angola, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam. In expanding these efforts, Chevron initially chose The Global Fund as a partner in 2008 because its performance-based model provides an efficient and highly-impactful way to sustain healthy communities around the world. The Global Fund also places a significant emphasis on measurement and evaluation of the programs it funds, ensuring that Chevron’s investments are mak-

ing a tangible difference. To date, Chevron has played a part in saving 8.7 million lives through the company’s support of The Global Fund. “Chevron has shown commendable leadership in the fight against infectious diseases,” said Dr. Mark Dybul, the executive director of The Global Fund. “With shared responsibility and strong partnerships with governments, civil society and private sector players like Chevron, we will defeat these deadly diseases. Chevron’s strong support helps bring us ever closer to this historic opportunity.” Chevron has been at the forefront of the fight against AIDS since 1986 when it joined 13 other Bay Area companies to promote education and reduce stigma in the workplace. In the 1990’s, Chevron expanded efforts internationally and in 2005 the company implemented a global HIV and AIDS policy supporting employees and their families.

As part of its commitment to help eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, Chevron joined the Business Leadership Council (BLC) on an ambitious program focused on empowering state governments to lead their own HIV response, setting concrete targets for the reduction of HIV transmission and developing a simple plan to get there. Under this programme, in Nasarawa State, Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission continues to achieve encouraging results as the number of clinics offering PMTCT services tripled in both public and private clinics thus leading to over 35,000 additional women tested for HIV and 1,500 additional HIV+ pregnant mothers and 650 babies put on Anti-Retro-Viral Drugs. In May 2013, Chevron announced a new US$1.3 million commitment over three years to fund our BLC partnership in support of Nigeria Scale-up of PMTCT in Bayelsa, Lagos and Rivers States.

IBFC Agusto to launch e-Learning credit training programme ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI Senior pastor of The Fountain of Life Church, Pastor Taiwo Odukoya (left); his wife, Pastor Nomthi (2nd right) and others, during a tour at the Annual Market Place and Family Fun Festival exhibition in Lagos at the weekend. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

BoI funds Nigeria’s first global-model film distribution project EMMANUEL OGBONNAYA

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he Bank of Industry has moved to stem the issue of distribution which is one of the major challenges crippling Nigeria’s movie industry by funding the country’s first credible and verifiable controlled channel of distribution known as G-Media. According to BoI, tackling the issue of distribution besides having a multiplier effect on the industry also guarantees that the whole production process is not jeopardised by market uncertainties. The project which is in partnership with Nollywood distribution giant, Gabosky Films Inc, is being funded out of the $200m earmarked by BoI from an expected $500 million grant from the African Development Bank AfDB to revamp and enhance the nation’s industrial and entertainment sectors. Speaking at the pre-launch press briefing of G-media, Ibrahim Ahmed, Senior manager BoI, disclosed that over N2.5 billion has been approved and set aside for the entertainment sector and about N1 billion has been distributed so far. According to him the sector en-

joys the full support of the bank’s managing director, Evelyn Oputu, who has set up a specialised division manned by dedicated professionals to attend to the needs of stakeholders. “The BoI decided to partner with Gabosky because we see the entertainment industry as a business and we are ready to deal with all that are ready to approach us in that light. Our mission is to transform Nigerian industrial sector and integrate it into the global economy by providing financial and business support services to existing and new industries to at-

tain modern capabilities,” he said. He stressed that BoI will continue to support businesses in large, medium and small projects to ensure that they are able to produce goods and services that are competitive both in the domestic and external markets. In his remarks, the president of Gabosky Films Inc, Gab Okoye, stated that BoI has shown their readiness to help stakeholders tackle the challenges of the entertainment sector by funding any innovative projects such as the G-media idea which is backed by N1.8 billion from the bank.

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BFCAgusto Training Ltd, one of the nation’s leading training consulting firms, is set to introduce the e-Learning version of its Fundamentals of Credit Training Program in Nigeria. According to the Managing Director of IBFCAgusto Training Limited, Mrs. Titilayo Olujobi, the Nigerian Banking Crisis of 2009 had exposed the knowledge gaps that existed in the banking sector as many members of staff did not have the requisite training and experience to take optimal credit decisions. This, she noted, was a contributing factor to the high level of non-performing loans in the credit portfolios of several banks. In order to reduce the impact of a re-occurrence, she said it is pertinent for banks to ensure that

staff, especially those with credit responsibilities, are equipped with appropriate tools (including training) to execute their functions effectively. “e-learning is a cost effective approach to training, which is being adopted by institutions world-wide and often complements instructor-led methods,” she stated. Its benefits, which include flexibility, scalability, time management and cost effectiveness, she explained, informed the decision by IBFCAgusto to convert some of its courses to e-learning in tune with global trends. Building on the experience garnered over two decades in facilitating credit programs, IBFCAgusto has converted one of its flagship courses, into a highly interactive, self paced e-learning course with case studies and self assessments.

Entrepreneur to focus on children, youth empowerment MESHACK IDEHEN

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Nigerian entrepreneur and philanthropist based in the United States of America, Mrs. Remi Omosebi, said Nigerians irrespective of their economic status, must continually seek ways to support those who are not economically empowered. She said individuals and corporate organisations in the country by committing themselves towards assisting and empower-

ing the less privileged, are also ensuring that the multiplier effect of such gestures go a long way towards boosting individual and national economies. Speaking while making presentation of various items to the Nigeria Red Cross, NRC, in Lagos yesterday, Omosebi said more people needed to be assisted in the country, in order for them to be able to reach their potential in life, thereby also contributing to national development at the same time. According to her, Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora

should critically focus on how to sustainably support and lift up the vulnerable amongst them, stressing also that majority of the nation’s children and youths which form the bulk of the country’s future business and entrepreneurial leaders are facing critical and tough economic situations. Pointing out that Nigeria’s socio economic and political objectives will only be achieved and sustained when there is equality, a sense of belonging and willingness to share, Omosebi while promising for future assistance to

both the NRC and other like outfits, and take the message back to the US said it was time corporate entities and business adopted a wholistic approach in mentoring and developing the nation’s less empowered children and youth. Receiving the donations which comprised of numerous items, including bags of rice, clothing, volumes of books, toys for kids amongst other essentials, the red cross officials led by Mrs Grace Chiekwe, said the gifts would go a long way towards assisting the home.


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NDIC to promote sustainable banking practice principles TOLA AKINMUTIMI AND UDO ONYEKA UYO

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he Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation(NDIC) yesterday restated its commitment to the observance of sustainable banking practice principles as an operational policy to safeguard the environment and encourage other stakeholders to imbibe the principles. According to the Special Assistant to the Corporation’s Managing Director, Mr. Yakubu Shehu Mohammed, the step is being undertaken as part of the institution’s re-engineering processes to contribute to national efforts aimed at mitigating climate change challenges on Nigeria’s environment for sustainable development. Mohammed, who stated this in his paper delivered at the ongoing Workshop for Business Editors and Finance Correspondents As-

sociation of Nigeria (FICAN) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, listed some of the Corporation’s efforts to reduce carbon emission and achieve the broad policy objectives of the new concept as including, investing in utilising renewable energy, taking advantage of developments in Information Technology to reduce travels, proper water utilisation and disposal and paperless office management. He specifically said the idea of investing in green buildings was to ensure that the Corporation minimises carbon emissions in all areas of its operations and that NDIC would continue to spread the concept among operators imbibe it in their business operations, including credit disbursement to their customers. According to him, since the guidelines and principles were voluntarily subscribed to and endorsed by bank CEOs, it behoves on the banks to also enlist the support of their customers in the

implementation of the concept by “making their customers responsible and responsive to environmental management issues in their business activities” He pointed out that ongoing efforts aimed at making Nigeria one of the leading 10 economies globally by the year 2020 would require all stakeholders’ commitment to sustainable banking practice principles and the buy-in of top level industry players as the years roll by. “Nigeria as a country must adopt best practice in business practices if her vision of becoming one of the fastest growing economies by the year 2020 is to be realised”, Mohammed added. On whether or not sanctions would be applied against operators that failed to comply with the guiding principles of the concept, the NDIC chief said no sanction could be applied for now in view of the fact that the concept was not a regulatory policy.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

SON appeals to Nigerians on tyre safety EMMANUEL OGBONNAYA

T

he Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) yesterday staged a walk campaign to appeal to Nigerians on the need to raise their awareness on tyre safety issues in order to forestall preventable road accidents that may lead to loss of lives. According to the SON, many Nigerians are not aware that most auto accidents are as a result of ignorance on certain requisite tyre specifications which if strictly adhered to would save a lot of lives. According to the director general of SON who led the tyre walk awareness campaign tagged “Arrive Alive: Tyre safety; standards for safety” chance takers who ignore best practices are accident makers. “We all know that this is an ember month and this is the time a lot of us tend to travel and the intra city travel is a lot higher at

Royal Exchange records N7.61bn premium MESHACK IDEHEN

T

Former General Executive Director, E&P, NNPC, Mr. Phil Chukwu (left) and Managing Director, Weltek Engineering, Mr. Pedro Egbe during the presentation of the icon’s award for outstanding contribution to local content development in the petroleum industry by Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, PETAN, in Lagos recently.

Investors express worry as Sanusi’s departure looms DAYO AYEYEMI

AND AGENCY REPORT

C

oncerns have been raised among investors over the looming departure of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governo Lamido Sanusi, saying his success in curbing inflation and stabilizing the currency may unravel in a pre-election year. Investors are worried that Jonathan may appoint a governor who is less inclined to challenge overspending by lawmakers and kowtow to pressure from the Finance Ministry to lower interest rates In his four years in office, Sanusi, has overhauled a banking industry that was near collapse, cut the inflation rate to the lowest level in more than five years and helped to keep the currency

within a narrow range. Those achievements, investors stated might be threatened as government spending is set to escalate before elections in 2015. “Sanusi has been ready to tighten monetary policy when needed,” Samir Gadio, a strategist at Standard Bank Group Limited. In London, said in an interview. “We are going into an election in less than 16 months, so what we expect is that for the next year, fiscal policy will be significantly expansionary, and if not checked by the central bank, it could result in increased pressure on the exchange rate.” The government of Africa’s biggest crude producer is already drawing down savings to meet its spending needs as oil production misses targets. While President Goodluck Jonathan has pledged

to keep the budget deficit under control, Sanusi himself is wary, saying in an interview last month that the central bank is bracing for fiscal “shocks.” Government expenditure climbed 17 percent before the 2011 presidential vote. The key concern among investors is exchange rate stability, including a possible devaluation. The central bank has supported the naira by selling foreign currency at twice-weekly auctions to keep the local unit within a range of 3 percent around 155 per dollar. The naira has dropped 1.2 percent against the dollar this year on the interbank market and was trading at 157.98 as of 2:10 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital. Yields on Nigeria’s naira debt maturing in January 2022 have risen 73 basis points, or 0.73 percentage points, to 12.74 percent.

this time and all over the world we have actually observed that the tyre is a major cause of accidents in vehicles. And we feel that if are able to generate some awareness on tyres people would likely take some precautions and I can assure you that if we save only one life as a result of this activity my job would have been done because one live is actually worth it,” he said. He pointed out that statistically tyre pressure has a lot of impact on the life of the tyre and the safety of the tyre and yet about 20 per cent of tyres all over the world are the only ones that meet the specifications of pressure. “When we tested some on the road today we discovered that all the tyres had different pressures ranging outside the prescribed specifications knowing that there are certain specifications that provide for safety, what we’ve done today is to make people aware that they need to stay alive by complying with tyre safety issues, “he said.

he Chairman of Royal Exchange Group, Chief Kenneth Ezeanwani Odogwu, has said the hostile operating environment experienced by the insurance sub-sector and the finance industry in general has not affected the company. He said the company has remained resilient in its performance, exploiting new opportunities and maintaining a strong hold on its existing businesses. Addressing shareholders of the company during the annual general meeting of the company in Lagos on Tuesday, Odogwu said underwriting expenses increased by 15.13 per cent from N1.85 billion in 2011 to N2.13 billion in 2012, translating into net income before overhead expenses of N3.54 billion, as against N3.17 billion of 2011,which is an increase of 11.91

per cent. The Royal Exchange chairman explained during the period under review, that the company generated gross written premium of N7.61 billion, while that of the preceding year was N6.82 billion, which is an increase of 11.58 per cent. Odogwu said claims expenses during the year amounted to N1.63 billion similar to N1.64 billion spent in 2011, adding however, in relative terms, that the claims ratio dropped from 35 per cent in 2011 to 30 per cent in 2012 According to him, investment income increased significantly by 35.10 per cent from N475.21 million in 2011 to N642.02 million in 2012 while the appreciable recovery of the capital market and pricing of money market instruments enhanced the ability of the company to maximize returns from its quoted and cash portfolios within the year.

Etisalat partners Paga on Easywallet

E

tisalat has partnered with Nigeria’s number one mobile money service provider, Paga to delight its over 16 million subscribers with easy payment options through its innovative Etisalat Easy Wallet service. Director, Business Segment at Etisalat Nigeria, Lucas Dada, described the partnership as another opportunity to deliver value added services to subscribers on the Etisalat network. “As the fastest growing telecommunications operator in Nigeria, we pride ourselves on recognizing and partnering with other innovative companies to the benefit of our subscribers. Paga has demonstrated the ability to deliver innovative solutions and

we are excited to welcome them onto our platform and offer our customers more reasons to use Etisalat,” he said. According to him, the partnership will provide Etisalat’s customers with the option of using Paga to send and receive money for various amounts, ranging from as low as N500 to as high as N100,000, pay bills, pay for goods or services (shopping) and buy airtime through easywallet. In the same vein, Founder/ CEO at Paga, Tayo Oviosu in welcoming the partnership said the relationship builds on Paga’s goal to bring more convenient ways for people to access cash anytime, anywhere, irrespective of whether they have or do not have a bank account.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

35

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Energy Week Despite the handover of 10 power companies to private investors, electricity supply remains relatively low in the nation as a result of many challenges. UDEME AKPAN reports on how to confront the problems in order to deliver adequate and sustainable power to consumers.

udemea@rocketmail.com 07031546994

How to tackle odds against power supply in Nigeria

W

ith the successful handover of the nation’s Electricity Generation Companies, GENCOs and Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, many consumers expected to experience adequate and stable supply of electricity in the nation. The reasons are not farfetched. First, the private investors are known to be good managers. Second, operators in many sectors, especially manufacturing need power to sustain their operations. But their great expectations may not be realised soon as a result of many challenges that still stare the sector in the face. One of the them is vandalism of infrastructure. For instance, a few weeks ago, electricity supply dropped following the shutdown of Afam power plant. The plant which has an installed 776 megawatts, mw of electricity was shut because of oil theft which culminated in the destruction of the Trans Niger Pipeline, TNP. The Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC Joint Venture which confirmed the development stated that the pipeline was shut as a result of lack of gas. The Corporate Media relations Manager of the firm, Mr. Tony Okonedo stated in a statement that, “The shutdown of the TNP system, comprising the 28inch and 24inch streams resulted in the deferment of 150,000 barrels of oil per day, and also led to tank tops and non-evacuation of condensate from Okoloma Gas Plant which supplies Afam VI Power Plant with feed gas. He stated that SPDC had to shut down Okoloma Gas Plant today as it could not continue to produce gas without the evacuation of condensate. Okonedo stated that: “Afam VI Power Plant was available at 624MW capacity, but supplying only 105MW to the national grid due to reduced gas volume at the time of shutdown. Okonedo maintained that the latest leak on the TNP occurred on the 24inch stream at Owokiri on 11 July. A Joint Investigation Visit comprising government agencies, community and civil society representatives and SPDC personnel found that unknown persons had installed a 6inch crude theft valve on the facility. He stated that the 28inch TNP had earlier been shut in for removal of similar oil theft connections. The company is striving to repair the TNP as quickly as possible, and restore operations that will enable power generation to resume at Afam VI. Okonedo stated, “SPDC is deeply concerned about the negative impact of incessant crude theft activities on lives and

Power plant

environment in the Niger Delta, and also the loss of electricity to businesses and households across the country. The total daily loss from the TNP shutdown alone comes to about $15 million (N2.4 billion).” Investigations showed that the pipeline has suffered several attacks in recent times which affected gas supply to the power plant. For instance, a few months ago, SPDC said it might shut its Afam Power Station in Rivers State, as the fire which gutted the Bomu-Bonny Trunk line was still raging. The company stated that the proposed shut of the Afam power plant would cause a drop in the country’s power supply by 650 megawatts. The firm stated that a vessel used for bunkering went up in flames at the company’s 28-inch TNP which culminated in

the shutting down of the Bomu-Bonny Trunk line that produces 150,000 barrels per day. The firm’s Vice-President, Health Safety and Environment, Mr. Tony Attah, gave the indication during a news briefing in Port Harcourt. He said if the trunk line was not reopened immediately, the Ibom power plant in Akwa Ibom State would be affected and would result in serious gas shortage to power the Afam station, thereby leading to its shutdown. He lamented that large scale crude theft and illegal refining was still going on in the Niger Delta despite the efforts of the Joint Task Force to stem the menace. Attah expressed surprise how such a sea-going vessel would navigate the waterways undetected. Attah stated that: “This

