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World Bank okays N42.5bn credit to boost Nigeria’s water supply TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

T Okonjo-Iweala

Vol. 41 N0. 835 115

he World Bank has approved a credit of $250m (N42.5bn) from the International Develop-

ment Association, IDA, to boost the Federal Government’s efforts to increase access to water supply services and to improve the financial and management viability of existing water

Borno kidnapping:

Confab secretariat gets NICON Luxury Hotel as venue for committees

utilities. A statement by the Bank yesterday indicated that the funds will target the poor, urban population living in the state capitals and their CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

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Tuesday, Tuesday,June April7,22, 2011 2014

230 school girls still missing, say parents ...as gov visits Chibok amid tight security APC, CAN seek unconditional release

N150 OBIORA IFOH AND INUSA NDAHI

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orno State Governor Kashim Shettima was told yesterday that 230 students of Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, were still missing, while only 39 had escaped from their abductors. Gov. Shettima was in Chibok yesterday for the first time since the abduction a week ago of the girls by members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect. The governor, accompanied by military escort, sympathised with the parCONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Maina

FG inaugurates task force on child sexual abuse P.11 ADVERT HOTLINES For advert bookings and information, please contact: LAGOS 01-8446073, 08113947415 08113947419 08113947420 08113947422 ABUJA 08113947421 PORT HARCOURT 08113947418 OGBESE 08113947424

Participants during the Lagos Carnival on Lagos Island, yesterday.

PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Terrorism: Be vigilant, Afenifere advises S’West residents P.9

ACF wants Nyako’s allegation investigated

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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ACF wants Nyako’s allegation investigated A ZA MSUE AND PRISCILLA DENNIS

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he apex northern socio-political organisation, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, yesterday backed Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako’s letter to the governors of northern states over alleged Federal Government’s genocide against the people of the region. Nyako had alleged that the Federal Government had failed to arrest the mindless slaughter and indiscriminate bloodletting by the Boko Haram insurgents and other terrorist groups. The governor had also alleged the failure to arrest the situation was a clear and systematic effort to destroy the northern population for partisan political advantage. ACF spokesman, Muhammad Ibrahim, in a statement said the forum had in the last six years expressed serious concern on the spate of killings and destruction of

property by the Boko Haram insurgents and other criminals in the zone, especially in the North-East. The statement added that it had also appealed to governments at various levels to adequately equip and fund its military and other security personnel to tackle the security challenges bedeviling the region. Ibrahim noted that it was unfortunate that measures employed by government, including a state of emergency had not yielded the desired result, hence the incessant attacks and kidnapping of innocent people by the insurgents and other gunmen. ACF said: “The scale and sophistication of the attacks being waged by the insurgents against harmless people who do not even know or understand their grievance is beyond the capacity of the semi-literate almajiri (Boko Haram) that we know. “It will be recalled that not long ago, our military command informed the

world that it had found and destroyed over 700 vehicles belonging to the insurgents in one of their camps so as to wither the fighting being waged by the Boko Haram insurgents. How come the killings and kidnappings have continued to be on the increase especially in the North-East region?” The forum said it had

earlier called on the government to thoroughly investigate the source of funds, arms and ammunition the insurgents had in carrying on with their deadly acts. “Therefore, Governor Nyako, being a victim of the calamity that has afflicted the northern states, is only expressing the frustrations being felt

by other victims. “ACF, therefore, calls on the Federal Government to urgently investigate the allegations made by Governor Nyako, especially the support being enjoyed by the insurgents from third parties within and outside Nigeria in order to get to the root of this insecurity ravaging the North.”

Meanwhile, the Northern States Governors Forum, NSGF, and the Miyetti Allah Fulani Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria will meet on Thursday in Abuja to find lasting solutions to the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the region. The forum will also CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

L-R; Mr. George Etomi; Mrs. Maiden lbru; bride’s father, Dr. Seyi Roberts; the newly weds, Abayomi Olusegun and Princess Morounke Akin-Olugbade; bride’s mother, Dr. Alero Roberts and Dr. Doyin Okupe at the wedding reception of Segun and Morounke in Lagos yesterday.

230 school girls still missing, say parents CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

ents of the missing teenagers but was told that the figure released earlier by the state government was wrong. Shettima had been warned by security officials that it was too dangerous for him to drive to Chibok, 130 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital. The state Commissioner for Education, Musa Inuwo Kubo, and the principal of the school, Asabe Kwambura, had initially said that 129 science students were at the school to write a physics exam when the abductors struck after midnight on April 14. Twenty-eight pupils escaped from their captors between Tuesday and Friday. Then another 16 earlier listed as having escaped were found to be day students who had returned to their homes in Chibok before the attack, leaving 85 missing students, according to officials. The parents told the governor that officials did not

listen to them when they drew up their list of names of missing children and the total reached 230. Speaking on behalf of parents, Mallam Shettima Yau Haruna, told the governor that since the incident took place, they had been having sleepless nights. Haruna, who wept openly, said that only 39 of the abducted girls had so far regained their freedom. “I want to say clearly on behalf of the parents that about 230 girls are still missing. “This is because only 39 girls have so far escaped to safety,” he said. He disclosed that the parents had formed a search party after the abduction of the girls, with the aim of rescuing them. “After the girls were abducted last Monday, we became disturbed as parents so we formed a search party on Thursday and stormed the Sambisa forest, based on information that our children were being held there,’’ Haruna said.

He said that the parents were conveyed on about 150 motorcycles on the search in Sambisa forest. “We rode on about 150 motorcycles, each carrying between one and three persons. “We went to several places asking questions, but each time we were directed to new place, until we reached a particular place at the middle of the forest with only two houses. “As we kept searching, we met a Fulani man who gave us information that he saw our girls with the abductors ahead. “But our motorcycles began to develop problems due to the intensity of the search,” Haruna said. He said that the team managed to move forward to a point where it met a lone man in the thick forest. “The man actually told us that our children were not far from the place. “But he warned that the people (abductors) were well armed and kill at will, so we decided to save our

lives and returned,” Haruna said. He appealed to Shettima to prevail on security agents to help comb the area and rescue their children. Also narrating his ordeal, Mallam Amos Chiroma, who was amongst those who went to Sambisa forest told our correspondent that they saw a lot of strange things in the forest. Chiroma said that while they were in the forest, with over 200 volunteers who only had cutlasses, bows and arrows and sticks, they came across different make -shift camps suspected to be owned by terrorists. He added that they had to withdraw back to Chibok, when they met someone who advised them that they should go back, because the point they were approaching was a death zone dominated by terrorists. Chiroma said if soldiers were able to join them to the forest, they were optimistic that their missing children would be rescued; or they

would be satisfied if they could see the dead bodies of their daughters. Our correspondent who visited the school yesterday observed that apart from the abduction of the girls, the entire structures and vehicles on the premises were set ablaze, including the council’s secretariat and the residence of the caretaker chairman. Shettima promised the parents that he would deploy all human and material resources towards the safe release of the missing students. He, however, called on the citizens to continue to pray and fast for the rescue of the innocent students and restoration of peace. The governor also noted that since the incident took place, he had wanted to visit the community a day after, but could not, due to security situation on ground. Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has called on the abductors of school girls to release them immediately and

without conditions, in the spirit of the season. The party’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the plea at the dedication of the N150m Catholic Church in his hometown, Oro, Kwara State, yesterday. The party said whatever grievances the abductors might have had nothing to do with the innocent school girls. It, therefore, urged the kidnappers to free the girls and stop all acts of violence against innocent citizens. ‘’Violence has never resolved any issue. Dialogue is always the preferred and civilised way to go in resolving any conflict, no matter how difficult. “We are, therefore, calling on those who have been perpetrating unbridled violence to stop their despicable acts and renounce violence,’’ APC said. The party, however, congratulated the church on the successful completion of the magnificent edifice CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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EASTER CELEBRATION

L-R: Minister of Tourism, Mr. Edem Duke; Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN); his wife, Dame Abimbola and Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, during the Lagos Carnival at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, yesterday.

Muhammed Buhari Way deserted during Easter holiday in Abuja, yesterday

PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Fun seekers during the Easter holiday at the Heritage Park in Oshodi, yesterday.

Participants at the Lagos Carnival in Lagos Island, yesterday.

Members of Foursquare Gospel Church, Alaka at a picnic on Easter Monday at National Art Theater, Igamu, Lagos.

PHOTO: SAMUEL ADETIMEHIN

Picnickers celebrating Easter Monday at Lagos Bar Beach.

Marina in Lagos during the Easter Monday holiday, yesterday.

PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI

Travellers taking advantage of free train services provided by the Osun State government on their way back to Lagos after the Easter celebration at Osogbo, yesterday.


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News

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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World Bank okays N42.5bn credit to boost Nigeria’s water supply CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

surroundings, and will benefit some two million people. Specifically, the multilateral institution stated that the credit would support the Third National Urban Water Sector Reform Project and respond to the Federal Government’s goal of devel-

oping more effective mechanisms for social service delivery, particularly water service, as a means to address inequities in income and opportunities. The Bank pointed out that the funds will help rehabilitate and build the water delivery infrastructure and

institutional systems needed to expand access to water supply services for people in selected cities in Bauchi, Ekiti, and Rivers states, adding that a portion of the project is performance based and will include incentives for improving the performance of the water

supply institutions in the three states. Clarifying further on the import of the credit, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Marie Françoise Marie-Nelly, said “Today’s project builds on past experience, which has shown that building water infra-

structure without strengthening the capacity of the institutions responsible for managing water supply to the targeted areas does not lead to sustainable results. “We therefore hope that the new strategy, which puts more emphasis on this integrated approach will contribute to improve the health and economic wellbeing of the country’s poorest and more vulnerable particularly women and girls who spend a lot of time fetching water”. According to the Bank, the second project component will provide technical and financial assistance to

state governments and water utilities in Kano, Gombe, Benue, Jigawa, Ondo, Abia, Bayelsa, Anambra and Plateau states to help prepare them for large water supply investments that could be financed in the future. In addition, it stated that the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, tasked with providing sustainable access to safe and sufficient water to all Nigerians, will also benefit from strengthened capacity to monitor and benchmark the water sector’s performance and accordingly, increased accountability from the States for their performance.

230 school girls still missing, say parents CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

Catholic faithful receiving the Holy Communion at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Gwagwalada, Abuja, yesterday.

PHOTO: NAN

ACF wants Nyako’s allegation investigated CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

discuss the memorandum submitted to it by Nyako in which he raised concerns about the insurgency in the North. Chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, said in Minna yesterday that “the forum is now in receipt of Nyako’s memo and would look at the concerns raised with a view to address the issues.” Aliyu, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Danladi

Ndayebo, said members of the forum and leaders of the Miyetti Allah Fulani Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria would fashion out strategies to address the disturbing state of insecurity in the region. The governor said he was enthusiastic that the meeting between the northern governors and Miyetti Allah would restore the most desired peaceful co-existence, unity and development in the region. He added that the fo-

rum would work closely with the leaders of Miyetti Allah to unmask criminals masquerading as cattle breeders and inflicting mayhem on innocent citizens. It will be recalled that the decision to dialogue with Miyetti Allah was taken at the last meeting of the National Economic Council, NEC, during which governors of the 36 states of the federation constituted a panel headed by Nyako. It is to work out ways to end incessant clashes be-

tween herdsmen and farmers in the troubled region. It is expected that the meeting would push for a national policy to settle nomads and provide adequate grazing reserves and cattle routes. The meeting is also expected to make a case for proper demarcation of grazing fields for herdsmen and the adoption of a comprehensive pastoral development programme to reduce constant friction between farmers and herdsmen, especially in the North.

Ruptured gas pipeline: Fear of explosion grips residents FRANCIS SUBERU

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esidents of Ijoko along the LagosAbeokuta Expressway are now living in fear, following gas leakage from the Nigerian Gas Company, NGC, situated in the area. The gas leakage, which started around 6.30pm, was as a result of a ruptured pipeline, caused by the activities of the company, handling the construction work on the

Sango-Ijoko-Ojodu Road. Panic-stricken residents of nearby buildings scampered to safety, with many of them abandoning their homes. The ruptured gas pipeline also created serious gridlock along the Ijoko Road, with motorists being forced to bypass the area. Our correspondent found residents at the scene gathering in different groups far away from the ruptured site for fear of explosion.

An eyewitness, who simply gave her name as Bimbo, while noting that the entire neighbourhood is in palpable fear, urged the necessary agency to come and repair the damaged gas pipeline. She said: “You can see that it is very dangerous as gas is gushing out of the pipeline with full force and that can lead to serious explosion around the area. The spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency,

NEMA, in the SouthWest, Ibrahim Farinloye, while speaking on the incidents urged residents to desist from acts that can spark off explosion in the area. When contacted the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said he was unaware of the incident and promised to contact policemen at Sango Police division to secure the environment and prevent people from getting close to the ruptured pipeline.

and hailed it for forging the spirit of love, tolerance and peace within the community. “It is noteworthy that the annual Ramadan talk hosted by the APC’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is held within the church grounds. There is no better example of religious tolerance and commitment to societal peace than this,’’ it said. Also, the North-East Chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has urged the Federal Government and security agents to intensify efforts to rescue the remaining abducted girls. The Zonal CAN Chairman, Rev. Shuaibu Byal, made the call while speaking with newsmen in Gombe yesterday. Byal said CAN as at yesterday had on its records that 83 school girls were still with their captors. He said the Federal Government and security agents should urgently reinforce and re-double efforts aimed at rescuing the girls. “We don’t know what is happening to our girls up there in Chibok. “It is very unfortunate. But we are still aware that there are about 83 girls who are still out there. We were told just this (Monday) morning that two of them escaped from their captors. “How they made it, we don’t know. Even, we don’t

know what they are eating and how their life situation is. “These people (insurgents) have burnt our seminaries in those areas. They have burnt down our churches. “They have burnt down many areas, especially the area of Christendom in Borno South and in the northern part of Adamawa, around Mubi, Michika, Madagali and other areas,” Byal said. He said all Christians and the parents of the abducted girls had been praying ceaselessly for the girls to regain their freedom, urging the authorities to do more in freeing them. “We pray to God about these girls. Their parents have been praying, and we have prayed along with them. “I know that Nigerian security agents are capable enough to see this work done, except if we want to politicise it. We should get these children released immediately,” Byal said. The cleric, who attended an Easter prayers rally at the CAN Centre in Gombe, called on Nigerians to imbibe the virtues of love, peace and care which Jesus Christ exemplified. He bemoaned the havoc the insecurity situation had done to Northern Nigeria in terms of lives and properties, particularly the North-East region. The CAN official then called for more prayers to end the ugly situation.


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Tuesday April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stakeholders seek legal backing for building code Tola Akinmutimi ABUJA

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takeholders in the building and construction sector have canvassed the need for legal backing to the National Building Code in order to standardise the implementation and safety of projects in the sector. The Building Code, which came into force in 2006, had been accepted by all stakeholders, who are now urging the Federal Government to initiate processes that would give it a legal backing.

The stakeholders in a communiqué issued at the end of the Second Lafarge National Dialogue Series made available to journalists yesterday in Abuja, agreed that the Building Code should be forwarded without further delay as an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for passage into law. The Second Lafarge National dialogue series with theme “Building collapse: An assessment of Building Practices in Nigeria and the Imperative for Sustainable Construction,” was organised in furtherance of the

company’s commitment to addressing the spate of building collapse in the country. In the communiqué, the participants noted that the incidents of building collapse had remained prevalent despite continued efforts by various professional bodies in the building industry and at various tiers of government. They, however, believe that the incidents are not in any way caused by the quality of cement. The communiqué stated: “Incidents of building collapse have remained preva-

lent despite continued efforts by various concerns and professional bodies in the building industry and at various tiers of government. “Professionals are unanimous that cement is not responsible for building collapse and identify issues such as faulty designs, sharp practices, non-involvement of professionals in building projects, overloading due to change in initial building plans, amongst others, for economic gains as contributory factors to building collapse. “The National Building

Code should be forwarded without further delay to the National Assembly for consideration and passage to achieve the desired sanity and safety in the building industry,” it added. The communiqué also stated that lack of steel industries to drive the building sector remained a major challenge, noting that the poor level of electricity generation and supply, lack of efficient and properly equipped laboratories for testing materials have hampered certification and growth process. On the issue of quality of cement being produced locally, the participants agreed that “there is no substandard cement produced in the country as the 32.5 strength manufactured by the cement manufacturers is of world standard.” In order to sustain the manufacturing standard, the stakeholders recommended that the “construction standards should be institutionalised through introduction of courses on

standards in the universities and other higher institutions of learning in the country.” This is even as they advocated the need to regulate and monitor the entire value chain of steel/metals production, using locally sourced iron ores for better products in collaboration with local gypsum plants in the country. On power supply challenge, the stakeholders urged the government to improve electricity supply at production level, to stimulate contribution of the building industry to economic growth. They also agreed that Research Institutes should develop effective substitutes to cement to make more choice available to consumers, adding that building professionals should re- invigorate their effort at stamping out non-professionals from supervising building projects while manufacturers of building materials should adhere strictly to global standards.

Officials destroy N38m fish

O One of the abducted students in Chibok who was later rescued, being handed to her parents at the school premises in Maiduguri, yesterday. PHOTO: INUSA NDAHI

Civil society wants more women in positions Tola Akinmutimi ABUJA

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he Coalition of Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria has urged voters in the country to support women seeking elective positions at all levels of government in order to give them equal opportunities in governance and ensure socio-economic empowerment of the poor and vulnerable citizens. The body, which is the umbrella body of civil society organisations which believes in partnering with governments at all levels for the betterment of the nation and the people, at a media briefing yesterday in Abuja said that voting for women in elections would enable them to contribute more to national develop-

ment in view of the antecedents of the few among them that had occupied elective positions. The National President of the group, Comrade Etuk Bassey Williams, explained that the decision to support women contesting for political positions derived from the resolutions of the National Working Committee of the coalition at its last meeting, where many issues were discussed, especially as they related to the forthcoming 2015 general election, most especially women participation. Specifically, he said the coalition agreed to support the candidacy of Dr. Ngozi Olejeme, who is contesting for the Delta State governorship, saying she had proven her competence over the years in all the positions

she held as a competent and people-oriented woman leader. Comrade Etuk said: “First of all, we commend the boldness and involvement of Nigerian women at all levels in the journey of Nigeria’s democracy since 1999. Generally, we see the active involvement of women in elective positions as a sign of maturity, especially in our nation where women have proven to be better managers, both in the public and private offices. “Therefore, we urge Nigerian women to take it further by contesting for a bigger elective position by 2015. They should be courageous to produce the first female governor. “Fortunately, there is a competent, well qualified, tested and trusted woman contesting for the post of Delta State Gov-

ernor in person of Dr. Ngozi Olejeme, as she has proven her competence over the years. Therefore, we urge Nigerian women and every eligible voters in the state to rally round formidable support for her to emerge the governor of Delta State by 2015 and every other competent women contesting for elective posts across the country,” he added. The group also commended the present administration for the implementation of 35 per cent affirmative for women in Nigeria which, it noted, had greatly put Nigeria’s democracy in the limelight and demonstrated President Goodluck Jonathan’s desire to give women opportunities in contributing their quota to national development at highest levels of government.

fficials of the Federal Department of Fisheries, FDF, yesterday confiscated 95.7 tonnes of unwholesome fish worth N38m for destruction, the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports. The agency reported that the stock were seized fish from the cold rooms of Premium Sea Foods Ltd, Iganmu, and Bexolac Sea Foods Ltd, 10, Old Ojo Road, Lagos-Badagry Expressway. The stock comprised mostly of herring, Alaska pollack and mackerel imported from Russia. Mrs. Foluke Areola, the Acting Director of Fisheries, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the exercise was line with the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government. Areola added that one focus of the agenda was to prevent importers of food products from bringing unwholesome fish into the country. ``The aim of this exercise is to protect the health and lives of Nigerians. ``It is the responsibility of the government to

ensure that anything that goes out for consumption is safe and of the highest quality. ``We have a total of 4,738 cartons of different species of unwholesome fish. They will be destroyed and the companies will pay the cost of destroying them.’’ She expressed displeasure at the poor quality of fish products that found their way into the markets and warned the public against buying them. “Any fish with sunken eye, soft body on being depressed with the finger and discoloration are physical signs that the product has gone bad. “Such fish are hazardous to human health and should not be consumed,’’ she said. Reacting to the development, Alhaji Tajudeen Olalere, the General Manager of Premium Sea Foods Ltd, said the company was not aware that some of the fish were unwholesome. “I think the problem is from our exporters. But we will carry out an investigation to determine where the problem came from,’’ he said.


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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Tuesday April 22, 2014

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EASTER CELEBRATION

Cleric urges Christians to shun immoral acts

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo (left) and Ogun State Governor, Sentor Ibikunle Amosun during an Easter visit to the Obasanjo Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, yesterday.

Church doles out gift items to prison inmates, hospitals, others ADEOLA TUKURU, ABUJA

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unamis International Gospel Centre, Kubwa, Abuja yesterday donated gift items to police inmates, hospital patients and orphanage home as part of activities marking the Easter celebrations. The Pastor of the Church, Michael Ajogba, said the essence of the gifts during this period was to provide opportunity to

share the love of God with fellow compatriots especially the less privileged. He said it is the church’s social responsibility to its host community. He prayed for their salvation and restoration of shattered destinies and assured them that the church will always put smiles on their faces. Pastor Ajogba, said Easter is a season of good news as it symbolises the seal of the price Jesus paid to redeem humanity from sin. He prayed for the nation

and enjoined Nigerians to renew their faith in God, who is ready to forgive our sins and re-direct our destinies to his original purpose for our lives. Ajogba further expressed confidence that Nigeria will overcome the current security, political and economic challenges and become the arsenal of democracy in Africa. Pastor Ajogba said the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the birth, founda-

tion and pillar of Christianity. Places visited by the church were General Hospital, King’s Care Hospital, Unity Clinic and Maternity all in Kubwa, Ark of Refuge Orphanage, Kubwa Divine Orphanage and Inmates at Police Area Command, Abuja. Items donated include, the church’s monthly Devotional- Seeds of Destiny, toiletries, beverages, babies food, cartons of Indomie and food stuffs.

Transport fares remain stable in Delta

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ransport fares in Delta State remained stable in spite of the rush to travel during the Easter festivities. A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, who monitored the situation in some motor parks in Asaba, the state capital yesterday, observed that transport fares did not

change in spite of the Easter celebration. Some transport operators said that they had no reason to increase fares because the price of fuel had not changed in the last one month. Mr James Aroture of Kwale ark said: “We have no reason to increase our charges because of the Easter celebration when the price of petrol is still be-

tween N97 and N110.’” Mr Oke Emuobo of Ughelli/ Kwale Park said: “Our fares did not change because we still charge N850 for smaller cars from Asaba to Ughelli, while from Asaba to Kwale, we still collect N600.” Mr Igho Avbiagba of Delta Line Transport Services also said: “The Easter celebration did not affect our

fares because pump price of petrol has not changed. “For instance, from Asaba to Warri we still charge N1, 200 for cars, while from Asaba to Ughelli, we charge N650 for buses.’’ NAN also reports that short distances within Asaba still go for between N30 to N50 per drop, while longer trips still go for between N50 and N100.

Olumba tasks Nigerians on peace, tolerance

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he Spiritual Head of Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, Olumba Olumba Obu, has called for peace and tolerance among Nigerians. Obu made the call yesterday at the end of a one-week programme organised by the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star in Calabar, Cross River State. According to him, the event, Salt of the Earth, with the theme “Preserving and dispensing the Savoury

taste of Christ”, was aimed at seasoning Nigerians from decay and corruption. “You must be prepared to give up ideologies, abstain from the desires of self indulgence and give up hatred, strife, self seeking, condemnation and hypocrisy. “If you shun selfishness and embrace selflessness, you will surely become one with God and it is only then you will become the salt of the earth,” Obu said. He urged Nigerians to

always show love to other human beings and pray for peace in the country. “No nation can prosper and develop without love, tolerance and peace among its people. “Nigerians should uphold the teachings of God and desist from committing evil acts that could incur the wrath of God,” Obu said. He called on the leaders in position of authority in the country to “remember that

power is given to them by God and that it is temporary. “Therefore, they should make the best use of it for the establishment of a society free of injustice, corruption and other vices affecting development in Nigeria,” Obu added. He urged Christians to remember the recent victims of the acts of insurgency in their prayers and pray for safety of the girls kidnapped from their schools in Borno State.

he Chairman, Christ Apostolic Church, CAC, Ife District Coordinating Council, IDCC, Pastor Samuel Akinsulure, has urged Christians to abstain from all forms of immoral acts. Akinsulure gave the advice during the Galilee Service on Mountain Alakowe, yesterday in Ile-Ife. He said that Christians needed to commit themselves totally to Jesus Christ by living a meaningful life. According to him, Christians should allow the power of resurrection to revive

and sustain them to serve God wholeheartedly. He called on them to repent over their sin so as to benefit from the salvation, blessing, joy and deliverance that resurrection of Jesus brought into the world. According to him, there is need for Christians to accept the Holy Spirit and allow same to be directing them to do the right thing. Akinsulure urged them to prepare for the second coming of Jesus Christ, adding that only those who believed in His resurrection, would have their path in the Kingdom of God.

Traffic light on Lagos roads

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raffic was light on many roads in the Lagos metropolis yesterday as residents stayed indoors to mark the Easter celebrations. Many roads, including the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Funso Williams Avenue, Ikorodu Road and Mile 12-Ketu Road were virtually deserted with few motorists plying the roads. A commercial motorist, Mr Ayodele Ogunmuiwa, said that business had been low for him since the Easter celebrations. He, however, expressed happiness over the free-

flow of traffic in the city, saying that things were moving “sharp-sharp” on the roads. The cab operator said that the prevailing security situation must have forced many Lagos residents to stay at home. A commuter, Mrs Babian Uche, said she was happy that transporters did not increase transport fares. She commended the Lagos State government for providing free Bus Rapid Transit vehicles from Mile 12 to Tafawa Balewa Square to convey fun-seekers to the Lagos Island to catch fun.

Tourists laud Lagos Easter Carnival

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ome tourists at the annual Lagos carnival yesterday commended the state government for the richness of the cultural heritage exhibited by participants at the carnival. The tourists told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, at the Tafawa Balewa Square that the carnival was of high standard and could compete with similar carnivals globally. A tourist from the U.S., Michael Duncan, said that Nigeria was indeed blessed with diverse beautiful cultures. He said he had watched the Brazilian Rio de Janeiro carnival, which he described as of the same quality and standard as the annual Lagos carnival. Duncan said he attended the carnival for the first time last year and the great

fun made him to come back. A tourist from the United Arab Emirate, Alhassan Aziz, said the carnival had become a yearly ritual for him and his family. “I am a businessman, who shuttles between Lagos and Dubai, but I am always here during the Easter holiday with my family,” he said. He said that he was so impressed with the display of high cultural heritage and commended the state government for the initiative. Aziz commended government for providing adequate security and lots of fun at the colorful event. “After shuttling up and down for months it is not too much to give my family a treat by spending quality time with them in an atmosphere of festivity and love,” he said.


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South West

Tuesday April 22, 2014

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Boko Haram: Be vigilant, Afenifere advises S’West residents WALE IGBINTADE

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he Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG, yesterday called for vigilance in the South West over possible attack by insurgents in the region. The group particularly called on royal fathers and the people of the zone to be on the alert, by monitoring the movement of strangers in their midst. ARG, in a statement by

its National Chairman, Hon. Olawale Oshun said it is raising the alarm based on the new video released by the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau in which it not only claimed responsibility for the Nyanya bomb attack which killed 75 people, but also vowed more attacks across the country. The group said that such a threat should be treated with utmost concern. “ARG is calling on all

the residents in the South West of Nigeria to take this threat very seriously, and be vigilant. “We call on the residents to report to security agencies, monarchs, tra-

ditional leaders and the offices of the governors any suspicious movement of men and materials that come to their notice. “ARG wishes to alert the traditional institu-

tions, from the highly revered monarchs to the Baales (the village heads) and Mogajis (clan heads) to their responsibility towards their subjects in this dire time.

“All the leaders of our people at every level would have no reason, through acts of omission or commission, to allow total strangers over-run their domains.

SSS to partner transport unions on safety at Lagos parks FRANCIS SUBERU

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he Department of State Security Services, DSS in Lagos State has commenced a partnership programme with the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, and the Road Transport Employees Association, of Nigeria, RTEAN to ensure safety of commuters at motor parks in the state. To this end, a committee comprising officials of the DSS, members of NURTW and RTEAN has been set up to go round motor parks in the state and assess the security situation of the parks. The setting up of the committee might not be unconnected with the recent upsurge in insurgent attacks at

motor parks and other public places, more particularly, the recent bomb blast at Nyanya Park in Abuja. It was gathered that the DSS officials are also expected to enlighten the transport union members on how to ensure safety of lives and properties at the parks; even as it was said that the two transport unions are obliged to ensure strict security surveillance on the motor parks in the state. The state Chairman of the NURTW, Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, while speaking with journalists on the development, urged commuters to cooperate with members of the different transport unions in the state, adding that passengers should always submit themselves and their luggage to transport unionists for security check for the safety of people at the park.

Pay our N54bn subsidy claims, oil marketers urge FG

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he Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Obafemi Olawore, has pleaded with the Federal Government to pay marketers’ their subsidy claims so as to avoid fuel scarcity. Olawore made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday, saying the outstanding subsidy claims stood at N53.6 billion. “As at April 1, we were still owed an outstanding of over N53.6 billion by government on subsidy which makes it extremely difficult for marketers to import products

into the country. “Most major and independent marketers who received Sovereign Debt Note from the Debt Management Office last time never had it translated to cash from banks. “We appealed to the Ministry of Finance to approve payment of our subsidy claims because this had made it difficult for some marketers to get loans from banks,” he said. Olawore also advised the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to start importation of second quarter allocation of petroleum to avoid fuel crisis.

L-R: CEO, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and Head, God’s Children Got Talent (GCGT), Mrs. Sola David-Borha; Brand Manager, Cocoa Beverages, Cadbury, Mr. Mobolaji Alalade and GCGT Coordinator, Mrs. Adedoyin Odunfa, at the media conference on 4th Season Quarter-Final of GCGT initiative of City of David Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Province, at the weekend.

Ban on 193 schools over exam malpractice stands - WAEC SAIDAT ALAUSA

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he West African Examination Council (WAEC) has said it would not lift ban imposed on 193 secondary schools that recorded massive examination fraud during its 2012 May\June exams nationwide. The exam body had delisted the names of the schools and barred them from presenting candidates for its examinations for two consecutive years beginning from last year. The punishment according to WAEC, will serve as deterrent to others. Head of Public Relations Department of the council, Mr. Yussuf Ari in a chat with National Mirror, said the council would not bend its rules for any reason, thus, the reason for the schools involved to remain barred for the period. The committee which meets twice a year, to consider matters relating to the conduct of the May/June and November/December West African Senior School Certificate Examination

(WASSCE) is the highest decision-making organ of WAEC on examinationrelated matters in Nigeria. During the 57th meeting, the committee received a report on special irregularity and clemency cases arising from the conduct of the May/ June 2013 WASSCE, earlier considered at the 56th meet-

ing of the committee. The Committee also considered a report on the conduct of the November/December 2013 WASSCE, as well as irregularity cases arising from the conduct of the examination. In the course of considering the various reported cases of malpractice, the committee endorsed ap-

propriate sanctions in all established cases of malpractice as prescribed by the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the council’s examinations, after diligent deliberations and reached a conclusion that the two years sanctions imposed on the schools last year should stand.


10

South East

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Be responsible, Onyeka Onwenu tells women

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igerian women have been urged to stand up and be bold to take on their responsibilities in their homes, especially to their children, careers and businesses, regardless of the challenges that come their way. Director General, National Centre for Women Development, NCWD, Lady Onyeka Onwenu, gave this charge in a message at the celebration of the International Women’s Day in Awka, Anambra State. Challenges, she said, are to be seen as catalysts to propel people to the next level and not as deterrents. According to her, challenges should not be taken as excuses for women failing in their responsibilities. She urged the women to take their responsibilities, careers and businesses se-

riously as this is the only way they would support their husbands, families and communities. The celebration, which had as its theme: “Equality For Women -Progress For All”, was hosted by the First Lady of Anambra State, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, and was attended by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, who represented Governor Willie Obiano. Others present were the Chairman, State House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Rebecca Udorji, National Council of Women Societies, NCWS, leader, Mrs. Oby Obodozie, Anambra State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Lady Henrietta Agbata, Rev. Sam Okoli, and a host of others.

Imo residents seek effective waste disposal

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esidents of Owerri, the Imo State capital, have called on the state government to provide an effective refuse disposal mechanism, especially in the residential areas of the city. They told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in that there was no effective waste disposal system in the state. Mr. Willy Nzuko, a landlord in Uratta, Owerri North Local Government Area, said tenants often used undeveloped plots as dumpsites because of the lack of better alternatives. Nzuko said the closeness of the dumpsites to people's houses had resulted in cockroaches and rodents infesting their homes. "We have a serious problem with how to dispose our refuse, open plots are then converted into refuse dumps, regardless of the health risks involved. "The plot next to my own is now a dumping ground for people here because the state government has not made any serious waste disposal effort. "Our houses are infested with cockroaches and rats and because it is still a developing area where we have plots that are bushy, snakes come after these rats and even invade our houses, not to talk of

germs which we do not see," he said. Nzuko urged the state government to create legal dumpsites in residential areas which would be evacuated regularly. Another resident, Mr. Steve Nwulu, said the people in the area often sneaked out in the night to dump refuse because the dumpsites they used were illegal. Nwulu said the bins provided by the state government were too few and far from many residential houses and called on the government to provide more bins closer to residential areas. Mr. Ejike Nwigwe, a guard in Egbu, Owerri North Local Government Area, complained about the distance between legal dumpsites and residential areas. "Part of my duty as a security man is to carry away refuse from the compound where I live and it is not easy. “After I was arrested for throwing refuse in an illegal dumping ground, I started using the government dustbins, but they are not close to where I live. “The refuse I handle is from six flats and the distance is very far," Nwigwe said.

L-R: Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Enugu State, Mr. Louise Dellibe; Director of Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo and Head of Media, Mr. Rueben Mouka, NCC, at a media interaction in Enugu, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Obiano, Archbishop worship at Onitsha prison GLORIA ANAEZE ONITSHA

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bout 887 prison inmates celebrated Easter with Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano and the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, the Most Rev. Valerian Okeke yesterday at Onitsha prison. It was a moment of sober reflection for the prisoners as other worshipers who joined in the service were overwhelmed with happiness and amazement when the governor came into the prison premises for the 8.am mass. It was the first time a governor was attending Easter service with inmates at the prison. The celebration was part of the archbishop’s resolution to identify with the prison inmates in all fes-

tivities. Delivering his homily during the mass, Archbishop Okeke admonished Nigerians to embrace peace and love, as well as maintain cordial relationship with one another. The catholic prelate also urged those prisoners who received the sacrament of confirmation to always see their confinement as a necessary experience for their transformation. The archbishop noted that virtually all humanity are prisoners, adding that while some were confined to prison yards, others were outside in the world having their experiences. According to him, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ should remind prisoners that they would be free one day. He expressed appreciation to Governor Obiano,

who less than two months in office came to identify with the inmates, an action which he said was significant of the great things that would happen at the Onitsha prison. The archbishop stressed the need for Christians to always bear in mind the reason for celebration of Easter, which was the resurrection of Christ after his death on the cross. He pointed out that if Christ died and did not resurrected, Christians should not have been worshipping and celebrating him. The archbishop offered prayer for the prisoners and their early release from prison. He called on the people of Anambra State to always be a role model in all good things, pointing out that the state was endowed with

abundance of blessings. "Anambra State has a dream which no other state will surpass. Anambra State is noted for good things," he said. The archbishop announced that eight bags of rice was prepared, with one cow killed for the inmates, while assorted types of beverages, including one life cow, toilet soap, tissue papers, biscuits, washing soaps, among others, were also provided. In his remarks, the governor said that his government provided food for 1,000 inmates, while a musical group was given N100,000. In his vote of thanks, the Deputy Controller of Onitsha Prisons, Mr Azuka Ndupu, expressed gratitude to the governor and the archbishop for their concern to inmates.

