NAMA admits use of faulty radio communication equipment OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he management of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, yesterday
Vol. 21 N0. 510 115
admitted that the radio frequencies being used by air traffic controllers, ATC, have some challenges, but are not enough to put the lives of air travellers and pilots in danger.
Speaking at a press briefing yesterday in Lagos, the agency’s Managing Director, Mr. Nnamdi Udoh, said that the radios had some challenges, which were peCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
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Rot in judiciary, cause of terrorism–FG T ISE-OLUWA IGE AND EMMANUEL ONANI
...says police kill 7,169 in four years
he Federal Government yesterday identified the rot in the criminal justice system as the principal reason for escalation of the culture of self-help and
terrorism activities in the country. The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), who spoke yesterday also disclosed that the police had carried out extra-judicial killings of over 7,195 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
EFCC intercepts N15.5bn at airports –Lamorde P.4
Festac Town’s decay and fear of epidemic outbreak Obasanjo lauds Aregbesola, unveils Ige’s statue P.8,54
DPO, 13 others killed in Yobe Bank, police station, telecom masts razed P.52
L-R: Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori; Governor Rauf Aregbesola and former President Olusegun Obasanjo during the visit of Owu Development Foundation to the governor in Osogbo, yesterday.
Troops deployed in search of Okonjo-Iweala’s mother
We’re combing nooks and crannies of Delta –CPP.5
Fire destroys N40m goods in Ibadan market
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
I’m not on Facebook, says Jimoh Ibrahim
he Group Managing Director of Energy Group, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR, has dissociated himself from Facebook accounts carrying his name and image. The business mogul said that he had never opened an account on the popular social networking website and does not operate one. In a statement issued yesterday in response to the fictitious accounts, Barrister Ibrahim noted that the accounts, which were created on February 28 and July 27 this year by unknown persons were meant to deceive members of the public. A visit to the July 27 account triggered an antivirus programme on personal computers, an indication that it might be linked to a phishing website set up to steal information from computer users. The account, opened in the name of Otunba Ibrahim Jimoh, is sparsely populated and only contains a profile picture in the likeness of Barrister Ibrahim
with a handful of friends. The earlier account contains several pictures of the Energy Group GMD, which were obviously downloaded from the internet. “For the avoidance of doubt, I don’t use Facebook, I have never opened an account of Facebook and I don’t intend to open an account just yet,” Ibrahim said. He urged family members, friends, business and political associates as well as employees of his companies to disregard the account and postings contained therein. Several other wellknown Nigerians have had fake Facebook accounts created with their names and images. Last month, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, had condemned the use of his wife’s name, Abimbola, by impostors on social networking sites. . In a statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr.
Hakeem Bello, the governor had warned that the First Lady did not operate a Facebook, Twitter or any social media account. “Perpetrators of the criminal act should desist henceforth or should be ready to face the music when the long arm of the law catches up with them,”
the special adviser had warned. Describing impersonation as a criminal offence punishable by law, Bello warned unsuspecting members of the public to avoid falling victims of fraudsters impersonating the First Lady on Facebook or any social media platform.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the First Lady of Lagos State does not operate any Facebook, Twitter or indeed any social media account,” he stated. Also in September, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, had ex-
L-R: Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Bayelsa State, Col. Sam Inokoba; President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Seriake Dickson, during the Bayelsa State PDP expanded caucus meeting in Yenagoa, yesterday.
Rot in judiciary, cause of terrorism–FG
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
people, mostly detainees, in the last four years. He made the revelations while delivering an address yesterday at the national dialogue on “Torture, extra-judicial killings and national security: Human rights implications.” The event was organised by the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, in Abuja. Specifically, Adoke said that the Federal Government had noted that the police had, through the years, relied on “Police Force Order 237” to commit extra-judicial killings. He said that the order, which allowed the police to shoot any suspect or detainee trying to escape or avoid arrest, had led to extra-judicial killings of 7,195 people in four years, out of which 2,500 were detainees. “Although these figures have been stoutly disputed by the police, even the most charitable defenders of the force cannot deny that some dishonourable officers indeed have taken the law into their hands in the most barbaric fashion
by killing suspects and innocent citizens,” Adoke said. The AGF, however, said that plans were afoot for his office to take over from the police, the power to prosecute any criminal suspect in the courts. He noted that the force was peopled by laymen who could not tackle counsel of defendants in the court. The AGF explained that henceforth, the police would concern themselves with investigations of criminal acts of suspects on the grounds that the inability to diligently prosecute offenders and the general state of helplessness for the victims of crime to get justice had led to cultures of self-help. Adoke said: “According to a school of thought, the spate of wanton killings and gruesome attacks on persons that has increased in recent times and the apparent lack of will or capacity on the part of security agencies to arrest this trend appears to fuel the incentive for self-help measures that often manifest as acute and barbaric practices.
posed at least 18 fake Facebook profiles cloning his own original profile. He had warned followers and associates that some criminally-minded people had created several Facebook pages with his name to make the public believe he was directly connected to or associated with them.
“There is no doubt that the rule of law has taken flight in the society, which condones a situation where citizens take the law into their hands and summarily try and execute suspected felons. “The apparent slow pace of the criminal justice system particularly the corruption that permeates the system has been identified as the main reason why citizens take laws into their hands. “I have on numerous occasions listened to or read how disenchanted victims and complainants of an offence speak of corruption in the police, how the police can no longer be trusted to conduct a dispassionate enquiry into a complaint, how many complainants suddenly find themselves behind bars in a curious travesty, and how prosecution and trials are slowed by tardiness and ceaseless adjournments. “There is no doubt that a holistic reform of our criminal justice system is long overdue. In my humble view the issue transcends the police, the Ministry of Justice and the
courts are also complicit. “What we are witnessing in the form of self-help by victims and sympathisers is really collateral damage exerted by the rot in the system.” But the Managing Partner of the Legal Resources Consortium, Mr. Olawale Fapohunda, disagreed with the Federal Government over its comment on the ills in the police system. He said the approach of the government to reform had made the police an endangered species. Fapohunda, however, dismissed the idea of state police on the grounds that the solution to the problems of crime, insecurity and terrorism in Nigeria was not federal or state police but creating an efficient, honest and professional police service. The Legal Resources Consortium, which cosponsored the event with NHRC and NASS, said rather than the Federal Government implementing police reform, it had been setting up reform committees. “The inauguration of the Parry Osayande Com-
mittee with terms of reference similar to previous high level committees on police is a clear indication of lack of interest of the administration on police reform,” Fapohunda noted. He noted that instead of implementing the reports it was promoting culture of committee, adding that the police could not meet the challenge of criminality because of lack of modern tools to carry out its job. “Are we aware that the police officers are today endangered species with more than 100 officers killed in active duty in the past three months? “How can we reasonably expect a citizen’s police, given its poor level of endowment, possibly expect police to protect our rights when the right to dignity of majority of its officers are violated on a daily basis?” he said. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan to commence a thorough investigation of allegations of extra-judicial killings levelled against security
agencies in the country. It warned that unless the killings were diligently probed and culprits brought to justice, alleged impunity on the part of the law enforcement agencies would continue. The call was contained in a speech by NBA’s President, Chief Okey Wali (SAN), to mark this year’s International Human Rights Day in Abuja, yesterday. In an address tagged, “Nigeria’s human rights outlook: Looking back and projecting to the future”, Wali also advised the police and the State Security Service, SSS, to ensure that insurgents in their custody were charged to court within the period stipulated by law, “as that will offer them the needed opportunity for trial.” He added: “There is no doubt that extra-judicial execution by the Nigeria police amounts to a disregard of the duty to organise the apparatus of the state in such a manner as to guarantee the rights recognised in the African Charter. “It is also our view that CONTINUED ON PAGE 52>>
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
L-R: Author, A Biography, Deacon Abioye Oyelowo; Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Abayomi Finnih; former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Rafiu Jafojo and book reviewer, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, during the launch of the book in Lagos, recently. Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade (left) and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, during the Golden Jubilee lecture in honour of Akpabio in Uyo, at the weekend.
Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Sidi (left) and Director, Research and Rescue, Air Commodore Charles Otegbade, during an emergency response team’s training for corps members in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
L-R: Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck; Chief Marketing Officer, Mr. Larry Annetts; Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer, Mr. Babatunde Osho and Chief Information Officer, Mr. Charles Molapisi, with children from the Lekki Children’s Home, Children of Promise Ministries, Ibadan and Arrows of God, during the light up of the company’s Christmas Tree in Ikoyi, Lagos, yesterday.
Money laundering: EFCC recovers N15.5bn from airports –Lamorde OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday disclosed that it intercepted N15.5 billion at the nation’s airports this year. The EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, made the disclosure at the 2012 International Anti-Corruption Day celebrations with the theme: “ACT…. Help Detect Corruption Risks Today,” organised by the InterAgency Task Team, IATT, comprising anti-corruption agencies. According to a statement from the commission, Lamorde said the amount recovered represented physical cash and not legitimate cash transfer through the financial institutions, taken out through the nation’s airports. He said N14 billion being couriered outside the country was intercepted at the nation’s airports between January and August while the operation of a Special Task Team which is a joint patrol of the airport by the EFCC operatives and
Nigerian Customs officers which commenced in September, led to the arrest of illegal cash couriers with over $9 million dollars. While linking the illegal transfer and corruption to share greed, callousness and meanness of the people involved, Lamorde gave example of an individual, who was arrested for laundering $7 million cash in a brief case and flying out of the country through the airport. He said: “Corruption is one of the reasons Nigeria has not been able to make progress, socially, politically and economically and we have all agreed that corruption cannot be sustained in Nigeria; all of us must come together to fight corruption.” The EFCC chairman said the funding of the anti-corruption agencies and their operating legislations had to be reviewed to enable it perform optimally. Lamorde explained that between January and December 2012, the commission filed about 353 cases at various courts across the country and recorded about 53 convictions. He said: “Criminal proce-
dure rather than judiciary should be blamed for the problem of slow pace of trial of corruption cases. Somebody cannot steal from you and expect that the law should protect him against you the victim of his crime. Something has to be done. I pray that the new leadership of the judiciary will be able to do something.” The EFCC chairman also reiterated the need for a special court to take on corruption cases in Nigeria. He said: “Judges are either transferred or the witnesses dead. It is not fair on
the anti-corruption agencies to say they are delaying cases. Let cases not last forever. If you think there is no case, please discharge the person but where the person has a case to answer, the case should be concluded in good time.” On his part, the IATT Chairman, Mr. Ledum Mitee, said the problem of corruption had not been solved because of weak anti-corruption institutions in terms of capacity, funding and coordination; failure of leadership at all levels to genuinely talk the
talk and walk the walk. He said there was the need for a more concerted effort in ensuring synergy in the operations of anticorruption agencies. Mitee added that performance in fighting corruption had been very poor. He said: “However, we cannot continue on this path. We must steer the ship aright. With the establishment of IATT, synergy is being built among the anti-corruption agencies. The era of individual turf is waning, giving room for possible joint investigations
and prosecutions which in turn is expected to result in effective sanctions and prevention of corruption.” Mitee added that another way corruption could be collectively and systematically addressed “is by adopting a holistic national strategy to combat corruption. And I understand that the IATT has developed a draft national strategy document. This document is most encouraging and should be given every push for adoption by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, to translate into policy.
...Commission arraigns Nadabo Energy, MD for N1.4bn subsidy fraud K AYODE KETEFE
he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arraigned Nadabo Energy Limited and its Managing Director, Abubakar Ali Peters, before Justice C. A. Balogun of the Lagos High Court, Igbosere for allegedly fraudulently obtaining over N1.4 billion from the Federal Government under the petroleum Support Fund. The commission al-
leged that the accused obtained N1,464,961,978.24 from the government by falsely claiming that the money represented subsidy accruing to which they were entitled under the subsidy fund regime. They were arraigned on a two-count charge comprising the alleged offences of fraud and forgery in contravention of Section 1 (2) and (3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006. Count one reads: “That
you Nadabo Energy Limited, and Abubakar Ali Peters, between February and April 2012 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud conspired to commit an offence to wit: obtaining the sum of N1,464,961,978.24 from Federal Government of Nigeria by falsely claiming that the sum represented subsidy accruing to you under the Petroleum Support Fund for the importation by you of litres of Premium Mo-
tor Spirit, PMS, which Nadabo Energy claimed to have imported into Nigeria through MT American Express Ex MT St. Venessa and financed through Form M No: MF878037 which representation you knew to be false.” The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him. Prosecution’s counsel, Mr. Ben Ubi, prayed the court to give a trial date, saying that the EFCC was ready to proceed with the case.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Troops deployed in search of Okonjo-Iweala’s mother SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI
roops were yesterday deployed in the nooks and crannies of Delta State in search of Prof. Kamene Okonjo, the mother of the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was abducted on Sunday. Also, the InspectorGeneral of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, also deployed a crack team of detectives to complement the efforts of Delta State Police Command. National Mirror learnt that the IG’s team was led by a Deputy Inspector-General of police. It was learnt that Abubakar directed the team to ensure early release of the
minister’s mother and apprehend her abductors. The minister’s mother was abducted at the palace of her husband and the paramount ruler of Ugwashi-Uku, the headquarters of Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State, Obi Chukwuka Okonjo, on Sunday. The 82-year-old queen of Ugwashi-Uku was abducted by 10 gunmen, who invaded the palace. Her whereabouts was yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report yesterday. All arms of the security agencies were on red alert in the state, especially in the neighbourhood of the scene of the dastardly action yesterday. Dr Okonjo-Iweala, had said in a statement on Sunday that it was possible that
those behind the kidnap were the same people who have made threats against her in the recent past. In the statement, signed by her spokesperson, Paul Nwabuikwu, Mrs. OkonjoIweala had said it was also possible that “other elements with hostile motives” were behind the kidnap. “No possibility can be ruled out at this time,” the minister said. Our correspondent, who visited Ogwashi-Uku yesterday, sighted stern-looking security agents, particularly at the palace. National Mirror learnt that the troops were deployed in the state from the 4th Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Benin, Edo State Capital. The troops were led by the Commanding Officer, Brig.-Gen. Obi Umahie.
Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, who visited Ugwashi-Uku, later told our correspondent on the phone that his command was collaborating with the team from Abuja to free the octogenarian unhurt from captivity. Aduba said all security agencies were collaborating to achieve results, adding that the security agencies were working on a clue to apprehend the hoodlums and free the octogenarian. “The Delta State Police Command is working and collaborating with all security agencies to free the queen and apprehend the criminals. There is no cover up and we are on course in our investigation,” the CP added. Meanwhile, Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel
Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen (left) and Minister of State for Works, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, at the public hearing on the near collapse of federal roads in the country, as well as a bill for an act to provide for the maintenance of public infrastructure 2011 and other matters connected therewith in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Uduaghan, yesterday assured that the queen would soon be united with her family and urged members of the public to volunteer information to assist the security agencies. Uduaghan, who visited the community in company with top officials of his administration, also assured that the hoodlums would be arrested and prosecuted. He said: “I have been in touch with officers of the various law enforcement agencies and I assure you that Prof. Kamene Okonjo will safely return. The perpetrators of such a despicable crime will be brought to justice. “Please do not get involve in rumour mongering that will not help law enforcement agents. Only information that will help in her rescue is needed now,” Uduaghan added. The Odafe of OgwashiUku, Chief Olizele Ogochukwuka Nkwor, who responded on behalf of the community, thanked the governor for the efforts he had made so far to ensure safe and early return of the octogenarian. Nkwor assured that his people would collaborate with the law enforcement agencies. Meanwhile, one of the children of the Okonjo family, Mr. Onyema Okonjo, yesterday blamed security lapses for the kidnap of his mother. Onyema told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha
South Local Government Area of Delta that his mother was kidnapped on Sunday at her residence between 12 noon and 1 p.m. by 10 young men. “They came in two green Golf cars and it all happened very quickly. I think there were definitely some lapses in terms of security. It is not what it should have been, the people that were supposed to have been here were not here. “This gave them the opportunity to do what they wanted to do, but at the end of the day; we really have to be prayerful. “I think it is really a sad reflection of where we are as a society,’’ Onyema, the sixth of the seven children of the Okonjos, said He wondered why an octogenarian woman, a grandmother and great grandmother should be kidnapped. When contacted, the Commissioner of Police in Delta, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, said that this was not the time to trade blame. He, however, promised that any officer indicted would be punished. Aduba said that in every case of kidnapping, there was always an insider, adding that investigation was on to unravel the situation and free the victim unhurt. “We have been holding meetings with the governor and we have sent out our men to comb every nook and cranny and I am sure we will get her out unhurt,” Aduba said.
NAMA admits use of faulty radio communication equipment CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
riodically fixed by its engineers. He insisted that the Nigerian airspace was safe for flying, saying that if the airspace was not safe, international carriers like Ethiopian Airlines, British Airways and others would not be operating in the country. He explained that some of the ATCs were sabotaging the efforts of the management, adding that NAMA had embarked on safety-critical projects, “one of which includes the total VHF radio coverage of the Nigerian airspace.” On the petition written by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, NATCA, on the issue, Udoh stated that the letter, which
was written on November 24, 2012 got to his table on the 27th the same month while others copied on the issue received theirs before him. He said: “It’s the younger ones (ATCs) that are bastardising the system and this is ridiculous. “How can pilots fly blind in the last three months? The radios are working perfectly. Our radios truly have challenges, yes, but they are fixed and not as bad as not being serviceable. “If the radios will not fail, there will not be a need for a radio engineer. Some ATCs are sabotaging our efforts. “To address some of the challenges we have had in the past, the agency em-
barked on several safetycritical projects, one of which includes the Total VHF Radio Coverage of the Nigerian airspace. “It is worthy to say here that the project has been successfully completed and the deliverables of the project provides VHF radio services on the following frequencies for both Lagos and Kano ACCs: Lagos East – 127.3MHz, Lagos West – 120.9MHz, Kano West 128.5 MHz and Kano East – 124.1MHz.” He noted that these frequencies were performing at optimum, but for operational reasons in the past Lagos ACC was not sectorised and became congested due to high frequency with attendant challenges
posed to pilots. Udoh added that the agency had commenced the process of sectorisation of the Lagos ACC and it is expected to be finally sectorised on the 17th this month. He noted that ATCs and engineers were working on the technical and operational implementation of the sectorisation, which includes drawing of procedures, gap analysis and safety audit of the process. National Mirror had reported exclusively yesterday on the poor radio communications between the ATCs and the pilots. A six-page petition written by NATCA, an umbrella body of ATC of NAMA, signed by its General Secretary, Mr. Banji Olawode and
made available to National Mirror indicated that there were at least 114 reports of unreliable radio communications between Lagos and Kano between September and November 24. Also, in the same period, there were 72 reports of “erratic working condition of 124.1MHZ radio frequencies of Kano-East as reported by pilots flying in the route. Besides, between October 17 and November 24, 2012, there were 58 different reports on the frustrations of duty air traffic controllers and pilots on 128.5 MHz (Kano-West radio) with six reports on its total failure. Olawode had written to Udoh and copied 13 other persons, including the Min-
ister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah; Chairmen, Senate and House Committees on Aviation; Senior Special Assistant to the President on Aviation; National Security Adviser; Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority; Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, and Director-General, State Security Service, SSS. Others are the Director of Operations, NAMA; Director of Safety Electronics and Engineering Services, NAMA; Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN and International Air Transport Association, IATA, representatives in Nigeria.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
‘Civil war actors must apologise for their roles’ OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he atrocities, killings and injustices that led to the Nigerian civil war re-echoed at the National Eucharistic Congress held at the weekend in Abuja, as the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) called on those who played prominent roles in the war to publicly apologise for the mayhem. Though, the war ended 42 years ago, President of the body and Archbishop
of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama, said except the actors made such public apology, there would be no end to ‘anger, hatred and deep-seated animosity’ among the different people in the country. Since the war ended, there have been claims and counter claims by key gladiators with each player giving account of the issues that led to the war in a manner that suited such player and also the vexed issue of abandoned property in Rivers State, which never led to reconciliation and total forgiveness by the different
ethnic nationalities. Aside from the war issue, the CBCN said other acts of violence in the country, especially acts of terrorism being carried out by Islamic fundamentalists, the Boko Haram, should be brought to a halt and the perpetrators and sponsors make public apology over their mindless killing of innocent people. According to the body; “Many people today stress physical healing but there is a very great need for inner healing. A significant chapter in our history as a
nation, which calls for healing of memory is the unfortunate civil war. “There is need for a sincere public apology by all Nigerians, with political leaders and leaders of other stakeholder-groups, leading the people in the exercise with sincerity of heart and purpose. “We lost human beings, brothers, sisters, means of livelihood, etc. The war has so wounded our hearts that we continue to hear of accusations and counter accusations. “Stereotypes and barri-
ers have been formed and when consciously or unconsciously they are imported into our lives, they can do us and posterity incalculable spiritual and social harm. “After over 40 years, we still need healing and purification of memory. Whether we accept it or not, we bear terrible hidden grudges against one another: Northerners, Igbos, Yoruba, etc, because of perceived injustices. We keep arguing about who the victims or the aggressors are.”
ACN too corrupt to comment on corruption – PDP OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) lacks moral justification to attack the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan’s efforts to check corruption as the party itself was enmeshed in deep corrupt practices. The PDP also said that the Federal Government created the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to fight corruption, agencies which it said had posted degrees of successes. A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, said the party is optimistic that its battle on corruption would be won with the bold institutional framework the PDP-led Federal Government has put in place and with the collective efforts of all Nigerians. Metuh wondered what is ACN’s contribution to freeing the society from corruption as a party controlling six out of the 36 states of the federation.
L-R: Managing partner, Legal Resources Consortium, Mr. Oluwole Fapohunda; Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Bem Angwe and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, at the International Human Rights Day celebration in Abuja, yesterday.
FG seeks Swiss assistance in $6.8bn fuel subsidy probe UDEME AKPAN
WITH AGENCY REPORT
he Federal Government has sought the assistance of Switzerland to assist it in probing the multi-billion dollar fuel subsidy scam following the refusal of some Swiss oil trading firms to cooperate with the government. Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, presently investing the scam told Reuters that the request was
were themselves complicit in the fraud, he said: “We just want information to confirm some of the things the (Nigerian fuel) marketers have said ... whether they sold such products to the Nigerians or not.” A parliamentary probe put the cost of the fraud to the Nigerian state at $6.8 billion between 2009 and 2011, almost a quarter of the national budget. As a result of the probe some Nigerian fuel importers have been charged to court but no one has been
convicted yet and most of the targets have been relatively low level, rather than big players. The judicial authority in Geneva, home to many private trading houses, said Switzerland had requested additional information on the probe from Nigerian authorities. An unnamed spokesperson of the organisation is also said to have remarked that: “This case involves suspected subsidy fraud on imports of refined products by Nigerian companies.
‘Nigeria budgeted N1.414trn on roads since 1999’ TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
sent to Swiss authorities in October after some trading houses declined to provide documents. Lamorde, who declined to provide names of the firms said; “They are not forthcoming and most of the information is not in their Nigerian offices.” He said the commission was making efforts to unmask the details of fuel importers and corrupt officials that has led to the state paying for nearly double the amount of fuel it received. Asked if trading houses
House of Representatives panel yesterday alleged that the Federal Government has budgeted and spent N1.414 trillion on a mere 30 per cent of about 350,000 kilometre-roads
since 1999 by the Federal Ministry of Works According to the House Committee on Works’ findings, out of the 34, 400km of federal roads, only 12, 040 are ‘paved and they are even in varying degrees of distress and potholes.’ Chairman of the Works Committee, Hon. Ogbuefi
Ozomgbachi (PDP-Enugu), made the allegation yesterday at a four-day Public Hearing on the Urgent Need To Address The Near total collapse of Federal Roads Across the Country, and a Bill for an Act to provide for the maintenance of public infrastructure in 2011.
“Between 1999 and 2012, the National Assembly had appropriated about N1.414 trillion for the road sector. And yet out of about 34,400 km of federal roads network, only about 35 percent (12, 040) is paved and a substantial percentage of it in varying degree of distress and or pot-holes ridden.
My Pikin mixture:
Court denies bid to withdraw charge K AYODE KETEFE
judge of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday, Justice Okechukwu Okeke, denied the bid by the prosecution to withdraw the charge against the accused persons standing trial in the criminal case of the alleged manufacture and distribution of an adulterated teething mixture; ‘My pikin’ by a company, Barewa Pharmaceutical Company and some of its officials. The prosecution, represented by Mr. Anthony Ijohor (SAN) had applied to Justice Okeke, to withdraw the charge with a view to substitute it with another charge, but the court adjourned the case to enable the defence put its house in order. The need to amend the charge arose as a result of the death of one of the directors of the company, Gbadegeshin Okunola, who had been initially arraigned alongside the company and other persons for the crime. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had arraigned Okunola, his company, Barewa Pharmaceutical Company, Adeyemo Abiodun and Egbele Eromosele in March, 2009 on a six-count charge. They were alleged to have manufactured an adulterated mixture with the intention to cause death or grievous bodily harm to members of the public in October, 2008. The first accused person, Okunola, however, died recently, a development that made the court to strike out his name from the suit at the last adjourned date after an application praying the court to strike out his name. At yesterday’s proceedings, Ijohor had sought to withdraw a previous amended charge. He cited the provisions of section 467 (2) and (3) of the Criminal Procedure Act, he informed the court that the prosecution had served a letter on the accused company, requesting it to personally produce a representative to stand in for the deceased accused.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I’m not PDM Elders’ Committee chairman –Anenih F ormer Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, said yesterday that he is not the Chairman of Elders’ Committee of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM). He reacted through his Personal Assistant, Mr Peter Abulu, to a media report which said that
he had been appointed as chairman of the committee. Abulu said that not only was he (Anenih) not chairman of the committee, but was also not aware of any such appointment at the meeting of the PDM held last weekend at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja as he was not in attendance.
According to him, “Chief Anenih was not in Abuja when the meeting was held. If such decision was reached, those who took the decision would have either consulted with him prior to the decision or briefed him after the decision was taken. “I can tell you authoritatively that if any such decision was taken, he
was not consulted on it; and as this official reaction is being made, Chief Anenih has already contacted those who attended the meeting and they told him that no such decision was reached. “Our attitude to the report is that it is mischievous and remains a figment of the reporter’s imagination. The reporter said in his report that
he gathered that Chief Anenih had been appointed chairman of the PDM Elders Committee. “The reporter had all the time in the world to copiously report officials of the PDM who spoke on the occasion, but in order to promote the deliberate mischief into the pages of his newspaper, he could not spare a couple of minutes to confirm
from the officials if they had taken such decision. “Much as Chief Anenih respects the media, he loathes the attitude of some practitioners who lend themselves to usage by desperate politicians and individuals to achieve a devious agenda. He appeals to journalists to always strive to cross check their facts before going to press.”
Curriculum innovation workshop opens today in Abuja IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA
L-R: Acting Political Counsellor, U.S. Embassy, Diane Kohn; Head, European Delegation to Nigeria, Mr. David Macrae; Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Ben Angwe; Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights, Senator Umaru Dahiru; member of the committee, Senator Babajide Omoworare; Ambassador Svante Kilander of Sweden and others cutting the cake to mark the International Human Rights Day in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
IOCs to sell oil blocks to local firms next year UDEME AKPAN
he International Oil Companies (IOCs) have concluded plans to sell more oil blocks to indigenous firms operating in the upstream sector, involving exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas next year. The measure, encouraged by the Federal Government and other stakeholders, is targeted at promoting indigenous participation, capacitybuilding and technological advancement of the indigenous firms. Investigations showed that the IOCs that may sell their oil blocks to indigenous firms would include Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Total E&P Nigeria Limited as part of measures targeted at encouraging the indigenous operators. Spokesman of SPDC, Mr. Precious Okolobo, said in a telephone interview that he would not specu-
late on the firm’s policy. He said: The divestment is ongoing. I would not speculate on that.” But an authoritative source at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), who confirmed the development in a telephone interview at the weekend, said the Corporation encourages such gesture, particularly as it promised to increase indigenous participation in the industry. The source said: “We at the NNPC encourage the decision because it is a
government policy aimed at gradually building the capacities of the locals, including NPDC to become more active in exploration and production activities.” The source said this must be done ahead of the post Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) expected to put in place adequate structures as well as completely unbundle NNPC into different functional firms like its counterparts in other parts of the world. Already, many IOCs have sold their blocks to
indigenous companies. For instance, Shell, Total and Eni (Agip) – have raked in $2.569 billion (N411.04 billion) from the sale of a jointly held stake in seven oil blocks during the past twenty month. The IOCs have sold a 45 per cent stake in the seven oil concessions in five transactions. The oil blocks, which are now operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, the upstream subsidiary of the NNPC, included OMLs 3, 38, 41, 26, 42, 30 and 34.
FG worried over candidates’ poor performance in public exams IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA
he Federal Government has expressed worry over decline in students’ performance in public examinations. Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, who spoke while opening the 2012 National
Conference on Examinations yesterday in Abuja, decried the poor performance of candidates in public examinations. According to her, a close look at the results over the years showed that there had been steady decline in the number of candidates who obtained five credits and above. She said the develop-
ment was more worrisome because it was the basic entry requirement for transition to higher education, adding that while 30.9 per cent of candidates obtained the five credits and above in West African Examination Council (WAEC) in 2011, only 8.06 per cent had it in National Examination Council (NECO).
minent scholars and professionals from Nigeria and 14 West African countries will gather today in Abuja for a workshop on curriculum innovation and teacher capacity building. Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, said the workshop would afford the participants the opportunity to examine curriculum content, structure and challenges across countries with a view to infusing in-
novations to address the issues of poverty alienation and inclusiveness. Wike hinted that the event would also create an avenue in sharing experiences in mainstreaming Child Friendly School (CFS) model for effective teaching and learning. The minister said: “It is expected that at the end of the workshop, the capacity of curriculum workers and development of teachers will be enhanced. A common framework in curriculum innovation and teacher capacity development for the sub-region is also expected to be developed.”
Ghana: Jonathan congratulates Mahama on victory ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
resident Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated President John Mahama of Ghana on his victory in last Saturday’s presidential election. A statement issued yesterday by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said Jonathan welcomed Mahama’s success in securing his people’s mandate for a full term in office, following his assumption of presidential powers after the death of his predecessor in July 2012, as an endorsement by the Ghanaian electorate of his leadership and his party’s action plan for further socio-economic development and continued consolidation of democracy. Jonathan noted that the very keenly contested elections had been adjudged as free and fair by observers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other international observers.
The statement reads: “On behalf of himself, the government and people of Nigeria, President Jonathan salutes the people of Ghana for the successful conduct of the polls” Calling on Mahama to extend a hand of partnership to the opposition, in the spirit of reconciliation and national progress, Jonathan urged political leaders in Ghana to join hands with the government to collectively deepen democracy in the country in the overriding interest of continued peace, political stability and progress.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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Politicians responsible for rot in judiciary, says Fayemi
Police stop Okada riders’ protest
he Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has laid the blame for the rot in the nation’s judiciary on the doorstep of politicians, saying they paid judges and lawyers to protect their interests. Fayemi, who stated this in Ibadan while speaking with journalists during a condolence visit to the family of the late Justice Kayode Eso, said the judiciary has become the microcosm of the Nigerian society,
whereby one cannot attack the judiciary without attacking the politicians. He said if those at the bench could do a quarter of what the late legal luminary did while in active service, “we will not be complaining of the troubles we have in the judiciary today.” His words: “Nigeria has missed a colossus of integrity, uprightness and decency. I can never find the right word to describe him, but all I can say is that people should try as much as possible to walk in the path he tread, because that is what has been lacking in
our country. “If we all do half of what he did to bring honour and credibility to the judiciary, Nigeria will not be where it is today. We all know what is going on in the judiciary now. “It is saddening to note that the judiciary has become the microcosm of the Nigeria society, we cannot attack the judiciary without attacking the politicians, because some of them give those in the judiciary incentives to be corrupt, we cannot isolate all these things that have bedeviled our country, but
we must restore hope to our country.” Fayemi said Justice Eso represented the very best in terms of integrity and character and speaks the truth at all times.” He continued: “He demonstrated what it meant to be a forthright person. He was always on the side of the truth and justice and he inspired many of us. He was a rare commodity in Nigeria of today, he was one of the people you can be referred to as a mentor in the truest sense of the word, who at all times you could count on to say the truth.
“As somebody who has gone through the crucible of the courts in Nigeria and in my own struggle as a democrat, papa was our unsolicited consultant, because he took it upon himself to monitor what was going on with my case, as he believed that I was on the side of the truth, that was why you can see people thronging here to pay homage to truth, courage, justice and decency. “I can tell you that Hon. Kayode Eso, in all respect, I knew how revered he was in the circle of the international community of jurists.”
Pensioners beg Amosun to pay them 19 months’ gratuities FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
embers of the Ogun State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) yesterday appealed to the state government to pay their 19 months gratuity that had been stopped since May, 2010. The pensioners also called on Governor Ibikunle Amosun, to use his position as the executive governor of the state to enforce the payment of all the outstanding arrears accruing from 2007 till date. Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abeokuta, to commemorate the 2012 National Pensioners Day, the unions’ state Chairman, Chief Kessington Odukoya, called on the authorities concerned to make the report of its 2010/2011 verifications exercise open, which he said had been shrouded in secrecy. Stressing that the union has being in good relationship with the state government, the chairman further said that it was not unmindful of the huge amount of unpaid gratuity inherited by the present administration. The pensioners, however, appealed to Governor Amosun to gear up the monthly release in respect of the outstanding gratuity. “We are not unmindful of the huge amount of unpaid gratuity inherited by the present administration, yet we want to seize this opportunity to appeal to the government to gear up the monthly release in respect of outstanding gratuity. The last payment was in respect of May, 2010.”
Participants at a protest against the Lagos Traffic Law organised by the Joint Action Forum to mark the International Human Rights Day in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
Obasanjo lauds Aregbesola, unveils Ige’s statue WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO
ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday commended Governor Rauf Aregebesola for the works he is doing in Osun State just as he showered encomium on his late Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige. The occasion was the visit of the Owu Foundation delegation led by Obasanjo to Aregbesola in the state capital where he unveiled the new statue of the late governor of old Oyo State built at the entrance of the Governor’s Office in Osogbo. This was just as Aregbesola said that it is not for nothing that people of the
South-West have always called for true federalism because by their nature, the Yoruba people flourish on federalism. Obasanjo came in company with delegate of Owu Development Foundation, ODF, in respect of a rift over the Orile-Owu stool. While unveiling the statue, Obasanjo commended Aregbesola for deeming it fit to honour Ige whom he described as a rare Yoruba personality. He said: “Ige was a national leader. Especially in the South-West, his impact was highly commendable. It is a representation of the remembrance of a high calibre Yoruba personality whose efforts for the advancement of his people will always remain in the sands of time.” Aregbesola said that once the powers that be recognises in the Yoruba people a lover of federalism and freedom, they would find the Yoruba the best of people to befriend and be with.
He said: “Yoruba thrive on federalism. What I want the country to know is the fact that as far as our autonomy and freedom are recognised, we could be the best any people could have as neighbours. “But every effort to infringe on our freedom and autonomy would breed tragedy and disaster. For as long as people do not recognise this salient fact to the extent that we even fought ourselves to defend our autonomous existence, Yoruba can be best of people. “We defend our rights, be it political, social or economical or cultural. This is the essence of our initiative on regional integration. And I want to believe that in the innate part of Chief Obasanjo’s mind, he supports our integration agenda.” Aregbesola also extolled the virtues of the former president, saying every Yoruba man must be proud of his achievements, which explains why the Osun State Government accord-
ed him honour which he rightly deserved. He said: “It is not for nothing that Chief Obasanjo is a Yoruba person. As a Yoruba man, we must be proud of his achievements. “It is in recognition of your feat as individual as a Yoruba person that we have deemed it necessary and important to accord you the respect.” In his remark, Obasanjo said the kingship tussle is an unfinished matter, saying his visit was to intimate the governor of the progress report on the matter. The former President disclosed that his mission in the state is for peaceful resolution of the kingship tussle in Orile-Owu. He said: “I was here to visit and intimate you with the progress we have recorded over the leadership tussle in Orile-Owu. When I was called to intervene, I discovered that things were drifting and we needed to arrest the situation before it degenerates.”
he planned protest by commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as ‘Okada’ riders, yesterday met a brick wall as the protest was halted after an address by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations, Tunde Shobulo, who led armed mobile and regular policemen to stop the protest. The Okada operators had planned to register their grievances by protesting against the new Lagos Traffic Law which prohibited them from operating on 475 routes within the Lagos metropolis. The riders had converged in large numbers at the Labour House, Yaba, around 8.00am and were planning to march to the Lagos State Government House, Alausa, Ikeja; but they had only got to Agege area when the protest was peacefully halted. The protest was coordinated by the Joint Action Forum (JAF) and supported by civil society groups, led by Aremu Abiodun and Ayodele Akele.
