Power: FG targets N256bn loan to expand transmission capacity ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
he Federal Government has concluded plans to secure a $1.6bn (N256bn) loan for the
Vol. 31 N0. 695 115
expansion of power transmission facilities in the country. The loan is being sourced from the World Bank, African Development Bank, Chinese Exim Bank in ad-
Bolaji Tunji now National Mirror editor
dition to the issuance of a Eurobond. Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, announced this to State House correspondents yesterday after CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Tuesday, Tuesday,June August 7, 2011 27, 2013
7 PDP governors face expulsion
SSS arrests mother of teenage stowaway P.11
18 Amaechi loyalists axed Nigeria at crossroads –Atiku
AYODELE OJO, SAM OLUWALANA AND OBIORA IFOH
Ekiti APC crisis:
3 shot as gov, lawmaker’s factions clash
he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is set to wield the big stick against seven governors elected on the party’s platform for what it described as anti-party activities. This development followed the governors’ move to float a new political party, the Voice of the People, VOP. Governors likely to be suspended are Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
A young girl at the Notting Hill Carnival in London, yesterday.
Jonathan fires minister Strike: Don’t succumb to blackmail, NMA warns FG Panel indicts Ogun officials over N200m WAEC fee fraud
Terrorists kill 14 ‘civilian JTF’ in Borno
Suntai seeks to resume duties P.12
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Jonathan sacks minister OMEIZA AJAYI
resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday sacked the Minister of Youth Development, Mr. Inuwa Abdulkadir, and directed him to hand over to the permanent secretary in the ministry. No reason was given for the removal, but National Mirror gathered that the minister’s sack might not be unconnected with the outcome of the recent controversial election of new executives of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN. The President, however, thanked Abdulkadir for his contributions to the transformation agenda of the present administration. In a statement entitled, “Termination of the appointment of the Honourable Minister of Youth Development”, and signed by the Special Assistant on Me-
dia to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SFG, Mr. Sam Nwaobasi, the President also wished Abdulkadir success in his future endeavours. The statement reads in part: “His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, has relieved Inuwa Abdulkadir, of his appointment as the Honourable Minister of Youth Development with effect from August 26, 2013. “The former minister is to hand over to the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth Development. “Mr. President expresses appreciation to the former minister for the time he put in the services of the nation and wishes him success in his future endeavours.” The minister and the Presidency had been accused of foisting a card-
carrying member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who is also an aide to the Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, on the NYCN even when there was a subsisting court order against the conduct of the election. The minister was also reported to have orchestrated the movement of the NYCN congress from Ondo to Benue State. The defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, had specifically accused the former minister of facilitating the exercise. According to the ACN, “When some aspirants obtained a court injunction stopping the election, the NYCN trustees advised that the congress should be called off because of the court order. The delegates had hardly departed Benue State when the minister allegedly started writing the names of selected government candidates as winners of an election that
did not hold. “The names of the ‘winners’ were subsequently sent, purely for information sake, to the delegates who had already left after the congress was cancelled. “The result of the shenanigans orchestrated by the Presidency and the PDP is the crisis now rocking the NYCN, with two persons laying claim to the organisation’s presidency. This is an uncanny resemblance to what happened to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, again with the Presidency and the PDP being fingered as the culprit”. Outgone NYCN President, Mr. Wale Ajani, had also advised the minister to steer clear of the politics of the council, saying “The only thing that I have to say is: ‘Mr. Minister, I was elected, so kindly allow my successor to be elected too’. We are not fighting with the minister, all we are asking is that due process be followed.”
L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan; Chairman, Anioma Congress, Chief Benjamin Elue; Secretary, Mr. Dan Okeyi and Asagba of Asaba, Prof. Chike Edozien, during their visit to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
Bolaji Tunji now National Mirror editor
r. Bolaji Tunji has been appointed as the Editor of National Mirror newspaper. His appointment is with immediate effect. Before his appointment, he was Editor of the Sunday paper. A 1990 graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, IleIfe, Osun State, Tunji, a former teacher, began his journalism career with
The Guardian Newspaper in 1993 where he spent eight years before resigning as a correspondent to join Daily Independent as Deputy News Editor in September 2001. At the Daily Independent, he had a meteoric rise as he was promoted thrice within one year, first as Deputy Editor, Politics, Deputy Editor, News before he was elevated to the position of Editor, Breaking
News, the evening publication from the newspaper’s stable. He resigned from Daily Independent in 2005 and had a stint with the Daily Times as Deputy Editor, when a private investor took over the organization. It was from there that he joined the now defunct Comet newspaper as the Saturday Editor, which later metamorphosed into The Nation newspa-
per. He was the Saturday Editor of the paper for four years before he was appointed in 2010 as the pioneer Sunday Editor of the repackaged National Mirror publications and held the title before his new appointment as the Editor of the National Mirror – the flagship title in the stable of the Global Media Mirror Ltd. Tunji is married with children.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
7 PDP governors face suspension CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara). The governors are said to be the brains behind the formation of the VOP, still awaiting registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Amaechi is already on suspension for anti party activities while Wamakko who was axed for the same alleged offence was recently pardoned. National Mirror learnt that the Presidency might have given the PDP national leadership the go-ahead to first suspend the governors before their eventual expulsion. The action may likely come after the Saturday, August 31 special convention of the party billed to hold in Abuja. Although some of the governors had through their media aides denied their involvement in the VOP, it was learnt that the PDP governors were using their political associates to bankroll the new party. A member of the PDP’s board of trustees, confirmed the suspension plot to National Mirror last night. He said: “We’re quite aware about the decision of some of the governors to float a new party. We’re also aware about their plot to destroy the PDP through orchestrated crises. “So, we won’t wait until they destroy the house we built since 1998. All we are trying to establish now is their involvement in the new party. As soon as that is done, the party hierarchy will suspend the erring governors.” But another source told National Mirror that the governors were just out to use the new party to negotiate their relevance in the PDP. Meanwhile, there was a curious twist to the crisis rocking the Rivers State chapter of the PDP yesterday as the State Working Committee, SWC, expelled 14 commissioners believed to be loyal to Governor Amaechi. But the Chief of Staff to the Governor, who was also affected in the sweep-
ing order, warned the party leadership that it was embarking on an illegality, stressing that the decision was subjudice as there was a subsisting court action on the PDP crises. The party kicked out the immediate Deputy National Chairman (South-South), Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, along with the Secretary to the State Government, George Feyii; the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Tony Okocha and the Sole Administrator of the Greater Port Harcourt Development Authority, Aleruchi Cookey-Gam. The commissioners affected by the expulsion were Victor Giadom (Works), Augustine Nwokocha (Power), Worgu Boms (Attorney-General), Joe Poroma (Social Welfare), Ezemonye Ezekiel Amadi (Land and Survey), Fred Igwe (Sports), Emmanuel Chinda (Agriculture) and Mrs. Joeba West (Women Affairs). Others were Dr. Nnabuihe Imegwu (Culture), Mrs. Patricia Simon-Hart (Water Resources), Okey Amadi (Natural Resources), Charles Okaye (Chieftaincy), Ibim Semenitari (Information) and Samuel Eyiba (Local Government Affairs) At a press conference addressed by the State PDP Chairman, Chief Felix Obuah, the party said the expulsion was based on the resolution of the SWC concerning their alleged antiparty activities. He said; “Their expulsion will strengthen, rather than weaken the party as we understand they want to divide the party. Some of them, according to information we have, are even romancing with other parties. “We are also taking this step so that some will not say, at least some people did it before and nothing was done to them. “Enough is enough; our decision is not based on loyalty line, they were all given the opportunity to defend themselves and state their own side of the story, but they refused to honour these invitations. This amounts to disrespect to the party and we believe that the impunity of these people will affect the party”. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
L-R: Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Bisi Onasanya; Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, Chairman, CIBN, Lagos State Branch, Mr. Bolade Agbola, at the just concluded 2013 Lagos Bankers’ Nite held at the Federal Place Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
L-R: Managing Director, Promasidor Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Keith Richards; Head, Public Relations and Legal Department, Mr. Andrew Enahoro and Director, Strategy, Mr. Anders Einarsson, at the launch of the 2014 PHOTO: TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE Promasidor’s Quill Awards call for entries in Lagos, yesterday.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
L-R: Resident Representative to Nigeria, International Monetary Fund, Mr. Scott Rogers; Statistician-General, National Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Yemi Kale and Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, during the National Stakeholders’ Sensitisation Workshop on Nigeria’s GDP Rebasing Exercise in Abuja, PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA yesterday.
L-R: Chief Operations & Technology Officer, Sterling Bank Plc, Yemi Odubiyi; renowned Nigerian artist, Prof. Bruce Onabrakpeya and General Manager, Lagos Mainland Region, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Tunde Adeola, at the Sterling Bank Children Art Exhibition & Auction for Charity event in Lagos at the weekend.
Strike: Don’t succumb to blackmail, NMA warns FG
...NLC blames minister over strike OLUFEMI ADEOSUN AND MARCUS FATUNMOLE
he Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, yesterday, threatened a showdown with the Federal Government should it “succumb to blackmail and intimidation” from health workers, who embarked on strike on Thursday. NMA said this in a statement signed by its President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele. The association said although, it had nothing against the right of any group or individual to determine how best to achieve its objectives, it however affirms that no group or union has monopoly over the use of strike in seeking the actualisation of its objectives. “Therefore, the NMA shall not hesitate to use similar means if government fails to uphold the Rule of Law and succumbs to blackmail and intimidation. “We pledge greater commitment to the health of
Nigerians and insist on the enthronement of professionalism and international best practices, and not emotions as means to bring about lasting peace in the health sector,” the association said. It however commended its members across the states, whom it said were always available at their duty post. “For the record, we wish to inform the public that the public hospitals have remained open for consultation with their doctors who are very committed to ensuring their good health at all times. Nigerians with health challenges should therefore, feel free to visit the public hospitals to patiently consult their doctors in the Outpatient departments, Accident and Emergency Units, laboratory, Antenatal clinic, and other departments of public hospitals. “The Labour wards in the public hospitals have remained open and pregnant women in labour are being delivered by doctors.
“Nigerians seeking healthcare should note that doctors do not mill around the hospital gates or in the open compound but can be found providing healthcare services in clinics, wards, theatres and other clinical service delivery points in the hospital. “We call on Nigerians visiting our hospitals to ask for their doctors and avoid being misdirected. Our main concern is that no life should be unnecessarily lost as a result of the on-going strike. “We place on record the treatment offered to one of the striking allied health workers last Friday, at the National Hospital Abuja, following her involvement in a near fatal road traffic accident. We had her life saved by compassionate doctors on duty. “We therefore praise the efforts of our doctors and other compassionate allied health workers who, last week, despite the challenges of the Nigerian environment, successfully conducted delicate medical and surgical procedures (including brain surgeries
and caesarean operations) in various hospitals across the country, particularly at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, NAUTH, Nnewi, University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH, and the National Hospital Abuja,” NMA said. While it urged the striking workers to embrace constructive avenues to resolve their demand, the association declared that all public health institutions are ready to provide optimal care to individuals with health challenges all round the clock. The Federal Government yesterday met with the striking workers. The closed-door meeting was attended by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, and Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Aji, Others were representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress, TUC, and the Joint Health Sector
Union, JOHESU. Shortly before the meeting, Wogu told the media that he was optimistic that the meeting would end the strike. He said the ministry would not fail in its reconciliatory and mediatory efforts aimed at ensuring that issues that led to the strike were resolved amicably. On his part, Chukwu said the ministry was ready to dialogue with the union to end the strike in the interest of all Nigerians, particularly patients. Aji, also called on the parties to sheath their sword and embrace dialogue. But Mr. Moshood Akinade, the Secretary-General of Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospital, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions, SSAUTHRAI, said JOHESU was ready to call off the strike provided their demands were met. He said the union embarked on the strike to push home the need for government to meet 10 issues it had presented for the past 10 years. He commended Wogu for
his effort at ensuring that the difference was resolved. Meanwhile, NLC yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to call the minister of health to order over his insincerity and poor handling of workers’ demands. NLC said that the minister should be held responsible for the ongoing strike in the sector, adding that it was unfortunate that he did not only violate the agreement reached with the striking workers, but also spurned the ruling of the National Industrial Court, NIC. The NLC, in a statement signed by its President, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar asked President Jonathan to immediately call the minister to order to prevent the country’s health sector from going into the brinks with its disastrous consequences on the masses. “We commend the prompt intervention of the minister of labour, which would have brought about the desired industrial harmony, but for the arrogant and uncompromising attitude of the minister of health.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Power: FG targets N256bn loan to expand transmission capacity CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
the meeting of the Presidential Action Committee on Power, PACP, chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan. He said that the discussion at the meeting was about expanding the transmission network to ensure that there was adequate wheeling capacity to the power generating plants. “The presentation today was by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, and that was to explain to the PACP all the things we need to do to make sure that all the power generated between now and several years to come, that the capacity is there to do that and also to point out the funding gaps and very thankfully to President and the National Council on Privatisation, the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, and the federal ministries of power, finance and petroleum, much of what is needed to do these things are being put in place,” the minister said. Nebo stated that the government was adequately prepared, stressing that everybody was excited that there was significant compliance by the preferred bidders who bought the power generating and distribution companies. He said that most of the preferred bidders had paid up, adding that the country was going from a public sec-
tor dominated power sector to a private sector-driven power sector. “We believe that this is very good for the country; we are celebrating that, the entire nation is agog with it, the international community is amazed that this miracle could happen in Nigeria and we are so happy that everybody sees that it was a fragile situation because no county in Africa has taken the quantum leap to do the entire generation and distribution company utilities like that in one fell swoop. “Nigeria has done it and I think the government of President Goodluck Jonathan should be commended for the courage, boldness and the dexterity of purpose to ensure that this has happened and it is happening,” Nebo said. The minister explained that even though the country had recorded substantial stability in the provision of power, there were still challenges, especially in the area of sabotage of power delivery infrastructure. He noted that with the progress recorded so far in the privatisation of the power sector, there was great expectation that it would record more success than the telecommunication companies. “The reason we are celebrating this is that, remember what happened with NITEL when telecommunications was essentially run
by the government, what did we see? It was the epitome of ineptitude with regard to delivery of communication services to our people but today what do we have? We have a situation where Nigeria has over 120 million registered GSM lines. “In those days, you needed to bribe people in order to get a line and whenever you had a problem, it took weeks to fix. Today, it is no longer so. The same thing is going to happen in the power sector. “The only difference is that we even envisage that the power sector would dwarf the telecommunication sector in what we are going to see happen because it is going to re-energise the
entire economy, the whole manufacturing and industrial sector of the country will begin to boom and in addition to that, small and medium scale enterprises will begin to spring up all over the place. “So there is a lot to celebrate and with these things in the hands of the private sector, they are going to deliver power. The only reason why they would make their money is to ensure that power is delivered to the people and once the people are getting power, the more their profit, the more incentive they have to ensure that whatever needs to be beefed up is beefed up to ensure that power is available to Nigerians,” the
minister added. Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has said that with the successful conclusion of the sale of the country’s power generation and distribution companies, Nigerians will soon begin to enjoy the positive benefits of the privatisation of the sector. He spoke yesterday during an audience with a delegation of the Anioma Peoples’ Congress led by the Asagba of Asaba, Prof. Chike Edozien. Jonathan confirmed that all successful bidders for the power generation and distribution companies had completed the payments required to complete the sales process, stressing that it was
conducted in conformity with globally accepted standards and best practices. He said: “We are fully conscious of the centrality and importance of adequate power supply for our developmental efforts. We have challenges in the sector but we are constantly working to overcome them. “We are currently in a transition phase in which the sector is being positively transformed. The sale of our generation and distribution companies is almost concluded. Finally, everyone has paid and in the shortest possible time, our power sector will take on a much more positive life of its own for the benefit of all Nigerians.”
L-R: Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh; Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi and Director, Legal, Mrs. Rita Uruakpa, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between NIMASA and Nigeria Air Force for the promotion of maritime safety and security in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
7 PDP governors face suspension CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
The PDP also alleged that the alleged plot by Amaechi to scuttle its convention had been uncovered. It said that the party’s leadership uncovered a plot by the governor and the newly-appointed Acting Chief Justice of the state, Justice Peter Agumagu, to prevent the state delegation from participating in the party’s national convention slated for this weekend in Abuja. In a statement signed by the State Secretary, Ibibia Walter, the party warned the judiciary to be peopleoriented and advised the people of the state to be wary of what it described as Governor Amaechi’s antics. He also advised them to guard against the unsavoury moves to cause dis-
unity in the state. Okocha, however, warned the leadership of the party that its action was subjudice, since there was a pending court action on the issue against it. He added that the party did not have the power to expel him or any other member of the party, accusing the leadership of hatching a plan to use fake party delegates in this weekend’s national convention. Okocha also queried the wisdom behind the PDP embarking on steps capable of dividing its house instead of promoting the party. He said: “PDP does not have such powers to expel me or any member of the state executive council. The matter involving Felix Obuah executive is in court, so it is subjudice.
“We challenge them to publish the names of the eight commissioners who they said wrote to them giving reasons on why they could not attend the invitation of the so-called Performance Evaluation Committee and the yardstick they employed in arriving at their decision. “What they are planning is to use fake delegates to the sub-convention of the PDP that is coming up this weekend. The thing to ask is why is PDP fighting PDP? A House divided against itself cannot stand. “Let them also show us the letter they claimed to have sent out. We all know that the PDP in the state has two factions, the original one led by Chief Godspower Ake and the Felix Obuah faction.” On the claims by Walter
that Amaechi and Agumagu are conniving to get a court injunction to prevent the state delegates from attending the convention and to stop the convention in Abuja from holding, Okocha explained that the charge was frivolous, adding that no such action was being envisaged. In another development, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, Mallam Bashir Yusuf, yesterday described the ruling PDP as a sinking ship, which had drifted away from its original ideals for which it was formed. Yusuf, who stated this after a meeting with a governorship aspirant of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, from Anambra State, Igwebuike Ifeanyi Hyger, noted that
the PDM candidate for the Anambra election would not emerge by fiat but through due processes as laid out by the party. On whether or not former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar could use the party’s platform in 2015 presidential election, the national chairman noted that PDM would not bar any person from the contest unless the person was barred by law. He also lambasted some members of the PDM for pulling a volte-face over the registration of the party, disclosing that they were all part of the resolution at a meeting in Abuja to register the party. Replying a question on why they split from the PDP, Yusuf said: “We didn’t actually split from the PDP. What happened
was that PDP in our view left Nigeria. And it has left Nigerians. So it is actually the PDP that has drifted, not us. “And we decided to assert our identity because to be honest with you, the acronym PDP is a corruption of the acronym PDM. PDP was kick-started by PDM and it was the M at the end of the PDM that was removed that made it PDP, that is from movement to party. On Atiku’s viability to use the party’s platform by 2015 presidential election, Yusuf said: “It is not for me to say. Atiku is a member of PDP not PDM. I have read in certain papers where he asserted his membership of the PDP. So unless he becomes a member of the PDM, we are not going to start talking about whether he will use our platform or not.”
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Atiku says Nigeria at crossroads, charts way forward
ormer Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, has warned that Nigeria is at a crossroads but that the road to continued mediocrity is not an option if the country must attain the desired greatness. The former vice-president made the assertion yesterday at the showcase session of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, annual general conference in Calabar, Cross River State. He noted that the path we are currently threading, which is marked by empty promises, avarice, greed and corruption, cannot sustain nation building and development.
He said; “Nations are built one brick at a time, one person at a time, people helping people adding; “When people come together to help, rather than hurt each other, the people become the force from which a future is built, and a nation grows.” Abubakar emphasised that the path to Nigeria’s greatness demands honest, experienced and incorruptible leadership. Also, he said the envisaged greatness demands a sustained focus on economic development, critical improvements of infrastructure and uncompromised security system nationwide. To this end, the former
vice-president advocated for the “Establishment of an enduring democratic platform with a sustainable legitimacy, and for such platform to possess credible internal capacity to produce visionary leaders who will be committed to the public purpose. “Whose leadership, he said will be informed by the common good and sustained by the popular will of the citizens.” He suggested the reorientation of the psyche and minds of Nigerians to trust their leaders and love their country, the restoration of community spirit in which everyone is their brother’s
keeper and the enthronement of a new regime where the allegiance of citizens should be first to the motherland. He called for the retooling of the structure and quality of government institutions and the resuscitation of the productive capacities of the state to guarantee social and economic welfare of every citizen. According to him, the guarantee should uphold freedom, ensure dignity and promote fairness and equity of the citizens in the way government functions. While noting that extreme poverty and environmental damage now consti-
tute security issues because they continue to take away human dignity, self esteem and a general sense of hope, Atiku called for the provision of adequate security for all Nigerians. According to him; “Food scarcity, high youth unemployment, resentment, disillusionment and hopelessness are sentiments and emotions on which insecurity thrives. “And to overcome these challenges, he proposed comprehensive security, where every citizen must not only be conscious of the collective national interest, but must be willing and happy to defend it on behalf
of all. “In tandem with pre-existing differences in social values, aspirations and preferences, he suggested the adoption of a system of true federalism that guarantees the autonomy of states to develop at their own paces.” To guarantee equity and justice among citizens, the former vice-president proposed progressive reformations and adjudication of the nation’s laws and statutes. He proposed for a social policy that will give opportunities to the vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the society to live useful and satisfactory lives.
Nigeria targets $1bn trade volume with Pakistan OMEIZA AJAYI
he Federal Government has expressed its desire to expand its trade volume to about $1 billion with Pakistan. Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Dauda Danladi, who led a team of investors on a courtesy visit on the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, said Nigeria and Pakistan stand to benefit a lot from such mutual investment. “It was a welcome development when the President introduced his transformation agenda; he focused his foreign policy on critical areas. “Today, we have various industrialists from different parts of Pakistan. Pakistani investors are interested in Nigeria’s oil and gas and other areas. Over $1 billion is being envisaged as the worth of the potential investments Pakistani investors intend to bring into Nigeria,” he said. Pakistani High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ikram Karim Fazl, lamented that the trade volumes between both countries have not been to the level he expects. “Our trade volumes have not been to the level we want it to be. But opportunities still abound. With the concept of global village, there’s no reason why we should stay aloof from each other. There’s reason for us to come together for the benefit of both countries. “Nigeria will not find us wanting. We will be available to provide any assistance we
want. There are Pakistani students who also want to come here. We will promote a joint venture between Nigeria and Pakistan,” the high commissioner said. In his remark, FCT Minister, Senator Bala extended hands of fellowship to Pakistani investors, promising them of safe and convenient business climate. “We’ve so much in common with Pakistan more than India, but we have more relationship with India. We need to look at that. “Indians have established a lot of businesses here. You need to wake up to make sure that you really fill the gap,” Bala pleaded.
L-R: Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo; Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power, Mr. Beks Dagogo-Jack and Permanent Secretary, Power, Amb. Godknows Igali, after a meeting with the Presidency in Abuja, yesterday.
I’ll computerise nation’s courts before I retire –CJN ISE-OLUWA IGE
hief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mariam Aloma Murhktar, yesterday said she would actualise a computerised Case Management System, CMS, for Nigerian courts before her exit from the bench. Murhktar is expected to bow out of the Supreme Court bench in November next year for clocking the mandatory retirement age of 70 years. The CJN said the computerisation of the judiciary is expected to enhance justice system in the country. She spoke at the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between the National Judicial Council, NJC, and the National Center for State
Courts in Abuja for the installation of the technology in Abuja, yesterday. According to the Executive Secretary of the National Judicial Council, NJC, Danladi Haliru, he said the ceremony had vindicated the resolve of Justice Mukhtar to leave behind a functional case management system at the end of her tenure next year. His words: “This project is very dear to the heart of the honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Aloma Murktah and on behalf of the chief judge, I wish to appreciate the role of the Chief Judge of Borno State in piloting the case of the committee so far, the result being what we have just witnessed. “I appreciate the management of the state Court of
America in realising this dream. We wish to express appreciation to all members of the committee in ensuring the dream of the CJN in developing and ensuring that a case management system for the Nigerian judiciary is realised. “The CJN has publicly declared her intention to actualise this very project before her exit from the bench,” he added. In his opening remark, the Chief Judge of Borno State and Chairman of the Judicial Information Technology Policy Committee, JITPC, Justice Kashim Zannah said; “The need to customise the nation’s judiciary cannot be over emphasized. “You would understand that a lot of automation has taken place in most sectors in the hospitals, banks, and
businesses.” According to Justice Zannah; “When it comes to courts, it is a unique area where you cannot find expertise easily. We have gone for the best and we are grateful that they have been very considerate, very helpful and patient to our methods and ways. “And today, we are here to do the formal signing of the agreement to implement this court automation effort.” The Chief Judge of Borno State further said; “The state courts are the best they write the books on these things. They have the expertise and experience from working in all parts of the world and to them everyone runs to them including the courts in the United States. “Indeed, much as it is a centre for state courts even
the federal courts run to them when it comes to court technology,” he added. Jeff Apperlson, the vicepresident of the State Courts of the United States said; “I want to thank Chief Justice Zannah and I think he is a man of vision. And the member staff of the National Judicial Council. “I am very proud to work together in a partnership to establish a case management system for Nigeria that will facilitate efficiency, transparency and accountability for the courts and people of Nigeria. Apperlson also stated that; “We will integrate the various courts in the country. But we are going to start with the Supreme Court first and we are hoping that by 2014 we will have the technology in place.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Oshiomhole steps down anti-kidnapping bill SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
L-R. Federal Road Safety Corps Marshal, Mr. Osita Chidoka; wife of the Vice-President, Hajia Amina Namadi Sambo and President, Road Safety Officers’ Wives Association, Mrs. Chidinma Chidoka, during the processing of vice-president’s driver’s licence, in Abuja, at the weekend.
Distressed buildings: States liable to enforce eviction orders KENNY ODUNUKAN
here are indications that state governments and their agencies are liable to enforce the eviction orders served on occupants of distressed buildings across the country. Notable lawyers, including a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Felix Fagbohungbe, said in an interview with National Mirror that once a building was marked “distressed” and unfit for occupants, the government should evict the occupants without delay. Fagbohungbe spoke just as the Lagos State SolicitorGeneral and Permanent Secretary, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN), said the state government lacked the capacity to enforce the eviction directive without the support of the police. Fagbohungbe said: “The truth is that I believe the government is just hypo-
critical about it, if you declare a building distressed, you must go ahead and ensure that the occupants are ejected immediately. “The only way to determine a government that is responsible is that after a building has been marked distressed, enforcement should be carried out shortly after in order to save lives and properties.” He said the government must follow up its action by evicting the occupants immediately a building was declared distressed. A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Fred Agbaje, said: “It is the failure of government to enforce it when properties are marked for demolition, they should ensure that the occupants leave the buildings and the demolition should be carried out within reasonable time”. But Pedro said: “The state government is not in control of the police to be able to effectively enforce eviction orders.
“Regarding the enforcement of law, a civil servant will find it difficult to enforce law that is a bit coercive. If you are living in a house and it is marked distressed and don’t have alternative to go for as at that night and I come there to drive you out. Won’t you resist? “It is only the police that will give us cover to enforce such laws. As at now we do not even have our state police. If we send all other agencies we have, they may be attacked. “Men of Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) are not armed, our officers are not fully armed. Those are part of the challenges we face, but if we have had a state police or a unit that is fully armed for this purpose, you will be able to enforce this type of law that is regarded as minor.’’ Pedro added that there was the possibility of some of the victims securing court orders to stop their forceful eviction unless the
Ogunlewe urges ASUU to call off strike TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE
hairman of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, yesterday appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) call off its lingering strike. Addressing journalists in Lagos, Ogunlewe said that the Federal Government had made offers and
commitment to necessitate the resumption of academic activities in the nation’s universities. He said the Federal Government had already demonstrated sufficient commitment to the implementation of 2009 FG/ ASUU agreement by putting into consideration the release of N100 billion to develop infrastructure in 61 universities and N30 billion to support the university councils in settling the earned allowances.
The former Minister of Works, however, said he had directed FUNAAB management to immediately begin discussions with the institution’s three unions on mode of payment of the Federal Government’s largess. Ogunlewe explained that the setting-up of the Gabriel Suswan-led Committee for the needs assessment of ASUU was reputed to be the most powerful Federal Government committee ever constituted to look into the
state government has the backing of the law to eject them. Another senior advocate, Mr. Adekunle Oyesanya, did not rule out corruption on the part of the affected landlords and government officials to ensure that the occupants were not evicted. Oyesanya said: “It is more of a societal problem. What we discovered in most cases is that the landlord will have gone to negotiate with government agencies and the enforcement will not be done as at when due. “It is a clear issue of corruption. Corruption on the part of the landlords and government officials are largely responsible, that is why you discover that a problem has been identify, but we seem not to proffer solution to it as at when due.’’ The lawyers spoke against the backdrop of incessant collapse of buildings in the country.
issue of the union. He assured that the committee would come up with recommendations that would be beneficial to both parties. The former minister said individual university was mandated to parley with local ASUU chapter as well as NASU and the junior staff on modalities for payment, adding that it is now the responsibility of various governing councils to begin with the implementation of the agreement.
do State Governor Adams Oshiomhole may not be enthusiastic to sign the bill criminalising kidnapping by death, which the House of Assembly recently passed into law. Oshiomhole explained at the weekend that signing death warrants of convicted kidnappers, which he was ready to do, was a signal that the state “is a wrong place for criminal activities” especially as the non-execution of convicted criminals in the last 17 years had not reduced crimes in the state. Receiving the Conference of Non-Governmental Organisations (CONGOs) at the Government House in Benin, the governor said: “There are seven convicts whose cases are being reviewed. I will sign the death warrant of any of them, especially kidnappers, found to have killed any of their victims. I believe that those who kill by sword should also die by the sword.” Entitled “Law to prohibit act of kidnapping and other matters connected thereto” and which prescribes death penalty for kidnappers,
the Edo State Assembly on July 30, 2013, passed the bill into law before urging the governor to sign it into law. However, a Government House source, who did not want his name in print, told National Mirror that Oshiomhole might have stepped down the bill for wider consultations. The source said that governor stepped down the bill because of the heat a clause that stipulates “level field treatment” of convicted kidnappers whether such kidnappers killed their victims or not could generate. Another reason the governor stepped down the bill is the recommended demolition of any house used by kidnappers. While many lawyers and political stakeholders have threatened to sue the government if the bill was signed, others suggested that the governor may not be willing to sign the bill so as not to make more enemies ahead of the 2015 general elections. But the state AttorneyGeneral andCommissioner for Justice, Mr. Henry William Idahagbon, denied that the governor was afraid to sign the bill into law.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Three shot as APC factions clash ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
t least three people were shot yesterday at Iyin Ekiti in a renewed clash between members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, loyal to Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi and those of the House of Representatives member, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele. The police that have been deployed to strategic locations in the community in their numbers said they had arrested about seven members over the crisis which began in the community on Friday evening. After the protest by party members loyal to the lawmaker over the alleged intimidation and
attacks on their members and the lawmaker, the town became a ghost of itself when an armed tank and no fewer than eight police trucks rolled into town. The lawmaker’s supporters said they were allegedly shot while the protesters were being dispersed. One Ola Fatokun, was said to have been shot in the hand; Rasaki Bello was shot in the stomach and Ige Adeola, was allegedly shot at the back. All were said to be receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital in Ado Ekiti. Streets, shops and markets in the community were deserted while bonfires were made on the ever busy road by the protesters, forcing motorists to make a detour.
Trouble began yesterday morning, when the supporters decided to protest the incessant attacks on them and the National Assembly member over his decision to run for the governorship election under the banner of the APC, alleging that the state government was culpable. It will be recalled that a violent clash ensued between loyalists of the
two APC chieftains last Friday during the burial reception for the late Chief Mrs. Felicia Akinwumi, the mother of an APC chieftain, Mr. Dipo Akinwumi, at Iyin Ekiti, following alleged provocation from the governor’s loyalists. The ensuing violence culminated in some guests sustaining varying degree of injuries while some exotic cars; includ-
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ing those on the convoy of the lawmaker either had their windscreens smashed or damaged. The two sides, however, pointed accusing fingers at each other. While Bamidele’s loyalists blamed the attack on the Special Assistant to the Governor on Internal Security, Mr. Deji Adesokan and the Chairman of Irepodun Ifelodun Council, Hon. Tajudeen Awe; the governor’s side accused Bamidele and his supporters of aggression.
N3.1bn tax default: OAUTHC management begs to spread payment ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
s social and economic activities at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, OAUTHC, Ile-Ife, have been grounded, following the decision of the Osun State government to shut down the hospital, the management of the OAUTHC said it would put in place tax force committee to open up dialogue with the state government. The Chief Medical Director, CMD, of the hospital, Prof. Sanya Adejuyigbe, who made this known yesterday said; “We are just appealing to the government to bear with us and we are hoping to put in place a committee to open up dialogue with the state government and resolve the matter once and for all. He continued: “Since the new tax regime was introduced in 2005, the management is yet to implement it. We are using the old tax rate for our workers and many of the staff affected by the
ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
triking workers of Osun State University yesterday protested against the management of the institution, describing the management as unserious for threatening not to pay them their salaries as a result of the strike. The striking workers, who
development had retired from the service because of the new contributory pension scheme that makes the unpaid tax to be bogus. “We appeal to the state government to give the hospital more time to reconcile the old tax rate with the new deduction, for the huge tax cannot be paid by the hospital at once. We appeal that the state government should allow the hospital to pay the amount in eight years.” National Mirror investigation revealed that the complex looked like a ghost town as many workers refused to report for work as a result of the government’s decision while few ones who reported, were seen discussing and appealing to the management of the institution to act fast on the issue. One of the workers, who did not want his name in print, disclosed to our reporter that the development was an embarrassment to a federal institution and charged the concerned authorities to take necessary steps to address the issue.
Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi (left) and General Overseer, Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria, Rev. Felix Meduoye, during a courtesy visit to the governor ahead of the third Ado-Ekiti Missionary District Convocation, at the weekend.
Ministry officials indicted over N200m WAEC fee fraud FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he administrative panel of enquiry set up by the Ibikunle Amosun administration in Ogun State over an alleged N200 million fraud in the payment of the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, fees of students in public schools has indicted officials of the state Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. Report of the panel’s findings which was submitted to the Head of Service, HoS, Mrs. Modupe Adekunle yesterday, revealed that 3, 571 illegal candidates were added to the original list of students in public schools that sat for WASSCE in the last three years in the state. The panel under its
Chairman, Alhaji AbdulFatai Opebiyi, also revealed in its reports that various sums of money were illegally lodged in some accounts by certain officers of the ministry and were still being held aside from the N200 million already discovered. National Mirror recalled that the N200 million fraud was allegedly perpetrated by workers in the state education ministry in the last three sessions, which eventually led to the arrest, detention and eventual suspension of 20 Zonal Education Officers and two directors. The suspects were said to have been involved in bloating the list of WAEC candidates in public schools on an annual basis with candidates from private schools
Striking UNIOSUN workers protest against management staged a peaceful protest in the campus as early as 9.00am to express dissatisfaction about the internal memo issued by the management of the university, calling on the workers to immediately resume work or have their positions declared vacant. They said; “It is unfortunate that the management,
rather than seek ways to accede to the union’s demands, is threatening not to pay members of staff their legitimate salaries because of an action they are participating in. The workers poised for war against the management position on this and vowed not to relent in making their requests come to fruition, say-
ing no amount of threat could deter them from pursuing their legitimate rights from the concerned authorities. Addressing the workers yesterday, the Non-Academic Staff Union, NASU, Chairman, Comrade Isaiah Fayemi said; “After they have given the management the required notice of strike, the indefinite
and tutorial centres, because the state government was the one paying the fees. While submitting its reports yesterday, Opebiyi said the financial implication of the fraudulent inclusion amounted to N31, 608, 876. The chairman, who is the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information and Strategy, said the panel had recommended appropriate sanctions against those involved and have offered suggestions on ways of preventing future occurrences. Receiving the reports, the Head of Service, Mrs. Modupe Adekunle congratulated members for the successful completion of the assignment and expressed optimism that their recommendations would be faultless for adoption. strike embarked upon is not only legal, but legitimate, describing the threat as laughable. “UNIOSUN is the only institution in the South-West that is not enjoying hazards allowance. LASU, EKSU, TASUED and even LAUTECH that is co-owned by Osun and Oyo States are faithful to this hazards allowance,” Fayemi said.
Ekiti teachers to get car, housing loans in October
or teachers in public primary schools in Ekiti State, this is the best of times. The disbursement of the car and housing loans promised them by the government will commence in October, Commissioner for Education and Technology Mr. Kehinde Ojo, said yesterday. He made the disclosure in an interactive meeting with head teachers of public primary schools and principals of junior secondary schools in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. The meeting which was at the instance of the state Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, who doubles as the Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, was held at the SUBEB Conference Hall, Okesa, Ado-Ekiti. The commissioner, who commended the teachers for being assiduous in their duties and effectively collaborating with the government in efforts to reposition education in the state, said the disbursement of the loans is one of the ways the government intends to make life more comfortable for them. He said the government will continue to provide necessary infrastructure and instructional materials to schools to ensure that teaching and learning take place in conducive environment as well give incentives to teachers to keep them happy and motivated to prepare the children for the future. Ojo also advised teachers to use the holiday period to rest, take good care of themselves and look after their health, reminding them that it is only when they are in good health that they can enjoy the fruits of their labour, be useful to themselves and their family and as well be effective at work. Prof Adelabu, who said the government has engaged a professor of Theatre Arts from the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Prof. Ojo Bakare, for the screening and training of the pupils in the state. He added that the programme will also enhance the overall development of participating children by improving their social interaction, build their vocabulary and increase their confidence at expressing themselves in the public.