2015: Youths urge politicians to shun greed, crisis ALIUNA GODWIN ABAKALIKI

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ouths in Ebonyi State yesterday counseled politicians against instigating crisis ahead of the 2015 general election. Speaking to National Mirror in Abakaliki, the state capital, the President of Izzi Youth Forum, IYF, Prince Mores Mbam, urged political leaders in the state to shun all forms of greediness. He also advised them

to refrain from engaging youths as thugs, especially in the forthcoming poll. Mbam alleged that some desperate political leaders in the state plotted for his removal from office but failed as a result of the efforts of youths in the area who stood their ground that such thing does not happen in Izziland. “Some sponsored youths went on air saying that my office has been sacked, but unfortunately, the attempt failed,” he said. Mbam lamented that

political leaders were not helping matters by improving the lives of the youths through the creation of job opportunities, but rather prefer using youths to achieve their political ambitions and dump them later. He attributed the security challenges in most states of the federation to ‘massive unemployment’ of youths. “We totally condemn the issue of kidnapping. We took a decision that in Izziland, nothing of such

will be allowed. It is already part of our programme to fight kidnapping and other related crimes in Ebonyi State, the IYF leader stated. He expressed the preparedness of the forum to ensure that no youth were used as thugs in the forthcoming 2015 general election. “In the forthcoming election, we will not allow any of our youths to be used as thugs. We took up a campaign to make sure that such a thing does not happen," he said.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

News

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FG inaugurates task force on sexual abuse T

he Federal Government has set up a National Joint Task Force for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Violence against Children. The aim is to address the growing cases of violence against children, especially sexual abuse, rape and abduction. Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina,

who inaugurated the committee in Abuja, said this was coming on the heels of the recent terror attacks and abduction of about 200 students of Government Girls’ Secondary School in Choka, Borno State. She noted that whenever there were insurgencies or natural disasters, children had become easy targets as they were killed, maimed or abducted. Maina added: “When

Abuja explosion: AMAC chairman assures of adequate security OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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hairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, Micah Jiba, yesterday assured the residents of enhanced security. The assurance followed last Monday's bomb blast at a motorpark in the Nyanya area of the council. Jiba, who is also the Chairman, Federal Capital Territory Chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, told journalists that the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, had already met with the six area councils' chairmen with a mandate to reach out to traditional rulers in their communities to mobilise their subjects for increased vigilance.

He said the council chairmen had been given the necessary support by the minister to ensure peace. “I want to use this opportunity to assure our residents that such wicked acts will not occur again and to advice the residents to also assist us by partnering with our security and local chiefs by giving the necessary information that will assist them to unmask the perpetrators of evil acts in our society. “We, on our own part, will continue to dole out developmental projects and dividends of democracy to our communities and our responsibility is to provide the necessary needs of the people that voted us into power and that is what we have been doing and we will continue to do more,” the AMAC chairman said.

Group urges FG to deploy security technologies, terrorism experts

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group, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, has advised the Federal Government to deploy hi-tech crime detecting technologies in the fight against terrorism. The Chairman of the group, Mr. Emeka Umeagbasi, gave the advice yesterday in a statement in Onitsha, Anambra State. He said that government should also use foreign experts in the fight against terrorism. The group said that the only way out of the multifaceted security breaches was for the government to secure the services of trained terrorism intelligence experts. “This explains why there are over four million hidden security cameras in the United Kingdom.

“The world’s two most endangered countries, Israel and USA, are secured every hour through electronic security devices and super security intelligence networks,” it said. The statement added that more than 60,000 Nigerians had been killed since 1999, a period of 15 years. “In four months into 2014 alone, up to 3,000 Nigerians have been killed by criminals. “Those killed by insurgents are believed to be over 1,500. “While another, popularly known as gunmen, must have been responsible for over 1,000 deaths.’’ The group said that the insurgency was surmountable, but the country “lacks electronic security devices fundamentally needed to match the insurgents.’

there are economic problems in the family, children are made to hawk in the streets where they are exposed to all kinds of hazards, including sexual abuse. “The continuous and recent terror attacks and abduction of children from schools in the North-East is a clear demonstration of the extent of violence meted to the Nigerian child. “This callous act highlights the need for government to employ a multisectoral approach to tackle the scourge that is eating deep into the fibre of the country.” The minister disclosed

that members of the task force were drawn from MDAs and other relevant stakeholders, including Nigeria Law Reform Commission, National Human Rights Commission, National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Person, Legal Aid Council, Public Complaints Commission, Ministries of Information, Justice, Foreign Affairs, Education and Health. Others are the Nigeria Police, the National Orientation Agency and the Christian and Muslim women associations of Nigeria identified as key actors in child survival, development and protection issues.

The Executive Secretary of NAPTIP, Beatrice Agba, said that the agency condemned the inhuman act of suicide bombers and the abduction of some girls, stressing that soon all would become history in the country. She reiterated her agency's commitment to partner with the Ministry of Women Affairs to ensure that the protection of children, especially the girl-child, who were most prone to vulnerability welfare is guaranteed with a view to putting a stop to the ugly scourge of violation against children in the country. Also speaking, Perma-

nent Secretary in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Dr. Habiba Lawal, added that the need to establish a national joint task force was predicted on the fact that the Nigeria society was grappling with rising incidents of rape, child defilement and baby farming, which had painted the country in bad light. She, however, said that the establishment of the task force would provide a unified platform for government agencies and the civil society to jointly respond to child sexual abuse and violence in a coordinated manner and reduce drastically the menace in the country.

Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan (left) and his wife, Roli (right) dancing with children from orphanage homes during the Easter party organised by Pink Pearl Foundation in Warri, yesterday.

Politicians criticise Reps’ plan to review constitution

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ome politicians in Lagos yesterday criticised the plan by the House of Representatives to amend “all extant and archaic laws” in the Constitution. The politicians told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, that the lawmakers had every opportunity to have done so before now. Their reaction came on the heels of a statement credited to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. Ihedioha had said the Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, had directed the National Institute of Legislative Studies, NILS, and the House Committee on Justice to initiate a wholesome review of archaic laws.

The deputy speaker spoke at a roundtable discussion on law reform in Nigeria, organised by NILS in collaboration with the National Assembly’s Committees on Judiciary and Justice in Abuja. He said there were many laws made by the military which had become obsolete and were inconsistent with one another. The Founder of the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, Dr. Frederick Fasheun, said the House of Representatives’ members wanted to make the national conference less powerful. “Those who are making such a suggestion want to undermine the integrity of the confab. “They have been in the House for many years and

nothing stopped them from going for a total review of the Constitution if they found it unacceptable. “Nothing stopped them from calling a meeting of members to say `look, all these laws are not good for the country’," he said. Fasheun advised the lawmakers to allow the conference delegates to concentrate and deliver on their mandate. A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, Mr. Denis Aghanya, also agreed with Fasheun’s position that the lawmakers’ action would undermine the confab’s outcome. “To the lawmakers, the confab is trying to take away their activity and make less powerful

their integrity," he said. Alhaji Yahaya Ndu of the Peoples Movement for a New Nigeria, PMNN, a political group, however, advised the lawmakers to avoid creating a scene which would cause confusion in the country. He said even before President Jonathan’s approval of a national conference, it was the place of the National Assembly to convene it. “This is something which they failed to do,” Ndu said. He said the lawmakers should have made a law empowering a national conference and stated the exact modalities and how the proceedings could be turned into law.


12

North

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Clashes: Jukun threaten to ‘engage’ herdsmen FRANCIS SUBERU

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embers of the Jukun Development Association of Nigeria have threatened to carry out a reprisal attacks on Fulani herdsmen, should the Federal Government fail to intervene in the constant communal clashes between the two groups. President of the association, Mr. Benjamin Bako Danborno, who said this while addressing a press conference on yesterday in Lagos, added that the on-going attacks on Jukun by ‘belligerent groups’ in Taraba State was a ‘premeditated genocide’ on the Jukun race.

Danborno said: “The entirety of Southern Taraba is in serious turmoil. Jukun have been peace loving people. We accommodate people and we have been living peacefully with our neighbours. But in the last few days, Jukun people have been under serious attacks. Terrorist attacks have been launched against Jukun people.” Danborno said what started as a mere skirmish between the Tiv and Fulani herdsmen had snowballed into full blown war situation with the Jukun bearing the brunt. Flanked by Jukun leaders at the press briefing, Danborno said, “Right now hundreds of our people are being massa-

cred every day. Right now, some of our villages are under heavy attacks from people fronting as Fulani herdsmen. War has been declared on Jukun people. “We are not afraid to fight, but we want the world to know our plights so that we do not take laws into our hands. At the last count, nine of our villages have been burnt down completely. These villages include Nyankwala, Nwokyo, Tunari, Tundunwada, Naiwana, among others, without any provocation. “All the Jukun living in these areas have been slaughtered. What have the Jukun people done wrong? That is the question we are asking. “We have large num-

bers of our people as Muslims and Christians, and we have lived peacefully for decades. Is it that some politicians are sponsoring this? Is it that those Fulani driven from Plateau, Nasarawa and Borno want to take over our ancestral land? We will not fold our hands; if nothing is done, we will resist genocide of our race.” Danborno urged the Federal Government to address the problem of proliferation of arms in the country, saying the trend is fuelling crises in the country. It is estimated that over 200 Jukun people in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State have lost their lives in bloody clashes with the Fulani herdsmen in the state.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Controversy trails grazing lands in Benue HENRY IYORKASE, MAKURDI

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he Peace and Reconciliation Committee mediating in the warring parties in Benue State may soon meet a brickwall, if the threats by natives to reject allocation of grazing land to natives are anything to go by. The committee headed by retired Brigadier John Atom Kpera also had representatives of Fulani herdsmen under their group Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria. The responsibilities of the panel include negotiation between the Fulani herdsmen and the natives. It was learnt that some suggestions of the committee are raising dust between the two camps. The suggestions include provision of grazing reserves out of the already diminished land of the natives, who believe that their portion had become inadequate due to increasing farming activities. The natives think the issue of grazing reserves would not solve the impasse, but rather compound the

already volatile atmosphere in the state. A pressure group, Tyoshin Development Association, an umbrella organisation of the people of Gwer West and Makurdi has rejected the moves being initiated by the reconciliatory committee, especially on the issue of granting grazing lands to Fulani herdsmen. The National President of the association, Dr. Sylvester Ugbegili, while addressing journalists yesterday in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, stated unequivocally that under no circumstance should anybody contemplate to allocate their land to anyone “under the guise of mending fences.” Hs stated that his people were not even contented with the available land, not to talk of even leasing out portions of it to herdsmen. According to Ugbegili, the people’s main occupation is farming, where they derive their means of livelihood solely. He said that it would amount to giving out their ‘birthright’ if the Fulani were allowed to take over part of their ‘ancestral’ land.

‘Al-Makura’s peace efforts yielding results’ IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

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he peace efforts initiated by Governor UmaruTanko AlMakura of Nasarawa State over the recurrent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the state has L-R: Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda; Senator Babayo Gamawa and President, Small Scale Entrepreneurs, Alhaji Sunusi, during started yielding result as a condolence visit to Gamawa over the death of his father, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN the herdsmen have agreed to assist the state government in returning the displaced Tiv communities back to their ancestral The command’s spokes- homes. Another suspect, Abdul lowing a tip-off and had PRISCILLA DENNIS Yusuf was paraded for al- also confessed to commit- man also said that the This was made possible MINNA other suspected burglar, yesterday during a peace legedly forcing his way ting the crime. he Niger State Po- into the house of a woman He said: “The six boys Abdul Yusuf, 25, was ar- meeting the governor had lice Command has in the same area and stole are the ones that special- rested, while trying to with leaders of the Fulani arrested of six per- some of her property. ise in house breaking and escape to Tafa Local Gov- community in Nasarawa sons suspected of breakParading the burglars theft. They are the ones ernment Area by the po- State at the Government ing into the house of some in Minna, the state Police terrorising Bosso Local lice, after stealing from a House in Lafia, the state off-campus students of Public Relations Officer, Government Area of the female victim. capital. the Federal University of He said Yusuf ’s victim PPRO, Mr. Richard Ogu- state, and most of their Addressing journalTechnology, FUT, Bosso che, said the suspects spe- victims are FUT students was in the church when ists immediately after the campus and carted away cialised in breaking into who live off-campus. he broke into her house. meeting, the spokesman of money and other valu- students’ residences in “They broke into their The suspect has reported- the Fulani leaders, who is ables. ‘New York’, Tudun Fulani houses while they had ly confessed to the crime. also the state secretary of The suspects are Aliyu and Anguwan Biri areas gone for their lectures, Oguche added that po- Miyetti Allah Cattle BreedAbdullahi, Jamilu Ibra- of Bosso Local Govern- and took away money, lice investigations had ers Association, Alhaji him, Mohammed Musta- ment. handsets, computer lap- been completed on the Mohammed Hussaini, said pha, Ibrahim Mohammed, According to him, the tops, telephone handsets, cases and soon, the seven the herdsmen had resolved Sanusi Abdullahi and Mo- suspects were arrested by among other personal ef- suspects would be ar- to cooperate with the state hammed Abdullahi. raigned in court. men of the command fol- fects of the students.” government to relocate the

Niger police nab seven over burglary

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Tiv community back to their ancestral homes. Also speaking to journalists at the venue of the peace meeting, Governor Al-Makura said “the displaced persons will be taken to their homestead and settled temporarily in groups at designated settlements close to their farms, while food, shelter and security would be provided to cushion their living.” The governor said: “The security operatives that would be attached to the returnees will be detailed to be patrolling the areas on frequent basis in order to build confidence in their minds. My administration will not condone with issues connected with insurgency, militias or interfering with lives and property.” It was against this backdrop that the governor said he had planned to meet with other ethnic nationalities resident in the state to find a way of holistically resolving the crises situation that predated his assumption of duty.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SUPER TUESDAY

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

13

Politics

North-Central’ll not support Northern agenda at confab -Senator Adokwe

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Nigerians who detest the leadership style of the ruling PDP headed by President Goodluck Jonathan may have suddenly found no alternative in the All Progressive Congress, APC, for the fear that the opposition party is precariously skewed towards anti-secular status, writes GEORGE OJI.

2015: Northern presidency and fear of Islamisation

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nce the speculation was out recently that the opposition All Progressive Congress, APC, was inching towards a Buhari-Tinubu presidential ticket for the 2015 presidential elections, what followed was a barrage of criticisms and condemnation of the plot. In the political calculation of the authors of the idea of fielding Major-General Muhammdu Buhari (rtd) and Senator Bola Tinubu as the APC’s presidential and vice presidential candidates respectively, the logic behind the political pairing of the duo was that they would ensure massive votes for the party from their respective zones of North-West and South-West respectively during the election. By the party’s calculations, Buhari who remains very popular at the grassroots level in most parts of the NorthWest and North-East, alongside Tinubu, who is from the South-West, going by the statistics of the registered voters and the outcome of the 2011 general elections, are bound to benefit massively from the voters in the 2015 elections. The authors of the APC new strategy are also banking on the calculation that with Tinubu as the running mate to Buhari, the party will be able to secure the bulk of the votes cast for Jonathan in the South-West and Edo State in 2011. “With Buhari and Tinubu as presidential and vice presidential candidates respectively, our goal is to secure the core North and South-West, which are the most populous sections of the country and can guarantee us 50 per cent of the total votes in the country during the presidential election,” a chieftain of APC was recently quoted as arguing. Commenting on the public concerns evoked by the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the duo of Buhari and Tinubu, the APC chieftain said: “Initially, Buhari’s handlers and Tinubu’s men were hesitant due to the Muslim-Muslim pairing. But they have decided that it should not be an issue, irrespective of the accusation by the ruling PDP that APC is a Muslim party.” Continuing, the politician reasoned that, both Buhari and Tinubu worked very hard to ensure that the merger that led to the formation of APC took place, and it would be foolhardy for someone to come in from outside after the APC has been formed to think that he can get the presidential ticket of the party, just because he has deep pocket, in apparent reference to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Besides the purported plans to field a Muslim-Muslim presidential and vice presidential tickets respectively, one other public worry about the party is that the APC leadership in general is skewed and tilted too exponentially in favour of Muslims and almost in near exclusion of Christians. For instance, reports revealed that the interim National Chairman of the party, Bisi Akande is a Muslim, the Deputy National Chairman, Aminu Bello Masari is also a Muslim, the National Secretary, Tijani Musa Tumsah, the Deputy National Secretary Nasir el-Rufai and the National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed are all practicing Muslims. This is in addition of the fact that the National Treasurer of the APC, Sadiya Umar Faruq, the National Financial Secretary, Shaibu Musa, the National Youth Leader,

TOP STORY Buhari

Abubakar Lado, the National Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire, the Deputy National Auditor, Bala Jubrin and the National Women Leader, Sharia Ikeazor are all Muslims, including ex-officio members, Muniru Muse and Yemi Sanusi. Immediately the news of the Buhari-Tinubu joint presidential ticket arrangement was made public, it went viral, prompting very critical and fierce condemnation across the wide spectrum of the Nigerian society. The major concern of most political observers is that the Muslim-Muslim ticket being allegedly proposed by the APC does not take into consideration the religious diversity of Nigerian as well as the constitutional provision, which recognises Nigeria as a secular state. The widespread opposition to the APC proposition was despite the fact that the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mohammed, promptly and publicly denied the plan to present a Buhari/Tinubu ticket. For instance, a social media commentator on Facebook with the handle Abayomi Oyinloye wrote: “How can we pretend religion does not count when Boko Haram from the North is waging war to Islamise the nation? Islamic conversion of President Jonathan is even one of their demands. We will campaign against APC if they field a Muslim/Muslim joint ticket for the presidential election.” Another commentator who identified himself as Biodun Ishola Ladepo said if the APC looks far and wide enough, it would find Christians and Muslims who possess “integrity, capacity and competence,” stressing that especially in an age of Boko Haram, “Nigerians cannot toy with a religiously or ethnically monolithic presidency.” Similarly, one Victor Olusegun Oluwole wrote: “Isn’t it time for a self professed opposition political party like the APC to take a positive and well calculated risk with a sellable and lovable candidate, who the youths of our nation can identify with and who exudes change?” A member of the APC and former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode also at the same time posted an article on his Facebook wall, strongly opposing the suggestion of a Muslim/Muslim ticket candidacy in the

Tinubu

WITH BUHARI AND TINUBU AS PRESIDENTIAL AND VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

RESPECTIVELY, OUR GOAL IS TO

NORTH AND SOUTH-WEST, WHICH... CAN GUARANTEE US 50 PER CENT

SECURE THE CORE

OF THE TOTAL VOTES IN THE COUNTRY

2015 presidential election. The opinion was entitled “The Strange Dream of a Muslim/Muslim Ticket (Part 1).” In the said piece, Fani-Kayode stated that Muslim-Muslim candidacy will be the biggest mistake ever made by APC. Fani-Kayode wrote in the posting that “I have said it privately in countless political meetings and I will say it publicly today. Please mark it; the biggest mistake that my party, the APC, can make is to field a Muslim/Muslim ticket in the 2015 presidential election. If we do that, we will not only offend the Christian community but we will also lose the election woefully. “This is not 1993 and whether we like it or not we must accept the fact that religion plays a major role in our politics today. This is not the ideal but it is the reality that we have to accept and live with.” The former minister added that the APC must have both a Christian and a Muslim on the ticket if the party wants to be taken seriously in the presidential election. He CONTINUED ON PAGE 45


14

Politics

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North-Central’ll not support Northern Recently, the Nasarawa State deputy governor, Dameshi Barau Luka, defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP from the All Progressives Congress, APC. How would you assess his action to that effect? First and foremost, the deputy governor was elected with the governor on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change, CPC, and we all know that CPC and other political parties merged to form the current APC. So in my view, the deputy governor didn’t like the merger and he was at liberty to opt the merger as the platform which he believes no longer existed and freely moved to PDP. So we welcome him aboard.

Senator Suleiman Asonya Adokwe has buffeted the protagonists of Northern agenda at the ongoing National Conference in Abuja. Adokwe, representing Nasarawa South senatorial district in the Senate, in this interview with IGBAWASE UKUMBA, speaks on why the North Central geo-political zone may not support the core North for a Northern agenda at the ongoing National Conference and the current crises in Nasarawa State among other issues. Excerpts:

What would also be your general assessment of the just concluded local government poll in the state? I am very delighted at the outcome of the election. At the polling unit levels, we know that the PDP won the election virtually 70 per cent and for some inexplicable reasons, the various collation centres at the ward and local government levels were distorted. But we have all our results at the polling units and it gives us a very good assessment of the acceptability of the party at the grass root level. So, regardless of the forceful seizure of the election by APC through the instrumentality of the state electoral commission, we are very much satisfied with our performances. We will go to court. Naturally, we think some injustices have been occasioned and we hope that the tribunal would diligently look into our petitions and look at the merits of them and be able to award us some of the stolen mandates. But on the whole, our morale is very high, the momentum is on our side, and we know that the PDP is a party to be beaten in Nasarawa State. So, that opportunity of the local government election was an opportunity we used in order to test the waters. Do you see the possibility of PDP reclaiming Nasarawa State by the 2015 election? Absolutely, at the moment, what the PDP needs to do in Nasarawa State is to consolidate on the apparent momentum that is on our side and do those things that are needful in order that we can sustain the commitment of the party faithful. So, reclaiming the state for PDP is almost as a fate accomplished. We expect the party will characteristically ensure internal democracy so that we are able to come out with credible and acceptable candidates for the general election in 2015. I am fully aware that the APC has no other game plan than to wait for mistake that will occur in the PDP so that they pick up some pieces as scavengers. We are not going to allow that happen. We are going to come up stronger and by the time we are through with the producing of our candidates for the various positions available in the general election, we are going to come up stronger and there will be no left over for the scavengers to pick because that is the only game plan left for them. As a senator from North Central geo-political zone of Nigeria, are you in support for those clamouring for the zone’s support for the core North in presenting a Northern agenda at the ongoing National Conference? In my humble opinion, the North is not as monolithic as it used to be in the 1950s and 1960s and that is largely because leaders who succeeded our founding fathers, who saw the North as one constituency and developed its nooks and crannies dispassionately with hardly any sense of tribalism or religious bigotry, have failed to build on what they inherited. Leaders of today are creating their own corners for themselves. So, the concept of monolithic North was lost; favouritism has become the order of the day. Certain persons or parts of the North were seen as not belonging; because of that, so many things have happened. People have found other ways of self expression; people have created their own freedom now with the split of so many states, as we now have 19 states in the Northern region and every state is trying to be totally independent of what used to be the North. So it will be difficult to come out with one

Adokwe

agenda of the North. This period, Northern Nigeria is at its lowest level of political unity and with total absence of leaders you can turn to. Northern Nigeria is bedevilled by all forms of crises as communal crisis, insurgency; and the leadership that we used to know in the North that was inbuilt with a lot of wisdom is totally absent. They can hardly stop the crises and they don’t even seem to have an idea of what to do. Instead, everybody wants to blame the President, when a lot of these crises are self-inflicted. There were local uprisings that were allowed to fester so that there are even some external influences on them; everyone seems to be completely helpless. This is not the Northern Nigeria we used to know and for anybody to think there is going to be a single agenda for the North now, will be a very hard nut to crack. We will be happy if the North could come up with one voice, but there is a lot of mistrust; people have been left far behind without any form of inclusiveness in the governance of the country and even in the affairs of the Northern region. Even in those institutions that are common heritage of Northerners. There are some of us

THE NORTH IS NOT AS MONOLITHIC AS IT USED TO BE IN THE

1950S AND

1960S AND THAT IS LARGELY BECAUSE LEADERS WHO SUCCEEDED OUR FOUNDING FATHERS... HAVE FAILED

TO BUILD ON WHAT THEY INHERITED

who went to Zaria as first choice and we were all considered, but today, Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria seems to be an exclusive reserve of certain people, not for all Northern Nigeria citizens. We watched Bank of the North collapsed and there is little that can be said about the Northern Nigeria Development Company, NNDC, and so many such other institutions that used to be the pride of Northern Nigeria, which are left to be moribund and seems to become a pre-requisite reserve of certain interests. All these issues have prevented us to come up with one agenda as a Northern Nigeria. Talking about crises, your senatorial district is not left out in that saga. What would you suggest as a solution to the crises which have so far consumed many lives and property? I am supposed to be in the plenary session at the Senate today, being Thursday, but because of the crisis going on, I have to be home. The fact is that some of these crises are quite avoidable as I made my contribution on the floor of the Senate recently when a motion on these insurgent activities taking place in the central region of the country came up. My view remains largely that governance at the various levels are not feasible as they used to be. I believe that some of the skirmishes, if attended to on daily basis, we would not have been where we are today. One of the major reasons that allows some of these crises to festers and become big is the total absence of authorities. A situation where a state governor is absent from his state for weeks or months is unacceptable; or the collapse of local government system. In my state, for instance, since 2010, it is only in 2014 that attempt was made at conducting local government election. If the local government authorities were there, they will nip this problem in the bud before they fester into bigger problems. The Northern governors were recently in New York while problem was festering in Northern Nigeria. You cannot get those solutions in the United States. Our problems are here, the solutions are here. And it will be very typical that they will abandon Nigeria


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

15

A PUBLICATION OF NATIONAL MIRROR NEWSPA-

Boko Haram, political movement against Jonathan–Dokubo-Asari •‘Don’t pacify them’ D ENNIS N AKU PORT HARCOURT

N

otorious islamic sect, Boko Haram has been described as a political movement set up to instill fear in christian in the northern part of the country against voting for President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 general election. Leader of the Niger Delta Peoples’ Volunteer Force, Alhaji Mujahi Dokubo-Asari stated this at the 4th edition of the South-South Youth Leaders and Elders interactive forum in Port Harcourt , Rivers State capital. Dokubo-Asari said that the major task of Boko Haram was to frustrate the second term bid of President Jonathan come 2015 and foist leadership on the country, adding the group was even prepared to kill the president if it has the chance to do so. He further said that President Jonathan would have no choice other than to run for a second term, adding that Boko Haram has nothing to do with Islam, but is after political power. “All they want is political power. Boko Haram has nothing to do with Islam. Boko Haram is a political movement to foist leadership on Nigeria. Nigeria is of much treasure to them (Boko Haram). They want to weaken the northern Christians not to vote for Jonathan in 2015. They are chasing all the Christians in the north from their communities”, he said. Continuing, he advised President Jonathan to be vigilant, adding that some of those around him were moles working for his political opponents. Dokubo-Asari said further, “Many people around the president do not mean well for him. Jonathan must not do anything to pacify Boko Haram because they are out to stop him and foist leadership on the country.” Speaking Chairman of the interactive session and former

President of the Ijaw National Congress, INC, Professor Kimse Okoko said the structure of the nation’s federalism was defective and oppressive, saying, “it bled the Niger Delta of its resources and leaving the region with noting to celebrate.” Okoko, who is a delegate to the on-going national conference said there were those bent on sabotaging the good works of President Jonathan, adding that “They have chosen to remain blind to his success.” On her part, prominent Niger Niger activist and President of Agape Birthrights Organisation, Ms.Ann Kio-Brigs who gave the keynote address said the support of the South-South region for a second term for President Jonathan was total. In his remark, the Obong of Bakasi, HRM Etim Okon-Edet, assured that traditional rulers in the region had already started building bridges to ensure a second term for President Jonathan. “We have started building bridges. We now have the South-South/South-East forum and we are extending to other regions in the country to ensure a firm support base for President Jonathan if he runs for second term.” Earlier, Chairman of the forum, Mr Amachree Odiedim said the essence of the interaction was to ensure a healthy relationship between the elders and youths in the region.

Asari Dokubo

Operators of an illegal marine academy being paraded by Nigerian Navy, in Calabar, Cross RIvers State yesterday.

Dickson tasks Bayelsans on business initiatives

G

overnor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has identified lack of business initiatives, indolence and irresponsible behaviour as contributing factors to unemployment and poverty in the state. The governor, who spoke with newsmen in Yenagoa, decried a situation where people fail to take responsibility for their lives, but rather blame the government for any misfortune that befalls them. He said it was in realisation of “this emerging dangerous trend (begging), which is alien to the Ijaw culture”, that his administration decided to take some reformation measures, which he noted, have started yielding positive results. The governor noted that though some of the reforms are misconstrued and are being implemented at great political cost, he would not be deterred as they are all intended to build a better Bayelsa.

He spoke on efforts at diversifying the local economy from the oil and gas sector, stressing that his administration released about N10 billion as a take-off grant to the Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) which has since begun operation. According to him, through effective collaboration, the corporation currently has a total asset base of about N200bn. While lamenting what he described as lack of enterprising spirit and high dependency rate on government, Dickson said the state Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Trust Fund, which he initiated with an initial donation of N250m, has grown to about N15bn through private participation. He said: “We have already attracted responsible senior corporate citizens to donate about N15bn into the SME Development Fund. “This is not free cash for anybody, and it will

not even be in the hands of government. First Bank Plc has already pledged N10b and other banks will follow and they will make about N20bn available. “But the truth is that, most of our people do not know how to do business in our state, and in the Ijaw nation. You see, people do well, maybe when they are in government or so, but once patronage from government ends, they also go down because they don’t know how to create and sustain wealth.” Worried by this development, it would be recalled that the Governor charged the new Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr. Kemela Okara, to initiate policies that could foster economic empowerment of the people. The commissioner was also asked to work hard to promote the growth of small and medium industries, as well as attract investors to the state. He was quoted as

saying, “I thank you for accepting to join me to serve our people. But I must tell you that you have a great task ahead of you because changing an already established mindset of the people is not easy. “A situation where a young man or woman wakes up in the morning and just loiter around without any fixed idea of what to do for that day, the next day or even the year or the year following is worrisome. So, we have got generations of not only unemployed people, but also people who are essentially unemployable. “It is, therefore, your responsibility to give policy direction to ensure that we deliver on creating wealth and more employment opportunities for our people. “You are to come up with policies to promote the growth of small and medium scale industries and oversee the development of industrial clusters and parks in the state.”


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

2015: We’ll not allow politics to tear Rivers apart –Activist DENNIS NAKU

PORT HARCOURT

W

orried by agitation from various ethnic groups in Rivers State over who will succeed Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in 2015, prominent Niger Delta activists, Ann Kio-Briggs has charged political actors not to allow politics to tear the state apart. Kio-Briggs who gave the charge in a chat with newsmen in Port Harcourt, said it will be unfair if either Ogoni or ijaws in Rivers

State are not allowed to occupy the Government House in 2015. She said that all true and well- meaning people of the state will not allow politicians throw the state into crisis, adding that justice, equity and fairness must be upheld because all the ethnic groups in the state jointly own the state. She said that the Minister for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike cannot aspire to succeed Governor Amaechi who is about to conclude his eight years tenure as Governor be-

cause he is from the same Ikwere ethnic group with the governor. Kio-Briggs added, “although I have never heard Chief Nyesom Wike open his mouth to say that he wants to be governor of Rivers State. “I have not read it, hear or see.so if he has not said he wants to contest, people who are using wike’s name to tear rivers state apart particularly my own ethnic group, the kalabari people. They should be careful because when they destroy their land they will not hold

anybody responsible,” she said. Continuing, she said,”If we are looking at fairness and equity in 2015 in Rivers State, the people that have the moral right, to ask for consideration are the ijaws and Ogoni people. “The ogoni people have never govern the state before, and the ijaws too. But if you look at Okilo, he is no longer a Rivers man because Bayelsa was created out of Rivers, Ada George government was shortlived, but even if you make argument that Okilo and

Ada George have governed, I will not disagree with you. “The Ogoni people have a right because they are also from Rivers state untill some part will break away, I personally would want to have another state from Rivers state, the state is too big,” Briggs said. Kio-Briggs recalled that the state has witnessed crisis in the past, urging political actors to be careful in order not to plunge state into another round of crisis. “We all saw what happened in 2003 during the

gun battle, it devastated the state, we all saw how militancy came to take hold in the state, it were guns that were given to politicians that they used to execute the fight against injustice in the Niger Delta. “Let equity and fairness reign in the state. It will be foolish of us to tear this state apart because of four years and eight years. We should be sensisable. What is happening in Rivers State is political suicide and foolishness. “It is time for us to live together as brothers and sister,” she noted.

Easter: Pray for Nigeria do not of despair, says Oshiomhole SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN EDO

B

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State (R), congratulating the new Commissioner of Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr. Kemela Okara during the swearing-in ceremony of new cabinet members, at the exco chambers, Government House, Yenagoa,

Clergyman to Jonathan: Use maximum force to quell insurgency THEOPHILUS ONOJEGHEN WARRI

A

prominent evangelist and elder statesman, Dr. Samson Mamamu has charged President Goodluck Jonathan to employ the use of force if the federal government was serious about ending insurgency and other security breaches in the country. Evangelist Mamamu, who is also the General Overseer God’s Ministry International gave the advice while addressing newsmen at New OgbeIjoh, Delta Stste, saying Nigeria may soon slide into another civil war if the current state of insecurity was not tackled. The evangelist who is also an Ijaw Chief advised the federal government to make the end of insurgency in the coun-

try its priority, lamenting that Book Haram had become a “national thorn on our national flesh”. According to him, the ongoing National Conference would be an effort in futility if the National Assembly was not involved like previous exercises. “The picture the Spirit (of God) is pointing to is that we have a number of republics or zones in the country with a very weak centre thus allowing for resource control which could be a temporary solution to our problem”. The world, he said, hated Jesus Christ because he insisted He was the son of God over which he was murdered on the cross. Clerics of His days, he noted, could not tolerate the temerity of the claims of “the son of an ordi-

nary carpenter” when they had worshipped God and understood the scriptures from cover to cover from the days of Abraham. Even the followers of Christ, he pointed out, had doubted His resurrection to heaven as exemplified by Thomas so it was

not strange that the world does not accord Easter any more relevance. Mamamu said: “The resurrection of Jesus Christ from “Pilate’s grave are evidences or conviction of His ascension unto heaven as no one has ever died and resurrected aside Him.”

enin City. Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole of Edo State has urged Nigerians not to despair or lose faith in the Nigerian nation despite its mounting challenges but to pray for the country to overcome its trials and achieve greatness. In an Easter message to Christians and non-Christians, Oshiomhole urged Nigerians to seek the face of God and pray for the return of peace to every part of Nigeria. Oshiomhole said, “Easter signifies a renewal, reinvigoration and a rebirth. Nigerians must see beyond the trials of the moment and continue to pray and seek the face of God for an end to the challenges of the moment.” “As Christians, we need to find deeper meaning and appeal in the symbolism of the death and resurrection of Christ. The lesson of Easter is for Christians to rededicate themselves

to the teachings of Christ which are peace, faith, hope and love.” “In order to partake of the eternal life which is the essence of His death and resurrection, Christians must imbibe the values of charity, compassion and as well as believe in the sanctity of His sacrifice as the basis of a new beginning; a new beginning for self, the family and the nation.” The governor, who reiterated peace as a catalyst for development, added, “I urge everyone to work towards the attainment of peace and security in the country without which we cannot talk of proper governance, infrastructure development, attracting foreign investors and achieving wealth creation.” Oshiomhole, who said he will not betray the trust of the people that is reposed in him, appealed to people of all faith in Edo State to continue to maintain their harmonious co-existence even as he thanked them for their unalloyed support to his government.

Delta govt unearths homosexual centre in Warri THEOPHILUS ONOJEGHEN WARRI

T

he Delta State Government has said it has discovered a homosexual centre used by young men between the ages of 16, 17 and 18 old for gay activities in Warri, the commercial nerve of the state.

This was disclosed by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday while delivering his Easter Message to Delt-

ans at the First Baptist Church, Warri. The governor said: “These youths who engage in criminal activities are our children. Right here in Delta State, at Enerhen Junction we just discovered that we have children between 15, 16, 17 and 18 years old who rent rooms around Enerhen Junction and at night men come out to look for them. These are boys and men come

to sleep with them in their rooms. These boys called themselves ‘Yansh’. “So they belong to a cult called Yansh. This is right in our society here. It through the Edu Marshals Programme that we now discovered homosexual homes right here. We used to know about female harlots but we now have male harlots. Unfortunately they are young boys. They are our chil-

dren. Yes, there much the government can do, but there is much we can do as parents.” Uduaghan said there was need for parents to wake to the challenges of today’s society as crime committed daily in the society are committed by children belonging to parents who are members of the immediate environment, noting that these were trying times for the country.