N168m scam: My invitation not conviction –Ogun Speaker FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Suraj Adekunbi, yesterday said that his invitation to appear before the Head of the Investigation team of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over the inflation of contract was not a conviction, but rather a routine exercise of the commission. The Speaker, who was reacting to reports which said he has been indicted in the process that led to the procurement of official cars for the 28 lawmakers in the state, also said that he was not worried about the invitation as the procurement of the cars followed due process. Adekumbi, who spoke yesterday through his Special Assistant on Media, Akinola Waheed, also declared that he was ready to answer to any question bothering on the petition by those he called “faceless petitioners.”
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Fire destroys N40m goods in Ibadan market KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
ympathisers groaned yesterday morning in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, as a storey building at the popular Ifeleye market was gutted by fire with property worth millions of naira destroyed. National Mirror learnt that the fire was first no-
ticed by people living behind the building around midnight, but with nobody sure how it started since electricity has not been in the area for the past three weeks. The timely arrival of fire service men from Alesinloye area of Ibadan prevented the fire from spreading to the adjourning buildings and shops. When the National
Mirror visited the scene, sympathisers were seeing retrieving goods not completely destroyed as the area was cordoned off by security agents to prevent hoodlums from stealing the salvaged goods. One of the victims, Mr. Olusola Olalere, a motorcycle spare parts dealer, said that he stocked his shop with goods last Friday and lost everything in
the inferno. According to him, he was called from his house in Olorunsogo area of the city some minutes past midnight and when he arrived at the scene, he could not salvage anything as all the goods had been consumed. Olalere, who said he lost goods worth over N25 million and N1.8 million cash in the inferno, said he was not sure of what could have
caused the fire since the building was not opened throughout Sunday. The executive members of Ifeleye Market, however, appealed to the state government to come to the aid of the victims, stressing that the loss was too much for them to bear. Another victim, Mr. Sina Sotunbo, said he lost goods worth over N20 million in the inferno, stating
that he was still in shock over the disaster. The motor battery dealer said he received a call around 1.00 am and on getting to the scene, he could not believe his eyes seeing all his goods in flame. An official of the state fire service, who did not want his name mentioned, said men of the service arrived at the scene less than an hour the fire started.
Amosun suspends Ijebu East LG boss, 11 councillors FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
Part of the Ifeleye spare part market gutted by fire in Ibadan, yesterday.
Cases suffer adjournment as ECOWAS Court sits in Ibadan KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
ases in Ibadan High Courts located in Ring Road area of the Oyo State capital yesterday suffered adjournments as judges joined the state Chief Judge, Justice Badejoko Adeniji, to receive the visiting ECOWAS Court judges. One of the cases affected was the one between the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC), Onala parish in Ibadan, and the state government on the demolition of the church a fortnight ago by the agents of the government. Security was tightened within the court premises as the Community Court of Justice of ECOWAS member states, otherwise called the ECOWAS Court began a week sitting in the state high court. An Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and three police pick up vans were placed in the front of the high court while armed policemen restricted movement of vehicles except those on official duties into the court premises.
The traffic management of the police created some traffic hiccups along the Ring Road/Mobil/ Ade-Oyo Road. Justice Adeniji, while welcoming the judges, expressed joy at the choice of the state for the sitting of the ECOWAS Court which she described as
the principal legal organ of ECOWAS. The Chief Judge said the court has the main function of resolving disputes relating to the interpretation and application of the provisions of the revised treaty of ECOWAS and annexed protocols and conventions.
Fashola to launch Lagos City Monopoly edition today TERH AGBEDEH
agos State Governor Babatunde Fashola will today launch the first ever African City Edition of Monopoly, the popular board game tagged the Lagos City Edition at City Hall, Lagos. This was disclosed yesterday at a press conference held at Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi, Lagos. Those who addressed the media were Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe of the Lagos-based Bestman Games and the Managing Director of the United Kingdom-based Moving Moves, which makes the
game, Mr. Thomas Liddel. Lagos State was represented by the Director General of LASRAB, Mr. Bolaji Uthman. Akinkugbe said for many years families have played Monopoly together while building better relationships and her company was very excited to bring the Lagos edition to the country. She said: “We hope to enhance the profile of African cities starting with Lagos. There is so much negativity portrayed about Africa and we hope that through this game , we will present Lagos to the world in a very positive way. ”
The president of the ECOWAS Court, Justice Awa Nana Daboya, explained that the resolve to shift the sitting of the court to Ibadan was in pursuant to the provisions of Article 14 (2) of the protocol of the court allowing it to hold one or more sessions outside its seat of court.
gun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday suspended the executive and the legislative arms of the Ijebu East Local Government Area for 90 days. A statement signed in Abeokuta by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, announced the suspension of the council chairman, Mr. Dare Ogunde, as well as the 11 councillors. The statement said the governor’s action was in line with Sections 39 and 43 of the Ogun State Local Government Law. The Head of the Local Government Administration (HOLGA) was, therefore, ordered to administer the affairs of the council pending further directives by the governor. The chairman, his deputy, all councillors and political appointees were directed to stay away from
the local government secretariat while the suspension lasts. While the offences committed by the suspend officials were not stated, National Mirror learnt that it might not be unconnected with the disagreement which had earlier tore members of the legislative arm of the council apart. Investigation revealed that the councillors had removed their leader in an attempt to install another candidate, but the council chairman intervened in the crisis, which eventually consumed all of them as they were all suspended by the governor. Meanwhile, the panel of inquiry set up by the governor to look into the wrangling was chaired by Chief Wole Adesiji. Mr. James Omotosho of the Ministry of Justice is the Secretary, while Mrs Ayoola Afolabi and Mr Bayo Adeyemi are member.The panel is to submit its reports within 14 days.
Lemo to deliver 4th Crawford varsity convocation lecture TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
eputy Governor in charge of Operations, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Tunde Lemo, will deliver this year’s convocation lecture of Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun State. The immediate past Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Ota, Prof Obaiyan Aize, delivered the last year’s edition, which was the third in the series. Lemo, a renowned economist, will speak on: “National development: Youth and entrepreneur challenge” and many manufacturing companies will also exhibit their products at the forum scheduled for
Wednesday, December 19. The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Simeon Ayanlaja, who disclosed this at the weekend at a pre-convocation media conference at Igbesa, noted that 253 students would be formally released and celebrated on the occasion. Fourteen of these students, according to him, would bag First Class honour with the overall best among them, a female, from Accounting Department, obtained the GPA of 4.87 out of an obtainable 5.0. He added that a total of 78, 114, and 45 would be graduating with Second Class (Upper Division), Second Class lower and Third Class, respectively,
while the remaining two would leave the school with Pass. The VC, who said aside the graduating students, every other unemployed youth in the society would benefit immensely from CBN’s Lemo lecture at the forum, stressed that all the university’s courses had been accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Nwabueze, Maitama Sule, others mobilise against corruption FELIX NWANERI
eaders of Project Nigeria, including elder statesmen, Prof Ben Nwabueze and Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, on Sunday in Lagos rose from their ongoing national consultation on the state of the nation with a resolve to mobilise leaders of thought for movement against corruption and insecurity in the country. The leaders, who met for two and half hours behind closed doors, said the parley followed an initial
consultation hosted by former Minister of Finance, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, to explore an enduring solution to the worrying state of the country. According to the National Secretary of the group, Sir Olawale Okunniyi, the meeting, which was a prelude to a major national convergence of Project Nigeria in January 2013, also resolved to consult further with groups like the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Labour and southern leaders, among others,
on how best to bring about national consensus on the stability and harmony of the country. He said the leaders also restated their faith and support for the Adamu Ciroma-led Committee on National Unity set up in Abuja on November 20 to help fashion understanding and consensus between the South and the North on the modus openradi of Project Nigeria and how best to save the country from an imminent collapse. Okunniyi said: “Maitama Sule at the parley restated the support of the
Nothern Elders Forum, which he chairs for the initiative to save Nigeria.” He further disclosed that others who attended the meeting were Alhaji Shetimah Yerima, Dr Tunji Abayomi and key leaders of the Arewa Community in Lagos.
L-R: Vice-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (Unizik), Awka, Prof. Boniface Egboka; Prof. Anene Muoneke; Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi and Vice-Chancellor, Anambra State University, Prof. Fidelis Okafor, during the donation of buses to universities, yesterday.
Police train 127 officers on crime control CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
he Imo State Police Command yesterday passed out 127 officers and men from an intensive two-weeks retraining course in arms handling and movement. The training, designed to improve the combat strategy by the police officers, was in line with the vision of the police authority in professionalising the Force to meet the challenges of modern day policing. Presenting the graduating officers to the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Baba Adisa Bolanta, the Commander of the 18 Squadron of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Suo Jephthah Nengi, said the officers had been adequately trained to combat crime, especially during the Christmas season.
Commending the Commissioner of Police for the success of the programme, Nengi noted that the initiative was unique and prepared the first batch of officers and men, who had undergone the training programme to be up and doing in their task of protecting the lives and properties of people living in the state. Responding shortly
after inspecting the passing out parade, the police boss, said the training was a manifestation of the determination of the command to improve the performance of policemen, adding that all officers and men would undertake the training. He said the rigorous training was part of measures taken by the
command to prepare the beneficiaries for the task of providing adequate security during the Christmas and New Year celebrations. Bolanta also advised the beneficiaries to go back to their respective divisions and impart the knowledge on their colleagues who were not yet to go through the training.
Obi donates buses to three universities
overnor Peter Obi yesterday donated three Coaster buses to Anambra State University, Uli; Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; and University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He said the gesture was part of his administration’s policies to provide infrastructure for institutions of learning. He noted that apart from Anambra State University owned by the state,
the other two have Anambra as their catchment areas and as such serve the people of Anambra State. Obi, who lamented the fallen standard of education, appealed to students to take their studies seriously in other to be useful to themselves and the larger society. Condemning the prevalence of cultism in nation’s tertiary institutions, the governor said
anybody planning to achieve success in life must shun all manner of societal vices. Obi, who is currently touring all secondary schools in Anambra State with grant of N20 million to each of them for their rehabilitation, called on wealthy individuals and corporate organisations to support the government’s effort in developing the education sector.
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Information necessary for police effectiveness –CP GEORGE OPARA ABIA
he Abia State Police Command has reiterated the need for community policing as one of the major ways to tackle the raising cases of violent crimes in the country. The command also called for a robust relationship among the nation’s security agencies to achieve maximum result. The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ambrose Aisabor , spoke at a one day workshop on community policing and security awareness organised for selected groups of people at the Michael Okpara Auditorium in Umuahia, the state capital. The workshop was aimed at sensitising members of the public on the need to be security conscious because of the challenges confronting the country. Aisabor, who also chaired the occasion, identified security as an important factor for nation building, adding that no development would take place in an atmosphere of insecurity and chaos. The police chief described information as a vital instrument for community policing, stressing
that the police could not be everywhere and would, therefore, depend on members of the public to volunteer information for effective security watch. He said: “We must be prepared to ensure that we save our lives. I urge not only the police, but civilians, traditional rulers, village heads and students on the need to work together to expose those who pose danger to our security within our communities and neighborhoods. “Policemen and other security agents in the country are either magicians or spirits. So, we need information to carry out our jobs and we can only do well when we are given genuine information and then you see policemen at their best”. In his welcome address, Chairman of Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), Ichie Alex Nwaosuagwu, said the workshop was designed to inform, enlighten and educate the public on the need to cooperate with the police to render effective service. Nwaosuagwu said the workshop was to compliment the effort of the Abia State governor, Chief Theodore Orji, towards ensuring a crime free society.
Anambra lawmaker hands over hall to school CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
member of Anambra State House of Assembly representing Awka North Constituency, Mrs. Rebecca Udoji-Paragon, has donated an ultra-modern hall to Community Secondary School, Achalla. The hall was handed over to the principal of the school, Mr Mathew Aniekwo, at a ceremony held in Achalla, the headquarters of Awka North Local Government Area. Mrs. Udoji-Paragon, who is the House Committee Chairman on Women Affairs, also donated two wheel chairs to two physically challenged persons in the local government. Indigent indigenes of the community and widows were also given cash, foods and clothes. The lawmaker said the sight of dilapidated structures in the school when she was the community’s
women president general prompted her to mobilise women to start doing something for the college. She lamented that for 10 months, she was in court trying to reclaim her mandate from people who never contested election and did not want the people of Awka North to have quality representation. Mrs. Udoji-Paragon gave insight in to her achievement so far, saying: “I have enlisted motions on our road which is the most important thing to us. “We are not happy that we go through five local government areas before getting to Achalla, but thank God Governor Peter Obi said he is going to finish the road from Amansea to Awba Ofemmili and even connect Isu Aniocha, Urum through Amanuke to Achalla to make our journey to the local government shorter.”
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Alamieyeseigha is my benefactor, says Jonathan EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
takeholders in the Bayelsa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday resolved that President Goodluck Jonathan remains the leader of the party in the state, just as the President said that the erstwhile governor of the state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, was his benefactor in politics. President Jonathan, who attended the party caucus meeting in Yena-
goa, yesterday, urged aggrieved members of the party to put behind them their differences for the collective interest of the state, rather than creating undue tension in the polity. The decision to adopt Jonathan as the leader of the party was reached following a motion by Governor Seriake Dickson, declaring total support for him as leader of the party in the state at an expanded caucus meeting of members held in Government House.
The motion was adopted by at least 28 members of the party’s caucus after a voice vote initiated by Senator Emmanuel Paulker, representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly. The President denied allegations linking him with the selection of candidates for elective positions in the state, noting that he could not condescend to get himself in the selection of candidates for elections. His words: “I don’t want to be in Abuja and be seen as influencing political
contestants; I will not condescend to get myself in the selection of candidates, I’m not interested, because it won’t be fair since leadership is all about hierarchy.” He reminded the people that politics ought to be viewed as tools for the development and service to fatherland, saying that he could not fathom what went wrong during the last expanded caucus meeting of the PDP in the state. The President stressed the need to respect the hierarchy of power in order to build a strong leader-
ship structure, noting that he would not be in Abuja and dictate what happens in the state. Earlier, Governor Dickson said the meeting heralded a new beginning in the state chapter of the party, putting an end to mindless acrimonious division between state-based politicians and those at the national level. While describing the schism as unhealthy and projecting the state in a bad light, Dickson said the caucus meeting was convened for members of the
party to close ranks and form a formidable bloc of support at the state level. “The most important challenge Bayelsa State has had to contend with is the issue of mobilising support for President Jonathan, which is why we want to convene this meeting once every quarter. On the impending council poll in the state, Dickson advised party loyalists to guard against anything that would threaten the peace and tranquility that has brought respect to the state.
Draft policy, bane of transport sector –Institute TONY ANICHEBE UYO
Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan (left) congratulating Mr. Innocent Esewezie, after taking the oath of office as the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State, at the Government House, Asaba, yesterday.
Consider viability in state creation, lawmaker urges NASS SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
member of the Edo State House of Assembly has advised the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly (NASS) to give strong and necessary consideration to the viability of any new state before it is created. The Majority Leader of the assembly and representative of Etsako West II Constituency of Edo State, Hon. Phillip Shaibu, who stopped short of telling the federal lawmakers not to create an unviable state for the mere sake of it, said a state that is not viable enough to meet its constitutional challenges, is not fit to exist in the comity
of states. Shaibu also spoke on issues surrounding the passage of the controversial Land Use Charge Law 2012 by the Edo State government amidst an unsettled ball of dusts, controversies, protests and threats by some residents of the state, who felt threatened by the new law. The majority leader, one of the supporters of the executive bill that was passed into law under a very hostile condition created for the House by owners and sympathisers of targeted properties in Benin City, said any state that cannot provide or smoothly pay the salary of its workforce is not viable and, by extension, unfit to be created.
His words: “If a state, including Abuja, cannot provide for the salary of its workforce, such a state is not viable and fit to be a state. “If a state cannot on its own generate funds to pay for its workforce, that state is not viable,” adding that the need to function effectively as a state is what makes Edo State government to tap into the potentiality of taxing rich property owners to provide for the poor.” Shaibu, who denied the rumour making the rounds that lawmakers opposed to the bill were being considered for disciplinary action, further argued; “Taxation has been there right from the olden days. In those days, even for our forefathers
to be able to speak in the public, you must be a tax payer. “Then, there was no oil. The different regions were known for different economic activities. But the situation is not so today. If oil goes today, where are the pyramids etc? Taxing ourselves is a principle that we all must imbibe as citizens.”
he Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport has blamed the failure in the transport sector on the draft policy document that was inadequate. The National President, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Maj.General Umar Usman (rtd), stated this at a three-day ‘Round Table’ discourse on the theme; “The Role of Transport Policy on National Economic Development,” yesterday in Uyo. He said it was regrettable that Nigeria at 52, could not entrench effective legislation that guides its transport sector. “One of the major reasons identified for the
policy document not to have received the required attention and acceptance was that each time it was presented for approval, relevant stakeholders whose interests were ignored punch hole on it. “The consequential effects have been that its either the ministry is making serious adjustments to the document or it goes back to the drawing board to be started all over again. “The negative implication is that it would be difficult to strike a balance between liberty and order in the transport industry.” He said before Nigeria could have a transport policy that is acceptable, there is need for the active interaction of the stakeholders, which include public, private and professionals.
President thanks Nigerians for support, sympathy during brother’s burial ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
resident Goodluck Jonathan has expressed gratitude to Nigerians for the sympathy and solidarity shown to him and members of his family during the burial rites of his younger brother, Chief Meni Jonathan in Otuoke, Bayelsa State at the weekend. A statement issued yesterday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati said; “On behalf of the entire Jonathan family, President Jonathan wishes to convey his immense thanks and appreciation to all Nigerians and friends of the country, who showed sympathy and solidarity with him and members of his family as they
mourned and buried the late Chief Meni Jonathan.” According to the statement, “The President wishes to particularly thank former heads of state, state governors, the entire leadership of the National Assembly, foreign heads of state and government, diplomatic representatives, members of professional and non-governmental organisations and ordinary Nigerians who either traveled to Otuoke for the burial ceremonies or commiserated with the family in other ways. “He prays that God Almighty will bless and reward them all for their love, kindness and sympathy which has helped to assuage the grief and pain of his family over the loss of a beloved brother,” the statement said.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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ACN calls for Kaduna SSG’s sack over 2015 ambition A ZA MSUE KADUNA
he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has called on Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa to sack the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Lawal Samaila Yakawada, over his alleged 2015 governorship ambition. In a letter to the gover-
nor, a copy of which was made available to National Mirror, Kaduna State Chairman of the party, Mallam Mohammed Musa Soba, accused the SSG of undermining the authority of the governor in his quest to establish himself in readiness for the 2015 race. ACN alleged that the SSG was exploiting ethnic divide to push his
political ambition at the expense of the unity and development of the state. It said: “It is an open secret that Yakawada’s actions and utterances are always at variance with the collective decisions reached by the government he serves, all in an attempt to garner support and sympathy from the populace pursuant to his political project.
“Clandestine meetings of trusted government aides were summoned through the office of the SSG without the governor’s knowledge and consent to map out strategies towards achieving his 2015 project, while money meant for projects and security matters are diverted and the bridge between the SSG’s office and the gen-
eral public has since collapsed. “Since the SSG cannot be trusted to handle state issues efficiently, due to his personal interest, we urge you to remove him from office with immediate effect to pave the way for the appointment of a competent person that will assist in surmounting the barrage of socioeconomic, political and
security problems confronting Kaduna State. “As members of the opposition, we have a stake in the Kaduna State project and we will not allow a few people in government to personalise and commercialise the operations of government in a manner that is detrimental to the unity, peace and development of the state”
Yakowa proposes N176.4bn budget for 2013
L-R: Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Yero; Governor Patrick Yakowa and Deputy Speaker, state House of Assembly, Dr. Dogara Mato, at an induction for newly elected local government chairmen in Kaduna, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Drug dealers protest Kano’s quit order AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO
he conflict between the Kano State Government and drug dealers’ association over the December 31 deadline given to the latter to vacate the Kano Central Market in Sabon Gari deepened yesterday as members of the union shut their medicine stores in protest against the order. The issue has been a source of litigation between the government
and the medicine dealers. The government’s position followed alleged sales of counterfeit drugs in the market. It was also learnt that the state is uncomfortable with its ranking as the highest patron of illicit drugs, as well as the rising rate of drug addiction among youths. The dealers closed their medicine stores in order to push the government to rescind its order. The indefinite closure of the drug stores will,
however, not only affect Kano residents, but other parts of the North. The patron of the Nigerian Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers, Dahiru Abdullahi Matazu, appealed to the state governor, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, to investigate the alleged sale of counterfeit drugs in the market, instead of forcibly evacuating members of the drug dealers association. Matazu said: “Governor Kwankwaso is our
father and leader, so we have no doubt in mind that he would ensure that justice is done in this matter as was done in other controversial issues.”
hairman of the Conference for all Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) in Benue State, Mr. Baba Agan, has condemned the recent deregistration of 28 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), say-
ing the decision was illmotivated. Speaking yesterday with National Mirror in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, Agan flayed the INEC’s decision, describing the action as reckless. The Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) chieftain believes that Nigerian political system allows multiple political parties so
as to afford the people the opportunity to choose the platform that suits their desire. He, however, urged INEC to reconsider the decision, saying: “Nigeria with her 160 million population deserves multiple political parties, even the ones at present are not enough let alone slashing them.”
that the budget, tagged: “Budget of Consolidation and Advancement,” was aimed at completing ongoing projects. The Commissioner for Economic Planning, Mr Timothy Gandu said the budget would focus on the completion of ongoing road projects, conversion of Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital to medical college, Zaria water project and poverty alleviation. On his own part, the Commissioner for Finance, Dr John Ayuba said 33 per cent of the budget would be funded from internally generated revenue.
NANS alleges injustice in oil probe JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
‘INEC’s action on 28 parties reckless’ HENRY IYORKASE
he Kaduna State Government yesterday said it has proposed a budget of N176. 4 billion for 2013. The Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Saidu Adamu, said the figure was agreed during the state executive council meeting chaired by Governor Patrick Yakowa. Adamu said the proposal would be presented to the state House of Assembly at a later date. He said budget would have a recurrent expenditure of N74.4 billion and N102.3 billion for capital projects. Adamu explained
he National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has raised the alarm over what it called “injustice being meted on some individuals and groups accused of having hands in the ongoing investigations in the oil sector of the economy’’ Addressing a press conference yesterday in Jos, the Plateau State capital, NANS President, Mr. Mohammed Dauda, alleged that the probe was being manipulated by certain forces to facilitate the closure of many companies, including Capital Oil and Gas Limited. He said the situation could render many Nigerians jobless. Dauda said: “Innocent Nigerian masses, who are employed at the company, particularly youths who earn their daily bread from the company, will be the victims. This will pose a setback to the national economy. “We have had cause to over the weeks observe the raging scarcity in the availability of petroleum products in the country
and we have come to realise that this cannot be easily disconnected from the alarm raised by our association some weeks ago about the likely implication of the prolonged impasse between some independent petroleum marketers and the Federal Government, which is represented by the Federal Ministry of Finance in the impasse.” He, however, commended the House of Representatives’ effort to resolve the matter, saying: “We want to commend the bold step taken by the House of Representatives in finding a resolution between Capital Oil and Gas and Access Bank of Nigeria. “There is no doubt that the steps so far taken by the bank against Capital Oil has contributed to a huge shortage in the services being rendered to Nigerians by the company and its now being seeing as a desperate attempt to forcefully take over the company from its owners. “We urge the National Assembly to thoroughly investigate the matter and come out with resolution that will put an end to this long drawn battle.”
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
ACN inherited empty treasuries in South-West – Anisulowo
Last Thursday’s decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to de-register 28 political parties has continued to elicit reactions from stakeholders with some applauding the commission and others describing it as becoming authoritarian, writes OMEIZA AJAYI.
Budget 2013: Flexing muscles over remittances?
De-registration: Weeding non-performing parties DE-REGISTERED PARTIES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.
t the dawn of democracy in 1999, only three political parties existed. They were the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Peoples Party (APP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AD). However, there was a growing dissention among some members of these three parties who felt marginalised and who saw the need to build their nests in a completely different environment where the oxygen of their political relevance would not be contaminated. This development led to the growing demand to expand the nation’s political space to accommodate more political parties. Hence, the late fiery lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, fought hard to open the political space for parties to thrive. After a long battle that culminated at the Supreme Court, the doors for the proliferation of political parties were opened. Fawehinmi’s success at the court gave room for what some political analysts would easily describe as “brief case” parties, husband and wife parties and all sort of mushroom political parties. Many of them only existed to collect grants from the government through INEC until the subvention was cut off by the electoral commission. In the build up to the 2011 general elections, a larger part of the parties did not field candidates for elections. Many of them only exist to adopt the candidates of the major parties. Most of these parties actually had no visible presence outside Abuja, the nation’s federal capital. And even at that, some of them opened a two-room office inside shopping malls even as such offices were perpetually under lock. In order to widen the political space rather than constrict it and shut out some sections of the population, INEC had initially registered 63 political parties but soon after the 2011 general elections, the commission decided to do away with seven of the parties which in its estimation failed to win the required number of seats as provided in the Electoral Law 2010 (As amended). Until the last general elections, the country was abuzz with so many parties some of who had unexplainable characters and ideologies making bogus claims concerning their intents and capabilities but all these were laid to rest as it took that election to substantiate the validity of these claims.
TOP STORY Of the 63 political parties before the election, 56 of them actually sponsored at least a candidate while only 11 parties won at least a seat in either the state or National Assembly as required by the provision of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. They include Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Labour Party (LP), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Accord Party (AP), Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and KOWA Party. Seven parties that did not sponsor any candidate include Democratic Alternative (DA), National Democratic Council (NDC), National Action Council (NAC), Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN), Nigeria People Congress (NPC), Nigeria Elements Progressive Party (NEPP) and the National Unity Party (NUP).
Stirring the hornet’s nest Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, however stirred the hornet’s nest with his August 18, 2011 decision to with-
draw the Certificates of Registration of seven out of the 63 political parties in the country, effectively nailing the coffins of such parties. As at then, Jega said the action was in pursuant of the provisions of S. 78 (7) (ii) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). The section states that: “The Commission shall have power to deregister political parties on the following grounds—(i) breach of any of the requirements for registration; (ii) failure to win a seat in the National or State Assembly election.” This is also the same as the provisions in Part V, Section 7 of the Electoral Act 2011, as amended. The affected parties were the Democratic Alternative (DA), National Action Council (NAC), National Democratic Liberty Party (NDLP), Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN), Nigeria Peoples Congress (NPC), Nigeria Elements Progressive Party (NEPP) and National Unity Party (NUP). He said the seven political parties did not field any candidate anywhere across the country in the 2011 elections. He also said all the affected parties have been notified and are by law precluded from engaging in any electoral activities including, but not limited to, canvassing for seats in any electoral process. The Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA), Progressive Party of Nigeria (PPN), Accord Party (AP), Democratic Peoples’ Party
15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.
African Liberation Party (ALP) Action Party of Nigeria (APN) African Political System (APS) Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP) Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) Community Party of Nigeria (CPN) Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA) Freedom Party of Nigeria (FPN) Fresh Democratic Party (FDP) Hope Democratic Party (HDP) Justice Party (JP) Liberal Democratic Party of Nigeria (LDPN) Movement for Democracy and Justice (MDJ) Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD) Nigeria Advanced Party (NAP) New Democrats (ND) National Majority Democratic Party(NMDP) National Movement of Progressive Party (NMPP) National Reformation Party (NRP) National Solidarity Democratic Party (NSDP) Progressive Action Congress (PAC) Peoples Mandate Party (PMP) Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) People’s Salvation Party (PSP) Republican Party of Nigeria (RPN) United National Party for Development (UNPD) United Nigeria Peoples Party (UNPP)
(DPP) and KOWA Party were the parties which won at least one seat in one state Assembly or the other. Hence, according to the Part V, Section 7 (ii) of the Electoral Act 2011, as amended, which stipulates that a party shall be deregistered for failure to win a seat in the National Assembly or state Assembly election, they were able to escape the commission’s sledge-hammer. Since their footing is not so strong, the 2015 general elections might be the final nail on their coffin except they are able to re-strategise before then to maintain their present status or even win more seats. PPA, sponsored by former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, was the party to beat in Abia State and it still has a handful of supporters. However, the party is now divided especially with the reported expulsion of its sponsor. The PPN, formed by former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, not only won a seat at the House of Representatives but also has massive support in the state while the AP did not just win four seats in Oyo State House of Assembly, but has also joined in the unity government of Senator Abiola Ajimobi. CONTINUED ON PAGE 41
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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ACN inherited empty treasuries Senator Iyabo Anisulowo, a former Minister of State for Education, is a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). She was elected senator on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003. In this encounter with SINA FADARE, she speaks on diverse issues, especially security, corruption and her politics. Excerpts:
How far are you finding your feet in the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)? You know from the beginning that I am a progressive to the core, coming back to the ACN is like homecoming for me. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that I left was a bad dream which I don’t want to remember again. You can also see that Ogun PDP that I left is now in a bigger storm and it is going messier each day. I just thank God that I moved at the right time. I was not part of the problem in the first instance, I just wanted to salvage the party and inject credibility in my own little way. The PDP almost ruined my political career. As a Christian, I just have to forgive and move on. Politics is very dynamic in which you represent your people. If there is a party that is ready to listen to you, respect your humble opinion and ready to give dividends of democracy to your people, then one can work with such a party and that is why I joined the ACN. Since I am an activist, who believe in service to humanity, particularly at the grassroots, I am comfortable with the ACN. Again, I am an advocate of justice and equity, which are supposed to be the hallmark of politics.
What is your comment on the recent pronouncement by the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on the reduction of the civil service workforce and abrogation of the local government? I would agree with him to the extent that the cost of governance is too expensive, particularly in the area of overhead cost, but I am sure if corruption is checked holistically, the situation could still be salvaged. Sanusi is not a politician, but an economist who deals with naira and kobo. He may be ignorant of the consequences of his statement. The truth of the matter is that the resources we have is enough to take care of all our needs, even those who are not working, but unfortunately things are so lopsided. The issue of scrapping the local government, according to the gospel of Sanusi is that the grassroots should be exempted from the act of governance. What I thought he would advocate was the autonomy of the local government in order to bring government nearer to the people. I was in the local government 23 years ago as a secretary, so I know how relevant and important that tier of government is to the development of the rural populace. That the little we were able to do at that time still remained a reference point was due to the fact that the local government funds came directly from Abuja to their purses, before the governor have access to it unlike today that it was vice versa. Things have turned upside down in the country. Sanusi’s suggestion is like destroying the low-
In 2011, the Yewa people had the opportunity of producing the governor of Ogun State, but the chance was burgled, do you see another opportunity in 2015? In politics, anything is possible, but the chance is very slim. Yes, we had the opportunity in the past before those people who know little or nothing in political firmament claiming to be something took over the process and the opportunity eluded us. But this time around, the chance is slim because, the governor is on the right track, focused, forthright and ready to listen; therefore he may not be able to do all the people wanted within a four-year tenure. As a progressive, the purpose of being in government is not just being there for the sake of being there, but to have a positive impact on the lives of the people.
SANUSI’S SUGGESTION IS LIKE DESTROYING THE LOWER CLASS AND PUSHING THE MIDDLE CLASS TO THE LOWEST EBB
OF LIVING... HE SHOULD HAVE PROFFERED A WAY OUT OF THE CORRUPTION MALAISE THAT IS DESTROYING THE COUNTRY er class and pushing the middle class to the lowest ebb of living. That is very unfortunate. We have only about one per cent of the people at the top who can feed themselves successfully. What people like him should do is to advocate that local government should be more responsible and accountable to the people. Instead of advocating for abrogation of the system, he should have proffered a way out of the corruption malaise that is destroying the country. The situation is so bad that you can hardly achieve anything without greasing the palm of somebody. Corruption is a national calamity and a monster that is plaguing us as a nation. My prayer is that we are going to get out of this very soon.
It is not only those who are in government that are corrupt, even if you are looking for a fresh job, you have to pay through your nose before you get it. That is why there is rush for political appointments and people are desperate about them. Against the backdrop of what he said about federal character breeding mediocrity, would you call for its abolition? I was in government when it was introduced, it was a way of balancing, only that the system is bastardised. Even political balancing when jobs are being giving to people is part of it, if it is not done, there will be lopsidedness of appointment and some people would be short changed. See the Boko Haram issue, if there is no balancing it could have been worst. They started by fighting western education, before the situation got out of hand. Whereas, without education, where can one go? Nowhere. If a child goes to school, his or her intellectual capacity will be developed and he or she can even stay on its own without looking for any white collar job. We are in this crisis because of our attitude towards our institutions. We have laws which people failed to obey, including those in power, we should be ready to apprehend culprits and punish them adequately. Virtually all the ACN states are resorting to the Capital Market to take bonds. What is your take on this? The fact of the matter is that all the ACN states inherited empty treasuries and debts from their predecessors; therefore they have to squeeze water out of stone in order to meet their various challenges. This is the area where the issue of bond comes in. Honestly, the cost of governance is too high. There is no way they will not take bonds. The party is on a rescue mission in the South-West.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
in South-West, says Anisulowo THEY WERE FORCED TO RESORT TO THE CAPITAL MARKET TO TAKE BONDS IN ORDER TO TACKLE THE PROBLEM OF INFRASTRUCTURAL DECAY THAT HAS ALMOST BECOME AN EMBARRASSMENT
which their palms would be greased. This is the bad culture we are implanting on our youths. They have no passion for the job again and before you know it, they have become hustlers. This is also translated into the political parlance. Some people do not have a slice idea of what to do if given the opportunity to be in government. All they are interested in is how to use the position to acquire illegal wealth and suddenly become oppressors of the same people they claimed to be representing. Imagine somebody who has not work anywhere in his life, yet want to be chairman of a local government, some want to go to the state House of Assembly without any experience. It is so bad to the extent that it has become a joke that if you want to become rich suddenly, you should go into politics.
With the current trend of insecurity in the country, do you think President Goodluck Jonathan should dialogue with the Boko Haram sect? This situation is becoming embarrassing. Without peace there is little the country can achieve because investors would be running away from the country. I am worried because l am a mother and a responsible woman. I cannot stay in my house feeling comfortable when women, children and security operatives are being killed with impunity and the government seems helpless.