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esidents of coastal areas of Lagos State have been warned to vacate the premises because of an imminent danger. They were warned to vacate the areas with immediate effect to avoid being swept away by ocean surge. The warning was dropped yesterday by former United Nation Ambassador Pablo Solon during awareness lecture organised by the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF). Solon said buildings in
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Residents of Lagos coastal areas warned to relocate the Banana Island may be swept away without any notice. Salon, in a lecture entitled: “Climate change and looming food crisis,” which was delivered at the University of Lagos, said that apart from the threat of sweeping away the island areas, there is looming danger of global food crisis. He said: “By 2020, some countries’ yield from rainfall agriculture could be reduced by up
to 50 per cent and human health could be further negatively impacted especially in the area of malaria.” Solon said the only way to avoid the disasters is to stop and reverse corporate driven-free trade and investment agreement and stop the corporate capture of the economy and natural resources. Director of HOMEF, Mr. Nnimmo Bassey, regretted that those in posi-
tions of authorities, who have the knowledge of the causes as well as the consequences of the looming catastrophic, are silent. According to him, when those in positions of authorities are already to speak, they focus on drainage clearance, tree planting and clearance of refuse. Bassey pointed out that the dependence on fossil fuels had been seen to be the major cause of global warming.
40 Osun youths leave for agric training in Germany ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
he Osun State Government has sponsored 40 youths to Germany for advanced training in agriculture and food production technology with a warning to the beneficiaries to be focused, diligent and be dedicated. Addressing the beneficiaries yesterday during a send-forth ceremony in Osogbo, Governor Rauf Aregbesola said the trainees would undergo a fourweek intensive course in
NGO to investigate alleged N170m LG fraud MOJEED ALABI
ome Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have pledged to investigate the allegation of corruption against some officials of Irepodun Local Government Area of Osun State. The NGOs are the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) and Osun Civil Societies Coalition (OCSC), among others. Chairman of OCSC, Alhaji Waheed Lawal, who disclosed this to National Mirror, said CACOL’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, was also interested in getting to the root of the allegation. He said Adeniran mandated the leadership of civil societies to unravel the mysteries surrounding the allegation during the annual convention of CACOL held recently in Lagos. Lawal said the organisation had begun investigation into the allegation and would soon round off the
process and make available its report to the public. It will be recalled that National Mirror on August 12, 2013, reported that councillors in the local government area accused some officials of embezzling N84 million meant for community services and other projects. The fund, according to sources, included May and June allocations released to the local government by the state government as well as the special allocation for Ramadan gifts for community leaders and organisations. The councilors also alleged that the officials mismanaged another N86 million earlier released to the council in May as allocation for the months of March and April, and as a result reported the matter to the state’s Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. Lawal pledged that his organisation would not allow the matter to be swept under the carpet.
Promasidor’s Quill Awards calls for entries TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
multinational food company, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, has called for entries for the 2014 edition of Quill Awards. The initiative is to reward print journalists for dedicated news reportage all year round. The submission of entries opens September 9, 2013 and closes on April 30, 2014. Announcing the call for entries yesterday in Lagos at a press conference, the Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria, Mr. Keith
Richards, said the entries would cover stories published between April 1, 2013 and April 30, 2014 and that all print journalists across the country with relevant stories were eligible to apply. The initiative, which started last year with five categories, including the Brand Advocate of the Year, Best Report on Nutrition, Education Reporter of the Year, Best CSR and Sustainability Report of the Year and the Best Photo story of the Year, added two categories for this year’s edition. The new categories are the Best Report on Children and the Future Writer of the Year.
L-R: General Manager, Operations, Bank of Industry, Mr. Babatunde Joseph; Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga and Chairman, Momas Electricity Metre Manufacturing Company Limited (MEMMCOL), Mr. Kola Balogun, during the minister’s visit to MEMMCOL on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, at the weekend.
Court orders NDIC to pay Afe Babalola N16.9m WALE IGBINTADE
he Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has dismissed the appeal filed by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) in which it challenging the judgement of a Federal High Court that ordered it (NDIC) to pay N16.8 million as professional fee to a legal icon, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN). The appellate court in its judgement delivered by Justice Joseph Ikeyegh affirmed the judgement of lower court and ordered NDIC to pay the sum. The court also ordered the Corporation to pay additional N30, 000 as cost to the respondent. Justice Ikeyegh’s judgement, which was unanimously adopted by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa and Justice Chima Nweze, held that NDIC, as a liquidator, took over the assets and
liabilities of Trade Bank Plc. The court held that one of the assets was the N561 million that was recovered from the National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria (NAFCON) with the assistance of the respondent. Justice Ikeyegh held: “The irony of it was that when it came to inheriting the N651 million, the appellant (NDIC) did not complain. It is odd that the appellant would protest its obligation to inherit the liabilities of the same Trade Bank Plc it helped put out of legal existence. “NDIC cannot run away from servicing the debt owed to the respondent by the liquidated Trade Bank. “I find it strange for the appellant to urge as one of its defence that the respondent should have pursued the liquidated Trade Bank for recovery of the professional fee when the assets of the bank were
taken over by the appellant. The impossibility of recovering the owed sum of money by thee respondent from a bank that is no longer in existence can only be imagined.” The facts of the suit is that Trade Bank PLC (now defunct) engaged the professional service of Chief Afe Babalola (respondent) to recover the sum of N561 million from one of its debtors, NAFCON. The respondent recovered the amount (N561m) from NAFCON and ought to have been paid five per cent of the recovered amount. Upon receiving the recovered sum of money, Trade Bank Plc turned around to insist that the respondent’s professional fee was three per cent of the recovered sum.” Eventually, Trade Bank issued a cheque of N16.8 million on three per cent basis, but it was dishonoured.
an agricultural training school where they would be exposed to the rudiments of modern agriculture and food crop production techniques. Aregbesola said: “This will also be followed by another eight weeks of attachment trainings under 11 large-scale co-operative farmers in Saxony-Anhalt so as for them to learn more and build on the assessed capacities and interests they have acquired during the first four weeks of training.” According to the governor, the training is in continuation of his administration’s drive to revolutionise agriculture under the Osun Rural Enterprise and Agriculture Programme (O’REAP). He said: “The administration is providing the necessary infrastructure and supporting for farmers with inputs, which requires supplying them with inputs such as improved seedlings, fertilisers and fumigants among others. It is also giving them hundreds of thousands of hectares of already prepared farmlands.” The governor, however, asked the beneficiaries to see the gesture as a service to the state and part of their own contributions to its growth and development. Aregbesola said: “In addition to your agricultural training, you will also be required upon your return to serve as middle level link between the state and German experts who will oversee the German Best Practice Demonstration Farm, which will begin operation here any time soon. “You are carrying the trust of your families, that of the government and people of Osun. You must therefore prove yourselves to be worthy ambassadors of Osun and live through to the standard of Omoluabi that you are. “Be focused, be diligent and be dedicated to your trainings. Keep your eyes firmly on the ultimate goals because it is the only way for you to reap the benefits. Your performance and conduct will affect the chances of others that will come after you. Do not ruin them.”
500 students embrace APC in Imo CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
ver 500 students at the weekend in Owerri, the Imo State capital, embraced the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC). The students expressed their belief that the new party parades progressive elements that would turn Nigeria around to achieve greatness. The students, under the umbrella of APC Students Support Group, said they dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for APC because the former had failed Nigerians. They said student had no hope for better future in the last 14 years that PDP had been in power. Speaking during a meeting of the South East APC Students Support Group, the former chairman of the PDP Students’ Round Table, Mr. Ugochukwu Chinedum, harped on the need to address issues that bother on development and unity of the country. He regretted that after 14 years of PDP rule in Nigeria, the people had been impoverished the more. The students’ leader, who described the recent reneging of PDP-led Federal Government on the agreement reached with the leadership Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU), extolled the idea behind the APC registration. Chinedum said: “We have watched and followed developments in APC, we discovered that they are on course with the agenda to rescue Nigeria from its present sorry state. “We believe that if Nigeria must develop, we must show it by our action. We are happy with the initiatives of the leadership of APC Students Support Group (APCSSG) led by Imo State Youth Ambassador, Mr. Godstime Chukwubuikem Samuel and his team.” Chinedum, however, said that more students would soon embrace APC.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
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Women uncover baby factory, seek closure of illegal orphanages CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
muguma women in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State yesterday uncovered a baby factory in the community. In the search conducted in the community by the women as part of activities to mark this year’s August meeting, a teenage girl
identified as Esther Odor and the owner of the baby factory, Chukwudima Chinedu, were apprehended. Both Chinedu and Odor were handed over to the police for investigation. In a protest match to the Government House in Owerri, the state capital, the over 1,000 women, who dressed in black attire, said that the baby factory had been in existence for the
past three years without anybody knowing exactly what was being done in the premises. The placard-carrying women with various inscription such as “Owelle, please ban illegal orphanages,” and “No to baby factory,” among others, wept profusely as they rained curses on those establishing baby factoring across the state.
Addressing journalists, the leader of the women, Mrs. Rose Ozoemena, described the sale of babies as abomination that should be stamped out of the society. She said that the purpose of the protest was to appeal to Governor Rochas Okorocha to immediately shut the factory and other illegal orphanages across the states. The Sole Administrator of Owerri West Local Gov-
Anioma people of Delta back Jonathan for 2015 ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
L-R: Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Udeh Okochukwu; Chairman of the occasion, Ezeogo Anagha Ezikpe; Governor Theodore Orji, his wife, Mercy, and Deputy Governor, Emeka Ananaba, during a town hall meeting as part of activities marking the 22nd anniversary of the state creation in Umuahia, yesterday.
Ebonyi plans pipe-making factory ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI
he Ebonyi State Government is planning to establish a pipe-manufacturing factory. Addressing journalists after the state executive council meeting in Abakaliki, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Chike Onwe, said the government would get enough pipes and other materials from the factory for the reticulation of its two mega water schemes. According to the com-
missioner, the initiative would reduce the cost of the money the state government would spend if it were to import pipes for the reticulation. Onwe recalled that the government spent N9.3 billion on the importation of pipes to reticulate Oferekpe to Abakaliki, a distance of 52km. He said that it would cost the government huge sum of money if it were to import pipes to reticulate the whole state of about 590km. The commissioner said: “The establishment
of the pipe-manufacturing factory will reduce cost by 60 per cent as it will also generate employment and make the state a leading pipe-making factory in the country. “The construction of the factory will take only five months to complete and will be located at the Ishieke Industrial site.” Onwe said the state had identified a major source of raw material in Bayelsa State. He, however, said that the government was not happy over the emergence of shanties and slums in
some parts of the state, especially around tertiary institutions. Onwe said: “We will start enforcing all regulations to protect the environment and public places. We will also enforce the town planning laws.” The commissioner hinted that demolition of illegal structures across the state would soon begin. He added that all agencies indicted for complicity in erecting the illegal structures would be sanctioned.
NESREA decries Nigerians’ attitude to waste disposal management CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
he National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has decried what it described as Nigerians’ hazardous manners of disposing wastes. The agency, in a sensitization programme held at
ernment, Prince Nelson Ifeanyichukwu, addressed the women on behalf of the state government. Ifeanyichukwu commended the women for their concern. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Joy Elemoko, confirmed the arrest of the owner of the baby factory, adding the suspect had been assisting the police in their investigation.
Orlu Town Hall Secretariat in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State, noted that lack of environmental consciousness exhibited by members of the public over the years had resulted in poor disposal of waste in drains, roadsides and rivers. It attributed environmental hazards such as flooding, gully erosion, loss of lives
and property and outbreak of epidemic to poor waste disposal management. The South-East Director of NESREA, Rasaq Ashiru, said that the programme was conceived to awaken the consciousness of the people towards their statutory responsibility in the area of environmental protection and preservation.
He said that the poor environmental practices were responsible for the colossal loss of lives the country had experienced during flooding. Ashiru said: “If we dispose our wastes outside the government-approved sites, it will block the waterways and this will increase the breeding of mosquitoes, which cause typhoid fever
and malaria.” Stressing that the wastes generated daily could be turned into huge wealth, he said: “We can make wealth from our wastes if we apply the right attitude and practice. We should learn to sort out our wastes and dispose them accordingly so that while protecting our environment, we are equally
lders of Anioma area of Delta North have said that the people of the area would support President Goodluck Jonathan if he seeks re-election in 2015. The Anioma Peoples Congress said the people would support Jonathan because of his credibility. Addressing journalists yesterday after a meeting with the President, the group’s spokesman, Chief Benjamin Elue, said considering the antecedents of Jonathan, he is eligible to seek re-election. Elue said: “We are here to pledge our support for Mr. President and his government and to highlight some of the key needs of the area in terms of development and politics and governance. “We are looking at his antecedents and pedigree since 1999 till today. We are thinking that as we approach 2015, Anioma and indeed all Delta indigenes are behind him to run for a second term. He merits it and that is what we are asking for. “That is why we are here apart from other requests that are key and germane to our life. We want to give him our unflinching support for 2015 and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He, however, said it is now the turn of Anioma people of Delta North to produce the next governor since the people of Delta North and South had already produced governors for the state.
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013
SSS arrests mother of teenage stowaway •As FAAN, Arik continue blame game he State Security Service, SSS, yesterday arrested the mother of Daniel Ihekina, Mrs. Evelyn Ihekina, after she eventually showed up, first at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ’s secretariat in Benin City and later at the office the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN. At the NUJ secretariat, Mrs. Ihekina was advised to report to FAAN’s office in the city in her own interest. Her arrest yesterday came even as FAAN and Arik Airlines continued the blaming game over the 13-year-old stowaway boy, who was arrested after alighting in Lagos from an Arik flight from Benin City on Saturday. National Mirror reliably gathered that the mother was thereafter handed over to the SSS command by FAAN officials immediately she showed up to state her case. Efforts made to speak with the mother of the boy were unsuccessful as the SSS refused to grant that privilege. However, the single parent claimed in an interview at the NUJ secretariat that her son had always claimed he wanted to travel abroad until that fateful Saturday, when he stowed into the wheel well of Arik’s flight 544. She further claimed that when she reported the matter to the police at Aideyan Police Station, the police neither took her serious nor asked her any question as expected. Mrs. Ohikhena’s interview has been reproduced below. “My name is Evelyn Ohikhena. I live at No. 6, Ehigiegba Street, Goodwill, Benin City in Edo State. I run a saloon. I have four chil-
dren. The name of my son is Ricky Daniel. He answers one name in the school and one at home. He is 13 years old, in JSS 3. Before now, he was in private school, Young Scholars. But because I could no longer afford his school fees when my saloon got burnt, I took him to Ogbe Secondary School to continue his third term. “My sister-in-law in Germany, who was aware that we were looking for him called me to alert me of the development. She got the news via Internet. She was even the one that told me Ricky is in Lagos. “That he broke into the airport security barbwire, entered into the plane wheel, heading to Lagos. Soon after she called, my attention was equally drawn to the national dailies by sympathizers and family friends. “I quickly rushed to Ring Road where I bought a copy of the papers and thereafter, I went to the police station to report the matter. He was not used to leaving home. “At first the police did not believe me. They said I did not know who I was looking for. On that fateful day, I left home around 9.00am on Friday night to my elder sister’s place. “When I came back the following morning, my daughter told me that both of them had arguments and that she found him watching film when she woke up to go and ease herself, but that later when she woke up in the morning, she did not find him again. “I did not maltreat him. The only thing was that I don’t joke with my children’s education. I give them the best. Everybody knows me; go and ask of me in Oba Market. The only thing I bordered myself with now is how my daughter will go to school, a Federal Government College.
LG polls: APC faults CROSIEC, promises to seek redress
he Cross River State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, ACP, has faulted the recent decision by the state Independent Electoral Commission, CROSIEC, to shut it out from contesting in the forthcoming local government elections billed for
next month. The party described the act as ridiculous, questioning the independence of the electoral umpire. APC said the decision of CROSIEC clearly depicts the romance between the electoral body with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state.
L-R: Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole; Amir Majlis Ansarullah Ahmadiyya Nigeria, Alhaji Moshood Fashola, and Dr A. G. Enahoro, during a courtesy visit on the governor in Benin City, recently.
Gunmen abduct five company workers in Bayelsa EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
unmen at the weekend abducted five members of staff of two dredging companies, Beks Nigeria Limited and M. Sidom Limited, at Opuama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The kidnappers, who have established contacts with the management of the companies are demanding a ransom of N6
million on each of the workers. The kidnap was said to have paralysed activities of the companies as their workers have been evacuated from site amidst apprehension. National Mirror was informed by a close source that the gunmen reportedly invaded the speed boat conveying the victims at about 2.20am last Friday and whisked them off to an unknown destination. Identities of three of the kidnapped staff made
available to our correspondent included Anukuru Godwin, Samuel Edeh and Jackson Ibani. A security source, who did not want his name mentioned, said the companies were contracted by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to construct shore protection and reclamation at Opuama waterways. He said the gunmen were yet to give their conditions. He said: “The kidnappers created panic in the
area. They have contacted the companies but are yet to state their terms. We are monitoring the situation.” When contacted, Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Alex Akhigbe, said he was yet to get details of the incident. He said: “I am still making efforts to reach the District Police Officer, DPO, in the area.” Kidnapping activities have subsided in the waterways of the state following a stepped-up security network in the state.
Security operatives molest journalists at NBA conference RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR
bout 30 members of the Cross River State branch of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, yesterday at the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort, were molested and harassed out of the venue of the on-going NBA conference in Calabar. The journalists were said to have been harassed by men of the State
This followed a statement made by the Chairman of CROSIEC, Sir Patrick Otu, last weekend, during a meeting with all registered political parties in the state that the All Progressives Congress is not qualified to field candidates for the local government elections since it was not up to 90 days old
Security Service, SSS. National Mirror correspondent, who was among the journalists, confirmed that not only were journalists from the state refused accreditation, the scenario they found themselves painted a total picture of common criminals before their executioners. The overzealous SSS officials, who were stationed at the entrance to the conference venue, said they were under directives not to allow any-
after its registration. Otu had also remarked that the commission took the decision after considering all legal implications concerning the new party and in order not to run foul of the law. “The Electoral Law stipulates that if parties merge, the new party can only
one without the official invitation letter from the NBA into the hall. When a journalist attempted to explain their mission, one of the SSS men at the entrance retorted angrily; “That is the way it is, unless you produce your letter officially inviting you, there is no way we can allow you inside. It is either you leave or be forced to leave,” commanding the journalists to disappear at the count of five. Shortly after, an official
stand election after 90 days.” He continued; “The commission cannot postpone the election because of a newly registered party. By September 21, when the local government elections will take place, the stipulated 90 days period would not have been met by APC in the state.
from the NBA identified Ndoma Akpet and Gill Nsa as Cross River Council NUJ Chairman and Secretary respectively, and pleaded for permission for the two and few others to be allowed into the hall, but this was not without thorough search by men of the SSS. Few minutes later, the journalists, who by now were comfortably seated, had their leisure cut short as they were ordered out again “because they had no accreditation tags.” “Therefore, no candidate can be fielded to run on the platform of APC,” he had declared. According to him, “Everything about election is law and nothing can be done outside the law. The former parties that merged to form APC are by law dead. What emerged will have to pay the price as no law covers what you were before the merger.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Terrorists kill 14 civilian JTF, injure nine in Borno INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
•Sect attack displaces over 4,000 residents
He said the displaced persons were provided with mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets, buckets, cups, plates, wax prints, guinea brocade, bathing soap, sanitary pads and detergents. Ibrahim added that they were provided with food items like rice, maize, guinea corn, millet, vegetable oil, palm oil, salt, sugar and milk. It was gathered that the NEMA team were led to the camp by security agents from the Joint Task Force (JTF) and assisted at the camp by Red Cross and
other stakeholders. Chairman of Baga Local Government Area, Alhaji Lawal Kole, who was at the camp to receive the NEMA officials, extended his appreciation to the Federal Government for providing succour to the people at the time of their need. Speaking a behalf of the displaced persons, Ali Kufayi expressed appreciation to NEMA under the leadership of Alhaji Muhammed Sani Sidi for its prompt response and for providing relief materials to the victims.
o fewer than 14 people were killed while nine others were injured as suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked Bama Local Government Area of Borno State in the early hours of Sunday. Bama is about 67 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital, which is a stronghold of the terrorists. Chairman of Bama Local Government Area, Alhaji Baba Shehu Gulumba, told National Mirror yesterday in Maiduguri that the terrorists killed 14 people and injured nine others on Sunday. Gulumba said: “I attended the funeral of 13 of the victims in Bama this morning (yesterday), but I could not attend the last one because he was buried in Maiduguri after he died from his wounds at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH). “The local government administration will pay the hospital bills of those injured. They are responding to treatment at UMTH. “All the dead and injured are members of the youths vigilance group popularly called ‘Civilian JTF.’ They have been as-
sisting security operatives in arresting Boko Haram suspects in Borno State. “They were at their duty posts when the sect members, dressed in military uniform, came to deceive them that they were needed at a meeting nearby. “Shortly after they were lured away from their duty posts, they were attacked and killed, while some of the escaped with various degrees of injury”. A resident, who did not want his name mentioned, said that the bodies of 13 victims were buried in Bama, according to Islamic rites. As at the time of filing this report, National Mirror learnt that more young men have enrolled into the Civilian JTF in Bama town and other villages, as they vowed to exterminate Boko Haram insurgency in the state. Owing to lack of telecommunication services in the state for the past three months, the police spokesman, Gideon Jubrin, and that of Joint Task Force, Lt-Col. Sagir Musa could not be reached for confirmation, but nurse at UMTH confirmed the incident yesterday. The nurse said the injured victims were re-
H ENRY I YORKASE
Suntai writes Assembly, seeks to resume duties
WITH AGENCY REPORT
araba State Governor Danbaba Suntai has written to the State House of Assembly, seeking to resume duties. The letter was sent to the House Speaker yesterday. The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Em-
manuel Bello confirmed the development. Suntai was flown to Nigeria on Monday after 10 months abroad where he had gone for medical treatment for injuries sustained in an air crash in October last year. Meanwhile, Governor
sponding to treatment. Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said yesterday that over 4,000 residents of Dumba village in Kukawa Local Government Area of the state had been displaced following last week’s killing of 44 persons by members of the Boko Haram sect. It will be recalled that some terrorists last week stormed Dumba village, a few kilometers from Baga, and killed the 44 people. NEMA, in a statement
Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang (left) and representative of United States, Ambassador Martin Brennan, during a visit to the governor in Jos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State yesterday visited his ailing Taraba State counterpart, Danbaba Suntai, who returned to Jalingo on Sunday after 10 months of medical treatment abroad. Suntai underwent medical treatment in Germany
I’ll quit politics in 2016 –Makarfi A ZA MSUE KADUNA
he Senator representing Kaduna North, Ahmed Makarfi, has said that he would quit politics in 2016. Makarfi urged old generation of leaders to give way for the younger ones to resume position of authorities. The former Kaduna State governor urged the old generation to quit pol-
itics and offer robust advice to the younger ones. Makarfi spoke at a dinner organised by his political associates to mark his 57th birthday in Kaduna. He added that he would begin a gradual withdrawal from leadership position from 2016 when he would turn 60. Makarfi said: “When I look around the world, especially the developed variant, I see that leadership is seamlessly being transferred to a new gen-
release by its North-East Information Officer, Abdulkadir Ibrahim, said over 4,000 internally displaced persons (IDPS) were registered in Baga town by the agency. He said those displaced were mostly fishermen and farmers. Ibrahim said the zonal coordinator of the agency, Alhaji Muhammed Kanar, led a team of officers from the zonal office to register the IDPS in a camp located at the Central Primary School in Baga.
eration, but here the story seems to be disturbingly different. “I believe that by the time I am 60 in 2016, my peers and I should have evolved a succession system that sees us begin to gradually disengage and give way to those that now look up to us. A system in which we get stock to our various seats till tomorrow or beyond, even when we have been around since yesterday, in my opinion, is stifling our growth be-
and the United States following injuries sustained in a plane crash in October last year. Nyako was accompanied by his deputy, Mr. Bala Ngillari and other senior government officials. The governor prayed for Suntai’s quick recovery cause the dynamism that now rules the world is such that it requires leaders of the time who are in tune with the times. “I am by no means advocating that the older generation is losing its value. What I am saying is that they are more valuable where and when they gradually and voluntarily hand off leadership to succeeding generation in a deliberate and seamless manner such that the new leadership will be availed the opportunity of being guided by their various experiences.”
and for God to continue to strengthen his family. He expressed delight for the governor’s return home alive to resume his executive functions as soon as possible. Nyako said: “I am happy to see him alive and pray for his quick recovery so that we can join hands and continue the good work that we have been doing for our people.” Responding, Suntai’s wife, Hauwa, thanked Nyako for his support for the family during their trying moment. “I want to thank you and the government of Adamawa for the role you play in saving my husband’s life,” she said. Taraba State Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, expressed happiness over the return of the governor. He spoke to journalists in his office in Jalingo. The state House of As-
sembly Speaker, Hon. Haruna Tsokwa, held a meeting with Umar in the latter’s office yesterday evening. The House, it was learnt, is likely to hold a plenary on Suntai’s return. Meanwhile, former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, has cautioned loyalists of the governor to stop playing politics with his health. Tsav, who spoke to National Mirror yesterday in Makurdi, expressed displeasure over the condition of the governor, saying that for the man to have been supported to step down from the plane means all is not yet Uhuru. He observed that the governor’s political associates should jettison their idea of economic gain. Tsav, however, decried lack of fear of God exhibited by some people because of their selfish interests.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Politics Motive behind bill to ease president’s removal –Dogara
Presidency: Nigeria’s fate’ll be determined by electorate in 2015 –Tafawa Balewa
Cost of governance: Ezekwesili’s recipe stokes fresh controversies
xpectedly, since last week when the former World Bank Vice President, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, observed that the National Assembly was gulping a lot of resources from the federation account, the two-time minister under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo has come under virulent criticisms by the National Assembly members. Even though she is not new to controversies, for the pioneer head of the budget monitoring and price intelligence unit, this is one controversy too many. Since she left public office in Nigeria about six years ago, Ezekwesili, who is reputed as the architect of the Bureau for Public Procurement legislation, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency legislation and the new minerals and mining legislation has been very vociferous about subsequent administrations, particularly on issues of anti-corruption crusading. Early this year, the former Bretton Woods institution staff stirred the hornest’s net when she raised the alarm that subsequent administrations in Nigeria after President Obasanjo had squandered the sum of $45 billion in the nation’s foreign reserve accounts and another $22 billion in the excess crude account. She did not stop at that, the former chairperson of the NEITI, who led the first ever national implementation of the global standards and principles of transparency in the oil and gas and mining sector also alleged that more than N10 trillion of Nigeria’s oil savings bequeathed by the former President Obasanjo to the late Umaru Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan were squandered. So, the allegation last week that about N1 trillion of the nation’s resources has been flickered by the National Assembly in the past eight years was only vintage Ezekwesili for those who know the chartered accountant very well. Speaking on the topic, “Cost Efficiency, Funding Governance and Delivering Development: The Oronsaye Report in Perspective,” Ezekwesili at a one-day dialogue on the cost of governance in Nigeria, which was jointly organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, and the Federal Public Administration Reform Programme, United Kingdom (UK), asserted that, “Since 2005, the National Assembly has been allocated over N1 trillion.” Explaining how the progressive increase in the cost of running the national parliament came about, the former minister noted that in 2005 and 2006 the National Assembly was allocated N54.79 billion
The recent disclosure by former Education and Solid Minerals Minister, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili that the Federal Government spent N1 trillion on the National Assembly in the past eight years has, again, raised some concerns about the high cost of running the present democratic practice, writes GEORGE OJI.
respectively, but that figure rose to N158 billion in 2010 and that the allocation had been steady at N150 billion since 2011. Some ways Ezekwesili believes that change, particularly in cutting down the huge resources expended on the nation’s lawmakers could come about, is first by way of proactive engagement of the government by Civil Society Organisations, CSOs. Secondly, it is through part-time legislation as obtainable in most advanced democracies of the world, especially from countries where Nigeria adopted its current political system. “Things will improve through parttime legislations. It will also filter the number of people who will go into the National Assembly,” she argued, adding that, “There should be effective demand by civil societies for a mini national transparent dialogue because it touches on the heart of good governance.” Some of the lawmakers, who imme-
TOP STORY diately took up the gauntlet against the former minister expectedly, refuted the observation as untrue and aimed at blackmailing the National Assembly. In fact, Senate Leader, Senator Victor NdomaEgba, described the observations as mere sensational assertion aimed at rubbishing members of the National Assembly. The lawmaker, who admitted that the sum of N150 billion was truly allocated to the National Assembly in the 2013 Appropriation Act, noted that when compared with the nearly N5 trillion federal budget of the year, the N150 billion represents a mere three per cent of the national budget and therefore did not merit the type of dust Ezekwesili sought to raise with the figure.
I PROVIDED EIGHT YEARS DATA ON BUDGETARY ALLOCATIONS OR TRANSFERS TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. THE DATA... REVEALS THAT THE ALLOCATIONS TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY KNOWN AS STATUTORY TRANSFERS BETWEEN 2005 AND 2013 WERE APPROXIMATELY ONE TRILLION NAIRA
“It is sheer sensationalism to suggest that under three per cent of the budget is the problem of the nation. “Our current annual budget is N150 billion, out of a national budget of N5 trillion. This is under three per cent of the national budget. And it consists of capital, recurrent, salaries of members, its bureaucracy, aides, the National Assembly Service Commission, National Legislative Institute, subscriptions to international parliamentary bodies etc,” he said. Senator Kabiru Marafa, while also challenging the figures reeled out by the former minister, in fact went a little personal in his defence of the National Assembly. He said it was easier to make an allegation than to substantiate it, challenging her to provide detailed evidence to elucidate her claim. He said: “But she should also be kind enough to tell Nigerians how much was spent on her as Minister of Education by the ministry and its various parastatals, especially the Nigerian Teachers Institute (NTI), ETF and UBE. It is very easy to dump all sorts of rubbish at the doorstep of National Assembly members because familiarity is said to breed contempt. But it is quite another thing to substantiate it.” The House of Representatives also came out forcefully to lend its voice to the defence of members of the national parliament over the matter. The Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Media and Publicity, Hon. Afam Ogene, in a statement described the disclosures by the former minister as efforts at seeking national attention. According to the statement, “There appears to be a let-up in the crave by the former Education Minister, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, to get back into national consciousness, simply by ramdomly throwing pot shots anchored on misplaced aggression, in the ardent hope that such mudslinging would elevate her to the status of a moral crusader.” Ogene stated that the former minister was simply haunted by the fact that she was no longer holding public office and challenged her to provide evidence of her latest allegations and earlier ones. The former minister while standing by her claims over the jumbo pay issue immediately challenged the lawmakers to a public debate where she would openly substantiate her position on the matter. In a statement, she said: “The National Assembly in its prestige as the most important symbol of our democracy has a duty to promote at all times the democratic CONTINUED ON PAGE 41
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Presidency: Nigeria’s fate’ll be determined Dr. Abduljhalil Tafawa Balewa is the son of Nigeria’s First Republic Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. The medical doctor cum politician with vast medical practice in the United Sates of America before returning to Nigeria has a PhD in Nuclear Chemistry. In this interview, he speaks on the Goodluck Jonathan administration, 2015 presidency and the North’s agitation for power shift, security challenge, crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the challenge posed by the opposition. AYODELE OJO reports. You are the son of the Nigerian Prime Minister in the First Republic, were you too young to appraise your father’s administration when he was in power? Unfortunately, I was taken out of Nigeria while I was only two years old. Why are you not taking after your father, politically? Well, I think everybody is born a politician. When you are a baby, you need to negotiate with your mother as to when to cry, when to suck breast and all of that. Do you hold any position in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP? In Nigeria, no. But in the United States’ chapter of the PDP, yes. But I currently sit on the boards of a number of parastatals and the governing board of some universities. But these are things that are not money-making. I just like doing them for the progress of my country. I have the conviction that we need to move this country forward. This is still the best country we can have. It is ours and it is the only one we can have. And when we get to God, we need to let Him know that we did our best for this country while on earth. I think we should be proud of this country. We don’t have any other country except this. What is your assessment of the Goodluck Jonathan government? I think this government has done wonderfully well. One thing that this government is doing or has been doing but the polity in Nigeria has not realised is planting whole lots of things that will benefit the citizenry over a long period of time. The presidential system of government we have now is such that the first four years will take time before you build a foundation. And the next four years, you start building on that. You will remember that in the last four years, we have quite a number of challenges because the elected President Umar Musa Yar’Adua was sick for a long time while President Goodluck Jonathan was never given a chance until much later. Since he came, we have had better transportation system. The Lagos-Ibadan axis is perhaps the most important because it opens up Nigeria to other parts of the country. The President just fashioned out
Says ‘APC is full of failed PDP politicians’
a ground-breaking rehabilitation of that road. The same goes for Ogbomosho-Ilorin, Okene-Benin roads. In the rail sub-sector, there has been massive rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line as well as the Makurdi- Port Harcourt rail line. These infrastructure that have lasted us so long were handed over to us by colonialists and it is about time we start building new ones that can meet the present-day challenges. In terms of energy, you will agree with me that in recent time, there has been significant improvement in power supply and it doesn’t just go off like it used to be in the past. We have been able to reach 4,000 megawatts and before the end of the year, we might be able to reach about 7,000 megawatts. This might help us in industrialising our environment. Also, this President has succeeded in keeping the whole nation. I am not saying that everything this government is doing is optimal. Those who are criticising this government are those who were in government before. And it seems the way to become relevant in Nigeria is that just leave government so that you can criticise it. These were the people who were in government and nothing worked. They fleeced the government and there was no transparency, nothing worked. Now these set of people are the ones criticising government. What would you say about the state of insecurity in the North-East? There is no river without a source. A lot of bad decisions, dry decisions have gone into our politics. Whereas in the olden days, politicians used to tell the people what they are going to do; I am going to build bridges, construct roads and all of that. All those ones have now gone overboard. Now it is a case of which religion or ethnicity you represent and all of that. There are lots of educated young men in the North-East that have not been able to have either job or employment. Programmes such as SURE-P, YOUWIN are however taking up all these unemployed youths and empowering them. But for a very long time, a lot of these politicians have access to these young people and were using them as political hooligans and just jettisoned them after elections. These young men then internalised all they have helped perpetrated during
elections and that was why when the unrest first started, you can see that they were attacking government establishments and installations because those were the people who used and abandoned them. Unfortunately, this was related to the fact that they were not particularly educated and this was linked to the fact that they were fighting western education. That of course is not true because the question is: how many illiterates can man time bombs? How many illiterates can have the military know-how to attack military formations? What this government is doing now is to continue to empower the youths because there is nobody that will have food in his stomach and be taking part in unrest. So when you think of it, you will see that this unrest has many factors to it. Many of our youths lack access to opportunities, lack of jobs. The devil always finds jobs for
idle hands. We need to start engaging these idle hands.
NOW THESE SET OF PEOPLE ARE THE ONES
To what extent do you think the amnesty initiative for Boko Haram is working considering the huge resources being spent on security? To say the amnesty programme is not working is erroneous. Last year, the government spent close to N1 trillion on security votes. But that is terrible because so much of that could have gone into education, healthcare reforms among others. Our monitoring and evaluation skills have to be sharpened so that we are not just going to be pouring water into basket. We should be able to monitor how the money goes out. The money being spent on security no doubt could have been used to confront most of the developmental challenges confronting us but we must also appreciate that there is a dearth and a vacuum left for this present administration by previous governments where things are not running right. This is what this government is correcting. As you can see, the bloodshed appeared to have simmered in the last couple of months. A lot of dialogue has been going on with these young people. There are many young men within this militant faction who are even ignorant of what Boko Haram insurgency is all about. Everybody is being affected by their actions.
There is agitation among some Northerners
IT SEEMS THE WAY TO BECOME RELEVANT IN NIGERIA IS THAT JUST LEAVE GOVERNMENT SO THAT YOU CAN CRITICISE IT. THESE WERE THE PEOPLE WHO WERE IN GOVERNMENT AND NOTHING WORKED. THEY FLEECED THE GOVERNMENT AND
THERE WAS NO TRANSPARENCY, NOTHING WORKED.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
by electorate in 2015 –Tafawa Balewa There has never been any Nigerian President since independence until now, that has done so well in appointing women that constitute like half of our population to ministries and embassies across the world. Terrorism as many people seem not to notice often take a long time before it could be calmed down. Take a look at Iraq, Syria, the Philippines of old and even Ireland where you can say there was a long ethnic crises and you will see that Nigeria’s case is improving. Of course Nigeria is in dire need of peace and that is not only in the NorthEast but also the South as well. Today, Nigerian currency is getting stable and stronger and the foreign reserve is rising. I think the President should be given kudos. I will vote for him. So, you see nothing wrong in the agitation of the Northern leaders for the presidency in 2015? In democracy, there is freedom of speech. It is expected of any regional political party or group to state what they want. There is nothing wrong with that. I mean there is nothing wrong with somebody standing up here in Lagos and insisting that the next governor of the state comes from Ikeja. So, I really don’t see any reason why we should lay more emphasis on that.
for power shift to the North in 2015. What is your take on that? Democracy is about education. There is a shop in the US known as Syms. The motto is: an educated mind is our best customer. It is okay to agitate that power must shift to the North or to the South but it is the voters that is important here. If you are able to convince the citizenry and they agree with you, they will vote for you. In democracy, the position is not the traditional feudal system. It is not a God-given right whereby when you get there, you will stay there until you die. This is about politics. It is about trying to convince the citizenry on how best your programmes and thoughts are. Not everybody will be a millionaire. Not everyone could be a billionaire either. But God has done it in a way that in this kind of democracy, everybody needs to work harder. Like the Latin says: When you work hard, you will get to the stars. And that is what this capitalist democracy preaches. It is not about right. What the constitution of the PDP says is that if the party wins presidential election, other positions will be zoned to people of other geo-political zones. And constitutionally, President Goodluck Jonathan as a citizen of Nigeria has every right to run for a second term. Against the background of his performance, does Jonathan deserve a second term and will you vote for him? You can count on me. I will vote for him.