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Views

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

17

Between Abeokuta and Abuja SOTOMBO OPEYEMI

O

n a day the All Progressives Congress (APC) held a hugely successful congress in all the 236 Wards in Ogun State, I returned to Abeokuta at about 8pm to the warm embrace of the illumination provided by the new highways. From Breweries Bus-stop, cruising towards the city-centre, I was fascinated by the illuminated skies around Akin Olugbade, provided by the lights adorning the beautiful roads constructed by the Senator Ibikunle Amosun administration. Momentarily, I thought I was somewhere in Europe. Who could have imagined this is possible in Abeokuta? Sure, leave politics and hatred out of it, every rational person will support Amosun for a second term. I recall that Pastor Tunde Bakare came to Abeokuta not long ago and echoed the same words: No one would have thought these things are doable. But Senator Ibikunle Amosun has surprised everyone. A couple of our friends in the media who are from Abeokuta have equally expressed pleasant amazement. One said he found it difficult to locate his house by virtue of the transformation of the state capital. If Amosun could accomplish all these in less than three years, one can imagine what the state will look like by the time he completes eight years. Hear the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, as reported

in some national newspapers last February: “What I see is fantastic, rapid development in Abeokuta. The roads, the bridges, the flyovers are very, very impressive.” Imagine if the Ambassador had had the opportunity of visiting Ota, Aiyetoro, Ilishan/Ago-Iwoye, Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu and out-of-the-way areas like Ilara/Ijoun, etc. where the “very very impressive roads, the bridges, the flyovers” he saw in Abeokuta are being replicated! Interestingly, I passed through Ota on that fateful day of the APC Ward Congress and gasped for breath! Look at the beautiful Ota township roads, the pedestrian walkways - under construction. That axis used to be hell in terms of appalling state of the roads and attendant human sufferings. So, it is actually possibly to jump-start development... But my mood has now changed. To think that Amosun accomplished all these by managing money, cutting this, cutting that, reducing that cost, cancelling that other one altogether, has the tendency to make one feel downcast. Here are the reasons. The Federal Government sits on 52 percent of the federally mobilized revenues while the 36 states share 26 percent. It has been like that before President Jonathan came to power, so it has nothing to do with him per se. Among those 36 states is Ogun. When you divide the 26 per cent by 36, you have 0.7 per cent, but that is assuming the allocation is shared equally. But it is not, so Ogun State ends up with about 0.3 per cent

THE MASSES DON’T

LIKE TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN FEDERAL AND STATE ROADS.

ONCE ANY ROAD IS IN OGUN TERRITORY, THEN AMOSUN MUST BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS MAINTENANCE AND RECONSTRUCTION!

out of the 26 per cent every month. Despite the gargantuan 52 percent being collected by the Federal Government, virtually all the federal roads in Ogun State are in tatters: Atan-Agbara road (Agbara is an industrial hub in Nigeria), Owode-Ilaro road, Ikorodu-Sagamu highway, etc. I’m sure the Minister of Works has never heard the names of some of these roads let alone knows their locations. You see the futility of having federal roads in Nigeria. You see the grave injustice in the Federal Government getting as much as 52 percent while the states are starving. Wait a minute! The Nigeria Police Force is an agency of the Federal Government. But it is from the paltry sums being collected by the states that the police are equipped. So, from the meagre 0.3 percent Ogun receives from the Federation Account, the police are

also being funded! Until the federal authorities started their problem of don’t touch this federal road, don’t touch that one, Ogun had been taking from the 0.3 per cent to repair the completely failed portions of the socalled federal roads. Imagine the amount the state government spent to repair parts of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and several other federal roads! This is because the masses don’t like to differentiate between federal and state roads. Once any road is in Ogun territory, then Amosun must be responsible for its maintenance and reconstruction! Again, despite the pretensions in the Concurrent List, power is still in the Exclusive List of the 1999 Constitution. By the time the modernization going on in Abeokuta, nay Ogun is completed, there is no guarantee that the entire state capital can be illuminated like London, Paris or Berlin because Abeokuta currently gets 20 megawatts whereas it needs at least 80 megawatts, according to Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company! This much I experienced last Saturday, after I exited the illumination of Akin Olugbade, Ibara-Totoro and The First Bridge, and moved to Abiola Way, facing Ijaiye/Sapon from Iyana-Mortuary - all modern highways constructed by the current government. Is it then proper for electricity to still be in the Exclusive List when each state, local council, community, household, etc. ought to have the freedom to generate its own electricity and use it for its own purpose in the 21st century? Soyombo, a public affairs analyst, writes from Abeokuta.

Abia power rotation and the southern zone EDDIE ONUZURUIKE

T

he push for the creation of Abia State came from a provocative need: It was the discovery that the founding fathers made that their initial fears were still haunting them in their present state in Imo state then. Their new push was primarily to forestall those ugly experiences of the past and make it real. Barring all sentiments, they sat down and crafted a guideline which captured what they had in mind and a foolproof document to guarantee the freedom, progress, free opportunities to all as to lead and be followed. As it was stated in page 131 of the book, “this agreement of good faith or declaration of principles shall be known as The charter of Equity and shall be binding on all persons of Abia State who may hold public offices, especially elective and appointive offices…” They were equally specific on the rotation principle and captured on Page 135: “The principle of rotation shall apply in addition to the principle of strict equality in the distribution of key political posts. Consequently, the following combination of public offices shall not be held at one and the same time by persons of the same senatorial zones/ district. Governor and deputy/ Governor and speaker of the House of assembly/ Governor and Secretary to the Government/ Chairman civil service Commission and Head of Service, etc.”

These and other established factors were encapsulated in the book called the ‘Abia Charter of Equity’. It is a big lesson here that conscious efforts were made to put these established facts down some years after the deed, because if Professor Nwagbara of Amachara Umuahia South did not make conscious efforts to capture history, the people of the South may not have had any supportive document to crave for this topmost position. In answer to their yearnings, Abia State was created but before long, Ebonyi State, which excised Afikpo, Ohaozara and Edda areas, now Ebonyi South, toppled the hitherto senatorial balance, causing a section which belonged to the Old Bende group to now make up the Central Senatorial Zone with three local government areas from the Ukwa na Ngwa group. To this end, Abia is constituted with three senatorial zones; and presently two out of these three have tasted the governorship of the state. As a matter of fact, the Ukwa na Ngwa have almost fallen into a negative psychological mould as people who cannot govern themselves let alone others. Some Ukwa na Ngwa sobriquet themselves as the ‘Land of Deputies’ judging from Imo State where their highest slot was the deputy governor position - from Chief Uzoigwe to Amalaha. Subsequent cases supportive of this scenario in Abia State were Nwafor as deputy to Ogbonnaya Onu, and Abaribe, Nwakanma spared with Orji Uzo Kalu. Akomas, Nwakanma and Emeka Ananaba were in similar

IT IS A FORM OF DISCRIMINATION FOR TWO THIRD OF THE SENATORIAL ZONES TO HAVE GOVERNED AND DENIED THE SOUTH THIS SAME POSITION tango with Chief T.A. Orji, the legacy and equity personality. From the foregoing, one wouldn’t blame the people if they accepted the sobriquet as the ‘Land of Deputies’. It sounds like a jinx and this jinx we have to break as injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. This cannot be more urgent than now! The Ukwa/Ngwa, having realized the situation, are up in arms complaining, pleading and urging anybody who will listen to come to their rescue. In 2011 when Sir Orji was campaigning for the second tenure, he was grandiosely received in Aba Township Stadium where their spokesman, Elder Emma Adelu, warned all Ngwa aspirants to desist from the race. Even though the likes of Akomas, Ikonne and Regan Ufomba tried to their detriment, the negligible votes they got were clear indications that the host of Ukwa/Ngwa people were not behind the renegades. Recently, they have made many representations to the Abia helmsman, Chief Orji, including the most recent by the

Ukwa/Ngwa professionals and Ngwa patriots. In each of these visits, it was glaringly stated. The position of the governor of the state has never been clearer than before and his feelings known without equivocation. He stated that it is the best thing to do and the wisest thing for there to be power rotation and shift. As he argued, power shift towards the Senatorial Zone has been the adopted model of other states like Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Cross River and Akwa Ibom, so why not Abia? It is a form of discrimination for two third of the senatorial zones to have governed and denied the south this same position. It could be recalled that in faraway United States of America, in the bastion of the Abia South Twentieth Annual Convention, in Sept 2011, Governor Orji went into his regular refrain of the sanctity of Abia South propriety for governance. In his own words, “the implication of Abia Charter of Equity is that come 2015 after the expiration of my tenure in office, the mantle of leadership and governorship will go to an individual of Ukwa/Ngwa extraction”. Without much fury, it is the height of mental slavery to deny the south this position. Onuzuruike wrote from Umuahia, Abia State. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


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Editorial

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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

KAFILAT OGBARA

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AYO OLESIN

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ISE-OLUWA IGE

„

ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

FIDELIS LEMCHI OWOAMANAM

„

REGIONAL DIRECTOR, S/SOUTH

KING ODODORU

„

HEAD, GRAPHICS

Time to join forces against terrorists B O , n Monday, April 14, 2014 a commercial bus laden with explosives exploded at the Nyanya Motorpark, a suburb of Abuja, killing more than 130 people and injuring hundreds. The blast, which took place during the early morning rush hour, caused massive devastation that left in its wake charred human remains and long lines of burnt vehicles. Unsurprisingly, Boko Haram Islamic sect has claimed responsibility for that gruesome act. The terrorist group has been known to indiscriminately sow death and destruction in the pursuit of its religious and political utopia. Though, its orchestrated deadly attacks have mostly been confined to the North East geopolitical zone, it has made forays into other parts of the North. So, its recent bombing in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is not unexpected, yet it is a source of worry, however, as it gives an impression that terrorists are increasingly becoming more brazen, while reaching further afield from their sanctuary. Of course, this is not the first time that terrorists are wreaking havoc in Abuja. In June 2011, the headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force was bombed leaving scores dead and injured. In August 2011, the

United Nations Office was also attacked by the insurgents. On April 28, 2012, they attacked ThisDay Newspaper office, while on October 1, 2010, the same group blew up a car laden with explosives near Eagle Square. In December of 2011, Boko Haram members led by one Kabiru Sokoto detonated a bomb at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State, near Abuja killing 44 people and injuring 75 others. For four years on, the country has continued to endure unrelenting human and material destructions brought about by the unwholesome activities of Boko Haram. The list of people and properties destroyed on daily basis is elongating and the acts become a recurring phenomenon. It is even more pathetic that the authorities are unable to device potent strategies to neutralise and eventually defeat the sect, even as the insurrection has become subsumed in an orgy of ethno-religious politics. As this goes on, the insurgents are emboldened to carry out their murderous escapades with reckless abandon. There is no denying the facts that some underlying political and economic issues are currently sustaining the insurgency, aided by complex network of security agencies, politicians, informants, and community

April 22, 2011 Pope Benedict XVI on Good Friday, one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar, become the first pontiff to take part in a televised Question and Answer session broadcast by the Italian state-run channel RAI Uno, offering his thoughts on euthanasia and the tsunami in Japan. The pre-recorded programme called “In His Image” was broadcast at around the time Christ is traditionally believed to have died.

UT NO MATTER AND

WHATEVER MEASURE

IS PUT IN PLACE THE COUNTRY WILL NOT

GET THE BEST RESULT, AND FAST ENOUGH,

UNLESS THE SOCIETY AS A WHOLE REJECTS TERRORISM WITHOUT ANY JUSTIFICATION leaders, among others. The Boko Haram insurgency has become a very lucrative venture for some vested interests and until these issues are unearthed and dealt with, we may only be confronting the symptoms without treating the real disease. It is very frightening to imagine that the continuous massacre of defenceless citizens may be of potential or actual benefit to anyone. But that is the reality in the country today. How then can the country confront the monster of terrorism? We believe this can be done through intelligence gathering, which depends largely on the cooperation of the people to provide credible information to security agencies given that those behind the bombings are living among the people. The citizens,

ON THIS DAY April 22, 1995 George Foreman at 46 successfully defended his heavyweight championship title he won on November 11, 1994 by a majority decision against Axel Schulz, a German. HBO’s unofficial scorer Harold Lederman had Schulz winning a lopsided decision by the score of 117–111 (9 rounds to 3). However, the official judge’s disagreed, one judge ruled the fight a draw with a score of 114–114, while the other two had the fight 115–113 in favor of Foreman.

especially those in areas where the insurgents operate, must assist in intelligence gathering because these terrorists are not spirits; they live in homes and within the communities. One of the most dreaded fallouts of these bombings and killing is the fear and feeling of hatred it has so far fueled and which is endangering the polity. Already, millions of non-indigenes in the North, who have been the worst hit, are desperate to return to their home states before they are killed. Definitely, the federal authorities on their part must find out why the Boko Haram terrorism has lingered for so long. No one will deny the fact that the parlous economic condition in the country has alienated very many youths who are unable to find jobs and other means of sustenance. It is from this despondent group of Nigerians that the insurgents find willing recruits. But no matter and whatever measure is put in place, the country will not get the best result (and fast enough), unless the society as a whole rejects terrorism without any justification. Those who try to justify acts of terrorism and support it can only discover later that it is not a matter to be renegotiated and win, as the monster will sooner than later consume us all.

April 22, 1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar, through the Articles of Union of 1964 signed by the leaders of both countries, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere for the former and Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume for the latter, become one country to be known as the United Republic of Tanzania. The two countries initially agreed on 11 matters of interest, which later increased to over 22. The issues later became the source of tension and disputebetweenTanzaniamainlandandZanzibar.


Business Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Nigeria’s GSM Internet subscriptions hit 63 million 21

Private jets: Redining Nigeria’s aviation industry 31

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

19

Govt should subsidise microinsurance for low-income earners 33

FLIGHT

SCHEDULE Arik Air Lag-Abj:07.15, 09.15, 10.20, 13.05, 15.20, 16.20, 16.50,18.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun). Abj-Lag: 07:15, 09.40, 10.20, 12.15, 15.15, 16.15, 17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun); 12.15, 15.15, 16.15 (Sun) Lag-PH: 07:15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.10, 17.15 (Mon-Fri); 07.30, 11.40, 15.50 (Sat) 11.50, 3.50, 17.05 Sun) Abj-PH: 07.15, 11.20, 15.30 (Mon-Fri) 07.15, 16.00 (Sat) 13.10, 16.00 Sun) PH-Abj: 08.45, 12.50, 17.00 (MonFri) 08.45, 17.30 (Sat) 14.40, 17.30 (Sun) Abv-Beni:08.00, 12.10 (MonFri/Sat)08.56, 12.10 (Sun) BeninAbj:09.55,13.30

Aero Contractors Lag-Abj: 06.50, 13.30, 16.30, 19.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun), 12.30 (Sun) 16.45 (Sat) Abj-Los: 07.30, 13.00, 19.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat, 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 (Sun, 18.30 Sat) Lag-Benin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (Mon-Fri/Sat/ Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat) 14.00 (Sun)Lag-Owe: 7.45am, 2pm daily

Med-View Airline CBN Headquarters

Banks target loan portfolio growth ...as non interest income declines Commercial banks have embarked on an aggressive drive to grow loan portfolio, as several regulatory changes take a hit from profits. JOHNSON OKANLAWON reports.

D

omestic banks have increased their lending standards on many types of business and consumer loans as net loans for the private sector in February rose to N16.7trn, representing 35 per cent of estimated 2013 Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Enterprise Bank Limited, which started with an operating loan book of less than N5bn in 2011, has grown it to around N76bn in 2013. Last year, its tar-

get was N100bn and it is targeting loan book of N130bn this year to support its balance sheet. Also, the loan book of Access Bank rose 33 per cent, from N609bn in 2012 to N810bn in 2013 financial year and the bank plans to surpass its loan book in the current financial year. The bank’s non-performing loans ratio dropped to 2.7 per cent, from 5.0 per cent in 2012. Fidelity Bank said it plans to increase lending to small and

medium scale enterprises as well as to the retail segment to 50 per cent by 2017, from the 28 per cent it attained in 2013. The bank’s net loans and leases rose 23.3 per cent to N426.1bn in 2013, from N345.5bn in 2012. Guaranty Trust Bank plans to increase loans by 15 to 20 per cent this year after growth of 29 per cent last year. The loan book stood at N1.007trn, from N783.9bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2012. Investigation showed that changes in the operating environment, some of which include raising of the cash reserve requirements on public sector deposits to 75 per cent from 12 per cent, removal of bank charges on withdrawal

from Automated Teller Machine and the directive to divest from subsidiaries affected the operations of many banks. Access Bank’s profit before tax for the financial year ended December 31, 2013, stood at N44.9bn, a decline of 3.4 per cent when compared to N46. bn recorded in the same period of 2012. Profit before tax of Fidelity Bank shrank 57.8 percent to N9bn in 2013, from N21.4bn in 2012. Among the banks that have released their financial result this year, only Guaranty Trust Bank recorded 3.8 per cent increase in profit before tax to N107.1bn, from N103bn recorded in the CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

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


20

Business

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Banks target loan portfolio growth CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 same period of 2012, while profit after tax stood at N90bn in 2013, from N86.7bn recorded in the same period of 2012. On why the bank intends to grow their loan book, the Chief Executive Officer Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr. Segun Agbaje the bank seeks opportunities in telecom, oil and gas and manufacturing. As the CBN’s reforms have affected the bank’s charges, particularly on ATMs. He attributed the drop in the margin to a reflection of robust revenue generation and balance sheet efficiency in era of declining yields and regulatory headwinds. He said that the bank was focussing more on small and medium enterprises which now account for 10 per cent of its loan portfolio and that such entities stood to benefit from institutional support such as GTB’s online market hub that would soon be launched. The Group Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe noted that the tightening policy stance of the CBN is taking toll on the bottom-line performance of the bank. He said that removal of a number of fee income lines such as ATMs and Cost of Transfer charges as well as the increase in Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) levy from 0.3 per cent to 0.5 per cent amongst others have affected the income of the bank. He explained that the bank’s balance sheet structure during the period further constrained growth and limited the yield on our earnings asset. “Despite the difficult operating environment, the bank grew its loan book to position it for improved earnings, while driving deposit mobilisation from targeted segments to further reduce cost of funds. We also saw an increase in our non-interest income. “As the business continues to grow, risk management remains fundamental to the Bank’s philosophy evidenced by the reduction in the non-performing ratio,” he said. Wigwe, who said that he is excited about the next phase of the bank’s evolution, stressed that having articulated five years strategy plan, the bank will ensure that customer service and delivery are improved at all levels. He said, “With our businesses realigned, we are now placing greater emphasis on providing services geared towards women and SMEs in Nigeria, as they underpin the next phase of economic growth. Infrastructure financing is another key focus for us going forward.” In the evolution of its corporate strategy for 2013 to 2017, he said the bank has identified and commenced cultivation of business areas that will guarantee steady earnings in conformity with its sustainable growth agenda. “The bank has embarked on aggressive re-activation of accounts within its retail customer base and focuses concurrently on the financing the needs of its corporate and commercial customers.” he added. The Managing Director of Fidel-

Sarah Alade

Kuru

Okonkwo

Wigwe

WHEN COMPARED WITH SOUTH AFRICA’S 76 PER CENT LOAN TO GDP RATIO IN DECEMBER 2013, THE BANKING SECTOR’S LOAN TO THE DOMESTIC ECONOMY WAS NOT TOO HIGH AT

35 PER CENT BUT

MORE RAPID GROWTH COULD IN OUR VIEW CREATE AN ASSET BUBBLE REMINISCENT OF

2007 AND 2008

ity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo has said that the bank plans to increase its lending to small and medium scale enterprises and increase its focus on driving e-banking products for customer mobilisation and service. He said, “We think this is particularly important for Fidelity to reawaken investor interest and showcase the impact of multiple changes currently being implemented. In addition to this, 2013 saw the bank’s exposure to foreign currency lending rise to 27 per cent from one in 2012, as the bank deployed its foreign currency liabilities while the pressure on funding costs persisted. “Management has also been re-pricing the existing loan book and plans to periodically review all concessions and lending rates.” To the Managing Director of Enterprise Bank Limited, Alhaji Ahmed

Kuru, the bank intends to grow its loan book to increase profit and customers base. “We are a small bank; we don’t want to go back to the old days, so we are very conservative when it comes to building our loan book. But we are also very careful in diversifying our loan portfolio. Now, it is very easy if you want to build your loan book, for example, in the oil and gas sector you can do that in one month with one transaction. “But for a retail bank, you are trying to build the small loans and the small loans which we normally sell through products take a longer time. This is because we are talking about N10m, N5m, lease and so. That takes a longer time. But usually perform because the irregularities are not up to five per cent. We have a lot of products to support our retail banking strategy,” he said. Analysts at FBN Capital believed

that, though when compared with South Africa’s 76 per cent loan to GDP ratio in December 2013, the banking sector’s loan to the domestic economy was not too high at 35 per cent but more rapid growth could in our view create an asset bubble reminiscent of 2007 and 2008. In its research report, FBN Capital which relied on data from the CBN said that net loans from the banking system (including the CBN) to the private sector increased by 1.8 per cent month on month in February, and by 10.5 per cent year on year. It defined private sector as the domestic economy other than the Federal Government of Nigeria. It included the state governments, whose borrowings amounted to N731billion at end of November 2013. “If we strip out the CBN from the figure for the banking system, we have data three months older and a story of comparable credit growth. Banks’ credit to the private sector rose in November by 1.6 per cent m/m and 9.6 per cent year-on-year,” FBN Capital’s analysts stated. According to the experts, the banks in the present reporting season (for Q4) were guiding to loan book expansion of up to 20 per cent for 2013 and were expected to maintain same level for this year. “Any remaining commentators who argue for monetary easing to stimulate lending should recall that credit expansion is constrained by banks’ skill sets and risk appetite, as well as the attractive yields on government paper,” the FBN Capital’s analysts stated. Meanwhile, Renaissance Capital (RenCap), an international private equity company, supported rapid credit expansion, stressing that when credit grew faster than GDP expanded, there was a greater opportunity for equity (and other assets) to perform well. RenCap believed that excess growth of credit tended to spill over into asset prices, including property and equity (and could eventually feed through into inflation). However, it observed that some markets showed the above trend better than others. “For the US, we have the best (and longest) data. We note that going back to 1945, the S&P 500 has performed well during periods of credit expansion (over 1948-1966 and 1982-2000). “Conversely, periods of credit stagnation/contraction have coincided with weak equity returns (1966-1982 and post-2000). The S&P 500 has rebounded of late as credit growth has, once again, returned to the US,” RenCap said. It further observed that in China, and indeed, Brazil, since 2009, the credit injection from state-owned banks into large infrastructure projects and state owned corporate did not seem to have supported private sector assets such as equities. In Russia, post global financial crisis, equity returns, had disappointed despite robust lending growth. “We see the US as having been supported by a resumption of credit growth in 2013. Based on IMF data up to 2013, credit growth was running at 6-7 per cent nominal in 2013,” it stated.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business News

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Nigeria’s GSM Internet subscriptions hit 63 million KUNLE A ZEEZ

T

he number of telephone lines being used to access internet service on Global System for Mobile Communication, GSM, networks in Nigeria is now 63.4 million, according to latest industry data by the Nigerian Communications Commission. The report, the latest of which is for the month of February 2013, was obtained by National Mirror. The data show that of the figure as at February, MTN controls 32.8 million; Glo, 14.9 million; Airtel is 9.6 million while Etisalat is 6.1 million as at the end of February, this year. The February figure was also found to be less 600, 000 lines, having recorded 64 million on all the four GSM networks as at then.

The numbers dropped to 63.47 million from the 64 million in January 2014, the first time the figure is coming down in two years. The official internet data obtained from the NCC official website, shows that 57 million Nigerian mobile phone users accessed the internet through their phones in October 2013. The figures moved to 59 and 64 million in November and December 2013 respectively, before the slight reduction to 63 million in February 2014. These figures show that Nigeria maintained its lead in the growth of Internet users in Africa, followed by Egypt with 39.7 users in the last quarter of 2013. In January, 2014, the 64 million users are shared among the four GSM operators, with MTN leading the pack with 33.3 million subscribers followed

by Globacom with 15.1 million. Airtel and Etisalat recorded 10.3 million and 6 million subscribers respectively. The rise of mobile internet in Nigeria is occasioned by the availability and affordability of smartphones. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s teledensity growth has moved from 81.78 per cent in January 2013 to 92.1 per cent in February 2014, with an installed capacity of 247.7 million. Also, active telephone lines on all networks in the country including GSM, Code Division Multiple Access, CDMA, operators as well as fixed wired/ wireless networks has grown to reach 129 million in February this year. In December, 2013, the figure stood at 127.6 million and later jumped to 127.9 million in January, 2014.

21

Deloitte seeks to put TMT players ahead of competition KUNLE AZEEZ

G

lobal audit firm, Deloitte, has said it was ready to provide necessary predictions and insights for players in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications, TMT, industry to remain ahead of competition. As such, the company said it has concluded plans to hold Deloitte TMT Prediction2014 seminar to provide information that aid business decision-making for TMT players. According to a statement issued by Eme Agha and Benson Uwheru on behalf of Deloitte, the seminar slated to hold at Four Points By Sheraton hotel, Victoria- Island, Lagos on Wednesday, will provide predictions on TMT industry as to allow players to stay ahead f competition. TMT Predictions are Deloitte’s view of the key developments over the next 12-18 months that are likely to have significant medium to long-term impacts for companies in TMT and other industries. The objective of Deloitte’s TMT Predictions is to identify critical inflection points we believe should inform industry strategic thinking, and to explain how we think these will manifest over the

next 12-18 months. “Our perspectives are built around hundreds of discussions with industry executives, analysts and commentators, along with tens of thousands of consumer interviews. For the past 12 years, the core drivers of disruption in each of the sectors remain the same: processor speed, connectivity and storage,” the statement said. According to Deloitte, “This year, as can be expected, the predictions will help our participants to understand the key developments over the next 12-18 months that are likely to have significant medium- to long-term impacts for companies in TMT and other industries. It said its global predictions experts, Paul Lee and Sharoda Rapeti, will present on the global and Africa Deloitte insights of the major trends over the next 12-18 months. Lee is the Global Director, Deloitte Research, Technology, Media and Telecommunications and responsible for technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte while Rapeti is the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Advisory Leader, Deloitte Africa with over two decades of experience in the electronics, broadcasting and telecommunications sectors.

FAO Rep wants seed companies to desist from fraudulent acts

F L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Seplat Mr. Austin Avuru; Chairman Dr. ABC Orjiako and CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group Mr. Xavier Rolet, during the signing of the register at the formal welcoming ceremony for Seplat at the London Stock Exchange recently.

AO Country Represesentative in Nigeria, Ms Louise Sethswaelo, has urged companies selling grains instead of seeds to farmers to desist from such fraudulent act as it leads to low yields. Sethswaelo made the call in an interview with the News agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abu-

NAHCo aviance recognised as Air Cargo Company of 2013 OLUSEGUN KOIKI

O

ne of the leading ground handling companies in Nigeria, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, NAHCo, Plc has been honoured as the Air Cargo Company of 2013. The award was bestowed on the ground handler at the weekend in Cross Rivers State by the Nigeria Aviation, NIGAV, Conference, Exhibition and Awards. An online statement signed by the spokesman of the company, Mr. Sanya Onayoade, stated that with the latest award, nahco aviance has become a two- time backto- back winner of the NIGAV Awards, having won the “Han-

dling Company of the Year award” at the 2012 edition. Onayoade stated that the annual event is organised by FCI International Limited and it seeks to recognise companies, organisations and individuals for best practices and outstanding contributions towards developing the aviation industry and related activities. He stated that some of the achievements that qualified the company for the award include its strong and exceptional corporate governance, broad working knowledge of the nation’s aviation industry, certification and membership of various international aviation bodies, quality service delivery, impressive clientele base and ownership and operation of

the largest warehouse in sub-Sahara Africa. It would be recalled that NAHCo was recently granted the a free-trade-zone, which will further boost business in the country by the Federal Government. The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Kayode Oluwasegun-Ojo told our correspondent that the approval was given the company in February by the Nigerian Export Promotion Zone, NEPZA, an agency of the Federal Government. He emphasised that with the approval and the commencement of activities at the zone, which would be sighted at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos, it would improve significantly the traffic that come

into Nigeria and enhances the status of the country as an aviation cargo hub. He equally said that it would further make the company to invest more in cargo business as transshipment and others could take place within the zone, adding apart from the fact that the ground handling company would benefit from the transactions within the zone, the country and the entire aviation industry in Nigeria would also benefit immensely from the trade. He added that the approval of the free-trade-zone for the company would enhance greatly the plan of the management to expand and diversify its operations in the aviation industry.

ja, against the background of the ongoing efforts to improve service delivery in the seeds sector. NAN reports that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in collaboration with the FAO, is currently undertaking a review of the Seed Act and Seed Policy, with a view to addressing the challenges facing the sector. The FAO representative said that an effective seed system would enhance quality service delivery in the sector as it would address the ongoing practice of selling wrong seeds to farmers in some cases. “The farmer does not get much on the field in just planting grains but when they have actually paid for seeds. “When it is grains, it should be sold be as grains because seeds have higher value; so if they pay more for something that is actually grains, it is not fair on the farmers.’’ She, therefore, stressed the need to sensitise farmers to enable them to have right information on varieties of seeds to plant for optimal production.


22

Business News

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Concession: Ports yielding high revenue, says committee

T

he Senate Committee on Commercialisation and Privatisation said concessioned ports have started yielding higher revenue for the country. This is contained in a statement by Head, Public Communications, Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, Mr Chigbo Anichebe in Abuja on Sunday. The statement said the Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Olugbenga Obadara, said this during an oversight visit to Tin-Can Island Port, Lagos. In it, Obadara said the purpose of the concession had been achieved as services at the ports had significantly improved and were also contributing immensely to the revenue base of the Federal Government. “The concession fees paid by the concessionaires contribute to the nation’s annual budget as against the pre-concession period when the Federal Government allocated huge sums of money to

maintain the ports. “The Federal Government through BPE concessioned the ports to ensure development and efficiency which in turn would yield high revenue for government as it is applicable in other countries with ports’’, he said. Managing Director of Nigeria Port Authority, NPA, Alhaji Habib Abubakar said the authority was collaborating with the ports’ concessionaires to ensure that the ports were fully developed. He said that a well developed port would bring about efficiency as well as guarantee high tonnage in import and export services which would lead to increased revenue for the federal government. Abubakar added that the NPA was in the process of drawing up a 25-year development plan for the ports. Earlier, Port Facility Manager of Five Star Logistics Limited, Mr. Fulwood Bizzaro, said despite

several challenges, the concessionaire had ensured strict adherence to the covenants it signed with the BPE and NPA. Bizzaro,said concessionaire of Tin-can Island Port, said the company had developed 16-17 square metres of land for container and cargo stacking to handle the increased vehicle importation in the country. According him, the development was in line with the concessionaire’s development plan for the port terminal. General Manger of Josephdam Port Services Limited, Mr Dimon Travers, said the recent five-year lease extension on Tin-Can Island Port Terminal would ensure additional development of the terminal. He expressed optimism that at the expiration of the concession period, the terminal would had been fully developed and operated as a world-class terminal.

L-R: Vice President, Retail Business, Schneider Electric, Mr. Tonye Briggs; Lagos State PRO, LECAN Mr. Bada Waheed and Retail Cluster Manager, Schneider Electric, Mr. Adewale Adepitan, at the induction ceremony of Schneider Electric Green Currents loyalty programme in Lagos, recently.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Pfizer made $101bn bid for AstraZeneca’ based AstraZeneca, Esra ErkalPaler, declined to comment. In the last three years, Pfizer has fizer Inc. approached As- revamped its business, shuttering traZeneca Plc about acquir- some research projects and eming the U.K. drugmaker in a phasizing others. deal that would value the compaIt also divided into three main ny at more than 60 billion pounds, units: two new-drugs businesses, $101bn, according to a media re- and one one focused on older prodport. ucts. Pfizer’s stock has gained 34 The talks were reported by the percent in the last two years. London-based Sunday Times, citAstraZeneca’s shares are up ing bankers and industry sources 32 percent over that period, while it did not name. The conversations sales have fallen from $33.6 bn were described by the paper as in- in 2011 to $25.7bn last year, with formal and no longer continuing. further losses projected by some “As a normal course of busi- analysts as drugs lose patent proness, we continually explores tection. opportunities to enhance shareA merger of this reported size holder value,” Joan Campion, a would top Pfizer’s 2000 purchase spokeswoman for New York-based of Warner-Lambert Co. for $87 bn, Pfizer, said in an e-mail. “We don’t the industry’s largest deal, accordcomment on market speculation ing to data compiled by Bloomor rumors.” berg. A spokeswoman for London-

UDO ONYEKA

WITH AGENCY REPORT

P

CSR: Enterprise Bank partners Okpekpe International Road Race

E

nterprise Bank Limited has extended its Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, vote for wellness and physical fitness of Nigerians to the 10-kilometre Okpekpe Road Race as the Official Banker. The annual international event, which has been endorsed by the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the International Association of Athletic Federation, IAAF, is on its second edition and will take place on May 3, 2014 in Okpekpe Town of Etsako Council, Edo State. According to a statement by the bank its sponsorship of the 2014 version of the race stems from its desire to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst Nigerians through a programme of eating right and engaging in physical fitness, a position which complements the

CSR initiative of the race organizers, Pamodzi Marketing Company Limited, to promote good health in the Okpekpe environs through its malaria eradication programme. “The Okpekpe Road Race 2014 will feature participants from over 10 countries and has total prize money of about $117, 000 or N20m. The winner of the men’s race will take home $15,000 or N4.13m while the second and third place winners will have $15,000, N2.5m and $10,000, N1.7m, respectively. Similarly, the winner of the women’s race will pocket $15,000, N2.5m, with the second and third winners going home with $10,000, N1.7m and $8,000, N1.32m, respectively. There are many other prizes to be won, including cash prizes for the first eight place finishers who are Edo State indigenes”, the statement said.

AfDB approves new Africa climate change fund Minna to get N1.3bn shopping mall UDO ONYEKA

A

frican Development Bank, AfDB, has approved the creation of the Africa Climate Change Fund, ACCF, a bilateral thematic trust fund to support African countries in their transition to climate-resilient and low-carbon development. The AfDB will host and manage the ACCF, which was created with a 4.725 million euro contribution from Germany for an initial threeyear period. In a statement the bank said the aim is to scale-up to a multi-donor trust fund as soon as at least one new donor commits to join. Director of the AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department and Chairman of the Bank’s Climate Change Coordination Committee, Alex Rugamba,

said “Africa is the most vulnerable continent to the impacts of climate change, yet the region receives a very small share of climate finance as compared to other continents. I strongly believe it is the responsibility of the Bank to help African countries access international climate finance to support their transition towards climate smart development. This fund will help facilitate countries’ access to the financing they need to protect their economies and environmental assets in the face of climate change,” he said. At the international level, the Green Climate Fund ,GCF, has confirmed that 50 per cent of its total allocation should target adaptation to climate change, and that the most vulnerable countries , primarily in African countries , will be given priority.

“There is a great opportunity for the Bank to catalyze and channel more climate finance to Africa. The Bank will continue supporting the African members of the GCF Board ahead of its next meeting in May, and we are already working on designing a partnership with the GCF for supporting African countries to prepare to access climate finance,” Rugamba added. It said many countries on the continent are ill-prepared to access international climate finance and need to devise plans to build a more climate-resilient and low carbon future, adding that the scope of the ACCF is broad enough to allow for a variety of activities that countries need for the transition to climate smart development, with the aim of generating transformational change in the medium to long term.

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he Niger State government said on Sunday that it is to spend N1.3 bn in the construction of a new mall at the site of the old Central market in Minna, the state capital. The Director-General, Directorate of Special Projects, Alhaji Hassan Nuhu, who disclosed this in a statement in Minna, said that the project was conceived as part of efforts to enhance socio-economic activities in the state. The statement said that the state government and a firm, Messrs MBHH Nig. Ltd, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the project, which is expected to be completed in November 2014. It said that the mall would not only boost economic activities in the state but also provide employment opportunities for over 1.000 youths, as well as improve the in-

ternally-generated revenue of the state government. According to the statement, Messrs BOTONN Nig. Ltd., a reputable firm, will manage the mall for five years, to enable the state government recoup its investment. It said that the mall would have 18,600 square metres of space that would be let out to reputable retailers for direct sale of goods to the citizens, as was obtainable in all Shoprite outlets in the country. The statement further said that the construction of the mall was part of strategies being employed to make Niger state one of the best three economies in the country. The Chief Executive of MBHH Nig. Ltd, Mr Hamman Issam, promised that the project would be completed on schedule, adding that all the contractual agreements would also be met.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jobs & Career The lingering crisis in the organised labour sector initially thought to be limited to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has assumed a new dimension, as another national labour body, the Trade Union Congress threatens to implode. Analysts say these developments are coming at the expense of the nation’s workforce, MESHACK IDEHEN writes.