TCN REGRETS INCONVENIENCES TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND OUR HIGHLY ESTEEMED ELECTRICITY CONSUMERS NATIONWIDE AND ENJOINED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO WORK WITH THE GOVERNMENT IN PROTECTING INSTALLATIONS AND FACILITIES MEANT FOR OUR SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

situation is beyond the cause of hunger or poverty. The size of the vessel tells you that it involves a cartel. The challenge of oil theft is becoming too big. I am sure that very strong forces are behind this. Shell is not alone. A few days ago, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN stated, “There will be about 450MW reduction in electricity generation from today Saturday, 23rd to Tuesday, 26th November, 2013 due to reported vandalism of gas pipeline supplying gas to Okpai power plant in Delta State, resulting in the shutdown of the Power station this evening, and unavoidable power rationing nationwide. The company’s General Manager (Public Affairs), Mrs. Seun Olagunju stated that TCN is reliably informed that repair work is expected be completed within three days and Okpai power plant will expectedly, resume generation on Wednesday, 27th November, 2013. She added that, “TCN regrets inconveniences to the Federal Government and our highly esteemed electricity consumers nationwide and enjoined members of the public to work with the government in protecting installations and facilities meant for our socio-economic development. Investigations showed that the mainteCONTINUED ON PAGE 36


36

Energy Week

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

How to tackle odds against power supply in Nigeria CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 nance has been completed. An authoritative government report has it that electricity generation has risen from 3,344 megawatts, mw to 3,744.73 mw following the provision of more gas to thermal plants, including AES barge, Aba power plant, Afam 1V, V and V1, Olaoji power plant, Calabar power plant, Egbema power plant, Egbin power plant, Geregu 1 and 2 power plant, Ibom power plant, Ihovbor power plant, Olorunsogo 1 and 2, Okpai power plant, Omoku 1 and 2, Omotosho 1 and II and Sapele have the capacity to generate commercial megawatts, mw of electricity. A top official of the Ministry of power who preferred not to be named said, “The restoration of gas supply to the plant has enabled us to increase electricity generation. He said, “We hope that vandalism would not attack the facility or other pipelines so that the improvement we are noticing can continue. However, other factors include population explosion, lack of maintenance, low transmission, obsolete equipment lack of meters, haphazard business models and low funding. The managing director of Egbin Power Plc, Engr. Mike Uzoigwe said the nation was generating below its over 4,000 megawatts, mw because of these and other challenges. Uzoigwe said, “The government could not fund mandatory inspections and overhauls of generating plants. Most of our power stations are gas turbines plants. This type runs at speeds beyond 5000RPM and being thousand degrees centigrade temperature. He said, “If you visit Delta, Sapele or Afam power stations, you will notice several gas turbines lying idle in their filed state. About three of them installed at Ijora power station by Chief Obasanjo’s first regime to supply power to Dodan barracks are also laying waste. Uzoigwe said Kainji Dam Power station which has an installed capacity of 760mw presently has more than nine of its units down on various faults with only 120mw available installed capacity. He said, “Other earlier power stations have been decommissioned and do not produce power anymore. Calabar power station is decommissioned, same as Oji and all later installed power stations at Ijora-Lagos. Uzoigwe said of the six units of 120 mw each originally installed at Sapele power station, only one remains available and can generate or is available for a maximum of 90mw. He said, “The Egbin power plant installed about 30 years ago is the only plant that is still showing good signs with an initial installed capacity of 1,320mw it has managed to remain available for 1080mw as at today. Uzoigwe said, “One of its six units went down some years ago loosing 220mw. That unit is now under repair and will be back in a short while. Though its mandatory routine maintenance schedule had not been followed, the plant has been better managed than most other plants in the federation. Uzoigwe who decried recent vandalism of gas pipeline that affect supply to power generation said these and other challenges culminated in low reducing the nation’s power per person to about 17.6 watts. This, he said is lower than what is

IF YOU VISIT D ELTA , S APELE OR AFAM POWER STATIONS , YOU WILL NOTICE SEVERAL GAS TURBINES LYING IDLE IN THEIR FILED

STATE .

ABOUT

THREE

OF THEM INSTALLED AT

IJORA

POWER

STATION BY

C HIEF

OBASANJO ’S Jonathan

Nebo

FIRST

REGIME TO SUPPLY POWER TO

DODAN

BARRACKS ARE ALSO LAYING WASTE

Alison-Madueke

Amadi

obtainable in many nations. For instance, he said the United States has 1,402 watts while Japan and Australia have 774watts and 1,114 watts respectively. He said, “If we represent the real consumable power when our output is 3,000mw, then our power per capita electricity consumption will come as low as about 14 watts, so very poor. However, hope is not lost. For instance, the Federal Government have unshakable faith that the private investors would deliver on set goals and objectives at least for a reason. The background and capacity of the firms were examined in the processes that culminated to purchase of the companies. The Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation Technical Committee, Mr. Atedo Peterside said while announcing the emergence of preferred bidders that NCP decided to use the ATC&C method for the selection of core investors for distribution companies because ATC& C loss levels will provide Nigerian consumers and other stakeholders with specific parameters with which to measure the outcome of the power sector reform and privatisation. They were subjected to consistency tests and divided into two categories: bids in which ATC&C loss reduction proposal is less than 50 per cent and those where it is 50 per cent or more. He said bidders in

the second category were subjected to a further review. The investors also seem to be ready to address major issues that stare the sector in the face. For instance, the Chairman of West Power and Gas Limited, Mr. Charles Momoh said it will commit $250 million to strengthen its distribution capacity of Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc. The company said it understand the challenges of the environment where it will operate and therefore has put together funds and technical back-up to provide excellent services. He stated that the fund would not be enough to address all the problems but the management, with support of Zenith Bank would continue to seek for more funding arrangement to improve its services. Momoh said the money would be used to execute critical projects like transformer procurement, metering and cabling. He said, “Our strategy is to improve on the system, support the Megacity project of the Lagos state government. This will take time but we are committed to achieve our set goals because we know that no economic growth will take place without adequate power supply. Many observers are waiting to see how the investors would confront the challenges in order to deliver adequate and sustainable electricity to consumers in dif-

ferent parts of the nation. The observers however believe there is a great need for major stakeholders, especially the Federal Government to maintain effective regulation and enabling environment, including adequate security, capable of driving sustainable and profitable operations. November’s wave of privatisation has also paved the way for investors to participate further in the development of the power sector, with 10 additional stateowned gas-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 4775 mw set to be sold off by the end of 2014. The country is looking to boost the share of gas in its generation mix, to benefit from its substantial reserves. To ensure local power companies are able to sustainably tap local deposits, however, reforms to the tariff structure may be needed. At present, the government offers a rate of $1 per million cu feet (mcf), which is expected to rise to $1.50 per mcf. Ensuring that the domestic market remains attractive could require the government to more than double its current offer to a figure nearer $3. Improving Nigeria’s electricity supply will also necessitate investment in transmission infrastructure, which remains in state hands but is being managed by a Canadian firm, Manitoba Hydro International. The government has already raised $750m through a bond issue to help overhaul the network. Other opportunities for foreign investors are emerging in plant construction, management, consultancy and equipment supply. The government is offering several incentives, including tax holidays and breaks, with a particular focus on the gas-fired sector, as it looks to tap investors. By offering operators attractive terms, it will be hoping to steer the privatisation process towards success. Given that the poor electricity supply has long been Nigeria’s Achilles heel, a successful privatisation process and subsequent boost in capacity may yield dramatic results for the economy as a whole.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Energy Week

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

37

OPEC daily basket price falls to $107.07 per barrel UDEME A KPAN

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he price of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC basket of 12 crudes has fallen from $107.34 to $107.07 per barrel, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The development which took place over the weekend showed a drop of over 20 cents at the global oil market. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes, ORB is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). Despite the fall in price, many nations, including Nigeria would still be in a position to generate adequate foreign exchange for the implementation

of their 2013 budget. OPEC crude production also dropped to a two-year low in November, led by declines in Saudi Arabian and Nigerian output, a Bloomberg survey showed. Output by the 12-member OPEC decreased 245,000 barrels to an average 30.007 million barrels a day this month from 30.252 million in October, the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts showed. The October total was revised lower by 369,000 barrels a day because of changes to the Saudi and Libyan estimates. Saudi Arabian crude output declined 150,000 barrels a day to 9.65 million. The desert kingdom pumped 10 million barrels a day in September, the most in monthly data going back to 1989. The October estimate was reduced by 200,000 barrels a day. Nigeria’s production dropped 100,000 barrels a day to 1.89 million in November, the lowest level since May.

El-Badri

Production is often disrupted by unrest in the Niger River delta, the country’s main oil-producing region. Libyan output slipped 40,000 barrels a day to 210,000 in November, the lowest level since September 2011. Two years after the war that swept the late Muammar Qaddafi from power, Libyan government efforts to revive the oil industry are being stymied by feuding militias and protests.

Nigeria to offer 31 lower-volume oilfields to broaden investors

N

igeria will offer 31 licenses for oilfields with volumes too low for bigger companies to domestic operators next month to broaden the range of industry investors. Sixteen onshore fields and 15 in shallow-water leases will be auctioned, Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke said. “Government encourages companies where possible to bid in consortia to enable the parties leverage upon each other’s strengths,” she told reporters today in the capital of Abuja. There will be 3-1/2 months of competitive bidding, she said. The fields produce volumes too low to be profitable for companies like Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Exxon Mobil Corporation, who run ventures with state Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. Such ventures, also with Chevron Corp., Total SA and Eni SpA, pump more than 90 percent of the biggest African producer’s oil. The plans come a decade after a first set of 24 so-called marginal fields were handed to 31 local producers. Output from eight of those now makes up 1 percent of the country’s total, adding 100 million barrels of crude to the country’s reserves, according to the minister. Nigeria, OPEC’s seventhlargest producer, pumped 1.99 million barrels of oil a day in October, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Nigerian companies “continued to

demonstrate remarkable technical ability in operating significantly larger assets” by buying fields from international producers, Alison-Madueke said. Local producers including Seplat Petroleum Development Co. and Oando Plc are raising their share of the country’s output by agreeing to take fields in restive areas when global producers like Shell and Chevron retreat. Stakes in 13 fields were sold by Shell, Total and Eni from 2010, mostly to domestic companies. In a related development, close to 11 years after the first marginal field awards were granted, Nigeria has launched a second process, with 31 fields in the basket. 15 of the fields planned for auction to Nigerian independents are in shallow water (continental shelf), while the remaining 16 are located onshore, all in the Niger Delta basin, according to Diezani Alison-Madueke, the country’s minister of petroleum resources. The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, will, within the next two weeks, undertake a road show to different parts of the country to enlighten stakeholders about the exercise, the minister said. The process is expected to end around mid 2014. Chevron submitted 12 fields to the DPR for the purpose, including Olure, Bime, Omofejo in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 49. It also has Shango, Meta,

Azama, Ruta and Oloye in shallow water OML 95, as well as Obira and Kudo, also in shallow water OML 89. It was not clear, as of last night, if all these fields were in the 31-field basket. For the first time, fields operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and ExxonMobil are going to be in a marginal field auction. NAOC submitted two fields, including the gas field Ajaketon, located in OML 63 and the Odimodi oil field, located in OML 62. For the past three years, Mrs. Alison-Madueke has been under pressure to announce a bid round. She had announced the imminent commencement of the bid round over five times in that space of time, but the process never got ahead. Seeking to allay fears about likely corruption of the process the Minister said that proper technical and commercial due diligence are to be carried out on the companies that would indicate interest in the oil blocks, adding that to encourage prospective bidders to participate in the process, government would want them to do so in consortia to enable the parties leverage on each others’ strengths.the road show would be followed by a three and half months period of competitive bidding process that would conform with government’s commitment to transparency and openness in the bid for the country’s assets. Mrs. Allison- Madueke recalled

Commodity

Units

Price

Change

% Change

Contract

Time(ET)

Crude Oil (WTI)

USD/bbl.

94.03

+0.21

+0.22%

Jan 14

05:53:34

Crude Oil (Brent)

USD/bbl.

111.41

-0.04

-0.04%

Jan 14

05:53:47

TOCOM Crude Oil

JPY/kl

68,590.00

-420.00

-0.61%

May 14

05:53:00

NYMEX Natural Gas

USD/MMBtu

3.98

-0.01

-0.13%

Jan 14

05:51:05

Source: Bloomberg

Source: Oilprice.com

that out of the 24 marginal oil fields on offer to 31 Nigerian companies that participated in the bid in 2003, the minister said eight were currently producing, while the remaining ones were at various stages of development. She is particularly proud of the “achievement” of the 2002-2003 marginal field bid round. Out of the eight assets that have so far been divested from by the multinational oil operators, she noted, four were being held by active marginal field operators, who have continued to demonstrate technical ability in operating significantly larger assets. “The successful companies currently contribute about one per cent to the country’s daily production capacity, with additional discoveries in excess of over 100 million barrels to the national reserve,” she remarked.


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Energy Week

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

We’ll tackle electricity problems, climate change in Lagos through budget monitoring –Oshinawa

sively opened itself to public scrutiny by entrenching Civil Society component in its budget processes.

Mr. Toyin Oshinawa is the coordinator Policy Advocacy Partnership on Climate Change, PACC, an advocacy partner of SAVI. In this interview with UDEME AKPAN, he shares his organisations involvement in ensuring that the Lagos state government runs an inclusive administration by ensuring citizenship participation in budget implementation to ensure development across all strata of the people through effective energy development. What is your organisation doing to support the development of electricity sector? We in Policy Advocacy on Climate Change, PACC have assisted government in developing frameworks that will help produce robust climate change policy in the state. Recently, we organised a workshop with the participation of the British High Commission where the UK government affirmed its determination to work with the state government to generate energy from renewable sources and to make better use of renewable resources to reduce human impact on climate change. During the workshop, the High Commission affirmed its determination to work in collaboration with the Civil Society Organisations to support initiatives of the country to harness its huge gas deposits for electricity generations and other effective uses than constantly flaring it and causing more harm to the environment. We are also supporting the Lagos government on energy conservation and solar energy initiatives to free up energy from the national grid and to build expertise on renewable energy to achieve better energy mix and it is laudable that some British companies are committed to set up small power stations to use flared gas for electricity generation. How would this bring about the desired development? If you look at the CSO partnership with the state there is affirmative action on proper budget monitoring and implementation and the ten point agenda of the state which tilts toward developing the energy sector to help drive development across other critical sectors of the economy. This is one of the major fundamentals and our involvement to ensure all funds appropriated for that purpose is judiciously utilised for the benefit of the people. Over time this sort of cooperation has not happened and we need to build on this synergy to achieve the expected results. What has been the major issue with lack of the adoption of inclusive government? In December 1966, the International Convention On Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was adopted by the United Nations, UN, General Assembly and on June 1993, the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna affirms that ‘Extreme Poverty and Social Exclusion constitute a violation of human dignity and urgent steps are necessary to put an end to them and to promote the enjoyment of fruits of social progress. Thus it became essential for states to foster participation by the poorest people in the decision-making process by the community in which they live, the promotion of human rights and the efforts to combat extreme poverty. This, plus the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the Political Rights of 1966 form an integral part of the International Bill of Human Rights. The modern Nigerian state which came into being in 1914 has witnessed her own thick and thin, and one of the major challenges in the country which has equally brought great conflict and social catastrophe is the lack of citizen participation in the affairs of the state especially as regards governance and public expenditure. What has been the outcome of efforts targeted at working with numerous Civil Society Partnerships to encourage inclusive governance in the South West?