Does it means the Northern Elders’ Forum agitating for power shift to the North is not speaking for the entire North? I haven’t said that. What I’m saying is that the Elders’ Forum has actually been speaking for its members. Nigeria is a country of many ethnicities and that is why when you read our newspapers, every ethnic group thinks they are marginalised because we have over 240 ethnic groups or so. We need to be able to encourage like President Kennedy in 1962 published a book, “America: a country of immigrants”. It can be said that Nigeria is a country of ethnicities. I mean we can have a group of youths coming up tomorrow to say our national food should be yam. I mean that is their suggestion. So, you mean the Northern leaders are only expressing their freedom of expression? Absolutely. One thing I can confidently tell you is that, the voters would be the ones to determine Nigeria’s fate in 2015. What is your assessment of voters in the North? Well, I can tell you that an average Northerner is more political savvy than you think. You can imagine cattle herders coming from Maiduguri or Kano, they will have their radios plastered to their ears. They will listen to VOA, BBC among others. They are current about what is going on in the world than you think. And unlike the South where people appear to be so immersed in commerce and other things, an average Northerner is politically savvy and they need to be convinced what your intentions are, because they have sharp imaginations. But I’m not saying the Southerners are not. But it is instructive that what we should be talking about is Nigeria and not whether Northerner or Southerner. Maybe because I have lived as an alien in other parts of the world, I really don’t like this idea of configuring ones psyche to be a
APC IS FULL OF FAILED PDP POLITICIANS. ALSO, APC IS A BUNCH OF REGIONAL PARTIES
THAT STILL HAVE THESE REGIONAL IDENTITIES TO THEMSELVES.
THE CHANCES OF THEM BEING ABLE TO METAMORPHOSE INTO CLEAN PARTY BEFORE
2015 ARE SLIM
Northerner or Southerner. With your support for President Jonathan for a re-election, will you be advising the North to wait till 2019? No, I won’t. In democracy, every election deserves to be fought with all vigour. And let the best president wins. Somebody like me is a core Northerner but at the same time, I have root in the South. It is high time we did away with this North and South dichotomy. If any man or woman who is qualified to contest wishes to, so be it. This is a Federal Republic. And it is high time we started seeing ourselves as a republic. When you go outside this country, they are not going to be referring to you as a Northerner or Southerner but as a Nigerian. So, why don’t we start seeing ourselves as Nigerians? How convinced are you that if election is to be conducted today, President Jonathan will win? And what are the indices you think will make him win? I will reiterate that it takes time to build what has collapsed. Our political system has collapsed very poorly in the past. President Jonathan and his government are trying to rebuild it. One of the sources of rancour in Northern Nigeria before now is the issue of Almajiri, but today, the Almajiri education has been repackaged in such a way that these children are exposed to both Western and Islamic education. We have never had a situation like this where the President would be directly involved in negotiation with ASUU. For me, that is a plus for the President. The SURE-P is there. The YOUWIN is there and you will continue to see these gains accumulated and become bigger by 2015. Even though the gains are there now. Somebody you love, there is nothing he would do that you will dislike. And that is the reason this President will win. If you look at the All Progressives Congress, APC, this government has the wherewithal to stop it but did not. That is the beauty of our democracy. And APC is full of failed PDP politicians. Also, APC is a bunch of regional parties that still have these regional identities to themselves. The chances of them being able to metamorphose into clean party before 2015 are slim. And do we really need a party that has not really defined itself to come and lead this country to the right direction? I respect a lot of older
gentlemen in the APC like Gen. Muhammdu Buhari (rtd) and Chief Bisi Akande. But you don’t rub into the mud, something that you aspire to attain. Journalists’ writings and newspaper publications are read all over the world. They are there on the internet. What do you think others will think of us when you say Nigerian President behaves like kindergarten? What do you think they will think of us? They are fathers to us. They are people that are supposed to lead us. But what will you say when you have elder statesmen who are touting words that are indescribable? I really think we need to be guarded on what we say. But the likes of Bola Tinubu, Buhari and Akande have never been in PDP, so why will you say APC is full of failed PDP politicians? Well, not entirely. You see we have people who contested in PDP but failed to win and they simply moved into other parties that dissolved into APC. Tinubu is a good politician but he is a politician that is encased in the politics of the South-West. His stretch outside the region is quite limited. And that is what I mean by the fact that they are regional political parties now trying to balloon into national outlook. Their life history is like water, chemical and oil. Their chances of being able to mix together are quite slim. Political observers are saying that the PDP umbrella is already in tatters because apart from the opposition attacks, the war of attrition going on in the party is fierce. How do you reconcile this? I will give you an analogy. When you lick a candy and you bite your tongue or a part of your body is not functioning well, you don’t take it out because you will still need it; so you will cure it. If there are strifes within a party, which is an internal wrangling, you find a way of settling it. We will sort it out. But a tattered family, I beg to differ. I believe this government has brought a lot to bear on the country and any Nigerian who have blood flowing in his or her vein, should give it the deserved support. I am a card-carrying member of the PDP and I believe that PDP is the only real national party in Nigeria. The other regional parties that recently came together under the platform of APC; I think it is good that we have an opposition party but I think they are going to be primordial. No structure, nothing. It is a learning process though. But they are not there yet. As time goes on, I think they can as well grow. Are you not worried with the crisis in Rivers State? People say the President has mismanaged it? How can the President be accused of mismanaging it? It is not a national crisis. It is a Rivers State crisis. But frankly speaking, everywhere in Nigeria, our culture is that whatever we call head, you don’t walk on it. There is a President and a governor in the same family. The President is like the elder brother to the governor, Rotimi Amaechi. There should be conference of ideas whereby the older brother should be able to talk to his younger brother and advise him. The crisis in Rivers State is not peculiar to Nigeria. It is just that every individual have different methods of managing crisis. I believe very soon, the issues would be resolved.
The N124 bn road contract bazaar
ASO ROCK FILE
South-West, party leaders and termites in PDP
hose who know Chief Olabode George need not be told of his influence in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, particularly in Lagos State, where he has the ears of top echelon of the party and members. Just last week, shortly before the meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the PDP, George led other prominent leaders of the party from the SouthWest to the Presidential Villa where they met with President Goodluck Jonathan. After the meeting, George was given the mandate to speak to journalists on what they discussed with the President and the way forward for the PDP in South-West. The former PDP Deputy National Chairman told journalists that issues regarding the strategies on how to capture the South-West in 2015 topped the agenda. According to him, the leaders of the PDP in the South-West came to discuss the situation of the party in the zone with Jonathan so as to position the party for victory in future elections in order to take over governance in the South-West states.
George said: “We came to discuss the situation in our zone with the President, who is the leader of the party, and with all intent and purpose, we do not want to have any acrimony, that is why we have come to take a cursory look at the PDP in South-West because the house that had been built, we cannot allow it to be destroyed. “If termites enter your house, you don’t run out to go and be a tenant somewhere, you must fight it. So, we made a presentation of a complete x-ray of the PDP situation in the South-West and I believe that the meeting was very successful and we are going to start looking in the same direction.”
ast week at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, the award of road contracts took the major part of the discussion as a total of N123.983 billion was expected to be spent on the construction of five federal roads across the country. In recent times, government has shifted attention to the construction and rehabilitation of major roads in the country because of the economic and social benefit that such project would bring to the people. Speaking on the importance of such projects, Information Minister, Labaran Maku, stated that the projects were very crucial to the economic development of the country as it would open up access to many areas of the country to ease movement of people and goods as well as create job opportunities for the teeming Nigerian youths. Maku disclosed that the roads include the Apapa-Oshodi road which is considered as a major gateway to the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports and part of Trans West Africa Highway
(Coastal). Speaking further on the road projects, Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen noted that the Council approved the reconstruction of Apapa-Oshodi Expressway Section 2 Phase II: ApapaOshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway and Service lands; Beach land junction (Ch7+000-Cele Bus Stop CH 15+000 Cele Bus Stop CH 15+600 to Cele Bus Stop CH 15+200 an’s LHS CH +000 Cele Bus Stop CH 15+200), in favour of Messrs Julius Berger (Nigeria) Plc, in the sum of N14,989,647,635.65, with a completion period of 15 months. The minister also added: “After deliberations, Council approved the award of contract for Lot C: the rehabilitation of Mokwa-Bida Road in favour of Messrs Triacta (Nigeria) Limited, in the sum of N10,905,079,026.60, with a completion period of 24 months. “The council also approved the award of contract for Lot D: rehabilitation of Akure-Ilesha Road, in favour Messrs Kopek Construction Limited, in the sum of N7,399,411,728.50, with a completion period of 21 months.”
Presidential Villa’s visitors 1 2 3 4 5
Nigeria seeks stronger economic ties with Czech Republic
resident Goodluck Jonathan held a meeting with the outgoing Ambassador of Czech Republic, Mr. Jaroslav Siro, last week, where the issue of stronger economic ties between the two countries were discussed. Already, a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at further strengthening trade and economic cooperation was currently being finalised even as the annual volume of non-oil trade between Nigeria and Czech Republic stands at about $100 million. At the meeting, Jonathan reaffirmed his administration’s determination to facilitate and encourage the rapid diversification of the nation’s economy, stressing that his administration was fully committed to moving the Nigerian economy away from dependence on crude oil exports by promoting the development of the country’s non-oil sectors. The President said that in keeping with this commitment, the Federal Government was actively exploring all avenues of boosting trade and economic relations with other countries in areas not related to the oil and gas sector. Jonathan commended Siro who has served in Nigeria for over five years for his efforts to enhance bilateral relations between Nigeria and the Czech Republic which resulted in the tripling of the volume of trade between the two countries. Siro said that his country’s Minister of Trade would soon visit Nigeria to sign the Memorandum of Understanding and attend a meeting of the Nigeria-Czech Republic Bi-National Commission.
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013
President Goodluck Jonathan welcoming former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olabode George to a meeting with South-West leaders at the State House.
Governor Isa Yuguda Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo Governor Aliyu Wamakko Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso Former PDP Deputy Chairman, Chief Olabode George 6 Outgoing Ambassador of Czech Republic to Nigeria, Mr. Jaroslav Siro 7 Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi 8 Special Envoy of Prime Minister of Thailand, Surong Tovichakchaikul 9 Former Defence Minister, Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN) 10 Former Education Minister, Prof. Tunde Adeniram
Yet another peace deal with Boko Haram
ast week’s disclosure by the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North that it had secured a fresh peace agreement with Boko Haram Islamic sect would be the second time that the committee would come out to inform Nigerians of such agreement. About two months ago, the Chairman of the committee and Special Duties Minister, Tanimu Turaki, did not only disclose that his committee had fruitful discussions with the leaders of the Boko Haram sect, he also told Nigerians that the group has also conceded to an agreement to ceasefire. But the bloody attacks by the Boko Haram sect in different locations in the Northern states of the country which greeted the claim of peace deal made many Nigerians to be sceptical whether the committee actually met with the Boko Haram leaders let alone discuss the issue of any ceasefire agreement. However, Turaki insisted that the committee actually met with the leaders of the sect and negotiated peace deal and cease-
fire which would eventually lead to disarmament, saying that at the appropriate time, the video clip of the meeting would be made public. Last week Friday at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, the committee released a two-week old video clip of its meeting with the Shura group, the highest decision making authority of the sect. The video clip showed spokesman of the Shura group, Muhammd Lawan Ibn Suliaman, explaining in Arabic language, the decision to enter into genuine peace negotiations with government based on the tenets of Islam, the teachings of Prophet Muhammed and the writings of eminent Islamic scholars and jurists. The minister said the essence of making public the video clip was to prove to Nigerians that there has been dialogue between government team and the very influential Shura committee, which resolved to place its confidence on Turaki committee. Turaki said the Boko Haram sect was “a very disciplined group which respects
seniority” and it is strongly believed that upon watching the video and hearing the Shura members in their own words, field operatives of the group would recognise their leaders and be bound to embrace dialogue. He further explained that his committee had no mandate to pay compensation to victims of Boko Haram victims, but will advise government on how to bring succour to victims. According to Turaki, a list of victims will be compiled, including circumstances surrounding their losses, saying the committee would complete its assignment within the extended time frame which ends on September 24. He pointedly disclosed that it may not be possible that dialogue with every single leader will have been reached by the end of the committee’s work, but that a framework for further work would be handed over to government.
MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 41-43
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013
For Tony Anenih, a shining leader MATTHEW HASSAN KUKAH CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY
is success in managing, maneuvering and containing Presidents Obasanjo, President Yar’Adua of blessed and happy memory and now President Goodluck Jonathan is a feat even his worst enemies must give him credit for. Outside of being of the same party, the three Nigerian leaders could not be more dissimilar as men, with their professional backgrounds, personal dispositions, cultural backgrounds or as politicians. They are great men with contrasting, competing, conflicting and diverse temperaments, religious and political convictions, visions and whatever else. Chief Anenih’s path in life, his background and where he has come from to get this far is a lesson in commitment to the will of God. For example, although he passed the qualifying examinations to the prestigious St. Thomas’ Teacher Training College, Ibusa, poverty erected a no-entry-wall around the entrance to keep him out. God sent him an angel of mercy in the person of Lance Corporal Omeben with whom he stayed while he engaged in rubber tapping. Chief Anenih would then go from there to join the Police Force, rise from the ranks and move on to become the first Commandant of the Police College, Ikeja.
How had he managed to place himself at the epicenter of national politics in Nigeria with no apparent clarity about who recruited him into politics, who might be referred to as his godfathers along the line? He is in fact from one of the smallest ethic groups in Nigeria. The Esan in Edo State, are a minority tribe even in that state compared to the Binis who are a majority tribe in Edo State, but are themselves a minority tribe in the country. Today, Chief Anenih had come to be more famously known as Mr Fixit. Some say it with admiration while others mouth it with approbation. What is not argued is that Chief Anenih fixes the problems he is called to manage at any particular point. Politics, however, is a game and like all games, the challenge should be more with the referee than the styles the key actors adopt. It should therefore, be the duty of the system to test the legality or otherwise of his actions in battle as opposed to mere moralising. If Mr. Fix-it has been able to fix it for the PDP, the next challenge is, who will fix-it for our dear country Nigeria? We must end with some reflections on the future of our country given that politics is what Chief Anenih will be remembered for by many. Let me look at five key points. First, how should Nigerian politicians see politics, self-interest and the building of a good society? How will our politicians use politics to help
THE POLITICS OF TURN-BY-TURN HAS NO REDEMPTIVE
VALUE AS IT MERELY INSTITUTIONALISES MEDIOCRITY our citizens pursue the three pillars of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? The life of our celebrant illustrates that we can stand on the shoulders of others to achieve our dreams. Beyond the realm of politics, there are many who remember the Chief for his generosity, love of others and a community builder. Secondly, how can we put politics aside and together seek to rescue the ship of state that is threatened by so many icebergs? Clearly, fixing the Nigerian problem will never be the function of mere moral exhortation. The bitterness that has come to mark our politics defeats the bipartisan goals that should guide politics in a plural society such as ours. The voices of doom that we hear might be politically expedient for mobilization, but we cannot use them to build a nation. The PDP of which the Chief is a key architect must seek to do more to create a more humane society rather than seeking to cling on to power at all cost. It must create a wider political space, subordinate to the rules of
the game and prepare for a day it will lose an election. Thirdly, while we pray for an end of the violence that has thwarted our national development in the last few years, let us renew our faith first in God, the giver of all good things, the one who allows His rain and sun to shine with no distinction. Who a President or a leader is, his or her vision, integrity no redemptive value as it merely institutionalises mediocrity. Fourthly, our Chief is more or less in the sun set of his own life. He has obviously left foot prints on the sands of our land. The challenge now is whether those for whom the next generation belongs will find a nation worth dying for. Finally, I want to join millions of other Nigerians to thank God for your life. Take the words of the Psalmist to heart when he said: I was young, now I am old, but I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor their children begging for bread (Ps 37:25). Now is time to admonish you with the words of Moses to Aaron when he said: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord let His face shine upon you and be gracious to you (Numbers 6: 22ff). Concluded Bishop Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, wrote this tribute on the occasion of the 80th birthday celebrations of Chief Anthony Anenih on August 4, 2013 in Abuja.
Politician and the lurking law of karma FOLA OJO
do not want to sound off as an apostle of doom; this piece is not about religion, but about the law of life. It is about the recklessness and impunity with which those who hold the reins of power in Nigeria conduct themselves and government businesses in and outside of the borders of the nation. It is a ringtone of reminder to them and their cohorts that there is something called the Law of Retribution, which usually catches up with a man no matter how hard and far he runs. He who hurts another man will be hurt; he who cheats another man will pay for it. For every crime there will be a punishment, and for every wrongdoing, there will be a consequence. He who cheats a nation cheats a people and robs many of opportunities to become what they could have become in life. Very many Nigerian politicians are guilty of this vice. Sooner or later, they will be appropriately rewarded. On August 16th, 2013, Nse Ntuen, who doubles as the chairman of Udim local government council and Akwa Ibom State chapter of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), was arrested by the Maryland State Police Department for smuggling $82, 000 into the United States. Out of sheer tomfoolery, he declared to Customs authorities that he had only $5,000 on him. For his lies, the
money was confiscated. The question I asked in a soliloquy was; who is this guy? How did he have access to that much cash? My journalist colleagues and friends residing in Nigeria later told me that cash in different currencies are stashed in unseen troughs of Nigerian politicians. “These guys travel with millions in cash. Fola, 80,000 dollars is their girlfriends’ weekly maintenance allowance”, I was told. Ntuen is just an example of what is wrong with our politicians. There are worse cases. In the first instance, how did things in Nigeria get this bad in our very own eyes? How did these guys become so powerful, shoveling in so much wealth, and exercising pervasive, firm grip and control of the polity? Are these guys aliens who just strolled into our midst perpetrating this level of stench and decadence? No, they are all Nigerians. Some of them got power through force, and some through fraud. We all know how most elections are conducted in Nigeria. In all of the nation’s history, many of our leaders were, and are looters and loafers who seized the reins of power through force and fraud. If force is the foundation of how you possess a possession, then there is a time-bomb strapped around the edifice you have built. It will soon explode, for there is a law of retribution. If fraud is the foundation, then the house built up in quicksand will soon crash, because there is a law of retribution. These two factors of riding to
IN ALL OF THE NATION’S HISTORY, MANY OF OUR LEADERS WERE, AND ARE LOOTERS AND LOAFERS
WHO SEIZED THE REINS OF POWER THROUGH FORCE AND FRAUD power through force and fraud are contributive to how these present crops of leaders perceive government and governance. The vetting process of Nigerian elected officials is fraught with loopholes that were taken advantage of. Who are these guys? What are their roots? What schools did they attend? What church, mosque, and babalawos’ shrine are they drawing their spiritual inspirations from? What qualifies them to lead a people as sophisticated and informed as Nigerians? These questions carefully inform how leaders behave the way they do. Some of them lived for years and decades in the US, UK, Portugal, Russia, but did we bother to find out what were their sources of income? How did they make their money? Who were they abroad? These questions are significant in determining who our leader is as a person, and what his worldview might be. Drug dealers are reportedly serving in our Senate, swindlers and fraudsters are serving in the House of Representa-
tives. Killers have reportedly become governors, and cultists and robbers are their aides. People who never stepped within the four walls of any college imaginable become commissioners of education just because they were able to forge some degrees and eliminate one or two opponents of the governor or senator. There are people who know who these people are, and where they are coming from. The depth of decadence in Nigeria is unfathomable, and largely due to who our leaders are as persons. If we do not carefully analyze and consider these factors, our hope to turn things around in the nation will just amount to wishful-thinking. A house built on thieving and deceiving is a house built on sand. It cannot stand. But a house built on sweat, strength, and sincerity is a house built on the rock. It will outstand. The law of retribution is real. Sooner or later, culprits will be brought to book in the court of man and God. Dr. Ojo is President, Gravitas Communication, Hartford Wisconsin, USA 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.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
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Delta lawmakers’ US jamboree
he purported ‘leadership training’ embarked upon by Delta State’s lawmakers in far away United States has attracted public wrath, just like the jamboree called ‘husband support training’ the Speaker of the Oyo House of Assembly, Alhaja Monsurat Olajumoke Sunmonu and wives of other members of the House undertook in London for eight days in July 2012 that gulped about N50 million. At a conservative estimate of N150 million ($1 million) of taxpayers’ money, the Delta State lawmakers’ vote for the ‘picnic’ is even more outrageous compared to what the wives of their Oyo State counterparts squandered last year. The about three-week leadership training exercise involving 40 people was allegedly led by the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly and a governorship aspirant under the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. Beneficiaries of the training slated for the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, San Francisco in the US, include the pioneer speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, now the Special Adviser to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan on Legislative Matters and some top civil servants, an indication that the office of the governor was complicit in the profligate outing of
the legislators. We really sympathise with the people of the state who are still recovering from the plundering of the state between 1999 and 2007, for which a former governor is now paying the price in a London jail. We agree with the commentators who rightly described the leadership training as “needless, wasteful, insensitive, callous, shameful and indefensible; and yet another embarrassing example of the profligacy by public officials that has bloated the cost of governance and rendered the country’s democracy unproductive”. It is shocking that members of the state House of Assembly are bereft of ideas on how best to apply the scarce resources of the state to the benefit of the greater but suffering majority of its people, but find it convenient to squander public fund on a nebulous capacity building leadership programme. Indeed, reports alleged that a shopping spree was part of the undeclared intentions of the leadership training. Reckless spending as the type the lawmakers and their cronies in the executive arm of government indulged in is one of the reasons governors of non-oil produc-
THE ELDERS, LEADERS AND CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS IN
STATE SHOULD CALL THE LAWMAKERS AND THEIR SPONSORS TO
THE RECKLESSNESS ing areas, especially from the North, are protesting the funds being allocated to Niger Delta states as derivation revenue. This training programme and the colossal amount of money involved is not only embarrassing to the public, it is simply scandalous. It shows that the Delta State House of Assembly and even the leadership of the state learnt nothing from the odious reputation such a reckless trip stamped on the Oyo State House of Assembly since last year. Indeed, it amplifies the public impression that some political office holders are just out to seek rent from the nation, though they profess their zeal to serve the public. Ours is a nation where most states cannot pay a paltry N18,000 as minimum wage to
agonizing workers, yet those who have the privilege of occupying positions of responsibility toy with the lives and future of millions of non-privileged Nigerians. There is nothing wrong with updating knowledge. But that can be done at less cost in our shores if those in positions of authority allow public institutions, including schools, to thrive. Delta lawmakers can spend millions on few days of leadership training abroad, but their contribution to making their own Delta State University, for example, conducive and up-to-date for the acquisition on knowledge on leadership is scant. The mandate of lawmakers both in the states and at the national level is unambiguous. It is to make laws for good governance as well as act as checks on the routine excesses of the executive arm of the government. This job can be well accomplished by close interaction with the people being represented and being abreast with the trend within the environment they operate. The elders, leaders and civil society groups in Delta State should call the lawmakers and their sponsors to order. Enough of the recklessness.
ON THIS DAY August 27, 2009 The Burmese military junta and ethnic armies began three days of violent clashes in the Kokang Special Region. The series of violent conflicts in Burma’s (or Myanmar) northern Shan State were between the Burmese military junta forces/Myanmar Police Force and ethnic minorities. As a result of the conflict, as many as 30,000 Burmese refugees fled to the Yunnan province in the neighboring China.
August 27, 2003 The first six-party talks involving South and North Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia, was convened to find a peaceful resolution to the security concerns that trailed North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme. North Korea was a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but she withdrew in 2003, citing the failure of the US to fulfill its end of the ‘Agreed Framework’. The country declared in 2009 that it had developed a nuclear weapon.
August 27, 1985 The Nigerian government then headed by Major General Muhammadu Buhari was peacefully overthrown by the then Army Chief of Staff, Major General Ibrahim Babangida. Babangida, (born August 17, 1941) ruled from August 27, 1985 until he ‘stepped aside’ from office on August 27, 1993, after his controversial annulment of the presidential election held on June 12 that year. There was evidence of a severe lack of human rights under his regime.
AIB not only investigates air crashes, but also prevents accidents -Usman
Stakeholders worry over domination of insurance sector by 12 underwriters 37
Tuesday, August 27 , 2013
Counting the cost of fiscal indiscipline A s Nigerian leaders’ fiscal indiscipline continues to attract global concern with nothing to show that elected leaders are conscious of the negative implications of their actions for the overall well-being of millions of the socio-economically deprived citizenry, experts and civil society organisations have called on the poor to rise against the despoliation of the nation’s commonwealth by asking leaders to account for how tax payers’ monies are being spent at all levels of government in the country. Most of the stakeholders who spoke at the One-Day Dialogue Session on the Cost of Governance in Nigeria organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with support from Federal Public Administration Reform Program (FEPAR) last week in Abuja noted that curbing the fiscal excesses of political leaders through civil society’s and people’s monitoring and evaluation of capital budgets remained the only panacea to the social ailment of under-development that Nigeria has been contending with over the decades. Even in the face of the seeming helplessness of the citizenry over the pervasive fiscal abuses being perpetrated with impunity by elected political leaders and their bureaucratic collaborators in the civil service is also the lack-lustre approach by governments to plug loopholes in public finance, particularly the prevailing massive theft of crude oil through illegal bunkering and other means, with the attendant negative implications for real development of the country.
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Recent global assessment reports indicate that Nigeria ranks high among countries that have failed to translate their huge economic resources into national development advantage due to high level of corruption in the public sector. TOLA AKINMUTIMI captures experts’ view on how government can be more accountable in managing the nation’s resources .
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Renewing the call for discipline in public finance in her paper which triggered spontaneous reactions from leaders of over 10 civil society organisations at the CISLAC/FEPAR dialogue former Minister of Education and finance expert, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, while noting that ongoing efforts by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to address the problem of corruption in the economy is commendable, said there was need for government to restructure the capital-recurrent budgets ratios in such a way that would ensure more funds for capital projects. Ezekwesili pointed out that one of the antidotes to the high level of fiscal profligacy in the public sector would be the implementation
GDP rebasing crucial to achieving Vision 20:2020 goals – Kale
of the Steve Orosanye Panel’s report by the Federal Government based on advice and inputs by the civil society and other stakeholders, particularly in order to minimising leakages in revenues and wastage of funds that have characterised public finance management over the years. The former Vice President of the World Bank lamented the negative impact of high cost of governance on national development due mainly to duplication of or overlapping functions of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), pointing out that by spending 82 per cent of the country on recurrent expenditure leaving a mere 18 per cent for capital projects, is “far below the standard of a nation smaller than Nigeria pursuing development”.
She also called for debt accountability on the part of the Federal Government, saying that Nigeria cannot continue to borrow without accounting for such funds. “15.2 per cent of our national budget is used to service such debts on an annual basis. Now who profits? It is the banks and that is why they do not want to develop the real sector because if you give money to the government, it must definitely pay you or continue to service it to your advantage”, Ezekwesili noted . According to her, in order to curb the huge profligacy in public finance the civil society groups, and the poor citizens, who have been the losers in the socio-economic calculations on budget
Lagos-Abuja 7.30 8.30 7.45 8.45 09.30 10.30 10.30 11.30 12.30 13.30 14.30 15.30 16.30 17.30 Lagos-Kano 08.00 09.15 10.30 11.45 14.30 15.40 18.15 19.30 Los-Maid&Yola (Mon-Thur) 09.30 11.30 Fri- Sun 10.30 12.30 Kano-Lagos 07.30 08.45 14.00 15.15 17.30 18.45 Kano-Abj 10.45 11.30 Abj-Lagos 09.00 10.30 11.00 12.00 12.00 13.00
CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
How to enhance workers’ productivity -Experts
Security issues stall rebound of Port Harcourt real estate market
Business & Finance CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19
efficiency over the years, must get more involved in all aspects of public finance management, especially by sustaining the scrutiny on how resources are allocated and spent across all levels of government in the country. Ezekwesili said: “Civil Society groups must get involved in the legal and organisational frameworks for supervising all aspects of the budget cycle, including planning, preparation of strategies and fiscal projections and costing, procurement, monitoring, internal controls and audit, externalisation of scrutiny, legislative follow-ups on audit and post-budget evaluation processes. This is the only way to help achieve national development “If the poor do not have efficient delivery of basic services in education and health services and provision of water, we do not stand a chance of lifting the lives of many more Nigerians that are currently trapped in the cycle of intergenerational poverty. “Civil society must set and monitor the benchmarks of what levels of performances and results are expected from government and ensure that they hold all involved accountable by building a system of budget analysis on everyday citizen’s needs profile,” she added. She explained further that Nigeria’s paradox, she pointed out, shows a wealth that breeds poverty and penury, which has made her a poster country for poor governance of national wealth, in spite of the benefits of at least five cycles of oil booms between 1960 and today. Ezekwesili described the National Assembly as a drain pipe of the nation’s economy with over N1 trillion spent between 2005 and last year mainly on salaries and allowances of legislators, thereby making them the highest paid lawmakers in the world. “We must debate public policies as a nation to avoid silly mistakes of the past and we must do away with the culture of personalizing public policy issues to encourage wider debates in the system. There will be an implosion, as it has happened in other countries, if we continue to ignore the poor and the vulnerable in our society who have been impoverished by the economic system in place. It must be noted that we need a stable society before we can grow the economy.” “The people have a right to ask their governments for proper accountability because only persistent demands like that can help democracy grow. Unfortunately in this country, the majority of the people do not follow policies or show interest on how they are governed”, the former minister said. Mallam Auwal Ibrahim, the Executive Director of CISLAC, who also harped on the need for accountability and the need for the government to carry the people along in its budgeting and expenditure activities. He said: “No nation can hope to grow or develop without substantial and consistent investment in critical sectors that promote increased opportunities for her citizens to creatively engage in productive, income generating and wealth creating activities. “The 10 planes size of the Presidential fleet which allegedly gulps N9. 08 billion annually for maintenance, the usually scandalous sizes of government contingents on local and foreign trips with many other seemingly curious provisions in the appro-
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Counting the cost of fiscal indiscipline
Dr. Yemi Kale
WE MUST DEBATE PUBLIC POLICIES AS A NATION TO AVOID MISTAKES OF THE PAST AND WE MUST DO AWAY WITH THE CULTURE OF PERSONALISING PUBLIC POLICY ISSUES TO ENCOURAGE WIDER DEBATES IN THE SYSTEM priation, continues to beg the question as to whether the ongoing government’s approach can be described as the most appropriate in reducing the cost of governance and freeing valuable resources for development purposes,” Ibrahim stated. Commenting on the embarrassing level of oil thefts and oil pipeline vandalism and how to tackle the menace in order to minimise the financing gaps in yearly budgets, a former Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Nankin Bagudu, told National Mirror that the problems in the oil sector can hardly be isolated from the general problem of corruption in the country. He explained that unless concerted efforts were made to nip the menace of corruption in the bud by sanctioning those involved at all levels of government, no matter whose ox is gored, the challenge of high cost of governance and its negative effects of underdevelopment, poverty and other associated vices will continue threaten national development initiatives. Bagudu said: “The issues of oil theft cannot be addressed outside the greater problem afflicting us as a nation. Except we address the wider problem of corruption in the society we cannot isolate only the issue of oil theft and solve. We must first look at the neglect of the area which itself is criminal. We must address holistically the quality of leadership, the shocking level of waste, incompetence and corruption that pervert’s all levels of our society we cannot pick only one and expect to solve it. “Corruption in the security forces in the Niger Delta region is rampant. So is the connivance between our oil officials and the multinationals. What about the challenge of youth unemployment? These are critical issue. How many big men have been arrested for bunkering it is only the poor who operate illegal refineries have been paraded?”, he queried. Bagudu, a member of League for Human
Rights Jos, argued that in order to solve the problem of huge losses of assets and revenues from the hydrocarbon resources industry, there must be a holistic approach from a serious government that has a sense of mission. In his views, the Assistant General Secretary of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Eustace James, who quoted the British scholar, Susan Strange, “that the State has the coercive power to create violence and Peace”, argued that correcting the lawlessness of oil theft to ensure discipline in the sector demanded that government should muster all the required political will to end “oil theft” or allow it to happen or continue. According to him, there are different kinds of power, but for a “Developmental State” the “Hard Power” concerned with apply military and economic means to shape the behaviour and bend the will of other actors must be applied. James, who spoke on the despicable acts of economic sabotage being perpetrated by a clique in the oil sector to deny the nation of potential revenues which have been estimated to run into several billions of naira yearly, pointed out that if the Nigerian State realises its capacity to apply the needed power to bring all acts of lawlessness under control, then there was no need lamenting the unwholesome act of criminals who are stealing oil or vandalising the pipelines and by implication, undermining self actualisation of the millions of Nigerians who have been at the receiving end of poor policy implementation for as long the country has been in existence. As a way of dealing with the economic problem of oil theft in the Niger Delta region, James believes that the state should apply different means to influence the behaviour of those perpetuating the act by establishing structures and if already in place, exercise control over the struc-
ture to contain the criminal tendencies. He expatiated: “The State has no other option in this circumstance than to apply according to John Locke, coercive power as the only appropriate response to the illegitimate act. It should be noted that even those wishing to resolve conflict are affected by this way of conceptualising power. “Therefore, the Nigerian State must apply power to coerce those engaged in this illegal activity to do otherwise. This alone can change the situation. It must as a matter of necessity exert some force in opposition to what the oil thieves are doing now. Anything short of that may confirm the allusion that those at the corridor of power are either the perpetuators or accomplices. “If the argument is that coercive power is already being used to check the menace, since there is a Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in operation in the Niger-Delta to check the menace, the extent of the use of the power is a function of firstly, numbers of men, weapons, equipment and resources secondly, technology and the effectiveness and sophistication of weapons and equipment and thirdly, organisational, that is the coherence, discipline, training, and morale of the troops and the effectiveness of command and control relationships; and societal as it relates to ability and willingness of the society to apply military force effectively”, the labour leader added. James explained further that what this means is the Nigerian State must be willing, disciplined and organised as a developmental state to enthrone discipline and not to behave like a defective state, adding that “the State must sit up and face its responsibilities, be more transparent and not exhibits the attribute of a failed state by allowing these criminal elements to continue to undermine the national security”. According to him, since oil theft is not the only avenue of revenue lost leading to budgets deficit but there are other leakages in the system the Federal Government must rise up to the challenge of the excesses of all economic saboteurs by applying all available legal force or approach to reduce to the barest level all forms of corruption in public finance.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
GDP rebasing crucial to achieving Vision 20:2020 goals –Kale TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Statistician General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, has restated the strategic importance of the ongoing Gross Domestic Product, GDP, rebasing project to national development. He also canvassed stakeholders’ support for the exercise as a strategic option for realisation of the broad policy objectives of the current Transformation Agenda as well as those of the broader Vision 20:2020 policy blueprint. Kale, who spoke elaborately on various initiatives being undertaken by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to improve the quality of the Nigerian statistical system at the Sensitisation Workshop on Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Rebasing Exercise in Abuja, described the GDP rebasing project as coming at an auspicious time after over 23 years since the last exercise. He said it is designed to help update Nigeria’s GDP in a way that would reflect the accurate value added of the production of goods and services in all sector of the economy. According to him, the NBS is embarking on the rebasing year from the current 1990 because the data sources and use of proxies are set in the base year; the need to make the base year structure more representative of the economy since consumption and production patterns change over time
L-R: Former governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Chief Joseph Sanusi; Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu; President and Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mr. Segun Aina and 1st Vice President, Mrs. ‘Debola Osibogun, at the 2013 investiture of the institute in Lagos at the weekend.
and the need to properly capture the changes in patterns and classification of sector, sub-sectors and their regrouping due to the adoption of the latest System of National Accounts (SNA) of the United Nations. On the importance of the project to national development, Kale said: “Nigeria can become a developed nation only if everyone contributes to the best of his or her ability and capacity. He said, “The job of government is to set a strategic vision for the nation and design policies, plans and programmes to drive the vision. Government must then invite the nation to respond to that vision and to give that vision flesh and bones and to advance the ideas
Fake products’ vendors lose N3bn to raids -SON OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) yesterday put the value of substandards product destroyed in six months at N3 billion. The Director General, SON, Dr Joseph Odumodu gave the figure in Abuja while fielding questions from journalists at the sidelines of a National Sensitisation workshop for National Association of Nigeria Traders. Odumodu stated that the agency would continue its zero tolerance campaign against substandard products stressing that a new legislation is currently being worked on to penalize dealers and marketers of fake products. “A lot of products are not registered, we gave a deadline and the deadline expired in June but people have registered less than five per cent of the products. “Why are they avoiding registration? It is because they know they are not selling the right products and they don’t want us to subject them to any evaluation and that is why we are doing this sensitisation. After this exercise, from September we will enter the market and we shall remove prod-
ucts that are unregistered. “Every unregistered product is substandard and we would remove them because we have the full backing to do so, he said. He added, “We have destroyed goods worth about N3bn in the last six months and as I am talking to you, our warehouse is almost full again after the destruction. So very soon, we will also destroy more.” The SON DG lamented the huge amount being lost as a result of the destruction adding that the nation would have benefitted tremendously if this money was used to do genuine businesses. He explained, “I also want to stress the point about destruction. Every time you destroy products, you are destroying Nigeria’s wealth because these products that were brought from abroad were not bought with fake dollars; they were bought with our collective wealth. “So it is not our strategy that we should destroy them, indeed our strategy is to stop them from coming into Nigeria as much as possible through the SONCAP and then if for example they come in, we now have to take the action of destruction to stop people from having access to those products and its various effects,” he said
to translate a vision in to reality. “To do this however, we have a great responsibility in providing the reliable data in a timely fashion, required to make this a reality. “As a nation, I believe we face two overall choices: We can either
drift into the future or we can plan for our future for providing the up to date statistics that enables us to design policies, plans and programmes for development. “I believe it is time to seize the future with both hands, to build an
improved statistical system that is needed for a better and more developed Nigeria for our benefit and those of our fellow citizens. The rebasing of GDP is just one step in that direction”, Kale added. In his remarks at the workshop, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Senior Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr Scott Rogers, said the effort to rebase the nation’s GDP would help Nigeria’s efforts targeted at using reliable and timely statistical data as economic tool for effective planning and implementation of governments’ policies at national and sub-national levels. While commending the NBS for embarking on the initiative after several years it had not been considered as a priority in national development agenda, the IMF chief was optimistic that the successful completion of the exercise would improve Nigeria’s ratings in terms of her economic capacity and opportunities.