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Organised labour: How not to protect worker’s interest

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ith the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) divided, its financescrippled with parallel factions emerging within affiliates, analysts and stakeholders told National Mirror its time the NLC President, Mr. Abdulwaheed Omar, throws in the towel in order for the congress to move forward. Presently weakened, disorganised and devoid of productive leadership, insiders opined that the NLC president will by his numerous failings, soon sound the death knell of the congress in the coming weeks if urgent steps are not taken by stakeholders, including by the Federal Government. Omar’s action or inaction, said Workers Activist, Mr. Emmanuel Ezueme, is what is responsible for the fight-to finish crisis that is currently tearing the Trade Union Congress, ,TUC, apart. He noted with the developments ongoing in the congress, millions of the country’s workers are in the direct line of fire as far as their welfare, job security and future were concerned. Explaining that many agencies of government including those that are to be scrapped or merged have not started reducing staff through layoffs, and that firms in the private sector have not commenced downsizing because of their fears that the NLC or TUC may react, Ezeume told National Mirror the nation’s workers can now expect the worst since the umbrella bodies which is the TUC and NLC may soon belong to history. Tracing the genesis of the crisis that has now almost crippled the once foremost national labour center in the continent, the workers activist said since the internal crisis within the NLC that peaked with the purported sack of then general secretary, Mr. John Odah,in May 2011, things have not been well with the congress. A member of the National Administrative Council (NAC) of the congress who pleaded for anonymity, told our correspondent that the NLC has not had any substantive general secretary for over one year, neither has it got a particular acting general secretary. Former Assistant General Secretary, Mr. Eric Ajofor, said it was because of the criticism that has continued to trail the leadership style of Omar that forced the NLC to hurriedly issue an internal advertisement to quickly and quietly engage a general secretary for the congress. Making reference to the TUC which is presently engaged in an internal crisis of

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Omar

its own, Labour and Industrial Relations Expert, Dr. Peter Okhiria, explained that what is going on in the TUC and the NLC is a classic example of how not to represent or protect workers interests. Okhiria pointed out while both congresses are in disarray, it was the workers that will bear the brunt of such crisis, adding it was possible for employers including the government to take advantage of the situation to promote unfair work policies and practice that an active and united congress could have stood against. According to him, “When two elephants fights, it is the grass that suffers. The infighting and confusion in the TUC and the NLC is all playing out at the expense of the workers. This certainly is surely not how to protect and promote workers rights and welfare”. It is to be recalled that about 14 affiliates of the TUC are at loggerheads with the national leadership. The affiliates have also disowned their leaders, even as they have signed and presented a protest letter at TUC national secretariat. Accusing the TUC President-General, Mr. Bobboi Kaigama of single-handedly making all decisions relating to the congress, including selecting those that will are representing the congress at the ongoing national conference, the Mr. Babatunde Ogun led dissident affiliates maintained the Federal Government and entire Nigerians should discountenance TUC representation. Despite the allegations, the NLC said it is challenging anyone with proof of corruption allegation, levelled against its leadership, to come forward and reveal it. Omar told our correspondent the leadership of the congress was never enmeshed in leadership crisis and fraud, and that the NLC did not pay any money into the account of its officials, neither are we sponsored by any agency of government. According to him, those making the allegation should come out with proof or publish the receipt in order to substantiate their claims, adding the seminar for the NAC members in Dubai was one of the congress’s educational programmes for its members.

Kaigama

NLC and TUC are no longer working for the interest of the nation’s

workers.

They are

simply interested in enriching and empowering themselves Responding in the same vein,TUC said it disagrees with the allegations that some of the affiliates were not carried along, saying some of the affiliates that refused to pay check of dues are trying to blackmail the congress by distributing mischievous information to create unnecessary crisis in the labour centre “All affiliates of TUC were fully consulted before the delegates for the national conference were made”, the TUC president said. Immediate Past General Secretary of African Organisation for Workers and Workplace, Mr. Bamidele Osibogun, told National Mirror that protecting workers rights and welfare has nothing in common with the present situation in the TUC and the NLC. Osibogun said it has become obvious that there is a high level of falling out within the congress, saying with the affiliate unions already refusing to send check off dues to the headquarters and also threatening to pull out, the interests of workers in those sectors have already been jeopardized. National Mirror gathered that active and viable unions like the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Chemical and Non-Metallic Products Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (CANMPSSA), Hotel and Personal Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria

(HAPSSSA), National Association of Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), and Automobile and Boatyard Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (AUTOBATE) are some of the affiliates that are ready to disengaged from the TUC. The Food, Beverages and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB), Pulp Paper, Printing and Paper Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (Paper & Paper), Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), Shop and Distributive Trade Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (SHOPDIS), Shipping and Freight Forwarders Senior Staff Association (SHPPING), Precision Electrical and Related Equipment Senior Staff Association (PERESSA) and Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) are the other affiliates whose pulling out from the TUC is capable of putting the nations workers under threat. On her part, Former National Women Leader of Women in Unions, Mrs. Beatrice Edoror, noted it was not the interests of workers that is responsible for the ongoing crisis in both the TUC and the NLC. She said instead that it was the quest for power and money that will line individual pockets that is driving the rebellion and fueling the crisis, adding it was unfortunate that the workers will be the ones to bear the brunt of this. According to her, “No groups of workers or employees can survive without a leader. With the way things are, Nigeria workers do not have any leader or a solid umbrella union under which to flourish. These set of leaders must give way in order to allow peace and progress to reign”, she said. Industrial Relations Practitioner, Mr. Kunle Rotimi, in reacting to the current situation within the NLC and TUC, said the interest of Nigerian workers is now fully threatened, as the NLC which is the nation’s oldest central labour centre, is being bogged down by failure of leadership. Rotimi observed that for the first time in the history of the NLC, the congress was shut down a few weeks ago as Omar led both the elected and appointed officials to Dubai for a retreat, disclosing that a total of 22 officials who are all members of the national administrative council were in Dubai, even if NLC is not known to have any alliance with trade unions in the United Arab Emirate. According to the industrial relations expert, the fact that some officials of the NLC while in Dubai posted on their facebook pages their social outings and shopping for exotic cars, coupled with the knowledge that the theme of the retreat was not known, nor is the source of the money used to fund the Dubai trip is enough for Omar to removed from office as president. “NLC and TUC are no longer working for the interest of the nations workers. They are simply interested in enriching and empowering themselves. All these will have to give way if workers are to return to becoming the focal point of all unions activities”, he added.


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Jobs & Career

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Top tips for excelling at interviews

An interview session

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elieve it or not, if you have done your preparation, it is possible even to enjoy interviews. These top tips will help you be prepared, relaxed and confident. Here are ten things to remember whilst preparing for your interview or job hunt. It’s a reciprocal situation-An interview is as much about your interviewing them as your potential employers as it is about their interviewing you as a potential employee. You spend a good 20% of your week working - make sure you spend it in a place you want to be. Be prepared-If your CV is shabby, you’re unlikely to get an interview. It’s the one document you’re likely to spend a lot of time on

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leading mortgage and finance company is seeking to strengthen its business operations and Deloitte is in charge of the recruitment process. A chief executive officer, a chief financial officer, a chief operating officer, executive director for business development, head of risk management, head of strategy and head of mortgage operation and debt recovery are some of the positions up for grabs. A head of human resources, ahead of internal audit, a head of information technology, head of treasury, head of legal service and governance, business development manager, administrative manager, a financial analyst, a mortgage underwrite, a mortgage loan officer, a mortgage analyst and a mortgage broker are some of the other opening that are to be filled. Interested and qualified candidates are to visit www.wecadeloitte.com/recruitment/mcr for more details. Michael Opara University of Agriculture, Umudike said there are some management vacancies that are available for

- and if you can’t get that right, then what does that tell your potential employer about the quality of any other work you might do? Similarly, if you don’t prepare for an interview, what that says about how you are likely to prepare for presentations, reports, whatever it is that the job entails. There are added advantages to preparing. It calms nerves. Important details to remember: know where you’re going, how you’re getting there, how long it’ll take you, what time you will leave, what you need to bring with you. Find out what’ll be expected of you and what resources you will have at your disposal. And read a newspaper that week (if you

don’t already do so), so you know what are the main issues in the outside world! Do your research-Find out as much as you can about the company or organisation, the industry and the role you are applying for. Other good things to research include competitors (and their strategies), any related industries that are likely to have an effect on this one, etc. This is all good background information to have. Know why you want this particular job in this particular organisation-Think about it, if a soap salesman doesn’t know what’s great about his soap and why a customer should buy it, he’s unlikely to sell it to anybody. With that in mind, know what’s great

about you, why you want to work for the organisation in question and why they should hire you. If you know the answers to these questions, then the organisation doesn’t have to guess and you can help them be clearer as to why they should hire you! Have questions prepared-Lack of questions can often be interpreted as laziness or lack of interest in the role in question - and you don’t want that. A good way to prepare is to have an idea of what you really want from your work, your working environment, etc. Compare this to what you know and have researched about the company/ organisation and make questions out of the bits you still want clarified. Know your strengths and be aware of your weaknesses-Although it’s being used less, it’s still a popular question: What are your strengths and weaknesses? Make sure you can articulate these and that you know how to see your weaknesses as potential strengths. Be aware of what your strengths and weaknesses are in an interview situation as well and use them to your advantage as much as possible. Have a plan for re-entering-Some questions may throw you off guard - either because you are nervous or you get a question you weren’t expecting. Have a plan ready for what you do to regroup so that you give the best possible answer you can. Don’t assume your interviewers have read your CV-Reiterate what you’ve already written in your application to ensure that all your interviewers knows what you are referring to (they may have either not read your CV or gone through so many that they won’t necessarily remember the details in yours). This is an excellent place to add new information in as well. First impressions count a lot. Make sure you are presenting the best you: good quality and appropriate clothes, groomed appearance, enough sleep and sufficient energy. Source: Forbes.com

Job vacancies filling. Head of operations, head of internal audit and compliance, head of credit and marketing, head of human resources, head of risk management and head of information technology are the vacancies on offer. Applicants are expected to possess minimum of first degree or its equivalent in any finance discipline, alongside a minimum of five years post qualification experience amongst other requirements. All applications must be hand written and must be forwarded the Managing Director,Micheal Opara University of Agriculture,Umudike Micro Finance Bank Limited, PMB 7267,Umuahia,Abia state, or to mouaumfb@gmail.com From the aviation sector come job opportunities from Air Peace, with positions for captains, first officers, inflight catering attendants and passenger/ ticketing service officers. Other vacancies from the airline are for aviation security officers, flight dispatch officers, ramp officers/turn around coordinators, baggage handlers, aircraft attendants and ramp drivers.

The positions are to be based in Abuja, Calabar, Owerri, Benin, Warri, Jos Porthacourt, Markurdi, Uyo and Yola. Interested candidates are to send their resumes to visit www.flyairpeace.com for more details. SOS Children Village is in need of a financial adviser to be based in Lagos, a finance coordinator, a project accountant, a youth counsellor, nurses and teachers. Applications are to be sent to the national coordinator, SOS Children Village, Lagos, or to recruitment@sosvillages-nigeria.org. From www.findjobafrica.com is the vacancy for a Chief Operations Officer that will be based in Lagos.He/she will have to be innovative, vibrant and energetic and will be one that can help start up and drive the business to fusion. Main functions is to implement the strategic goals and objectives of the company in consultation with the chairman, give direction and leadership toward the achievement of the company’s philosophy, mission, strategy, and its annual goals and objectives and promote revenue and profitability growth of the

company Others are to oversee company operations to guarantee efficiency, quality, service, and cost-effective management of resources and w plan and direct all phases of the supermarket operations efficiently to achieve maximum sales and profitability. Qualifications, knowledge and Skills required are experience in strategic planning and execution, Knowledge of contracting, negotiating, and change management and skill in examining and re-engineering operations and procedures. Demonstrated experience with creating and executing strategic planning for a large organisation, experience in formulating policy, and developing and implementing new strategies and procedures and ability to develop financial plans and manage resources are also required. First degree in any social sciences or humanities course, an MBA or MSC in supply chain Management would be an added advantage and minimum of 15 years’ experience out of which 7 years must be at a managerial level.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Real Estate & Environment

Environment: Experts task minister on integrated agenda After over six months without a substantive minister at the Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam eventually assumed duty on March 6, promising to work with the critical stakeholders to actualise President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda in the environment sector. Experts have tasked the minister on adoption of integrated approach for environmental sustainability. OLUFEMI ADEOSUN reports.

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hile the issue of environmental sustainability remains a burning issue on the world agenda with the attention of nations focusing on how to strike a balance between man’s crave for development and environmental protection, there has been no visible policy direction to suggest that Nigeria is on the same page with the rest of the world. According to environmental experts, although the country may have been fulfilling its obligations to the various in-

Expert advocates active government participation in built industry 26

ternational treaties and conventions in the area of the environment as it is being demonstrated yearly through active participation in the United Nations Framework of Climate Change’s COP, little has been shown in terms of bringing issues of environment into the front burner of government agenda. This, they further added, cast doubt on the country’s commitment to addressing the myriad of environmental challenges confronting it. In the experts’ view, nothing demonstrates this lack of commitment than the

frequent changing of the ministers in the environment ministry saddled with the responsibility of implementing government policy in the sector. For instance, they averred as situation where the ministry had produced four ministers in a space of five years was capable of truncating the policies of government in the sector irrespective of the much touted, “government being a continuum.” Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia succeeded Mr. john Odey after the latter was

Cement makers Holcim, Lafarge in N7.13trn merger

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dropped by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, only for her to be shown the butt again on Spetember, 2013 and was replaced by the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Arc Darius Ishaku who served in supervisory capacity until the 6th of March, 2014, when the present minister, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam assumed duty. While no one has come up with any argument regarding while President CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

Lagos decries effects of open urination, defecation to health 28


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Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Environment: Experts task minister on integrated agenda CONTINUED FROM 25 Goodluck has preference for a woman to pilot the affairs of a sector which has spilling effects on all other sectors of the Nigerian economy, including the people, Malafia’s tenure in the ministry, according to stakeholders, was not an encouraging example. The elsewhere minister was allegedly not only reputed for having frequent squabbles with the former Permanent Secretary, Mr Taiye Haruna, there was also no love lost between her and some of the key chief executive officers of the agencies under her supervision. This alleged intolerance, no doubt, bred a fragmented workforce, as the ministry’s staff embarked on series of protests during the tenure of the supervising minister, Darius Ishaku. However, if the assurance by the new minister, Mrs.Laurentia Mallam that she would operate an open door policy, would not amount to a political statement, experts were of the view that the ministry would be able to settle down to its core mandate of implementing government policies and programmes in the environment sector. Mallam, had in her maiden address to the staff of the ministry on resumption on duty on the 6th of March 2014, said,” I will tap on your wealth of experience to ensure that the goals of the ministry for the country is attained. My doors will always be opened to you so that we can together brainstorm on how to move the ministry forward in the overall interest of the people of Nigeria. Charting a new course for the ministry under the present dispensation, a climate change expert, Prof. Emanuel Ladipo, charged the new minister to address the issue of environment from holistic and interrelated point of view adding that, environment is a very complex interactive system in which one element affects the other. As one of the first steps to be taken, the climatology also urged her to organize a small consultative forum to seek views from the people which would help her come up with a logical approach to address complex issues of environment in Nigeria. Commenting on the one of the major projects of government-the Great Green Wall Sahara Project (GGW)-he stated that it would not stop the issue of desertification in the identified frontline states unless it was located within the spectrum of sustainable land management. He said,” if emphasis is on GGW, it will not stop all the problems of desertifica-

Jonathan

Malaifa

IT IS TIME FOR THE COUNTRY TO HAVE AN

ENVIRONMENT SUMMIT, NOT A SUMMIT OF

1,000 PEOPLE, BUT OF A FEW EXPERTS AND PEOPLE WHO ARE DIRECTLY AFFECTED WHO CAN SHARE HOW THEY ARE USING THE TRADITIONAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROBLEM TO COPE tion in Nigeria unless it is combined with addressing the issue of sustainable land management in the areas. In this case, the way we practise agriculture, our water consumption pattern, the way we are able to use other natural resources in the areas, particularly woods, are all factors that would determine the seriousness of a nation willing to address the complex issue of desertification. “Also the issue of erosion control in the southern part of the country will not achieve the desired results unless it is done within the context of an integrated water resources management. It is time for the country to have an environment summit, not a summit of 1,000 people, but of a few experts and people who are

Mallam

directly affected who can share how they are using the traditional understanding of the problem to cope.” He warned that any attempt to address climate change issue as an isolated problem would not make it acceptable as a national priority, stressing that only “when climate change is integrated with other environment issues as well as development issue that it can sincerely attract the expected national attention.” For instance, he argued that people had started questioning the country’s annual participation in the COP meeting without domesticating some of the resolutions. He also stated, “People have stated to ask a question that what is the relevance of this annual COP meetings that Nigeria attends without feasible evidence of strategic follow up that can address the priorities. Therefore, as much as it is good for us to participate in the COP, what is more important is how to make climate change as part of our development process. “For instance, our GDP is growing, but the effect of climate change on the various sectors producing the growth could be severe. For instance, excesses rainfall

can rob off negatively on the gains in the telecommunication sector. If heavy rain occurs and brings down most of the telecom masts, there will be a sharp fall in the revenue accruing from that sector. Agriculture constitutes 24 per cent of the GDP, but this same sector can also be affected negatively by climate change.” Also speaking, the Executive Director, Nigeria Environmental Study/Action Team and a member of environment committee at the ongoing National Conference, Prof. Chinedu Uwajuba posited that the first key to her success depended on how much rapport she was able to establish with the critical stakeholders in the sector, particularly the permanent secretary and all other directors in the ministry, insisting that her ability to aggregate interests would have direct effect on herclevel of success. “She should endeavour to have a good relationship with the critical stakeholders, particularly the permanent secretary and the directors so that they can cooperate with her to achieve the arduous task of addressing the myriads of environmental challenges confronting the nation. If she does not succeed in that, she will be in the dark and will not be able to achieve much,” he cautioned. Apart from that, the NEST boss also advised that rather than the minister setting out to do many things, she should rather concentrate on the approach of targeted deliverables which she could make the desired impact. Besides, Uwajuba also stressed the need to drive the National Adaptation and Plan of Action on Climate Change (NASPA), a document which clearly spells out the functions of all the tiers of government in dealing with the issue of climate change. He lamented that although the document was adjudged as one of the best studies in the areas of climate change by the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the federal government of Nigeria had failed to implement it. He said, “The minister should also make sure that NASPA-CCA, which the UNFCCC, ahead of COP 18 in Doha, adjudged as one of the best studies in the world and earn Nigeria accolades at the world stage is implemented. It is ridiculous and embarrassing that the document is not been implemented. It should be the main driver for climate change action both at the national, state and local government levels. The continued nonimplementation of it is a shame to the country.

Expert advocates active government participation in built industry BABALOLA YUSUF

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member of the Nigerian institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) Hamzat Abduraman has called on both the federal and state government to place more priority on the development of the real estate sector. Hamzat speaking to National mirror in Lagos, he said investing in the real estate sector is tantamount to strengthening the economy of the country.

He said, “If government can invest more in the housing sector, I believe it will be a huge success for both the government and the people and I think the best they can do is to encourage mortgage financing and low medium income development which will bring about development in the real estate He also said government should ensure that perfecting title for properties should be done with ease, “Titling is another problem that government must deal with because this is perfecting titles

is very cumbersome, acquiring a land is easy but acquiring tittles is always very cumbersome. Hamzat, a worker of the railway property management company said though quacks have been driving the sector backward, he believes that the fight against quackery by the national leadership is yielding result. “Quackery has been the problems we have been facing in the institution and the board and i think the national leadership of NIESV is trying to regulate that

which i believe is one of the major factor affecting the development of real estate. “in Nigeria, professional Estate Surveyors are still less than four thousand and comparing this number to a country that have up to a population of over 150 million i think the professional estate surveyors are in short supply. The Available Estate Surveyors are the one that have been taking part in developing the real estate sector in Nigeria and on other hand, the quacks have been bringing setback to the industry,” he said.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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Bonga oil spill: FG steps in to reconcile warring factions Olufemi Adeosun

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Bonga oil spill

Fashola inspects Lagos HOMS, hands over network of roads in Eti–Osa Babalola Yusuf

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here were jubilations at the Ado Kekere, Langbasa, Kajola in Eti- Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State last week when Governor Babatunde Fashola inspected the State Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (HOMS) units in Lekki Penninsular II Sangotedo and handed over the network of roads to the residents of the area. The Governor who visited the HOMS site with members of the State Executive Council undertook an inspection of the State Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme units in Lekki Penninsular II and Sangotedo were conducted round the structures by the General Manager of the New Towns Development Authority, Mr Adeyemi Isiba and Special Adviser on New Towns Development Authority, Mrs Felicia Awofisayo respectively. However, after the inspection, the governor was received by Jubilant crowd at the Langbasa where he commissioned the newly built road network. Fashola recalled that when seeking re-election in 2011, part of his promise then was to focus more on inner city roads, informing that the Ajah, Badore, Ado Kekere and Langbasa communities have gotten 11 kilometres of inner city roads and that government is not done yet. He explained that the community is being opened up towards bringing development to the area, noting that in addition to roads, the State is also opening up the area by water as work has been

virtually completed on the Jetty in Badore to start extensive ferry service to Ikorodu. Fashola appealed to the people to guard against digging up or cutting the new roads, stating that if the roads are well maintained, it will last for no less than 30 years and also warned that under no circumstance must the walkways be converted to trading posts. “The pedestrian walk is not for trading. I know that you like to trade and that you contribute a lot to the GDP, but please this pedestrian walk is not for trading. It is the separation for those who do not have cars from those who have cars. This is the only place that your children can walk through on their way to and back to school and they would be safe and not run over by vehicles”. “This is your asset. When I came here about 18 months ago, this place was not motorable. Last year when I came there was delay in the contract and I appealed to all the market men and women and traders to move back so that we can complete it. I want to thank them for listening to me and for agreeing to move back. What that tells us is that there is not a lot we can do without you, so we continue to progress if we continuously talk to one another and agree”, he stressed. Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat said the network of roads that consist of Langbasa, Ado Kekere and Ajah Badore that was handed over before are some of the strategies of the State Government to connect communities and make transportation network easier through road works and complimenting

the ongoing road development of Lekki Epe Expressway. He also informed that as the roads were being constructed, jobs were being created as a total of 319 new jobs were provided with its multiplying effects and also warned the people against turning the roads into car wash.

he Federal Government has expressed its readiness to reconcile Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) with all the Shoreline Communities in the Niger Delta who were affected by the 2012 oil spill. The Minister of Environment Mrs. Laurentia Mallam in a statement in Abuja, stated this at a meeting with SPDC delegation, led by the Managing Director, Mathew Somonu. She said government was determined to find amicable solution to the challenges posed by the spill by meeting with all relevant stakeholders with a view to finding lasting solution to it. It would be recalled that leaders of shoreline communities of Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa States last week paid a courtesy call on the Minister, complaining against Shell over the handling of the Bonga Oil Spillage, which they said had had devastating impact on marine and aquatic life, thereby affecting fishing activities. The meeting with Shell, according to the statement is a follow-up to the promise the

Minister made to the affected communities that she would consult with all relevant stakeholders with a view to finding a lasting and amicable solution to the problem. Mallam said that further to her meeting with Shell, she would also visit the affected communities and persuade those already in court to explore other peaceful means of settlement of the dispute The minister again used the occasion to commend the shoreline communities for their peaceful conduct over the matter, explaining that the prevailing peaceful atmosphere would accelerate the pace for an amicable resolution of the problem. Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation and Managing Director of the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation Mr. Mathew Somonu told the minister that the corporation was willing to find an amicable solution to the problem, adding that the intervention of the minister would help accelerate the process. He assured the minister that it was possible for the regulator and the operator (Shell) to work together for the progress of the corporation in particular, and Nigeria in general.

Cement makers Holcim, Lafarge in N7.13trn merger

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eading cement makers Holcim and Lafarge has announced their intention to combine the two companies through a merger of equals, unanimously approved by their respective Board of Directors and fully supported by the core shareholders of both companies. This new global company with European roots would deliver compelling benefits for all stakeholders would create an industry giant with a combined, N7.13trn ($44 billion) in revenue. LafargeHolcim would be in the best position to contribute to addressing the challenges of urbanization: affordable housing, urban sprawl and transport. The new Group would increase its offer to customers through innovation delivered on an expanded scale, best in class R&D and a combined portfolio of solutions and products. Both companies have pioneered sustainability and climate change mitigation in the industry and are committed to take it to the next level. LafargeHolcim would have an enhanced presence in the global building materials sector with

a number one position globally across cement, concrete and aggregates and new opportunities to optimize production and commercial networks. Lafarge and Holcim pro forma combined sales amount to c. CHF 39bn / EUR 32bn and Ebitda to c. CHF 8bn / EUR 6.5bn. After a strategic optimization of the portfolio through a pro-active divestment process, in anticipation of regulatory requirements, LafargeHolcim would occupy complementary positions. Combined operations would include production sites located in 90 countries across all continents with the most balanced and diversified portfolio in the industry. This will deliver highly attractive growth prospects across both high growth and developed markets. No country would account for more than c.10% of combined revenues. LafargeHolcim would be listed on the SIX in Zurich and Euronext Paris. It would continue to be domiciled in Switzerland. It would operate under the local governance rules with a board composed with equal numbers of Lafarge and Holcim directors and through an efficient dis-

tribution of central corporate functions in France and Switzerland. The Chairman of the new board would be Wolfgang Reitzle, future Chairman of Holcim. Bruno Lafont, Chairman and CEO of Lafarge would become CEO of the new group and member of the board. Thomas Aebischer, Holcim’s CFO would become CFO of the new group. Jean-Jacques Gauthier, Lafarge’s CFO would become Chief Integration Officer of the new group. The Executive Committee would be formed from both Lafarge and Holcim management. In order to ensure efficient execution of the merger, an integration committee will prepare the integration plan to be implemented straight after the closing of the transaction. Bernard Fontana, Holcim CEO will remain in charge of Holcim until completion of the transaction. He will co-chair the integration committee. The proposed merger would enable optimized capital allocation across the expanded footprint to drive improved ROCE, and strong cash-flow generation and the robust balance sheet will provide financial strength.


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Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

GEF in Africa, others get $4.43b boost

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he head of the Swiss Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications Doris Leuthard has hosted a Global Environment Facility meeting where 30 countries have pledged $ 4.43 billion for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to support developing countries’ efforts over the next four years to prevent degradation of the global environment. The meeting which was held in Geneva had donor countries who said the funding was to support projects in more than 140 countries to tackle a broad range of threats to the global environment, including climate change, deforestation, land degradation, extinction of species, toxic chemicals and waste, and threats to oceans and freshwater resources. The GEF is the main global mechanism to support developing countries’ to take action to fulfil their commitments under the world’s major multilateral environmental agreements. In GEF-6, donors agreed to new financing in support of the Minamata convention on Mercury that was signed in 2013, bringing to five the total number global environmental conventions that the GEF serves. GEF said, “We have better scientific evidence that human activity can lead to tipping points with a risk of irreversible and abrupt environmental change. By focusing on the drivers of environmental change and by seeking multiple benefits, the GEF is taking the

right approach to turn around the worrying trends in the global environment”. “Today’s decision is a powerful signal from the global community about the importance of urgently reversing the negative environmental trends in order to ensure a sustainable future for everybody”, said Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the GEF. “I am extremely encouraged by the broad coalition that has come together behind the belief in GEF’s ability to play a critical role in helping achieve this transformation.” “The Global Environment Facility has gained the confidence of development partners for its strong track record in protecting the global environment and for its sound management of development partner funds,” said Joachim von Amsberg, Vice President for Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships in the World Bank Group, which serves as Trustee for the GEF. “The environmental challenges the global community faces are significant, and funding for the GEF-6 program will help put us on a path toward our shared goal of sustainable development.” Donors emphasized GEF’s role in supporting innovative and integrated solutions for the global environment. Among a number of innovations contained in GEF-6 is a new Integrated Approaches Pilot aimed at addressing environmental challenges by focusing on some of the underlying drivers of environmental degradation through

Ogun govt. developing four Estates, promises living-friendly amenities Babalola Yusuf

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he Special Adviser on Trade and Investment to the Ogun state government, Babajide Odusolu, has disclosed that the seriousness of the government to achieved its urban renewal programme for the state has made the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun embarked on the construction of four new low cost housing Estates in the state. Odusolu who said the estates had 600 housing units overall disclosed this in Abeokuta Last week. The SA who is also the Managing Director, Ogun State Property Investment Corporation, (OPIC) disclosed that his corporation is working hand-in-hand with other relevant government agencies and ministries including Bureau of Lands and Survey, State Housing Corporation and the Ministry of Housing to achieve their target. Odusolu explained further

that about 120 housing units of affordable housing units were reaching completion while in Orange Valley also in Abeokuta 140 housing units will soon be ready for use. Giving a breakdown of housing units at the different estates, the OPIC boss disclosed that a total of 50 and 100 units of two and three bedroom flats are being constructed at Agbara and the new Makun scheme respectively, assuring that materials being used for the construction of the houses are of high quality standards and could stand the test of time. He said the government has also embarked on 200 cheaper and affordable housing units at Workers Community estate, Laderin in Abeokuta while 100 units of bungalows are also on-going inside Agbara Estate,which is being referred to as New Agbara Estate. The MD/SA also assured that all the estates across the three senatorial districts of the State would be provided with necessary amenities that would make living more abundant for buyers.

special focus on for example food security in Africa, sustainable city development and on taking deforestation out of global commodity supply chains—all issues that can only be effectively addressed if broad coalitions of stakeholders across countries and sectors can be brought together around a common action agenda. Mexico’s Secretary of Finance and Public Credit, Luis Videgaray, who will host an Assembly of the GEF’s 183 members in Cancun, Mexico, in May said, “Only by in-

tegrating environmental considerations into decision making by governments, private businesses and households can we hope to make a difference in the global environment. The GEF-6 effort gets under way at a critical time, and is a vital platform to help mobilize all stakeholders to play their part.” The GEF-6 program envisions devoting an increased share of resources to lower-income recipient countries. GEF will also further its engagement with the private sec-

tor, its work in gender mainstreaming, collaboration with civil society organizations, and increased focus on results and on leveraging other sources of funding for the benefit of the global environment by seeking higher levels of co-financing of its projects. Underpinning efforts, the GEF is developing a longer-term strategy, GEF2020, which aims to enhance the GEF’s impact by focusing its interventions more on the underlying drivers of environmental degradation.

On-going construction of 45 units of 540 Blocks being built by Lagos State Government at Sangotedo Mixed Development Scheme, Lekki, under the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme.

Lagos decries effects of open urination, defecation to health Babalola Yusuf

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agos State Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello has described the cost of open defecation and urination on health as too grave and monumental. The commissioner said the consequence of the act is too enormous to be ignored saying the indecent act does not only help to spread diseases such as diarrhea, ascaris, tapeworms, intestinal parasites, hookworm, hepatitis’ but also pollute underground waters and contaminate agricultural Speaking recently, at a One Day Advocacy and Sensitisation Campaign/Stakeholder’s meeting with the theme: “Eradication of open defecation and urination in the State: Public Toilets in focus”, Bello said “It is so sad to see our men and women folk urinate and

defecate in the open, a habit that should be discouraged”. He noted that open urination and defecation are crucial issue not often talked about, adding that the forum would afford the opportunity to discuss it, the resolution of which would help in reaching milestone in the sanitation of the state as well as position it for the desired model megacity. “We need to dialogue on how best these facilities (public toilet) can be increased and well utilized to meet best practice in the world, that is one of the reason for our gathering here today”, Bello added. He also urged market men and women and others in the informal sector to key-in to the aspiration of the State Government for zero tolerance on Open defecation and urination as well as other environmental abuses. Bello explained further that recently, the United Nations Chil-

dren’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that out of the 2.5 billion who live without adequate sanitation around the world, 33 Million Nigerians have no access to decent toilets as a result of this inadequacy, citizens of Africa’s most populous nation answer the call of nature in the open. According to him, “As a result of these, infant and child undernutrition and stunted growth are also aggravated. Most striking are the 2,000 children who die every day across the world from diarrhea and other preventable diseases caused by poor sanitation”. He noted that Lagos State with over 20 million people contends with the challenges of inadequacy of water and sanitation, due to neglect of several years and migration of people from other parts of the country, who take advantage of good governance and abundant economic opportunities in the State.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Real Estate & Environment

Choosing the right kitchen style Base decisions on kitchen styles that blend with your home Have hints of your homes exterior on the inside. If your home is a Cape Cod, but you aren’t necessarily into that style for your decor, you can give it a nod by adding a subtle texture. For example, adding beadboard to an island with a more modern countertop will help you whole home feel more put together.

Consider the decor throughout your home Take a good look at the items throughout your home. Do you tend to choose more traditional furniture and accessories? Your kitchen style should blend with the rest of your house.

Get ideas from your happiest memories Think of kitchens where you were really, really happy and try to recall the details of those kitchens. Was it a traditional ‘50s kitchen? Did it have ornate details like crown molding on all of the cabinetry? Write down these details and then review magazines and put sticky notes in the pages that give you a similar sense and feel.

Take note of color and design details everywhere Look for cues all around from items that catch your eye such as china, wallpaper or flowers that stand out.

Visualise your kitchen design ideas and experiment Use 3d home design software, such as Homestyler, to layout your current kitchen and then try different kitchen styles and mixing and matching floors, appliances, countertops and even wall paint colors. Seeing your style ideas with a model of your current kitchen will help you narrow your likes and dislikes and help you establish your priorities as well. Source: : http://myturnstone.com

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Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

New home sector seeing strong growth in Australia

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esidential building approvals remained close to record levels during February despite falling slightly, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Approvals fell by 5% during February compared with January, but the overall picture is one of strength in the sector, according to Shane Garrett, senior economist at the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia’s residential building industry. ‘Compared with the same time last year, approvals activity has increased by well over 20%. Typically, approvals can take about six months to translate into activity on the ground, ‘explained Garrett. ‘A continuing strong volume of new supply will flow through to help alleviate dwelling prices for the existing stock. Strong residential building activity is a good thing for affordability,’ he added. Recent growth in approvals has been driven more by detached houses than by multi units. In the three months to February, detached house approvals rose by 7.3% while multi unit approvals fell by 6.9%. ‘Even though total activity is at a high level, there performance of the multi unit segment shows that parts of the market are afflicted by patchiness. With approvals declining in four states, the market recovery cannot yet

be described as broad based,’ said Garrett. ‘It is therefore important that policy settings remain favourable to stronger housing activity. Indications from the Royal Bank of Australia that interest rates are to remain low for some time is welcome. It is also crucial that land supply policies become more accommodative to Australia’s increased housing needs,’ concluded Garrett. During February 2014, growth in seasonally adjusted building approvals were up 1.9% in Victoria, up 4.6% in Western Australia and up 0.9% in Tasmania. Building approvals declined 5.8% in New South Wales, by 15.6% in Queensland and by 14.8% in South Australia. In trend terms, building approvals increased by 7.9% in the ACT, but declined by 20.8% in the Northern Territory. Further data released from the ABS point to further strength in residential construction. Following a strong result in January, the number of owner occupier loans for the construction of new dwellings increased again in February by 0.8% and over the three months to February the rise was 7.2%. ‘This strong growth in housing finance is consistent with other leading indicators of the residential construction sector, including dwelling approvals and new

Survey shows increasing confidence in UK housing market

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onfidence in the UK housing market is leading to an increase in positive selling sentiment, with 56% thinking it is a good time to sell in the next 12 months, according to a new survey. This exceeds those who think it will be a bad time to sell and the highest score of this measure since the Halifax Housing Market Confidence tracker survey began in April 2011. The survey also shows that sentiment towards selling is even stronger amongst owner occupiers with 62% stating that now is a good time to sell. Regionally, positive sentiment towards selling is highest in the East and South East, where 65per cent think it will be a good time to sell, compared with only 36per cent in Scotland. ‘We’ve seen a strong start to the year with transaction volumes rising, with the overall sentiment regarding the outlook for the housing market continuing to improve,’ said Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at the Halifax.

Cameron

‘The increase in optimism is partly due to stronger house prices and this shift could provide a much needed increase in the supply of properties available for sale during the rest of the year,’ he added. The findings of the survey indicate that sentiment towards buying has remained relatively stable since the fourth quarter of 2013, with 60% of respondents expecting it to be a good time to buy in the next 12 months compared with 26% who think it will be a bad time to buy.

home sales. The owner occupier segment of new home lending is showing encouraging signs,’ said HIA economist Diwa Hopkins. The data also shows that while the number of owner occupier loans for the construction of new dwellings increased, loans for the purchase of new dwellings declined by 5%. As a result the total number of new home loans to owner occupiers eased by 1% dur-

ing the month. Over the three months to February 2014 new home lending to owner occupiers still increased by 2.7% to a level that is 15.4% higher than 12 months previously. Another strong result was the value of lending to investors for the purpose of constructing new dwellings for rent or resale. In the three months to February 2014, the value of this form of finance

increased by 13.2%. ‘The housing finance results auger well for much needed further growth in new home building. A sustained increase in new home building activity which provides Australia with an appropriate supply of housing is a necessary condition for addressing the persistent problems around housing affordability,’ explained Hopkins.