They were forced to resort to the Capital Market to take bonds in order to tackle the problem of infrastructural decay that has almost become an embarrassment. This is the situation we found ourselves. Can you believe that our collective wealth was squandered by previous governments in the South West before the ACN came to the rescue? We are still on a rescue mission and that is why the issue of bond has to come in. If you go to the specifics in the states which the ACN is controlling, then you will see that the difference is clear. In fact, the PDP introduced the culture of free money where people will just go to the local government to collect money without doing anything. It was so crude to the extent that they cannot even attach it to any project. I was not comfortable with such arrangement. No matter what you say, they turned deaf ears, thinking that, that is their opportunity, but today we are all paying for it. In those days of old when we were opportuned to serve even at the local government level, I fought a lot of battles on this issue, to the extent that I was a lone ranger, but I was not bothered, I fought it to the end against all odds. How can we get our bearing back as a nation? The greatest problem we have as a nation is corruption and the inability of the powers that be to make the system work. If our social institutions are working the way they should work, we will not find ourselves in this mess. Corruption in the country today is more or less a clique affair and it is always difficult to get to the bottom of it in most cases. Most of those who are young graduates and who are fortunate to serve in various government parastatals where the loots are being shared on a daily basis and are also beneficiaries, would think that, it is easy to make money. With that mentality, they will not want to do any other work again, apart from the one
What about using maximum force? I think with the way things are going, it will get to that level. Maybe the day they get to Aso Rock, then the power that be will know that the game is up. The level of insecurity is so high that you cannot predict what would happen next. I think what the government should have done was to comb every nook and cranny of this country and remove all the ammunition they can find, whether it is with the armed robbers or any other place they can find it. It is a thing they can do if the government is very serious about it. Ammunition are not commodities for consumption; it is a serious matter which should be taken seriously. In America, people carry arms, but it is controlled unlike ours where it is free for all. This should not be. Apart from that, you have the license to carry such an arm, why should our own be different? Every Tom, Dick and Harry here carries guns. You can buy, you can hire and you can even give it out to your security with nobody asking questions on what they want to do with it. But the blame was put at the doorstep of politicians who recruit thugs and equip them to terrorise opposition. What is your take on this? That will tell you the level of desperation some people can go to for power. If governance is not as attractive as it has been made to be, why would you want to kill somebody because you want to serve or go there to embezzle money? That is why some people go to any length to make sure they get one political office or the other. At the end of the day, those who want to serve are not given the opportunity to do so while those who know next to nothing in the politics are the ones being celebrated as rulers. Against this backdrop, how will you react to the approval of N2.2 billion by the Federal Government for the building of a new Banquet Hall in Aso Rock? I donâ€™t know how they arrived at such decision. For now that should not be our priority. I know that the Banquet Hall that we have is not a big one, but with the challenges the country is facing now, I donâ€™t think that is a priority. There is so much insecurity in the country, poor economy, hatred everywhere and poor sense of belonging. How then can somebody say that what is the topmost priority is the banquet hall? It is sad and unfortunate. The country is at a crossroads, where do we go from here? There are so many things we have done wrong. Righting a wrong is not an easy task; it is far better not to go wrong than righting a wrong; it can cost you 10 times to
right a wrong. My prayer is that God will give President Goodluck Jonathan the political will to do the right thing and at the same time, the counsel of those who want to ditch him will not materialise. With the constitution review exercise at full throttle, which areas do you think require urgent attention for review? The area that is dear to my heart is that the local government should be autonomous. I almost got it when I was a senator, if not for the third term agenda. In the last draft constitution that was thrown away, we almost did it. If the local government is autonomous, the state government will brace up, because in a local government where you have a dynamic leader as the chairman and the councillors are progressive, they will be able to change the tide of event. The state is supposed to give 10 per cent of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to the local government, but in most cases it is not so. The issue of joint account should be removed with immediate effect. In the recent time, that policy has crippled the activities of the local governments. You cannot have a joint account with your superior without being subservient to him. Section 7 sub section 1 of the constitution said that the system of administration of the local government is vested in the state. That is where the crisis started. Therefore before anything could happen at the local government, the state House of Assembly must know about it and in some cases compel them to do certain things, which ordinarily may not be in their priority list. When I was in the Senate, I was the Chairman of State and Local Government Administration Committee; I struggled hard to see if we could make those changes at that time, but for the third term issue that scuttled everything. Funny enough, the name of Sagamu was not properly spelt and it was corrected. We just started the draft constitution when the issue of third term came on board and the whole exercise was thrown away like a baby and the bathing water. How will you assess Governor Ibikunle Amosun in the last one and a half years? One and a half years is too short to assess him. Aside that, what I have seen in him is that he has a global view of Ogun State of his dream and he is aggressively working towards it. I will be able to assess him properly in the next two years.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Rotimi ASO ROCK FILE
New city for Federal Capital Territory
Nigeria and corruption rating burden
he ranking of Nigeria as the 35th most corrupt nation in the world became another contentious issue between global corruption watchdog, Transparency International, and Federal Government officials who made spirited effort to tear apart the ranking. In a report, Nigeria scored 27 out of a maximum 100 marks to take the 135th position out of the 176 countries surveyed for the report, sharing the ranking on the corruption index with Azerbaijan, Kenya, Nepal and Pakistan. But for Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, the ranking was not a true reflection of the image of the country, which he said had taken firm steps to wrestle corruption to the ground and encourage transparency and accountability. Maku said both the TI report and a recent Gallup Poll that also showed that Nigeria is among the most corrupt nations globally were products of interactions with Nigerians and synopsis of negative media reports. According to Maku, the perception of corruption in the country is a creation of both the people and media practitioners who fail to appreciate the steps taken by the present administration to fight corruption. Though he admitted that Nigeria has been bogged down by corruption for years, Maku said that the trend cannot just be eradicated with the wave of hand, assuring that government would continue to support all efforts to fight abuses in every sector of the economy. Defending the Jonathan-led government, he noted that the administration was taking steps to deal with corruption by employing systematic and institutional approaches that are gradual in yielding re-
Presidential Villa’s visitors 1. Senate President, Senator David Mark 2. Speaker of the House of Representa -tives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal 3. Head of Interim National Governemnt, Chief Ernest Shonekan 4. Outgoing Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ali Rifat Koksal 5. Outgoing Ugandan High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Christopher Onyango Aparr 6. Chairman, Nigeria National Merit Award (NNMA) Governing Board, Prof. Sylvester Adegoke 7. Recipient of NNMA, Prof. Emmanuel Yoloye (Humanities) 8. Recipient of NNMA, Prof. Samuel Ohaegbulam (Medicine) 9. Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Engineer Mansur Ahmed 10. President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote 11. Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi 12. Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi
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sults. The minister further said that the President does not seat in court to imprison people, stressing that there are institutions set up for the purpose. He advised journalists to follow up on institutional proceedings to get to the roots of matters and thereby unearth omissions and commissions, so that government would be able to track and act on such.
or those who may want to believe that Abuja is all the attraction to the Federal Capital Territory, there is another attraction coming; it is a new city and it may take between 10 and 15 years to complete. The private-sector driven project is to mark Nigeria’s centenary celebration in 2014 and would commemorate the 1914 amalgamation of the Southern and Northern protectorates by the British which gave birth to Nigeria as a geo-political entity, The project received the blessing of the Federal Executive Council last week but with a clear position that the proposed city would be absolutely private sector driven with private sector investment.
According to the Information Minister, Labaran Maku, all that government will do is to provide an area through the FCT, agree on a proper design and then it will be taken up completely, totally by the private sector.” Government facility that would be in the new city is an arcade for the celebrations as well as other artefacts that would reflect the culture and tradition of the country. It is expected that 16 companies would be investing about $4 billion in the development of 10 districts in the new city as the project is in line with government’s policy of unbundling the FCT to private initiative.
L-R: Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mansur Ahmed; former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan; President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice-President Namadi Sambo and Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido at the presentation of ICRC annual report at the State House.
Shonekan’s wise counsel on infratructure deficiency
hief Ernest Shonekan was the Head of the Interim National Government installed by military President Ibrahim Babangida, when he hurriedly left government in the heat of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election, but now Shonekan is the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC). He led the board to the Presidential Villa last week to present the 2011 annual report and audited financial statement of the ICRC to President Goodluck Jonathan. But he was not happy with the present infrastructure deficiency in the country and therefore counselled Jonathan to summon the political will to tackle the challenges to arrest the slide to avoid impending disaster, saying that without infrastructure there would be little progress. He said the government needs a coherent, consistent and comprehensive medium-long term infrastructural plan. Shonekan warned against arbitrary withdrawal of projects on the development process as it would enhance the credibility and confidence of the people in the Nigerian Public Private Participation programme. The former Head of ING said the challenges confronting the commission include inability to mobilise long term funding for project development; inability to commit Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to a stable and coherent pipeline of PPP and poor project preparation by MDAs
His words: “It is not only in this country that we have infrastructural deficit. The way forward is what everybody seems to be doing; and that is to see how the deficit can be reduced. So each and every one of us has to put on our thinking caps to see how we can bridge that gap within a short time. “With all these disasters around the world, even Western countries, which
started their infrastructural development before us are now thinking of fresh infrastructures. “We have an opportunity now to be able to do our own infrastructure. I think the best thing is to get people to assist us. “That is why we said we will need the political will of the Presidency and all the others. Without infrastructure, there will not be much progress.”
Jonathan’s wake up call on global competition
resident Goodluck Jonathan has challenged African countries must now take leading position in the world market to become globally competitive and begin exporting finished products to the outside world. He handed down this challenge to leaders in the continent when he was speaking to the outgoing Ugandan High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Christopher Onyango Aparr, who came to bid him farewell. Jonathan said: “Africa has reached a stage where we must stop exporting raw materials. Instead, we should work harder to become globally competitive, exporting finished products.” Jonathan said economic growth was necessary for political stability and added that Nigeria was focused on building and strengthening mutually beneficial economic relations with Uganda and Africa. The President commended Aparr for sustaining the warm brotherly relations between Nigeria and Uganda, and wished
him well in his next post. The outgoing Ugandan High Commissioner was full of gratitude to Jonathan for Nigeria’s assistance through the Technical Aid Corps, as well as the strong bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the two countries. When he also met with the outgoing Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ali Rifat Koksal, the President commended Turkey for assisting Nigeria in developing human capacity through the establishment of schools in the country. “Human capacity development is critical for any nation’s growth, and we appreciate your help in establishing schools in Nigeria,” he stated. Jonathan also acknowledged the building of a Turkish hospital in Abuja, and said this cooperation was in the spirit of the relationship among the D-8 group of nations.
MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 41-44
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Ajaokuta Steel: Abandoned national treasure MICHAEL JEGEDE Continued from yesterday
pon assumption of office in August 1985, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida visited the Ajaokuta Steel Complex; and in 1986 he signed a new protocol agreement on the project with TPE. The completion date was rescheduled to 1989. This target date was equally never met and operations at ASCO and NIOMCO grounded to a halt in 1992. Amazingly, the project was said to have reached 98 percent technical completion stage before work on it was stopped! With an estimated $7 billion already gulped by Ajaokuta Steel Company and only about $650 million required to make it fully operational, abandoning it the way the government did, for discerning Nigerians, was one bad policy decision. The incumbent Minister of National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman, for instance, had wept for Nigeria on the floor of the Senate during his ministerial screening last year, over the fate of West Africa’s largest integrated steel complex. The minister lamented how the huge amount of money expended on the scheme had gone down the drain. A presentation by an official of ASCO during the visit of Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman to the Company, paint-
AS AN INDIGENE OF KOGI STATE, I AM ABSOLUTELY WORRIED ABOUT THE PITIABLE CONDITION OF
AJAOKUTA STEEL COMPANY
ed a pathetic scenario of Nigeria steel production effort among steel making countries of the world. She was ranked least among 41 countries covered in 2008. China ranked first with 489 million tonnes; United States with million 97 tonnes; United Kingdom 16 million tonnes; South Africa 9 million tonnes and Australia 8 million tones. Nigeria’s was a meager 0.30 million tonnes. Data provided by the World Steel Association (WSA) has equally shown that the total world crude steel production in 2010 was 1,413.6 million metric tonnes, out of which China accounted for 626.7 mmt (44.3%). Nigeria is not even listed while Venezuela, an oil producing country like us, could boast of 2.2 mmt. Irrefutably, Nigeria would have been among the top 10 countries in the world if only we had properly harnessed our steel production great potentials. The same TPE, which had a frus-
trating encounter with the Nigerian authorities on the Ajaokuta Steel Company, commissioned and delivered on schedule similar steel projects in China and other countries, where steel development has had significant impact in the advancement of their economies. There is no gainsaying the fact that the economic wellbeing of Nigerians would have been enhanced to a large extent if past governments had mustered the political will do complete the Ajaokuta Steel complex. The project is said to have the capacity of engaging over two millions Nigerians directly and indirectly. The high rate of unemployment in Nigeria is partly responsible for the destructive spiral of violence and criminal activities across the country. Nigeria’s unemployment rate increased to 23.9 percent in 2011 compared with 21.1 percent in 2010 and 19.7 percent in 2009 as revealed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in January this year. The 23.9 percent of our population of 160 million is about 38 million. Do we therefore need to be told that it will be a worthwhile investment to complete the abandoned ASCO/NIOMCO projects? President Goodluck Jonathan, at his presidential electioneering campaign rally in 2011 in Lokoja, clearly agreed with the position of many Nigerians when he said: “One thing that is dear to Nigerians is the Ajaokuta Steel Com-
plex, and until we revive that complex, we cannot talk about Vision 20:2020. This is because for you to play big globally, you must industrialize and for you to industrialize you must produce steel. The Ajaokuta complex must be revived.” With this comment, it is expected that by now Mr. President would have marched his words with action by showing total commitment to the actualization of the project that is capable of turning around our economy in line with his much proclaimed Transformation Agenda. But we really have not seen much in that regard. In the 2012 and 2013 Appropriation Bills, no capital budget was considered for ASCO and NIOMCO, except for the paltry sum of N50 million for both companies in 2012 and N47.34 million in the 2013 budget, which is still before the National Assembly for consideration. As an indigene of Kogi State, I am absolutely worried about the pitiable condition of Ajaokuta Steel Company having visited the complex. I am therefore, calling on our federal legislators to use the power vested in them by the constitution to make provisions for a substantial amount of money for the project in their ongoing scrutiny of the 2013 budget proposal presented to them by the President. Concluded Jegede, a media practitioner, wrote in from Abuja
On Urhobo primogeniture tradition and jurisprudence BOBSON GBINIJE
he tradition of primogeniture entails the total non-negotiable handing over of power of attorney over properties, titles, positions etc, to the eldest son of a family. This is a very common practice all over the world. The eldest son is looked upon as the pretender to the throne. And as soon as the king dies he is crowned as the new king. Thus he is always regarded as the king-in-waiting. In the African primordial setting, the tradition of primogeniture was looked upon as the only formula for ensuring peace, continuity of family totems and upholding atavistic relics within the family setting. It was looked upon as sacrilegious and a blatant breach of ancestral injunctions to deviate from it. Sometimes curses were invoked and the culprits were placed under the yoke of excommunication. Among the Masai tribe of Kenya, Junkun, Gwari and Bini speaking ethnic groups of Nigeria, primogeniture is still paramount, both in traditional institutions and family hierarchy. It is so uncompromisingly entrenched in the lives of the people that it is sometimes likened to the inseparability of the tortoise and its carapace syndrome. Historical and anthropological investigations show that there was once an Edo king who was a certified moron, but his imbecilic fancies did not deter tradition from holding sway. As the eldest son, he mounted the throne of his fathers. The Bini speaking people of Nigeria - Esan, Et-
sako, Owan, Igarra and Okpameri- still uphold the tradition of primogeniture with Trojan zealotry. It is upheld with religious devotion, notwithstanding the incursions of western civilization, vide education, religion and technology. The present Oba of Benin kingdom, Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo is the eldest son of his late father, Oba Akenzua. But amongst the Itsekiris and of late some of the Urhobo-speaking people of Delta State, the tradition of primogeniture has been consigned to the unfathomable dungeon of placebos, both in traditional institutions and in family affairs. This is because of the politicization and monetization of kingship, and sometimes because of the unfitness of the heir apparent. In Urhoboland, where kings litter every nooks and crannies, the politicization and monetization of titles has led to the wanton proliferation of kingdoms and kingships without any regard for succession formula. Some argue that this is because the Urhobos are “republicans” by nature and bearing. But some posit that republicanism does not thrive on anarchy. In Okpe Kingdom, for example, the system of primogeniture to the kingship does not hold sway. Igboze, the ancestral founder of the Okpe Kingdom, had four gates. The “Adane Okpe” featured Esezi, Orhoro, Orhue and Evwreke. We have had Esezi the first, Esezi the second, Orhoro the first and now Orhue 1. After our revered Orodje must have lived for 1,000 years, God willing, are we going to have an Orhoro the second or Orhue the second or will it be
IN URHOBOLAND WHERE KINGS LITTER EVERY NOOKS AND CRANNIES, THE
POLITICIZATION AND MONETIZATION OF TITLES HAS LED TO THE WANTON PROLIFERATION OF KINGDOMS AND KINGSHIPS…
Evwreke the first? This, I do believe, will be left for the Odogun Okpe and the Okpe people to decide. But wouldn’t it have been much better if there was a responsible and reliable formula bereft of politics, money and influence peddling? In his keynote address titled Tradition and Governance in Okpe Kingdom and delivered on September 1, 2007, at the 3rd Annual Convention of the Okpe Union of North America held at Marriott Hotel, College Mark Maryland, USA, HRM Orhue 1, Orodje of Okpe Kingdo, posited that “the Okpe people are patrilineal in their family structure. Perhaps, this is the reason, as I tried to indicate earlier, that our oral history tends to play down on the matrilineal side of the Okpe people. Inheritance is by primogeniture. In Okpe, the heir to
the family is not expected to lord authority over all the off springs of the family. He is only first, although an important first, among all the children. This explains why the male heir is regarded as “the priest” (owharan) of the family, that is the shrine where the ancestors are being venerated. “In the absence of the first male born, then any other male descendant, regardless of age, functions in that capacity. In Okpe, no female can play the role regarded for the male child in accordance with the tradition, yet female descendants are never disinherited in Okpe, not even after years of marriage to other families”. In modern day Urhobo families, the survival of the fittest has taken over the tradition of primogeniture, especially in polygamous homes where the father is weak and susceptible to the diabolical manipulations of some of the wives, uncles and friends etc. The first son is hated by his father (utuoma) and he becomes, if he remains alive, the punching bag of the father, wives, brothers, sisters and uncles because of hereditary rights. To be continued Chief Gbinije BINIJE, founder of Mandate Against Poverty, wrote from Warri 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, December 11, 2012
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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
he recently reported dip in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) amid rising inflationary pressure has again reinforced the need for the managers of the nation’s economy to put on their thinking caps in order to prevent disastrous consequences in the near future. According to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) last month, Nigeria’s real GDP growth for the 2012 fiscal year experienced a downward slide to 6.61 percent from the 6.85 percent mark earlier projected. The NBS reported a real GDP growth rate of 6.48 percent in the third quarter of 2012, up from 6.39 percent in the second quarter but lower than the 7.37 percent recorded within the corresponding period in 2011. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said the slide indicated that the economy was facing unanticipated growth challenges. More worrisome, perhaps, is the continuing decline in the contribution of the oil sector despite high oil prices; as well as the near zero contribution of agriculture to real growth since the third quarter of 2011. The trend has lingered in spite of the billions of naira the President Goodluck Jonathan government reportedly committed to its agricultural transformation initiatives. While the GDP growth rate is relatively higher than the figures
Dangerous slide in GDP coming out of the Euro zone and the United States, the recent decline is a negative signal on the faltering steps and direction of the nation’s economy. The inability of the country’s economic management team to come up with fruitful ideas on how to decisively tackle the burgeoning problem of unemployment; and develop the small and medium scale enterprises sector; as well as the critical agro-allied sub-sector, has remained a cancerous sore hounding the Jonathan administration. Like others before it; the Federal Government under Jonathan dissipates most state resources (indeed, over 70 percent of annual budgets) on recurrent expenditure, in other words, the payment of salaries, allowances and overhead costs to political office holders, civil servants and for generally running the government. While we acknowledge FG’s purported efforts to cultivate fiscal prudence and plug manifestly outrageous leakages in public expenditure, nothing tangible points to the government’s commitment to creating the conditions that will stimulate real economic growth. On the hype about rising foreign direct investment (FDI), experts say what is being marketed as FDI in the country is ‘hot funds’ flowing into the capital market, which can be withdrawn any minute at the pleasure of the investors. And on the oil sector, while oil
THE FG HAS PAID ENOUGH LIP SERVICE TO DIVERSIFYING
THE ECONOMY. IT IS TIME TO REVERSE THIS OFFICIAL UNPATRIOTISM prices are presently high, conscious efforts by big oil buyers, like the United States, for example, to reduce their dependence on imported oil by developing their own reserves and turning to renewable energy sources, also have distressing implications for Nigeria’s future petro-dollars earning potential. Indeed, with the US now poised to emerge a net exporter of oil in a decade, Nigeria appears doomed if it fails to utilise its vast oil earnings to develop the necessary infrastructure; as well as policies that will support an industrial economy. While the ongoing power sector reform is expected to partly address the problem, developing the commercial agriculture, iron and steel, petrochemicals, solid minerals, etc. subsectors; as well as wholly modernising the nation’s transport infrastructure to ensure efficiency and competitive costs, deserve very serious attention. Also of paramount importance is
access to reasonably-priced credit facilities for businesses. The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently drew attention to high interest rates as a result of the CBN’s continued monetary tightening policy that has seen the benchmark Monetary Policy Rate kept at 12 percent for roughly two years now, for instance. While the said policy might have effectively moderated inflation and stabilised the exchange rate, it achieved the said goals at the expense of the stimulation of growth and the creation of employment opportunities. What Nigeria’s teeming youth population, which represents the country’s most important resource, needs is sound education, especially in science and technology; and employment opportunities which have kept shrinking relative to the number of school leavers every year. The FG should lead the country to become a truly productive nation, and end decades of dependence on other nations to meet basic needs, including refined petroleum products. This requires massive investment in capital goods, truly curbing public sector corruption; as well as improving transparency in government and the public service. The FG has paid enough lip service to diversifying the economy. It is time to reverse this official unpatriotism.
ON THIS DAY December 11, 2008 Ber nard Madoff was ar rested and charged with securities fraud in a $50 billion Ponzi scheme in the United States. A P o n z i s c h e m e i s a f r a u d u l e n t i nv e s t m e n t o p e r a t i o n t h a t p ay s r e t u r n s t o i t s i nv e s tors from their own money or the money p a i d b y s u b s e q u e n t i nv e s t o r s , r a t h e r t h a n f r o m p r o f i t e a r n e d b y t h e i n d iv i d u a l o r o r ganization running the operation.
December 11, 2006 Fe l i p e C a l d e r o n H i n o j o s a , t h e p r e s i d e n t o f M e x i c o, l a u n c h e d a m i l i t a r y - l e d o f f e n s ive t o p u t d ow n t h e d r u g c a r t e l v i o l e n c e i n the state of Michoacan. The ef fort is often r e g a r d e d a s t h e f i r s t eve n t i n t h e M e x i c a n D r u g Wa r. T h e M e x i c a n D r u g Wa r i s a n o n g o i n g a r m e d c o n f l i c t b e t we e n r iv a l d r u g cartels fighting each other for re gional cont r o l , a n d M e x i c a n g ove r n m e n t f o r c e s.
December 11, 2001 The People’s Republic of China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced its activities on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which was established in 1948. The organization deals with regulation of trade between participating countries.
Stakeholders laud NCAA over new safety systems
Recession, Boko Haram menance, others slow insurance industry growth - CEOs 37
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Cash crunch prompts Christmas retail sales concern Since the raging issues of removal of oil subsidy with its attendant effect on cost of doing business, National Mirror survey shows that decline in October sales at retail outlets has dampened optimism over the anticipated Christmas boom. ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI reports.
FLIGHT SCHEDULE Arik Air Los-Abj: 07:15, 09:15, 10:20, 15:20, 16:20, 16:50, 18:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Abj-Los: 07:15, 09:40, 10:20, 12:15, 15:15, 16:15, 17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat); 12:15, 15:15, 16:15 (Sun) Los-PH: 07:15, 11:40, 14:00, 16:10, 17:15, (Mon-Fri) 07:30, 11:40, 15:50 (Sat) 11:50, 3:50, 17:05 (Sun) Abj-PH: 07:15, 11:20, 15:30 (Mon-Fri) 07:15, 16:00 (Sat) 13:10, 16:00, (Sun) PH-Abj: 08:45, 12:50, 17:00 (Mon-Fri) 08:45, 17:30 (Sat) 14:40, 17:30 (Sun) Abj-Ben: 08:00, 12:10 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 08:55, 12:10 (Sun) Ben-Abj: 09:55, 13:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 10:50, 13:30 (Sun)
Aero Contractors Los-Abj: 06:50, 13:30, 16:30, 19:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 16:45 (Sat). Abj-Los: 07:30, 13:00, 19:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat) 10:30, 14:30, 19:30 (Sun) 18.30 (Sat) Los-Ben: 07:45, 11:00, 15:30, (Mon-Fri/Sat/ Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 15:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Ben-Los: 09:15, 12:30, 17:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat/Sun) 17:00 (Sat), 14:00 (Sun)
he burden of the oil subsidy removal and monetary tightening policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria have been attributed by retailers and shoppers as the cause of rising cost of goods and services. As the Christmas period draws near, shoppers, however
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said they expect rise in price of goods just as retailers have concern as a result of poor sales during the last Eid-el-kabir in October. But with the latest report by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics on Consumer Price Index, there is no doubt that Nigerians have to choose to either cut their budget or worry less on shopping during Christmas and new year as a result of cash crunch. In its October 2012 report, NBS stated that the composite Consumer Price Index which
measures inflation rose to 11.7 percent year-on-year (compared to 11.3 percent in September). On a year-on-year basis, the relative moderation in the headline index in October was offset by the rising cost of food items during the period. While the “Core” index continued its declining trend over the last few months, rising to 12.4 percent in October from 13.1 percent in September, the food index increased to 11.1 percent from 10.2 percent over the same period. Since its yearon-year peak of 15.2 percent in
June of this year, the Core index continues to exhibit a declining trend partially as a result of uncompromising monetary policy on the part of the Central Bank of Nigeria. “The rise in the Food Index was mainly due to higher food prices in various classes led by meat, fish, potatoes, yams and other tubers, fruits, bread and cereals as well as other foods. While the impact of security concerns on agricultural proCONTINUED ON PAGE 20
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Business & Finance
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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Cash crunch prompts Christmas retail sales concern CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 duction has eased significantly, the higher food prices continue to reflect the impact of recent floods on the production of farm produce, resulting difficulty of moving food products to markets across the country, coupled with higher demand for food items due to the just concluded Muslim festival. The average annual rate of rise of the index for the twelve-month period ending in October 2012 was 11.2 percent when compared to the same period in 2011,” NBS stated, With this grim report, feelers from Shoprite, Ikeja; Ile Epo foodstuff market, Oshodi and Lagos Island; Ifo farm markets as well as Abattoir at Agege show that prices of food items, beverages and other household goods have increased significantly. And to encourage sale, some retail shops have launched attractive sales promo to drive sales. According to a trader at Ile Epo market, Oke Odo, Mrs. Kudirat Faleye who sells yam, the cost of conveying yams from the North has increased significantly as a result of the rise in fuel coupled with the series of bomb explosion in the North.“The people that supply us said price of beans has increased because of the cost of fuel. They told us that Boko Haram is also causing so many problems for them and some of us have to be careful. It is a risk brining these yams to Lagos. That is why yam is costly now. When they sell to us at high price, we too must make profit. The sales were low during the last Ileya,” she said. She added that farmers too apart from the distributors have also increased their giving price to middle men who bring the yams to Lagos. Also, a rice trader, Mrs. Kemi Eluyode, in the same market told National Mirror that sales since July when tariff on rice was increased, price of bags of rice has gone up by 20 percent. “Initially a bag of price was sold for N8000 before the fuel crisis but now it is now sold between N8,500 and N10,000. It is not our wish to increase prices. But the cost of transportation and clearing at the port also contribute to it. In fact, during the last Muslim festival, those who normally buy a bag have to reduce their purchase to half bags. Because rice is a must-eat food, they must buy though they reduced the quantity. We are afraid of stocking more goods in December because last Muslim celebration witnessed serious shortage in sales,” she complained. Despite this, the beer market continues to enjoy sales boom. A sales manager of a Beer Depot at Onipanu, Lagos, Mr. Farouk Okurounmu affirmed that, “There is no month since January when our sales decline except during the subsidy removal protest when there was restriction on movement and during Ramadan Festival. But besides those periods, we have been recording fortunes,” he said. But an October economic outlook report by Financial Derivative Company Limited estimated that, “Total beer market in Nigeria declined by 7.4 per cent in the second quarter of the year 2012
THERE IS NO MONTH SINCE JANUARY WHEN OUR SALES DECLINE, EXCEPT DURING THE SUBSIDY REMOVAL PROTEST WHEN THERE WAS RESTRICTION ON MOVEMENT AND
RAMADAN FESTIVAL. BUT BESIDES THOSE PERIODS, WE HAVE BEEN RECORDING DURING
FORTUNES mainly in Lagos, South West and South/ South regions. Sales have declined more in urban areas than rural. Malt market also declined but only marginally. A shift to low sugar for the health conscious consumers. Malt consumption down mainly in rural areas. Drinking less in bars, sales in supermarkets higher,” during and after Ramadan fast of July- August when sales stifled. But as Christmas period draws near, beer and beverage sellers have high hope that sales may either remain steady or have a little gallop. Meanwhile, electronic and home appliances dealers complained that sales declined in September and October as they expect worse situation in December as a result of shrinking disposable income caused by cost of living. A sales man at Cash ‘n’ Carry, Kodeso Road, Ikeja who spoke under anonymity told National Mirror that most purchase are made by companies. “We have been experiencing sales drop since the beginning of this year. Most customers said the cost of electronics is too high. To encourage purchase we had to introduce one promo or sales bonanza or the other during festive seasons. Like during the coming Christmas and new year festive period, we have lots of price slash promo to make more families come and buy electronics from Cash ‘n’ Carry,” he said. Also, dealers of fabrics said that there has been good sales since January. But they do not expect poor sales in Christmas season. According to Alhaja Temitayo Adaranijo of Adaranijo Stores at
Broad Street Lagos, sales is determined by customers needs not necessarily cost of living. “We have people who make bulk purchase during their events such as weddings, burial ceremonies and similar occassions. We expect good sales during Christmas. Those who buy Aso ebi contribute and buy in bulk to reduce cost. Although sales was bad during the last Muslim festive period as many people decided to use what they already have,” she said. However, the price of frozen chicken is expected to increase in Christmas season as a result of import restrictions. A trader who smuggles frozen chicken told National Mirror that customs would impose more restrictions during festive season and as a result, the cost of “settling” Customs officials is expected to be passed to buyers. “You know some of these frozen chicken are contraband. We settle Customs to smuggle some into the country. As a result of cost of settling custom officials to smuggle it, we have to pass it to the customers. A carton of chicken has moved from N5,200 to N6,000 and we expect more price increase during Christmas season,” said a dealer. Despite fears of price hike, buyers who patronise shopping malls have little fear as most retailers at malls operate discount sales especially during festive period. But customers who want to make bulk purchase of food items for parties may not find shopping malls ideal. A cross session of buyers, who spoke with National Mirror at Ikeja Shopping Mall
express their fear. A female banker with one of the leading financial institutions, Mrs. Clara Ozekhome said, “You know shopping at malls during festive period is more of a family thing. If we need to buy food items for lavish party, you know this place is not the best to buy cartons of frozen chicken. You have to go to the open market like Ketu. But you can come here to shop for convenience goods. Or bring your family here to have a lunch and pick one or two convenience goods at a good discount,” she said. Also, a marketer with a brewery company, Adeshina Ogunyemi said, “Most retail chains like Shoprite operate on the best low price policy. There is no sales increase panic during festive period unlike the open market for staple foods where speculation lead to price increase. But rather, most retail chains compete through price war. That is why they come up with one sales bonanza or the other during festive period. We are not worried at all.” Meanwhile, a sales agent with Shoprite at Ikeja Mall told National Mirror that there are still sluggish sales despite price slash and discount. “The kind of people who patronise are classy, trendy and upwardly mobile. But they only constitute a small fraction of the entire population. If more people irrespective of status will come here to shop, then sales will be encouraging. We expect boom in December better than October,” he said. As Nigerians fear price increase on foods, drinks, frozen foods and electronics and home appliances, a consumer behaviour specialist, Mr. Tola Odusote advised that consumers should prioritise their needs and make the best purchase decisions within their limited resources. He advised that consumers should operate within their limited resources to avoid cash crunch in January when money is always scarce to attend to family needs.
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Business & Finance
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
FG, port concessionaires clash over N24bn debt FRANCIS EZEM
trong indications emerged that the cordial relationship that has existed between the Federal Government and seaport concessionaires might soon hit the rocks as the concessionaires groan under a N23.7billion ($148million) debt owed them by government and some of its agencies. Comptroller-General of Customs, Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi had last year raised the alarm over the abandonment of over 5, 000 consignment for certain projects by some government agencies at some of the port terminals, which he said was hindering cargo clearance, warning that the service might be left with the option of auctioning them. He had wondered the rationale behind spending tax payers’ money to import these containers, only to abandon them. The alarm raised by the service had coincided with the putting in place of a Presidential Committee on Port Reforms,
L-R: Group Technical Director, La Casera Company, Mr. Sanjeeu Chetir; Quality Assurance Manager, Mr. Emmanuel Adeku; Managing Director, Jotna International, Mr. Narendra Somani and Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Prahlad Gangad, during the presentation of ISO NIS Certification to the Lacasera Company in Lagos, yesterday.
headed by Professor Sylvester Monye, special adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on compliance, with a mandate to evacuate the cargo, some of which had been at the terminals for upwards of five years. Meanwhile, sources close to some terminal operators, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that more than one
Oil communities task Fiscal Commission on 13% derivation TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA)
ggrieved by the alleged neglect of their communities by their state governments, leaders of communities in the oil producing communities in six states of the country have written the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), asking it to prevail on the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), for the implementation of their demand for direct payment of 13 per cent derivation revenue to their communities. In the letter addressed to the Chairman of the Commission signed by Chief William Igere of Delta State; Pastor Macpherson Kurobo of Bayelsa; Princess Nomwen Uhunmwangho of Edo State; Chief Harry Opaks of Rivers; Comrade Samuel Ebiwanno of Ondo; and Saviour James Okon of Akwa-Ibom State, the elders cited Section 162 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and Article 1803 of the United Nations to support their agitations for fairness in the sharing of the 13 per cent derivation revenue. Specifically, they asked the FRC to prevail on RMAFC to respect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by stopping the illegal and unconstitutional payment of the 13 per cent deri-
vation fund into any State Government’s account but comply with the principle of fiscal responsibility. The leaders of the communities averred that their present demand is in line with the position of the last RMAFC in its submission on new revenue formula to the 6th National Assembly, adding that to do otherwise would be contradictory to the new regime of transparency and accountability in fiscal federalism being promoted by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. They demanded the direct payment of the 13 per cent derivation revenue to National Derivation Board. On their specific demand, the letter reads: “That 13 per cent derivation revenue accruing to the Federation Account directly from any natural resources be paid as first line charge from the federation account to the oil and gas producing communities through a National Derivation Board whose members shall be recommended for appointment by the President on the advice of leaders of oil and gas communities. “The National Derivation Board will have Executive Chairman, Secretary and members including a member from the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC). The chairmanship of the National Derivation Board should rotate amongst oil and gas producing states every four (4) years.
year after the consignments were transferred to Ikorodu Lighter Terminal, nothing has been paid to them out of the $148million arising from cargo handling and other charges. According to the sources, many of the consignments littered in some terminals at the Lagos Ports Complex, Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports both in La-
gos spent over five years at the terminals incurring demurrage, rent, cargo handling and other associated charges, none of which has been paid. The sources noted that they expected that after the transfer, government or its agencies would have come back to settle some of the cost they incurred in the process of moving the consignments
for five years. “It would not have been appropriate if we had insisted that the government or its agencies paid the charges before they would be allowed to take delivery of the consignments, but one year after claiming their consignments, which were not auctioned, they ought to have come to pay us. It was gathered that as part of moves to recover the debt, the concessionaires had approached the management of Customs, who reminded them that they (Customs) did not collect duty on the consignments and that the concessionaires should approach the committee that transferred the consignments to Ikorodu. He warned against further abandonment of government project laden containers at the ports. He had noted that such recklessness adversely affected legitimate Customs work as far as disposal of abandoned goods were concerned. He had also regretted that such abandonment was also affecting optimum utilisation of the terminals.
NAMA installs N280m solar power at five airports OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he management of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) yesterday said that it has completed the first phase of the installation of Solar Power at five major airports, which is aimed at improving power supplies to the airports and ensure the stability of its navigational aids. The agency said that the equipment cost it about N280million to purchase and install. An online statement signed by the General Manager, Public Affairs, NAMA, Mr. Supo Atobatele and made available to journalists stated that the five airports airports include Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Bida enroute
station. According to him, the Chairman, Stormberg Power Limited, Otunba Tunde Morakinyo told the Managing Director of MAMA, Engr. Nnamdi Udoh at a brief handing over ceremony at the agency’s head office in Lagos that the project was completed as scheduled. The contractor described the hybrid power system in the country as first of its kind in the Sub-Saharan Africa country, promising that the second phase of the project would commence early in 2013. Each of the sites he explained has 24 solar panels with 15 KVA hybrid inverters. The system has 18 batteries for all the NAVAIDS except the VOR and this can last for 12 hours. For the VOR, the backup batteries are 36 and it has capacity to run the
Naira drops on speculation of dollar sales cut UDO ONYEKA
WITH AGENCY REPORT
he naira depreciated as traders speculated that oil-producing companies will reduce dollar sales in the middle of the month and before the central bank sells the U.S. currency at auction. The currency declined as much as 1 percent to 158.60 per dollar and traded less than 0.1 percent weaker at 156.98 as of yesterday. in Lagos, the commercial capital.
The naira climbed to 156.95 a dollar on December 7 as stateowned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was said to sell about $450 million to lenders. Oil producers, who sell the dollar around month-end to meet domestic expenses, are the second-biggest source of foreign currency after the central bank, which holds scheduled auctions on Mondays and Wednesdays. “Dealers want to buy the dollar at the region of 156.95 naira it traded last Friday in anticipa-
system for between 15 and 18 hours. Morakinyo said his company was delighted to be associated with the project and assured that the solar units supplied and installed for NAMA were of high quality, which would ensure uninterrupted power supply to navigational aids and thereby enhance safety while saving the agency millions of naira spent monthly to purchase fuel for generators across all the airports. Responding, Udoh described the new equipment as another milestone in saving money and diversifying the agency’s power source to Solar. He added that the project has been on-going for some time, but noted that with its installation in five airports, it has now been fully completed and in use.
tion they can’t get it at a better rate this week,” Tunde Ladipo, chief executive officer of Lagosbased Value chain Investment Ltd., said by phone. The yield on 16.39 percent naira debt due January 2022 rose two basis points to 12.03 percent, according to December 7 prices on the website of the Lagosbased Financial Market Dealers Association Financial Markets Dealers Association (FMDA) website. Borrowing costs on the nation’s $500 million of Eurobonds due January 2021 fell two basis points to 4.161 percent.