Mailafia denies withholding donor agencies’ funds OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
he Minister of Environment, Mrs Hdiza Mailafia has denied that she held on to funds donated by international donor agencies to support the country in the execution of specific environment projects. A newspaper publication (not National Mirror), had accused the ministry of withholding funds made available by donor agencies to deliver on key environment programmes. Addressing Journalists in Abuja yesterday on the matter, the minister said that contrary to the said publication, the ministry is not in custody of such funds and as such, do not determine their release. She said, “This statement is not true as international donor
funds are not domiciled in the ministry and as such the ministry does not directly determine the release of such funds. “The general public may wish to know that international donor funds to address environmental matters are directly paid to service providers through donor partners and implementing agencies such as the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), African Development Bank (AFDB) Global Environment Fund (GEF) and World Bank.” Explaining further, she said that payment for any project conceived by the ministry and financed by any donor agency, is made directly to the executor of the project directly by the donor agency.
“For the purpose of charity, when the ministry conceives an idea of a project and the donor organization buys into it, the executor of the project, individual or corporate organization, is introduced and the contract for such project awarded to the successful bidder after due process. Payment is made directly from the donor organisation to the project executors,” she stated. While calling for more supports from the international donor agencies, she admonished the staff of the ministry to imbibe the spirit of keeping accurate records that would ensure timely completion of projects. Mailafia frowned at the ways projects were being made to drag on for too long, stressing that that conducts would not help the image of the ministry.
Bank customers decry poor ATM services JOHNSON OKANLAWON
ome bank customers in Lagos have decried the poor services of the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in their areas especially at weekends. At various banks at the weekends, there were long queues of customers at ATMs making it difficult for numerous customers to make withdrawals from their accounts through the ATMs. Many of the ATMs displayed an “out of service” message on their monitors, while others were unable to dispense cash
due to network problems. A customer, Mr. Yomi Salaudeen said that he could not make any withdrawal from his bank ATM located at Iyana Ipaja axis of Lagos-Abeokuta Express Way. He said that the machine did not pay him, but only debited his account. “An official of the bank told me that the poor service was due to technical problem and he assured me that my money will be remitted later,’’ he said. Another customer, Mr. Joseph Matthew said he no longer had confidence in the ATMs, adding that “I now prefer to use my cheque book”. At Agege, Ogba and Egbeda
area of Lagos, numerous clients have bemoaned the difficulty they face withdrawing money from ATM’s. Kafayat Iliasu said she had visited three ATMs before she got to Union Bank at Agege, only to be told by the machine that it could not dispense cash due to network problems. “When I reached here, only one of the ATMs was working and the queue is so long”, she said. Also, a senior official of one of the banks, who sought anonymity, said that poor network is due to weather and technical hitches.
Business & Finance
MoU: We must secure Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone -Air Force FRANCIS EZEM
he Nigerian Air Force has vowed that it will henceforth make life unbearable for illegal oil bunkerers, smugglers, pirates and other foreign criminals who have over the years been stealing the resources in Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone, EEZ. Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh, who spoke in Abuja on Monday during an official signing of a security Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Maritime Administration, NIMASA, for the protection of the nation’s maritime domain, noted that for too long criminals including the foreign ones have plundered the nation’s resources, which must be stopped forthwith. The MOU, which was at the instance of NIMASA is part of the agency’s response to the increasing cases of criminal activities on the nation’s territorial waters such as piracy, illegal bunkering,
oil theft and illegal midstream discharge, which had made the International Maritime Bureau, IMO, to rate Nigerian waters as second most unsafe after Somalia. According to him, the Air Force has what it takes to conduct aerial surveillance across the nation’s maritime domain to check the activities of these criminals but had also believed that there are statutory agencies to curtail them. “Nigerian Air Force has the capacity to go deep into the nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone and confront these criminals but we are also conscious that there other government agencies with statutory powers to do same such as the NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy but now that we have formalised this partnership, we will leave no stone unturned in checking these criminalities on our waters”, the Air Force –boss insisted. He also said that whatever the Air Force was doing in relation to this MOU, was basically informed by the need to protect the nation’s interest and ensure that Nigeri-
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 ans benefit maximally from the inherent potential in the nation’s EEZ. Director-General of NIMASA, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, who also spoke at the event, noted that the decision of the agency to initiate the partnership was informed by major challenges it faces in the discharge of its statutory functions. He listed the problem associated with limited assets to enforce maritime laws as well as monitor and secure the nation’s EEZ. According to him, the rising incidences and increased sophistication of pirates and armed robbery at sea and other unlawful activities on the nation’s territorial on Nigeria’s territorial waters also informed the decision of the agency to seek partnership with the Air Force. He said: You can agree with me that oil and theft, illegal ship-ship transfer of il on Nigerian waters, illegal refining activities, illegal fishing and maritime pollution and other related criminal activities have been on the increase on our waters and we needed to take proactive measures to address these”
NEXIM’s Sealink project takes off in Q1 2014 –Orya ABUJA
arring unforeseen circumstances, the Nigeria Export-Import Bank, NEXIM, Bank-facilitated Sealink project aimed at eliminating transportation constraints hampering economic and trading activities between Nigeria and other countries within the ECOWAS sub-region has been projected to take off in the first quarter of next year. Giving this hint at the weekend when the new Board of his Bank was inaugurated by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in Abuja, NEXIM Bank Managing Director, Mr Roberts Orya , said the Bank, with the support of the ECOWAS Mission and other investors, was desirous of having the transportation proj-
ect commence before the end of March next year even as he said that project had been expanded to include West and Central Africa as a strategic option of seamlessly integrating the countries’ trade into shipping link. Orya said: “We had the first investors’ forum three weeks ago in Ghana. The offer will open first week in September. We have an issuing house and presently, road shows are going on in West and Central Africa. The thing is going on very well and we have a special purpose vehicle and I can assure you that we are almost there. “The offer is going to go on for 90 days and by first quarter of next year, we should have the ship ready here”, he added. Orya, who described the project as an initiative that aligns with the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government
NAMA boss calls for regular review of operational mechanisms OLUSEGUN KOIKI
n a bid to further satisfy the yearning of the travelling public, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Engr. Nnamdi Udoh has called for periodic review of operational mechanisms by all the agencies in the country aviation sector. The NAMA boss argues that this system will further ensure that the various agencies apply checks and balances among themselves and ensure customer satisfaction, which he noted was the ultimate goal of all service organisations. He also charged Servicom officers in the aviation industry to adopt the “One Thing” principle in ensuring quality service delivery to airlines and the travelling public. Udoh stated these over the weekend at the agency’s head-
which projects investments in roads, railways, inland waterways, ports and airports development in collaboration with various stakeholders to evolve a multimodal, integrated and sustainable transport system, with emphasis on rail and waterways, through an effective Public-Private Partnership arrangement, restated that the project would gulp $60 million. He explained that project would create synergy and ensure an even and nation-wide distribution of gains from the Administration’s investments in the key sectors, termed ‘main growth drivers’ such as the manufacturing, agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing, services, trade and commerce, and so on, adding that “affirmatively, the Sealink Project will take the gains of the Transformation Agenda beyond the shores of the country”.
quarters during the quarterly Servicom Networking meeting of all agencies in the Ministry of Aviation. Udoh said that NAMA has already keyed into the Zero Complain principle where the customer is the focal point of the agency’s operations. He further commended the recently introduced passengers’ bill of right by the regulatory agency, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA. Udoh noted that with the introduction of the bill by NCAA, the shoddy handling of passengers by the airlines in terms of late departures and cancellations of flights at the airports would be a thing of the past. Earlier in an address, the Chief Servicom Officer in the Presidency, Ms. Nnenna Akajemeli noted that the meeting was essentially critical as it was bound to yield very useful outcomes at the end of the day.
Cashless: E-PPAN takes grassroots sensitisation to Ogun KUNLE AZEEZ
L-R: Managing Director, Virtual Xchange Group, Kaycee Kennedy; Manager, Offshore Electric and Instrumentation, Samsung Heavy Industries, Jungmook Kim; General Manager, Samsung Heavy Industries, Frank Ejizu, and Chairman/Managing Director, Bradama International Skill Work Ltd, Bibopere Ajuba, during Samsung’s visit to Bradama Factory in Agadagba Obon, Ese-Odo Lacal Government Area in Ondo State at the weekend.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
he grassroots sensitisation campaign on the second phase of the cashless economy scheme of the Central Bank of Nigeria will today begin in Ogun State, as Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria, E-PPAN machinery hits the state. E-PPAN officials, who just concluded a successful week-long mobilisation and sensitisation of the grassroots on the Cashless Nigeria initiative in Rivers State, will run the cashless economy campaign in Ogun starting from today till Saturday August 29, 2010. With the extension of the ‘Cashless Nigeria’ scheme to six other states such as Abia, Anambra, Abuja, Ogun, Kano, and Rivers and E-PPAN has been chosen
by the CBN to sensitise and mobilise the grassroots in these sta tes. Speaking in a statement made available to national Mirror yesterday by E-PPAN’s Media and Strategy Development Manager, Ms Ntia Nnene Sylvia, the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Secretary, E-PPAN, Mrs. Onajite Regha, said having recorded a success of the Rivers State sensitisation programme, the association was set to hit Ogun State, as the second state to be visited in the exercise. She said, “The sensitisation of the grassroots will be in two phase as the Iyaoloja General of Ogun State wants us to meet first with all of the Iyaolajas (heads of market women) and their executives in the five sections of Ogun State, which are Ijebu , Abeokuta, Sango ota, Shagamu and Iyewa.”
FG opens 86,089 email addresses on .ng KUNLE A ZEEZ
he adoption of the Nigeria’s Country Code Top Level Domain names, .ng has continues to gain traction in the public sector with the opening of 86,089 email addresses on .ng by the Federal Government. This was disclosed by the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, at the second meeting of the National Council on Communication Technology, NCCT, held in Akure. According to Johnson, “Galaxy Backbone, which is the public sector-focused ICT company of the government, continues to extend the Cconnected Government Programme of the government as over 382 Ministries, Departments
and Agencies have been connected in Abuja and other parts of the country, 86,089 email addresses have been deployed for government on .gov.ng domain names, with more than 250 websites hosted on .gov.ng platform.” She said the government network is hosting over 200 servers for more than 94 MDAs. She, however, explained plans by the government to extend Government Wide Messaging and Collaboration, GWMC, technology platform to provide email services to an additional 70,000 civil servants. She also stated that the ministry was driving the federal government’s Open Data programme, whose purpose it is to increase non-sensitive government datasets online in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
How to enhance workers’ productivity – Experts With experts positing that workers’ productivity is at an all time low in Nigeria, the recent marking of the National Productivity Day by the Federal Government should, therefore, present opportunities on how to deal with the numerous challenges that constantly affect the productivity of workers, MESHACK IDEHEN writes.
igeria recently marked the 2013 National Productivity Day with an elaborate ceremony in Abuja, including by recognising 20 Nigerians and 10 organisations for what the government said is their contributions towards national productivity. To some stakeholders though, that celebrations of national productivity by the Federal Government was uninspiring and largely uncalled for, considering that productivity for both workers and organisations in the country alike remains at an obscure almost nonexistent state; a phenomenon that is only paid lip services to by critical stakeholders, particularly the government. In that regards, employees productivity expert, Mr. Kunle Rotimi, told National Mirror that the issue of productivity as it concerns the nation’s workers and the companies the work for have all but been relegated to the background in national discourse and in developmental initiatives. Notwithstanding, he said that marking the national productivity day, apart from celebrating and recognising individuals and groups, should also call for some sober reflection by stakeholders on the dwindling productivity status of workers and companies, with a view towards fashioning out ways by which the challenges affecting the productivity of Nigeria’s workers can be effectively addressed. Rotimi who is the author of the book conceptual framework in human resource management, noted that the National Productivity Centre (NPC) as an institution of government that should promote initiatives that will drive productivity has not lived up to expectations, as the outfit is hardly heard of, except on few occasions. According to him, the NPC would have simply allowed the national productivity day to pass unnoticed, were it not for the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that kept calling on the centre to recognise deserving individuals and organisations, including employers of labour, workers and government institutions that have transparently distinguished themselves in promoting productivity and competitiveness while creating jobs and being sensitive to workers’ needs. Be that as it may, other experts say it was important and the responsibilities of government and employers to fathom out means by which workers productivity can be enhanced, so that the capacity of assets (human and materials) can be fully utilised. Human Resource expert and Managing Director of Prot Consulting International, Mr. Sunny Agboju, said adopting global standards in driving workers productivity always produces results, pointing out that the nation’s workers and business organisations can do well to adopt such methods. He said it is not enough these days have a job, an office or organisation to work in, and get a get a cheque and the end of the week? He explained a workplace however large or small has to be driven by efficiency and achievement that manifests itself in the form of tangible results for the organization, and is rewarding for the employee, adding less productive inputs and lower efficiency levels are bound to affect the business and jeopardise its sustainability and survival. According to Agboju, employee productivity is a major concern for employers and lower productivity cannot be blamed on the employee entirely, adding a lot of it has to do with the environment at the work place, and the work conditions along with a series of factors that define the
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu
ENCOURAGING WORKERS HELP THEM MOVE FORWARD, DO EVEN BETTER, AND MAKE THE WORKER FEEL HAPPY. INNOVATIVE WAYS OF MOTIVATING THEM SPURS THEM EVEN MORE.
FOR EXAMPLE, HOLIDAYS OR CONFERENCES PAID FOR BY THE COMPANY HAVE BEEN FOUND TO MOTIVATE EMPLOYEES IMMENSELY work culture. Agboju pointed out that employers have to implement wide spread changes in their setup to improve the productivity of their work force, explaining employee talent is a valuable asset for a company or organisation, and it needs to be tapped to its fullest by keeping the employees motivated to perform and deliver the results they are qualified for and capable of. “Employers may often believe that once they have recruited the best talent in the field, the results will inevitably follow. Not necessarily, if you look beneath the surface to see the environment this talent works in.’’ On his part, Director-General of the Institute of Professional Recruitment Consultants, Mr. Nick Odife, said it was vital to manage the work force but to avoid micromanagement, if workers productivity is to be enhanced. Citing the example of a large workforce like those of the Federal Government, he said It is well known that a large pool of employees does need to be managed, provided direction and given assistance, saying they must also be trusted, given freedom to operate in their style and adopt measures which they think are the best to deliver results, for productivity to be entrenched. According to him, productivity requires that workers
President, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Bobboi Kaigama
be encouraged, motivated, rewarded and recognised. The employer must ensure on his part, that he always has words of encouragement for his staff. “Encouraging the workers helps them move forward, do even better, and make the worker feel happy. Innovative ways of motivating them spurs them even more. For example, holidays or conferences paid for by the company have been found to motivate employees immensely”, he said. Speaking in the same vein, former President and Chairman of Council of the Nigerian Institute of Training and Development, Mr. Femi Kalojo, said dwindling productivity can begin to set in, if the employee feels that his work is not appreciated in words or in material terms. Kolajo said in such instances, that such workers may gradually stop putting in his best, since he may feel that others working less are given the same too, so he need not work more. According to the former NITAD president, reaching out to employees by seeking them out since every employee loves to feel he has the ears of the management which will recognise him and listen to what he says, displaying of inter personal skills in which the boss appears humane and one of them, rather than a larger than life distant figure are some ways by which workers’ productivity can be enhanced. He added it is also important for employers to demand realistic targets from workers, noting that employers need to set realistic goals that are within the limits of achievement. He said also that team work always helps in increasing workplace productivity since there is more input in the form of more ideas and minds at work. “Working alone is not always the best situation either, especially in the field. Successful team building and working together is bound to bring out the best out of the employees who may also compete with each other ensuring the business is the winner”, Kaloja explained. Insisting it was critical as far as enhancing productivity was concerned that workers be made to enjoy their work, Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM),Mr, Sunday Adeyemi, said the best performing employees are usually the happy ones.
Contract workers protest SPDC’s alleged sack plan MESHACK IDEHEN
undreds of contract workers with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), said they are protesting the company’s “secret mission” to disengage them from work. According to the contract workers which comprising those working for about 35 different SPDC contracting firms in its residential and industrial areas SPDC has a secret plan
to lay off the workers even when they have not been paid their three months backlog of salaries. They said other workers earlier sacked by management of the oil giant were yet to receive their entitlements and that they would not want their fate to be like those before them. Chairman and Secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) workers, Shell R.A Unit Operations, Mr. David Sudoo, and Mr. Ibinabo Granville, said in a statement to journalists that workers are tired of the manipulations of SPDC.
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Motivating employees for optimum performance
ll employees want to do interesting work, secure a good salary and earn recognition for their contributions. But motivating employees takes more than money and an occasional “thank-you.” It requires a strategy tailored to each worker’s needs. Here are ways to make your motivational techniques work for every employee. Ask what they want out of work-- Just knowing that an HR manager or boss is interested in a worker’s goals will make many employees feel better about their jobs. It can be difficult to get a quick and accurate answer to this question; however. It may help to ask a more specific question. Have workers describe a previous project that they felt good about, then see what aspects of that can be repeated. Consider each employee’s age and life stage-- There are exceptions to every generalisation, but workers nearing the end of their careers are often less focused on the next promotion than those who are just starting to climb the corporate ladder. Younger workers may also be less accustomed than older ones to waiting patiently in a job they don’t find interesting. Match motivators to the company or department culture-- There are exceptions, but engineers are likely to be motivated by working on cutting-edge projects. On the other hand, sales professionals tend to use money as a way to measure how well they’re
doing. Pinpoint each employee’s personality-- Some people love public praise; others are mortified by it and would much prefer a sincere, in-person “thank-you.” Make sure you take this into account if you are planning a ceremony to give awards or other recognition. Use flexibility wisely-- Allowing employees to telecommute some of the time or to set their own office hours can have big benefits. It makes employees’ lives more manageable — and it shows them that they are trusted. Still, as with other motivators, one size does not fit all. Some jobs simply can’t be done effectively outside the office. And some workers actually like going in to the office to escape the distractions of home or to preserve a line between home and work. As long as the commute is not bad, some people would rather go in to work. Put money in its place-- How well does money motivate workers? The answer isn’t simple. An employee who demands a raise might really be unhappy because his or her suggestions are being ignored. Money is a baseline. Too little of it can make workers feel unappreciated and resentful. You don’t want compensation working against you as a motivator. People just don’t want to feel like their employer is taking advantage of them. However, motivation to work hard rarely comes solely from money. If your employees are being paid fair sala-
ries and still seem unwilling to go the extra mile, throwing more money at them is unlikely to be the answer. Don’t rely on stock options-If money is an unreliable motivator, stock options are even less likely to motivate most workers. Employee worth goes up and down with a company’s stock price — something very few workers feel they can control. Offer help with career goals-- When you ask workers what kind of work they enjoy, also find out about what they are hoping to do in the future. Giving workers opportunities to build the skills and make the connections they need to get ahead in their careers will build loyalty and motivation. Help employees learn-- It is very important for workers to keep learning new skills on the job. With people changing jobs more often than they used to and companies no longer promising long-term employment, younger workers in particular realize that continuing to learn is the way to stay employable. Organised classes and seminars are one way to help with this, as are tuition-reimbursement programs. But in many cases, it’s a matter of listening to what skills a worker is interested in acquiring, then giving the person a chance to work on a project that will develop those skills. Source: www.hrworld.com
Worker protesting lack of motivation.
Association wants deducted staff pensions funds remitted MESHACK IDEHEN
he Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) said it is calling on the management of the National Assembly to immediately pay the 15 per cent deducted staff pension contributions into their accounts. President of PASAN, Mr. Fatai Jimoh, told journalists while addressing the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union, that the deducted contributions of members could not be
traced, since it was not reflected in their accounts. While appealing to the management of the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency effect the payment of 15 per cent deducted staff pension contribution into staff pension account, Jimoh said the payment should be done without further delay. He explained the same should apply to the remittance of the 1 percent check-off dues from staff salaries into the National Account of PASAN as directed by the nation’s laws.
The PASAN president also announced the return of the executive committee of the national assembly chapter of the union into the national body, which he said is in line with the resolution the NEC meeting held in Asaba in 2011. He urged the leadership of the National Assembly to accelerate their intervention in the crisis at the Rivers State House of Assembly to enable the payment of salaries for their members who he said are suffering due to the crisis in the assembly in the state.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
HR, admin pros, social protection specialist in hot demand
n job vacancies for the week, the Nigerian office of the World Bank is looking for a social protection specialist that is capable of operating effectively in a very demanding fast-paced environment. The incoming is expected to work with the Nigerian social protection team, and provide advice and support mainly for the development of a comprehensive social safety net for Nigeria. A post graduate degree in social sciences with concentration in welfare economics or labour economics and at least seven years of progressive professional experience in the relevant fields is required. A visit to www.worldbank.org/jobs is advised. From KPMG come opportunities for a head of human resources, head of administration, head of transportation and head of insurance. All the positions attracts relevant degree, qualifications and experience.www. kpmg.com/ng is the website to visit for further details on these and other vacancies announced by the company. Also for this week, the United Kingdom Agency for International Development (ukaid) said there are vacancies for social development adviser for some northern states who is expected to promote gender equality and women empowerment. Qualified and interested candidates are urged to send an email to DFIDNigeriarecruiting@dfid.gov.uk to obtain the full job description. From Deloitte comes various openings, including those for a financial controller, a human resource manager, operations coordinator, a branch and transport managers and an administrative officer. All the positions also attract qualifications that vary from first and second degrees, experiences and skills. Interested applicants are advised to forward their curriculum vitae to deloitte@ deloitte.com An indigenous exploration and production company in the oil and gas sector said it wants to recruit a commercial manager, a production supervisor, a production technologist and reservoir engineer. Also being taken in by the oil and gas firm are a procurement officer, a ma-
terial officer, an assistant production superintendent amongst others. Interested candidates are to send applications to ERGN2013@humanleadershipresources.com A senior technical advisor, a head of finance, global fund program, a program accountant and an internal auditor are some of the vacancies that currently exists at the national malaria control program of the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja. Interested applicants are to forward letter of intent highlighting attributes, with their CV to the national coordinator, national malaria control program, Abuja, or to nmcpnigeriarecruits@ gmail.com. From www.findjobafrica. com is the position of a trade marketing coordinator who is to be based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The job description which is a complimentary role to the efforts of the in-market distributor includes being responsible for a defined geographical region, and will work closely with the appointed JTI distributor in Sierra Leone. The incoming will also assist in the distribution in all aspects of territory management. Other responsibilities are to establish close links with the trade and play an active role in effective execution of agreed consumer and trade programs, as well as monitor the implementation of KPI’s and competitive activity. He/she will also collect relevant market data to help in making informed management decisions and will be responsible for effective implementation of field programs/marketing activities including merchandising and general promotions. The trade marketing coordinator will monitor progress as well as the quality of materials used and recommend corrective action where necessary, identify and recommend potential areas and/or outlets for the purpose of promotional activities. Qualifications are a university degree or its equivalent with functional skills for territory and field force planning and management, field intelligence/information, data gathering. Curriculum vitae should be sent to email@example.com.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Real Estate & Environment firstname.lastname@example.org 08033312578
A Luxury mansion in Port Harcourt, River State
Security issues stall rebound of Port Harcourt real estate market
...Luxury apartments record 20% occupancy rate
f this month’s report of the Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) is anything to go by, things are not looking up in the real estate market in Port Harcourt, River State. Reasons being that investors and buyers are sceptical about their investments due to the unresolved House of Assembly crisis, Governor Rotimi Amechi and the Nigeria Governors’Forum (NGF) imbroglio and crime in the state. All these issues have impacted negatively on luxury apartments in the Garden city with high record of vacancy ratio. According to FDC report, luxury apartments are the worst hit with only 20 per cent occupancy rate, while small apartments have 80 per cent occupancy rate The report said, “Real estate in PH will likely remain unchanged unless underlying security issues are resolved. Major challenges to real estate in Port Harcourt, PH, are theft and insecurity.” These, the report said have discouraged foreign investors. In its July report, analysts at FDC pointed out that security risks would remain a major challenge in several parts
Going by the Financial Derivative Company (FDC) report for the month of August, slow growth in the real estate market in Port Harcourt, Rivers State may likely remain unchanged unless underlying security issues are resolved. DAYO AYEYEMI, reports of the country, saying the nation would continue to witness slow recovery in the real estate sector until security issue is resolved. According to the report, demand for properties was influenced by property rental price, quality of the property and availability of facilities. In Port Harcourt, it stated that excess capacity compelled landlords to forgo the high price of properties. It stated, “High quality properties with good facilities and a moderate price sold out quickly.
In Port Harcourt, findings revealed that commercial properties had a higher vacancy factor than residential properties. “For example, the rental price of a duplex that would normally be let for N7m was cut to N3.5m,” it stated. Meanwhile, the August’s FDC report noted that real estate activities in Lagos were boosted by foreign investments. The report saw increased foreign interest in Lekki-Ajah area, adding that major attractions are the Lekki Free
REAL ESTATE IN PORT HARCOURT WILL LIKELY REMAIN UNCHANGED UNLESS UNDERLYING SECURITY ISSUES ARE RESOLVED.
CHALLENGES TO REAL ESTATE IN AND INSECURITY
PH ARE THEFT
Trade Zone, airport and seaport. It noted that some estate developments such as Royal Gardens and Lekki Scheme are already seeing increased patronage, adding that there is increased occupancy rate for block of 2 and 3 bedroom flats due to the demand by the foreign investors. It said, “Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki are the preferred residential locations for security reasons.” On the outlook for the year, the report said the nation should expect increased foreign investments in Lagos, saying CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
New Building Code ’ll address lapses in housing sector –Minister OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Amal Pepple, has said that the new revised National Building Code would help to address some of the identified lapses in the housing sector. One of the major of the major areas it would make tremendous impact, according to the minister is the incessant case of collapsed building. Pepple, who made the remarks in Abuja at the weekend during a stakeholders’ meeting on the revised National Building Code, explained that the new code would be imbued with specific punishment for whoever involved in any case of collapsed building. The Two-day validation workshop is aimed at providing a platform for stakeholders in the built environment to consider and make necessary inputs into the draft National Building Code. It would be recalled that the NBC was published in 2006 to put a stop to the unpalatable trends in the building construction industry, eliminate or reduce to the incidences of collapsed building syndrome in the country as well as promote safety qualitative housing for ev-
ery Nigeria. In order to meet with new trends and new innovations in the sector, the building code is expected to be review every three years. But unfortunately, several efforts to revise it to meet new challenges had met a brick-wall until the recent efforts of the new minister, Amal Pepple. The minister said the stakeholders’ meeting was organised to enable various stakeholders in the built environment make input into the revised document. Pepple, who stated that the revised document would soon be presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval, however urged state governments across the federation to adopt it when it becomes operational. Also speaking, the Chairman National Building Code Advisory Committee, Arc. Muhammed Faworaja, noted that the revised document was a product of wider consultation with all relevant professional and other stakeholders in the building industry. He added that the document had been worked on in such as way that it addressed all the lapses in the housing sector, particularly the issue of collapsed building which had become national embarrassment. He said, ‘‘the consequences of an ineffective and non-operational National
A Distressed Building
Building Code (NBC) in social and economic terms are so monumental for any sane society to ignore. Understandably, this prompted the minister to keep on driving us hard and never to rest until the review is completed. “The review has therefore addressed lapses noticed in the 1st edition with structural re-alignment and in-depth additional inputs to adequately take care of
peculiar national challenges as they relate to the built environment.” Faworaja, therefore, stressed the need for a collective effort to ensure the implementation of the document to arrest the national embracement often occasioned by the increasing cases of the built environment failures and the near dominance and take-over of the industry by quacks.
Security issues stall rebound of Port Harcourt real estate market IN SOME AREAS
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 there would be increased demand for office space and block of flats. It said Lekki-Ikoyi Toll Bridge would have a long-term impact in favour of commercial properties along the axis. “Lekki-Ikoyi Toll Bridge will have a long-term impact on the residentialcommercial distribution of properties in Ikoyi and Lekki. Rental values of properties in locations such as Yaba, Surulere, Maryland, Ilupeju and Anthony Village are also increasing due to influx of people who cannot afford exorbitant rental price demanded in highend neighbourhoods. It also noted in the first half of the year that there was higher demand for office spaces than for residential houses in the highbrow areas of Lagos. Prices of properties in highbrow areas of Lagos show that residential flats cost between N3m and N13m per annum; duplex goes for N3m and N20m; and shopping malls cost between N30,000 and N80,000 rent per square metre. In Abuja for example, it was noted that the need for residential properties came from high demand from civil servants who require accommodation, coupled with the limited supply of residential properties. Speaking recently with National Mirror, Vice President, (South West), Real Estate Developers’ Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Mr. Akinloye Adeoye, had maintained that the insecurity in the country has impacted negatively on the sector. Explaining further, Adeoye said security challenge is affecting the perception of both local and foreign investors
WHERE THERE ARE NO SERIOUS SECURITY CHALLENGES, THE
GENERAL FEELING IS THAT OF ‘WAIT
AND SEE’ AND THIS HAS AFFECTED POTENTIAL INFLOW OF INVESTMENT INTO THE SECTOR
Map of Port-Harcourt city
which, according to him, would not like to invest their money in troubled locations in the country. He explained that real estate activities in the northern states and Abuja have totally collapsed. The downturn in real estate activities in Nigeria, Adeoye said has further been heightened by high rate of unemployment in the country, adding that majority of the citizens are not empowered. To overcome the situation, he said the government must ensure that general peace returns to all the states of the federation. He enjoined the Federal Government to inject funds into the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), adding that the Pension Fund should also be invested in mortgage to address the housing needs of low and medium income
earners. By doing so, he expressed hope that there would be activities in the sector and the housing market would rebound. Lagos-based estate surveyor and valuer, Mr. Akin Olawore, also attributed the slow recovery of real estate sector to insecurity in the country and dearth of funds in the economy. Apart from insecurity, he said developers could not access funds, while people who need houses could not access mortgage owing to dearth of funds. Except the government injects money into the sector, he maintained that the situation would remain bleak. President of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. Chucks Omeife, pointed out that the security challenge in the country had weighed down on in-
vestment in real estate industry. He said, “When you look at the region where the issue of insecurity has escalated, the issue of development becomes the last thing anybody can think of. “Even in some areas where there are no serious security challenges, the general feeling is that of “wait and see”, and this has affected potential inflow of investment into the sector.” He maintained that the period between when the security challenges started and when it would come to an end would reflect a decline in the output of the sector. Declining output in the real estate sector, he noted is not good for the country considering the volume of predicted housing deficit. He blamed lack of regulation in the sector for slow growth, saying it has made it difficult to predict the prevailing situation in the sector.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
How to build on Moscow feat –Urhobo 30
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
The federation is pleased with the form of players ahead of the September qualifier with Malawi –NFF President, Aminu Maigari
Mba goes to Bastia S
uper Eagles’ midfielder, Sunday Mba, is expected to make a muchawaited move to Europe this week by joining French club, Bastia. A close source to the scorer of the only goal that gave Nigeria the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations against Burkina Faso in February told MTNFootball.com that Mba would move to the modest French club. “Last week, Sunday completed his travel documents to go and sign for Bastia in the French top flight. He is expected to sign a three-year contract with the Ligue 1 outfit this week, but I don’t have the other details of the contract,” the source said. Incidentally, Bastia, who groomed the likes of Michael Essien and Alex Song, had come very close to signing another Eagles star, Godfrey Oboabona, before he finally signed for Turkish club, Rizespor. The move by Mba will bring to three the number of home-based players who featured for the Super Eagles at the 2013 AFCON who have since moved on to greener pastures in Europe. Gabriel Reuben joined Kilmarnock after the Nations Cup alongside Papa Idris, while only last week Oboabona moved to Turkey. Goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim and Azubike Egwuekwe are the only other players yet to sign a deal in Europe.
…£55,000 pay stalls Moses’ Anfield move
he £55,000-aweek pay of Chelsea winger, Victor Moses, is stalling a loan move to Liverpool, according to media reports. Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, reportedly wants to offer Moses first-team football at Anfield in a season-long loan move. Moses has struggled to make an impression on returnee Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho, during the summer, with a whole host of wide midfielders including Andre Schurrle, Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Haz-
ard restricting his chances of earning a starting spot. The arrival of Brazilian playmaker, Willian, at Stamford Bridge has pushed Moses further down the pecking order, with the 22-year-old reportedly told he could leave the club on loan before the transfer window closes. Rodgers hopes to take advantage of that to secure the Nigeria international’s services in a loan deal, but his £55,000-a-week wage is currently proving a stumbling block, according to the Daily Mail.
Japan friendlies: Okon invites 40 Falcons to camp JOEL AJAYI ABUJA
uper Falcons’ caretaker coach, Edwin Okon, has called up 40 players to camp ahead of the two international friendly matches against the Senior Women’s Team of Japan, coming up in Japan next month. The former Falconets’ coach listed a mixture of the young and promising and
the hard-as-nails veterans, for the games coming up on September 22nd and 26th. Falcons, six-time African champions, under Coach Kadiri Ikhana ,failed to fly at the last African Women Championship (AWC) in Eqautorial Guinea, finishing in fourth place, and could not qualify for the 2011 All Africa Games and the 2012 Olympic Games. Okon has been temporarily charged with the task of forging a new dawn. In the list, the likes of Stella Mbachu, Ebere Orji, Esther Sunday, Blessing Edoho, Glory Iroka, Osinachi Ohale and Evelyn Nwabuoku return, and there are also promising birds like Asisat Oshoala, Ngozi Okobi, Prudent Ugoh and Yetunde Aluko. National Mirror was told yesterday that invited players are expected to arrive at the Serob Legacy Hotel, Wuse, Abuja today
Full list: Goalkeepers: Dikachi Uzor (Delta Queens), Ibebuleye Whyte (Rivers Angels), Charity John (Rivers Angels), Sangonuga (Nasarawa Amazons), Damilola Akano (Sunshine Queens) Defenders: Ngozi Ebere (Rivers Angels), Blessing Edoho (Pelican Stars), Funsho Osurinayo (Sunshine Queens), Josephine Chukwunonye (Rivers Angels), Gladys Abasi (Ibom Queens); Rebecca Kalu (Rivers Angels); Margaret Dike (Nasarawa Amazons), Gloria Ofoegbu (Rivers Angels), Fasilat Adeyemo (Confluence Queens), Osinachi Ohale (Delta Queens), Maria Nwoko (Delta Queens), Gladys Akpa (Bayelsa Queens), Sarah (Delta Queens) Midfielders: Maria Oke (FC Robo), Cecilia Nku (Bayelsa Queens), Asisat Oshoala (Rivers Angels), Ngozi Okobi (Delta Queens), Evelyn Nwabuoku (Rivers Angels), Onyinyechi Ohadugha (Rivers Angels), Prudent Ugoh (Nasarawa Amazons) Strikers: Ebere Orji (Bayelsa Queens), Esther Sunday (Pelican Stars), Remi Leku (Confluence Queens), Maryam Ezenagu (C. I. Angels), Yetunde Aluko (Sunshine Queens), Maureen Godwin (Delta Queens), Mercy Amanze (Rivers Angels), Temitope Adebowale (FCT Queens), Stella Mbachu (Rivers Angels), Odunayo Isioma (Sunshine Queens), Amenze Aighewi (Rivers Angels), Glory Iroka (Rivers Angels), Halimat Ayinde (Delta Queens), Uchechi Sunday (Rivers Angels), Faustina Ugwuadu (Delta Queens)
FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013
UAE, Honduras, Brazil, Slovakia
Uruguay, N/Zealand, d’Ivoire, Italy
Croatia, Morocco, Panama, Uzbekistan
Tunisia, Venezuela, Russia, Japan
Canada, Austria, Iran, Argentina
Mexico, Nigeria, Iraq, Sweden
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Ayew Reports said Newcastle United Manager, Alan Pardew, sent a scout to watch Ghana winger Andre Ayew in action for Olympique Marseille on Saturday ahead of a proposed move to the St. James Park. The Magpies are among a couple of English Premier League sides who have trailed the winger and are set to make an offer for him. The reports, however, said the French side will ask Newcastle to meet its €15 million price tag or forget about the winger.
Mourinho sticks to ‘gunmen’
helsea Manager, Jose Mourinho, insists he is not seeking to sell any of his strikers, saying the trio of Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku are a “delight to watch”. “They are professionals, they want to stay, they know that if somebody is coming it is hard, because normally somebody has to leave,” the Portugues gafer said. “When a player is happy here and a player wants to stay here, and especially when a player is a professional, they give everything, like they are doing. “But I never hide from the fact I want a squad of 22 so if somebody is coming it is a big motivation for them, and they are professionals especially and when you are professionals, you give everything like they are doing.”
Altidore gets coach’s plaudit
underland Manager, Paolo di Canio, is convinced Jozy Altidore will be a fans’ favourite as the USA international settles down at the club. Altidore joined Sunderland in a £6m deal from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar, where he scored 31 goals in all competitions last season. “Jozy is also a great signing for us,” Di Canio said yesterday. “He can get the crowd going, as he showed against Fulham last weekend when he destroyed Aaron Hughes with a burst of pace. “I know the fans love players who can excite. I am fortunate because I was a player, and I was a hero at West Ham. The fans saw that Jozy is the kind of player who can do things, and he can be a hero here.”
Osaze enters Swansea reckoning
wansea Manager, Michael Laudrup, has admitted West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie is on his list of transfer targets. Laudrup is keen to bolster his attacking options before the close of the transfer window and he is weighing up a move for unsettled Nigeria international. Odemwingie is out of favour at The Hawthorns and has been told he does not figure in Steve Clarke’s
plans after failing to push through a move to Queens Park Rangers in the January transfer window. Stoke, Cardiff City and Crystal Palace are all thought to be chasing Odemwingie and Laudrup has joined the fray. “We want to add one more who can give us that in a certain part of the game or in certain games,” Laudrup said yesterday, adding, “Peter is a player with pace who knows the league.”