Residential development in sydney

Alpine ski property market gaining momentum, new report suggests

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he market for ski property in the Alps is gaining momentum with prices stabilising following falls in both 2011 and 2012, according to a new analysis report. Both viewings and transactions increased in 2013 while both were up again by 200% in January and February of 2014, the report from international property firm Savills shows. It says that the majority of Alpine property buyers are regular skiers in the region, and although the number of winter ski trips to the Alps are still below their 2007 to 2008 peak when 700,000 trips were made, winter visitors have started to increase again. The residential markets are also aided by growth in summer season visits, as the mountains attract larger numbers of walkers and cyclists. The report points out that Switzerland’s status as a safe haven with its attractive fiscal environment and historical political and economic stability, make it an attraction for buyers from around the world. International buyers are di-

verse, but the Swiss Alps have seen purchasers from Asia, in particular Singapore, and young buyers who are on average in their early 40s. Buyers from northern Europe are also on the increase in the Swiss Alps. ‘The rental market is strong, so renting out a property for just three weeks a year in Verbier, for example, will usually completely cover the annual running costs of the property,’ the report says. ‘Apartments are popular, especially new build properties which can provide a range of attractive offerings such as proximity to lifts, parking, wellness centres and concierge services,’ it adds. In scenic Austria where ski resorts and lakes are often close together, dual season properties are popular. Lower capital values in this market have meant buyers can find good, income producing investments. New developments are underway in many resorts, so supply is not as constrained as in some other Alpine locations, especially Switzerland. Chalets remain popular and relatively affordable in Austria.

UK buyers are the biggest buyer group in Austria although the country is also popular with those from the Czech Republic, Russia and other countries in the CIS. The French Alps have seen a mixed picture in terms of pricing. Where Courchevel has seen prices stabilise at 20% below 2008 values, limited supply has helped both Megève and Val d’Isère see sustained price growth over the five years to 2013. ‘As with the rest of France, confidence in the market is still relatively weak, impacted by ongoing uncertainty around the French tax environment and economy, but has the potential to strengthen significantly should this change,’ the report explains. Swiss buyers have become more common in the French Alpine market over the last five years, taking advantage of the strong Swiss franc and weak euro, while UK buyer numbers have declined. ‘Taken as a whole, the outlook for the Alpine property market looks positive with increased buyer interest and transactions in recent times,’ the report concludes.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Aviation

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Private jets: Redining Nigeria’s aviation industry Stakeholders and professionals in the Nigeria aviation industry predict that the country will soon be a major market for jet manufacturers at the rate private jet acquisition is growing. OLUSEGUN KOIKI writes.

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rivate jet acquisition is growing at a very high speed in Nigeria. As at 2007, there were about 20 private jets belonging to several billionaires in the country flying in the airspace, but in the last six years, the thirst for acquisition for private jets by Nigerians has grown astronomically. Today, according to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, there are no fewer than 150 private jets owned by several Nigerians purposely for business and leisure. While some stakeholders and professionals have in recent time condemned the acquisition of private jets by Nigerians, and argued that the jets further bring down activities of the scheduled airline operators in the industry, several others said jet acquisition was a necessity for users and that the Federal Government and its agencies have actually gained more from private jet owners in the country. In 2012 alone, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, earned at least $10, 000 from private jet owners for parking of their aircraft at the agency’s terminals across the country. FAAN according to the information gathered indicated that the agency also collects about $320 for overnight stay of the jets at the airport for those who do not have private terminals. However, the fee charged for landing depends on the aircraft weight and on the time it lands at an airport. According to the statistics obtained from FAAN’s website, the rate varies. For day landing, $0.000909/kg while parking for the first three hours does not attract any fee. For the Gulfstream G450 aircraft with the landing weight of 29,935kg, the airport authority will charge the owner about $273 or its naira equivalent for day landing while it will take $408 for night landing. Some Nigerians who own private jets include Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor Sam Adeyemi, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Barr. Jimoh Ibrahim and Chief Mike Adenuga. Others are Sir Joseph Arumemi-Johnson and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor among several other Nigerians. However, most of the jets flying in the country’s airspace and owned by Nigerians are in foreign registrations, rather than the 5N, which is the Nigeria’s call sign. Just recently, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke was accused by the House of Representatives for squandering about N10bn over a two-year period on the arbitrary charter and maintenance of a Challenger 850 aircraft for both official and personal use.

The Bombardier-Challenger jet belonging to Pastor Oritsejafor

WHILE THEY CAN BE USED FOR LUXURY OR FLY TO SECOND HOMES AROUND THE

WORLD, WHICH IS THE

PERCEPTION OF MANY, YET IN REALITY A Nogie Meggison

Although, it was not established if the minister actually owned jet, but several Nigerians expend billions of naira on jet maintenance and acquisition annually. An official of Bombardier, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer, confided in our correspondent recently that Nigeria ranks behind the United States, United Kingdom, and China among countries that top their orders for the supply of aircraft. However, most of these jets owned by Nigerian billionaires are not registered in their names, which make the identity of some of them difficult. Rather, the jets are registered with existing airlines with valid Air Operators’ Certificates, AOC, issued by NCAA. Some of these wonders in the air bars, bedrooms, baths, TV screens and other luxuries depending on the configuration and individual designs. Each unique jet can be personally designed down to the tiniest luxurious detail for work or play. The Managing Director, Guarantee Trust Bank, Mr, Segun Agabaje in a recent forum put the value of private jets in Nigeria at $3.75bn. Agabaje said that on the average, each jet costs $25m, which carries both local and international registrations. According to him, cash acquisition of aircraft among the super-rich Nigerians amounted to 70 per cent, leasing, 14 per cent while direct lending was 16 per cent, adding that most of the jets are imported from the United States of America, Canada, Europe, Brazil and South Africa. Also, the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, NIESV, at a seminar held in Lagos recently disclosed that Nigerians have in the last three years invested about N1.3trn on the acquisition of private jets. NIESV is authorized by law to place

PRIVATE JET IS ALSO ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE BUSINESS TOOLS AVAILABLE IN THE WORLD TODAY value on any property. The Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Capt. Nogie Meggison in a forum recently held in Lagos, revealed why more Nigerians prefer private jet to scheduled airline operators. Meggison at the forum insisted that private or chartered jets have more merits than scheduled operators. According to him, there is more flexibility in private jets than scheduled operators and mentioned timeliness, comfort and ability to choose one’s flying time among others as some of the advantages of private jets over scheduled operators. Meggison however said that private jet acquisition is highly misunderstood by many people in the country, stressing that it is usually regarded as playthings of the rich. He noted their actual function, in many cases, could be overlooked. He said, “While they can be used for luxury or fly to second homes around the world, which is the perception of many, yet in reality a private jet is also one of the most valuable business tools available in the world today. “With growing numbers of entrepreneurs, top corporate executives and ultrahigh-net-worth individuals in the country today, private jets can get them closer and faster to their destinations than any airline; better flexibility with time and more importantly avoiding cancellations or rushing out

of a meeting in order not to miss a flight. In private or chartered jets, there are no cancellations, no airport queues, arrive airport when ready, seamless security clearance, no stopovers, no missed connections, no lost baggage, no rigid schedules, more time for friends and family among others.” He added that the time saving and convenience provide significantly more productive time, fine tune briefings onboard, before and after meetings, stressing that executives could make the most of this time to talk business with colleagues, clients or partners in complete privacy, relaxing or entertaining; entirely on the same flight. Besides, a member of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, Mr. Chris Amokwu commenting on the charter of private jets by Ministry of Petroleum Resources, emphasized that due to the operations in the oil sector, the ministry of petroleum resources required jets to be able to monitor activities in the sector. Amokwu argued that if other oil companies like Shell, Chevron and others could own private jets and helicopters which they use for their operations, the ministry, which controls the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and activities in the sector required jets for proper monitoring. An aviation professional, Mr. Olumide Ohunayo, said that the flight schedules of most commercial airlines are not flexible; a situation which has made private jet acquisition attractive for those who can afford it. Speaking on foreign registration for private jets, the a former Managing Director, Aero Airlines, Capt. Akin George recently decried that most of the private jets carry foreign registration credentials rather than Nigerian registration. He had subsequently called on the authorities concerned in the country to make registration processes in Nigeria friendly and attractive. Also, a member of the Aviation Round Table, ART, and an aeronautic engineer with the defunct national carrier, Nigeria Airways Limited, Engr. Sheri Kyari, listed the costs associated with the ownership of private jet to include scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, keeping the flight crew, landing and parking charges and the use of Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), which usually belongs to airlines, among others.


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Aviation

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Airside shegzzy4live2000@yahoo.co.uk 08186007273

Orosanye Report: Matters arising

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ince the Federal Government, about two weeks ago gave its approval to the merger of three agencies in the Nigerian aviation industry; the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, as one entity, the sector has not known peace. It has been total condemnation from the industry unions, stakeholders and professionals. For the first time in several years, all the players in the sector are speaking in unison. The government had in 2011 set up of the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, headed by Mr. Steve Oronsaye, which was to device a plan for the government to reduce its spending on its parastatals. While the Airside agrees with the government that it has to cut down on its high and frivolous spending and deliver improved services to Nigerians, it is also imperative for the government not to

allow political and economic considerations to have adverse effects on air safety. Rather than merge a regulator (NCAA) with service providers (NIMET and NAMA), Airside opines that the government should reduce the number of directorates, Assistants General Managers, Deputy General Managers and General Managers in most of its agencies even in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN. Most of those who occupy these positions were imposed on the Chief Executives by politicians and have little or no interest of the sector at heart. Moreso, the aviation industry is globally regulated and Nigeria as a member state of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, cannot work in isolation. Airside insists that the implementation of these recommendations will further drag the sector backward by at least 20 years. Rather than retrogressing, Nigeria should be progressing.

Where lies Capt. Muktar Usman’s fate?

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ith the planned merger of three agencies by the Federal Government, it seems the fate of the erstwhile Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, Capt. Muktar Usman is hanging in the balance. Usman was removed alongside the Chief Executive Officers, CEOs, of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and that of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, but un-

like others, he was redeployed to NCAA. However, since Usman was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan in February, he is yet to be cleared by the Senate for him to resume to his new office and with the proposed merger of NCAA, NIMET and NAMA, Usman does not know where his fate hangs. While Airside and most players in the industry does not support the proposed merger, it is interested in knowing what happens to Usman if the proposal eventually become a reality.

Turkish Airlines wins CAPA Airline of the Year Award

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urkish Airlines has been named the CAPA Airline of the Year at the 11th annual CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence in Amsterdam. President of Turkish Airlines, Temel Kotil accepted the award from CAPA Executive Chairman, Peter Harbison at a gala ceremony. The CAPA Airline of the Year is awarded to the carrier that has had the greatest impact on the development of the airline industry, established itself as a leader, and the benchmark for others to follow. “Turkish Airlines has established itself as a formidable competitor in a geographic region that boasts many of the world’s leading airlines. Turkish has created the world’s largest international network and now reaches nearly

200 destinations from its powerful hub in Istanbul. “Under the strong and visionary leadership of its management and thanks to the dedicated efforts of its employees, Turkish Airlines has forged an industry leading service culture, numerous innovative marketing campaigns and a consistently high quality product offering,” said Harbison. “Turkish has successfully exploited its geographic position with an innovative fleet deployment strategy and it has successfully leveraged membership in Star Alliance and a wide range of bilateral codeshare relationships to further extend its global reach. All this is generating healthy profitability and we wish Turkish Airlines even greater success in 2014,” continued Harbison.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Etihad Airways earns $1.4bn revenue in Q1 2014 O ne of the major foreign carriers flying into Nigeria, Etihad Airways, has announced its strongest ever passenger and cargo volumes for a first quarter, together with $1.4bn in total revenues during the threemonth period, marking a year-onyear increase of 27 per cent. A total of 3.2 million passengers travelled with Etihad Airways during the first quarter of 2014, over 14 per cent higher than the 2.8 million passengers from the same period last year. An nlime media statement sent by its media consultant in Nigeria stated that the growth rate is more than double a recent estimate from the International Air Transport Association, IATA, that passenger demand will increase 5.8 per cent this year on a global basis. The statement added that Etihad Cargo also outperformed the global market, carrying 127,821 tonnes of freight and mail in the first quarter. This marks a year-on-year increase of 26 per cent, almost seven times higher than IATA’s prediction that the international cargo market will grow by four per cent in 2014. The airline’s cargo revenue also increased by 26 per cent to $243m, placing Etihad Cargo on track to become a billion dollar business in 2014. The President, Etihad Airways, James Hogan, agreed that the

global airline industry has faced challenges such as higher-thanexpected fuel prices and fierce competition in key international markets during the first quarter of 2014, but noted that the airline has continued to outperform the passenger and cargo markets, and raise the bar even further. Hogan explained that its strong performance highlights the continued success of the airline’s strategic master plan, which focuses on the three fundamental pillars of organic network growth, codeshare partnerships and minority equity investments in other airlines around the world. This unique strategy and the investments he said the airline has made in product, service and infrastructure, maintaining that the airline was positioned strongly for top-line growth and bottom-

Phohleli

line delivery in 2014. Etihad Airways’ volumes were boosted by the fast-paced growth of its international route network, with 95 destinations operational by the end of first quarter 2014, an increase of six compared to the same period in 2013. Network highlights in the first quarter included the start of a daily service to Medina, Etihad Airways’ fourth destination in Saudi Arabia, while frequencies increased on six existing routes, including New York in the US, Munich in Germany, Colombo in Sri Lanka, and Chengdu in China. The airline will commence services to eight more destinations over the remainder of 2014, increasing its global route network to 103 by the end of the year. Organic growth was supported by the development of codeshare and equity partnerships, which delivered 678,000 passengers onto Etihad Airways flights in the first quarter of 2014, 25 per cent higher than the same period last year. Revenue from codeshare and equity partners rose 23 per cent to US$223 million, representing 22 per cent of total revenue in the quarter. During this period, new codeshare agreements were signed with Air Europa and JetBlue, while an existing codeshare with airBaltic was expanded. Etihad Airways also obtained regulatory approval to acquire a 49 per cent share of Air Serbia.

South African Airways tasks Nigerian travel agencies quality services

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he management of South African Airways, SAA, has tasked travel agencies in Nigeria to continue to provide excellent travel perks to the country’s travellers. The airline, in its biennial Billings Settlement Plan, BSP, forum for travel agencies in Lagos encouraged the travel agencies to go a step further in meeting global standards to ensure travellers satisfaction. SAA Country Manager, Nigeria, Thobi Duma, while speaking at the event noted travellers are willing to pay travel agencies, which provide excellent one-stop travel shop services. Thobi explained that the essence of the forum was to educate and enlighten the travel agents on the latest development concerning South African Airways particularly agency commission, fare structure and rules including the airline’s

voyager loyalty programme. She observed that the forum also provides opportunity for the travel agencies to interface and share feedback with the SAA Nigeria officials. She said, “Inasmuch as we want to update them about SAA brand and product, this forum gives them the opportunity to

South African Airways aircraft

share with us those challenges they are facing with regards to carrying out their various duties as it relates to SAA.” Also, SA Regional Manager North and West Africa, Ohis Ehimiaghe commended the travel agencies for supporting the airline in its over a decade of operations in Nigeria.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Insurance Govt should subsidise microinsurance for low-income earners Insurance Expert and Managing Director of Riskguard Africa Nigeria Limited, Mr. Yemi Soladoye, says in this interview with MESHACK IDEHEN says that the development of micro insurance market in Nigeria is a task the government must not take lightly. Excerpts: cident cover for all the citizens of Nigeria categorised as the low-income and provide 50per cent subsidy as done under agriculture in Nigeria and in some other African countries.

How would you rate the performance of micro insurance in Nigeria compared with the developed market like that of South Africa? In considering the performance of micro insurance in a country, we probe into whether or not the insured are voluntary or compulsory insured. For instance, micro insurance is made compulsory for them as a part of the credit facility requirement. The product in use here is credit life. The fact of the matter is that Nigeria has the potential to surpass South Africa in micro insurance record if not in penetration, at least in absolute figure within five years. Out of the 1,079,000 micro insurance insured in Nigeria in 2012, 70 per cent had credit life policy; 7.5 per cent had personal accident; 2.5 per cent had property insurance; 10 per cent, savings life; and 10 per cent, health insurance. In essence, only 20 per cent of the people were voluntary insured. Usually, those under compulsory insurance always don’t know that they have bought insurance. Who can you describe as the target groups for micro insurance? The target groups for micro insurance are the farmers, the artisans, the market women in the rural, semi-urban and urban areas, and the low-income people of Nigeria in general. This set of people could be divided into those already using financial services like microfinance banks and those who do not. In general, the low-income people all over the world are those who earn $4 and below per day and are further divided into two groups, the active poor and the vulnerable poor. The active poor are those earning between $2 and $4 per day, while the vulnerable poor are those earning below $2 per day. Since insurance is to satisfy the security needs of human beings and those earning below $2 per day are still struggling to satisfy the physiological needs of food, shelter and clothing, insurance for them can only be provided through government support. The focus of commercial micro insurance is, therefore, the low-income people earning between $2 and $4 per day. There was a diagnostic study on micro insurance conducted in the country recently, what is the outcome of that exercise? Since the presentation of the Market Development Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) report in 2009, identifying micro insurance as a new market to be explored, the National Insurance Commission has made remarkable progress in the area of introducing it in this big market with huge opportunities. The German Development Corporation and NAICOM embarked on the country’s diagnostic study of micro insurance in Nigeria in 2012. In embarking on this study, NAICOM and GIZ wanted evidence-based report on the position of micro insurance in Nigeria, identify the capacity of the low-income people in Nigeria to use financial products and make the report a public resource in itself. Focused group discussions were held for the demand side in nine states and five regions of Nigeria with 207 family units made up of over 2,000 family members. Fifty-four public and pri-

What types of risks were observed to be common with those that could take micro insurance in those communities? All the communities identified their major risk exposure as sickness, accident, flood, drought, fire, political violence, religious violence, unforgiving quarrels and death. Some other risks were water borne diseases, hazardous jobs, snake bite and falling from tree top. They also had social expenses like wedding, funeral, extended family members, and absence of medical facilities to diagnose and to treat. There was also ignorance like cultural and religious beliefs, and alcoholism.

Soladoye

IT MUST NOT CONTAIN LONG LIST OF EXCLUSIONS, CLAUSES, TECHNICAL AND LEGAL JARGONS OR BE SEPARATED INTO HEADINGS LIKE

OPERATIVE CLAUSE, RECITAL CLAUSE AND SO ON.

CLAIMS

ADMINISTRATION MUST NOT BE CUMBERSOME vate sector organisations were also met in the two states on the supply and enabler side during the six months of the study. The nine demand side states were made up of two urban communities, three semiurban and four rural communities. How can the operators widen insurance in Nigeria and how can the government promote micro insurance? The Nigerian insurance industry must activate the competing and collaborating opportunities of insurance with other financial services providers; recognise the power of insurance to stimulate the growth of the other sectors of the economy; exhibit the strategic importance of insurance in generating funds for projects of national development and in particular recognise the fact that the social impact is a key objective of micro insurance operation. There is a huge opportunity for job creation in micro insurance in particular and in insurance in general not yet utilised at the federal, state and local government levels in Nigeria. NAICOM must make a strong case to the lawmakers and policymakers to provide compulsory life and ac-

How can micro insurance be made relevant to the lay man? For micro insurance to be relevant to the low income people in Nigeria, it must be made simple. There must be staple bundled products, ankle risks and embeddable into many others trusted and every day use products like telephone, banking, fertilizer, mass transit and so on. The products have to be developed in local languages of Nigeria, at least in four languages – Pidgin English, Yoruba, Hausa and Ibo. The contract or application form, which is the basis of an insurance contract, must be a simple, maximum onepage document eliciting simple pieces of information about the applicant. The agreement (policy) document is the evidence of an insurance contract. It must be simple, maximum one-page document, and possibly in the local language. It must not contain long list of exclusions, clauses, technical and legal jargons or be separated into headings like operative clause, recital clause and so on. Claims administration must not be cumbersome. Claims notification may be made on phone and there may be no completion of forms. With the experience in the microfinance, business, fraud is not commonly perpetrated by the low income people, except by or with the connivance of the loan officer. There is no long process of claim investigation and adjustment or excess and deductibles. How do you assess the N350m capital to underwrite both classes of micro insurance? The minimum capital requirement to operate an insurance company in Nigeria is the highest in Africa. This capital increase has, however, not translated into geometrical premium growth since 1961 when the first MCR was stipulated as £25,000. Whereas, the industry’s MCR had increased by 6,250 per cent between 1976 and 2011, the gross premium income had only increased by 1,230 per cent. The net result is always the death of old players and birth of new players who will later become old players. This is what puts a question mark on the huge amount of N350m specified as the MCR for micro insurance. A national micro insurance goals and strategy statement together with national business plan and regulatory framework should immediately be put in place by the regulator.


34

Insurance

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Cost saving auto insurance GDP rebasing’ll improve Nigeria’s insurance rating, says CIIN president tips for vehicle fleets STORIES: MESHACK IDEHEN

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he President of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, CIIN, Mr. Kayode Lawal, has said the new Gross Domestic Product, GDP status would improve the rating of nation’s insurance industry internationally. Lawal told journalists in Lagos that the insurance industry would begin to get better recog-

Lawal

nition in the global reinsurance businesses, saying the rebasing of the GDP had identified economic structures that needed governments’ attention for sustainable growth. He noted the rebasing is just a nomenclature, explaining it is only that now that the economy is been properly positioned in the scheme of things, and that the country is being considered on the same platform with other countries.” The new GDP figures, Lawal said, will bring a lot of improvement in relationship with other similar organisations internationally, because insurance is an international business, and the global insurance community will give us better recognition to the sector in Nigeria. According to him, “It does not change the structure of the economy. It does not increase the number of insurable risks that is in the economy because that is where insurance will

grow,’’ Lawal urged to government to ensure that the rebasing of the GDP reflected on the lives of the citizenry, saying the new status does not also improve the security of the nation which should be of utmost and primary attention of government at this point in time. “l think government should do everything to arrest that; provide security for the nation; improve employment opportunity for the citizenry; and create conducive atmosphere for businesses to thrive. “A situation where a number of our manufacturing companies would relocate to Ghana does not augur well for Nigeria as a nation. In fact it creates problem of unemployment,’’ he added. Lawal also said that the nation’s new GDP had provided the basis for scientific evaluation and tracking of the economy and general development.

Mutual Benefit designs insurance policy for politicians, churches

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utual Benefits Assurance Plc said it has launched 36 new insurance products that will give insurance protection to various groups, including politicians and churches, so as to mitigate diverse risks in various segments of the Nigerian economy. The new products, according to the insurance company, are the politician comprehensive insurance, church insurance, Nollywood insurance, motor dealers complimentary insurance, school insurance, SME comprehensive insurance, mega comprehensive insurance, event centre insurance, corporate office insurance, oil and gas supply insurance, lady life insurance and hair saloon insurance. Group Managing Director of the company, Mr. Akin Ogunbiyi, told journalists that the company, several years ago, set out plans to touch the lives of people through affordable and customised insurance products, saying others new products introduces are advertising agency insurance, sales office insurance, law firm insurance, accounting firm insurance, hotel

insurance, hospital insurance, fast food restaurant insurance, mosque Insurance and estate managers insurance. He said landlord tenants insurance, travel and tour agency insurance, market and shopping complex insurance, sales shop and super market insurance, laundry and cleaning services insurance, juvenile life assurance, mortgage endowment, pilgrims welfare insurance policy are also some of the products that have been introduced. Ogunbiyi said the company was adding the new products to its existing 76 products that are doing very well in the market, noting that the products will be deplored through the firm’s 60 offices and 7000 agents that have been trained to market them. He noted that one of the challenges facing insurance in the country is lack of accessibility, adding that people buy fake insurance because they cannot find genuine ones, and that the firm is poised to change that scenario, through continually developing products that

will meet the needs of the people. Maintaining that the public will buy insurance if products are designed to meet their needs and stressing that the new products are coming at discounted rates to add value lives, he lauded the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) for approving the products. Director of Technical of the company, Mr Moses Ajaja, on his part, said the 36 products are the first set of products to be rolled out by the firm in line with its retail strategy, adding that more products will be unveiled soon.

Ogunbiyi

ARM allays fears on pension contribution

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RM Pension Limited, one of the licensed pension fund administrators, in collaboration with the Nigerian Civil Service Union, said it has brought civil servants and retirees together for an interactive forum on frequently asked questions about the scheme.

Speaking while clearing the misconceptions of retirees about the scheme, ARM Pension Regional Head, Mr. Isma’il Salisu, said the new pension scheme was planned in such a way that contributors’ fund are well secured even where a pension administrator ceased to

exist. He explained that contributors fund is 100 per cent safe, while explaining that the fall of a pension administrator will not affect the fund because the fund is with the fund custodian and not the pension administrator.

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leet insurance is a type of auto insurance that is reserved for those who have more than one vehicle to insure. Although it is insurance for multiple vehicles, it is not necessarily the type of insurance that everyone needs to have. For example, people who own more than one vehicle that they are only using for personal reasons would find better rates by bundling their auto insurance policies with one company. There are several ways to save when looking for the right fleet insurance, from implementing certain safety measures to installing fleet management software. Here are ways to save on fleet insurance Utilise the services of an auto insurance comparison site-- Because it can be more difficult to find the fleet insurance that business owner’s need, seeking quotes for the best rates will be an even greater challenge. But business owners have the option of seeking the assistance of a car insurance comparison site. The advantage they have is that they know everything there is to know about the insurance companies they represent. Car insurance comparison websites are already aware of which auto insurance companies have fleet insurance available for purchase. They will take their clients’ information straight to these companies and receive several quotes for their clients who will then be able to choose the quotes they like. This makes the entire process easy for business owners who will not have to call every auto insurance company in the phone book inquiring about fleet insurance. Only hire drivers with the best driving records-- In order to keep auto insurance premiums low for fleet insurance, everyone driving the vehicles needs to have a good driving record. As with other types of insurance, insurance companies consider people who have not had several accidents and tickets as better risks, and they offer these people the lowest rates. The reason is because these people will present the lowest probability of needing to file a claim. During the hiring process, business owners that hire drivers need to make sure that they perform an adequate background check on their prospective hires. Part of this background check will include a check with the DMV and the applicant’s driving record. Performing this check

before hiring these applicants prevents unpleasant surprises from arising. Implement safety measures--Auto insurance companies are encouraged when their clients perform actions meant to decrease the possibility of an accident. One thing that businesses can do to show that driver safety is important to them is to demonstrate that they have regular meetings that stress the measures that can be taken to avoid accidents. Business owners that do this are entitled to discounts from their insurance companies. Business owners can also qualify for discounts when they add anti-theft devices to their vehicles such as: Add devices that prevent serious injuries-- The vehicles can also be outfitted in a manner that will help to prevent serious injuries occurring to the driver and passengers. Some of these devices include: Airbags in the front of the vehicle as well as in the back on the sides. An anti-lock brake system Ask for discounts offered especially for fleet insurance-- To save money on fleet insurance, make sure to ask the auto insurance company for as many discounts as they can qualify for. Business owners can be sure to ask the insurance companies they call if they offer discounts for any of these reasons: The number of years that a company has been in business will qualify it for a discount. The longer a company has been in business, the more stable it appears to the insurance company. Just because a company is purchasing fleet insurance will qualify it for a discount. In general, insurance companies reduce the rates of clients who insure more than one vehicle with one insurance company. Make it easier on yourself-Business owners have a lot to consider when they are looking for cost-effective fleet insurance. An insurance comparison website can make everything easier by bringing the auto insurance companies that best match their needs directly to them. Then all business owners need to do is inquire about all the ways that have been listed in this article that the company can lower their rates. The insurance comparison website is the one who gets the ball rolling. Source: www.insure.net


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Money

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

35

HoldCo’s barred from doing business with subsidiaries UDO ONYEKA

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he Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, over the weekend released operating guidelines for the registration, licensing and operation of Holding Company, HoldCo, structure, for the financial services sector. The guidelines posted on the CBN website and signed by Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Mr. N. Amugo said that the apex bank may excise or cause to be excised from a financial holding company group, a banking subsidiary and ring-fence it into a mono-line bank, where in the opinion of the CBN, the financial holding company is being run in an un professional manner that is detrimental to the interest of depositors and , or other stakeholders of the banking subsidiary. The circular said “No financial holding company shall: engage in any transaction or maintain any business relationship with any of its subsidiaries, except such transaction is conducted at arms-length; borrow from the Nigerian banking system for the purpose of capitalising itself or any of its subsidiaries; obtain a loan based on the guarantee of its banking subsidiary/associate, except where the loan is secured by dividend income or Service Level Agreements by the financial holding company for services to its banking subsidiaries. It stated that it is in pursuant to Extraordinary Gazette No. 38 of December 29, 2011, which defines a financial holding company as “a company whose principal object includes the business of a holding company set up for the purpose of making and managing, for

Kingsley Moghalu

Bisi Onasanya

its own account, equity investment in two or more companies, being its subsidiaries, engaged in the provision of financial services, one of which must be a bank.” The apex bank said promoters of HoldCo shall pay non-refundable licensing fee of N10m, “or such other amount that may specify from time to time, payable to the CBN by bank draft or by electronic transfer.” It also stated that the application shall among other requirements be accompanied with a non-refundable application fee of N2m or such other amount that the CBN may specify from time to time. The guideline prescribed that: subsidiaries

of a financial holding company or their partners shall be prohibited from acquiring shares in the financial holding company; for any financial holding company structure to emerge there shall be at least, two subsidiaries and the focus of the conglomerate shall be in the financial services sector. They are prohibited from acquiring shares of other subsidiaries of their parent holding company. The apex financial regulatory institution repealed the Universal Banking Guidelines and introduced a New Banking Model in 2010 as part of the strategic initiatives to reposition the Nigerian banking system on the path of sustain-

CBN to mop up liquidity amid FAAC allocation

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s the Federal Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, releases N641.38bn into the system this week, financial analysts predict a balancing in the liquidity as Open Market Operation, OMO, is expected to check the obvious liquidity surge and moderate money market rates at 11.4 per cent. The allocation to the three tiers of government for the month of March was shared last week, just as the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, is expected to auction Treasury bills worth N150.6bn on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 with maturities ranging between 90 days and 365 days. The apex bank will also issue N34.9bn in 91-day bills, N30.0billion in 182-day paper and N85.7bn in the 364-day

debt note, using the Dutch Auction System, DAS. “We expect FAAC to hit the system in the coming week. As a result, we expect the CBN to issue OMO to mop up liquidity within the system. “Consequently, we expect rates to remain within the average of 11.4 per cent at the end of the week,” said analyst at an investment research company, Afrinvest (West) Africa Limited. The analysts also expect average yields to settle within the 12.4 per cent and 12.7 per cent bands. Meanwhile the interbank money market commenced the week with N393.0bn credit balance as rates across all tenors commenced the week flat at an average 11.4 per cent. During the week, major inflow of N207.0bn for OMO maturity increased the li-

quidity in the system to close higher at N479.0bn. However, rates inched higher slightly by an average 4 basis points, bps, with the Open Buy Back (OBB) rate remaining flat at 10.3 per cent. The marginal rise was recorded on Tuesday due to RDAS withdrawal. There were no new issuances and maturity during the week, hence most rates traded flat Week Till Date, WTD. The Call, 7-day, 90-day and 180-day garnered 5bps, 5bps, 4bps and 9bps WTD in that order. Average yields on Treasury bills declined marginally by 4pbs last week to close at 12.5per cent. The 30-day Treasury bills instrument dipped the most (45bps) to 11.3 per cent, signifying investors’ skepticism in the long term.

able viability. The New Banking Model permits banks/ banking groups to retain non-core banking businesses by evolving into a non-operating Holding Company, HoldCo, and structure. Under this Model, a non-operating HoldCo is expected to hold equity investment in banks and non-core banking businesses in a subsidiary arrangement. This arrangement seeks to protect depositors’ funds from risks inherent in non-core banking businesses. CBN stated that a financial holding company shall be a source of financial and managerial strength to the subsidiaries. In doing this, it shall maintain financial flexibility and capital-raising capabilities for supporting its subsidiaries. “It shall also stand ready to use available resources to augment capital funds of its subsidiaries in periods of financial stress or adversity,” the Bank explained. It stated further that this Guidelines, issued in exercise of the powers conferred on the CBN “under the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, CBN Act, and the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Cap B3, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, BOFIA, complements CBN Regulation on the Scope of Banking Activities and Ancillary Matters, No 3, 2010 and is intended to facilitate understanding of the requirements for the adoption and operations of a financial holding company in Nigeria. “It covers the definition and structure of a financial holding company, licensing requirements, ownership and control, corporate governance, permissible and non-permissible activities, prudential regulation, as well as supervision.”

GTBank to reward credit card holders with global travel currency

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n partnership with Avios, a leading global travel rewards company, Guaranty Trust Bank plc has launched a new loyalty scheme exclusively for GTBank credit card holders. The loyalty scheme according to the Bank is part of GTBank’s overall strategy to bring the best in card products to its customers. It will reward international GTBank credit card holders, who are also members of the British Airways Executive Club Programme, for using their cards to pay for purchases using Point of Sale terminals. According to the Managing director of GTBank; Mr. Segun Agbaje, “At GTBank, we believe that it is important to anticipate our customers’ desires, and tailor the most rewarding experiences for them. The collaboration with Avios to introduce rewards on credit card spending cements our position as the best Bank in Nigeria, in line with our strategy to serve our valued clients locally and globally. We are thrilled to pioneer this initiative which will run till the 26th March, 2015. ” Avios is the global currency of the British Airways Executive Club. The

Bank in a statement said Members can collect Avios when they book a flight or shop with its partners, paying with their GTBank credit card. “With the new GTBank credit card loyalty scheme, every card holder will collect one Avios for every $2 on qualified spend on the card,”it said. The card holder it explained can use Avios towards flights worldwide with British Airways. It is also available for Oneworld Alliance partners for British Airways ticket upgrades, on hotel accommodation worldwide and car hire. “The number of Avios a customer needs depends on the destination and class of travel,” the bank stated. Nick Pilbeam, Director of New Markets and Business Development at Avios, said: “We are always looking for new ways to provide British Airways Executive Club members with accessible ways to collect Avios. The partnership with Guaranty Trust Bank is a real step forward for members in Nigeria, providing them with an easy way to build their Avios balance and enjoy the multitude of flight and travel rewards open to them.”


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Taxation

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

36

FCT Administration’s revenue drive suffers setback TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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fter about two years of implementing its ‘Park and Pay’ revenue generation policy in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Federal Capital Territory Administration at the weekend lost a legal battle to sustain the fiscal regime as a High Court declared the policy as illegal. Before the judgment, the implementation of the policy had generated criticisms and drew the irk of residents, especially private vehicle owners who have had to bear the burden of the charges at every point they need to do business within the FCT. The High Court judgment was therefore a soothing relief to many vehicle owners, some of who jubilated ecstatically at the premises of the High Court following the declaration of the scheme as illegal, ultra vires, null and void. In what appeared a landmark judgment which lasted several hours, the High Court judge, Hon. Justice Peter Affen, held that though the Park and Pay policy could be described as an excellent policy, but it lacked the backing of the law. The plaintiff, Sun Trust Savings and Loans Limited, had sued the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and two others, challenging them on the legality of collecting fees from motorists through the policy. The Plaintiff, amongst other reliefs sought, had asked the court to determine whether the Park and Pay policy is in pursuant of any act of the National Assembly as provided by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) and whether the defendants can exercise the powers to collect taxes, rates and fees without the act of the National Assembly. Upon resolution, the Plaintiff sought a declaration that the Pay

Bala Mohammed

Ify Umenyi

and Park policy scheme is ultravires, illegal and not in pursuant to any Act of the National Assembly, a declaration that the defendants are not constitutionally empowered to collect tax, fees and rate in the FCT without an act of the national assembly and an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their agents and privies from collecting taxes, fees and issuing of parking violation charges. In addition, the plaintiff also sought the refund of twenty thousand collect by the third defendant and another one hundred million Naira in exemplary damages. Justice Affen in determining the case said though the first defendant can make laws to collect taxes, fees and rates in the FCT, but the 2005 bye law of the FCT did not contemplate the Park and Pay scheme rather made provision for Park and Ride, “which is not being implemented.” The judge also declared that though the FCT Road Transport Regulation made elaborate provisions, adding that he “was not fortunate enough to find the Park and pay scheme in the 2005 FCT by law. What it provided for under

section 118 and 119 is the park and ride scheme. For reasons of clarity, I will state out those provisions in extensor. Section 118 states that the “Transport Secretary may from time to time designate any operational area or zone as a park and ride area or route for the purposes of traffic management between 6 am and 6 pm.” In granting the reliefs sought by the Plaintiff, the judge declared the scheme illegal, ultra vires, null and void. The judge also restrained the first defendant from collecting any taxes, rates and fees from motorists except such is provided for by a valid subsidiary legislation. “The defendants by themselves, privies, agents, servants or whatsoever name called are hereby restrained from operating pay and park scheme save and except the same is provided for or authorized by a valid bye law,” the judge ruled. It would be recalled that stakeholders had over the past two years had been unanimous in their grouse over the policy from which the FCT Administration has been generating billions of Naira yearly even when the decay in road infrastructure in the FCT satellite towns

remained detestable. For instance, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) recently assured vehicle owners of its resolve to work with the FCT Administration with a view to harmonising the operations of the policy. The Director General of the Council, Mrs. Ify Umenyi, said the move became necessary following complaints by motorists over incessant harassment by the different operators manning the parking zones in the city. She said: “The agency will engage the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) on the issue with a view to bring its attention to the pains and confusion the scheme is causing for the motorists in the city “Some motorists complained that after buying the park and pay recharge card from an operator they still found it difficult to park in any of the areas in the city manned by another operator without being asked to pay, failure to which they will have their cars clamped”, Umenyi added At the commencement of the policy, Integrated Parking Services (IPS) and Platinum Parking Management Services (PPMS) were licensed by the FCT authori-

ties to operate the policy in Abuja metropolis under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. Shortly thereafter, a third licensee, Automaten Technik Baumann (ATB), was brought into the scheme as a strategic option of raising the revenue collection. Under the policy, designated parking spaces were created on busy highways, marked out in white lines, and motorists parking on the designated spots are charged fixed fees per parking which ranged from N50 for 30 minutes and N850 for 12 hours. The parking spaces were shared among the operators who sold their cards or tickets to motorists parking in the areas Defaulters pay between N5,000 or N10,000 as penalty and their cars clamped (locked) until the fine is paid. Investigations indicated that each of the operating companies generate between N850,000 and N1.2 million daily from issuing their operations. How much is remitted to the FCT Administration is never made public but one of the operators was said to have declared that its total collections in 2012 was about N42 billion.