Oshinawa

Specifically speaking, I believe that It was in view of the above anomalies and the critical socio-economic challenges facing the Lagos state that the Lagos Civil Society Partnership, LACSOP, with huge support from PACC which has actually identified the major devastating economic effect caused by the climate change initiated steps to engage both the executive arm and the Lagos State Legislature on the need to actively involve the citizens in the entire process of budget formulation, debate and implementation. We believed that such involvement would usher a new era of development, reduce tension and improve on welfare of the people by addressing climate change phenomenon. The partnership believes also that every government must accept the fact that citizens have the right to know how public finances are administered and that by denying citizens participation in decision making the government is only setting the process for abrasion, public mistrust, social unrests and political upheavals. You will agree with me that isolationist to deny the people the right to participate in the budget process if you go through history has led to sombre distrust and even conflicts, in the cause of the development of human civilisation. Naturally, most leaders do not want to be questioned, preferring a one dimensional society and this has not helped sustainable human development. The lack of citizenship participation has brought calamities to our societies, in different forms and content. In our ancient societies, either in Europe, Asia or Africa, it was the wish of the leaders never to be questioned or tasked on how they administer public finances and the public trust in their custody. I am happy that Lagos state has admitted these phenomenal approaches by the partnership and deci-

WE ARE ALSO SUPPORTING LAGOS ON ENERGY CONSERVATION AND SOLAR ENERGY INITIATIVES TO FREE UP ENERGY FROM THE NATIONAL GRID AND TO BUILD EXPERTISE ON RENEWABLE ENERGY TO ACHIEVE BETTER ENERGY MIX

So what are we expecting perhaps in terms of development from 2014? I am happy to state that the State Accountability and Voice Initiative, SAVI, a good governance project of the Department for International Development (DFID) LACSOP with its partners submitted a proposal to the state government for effective training and proper knowledge sharing on how the proposal for effective development and partnership would work. Several workshops have been held for those charged with the responsibility of preparing the budget, to ensure citizens input is obtained, and the House of Assembly to invite CSO’s to its plenary sessions during budget debate to also make input and finally the Ministries, Departments and Agencies during implementation proper to allow full participation of the CSO’s to ensure money budgeted is appropriately utilised. In fact, the Lagos state has become a role model when the Executive arm under this initiative further innovated a broader tripartite arrangement involving the Executive, Legislature and the Civil Society Organisations in the entire budget preparation, debate in the House of Assembly and Implementation. During one of the workshops to further strengthen the synergy, the Lagos state government admitted facing huge development gap and facing serious challenges that has further impoverished the citizens. The workshop which was supported by SAVI provided the executive the opportunity to explain to the state members of the House of Assembly initiatives of the government to achieve prudence, transparency and accountability in budget implementation and the role of the CSO’s and the Legislature toward achieving objectives of the new vision. The government admitted among other things, the issue of resource inadequacy and prevalent poverty and socio-economic problems. Also huge infrastructural gap, high crime rate, high unemployment and inadequate institutional capabilities as well as influx from neighboring states/countries have hampered progress and agenda of growth set by the state. How is this going to address under-development? Well, with the new partnership energising new innovations the state government has came up with an agenda aimed at Making Lagos State Africa’s model Megacity and Global Economic and Financial Hub that is safe, secure, functional and productive. The mission of the new order aims at Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Economic Growth through Infrastructure Renewal and Development. To achieve this, the government also set an agenda for itself which will be pursued in collaboration with the CSO’s fittingly regarded as agents of change. What are the elements of change in this whole arrangement? Well, Under the Ten Point Agenda, TPA the government is set to commit energy in pursuing the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs and meticulously gives priority to the Lagos State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy, LASEEDS and provide platform for successful implementation of the Resolutions of Lagos Economic Summit, Ehingbeti. Also the Introduction of State Development Plan aims at Consolidating all High Policy Documents(TPA, MDG, LASEEDs, etc) and providing overall direction for the growth and development of the State as well as growing state gross domestic product, SGDP to double digit by 2020 from 7.5 percent currently. Both the State Legislature and the CSO’s are expected to key into the Planning Framework under the Lagos State Development Plan 2012-2025. The executive has listed key sector growth through prudent budget implementation and effective monitoring to achieve economic advancement. Government identified as economic pillars to drive the process as, Manufacturing, Service Industry, Construction (especially housing), Agric Infrastructure Sector, Transportation and Power.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Energy Week

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

OPEC may not adopt new production level UDEME AKPAN

WITH AGENCY REPORT

Oil vessel

in October. A separate gauge today from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was 50.8, exceeding all 13 analyst estimates. A reading above 50 signals expansion. “What we’ve seen over the past few months is a clear steadying of the growth outlook in China,” Michael McCarthy, a chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by phone. “The idea of a hard landing, which was damping energy demand, has now all but dissipated.” China will account for about 11 percent of global oil demand this year, compared with 21 percent for the U.S., according to the International Energy Agency, a Parisbased adviser to developed nations. The U.S. will release manufacturing data for November at 10 a.m. in Washington. The report may show that output in the world’s largest oil consumer grew for a sixth month. Brent rose 0.8 percent in November for a second consecutive monthly advance as unrest in Libya, holder of Africa’s largest oil reserves, disrupted supply. Output slid 40,000 barrels a day last month, a Bloom-

berg survey showed. Crude production from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries dropped to a two-year low in November, led by losses in Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, according to the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts. Output from the 12-member group decreased by 245,000 barrels a day to an average of 30.01 million last month compared with 30.25 million in October. OPEC is expected to reaffirm a collective limit of 30 million barrels a day at its meeting in Vienna, according to 22 of 24 analysts and traders surveyed by Bloomberg News. “The market expects the quota ceiling to be left unchanged, and there will be little reaction to the price if it does,” Bjornar Tonhaugen, senior commodities analyst at Oslo-based Nordea Bank AG, said by phone. “The more interesting thing will be what OPEC does rather than what it says, as it is finally adhering to its own level -- but due to production outages rather than cutting back.”

SMEFunds promises to boost renewable technologies UDEME AKPAN

S

MEFunds, a group committed to alternative energy development has concluded plans to deliver clean cooking and renewable energy technologies to over 10 million households in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa. This is targeted at solving problems that many households encounter in meeting their domestic cooking needs in the region. The SMEFunds Cofounder and CEO, Mr. Femi Oye who confirmed the development stated, “People are hungry for good alternatives to kerosene and other unsafe, dirty cooking fuels.” He said, “We started with the simple belief that cooking shouldn’t kill. Why should our women cook with tears?” Oye also said, “Africa – SMEFunds ‘Green Energy & Biofuels’ (Nigeria) has been named the best clean energy investment opportunity in West Africa and overall WINNER at the West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF) Business Plan competition in Accra. He said the competition assessed business plans from all clean energy sectors across West Africa in two elimination rounds. The final round brought the top 10 com-

House committee commends NDDC, SPDC over road construction

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T

he Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC may not adopt a new production level as it begins its crucial meeting today in Vienna, Austria. Bloomberg survey showed that OPEC is poised to keep its oil-production target unchanged at its meeting this week. The agency stated, “Futures earlier rose as much as 0.7 percent in London after China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index registered 51.4, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said yesterday, a result that exceeded 24 out of 26 projections in a Bloomberg survey. It stated that OPEC will decide on Dec. 4 whether to keep its output limit at 30 million barrels a day. Brent’s premium to West Texas Intermediate narrowed for a third day after widening to the most in almost nine months. “Despite some fairly positive manufacturing PMI data, oil prices look set to remain under pressure, particularly Brent, which seem rather expensive when compared to its U.S. peer,” Michael Hewson, a London-based market analyst at Londonbased CMC Markets Plc, said. It maintained that Brent for January settlement advanced as much as 78 cents to $110.47 and was at $109.54 a barrel as of 1:40 p.m London time on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. The agency stated that the volume of all futures traded was about 3 percent above the 100-day average. The European benchmark was at a premium of $16.42 to WTI. The spread closed at $19.01 on Nov. 27, the widest since March 7. The official Chinese manufacturing index yesterday matched the 18-month high

39

Femi Oye

panies among the 72 applications received to Accra where they were judged by representatives from major international organizations such as Leo Blyth (IFC, Lighting Africa Initiative), Musa Salah (EcoBank), Godfrey Mwindaare (Acumen Fund West Africa), Professor Joseph Adelegan (EBID), and Sander Smits van Oyen (SOVEC). Green Energy & Biofuels stood out due to the established track record of SMEFunds, innovative technology and the ability to scale quickly. The $28million Investment in the first round will go towards scaling up their renewable ethanol cooking gel production

and clean cookstove manufacturing. Already over 1 million liters of cooking gel has been produced locally using 2G Cellulosic Bio-Ethanol technology from wastes such as water-hyacinth and saw-dust from Lagos saw mills. SMEFunds has already recruited over 15,000 entrepreneurs through its Carbon Credit Network and helped them start green businesses that sell the cooking gel and stoves across Nigeria and West Africa. More youth and women stand ready to bring safer, stable green energy to their communities once the scale-up is reached. The Climate Technology Initiative Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN), the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), and the Regional Clean Energy Investment Initiative (RCEII) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and SEFA supported the competition. The business plan was assessed thoroughly after benefitting from a 6 month program which provided development and structuring, the preparation of bankable business plans and investor pitches from professional advisors, clean energy investors and commercial banks. SMEFunds is now working with top investors and financiers to back their wastetoethanol cooking fuel expansion.

he House of Representatives Committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission has commended the Commission and Shell Petroleum Development Company for their pioneering efforts in the construction of the Ogbia- Nembe road. Members of the Committee made the commendation while inspecting the project as part of their oversight function. The Committee Chairman, Hon Nicholas Mutiu said, “We are indeed impressed by the collaboration between the NDDC and Shell on this unique project, touching the lives of over 15 communities”. According to him, constructing a road to Nembe and its adjourning communities in a very difficult terrain is an Herculean task and NDDC deserve to be encouraged. He therefore charged the two organisations not to relent in accomplishing the task, promising the support of the committee in realising the dream. “We in the House of Representatives are ever ready to support this laudable initiative by appropriating funds towards the completion of the road”. Briefing the committee members on the project, the Acting Managing Director, NDDC, Dr. (Mrs.) Christy Atako disclosed that the road project with several bridges and culverts is making steady progress. Atako remarked that the project was in line with the transformation agenda of the Goodluck’s administration, in which infrastructure development is a key element. “We promise not to let the President down, we assure you, the House Committee members and the Communities that we shall not fail in our duties of releasing funds for the completion of the road within the stipulated tune”. The Committee members also commissioned the Elele Alimini-Akpabu-Itu Road, linking three Local Government Areas of Emohua, Ahoada East and OgbaEgbema-Ndoni Local Government Areas of Rivers State.

Shell laments lack of infrastructure in Niger Delta

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hell Petroleum Development Company has lamented the lack of infrastructure in the Niger Delta which produces commercial crude oil and gas in Nigeria. The firm that made this known in its report stated, “The Niger Delta continues to be a challenging place to operate for many reasons. There is a fundamental lack of basic infrastructure in many areas, with poverty, lack of employment opportunities, widespread criminality and other factors all contributing to the social and economic crisis in the region. It stated that criminality has expressed itself in many forms over the years – attacks on facilities, kidnapping, militancy and, most worrisome in recent years, crude oil theft and illegal refining. The firm stated that in 2012, there were over 80 reported incidents of crude oil theft from the facilities of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, several accompanied by vandalism, spills and fire. CONTINUED ON PAGE 40


40

Energy Week

Shell laments lack of infrastructure in Niger Delta CONTINUED FROM 39 It stated, “Shell Companies in Nigeria are active supporters of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR), a set of guidelines developed in 2000 by various governments, extractive industry companies and human rights organisations. The firm stated that SPDC applies these principles in the delta and engages various government agencies (including the National Human Rights Commission), Government Security Agencies (GSAs) and other organisations on how the company can contribute to better implementing VPSHR in the country. It maintained that GSA personnel deployed to work in company facilities are informed of the VPSHR and the need for its application, and are also reminded regularly. The firm stated, “International Oil Companies operating in Nigeria, including Shell, are advocating for the government to join the VPSHR plenary. It stated, “It is heartening to see the success of the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme in the Niger Delta, aimed at ex-militant groups. The enabling environment helped by the amnesty resulted in a significant increase in Nigeria’s oil and gas production and provided better access for operations and maintenance of assets. However, significant grievances remain over post-amnesty management issues, and these would need to be managed to sustain the gains in the long run. The firm stated, “As a Nigerian, and one who has spent a great deal of my career in the Niger Delta, my greatest immediate concern is the issue of crude oil theft, which is an increasingly dangerous menace. The volume currently being stolen is the highest in the last three years, with over 60,000 barrels per day from SPDC facilities alone. It stated that this is a huge loss, and the effects of this industrial scale theft are devastating for both the people and the environment. The firm stated, “Most of the stolen crude makes its way to the international market and a smaller percentage is refined locally, with thick smoke from illegal refineries lining the shore in many parts of the delta. It stated that the land, shorelines and water are heavily polluted with oil as a result of these activities. This is a crisis situation because the solution is beyond the capacity of any individual company. The firm added, “Our concern is that, if these activities continue at this rate, the effects would be devastating, not only to the social and environmental structure of many areas of the Niger Delta, but also to Nigeria’s economy.” The United Nations Environment Programme published an ‘Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland’ – a study of oil pollution in Ogoniland in Rivers State, a region of the Niger Delta. The report was commissioned by the Federal Government of Nigeria as part of an ongoing Ogoni reconciliation process. SPDC supports the government—led Ogoni reconciliation process.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG reconstitutes committee on NEITI reports UDEME AKPAN

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he Federal Government has reconstituted the Inter Ministerial Task Team, IMTT to implement Audit Reports of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim announced this in Abuja at a Dinner in honour of the International Chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI, Clare Short. Anyim explained that President Jonathan’s decision to reconstitute the committee was as a result of Government’s decision to fully reintegrate the NEITI mandates into the country’s economic policy agenda. He noted that, “in the wisdom of Mr. President, it is necessary to strengthen the Inter Ministerial Task Team with high ranking officers from all key agencies covered by NEITI process who have requisite authority to take decisions on NEITI Audit Reports findings and recommendations and ensure that these recommendations are implemented. The members of the reconstituted Inter Ministerial Task Team on NEITI Reports included the Director of Petroleum Resources, Group Executive Director (Exploration and Production) Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria. They included the Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Accountant General of the Fed-

Ledun Mitee

eration. The committee also included the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Auditor General of the Federation, Chief Economic Adviser to the President and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance. They also included the Managing Director, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency and Chairman, Nigeria Miners Association, Director General, Mining Cadastre Office and Chairman, Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce. President Jonathan is expected to formally inaugurate the reconstituted Inter Ministerial Task Team, which has NEITI as the Chair, in due course. The International Chair of EITI, Clare Short who was on a one –day working visit

to Abuja described Nigeria’s implementation of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the Country’s oil and gas and mining sectors as exemplary. She expressed delight with the support and commitment of President Jonathan to carry out reforms in the sector in line with EITI Principles. The EITI Chair said she was in Nigeria to exchange views with governments, the civil society and companies on the need for collaboration with NEITI to ensure that revenues from the extractive industries support national development and reduce poverty in the country. Chairman of the NEITI National Stakeholders Working Group, NSWG Ledum Mitee explained that NEITI’s sustained intervention in the sector was to enthrone transparency and accountability with a view to ensuring that Nigerians derive maximum benefits from the natural resources in their country. The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Zainab Ahmed informed the gathering that NEITI had already developed a comprehensive remediation plan with specific details of what needs to be done by each of the relevant government entities. She expressed the hope that the reconstituted Inter Ministerial Task Team will effectively make use of the plan and cause these remedial issues to be implemented. She highlighted some of the remedial issues to include recovery of funds in the hands of companies as a result of under payments and under assessment of taxes, royalties and rents among others. She welcomed the emerging partnership between NEITI, Government, Companies, the Civil Society and Legislature in the discharge of NEITI mandate.

World records one trillion barrels oil production –Chevron

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he world has so far produced one trillion barrels of oil. Chevron that made this known in its latest report stated that over the next century or so, approximately 2 trillion barrels more are expected to be produced from conventional proved reserves and undiscovered conventional oil. The report stated, “Additional supplies will be produced by Chevron and others from unconventional oil resources, such as extra-heavy oil in Venezuela, oil sands in Alberta and shale oil in the United States. It maintained that with subsea wells in 7,000 feet (2,130 m) of water, the Blind Faith Platform is Chevron’s deepest offshore production facility.

Oil rig

The report stated that oil has powered the world in the form of transportation fuels for more than a century, and demand is expected to grow over the long term. It stated that the global energy demand is projected to increase 53 percent between 2008 and 2035. And oil, natural gas and coal are expected to meet most of that demand. The report stated that for more than 130 years, Chevron has developed some of the world’s most complex crude oil fields. It stated, “We have a strong position in nearly all of the world’s key basins, and our extensive project portfolio provides the foundation for future growth. We are the largest private producer of oil in Kazakhstan, the top oil producer in Thailand, the

largest oil producer in Indonesia, and a major leaseholder in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The report stated, “In 2012, Chevron produced 2.61 million net oil-equivalent barrels per day from operations around the world. We have numerous major capital projects under way to bring significant new resources to global markets. Our technological capabilities play a pivotal role in making these projects successful and in producing more oil from mature fields. It stated that in Africa, the company is exploring for oil in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Morocco and producing and exploring for oil in Angola, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Republic of the Congo. The report stated that Chevron is involved in several projects in different nations, including Nigeria. It stated,”The Aparo Field and the thirdparty-owned Bonga SW Field share a common geologic structure and are planned for joint development. The geologic structure lies 70 miles (113 km) off the coast in 4,300 feet (1,311 m) of water. The proposed development plan involves subsea wells tied back to a floating production, storage and offloading vessel. The report stated Chevron is exploring for or producing oil throughout Asia, including Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, the Partitioned Zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and Thailand.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

41

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42

From the Civil Service

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Okene residents rise against DPO, say he is too repressive OMEIZA AJAYI

R

esidents of the hilly town of Okene in Kogi State have asked the Police High Command to either suspend the Divisional Police Officer DPO of the Okene Police Division or transfer him from the area in order to avoid a breach of the peace. The residents said in order to avoid any altercation between the community and the police, the officer has to be transferred and his excesses curtailed, saying they can no longer bear his repressive posture. They alleged that the officer has continually dented the image of the force by his high-handedness and closed door policy. In a letter dated November 25 and addressed to the State Commissioner of Police, Saidu Madaki, the Kogi Central Community Development Association said since the DPO assumed office in Okene, there has been an upsurge in crimes and criminality of various dimension in the ancient town. “His activities as a Divisional Police Officer is as good as nothing. For instance, to bail any arrested person attracts at least the sum of N10, 000 and failure to provide such money connotes that, you are not prepared to bail your person”, said the association’s scribe, Comrade Okaraga Shuaibu Sanni who signed

•Seek his immediate transfer

the petition. The association said it could not get the name of the DPO as he has wilfully made himself inaccessible unlike his predecessors and at the same time refuses to hang his identification and name tags. “The man is just criminally-minded. He does not hang his name tag and so it’s difficult for one to know his name. And that’s wrong. He has also made himself very inaccessible”, said Alhaji Ahmed Adoke, an activist and leader of the Righteous Onlookers Association, a human rights group in the area. The petition was also copied to the the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, the AlG, Zone 8, Lokoja, the Area Commander in Okene, the State Director of the SSS and the Ohinoyi of Ebira land, His Royal Majesty, Dr Ado Ibrahim. The groups claimed that the DPO has perfected his exploitative tendencies which he exhibits by way of random arrest of innocent residents and then asking for money before those arrested could be admitted to bail. “A typical example was the issue of Okada riders at Okengwe-Ageva road of which illegal arrests were made and that led to the shooting of an Okada member by the Police for resisting the illegal arrest. “A traditional titled hold-

er from Okene died about four days ago. In view of our Tradition, it became inevitable to bury him before pronouncing his departure to the world beyond between the hours of 9pm-10pm that day. To our greatest dismay, about 35 people were arrested from the late Traditional Title holder’s compound by the Divisional Police Officer in Okene. The question one should ask the DPO is that, was there any curfew declared by him on that day?”,

Okaraga queried. He added that when the President, Kogi Central Community Development Association was approached by the family of the late title holder to assist in bailing the arrested persons, the DPO directed his men at the gate to disallow the community President from gaining entrance to the station and that when he attempted to identify himself again, he was slapped by the police man. They said interventions by the Ohinoyi has not achieved much as the DPO

has a clear disdain for the traditional stool, a behaviour the group described as despicable and retrogessive to the process of community policing. Okaraga also claimed that an armed robber known as “Babangida” was earlier arrested by the community and handed over to the former Divisional Police Officer before the arrival of the present DPO but that today the robbery kingpin is a free man and has even begun issuing threats to some residents of the area.