NNL Wk 30 matches to hold simultaneously
he Management of the Nigeria National League (NNL) has said that the final round of league matches scheduled for this Saturday will be played simultaneously across the country. According to the NNL, this is to ensure equity and fairness to all the teams. The decision to hold the Week 30 matches at the same time, same day is to forestall the incidence of match-fixing and avoid an undue advantage to any club in the league no matter the position in the league. NNL Chairman, Chief Emeka Inyama, who dis-
closed this to the press in Abuja yesterday, also said Nigeria Premier League top referees will take charge of the matches, while independent assessors will be deployed to match venues to monitor performances of the officiating officials, conducts of the players, coaching crew and fans. According to him, “These measures are being put in place to avoid any kind of complain from clubs especially those seeking for promotion to the premiership and others fighting relegation to the lower tier of the Nigeria league.”
Chelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho, says he will not rule out using midfielder Juan Mata in a swap for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney. Mourinho insists he wants to keep Mata but refused to discuss his response if United offer to swap Rooney for Mata. “It’s hypothetical because they haven’t asked,” Mourinho said.
Real Madrid legend, Raul, says he will return to the club in the near future. The Al Sadd striker was honoured last week for the Bernabeu Trophy clash. Raul revealed Real president Florentino Perez has offered him a job: “Florentino told me that the club’s doors are open for me,” Raul revealed. “When I’m ready to bring something to the club, I will announce my plans,” he added.
Seattle Sounders recruit, Clint Dempsey, is determined to form a dangerous partnership with former Fulham teammate Eddie Johnson. “It takes pressure off you as a team because players have to worry about Johnson’s speed and the way he is in front of the goal,” Dempsey said. “The more quality players you have on the field, the easier it makes it for everybody else, so it’s good to have him back in the line-up.”
Ramsey Arsenal midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, hailed two-goal Lukas Podolski after victory at Fulham last weekend. The Germany international scored two goals in the 3-1 win. “He has a lethal left foot and he has proved just that again,” Ramsey said, stressing, “The power and accuracy he has with his shooting is second to none.”
La As se
…Senior’s ’s s Omar Assar will represent Egypt at the Classics
h fo er of
gypt’s Omar Assar and Congo Brazzaville’sHan Xing have been rated the tournament’s top seeded players, as the seniors begin the chase for honours at Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos. In the seeding released by the Main Organising Committee (MOC), Assar, who is rated 60 in the world, has been drawn in group one alongside Nigeria’s trio of Jide Ogidiolu, Mayowa Babatunde and Charles Isah. Italy’s Mihai Bobocica, who is seeded number two, is in group two while Nigeria’s Segun Toriola and Aruna Quadri are seeded number three and four respectively. In the women’s seeding, current African Senior’s champion, Congo Brazzaville’s
Team Lagos wins gold YEMI OLUS
agos State boxing team has emerged tops at the National Boxing Championship organised by the Nigerian Boxing Federation in Lagos. The Lagos Team, which dominated most of the bouts, won five gold, one silver and one bronze medal to emerge champion at the weeklong tournament. Her victory came from the men’s 60kg, 64kg, 69kg and women’s 75kg weight category respectively. Team Lagos showed class in the men lightweight category(60kg) when Oto Joseph defeated Nkama Sunday of the Nigerian Army while Olaide Fijabi,
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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
‘Kanemi not keen on title’
US Open 2013…
INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
agos Classics: ssar, Xing top eeds iingles nglles serve off today
Xing is rated number one while Nigeria’s Funke Oshonaike is number two. In the men’s singles, over 64 players have been drawn into 16 groups made up our players per group with the top playrs in each group proceeding to the round f 16. In the women’s event, the 32 players were drawn into eight groups with the top layers in each group advancing to the uarterfinal stage. “I am here to claim the title and I know I an achieve this,” Saheed Idowu, who repesents Congo Brazzaville in the competiion, said. “Only Toriola and Quadri can stand in my way,” he added. “I am here for the money and to garner oints to improve my world ranking. I hink the atmosphere is good for any playr to give his or her best.”
who fought in the light welterweight ategory(64kg), beat Olaiya Awolusi rom Cross River State to win the gold as Abua Christian stopped Adeniyi Korede rom Kogi State in the 69kg weight class. Francis Gabriel outclassed Akanji Monuru of the Nigerian Security and civil Defence Corps to claim the gold medal in he 91kg weight class which is the heavyweight category. Ondo State came second on the medl table with two gold, one silver and a ronze medal while the Nigeria Security nd Civil Defence Corps, won one gold, wo silver and one bronze medal to place hird. President of the Nigerian Boxing Fedration, Brigadier-General Kenneth Minmah, commended the participants while tressing the need to revive boxing in the ountry. “We have lined up other laudable prorammes as follow-up to this championhip,” he said.
hief Coach of the El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri, Zakari Baraje, yesterday said the team is not preoccupied with winning the Nigeria Professional Football League title this year. Baraje, whose team is among the top three on the log, said he focused on building a solid team that would contest favourably in Nigeria and Africa. Meanhwile, Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, had on Saturday after watching the team beat Warri Wolves 3-0 in the capital, tasked the side to win the league title. The governor also ordered the payment of N100, 000 winning bonus and the players’ outstanding sign-on fees. “Our plan is consolidate on the strength of the current team by working for the future,” Baraje told National Mirror. “We believe that if we continue this way we will be able to build a truly strong team for the future. If we win the league title by accident, then it will be a morale booster,” he added, stressing, “It is only in Nigeria that people always want to see result in anything they do without consideration for planning and we are determined to change that mentality.’’
Nadal, man to beat in Flushing Meadows Nadal
hat a year-and-a-half Rafael Nadal has had. If the splendid Spaniard can win the 2013 US Open, it will rank among the most heartwarming of sporting comebacks, and one we ought to have seen coming. Watching Nadal crunch one wicked forehand after another past a desperate Roger Federer in Cincinnati earlier this month was to witness two champions re-energised, the younger man prevailing to record his 21st win over the older in 31 meetings. It was not just a quarter-final of a Masters 1000 tournament, it was a reminder of how brilliant both of them had been for such a long stretch and for our grateful enjoyment. Federer was magnificent one more time. Nadal was more magnificent. And here they are again, back in New York, where they have never met and where the Swiss has won five of his 17 slam finals (the last of them five years ago, against Andy Murray), the man from Majorca just one of his 12. If Federer is on a bit of a bounce, this is Nadal’s third renaissance. The first followed his serial mauling by Novak Djokovic in 2011, when it seemed the entire top 10 playing at once could not stop the Serb, who tortured Nadal on his favoured clay and everywhere else, beating him for fun. It had to end, and Nadal did just that where we thought he might, at Roland Garros last year, stopping Djokovic’s bid for four slams in a row. Surprisingly, he faltered against Djokovic in Monte Carlo, ending a decade’s reign, before resuming
dominance around his red-dirt manor of Barcelona, Madrid and Rome. Paris fell to him again, his eighth title. When he lost at Wimbledon for the second year in a row, however, eyebrows raised as sharply as his own, and we wondered if this was the finish line for him and his tender knees. How much pain could he take on legs that were the foundation of his tennis, that scurried like boxers’ across the baseline, putting him in place to turn those iron wrists through his left-handed forehand and leave even the very best exasperated? Since returning to the American hardcourts in August, he has played without tape around his knee, the scrapping of a literal and metaphorical bind. The lack of wrapping sends a message to everyone in the field: Rafa is fully fit. There is no guarantee he will not bend to the strain of the game, mind, but for now this is pretty much vintage Nadal on offer at Flushing Meadows over the next fortnight. This Nadal cannot only win a second US Open, he can do it in the manner of the past, with snorting aggression and frightening commitment. This year, Nadal, supreme on clay, has guided his dodgy knees to 15 wins in 15 matches on the hardcourts, reckoned to be the surface to cut him down. But his history is gilded. As well as his career dominance over Federer, he leads Murray 13-5 and Djokovic 21-15. • Culled from ESPN.com
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
On the track with
YEMI OLUS email@example.com
How to build on Moscow feat –Urhobo Former Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) President and ex-national athletics coach, Toni Urhobo, speaks on the recent World Championships in Moscow, Russia where Blessing Okagbare won a silver and bronze medal and sundry issues
Okagbare (m), Brittney Reese and Ivana Stanovic on the podium in Moscow Inset: Urhobo
Were you relieved that Nigeria won two medals after a 14-year jinx at the World Championships? I wasn’t relieved; rather I felt bad. I felt disappointed that we struggled to be on the medals table when countries like Kenya were on top. We are far richer than Kenya, Ethiopia or even Cote d’Ivoire in terms of talent. I can understand Cote d’Ivoire jubilating for getting into the international scene for the first time. I don’t think I can jubilate but it is heart-warming because it means that with good planning and preparation, we can have a lot of Okagbares. We need to seek ways to discover and motivate these athletes. How would you describe the seeming dependence on Blessing Okagbare for medals at major championships? I want to put it as a systemic problem. When I say systemic problem, it comes from the fact that we have narrowed down performance at this level to just a few individuals who have on their own, done so much to get themselves to this level. Nigeria has a population of about 160 million people and I would think that the percentage of potential is so high that we cannot depend on just one or two athletes to lift this country. When you do a thing like that, it puts so much pressure on that athlete and if you are not careful, you get the kind of things we got from the last Olympics. It can be positive or very negative so I think that we have to go back to the basics where we have to find a way of putting other aspects
of development into training such that we will develop athletes from all over the country. When I was a coach, I discovered that the areas we got our athletes from were diversified. We got athletes from the east, west, mid-west and the north and that brought about a favourable competition. But the reverse is the case today. I must commend Delta State for being at the forefront in the encouragement of sports men and women. It’s a reason why a lot of athletes want to run for the state because motivation is a key element of success in sports. By and large, we have to develop our own system such that it will attract even foreign athletes to come down here. Also, it takes the leadership at the top to know the importance of sports such that they put down facilities and other measures to attract the athletes and empower them. There are many Okagbares in this country but if they’re not properly guided, we are not going to get the best out of them. The World Championships is one of the toughest events and for Blessing to have competed in four events shows she is a potential super-athlete. But she needs to be guided in such a way that we can get the best out of her. What is the reason for the decline in the performance of our male athletes in the 200m, 400m and 4x100m relay? If you find out carefully, for nearly a decade we’ve been having problems with our football but for once we got it right by
bringing someone who has been involved in the system over the years and who understands what it takes. For instance, it has taken sacrifice and some bold steps for Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi to get home based players into his team. I was in a similar situation many years ago and I made sure I trained Nigerian athletes such that they could compete against and even beat our athletes based abroad. A lot depends on who you put in certain positions especially the technical aspect. If you don’t have the ability to train athletes up to the international level, why should you be made a chief coach? Those are technical areas that need to be looked into when we are talking about sports in particular. If you don’t put the right persons together who understand and know how to get out of this country by getting the right coaches or helping to develop the coaching system, you will begin to have all this dependence on foreigners to come and handle our team. How can the country guard against discovering injured athletes at competition venue? In answering this question, I will give you one little assignment. Go and find out if Nigeria has a Head Coach in the team as of today. This is the aspect where the head coach should have been held responsible. How will you take athletes that are not in top physical shape for an event of this magnitude? That tells you something is wrong somewhere. Some of these athletes tell the AFN that they are in good shape and prom-
ise to join the team at the venue of competition because there is some financial remuneration or allowances. These are technical areas where you need a technical and competent head coach who will be held responsible. Now if you ask the coaches who were in Moscow, they will tell you they are not responsible for the injured athletes. That should not happen to any organised body. You don’t stand a chance when you take an unfit athlete to a Grade ‘A’ championship of this level. What are your thoughts on the contention that Okagbare was entered for more events than she could handle in Moscow? I will not comment on Blessing for the pure reason that I do not know what kind of preparations she had prior to the championships. If she has a coach who is responsible for her performances, that coach should be held responsible. It is the coach who will decide how many events she will be entered for. If the coach feels that she is capable of handling four events, then there must be a reason why he has put her into that situation. But we are seeing all this because it has become obvious the impossibility of handling those events in one competition. I don’t want to comment on her performance as it will be unfair. If she says, ‘I was well prepared and ready for this competition’, then that is when you will ask for my technical appraisal However, if it happened at the Olympics last year and we saw it and repeated it again, then something must be wrong.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Nigeria: Construction sector shows steady growth in investment portfolio STORIES: DAYO AYEYEMI
here are prospects for players in the built environment industry as some construction companies and mortgage operators have continued to show signs to grow their investment portfolios despite rough economic climate. In the reports from various construction and mortgage companies released recently, some of them posted positive returns on investments. Notable are the construction and building sector operators such as Julius Berger Nigeria, Ashaka Cement and Abbey Building Society. Julius Berger Nigeria Plc in its released 2013 first half results saw revenue increase to N96.57billion from N83.96billion in 2012. The growth, in revenue according to reports, reflects an increase in the firms’ projects across the country, including contracts to build LagosShagamu expressway, Second Niger Bridge and Nestoil Towers. In the mortgage sector, Abbey Building Society Plc, grew its total assets by 1.87 per cent from N14.07billion in 2011 to N14.35bn in 2012; deposit liabilities increased by 11.39 from N3.72bn in 2011 to N4.15bn in 2012. Chairman, Board of Directors, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu
Ochonogor, said, “Shareholders’ fund went up by 3.13 per cent from N7bn in 2011 to N7.22bn in 2012. The relative increase in 2011 over 2010 was 0.75 per cent; that is, N7bn and N6.95bn, respectively. “Thus, our financial performance scorecard showed that our gross earnings increased by 18.28 per cent from the N1.79bn recorded in 2011, to N2.12bn in 2012; net interest income grew by 22.90 per cent from N1.06bn in 2011to N1.30bn in 2012.” Another construction firm, Lafarge Cement Wapco, in its financial accounts for three months ended 31 March 2013 show Profit After Tax (PAT) grew 49 per cent year on year to N6.1 billion with modest sales of N23.3 billion; Its profit before tax (PBT) grew 21 per cent y/y due to a number of factors such as a gross margin expansion of 181bps to 42.8 per cent, flattish opex and a 35 per cent decline in net interest income. Managing Director of the firm, Mr. Joe Hudson, disclosed that a lower tax rate of 15.7 per cent compared with 31.8 per cent in first quarter 2012 resulted in profit after tax growing faster than profit before tax, the sales grew 29 per cent quarter on quarter while profit before tax and profit after tax advanced by 46 per cent and 56 per cent respectively. Also speaking briefly after
the inauguration of the Board of Directors of Sparklight Group, its chairman, Chief Toyin Adeyinka, said the company, in view of its present status, is looking at a new challenge in the area of mass housing, commercial real estate, concessionary projects in partnership with Federal, State and Local Governments. Also, Berger Paints Nigeria Plc and professional parties to the company recently completed the pre-offer arrangement for a rights issue of N543.42 million, as part of plans to mod-
ernise its manufacturing operations. The company is offering about 72.46 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to existing shareholders at N7.50. The rights issue was pre-allotted on the basis of one new ordinary share for every three ordinary shares held as at May 31, 2013. The Chairman of the company, Mr. Clement Olowokande, said the net proceeds of the rights issue estimated at N521.71 million would be used to finance the modernisation of the com-
pany’s factory operations. Similarly, Resort Savings and Loans Plc in its latest financials recorded an increase in the Net profit position of a loss of N1.1b in 2011 to a profit of N3.5b in 2012. Resorts Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Mr. Abimbola Olayinka said shareholder’s fund also grew from N2.9b in 2011 to N6.2b in 2012 even as the bank currently has over N1 billion disbursement from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN.
Gridlock on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway
Ogun acquires, installs CORS network for land administration efficiency
s part of measures to ensure efficient land administration, the Ogun State Government through the Bureau of Lands and Survey has acquired Continuously Operation Reference System (CORS) network. The equipment will allow surveyors, government agencies and the general public have access to data through Radio Satellites, Direct Global Positioning System (DGPS) and the internet. Speaking in Abeokuta, the Director – General of the Bureau Mr. Adewale Oshinowo disclosed that the state has successfully acquired very high resolution Satellite Imagery which had been installed on most development areas of the state. Oshinowo disclosed that equipment, like 3D Stereo and 50 cm imagery had been installed along Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, Lagos -Ogun border areas, Abeokuta, Ifo, Ijebu Ode and Ilaro.
Other areas include Ilaro – Ofada road, Ode-Omi and Sagamu. He said it would allow surveyors, government agencies and the general public have access to data through Radio Satellites, Direct Global Positioning System (DGPS) and the internet. In a statement, the directorgeneral said it would produce high accuracy maps and Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation projects, adding that the development of the CORS network was proceeding, noting that the project is expected to be commissioned by the end of November this year. He said the CORS project stations were already built in Abeokuta, Agbara and Ijebu Ode, saying that the four other stations would be deployed during the phase two so as to ensure 100 percent coverage of the entire state. He said, “The Ogun CORS system will be the first and
only real-time network of Continuously Operating Reference Stations in Nigeria and will supply centimeter – level RTK Global Navigation Satellite System,(GNSS) for a variety of positioning applications which included geodetic and cadastral surveying; roads, bridges and infrastructural projects, monitoring for natural disaster, prevention and mitigation; tectonic plate movement, deformation of engineering structures analysis. “Others are oceanographic and meteorological studies; as well as high accuracy positioning applications like precise navigation and vehicle tracking; emergency services and automated GPS guidance application for civil aviation authorities.’’ He opined that with the aforementioned, land management administration and titling in Ogun State will become easy and with less stress within the
shortest possible time. Meanwhile, the newly appointed director general/ special adviser to the Ogun State Governor on Land Matters, said government would no longer fold its arms and watch land speculators take over its land as plans were underway to reclaim all properties illegally acquired. In a statement by the Information Officer of the Bureau,Toluwalope Kowo, Oshinowo, who stated this while inspecting government land within the Ilo- Awela-Onipanu axis of Ado- Odo/ Ota Local government area of the state, expressed surprise at the level of encroachment on government land and property said no effort would be spared at recovering them. He therefore warned land speculators who were in the habit of selling government land to unsuspecting members of the public to stop their il-
legal acts warning that they would soon be brought to justice. The director general also seized the opportunity to announce government’s plan to do a comprehensive survey of Ilo-Awela- Onipanu axis of Ado Odo Ota Local government as part of its urban renewal programme.
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Beautify your living room with right paint job While there are various paint colours, experts at www. decozilla.com, say you can’t just put on the colour that you want especially the dark ones. To help you choose the best colour for your living room, they prescribed some living room paint colour ideas. The paint is one of the basic considerations when setting up your living room because it usually sets the overall ambiance in the room. Paint preserves and decorates surfaces and makes them nice looking whereas colour is a refreshing element that induces the mood. • Light blue: Light blue is rarely used as a paint colour in walls, but it usually sets a warm ambiance in the house. To complete the look, you can also paint the ceiling blue and get a blue living room carpet. • Cream: Cream is a safe colour in every room especially in the living room because of the relaxing and neutral colour. Cream should be the colour of your choice if you are thinking of putting colours in your decorations or you can have an allcream look in your living room such as this one. • Dark gray: Dark gray is a colour of choice for modern living rooms. In this example, the gray colour compliments the wooden floor. To make the living room less boring, you can have a white ceiling to make the room brighter. Multi-coloured: For small houses, multi-coloured living room wall colours is a fun way to brighten up and add life to the place. Choose the colour that you enjoy the most such as pink, green, yellow and orange. Also, get a matching furniture and living room set to compliment the colours better. Another idea for gray wall colour is this multi-toned gray wall paint. Getting a monotone in your wall can be boring especially if you have a large living room. So to break the boredom and add further
style to your walls, you can paint the walls with various shades of gray. • Light green: Light green in this shade is another excellent idea for colours for living room. It is very pleasant to the eyes and also yields a cool feeling in the house. This colour matches homes in the tropical areas because the warm temperature is complimented by a cool colour of green. Match this colour with white living room set and decorations for a clean feel. • Red: Red is a bold colour when it comes to wall paints and rarely used. However, red is very stylish when it comes to modern living rooms. To avoid a very loud colour, you can paint certain portions red and other walls white to have a nice contrast on the paint colours. Yellow: Yellow is another fun colour in living rooms especially if you have a modern country home such as this one. Yellow adds fun and warmth to the room, but is not bright enough to cause excessive visual stimulation. Beige: Beige belongs to the tones of cream and gray and it is very suitable if you want a formal living room set-up. Get a lighter tone for the ceiling and paint the wall lining with white to add further style. White: Definitely, white is the most popular wall colour when it comes to living rooms. White is very clean and creates a feeling of quietness and peace for you to relax. However, white can attract dirt more so make sure to have a constant maintenance of your walls and ceilings. The colour of your walls and ceiling in the living room usually dictates the overall ambiance so pick the colour that suits your style to create a living room that is especially catered to your needs.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Abia govt, firm plan $1bn industrial city OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
... Target 200,000 jobs
he Abia State Government in conjunction with Acroideation International Limited is set to commence the development of $1billion Abia International Industrial City, to be known as ABIIC. The project, which is being developed under the Public Private Partnership arrangement, is expected to harness the potentials of the artisans in the popular Ariaria market in Aba According to Acroideation International Limited, ABIIC which will occupy a landmass of 300hectares in Osisioma local government area of Abia State, is expected to contain 68,692 units of industrial workshops and warehouse. ABIIC is also planned to provide other state of the art facilities such as shopping malls, warehouse, multi-purpose halls, worship centres banking halls, hotels and guest houses, administrative building and over 10,000 capacity commercial car park/bus stations to be managed by professionals. Apart from that the industrial city is also expected to house a minimum 10,000 units of residential estate. The Head of Project Management Team of ABIIC, Mr. Seyi Olufade who briefed Journalists in Abuja on the progress made on the industrial city, explained that the company had moved to site to commence preliminary work such as clearing. He also noted that while necessary approval was being pursued from the Abia State government, environmental impact assessment on the site was ongoing.
Nominations for Real Estate Unite 2013 Awards open DAYO AYEYEMI
ven as nomination for the second edition of the Real Estate Unite Awards opens from August 23, 2013, top player firms in the sector have joined 3Invest Limited to make the event unique. Besides, 3Invest Limited, organiser of the awards, has partnered with Sagaci Research, Europe, as the official research partner for the awards in its quest to make the occasion more competitive, objective and standardised. Real Estate Unite Awards is an annual industry award designed to elevate standards, expose the potentials in the Nigerian real estate industry, as well as encourage industry-wise best practices to further attract investment into Nigeria’s market. Speaking on this year’s nomination, Managing Director of 3Invest Limited, Ms. Ruth Obih, said she was convinced that the first edition of the awards did not go down as a jamboree, adding that to foreground the credibility of the awards, some of the leading real estate
Some of the abandoned vessels on Lagos shoreline
Speaking on the significant of the project to Abia state and Nigeria as a whole, he said, “We want to harness the potentials of the artisans in Aba and improve on the quality of products they produce. The project would commence effectively by the end of September. We have the site already and we are currently engaging in clearing, conducting environment assessment impact and getting the necessary approval from the State Government. “After the conclusion of this, we will hit the ground running with the first phase of the project which will involve companies who won last year have prided themselves as one of the winners of the most prestigious Real Estate Awards in Nigeria. “That tells you that it does not matter that the awards debuted in 2012, the credibility and prestige is infectious,” she said. She further said, “Being the first of its kind in Nigeria, that is, a real estate awards that cover all aspect of the industry, it was not a perfect outing. Thus, this year, we have designed a template that will accommodate the ideas and pieces of advice from concerned experts on the 2012 edition. I can confidently say that this year, the template is robust and we have widened the views”. According to her, the award categories have been increased from 10 to i5 in order to cover more grounds. “Also, as I have said, the clout of the
OUR ERROR In our publication of Wednesday August 21, 2013, we inadvertently referred to Professor Ikechukwu Okani Mee as former Head of Department at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology. We have since been made to understand that this is not the case and the error is, therefore, regretted.
construction of the 50 per cent of the 34,346 and would be commissioned in December 2014. We will be deploying high level technology which will be provided by our international partner from the China.”
He stated that the industrial city would also be laced with other infrastructural facilities like good road, uninterrupted power supply, water and other facilities that would enhance the qualities of materials produced in the city.
NEMA unfolds new disaster recovery document, trains SEMAs OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
s part of the efforts to evolve a comprehensive strategy to disaster management, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has developed a National Disaster Recovery Strategy and Framework. This is even as the agency commenced special training on Camp Coordination and Camp Management for the stakeholders to strengthen preparations ahead of the predicted 2013 flood and other disaster related cases. The document is developed by NEMA in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank. NEMA Director General, Muhammad Sani Sidi who presented the document at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja, noted that the new policy framework would help to expedite the process of recovery from disaster situations. Besides, he explained that it would fur-
One of the housing schemes in Lagos State
ther complement other existing policy frameworks for operational efficiency and effectiveness of disaster management in Nigeria. The DG, who was represented by the Director of Training, Engineer Daniel Balarabe Gambo urged the stakeholders to make their inputs to the document designed to specifically address the scourge of flood and its related impact. He said “The strategic priorities of the Agency is to reposition the country by providing a solid foundation and frameworks for building a national and community resilience to reduce all related disaster risks towards actualizing the gains of any developmental strides aimed at total transformation for rapid socio-economic development of our great country.” On the training of the stakeholders on Camp Coordination and Camp Management, he said it was targeted at the State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) which would hold in Lagos for the Southern states and Akwanga, Nassarawa State for the North.
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Property prices in Brazil climbing steadily since start of 2013 - Index
eal estate prices in Brazil increased by 1.1 per cent June, by 11.6% on an annual basis and are up 6.1% so far in 2013, according to the latest index from the Institute of Economic Research Foundation, the FIPRZAP. The FIPEZAP index is the main indicator of the Brazilian real estate market and it looks at the property market across 16 regions of the country. According to Property Wire report, in June the average price per square metre was R$ 6.824 (US$ 3.045,07) with Rio de Janeiro commanding the highest prices. In the state of Rio de Janeiro, real estate prices increased by 1.4% in June, higher than the expected official inflation rate, and in Sao Paulo there was an increase of 1.1% in prices. According to Luke Smith, managing director of Crystal Investment and Real Estate Brazil is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is South America’s property hotspot. Investors are attracted by low living costs and the lifestyle. ‘Brazil real estate is very attractive for a number of reasons. The primary one is the low cost of financing, or at least low by Brazilian standards. Mortgage rates are at least 1.3% a month, and loan payments are generally for just 15 years,’ he said. ‘Brazilians used to buy their homes
in cash, but not today. Instead, they are financing purchases with deposits and mortgages. Since 2009, when Brazilians starting buying homes on debt, mortgage lending has risen five fold, by 550% between then and 2012,’ he explained. ‘However, Brazilian real estate is not in a bubble. Its banks do not trade in risky mortgage backed securities. What’s more, deposits are actually required, unlike in
Students studying in UK face north/ south divide over property rents
ith exam results now in students starting higher education courses that begin next month are desperately looking for accommodation and are likely to pay more in rent than they did last year. The latest research from online business Accommodation for Students reveals average weekly student rents have increased from £77.04 last year to £79.42 for this year’s start of term. But there are regional differences and some students will be quids in. For example, rents in many Northern cities with major institutions stay the same or fall, whilst they continue to rise in the South. Also, student accommodation in the North is not only cheaper but is more likely to include bills, the availability of which has more than doubled since 2008. The research shows that average rental value in private halls of residence has risen 1.5% and on average they are 63% higher in rental value than student houses, £129.45 compared with £79.42. Overall the average rise is being driven predominately by soaring rents in the South. Accommodation for Students (AFS) bases its UK wide table of rents on over 125,500 properties in 92 locations. In line with the previous three year average, there is a notable North/South divide in both rental price and ‘bills inclusive’ options, that is any property that includes at least one bill. A recent survey by AFS revealed 70% of students prefer an inclusive bills option to help them keep track of their finances, the availability of which has more than doubled since 2008.
Whilst such stock is specific to individual rental markets and does not follow a specific pattern, research shows that there is an average addition of £8.08 in the South but £5.51 in the North for this option. Despite a modest 2% fall, London continues to lead the way with an average rental value of £129 per week, followed in second place by Egham at £115. The third most expensive location, Newport, has seen this year’s biggest hike with rents doubling from £56 to a massive £113. Winchester and Middlesex also weigh in with average rents over £100 per week. In some of the country’s most sought after northern university locations, including Manchester at £74, Leeds also at £74, Sheffield at £69 and Nottingham at £76, rents have stayed the same or even fallen and all sit more than 6% below the national weekly average. However, there are some exceptions such as Middlesborough, which has risen by 18%, and Salford, up 15%. This year’s best value locations for student rental accommodation are Walsall, Stockton and Wolverhampton with average weekly rents of £48, £49 and £52 respectively. In contrast, those that have seen some of the greatest increases are all based in the South with Luton up 20% from £71 in 2012 to £91 in 2013. Chatham, home to the University of Kent, has seen its average student weekly rent increase 19%, from £73 to £87, Bournemouth is up 16% to £90, and Bath and Southampton have also seen 10% rises. These locations all sit between 5% and 15% above the national average.
the US where subprime clients were able to get into a house with little or no deposit, leading to a foreclosure crisis,’ he added. He pointed out that Brazil can offer some excellent real estate opportunities for investors, providing returns of up to 30% ROI per annum based on capital appreciation. ‘We have some land plots available in Monte Alegre Beach Resort, Gos-
tosom, an area which boasts some of the best beaches in Brazil. In fact the tourism board in Brazil uses some of these breath taking beaches to advertise the country as a tourist destination in London’s black cabs, Lisbon airport and other locations around the world,’ said Smith. ‘Worldwide, Gostoso is known as one of the best destination for water sports such as kite surfing and windsurfing. In fact, so much so that the triple world champion Kauli Seadi and his family moved to Gostoso and opened a windsurfing school and pousada. Although Gostoso is still a relatively young town in comparison to other holiday destinations, it is easy to understand why it is becoming increasingly popular with both Brazilians and foreigners alike,’ he explained. ‘Monte Alegre Beach Resort is an investment that truly makes business sense. The resort has been divided up into three sets of plots and prices start from £17,295,’ he added. The firm’s advice for investing in real estate in Brazil includes concentrating on the higher appreciation areas of the north east of Brazil, making sure all due diligence is completed when buying land or off plan, checking price comparisons of other developments in the same area, making sure that any contacts are fluent in English and checking that a developer has a proven track record.
Funding for lending boosts mortgage choice in UK to record levels
he choice of mortgages for home buyers in the UK reached record levels last month with more products on offer than at any time since the housing market crash. The number of mortgage products available last month exceeded 10,000 for the first time in almost five years, according to the National Mortgage Index from the Mortgage Advice Bureau, and independent mortgage broker. July’s average of 10,262 meant that consumers’ product choice has improved 33% in the last year, 97% in the last three years and 198% since July 2009. Using data from more than 500 brokers and 800 estate agents, the National Mortgage Index also shows that the average purchase mortgage rose for a fifth successive month. The typical home buyer borrowed £159,391 in July, up by 6% since the start of the year. In comparison the typical homebuyer salary has grown at just half
this rate since January, with a 3% increase bringing July’s average to £40,792. This has meant the average loan to income ratio has crept up slightly, but is little changed from July 2012. It suggests that brokers and lenders are keeping the emphasis on affordability and responsible borrowing despite growing consumer appetite for buying residential property. The MAB said that having completed its first year of operation, the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) has now brought average fixed rates down by at least 1% across two, three and five year products. The biggest drop has been in the average two year fixed rate, with five year rates falling marginally further than three year rates. As a result July 2013 saw 92% of home buyers applying for fixed rate deals over variable rate deals compared with 79% in July 2012, while 91% of home owners made the same choice when applying to remortgage their property compared with 77% in July 2012.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
AIB not only investigates crashes, but also prevents accidents –Usman wreckage reconstruction hangar would be completed before the end of the year.
The Commissioner, Accident and Investigation Bureau, Capt. Muhtar Usman, is a thorough bred professional having, risen from the ranks before being appointed as the commissioner of the bureau in December, 2011 by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah. In this interview with OLUSEGUN KOIKI, he speaks on several issues in the aviation industry, the extra duties imposed on the agency, among others. Excerpts: In the next four months, you will clock two years as the Chief Executive Officer of Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, so far, what have been your major achievements and challenges in office? As usual, when you come into a new office, you have to first assess the environment even though, I was an insider. So, I know some of the areas we needed to work on; the human capacity and equipment in particular. In the area of human resources, we intensified our trainings; we tried to improve a lot in terms of income because the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, recommends that a body like ours should be a body of professionals and the quality of the people that are to be employed as investigators should be of international standards. So, it is recommended that we should attract and retain qualified and experienced personnel in sufficient numbers and everybody knows that to attract and maintain aviation professionals, it is not cheap. So, we tried as much as possible to attract and retain by improving the welfare of the staff and also give them the relevant training because training is a tool for them to be able to perform. On equipment, when I came in, we did not have in place even though the process had started of acquiring what we call the black box decoder. This is a flight safety laboratory, which is used to download and analyse recording from accident aircraft. In terms of equipment, yes, we have the flight safety laboratory in place now, which has the capability of downloading, analysing flight recorders from aircraft whether involving an accident or not. If it involves an accident, we use it to determine the cause of the accident and we can make recommendations to avoid future occurrences and we can use it proactively because the focus of AIB now is accident prevention. Officially, we have been given that responsibility to ensure accident prevention. So, we can use that equipment to collect data, analyse it to be able to predict trend and make safety recommendations to avoid an accident from happening before it happens. In addition, the laboratory has the capability to animate those data that we collect, present it in a form of graphics to know what the aircraft was actually doing. Furthermore, an approval has been given and the construction has already started for wreckage reconstruction hangar that is used to store, analyse wreckage from accident that happens. Our main focus now is to prevent an accident from happening and if it does happen, we should be able to know the cause and make safety recommendations to prevent other accident from happening. Parts of the challenges when we came in was the absence of condition of service for our staff and we were able to get a temporary condition of service from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, that was approved for us, which we have started implementing. We’ve been given the condition of service for two years pending the approval of the AIB’s own. At least, that should boost the staff morale that we now have a condition of service, which we didn’t have before and then, we are
THE PRACTICE WORLDWIDE IS THAT THE LABORATORIES ARE LOCATED IN THE HEADQUARTERS
AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT SINCE
2008 WHEN THE DIRECTIVE WAS GIVEN, THE LOCATION OF THE LABORATORY HAS STARTED. IF PEOPLE ARE SAYING NOW THAT WE ARE NOW RELOCATING TO
ABUJA, IT IS A PROCESS THAT STARTED WAY BACK IN 2008 working on the completion of our own for approval. A workforce that is not satisfied would not be productive enough to discharge his best. As at present, our own condition of service has gone very far within the last one year that we commenced it and the unions are also carried along with the process. When we came in, we had to quickly retain the ones that we have and across the board, Government was gracious enough to give us an increase in salary, which is to enhance and maintain the staff that we have. How far have you gone with this in specific terms? It’s a process, we will do our own here and send it to the Salaries and Wages Commission through the Ministry of Aviation, get it approved and it would come back to us. We have the control of what we do here and from our own side, work is almost completed and at present, we are at either 90 or 95 per cent completion, but as I said the final approval is not coming from within, but from the salaries and wages commission, but I’m sure the same way Government got the NCAA condition of service for us to work with, the same way they will assist us to get our own condition of service, which we will now be working with. Can you expatiate more on the wreck reconstruction hangar you mentioned earlier? First of all, I will like to say we are not talking about the cost in the real sense of cost because as I said, it is a public service and when I said approval, I only started with that. The actual construction has started and it has gone very far. It is very physical and is located at the airport. The
Before now, the total number of workforce in AIB used to be around 45 or so, but in the last quarter of 2012 and early 2013, the agency engaged more staffers, which almost doubles its workforce, as it is now, don’t you think AIB is over-staffed? When AIB started, we had two offices in Abuja as headquarters (as at that time) and Lagos. AIB was created precisely on the 14th November, 2006 and we had less than 10 investigators then and we were allocated three per cent of the Ticket Sales Charge, TSC. When we were in the ministry of aviation, the planning and research institution in the ministry, the finance and others, we had a lot of support from those departments and we didn’t need to do much, but when we were created as a parastatal, we needed to get more people in those areas ordinarily that the ministry was giving us support. So, our numbers went up; some were drafted from NCAA on secondment at the initial stage and later, their services were regularised, some other personnel were also employed and Abuja office was closed and it remained only Lagos. In 2008, we had a directive from the then Minister of Air Transport, Mr. Felix Hyat to move our headquarters to Abuja, so, we had two offices in Lagos and Abuja again. On why we engaged more personnel recently, there was a report from a human resources consultant that looked at various aviation agencies and made recommendations regarding human resources. Even before the coming of the consultant, we had identified that majority of the workforce we had were time-ex; staff that are almost retiring because of ages. Most of our staff were 45, 65 and even 70 years. we discovered that we needed to do succession planning and that tallied with the consultants findings and so, what people are calling expansion in the real sense of it is succession planning because most of the people we engaged were science, engineering related graduates that we take them through aviation and accident investigation trainings for them to be able to take over from us. Why did your management relocate the agency’s laboratory from Lagos to Abuja? I don’t like the word ‘relocate,’ I prefer to use the word ‘locate.’ The laboratory was never relocated, but located in Abuja by the management. The practice worldwide is that the laboratories are located in the headquarters and I can tell you that since 2008 when the directive was given, the location of the laboratory has started. If people are saying now that we are now relocating to Abuja, it is a process that started way back in 2008. The laboratory was never located in Lagos, it was meant to be located at the AIB headquarters and it is located at the headquarters in Abuja. It wasn’t dismantled from here and moved to Abuja. Most stakeholders are not satisfied with the interim statement of AIB on the Dana Air crash of 2012, when are we getting the final report on the crash? Our own target is to finish as soon as possible. I talked of funding earlier, but there are other things that are dependent may be not directly on funding. We don’t have all the facilities available to us and no country in the world has except may be a very few. For instance, we don’t have aircraft manufacturers here; there are things that sometimes you have to go back to the manufacturers to do. Also, we are still expecting a lot of tests and analyses, which is dependent on either laboratories or other agencies we don’t have control over. That was why I said the first step is to have the laboratory. The laboratory only does the recordings, if it comes to engine analysis and so on, we don’t have the facilities. In a country like the U.S where we have manufacturers, if issues like that come up, they use the manufacturers and they get whatever they want done.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
FAAN owed N8bn before Uriesi came onboard –Minister STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI
She said, “Uriesi truly deserves the NPOM award bestowed on him and others by President Goodluck Jonathan on August 15, 2013 in Abuja. Uriesi has been able to turn the fortunes of FAAN, from that of a parastatal reeling under the weight of heavy indebtedness, to the tune of about N8bn, to that one that is now self-sustaining in less than two years of his appointment. He is a true professional who understands his tasks and is bent on achieving them.” The minister challenged FAAN staff present at the event to ensure total transformation of the authority into an effi-
cient agency that would contribute significantly to the socioeconomic development of the country. She also promised that Government was willing to encourage them to make that goal feasible. Apart from being a past General Manger of the award-winning Cape Town International Airport, in South Africa, Uriesi, continues to play active part in the Airports Council International, ACI, both at the regional and international levels, in airport safety and technical matters. He is also a United States Certified Business Coach.