Obama proposes 442 tax hikes in office

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ince taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama, has formally proposed a total of 442 tax increases, according to an Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) analysis of his United States federal budgets for the fiscal years from 2010 to 2015. The total of 442 proposed tax increases does not, however, include the 20 tax increases President Obama signed into law as part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, and the significant tobacco tax hike

signed into law in the first days of his Presidency, ATR said. The budget with the lowest number of proposed tax increases was released during an election year, in February 2012 for the 2013 fiscal year, with only 34 proposed tax rises. The fiscal year with the highest number of proposals, at 137, was immediately after his reelection in the budget for the 2014 fiscal year. This year, for the 2015 fiscal year, Obama has only proposed 93 tax hikes.

TAX LAWS AND ISSUES

Personal tax burden creeps higher in OECD countries

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ersonal income tax rose in 25 out of the 34 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries over the past three years, according to the organisation’s annual Taxing Wages publication. The increasing tax burden is largely because these countries have been reducing the value of tax-free allowances and tax credits, and thereby subjecting higher proportions of earnings to tax.

Taxing Wages 2014 provides crosscountry comparative data on income tax paid by employees, and social security contributions made by employees and employers. The report finds that increases in tax burdens on labour income in 2013 were largest in Portugal (due to higher statutory rates), the Slovak Republic (due to higher employer social security contributions), and the United States (due to expiry of previous reductions in employee social se-

curity contributions). The tax burden is measured by taking the total taxes and social security contributions paid by employees and their employers minus family benefits received as a proportion of the total labor costs for employers. The average tax burden on employment incomes across the OECD increased by 0.2 percent in 2013 to 35.9 percent. It increased in 21 out of 34 countries, fell in 12, and remained

unchanged in 1. The 2013 rise follows a substantial increase in 2011, and a smaller hike in 2012. Since 2010, the tax burden has increased in 21 OECD countries and fallen in 9, partially reversing reductions seen between 2007 and 2010. The report shows that in all OECD countries except Mexico and Chile the tax burden for families with children is lower than that for single individuals without children


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

37

Okomu, Mobil, Eterna Oil top losers’ stocks JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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rading in equities segment of the Nigerian Stock Exchange closed on positive note last week, as the benchmark index gained 0.58 per cent to close at 39,311.60 points, bringing the year-to-date loss to 4.88 per cent. A total of 1.53 billion shares worth N14.3bn were exchanged by investors in 17,704 deals. Okomu Oil Palm Plc lost N5.98 or 14.24 per cent of its shares during the week to close at N36.02 per share, from N42.00 at which it opened for trading. The loss was due to investors’ reaction to the company’s performance in the financial year ended December 31, 2013. The company’s profit after tax dipped to N425.09m in 2013, from N8.95bn posted in 2012 financial year, a decline of 95.25 per cent when compared to the preceding year. The profit before tax also depreciated 38.17 per cent to N2.69bn, from N4.35bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2012. The company’s gross profit stood at N4.99bn in 2013, from N6.31bn posted in 2012, a decrease of 20.92 per cent, while the company’s turnover stood at N8.86bn, a drop of 12.71 per cent when compared to N10.15bn recorded in 2012. The company did not reward shareholders with dividends due to “unimpressive 2013 result”. Mobil Oil Plc also lost substantial part of its equities value in the week under review, shedding N2.72 or five per cent to close at N51.72 per share, from N54.44 in the beginning of the week. Though the company has not released its 2013 complete financials, its nine months result showed a 4.2 per cent drop in revenues to N58.7bn, from N61.3bn recorded in the nine months

Mobil Oil MD, Mark Ward

Sterling Bank MD, Yemi Adeola

ended September 31, 2012. Gross profit stood at N7.3bn, while operating profit in the third quarter was N1.9bn, compared to N1bn posted a year earlier. Mobil closed the nine months period with a pre-tax profit of N3.7bn, 53 per cent higher than the N2.4bn posted in the same period of 2012. However, Sterling Bank shed 22 kobo or 8.40 per cent to close the week at N2.40 per share, as some speculative investors took profit from the previous gains. Its profit for the 2013 financial year rose to N9.3bn and it declared 25 kobo dividend to shareholders. The bank’s Non-interest income increased

to N21.7bn in 2013, from N15.3bn in 2012, due to a 139 per cent increase in trading income in addition to a 46 per cent increase in fees and commission, while Interest income rose to N70.0bn, from 53.5bn in 2012, driven by a 39 per cent increase in gross loans and stood at N328.7bn. Cutix Plc fell 10 kobo or five per cent to close at N1.90 per share, from N2.00 at which trading began on the stock last week. The company , turnover was up 22.6 per cent from N1.57bn in 2011 to N1.93bn in 2012. Its profit before tax rose 93 per cent from N118m in 2011 to N229m in 2012. Profit after tax also in-

UBA posts N12.6bn profit in Q1

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nited Bank for Africa Plc says its profit after tax rose by 36.37 per cent to N12.59bn in the first quarter of 2014, from N9.23bn as of the fourth quarter of 2013. It added that in line with its pace of expanding credit support to the emerging sectors in Nigeria and Africa its loans and advances hit a record high of N1.067tn in the first quarter of 2014. A statement from the bank said the figure rose by 16 per cent from the N937.6bn recorded as of December 31, 3013. The bank’s unaudited results for the first quarter of 2014 showed that its gross

earnings rose by 8.2 per cent to N68bn in the period from N63bn in the same period of 2013, while operating income of N45.5bn in the review period, reflected a two per cent increase on the N44.6bn it posted in the first quarter of 2013. The Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, was quoted as saying the bank focused on a number of strategic initiatives aimed at increasing its market share in the Nigerian and African markets. He said, “We are optimistic that the gains of our improved electronic banking channels and financial inclusion initiatives will materialise in successive quarters during the year.

“We remain confident that we have the right tools to achieve our business goals for the year whilst ensuring we continue to improve our customer service delivery and further consolidate our growth momentum.” The bank also said its net interest margin, which shows the quality of the bank’s earning on its lending activities, remained stable at 5.9 per cent quarter-onquarter. It added that the cost of funds remained stable at 3.6 per cent, quarter-on-quarter, while return on assets remained stable at 1.9 per cent QoQ, just as return on equity improved to 22.1 per cent QoQ from 21.3 per cent.

creased to to N151m, from79m. The Chairman of the company, Mr. David Ifezulike had last year said the company would invest over N300m in its new plant at Nnewi to boost its capacity to meet growing demands in the Nigerian market. The chairman said with the progress made by the company in its turnover and profits, it had begun work on the new factory, which would come on stream in April, this year. He said the company took advantage of the fall in the price of copper and aluminium to improve on its sales and profit and was now ready for expansion. He said though the stable political environment provided a congenial atmosphere for the economy, power supply remained a major problem for the manufacturing sector. The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Ifeanyi Uzodike, said the dumping of substandard cable and wire from China was adversely affecting the fortunes of local manufacturers. He said it was unfortunate that since the Standards Organisation of Nigeria was asked to leave the ports, the Customs had not been able to check the influx of substandard foreign products. Besides, he said the government had not been patronising indigenous industries in the procurement of cables and wires. “They only use foreign contractors, who buy foreign products,” he said. Uzodike called for quick passage of the local content bill for the power sector so that the local industries can also grow and compete internationally.

Fidelity Bank targets 50% SME lending

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he Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo has said that the bank plans to increase its lending to small and medium scale enterprises as well as to the retail segment to 50 per cent by 2017, from the 28 per cent it attained in 2013. He also said the bank has been positioned to be an SME-focused bank. According to a research firm, Renaissance Capital (RenCap), in a report titled, “New CEO: It’s all about Execution,” the bank acknowledged the challenges in the industry and assured stakeholders that its initial focus would be on reducing funding costs by continuous downward re-pricing of costly term deposits.

The reported added that the bank also indicated plans to also significantly increase its focus on driving e-banking products for customer mobilisation and service. The bank may also undertake a merger and acquisition deal for the right target and price. “We think this is particularly important for Fidelity to reawaken investor interest in the story and showcase the impact of multiple changes currently being implemented. In addition to this, 2013 saw the bank’s exposure to foreign currency lending rise to 27 per cent from one in 2012, as the bank deployed its foreign currency liabilities while the pressure on funding costs persisted.


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Features

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ijede: When the force of nature wreaked destruction The recent thunder storm in Ijede, a rural community near Ikorodu, Lagos State left vast imprint of devastation, as three persons were killed and many houses destroyed. DARE AKOGUN was there and reports that those affected are now counting their losses.

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week after a midnight thunderstorm devastated their homes, residents of some communities in the Ijede -Ikorodu area of Lagos State are still counting their losses. Like a meteor that strikes, leaving in its trail vast devastations, the thunderstorm tore through seven communities in the area, leaving a harvest of grief, agony and losses in its wake. The mood at the residence of Mrs. Bukola Aina, widow of one of the victims of the thunderstorm that destroyed property worth millions of naira, was that of gloom and uncontrollably wailings. When the deceased, Mr. Vincent Olugbenga Aina, who was a printer, left his home in Gbopa, Ijede with his family to worship at the Christ Apostolic Church, that faithful day, little did he know he was going to his untimely death. Vincent was said to have been killed when the roof of the church collapsed suddenly on the members all of who managed to escape leaving him trapped under the rubbles. The widow, who could not hold back tears, described her husband as a caring and gentle man loved by all and always strives to give his children the best, as he always placed the well being of others above his own. She says “we were already in the church when the rain started, then the heavy breeze started blowing throwing things around, shattering windows and tree branches were falling everywhere, we were in the Yoruba service section of the church with my late husband and the children. Suddenly the church roof collapsed and came down, as everyone ran for dear life, but my husband was trapped under the rubbles, it was the other church members that pulled him out. She also said that her husband was still alive when he was brought out of the rubble by the members of the church who escaped unhurt. “We rushed him immediately to the Ijede Health Centre, the only hospital in the area, where we met scores of injured persons brought from other churches who were also victims of the storm. “When we got there, we met many people who were injured from the storm from different parts of the community and the only doctor on duty was attending to another seriously injured man, and other patients lay down waiting to be attended to, we were told to take him to another hospital. It was on the way that he

Wind blown roofs of a building

A school destroyed by rainstorm

gave up the ghost,” she wailed. Neighbours and sympathisers kept coming in to encourage and console the family, especially the widow, who works as a nanny, at Christ Heritage Schools, Ilupeju Ijede. “Who will look after me and my six children, who will ever replace him, my joy is gone”. She said “this is a rented apartment and I have six children to take care of, how will I cope other than to put my hope in God, because I do not have anyone to turn to. “I call on the Lagos State Government and other well meaning Nigerians to come to my aid and help so that the dream of my husband will not die with him and the education of my children will not come to a halt “ she said tearfully. Another victim of the storm who spoke with our reporter Mr. Tunde Okusaga, an accountant with the 7Up bottling company, Ijora whose entire house roof was blown away and landed on his Toyota SUV, parked outside destroying the windshield, said the rain started at 8:30 am and lasted for 30 minutes. He said “I have never seen its kind before except in the movies. I was inside with

THE WHOLE DESTRUCTION HAPPENED IN LESS THAN

30 MINUTES.

IMMEDIATELY IT WAS OVER, I CAME

OUT AND SAW THAT THE WHOLE PLACE HAD BEEN TURNED UPSIDE DOWN my wife and three children, when suddenly the wind blew off the roof, in the process the walls dividing the sitting and bedroom collapsed. “Suddenly, the storm took the roof, and dropped it on my car parked outside.” He called on the government to come to their rescue as this kind of natural disaster took everyone by surprise. A resident who simply gave her name as

Bola said when the rain started the wind was so much, and house roof was blown away, a church’s roof was also affected and a woman whose fence fell on their car parked outside. “All the electricity poles in the community were damaged”, she cried. The thunderstorm also killed a woman and her child. The affected communities, which cut across Ijede Local Council Development Area, include Oke Eletu, Powerline, Jajo, Shonle, Magbon, Ifesokan and Mowo Nla. The Secretary of Mowo Nla Community Development Association, Mr. Dada Ebenezer, said the storm was preceded by a rain, adding that when the rain started at 9: 00 am, he thought it was a normal one until it turned destructive. He says: “The whole destruction happened in less than 30 minutes. Immediately it was over, I came out and saw that the whole place had been turned upside down. It was a terrible sight that almost brought tears to my eyes.” Ebenezer further disclosed that when the storm started, there was pandemonium as roofs were blown away and fences pulled down in quick succession. High tension cables and other means of electricity supply in the community were also destroyed. He made a passionate appeal to the Lagos State Government to come to the aid of those affected, noting that many of them have nowhere to stay for now. “Many people had their houses destroyed by the thunderstorm. Most have lost their means of livelihood, including vital documents. I pity them. The government should step in to make life worth living again for them by providing relief materials andmoney to start life anew,” he pleaded. It would be recalled that from February 2014 to March 2014, over 5,000 people have been affected by various wind and rainstorm disasters in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Kwara states.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Features

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A refugee camp in Kaduna

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Some displaced persons in a camp

Kaduna: Monumental craving to end wanton killings Peace is a prerequisite for progress. That is why the recurring acts of terrorism in the country are becoming worrisome. Recently, the governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero and some traditional rulers moved to end incessant killings in Kaura and other parts of the state.AZA MSUE, writes on the steps being taken to end the carnage.

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ccording to experts, peace which refers to absence of hostility in an environment is fast becoming elusive in Northern Nigeria despite government efforts to stem killings and attacks by unknown gunmen. Wanton killings and destructions are gradually becoming part of daily existence in many communities in Borno,Yobe,Adamawa,Benue, Plateau and parts of Kaduna State. Observers say that without peace, democracy will not flourish. They further observed the importance of peace considering the benefits for societal transformation. Recent attacks in Ugwar, Sankwai, Ungwar Gata and Chenshyi villagesof Kaura Council area in Southern Kaduna by unknown gunmen claimed lives and properties, forcing the Governor, Mukthar Ramalan Yero to cancel his trip to the United States of America for a conference on peace and security. So, as part of its multi dimensional approach to security and peace building, the government organised a two-day retreat for traditional rulers, to enhance their capacities in dealing with emerging security challenges. Speaking at the retreat, Governor Yero decried the dangerous trend of wanton destruction of lives and property, saying it is time to halt the ugly situation through collaborative efforts of all stakeholders. He said; “it is unfortunate that some

people find pleasure in destroying lives without justification. “People talk about differences in tribe or religion as the cause, but we have all these in the past and lived in peace. So why can’t we live in peace now”? “May be we have deviated from the path of Almighty God and we have to go back and seek His forgiveness”. He called on traditional rulers to avoid partisanship, saying as leaders, their role is critical in the efforts at building lasting peace and security. “Dialogue is the only answer; we need to dialogue in order to understand one another. Like I have said, there is no amount of guns or security that can guarantee peace; it is only through dialogue and understanding.” He also said a similar retreat will be held for religious leaders as a way of reminding them on the need to promote peaceful coexistence. On the attacks on three communities in Kaura Local Government,Yero said the government will assist with rebuilding of houses to hasten the rehabilitation process. He said government was working with relevant agencies to increase security in the area. He urged participants to concentrate on papers to be delivered by resource persons, adding that we can continue to coexist peacefully irrespective of our diversity. Everyone has a right to practice any religion and there is no compulsion in that. “I always believe that once Kaduna is peaceful the entire country will be peaceful.” Yero had invited traditional rulers in the state to an emergency meeting over the killings. The meeting was convened as part of collaborative efforts in stemming attacks on innocent citizens, especially in the southern parts of the state and BirninGwari Local Government area. In a brief opening ceremony with traditional rulers, Governor Yero said the government will not fold its arms and allow hoodlums cause chaos through incessant attacks on hapless citizens. “I invited you as traditional leaders because of the attacks in Moroa Chiefdom and other attacks in Brinin Gwari and Giwa, which call for immediate action. “If we allow such attacks to go on with-

out taking measures, it could lead to serious breakdown of security and we will not allow that to happen,” he said. In his remark, the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris said the killings must stop saying “such unwarranted acts of wickedness can bring calamity on the entire society. We must forge greater unity among ourselves because we are all one.” He said the government has already directed security agencies to hunt down those behind the Kaura attacks, adding that “we continue to allow people to commit such crimes and get away with it. We will continue to support security agencies in fighting crimes and ensure peace in our domains.” On her part, the Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurencia Laraba Mallam, who hails from the area, described the attacks in three communities as devastating. The minister who visited the mass graves and the refugee camp, where more than 2,000 are being sheltered, however urged the people to be calm and law abiding as the federal government was doing everything to bring an end to the killings. Mallam said she was saddened by the brutal, gruesome killings and destruction of property, saying that as an indigene, she was in great pains. “I am saddened by the gruesome killing of people. I want to assure that the government will do everything possible to ensure the safety of lives and property. “I am assuring that the President will do something on this incident,” she said. She expressed sympathy to all those whose loved ones were killed in the attack. Earlier, the vice Chairman of Kaura Local Government, Mr.Daniel Anyip, disclosed that the attackers came from the neighbouring Riyom Local Government of Plateau State. Anyip said 119 people were killed while several people are still missing. “114 bodies were found after the attack, five more were discovered the following day, bringing the death toll to 119. Many are still missing. The attackers always come through Riyom Local Government area”. “Two of the four dead attackers were from the Fulani community in Manchok. One was a commercial motorcyclist in the

PEOPLE TALK ABOUT DIFFERENCES IN TRIBE OR RELIGION AS THE

CAUSE, BUT WE HAVE ALL THESE IN THE PAST AND LIVED IN

PEACE.

SO WHY CAN’T

WE LIVE IN PEACE NOW town. So, it is no longer the issue of unknown gun men”, Anyip said. The vice chairman disclosed that 2,000 victims have been moved to a camp at the Model Primary School in Bondon, while many others are squatting with relations and neighbours. “You know because of the nature of our people, many do not want to stay in the camp; they prefer squatting with relations”, he said. According to him, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has brought relief materials like rice; maize and sugar for the refugees. “We are hoping that the government will find lasting solution to these attacks. Since 2011, they have been going on. We will be happy if the state and federal governments can bring an end to this killings and destructions,” Anyip pleaded. Speaking, an aide to Governor Yero, Maiyaki said the government had taken adequate measures to safeguard the lives and properties in the entire state. According to him, Governor Yero was billed to address the conference on the security challenges in the North and Kaduna State in particular, but had to turn back while on the way to the United States of America on receiving the news that some hoodlums had attacked villages in Kaduna and killed many innocent citizens. Maiyaki said that the governor departed Nigeria only to return without attending the USIP conference after attackers invaded Kaura villages recently.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Global Business

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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made $101bn bid for Manufacturing gains in U.S. Pfizer AstraZeneca as China stalls P M anufacturing will take center stage in the global economic watch this week, with the United States projected to fare better than the rest. Orders for American-made capital equipment such as computers and machinery probably climbed in March by the most in four months, economist forecast an April 24 report will show. In the euro zone, a report may indicate factories are growing at a steady pace in April, while similar figures out of China will probably signal factories in the world’s second-biggest economy are pulling back, though not as severely as in March. Elsewhere, German business confidence may have slipped in April, inflation in Australia at the start of 2014 probably approached the top of its central bank’s preferred range, and Brazil likely posted a current-account deficit in March. Bookings for U.S. durable goods, those made to last at least three years, climbed 2 per cent

Obama

last month following a 2.2 per cent gain in February, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Orders for non-military capital equipment excluding airplanes, which are considered a proxy on the outlook for business investment in such things as computers and machinery, increased 1 percent, the most since November, the survey showed. “The case for acceleration in investment remains strong,” Neil Dutta, head of U.S. economics at

Renaissance Macro Research in New York, wrote in an April 17 note. “When growth picks up, investment tends to rise some multiple of the overall growth rate. This is an important insight. Investment is cyclical. You cannot be optimistic on growth without expecting capital spending to rebound.” For Brett Ryan, an economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York, one of the most important investment drivers is that excess capacity, or the amount of unused factory space and equipment, is dwindling. The extent of potential being used at factories, mines and utilities in the U.S. reached 79.2 per cent in March compared with an average 79.4 per cent since 1980, the Federal Reserve reported last week. “The fact that capacity utilization rose to a new, post-recession high in March is a strong positive for faster business investment in the medium term,” Ryan wrote in an April 17 note.

European bonds rise on ECB stimulus speculation, Ukraine crisis

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uropean government bonds advanced this week, with Italian and Irish yields falling to the lowest levels on record, as prospects of further European Central Bank stimulus fueled demand for the region’s debt securities. Portugal’s 10-year yield dropped to the least since 2006 and Spain’s to a level not seen since 2005 as reports showing euro-area inflation at a four-year low and a decline in German investor confidence added to signs the region’s recovery is stalling. Investors bought the securities as a refuge as they shunned emerging markets amid turmoil in Ukraine, less than two years after ECB President Mario Draghi deemed it necessary to pledge unlimited support for Europe’s mostindebted nations. “The bond fundamentals are constructive,” Paresh Upadhyaya, Boston-based director of currency strategy at Pioneer Investment Management Inc., which oversees $236 billion, said in a telephone interview on April 16. “You have an ECB that is looking to ease policy, either conventionally or unconventionally, as inflation remains very low.” Italy’s 10-year yield dropped nine basis points, or 0.09 percent-

age point, this week to 3.12 percent at 5 p.m. London time on April 17. It touched 3.068 percent, the lowest level since Bloomberg started collecting the data in 1993. The 4.5 percent bond due in March 2024 climbed 0.765, or 7.65 euros per 1,000euro ($1,382) face amount, to 111.83. Bonds from Italy to Portugal are being buoyed by speculation ECB policy makers will expand stimulus to fuel an inflation rate that’s a quarter of their 2 percent goal. Investors also bought the bonds this week after Ukraine’s government said April 15 it identified Russian military in the eastern Donetsk region towns of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk. Italy’s securities also advanced as the Treasury in Rome sold 20.6 billion euros of inflation-linked bonds maturing in April 2020, dubbed BTP Italia and aimed mainly at retail investors. Portugal’s 10-year yield dropped 23 basis points this week to 3.74 percent after declining to 3.66 percent on April 17, the least since February 2006. The euro area’s annual inflation rate fell to 0.5 percent in March from 0.7 percent the previous month, the European Union’s statistics office confirmed April 16. The rate

has been below 1 percent for six months. German investor confidence dropped for a fourth month in April, a report showed a day earlier. Ireland’s 10-year yield fell to 2.83 percent on April 17, the least since Bloomberg began compiling the data in 1991. The rate on similar maturity Spanish bonds dropped to as low as 3.04 percent. Germany’s 10year bund yield was little changed on the week at 1.52 percent. The extra yield, or spread, that investors demand for holding Spanish 10-year bonds instead of benchmark German bunds shrank to 1.56 percentage points on April 17, the narrowest since October 2010.

Mario Draghi

fizer Inc. approached AstraZeneca Plc about acquiring the United Kingdom drug maker in a deal that would value the company at more than 60 billion pounds ($101 billion), according to a media report. The talks were reported by the London-based Sunday Times, citing bankers and industry sources it did not name. The conversations were described by the paper as informal and no longer continuing. “As a normal course of business, we continually explore opportunities to enhance shareholder value,” Joan Campion, a spokeswoman for New Yorkbased Pfizer, said in an e-mail. “We don’t comment on market speculation or rumors.” Esra Erkal-Paler, a spokeswoman for London-based AstraZeneca, declined to comment. In the last three years, Pfizer has revamped its business, shuttering some research projects and emphasizing others. It also divided into three main units: two new-drugs businesses, and one one focused on

older products. Pfizer’s stock has gained 34 per cent in the last two years. AstraZeneca’s shares are up 32 per cent over that period, while sales have fallen from $33.6 billion in 2011 to $25.7 billion last year, with further losses projected by some analysts as drugs lose patent protection. A merger of this reported size would top Pfizer’s 2000 purchase of Warner-Lambert Co. for $87 billion, the industry’s largest deal, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Pfizer has been at the center of the biggest drugmaker mega-mergers, making up three of the 10 deals worth more than $30 billion in the last two decades. AstraZeneca rose 0.6 per cent to close at 3,781.50 pence on April 17, giving the company a market value of 47.7 billion pounds. The U.K. stock market was closed for a holiday on April 18. Since taking over in 2010, Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Ian Read’s answers to whether or not he’d pursue a mega-merger such as a deal with AstraZeneca have shifted slightly.

Gillette’s new razor could overturn its 100-year-old business model

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rocter & Gamble, which hasn’t done a whole lot on the innovation front since the Swiffer in 1999, has a new Gillette razor in the works. The Wall Street Journal got its hands on some secret documents that show a relatively standard face trimmer mounted on an orange ball bearing. Dubbed the ProGlide FlexBall, the unit will sell for between $11.50 and $12.60 when it hits shelves in June, according to the Journal. The company is touting “optimized stiffness” and just the right amount of “damping,” plus 23 percent more skin contact, specs that suggest the sophistication of a

Gillette razor

sports car. But here’s the true innovation: Gillette’s new razor will use P&G’s current blades, a total departure from the notorious razors-and-blades model that has characterized the segment since Civil War beards went out of style the first time. The razor has typically been just a cheap vehicle to sell expensive blades, locking customers into a proprietary platform. Every few years, the consumer-goods honchos gather around a boardroom and say, ‘OK, it’s time to add another blade”; the comedians at places like the Onion poke fun; and people rush out and buy the thing en masse.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bayelsa, BoI assure on security for SMEs confab OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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Trading at Mile 1 Market Port Harcourt Rivers State capital

PHOTO:NAN

2015: Ongoing congresses will strengthen APC –Tilije THEOPHILUS ONOJEGHEN WARRI

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three time running-mate to Chief Great Ogboru and chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Delta State, Chief Fidelis Tilije, has said the ongoing nationwide congresses in the party would help to strengthen the party for better results in the 2015 general elections. Chief Tilije stated this while fielding questions from newsmen in his hometown, Obiaruku, Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State said the party’s membership would soar at the end of the congresses. Tilije who is from Delta North Senatorial district said he decamped to APC

Bisi Akande

because of the party’s ideologies which focused on development for a better Nigeria, fairness, and equitable, noting that APC was an extremely reasonable platform for any progressive to be part of to form an alternative government at any point in time in Nigeria. “In just one week, APC was able to register over 130,000 memberships in Delta even when there was no structure on ground. I assure you that by the time we conclude our congresses from the wards to the national levels more structures would have been put on ground that would attract more memberships,’’ he said. Tilije who is eyeing the Delta governorship position under the APC plat-

Lai Mohammed

form in the 2015 gubernatorial election said he wanted to restore the lost moral standards in the state to enable the people to enjoy the dividends of democracy. While decrying the fall in moral standard the state over poor leadership, he added that restoration of the moral values would be his first priority as governor. According to him: “If I am giving the opportunity, the first thing I will do is to create a rebirth in our moral standards. ‘All that is in Delta today is worshiping of wealth, merit is thrown overboard. Mediocre are given high scale political appointment to the extent that we have not been able to see the dividends of democracy in the state.” The former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Fortune International Bank PLC promised to tackle unemployment as well as pursuing enduring policies on education, health, agriculture, security and zero tolerance on corruption. He said there would free meal for primary school pupils as well as free healthcare services in all secondary school to encourage child education. He added that monthly

stipends would be given to graduates in the state and also creates vocational training centres. “We believe that all Deltans have the right to grow and develop in a democratic system, we have the fund but mismanagement is the problem. ‘Enough of this mismanagement of the state fund, enough of taking care of the very few in the system because of the political appointment they hold. `The masses are yearning for a change; they have been taken for a ride for too long”, Tilije noted. On possibility of zoning the governorship seat to the Delta North senatorial district, the three times running-mate to Chief Ogboru revealed that he was not disturbed by such gimmicks as his outstanding track record speaks volume of what he can achieved when given the opportunity by Deltan to govern. He added that: “People clamour for rotation in governance because the rulers failed to provide good leadership. If you provide quality leadership, the people will want you to rule them again, so in all the three senatorial districts, there are quality leaders that can rule the state.”

ayelsa State Government has assured the over 1,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) expected at this year’s World Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME) conference of adequate security . Acting Managing Director of Bank of Industry, BoI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju and Senior Special Assistant on Small and Medium Enterprises Development to Bayelsa State governor, Dr. Ebiekure Jasper Eradiri, who gave the assurance at a joint media briefing at the weekend in Abuja, said the conference would hold between April 28 and May 4 in Yenagoa. Eradiri stated that it was a rare opportunity for the Bayelsa State government to host the world for the event, saying WASME is an organisation endorsed by the United Nations to promote SMEs across the world. He explained that the WASME conference is being used to showcase different aspects of SMEs development and assured that the state government was ready to welcome all the participants expected from Romania, India, United States, Egypt, among others, as well as Nigeria. He added that Governor Seriake Dickson had been working closely with all relevant stakeholders in the last eight weeks to ensure a hitch-free event. Eradiri further disclosed that the conference would boost economic prosperity as there would be networking sessions to promote bilateral relationships among the participating countries and ensuring the economic growth of Africa in particular. He said: “In all, what we want to see is economic prosperity through the SMEs, especially for Bayelsa State and the participating countries as well. For instance in Nigeria, the GDP contribution from SMEs is 47 per cent. “The growth of SMEs is sensitive to the development of any country as we have seen in Malaysia, Brazil, and Singapore, among other countries, and we want to replicate it in Nige-

ria. This is the policy thrust of the Bayelsa State governor to ensure that the state reaps the benefit of the conference to enhance its economy to higher levels, as well as the GDP of the country.” Speaking in the same vein, Olagunju said the relationship between WASME with headquarters in India and BoI had come a long way, and explained that Nigeria would benefit a lot from the conference. “It is good in many respects because we are talking of stemming ruralurban migration, ensuring the strata of industry, ensuring balanced development in the country, and when the governor (of Bayelsa) met the stakeholders few days in Abuja, he did express the hope that the conference could be used as an opportunity to jump-start production activities in Bayelsa State, particularly among the micro, small and medium entrepreneurs. “As we all know, the multiplier effect of investments in SMEs per unit of investment is much higher than investments in large enterprises. And one of the most outstanding benefits of SMEs development lies in their high employment generation potentials. “Most of the processes are not automated but labour intensive, and locating them in local governments or state capitals will go a long way in promoting development in those areas of the country,” the BoI boss stressed.

GovernorSeriake Dikson


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Media Coordinator, Joint Task Force, Lt.-Col. Mustapha Anka (l), with the Commander of the troops deployed to Ibaa Community, Capt. M. Yahaya, after a violent clash between two cult groups, which sacked residents of the community in Rivers State on Wednesday.

Tompolo splashes N130m on free health services in Delta

THEOPHILUS O NOJEGHEN WARRI

F

ormer ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekpumopolo, alias Tompolo’s foundation has said it has spent over N130 million in providing free health

services including 400 surgeries in the past one year for Warri residents. This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary of Tompolo Foundation, Comrade Paul Bebenimibo, in a chat with National Mirror. Bebenimibo said the

Ex-militant leader tackles oil thieves, destroys 30 illegal refineries An ex-militant leader, Mr. Felix Timilaemi, has said he has launched a voluntary campaign against oil theft in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Timilaemi, who commanded a camp known as Amabulu Federated Community, AFC), said he had already destroyed 30 illegal refineries and 12 boats used by oil thieves in the area. Timilaemi, who conducted newsmen round the destroyed refineries at Ekeremor on Monday, lamented that illegal oil bunkering in the area was causing environmental pollution, with its attendant health hazards. He said he had the support of the chiefs the traditional rulers in his

crusade to rid the area of the menace. “This is a one-man crusade to completely stop this menace,” he said. The ex-militant explained that 240 youths, under his command, patrol the creeks and waterways of daily in search of illegal refineries and boats used by oil thieves. “When we get them, we set them ablaze. Pipeline vandalism in this area is becoming so serious that I had to take it upon myself to put an end to it,” he said. Timilaemi said he ensured that two points where vandals connected their hoses on a pipeline belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, were clamped.

foundation has handled 400 surgeries including Caesarean Session in the past one year after taking over the Okerenkoko cottage hospital in Warri South West Local Government Area, Delta State. According to him, “Our President formed the foundation on two thematic basis to handle education and health need of our people. It’s exactly one year since the foundation took over the abandoned hospital now,

we have spent over N130 million in running it. “We have handled over 400 surgeries free of charge. We don’t charge a dime for any treatment, drugs and cards. Over 310 persons from Warri has benefited from our free treatment also. The hospital has handled several deliveries aside cases of Malaria and Cholera.” He added that the foundation is preparing to launch N25million blood screening equipment in the coming weeks as part of ac-

tivities to mark the one anniversary of the foundation. Bebenimibo, who doubled as Chief Government Ekpumopolo alias Tompolo’s spokesman explained that as part of the organisation vision, it has also trained over 50 science teachers including giving free books, sandals, bags, and uniforms to 15 primary schools in Gbaramatu kingdom. “We have donated hospital equipment, drugs to hospitals. We also donat-

ed education materials to many schools. Our vision is to alleviate the pains of our people. We took on education because of the insinuations that our people lack education that is why they take to arm struggle.” While appealing to the Delta State Government to take over the running of the hospital, he noted:” We want the government to come and take over the running of the hospital to enable us do other things.”

L-R: Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom; Chairman, House Committee on Oil and Gas, Hon Daniel Yingi and Rear Admiral S.I. Alade, at the Annual Oil and Gas Conference in Warri, recently..


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Politics

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

43

agenda at confab -Senator Adokwe

and go and be making condemnation in America when they are supposed to be at their duty post solving these problems on daily basis. When the USA had even small emergency crisis, the President abandoned campaign and everything and face the crisis. The president doesn’t go anywhere. And the Northern governors have problems which they are not attending to. The President of Nigeria has thrown back the insult at them. If you remain in your state and do what you are suppose to do, you cannot be blaming the President who has being solving the problems. And it is true. When the colonialists came, the Governor General remained in Nigeria where ever his state capital was and from time to time went round the country to make sure that his Divisional Officers, DOs, and his Regional Governors were at their duty posts and solving problems on a daily basis. That is what governance is. To me, it is absence of governance that is making all these insurgencies to flourish. If there is proper presence of authorities, people will think twice before they jump into trouble. And government is about providing welfare and protection of lives and property of the people who have elected you. While government failed to achieve that purpose at which that social contract was made between it and the electorate, you ceased to be a government. Your legitimacy is eroded. That is the fact of the matter.