Business & Finance
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Yuletide: 23 shiploads of PMS, diesel arrive Lagos ports FRANCIS EZEM
s part of desperate measures to forestall any product scarcity during the Yuletide and New Year celebrations, the Federal Government has commenced massive importation of Premium Motor Spirit also called petrol and Automated Gas Oil, called diesel as 398, 759 metric tonnes of the products arrive the Lagos Ports. Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani-Allison Madueke had penultimate week assured that the government has put adequate measures in place to ensure that there is no scarcicity of the products during the celebration season. The minister’s assurance came on the heels of petrol scarcity that rocked many cities in the country, especially Lagos and Abuja, which led to a hike in the price of the products by some greedy marketers. Shipping statics, which cov-
ers the Lagos Pilotage District released by the Nigerian Ports Authority shows that a total of 23 ships comprising of 16 loaded with petrol and another seven laden with diesel are currently discharge at various oil terminals at the Lagos Ports. Details of the statistics show that a total of 16 vessels are laden with 372, 795 mtric tonnes of PMS while the remaining ships are laden with a total of 26, 000 metric tonnes of diesel. A ship called Port Stewart is currently discharging 30, 000 metric tonnes of petrol at the Single Buoy Mooring, Androussa is discharging metric tonnes of PMS at Petroleum Wharf Apapa even as Wallnut Express is discharging 30, 000 metric tonnes at the NISPAN Jetty. Another ship called Sea Power is discharging 72, 000 metric tonnes of PMS, ST. Peter is discharging 33, 950 metric tonnes of petrol at the New Ocean Jetty while High Strength, Adamas 1 discharge 30, 000 metric tonnes
each at Single Buoy Mooring respectively. Also, MT Perla Dado laden with 14, 959 metric tonnes is expected to discharge PMS while another ship called Ermar discharges 30, 000 metric tonnes at the Single Buoy Mooring even as MT Priya is to discharge 16, 000 metric tonnes of PMS at the Bulk Ocean Plant. Meanwhile, MT Irose Mary Kamsy is laden with a total of 5,000 metric tonnes of AGO, while Sea Grace loaded with 6,000 metric of tonnes of the product is currently discharging at the Ibafon Jetty in Lagos. MT Lady Paula has arrived alos arrived Ibafon Jetty with 3, 500 metric, Maria E is also discharging 5, 000 metric tonnes at the Ibafon Jetty, among several others. Meanwhile, there have been doubts as to the ability of the minister to keep to her promise of ensuring a product scarcity-free Yuletide and New Year celebration, since the scarcity that rocked many parts of the country still persists.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
FirstBank supports Calabar, Enugu carnivals
fforts geared towards driving non-oil revenue initiatives in the nation have received a major boost with the sponsorship of the 2012 Calabar Carnival and Enugu Cultural and Tourism Fiesta by winner of the “Best Bank in Nigeria 2012” award, First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank). Estimated to attract over 3 million local and foreign tourists from across the globe, the events are being sponsored under the aegis of First@ Arts, FirstBank’s intervention vehicle for promoting the arts and preserving Nigeria’s cultural heritage. FirstBank’s spokesperson, Folake Ani-Mumuney said the Bank was pleased to play a leading role in enhancing tourism and cultural renaissance in Cross Rivers and Enugu states as the nation continues to pursue diversification of its revenue base across several non-oil sectors. She said that FirstBank was ex-
Ogun pays N16.7m compensation to 97 crop owners DAYO AYEYEMI
L-R: Public Relations and Event Coordinator, Mrs. Kemi Dada; Manager, Dufil Prima Foods, Mr. Tope Ashiwaju and member, Local Organising Committee 18th National Sports Festival, Barrister Yomi Dada, during the Night Business Entertainment, sponsored by Indomie in Lagos at the weekend.
NCC to review telecoms interconnect rates KUNLE A ZEEZ
he Nigerian Communications Commission is to review the current interconnection rates set for the operators in the country, thereby ushering in a new interconnection rate for players in the nation’s telecoms sector. As such, the commission had concluded arrangement to organise a regulatory forum on the high incidence of interconnection indebtedness in the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry. The Public Affair Director, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said the forum scheduled to hold in Lagos on Thursday, was part of the commission’s exercise of
its powers under the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003. “The forum is an effort put in place by the commission to effectively address and proffer solutions to the various issues causative to high interconnection indebtedness in the industry,” he said. The current interconnect rates regime set by the NCC for telecoms operators in the country will expire by December 31, 2012. It was learnt that the extant rates, which gave concessions to new entrants, will give way to unified rates for all operators. Under the current regime, which kicked off in December 31, 2009, interconnection rates for mobile voice termination
provided by new entrants irrespective of originating network were set at N10.12. The rates were designed to fall progressively to N9.48 on December 31, 2010; N8.84 on December 31, 2011 and N8.20 on December 31, 2012, from which date all termination rates will be symmetric. The NCC adopted this measure with the hope that the revised interconnection rates would encourage new entrants in the sector to offer services at more affordable rates to subscribers. Operators not defined as new entrants were required to set a mobile voice termination rate of N8.20 from 31 December 2009. Fixed voice termination rates were set at N10.12 from December 31, 2009; N9.48 from December 31, 2010; N8.84 from December 31, 2011 and N8.20 from 31 December, 2012.
cited at the huge platform the carnivals present for entrepreneurs to gain and share knowledge even as it provides networking opportunities for local and offshore professionals and conversations among government functionaries, private sector and representatives from countries where carnivals have been known to drive vast foreign exchange earnings. “As a bank, we believe our primary responsibility is to support individuals, organisations and governments to realize their financial and economic aspirations. Our partnership with the Cross River State Government in hosting the annual Calabar Carnival has positioned the state as a prime tourist destination. About 2 million visitors are looking forward to attending the carnival-one can only imagine the immense economic benefits this portends for the hospitality industry, transportation, and government earnings in taxes, among others,” she said.
gun State Government has paid the sum of N16.78million as compensation to 97 individuals who are owners of crops affected by the acquisition of the Ojokoro Diregun community in Sagamu Local Government Area of the state. This is in fulfilment of its pledge to pay compensation to owners of lands and properties acquired or affected by its developmental plans. Speaking while handing over cheques to the claimants, the Deputy Director, Acquisition in the Bureau of Lands, Mr. Isaac Akogun, observed that the pres-
ent administration was the first that made such payments for crops and land compensations respectively. He remarked that it was the first time government would be making provision for land compensation alongside crop compensation, noting that according to the law, the individuals were not entitled to land compensation but because “the state government is a government with human face, it deemed it fit to adequately compensate them.” “This act of payment is called gratuitous compensation on land for crop owners whose land was being acquired by government,” he remarked.
Diamond Bank takes mobile banking to Federal Palace
iamond Bank Plc, a leading commercial bank in Nigeria, last weekend took its mobile banking truck, tagged Diamond-in-Motion to the Federal Palace Hotel for a live Christmas shopping event organised by Lost in Lagos.com. Lost in Lagos.com is a website that helps people to discover Lagos, with the most comprehensive list of Lagos’ restaurants, shops among others. The company organised a shopping event at the weekend which featured some major fashion designers and other vendors that attracted customers from far and near. Diamond Bank was therefore on hand to offer banking services to various people who thronged the venue to shop for goods and services. Mrs. Ayona Trimnell, Head of Corporate communications of Diamond Bank told our corre-
spondent that “I feel very happy about our roll out of banking services to customers at the Federal Palace. I’m ecstatic seeing people using our first of its kind mobile banking truck in this country which we are starting with Lagos.” She explained that the mobile bank that other banks in the country have are only for ATMs but the Diamond-in-Motion is a mobile bank with full fledged facilities like a branch, adding that customers can actually do all banking transactions in it. She said the introduction of the mobile banking truck was in line with the bank’s vision to be in the best top five banks in the country in the next five years, remarking that they have a lot of plans and more of the trucks will be coming in soon so that they can get to where their customers are.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
FG, states lead with broken promises on job creation E
arly last week, the Chairman of the Federal Government initiated Sure P programme, Dr. Christopher Kolade was invited by the National Assembly to explain on how over N40 billion have so far been spent on the programme’s with little or nothing to show for it as far as the programme,s mandate of youth empowerment, job creation and poverty alleviation amongst others was concerned. Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Magnus Abe, while expressing displeasure over the operations of the SURE-P for spending approximately N27 billion, N4 billion and N2.2 billion on Youth Empowerment Programme, respectively, said “very little job was done”, while at the same time, picking holes with the N75 million spent on local tours and travels in four months by the SURE-P managers. In that regard, analysts said the initiative which in some quarters has been aptly christened “choppy”; a local parlance for spending free money, is another of the glaring failures that government at federal, states and local levels has recorded this year in its objective of reducing unemployment through sustainable job creation particularly amongst youths in the country. For the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, Mr. Sunday Adeyemi, the series of programmes initiated by government to grapple with unemployment has not meet with the expectations of employment hopefuls in particular, and Nigerians in general. Listing some of the various programmes started by government with the aim of empowering the unemployed and creating jobs that have virtually failed to take off since they were concepted, Adeyemi explained that the much publicised presidential committee on job creation headed by Alhaji Aliko Dangote has almost faded into oblivion, as not much is heard about the committee or its work anymore. He said, “Government should know better than promising jobs it cannot create much less sustain. Raising the hopes of millions of job seekers in the country at the beginning of the year, only to leave them still jobless at the year end does not speak well of a responsible government committed to keeping its promises”. It would be recalled that Senator Abe had in the same vein, while faulting the claims of Sure P managers to have created about 10,000 jobs, said the explanation being given by operators of the scheme will not do, as there are no jobs to back the claims. “I don’t think these explanation will go anywhere, you (referring to the Sure P committee), collected N27 billion and you say you are going to create 50,000
Chairman of Sure-P, Dr. Christopher Kolade
The year 2012 is coming to a close with several sets of promises on job creation let to ne filled by both the Federal and state governments. As the number of employment hopefuls multiplies exponentially, analysts say job seekers can only hope for a better deal, come 2013. MESHACK IDEHEN writes. jobs. I think you need to have a document that actually explains how the lives of those 50,000 have been transformed and how you are going to attain from point A to B,” he added. On his part while berating the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga for “lying on behalf of the Federal Government” to Nigerians that the government has created over 1.4 million jobs over a short period of 12 months, Labour Activist, Mr Emmanuel Ezueme, said the 1.4 million jobs claim by Aganga are only existing in the mind of the minister. Ezeume said with the reality on ground, it was impossible for the government to claim that 1,401,242 jobs were created within the last one year through the implementation of trade and investment reforms, policies and programmes as the minister is claiming. He said the minister’s claims may indirectly be referring to the set of broken promises by the government as far as the issue of creating jobs are concerned, adding that all the reforms, policies and programmes by the trade and investment ministry, just like the government in itself, were not yielding any result, much less sustainable jobs. Ezeume said, “How could the Bank of Industry (BoI) have created 1.4 million jobs. How did Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) create 31, 122 jobs and Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone 30, 000.Where are the jobs? Under which Nigeria Export Process-
GOVERNMENT SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN PROMISING JOBS IT CANNOT CREATE, MUCH LESS SUSTAIN.
THE HOPES OF MILLIONS OF JOB SEEKERS IN THE COUNTRY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, ONLY TO LEAVE THEM STILL JOBLESS AT THE YEAR END DOES NOT SPEAK WELL OF A RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO KEEPING ITS PROMISES ing Zones Authority were 5,120 created? Lies and broken promises”, the labour activist maintained. Also insisting that government’s broken promises on job creation was getting out of hand, and the trend needed to be reversed, President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Peter Esele, told National Mirror that one of the reasons canvassed by the government for taking off subsidy; result of wish is the suffering of Nigerians and persistent
scarcity, is the promise to create jobs. Esele recalled how the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the economy, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had promise that 370,000 jobs would be directly created after the subsidy is removed, wondering if such number of jobs have been created since then. From the agriculture sector, over five million jobs promised through the Agricultural Transformation Programme is yet to see the light of day, with stakeholders like unemployed Agric Engineering graduate, Mr. Daniel Isokpan, endlessly waiting for the promise to take shape. The same tale of broken promises is found in the oil and gas sector, where repeated promises by the government, including promise to make thousands of jobs available through the operations of private refineries has never been kept. Taken together, experts said the reason government is hardly believed or respected by job seekers are not farfetched. Registrar and Chief Executive of the Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria, Mr. Adeyemi Mapaderun, explained that the attitude of government towards making promises it has no intention of keeping should stop. According to Mapaderun, the failure of government to keep its promises on job creation may lead to revolution that has already been predicted sooner than later, “the revolution over high unemployment may even begin in 2013”, he added.
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Union to reject education sector report MESHACK IDEHEN
orkers in the nation’s university system have said they will reject whatever report is presented by the government unless they are included in the NEEDS Committee set up by the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayatu Rufa’i to investigate the problems in the sector. The General Secretary, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Mr. Promise Adewusi, said that the union was not happy with the minister on the constitution of the committee because his university workers were not part of it, and that the union would reject the report of any committee that marginalised its members.
Speaking with journalists on the recent directive of the minister, Adewusi said the union is urging the Federal Government to be suspicious and cautious of the report, while at the same time called for a more inclusive committee to establish the real reason for the rot in the sector. Adewusi explained that the union has always maintained that it is not just about financing that has brought relative industrial peace in the universities, adding that SSANU is determined to further entrench this welcome development. “It is obvious but very unfortunate that the minister is programming the universities for another implosion. The President Jonathan administration had managed to return relative industrial peace to the campuses
through his equitable resolution of some long standing schisms in university administrations. But with the way the Education Minister is proceding now, it is cer-
tain she intended to rubbish all of that and return the campuses to turbulence. “When she set up the so called NEEDS Committee, the
NLC, STF set to clash over Plateau strike MESHACK IDEHEN
he leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) and security operatives in Plateau State are set to clash following the expiration of the ultimatum given to the state government which has expired. This development is coming, even as the special task force in the state has warned the state chapter of the NLC not to embark on its planned strike. It would recalled that the national leadership of the NLC had given the Plateau State government a 10-day ultimatum to resolve an impasse
after which total shut down of services would be embarked upon by all service providers in the state, with the state government however obtaining an interim injunction by the National Industrial Arbitration Court, restraining the NLC from carrying out the planned action. The state NLC chairman, Mr Jibrin Bancir, who was summoned by the STF Commander, Major-General Henry Ayoola, however said he was not aware of any court order restraining NLC from carrying out the intended mass action, adding that he has not received any court order to that effect. He explained that the ac-
ob vacancies begin this week with a position for a Broadcast Engineer (www.jobvanguardng.com) in a firm in Lagos. The Minimum qualification required is a degree and experience of 1 to 3 years. Some of the responsibilities for the post are to operates, maintain, troubleshoot and repair electronic, computer based, optical and mechanical broadcasting systems, amongst other duties. Also available is the position for Maintenance Manager (www.jobsvanguardng.com) also based in Lagos. The minimum qualification of an HND is required, alongside experience of 5 to 7 years The responsibilities for the position include communicating directly with the operations department to coordinate maintenance and repair work in process areas and to communicate
directly with QA laboratory to ensure effective participation by the maintenance technicians in the implementation of QA policies and procedures. The position of Head of Africa Membership (www.findjobs Africa.com), is also available. Based in Geneva Switzerland, the main responsibilities will include developing a compelling and sustainable value proposition for the African Regional Partner community and engaging, managing and retaining World Economic Forum Members amongst other duties. The ideal candidate will have a broad intellectual background with a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in business administration, economics or international relations and a minimum of 10 years of work experience within or relating to the African business community.
tion is not organised by the state NLC, adding that the state government should get in touch with NLC headquarters because the state branch has no say on the matter.
AUN president named for Rwandan task force MESHACK IDEHEN
he President of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Dr. Margee Ensign, has been appointed as a member of a task force set up to see to the establishment of a university system in that country, after a vote by the Rwandan national parliament Announcing her appointment recently, the Rwandan Minister of Education, Dr. Vincent Biruta, said that the task force would take steps toward the realisation of the University of Rwanda by September 2013, adding Ensign’s nomination is based on her expertise and broad knowledge of developments in that East African nation. Biruta explained that Rwanda
Five tips for career growth
he people whose careers seem to grow the fastest follow similar patterns of behaviour. They understand competition exists, they recognize the steps they need to take to succeed, and they understand who is responsible. Here are a few tips for career growth Improve skills and knowledge- Instead of hunkering down in your current state, take specific actions to improve your skills. Look for opportunities for training. Read books. Read blogs. Make an effort to learn new skills and practice them. Develop trust- People naturally want to surround themselves with people they trust. Developing trust takes time and consistent effort.
non-teaching staff unions had complained about their non-inclusion for a more rational and balanced report. She had said it was an oversight which would be corrected. One is, therefore, surprised to read snippets of a report already skewed against the non-teaching staff without fair hearing. “What kind of equity or natural justice will suggest shaving a man’s head in his absence? How come the minister is making persons judges in their own case without a neutral opinion or hearing from the other party. Those who have introduced politics of greed and selfishness into the university system which has resulted in the rot must not be allowed to use this so called report as a smokescreen to cover up other plans.
Trust goes two ways: you need to behave in such a way that people will trust you will do what you say. And equally important, you need to trust others. Help others- One of the keys to growth is helping others. When you make the effort to assist someone else to become better at what they do, you become better yourself. Believe in yourself- As your skills increase, you gain more experience and a clearer understanding your significance to your organization. Believing in yourself, your skills, and your ability to succeed — without becoming arrogant — is a good thing. And never forget the people who have helped you along the way.
already has 14 scholarship students enrolled at AUN in the fall 2012, while also saying Ensign will be in Rwanda mid-December to sign an MoU, where she will also give two keynote speeches, including one on transformational leadership and nation building. Ensign began her administrative career at Columbia University, New York. There she combined roles of Professor in Politics and Economics with Director of the International Political Economy Programme. From Columbia, she became Director of Tulane University’s International Development Program that offers advanced programs at Masters and PhD levels in International Development. She also taught as Visiting Professor at both Georgetown and American Universities, in Washington, DC. She came to AUN in 2010 from the University of Pacific in California where she was Dean of the School of International Studies and Associate Provost for International Initiatives. A widely published scholar with research interests in the challenges of international development as well as implications of development assistance, some of her works highlighting global effects with regard to development include, Doing well or Doing Good, Japan’s Foreign Assistance Programs, and Private Bank Lending to Developing Countries. She won two awards in 2011 and this year from African Leadership magazine for guiding AUN in becoming Africa’s first Development University, whose goal is to educate the future leaders and problem solvers of the continent.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Real Estate & Environment firstname.lastname@example.org 08033312578
Proposed residential development in Rivers State.
Property developers embrace new opportunities in Niger Delta region The South-South region, especially Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital is gradually becoming the hub of real estate activities. as investors take advantage of the return of stability to take positions in a potentially lucrative market. DAYO AYEYEMI writes.
ix years ago, some states in the NigerDelta region were a-no-go area for real estate development owing to militants’ activities such as hostage takings which made some of the oil companies and their workers to relocate to Lagos. During this period, real estate development was no longer interesting in the region, while many firms that had one project or the other had to close shop and relocate to relative peaceful locations such as Lagos and Abuja. But with the introduction of Amnesty programme for the militants by the Federal Government, the region is gradually bouncing back to reckoning in terms of real estate development following the recent boost in real estate development in the region especially Rivers State. When National Mirror took a cursory look at current real estate development in Rivers State at the weekend, more than five real estate developers are building massive residential estates in Port Harcourt, the capital city. Apart from this, many major roads in the state are being upgraded, while new areas are being opening up with infrastructure development by the Rivers State Government. Infrastructure upgrade coupled with relative peace in the region, experts said was responsible for the surge in residential real development in the state, saying whatever is happening in Port Harcourt has a way of
THERE IS MARKET FOR RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE IN PORT HARCOURT. DEMAND FOR RESIDENTIAL HOUSES OUTWEIGH THEIR SUPPLIES WHICH ENABLE DEVELOPERS TO COME IN, BUILD AND MAKE THEIR MONEY trickling down to other states in the region. Besides, they also pointed out that the ongoing infrastructure development in Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers States could be an additional factor. When interviewed by National Mirror on factors for surge in property development in the region, Head of Practice, Nuel Mark and Partners, Mark Emmanuel said the high demand for quality houses which outstrips supply was responsible for the surge in residential housing development in the Niger-Delta especially Port Harcourt. According to him, the housing stock in the state was not enough to cope with increasing demand for quality houses coupled with sudden rise in rental values of property. As a result of this, he explained that real estate investors saw the need to intervene by investing in residential houses to meet the demand of the people especially oil and gas workers. Despite the security challenge, he said
people are now finding ways around it to invest in the region. Besides, the Port Harcourt based estate surveyor and valuer said the state government’s determination to put road infrastructure in place also played a major road to boost recent frenzy in real estate development in the state. According to him, government is now opening up communities and towns, allowing people to have enough access to many locations which they found difficult to go before now. He said, “There is market for residential real estate in Port Harcourt. Demand for residential houses outweigh their supplies which enable developers to come in, build and make their money.” Above all, he disclosed that sudden surge in rents have also contributed to boost real estate development, saying that a two bedroom flat, three bedroom flat outside the Government Reservation Area (GRA) in Port Harcourt ranged from N400,000 to
N700,000 and N500,000 and N800,000, while it is from N1million to N1.5million in GRA. Principal Partner, Akin Olawore and Company, Mr. Akin Olawore, said that developers are now seeing Port Harcourt as a fertile ground for investment because of the activities of the government in the state interms of infrastructure and waterfront upgrades, adding that people want their houses on the waterfronts. Besides, he disclosed that relative peace in the region has made it convenient for oil and gas workers who had once relocated to save locations like Lagos to return, adding that their return has led to demand in apartment buildings which are no longer available. This shortage in decent and quality houses for the returning oil and gas workers, he said provided opportunity for the rush for real estate developments in the region. He explained that the real estate market in the region could be segmented into low, middle and high income levels, adding that while property market for the middleincome group is going up, people that are investing in high-end property are doing so because of relative security. He said, “The higher you go, the lower the activities. People investing in high-end property are doing so because of security. People need new houses especially oil and gas workers and most of the houses in Port Harcourt are old, so they need new and decent homes. In Lagos, the high-end is not doing well and a lot of investments are moving to Abuja.” A Port Harcourt based journalist, Mr. Emmanuel Mashal, said real estate investors are moving to Port Harcourt because the state government has not embarked on direct housing project to meet the yearnings of the people, adding that accommodation seekers are moving in from Owerri, CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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Stakeholders seek effective framework for infrastructure development STANLEY IHEDIGBO
takeholders in the financial sector have called for more effective and articulate framework for the financing of infrastructure development in the country. They also stressed the need for an effective regulatory environment, appropriate financing, transportation and project development infrastructure for economy growth. In a presentation at the 1st Annual Infrastructure Conference with the theme: “Alternative Funding for Nigeria’s Infrastructure”, which was organised by Infrastructure Finance and Development Company, Pearl and Apricot Nigeria at the weekend, former Vice President, Africa Development Bank (ADB) , Chief Olabisi Ogunjobi, said issues bearing on policies, laws, institutions, planning, pricing, longterm finance, skills and public private participate should be well spelt out. He lamented the challenges facing infrastructure development in Nigeria, which he said included, weak government institutional capacity, unfavourable investor perception of country risk, deficient macroeconomic framework, limited access to technical and management skills. Describing the Public Private Participation (PPP), the vice president who was represented by the US based Managing Partner, Lanryson , Prof. Stephen Olanrewaju , said a strong structure at the level of the government is needed to promote and steer PPP policy implementation. According to him, it required a unit with a dedicated team of experts to oversee PPPs
Delapidated road in Lagos.
from conceptualization through negotiation to final monitoring of execution. He urged for sustainability, that is ability of PPP to continue to deliver output, services, revenue, and build the needed technical expertise. He blamed lack of awareness of PPP activities on the general public which he said included labour union, civil society and the people. He added that Nigerians are not well educated on PPP programme and that government has not paid for the services rather the provider invested on the project and need to recoup its money. He noted that infrastructure requirement in Africa is estimated at $93billion per year till 2020, hinting that development project is on top of the organisation
Building collapse: Concrete managers, artisans begin training DAYO AYEYEMI
orried by the alarming rate of cases of building collapse in the country, a group of concern citizens under the auspices of the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), has concluded plans to bring all concrete workers and artisans together in a training session on best practices for building production and concreting processes. The one-day workshop, according to the Chairman, Organising Committee of BCPG, Dr. Victor Oyenuga, an engineer, was to further bring the discussion on how to prevent building collapse to the grassroots, noting the crucial roles of concrete managers and artisans. He disclosed that the workshop is in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, adding that its objective was to educate concreting managers and artisans on the best practise for concrete production. Justifying the importance of the workshop, Oyenuga, who was the immediate past president of the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers, noted that concrete forms a major part of building production in Nigeria and that getting the construction right remains a major breakthrough in the prevention of building collapse.
He stated, “BCPG recognises the concreting managers and artisans as major partners in the production of housing and , hence, their roles cannot be ignored. Most are not trained formally but learn on the job and have tremendous experiences. “Some of their wrong practices are due to ignorance and some are due to the limit of their exposures. Thus, a workshop of this nature will expose them to further best practices.” He said the guild is hoping to extend the workshop to other major centres such as Port Harcourt, Abuja, Ibadan and Benin where issues of building collapse is becoming worrisome. Expected at the workshop which will hold at Alausa Secretariat on Wednesday include machine operators, carriers, spreaders, vibrator operators, bricklayers, carpenters and iron benders. The workshop will feature Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Lafarge Cement WAPCO Plc and Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory. Also speaking, a member of the guild, Mr. Akin George, an architect, said professionals would like to take a divergence from what was obtainable in the past where a building would collapse, people would make noise and that eill be the end.
agenda. Speaking on the conference, the Group Managing Director of LASACO Assurance, Mr. Olusola Ajayi, said a major and integral part of sustainable development is efficient provision of environmentally sound infrastructure, such as water supply and sanitation, power, transport, and telecommunications. He said, “Traditionally, infrastructure has been the exclusive province of the public sector because of its natural monopoly features that preclude market competition, and its social and environmental externalities and other public good aspects that result in social benefits exceeding private benefits. With a few exceptions, the public sector has been a costly and inefficient provider of infrastructure while its social and
environmental dimensions received little attention”. He added that the country is investing about 7 per cent of GDP in the development of infrastructure, which is above the average for sub-Saharan Africa. He said, “Research has shown the need to increase this figure to at least 12 per cent of GDP. Overall, the country requires an annual investment of about $10 billion over the next 10 years in order to reduce its infrastructural deficit. The Nigerian government cannot solely fund this huge investment on infrastructure. “The current level of infrastructure deficit in the country is one of the major constraints towards achieving the national vision of becoming one of the 20 largest economies by 2020. About 70 per cent of the 193,000km of roads in the country is in a poor condition. According to enterprise surveys, the power outages the nation experiences amount to over 320 lost days a year, with over 60 per cent of the population lacking access to electricity. At the same time, over $13 billion is spent annually to fuel generators”. He lamented that a country which once had one of the most extensive railway systems in Africa, can barely boast of a functional route either for passengers or freight today. These conditions are unacceptable and pose a significant threat to the growth of the Nigerian economy. The Managing Director of the organising firm, Mr. Ola Oyinloye called for the establishment of Infrastructure Development Bank to enable investors access fund and execute on infrastructure development projects in the country.
Property developers embrace new opportunities in Niger Delta region CONTINUED FROM 25 Aba and nearby cities to settle in the region which heightened demand for housing in the state. He said, “Land is another major factor in Port Harcourt because landlords in this region depend on rent. Despite the fact that developers are coming in to build with high price tags, people are ready to buy rather than paying rent because of shortage of accommodation.” Speaking during the signing of agreement between the Rivers State Government and RIVTAF Nigeria Homes, Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, urged the developer to hasten the process of delivering the homes in 18 months instead of 30 months, pointing out that people are waiting to buy good homes. He disclosed that in one of the estates in the state, people bought over all the housing units before completion, confirming the need for more residential development in the estate. “The high rise buildings left, an oil company has already bought them over, so you don’t need an off-take. If you complete the houses, we will buy or ask civil servants to buy. So you have to start now. “There is a law in Rivers State to prosecute people that want to stop housing developers, such fellows will be jailed three
years. Whatever challenge you have, let me know. I want to see activity in the next one week.” Also speaking, the developers of Port Harcourt’s Gulf Estate, Messrs RIVTAF, Nigeria Homes, a real estate firm based in Gambia, said rise in demand for accommodation coupled with the nation’s huge housing shortfall was among other factors the firm has to consider before moving to Rivers State capital city for investment, adding that Nigeria is a business hub to most West Africa countries.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Brume eyes Rio 2016 berth 30
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I am insisting again that only players who are committed will make my team to South Africa -Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi
Uche tips Eagles for AFCON glory IKENWA NNABUOGOR
AGA: NFF expects 88 delegates in PH Ikechukwu Uche
ighty-eight delegates are expected on Thursday during the 2012 Annual General Assembly (AGA) of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. National Mirror was informed yesterday by the NFF Assistant Director (Media), Mr. Ademola Olajire, that the delegates will include 15 members of the federation’s executive committee and football administrators from the states and Abuja. “The 15 members of the NFF Executive Committee, with President Aminu Maigari at the head and Board Secretary, Musa Amadu, behind, will lead the 88 delegates into the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt for the opening ceremony that starts at 10am. “The delegates are: Chairmen of the Football Associations of 36 States and FCT; Secretaries of the Football Associations of 36 States and FCT and; Chairmen and Secretaries of the Leagues (Premier, National, Women and Nationwide), Players’ Union, Coaches Association and Referees Association,” Olajire said. National Mirror was also informed that NFF will honour former Member of the Board and Deputy Chairman of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Sam Sam Jaja and one-time Secretary General of then Nigeria Football Association, Pa Herbert Olanrewaju Omokhaye, at its 68th AGA in
Port Harcourt on Thursday. Jaja, a former president of the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) who was also on the board, will be conferred with honourary membership of the Executive Committee of the NFF. Omokhaye, also a former referee and administrator of repute, who turned 80 recently, will be honoured with an Award of Meritorious Service to Nigeria football. NFF General Secretary, Amadu, said yesterday that all arrangements had been concluded for Thursday’s AGA in the Rivers State capital. “The Executive Committee of the NFF decided it was time we start giving honour unto whom it is due. To this end, the Committee has pencilled down Dr. Sam Sam Jaja and Pa Omokhaye for honour this year. This will become a feature of the Annual General Assem-
bly,” Amadu said in a statement. Also, about a dozen members of staff, who have spent 20 years and above in the service of the NFF, will be honoured. Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, will be chief host, while the Minister/Chairman, National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, will be the special guest of honour. Other guests expected at the AGA are: Director-General of the NSC, Chief Patrick Ekeji; chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Adamu Gumba; chairman of the House Committee on Sports, Hon. Godfrey Gaiya; past NFF presidents, Group Capt. John Obakpolor (retd), Col. Abdulmumini Aminu (retd), Brig. Gen. Dominic Oneya (retd), Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima and Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi.
Eko 2012: Delta lauds Lagos for hosting fair
xecutive Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission, Mr. Pinnick Amaju, has commended the Lagos State Government for successfully hosting the just-concluded 18th National Sports Festival. Amaju told newsmen on Sunday that Lagos eschewed the “Win at all cost” disposition which had become the norm in recent times. He said that the state stood by its pledge of not “Hosting to Win Syndrome” adding that the state had set a pace for others to follow. “Lagos demonstrated fair play throughout the sports fiesta. This is a radical departure from what we saw
in Port Harcourt. I commend them for this because they have set the pace,” Amaju said. He also lauded the facilities the government put in place and noted that they were among the best in the country right now.. “Lagos put in place the best facilities and organised it in their own way. They put little efforts but achieved the same results as it was in Port Harcourt.” The Delta chairman, however, attributed the successes achieved by his state at the sports fiesta to hard work, discipline and prayers, which he said, propelled them to the top of the table.
uper Eagles’ striker, Ikechukwu Uche, says he will be banking on his impressive goal scoring form to lead Nigeria to glory in next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. The former Recreativo de Huelva attacker notched up his sixth goal of the season for Villareal who demolished Alcorcon 4-0 on Sunday as the relegated side continued to push for promotion to La Liga next season. Uche struck in the 75th minute to seal victory for his side and catapulted the team to fifth spot on the Spanish second division log. He told National Mirror that he was happy with his current form which he believed would prove useful for Eagles in South Africa. Uche has also been in commendable scor-
ing form for his country, netting 18 goals in as many appearances to shoot himself to fifth place in the all-time Eagles top scorers. Eagles would rely largely on his goals to book a ticket to 2013 South Africa Nations Cup after missing the ticket to less illustrious West African neighbour last term in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. “I’m so happy for my form at Villareal and I thank God for it but most importantly, it’s good for us now that the Nations Cup is just around the corner,” he assures. “If you also look at the form of other strikers across Europe, you will begin to see that Eagles have a great chance. “But we must tread carefully; we must not underrate any team. I think the team is in good form and we expect to do just well in South Africa.”
CAF rejects Anouma’s paper
he election commission of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) yesterday rejected Jacques Anouma’s (former Ivorian FA president) application to run for the presidency of the continent’s football body. CAF revised the election laws last September, during its general assembly in Seychelles. The laws now require a presidential aspirant to be an Executive Committee (EC) member to be eligible. Anouma is not a voted EC member of CAF and only sits on the committee because he is a member of the FIFA executive committee. According to the revised
laws, this makes him ineligible to run for president. The 58-year-old accountant said he would take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Last month the court threw out a complaint from the Liberia Football Federation, which requested the suspension of the recently adopted election laws. A number of African observers say incumbent president, Issa Hayatou, who has held the post since 1988, was behind the amendment in order to hinder strong candidates, like Anouma, from running. The election will be held held next March in Morocco
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Gerrard dreams Euro return
iverpool’s captain, Steven Gerrard, believes the club’s hopes of Champions League qualification hinge on the next four weeks. Sunday’s 3-2 win over West Ham ensured the Reds reduced the gap to fourth place to just four points. Liverpool faces Aston Villa, Fulham, Stoke, QPR and Sunderland over the next four weeks, and Gerrard believes they must capitalise on the momentum it has started to generate. “We’re building slowly towards where we want to be,” Gerrard said yesterday. “We’ve got two home games now against Aston Villa and Fulham. If we can capitalise
and make it 12 points out of 12 then we will find ourselves a lot closer to fourth. “It’s a platform to build on. We just have to focus on Villa now. Come the end of December we’re really looking to be close to that fourth position.” Liverpool scored more than two goals for only the third time this season at Upton Park, without suspended top-scorer Luis Suarez. “I think before the game people were doubting us and thinking we would be a bit toothless in the final third without our top striker,” Gerrard said, adding, “Every win does a lot for the group and we did it without not only our top scorer but one of the top scorers in the Premier League.”
I want victories, not records –Messi
Lio Lio Lionel i Messi M
arcelona’s recordbreaking star, Lionel Messi, yesterday played down his achievement after surpassing Gerd Muller’s record of 85 goals in a calendar year. Messi scored both of his team’s goals in a 2-1 win at Real Betis to beat the 40-yearold record. “The record is great for what it means, but the most important thing is that the team won and that we maintained the distance with the teams behind us,” Messi said yesterday. “When the year starts the objective is to win it all with the team, personal records are secondary.” “I’ll try to score more goals to make it more difficult for the next player that tries to break it,” the Argentina international added. The 25 year-old drew level with Muller’s mark after 16 minutes with a trademark diagonal run and left-foot finish. It took him just nine more minutes to take the record as his own. Meanwhile, Barcelona
coach, Tito Vilanova, said Messi’s record would take some time to equal. “He still has three matches left this year and we will see if he can extend his record. We hope that he still has a lot left to give because he’s still very young. He’s a world-renowned star that has a series of attributes that make him nearly unrepeatable,” Vilanova said. “We shouldn’t heap more pressure on him,” the coach warned, however. “Let’s enjoy the moment and not focus on how many goals he might score in the future.” Messi, whose goals also sent him clear of Cesar Rodriguez as Barcelona’s all-time leading league goalscorer after both had been level on 192 before the match, has scored 56 of his 86 goals in the Primera Division, in addition to scoring 12 times for his national team including a stunning hat-trick in a 4-3 win over Brazil in June, a remarkable feat setting him up to be crowned world footballer of the year for a fourth successive year.