“According to the present DPO, the armedrobber was sent to Benin in Edo State and that he later learnt that he had been killed. The question now is that, why Benin when the police in Kogi State has its Command and Zonal headquarters in Lokoja? “Now, the robber he claimed has been killed in Edo State is now threatening people at Ogudah Farm Centre in Okene Local Government Area. Who is fooling who?”, the group asked

Nigeria’s Ambassador to Canada, Amb. Ojo Maduekwe (left) and the Corp Marshal, Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr. Osita Chidoka, during the campaign on bicycle riding as a means of transportation in Abuja recently.

NEITI postpones Roundtable with Civil Society, other events CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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hree major events planned by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to strengthened public education, enlightenment and information have been shifted as a result of unforeseen circumstances. Among the programmes shifted is a Roundtable for Civil Society Organisations expected to provide a platform for election of a special committee of the civil society that will relate directly with the agency on its operations. Director of communiscations Dr. Orji Ogbonaya Orji, in a statement said the event earlier scheduled to hold on Tuesday and Wednesday next week has now been shifted to the 16th and 17th of December.

In a similar development, a forum put in place in partnership with the Revenue Watch Institute to review the findings and recommendations on various NEITI independent Audit Reports earlier slated for this week has also been shifted to hold in the first quarter of next year. According to Orji, event was planned to review the several audit and probe reports conducted recently in the oil and gas industry with a view to enthroning good governance. The reports to be examined when the forum eventually holds include the NEITI oil and gas audit reports covering 1999 – 2011, the Nuhu Ribadu-Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force report, the KPMG Audit of NNPC and the Kalu Idika Kalu reports on the refineries. Others are the House of

Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee report on fuel subsidy (2009-2011) and the Magnus Abe-led Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (2005-2011). Such other important reports like the AigImoukhuede-led Committee on Subsidy Claims and Payments and the AigImoukhuede-led Technical Committee on verification & reconciliation of findings of Ministry of Finance investigation reports on subsidy claims and payments, Dotun Suleiman Committee on Governance and Global Best Practices in the NNPC, Nigeria Natural Resource Charter benchmarking report and the Resource Governance Index 2013. It is recalled that on May 15, this year, the Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) launched the 2013 Resource Governance Index which measured the quality of

governance in oil, gas and mining sectors in 58 countries including Nigeria that are responsible for 85% of global petroleum production, 90% of diamond and 80% of copper. The target of the proposed forum is to use its findings to improve Nigeria’s rating in the next survey through deepened public knowledge and democratic debates about transparency, good governance in the oil and gas s sector; increased government’s attention and priority concerns for the reform of the oil and gas industry. The NEITI spokesman noted that also postponed until first quarter of next year is a forum to dialogue on installation of metering infrastructure to adequately measure the quantity of crude produced in Nigeria. The debate over the possibility of embracing a

metering system to accurately measure the quantity of crude produced has remained a major remedial issue in the NEITI oil and gas industry reports. The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC proposes to collaborate with the NEITI to organise the Policy Dialogue on Metering. Orji said the proposed session was expected to assemble individuals and stakeholders knowledgeable on the issue of metering in general and what is obtainable in Nigeria, in particular. The participants will appraise the status quo, its challenges and cost to the nation, implications for the sector, constraints for remediation and recommend actionable strategies for implementing a remediation action plan on metering that the in-coming Inter-

ministerial Task Team can implement and form the basis for further CSO advocacy and campaign. The programme became necessary because of the absence of adequate independent metering systems means that the nation depends largely on third parties, usually the International Oil Companies to determine the volume of resources extracted and exported. Several components of government take and revenue is dependent on volume and so the accuracy of this substantially determines revenue. Considering the non-renewable nature of oil and gas and the need to maximize revenues and government take, reliance on IOCs for volumes places the nation at a disadvantage as under-disclosure of volume works in their favour.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday December 4, 2013

Politics

43

NATIONAL CONFERENCE DEBATE

PROFESSOR BEN NWABUEZE Distinguishing the proposed National Conference from abortive 2005 National Political Reform Conference, NPRC In February 2005, President Olusegun Obasanjo suddenly convened what he called the National Political Reform Conference, NPRC, comprising a motley of persons handpicked by himself and the state governors as well some members of certain ethnic groups and other associations -a completely undemocratic body with no mandate from the people or from the ethnic nationalities and civil society organisations. There was no enabling law establishing it and backing up its work. Its role, as announced by the then Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi, SAN, in an interview in The Guardian newspaper of February 9, 2005 was only to make “recommendations which the National Assembly and the Presidency will look into and see how to integrate these views into our Constitution.” In other words, the conference was simply part of a process of consultations to aid the Presidency and the National Assembly in the discharge of their functions with respect to the amendment of the Constitution. The NPRC thus differed totally in nature and character from the proposed National Conference. The NPRC was dogged by crisis and, after some months of deliberations, ended abruptly in confusion. Its failure is, to some extent, a product of defects in its character and structure as noted above. It was, in the apt characterisation of it by the print media, a mere talk-shop lacking power to take legally binding decisions, which made the entire exercise a farce, a charade. The charade did not end with the abrupt disbandment of the NPRC, but was continued by the National Assembly Joint Constitutional Reform Committee (JCRC) under the chairmanship of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, whose main object was to obtain, by fraudulent manipulation, a semblance of public approval for the elongation of the President’s and state governors’ tenure of office - an even greater farce. The JCRC conducted socalled public hearings for two days in one centre in each of the six geo-political Zones.

Purpose of the proposed National Conference and legal framework for ts operation Being thus a palpable fraud, a farce, and programmed to come to nothing, the 2005 NPRC cannot in any way be equated with the proposed National Conference, or be used as a basis for saying that the latter will also come to nothing. As conceived, the proposed National Conference has a specific purpose, namely, to discuss and agree on the terms and conditions to be embodied in a new Constitution as the basis on which the diverse nationalities and peoples comprised in Nigeria can live together in peace, security, progress and unity as one country under a common central government. This is the primal purpose of the proposed National Conference, the crux or pivot of its agenda, and to which everything else is ancillary. Whether President Goodluck Jonathan shares this view of the primal purpose of the proposed National Conference is left in doubt by item (vi) of the Terms of Reference of the Presidential Advisory Committee, viz “to advise government on legal procedures and options for integrating decisions and outcomes of the national dialogue/conference into the Constitution and laws of the nation.” Given the above primal purpose for it, the initial problem facing the Conference is to fashion out a Legal Framework for convening and holding it, and for holding a Referendum to approve a Constitution adopted at the Conference. Without such a Legal Framework, the Conference cannot effectively take off as conceived, and will be doomed to fail as did the 2005 NPRC for the reason, among others, that, as earlier explained, there was no law establishing it and backing up its work. The task of fashioning out appropriate Legal Framework for the proposed National Conference has, happily, been entrusted to a Presidential Advisory Committee. No Committee of this type, with wide-ranging Terms of Reference, was set up in 2005 as a prelude to the convening of the NPRC, and to lay the foundation for its successful outcome. In any case, as earlier stated, fashioning a new Constitution for Nigeria was never part of the agenda or purpose of the NPRC. Some years ago, in October 2001 to be precise, The Pa-

National Conference: Primal purpose and modus operandi

Nwabueze

triots prepared such a Legal Framework in the form of a Bill, titled the National Conference and Referendum Bill, which it submitted to the Presidency and the National Assembly. The Bill, after some revision, was re-submitted to the two bodies in 2013. It was also submitted to the Presidential Committee on National Conference by letter dated 31 October, 2013, to help it in making recommendations to the President in terms of its Terms of Reference. The long title of the Bill describes it as “A Bill for an Act to make provisions for convening a National Conference of the peoples of Nigeria for the purpose of discussing and adopting a new Constitution to be submitted for consideration and approval by the people of Nigeria at a Referendum and matters ancillary thereto.” The long title thus provides a clear enough description of the character of the Conference proposed. This is reaffirmed by a declaration in a Preamble that the Conference is “a Conference of the nationalities and ethnic groups comprised in this Nation so as to give them the opportunity to exercise their inherent right to determine democratically for themselves the Constitution by which they wish to be governed in one united Nigeria” (emphasis supplied). The Preamble further declares that the need for the Conference arises from the fact that the Constitution under which the country is governed “came into existence as a result of a Decree enacted by the Federal Military Government.” The Bill then goes on to spell out the machinery and process for the selection or election of delegates, quorum at the Conference, conduct of proceedings, method of taking decisions, oath by delegates, Secretary and other support staff, laying before the National Assembly of draft Constitution passed by the Conference, publication of the draft to the public, and the process for holding a Referendum for the approval of the Constitution by the entire mass of the people, which is to bestow legally binding force upon it. A Referendum of the people to approve the Constitution is the most fundamental aspect of the whole process. It is no doubt a novel process in the country, but that is what

THE INITIAL PROBLEM FACING THE CONFERENCE IS TO FASHION OUT A LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR CONVENING AND HOLDING IT, AND FOR HOLDING A REFERENDUM TO APPROVE A CONSTITUTION ADOPTED AT THE CONFERENCE

is legitimately due to the Nigerian people-an opportunity, for the first time since the creation of the Nigerian state in 1914, to adopt, through Referendum, a Constitution by and for themselves in exercise of the constituent power inherent in them as a sovereign people, not just to make an input in the amendment of an imposed Constitution. It is their birthright as a sovereign people, a birthright, of which they have long been denied, first, by our British colonial masters, then, by our military masters, and, now, by our so-called democratic rulers in the Presidency and the National Assembly. There is no justifiable reason for continuing to deny them that birthright. Given an existing legal order, constituted by a Constitution, the principle of the Rule of Law, by a Legislative Assembly, a Presidency, a Judiciary and other instrumentalities of government, such as we have in Nigeria, a National Conference to adopt a People’s Constitution, and a Referendum to approve the Constitution so adopted, must be authorised by a law enacted by the National Assembly and assented to by the President, in the terms set out in The Patriots’ Bill. There is no way a Referendum can be held in the country under the existing legal order without an enabling law prescribing how it is to be conducted, its outcome and the force of the result in law. People cannot just troop out to vote in a referendum. Anything else outside the legal framework set out in The Patriots’ Bill can only take place by way of a revolution, such as happened in the eight African countries where the Conference took place outside the pre-existing legal order. It is doubtful, to say the least, whether such a revolution can take place in Nigeria, as things are at present. The impediments are too many and too great. Sections 16(1) and 17(8) of the Bill deserve to be specially noticed. Section 16(1) provides: “The Chairman and Secretary of the National Conference shall certify the Draft Constitution as passed by the National Conference and lodge authenticated copies thereof with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives who shall cause it to be laid before the appropriate House but the said Draft Constitution shall not be subject to any change or amendment by any of these authorities.” (emphasis supplied). Section 17(8) says : “……..the Draft Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria adopted and passed by the National Conference shall become law and be binding on all persons and authorities when and if there is a majority of ‘YES’ votes at the Referendum approving it……..” Thus, the National Conference and Referendum Bill prepared by The Patriots sets out in clear enough terms an appropriate Legal Framework for the proposed National Conference. The Presidential Advisory Committee may propose amendments to it.

The vexed question whether the conference has the character of a sovereign body The Legal Framework for the convening and holding of a National Conference and a Referendum, as set out above, does not confer upon the Conference the character of a Sovereign National Conference. It is a contradiction, both in ideas and in terms, to demand a Sovereign National Conference when a sovereign government is still in place and in control; you must first displace or emasculate the latter before you can have an SNC, as was the case in the eight African states of Benin, Togo, Congo (Brazzaville), Niger, Mali, Chad, Gabon and Zaire in the period 1990 to 1993. For the sake of a proper understanding of the meaning of the term, “Sovereign National Conference”, it needs to be explained that the provisions in The Patriots’ Bill to the effect that a Constitution adopted at the National Conference “shall not be subject to any change or amendment” by the National Assembly or the Presidency (section 16(1)), and that the Constitution, so adopted, “shall become law and be binding on all persons and authorities” directly it is approved at a Referendum (section 17(8)), do not make the TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW


44

Politics

Wednesday December 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

APC condemns Maiduguri attack, seeks new strategy to curtail Boko Haram OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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onday’s deadly attack on military and other facilities in Maiduguri by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, has been condemned by the All Progressives Congress, APC, which expressed its shock and sadness at the enormity of the attack as well as the deaths of innocent civilians. The APC, in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that the “attacks on Nigerian Air Force planes and helicopters at the NAF base in the city was particularly disturbing, considering the hitherto effective use of aerial attacks against the sect. Saying that nothing in the world justifies such deadly attacks on the military and the collateral deaths and damages inflicted on civilians, the APC called for a renewed

strategy to combat the sect, which seems to retain the capacity to carry out such a massive attack in a major city, despite the successes which the military said it had recorded against it since the declaration of a state of emergency in three states last May. It said that such a strategy must place a great em-

KANO

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he senator representing Kano South Senatorial District of Kano State, Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya, has revealed that there are about 120 bills from the Senate waiting for President Goodluck Jonathan to append his signature. He said he has contributed immensely to the number of bills passed by the National Assembly, adding that since the President has yet to accent his signature to the bills before him, it would be improper to continue to pile up more bills on his table. Gaya unveiled this in an interview with newsmen at the closing ceremony of the 1st Wazirin Dutse Open Golf Championship in Kano metropolis. The lawmaker who has inaugurated various projects worth about N8 billion across the state, added that he has provided various infrastructures in Kano in the last six years. His words: “We have

hammed said: “The probe must unravel why the security personnel in the city in general and the military installations in particular were apparently caught unawares by the attackers, who were reported by some newspapers to number as many as 500, riding in trucks and motorcycles.” He added that if military

installations in a major city can be so easily overrun by a band of marauders, then no one and no facilities are safe, a reason why he said that the government and the military must work hand in hand to unravel why such a massive attack on military installations was possible in the first instance.”

L-R: Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Housing and Habitat, Hon. Azeez Akinloye; Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Usman Mohammed and Chairman, Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform, Prof. Peter Adeniyi during a One-Day Retreat for House Committee on Housing and Habitat and Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO:ROTIMI OSASONA

Senate has 120 bills for Jonathan’s signature OTHMAN SALIHU

phasis on intelligence gathering through which such attacks can be nipped in the bud, adding that intelligence failure, more than anything else, made Monday’s attack possible. Calling for a probe into how hundreds of attackers could so easily infiltrate military facilities, believed to be highly secured, Mo-

done so many bills in the Senate but how many have been signed by the President; we have over 120 unsigned bills by the President. So, if you are going to be producing or dumping your luggage in one dump, so what is the purpose? “But, I have made helpful contributions to motions. During the late Umaru Yar’Adua time, I was the first lawmaker to raise a motion clamouring for the increase of the fuel price and I was able to stabilize that N65 increase per litre, which was my effort.” He also said he was spreading the projects across the three senatorial districts of the state, because he found it duty bound to provide necessary infrastructural facilities to the people, having served as a governor of the state 20 years ago. The legislator further stressed that apart from spending huge amount on constituency projects, he has also been a vocal voice at the Senate influencing a number of bills that have direct impact on Nigerians.