Some eminent personalities in Nasarawa State were recently indicted in a White Paper released by the state government following submission of report by a judicial commission of inquiry that probe the Nasarawa violence. Can you comment on that? The government White Paper is not an indictment by every sense of the word until they have a court ruling to that effect. Until a court of law totally convicts you, you are not indicted. So the White Paper is a view of the government on the report submitted by the commission of inquiry. Until people are prosecuted in the court and convicted, there is no indictment as far as we know in law. So, they have come up with a white paper on their views. Certain people ought to be prosecuted. We want to see if they will successfully prosecute them. Certainly, I am not on the side of anybody who has committed crime, but at the same time, I am not on the side of somebody who will engage in political instead of criminal prosecution. If you have facts of crimes having been committed by someone, by all means prosecute them. But you do not wait until it is politically correct for you to do it before you bring a statement that will give a semblance of something. I supported the establishment of the commission of inquiry because I was not happy with the manner in which carnage was perpetrated in the senatorial district. The commission of inquiry invited people to testify, including the governor of the state, to make submission there. It wanted the government to get to the bottom of the crises and shut the perpetrators of crimes and when you did that and

I LOVE MY JOB IN THE SENATE AND IF MY PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO SEND ME BACK TO

So now, we have a federal university right here in Lafia; nobody is looking up to go to ABU anymore. We are satisfied here. He is building a federal secretariat, which we believe when completed, everybody that will work there from level one to six will

FOR THE THIRD TERM,

I WILL BE WILLING TO. IF THEY SAY MY JOB AT THE SENATE IS UP, I WILL RESPECT THEIR WISHES could not bring it out at the time it was needed to be done and you waited till this people indicated a different political interest and platform then you come down; you will lose the justice of it. So it was a question of right medicine at the wrong time as the case may be. The whole thing seems to be politically motivated and undermines the essence of the investigation. How do you assess the performances of President Goodluck Jonathan? Now everything is supposed to be assessed within the context which we find President Jonathan, in the first place, the man became president as matter of set of circumstances that took place. All he wanted was to be a Vice President to late President Umaru Yar’Adua and providence made him a president. He has to deal with the fact his principal has died and there was a moral burden on him to keep faith alive. In fact, I told someone who asked why Jonathan should want a second term as he has not performed, that to the best of my knowledge, the last president to perform in this country was General Yakubu Gowon. Most of the people who have succeeded him have not performed. When they invited Chief Olusegun Obasanjo from the prison to become President, it was not because he was the best man. At that time, there was a perceived injustice done to the Yoruba people by refusing MKO Abiola to assume his mandate. So the Yorubas have to be appeased. Obasanjo was certainly not the best person. If today providence has made it possible for the presidency to go to the South-South, we should also allow the man to work so that he will contribute his quota and when the time is up, he goes. If you look at the real terms, you cannot say Jonathan has not performed. Take for instance, in Nasarawa State where I come from, I can enumerate the things that I know he has done for the people. From Lafia and Awe; in the past, it was a three to four hours’ journey, now you can make it within one hour. This road was done by Jonathan; that I can point out. We have federal institutions here; like we have a federal university. I just told you a while ago that all of us were just looking up on ABU as a university for Northern Nigeria but it was no longer accessible to us in this part of the North.

be indigenous to Nasarawa State. We have seen things that we have not seen before. So, you cannot convince me that Jonathan is not doing anything because I can point to physical things that are taking place that we never thought could come around. So for sure, that is what development is all about. Before he came, the Doma dam was moribund. They reactivated it with some hectares of land for irrigation. These are things that are taking place. The state government even keyed into it and is providing pump water from it. It was lying moribund until he reactivated it. So we can point at those things he has done. Talking politics, what is your political target in the state as we draw closer to the 2015 general election? I am a senator. I have not look elsewhere for any other thing. I love my job in the Senate and if my people are willing to send me back to for the third term, I will be willing to. If they say my job at the Senate is up, I will respect their wishes. But other than that, I am not interested in any other thing.

Adokwe

Aregbesola, Soyinka planning to mobilise army of occupation -PDP •Is that admittance that PDP is a nest of killers? -APC

sun State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday accused the state governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola and Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka of plot to mobilise what it called “army of occupation.” The PDP, in a statement issued yesterday by its Publicity Secretary, Prince Bola Ajao, said it got the hint that some youths are being mobilised to stage a protest wearing black vest with the inscription “Who Killed the Man” and discredit PDP. Ajao said: “We are aware of a clandestine plot consummated between Aregbesola and the Nobel

laureate to mobilise an army of occupation, a harvest of vulnerable youths, kit them in black costumes and vest with inscription, “Who Killed the Man?” But in its reaction, the Osun APC Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Barr. Kunle Oyatomi, in a statement, said by its allegation, the PDP has shown it was a victim of its conscience. Oyatomi said: “PDP is a victim of its own conscience. If anybody is planning a vigil to commemorate the vicious killing of a prominent Nigerians, why should that bother the PDP? “Is it that they are admitting that the PDP is a nest of killers as Prof. Soyinka described it? In any case that story is a

Aregbesola

Omisore

STORIES: BOLADALE BAMIGBOLA OSOGBO

O

figment of the wicked imagination of the PDP. They can go ahead and concoct more. It will only demonstrate their guilt.” Ajao, in the statement, insisted that the alleged plan by the APC signposts colossal defeat and indicate that the party was already nursing fear about the outcome of the August 9 polls. He added that “these miscreants, from among those whom we had earlier advised be put on security watch list are billed to embark on a candle light procession.” While charging security agencies to monitor closely the activities of APC, Ajao said the idea of such protest was “sheer madness”, warning that it will cause “pandemonium and chaos and Osun State should not be made to become a theatre of the absurd.”


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Politics

Niger Delta youths and locally assembled phones

ASO ROCK FILE

J

with

Rotimi FADEYI

Nyanya bomb blast throws Villa into mourning

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ast week Monday would remain a day that would not be easily forgotten in the memory of all Nigerians and especially those living in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. It was the day the dreaded and deadly Boko Haram sect struck in Nyanya, an outskirt of the FCT by bombing the major motor park in the area. The attack left behind pain blood and tears, as 75 persons were confirmed dead while 126 others were injured The bomb blast also affected 47 motorcycles, 20 high capacity buses and 14 inter-state mini buses. On hearing the news of the attack early that morning, President Goodluck Jonathan, who was billed to travel to Ibadan to attend the centenary birthday of the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel

Odugade Odulana I, had to cancel the trip. Rather, he led the Chief of Defence Staff and other security chiefs to the scene of the incident which was about five minutes’ drive from the Presidential Villa. He also visited those who were injured and receiving treatment at the Asokoro District Hospital. On his return to the Presidential Villa, Jonathan cancelled all official engagements; the office of Vice President Namadi Sambo was also shut as he was also in mourning mood. Quite a number of the staff, who work in the Presidential Villa could not turn up for work that day because of the incident. It was really a mourning mood at the seat of power.

L-R: Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Vice President Namadi Sambo and President Goodluck Jonathan at the Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House

As FG seeks support against terrorism

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he Federal Executive Council, FEC, expressed strong condemnation of the bombing incident at a motor park in Nyanya in the suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, by Boko Haram sect FEC urged all Nigerians to unite against terrorism, which has become a global phenomenon Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, stated that in spite of the incident, government has resolved to work harder and remain focused in the face of the criminal challenge. Maku said: “The FEC expressed collective sorrow at what took place and we condoled with Mr. President and with the families of those who lost their dear ones in the bomb blast and also commiserated with victims that survived and have been hospitalised.” Maku, however, said that terrorists would not stop the country from moving forward, stressing that the country was untied against terrorism. He stated that the council reassured the nation of the commitment of the

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

administration to overcome the security challenge. Justifying the President’s trip to Kano State to attend the rally of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Maku explained that the trip was a loud statement that terrorists would not stop the country from working and moving forward. He said: “Don’t forget that this pain is to the President of this country more than any other person in this nation today and this president has suffered psychologically as a result of this criminality which terrorists carry out to distract the public, to disrupt the normal activities of government, to set people against government, so that when people die, whatever the government is not what people will hear. “I think going to Kano, was a loud statement that terrorists will not stop this country from moving and from working. On the day it happened, the president had already suspended all his activities and focused on it. Politicians will still want to exploit even the darkest moment for political advantage and this is what we should not do.”

ust before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting last week, the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Darius Ishaku, presented phone and i-pad assembled by Niger Delta youths. Ishaku told the council that the 100 Niger Delta youths who graduated from training centre in Calabar, Cross River State, assembled the phones and i-pads The youths had been trained in information technology and other areas that would ensure a better life and bright future. The minister later presented the communication items to President Jonathan who in turn handed them over to the Minister of Communications Technology;

Mrs. Omobola Johnson, to run a check in order to confirm that they measure up to required quality. Jonathan noted that the world has embraced Information Technology, expressing the hope that Nigeria would definite key in to join other countries in the production of communication gadgets Noting that while other countries have gone ahead in the area of information technology, Nigeria was still trying to catch up, Jonathan however said that with the commitment of government and Nigerians, he was optimistic that the country would be able to move in the same speed with other countries in the world of information technology.

Jonathan’s security meeting with governors

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resident Goodluck Jonathan is scheduled to meet with the 36 state governors at the Presidential Villa this week to review the security situation in the country as well as ongoing national security measures and operations with a view to determining the best way forward. A similar meeting last week had to be rescheduled because of the absence of the governors of the All Progressives Congress, APC. Attendance at the meeting was dominated by governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Governors in attendance were Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Theodore Orji (Abia), Ibrahim Dankwanbo (Gombe), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Willie Obiano (Anambra) and Idris Wada (Kogi), Others were Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), acting governor of Taraba State, Garba Umar as well as deputy governors of Bayelsa and Kebbi. Also in attendance were Defence Minister, Lt-General Aliyu Gusau; DirectorGeneral of State Security Service, SSS, Ita Ekpeyong; Minister of Interior, Abba Moro; Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs; Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar; National Security Adviser, NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. Prior to the meeting, Jonathan held a national security council meeting with the CDS, security chiefs, Inspector General of Police, Director-General of SSS and Director-General of National Intelligence Agency, NIA. Speaking with State House Correspondents after the two- hour meeting, Akwa Ibom State governor, Akpabio said the meeting was at the instance of PDP governors. he further said that the meeting was a follow up to an earlier meeting held with PDP governors, adding that they felt there was a need to also meet with security chiefs. His words: “Mr. President has listened to us and even said that since it’s a problem that involves all the state of the fed-

eration, it is better for all the state governors to be in attendance. Because of that he has graciously agreed to meet with all the 36 governors on Wednesday by 4pm.” “Of course you know we are very much concerned, first as PDP governors and the centre belongs to the PDP and so we felt that we should see our dear president and if need be with some of the security chiefs.” Saying that the President did not discuss the details of the state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states with the PDP governors, Akpabio said that the All progressives Congress, AOPC, governors were not in attendance at the meeting because they were not invited, saying: “You know there was an initial requisition of this meeting by the PDP governors, this was as a fall out of our own meeting. And so it wasn’t something that was extended to all and that is why I said they have been invited for Wednesday.”

Presidential Villa’s visitors 1. 2.

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant- General Kenneth Tobia Minimah Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Ademola Nunayon Amosu. Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar National Security Adviser, NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) Director General of State Security Service, SSS, Ita Ekpeyong Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio

Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko

10. Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano 11. Benue State governor, Ga-

briel Suswam 12. Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 45-46 & 55


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Politics

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

45

2015: Northern presidency and fear of Islamisation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 implored those that think otherwise to sit down and think this through properly. According to him, “we must not present a Christian/Christian ticket as this would be insensitive to the feelings of Muslims and we must not present a Muslim/Muslim ticket as this would be insensitive to the feelings of Christians. I for one would support a ticket that presents two members of the same faith no matter.” Expectedly, the fiercest criticism of the joint political ticket of Buhari-Tinubu for the 2015 presidential elections came from Christians across the country, particularly from within the APC. For instance, prominent Christians in the party immediately threatened to quit the party over the alleged same faith planned presidential ticket. Some leaders of APC, who are Christians, insisted that the party should present a Muslim/Christian ticket through a primary election or they threatened that in the alternative, they would leave the party. The leaders also kicked against a consensus candidature, which they described as an imposition by a section of the leadership of APC. It was further learnt that those who were angry with the leadership of the party also included members of the APC who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party. Five PDP governors, 11 senators, 37 members of the House of Representatives and members of the defunct New PDP, a breakaway faction of the PDP, had dumped the ruling party for the opposition party in 2013. The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, also faulted the planned Muslim/ Muslim ticket for the presidency by the APC, saying the norm was that a Muslim would pick a Christian running mate. The General Secretary, CAN, Rev. Musa Asake, was quoted in a statement as saying that “if you look at the composition of the APC right now, they are strictly a Muslim party. When late Chief MKO Abiola ran for presidency (in 1993), he was a Muslim and he chose a Muslim running mate. All sections of Nigeria unanimously voted for him without complaints. But you won’t get such from the Muslims. They want us to follow them, whether we like it or not. “They are changing the politics in Nigeria but we are not going to go in that direction again. They should be very careful.” The position of Christians in the APC has consistently been that aspirants should go through a primary election and the party must present a Muslim/Christian ticket to the electorate. “They have been nursing the plan for long and they are close to hatching it. Any Buhari/Tinubu or Muslim/Muslim ticket may mark the end of the party. It will be an insult to us the Christians and we will not hesitate to leave their party for them,” one of the Christian chieftains in APC was quoted as saying. He noted that even though Buhari and Tinubu had not made their intention to contest known, the alleged plan was already creating tension in the party. “That is what they want to do and we will not agree with it. Many of us are

Fani-Kayode

El-Rufai

TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, ALL THESE MISINFORMATION

ABOUT A MUSLIM/

MUSLIM TICKET IS THE HANDIWORK OF THE

PRESIDENCY

aware but nobody wants to speak out yet. It is an open secret; everybody is aware. There is a massive reaction against it from all corners. Even APC members in the United Kingdom and America are protesting. Christian leaders in Nigeria have been calling us to say they will not support a Muslim/Muslim ticket. “They stand the risk of splitting this party if they are not careful. This is a very sad development. The PDP will take advantage of it. Some people that joined us from the PDP are already threatening to go back because of this Muslim/Muslim ticket controversy,” the party chieftain stated. The first civilian governor of Edo State, John Odigie-Oyegun, who is a prominent member of APC, was at the same time quoted as saying that a primary election must take place in the party to elect candidates. According to him, “I know the party has been discussing this issue (ticket) and we are in the process of setting up our structures. It is for the people to decide; not even the national executive can take that decision. We must have primaries. Even if there is only one aspirant, we will still conduct a primary election to confirm the aspirant. It is impossible to impose. Who can impose? With the way the party is structured, it won’t be easy for anybody to impose.” The issue of religion no doubt, has remained a very sensitive issue in Nigerian politics and that is why over the years, political parties have made conscious efforts in ensuring balance once it comes to the issue of elective offices and allocation of

political offices. However, if the plan of the APC eventually pulls through, it will not be the first time in the history of the Nigerian presidential election that we will be having an all same faith presidential and vice presidential candidacy. To be precise, in the 1993 general elections, the M.K.O. Abiola joint ticket with Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, was a Muslim-Muslim pairing. Incidentally, they emerged very successful in the election that was adjudged by both local and international election observers as one of the freest and fairest elections that Nigeria has ever witnessed in its political history so far. What perhaps worked in the favour of the duo then was because of the widespread acceptance of the presidential torchbearer of that year’s election, the late Abiola. Though a committed and practicing Muslim, however, because of his detribalised nature and attitude, combined with his unprecedented philanthropic outgivings, Abiola became the toast of many Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora, the prime reason he emerged very victorious in that year’s elections. It is most probably based on the Abiola experience that the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Nasir el-Rufai, is pushing strongly for the Buhari-Tinubu joint Muslim-Muslim ticket, irrespective of the public opposition to it. El-Rufai’s argument since the issue became public concern is that the APC would present an integrity-competence ticket and not one based on religion. “Politics and governance are not to be mixed with or dictated to by any religion. The APC will present to Nigerians the best persons with the integrity, capacity and competence to create jobs, fight corruption and rebuild our nation without discrimination. “How these persons worship the Almighty God is private to them and does not matter to discerning Nigerians, particularly young people that suffer most from bad governance, unemployment and the Jonathanian culture of impunity,” the former minister was quoted as saying. However, as things stand now, and de-

spite what might appear as el-Rufai’s fine lines of reasoning, if the APC goes ahead to actualise the planned Muslim-Muslim presidential and vice presidential ticket for the 2015 presidential elections as typified by the duo of Buhari-Tinubu respectively, no doubt, the PDP will be better for it. In fact, it is even being speculated in some political circles that the planned Muslim/Muslim ticket by the APC is nothing but the handiwork of the ruling PDP, which is, “stopping at nothing to whittle down the manifest potent forces of the leading opposition party from wrestling power from PDP.” As a chieftain of the APC put it: “Take it or leave it, all these misinformation about a Muslim/Muslim ticket is the handiwork of the Presidency.” A PDP stalwart, who was quick in dismissing the threat posed to PDP by the Buhari-Tinubu proposed joint presidential ticket was quoted by one of the national dailies last week as saying that “so far, there is no better option to the PDP where morality comes into play, where decisions are taken that would affect members unlike the APC that is built as a Jihadist party. Nigerians must now know where the APC is heading. “Buhari has once said he will Islamise Nigeria, and all indications are pointing to that direction that the last tool to use to achieve this dream is the ruthless party called APC. “This should sound a note of warning to all who love Nigeria as a multi-religious nation where everyone should be free to practice his chosen religion. All is not well with the APC, as very soon, there will be mass exodus of Christians from the party to return to the tolerant PDP umbrella. Be wise and shun the APC, or remain and sink with it.” The nation’s political observers seem however united in the opinion that should the APC go ahead with the proposed joint Muslim-Muslim presidential and vice presidential tickets despite the widespread opposition to the idea, the action would sow damaging political seed of discord in the nation’s political live and the party would be the worse for it.


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Defunct ACN Reps candidate leads thousands to PDP HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

A

candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, for the House of Representatives in the 2011 general election in Ondo State, Asiwaju Femi Adekanmbi, at the weekend led thousands of his supporters into the People Democratic Party, PDP, in the state. Similarly, scores of Labour Party, LP, members from Emure-Ile in the Owo Local Government Area of the state also de-

fected to the PDP. Adekanmbi, while speaking during the defection stated that he decided to dump the APC when it dawned on him that the leaders of the party are only interested in satisfying their selfish interest. Noting that none of the programmes initiated by the leaders of APC are designed to bring succour to the masses but to enrich the little few, Adekanmbi added that his to decision to join the PDP was also borne out of his love for President Goodluck Jonathan, who he said is being

frustrated by some cabals in the North who are using Boko Haram to discredit his government. Adekanmbi said he decided to pitch his tent with the PDP because of lack of internal democracy in the APC, saying: “I cannot continue to stay in a party where imposition reigns supreme. “It is very clear that some people are all out to discredit President Jonathan with these mindless killings and bombings. I pity Mr. President because he meant well for Nigeria but some people are doing

everything to bring his government down.” Welcoming Adekanmbi into the PDP, the chairman of the party in the state, Hon. Ebenezer Alabi said the party has become the new bride in the state and assured party supporters that the PDP would win all the seats in the National Assembly and the state House of Assembly in the 2015 general elections. Describing Adekanmbi as a big fish and a blessing to the PDP, Alabi said his defection was a sign that the party will regain its

rightful position in Ondo politics. He said: “PDP is now a party to beat in Ondo State. The last by-election in Ilaje/Eseodo is a pointer to this. In spite of the massive rigging perpetrated by the LP, we put up a good performance and we are very sure that we will win any time the electoral body conducts supplementary election.”

Presidency in dilemma over Ondo by-election GBENGA OGUNBUFUNMI

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L-R: Wife of Ekiti State governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Eniola Ajayi; Irepodun Ifelodun Local Government Caretaker Committee Chairman, Maj. Tajudeen Awe (rtd); and Baale of Odo Iro, Alhaji Mohammed Sulaiman, during the governor’s wife empowerment visit to Ejiko farmstead, in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government at the weekend

Lagos ward congress: Youths sue for peace FRANCIS SUBERU

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ollowing the crisis ignited by the All Progressive Congress, APC, ward congress held in Shomolu area of Lagos State, the All Progressive Youth, APY, an arm of the APC has appealed to the warring factions to eschew violence and give peace a chance.

HAKEEM GBADAMOS AKURE

C

hieftains and leaders of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State yesterday described the conduct of the ward and local government congresses of the party in the area as a sham fraught with irregularities. This was stated by some aggrieved leaders of the party after its meeting which was attended by the state coordinator of the party, Chief Pius Akinyelure. The leaders called for a fresh ward and local government congresses to

Speaking at a press briefing at the weekend in Lagos, the National President of APY, Comrade Oluwaseyi Bamigbade, appealed to aggrieved parties to end the wrangling threatening to cause political conflagration in the area. The youths said they were worried that the ward election that should have allowed people at the grass

roots to elect their leaders is currently being manipulated, noting that clash of interest between the local government chairman, Gbolahan Bagostowe and Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Barr. Ademorin Kuye, could jeopardise the progress of the party in Shomolu Local Government Area. Oluwaseyi implored Ba-

gostowe to allow the newly elected party chairman in Shomolu to operate and refrain from any act that could destabilise the community or tarnish the image of the party. He urged both parties to work together by supporting the new chairman in the interest of the residents yearning for the development of their areas.

here are strong indications that the Presidency and the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are in dilemma as to which side to support in the controversy that continues to trail the inconclusive bye election in the Ilaje/EseOdo federal constituency of Ondo State. A source close to the Presidency told National Mirror that it was not ready to take side in the matter despite pressure from prominent members of the state chapter of the party. ‘’The issue is like having two sons which you both like, you won’t like to take an action that will make it look as if you are siding with one of them. You know the Labour Party, LP, is a good ally to the PDP, so to the Presidency, the two contenders are like two sons of the same parents,” the source said. He added that the PDP and the Presidency needed the LP as an ally for the prosecution of the 2015 presidential election par-

Ondo APC leaders call for new congresses

replace the manipulated ones in the interest of the party. In a statement jointly signed by Mr. Olatokunbo Ajasin, Mrs Jumoke Anifowose, Alhaji Jamiu Ekungba and Akin AkinsehinwaAwodeyi and copied to some national leaders of the APC, including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, the interim National Secretary, Alhaji Tijani Musa Tumasah, Chief Pius Olu Akinyelure, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC,

for Ondo State, Mr. Akin Orebiyi and the Director of SSS among others, the leaders said: “Following complaints and irregularities that trailed the Elections of Party Executives at the Wards and Local government of Owo, Ondo State, the undersigned registered members of the APC at Owo held a meeting with the national leader of APC Asiwaju Tinubu and coordinator for Ondo APC, Chief Pius Akinyelure in Lagos on Wednesday April 16l, at his residence in Lagos. “The conclusion of the meeting was the directive

of the national leader that the congress be cancelled as the party’s guidelines were not followed.” According to the leaders who said the chairman, APC Congress Committee for Ondo State, Mr Femi Pedro and the governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu had been briefed on the resolution of the group. The elders however call for a fresh congress in the local government saying: “In order to have a peaceful congress the leaders and

Earlier, governorship candidate of the party in the 2012 governorship election, Chief Olusola Oke, assured the people that the party would continue to wax stronger in the state, saying members of the party have decided to work together as an indivisible entity, describing Adekanmbi’s defection as a good omen for the PDP in the state.

elders of the party came together and call for fresh congress as stipulated in the guidelines of the party. “That if the national leader want peace and hope to win election in Ondo State, a new congress should be arranged from wards to local government under an unbiased congress committee chairman.” The party leaders explained that none of the party leaders and their representatives received invitation for the congress which they termed “kangaroo congress.”

ticularly in the South West and as such could not afford to fight the party as if they are fighting a ‘’real opposition” party. The LP according to the source is believed to have a working arrangement with the ruling PDP wherein it would help polarised the expected APC block vote in the South-West zone in 2015 and the state governor, Olusegun Mimiko, who is leading the onslaught has not hidden his romance with PDP stakeholders. To give credence to the position, during the inauguration of LP office in Ibadan the Oyo State capital penultimate week, Mimiko openly drums support for President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 election, asking LP members in Oyo State to work hard to ensure the emergence of President Jonathan in 2015, while also criticising the APC policies in the region. The governor later visited Aso Rock same week to confer with the president in what political observer believed was in connection with the inconclusive election. Apart from the Presidency, the leadership of PDP at the national level is also said to have been caught in the web. National Mirror gathered that the party leadership in Abuja is at loss as to what to do after weighing the various options, particularly the body language of the President on the matter and as such decided to take a ‘siddon look’ approach as the calculation of the political risks continue. Meanwhile, the LP has headed to the Federal High Court, Akure, asking the court to mandate the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to announce the result of the election.


47

Capital Market

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Seplat gains 16% in four days Johnson Okanlawon

I

nvestors in the newly listed Seplat Petroleum Development Company have gained 16.7 per cent in their stocks in four days. Seplat is the first Nigerian company to have its ordinary shares dual listed on both the Nigeria and London Stock Exchanges. The company, which listed at N576.00 per share on April 14, closed last Thursday at N666.79 per share, an increase of 16.7 per cent. Speaking at the Facts Behind the Listings of the company in Lagos, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who described the Seplat listing as a welcome development explained that the listing was a leeway to the Nigeria emerging econ-

omy. She added that Seplat is one of many other indigenous companies that are operating in line with Federal Government’s economic policy. “This is part of the federal government’s deliberate policy to make indigenous companies relevant through various economic development plans,” she said. Similarly, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, noted that with the listing more indigenous companies would follow the trend. He said,”With this milestone, Seplat listing on the NSE will further straighten its position and reputation in the emerging Nigerian commercial gas market

through ongoing initiatives aimed at converting contingent resources to reserves. “We are on cause to grow Nigeria economy and develop activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange with the government inputs by all standards” The Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, stated that Seplat listing was causing a stir in the market because it is one of the more sizeable companies to list on NSE after a long break in IPO activity. ‘’There is a significant buzz in the market with regards to this for several reasons. The company represents many firsts- it is the first to do simultaneous raising of capital in London and Nigeria. “Since 2008 crash of the stock market which made

the market loses 60 per cent of its capitalisation as IPOs dried off. However, series of reforms and a steady recovery of the market improved index by 35 per cent in 2012, doing better in 2013 at 47 per cent. IPOs are however yet to resume. Seplat’s offering may be the break the market needs to encourage more IPOs,” he said. The chairman of the company, Dr. ABC Orjiako said, “We are delighted with the support shown and happy to welcome a range of blue chip investors to our share register. Despite a challenging market for oil and gas stocks, the response has been excellent and demonstrates strong demand in both London and at home for a leading Nigerian exploration and production player.”

tighten interest rates have buffeted global markets in recent weeks, although Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s dovish comments last week helped soothe some nerves. Chinese shares slipped on concerns towards potential new listings diluting the market after the securities regulator released draft prospectuses for new companies planning to list. “The way the market sees the IPO news is that new shares will end up diluting capital, and what’s more, this news is rather sudden,” said Tian Weidong, head of research in Kaiyuan Securities in the city of Xi’an. The CSI300 index of the largest Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings was

down 0.4 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3 per cent. The dollar edged up to a two-week high against the yen after data showed Japan posted its largest-ever trade deficit in the fiscal year through March 2014 due to a soaring energy import bill. The greenback rose to 102.71 yen, its highest point since April 8, and remained well bid after upbeat US factory data and jobless claims late last week. Analysts said signs that the US economy had shaken off disruptions caused by harsh winter weather would help the US currency in the longer run. “With momentum building behind the US indus-

trial cycle, tentative signs of wage-based pressure building, and further labour market improvements likely, falling US rates are unlikely to continue to be a major driver of dollar weakness,” strategists at Barclays said in a note to clients. The encouraging US data saw the 10-year US. Treasury note yield spike on Friday to a 10-day peak of 2.726 per cent, pulling back sharply from a six-week trough of 2.596 percent hit earlier last week. Support for the safehaven Japanese currency also ebbed last week after the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union called for an immediate halt to violence.

Asian stocks subdued on Ukraine caution

A

sian stock markets were subdued yesterday, as tensions in Ukraine kept investors cautious amid an absence of catalysts as several markets remained closed for the Easter holiday. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched down 0.1 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei stock average rose 0.3 per cent on the back of a weaker yen. Share markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt are closed for the Easter holiday. Tensions in Ukraine, signs of slowing growth in China and uncertainty over when the United States Federal Reserve would start to

Dollar gains on weak Japan data

T

he dollar rose to a twoweek high against the yen yesterday after Japan posted a record trade deficit in the fiscal year ended in March, though tensions in Ukraine were likely to limit losses on the safe-haven Japanese currency. The greenback has gained for seven straight sessions versus the yen, with the euro also strengthening to a twoweek peak against the Japanese unit in light holiday trading. Many of the European markets are closed due to the Easter Monday holiday. The yen slid after data showed a much weaker-thanexpected rise of 1.8 per cent in Japan exports in March

from a year earlier, compared with forecasts for a 6.3 per cent gain. The country’s trade balance stood at a deficit of 1.446 trillion yen ($8.41bn) in March, against a shortfall of 1.070 trillion yen expected, after logging a record trade gap of 2.79 trillion yen in January. That marked a record 21-month run of deficits. “The weak trade figures suggested that sooner or later Tokyo may have to resort to bolder monetary policies to keep the economy on the right track,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington. The dollar rose as high as

102.70 yen, its strongest level since April 8. It last stood at 102.60 yen, up 0.2 per cent. Still, losses in the yen could be tempered by fresh tensions in Ukraine. An agreement reached last week to avert wider conflict in Ukraine faltered as the new week began, with proMoscow separatist gunmen showing no sign of surrendering government buildings they have seized. In addition, at least three people were killed in a gunfight early on Sunday near a Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russian separatists, shaking a fragile international peace accord. Geopolitical uncertainty

tends to support safe-haven currencies such as the yen. In terms of flows, a trader for a Japanese bank in Singapore said there was talk of dollar-buying against the yen by Japanese banks. The US unit also edged higher against a basket of major currencies, with the dollar index adding about 0.1 per cent to 79.874. “The greenback’s gains are consistent with our caution last week against playing for a breakout as key support for the dollar had been approached,” Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York, said in a note to clients.

Source: NSE

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 37,601.53 points Market capitalisation 12.10 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY OANDO

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

16.04

17.68

1.64

10.22

DANGSUGAR

8.81

9.68

0.87

9.88

UBCAP

2.28

2.50

0.22

9.65

BERGER

8.56

9.30

0.74

8.64

LIVESTOCK

3.23

3.39

0.16

4.95

38.80

40.72

1.92

4.95

1.82

1.91

0.09

4.95

PRESCO CUTIX UPL

3.34

3.50

0.16

4.79

UBN

10.00

10.44

0.44

4.40

0.71

0.74

0.03

4.23

WAPIC

LOSERS COMPANY AIRSERVICE

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

2.93

2.66

-0.27

-9.22

ZENITHBANK

22.00

20.15

-1.85

-8.41

JBERGER

75.00

71.25

-3.75

-5.00

NEIMETH

1.60

1.52

-0.08

-5.00

MANSARD

2.10

2.00

-0.10

-4.76

IKEJAHOTEL

0.63

0.60

-0.03

-4.76

ABCTRANS

0.93

0.89

-0.04

-4.30

TRANSCORP

3.98

3.81

-0.17

-4.27

WEMABANK

1.02

0.98

-0.04

-3.92

LEARNAFRCA

1.56

1.50

-0.06

-3.85

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

32,888.90

11.60

24-Oct-13

182-Day

30,000.00

12.09

24-Oct-13

364-Day

31,385.00

13.27

24-Oct-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

164-Day

47,176.65

12.30

24-Oct-13

161-Day

47,662.59

12.30

24-Oct-13

136-Day

13,500.00

12.10

24-Oct-13

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$296m

23-Oct-13

$300m

N/A

$299m

21-Oct-13


48

Tuesday April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Community Mirror Boko Haram will come and go. We are working very hard, we are changing our approaches, God willing, we will end Boko Haram

Police confirm baby stolen in Makurdi Henry Iyorkase MAKURDI

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he Benue Police Command has confirmed that a threemonth old baby belonging to one Mr. Ikyavngi Imande had been stolen in Makurdi, the state capital. Investigations show that the baby was stolen on April 19 on Inikpi Street, High Level, Makurdi.

The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Daniel Ezeala, said the command had opened full investigations into the matter. Ezeala said that police have arrested one suspect, while the others are still at large, even as he assured the family and the people of adequate security. A report says the prime suspect, simply

identified as Chichi, was in Makurdi to adopt a baby, but was turned down by government officials. Speaking, the mother of the baby, Mrs. Msendoo Ikyavngi, said the child was stolen in her house on April 19. “It was on Saturday evening that Chichi, the girlfriend of my neighbour, Mr. Amos, came to my house, tricked my nanny

and stole the baby. “My nanny was with the baby and she was crying. So, Chichi came and carried the baby to make her stop crying. She now sent my nanny to get her drinking water. It was then that Chichi ran away with the baby. Msendoo said that all efforts to contact Chichi through the telephone proved abortive.

Yam vendors waiting for buyers at Mile 12 Market, Ikorodu Road, Lagos on Easter Sunday.

Families urged to maintain peace on disputed land Wale Igbintade

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Lagos High Court has ordered families involved in a legal dispute over a parcel of land measuring 16.740 hectares at Oko-Olomi in Ibeju Local Government Area of Lagos State to maintain peace pending the hearing and determination of the suit. The claimants, Chief Tajudeen Eleku, Chief Segun Eleku, Madam Toyin Eleku and Mr. Kola Eleku had in suit NoLD/1946/2012 filed against , Chief (Oba) Tajudeen Afolabi Elemoro, governor of Lagos State and two

others prayed the court for a declaration that they are the owners of the disputed land. But in an application of March 7, 2013, the 1st defendant Chief (Oba) Tajudeen Afolabi Elemoro prayed the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the claimants and their agents from constructing any structures on the land. Ruling on the application, the trial judge, Justice Atinuke Ipaye held that an early resolution of the claims on the merit would best meet the justice of the case. Consequently, he gave an order of accelerated hearing and that parties

should maintain the status quo pending resolution of the dispute. The court stated that after a careful consideration of the application, there was no clear averment that the parcels of land in dispute between the two families were virgin lands. ‘’I am of the considered opinion that in the best interest of all concerned, an order for accelerated hearing be made in lieu of the grant of injunctive relief. It is trite that a court of law should treat both parties equally’’ ‘’The court is fully persuaded that early determination of the claims on the merits best fit

the justice of the case and I so hold’’, Justice Ipaye held. The applicants had informed the court that the land was subject of a acquisition by the Lagos State Government. They stated that the land was excised from the acquisition and transferred to the first defendant (Elemoro family) by the government. But the Eleku family had in their pleadings, stated that they have been in possession of the land in dispute from time immemorial, adding that their progenitor migrated from Ile Ife more than 200 years ago to the place now known as Oko-Olomi Village.

PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN

Ex-staff sues telecoms company Chris Njoku OWERRI

A

former employee of Multi Links Telecommunication Limited, Lagos, Mrs. Ifeoma Georgina Ekeh has instituted a N500 million damage on the company for disparaging and portraying her as a thief, fraudster and conspirator. The company had declared Ekeh, a former Customer Service officer wanted for alleged forgery, conspiracy and stealing. She was accused for conspiring with Easy and Quiet Nig. Ltd appointed by Multi-Links as agent in 2011 to take over its Owerri branch under a dealership franchise, of defrauding her former employer. Ekeh who was disengaged after restructuring, was retained under the dealership franchise. In a notice of action dated April 18, 2014, Ekeh through her solicitors, Benatokwu Chambers, had given the telecommunication company including the Chief Executive Officer, and one Mr. Idowu Latilo seven days to retract the said publication in three national dailies with international readership in conspicuous spaces. The solicitors also stated that the retraction must be

done with “a profuse apology that must disclose unmistakably eternal regrets for the damage the said publication has caused their client’s image, including the anguish suffered by her husband, children particularly her undergraduate children, family members and well meaning friends.” They demanded for the payment of N500million in “special and aggravated damages for the various injuries caused their client who they said was entitled under the franchise to use her former company’s brand, name including invoices, receipts and letter headed papers in her daily duties. The solicitors vowed to activate relevant criminal procedure for the various acts of misinformation and falsehoods which the company’s CEO induced and procured the police input into malingering their client’s reputation. “Our client had never been sought for by you and was never found, and had never had any prior invitation by the police in Imo State or any of its departments on this matter or any other matter whatsoever talk less of failure to honour such invitations, that could warrant declaring her wanted,” said her solicitors.