Evra dismisses PSG li
M Steven Gerrard
‘Manchester Nine’ in police net
olice yesterday charged nine people following incidents at Sunday’s Manchester derby between Manchester City and Manchester United. But they are yet to charge anyone for the coin-throwing incident which saw Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand hit by an object at the end of the match. Ferdinand was celebrating Robin van Persie’s late winner but was left with a gash above his eye after the incident. Two men have been
charged with pitch encroachment. “To have just 13 arrests for a crowd of this size and a match of this proportion is a testament to the policing operation we put in place,” Chief Inspector Steve Howard said. “Despite fierce rivalry and high tension there was no major disorder. However, we will continue to investigate the coin throwing incident and are determined to work with the club to bring the perpetrator to justice,” Howard added.
anchester United defender, Patrice Evra, has dismissed speculation linking him with a move back to France with Paris Saint-Germain. Reports had suggested that big-spending PSG was ready to turn its attention to the 31-year-old left-back. But Evra, who has been with United for over six years following his move from Monaco, insists he has no intention of leaving before his contract expires in 2014. “You are not serious to ask me such a question? I have one year remaining on my contract, I am playing at
Manche captain tional s “You Alex Fe made m nothing at Manc Howe born E flattere move to raised. “It’s be wan Paris S as I am hidden though team,”
Inter in Huntelaar hu
nter Milan President, Massimo Moratti, is ready to challenge Arsenal for Schalke 04 striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Reports yesterday said that Moratti has joined the battle for Huntelaar, who is off contract in June, believing the
striker prove I the next “Mor new str Andrea sees Hu tion,” a yesterda
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ester United and I am n,” the France internasaid yesterday. u would need to kill Sir erguson before anyone me go to Paris! There is g in it and I am happy chester.” ever, the SenegalEvra admitted he was ed to be linked with a o Paris, where he was
Beckham on Al-Sadd radar
atest reports indicate that rich Qatari club Al-Sadd is preparing to make a move for David Beckham whose contract ran out at LA Galaxy last week. The English veteran has finished his MLS playing days and is now set to embark on the next chapter of his remarkable career. According to the reports, Al-Sadd will offer
the former Manchester United star big money to come to Doha where he would join former Real Madrid teammate Raul. Beckham has been linked with a number of clubs in recent weeks, including Paris SaintGermain, Monaco and some Australian sides, but it remains to be seen exactly where he will end up.
National team Bafana Bafana is a brand that South Africa hopes to sell next year
AFCON 2013: SA employs MDG approach AFOLABI GAMBARI
Pepe targets Barca ‘overthrow’
eal Madrid defender, Pepe, says the club will keep up the fight against Barcelona to win the title. The defender, who expressed pleasure with Madrid’s win at the weekend against Real Valladolid after a gutsy display by the Jose Mourinho-coached side. “Today we worked a lot
always a pleasure to nted by a club such as St Germain, especially Parisian. I have never my love of Paris, even Monaco is still my he said.
has the quality to imInter squad ahead of t season. ratti wants to deliver a riker signing to coach Stramaccioni and untelaar an ideal addia source in Milan said ay.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
to come out of here with a win and thanks to God we got the three points. It was an extremely difficult game for us. They scored two goals from set pieces, but I think that we could have won by a much bigger margin. We have to keep fighting, we are Real Madrid and we are going to fight until the end,” he said.
takeholders in the hosting of the 29th Africa Cup of Nations have adopted an aspect of the Millennium Development Goals to ensure efficient hosting of the finals holding from January 19 to February 10 next year. South Africa Tourism Regional Director for Africa, Phumi Dhlomo, told National Mirror yesterday that the multi-dimensional developmental approach was initiated to further upgrade the status that the country had achieved in hosting major sporting events in the past two decades. “We hosted a Nations Cup finals in 1996 and went ahead to host the All Africa Games, the Rugby World Cup and the FIFA World, aside the African Women’s Championship and African Youth Championship and we did acquit ourselves well in all,” Dhlomo said. “In all of this success story, we have reckoned the effort of partnership among the vital sectors in the country as ensuring the success and we are bringing this to bear again as we host the Nations Cup next year,” he added. Dhlomo said tourism, security, protocol, migration and other key sectors of South Africa would play major roles at ensuring that the country maximized all the benefits accruable from the hosting. “In total, South Africa is investing $53.5m, of which $37m will go to South African national departments to cover costs associated with the hosting while a further $2m will be used by the provinces and another $14m will be used by the five host cities to cover various hosting costs,” he explained. Dhlomo reiterated that the tourism sector had strategized ahead of the Nations Cup, stressing, “We expect that we will be counting greater profit for the country at the end of the competition in February 2013.” South Africa had declared a bumper profit after hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2010, which the local organizing chief executive,
Danny Joordan, described as “way beyond our expectation.” Meanwhile, SA Tourism has has embarked on a multi-dimensional marketing campaign across the African continent to intensify excitement around the Africa Cup of Nations with a view to being part of the football spectacular. “We are extremely grateful in South Africa for this opportunity that has been given to us and we invite the continent to come and celebrate the football tournament with us in South Africa,” Dhlomo said in Johannesburg over the weekend. “This campaign is a reflection of how much we value the African tourist and we are investing in growing further arrivals from the continent,” he further said.
‘McCarthy ‘ll be sharper’
rlando Pirates’ coach, Roger de Sa, believes it is only a matter of time before veteran striker Benni McCarthy starts scoring crucial goals for the defending League champion. McCarthy, who came on as a second half substitute for Zambian forward Collins Mbesuma in the 1-1 Soweto Derby draw with Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday, made some deft touches before failing to convert at least two scoring opportunities that came his way. But De Sa, whose side is still three points behind Chiefs on the log standings, says the South Africa’s leading scorer is becoming sharper and will play a key part in the Pirates attack during the second half of the season. “I am happy that Benni got more scoring opportunities than Mbesuma, despite the fact that he came on late in the second half. Benni is certainly regaining his fitness, he is a key component of our team,” De Sa said yesterday. “Obviously at this stage he is not yet at the same level he was before he got injured. But I believe with time he will become sharper.”
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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On the track with
YEMI OLUS email@example.com
Brume eyes Rio 2016 berth B
asking in the euphoria of winning gold in the long jump and two silver medals in the high and triple jumps at the just concluded 18th National Sports Festival, Delta State’s Esse Brume believes she is the woman to watch out for at the 2016 Olympic Games coming up in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. The 16-year-old claimed gold with a Personal Best of 6.18m to beat favourite and Lagos State athlete, Abire Uyoyo, to second place at the main bowl of the Teslim Balogun Stadium last week. “I am very happy to have made my coaches, family and state proud,” the new starlet said. “This is my first attempt at triple jump and I won a silver medal. I was in Port Harcourt last year where I did the high jump. My performance was poor there but I took it as a challenge and here I am today. “My focus is the next Olympic Games so I will train and work harder. But before that I hope to participate in the World Junior Championships scheduled to take place in Donetsk in Ukraine next year. Another target I have for 2013 is to jump as far as 6.9m.” Brume, who got into athletics through the support of her mum while in secondary school, revealed that the path to glory has not been an easy one. “I remember when I went for West African University Games (WAUG) this year and I finished third with a distance of 5.3m in the long jump even though I won the high jump. I finished seventh in the long jump during one of the Golden League legs held in Akure also this year. I also went for the
My career not over –Radcliffe
ritish athlete Paula Radcliffe insists her career is not over after the foot surgery that ruled her out of London 2012. The world record holder, 38, has raced only one marathon since 2009, but hopes to return to action in 2013. April’s London Marathon could come too soon, with a 10km in the spring and a marathon later in the year more likely. “I’m kind of at that crossroads coming off a big surgery and I desperately don’t want my career to be finished”, Radcliffe said yesterday. She lost her National Lottery funding in October as UK Athletics do not see her as a genuine Olympic medal contender in Rio 2016.
national trials in Calabar earlier this year where I placed sixth but I had a personal best of 6.02m. “It was my first time of jumping over the 6m barrier. I had to go back and work harder and I was able to achieve this feat in Lagos. My mum was once a sports person so she encouraged me. I started four years ago in Delta State when I was still in secondary school,” she said. The Delta State athlete recently got
a diploma in Microbiology from the University of Benin but said she has created a balance between her academics and athletics. “I train twice a day, morning and evening but the days I have lectures, I only train in the evenings. Also my family have been very supportive and encourage me every step of the way because they are my sponsors. I aspire to be like Blessing Okagbare because she is very smart and intelligent.”
I will compete in Calabar 2014 –Egwero
s diverse reactions trailed the announcement by Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, that the 2014 National Sports Festival (NSF) will be thrown open to elite athletes, former national champion, Ogho-Oghene Egwero, has declared his intention to feature in the competition. Egwero came into national reckoning after winning the 100m and 200m for Delta State at the 2009 edition of the NSF held in Kaduna after which he represented the country at international competitions that include the 2009 World Championships, 2010 World Indoors and Commonwealth Games and the London 2012 Olympics. According to Egwero, the inclusion of elite athletes will improve the festival’s status. “Even the national trials we have every year is not as interesting and glamorous as the festival but this will be the major opportunity for we elite athletes to perform,” he reasoned.
“I will definitely compete in the next edition which will be held in Cross River State. But I won’t run if there is no proper organization.” Egwero argued that the festival fell short of a developmental programme because its participation was limited to up and coming athletes. “The first time I participated in the NSF was in Ogun State in 2006 and it was open. After running against the big guys, I knew my place at least. Grassroot developmental programmes should be tagged U-17 or U-20 so that we know that those athletes are meant to be developed. “After all, even most of the athletes competing in the festival are about 30 years old so it cannot really be called a developmental competition; some of them have exhausted their three slots in the festival and switched over to a different event altogether.”
Egwero in the middle of a race with Usain Bolt and others.
She was forced to pull out with a foot injury on the eve of this summer’s Olympics, ending her hopes of running in front of a home crowd after suffering heartbreak in previous Games. After having surgery in California in August, Radcliffe is now working her way back to fitness. “It’s going in the right direction. I’m staying really positive and the goal is to be back running by Christmas and building up to racing next year,” she said. “I would love to be in London 10 years on from setting the world record there, but I think that is going to be very close and I’m more likely looking at a 10km race or half-marathon in the spring, building up to a marathon in the autumn.”
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Real Estate & Environment
Rivers developer seals deal on N12.1bn golf estate DAYO AYEYEMI
n order to meet the accommodation gap in the state, the Rivers State Government has signed an agreement with Messrs RIVTAF Nigeria Homes Limited to build 750 quality and affordable houses in the Government Reservation Area (GRA), in Port Harcourt, the capital city to meet the yearning of the people. Tagged: Golf Estate, the estate sits on 38 hectares of land located at Peter Odili Road, Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt and it is targeting both middle and high income earners in the state. The state government gave out land as equity while the developer is expected to seek fund, build and deliver the homes at the stipulated period based on the agreement. The estate, according to Governor Chibuke Amaechi, is expected to be completed in less than 18 months. On completion, it is expected to comprise 200 two bedrooms, 408 three bedroom apartments, 62 town houses, 31 villas, and serviced plots. The estate comes with club house, with swimming pool, tennis court and other recreational facilities, shopping mall with office, and 9-hole Golf Course Apartment buildings in the estate comprise the ground plus three floors. The total floor area of the 2 bedroom is 84 square metres (sqmtrs) while the 3 bedroom is made of 131sqmtrs. Every floor has four apartments. The 3 bedroom town house comprises of a total floor area of 182sqmtrs with front and back garden, while the 4 bedroom town house comes with a total floor area of 203sqmtrs with front and back garden. Four and 5 bedroom villa houses in the estate sit on floor of 231 and 247 sqmtrs with large gardens and servant’s quarters. All houses are fitted with porcelain floor and wall tiles, external security external doors, wooden internal doors, POP decorative ceiling, aluminium windows and patio doors, decorative roofing tiles, fitted kitchen cabinets and wardrobes ceramic sanitary ware Commenting on the housing initiative, Amaechi urged the developer to hasten the process of delivering the homes in 18
Model of Golf Estate in Port Harcourt
months instead of 30 months, pointing out that people are waiting to buy good homes. He said that in one of the new estates in the state, people bought over all the housing units before completion, assuring the developer that the houses will sell. “So you don’t need an off-take. If you complete the houses, we will buy or ask civil servants to buy. So you have to start now,” he said. He pointed out that a law is in operative in the state to prosecute people that might want to stop new development or contractor from executing projects, saying that such fellow would be jailed for three years, urging the developer to report any case of disturbance as regard the executing of the housing scheme to him. He stated, “Through our strategic partnership with TAF Nigeria Homes Limited in the Golf Estate, we are vigorously committed to addressing the social and economic challenges of our people by providing affordable home ownership. “In this project, we are not only providing homes but also creating employment opportunities for various skill sets such as engineers, electricians, builders, construc-
tion labourers, and a whole lot of people in the entire distribution chain.” He said the state is proud to be associated with the project as it demonstrates its unending commitment to using creative and dynamic solutions to meet the needs of the people. Chairman, RIVTAF Nigeria Limited, Mr. Bassil Omiyi, remarked that it was a great opportunity to work with the Rivers State government, assuring the governor that his company would deliver real homes. “We assure you that we will deliver and deliver to quality,” he said. Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, RIVTAF, Mr. Mustapha Njie, said the project will cost N12.1 billion to construct, disclosing that it is being supported financially by First Bank Plc, while Aso Savings and Loans is providing mortgage for wouldbe subscribers. According to him, construction work would commence immediately, saying he was motivated to partner Rivers State Government because of his belief in cross borders investment having completed similar projects in Gambia and other countries. He assured that the project will generate
Housing delivery: NHF has failed, says lawmaker OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
he Chairman House Committee on Housing and Habitat, Hon Usman Aminu has stated that the National Housing Fund is not working as regards housing delivery in the country. Speaking at the commissioning of Emerald Court, Abuja, the lawmaker noted that the essence of the fund which favoured saving to assess houses at much later in life had so far not been achieved. He added that it was pertinent for developers to consider building houses for the masses, as having shelter could address the problems of insecurity and provide employment. “Since I assumed office as the Chair-
man of this committee, I realised the NHF is not working. Why is it not working? Let’s team up and collaborate and see how it can work. From what I understand about the NHF, any Nigerian can contribute a part of his income so that he can reap or access housing in his life time. “ But the participants especially most of you from banks are not doing their jobs, that is why the fund is not optimum and it needs to be optimum so that at the level of social housing, we will be able to do something,” he said. The chairman stated that most of the houses being built by developers are accessible by high income earners, while low income earners find it difficult to access the houses, saying that, every society, the middle-class makes it possible
work for the locals and also help to build their capacity. He said, “We are going to complete 80 per cent of the house within one year and by the end of 2013, majority of landlords can spend Christmas in their homes.” According to him, the company had already signed Ben TV to beam more light on the estate to the whole world especially Nigerians resident in the United Kingdom just as it did for Gambia’s homes. Disclosing the role of her bank, Group Head, Public Sector, Port Harcourt Main Branch of First Bank Plc, Mrs Nkiruka Harris-Eze, said it is financing the housing initiative, adding that the bank also has mortgage repayment plan for subscribers. Regional Head, Corporate and Commercial Banking, Aso Savings and Loan Plc, Mr Elijah Onyeagba, said his bank would also provide mortgage at 18 per cent for wouldbe subscribers with 30 per cent equity. Besides, he said there will be provision for staggered payment. TAF Nigeria Homes Limited is a real estate firm that propagates good living by enhancing the landscape through timely delivery of good quality affordable homes. for the society to be at peace with itself but in Nigeria, we are yet to appreciate that. Please let’s come together and collaborate and see what we can do.” He said that the committee had passed a bill on building collapse, which he hope would see the light of the day and that professionals would submit to the code. Also, Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Sen. Bala Mohammed stated that providing result oriented houses could curtail rising cases of youth restiveness, insecurity amongst other. Mohammed who was represented by the Perm Sec, Engineer Anthony Ozodinobi stated that, “In order to arrest the increasing gap in the demand and supply of housing for the teaming population of Abuja in particular and Nigeria in general, the government and all its agencies, private and public organisations must step up on all machinery that is meant to deliver the goals.”
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Top landscape trees for all seasons The trees in the list below do not appear in a ranked order. Instead, the order is based on the seasonal interest they provide, writes an expert at About.com
FOR INSTANCE, WHY DON’T YOU TAKE YOUR CUE FROM THE HOLIDAY SEASON AND PLANT THOSE
CHRISTMAS CLASSICS, BLUE SPRUCE TREES?
Culled from www.wisegeek.com
Landscape trees for Spring •Magnolia Trees : Spring is for flowers. We have the rest of the year to fuss over the foliage of a tree, the novelty of a tree’s bark, or the pattern in which its branches grow. But when the snow recedes and life returns, nothing furnishes colour quite like flowers, whether on annuals or perennials, on shrubs or on trees. Any well-planned yard will contain at least one flowering landscape tree of exceptional beauty. . Magnolia trees are among the showiest flowering landscape trees. While star magnolias bloom earlier, saucer magnolias provide a larger bloom. •Varieties of apple trees : You don’t have to be a farmer to want to grow apple trees in your yard. It’s about more than just the fruit. Apple trees are beautiful bloomers in their own right! The fruit is a bonus. Landscape trees for Summer •Dogwood trees : Dogwood trees offer such a deal: blooms for spring, an interesting branching pattern for summer, colourful foliage for fall. As if that weren’t enough, these landscape trees attract wild birds, too. •Japanese maple trees : Some of the Japanese maples, too, are versatile, but in a different way: they’re great “autumn trees” not only in autumn, but also during the summer season. That is, they display the vibrant colours we associate with fall foliage when most other trees still bear green leaves. Landscape trees for autumn •Types of maple trees : The Japanese maples may be precocious, but some of the maples native to North America or Europe are equally beautiful as autumn trees -- and they are larger (e.g., sugar
maples). Their greater size allows them to fulfill another task of landscape trees: providing shade in summer. The imposing dimensions of these landscape trees also help accentuate their fall colour Landscape trees for winter •Blue spruce trees : We’ve addressed the role of landscape trees in providing visual interest in the yard for spring, summer and fall. But what about winter? When the colourful fall foliage is gone, do your landscape trees have anything left to offer? Yes, they do -- if you’ve selected your landscape trees wisely. When Old Man Winter darkens your doorstep, it’s time for the evergreen landscape trees to shine. For instance, why don’t you take your cue from the holiday season and plant those Christmas classics, blue spruce trees? •Dwarf alberta spruce trees : Also popular as evergreen landscape trees is another kind of spruce, the dwarf alberta spruce. You’ll often see them used in pairs to flank the entryway to a house for a formal look that strives for balance. Because dwarf Alberta spruce trees will remain relatively small for a number of years, people sometimes treat them (at least initially) as container plants. •Arborvitae trees : Arborvitae does more than just look pretty year-round. This evergreen landscape tree is widely planted to create “living wall” privacy fences to screen you from the prying eyes of nosey neighbours. •Nellie R. Stevens holly : Another landscape tree that offers winter interest and is planted to form privacy screens is the ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ holly. This one’s evergreen, too, but with a twist: it’s considered a “broadleaf” evergreen. •Birch trees : But not all landscape trees planted for winter interest bear evergreen foliage. Some just have interesting branching patterns or an unusually pleasing bark. Birches are examples of landscape trees with the latter quality
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Real Estate & Environment
Fashola raises fear on safety of underground water MURITALA AYINLA
agos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has decried the rate of environmental degradation in the state, saying attitude of people towards their environment constitute health risk for the people of the state. The governor who also blamed causes of deadly ailments on the continuous environmental pollution, expressed fear over the safety of the underground water following the level in which environment is usually abused by some residents. Speaking after inspecting several ongoing projects in places such as WEMCO Road, Ogba; Yaya Abatan/College Road, Iju, Ifako- Ijaiye and Ayinke House in Ikeja, Fashola expressed dismay at the attitude of the people towards their environment. He warned that the way people treat their environment today would affect everyone in future, if nothing is done to checkmate the practice. Governor Fashola condemned the way people defecate and urinate on the ground, pour fuel, engine oil and other chemicals indiscriminately in the name of doing business, pointing out that the responsibility of government is to save life and property. He said, “For me, it is not about doing business today. It is what will happen in 20 years time. We are living in a way that we are abusing the environment. Simply because we want to do business, so we defecate on the road, we urinate, we pour engine oil and we pour fuel on the road because we are running okada business. Even we have to increase the use of cemeteries in burying our dead”. Explaining that most of the wastes, especially organic wastes, being dumped indiscriminately would affect the underground from which water is extracted when boreholes are sunk, the governor declared, “With all the chemicals going into the underground water, it, therefore, does not surprise me the incidence of strange diseases among the people today such as cancer, bronchitis, kidney failure and other strange ailments. Our environment is becoming increasingly toxic. “So when government says let us clean up the environment, we do so in a long term and the future interest of all of us. Our experts have advised us, we cannot continue like this,” he said. Also speaking recently a stakeholders’ interactive and sensitisation forum organised by the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, Dr Taofik Folami raised alarm that underground water is not safe for drinking in Lagos, saying it is constantly polluted as most waste water from kitchen, bathroom and laundry percolate and eventually pollute the underground water. Folami also said the state government would begin to regulate the construction of septic tank and bore holes in the state, adding that the digging of borehole and well would be regularise according to the geographical locations in the state. The governor who gave a rundown of his itinerary, said the work and inspection started from WEMCO in Ogba where
Some of the ongoing channelisation projects in Lagos.
the storm water drainage being constructed to discharge water from Ogba area down to the gorge at Odo -Iya-Alaro was inspected. He said the drainage project in Ogba would be completed in March next year, adding that the team was also at Agege to inspect the Elere storm water drainage which is also an indicator of the preparations for next year’s rainy season. At the Lagos HOMs housing project at Ogba, Sogunro 1 and II., the governor expressed joy at the economic exchange saying there are about 800 people employed at the sites adding, “Ultimately, we are having over 240 apartments made up of 144 apartments on one side and about 80 plus on the other side. So, over 200 families will live in that area. Of course there is a lot of regeneration to be done as you saw” Speaking on the Yaya Abatan, College Road in Ifako- Ijaiye Local Government, Fashola recalled that during his first visit to the place in 2007, it was the issue of the drainage, the gorge and the erosion problem that commanded attention. “That problem has been solved, now, we are back to the road network and you have
seen how we have opened up that road to connect Iju, you saw the local network of roads there, Lucas, Ogo Oluwa and about four other streets there which is the second side of what we did with Constituency one in the first term of the local network of roads”, he said. On Iju, Ajuwon and Katangowa where the state government intends to relocate the Computer Village, Governor Fashola stressed that the government intends making the place the state’s technology centre disclosing that government was already talking to computer manufacturers within and outside Nigeria and that there are many brand names that are showing eagerness to invest there. “It is going to be a major activity centre for industrial and warehouse production, retail repairs and everything related to information technology. It will serve as the information village for the state as it is originally designed in the Alimosho Master Plan which I have been talking about”, the governor said. He said the state government was ready to start work, adding that government was also seeing the need to incorporate residential apartments into the plan.
On Amikanle where squatters encroached on government land, Fashola said, “People just settle on government land, build without a plan, now they are asking we want roads, we want this, we want that. The development is so quick and is running ahead of this thing, but we have all of that in focus”. Speaking on the redevelopment and expansion of Ayinke House in Ikejainto a Maternal and Maternity Gynecological centre, Governor Fashola declared, “By the time we finish now, it is going to be a bigger and expanded version, much more upscale version of what Sir Mobolaji Bank Anthony donated to the State but would remain Ayinke House when we are done. It would however become the topmost referral centre for gynecology, maternal and infant obstetrics issues in the state”. “It will give a lot of relief to Island Maternity and Massey and it would complement the Maternal and Child Care centres at Ifako, Isolo, Ikorodu, Amuwo, Surulere and others where we have set up those 100 bed four-storey facilities, so it is a work in progress, development continues, the work continues”, the Governor added.
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
UAE developer forced to sell land to pay compensation to home owners
Property at the UAE
n Abu Dhabi based developer has been ordered by a court to sell three plots of land in Dubai to pay home owners for delays and cancelled projects. The emirate’s Court of First In-
stance said that Hydra Properties must sell the plots worth AED164 million next week. These are two plots in the Burj Khalifa area and one in Al Barsha. According to report from Property
Surprise increase for UK house prices in November
K house prices increased by 1 per cent in November compared with the previous month but overall this year there has been little movement in the residential market, according to the Halifax. Its latest index published last week also showed that on a quarterly basis prices are down 0.7percent taking the average home price to £160,879. On an annual basis prices are down 1.3percent. ‘There has been very little change in house prices overall during the past year with the average UK price in November almost identical to that in November 2011,’ said Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist. ‘Both demand and supply pressures in the market have altered little during the course of 2012, and this has been the key reason for the lack of anything other than modest changes in house sales and prices at a national level compared with a year ago,’ he explained.
He pointed out that challenging economic conditions have constrained housing demand whilst low interest rates have helped to support affordability and demand but there are signs that the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) is helping to reduce mortgage rates and may be contributing to the recent pick-up in mortgage approvals, adding that FLS should help to ease credit constraints, resulting in some improvement in mortgage availability in 2013. But he expects little change for the UK housing market next year. He predicts prices to remain within 2%, up or down, of where they are now. He also expects the Bank of England Bank Rate to remain at its historic low of 0.5 per cent throughout 2013 which is likely to be characterised by subdued economic growth, sustained high unemployment and pressures on household finances that will constrain housing demand.
Wire, it comes after eight property owners won their legal case to claim AED11 million in compensation from the Abu Dhabi developer. Other similar legal cases are pending as some 100 buyers have filed cases
for refunds over stalled projects that include Hydra Village, Hydra Avenue and Hydra Golf Walk. Dubai based The Legal Group has won eight cases against the developer to date that have included owners of property in Hydra Avenue, Hydra Executive and Marina Spirits. In addition to those eight cases, The Legal Group said it is also representing other buyers that have not yet won their cases but in the event they do, will also benefit from the forced auction. ‘If the court grants us the interlocutory attachment order then while these purchasers’ cases are ongoing, they will not face the risk of exhaustion of Hydra’s assets because their share in those assets will be secured via this attachment,’ said a spokesman for the legal firm. Hydra Properties used to be one of the biggest developers in Abu Dhabi. But it incurred the wrath of buyers when it cancelled a number of projects following the global economic downturn, raised prices on others and put more on hold. Buyers were also angry over payment schedules and wanted them linked to construction milestones. They also complained about changes to master plans.
Brazil tops residential growth in 2012
razil has recorded the highest annual increase in prices, up 15.2 per cent year on year, but the pace of growth is slowing in residential real estate markets across the globe. The latest global house price index from Knight Frank shows that overall house prices in mainstream residential markets increased by just 0.1 per cent in the three months to the end of September and by 1 per cent in the last 12 months. It means that mainstream global property prices stand just 5.2percent above the lows hit in the wake of the financial crisis in the second quarter of 2009 The international real estate firm says that this stagnation is likely continue well into 2013. Six markets, Brazil, Hong Kong, Turkey, Russia, Columbia and Austria recorded double digit annual price growth in the year to September and Europe was the only world region to see prices decline, the index shows. The Eurozone’s 17 member states have on average seen prices fall by 1.8% in the 12 months to September, Greece is positioned at the bottom of the rankings, with a 11.7percent decline in prices. Greece has now pushed Ireland off the bottom slot where it has been for five consecutive quarters. Ireland has seen its rate of decline improve, up from -14.3percent a year ago to -9.6percent. With the Eurozone now in its second recession in three years buyer confidence is at an all time low and it is no coincidence that all the bottom 12 rankings are occupied by European countries this quarter, said Kate Everett-Allen, of Knight Franks international residential research department. South America has seen growth of 9.8percent and Asia Pacific is up 4.2percent. But the markets in Asia Pacific are slowing.
Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff
Looking east, Asias policymakers are offering little hope of an Asian driven recovery. China’s new leadership looks set to continue with stringent property cooling measures and new lending restrictions in Hong Kong are likely to limit the availability of credit, explained Everett-Allen. The United States is showing signs of growth. Prices are now 3.6percent higher than in the third quarter of 2011, vacancy rates are at their lowest level since 2005 and housing starts are up 49percent year on year. But Everett-Allen warns that the US fiscal cliff, the crunch point when tax benefits are due to end and spending cuts commence at the end of 2012, could extinguish this hope. Summary, confidence, affordability and debt are constraining Europe. Strict lending and the looming fiscal cliff may dent the early signs of growth in the US while regulatory measures in Asia are keeping housing markets in check, she said. “The current period of stagnation looks set to continue well into 2013, she added.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Stakeholders laud NCAA over new safety systems The introduction of Automated Flight Information Reporting System (AFIRS), for the country’s airlines by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has been commended by professionals and stakeholders in the aviation industry. OLUSEGUN KOIKI writes.
he probable cause of Dana Air crash of June 3, 2012 with 163 persons on board and on ground is still unknown over six months after the crash. Various stakeholders, professionals in the Nigerian aviation industry and the Senate Committee on Aviation continue to deduce reasons the aircraft crashed at the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos. While some claimed that the aircraft was not airworthy as at the time it took off from Abuja to Lagos, others are putting the blame on the door step of the deceased pilot who they insisted due to panicking switched off the second engine, rather than switch it on when the first engine packed up in the air. In fact, the Dana crash has brought up lots of quacks who today speak authoritatively on happenings in the sector. However, in a bid to erase the arguments that trailed the Dana Air crash and other past crashes in the country, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is coming up with a device that will further boost safety of aircraft and air passengers. The device, Automated Flight Information Reporting System (AFIRS), according to the Director-General, NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren will detect the probable cause of an incident or an accident without resulting to presumptions with a tracker at a designated centre, which can be assessed by the regulatory body and the airlines. The device will also detect snags in aircraft and when such aircraft is due for maintenance. At a recent function in Lagos, Demuren disclosed that the equipment must be installed in all commercial air planes flying in the country and monitored by both the regulatory agency and airlines in a control room. If this happens as envisaged, Nigeria would be the first country in the continent to make the device compulsory for its operators. He described the equipment as the latest form of technology in the global aviation industry, saying that authorities in Europe and America are already making use of the equipment to unravel causes of an accident or incident in their domains. He explained that the equipment is the most sophisticated onboard of any airplane in the world and said it also works as an animation in case of a crash in airplane. Demuren said that with this, it would be possible and easier for the regulatory agency and accident investigator to immediately determine the cause of a crash, adding that if the equipment was already in use before the unfortunate Dana Air crash of June 3, 2012, the speculations surrounding the crash would have been eliminated. He consequently issued six months ultimatum to airlines to install the safety gadget in their aircraft or face sanction. He, however, said that so far, all the
WITH THIS, WE CAN MONITOR DAILY OPERATIONS OF AN AIRLINE BY THE FLIGHT DATA AND MIND YOU, THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT ACCIDENT, IT
CAN ALSO ACT AS AN ACCIDENT PREVENTION INSTRUMENT country’s airline operators are interested in fixing the equipment into their airplanes and disclosed that it cost NCAA about $30,000 to acquire and install the equipment in its headquarters in Lagos. For the airlines, he said it would cost them more, but they could pay in installment to the manufacturer of the equipment after the initial payment of about $60, 000 on each aircraft. Commenting on the safety device in an interview with National Mirror in Lagos, the International Safety Programme Director, Airbus Aircraft Manufacturing Company, Mr. Marc Ballon, described the equipment as a way of ensuring further safety in the sector. He explained that Airbus came out with the device aftermath of the Air France crash some years ago involving an aircraft manufactured by the company. He emphasised that for safety to be improved in the sector, all airline operators should have the device installed in their aircraft, adding that with this, there would not be a need for Flight Data Recorder and Voice Data Recorder by investigators immediately after a crash. He said, “Airbus had a crash involving Air France just some few years back and we could not immediately get what led to the crash, but after two years of intense research, we now have this data, which is aimed at improving safety in the sector. If we really want to improve
the sector, we need to have this data. “This system will bring benefits to safety when an accident occurs, but again, we also have to welcome what we call proactive and predictive improvement of safety, not waiting for an accident to occur. With this, we can monitor daily operations of an airline by the flight data and mind you, this is not just about accident, it can also act as an accident prevention instrument. “For example, if an aircraft is running too fast or too high on approach, this will provide the data on the happening and correct the situation. AFIRS will help in no small measures to reduce the number of accident in the sector and make reasons for an accident to be known easily.” Also, the President, Aviation Round Table (ART), Capt. Dele Ore, lauded the agency for the introduction of the device, saying that of all the agencies in the sector, it’s only NCAA that had taken efforts to take the industry to the next level. He, however, decried that the device is being introduced after the Dana crash, stressing that if it was in use before the crash, it would have been less cumbersome to detect the cause of the crash. He urged airline operators in the country to embrace the device for the safety of their aircraft and passengers onboard. He said with this device, the era of not logging in snags in the logbooks by operators would be a thing of the past as such snags would be detected
automatically by NCAA and the concerned airline. “It is the best thing that will happen to Nigeria and there is nobody that should not embrace it because if you are not going to embrace it, it is either you are afraid and you have been hiding lots of things and now, there is no hiding place. “Nigeria is lucky that it is only the regulatory agency (NCAA) that got right in this sector. It will be recalled that NCAA introduced the tracking system as a result of the Bebi accident involving Wings Aviation. Now, they have come out with this and we will be the first in Africa if we say all airlines must incorporate it in their airplanes. “It is a must as the Director-General said; it is unfortunate that it is after the bitter experiences that we are coming up with preventive measures. Nigeria was not learning anything from the various accidents that we have had in the industry until now when we are jolted into our senses and we are now learning. “For the fact that we can not come out to tell the cause of the Dana plane crash is a minus for us and for that reason, it should never happen again because it becomes mandatory that if the airlines hide their own, NCAA will have their own, which would be presented. Even the exigencies like the flaps, gear, engine temperature and co are malfunctioning and you didn’t log in, everything is recorded automatically”, Ore said. To the Head, Research, Zenith Travels, Mr. Olumide Ohunayo, the installation of the equipment onboard an airplane would drive safety to another level in the country. He declared that with this, it shows that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category One of the United States of America was not a fluke as the agency is bent on maintaining and retaining the status. He said, “It is going to help the industry improve safety, operations and will help the airlines themselves to monitor the quality of personnel they have, how their equipment are being used and utilized. It’s a beautiful thing. “Despite the pressures and all the agency has been through with the Dana crash, it is still focused on improving the sector in the area of safety. I just hope this can become a reality as quick as possible so that the industry can smile and benefit from this.” Besides, the Secretary General of the Nigerian Aviation Professionals Association (NAPA), Comrade Abdulrazak Saidu felt the six months ultimatum given airlines to comply was too long having in minds the spate of unresolved accidents in the sector in the last few years. “NCAA to me is very magnanimous in giving the airlines six months to comply. Something can happen within that period because NCAA has notified them of the device before going public with it. NCAA is trying to consider the indigenous airlines, but their financial management is so poor that they can not manage their finances. What is $60, 000 that they can not cough out for the safety of aircraft? They collect so many charges from the passengers and are not remitted to the government.”
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Aero gets recognition for social responsibility OLUSEGUN KOIKI
ero Air was recently honoured with “Corporate Social Responsibility Award”, at an international spelling competition; Spellbound Africa held in Abuja. The competition, according to a press statement signed by the airline’s media agent, is an educational competition in which children between the ages of 10 – 15 are expected to study about 3,000 words to enable them compete. The contest, which was hosted by Ski-Hi Entertainment, recognised the airline for its support to communities where it operates especially in areas of academics, health and relaxation. While presenting the award to Aero, the Chief Executive Officer of Ski-Hi, Mr. Ifeanyi Ogbu said the award was to
honour Aero for supporting brain teasing and futuristic projects like the Spellbound Africa, especially at a time
when most organisations would rather sponsor huge crowd events that would accord them publicity. Commenting on the award, the Managing Director, Aero, Capt. Akin George expressed gratitude to the organisers for recognizing the contribution of the airline to the growth of the country in general. He said, “Our interest in the competition is to encourage reading, discover and guide the youth towards achieving a high level of literacy, thereby causing development and paving way for generations to come.” He added that the award was a testament of what an organisation could accomplish when it works toward a common goal, hoping that its work would inspire others to get involved in giving back to the society at large and particularly supporting and encouraging the youth.
Delta Air Lines airlifts 570, 000 passengers on Lagos-Atlanta route in five years
elta Air Lines last week celebrated its five years of non-stop flight services to Lagos, Nigeria from its base in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States of America with 570, 000 passengers airlifted so far between the two countries by the carrier. Briefing journalists at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos last week, the Commercial Manager, East and West Africa regions for the airline, Mr. Bobby Bryan recalled that Delta launched its first flight between Lagos and Atlanta on 3 December, 2007 and today operates year-round daily flights using a 201-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. He said, “We are extremely proud to be marking five years of flying to Nigeria and, thanks
to the support of the airport, government authorities and the local community, our service from Lagos to Atlanta has gone from strength to strength. “Nigeria continues to be one of the most important business markets in Delta’s international network and we are committed to serving Lagos for many years to come.” He explained that more than 570,000 passengers have flown on Delta’s flights between Nigeria and U.S since 2007 and this year, Delta has seen strong load factors of over 80 per cent. Additionally, he said Delta has transported around 6,500 tons of cargo between Nigeria and the U.S. in the same period, adding that with this, it has been able to facilitate trade and commerce activities between the two nations.