2015: Senator in the race for Niger Govt House PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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enator Nuhu Aliyu, who represented Niger North Senatorial district for three terms on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has indicated interest to contest the governorship of Niger State come 2015. The former senator, who lost to the incumbent, Senator Ibrahim Musa of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, stated that his decision was to heed to appeals from prominent indigenes of the state and in order to contribute

his quota to the growth and development of the state. Aliyu, who was in the upper legislative chamber between 1999 and 2011 said that he could not refuse the call from well meaning personalities in the state. He said: “It is tantamount to political suicide to turn down appeals from highly placed political class because they will in return reject you at the time that you might need them the most, and that is the reason for considering the appeal.” Speaking on the five PDP governors that defected to the All Progressive Congress, APC, Aliyu noted

2015: Dokubo Asari denies report spokesman, Rex Anighoro, FELIX NWANERI

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eader of the Niger Delta People Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo Asari, has described as falsehood, the news making round in some sections of the media that he said that President Goodluck Jonathan will win the 2015 presidential election if he decides to contest. Dokubo Asari, in a statement yesterday by his

blamed the opposition for the falsehood, saying: “It is indeed mischief and blackmail gone berserk and desperation peak at Kilimanjaro by an opposition that is destined for failure and defeat.” The statement added: “Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo Asari is unapologetic on his position and stand that Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan would win the 2015 elections by a landslide in a free and fair contest.”

that despite claims by the national body of the ruling PDP that it was not worried by their action, “it is a source of worry to them.” He then stated that no matter what happen, he remains a member of the ruling party and has no plans to leave. It would be recalled that Senator Aliyu’s popularity was affected when, it was alleged that he conspired with the power that be in the state to send his successor, Senator Musa to prison after losing his senatorial seat to him.

Plateau 2014: PDP holds primaries amidst tight security JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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head of the local government election in Plateau State scheduled to hold on 30th January, next year, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday held primaries amidst tight security to select candidates for the poll. The primaries were held in 15 local government areas out of the 17 local councils of the state. The state government had earlier directed that elections should not be held in Jos North and Wase local government areas due to security reasons. National Mirror, while monitoring the primaries in the I5 councils observed that the elections were generally peaceful. In Jos South, former management committee chairman of the council, Hon. Peter Vwang Dung emerged winner at the primary held at the old secretariat of the council area in Jos. Announcing the result of the primary, the returning officer and Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mrs. Comfort Piwuna, said Dung scored 115 votes while his opponent, Ishaya Gadu polled 15 votes. In Shendam, former chairman of the council, Mr Kemi Nshe also emerged winner. Speaking to newsmen shortly after the primary, Dung said he will reach out to the loser so as to join hand with him to move the council forward if voted as chairman of the council in the January 2014 election.

Incitement: Ajulo calls for arrest of Mohammed, Asari Dokubo OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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n Abuja based human right lawyer, Kayode Ajulo has threatened to sue security agencies if within seven days they fail to arrest and question Dr Junaid Mohammed and others from making inflammatory statements threatening national security. Dr Junaid Mohammed, a former member of the House of Representatives was quoted in an interview to have said “that blood would flow on the streets of

Nigeria, should President Jonathan insist on running for the Presidency in 2015.” Aside Dr Mohammed, Ajulo also called forthe arrest and interrogation of Alhaji Mujahideen Asari Dokubo for making inflammatory statements on the 2015 general elections, arguing that their conduct is a threat to stability of the nation. Ajulo who briefed newsmen in Abuja said “with growing insecurity in the country, a call by a citizen for more bloodshed come 2015 is nothing but a coded language targeted at a particular set of persons to be ready for war.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

TOLA AKINMUTIMI AND UDO ONYEKA

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he Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has said that it takes the Consumer Protection issues seriously because that is one major way to instill confidence in the financial system. This was said by Director Consumer Protection Department of the CBN, Mrs. Umma Dutse, in Uyo yesterday, while delivering a paper on Concept and Framework of Financial Literacy and Consumer Protection. Dutse who was represented by Assistant Director, Consumer Protection, CBN, Ibrahim Hassan, also urged Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, to ensure

Capital Market

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

‘Why we’re committed to financial inclusion agenda’ that issues relating to consumer protection are handled promptly to ensure confidence in the financial system, adding that if a customer has an issue with his bank and goes to NDIC, the swift with which it is resolved is very important so that the customer has continue to have confidence in the system. She said, “if I have an issue and go to NDIC how fast can they resolve it? You may not have another chance at convincing anyone that the NDIC is to ensure that issues that relate to consumer protection are handled promptly to ensure confidence in the

financial system. So the best attitude to adopt is to make sure that consumer protection issues are given the importance they require”. Dutse said the bank is targeting the young people in the society in its financial literacy drive because it all involves attitudinal change as the young ones are highly impressionable and the right attitude needs to be inculcated in them early in life. “That is why we want to inject it into the school system. All members of the Steering Committee are adopting schools in a school reach out. Already the CBN governor has vis-

ited some schools to talk about financial literacy to the students. “ One of the let reasons for financial crisis is the lack of knowledge and skills by individuals. Knowledge of financial services will enable us to be able to be able to make informed choices, promoting financial literacy therefore, is a stakeholder effort” she said. She lamented that many Nigerians do not have the skill and knowledge in taking financial decisions hence they are easily affected by bandwagon effect in investment choices they make.

NSE to ban company directors from voting in transaction JOHNSON OKANLAWON WITH AGENCY REPORT

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he Nigerian Stock Exchange said it plans to ban directors and controlling shareholders from voting in transactions such as takeovers to protect minority investors. The proposal is part of measures to strengthen corporate governance and will be introduced as soon as possible. The Head of the Exchange’s Legal and Regulation Division, Mrs Tinuade Awe, told Bloomberg, saying that recommendation has been released for public

comment and is subject to the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The NSE is working to strengthen corporate governance as it targets a market capitalization of $1trn by 2016 from its current $75.7bn. The country ranks 139th out of 174 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, where lower scores signal increased graft. The Exchange initiated a corporate governance index of 10 companies this year and plans to extend it to others in

2014, the NSE’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Oscar Onyema said in October 25. Meanwhile, the European Union is weighing a stripped-down addition to the emergency aid available for non-euro nations, after Germany, the UK and the Netherlands opposed adding a financial-sector tool to the rescue programme. EU finance ministers may discuss the ($68bn) b a l a n c e - o f - p ay m e n t s fund at their December 10 meeting, according to a November 25 draft agenda. Current proposals,

published on the EU’s website, call for adding precautionary credit lines to the fund’s toolbox and don’t mention a previously proposed bank recapitalization fund. If EU ministers approve the current plan, it would give the balanceof-payments fund fewer tools than the European Stability Mechanism, the euro zone’s 500 billioneuro firewall fund. The ESM has the ability to grant financial-sector bailouts, and ministers also are developing guidelines for direct aid to banks, bypassing governments.

Global stocks tumble on US stimulus watch

F

ear that the United States Federal Reserve will scale back its stimulus as the economy recovers drove world stock markets down for a second straight day yesterday, with Europe taking its worst hit since August, while Treasury prices rose modestly. Investors expect the Fed to start paring its $85bna-month programme if Friday’s US jobs report for November shows encouraging growth. Many think a cut-back could come in March, though some expect it by January, after US data on Monday pointed to steadying growth. “It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when, and you always have the question of how much of it is

45

real and how much of it is emotional in nature?” said Gordon Charlop, managing director at Rosenblatt Securities in New York. Gold, which like stocks has been a key beneficiary of the US stimulus due to inflationary concerns, traded not far from Monday’s near 5-month low. Oil approached a 3-month high as the US recovery boosted the demand outlook for energy amid supply outages in Libya. The dollar slipped against the yen as investors took profits from a monthlong rally in the currency driven by speculation of an imminent reduction in the Fed stimulus. US stocks opened lower, putting the S&P 500 on track for a third consecutive decline.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 100.89 points, or 0.63 per cent, at 15,907.88 points, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 7.52 points, or 0.42 per cent, at 1,793.38 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 8.43 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 4,036.83 points. US Treasuries prices edged higher, with the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note up 9/32, its yield at 2.7662 per cent. European shares were rattled for the second day, with Paris’s CAC 40 sinking two per cent, and the pan-regional FTSEurofirst was down 1.4 per cent in its weakest day since August. New fears over Europe surfaced as the cost of insuring Ukraine’s government debt against default

jumped, leaving it a whisker from 2009 peak levels. Political worries also clouded markets as President Viktor Yanukovich left Ukraine for a state visit to China, amid protests about his decision to abandon an EU integration pact. Outside Ukraine, investors reacted well to a debt swap by Portugal aimed at getting it in shape for a possible return to borrowing markets next year. Portugal’s bonds and stocks outperformed. “Portuguese bonds are actually posting a rally, reflecting the fact that after this morning’s exchange, next year’s funding is going to be less challenging,” said Luca Cazzulani, strategist at UniCredit said.

Source: NSE

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 38,955.42 points Market capitalisation 12.50 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

LIVESTOCK

3.90

4.29

0.39

% CHANGE 10.00

TRANSCORP

3.73

4.10

0.37

9.92

COSTAIN

1.01

1.11

0.10

9.90

RTBRISCOE

1.17

1.28

0.11

9.40

NEM

0.59

0.63

0.04

6.78

REDSTAREX

4.20

4.41

0.21

5.00

ETERNA

4.41

4.63

0.22

4.99

VONO

1.82

1.91

0.09

4.95

AFRIPRUD

2.03

2.13

0.10

4.93

PORTPAINT

5.96

6.25

0.29

4.87

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

JOHNHOLT

1.29

1.23

-0.06

-4.65

NSLTECH

0.69

0.66

-0.03

-4.35

PRESTIGE

0.70

0.67

-0.03

-4.29

NESTLE

1,249.50

1,200.00

-49.50

-3.96

UNILEVER

61.40

59.01

-2.39

-3.89

DANGSUGAR

11.36

11.00

-0.36

-3.17

CUTIX

1.78

1.73

-0.05

-2.81

UAC-PROP

18.00

17.50

-0.50

-2.78

AIICO

0.86

0.84

-0.02

-2.33

WAPIC

1.00

0.98

-0.02

-2.00

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

22,057.31

11.50

07-Nov-13

182-Day

30,000.00

11.59

07-Nov-13

182-Day

47,786.39

13.05

07-Nov-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

178-Day

86,709.13

12.35

07-Nov-13

175-Day

95,368.69

12.35

07-Nov-13

-

-

-

-

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$350m

N/A

$343m

04-Nov-13

$400m

N/A

$399m

30-Oct-13


46

Executive Discourse

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Cross River State moving from oil-based to Cross River State has become a Mecca of sort for tourism, sports and major investment hub for local firms and foreign multinationals. Recent plans by the United States giant, General Electric to set up a billion dollar manufacturing facility in the state is evidence of the keen interest being shown in the state. In this Interview with SAM OLUWALANA, the state Commissioner for Information, Chief Akin Richett, highlights the plans to move away from oil-driven toward a service-oriented economy. Cross River State has become the No. 1 tourism destination in Nigeria. What are the factors responsible for these? You are absolutely right. Cross River State is presently the preferred tourist destination and business hub not only in Nigeria, but in the Sub-Saharan Region. Thanks to the vision of some young Cross Riverians who got together a while back, with Governor Liyel Imoke playing a pivotal role, and drew up a blue print towards not only changing the mindset of our people but their fortunes also. This deliberate effort has also highlighted the hospitable nature of the citizenry, which was why the present Inspector General of the Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, stated categorically that Cross River is the safest state in the country. All this coupled with the setting up of an Investment Bureau, a one-stop-shop has made setting up business here in Cross River State very easy. General Electric, regarded as a conservative company, has chosen to site a multi-million dollar industry in your state. What does this portend for the people? In one sentence, it means economic emancipation and better living standards for our people. God in his Infinite mercy abundantly blessed us with brains, supreme human capacity and capabilities, which embolden us even when we ingloriously lost our oil wells. As a team, we the cabinet members followed our governor’s lead towards transforming our economy to being service-driven rather than oil-driven one. We are a proud people, we fight for our rights and don’t go cap-in-hand. My boss had seized the opportunity to set up an Institute of Technology and Management, in the Ugep area in collaboration with Highbury College of Portsmouth, England, which will provide our people the requisite skills so they can fill the job slots these industries will offer. In my mind, we are on the right track. How about the attendant social challenges associated with the influx of these industries, especially community relations, compensation for lands and properties? You can be rest assured that it’s not an exercise in land grabbing. The numerous communities involved in the land exchanges have appointed Community Relations Officers, who are directly involved when this land exchanges were discussed, compensation was paid and of course, the land owner’s are gainfully employed and offered opportunities to upscale their skills. With the influx of investors, the likes of Wilmer, who are giants in agro business, Enghaut, big in rubber, Dangote, Unicem and others our economic lives has been positively being impacted and as a result, our people are appreciative of the efforts of this administration. Challenges of funding gaps to meeting infrastructural needs of this influx may be there but we are working hard to achieve better results. What are the challenges the state faces in terms of the

Richett

WE ARE A PROUD PEOPLE, WE FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHTS AND DON’T GO CAP-IN-HAND. MY BOSS HAD SEIZED THE OPPORTUNITY TO SET UP AN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, IN THE UGEP AREA IN COLLABORATION WITH HIGHBURY COLLEGE OF PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND, WHICH WILL PROVIDE OUR PEOPLE THE REQUISITE SKILLS SO THEY CAN FILL THE JOB SLOTS THESE INDUSTRIES WILL OFFER. IN MY MIND, WE ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK provision of required infrastructures like power and roads, for example for these companies? No doubt there are some challenges, especially in term of road network, housing and all of that. However, despite the fact that we believe that the greatest infrastructure is the human mind, we have continually invested in our roads and other facilities as much as we can. With all of these opportunities, comes the influx

of people to our metropolis and of course there is also a downside because crime does follow the affluent. We are the benchmark in the area of security; our Emergency Response Squad is top notch as regards equipment and the manpower from our various security agencies to maintain our status, as being the safest state in country. We only implore our people to avail themselves of these opportunities for a better life and the state in general.


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Executive Discourse

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

47

service-oriented economy –Commissioner WE ARE AT PRESENT,

INVOLVED IN SPORTS TOURISM.

THAT IS WHY THE SUPER EAGLES SEE CALABAR AS THEIR HOME, I’M SURE YOU

CAN ATTEST TO THE FACT THAT THE

BRIGADIER U. J. ESUENE

STADIUM HAS ALWAYS BEING

FAVOURABLE FOR THE COUNTRY WHENEVER THEY PLAY HERE.

GOVERNOR LIYEL IMOKE HAS CONTINUALLY, ENCOURAGED THEM IN EVERY SENSE OF

THE WORD, WHICH IS PARTLY WHY THEY EXCEL IN ALL THE MATCHES THEY HAD PLAYED HERE SO FAR What kind of support does the state need from the Federal Government, NDDC and the private sector in other for it to adequately host these industries? We, as a state would wish Mr. President come to our rescue in many instances. First, Mr. President can, kindly as a matter of urgency direct that the CalabarOdukpani-Ikot Ekpeme, the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja-Katsina Ala highways be not only looked into but dualized. Presently, we are experiencing humongous erosion at Atimbo, Ikot Efangha Mkpa and Ikot Ekpo, dealing with this is beyond our financial capacity. Lives have been lost as a result of buildings collapsing during the rainy season. The dredging of the Calabar Port and waterways are desired now. There is a desperate situation for our people up north in Boki Local Government Area after some recent awful mudslides, the Vice President visited the area last year and as God will have it, a building collapsed during his visit with women and children inside, as if to affirm our plight. The NDDC on its part can do more in terms of urban roads. This will complement the efforts of this administration; unfortunately, there isn’t much of federal presence as should be expected. However, we talk the talk, walk the walk and deliver when necessary. What is the plan of the state towards dealing with issues of the pollution, environmental degradation that usually come the location of these heavy industries? Well, there are rules and regulations guiding issues of pollution and environmental degradation resulting from the operations of companies and industries. The Environmental Impact Assessment must necessarily take care of all these pollutants. The Federal Government has its angles and holds its sway in some ways too. However, our State Ministry of Environment lead by Dr. Sunday Onor, endeavours to make sure that they work within the ambits of the Federal and State Government policies and regulations, by ways of persuasion and enforcement and like I said before, adequate care is usually taken right from the onset to check mate all these side effects. Calabar is also becoming a major destination for sports tourism, as it has been hosting all the different grades of the national teams and other international sporting events. Are there any plans towards going into it at full blast? We are at present, heavily involved in sports tourism.

That is why the Super Eagles see Calabar as their home turf, I’m sure you can attest to the fact that the Brigadier U. J. Esuene Stadium has always being favourable for the country whenever they play here. Governor Liyel Imoke has continually, encouraged them in every sense of the word, which is partly why they excel in all the matches they had played here so far. The last three Editions of the All Nigeria/ Cross River Athletics Championship were been held in our state in spite our lean financial resources and this will continue till 2015. Our sports development policy in the

OUR CARNIVAL IS ON THE

INTERNATIONAL CALENDAR.