NCAT instructor to launch book on air navigation maintenance
NCAT Rector, Mrs. Chinyere Kalu
n a bid to give Air Navigational Maintenance System adequate coverage in the Nigerian Aviation industry, an instructor with the Nigerian College of Aviation technology, NCAT, Zaria is launching a book on that aspect of aviation industry. The instructor, Engr. Emmanuel Onwuka is a professional of 20 years in the country’s aviations sector as an instructor in the college. Onwuke at present is the Chief Aeronautical Telecommunication in NCAT. Speaking with aviation correspondents at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos, Onwuka said that the book is be-
Airside firstname.lastname@example.org 08186007273
How to kill indigenous airlines faster
he Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah has disclosed that before the current Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, was appointed as the helmsman in the agency on October 4, 2011, FAAN was indebted to the tune of N8bn. Oduah however said that in less than two years of his appointment, Uriesi has been able to turnaround the fortune of the agency from indebtedness to the one that is increasingly financially self-sustaining. Oduah stated this in Abuja recently when she paid an unscheduled appearance at a reception held in honour of Uriesi by some staff of FAAN in Abuja, soon after the Managing Director and 19 others were awarded the National productivity Order of Merit, NPOM, by President Goodluck Jonathan. The minister described Uriesi as a true professional who, understands his tasks and is bent on achieving them, adding that Uriesi inherited one of the worst government agencies in Nigeria, which he had undoubtedly transformed, through his passion to deliver.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
ing launched in conjunction with NCAT, saying that after 40 years of the institution, no comprehensive book had been launched on air navigation maintenance system. The book is titled, ‘Introduction to Air Navigation System Maintenance in Nigeria,’ Onwuka noted, is coming at a period when the country lacks efficient training books, which he said has made it difficult for students to get the required knowledge as and when due. Onwuka disclosed that the dearth of books in the training of aviation personnel is a source of worry to the college and other aviation colleges in the country,
but said the publishing of the book would block those vacuums created in the past. He explained that it was based on this that after about 20 years as instructor with NCAT and the college of over 40 years, that he decided to put up a book with the college in order for the students to have something to fall back on. Onwuka said that there was no aspect of air navigation that was not covered in the book, adding that all his personal experiences about navigation problems in all the airports across the country were captured in the 200 pages book, which he said has provided an in-depth into navigation telecommunications. He said that the book presentation would take place at the annex of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos today. The launching he said would be chaired by the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Engr. Nnamdi Udoh while the Rector of NCAT, Capt. Chiyenre Kalu will be the host at the occasion.
he Nigerian airlines are suffering and dying in droves. Why? Their passengers are being ferried to their final destinations by foreign airlines. As at today, no fewer than seven international airlines operate multiple destinations into Nigeria’s airports, while their local counterparts that are supposed to serve as feeders are not able to carry their crumbs. However, while several stakeholders and professionals in the sector are still looking for a way out for the depleted airlines, Airside was astonished that another foreign carrier, Ethiopian Airlines added salt to injury last weekend by commencing another direct flight from its base in Addis Ababa to Enugu. Before now, Ethiopian Airlines was operating direct flights to Lagos Airport from Addis Ababa. While the ministry and a few others may be happy for this ‘great achievement,’ Airside is not.
Airside is sad that at a time players in the sector are calling for the review of Bilateral Air Service Agreements, BASAs, with several countries, the Government is busy expanding their reach without reciprocity from Nigeria. It is a fact that the carriers are suffering partly because of bad management, but most of the crisis is caused by government as they are not provided with the viable environments to carry out their businesses. In fact, one of the Nigeria’s airports, Port Harcourt International Airport, PHIA, is the most expensive airport to operate into in the world today. The best way to kill the carriers faster is to issue more multiple designations to foreign carriers. When this is done, foreign carriers will eventually have the right to commence local operations lawfully in our country, rather than disguising as foreign carriers.
An expert who is always right
he Nigerian aviation industry has several ‘experts’ who are ready to add their voices to any burning issues even when they don’t have adequate knowledge on the subject matter. A particular ‘expert’ at every given opportunity, seizes the chance to abuse the perceived enemies of the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah and called them unprintable names in the public. It is unfortunate that whosoever that has contrary views on certain decisions or steps taken in the sector is perceived as an ardent enemy of the ‘pro-
gressives’ and must be dealt with disparaging comments. However, Airside reminds the ardent follower of the current government to know that in every society, there must be critics who are not just criticising you for the fun of it, but to make you sit tight on your work and want to propel you to do more. Airside feels the minister has tried a lot, but there are always room for improvement. So, the so called ‘expert’ w should mellow down a little bit. Rather than persistent abuse, he should come out with cogent facts on the achievements of the ministry so far.
Nahco commences operations in Enugu, Sokoto, Asaba
he Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, nahco aviance, last weekend announced the commencement of ground handling operations at Enugu, Sokoto and Asaba airports. The ground handler stated that this was part of its expansion programmes not only in the country, but in the continent as a whole. A statement signed by the Head, Corporate Communications, NAHCo, Mr. Sanya Onayoade stated that the commencement of operations at the Enugu Airport was expected to coincide with the epoch-making handling of Ethiopian Airlines’ inaugural flight on Saturday,
August 24, 2013. He stated that before now, the Enugu station had been in operation, but was suspended following dearth of activities at the airport, but stated that with the commencement of Ethiopian, a major industry player, it is hoped the current move would yield the desired result for both parties and the nation in particular. Onayoade stated that equipment and personnel were already on ground to provide the airline with nahco’s exceptional service quality. He however said that operations in Asaba and Sokoto are expected to commence before the end of this quarter.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Stakeholders worry over domination of insurance sector by 12 underwriters The recent disclosure by the Nigeria’s Insurers Association (NIA) that only 12 out of over 50 insurance companies dominate the industry is a source of concern, if insurance sector is to move forward and occupy its pride of place in the country, reports MESHACK IDEHEN.
he lack of depth that some analysts say pervades the insurance industry in Nigeria may be more obvious with the disclosure by the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA), that only 12 underwriting companies are presently controlling the largest chunk of the insurance market in the country. This disclosure, some industry observers noted, is coming at a time the insurance sector is striving to improve on its overall performance, and effectively compete with the banking sector in the provision of financial and other related services. Following that revelation by the NIA, stakeholders told National Mirror it was important to correct the now glaring lopsidedness in the industry if the sector is to move forward in a wholistic manner. A former member of the Governing Council of the NIA, Chief Robert Ossai, told our correspondent that all policy interventions by industry regulators, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), would fail, if concrete efforts are not made to even out the spread of insurance business amongst underwriters in the industry. According to him, “A time will sooner than later arrive when some operators will believe rightly or wrongly that the playing field is not level enough. Such underwriters will want to do something that will jeopardise or even reverse whatever gains that have so far been recorded in order to position their own firms for a fresh start”. Describing the situation where only few underwriters control over 90 per cent of the industry as an anomaly and a sign of irregular growth, insurer and economist, Mr. Nelson Masingbe, said the development has to be quickly corrected if the insurance industry is not to fall into the hands of cartels and cabals the way other sectors like banking and oil and gas fell at some point. Masingbe, who is also a risk expert explained that it was obvious many of the operators listed as part of the few controlling the industry were not happy with the disclosure by the NIA, saying the reason is because greater attention will now be focused on them by both their shareholders and the regulators. He also noted out that allowing the trend to continue will not only discourage new entrants from going into the industry, but that foreign direct investments into the sector will become frozen, while the potential for job loss in the industry will become higher, due to the slim chances of survival that the smaller operators have. It would be recalled that in the NIA report, which was released less than a week ago, the market positions of the firms were determined by their gross premium income written in 2011. Insurance analyst, Mr. John Idokpa, pointed out that if no significant changes have occurred in a sector for a gross premium income report based on 2011 indices, that it was obvious such sector is grappling with inherent challenges. He said if something was not done urgently by NAICOM that the distribution pattern of gross premium income for a lot of years to come will not change, as the big players will continue to dominate the market at the expense of the smaller operators and the overall economy. According to the NIA report, Leadway Assurance Company Limited tops the list of big players with 12.01 per cent of the Nigerian insurance market with a premium of N19.60 billion, followed by Custodian
President, NIRB, Mrs Laide Osijo
Commissioner for Insurance, Fola Daniel
A TIME WILL SOONER THAN LATER ARRIVE WHEN SOME OPERATORS WILL BELIEVE RIGHTLY OR WRONGLY THAT THE PLAYING FIELD IS NOT LEVEL ENOUGH.
UNDERWRITERS WILL WANT TO DO SOMETHING THAT WILL JEOPARDISE OR EVEN REVERSE WHATEVER GAINS THAT HAVE SO FAR RECORDED NIA President, Ladipo Ajayi
and Allied Insurance Plc, which has 6.17 per cent or N10.06 billion of the sector’s premium. The report identified AIICO Insurance Plc (Life) as coming next with N10.01 billion of the industry income, while AIICO General Insurance Company Limited has 5.16 per cent or N8.42 billion. Nigeria Employees Mutual (NEM) Insurance Plc has 5.14 per cent or N8.34 billion of the country’s insurance market. Others companies listed by the NIA as part of the dominant player in the sector are Mansard Insurance Plc, with 4.68 per cent or N7.63 billion, Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) Plc with 4.09 per cent or N6.67 billion; STACO Insurance Plc, 3.97 per cent or N6.48 billion) while Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc has 3.93 per cent or N6.40 billion gross premium from the industry.. Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Limited with 3.61 per cent or N5.88 billion; Zenith General Insurance Company Limited with 3.46 per cent
or N5.64 billion; and Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc with 3.35 per cent or N5.47 billion of the industry are some of the insurance firms that also appeared on the list. Other operators that make up the number of companies in the industry, according to the association, are contending with the left-over left by the big operators Explaining the cause of such lopsided business activities in the industry, Reinsurance expert, Mr.Obasi Ngwuta, attributed the situation to how many operators go about securing their business. He said, “While many big underwriters cut corners, drop rates and exploit relationships, the smaller operators are left in the lurch largely because they lack the capacity of the bigger players”. Ngwuta said the situation could also have been made possible because many policy holders receive coverage through their employers.
Reinsurance company records $7.1m premium M ESHACK IDEHEN
AICA Reinsurance Corporation Plc, said has its premium rose to $7.1million in 10 months financial period in 2012 from $35,057 in corresponding period of 2011. In a statement made available to journalists, the Chairman of WAICA Re, Mr. Kofi Duffor, said this is the firm’s first full year of operation, saying it is exciting to see how quickly the organisation has started showing such remarkable financial results just within one year of full operation,” he said.
Duffor noted that African economies had significant growth and relatively strong macroeconomic indicators in 2012, adding that the West African sub-region experienced one of its best growths, while disclosing that the firm recorded a profit of $374,169 in 2012, from a loss of $787,443 in 2011, which was due to various expenses incurred in establishing the corporation. According him, the corporation’s net premium written stood at $6.5 million. He said that there were opportunities for the firm to perform better in the next years ahead, adding that with more capital base, the firms plans to open a French regional office in one of the francophone countries.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
FG pensioners lament non-payment of arrears S TORIES: M ESHACK I DEHEN
etired Federal Government civil servants under the auspices of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) said they are appealing to the Federal Government to pay their pension arrears and other benefits. Lamenting that they have been going through difficult times, the retirees told National Mirror at the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) office in Yaba, that some of them had not been paid since 1996 when they retired. Retiree, Mr. Dele Joseph, who is also the new chairman of the NUP said many of the pensioners were owed arrears for several years, saying most elderly pensioners are not conversant with the new pension regime. Other pensioners, including Mr. Muftau Baruwa, who said he retired as a senior foreman in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing over 11 years ago and Mr. Thompson Imakop, from the National Bureau of Statistics who retired in 2007, said as they speak, that they have never been paid a kobo, including both gratuity and pension.
DG, PenCom, Anohu Amazu
Baruwa explained he has twice been to hospital since his retirement, adding during this period that he lost his father, mother and one of his sons, while appealing to our correspondent to “please, use your position to appeal to government to consider me and pay me my entitlements” According to him, “I think death is better than this suffering. At times, I will go into the streets to beg for money to feed. Sometimes, for two days I will not feed. Before, I was fat, now I am skinny. Please, let government pay
me my benefits. If I can get money now and die a year later, it will be better than this suffering.” On his part while speaking on her own ordeal, Thompson said, since, he was retired that no kobo was paid, saying every time he would be called to come to Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, to fill one form after another. “Sometimes, we sleep at Awolowo Road on the bare floor, for us to be attended to. In spite of that, nothing would come out of it. It was only in October 2010 that I was paid, since then, no payment. My children are in school, I can’t provide for them. Anytime they come back, we all starve and they will cry all day till they go back. There is nobody to help me except God, my husband died since 2003. Another retiree, Mrs. Shotimbo said, ‘‘In 2008, we were paid gratuity. Since then, we were not paid pension arrears until 2010, when task force came to the Federal Civil Service, Ikoyi to capture our image. After then, they effected the first payment of our pension for November 2009. All our arrears from 2006 till date have not been paid till date.”
STACO to insure Lagos Street Soccer Championship
TACO Insurance Plc said it is throwing its weight behind the Lagos Street Soccer Championship season six, and that the company has been appointed the official insurer of the tournament, The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Sakiru Oyefeso, said in a statement that STACO would always be a part of such a tourney especially as the company was always poised to give back to the community where it was generating its income. Oyefeso said the insurance company has agreed to provide insurance cover to the tournament, taking into consideration that the yearly competition is designed to ensure grassroots sports development, as well as youth empowerment. He explained as a socially responsible corporate citizen, that STACO would always want to be associated with projects that could add value to the lives of the populace in the country as this was
in line with the company’s determination to make its impacts felt in its area of operations, adding the company was involved in every area of the economy where there was a need, but the main focus of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) were in the areas of education, sports and security. Oyefeso stressed that the company was dedicated to sports because there was a common belief that recreation was important to the development of the human body and therefore, the need to support sport development became paramount to the company’s CSR strategy. He maintained that the notion of CSR was central to the activities of the company and that this explained why social responsibility was one of the company’s core values. “To us, CSR simply means doing well by doing well. Since the business world of today is complex and dynamic with lots of issues emerging
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Auto insurance buying tips
here may be smart ways you can cut your premiums, such as raising your deductibles, dropping collision insurance on an older car, demanding special discounts or consolidating your policies with one insurer. Here are tips by which auto insurance can be maximised. Raise your deductibles--The easiest way to save is by increasing both the collision and comprehensive (damage due to vandalism, fire, and flood) deductibles for damage to your auto. Get uninsured motorist coverage--This protects you and family members living with you should you be hit by a negligent driver who is uninsured or “underinsured,” even if you’re walking, bicycling or skateboarding at the time. The amount of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage you carry should match your auto policy’s primary liability limits–meaning the maximum amount your insurer will pay the other guy if you cause an accident. Carry a big umbrella--An umbrella, or “excess,” policy kicks in where your liability coverage for your auto and home ends and is a necessity if you have any assets to protect. The more assets a person has, the bigger target they are for lawsuits. If you have teenagers driving, consider increasing your umbrella. The second million is cheaper than the first. You can often save on an umbrella by buying it through the same insurer you get your auto policy from; go to an independent agent and ask for combined quotes from several carriers. Be sure to compare what each umbrella covers. Hunt out obscure discounts-Certain discounts–say, for a good driving record–are usually applied automatically. But other credits require action on your
part. For example, as you age, taking a defensive driving course (even one online) could earn you a credit. If you start telecommuting two days a week, call your insurer and ask for a discount. You may also be able to save by buying through a workplace discount program. If you have a teen driver, ask for the good student discount. Don’t buy a teen his own car--It’s usually cheaper not to add a third car when you’re adding a teen driver to a two-parent, two-car family, because insurers rightly assume the kid will drive less without his own car. (Even without a third car the average annual premium goes up 58% with a teen added. If you and your spouse both drive new luxury cars with collision coverage, then you might reduce both premiums and family conflict by getting your kid a clunker without collision insurance.. Avoid limited tort insurance- Be wary of what you’re giving up. Limited tort means that, even if the other guy is at fault, you generally cannot collect payment for your “pain and suffering”–extra money that may be needed, say to get help around the house if you’re laid up. Insure for a total wreck-If you’ve got a paid-up car older than five years or so (depending on the model) it may make sense to drop collision and comprehensive. That’s because if you wreck your car or it’s stolen, most insurers will pay out the depreciated value, which could be less than it takes to replace your older car. That’s also true if it would cost more to repair your car than it’s worth. On the other hand, if you have a car loan outstanding or are leasing a car, consider topping up your coverage.
CSR: Insurance firm donates building to school
as conflicting interest, being responsible means that corporations are more than just economic institutions, they should take up the responsibility of helping the society solve some of the most pressing social problems, many of which these corporations helped to cause,” the STACO managing director added.
apital Express Assurance Limited said it has donated a furnished archive building to the Nigerian Navy Secondary School in Lagos State. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Mrs. Bola Odukale, in a statement made available to our correspondent, said the donation was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility towards uplifting the educational sector and the development of the Nigerian child. Odukale said education remains the catalyst that will propel the country to the next level; a reason that motivated the company to donate the building, saying the company will continue to
partner with schools that have embraced insurance as a way of life. She explained that Capital Express Assurance would continue to support schools because qualitative and functional education was the only permanent legacy parents and guardians could pass on to their children. The company also stated that it had promoted 50 of its employees across the managerial and officer cadres in the organisation, explaining while five of the employees became managers; eight were promoted assistant managers; 20 became senior executive officers; while 17 were promoted as officers from the assistant officer cadre.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Keystone Bank posts N2.8bn pre-tax profit JOHNSON OKANLAWON
eystone Bank yesterday announced a profit before tax of N2.8bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2012, from a loss of N7.9bn recorded in five months ended December 31, 2011. The bank’s total comprehensive income rose by 157 per cent in 2012 to N7.81bn, from a loss of N13.8bn recorded in the five months of 2011. According to a statement from the bank, customers’ deposits increased from N282.8bn in the five months to N297.5bn in the review period. Similarly, gross earnings rose by 105 per cent to N49bn in 2012, from N23.9bn recorded in the
five months, while total assets appreciated by seven per cent to N388.2bn, from N361.48bn it stood in the five months ended December 31, 2011. Speaking on result, the Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Philip Ikeazor said the plan to grow the bank from August 2011 was based on three primary elements. “The first was to ensure a robust IT and E-Banking platform is in place and upgraded for prime efficiency. The second was to focus our customer service. The third is to return the bank to profitability and grow market share,” he said. He explained that the bank will continue to harness the skills of its human capital and cutting edge banking technology to provide premium banking
services to corporate and retail customers. Besides the return to profitability, other snippets of the result, he explained, included a stable and growing deposit base. He said, “We are focused on growing quality risk assets but in doing so the board and management is being careful not to repeat the mistakes of the past. We intend to grow deposit base and focus on low cost deposits.” Ahead of plans by the bank’s shareholder- the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria to recapitalise the bank along with the two other bridged banks (Mainstreet Bank and Enterprise Bank) in the coming months, the bank chief assured of the enormous value that had been added to the three banks.
For Keystone Bank, for example, he noted that its 200 branches across the country and the possibility of growing the outlets to 250 outlets within a very short time, made it a Tier 2 bank and a very good prospect. “If you inherit a bank that the balance sheet has been cleaned up, and which has low deposit base, you can grow the bank. It is better than a green field institution, where you have to develop everything from the scratch,” he stressed. To acquire a new banking licence, he explained, takes quite some time as there would be approvals to build each branch, marketing for customers and deposits, and skilled manpower, among others, all of which could be avoided if a bank was bought.
36 stocks shed weight as bears sustain hold OLAONIPEKUN AWEDA
he benchmark index of equities closed on a bearish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as some speculative investors sold off their holdings to take profit. Specifically, the All Share index depreciated by 0.14 per cent to close at 36,526.74 points, as against the rise of 0.04 per cent recorded on Friday to close at 36,577.28 points. Market capitalisation fell by N16bn to close at N11.57trn, in contrast to the increase of N4bn recorded on Friday to close
at N11.58trn. On the sectorial indices, the Insurance index dropped by 2.01 per cent to close at 139.26 points, followed by the Banking index with 1.3 per cent to close at 394.90 points. The NSE 30- index dipped by 0.3 per cent to close at 1,709.43 points, while the Consumer Goods index lost 0.16 per cent to close at 1,027.96 points. The Oil and Gas index gained 0.2 per cent to close at 191.81 points, while the Industrial Goods index rose by 0.48 per cent to close at 2,189.84 points. The Lotus Islamic index appreciated by 0.40 per cent to close at 2,537.44
points, while the Alternative Securities index remained flat. The Jos Breweries Plc led the gainers’ table with 18 kobo or 9.84 per cent to close at N2.01 per share, followed by Eterna Oil and Gas Plc with 27 kobo or 9.82 per cent to close at N3.02 per share. RT Briscoe Plc appreciated by 13 kobo or 9.49 per cent to close at N1.50 per share, while ABC Transport Plc gained seven kobo or 9.46 per cent to close at 81 kobo per share. Costain West Africa Plc increased by seven kobo or 5.69 per cent to close at N1.30 per share. Conversely, United
Trade Company Plc declined by eight kobo or 10 per cent to close at 72 kobo per share, while Champion Breweries Plc fell by N1.74 or 9.99 per cent to close at N15.68 per share. Portland Paints Plc dipped by 55 kobo or 9.89 per cent to close at N5.01 per share, while International Energy Insurance Plc declined by 14 kobo or 9.40 per cent to close at N1.35 per share. Nigeria Police Force Microfinance Bank Plc shed six kobo or 7.41 per cent to close at 75 kobo per share. A total of 158.04 million shares valued at N2.38bn were exchanged in 4,830 deals.
CBN, others issue $490m sukuk OLAONIPEKUN AWEDA WITH AGENCY REPORT
consortium of central banks from Asia, the Middle East and Africa has taken a first step towards developing a cross-border market in Islamic financial instruments by issuing a $490m sukuk (Islamic bond) Current shareholders of the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) are the central banks of Indonesia, Nigeria, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Qatar, Turkey
and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the Jeddahbased Islamic Development Bank. Iran is a member of the IILM but not a shareholder The sukuk, priced at 30 basis points over the London Interbank Offered Rate, was auctioned off to seven institutions from around the world. The institutions are Kuwait Finance House, Europe’s KBL Private Bankers, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Qatar National Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and AlBaraka Turk, which is the Turkish unit of Bahrain’s
AlBaraka Banking Group. These primary dealers will now be responsible for selling the sukuk on to other Islamic banks and institutions in an effort to create an active market in the instruments. In a statement yesterday, the IILM) disclosed that its debut was fully subscribed, adding that the three-month Islamic bonds, denominated in U.S. dollars, were issued by the Malaysia-based IILM. Islamic finance, which obeys religious principles such as a ban on interest payments, has witnessed rapid growth since the global financial crisis and
is now estimated to have well over $1 trillion of assets around the world. But its expansion has been limited by a shortage of highly liquid, investment-grade financial instruments which Islamic banks can trade to manage their short-term funding needs. The financial body stated that it aims to address this limitation by issuing sukuk which banks can trade across borders. The IILM sukuk received a high A-1 credit rating from Standard and Poor’s, and plans to increase its issuance eventually to as much as $3bn.
Market indicators All-Share Index 36,526.74 points Market capitalisation 11.60 trillion
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
% CHANGE 9.84
Primary Market Auction TENOR
Open Market Operations TENOR
Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
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Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at August 26, 2013 1st Tier Securities
1st Tier Securities Sector
No Of Deals
Value of Shares(N)
No Of Deals
Value of Shares(N)
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Cost of governance: Ezekwesili’s recipe stokes fresh CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 culture of tolerance for dissension. Would it therefore not have been more dignifying of our democracy if the spokesmen had used the opportunity of their reaction to offer their own data to contradict or clarify anything conveyed in my speech after reading it?” Ezekwesili expressed reservations at the reaction of the lawmakers, noting that rather than appraise her comprehensive lecture, the National Assembly chose to haul abuses at her. She proceeded to give details of the budgetary allocations to the National Assembly in the last eight years, which confirmed that N1 trillion has been spent on the legislature since 2005. According to her, “as part of the aspect of my presentation that touched on management of Public Finance, I provided eight years data on budgetary allocations or transfers to the National Assembly. The data in question is publicly available information from the Ministry of Finance which reveals that the allocations to the National Assembly known as Statutory Transfers between 2005 and 2013 were approximately one trillion naira as follows: 2005, N54.79 billion; 2006, N54.79 billion; 2007, N66.4 billion; 2008, N114.39 billion; 2009, N158.92 billion; 2010, N150 billion; 2011, N150 billion; 2012, N150 billion; 2013, N150 billion “I also provided information available in a recent global comparison of legislators’ remuneration across the world recently published by the United Kingdom based The Economist magazine. I stated that the report alleged that Nigerian federal legislators with a basic salary of $189,500 per annum (N30.6m) were the highest paid lawmakers in the world.” She insisted that an institution like the National Assembly needed to encourage and appreciate dissenting views and promote debate. The minister then asked for date, and pledged to be available for the hearing that will discuss lawmakers’ remuneration. “I wish to state with absolute respect for our lawmakers and our institution that it will be more valuable and enriching for our democracy if instead of the abusive language of their recent reaction, the National Assembly immediately offered me and the rest of the Nigerian public, the opportunity of a Public Hearing on their budgetary allocation and the very relevant issue of their remuneration,” she said. “I shall make myself available to the National Assembly as soon as it decides to host a public hearing on this and other related issues of the lawmakers’ interest,” she said. The observations and remarks by the former World Bank Vice President came barely a month after The Economist magazine wrote that the Nigerian federal legislators receive much higher salaries than their counterparts in wealthier countries and key developing nations. The report went further to disclose that a Nigerian legislator receives an annual salary of about $189,000, equivalent of N30 million, which is 116 times the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) per person. The figures put salaries collected by Nigerian senators and members of the House of Representatives way ahead of those re-
ceived by fellow parliamentarians in the 29 countries whose data was analysed by The Economist. It stated that in terms of volume of cash earnings, the Nigerian legislators beat their counterparts in Britain who take $105,400 yearly, as well as those in the United States ($174,000), France ($85,900), South Africa ($104,000), Kenya ($74,500), Saudi Arabia ($64,000) and Brazil ($157,600). It noted that in terms of lawmakers’ salaries as a ratio of GDP per capita, the gap is even much wider. While the salary of a Nigerian lawmaker is 116 times the country’s GDP per person, that of a British member of parliament is just 2.7 times. The report said British legislators’ pay is “relatively parsimonious” when compared with that of their counterparts in poorer countries, including Nigeria, who “enjoy the heftiest salaries by this mea-
sure.” According to the data, only Australian lawmakers, with $201, 200 annual salary, receive higher amounts compared to Nigerian legislators, but their salaries are only three times their country’s GDP per person. Other yearly salary details published by the Economist are those of lawmakers in Ghana ($46,500), Indonesia ($65,800), Thailand ($43,800), India ($11,200), Italy ($182,000), Bangladesh ($4,000), Israel ($114,800), Hong Kong ($130,700), Japan ($149,700), Singapore ($154,000), Canada ($154,000), New Zealand ($112,500), Germany ($119,500), Ireland ($120,400), Pakistan ($3,500), Malaysia ($25,300), Sweden ($99,300), Sri Lanka ($5,100), Spain ($43,900) and Norway ($138,000). The revelation contained in The Economist magazine regarding the jumbo pay
of the nation’s federal lawmakers quite expectedly generated a national condemnation. Aside from Nigerians on the street who rose in condemnation of the pay, prominent Nigerians too commented against it. For instance, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), a constitutional lawyer, criticised it and noted that the pay posed serious cause for concern. Former President, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Mr. Peter Esele, in an interview said: “It was very regrettable, especially when you compare their pay with the state of the Nigerian economy, the living standards of those they represent, life expectancy in Nigeria, the per capita income and the salaries paid to the Nigerian workers, Nigerian professors etc. It is even more unfortunate when you recall that the United States President, Barack Obama’s salary is $400,000 per annum, while a Nigerian senator collects N48 million per quarter, $1.7m per annum, and each member of the House of Representatives receives $1.2 million per annum.” In the midst of the current name-calling and defenceless explanations being offered, the truth must not be lost on the real lessons to be taken away from the Ezekwesili expose. The fact of the matter is that the present democratic practice is taking a great deal of financial tolls on the purse of this country; whether it is from the executive, judiciary or indeed the legislature. Nigeria appears not to be getting commensurate democratic values for money. The time is more than ripe for a reassessment of our democratic journey so far, particularly as it relates to the high costs CONTINUED ON PAGE 43
Oby Ezekwesili’s flight of fancy Victor Afam Ogene, the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, writes on the allegations against the National Assembly.
here appears to be no let-up in the crave by former Education Minister, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, to get back into national consciousness, simply by randomly throwing pot shots anchored on misplaced aggression, in the ardent hope that such mudslinging would elevate her to the status of a moral crusader. As an institution, we ought not to be responding to the tirades of Mrs. Ezekwesili, especially as they are anchored on wrong deployment of figures, weird generalisations and outright falsehood. But as elected representatives, we owe it a duty to the Nigerian people to always seek to conduct our affairs in an atmosphere of openness, candor and a fidelity to the truth. Indeed, if there is any point
we are agreed upon with Mrs Ezekwesili, or anyone else for that matter, it is the promotion of transparency in governance and ensuring that democratic institutions of state function optimally for the benefit of all. On the basis of this shared vision, the 7th House of Representatives wholeheartedly welcome her request for a public hearing on the stated ideals. In doing so, however, the former Minister must be ready to comply with some basic ground rules, so that we may all not be fooled by the guerrilla tactics of someone plagued by an outof- office syndrome. Nigerians would remember that in the course of a similar misadventure, in January 2013, Mrs. Ezekwesili had made wild claims bordering on the alleged frittering of $45 billion of the country’s external reserves, and $22 billion in the excess crude account. While she is yet to fully justify those allegations, the former Minister is this time seeking a fresh sparring partner in the legislature. If it were not so, why would an address which centred on a “cost of governance in Nige-
ria” be curiously limited to an inquest into the operations of the National Assembly, leaving out the other two arms and arriving at the rather simplistic suggestion of the introduction of a unicameral or part-time legislature as the panacea of all Nigeria’s problems. Since it is public knowledge that whosoever wishes to go to equity ought to do so with clean hands, we restate our earlier posers which Mrs. Ezekwesili conveniently glossed over in her latest statement on this issue, to wit: What is the percentage of the National Assembly’s N150 billion allocation in a budget of N4.9 trillion? Is it right to insinuate that the budgetary alloca-
tion for the National Assembly is for “members salaries and allowances”, while deliberately leaving out capital projects component, salaries of legislative aides and the bureaucracy, as well as allied institutions such as Institute for Legislative Studies, NILS? What is the total disbursement to the executive and the judiciary arms of government over the same eight-year period? If she was not mischievous, why would she elect to believe The Economist, rather than the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, over the issue of salaries of Nigerian public officials. For an ex-official of government, who between the 2006 and 2007 federal budgets, superintended over a total of N422.5 billion as Education Minister, what percentage of the public fund was expended by her as recurrent cost? Indeed, answers to these posers are necessary in the buildup to Mrs Ezekwesili’s anticipated incarnation as an activist, else she would once again embark on spontaneous flight of fancy, whose major destination is mere ruffling of feathers.
What motivated you to sponsor a bill to ease the removal of the president from office, especially at this time the House is seen to be at loggerheads with President Goodluck Jonathan? We were inspired to sponsor this particular bill by the American presidential system of government. If you look at the American system of government, the decision of removing a president lies squarely with the Congress, that is the House of Representatives and the Senate. But in Nigeria, the decision of impeaching a president lies with the House of Representatives. The House impeaches and the Senate by two-thirds vote adopts the decision of the House, then the decision is then forwarded to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, who would set up a panel to consider the report of the National Assembly, and then decide whether the President is guilty as charged by the National Assembly or has breached any part of the constitution as alleged and whether he can be removed. Now, considering that the CJN is appointed by the president, how is it possible that such a president can ever be removed? It is not possible. If I were the president, I will just laugh anytime the National Assembly says they are going to impeach me, because it cannot go anywhere. So that is why that bill was sponsored. It’s not really about easing the impeachment of the president, but to give the National Assembly the full powers of impeaching the president without judicial interference or executive interference. If that is done, the executive will sit up and begin to work for the good of the country. The president would know that he or she could be impeached if he/she breaches the constitution or does anything against the interest of the country. The president has to know that he could be removed from office for wrongdoing for him to work, otherwise we are not making any progress. Recently, Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State gave a directive for the relocation of Tafawa Balewa Council headquarters to Bununu. As a lawmaker representing that part of Bauchi, do you think that the relocation can solve the problem? As a democrat, no matter the level of your motivation whether rightly or wrongly, if you are motivated to bring peace you cannot act outside the purview of the law. The action of the governor on the matter is illegal and unconstitutional. I have even tried to look at the morality of the issue. In the local government where Governor Yuguda claims to have come from, there have been more violence than in Tafawa Balewa. So, if I am from Bauchi Local Government, for instance, and there is more violence in my own area wouldn’t I be bothered to resolve my own first? Because charity they say begins at home. We are not opposed to any efforts that will lead to lasting peace, and that is what I have said. Even in a war situation, the only thing that has brought peace is when parties and opponents sit down round a table of brotherhood and resolve their differences. And that is what we have been advocating as stakeholders in Tafawa Balewa. All the ethnic groups
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Motive behind bill to ease president’s removal –Dogara Hon. Yakubu Dogara represents Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State in the House of Representatives. In this interview with TORDUE SALEM, he explains why he sponsored a bill to review the process of removing a president from office. He also speaks on the planned relocation of the Tafawa Balewa Local Government Council headquarters. Excerpts:
as well as the major religions in the area must sit down and agree. That is the platform the state government must create. The violence is surrounded by issues relating to injustice. How can you solve the problem of injustice by perpetrating more injustice? There will never be peace there! All we are asking is for the state to create an enabling environment for all the parties to come and sit down and mutually negotiate the basis of their co-existence so that they can live in peace. There is no better way of living than in a world of diversity. No ethnic group or religion can be an island of itself.
THE PRESIDENT HAS TO KNOW THAT HE COULD BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE FOR WRONGDOING FOR HIM TO WORK, OTHERWISE WE ARE NOT MAKING ANY PROGRESS
But the Bauchi State caucus in the House has supported the relocation of the council headquarters. I don’t think as a representative of my constituency I am bound by the position of a caucus in the House. My constituents did not elect any of the other 11 members from Bauchi. They have no right to speak as primary or the most immediate representatives of the people. So, it means that they can harbour different opinions than myself. And the reason being that if there is immediate crisis in Tafawa Balewa I am the one that will be affected. It is my duty. None of them understand that city, none of them knows the feelings of the people than myself. So, my position is not to tag along with them but to try to mould consensus among them and I think that is what we are doing now and some of us are beginning to realise that.
the House and Senate on the matter? I have not discussed anything with the Senate President. My area of jurisdiction is the House and I have been trying to confine myself to the House. But with regards to my Senate counterpart, incidentally Tafawa Balewa happens to be his own Local Government. He is from Tafawa Balewa Local Government as well. And I can confirm that he is bothered by this development. But I did agree that I was going to raise the matter on the floor of the House and there was no need replicating the same matter in the Senate. We thought that we should be able to get this done at the level of the House, and my prayer on this was that the House should set up a delegation to visit Bauchi State and interface with the state Assembly and the governor on the need to respect the provisions of our constitution. If that is done at the level of the House, I don’t think there is any need to bring in the Senate on this.
What is the position of the leadership of
Why have the natives of Tafawa Balewa
failed to approach the court and also sue the state House of Assembly to get the matter trashed out legally? I can confirm to you that one of the reasons why we stood down the motion was the petition alleging that the matter was before a competent court. But if you look at the rules of the House there is nothing that says that if a matter is in court you cannot debate it on the floor of the House. I remember that in the case of the Jos crisis, the House did set up a delegation; a committee as a matter of fact headed by now Senator Abdul Ningi sat in Jos and received evidence, even though all the warring parties in Jos were in court. Even the case of the Malabo Oil that we are investigating, the House is in court and so many other cases. So, the constitutional provision is that the court cannot unnecessarily gag the House. I know that the indigenes of Tafawa Balewa are not completely ignorant of their rights. It is one of the local governments that is populated by highly literate people and I know that this option if pursued will be sustained until justice is done. How would you react to the alleged move in some quarters to recall you from the National Assembly over this matter? Well, I don’t know but I am hearing it from you for the very first time. If anybody thinks that he will recall me, let them go ahead. I am waiting for anybody who thinks he can recall me, I am prepared for it. But let me say this, we should not allow threat to take the courage from us to stand on the side of truth. I am not bothered about whether it is about majority or minority; all I know is that if you stand for the truth you stand for democracy. If what you are saying cannot be challenged or successfully countered, if anybody has problem with the truth then he has himself to blame. I can never be here representing people who are undemocratic; I can never be here representing people who would want to stand on lies. I am here to represent people based on the constitution and the principles of democracy and the rule of law. In a situation where laws are violated as always, I will not tolerate that in my own constituency. So, anybody who has a problem with the truth, then that is their business. As far as I am concerned, I represent people of conscience who believe in democracy and my heart goes to them and not to any group of people who want to promote lies, who want to promote lawlessness and anarchy. How can you solve the problem of injustice by perpetrating more injustice? There will never be peace there! All we are asking is for the state to create an enabling environment for all the parties to come and sit down and mutually negotiate the bases of their co-existence so that they can live in peace. President Goodluck Jonathan and all men and women of goodwill should prevail on the Bauchi State House of Assembly and Governor Yuguda to at least respect the constitution and put a stop to the unconstitutional attempt to relocate the headquarters of Tafawa Balewa LGA in the interest of our nascent democracy.