He noted that In September, Delta introduced full flat-bed seats in its BusinessElite cabin on its Lagos flights. Each seat is forward-facing and converts to a 180-degree fully flat-bed offering direct aisle access in a 1x2x1 configuration. “In every market where we’ve introduced flat bed seats, customer satisfaction ratings have increased significantly and Nigeria has been no exception,” continued Bryan. “Delta is offering more than 500 flat-bed seats each week on this route and an unrivaled network. Customers travelling from Lagos benefit from convenient connections to more than 160 destinations via our leading gateway at Atlanta to cities such as Washington, Houston and Los Angeles.”
L-R: Nahco Managing Director, Mr. Kayode Oluwasegun-Ojo, Director, Mr. Usman Bello, Assistant Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Ana Martinez-Atienza, Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Adesanya Onayoade and Director, Mr. Ikechukwu Nwachukwu at the just-concuded 14th Aviation Ground Handling Conference in Milan, Italy.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Airside firstname.lastname@example.org 08186007273
Much ado about nothing
ometime in October, Airside commented in this column on the restructuring exercise carried out in most of the aviation agencies, especially in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah. While Airside did not support or oppose the exercise, it called for professionalisation of all the agencies, which will not put professionals and personnel at the of ministers in the sector. Unfortunately, some of the recently disengaged staff, especially the disengaged ones are yet to come to terms with current realities. They are lobbying in different quarters for them to be recalled to
their duty posts. Some of the affected staff have petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan, Senate President David Mark and former President Olusegun Obasanjo among other personalities. However, it is pertinent to note that most of the affected staff were appointed by former ministers between 2005 and 2006 and placed in strategic positions in the agencies. Now that ‘power has changed hands’ and a Pharaoh that does not know Joseph is now sitting on the throne, they are crying wolf where there is none. Airside advises the affected staff to take their fate into their hands and move on with their lives, rather than ‘pressing unnecessary buttons’ in high places.
Secret defence of 2013 budget
irside was astounded last week when it read in the papers how the 2013 appropriation bill defence for aviation was held in secrecy. According to reports monitored by Airside, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah had already started with the review of the performance of the 2012 budget for her ministry. However, mid-way into her presentations, the minister allegedly “paused, coughed severally, while focusing her gaze on the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma for some seconds.” But, when it was apparent that Uzodinma was not able to interpret her signs promptly, the minister then reportedly
asked to confer with Uzodinma, which was granted by the senator. After the whispered conversation, journalists who had gathered to report the event were told to excuse the committee while a stern looking security man was directed not allow anybody to enter the place. It is unfortunate that this is happening in a democratic setting and under the present Senate. If journalists could be allowed to cover the presentations of other ministers and helmsmen, why should that of Aviation Ministry be held in secrecy? Aviation is not as critical as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Ministry of Defence, yet, journalists were not barred from giving it full coverage.
IRS Airlines signs MoU with Turkish Airlines
s part of its expansion programme and to ensure that professionalism and quality service are woven deeper into the service offerings from IRS Airlines, especially at this crucial expansion phase, the airline has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Turkish airlines. The MoU, which has the support of the governments of both countries, agrees bilateral relationships between IRS Airlines and Turkish Airlines that will see Turkish airlines sharing its experience and cooperating with IRS Airlines in training and personnel development, maintenance and repair, cabin interior, bilateral interline traffic agreement and special proration agreement. The Managing Director of AIR Airlines, Mr. Yemi Dada stated that both companies agreed to
promote economic relations between Nigeria and Turkey using civil aviation means. He added the MoU was signed at Istanbul Turkey on December 4th 2012, by the Chairman of the airline, Alhaji Rabiu Rabiu, on behalf of the airline and by the President, Turkish Airline, Dr. Temel Kotil on behalf of Turkish Airlines. IRS Airlines is a Nigerian licensed domestic and regional airline with eight major destinations and hubs in Lagos and Abuja. Turkish Airlines is a major European Carrier and the world’s fifth largest airline with a worldwide network including 205 cities in 90 countries and over 200 aircraft in its fleet. Turkish Airline, has been voted best airline in Europe for two consecutive years.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Recession, Boko Haram menace, others slow insurance industry growth-CEOs
usiness terrain for different industries in the country’s economy in the 2011 financial year, especially the insurance industry seems not to be favourable. Although few of them declared profits while some managed to be out of previous losses, only few of them gave dividend to shareholders. Others still recorded loss. Chieftains of insurance companies highlighted the inability by the Federal Government to make progress in the power sector, the dependence on crude oil, credit crunch in the banking industry and Boko Haram menace among others as major factors that defined the 2011 financial year which ended in March 2012. For them, insurance business is becoming more challenging even as they align themselves with different reforms introduced by the regulatory body, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM). Chairman, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance, Dr. Obi Ekezie while giving an account of the financial year 2011 stated that, “the Nigerian insurance market has continued to reel under the effects of credit crunch in the banking industry as the second round of reforms in the sector led to the draught of credit to the real sector and the middle class thus eroding their assets acquisition capabilities”. According to him, a considerable number of companies in the industry have thus been unable to generate gross revenues up to their operating capital. Speaking on the operating environment, he noted that the Nigerian economy has remained largely dependent on crude oil as the major revenue earner, hence, the failure of oil per USD in the local market due to demand pressure from importers He further said, “Not much progress was recorded in the power sector during the year 2011 as efforts were still geared towards building generation as well as transmission infrastructure. Total output therefore continues to fluctuate between 3000 to 4000 megawatts, leaving companies, including ours with huge expenditure on internal power generation. Chairman, NEM Insurance Plc, Chief Adewale Teluwo on his part said the country experienced some distractions in the northern part of the country caused by the terrorist sect , Boko Haram, with their numerous bombings and killings of innocent citizens. Teluwo stated that aside the wave of insecurity experienced in these parts of the country, election crisis diverted attention from economy to business of governance. He pointed out that the capital market which started the year on a positive state as a result of cautious optimism expressed by investors could not sustain the momentum largely because of concern over the health of the global economy. He said the market ended the year with a negative yield of about 16 percent adding that this significant depression in the capital market led to a further erosion in investment portfolio of insurance companies which have lost a lot to the decline in the market. He said despite the challenges, the company was able to post improved results over 2010 results as the profit before tax increased from N1 billion in year 2010 to N1.45 billion in year 2011. Former chairman of the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) and Managing Director of LASACO Insurance, Mr. Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi said the insurance industry being a subsector of the national economy was not insulated from the general economic problems encountered by other actors in the economic space. He also said that the industry operated under difficult economic climate characterised by the epileptic power supply, inadequate and weak infrastructural facilities, and the general atmosphere of insecurity that has become prevalent in the country. All of these he said, negatively impacted on the operations of the sector noting that the performance of the economy in the past one year can be best described as a mixture of the good and the not so good. Meanwhile, President of the Chartered Insurance Insti-
Insurance operators have said the insurmountable challenges in the country ranging from epileptic power supply to inadequate and weak infrastructural facilities, the general atmosphere of insecurity, among others, had negative impact on the 2011 results of insurance companies. OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO reports
Nem Insurance CEO, Tope Smart
THE NIGERIAN INSURANCE MARKET HAS CONTINUED TO REEL UNDER THE EFFECTS OF CREDIT CRUNCH IN THE BANKING INDUSTRY AS THE SECOND ROUND OF REFORMS IN THE SECTOR LED TO THE DROUGHT OF CREDIT TO THE REAL SECTOR AND THE
MIDDLE CLASS, THUS ERODING THEIR ASSETS ACQUISITION CAPABILITIES tute of Nigeria, CIIN, Mr. Wole Adetimehin said poor remuneration has continued to hinder insurance penetration in the country. Adetimehin stressed that many people who love to have one policy or the other, cannot do so due to financial constraints. He said the CIIN is working with others to impress it on the government to develop infrastructure to enable people engage in productive ventures to boost their income. He said: “We are joining forces with all stakeholders in the economy to get government to build infrastructure that would propel the growth of our economy. When the economy is growing, all other sectors would grow simultaneously. “This probably has accounted for the slow pace of growth in insurance. This is because the economy is not growing. It is the function of the growth in the economy that would determine what should be the living wage, how people are being paid, their level of disposable income, from which they buy insurance. He added that the per capita income or earnings of an average pensioner is ridiculously low compared with other parts of the world. “If you look at the rate of unemployment and the wage people earn in this part of the world, it does not compare. People do not earn a living wage in this country and it is because employers can be seen as struggling in the means of the many constraints. People no longer complain about not
being paid claims. “They cannot just find insurance on their priority table because they are considering food, shelter, child education, transportation out of the little resources they have.“, he said. It would be recalled that NAICOM had pointed out that insurance gap in the country is put at 94 percent, which implies that 6 percent of Nigerians have one form of insurance cover or the other. Leo Akah, NAICOM’s Deputy Director, Authorisation and Policy, while giving an update on the Nigeria Insurance Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI), blamed the low level of insurance penetration in the country on public apathy towards insurance Regretably, he said the insurance density also remains abysmally low as Nigerians on the average spend less than N1, 000 annually on insurance. “The insurance gap in Nigeria is presently put at 94 percent which implies that less than 10 percent of Nigerians have any form of insurance. The wide gap is attributable to public inertia and apathy. The Insurance density on the other hand is put at N875.00, this means that Nigerians on the average spend less than N1, 000 annually on insurance”.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Commissioner tasks insurers on nation building …CIIN to withdraw certificates from erring holders STORIES BY OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO
agos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye has called on insurance practitioners to join politics in other to boost industry growth and engender nation building rather than criticising politicians from their comfort zones. Oladunjoye made the call recently during the 2012 Graduation and Fellowship Award ceremony of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), with theme, “The Profession and Nation Building”, held in Lagos . She said, “It is time more than ever before for professionals to accept greater challenges, especially in governance. There is no reason professionals should continue to shy away from politics only to criticise politicians from their comfort zones. “It is good to note that the situation is changing gradually with some professionals occupying leadership positions in government.” She pointed out that the world is facing a monumental threat from environmental hazards as well as risks from terrorism and civil unrest. She noted that this calls for greater protection from insurance covers and the need to continually educate the citizenry of the need for insurance. The Lagos State Government has continued to be an exemplary state in its promotion of insurance as a useful risk transfer mechanism. It is an insurance friendly state and will continue to invite the industry to partner with them in their
developmental agenda. “While assuring you of our support, it must be placed on record that some of our colleagues are still involved in activities that can smear our hard earned image and credibility”, she said. The commissioner who acquired the institute’s charter in 1993 said the institute must as a matter of urgency put in place internal mechanisms to stem this ugly trend and ensure that only tested and trusted professionals are saddled with the responsibility of dealing with the public on insurance issues. She also commended the effort of the institute in propagating insurance education in Nigeria. President of the institute, Dr. Wole Adetimehin on his part said the institute reserves the right to withdraw its certificate from any holder, if it discovers any breach of the examination process, adding that further reason for such withdrawal of certificates may emanate from acts unbecoming of a holder of the Institute’s professional qualification. He said: “Permit me to reiterate the policy of council regarding all certificates issued by the institute as the institute’s property which could be withdrawn from the holders if the institute has good reasons to do so.” He noted that the institute would continually strengthen its examination system through regular review of the syllabus and examination structure, stressing that the institute is conscious of the industry post consolidation challenges which came with new and complex human capital needs. “The challenges facing the industry
today not only require a fresh impetus in human capital development but also a renewed vigor and approach to skills recreation in order to equip practitioners for the huge tasks of managing the current realities in the business landscape,” he said. The attainment of professional qualification should not be seen as an end in itself, but as a means to an end. Therefore, it behoves on holders of professional qualifications to be mindful of the efficacy of Continuous Professional Development (CPD). “As you are aware, the CPD has become institutionalised with varying degrees of enforcement by most professions. In our own case, it engenders a scheme which requires all members to locate themselves in the point scoring index, hence it is referred to by our Institute as the Mandatory Continuous Professional Development (MCPD) programme,” he added.
NAICOM lifts Prime Investment Insurance Brokers’ suspension
ollowing the suspension of the operating licence of Akure-based insurance brokers, Prime Investment Insurance Brokers Limited in June this year, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has lifted the suspension placed on the Broker. This was disclosed in a statement made available to journalist by the spokesman of the commission, Mr. Lucky B. E. Fiakpa. The statement said that the lifting is sequel to the satisfactory conduct of the broker during the period of the suspension and the fact that the company has purged itself of all the infractions that necessitated the suspension of its license. While congratulating the firm for the restoration of its license, the Commission however warned that the company
would “henceforth conduct its business in line with good corporate governance and market practices.
The company was suspended from doing business as insurance broker with effect from June 14, 2012 following the unprofessional manner with which the firm handled the Ondo State Government property insurance account. After a careful study of all issues relating to the account, the commission was satisfied that the company acted unprofessionally without regard to ethical standard. The commission listed some of the infractions committed by the broker to include receiving commission in excess of the maximum prescribed by law; leading a consortium consisting of unregistered brokers; and facilitating the deduction of some amount of money categorised as Christmas gift” from the premium due to the underwriters.
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Life insurance myths
ife insurance is complex, and there is no one-size-fits-all advice. Don’t let misunderstandings stop you from choosing the right coverage. Life insurance is not a simple product. Even term life policies have many elements that must be considered carefully in order to arrive at the proper type and amount of coverage. But the technical aspects of life insurance are far less difficult for most people to deal with than trying to get a handle on how much coverage they need and why. Here are some misconceptions surrounding life insurance: If I’m single and don’t have dependents, I don’t need coverage Even single people should have at least enough life insurance to cover the costs of personal debts, medical and funeral bills. If you are uninsured, you may leave a legacy of unpaid expenses for your family or executor to deal with. Plus, this can be a good way for low-income singles to leave a legacy to a favourite charity or other cause. My life insurance coverage needs to be twice my annual salary The amount of life insurance you need depends on your specific situation. There are many factors to consider. In addition to paying medical and funeral bills, you may need to pay off your mortgage and provide for your family for several years. A cash-flow analysis can help determine the amount of insurance you need. My term life insurance coverage at work is sufficient For a single person of modest means, employer-paid or -provided term coverage may actually be enough. But if you have a spouse or dependents, or know that you will need coverage upon your death to pay estate taxes, then additional coverage may be necessary. Life insurance is a must for everyone It is certainly true that most people need life insurance. However, people with sizable assets and no debt or dependents may be better off self-insuring. If you have medical and funeral costs covered, then life insurance coverage may be optional. Only breadwinners need life insurance coverage The cost of replacing the services formerly provided by a deceased homemaker can be higher than you think, and insuring against the loss of a homemaker may make sense, to compensate for cleaning and child-care costs. I’m better off investing my money than buying life insurance Until the value of your assets exceeds your debt, you need life coverage of some sort. Once you amass $1 million of liquid assets, you can consider discontinuing (or at least reducing) your million-dollar policy. But you take a big chance when you depend solely on your investments in the early years of your adult life, especially if you have dependents. If you die without coverage, there may be no means to provide for them after your current assets are depleted.
Browne asks NIA to develop strategy for enhancement
nternational insurance expert, Mr. Robert Browne has said that it is saddening that Nigeria, with the largest population in Africa, with insurance and commercial expertise and monetary wealth still cannot be compared to South Africa in insurance business. Browne, who is a reinsurer broker and consultant specialising in Central and Eastern Europe and Third
World countries, made this statement while delivering a speech at the recent investiture ceremony for Mr. Remi Olowude, as the Chairman Of Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA). He said although exchange control is largely responsible for Nigeria’s absence from international reinsurance markets, the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA), need to educate the authorities to introduce sensible regulation.
He added that there is need to protect the economy from capital flight but allow larger companies to strut the African and world stages with confidence and respect noting that respect will come if insurers are able to fight their reputational challenges. He urged the new NIA chairman, Remi Olowude to work with member to deal with this issue. Olowude
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Index gains 0.6% as bulls sustain hold JOHNSON OKANLAWON
rading in equities closed on bullish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as more investors took position on stocks with good corporate actions. The All Share Index gained 0.56 per cent to close at 26,822.09 points, compared to the increase of 0.47 per cent recorded on Friday to close at 26,671.72 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N48bn to close at N8.57trn, higher
than the N40bn recorded on Friday to close at N8.52trn. The Consumer Goods Index led the sectorial indices with 0.99 per cent to close at 814.08 points, followed by the NSE 30-Index with 0.65 per cent to close at 1,274.73 points. The Banking Index gained 0.59 per cent to close at 314.02 points, while the Oil and Gas Index rose by 0.23 per cent to close at 152.65 points. Lotus Islamic Index appreciated by 0.13 per cent to close at 1,707.18 points, but the Insurance Index dropped 0.11 per
cent to close at N116.71 points. Skye Bank Plc led the gainers’ table with 21 kobo or 5.26 per cent to close at N4.20 per share, followed by NCR Plc with 71 kobo or 4.94 per cent to close at N15.08 per share. Portland Paints Plc gained 20 kobo or 4.78 per cent to close at N4.38 per share, while Cadbury Nigeria Plc rose by N1.30 or 4.56 per cent to close at N29.80 per share. University Press Limited closed at N4.60 per share, up by 20 kobo or 4.55 per cent. On the flip side, DN
Meyer Plc dipped by 28 kobo or 10 per cent to close at N2.52 per share, while AIICO Insurance Plc shed six kobo or 9.09 per cent to close at 60kobo per share. Morison Nigeria Plc lost 20 kobo or 4.95 per cent to close at N3.84 per share, while Transcorp Plc fell four kobo or 4.21 per cent to close at 91 kobo per share. UTC Plc declined by two kobo or 3.45 per cent to close at 56kobo per share. A total of 443.8 million shares valued at N2.20bn were exchanged in 4,042 deals.
NIBOR QUOTES 7 DECEMBER & 10 DECEMBER 2012 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00
Tiger Brands looks outside South Africa as local deals dry up JOHNSON OKANLAWON WITH AGENCY REPORT
iger Brands Limited, South Africa’s largest food producer by market value, said last week’s acquisition of Mrs. H.S. Ball’s chutney would be a rare local deal due to a lack of opportunities in its home market. Bloomberg reported yesterday. Tiger, which said it would buy the chutney brand for 475 million rand ($55m) from Unilever South Africa, is restricted by competition rules from buying companies in many segments due to its large market share, Thushen Govender, investor relations and business development executive, said yesterday. The Johannesburg-
based company is the country’s biggest producer of tomato sauce, mayonnaise, canned vegetables and baked beans. “In South Africa there aren’t many acquisition opportunities out there for us where you can have the ability to acquire a big brand,” he said. “These sorts of opportunities are hard to come by.” Tiger, which produces brands such as Jungle Oats and Tastic Rice, wants to de-leverage its exposure to South African shoppers, Govender said. Consumer spending in Africa’s biggest economy expanded 1.2 per cent in the third quarter while one in four people are jobless. Confidence among buyers dropped two points to
minus three, according to an index compiled by First National Bank and the Bureau for Economic Research. “The economic context we are operating in is recessionary,” Govender said. “We’ve been in this situation for the past two to three years.” Tiger Brands last month reported a 5 percent rise in full year profit to 2.7 billion rand and said weak consumer spending would continue to weigh on Africa’s largest economy. Tiger had in October consummated the taking over of 63.5 per cent equity stake in Dangote Flour Mills Plc. This followed the trading of about 3.171 billion shares of Dangote Flour
Mills, representing about 63.4 per cent of the paid-up shares of the company for N30.1bn in 94 deals. According to the flour mills, the divestment was in line with its strategic move to streamline its operations to maintain leadership, while Tiger Brands said the 63.5 per cent stake would enable it consolidate its growing business interest in Nigeria. On the other hand, Tiger Brands explained that the transaction would substantially add scale to its existing Nigerian businesses and strategically positions the company to take advantage of the market opportunities within the Nigerian milling sector and related essential food categories.
Wall Street edges up with help from McDonald’s
tocks were modestly higher yesterday, helped by strongerthan-expected sales from McDonald’s, but gains were constrained as investors awaited any sign of progress in talks to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. Developments in Europe also tempered sentiment after Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said he would resign once the 2013 budget is approved. The move added to uncertainty about reducing euro zone debt and drove Italy’s borrowing costs higher. United States President Barack Obama met with Republican House Speaker John Boehner on
Sunday to negotiate a deal for avoiding the fiscal cliff that is set to go into effect in the new year. The two sides declined to provide details about the unannounced meeting. Obama is expected to make remarks yesterday from Michigan where he is touring an auto plant. The fiscal cliff talks have kept markets on edge in the last month as investors worry the scheduled measures could send the economy into recession if politicians do not reach a deal. While the negotiations are at the forefront of investors’ minds, most have adopted the position that a deal will be reached, even
if it is at the last minute, said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer’s Investment Research in Cincinnati, Ohio. “We haven’t had any progress the last two weeks or so, yet all in all equity markets have continued to hang tough,” said Detrick. “The rhetoric from Washington is strong, but Wall Street is betting something probably will get done.” The Dow was helped by a gain in McDonald’s Corporation. The fast food chain’s stronger-thanexpected November sales marked a rebound after a decline in October. The stock was up one per cent
at $89.33. The Dow Jones industrial average finance/markets/index gained 32.64 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 13,187.77. The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index added 1.09 points, or 0.08 percent, to 1,419.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 9.90 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 2,987.95. Ingersoll-Rand Plc said it will spin off its security division and announced a $2bn share buyback, sending its shares up 2.4 percent at $49.86. Cisco Systems boosted the Nasdaq after it laid out its midterm growth strategy on Friday. Its shares were up two per cent at $19.72.
Market indicators Market indicators
All-Share Index 8,570,286,627 points All-Share Index 22,191.14 points Market capitalisation 26,822.09trillion Market capitalisation 7,084 trillion
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
% CHANGE 5.26
Primary Market Auction TENOR
Open Market Operations TENOR
Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at December 10, 2012 1st Tier Securities
1st Tier Securities Sector
No Of Deals
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
De-registration: Weeding non-performing parties CONTINUED FROM 13
2011 presidential poll In the presidential poll last year, 20 of the 63 parties participated, while the others either endorsed the candidature of President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the CPC or ANPP’s Malam Ibrahim Shekarau. This was the situation throughout all the states too. Interestingly, nine parties did not field candidates for the elections and yet they are political parties.
Lack of seriousness from party owners The 28 parties that were deregistered have for a long time showed no signs of seriousness. Apart from maintaining offices in Abuja, which oftentimes are under lock, they have no visible presence in other parts of the federation. The behaviour of the characters of their leaders also left much to be desired. For instance, while the founder of Peoples Redemption Party PRP, Alhaji Balarabe Musa vied for the presidency in the 2007 general elections, he stooped low in the 2011 general elections to vie for the governorship of his home state, Kaduna. The party presented no presidential candidate in the elections. Then came Alhaji Lateef Jakande’s Action Party of Nigeria (APN). Though he was the leader of this party, his own biological son found the party not effective and so pitched his tent with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), on which platform he is in the House of Representatives today. In Lagos, where Jakande was a two-term governor, APN is not in existence. The Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA) had former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, as its National Chairman and Sam A. Onimisi as its Secretary. DPA showed signed of seriousness in 2007 elections as it fielded governorship candidates in Ogun – Olugbenga Kaka and Lagos – Jimi Agbaje. But after the election the party went under. In Ondo State, where its chairman hails from, DPA is not in existence. Falae is more of the Labour Party in his state to the detriment of his party. Rev. Chris Okotie symbolises Fresh Democratic Party (FDP). The party is popularly called FRESH which is an acronym for Faith, Responsibility, Equality, Security and Hope. Okotie is the founder and presidential aspirant (2007 and 2011) of the party. He once contested the presidential election on the platform of Justice Party (JP) being promoted by Chief Ralph Obioha Dr. Tunji Braithwaite founded Nigeria Advanced Party (NAP) and also functioned as its National Chairman. Its National Secretary was Dr. Tanko Yakasai Umar. Progressive Action Congress (PAC) had as its National Chairman, Chief Charles Nwodo and National Secretary, Alh. Bala Mohammed. The party only contested few elections in 2003 when Mrs. Sarah Jubril vied for the presidency. She had since returned to the PDP. The name of the party was mentioned in Lagos during the 2003 poll when the late Ganiyu Dawodu contested for the governorship. Chief Osita Okereke is the leader of the African Liberation Party (ALP). Nothing has been heard about the party since its registration some years ago. African Political System (APS) had as
THE ACTION WILL ULTIMATELY WORK AGAINST THE INTENT AND SPIRIT OF THE
CONSTITUTION WHICH SPECIFIES THE NEED FOR
FREELY ASSOCIATE WITH ONE ANOTHER its leader Sir Lawrence Famakinde Adedoyin and its National Secretary was Dr. Deji Ogunmale. Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP) had as its National Chairman, Dr. Iheanyichukwu G. Nnaji and National Secretary, Valentine Onwugbufor. The Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) adopted the name of the leading opposition party in Liberia. Its National Chairman was Edozie Mmadu. For Community Party of Nigeria (CPN), its leader and National Chairman was Alhaji Musa Bukar Sani while New Democrats (ND) had as its National Chairman, Prof. Isa Odidi. Liberal Democratic Party of Nigeria (LDPN) had as its National Chairman, Chief Felix Modebelu; Movement for Democracy and Justice (MDJ) had as its National Chairman, Chief J. O. Osula; Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD) had as its National Chairman, Alh. Mohammadu A. Gambo; Barr. Ambrose A. Owuru was the National Chairman and presidential aspirant of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP); National Majority Democratic Party (NMDP) had as its National Chairman, Prince Solomon Akpona, and its National Secretary was Chris I. N. Nwegbu; Mr. Frank Ohwopa is the National Chairman Freedom Party of Nigeria (FPN). National Movement of Progressive Party (NMPP) was founded and led by Dr. Lawrence U.C. Atuana and its National Secretary was Chief Cletus Nwaogu; National Reformation Party (NRP) had the late Chief Anthony Enahoro as its National Chairman while its National Secretary was Mr. Soni Chukwumah; National Solidarity Democratic Party (NSDP) had as its National Chairman, Chief Udemba Chukwudolue and National Secretary, Alh. Shehu Hussaini; Peoples Mandate Party (PMP) had as its National Chairman, Prof. Edward Oparaoji and its National Secretary was Mr. Chima Ofong; Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) had Engr. D. U. Ogbonna as National Chairman. People’s Salvation Party (PSP) had Dr. Junaidu Mohammed as its National Chairman while its National Secretary was Dr. V.A. Amosu; Republican Party of Nigeria (RPN)had as its National Chairman, Shittu Mohammed, and National Secretary, Wg. Cdr. Ejabena Williams Oghene; United National Party for Development (UNPD) had Chief (Mrs) Ebiti Jegede as National Chairman and its National Secretary was Mrs Agnes Olasola; United Nigeria Peoples
Party (UNPP) had as its National Chairman, Mallam Saleh Jambo and National Secretary, Dr. Ukeje Nwokeforo.
The prediction of extinction Just recently, the Senate President, David Mark had predicted that the country will soon end up with fewer political parties. At the time he spoke, Nigeria had about 57 political. At a conference on “Party politics in Nigeria and lobbying: The lobbyist and the legislature,” organised by the National Institute of Legislative Studies, Senator Mark had opined that many politicians now see the creation of parties as a leeway for milking the economy by way of benefiting from subventions to such parties. “We know that in reality, most of our political parties are fledgling and hardly able to stand on their feet. Many exist mainly on paper and were floated to attract the financial subventions, which the 1999 Constitution hitherto guaranteed them, before it was amended,” he had stated.
The weeding of 28 parties Although when INEC deregistered seven parties last year, it had explained that the next phase of the action would be after the various cases in court were determined but this was not to be the case as some of the parties claim that there is a subsisting
case at a Lagos High Court on the issue. For instance, the National Chairman, National Conscience Party (NCP), Dr. Yunisa Tanko, has come out to say that Prof. Jega should be charged for contempt of court as, according to him, there was an ongoing court case in a Lagos High Court between INEC and NCP and many other political parties, on the de-registration of political parties. He said that INEC was not above the law, adding that the judiciary must be respected to ensure the rule of law. “Injury to one is injury to all, Nigerians are now being disenfranchised by INEC, this is unacceptable, the law court will interpret this again,’’ he said. INEC’s Secretary, Abdulahi Kaugama had in a statement explained that the commission’s action conforms with the powers conferred on it by the 1999 Constitution as amended, and the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. The 28 deregistered parties are: African Liberation Party (ALP); Action Party of Nigeria (APN); African Political System (APS); Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP); Congress for Democratic Change (CDC); Community Party of Nigeria (CPN); Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA); Freedom Party of Nigeria (FPN) 9. Fresh Democratic Party (FDP); Hope Democratic Party (HDP); Justice Party (JP); Liberal Democratic Party of Nigeria (LDPN); Movement for Democracy and Justice (MDJ); Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD); Nigeria Advanced Party (NAP); New Democrats (ND); National Majority Democratic Party (NMDP); National Movement of Progressive Party (NMPP); National Reformation Party (NRP); National Solidarity Democratic Party (NSDP); Progressive Action Congress (PAC); Peoples Mandate Party (PMP); Peoples Progressive Party (PPP); Peoples Redemption Party (PRP); People’s Salvation Party (PSP); Republican Party of Nigeria (RPN); United National Party for Development (UNPD) and United Nigeria Peoples Party (UNPP).
Condemnation and applause for INEC However, since the commission’s action, there has been a flurry of attacks from the affected parties and even from some of the opposition parties. The ruling PDP seems to be the only major party that has continued to hail the action. For instance, the National Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Alhaji Sani Shinkafi, urged the commission to reconsider its stance. Although APGA was not affected by INEC’s decision, Shinkafi described the action as unconstitutional and an infringement on the right of Nigerians to free association. He said: “The action will ultimately work against the intent and spirit of the Nigerian Constitution which specifies the need for Nigerians to freely associate with one another. The action will close up the much-needed wide and open political and democratic space, which ordinarily allows every shade of opinion to be democratically expressed and be heard.” In the estimation of Shinkafi, an expanded political space is what Nigeria actually needs to build on for the general deCONTINUED ON PAGE 44
The House of Representatives, last week, investigated the volume of monies held from the Federation Account by more than 30 revenue-generating agencies. Will the exercise yield desirable results of saving the 2013 Budget or will it go the same sad way of the past asks TORDUE SALEM?
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Budget 2013: Flexing muscles over remittances? THE
stimates and projections are within the administrative purview of the executive arm of government, but the making of a budget is a legislative affair. But going back and forth on who owns a budget would always generate unnecessary hot air in Nigeria if the right approach to the matter continues to elude the critical arms of government. To stamp its authority, the Senate and the House of Representatives would flex their muscles at the slightest opportunity, spewing hot air on the sanctity of the Appropriation Bill or Act. For example, last Wednesday, a delegation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was ordered out of the National Assembly by the House of Representatives’ Committee on Finance because of a protracted spat between the commission’s Director General (DG) and the lower chamber. By a long shot, some would feel that that raw exercise of power was unnecessary; being that the SEC was invited to a hearing on revenue remittances by the same Finance Committee. Chairman of the Committee, Abdulmumin Jubril (PDP/Kano) said that the Committee had to order the representative of the SEC DG, Ms. Arunma Oteh, out of the hearing Room because of an earlier resolution by the House not to deal with the SEC until Oteh was removed by the President. He said that the invitation was in error in the first place. The Green Chamber through that resolution had accused the woman of “gross incompetence,” corruption, high-handedness and the flouting of the SEC law. Jubril said: “As you well know, the House of Representatives passed a resolution that we were not having anything to do with you (SEC), until our resolution on the Commission is respected, so you can please leave us now.” The committee also threatened to order the arrest of the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), if he failed to appear before it today. The chairman had earlier alleged that the NPA squandered N160 billion this year, being the revenue it was supposed to remit to the Federation Account in line with section 162 of the 1999 Constitution. Jubril, also threatened a bench warrant on the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, among others, but way into the day, he said the agencies’ prodigality and refusal to remit to the federation account would be addressed by amendments to their individual acts, was contradicted by the Deputy House spokesman, Victor Ogene (APGA/Anambra). Ogene said the issue of amendments to revenue-generating agencies’ laws was not yet on the cards. The issue of amendments was not addressed by the Speaker of the House of
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Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, either. The Speaker, who was represented at the hearing by his deputy, Emeka Ihedioha, only echoed the traditional regret of “the leakages in revenue” from agencies. According to him, “the menace of revenue leakages has dominated the finances of our country to the detriment of our economy and well-being of the people of Nigeria. The Constitution and our laws on revenue generation and expenditure have been observed more in breach. For the avoidance of doubts, the Constitution has provided elaborate methods of revenue collection.” He reiterated that “section 162 of the Constitution is very clear on this. Revenue has been so defined to include any income or return accruing to or derived by the government of the federation from any sources and includes: any receipt, however described, arising from the operation of any law; any return, however described, arising from or in respect of any property held by the government of the federation; any return by way of interest on loans and dividends in respect of shares or interest held by the government of the federation in any company or statutory body.” He explained that “from this constitutional provision, the inescapable truth is that there is no government agency or company or statutory corporation that earns any revenue that is not expected to be remitted back to government.” He also warned, like his predecessors, that “the method of remitting the revenue and the Government Account or Fund where it may be remitted may be different, but there is no room whatsoever for discretionary approach to revenue and remittances,” stressing that “all revenues must be paid into any of these funds set up by the Constitution.” If by an Act of the National Assembly, an agency is set up for a specific purpose, that Section 80(1), states that: “revenues from such agency is not for the discretionary use of the agency. Such revenues are public funds not pri-
THE MENACE OF REVENUE LEAKAGES HAS DOMINATED THE FINANCES OF OUR COUNTRY TO THE DETRIMENT OF OUR
ECONOMY AND WELLBEING OF THE PEOPLE vate funds. According to him, “this brings us to the most important aspect of our public finance operation, which is the question of expenditure. It is the wisdom of our constitution that irrespective of how revenue or other monies are raised or received, there can be no expenditure of such monies or revenue without appropriation. This is the inescapable conclusion of the provisions of Section 80(3) and 80(4) of the Constitution, which we all swore to promote, protect and defend. Let me repeat, that, there can be no expenditure without appropriation by the National Assembly.” Like it was disclosed in 2010 by the Dimeji Bankole-led House in which Tambuwal played a prominent role, he also revealed that according Federal Revenue Disclosures: “There is huge concern about federal revenue leakages, with reports of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government failing to adequately account for revenues received on behalf of the country in their areas of activity. The House will work to plug leakages of federally collectible revenue and full and transparent disclosure of all revenues and receipts by corporations and agencies on behalf of government, in accordance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act”. Under Speaker Bankole (2007-2011), the House directed its Finance Committee, then under John Enoh (PDP/Cross Riv-
er) to investigate 31 revenue-generating agencies who were not remitting to the Federation Account, and whose activities led to a N1.3 trillion deficit in the 2010 Budget. Another ad hoc committee, co-headed by Leo Ogor, former member of the House, Igo Aguma (PDP/Rivers) and Senator Bassey Otu (PDP/Cross River) also probed the leakages in the oil and gas sector with a view to stanching the leakages in the sector and discouraging opacity in oil and gas transactions by the Federal Government represented by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The oil and gas sector probe, like the one by the Finance Committee sought to rescue funds that may have been stashed away in illegal and personal accounts of top industrial players and their cohorts. The probe received immense support from a majority of Nigerians, but sadly fell flat on its face as moneybags who were feeding fat from the leakages in the industry took their war to the doorsteps of the parliament. But a resolute former Speaker, Bankole insisted that the monies lost to oil thieves must be recovered to make the budget work; at different times, Bankole lambasted the executives, for what he alleged was its deliberate cover up for oil majors, some of whom had already evaded taxes as at 2006, to the tune of $10 billion. To press its seriousness and commitment to arresting the profligacy in the sleazy oil sector, the House suspended the consideration of the NNPC budget, insisting that it must provide details of the volume of oil produced and sold daily in Nigeria. When that did not come, the House sought the help of the World Bank and a highly rated audit firm, to nail the defaulters in the industry. A co-chairman of the oil and gas probe panel under Bankole, Aguma, told reporters that the House sought the assistance of those agencies, because it lacked the wherewithal or technical expertise to beat the oil “crooks” to their game. The help never came, as it was reliably gathered that an all-powerful presidency, somehow turned the international partners back on their heels. The rest became history and the report of the committee is yet to see the light of day. In an interview with the then Chief Whip of the House, and now Deputy Speaker of the House, Ihedioha, he said the House was not yet ready to begin a full-scale review of the laws of revenuegenerating agencies regarding remittances to the federation account. The House and the Senate alike have continued to dodge or avoid the need to go head-on with amendments to laws setting up agencies that have refused to remit to the Federation Account on the devious excuse that their laws allow them to generate and spend. But if budgets must work and the House must be taken seriously, these amendments must be done. The House must follow the usual braggadocio and excessive muscle-flexing with tangible results. Nigerians can’t wait!