THIS IS WHY THE TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO CARNIVAL AND THE BRAZILIAN STEEL BAND PARTICIPATED IN OUR

2013 CARNIVAL. I’M SURE

MANY PEOPLE WATCHED THE INTERNATIONAL FLAVOUR,

BROUGHT IN BY THESE FOREIGN BANDS ON

DSTV

past three years has resulted in the state’s steady progress in several competitions lately. Aside this year’s Obudu International Mountain Race, which is one of our flagship sports tourism events, we would be hosting the 2014 World Mountain Running championship at the Obudu Ranch Resort as well as the next National Sport Festival, for which, we have been granted hosting rights by the National Sport Commission. We are sponsors of most sporting events while we also have a deliberate sporting policy domiciled in six schools in the three Senatorial Districts under our comprehensive Sport Development programme. The annual Calabar Carnival has become a reference point in cultural tourism in Nigeria. Does the state have any plan of showcasing it at other carnivals round the world? That is also part of the mix that I have said before. First and foremost, our carnival is on the international calendar. This is why the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival and the Brazilian steel band participated in our 2013 carnival. I’m sure many people watched the international flavour, brought in by these foreign bands on DSTV, we have participated in other carnivals before now and with this mix, we hope to do better in the future in this regard. Don’t forget the sports event and carnivals also have significant benefits for our business and entrepreneurs. It is usually boom time for hoteliers, restaurateurs, the transport industry and tour operators. It also helped our people raise their standards in terms of services.


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Capital Market

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at December 3, 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, December 4, 2013

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49

Community Mirror Boko Haram: I thought my days on earth were over 50 -victim

We are resolved to transform the previously entrenched culture of disregard for the law to that in which the law will reign supreme. OSUN STATE GOVERNOR; RAUF AREGBESOLA

Nassarawa monarch shuns peace initiative IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

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aramount ruler of Doma chiefdom in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Ahmadu Oga Onawo yesterday shunned a peace tour embark upon by the state’s children parliament to palaces of traditional rulers across the state as part of measures to facilitate quick return of peace in the state. The children parliament led by its speaker, Hon.

Richard Agah arrived the palace at about 12 noon but could not be received by the royal father. Sources said the traditional ruler was in the palace but allegedly ignored the children; as he sent a representative to attend to them. The children’s speaker who was accompanied by the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and social development, Eunice Kigbu told the gathering that he was in the palace to preach peace, lamenting

the wanton destruction of lives and properties in the state in recent time. He stressed that peace was the only panacea for attainment of meaningful development in any society and appealed to the traditional ruler to redouble his efforts towards achieving the needed peace and development of the state. “It is very unfortunate that Nasrawa State hitherto known for peace has become a battle ground and we the children and women are always at the

receiving end” Hon. Agah also appealed to sponsors and perpetrators of violence in the state to have a rethink in their actions in interest of peace and development. Responding, representative of the monarch commended the children’s initiative and called for extension of the programme to all the local government and development areas in the state, so as to take the message of peace to nooks and crannies of the state.

Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor, Ekiti State, Mr. Babatunde Alokan (left) presenting a gift to the BSES Director General, Mr. Sina Awelewa on behalf of the Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu. With them is the BSES Santa Claus. Monday

Cholera outbreak: Association tasks N/Assembly KEMI OLAITAN

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he National Assembly has been called upon by the Nigerian Association of Waterwell Drilling Rig Owners and Practitioners (AWDROP) to, without further delay, approve the Code of Practice Bill for water well drilling in the country in order to guarantee safe potable water supply for the citizenry and also checkmate the upsurge of cholera outbreak across the nation.

The National President of AWDROP, Mr. Michael Ale, who said this while addressing journalists in Ibadan, emphasised the need for government at all levels in Nigeria to put high premium on standardization in the drilling of potable water boreholes all over the country to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He said absence of the Code of Practice in the country presently has created a loophole for un-

wholesome practices and racketeering in the water borehole drilling activities whereby some foreign drillers filtered Nigeria with obsolete drilling equipment, thus making the country a dump yard. While insisting that failure to uphold all necessary sanitary activities in the water borehole drilling may result in cholera outbreak, he said “non professional boreholes drilling contractors are on suicidal mission if they are not operating to health safety and

environmental standard and best suggested sanitary and hygienic practice.“ He then urged government at all levels as well as members of the public to help in stopping quackery in the drilling profession by patronizing only certified practitioners who are knowledgeable of the Nigerian terrain. Ale added that the association is also desirous of guiding against imminent natural disaster in unprofessional drilling practices such as earthquake.

Protesters barricade UNN roads over electricity disconnection DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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wo host communities of the University of Nigeria Nsukka; Owere-Eze Orba and Ajonu Obukpa on Monday blocked the administrative block of UNN in protests against the disconnection of their electricity by the university. Protesters from the two communities numbering about 3,000 made it impossible for any visitor or staff of the university to gain entrance to the VC’s office for about seven hours. A lecturer in the department of Theatre and Film Studies, Prof. Emeka Nwabueze lamented the troubles caused by the blockade. Speaking with newsmen, the youth leader, Mr. Ndukwe Agbo said that for the past eight months the communities have been disconnected from the power source by the university; adding that every attempt by the community to ensure reconnection proved abortive. “For over eight months, we have been in darkness. The university disconnected us on the excuse that, with our light the university would experience low voltage. They told us to buy our own transformers. Now, we have bought our transformer but

reconnecting us becomes a problem,” he said. Agbo expressed disgust over the university’s action saying it was the same university that made agreement with communities and promised them of constant electricity as part of composition for donating their land. According to Agbo; “This problem started since Prof Bartho Okolo became UNN VC, during other chancellors regime our electricity was not been disconnected. We have decided to sleep here unless the university immediately reconnects our electricity. We cannot continue to stay in darkness.” Also speaking, women leader of the communities, Mrs. Nwachukwu Eze said that it was unfortunate that the university refused to keep the agreement it entered with the host communities. “I don’t know what we have done to this present VC that he is unleashing wickedness on the communities that donated land freely to the university. We will stay here until the university tells us when to reconnect our light. The university has failed in all the issues contained in the pact, no water, no employment to our people,” she said.

Adelabu calls for prayers as yuletide season approaches

T

he Ekiti state Deputy Governor, Professor Modupe Adelabu has called for fervent prayers for peace to reign supreme in Nigeria as the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ draws near. She made the remarks while receiving the 2013 Father Christmas of the management and staff of BSES and Progress FM in Ado-Ekiti in her office. The Ekiti state Deputy Governor, Professor Modupe Adelabu who

was represented by her Permanent Secretary, Mr. Babatunde Alokan, while welcoming the Santa Claus stressed the need for peace and love to reign during the Christmas celebration. She admonished the rich among Ekiti people to extend God’s blessings upon their lives to their neighbours during the yuletide season so that every member of the society, irrespective of their social status will have a share in the joy of Christmas.


50

News

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Burnt shops and houses in Sabon Gari Village of Damboa council area of Borno State after Boko haram launched deadly attacks in the community over the weekend. PHOTOS: NDAHI MAIDUGURI

Boko Haram: I thought my days on earth were over -victim INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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esidents of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital will live to remember what happened on Monday December 2, 2013, when Boko Haram terrorists numbering about 300, armed with sophisticated weapons invaded the state capital targeting military formations and police stations. It is unfortunate that, Maiduguri, which is the epicenter of Boko Haram sects, had in the past six months witnessed relative peace following the emergence of vigilante youths, popularly addressed as civilian JTF, as well as the successful destruction of Boko Haram operational base in Bullabulin Nganaram, a suburb of Maiduguri by the defunct Joint Military Task Force (JTF). Although, an unconfirmed report has it that intelligence report had indicated that Book Haram terrorists are advancing towards Maiduguri city from Sambisa Game Reserve Forests. Regrettably, the report was not taken serious. Monday’s lethal attacks, allegedly masterminded by Boko Haram sect was led by two women commanders. While the Nigerian Air Force Base, staff quarters,

club house and five decommissioned air craft were completely burnt down. A residents told Community Mirror that ‘’what happen in Maiduguri, calls for serious concern from government and people of Borno State’’. Narrating his ordeal to our correspondent, Mallam Yakubu Umar Gashua, who resides few metres away from the destroyed 79 Composite Group, Nigerian Air force Base (NAF), said, “ I thought my days on earth was over on that day, my wife and I were on bed enjoying our sleep, and all of a sudden, I started hearing heavy sounds of gunshots, as if it was in my compound. We immediately woke up and started reciting some protective verses in the Quran, and as we continued praying, the sound of gunshots coupled with explosions continued ceaselessly’’. “At a point I told my wife and my uncle who came from Gashua for a visit that our own days have ended. I reflected on who is going to take care of my two little children who are still writing their exams in a boarding school in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital. But thanks to Allah for sparing all of us at the end of over 4 hours gun battle. As you are aware that many innocent civilians lost their lives in the attacks”, he stated.

Also, a neighbour of the two slain brothers who resides opposite the NAF main gate which was the first pot of call by the terrorists, and did not want his name mentioned in the print for security reason, narrated that the terrorists who arrived the NAF Base around 4 am, called for Subhi prayers in a nearby mosque before they started chanting Allahu Akbar (God is Great). He said “the terrorists entered the compound and saw a Toyota hilux loaded with bags of beans, and they asked my deceased neighbour to provide the keys of the loaded vehicle to them, but when he said, the keys are with the driver somewhere else, they immediately opened fire on him including his brother who was ambushed in his medicine store around 7am at the frontage of the house few metres away from the NAF Main gate”. Another resident close to the NAF base said, “When I heard the strange voice close to our mosque, I asked myself who are these people calling for subhi prayers. I peeped outside just to see what was happening, and when I discovered that the voice is a strange voice, I quickly went back home, and just few minutes ago,

we went out to the mosque and performed our prayers together with my deceased neighbours who were murdered after prayers”. Narrating how his two neighbours were killed in their house, he said, “We didn’t know that the terrorists were the ones calling for the subhi prayers, as we performed our pre-dawn prayers successfully and we were just to entering the house when we started hearing the sounds of gun fire and explosives/ bombs inside the NAF premises. “The sounds of the explosives were even shaking our houses to the extent that some of our houses had cracks. Intact, I have to quickly hide myself with my wife and two of my little children inside an abandoned soak-away toilet inside the compound for over two hours”. He stated. Mallam Abba Usman who resides in Mwaramti village, opposite the 33 Artillery Regiments which is not left out by the devastating attacks said,”the terrorists were very active and brave, as they stopped and picked dead bodies of their members”. However, while briefing Governor Kashim Shettima who visited the 33 artillery regiment/mini barracks, a military officer said, during the at-

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tack on the barracks, the terrorists who ambushed the barracks with sophisticated weapons including armoured tankers, and anti aircrafts vehicles, motorcycles went away with 9 vehicles belonging to the State Security Services SSS, while 7 security men were seriously injured including an SSS officer in the attack. He however told the governor that he is not sure that some of those injured that were taken to hospital for treatment will survive following the devastating nature of the injuries. Also, briefing the governor at the Divisional Police Headquarters which is among the places targeted and razed down by the attackers, the Divisional Police Officer said that he narrowly escaped the attack. He told the governor “we lost two of our vehicles during the attack, while two of my officers sustained injuries and were taken to the university of Maiduguri teaching hospital for treatment”. He pointed out that during the attack on the police station, the whole building including offices and the cells were completely razed down as he had to order his men to take cover due to the superior power of arms from the terrorists. He however said, “When we ran out of ammunitions, we have to take cover, crawl and flee from the station, we lost the whole structure as well as property, but, we were able to secure our armoury”. Responding to the deadly attacks, Governor Kashim Shettima told the Commander of the 79 Composite Group, NAF Base, Nuradeen Abiodun that the state government will not be deterred by the attacks. He assured him that government will rebuild all the structures destroyed even if it was burnt for hundred times.

Shettima also said his administration will do everything possible to support the military in the fight against terrorism in the state and the country in general. Our Correspondent who was in company of the governor’s entourage observed that there were about three Boko Haram’s corpses littered the road opposite the NAF Base suspected to have been killed by the military troops. It was also gathered that it was the prompt intervention of the fighter jet that came from Yola, the Adamawa state capital within 15 minutes during the attack on the NAF Base that saved the situation, as it assisted in dislodging the terrorists who fled towards Beneshiekh Damaturu federal highway. Spokesman of the 7 Division, Colonel Mohammed Dole confirmed the multiple attacks and killings by the terrorists suspected to be Boko Haram sects. In a press statement issued by the spokesman of the 7 Division, Colonel Mohammed Dole, he said ‘’In the early hours of Monday 2 December 2013, Boko Haram terrorists attempted to gain access to Military locations in Maiduguri Metropolis. However, troops of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army have successfully repelled the insurgents and afflicted serious casualties on them. “The situation around Jimtilo and Maiduguri International Airport General Areas are now calm and under control. Our troops supported by Nigerian Air force aircrafts are presently pursuing the terrorists towards the Maiduguri- BeneshiekhDamaturu road. Members of the general public are requested to remain calm and comply with the 24 hours curfew imposed by the Borno State Government. The curfew will be reviewed periodically as the situation improves”.

The body of one of the terrorists killed opposite NAF Base in Maiduguri by troops Yesterday.


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Cocktail

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

51

Oddities

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (241) I submit to you that achievement is impossible without enthusiasm – John Edmund Haggai Make Things Possible! Most of the time, our attitude will determine where we will get to be in life. It will determine whether we will lose or win. It will determine whether we will be happy or sad. It will determine whether we will smile through the day or keep a long face. The productive life is the one that make things happen and you cannot make things happen on a consistent basis without enthusiasm. Enthusiasm has an intimidating effect on the spirit of failure. When you are enthusiastic concerning a goal you tend to attract forces that will help you achieve your objectives. A life without positive results or progress is not worth living. But positive results can only come when we enthusiastically pursue our dreams. DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile

Woman charged in deadly Iron Bowl shooting

A

fter an Iron Bowl party on Saturday turned violent, police have charged 28-yearold Adrian Laroze Briskey with murder for the shooting death of 36-year-old Michelle Lacette Shepherd. The women, both from Birmingham, were attending a party at the Summerchase Apartments and Hoover Police were called to the scene shortly after the end of the game. When officers arrived, Shepherd was already dead. According to authorities, Briskey and

Shepherd got into an argument after the game and the fight spilled into the parking lot. During the incident, Briskey allegedly shot Shepherd three times with a small caliber handgun. The women did not know each other prior to the party. Briskey was taken into custody and her bond is set at $75,000. She is currently being moved from the Hoover City Jail to the Shelby County Jail. According to Shepherd’s sister, she leaves behind three children under the age of 10.

Pope Francis

I once worked as a bouncer –Pope Francis

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ope Francis told parishioners in a church near Rome that when he was a student he worked as a bouncer to earn money. Other early jobs the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio had before turning to the priesthood included sweeping floors and running chemical lab tests, the pope said Sunday at the church

of San Cirillo Alessandrino in a suburban working-class neighbourhood, the Catholic News Service reported. The pope also celebrated mass at the church, named for a fifth-century Coptic pope, the news agency reported, citing Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. But Francis told parishioners it was his work in the

1960s, teaching literature and psychology in Catholic high schools in Argentina, that taught him how to get people back into the church, the agency said. Concerning his bouncer work, New York magazine imagined a conversation between Bergoglio and the owner of an exclusive nightclub -- after Bergoglio the bouncer

just let a bunch of teenagers stream into the club. Club Owner: Look, uh, Jorge, is it? I know it’s your first day, but you need to be a little more discerning about who you let in to the club. We’re going for an “exclusive, VIP”-type vibe, and I’m seeing a lot of poorly dressed losers in here. Also a number of lepers.


52

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

CHANGE OF NAME

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CHANGE OF NAME

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MARTINS: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Egbeyemi Motunrayo Shola, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Mrs Martins Odagwe Motunrayo. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

SALAMI: Formerly called Miss Salami Adebunmi Temitope. now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Abdulahi Mufuliat Adebunmi Temitope. All former documents remain valid. LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Osogbo and general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t BOROKINI: Formerly known and addressed as Borokini Titilayo Afolayemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Owolodun Titilayo Afolayemi. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t ARABA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Araba Adeola Fatimoh, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Agbomeji Adeola Fatimah. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

CHANGE OF NAME t SANUSI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Sanusi Wuraola Basirat, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Lemo Wuraola Basirat. All former documents remain valid. General public take note CHANGE OF NAME t NWANKWO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Nwankwo Lilian Adaobi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Anyanwu Lilian Adaobi. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

CHANGE OF NAME t AGWAMBA: Formerly known as Miss Agwamba Joy Ngozi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Oruwari Joy Ngozi. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

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AKONI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Akoni Oluwasola Ayotunde, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Akinpelu Oluwasola Ayotunde. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

CHANGE OF NAME

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OYEGBADE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Oyegbade Abidemi Opeyemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Daramola Abidemi Opeyemi. All former documents remain valid. Ladoke Akintola University of Technology and general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

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CHANGE OF NAME

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OBINWABUEZE: Formerly known and addressed as Obinwabueze Olisa Odinakachukwu, now wish to be known and addressed as Nwabueze Olisa Odinakachukwu. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

CHANGE OF NAME

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BANGBOPA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Bangbopa Omotayo Nosmot, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adebayo Omotayo Nosmot. All former documents remain valid. Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta and General public take note

CHANGE OF NAME

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ADEJEMILUA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Adejemilua Bola Aduke, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Akinnibosun Bola Aduke. All former documents remain valid. Ekiti State Local Government Services and general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

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LAMIDI: Formerly known and addressed as Alhaji Lamidi Adeniyi Nurudeen, now wish to be known and adressed as Alhaji Ahmed Adeniyi Nurudeen. All former document remain valid general public take note

MMADUBUEZE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Mmadueze Chika Lilian, now wish to be known as Mrs Achukwu Chika Lilian. All former documents remain valid. Local Govt Service Commission, Federal, State, schools, Banks and public note.