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Of Tambuwal’s ‘romance’ with the opposition ACCUSING HIM OF
DISLOYALTY IS NOTHING
o say that we are all living in interesting times in our dear country is to state the obvious. With various interest groups seeking all kinds of favour and attention, the polity has been inundated with all manner of submissions many of which are nothing but erroneous impressions created to pull some people down or paint them in bad light. While the people engaged in such wheeling have upped the ante of late, Nigerians are increasingly becoming aware of their antics, and are enjoying some good laughs at their expense. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, is being vilified by some hirelings over what they consider to be his closeness to the opposition. To them, since the Speaker has decided to become friends with Nigerians who belong to political parties other than the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he should be ostracised and punished for his ‘disloyalty’ to what is at best a patriotic endeavour. It won’t take much digging to discover that many of the people pushing this viewpoint are those who have become increasingly uncomfortable with the Speaker’s posturing as a defender of the common man. As often stated, Speaker Tambuwal is not on a popularity contest with any public official at federal, state or local government. Instead, he embodies what is best the wishes and aspiration of the Nigerian people, and expresses, at every point, only the position of the members of the House of Representatives. Accusing him of disloyalty is nothing but worn out lies churned out to discredit efforts being made to cleanse our polity of the innately divisive style of politics that has stunted our progress in the immediate past and has continued to do great disservice to our democracy.
BUT WORN OUT LIES CHURNED OUT TO DISCREDIT EFFORTS BEING MADE TO CLEANSE OUR POLITY OF THE INNATELY DIVISIVE STYLE OF POLITICS THAT HAS STUNTED OUR PROGRESS IN THE IMMEDIATE PAST The Speaker, following in the tradition of democratic inclusiveness, maintains social contacts with all Nigerians, irrespective of their political leanings. Such contacts incidentally, are not new in our clime or in advanced democracies. To the ignorant ones among us, there are instances in established democracies, notably the USA, where ruling parties work hand in hand with the opposition to move their nations forward. Apart from social gatherings, historical records have shown that serving and former Presidents have tapped from the resources of the opposition once the situation demands such. As at today, no fewer than 10 American Presidents – past and present – have tapped from the rich knowledge base of the opposition when the need arises, for the betterment of their beloved nation. The most recent being the tapping of Republicans Robert Gates, Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and Ray LaHood, a former congressman from Illinois, to work in President Barrack Obama’s first cabinet. In Nigeria, we all know how smoothly the then ruling National Party of Nigeria, NPN, worked hand-in-hand with the op-
position Nigerian Peoples Party, NPP, to render quality service to the electorate. In the present dispensation, we had the likes of late Mahmud Waziri of the All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP, and late Bola Ige of the Alliance for Democracy, AD, serving the PDP-government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Let us not forget the Government of National Unity, GNU, actively encouraged during the tenure of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Now, if those respected past regimes in Nigeria and the USA felt the need to work with opposition in politics and governance, where is the justification for castigating Tambuwal for attending social functions organised by opposition whose members are in the House of Representatives which he is heading? In Tambuwal’s brand of politics, seeking to stop social contacts among Nigerians on the basis of political leanings is nothing but affront to democracy. Here is how the Speaker captured the scenario in his words: “According to this new doctrine, it is a political offense for a member of one political party to exchange greetings with someone in another political
Cost of governance: Ezekwesili’s recipe stokes fresh CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41 of governance. We need to pose some hard questions to ourselves and profer very honest answers to them. In the past 14 years since we began the current democratic journey, the nation has earned unprecedented huge resources from both the oil and gas exports and other sources. It is saying the obvious by asserting that the same resources have not been judiciously applied for the development and well-being of the country. The last 14 years had unfortunately witnessed the worst institutionalisation of corruption in Nigeria than any other period of our lives as a nation. The truth remains that the legislature under the current democratic system, as is obtainable in other similar presidential jurisdictions is the fulcrum of the people. Flowing from that, the parliamentary institutions ought to be properly funded for it to discharge its responsibilities to the people honourably. But the way the nation’s parliaments operate, both at the federal and state levels at the moment leaves much to be desired. The point that the Senate Leader, Ndo-
ma-Egba, made that the N150 billion allocation to the National Assembly constitutes a mere three per cent of the entire nation’s national budget, really does not address the issue in its true sense. It begs the issue. In a country of about 175 million people and N150 billion is allocated for the use of 469 persons (109 senators and 360 House members) out of N5 trillion sum, obviously leaves more to be desired. Granted that there are other bureaucracies that benefit from the allocation to the National Assembly, the truth of the matter is that the lawmakers are the real reasons for the existence of those other bureaucracies. As was revealed by the recent report of The Economist Magazine, the Nigerian legislators are the highest paid all over similar jurisdictions, across the world. This is as far as official records show. In practical terms, the figures quoted by the report exclude the many other unseen earnings of the Nigerian legislators, particularly the huge and unquantifiable resources accruing to them from their legislative oversight activities. So far, the report of The Economist
IT IS SHEER
SENSATIONALISM TO SUGGEST THAT UNDER THREE PER CENT OF THE BUDGET IS THE PROBLEM OF THE NATION.
OUR CURRENT ANNUAL BUDGET IS N150 BILLION, OUT OF A NATIONAL BUDGET OF
magazine, is yet to be disputed by any of the lawmakers in Nigeria. Unfortunately, it is doubtful if the Nigerian lawmakers are the most productive all over the world. This must therefore give every well-meaning citizen of this country serious cause for concern. This is perhaps the most auspicious
party, it is indeed a heinous crime for one to visit, attend the burial, birthday, coronation, wedding or any such ceremony of someone in an opposing political party. The proponents of this shameful doctrine not only offend our sensibilities, they constitute an affront on the whole essence of democracy and civilized coexistence, and must be halted before they do incalculable damage to our polity.” In all his activities, Tambuwal has promoted the concept of a strong dichotomy between politics and governance. To him, there is a difference between a candidate in electoral contest on the platform of a political party and an elected official who has assumed a non-partisan responsibility and taken oath to protect and preserve the constitution, to serve the people and the nation. “While the former is not merely at liberty but under a duty to be partisan, the latter must conduct himself in a manner worthy of the call to non-partisanship in governance.” And whenever partisan interests conflict with national interest it is partisan interests that must be sacrificed in the preservation of the national interest. This is, no doubt, salutary to good governance. It is safe to say here that Nigerians are tired of worn out sentiments dished out to them at every given opportunity in order to justify unnecessary attacks on the person of the Number Four Citizen of their country. Tambuwal’s performance as Speaker has set the bar in governance. His courage and equanimity in the face of tough challenges have served as inspiration to his colleagues in the House. It has emboldened them to go about their duties without fear, or favour. Importantly, it has given Nigerians hope that they have a leader who can be trusted to deliver no matter whose ox is gored. •Imam is the Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to Speaker Tambuwal.
time to begin to reconsider the proposal for a part-time legislative arrangement for the country as suggested by Ezekwesili and a host of other patriotic Nigerians in line with what is obtainable in some of other democracies of the world, particularly in America, where our current federalist structure took root from. Indeed, there is no rationale in continuously keeping our legislators on full-time salaries while they operate in real terms on part-time basis. As has also been canvassed in certain quarters, we should alternatively consider the idea of collapsing our current bi-cameral legislative arrangement into a unicameral one as a design to further address the cost of governance and reduce the senseless tension that currently exist between the executive and the legislature. The job of lawmaking is one that desires sacrifice, commitment and selfless service to the people. It should not be a money-making venture or a means to an end as it has unfortunately been turned into by some of our current legislators. Anybody aspiring to become a lawmaker in Nigeria as Ezekwesili affirmed in her presentation at the conference, “must have means of livelihood and doesn’t need to depend on public funds to be a legislator.”
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
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Parallel congress: PDP disowns Andy Uba INEC’s presence at congress not necessary –Shema
OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
s controversy trails the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s parallel congresses in Awka, the Anambra State capital over the choice of its gubernatorial candidates, the national leadership of the party has said that Chief Tony Nwoye remains the candidate of the party for the November 16, election. Senator Andy Uba also emerged as a candidate of the PDP at another congress which was not recognised by the national leadership of the PDP. National Chairman of the PDP, Bamanga Tukur, while addressing the media in Abuja yesterday
after receiving the report of the Governor Ibrahim Shema-led Gubernatorial Congress Committee said: “Tell the whole world that Tony Nwoye is our man for Anambra. Tell the world that the PDP is the party of the people and has conducted a free and fair primary election. “We have no anointed member of our party in winning any election, what we are saying is come, present yourself, the people have spoken. This activity has given us hope and vindicated our stand as managers of PDP, that every member will be treated free, fair and transparent. Democracy is the will of the people.” Tukur stated further that the PDP belongs to the people, who will decide who rep-
resents them at any level. Presenting the report of the congress to Tukur and the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party, Shema also said that the absence of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to monitor the congress put together by the faction loyal to the party was irrelevant. He said: “I think it is only INEC that could explain why they were not at the congress.” Shema, however, declared Nwoye as the winner of the Saturday primaries
with 498 votes, while Chief Nicholas Ukachukwu polled 357 votes to come sec-
ond, saying that Ubah did not present himself for the election. It would be recalled that a similar congress reportedly organised by the factional chairman of the party, Chief Ejike Oguebego, where Uba was declared as the party’s candidate. While the national headquarters of PDP recognised Ken Emeakayi as chairman of the party in the state; INEC has said Ejike Oguebego is the Anambra PDP chairman. Shema added that the committee told the Resident Electoral Commissioner, in charge of INEC, stressing
that in line with the constitution of the party and the Electoral Act, the congress was conducted. His words: “We proceeded to the venue of the congress and in line with our party’s constitution and the Electoral Act, all aspirants listed came, except Senator Andy Uba who was absent at the congress.” He explained that the total number of delegates accredited, including statutory delegates stood at 916. Other aspirants were: Dr. Alex who polled 13 votes, Walter Okeke 10 votes, Josephine Anenih six votes and Emmanuel Anosike one vote.
Obiano clinches APGA ticket CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
s expected, a former director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Chief Willy Obiano, yesterday defeated six other aspirants, polling 817 votes to emerge the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. By this victory, Obiano would fly the flag of APGA in the November 16 Anambra State governorship election. Obiano, who hails from Aguleri in Anambra East Local Government Area is a close confidant of Governor Peter Obi. He joined the race very late, and shortly after he threw his hat into the ring, it dawned on keen watchers of Anambra politics that the APGA ticket was for him to grab as he was reported to have received the blessing of Obi even before the contest began. Details of the results an-
nounced by the electoral panel headed by Chief Martins Agbaso showed that Obiano scored 817 votes to beat other contenders, like John Nwosu, who got 18 votes, Mrs Uche Ekwunife polled 150 votes, Emeka Nwogbo got 22 votes, Chief Paul Odenigbo received 49 votes, and John Emeka got one vote only, just as 33 votes were declared invalid. One of the contestants, Pat Nwachi Obianwu, had withdrawn from the race before the voting began. In his acceptance speech, Obiano, who was full of joy, said he accepted the victory with all sense of humility, even as he promised to work tirelessly with Obi to ensure continuity of government policies and programmes. It was an exercise in which supporters and appointees of Governor Obi showed their loyalty and worked hard to ensure that Obiano, who obviously was Obi’s anointed candidate, won the election.
L-R: Chairman, Peoples Democratic Movement, Anambra State chapter, Prince Chuba Ikengwu; National Chairman, Malam Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim; PDM governorship aspirant in the state, Dr. Ifeanyi Igwebuike, and Women Leader, South-East/Anambra State, Ebere Umeh during a visit to the PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA party’s office in Abuja, yesterday.
Convention: CNPP tasks PDP on integrity FELIX NWANERI
he Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, has berated the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for continuing to foist people without integrity on the nation, urging the party to respect the agreement it reached with former members of its National Executive Committee, NEC. The group, in a statement by its National Secretary,
Chief Willy Ezugwu, said the double standard of the ruling party is fast corrupting the political landscape, adding that the development is responsible for the inability of public office holders to fulfill their electoral promises. The statement said: “The total lack of integrity exhibited by the PDP in asking some members of its National Executive Committee to resign to open the way for their being properly elected only for the party to disown
APC full of noisemakers, says APGA chairman OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU
he newly registered All Progressives Congress, APC, has been described as a party made up of political noisemakers who have nothing to offer the Nigerian people. This was the contention of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA,
Chief Victor Umeh, in Abuja during a chat with journalists, where he said that his party, the APGA cannot be part of an amalgamation of people representing different things and working for their selfish interests. Wondering how a party filled with corrupt people would want to team up, portraying themselves as saints, to kick out the rul-
ing Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2015, Umeh said: “How can they kick out the PDP? If you look at the APC, they are full of noisemakers. I do not think that the best way to go is through noisemaking. A party that is just registered should begin to cultivate the will of the Nigerian electorate, and not to begin to talk about who to kick out and who not to
kick out.” He further berated the APC, which he said was lambasting the PDP as harbinger of corruption in Nigeria, adding: “If you look at people in APC, there are so many corrupt people in APC. So, for the Nigerian electorate, what would be the distinctive feature that will attract their votes to them? It is not by making promises.”
them falls short of what is expected of an organisation that produces some of the people who lead the nation. “While the natural tendency is to dismiss this development as an internal affair of the PDP, we must all not collectively lose sight of the fact that the PDP top shots will eventually treat Nigeria and Nigerians worse than they treat themselves. With the number of seats and executive positions the PDP controls, it is inexplicable that the future of Nigeria is now tied to the conduct of the PDP. So, it is crucial that Nigerians do not shy away from asking the party to do the right thing. “The party asked its officials that earlier emerged via affirmation to resign and be elected at another convention only for it to start edging them out even though they met their end of the bargain by voluntarily resigning. This has the grave implication of setting a bad precedence for ‘gentleman
agreement’ in this country. This is in addition to the fact that the PDP has by this action confirmed that it has no capacity to keep promises to Nigerians since it cannot stick to agreements reached with its own members.” The CNPP admonished the PDP leadership to retrace its step and not act in ways that insult and aggrieve Nigerians, especially now that it has emerged that the reason for its action is desperation to install loyalists of President Goodluck Jonathan and to hijack the party. The group said that while the party has the right to install whosoever it wishes, it has no right to drag governance and by extension Nigerians into the show of shame and brazen attempt at power grab in Rivers State since it is now known that the change in the leadership of the PDP was meant to oust those perceived to have been nominated by the state governor, Rotimi Amaechi.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
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Community Mirror Local council debunks extortion allegation
It’s absolutely shocking and frightening. It shows that nobody is safe in this country. This has been happening for the past three to four years, and the security agencies are unable to secure the citizens of this country. PROF. ITSE SAGAY (SAN)
Illegal oil-wells: Landlords, others to be prosecuted –NSCDC FRANCIS SUBERU
ollowing the discovery of illegal “oil-wells” in Ejigbo Area of Lagos, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Lagos State Command, said that eight persons arrested in two of the buildings will soon be prosecuted. Commandant of the state corps, Mr. Clement Adesuyi, said this while parading the suspects at the command headquarters, Ikeja.
Adesuyi reiterated the corps commitment to carry out the constitutional mandate of arresting, detaining and prosecuting suspected utilities vandals. NSCDC had, last Saturday, arrested eight suspects in two buildings at Animatu Illo Street, with wells filled with petroleum products. He said the two wells were allegedly dug by the suspects and others now at large, within the premises where vandals siphoned petroleum products directly from the pipeline. He said that contrary to com-
plaints in some quarters, the corps never received any report from the police or the NNPC that the residents were scooping petroleum products from wells. “If the people claimed they reported it to the police or NNPC, what do they do about it? We are talking about lives and the economy of the nation here. If a match is struck in the area, there would be explosion. “The public should report
any vandalised pipeline to the authorities for action. As Nigerians, let us work together for the development of the nation. “The code establishing the NSCDC empowers us to arrest, detain and investigate without any prior notice to the suspects. We appeal to other security agencies for synergy to put an end to pipeline vandalism. ``The operation would not have been be successful without assistance
from the army,’’ Adesuyi noted. The Commandant said that the rights of the suspects will be respected, stressing that all will be charge to court soon. He said the two buildings where the wells were discovered will be cordoned off, noting that appropriate authority would take care of the products in the wells, with a view to avoiding fire outbreak.
Jubilation as Amosun commissions electricity project FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
esidents of Ere village, a community in Ado - Odo/ Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State have gone into jubilation as Governor, Ibikunle Amosun commissioned the rural electrification project in the area. The community, which is predominantly farmers and traders also could not hide their joy in appreciation of the completion and commissioning of the 4.5km community rural electrification project which had been abandoned for more than 13 ye ars. Community Mirror gathered that the contract which was awarded by the federal government in May 2001 had over the years, suffered setbacks due to inadequate funding. The government however, rescued the situation through the intervention of the state Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs which directed the Ado-Odo/Ota council to complete the project. The local government however, provided a 500KV transformer to enhance the distribution of power in the community. Addressing the crowd, Amosun praised them for the successful completion of the project after being in darkness for 13 years. Amosun, who was represent-
ed by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Bashorun Muyiwa Oladipo, expressed optimism that the completion and commissioning of the project would improve the socio-economic activities of the community. Oladipo further told the people to be law abiding and live peacefully with others, assuring that the administration will not relent in its determination to promote entrepreneurial growth to further lift the living standard of the people. Chairman of Ado-Odo/Ota, Hon. Rotimi Rahman, appreciated the state’s support which he said had impacted greatly on grassroots development in the st ate. He however assured the people of more dividends of democracy that will further promote their socio- economic development. The chairman also urged them to co-operate with the administration in order to fulfill all his elections promise.
A group of bystanders watching two men fighting at Wuse Market in Abuja, yesterday.
PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
Beverage company workers protest poor wage FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
cores of casual workers of a privately owned food and beverage company in Irewon, a suburb of Ijebu-Ode, have gone on rampage to protest the alleged inhuman treatment by the management. Armed with placards bearing inscriptions like; “pay us our money”, “No to 7:30am to 7:30pm order” among others, the protesters also accused the company management of stretching them beyond what they could bear. They also alleged that some members of management were using middlemen to pay them meagre wages of N400.00 as against N1,000 daily as agreed. The protesters also cited the uncaring attitude as well
as much workload which they said was immeasurable to their contribution to the company for their action. Speaking, leaders of the protesters, Victor Adesegun and Mariam Ibrahim said the management extended their working hour from 8am - 6pm to 7:30am to 7:30pm with additional N80.00 stipends. Adesegun said, “We are not agreeing to that extension with the little increase because it is like stretching us beyond our limit’’. Mariam on her part stated that part of the reason they kicked against the extension was because of the restriction order on commercial motorcycles by the Ijebu - Ode Local Government which she said has compounded the transportation problem of the workers.
“How do we get to our houses from Irewon, when we cannot find means of transport”? Meanwhile, a visit to the company at Irewon village revealed that the food and beverages company is situated in a hidden environment where new comers will not be able to locate and residents of the area are not aware of such big project in the area. Community Mirror gathered that many of the casual workers would have to ride on motorcycles from their different locations before getting to work. But reacting to the workers’ protest, a top official who simply identified herself as Tina, said the company is holding series of meeting to address the protesters’ grievances.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
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Local council debunks extortion allegation OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU
he chairman of Yaba Local Council Development Area, LCDA, Hon. Jide Jimoh, has debunked the allegations that members of free flow traffic team are extorting motorists in the area. In a statement by his me-
dia assistant, Adebowale Omilani , Jimoh said: “The allegation was a blatant lie and an effort to distort the development and transformations going on in Yaba LCDA.” The statement reads in part: “In Yaba LCDA, we only have Yaba against Indiscriminate Parking Enforcement
Team, and not a task force, whose main duty is to ensure free flow of traffic. Since they started operation, there is nothing like extortion or arrest of anyone. “I still stand to be corrected that they are not for extortion and indiscriminate arrests of innocent motorists. There is no record of
extortion, because there are rules and regulations guiding their operation and if anyone is found guilty of extortion, he will be sacked and handed over to the security agencies for prosecution.” The council chairman challenged anyone who has been a victim to lodge complaints to his office rather
than writing against the council, adding that Yaba LCDA has been known for good governance. It would be recalled that one Jide Zaid wrote a petition against Yaba LCDA, alleging that its agency was extorting money from motorists, calling on the state government to disband them.
Oko Agbon residents decry activities of hoodlums FRANCIS SUBERU
esidents of Oko Agbon in Makoko Area of Lagos have decried the activities of hoodlums, suspected to be residents of Makoko and Iwaya communities; who commit heinous crimes in their neighbourhood. The residents alleged that the miscreants have turned Oko Agbon into a battle field where they cause mayhem on daily basis. According to Baale of Oko Agbon Community Development Association, Chief WasiuYonnon, ���We do not know what to do again. As a preventive measure, we fenced our community but this has not deterred the hoodlums from committing atrocities here. “Anytime they come here, the entire community is gripped with fear. On several occasions, they have molested children, raped girls and looted properties. It is like we are under a siege and we ask for government protection”.
The Baale said that the Nigeria Police had been informed of the activities of hooligans. He said they helped the community at the time they were fencing the community but it appears the fence is not adequate to stop the miscreants. He added that the hoodlums always commit a lot of havoc with intense panic. “It is like a war front, and is affecting our means of livelihood as our wives and children cannot not go out again,” Wasiu said. Corroborating this, Baale of Oko Agbon Ilaje, Chief Oluyemi Ogayemi said; “these miscreants are terrible. They fight with guns, knives and anything available. They kill themselves and you see blood everywhere. “If they want to fight, why they are coming here, they should stay at Makoko or Iwaya. Here is very peaceful until they turned it to a battle field. We thank the police and local government efforts in trying to stop these miscreants, but we want final solution because we are being ruined.
LG boss organises skills empowerment programme INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
he Chairman of Hawul Local Government Council, Mr. Daniel Musa Malang has organised a one week long skills acquisition workshop to stem growing graduate unemployment. The workshop which is in conjunction with the National Directorate of Employment, NDE is to empower the youths with skills to enable them create jobs. Speaking in Maiduguri, Mr.Daniel Malang said, “Hawul Local Government has more than 5,000 unemployed graduates, so we organised the workshop to assist them to become
job creators rather than job seekers”. “My council has also renovated classroom blocks and constructed new ones at Gula, Tashan Alade, Aga-Bura, Teba, Dangula, Wakdang, and Wuyaku in Gwanzang ward, in addition to completion of dispensaries and health centres at Mulbiya, Tawiwi, Gharang and Kirbitu to improve the living standard of the people” he said. The local government has also drilled a borehole at Ghuma and reticulated water to Azare council headquarters. The local government council has also sold 10 trucks of fertiliser to genuine farmers in the area to ease transportation problems for beneficiaries.
A Mobile Police officer taking photo of an event in Abuja.
PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
Igala indigenes honour members in Lagos LEONARD OKACHIE
he Igala community in Lagos State has honoured deserving members who have contributed to the development of the Igala nation in Lagos and in the Diaspora. The 26 members who were appointed as ambassadors were given the staff of office at a ceremony to mark the third anniversary of the ‘Onu Igala Lagos’, His Royal Highness, Chief Sani Yakubu Ejima. The ceremony held at his palace on Ayoola Street, Oworonshoki, was witnesses by many Igala sons and daughters, friends and well wishers. Some of the dignitaries who paid solidarity visit included the Sarkin Hausawa of Lagos and Chairman Council of Arewa Chiefs, HRH Sani Kabir; the Eze Igbo Lagos State, HRH Igwe Hyacinth Ohazuluike; Representative of Ata of Igala, HRH Jacob Ocheni Odiba chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party and governorship aspirant in Lagos, Babatunde Badamosi
among others. While presenting the staff of office to them, the HRH Ejima charged them to be good ambassadors by promoting peace and unity among them. He also expressed gratitude for the love shown to him, saying “we are wonderful and peace-loving people and this is what you have demonstrated today. I urge you to continue being an epitome of peace and love to yourselves and those around you irrespective of tribe and religion.” On his achievement in office, he said: “Everyone in Lagos now knows that if you are seeking employment you come to the place of Onu Igala. So many people who are seeking for job come here and those stranded know they have a home in Lagos.” He urged Nigerians to see each other as members of one family despite language differences because “we are all created by God. All we need is to put our heads together and make Nigeria a great nation because God has blessed the country. But we need a leader who can take
us to the Promise Land.” Corroborating, HRH Kabir, said the presence of the Hausa community was to demonstrate that they are one people, stressing that ethnicity is being promoted by politicians for their selfish gains. “My appeal is for people is to realise that we are one and we will continue to be tolerant of one another for the interest of peace and progress of Nigeria,” he said. Some of the honourees included HRH Umoru Abdul (Onu Igala, Lagos Mainland), HRH Mohammed Jubril (Onu Igala, Amuwo Odofin LGA), HRH Salisu Mohammed (Onu Igala Obalende/Ikoyi), Hassan Ibrahim (Achakolobia Igala of Lagos) and Oseni Ibrahim (Achakolobia Igala of Lagos). Speaking with Community Mirror, Chief Abdul said “I feel more honoured and ready to harness all resources of Igala based on the directives of the Onu Igala, Lagos.I am happy because this the first time Lagos Mainland is getting the office since 1958.”
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
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Snipers shoot at UN inspection team in Syria
“Joint fight against extremism and reconciliation and peace-building in Afghanistan with the expectation that the government of Pakistan will facilitate... the peace process.” - Afghanistan President, Hamid Karzai
U.S. consulate marks 50th anniversary of civil rights movement
Two Kenyan men sign deal to share wife
he United States Consulate General in Lagos yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the “I Have a Dream” Speech by Rev. King, Jr. by participating in the worldwide screening of the documentary titled, “The March,” a 1964 documentary by James Blue. The 40-minute film describes what took place during the 1963 civil rights March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history. The March, in which about 250,000 Americans participated, called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. It took place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. During the march, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech advocating for racial harmony. The March is widely credited with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Welcoming the guests, Financial Management Officer at the U.S. Consulate, Carl Scotts said the program was a follow-up to the Consulate’s program on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. He said he expected the documentary to serve as a reminder of the importance of the march and the need to continue to fight for freedom and equality all over the world. President of Campaign for Democracy, Joe Okei-Odumakin highlighted the lessons learnt from the film as including the need to employ Martin Luther King Jr’s method of peaceful protest and the need for all to unite in the fight against inequality all over the world. She urged Nigerians not to be divided along religious or ethnic lines but to come under the same umbrella to stand up against discrimination, injustice and corruption in Nigeria. “We shall not go violent and we will not be provoked to go violent but we shall move together to make Nigeria great again,” she said.
Zimbabwe to head African tourism commission PAUL ARHEWE
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
he United Nations world tourism body has chosen Zimbabwe to lead its Commission for Africa, the continent-wide group for tourism development for the next two years. The U.N. World Tourism Organization said that conflicttroubled Mali also joins the African tourism commission. Zimbabwe and Zambia are co-hosting the 155-nation tourism organization’s summit, held every two years, at the resort of Victoria Falls on their common border. The United Nations said in a statement that July 31 elections in Zimbabwe, bitterly disputed over alleged rigging, “will be respected by the assembly.” Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States have condemned Zimbabwe’s July 31 elections for breaches of
democratic rights, but they are not members of the U.N.’s tourism organization. Western governments are generally sceptical over the value of the biennial meeting attended mostly by developing nations with a poor record in tourism, conservation and political stability. Mugabe told the opening dinner celebrations and tribal dancing that the meeting endorsed Zimbabwe as “a safe and secure destination for world tourists.” He said critical Western countries dominating other U.N. political and economic programs stuck to what he called their “demonic tendencies” toward him. Zimbabwe sought friendly ties “with all countries, even those with which we may not agree on all matters,” he said. The two host nations automatically take over the presidency of the U.N. tourism organization during the sum-
mit, which is expected to be attended by about 1,200 delegates from governments and tourism enterprises worldwide. The last such gathering was held in South Korea in 2011. Cambodia and Colombia are on the short list to hold the next summit in 2015. The U.N.’s decision to give Zimbabwe co-host status was criticized as a “disgraceful show of support and a terribly timed award of false legitimacy” for Mugabe’s authoritarian rule, by the independent U.N. Watch human rights group on Friday. “Amid reports of election rigging and continuing human rights abuses, Zimbabwe is the last country that should be legitimized by a U.N. summit of any kind,” said Hillel Neuer, head of the Geneva-based group founded to monitor adherence by the world body to its universal charter on democracy and human rights.
South African seven-year-old girl shoots playmate dead
A Marchers posing as they commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, at the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, recently. Photo: Reuters
seven-year-old girl has shot dead her friend, aged six, with her grandfather’s revolver while playing at a farm in South Africa, police said yesterday. “They were playing together and in the process she got hold of the revolver, which hit the deceased in the face,” said police spokeswoman Ronel Otto.
The girl died on the scene, police said. The slain girl was the daughter of a farm worker and had been friends with the farmer’s granddaughter for some time. “The seven-year-old was visiting her grandparents on a farm outside Bela-Bela when she allegedly shot her friend with a 0.38 revolver,” Otto told a
news agency. The incident occurred on Saturday and the surviving girl has returned to her parents in Johannesburg. Police have opened a murder case but are waiting for a cue from the national prosecution authority on how to proceed with the case, given it involves a minor.
Two Kenyan men have signed an agreement to “marry” the same woman. The woman had been having affairs with both men for more than four years and apparently refused to choose between them. The agreement sets out a rota for Sylvester Mwendwa and Elijah Kimani to stay in her house and states they will both help raise any children she bears. Mwendwa told the BBC he loved the woman and said the contract would “set boundaries” and “keep the peace”. Lawyers said the “marriage” would only be recognised if they could prove polyandry - a woman having more than one husband - was part of their custom. The BBC’s reporter in the capital, Nairobi, said polyandry is not practised by any community in Kenya. People have reacted with shock to the “marriage”, arguing that it is not acceptable in terms of their culture, religion or the law, he says.
DRC combatants suffer heavy casualties Fighting between government forces and M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo has entered its fifth day, with both sides suffering heavy casualties, a doctor near the front line said. Dr Isaac Warwanamiza said he had seen 82 bodies since early on Sunday, 23 of whom were government soldiers, the Associated Press news agency said. The fighting in Goma, North Kivu province’s largest city, has drawn UN troops from Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania who are now fighting alongside the DRC army. The 3,000-strong intervention brigade, set up by the UN Security Council in March, is entrusted with neutralising armed groups and militias in DRC’s volatile east who are threatening civilians. Warwanamiza said medical services were struggling to cope with the scale of the casualties among government troops and the M23 fighters who launched their rebellion last year. “I’m overwhelmed by what I’ve seen: bodies blown apart, arms and feet here and there,” he said, speaking by phone from a hospital north of Goma. Three UN peacekeepers were wounded on Saturday in the fighting, though no injuries were immediately reported by the UN peacekeeping mission. A UN official said that two M23 “colonels” had been killed since Wednesday, while the DRC military had not lost any senior officers.
nidentified snipers have opened fire on a convoy of UN experts investigating suspected chemical weapons attacks in Syria’s capital, the UN has said, a report from the BBC has disclosed. One car was shot at “multiple times”, forcing the convoy to turn back. Syrian state media blamed opposition “terrorists” for the attack, though the claim could not be verified. The UN team later resumed its mission, entering the western district of Muadhamiya to gather evidence, before returning to central Damascus. Hundreds died in alleged attacks on Wednesday in five districts near Damascus. The US said there was little doubt that Syrian forces used chemical weapons in the attacks, which reportedly killed more than 300 people in rebel-held areas. Syrian President Bashar alAssad dismissed the accusation as “an insult to common sense” and warned the US against military intervention. “If someone is dreaming of making Syria a puppet of the West, then this will not happen,”
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Snipers shoot at UN inspection team in Syria
• Use of chemical attack undeniable –Kerry
U.N. chemical weapons experts visit a hospital where wounded people affected by an apparent gas attack are being treated, in Damascus, yesterday. Photo: Reuters
he told the Russian newspaper Izvestiya. The 20-member UN inspection team has been in Syria since 18 August to look into three earlier suspected chemical attacks. They were given permission on Sunday
to examine the Damascus locations. The experts intend to take soil, blood, urine and tissue samples for laboratory testing but they are unlikely to apportion blame for any of the attacks.
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Meanwhile, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that the evidence of a massive deadly chemical attack last week was “undeniable” and accused the Syrian government of trying to cover it up, signaling the United States was edging closer to a possible military response. In the most forceful U.S. reaction yet after Wednesday’s suspected gas attack outside Damascus, Kerry said President Barack Obama “believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people.” Kerry spoke after U.N. chemical weapons experts interviewed and took blood samples on Monday from victims of last week’s apparent chemical attack in a rebel-held suburb of Syria’s capital, after the inspectors themselves survived sniper fire that hit their convoy. “What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world,” Kerry told reporters. “Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity.”
Opposition criticises Indian government over gang rape
Demonstrators gesture a thumbs down sign during a protest against official corruption at Luneta park in Metro Manila, yesterday. Photo: Reuters
Thousands of Filipinos embark on anti-corruption protest
ens of thousands of Filipinos angry at official corruption marched through the centre of Manila and other cities to demand the abolition of a misused fund for legislators’ pet projects, the biggest protest aimed at Benigno Aquino’s government. Aquino came to office in 2010 on a good governance and anticorruption platform and consistently enjoys popularity ratings of more than 70 percent, but the Philippines remains one of the most corrupt countries in East Asia. Protesters, responding to a call to wear white, converged on Ma-
nila’s largest park angry at the misuse of “pork barrel” funds under the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). The money is frequently channelled to projects solely to impress voters, though many have turned out to be non-existent. Aquino said on Friday the government would plug leaks in the fund, an announcement appeared timed to pre-empt Monday’s march, and a presidential spokesman said the protesters and government wanted the same thing. “The message is clear - we are on the same side. We are against corruption,” spokesman Edwin Lacierda told reporters.
ndia’s opposition criticized the government yesterday for failing to deal swiftly and harshly enough with sex offenders, after a gang rape in Mumbai revived a national debate over women’s safety in a society undergoing rapid social change. A 22-year-old photojournalist was raped on Thursday in Mumbai while on an assignment with a male colleague. Her colleague was tied up with a belt and beaten. The crime has parallels with the gang-rape of a trainee-physiotherapist on a moving bus in Delhi in December. Both crimes were against young professionals in a society where many men believe women should remain in the home. The attack in Mumbai, widely considered to be India’s safest city for women, has raised concerns that harsher penalties alone are not deterring sexual offenders. Speaking in parliament, Sushma Swaraj, a leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), called for a time limit for prosecuting the Mumbai attackers, complaining that the trial of the Delhi gang-rape had yet to reach a verdict. “We are not able to hang these beasts and we are not able to punish them quickly,” Swaraj said. “That’s why these incidents are happening.” The criticism comes at a time
when the Congress-led coalition government is under fire over a range of issues that have angered the growing urban and professional middle-class, a target constituency for BJP campaigners. With an election due by May, the government faces particular criticism over an economic downturn, a string of corruption scandals and slow progress on business reforms. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde promised the Mumbai perpetrators would be tried in a fast-track court. Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh said data showed a rise in rapes in Mumbai because police were urging women to report attacks, not because the city was becoming less safe. “After this case in Delhi, we have ... created the awareness that even a simple minor incident involving a woman, a crime against (a) woman, must be reported to the police,” he said. Some members of the rightwing Shiv Sena party, which leads the coalition that controls Mumbai’s municipal body, last week blamed city crime on the influx of migrants from other states. However, five men arrested over the Mumbai attack were all local to the city, police said yesterday.
Israeli troops kill three Palestinians amid peace talks
Israeli troops shot dead three Palestinians during an early morning raid to arrest a suspected militant in the West Bank yesterday, hours before negotiators met for another round of peace talks, Palestinian sources said. The U.S.-brokered talks resumed last month after a three-year stalemate over Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in 1967 which Palestinians seek for a state along with the Gaza Strip. Neither party has expressed much optimism for a major breakthrough and the negotiators have met largely in secret, alternating between Israeli and Palestinian locations. No details were revealed on the talks. Witnesses said Israeli armoured jeeps entered the Qalandiya refugee camp, near Jerusalem, at around 3 a.m. (8.00 p.m. EDT) and were met by stone-throwing residents. The Israeli forces responded with gunfire and left the camp around daybreak, the witnesses added.
French govt commissions 10-year action plan for reforms France’s Socialist government has commissioned experts to produce a 10-year game plan for overhauling areas such as public spending and education in keeping with its strategy of pursuing gentle, incremental reforms. Responding to criticism that he has been slow to embark on structural changes and lacks a big-picture vision, President Francois Hollande wants ideas on his desk by year-end for sprucing up industry and slimming down the welfare state. “The point of this is to leave behind the silo mentality we’re in today and think more broadly,” said Jean Pisani-Ferry, a prominent economist and scholar whom Hollande has appointed chief of a new economic policy planning body. Building on a May labour reform and a pension bill headed to parliament in October, the aim is to link structural reforms in areas like education, housing and workplace training rather than looking at French problems in a piecemeal way, he said.