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Nigeria’s budgeting system poor for economic growth – Rep THE
Hon. Lasun Yusuff is the Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Water Resources, representing Osogbo/ Irepodun/Olorunda/Orolu Federal Constituency in Osun State. In this interview with MOJEED ALABI, the Action Congress of Nigerian (ACN) member discusses salient issues including the ongoing constitutional amendment, oil subsidy scams and infrastructure decay, among others. Excerpts: This is your second year running as a member of the National Assembly, how has it been? As we all know, it has been very tough right from the day of the inauguration of the Seventh National Assembly because we have been very definitive in our mission. We pledged to run a very credible and responsible lower chamber and one of the very few things that we did as soon as we resumed confirms this position, particularly the election of the House leadership. For the first time, the House decided not to be spoon-fed by any external factor and the emergence of the Honourable Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwa and his deputy, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, signalled a new beginning. Since then, I think we don’t have to judge ourselves; it should be left to Nigerians to judge us. However, to set the record straight, there are other few bold steps we have taken that reaffirmed our independence as an organ of government. For instance, our intervention in the removal of the fuel subsidy forced us to call off our holiday to seat on a Sunday and advised Mr. President against it. Also, the aftermath of that informed our decision to take a look at the oil sector and the outcome revealed the scams in the industry. Some people may be quick to point to the scandals surrounding the whole exercise, but while I am not saying the scandals aren’t important, I want to tell you that no searchlight from any quarters had ever revealed the dirtiness in the sector like we did. Today, the outcome of the effort is the arrest of some individuals and their eventual trials. Another thing that we did is about the budget. Nigerians never knew that our budgets in the last couple of years had never been implemented as passed by the National Assembly. The executive arm would just present budgets as rituals year in, year out without proper implementation. But we have seen through painstaking efforts that our budgets are usually not implemented as passed and that was why when we were to go on recess in July this year, we let the executive know that the 2012 budget implementation must be total. Although as I am talking to you, the budget has still not been implemented beyond 30 per cent, we have made up our mind to mount the necessary pressure to achieve proper implementation because it is through such that essential social services can be provided for our people and that is when our institutions can work perfectly well. We must also take into account the ongoing review of the 1999 constitution as amended and to carry the people along. Beginning from November 10, we have had public hearings on key issues to be addressed in the amendment and we think the outcome will in a definite way impact on the lives of our people because as long as laws of the land take into cognizance the needs of the people there would be better and improved governance. Could you explain more on the issue of poor budget implementation? Like I said, that is one of the major headaches of this country. In fact, having been involved in the budget scrutiny, I can convincingly tell you that our budgeting system is very poor and lacks the quality to turnaround our economy because there are lots of irrelevances in the budget. If
how do you expect the contractor to function very well and deliver the job within the specified period? This is why we have lots of abandoned projects in every part of the country. So, we have to screen this act for adequate review also. In a nutshell, our budgeting process is very poor, the process of awarding contracts is poorer and our documentation is also very bad.
you take an average Nigerian budget, you will notice that most things that appear are basically not relevant to the development of the country. For instance, there are some allocations to some ministries and agencies without any basis. They call it envelope at the federal level and these monies are allocated without specific things to be used for and this is part of the loopholes in the system. Another thing is that every year, budgets are submitted, you see ministries quoting huge fund for purchase and supply of similar items and you keep wondering what happened to the earlier ones bought. At times, these monies run into billions of naira and these are some of the things that make our budget for recurrent and overhead expenditure to be bloated and it reduces the allocations on capital projects. There is also the problem of the Procurement Act, which is meant to guide the process of awarding contracts and when you look through this act, you will notice a lot of inconsistencies and awkwardness. For example, the law says before you can award any contract you have to do something they call pre-qualification which includes advertisement on the pages of newspapers calling for contractors to supply you documents and that process alone can take more than six months. After that there would be financial tendering and that too can take another three months. So, in a year that is made up of 12 months, you have already wasted about seven months on those processes alone. And when the contracts are eventually awarded, it takes another couple of months to process the mobilisation funds and the law says you cannot be given more than 15 per cent of the contract sum as mobilisation fund. In such a situation
OUR BUDGETING SYSTEM IS VERY POOR AND LACKS THE QUALITY TO TURNAROUND OUR ECONOMY... MOST
THINGS THAT APPEAR ARE BASICALLY NOT RELEVANT TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY
The fuel scarcity is back and the public is insinuating that this is part of the gimmick to bring back the subsidy withdrawal. How true is this? Let me first of all say that as somebody who has had opportunity of a stint in Shell as a youth corps member, I tried to know little about the oil industry. And one thing I first found out about the industry is that we don’t have the technology required and once we don’t have such, we are forced to take whatever we are given. No technology for exploration, processing and even the simplest of it, that is, transportation, we don’t have. As at today, more than 90 per cent of companies involved in our oil sector are owned by foreigners. That is terrible because we are talking about billions of dollars being taken away from our shores because we are not involved in the process. A law has just been promulgated on local content matter but the local content we are talking about is so minute that it cannot impact on our economy. Why I have gone into this is that we are only collecting commission from our own resources and it hurts. We don’t know the cost of producing a barrel and we only take what we are offered. So, when government now talks about subsidy, you wonder how they arrived at such and you ask to know what actually is government subsidising. Is it even true that oil is being subsidised at all? About the current fuel scarcity, don’t forget that bunkering is a major problem the sector is facing and so the ongoing scarcity might not be unconnected to the recent vandalism of oil pipeline in Arepo area of Lagos. Nigeria is blessed with water in abundance, yet our taps are dry. What is wrong with the system? That is a very logical question but I have always been raising this issue that the status of water has never been defined in this country and the situation is so in every third world country. How do I mean? Is water a social commodity or a product that must be purchased? The general belief is that since there are rivers, oceans and streams all over the places, water should be abundantly given to people freely. But that is a lie; potable water in particular can never be given freely in any part of the world because the amount of money involved to process water to make it drinkable is enormous. So, government at different levels must determine the status of water. How far have you impacted on the people you are representing? I know their needs. I know they are very poor and what I feel they need is how they can be equipped with necessary skills that can offer them gainful employment. This brings us to what I am doing as an individual. Currently the state government is running a programme called Osun Youth Empowerment in Science and Technology (OYESTECH) where they are being trained in various skills and I am sponsoring a total of 52 participants from the four local governments with the cost running into millions of naira and this will run for about six months. I can do this because of my background and that is the kind of things I want to be involved in. If you build boreholes or you buy motorcycles, they will all lose their values and worn out but education will only appreciate in value. When they are through with their training, we will try to set them up. When the colonialists were here, watch repairers, bicycle repairers and all forms of vocational experts were doing well but today everyone just want to start riding big cars the same day he leaves school and rather than take up a small offer he prefers to beg around.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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De-registration: Weeding non-performing parties CONTINUED FROM 41 velopment of the country. On its part, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) said the action is a flagrant abuse of constitutional provisions and procedure. Publicity Secretary of CNPP, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, said that the commission has an ulterior motive which might be a target to disrupt the 2015 elections. National Chairman of Progressive Action Congress (PAC), Mr. Charles Nwodo, described the action a “mockery of the nation’s democracy’’. He said the decision of INEC was a unilateral one as the parties were never notified nor consulted. According to him, since most of the affected political parties had already instituted cases in the court, the commission should have waited for the outcome of the case before rushing to deregister them. “We are going to test our strength again at the court of law, it is against the law of the land and undemocratic to de-register 28 parties. Who knows how many will follow? “Nigeria cannot have one party state and democracy is all about participation, if other nations with just 10 million or less are having more than 100 political parties, then why regimentation in Nigeria?” he queried. According to him, INEC had no basis to have de-registered the parties. “Historically, INEC must know that at a time AD had more than 60 honourable members and governors and PPA had two governors. If today they are not there, it is not the end of life,’’ he explained. National Chairman of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Balarabe Musa,has also accused INEC of a contempt of court, describing the commission’s action as a huge embarrassment.“We have contempt for those who think they can kill PRP and what it stands for. This de-registration will not stand because to me, it is a big embarrassment to my political life and the beginning of a democratic dictatorship in Nigeria. “It is a matter we shall address. We will not accept it. It is an interference with the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people,’’ he said. Musa, who is also the National Chair-
man of the CNPP, said his party will rely on section 40 of the 1999 Constitution to continue to function as a political party. He however added that the CNPP would once again approach the courts to determine the fate of the affected parties. “We have been in court over the matter. So, the action of the INEC amounts to contempt of court because CNPP went to court and got injunction stopping INEC from deregistering political parties. We would still go back to court because it is the court that facilitated the registration of many political parties in 2002 when the case was decided at the Supreme Court. So, now, it is expected of us to go to the court again,” he stated. Interestingly, the ruling PDP has continued to express support for the decision of INEC. For instance, a chieftain of the PDP in Rivers State, Tonye Princewill hailed INEC for its courage in trying to sanitise the political space. He said aside the fact that the deregistered parties were ineffective, they brought a lot of credibility question to the electoral process and expressed optimism that the action would lead to a more credible electoral process. While he advocated the deregistration of more political parties as a way of sanitising the electoral process, Princewill added that there was no better way of measuring
IT IS AGAINST THE
LAW OF THE LAND...
NIGERIA CANNOT HAVE ONE PARTY STATE AND DEMOCRACY IS ALL ABOUT PARTICIPATION the functional capacity of political parties except through its ability to contest and win elections. He said for the nation to have a credible electoral process, what was needed was quality and not quantity. National Auditor of the PDP, Bode Mustapha, also toed the line of Princewill, claiming that the exercise will sanitise the process and place the country’s democracy on a stronger footing, adding that having too many parties in Nigeria could be the bane of Nigeria’s democracy. National Chairman of DPP, Gen. Bashir Magashi, believes that the de-registration of parties would make politics more competitive in Nigeria, a development he said would augur well for the country. He however advised those affected by INEC’s action to pool their resources together and forge a formidable coalition. “There are so many strong politicians
that are affected in the exercise, they should challenge the situation and come together, consolidate on their experience to form a formidable opposition. This will make political terrain in Nigeria to be more competitive. Magashi said although the 1999 Constitution allows for a multi-party system, INEC still has the power to de-register parties going by the provisions of amended Electoral Act in 2010. National Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Alhaji Buba Galadima, said there was need for parties to be self sustaining, as it would encourage discipline among the virile political parties and ensure that only viable ones are kept afloat. With so many political parties, the process would become untidy, so he thinks. “Funding of political parties by INEC has become a big business for many political parties to make so much money for doing nothing. The idea is odd as it has made the whole scenario to become so untidy and resulted in proliferation of so many non-functional political parties in Nigeria today,” he said.
Electoral Law fraudulent? Since INEC said it relied on the Electoral Law 2010 as amended, Secretary General of CNPP, Chief Willy Ezugwu says it was wrong for the commission to have used the performance of parties during elections as a yardstick to determine their survivability. In his estimation, it would be highly irrational to use an election whose results were skewed in favour of a particular political party as a basis to judge the popularity or otherwise of other parties. “How can you conduct a flawed election and then use that as a yardstick to determine which party stays and which goes out of the political scene?” he queried. Dismissing arguments that most of the parties were formed just to receive grants from the government, he said: “I do not agree that we established parties because of grants, as the subventions being talked about are too meagre to even handle the logistics costs of the various parties.” In the days ahead, the court will decide the legitimacy or otherwise of INEC’s action. There are also plan by the electoral commission to deregister more parties.
I’ll contest 2015 presidential poll, says Okotie SINA FADARE
gainst the backdrop of the ban on his political party and 27 others by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last week, the National Chairman of Fresh Democratic Party (FDP) and its presidential candidate in the 2011 elections, Pastor Chris Okotie, has vowed to contest the 2015 presidential election, noting that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deliberately expunged some political parties in order to silence the voice of the oppositions. FDP, in a statement issued yesterday in Lagos by its Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Ladi Ayodeji, noted that the party is not perturbed by the action of INEC, adding that the proscription would not af-
fect the presidential ambition of Okotie in 2015. Okotie said: “The so- called deregistration will not be allowed to stand. The PDP has no right to kill other parties in order to perpetuate itself in power.” While criticising INEC for acting a PDP script, the cleric-turned-politician said the commission’s action would not deter him from his “commitment to promote good governance and a paradigm shift in the political configuration of the nation, whether the governing cabal likes it or not.” He pointed out that his party has engaged the service of a constitutional lawyer, Dr Fred Agbaje, to lead a team of legal icons to challenge the INEC’s decision in the law court. It would be recalled that the INEC in exercising the powers vested in it by the Elec-
toral Act 2010, once again wielded the big stick when it de-registered 28 political parties last week. It had earlier deregistered seven political parties in August last year. Meanwhile, Okoite’s church, the House of God Church, has donated N5 million to its KARIS award winner and four other charitable organisations at its GRACE 2012 programme in Lagos. The General Overseer of the church, Okotie, handed over a cheque for N1 million naira to Mrs Victoria Audu, wife of the posthumous KARIS award winner for 2012, late Prof. Ishaya Audu and four other charity organisations: Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted, Strong Tower Mission, Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria and the Sunshine Foundation, which also got N1 million donation each.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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Community Mirror MARE festival to boost tourism in Ondo
“However, Jonah Jang seems determined to deepen the crisis as he has been mobilizing unemployed youths against striking workers in the state..”
46 FRANCIS SUBERU
Lagos based legal practitioner, Mr. Bamidele Aturu has described the new Lagos Traffic Law as an attempt at legislating the poor into extinction, saying it was enacted without due considerations for the socio cultural realities of the state. He said this at a seminar on Lagos Traffic Law organised by the Rotary Club of Egbeda and held at Igando-Ikotun LCDA, Ikotun Lagos. Aturu noted that laws are social and culture sensitive because they are meant to regulate behaviours in a specific social setting; saying without regard to sociocultural realities of environments where the law is made, it would all amount to futility. According to him, “laws do not work in a strait-jacket. They are mainly rules formulated to regulate behaviours or conducts in specific social and cultural settings. In other words, laws are culturesensitive. Transplantation of laws without regard to other social and cultural variables leads to instinctive or intuitive disobedience. Let us take the Lagos State Road Traffic Law 2012 for example. The law has prohibited the use of motorcycles on 475 public highways within the metropolis. Many of the motorcyclists are jobless Nige-
NLC PRESIDENT, COMRADE ABDULWAHEED OMAR
Lawyer slams Lagos Traffic Law rians, some of them graduates of tertiary institutions. A number of them are artisans such as barbers, plumbers, welders, auto mechanics et cetera, who took to riding okada to make ends meet due to lack of electricity to engage effectively or profitably in their chosen trades. Without creating an alternative source of livelihood and without dealing with the infrastructural decay such as gully-ridden and narrow roads that cause traffic gridlocks and which makes millions of Lagosians use commercial motorcycles as a means of transportation, the law was passed and is being fiendishly implemented by the police who arrest, maim and kill commercial motorcyclists on both prohibited and un-prohibited highways. We must assume that Okada riders are not all going to vanish from planet earth because of the law. We must also assume that they all have different capacities to cope with the misery that the law has imposed on them. If these assumptions are sound, then it is reasonable to expect some of them to take to either older or newer forms of crime.” Another legal practitioner, Barrister Steve Adaramoye, who also
presented a paper on “Fostering peace among Okada riders and traffic officers in Alimosho Local Government”, expressed a differing opinion, saying the essence of the new traffic law was to bring about orderliness in Lagos metropolis. He said Okada transportation system in Lagos State had reached a level that brazenly and contemptuously compromised security of lives and property, even as he said the city aesthetics called for urgent and radical intervention.
Adaramoye said: “To me, Lagos State Government is right with its intervention of banning Okada in certain areas, but wrong in not providing alternative employments to the displaced persons.” In his own presentation; the Area Commander, ‘Area M’ ACP Ibrahim Sani Kaoje, who was represented by W/SUPOL Abosede Onsanya, expressed delight at the opportunity given to him by the Rotary Club of Egbeda to comment on enforcement of the new Lagos Traffic Law.
He noted that the law encompasses many rules and regulations that can make Lagos roads safer for users; even as he advised residents to get copies of the law as ignorance is not an excuse in law. The Divisional Police Officer of Idimu, CSP Victor Onyeugo, advised that the law be translated into the three major Nigerian languages, so that everyone would understand the tenets of the law; saying it is easier for people to obey laws they understand and can identify with.
Multi-billion highway collapses in Kwara WOLE ADEDEJI IIORIN
he multi-billion naira Ilesh Baruba- OkutaKosubosu Federal Road in Kwara State constructed in trust by the immediate past administration of former Governor Bukola Saraki has deteriorated,even as refund on construction of the road put at N6.5 million is now doubtful. The State House of Assembly has, therefore, called on the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to urgently rehabilitate the road in the interest of the people in the area. In its resolution, the House said an early intervention by FERMA would help in the increase of commercial activities in the area located on the Nigeria - Benin Republic border. According to the House, the rehabilitation of the road became
imperative, in view of the many pot holes, while a culvert before Chikanda, an international border town had reportedly collapsed It equally enjoined FERMA to control the erosion menace at Subayo village, to salvage the road from total collapse, even as it urged the governor to to include the construction of Ilesha-Gwanara-KenuOkuta road in next year’s budget estimate. Chairman of House Committee on Energy, Works and Transport Hon. Mashood Bakare, while presenting the report, observed that some sections on the road had become muddy, slippery and rocky, thereby making driving difficult. Similarly, the Kwara State Governor Alh. Abdulfatah Ahmed, has been advised to promptly release approved fund for the reactivation of Shataa Dam, to restore water to Budo-Egba and Otte-Oja communities in Asa Local Government Areas of the state.
Children taking a dip in dirty water at Makoko slum in Lagos.
PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
Legislator donates hall to school CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
member representing Awka North Constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Mrs. Rebecca Udoji Paragon, has donated a modern school hall worth millions of naira to Community Secondary School, Achalla. The school hall was handed over to principal of the school, Mr. Mathew Aniekwo at a ceremony held at the local government headquarters. Hon. Udoji-Paragon, who is the House Committee Chairman on Women Affairs, also donated two wheel chairs to physically challenged persons; in addition to
cash, bags of rice and wrappers which she gave to indigent citizens, widows and women leaders in the constituency. She said the dilapidated school structures were nightmarish and this made her to mobilize women to start doing something for the college when she was the President General of the women wing. Mrs. Udoji-Paragon lamented that for 10 months, she was in court trying to reclaim her mandate from people who never contested election as she wanted the constituency to have quality representation. She enumerated her achievement so far, saying, ‘’ I have enlisted motions on our road. We are
not happy that we go through five local government areas before getting to Achalla, but Governor, Peter Obi said he is going to complete the road from Amansea to Awba Ofemmili and connect Isu Aniocha, Urum through Amanuke to Achalla to make journey shorter.” On her other activities in the House, she said ‘’ aside efforts to attract attention of the Executive to our roads and the recent flood disaster that happened, I ensured that Awka North is included in the benefitting communities. I have a Bill on Child’s Right Commission because it is a law without enforcement, adding that with the commission, child’s abuses will be well monitored.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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MARE festival to boost tourism in Ondo HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
he Ondo State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Deji Falae has disclosed plans to make tourism one of the fastest growing sectors in the state. Falae stated this in Akure at a press conference to herald in the fourth edition of MARE festival at Idanre. The Commissioner who
said the government would soon embark on development of all tourists’ centres to boost the economy of the state, stated that the festival will take place from 13th to 15th December, even as he listed some activities lined up for the event to include art exhibition, mountain climbing, marathon race, musical concert, cultural display, raffle draw among others. The commissioner said about 50 local and international mountain climbers
are billed to take part in this year edition, saying that $5,000, $4,000 and $3,000 will be awarded to the winner, runner up and second runners up respectively. He said “The Mare Festival is a symbol of the collective characteristics of Ondo State,as it represents the resilience, sportsmanship, daring, heartedness, adventurousness, hardwork, responsibility, reliability, doggedness, solidity, uncanny ability of the state and
people to survive against any odds. Tourism is one of the fastest growing of the economic sectors and the highest revenue earner from the non oil sector, most especially when the world economy is currently experiencing meltdown. Idanre hills represent a reference point for Yoruba civilisation which has not been threatened by western culture and urbanisation and remain a living heritage
typified by festivals. This site constitutes a common heritage that needs to be treasured as a unique testimony of an unending past. There is no gain saying that the Mare festival is good enough to project the state and reposition it amongst the committee of tourist destinations in the world if properly managed and efficiently run as we have already planned.” The grand finale of the last edition climaxed with the mountain climbing race, which is a major attraction of the festival. The race atop the over 3, 000 feet above the sea
level hill, was supervised by a duo of professional mountaineers from Spain and South Africa. At the blast of the whistle, a galaxy of mountaineers both foreign and local, took to the craggy mountain displaying their skills to the delight of the crowd. At the end of the exciting climbing exercise, James Smith emerged top climber followed by Brain Weaver and Morijus Smigelshis, while Akinseye Temidayo maintained his record as top local climber. Oluwashina Stephens and Akingboye Cynthia came second and third respectively.
Oyo identifies new locations for modern markets
Commuters plying the dilapidated Federal Road at Owode, Ogun State.
PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI
bout 27 new locations have been identified for market construction in Oyo State,even as Gov. Abiola Ajimobi said the identified places would have modern markets with a view to ending road side trading. The governor said traders were asked to vacate road pavements to reduce accidents and to maintain environmental sanitation of the state capital. Ajimobi ,said the measure would also end flood disaster in the state, adding that the demolition of illegal structures would
benefit the people. Speaking at the occasion,former governor, Olunloyo called on Ajimobi to expedite action on the markets being constructed for displaced traders,as he urged the governor to continue the environmental beautification programme. Responding on behalf of the new party members, Balogun, a former Chairman of Ibadan South West Local Government Area, said they joined the Action Congress Party,CAN, because of Ajimobi efforts in transforming and repositioning the state.
Army officers’ wives NCPC charges Nigerians on community policing acquire vocational skills
o fewer than 320 spouses of army officers at the 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Calabar, have been trained in skill acquisition programme. According to the Brigade Commander, Brig. - Gen. Shehu Yusuf, the beneficiaries also included some dependants of the officers. Yusuf said they were trained on heat-transfer printing, photography, photo processing and information and communication technology. Others skills included catering, tailoring, hair dressing/beauty salon, soap making, beads and hat making, agriculture and allied services and embroidery. He said the training
programme lasted for six weeks, two of which were devoted to intensive activities in all the skills. He expressed the army’s commitment to the programme,as he said it was to give beneficiaries a platform for self-reliance “We are committed to the programme and will ensure that necessary assistance is given to all participants to enable them benefit fully,’’ he said. The commander explained that the participants were allowed to choose the vocations they wished. “The Defence Headquarters has provided some funds for empowerment of successful participants of the programme,” he said.
ational Co-ordinator of National Community Policing Campaign (NCPC), Deacon Kingsley Ubah, has said that community policing is a civic responsibility which every Nigerian must discharge by reporting crime to security agents, especially the Nigeria Police Force. Ubah, said this at the inauguration ceremony of NCPC Lagos State Chapter and induction of new members at the Arm Forces Resettlement Centre, Oshodi, Lagos. He urged Nigerians to be friends of the police, provide data to them to be able to fight crime and criminality, adding, “If we are expecting good protection from the
police, we must give total co-operations, and commend them for hard work. Community policing recognises that police cannot be effective without the active co-operation of their communities or public, such support and co-operation is more likely to come when the public know and trust their local police officers, in all the ranks.” The NCPC co-ordinator, emphasised that community policing is by no means soft on crimes, but always in working relationship with the police, saying “it means the police are the public and the public are the police, though the police are paid for their services. “We are here today because we have accepted to take up one of the most challenging and risky op-
erations in Lagos State.” In his inaugural speech, the Director, NCPC Lagos State, Hon. Anike Charles, assured of the group’s preparedness to help communities free from crime in Lagos. He therefore called for collaboration of every well meaning resident to make the voluntary efforts succeed. He continued: “We dare not forget that we are product of community insecurity, threat and maladjustment, let the word go forth from this time and place, to friends and foes alike in the communities of Lagos State, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of purpose and focus, to search, sensitise and sweep our community off crime. Anike, said that their core values among oth-
ers, is to introduce modern technologies to boost security in the state with proposition of 80 % equipment and 20 % personnel , as well as extend security responsibilities to the general public as freelance agents and informants through free network connections and toll free communications via telephones, email, website and internet. Chairman/ CEO, EMGIC Maritime Limited, Chief Obi Azodo was Chairman of the Occassion, while the retired Commissioner of Police, Mr. Frank Odita and Director, OPD, Lagos, Mrs. Omotala Rotimi were Guest Speakers. Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 2, Onikan Lagos, Mmaman Ibrahim Tsafe was the Guest of Honour.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
European Union receives Nobel Peace Prize
“I have no doubt that our resolve to provide education to all, in particular to the millions of schoolgirls, is the best strategy to defeat the forces of violence” - Pakistan’s President, Asif Zardari
Ghana’s opposition meets to discuss loss, may contest results PAUL ARHEWE
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
• UK congratulates Mahama
hana’s opposition met yesterday to discuss whether to accept the results of the recent presidential election, which handed victory to incumbent President John Dramani Mahama. The opposition New Patriotic Party said in a draft statement sent to reporters late Sunday that they would contest the results, accusing the ruling party of falsifying the final tally. But soon after party leaders issued the statement, they sent an email to reporters rescinding it. It remains unclear if the NPP plans to challenge the results, which gave 50.7 percent of the vote to Mahama. Opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo came in second with 47.7 percent. Akufo-Addo lost the 2008 presidential election by less than 1 percent, and this is likely the last election for the 68-yearold career politician, the son of one of Ghana’s former presidents. Akufo-Addo was expected to address his supporters yesterday. The capital of Ghana, meanwhile, remained calm except for a few dozen protesters who gathered outside the opposition party headquarters. “The fact is what went on yes-
Ghana President John Dramani Mahama, center right, speaking with election observers and ruling party members at the presidential residence in Accra, Ghana, on Sunday. Photo: AP
terday, (the election commission) declaring the election in favour of John Dramani Mahama, we are not happy about it at all,” said 36-year-old Mabel Lawson. “That’s why we are all gathered here.” She said the party has “all the evidence” there was vote rigging. “We are not going to accept it.” But across the nation’s capital, life went on as normal. Friday’s presidential and parliamentary election ran into technical problems, after election officials in-
stalled biometric machines to identify voters through their fingerprints. No backup was planned and in scores of precincts, the machines failed to work, forcing the electoral body to extend voting into a second day. The opposition says that the ruling party used the disorder that ensued to falsify results and rig the election in favour of Mahama, who was thrust to the fore in July, after the death in office of the country’s ex-President John Atta Mills.
Like most of its neighbours, Ghana suffered numerous coups before setting itself on a path to democracy. Despite the technical glitches, Friday’s election is being hailed as the sixth free and fair vote in the country’s history. No other country in the region has had as many transparent polls. Although the opposition is claiming vote-rigging, international observers said that the vote was an overall success, and another notch in the belt of Ghana’s democratic progress.
South Africans worry as Mandela remains in hospital
outh Africa’s former President, Nelson Mandela underwent more medical tests yesterday in a military hospital as the public and journalists outside asked: What, if anything, is wrong with the health of the 94-yearold anti-apartheid icon? Government officials in charge of releasing information about Mandela have repeatedly declined to provide specifics about Mandela’s now three-day hospitalization, calling on citizens to respect the beloved politician’s privacy. Yet Mandela represents
something more than a man to many in this nation of 50 million people and to the world at large, and the longer he remains in hospital care, the louder the demand for details about the private details of his health will grow. “He symbolizes what our country can achieve with a statesman of his stature. He’s our inspiration and personifies our aspirations,” an editorial in Monday’s edition of the Sowetan newspaper reads. “And that’s why we dread his hospital visits, routine or not. That’s why even now when we
Egypt gives army power to arrest civilians Egypt’s government has temporarily given the military the authority to arrest civilians to help safeguard a constitutional referendum planned for Saturday, the official gazette said. The order, gazetted late on Sunday, said the military would support police and liaise with them to protect “vital institutions” until the referendum result is declared. The decree gave army officers the right to make arrests and transfer detainees to prosecutors. Despite its limited nature, the edict will revive memories of Hosni Mubarak’s emergency law, also introduced as a temporary expedient, under which military or state security courts tried thousands of political dissidents and Islamist militants.
Congolese rebels avoid meeting as peace talks waver Representatives of rebels attending peace talks with the Congolese government dodged a crucial meeting yesterday at which the government delegation was to respond to earlier criticism, a development that could jeopardize negotiations to end the crisis in eastern Congo. The talks, which are being held in the Ugandan capital Kampala, got off to a tense start Sunday, when Francois Rucogoza, leader of the M23 delegation, accused the Congolese government of lacking “visionary leadership” and of corruption and incompetence. The Congolese government delegation on Monday refused to give its rebuttal as earlier planned, saying they can do so only if the M23 delegation is present to hear their side.
Ex-Libyan PM faces trial in Tripoli
A television crew films outside a military hospital where former South African president Nelson Mandela is hospitalized in Pretoria, on Sunday. Photo: Reuters
are told not to panic, we do.” Mandela is revered for being a leader of the struggle against racist white rule in South Africa and for preaching reconciliation once he emerged from prison in 1990 after 27 years behind bars. He won South Africa’s first truly democratic
elections in 1994, serving one five-year term. The Nobel laureate later retired from public life to live in his remote village of Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, and last made a public appearance when his country hosted the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament.
Libya’s former Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi has gone on trial in Tripoli charged with “acts that led to the unjust killing of Libyans”. Mahmoudi and two others are also accused of funnelling about $25m ($16m) of public money through Tunisia to help forces supporting Col Gaddafi. Mahmoudi fled to neighbouring Tunisia during last year’s uprising against Libya’s then-leader, but was extradited in June. He has denied wrongdoing. He appeared in court on Monday in traditional Libyan dress, speaking only once, to confirm his identity.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Russia retaliates on US for rights legislation
Briefs ‘Iran decodes data from captured CIA drone’ Iran’s Revolutionary Guard yesterday said it has decoded all of the data from an advanced CIA spy drone captured last year. The Guard’s aerospace chief, Gen. Ami Ali Hajizadeh, told staterun Press TV that that the RQ-170 Sentinel craft had not carried out missions over nuclear facilities before it went down in December 2011 near the eastern border with Afghanistan. Tehran had previously said it recovered information from the top-secret stealth aircraft, but yesterday’s announcement suggests technicians may have broken encryptions. “All data from the drone have been completely decoded. We know where it travelled step by step,” Hajizadeh was quoted as saying. “After decoding, our experts discovered that this drone had not carried out even a single nuclear mission over Iran.” Hajizadeh said Iran had captured the drone and decoded its data without any assistance, including from its allies China and Russia. Iran has said it would reverse-engineer the drone and build its own version.
Romania’s govt wins parliamentary elections Romania’s government swept to victory in parliamentary elections, near final results showed yesterday, but it was uncertain whether the convincing win would bring stability and defuse a rancorous political rivalry between the country’s top two leaders. The center-left alliance led by Prime Minister Victor Ponta won nearly three-fifths of the seats in the legislature, trouncing President Traian Basescu’s allies, with 95 percent of the vote counted. Many Romanians are fed up with a power struggle between Basescu and Ponta and are desperate for political calm after a year of upheaval. The country has run through three prime ministers and Cabinets this year and endured huge protests against austerity measures imposed in return for a 20-billion ($26-billion) bailout to help its foundering economy. Continued political feuding could harm Romania’s reputation as a functioning democracy abroad and create an atmosphere of instability that would deter much needed foreign investment.
Obama takes tax plan to Michigan US President Barack Obama addressed the Michigan car workers to build support for his plan to raise taxes on the rich and avert a looming “fiscal cliff”. The visit follows face-to-face meetings with Republican House Speaker John Boehner at the White House on Sunday. After their first private talks since Obama won re-election, both sides said communication lines “remain open”. Deep spending cuts and tax rises due to take effect on 1 January threaten to derail US economic recovery. Extended benefits for the longterm unemployed and a temporary cut to payroll taxes are also scheduled to expire at the same time.
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L-R: EU representatives President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz holding the Nobel Peace Prize certificate and medal after they accepted it on behalf of the EU during a ceremony at City Hall in Oslo, yesterday. Photo: Reuters
European Union receives Nobel Peace Prize
he European Union received the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday for promoting peace and human rights in Europe following the devastation of World War II, and the bloc was urged to use that unity in its battle with the region’s economic crisis. About 20 European government leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, attended the ceremony in the Norwegian capital. But not everyone approved the decision to give the prize to the EU, which was created 60 years ago. Three Peace Prize laureates — South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland and Adolfo Perez Esquivel from Argentina — have demanded that prize money of $1.2 million not be paid this year. They said the bloc contradicts the values associated with the prize because it relies on military force to ensure security. Amnesty International said Monday that EU leaders should not “bask in the glow of the prize,” warning that xenophobia and intolerance are now on the rise in the continent of 500 million people. Prize committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland handed the Nobel di-
plomas and medals to EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy and president of the EU Parliament Martin Schulz at a ceremony of in Oslo’s City Hall. Jagland said the EU was instrumental in making “a continent of war (become) a continent of peace.” “In this process the European Union has figured most prominently,” he told an applauding gathering of several hundred people. This year’s prize comes against a backdrop of protests as the debt crisis for countries using the euro currency triggers tensions within the union, causing soaring unemployment and requiring massive austerity measures. In his speech, Jagland said that European unity has become even more important as the EU battles its financial problems. “The political framework in which the union is rooted is more important now than ever,” he said. “We must stand together. We have collective responsibility.” Jagland said the awarding committee had decided to honour the EU, which grew out of the conviction that ever-closer economic ties would make sure that century-old enemies such as Germany and France never turned on each other again.
UK police unable to identify man who fell from sky
olice believe he was from Africa, probably from Angola, but they don’t know his identity. The mystery began in September when residents of a suburban street in the Mortlake neighborhood of West London woke up on a quiet Sunday morning to find the crumpled body of a black man on the sidewalk of Portman Avenue, near a convenience store, an upscale lingerie shop and a storefront offering Chinese medical cures. Detectives believed at first the man was a murder victim and cordoned
off the area. Within a day, however, police concluded the man — probably already dead — had fallen to the ground when a jet passing overhead lowered its landing gear as it neared the runway at nearby Heathrow Airport. The apparent stowaway had no identification papers — just some currency from Angola, leading police to surmise that he was from that African nation, especially as inquiries showed that a plane from Angola was beginning its descent into Heathrow at about that time.
ussia’s parliament moved yesterday to bar entry to the country for Americans who violate the rights of Russians, retaliating against U.S. legislation passed last week to punish Russian human rights abusers. The bill approved by the U.S. Senate last Thursday would deny entry to Russians allegedly involved in the 2009 prison death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who became a symbol of the abuse of Russians who challenge the state, and others accused of rights violations. The U.S. legislation has further strained a relationship tested by the conflict in Syria and the treatment of Kremlin opponents since Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency in May. The spat may make it harder for Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama to halt a downward drift
in relations, which had improved after Obama launched a “reset” of ties in 2009. But it looks unlikely to derail Russian assistance on Afghanistan, affect diplomacy aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program or deepen disputes over the Syria conflict and U.S. missile defense. Moscow had warned it would retaliate against what Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called an “antiRussian escapade” by its former Cold War foe. “The American initiators ... must understand that their actions contradict the tasks of deepening the collaboration between Russia and the United States,” Lavrov said on Monday. In a display of unity rare even for Russia’s parliament - in which Putin’s dominant party faces little opposition - all four parties in the State Duma (lower house) backed the legislation.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Seven planets could harbour human beings – Astronomers
even planets in the Milky Way outside our solar system could potentially harbour life, researchers from an ambitious project to catalogue all habitable worlds have announced. The Habitable Exoplanets Catalog (HEC) celebrated its first anniversary with the announcement that it had exceeded expectations in its search for possible new Earths. Lead researcher Abel Mendez, director of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo’s Planetary Habitability Laboratory, said the team had hoped to add perhaps one or two planets in the project’s first year. The addition of five possibly habitable planets over the two already known totally exceeded anyone’s expectations, he said. ‘There are many press releases announcing discoveries of habitable planets ... and that is confusing,’ Professor Mendez told SPACE.com. ‘So having a catalog that everyone can check what is available right now is useful.’ With scientists improving their techniques for finding planets outside the solar system, the pace of discovery is increasing, he added. The High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) instrument in Chile and the orbiting Kepler Space Telescope are just two of the tools helping researchers find new exoplanets every month. Professor Mendez’s team at the Planetary Habitability Laboratory launched the HEC in December last year. It was conceived out of the need to measure the suitability for life of these emerging worlds and as a way to or-
Mexican singer, Rivera dies in plane crash
exican-American singer, Jenni Rivera has died in a plane crash after the small jet she was travelling in went down in northern Mexico, her father said. A spokesman for the state government of Nuevo Leon said investigators had found debris of Rivera’s Learjet, which disappeared from the radar 100km from the northern city of Monterrey shortly after takeoff early on Sunday. Speaking after the wreckage was discovered, the singer’s father, Pedro Rivera, told Telemundo television all seven of the people on board the plane,
Rivera seen at a stage concert.