ADESANYA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Adesanya Aderonke Abosede, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Osijo Aderonke Abosede. All former documents remain valid. Ijebu East Local Govt and general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME t SONIRAN: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Soniran Atinuke Toyin, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Balogun Atinuke Toyin. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t USIFOR: Formerly known and addressed as Mrs Titi Toyin Usifor, now wish to be known and addressed as Miss Titi Toyin Osabiya. All former documents remain valid. General public please note.

CHANGE OF NAME t ADEIYA: Formerly known as Miss Adeiya Olasimbo Christianah now wish to be and addressed as Mrs Faloye Olasimbo Christianah. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t ETENG: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Isu Eteng, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Isu Zeruwa. All former documents remain valid. Nigeria Police Force and general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t OKAFOR: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Maryjane Chinenye Okafor, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Akujuo Maryjane Chinenye. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

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CHANGE OF NAME

The general public is hereby notified that the name JESUS CHRIST FAITHFUL MISSION has been assumed under the incorporation of the trustees of the group to preach their faith as a christian group/church.The name has duly been approved by Corporate Affairs Commision (CAC) via a letter of 10/17/2013 and has the serial number 6404827. The members of the public are therefore called upon to show the cause why the proposed registration may not take place. Signed: THE INCORPORATED TRUSTEES

PUBLIC NOTICE

AMODU RUFAI IBIKUNLE OJIKUTU DESCENDANTS ASSOCIATION The general public is hereby notified that the above named Association has applied for registration to the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja for the registration under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act No 1 of 1990

THE TRUSTEES ARE:

1. Alhaji Abdul Ganiyu Omowanwa Ojikutu – Chairman 7. Dr. Jimmy Gbolahan Ganiyu Asuni 2. Alhaja Chief (Dr) Mrs. Muheenat Iyabode Foresythe –Member 8. Alhaja Faosat Olatoun Ayoola. 3. Alhaji Tajudeen Olajide Ojikutu. Member Member 4. Alhaji Muyideen Ademola Ojikutu. Member 9. Alhaji Abdulmurtallab Babatunde 5. Barr. Abdulkareem Ajibola Bakare. Member Ojikutu. Secretary 6. Group Captain John Oladipo Ojikutu (rtd). Member

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To promote unity and peaceful co-existence among the members 2. To settle dispute among members 3. To manage and co-ordinate the estate of Amodu Rufai Ibikunle Ojikutu for the welfare of the association 4. To establish education foundation, award scholarship, bursary and education support programme for the association 5. To work together with goverments and others of like-minds in Lagos in promoting socioeconomic environment 6. To promote and protect the immediate and extended interest and welfare of members in all spheres of life and engage in other positive and useful activities for the progress of the association as may be approved by the executive committee from time to time. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Maitama District Abuja, within 28 days of this publication

SIGNED: ALHAJI TAJUDEEN O. OJIKUTU FCNA, 08023028703

2 X 1 ADVERT SPACE FOR SALE CONFIRMATION OF NAME

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This is to confirm that Jimoh Kehinde and Jimoh Kehinde Vera is the same person as Jimoh Kehinde Hajara, that henceforth wish to be known and addressed as Jimoh Kehinde Hajara. (Due to Religion Conversion). All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note

CHANGE OF NAME t DIOHA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Dioha Amara Doreen, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ibigweh Amara Doreen. All former documents remain valid. The general public please take note. CHANGE OF NAME t OGBONNA: Formerly known and addressed as Ogbonna Floxy Chikere, now wish to be known and addressed as Ndu Floxy Chikere. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. CHANGE OF NAME t

CHANGE OF NAME t NGA: Formerly known and addressed as Aboudi Nga Marie Josephine, now wish to be known and addressed as Onyebuchi Josephine Aboudi. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunremi Ibukun Olusola now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Olawuwo Ibukun Olusola. All former documents remain valid. FUNAAB and general public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t OKPERI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Mamoke Okperi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Mamoke KingsleyOwowenu. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.

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OBIANUJU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ohaeri Lilian Chidinma, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Lilian Chidinma Amaefula. All former documents remain valid. AICE, NYSC and general public take note

DIM: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Obianuju Stella Maria Dim, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Okpalaezinne Obianuju Maria Stella. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

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CHANGE OF NAME t EZE: Formerly known and addressed as Eze Uchenna Jennifer, now wish to be known and addressed as Pedro Uchenna Jennifer. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t OWIBOYE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Charity Owiboye, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Megbope Charity. All former documents remain valid. Nigeria Police Force and general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t UKAEGBU: Formerly known and addressed as Anthony Justin Azubuike, now wish to be known and addressed as Ukaegbu Prince Innocent Azubuike. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t OLATUNJI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Olatunji Serifat, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Akinyemi Serifat. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

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CHANGE OF NAME t EKENE: Formerly known and addressed as Ekene Helen Nwakanma, now wish to be known and addressed as Helen Frank Ejiofor. All former documents remain valid. General public take note

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OGWUZURUIGBO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogwuzuruigbo Ogochukwu Favour, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs James Ogochukwu Favour. All former documents remain valid. Abia State Polytechnic Aba, NYSC general public should please take note.

OBADINA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Obadina Kabirat Omotayo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ogunjobi Kabirat Omotayo. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

PATUNOLA: Formerly known and addressed as Mr Patunola Fakunle Martins, now wish to be known and addressed as Mr Kunle Martins Patunola. All former documents remain valid. Ekiti State Traffic Management Agency and general public take note.

AYENI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ayeni Modupe Esther, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adebayo Modupe Esther. All former documents remain valid. College of Health, Science and Technology Ijero Ekiti EkitiState and general public take note

SANUSI: Formely known and addressed as Miss Sanusi Olayinka Idayat, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Osundare Olayinka Idayat. All former documents remain valid. Ekiti State Teaching Service Commission and general public take note

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CHANGE OF NAME t WASINU: Formerly known and addressed as Wasinu Agbeta John now wish to be known as Wasinuola Agbeta John. All former documents remain valid. General public please note.

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CHINWEOKWU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Chinweokwu Ifeoma Ngozi, now want to be known and addressed as Mrs Akubue Ifeoma Ngozi. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note. LAWAL: Formerly known and called Lawal, Ramota Ikeoluwa, now wish to be known and called, Adebola, Ikeoluwa Arinola. All former documents remain valid. Bishop James Memorial School, Suleja and general public please take note.

ADEGBOHUN: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Adegbohun Adeseun Oluwayemisi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ademolu Adeseun Oluwayemisi. All former documents remain valid. Babcock University Teaching Hospital and General public take note.

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EKPECHI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ekpechi Chidimma Chioma, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ugorji Chidimma Chioma. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

OBETTA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Obetta Chinonye Fidelia now wish to known and addressed as Mrs Chikani Chinonye Fidelia. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE

APPLE OF GOD’S LIBERATION ASSEMBLY INC. The general public is hereby notified that the above named Assembly has applied to

the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied maters Act No.1 of 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Rev. Achinike C. Austin Mr. Anozie Robinson Chimbuzor Mr. Asike Abraham Roberth Mr. Achinike Dickson Chekube Rev. Theophilus .O. Okoronkwo Mr. Onyekwere Anthony Chinaka

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

-

Chairman Member Member Member Secretary Member

1. To fulfill the visions of saving souls. 2. To liberate the caged by the evil spirit. 3. To assist the needy as God provides, and to undertake missionary and educational projects that will be helpful for the growth of the Assembly. Any objection to the above registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

SIGNED: REV. ACHINIKE .C. AUSTIN -CHAIRMAN

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UMEH: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Umeh Roseline, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Edwin Anusike Roseline. All former documents remin valid. Federal College of Education Technical Umunze, public note. ADENIJI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Adeniji Oluwafunmilayo Mary, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs iIdowu Oluwafunmilayo Mary. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

AZUWIKE: Formerly known as Miss Azuwike Kenechi Lucy, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Olowo Kenechi Lucy. All former documents remain valid.Lagos State Polytechnic, Access Bank Plc and general public take note.

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We formerly known and addressed as Ebele Patrick Umeh and Obianuju Perpetua Umeh, now wish to be known and addressed as Ebele Patrick Ebelechukwu and Obianuju Perpetua Ebelechukwu. All former documents remain valid. General public take note DARAMOLA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Daramola Seun Omolayo now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ayo-Adunbi Seun Elizabeth. All former documents remain valid. Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ekiti State and general public take note

ONWUDE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Onwude Olivia Chidimma, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Ukachu Olivia Chidimma. All former documents remain valid. Imo State University, NYSC and general public take note.

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FAJEMILEHIN: Formerly known as Miss Fajemilehin Ifedolapo Stella, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ifedolapo Stella Alao. All former documents remain valid. NYSC, EKSU and general public take note.

ONAH: Formerly known and addressed as Onah Edith Nneka now wish to be known and addressed as Okechukwu Edith Nneka. All former document remain valid. ENSUBEB Enugu and general public should please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE

GREATER FAITH MINISTRY INTERNATIONAL

The general public is hereby notified that the above named Ministry has applied for registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja, Under Part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matter Act 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Pastor T. J. Dasimaka 2. Elder Elm Briggs 3. Elder Thomas Anukwu 4. Elder Benneth Amadi 5. Pastor Helen George 6. Pastor Fabia Tamumongo 7. Deaconess Blessing Willians

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

To preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and to make his word real by faith. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the RegistrarGeneral Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days from the date of this publication.

SIGNED: ELDER BENNETH AMADI


Wednesday December 4, 2013

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World News

Air defence zone: Biden urges Japan, China to lower tensions

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PAUL ARHEWE,

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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nited Nations forces in Democratic Republic of Congo launched unmanned aircraft yesterday to monitor the volatile border with Rwanda and Uganda, the first time U.N. peacekeepers have deployed surveillance drones. The aircraft will be used to look out for threats from a host of local and foreign armed groups in the mineral rich east where Congo and U.N. experts have accused Rwanda and Uganda of sending arms and troops to back the recently-defeated M23 rebels, something both countries deny. “The drones ... will allow us to have reliable information about the movement of populations in the areas where there are armed groups,” U.N. Under-SecretaryGeneral for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous said at the launch of the drones in Goma, the largest city in eastern Congo. “We will survey the areas where there are armed groups, and we can control the frontier,” he added. The U.N. mission has deployed two Falco drones manufactured by Selex ES, a unit of Italian defense group Finmeccanica. One of the 5-metre (16-ft) long aircraft - painted white with the letters UN in black on its wings and tail - performed a demonstration flight for the crowd at the launch. The drones will be flown out of Goma by Selex staff. They can fly for

C

–Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

UN forces use drones for first time, in eastern Congo

A surveillance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) drone operated by the United Nations in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern city of Goma, yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS

between eight and 14 hours and as far as 200 km (125 miles) from their base, according to the company. U.N. peacekeepers have received widespread criticism for doing too little to end fighting in eastern Congo, a hilly and thickly forested region that Kinshasa has struggled to control during two decades of virtually constant conflict. But the drone deployment comes after the peacekeepers helped defeat M23, the most serious rebellion of President Joseph Kabila’s 12-year rule. General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz, commander of

the U.N. force in Congo, said the drones would only fly over Congolese territory, as U.N. peacekeepers have no mandate to operate in neighbouring countries. Victory over M23 was the first time Kinshasa had militarily defeated a major uprising in the east. It was helped by strong U.N. support, major reforms in Congo’s army and intense diplomatic pressure on Congo’s neighbours to halt rebel support. Congo and U.N. experts say foreign backing for M23 was significant. Following the defeat, experts are examining the origin of

Congo’s president seeks to conclude talks with rebels ongo’s president wants talks with rebels in the country’s east concluded as soon as possible, Ugandan and Congolese statements said, although there was no sign of a breakthrough on the wording of an accord that scuppered a signing last month. Kinshasa and Congo’s M23

I think the conditions are there for a successful conclusion to the talks (with Marxist FARC rebels). Things are moving hopefully in the correct direction.

rebels failed to seal the deal after squabbles over what it should be called - the insurgents were ready to sign a peace agreement but Congo wanted to call it a declaration that reflected the rebels’ military defeat. M23 are the latest incarnation of Tutsi-led insurgents who have

President Joseph Kabila attending a two-day meeting of leaders from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Pretoria, recently. PHOTO: REUTERS

battled Congo’s government in eastern regions for more than two decades. The cycle of conflict fuelled by competition over land and mineral wealth has undermined the stability of the surrounding region and Congo had regularly accused its eastern neighbours Rwanda and Uganda of backing the insurgents - a charge they both deny. After the November 11 signing ceremony in Uganda fell through, the Democratic Republic of Congo said Uganda, which was mediating the talks, had favoured the rebels. Congolese President Joseph Kabila and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni met on Monday in Uganda’s capital to discuss the deal. “The two presidents agreed that the Kampala dialogue between the government of the DRC and M23 should be brought to a conclusion as soon as possible,”

a significant stash of weaponry and trucks found at M23’s bases in hills along the Rwandan border. The drones were due to be launched as early as September, in the hope of monitoring the conflict taking place on the border. However delays meant they arrived only after M23 was defeated. While a final political deal with M23 is still being ironed out, Congolese and U.N. forces are now expected to turn their attention to the Rwandan Hutu FDLR rebel group and Ugandan ADF-NALU rebels, both of which are based in Congo’s east. the Congolese statement said. The Ugandan announcement repeated the message, with minor variations in the text. They did not say what a final deal should look like. The statements also said a swift conclusion to the talks would “facilitate the peaceful return of M23 ex-combatants and the completion of the process of demobilization. This would further create appropriate conditions for the return of Congolese refugees living in neighboring countries.” When the signing fell apart, Uganda said wrangling was over the title of the document rather than its content, which addressed issues such as offering an amnesty for those involved in the act of rebellion but not for war crimes. It tackled the reintegration of rebels into the army as well as some of the root causes of the unrest, including issues surrounding the return of Tutsi refugees to Congo.

WORLD BULLETIN

Egyptian blogger arrested, as crackdown widens

Egyptian authorities have extended a crackdown on Islamists, in which they have killed hundreds and arrested thousands since President Mohamed Morsi was ousted in July, to cover political activists who have become more vocal against the military. In a recent tweet referring to the detention of another activist, the blogger, Ahmed Douma, described the government as criminal and said it would fall. “I am now present in Basateen police station. I still don’t know the accusation against me or the reason for my arrest,” Douma said on Twitter. The state news agency said Douma was detained in connection with violence at a protest outside a courthouse on Saturday where Ahmad Maher, a symbol of the popular uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, turned himself in.

Outages in Tripoli as minorities block power output Libya’s government blamed protests by two minority groups demanding more political rights for outages in the capital, Tripoli, and other parts of the North African country, state media said. Power went off for hours during the day in central Tripoli as household demand for heat surged as temperatures dropped sharply. A group of Amazigh, or Berbers, has stopped gas supplies from the south-western Wafa field to demand language rights. Members of the Tibu, another minority, have been blocking a road to prevent petrol supplies from reaching a power plant in Sarir, also located in southwest Libya. The electricity ministry called the protests “irresponsible.” There were outages in western Libya, Tripoli and other parts of the country, state news agency Lana said.

South Africans rage as Johannesburg road toll goes live

South Africa’s government launched a widely unpopular road toll around the economic hub of Johannesburg yesterday, a move likely to heighten tensions with its union allies and alienate some voters in the runup to next year’s elections. The electronic levies, known as e-tolls, have fuelled public anger and strained relations between President Jacob Zuma’s African National Congress (ANC) and COSATU, the labour federation that has supported the ruling party since the end of apartheid in 1994. Despite threats of violent protests and a last-minute legal attempt to block the start of the tolls, the new system went live with few immediate problems.


54

World News

WORLD BULLETIN

Mexican Senate committees approve electoral reform

Mexican Senate committees yesterday passed an electoral reform demanded by the opposition, taking Congress a step closer to a bill to open up the oil and gas industry at the centre of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s economic agenda. The Senate committees worked through reservations to the electoral bill on Monday night and gave it full approval early on Tuesday, passing it to the floor of the upper chamber. The electoral reform, which opposition conservatives had made a condition of their backing for the energy bill, would allow lawmakers to serve consecutive terms in office. The reform also sets out rules for coalition governments and aims to strengthen Congress at the expense of the president. The last major hurdle to Pena Nieto’s energy reform, the bill will move to the lower house once the Senate gives its approval. That is expected to take place later on Tuesday.