Emir tasks leaders on fairness James Danjuma KATSINA

T

he Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Faruk Umar, has called on leaders to be fair in their dealings and just to people at all times. Umar was speaking in Daura, Katsina State during the turbaning of Deputy Comptroller of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Jafaru Gidado, as the Kaigaman Daura. The traditional ruler also called on wealthy Nigerians to help the poor and needy at all

times and not to turn their backs on them. Speaking on the recipient of the title, he said Gidado is most deserving as he has done much for the development of the emirate. “Our emirate has never given anyone a title based on any incentive. Every title has been based on merit and given to those that have contributed to the development of Daura.” He however called on the recipient to continue to be patient, cautious and God fearing in his dealings.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

World News

"There are still no clear guarantees on the ground rules and transparency of the elections. Even so, we reiterate our willingness to resume talks" Mauritanian Opposition Leader, Moussa Fall

Conduct of ferry crew tantamount to murder -S’Korean President

S

outh Korean President Park Geun-hye said yesterday the actions of some crew of a ferry that sank with hundreds feared dead were tantamount to murder, as a fouryear-old video transcript showed the captain promoting the safety of the same route. Sixty-four people are known to have died and 238 are missing, presumed dead, in the sinking of the Sewol ferry last Wednesday. Most of the victims are high school children. Captain Lee Joon-seok, 69, and two other crew members were arrested last week on negligence charges, with prosecutors announcing four further arrests two first mates, one second mate and a chief engineer - yesterday. Lee was also charged with undertaking an "excessive change of course without slowing down" while traversing a narrow channel. Several crew members, including the captain, left the ferry as it was sinking, ahead of the passengers, witnesses have said. Park said the crew's desertion was tantamount to murder. "Above all, the conduct of the captain and some crew members is unfathomable from the viewpoint of common sense, and it was like an act of murder that cannot and should not be tolerated," she told aides. Lee, the captain, said in a promotional video four years ago that the journey from the port city of Incheon to the holiday island of Jeju was safe - as long as passen-

A family member of a missing passenger on board the South Korean ferry Sewol which capsized recently, covers herself with a blanket as she waits for news from rescue and salvage teams PHOTO: REUTERS

gers followed the instructions of the crew. He also told a newspaper that he had been involved in a sea accident off Japan years before. The irony of the video is the crew ordered the passengers to stay put in their cabins as the ferry sank. As is customary in hierarchical Korean society, the orders were not questioned. However, many of those who escaped alive either did not hear or flouted the instructions and were rescued as they abandoned ship. Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers on a high school outing. "Passengers who take our ship

to and from Incheon and Jeju can enjoy a safe and pleasant trip and I believe it is safer than any other vehicle as long as they follow the instructions of our crew members," Lee said in the 2010 promotional video, according to transcripts broadcast by regional cable station OBS. He was not referring to the Sewol, which came into service on that route in 2013. The Jeju Today newspaper interviewed Lee in 2004 when he spoke of close shaves at sea including passing through a typhoon and a previous sinking off Japan. "The first ship I took was a log carrier vessel and it capsized near Okinawa. A helicopter from Ja-

pan's Self-Defence Force came and rescued me. Had it not been for their help, I wouldn't be here now." The newspaper did not give further details. Parents of the children missing in the accident in what is likely to turn out to be one of South Korea's worst maritime disasters sat exhausted from days of grief on Monday, waiting for the almost inevitable news that their loved ones had died. They have spent all their time since the accident in a gymnasium in the port city of Jindo, taking it in turns to vent their anger at the crew's inaction and slow pace of the rescue operation.

Gun salutes to mark UK Queen's 88th birthday

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he Queen's 88th birthday has been marked across the UK with traditional gun salutes. A 41-gun royal salute was fired in Green Park in London and a 62 gun-salute from the Tower of London. Gunners from 105th Regiment Royal Artillery fired two 21-gun royal salutes at Edinburgh and Stirling Castles. Salutes were also fired in Northern Ireland and Wales. The Queen is spending the day privately at Windsor. The Queen was born on 21 April 1926 at the home of her mother's parents in Mayfair. However, her birthday is also celebrated of-

Soldiers from the same regiment fired a salute at Stirling Castle PHOTO: PA

ficially each year in June at the Trooping the Colour service - which this year will take place on 14 June.

The gun salute at Green Park was carried out by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery using 13-pounder World War One guns drawn by 71 horses. Before the King's Troop arrived, the Band of the Honourable Artillery Company and Royal Yeomanry played celebratory music. The 62-shot salute at the Tower of London was completed by the Honourable Artillery Company. It included 21 shots for the Queen's birthday, 20 because it is a royal palace, and 21 to follow a tradition in which ships would fire their guns before entering the City of London to show they were not threatening.

WORLD BULLETIN

US Teenager survives flight in jet wheel well -FBI

A teenage boy who ran away from home survived a five-hour flight in the freezing wheel well of a jetliner that reached 38,000 feet as it travelled from California to Hawaii, the FBI said. The 16-year-old, from Santa Clara, California, quickly lost consciousness as temperatures in the compartment sank as low as minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (62 degrees Celsius below zero), said FBI special agent Tom Simon. About an hour after the plane landed on Sunday morning, the boy regained consciousness and emerged onto the tarmac at the airport in Maui, where he was spotted by ground crew. "It's just an apparent miracle ... There was no appearance of any special gear of any sort," said Simon. The stowaway told FBI officials that he had run away from home, climbed a fence at the airport in San Jose, California, crossed the tarmac and crawled into the wheel well of Hawaiian Airlines flight 45. "His story checked out," and no federal charges were filed, said Simon, of the FBI's Honolulu office. The boy was turned over to local child protection officials, and a medical examination showed he appeared to have been unharmed by the ordeal.

‘Car bomb kills Somali lawmaker'

A Somali lawmaker was killed when a bomb planted by Islamist militants ripped through his car in the capital Mogadishu on Monday, officials said. Al Qaeda-linked group al Shabaab told Reuters it set off the device to punish parliamentarians for backing foreign forces in the country - and threatened to carry out more attacks. The blast, which police said also wounded another lawmaker and a civilian, came a day after President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud began a three-day conference on how to improve security in the warravaged capital. President Mohamud called the killing of lawmaker Isaak Mohamed Rinoco a "cowardly attack" which would not derail peace efforts. The bomb was placed under the car seat and exploded as Rinoco drove through Mogadishu's Hamar Weyne district, said police captain Hussein Nur. Al Shabaab told Reuters the attack was punishment for Somali lawmakers approving the "invasion of the Christians into Somalia", a reference to the support Mogadishu receives from Western governments and African Union members who have sent in troops to battle the rebels.


50

News

Tuesday April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigeria to meet power requirement by 2016-NERC chairman

•Says don’t pay for unsupplied electricity Priscilla Dennis MINNA

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he Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC Dr. Sam Amadi has assured that the nations’ electricity needs would be achieved before 2016. Amadi, who stated this at a town hall meeting on Power Sector organised by the Redeem Evangelical Mission, TREM in Minna, Niger state, said to this end, the commission has issued licenses to independent

private power plant operators to generate over 20, 000 megawatts of electricity in the next 3 years. The chairman, who was a guest speaker at the meeting, stated that with 20,000 megawatts, the nation’s power quest would be attainable; saying the various reforms and regulations embarked upon by the Federal Government was responsible for the recent huge foreign investment witnessed in the power sector. He said, “We can make

30,000 megawatts within the next one year if we want. Already we have issued licenses to investors to generate over 20,000 megawatts before 2016. Because life has thought us that nothing is impossible. I am sure that with all the efforts put in place; our power generation will surely surpass our target by 2016.” The NERC chairman, however, blamed the problems confronting the country’s’ power sector to lack of framework, no cost related terms as well as in-

consistency in policy, which are now all being regulated to boast the sector. Due to global concerns raised on the amount of gas being flared on daily bases in the country, Amadi noted that the best way forward is to stop the flaring by offering incentives that would encourage its usage for the power sector of the nation. Also, speaking on the increase in monthly tariff levy on consumers by various DISCOs, even when there is no electricity supply, Amadi stated,

“ The commission has directed that no payment should be made by consumers, when electricity is not supplied to them for

upwards to 2 weeks and above, no customer should pay anything, when there is no power supply for two weeks.”

Kaduna airport resumes operations A za Msue KADUNA

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he Kaduna International Airport has resumed normal flight operations following a makeshift arrangement by the aviation authorities after a fire incident that razed down its control tower. National Mirror gathered that Nigeria’s aviation authorities have commenced investigation into the cause of the fire outbreak. Our correspondent, who visited the airport, saw aviation officials examining

the damages left behind the fire incident. Although, FAAN officials refused to comment on the state of damage, saying a report to that effect would be made public in due course. There are reports that navigation equipment were brought in from the Abuja airport for support services, with a mobile control room set to also arrive soon. During the visit, one flight brought passengers from Lagos and also conveyed Lagos bound passengers back.

TCN begins repair of Kotangora transmission line

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motorists. Some of the operators resorted to clamping vehicles of motorists even in cases where the tickets were yet to expire. “As a law abiding organisation that strongly believes in the rule of law, the FCT administration

has decided to comply with the judgment of the court. By this decision, all the operators licensed by the FCT administration has been directed to immediately suspend the operation of the scheme to give full effect to the judgment”, said Ogbuenyi.

he Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) says it has commenced the construction of a transmission bye-pass to temporarily replace the destroyed 132kV transmission line from Tegina to Kotangora, Niger State. Mr Dave Ifabiyi, TCN Assistant General Manager (Public Affairs), disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Monday. The statement said the company had mobilised to site to construct the transmission line which was destroyed by rain on April 18.

Femi Oyeweso

cell which supplies fresh human blood and parts to people for rituals. The heavy presence of security operatives which included those of the State Security Service (SSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Special Anti - Robbery Squad (SARS) as well as the conventional policemen from Eleweran Command headquarters however, did not

deter the mob who stormed the area in their hundreds from vandalising the building located in Ijaiye area of Abeokuta, the state capital. Our correspondent gathered that rumour about the alleged underground cell was all over the town and that this irk the youths from Abeokuta metropolis, to storm the place vowing not leave the compound until all the rooms in the

L-R: Traditional Ruler of Awu Isuikwuato, Chief Chris Aboh; Country Leader, Ipas Nigeria, Dr. Ejike Oji and former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd), at the presentation of chieftaincy title to Oji at Ovim, Abia State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

FCTA suspends Park and Pay Scheme Omeiza Ajayi ABUJA

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he Federal Capital Territory administration, FCTA has announced the suspension of its on-street Park and Pay Scheme in Abuja with immediate effect. Special Assistant on Media to the FCT Minister, Nosike Ogbuenyi told journalists in Abuja yesterday that the suspension was in obedience to the judgment of an FCT High Court last Thursday declaring the system illegal. The judgment was delivered last Thursday by Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Court. According to the media assistant, the Secretary of Transportation in the FCT

administration, Engr. Jonathan Achara Ivoke has already dispatched a letter to the operators of the scheme informing them of the suspension. The on-street Park and Pay Scheme was conceived and launched by the FCT administration for the purpose of effective traffic management and control in the nation’s capital city especially against the backdrop of its fast growth in vehicular population. Ogbuenyi said the introduction of the scheme was in tandem with the standard practice in many mega cities around the world. While the scheme lasted, some overzealous operators clashed with many

It said that four transmission towers were destroyed as a result of the incident at Corner Mariga after Tegina, Niger State, causing power outage in the area. It said that sequel to the loss of the four transmission towers; the company could not transmit electricity power on the 132kV transmission line from Shiroro to Kotangora. It said that the TCN engineers promptly isolated the defective axis of the 132 kV transmission line from Tegina to Kotangora and re-energised the line from Shiroro to Tegina.

Alleged ritual killings: Mob attack top police officer’s residence

ABEOKUTA

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ave for the quick intervention of security operatives from the Ogun State Comand, a three storey building belonging to a retired senior police officer would have been completely razed by rampaging youths on the allegations that the building harbour underground

building were searched. Two ladies, tenants caught in the compound during the incident scampered to safety on sighting the surging crowd that besieged the compound. When tension got to its height by noon, the Balogun of Ijaiye and Aare of Egbaland, Alhaji Ganiyu Babayedun Alimo, was called in to douse the tension.


Tuesday April 22, 2014

Athletics: Ogunkoya harps on grassroots

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

It will be difficult for any European team to win the World Cup in South America –Former Former Germany international, Michael Balla Ballack ack

53

World Cup list:

Osaze set for Eagles’ return ADEOLU JOHNSON

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arring last minute change in plans, embattled Stoke City and Super Eagles striker, Osaze Odemwingie, will be included in the 35-man list of players for Nigeria’s World Cup camping expected to be announced by Coach Stephen Keshi in Abuja today. National Mirror learnt that Odemwingie, who was all but excluded from the Eagles’ train to the Brazil World Cup, returned to reckoning after he reconciled with the coach following their altercation after the player was delisted sequel to an anonymous performance in a World Cup 2014 preliminary round qualifier with Rwanda in 2012. Meanwhile, there will be no surprise inclusions in the provisional World Cup squad after it was revealed last weekend the Eagles’ Spokesman, Ben Alaiya, that majority of the AFCON-winning

players would be invited, with only striker Ikechukwu Uche and midfielder Obiora Nwankwo as key absentees. Many Nigerians have called for Uche’s inclusion but they met a stone wall in Keshi who insisted the Villareal forward was not in his plan. Rangers’ Ejike Uzoenyi, Gombe’s Chigozie Agbim, Wolves’ Azubuike Egwuekwe, Sunshine’s Kunle Odunlami, Pillars’ Abdullahi Shehu and Wolves’ Daniel Akpenyi are among the players in the domestic league earmarked to make the provisional squad list. Nigeria will camp in the USA in May ahead of the World Cup which kicks off in June.

U-20 AYC: CAF hammer falls on Gambia ADEOLU JOHNSON

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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AF yesterday disqualified Gambia from the 2015 African Youth Championship after the West African nation paraded five players who are older than the age allowed for the U-20 championship. Liberia, who lost at home to Gambia 1-0 in a first leg qualifier earlier in the month, has now qualified for the next round of the competition. According to CAF, Gambia lined up Sampierre Mendy, Buba Sanneh, Bubacarr Trawally, Saloum Fall and Ali Sowe, who were all born in 1994 and are not qualified to participate in the

competition reserved for players born on or after January 1 1995, as stated in a circular dated September 2, 2013 sent to all Member Associations of CAF boss, Hayatou CAF. Liberia will now battle Cote d’Ivoire in the next round of the qualifying series early next month. Senegal will stage the 2015 AYC from March 8 2015.

S/south Congress endorses Maigari

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he South-south geo-political zone of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has approved President Aminu Maigari for the federation’s election scheduled for later in the year. At the meeting held in Warri, Delta State at the weekend attended by all states chairmen and secretaries of the

zone, it was resolved that Maigari had moved Nigerian football to a great height while moving motion for continuity in the NFF. The NFF affiliate also commended the appointment of Dr. Tammy Danagogo as the Sports Minister, saying it

was a deserved position. Benjamin Akobo, who signed the communiqué, said the congress was also interested in what it called a credible World Cup outing by the Super Eagle, saying the NFF would support the national team.

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File copy of Osaze Odemwingie during his last outing in the Super Eagles camp in 2012


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Sports

Tuesday April 22, 2014

UEFA Champions League…

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Today’s fixture

Atletico vs Chelsea

Blues match-up delights Courtois

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tletico Madrid goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, says he is delighted to have been cleared to face parent club Chelsea in their Champions League semi-final in Madrid today. Courtois has been in outstanding form for Atletico this season, but he feared he would miss out on the biggest occasion of his career when the Spaniards drew Chelsea in the last four. Reports suggested that the 21-year-old, who has been on loan with Atletico for the last three seasons, would be given permission to play if the La Liga leader paid Chelsea a substantial fee. But the speculation has been dismissed by UEFA, who cleared Courtois to feature without the need for any money to change hands. “For me, the fact that we’ve drawn Chelsea, like we did in the European Super Cup in 2012, is special, because even though I’m at Atleti, Chelsea are my club too,” Courtois said. “It’s better not to think about it too much though and play like I always do, because if I start thinking, ‘Oh, I’d better be careful’, then I’ll end up playing poorly,” the lanky keeper added. Courtois has already lifted the Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and Copa del Rey in his three seasons on loan in Madrid.

Thibaut Courtois

UCL: Heineken House set for

Madrid duels AFOLABI GAMBARI

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he anticipated resurgence or further slide of Chelsea will be the main focus at the Heineken House, Lagos today when the first of the first leg semi final matches of the UEFA Champions matches get underway way in Madrid. In-form Atletico Madrid hosts Chelsea at the Estadio Vincent Calderon but the Spanish club with no o significant fans in n Nigeria will enjoy y huge support from m football fans at the Heineken House Lagos, urging them m to go all out and elimiliminate the ‘last man standing’ of the English Premiership representative in this year’s competition in accordance with the rivalry among EPL fans in Nigeria. But Chelsea fans can still raise their voice to counter the ‘opposition’ all through the 90 minutes of play, especially with support from popular artiste, Alexander Adegbola, popularly known as 9ice.

The last time both teams met in the 2012 European Super Cup match, Atletico prevailed won 4-1. Fans will also be interested in the Santiago Bernabeu second match of the semi final first leg tomorrow when Real Madrid host Bayern Munich in a repeat of the 2012 when both teams met at the same stage sa of th the competition with petiti the German side going through. thro Wi W nners of the two matches over two ov legs will l play in p the final th billed for May 24 2 at the Stadium of Light, Lisbon Lisbo where five lucky Nigerian fans will be among spectators who will enjoy all-expenses paid trip by Heineken, as they have in the previous six seasons. Heineken had late last year extended its sponsorship with UEFA for another three years until 2018 in addition to bringing the dogeared trophy to Lagos last month for the second time since 2009.

Injury knocks out Hazard

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helsea playmaker, Eden n Hazard, was a major doubt to play in today’s Champions League eague fierst leg semi final match with Atletico Madrid id after he failed to train n with the rest of the squad ad before the team departed ted to Madrid. The Belgian hass not featured since limping ng off with a calf problem in the first half of the quarterarterfinal win over Paris is StGermain. ‘’The normal procedure edure would be not to ask a player to play in a game if he hasn’t done any training aining prior to that,” Chelsea ea Assistant Coach, Steve e Holland, said. ‘’His injury is very ry low on the calf, almost at the back of his Achilles, s, and it’s quite deep. It’s an unusual calf injury.

is “He not likely to be available for Atletico, but we will work on him to be e involved at Liverpool on Sunday.’’ Hazard is top Chelsea’s scorer this season with 17 goals this season and Mourinho was desperate to have counter-attackhis ing thrust at his disposal. The Portuguese gaffer is now left to fielding Andre Schurrle behind either Fernando Torres or Samuel Eto’o as the Blues go o in search of a decent result against tactically disciplined Atletico.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sports

Tuesday April 22, 2014

53

Athletics: Ogunkoya harps on grassroots PAUL EREWUBA

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ormer national 400m champion, Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo, has said that Nigeria’s dwindling fortune in athletics may continue if serious steps are not taken now to switch to grassroots athletics development. The Olympian, who commended efforts of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to prepare ath-

letes ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, stressed the need for what she called concerted effort towards producing future athletes. “There is no alternative to returning to grassroots,” Ogunkoya said. “We have talent in abundance but these athletes can hardly feed, and at the same time pay their coaches. We must act fast by discovering athletes that will replace the likes of Bless-

ing Okagbare,” she added. The former Olympian reckoned that Nigeria’s chance of winning medals in the forthcoming Glasgow Games has improved due to AFN’s effort. “The athletes are training hard and I believe that they are going to do well in athletics. The good thing is that we started preparation early,” she concluded. The Commonwealth Games will start on July 23 and end August 3, 2014.

NCF hunts for cricketers ADEOLU JOHNSON

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Nigerian cricketer batting in a recent outing

he Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) is planning to hold a National Secondary Schools Championship to hunt for fresh talent. NCF’s Acting Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee, Kayode Adeniyi, said the resolve decision was borne out of the ageing status of the current national cricket players. “We have already set up a committee to work towards the success of the championship,” Adeniyi told National Mirror yesterday in Lagos. “We are targeting secondary schools across the 36 states and the FCT in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education,” he added. The NCF board also said a test trial for the championship would begin in Umuahia, Abia with teams from 10 states participating. “Schools from Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Imo, Rivers, Abia and Ebonyi states are participating in the three-day championship,” the spokesman said.

Fresh talent need to be nurtured as replacements for Blessing Okagbare, says Falilat-Ogunkoya-Omotayo

Inspectors set for Dawn Games venues AFOLABI GAMBARI

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rganisers yesterday said the Joint Technical Meeting (JTM) and inspection of facilities for the DAWN Games (South West Secondary Schools Games) will hold in Lagos from Wednesday to Friday. The DAWN Games, involving all the Southwest states of

Nigeria-Ekiti, Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun and Ondo will hold from May 18 to 24. According to the Local Organising Committee (LOC), the Director of Sports/ General Manager, Sports Council and the Director in charge of sports in the Ministry of Education will represent each state at the JTM and inspection. Others expected are represen-

tatives from DAWN Commission, National Sports Commission (NSC) South West Zonal Coordinator and LOC members. The team will inspect venues like Rowe Park Sports Complex Yaba, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere and Agege Stadium on Thursday while the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Camp in Iyana-Ipaja, which will serve as the Games Village, will

also be inspected. The JTM meeting will follow the inspection on Friday, according to the organisers. Athletics, badminton, basketball, chess, football, gymnastics, scrabble, swimming, table tennis, tennis, taekwondo and volleyball will feature at the weeklong event where over 2000 athletes and officials are expected to participate.

Sports Minister, Danagogo


54

Politics

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Confab gets NICON Luxury Hotel as new venue for committees OMEZA AJAYI AND WOLE OLADIMEJI ABUJA

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he committee work for the National Conference is set to begin today after the secretariat of the conference got a new venue for 10 of its committees. The new venue for Committees 11 to 20 is the Nicon Luxury Hotel. National Mirror gathered that the management of the earlier advertised venue, Sheraton Hotel, Abuja had yesterday conveyed its non-approval for the use of its facilities to the conference leadership. Many of the delegates had consequently awaited further briefing from the leadership as to the fate of their committee work. A source at the initial venue told National Mirror that the facilities at the hotel had been booked upfront by sundry groups before it was approached

by the conference secretariat. He was however quick to add that holding the event there was capable of drawing unnecessary attention to the hotel, especially in the light of the wave of insurgency in the country. However, the conference chairman and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, yesterday evening swiftly announced a change of venue for the 10 committees. In a statement signed by the Assistant Secretary, Media and Communications, Mr. James Akpandem, the conference leadership said: “Committees one to 10 will hold their sessions at the National Judicial Institute, NJI; Committees 11 to 20 hitherto scheduled to sit at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers will now hold their sessions at the Nicon Luxury Hotel, near the

International Conference Centre, ICC, Abuja”. Akpandem said the change in venue for the second set of committees became necessary when it was obvious that the venue announced earlier will not be available for the number of days envisaged. While apologising to the delegates for the sudden change, he quoted Justice Kutigi as saying that coffee and lunch breaks would be observed

at the respective venues that the committees will sit and enjoined the delegates to go straight to their respective venues as they resume from the Easter break. It would be recalled that the plenary session of the conference drew to a temporary close on Thursday last week as delegates got set to move into committee sessions. The conference would receive reports from committees and commence de-

liberations on May 5 and May 6 before breaking the plenary again for participation in the World Economic Forum which will hold in Abuja. Deliberation on the various committees’ reports will resume on May 12 and end on May 15. Between May 19 and 29, the Conference Secretar-

iat, working with the Report Drafting Committee, will put the report together and present same to the conference in plenary for consideration and adoption, expected to last from June 2 to 12, after which the final report would be produced and signed between June 16 and 19.

‘Deliberations at confab’ll not lead to disintegration’ BOLADALE BAMIGBOLA OSOGBO

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ormer Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Osun State, Chief Gbadegesin Adedeji, has assured Nigerians that deliberations at the ongoing confab will not lead to disintegration of the country. Adedeji, who is one of the delegates from Osun State, contended that the debates will rather make the country better. Speaking with newsmen in his country home, in Iwo country over the weekend, Adedeji, said Nigerians should not entertain fear, adding that the unity of the country would not be compromised. He disclosed that from all indications, majority of Nigerians want to remain together despite their differences, saying that the Yoruba agenda at the conference was mainly devolution of power and restructuring, which according to him has also received support from other regions of the country. His said: “For once, I saw Nigerians talking and dis-

cussing their problems. It was a frank talk without inhibition. The speech from everybody was a catalogue of complaints. “Grievances that have been bottled up over the years came out into the open. Delegates from the West, East, North and South for once were seen discussing and talking bitterly but frankly.” Saying that the confab will work well, he added that about 80 per cent of delegates at the confab “wants the country to remain together provided certain things are done right.” He said the demands from all the zones have shown that most Nigerians wants the country restructured adding that it would be better for Nigeria if power is devolved to the various federating units in the country. “The centre is deformed. The centre is over burden with too much power and resources. Majority of us at the confab are in support of devolution of powers, that means most Nigerians wants more power for the federating units,” he added.

L-R, Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari with HRH Jacob Buba at the National Conference in Abuja yesterday

PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

We’re close to total reconciliation -Osun PDP BOLADALE BAMIGBOLA OSOGBO

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fter intense struggle for its governorship ticket that nearly factionalised it, the Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, at the weekend declared it was near total reconciliation of its aggrieved members. The party’s publicity secretary, Prince Bola Ajao, who made this disclosure in a chat with National Mirror posited that the PDP recognised the need to reach out to the other three aspirants that contested its ticket in order to ensure they all accept the outcome of the exercise. “As a responsible party, we recognise the need for us to reach out to members

that may be nursing animosity as a result of our governorship primaries. During the period, the struggle for power within the party was intense. But I can assure you that we are making progress in our efforts to bring everyone on board,” Ajao said. Investigations by the National Mirror revealed that a committee that comprises prominent members of the party had already been saddled with the responsibility of meeting with the aggrieved aspirants. According to a prominent member of the party, who preferred anonymity, former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Shuaib Oyedokun chairs the party’s reconciliation committee, which also

has as members Mr. Dosu Fatokun and Dr Olu Alabi. The sources added that the committee have held several meetings with both the representatives of Hon. Wole Oke and Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, adding that the two men, who contested the party’s governorship ticket with its eventual candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore have demonstrated readiness to accept the outcome of the primaries. He further explained that at the last meeting the committee had with the aspirants, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who had called for the cancellation of the primaries, sent representatives, a development sources said has raised hope that genuine reconciliation of members can be achieved.

Confirming the development, Ajao said some leaders of the party had already met with both Oke and Olasunkanmi. But concerning Senator Adeleke, Ajao said: “We are getting positive signals from his end. I don’t want to go into details now but when the time is right, we will make official statement on the matter.”

Adeleke


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

55

Infrastructure: Communities to get second tranche of grant-in-aid OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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n furtherance of the commitment of his administration to ensuring rapid development of all parts of Ekiti State, the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has assured the 132 communities and farmsteads in the state that the payment of the second

…as Fayemi urges peace ahead of guber poll tranche of aids given them for their self-help projects would be made this month. Fayemi, who gave this assurance in Isan-Ekiti during his quarterly meeting with representatives of Community Development Associations, CDAs, across the state on Saturday, said the meeting was called to review all the

projects being funded by the grant-in-aids programme. The various CDAs were represented at the meeting by their chairmen and secretaries. Fayemi said the programme is already actualising its set goal even as some communities have completed their projects

while some are at advanced stages of completion. Stressing that the programme was a fulfilment of his promise not to “do development to the people, but to do development with the people,” Fayemi said: “It is a quarterly meeting of community representatives in the 132

L-R: Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ekiti State, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe; gubernatorial candidate, Mr. Ayo Fayose; a former gubernatorial aspirant, Chief Abiodun Aluko and Director-General, Ekiti PDP Gubernatorial Campaign Group, Chief Dipo Anisulowo, at a rally in IkerePHOTO: NAN Ekiti, yesterday.

OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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kiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi will be re-elected for a second term in the June 21 governorship election in the state based on his record of achievements and transformative leadership style that has impacted positively on the people of the state. The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Olayinka Oyebode, who made this declaration at a forum in Ido-Ile Ekiti yesterday, said Ekiti people recognise and appreciate good work as well as good leaders and know how to give appropriate reward. According to Oyebode, Governor Fayemi has improved the quality of lives of the people and the various communities in the last three and a half years through prudent management of the resources of the state and by being innovative. He said while other aspirants in the race would be labouring to convince the electorate on their ability, Fayemi’s

communities and farmsteads. We have projects almost dotting all communities. Some have been completed, some are halfway through, some are three quarter finished and we have milestone payment for them and some are due for second tranche payment. The monarchs in each community show appreciation for the self help project. They chose the project, the contractor, the carpenter and plumber. The jobs are done in such a way that grows the local economy and help those who have skills in artisanship in the communities.” The Fayemi-led administration had last year disbursed N600 million for the completion of various ongoing, abandoned and uncompleted self-help projects as well as provision of boreholes, access culverts among others in the benefiting communities. Meanwhile, the CDAs have lauded Fayemi for in-

60 DAYS TO GO troducing the grant-in-aids programme which has enabled them revive and complete many projects which the communities have abandoned for lack of funds. They added that the programme has not only given communities the sense of participation in government but also facilitated the execution of their priority projects “without going around begging for assistance.” They said it is important for all Ekiti indigenes who have benefited from the various projects carried out by the present administration to re-elect Fayemi as governor come June 21 so that the various peopleoriented programmes started by the Governor can continue beyond 2014.

Why voters’ll re-elect gov for second term -CPS record of achievements in the areas of education and human capital development; health care delivery; youth, women and community empowerment; gender empowerment, tourism development; modernised agriculture and the social security scheme would speak for him. Describing other aspirants as pretenders, Oyebode said Governor Fayemi has raised the bar of governance in the state, adding that the Ekiti people, having tasted massive development by an accountable and compassionate administration are not prepared to go back to the era of brigandage that characterised the state between 2003 and 2010. Fayemi, according to him has been tested and has proved that he is a highly focused, dynamic and compassionate leader who has a genuine plan for the state and its people and a roadmap to achieving it. This, according to him, marked him out of a motley crowd

of other opportunistic politicians who are out to con the people with disjointed claims that fail to add up. He said: “Governor Fayemi knows where Ekiti should be in the next four years and has the roadmap and the ability to take the state and the people there. This is different from other aspirants many of whom have no clear cut agenda. Till date, he remains the only one who has a clear vision of what he wants to do for the state and its people in the next four years. “I am yet to see other aspirants say precisely what they intend to do for the state, or how they intend to better the education or health sector. So, it shows they just want power for their self –serving sake. Or can anyone point at any known agenda of the Labour Party, LP, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP or the Accord Party, AP candidates? “Sometimes you laugh and cry when you hear

some aspirants discuss their vision for the state. The other time one of them was discussing his educational plan, said he would change the name of the state university. Another said he would not take salary. I tell you Ekiti people have moved beyond these mundane and childish promises. Now is the time to tell the people what and what you would do to improve the education or tourism sector or else you have no business canvassing for their votes. On the gale of violence in the state, Oyebode said the trend was a deliberate attempt by one of the aspirant who in the bid to hide his inadequacies has resorted to violence, name dropping and cheap blackmail. He added that violence would not earn anyone the people’s vote as Ekitis are not prepared to exchange the peace and tranquillity of the three and half years for brigandage. On allegation by the LP candidate, Mr Opeyemi Bamidele that

majority of the members of the state executive council are on his side, Oyebode said that allegation was not only puerile, but stands logic on the head, asking “how can you have majority of the exco members on your side and they are ashamed to identify with you publicly. That is a badly concocted lie, quite idiotic. “I can tell you the entire members of the state executive council are solidly behind Governor Fayemi, because they are part and parcel of the administration and the re-election campaign. And you see them with him at every rally and also playing leading roles in the house-tohouse campaign.” On claims by Fayose that he was instrumental to Fayemi’s emergence as governor, Oyebode said that was another lie taken too far in the former governor’s desperate bid to seek relevance. According to Oyebode, Fayeose seems to have

forgotten that Fayemi had been in the governorship race since 2005 when he (Fayose) was still governor and that Fayemi together with some other well- meaning citizens of the state actually constituted the forces that confronted Fayose’s dictatorial government which culminated in his impeachment in October, 2006. Oyebode said: “Where is the logic in that statement? How and in what ways can you influence someone who worked against you and made him governor. Yes, Fayose went around town with posters urging the people to vote for Governor Fayemi, but that was during the rerun election of 2009. The fact is that Fayose was still in self –exile while Dr Fayemi contested the April 2007 governorship election which he won but was denied. It was the successful challenge of the outcome of the 2007 election at the tribunal and Appeal Court that led to the re-run election of April 2009.”


WORLD RECORD

Highest Waterfall

N150

Vol. 04 No. 835 Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The highest waterfall is the Venezuela’s Angel Falls. With a height of 979 m (3,212 ft), Angel Falls defines majesty. Its greatest single drop measures 807 m (2,648 ft), with other rapids and cascades combining to form the remaining height.

National Conference and the hurdles to cross T he National Conference scaled one major hurdle when it successfully resolved the controversy over the voting pattern to be adopted on resolutions. Although, the agreement on the voting pattern may be seen as a major victory for the conference; the controversy is generated underlines the many hard nuts the conference may have to face in its bid to fashion out a model constitution for the country. President Goodluck Jonathan had during the inauguration of the conference advised members to reach agreement by consensus and where consensus could not be reached, delegates were advised to adopt 75 per cent benchmark. But while debating the rule issue many delegates opined that it would be difficult to adopt the 75 per cent benchmark

IS HE NOW AN ALIEN IN HIS MOTHERLAND?

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imbabwe-born British heavyweight boxer, Dereck Chisora, says he has the skills to outbox Tyson Fury when the two meet on July 26 in an all-British final eliminator for the World Boxing Organisation heavyweight championship. The winner of the impending bout will have a world-title shot

Guest

Gbenga

Columnist

Ogunbufunmi

and therefore, called for the application of two third majorities, which they argued is the international standard. The voting benchmark polarized the conferees along regional lines. Thank God for allowing commonsense to prevail. There is no doubt that many thorny issues may soon come before the conference for deliberations. One of such serious issues is the quest for resource control. Agitation for resource control by the oil producing states in the country would be a very hard nut to crack. The nation should expect a walk out from the protagonists who are likely to be denied their demand for a raise of derivation benchmark. Also of concern is the form of government the country would have to adopt. This will spring another controversy which must be carefully handled as majority of southern delegates at the conference have the mandate to root for regionalism or a true federal system of government; something delegates from the northern part of the country will vehemently oppose. Another issue is that of marginalisation which came to the fore recently when the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III led the Muslim community under the aegis of the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) to the Presidential Villa to protest alleged marginalisation of Muslims in the country in the composition of the members of the National Conference. The Sultan, who is the President General of the Council, and other members of the NSCIA met with President Goodluck Jona-

POLITICAL OBSERVERS ARE CONCERNED THAT THE FEW ISSUES DEBATED SO FAR AT THE CONFERENCE SEEM TO BE WIDENING THE NATION’S ETHNORELIGIOUS DIVIDE than behind closed doors where they made their position known. After the meeting, Secretary General of the Council, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, told State House Correspondents that the President had re-assured the Muslims community that he was a genuine and committed Christian who would not be unjust to others. Another Muslim body, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) headed by Sultan of Sokoto had earlier said that Muslims in the country were being marginalised at the National Conference, saying that Christians with 40 per cent of the nation’s population, constitute 62 per cent of the total delegates. Addressing newsmen in Kaduna, JNI Secretary General, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, said that many Nigerians, including the leadership of the Muslim Ummah in the country, had expressed various concerns regarding the timing of the confab. Also, the Northern Elders Forum has dismissed the National Conference, saying it “lacks a constitutional basis or any form of legitimacy or authority to speak for the people

of the North or other Nigerians.” In a declaration adopted at the end of its meeting in Kano recently, the group said the proceedings, conclusions and recommendations of the National Conference would therefore, be of no consequence and would not be accepted by the people of the North. “The National Conference has no constitutional basis, or any form of legitimacy or authority to speak for the people of the North or other Nigerians…The critical issues of national development are fairly well known and can be incorporated in amendments of the constitution,” the group said. Although deliberations at the conference may have scaled through the initial hurdles of voting on benchmark and adoption of the rules of proceedings, the greatest concern is what to do with reports of the conference. President Jonathan added to the confusion during the inauguration when he abandoned his earlier position that reports of the conference will be submitted to the National Assembly and said that it may be subjected to referendum. With the commencement of the conference, members are divided on whether reports of the conference needed to be subjected to National Assembly ratification or not. Why some members are of the view that the role of the conference is merely advisory, others hold the contrary view that subjecting its reports to NASS will defeat the essence of the conference. In order to douse tension over the matter, the conference chairman, Justice Kutigi, has advised members to stay debate on it until they get to that level, which means postponing the evil day. Meanwhile, political observers are concerned that the few issues debated so far at the conference seem to be widening the nation’s ethno-religious divide. Indeed virtually all the issues discussed so far have taken a sharp North-South and Christian-Muslim divides. I see more of such ethno-religious effusions ahead. Ogunbufunmi is on the News Desk of this National Mirror.

Sport Extra

Boxing: Chisora targets ‘big win’ over Fury at WBO Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko. Chisora has won his last five fights since losing to David Haye in 2012, picking up the WBO and World Boxing Association International championships in the pro-

cess. “Tyson doesn’t worry us because we know he swings a lot when he is in a panic,” Chisora said yesterday. Fury’s own fight with Haye was cancelled after the latter was cut during sparring but Chisora dis-

missed concerns over his fitness after a slight injury kept him out of the gym this week. “Everything is going well for me and I am happy. I’m really looking forward to this fight,” the 30-yearold added.

Chisora

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