‘Greece may renegotiate rescue loans’
Greece may seek to ease its debt burden by renegotiating its bailout terms, the Greek finance minister said yesterday. Yannis Stournaras told German newspaper Handelsblatt this could involve lower interest payments and more time to repay 240bn euros (£206bn) in loans. It comes a day after he conceded that Greece may face a hole in its finances of up to 10bn euros. Speculation over Athens’ borrowing needs comes at a sensitive time, with German elections due in September. Earlier this month German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said for the first time that Greece will need another bailout to plug a forthcoming funding gap.
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Egyptian Islamist groups seek truce to end crisis T wo former Egyptian militant groups have proposed a truce between the military and the ousted president’s Muslim Brotherhood group, in a move that highlights the extent to which Islamists have been weakened by a massive security crackdown, the associated press has reported. The leaders of the Gamaa Islamiya and Islamic Jihad movements said yesterday their initiative calls for supporters of former President Mohammed Morsi to cease street demonstrations if the military-backed government halts their moves against them. The two groups, which waged an insurgency against the government in the 1990s but later renounced violence, want the army and Brotherhood to enter into dialogue. The military deposed Morsi on July 3 after millions took to the street demanding his resignation. Morsi’s allies have previously insisted on his reinstatement as a precondition to talks, but Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed Abu Samra told The Associated Press that the proposed truce had no “red lines.” While the groups do not speak for the Brotherhood itself, the initiative is a new sign of flexibility from the pro-Morsi Islamist camp, whose protest campaign is waning. Hundreds of Brotherhood leaders and organizers have been arrested in the crackdown and
Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi arguing with riot police and army personnel in Cairo, recently. Photo: Reuters
numbers at their formerly massive rallies have dwindled. Egypt’s worst bout of violence in its past 2 ½ years of turmoil was set off when security forces backed by snipers and armored vehicles broke up two sprawling pro-Morsi protest camps on Aug. 14. More than 1,000 people, mostly Morsi supporters, were killed in the raids and other violence over the next several days. Morsi’s supporters retaliated by attacking dozens of police stations, torching churches and setting government buildings on fire. “We are paving the way for
talks,” Abu Samra said by telephone. “We can’t hold talks while we are at the points of swords in the midst of killings and crackdowns.” He said the groups were “extending their hands” to avoid a bloodier confrontation with the military, which he accuses of “defaming” the Brotherhood in the media and mosques. The crackdown continued however on Monday, as the state news agency announced the arrest of former youth minister and senior Brotherhood member Osama Yassin. Top Brotherhood negotiator Amr Darrag said the group is open
for talks but needs “confidencebuilding measures.” However, he added, “the other side didn’t show a single gesture or any sign that it is ready for dialogue. It only talks about it.” Meanwhile, the Brotherhood called for new rallies on Aug. 30. A security official said authorities would be on high alert nationwide that day for fear of new bout of violence. The interim president’s office could not be immediately reached for comment. Egypt’s Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi had earlier told report-
ers that security measures will not be enough on their own and that Egypt “must go down the political path” to work out a democratic transition through reconciliation. He ruled out talks with anyone who had committed acts of violence, however. The Brotherhood has lost much public support and is now largely resented by the general population. Its offices and Brotherhoodowned businesses have been attacked, while Egypt’s media — almost uniformly against it since the closure of Islamist TV stations — describes the group as “terrorist.” In one incident yesterday, authorities arrested the head of a kindergarten in the Nile Delta city of Kafr el-Zayat after parents complained she was teaching children pro-Morsi songs and anti-military chants, a security official said. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters. Mohammed Hassan, spokesman of the Gamaa Islamiyah group, which once attacked police, Coptic Christians and tourists, said Islamists fear that the army could split if it continued using what he called excessive force against Islamists. “Things could get out of control and the army could fall apart,” he said.
Rare genetic disease makes boy looks 110-year-old
14-year-old boy has been left with the body of a 110-yearold in India because he has a rare disease which makes him age eight times faster than normal. Ali Hussain has seen five of his siblings die from the same condition called Progeria which is known to affect just 80 people worldwide. Two of his brothers and three of his sisters have died from the disease in Bihar, the poorest state in India. Progeria causes rapid ageing and sufferers of the genetic disease are prone to arthritis, eye problems, heart disease and baldness. Sufferers are not expected to live much beyond the age of 14 - but despite the grim prognosis Ali has refused to give up hope. ‘I very much want to live and I hope there is medicine for my condition out there. I’m not scared of death but my parents have suffered a lot,’ he said. ‘I’d love to live much longer for them. I don’t want to burden them with any more pain.’ Ali’s parents Nabi Hussain Khan, 50, and Razia, 46, are first cousins and were the product of an arranged marriage 32 years ago. Their children Rehana, Iqramul, Gudiya and Rubina have all died from Progeria between the ages of
Illness: Ali’s genetic condition effectively has the body of a 110-year-old because of the rare condition
12 and 24. A fifth child, a boy who died within 24 hours of being born, is also thought to have had the rare condition. Nabia and Razia, who have had eight children in total, do have two healthy daughters - Sanjeeda, 20, who is married with two children of her own. Their youngest daughter Chanda, 10, also does not have Progeria. When their first daughter, Rehana, was born in 1983 they had no idea anything was wrong at first. It was only after her second birthday when she couldn’t eat or walk properly did they visit a doctor.
But the doctor was baffled and he sent them home with some medicines. Progeria was so rare and poorly documented that most doctors had never heard of it. Two years later when their son Iqramul was born and showed the same symptoms, the family went back to the doctor. But again, they were not offered any tests or possible diagnosis. Nabi, who works as a gatekeeper at a factory earning 2,000 rupees - or £20 - a month said: ‘We never heard of the word Progeria, the doctors never mentioned it. They were stabbing in the dark; they were as clueless as us. ‘If a doctor had perhaps told us that our children were suffering with some kind of genetic problem and we were connected we would’ve stopped having children. But nothing was said.’ Nabi and Razia carried on having children hoping they would conceive a healthy boy or girl eventually. Their wish was granted when they had Sanjeeda. In 1995, after years visiting different doctors, a consultant in Kolkata finally diagnosed four of their children with Progeria and broke the devastating news that there was no cure for ay of them. • Culled from Daily Mail
Hussain is held by his mother Razia, 46. She has had eight children and Photos: Asia Press six of them have suffered from Progeria
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (196)
“Anything that’s causing excitement within us is evidence of a Spirit message that’s saying, “You can do this – yes, you can!” – Wayne D. Dyer
RESPECT YOUR INNER URGE!
There is a saying that you can never be hungry for what does not exist. The fact that you are hungry for something or for an experience shows that the thing and the experience exist. It is good to obey our inner urge for greatness and prosperity and do whatever we can to turn the urge into physical realities. Moment by moment contemplation of our true identity can transform our lives and destiny. Our Divine essence is the true identity we should reflect upon when dealing with the obstacles of life. The way a caterpillar insect will see an obstacle will be different from the way butterfly will see the obstacle. Let’s remind ourselves that it is the caterpillar that is transformed to butterfly. When we keep growing on a constant basis, it won’t be long when we will be transformed and we will see our present hurdles as opportunities in disguise. What am I saying? Respect that hunger within you and go for your dreams. Don’t think that you will find things easy. Don’t think that because something is not easy, therefore it is impossible. The real you is unstoppable. Give room for yourself to manifest in style! DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: email@example.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile
Pope calls Italian teen, chats for eight minutes
n Italian teenager said he received an unexpected phone call this week and spent the next eight minutes chatting with Pope Francis himself. The pontiff rang up Stefano Cabizza in Padua on Thursday after he received a letter from the 19-year-old student that was passed on by a cardinal. Cabizza said the two talked about Jesus and his relationship with the apostles, and agreed they probably related to one another on an informal and fairly casual basis. He said the pope told him, "They
were friends, like us." The Local.it said Cabizza admitted he was blown away by the phone conversation and related
Man revived 45 minutes after his heart stopped
man whose heart stopped beating for 45 minutes credits his faith for being alive and says stunned doctors who declared him dead aren't sure what happened. The body of diesel mechanic Tony Yahle was being prepared by nurses to be seen by his family Aug. 5 when he began to show
signs of life, doctors said. He fully awakened at the hospital five days later. Yahle, a 37-year-old West Carrollton resident, has been a topic of conversation since, said cardiologist Dr. Raja Nazir. "In the last 20 years, I've never seen anybody who we have pronounced dead ... and then for him to
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come back, I've never seen it," Nazir told the Dayton Daily News (http://bit. ly/1516ptK). "Actually, I've never heard of it." Yahle says it's a miracle and that doctors couldn't find any defects in his heart. Their last guess was that it was all the result of a possible viral infection, he said.
it to the newspaper Il Gazzettino. "I wanted to speak about my fantastic experience to bring this great and humble
gesture to light, and the closeness between us faithful followers and Pope Francis," he told the newspaper.
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Northern govs recommend sale of 49% equity in NNDC A
Police arrest 300 hoodlums in Benue HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI
orthern States Governors’ Forum, NSGF, yesterday advised the New Nigerian Development Company, NNDC, to sell 49 per cent of its equity to members of the public. Chairman of the forum and Niger State Governor, Dr Babangida Aliyu, made the recommendation on behalf of his colleagues in Kaduna. He spoke at the opening ceremony of a three-day management retreat for workers of the company. Aliyu said the poor performance of the NNDC has necessitated the need for some of its investments, such as the Arewa Hotels, to be sold off to the public.
“You may therefore find it expedient to work out the investment portfolios of each state and issue certificates appropriately, while at the same time proposing private placement of about 49 per cent for the consideration and approval of the governors.” The chairman noted that the company must evolve ways of refocusing and improving on its performance in order to survive. “We should be concerned that after 56 years of operations, the NNDC is performing epileptically, when similar companies in other parts of the country have grown into gigantic business conglomerates. “We must encourage and
support the company to make private equity investments in northern-based enterprises,” Aliyu said. According to him, such a step would attract capable individuals with a view to re-capitalising same and realising revenue from divestments. He said it would also enable NNDC “take strategic investment positions in public quoted companies whose operations are of economic relevance to the North.” Governor Aliyu also urged the company to invest in “the untapped potentials inherent in the northern region, particularly in agriculture, education, mining and infrastructure.”
He charged the company to strengthen its human capital development programmes to enable it compete and negotiate favourably with the international business communities. The NSGF chairman called on participants to use the platform as an avenue to brainstorm and ensure that the company’s fivw-year strategic plan bears fruit. Also speaking at the occasion, Governor Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna State, stressed the need for collaboration with the state for economic development and capacity building. Yero was represented by his Deputy, Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga.
t least 300 suspected hoodlums and a member of a terrorist gang have been apprehended by the officers and men of the Benue State police command in recent times. The hoodlums were arrested during ‘Operation Stop and Search’ in Makurdi, the Benue State capital and its environs. Briefing journalists yesterday at the state headquarters of the command in Makurdi, state Commissioner of Police, Adams Audu, said the felons include armed robbers, cultists, people involved in culpable homicide and other nefarious acts that are against the law. The commissioner lauded members of the vigilance groups as well as other security stakeholders, whose support led to the success recorded in the apprehension of ‘these undesirable elements,’ pledging that they would soon be taken to court after investigations might have been concluded for their various offences. He generally expressed
enthusiasm about the arrest of the 300 suspects, describing it as a crime buster, which the command under my leadership, have been able to record. He said it was not a mean effort, but gave kudos to officers and men under his command as well as the Benue people for partnering with the command to fight crime to its barest minimum. The police commissioner said the terrorist in custody was arrested at the weekend with an Improvised Explosive Device, IED. He said he initially gave his name as Amodu Yaou, but changed his name during interrogation to Amodu Halilu from Kakuri, Kaduna. The police boss said the case has been transferred to force headquarters in Abuja for further investigation. Audu said the recent inauguration of ‘Operation secure Benue State’ is paying off as criminals are being trailed and caught across the 23 local government areas of the state which has given rise to a drastic drop in crime wave in the state.
Kogi Assembly summons publisher, activist WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA
K L-R: Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Amb. Nuhu Bajoga; Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu and Chairman, Board of Directors, New Nigeria Development Company, Prof. Halidu Abubakar, at the company’s ‘Management Strategy Retreat’ in Kaduna, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
I’ve no hand in recruitment taskforce –Head of Service OMEIZA AJAYI
he Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji, yesterday denied setting up any taskforce for the purpose of recruiting officers into the federal civil service. Aji said his attention has been drawn to the activities of a group of people operating illegally as a
OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
faction of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, led by Senator Rufai Hanga, has formally joined the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM. The faction has also indicated interest in the forth-
“Federal Civil Service Recruitment Task Force,” claiming to have been set up by his office and selling fake recruitment forms to applicants, urging law enforcement agencies to arrest such people. Since the Federal Civil Service Commission announced vacancies in some federal ministries, application forms issued for such purpose had been very scarce to the extent that
graduate job-seekers had to stage a protest match for about three days in Abuja. Consequently, Aji urged the public to be aware that the responsibility for the recruitment of officers into the federal civil service is that of the Federal Civil Service Commission and that the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation plays no role in the process. Director of Communications in his office, Tope
Defunct CPC faction joins PDM coming governorship election in Anambra State. During a courtesy call on the interim National Chairman of the PDM, Alhaji Basher Yusuf Ibrahim, at its national secretariat in Abuja, the PDM governorship candidate in Anambra, Dr Hygers Ifeanyi Igwe-
buike, confirmed that the national leadership of the defunct CPC under Hanga approved of the fusion. This, he said was more so, because of the forthcoming election in the state. A statement by former National Publicity Secretary of the CPC, Chief Denis
Ajakaiye, in a statement on behalf of Aji, recalled that the commission has been advertising vacant positions and the application process in the nation’s newspapers. He advised applicants to always get appropriate information on recruitment from the commission’s office in Abuja or through its website and avoid dealing with fraudsters when seeking employment into the federal civil service. Aghanya, said the former state chairman of the party in Anambra, Prince Chuba Ikeagwu, led the delegation to PDM headquarters as a step towards the merger arrangement. He confirmed that all the offices of the party from state, LGA to Ward levels in Anambra have been converted to PDM offices.
ogi State House of Assembly has ordered the publisher of the Public Magazine, Mr. Ade Bada and a rights activist, Idris Miliki, to appear before it tomorrow over a story published in the current edition of the magazine House Committee Chairman on Information and a member representing Kotonkarfi Constituency, Saliu Akawu, had drawn the attention of the House to the publication which alleged that the 25 House members had collected N5 million each as gratification from the state government. The publication said the gratification was to endorse the N20 billion loan Governor Idris Wada sought from the capital market. Akawu added that the publication had cast serious integrity question on members of the House by asking what the members did with the N10 million constituency allowance recently given to them. He said it was not the business of the magazine to ask such questions as it was only members of their vari-
ous constituencies that could do so. Akawu also condemned two rights activists, Comrade Idris Miliki, of the Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution and one Comrade Illiasu Megida, for making comments over the allegation. The House unanimously passed a motion ordering the publisher and the two activists to appear before it tomorrow to substantiate their allegations. It was gathered that Miliki, who was at the floor of the House at that time was later summoned to the Speaker’s office where one of the legislators threatened to beat him. Reacting to the summon order, Miliki in a press statement, expressed worry that the House which is supposed to make laws for the good of the state is now engaging in activity that suggests the trampling on his rights of expression. He said his advice on the publication that the lawmakers should not do things that could undermine their integrity and members of their constituency, was in good faith and wondered why the House was fidgeting over the issue.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
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Strengthening civil groups in disaster management SANYA ADEJOKUN
igeria’s National Disaster Framework describes disaster management as a multi-jurisdictional, multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary and multi-resource initiative. It recognises the importance of federal, state and local governments, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the private sector to discharge their respective roles and responsibilities and complement each other in achieving shared goals of disaster management. The document then stipulates that the tiers of government, relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), the military, police, para-military and civil society organisations (CSOs) shall develop their capacities in disaster management. In addition, community institutions
shall acquire disaster management capabilities as first responders, and Emergency Management Volunteers (EMV) shall be established to compliment the organised structures. Disaster Response Units (DRUs) shall be established in different military formations across the country to provide assistance to civil authority during emergencies. This stipulation was, no doubt, a consequence of the global paradigm shift in approaches to disaster management during the last 12 years or so from relief-centric to a multi dimensional approach. The role of NGOs in this context therefore assumes added significance. For the avoidance of doubt, NEMA has sought to involve CSOs in its programmes and activities especially the numerous workshops it organises every now and then. However, for these organisations to function more effectively there is the need for
them to rely less on foreign aids and for government through NEMA, SEMAs and other MDAs to develop a systematic funding arrangement for them in their annual budgets. Over the years, the lack of a well-coordinated network between the government systems and the NGO sector and also among the NGOs themselves have no doubt hampered efforts to effectively administer the Nation Disaster Management Strategy. The NEMA Establishment Act of 1999 gives the body the power “to coordinate the activities of all voluntary organisations engaged in emergency relief operations in any part of the Federation”. The important function of NGOs is that of being a link between the Government and the community. The importance of these roles is highlighted through its integration into all the three stages of disaster manage-
ment including, pre-disaster during disaster and postdisaster phase. Statistics show that the occurrences of disaster as well as magnitude increased tremendously with the phenomenon of global warming but when these hazards strike, the communities are the first to react, irrespective of their profession, status, cast or culture. Community based organisations are therefore essential to serve both as first responders and specialised agents to attend to victims needs. Examples of how these organisations can be as relevant as government agencies can be seen in the activities of Red Cross. Over the years, Red Cross staff and volunteers have always been those to get to disaster scenes first. They also prepare citizens against future occurrences by training them on how to administer first aid in addition to educating residents of disaster
prone victims on the need to evacuate. Following the 2012 floods in many parts of the country, the Red Cross has assisted scores of families to rebuild their swept away homes in many local governments of Kogi State. CSOs and NGOs therefore have responsibility during the pre-disaster phase to generate awareness educate, train, establish community task force. More than governmental agencies, they could also be more effective in setting up community disaster management committees and teams, establish management strategies, and conduct simulation exercises. Some experts have added that these groups should equally be encouraged to conduct vulnerability assessment and coordination with government and non government agencies. As soon as disasters strike, trained volunteers will certainly be useful in assisting officials and providing first aid, sanitation and hygiene, damage assessment and assistance to external agencies bringing relief materials.
And if properly trained and empowered, CSOs may be in charge of providing technical and material support for safe construction, revival of educational institutions and restoration of means of livelihood and assist the government in monitoring the pace of implementation for various reconstruction and recovery programmes as seen in the example of the Nigerian Red Cross. For many years, volunteerism and humanitarianism have take flights from the country. This coincided with the abolition of Civics from the primary schools. With this, organisations like Boys Scout, Girls Guild, Man O’War and many others ceased to exist. Deliberately encouraging SCOs and NGOs could thus be a way of teaching members of the society especially youths on how to become involved in volunteerism once again. Adejokun is the National Coordinator, Journalists Against Disaster Initiative and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org
Agency retrains 100 emergency volunteers in Ebonyi DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
T PHCN mini-transformer poles that fell on vehicles at Abiodun Sadiku Street, Dopemu, off Abeokuta Expressway, yesterday. PHOTO: LEKE MOSES
NEMA collaborates with other agencies in handling disasters
he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called for greater collaboration with other humanitarian agencies to assist victims of natural disaster. Addressing the 2013 World Humanitarian Day Celebration, the Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi disclosed that 200 million persons are in need of humanitarian assistance every year. Represented by the Director of Administration of the agency, Dr Zana Mohammed, he called on agencies involved in humanitarian services to address the new challenges being experienced daily. The event focused on the need for greater collaboration among humanitarian workers who provide support for
different world challenges. NEMA’s director of administration called for partnership among humanitarian agencies to assist victims. Representative of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Choice Okoro and the Secretary General of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Bello Diram appealed to relevant agencies to match words with action. Meanwhile, NEMA has developed a National Disaster Recovery Strategy and Framework, NDRSF, as well as commenced special training on Camp Coordination and Camp Management for the stakeholders to strengthen preparations ahead of the predicted 2013 flood and other disasters. The Director of Training of NEMA, Engineer Daniel
Balarabe Gambo, while representing the Director General of the agency during a presntation of draft NDRSF for adoption by stakeholders at a workshop in Abuja, stated that the document was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, and the World Bank to expedite the process of recovery from disaster situations and complement other existing policy frameworks for operational efficiency and effectiveness of disaster management in Nigeria. Sani Sidi urged the stakeholders to make their inputs to the document designed to specifically address the scourge of flood and its related impact to also provide a “new road map capable of preventing possible effects of floods and associated
risks in 2013 and beyond the rainy seasons. “The strategic priorities of the Agency is to reposition the country by providing a solid foundation and frameworks for building a national and community resilience to reduce all related disaster risks towards actualising the gains of any developmental strides aimed at total transformation for rapid socio-economic development of our great country”, he reiterated. On the training of the stakeholders on Camp Coordination and Camp Management, he said it was targeted at the State Emergency Management Agencies, SEMAs, which will hold in Lagos for the Southern states and Akwanga, Nassarawa State for the North. Participants at the work-
he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) South East zone has retrained a total of 100 Grassroots Emergency Volunteer Corps in Ebonyi State. The retraining was aimed at reactivating NEMA’s already inaugurated south East zone retrained grass roots emergency management volunteer corps. It is also part of measure to boost the capacity of the Agency for effective and efficient disaster risk management, as well as search and rescue operations across the State. NEMA’s South East Zonal Coordinator, Dr. Onimode Abdullahi Bandele, noted that volunteerism in disaster management is well-accepted and practiced worldwide. He stated that the roles of volunteers in disaster risk reduction (DRR) ranges from preparedness, early warning, disaster response and post-disaster rehabilitation recognized in a number of international policy instruments, such as the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005). Dr. Onimode, further stressed that the retraining of the volunteers in Ebonyi
State was to improve the capacity of the community towards building a culture of preparedness, prevention, response and resilience to disaster. He however expresses his profound gratitude to the volunteers and participants who in spite of other commitments have devoted their time to attend the programme. In his speech Ebonyi state Governor, Martin Elechi, represented by the Commissioner for Border, Peace and Conflict Resolution, Hon. Donatus Aja, stated that the retraining workshop was a welcome development, because it would provides wealth of knowledge and relevant information to the volunteers on disaster risk management within their localities. The governor also applauded the collaborations of NEMA with Ebonyi State Emergency Management Agency and assured that the present administration in the state was committed towards saving lives and properties by reducing the impact of disasters in the State. He promised that government would continue to provide training opportunities for the State Civil Servants on disaster management related issues in the area.
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013
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Reforming prisons to serve society Prisons are places where convicts are meant to be reformed to become better and useful citizens after serving time. Incidentally, most Nigerian prisons are now torture camps where the inmates are constantly dehumanised. JAMES DANJUMA writes that the Katsina State Government has embarked on reforming its penitentiaries to serve the needs of inmates and the society at large.
A typical prison cell in Katsina
lobally, prisons are established to serve as correctional institutions for persons awaiting trial or for those serving sentences. The ultimate goal of prisons is for rehabilitation and reformation so that convicts could pay for crimes committed and come out as useful members of society. According to the International Centre for Prison Studies, ICPS, there are estimated 10 million prisoners worldwide with number of inmates differing from country to country. The United States has one of the highest numbers of prisoners in the world, and leads in the Americas with more than 2.3 million inmates. Russia tops the European statistics with 780, 000 prisoners; China leads in the Asian continent with 1.7 million, while the Middle East countries have the lowest number of people locked behind bars. South Africa leads other countries on the African continent, followed by Ethiopia, Egypt, Rwanda, Morocco, Algeria, and Nigeria coming seventh in same order. The problem confronting many of these countries however is the increase in number of prison inmates, which has resulted in congestion, thereby becoming a source of concern for them. Reasons why prisons are overcrowded include slow judicial process, high crime rate, backlog of inmates awaiting trial, imposition of long sentences on crimes that could pass for short terms, among others. Despite being a world power, the US recently lamented about the high number of inmates in federal penitentiaries and began measures that would ensure this number was reduced to barest minimum. In Kenya for example, more than 6, 000 prisoners were reported to have been freed including 2,850 petty offenders, 2,586 first-time offenders, 1,227 ordinary offenders of good conduct with balance sentence of nine months, and 837 inmates aged 65 years and terminally ill. According to the report, the aim, was
KATSINA STATE, MORE THAN 200
PRISONERS HAVE BEEN SET FREE IN RECENT WEEKS WITH THE GOVERNMENT HAVING SETTLED THEIR FINES AND ASSISTED THEM WITH MONEY TO START SMALL BUSINESSES part of efforts aimed at decongesting the nation’s prisons which presently has 50, 000 inmates in 89 prisons. Nigeria is not left out in the prison congestion problem; according to the Nigeria Prisons Service, NPS, website the country as at May 31 2013, has 54, 144 inmates who are being incarcerated in 144 prisons which have capacity for only 47, 284. This means that Nigerian prisons have an excess of 6, 860 inmates, even as unofficial figures suggest such to be an underestimation of the real situation. One report says Nigerian prisons have about 74, 000 prisoners, including 1,113 awaiting execution, with more than 36, 000 awaiting trial which puts pressure on prison accommodation. It is against this that the federal government in May this year, set up a 12-man Presidential Inter-ministerial Committee on Prison Congestion. The committee’s aim is to ensure decongestion of prisons amid the increasing number of inmates awaiting trial. And as a way of complementing federal government’s effort, some states like Adamawa, Ekiti, and Katsina have recently commenced decongestion of their prisons. This is in line with Section 212(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Re-
Some convicts in a classroom
public of Nigeria on the ‘Prerogative of Mercy’ on convicts by state governors. The section empowers governors to pardon, free, grant respite or substitute a severe punishment with a lesser one, with the power exercised after consultations with an advisory council on Prerogative of Mercy. For example, in Katsina State, more than 200 prisoners have been set free in recent weeks with the government having settled their fines and assisted them with money to begin small businesses. The state had a couple of months ago set up a Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy, headed by Abubakar Yusuf Bindawa, who is also the Special Adviser to the governor on Community Development. The committee had visited the state’s 11 prison formations which reportedly has over 1, 500 inmates and compiled a report along recommendations that included freeing some categories of prisoners. It was learnt that those fitting these categories included the aged, those with little number of days left in their jail terms, those with minor offences, among other considerations. Members of the committee then visited all the prisons, identifying the affected categories of inmates, paying their fines and donating N10, 000 to each of them to start a business. Bindawa said the committee would henceforth be visiting prisons on quarterly basis with a view to freeing such inmates and that the money given was to enable them become self-reliant. In addition to the efforts of the government, the state chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, and some philanthropists are also making efforts to decongest prisons in the state.
In 2012, the state NBA set up a committee that would work towards possible free legal services for prisoners with the organisation assuring that it would work with stakeholders to reduce the problem of prison congestion in the state. Speaking on the matter, the NBA chairman, Barrister Murtala Kankia said the NBA had, in collaboration with the state High Court, conducted some prison visits to determine the number of those in need of free legal services. Kankia said data on inmates in such category would be collated from all the prisons across the state to enable the NBA to fully commence the free legal services. He however said that the organisation had facilitated the setting free of nine inmates after settling their fees which totalled N76, 000. While several philanthropists are involved in helping with prison decongesion in the state, one of them at the forefront of such effort is Mahadi Shehu, who has facilitated in freeing over 40 inmates in recent months. Shehu, who is chairman of Dialogue Group Limited, also assists freed inmates with money to enable them live decent lives and not tempted to engage in acts that could make them go back to prison. Some of the inmates he facilitated in freeing include those from the Katsina Central Prison, Funtua and Daura medium security prisons as well as Dutsinma Satellite Prison. A total of 17 inmates were freed at the Daura medium security person, 11 from Dutsinma satellite prison; 10 at the Katsina central prison, and three from the Funtua medium prison. While assuring that more inmates would be freed in coming days, he called on wealthy individuals to help set inmates free as some of them were bailable even with small amounts of money.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Gov.Yero releasing pigeons for peace
Christians and Muslims slaughtering a ram during Sallah celebration
Kaduna strives to restore peace amidst sectarian strife Kaduna has, for long, witnessed several mayhem due to sectarian strife. In the heat of riots, many investors moved out of the city. But since Governor Muktar Ramalan Yero took office following the demise of late Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, he has embarked on reconciliation campaigns in the state’s three senatorial zones. AZA MSUE, writes that following this initiative, peace is gradually returning to the crocodile state.
aduna is one of the largest states in northern Nigeria and is viewed as the historical headquarters of the region. Over several decades, it has like other states in the zone experienced outbreaks of violence and fighting among the residents. Although, the fundamental causes of these violence can be traced to religious differences as well as political and economic factors. Three of the most serious spate of violence in the state occurred in 2000, 2011 and 2012. Successive governors, especially, Ahmed Makarfi, Namadi Sambo and late Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa went several distances to restore permanent peace in the state but in spite of this there are still crises. This informed religious bodies, non -governmental organisations, civil societies and other stakeholders to join the campaign for peace. Since the assumption of office of Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, there has been relative peace as he has embarked on peace campaigns in the three senatorial zones of the state. Yero had said that splitting Kaduna along religious line is not healthy and would not aid development, unity and harmony. While playing host to the Interfaith Mediation Group in conjunction with foreign delegates at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, he said the metropolis is split along both sides of the Kaduna River Bridge, with residents always cautious when crossing to the other side, as this is not healthy. He stressed that the government would, through legal means, utilise religious and group leaders to ensure people of different faiths live peacefully among each other. “It is rather sad for people to work in the same office, buy and sell in the same mar-
Inter faith leaders dining together
ket, study in the same school and suddenly become suspicious of each other the next moment.” “We are all serving one God and must try as much as possible to serve Him in a peaceful atmosphere and understand and tolerate each other, because God said he created mankind in different races and tribes, not for them to fight but to understand each other and serve Him properly,” Yero said. Last December, Peter Yakowa, son of the late Governor, Mr. Patrick Yakowa had said his late father died for peace and unity of the state. To this end, Yero’s first peace building campaign outing was held in Kagoro, a predominantly Christian area where he held talks with traditional and religious leaders including groups aimed at strengthening security and peaceful coexistence. Addressing participants, he said the process is to actualise his administration’s resolve to engender dialogue among the people towards building genuine reconciliation and peace as well as commitment to sustain lasting unity. Yero said “this initiative has nothing to do with politics because our primary responsibility is to ensure peace and security of lives and property in the state. We are ready to dialogue with all stakeholders in the process and I am optimistic that in the end, we shall achieve our goal of bringing lasting peace”. Responding, Chief of Kagoro, Mr. Afuwai Bonet commended Yero for the laudable initiative aimed at fostering unity and sustainable development. He therefore urged all to live in peace and harmonies to enable government execute its development plan for the state. On the other hand, the leadership of Southern Kaduna Elders Consultative Forum under, Gen. Zamani Lekwot (rtd) had pledged loyalty to the administration. According to Lekwot , the interest of the
WE ARE ALL SERVING ONE GOD AND MUST TRY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO SERVE
HIM IN A PEACEFUL ATMOSPHERE AND UNDERSTAND AND TOLERATE EACH OTHER forum is the restoration of peace in all parts of the state. “We therefore pledged our loyalty to this administration”. Speaking at the palace of Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, Yero reiterated the resolve of his administration to bring lasting peace and security to all nooks and corners of the state, adding that the initiative is to listen to complaints and suggestions from all stakeholders with a view to finding permanent solution to the challenges of peace and security. On his part, Shehu Idris commended Governor Yero for his well conceived initiative. He expressed the readiness of the Emirate Council and other traditional institutions of the state in the entrenchment of peace and security in Kaduna. One of the residents, Mr. John Maikudu said “Governor Yero should treat everyone equally irrespective of religious faith. “If Yero shows himself to be for all, his peace efforts will succeed but if not it would fail”. Meanwhile, the peace efforts seems to be attracting foreign investors, as the Indian Government said it would build a textile institute in the state to provide the youths
with opportunity for acquisition of modern skills in operating the machines and manufacturing. An Indian delegation led by the Head Africa Initiatives and Industry Research of IL&FS Cluster Development Initiative Limited, Dr Milan Sharma said, that once the state government provides them with land, the institute would start a six month training programme with initial in take of 30 students which will increase as it progresses. Speaking, chairman of Textile Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Sen. Walid Jibrin, leading a delegation that included Vice President of Nigeria Labour Congress and President, National Union of Garment and Textile Workers of Nigeria, Comrade Issa Aremu, said the Indian government would fund the establishment of the institute. According to the Indian delegation, Nigeria has lots of textile potentials as renowned producer of cotton and base of textile industries, while Kaduna state was chosen because of its reservoir of textile industries and the gradual return of peace and stability. Governor Mukhtar Yero pledged the support of the state for the institute, just as he urged the delegation to immediately go into discussion with the Commissioner for Lands and other officials to decide how the government could assist. He said: “Kaduna state is reverting back to its normal position as one of the safest and most secured states where you can do business in Nigeria. Kaduna has always been a textile industry town, even as many have closed down due to power problem. The federal and state governments are working to produce enough power for industries. Kaduna also grows cotton so we shall support you, as government would provide space for your project because it will provide job opportunities for our youths.” In a related development, a Polish firm has declared it readiness tobuild a $2m foam making industry in the state. Speaking after an investment meeting, leader of the Polish delegation, Mr. Janusz Litwin said the investors are ready to establish their businesses in Kaduna State because of the investment friendly climate created by the government. He said the company; Organika Trade Holding has already visited the proposed site for the industry and would soon commence work. Mr. Litwin said the Polish investors are happy to invest in Kaduna as a preferred investment haven due to growing economic activities, saying investors have confidence in Kaduna with the return of peace and stability.
Light sensitivity Vol. 03 No. 695
Boko Haram after Shekau
he killing of the leader of Boko Haram Islamic sect as claimed by the Defence Headquarters has so far been acclaimed as a welcome development and one that will henceforth determine the campaign of the group. As noted by individuals, the death of Shekau will mean an automatic end to the groups onslaught on the society in the guise of religious campaign. It is expected to bring respite to a traumatised people. Sceptics have expressed doubts over the claim by the military that the man who assumed the sect’s leadership after the death of their spiritual leader and founder of the group has indeed been eliminated. This
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Working in Chicago, Illinois, USA in 1942, Maurice H. Pirenne detected a flash of blue light of 500nm in total darkness, when as few as five quanta or photons of light were available to be absorbed by the rod photoreceptors of the retina.
lack Stars midfielder, Sulley Muntari, has written an apology letter to Coach Kwesi Appiah after launching a tirade following his substitution in a 2014 World Cup qualifier in June. “I write this letter to render my sincere apologies to the Management, Technical Team and the entire players of the Black Stars for my
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stems from previous claims by security forces that he had been killed after which the man would again resurface and become more deadly in terrorising the people. Given the record of events as narrated by the military, they appeared convinced this time around that the man had indeed been killed after a deadly confrontation with security forces from which he was fatally injured. The doubts being expressed in some quarters are not unexpected given the style of operation of the sect in the past. If indeed the man who loved to kill had been killed himself, it is good riddance to a bad rubbish. Many Nigerians would have wished him dead even before now given the trauma his leadership has caused both his members and non-members in their unholy campaign to enforce Islamic government in the country. Apart from the skewness of the campaign, the extent of destruction of human and material resources unleashed on the country and the people is also a reflection of the confusion of the campaigners and their supporters. Never in history of religious intolerance in this country has it been said that a group will target the destruction of the same people it aspires to lead particularly in the name of a supreme being who also will need this same people to worship him. Given the boldness and the events which led to his death, it will take a resurrected Shekau to convince the people that he is still avail-
WITH DELIBERATE POLICIES TO PROMOTE THIS, GRADUALLY
COME TO TERMS WITH HOW TO ENJOY THE GOOD SIDE OF NATURE WITHOUT BEING AT THE RISK OF NATURAL DISASTERS able and able to continue with the struggle. However, the death of Shekau, at least for now, is not a reason for government to dismiss, condemn or abandon the cause of what led to the underlying current of their disenchantment with the system and the larger society. If they have indeed not tasted the benefits of western education and those educated have not being of any inspiration to them individually and collectively, they have the right to look up to someone they believe will take them to their promised land, the style and process of getting there notwithstanding. Perhaps in Boko Haram they saw a leader pointing them the way to heaven and to live
their lives to please God. It does not matter to them whether they are being wrongly indoctrinated by a leader who never had western education and does not know the benefits. To them their leaders represent their God-sent messengers whose instructions and commandments must be obeyed. So killing innocent souls who they see as infidel, to them is a way of securing eternal life since the world they live offers nothing good and particularly no future for them. What they see and experience too further confirm these assertions. So to them, it appears meaningless to leave this world without doing what was expected, that is to help destroy others who they see as the enemies of their own God. Government policies rather than disabuse the minds of these ones have continued to reinforce their believe in the doctrines as told by their leaders since they could not see a future that guarantees a good life comparable to the one they can see through the teachings of their leaders. Beyond our shores, this dangerous religious doctrine is spreading fast and becoming a major threat to the world. The network is fast is growing at an alarming rate and the ultimate aim is to ensure chaos, turmoil globally. An hungry man is an angry. When hunger disappears from the needs of a man, one may reasoned how to contribute meaningfully to growth in the society. When former leader, Mohammed Yussuf was mysteriously killed, no one would have thought that he has replicated himself in the likes of Shekau. So rather than heave a sigh of relief and relax at the news of the killing of Shekau, government must begin to embrace and execute programmes that will give hope to the hopeless by deliberately executing policies that provide jobs for teeming population of the jobless and able body youths. Once they are available and able, the devil will surely engage them and pervert their ways and thinking which if had been properly harnessed and managed would have turned assets to the society.
Sanction: Muntari apologises to Ghana behavior after the Lesotho versus Ghana match which was played in Maseru on June 17, 2013,” the letter dated August 24, 2013 read in part. “I wish to state that this unfortunate incident will not happen again,” it added. The experienced player, who has
now enhanced his chances of being named in the squad to face Zambia next month in the final qualifier, had questioned why he was replaced by Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu in the Black Stars’ 2-0 win at Lesotho. He refused to sit on the bench and
walked straight into the dressing looking extremely furious, later admitting he confronted the coach but “not disrespectfully”. EPL RESULT Man United
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