U.S. agrees to loosen prison restrictions for accused Boston bomber

U.S. officials yesterday agreed to loosen prison restrictions on accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that the 20-yearold’s lawyers have argued made it difficult to mount an effective defence. In papers filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, officials said they had modified the special rules of Tsarnaev’s confinement to allow his attorneys to discuss his statements with third parties to help them prepare their defence. The new rules also allow additional people, including a mental health specialist, to meet with him without an attorney present. Tsarnaev is accused of planting two homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the crowded finish line of the marathon on April 15, killing three people and injuring more than 260. Prosecutors contend that Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, killed a university police officer three days later in an unsuccessful attempt to steal his weapon as they prepared to flee the city.

Wednesday December 4, 2013

U

.S. Vice President Joe Biden called on Japan and China to find ways to reduce tensions that spiked after Beijing proclaimed an air defence zone over disputed isles in the East China Sea, while repeating Washington was “deeply concerned” by the move. The United States has made clear it will stand by treaty obligations that require it to defend the Japanese-controlled islands, but it is also reluctant to get dragged into any military clash between the Asian rivals. “This action has raised regional tensions and increased the risk of accidents and miscalculation,” Biden told a news conference alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “This underscores the need for crisis management mechanisms and effective channels of communication between China and Japan to reduce the risk of escalation.” He said he would raise U.S. concerns directly when he met Chinese leaders. Biden was on the first leg of an Asian trip that takes him to Beijing on Wednesday and then to Seoul. Biden also called for better ties between Washington’s Asian

A

Acid attack: Russian court jails artist for six years

A Moscow court has jailed Bolshoi Ballet soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko for six years for organising an acid attack on the company’s artistic director. Two fellow defendants were jailed for 10 and four years. Sulphuric acid was thrown at Bolshoi artistic director Sergei Filin outside his Moscow flat in January, badly damaging his eyesight. Dmitrichenko had admitted he wanted Filin “roughed up” but had denied wanting acid thrown into his face. Investigators said Dmitrichenko had organised the attack because of a conflict with Filin. The case has revealed bitter rivalries and infighting at the Bolshoi, one of Russia’s most famous ballet and opera companies. When the sentence was announced, Dmitrichenko’s mother covered her mouth, the Associated Press reports. The dancer’s father said they had expected a less severe sentence.

Air defence zone: Biden urges Japan, China to lower tensions

L-R: US Vice President Joe Biden holding a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after their meeting at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo, yesterday.

allies Tokyo and Seoul, chilled in recent months due in part to bitter South Korean memories of the 1910-1945 Japanese colonization of the Korean peninsula. Japan reiterated on Tuesday that Tokyo and Washington had both rejected Beijing’s estab-

lishment of the zone - despite the fact that three U.S. airlines, acting on government advice, are notifying China of plans to transit the area. “We reaffirmed that policies and measures of both our countries, including the operations of

Arafat was not poisoned –Report team of French scientists probing the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2004 do not believe he was poisoned, according to leaks from their report. They have reportedly concluded he died after a “generalised infection”. A previous report by Swiss scientists said tests on his body showed “unexpected high activity” of polonium. This “moderately” supported the theory, long believed by

Arafat

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

many Palestinians, that he was poisoned, the report said. Arafat, who led the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) for 35 years and became the first president of the Palestinian Authority in 1996, fell violently ill in October 2004 at his compound. Two weeks later he was flown to a French military hospital in Paris, where he died on 11 November 2004, aged 75. Arafat’s official medical records say he died from a stroke resulting from a blood disorder.

French doctors were not able at the time to determine what had caused the disorder. His body was exhumed for testing last year amid continuing claims he was murdered. Many Palestinians have accused Israel of being behind his death, something which Israel has always denied. The latest reported findings were “not a surprise”, Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said. Tawfiq Tirawi, head of the Palestinian Authority’s inquiry into the death, told AFP: “We need to study the report. We can’t take a position on it until we’ve looked at it.” In July 2012, an al-Jazeera documentary reported that scientists at the Swiss Institute of Radiation Physics had found “significant” traces of a highly radioactive and toxic material on personal effects given to Mr Arafat’s widow Suha after his death, including his trademark keffiyeh scarf. Mrs Arafat asked the Palestinian Authority to authorise the exhumation of his remains in order “to reveal the truth”. The Palestinian Authority granted French investigators and a team of Swiss scientists permission for the exhumation and to take samples for testing. Russia also sent experts, and samples were sent to its Federal Medico-Biological Agency.

the (Japanese) Self-Defence Forces and U.S. forces, will not change and we will closely cooperate,” Abe told the news conference. “We agreed that we will not condone any actions that threaten the safety of civilian aircraft.”

North Korea’s powerbroker dismissed

A

powerful uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jongun has been removed from his post, South Korean media reports say. Citing South Korea’s intelligence agency, they say Chang Song-thaek, 67, lost his position as vice-chairman of the North’s top military body. Two close aides were also executed for corruption, according to the reports. If confirmed, Chang’s removal would be the biggest upheaval in North Korea’s leadership since Mr Kim succeeded his father, analysts say. The reports attributed to South Korea’s spy agency are difficult to verify. The agency has a patchy record in predicting North Korea’s internal changes, and there is little scope to assess the evidence behind the claim. Chang Song-thaek is Kim Jong-un’s uncle by marriage. As such, his influence over the leadership is independent from his senior military and political positions. Mr Chang’s prestige has increased since the 2011 transition. He is seen as an economic reformer, and is regularly tasked with handling talks with China, Pyongyang’s only major ally. His removal, if true, would be a dramatic change, but much would also depend on the reason for his dismissal.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Armed men attack, kill elderly man in Katsina JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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unmen on Monday attacked and killed an elderly man, Alhaji Audu Naira at Karare village in Rimi Local Government area of Katsina State. Naira, who is said to be the richest man in his community, was killed late Monday night by two men who rode into the community on a motorcycle. Speaking to journalists on the incident, the Village Head of Karare, Mallam Bishir Karare

said; “The two armed men stormed the village late Monday night and headed straight to the residence of the deceased. “They had arrived in the village on a bike and demanded for money from Alhaji Naira, who then told them that he had no money to give to them. “They were not happy about not getting money from him, and had turned to leave, only to come back and attack the old man with dangerous weapons before fleeing the village.” It was learnt that the inci-

dent had left the villagers in a state of mourning with many of them calling for a thorough investigation by the police as to those behind the killing. Meanwhile, a group of armed men have burgled two popular shopping malls, Jifatu and Umar Stores in the Katsina State capital and carted away items worth millions of naira. A shop attendant at Umar Stores, Sanusi Salma, said the armed men, numbering 20, stormed the stores in the middle of the night and stole what-

ever they could lay their hands on. Salma said the armed men wielded different dangerous weapons, including knives and daggers, and that they operated unhindered as police allegedly did not respond promptly to the distress call while the attack lasted. Spokesman of the Katsina State police command, Aminu Abubakar Sadik, could not be reached for comment as at the time of filing this report as he was said to be attending a meeting.

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Awoniyi urges stakeholders in education to redouble efforts WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

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ogi State Deputy Governor, Yomi Awoniyi, has urged stakeholders in the education sector to redouble their efforts to enable institutions of learning in the country to regain their pride of place as worthy breeding grounds for tomorrow’s leaders. Awoniyi spoke at the reunion dinner of the University of Ilorin Alumni Association, Abuja branch. The deputy governor, who was represented by Elder Adavi Abraham, Permanent Secretary, Administration and Parastatal in the office of the Kogi State Deputy Governor, said it has become obvious that government at all levels do not have the resources needed to turn around the educational system, following competing needs and dwindling resources. He called on stakeholders to develop creative means of supplementing the efforts of government. The deputy governor described the University of

Ilorin as an institution that has earned a place of eminence among the leading universities in Africa, urging the alumni association to be in the forefront of mobilising support for the infrastructure and other long term needs of the university, in order to sustain its reputation of high quality and excellence. In his opening remark, Chairman of the occasion and Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. A. Ambali, commended the synergy existing between the institution and its alumni in the Abuja chapter, he urged other branches to emulate their good works in building the infrastructure of the university. In a lecture by Dr. Ado J. G. Mohammed on ‘Primary Healthcare Delivery to Nigerians: A Concern for All,’ he called on government at all levels to lay emphasis to the primary health needs of people living in the rural areas. He also called for greater funding of the health sector, adding that the number of deaths resulting from poor infrastructure is becoming worrisome.

Global focus on disabilities, a challenge to development –Minister Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar (right), receiving an award from former Chief Judge of Adamawa State, Hon Justice B. Bansi, at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Yola branch, during the NBA’s award night on Monday.

Former FMC revenue clerk jailed for stealing N8.3m WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

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Koton Karfe High Court has sentenced Mrs. Modupe Adeyemi, a former revenue clerk of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja to 30 months imprisonment on a 10-count charge.

Adeyemi has been standing trial since October 27, 2010 on a 29-count charge of using her position as public officer to confer corrupt advantage on herself contrary to section 19 of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC) Act 2000.

It was also alleged that she was furnishing false statement of returns in respect of public revenue entrusted in her care contrary to section 16 of the ICPC Act and altering figures of sums in duplicate copies of UBA and Zenith Bank tellers with intent to defraud also contrary to section 15 of the Act.

She was further alleged to have converted over N8.3 million, which she admitted through confessional statements at various stages of investigation that she used the money realised to build a pure water factory, house, buy shares in Dangote and Dunlop Groups and other landed property.

2015: APC not a threat to PDP in Katsina –Shema ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

K

atsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, has said that the All Progressives Party (APC) would not pose a threat to the prospects of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state in the 2015 elections. Speaking with State House correspondents yesterday, the governor said the PDP has performed well in the state and has provided neces-

sary service to the people. Former President Muhammadu Buhari, one of the key leaders of the APC is from Katsina State and the party is interested in capturing the state. But Shema said he was confident that the APC would not dislodge the PDP in the state. Asked if Buhari would not be a factor in the 2015 elections in the state, Shema said; “You know that my business is that of the PDP and that of the people and leaders of the

PDP. That’s how it starts and that’s how it ends. “I don’t waste time discussing other parties or other individuals. My party is doing very well and we will even do more for Nigerians in Katsina and other parts of the country. “I am very confident, because we have done a lot of work. Go there and see for yourself. Politics is about service, it is about the fear of God; it is about managing resources, human and material. To the best of my

ability, we are doing just that in Katsina and we are very confident that with the services we have delivered to our people, God will not let us down,” he added. He said the PDP will to continue to work to build bridges and to reduce the level of problems in the party, adding that he has the responsibility of strengthening the party. Shema said any human organisation with the size of the PDP would have challenges anywhere in the world.

ADEOLA TUKURU ABUJA

M

inister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina, has said that global focus on disability and its attendant consequences have remained one of the major challenges that continually threaten human existence and the attainment of meaningful development. Hajia Maina spoke yesterday during the celebration of the 2013 International Day of Persons with Disabilities with the theme: “Break Barriers, Open Doors: For an Inclusive Society for All.” She said this has led to the world’s attention being drawn towards addressing issues affecting persons with disabilities. According to her, there is the need to awaken the consciousness of all member states towards encouraging and promoting activities that will ensure integration into the mainstream of the society and

the empowerment of persons with disabilities. She said: “This would help in self-actualisation and the development of their full potentials and also the empowerment of persons with disabilities, which would further enable them contribute their quota to overall national development. “The ministry has embarked on a number of programmes and activities aimed at ameliorating the problems affecting persons with disabilities in Nigeria, in line with the Transformation Agenda of the present administration,” she said. Maina further urged Nigerians to eschew hatred, individual and organisational rancour that has bedevilled the association in the past. “Personal and individual interests as well as tribal and religious sentiments must be put aside to redeem the image and integrity of the umbrella organisation and for the overall interest of the over 20million Nigerians with disabilities,” she said.


WORLD RECORD

Greatest prize money for science and technology Vol. 03 No. 736

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

N150

The one million euro (then approximately £667,000; $1.3 million) Millennium Technology Prize is awarded every two years in recognition of outstanding contributions to world science and technology.

Of merger and defection

S

ince the defection of the disgruntled G5 governors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC), there has been unrestrained joy in the latter’s camp. They see the development as a major boost in their crusade to dethrone the PDP and by extension, President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. Invariably, the APC has of late been flashing the statistics of governors in their fold to show they have an upper hand in the political gamesmanship. All of a sudden their numbers have jumped from a miserly 11 to 16 state chief executives, including 48 senators and 199 members of the House of Representatives. The roll call of governors could even jump to 18 if the body language and political fulminations of Babangida Aliyu and Sule Lamido of

MY PEOPLE WERE NOT CONSULTED

D

ethroned world number one, Rory McIlroy, yesterday revealed that he has taken patience as a learning curve in his attempt to return to the zenith. “If my career was an 18-hole golf course I’d say

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

Niger and Jigawa states respectively in recent times are anything to go by. This is so because all indications show that the duo may have held back falling into the embrace of the APC in order to watch PDP’s reaction to the exit of their other rebellious colleagues. But whatever remains the motive behind their sudden inertia, it is pertinent to note that they will find it hard to convince the Bamanga Tukur led executive, that they could still be trusted as loyal members of the PDP. Sadly, the more they vacillate in making up their minds to jump ship, the more they alienate their other colleagues who may feel betrayed for having been cajoled into crossing the rubicon. For now, the situation is like standing between the devil and the deep blue sea. There is no hiding the fact that the rebellion of the G7 governors led by the Alhaji Baraje faction is informed by the desire of the core north to get hold of the presidency at all cost in 2015. This vaulting ambition is at the root cause of the crisis plaguing the PDP. Moreover, it is not lost on anyone that the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) is led by Babangida Aliyu, who has been the association’s stormy petrel and arrow head against the PDP stronghold. Probably, after discovering the futility of their insurrection against Bamanga Tukur, some decided to defect if only to realise the dream of their geopolitical zone. Now that the G5 have defected, does it signal the decline of the PDP and ascendancy of the APC in the country’s political ma-

THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF NIGERIA IS REPLETE WITH SUCH HURRIEDLY ARRANGED MERGERS THAT LATER WENT AWRY.

THE

PRESENT ONE MAY NOT BE AN EXCEPTION trix? It is still early in the day to assess the impact and what it portends for the Jonathan’s presidency in 2015. On paper, the picture looks impressive. But there is a world of difference between dreams and reality. For example, the opposition is a mosaic quilt of hardcore religious conservatives and ethnic irredentists with only purpose of sacking President Jonathan from Aso Rock in 2015. The political history of Nigeria is replete with such hurriedly arranged mergers that later went awry. The present one may not be an exception, given that the emphasis has so far been on showcasing the overlords driving the merger train, rather than letting Nigerians know the ideological difference between the APC and PDP. Aside that, many Nigerians are asking what electoral stock the defecting governors are bringing to the APC aside from seeing it as a transit camp to shield them from the present vicissitudes buffeting their political careers. In the first instance, many of

them have served their second term and are on their way out of office and probably into political wilderness. Trapped in this situation, the defecting governors will lack the motivation to fight bruising battles on behalf of their new party, especially when they have lost control of their former political machines in their respective states. From now, they will be contending on two fronts; the PDP nemesis and the new APC. How they manouvre through the minefields in the coming months would make or mar them. Even such trick may invariably fail at the national level when the sharing of offices begins. It would be foolhardy for the original members to think that the new joiners will be content watching from the fringes when it comes to who gets what in the race to 2015. While the Southwest bloc may be allowed to keep some important national positions, the northern bloc will press for the presidential ticket which they will get. But a future problem would arise when both power blocs contend for supremacy in the party direction to the presidential election in 2015. Of course, there is no denying the fact that this alliance is borne out of political convenience rather than ideological contiguity, so it may fray at the edges when the chips are down. The thinking is that in the present form, the APC would be able to muster enough following and voter discontent to chase away the PDP from power. What if that fails to materialise in 2015? Will the party as presently constituted trudge on and probably wait for luck in 2019? One cannot answer these questions without factoring the monumental roles the Southeast, Southsouth and Middle belt will play in ensuring who goes to Aso Rock in 2015. Without them onboard, the APC train will not reach the destination. That is the catch 22. But getting them to buy into the APC project has become a Sisyphean task which is even getting harder by the day.

Sport Extra Golf: McIlroy highlights ‘gains of patience’ I’m only on the second or third hole right now, and I’ve not done too badly so far,” the 24-year-old admitted. McIlroy spoke about the new array of golfing

weapons he would have in his armoury, with a new driver and ball combination giving him the most confidence along with finally settling on a putter.

“Just to stay patient is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learnt this year,” he said. “Golf is always going to have its ups and downs. I feel like I prob-

ably should have played more at the start of the season just to play my way into the season a little bit more and get used to all this sort of things on the course,” he added.

Rorly

Printed and Published by Global Media Mirror Ltd: Head Office: Mirror House, 155/161 Broad Street, Lagos Tel: 07027107407, Abuja Office: NICON Insurance House, Second Floor, Central Business District Area, Abuja Tel: 08070428249, Advert hotline: 01-8446073, Port-Harcourt Office: Suite 115, NICON Hotel, 6, Benjamin Opara Street, Off Olusegun Obasanjo Rd, GRA Phaze 3, Phone: 07032323254 Email: mail@nationalmirroronline.net. Editor: SEYI FASUGBA. All correspondence to PMB 10001, Marina, Lagos. Printed simultaneously in Lagos, Abuja and Ondo State. ISSN 0794-232X.


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