A collage of computer generated images of possibly habitable worlds.
ganise them for the general public. There are nearly 80 confirmed exoplanets with a similar size to Earth but only a few of those have the right distance from their star to support liquid water on the surface, the researchers say. The catalogue uses habitability assessments like the Earth Similarity Index (ESI), the Habitable Zones Distance (HZD), the Global Primary Habitability (GPH), classification systems, and comparisons with Earth past and present. However the exoplanet classifications use the word terran instead of ‘Earth-size’ to avoid a strict comparison with Earth since many of these worlds might have some physical similarities with Earth but
including two pilots, had died. Rivera’s publicist, lawyer and makeup artist were also aboard the plane. “Everyone was lost,” Rivera said, flanked by two sons. Investigators are still searching the crash site in the municipality of Iturbide, south of Monterrey. The transportation and communications ministry said the wreckage was strewn so far and wide that it was hard to recognise anything. It was not clear what caused the crash. Rivera, 43, was heading for the city of Toluca in central Mexico after a concert in Monterrey on Saturday night. Born in Long Beach, California, to Mexican immigrants, Rivera sold some 15 million records in her career, won several awards and received Grammy nominations, her website said.
might not necessary be Earth-like. Seven potentially habitable exoplanets are now listed by HEC, including the disputed Gliese 581g, plus some 27 more from NASA Kepler candidates waiting for confirmation. But the organisation cautions that while these are objects of interest for further astronomical observations, there is no guarantee on the habitability or even the existence of many of these planets. It will take many new observations, and more ground and space observatories to verify and characterize these objects, the HEC team says. The HEC was launched, December 5th, 2011, the same day that the NASA Kepler
team announced the discovery of Kepler 22b during the First Kepler Science Conference in NASA Ames, California. It started with just two planets, Gliese 581d and HD 85512b. Later, Kepler 22b, Gliese 667Cc, Gliese 581g, Gliese 163c, and HD 40307g were added, in chronological order. All these exoplanets are superterrans, aka Super-Earths, and quite larger than Earth but still considered potentially habitable. Scientists have not yet found a true Earth analogue. The HEC is now a very complex computer program that incorporates data from many exoplanet databases, such as the Extrasolar Planet Encyclopedia and NASA Exoplanet Archive, plus many updates from other research groups. It receives most of the data of new relevant discoveries directly from the research teams, which is then analysed and added to the catalog at the moment of their public announcement. In the coming year, the HEC will be expanded with new models and analysis, which is expected to affect many of the objects listed and offer new visualisations and habitability assessments. However, the biggest impact will come not from changes in the HEC’s maths, but from new discoveries, the team says. ‘A true Earth analogue or a potentially habitable exomoon would be big discoveries,’ they said. ‘Certainly, this was the right time to start mapping the habitable universe around us.’
Iranian nuclear challenge must be tackled in 2013 –Israel
ran is getting ever closer to being able to build a nuclear bomb and the problem will have to be confronted in 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday. Israeli officials would like the United States to take the lead in a military assault on Iran’s nuclear sites, but say in private they would go it alone if necessary, describing a nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat to the Jewish state. Speaking to foreign journalists, Netanyahu said Israel was sticking to the red line he laid down in September, when he told the United Nations Iran should not have enough enriched uranium to make even a single warhead. “I made clear that once Iran crosses that enrichment threshold, the chances of us effectively stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program would be reduced dramatically,” he said. “Iran is two and a half months closer to crossing this line and there is no doubt that this will be a major challenge that will have to be addressed next year.” Iran denies accusations by Israel, the United States and many Western governments that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, saying its ambitious nuclear program is for peaceful, civilian purposes. Israeli experts have said Iran could have enriched enough uranium to produce just one bomb by the spring or summer of 2013. In an effort to deter Tehran, Western powers have imposed increasingly tough economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic. “The sanctions on Iran are hurting the Iranian economy. There is no question about that. But we have not seen any evidence that sanctions have stalled Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” Netanyahu said. “Israel is more capable of addressing this challenge than it was when I took office four years ago,” said Netanyahu, who looks on
course to win re-election in a January 22 national ballot. Israel has one of the largest air forces in the world and is believed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal. Iran’s nuclear facilities are well protected and dotted around the vast country, posing a massive challenge to the Israeli military which does not have the reach of the United States or as powerful conventional munitions.
‘US drone strike kills al-Qaida commander’
U.S. drone strike has killed an al-Qaida commander in Pakistan’s northwest, the second member of the Islamic militant network killed in the area in less than a week, Pakistani intelligence officials and a Taliban militant said yesterday. Mohammad Ahmed al-Mansoor died Sunday when drone-launched missiles hit a house in Tabbi village in the North Waziristan tribal area, the main sanctuary for al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in the country, the officials and militant said. Al-Mansoor was a close aide to senior al-Qaida leader Sheik Khalid bin Abdel Rehman al-Hussainan, who was killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan on Thursday, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Al-Hussainan was also known as Abu Zaid al-Kuwaiti. Covert CIA drone strikes have killed a series of senior al-Qaida and Taliban leaders in Pakistan’s tribal region over the past few years. The attacks are controversial because the secret nature of the program makes it difficult to determine how many civilians are being killed.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (60) “Many people dream of success. To me success can only be achieved through repeated failure and introspection. In fact, success represents the 1 percent of your work which results only from the 99 percent that is called failure.” –Soichiro Honda Founder, Honda Motor. *** Reject The Fear Of Failures! Great super achievers are known for ONE THING: they are not afraid to fail. They are not afraid to try, try and try before they taste the grapes of success. Fear of failure has crippled many destinies. The truth is that if we don’t fail, we cannot succeed. Great inventors of all ages failed woefully many times before the universe rewarded their unceasing labours. Let’s reject the fear of failures and move into the arena of winners by pressing forward in spite of repeated failures in doing what we know we are gifted to do in life. SUCCESS WILL COME! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL email@example.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE
$700 000 iin gold $700,000 ld d dustt missing from Pfizer lab
olice in Missouri are trying to determine if hundreds of thousands of dollars in gold dust missing from a Pfizer medical research lab was stolen or simply misplaced. The St. Louis PostDispatch reports that police in Chesterfield began their investigation after the gold dust turned up missing during an
annual inventory of the lab. Pfizer Inc. had purchased the gold dust for $700,000 in 2011 to be used for research. And while small amounts of gold dust may technically be light, it’s unlikely that a light breeze blew away the entire supply. The Dispatch notes that $700,000 in gold dust would weigh between 30 and 70 pounds.
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Coffee from elephant’s dung costs $50 per cup
n the lush hills of northern Thailand, a herd of 20 elephants is excreting some of the world’s most expensive coffee. Trumpeted as earthy in flavour and smooth on the palate, the exotic new brew is made from beans eaten by Thai elephants and plucked a day later from their dung. A gut reaction inside the elephant creates what its founder calls the coffee’s unique taste. Stomach turning or oddly alluring, this is not jjust one of the world’s most unusual specialty coffees. At $1,100 per kilogram ($500 per pound), it’s also among the world’s priciest. For now, only the wealthy or well-travelled have access to the cuppa, which is called Black Ivory Coffee. It was launched last month at a few luxury hotels in remote corners of the world — first in northern Thailand, then the Maldives and now Abu Dhabi — with the price tag of about $50 a serving. The Associated Press travelled to the coffee’s production site in the
Golden Triangle, an area historically known for producing drugs more potent than coffee, to see the jumbo baristas at work. And to sip the finished product from a dainty demitasse. In the misty mountains where Thailand meets Laos and Myanmar, the coffee’s creator cites biology and scientific research to answer the basic question: Why elephants? “When an elephant eats
coffee, its stomach acid breaks down the protein found in coffee, which is a key factor in bitterness,” said Blake Dinkin, who has spent $300,000 developing the coffee. “You end up with a cup that’s very smooth without the bitterness of regular coffee.” The result is similar in civet coffee, or kopi luwak, another exorbitantly expensive variety extracted from the excrement of the weasel-like civet. But
the elephants’ massive stomach provides a bonus. Think of the elephant as the animal kingdom’s equivalent of a slow cooker. It takes between 15-30 hours to digest the beans, which stew together with bananas, sugar cane and other ingredients in the elephant’s vegetarian diet to infuse unique earthy and fruity flavours, said the 42-year-old Canadian, who has a background in civet coffee.
A Thai woman jokingly posing with a plastic basket containing coffee beans freshly cleaned from elephant dung below the tail of an elephant in Thailand. PHOTO: AP
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Court acquits four in Doma’s N15bn fraud trial IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
Federal High Court sitting in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, yesterday discharged and acquitted four accused persons being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commis-
sion (EFCC) for alleged N15 billion fraud. The four accused persons include; Abdulmumin Jibrin; John Danboyi; Suleiman Ibrahim and Green Forest Limited, were discharged after the anti-graft commission removed their names from the amended charges that were reduced
from 54 to a 10-count charge. The trial judge, Justice Mrs. Agatha Okeke, discharged the four accused persons after accepting the amended charges brought by the EFCC. The accused persons have been standing trial since October last year alongside the immediate
past governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma and four others on money laundering charges. The case, which suffered adjournment on different occasions was re assigned to the present judge, Justice Okeke after the former judge, Justice Marcel Awokulehin declined fur-
ther proceedings. Justice Okeke, however, called on the EFCC to bring their witness at the next adjourned date as the court will not entertain any adjournment henceforth on the matter. The prosecuting counsel, Barrister Onjefu Obe, said that the anti-graft commission
Varsity teaching hospital ready soon, says Yakowa
Lawmaker urges Katsina to take $56m ADB loan JAMES DANJUMA
A ZA MSUE
aduna State Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, has said that his administration would soon complete the upgrading of Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital to a university teaching hospital on time for efficient health care delivery in the state. Yakowa stated this during the second joint convocation ceremony of the School of Post-Basic Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Nursing, National Ear Care Centre, Kaduna. He said government would continue to develop healthcare infrastructure for a more effective health care delivery for the people. Speaking through his Commissioner for Health, Turaki Kalik, Yakowa said that government had awarded a N1.2 billion contract for the construction and equipment of an ultramodern Dialysis Center at the Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital. He said the contract also included the construction of a modern Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with life-support ambulances and a fully furnished academic complex. Earlier, the National Ear Care Centre’s Medical Director, Prof. B. M. Ahmad, noted that the institution had graduated a total of 388 qualified and registered ENT nurses, since inception in 2002.
has five witnesses and that they will be brought to court on the next adjourned date. The former governor, Aliyu Doma and two other government officials, who are now left in the matter, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge as the trial judge adjourned the matter to February 18, 2012.
L-R: Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie; Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde and Registrar, National Examination Council, Prof. Promise Okpala, at the National Conference On PHOTO: NAN Examinations in Abuja, yesterday.
Religious leaders responsible for peace in Kano –CP AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO
he Kano State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, has attributed the relative peace enjoyed in the state to spiritual intervention by religious leaders. He said the arrest of key members of the terrorist group was facilitated by prayers and fasting embarked upon by religious leaders and public-spirited persons who are desirous of putting an end to the menace of insecurity. Idris, who was conferred
with the award of the ‘Most Ethically Responsible Police Commissioner in the North-West,’ by the Centre for Ethics and Self-value Orientation, noted that the award followed the sustained determination of the command to free Kano from the grip of terrorism, adding that the feat was a collective effort of officers and men of the command. The obviously elated police commissioner told the gathering at the brief but colourful ceremony held at the Tahir Guest Palace that he gives special praise to God for the reduction in
the acts of terror and other heinous crimes in the state. He added that without Allah in control, the feat that had given him the honour would not have been possible. In his speech after the conferment of the award, Idris acknowledged the contributions of sister agencies like the Nigerian Army, Air Force, agents of the State Security Service (SSS), the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps, among others in the war against terrorism. He also pointed out that their collective efforts have
gone a long way in restoring public confidence in the security agencies, as well as ensure gradual return of peace and stability in the state. While conferring the award on the police boss, the Executive Director of the Center, Prince S. M. Yakub, said the award followed a careful study of the activities of the commissioner, especially on security matters, including his anti-corruption drive in the police, adding that he was outstanding among his peers in the North-West, hence his recognition.
Don’t disobey court order on strike, students tell NLC JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
he National Association of Plateau State Students (NAPSS) has urged the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) not to disobey the court order stopping it from mobilising local government workers and the private sector in the state to proceed on strike. NAPSS warning came on the heels of the expiration
of the 10-day ultimatum by the NLC to commence total strike in the state today. Addressing journalists in Jos yesterday, NAPSS National President, Comrade Yatu Promise Nandom, said disobeying the court order will amount to an invitation to anarchy in the state. According to the union leader, Plateau State has had its share of crisis and as such, cannot afford another round of violence in any part of the state.
He added that the state is faced with numerous socioeconomic challenges which he said have been worsened by the ongoing strike by local government workers in the state. He urged both government and the striking workers to return to the negotiation table and settle all pending issues regarding the strike in the interest of the state. The students’ leader, who decried the negative effect of the strike, particularly
on the education sector, also expressed concern over what he called the skyrocketing increase in tuition fees by both the federal and state-owned institutions in the state. He said the situation has forced many students out of school, adding that while they are in support of any effort to revamp the education sector, such should be done in a way that is not detrimental to the future of students.
he Katsina State government has been asked to apply for and make use of a $56.6 million facility that was allocated to the state by the African Development Bank (ADB). Senator Abu Ibrahim (CPC, Funtua), made the call when he received members of the state House of Assembly that paid him a courtesy visit yesterday. The lawmaker said the money was earlier allocated to Kaduna State but that it was later re-allocated to Katsina State following the intervention of the National Assembly members. He said the loan which has a low interest rate, would be used to complete Zobe, Sabke and Jari Dams that were abandoned by the Federal Government. Ibrahim said although the Federal Government had made provision for the three dams, the money earmarked was too meagre for their completion. He cited the example of Sabke Dam situated in Daura senatorial zone which needs about N7 billion for completion, but that only N300 million was provided for by the Federal Government in the current budget. He noted that the completion of the dams would boost irrigation activities and provide potable drinking water for the people of the state. Earlier, Chairman of the Committee on Special Duties of the state House of Assembly, Dr. Lawal Musawa, said the visit was to seek the intervention of the National Assembly members for speedy completion of the three dams. Aliyu said the state government was worried over the non-completion of the dams by the Federal Government.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
DPO, 13 others killed in Yobe INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
unmen suspected to be terrorists yesterday stormed Potiskum, Yobe State, killing the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Mr. Mohammed Garba. Thirteen suspected terrorists were, however, killed in a subsequent firefight with soldiers attached to the Joint Task Force. The Unity Bank branch office in the area; telecom masts belonging to Etisalat, MTN and Airtel and a police station were bombed and razed by the terrorists who used improvised explosive devices, IEDs, during the attack. An unconfirmed report also said that the terrorists made attempts to attack the palace of the Emir of Fika, Alhaji Mohammed Idrissa
Ibn- Abale. But the attack was repelled by men of the Joint Task Force, JTF, stationed in the palace. The incident brought to two the attacks on the Emir. A couple of months ago, a suicide bomber attacked him during a Friday jumat around the palace, which the Emir survived unhurt. Our correspondent gathered that yesterday’s attack and killings took place at about 2a.m., when some terrorists laid ambush to some military check points, Unity Bank office, police station and telecom masts, resulting in an exchange of gunfire with the JTF. Confirming the incident to journalists in Damaturu, the state capital, the JTF spokesman, Lt. Eli Lazarus, said there was
an attack by some Boko Haram terrorists in Potiskum, where the DPO was killed. He said: “We repelled the attack and succeeded in killing 13 of the suspects. Three bodies of the suspects were recovered on the streets of Potiskum by the JTF, while some of the terrorists succeeded in carrying away 10 bodies of their colleagues and escaped through the bush.” He added that the JTF had swung into action to arrest the fleeing suspects with the dead bodies, even as he stressed that the whole town had been cordoned off to prevent further attacks and killings. In a related development, some gunmen shot and killed the District Head of Dusuma ward in Jere council area of Borno State and his son. It was gathered that the in-
cident took place about 8p.m. when the gunmen, still at large, invaded the residence of the traditional ruler and shot him twice in his head before he slumped and died. The hoodlums also shot his son in the presence of the family members. An eyewitness, who did not want his name mentioned, said the gunmen broke the gate before shouting Allahu Akbar (God is great) and shot the district head and his son. He said immediately after the shooting, which was done in the presence of the wives of the traditional ruler, the gunmen fled, leaving the victims in the pool of blood. The Police Public Relations Officer, Gideon Jubrin, could not be reached as his phone was switched off as at the time of filing in this report.
A cross section of intending Christian pilgrims from Bauchi State at a farewell ceremony in Bauchi, yesterday.
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Rot in judiciary, cause of terrorism–FG CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
by carrying out or tolerating actions directed toward effecting extra-legal executions, by not investigating them adequately or diligently, and by not punishing those responsible, the state violates the duty to respect the rights recognised in the African Charter and to ensure their free and full exercise, both by the alleged victim and by his next of kin, and for society as a whole to know what happened “One area which has witnessed serial violations of the rights of the Nigerian people is in the area of internal security. Thousands of persons have lost their lives on account of bombings and destruction associated with the current insurgency in Nigeria. Thousands of persons have been displaced and properties worth billions of Naira destroyed. “On the other hand, hundreds of insurgents have been extra-judicially executed. Hundreds of insurgents have been detained for over one year in various detention centres operated by the Military, the SSS and other military and paramilitary formations with no prospect of a trial. “It seems therefore that while the insurgents are violating the rights of the Nigerian people through extra-judicial executions and mindless bombings, the security agencies have
also been engaged in extrajudicial executions and unlawful and unconstitutional detention of insurgents. “The tragedy of the situation is that under the National security Agencies Act, Cap N74 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the SSS is charged with responsibility for (a) the prevention and detection within Nigeria of any crime against the internal security of Nigeria, (b) the protection and preservation of all non military classified matters concerning the internal security of Nigeria; and (c) such other responsibility affecting internal security within Nigeria as the National Assembly or the President , as the case may be, may deem necessary. “We therefore call on the Federal Government to investigate all the allegations of extra-judicial executions and torture levelled against the various branches of the security agencies. Impunity will persist so long as cases of this nature are not investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. The NBA deeply commiserates with the families and institutions that recently lost members and students to extra-judicial killings in Mubi, Adamawa State and Aluu, Rivers. These are just a few of the most recent instances of the spate of extra-judicial homicides that have besmirched our land.”
Housing experts fault Dangote’s cement glut claim DAYO AYEYEMI
ondemnations have continued to trail claim by Dangote Cement Plc that it shut down temporarily its Gboko Plant because of glut in the cement market. Speaking with the National Mirror in separate telephone interviews yesterday, some of the built environment experts described Dangote’s claim as political; noting that price of cement was still very high and as such, the claim of glut did not hold water. Cement is a major component of building production in Nigeria. Currently, a bag of cement is sold for between
N1,750 and N1,900, depending on locations. The management of Dangote Cement Plc had announced last week that it had finalised arrangements to temporarily close down its four million metric tons per annum’s Gboko Plant, as a result of glut in the cement market. Speaking with our correspondent, the Chairman, Nigeria Society of Engineers, NSE, Lagos branch, Mr. Olatunde Jaiyesimi, disagreed with the claim, saying it could be a gimmick by the company to force government to dance to its tune. He pointed out that if there had been glut in cement market, the effect should have been felt through a ma-
jor reduction in the price of the product. “Up till now, there is no reduction in the price of cement as a bag is still selling between N1,800 and N2,000.” Former Chairman of the Nigeria Institute of Architects, Lagos State chapter, Mrs. Abimbola Ajayi, said if there was excess cement production as claimed by Dangote, such surplus should be exported so that Nigeria could earn foreign exchange. She said it was difficult for people to believe that there was glut in cement market, warning the company not to create artificial scarcity of the product. Former Chairman of Lagos branch of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity
Surveyors, NIQS, Mr. Jide Oke, described the claim by Dangote as a political statement, raising posers about high price of cement in the market despite claim of glut by the manufacturer. He said: “If there is glut in cement market, why is the product still selling at N1,800 instead of N1,000 per 50 kilogramme?” The Chairman of Building Collapse Prevention Guild, BCPG, Mr. Kunle Awobodu, said it was difficult to believe Dangote’s claim. According to him, production capacity of cement in Nigeria is 27 million tonnes per annum, while demand in 2011 was 18 million tonnes, saying that price of the product ought to have come down
if Dangote’s claim was correct. He said: “Let us calculate the production capacity. If production capacity is about 27 million metric tons, MMT, now, demand in Nigeria as at 2011 was 18 MMT, naturally there has been some excess. By simple law of demand and supply, price supposes to come down. If there is surplus and it does not reflect in the price, we need a better explanation. If the Gboko Plant is closed down, there could be rise in price. But to encourage construction activities, price of cement must come down.” The Group Head, Corporate Communication, Dangote Group, Mr. Anthony Chiejina, had said
in Lagos last week that the Gboko Plant closure was necessitated by the glut in the market arising from the success presently being recorded with the exponential increase in local production of cement and further compounded by continued importation of subsidised cement into the country. He disclosed that the production figure for the first 11 months of the year showed increased local production level with supply now surpassing demand. Total supply of cement to the market at the end of November, according to him, when compared to the same period last year, has shown a record increase of 11.4 per cent, the highest ever.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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Once upon a town! Festac’s decay
A portion of high-rise building in Festac with unkept environment.
Earlier referred to as little London, Festac Town, which came into existence as a result of the Second Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture in 1977, has lost its allure and glamour. DAYO AYEYEMI, who toured the town recently, writes that epidemic may break out in the area due to collapse of infrastructure, overpopulation and neglect by the government.
ESTAC is an acronym for Festival of Arts and Culture. And for FESTAC Village and later, Town, the estate was originally built for the accommodation of participants in the 1977 Second Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture hosted by Nigeria. After the festival, the Federal Military Government of General Olusegun Obasanjo allocated the flats to Nigerians who won them through a bidding process and thus, the sprawling village began to grow. For earlier settlers in the late seventies, Festac Town (which is today called as if it is not an acronym) was the best neighbourhood to live in going by its well-laid out plots adorned with modern housing units, comprising block of flats and duplexes in a serene environment. The vast estate also came with functioning amenities like electricity and water supplies, street lights, tarred roads, paved walkways and sewage system; planned open spaces, gardens and places of worship among others. A beautiful place to live, you will say. But that was then as some of these facilities have collapsed due to neglect and lack of maintenance. For the first time visitor now, the whole community is overcrowded going by huge volume of traffic, bustling population, unkept environment, proliferation of worship centres and auto marts that have turned the major buffer zone into a location where their wares could be easily displayed. Thirty-five years after the Federal Government through the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) built Festac the town has grown from grace to grass owing to long abandonment by successive governments. The first entrance gate which is being given face-lift was not fascinating while other gates were in a state of disrepair when National Mirror took a tour of the town in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State recently. In fact, the council was created out of the former Ojo Local Government Area with Festac as its administrative headquarters, with a view to sustaining the legacy behind the original building of the place. The town’s buffer zone, which stretches the entire length of 2nd Avenue from 7th Avenue to the 1st Avenue, has been converted into a mechanic village. There are also car marts, churches, and a variety of shanties which serve as either shops or residential houses.
National Mirror observed that all these must have contributed in no small measure to the degradation of Festac. Most of the internal roads are riddled with portholes, while few are partially patched by the local council, according to one of the residents. Also, a common feature in Festac Town is the explosion in the number of shops and kiosks either approved or unapproved by the authority. Lamenting the degradation of Festac, pioneer Managing Director of the FHA, Mr S.P.O Fortune Ebie, told National Mirror in an interview that the glory of the town had gone, adding that he was sad seeing the place turning into slum. He said, “The glory of Festac which I pioneered is gone. Lagos State should do something about it just as it is carrying out beautification projects across the state.” Recalling how the estate used to be a place of attraction to citizens and foreigners in terms of beauty, aesthetics and serenity at inception, Ebie described Festac as the height of housing development in the country. Based on plans, he explained that the government was expected to replicate the town on a continuous basis in other places to solve the housing problem in Nigeria but due to instability in the polity, the programme was aborted. Expressing disgust over the town’s degradation, President of the Festac Town Residents’ Association, Mr. Jola Ogunlusi, said the big problem was the town’s sewage system which has
THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THROUGH THE FEDERAL HOUSING AUTHORITY (FHA) BUILT FESTAC, THE TOWN HAS GROWN FROM GRACE TO GRASS OWING TO LONG ABANDONMENT BY SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS
One of the high-rise apartments in Festac
Some of the illegal kiosks
stopped functioning 27 years ago due to major damage of the treatment plant. According to him, the sewage system functioned properly up to the middle of 1984 but was damaged due to lack of maintenance. Ogunlusi said since then many residents had diverted their sewage line to storm water drainage, which could cause major outbreak of epidemic in the area. He said, “The crisis now is that many houses have diverted their sewage line to storm water drainage. The storm water drainage is underground drainage meant to carry both bath and kitchen water to the open drainage. “Many people have linked the chamber with toilet wastes and in the process they are now carried to open drains, which is a source of epidemic. In some areas, we will see waste busting out, messing the surrounding.” He recalled that UN-Habitat’s officials visited Festac town three years ago with officials from the FHA and residents after which they embarked on tour of the sewage system up to the treatment plant located at Satellite Town. According to him, the officials concluded that UN-Habitat could assist in rehabilitating the sewage system put at a cost of
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
and fear of epidemic outbreak
One of the dilapidated road
THE HEIGHT OF DEGRADATION IN THE TOWN BEGAN WHEN RESIDENTS STARTED BRINGING IN KIOSKS AND OPENING SHOPS ON WALL FENCE BORDERING THE MAIN ROADS
A major road in Festac Town
N12 billion. “I am sure, they would send a report to the government but nothing has been done. The pumping station is no longer functioning. FESTAC has seven pumping stations within community 1, 2 and 3 from where waste is pumped to the treatment plant at Satellite Town. This is what UN-Habitat wants to help to repair,” he said. Ogunlusi disclosed that for over 15 years, FESTAC Town has had no water supply, a situation that make residents to resort to self-help by digging their own boreholes. Currently, he disclosed that the FHA is partnering with American-Nigerian firm, KOPILA Water Technology to reactivate the mini-water works in the town to boost supply water. Decrying the destruction of the area’s master plan, the residents’ association president said it all started in the late 1980s when the military regime appointed soldiers, who were not town planners to head the FHA. The military interlopers bastardised the provisions made for Festac’s beautification by selling the green areas and open spaces to their cohorts, who started constructing houses on them. “Some people even built on underground electricity cables which later altered the town’s original plan and forced the Power
Holding Corporation of Nigeria (PHCN) to run overhead cables in some locations,” Ogunlusi added. Spokesperson of the FHA, Mr. Tunde Ipinmisho, told National Mirror that the degradation of Festac has gone beyond what the authority can handle, saying however that President Goodluck Jonathan has shown interest to address the problem. Ipinmisho said the President last October sent a team of experts led by the Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Ama Pepple, to carry out an assessment of the place and do a report which is to be submitted to the presidency. Residents await the presidential report and outcome of the earlier assessment done by a team from the UN-Habitat. On the current efforts by FHA to fix some of the decayed infrastructure, he explained that the authority had commenced the rehabilitation of roads at 4th Avenue on a tripartite agreement with the Amuwo Odofin Local Government and the residents’ association. A former resident of Festac, who moved in there in 1982, Mr. Sunday Abayomi, is nostalgic for the peace and serenity of the town in those days, saying that living in the area then was a status symbol as the whole environment looked like little London because of its functioning facilities. “Electricity was on 24 hours. All areas within the water lines, because there were new areas where they could not extend water to, received water 24 hours. The streets were as clean as the streets of London,” Abayomi reminisced. He expressed regret that all the facilities went down because of lack of maintenance. “In the evening you did not need to drive with your headlamps on. The streetlights were functioning and they were enough for you to drive on the roads. The gutters were so neat that people used to wash their clothes with water that flowed in the gutters. There were no weeds in any part of the roads. Trees were planted on major roads and they were beautiful. Every street had a recreation park.” President of the Residents’ Association, Ogunlusi, said that carelessness of the FHA was responsible for over population in
the town, saying that the authority failed to ensure strict compliance with the rules and regulations of the estate. He said, “Of the 60 per cent original allottees, about 40 per cent of the housing units have either been sold or rented out to tenants. The new buyers or tenants knew nothing about the rules guiding the estate.” National Mirror learnt that going by the rules, a duplex is expected to accommodate not more than eight people. But today, there is hardly any place where you have a duplex which is not accommodating about 15 people. “People in Community 1, 2 and 3 outnumbered the expected figures. A two bedroom flat is to take four people but it is now accommodating 10 people or more.” The height of degradation in the town began when residents started bringing in kiosks and opening shops on wall fence bordering the main roads. Besides, the land allocated for buffer zone from 1st Gate to the 3rd Gate became locations for churches and illegal structures. He explained that by 2001 to 2003, Festac had become home of containers so much that in 2004, the residents’ association recovered 2,856 containers in the town. The abandoned containers and kiosks made Festac looked so bad that residents had no choice than to take some steps. “By 1993, we went to court to challenge FHA to sto[p bastardising Festac. We got an injunction which initially restrained FHA from further sale of open spaces and that is what put an end to that.” He alleged that FHA actually sold 206 Park but was stopped though court injunction from being converted to hotel. Efforts to restore the glory of Festac Town, according to the president of residents’ association received a boost during the tenure of Chief (Mrs) Mobolaji Osomo as Minister of Land and Housing; and Mr. Ibrahim Hassan as the Managing Director of FHA. National Mirror learnt that the duo showed concern and agreed to do something to reverse Festac’s degradation which led to the removal of the abandoned containers. The Minister and the FHA boss started phased programme of restoring obsolete amenities. He said, “631 kiosks before then had grown into 3000 illegal kiosks. If Osomo and Hassan had not been removed, the kiosks would have been reduced or eradicated. “No managing director after Hassan paid attention to the recovery of Festac as they closed their eyes to the degradation of the estate. “Residents have written series of letters to the minister and managing directors after the exit of Hassan and none had time to come to Festac and hold regular meeting with residents. The degradation continues. The facilities have gone so bad.” Ogunlusi explained that little beautification of some kerbs between 2nd and 1st Avenues were done by the Amuwo Odofin council chaired by Comrade Adewale Ayodele, who set up a green club to bring beauty to the place. The council has also patched few roads on 21 Road from AP station to 4th Avenue to the gate at Alakija axis. On how to restore the glory of Festac, Ogunlusi stated that FHA must dialogue with the residents to address the problems. According to him, urban renewal of Festac must commence by removing all kiosks and replacing them with shopping malls. Festac Town was originally a residential estate designed to house the participants of the Second World Festival of Black Arts and Culture of 1977. Consisting of 5,000 contemporary dwelling units and seven major avenues, the town was designed in an efficient grid in order to accommodate upwards of 45,000 visitors as well as Nigerian employees and officers working at the Festival. The Nigerian government invested substantial sums of money and resources into building the town, which had state of the art electrical generators, police and fire stations, access to public transportation, supermarkets, banks, health centres, public restrooms, and postal services. After the festival, the Federal Government allocated the housing and landed properties to eventual winners who participated in a ballot. Initial regulations forbade such winners from renting and disposing-of the properties to third parties. But all that has now changed, leading to the present decay and degradation.
First virus powered battery Vol. 02 No. 510
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
A timely warning
nce upon a time, I was privileged to have a rewarding interaction with a renowned pilot, a stakeholder of repute in good old days of the Nigeria Airways. In the course of the interaction, still vivid was his description of the dangers in the country’s airspace and how the pilots of old have succeeded in coping at least to have an impressive safety record to show for years of active engagement. The number of fatal air crashes often galvanise our government to quickly think of doing something in the immediate, if only to soothe frail nerves and in most cases to condole and calm bereaved families. But if we must be seen as a serious country in terms of safety, and particularly among the League of Nations, issues bordering on human lives should not be
ritish racer, Lewis Hamilton, has bid a final goodbye to staff at McLaren’s headquarters ahead of his move to Mercedes next season. Hamilton, who joined McLaren at the tender age of 13 in 1998, ends his association with the “Woking Team” on December 31. “It was the hardest decision I’ve
In April 2009 scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, announced they had genetically engineered viruses to build the positive and negative ends of a lithium ion battery.
TALKINGPOINT Seyi Fasugba
firstname.lastname@example.org 08053069514 (sms only)
handled with the sentiments with which politicians conduct their affairs. This is the reason why the alarm raised recently by controllers of Nigeria’s airspace needs not be treated with kids’ gloves but rather candidly digested and appropriate direction offered. This can only be made possible by assessing the time-frame when things have gone this bad in the aviation sector. It can however be argued that this is just the way we are as a people going by the state of other infrastructural facilities across the nation. Beyond aviation, a look at the state of our roads is enough to conclude that there has never been consistency of policies in government and more so, no link between the previous and the administration in power. One may want to ask why is it that the moment a regime leaves office, everything about the policy enunciation of that administration becomes irrelevant?. The new government will often begin again as there was no need to make reference to policies hitherto existing which predates the new government. It is only in our environment that we have failed to see government and each succeeding administration as a continuum which must build on the ideas, projects and policies of the previous. Looking at the dilapidated and unmotorable state of most roads, particularly on major highways and
FROM THE ROADS TO OTHER AMENITIES MEANT FOR PUBLIC BENEFITS, ONE
COMMON FEATURE IS THAT OF NEGLECT often busy roads, one will surely question government’s commitment to effective maintenance of public utilities and infrastructure. It was for this purpose that Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, was established. The agency still exists and there are workers being paid on regular basis till date, yet there abound more than enough evidence to prove that the agency is not working, at least doing something to keep federal roads motorable. From the roads to other amenities meant for public benefits, one common feature is that of neglect in spite of the huge funds approved weekly by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, to guarantee the comfort of those in government while caring less for the comfort and safety of the governed. To serve in government is a sacrifice for the comfort of the majority but this paradigm has been redefined now. The vogue is to neglect that which is
for the common good for personal comfort and ego. It is therefore not a surprise that those who hitherto identify with the people on assumption of office now see themselves in a class far removed from those they are expected to serve. It is against this background that the petition by the Air Traffic Controllers should be taken serious by all, and timely as well. Their agitation is not for increase in salaries or bordering on personal demands like some others in their position would have done but to raise a matter of importance. The General Secretary of the association, Mr. Banji Olawole, had in a petition written to the agency in charge of facilities for effective coverage of air traffic in the country, NAMA, raised a fundamental issue of safety of the country’s airspace. Considering the quarters from which this information is emanating, it will be difficult to dismiss the issues raised in the petition as unfounded and that all is well. Part of the complaints made reference to in their petition include the erratic working conditions of 124 IMHZ radio frequencies of Kano-East based on reports of pilots flying on that route. They also cited instances of unreliable and erratic radio communication equipment on some other routes such as Kano West radio, Kano East radio and the Lagos ACC radio. A regular flyer on these routes has no business in knowing the details and the working conditions of these facilities as long as the landing and take-off are smooth. But to ignore the warning as indicated by those who know the dangers embedded in the neglect of this equipment is a direct invitation to danger. A stitch in time saves nine. There is no doubting that the most appropriate thing to do in the light of what has been revealed is for government to deploy more than enough fund for the agency in charge of these facilities to ensure that our airspace emerges the best in this part of the world.
F1: Hamilton signs off, eyes Mercedes union ever made,” Hamilton told journalists yesterday in Malta after his last outing as a McLaren driver. “It is to do with the process of growing up, of leaving home. That’s why I am taking the next step to grow as a driver and as a
human being.” Reports said yesterday that the 27-year-old’s farewell to those who helped him win the World Championship in 2008 was “warm and friendly”. “My time at McLaren has been
fantastic,” he told staff at the McLaren Technology Centre. “Maybe I’ll come back one day if you’ll have me,” he signed off emotionally after receiving a three-foot model of his 2008 Championship winning car.
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